Eskom finally releases Koeberg ‘Emergency Plan’

The Koeberg Alert Alliance (KAA) first requested a copy of the emergency and evacuation plan for for the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station via a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) request in 2010.  This was formally refused on 2 June 2010 by Steve Lennon, the co-ordinating Deputy Information Officer for Eskom Holdings, for convoluted legal reasons.

A second PAIA application was made by the KAA in 2011.  This was initially refused on 22 November 2011 by Eddie Laubscher, the National Deputy Information Officer for Eskom Holdings.  The CEO of the NNR (National Nuclear Regulator), Adv Boyce Mkhize also formally refused access to the plan on 23 November 2011, claiming it was classified as confidential. Continue reading

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What actually happened at Fukushima?

During a recent trip to Fukushima, there was the opportunity to see first hand the effects of the nuclear disaster on the surrounding areas, and to speak to people living there whose daily lives have been affected, and will continue to be affected.  With the one anniversary approaching, its an appropriate time to look back over the year and consider what actually happened. Continue reading

Measuring radiation in Fukushima, Japan

Radiation contamination map

During our recent trip to Fukushima, we carried two geiger counters with us, one inside the bus, and one taped to the outside of the window, facing inwards.

These geiger counters measure gamma radiation, and give a readout in micro Sieverts per hour, or μSv/h.  Most people in the world are not familiar with these units, but, of course, here in Japan there is a high level of familiarity and interest in radiation levels.  For example, on the right is a map stuck on the lockers in an office I went to. Continue reading

On the ground in Fukushima

I am sitting in a hotel in Tokyo, after attending the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World this past weekend.  The sessions were video recorded, and was streamed in real time.  Over 100 000 people watched the streaming.  See http://npfree.jp/english/

Before the conference we were taken on a two day tour of Fukushima city and some areas nearby, and listened to local people talk about the experience, Continue reading

Nuclear industry in trouble

The nuclear era can be divided into BF and AF – before and after Fukushima.  The disaster in Japan was a watershed moment, even prompting the normally up beat International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) to issue a statement in September 2011 downgrading their predictions for the growth in the nuclear industry.  The CEO of one of Germany’s power companies said the industry would face ‘extraordinary costs’ due to the resulting market shifts.

Areva’s future uncertain

Continue reading