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川内原発、初の審査終了へ=保安規定27日にも認可-規制委 via 時事ドットコム

 原発再稼働の前提となる新規制基準への適合性審査で、原子力規制委員会は25日、九州電力川内原発1、2号機(鹿児島県)の保安規定変更認可について、 27日の定例会合で審議することを決めた。

(略)

2013年7月に始まった新基準に基づく審査で、川内原発が正式に「合格第 1号」となる。

ただ、再稼働には現在行われている使用前検査を終える必要があり、九電は7月下旬に1号機、9月下旬に2号機の再稼働を目指し、作業を続ける。

全文は川内原発、初の審査終了へ=保安規定27日にも認可-規制委

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高浜原発近く 14~16世紀津波 古文書記録と一致 via 東京新聞

福井県の高浜原発近くの地層から、十四~十六世紀ごろの津波の痕跡とみられる堆積物が見つかった。古文書に記 載がある天正地震(一五八六年)の時期と重なる。福井大などの研究チームが、千葉市で二十四日から開かれる日本地球惑星科学連合大会で発表する。原発再稼 働の是非をめぐる論議に一石を投じそうだ。

 若狭湾沿岸では、これまで、関西電力などが行った調査で敦賀半島の「猪ケ池(いのがいけ)」の地層から痕跡が見つかっている。年代は約五千三百~五千六百年前とされ、今回とは大きく異なる。

 チームは、海岸から三百~六百メートル離れた高浜町の水田に試掘溝を掘るなどして、厚さ数センチから十数センチの砂層を見つけた。砂粒が海岸で見 られるように丸っこい上、貝殻片やウニのトゲなど海の生物の遺骸が含まれており、津波による堆積物の可能性が高いと結論づけた。放射性炭素を使って年代を 推定した。

(略)

 調査地点から約七キロ北西には関西電力高浜原発がある。関電は、再稼働に向けて最大六・七メートルの津波を想定し、高さ八メートルの防潮堤を設けており、「研究の詳細を承知していないので、何も言うことはできない」としている。

 天正地震は、近畿・中部地方に大きな被害を与え、ポルトガル人宣教師ルイス・フロイスが著した「日本史」などに、若狭湾沿岸に大津波が押し寄せたとの記述が見つかっている。震源がどこかは定説がない。

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Energy industry eyes 100-year life cycle for nuclear plants via The Charlotte Business Journal

Can a nuclear plant run for a century? For now, federal regulators allow up to 60 years of licensed energy production. But Gary Mignogna, CEO of Charlotte-based Areva Inc. (EPA:AREVA), says it’s time to consider a 100-year life cycle.

[…]

So Toshiba is working on reverse engineering to fabricate replacement parts for older plants.

If plant life is significantly extended, it will make renovations that increase the output of plants by 5 percent to 7 percent, which the industry commonly refers to as “uprates,” more attractive. Most utilities looking at such improvements could figure that the upfront expense would pay off in 30 to 50 years of additional service.

New construction?

If plant life is extended again, it may slow new construction of nuclear plants in the United States even further. The once-heralded nuclear renaissance of new plants has occurred overseas, but not here.

Four new-generation nuclear units are under construction in the U.S. — two at Plant Vogtle in Georgia and two at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in South Carolina. The Tennessee Valley Authority is completing a long-delayed plant, based on the previous-generation design, at Watts Barr.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) is among the companies considering construction of a new nuclear plant — two units at the proposed W.S. Lee Nuclear Station near Gaffney, S.C. But Duke has not committed to building the plant. Executives generally tie a potential construction timetable to the retirement of Duke’s 2,500-megawatt Oconee Plant in Upstate South Carolina when it reaches the end of 60 years of service in 2033.

If the Oconee plant could extend to 80 years or more of operation, that could push a time line for Lee back further.

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Nuclear weapons tests: Ministry of Defence admits it irradiated civilians in the Cold War via Mirror

Thousands of non-military staff suffered effects of the blasts and later had their health studied by government, with increased risk of cancer and heart disease

A newly uncovered government study details the death and cancer rates of 174,541 people who were exposed to radiation at nuclear facilities.

