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Japan eyes U.S. nuclear pact that renews automatically amid Trump administration vacancies via The Japan Times

Japan will seek a nuclear pact with the United States that renews automatically while it continues reprocessing spent fuel and enriching uranium, rather than a long-term pact similar to one set to expire next year, government sources said Tuesday.

Ahead of the current 30-year bilateral pact’s expiration in July next year, the government envisions the new type of agreement because it has little time for talks amid vacancies in U.S. departments tasked with negotiations under President Donald Trump’s administration, the sources said.

Further, the government apparently wants to avoid facing potentially harsh demands from Washington, such as over large stockpiles of plutonium that have built up over years of reprocessing under the current pact, observers said. The plutonium can be used to produce nuclear weapons, posing a potential proliferation risk.

The bilateral agreement, which entered into force in July 1988, authorizes Japan for 30 years until July 2018 to establish a nuclear fuel recycling system in which spent fuel from nuclear reactors is reprocessed to extract uranium and plutonium, which is then recycled as fuel called mixed oxide, or MOX, for use in fast-breeder reactors or conventional nuclear reactors.

But the reprocessing project has faced growing uncertainty as most nuclear plants have suspended operations amid safety concerns following the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 plant caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The trouble-prone Monju prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor in Fukui Prefecture will also be decommissioned despite its envisioned key role in the fuel recycling plan.

[…]

If the pact is renewed with the envisioned automatic extension clause, it could be terminated anytime if either party gives notice six months in advance. But the government has judged that the United States is unlikely to greatly change its policy given that officials in charge of pact negotiations at the State and Energy departments have yet to be named, the sources said.

 

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<ビキニ原水爆実験>沖縄漁船、隠された被ばく via 毎日新聞

1950年代を中心に、米国が太平洋・ビキニ環礁付近で実施した原水爆実験は計67回に及ぶ。国内では54年3月1日に静岡県のマグロ漁船「第五福竜丸」が被ばくした事件が知られるが、当時周辺では他にも多くの漁船が操業中だった。60年以上を経て真相が少しずつ明らかになっているが、当時米軍統治下の沖縄は、日本政府による放射線検査や被害補償の対象外で、実態は依然不明のままだ。「福竜丸以外」の被ばく実態解明に取り組む市民団体「太平洋核被災支援センター」(高知県宿毛市)が、琉球大の研究者らと初めて調査に入り、記者も同行した。【岩間理紀】

 

[…]

◇十数隻被災か

 

当時の科学者の分析によると、水爆「ブラボー」を皮切りに米国が54年3〜5月に実施した実験では、爆心地の東約160キロの公海にいた第五福竜丸の乗組員23人全員が、1.6〜7.1シーベルトの高線量を浴び「急性放射能症」と診断された。政府は全国18港で、漁船の放射線検査を実施。汚染された計485トン以上の魚が廃棄されたとされる。銀嶺丸に廃棄命令は出なかったが、上里さんは「マグロがその後、廃棄されたといううわさが流れた」と話した。

 

自身も大腸がんなどを発症した上里さんは「(真相を)解明してほしい。(米軍統治下で当時の)琉球政府が強く出られなかったことが問題だ」と憤る。当時の琉球気象台のまとめによると、実験地に近い沖縄では、60年代初めまで最高で毎分17万カウントの「放射能雨」が降り続いたとされる。

 

「マグロパニック」が拡大し、米政府は55年1月、200万ドル(当時約7億2000万円)の「見舞金」を日本政府に支払うことで政治決着。放射線検査も打ち切られたが、水爆実験はそれ以後も続いた。

 

一方で、米軍統治下の沖縄は見舞金の対象外とされた。2014年9月に国が開示した延べ556隻分の放射線検査記録のリストには、高知や宮城など各地の船名が確認されたが、沖縄の船名はなかった。米軍政下の沖縄は、日本国内の保険制度に入ることができず、大半の市民が無保険。船員保険もなく、記録からの追跡も難しい。

[…]

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県原発専門委 県に意見書を提出 (鹿児島県)via 日テレNEWS24

県の原子力安全専門委員会が川内原発2号機の安全性について「熊本地震の影響はなかった」とする意見書を19日、県に提出した。

反原発団体からは「知事のシナリオ」だと厳しい批判の声があがっている。県の原子力安全専門委員会は川内原発の安全性や避難計画について話し合うため三反園知事が設置した。19日座長を務める鹿児島大学の宮町宏樹教授が川内原発2号機の安全性について「熊本地震の影響はなかった」とする意見書を知事あてに提出した。九州電力の定期検査も「特段の問題はなかった」としている。

