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New report on remarkable rise in cancer incidence near Fukushima nuclear power plant

cancer_cellsCancer Rates Soar By 6000% Near Fukushima Site, New Report Shows http://yournewswire.com/cancer-rates-soar-by-6000-near-fukushima-site-new-report-shows/#sthash.vDZTGCNV.dpuf by Sean Adl-Tabatabai  27 Feb 15 Cancer rates in areas surrounding the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan have soared by 6000% according to reports, yet the government and media are carrying on as if its business as normal.

According to Naturalsociety.com:

As reports from individuals like Chieko Shiina, a supporter of the Fukushima Collaborateive Clinic talk about exploding rates of thyroid cancer in children, as well as an epidemic of leukemia, heart attacks, and other health problems, the Abe-led government and US continue to sweep the fall out of the Fukushima disaster under the rug.

Cancer rates have exploded at an increase of almost 6000% in areas near the reactor meltdown. Aside from people-on-the-street interviews that a rare media outlet like “Hodo station” will report on, mainstream media stays completely silent. One Japanese resident,Carol Hisasue, laments that as the incident has disappeared from the media, it has also disappeared from people’s consciousness.

So why does Fukushima continue to be a see no evil, hear no evil event? You can watch an over hour-long report that goes into detail, but to sum it up, people can’t even turn on their gas-stoves near Fukushima because “it would be like burning radioactive fuel in their kitchens.” The contamination levels are too ridiculous to even comprehend.

No matter if the accident was caused by a purposeful nuclear attack, an act of weather warfare (as some conspiracy analysts have suggested), or by the sheer greed of the nuclear industry who built it, it is essentially a massive nuclear weapon on fault lines. The Japanese government and TEPCO are guilty of crimes against humanity, and their neglect is compounded by a complete disregard, not only for human life, but for all life upon this planet.

The US is also responsible. After the spotlight was put on failing plants across the United States that continue to leak radiation into our air, water, and soil every day, the multi-billion dollar, US taxpayer-subsidized contracts of the nuclear industry came into question. And you can be sure any real inquiry into the infrastructure of our nuclear plants was hushed up as quickly as concerns were raised.

The World Health Organization once warned that cancer rates could soar 50% in less than 20 years – but we’ve already surpassed that estimate, which once seemed catastrophic, exponentially.

So tell me – why are we in such a hurry to forget Fukushima, and why are plans being drawn up to build more nuclear reactors in the US using taxpayer monies?

– See more at: http://yournewswire.com/cancer-rates-soar-by-6000-near-fukushima-site-new-report-shows/#sthash.vDZTGCNV.dpuf

February 28, 2015 Posted by | health, Japan | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor’s meltdown was far worse than initially assumed

highly-recommended“.SimplyInfo.org Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 Report 2015 (Excellent graphics) 

By The SimplyInfo Research Team
Dean Wilkie – Author
Edano San  – Author
Peter Melzer PhD – Author
Nancy Foust  – Editor

February 23, 2015

During the early events of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster unit 2 was given little attention in public facing information. It also appears that many of the outcomes from unit 2 may have been credited as being caused by other units a the plant or considered of unknown origin. Unit 2 may have been much worse in actuality than the public was being told and a larger contributor to the crisis. We reviewed multiple timelines and documentation sources of the events at Fukushima Daiichi and those specific to unit 2. This provided a clearer picture of what larger events may have been associated with unit 2′s event and the magnitude of the events inside unit 2. These events compared to the existing research into reactor failure modes and meltdown behaviors found that the events closely matched the expected outcomes………Unit 2′s meltdown and post meltdown progression was well anticipated by TEPCO based on their actions and their failure time estimates. TEPCO opened the torus vent line to the environment and left it open for 2.5 hours while fuel was likely already outside of the vessel and in the containment drywell, giving a clear route between corium and the environment. This action may have been unavoidable based on the available data from unit 2 in order to avoid a much larger containment failure that could not have been closed. It may have been the lesser of two bad options.

