The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Secret deals trapping Turkey into buying Japanese nuclear technology

Buy-Japan's-nukes-2  Why would the Western authorities allow a country like Turkey to have nuclear plants?  

Because it can trap such a nation under secret deals of the colluding powers, expanding and stabilizing their profit-oriented status quo guaranteed by the magic words “national security”

Japanese Nuclear Plants For Sale

By   17 April 14 I don’t understand why people are not talking about this but here it goes.  Japan has been working hard to export nuclear plants.  That’s odd, right?  After what happened in Fukushima?  I mean who would want it?  And if you want it, would you get it from Japan?

Here is an interesting fact.  Japan has accumulated at least 4000 nuclear warheads’ worth of plutonium, and in fact, it used to export plutonium to England where it was used to make nuclear weapons (1).  And that is actually an enormous feat for a nation with a peace constitution that bans wars as a means of conflict resolution, and for a nation with multiple regulations guarding against exporting weapons, which of course stipulate anything nuclear as a big no.  What I’m trying to say is that Japan has been very very dishonest about its nuclear policies. The numbers and the facts, which have become available after the accident, state that the nuclear energy has not been as efficient as what has been claimed, while the safety measures and potential risks have not been the primary concerns.  In fact some of us now believe that the primary reason why Japan acquired nuclear energy at the first place was to acquire bomb- making capability, along with the lucrative deals guaranteed by the western nuclear authorities (2).

Last year, one of the Japanese parliament members demanded detailed info regarding the export of the nuclear plant to Vietnam.  Many of us were stunned to see the disclosed papers completely filled with black rectangles, the contents were pretty much all censored due to national-security concerns (3).

Now, why would anyone want a nuclear plant from Japan? Continue reading

April 18, 2014 Posted by | Japan, marketing, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Japan’s government deceives evacuees to return before radiation readings disclosed

flag-japanRadiation study on evacuation zones kept undisclosed for 6 month The  government kept undisclosed for six months a report on an individual radiation dose study in areas around the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, including a district recently released from an evacuation order.

The study, covering the city of Tamura and the villages of Kawauchi and Iitate, showed that the radiation level in many areas is still beyond 1 millisievert per year — a level the government is seeking to achieve at contaminated lands in the long term.

The government lifted an evacuation order imposed on the Miyakoji district in Tamura on April 1, but the content of the interim report, compiled in October, was not conveyed to the citizens or the local governments before the action was taken.

The government explained the content to local governments later, while the report was posted on the website of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Monday. It also plans to release a final report on Friday. A government team tasked with supporting people affected by the crisis said it did not initially plan to release the interim report but decided to make it public because of the “high attention among residents.”

The team decided to conduct the radiation level study at 43 points in Tamura, Kawauchi and Iitate last July, hoping to address concerns among evacuees seeking to return to their homes.

The study showed that radiation levels measured by individual dosimeters tend to be about 70 percent of those estimated from air dose. Twenty-seven points were also found to be above 1 millisievert per year.

The outcome has raised concerns among the residents that have already returned to their homes.

A 65-year-old man living at his home in the Miyakoji district said, “It was premature to lift the evacuation order. We’ve been deceived.”

The 20-kilometer radius of the Fukushima plant and some areas beyond have been subject to evacuation orders in the wake of the nuclear crisis that began in March 2011.

The Miyakoji district became the first area excluded from the 20-km zone following decontamination and infrastructure restoration efforts.

April 17, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014 | Leave a comment

Japanese government’s double dealing on radiation data

Wilcox,-Richard-1Japan’s Radioactive Potemkin Village: The Government’s Double-Dealing Data, By Richard Wilcox, PhD, 4-12-14 I stand to be corrected but what I recently witnessed first hand and face to face in the city of Nihonmatsu can be interpreted as nothing other than scientific fraud and blatant misrepresentation of the facts on the part of the Japanese government regarding gamma radiation levels, leading to the early deaths of tens of thousands of residents . I visited a large nuclear refugee camp in a beautiful location near Nihonmatsu, a modest sized city just outside the evacuation zone of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant No. 1 (FNPP#1) disaster site . Continue reading

April 15, 2014 Posted by | Japan, radiation, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Deformities in Fukushima plants and insects

insect-Fukushima-13Fairewinds Video: ‘Anomalies’ in plants and animals documented by Fukushima residents, some severely deformed — Scientists: Genetic mutations observed in Fukushima include trees with peculiar distortions, insect abnormalities, tumors in birds, more (PHOTO)

