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Rhodri Morgan By Rhodri Morgan Rhodri Morgan: Beware the price promises of Hinkley Point nuclear station

Former First Minister and WalesOnline columnist Rhodri Morgan muses over the deal struck for ‘first private sector nuclear power station’ – run by four nationalised industries

Rhodri Morgan

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/news-opinion/rhodri-morgan-beware-price-promises-6243754

I could barely believe my  ears when I heard the announcement this week of  the new nuclear power station to be built at Hinkley  Point in Somerset, right opposite  Cardiff Airport.

The BBC kept referring to it as  Britain’s first-ever private sector  nuclear power station.

What the report should have said  was that it was to be built by a  consortium of four nationalised  industries, two French and two  Chinese.

Three of the four are 100%  state-owned and one is 85%.  Overseas nationalised industries are  not in the private sector.

In fact I doubt if any private  sector company could ever build  and operate a nuclear power station  now, because they would never be  able to get insurance cover.

When the last British nuclear  power station was built – Sizewell  C – in the late 1980s, it was built by  the Central Electricity Generating  Board, led by Lord (Walter)  Marshall, Margaret Thatcher’s  favourite scientist.

He was from Cardiff.

The Cardiff accent, which he  never lost, was so unfamiliar to his  super-brainy colleagues in the  atomic power industry that they all  thought he was one of the many  wartime refugees from Eastern  Europe, who had fled  the Nazis.

EDF, the lead company in the  consortium that will build the new  Hinkley Point “nuke”  is the French  equivalent of the CEGB.

The CEGB was privatised in  1989. It became Npower, now  German-owned.

That’s why we now have to turn  to the French and Chinese.

But regardless of which country’s  nationalised industries are building  the station, “ours” or “theirs”,  beware the promises about prices  you hear, when a new design of  power station hoves into view.

The new Hinkley station will  replace an Advanced Gas Cooled  Reactor-type station.

The launch of that particular type  of station back in 1965 was the  occasion of the most embarrassing  statement any cabinet minister has  ever made. Ever!

Fred Lee was the hapless energy  minister in Harold Wilson’s Labour  government who had to deliver the  statement to the House of  Commons.

It contained the  sentence “Electricity from these  new AGR nuclear power stations  will be too cheap to meter. [I’m not  making this up.] Britain has really  hit the jackpot this time”.

Oy Vey! Oy Vey!

Far from producing electricity  that was too cheap to meter, the  AGRs were almost impossible to  construct – an absolute disaster of  Concorde or even Poll Tax  proportions when it came to  wasting taxpayers’ money.

The new station will certainly create a building boom in the  south-west of England.

When people compare the Welsh  economy with that of the South  West, we normally think  instinctively, Wales – private sector  economy weak/public sector strong.  The South West – private sector  strong/public sector weak.

I wonder if that’s really true.

We get conventional regional  assistance, European aid etc.

The South West gets its “regional  aid” under a different heading, that’s  all. It’s called a  government-guaranteed £16bn  building project creating 25,000  jobs.

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October 26, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Tokyo’s charm offensive to garner support in its bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

http://my.sports.yahoo.com/news/japan-pacific-leaders-hold-summit-near-fukushima-154417317.html

26 October 2013

Fukushima Tepco Compensation

Top leaders from Japan and Pacific island nations will hold a summit in a city near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2015, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday.

Kishida made the announcement at a news conference after a meeting of ministers from Japan and the 16-member Pacific Islands Forum in Tokyo to prepare for the triennial summit.

The 2015 meeting will be held in Iwaki, a provincial city located about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the plant.

A massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 ravaged Japan’s northeast coast and sparked a meltdown crisis at the plant which has released radiation into the environment.

“Holding the Pacific island summit in the disaster-hit area will provide a chance to tell the world how our country is making a strong recovery from the east Japan earthquake,” Takumi Nemoto, Japan’s minister for reconstruction, said in a statement.

Japan has hosted the summit six times since 1977 to discuss maritime order, resource management and new ways to cooperate in trade and investment at a time when China is boosting its presence in the Pacific.

At last year’s summit, held in Okinawa, Japan pledged aid worth up to $500 million over three years to Pacific island nations, of which Kishida said about 90 percent had been extended.

