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避難指示区域でポケモン出現 福島県知事が対策検討【ポケモンGO】via Huffington Post

スマホゲーム「ポケモンGO」が、福島第一原発事故の避難指示区域でも遊べるとして、福島県の内堀雅雄知事は7月25日の定例会見で「一般の方々がゲームの流れの中で立ち入るのは好ましくない」と述べ、国と対策を検討する考えを明らかにした。毎日新聞が報じた。

福島第1原発に近い8市町村では、国が避難指示を出しており、原則として夜間は宿泊できない。避難指示区域の中で、最も放射線量の高い「帰還困難区域」は、立ち入り自体が制限されている。

■「帰還困難区域でもポケモンを捕まえることは可能」

地元紙「福島民友」に対し、ポケモンGOを開発したナイアンティック社の国内広報代理店が「帰還困難区域でもポケモンを捕まえることは可能」だと説明している。

続きは避難指示区域でポケモン出現 福島県知事が対策検討【ポケモンGO】

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川内原発停止要請 来月にも 鹿児島新知事「県民の不安解消」via 日本経済新聞

 鹿児島県知事に28日に就任する三反園訓氏(58)は24日、九州電力に川内原子力発電所(同県薩摩川内市)の一時停止を8月中にも要請する考えを明らかにした。熊本地震を受けた県民の不安に応えるため、関連施設や活断層などの再点検・再検証を求める。川内1号機は10月6日ごろに定期検査に入る予定だが、これを待たず要請する。

日本経済新聞の取材に応じた。川内原発の停止と点検は三反園氏の知事選での公約。三反園氏は「県民が不安に思っていたら解消するのがトップの役目だ」と強 調。一時停止の要請は「原発周辺を視察し、県庁職員の説明も聞くなどして、8月下旬か9月上旬を目指したい」と語った。

知事に原発を止める法的権限はない。ただ九電との安全協定で鹿児島県は安全確保のために原発に立ち入り調査し、必要と認められれば適切な措置を求められる。九電は「実際に要請を受けておらずコメントする立場にない」としている。

続きは川内原発停止要請 来月にも 鹿児島新知事「県民の不安解消」

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NZ’s nuclear resolve via the Otago Daily Times

[…]
In 1987, Labour passed the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act, meeting an election promise.

In a largely symbolic response, the US Congress retaliated with the Broomfield Act, downgrading New Zealand’s status from ally to friend.

Former prime minister David Lange said if the security alliance was the price New Zealand must pay to remain nuclear-free, it was the price the country was prepared to pay.

In 1989, 52% of New Zealanders indicated they would rather break defence ties than admit nuclear-armed ships.

By 1990, National had signed up to the anti-nuclear stance.

There the situation has remained until Mr Biden accepted an invitation for the US to send a ship to the Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th birthday in November.

The acceptance is another expression of the close and co-operative relationship between the two countries.

The relationship has certainly improved in recent years.

New Zealand soldiers have served overseas alongside US troops, sometimes without the knowledge of the New Zealand public until after the event.

New Zealand wisely does not get involved in every conflict but it has provided valuable training for troops in war zones.
[…]
So despite the urging of Mr Key, the return to New Zealand waters by a US ship in November cannot be taken lightly.

It is a win for the resolve of Kiwis to keep this country nuclear free.

It is not known if the US ship will be a warship or something tamer.

Under New Zealand’s law, Mr Key has to sign a declaration he is satisfied the ship complies with New Zealand law, something he says he has done about 40 times since he became prime minister.

Publicly available information will make it possible for watchers of maritime issues to identify if the ship is nuclear-armed or nuclear-powered.

[…]
A ship visit will clearly signal US acceptance of New Zealand’s nuclear-free policy.

[…]

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Japan nuclear cleanup next target in Russian economic offensive via Nikkei Asian Review

SOSNOVY BOR, Russia — A Russian state company has offered to help decontaminate radioactive water at the battered Fukushima nuclear power plant and assist in decomissioning reactors. In addition to export revenues, Moscow sees a chance to cozy up to a staunch U.S. ally.

Take our tech

Around a 100km drive west of St. Petersburg, on the Gulf of Finland, sits Sosnovy Bor, home to state nuclear energy giant Rosatom’s waste disposal operations. Inside a controlled perimeter, subsidiary RosRAO, the facility’s manager, has created a prototype water decontamination plant for use at Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings’ Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station — the site of Japan’s largest nuclear disaster in March 2011.

The scrubbing facility, unveiled in June, is capable of removing tritium, or radioactive hydrogen, from nuclear-tainted water, something beyond the capabilities of the Fukushima plant’s current cleanup equipment. Distillation and electrolysis isolate and concentrate the isotope, which is then locked away in titanium. Experiments under conditions similar to those on the ground reportedly show the technology cutting wastewater’s radioactive material content to one-6,000th the initial level, making it safe for human consumption or release into the ocean.

