Day 402 Thank you, Senator Wyden

People of Hamaoka, read this. If they can do it in that backward country, we certainly can DO IT HERE!

Chart Of The Day: Wind Power Helps Drive Strong Increase In U.S. Renewable Electricity Generation

 The industry has supported more than 3,000 manufacturing and operations jobs in the state, providing more than $12.7 million in annual land lease payments for Iowans each year.

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BREAKING: US Senator Issues Press Release on Spent Fuel Pools — Urges Japan to accept international help — Warns situation worse than reported after tour of Fukushima plant

UPDATE: Reuters Alert: “Fukushima damage leaves spent fuel at risk” -US Lawmaker — “Far worse than he expected” — Bags of rock only protection from tsunami

Read Senator Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) letters to:

Let Sen. Wyden know how you feel about his position

Title: After Tour of Fukushima Nuclear Power Station, Wyden Says Situation Worse than Reported
Source: Press Release of Senator Wyden
Date: Monday, April 16, 2012

After Tour of Fukushima Nuclear Power Station, Wyden Says Situation Worse than Reported

Urges Japanese Ambassador to Accept International Help to Mitigate Continued Nuclear Risks

Washington, D.C. – After an onsite tour of what remains of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facilities decimated by last year’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, sent a letter to Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki looking for ways to advance and support clean-up and recovery efforts. Wyden’s principal concern is the relocation of spent fuel rods currently being stored in unsound structures immediately adjacent to the ocean. He strongly urged the Ambassador to accept international help to prevent dangerous nuclear material from being released into the environment.

“The scope of damage to the plants and to the surrounding area was far beyond what I expected and the scope of the challenges to the utility owner, the government of Japan, and to the people of the region are daunting,” Wyden wrote in the letter. “The precarious status of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear units and the risk presented by the enormous inventory of radioactive materials and spent fuel in the event of further earthquake threats should be of concern to all and a focus of greater international support and assistance.”

Wyden visited Fukushima on April 6, 2012 while on a Congressional delegation trip to the region. He and a staff member wore radiation suits as they toured the facility and met with workers and managers from the Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO, which is responsible for the clean-up. Wyden found that the facilities designed to house spent nuclear fuel and the reactors themselves were still in a state of disrepair and located in areas that would make them susceptible to further damage from future seismic events. The reactor buildings still contain large amounts of spent fuel – making them a huge safety risk and the only protection from a future tsunami, Wyden observed, is a small, makeshift sea wall erected out of bags of rock.

Wyden is also sending letters today to U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Greg Jaczko asking them to identify additional resources and assistance that their agencies could provide to Japan to address these risks.

Wyden’s letter to US Ambassador to Japan Ichiro Fujisaki

Also see:

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From ENENEWS at:

NHK: No spent fuel removal at No. 4 until Fall 2013 at earliest — Reactor building to be demolished (VIDEO)

Title: Workers prepare No.4 pool for fuel removal
Source: NHK
Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 11:17 +0900 (JST)

[…] Before the [No. 4 reactor building] can be demolished, more than 1,500 fuel rods have to be removed […]

On Tuesday, Tokyo Electric Power Company will begin attaching a special crane to take the fuel out of the pool and constructing a cover to prevent the spread of radioactive materials from the building. […]

Unlike the shroud that entirely covers the No. 1 reactor building, the structure will cover only the upper part of the pool […]

TEPCO will also install a filter to prevent the spread of radioactive materials.

The cover is expected to be completed by autumn next year. Spent nuclear fuel will then be removed […]

Watch the report here

More at:

Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Reactor 4 to Get a Cover and a Crane

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The Perils of Technological Hubris

Nuclear Titanics


On the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, The Japan Times yesterday ran an editorial titled “The Titanic and the Nuclear Fiasco” which stated: “Presenting technology as completely safe, trustworthy or miraculous may seem to be a thing of the past, but the parallels between the Titanic and Japan’s nuclear power industry could not be clearer.”

“Japan’s nuclear power plants were, like the Titanic, advertised as marvels of modern science that were completely safe. Certain technologies, whether they promise to float a luxury liner or provide clean energy, can never be made entirely safe,” it said.

Article continues at:

(h/t EX-SKF)

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70 Corporations Willing to Accept Disaster Debris, Says Minister of Economy Yukio Edano

This I think is the real deal that the national government has wanted all along. By going the corporate route – industries that use debris as fuel and raw material (ashes for the cement, for example) and the industrial waste management industry, the national government can bypass the municipalities who may have to deal with those pesky residents against accepting and burning the disaster debris at their municipal incineration facilities. The municipal governments will be relieved that it won’t be their responsibility to ascertain safety.

Read the entire article at:

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Future dim for tainted industry

Nuke majors in decline at universities


The number of students enrolled as nuclear energy majors at seven universities has fallen by 16 percent this year, a Kyodo News survey said Monday.

Among universities offering undergraduate and graduate programs in the nuclear sciences, only 223 students had enrolled for the 2012 academic year, compared with 264 last year.

“Students may be concerned whether the field of study is promising enough” in light of the nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, an education ministry official acknowledged.

Article continues at:

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Discontent amongst DPJ members grows over restart of Oi nuclear power plant

Disagreement amongst Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) members has grown after the administration asked local governments to restart the number 3 and 4 reactors at the Oi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture.

In particular, discontent has mounted against a group of five — acting policy chief Yoshito Sengoku, who led the request for the plant reactivation, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano, minister in charge of nuclear plant accidents Goshi Hosono, minister in charge of national strategy Motohisa Furukawa, and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tsuyoshi Saito — with Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi trying to calm the party down.

Article continues at:

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Japan’s DPJ Politician: “No Nuke Plant Restart Would Mean Mass Suicide of Japan”

Did someone say this nuclear disaster is an excellent way to control the population of Japan down to a manageable size?

Well a powerful politician from the Democratic Party of Japan (the ruling party) agrees with you, although he’s from the “other side”.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (4/16/2012):

Yoshito Sengoku, acting chairman of the policy bureau of the Democratic Party of Japan, gave a lecture in Nagoya City on April 16, and said, “It is quite obvious from last year’s planned blackout fiasco by TEPCO that we cannot live without electricity. If we do not re-start any of the nuclear plants that have been shut down, it would mean a mass suicide of Japan”, sharing his understanding that the re-start of the nuclear power plant is indispensable to keep the lives of the citizenry stable.

Mr. Sengoku is said to be a force behind the re-start of nuclear power plants in Japan. He is said to have kept a tight leash on the four ministers who have finally decided to re-start Ooi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture. The plant is operated by Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO).

Read the entire article at:

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Videos of #Fukushima Reactor 3 Spent Fuel Pool

From TEPCO’s Photos for Press page, 4/16/2012:

Watch the videos at:

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Helen Caldicott speaks in Asheville
April 11, 2012
Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Helen Caldicott speaks of why the nuclear age is the single greatest threat to the world’s health…


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