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FirstEnergy plans to shut down Beaver County nuclear plant via WPXI.com

[…]

Two other plants in Ohio are also scheduled for closure. Combined, the three plants generate about two-thirds of the electricity produced by FirstEnergy Solutions, the press release said.

The Beaver County plant, which went online in 1976, employs about 1,000 people, according to the company’s website.

“The decision to deactivate these facilities is very difficult and in no way a reflection on the dedicated, hard-working employees who operate the plants safely and reliably or on the local communities and union leaders who have advocated passionately on their behalf,” said Don Moul, president of FirstEnergy Solutions, in the release.

 

 

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<原発のない国へ 世界潮流を聞く> (4)送電会社 独立性確保を via 東京新聞

◆スペイン電力大手イベルドローラ社 カルロス・ガスコ氏

 -いつから再生エネルギーを重視しているのか。

 「二〇〇〇年代初頭、再生エネへの重点投資を決めた。欧州当局が『これからは温室効果ガス排出減を重視していく』という政策シグナルを発信していた。当社は多くの水力発電所を持ち、天候で変動する再生エネになじみがあった。新しい潮流に多くの大手電力は及び腰だったが、当社の経営陣は『再生エネはいいビジネスになる』と確信し、風力に大規模投資した」

 「それ以来、二酸化炭素(CO2)などの排出を75%削減できた。三〇年までにはさらに50%削減、五〇年には実質ゼロになる。脱炭素化と好業績は両立できるし、そうした企業戦略を市場は評価するようになっている」

 -スペイン全体の再生エネの導入量は。

 「昨年の発電量に占める再生エネ比率は30%台。政府は二〇年に40%へ引き上げる目標を掲げている。蓄電技術が発展すれば、四〇年にはほぼ100%再生エネで賄えるとみている」

 -原発はどうするのか。

 「スペインでは既存の原発に関し原則四十年の運転期限を延長するか廃炉かの議論はあるが、新たに建設する議論はまったくない。新設費用が高いからだ」

(略)

 -日本では再生エネの固定価格買い取り制度(FIT)による国民負担が大きいという批判もある。

 「FITは高い固定価格で電気を買い取るので初期段階の再生エネを後押しする上で有効だ。確かに電気代は一時的に上がるが、再生エネのコストが下がるにつれ、下がっていく。スペインでも一九九四年にFIT導入以降、入札を取り入れたりして、競争を促し、コストを下げてきた。どの国も同じ問題に直面する。必要に応じて制度改正すればよい」(伊藤弘喜)

 =おわり

 <スペインの電力事情とイベルドローラ社> スペインは欧州で最も再生エネが普及している国の一つで発電での再生エネ比率は35%とドイツ(29%)も上回る。イベルドローラはスペイン最大手のエネルギー企業で欧州最大の風力発電会社。2017年連結決算で売上高は4兆円、従業員3万4000人。ガスコ氏は経済・エネルギー相官房室長などを経て同社の国際企業担当上級アドバイザー。

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Pressure Mounts on Japan to Join the Nuclear Ban Treaty via InDepthNews

TOKYO (IDN) – Japan is coming under pressure from within to sign and ratify the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty, which acknowledges the “unacceptable suffering” of the hibakusha – survivors of hitherto the first ever atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

122 member nations of the United Nations adopted what is formally known as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in July 2017.

Aging survivors – 81.41 on an average as of March 2017 – have deplored the Japanese government’s decision to stay out of the TPNW for the reason that joining the Treaty could “result in the distance between nuclear weapons and non-nuclear weapons states being further widened.”

The remark made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of atomic bombings at a news conference in Hiroshima angered 78-year-old Hiroshima hibakusha Hiroshi Harada, former head of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

“If the Japanese government isn’t going to do anything, I don’t want (Abe) to keep describing Japan in his speeches as ‘the only country to have sustained atomic bombings in wartime,'” Harada was reported saying. “If you’re going to tout that fact, you need to follow it up with the appropriate action.”