去年の知事選の前に三反園知事と政策合意を交わした反原発団体の平良行雄さんは(略)十分な議論は尽くされておらず三反園知事が描いたシナリオだと厳しく批判した。

今回の意見書を踏まえ三反園知事は1号機同様、2号機の運転の継続も事実上容認するものと見られる。

全文は県原発専門委 県に意見書を提出 (鹿児島県)

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Plans take shape for lifting dumped nuclear sub via Barents Observer

K-27 was dumped east of Novaya Zemlya in the Russian Arctic in 1982.

Department of research and development of radiation safety at Krylov State Research Institute in St. Petersburg says lifting the old nuclear submarine can take place in 2022, in the framework of Russia’s Arctic zone development program, TASS reports. 

The submarine was dumped in shallow waters in Stepovogo Bay on Novaya Zemlya’s Kara Sea coast. K-27, a November-class prototype, had then been laid-up for more than 15 years after one of the two troublesome reactors suffered a severe leakage of radioactive gasses and inadequate cooling causing extensive fuel element failures.

Dumping the entire submarine at sea was done in what the Soviet reactor engineers and scientists believed would be a safe way to avoid leakages of radionuclides into the marine environment. 

The two on board reactors are liquid-metal cooled and contain spent nuclear fuel, 800 kilograms of uranium to be precise.

Both Russian and Norwegian radiation experts have repeatedly warned that failing to lift the submarine eventually one day will cause leakages of radioactivity into the Kara Sea. A worst-case senario has even pointed to the danger of an uncontrolled chain reaction that could be triggered inside the reactor in case sea water one day starts to leak in through the protecting cover that today isolates the compartment holding the two reactors. 

[…]

K-27 is one of many objects with nuclear waste dumped in the Kara Sea. Several other reactors, from submarines and the ice-breaker Lenin, as well as 17.000 containers with solid radioactive waste were dumped in the Kara Sea in Soviet times.

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India, Russia may join hands for providing nuclear energy to third country via The Economic Times

[…]

India and Russia are currently fine-tuning their civil nuclear energy partnership in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. India with its experience in the civil nuclear industry will train personnel and provide expertise to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. India has entered into civilian nuclear partnerships arrangements with both Dhaka and Colombo. Russia is building Bangladesh’s maiden nuclear power plant in Roopur.  

ATOMEXPO 2017 that was inaugurated here on 2017 would seek to explore further opportunities for bilateral partnership in third countries in Africa and Southeast Asia. ATOMEXPO organized annually by Russia’s state-run nuclear agency ROSATOM since 2009 is globally the largest international exhibition and business platform to discuss the present situation of the nuclear industry worldwide.  

[…]

Indian and Russian civil nuclear partnership could be extended to the area of joint extraction of natural uranium and the production of nuclear fuel and nuclear waste elimination, Rosatom officials told ET here. Rosatom has 29 nuclear reactors in various stages of planning and construction in several countries including in Jordan, Hungary, Egypt, Iran, Finland, Turkey and Argentina.  

Indo-Russian Strategic Vision document signed in 2014 mentions that the two countries would explore “opportunities for sourcing materials, equipment and services from Indian industry for the construction of the Russian designed nuclear power plants in third countries”. The vision document also suggested that the two countries “would examine the possibility of technical cooperation in mining activities within their territories and collaborate in exploration and mining activities in third countrie .. 

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柏崎刈羽原発の審査再開 規制委、東電社長を21日聴取 via 日本経済新聞

 原子力規制委員会は20日、東京電力柏崎刈羽原子力発電所6、7号機(新潟県)の再稼働の前提となる安全審査を再開した。東電が再提出した審査書類の安全対策の内容について判断する。21日には広瀬直己社長を呼び、安全への意識について問う方針だ。

規制委は2月、東電が同原発の事故対応拠点の耐震性能について誤った説明を続けたことを問題視し、審査書類を総点検して出し直すよう求めた。東電は事故発生時の拠点を5号機の原子炉建屋内に設けることなど安全対策の内容を変更した申請書を今月16日に再提出した。

東電は関西電力など他の電力会社の安全審査の資料などを踏まえて、内容を精査したと説明した。竜巻や火山の自然災害の対策や、細かい表現の直しも含めて約8400カ所を修正し、信頼性を高めたことを伝えた。

続きは柏崎刈羽原発の審査再開 規制委、東電社長を21日聴取 

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Fire at French nuclear reactor extinguished, EDF says via Reuters

A fire that broke out on the roof of a nuclear reactor at the Bugey plant in central-eastern France has been extinguished, operator EDF said on Monday, citing fire brigade officials. 

