George Monbiot decided to fight back at the environmentalists and justify his pro-nuclear stance. He aims at what he calls double standards from environmentalists, making all sorts of accusations that only serve to diminish his credibility. It is worth to see them in detail, but a prior point should be made. In the debate over nuclear power, Monbiot never explained if he is merely arguing against the closure of existing nuclear plants or if he is further arguing for the building of new ones. These are two different issues and conflating them is an important part of his deceiving arguments for nuclear power.
Cool Earth 6th April 2011 more >>
Letter Jim McCluskey: Your report (Loophole in bill could allow nuclear bailouts, 5 April) explains how the government is planning to water down its already transparently false assurances that citizens will not have to pay any of the cost of nuclear power. Already, we know that accident liability is limited to a derisory £140m. All this is a tribute to the inordinate power of the nuclear power industry’s lobby and to the craving of politicians to centralise power in all its aspects. It is bizarre that this is happening as the Japanese government is discharging over 11,000 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific, as independent analysts are saying it could take years to get the disaster at Fukushima under control and, concurrently, the nuclear industry is assuring us, yet again, that the next generation of nuclear power stations will be much safer than previous ones.
Guardian 8th April 2011 more >>
Experts are continuing to monitor radioactivity in Scotland from the badly damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) revealed that traces of iodine-131 have been found across the country. Almost all air samples taken from its sites in Scotland have shown very low levels of iodine-131, which comes from the plant that experienced explosions after an earthquake and tsunami devastated north-east Japan last month.
STV 7th April 2011 more >>
Monitoring for radioactive iodine believed to be linked to the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan has been stepped up in Scotland. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency said very low levels of iodine-131 had been detected in almost all its air samples from across the country. It has also been traced in grass samples from around Scotland and in one freshwater sample in Caithness.
BBC 8th April 2011 more >>
Scotsman 8th April 2011 more >>
Scores of schools in South Korea were closed today as teachers and parents panicked over fears that falling rain could be carrying radiation from Japan’s crippled nuclear plant. As rain swept across the Korean capital, Seoul, and the surrounding Gyeonggi province, classes were cancelled or cut back and children were hurried to their homes. Seoul is around 750 miles from the damaged nuclear plant at Fukushima and since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami radiation has been leaking into the atmosphere and the sea, contaminating vegetables, meat and fish nearby.
Daily Mail 7th April 2011 more >>
A leading councillor has condemned a decision to allow nuclear waste to be buried at a Workington dump, calling it disappointing and disheartening. The Environment Agency confirmed yesterday it had granted a permit for very low-level atomic waste to be disposed of at the Lillyhall landfill site. The move would allow the site to take radioactive materials including rubble and soil, demolition waste and clothes and gloves, mainly from Sellafield.
But Tim Knowles, Cumbria County Councils cabinet member for the environment, called the decision short-sighted, claiming it could create a negative perception of Cumbria and even damage support for the nuclear industry locally. He says waste from Sellafield should be dealt with as close to the site as possible and not dispersed across west Cumbria.
Carlisle News & Star 7th April 2011 more >>
Whitehaven News 7th April 2011 more >>
PERMISSION has been granted for Lillyhall landfill site to start receiving and disposing of high volume, very low level radioactive waste. Waste Recycling Group (WRG), which owns and operates the site, will work with its partner EnergySolutions to safely dispose of the lowest level of radioactive waste, which will include decommissioning wastes such as lightly contaminated building rubble, concrete, soil and steel reinforcing bars, redundant plant and equipment. Operational or process wastes such as lightly contaminated clothing, gloves and paper towels from nuclear facilities will also be disposed of.
Whitehaven News 7th April 2011 more >>
Redhall Group has merged three of its division to form Redhall Nuclear Ltd, a £40m-turnover business with 400 staff across the UK.