The Pacific Islands Forum groups Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Like Japan, Australia and New Zealand are taking part as aid givers.

The summit is seen as one prong of Tokyo’s charm offensive to garner support in its bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

October 26, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

US Gov’t: Plutonium is from Fukushima reactors, not fuel pools — Experts: Plutonium needs to be in U.N. assessment of radioactive releases

http://enenews.com/nrc-plutonium-release-fukushima-reactors-fuel-pools-experts-plutonium-isotopes-need-be-assessment-radioactive-releases

Published: October 26th, 2013 at 11:27 am ET
By

Physicians for Social Responsibility, IPPNW, etc., Oct. 18, 2013: […]  the emission of radioactive particles from Fukushima Dai-ichi continues until today and that the available source term [i.e. total radioactive release] estimates only deal with the emissions during the first weeks of the disaster, it is important to look at which source term estimate to use […] UNSCEAR [United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation] bases its calculations on the source term estimate of the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), an organization that was severely criticized […] for its collusion with the nuclear industry […] The renowned Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) found a release of cesium-137 three times higher than the JAEA estimate. […] By relying on data from neutral international institutions rather than the Japanese nuclear industry, accusations of selective data sampling could be reduced. Also, it is important to include not only iodine-131 and cesium-137 in atmospheric release assessments, such as JAEA, but also radioisotopes such as iodine-133, strontium-89/90 and plutonium-isotopes, as they were also detected in soil, groundwater and sediment samples in Fukushima Prefecture.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission FOIA ML12128A322, Published May 1, 2013: Page 8 — “Pu contamination in soil thought to be coming from the reactors”

TEPCO, April 10, 2012: Detection of Pu in the soil in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station […] there are possibilities that [the Pu-238, Pu-239, and Pu-240] originate from the accident this time, taking the previous analysis results into consideration. Pu-238, Pu-239, and Pu-240 have been detected in the samples collected after March 21 at some places; however, there have been no major changes in the amounts.

See also: Japan Expert: Second explosion was “more like a bomb” at Fukushima — Spent nuclear fuel flew 30 kilometers away, pellets collected by military — Very strange materials like europium were found — Should have evacuated out to 300 kilometers (VIDEO)

October 26, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation!

2013/10/26

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

There are a staggering 4400 tons of nuclear fuel rods at Fukushima, which greatly dwarfs the total size of radiation sources at Chernobyl.” Worldwide Contamination!

http://thewararoundus.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/by-prof-michel-chossudovsky-fukushima.html

Global Research’s Online Interactive I-Book Reader brings together, in the form of chapters, a collection of Research feature articles and videos, including debate and analysis, on a broad theme or subject matter. In this Interactive Online I-Book we bring to the attention of our readers an important collection of articles, reports and video material on the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe and its impacts. The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation.

The crisis in Japan has been described as “a nuclear war without a war”. In the words of renowned novelist Haruki Murakami: “This time no one dropped a bomb on us. We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lives.”

Nuclear radiation which threatens life on planet earth, is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities. While the long-term repercussions of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are yet to be fully assessed, they are far more serious than those pertaining to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, which resulted in almost one million deaths.

Continue reading

October 26, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 8 Comments

8 months, 10 mishaps: A look at Fukushima errors

By MARI YAMAGUCHI

The Associated Press
Published: October 26, 2013

http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/8-months-10-mishaps-a-look-at-fukushima-errors-1.249291?=&utm_source=Stars+and+Stripes+Emails&utm_campaign=Daily+Headlines&utm_medium=email

TOKYO — Workers overfill a tank, spilling radioactive water on the ground. Another mistakenly pushes a button, stalling a pump for a vital cooling system. Six others get soaked with toxic water when they remove the wrong pipe. All over the course of one week in October.

A string of mishaps this year at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was swamped by a tsunami in 2011, is raising doubts about the operator’s ability to tackle the crisis and prompting concern that another disaster could be in the making.

Worried Japanese regulators are taking a more hands-on approach than usual. They met with Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials this week to discuss how to prepare for a typhoon that could dump heavy rain on Fukushima on Saturday. And Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shinichi Tanaka has scheduled a Monday meeting with Tokyo Electric’s president to seek solutions to what he says appear to be fundamental problems.