Of those, 64,909 were employed by the MoD in non-military roles such as maintaining nuclear submarines and weapons.

This is more than three times as many people as were affected by Britain’s nuclear bomb tests on Christmas Island in the 1950s – veterans who are also subject to government studies, and have had their NHS records flagged by the MoD.

The study of civilians shows higher doses increased the risk of thyroid, lung and rectal cancers, leukaemia and heart disease.

Yet while test veterans suffer the same cancers and have fathered children with 10 times the normal rate of birth defects, the Government spent millions fighting negligence claims.

[…]

The 2009 study was found by Steve Clifford, 52, of Fleckney, Leics, as he searched for evidence that his dad Graham, 76, was ­irradiated while serving as a cook on Christmas Island during 1957 bomb tests.

Steve, who survived an adult form of leukaemia when he was four and now has chronic pain with bony growths on his shoulders, said: “What’s truly eye-popping is their logic that ­civilians can be irradiated and get cancer but radiation just bounces off the armed forces without doing any damage.”

The obscure study he discovered was carried out by government statisticians in 2009.

It details 174,541 people who recorded a radiation dose at a number of organisations with nuclear facilities – power stations, scientific institutions, and the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

But by far the most – 64,909, or 37 per cent – were employed by the MoD.

They are thought to have been civilians supporting military work, such as operating and maintaining nuclear submarines and weapons, as well as a handful of military dentists and radiologists.

The tests saw 22,000 troops, many on National Service, were ordered to watch dozens of atomic and hydrogen blasts, and live among the toxic fallout for up to a year afterwards.

Read more at Nuclear weapons tests: Ministry of Defence admits it irradiated civilians in the Cold War

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4月採取の福島市産のコシアブラから、1万4849ベクレルのセシウム検出。山菜、キノコ類の放射能汚染、一向に衰えず via Finance GreenWatch

(抜粋)

今回の検査は、市民が持ち込んだ自家用食品を対象としたもので、2060件の調査対象のうち、セシウムを検出した割合は約4割の38.7%、100 ベクレル(kg当たり)の基準超過率は15.25%で、引き続き一定の比率での汚染食品が日常化していることが改めて判明した。

セシウム検出率、基準超過率を過去2年と比べても、ほとんど変わっていない。基準超過率では2013年4月が14.6%、2014年4月15.8%、今年が15.2%とほぼ同水準で推移している。

個別食品では、山菜のコシアブラが測定件数119件のうち、ほぼすべての117件でセシウムを検出、基準超かも109件と、9割以上(91.6%) の汚染率となっている。しいたけ(原木)も、最高値2187ベクレルで、基準超過率は88.5%、わらび1070ベクレル、基準超過率5.0%,タラノメ 798ベクレル、同25.1%などとなっており、山菜、キノコ類の汚染の継続が目立つ。

全文は4月採取の福島市産のコシアブラから、1万4849ベクレルのセシウム検出。山菜、キノコ類の放射能汚染、一向に衰えず

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原発事故後も避難地で動物保護 記録映画の上映イベント via 福井新聞

(抜粋)

松村さんは映画上映後のトークショーで「政府の全頭殺処分命令で私の人生は変わった。政府はペットや家畜のことを考えていたのか」と質問。菅氏は「原発事故や、数十キロの範囲で住民が長期間避難するという事態そのものを想定していなかった」と釈明した。

記録映画は中村真夕監督の「ナオトひとりっきり Alone in Fukushima」。

全文は原発事故後も避難地で動物保護 記録映画の上映イベント

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菅元首相は「今回の福島原発事故で、本当に日本の半分が、あるいは全部が壊滅してもおかしくない寸前だった。日本のためにも世界のためにも原発はなくすべきだ」と改めて原発の反対を訴えた。

