Wednesday, December 5, 2012

US Academy of Sciences Went to #Fukushima I Nuke Plant to "Learn the Lesson", US, UK, French Regulators to Become "International Advisors" to Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Authority

Members of the US National Academy of Sciences were there at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on November 30 in Tyvek suits and full-face masks to learn the lesson from the accident.

Whether it is because of the Japanese media and citizens clearly having "moved on", or because of some other reasons, the visit was hardly reported or remarked in Japan. I learned about it yesterday after checking the TEPCO's Photos and Videos section and found photos of the members in various locations inside the plant:

Then on December 5, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Japan announced its "international advisors" from the US, the UK and France. According to NRA, they are:

  • Mr. André-Claude Lacoste (France, former chairman of ASN)

  • Dr. Richard A. Meserve (US, former chairman of NRC)

  • Dr. Mike Weightman (UK, head of ONR, was the head of the IAEA mission to Japan)

The NRA and the international advisors will have their first meeting on December 14 in Tokyo. They will probably keep a very good eye on Japan, so that Japan does not deviate from the nuclear path.

But then, these experts need not worry, as the Japanese have moved on. They are now obsessed with the upcoming election. Many point to the brighter future somewhere over the horizon and dream, while not even noticing they have stepped on a pile of dog excrement. By the power of sheer hope, they don't smell it, they don't see it, therefore it doesn't exist.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Meserve is a nuclear lawyer.

"Dr. Richard A. Meserve, who served as Chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) from 1999 to 2003 following many years as a partner at Covington & Burling, is currently senior of counsel to the firm. Dr. Meserve is based in Covington's Washington office. With a Ph.D. in applied physics, Dr. Meserve has long concentrated his practice on issues at the intersections of law, regulation, science, and technology."

see full bio at link

He is also pretty close to PG&E, they operate the Diablo Canyon NPP, which has had its share of scandals.

"Dr. Meserve, 67, has been a director of PG&E Corporation and the Utility since December 2006. He currently is Chair of the PG&E Corporation Nuclear, Operations, and Safety Committee, and a member of the PG&E Corporation Nominating and Governance Committee, the PG&E Corporation Public Policy Committee, and the PG&E Corporation and Utility Executive Committees."

"A 2011 analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, "Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers: 2008-10" found dozens of companies, including fossil fuels, used tax breaks and various tax dodging methods to have a negative tax balance between 2008 and 2010, while making billions in profits. The study found 32 companies in the fossil-fuel industry -- such as Peabody Energy, ConEd, and PG&E -- transformed a tax responsibility of $17.3 billion on $49.4 billion in pretax profits into a tax benefit of $6.5 billion, for a net gain of $24 billion.

The companies that paid no tax for at least one year between 2008 and 2010 are the utilities Ameren, American Electric Power, CenterPoint Energy, CMS Energy, Consolidated Edison, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy, FirstEnergy, Integrys, NextEra Energy, NiSource, Pepco, PG&E, PPL, Progress Energy, Sempra Energy, Wisconsin Energy and Xcel Energy.

A similar report by the organization Public Campaign published in December 2011, entitled "For Hire: Lobbyists or the 99%?," incorporated information on lobbying expenditures. PG&E was second on the list, with $4,855 million in profits from 2008-2010, a net gain of $1,027 million in taxes (after receiving tax rebates) and a total expenditure of $78.99 million on lobbying."

Anonymous said...

Dr. Meserve is also a member of "The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future". If you'd like to know what they are planning to do with the US waste stockpile see the pdf. for 192 pages of fun.

"The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (BRC) was formed by the
Secretary of Energy at the request of the President to conduct a comprehensive review
of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle and recommend a new
plan. It is co-chaired by Rep. Lee H. Hamilton and Gen. Brent Scowcroft. Other
Commissioners are Mr. Mark H. Ayers, the Hon. Vicky A. Bailey, Dr. Albert Carnesale,
Sen. Pete Domenici, Ms. Susan Eisenhower, Sen. Chuck Hagel, Mr. Jonathan Lash, Dr.
Allison M. Macfarlane, Dr. Richard A. Meserve, Dr. Ernest J. Moniz, Dr. Per Peterson, Mr.
John Rowe, and Rep. Phil Sharp."

