The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Fukushima dairy farmers to restart shipments

FUKUSHIMA – Dairy farmers who were forced to suspend business following the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant plan to restart milk shipments as early as this year, with a new large-scale stock farm completed in the city of Fukushima on Friday.

Fully supported by the government and the prefectural dairy cooperative association, the stock farm, with 580 cows, is expected to become a foothold for rebuilding the prefecture’s dairy industry, hit hard by business closures and radiation-related rumors.

The farm is operated by a company established jointly by five dairy farmers from Minamisoma, Namie and Iitate. Kazumasa Tanaka, 44, from Iitate, has been appointed president of the company.

The company aims to produce 5,000 tons of raw milk annually under a computer-based control system on the 3.6-hectare (8.9-acre) farm.

“I have chosen to do this because of a sense of responsibility for the rebuilding of the dairy industry in Fukushima,” Tanaka said at a completion ceremony. “It will be the happiest thing to cheer up our peers by our stock farm getting on a growth path.”

Following the triple meltdown at the nuclear plant triggered by the massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, 76 dairy farmers had to evacuate and suspend their operations. Among them, only 13 farmers have restarted their businesses.

In the prefecture, annual production of raw milk remains sluggish at around 80,000 tons, down 20 percent from before the disaster.

The new stock farm was developed and is owned by the prefectural dairy cooperative, which is subsidized by the central and prefectural governments.

Source: Japan Times

September 26, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

‘Japanese govt creates illusion of normality at Fukushima’

Japanese authorities made a troubling decision to let people to return to their houses in the zone of the Fukushima disaster as there is still much radioactive contamination in the region, Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear told RT.

RT: Would you approve of the decision of the Japanese authorities to let people return to their houses in the zone of the Fukushima disaster?

Kevin Kamps: It is a very troubling decision, because there is radioactive contamination still throughout the countryside. In fact they just announced this time to move back to Naraha under threat of cutting people off from their compensation payments from Tokyo Electric Power Company [TEPCO]. Ironically, just days later, Typhoon Etau which had with it record breaking floods redistributed the radioactivity. Not only did bags of radioactive waste wash out the sea and down rivers, but the entire landscape- areas that had not been decontaminated – that contamination then floated with the water down mountain sides, downhill into areas that had been contaminated like Naraha, but also into areas that had not been contaminated before. So this radioactivity, as we saw, as we still see with the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe – the radioactivity from Fukushima is moving in the environment. So it is a very troubling decision by the Japanese government to try to create the illusion of normality when there is so much radioactive contamination still in the environment.


RT: How long-lasting would the effect of the disaster be?

KK: It depends on the radioactive poison that you’re speaking about specifically. So, for example, radioactive Cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years. You have to multiply it by 10 or 20 to get the hazardous persistence. So that is 300 to 600 years of hazard with radioactive Cesium-137. Strontium-90 is about the same – 300 to 600 years of radioactive hazard. And then you have radioactive poisons that are deadly virtually forever more into the future. For example, Plutonium-239 a half-life of 24,000 years – that is a radioactive hazard of 240,000 if not 480,000 years into the future.

RT: How dangerous is the area right now?

KK: Unfortunately we don’t have much information yet after these record breaking floods just last week, which in a very big way has moved radioactivity to new places in the environment, or has re-contaminated places previously decontaminated supposedly. So there is so much that we don’t know. Certainly there have to be very careful steps taken to measure the radioactivity in the environment. Any pronouncements by local mayors or even the Japanese government that they are only detecting so much radioactivity one meter above the ground – it misses the point in a very big way. Radioactive cesium, strontium, tritium, and other radioactive poisons can enter the food supply, and people can eat the radioactivity or drink it in their drinking water. Very careful measures to guard against the contamination of the food supply and the drinking water supply have to be taken. And I don’t know if that is happening in all places right now.


RT: There are claims that TEPCO is still concealing some important information about the Fukushima tragedy. Would you say that this could be true?

KK: Absolutely, TEPCO has been caught so many times even before this catastrophe began, but certainly after the catastrophe. Just to give one example: this past February, 2015 Tokyo Electric finally announced, let the public know, that every time it rained at the site- and they had some major typhoons hit that site in the last four and a half years – the radioactivity levels in the ditches went up very significantly. Very high level radioactive water was flowing down these ditches. It turned out that there was a very badly contaminated spot on top of the Unit 2 reactor building, which suffered very large scale radioactivity releases during the catastrophe. They were simply letting this water flow down the ditches and into the ocean. They kept that quiet not for days, or for weeks, or for months, but for years. Unfortunately, TEPCO controls a lot of the information coming out of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Station. Of course it would be in their interest to try to keep things quiet that are bad for their public relations. Fortunately, this truth finally came out. But you have to wonder – how many more things are they hiding.

‘Disaster by design’

The nuclear plant was doomed from the very beginning for a number of reasons, including TEPCO’s underestimation of the possibility of a tsunami in the area, says Costas Synolakis of the Tsunami Research Center, University of Southern California.
There were two major failures of TEPCO which eventually led to the disaster, he told RT.

“First of all, it starts back when the plant was built in the 1960’s. If you can believe it – there was a coastal cliff at that location. They took it down (it was 30 meters high) to minus 4 meters, so that… it would be easier to put the foundation for the nuclear power plant plus also to save on cost. Obviously back in the 1960’s they didn’t think about tsunamis even though tsunamis happened in Japan all the time…So number two – they didn’t consider the historic reports [about tsunamis],” he said.

“TEPCO had clear chances all along the way; they were warned by Japanese seismologists and Japanese scientists that there was evidence of big tsunamis in the area… What is very serious, from my point of view, is the rationalizations that TEPCO tried to do in the beginning. At one point they were writing in one report that their analysis was conservative. Conservative means that they had overestimated the tsunami – in fact they had underestimated the tsunami. A very famous social scientist in the US – his name is Dennis Mileti, would call this ‘disaster by design’, meaning that it was just there waiting to happen.”


Source: RT

September 26, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Temporary waste sites to be returned to owners

minami-somaAs of the end of June, there were 1,134 temporary storage sites in Fukushima Prefecture, storing a total of 6.4 million cubic meters of contaminated waste — equal to filling Tokyo Dome five times over. However, due to a chronic shortage of temporary storage sites, about 1.8 million cubic meters of contaminated waste and soil have been kept at decontamination sites as it is impossible to transport them anywhere else. 

 The Minami-Soma municipal government in Fukushima Prefecture plans to return to landowners part of the private land used for the temporary storage of radioactive contaminated waste, marking the first time a municipal government has decided not to renew a land lease for a temporary storage site.

The construction of an interim storage facility (see below) has been delayed and three-year land leases for temporary storage sites in the prefecture have been expiring one after another since early this year. As the municipal government feels there are no prospects for gaining the understanding of landowners, it has decided to make the move with six months left on the existing lease.

