Nuclear em desuso

Heitor Scalambrini Costa, Correio da Cidadania, 21 de Setembro de 2012

Setembro de 2012 ficará marcado na história pelos anúncios feitos pelos governos japonês e francês, a respeito da decisão de se afastarem da energia nuclear, responsável pelos piores pesadelos da humanidade. Esta tomada de posição tem um significado especial, visto que estes países, até então defensores de tal fonte energética, têm em suas matrizes a maior participação mundial da nucleoeletricidade. Depois da histórica decisão do governo alemão em abandonar em definitivo a energia nuclear, agora são os governos do Japão e da França que vão rever os planos relativos ao uso do nuclear. Continue lendo

After 500 days, Fukushima No. 1 plant still not out of the woods

Takashi Sugimoto, The Asahi Shimbun, July 24, 2012

A little more than 500 days after the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant threatened to force the evacuation of the entire Tokyo metropolitan area, the situation is certainly much improved.

The levels of cesium being emitted from the damaged reactors have dropped substantially, core temperatures in the pressure vessels are being kept within targeted levels, and the plant operator has started removing unused nuclear fuel assemblies as an experiment. Continue lendo

Over 100,000 Protest Nuclear Restart in Tokyo

On hottest day of the year, protesters call for Prime Minister Noda to quit

Common Dreams staff, July 16, 2012

Over 100,000 protesters took to the streets in central Tokyo on Monday to protest the country’s return to nuclear power. The demonstration was one of the largest of its kind since Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced that the country would restart its nuclear reactors last month. Protest organizers estimated the crowd at 170,000 people. Demonstrators marched through the streets in Tokyo’s record setting heat chanting: “Don’t resume nuclear power operation. Prime Minister (Yoshihiko) Noda should quit.” Continue lendo

200,000 Protest in Japan Ahead of Nuclear Restart

Common Dreams staff, June 29, 2012

Hundreds of thousands of protesters showed up at the door of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence on Friday, lining the streets of central Tokyo to express outrage over the continued push for nuclear reactor restarts in the country. Shareholders of Japan’s electricity companies voted on Wednesday to reboot nuclear power throughout the nation, despite widespread public opposition. Continue lendo

A Crossroads for Japan: Revive Nuclear or Go Green?

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Japan has idled all 50 of its nuclear reactors. While the central government and business leaders are warning a prolonged shutdown could spell economic doom, many Japanese and local officials see the opportunity for a renewable energy revolution.

Andrew Dewit, Yale Environment 360, May 29, 2012

May 5 marked the shutdown of the last of Japan’s 50 viable nuclear reactors, with poor prospects for any restarts before the summer. The central government, the nuclear industry, most big business associations, and many international observers seem convinced that this will invite chaos through escalating fossil fuel costs and the risk of blackouts. Continue lendo

Los peligros de la arrogancia tecnológica

los “titanics” nucleares

Karl Grossman, CounterPunch / Rebelión, 19 de abril de 2012.  Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens.

En el centenario del hundimiento del Titanic, The Japan Times publicó ayer un editorial titulado “El Titanic y el fiasco nuclear” que dice: “La presentación de la tecnología como completamente segura, fiable y milagrosa podrá parecer cosa del pasado, pero los paralelos entre el Titanic y la industria de energía nuclear de Japón no podrían ser más evidentes”. Continue lendo

Fukushima in Light of Minamata

The mercury discharged into the sea by the Chisso factory in Minamata, and the radiation released by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, are not entirely different “accidents,” although one was the result of a “natural disaster” and one not. Minamata offers hints of future developments as Japan attempts to respond to and recover from Fukushima.

Timothy George, Europe Solidaire Sans Frontiere, March 10, 2012

Japan is still struggling to deal with the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, and will be for a long time. This makes the triple disaster of March 11, 2011 unlike anything Japan, or any other country, has ever experienced. The release of radiation from the Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) nuclear power plant in Fukushima, however, is not the first time Japanese people have been exposed over an extended period of time to a poison released into the environment by modern technology. The March 11 earthquake, tsunami, and radiation disaster (a bundle of tragedies referred to as the “Higashi Nihon daishinsai,” or Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster) occurred 55 years after the official discovery of Minamata disease and 79 years after the Chisso chemical plant in Minamata began releasing methyl mercury into the sea. [1] Continue lendo

Danger Zone: Ageing Nuclear Reactors

Following Japan’s nuclear disaster last year there are fears the US may be heading for a nuclear catastrophe of its own.

People & Power / Al Jazeera, February 23, 2012

In March 2012, a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

As tens of thousands of people were evacuated from nearby towns and villages, the world waited anxiously to see whether the radioactive fallout would spread across the country, or even be carried overseas.

Unsurprisingly, in the wake of this incident, the nuclear operations of other countries have come under considerable scrutiny.

One such country is the US where more than 100 similar reactors – some of them in earthquake zones or close to major cities – are now reaching the end of their working lives.