 登壇すると、東京電力が先日「2号機のベント(圧力が上がった格納器が破裂するのを防ぐための措置)は失敗に終わっていた可能性が高い」と発表し たことに触れた菅元首相。「ベントに失敗したということは、格納器が壊れるということです。実際に壊れたんです。ただ、大破しなくて穴が開いた」と述べ、 「格納器の中は73シーベルトなんてことがわたしの国会質疑の際も言われました。近づけば人間が5分間くらいで確実に命を落とす状態です。大破していたら 誰も近づけない。福島第一、第二合わせて10の原発と11の使用済み燃料プールがまさにコントロール不能になりますから、東京を含む少なくとも250キロ 圏から人々が逃げ出さないといけなかった。東日本は壊滅でした」と告白。

 結果的に最悪のシナリオと言われた「250キロ圏内の避難」が回避されたのは、東電や自衛隊、関係者らの尽力があったと前置きしつつ、施設内で起 こったたくさんの奇跡的な偶然や幸運にも助けられたといい、「神のご加護がやっぱりあったんです」としみじみ。3.11を経験するまではチェルノブイリの ような事故は絶対に日本では起きないだろうと思っていたといい、「今回の原発事故で考え方を180度変えたんです。原発はなくすべきだ」と改めて原発反対 の立場を訴えていた。

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Risk of hydrogen explosion from leaking containers at Fukushima plant via The Asahi Shimbun

Inspections of containers holding contaminated water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant found that at least 10 percent have leaks, which could trigger a hydrogen explosion.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant’s operator, reported its findings at a meeting with a study group from the Nuclear Regulation Authority on May 22. It said no radioactive water was found to have escaped outside the concrete structures that encase the containers.

According to TEPCO, there were about 1,300 such containers at the plant as of May 20.

They store waste water from the ALPS (advanced liquid processing system) equipment that removes radioactive substances from contaminated water.
[…]
The operator said the leaks and bleeding were likely caused by hydrogen and other types of gases that resulted from the water’s exposure to high levels of radiation.

Such gases appear to have accumulated in sediment at the bottom of the containers, expanding the volume of the liquid.

An NRA official said the accumulating hydrogen poses a potential danger.

“If the concentration level is high, a spark caused by static electricity could cause a container to explode,” the official said.

Although all the lids of the containers were supposed to be fitted with pressure-release valves to allow gasses to escape, TEPCO’s survey found that one did not have the mechanism.
[…]

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放射線の影響で水素発生か 福島第1の廃液漏れ via 日本経済新聞

東京電力は23日までに、福島第1原発の多核種除去設備(ALPS)による汚染水処理で出た廃液の貯蔵容器で水漏れが見つかった問題について、放射線の影響で水素などが発生して廃液内の沈殿物が膨張し、押し上げられた上澄みの水があふれたのが原因とみられると明らかにした。原子力規制委員会の会合で説明した。

[…]
強い放射線の影響により水が分解されて水素などが発生したとみられ、東電は容器内に入れる廃液の量を減らすとともに、容器上部から水を抜き取る装置を導入する対策を進める方針。

もっと読む。

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NPT再検討会議が決裂 核軍縮文書採択できず via 朝日新聞

(抜粋)

会議は先月27日に始まり、約190の加盟国が世界の核軍縮と核不拡散、原子力の平和利用について協議し、NPT体制を強めるための最終文書の採択を目指してきた。だが、22日の最終会合で、フェルキ議長は「努力を尽くしたが、会議は最終文書を採択できなかった」と述べた。

5年に1度開かれるNPT会議が、最終文書の採択に失敗するのは前々回の2005年以来。

フェルキ議長がまとめた最終文書案には、中東非核地帯構想についての国際会議を来年3月1日までに開くことを国連事務総長に委ねることが盛り込まれ、「全中東諸国が招待される」と明記された。中東では、事実上の核保有国とされるイスラエルがNPTに加盟しておらず、そのことを問題視するアラブ諸国は非核地帯構想の実現を長年訴えてきた。

だが、22日の会合では、米オバマ政権で核軍縮・不拡散政策を担うゴットメラー国務次官が、この記述を理由に最終文書案に「同意できない」と明言。英国やカナダも同調した。中東非核化に向けた会議が開かれれば、アラブ諸国がイスラエルを非難するのは必至で、米国は、事実上の同盟国であるイスラエルに配慮したとみられる。