Temporary storage sites were set up to store radioactive contaminated waste and soil collected during decontamination work following the nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. At other locations, there have been many cases in which landowners and nearby residents have shown reluctance to have their lands continue to be used as temporary storage sites, due to concerns over radioactive materials.

Under such circumstances, it is more likely that a plan for the disposal of radioactive contaminated waste, which has been promoted by the Environment Ministry, could be stalled.

Temporary storage sites were set up to store contaminated waste and soil until it becomes possible to bring the contaminated materials to an interim storage facility. To secure land for such sites, the central government signed leases with landowners in designated evacuation zones. In other areas, relevant municipal governments signed such leases.

As of the end of June, there were 1,134 temporary storage sites in Fukushima Prefecture, storing a total of 6.4 million cubic meters of contaminated waste — equal to filling Tokyo Dome five times over. However, due to a chronic shortage of temporary storage sites, about 1.8 million cubic meters of contaminated waste and soil have been kept at decontamination sites as it is impossible to transport them anywhere else.

minami-soma2Minami-Soma has decided to return to landowners a temporary storage site in the Baba area of the city. It is the second largest such site in the city, set up in March 2013 by the Minami-Soma municipal government, which leased about 12 hectares of paddy fields from 41 landowners.

In October 2011, while announcing the construction plan for the interim storage facility, the Environment Ministry stated that contaminated waste and soil should be stored for three years at temporary storage sites. With this in mind, the Minami-Soma municipal government signed a three-year land lease with individual landowners, thinking that it would be possible to move contaminated waste out of the temporary storage sites in March 2016. Currently, bags filled with contaminated waste are piled up at these temporary storage sites. The amount of waste stored in the bags totals about 65,000 cubic meters, equal to filling 120 25-meter swimming pools.

However, there has been little progress in the construction of the interim storage facility due to difficulties in acquiring the necessary land. The landowners of the temporary storage site in the Baba area plan to readjust their paddy fields from around 2018, and the municipal government has considered it difficult to extend the land lease with no prospect of when contaminated waste can be removed. The municipal government has not yet found another site to store the contaminated waste after the current temporary storage site is returned to landowners.

■ Interim storage facility

An interim storage facility is planned to be built in an area covering 16 square kilometers in a difficult-to-return zone straddling the Fukushima Prefecture towns of Okuma and Futaba, site of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The envisaged facility is intended to be able to store up to 22 million cubic meters of contaminated waste and soil generated by decontamination work. In March this year, a small amount of contaminated waste was transported to the facility site on a trial basis. The law stipulates that contaminated waste should be transported outside the prefecture within 30 years after it is first stored at the interim storage facility.

Source: Yomiuri

September 23, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Radiation Impact Studies: Chernobyl and Fukushima

highly-recommended“Chernobyl and Fukushima Studies Show that Radiation Reduces Animal and Plant Numbers, Fertility, Brain Size and Diversity… and Increases Deformities and Abnormalities”

Some nuclear advocates suggest that wildlife thrives in the highly-radioactive Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, animals like it, and not only that, a little radiation for anybody and everybody is harmless and maybe good, not bad. This may seem like a senseless argument to tackle were it not for the persistence of positive-plus commentary by nuke lovers. The public domain deserves better, more studied, more crucial answers.

Fortunately, as well as unfortunately, the world has two major real life archetypes of radiation’s impact on the ecosystem: Chernobyl and Fukushima.  Chernobyl is a sealed-off 30klm restricted zone for the past 30 years because of high radiation levels, whereas PM Abe’s government in Japan has already started returning people to formerly restricted zones surrounding the ongoing Fukushima nuclear melt-down.

The short answer to the supposition that a “little dab of radiation is A-Okay” may be suggested in the title of a Washington Blog d/d March 12, 2014 in an interview of Dr. Timothy Mousseau, the world-renowned expert on radiation effects on living organisms. The hard answer is included further on in this article.

Dr. Mousseau is former Program Director at the National Science Foundation in Population Biology, Panelist for the National Academy of Sciences’ Panels on Analysis of Cancer Risks in Populations Near Nuclear Facilities and GAO Panel on Health and Environmental Effects from Tritium Leaks at Nuclear Power Plants, and a biology professor – and former Dean of the Graduate School, and Chair of the Graduate Program in Ecology – at the University of South Carolina.

The title of the Washington Blog interview is:

“Chernobyl and Fukushima Studies Show that Radiation Reduces Animal and Plant Numbers, Fertility, Brain Size and Diversity… and Increases Deformities and Abnormalities”

Dr. Mousseau made many trips to Chernobyl and Fukushima, making 896 inventories at Chernobyl and 1,100 biotic inventories in Fukushima. His mission was to test the effects of radiation on plants and animals. The title of his interview (above) handily serves to answer the question of whether radiation is positive for animals and plants. Without itemizing reams and reams of study data, the short answer is: Absolutely not! It is not positive for animals and plants, period.

Moreover, low doses of radiation, aka “radiation hormesis”, is not good for humans, as advocated by certain energy-related outlets. Data supporting their theory is extremely shaky and more to the point, flaky.

Furthermore, according to the Cambridge Philosophical Society’s journal Biological Reviews, including reported results by wide-ranging analyses of 46 peer-reviewed studies published over 40 years, low-level natural background radiation was found to have small, but highly statistically significant, negative effects on DNA and several measures of good health.

Dr. Mousseau, with co-author Anders Møller of the University of Paris-Sud, examined more that 5,000 papers involving background radiation in order to narrow their findings to 46 peer-reviewed studies. These studies examined plants and animals with a large preponderance of human subjects.

The scientists reported significant negative effects in a range of categories, including immunology, physiology, mutation and disease occurrence. The frequency of negative effects was beyond that of random chance.

There is no threshold below which there are no effects of radiation.

With the levels of contamination that we have seen as a result of nuclear power plants, especially in the past, and even as a result of Chernobyl and Fukushima and related accidents, there’s an attempt in the industry to downplay the doses that the populations are getting, because maybe it’s only one or two times beyond what is thought to be the natural background level…. But they’re assuming the natural background levels are fine. And the truth is, if we see effects at these low levels, then we have to be thinking differently about how we develop regulations for exposures, and especially intentional exposures to populations, like the emissions from nuclear power plants….

Results of Major Landmark Study on Low Dose Radiation (July 2015)

A consortium of researchers coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, examined causes of death in a study of more than 300,000 nuclear-industry workers in France, the United States and the United Kingdom, all of whom wore dosimeter badges.1

The workers received on average just 1.1 millisieverts (mSv) per year above background radiation, which itself is about 2–3 mSv per year from sources such as cosmic rays and radon. The study confirmed that the risk of leukemia does rise proportionately with higher doses, but also showed that this linear relationship is present at extremely low levels of radiation.

