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Petition calls for A-bomb victims to be remembered during Olympics via The Mainichi

TOKYO (Kyodo) — A former mayor of Hiroshima has launched an online petition calling for a moment of silence to be observed during the Tokyo Olympics at the time the atomic bomb was dropped on his western Japan city on Aug. 6.

Tadatoshi Akiba, 78, launched the Change.org campaign on the day International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach visited Hiroshima on July 16, amid opposition from some A-bomb survivors who said the visit ahead of the Tokyo Games starting Friday was politically motivated.

“He should have no objections to how important it is to spread the message of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the world,” Akiba said, noting that Bach came to Hiroshima in spite of the coronavirus pandemic and opposition from many people.

The petition proposes that athletes and people from around the globe observe a moment of silence at 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6 to remember not only those who perished in the atomic bombings of the two cities, but all victims of war.

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The moment of silence will also express a commitment to making world peace a reality through the abolition of nuclear weapons.

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The website for the online petition is at http://chng.it/NzVXF9csQS.

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Radiation Exposure Compensation Act – RECA – SPECIAL: Time Running Out for Downwinders of Trinity, Nuke Tests, Uranium Miners – NH #526 via Nuclear Hotseat


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This Week’s SPECIAL Featured Interviews:

Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) was enacted by Congress in 1990 to provide one-time benefits to persons who have likely developed cancer or other specified diseases after exposure to uranium mining, milling or transport, and from radioactive fallout from atomic weapons testing in certain areas of Utah, Nevada and Arizona.  But uranium workers after 1971 are not currently eligible for compensation, despite most of the uranium mining production happening after 1971.

An extension of RECA to increase compensation and extend the people to whom it applies is currently being considered, but it has to pass within one year or RECA will completely go away.  To understand these issues, I spoke with three activists working on getting the RECA extension passed:

  • Mary Dickson is a Salt Lake City journalist and writer whose award-winning play, Exposed, puts a human face on the cost of nuclear testing. She has been recognized by the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility for her lifetime work on behalf of downwinders and regularly speaks out against the resumption of nuclear testing as well as her downwinder information talks.  We previously interviewed Mary for Nuclear Hotseat #494, on December 8, 2021. Here, she talks about RECA, what it is, why it’s needed, and what is going to be required to pass it before it expires in 2022. We spoke on Thursday, July 15, 2021.LINKS: 

 Downwinder Sherrie Hanna grew up in Arizona without understanding the consequences to her family and community from radioactive fallout from the 100 Nevada test site above-ground nuclear bomb tests. She is now a Downwinder Advocate, taking it as a personal mission to inform and educate as many people as possible. We spoke on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

  • Linda Evers a former uranium miner and is President of the Post 71 Uranium Workers Committee. She worked in uranium mining and production from 1976 to 1982, including during both her pregnancies. As you will hear, her working conditions while a miner were often harrowing, and the resulting consequences for her health and the lives of her two children graphically represent just some of the dangers of radiation exposure. We often speak of the dangers of radiation exposure, but rarely are we allowed to understand the magnitude of that impact and what it means in human terms. Linda allows us a glimpse into that world – and just know, it’s strong stuff.  We spoke on Friday, July 16, 2021.

    LINK: 
  • Petition to Extend Radiation Exposure Compensation Act
  • https://swuraniumimpacts.org/post-71-uranium-workers-committee/

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Bill Gates’ Fast Nuclear Reactor: Will It Bomb? via The National Interest

The principal reason for preferring fast reactors, historically the only reason, is to gain the ability to breed plutonium. Thus, the reactor would make and reuse massive quantities of material that could also be used as nuclear explosives in warheads.

by Victor Gilinsky Henry Sokolski

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The Natrium project, more than any other, offers the possibility to fulfill the nuclear community’s eighty-year-old nuclear dream to develop a nuclear power plant that can run on all mined uranium, not just on the relatively rare uranium-235 fissile isotope, as current reactors do, thereby vastly increasing fuel resources. It does this by first turning the inert uranium into plutonium and then using the plutonium as fuel. It can even “breed” excess plutonium to fuel new fast reactors. Those outside the nuclear community have no idea of the grip this captivating idea has on nuclear engineers’ minds. It has, however, serious practical drawbacks. What concerns us here is that plutonium is a nuclear explosive—a few kilograms are enough for a bomb, and it is an awful idea to have untold tons of it coursing through commercial channels.

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The thing to remember is that the principal reason for preferring fast reactors, historically the only reason, is to gain the ability to breed plutonium. That is surely what foreign customers will want. The original GE design on which Natrium is based included an onsite reprocessing plant. So configured, the reactor would make and reuse massive quantities of material that could also be used as nuclear explosives in warheads.