世界の核兵器の約9割を持つ米国とロシアがウクライナ情勢などで対立し、中国も核戦力を増強するなど、核軍縮の機運は低下している。

一方で、核の非人道性や核兵器禁止を訴える国際潮流が拡大しており、今回の最終文書案にもそうした動きを反映する文言が残った。また、日本が世界の政治指導者らに被爆地・広島、長崎の訪問を求めたことを受け「核兵器の被害を受けた人々の経験の直接共有」といった文言も盛られた。だが、会議の決裂で、これらの「成果」は国際合意にはならなかった。

全文はNPT再検討会議が決裂 核軍縮文書採択できず

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Dimona: Israel’s ‘Little Hiroshima’ via Middle East Eye

In the early 1950s, after Israel had fought a desperate war of independence in which thousands of Israelis died to ensure the founding of the state, David Ben Gurion, its first prime minister, decided the nation required an existential trump card to guarantee its survival. In 1955, he tasked his chief aide, Shimon Peres, with creating a nuclear programme that would lead to building a nuclear weapon.

The most critical part of this project was creating a nuclear reactor that would manufacture the fuel to make these weapons. In 1959, Israel began construction on its reactor in Dimona. Eventually, there were thousands of workers both building the plant and, once it was constructed, working within it to build the arsenal of 200 nuclear weapons Israel is reputed to possess. An excellent short overall history of the project can be found online.

In the early stages of research, before Dimona existed, there were accidents that exposed scientists to lethal levels of radiation. Some of them died and their names are known (though not well). Less known is that Dimona had a series of accidents – the most serious in 1966 – that exposed hundreds of its workers to similarly lethal doses.

[…]

This is the subject of Orna Ben Dor’s riveting two-part documentary, The Dark Secret of the Dimona Reactor (Part 1 and Part 2, both in Hebrew), produced for Israeli TV. Workers there call the nuclear plant “Little Hiroshima,” alluding not only to the destructive power of what’s produced there, but the tragic impact that the reactor has on those who work within it.

The documentary, while it exposes many secrets and crimes of the state against its workers, is also unintentionally maddening because it deals with a subject that the nation deems justifiably opaque. For that reason, no one in the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, which runs Dimona, will speak on the record to the cameras. No journalist is allowed within the facility. Few if any records are made public regarding the functioning of the reactor.

[…]

Treated as garbage

The “lowest of the low” (on the hierarchical totem-pole) were the nuclear technicians, the clean-up workers sent in to mop up after equipment malfunctions. Often, they were “children” of the reactor: raised in the town, attending the technical high school at the plant that taught them how to maintain it and its equipment. They faced the most danger. Yet no one warned them. They did their jobs anonymously. But when they got sick, the state tossed them overboard.  One worker who was Mizrahi Jew was told that his cancer wasn’t the result of his work at Dimona, but rather his Moroccan origin. His Sephardi genes somehow caused his illness. If it was only the racism of this claim that was involved it would be bad enough. But to use racism to cover up state crimes against its citizens is unforgivable.

The tragedy is that the victims themselves, through their own innate sense of patriotism, refuse to understand the contradiction inherent in what they demand of the state. Israel itself is a kingdom of secrets. Dimona is a secret within a secret; the holy of holies of Israel’s nuclear religion. You cannot unravel the mysteries and expose the lies and crimes unless you tear the veil away. To do this, you must force Israel to end the opacity, end the secrecy. But no one in a position of power is willing to do this.

[…]

Israel’s ‘KGB state’

Avner Cohen also faults the documentary producer for not confronting Israeli nuclear bureaucrats more aggressively and demanding that they reply to the accusations. He argues in the review he wrote for Haaretz’s Hebrew edition that Israel must force those who devise Israel’s nuclear policy to confront uncomfortable questions. Only in this way can change happen.

The secrecy of the nuclear programme, one interviewee calls it a “KGB state,” goes hand in hand with the Israel’s overall opacity around all manner of security issues. It’s not surprising that Israel has put its fate in the hands of a few nuclear bureaucrats like those who run Dimona, because it runs its overall military apparatus in the same way. No civilian oversight to speak of. The generals get what they want. All in the name of protecting the state. It’s a devil’s bargain.

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