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Japan – Iitate residents to file for arbitration
A group of residents from a village near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is planning to file for state arbitration so all villagers can be entitled to equal damages regardless of radiation levels of their areas.

The entire village of Iitate is designated for evacuation, but it is categorized into three different zones, each with a different radiation level and differing amounts of compensation.

The residents from the two zones with relatively low contamination say that the difference in compensation is dividing residents.

They plan to ask the Center for Settlement of Fukushima Nuclear Damage Claims to urge the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company to pay them equal damages.

The residents also plan to seek the payment of consolation money worth about 30-thousand dollars per person. They say they were exposed to more radiation because the evacuation order wasn’t issued until more than one month after the meltdown.

About 2,500 people, or 40 percent of all Iitate residents, are expected to join the group. The group hopes to invite more people to take part and file for arbitration in autumn.

The leader of the group, Kenichi Hasegawa, says he hopes residents will unite to express their anger.

Jul. 22, 2014 – Updated 08:27 UTC

July 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Opposite Energy Policies Turned The Fukushima Disaster Into A Loss For Japan And A Win For Germany

To revitalize its economy and politics, Japan needs an efficiency-and-renewables leapfrog that enables the new energy economy, not protects the old one. Japanese frogs jump too, says Bash?’s famous haiku “The old pond / frog jumps in / plop.” But we’re still waiting for the plop.

n short, German policy gave renew­ables fair access to the grid, promoted competition, weakened monopolies, and helped citizens and communities own half of renewable capacity. In 2013, Germany’s nuclear generation reached a 30-year low while renewable generation, 56 percent greater, set a new record, reaching an average of 27 percent of domestic use in the first quarter of 2014 and a brief peak of 74 percent on 11 May.

Screenshot from 2014-07-23 05:03:02

Amory B. Lovins, RMI
July 22, 2014

Japan thinks of itself as famously poor in energy, but this national identity rests on a semantic confusion. Japan is indeed poor in fossil fuels — but among all major industrial countries, it’s the richest in renewable energy like sun, wind, and geothermal. For example, Japan has nine times Germany’s renewable energy resources. Yet Japan makes about nine times less of its electricity from renewables (excluding hydropower) than Germany does.

That’s not because Japan has inferior engineers or weaker industries, but only because Japan’s government allows its powerful allies — regional utility monopolies — to protect their profits by blocking competitors. Since there’s no mandatory wholesale power market, only about 1 percent of power is traded, and utilities own almost all the wires and power plants and hence can decide whom they will allow to compete against their own assets, the vibrant independent power sector has only a 2.3 percent market share; under real competition it would take most of the rest. These conditions have caused an extraordinary divergence between Japan’s and Germany’s electricity outcomes.

Before the March 2011 Fukushima disaster, both Germany and Japan were nearly 30 percent nuclear-pow­ered. In the next four months, Germany restored, and sped up by a year, the nuclear phaseout schedule originally agreed with industry in 2001–02. With the concurrence of all political parties, 41 percent of Germany’s nuclear power capacity — eight units of 17, including five similar to those at Fukushima and seven from the 1970s — got promptly shut down, with the rest to follow during 2015–22.

In 2010, those eight units produced 22.8 percent of Germany’s electricity. Yet a comprehensive package of seven other laws passed at the same time coordinated efficiency, renewable, and other initiatives to ensure reliable and low-carbon energy supplies throughout and long after the phaseout. The German nuclear shutdown, though executed decisively, built on a longstanding deliberative policy evolution consistent with the nuclear construction halts or operating phaseouts adopted in seven other nearby countries both before and after Fukushima.

Moreover, the Energiewende term and concept began before 1980, and Germany’s formal shift to renewables — now well over 70 billion watts installed — began in 1991, 20 years before Fukushima, then was reinforced in 2000 by feed-in tariffs. Those aren’t a subsidy but a way for customers to buy, and hence developers to finance and build, the renewables society chose, with a reasonable chance for sellers to earn a fair return on their investments. FITs’ values have plummeted in step with renewable costs, so developers now commonly opt to earn higher market prices instead.

This integrated policy framework and the solid analysis behind it meant that the output lost when those eight reactors closed in 2011 was entirely replaced in the same year — 59 percent by the 2011 growth of renewables, 6 percent by more-efficient use, and 36 percent by temporarily reduced electricity exports. Through 2012, Germany’s loss of 2010 nuclear output was 94 percent offset by renewable growth; through 2013, 108 percent. At this rate, renewable growth would replace Germany’s entire pre-Fukushima nuclear output by 2016.