The study effectively “scuppers the popular idea that there might be a threshold dose below which radiation is harmless.”

Even so, the significant issue regarding radiation exposure for humans is that it is a “silent destroyer” that takes years and only manifests once damage has occurred; for example, 200 American sailors of the USS Reagan have filed a lawsuit against TEPCO et al because of radiation-related illnesses, like leukemia, only four years after radiation exposure from Fukushima.

Japan Moving People Back to Fukushima Restricted Zones

Japan’s Abe government has started moving people back into former restricted zones surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station even though it is an on-going major nuclear meltdown that is totally out of control.

Accordingly, Greenpeace Japan conducted a radiation survey and sampling program in Iitate, a village in Fukushima Prefecture. Even after decontamination, radiation dose rates measured ten times (10xs) the maximum allowed to the general public.

According to Greenpeace Japan:

The Japanese government plans to lift restrictions in all of Area 2 [2], including Iitate, where people could receive radiation doses of up to 20mSV each year and in subsequent years. International radiation protection standards recommend public exposure should be 1mSv/year or less in non-post accident situations. The radiation limit that excluded people from living in the 30km zone around the Chernobyl nuclear plant exclusion zone was set at 5mSV/year, five years after the nuclear accident. Over 100,000 people were evacuated from within the zone and will never return.2

  1. “Researchers Pin Down Risks of Low-Dose Radiation”, Nature, July 8, 2015.
  2. Greenpeace Press Release, July 21, 2015

Source: The Dissident

September 23, 2015 Posted by | Belarus, Japan, Reference, Ukraine | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Disaster Aftermath: Japanese Government Has Something to Hide

highly-recommendedCommenting on the aftermath of Fukushima disaster, US climate journalist Robert Hunziker suggests that the Japanese government has something to hide; “it must be really big,” the journalist notes, referring to the hard-hitting new secrecy law Tokyo has adopted.

 There is something sinister about the Japanese government’s optimistic claims that the notorious Fukushima Prefecture is largely safe for habitation, Los-Angeles based climate journalist Robert Hunziker notes, warning that scientific data published by third-party NGOs shows otherwise.

 “The immediate direct exposure of radiation over population centers at Chernobyl was significantly more than Fukushima, where 80% drifted out into the Pacific Ocean. However, that may be slight solace because, horrifyingly, nobody knows where the Fukushima melted cores are located; it’s absolutely true, nobody knows whether the molten cores are within the containment vessels, outside of the vessels, deep in the ground, or cataclysmically traversing towards the water table,” Hunziker elaborated in his article for CounterPunch.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe’s government is encouraging people to move back into former restricted zones, claiming that “a whole lot of the mess outside of the immediate meltdown” has already been cleaned up.

Alas, it’s nearly impossible to give such an optimistic signal, since the Fukushima contamination still remains out of control, the journalist emphasized.

Citing nuclear expert Eben Harrell, the journalist underscored that some of the isotopes released during a nuclear catastrophe remain radioactive for tens of thousands of years. Remarkably, when asked in 2011 when the Chernobyl site would be inhabitable again, Igor Gramotkin, General Director of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, answered laconically: “At least 20,000 years.”

“One of the issues in trying to assess the dangers, as well as timing of recovery, for Fukushima is believability. Who can be trusted? In that regard, the Abe government’s enactment of strict extraordinarily broad secrecy laws, similar to WWII, with the threat of prison sentences up to 10 years for any violators of indeterminately wide-open secrecy laws undermines confidence in believability of the Japanese government, by definition,” Hunziker pointed out.

The journalist called attention to the latest radiation survey carried out by Greenpeace Japan, that has indicated that the Japanese government plans to move people to the areas where they could receive radiation doses of up to 20mSV annually for many years to come.According to international radiation protection standards, the recommended public exposure limit should not exceed 1mSv/year or less in non-post accidental situations.

“The radiation limit that excluded people from living in the 30km zone around the Chernobyl nuclear plant exclusion zone was set at 5mSV/year, five years after the nuclear accident. Over 100,000 people were evacuated from within the zone and will never return,” Greenpeace Japan’s report read.

The question arises why the Japanese government turns a blind eye to the fact that Fukushima residents would be exposed to 20mSV/year of radiation regardless of international norms and practices.

“Continued exposure to low-level radiation, entering the human body on a daily basis through food intake, is of particular consequence,” The Green Cross International 2015 Fukushima Report warned, as quoted by the journalist.

But that is not all, Hunziker stressed, referring to a worrisome report released by the National Institute of Radiological Science/Japan. The scientists are beating the environmental drum over the “strange growth patterns” of fir trees observed in Fukushima.About 98 percent of inspected fir trees within a 3.5 km zone surrounding Fukushima’s damaged nuclear power stations “have severe defects,” the journalist highlighted.

Furthermore,  two hundred US sailors of the USS Reagan which participated in Operation Tomodachi (“Friends”), providing assistance to the infamous prefecture when it was struck by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, have filed a lawsuit against TEPCO, General Electric, EBASCO, Toshiba and Hitachi.

“The lawsuit includes claims for illnesses such as leukemia, ulcers, gall bladder removals, brain cancer, brain tumors, testicular cancer, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, thyroid illnesses, stomach ailments and a host of other complaints unusual in such young adults,” Hunziker underscored, elaborating that the sailors were most likely affected by radiation.

Inexplicably though, the Fukushima disaster still remains shrouded in secrecy. Moreover, the Abe government’s draconian new secrets law allows Japanese bureaucrats to conceal information from public and imprison journalists for “soliciting information that is classified a secret.”

It is obvious that Tokyo has something to hide and it must be really big, the journalist stressed, asking rhetorically: “Why else adopt a hard-hitting secrecy law on the heels of the worst disaster to hit Japan since America dropped A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945?”

Source: Sputnik News

September 23, 2015 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | , , | Leave a comment

The Fukushima Fix

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was briefed on the situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant as he toured the facility back on Sept. 19, 2013.  chief Akira Ono (4th L) in front of two tanks (back) which are being dismantled after leaking contaminated water, during his tour to the tsunami-crippled plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan on September 19, 2013. Abe told Fukushima's operator to fix radioactive water leaks as he toured the crippled nuclear plant on September 19, less than two weeks after assuring the world the situation was under control. AFP PHOTO / Japan Pool  JAPAN OUT        (Photo credit should read JAPAN POOL/AFP/Getty Images)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was briefed on the situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant as he toured the facility back on Sept. 19, 2013. chief Akira Ono (4th L) in front of two tanks (back) which are being dismantled after leaking contaminated water, during his tour to the tsunami-crippled plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan on September 19, 2013. Abe told Fukushima’s operator to fix radioactive water leaks as he toured the crippled nuclear plant on September 19, less than two weeks after assuring the world the situation was under control.

