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First Japanese reactors prepare for restart

22 May 2015

Japan's nuclear regulator has approved Kyushu Electric Power Company's 'construction plan' for unit 2 of its Sendai nuclear power plant. The company hopes to restart unit 1 of the plant in July, with unit 2 following within months.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has today approved the construction plan for unit 2. Kyushu had submitted an amendment to that plan on 28 April.

With the latest approval, Sendai 1 and 2 have now both been granted two of the three regulatory approvals needed for restart. The remaining approval is for inspections to check operational safety programs.

Magnox streamlines UK operations

22 May 2015

An organizational restructuring of UK company Magnox Ltd as it streamlines its operating model will lead to a reduction of up to 1600 staff across its UK sites over the period to September 2016.

Commission calls for tighter monitoring of German waste

21 May 2015

Guidelines on the processing and storage of low- and intermediate-level waste in Germany are being implemented inconsistently, the independent commission which drew up the guidelines has told the country's environment ministry.

Japan to raise worker emergency radiation exposure limits

21 May 2015

Japan's nuclear regulator is to increase the radiation exposure limit for workers in emergency situations from the current 100 millisieverts (mSv) to 250 mSv. The limit was temporarily raised following the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Russian parliament outlines state support for U mining

22 May 2015

The agrarian committee of Russia's Federation Council has approved measures aimed at providing state incentives to the country's uranium mining industry, Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ), the uranium mining arm of state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said yesterday. The Federation Council is the upper chamber of the Federal Assembly, the upper house of the Russian parliament.

Areva signs up for Texas storage facility

21 May 2015

CISF_rendering_(WCS)_48UPDATED Areva Inc is to take a lead role in designing, constructing and operating a proposed interim storage facility for used nuclear fuel in Texas, after signing an agreement to be Waste Control Specialist's exclusive primary subcontractor. NAC International is to work alongside Areva to support the project.

Tepco sees progress in understanding of Fukushima accident

20 May 2015

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) today released the latest findings of an ongoing investigation into how the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant unfolded. Tepco said the findings support measures being taken at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant, which it hopes to restart.

Making room for nature

The Ecomodernist Manifesto is positive, science-based, technologically upbeat and realistic in facing up to the expectations of 7+ billion people. And it isn't over the top, writes Ian Hore-Lacy.

The document was published on 14 April over the names of 18 individuals known for their environmental stance and writings. Mark Lynas, Michael Shellenberger, Linus Blomqvist, Ted Nordhaus and Stewart Brand are possibly the best-known internationally, along with Australia's Barry Brook, and filmmaker Robert Stone.

They wrote: "We affirm one long-standing environmental ideal, that humanity must shrink its impacts on the environment to make more room for nature, while we reject another, that human societies must harmonize with nature to avoid economic and ecological collapse."

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