The World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) last week demanded a global ban on new nuclear power, policies to phase out current plants – and a decisive, immediate move to a 100% renewable world. WCRE: Last week marked the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl atomic power disaster. The Fukushima catastrophe earlier this year reiterates that level 7 incidents will always threaten the world – it occurred in an advanced industrial country with some of the highest safety standards. After Harrisburgs Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, it is time to wake up and terminate the reliance on this incredibly dangerous technology. No matter what the likelihood is for a similar event to happen in another country – it can never be excluded!
Commodities Now 1st May 2011 more >>
Shortly after 9/11, Al Qaeda had warned to set off a nuclear hellstorm if Osama bin Laden is ever captured or killed, according to U.S. government documents that were leaked just last month by Wikileaks.
IB Times c2nd May 2011 more >>
Osama Bin Laden is dead.
Guardian 2nd May 2011 more >>
Japans prime minister has come under renewed criticism for his governments handling of the crisis. At an unusual Sunday parliamentary session in advance of Japans Golden Week holidays, opposition party Diet members grilled Naoto Kan, the prime minister, about the resignation of Toshiso Kosako, a radiation safety expert. Prof Kosako announced his resignation at an emotional press conference late on Friday, during which he criticised the government for ad hoc and ineffective decision-making and for not imposing tighter radiation limits on school playgrounds in areas around the stricken atomic plant. Last month, the government published provisional guidelines to allow school playgrounds to be used as long as current radiation levels in them did not exceed 20 millisieverts in a year the standard limit for nuclear industry employees. While the level of risk posed by such exposure is the subject of disagreement among experts, children are considered much more vulnerable to radiation exposure than adults, and Prof Kosakos protest will strengthen calls for more conservative limits on school use.
FT 2nd May 2011 more >>
Thousands of parents living near Japan’s stricken Fukushima Daiichi power plant have condemned a government decision to lift radiation limits for schools in the area by 20 times, saying the move is based on incomplete science and could put children in danger. The decision, which has also prompted the resignation of a government adviser, has been condemned as political expediency.
Independent 2nd May 2011 more >>
Physicians for Social Responsibility, a U.S. nonprofit organization of medical experts, has condemned as ”unconscionable” the Japanese government’s safety standards on radiation levels at elementary and middle schools in nuclear disaster-stricken Fukushima Prefecture. The PSR statement directly challenges the Japanese government stance that it is safe for schoolchildren to use playgrounds on school premises in the prefecture as long as the dose they are exposed to does not exceed 20 millisieverts over a year. The PSR view is also in line with that voiced by Toshiso Kosako, who said Friday he would step down as an adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan on the Fukushima nuclear crisis in protest. The University of Tokyo professor urged the government to toughen guidelines on upper limits on radiation levels the education ministry recently announced for primary school playgrounds in Fukushima.
Kyodo News 2nd May 2011 more >>
Those living outside the evacuation zones have felt left in limbo, exposed to levels of radiation that are several times the normal level, though not high enough to cause observable health risks. Still, experts admit that there is a lack of knowledge about the health effects of lower doses of radiation, especially over an extended period of time. Japans plant has been dispersing radioactive material for nearly two months and counting, far longer than the 10 days during which the Chernobyl plant released a much larger burst of radioactive particles in 1986.
New York Times 1st May 2011 more >>
Japans system for predicting the volume of radioactive materials to be released into the environment failed in the wake of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant due to the power supply cut following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, sources close to the matter said Monday. The malfunction of the Emergency Response Support System, or ERSS, coupled with the insufficiency of the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information, or SPEEDI, designed to predict the dispersal of radioactive materials based on forecasts by ERSS, is likely to have delayed the effective evacuation of residents in Fukushima Prefecture. The systems failure casts doubt on the governments disaster-prevention policy, which said that the systems should be used to analyze and predict the amount and spread of radioactive material into the environment during a nuclear crisis. The two systems have cost around 28 billion yen in total for their development and maintenance.
Japan Today 2nd May 2011 more >>
Japan’s government will not put a cap on the liabilities faced by Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) for damages stemming from its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said on Monday. Under Japanese law, the operator of a nuclear facility can be granted an exemption from damages caused by a reactor if the accident was deemed to have been triggered by “a grave natural disaster of an exceptional character.”
STV 2nd May 2011 more >>
Considering the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, the Council of the European Union declared that the safety of all EU nuclear plants should be reviewed, on the basis of a comprehensive and transparent risk assessment (stress tests). During their plenary meeting on the 22nd and 23rd of March 2011, WENRA members decided to provide an independent regulatory technical definition of a stress test and how it should be applied to nuclear facilities across Europe.
WENRA 21st April 2011 more >>
German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to stop using nuclear power in Germany possibly before 2022, Handelsblatt reported, citing unidentified people familiar with government discussions. Merkel, in talks with German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen and Chief of Staff Ronald Pofalla, agreed to set a fixed deadline for closing nuclear power plants, the newspaper said.
Bloomberg 2nd May 2011 more >>
In an effort to encourage nuclear power, Congress voted in 2005 to authorize $17.5 billion in loan guarantees for new reactors. Now, six years later, with the industry stalled by poor market conditions and the Fukushima disaster, nearly half of the fund remains unclaimed. And yet Congress, at the request of the Obama administration, is preparing to add $36 billion in nuclear loan guarantees to next years budget. Even supporters of the technology doubt that new projects will surface any time soon to replace those that have been all but abandoned.
New York Times 28th April 2011 more >>