Study: S. Korean nuclear disaster would hit Japan the hardest

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The projected spread of radioactive cesium-137 from a disaster at the No. 3 reactor’s spent fuel pool of the Kori nuclear plant in Busan, South Korea (Provided by Kang Jung-min)

A serious nuclear accident in South Korea could force the evacuation of more than 28 million people in Japan, compared with around 24 million in the home country of the disaster.

Japan would also be hit harder by radioactive fallout than South Korea in such a disaster, particularly if it occurred in winter, when strong westerly winds would blow radioactive substances across the Sea of Japan, according to a simulation by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a Washington-based think tank.

The simulation, based on a scenario of an unfolding crisis at the Kori nuclear power plant in Busan, South Korea, was led by Kang Jung-min, a South Korean senior researcher of nuclear physics, and his colleagues.

At events in Japan and South Korea, Kang, 51, has repeatedly warned about East Asia’s vulnerability to a severe nuclear accident, saying the region shares the “same destiny” regardless of the location of such a disaster.

The Kori nuclear complex is home to seven of the country’s 25 commercial reactors, making it one of the largest in South Korea. Its oldest reactor–and the first in the country–went online in 1978.

Spent nuclear fuel at the Kori plant is cooled in on-site storage pools next to reactors.

But the operator of the plant has ended up storing spent fuel in more cramped conditions than in the past because waste keeps accumulating from the many years of operations.

An estimated 818 tons of spent fuel was being stored at the pool of the Kori No. 3 reactor as of the end of 2015, the most at any reactor in the country.

That is because the No. 3 pool has also been holding spent fuel from the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors since their fuel pools became too crowded.

Storing spent fuel in such a manner greatly increases the risk of a nuclear accident, Kang warned.

Kang’s team simulated the series of likely events that would follow if the No. 3 reactor lost power in a natural disaster or an act of terrorism.

With no power, the spent fuel at the No. 3 reactor could not be cooled. The cooling water would evaporate, exposing the fuel rods to air, generating intensive heat and causing a fire.

Hydrogen gas would then fill up the fuel storage building, leading to an explosion that would result in the release of a large amount of vaporized cesium-137 from the spent fuel.

Assuming that the catastrophe occurred on Jan. 1, 2015, the researchers determined how highly radioactive cesium-137 would spread and fall to the ground based on the actual weather conditions over the following week, as well as the direction and velocity of winds.

To gauge the size of the area and population that would be forced to evacuate in such a disaster, the team took into account recommendations by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, a private entity, and other organizations.

The results showed that up to 67,000 square kilometers of land in Japan–or much of the western part of the country–would fall under the evacuation zone, displacing a maximum of 28.3 million people.

In South Korea, up to 54,000 square kilometers would need to be vacated, affecting up to 24.3 million people.

The simulation also found that 18.4 million Japanese and 19 million Koreans would remain displaced for even after 30 years, the half-life of cesium-137, in a worst-case scenario.

Radioactive materials from South Korea would also pollute North Korea and China, according to the study.

Nineteen reactors in South Korea are located in the coastal area facing the Sea of Japan, including those at the Kori nuclear power plant.

Kang said the public should be alerted to the dangers of highly toxic spent fuel, an inevitable byproduct of nuclear power generation.

One ton of spent fuel contains 100,000 curies of cesium-137, meaning that 20 tons of spent fuel would be enough to match the estimated 2 million curies of cesium-137 released in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

An average-size light-water reactor produces about 20 tons of spent fuel in one year of operation.

East Asia is home to one of the world’s largest congestions of nuclear facilities, Kang said.

Japan, China and South Korea, which have all promoted nuclear energy as state policy for decades, together host about 100 commercial reactors.

A number of nuclear-related facilities are also concentrated in North Korea, particularly in Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang.

If a severe accident were to occur in China, the pollution would inevitably spill over to South Korea and then to Japan.

That is why people should take serious interest in not just their own country’s nuclear issues, but also in neighboring countries,” Kang said. “Japan, China and South Korea should cooperate with each other to ensure the safety and security of spent fuel and nuclear facilities.”

He said the risks of a fire would be reduced if spent fuel were placed at greater intervals in storage pools.

Ideally, spent fuel should be moved to sealed dry casks and cooled with air after it is cooled in a pool for about five years,” he said.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201703300001.html

 

Controversial conspiracy bill approved by Abe Cabinet

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Protesters stage a rally in front of the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on Tuesday as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet approved an anti-conspiracy bill

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved Tuesday a controversial bill that would revise the organized crime law so authorities can crack down on individuals and organizations who conspire to engage in serious criminal activity.

The conspiracy charges apply to groups of two or more people, where at least one person procures funds, supplies or surveys a location in preparation for committing a crime. Efforts to maintain or expand organized crime groups would also be punished, while reduced penalties would be considered for those who turn themselves in before a crime is carried out.

The government is pushing to enact the revised bill during the ordinary Diet session through mid-June, but strong objections by opposition parties are expected amid concern that the law may be used against civic groups.

The backlash against the measure has been a persistent hurdle in passing the anti-conspiracy law, which the government has attempted and failed to enact three times in the past, as it targeted “groups” in general.