Fairewinds Energy Education, Apr. 10, 2014 — Chiho Kaneko, member of the Board of Directors of Fairewinds originally from Iwate, Japan (at 11:15 in): It’s not just people who are sicker. I met a home gardener who lives in Kawamata, Fukushima, 30-miles from Fukushima Daiichi. She grows luffas, whose fruit is often dried to make bath sponges. Last year, with some trepidation, she used the seeds saved from the year before. She found flower buds directly growing out of the fruit. Some of her pole beans were abnormally gigantic. Near Fukushima city, another person saw a frog so severely deformed that, at first, it was difficult to tell that it was a frog, save for its hopping. These are true events described by people I met who took notes and photographs of these environmental anomalies.

Asian Perspective Vol. 37, No. 4Anders Pape Møller and Timothy A. Mousseau, Oct.-Dec. 2013: A careful observer [who visits Chernobyl or Fukushima] will quickly become aware of the peculiar distortions of tree growth, numerous abnormalities in insects, and tumors and cataracts in birds, all caused by genetic mutations induced by exposure to the radiation [...] radiation causes damage to DNA molecules (leading to mutations if not repaired) [...] We have known for more than eighty years that low-dose radiation has cytotoxic effects and causes mutations. [...] we looked at 373 effect sizes from forty-six different studies [...] they showed a statistically significant negative effect of radiation [...] on mutation, physiology, immunology, and disease. As one would expect, effects were stronger on plants, which are stuck in one place, than on animals that can move around [...] As the first scientists in both Chernobyl and Fukushima, we have performed [fifteen] published tests, of organisms ranging from plants and insects to birds and mammals in Chernobyl, that support the hypothesis that low-dose radiation disrupts development, and all fifteen studies show a higher degree of asymmetry in the more contaminated plots. [...] we have assembled effect sizes from all published studies of mutation rates from Chernobyl, in total 151 estimates of mutations in forty-five studies of thirty-three species ranging from bacteria and plants to insects, birds, and mammals, including humans [The] findings are robust in showing a general, strong overall mean effect size of radiation on mutation rates. [...] Mutations accumulate with time and across generations, so we may only be seeing the first stages of the negative public health consequences [...] for humans.

Watch the Fairewinds video here

April 15, 2014 Posted by | environment, Fukushima 2014, Japan, Reference | Leave a comment

Personal account from Tokyo, of government’s duplicity in radiation readings

Wilcox,-Richard-1Japan’s Radioactive Potemkin Village: The Government’s Double-Dealing Data, By Richard Wilcox, PhD, 4-12-14 “…….Can You Trust The Government?

According to the Japanese government official website, the Nuclear Regulation Authority , gamma radiation in Tokyo is just 0.034 microsieverts per hour (mcr sv pr hr) . This reading is taken 22 meters above the ground, in Shinjuku, a main hub of urban Tokyo. As luck would have it, I live not far from there and took a reading out my window several stories up in my apartment building and it regularly reads 0.13 mcr sv pr hr. According to the government chart, an estimated reading of 0.061 mcr sv pr hr is given for one meter above ground level. I measured one meter above ground where I live and the reading was 0.12 mcr sv pr hr.

What accounts for the noticeable discrepancy? Could it be the equipment or the location of measurement? The government chart gives an average reading for the ENTIRE CITY OF TOKYO, of 0.061, as if that is remotely accurate. I believe the government and authorities use two main tactics:

1. The place measurement monitoring devices high above the ground where it won’t read the worst radiation which naturally settles on the ground or in ditches;
2. They scrub and decontaminate the area in the immediate vicinity of the monitoring device in order to create a lower reading.

It could also be that tampering with the way devices are calibrated in order to get lower readings, or manipulating published data could occur, but I have no personal proof of these speculations.

Much of the problem with radiation science promoted by the nuclear establishment and their minions is that they limit the factors involved in their methodology and avoid the precautionary principle when drawing conclusions. In other words: don’t worry, be happy (even if your mitochondrial DNA is being damaged).

After the Fukushima accident I personally measured my kid’s school grounds. My readings were consistently higher what was reported by the school who simply measured above the ground in order to avoid the worst radiation.

