Scidiv.net: Nuclear energy now supplies around 13.8 per cent of the world’s electricity, with most plants operating in the developed world. And since nuclear plants do not emit any carbon dioxide, they are seen as one way to respond to climate change.
In total 27 plants are under construction in China of 64 worldwide.
Risø DTU has made its eighth report in the series: ‘Nuclear power and Nuclear Safety’, which gives a global overview of nuclear energy with a focus on safety and preparedness. This year’s report is a bit delayed because of the accident in Fukushima, which is also mentioned in the report that would normally cover only the year 2010. Continue
By Harold Feiveson, Zia Mian, M. V. Ramana, and Frank von Hippel | 27 June 2011
Research published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists warns if nuclear waste management is not thought out from the beginning, the public in many countries will reject nuclear power as an energy choice.
* Reprocessing spent fuel does not eliminate the need for a geological repository — or ease the challenge of identifying suitable sites.
* Finding sites for geological repositories has proven to be very difficult, and the only successes have come through voluntary, consultative processes.
* Dry-cask storage is becoming more common, and some countries might store spent fuel in casks for 100 years or more as an interim strategy.
Continue: Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
Switzerland latest country to shelve nuclear plant plans – but many states still lack an alternative low-carbon energy supply
Japan PM on Fukushima: “Taking this as a lesson, we will lead the world in clean energy such as solar and biomass”
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday that Japan would abandon plans to build new nuclear reactors, saying his country needed to “start from scratch” in creating a new energy policy….
Mr. Kan said Japan would retain nuclear and fossil fuels as energy sources, but vowed to add two new pillars to Japan’s energy policy: renewable energy and conservation.
Continue: Climate Progress
How many people live within certain distances of each of the world’s nuclear power plants.
High-resolution global population density Google Earth map for 2010 created by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center operated by Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). The underlying population data is the same as we used in our previous analysis to estimate the size of population in the proximity of nuclear plants.
Posted by Declan Butler on April 22, 2011
The lack of funds needed to construct a permanent containment shelter for the Chernobyl nuclear reactor means disease and deaths from the 1986 disaster will continue to mount.
BERLIN, Apr 25 (Tierramérica).- The ruins of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor where an explosion 25 years ago led to one of the worst environmental disasters in history still contain 95 percent of the original fuel load, which remains highly radioactive.
Japan’s science ministry says small amounts of radioactive strontium have been detected in soil and plants outside the 30-kilometer zone around the Fukushima plant where the government has advised people to stay indoors. Strontium could cause cancer.
Hot in the news is that the Fukushima Nuclear crisis has been upgraded from INES 5 to INES 7. Note that this is not due to some sudden escalation of events today (aftershocks etc.), but rather it is based on an assessment of the cumulative magnitude of the events that have occurred at the site over the past month
There are now hundreds of radiation-related feeds from Japan on Pachube, monitoring conditions in realtime and underpinning more than half a dozen incredibly valuable applications built by people around the world. They combine ‘official’ data, ‘unofficial’ official data, and, most importantly to us, realtime networked geiger counter measurements contributed by concerned citizens.
Japan’s nuclear safety agency has raised the crisis level at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to 7, from the current 5.
Level 7 is the highest rank on an international standard and equivalent to the severity recorded after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
Continue: NHK Japan
Tokyo Electric Power Company was reporting on Saturday on its survey of high-water marks left on the plant’s buildings.
It says it found that the tsunami reached up to 15 meters on the ocean side of the reactor and turbine buildings. The figure is far beyond the company’s originally estimated height of 5.7 meters.
The nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daichii power plant will have consequences for the future of nuclear power in Japan and elsewhere. To get a better idea of the world’s current tally of nuclear reactors, NATUREs “Great Beyond” have created a map of the world’s nuclear power plants and reactors using Google Earth – the maps are based on a database supplied by staff at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA)
Continue: Nature The Great Beyond
PARIS, March 31 (Reuters) – Japanese authorities grappling with a nuclear disaster must hand out iodine tablets now and as widely as possible to avoid a potential leap in thyroid cancers, the head of a group of independent radiation experts said.
France’s CRIIRAD group says Japan has underestimated the sensitivity of the thyroid gland to radioactivity and must lower its 100 millisieverts (mSv) threshold for administering iodine.
The IAEA adds its voice to Greenpeace, calling for an expansion of the evacuation zone near Fukushima; yet the Japanese gov’t decides not to act ‘until necessary’; TEPCO plans to scrap four of the six stricken reactors
* A total of 11,438 people were confirmed dead by Japan’s National Police Agency as of 0600 GMT (2 a.m. ET) on Thursday, while 16,541 were missing.
Siden 2009 har op til fire ministerier kæmpet for at slippe for ansvaret med at etablere et dansk slutdepot for atomaffald. Ekspert kalder slagsmålet for barnligt og fuldstændigt uacceptabelt.