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The potential weapons link is obvious in India, which has refused to allow international inspections of its fast reactor. And the recent disclosure that China is building two fast reactors more or less under wraps immediately provoked international concerns about Chinese possible weapons plutonium production. The plutonium produced in the fast reactor uranium “blanket” surrounding the reactor core is well over 90 percent plutonium 239, which is ideal for nuclear weapons.

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At the March Senate hearing, TerrPower’s CEO described a future for the Natrium project that had almost unlimited export opportunities for Natrium and much larger plants. As Levesque explained, the current Natrium offering is a 345-megawatt (electric) machine—not so small in itself—because that size was what today’s market would accept. As TerraPower gained experience, though, he anticipated “growing Natrium output back up to gigawatt scale,” the size of current large light water reactors. The obvious conclusion is that, despite the current ballyhoo about the economic advantages of small units, TerraPower doesn’t think the smaller units would be as economic as larger ones. The “small” label is apparently just for the easily impressed.

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Germany can fulfil entire energy demand with renewables in 10-15 years – report via Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s entire energy demand can be met through renewable energies alone within the next ten to fifteen years, according to a new report by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). The prerequisite for this is that German expansion targets for both wind and solar energy are greatly increased, the authors write. Onshore wind power will play a particularly important role, according to DIW, which is also calling for the expansion of wind farms – especially in the south of the country. “100 percent renewable energies are technically possible and economically efficient – and above all urgently needed to be able to achieve the European climate protection goals,” says Claudia Kemfert, Head of the Energy, Transport, Environment Department at DIW Berlin. According to the calculations, not only the electricity demand, but the entire energy demand in this country could be secured with renewables. To reach full energy supply through renewable energies, the EU, federal and state levels must work together more closely and in a better coordinated manner, especially when it comes to grid planning, the authors write. They also argued that integration into the European electricity grid is necessary to guarantee supply security. At both the European and the national level, current grid development plans include a high share of fossil natural gas power generation as well as nuclear power. “These are the shadows of yesterday’s energy policy – now we urgently need to switch to tomorrow,” Kemfert said.

Germany’s 2030 goal is to reach a share of 65 percent renewables in the power mix. But due to a possible quick phase-out of more fossil power capacity, industry representatives and environmental groups alike have called for ramping up the goal to at least 70 percent by the end of the decade. 

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Six Decades of US-Japanese Government Collusion in Bringing Nuclear Weapons to Japan via The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus

By Steve Rabson

Abstract: The Navy ship containing nuclear bombs that a junior officer saw anchored off Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station in 1959 was only the most notorious of many U.S. violations of Japan’s official policy banning nuclear weapons. The Japanese government has a long history of secretly agreeing to their deployments, and feigning ignorance when they were revealed. The outrage that erupted in the press and in the Diet when former American Ambassador to Japan, Edwin Reischauer, spoke publicly in 1981 about nuclear-armed warships in Japan’s ports came close to bringing down an LDP government. In Okinawa local residents protested the large numbers and types of nuclear weapons based there during the U.S. military occupation (1945-72). Breaking its promise that they be permanently removed, the Japanese government concluded a secret nuclear understanding as part of the 1969 Okinawa Reversion Agreement that the U.S. government could bring them back whenever it decided there was “a great emergency.” In 2009 a high Japanese government official advocated their return to Okinawa in testimony before a U.S. Congressional Commission.

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黒い雨訴訟、容認しづらい via Kyodo

広島への原爆投下直後に降った「黒い雨」を巡る訴訟で、一審に続き原告全員に被爆者健康手帳を交付するよう命じた14日の広島高裁判決を受け、田村憲久厚生労働相は20日の閣議後記者会見で「(放射線に関する)他のいろいろな事象に影響する内容とすれば、われわれとしては容認しづらい面がある」と述べた。

 原告全員への手帳交付については「重く受け止めている」などと繰り返し、援護対象区域の拡大に一定の含みを持たせた。一方、判決の認定には懸念があるとして上告の可否を慎重に判断する姿勢を示した。

 田村氏は判決が影響する範囲について関係省庁と分析を進めているという。

原文

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福島第一原発 タンクの雨水あふれ放射能漏れたか via Yahoo! ニュース Japan

福島第一原発で、高濃度の汚染土壌を保管しているタンクの蓋がずれ、中にたまった雨水が、外に漏れていたことがわかりました。タンクの保管場所に近い排水溝では、通常よりも高い放射線量が計測されており、東京電力は、タンク内に雨水がたまり、汚染土壌に触れた水が、外に漏れだしたことで、一時的に線量が上がったと分析しています。排水溝は、近くを流れる川に通じており、河口でのモニタリングに異常はありませんでしたが、東京電力は、川や海に放射性物質が漏れた可能性があるとしています。