Japan’s Abe government claims portions of Fukushima Prefecture (original population 2 million) are safe for habitation, radioactivity is acceptable; whereas scientific data by third-party NGOs indicates otherwise, stay away!

PM Abe’s specific maneuvers towards rehabilitation give the appearance that the Fukushima full-blown nuclear meltdown is relatively minimal in comparison to Chernobyl’s disastrous explosion of 1986. After all, to this day, Chernobyl after 30 years is still a 30km “exclusion zone” where nobody is allowed due to excessive levels of radiation.

Meanwhile, back in Japan, PM Abe is moving people back into former restricted zones four years after the fact.

It remains an open question as to whether the Fukushima aftermath will be worse than Chernobyl. After all, the China Syndrome may be actively at work at Fukushima and as such could last over many lifetimes.

Still, the immediate direct exposure of radiation over population centers at Chernobyl was significantly more than Fukushima of which 80% drifted out into the Pacific Ocean.

But, that may be slight solace because, horrifyingly, nobody knows where the Fukushima melted cores are located, nobody knows; it’s absolutely true, nobody knows whether the molten cores are within the containment vessels, outside of the vessels, deep in the ground, or cataclysmically traversing towards the water table.

Regardless, PM Abe’s directive appears to be: “No problem, we’ve cleaned up a whole lot of the mess outside of the immediate meltdown… so, move back into former restricted areas.”

Still, it’s nearly impossible to give an all-clear signal at this stage, especially with the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station containment vessels completely out of control with wild atom-splitting rogue radionuclides spewing into the Pacific Ocean, and who knows where else (Einstein must be spinning in his grave).

The China Syndrome Worry

“While a molten reactor core wouldn’t burn ‘all the way through to China’ it could enter the soil and water table and cause huge contamination in the crops and drinking water around the power plant. It’s a nightmare scenario, the stuff of movies. And it might just have happened at Fukushima,” Eben Harrell, Was Fukushima a China Syndrome? Time Magazine, May 16, 2011.

If Chernobyl is a leading indicator of Fukushima’s future, “Chernobyl offers many lessons about what Princeton University engineering professor Robert Socolow calls the ‘afterheat’ of a nuclear disaster, but it’s the generational lesson that’s most important. Because some of the isotopes released during a nuclear accident remain radioactive for tens of thousands of years, cleanup is the work not just of first responders but also of their descendants and their descendants’ descendants. Asked when the reactor site would again become inhabitable, Ihor Gramotkin, director of the Chernobyl power plant, replies, ‘At least 20,000 years,” Eben Harrell, Apocalypse Today: Visiting Chernobyl, 25 Years Later, Time Magazine, April 26, 2011.

As of June 12th, 2015, the Abe government is returning residents to the Iitate village in Fukushima’s Prefecture four short years post the nuclear plant meltdowns, and by the upcoming 2018 year, the prime minister is eliminating state compensation to victims.

Not only that, but since August 2015, PM Abe is reopening nuclear facilities, the Sendai No. 1 reactor has already resumed full-scale commercial operations.

Contrariwise, according to former PM Naoto Kan, who was prime minister during the Fukushima disaster: “I now consider nuclear energy to be the most dangerous form of energy, and the risks associated with it are too great for us to continue generating atomic power,” Former Japanese PM Naoto Kan: Fukushima Radically Changed my Perspective, Deutsche Welle, Feb. 25, 2015.

One of the issues in trying to assess the dangers, as well as timing of recovery, for Fukushima is believability. Who can be trusted? In that regard, the Abe government’s enactment of strict extraordinarily broad secrecy laws, similar to WWII, with the threat of prison sentences up to 10 years for any violators of indeterminately wide-open secrecy laws undermines confidence in believability of the Japanese government, by definition.

On the other hand, respected third-party NGOs seem more reliable, if only because they do not have an axe to grind, no broad open-ended secrecy laws, no threats of prison sentences, no scare tactics, no public demonstrations in opposition, no lost revenues, no cleanup costs, no threats to human health, no threats to marine life, and no connections to the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Greenpeace/Japan Exposes Failure of Fukushima Decontamination (July 21, 2015)

Greenpeace Japan presumably takes issue with Prime Minister Abe’s declaration that people can safely move back to parts of Fukushima Prefecture.

Greenpeace Japan conducted a radiation survey and sampling program in Iitate, a village in Fukushima Prefecture. Even after decontamination, radiation dose rates measured ten times (10xs) the maximum allowed to the general public.

According to Greenpeace Japan: “The Japanese government plans to lift restrictions in all of Area 2 [2], including Iitate, where people could receive radiation doses of up to 20mSV each year and in subsequent years. International radiation protection standards recommend public exposure should be 1mSv/year or less in non-post accident situations. The radiation limit that excluded people from living in the 30km zone around the Chernobyl nuclear plant exclusion zone was set at 5mSV/year, five years after the nuclear accident. Over 100,000 people were evacuated from within the zone and will never return.” (Greenpeace Press Release, July 21, 2015).

So, Chernobyl’s 5mSV/year radiation limit morphs into the possibility of 20mSV radiation each year for some areas of Fukushima, subjecting residents to what?

According to Green Cross International, founded in 1993 by Mikhail Gorbachev, who was president of the Soviet Union when Chernobyl exploded: Both Chernobyl and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disasters are categorized as Level 7 events defined as a major release of radioactive material.

“However, the number of people affected by radiation in Japan has tripled when compared to Chernobyl, says Nathalie Gysi of Green Cross Switzerland… water leakage at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant remains a problem four years after… There continue to be rising doubts over the safety of seafood, such as radioactivity levels in tuna and other fish.” (Green Cross Int’l March 11, 2015).

The Green Cross International 2015 Fukushima Report was prepared under direction of Jonathan M. Samet, MD, University of Southern California professor Keck School of Medicine and chair Department of Preventive Medicine, using the same standards as a similar 2012 study of Chernobyl.

According to the report: “Continued exposure to low-level radiation, entering the human body on a daily basis through food intake, is of particular consequence.”

Morphologically Defective Fir Trees

According to the National Institute of Radiological Science/Japan (“NIRS” est. 1957 as Japan’s only institute of radiology science) fir trees in Fukushima are exhibiting “strange growth patterns,” meaning the trees are stunted and showing morphological defects, in particular bifurcation or the splitting of a tree body into two parts at the tip. Thus, further normal tree growth is stopped dead.

Fir trees normally extend upward in growth patterns with two or more branches each year. However, 98% of inspected fir trees within a 3.5km area of the Fukushima damaged nuclear plants have severe defects. NIRS believes radiation causes abnormalities of fir trees “without a top bud,” hence no more normalized growth. Results of inspected trees found 125 out of 128 abnormal.

Thus, begging the question: If tree growth is stunted/deformed within 3.5km of the damaged nuclear plants, what’s the analogous impact on people?