When I was in the midwest in the US in March, I took outdoor readings above and on the ground that measured between 0.08 to 0.13 mcr sv pr hr. We now live in a manmade radioactively contaminated world due to above ground nuclear tests, nuclear power plant emissions, and nuclear accidents, in addition to natural background radiation from the sun or soil.

What I have witnessed first hand in Nihonmatsu is scientific fraud and misrepresentation of the facts. This is verified by my own dosimeter readings, and by the testimony of both Mr. Honda, the head of the temporary housing facility, and the experienced construction and decontamination worker who I talked with…..”

Richard Wilcox is a Tokyo-based teacher and writer who holds a Ph.D. in environmental studies and is a regular contributor to the world’s leading website exposing the Fukushima nuclear disaster, He is also a contributor to Activist Post. His radio interviews and articles are archived at and he can be reached by email for radio or internet podcast interviews to discuss the Fukushima crisis at wilcoxrb2013@gmail.com


April 15, 2014 Posted by | Japan, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

69% of Japanese want nuclear power to be phased out

questionJapan’s Profound Ambivalence Over Nuclear Energy , TIME, Per Liljas, 14 April 14 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has unveiled a pro-nuclear blueprint for the country’s energy future around the three-year mark of the disaster at Fukushima, a move that most Japanese appear to disagree with, even those who returned to Fukushima to rebuild their lives ……On a national level, too, there is a lack of consensus. Produce from Fukushima, even from villages flag-japanunconnected to the disaster, does not inspire confidence among consumers despite official O.K.s. And nobody can agree on the future of Japan’s nuclear-energy sector…….“They want to restart the reactors because of money, but it’s irresponsible, Japan is too unsafe to have nuclear power,” says activist Kaori Echigo, before taking to a podium in front of the parliament building in Tokyo and leading a crowd in the chanting of anti-nuclear slogans. The crowd at these gatherings, which have been held weekly since the disaster, has dwindled to a few hundred. But the last time a reactor was restarted, in 2012, thousands came onto the streets—as they are likely to do again if Abe goes ahead with his plan.

poll by the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper last month found that 69% of respondents wanted nuclear power to be phased out. That number could rise even higher if Japan makes it through another summer without blackouts…….Spread out through the village are fields covered with black plastic bags, each one filled with contaminated topsoil that has been collected from the surroundings. Watanabe says she feels life is coming back to Tamura when she sees children in the streets, but then remembers that they are only allowed half an hour’s outdoor playtime per day because of radiation fears.

“I don’t want my grandchildren to grow up here,” she says. “I don’t know which health problems they may get.” Even that old saw about marrying somebody from Tamura means nothing now. “I want my grandchildren to get married” Watanabe adds, “and I don’t know which suitors would ever come here.”

April 15, 2014 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, politics | Leave a comment

Likely political and economic damage to Abe’s government as result of pro nuclear decision

scrutiny-on-costsTokyo’s decision on nuclear power plants ‘may backfire’
It could cost PM Abe politically and set back his economic policies: analysts
 Business Times BY ANTHONY ROWLEY, 14 April 14, IN TOKYO JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has entered a high-stakes gamble with the decision announced last Friday to restore nuclear power to the nation’s menu of electricity generation sources in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown three years ago.
flag-japanThe controversial decision goes against the non-nuclear policy adopted by the Democratic Party of Japan government before Mr Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party returned to power at the end of 2012 and could backfire in a number of ways, analysts say.

With polls showing a significant proportion of Japanese remaining opposed to the restart of the nation’s 50 or so nuclear reactors that have been idled since the Fukushima disaster, the political price of restoring nuclear power could be high for Mr Abe, some claim.

At the same time, there could be economic consequences such as setting back the policy being pursued by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) under pressure from Mr Abe to replace deflation with annual inflation of 2 per cent. So far much of the progress towards this target has been driven by “imported inflation” in fuel costs…..(subscribers only)

April 15, 2014 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Tatsuya Murakami, influential ex-mayor leads community opposition to Japan’s nuclear power push


“It has been said that a local community can enjoy benefits by hosting a nuclear power plant, but it is just an illusion,” Tatsuya Murakami, who served as mayor of Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture, for 16 years until his retirement last September, told a public gathering in Tokyo.

Around one-third of the village’s general account budget was from nuclear facilities located there while he was mayor, “but the ‘nuclear money’ has made our industrial structure disproportionately depend on nuclear-related businesses,” he said. “As a result, we have failed to cultivate other businesses.”