Construction Index 7th April 2011 more >>
Keith Baverstock: Mr Monbiot has a point in that there has been exaggeration of the effects of the Chernobyl accident But equally he should acknowledge that there has been unwarranted dismissal of potential effects for which there has been no objective investigation. He is also wrong to describe the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (Unscear) as the equivalent of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Unscear document he refers to was prepared by a single lead consultant with a handful of supporting individuals and the document was approved by nominees of the states which are subscribing members of Unscear mostly those countries with an investment in nuclear power. The document does not represent any consensus across the relevant scientific community. In fact, recently a group of experts, under the auspices of European commission project (arch.iarc.fr), has completed an in-depth review of the health-related research on the sequelae of the Chernobyl accident to date and found that, apart from research on the thyroid cancer outbreak, the international coverage is “unco-ordinated … forming a patchwork … rather than a comprehensive, structured attempt to delineate the overall health consequences of the accident”. The truth is we, as the international scientific community, don’t know the true impact of the accident on health because the funds have not been available to thoroughly investigate it. More in-depth reading of the Unscear document will reveal several instances where Unscear draws attention to this lack of vital knowledge.
Guardian 8th April 2011 more >>
Radioactive water spilled from pools holding spent nuclear fuel rods at the Onagawa power plant in Miyagi Prefecture following the strong earthquake late Thursday, the nuclear safety agency said Friday. At the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant or at another plant in Fukushima Prefecture, meanwhile, no new problems have surfaced since the magnitude 7.4 aftershock of the deadly March 11 quake.
Japan Today 8th April 2011 more >>
IB Times 8th April 2011 more >>
Reuters 8th April 2011 more >>
IAEA Update after 7th April Earthquake.
IB Times 8th April 2011 more >>
Workers were evacuated from two nuclear plants yesterday as Japan was rattled by a strong aftershock and tsunami warning.
Independent 8th April 2011 more >>
Scotsman 8th April 2011 more >>
New Scientists 7th April 2011 more >>
Guardian 7th April 2011 more >>
Toshiba Corp submitted a proposal to Tokyo Electric Power Co and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to dismantle the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant by 2020, the Nikkei business daily reported.
Reuters 7th April 2011 more >>
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Wednesday that some of the core of a stricken Japanese reactor had probably leaked from its steel pressure vessel into the bottom of the containment structure, implying that the damage was even worse than previously thought.
New York Times 6th April 2011 more >>
Nuclear experts at the Union of Concerned Scientists said again Thursday there are many challenges ahead and few options left to Japanese workers trying to ease the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. “The fact they have to handle two spent fuel pools and three reactor cores with kid gloves, (they) don’t have any margin for error,” said David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer and director of the group’s Nuclear Safety Project. “It’s hard to say whether things will get better or things will get worse because they have so many challenges to face on so many places that it’s going to be difficult to be 100% right all five times. So it is a bad situation over there.”
CNN 7th April 2011 more >>
The consequences of the Japanese earthquake especially the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant resonate grimly for observers of the American financial crash that precipitated the Great Recession. Both events provide stark lessons about risks, and about how badly markets and societies can manage them. Of course, in one sense, there is no comparison between the tragedy of the earthquake which has left more than 25,000 people dead or missing and the financial crisis, to which no such acute physical suffering can be attributed. But when it comes to the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, there is a common theme in the two events. Experts in both the nuclear and finance industries assured us that new technology had all but eliminated the risk of catastrophe. Events proved them wrong: not only did the risks exist, but their consequences were so enormous that they easily erased all the supposed benefits of the systems that industry leaders promoted.
Guardian 6th April 2011 more >>
Sadly, it seems that the situation at Fukushima is not under control. It is being suggested that emissions of radiation to the environment from the damaged reactors may continue for months. This is not acceptable. The emissions can and must be stopped. The alternative – cleaning up thousands of square kilometers of soil, not to mention marine contamination – would be prohibitively expensive in terms of environmental health and money.
Greener Blog 6th April 2011 more >>
The smoke and mirrors at Fukushima 1 seem to obscure a steady purpose, an iron will and a grim task unknown to outsiders. The most logical explanation: The nuclear industry and government agencies are scrambling to prevent the discovery of atomic-bomb research facilities hidden inside Japan’s civilian nuclear power plants.