Missing Birds

According to CBS News (April 16, 2015): “Birds are becoming a rarity around the damaged nuclear site… dramatic reductions… in terms of swallows in Fukushima, there had been hundreds if not thousands in many of these towns where we were working. Now we are seeing a few dozen… It’s just an enormous decline,” (Dr. Tim Mousseau, biologist, University of South Carolina, Dwindling Bird Populations in Fukushima,, 4/14/15).

Fukushima Myths

Chris Harris, a former senior nuclear reactor operator for over three decades and currently a nuclear consultant, claims Fukushima is an extinction level event: Containment is a myth, there isn’t any; cold shutdown is a myth; cooling is a myth because there is no way to measure cooling when nobody knows where the nuclear fuel is located; waste processing is a myth; cleanup is a myth because it’s a “waste generation facility” that won’t stop.

Voices Within Japan

According to Yauemon Sato, the ninth-generation head of a sake brewery, since 1790, and the president of Aizu Denryok, an electric utility: “You know the caldron of hell? You will be sent to hell and will be boiled in that caldron if you do evil. And there are four such caldrons in Fukushima… And the disaster has yet to end. It continues to recur every day. More than 300 tons of water, contaminated with intense levels of radioactive substances, are being generated every day,” The Asahi Shimbun, May 1, 2015.

Hiroaki Koide, professor (retired) at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute reacts to PM Abe, as of April 24, 2015:
“The Prime Minister [said Fukushima] had been brought to a close. My reaction on hearing his words was, ‘Stop kidding.’ Reality is, though 4 years have passed, the accident has not yet been brought to a close at all… The Japanese government has issued a declaration that this is an emergency situation. As a result, normal laws do not have to be followed. What they are saying is that, in these very high radiation exposure level areas, they have basically abandoned people to live there. They’ve actually thrown them away to live there… The Cs-137 that’s fallen onto Japanese land in the Tohoku and Kanto regions, so much so that this area should all be put under the radiation control area designation [the Kanto region includes Tokyo and is home to over 40 million people].”

Footnote on Cs-137: Cesium-137 is one of the most problematic fission isotopes as it easily moves and spreads in nature and has a half-life of 30 years. It is deadly dangerous, for example: The Kramatorsk Radiological Incident of 1989 in Ukraine a small capsule of Cs-137 was discovered inside concrete walls of an apartment building, probably part of a measurement device, lost and accidentally mixed with gravel used to make concrete. For over 9 years two families lived in the apartment. By the time the capsule was discovered, 6 residents had already died from leukemia.

Fortunately for PM Abe, unfortunately for radiation victims, radiation is a silent destroyer that slowly progresses over time. In fact, it takes 5-40 years for the incubation period to take hold. Next year is the 5th year.

Nevertheless, when hit by powerful rapid radiation exposure, too much too soon, physical damage occurs relatively quickly, now experienced by sailors of the USS Reagan that served in Japan in 2011.

U.S. Sailors File Lawsuit

Two hundred U.S. sailors of the USS Reagan have a pending lawsuit filed in San Diego against TEPCO, General Electric, EBASCO, Toshiba and Hitachi through the law offices of Bonner & Bonner, Sausalito, CA. The plaintiffs won a crucial battle in the U.S. District Court/San Diego last year, allowing the case to move forward.

“The lawsuit is based on the sailors’ participation in Operation Tomodachi (meaning “Friends”), providing humanitarian relief after the March 11, 2011 devastation caused by the Earthquake and Tsunami. The lawsuit includes claims for illnesses such as leukemia, ulcers, gall bladder removals, brain cancer, brain tumors, testicular cancer, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, thyroid illnesses, stomach ailments and a host of other complaints unusual in such young adults. The injured servicemen and women will require treatment for their deteriorating health, medical monitoring, payment of their medical bills, appropriate health monitoring for their children, and monitoring for possible radiation-induced genetic mutations,” Press Release, The Law Offices of Bonner & Bonner, Sausalito, CA.

According to the press release, up to 70,000 U.S. citizens were potentially affected by the radiation and will be able to join the class action suit, which alleges that TEPCO deliberately lied to the public and the U.S. Navy about radiation levels at the time the Japanese government was requesting help.

Therein lies a prime example, although only alleged, of why official sources in Japan cannot be trusted. Moreover, as far as convincing evidence goes: How is it that a disproportionately high number of very young naval personnel, all from the same ship, have severe medical problems like leukemia and brain cancer?

Furthermore, according to Charles Bonner, Esq.: Additional plaintiffs with serious aliments from radiation are continuing to come forward.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster is a grim tragedy that is extremely difficult to fully understand or gain trustworthy information, in large measure because the Japanese government instituted a new secrecy law, Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets, Act No. 108 that is extraordinarily broad and provides up to 10 years in prison for release of “state secrets,” which may be subjectively, not objectively, defined by government bureaucrats… oh, isn’t that just grand!

Essentially, Japan surreptitiously institutes news blackouts of any information that government employees don’t like, carte blanche.

“On Dec. 10, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new special secrets law took effect despite overwhelming public opposition. The new law gives bureaucrats enormous powers to withhold information produced in the course of their public duties that they deem a secret — entirely at their own discretion — and with no effective oversight mechanism to question or overturn such designations. The law also grants the government powers to imprison whistle-blowers, and prohibits disclosure of classified material even if its intention is to protect the public interest. This Draconian law also gives the government power to imprison journalists merely for soliciting information that is classified a secret,” Abe’s Secrets Law Undermines Japan’s Democracy, The Japan Times, Dec. 13, 2014.

Once again: “This Draconian law gives the government power to imprison journalists merely for soliciting information.” For merely soliciting information, for merely soliciting information, gives the government power to imprison journalists for merely soliciting info…. some footprints should never stop.

“Susumu Murakoshi, president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, says the law should be abolished because it jeopardizes democracy and the people’s right to know. Meiji University legal scholar Lawrence Repeta agrees with Murakoshi,” Ibid.

What democracy?

Thus, on the surface, by all appearances, the government of Japan has something to hide. It must be really big. Why else adopt a hard-hitting secrecy law on the heels of the worst disaster to hit Japan since America dropped A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Japan’s citizenry really should expect consolation rather than aggravation, intimidation, and terrorizing by their own government.

At the end of the day, George Orwell’s 1984 has captivated a radiantly glowing ancient country.

Source: Counterpunch

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

The highest I-131 density of this year detected in 2 Fukushima sewage plants

The-highest-I-131-density-of-this-year-detected-in-2-Fukushima-sewage-plants-sept 20, 2015

According to Fukushima sewage public corporation, this July over 1,000 Bq/Kg of Iodine-131 was detected in dry sewage sludge. The sewage plant is located in Da-te District of Fukushima prefecture.