The fire began at the plant’s nuclear reactor number 5, some 35 kilometers from the city of Lyon

[…]

EDF said in a separate statement there were no injuries or fatalities, while safety body IRSN said on Twitter that sensors had not picked up any increase in radiation.

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コープおおいたが福島県のJAと協定へ via OBS 大分放送ニュース

東日本大震災からの復興を農産物の購入という形で継続して支えようと、コープおおいたと福島県のJAが協定を結ぶことになりました。大分市でコープおおいたの総代会が開かれ、昨年度の決算と今年度の事業計画が組合員の代表に示されました。この中で、東日本大震災からの復興を確実に支えるため、福島県のJAふくしま未来と友好協力協定を結ぶことが報告されました。コープおおいたは震災以降、福島県の農産物を積極的に取り扱っていて、協定締結によって絆を強固にする狙いがあります。20日は、売上金の一部となるおよそ350万円が福島の復興義援金として贈られたほか、写真パネル展や近況報告会も開催されました。

続きはコープおおいたが福島県のJAと協定へ 

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Fukushima on the Hudson by LA Smith Now Available via benzinga

Nixie Publishing debuts eco-political dystopian thriller in time for summer reading by the water — but is the Water Safe?

New publishing house, Nixie Publishing announced today the release of Fukushima on The Hudson, a thrilling eco-political novel by author, LA Smith.  Set between a struggling family farm in upstate New York and a cutthroat conspiracy on Capitol Hill in Washington, the novel responds to the question … What would happen if the city of New York faced the very real threat of being washed away in a nuclear meltdown like the one that devastated Fukushima in Japan?

[…]

The story is rooted in a real existential threat to millions of Americans: Illegally dumped radioactive waste and decaying nuclear power plants, many of which are packed with radioactive spent fuel.  Fictionally, the stage is set and played out in a ‘what-if’ that should be considered quite seriously.  “When I was in the news business, every now and then, I would come across what I called a ‘monster sleeper story.’ An issue or situation that just seemed so ‘big’ and in some cases, so alarming, I couldn’t believe it wasn’t on the front page of every newspaper. For me, the Indian Point nuclear power plant is one of those stories,”  says author, LA Smith.

Bela A. Gary, Nixie Publishing co-founder adds, “this is a book, like A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr or Erin Brockovich by Susannah Grant, that really gets under your skin. Really gets you to thinking about what we are doing to our environment. The legacy we’re leaving our kids. And the heartache of those who are suffering.”

Fukushima on the Hudson is not only for readers who enjoy gripping dystopian thrillers, but also for those who are environmentally aware and supportive of equal rights — for all.    Everyone who may be concerned about a true and existing threat to Wall Street, the city of New York and our country as a whole will want to be sure and read Fukushima on the Hudson by LA Smith.

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尿からプルトニウム=作業員5人、内部被ばく-放医研 via JIji.com

日本原子力研究開発機構の大洗研究開発センター(茨城県大洗町)で作業員5人が被ばくした事故で、放射線医学総合研究所(放医研、千葉市)は19日、5人全員の尿から、ごく微量のプルトニウムが検出されたと発表した。放医研は「内部被ばくがあった」と説明。尿などの検査を続け、1カ月ほどかけて被ばく量を推定する。

原子力機構は事故翌日の7日、1人の肺から2万2000ベクレルのプルトニウム239が検出されたと発表したが、5人が搬送された放医研の検査では検出されなかった。放医研は、より高い感度で検出できる尿などを調べていた。

その結果、5人全員の尿から、ごく微量のプルトニウム239と238、アメリシウム241が確認された。被ばく量は引き続き調べるが、放医研の上部組織・量子科学技術研究開発機構の明石真言執行役は記者会見で「症状が出る線量にはならないと推定している」としつつ、「国内で知っている限りでは大きい方かもしれない」と述べた。

続きは尿からプルトニウム=作業員5人、内部被ばく-放医研

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