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Revealed: new cracks at Hunterston nuclear reactor raise radiation accident fears via The Herald

NEW cracks have been discovered in one of Scotland’s ageing nuclear reactors, raising radiation safety fears and resulting in a prolonged shutdown, the Sunday Herald can reveal.

Checks have detected fresh cracks in the graphite core of a reactor at Hunterston B in North Ayrshire. The reactor was taken offline on March 9, but is not now due to restart until May 1 at the earliest, more than a month later than originally planned.

[…]

The integrity of the thousands of graphite blocks that make up the reactor core is vital to nuclear safety. They ensure that the reactor can be cooled and safely shut down in an emergency.

But bombardment by intense radiation over decades causes the blocks to start cracking. If they fail, experts say, nuclear fuel could overheat, melt down and leak radioactivity in a major accident.

Both the ONR and EDF told the Sunday Herald that new cracks had been found at Hunterston reactor number three during inspections in recent weeks, but they wouldn’t say how many, or how significant they were.

[…]

Hunterston reactor three, which has been running since 1976, is one of the oldest of its kind. It’s where “graphite defects are most advanced” and hence has more inspections than other reactors, said the EDF spokeswoman.

But Pete Roche, a nuclear critic and consultant in Edinburgh, warned that EDF’s optimism that the reactor will restart could be misplaced. “Cracks could prevent control rods from being inserted causing the nuclear fuel to overheat, potentially resulting in a nuclear accident,” he said.

It was “all a bit of a gamble”, he argued. “Hunterston is already 42 years old – when it was only expected to operate for 30 or 35 years. It is clearly time to say goodbye to reactor three.”

[…]

According to Rita Holmes, a local resident who chairs the Hunterston site stakeholder group, people were worried. “The local communities are unhappy that the reactor has any cracks, and certainly not happy that one with a growing number of cracks could be allowed to continue generation,” she said.

Read more at Revealed: new cracks at Hunterston nuclear reactor raise radiation accident fears 

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観光客が震災後最多 福島・いわき、17年交流人口814万人 via 福島民友

いわき市が22日までに発表した2017(平成29)年の観光交流人口(観光入り込み客数)は814万1142人(前年比1.9%増)で、東日本大震災後最多となった。

市は要因として、薄磯海水浴場が約7年ぶりに再開したことや、昨年6月にサッカーいわきFCの商業施設複合型クラブハウス「いわきFCパーク」がオープンしたことなどを挙げている。市内のゴルフ場利用客も増加傾向にあるという。

ただ、震災前の10年の交流人口は1073万5110人で、17年はその約75%にとどまる。

(略)

また、今年5月に「太平洋・島サミット」、11月には「世界水族館会議」など、国際会議が開かれる予定であることから、「国内外から大きな注目を浴びることになる。会議開催を契機に外国人観光客の誘客や風評払拭(ふっしょく)を図っていきたい」と展望した。

全文は観光客が震災後最多 福島・いわき、17年交流人口814万人

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Downwinders continue their fight to educate public on negative effects of atomic bomb testing via Ruidoso News

Members of the Tularosa Downwinders were at the Trinity site off U.S. 380 again this year as it opened for the public to tour the area on White Sands Missile Range where the atomic bomb was tested for use during World War II.

[…]

Success of the Trinity test paved the way for the plutonium-based atomic bomb to be used in bombings of two japanese cities, bringing an end to the war with Japan.

The Tularosa Basin Downwinders believe this success cost some New Mexico residents their health. For 12 years, they’ve collected data, met with New Mexico senators and continued fighting for inclusion in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. They’ve watched family members die from diseases and conditions they contend are related to the bomb’s detonation on the missile range. And they’ve heard the stories of ranchers standing on their porches not understanding the spectacle they were witnessing, only to find later that the hair on their cattle and horses turned white and fell off.

Some say they believe the government is waiting until everyone affected dies off, as happened with many of the ranchers who were displaced by the project and contended they never received compensation for the property they lost.

For more information on the Tularosa Basin Downwinders, visit their website at www.trinitydownwinders.com.

 

Read more.