High level of I-131 was measured this May, however this reading of July is the highest density of this year. (cf, Significant level of I-131 detected from dry sludge of Fukushima sewage plant after rain in May [URL])

I-131 was detected from the samples collected from 7/9/2015 to 7/29/2015.

The highest reading was 1,038.4 Bq/Kg of 7/11/2015. The highest density of Cs-134 was also detected, which was 44 Bq/Kg the same day. It rained on 7/8/2015 but the precipitation was only 10.5 mm.

Also in another sewage plant in Koriyama city, 889 Bq/Kg of I-131 was detected from dry sewage sludge. This is also the highest reading of this plant. I-131 kept on being detected for 15 days of this July.

Source: Fukushima Diary

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

Why we must expose the true ugly nature of the nuclear industry



As I stood against sensationalists and repeated hoaxers, mostly Youtubers, who are only harming the antinuclear cause and the Fukushima victims cause, lately those people have sent me insults and threats of violence, calling me a pro-nuke shill hiding behind my D’un Renard alias,, and not showing my face etc. I presently became the focus of those people hate and slurs for calling their repeated hoaxes what it is: B.S., mental pollution, sensationalism and disinformation. I did it not to look for trouble, but because I believe truth is important, primordial, crucial.

Only by sharing the true facts, we will win, as true facts stand, stay.

B.S. flies high first but stinks later when it is quickly debunked


Consequently, for the first time, i will share publicly my personal story, why and how I awoke and became antinuclear.

A little about myself, I am Hervé Courtois, 60 years old, Picardie, France.
For 4 years and half I used a nom de plume “D’un Renard”, which in french means “from a fox”, because around my place there are many forests and many foxes which I could hear at night while blogging. I did not want to used my true identity because I wanted to protect the identity of my daughter in Japan when I started to blog on internet about the Fukushima catastrophe by fear of getting her in troubles with the Japanese government, and also by fear that Japanese government could bar me to enter Japan to visit my daughter. Few months ago I decided finally to use my real name.
I lived very long time in Asia, 37 years, in Japan, Korea, Hong-Kong and the Philippines, I came back home to France 6 years ago.
My 33 years old daughter, French-Japanese, lives in Iwaki city, Fukushima prefecture, 50 kms South from the nuclear plant of Fukushima Daiichi. She was born in Paris in 1982, but grown up in Fukushima, she is 33 years old, unmarried, no children, does not want to give birth anymore by fear of possible tetragenic birth due to radioactive contamination thru her living environment and the contaminated food.
Three months after the start of the Fukushima catastrophe, I went to visit her there in Iwaki city, Fukushima for the full month of June 2011, to check how she was and how was the real situation there.
On location I was surprised how to find that the people on location who should be the most at risk were kept uninformed of the real situation and of the dangers for their health, for their life, by the Japanese government.
I became aware that there was then an imposed omerta on the media by the Japanese government. All media repeating the same tune, don’t worry be happy, there is no danger, the situation is under control. The reactors are now in cold shutdown.
I keep wondering how reactors having exploded could be in cold shutdown. Smelling a rat.
Most people I met were kept in dark of the real situation, informations were totally controlled, filtered, censored, twisted, the people lied to. Just as the french people in 1986 were lied to by their own government telling them that the Chernobyl plume was not coming towards France, that it would not reach France, that they were safe, most of the people not taking protection measures to regret it later with rampant thyroid cancer allover Eastern France.
When I came back from Japan to France, the most nuclearized nation in the world per square kilometer and per inhabitant, the nuclear industry Areva being owned by the State, the French government, of course the french media were also censored about Fukushima by the French government, telling to French people that the Fukushima disaster was over, that it had ended in March 2011, that it was nowall under control. I found at home the same omerta, that I had met in Japan.
I decided to search for informations on internet, search for knowledge, to learn about nuclear, so that I could better understand what was truly happening, what was hidden, unsaid, covered up, so that I could then inform my daughter and help her to know the facts, the dangers and how to protect herself.
My life changed and was never the same again, it became almost a full time occupation, many hours days and nights on internet to find informations and to share them to other people, discovering gradually the lies, what had been hidden about Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile islands and other hidden nuclear catastrophes, so many. I lost my innocence about nuclear.
I became angry and quite involved as an activist both on the net but also in real life. I became a a member of Sortir du Nucléaire France and of Greenpeace France,
On March 2012 I was the one to organize in Paris the 1rst year Fukushima Anniversary, a rally in front of the Paris main cityhall, with french antinuclear activists combined to some Japanese members of the Paris Japanese community, a Japanese TV crew coming to film our event.
Since the end of June 2011 up to now I continue to blog on the net on various blogs and on some Facebook antinuclear groups and pages that I founded.
I have therefore been following the Fukushima catastrophe day and night from the right beginning, and I am very well aware of the real dangers of Fukushima and of nuclear, my own blood and flesh French-Japanese daughter being one of the victims of nuclear in Fukushima, l will therefore continue to fight nuclear until it ends or until my last breath.
I am opposed to all pro-nuclear and their paid shills, but I am also oppose to those irresponsable people who produce hoax after hoax about Fukushima to satisfy their attention-glory-narcissist craving and their donations milking. All those people in different ways are harming the truth, harming our antinuclear cause.
I never asked donations not wishing to become an activist for sale, I do it for the love of my daughter, and because it is right to do it, not for money nor glory.
Nuclear is more than bad, we will only win by exposing its its ugly real nature, the true real solid facts. We won’t win by spinning sensationalism or hoaxes, which only become ammunitions for the pro-nuke shills to discredit us and the true dangers of nuclear in the mind of the general public.
We need everybody to wake up and to get their hands on deck, to ban all kinds of nuclear, civil and military, allover the world, to free our planet from this evil criminal industry.
Say no to nuclear, say yes to renewable, clean, safe and getting cheaper everyday.
Best wishes to everyone.

Hervé Courtois, “D’un Renard”, from France

Source: Nuclear News

10425494_10204962312879275_6290649800040595084_nIn front of the gates of Fessenheim Nuclear plant at the end of the day, Naoto is standing at the center, all the others are solid Fukushima Watchers and Antinuclear activists, friends.

European No to Nuclear Rally at Fessenheim Nuclear plant on March 9, 2014
At Fessenheim, Alsace, France

First 9 bridges upon the Rhine River, between France and Germany, were occupied, then all the people from the bridges regrouped to the Fessenheim Nuclear Plant, 9500 people participating.

The largest groundwater in Europe is located right under the Fessenheim Nuclear plant: the Rhine aquifer, nearly 80 billion cubic meter of water between Basel and Mainz, which provides 80% of the drinking water and more than half of the industry in that area. What would happen in the event of a serious accident?