Their owners want to keep them running, but others – from environmentalists to mainstream politicians – are deeply concerned.

In this investigation for People & Power, Joe Rubin and Serene Fang of the Center for Investigative Reporting examine whether important safety considerations are being taken into account as the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) considers extending the licences of these plants.

The agency has recently come under fire for glossing over the potential dangers of ageing reactors, for becoming too cosy with the industry and for political infighting among the agency’s senior executives, which critics in the US Senate and elsewhere say seriously hampers its ability to ensure safety.

The investigation focuses on the Pacific Gas & Electric nuclear facility at Diablo Canyon and two others, which are at Indian Point in New York and Fort Calhoun in Nebraska.

These three sites represent the dangers posed to nuclear power plant safety by earthquakes, terrorism and flooding.

Rubin and Fang discover that the NRC’s oversight track record is far from perfect, and that unless urgent action is taken the US could be heading for a nuclear catastrophe of its own.

Energia nuclear: poco más del 11%

Salvador López Arnal, Rebelión, 29 de deciembre de 2011

Mientras aires huracanados, más atómicos si cabe que los anteriores, envuelven el primer gobierno Rajoy [1] y algunas notas de renacimiento nuclear suenan en el Imperio de la barbarie y el desprósito, los vientos del Este siguen tocando una partitura que vale la pena retener.

Yotaro Hatamura, profesor emérito de la Universidad de Tokio y uno de los expertos mundiales en la detección de errores industriales, no es un antinuclear documentado. En absoluto. Es hombre del establishment y preside una comisión sobre la hecatombe de Fukushima establecida el pasado mes de mayo de 2011 que aún no ha concluido su informe final. Se calcula que será para verano de 2012. El documento provisional, sin embargo, señala algunos puntos de interés [2]. Una breve selección: Continue lendo

Japan: Reeling from triple disasters

The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown killed around 20,000 people

D. Parvaz, Al-Jazeera, December 27, 2011

Trying to understand, show or measure what Japan has suffered this year in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami is difficult because the story is an ongoing one of compounding loss on multiple and enormous scales. Continue lendo

Daunting tasks await Japan after cold shutdown of Fukushima plant

Kyodo News, Mainichi Shimbun, December 17, 2011

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan on Friday finally declared a state of cold shutdown at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, only to find itself facing a long and thorny road toward the goal of scrapping the stricken reactors and restoring shattered public confidence in the government’s nuclear policies.

The country plans to draw on the experience of the 1979 Three Mile Island accident in taking out the nuclear fuel from the plant’s Nos. 1 to 3 reactors, but the task will be more challenging than in the U.S. case because the fuel is believed to have melted through the base of the reactor pressure vessels. Continue lendo

Fukushima poderá tornar-se um cemitério nuclear

As autoridades japonesas lançaram a proposta para transformar Fukushima em cemitério de lixo radioactivo do programa nuclear nipónico. Esta decisão está a causar grande indignação entre os habitantes da região obrigados a evacuar os cerca de 50 mil lares à volta da central nuclear de Fukushima Daiichi.

Rui Curado Silva,, 6 de novembro de 2011

Esta semana um painel de peritos da Comissão para a Energia Nuclear japonesa concluiu que vão ser necessárias várias décadas para limpar a região em quarentena em torno de Fukushima, ao contrário das expectativas mais optimistas que foram avançadas após o acidente. Em Portugal, Patrick Monteiro e Pedro Sampaio Nunes estiveram entre as vozes que mais minimizaram as consequências do acidente. Segundo o mesmo painel, só dentro de 10 anos será possível começar a remover as barras de combustível das unidades onde ocorreu a fusão dos reactores. Continue lendo

Japoneses querem fechamento das centrais nucleares

Não é um bom ano para a energia nuclear. A oposição se consolida no Japão, onde a imensa maioria da população está a favor da substituição da energia atômica por outras, limpas e renováveis. Segundo a última pesquisa do jornal Mainichi, 85% dos japoneses apóiam o fim do funcionamento dos 54 reatores existentes no país, embora apenas 11% queiram que o fechamento das plantas nucleares seja imediato.

Georgina Higueras, El País, 13 de setembro de 2011. A tradução é do Cepat.

O grave acidente da central de Fukushima em 11 de março passado, que deixou todo o mundo apreensivo, levou os japoneses a uma decidida oposição à energia atômica. Embora, como revela a pesquisa realizada em agosto passado, 74% deles defenda que a substituição seja por energias limpas e renováveis e se realize de forma “paulatina e progressiva” para não prejudicar ainda mais a já maltratada economia do país. Continue lendo

Japão: seis meses depois de Fukushima

A situação, longe de estar normalizada, ainda constitui uma séria ameaça não só aos japoneses, mas aos países vizinhos e à população mundial.

