Fukushima timeline | Radioactive news December 2011

PSE&G will use sewage to generate heat at its treatment plant

  • PSE&G will use sewage to generate heat at its treatment plant

    Add flushing a toilet to the list of ways to help the environment.

    PSE&G is funding a $1.3 million project at Camden County's sewage treatment plant using geothermal technology to heat buildings with raw sewage.

    The technology is used in Europe and China. Paris' historic sewer system - a popular tourist destination - also has a project in the works. But the local project is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, said Jack DiEnna, executive director of the Geothermal National and International Initiative, an industry group.

    Source: philly.com


11 universities received nuclear energy research funds from gov't, industry

  • 11 universities received nuclear energy research funds from gov't, industry

    Eleven top universities, such as the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University, accepted a total of some 10.4 billion yen in nuclear technology research funds from the government and industry between fiscal 2006 and 2010, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.

    Some of the institutions even accepted hundreds of millions of yen a year. These universities have been effectively guaranteed stable amounts of research funds as long as they cooperate in the promotion of nuclear power, demonstrating that such high education institutions have been incorporated into the national policy.

    Source: mdn.mainichi.jp


Gov't withheld estimates showing electricity surplus to boost nuclear power: critics

  • Gov't withheld estimates showing electricity surplus to boost nuclear power: critics

    The government withheld an estimate that there would be no electricity shortages in the upcoming summer in an apparent bid to underscore the need to restart nuclear power plants, it has been learned.

    Instead of announcing the realistic estimate, the government announced last summer that electric power supply in the summer of 2012 "will be about 10 percent short across the country." Furthermore, the released government estimate greatly downplayed the supply of renewable energy, disregarding the country's actual energy status.

    Source: mdn.mainichi.jp


Radioactive crushed stone used in around 60 Fukushima buildings

  • Radioactive crushed stone used in around 60 Fukushima buildings

    FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) -- The number of houses and condominiums confirmed to have been built using radiation-contaminated crushed stone quarried near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has reached around 60 in Fukushima Prefecture, government sources said Sunday.

    The sources said the total number of buildings could top 100 if more surveys are conducted on the crushed stone that was shipped from a quarry in Namie located near the plant.

    Source: mdn.mainichi.jp


Using Ocean Temperature Differences to Create Renewable Energy

  • Using Ocean Temperature Differences to Create Renewable Energy

    Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is an idea for creating renewable energy by exploiting the difference in ocean temperatures between the surface and the seabed. The OTEC permit office first opened in 1981 as part of NOAA, America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the marine counterpart to NASA. It was created after the oil price spike of the 1970’s when interest in alternative power sources rose. Oil prices eventually settled and as a result interest in the alternative power sources dwindled, so in 1994, just 13 years later the OTEC office was closed without ever having issued a permit. Good old American bureaucracy.

    Now, again during times of high oil prices, alternative energy sources are back with vengeance. All options are being considered and one of them is OTEC. Luckily the concept is reasonably simple. A fluid with a low boiling point, such as ammonium, is vaporised in a heat exchanger using surface water from the sea with an average temperature of about 25°C. The resulting gas has a sufficient pressure to drive a turbine and create electricity. The gas is then cooled using seawater pumped up from a depth of about one kilometre and with an average temperature of about 5°C. The liquid ammonia can then be reheated and the whole process started again. Theoretically this means that OTEC plants can be built anywhere with a surface water temperature of 25°C and a depth of at least one kilometre.

    Source: oilprice.com


India's First Fast Breeder Reactor to Go Critical in Early 2013, Near Chennai

  • India's First Fast Breeder Reactor to Go Critical in Early 2013, Near Chennai

    Some poetic justice, I can't help thinking. But this may be exactly what the Japanese government and the corporate elites (particularly in the nuclear industry) want anyway, to be near a successful (if) fast breeder reactor for a change.

    India's first prototype fast breeder reactor will go critical in early 2013, with commercial power generation to commence in March 2015 in the township of Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu, about 70 kilometers south of Chennai where the Japanese government-industry joint venture is to set up a "Japan town" where expat Japanese can live in luxury with own hospitals and shopping centers, golf course in a resort setting.

    Source: ex-skf.blogspot.com


Japanese Struggle to Protect Their Food Supply

  • Japanese Struggle to Protect Their Food Supply

    ONAMI, Japan — In the fall, as this valley’s rice paddies ripened into a carpet of gold, inspectors came to check for radioactive contamination.

    Onami sits just 35 miles northwest of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which spewed radioactive cesium over much of this rural region last March. However, the government inspectors declared Onami’s rice safe for consumption after testing just two of its 154 rice farms.

    Then, a few days later, a skeptical farmer in Onami, who wanted to be sure his rice was safe for a visiting grandson, had his crop tested, only to find it contained levels of cesium that exceeded the government’s safety limit. In the weeks that followed, more than a dozen other farmers also found unsafe levels of cesium. An ensuing panic forced the Japanese government to intervene, with promises to test more than 25,000 rice farms in eastern Fukushima Prefecture, where the plant is located.

    Source: nytimes.com


Cabinet kept alarming nuke report secret

  • Cabinet kept alarming nuke report secret

    Fearful of scaring public, existence of document was denied for months

    The government buried a worst-case scenario for the Fukushima nuclear crisis that was drafted last March and kept it under wraps until the end of last year, sources in the administration said Saturday.

    After the document was shown to a small, select group of senior government officials at the prime minister's office in late March, the administration of then Prime Minister Naoto Kan decided to quietly bury it, the sources said.

