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もんじゅ「動かすことが前提」 馳浩文科相「廃炉という選択肢はまったくない」via 朝日新聞

馳浩文部科学相は20日、朝日新聞のインタビューに応じ、原子力規制委員会から見直し勧告を受けた高速増殖原型炉「もんじゅ」について「廃炉という選択肢は現段階でまったくない」と述べた。馳氏は「動かすことが前提」とも語り、勧告に従って運営主体を変更し、研究計画通り発電と高レベル廃棄物に含まれる放射性物質の半減期を短くする研究に取り組む施設として維持する考えを示した。

新主体の選定状況を馳氏は「経産省外務省、官邸などとの調整が必要だが、今がどの段階かは言えない」として明言を避けた。

(略)

ログイン前の続き昨年11月の規制委勧告は、日本原子力研究開発機構に代わる運営主体が示せなければ、もんじゅのあり方を抜本見直しするよう求めている。

もんじゅのような高速増殖炉開発は現在、ロシアや中国などに限られ、コストなどの観点から米国やフランスなどでは下火になっている。馳氏は「費用対効果を示してもんじゅの意義を説明していく必要がある」としながら、「世界の動向も踏まえながら判断していく必要がある」とも話した。(竹石涼子、小野甲太郎)

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<除染土再利用>疑問山積 専門家からも異議via河北新報

 東京電力福島第1原発事故に伴う福島県内の除染土を全国の公共工事で再利用する環境省の方針に疑問の声が上がっている。国は事故前、原発の廃炉で出る廃棄物の再利用基準を「1キログラム当たり100ベクレル以下」と定めたが、今回は80倍に当たる「同8千ベクレル以下」とする基準を新たに設けた。同省は「コンクリートや土で覆い、適切に管理すれば100ベクレル以下と同程度の被ばく線量に抑えられる」としているが、受け入れが進むかは不透明だ。
[…]
基準を高くすればそれだけ再利用できる量は増え、8千ベクレル以下の場合、技術的には99%以上、再利用できる計算だ。ただ、実際には100ベクレル以下の基準をクリアした廃炉廃棄物さえ一般の受け入れは進んでおらず、いまだ原子力施設内でのブロックや遮蔽材への利用にとどまっている。
 環境省が「8千ベクレル以下」の基準案を示した3月末以降、原子力規制委員会の田中俊一委員長が記者会見で「一般論として見れば、同じ放射能で汚染されたものが、(扱いが)違うということはよくない」と異議を唱えたほか、環境保護団体「FoEジャパン」は「環境汚染を防ぐことはできない」として方針の撤回を求める約1万5千人分の署名を提出するなど波紋が広がったが、環境省は6月末、正式決定に踏み切った。
 環境省は再利用の対象を日本全国としているが、同省幹部は「福島県外での利用は地元の強い反発が予想され、現時点では現実的ではない。県内の実証事業を通じて安全に管理する方法を確立し、理解を広めていきたい」と打ち明けた。

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Watchdog suit seeks to nullify LANL cleanup deal via The Santa Fe New Mexican

A Santa Fe-based watchdog group is asking a federal court to declare invalid a new consent order governing cleanup of Cold War-era waste at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, saying regulators have failed to meet their public participation requirements.
At issue is a settlement agreement between the lab, the federal government and the state to clean up hazardous waste, the legacy of decades of nuclear weapons and chemical research.
In June, the New Mexico Environment Department released a revised version of the 10-year-old consent order, which officials said would expedite cleanup and increase funding for the program.
But in a statement Tuesday, Nuclear Watch New Mexico said the new consent order is not enforceable because it creates a “giant loophole” that would allow the U.S. Department of Energy and LANL to avoid cleanup by claiming it is “either too expensive or impractical.”
The group also says that the consent order absolves the Energy Department and Los Alamos Nuclear Security LLC, the consortium that operates the lab, of past violations.
[…]
The original 2005 consent order included specific guidelines on how and when the waste had to be removed from the lab. But last November, Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said existing cleanup goals were unrealistic, in part due to the closure of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, which has not accepted new waste since radiation leaked from a improperly packaged drum in February 2014.
As a result, Nuclear Watch New Mexico filed a lawsuit against the lab and the federal government in May for failing to meet the deadlines set in the consent order. It said the state could have collected more than $300 million in penalties if the government had been held accountable for those missed deadlines.
Nuke Watch says the parties initially agreed to “rigorous public participation requirements and a detailed cleanup schedule” in the 2005 consent order, and these requirements should still be enforced.
“We will continue to push for the public to have a true voice in these important matters,” Scott Kovac, research director of the group, said in a statement.
「。。。」