The Honored guest of that day was Naoto Matsumura, for his heart and spirit in caring for the abandoned animals within the 20kms radius No Man’s Zone of Fukushima. The next day Naoto was delivering his Fukushima testimony at the Europen Parliament in Strasbourg city in front of all the European MPs.

It was a terrific feeling, meet again some old friends and making some new friends.

DSC01999With Christian Roy, an antinuclear activist and my closest friend

that day occupying one of those night bridges on the Rhine river.


September 18, 2015 Posted by | France, Japan | , , , | 4 Comments

Japan lifts evacuation orders on irradiated towns in preparation for 2020 Summer Olympics

Tokyo Olympics 2020

The Japanese government recently announced they are lifting a four-year evacuation order on a town located 10 miles from the Fukushima disaster site, allowing residents to return full-time if they so desire, according to reports.

The evacuation order was issued in 2011 for the town of Naraha, which was among seven municipalities that were forced to vacate following a 15-meter tsunami triggered by an earthquake, subsequently resulting in the meltdown of three of Fukushima’s Daiichi reactors.

The Daily News reports:

Officials have said radiation levels in Naraha have fallen to levels deemed safe following decontamination efforts.

But according to a government survey, 53% of evacuees from Naraha, which is 12 miles south of the plant, say they’re either not ready to return home or are undecided. Some say they have found jobs elsewhere over the past few years, while others cite radiation concerns. Some houses are falling down, and wild boars roam at night.

About 100,000 people from about 10 municipalities around the wrecked plant still cannot go home. The government hopes to lift all evacuation orders except for the most contaminated areas closest to the plant by March 2017 — a plan many evacuees criticize as an attempt to showcase recovery ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Other reports have raised concerns over dangerous radiation levels recorded in the area, as well as the town’s lack of infrastructure.

U.S. News and World Report states:

In the once-abandoned town, a segment of a national railway is still out of service, with the tracks covered with grass. Some houses are falling down and wild boars roam around at night.

Only about 100 of the nearly 2,600 households have returned since a trial period began in April. Last year, the government lifted evacuation orders for parts of two nearby towns, but only about half of their former residents have returned.

Source: Fukushimaz Watch

September 18, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

395 bags of tainted material washed away in floods

Japan’s Environment Ministry says nearly 400 bags of weeds and other waste contaminated with radioactive materials were washed into a river during a torrential rain in Fukushima.

The plastic bags contained weeds, branches and soil from cleanup work in Iitate Village in the prefecture. The area was contaminated by fallout from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

The bags were being stored on farmland near a river temporarily.

The ministry says that of the 395 bags that were washed away, 314 were recovered. But about half of them were torn, and their contents were empty.

Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki noted on Tuesday that the grass and branches in the bags had been collected recently and had relatively low radiation levels. He suggested that the possibility they will affect the environment is low.

He added that his ministry will work to recover the remaining bags and implement measures to prevent a recurrence. 

Source: NHK

September 16, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Bags of tainted waste swept into Fukushima river during torrential rain

hklmFUKUSHIMA–Seven sites for radioactive waste generated from the Fukushima nuclear crisis were submerged during torrential rain in eastern Japan on Sept. 11, raising fears over a possible radiation spill into the environment.

The temporary storage sites, located in Kawamata, Naraha and other municipalities near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, store soil, grass and other radiation-tainted waste generated by decontamination work due to the 2011 triple meltdown.

In Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, where all residents remain evacuated, at least 82 black polyethylene bags containing tainted grass and other waste were swept from a site of decontamination work into a river.

Each bag can hold 1 cubic meter of waste.

An Iitate town official alerted the Environment Ministry’s Fukushima Office for Environmental Restoration around 6 a.m. on Sept. 11 that bags of waste were being swept away.

By 6 p.m., officials had retrieved 37 of the 82 bags. The remaining 45 bags got stuck under bridges and other obstacles along the river.

Ministry officials said none of the bags located thus far had spilled their contents and the impact on the environment was minimal.

At the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, heavy rain caused radiation-tainted rainwater to spill into the ocean outside the plant’s harbor from the drainage system that encircles the reactor buildings on Sept. 9 and Sept. 11, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

Floodgates normally block tainted water from reaching the ocean from drainage ditches, but the torrential rains overwhelmed the gates twice in the pre-dawn hours of Sept. 9 and Sept. 11, the plant operator said.

Utility officials said rainfall increases the radioactive level of the water in the drainage system as rainwater accumulates radioactive materials in surrounding soil when it flows in the ditches.

While the drainage water usually contains less than 100 becquerels of beta-ray-emitting radioactive substances per liter, the water measured 750 becquerels per liter on Sept. 11, TEPCO officials said.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

September 13, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Flooding swept away radiation cleanup bags in Fukushima

11996924_497018070475332_90973300_nBlack plastic bags containing irradiated soil, leaves and debris from the decontamination operation are dumped at a seaside in Tomioka, Fukushima, near Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1

nuclear power plant in February

Bags filled with grass and soil from work to remove radioactive substances spewed by the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant were swept away in the flooding of rivers in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, the Environment Ministry said.

A total of 82 of the bags were discovered, with 37 of them recovered Friday, though it remained unclear how many had been washed away, the ministry said.

Scores of 1,000-liter bags were used during the cleanup work, mainly to store surface soil that had been contaminated from the release at the plant, which was heavily damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Source: Japan Times

September 13, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Bags of Radioactive waste spilled after torrential rain.


First thing that came to mind was “how would those radioactive waste filled bags hold during yesterday’s torrential rain in Ibaraki, Tochigi and Fukushima which forced thousands and thousands to evacuate?” . Predictable answer is “they did not”!

Exhibit A; The village of Iitate Mura, Fukushima

Under the influence of heavy rain the river bed overflown and spilled and shredded bags of temporarily stored radioactive waste (tainted grass, soil and other radioactive substances removed during decontamination).

There were several places in Fukushima where radioactive waste was spilled, but so far, the most hit place is Sekizawa. It is reported there are unidentified number of similar black bags are scattered around at multiple locations like this one. And each bag contains radioactivity of 0.5 to 1 μSv/hour.

For years these bags have been piling up, in open air, often abandoned on the side of roads or hidden in a forest nearby. There are hundreds of sites hosting this dangerous material in those three prefectures. Most of the bags are starting to deteriorate as they are meant to last up 2 to 3 years only. But yet again, the government keeps on ignoring even the simplest of predictable outcomes – such as heavy rains from a Japanese trademark; Typhoons. We know that, most of the population knows that – but the government keeps on turning a blind eye and mixing up priorities. Securing these radioactive bags should have come before the Olympics. So much shame and laziness of the mind

Entire homes and cars were carried away on the torrent as the Kinugawa River burst its banks after two days of heavy rainfall.

In Tochigi, more than 500mm (19 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours in places, according to local public broadcaster NHK, which said that was about double what normally falls there throughout the whole of September.