The available data and visual evidence for unit 2 show that contaminated water and fuel may have found a route out of the building through the basemat area. This highly radioactive water has shown up in the unit 2 turbine building basement and in the unit 2 trenches at the sea front, indicating the highly contaminated water may be flowing outside of the reactor building and in a manner quite different from the other two damaged units. If this is further confirmed to be the case, this may be a significant contributor to the ongoing highly radioactive water leaks that have defied efforts to block them.

Unit 2′s containment failure via the containment cap gasket continued to contribute a large percentage of the radiation escaping into the air at the plant even a year after the meltdowns. While the other two units have been admitted to have some failure or leakage from their reactor wells, unit 2 appears to be the major contributor to airborne releases via this route and continued to do so.

Newer information such as the failure of seawater injections to reach the RPV further ads to the growing body of information that indicates unit 2′s meltdown was far worse than initially assumed. Many early estimates of the extent of unit 2′s meltdowns were dependent on the assumption that water reached the melting fuel in quantities large enough to cool or cover the melted fuel. This newer understanding of the water injection shows those early estimates to be incorrect and that unit 2′s meltdown was much more severe than initially assumed. The timing of major events at the plant that tie to events at unit 2 and TEPCO’s increasing alarm over the degrading conditions of the plant indicates that unit 2 may have posed an even larger threat than the other two units at the plant. The chance event of the blow out panel dislodging early in the series of events may have helped unit 2 avoid a hydrogen explosion as seen at the other units. The actual meltdown and the extent of the damage at unit 2 may have been worse in many ways. http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=14318

February 27, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Fisheries ‘shocked’ at silence over water leak at wrecked Fukushima No. 1 plant

Feb 25, 2015

Fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture slammed Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday after it emerged that water containing cesium and other radioactive isotopes has been draining into the Pacific near the Fukushima No. 1 plant and that Tepco did nothing to prevent it despite learning of the leak last May.

“I don’t understand why (Tepco) kept silent even though they knew about it. Fishery operators are absolutely shocked,” Masakazu Yabuki, chief of the Iwaki fisheries cooperative, said at a meeting with Tepco officials.

Local fishermen have already given Tepco approval to dump groundwater into the ocean before it becomes tainted, to reduce the volume of water stored in tanks at the site. The operator is now doing this, pumping water from wells, monitoring it and piping it into the ocean.

The latest incident threatens to delay a second round of approval that Tepco wants the fishermen to provide.

The utility admitted Tuesday it failed to disclose leaks of rainwater containing radioactive substances from a drainage ditch at the stricken plant even though it was aware of high radiation in the water last spring.

The ditch receives runoff from the roof of the No. 2 reactor building, which is highly contaminated with radioactive substances such as cesium.

Tepco has said it recorded 29,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per liter in water pooled on the rooftop.

The water also contained 52,000 becquerels of beta-ray-emitting radioactive substances such as strontium-90. It also detected some 1,050 becquerels of radioactive cesium and 1,500 becquerels of beta ray-emitting radioactive materials per liter near an outlet leading to the sea.

Tepco said there is no major change in the concentration of radioactive substances in seawater it sampled about 1 km from the drainage outlet.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Tepco reported water contaminated with high levels of radiation was flowing into the ocean at the plant’s port through another drainage ditch.

Yuji Moriyama, a Tepco spokesman said the utility did not disclose the information because there is no evidence of environmental impact.

“We were aware that the levels of radioactive materials around the drainage ditch were higher than other places,” Moriyama said, adding that they have been investigating the sources of contamination since last spring.

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/02/25/national/tepco-admits-failed-disclose-cesium-tainted-water-leaks-since-april/#.VO4-Cy4bKKG

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Fukushima cleanup fails to convince as just 10 to 20% of evacuees seek return

percentage of evacuees wanting to return feb 25 2015

February 25, 2015

Less than one-fifth of evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear disaster say they want to return to their homes, despite government efforts to speed up reconstruction in areas with lower radiation levels.

The finding came from a survey by the Reconstruction Agency conducted between August and October last year that covered about 7,100 evacuee households in Namie; 2,400 in Futaba; 4,000 in Okuma; and 5,600 in Tomioka.

Between 51 percent and 60 percent of the households responded to the poll, including those living outside Fukushima Prefecture.

