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Inspector resigns as 127 Fukushima children diagnosed malignant or possible malignant thyroid tumor

thyroid-cancer-papillary127 Fukushima children diagnosed malignant or possible malignant thyroid tumor / Inspector Suzuki resigned http://fukushima-diary.com/2015/05/127-fukushima-children-diagnosed-malignant-or-possible-malignant-thyroid-tumor-inspector-suzuki-resigned/  5/18/2015, Fukushima prefectural government announced they found malignant or possible malignant thyroid tumor from 127 children so far.

Among 127 children, they confirmed 103 children cases are thyroid cancer.

Before 311, pediatric thyroid cancer was found only in one of 1 million children. The population of Fukushima prefecture is approx. 200 million in 2012.

They have tested only 0.4 million children so far.

Also, Fukushima health investigative committee announced in the press conference that the thyroid tumor inspector, Suzuki, professor from Fukushima medical university resigned “in order to focus on the medical treatment of thyroid cancer”. The successor, Otsuru, who is also a professor of Fukushima medical university stated he is a physician so he cannot treat the cancer.

May 23, 2015 Posted by | children, Fukushima 2015, Japan | Leave a comment

Unable to get volunteer locations, Japan will now impose nuclear waste sites

wastes-Fukushima-for-incineMETI changes tactics after search for nuclear waste host proves futile http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/22/national/meti-changes-tactics-search-nuclear-waste-host-proves-futile/#.VV-6ZdKeAXB

KYODO The government will select potential areas to host nuclear dump sites instead of waiting for communities to volunteer, according to the revised policy on permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste that was adopted by the Cabinet on Friday.

The revision, the first in seven years, was prompted after towns, villages and cities throughout Japan snubbed requests to host nuclear waste dumps. The government has been soliciting offers since 2002.

The move is seen as a sign that the government wants to address the matter as it proceeds with its pursuit of reactor restarts. All commercial units have largely sat idle since the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 plant in 2011.

It remains unclear when a final depository could be built, because the policy mentions no time frame. The government also plans to expand its storage capacity for spent fuel by building new interim facilities as a short-term fix.

“We will steadily proceed with the process as (resolving the problem is) the current generation’s responsibility,” minister of economy, trade and industry Yoichi Miyazawa told reporters, adding there will be “quite a few” candidate sites.

They will be chosen on scientific grounds, the policy says.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is seeking to revive atomic power, although the majority of the public remains opposed in light of the Fukushima disaster, which left tens of thousands homeless. Critics have attacked the government for promoting atomic power without resolving where all the waste will end up.

Permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste requires that a depository be built more than 300 meters underground, where the materials must lie for up to 100,000 years until radiation levels fall to the point where there is no harm to humans or the environment.

About 17,000 tons of spent fuel is stored on the premises of nuclear plants and elsewhere in Japan, but some would run out of space in three years if all the reactors got back online.

Under the revision, the government said it will allow future generations to retrieve high-level waste from such facilities should policy changes or new technologies emerge.

Worldwide, only Finland and Sweden have been able to pick final depository sites. Finland is building the world’s first permanent disposal site for high-level waste in Olkiluoto, aiming to put it into operation around 2020.

But many other countries with nuclear plants are struggling to find a site for such a facility. In the United States, President Barack Obama decided in 2009 to call off a plan to build a disposal site in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain due to local opposition.

May 23, 2015 Posted by | - Fukushima 2011, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Japan raises the ‘acceptable’ radiation level for nuclear emergency workers

text ionisingflag-japanNRA to raise nuclear worker radiation exposure limit for emergencies http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/21/national/nra-raise-nuclear-worker-radiation-exposure-limit-emergencies/#.VV-819KeAXA KYODO

 The Nuclear Regulation Authority decided Wednesday to raise the maximum radiation exposure limit for nuclear workers in emergencies to 250 millisieverts from the current 100, starting from next April. Following the 2011 disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex, the maximum limit of cumulative exposure was raised to 250 millisieverts as an emergency measure for workers at the plant, but was lowered back to the previous limit of 100 in December 2011.

In light of the Fukushima meltdowns, the regulator had been considering raising the limit in the event of another disaster as Japan gets closer to reactivating some of its reactors, which remain offline amid heightened safety concerns.

Shunichi Tanaka, the NRA’s chairman, told a news conference that the current limit could be an obstacle in containing a crisis in the future, and the revision, which will entail a legal amendment, is “a step forward” in addressing the issue.

The regulator said it believes raising the limit to 250 millisieverts is appropriate based on overseas standards and scientific studies.

