From the Hiroshima Syndrome/Fukushima Commentary:
Japan Correctly Takes Umbrage with WHO Risk Estimates.
On March 1st, the World Health Organization released their public risk estimates relative to the Fukushima accident. The WHO’s concluded that the increased risk of cancer due to F. Daiichi-based exposure is tiny. The Japanese government is less than happy with the recent WHO risk estimates. They feel WHO’s results are purely hypothetical and can only increase the wide-spread fear of radiation infecting millions of their people. WHO ignored other studies out of Japan and within the United Nation’s family itself. Japan’s might be the first government to ever challenge WHO’s methodology. They are entirely correct in criticizing WHO.
The Environmental Ministry says the risk estimates were intentionally exaggerated and do not reflect “reality”. On official said “Their calculations were made based on the assumption that people continued living inside the evacuation zone and ate banned food. But there are no such people.” What? The estimates are based on factors that did not actually exist? What possessed WHO to make THAT assumption? In addition, Makoto Akashi of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences said, “It’s utterly hypothetical. It can increase peoples’ fears as they just see the findings. I’m not seeking underestimation, but I’m very angry at seeing the (WHO) raising fears by overestimating data.” To make matters worse, WHO ignored a recent report by Japan’s National Institute of Radiological Sciences’ which said no Fukushima residents were exposed to more than 46 millisieverts, and the overwhelming majority below 20 mSv. NIRS concluded that since the lowest exposure level believed to cause negative health effects is 100mSv, there will be no Fukushima cancer increases. See why the Tokyo government is upset?
Local officials near Fukushima Daiichi are even more distraught. Norio Kanno, an official at Iitate Village, harshly attacked WHO for exaggerating the cancer risk when he said, “I’m enraged!” He called the WHO estimates “totally hypothetical”. Kanno pointed to the large number of Fukushima residents who mortally dread radiation and won’t even let their children play outside for fear that they might be exposed to radiation. He believes WHO generated cancer risk estimates without accounting for the kind of psychological harm they might produce in those already terrified by the Fukushima accident. One Fukushima researcher reported, “We are starting to see more cases of suicide, depression, alcoholism, gambling and domestic violence across the area. From the point of view of mental health, this is a very critical time.” WHO has done nothing but add to this social chaos.
From Nuke Power Talk:
Fukushima at Two Years
Gail Marcus looks at some of the larger impacts of Fukushima in her blog at Nuke Power Talk this week. She points out that that the sudden shutdowns of nuclear power plants in Japan and Germany have had real consequences. Although both countries seemed to keep functioning, and some have claimed that showed that nuclear power wasn’t “needed,” she shows why that isn’t so, and points to the very real health and economic consequences of the shutdowns.
From Next Big Future:
Officials behind China’s self-developed nuclear reactor, known as the CAP1400, expect to sign its first overseas orders for the technology this year, most likely from South America or Asia.
Sun Qin, the chairman of China National Nuclear Corp told China Daily in an exclusive interview, that the deals could seal should the construction of a CAP1400 reactor in China begin by the end of this year, after approval from the State Council.
The Chinese technology is attractive because of the “favorable and unconditional” credit conditions offered to other nations.
Cameco Will Start Up the World’s 2nd Largest Uranium Project
Cameco Corp. is just months away from opening its Cigar Lake uranium project, the world’s second-largest high-grade uranium deposit, more than thirty years after it was discovered and just as global prices for the nuclear fuel show promise of a rebound.
“We’re on track with Cigar Lake. We said we’d be starting the mining in mid-2013 and we will and we’ll have first production from the mill in 2013,” said Tim Gitzel, chief executive officer of the Saskatchewan-based owner of uranium projects in Canada, the United States, Australia and Kazakhstan
Germany’s Renewable Increase lags Nuclear Phaseout and Leads to Increased Coal Use, Pollution
In an in-depth interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine, Altmaier said that costs for the plans to reform and restructure the country’s energy sector by the end of the 2030s could reach €1 trillion ($1.3 trillion). Feed-in tariffs – guaranteed electricity prices designed to support the adoption of renewables such as wind and photovoltaics – would alone cost some €680 billion ($910 billion) by 2020. That figure could increase further if the market price of electricity fell, he warned.
The shift to renewables is lagging the phase out of nuclear energy and that is being made up by increased coal usage. Increased coal usage is increasing pollution. The current pace of renewable addition will last for many years.
UK Science and Technology Committee Calls for Tripling of UK Nuclear Power in Order to Meet Legally Binding 2050 Emissions Requirements
A UK Science and Technology Committee Report, Nuclear Research and Development Capabilities, calls for at least tripling the current number of nuclear reactors (16 reactors now) in order to meet legally binding emission targets for 2050. The eventual number could be much higher because the new unconventional reactors are expected to have a smaller generating capacity.
Scenarios for future electricity generation suggest that between now and 2050 nuclear power could supply between 15% and 49% (12 and 38 GW) of the total. To meet the UK’s legally binding target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 it is likely that between 20 and 38 GW of nuclear power will be needed.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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