Anonymous said...

WANO delegates from around the world visited the Fukushima site back in September, but this too was not covered in the media. Such groups don't send out press releases in advance. They don't want the media there, and so the media never hears about it. Notice that this press release went out after the meetings were over:

JAnonymous said...

[advance apologies for the length]

@anons up there, thank you for the background on WANO and Dr Meserve.

Speaking of blue ribbon, they traveled to France to sample wine and cheese, errr I mean, to find out what Andra is doing with the nuclear waste.

Andra is the french national agency for nuclear waste management. They operate scary surface disposal sites, but only for barely radioactive waste (some mechanical parts, suits and masks, gloves, etc...) whose activity has an half-life of 30yrs. For high activity waste, they are considering burying (hello there, yucca mountain), but nothing's decided at the moment (sounds familiar again ?).

Andra's budget is financed by waste producers (utilities, hospitals, research labs,... = taxpayers)

And now, enter M. Lacoste. This guy is a real weasel. The french ASN (NRC in english) is a pile of crap, yet everyone praised him for his few past strong stands. That happened when he announced last month that he would retire. Actually, this is probably a cultural thing, since nobody blamed Chirac (or Miterrand) when they retired even though they were the weasels of all weasels.

So back to the Lacoste topic, there is a very interesting piece written by Stephane Lhomme ( that I can translate if people feel like reading it : .

This guy Stephane Lhomme heads an anti-nuke association and announced on live TV in 2007 (following the earthquake and Kashiwazaki incident, an early and foiled attempt at a Fukushima-like accident) that 10 to 20+ japanese nuclear reactors should be stopped immediately for security reasons, because the so-called inactive faults were actually active. This happened much to the amusement of the CEA head of the time and present (who's "laughing" now ?).

CEA is a french lobby-like thing that promotes everything nuclear and is very fond of the fact that military and civilian nuclear programs depend on each other. And intends things to stay like this.

As of today (december 6th), M. Lacoste is starting to enjoy his retirement and it is such a great timing that his last trip were to be Fukushima. I hope he chokes on his omiyage mochi for the new year.

Atomfritz said...

semi OT:
Maybe they just want to learn lying more perfectly.

On March 18 Masao Yoshida barked this at the Tepco bureaucrats in the teleconference:
"All workers are approaching 200 (millisieverts) in exposure or have even topped 200." [*]

But, officially Tepco reported something very different. See also here:


H/T elbows

Anonymous said...

Looks like a sales team with members from countries with the most export interests in nuclear reactor technlogies. Looks lite this committee will be useless exept for producing cheap tricks that Japan will buy with mixed great feelings.
Hope they enjoy their many trips to Kanto and breath, drink, eat Fukushima seaweeds, sole and saury and expose their eyes wide open to the dusts. They are worst individuals than weapon or drug smugglers.

Anonymous said...

I heard they were taking samples just in case there were any superheavy atoms from the fabled island of stability but all they found were crazy atoms from the bad side of the periodic table.

Anonymous said...

One would think that the obvious conflict of interest would make all three stooges suspect. Why not get advice from unbiased persons?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of which there must be a more comprehensive way to describe the periodic table,one could do away with names to begin with and locate clusters of protons,neutrons and electrons in a 3 dimensional computer based application.

Take Hydrogen for example,it's 1 proton,no neutron and 1 electron is 1-0-1,Deuterium is 1-1-1.

Pick one at random,Manganese:25-30-25.

So called Cesium 132:55-77-55

Nothing new but you can do away with arbitary names as they are irrelevent.

With this tool it is possible to see the link between one 'Element' and it's daughters in a theoretical decay chain.

Opening the mineral creator you can then select the abundance of the "Elements" you require in your mineral and allow the computer to calculate theoretical outcomes over a period of time.

Other factors such as ambient heat of cooling Plutons and pressure as well as invasion of hydrothermal fluids will be added as time permits.

Anonymous said...

Wait before you pour Skarn on the idea!

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