Human error is mostly to blame, as workers deal with a seemingly unending stream of crises. Tanaka said earlier this month the repeated “silly mistakes” are a sign of declining morale and sense of responsibility. The operator, known as TEPCO, acknowledged a systemic problem in a recent report: Workers under tight deadlines tend to cut corners, making mistakes more likely; at times, they don’t fully understand their assignment or procedures.

The utility has been losing experienced workers as they reach their radiation exposure limits, and hundreds of others are quitting jobs seen as underpaid given the difficulty and health risks. Regulators have urged the plant to have enough supervisors to oversee the workers on site; TEPCO says it has added staff and is ensuring proper field-management.

Some of this year’s mishaps:

— Oct. 20-21: Heavy rains wash contaminated storm-water over protective barriers around storage tanks at six locations, before workers finish setting up additional pumps and hoses to remove the water.

— Oct. 9: Six workers remove the wrong pipe, dousing themselves with highly radioactive water. TEPCO says exposure for the workers, who were wearing facemasks with filters, hazmat suits and raingear, is negligible. An estimated 7 tons of water almost overflows the barrier around it.

— Oct. 7: A worker mistakenly presses a stop button during a power switchboard check, stalling a pump and cooling-water supply to the Unit 1 reactor for a split second. A monitoring device for Units 1 and 2 and a building ventilator also fail briefly until backup power kicks in.

— Oct. 2: Workers overfill a storage tank for radioactive water, spilling about 430 liters (110 gallons). The workers were trying to maximize capacity amid the plant’s water storage crunch. Most of the spill is believed to have reached the sea via a nearby ditch.

— Oct. 1: About 5 tons of contaminated rainwater overflows when workers pump it into the wrong tank, most of it seeping into the ground.

— Sept. 27: A piece of rubber lining mistakenly left inside a water treatment unit clogs it up, causing it to fail hours after it resumed a test-run following repairs. The fragment is removed, and the unit returned to testing.

— Sept. 19: A firefighting water pipe is damaged during debris removal, and 300 liters of non-radioactive water spurt out. The same day, TEPCO provides Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with a hazmat suit for a plant visit with the wrong Japanese character for his family name on the nametag. Spotting the mistake halfway through the tour, an apparently displeased Abe peels the sticker off.

— Sept. 12: A water treatment machine overflows, leaking about 65 liters of contaminated water, when a worker doing unrelated work nearby inadvertently shuts a valve.

— Aug. 19: A patrolling worker finds a massive pool of contaminated water spilling out of a protective barrier around a storage tank. TEPCO later concludes an estimated 300 tons escaped unnoticed over several weeks.

— April 4: A worker pushes the wrong button on a touch panel, temporarily stopping one of three water treatment units during a pre-operation test.

Humans aren’t always to blame. A rat sneaked into an outdoor power switchboard on March 18, causing a short-circuit and blackout lasting 30 hours in some areas. Four nuclear fuel storage pools lost cooling, but power was restored before a meltdown. A few weeks later, workers caused another short-circuit while installing anti-rat nets, leaving one of the fuel storage pools without cooling for several hours.

October 26, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Illinois’ Distinction As State With Most Nuclear Waste Worries Activist

CBS) — The state of Illinois now appears to be the nation’s biggest producer of dangerous radioactive waste.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports.

There are 70,000 metric tons of potentially deadly nuclear waste stored at both active and inactive nuclear plants in the U.S.

Bloomberg.com reports that Illinois, with its 14 nuclear plant sites, is the country’s biggest atomic dump site.

There are roughly 9,000 tons of “high level, long lived, dangerous spent fuel” in Illinois, according to David Kraft of the Nuclear Energy Information Service, an anti-nuclear group.

That is more nuclear waste than any other state.

Kraft says he is worried about “natural catastrophes like we saw in Japan at Fukushima, terrorists, accidental airliners hitting buildings, or whatever.”

Although the federal government seems to recognize the dangers, critics say Washington can’t seem to decide how and where to move the waste for safe keeping. So it continues to sit in casks and cooling pools at the plants.