The four towns, all situated near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, are divided into three zones based on annual radiation dosage levels: “difficult-to-return zones” with 50 millisieverts or more; “no-residence zones” between 20 and 50 millisieverts; and “zones being prepared for lifting of evacuation order,” with 20 millisieverts or less.

The central government has placed priority on decontaminating and reconstructing infrastructure in the latter zones to enable residents to return to their homes.

However, the survey showed that just 19.4 percent of evacuee households from “zones being prepared for lifting of evacuation order” in Namie wanted to return, while 14.7 percent of those in the zones in Tomioka felt the same.

Among evacuees from no-residence zones, 16.6 percent of households from Namie and 11.1 percent from Tomioka said they plan to return home when they are allowed.

Among those evacuated from difficult-to-return zones, 17.5 percent of households from Namie and 11.8 percent from Tomioka said they hope to resettle in their homes some day.

About 80 percent of all households in Namie and 70 percent of those in Tomioka are from no-residence zones and “zones being prepared for lifting of evacuation order.”

Still, even if the government lifts the evacuation order for these areas, only a handful of evacuees are likely to return, which would crimp revitalization plans for the towns.

Meanwhile, 32.4 percent of households evacuated from no-residence zones in Okuma, which cohosts the crippled plant with Futaba, said they want to return home.

The higher figure reflects preferential construction by the central government and town office of key facilities to promote the town’s reconstruction, spurring hope among residents to return. Decontamination work and restoration of a local highway route are also nearing an end in Okuma.

However, just 3 percent of Okuma residents are from no-residence zones, while the rest are from difficult-to-return zones.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201502250050

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Tepco covered-up an ongoing leak into the sea since last year April 2014

daiichi_drainage_canals leak since april 2014  admission 24 feb 2015

February 24, 2015

Tepco admits that it failed to disclose a leak since last year April 2014.

Unit 2′s roof and downspouts have been draining directly out to sea since the disaster. Water found on unit 2′s roofs was highly radioactive with 52,000 bq/liter on one roof

TEPCO did attempt to manage this by throwing down bags of zeolite at the downspout entrance and again at the drainage canal exits. Plans submitted to IRID for a drainage canal filter system called for a much more sophisticated system that would have forced any water leaving these drainage canals through a series of filters.

Zeolite bags were also placed around the entrance to the downspouts on the building roofs. Radiation readings in the downspout water was significantly lower than the water on the roof. A filter that forces all outgoing water through the filter media would have at least worked to more effectively filter water.

Source: Tepco
http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2015/images/handouts_150224_01-e.pdf

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | 1 Comment

Rain is bringing a new source of radioactive water to Fukushima nuclear power plant

water-radiationFukushima operator finds new source of radiation leak into sea, GMA News  February 25, 2015 TOKYO – The operator of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant said on Tuesday it had found a pool of highly contaminated water on the roof of a plant building and that it had probably leaked into the sea through a gutter when it rained.

The finding comes four years after a massive earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc’s Fukushima reactors, and 1-1/2 years after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the International Olympic Committee that radiation leaks at the plant were “under control”.
Tokyo’s victory over rivals Madrid and Istanbul to host the 2020 Olympic Games followed soon after Abe’s declaration.
Tokyo Electric said it has been aware since last spring that radiation levels in water running in one of the plant gutters rise when it rains but had confirmed the source of the contamination only on Tuesday……..
Sample rainwater collected at one corner of the rooftop contained 23,000 becquerels per litre of cesium 137, more than 10 times as high as radiation levels in sample water taken from other parts of the roof, Tokyo Electric said.  Reuters http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/442161/news/world/fukushima-operator-finds-new-source-of-radiation-leak-into-sea

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | 1 Comment

Record concentration of radioactive Cesium in fish near Fukushima nuclear station port

Alarm at Fukushima Nuclear Plant: Radioactivity too High, National Japan News, By Ken Tanaka & Norihisa Taguchi 23 February 2014

“…….There are presently not enough sturdy, above-ground tanks that can be used take the water from the pits in which it is stored, TEPCO General Manager Masayuki Ono said at a news conference. Water has been leaking from the pits over the lst few weekends.“………Contaminated Water And Records  Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has revealed that it may not have enough space to store the contaminated water that began to leak from its nuclear Fukushima plant over the weekend.