Duplicating the facility near the Fukushima site and running it for the five years necessary to process 800,000 cu. meters of contaminated water would cost around $700 million in all. Companies in Japan and the U.S. are at work on their own facilities for tritium disposal, but the Russian plan’s cost and technological capability make it fully competitive, according to the project’s chief.

Rosatom has made other overtures to Japan. Executives from a mining and chemical unit have visited several times this year for talks with Japanese nuclear companies, aiming to cooperate on decommissioning the Fukushima plant and upgrading a reprocessing plant in Aomori Prefecture for spent nuclear fuel. Russia has amassed a wealth of expertise dealing with damaged nuclear reactors in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, and would like Japan to draw on that knowledge, the subsidiary’s chief executive said.

[…]

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VOX POPULI: There’s no end to Fukushima crisis while melted fuel remains via The Asahi Shimbun

A massive concrete structure encases the wrecked No. 4 reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, site of the catastrophic 1986 accident.

Dubbed the “sarcophagus,” it was erected to contain the fuel that could not be extracted from the crippled reactor.

I never expected this word (“sekkan” in Japanese) to crop up in connection with the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Local governments raised objections to the use of this word in a report compiled by a government organ that supports the decommissioning of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

While the report discusses the extraction of melted fuel as a requirement, it is written in such a way as to suggest that the construction of a sarcophagus is an option that should not be dismissed out of hand.

This outraged the governor of Fukushima, Masao Uchibori, who lashed out, “Containing (the melted fuel) in a sarcophagus spells giving up hope for post-disaster reconstruction and for returning home.”

[…]

The report portrays the harsh realities at the site, such as leaks of contaminated water and accidents involving workers. Efforts to decommission the crippled reactors continue day after day, but the task is expected to take several decades.

Elsewhere in Japan, the rule that requires nuclear reactors to be decommissioned after 40 years is becoming toothless, and preparations are proceeding steadily for restarting reactors that have remained offline.

“Normalcy” appears to be returning, but there is a huge gap between that and the unending hardships in the disaster-affected areas.

Read more at VOX POPULI: There’s no end to Fukushima crisis while melted fuel remains 

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愛媛、伊方再稼働反対を訴え 原発近くで抗議集会 via 河北新報

 再稼働が8月にも予定される愛媛県伊方町の四国電力伊方原発3号機近くで、全国から集まった約700人が24日、抗議集会を開き、「再稼働反対」などと声を上げた。

集会は原発周辺の路上で開かれ、「発電に核を使うな」と書いたのぼりを持った人らが詰め掛けた。参加したルポライターの鎌田慧さんが「伊方原発でもし事故があったら瀬戸内海一帯が汚染される」と批判し「原発をなくすために頑張っていこう」と呼び掛けた。

続きは愛媛、伊方再稼働反対を訴え 原発近くで抗議集会

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How a stockpile of America’s nuclear weapons got tangled up in a Middle East crisis via The Los Angeles Times

[…]
But the failed military coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week has ratcheted up long-standing concerns about the military usefulness and security of the Incirlik armory, America’s largest foreign stockpile of nuclear weapons.

Security remains at the highest level, FPCON Delta. Electrical power was restored only Friday after a week-long blackout that strained living conditions at the base. The 3,000 U.S. service personnel stationed there have been ordered to remain inside the gates. Hundreds of military dependents were sent home months ago, amid fears of a terrorist attack.
The base was an operational center of the attempted coup. Its commander and his subordinates were arrested on suspicion of trying to overthrow the Turkish government, leaving junior officers in control. The developments have shocked U.S. military experts who say they demonstrate a worrying level of instability in Turkey’s military command close to the B61s.

Defense officials have never acknowledged the existence of these weapons on the base and refused this week at news briefings after the coup attempt to answer questions about them.

Lt. Col. Christopher Karns, an Air Force spokesman for U.S. Central Command in Qatar, said the electricity cutoff had forced water rationing and a slight reduction in bombing missions against Islamic State, also known as ISIS, but operations were returning to normal.

[…][

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<原発事故>宮城の母親 高線量地域ほど不安via河北新報

 東京電力福島第1原発事故が県内の母子に与えた心理的影響について調査する東北大、福島大の研究グループは22日、母親の放射線に対する不安は汚染レベルに相関するとの結果を公表した。原発に近い丸森町など県南の4市町が福島市と同程度に高い一方、仙台市は兵庫などの他県と変わらなかった。
 設問「洗濯物を外で干すか」に「干さない」と答えたのは、角田市で22.8%、丸森町で18.6%。ともに福島市の18.2%を上回った一方、仙台市は5.7%で他県をも1.7ポイント下回った。
 東北大によると、2011年7月2日現在の放射線量は、丸森町が毎時1.9~0.2マイクロシーベルトで、角田市が同0.5~0.1マイクロシーベルト、仙台市は同0.1マイクロシーベルト以下だった。放射線量が高い地域の方が、母親の不安が高くなる傾向にある。
 研究グループは母親と子どものストレスについても調査。「気分が落ち込むことがある」、「(子どもに)赤ちゃん返りがある」など多くの項目で、県南の市町の母親が福島市の母親よりも「ある」と回答した。
[…]