The village’s shipment of manufactured goods stands at only ¥30 billion, compared with that of Myoko, Niigata Prefecture, with a population almost the same as Tokaimura’s, at ¥140 billion, according to Murakami.

“The nuclear operators are just like lords of the community, and people seek cozy ties with them. To criticize the lords is taboo,” Murakami said as he talked about the situation in the village where nation’s first research reactor achieved criticality in 1957.

His comments came after the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided Friday on a national energy policy that supports the use of nuclear power now and in the future, retracting a nuclear phaseout goal introduced by the previous Democratic Party of Japan-led government in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Murakami has served as a co-representative of the Mayors for a Nuclear Free Japan, which comprises around 90 former and incumbent mayors supporting the nuclear phaseout policy. Incumbent mayors include those of major cities, such as Sapporo, Aomori and Nagoya………

Six months after retiring, Murakami now gives lectures several times a month around the nation to encourage people to raise their voices against nuclear power.

“I had been thinking about how to reconstruct our village in the wake of the nation’s first criticality accident in 1999,” which killed two workers at a nuclear fuel processor and exposed hundreds of residents to radiation, he said. “We were thrust into notoriety — Tokaimura was contaminated with radiation and the villagers were not being chosen as marital partners.

“I believe now that a local municipality should break away from the old mindset focusing only on economic development,” he said. “Rather, we need to create a sustainable society, taking good care of the environment as well as ourselves.”

April 15, 2014 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Japan’s return to nuclear power will not be easy or soon

flag-japanJapan reverses its withdrawal from nuclear power, DW 13 April 14 The Japanese government has decided not to phase out nuclear power. But a fast turnaround in energy policy is also not possible, even if only a third of the nuclear reactors will be restarted again. Japan’s conservative government has drawn different conclusions from the Fukushima disaster than did the German government, which chose to phase out nuclear power. Its new energy plan, which Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) cabinet approved on Friday (11.04.2014), calls nuclear power the country’s most important power source…….

But the nuclear power plants will have to meet tighter safety requirements. The government wants to allow the operation of power plants classified as safe by the reformed Nuclear Supervisory Authority. The first two reactors could gain approval before summer.

A majority of Japanese oppose nuclear power, according to polls. But this has had no effect on any elections since the Fukushima disaster. With the new energy plan the government satisfies the wish of the economy to use nuclear power as reliable energy source.

The new policy also allows the construction of new nuclear reactors. The government will determine the necessary amount of nuclear power, the paper says. But analysts doubt that it is possible to push through the construction of new reactors. They would have to be build at places where nuclear power plants already exist due to public reluctance.

The energy market is to be liberalized by the end of the decade and that could make the construction of new reactors too expensive. And the future of the decommissioned reactors also looks bleak.

Since last summer the eight electricity suppliers asked the Nuclear Supervisory Authority for permission to restart only 17 of the 48 reactors. Another 14 reactors are heavily disputed politically. There is widespread public rejection of any attempt by operator Tepco to restart Fukushima 2. The Hamaoka nuclear complex with three reactors is located in a heavily populated area in an earthquake zone. The remaining 17 reactors won’t ever go in operation again because security retrofitting won’t pay off due their age……..

April 15, 2014 Posted by | Japan, politics | 1 Comment

Fukushima: Sending People Back To The Death Zone

Wilcox,-Richard-1Japan’s Radioactive Potemkin Village: The Government’s Double-Dealing Data, By Richard Wilcox, PhD, 4-12-14 “…..Sending People Back To The Death Zone

Japan has coordinated its big push to force residents back into the Death Zone with the cheerful news from the UN that there is “no increase in Fukushima cancer rates” due to radiation (20). While some residents are homesick and want to return, many are wary of returning due to radiation dangers (21).

The excellent website Simply Info summarizes the gist of a recent UN report which fallaciously claims there will be no cancers from Fukushima:

UNSCEAR uses the fact that cancer can not be traced back to an origin to explain away any potential cancers from the Fukushima disaster. This tactic is well known among the tobacco and asbestos industries.

The source of the data used by UNSCEAR is primarily the IAEA, TEPCO and the Japanese government. Anyone who has been following events in Fukushima knows none of these sources are considered unbiased or accurate. Much dispute about the validity of the data from these entities exists. All of the data from other sources is ignored by UNSCEAR” (22).

A number of studies question the safety of both low and high radiation levels as well as the validity of the UN’s risk assessment model (23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28).