Says Kraft: “There’s absolutely nothing inherently safe about a thousand Hiroshimas in a box.”

Video and links

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/10/25/illinois-distinction-as-state-with-most-nuclear-waste-worries-activist/

October 26, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Activists dispute reports on Kudankulam plant supplying power

http://www.theshillongtimes.com/2013/10/27/activists-dispute-reports-on-kudankulam-plant-supplying-power/

2013 / October / 27 /

Chennai: The first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) is supplying around 175 MW power and is still connected to the southern grid, officials said, even as activists disputed the claim.
“The unit is still connected to the grid and power supply is around 175-200 MW,” an official of the Power System Operation Corporation Ltd, a subsidiary of the National Grid Corporation and which manages the Southern Grid, told IANS Saturday, preferring to remain anonymous.
A source close to KNPP told IANS that the unit was running and transmitting power to the grid. The 1,000 MW-capacity unit that tripped Oct 22 was reconnected to the grid Friday night.

Anti-KNPP activists, citing the Power System Operation Corporation’s reports, dispute the reconnection of the atomic power plant to the grid Friday night.
“The daily operation report of the grid company does not mention anything about the power supplied by the Kudankulam unit,” M. Pushparayan of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) told IANS.
A retired employee of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB), preferring anonymity, told IANS that when even the generation data of power units that have not started commercial production are reflected in the reports, data relating to KNPP should also be there.
Pushparayan said even the reports of Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Ltd make no mention of power from KNPP.
Officials of KNPP belonging to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) were not available for comment on the status of the unit despite several attempts by IANS to contact them.
On Oct 22, the first unit at KNPP was synchronised with the power grid at 2.45 a.m, generating 75 MW of power. The power generation was subsequently increased to 160 MW.
Nearly two hours later the unit tripped though KNPP officials maintain that the plant had been stopped. The NPCIL has been setting up two 1,000 MW Russian reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here. The total outlay for the project is over Rs.17,000 crore. (IANS)

October 26, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The week in nuclear news

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

United Nations  Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) has just released publicly a statement that Infants and children can be more at risk than adults of developing  cancers when exposed to radiation, for example from nuclear accidents,  UNSCEAR said children and adults should be considered separately following exposure in order to predict risk more accurately.  The full report was presented to the UN General Assembly.   This is more important than it might at first sound, as it follows all that publiciity in May 2013, that UNSCEAR supposedly did not expect health harm from the Fukushima nuclear accident.

UK Government has finalised its deal with China, and EDF, for new untested nuclear reactors with a guaranteed price for these providers, of double the market price. The government has also already committed itself to providing financial guarantees of £10bn to cover the building of Hinkley Point, something not available to builders of solar or wind arrays.  The European Union is studying this deal in view of the EU’s rules against subsidising new nuclear power. Even pro nuclear George Monbiot condemns the deal as a farce. and says of the nuclear waste problem”No one should commission a mess without a plan for clearing it up”

Japan. The Fukushima radiation leaks continue. All observers anxiously await the operation, planned for November, of removing the spent nuclear fuel rods from their precarious pool above reactor No 4. It will be a very dangerous and difficult task, with the potential for a radiation catastrophe.  Meanwhile the Japanese government has drafted a new law about state secrets, which may inhibit press freedom, and allow for the gaoling of whistleblowers for up to 10 years.

October 26, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) admits radiation danger to children

highly-recommendedRadiation can pose bigger cancer risk for children – UN study http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/10/25/us-nuclear-radiation-children-idUKBRE99O0M820131025  VIENNA | Fri Oct 25, 2013  (Reuters)  by Fredrik Dahl- Infants and text ionisingchildren can be more at risk than adults of developing some cancers when exposed to radiation, for example from nuclear accidents, a U.N. scientific report said on Friday. Children were found to be more sensitive than adults for the development of 25 percent of tumor types including leukemia, and thyroid, brain and breast cancer, it said.

“The risk can be significantly higher, depending on circumstances,” theUnited Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) added in a statement. UNSCEAR said it began working on the report in 2011, the same year as Japan‘s Fukushima nuclear accident, although the world’s worst such disaster in 25 years was not mentioned in the statement. The committee said in May that cancer rates were not expected to rise after the Fukushima accident.