The company is still facing problems dealing with the consequences of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, as it attempts to keep reactors and spent fuel pools in a safe state known as cold shutdown.

A record quantity of radioactive cesium – 7,400 times the country’s limit deemed safe for human consumption – has been detected in a greenling fish in the waters near the crippled Fukushima plant, two years after the nuclear disaster.

radiation-in-sea--food-chaiTEPCO has also discovered a record 740,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in the fish, Kyodo News reported.

The operator installed a net on the seafloor of the port exit near the plant to prevent the fish from escaping.  The bottom-dwelling greenling fish was found in a cage set up by TEPCO inside the port next to the Fukushima Daiichi plant, a utility official told AP on condition of anonymity.

The company also indicated that the previous record of cesium concentration in fish was 510,000 becquerels per kilogram detected in another greenling caught in the same area, TEPCO said.https://onewayjapan.com/News-National/2015/09-Alarm-at-Fukushima-Nuclear-Plant-Radioactivity-too-High.html

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, oceans | 1 Comment

Emergency inspections at Fukushima nuclear plant. as radioactivity alarms go off

Multiple Alarms Set Off at Fukushima Plant: New leak of highly radioactive material detected — “Strontium-90 levels spike alarmingly” — “Emergency inspections” underway (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/alarm-rings-fukushima-plant-new-leak-highly-radioactive-material-detected-strontium-90-levels-spike-alarmingly-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

AFP, Feb 22, 2015 (emphasis added): Sensors at the Fukushima nuclear plant have detected afresh leak of highly radioactive water into the sea… [with] contamination levels up to 70 times greater than the already-high radioactive status seen at the plant… TEPCO said itsemergency inspections of tanks storing nuclear waste water did not find any additional abnormalities… It was not immediately clear what caused the original spike… “With emergency surveys of the plant and monitoring of other sensors, we have no reason to believe tanks storing radioactive waste water have leaked… We are currently monitoring the sensors”…  The latest incident, one of several that have plagued the plant in recent months, reflects the difficulty in controlling and decommissioning the plant… TEPCO has not been able to effectively deal with an increasing amount of contaminated water…

NHK, Feb 22, 2015: Fukushima radioactive contamination sets off alarm — [TEPCO] says it has detected high levels of radioactive substances in a drainage channel on the plant’s premises on Sunday… the plant’s alarm system went off around 10 AM… levels of beta-ray emitting substances, which are not detected under normal circumstances, had risen to up to 7,230 Becquerels per liter… The utility suspects that contaminated water in the channel may have leaked into the port.

Japan Times, Feb 22, 2015: Strontium-90 levels spike alarmingly at Fukushima No. 1 plant — The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Sunday that an alarm went off at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant signaling high radioactivity levels in drainage ditches… the first alarm sounded at around 10 a.m., and another alarm 10 minutes later indicated much higher levels. Officials said contaminated water may have been discharged into the ditches.

(Link removed) Jiji Press, Feb 22, 2015: Radioactivity Alarm Rings at TEPCO Fukushima Plant

Watch NHK’s broadcast here

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Alarms as sudden higher radioactivity at Fukushima nuclear plant

Alarm at Fukushima Nuclear Plant: Radioactivity too High, National Japan News

23 February 2014 Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority said that on Sunday that an alarm went off at the stricken Nuclear Power Plant of Fukushima No. 1.

The regulatory body reported that part of highly radioactive water flew into the plant’s port. It has yet to find out the cause of the situation.

According to Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority and TEPCO, the company running the Nuclear Power Plant, the first alarm sounded at around 10 a.m. (1 a.m. GMT) , and another alarm 10 minutes later indicated much higher radioactivity levels.

