Nuclear tax and low prices continue to impact Vattenfall, World Nuclear News, 04 February 2016 Swedish utility Vattenfall has announced a loss of SEK19.8 billion ($2.4 billion) in 2015, its third consecutive annual loss. It attributed this partly to continued low electricity prices and unprofitable Swedish nuclear power reactors…….
Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall said, “The major challenge in 2015 continued to be the impact that today’s very low electricity prices have on Vattenfall’s profitability and the valuation of our assets. Unfortunately, combined with new regulatory requirements, this led to further write-downs, mainly on the values of Swedish nuclear power and German lignite in the summer.”
He added, “Continued falling prices and a nuclear tax corresponding to SEK0.07 per kilowatt-hour have put Swedish nuclear power in a critical situation…….http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-Nuclear-tax-and-low-prices-continue-to-impact-Vattenfall-0402164.html
India Joins Nuclear Liability Pact, Opening Door to Foreign Reactor Investments http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2016/02/05/397765.htm By Rajesh Kumar Singh and Stephen Stapczynski | February 5, 2016 India’s decision to join a global treaty on nuclear accident liability may help it woo reactor suppliers, including Westinghouse Electric Co. and General Electric Co., that have been reluctant to sell technology to the nation.
The country ratified the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, also known as CSC, the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday. India’s current law allows operators to hold suppliers responsible for accidents, making international equipment makers hesitant to sign deals as the nation seeks to expand nuclear power capacity more than 10-fold by 2032………
India’s decision to join a global treaty on nuclear accident liability may help it woo reactor suppliers, including Westinghouse Electric Co. and General Electric Co., that have been reluctant to sell technology to the nation.
The country ratified the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, also known as CSC, the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday. India’s current law allows operators to hold suppliers responsible for accidents, making international equipment makers hesitant to sign deals as the nation seeks to expand nuclear power capacity more than 10-fold by 2032.
Ratifying the CSC is the latest effort the government has taken to ease suppliers’ concerns that they would be open to liability claims in case of a nuclear accident. Joining the treaty “marks a conclusive step in the addressing of issues related to civil nuclear liability in India,” the country’s external affairs ministry said in a statement Thursday.
In 2011, India capped suppliers’ liability, saying claims by the nation’s nuclear plant operator can’t exceed the amount of compensation paid by the utility. That was followed last year with the creation of a 15 billion rupees ($222 million) insurance pool to shield the operator, Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd., and the suppliers against claims. The government also last year issued a note explaining the law, including the sections that leave suppliers exposed to lawsuits.
“The ratification is a very important step for the comfort of foreign vendors,” said Sekhar Basu, secretary at India’s Department of Atomic Energy.
Westinghouse Electric expects to reach a deal with India by the end of this year to provide at least six nuclear reactors, Chief Executive Officer Daniel Roderick said in December. France’s Areva SA signed an accord in 2009 to supply six 1,650-megawatt reactors at Jaitapur, a coastal town in India’s western province of Maharashtra.
“Ratifying the CSC is a step in the right direction towards unlocking the market potential for further nuclear development in India,” Jeff Benjamin, senior vice president of new plants and major projects at Westinghouse, said by e-mail. General Electric and Areva didn’t respond to requests for comment outside normal business hours.
The ratification doesn’t change the country’s existing liability laws, according to R. Rajaraman, emeritus professor of physics at Jawaharlal Nehru University’s School of Physical Sciences.
“This will not lead to a re-think or a modification of our liability act,” Rajaraman said in an e-mail. “That would not be politically feasible.”
Vikas Swarup, spokesman for India’s External Affairs Ministry, didn’t respond to requests seeking comment. Calls to Jagdish Thakkar, a spokesman at the prime minister’s office, weren’t answered.–With assistance from Archana Chaudhary.
Nuclear still unclear: Does ratification of CSC fix problems of nuclear law? Now that India has ratified the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) for Nuclear Damage, the question is whether this paves the way for firms like GE, Westinghouse and Areva setting up nuclear plants in India or whether the Indian Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CNLD) Act still effectively acts as a deterrent. The Financial Express, By: Sunil Jain | New Delhi | February 5, 2016 Now that India has ratified the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) for Nuclear Damage, the question is whether this paves the way for firms like GE, Westinghouse and Areva setting up nuclear plants in India or whether the Indian Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CNLD) Act still effectively acts as a deterrent. Considering that, on his visit to India less than six months ago, GE CEO Jeff Immelt was quite dismissive of the changes proposed by India, it would appear it isn’t quite the done deal that was made out by the government which, after the ratification in Vienna, said “this marks a conclusive step in the addressing of issues related to civil nuclear liability in India”.