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<原発のない国へ 福島からの風> 飯舘電力 ブランド牛復活へ via 東京新聞

 東京電力福島第一原発事故による放射能汚染の被害を受けた福島県飯舘村で、太陽光発電と農業を同時に行う「ソーラーシェアリング」によって地域の復興に取り組んでいるのが発電会社「飯舘電力」だ。社長の小林稔さん(65)は四月上旬、東日本大震災後、自宅の牛舎に初めて黒毛和牛の若牛を迎え入れた。「飯舘牛」の和牛ブランド復活を目指すと同時に本格的なソーラーシェアを確立し、農業と発電産業による雇用創出を目指す。 (池尾伸一)

[…]

しかし、いずれは牛舎の隣の太陽光パネルの下で育つ牧草を食べさせる予定だ。「牛舎の空調や暖房も太陽光発電で賄いたい」という。ソーラーシェアで農業と売電の二つの収入を得るモデルを示せれば、農業収入だけでは厳しい被災地の農業に、新しい姿を示すことができると考えるためだ。

「飯舘村を巡る環境は厳しく、何をやっても無駄だという人もいる。しかしオレはそうは思わないんだな」。小林さんは自らに言い聞かせるように語った。 (「原発のない国へ 福島からの風」は随時掲載します)

<飯舘電力> 農地が放射能で汚染され、農業をすることが難しくなった飯舘村の復興に役立てようと、「和牛育成一筋」だった小林稔さんが主導、村民も出資して2014年に設立した電力会社。農家から借りた農地の上に太陽光パネルを設置し発電している。パネルの下では牧草などを育て収入を得る「ソーラーシェアリング方式」を採用。村内に発電所は31カ所ある。

[…]

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Top Secret “Dayton Project” History Front And Center At New Cold War Discovery Center via WVXU

A Miamisburg site that played a big role in nuclear history will soon be open to the public. It’s the home of the former Mound Laboratories – known to some in the Miami Valley for its important role in developing the first atomic bomb.
Beginning this month the Cold War-era Mound will also house a new Dayton History museum. Organizers hope it will showcase this critical but often controversial chapter of American history.

At the height of operations after World War II, Mound Laboratories in Miamisburg employed around 2,500 workers.

The Mound nuclear research complex housed dozens of buildings on more than 300 acres of land.

[…]

It may be an asset now, but the area around the Mound site has been a literal sore-spot for decades. In 1989 it was declared a Superfund site and its cleanup was listed as a major priority. 

That cleanup was finished in 2010 and since then, the Mound Development Corporation has established a thriving business park including at least 16 employers.

[…]

Dayton History will unveil the Cold War Discovery Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday at 10 a.m.

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Hiroshima Bombing Survivors Reflect on the Tragedy via U.S.News

Yoshie Nordling is a survivor of one of only two nuclear bombs used in warfare.

By KATHERINE JONES, Idaho Statesman

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Yoshie Nordling is a survivor of one of only two nuclear bombs used in warfare. She was 12 years old when Americans dropped a 9,000-pound atomic weapon on Hiroshima.

For a long time, she didn’t talk about her childhood. “I just upset myself,” she says. But she’s 84 years old, and now it’s time to tell her story. In part because of her age. And in part because, given current events, she would rather that there be no more nuclear bombs added to the list.

She is not an activist. She is a survivor. She doesn’t cast blame. Japan was at war and what did they think would happen, she says. “I’m not saying your fault or my fault, I am just saying what happened.”

[…]

“Teenagers have a lot of burns,” says Tanaka. “I was used to seeing them. … Can you imagine? Face half-torn, half-melted?”

She remembers older girls going to church with her, praying beside her — and then noticing that they gradually stopped coming. “Later on,” she says, “I realized they had died.”

But people never discussed the bomb — or the wounds or the illnesses or the disappearing friends. “We don’t talk about it,” says Tanaka. “Try to be polite, I think.”

Her sister says, “I don’t want to remember. That’s probably part of it.”

[…]

Tanaka took her daughter back to Japan a few years ago, to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. “It felt just terrible,” she says. The household items in particular — the nuclear fusions of porcelain and glass melted into heaps — reminded her of the playthings she found in her backyard as a girl. The artifacts now felt ugly and sad. “It’s almost like you don’t want to see it anymore, because it’s too much.”

In the museum, there’s the image of a kimono design imprinted on a woman’s body from the nuclear flash. A child-size bicycle burned and forlorn. Ragged clothing. A watch with its hands permanently frozen at 8:15 a.m.; a clump of melted coins. Nearly 200,000 people dead, instantly and in the aftermath.

Their mother’s auntie, whose face was burned by radiation, told Tanaka that every time she went to the museum, she re-lived her fear and the memories would haunt her dreams. She won’t go any more.

[…]

Perhaps it’s not fair to expect the survivors of such horrific devastation to become fierce advocates for changing what sometimes does seem so inevitable. They survived; they did their work. But is inevitable true? Does it have to be true?

Tanaka remembers, as a little girl, going to a bus stop where once, on a pretty August morning, someone waited. The ferocity of the blast created permanent, eerie shadows of someone incinerated — human beings, once living their lives, imprinted on the sidewalk. “His shadow is still there waiting for the bus,” she says.