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‘The graveyard of the Earth’: inside City 40, Russia’s deadly nuclear secret via the Guardian

Ozersk, codenamed City 40, was the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme. Now it is one of the most contaminated places on the planet – so why do so many residents still view it as a fenced-in paradise?

[…]

Deep in the vast forests of Russia’s Ural mountains lies the forbidden city of Ozersk. Behind guarded gates and barbed wire fences stands a beautiful enigma – a hypnotic place that seems to exist in a different dimension.

Codenamed City 40, Ozersk was the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme after the second world war. For decades, this city of 100,000 people did not appear on any maps, and its inhabitants’ identities were erased from the Soviet census.

Today, with its beautiful lakes, perfumed flowers and picturesque tree-lined streets, Ozersk resembles a suburban 1950s American town – like one of those too-perfect places depicted in The Twilight Zone.

[…]

The city’s residents know the truth, however: that their water is contaminated, their mushrooms and berries are poisoned, and their children may be sick. Ozersk and the surrounding region is one of the most contaminated places on the planet, referred to by some as the “graveyard of the Earth”.

Yet the majority of residents do not want to leave. They believe they are Russia’s “chosen ones”, and even take pride in being citizens of a closed city. This is where they were born, got married, and raised their families. It is where they buried their parents, and some of their sons and daughters too.

‘Saviours of the world’

In 1946, the Soviets began construction of City 40 in total secrecy, around the huge Mayak nuclear plant on the shores of Lake Irtyash. It would house the workers and scientists transported from across the country to lead the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons programme, and build an atomic bomb.

For the first eight years, residents were forbidden from leaving the city, writing letters or making any contact with the outside world – including members of their own family. Those who had been relocated here were considered missing by their relatives, as if they had disappeared into oblivion.

City 40’s inhabitants were told they were “the nuclear shield and saviours of the world”, and that everyone on the outside was an enemy. While the majority of the Soviet population were suffering from famine and living in abject poverty, the authorities created a paradise for these residents, providing them with lives of privilege and some luxury.
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They were offered private apartments, plenty of food – including exotic delicacies such as bananas, condensed milk and caviar – good schools and healthcare, a plethora of entertainment and cultural activities, all in a lakeside forest setting worthy of a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale.

In exchange, the residents were ordered to maintain secrets about their lives and work. It is a deal they still adhere to today, in a city where almost all of Russia’s reserve fissile material is stored.

[…]

City 40 residents have been casualties in a number of nuclear incidents, including the 1957 Kyshtym disaster – the world’s worst nuclear accident prior to Chernobyl – which the Soviet authorities kept a well-guarded secret from the outside world.

The Mayak plant’s management has also overseen the dumping of its waste into nearby lakes and rivers, which flow into the River Ob and on into the Arctic Ocean. Over four decades, Mayak is said to have dumped 200 million curies of radioactive waste into the environment, equal to four “Chernobyls”, although this is always denied by the authorities.

According to some Ozersk residents, the dumping continues today. One of the nearby lakes has been so heavily contaminated by plutonium that locals have renamed it the “Lake of Death” or “Plutonium Lake”. The radioactive concentration there is reported to exceed 120 million curies2.5 times the amount of radiation released in Chernobyl.