While in India, Immelt had said “the world has an established liability regime … it has been accepted and adopted … I can’t put my company on risk … India can’t reinvent the language on liability”. All that the ratification means, for all practical purposes, is that India considers its nuclear liability law to be in conformity with the CSC; it doesn’t mean that the CSC will now override the Indian law. Indeed, as the FAQs released by the ministry of external affairs (MEA) last year in February make clear, India has believed its law to be in conformity with CSC for a long time. “Based on the presentations by the Indian side …”, the MEA’s FAQs read, “there is a general understanding that India’s CLND law is compatible with the CSC”; at another place, the FAQs states “the provisions of the CLND Act are broadly in conformity with the CSC”.
The MEA sought to downplay the concerns of investors like Immelt on Clauses 17 and 46 – and, to a lesser extent, even clause 6 – of the CLND. While clause 6 talks of the central government, from time to time, reviewing the operator’s liability, clauses 17 and 46 deal with supplier liability and possible suits based on this – the initial no-faults liability under the law is that of the operator of the plant, not the supplier, but the operator can file a damages claim against suppliers later. ……..
the MEA says, there were two amendments to this clause that specifically tried to include suppliers in the provision but these were not adopted by Parliament. And, apart from the funds that will be available from the CSC – each nuclear supplier contributes to this fund which is to be used in case of an accident – the government also talks of the Rs 1,500 crore Indian nuclear insurance pool set up which potential suppliers can use to insure themselves. The question, the lawyers of nuclear suppliers are asking is: in case of an accident, will courts go by the written law or by the MEA’s FAQs and the government’s intent in creating the insurance pool. Immelt made his answer quite clear; that of the other suppliers is not clear as yet. http://www.financialexpress.com/article/fe-columnist/nuclear-still-unclear-does-ratification-of-csc-fix-problems-of-nuclear-law/207722/
Hinkley Point nuclear power station lurches into another crisis after director of £18bn project quits, This Is Money By EMILY DAVIES FOR THE DAILY MAIL 4 February 2016 Hinkley Point nuclear power station lurched into another crisis after the director of the £18bn project quit……..His resignation comes just days after EDF delayed giving approval to construction of Hinkley Point C as it struggles to find the billions of pounds to finance the deal.
Hinkley Point, in Somerset, has been beset with delays and cost overruns since 2010. EDF agreed a subsidy deal over Hinkley Point in 2013 and currently has a 66.5 per cent stake in the project, after Chinese utility CGN took a 33.5 per cent stake in the project.
But EDF has £28bn net debt and needs to find an estimated £41bn to extend the lifespan of 58 French nuclear plants. The company is said to be pressuring the French government, which owns 85 per cent of EDF, to take some of its stake in Hinkley Point.
And this week it emerged that the power station could be further put off, as five French union members on EDF’s 18-seat board came out in opposition of the project. http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-3430400/Hinkley-Point-nuclear-power-station-lurches-crisis-director-18bn-project-quits.html#ixzz3zKCwnvD2
Mining Awareness +
296,000 Radioactive Shots Per SECOND (Bequerels) per Liter of Water (34 oz) in groundwater test wells for Entergy’s Indian Pt. Nuclear Power Station. Compare to a M134 MiniGun at 100 Rounds Per Second.
The idea of a gunshot analogy is not our invention, but rather from Los Alamos Nuclear Lab, Number 23 1995, Los Alamos Science, where they compare radiation damage types to rifles, shotguns, etc.
How long would an individual get by with shooting a gun of any sort at people in public? And, yet the nuclear industry-utilities get by with it all of the time. They are allowed by law to legally leak long-lived lethal radioactive materials into the environment on a routine basis throughout the entire nuclear fuel chain. Being a New Orleans based company, Entergy’s just apparently decided to add radioactive lagniappe (a little something extra).
