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How comic books helped fuel Japan’s love for the atom via Aljazeera

Characters such as Astro Boy extolled benefits of nuclear energy, exacerbating the shock when disaster struck in 2011.


The first story goes something like this:

In a far off jungle, the animals are worried. Mother nature has forsaken them: Their climate is getting colder, the plants are dying and they’re getting hungry.

So they call on Astro Boy for help. There follows an earnest discussion about how they can’t heat their habitat with hydropower, because the water’s frozen. Oil is running out. What they need is a nuclear power station.

Astro Boy flies a reactor from Japan to the jungle, and they all pitch in to build a power station around it.

Even the hyena decides to help. A tiny mouse struggles to keep the blueprints unfurled. All together for the common good: nuclear energy.

In no time they’ve built a gleaming, safe solution to their climate problem – and go a step further, using it to power an artificial sun that helps the plants grow again and gives them a healthy bit of Vitamin D on the side.

Astro Boy’s creator, Osamu Tezuka, always insisted he’d never intended to make a poster child for Japan’s nuclear industry, and that he’d had nothing to do with the jungle stories.

Nonetheless, they were handed out as free pamphlets during school visits to power plants – the message conveyed through kawaii (cute) little critters: Nuclear power is safe.


It began in 1956, with the Atoms for Peace exhibition in Hiroshima, just 11 years after the city was obliterated by a nuclear bomb, and continued until Japan had more than 50 nuclear reactors.

They all gradually shut down in the wake of Fukushima. The first restart, at the Sendai nuclear power station, is due to take place within the next two days.

On Saturday, Japan’s nuclear watchdog, the Nuclear Regulation Authority, said a repeat of an accident on the scale of Fukushima would not be possible under its new procedures.

But it added there was no such thing as absolute safety.

Read more at How comic books helped fuel Japan’s love for the atom

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Are women being heard in the nuclear disarmament debate? via World Economic Forum

This year marks seven decades since the use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Commemorating this devastating event raises critical questions about efforts to eliminate and curb the spread of nuclear weapons. Among the many debates, there is, however, one pertinent question that is often overlooked: where are all the women?


An analysis of the UN Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament, which provides training for young government officials from UN member states, could provide insight. It provides a foundation for young diplomats to ‘participate more effectively in international disarmament deliberating and negotiating fora’. The programme was selected for the analysis since it has global reach and in 2000, for the first time, the report of the Secretary-General explicitly encouraged member states to consider gender equality when they nominate candidates to the programme.

The graph below shows women and men represented in the UN Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament between 1994 and 2014.


Overall, women have been better represented in the fellowship programme than in the NPT conferences. Of the 158 countries that have nominated candidates, 106 have sent at least one woman. Of these countries, 46 have had at least equal participation between men and women. The participation of women and men among African countries varied, as with other regions. Fellows consisted of women only; men only; more women than men and vice versa; or equal representation.

Though better represented in this platform, women are still underrepresented in 71% of countries that have sent participants to the fellowship. Efforts towards gender equality in the programme are commendable, however, and raise hope for greater gender equality in multilateral platforms such as the NPT Review Conferences.

These analyses make it clear that women and men are differently involved in initiatives, discussions and negotiations in arenas for curbing and eliminating nuclear weapons. There are other factors that might explain the underrepresentation of women, intended or unintended, in nuclear weapons platforms that merit further investigation. Which factors, for example, might dissuade women from considering a career in a field related to disarmament and arms control? Is there a marked shortfall of women with the relevant expertise, and if so, why?

Discussions on creating gender-equitable spaces might remain just that unless institutions and structures effectively implement policies to this end.

This calls for greater investment in resources to empower women through institutions and structures at the international, regional and national levels. It also requires policies that contribute to women’s education in peace and security; building women’s capacities in technical and male-dominated positions; and developing women as arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation experts.

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原発、徴兵制 AUT訪問機に学ぶと石破大臣 via 財形新聞

オーストリア(AUT)訪問の石破茂地方創生担当大臣は、訪問前にアップしたブログで「オーストリアでは基本法(憲法に相当するもの)に定められた 国民投票により原発の設置が禁止され、将来建設する際には国民投票による旨が法律によって規定されており、また永世中立と徴兵制も基本法に明記されてい る」と紹介。


続きは原発、徴兵制 AUT訪問機に学ぶと石破大臣


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安倍晋三候補の脱原発 via 河野太郎公式ブログ ごまめのはぎしり











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From Hiroshima to Marshall Islands: Nuclear Weapons Must Be Banned via Huffington Post

The lingering consequences of nuclear testing

Just a few weeks after the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 29th marks the International Day against Nuclear Testing.