Studies into the 1986 accident at Chernobyl in Ukraine have, however, linked thyroid cancer to radioactive iodine. The thyroid is the most exposed organ as radioactive iodine concentrates there. Children are deemed especially vulnerable.

Friday’s report, presented to the U.N. General Assembly, said children and adults should be considered separately following exposure in order to predict risk more accurately. Continue reading

October 26, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, radiation | Leave a comment

Damian Carrington on UK’s new nuclear delusional dream

highly-recommended

The nuclear industry has captured the government as comprehensively as the big six energy companies have captured the domestic energy market. Don’t forget that just 48 hours after the Fukushima catastrophe, government officials were working with the industry to play down the terrible events – before they had even unfolded.

Nuclear power’s broken promises means EDF deal is a delusional dream http://www.theguardian.com/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2013/oct/21/nuclear-power-energy-edf-deal The cost of nuclear energy has tripled in just five years, while the cost of flag-UKrenewable energy is falling fast, making the UK government’s deal a truly terrible one Energy efficiency is cheapest and the cost of renewable energy is falling. In contrast, gas prices have risen by 50% in five years and the cost of nuclear energy has trebled since 2008. Yet the UK government today staked a large part of the nation’s energy future on the latter, by agreeing a deal with EDF which might lead to them building a new nuclear power station. Ministers have not backed the favourite, or even a speedy but erratic outsider: they have backed a horse running in reverse.

nuclear-dream

The 60-year history of the nuclear industry is one unblemished by promises kept. From “too cheap to meter” to safe as houses, every pledge has been broken. When the UK government once again fell for the renewed vows of the nuclear industry in 2008, they were promised reactors would cost £2.8bn to build. Today’s deal shows the cost is now £8bn. They were promised electricity for £31-42 per megawatt-hour: today’s price is £92.50/MWh.

The trashed guarantees stack up as steadily as the toxic waste pile that already costs billions a year to store. In 2007, David Cameron said: “The problems of nuclear waste have to be dealt with to make any new investment possible.” In January 2013, Cumbria, the only place in the running for a permanent disposal site rejected the idea.

The government pledge that the private sector would build the new reactors has collapsed too: EDF is owned by the French state and can only move ahead itself with about 40% of the money stumped up by China.

UK-subsidyThe final crushed commitment comes from the 2010 coalition agreement: New nuclear power stations “will receive no public subsidy”. If forcing energy consumers to pay roughly £38bn above the current cost of electricity is not a subsidy, what is? If a government package of insurance against accidents and loan guarantees is not a subsidy, what is?

This farrago of fictions matters. EDF and the government say the deal protects the public against the near-certainty of broken promises on costs. But read the small print: “The strike price could be adjusted, upwards or downwards, in relation to operational and certain other costs.” Perhaps the government could bail out of the deal if the costs soared? No: “Hinkley Point C would be protected from being curtailed without appropriate compensation.” If new risks came to light increasing the cost of insurance, could we get out then? No: “Protection would be provided for any increases in nuclear insurance costs as a result of withdrawal of government cover.” No wonder opponents are terrified by the lack of any independent scrutiny to date of the deal struck by the government. Continue reading

October 26, 2013 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Potentially ‘Apocalyptic’ consequences in removing Fukushima nuclear reactor’s spent fuel rods

spent-fuel-rodsFuel Removal From Fukushima’s Reactor 4 Threatens ‘Apocalyptic’ Scenario. Radiation Fuel Rods Matches Fallout of 14,000 Hiroshima Bombs By Common Dreams Global Research, October 25, 2013 by Andrea Germanos

An operation with potentially “apocalyptic” consequences is expected to begin in a little over two weeks from now – “as early as November 8″ – at Fukushima’s damaged and sinking Reactor 4, when plant operator TEPCO will attempt to remove over 1300 spent fuel rods holding the radiation equivalent of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs from a spent fuel storage tank perched on the reactor’s upper floor……

The potential radiation releases in this situation can only be described as apocalyptic. Continue reading

October 26, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Japan, safety | 9 Comments

“Nuclear Gypsies” work in Japan’s $150-billion Fukushima radiation clean-up

flag-japanRadiation, desperation and gangsters: Inside the hidden tragedy of Fukushima The Globe and Mail , 25 Oct 13 ANTONI SLODKOWSKI AND MARI SAITO  IWAKI — Reuters , Oct. 25 2013  Tetsuya Hayashi went to Fukushima to take a job at ground zero of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. He lasted less than two weeks.