Water (H2O) and Carbon are the foundations of life…
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Science and Technology:
¶ Does shrinking ice in the Arctic lead to worse snow storms along the East Coast? It’s very possible says leading Arctic researcher Judah Cohen. In Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston, at least five of the top 10 snow storms on record have occurred since 1990. [Washington Post]
September Arctic sea extent compared to 1981-2000 average portrayed by yellow line (NASA)
¶ The ice cover across the Arctic hit a new low throughout January. The Colorado-based National Snow and Ice Data Center tracked the lowest ice extent ever for January. The record-low ice extent was driven by unusually high air temperatures over the Arctic Ocean – more than 6° C (10.8° F) above average. [Nunatsiaq News]
¶ The Ugandan company Kiira Motors recently showed off what it claims to be the first solar-powered bus in Africa – the Kayoola…
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Mining Awareness +
Like Japan, Taiwan is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is an exceptionally bad location for nuclear power stations. About 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_of_Fire. On Friday, Sakurajima volcano erupted in Japan and on early Saturday, local time, a large earthquake occurred in Taiwan.
“The ‘Ring of Fire’, also called the Circum-Pacific belt, is the zone of earthquakes surrounding the Pacific Ocean- about 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur there. The next most seismic region (5-6% of earthquakes) is the Alpide belt (extends from Mediterranean region, eastward through Turkey, Iran, and northern India.” (“This dynamic earth: the story of plate tectonics” 1996, Kious, W. Jacquelyne; Tilling, Robert I., USGS Unnumbered Series General Interest Publication) http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/7000097
Recent 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake: Early Saturday in Taiwan. (Friday UTC: 2016-02-05 19:57:27 (UTC)
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¶ Aviva stadium, home of the Ireland rugby team, will be fully powered by renewable energy for the upcoming 2016 Six Nations tournament. The move is expected to save almost 2,500 tonnes of carbon emissions in 2016 alone. The stadium has teamed up with SSE Airtricity, who will supply green electricity and gas. [edie.net]
The move is expected to save almost 2,500 tonnes of carbon emissions in 2016 alone
¶ Global energy efficiency investment will reach $5.8 trillion by the year 2030, according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Authority. By 2030, yearly energy efficiency investment will total around $385 billion, the report says. The focus will be buildings, manufacturing, and transportation. [Sustainnovate]
¶ Danish energy giant DONG Energy released its 2015 financial results, reporting a 13% increase in operating profit over 2014 figures. DONG said the the increase was thanks primarily to…
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Image courtesy of Ploughshares.org
Aine, a 16-year-old high school girl, is a new breed of political activist. Leading a protest group of high school students, she is trying to make change happen in a country of endemic voter apathy that is feared to be drifting dangerously to the right.
Aine, who uses only her first name, formed the group, T-nsSOWL, in June last year together with other like-minded high school students. The group’s name is purported to stand for “Teens Stand up to Oppose War Law.”
The name is a reference to a set of new national security laws championed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to pave the way for the Self-Defense Forces to play a more active role overseas, an initiative seen by some people as a breach of the war-renouncing provision of the Japanese Constitution. The laws were enacted last September.
Aine’s group organizes protest activities in the busy streets of Shibuya and Harajuku in Tokyo, which are the haunts of high school students and other young people.
During last year’s Christmas season, it staged a protest march in Harajuku. To the tune of music flowing from a truck leading the march, Ryuki, 18, another group leader who also uses only his first name, cried out rap-ish slogans like “Protect the Constitution,” “Don’t kill anybody” and “Don’t look down on the people.”
Aine was clad in her school uniform as she led the march, which was joined by around a thousand protesters. Onlookers were using smartphones to take shots of the rare sight of high school students spearheading a political protest activity. To those people, Aine called out: “We are demonstrating against the national security laws. Let’s march together.”
Aine’s family background apparently had little influence in setting her on this course of activism. She lives with her parents, who work in building-related jobs and do not bring up politics at the dinner table.
Something akin to political awareness grew within her after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, which took place when she was in her last year at elementary school. She began to sense a disconnect between what politicians were saying and what was actually happening.
Huge tsunami waves triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, spreading radioactive fallout, but the government continued to downplay the health risk. Meanwhile, the areas around the doomed nuclear plant have been kept off-limits for residents, many of whom still live in makeshift homes.
“That struck me as odd,” Aine said. “There were things that were too difficult to understand, but even children could see something was wrong.”
Over the following years, Japan’s political landscape changed. The Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled Japan for most of the postwar period, took back power from the Democratic Party of Japan, and the Abe government arrived with a national security agenda that aroused suspicions that he would take Japan away from its pacifist path.
For Aine, the defining moment came on a December day in 2014, just before the last general election. Having gone through the ordeal of a term-end examination, Aine went shopping in Shibuya with friends, before moving on to the neighborhood of the Diet building. The area had become the locus of antigovernment protest around that time, later attracting droves of people outraged at the Abe government’s attempt to railroad the national security bills through parliament despite widespread voter reservations.