Contrary to widespread misreportage, closing those eight reactors did not cause more fossil fuel to be burned. Whenever renewable sources run in Germany, both law and econom­ics require them to displace costlier sources, so renewables always make fossil-fueled plants run less, though often in more complex patterns. The data confirm this: from 2010 through 2013, German nuclear output fell by 43.3 TWh, renewable output rose by 46.9 TWh, and the power sector burned almost exactly as much more coal and lignite as it burned less of the costlier gas and oil. German utilities bet against the energy transition and lost. Now they gripe that the renewables in which most of them long underinvested have made their thermal plants too costly to run.

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July 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima: Bad and Getting Worse

Fukushima workers
Global Physicians Issue Scathing Critique of UN Report on Fukushima

There is broad disagreement over the amounts and effects of radiation exposure due to the triple reactor meltdowns after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) joined the controversy June 4, with a 27-page “Critical Analysis of the UNSCEAR Report ‘Levels and effects of radiation exposures due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami.’”

IPPNW is the Nobel Peace Prize winning global federation of doctors working for “a healthier, safer and more peaceful world.” The group has adopted a highly critical view of nuclear power because as it says, “A world without nuclear weapons will only be possible if we also phase out nuclear energy.”

UNSCEAR, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, published its deeply flawed report April 2. Its accompanying press release summed up its findings this way: “No discernible changes in future cancer rates and hereditary diseases are expected due to exposure to radiation as a result of the Fukushima nuclear accident.” The word “discernable” is a crucial disclaimer here.

Cancer, and the inexorable increase in cancer cases in Japan and around the world, is mostly caused by toxic pollution, including radiation exposure according to the National Cancer Institute.[1] But distinguishing a particular cancer case as having been caused by Fukushima rather than by other toxins, or combination of them, may be impossible – leading to UNSCEAR’s deceptive summation. As the IPPNW report says, “A cancer does not carry a label of origin…”

UNSCEAR’s use of the phrase “are expected” is also heavily nuanced. The increase in childhood leukemia cases near Germany’s operating nuclear reactors, compared to elsewhere, was not “expected,” but was proved in 1997. The findings, along with Chernobyl’s lingering consequences, led to the country’s federally mandated reactor phase-out. The plummeting of official childhood mortality rates around five US nuclear reactors after they were shut down was also “unexpected,” but shown by Joe Mangano and the Project on Radiation and Human Health.

The International Physicians’ analysis is severely critical of UNSCEAR’s current report which echoes its 2013 Fukushima review and press release that said, “It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers.”

“No justification for optimistic presumptions”

The IPPNW’s report says flatly, “Publications and current research give no justification for such apparently optimistic presumptions.” UNSCEAR, the physicians complain, “draws mainly on data from the nuclear industry’s publications rather than from independent sources and omits or misinterprets crucial aspects of radiation exposure”, and “does not reveal the true extent of the consequences” of the disaster. As a result, the doctors say the UN report is “over-optimistic and misleading.” The UN’s “systematic underestimations and questionable interpretations,” the physicians warn, “will be used by the nuclear industry to downplay the expected health effects of the catastrophe” and will likely but mistakenly be considered by public authorities as reliable and scientifically sound. Dozens of independent experts report that radiation attributable health effects are highly likely.

Points of agreement: Fukushima is worse than reported and worsening still

Before detailing the multiple inaccuracies in the UNSCEAR report, the doctors list four major points of agreement. First, UNSCEAR improved on the World Health Organization’s health assessment of the disaster’s on-going radioactive contamination. UNSCEAR also professionally “rejects the use of a threshold for radiation effects of 100 mSv [millisieverts], used by the International Atomic Energy Agency in the past.” Like most health physicists, both groups agree that there is no radiation dose so small that it can’t cause negative health effects. There are exposures allowed by governments, but none of them are safe.

Second, the UN and the physicians agree that areas of Japan that were not evacuated were seriously contaminated with iodine-132, iodine-131 and tellurium-132, the worst reported instance being Iwaki City which had 52 times the annual absorbed dose to infants’ thyroid than from natural background radiation. UNSCEAR also admitted that “people all over Japan” were affected by radioactive fallout (not just in Fukushima Prefecture) through contact with airborne or ingested radioactive materials. And while the UNSCEAR acknowledged that “contaminated rice, beef, seafood, milk, milk powder, green tea, vegetables, fruits and tap water were found all over mainland Japan”, it neglected “estimating doses for Tokyo … which also received a significant fallout both on March 15 and 21, 2011.”

Third, UNSCEAR agrees that the nuclear industry’s and the government’s estimates of the total radioactive contamination of the Pacific Ocean are “far too low.” Still, the IPPNW reports shows, UNSCEAR’s use of totally unreliable assumptions results in a grossly understated final estimate. For example, the UN report ignores all radioactive discharges to the ocean after April 30, 2011, even though roughly 300 tons of highly contaminated water has been pouring into the Pacific every day for 3-and-1/2 years, about 346,500 tons in the first 38 months.