New America Media 6th April 2011
Armed with radiation meters and protective gear, police have launched an intensive search for people missing inside the exclusion zone around Japan’s disaster-stricken nuclear power plant. More than 2,400 people who lived in the search area are listed among the 15,000 people still unaccounted for nearly four weeks after the earthquake and tsunami struck on March 11.
Telegraph 7th April 2011 more >>
Japanese utilities will increase demand for LNG by about 10 per cent for three or four years to offset the closure of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP). He also stated that the Fukushima Daiichi crisis could be very significant for the LNG industry if it means that some NPPs are not constructed around the world.
Engineer Live 7th April 2011 more >>
Takehiro Kano, director of the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dismissed as “groundless” reports that the government intends to renege on its climate promises. He says that Japan still intends to cut emissions by 6 per cent from 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012, although commitment to longer-term pledges is unclear.
New Scientist 7th April 2011 more >>
The current nuclear crisis provides many strong examples of this relationship with the organisations most affected by the events in Japan being EDF, E.ON and RWE due to their status as leading operators in the nuclear industry. As opposition to nuclear power from regulators, environmentalists and the general public accelerated, these companies’ reputation scores nosedived, with a resultant sharp decrease in share price. Indeed, the reputational change of the three companies during March provides a clear example of how share price and reputation can be positively correlated.
Energy Business Review 7th April 2011 more >>
Politicians are divided on the issue of nuclear power safety after a stormy European Parliament debate led to resolution on safety being rejected. In the wake of the recent events in Japan, MEPs debated the lessons to be learnt for nuclear safety in Europe this week. There was agreement on the need to conduct stress tests at EU plants, but some groups criticised the voluntary and national approach proposed by the Commission. Some members held up anti-nuclear posters at the start of the debate to protest against the use of nuclear energy in Europe.
Click Green 7th April 2011 more >>
eGov Monitor 7th April 2011 more >>
Former supermodel CHRISTIE BRINKLEY is throwing her support behind a campaign calling for the closure of all nuclear power plants across the U.S.
Express 7th April 2011 more >>
CAMPAIGNERS have slammed the decision to give the go ahead for a factory manufacturing parts for nuclear warheads and claim it could lead to a nuclear accident like that in Japan. Concern came after West Berkshire Council gave AWE Burghfield permission for the second time to build the single-storey building, which will be used to develop the non-nuclear parts of the weaponry and carry out other processes for the development and refurbishment of warheads. Peter Burt, director of Reading-based Nuclear Information Service, said: “Rather than pass the buck back to the Health and Safety Executive I would have liked to have seen the planning committee take a more assertive stand on nuclear safety.” He added: “The nuclear safety regime adopted in the UK is exactly the same as that used in Japan, so the Government is absolutely right to order a review of the implications of the Fukushima accident for the UK nuclear industry. Nuclear developments in the UK should be put on hold until the review has been completed and its recommendations published”.
Reading Chronicle 7th April 2011 more >>
Ed Miliband has warned the Government that it is in danger of giving up Britains potential global leadership in renewable energy and electric cars by prevaricating and tinkering with green business incentives. The Labour leader told the conference: The green economy is somewhere the public and private sectors have to work together to establish a coherent vision. It wont happen by accident and government needs to do its bit. Mr Miliband criticised the recent changes made by ministers to the feed-in tariff schemes that he introduced to support investment in solar panels. Ministers, as ministers do when they come in, have changed the incentive scheme. There is nothing like that to create uncertainty in an industry which, above all else, needs certainty to attract investment. He said two manufacturers of offshore wind turbines, Vestas of Denmark and Siemens of Germany, had both complained to him about the clouded investment environment. Siemens asked me whether the incentives on offer are going to stay in place or are they going to be taken away? Unless we have stability … we might find it hard to lead this industry in the future.
Telegraph 8th April 2011 more >>