May 23, 2015 Posted by | health, Japan, radiation | Leave a comment

Japan SAYS it will start removing fuel debris from stricken reactors in 2021

Japan still aims to start removing fuel debris from stricken reactors in 2021, Fukushima Emergencywhat can we do? 22 May 15
Japan still aims to start removing nuclear fuel debris at the three damaged reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant in 2021, it was learned Thursday.
The schedule remained intact in a draft update to the government’s roadmap to the decommissioning of reactors 1, 2 and 3, all of which experienced fuel meltdowns during the nuclear disaster from March 2011. The draft was submitted to a meeting of a government task force on the matter.
But it looks inevitable that the government will review the schedule. The exaction location of the molten nuclear fuel in the reactors is still unknown and radiation levels in and around the reactors are very high.
In autumn last year, the government and Tepco discussed a delay of about five years in the start of work to remove the fuel debris from reactor 1.
But the draft said Japan will choose the method to remove the debris by the end of September 2018 and start taking out the molten fuel by the end of 2021. It is still unclear which reactor Japan will choose for the first removal work.
Meanwhile, the government is reviewing the schedule for removing spent fuel at storage pools at the three reactors.
Removal work has been slated to begin for reactor 3 by the end of this September. But the work will likely be delayed because radiation levels remain high and operations to remove rubble from the damaged building have not progressed as planned……http://fukushimaemergencywhatcanwedo.blogspot.com.au/

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Japan’s Government and TEPCO sued by Ex-Futaba mayor, over Fukushima nuclear disaster

Ex-Futaba mayor sues state, Tepco over Fukushima nuclear disaster Fukushima Emergency what can we do? 22 May 15  Katsutaka Idogawa, the former mayor of Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture, filed a lawsuit against the central government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday for exposing him to excessive radiation since the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

Seeking ¥148.5 million in damages, Idogawa, 69, claimed that sloppy management by the central government and Tepco caused him to receive radiation over the annual limit during the early phase of the disaster, when hydrogen explosions and the venting of steam from reactor containment vessels took place.
Futaba is one of the two municipalities that host Tepco’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the site of the disaster.
At a news conference, Idogawa expressed regrets for his inability to protect local residents from radiation. He also asked Futaba residents to join the lawsuit.
In his petition, Idogawa claimed to have received the excessive radiation between March 11, 2011, when the disaster started, and March 19 that year, when residents evacuated Futaba for Saitama Prefecture.
This was because as Futaba mayor he took part in work to collect information, secure places to which local residents could evacuate, and instruct and guide fleeing locals, according to the petition.
The suit, filed with the Tokyo District Court, is the first seeking compensation for health damage from events early in the nuclear crisis, according to Idogawa’s attorney. http://fukushimaemergencywhatcanwedo.blogspot.com.au/

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

Japan still aims to start removing fuel debris from stricken reactors in 2021

Japan still aims to start removing fuel debris from stricken reactors in 2021
Japan still aims to start removing nuclear fuel debris at the three damaged reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant in 2021, it was learned Thursday.
The schedule remained intact in a draft update to the government’s roadmap to the decommissioning of reactors 1, 2 and 3, all of which experienced fuel meltdowns during the nuclear disaster from March 2011. The draft was submitted to a meeting of a government task force on the matter.
But it looks inevitable that the government will review the schedule. The exaction location of the molten nuclear fuel in the reactors is still unknown and radiation levels in and around the reactors are very high.
In autumn last year, the government and Tepco discussed a delay of about five years in the start of work to remove the fuel debris from reactor 1.
But the draft said Japan will choose the method to remove the debris by the end of September 2018 and start taking out the molten fuel by the end of 2021. It is still unclear which reactor Japan will choose for the first removal work.
Meanwhile, the government is reviewing the schedule for removing spent fuel at storage pools at the three reactors.
Removal work has been slated to begin for reactor 3 by the end of this September. But the work will likely be delayed because radiation levels remain high and operations to remove rubble from the damaged building have not progressed as planned.
Source : Japan Times
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/22/national/science-health/japan-still-aims-start-removing-fuel-debris-stricken-reactors-2021/#.VV-gTEZZNBR
Fukushima N-fuel debris schedule may be reviewed
Japan still aims to start removing nuclear fuel debris at the three damaged reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant in 2021, it has been learned.
The schedule remained intact in a draft update to the government’s roadmap to the decommissioning of the No. 1 to No. 3 reactors. The draft was submitted to a meeting of a government task force on the matter.
But it looks inevitable that the government will review the schedule. The whereabouts of the molten nuclear fuel are still unknown and radiation levels in and around the reactors are very high.
In autumn last year, the government and TEPCO discussed a delay of about five years in the start of work to remove the fuel debris at the No. 1 reactor.
But the draft said Japan will choose the method to remove the debris by the end of September 2018 and start taking out the molten fuel by the end of 2021.
Source : Yomiuri
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002167947

May 22, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

LDP wants to let evacuees move back to areas tainted with 50 millisieverts or less by March 2017

001LDP wants to let evacuees to move back to areas tainted with 50 millisieverts or less by March 2017

A team from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is requesting that Fukushima’s nuclear evacuees be allowed to return to parts of the prefecture where the annual radiation dose is 50 millisieverts or less by March 2017.