[…]

It was against the backdrop of grave differences between the nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon states on the one hand and among the non-nuclear-weapon states on the other in regard to the best way to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons that the then Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced the establishment of a Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Disarmament in his statement at the First PrepCom of the 2020 NPT Review Conference in May 2017 in Vienna.

The Group comprising 16 experts – 6 Japanese including the chairperson, and 10 foreign – has meanwhile tabled a set of 25 wide-ranging recommendations. Foreign experts are from both the nuclear weapon and non-nuclear weapon states comprising the States promoting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

[…]

The Group is of the view that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) plays a critical role in reinforcing the norm of non-testing, preventing nuclear proliferation, and contributing to nuclear disarmament.

The Group urges the remaining Annex II States to sign and/or ratify the treaty without further delay and calls upon all states to refrain from nuclear testing. “All states should make extra efforts to maintain the effectiveness of the treaty’s verification mechanisms and the Provisional Technical Secretariat and ensure adequate funding.”

Together with Kazakhstan, Japan has been a driving force behind efforts toward an early entry into force of the CTBT, which has been in limbo for nearly 22 years.

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UPDATE 2-Tepco shares surge after Niigata governor says may resign via Reuters

April 17 (Reuters) – Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (Tepco) shares rose more than 4 percent on the expectation that Tepco could restart the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata prefecture after Japanese media reported that the region’s governor, who has opposed the restart, may resign.

Niigata Governor Ryuichi Yoneyama said on national broadcaster NHK on Tuesday that he was considering resigning, but had yet to decide. When asked why, Yoneyama said it was because of a “woman problem,” without elaborating. He was responding to numerous media reports, including from Kyodo News, that he would resign.

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa is the world’s largest nuclear power plant and restarting the site’s seven reactors is crucial to Tepco’s recovery plans in the wake of the meltdowns at its Fukushima plant in 2011. Yoneyama told Reuters last year a better understanding of the Fukushima disaster was needed before he would sign off on a restart at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa.

Tepco shares closed 0.7 percent higher after gaining as much as 4.4 percent earlier. The broader market rose slightly.

[…]

The health impacts of the radiation release during the Fukushima disaster, the world’s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl in 1986, should also be analysed, he said, adding that it may take three years to complete the review.

Tepco has approval from regulators to start two reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, but the company needs to carry out further work before the restarts. While not a legal requirement, the sign off of the governor is also required. (Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick and Chris Gallagher Editing by Joseph Radford and Christian Schmollinger)

Read more at UPDATE 2-Tepco shares surge after Niigata governor says may resign 

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脱原発団体 使用済み核燃料「中間貯蔵施設拒否を」 町長に申し入れ /和歌山 via 毎日新聞

脱原発を訴える京都、大阪、兵庫各府県の市民団体でつくる「避難計画を案ずる関西連絡会」は16日、白浜町役場を訪れ、原発の使用済み核燃料を一時保管する中間貯蔵施設の受け入れ拒否を表明するよう井澗誠町長に申し入れた。

(略)

 「美浜・大飯・高浜原発に反対する大阪の会」の小山英之代表らは、関電が同町日置川地区に土地を所有し、現地の職員を増員していることなどを挙げ「計画地とされる可能性が高いと考えられる」として、あらかじめ拒否する意思を示すよう求めた。

 井澗町長は「国が責任を持って進める課題。具体的な申し入れがないのでコメントしようがない」と、明言を避けた。【藤田宰司】

全文は脱原発団体 使用済み核燃料「中間貯蔵施設拒否を」 町長に申し入れ /和歌山

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新基準適合の7原発14基 稼働10年で核燃プール満杯  via 東京新聞

東京電力福島第一原発事故後に策定された原発の新規制基準に適合済みの七原発十四基は、いずれも稼働後十年以内に使用済み核燃料を保管するプールが満杯になることが、電力各社への取材で分かった。保管場所を確保しない限り、運転が続けられなくなる。使用済み核燃料の保管も最終処分のめどもつけぬまま、各社は原発の見切り稼働を進めている。 (内田淳二)

[…]