Fourth, the Fukushima catastrophe is understood by both groups as an ongoing disaster, not the singular event portrayed by industry and commercial media. UNSCEAR even warns that ongoing radioactive pollution of the Pacific “may warrant further follow-up of exposures in the coming years,” and “further releases could not be excluded in the future,” from forests and fields during rainy and typhoon seasons –when winds spread long-lived radioactive particles – a and from waste management plans that now include incineration.

As the global doctors say, in their unhappy agreement with UNSCEAR, “In the long run, this may lead to an increase in internal exposure in the general population through radioactive isotopes from ground water supplies and the food chain.”

Physicians find ten grave failures in UN report

The majority of the IPPNW’s report details 10 major errors, flaws or discrepancies in the UNSCEAR paper and explains study’s omissions, underestimates, inept comparisons, misinterpretations and unwarranted conclusions.

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July 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TEPCO Plans More Tanks at Fukushima Daiichi for 100,000 Extra Cubic Meters of Contaminated Water

22 July 2014
Editor: Makiko Nakamura, JAIF

On July 14, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) presented a new plan to prepare four new storage areas at its Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (NPS), and to increase the total storage tank capacity for contaminated water by some 100,000 cubic meters beyond the existing plan to increase storage capacity.
TEPCO had already formulated a plan to increase tank capacity by about 800,000 cubic meters by the end of FY14 (March 2015), and by a further 30,000 cubic meters in a new area where tanks would be built.
The new plan is in addition to that, and aims to deal with uncertainties arising from delays in carrying out measures to prevent groundwater inflow, as well as to establish a reliable purification plan with sufficiently ample capacity. –

July 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anomalies, Malformations and Resilience: New Studies on the Effects of Radiation on Wildlife at Chernobyl and Fukushima

Among the key findings published in 2013-2014 include the discovery of tumors, cataracts and damage in birds from highly irradiated areas Chernobyl sperm, and impacts on biodiversity in Fukushima. One of the most interesting results is the discovery that some bird species may have developed a form of resistance to radiation effects by changing the allocation of antioxidants, although many birds are sterile in highly contaminated areas.We also recently discovered effects on neurodevelopment of some small mammals as well as Chernobyl Fukushima.
Yellow-throated Sparrow near Chernobyl

Published July 22, 2014, in Environment

By Timothy Mousseau

The program and its research activities

The seat of the research program Chernobyl + Fukushima (CFRI) is at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. Research has officially started in Ukraine in 2000 and Fukushima in July 2011. To date, the group has conducted more than 30 research expeditions to Chernobyl and Fukushima.

At Fukushima as Chernobyl, nuclear accidents have released huge amounts of radioactive elements were dispersed by the weather conditions prevailing at the landscape scale.Some 200 000 km 2 (Chernobyl) and 15 000 km 2 (Fukushima) were heavily contaminated.Radioactive materials were not uniformly dispersed and have created a mosaic of micro-habitats “hot” and “cold” scattered throughout the region.

This radioactive patchwork has given us a unique opportunity to observe the genetic effects and environmental effects associated with changes in great detail and repetition and so much scientific rigor, which is not possible in a laboratory or research traditional field, often subject to the constraints of a limited range and rather unnatural environmental heterogeneity. This is an important aspect because it can be assumed that the interactions between natural environmental factors and radioactive contaminants may play a key role in the biological consequences of disasters in question. It is therefore essential that studies on the effects of radiation are carried out in the nature, scale regions.

Studies on human populations only have many constraints that limit their usefulness when it comes to trying to understand the long-term consequences of radiation.

The CFRI, University of South Carolina was the first, and remains to this day the only research group to use a multidisciplinary approach to understand the impact on the health and environmental effects of radiation on wild populations. This allowed us to study the acute exposure (short-term) as well as chronic (long-term and multi-generation).

The research program Chernobyl + Fukushima also now has the only team to work both Chernobyl and Fukushima.

Our main sources of funding are the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust, the CNRS (France), the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society. Additional funding we have been granted by NATO, the Foundation for Civil Research and Development (CRDF), the National Institute of Health (NIH), Qiagen GmbH, the Fulbright Foundation, the Office of Research and Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina, the Academy of Finland and we also received donations from individuals.

Today the program already has to his credit more than 60 scientific publications, most of which date from the last seven years (these papers are available on our website ). Our research has raised eyebrows in many newspapers and television programs, including the New York Times , The Economist , Harpers , BBC, CNN, and News Hour PBS (see website for details).

