August 13, 2013
Japan’s nuclear watchdog has now declared the leak of radioactive water from Fukushima a “state of emergency.” Each day, 300 tons of radioactive water seeps into the ocean, and it’s now clear that TEPCO has engage in a two-and-a-half-year cover-up of immense magnitude.
“I believe it’s been leaking into the ocean from the start of the crisis two-and-a-half years ago,” disclosed a 12-year TEPCO veteran named Suzuki-san (SOURCE)
“There are still reactor buildings we haven’t gotten into yet,” said another worker named Fujimoto-san. “So there’s always the possibility of another explosion…”
Timing of announcement suggests attempt to strengthen negotiating hand
(Reuters) – Days before resuming talks over its disputed atomic program, Iran said on Saturday it had found significant new deposits of raw uranium and identified sites for 16 more nuclear power stations.
State news agency IRNA quoted a report by the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) which said the reserves were discovered in northern and southern coastal areas and had trebled the amount outlined in previous estimates.
There was no independent confirmation. With few uranium mines of its own, Western experts had previously thought that Iran might be close to exhausting its supply of raw uranium.
“We have discovered new sources of uranium in the country and we will put them to use in the near future,” Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, head of the AEOI, was quoted as saying at Iran’s annual nuclear industry conference.
The timing of the announcement suggested Iran, by talking up its reserves and nuclear ambitions, may hope to strengthen its negotiating hand at talks in Kazakhstan on Tuesday with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.
Diplomats say the six powers, known as the P5+1, are set to offer Iran some relief from international sanctions if it agrees to curb its production of higher-grade enriched uranium.
The West says Iran’s enrichment of uranium to a fissile purity of 20 percent demonstrates its intent to develop a nuclear weapons capability, an allegation the Islamic republic denies.
FROM MINE TO CENTRIFUGE
The enriched uranium required for use in nuclear reactors or weapons is produced in centrifuges that spin uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6) at high speeds. The UF6 is derived from yellow cake, a concentrate from uranium ore discovered in mines.
Iran’s reserves of raw uranium now stood at around 4,400 tonnes, taking into account discoveries over the past 18 months, IRNA quoted the report as saying.
In another sign that Iran is intent on pushing forward with its nuclear ambitions, the report also said 16 sites had been identified for the construction of nuclear power stations.
It did not specify the exact locations but said they included coastal areas of the Gulf, Sea of Oman, Khuzestan province and the Caspian Sea.
Iranian authorities have long announced their desire to build more nuclear power plants for electricity production. Only one currently exists, in the southern city of Bushehr, and that has suffered several shutdowns in recent months.
The announcements could further complicate the search for a breakthrough in Kazakhstan, after three unsuccessful rounds of talks between the two sides in 2012.
“We are meeting all of our obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and we should be able to benefit from our rights. We don’t accept more responsibilities and less rights,” Saeed Jalili, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, was quoted as telling Saturday’s conference.
In what Washington has called a provocative move, Iran is also installing new-generation centrifuges, capable of producing enriched uranium much faster, at a site in Natanz in the centre of the country.
Western diplomats say the P5+1 will reiterate demands for the suspension of uranium enrichment to a purity of 20 percent, the closure of Iran’s Fordow enrichment plant, increased access for International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors and agreement to address concerns on existing uranium stockpiles.
In return, the latest embargoes on gold and metals trading with Iran would be lifted. Iran has criticized the offer and says its rights need to be fully recognized.
“If the P5+1 group wants to start constructive talks with Tehran it needs to present a valid proposal,” said Jalili. “It needs to put its past errors to one side … to win the trust of the Iranian nation.”
In a statement issued before the Iranian announcement, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the six-power group wanted to enter a ‘substantial negotiation process’ over Tehran’s nuclear program.
“The talks in Almaty are a chance which I hope Iran takes,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Alexandra Hudson in Berlin; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)
Police in Indian Kashmir have warned residents to build underground bunkers to prepare for a possible nuclear war in the disputed region, which is on edge after a string of deadly border clashes.
“If the blast wave does not arrive within five seconds of the flash you were far enough from the ground zero,” says the notice, headed “Protection against Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) Weapons”.
It warns of “initial disorientation” from a nuclear attack, saying the blast may “carry away many prominent and familiar features”.
The instructions were issued on Monday in a local English-language Greater Kashmir newspaper by the State Disaster Response Force, which is part of the police.
They vividly describe a nuclear war scenario to prepare residents to deal with “the initial shock wave”.
The notice tells them to “wait for the winds to die down and debris to stop falling”.
“Blast wind will generally end in one or two minutes after burst and burns, cuts and bruises are no different than conventional injuries. (The) dazzle is temporary and vision should return in few seconds,” it says.
It tells residents to build lavatory-equipped basement shelters “where the whole family can stay for a fortnight”, and says that they should be stocked with non-perishable food.
Police confirmed they issued the notice but said it “should not be connected with anything else”, in an apparent reference to border tension.
The notice is part of regular year-round civil defence preparedness, Mubarak Ganai, deputy inspector general of civil defence in Kashmir police, told AFP.
An Indian counter-terrorism expert criticised the warning as valueless for Kashmiris, who could be forgiven for imagining war was an imminent prospect.
“There can be no conceivable motive for issuing a notice like this,” Ajay Sahni, executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi, told AFP.
“Such information collected from here and there is not worth the paper it is printed on,” he said, adding that “there can be no preparedness for such an eventuality”.
There has been calm along the de facto border in Kashmir since commanders of the two sides agreed last Thursday to halt the cross-border firing.
Pakistan says three of its soldiers died in the firing while India says it lost two of its soldiers – marking the worst violence along the frontier dividing the region since the two nations nearly went to war in 2003.