Thursday 31 October 2013

Fukushima news - 10/30/2013

For those of you who naively assume this might be good news consider that Japan is the most indebted government in the world. Its debt passed 200% of GDP several years ago. And -- because of Fukushima -- its GDP is declining rapidly as it now must import increasingly- expensive fossil fuel energy to replace what has been taken away when the hunker plants were shut down. Japan's social fabric is unravelling as criminal elements control the workforce at Fuku and this move would place that Japanese government in direct partnership with the Yakuza.

Printing money (debt) does not print resources. These are dominoes falling. First TEPCO, the Japan, then the world and that's speaking only from an economic standpoint. From a physical standpoint much of the world and the whole Pacific Ocean is already fatally poisoned.

---Mike Ruppert

Japan govt considers assuming Fukushima decontamination – media
Tokyo is reportedly considering stripping the Fukushima nuclear operator of the responsibility to decontaminate the devastated station and passing it under full government control. That would imply assuming TEPCO’s massive current clean-up expenditures

30 October, 2013

The ruling Liberal Democratic party’s committee overseeing the government bailout of TEPCO finalized on Tuesday the proposal to nationalize decontamination works at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant by splitting TEPCO’s activities, Japanese media reports.
The proposed spin-off could leave TEPCO concentrating on maintenance and the operability of its three nuclear power plants, while decontamination and reactor decommission at the Fukushima nuclear power plant would fall under full government control, with the possible creation of an independent administrative governmental agency.
"We need to have a prompt conclusion to create a clear and realistic organization,” said the draft proposal, according to Reuters.
The move means many billions of Japanese taxpayers’ dollars might be channeled to cleaning up the Fukushima facility after two-and-a-half years of TEPCO proved unsuccessful in taking the situation at the disaster-prone facility under control.
Personally, I don’t feel it’s right to say that all responsibility belongs with TEPCO,” Taro Aso, Japan’s Finance Minister, told reporters.

The Japanese government has been backing the Fukushima operator since 2011, promising massive financial aid - up to 5 trillion yen (roughly $50 billion) - for decontamination and compensation payments to 160,000 evacuated residents that used to live around the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

But what have been lacking in the scheme are positive results in damage control and recovery, as TEPCO failed to prevent accidents with radioactive waste leakages at the station. 

Since the Japanese government nationalized TEPCO last year with a taxpayer-funded rescue, there has been constant argument about how largely the authorities should be involved, both administratively and financially, in eliminating the consequences of the Fukushima incident. 

Since the disaster on March 11, 2011, Japanese government has been expecting TEPCO to bring tangible results in clean-up at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, but great expectations proved to be in vain. 

The inside of the No. 4 reactor building is seen at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (Tepco) Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma Town, Fukushima Prefecture on May 26, 2012. (AFP Photo / Toshiaki Shimizu)
The inside of the No. 4 reactor building is seen at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (Tepco) Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma Town, Fukushima Prefecture on May 26, 2012. (AFP Photo / Toshiaki Shimizu)

In early September, after Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe claimed the situation at Fukushima is under control, a senior TEPCO official had to contradict PM, saying that the radioactive water leakage at the crippled Fukushima plant continues.

But probably the incident that ended the government’s patience was in late October, when a Fukushima cleanup worker-turned-whistleblower exposed the plant’s chaotic system of subcontractors, their alleged yakuza organized crime connections, and the super-exploitation of indigent workers doing dangerous work.

What has been infuriating the Japanese public and lawmakers alike is the policy of total concealment of the scale of the disaster and disavowal to acknowledge impotence to fight the emergency at the TEPCO Company.

On Monday Niigata Prefecture Governor Hirohiko Izumida accused TEPCO of “institutionalized lying”practices in an interview to Reuters.

Initially, TEPCO promised to finish the clean-up at Fukushima facility in a matter of months. Now it appears that the complete decontamination of the facility will take three decades and cost up to $100 billion, Reuters reports.

TEPCO has already lost $27 billion since the Fukushima disaster occurred and, after all of the Japanese nuclear power facilities were shut down, has lost its sole source of revenue. That is why the company has announced plans to restart its Kashiwazaki Kariwa power plant - the world’s biggest nuclear complex - in Niigata Prefecture next spring, which has already raised concerns among the public and local authorities.

