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Wildlife thriving around Chernobyl nuclear plant despite radiation via The Guardian

High numbers of elk, deer, boar and wolves show long-term effect of world’s worst nuclear accident is less damaging than everyday human activity, say scientists


The explosion of reactor four on 26 April 1986 killed dozens of plant staff and rescue workers, and led to high radiation doses in the first weeks and months that had significant effects on animal health and reproduction around Chernobyl.

But after analysing previously unpublished animal track records and aerial surveys from Belarusian authorities and scientists, the authors of the study, which was published in the journal Current Biology, found no long-term impact to population numbers from the radiation released by the accident.

“Chernobyl caused a lot of human damage. The social and economical problems were huge. If you set that aside – if you can set that aside – it’s hard to argue that it’s really damaged the ecosystem as a whole,” said Smith.

The number of animals was probably lower before the nuclear accident than now, because the area was relatively developed, with industry, agriculture and hunting. While it was possible that radiation still had some negative effects on animals it was not enough to affect their populations, Smith said.

But Anders Pape Møller of the University of Paris-Sud questioned why the data had gone unpublished for decades and argued the rebound in populations was simply a sign of wildlife doing better across Europe.


Møller, who has researched the region since 1991 and published papers on the negative impact of radiation on insects and birds at Chernobyl, said there was no reason to expect differences between different types of animals.

The researchers analysed a 2,165 sq km (836 sq miles) area of the exclusion zone in Belarus, known as Polesie State Radioecological Reserve (PSRER), looking at data since 1986 on the abundance of elk, roe deer, red deer and wild boar. Species that have been sighted or reintroduced to the area since the accident but were not found there previously, such as European bison and lynx, were not included.

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東電、16年度で賠償打ち切りへ 福島JAグループに via 47 News



続きは東電、16年度で賠償打ち切りへ 福島JAグループに

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韓国が440兆ウォンの世界原発解体市場に参入 via 中央日報

  韓国政府が2017年から始まる古里原発1号機解体事業を控え、440兆ウォン(約45兆5756億円)に達する世界の原発解体市場に参入することにした。6163億ウォンの予算を投じ特殊ロボット開発と専門家養成課程を行うことにした。韓国政府は5日、黄教安(ファン・ギョアン)首相主宰で開いた第5回原子力振興委員会でこうした内容を盛り込んだ「原発解体産業育成 政策方向」を審議し確定した。黄教安首相は、「韓国が原発建設と運営面では世界水準に到達しただけに、これからは解体と使用済み核燃料の管理に政策能力を 集中しなければならない」と話した。

産業通商資源部によると昨年基準で世界的な原発解体費用は440兆ウォンと推定される。解体対象である世界の原発は2015年までは 113基だったが2020年代には183基に増える。産業通商資源部のパク・ドンイル原発環境課長は、「1960~80年代に建設した原発の使用期限が 迫っており解体対象が増加する」と話した。

韓国政府は1500億ウォンを投じて核心基盤技術38件のうち放射能汚染を減らす方法などまだ確保されていない技術17件を開発する 計画だ。38件の技術をすべて持つ国は米国、ドイツ、日本しかない。また、1500億ウォンをかけて解体技術と装備テストのための「原子力施設解体総合研 究センター」を作る。500億ウォンは放射能汚染物質を除去するロボットなど特殊装備を開発するのに使われる。大学と国際機関を活用した専門人材養成教育 課程も運営される。原発解体には専門人材300人が必要だが現在は60人にすぎない。


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Flooding at the Nuclear Plant: Disaster by Design/Safety by Intent #1 via All Things Nuclear

Disaster by Design

The March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan did not reveal flooding to be a nuclear safety hazard; it reminded us of this well-known threat. Flooding from internal sources (e.g., broken pipes and failed storage tanks) and from external sources (e.g., heavy rainfall and swollen rivers) had long been recognized as a risk to be managed with an array of flood protection measures. As the following summaries—an abridged sampling among many such events—indicate, there were numerous reminders before Fukushima.


LaSalle (Illinois): Fission Stories #113 described the May 13, 1985, event where one of the circulating water pumps that sent cooling water from the lake through the plant stopped running. A worker dispatched to the pump house to investigate the problem discovered the building filling with water through a broken rubber expansion joint. The pump house flooded to a depth of 15 feet, disabling all the circulating water and service water pumps for both reactors.


The summaries indicate that adequate flood protection relies on (1) preventing water from entering areas housing vital equipment, (2) locating vital equipment in diverse locations to lessen the chances for a flood to disable it all, (3) draining areas containing vital equipment faster than then can flood, and (4) detecting a flooding condition as soon as possible to maximize the time available to successfully intervene.