The levels of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances, such as strontium-90, measured between 10:20 a.m. ad 10:50 a.m. stood at 5,050 to 7,230 becquerels per liter of water. https://onewayjapan.com/News-National/2015/09-Alarm-at-Fukushima-Nuclear-Plant-Radioactivity-too-High.html

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Abe government “irresponsible” about nuclear wastes – Science Council of Japan

flag-japanNuclear waste disposal problem, Japan Times, FEB 22, 2015  Even as the Abe administration pushes for reactivating idled nuclear power reactors after they have cleared the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety screening, an open question remains: How will Japan dispose of highly radioactive waste produced by the nuclear reactors.

The trade and industry ministry has drafted a new policy on the waste scheme that paves the way for changing the disposal method in the future when policies change or new technologies become available, but it is far from clear if the move will facilitate the long-stalled process of finding a site for radioactive waste disposal.

Due to the lack of an established scheme for final disposal of the waste that would be generated after spent fuel is reprocessed, Japan’s nuclear power generation has long been likened to a condominium without a toilet. The absence of a solution was highlighted two years ago when former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi vocally expressed opposition to restarting nuclear power reactors that had been idled in the wake of the 2011 meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

wastes-Fukushima-for-incine

The government in 2000 adopted a policy of disposing of highly radioactive waste by burying it deep underground. A power industry organization has solicited municipalities across the country that would be ready to host the final disposal site. A financially strapped town in Kochi Prefecture came forward in 2007 to apply for a documentary review in the selection process. But the bid was eventually withdrawn when its mayor faced strong opposition from local residents. He was forced out of office in a subsequent election. No progress has since been made on the issue.

Meanwhile, doubts have been raised about the safety and technical viability of vitrifying and burying the radioactive waste — which would need to be managed for tens of thousands of years before its radioactivity declined to levels considered safe — in a country prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. …….

The government may be trying to win public support for restarting the idled reactors by demonstrating flexibility on moving the waste-disposal issue forward. But in its policy proposal now being prepared, the Science Council of Japan criticizes the government for being “irresponsible toward future generations” by seeking to restart the reactors without a decision on the waste-disposal site.

The council says it will be difficult to decide on the waste- disposal site “given that public trust in the government, power companies and scientists has been lost”………http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2015/02/22/editorials/nuclear-waste-disposal-problem/#.VOpJPXyUcnk

February 23, 2015 Posted by | Japan, wastes | 1 Comment

Yet another leak of highly radioactive water at Fukushima nuclear power plant

water-radiationFresh leak of highly radioactive water detected at Fukushima nuclear power plant, ABC News 23 Feb 15 

Sensors at the Fukushima nuclear plant have detected a fresh leak of highly radioactive water into the sea.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said the sensors, which were rigged to a gutter that pours rain and ground water at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to a nearby bay, detected contamination levels up to 70 times greater than the already-high radioactive status seen at the plant campus.

TEPCO said its emergency inspections of tanks storing nuclear waste water did not find any additional abnormalities, but the firm said it shut the gutter to prevent radioactive water from going into the Pacific Ocean.

The higher-than-normal levels of contamination were detected on Sunday, with sensors showing radiation levels 50 to 70 times greater than usual…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-22/fresh-nuclear-leak-detected-at-fukushima-plant/6200746

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

7,230,000 Bq/m3 of all β nuclide leaked from drain to the sea / “Contamination level suddenly jumped up”

7230000-Bqm3-of-all-β-nuclide-leaked-from-drain-to-the-sea-Contamination-level-suddenly-jumped-up-800x500_c

On 2/22/2015, Tepco announced the radiation level suddenly jumped up in the plant area drain to let it flow to the sea.

According to Tepco, 2 radiation monitors detected the rapid increase of all β nuclide density (to include Strontium-90) around 10:00AM.

The indicated radiation level was 5,050,000 〜 5,630,000 Bq/m3.

It made Tepco check the potential leakage of the contaminated water tanks upstream and contaminated water transferring system, but they did not shut down the drain outlet for nearly 3 hours for some reason.

Extremely high level of all β nuclide was detected from seawater near the outlet, which was 3,000,000 Bq/m3. The contaminated water flowed to the sea.

The highest density detected by the monitor was 7,230,000 Bq/m3, which was 10 〜 100 times much as usual.

After all, Tepco found no leakage from contaminated water related facility upstream. There is a possibility that highly contaminated groundwater moved and flowed to the drain.