The proposal to prematurely lift the nuclear evacuation orders was made Thursday by the LDP’s Headquarters for Accelerating Reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake. The conservative party will submit this and other related measures to its leader, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, later this month after consulting with coalition partner Komeito.

The LDP’s proposal covers two of the three restricted areas around the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, which tainted much of the prefecture during the three core meltdowns triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

One of the areas has an estimated annual radiation dose of 20 millisieverts or less. It has been designated as an area where residents can prepare for evacuation orders to be lifted.

The other has an estimated annual radiation dose of between 20 and 50 millisieverts.

The 55,000 or so registered residents in the two areas are only allowed entry for a handful of activities, including short visits and business.

The third restricted area, which won’t see its evacuation status lifted by March 2017, is the most heavily polluted and is estimated to have an annual radiation dose beyond 50 millisieverts. The area, which has about 22,000 registered residents, remains a no-go zone.

The LDP team said the government should take steps to pave the way for a smooth transition in the two less-polluted areas by accelerating decontamination work and rebuilding infrastructure.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. is paying ¥100,000 in consolation money to each displaced resident in the two areas every month. The payments are to be terminated one year after the evacuation orders are lifted.

The LDP team proposed that Tepco continue making the payments until March 2018, regardless of when the evacuation orders are lifted for the two areas.

Last year, Japan lifted evacuation orders in parts of Tamura and the village of Kawauchi that had been included in the least-polluted of the three areas. The proposed uniform expiration rules for the consolation payments should also apply to Tamura and Kawauchi residents, said key headquarters official Shinji Inoue, former state minister of the environment.

The LDP team also said the two years through fiscal 2016 should be designated as a period of intensive assistance to help residents restore their independence in their hometowns.

The government should create a new assistance organization for that purpose, the team said, urging the government to instruct Tepco to compensate a wider range of businesses damaged by the nuclear disaster.

The team also said disaster-affected municipalities should cover a portion of the costs for some reconstruction projects. So far, the central government, which had placed responsibility for both promoting nuclear energy and overseeing the industry under the same ministry for decades, has been footing the entire bill.

Source : Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/22/national/ldp-team-calls-lifting-evacuation-orders-less-radiation-polluted-areas-march-2017/#.VV-cpUZZNBS

Nuclear disaster evacuees voice doubts about LDP recovery plan

Evacuees of the Fukushima nuclear disaster have voiced skepticism over a Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) plan to lift evacuation recommendations for all but the most heavily contaminated areas by March 2017, questioning whether decontamination will have advanced sufficiently by then.

The plan would lift evacuation recommendations for all areas except those with the most severe designation by March 2017. Compensation for emotional stress of 100,000 yen per month per resident would continue to be paid across the board until one year after that.

Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, could have its evacuation recommendation lifted as early as this summer. Under the current system, compensation to its residents would end next summer, but if the LDP plan is adopted, compensation would be extended for as long as a year and a half.

Miyoko Matsumoto, 84, who evacuated from Naraha to adjacent Iwaki, lives alone in temporary housing.

“I am glad that the compensation will be extended, but money is not the only reason that I cannot go back,” she says.

While she wants to return to her hometown, her home there was badly damaged in the Great East Japan Earthquake and needs to be rebuilt. However, with construction workers busy rebuilding the area, she doesn’t know when her turn will come. She adds, “If the neighbors don’t come back with me, I won’t be able to live there, as my legs and back are weak.”

Another evacuee, Fumitaka Kanazawa, 58, fled with his family from the town of Namie to the city of Fukushima.

“Will the evacuation recommendation really be lifted by March 2017?” he asked doubtfully.

Under the decontamination plan for Namie, removal of radioactive materials is scheduled to be completed by March 2017, but that is three years behind the initial schedule.

“They probably timed the lifting of evacuation recommendations and the end of compensation payments to lessen the financial burden on Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO),” he says.

The LDP plan states that “for the two years through the end of next fiscal year, the national government will guide TEPCO into providing proper compensation” for businesses and industries affected by the nuclear disaster. For the period after that, however, it only states, “We will react appropriately according to individual circumstances.”

Mikiko Matsumoto, 64, used to run a craft store with her family in the village of Katsurao, which is also subject to an evacuation recommendation. The business had continued for over 100 years.

“Now I am getting by on compensation payments, but what will I do if they end?” she asks. Although she wants to reopen her store in the old location, there will likely only be a limited number of residents who return to the village.

