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Japan

Until the Fukushima accident, Japan had 55 operating nuclear reactors as well as enrichment and reprocessing plants which had suffered a series of deadly accidents at its nuclear facilities resulting in the deaths of workers and releases of radioactivity into the environment and surrounding communities. Since the Fukushima disaster, there is growing opposition against re-opening those reactors closed for maintenance.

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Monday
Dec262016

Radioactivity hazard greatly complicates and long delays recovery of tsunami victims' remains in Fukushima, Japan

Wednesday
Dec212016

Japan cancels failed $9bn Monju nuclear reactor

As reported by BBC:

Japan is scrapping an experimental reactor which has worked for just 250 days of its 22-year lifespan and cost $9bn (£7.2bn).

The Monju reactor, in western Japan's Fukui city, was designed to burn most of its own spent fuel, eliminating the need to deal with the nuclear waste.

But it suffered its first problems months after it went live, and has not worked properly since.

It would now need billions more for safety upgrades to be restarted.

"We have decided to decommission Monju because restarting it would require significant time and cost," chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

The article goes on to further report:

According to the Japan Times, Monju will cost at least 375bn yen ($3.2bn; £2.6bn) to decommission and will only be fully dismantled by 2047.

Wednesday
Nov302016

Cost of Fukushima disaster expected to soar to ¥20 trillion

As reported by Japan Times.

¥20 trillion equates to about $180 billion in U.S. currency. Please note, however, the full cost accounting to increase the expenses for dealing with the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe's ongoing aftermath to more than $500 billion, by some estimates.

Tuesday
Nov222016

New Quake Tests Resilience, and Faith, in Japan’s Nuclear Plants

Tuesday
Nov222016

With a Meeting, Trump Renewed a British Wind Farm Fight

As reported by the New York Times, President-Elect Donald J. Trump is engaging in personal business matters that violate ethical standards as incipient "Leader of the Free World," the highest office in the U.S. And Exhibit A is Trump's advocacy, during a meeting with U.K. Brexit leaders, against an off-shore wind turbine farm on the Scottish coast that Trump holds would mar the view at the golf course he owns.

The article also mentions a meeting between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Abe. That meeting also has raised eyebrows, given Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump's, attendance, despite her lacking security clearance.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe has a strongly pro-nuclear agenda, striving to overcome popular resistance in Japan in order to re-activate dozens of atomic reactors shut down after the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe began on 3/11/11. But Abe is also pushing the sales of Japanese reactor designs overseas. This includes Toshiba-Westinghouse AP1000s -- four of which are currently under construction in Georgia and South Carolina -- as well as Hitachi-General Electric ESBWRs, as targeted at Fermi 3, MI and North Anna 3, VA.

Ironically enough, an off-shore wind turbine installation has been deployed in the waters just east of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant itself.

But aside from the ethical violations of a president-elect leveraging his office to advance his own business interests -- at the expense of the public good -- there is that question of wind turbines marring the view. Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), addressed this very issue during a late October 2008 (on the eve of Barack Obama's election) Carbon-Free, Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy book tour in Michigan. As began a Beyond Nuclear op-ed published in the Muskegon Chronicle at the time:

One of the objections raised against wind turbines is the impact they have on the view. But Dr. Arjun Makhijani of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, who spoke last month in Kalamazoo, put it well. He said we have four choices when it comes to our energy future. We can either: do without electricity; experience catastrophic climate change, if we continue to burn fossil fuels unabated; risk radioactive disasters and nuclear weapons proliferation if we expand nuclear power; or, deal with the view.

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