Irrefutable proof of harm to living organisms from radiation are shown in studies that have already found innumerable forms of damage to wildlife in both Chernobyl, over a quarter a century ago, and in Fukushima today (29; 30). Birds of a feather in the nuclear age drop dead together …..”

 Richard Wilcox is a Tokyo-based teacher and writer who holds a Ph.D. in environmental studies and is a regular contributor to the world’s leading website exposing the Fukushima nuclear disaster, He is also a contributor to Activist Post. His radio interviews and articles are archived at and he can be reached by email for radio or internet podcast interviews to discuss the Fukushima crisis at


Richard Wilcox is a Tokyo-based teacher and writer who holds a Ph.D. in environmental studies and is a regular contributor to the world’s leading website exposing the Fukushima nuclear disaster, He is also a contributor to Activist Post. His radio interviews and articles are archived at and he can be reached by email for radio or internet podcast interviews to discuss the Fukushima crisis at

April 15, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014 | Leave a comment

Japan Government malfeasance regarding the nuclear crisis is criminal

Japan’s Radioactive Potemkin Village: The Government’s Double-Dealing Data, By Richard Wilcox, PhD, 4-12-14 “……..Plume Of Doom

Government malfeasance regarding the nuclear crisis is beyond the pale, criminal, diabolically evil, in fact. Was it stupidity, bureaucratic intransigence or an intentional plan to genocide the population that kept the government from protecting people at the time of the accident?

As scholar Kyle Cleveland notes in an important research paper which covers “Radiation Plume Politics and the SPEEDI disaster”:
“Despite having elaborate evacuation plans that previously had been coordinated with TEPCO, Baba Tomatsu, the mayor of Namie, initially learned of the nuclear disaster by watching it on TV and was bitterly resentful of the lack of consideration that put his village at risk: There was no coordination with the Japanese Government. Nothing. Baba Tomatsu: ‘They didn’t tell us where to evacuate. Nothing. Namie machi did everything by ourselves. And, disappointingly, because we didn’t hear anything from the government ­ no advisories ­ we used anything that we had—school buses and such—to move people out of the area. People’s cars were destroyed by the tsunami so we placed those people in those buses. At that time, the people who had ways to evacuate had already evacuated, to Miyagi, or Yamagata prefecture. So the 21,000 population were all scattered like a bee’s hive. Because we had no information we were unwittingly evacuating to an area where the radiation level was high so I’m very worried about the people’s health. I feel pain in my heart but also rage over the poor actions of the government… It’s not nice language but I still think it was an act of murder. What were they thinking when it came to the people’s dignity and lives? I doubt that they even thought about our existence’ ” (.

Many people have fled Fukushima specifically to protect their children’s health . Of course, Fukushima prefecture was not the only place to be doused with radiation. One researcher found that highly radioactive hot particles emitted from the accident landed 300 miles from the FNPP#1 and that people not only in Japan, but even in North America were breathing these particles into their lungs for a month after the accident   …….”

Richard Wilcox is a Tokyo-based teacher and writer who holds a Ph.D. in environmental studies and is a regular contributor to the world’s leading website exposing the Fukushima nuclear disaster, He is also a contributor to Activist Post. His radio interviews and articles are archived at and he can be reached by email for radio or internet podcast interviews to discuss the Fukushima crisis at wilcoxrb2013@gmail.com

April 15, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014 | Leave a comment

Chiho Takahashi: a volunteer reflects on the Fukushima nuclear tragedy

Wilcox,-Richard-1Japan’s Radioactive Potemkin Village: The Government’s Double-Dealing Data, By Richard Wilcox, PhD, 4-12-14 A Volunteer Speaks

“………My colleague, Chiho Takahashi, a student at Tsuda College, recently wrote of her experiences as a volunteer to support the folks at the Adachi temporary housing facility:

“In November of 2012, I went to the Adachi temporary housing in Nihonmatsu for the first time. Almost all of the children that participated in our event were shorter than me, my height is 148 cm. But as I visited periodically during the next year and a half I noticed the children growing in height. In that way I could measure the passage of time and see that the victims’ lives were not “temporary” at all but taking place over a long period.

Children who were first grade students of elementary school became third grade students. Children who were first grade students of junior high school became high schoolers. I asked myself, ‘do you think that it is a temporary life?’ I could not think so.