Currently they are collecting the water from drain by vacuum truck.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/cc/press/2015/1248294_6818.html

http://www.tepco.co.jp/cc/press/2015/1248296_6818.html

http://www.tepco.co.jp/cc/press/2015/1248297_6818.html

http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/roadmap/images/l140616_04-j.pdf

Source: Fukushima Diary

http://fukushima-diary.com/2015/02/7230000-bqm3-%CE%B2-nuclide-leaked-drain-sea-contamination-level-suddenly-jumped/

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

Strontium-90 levels spike alarmingly at Fukushima No. 1 plant

Feb 22, 2015 

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Sunday that an alarm went off at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant signaling high radioactivity levels in drainage ditches.

According to the NRA and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., the first alarm sounded at around 10 a.m., and another alarm 10 minutes later indicated much higher levels. Officials said contaminated water may have been discharged into the ditches.

The levels of beta ray-emitting substances, such as strontium-90, measured 5,050 to 7,230 becquerels per liter of water between 10:20 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. Tepco requires radioactivity levels of groundwater at the plant discharged into the sea to remain below 5 becquerels.

Since the drainage ditches are connected to the port of the No. 1 plant, the NRA has instructed Tepco to shut the gates there, officials said.

Tepco confirmed that no leaks from tanks containing radioactive water were found, but said it was investing further.

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/02/22/national/strontium-90-levels-spike-alarmingly-at-fukushima-no-1-plant/#.VOoTGy4bKKG

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

Fukushima radioactive contamination sets off alarm

Feb. 22, 2015

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it has detected high levels of radioactive substances in a drainage channel on the plant’s premises on Sunday. The Tokyo Electric Power Company is investigating the cause.

TEPCO says the plant’s alarm system went off around 10 AM. It showed a rise in radioactivity in the channel that leads to a nearby port.

Measurements showed that levels of beta-ray emitting substances, which are not detected under normal circumstances, had risen to up to 7,230 Becquerels per liter.

The figure is 10 times higher than when rain causes the level to rise temporarily.

The utility suspects that contaminated water in the channel may have leaked into the port.

It has suspended all operations to transfer contaminated water and closed a gate of the channel by the port.

The drainage channel used to be connected to a section of coast beyond the port. TEPCO rerouted it after a series of leaks in 2013.

The company says the water level in a tank that contains contaminated water remains unchanged, showing no signs of leakage, and drain valves that keep water from leaking near the tanks remain closed.

The utility is investigating the cause of the rise of radioactivity in the channel.

Source: NHK

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20150222_18.html

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

International concern that Japan’s nuclear regulator will lose its independence from government

exclamation-Smflag-japanJapan nuclear regulator advisers fear loss of its ‘essential’ independence TOKYO Wed Feb 18, 2015 (Reuters)  by Aaron Sheldrick; and Kentaro Hamada - International advisers to Japan’s atomic regulator have raised concern a mandatory review of its performance could lead to a loss of independence for the body, which was set up in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

A lack of independent regulatory oversight of Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station north of Tokyo was to blame for the meltdowns after an earthquake and tsunami, an official inquiry into the disaster found.

After the disaster, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) was created under the environment ministry with more autonomy but legislation provided for a review after three years of operation with a proviso to consider placing it under the Cabinet Office, involving closer political oversight.

While welcoming a review of the NRA, the advisers, who include the chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s International Nuclear Safety Group, Richard Meserve, were concerned about political interference, they said in a document dated Wednesday and posted on the regulator’s website.

“We … are concerned about any transfer of authority that would serve to compromise the regulator’s independence,” the document said…….

The review of NRA operations started in September but no decisions have been made on whether the Cabinet Office will assume oversight……

The Cabinet Office coordinates planning and policy on issues of crucial national importance and works as the “place of wisdom” in support of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, according to its website.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is a strong proponent of nuclear power and wants to restart reactors that pass the new safety regime, after all units were shut down gradually in the wake of the Fukushima crisis, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986……http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/18/us-japan-nuclear-concerns-idUSKBN0LM0I420150218

February 20, 2015 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

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