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「面倒臭い」を越えて 奥田愛基さん、フジロックで発言via朝日新聞

 
[…]津田さんは今回の参院選で、SEALDsが野党共闘の動きに寄与した点を指摘。選挙期間中、野党側の応援に奔走した奥田さんは「(全国32の1人区のうち)11の議席を取れたことは、負けは負けだが一定の効果はあったと思う」と総括した。また、奥田さんは「政治が面倒臭いのは、自分と意見が違う人と話すのが面倒臭いから」と話した上で、「この社会をどうやって一緒に生きていくか、『面倒臭い』を越えて考えていかないといけない」と述べた。

 アトミック・カフェは、1980年代に国際的に広がった反核運動を起点に、音楽シーンから反核のメッセージを発信する取り組み。東京電力福島第一原発事故のあった2011年から6年連続、フジロック内で開催されてきた。

 アトミック・カフェでは、これまでも壇上で様々なアーティストらが自身の意見を発言しているが、今回、安全保障関連法に反対する活動で注目された奥田さんの参加が発表されると、主にネット上で「音楽に政治を持ち込むな」などの意見が出て注目された。
[…]

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Nuclear weapons contractors repeatedly stifle whistleblowers, auditors say via The Center for Public Integrity

The Energy Department lets its private contractors police themselves, producing “chilled work environments” in which employees who find wrongdoing have no useful path for complaints

At laboratories and factories where American nuclear weapons are designed and built, and at the sites still being cleansed of the toxic wastes created by such work, contractor employees outnumber federal workers six to one. That makes them key sentinels when something goes awry, a circumstance that officials say explains why they get legal protections when whistleblowing.

That’s the theory. It turns out that the Energy Department has actually handed most of the oversight over these protections to the contractors themselves, robbing workers at key nuclear weapons sites of confidence that pointing out security and safety dangers or other mistakes won’t bring retaliation, according to an audit released by the Government Accountability Office on July 14.

The Energy Department’s decision to embrace contractor self-regulation of its whistleblowing protection system means in many cases that those overseeing it work for the contractors’ top lawyers, who must defend the contractor against employee claims of wrongdoing, or for those officials responsible for deciding about job cuts, the report disclosed.

[…]

At the Energy Department’s Hanford Nuclear Site, for example, a contractor employee reported that in the first iteration of one such survey, specific responses could be linked directly to those participating, and after revisions, the employee had heard managers “were pressuring employees to give favorable responses.” Many of the results were deleted before being analyzed, the employee said – part of a series of flaws that DOE overlooked.

The report disclosed that despite some highly-publicized instances of retaliation against whistleblowers in the nuclear weapons complex, and many public statements by DOE and contractors of support for transparency and technical dissent, DOE has only three times punished contractors who retaliated against whistleblowers in the last 20 years. One of those punishments was just a stern letter.

[…]

The problems run deeper than self-regulation, the report states. When contractor employees have brought concerns directly to the Energy Department, partly out of fear of retaliation by their bosses, the department has often referred those complaints back to the contractor, potentially jeopardizing the complainer’s anonymity or creating the appearance of “impaired independence” at DOE. And a program meant to adjudicate such issues within DOE is procedurally complex and sometimes too challenging for workers, the report said.

[…]

Sandra Hightower Black, who headed the employee concerns program at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC, in Aiken, S.C. – a consortium of Fluor Corporation, Honeywell International Inc. and Newport News Nuclear Inc. – told the press conference that she repeatedly witnessed such acts of intimidation. She said one manager pressured an investigator in her office to flip a whistleblower complaint that had been substantiated and categorize it as unfounded. Another manager demanded the name of the “rat” in a whistleblower case.

To executives at the company, Black said, she eventually became “an employee advocate,” which they regarded as a liability. A 59-year-old single mother, Black trembled at the press conference behind dark-framed glasses, as she said she was eventually fired for doing what she thought she was supposed to do.

[…]

Black’s case is still pending. But the report said other contract employees at the Savannah River site told the auditors that a poor climate persisted there:

  • “We were told that if you talk to DOE, you will not be considered part of the team.”
  • “They will make an example of anyone who challenges them.”
  • “Employees are very afraid to raise safety issues at the meetings because they will be terminated or embarrassed.”
  • “They fired the [employee concerns program] Manager. What do you think they will do to me?”

A whistleblower from the Hanford site, Walter Tamosaitis, also appeared at the press conference. He’s an engineer who worked on the management team constructing the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant at Hanford, a project long plagued by delays and cost overruns. In 2010, he spoke up at a management meeting about his worries that the costly plant would be unsafe, and even provoke an unexpected nuclear chain reaction. Tamosaitis almost immediately was kicked off the project and spent the next 18 months in a windowless basement office, before finally being fired.

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