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原発ごみ処分地、国が「有望地」選ぶ方式に【放射性廃棄物処理場問題】via The Huffington Post

国主導で原発ごみ処分地選定、「有望地」提示 閣議決定

原発の使用済み核燃料から出る高レベル放 射性廃棄物の処分地選定について、政府は22日、公募に頼る従来の方式から、国が主導して選ぶ方式に転換する基本方針を閣議決定した。

(略)

高レベル廃棄物は強い放射線を出すため、300メートル以深に埋めて処分することが法律で決まっている。法律に基づく基本方針の改定は7年ぶり。

新方針では、科学的に適性が高いとみられる地域を国が科学的有望地として示し、調査したい意向を自治体などに申し入れる制度とする。公募も続ける。そのうえで20年程度かけて文献調査、概要調査、精密調査へと進む。

全文は原発ごみ処分地、国が「有望地」選ぶ方式に【放射性廃棄物処理場問題】

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Nuclear Hope: A Documentary About the Deepest and Darkest Places on Earth via Nuclear Hope

What will Canada do with its enormous stockpile of deadly radioactive waste? Currently, many small communities throughout Ontario are considering burying it underneath their boarders and close to Lake Huron and Lake Superior. When local residents learn about this plan, it sets off a firestorm between those who fear the risks and those who embrace the opportunity.

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Why Is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Undervaluing American Lives? via The Huffington Post

How much is your life worth?

That’s a key, but controversial, question for the federal government. Although it might seem distasteful to put a monetary value on a life, when federal agencies consider adopting new health and safety rules — or strengthening old ones — they often do just that and weigh the proposed rule’s costs against its lifesaving benefits. The lower value they give to a life, the easier it is for them to reject a proposed safety measure as too costly.

Agencies determine what’s called the “value of a statistical life” (VSL) based on a variety of economic and labor market studies that indicate what people are willing to pay to avoid certain risks or how much more employers pay workers to do a riskier job. For the most part, VSLs across agencies are in the same ballpark. For example, when estimating the benefits of a highway safety standard, the Department of Transportation calculates the value of a human life at $9.1 million. When the Environmental Protection Agency proposed strengthening the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter last year, it pegged the VSL at $9.6 million. And when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration finalized its hazard communication rule in 2012, it used a value of $8.7 million.

Virtually all agencies periodically increase the VSL to reflect inflation and other factors. I say “virtually” all, because at least one agency — the one responsible for ensuring the safety of commercial nuclear power plants — is way behind the times. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been using the same value — $3 million — for the past two decades. That’s two to three times lower than other agencies’ calculations.

[…]

“If the NRC increased that value to what other federal agencies use — and made other long-overdue changes to the way it calculates the benefits of regulations — it would have a major impact on nuclear plant license renewals and new reactor approvals,” said Edwin Lyman, a physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Plant owners would have to add safety features that the NRC now considers to be too expensive because the agency lowballs the value of the lives that would be saved.”

As it turns out, the NRC has been reconsidering its VSL formulation since August 2012, and the agency’s staff is expected to soon recommend tripling the VSL to $9 million and tying it to the inflation rate going forward. Once that recommendation is officially proposed, which could happen any day now, the agency will open up a public comment period.

Undoubtedly, the nuclear power industry will object. It routinely complains about costly rules it finds burdensome.

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福島原発:廃液専用容器に不備 東電が早急に調査へ via 毎日新聞

東京電力は22日、東電福島第1原発で汚染水を処理した際に発生する廃液などを入れた専用容器の1基に、必要なガス抜きの穴が開けられていなかったと発表した。穴の有無を確認していないまま使われている容器は全部で305基あり、東電は早急に調査するとしている。

(略)

4月上旬、容器のガス抜き穴から放射性物質を含む廃液が漏れていたことが発覚。これを受けて点検作業をしていた協力企業の作業員が、4月下旬にふた に穴のない容器を発見した。容器約1400基のうち、穴の有無を検査していなかった容器は未使用分も含め334基あったという。

穴がなかった原因について東電は「米国工場で容器が製造される過程で、穴開けの作業が飛ばされたのではないか」と推測している。【斎藤有香】

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METI changes tactics after search for nuclear waste host proves futile via The Japan Times

The government will select potential areas to host nuclear dump sites instead of waiting for communities to volunteer, according to the revised policy on permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste that was adopted by the Cabinet on Friday.