In a village about 20 minutes outside Ozersk, a digital clock in the town square switches constantly between the local time and the current level of radiation in the air (though the latter reading is never accurate). Half a million people in Ozersk and its surrounding area are said to have been exposed to five times as much radiation as those living in the areas of Ukraine affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

[…]

Samira Goetschel is an award-winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She is the producer and director of the feature-length documentary City 40, which will be screened at Bertha DocHouse, London WC1, on 23 July, and will be available on Netflix from September

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東電「完全凍結は困難」 第一原発凍土遮水壁 規制委会合で見解 via 福島民報

東京電力は19日、福島第一原発の凍土遮水壁について、完全に凍結させることは難しいとの見解を明らかにした。同日、都内で開かれた原子力規制委員会の有 識者会合で東電の担当者が示した。東電はこれまで、最終的に100%凍結させる「完全閉合」を目指すとしていた。方針転換とも取れる内容で、県や地元市町 村が反発している。

(略)

凍土壁は1~4号機の周囲約1.5キロの地中を凍らせ、建屋への地下水の流入を抑え、汚染水の発生量を減らす計画。
東電は3月末に一部で凍結を始めたが、一部で地中の温度が下がらず追加工事を実施した。東電によると、第一原発海側の一日当たりの地下水くみ上げ量は6月が平均321トン。5月の352トンに比べ31トン減少したが、凍土壁の十分な効果は確認できていない。

(略)

福島第一原発が立地する双葉町の伊沢史朗町長も「公式の場で方針転換とも取られかねない発言を唐突にする東電の姿勢には、非常に違和感を感じる」と指摘 した。双葉地方町村会長の馬場有浪江町長は「凍土壁で汚染水を完全に管理できるという説明だったはず。町民の帰還意欲にも影響しかねない問題だ」と批判し た。
一方、東電は「地下水流入量抑制が目的で、100%閉合を確実に実施するわけではない。目的は変わっておらず方針転換ではない」(本店広報室)としている。

全文は東電「完全凍結は困難」 第一原発凍土遮水壁 規制委会合で見解 

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TEPCO told to solve problem of harmful water at Fukushima plant via The Asahi Shimbun

The nation’s nuclear watchdog exhorted Tokyo Electric Power Co. to do something about the accumulation of tens of thousands of tons of highly radioactive water at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, calling the situation intolerable.

“We cannot allow the danger of highly polluted water at the plant to continue any longer,” Toyoshi Fuketa, a commissioner of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, said at a July 19 meeting to discuss work on the plant’s decommissioning.

Fuketa urged TEPCO to consider pumping the highly radioactive water or diluting it, citing the risk of spill if another tsunami hits.

About 60,000 tons of water containing extremely high levels of radiation have accumulated in the basements of the No. 1 through No. 4 reactor and turbine buildings.

Water leaking to the basement floors of the facilities after being used to cool melted nuclear fuel at the plant has mixed with underground water flowing there.

The concentration of radioactive cesium is estimated at between hundreds of thousands becquerels and tens of millions of becquerels per liter.

[…]

The company has been trying to reduce the volume of contaminated water by building a frozen underground wall around the reactor and turbine buildings. The frozen soil wall was expected to prevent groundwater from flowing into the plant.

TEPCO started the freezing of the soil in late March, but not all of the wall is in an ice state, with the result that a huge volume of groundwater is still flowing to the nuclear complex.

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Whistleblowers claim Canada’s nuclear watchdog withholding info that could prevent Fukushima-sized disaster via National Observer

[…]

According to an open letter sent to nuclear officials and environmentalists by a group of anonymous whistleblowers, Canada’s nuclear energy watchdog is not doing enough. They say the commission has been withholding information concerning major safety risks at Canada’s nuclear power plants.

The authors of the letter say they work for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CSNC). In the letter, they present five case studies which allegedly demonstrate that CNSC commissioners are not provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about a plant’s integrity.

They also claim that certain plants in Canada are in non-compliance with safety regulations, raising public safety risks.

But in a statement sent to National Observer on Tuesday, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), disagreed with the whistleblowers. It said an analysis of the whistleblowers’ claims began immediately after the commission received the letter. “The CNSC is a science-based organization which fosters a working environment that encourages staff to communicate their best professional judgments. This sometimes results in differences of professional opinion; therefore the CNSC has multiple mechanisms for staff to raise concerns,” the commission’s statement said.

[…]

The whistleblowers’ letter identifies nine things the authors think CNSC could do to correct safety issues. CNSC should start by assigning an independent expert to review the letter’s claims, they write.

They also call for nuclear plant operators to conduct independent peer reviews of their Probabilistic Safety Assessments, commission a new regulatory quality update at Darlington, and increase transparency by releasing documents to the public.