On that day, more than a thousand protesters were rallying against Japan’s new secrecy law, which toughens penalties for leakers of state secrets, in front of the nearby prime minister’s official residence under the leadership of a students’ group which would later evolve into SEALDs, a major protest movement against the new security legislation. Despite the intensity of such protest activities, voter indifference remained a problem, with the turnout at the general election falling to a record low of 52 percent.
Inspired by her experience of the protests around the Diet, Aine started to join protest rallies, and she got to know other students who would later become her allies in T-nsSOWL.
Aine said she did not feel uneasy, as a typical Japanese would do, about joining marches and rallies as a means to express protest. There is nothing special about ordinary people participating in such activities, she said, citing the kind of epoch-making popular movements that are taken up by history textbooks.
Talking about the history of her protest activities, Aine named a string of political events on which she has kept tabs. Among them were the landslide victory of Abe’s LDP in the 2014 general election, Abe’s visit to the United States to cement ties with Japan’s major military ally, and the hustle and bustle over the deliberation and enactment of the national security bills.
Aine’s group has now around 70 members, including 35 in the Kanto region that includes Tokyo. For her, talking with the group’s members about politics, war and peace is a valuable experience that can’t be gained in the classroom.
She is also hoping that her group’s activities will inject a breath of fresh air and a dose of energy into Japanese politics by shaking the business-as-usual mindset of politicians and by helping to nudge voters to the polls. “If high school students show interest in politics and go as far as to join demonstration activities, that will keep politicians on their toes and have an impact on ordinary people as well,” she said.
In the elections to the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament, scheduled for this coming summer, high school students will cast ballots for the first time in Japan as the minimum voting age is lowered from 20 to 18. Unfortunately, Aine will be one year shy of the age limit at that time. But she is “not that disappointed,” saying what she cares about most is her fight against voter apathy.
9:10 pm, February 07, 2016
The National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) revealed that the total number of sessile species, such as barnacles and snails, has been decreasing significantly along the coast within 10 kilometers south of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant since the accident there in 2011.
Although the exact relevance to the accident is unclear, according to the institute’s analysis there is the possibility that the mass death of sessile species was influenced by radioactive materials released into the sea.
The NIES gathered sessile species attached to tetrapods from seven survey points 50 centimeters square within the limits in Fukushima, Miyagi and Ibaraki prefectures in May and June 2013. Four of the survey points are located in Fukushima Prefecture. The institute then investigated species numbers among other details.
Concerning the survey points in Fukushima, the numbers at the two sites south of the power plant were much lower than the numbers at the two northern sites. Extrapolated into one square meter, 2,864 sessile creatures were confirmed at the survey point in Okuma, which is 1.2 kilometers south from the power plant. At the survey point in Tomioka, which is 9.5 kilometers south of the plant, 2,404 creatures were confirmed. Meanwhile, the average number of sessile creatures in the other five locations reached 18,592, with 31,728 in Minami-Soma and 5,324 in Futaba, both in Fukushima Prefecture and north of the power plant.Speech
More on this topic in an interview a few days ago, with Tim Mousseau here;
Comparing Fukushima and Chernobyl concerning radionuclide distribution and Isotopic variations on Land and effects on the environment. New studies by Timothy Mousseu and his team.
Tim was interviewed and he gave us an overall look at the situation and compares the 2 nuclear disasters for us
Ireland stands behind the Human Rights Acts of the UN and the EU .. As well as showing compassion. A small amount of protesters were a bit agressive but out of the 1000`s they were a small minority … Well done Ireland I feel Proud to live here.. Peace not War
RTE cameraman injured as protesters clash with gardai in Dublin city centre
Violent clashes broke out in Dublin city centre today where an estimated 1,000 demonstrators turned out on O’Connell Street to protest the launch of the anti-Islam group Pegida in Ireland.
Gardai intervened as a number of people thought to be linked to the group were singled out and attacked by a number of men.
Pegida, which stands for Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West, began in Germany last year, largely in response to the European refugee crisis.
As small groups of Pegida supporters approached the GPO from surrounding streets to hold their rally, violent clashes quickly broke out.