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「東電撤退を」3分の1超柏崎刈羽原発 新潟県議アンケート via 新潟日報

 東京電力柏崎刈羽原発の再稼働問題に関し、新潟県議会の3分の1を超える19人の県議が東電は同原発から撤退すべきだと考えていることが、18日までに新潟日報社が実施したアンケート調査で分かった。2007年7月の中越沖地震での被災や、11年の福島第1原発事故を経てもなお、核物質防護体制の不備などの問題を繰り返す東電に対し、県議会が強い不信感を抱いていることが改めて浮き彫りになった。

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東電とは比較的良好な関係を築いてきた県議会最大会派、自民党県議団からも厳しい意見が複数上がった。県議団幹事長の小野峯生氏は、再稼働の是非を巡る議論では、東電とは別の原子力事業者ならどうかも論点とする余地があるとの見方を示した。

 一方、原発の必要性については、自民を中心に「必要」が最多の20人に上ったが、「必要ない」も18人で拮抗(きっこう)した=グラフ(2)参照=。

 アンケートでは、東電が再稼働に当たって、県内のどの範囲の自治体に「地元同意」を得るべきかについても尋ねた。

 最多は、現行で対象とされている「県と柏崎市、刈羽村」の26人。ただ、県内全市町村などに対象を広げる必要があるとみる意見も計22人と多かった。

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敦賀原発2号機 データ削除上書き 日本原電“5年前から” via NHK News Web

福井県の敦賀原子力発電所2号機について、日本原子力発電が過去に提出したデータを一部削除して上書きし、最新の調査結果のみを記載した対応が、原子力規制委員会から不適切だと指摘されている問題で、日本原電は、資料作成を始めた5年前から上書きを繰り返していたことを明らかにしました。

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この中で「当時は文書と考え、修正して提示してもよいと認識していた」などと説明し、調査結果が新たに得られれば過去に示したデータを削除しても問題ないと判断し、資料作成を始めた平成28年以降、上書きを繰り返していたことを明らかにしました。

事務局の原子力規制庁からは「審査での日本原電の信頼性が上書きによって崩れた」「重要決定をしたという認識はあったのか」といった意見が相次ぎました。

日本原電の一連の対応は、来週、規制委員会の定例会合で議論される見通しです。

敦賀原発2号機をめぐっては、6年前、規制委員会の専門家会合で「原子炉の真下を通る断層が将来動く断層の可能性がある」と指摘され、日本原電が反論していますが、審議は平行線をたどっています。

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Solar power to become cheaper than nuclear power by 2030, Japanese government says via Hankyoreh

The ‘nuclear power myth’ has now collapsed not just in terms of safety but also in terms of cost

Solar power, an eco-friendly and renewable source of energy, could overtake nuclear power to become the cheapest form of energy by 2030, the Japanese government has said.Observers call it the first example of government predictions parting ways with the traditional assumption in energy policy — namely that renewable energy sources are expensive, while nuclear energy is relatively inexpensive.The Asahi Shimbun newspaper Tuesday quoted the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as having announced estimates the day before putting the cost of solar-powered energy — for commercial purposes — at between 8 and 12 yen per kilowatt-hour by 2030, making it less expensive than nuclear power — between 11.5 and 12 yen per kilowatt-hour.The Japanese government’s estimates of the costs of nuclear power have been consistently rising.In a 2011 prediction, it estimated that the cost would be 8.9 yen/kWh by 2030. That estimate was raised to 10.3 yen/kWh in 2015, and again to nearly 12 yen in the latest announcement.While nuclear power has long been perceived as the least expensive energy source, it is expected to slip to fourth place in terms of minimum estimates, as it falls behind onshore wind power (9–17 yen) and liquefied natural gas (LNG, 10–14 yen) as well.Factors behind the rise in nuclear power costs include associated safety measures and waste disposal. Increased regulation in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster has necessitated construction efforts for measures such as containment of the spread of radioactive materials, while the costs of compensation and decommissioning in the event of a disaster have also risen.Other factors cited as driving up costs include reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste disposal.In contrast, the ministry predicted the total costs of solar power generation would gradually drop thanks to technological innovations and mass adoption. According to its calculations, they are poised to fall from nearly 13 yen/kWh in 2020 to the range of “8–12 yen/kWh” ten years later in 2030.The cost calculations were arrived at by dividing the amount of money spent to build power generation facilities, and to continue operating them for a sufficient period of time until their closure, by the total amount of power generated.

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