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Radiation around Fukushima plant decreases 65 per cent via Nikkei Asian Review

TOKYO — The amount of radiation in an 80km radius surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has decreased significantly since the disaster nearly five years ago, the latest government findings show.

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority released a map Wednesday showing that radiation levels fell 65% between November 2011 and September 2015, when the data was gathered.


The area northwest of the plant showing readings of over 19 microsieverts per hour had shrunk significantly. Microsievert readings between 0.5 and 1.9 per hour, previously recorded in the southwest to the north of the prefecture, had also declined significantly. Radiation had fallen to 0.1 microsieverts per hour or less in increasing parts of southern Miyagi Prefecture, southern Fukushima Prefecture and northern Ibaraki Prefecture.

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福島復興論  対談・母子避難と帰還を支えるvia 毎日新聞

古里捨てていない避難者 孤立する母親に「安心」を 山形避難者母の会代表・中村美紀さん

異なる選択、認め合って 再スタート、支援する場を NPO法人ビーンズふくしま みんなの家事業長・富田愛さん
中村 山形では、保育所入所や父親のための福島との無料バスなどが実現しましたが、大きいのは12年5月に「村山地区ふくしま子ども未来ひろば」を開設できたことです。そこに行けば福島の人に会える場です。山形の方は本当に親切でした。

 富田 避難先を回っている中で、いつかは福島に帰りたいけれど、福島で自主避難経験者の居場所があれば安心できるという話を聞きました。帰還した母親のための居場所作りをと考えたのが「ままカフェ」でした。その運営を進めていく中で、避難しなかったお母さんや震災後に出産したお母さんも不安を感じていることが分かりました。ままカフェに来ている方々の次のステップとしても常設の居場所が必要だと考え、15年3月に民間の助成で開設したのが「みんなの家@ふくしま」です。


 中村 避難者として非日常の中で生活することに少し疲れたこともありますし、大きかったのは4番目の子ができて、その子を福島で育てたかったからです。親として上の娘たちを一番安心させられるのは、私が福島で子どもを産んで育てて見せることだと思いました。戻ることに不安もありましたが、除染なども進んで避難当初よりはある程度放射線量も下がったし、食べ物の検査体制もずいぶん整った。福島に暮らす人の力で何とかなってきた部分が見えてきたので戻れると思いました。母の会では顔を出して発信する役目を引き受けていたこともあり、代表のまま福島に戻りました。


 富田 最初のうちは、誰もマスクをしていないことや、洗濯物を外に干していることが信じられない、浦島太郎のような気持ちの人が多いようです。生活の一つ一つに悩み、「気にしているのは私だけ?」と思ってしまう。でも、生活していくうちに、だんだん安心していく。ままカフェで、先に戻った人の経験を聞き、不安を感じるのは自分だけでないことを知ることも大きいようです。

 中村 避難先では福島から来た人が集まる場所があり、放射能を気にしている人たち同士で楽に話ができるんです。ところが福島に戻ってくると誰にも話せずに孤立してしまう。先に帰った人がそんな葛藤を乗り越えた経験を話してくれることが一番の安心材料になるんです。私たち家族にとっては日常を取り戻せた気がして、帰ってきて良かったことも多いです。一方でまだまだ帰れないと考える方も多く、帰還だけを良しとされているように感じて苦しんでいる避難者もいらっしゃいます。

 中村 避難した方々は決して古里を捨てたのではなく、福島の本当の情報を知りたいだけなんです。私は、福島で安全のために誠実に積み上げてきた生産者の方たちの努力を伝えたいです。「中村は安全派に寝返った」と言われるかもしれませんが、それが不安を抱えて孤立している方たちの安心につながるのならぜひ伝えたい。

 富田 避難している方々、帰って来た方々、避難しなかった方々、それぞれの選択をこれからも大切にしていきたいし、お互いを認め合える場として「みんなの家」を続けていきたいと思います。悩みを一つ一つ共有しながら、また福島での生活を再スタートできるんだよということを、今も避難している方々に伝えたい。最後に、福島の子どもたちが将来、いわれなき偏見で傷つくことのないよう、福島だけの問題ではなく、全国の皆さんで考えてほしいです。



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FACTBOX-German utilities seek billions in nuclear lawsuits via Reuters

Feb 3 Germany’s big four utilities are seeking more than 24 billion euros ($26 billion) in various lawsuits related to the country’s nuclear policy, including its planned exit from of the technology completely by 2022.
– The German Constitutional Court has scheduled a hearing on the lawsuits for March 15-16.
– In June 2015, the European Court of Justice ruled that Germany’s tax on the use of nuclear energy did not breach European Union laws, dealing a blow to utilities’ hopes for a multi-billion euro refund.