The revision, the first in seven years, was prompted after towns, villages and cities throughout Japan snubbed requests to host nuclear waste dumps. The government has been soliciting offers since 2002.

The move is seen as a sign that the government wants to address the matter as it proceeds with its pursuit of reactor restarts. All commercial units have largely sat idle since the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 plant in 2011.

It remains unclear when a final depository could be built, because the policy mentions no time frame. The government also plans to expand its storage capacity for spent fuel by building new interim facilities as a short-term fix.

[…]

Permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste requires that a depository be built more than 300 meters underground, where the materials must lie for up to 100,000 years until radiation levels fall to the point where there is no harm to humans or the environment.

About 17,000 tons of spent fuel is stored on the premises of nuclear plants and elsewhere in Japan, but some would run out of space in three years if all the reactors got back online.

Under the revision, the government said it will allow future generations to retrieve high-level waste from such facilities should policy changes or new technologies emerge.

Worldwide, only Finland and Sweden have been able to pick final depository sites. Finland is building the world’s first permanent disposal site for high-level waste in Olkiluoto, aiming to put it into operation around 2020.

But many other countries with nuclear plants are struggling to find a site for such a facility. In the United States, President Barack Obama decided in 2009 to call off a plan to build a disposal site in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain due to local opposition.

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八木電事連会長「原発の新増設は必要」 政府の電源構成案を受け via 日本経済新聞

電気事業連合会の八木誠会長(関西電力社長)は22日、都内で開いた記者会見で、「将来の原子力発電プラントの新増設や更新は必要になる」と話した。同時に耐用年数とされる40年を超えたプラントについても「安全が確認されれば有効活用していきたい」とした。

政府は2030年の電源構成案として原子力の比率を20~22%に設定している。政府は当面は原子力発電プラントの新増設は行わない方針を打ち出している が、「技術や人材の維持のためにもおのずと(新増設は)求められるだろう」とした。関西電力(9503)の社長としても、「(かねて検討してきた)美浜原 子力発電所(福井県美浜町)1号機の後継プラントについては、引き続き建設の意欲は変わっていない」とした。

政府は22日に原子力発電所の使用済み核燃料を再処理した後に出る高レベル放射性廃棄物(核のごみ)の処分について、新たな基本方針を閣議決定した。

続きは八木電事連会長「原発の新増設は必要」 政府の電源構成案を受け

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福島第一原発 建屋カバー解体を延期 via NHK News Web

(抜粋)

福島第一原発1号機は、放射性物質の放出を抑えるため建屋全体がカバーで覆われていますが、東京電力は建屋に散乱したがれきを撤去して燃料プールに残され ている核燃料を取り出すため、早ければ今月26日からカバーを解体する計画で、作業に先だって先週からカバーの内側に放射性物質を含む粉じんが飛び散るの を防ぐ薬剤をまいていました。
ところが、21日、建屋内の吹き抜けの部分を塞いでいる5メートル四方のゴム製のシートがずれて、隙間ができている のが見つかりました。このシートは、下から吹き上げる風で放射性物質が舞い上がるのを防ぐために設けられたものですが、シートの上にはこれまでにまいた薬 剤がたまっていたということです。
東京電力は、薬剤の散布とシートがずれたこととの関連は分からないとしたうえで、原因の調査に時間がかかるとし て、建屋カバーの解体作業を来月以降に延期することを決めました。調査は来月上旬までかかる見通しで、その後、カバーの解体作業を始める具体的なめどは 立っていないということです。

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Ex-mayor sues state, TEPCO for stress caused by nuclear disaster via The Asahi Shimbun

A former mayor who was exposed to high levels of radiation after the 2011 nuclear disaster is suing the central government and the operator of the wrecked Fukushima power plant for stress.