“I can’t receive compensation forever, but it is obvious that sales will be lower than before the disaster,” she says.

Katsurao Mayor Masahide Matsumoto comments, “Not everyone will come back, so many people will see fewer sales than before if they resume business here. Support will be needed for some time even after residents return.”

Source : Mainichi

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20150522p2a00m0na019000c.html

May 22, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Japan pushes its contaminated food products to neighbor countries

Fukushima has changed everything

Japan food exports to Taiwan contain cesium
In the wake of the continuing Fukushima catastrophe, countries such as Korea and China are concerned that contaminated food is being exported from Japan. In a recent report by SimplyInfo.org, data from Taiwan showing food imports (primarily green tea) from Japan have contained radioactive cesium levels below Taiwan’s limit of 370 Bq/kg, but above Japan’s limit of 100 Bq/kg. The monitoring program in Taiwan is spot-checking these imports, so this contaminated tea was discovered in only a fraction of food coming from Japan, meaning additionally contaminated food could have been missed. In addition, Taiwan had already banned food from areas in Japan considered most contaminated, so this food was imported from areas in Japan considered “safe”. Taiwan tested teas that were harvested after the Fukushima catastrophe began. However, in 2011 and 2012, the US Food Drug Administration only tested tea varieties that would have been harvested in 2010, thereby having escaped contamination, making the FDA tea tests completely meaningless.
This unsettling discovery demonstrates that people in other countries are being sold food that is contaminated above Japan’s allowable limit, but below that of the receiving country—a concern that has been expressed time-and-again by Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network (FFAN) of which Beyond Nuclear is a coalition partner.  While the allowable limit of radioactive cesium in Japan is 100 Bq/kg, in Taiwan it is 370 Bq/kg, and in the U.S. it is 1200 Bq/kg with no real explanation as to why, say, a pregnant woman in the U.S. should be allowed to ingest 12 times the radioactive poison of a pregnant woman in Japan. These inconsistent limits may not make biological sense, but they do make sense when taken in context of this statement by ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection–the body which generates statements governments rely on to set radiation exposure standards.) “There may be a situation where a sustainable agricultural economy is not possible without placing contaminated food on the market.  As such foods will be subject to market forces, this will necessitate an effective communication strategy to overcome the negative reactions from consumers outside the affected areas.” This is the price of the continued use and catastrophic meltdowns of nuclear power.
Japan has filed a complaint with the WTO over Korean Fukushima-related import bans and additional testing requirements, demonstrating that countries trying to protect themselves from contaminated food could be facing international adjudication through the WTO. Japan told the WTO in October 2014 “more than 99 percent of food items were below standard limits, and strict measures prevented the sale or export of any food exceeding those limits.” But since measurement of food is so spotty, both from the importer and exporter, a statement like this is not only meaningless, but deceptive. Further, if every country’s contamination limits are different, in reality, there are no standard limits, no matter what the WTO or Japan contends.
If the Trans-Pacific Partnership is approved, these penalties could get a lot worse (link to Part 1 of a 5 part FFAN series on the TPP and contaminated food from Japan) and could include taxpayer compensation for corporate lost revenue due to such disputes.
But the radioisotope cesium isn’t the only concern. There is also strontium. Strontium-90 is much more difficult to measure than cesium-137. To avoid this inconvenience, strontium is often assumed or calculated to be in a ratio with cesium-137 such that a certain amount of measurable cesium would have a known accompanying smaller amount of strontium-90. Originally for contamination in Japan, strontium content was thought to be 10% of whatever the cesium-137 content was. However, after testing food in Japan, researchers have discovered that the initial ratio of strontium to cesium-137 is more than two times the amount of cesium-137.  More importantly, it also means that the various country limits set for radioactive cesium in food may no longer protect from the increased health impact of the strontium-90 that may be lurking in imports from Japan.
Source : Beyond Nuclear
http://www.beyondnuclear.org/food/2015/5/21/japan-food-exports-to-taiwan-contain-cesium.html