東京電力柏崎刈羽6、7号機(新潟県)はプールが満杯まで一年以内と切迫している。東電は東海第二原発(茨城県)を保有する日本原子力発電(原電)と共同出資し、青森県むつ市に核燃料の中間貯蔵施設を建設中。予定通り年内に稼働しても、自治体との協定で保管期間は最長五十年間と決まっている。

 他の電力各社は、プール内で核燃料の間隔を狭めて容量を増やしたり、専用容器で空気冷却したりする取り組みを検討しているが、抜本的な解決にならない。

 使用済み核燃料は再利用のため、青森県六ケ所村の再処理工場に運ぶ計画だが、安全対策の遅れで稼働の見通しも立っていない。再処理で出る高レベルの放射性廃棄物の最終処分地も決まっていない。

 調査の方法 大手電力九社と原電に核燃料集合体をあと何体、プールに収容できるかを取材。十三カ月の通常運転ごとに使用済みとして取り換える燃料の目安量を聞き、プールが何年で満杯になるかを計算した。

<使用済み核燃料> 原発は通常、13カ月間運転するといったん定期検査に入り、4分の1~3分の1程度の核燃料を使用済みとして交換する。使用済み燃料でも長期間、放射線と熱を発し続けるため、プールでの継続的な冷却が不可欠となる。

 
 

 

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How Do You Tell the Kids that Grandma is in Jail for Resisting Nuclear Weapons? via Common Dreams

Frida Berrigan

[…]

My mom, Liz McAlister, who turned 78 in November, had been arrested deep inside the King’s Bay Naval Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Along with six friends, she carried banners, statements, hammers and blood onto the base. They started their action on April 4: the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination.

Their statement made connections between nuclear weapons, white supremacy and deeply embedded racism. It is a long statement, but given that they were carrying it into a free-fire zone — where military personnel are authorized to use deadly force — there was no particular need for brevity: “We come to Kings Bay to answer the call of the prophet Isaiah (2:4) to ‘beat swords into plowshares’ by disarming the world’s deadliest nuclear weapon, the Trident submarine. We repent of the sin of white supremacy that oppresses and takes the lives of people of color here in the United States and throughout the world. We resist militarism that has employed deadly violence to enforce global domination. We believe reparations are required for stolen land, labor and lives.”

They walked onto King’s Bay Naval Station just hours after Saheed Vassell was shot and killed in a barrage of bullets by New York City police officers, just hours after hundreds of demonstrators filled the streets of Sacramento for another day, shouting “Stephon Clark, Stephon Clark, Stephon Clark” and demanding accountability after the young father of two was killed by police officers on March 18. These seven white activists know that when you are black in this country, your own corner, your grandmother’s own backyard, is a free-fire zone more dangerous than any military base.

[…]

Kings Bay is the largest nuclear submarine base in the world at about 16,000 acres. It is the home port of the U.S. Navy Atlantic Fleet’s Trident nuclear-powered submarines. There are eight in total, two guided missile submarines and six ballistic missile submarines. These submarines were all built in Groton, Connecticut — right across the river from our home in New London. Each submarine, my mom and her friends assert, carries the capacity to cause devastation equivalent to 600 of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima, Japan.

“Nuclear weapons kill every day through our mining, production, testing, storage and dumping, primarily on indigenous native land. This weapons system is a cocked gun being held to the head of the planet. As white Catholics, we take responsibility to atone for the horrific crimes stemming from our complicity with ‘the triplets’ [of evil]. Only then can we begin to restore right relationships. We seek to bring about a world free of nuclear weapons, racism and economic exploitation.”

[…]

So, when I explained that grandma was in jail to my kids — 11-year-old Rosena, 5-year-old Seamus and 4-year-old Madeline — I felt the weight of a lifetime of missing and provisional family experiences, frequently lived in prison visiting rooms and through urgently scrawled letters.

I tried to figure out a way to talk to them that would make sense and, in thinking it through, I realized that none of this should make sense to anyone! Nuclear weapons? Absurd! Police brutality and white supremacy? Senseless! Plowshares actions with their symbolic transformation and ritual mess-making? A foolhardy act of David versus Goliath proportions!