Flooding is but one of many risks to be managed at a nuclear plant. Properly managing a single risk factor would be relatively simple. Properly managing multiple risk factors, often at odds with one another, complicates the task quite a bit. For example, installing fire headers and fire sprinklers within a nuclear power plant decreases the fire risk. But it increases the flooding risk. It’s not a matter of choosing which risk to manage and which to neglect; it’s a matter of understanding all the risks and developing designs and procedures that effectively manage them.

Read more at Flooding at the Nuclear Plant: Disaster by Design/Safety by Intent #1

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Nuclear power plants in ‘culture of denial’ over hacking risk via The Financial Times


A focus on safety and high physical security means that many nuclear facilities are blind to the risks of cyber attacks, according to the report by think-tank Chatham House, citing 50 incidents globally of which only a handful have been made public.

The findings are drawn from 18 months of research and 30 interviews with senior nuclear officials at plants and in government in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, Ukraine and the US.
Dozens of nuclear power stations have control systems accessible through the internet even though many plant operators believe a persistent “myth” that their facilities are “air gapped” with physically separated computer networks, the report says.
It points to a 2003 incident at the Davis-Besse plant in Ohio, when an engineer accessed the plant from his home laptop through an encrypted VPN connection. His home computer had become infected with the nuisance self-replicating “slammer” worm. The trojan infected the nuclear plant’s computer system, causing a key safety control system to be overwhelmed with traffic from the worm and trip out.
A more serious 2006 incident occurred at Browns Ferry in Alabama when a key safety system was similarly overwhelmed with network traffic and nearly led to a meltdown.


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(プロメテウスの罠)百姓飛行士:3 シイタケ、育てた夢via 朝日新聞









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【event】Little Voices from Fukushima via the Center for East Asian Studies, University of Chicago

A screening and discussion with director Hitomi Kamanaka

Wednesday, October 7, 7-10 p.m.
The Franke Institute for the Humanities (in the Regenstein Library)
1100 East 57th Street, JRL S-102
Chicago, IL 60637
Refreshments will be provided

The event is free and open to the public. No advance registration is required.

The post-Chernobyl present: Fukushima’s future?

People would rather not acknowledge their own exposure to radiation or the contamination of their environment. They also wish to avoid discrimination. Taking advantage of this psychology, TEPCO and the Japanese government continue to shirk responsibility. I would rather entrust the future of the children caught up in our society’s warped priorities to the mothers who wholeheartedly wish to guard and protect them.

Hitomi Kamanaka

See here for more information.

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NOT ROCKET SCIENCE: Nuclear techniques keep insects at bay in Croatia’s Neretva Valley via Faoreu

Growers in the picturesque citrus orchards of Croatia’s Neretva Valley are keeping their fruit clear of insect pests – but without resorting to pesticides. They use the so-called Sterile Insect Technique, with help from the Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture – a joint unit of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Division pioneered the technique and has been backing its application in the Neretva Valley since 2010.

In essence, the approach is to release thousands of sterile male fruit flies near orchards. The sterile males mate with wild females but produce no offspring, thus suppressing insect populations. This photo story takes a peek inside the insect emergence and release facility in Opuzen, Croatia.



In effect, the Sterile Insect Technique is a “birth control“ method for insects promoting the creation of pest-free areas or areas of low pest prevalence. It involves the use of ionizing radiation to sterilize mass-reared pest insects, such as fruit flies, which are subsequently released into infested target areas. There, the sterile males mate with fertile wild females but produce no offspring. Sterile males should outnumber wild males and cause the fruit fly population to decline.

The basic technology dates back to the 1950s, but was improved by the FAO-IAEA Insect Pest Control Laboratory in Seibersdorf, Austria. The laboratory also developed and harmonized international quality control guidelines for sterile insects.

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Global nuclear facilities ‘at risk’ of cyber attack via BBC

The risk of a “serious cyber attack” on nuclear power plants around the world is growing, warns a report.


Unfortunately, research carried out for the study showed that the UK’s nuclear plants and associated infrastructure were not well protected or prepared because the industry had converted to digital systems relatively recently.

This increasing digitisation and growing reliance on commercial software is only increasing the risks the nuclear industry faces.

There was a “pervading myth” that computer systems in power plants were isolated from the internet at large and because of this were immune to the kind of cyber attacks that have dogged other industries.

However, it said, this so-called “air gap” between the public internet and nuclear systems was easy to breach with “nothing more than a flash drive”. It noted that the destructive Stuxnet computer virus infected Iran’s nuclear facilities via this route.

The researchers for the report had also found evidence of virtual networks and other links to the public internet on nuclear infrastructure networks. Some of these were forgotten or simply unknown to those in charge of these organisations.

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仏首相、原子力セクター再編への関与を安倍首相に提案 via ロイター

[東京 5日 ロイター] – 来日しているフランスのバルス首相は、安倍晋三首相との会談し、仏原子力セクター再編に対する日本の業界の関与を提案したと述べた。


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