Japan takes South Korea to WTO over Fukushima-related food import restrictions
GENEVA – The central government launched a trade complaint at the World Trade Organization on Thursday to challenge South Korea’s import bans and additional testing requirements for Japanese food after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
South Korea expressed regret at Japan’s action and said its ban on some Japanese seafood was necessary and reflected safety concerns.
Japan says several measures taken by South Korea violate the WTO’s sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) agreement and Seoul has failed to justify its trade restrictions as required, the WTO said in a statement.
Under WTO rules, South Korea has 60 days in which to deal with Japan’s concerns in bilateral talks. After that Japan could ask the WTO to adjudicate on the matter.
“In upcoming talks with Japan, we plan to explain fully that the import ban is necessary for people’s safety, and actively deal with Japan over the issue they raised based upon WTO’s dispute settlement procedures,” South Korea’s trade, agriculture, foreign affairs and other related ministries said in a joint statement.
Details of Japan’s complaint were not immediately available, but Japan has repeatedly raised the issue in committee meetings at the WTO, where it has also voiced concerns about Fukushima-related trade restrictions imposed by Taiwan and China.
Japan’s representative told the WTO’s SPS committee in March that radioactive levels in Japanese food had declined substantially since the nuclear crisis began at Tepco’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant. It noted that the United States, Australia, the European Union, Singapore and Vietnam had all lifted or eased their Fukushima-related restrictions.
“We’ve urged the South Korean government to lift the ban, but we expect it is unlikely to be dropped quickly,” Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said in a statement on Thursday.
South Korea extended its ban on Japanese fishery imports in September 2013 to cover imports from eight Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima.
Last October, the Japanese representative at the WTO committee said contamination levels in more than 99 percent of food items were below standard limits, and strict measures prevented the sale or export of any food exceeding those limits.
South Korea’s representative told the same meeting that its restrictions were in line with WTO rules, but Japan had not provided it with sufficient data for an objective and science-based risk assessment.
Japan’s representative also cited an assessment from the International Atomic Energy Agency in September 2014, which found its measures to deal with contamination were appropriate, according to minutes of the WTO committee.
The average annual value of South Korean imports of Japanese fish and seafood was $96 million in 2012-2014, less than half the average of $213 million in 2006 through 2010, according to data from the International Trade Center in Geneva.
Source : Japan Times
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/22/business/japan-takes-south-korea-to-wto-over-fukushima-related-food-import-restrictions/#.VV-d1kZZNBQ

May 22, 2015 Posted by | China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan | , | Leave a comment

The Nuclear Regulation Authority raised the maximum radiation exposure limit for nuclear workers in emergencies to 250 millisieverts

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The Nuclear Regulation Authority decided Wednesday to raise the maximum radiation exposure limit for nuclear workers in emergencies to 250 millisieverts from the current 100, starting from next April.
Following the 2011 disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex, the maximum limit of cumulative exposure was raised to 250 millisieverts as an emergency measure for workers at the plant, but was lowered back to the previous limit of 100 in December 2011.
In light of the Fukushima meltdowns, the regulator had been considering raising the limit in the event of another disaster as Japan gets closer to reactivating some of its reactors, which remain offline amid heightened safety concerns.
Shunichi Tanaka, the NRA’s chairman, told a news conference that the current limit could be an obstacle in containing a crisis in the future, and the revision, which will entail a legal amendment, is “a step forward” in addressing the issue.
The regulator said it believes raising the limit to 250 millisieverts is appropriate based on overseas standards and scientific studies.
Source : Japan Times
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/21/national/nra-raise-nuclear-worker-radiation-exposure-limit-emergencies/#.VV-cgEZZNBT

May 22, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Futaba Ex-Mayor Idogawa Katsukata sues Govt and Tepco

idogawa katsutakaEx-Futaba mayor sues state, Tepco over Fukushima nuclear disaster

Katsutaka Idogawa, the former mayor of Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture, filed a lawsuit against the central government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday for exposing him to excessive radiation since the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

Seeking ¥148.5 million in damages, Idogawa, 69, claimed that sloppy management by the central government and Tepco caused him to receive radiation over the annual limit during the early phase of the disaster, when hydrogen explosions and the venting of steam from reactor containment vessels took place.

Futaba is one of the two municipalities that host Tepco’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the site of the disaster.

At a news conference, Idogawa expressed regrets for his inability to protect local residents from radiation. He also asked Futaba residents to join the lawsuit.

In his petition, Idogawa claimed to have received the excessive radiation between March 11, 2011, when the disaster started, and March 19 that year, when residents evacuated Futaba for Saitama Prefecture.

This was because as Futaba mayor he took part in work to collect information, secure places to which local residents could evacuate, and instruct and guide fleeing locals, according to the petition.

The suit, filed with the Tokyo District Court, is the first seeking compensation for health damage from events early in the nuclear crisis, according to Idogawa’s attorney.

Source : Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/21/national/crime-legal/ex-futaba-mayor-sues-state-tepco-over-fukushima-nuclear-disaster/#.VV3-nkbwmid

Ex-mayor sues state, TEPCO for stress caused by nuclear disaster

A former mayor who was exposed to high levels of radiation after the 2011 nuclear disaster is suing the central government and the operator of the wrecked Fukushima power plant for stress.

Katsutaka Idogawa, the former mayor of Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture, filed the lawsuit on May 20 at the Tokyo District Court. He is seeking 148.5 million yen ($1.22 million) in compensation.

Even after the accident, I was forced to stay in the town as mayor and thus exposed to a high dose of radiation from the plant,” the complaint said.