– The German Constitutional Court, the country’s highest, is expected to present a separate final ruling this year on the matter, which could theoretically still scrap the tax.

The fuel element tax, introduced in 2011 and due to expire 2016, requires firms to pay 145 euros per gram of nuclear fuel each time they exchange a fuel rod, usually about twice a year. Germany’s utilities have so far paid at least 4.6 billion euros in the tax.

– E.ON and Vattenfall have filed lawsuits against three German states (Bavaria, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein) and the federal government, rejecting a 2014 law that banned transporting re-processed nuclear waste to a central storage site at Gorleben and stipulating it be stored at sites near nuclear reactors instead. The utilities say the transport ban is politically motivated and on-site storage incurs additional costs they should not have to bear.


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Denmark and Greenland confirm uranium agreements via World Nuclear News

The governments of Denmark and Greenland have confirmed the signing of a series of agreements last month setting the framework for future cooperation on foreign, defence and security policy issues related to the mining and commercial export of uranium.

On 19 January, Denmark and Greenland announced they had reached agreements concerning the export control and security of uranium and other radioactive substances from Greenland and the definition of competences in the raw materials sector.

In separate statements yesterday, the governments said that a set of four agreements had been signed specifying responsibilities and tasks between Danish and Greenland authorities in connection with possible future mining and export of uranium.


The island of Greenland introduced a zero-tolerance policy concerning the mining of uranium and other radioactive elements in 1988, while under Danish direct rule. It took a step towards greater autonomy from Denmark in 2009 with the official transition from ‘home rule’ to ‘self rule’. This saw Greenland assume full authority over its mineral and hydrocarbon rights, which had formerly been overseen by Denmark. However, Greenland remains part of the kingdom of Denmark and its defence and foreign policies are still determined by Copenhagen.

In October 2013, Greenland’s parliament voted to remove the ban on the extraction of radioactive materials, opening up the possibility for companies to begin mining uranium and rare earth minerals.

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Nuke Secrets Dumped in Unprotected Trash by Government Employees via The Daily Beast

Documents marked classified were thrown into garbage bags at a national security facility in Tennessee for 20 years. One worker’s trash could’ve been a spy’s treasure.

In June 2014, a worker at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee was surprised to find U.S. nuclear secrets inside a trash bag marked for disposal along with standard rubbish. Taking a closer look, the worker found 19 more documents in the bag that were either marked classified or were later determined to contain information that should have been labeled secret.

A dozen more bags of trash sat nearby, awaiting transport to an open landfill where Y-12 workers routinely dump garbage with no bearing on national security. When employees of Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services, Y-12, LLC, the contractor responsible for running the site at that time, poked inside two of these additional bags, they found more top-secret documents.

“(They) then decided not to search any additional containers because they were, given the prior results, presumed likely to contain additional classified information,” a preliminary notice of violation issued Feb. 2 by the Energy Department’s enforcement arm said.

Many of the records discovered that day detailed how the department’s employees and contractors worked with nuclear explosive materials, such as highly enriched uranium, housed at the Y-12 complex. But it quickly got worse: Further investigation by the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees such work, led officials to conclude that nuclear secrets had been thrown away with lax security at the Tennessee plant for more than 20 years.


Many of the workers investigators interviewed mistakenly believed the waste was trucked off to a dump approved for disposal of classified material and guarded to prevent theft. Since 2005, they were transported by a truck driver without clearances to an unprotected landfill; before then, it’s unclear where they went, but the report says that no special precautions were taken even then for discarding the classified material.

Protection of nuclear materials and secrets at Y-12 has been under scrutiny since July 28, 2012, when an 82-year-old nun and two more peace protestors penetrated the security perimeter and advanced far enough to scrawl graffiti on a storage vault full of weapon-grade nuclear materials.

The guard force responsible during the 2012 security breach at Y-12 had faked its way through proficiency drills by obtaining details of mock sieges in advance, according to a report by the Energy Department’s Office of Inspector General.


Los Alamos’ violation involved the disappearance of unspecified classified matter that was supposed to be shipped to another nuclear site in Nevada, but five years later hadn’t arrived. Contractor staff at Los Alamos told investigators the item had probably been destroyed, but the NNSA regarded the explanation as implausible, and the mysterious item remains missing.

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浜岡原発タービン撤去へ=廃炉1、2号機、第2段階に via 時事ドットコム






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German scientists to conduct nuclear fusion experiment via The Guardian

Angela Merkel to attend test in which team will heat hydrogen until it becomes plasma in bid for clean nuclear power

Scientists in Germany are poised to conduct a nuclear fusion experiment they hope will advance the quest for a clean and safe form of nuclear powe

In a test expected to be attended by Angela Merkel, the chancellor, researchers will inject a tiny amount of hydrogen into a special device and heat it until it becomes a super-hot gas known as plasma – mimicking conditions inside the sun.