Shadows waiting for humanity to remember. Tanaka pauses.

“Bitterness and sad and suffering — too long, don’t you think?”

[…]

Nordling returned to school, where a doctor was working with patients. “I see the people who had the burn and the skin came off, hanging,” she says; she stood there, stunned.

“(The doctor) shouted, ‘Don’t stand there like a fool, come over and help.’ So I did. I don’t know what I actually did; I know I did what the doctor told me to do.” Hundreds of people found their way to the clinic.

“That time I said, well, this is hell.”

[…]

“What good is it to talk about it? I don’t think it gains anything.”

Nordling is pragmatic. “Some countries, some people desperate with something — that causes war,” she says, and that lands her in a less-than-optimistic spot. “Nothing we can do about it.”

Is that true, too? It is hard to comprehend the devastation the sisters saw and survived, and easy enough to understand their reluctance to revisit their pain.

But on the other hand — if other people don’t ask questions and we don’t listen to their stories — are we in danger of forgetting, too? Forgetting that underneath the threats of political leaders are real, live people? Who do pay the price — for any war, nuclear or not?

Read more at Hiroshima Bombing Survivors Reflect on the Tragedy 

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As seas rise, Pilgrim officials consider moving nuclear waste to higher ground via Boston Globe

On a concrete pad about 25 feet above Plymouth Bay, eight massive steel-reinforced concrete cylinders hold the remains of the radioactive fuel that has kept the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station running since the 1970s.

When the plant begins decommissioning next year, Pilgrim officials expect to fill another 54 of the so-called dry casks, which are 18 feet tall, weigh 360,000 pounds, and emit small amounts of radiation. The concrete pad is a little more than 200 feet from the shoreline.

The problem is where to store the nuclear waste — especially since its current location won’t stay 25 feet above Plymouth Bay for long.

As sea levels rise at an accelerating rate, increasing the threat that an extreme storm surge could flood the coastal facility, Pilgrim officials are considering whether to move the spent fuel to higher ground.

[…]

“Not moving them would be irresponsible,” said Pine duBois, executive director of the Jones River Watershed Association in Kingston, which is about 8 miles from Pilgrim. “We don’t know if this highly dangerous material will be there for another 100 years or a thousand years. It has to be moved.”

Environmental advocates are calling on the state to require Entergy Corp., the Louisiana-based conglomerate that owns Pilgrim, to move the casks to its helipad or parking lot, which are three times higher than the existing storage site and set further back from the water.

Despite the concerns, plant officials say the casks are secure.

[…]

Under recent worst-case projections, tides could rise as much as 10 feet by the end of the century and as much as 37 feet by 2200. That’s not accounting for storm surges, such as the 15-foot high tides that battered the Massachusetts coast during two nor’easters this winter, causing widespread flooding.

[…]

Moving the casks uphill would add to the expense, and plant officials have not ruled out building a new storage pad adjacent to the existing one, which is only about 100 feet from the reactor building.

Storing nuclear waste has long been a thorny political issue, one that has become increasingly urgent as more aging plants are shuttered.

Federal officials had long planned to store the waste in a multibillion-dollar repository bored deep into Yucca Mountain in Nevada. But state officials and residents there blocked the site from opening, saying it presents public safety and environmental risks.

Federal officials have been reviewing other options, including opening temporary facilities elsewhere in New Mexico or in Texas. But those options have similar problems: The government would have to overcome local concerns and potential challenges over transporting the fuel through a variety of jurisdictions.

Until then, the waste will remain scattered at plants such as Pilgrim, even well after they shut down.

Read more at As seas rise, Pilgrim officials consider moving nuclear waste to higher ground 

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北朝鮮「核兵器開発を完了」 ミサイル実験停止と核実験施設の廃棄を発表 via Newsweek

北朝鮮は、大陸間弾道ミサイル(ICBM)実験を停止し、同国北部の核実験施設を廃棄することを決定した。

朝鮮中央通信(KCNA)によると、核実験やICBM実験を直ちに停止すると表明。平和と経済成長を実現するために国際社会との対話に取り組む意向を示した。

金正恩(キム・ジョンウン)朝鮮労働党委員長は声明で、核兵器開発を完了したため、もはや核実験やICBMの発射実験を行う必要がなくなったと述べた。

(略)

核実験停止と施設廃棄だけでは、米政府が求める全ての核兵器とミサイルの廃棄には至らない。ただ予定されている米朝首脳会談前に譲歩を示すことで、金委員長の真剣な姿勢を表明したと専門家はみている。

(略)