[…]

 

 

 

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Blowing in the wind: Plutonium at former nuclear weapons site via Los Angeles Times

As crews demolished a shuttered nuclear weapons plant during 2017 in central Washington, specks of plutonium were swept up in high gusts and blown miles across a desert plateau above the Columbia River.

The releases at the Department of Energy cleanup site spewed unknown amounts of plutonium dust into the environment, coated private automobiles with the toxic heavy metal and dispensed lifetime internal radioactive doses to 42 workers.

The contamination events went on for nearly 12 months, getting progressively worse before the project was halted in mid-December. Now, state health and environmental regulators, Energy Department officials and federal safety investigators are trying to figure out what went wrong and who is responsible.

[…]

Tom Carpenter, executive director of the watchdog group Hanford Challenge, asserts that the demolition project used too many unskilled workers, attempted to do the work too fast and failed to adopt known safety measures that would have helped contain the contamination.

“They took shortcuts and stupid risks,” Carpenter said. “They gambled and lost.”

The mishap occurred at one of the nation’s most radioactively contaminated buildings, known as the Plutonium Finishing Plant. The factory, which opened in 1949 a few miles from the Columbia River, supplied plutonium for thousands of U.S. nuclear weapons before it was shut down in 1989. It was the notorious site where Harold McCluskey, later known as the Atomic Man, survived a 1976 explosion in which he was exposed to 500 times the occupational limit for radioactivity.

The exposures from the plutonium releases last year were minuscule by comparison, estimated to be a small fraction of the background radiation that every human gets from nature. But unlike cosmic radiation or radon gas, plutonium can lodge itself inside the body and deliver tissue damaging alpha particles over a lifetime.

[…]

“It is very upsetting because they don’t [care],” said one exposed worker who would speak only on condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation. He said he was not given a kit to test for plutonium exposure until he asked for one in early December.

“They have no clue how I was exposed,” he said. “I look at it down the road and am mentally worried about it. It is emitting energy into my bones. Plus it is a poison. My wife is worried. My kids listen to the news and know what happened. I have to put it off in front of them as no big deal.”

[…]

Another longtime employee at the Plutonium Finishing Plant, or PFP, who met with a Times reporter, said the operation was out of control even before the demolition began. As workers removed equipment to prepare for walls to be torn down, air monitoring alarms sounded almost every day, he said. Workers were subjected to repeated nasal smears to determine if they had breathed plutonium dust, he said.

“Nobody wanted to work at PFP,” he said. “People who had been working at Hanford for 30 years were getting out, saying this is insane.”

And as the project fell behind schedule, many of the workers were compelled to put in as much as 90 hours a week, he said.

“Everything we were told to do at work began to deviate from the plan,” he said.

[…]

In fact, workers at the plant said the demolition site was ringed by 8-foot-tall piles of radioactive debris with little to prevent dust from blowing off.

Not long after, the first plutonium was detected. Another series of dispersals occurred in June, which resulted in a short work stoppage. The workers at the plant said radiation alarms sounded throughout the facility, resulting in a chaotic mass evacuation. And then in December, a three-day series of dispersals was recorded and became the basis for what is now a four-month shutdown of the project.

“December was the most serious,” said Martell, the Health Department chief for radioactive air emissions. “Part of the reason we issued the letter was that events were growing in seriousness. The December event was the trigger.”

Alex Smith, who oversees the Hanford Site for the state Department of Ecology and shares oversight responsibility with the state Department of Health, said the decision to allow debris to accumulate probably increased the risk that winds could transport the dust. Plutonium was detected by monitors and collection plates about two miles away, near a public road, and potentially 10 miles away.

[…]

Work was stopped five years ago on a $16.8-billion waste treatment plant that is supposed to turn 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge into glass. Technical deficiencies in its design are still being studied, while delays mount. The plant was supposed to go online by 2022, but several years ago the Energy Department pushed back the full startup by 17 years to 2039.

Last year, a tunnel that stored railroad cars full of contaminated equipment collapsed. The Energy Department pumped the 358-foot long tunnel full of a concrete mixture. A decision is pending about what to do with a second storage tunnel 1,688 feet long.