Parts of central Tochigi have seen almost 60cm of rain since Monday evening, breaking records.

Many other areas of eastern and north-eastern Japan have also been issued weather warnings, including Fukushima prefecture, home to the still-damaged nuclear plant hit in 2011’s earthquake and tsunami.

The downpour overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps, a spokesman for operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said. Huge volumes of water, used to cool the plant’s crippled reactors, are being stored at the site.

Source:Evacuate Fukushima

82 Contaminated Waste Bags From Fukushima Washed Away By Typhoon Flood
At least 82 bags filled with contaminated material from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have been swept away by flood water as typhoon Etau hit Japan, officials said. TEPCO said rainwater from the nuclear plant has been leaking into the Pacific.
Flooding caused by Tropical Typhoon Etau has swept at least 82 bags suspected to contain radioactive grass and other contaminated materials that had been collected at the site of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP).

They had been stored in a nearby town in the same prefecture, the Environment Ministry said on Friday, according to local media. Though the Ministry went on to say that most of the bags had been recovered undamaged, local media reported that only 30 of the bags had been found.
Officials said the flooding had not reached the nuclear reactors damaged in the 2011 disaster, when the NPP was hit by a tsunami that had been caused by an earthquake. The nuclear disaster at Fukushima, which took place over four years ago, was dubbed the worst since the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.
Earlier on Friday, Tokyo Electric Power CO. (TEPCO), the company in charge of the damaged NPP, said that one of the holding tanks on the premises of the plant has been leaking drainage rainwater into the ocean. Later in the day, TEPCO said the leakage had been stopped. According to the company’s website, there have been several similar cases in recent days.
“On September 9th and 11th, due to typhoon no.18 (Etau), heavy rain caused Fukushima Daiichi K drainage rainwater to overflow to the sea,” TEPCO said, adding that the samples taken on Wednesday “show safe, low levels” of radiation.
“From the sampling result of the 9th, TEPCO concluded that slightly tainted rainwater had overflowed to the sea; however, the new sampling measurement results show no impact to the ocean,” it continued.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga warned that the rainwater drenching the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant could flow into the Pacific Ocean, the Japan Times reported on Friday. However, he told reporters that the radiation level of such rainwater would be “sufficiently below” the legally permitted level.
TEPCO said on Friday it will continue to monitor the ocean to “ensure the water quality” and has taken “multiple precautionary measures” to protect the ocean water nearby.
Tens of thousands of Japanese people were ordered to leave their homes across the country as typhoon Etau hit Japan this week. The flooding resulting from the torrential rains has been dubbed the worst in 50 years. As a result, three people have been killed, 27 injured and 26 are still missing across Japan.
Meanwhile, Japan officially restarted the No. 1 reactor of the Sendai nuclear power plant for the first time in two years on Thursday. The reactor resumed commercial operations after receiving the approval of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA). Kyushu Electric Power Co., the operator of the Sendai plant, plans to launch the plant’s No. 1 reactor in mid-October.
After the disaster at Fukushima on March 11, all nuclear reactors in Japan were shut down. Due to electricity shortages, two reactors at Kansai Electric Power’s Oi plant in the Fukui Prefecture were temporarily restarted. However, they were taken offline again in September 2013.

Source: RT

September 11, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima leaks radioactive water after Typhoon Etau busts drainage system

Flooding from Typhoon Etau has caused new leaks of contaminated water to flow from the Fukushima nuclear power station into the ocean. The incident came after a rush of water overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps.

Typhoon Etau brought lashing rains, floods and storm winds to Japan. Tens of thousands of Japanese people have been ordered to leave their homes across the country.

Tokyo Electric Power CO. (TEPCO) informed the public today that hundreds of tons of radioactive water had leaked from the facility, but maintained that the incident posed no risk to the environment. Large quantities of contaminated water need to be stored in special reservoirs that were used to cool melted fuel rods from reactors at the TEPCO site, which was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

TEPCO had acknowledged the risk of the typhoon to the nuclear site on Tuesday, outlining the preventative measures it was taking.

“For heavy rains, TEPCO has standard procedures to install rainwater guttering on the upper part of the water storage tanks and also to construct dikes around groups of tanks, which is applied to all of the recently added storage tanks,” said the statement adding that “the drainage systems on the premises are most active during heavy rains to keep the site from flooding.”

Despite Tuesday’s statements asserting that the drainage system would protect the nuclear plant station and the operator company was ready to face the typhoon, today’s announcement would imply that TEPCO’s efforts weren’t enough

To deal with the new leaks, TEPCO said on Thursday that it was sealing off the seaside of the nuclear plant with an “impermeable wall” which would “play a crucial role” in preventing contaminated groundwater from reaching the ocean.

To deal with the new leaks, TEPCO said on Thursday that it was sealing off the seaside of the nuclear plant with an “impermeable wall” which would “play a crucial role” in preventing contaminated groundwater from reaching the ocean.

Source: RT

September 11, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan: Typhoon Etau floods send hundreds of tonnes of contaminated Fukushima water into ocean


Flooding caused by Typhoon Etau has sent hundreds of tonnes of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean, a Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) spokesperson said. Rain overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps, they added.

Tepco is storing massive quantities of contaminated water that was used to cool melted fuel in the reactors damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the site. In a statement regarding Typhoon Etau earlier in September, the company said the site was at risk from the storm.

“Typhoon No.18 (Etau) is expected to approach the central area of Japan’s honshu island and could affect Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station as well in the next few days,” it said. “To prepare for the heavy winds, the crane necks are lowered and all the equipment is secured with ropes and covers onsite as standard procedure for construction sites.

“For heavy rains, Tepco has standard procedures to install rainwater guttering on the upper part of the water storage tanks and also to construct dikes around groups of tanks, which is applied to all of the recently added storage tanks.”

Japan’s Meteorological Agency said large parts of the country remains either on a warning or emergency warning for severe weather, with Tochigi and Ibaraki at greatest risk. Fukushima prefecture, to the north of both Tochigi and Ibaraki, is at risk of heavy rain, with ground-loosening and inundation possible.

Etau has led to devastating floods in Japan, with several people reported missing and water levels at waist height in some areas. “This is a scale of downpour that we have not experienced before. Grave danger could be imminent,” forecaster Takuya Deshimaru said at an emergency press conference.

Nasa satellite images showed the storm as it moved across central Japan. The intense rainfall moved northwards over the main island of Honshu, with almost 12in of rain reported. The storm has now weakened and moved over the Sea of Japan, where it is expected to dissipate, but rain has continued to hit the country.

Tens of thousands of people have had to leave their homes, with dramatic footage showing floods sweeping away buildings and cars. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said officials are working hard to rescue people and aid those effected: He added: “The government will stand united and do its best to deal with the disaster… by putting its highest priority on people’s lives.”

Source: International Business Times

September 11, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment


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