• This past weekend witnessed controversy between experts over the situation with the geological anomaly running under the Oi nuclear station. The Nuclear Regulatory Authority’s expert investigative team surveyed the work done by Kansai Electric Company at Oi. Three of the panel’s seismic experts have gone public with their differing opinions about the seam in the bedrock, which is called a “crush zone”. The point of dispute concerns rock layers just above the fissure which show evidence of an event about 125,000 years ago. Was it caused by a seismic shift in the underlying anomaly or was it caused by a local landslide unconnected to the fissure? One seismic expert, Professor Mitsuhisa Watanabe, says, “It’s certain there is an active fault. Operations [at Oi station] should be stopped and another investigation should be conducted.” On the other hand, Professor Atsumasa Okada says landslides can create fissures in the underlying bedrock and drawing a conclusion at this point would be hasty. The NRA member on the team, Kunihiko Shimazaki, said that while the 125,000-year-old rock strata shows a fissure, it was caused by either an earthquake or a landslide but there’s not enough data to make a firm judgment as to which might be the reason. The group will meet again on Wednesday in the hope of resolving the dispute. If the issue remains unresolved, the NRA will probably require a renewed investigation. (Japan Today; NHK World; Yomiuri Shimbun: Asahi Shimbun; Japan Times)
  • Scientific American writer John Horgan takes a neutral look at hurricane Sandy’s impacts on the nukes in her path. Or, rather, Sandy’s lack of impacts. Hogan says there were none. He points out that this fact is presented in two different ways, depending on which side of the nuclear energy issue one might be in. Although the pro-nukes say Sandy shows that nukes are safe, opponents say Sandy poses serious nuclear safety questions. His conclusion is rather surprising… http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2012/11/02/does-sandy-mean-we-should-have-fewer-nukes-or-more/
  • A student sociological research project at Nagoya’s Chukyo University focusses on antinuclear demonstrations. It seems most rally participants are older citizens along with mothers and their children, but relatively few younger adults. The students were surprised at the friendly behavior of those participating in a recent protest in Nagoya, which is outside the new, expanded NRA emergency planning zones. “I was surprised to see how polite the participants were, and they seemed to be having fun. It completely changed my original image of them as scary or self-absorbed,” said third-year student Sachi Matsuda. Tomohide Kido, was equally impressed. “People in Nagoya are paying close attention to the nuclear issue even though there is no atomic plant in the city.” However, the students say doubts exist as to the effectiveness of such demonstrations. The local utility, Kepco, essentially ignores the protests and passers-by often give the participants disapproving stares. (Japan Times)
  • Four of the six persons drafting Japan’s new nuclear regulations have acknowledged receipt of donations and grants from the Japanese nuclear industry during the past four years. The NRA requires experts involved in drafting safety standards for nuclear plants to disclose their remuneration received from the industry. The Nuclear Regulatory Authority says none of the four are in violation of the regulations for panel membership. The NRA secretary said all four “were selected in line with regulations, and there should thus be no problem” over their appointment. The lowest reported amount was $35,000 (research grant) and the highest $318,000 (research grants and academic donations). Nuclear critics express concern that such income might compromise the panel’s objectivity and produce watered-down safety regulations. (Japan Times)
  • The Mayor of Minamisoma says Japan is heading in the wrong direction following the Fukushima tragedy. Mayor Katsunobu Sakurai is upset with Tokyo’s decontamination efforts and the government’s lack of certainty with respect to the country’s energy future. He told Japan’s Foreign Correspondent’s Club, “I seriously question whether politicians on the national level really understand the reality we are facing.” He complains that many city residents are also dissatisfied, “They asked me, ‘Are we completely abandoned?'” Sakurai is convinced that the government and the Japanese Press are treating the F. Daiichi accident as if it is a thing of the past. He insists the accident situation is on-going. He points to the need for a cultural shift nation-wide, “We need to change the system that we have here in Japan in which Japanese politicians and Japanese mass media basically work together. But the reality I feel is that we are moving in the completely opposite direction. We are not changing the system for the better. We are going backward. We are moving toward the way things were. The revival of Japan depends on the revival of Fukushima.” (Mainichi Shimbun)

This week’s Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers is hosted by the Next Big Future website. This week’s topics include, but are not limited to… – nuclear facts and fears surrounding hurricane Sandy, the spent fuel pool situation at Oyster Creek nuclear station in New Jersey, the hazards of radioactive Cesium, why MRIs are not a nuclear energy-related process, and the sudden increase in Kazakhstan’s Uranium production. http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/11/carnival-of-nuclear-energy-129.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2Fadvancednano+%28nextbigfuture%29