The bill needs to be passed to ensure necessary counterterrorism measures are in place before the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, according to the government. It is also a prerequisite to ratify the U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which was adopted by member states in 2000 and took effect in 2003.

It is an urgent necessity for the government to ratify the treaty to promote international cooperation on counter-terrorism,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference Tuesday, adding Japan is the only country among the Group of Seven nations that has not signed the treaty.

Suga also said the targets of the new bill would be strictly applied to terrorists and other organized crime syndicates, not ordinary citizens.

Some opposition parties and the Tokyo Bar Association denounced the revisions, which they say would still allow the possibility of government overreach and retaliation against civic groups.

The conspiracy bill goes against the basic principles of our country’s criminal code and the legal system,” Motoji Kobayashi, president of the Tokyo Bar Association, said in a statement in January. “It threatens the function of protecting human rights.”

The government previously included 676 crimes in its original draft, but has narrowed that number down to 277 in the revised bill.

Yukio Yamashita, an attorney and member of the association, warned that 277 crimes are still too many and noted some are unnecessary.

For example, a person using forged stamps or competing in a motor boat race without a license would be subject to punishment under the revised bill, Yamashita said in a seminar held earlier in March.

Meanwhile, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations claims that only a limited number of countries, such as Norway, have newly enacted anti-conspiracy laws for the purpose of ratifying the U.N. treaty, which was adopted to crack down on organized cross-border crimes such as human trafficking, narcotics trading and money laundering.

Japan’s Diet approved the treaty in 2013, but was unable to ratify it without a law covering criminal conspiracy.

As of December, 187 countries and regions have signed the treaty.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/21/national/crime-legal/controversial-conspiracy-bill-approved-by-abe-cabinet/#.WNJ_RKKmnIW

The Age of Fission with Lonnie Clark, guest Hervé Courtois 2-16-2017

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Lonnie Clark interview with guest Hervé Courtois

Herve discusses how Japanese scientists are manipulated to not report on radiation problems in Japan. Herve also mentions the connection between the civil nuclear and military programs. Lonnie mentions how the new USA administration is lining up with Japan for nuclear and military business.

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Posted to nuclear-news.net

16 February 2017

Transcribed by Shaun McGee

Our very own contributor to Nuclear-news.net Herve Courtois makes a rare interview with Lonnie Clark. He is our Fukushima correspondent who has family in Fukushima.

He is based in France. Known as a balanced news source for Fukushima information he created Fukushima 311 Watchdogs and Rainbow Warriors on Facebook. He has a WordPress blog called Fukushima 311 Watchdogs, and is one of the 3 co-editors on Nuclear News.

Herve talks about the need for caution on reporting on Fukushima and nuclear stories that might damage a bloggers credibility in…

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Taiwan – ‘Nuclear Go Zero’ parades set to take place March 11 2017 nationwide

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2017/02/13 15:41:16

Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) Nuclear-free advocates around Taiwan have organized three parades through the online “Nuclear Go Zero” action platform, in a national protest action set for March 11 in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taitung simultaneously.

The parades will take place on Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei, the Labor Park in Kaohsiung, and the Tiehua Pedestrian Zone in Taitung, with the theme of “Zero Nuclear, Low Carbon, Sustainable Energy,” the organizers said Monday.

The government will be urged to accelerate efforts to realize its campaign promise to replace existing energy sources with green ones, to decommission three operating nuclear power plants as scheduled, and to find the best solution for the disposal of nuclear waste, the organizers said.

This year, they will also demand that the government resolve problems relating to carbon emissions and air pollution. “The government should accelerate its steps, and come up with concrete plans and schedules…

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Fukushima Blues – Is Thyroid Cancer good for you and does it help if you smile?

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Posted to nuclear-news.net
By Shaun McGee
Dated 9 February 2017
There is a campaign in Japan to expand the thyroid tests on downwind victims from the Fukushima nuclear disaster of march 2011. At the same time there is another campaign on behalf of the pro nuclear lobby to reduce the existing tests The background to this situation is described in detail on these links;
You will notice that on the corruption link a post at the bottom of the article from NHK [Fund to help young people with thyroid cancer NHK Japan; 27 Dec 2016] which states that at least one childs thyroid cancer had spread to the lungs because the thyroid cancer had not been dealt with quickly enough. This article has now been taken down (the link is on the corruption post for you to try) in a bid (I claim) to play down the possible…

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Japan’s ‘Unresolved’ Disaster Sways Symbol of Nuclear Opposition

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Japanese Government hides contamination from Fukushima nuclear disaster while sending evacuees home

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2017年1月中には、春頃の帰還が決まる冨岡町の市街地。地表面は7μSv/h超え‼
こんなところに帰還、バカじゃないの‼

Oz Yo
In January 2017, the urban district of tomioka-Cho, which was on the end of the spring. The surface of the ground is 7 Μsv / h.
I don’t know what you’re talking about?
On March 25, 2013, the nuclear evacuation zone in Tomioka was lifted by the central government, and the town was re-zoned into three areas according to different levels of radiation. However, the town government elected to keep the evacuation in place for at least another four years due to the need to rebuild damaged infrastructure

Tomioka was severely affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Besides sustaining considerable damage from the earthquake, and the tsunami (which devastated the coastal area), the town was evacuated en masse on the morning of March 12 as it is located well within the 20 kilometer…

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