In December it will be 1,000 days since the Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred, becoming the worst since the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986. But more and more news about new leakage of highly radioactive waste at the facility come on a regular basis, which means Japanese government has huge work ahead to curb the consequences better than TEPCO has been doing.

This is extremely discouraging. The story's attempts at deception speak volumes and -- in deception -- evoke horror.
The story does not admit, or mention, that many of the rods are like bent, broken cigarettes. The story does not mention that the cranes or the computer programs needed to precisely remove the rods so that they do not touch and combust HAVE BEEN DESTROYED.
They story does not admit that the zirconium cladding has already burned in many places. The story does not admit to three core melt downs or their two and half year journey deep into the earth. Nor does it admit to the fact that there already was a partial combustion of some of the rods immediately after the earthquake. And most certainly this story does not admit or hint at what the consequences of uncontrolled combustion would be...
On the other hand...
The story does confirm that the 1500 rods do have to be removed one-at-a-time, by hand control, and reaffirms that these idiots are going to go ahead with it anyway...
---Mike Ruppert

Fukushima Watch: Watchdog Approves Tepco’s Plan to Retrieve Fuel Rods

30 October, 2013

Japan’s nuclear watchdog on Wednesday gave a green light to a plan by Tokyo Electric Power Co.9501.TO -0.57% to remove fuel rods stored in a pool at the unit 4 building at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a process that will secure the fuel and help prevent any new massive radiation release at the facility.

Tepco will remove about 1,300 spent fuel rods and 200 new fuel rods stored in a pool in the reactor building, moving them in batches to a more secure storage facility on the site. The procedure, in which the 4 meter-long rods will be pulled out of the pool at a time, is considered unprecedented in its scale.

Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, has expressed concerns about the fragile state of the nuclear fuel left in three reactors and the spent fuel pool in the No.4 building. If improperly handled or destabilized by another major earthquake at the site, the fuel could discharge large amounts of radiation into the environment.

Unlike Reactors No. 1-3, unit 4 was not operating at the time of the March 2011 accident. All of the fuel at the No.4 reactor was stored in the pool that was meant to keep it cool enough while it naturally decays to the point where it poses no threat of restarting its nuclear reaction.

Tepco hopes to begin the work by mid-November following the construction of a new crane and removal system after the original equipment was destroyed in an explosion at the unit soon after the original accident.

In his weekly press conference, Mr. Tanaka warned Tepco it should employ the utmost care in the removal of the rods.

Handling spent fuels involves huge risks. It would be a disaster if radioactive materials comes out of the metal rods during the work,” he said, noting that with the pool containing debris from the original explosion, the rods could be damaged as pulled out. “They must be handled one by one,” he said.

Tepco says that it has built a highly stable environment for removing the rods. As a test, the utility removed two rods from the pool in 2012, and said that they showed no signs of damage.

We will proceed with the removal work with the utmost care, based on the plan approved by the NRA today,” A Tepco spokesman said.

Abe vows atomic safety as Turkey buys plant
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to boost Japan’s efforts to ensure the safety of nuclear power as one of its firms jointly won an order to build an atomic plant in Turkey, the first such order for a Japanese company since the Fukushima crisis started.

30 October, 2013

Earlier Tuesday, Abe and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed promoting bilateral economic cooperation. Japan aims to increase exports of large infrastructure to Turkey and other emerging economies in fields such as energy, health care and agriculture.

Japan is responsible for helping improve the safety of atomic power in the world by sharing its experience and lessons from the accident,” Abe said at a joint news conference following the summit in Istanbul, referring to the Fukushima catastrophe.

Erdogan said Turkey needs nuclear power, showing his intent to call for more foreign investment in relevant projects.

During Abe’s visit, a joint venture established by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Areva SA of France reached agreement with the Turkish government on a project to construct a nuclear plant with four advanced reactors in the Black Sea province of Sinop.

The venture, Atmea, set up in 2007 and based in Paris, had obtained preferential negotiating rights with Ankara.

When last visiting Turkey in May, Abe agreed with Erdogan to provide the country with Japan’s civil nuclear technology — an accord necessary for Japanese manufacturers to be involved in such projects.

On Tuesday, Abe said he and Erdogan “discussed measures to promote economic cooperation, such as large infrastructure development.”

They had been expected to agree to launch preliminary talks for a bilateral free trade accord, but they ran out of time. .

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