Its rally, which was to take place at 3pm outside the GPO in order to mark the launch in Ireland of Pegida’s 15th European branch was pre-empted by a peaceful counter demonstration by over 1,000 anti-rascist and Muslim…
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It would appear that simplyinfo are not going to sue the blogger in question and we have agreed to move on and pursue our relevant roles and important work for these scientists and researchers .. Thank you simlyinfo team for your hard work and understanding
The beaviour recounted here in this Oped by Dun Renard by the Fukuleaks team has been noted by myself as well. It caused me to largely discount tham as a source and I promptly deleted the bookmark. I wonder what other information they are also hiding by this creeping censorship. Barrett Browns Persecuters (https://theintercept.com/staff/freebarrett_/ ) would be very pleased with their stance on copyright as would the UK Government (Julian Assange) and The USA Government (Edward Snowden) . So I suggest that he Fukuleaks team are more Corporate than caring.
I appreciate that they are doing but attacking people that promote their blogsite is like the situation that occoured recently by the Fine Brothers who tried to do a similar thing on You Tube.
A link to a responce to that can be found here (They lost 200, 000 subscribers in just a day or so after begining just a few take down notices);
I hope that the Fukuleaks Team backs off hastling a Fukushima father and concentrates their efforts at the conspiracy to cover up the health effects of nuclear disasters.
I hope that Fukuleaks doesnt want to go down the road of the Fine Brothers for that way leads to destruction.
Fukushima 311 Watchdogs
First I shared a short article of Fukuleaks on Radioactive Glass Nanoparticles, but Fukuleaks immediately harassed me complaining that I was infringing their copyrights and asking me to delete my article on my blog.
I told them you should be happy that I reposted your article, giving you the credits and giving your article link as the source, thus making your website more well known to those people who do not know it yet.
I cut by 60% their short article text, posting only 40% of it, as 40% sharing of an article text, if no money generating from it is considered by copyrights law as fair share and is usually tolerated.
But no it was still not enough good for them and still they pested me by email complaining, asking me to delete completely their article.
I told them, what kind of antinuclear people are you, as antinuclear don’t you…
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On 2/4/2016, a Japanese citizen posted on Twitter that 0.51 μSv/h was detected on accumulated mud in Shibuya ward of Tokyo.
The location is 2-17-5 Jingu-mae, Shibuya ward. The area is used as a coin-parking lot. The area is not blockaded.
Source : http://fukushima-diary.com/2016/02/photo-over-0-5-%CE%BCsvh-detected-from-mud-in-shibuya-ward-tokyo/
MITO, IBARAKI PREF. – The Environment Ministry has allowed Ibaraki Prefecture to continue storing waste contaminated with radioactive substances from the March 2011 nuclear disaster in multiple locations for the time being.
The ministry on Thursday supported ongoing use of the multiple-site storage option at a meeting with officials from Ibaraki Prefecture and 14 municipalities in the prefecture that are currently storing such designated waste on a temporary basis.
This is the first time the ministry, which has upheld a policy to construct one designated waste disposal facility in each of the prefectures of Miyagi, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba, to give the green light to multiple-site storage within a prefecture.
On Friday, Environment Minister Tamayo Marukawa said at a news conference the ministry will continue coordinating with local municipalities to deal with the issue.
As part of the process, she said, it would consult with the community to move forward with lifting the designation on waste where radiation levels have lowered and consolidate remaining waste.
Designated waste, including incineration ash, sewage sludge and paddy straw, is contaminated with radioactive substances exceeding 8,000 becquerels per kilogram as a result of the triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant caused by a major earthquake and tsunami.
Although the ministry has been pursuing the policy of concentrating such waste in one location in each of the five prefectures for disposal, the construction of disposal facilities has yet to transpire five years after the nuclear accident amid strong opposition from local residents.
The ministry’s decision to tolerate multiple-site storage is apparently intended to overcome the situation.
The ministry plans to have the municipalities in Ibaraki Prefecture continue safely storing designated waste for now, and have them dispose of the waste as general waste after radiation levels fall below 8,000 becquerels per kilogram.
As a result, the ministry forecasts that the amount of designated waste in the prefecture will drop to about 0.6 ton in about 10 years from 3,643 tons at present.
It will examine whether multiple-site storage can be continued in Gunma and Chiba prefectures, where municipalities are storing designated waste indoors just like those in Ibaraki Prefecture.
At Thursday’s meeting, the ministry proposed rules that would require the central and local governments to hold talks in advance if the radioactive waste designation is to be lifted.
The ministry also indicated a plan to consider providing financial support to municipalities that dispose of the waste after removal of the designation as radioactive waste at their existing facilities.