The state attorney general, along with Hanford Challenge and a union, is suing the Energy Department for venting noxious gases from underground waste tanks over recent years, sickening workers.

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<原発のない国へ 世界潮流を聞く> (3)市民が再生エネ後押し via 東京新聞

◆米ロッキーマウンテン研究所主幹 リリー・ドンジ氏

 -米国で再生エネを推進する力は何か。

 「電気を使う企業が電力会社に対し、よりクリーンで二酸化炭素(CO2)を排出しない電気を求めるようになったことが大きい。グーグルが二〇一三年に再生エネ重視を打ち出し、流れをつくった。大企業を中心に、生産や販売など企業活動で使う電気をすべて再生エネで賄う機運が広がりつつある」

 -どんな企業が動いている。

 「業種を問わない。アマゾンやフェイスブック、自動車大手ゼネラル・モーターズ、化学大手ダウ・ケミカルなどさまざまだ。病院を経営するカイザーグループも切り替えようとしている。電力会社も変わってきた。例えばアマゾンの拠点を誘致しようと、たくさんの都市が誘致合戦を繰り広げているが、地元の電力会社も巨大顧客、アマゾンの要請に応えるため、再生エネに対応せざるを得ない」

 -中小企業は。

 「小売り大手ウォルマートやアップルは、下請け企業にも再生エネ100%への対応を求めており、中小企業も動かざるを得なくなるだろう」

 (略)

 -トランプ大統領は地球温暖化対策のための「パリ協定」離脱を表明したが影響は。

 「消費者や企業など需要側の要求が電力業界を動かしている。トランプ大統領率いる連邦政府は離脱を表明したが、米国社会で再生エネ重視のうねりは変わらないだろう。ロッキーマウンテン研究所の呼び掛けで、企業千五百社を含む全米八千団体は『今もパリ協定にコミットしている』と表明した」

(略)

 「どの国でも大手電力会社は保守的で変化を恐れがちだ。変化を促すように、電気を使う企業や人々が電力会社と対話し、後押しする必要がある」 (伊藤弘喜)

<ロッキーマウンテン研究所> 脱原発や脱炭素に向けたビジネスモデルを提案した「新しい火の創造」の著者の物理学者エイモリー・ロビンス氏らが1982年に設立。職員180人を擁し、企業や自治体の脱炭素・再生エネ導入策を支援する非営利団体。米国と中国に拠点。ドンジ氏は企業の再生エネ活用促進事業を統括。イェール大で経営学修士を取得。

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新基準適合の7原発14基 稼働10年で核燃プール満杯 via 東京新聞

東京電力福島第一原発事故後に策定された原発の新規制基準に適合済みの七原発十四基は、いずれも稼働後十年以内に使用済み核燃料を保管するプールが満杯になることが、電力各社への取材で分かった。保管場所を確保しない限り、運転が続けられなくなる。使用済み核燃料の保管も最終処分のめどもつけぬまま、各社は原発の見切り稼働を進めている。 (内田淳二)

 新基準適合の原発は、関西電力が三原発七基と最多。うち再稼働済みは、大飯3号機と高浜3、4号機(いずれも福井県)。五月九日には大飯(おおい)4号機が再稼働を予定しているが、どの号機もプールが満杯になるまで五~八年程度しかない。

 九州電力は二原発四基が適合。再稼働済みの玄海3号機(佐賀県)は三、四年ほどで、川内(せんだい)1、2号機(鹿児島県)は六~十年で満杯に。五月中の再稼働を予定している玄海4号機も三年程度しか余裕がない。

 東京電力柏崎刈羽6、7号機(新潟県)はプールが満杯まで一年以内と切迫している。東電は東海第二原発(茨城県)を保有する日本原子力発電(原電)と共同出資し、青森県むつ市に核燃料の中間貯蔵施設を建設中。予定通り年内に稼働しても、自治体との協定で保管期間は最長五十年間と決まっている。

(略)

使用済み核燃料は再利用のため、青森県六ケ所村の再処理工場に運ぶ計画だが、安全対策の遅れで稼働の見通しも立っていない。再処理で出る高レベルの放射性廃棄物の最終処分地も決まっていない。

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