The central government delayed giving evacuation orders and even when they were issued, the areas under evacuation orders were inappropriate.”

Idogawa, 69, said the excessive radiation he was exposed to caused him to become stressed over health concerns.

His written complaint pointed out the central government failed to issue evacuation orders to the town appropriately following the March 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant.

Idogawa also lambasted the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant operator, for their reluctance to take necessary measures to protect against future tsunami disasters.

The government and TEPCO bear responsibility for neglecting to implement advance countermeasures against potential tsunami, even though they recognized such need,” the complaint said.

Four years after the disaster, evacuation orders are still in place for Futaba town, which co-hosts the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. Most areas are designated as “difficult-to-return” zones because annual accumulated radiation levels exceed 50 millisieverts.

During a news conference in Tokyo on May 20, Idogawa said: “We could not protect the town residents because we believed in the words the government and TEPCO said that the nuclear accident would never happen. I hope I can guide those suffering from concerns over radiation exposure.”

Source : Asahi Shimbun

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201505210042

May 22, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Huge rise in thyroid cancer in Fukushima’s children

thyroid-cancer-papillaryflag-japanOfficials: 6,000% cancer rate increase in Fukushima children’s thyroids — Expert: Urgent countermeasures against the suspected outbreak are necessary — Professor: Gov’t stopped me from checking thyroid exposure levels after 3/11 (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/officials-6000-increase-thyroid-cancer-rate-among-fukushima-children-asahi-16-new-cases-detected-first-3-months-2015-professor-urgent-countermeasures-against-suspected-outbreak-necessary-govt?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Asahi Shimbun
, May 19, 2015 (emphasis added): Fukushima finds 16 new cases of thyroid cancer in young people… authorities said May 18, although they added it is “unlikely” a direct result of the nuclear accident…The 16 new cases were detected between January and March, and bring the total number of young people diagnosed with the disease in the testing program to 103… 127 [have been diagnosed or suspected of having thyroid cancer]… many cases of thyroid cancer in infants were reported after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. However, this has not proven to be the case so far with regard to the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Fukushima Voice, May 19, 2015: The Thyroid Examination Evaluation Subcommittee… came to a conclusion [that this] clearly represents an excess incidence… by an order of magnitude(At the November 11, 2014 subcommittee meeting, it was described as “61 times)… this increase can be a result of either excess occurrence due to radiation exposure or over-diagnosis… “it is not possible to conclude if thyroid cancer cases detected during the screening are radiation-induced… it is unlikely these cases are the effect of radiation exposure… the exposure dose is far less than the Chernobyl accident and that there have been no cancer cases in children younger than 5… early internal exposure dose from radioactive iodine is extremely critical in assessing the effect of the accident.”

The subcommittee and Asahi article discount the link between these cancers and the Fukushima disaster due to a lack of cases among infants. Asahi claims this is unlike Chernobyl, where “many cases of thyroid cancer in infants” had developed. Is this accurate? According toShinichi Suzuki, who was in charge of the Fukushima Thyroid Examination, March 2015: “There is a striking similarity between the [age] profiles of patients diagnosed during the period of latency after Chernobylin Ukraine and currently in Fukushima.”

Also, the subcommittee noted “the early internal exposure dose from radioactive iodine is extremely critical in assessing the effect of the accident” — what does that dose data show?

Japan Focus, Dec 8, 2014: Sakiyama Hisako, former senior researcher at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences… observed that power was deployed to stop measurements of thyroid exposure being taken… Professor Tokonami Shinji of Hirosaki University… tried to measure exposure levels immediately after the explosions [but] was halted by Fukushima Prefecture, which accused him of stirring up trouble… Tokonami went on to test 65 Fukushima residents one month after the explosions [and] found radioactive iodine in the thyroids of 50 out of the 65 (77%)… He estimated the equivalent dose to the thyroid [was up to] 87 mSv [and] infants who remained in areas with high iodine levels may have been exposed to over 100 mSv.

FUKUDEN (pdf), Dec 31, 2014: Prof. Toshihide Tsuda, an epidemiology specialist [said] “When we analyzed the results of the thyroid cancer survey conducted in the Fukushima Prefecture according to location, it is obvious that there are more numbers of thyroid cancer cases in the Nakadori area (middle area), and we urgently need to take necessary measures.”

Prof. Tsuda, Eiji Yamamoto & Etsuji Suzuki of Okayama Univ.: [The thyroid cancer] incidence rate ratio was 26.98… in the nearest area, and in Fukushima city, it was 19.41… compared with the Japanese mean… [E]xcess incidence rate ratios were observed… Dose-response relationship by distance from the plant was indicated… countermeasures against the suspected outbreak are necessary in Fukushima and the neighboring areas.