On Fukushima Prefecture and Hiroshi Kainuma: How Officials and Popular Academics Have Responded to Disaster Victims in the Wake of Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Nuclear Accident
By Toshinori Shishido
1. About the author
I worked as a full-time teacher at a public high school in Fukushima for about twenty-five-and-a-half years, until July 31, 2011. During the first four years of my career, I taught at Futaba High School in Futaba-machi, home to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Naturally, I have heard stories about the harsh working conditions of nuclear workers. For example, in a certain area of the power plant, working for 10 minutes would exceed the legal maximum daily radiation exposure limit. So each shift was officially recorded as 10 minutes even though their actual worked shift was 8 hours. The workers would primarily wipe water leaking from the piping surrounding the nuclear reactor. When workers died of illnesses like cancer, their families received unusually high amounts of cash as lump-sum payments, while actual workmen’s compensation insurance was not provided.
At the time of the 2011 nuclear accident, I was living in a city 53 kilometers (33 miles) away from the power plant with my wife and two children. I was working at a public school 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the plant.
After the accident, on the evening of March 15, 2011, the maximum airborne radioactive levels of 23 microsievert/hour was detected in Fukushima City, where I worked. Outside the school the following day, however, the annual school acceptance announcements were held as scheduled. Several faculty, including myself, met with the principal to insist that usual outdoor announcement be cancelled as to avoid having young students exposed to radiation–but the announcement event was forced outdoors. The principal cited reasons such as, “the Fukushima Prefecture office strongly supports the outdoor plan” and he “had no choice as the school principal.”
From April 2011 on, aside from the prohibition of outdoor gym classes, neither my school nor the Fukushima Board of Education took any measures to prevent further radiation exposure for students. The school had students practice club activities outdoors as usual. Indoor club athletes were made to run outdoors as well, without any protective measure against radiation exposure. Despite the standard practice, measures such as gargling, washing hands, changing clothes, and showering weren’t deemed necessary for students when returning from outdoor activities. Since I had some knowledge about radiation exposure, I advised the students to take caution to remove potential contamination whenever possible. However, in response to my giving the students advice to prevent radioactive materials from entering the building, I had been cautioned by the Fukushima Prefectural Board of Education, in the form of official “guidance” which forbids me to even talk about radiation and nuclear power plants to the students. Given that I was officially barred from protecting students from radiation exposure, I decided to make my move: along with my family, I evacuated my hometown and relocated to Sapporo city in Hokkaido. We were supported by staff and Toru Konno at the Hokkaido Prefectural government who led the way through the interference by Fukushima Prefecture, and Sapporo City, as well as by the support of the people at the NPO Musubiba. Once we evacuated, we found out about a financial system by Fukushima Prefecture which supports voluntary evacuees from the areas outside of the officially restricted zone (though it only approved applications from evacuees pre-December 2012; those who evacuated thereafter would not be financially supported).
I have been teaching part-time in Hokkaido. Since finding out that within the public school system the Fukushima Prefecture Board of Education can intervene to oversee public high school relocation anywhere, I have been teaching at private schools only. Aside from my part-time job, I have been involved in a nuclear power plant damages lawsuit as a plaintiff as well as a member of the refugee organization.
1. Fukushima Prefectural Government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)’s Fukushima Nuclear Accident
The reactors at the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, especially Unit 1 and Unit 2, were delivered and installed from the US after the US manufacturer finished all of their construction. As for Units 3, 4, 5, and 6 the Japanese manufacturer added their own “improvements” to the original structure.
I will try to avoid a lengthy explanation. TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant frequently had accidents immediately after beginning operation and the nuclear workers’ exposure levels amounted to twice to ten times the average exposure dose at other nuclear plants. Furthermore, TEPCO kept a lot of serious accidents hidden from Fukushima Prefecture and the Japanese government. TEPCO proposed using Unit 3 for so-called pluthermal power generation, utilizing fuel which can contain weapons-grade plutonium in order to reduce the plutonium surplus in Japan. Eisaku Sato, then-governor of Fukushima, strongly objected to the proposal.The Japanese government arrested and convicted Governor Sato on bribery charges with the amount of the bribe recognized as “zero yen.” They drove him to resign, then elected Yuhei Sato as the new governor. As described above, neither the Fukushima governor nor the organization called the Fukushima Prefectural Government had power over TEPCO.
