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Archive for February 21st, 2016

Drought, Rat Infestations to Plague 85% of Philippines

Posted by feww on February 21, 2016

Worst drought in memory spreading across southern Philippines

As of 31 January, about a quarter of the Philippines was experiencing drought, and the authorities forecast that drought would soon plague 85 percent of the country.

State of Calamity

Mindanao, the second largest and southernmost major island in the Philippines, which supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s food, is the worst affected area, reported the Food and Agriculture Organization, said a report.

The province of Maguindanao declared a “state of calamity” on 29 January, said UNOCHA, adding that 27,300 farmers in Mindanao are affected by drought and a rat infestation.


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WINSTON Devastates Fiji

Posted by feww on February 21, 2016

TC WINSTON, strongest ever storm to hit Fiji, wreaks destruction across the island nation

Authorities in Fiji say the most powerful storm on record to hit the country has killed at least five people, razing  entire villages and destroying hundreds of homes.

TC WINSTON slammed the tiny nation with 330-km winds, torrential rain and tsunami-like waves of up to 15m, according to FIRE-EARTH Models.

The destructive storm prompted the government to impose a nationwide curfew and declare a 30-day state of national disaster, said reports. [The declaration would empower police to arrest people without a warrant.]

Spokesman for Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office told reporters that about 80% of the population were without electricity.

Fiji PM described the storm as “an ordeal of the most grievous kind.”


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Another Nuclear Reactor in Japan Leaking Radioactive Water

Posted by feww on February 21, 2016

Takahama nuclear power plant west of Tokyo leaks radioactive water

A pressurized water reactor (PWR) at Japan’s Takahama nuclear power plant, located in Fukui Prefecture, about 120km northwest of Osaka metropolitan area (pop: ~ 19 million) and 380km west of Tokyo, is leaking radioactive water.

The reactor would have been the fourth resume operation after the the nationwide shutdown of nuclear power stations that followed the triple  meltdown at Fukushima in March 2011.

At least 34 liters of radioactive water (about 64,000 becquerels of radioactivity) have escaped Takahama’s reactor No. 4, said the plant operator, Kansai Electric Power.

Unit 3 was restarted January 29, 2016, despite strong objections by various rights groups. “Restart of the Takahama plant is a human rights injustice toward children and those with handicaps,” said Aileen Mioko Smith, executive director of the antinuclear group Green Action.

“There is no evacuation plan in place for the tens of thousands of people with special needs — inpatients and outpatients at hospitals and various facilities, those in day care, and those with handicaps living at home. When others can flee, there are no vehicles to transport these people nor medical care prepared at the evacuation site.”

[More than 180,000 people live in 12 towns and cities within 30km radius of the leaky reactor, in Fukui, Kyoto and Shiga prefectures.]

The government introduced additional “safety measures” soon after the Fukushima disasters; however, reactors that didn’t meet the new safety standards were somehow made exempt from the regulation, and allowed to restart.

In April 2015, the Fukui District Court overturned an earlier decision approving the restart the of Takahama reactors 3 and 4 and ordered them to remain offline due to “safety concerns.” The court ruled that guidelines issued by Japan’s governmental Nuclear Regulation Authority.

“The new regulations are not reasonable, therefore there is no need to study whether the Takahama plant satisfies them. There is little rational basis for saying that an earthquake with a magnitude that exceeds the safety standard will not occur. It is an optimistic view,” ruled the local judge.

The court also rejected an appeal by Kansai Electric Company in May, 2015.

Map of Japan’s Nuclear Power Plants. Click image to enlarge.

Unsurprisingly, influential members of Japan’s “fifth Column”, which support the Abe government and the nuclear mafia, namely a former Tokyo high court judge and current Chou Law School Professor Jun Masuda, as well as Japan’s newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, heavily criticized the presiding Judge Hideaki Higuchi.

Masuda said: “It seems the judge has already had the idea of demanding absolute safety from the beginning. Judges are not experts on nuclear power plants, so it is imperative that they humbly pay attention to scientific knowledge. I doubt the presiding judge took that into consideration.”

The reactionary newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun pinioned: “We have no choice but to call it an irrational decision,” and, “Such a stance seeking zero risk is unrealistic.”

Abe’s government overrode the judge’s ruling and ordered the reactors’ restart.

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