Watch a presentation by Prof. Tsuda here

May 22, 2015 Posted by | children, Fukushima 2015, Japan | | Leave a comment

Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) approves restart of a third plant – but more hurdles remain

NRA approves restart for third nuclear plant, Japan Times, 20 May 15 REUTERS, KYODO, BLOOMBERG, AFP-JIJI Japan’s nuclear regulator signed off on the basic safety of a reactor at a third nuclear plant on Wednesday, as the country inches toward rebooting its atomic industry more than four years after the crisis began at Tepco’s Fukushima No.1 facility….

But the reactor is not expected to go back online before winter, as Shikoku Electric has yet to obtain local approval and finish other necessary procedures….

The safety approval is still only one of three needed before the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) gives its final sign off. The consent of local authorities, which is seen as a formality, is also required, along with operational checks.

At a meeting on Wednesday, the NRA’s commissioners signed off on a provisional assessment that says the Ikata reactor meets new design standards introduced in the wake of Fukushima. The decision will be open to public comment for about a month before being formalized…..

Operators also have to overcome legal hurdles. Anti-nuclear activists have stepped up petitioning the judiciary to block restarts, with a majority of the public opposed to atomic power.

Residents near the Ikata plant filed a lawsuit in December 2011 to mothball the station, but a decision has yet to be made.

In a related move, the Fukui District Court has rejected Kansai Electric Power Co.’s appeal of a ruling that prevents the utility from restarting two reactors at its Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture, according to Tadashi Matsuda, a representative for the plaintiffs who won the case.

The court dismissal was decided Monday but not announced to the media. A court official declined to comment when contacted Tuesday. Kansai Electric representatives couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Fukui District Court issued an injunction in April preventing the utility from moving ahead with plans to restart the reactors.

The court said at the time that new safety regulations introduced following the Fukushima disaster of 2011 are still too lax to ensure the safety of the two reactors at the Takahama station….The rejected appeal throws yet another roadblock in the utility’s path to resuming operations at its nuclear plants……http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/20/national/japan-approves-third-nuclear-plant-restart/#.VV5O1rmqpHx

May 22, 2015 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Japan’s Abe government relinquishing responsibility for health of Fukushima residents and workers

Fukushima; The Beginning Of The End,  A series of announcements over the last two weeks have shown the Abe administration’s true plan for Fukushima & Japan. As the political class pushes for reactor restarts, their commitment towards Fukushima has turned to outright betrayal.

Starting in 2016 local governments will be forced to pay for part of the reconstruction costs.

Last week the central government announced they plan to reopen any area below 50 mSv/year for people to return by 2017. Areas at 20 mSv/year or below would be reopened in 2016. 20 mSv/year is the international maximum annual radiation exposure for nuclear workers. Now adults and children would be expected to expose themselves to radiation levels at and even above what is permissible for nuclear workers. ICRP cites that the public should not be exposed to more than 1 mSv/year.

The central government plans to end housing assistance for voluntary evacuees by 2017. …….http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=14764

May 22, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Press freedom very much compromised in Japan

Abe NUCLEAR FASCISMThe Threat to Press Freedom in Japan, NYT  By SHIGEAKI KOGAMAY 20, 2015 TOKYO — During a press conference in March, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed concern over comments I had made during a program on TV Asahi, a major private broadcasting network: I had announced that I would no longer be appearing on the show after being subjected to “fierce bashing” from the prime minister’s office. According to the daily Asahi Shimbun, Mr. Suga said, “We will closely watch how the TV station handles the issue in line with the Broadcast Law” — a veiled threat to revoke the station’s license.

On April 17, a special panel of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (L.D.P.) held a special meeting at party headquarters and summoned executives of both TV Asahi and NHK, a public broadcaster, to discuss two TV programs the party thought had been critical of the administration of Prime MinisterShinzo Abe.

After I appeared on Tokyo MX TV, a local station, on April 25, an executive member of the L.D.P. reportedly told some journalists, “I heard that there was a TV station which allowed Mr. Koga to appear on a program. What a courageous TV station, I should say!”

And so it is that the Japanese government tampers with the media’s independence. This is happening partly because of longstanding structural characteristics that govern the relationship between the media and the state in Japan. But the Abe government has been especially aggressive in using those to its advantage, and major segments of the industry are quickly internalizing its preferences.

Instead of pushing back against Mr. Suga’s intimidation, for example, TV Asahi reprimanded the employees who had produced the TV program during which I criticized the government. And instead of invoking the anti-interference provisions of the broadcasting laws to resist questioning by the L.D.P., those TV executives complied with the party’s summons.

In Japan, relations between the state and journalists are formally maintained through a network of reporters’ clubs, or kisha kurabu. There is a reporters’ club for each ministry, each local government, each political party, each industry association. Membership in the clubs is generally limited to reporters at major media companies. Typically, only members are allowed to attend the press conferences, and only members have access to the organizations’ officials. In return for endowing reporters with this privileged status, the officials take it for granted that their organizations will get favorable coverage. And very often they do.

Another problem is that the media in Japan is not regulated by an independent agency. For example, it is the government itself — specifically the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications — that grants licenses to TV stations, and these are up for renewal regularly. Consequently, TV stations are under constant supervision and fear losing their right to operate if they challenge the government. Given Japan’s parliamentary system, this means that the ruling political parties themselves have a large influence over broadcasting.

What’s more, there is virtually no separation of management and the newsroom at major media companies…..http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/21/opinion/the-threat-to-press-freedom-in-japan.html?referrer=&_r=1

May 22, 2015 Posted by | Japan, media | Leave a comment

Neaurological and heart disease – huge rise in Fukushima evacuees

Huge spike in neurological diseases after Fukushima — 600% rise in disorders among evacuees — Similar abnormalities reported post-Chernobyl — Cases of heart disease, brain infarction also up — Physicians: “Great concern there will be additional health hazards” http://enenews.com/study-reveals-large-spike-neurological-diseases-fukushima-600-increase-disorders-causing-hearing-loss-dizziness-people-evacuation-area-cases-heart-disease-brain-infarction-physicians-great-co?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Journal article by authors from Soma General Hospital and Tohoku University, Apr 7, 2015 (emphasis added): Change in and Long-Term Investigation of Neuro-Otologic Disorders in Disaster-Stricken Fukushima Prefecture

[Neuro-otology: Branch of clinical medicine which treats neurological disorders of the ear]

  • Soma City [is] 44 km north of Fukushima Daiichi… almost all patients who require hospitalization for ear, nose, and throat (ENT) care were referred to our department… We thus investigated the influence of the disaster on internal ear diseases.
  • Regarding the evacuation area, the total number of patients [in the ENT department]increased 4.64 times [364% in 1st year], 4.24 times [324% in 2nd year], and 4.54 times[354% in 3rd year] compared with the number before the disaster.
  • New patients [with vertigo, Meniere’s disease, and acute low-tone sensorineural hearing loss] in Shinchi Town… increased by 64.3%, 114.3%, and 46.4% [in years 1, 2, and 3] respectively… In the case of Minami-Soma City, except the evacuation area… increased by 84.2%, 152.6%, and 142.1%, respectively… Regarding the evacuation area… the numbers of patients with vertigo, MD, or ALHL became 7 times [600% increase in 1st year], 5 times [400% increase in 2nd year], and 7 times [600% increase in 3rd year].
  • Although the causes for MD and ALHL are still unknown [the rise] might be due to increased tension and stress… As for the cases [of vertigo] we were unable to establish the neuro-otologic pathogeneses in… 72%  [and] there may have been cases of psychogenic dizziness… administration of an anti-vertigenous drug or advice to keep calm and to have a sound mind did not help… There were some difficult cases where ENT treatment alone did not workpresumably because these cases were complicated with some mental diseases… In some serious cases, we… referred the patients to psychiatric care or prescribed psychosomatic medicine. Some patients refused our advice… or to admit that they had a mental problem.
  • The number of reported cases of heart disease and brain infarction have increased in the devastated area… Diabetes, osteoporosis, and psychiatric illnesses were feared to have worsened… There is a great concern that there will be additional health hazards, and we strongly feel the need for administrative support.

Journal of the American Academy of Audiology (pdf), 1995: Ototoxicity and Irradiation — Additional Etiologies of Hearing Loss in Adults… The article [discusses] the effects of irradiation on hearing [in patients] exposed to excessive radiation as a result of theChernobyl nuclear disaster… Shidlovckaya of the Kiev Research Institute of Otolaryngology has been studying [cleanup workers from] Chernobyl… her patients have evidenced a number of disorders, including hearing loss… When Shidlovckaya divided her population into three groups – [those] who worked directly at the disaster site; residents… nearby; and residents… some distance from the disaster site – an interesting pattern in the auditory resultsemerged… analysis indicated that, in 100 percent of [workers] examined, there aredisturbances or abnormalities… Furthermore, the… lesser radiation exposure… the less likely it was that these deviations would be present… Obviously, this is an important area of further research and could have a significant impact on our reaction to patients who have been exposed to radiation…

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2009: Diseases of Sense Organs — Throughout the more contaminated territories [around Chernobyl,] hearing abnormalities occur with greater frequency… Between 46 and 69% of surveyed liquidators had some hearing disorder.

Watch: St. Louis Children’s Hospital  on radiation-induced hearing loss

May 20, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, health, Japan | Leave a comment

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