Hayashi, 41, says he was recruited for a job monitoring the radiation exposure of workers leaving the plant in the summer of 2012. Instead, when he turned up for work, he was handed off through a web of contractors and assigned, to his surprise, to one of Fukushima’s hottest radiation zones.

He was told he would have to wear an oxygen tank and a double-layer protective suit. Even then, his handlers told him, the radiation would be so high it could burn through his annual exposure limit in just under an hour.

“I felt cheated and entrapped,” Hayashi said. “I had not agreed to any of this.” Continue reading

October 26, 2013 Posted by | employment, Fukushima 2013, Japan | 2 Comments

Poor working conditions in Japan’s nuclear industry

flag-japanAt Fukushima, ‘nuclear gypsies’ struggle with low wages and steep risks The Verge, By Katie Drummond on October 25, 2013  “….. the process of cleaning up that mess has become something of a disaster itself: an estimated 50,000 “nuclear gypsies” employed by the project are now grappling with poor wages, risky working conditions, and rampant labor violations.  In a sweeping investigation, Reuters reports that a combination of factors like lax governmental regulations, sketchy contractors, and poor oversight is to blame for the fiasco. Some workers complain of having their wages skimmed by illegal labor rackets, while others say they were hired to do one job before being forced into a much more dangerous one. Unfortunately, the investigation notes that the Fukushima cleanup merely highlights problems that have long plagued the industry. “Working conditions in the nuclear industry have always been bad,” Saburo Murata, deputy director of Osaka’s Hannan Chuo Hospital, told Reuters. “Problems with money, outsourced recruitment, lack of proper health insurance — these have existed for decades.” http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/25/5028568/fukushima-nuclear-cleanup-low-wages-high-risks

 

October 26, 2013 Posted by | employment, Japan | Leave a comment

Japan’s government moves to gag press freedom

6ceed-japan-government-officially-censors-truth-about-fukushima-nuclear-radiation-disasterflag-japanFuk-‘hush’-ima: Japan’s new state secrets law gags whistleblowers, raises press freed.om fears Rt.com.  October 25, 2013   Many issues of national importance to Japan, probably including the state of the Fukushima power plant, may be designated state secrets under a new draft law. Once signed, it could see whistleblowers jailed for up to 10 years……. Under the new legislation a ministry may classify information for a five-year term with a possibility of prolongation to up to 30 years. After that a cabinet ruling would be needed for the secret to be treated as such, but there is no limit for how long information may be kept under a lid.

“Basically, this bill raises the possibility that the kind of information about which the public should be informed is kept secret eternally,” Tadaaki Muto, a lawyer and member of a task force on the bill at the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, told Reuters.

“Under the bill, the administrative branch can set the range of information that is kept secret at its own discretion.”

Media watchdogs in Japan fear the bill would allow the government to cover up serious blunders, like the collusion between regulators and utilities, which was a significant factor in the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. …… http://rt.com/news/japan-state-secrets-law-712/

October 26, 2013 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Organised crime syndicates run Fukushima labour rackets

Criminalflag-japanRadiation, desperation and gangsters: Inside the hidden tragedy of Fukushima The Globe and Mail , 25 Oct 13 ANTONI SLODKOWSKI AND MARI SAITO  IWAKI — Reuters , Oct. 25 2013  “…….The yakuza connection The complexity of Fukushima contracts and the shortage of workers have played into the hands of the yakuza, Japan’s organized crime syndicates, which have run labour rackets for generations.

Nearly 50 gangs with 1,050 members operate in Fukushima prefecture dominated by three major syndicates – Yamaguchi-gumi, Sumiyoshi-kai and Inagawa-kai, police say. Continue reading

October 26, 2013 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment