Kyodo, Jul 14, 2017 (emphasis added): Fukushima’s tritiated water to be dumped into sea, Tepco chief says — Despite the objections of local fishermen, the tritium-tainted water stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will be dumped into the sea, a top official at Tokyo Electric says. “The decision has already been made,” Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., said in a recent interview with the media… As of July 6, about 777,000 tons were stored [1.54 billion pounds]… Kawamura’s remarks are the first by the utility’s management on the sensitive matter… Continue reading
As Guam prepares to celebrate Liberation Day this week, political leaders on the Pacific island say it is time to decide whether to remain a US colony or become an independent nation.
Debate about independence has raged for decades but legal complications mean plans to take the issue to a vote have stalled several times.
Former senator Eddie Duenas said a self-rule plebiscite was long overdue and should be held during a gubernatorial election expected next year.
“We have been driving but we don’t know where we’re driving to and how far we will go,” he told a recent meeting of Guam’s decolonisation commission in the capital Hagatna. Continue reading
Mass marine animal die-offs have become regular news in recent years, especially along the western coast of the America’s where it is quite common to hear of pods of whales or other animals mysteriously perishing in great numbers.
Most recently along the coast of California, primarily around the San Francisco Bay area, an alarming number of sharks are dying, and officials are at a loss as to why. For the past three months, thousands of dead leopard sharks have been washing up on shores in the bay, and their decomposing bodies may be making the problem worse. Continue reading
Defense analysts said Hawaii could be targeted by North Korea, which continues to develop its nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities, Military.com reported on May 13.
Hawaii is seen as a desirable target as it is headquarters for U.S. Pacific Command and has 11 military bases, including Pearl Harbor, said Dean Cheng, senior research fellow with the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation. Continue reading
Feiro Marine Life Center, Apr 18, 2017 (emphasis added): Speaker Series: Studying Fukushima Radiation off the Coast of North America — The Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring (InFORM) project is a partnership between academic, government, non-governmental organizations, and citizen scientists to monitor the arrival of Fukushima-derived contamination, cesium-134 (t1/2 = ~2 years), cesium-137 (t1/2 = ~30 years), and iodine-129 (t1/2 = 15.7 million years) in the open Pacific and Arctic Oceans and North American coastal waters. In response to public demand, monitoring began in the fall of 2014, when models predicted the arrival of radionuclide contamination from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. Monitoring efforts will capture the peak of the radionuclide contamination, predicted to occur in our waters… Contamination levels continue to be below levels that are known to represent a significant threat to human or ecosystem health. Continue reading
South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), Mar 16, 2017 (emphasis added): The low salmon run size for the Yuba River appears to be part of another regional salmon collapse. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife point to preliminary data from the Sacramento River that indicates salmon runs have also dropped to record low levels. According to Dan Bacher’s reporting, last year’s salmon run on the Klamath River was a 38-year low… Gary Reedy, SYRCL’s consulting salmon expert reports that “A new crash for the Central Valley Chinook salmon is not unexpected.”… Continue reading
Arnie Gundersen, former nuclear engineer (emphasis added), Feb 2, 2017: “When I went to school, the saying was ‘dilution is the solution to pollution,’ and that’s what the Japanese believe. If they dump [radioactive water from Fukushima Daiichi] on their side and it floats over to the West Coast of the U.S. — the Pacific’s a big place — it’ll dilute out. I don’t think that’s appropriate… people are going to die. Regardless of how low the radiation is, it does cause cellular damage and cancer. So if you spread it out in a big body of water, the concentration goes down, but on the other hand, you’ve got a couple billion people exposed to it because they’re on the edge of that big body of water. So the concentration is down but the population is up and you’re still going to get cancer; it’s inevitable.” Continue reading
Akio Matsumura, Japanese Diplomat, Feb 11, 2017 (emphasis added): The Potential Catastrophe of Reactor 2 at Fukushima Daiichi: What Effect for the Pacific and the US?… It is clear to us now that the radiation level in the containment vessel of the crippled Reactor 2 is much higher than experts had believed… The danger of Reactor 2 begs us to ask many new questions… Continue reading
The radiation levels at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are now at “unimaginable” levels.
Adam Housley, who reported from the area in 2011 following the catastrophic triple-meltdown, said this morning that new fuel leaks have been discovered.
He said the radiation levels – as high as 530 sieverts per hour – are now the highest they’ve been since 2011 when a tsunami hit the coastal reactor. Continue reading
Russia’s Ministry of Defence announced on 6 October the formation of a new long-range Heavy Bomber Division (Tyazheloy Bombardirovochnoy Aviatsionnoy Divizii, or HBD/TBAD). Stationed in the Far East, the unit’s role is to patrol the Pacific Ocean and, in particular, sea areas near to Japan, Hawaii, and Guam. Continue reading
Chinese military’s interest piqued after Haiyi-7000 makes it 5,751 metres down world’s deepest ocean trench
Chinese researchers have just carried out the first test of what they believe will be the world’s deepest-reaching underwater glider – challenging the record held by a vessel now in use by the US Navy.
The Haiyi-7000 – carried on board the maiden voyage of China’s submersible mother ship, Tansuo-1 – was deployed above the Mariana Trench, in the western Pacific, an ocean trench with the greatest known ocean depth of 11,034 metres from late June to early August.
It was able to glide down to a depth of 5,751 metres and its progress has greatly interested the People’s Liberation Army Navy. Continue reading
It’s one of the great engineering achievements in history…
At 48 miles long, the Panama Canal cuts through a narrow strip of land in Central America.
It links up the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, allowing ships to pass through the landmass instead of sailing around a whole continent.
Ships pay dearly to use this shortcut… up to $375,000 for a one-way toll.
It’s worth the price. Continue reading
Consolidating power in the Panama Canal
For more than 100 years, the Panama Canal has controlled the bulk of goods transferred between the Pacific and the Atlantic. For much of that history, this monumental feat of engineering was under the control of the United States. But this is no longer the case.
In May, Panama’s largest port was purchased by a Chinese company called Landbridge Group.
Margarita Island Port, on the canal’s Atlantic side, offers the company intimate access to one of the most important goods distribution centers in the world.
While promising to upgrade the ailing Panama facilities and offer more trade with America’s distant east coast, there is substantial reason to hesitate at the purchase of such a critical trade hub.
As the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower entered the Mediterranean Sea this week, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson told lawmakers on Capitol Hill the deployment has historic import [sic] for the Navy.
American warships are operating in the South China Sea, where intensifying territorial counterclaims and aggressive actions by China are responsible for heightening tension, and the Middle East, where two carriers — the Harry S. Truman and the Eisenhower — now are positioned to carry out airstrikes against targets of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.
As of last week, Richardson said, the Navy had six carriers underway — a development he called “a milestone.” Continue reading
Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Nguyen Thanh Sean says that his country is not opposed to the Russian Navy returning to the base in Cam Ranh Bay, on the condition that its presence is not directed against any third country. Will Russia take the opportunity to regain a foothold in Southeast Asia? Svobodnaya Pressa journalist Anton Mardasov explores.
Speaking to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti earlier this week, Nguyen Thanh Sean explained that “Vietnam’s policy is not to enter military alliances or to ally with any one state against another.”
During the interview, Nguyen Thanh Sean also said that Hanoi plans to continue defense cooperation with Russia, and added that Vietnam has always considered Russia to be “a close country, and a traditional partner,” and that a “relationship of trust with Russia is a priority of Vietnamese foreign policy.” Continue reading