Realtime radiation data collected via the System for Prediction of Environment Emergency Dose Information(SPEEDI)
(Reuters): Here are some facts about radiation and the health dangers it poses-
Below are different levels of massive radiation exposure in a single dose – all measured in millisieverts — and their likely effects on humans, as published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
– 50-100: changes in blood chemistry
– 500: nausea, within hours
– 700: vomiting
– 750: hair loss, within 2-3 weeks
– 900: diarrhea
– 1,000: hemorrhage
– 4,000: possible death within 2 months, if no treatment
– 10,000: destruction of intestinal lining, internal bleeding and death within 1-2 weeks
– 20,000: damage to the central nervous system and loss of consciousness within minutes, and death within hours or days
Sources: Taiwan Atomic Energy Council, World Nuclear Association, US Department of Transportation, US Environmental Protection Agency
Radioactive iodine-131 at a concentration 1,850.5 times the legal limit was detected in a seawater sample taken around 330 meters south of the plant, near a drainage outlet of the four troubled reactors, compared with 1,250.8 times the limit found Friday, the agency said.
A Greenpeace team of radiation experts is monitoring locations around the evacuation area that surrounds the crisis-stricken Fukushima/Daiichi nuclear plant. They’re there to independently assess the true extent of radiation risks that the local population may be facing.
Continue: Greenpeace Int
The Fukushima fallout will have a bigger impact than the Libyan crisis but if unrest spreads through the Middle East all bets are off, says Malcom Keay, Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.
A map, which provides a general representation of the risks of earthquakes on humanity using records from the past 4,000 years, has been produced by a geographer from the University of Sheffield.
The new World Earthquake Intensity Map has been created on an equal-population map and allows us to understand the earthquake intensity in relation to today´s population distribution, giving an idea of where most people are at risk in regards to seismic activity.
It provides a visualisation of all major earthquakes that have been complied in the Global Significant Earthquake Database. The database contains information on destructive earthquakes from 2150 BC to the present day that meet at least one of the following criteria: moderate damage (approximately $1 million or more), 10 or more deaths, magnitude 7.5 or greater, modified Mercalli intensity X or greater, or the earthquake generated a tsunami.
Continue: Views of the world
Social and Spatial Inequalities Research Group,Department of Geography,University of Sheffield
The recent Fukushima Daiichi crisis has reopened the nuclear debate. Risk analysis and mapping firm Maplecroft has produced a global map of nuclear power stations, revealing the vulnerability to seismic, tsunami and storm surge risk of these facilities and the levels of energy security risks that countries face in the long-term; which begs the question about their need to rely on nuclear energy as an alternative to conventional sources.
Health action in crises
WHO is providing answers to the general public’s frequently asked questions concerning exposure, food, shelter and individual protective measures on the radiation incident in Japan.
Global warming will intensify if leading carbon emitter China drops the world’s most ambitious nuclear power building programme and Germany shuts down its nuclear plants amid panic over Japan’s atomic energy crisis.
A United Nations forecast of the possible movement of the radioactive plume coming from crippled Japanese reactors shows it churning across the Pacific, and touching the Aleutian Islands on Thursday before hitting Southern California late Friday.
Continue: NY Times
Interaktive: NY Times
Japan’s science ministry has observed radiation levels of up to 0.33 millisieverts per hour in areas about 20 kilometers northwest of the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Experts say exposure to such radiation for 3 hours would result in absorption of 1 millisievert, or the maximum considered safe for 1 year.
Rescue operations continued Wednesday following the catastrophic earthquake in Japan, with 80,000 Self-Defense Forces personnel and police officers mobilized in the devastated areas, where temperatures have dropped to midwinter levels.
The National Police Agency said it has confirmed 3,676 deaths in 12 prefectures, while 7,843 people remained unaccounted for in six prefectures as of 12:30 p.m.
The following is the known status as of Wednesday evening of each of the six reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and the four reactors at the Fukushima No. 2 plant, both in Fukushima Prefecture, which were crippled by Friday’s magnitude 9.0 earthquake and the ensuing tsunami.
Even though some political leaders have talked about the growing importance of nuclear power, including an announcement by the Obama Administration of nuclear loan guarantees and a call for expanded nuclear power by the French government, nuclear energy only supplied some 5.5 percent of the world’s primary energy in 2008, down the seventh year in a row since a peak in 2001. Many of the currently operating 436 reactors worldwide are quickly aging, leading to a predicted round of accelerated shutdowns from 2020 onward. A global status report [PDF] commissioned by the German government estimates that all 52 reactors under construction as of mid-2009 plus an additional 42 reactors would have to be built and come online by 2015 to maintain the same number of operating reactors in the world over time. Another 192 reactors would need to come online by 2025—the equivalent of one new reactor coming online every 19 days for 10 years. Of the new generation, China is now the clear leader, accounting for 15 of the 21 nuclear reactor construction starts in the last two years and with plans to build more.