2. Nuclear accident and the Fukushima Prefectural Government
March 11, 2011, when a massive earthquake hit a wide area including Fukushima Prefecture, the building of the Fukushima prefectural office (which had been planned to function as a Disaster Response Headquarters) was damaged in the earthquake. The headquarters were set up in a small building next to the main office building to serve temporary functions. The prefectural government has never publicized records of proceedings and documents from over 20 meetings in the beginning. From the 25th meeting, they finally began keeping records of proceedings.
At the time, the temporary disaster response headquarters was believed to have had little to no communication lines, and had reportedly only two satellite mobile phones. Although the communication infrastructure began to be rebuilt gradually, what was happening then still remains largely unknown. There has been no official investigation into the correspondence between the local governments, the central government and TEPCO, and no evacuation orders to the local communities.
As far as public record goes, the only time Fukushima Governor issued an announcement in the first week was on the evening of March 14th. “Follow the instructions and do not panic,””High school entrance announcements will be held as planned on March 16th,”— these two lines were broadcast repeatedly throughout local media.
From another angle, the recordings of the TEPCO video conference shows that Fukushima Prefecture requested TEPCO make a public announcement saying “the explosion in the Unit 3 at Fukushima Daiichi will not cause health damage.” Appalled by the request, thinking they “couldn’t say such an irresponsible thing,” TEPCO decided to “ask the central government to suppress Fukushima Prefecture,”—as evidently recorded during the video conference.
However Fukushima Prefecture repeatedly expressed that in the “Nakadōri” region—which includes the prefectural capitol, Fukushima City, and the commercially and industrially flourishing Koriyama City—there would be zero risk of health damage from radiation.
There has been a use of protective measures like wearing long-sleeves and masks for school children, which may have been a globally familiar sight through media reports. However this was not a recommendation or an order issued by Fukushima Prefecture, but rather a result of demands from local PTAs to boards of education in individual school districts.
Towards the end of March 2011, right before the school year resumed, the Fukushima governor was seen out in local grocery stores saying “Fukushima today is business as usual,” in which he began a campaign to “dispel harmful rumors” about local agricultural produce being contaminated by radiation. The governor also opposed widening the evacuation zone beyond the 20km radius of the nuclear power plant, and has repeatedly made remarks to avoid increasing the number of evacuees from outside the official evacuation zone.
As a result, aside from two local Fukushima newspapers, NHK, and four private television networks in addition to NHK Radio and Radio Fukushima, there was little to no mention of messages from outside Fukushima offering free housings and support networks for voluntary evacuees. Fukushima Prefecture also prohibited the use of not only public conference centers, but private facilities for hosting “counseling room” for evacuation as well. People around me practically had no knowledge of local autonomous support groups offering evacuation support. I have heard numerous times that “there is no evacuation order from outside the prefecture, meaning we have been abandoned.” In fact, it was Fukushima Prefecture who had been interfering with such efforts to reach our community.
Hiroshi Kainuma, “the Sociologist”
In 2011, an author from Fukushima became renowned after publishing the book “Fukushima’ theory–the birth of a nuclear village,” based on a thesis he wrote as a sociology student at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Sciences. His name is Hiroshi Kaiuma, born in Iwaki City, Fukushima, and graduated from the University of Tokyo Literature department at the age of 25 and advanced to the graduate program. I must note that this is difficult to grasp if you are not well-connected within Fukushima. But in short, Iwaki City, where Mr. Kainuma was born and raised, has very little connection to the Futaba district which hosts TEPCO’s power plant. In terms of large-scale trading areas, while the Futaba district is part of the Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture trade area, Iwaki City would be part of Mito City in Ibaraki Prefecture. In any case, Mr. Kainuma did not have strong connections to the Fukushima Prefectural government prior to March 11th, 2011.
Since the meltdown, however, he has somehow become “the Fukushima spokesperson who speaks about Fukushima on TV and radio.”
Additionally, I have written several critiques of his writings, one of which can be found on the following link (in Japanese): “Personal note on “‘Fukushima’ theory–the birth of a nuclear village’” http://togetter.com/li/815862
4. Hiroshi Kainuma and the Fukushima Prefectural Government
After 3.11, his master’s thesis was published in books and he began to be featured in various media, including an appearance as a commentator on the popular evening program “Hodo Station (News Station).” We must note that the content of his remarks have been consistent—such as, “The acceptance of nuclear power plant by local communities was necessary for the regions’ survival”; “Those outside of Fukushima protesting against nuclear energy do not understand the reality of nuclear-hosting communities.” His views and comments on the anti-nuclear movement have been antagonistic from the beginning, for example, “People who oppose nuclear energy are rubbing local communities the wrong way.”