Tomi Mori,, 6 de setembro de 2011

Quase seis meses depois do pacote de tragédias que assolou o Japão no dia 11 de Março, o que vemos é a ampliação dos problemas aflorados naquele dia. E a situação, longe de ter sido normalizada, ainda constitui uma séria ameaça não só aos japoneses, mas aos países vizinhos e também à população mundial. Exagero? A tragédia começou com um terramoto, seguido de tsunami, ampliado com a crise nuclear e o maior festival de mentiras da história recente. O que vimos e vemos é uma mistura de impotência, ignorância, multiplicada pela ganância capitalista, no que se transformou no mais profundo acidente desde a barbárie do pós-guerra. Tendo ocorrido num dos principais países imperialistas e numa das sociedades mais desenvolvidas do ponto de vista tecnológico, que lições podemos tirar desses acontecimentos? Continue lendo

Fukushima Shutdown for January

BBC, May 18, 2011

Japan still believes it can end its nuclear crisis within months, while accepting damage from March’s quake and tsunami was worse than first thought.

The government and the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant recently revealed the No 1 reactor suffered a near complete meltdown within hours of the disaster. But they still believe a “cold shutdown” is possible by January.

The crisis forced 80,000 people who lived within 20km of the plant to flee. This week evacuations began from towns further away from the stricken plant in northern Japan, with the government saying a build-up of radiation could pose a danger to health, says the BBC’s Roland Buerk in Tokyo. Continue lendo

Thousands Rally in Japan Against Nuclear Power

Harumi Ozawa, Agence France Presse, May 7, 2011

TOKYO — Thousands of people rallied in Japan Saturday to demand a shift away from nuclear power after an earthquake and tsunami sparked the world’s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl a quarter-century ago.

Braving spring drizzle, thousands of demonstrators gathered at a park in Tokyo’s Shibuya district, many holding hand-made banners reading: “Nuclear is old!” and “We want a shift in energy policy!” Continue lendo

Fukushima o la inhumanidad capitalista

Pierre Rousset, Viento Sur, 2 de mayo de 2011

En unas notas escritas después del desastre nuclear japonés, el Dr. Abraham Behar, presidente de la Asociación de Médicos franceses para la Prevención de la Guerra Nuclear (AMFPGN), se preguntaba: “¿Quién se preocupa de los empleados de mantenimiento de Fukushima?: Se alzan voces que recuerdan la suerte de los 50 técnicos que hacen lo que pueden en la central altamente radioactiva. ¿Pero quién se preocupa de los 300 empleados encargados de los trabajos sucios, al lado de los bomberos y de su ridículo chorro de agua, y que son de hecho los “liquidadores” japoneses?” /1. Continue lendo

En la estela de Fukushima

De cómo los verdes aprendieron a amar a la energía nuclear

Alexander Cockburn, New Left Review / Rebelión, 23 de abril de 2011. Traducido para Rebelión por Ricardo García Pérez

A mediados del mes de marzo los estadounidenses leyeron las noticias cada vez más teñidas de pánico de la fusión en la central nuclear de Fukushima Daiichi de Japón y se preguntaron: ¿podría suceder aquí algo semejante? Ya saben la respuesta. Como solía decir David Brower, el último gran ecologista, «las centrales nucleares son instalaciones tecnológicas que resulta increíblemente complejo situar en las fallas que ocasionan terremotos». Frente a gran parte de la costa occidental de Estados Unidos se extiende el llamado Anillo de Fuego, que rodea toda la placa tectónica del Océano Pacífico desde Australia, pasando por el norte de Japón hasta llegar a Rusia, Alaska y descender hasta la costa de Chile. Aproximadamente el 90 por ciento de los terremotos de todo el mundo se producen en torno al Anillo de Fuego del Pacífico. Continue lendo

Japan : Fukushima and capitalist inhumanity

Pierre Rousset, ESSF, 18 avril 2011

Writing after the Japanese nuclear disaster, Dr Abraham Behar, President of the Association of French Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (AMFPGN), asked : “Voices are raised to discuss the fate of the 50 technicians who are doing what they can in the highly radioactive plant. But who cares about the some 300 others working alongside the fire-fighters and their derisory water jets ?” [1]. Continue lendo

Japão anuncia zona de exclusão legal em torno da usina de Fukushima

Será permitida a entrada de só um membro de cada família por duas horas para recuperar pertences

O Estado de S.Paulo, 21 de abril de 2011

TÓQUIO – O governo do Japão decidiu proibir legalmente a entrada de pessoas no raio de 20 quilômetros ao redor da usina nuclear de Fukushima Daiichi, informou nesta quinta-feira, 21, o primeiro-ministro japonês, Naoto Kan, durante visita à zona. Segundo Kan, citado pela agência local Kyodo, a proibição entrará em vigor à meia-noite de quinta para sexta-feira (meio-dia desta quinta pelo horário de Brasília). Continue lendo