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Uncategorized / april 14, 2017

The fact is that the Fukushima Daiichi site represents challenges of unprecedented complexity. Maintaining the cooling of three molten reactor cores and five spent fuel pools in a disaster zone is a job of titanic proportions. That is why two weeks after the crisis first erupted I suggested the creation of an International Task Force Fukushima (ITFF) that would pull together the world’s experts in key areas of concern: nuclear physics and engineering, core cooling, water management, spent fuel and radioactive waste storage, building integrity and radiation protection.Two and a half years on, the need for such a taskforce has only grown. An ITFF would need to be established for at least two years to be effective, and could have two co-chairpersons – one Japanese, one from abroad. A core group of about a dozen experts would work full-time on the project and could draw at will on the expertise of several dozen corresponding experts that are carefully selected by the core group. A significant share of the core group should be independent experts (i.e. with no link to corporate or state interests). In addition, the ITFF would work in an open expert network, free to draw on any expertise…

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Uncategorized / april 14, 2017

The smog is said to be not from cars or coal plants, but from the smoke from wood stoves and fireplaces. And it’s not because the Greeks are curling up with a good book. It seems that there has been a massive switch off heating oil as many can no longer afford it to heat their homes. Bloomberg says heating oil prices have risen here 50 percent from 2011 to 2012, mainly due to the heavy taxes levied on. So the Greeks are turning to burning everything from furniture to chopped down trees, some illegally cut from protected forests. According to the EPA, a fireplace emits more than 2,000 times the amount of fine particles that an oil furnace does. Surely, the environmental and health care costs from toxic clouds of smoke exceed the benefits of collecting high heating oil taxes, especially if the citizens are no longer buying it.Editor’s note: Mycle Schneider is an independent international consultant on energy and nuclear policy based in Paris. He is the coordinator and lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report. The views expressed are his own. “Careless” was how Toyoshi Fuketa, commissioner of the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority, reportedly described…