Well over 2,000 nuclear detonations have been conducted around the world since 1945, each one leaving a deadly legacy for humans and the environment.
Nuclear tests have been carried out in more than 60 locations around the globe. The targets have often been the lands of indigenous peoples, their remoteness, both geographically and politically, determining their selection for destruction. While local populations were forcibly removed from their homes in the name national security, precious little was done to guard against the exposure of “downwind” settlements, who were exposed to an unacceptable health risk from the nuclear fallout.

With the exception of North Korea, nuclear weapon states have ceased the testing of nuclear weapons. However, these states still collectively hold nearly 16,000 nuclear warheads in their stockpiles today. Many of these weapons of mass destruction are ready to be launched in minutes. Whatever the nuclear weapon states learned from the tests, the overriding lesson for us must be: the continued possession of nuclear weapons exposes the entire world to an unacceptable risk of a humanitarian catastrophe.
Through three fact-based conferences on this topic in Norway, Mexico, and Austria, evidence of the catastrophic humanitarian impact has been presented. The uncontested conclusions of these conferences highlighted that any detonation of nuclear weapons, either by accident or design, would be a wide-scale humanitarian emergency, to which no meaningful response could be provided.

The conference in Vienna ended with a conclusion that despite non-proliferation treaties and tools, a ban on nuclear testing, and several nuclear weapon free zones, there is no comprehensive legal norm universally prohibiting possession, transfer, production and use of nuclear weapons.” A “legal gap” for nuclear weapons exists and must be filled with urgency.

Leading the charge, the Austrian government issued a “pledge” to fill this legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons and invited other governments to join the commitment. Since the Vienna conference, states have been associating themselves with this Humanitarian Pledge, and as of today, 114 states have declared themselves ready to move forward.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons believes the Humanitarian Pledge should be used as a basis to launch negotiations for a new international treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.

On the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, we must remember the unspeakable suffering that nuclear weapons have caused all over the world and call on our governments to start negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

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原子力技術者、地元で育成 茨城・東海村に新組織設立へvia 朝日新聞




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帰還困難区域、モミの木伸びず…放射線影響か via 読売新聞





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カザフスタンの市民ら反核訴え 国際デー「日本に共鳴」via 47 News



参加者は、同国での核実験の回数に近い約500個の白い風船を空に放った。親が核 実験の影響を受け、生まれつき両腕がない画家のカリプベク・クユコフさん(47)は「この国には核の被害に苦しむ人がいる。非核という共通の目標を持つ日 本の人々に深く共鳴する」と語った。

全文はカザフスタンの市民ら反核訴え 国際デー「日本に共鳴」



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福島に暮らす人々描いた映画、打ち切りから再上映へ via 朝日新聞















《映画「A2―B―C」》 2013年制作。国内外の24カ所の映画祭に出品され、ドイツなどで入賞した。タイトルは福島県と県立医科大が11年10月から実施している子どもの甲状腺がん検査の判定レベルにちなむ。5ミリ以下の結節(しこり)などがあると「A2」、それ以上だと、2次検査が必要な「B」「C」と判定される。何も確認されなければ「A1」。



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IAEA and Kazakhstan agree to create nuclear fuel bank via World Nuclear News

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Kazakhstan today signed an agreement to set up a low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel ‘bank’ in Oskemen, Kazakhstan.

Operated by Kazakhstan and expected to start operations in 2017, the IAEA LEU Bank will be a physical reserve of LEU – the basic ingredient of nuclear fuel – and act as a supplier of last resort for the Vienna-based agency’s Member States in case they cannot obtain LEU on the global commercial market or otherwise.

The facility is also seen as an important part of international efforts to prevent nuclear non-proliferation – as a way to dissuade countries from building enrichment facilities that might be misused to purify uranium to weapons-grade levels.

The agreement was signed in Astana by IAEA director general Yukiya Amano and Kazakhstan’s foreign minister Erlan Idrissov. The Kazakh government said today that the signing ceremony was attended by representatives of UN Security Council members, including China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA, as well as representatives of donor countries for the project – the European Union (EU), Kuwait, Norway and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“I am confident that the IAEA LEU Bank will operate safely and securely, in line with the applicable IAEA nuclear safety standards and nuclear security guidance,” Amano said, according to an IAEA statement.


The IAEA LEU Bank will host up to 90 tonnes of LEU, sufficient to run a 1000 MWe light-water reactor. The Ulba Metallurgical Plant has been handling and storing nuclear material, including LEU, safely and securely for more than 60 years.

The establishment and operation of the IAEA LEU Bank is fully funded through $150 million of voluntary contributions from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the USA, the EU, the UAE, Kuwait, Norway and Kazakhstan. Their contributions will cover the cost of the facility for the first ten years of operation, Amano said.

Read more at IAEA and Kazakhstan agree to create nuclear fuel bank

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