In February of 2013 I had an experience where an elderly man let me into his house at the Adachi temporary housing. He lives in the house all alone. I went up his steps into his small quarters. There are four rooms in the house: kitchen, living room, bed room and bath. He showed me into the living room where there was akotatsu (Japanese foot warmer) and suggested that I warm myself in the kotatsu because it was very cold that day. We talked for about 30 minutes in afternoon and he told me about his children and grandchildren but he rarely sees them because they live in Tokyo and Miyagi prefectures. He was proud that he had done forestry and farming work using his big truck before he was forced to move to Nihonmatsu from Namie town because of the 3.11. disaster. Since then, he has lost everything and has nothing to do every day but drink in broad daylight. There were some bottles of rice wine and potato liquor on the table in the living room.

When I was heard his sad story I could only say to him that ‘that’s too bad.’ Although I felt I was not useful to him I tell people this story to people in Tokyo so they will know what a hard life it is in the temporary housing of Nihonmatsu.

I want many people to know the experience which I saw and heard and felt in Tohoku. I can’t carry out expensive projects like government, but I have always felt that I should try to do important things with my precious friends even if they might seem ‘small.’ In this way, maybe I can inspire more people from Tokyo to assist the refugees of the Tohoku and Fukushima disasters, even if it is just one person at a time. Our small volunteer made the singular effort to go to Nihonmatsu to assist the temporary housing residents, so too if each person made a small but sincere effort it might create a larger effect.”

Richard Wilcox is a Tokyo-based teacher and writer who holds a Ph.D. in environmental studies and is a regular contributor to the world’s leading website exposing the Fukushima nuclear disaster, He is also a contributor to Activist Post. His radio interviews and articles are archived at and he can be reached by email for radio or internet podcast interviews to discuss the Fukushima crisisat wilcoxrb2013@gmail.com

April 15, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, Japan, social effects | Leave a comment

Dwindling group of Hiroshima survivors bear witness to the nuclear horror

Hiroshima survivors offer peace and hope for nuclear disarmament April 13, 2014 SMH, Daniel Flitton The two young brothers looked into the bright blue sky and waved happily at the shiny plane flying far above.

Their sister, Emiko Okada, eight years old at the time, remembers an intense flash of light and her mother suddenly rushing into the yard to the children, bleeding from where shards of glass had lodged in her head.

Next came the fire – and people running, hair standing on end, white bones exposed, skin and flesh burning. People were vomiting, not just blood but black ooze from their nose and mouth.

Mito Kosei, in his mother’s womb at the time of the atomic attack, guides tourists around the memorial peace park in Hiroshima.

This was the day the A-bomb fell on Hiroshima.

Ms Okada is one of a dwindling group of survivors from that morning in 1945, determined never to let the terrible human cost of nuclear war be forgotten, even after they are gone.

”Frightening is not the world I can use, it was something much worse,” she said via a translator, still upset by the memory.

Emiko Okada who as an eight-year-old survived the atomic attack on Hiroshima.

Stories from the survivors, known in Japan as hibakusha, were told to foreign ministers of a 12-nation group, including Australia, gathered in Hiroshima at the weekend to kickstart global talks on nuclear disarmament.

Survivors’ stories are being preserved in an online archive by the Tokyo Metropolitan University………

April 15, 2014 Posted by | Japan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Against public opinion Japanese government goes for nuclear power

Abe,-Shinzo-nukeJapanese govt. abandons nuclear-free future in face of public opposition April 11, 2014 The Japanese government has overturned its predecessor’s energy plan that would see all of the country’s nuclear power plants closed by 2030. The move – which has been opposed by the public – has been forced by spiraling energy costs.

Approved by the Liberal Democratic Party, which was not in power in 2011 when the Fukushima nuclear accident occurred, nuclear power has been described in the 20-year-plan as an “important baseload power source” – meaning its steady output will be fundamentally relied on for steady electricity generation.

“We aim to opt for an energy supply system which is realistic, pragmatic and well balanced,” Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told the media on Friday.
Motegi said that the exact role of nuclear power in the energy mix would be decided once the state of its beleaguered energy industry would become clear in three or four years, but stressed that nuclear energy offered “security”.

A March survey showed that 59 percent of Japanese opposed the re-start of nuclear reactors, and only 12 percent had “no” or “minimal concerns” about the potential for another serious nuclear accident in Japan.

All 48 of Japan’s nuclear reactors are currently offline.

The government has ordered energy companies to spend over $16 billion upgrading its outdated and seismically vulnerable facilities to avoid a repeat of the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl accident in 1986.