    "When the document was presented (in March), a discussion ensued about keeping its existence secret," a government source said.

    Source: japantimes.co.jp


Sony unit sends assembly overseas

  • Sony unit sends assembly overseas

    A subsidiary of Sony Corp. will transfer the task of assembling lithium-ion batteries to overseas plants to cope with the strong yen, Sony officials said Saturday.

    Sony Energy Devices Corp., based in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, plans to halt assembly of the batteries at three domestic plants by March 2014 and transfer the work to China and Singapore, the officials said.

    Source: japantimes.co.jp


The Radioactive Waste Crisis

  • The Radioactive Waste Crisis

    Before the month of January is out, the US Department of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future will unveil the result of its two year-long investigation into what to do with the accumulated radioactive waste at the country’s nuclear power plants. By this year’s end, that waste will constitute a mountain 70 years high, with the first cupful generated on December 2, 1942 at the Fermi lab not far from Chicago when scientists first created a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

    There remains no viable solution for either the management or certainly the “disposal” of nuclear waste. Yet, the one recommendation that will not be contained in the DOE report is to stop making any more of it. While a child would never be allowed to continue piling up toys in his or her room indefinitely, failing to tidy up the mess, the nuclear industry continues to be permitted to manufacture some of the world’s most toxic detritus without a cleanup plan.

    Source: counterpunch.org


Scotland Well on the Way to Achieving 100% Renewable Energy by 2020

  • Scotland Well on the Way to Achieving 100% Renewable Energy by 2020

    Back in 2010 Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmon, proclaimed that by 2025 all of Scotland would be powered by 100% renewable energy, with an interim target of 31% by 2011. In the past four years the Scottish Government approved 42 renewable energy projects, and in 2009 27.4% of electricity demand came from renewables. Scotland was well on its way to achieving their ambitious targets, despite the doubts from sceptics. 2011 has been and gone and Scotland easily exceeded the goal of 31% causing Minister Salmon to return with a new target; 100% by 2020.

    “Because the pace of development has been so rapid, with our 2011 target already exceeded, we can now commit to generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020. By then we intend to be generating twice as much electricity as Scotland needs -- just over half of it from renewables, and just under half from other conventional sources. We will be exporting as much electricity as we consume. So we will continue to work with industry and Governments at local, UK and European level to build on what we have achieved. We will now move still further and faster to secure our place as the green energy powerhouse of the continent of Europe.”

    Source: oilprice.com


DOE Reports Show Major Potential for Wave and Tidal Energy Production Near U.S. Coasts

  • DOE Reports Show Major Potential for Wave and Tidal Energy Production Near U.S. Coasts

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released two nationwide resource assessments showing that waves and tidal currents off the nation's coasts could contribute significantly to the United States' total annual electricity production, further diversify the nation's energy portfolio, and provide clean, renewable energy to coastal cities and communities. These new wave and tidal resource assessments, combined with ongoing analyses of the technologies and other resource assessments, show that water power, including conventional hydropower and wave, tidal, and other water power resources, can potentially provide 15% of our nation's electricity by 2030.

    Source: globalenergywatch.com


Japan to seek data from Ukraine on effects of Chernobyl accident

  • Japan to seek data from Ukraine on effects of Chernobyl accident

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan will begin negotiations with Ukraine later this month for an agreement to obtain data on the effects of low-level radiation exposure and soil contamination accumulated by Kiev since the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown of 1986, government officials said Thursday.

    The Japanese government will use the data in treating people exposed to radiation in the Fukushima nuclear crisis, the officials said.

    Source: mdn.mainichi.jp


Chugoku Electric to shut down Shimane nuclear reactor Jan. 27

  • Chugoku Electric to shut down Shimane nuclear reactor Jan. 27

    MATSUE (Kyodo) -- Chugoku Electric Power Co. said Thursday it will shut down the No. 2 reactor of its Shimane nuclear power plant on Jan. 27 for a regular checkup, halting the last nuclear reactor still in operation in its service territory.

    Chugoku Electric gave no plan for restarting the No. 2 unit amid difficulties expected in getting the local community's approval on the restart following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant crisis caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

    Of Japan's 54 commercial nuclear reactors, five still in operation are expected to be shut down for checkups by late April. There are no clear prospects for restarting any reactors currently undergoing checkups in the aftermath of the Fukushima crisis.

    Source: mdn.mainichi.jp


A Judge Rules Vermont Can’t Shut Nuclear Plant

  • A Judge Rules Vermont Can’t Shut Nuclear Plant

    WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Thursday blocked Vermont from forcing the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor to shut down when its license expires in March, saying that the state is trying to regulate nuclear safety, which only the federal government can do.

    The judge, J. Garvan Murtha of United States District Court in Brattleboro, Vt., also held that the state cannot force the plant’s owner, Entergy, to sell electricity from the reactor to in-state utilities at reduced rates as a condition of continued operation, as Entergy asserts it is now doing.

    Source: nytimes.com


Plan Eyed for TEPCO's 10 Pct Rate Hike for Households

  • Plan Eyed for TEPCO's 10 Pct Rate Hike for Households

    Tokyo, Jan. 20 (Jiji Press)--The Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund has called on Tokyo Electric Power Co. to raise its electricity charges for households by up to 10 pct as part of measures to help prevent the troubled power utility from falling into negative net worth, informed sources said Friday.In a draft of a special business and streamlining plan for TEPCO, the fund also sees the need for an injection of some one trillion yen in public funds into the company, additional loans worth a similar amount by TEPCO creditor banks and a full management shakeup at the company, according the sources.

    Source: jen.jiji.com


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