Mr. Kainuma currently holds the title of Junior Researcher of the Fukushima Future Center for Regional Revitalization, but at the same time he is a PhD student at the University of Tokyo. While it would be appropriate to call him a sociology researcher, I feel it’s an overestimation to refer to him as a sociologist.
Currently the gist of Mr. Kainuma’s speech is towards the “recovery of Fukushima in visible forms” and its target audience is outside Fukushima Prefecture. While many others have in fact been referring to “bags” jammed with contaminated waste—seen everywhere and impossible to be ignored upon entering Fukushima—Mr. Kainuma continues to emphasize the “ordinary Fukushima” without mentioning the bags.
I see the previous governor of Fukushima, Yuhei Sato, in Mr. Kainuma in many ways, like in his seeming lack of experience interacting with people in temporary housings immediately following the meltdowns, or with shelter residents still living with much confusion and inconveniences as a result of the disaster.
Even the current Fukushima governor does not seem to have made too many visits to temporary shelters during or after elections.
To those who evacuated Fukushima to outer prefectures like myself, the Prefecture kept even more distance. By principle, they never made any official inspection visits to meet the evacuees. There is a notable lack of inspection visits not only in remote areas such as Hokkaido, but also in places like Yamagata and Niigata which are adjacent to Fukushima Prefecture.
In the wake of the disaster, though there was housing support for those who evacuated the areas outside of Fukushima as well, such efforts have gradually died down—as of March 2016, state subsidies for housing would be available only for evacuees who are from Fukushima. In addition, the housing subsidy program for those who evacuated the non-restricted zone will end in March 2017. However, there is no housing program for returning residents to Fukushima even if they decide to move back there.
Starting March 2017, voluntary evacuees still living in outer prefectures need to choose one of the three following choices:
1) Return home to Fukushima while paying out-of-pocket for most of the expenses associated with the move and your life thereafter. 2) Continue living outside Fukushima while relinquishing your rights to access resources as a disaster victim 3) Upon proving your need for financial assistance, receive housing subsidies for up to 2 years to live in privately-owned housing.
The reason for this policy change was credited to correspondence between the Minister of Environment and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, a non-governmental agency to provide scientific grounds for nuclear policy. The Minister of Envirnoment asked the NRA if “it is considered desirable to evacuate the areas that don’t have restrictions” to which the NRA answered, ”these areas are no longer fit to be evacuated.” It should be noted that there was no legal ground for this correspondence to be treated as official; how this exchange was reviewed and by whom is unknown.
Based on this document issued by the NRA, the Japanese government made a Cabinet decision to largely reduce support for evacuees through the Nuclear Accident Child Victim’s Support Law.
Following this decision, Fukushima Prefecture also determined its policy would end support for the voluntary evacuees from non-restricted areas.
Hiroshi Kainuma is working from an assumed role to justify such policy of Fukushima Prefecture, utilizing his position as a so-called sociologist. Even if he has ideas and views that differ from Fukushima Prefecture’s policy, he does not speak about them on media or at talk events.
For instance, when Mr. Kainuma was relatively unknown before 3.11, he had reportedly interviewed local anti-nuclear activists. Another instance tells us that although he had met and interviewed several people who have moved voluntarily out of the non-restricted areas, he proceeds to ignore the voices and opinions of them as though they had never existed.
Last year, nuclear reactors in Japan started resuming operation. Mr. Kainuma has not been seen or heard expressing opposition to it. Neither Fukushima Prefecture nor the Prefectural Assembly expresses any intentions to oppose nuclear restorations.
5. The current presence of “Hiroshi Kainuma”
Through the circumstances described above, Hiroshi Kainuma is working so as to be portrayed by the media as a Fukushima Prefecture spokesperson, intent on selling “business-as-usual” appeal and depicting a Fukushima that “overcame a nuclear disaster.”
Meanwhile, and quite unfortunately, many Fukushima residents agree with his words and actions. Just as there are many people hoping to forget the scars from the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, there are many who explicitly “do not evacuate,” comprising an overwhelming majority of the Fukushima population and wishing to forget and move past the disaster and nuclear crisis.
Here we have an academic scholar who speaks for us and to those who are outside Fukushima as well, saying to leave the nuclear disaster in the past.
Thus, this concludes the significance of Hiroshi Kainuma’s existence today.
(Translation by Sloths Against Nuclear State)
Source : https://jfissures.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/on-fukushima-prefecture-and-hiroshi-kainuma/