This comes on top of the projected $100 billion cost of clearing-up the pollution and radioactive remains of the damaged Fukushima facility itself. …….

he reintroduction of nuclear may be too costly to solve the country’s energy shortfall.

Reuters recently compiled a report saying that it would make no economic sense to revive two-thirds of the country’s plants under the current stringent operating criteria.

“I think it is unavoidable that the Japanese utilities will write off most of their nuclear ‘assets’ and move on. Given the slim realistic prospects for a major nuclear share, the challenge will be flexibility and the whole baseload concept flies out of the window,” Mycle Schneider, a Paris-based energy consultant told the news agency.

The government’s energy plan also reserves a bigger role for renewable sources, which it says will double from the current 10 percent of the overall energy mix in the next sixteen years.

While green energy has widespread public support, this may be another plan that will require extra subsidy from government coffers flushed out by the 2011 natural disaster and the subsequent attempts to rectify previous mismanagement of the energy industry.

April 12, 2014 Posted by | Japan, politics | 1 Comment

Terrorism risk ignored, as Japan plans to produce plutonium

Japan reaffirms its plan to produce plutonium, Center for Public Integrity
The Abe government’s new energy plan calls for completing the Rokkasho plutonium fuel factory despite U.S. concern it poses terrorism risks By Douglas BirchemailJake Adelstein  12 April 14

Just weeks after Japan pledged to return hundreds of pounds of plutonium to the United States for disposal, the Japanese government on April 11 formally endorsed the completion of a factory designed to produce as much as eight tons of the nuclear explosive annually.

The plant is among the key elements of a long-range energy plan approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet, reversing  the previous government’s efforts to phase out nuclear power in the wake of the March 2011 Fukushima disaster.  The move is generally viewed in Japan as unpopular with the public but has been welcomed by Japan’s utilities, which are struggling with massive debts.

Rokkkasho-reprocessing-planThe mammoth plant in the village of Rokkasho, scheduled to be completed in October, is meant to extract plutonium from spent commercial reactor fuel so it can be used in fresh fuel to be burned in the country’s reactors. “With safety first in mind always, Japan will promote…the completion of Rokkasho,” the energy plan states.

Publicly, the Obama administration has said little about Rokkasho, located on the Pacific Coast about 1,000 miles north of Tokyo. But privately, U.S. officials and experts say they are worried that Japan’s operation of the $22 billion facility – in the wake of the country’s closure of most of its nuclear power plants — will add unnecessarily to its existing stockpile of 44 tons of plutonium, some of which is stored in Japan and some in Europe.

U.S. officials have complained to their Japanese counterparts that the plant lacks an adequate security force, making it a potential target for terrorists. They have also urged Japan to subject the plants’ workers to stringent background checks, a move the Japanese see as being at odds with privacy traditions. U.S. experts also have expressed concern that the plant’s operation will encourage other countries, including South Korea, to constructsimilar plutonium factories.

Japan’s stockpile of plutonium today ranks fifth  in the world, behind four nuclear-weapons states. The Chinese government in recent weeks has repeatedly expressed concern about Japan’s plans to produce plutonium “far exceeding its normal needs.”

Tokyo’s decision to proceed follows a joint announcement on March 24 by Abe and President Obama and Abe, at the Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands, that Japan would return hundreds of pounds of plutonium and weapons-grade uranium it received under the U.S. Atoms for Peace program in the 1960s and 1970s.

The two leaders said the transfer would further “our mutual goal” of keeping global stocks of nuclear explosive materials to a minimum, to keep them out of the hands of terrorists.

But critics say Rokkasho’s operation would violate that goal……..

Many communities in Japan are dependent on a stream of payments by the federal government to promote the siting of nuclear power plants, but a few have recently expressed concerns about the burning of plutonium-laced reactor fuels.

In early April, the city of Hakodate sued to halt work on a reactor that would be the first to burn such fuel.  Hakodate’s Mayor Toshiki Kudo told reporters in Tokyo Thursday that the government and utility had ignored a plea from the municipality to suspend work on the Ohma plant and made “a unilateral announcement that it would go ahead with construction.”

Kudo called the plant “a terrorist target,” and said it could pose a greater safety risk than reactors fueled in other ways.

Angela Erika Kubo contributed to this article from Tokyo.

April 12, 2014 Posted by | - plutonium, Japan | Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 687 other followers