Katsutaka Idogawa, the former mayor of Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture, filed the lawsuit on May 20 at the Tokyo District Court. He is seeking 148.5 million yen ($1.22 million) in compensation.

“Even after the accident, I was forced to stay in the town as mayor and thus exposed to a high dose of radiation from the plant,” the complaint said.

“The central government delayed giving evacuation orders and even when they were issued, the areas under evacuation orders were inappropriate.”

[…]
Four years after the disaster, evacuation orders are still in place for Futaba town, which co-hosts the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. Most areas are designated as “difficult-to-return” zones because annual accumulated radiation levels exceed 50 millisieverts.

During a news conference in Tokyo on May 20, Idogawa said: “We could not protect the town residents because we believed in the words the government and TEPCO said that the nuclear accident would never happen. I hope I can guide those suffering from concerns over radiation exposure.”

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Higgins wins committee support for safety in shipping nuclear materials via The Buffalo News

WASHINGTON – Rep. Brian Higgins on Wednesday placed a big obstacle in the way of a plan to begin shipping nuclear material over the Peace Bridge next year.

The Buffalo Democrat won committee approval of an amendment that would require a risk analysis for the transporting of nuclear materials.

That’s just the kind of safety study that the federal government has been resisting as it moves forward with plans to begin shipping highly enriched uranium in liquid form from Chalk River, Ont., to the Department of Energy’s Savannah Energy River Site in Aiken, S.C., via the Peace Bridge in 2016.

“In today’s world of heightened security, these matters can’t be taken lightly, and the casual nature by which this plan has proceeded concerns me,” Higgins said. “Make no mistake, this is no ordinary truck. This material could be a moving target. This plan requires serious examination before moving forward.”

The House Homeland Security Committee – of which Higgins is a member – approved his amendment, attaching it to the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Intelligence and Information Sharing Act, which deals with the shipment of such materials nationwide.

The Department of Energy has moved forward with plans for the shipments over the Peace Bridge, rejecting Higgins’ call for a full environmental-impact statement to assess the risks of the move.

If approved by the full Congress, though, Higgins’ amendment would guarantee the kind of thorough environmental review that the Department of Energy has been rejecting.

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避難解除に間に合うか via 読売新聞

◆双葉町で本格除染始まる

 国によって実施される本格除染がようやく全ての自治体で始まった。東京電力福島第一原発事故を受けた原発周辺11市町村での国直轄除染。比較的、放射線量が低い地域が対象だが、自民党は2017年春の避難指示解除を打ち出しており、それに間に合うかどうか心配する声は根強い。

 原発事故から4年2か月余りでようやく本格除染が始まった双葉町。対象は避難指示解除準備区域の計200ヘクタールだ。対象地区の一つ、両竹もろたけ地区区長の斉藤六郎さん(77)は「双葉町が一番遅れていた。しっかりとやってもらって、町復興の足がかりを作ってほしい」と求めた。

 ただ、対象地区は町全体の4%に過ぎず、東日本大震災の津波被害も受けている。残る96%は放射線量が高い帰還困難区域で、本格除染の方針はまだ明確になっていない。同町産業建設課の猪狩浩課長は「本格除染の対象地区は町の復興拠点となる場所。帰還困難区域の除染も広げるよう国と交渉したい」と語った。

 国直轄の本格除染が実施されるのは原発に近い11市町村で、原則的に帰還困難区域以外の避難指示区域が対象だ。これまでに田村、大熊、楢葉、川内の4市町村で終わっているが、双葉町より先に始まっていても、順調に進んでいる自治体ばかりではない。

 避難者が全国各地に散らばる浪江町では除染で出る汚染土などの仮置き場の土地確保が難航。地権者との交渉が進まないためで、確保済みは約4割にとどまる。除染は当初、14年春に終わる計画だったが、現在は17年3月を目標にしている。

もっと読む。

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