韓国政府も朝鮮半島の非核化に向け「意義ある」進展と評価した。日本の安倍首相も歓迎する意向を示した。

全文は北朝鮮「核兵器開発を完了」 ミサイル実験停止と核実験施設の廃棄を発表

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North Korea says will stop nuclear tests, scrap test site via Reuters

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea will immediately suspend nuclear and missile tests and scrap its nuclear test site and instead pursue economic growth and peace, the North’s state media said on Saturday, ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the United States.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country no longer needed to conduct nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile tests because it had completed its goal of developing the weapons, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

[…]

The pledge to halt the development of nuclear weapons, initiated by his grandfather, would mean a significant reversal for the young leader, now 34, who has staked his security on his nuclear arsenal and spent years celebrating such weapons as an integral part of his regime’s legitimacy and power.

A testing freeze and commitment to close the test site alone would fall short of Washington’s demand that Pyongyang completely dismantle all of its nuclear weapons and missiles.

But announcing the concessions now, rather than during summit meetings, shows Kim is serious about decentralization talks, experts say.

Read more at North Korea says will stop nuclear tests, scrap test site

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写真家・中筋純が撮り続ける「原発事故」の真実! 時間が止まった街が廃墟化する過程…現在の福島は日本の未来の姿だ! via TOCANA

日本屈指の廃墟写真家中筋純は、原発事故の地チェルノブイリ、そして、福島の帰還困難区域やその周辺に定期的に通いながらドキュメントを続けている。

(略)

2013年、東京オリンピック開催が決定したとき、中筋は「フクシマを消しにかかるな」と直感したという。だからこそ、福島原発事故の傷跡を写真として記録し続けることへの使命感に燃えるのだ。

2018年3月7日~3月18日、あざみ野の「スペースナナ」にて、中筋純写真展『流転 福島&チェルノブイリ』が開催された。展示会場にお邪魔して、話を聞いた。

(略)

――チェルノブイリは事故から30年以上経って、中筋さんが撮られた、立ち入り禁止区域で自給自足で生活する老婆たち(サモショール)もかなり高齢と聞きました。

「彼らは慣れ親しんだ土地が一番いいというんです。チェルノブイリはいまも30キロ圏内立ち入り禁止、それでも彼らはそれを無視して勝手に戻って暮らしています。ただ最近は高齢化に伴い限界集落化が進み、最近では圏外の福祉施設への入居を希望される方も多いと聞きます」

(略)

――いまの原発の状況はどうでしょうか?

「デブリ(溶け出した核燃料)の状況が特殊技術でわかるようになってきたのは良かったけど、政府や東電がデブリを早く取り出そうとしているのか謎ですね。今は臨界していない安定状態だから、使用済み核燃料を取り除いた後はデブリの放射線量が減衰するまでこのまま封じ込めてしまえばいい。原子炉の形態、事故の形も違うからチェルノブイリと比較するのもおかしいですが、チェルノブイリの新石棺広報官の話から得た印象では、廃炉行程の計画が数十年単位の大雑把なもので彼らはもう燃料を取り出さず、ずっと封じ込めていくしかないと考えているんじゃないかと。福島第一原発もそうするしかないと思います」

(略)

――改めて、福島原発事故が日本に与えた影響とは何でしょうか?

「いろんなことがあるけど、深刻なのは日本が分断されてしまったことでしょう。原発事故を通して、国は本当のことを教えてくれないとわかって、政治や社会の運動に関わろうという人たちが出てきました。でも、その反動でますます国に依存しちゃう人たちもいます。さらに全てに無関心な平和な人たち、それも結構大多数。そんな三極構造が露わになってしまったんです。その結果、マイノリティーなものに対する寛容度がなくなってきたように思います」

(略)

※掲載した写真は、中筋純写真集かさぶた 福島 The Silent Views』より。今年7月、ドイツ・フランクフルトで行われるグループ展『After Fukushima』に出品を予定している。

【関連書籍】
かさぶた 福島 The Silent Views』(東邦出版)
定価:本体2000円+税 絶賛発売中!

【概要】
人類の “英知” とまでいわれた原発は私たちの目の前であっけなく崩れ落ち、福島の大地は深い傷を負った。自らの傷を癒すかさぶたのごとく草木は大地を覆い尽くし、季節は流れていく。人間不在の街で、逞しくも躍動する自然の力強さ。福島第一原発周辺街の5年間を、約120枚の写真とともに振り返る。

全文は写真家・中筋純が撮り続ける「原発事故」の真実! 時間が止まった街が廃墟化する過程…現在の福島は日本の未来の姿だ!

Posted in *日本語.

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