The experiment at the Max Planck Institute in Greifswald, north-east Germany, is part of a worldwide effort to harness nuclear fusion – a process in which atoms join at extremely high temperatures and release large amounts of energy.


Advocates of nuclear fusion acknowledge the technology is probably decades away but argue that it could replace fossil fuels and conventional nuclear fission reactors.


While critics have said the pursuit of nuclear fusion is a waste of money that could be better spent on other projects, Germany has forged ahead in funding the project, which in the past 20 years has cost €1.06bn if staff salaries are included.

Over the coming years, W7-X, which isn’t designed to produce any energy itself, will test many of the extreme conditions such devices will be subjected to if they are ever to generate power, said John Jelonnek, a physicist at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.

Jelonnek’s team is responsible for a key component of the device, the massive microwave ovens that will turn hydrogen into plasma, eventually reaching 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million Fahrenheit).

Compared with nuclear fission, which produces huge amounts of radioactive material that will be around for thousands of years, the waste from nuclear fusion would be negligible, he said.

“It’s a very clean source of power, the cleanest you could possibly wish for. We’re not doing this for us but for our children and grandchildren.”

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規制委、第1原発視察へ 事故5年で状況確認 via 産経ニュース




続きは 規制委、第1原発視察へ 事故5年で状況確認

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写真は嘘をつくのか via ニュースカフェ

フォトジャーナリズムを志向する月刊誌「DAYSJAPAN」(発行人・広河隆一)12月号に掲載された写真がネットで話題になっています。掲げられたタ イトルが「『どこが収束か事故後5年目を迎える福島原発事故が奪った村」でした。話題になったといっても、「捏造ではないか」と騒がれたのです。





「DAYSJAPAN」 の写真説明でも、「人々が乗り捨てて逃げた車」とあったのですが、乗り捨てたわりには車間距離が狭すぎますし、周囲の風景からして、道路ではありません。 訂正の説明では、写真家のホームページに、「恐らく、車が放射能に汚染されたため、避難住民たちがやむなく捨てていったのだと思った。車に近づいていった 次の瞬間、放射能測定器が鳴り始め、その推測が正しいことを証明した」と書いていることから、編集部がそれを前提に写真説明をアレンジした、というので す。

そもそも、放射能に汚染されたから、車を乗り捨てたかどうかを住民が認識できたのかどうかは、当時を取材していればわかると思います。富岡町の住民は発災 翌日の3月12日に避難をしています。大型バスに乗ったり、自家用車で避難をした人が多かったとは思います。自家用車を置いていった人がいるとしたら、バ スに乗った人か、津波にのまれたか、ガソリンが不足していたためか、故障していたためではないかと思われます。


ツイッターのまとめである「トゥギャッター」では、話題になったツイートを編集した上で、「『原発事故で人が住めなくなった村』という印象操作の手口」と タイトル付けされてしまっています。フォトジャーナリズムを志向する雑誌の編集者なら、そもそもネットで見つけた写真を精査する時間もなく掲載するのは問 題があるのではないでしょうか。





Never-Before-Seen Images Reveal How The Fukushima Exclusion Zone Was Swallowed By Nature via BoredPanda

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Belgium’s ageing nuclear plants worry neighbours via BBC News

Belgium’s neighbours have expressed alarm at its plans to extend the life of 40-year-old nuclear reactors, seen by critics as dangerous.
Just across the border, the German city of Aachen and the Dutch city of Maastricht have announced they are considering taking legal action. They want to force Belgium to shut the reactors down.
Belgium has two nuclear plants at Doel, near the port of Antwerp, and at Tihange near Liege. They have a total of seven reactors, which produce around 60% of the country’s energy needs.

But several incidents in the past few years have cast doubt on their safety:
One of Doel’s four reactors, Doel 4, was hit by an unresolved case of sabotage
Another, Doel 3, was shut down for 21 months after the discovery of micro-cracks in the reactor’s pressure vessels
A few days after being restarted, Doel 3 was shut down again on New Year’s Eve after a water leak was found
At Tihange, a fire started in the electricity supply system on 27 December
Micro-cracks were also found in the pressure vessels of a Tihange reactor
In both cases at Tihange, operator Electrabel said an external audit had been done and the structural integrity was guaranteed.
But the neighbours are unimpressed. While neighbouring Germany looks to close down all its commercial nuclear reactors by 2022, Belgium appears to be taking the opposite course.

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