The letter was sent to CNSC President Michael Binder, who was appointed by the former Conservative government in 2008 after controversially firing former president Linda Keen. Prime Minister Harper had criticized her for being a Liberal appointee after she refused to bow to political pressure and restart a nuclear reactor.

Read more at Whistleblowers claim Canada’s nuclear watchdog withholding info that could prevent Fukushima-sized disaster

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More Palisades nuclear plant security workers expressing worry via WWMT.com

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Several security officers placed on leave at one of the country’s oldest nuclear reactors say they’re being treated as scapegoats by plant management.
This comes after the Newschannel 3 I-Team first uncovered an active investigation at the Palisades Nuclear Generating Station revolving around what plant officials describe as “fire tour anomalies.”
“I’m on paid leave right now, and I have been for almost a month,” said one of the plant workers, agreeing to speak with Newschannel 3’s I-Team on the condition of anonymity.
“Now the company [Entergy] lawyer is asking us questions, saying the NRC will be speaking with us…and that we could be criminally liable,” the worker added.
The officer also claims security workers at the plant were never trained to do fire tours.
“The training department never once trained us on fire tours,” the officer said. “Security used to have a fire brigade that had a certain number of security members on shift, but when Entergy bought the plant they got rid of that…there’s a whole fire brigade staff at that plant right now that have never trained anybody on how to do the fire tours.”
22 security officers have been placed on paid administrative leave according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
[…]
Beyond Nuclear, a group known for its opposition to nuclear energy, is not mincing words about the current Palisades investigation.
“Fire itself is 50% of the risk in terms of a meltdown,” said Kevin Kamps, a radioactive waste watchdog for Beyond Nuclear. “It’s as much of a risk as all the other risks put together, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and accidents.”
Kamps said he is also concerned about the Palisades track record, referencing several incidents in the 40 year old plant’s recent history.
“We have such collusion at Palisades, in large measure we’ve got the NRC covering up for Entergy (owner of the plant), and the NRC has allowed for fire risks to go unaddressed for decades now.”
[…]

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吉原毅・城南信用金庫相談役「都知事選でも原発を大きな争点に!」 via ハーバー・ビジネス・オンライン

小泉純一郎・元首相が、「原発即時ゼロ」を訴えて全国行脚で講演を行っている。毎回、数百人から千人規模の会場が満員になり、ますます熱気を帯びているという。この一連の講演をプロデュースしたのが城南信用金庫の元理事長(現相談役)、吉原毅氏だ。小泉氏が講演会などで語った言葉を再構成し、1冊にまとめた『黙って寝てはいられない』も7月10に刊行されている。
参院選・都知事選で、野党側も意図的に原発を争点から外している先日行われた参院選では、原発はほとんど争点にならなかった。このことについて吉原氏はこう語る。

「福島第一原発事故が起きてから5年が経過し、国民の間に関心が薄らいでいるといわれますが、高濃度の放射能汚染は何千年たっても解決される見通しがありません。電力会社と政府、財界が進めてきた原発政策が破綻しているにもかかわらず、目先の利権のために再稼動が行われようとしている。こうした社会的不正義を是正するのは、やはり政治の力です。

 参院選では原発とエネルギーを争点とした選挙が行われるべきでした。しかし、与党のみならず野党にも原発推進勢力が根強く存在し、意図的に争点から外しています。これが『野党共闘』に国民が信頼を置かない大きな原因となっている。

 都知事選も同じです。福島や新潟の原発の電力を使うのは東京都民で、大きな争点にならなければなりません。

 原発をやめるということは、ウォールストリートを頂点とする国際的な利権社会に戦いを挑み、現代人の病理である『経済至上主義』つまり『拝金主義』に反省を加えることでもあります。
[…]

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物理学者の藤田祐幸さん死去 脱原発を訴えるvia朝日新聞

[…]元慶応大助教授で、脱原発を訴えた。86年に起きた旧ソ連のチェルノブイリ原発事故による放射能汚染の調査に携わった。03年のイラク戦争で米軍が使ったとみられる劣化ウラン弾による被曝(ひばく)の危険性を訴えた。07年に「全ての原発の風上に行こう」と神奈川県から長崎県西海市に移住していた。

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