The team was one of the first to use ecological, genetic and dosimetric technologies to clarify the issue of health and environmental consequences of chronic exposure to low doses after the disaster of Chernobyl and Fukushima. These technologies include ecological surveys repeated natural populations of birds, mammals and insects to observe the effects on longevity and reproduction repeatedly; DNA sequencing and genotoxicity tests to assess genetic damage in the short and long term for individuals living in the wild;

The use of miniature dosimeters attached to wild animals and field measurements of whole body irradiation in birds and mammals to obtain an accurate assessment of external and internal doses of radiation received by the animals living freely in nature .Recently, the group has expanded its research to epidemiological and genetic studies of human populations (especially children) living in regions of Ukraine affected by Chernobyl.

Among the key findings published in 2013-2014 include the discovery of tumors, cataracts and damage in birds from highly irradiated areas Chernobyl sperm, and impacts on biodiversity in Fukushima. One of the most interesting results is the discovery that some bird species may have developed a form of resistance to radiation effects by changing the allocation of antioxidants, although many birds are sterile in highly contaminated areas.We also recently discovered effects on neurodevelopment of some small mammals as well as Chernobyl Fukushima.

Both disasters differ in the time since they occurred and the amount and variety of radionuclides released, although the predominant source of radiation is cesium-137 in both cases.

Yellow-throated Sparrow near Chernobyl

The main points revealed by research

The highlights of the research published by the research program of Chernobyl + Fukushima:

• The population size and the number of species (that is to say, biodiversity) of birds, mammals, insects and spiders are significantly lower in highly contaminated areas of Chernobyl.

• In many birds and small mammals, life and fertility are reduced in areas of high contamination.

• At Fukushima, only birds, butterflies and grasshoppers have declined significantly during the first summer after the accident. The other groups did not suffer any adverse effects. Efforts continue to identify changes that may affect these populations over time.

• large variability is observed among different species in their sensitivity to radionuclides. Some species are not affected, and some even seem to increase in number in heavily contaminated areas in Fukushima like Chernobyl. This is due, presumably, to the disappearance of competition (ie more food and habitat), reducing the number of predators and perhaps an adaptation to the effects of radiation.

• Many species show signs of genetic damage following acute exposure; the differences between Chernobyl and Fukushima suggest that some species may show the effects of an accumulation of mutations over several generations.

• Some individuals and species show no evidence of genetic damage from exposure to radiation and some even show of evolutionary adaptation to the effects of radiation by increasing the antioxidant activity may offer protection against radiation signs ionizing.

• Bird species most likely to experience a reduction in their number due to radiation are those that have historically seen an increase in mutation rate for other reasons, perhaps related to the ability to repair their DNA or decline their defenses against oxidative stress.

• The deleterious effects of radiation exposure observed in natural populations of Chernobyl include increased rates of cataracts, tumors, abnormal growth, deformation of sperm, infertility and cases of albinism.

• Neural development is also affected as evidenced by a reduction of brain size in birds and rodents; impact on cognitive abilities and survival rates have also been demonstrated in birds.

• At Fukushima, the first signs of developmental abnormalities were observed in birds in 2013, but has not yet demonstrated significant genetic damage in birds and rodents.

• Tree growth and microbial decomposition in the soil are also slowed in highly radiation-contaminated areas.

In summary, these results clearly demonstrate that these nuclear disasters have affected the scale of the environment on individuals, populations and ecosystems; there are many examples of developmental abnormalities and deformities that probably contribute to the reduction in the abundance and biodiversity observed in regions radioactive Chernobyl and Fukushima. These results contrast sharply with the optimism of assertions without evidence put forward by the Chernobyl Forum (UN) and the members of the Scientific Committee of the United Nations on the effects of radiation (UNSCEAR). Studies should be continued to determine not only the time of adaptation of populations and communities in this disturbance, but also whether these regions will one day again habitable and if so, from where.

Objectives for 2014-15

We are currently looking for funding to support research activities, ongoing and planned, Chernobyl + Fukushima program:

1) Constant monitoring of bird populations, small mammals and insects in Fukushima to test the changes in population size (abundance) and the number of species (biodiversity) over time. This study should help establish long-term predictions about the time required to restore the situation.

2) Constant monitoring of populations of barn swallows and rodents (mice and voles) for cancers, survival, reproduction and genetic damage at Fukushima and Chernobyl (in collaboration with the French Institute and CNRS Rikkyo University in Tokyo, the Society of wild birds of Japan, the Japan National Institute of Forests and Finnish University of Jyvaskyla).

3) Start up a new project to study the effects of radiation on tree growth and soil microbial activity in Fukushima (in partnership with Chubu University, Nagoya, Japan).

4) Start up of a new project to determine the effects of radiation on growth, fertility and genetic damage in cows living in highly radioactive areas in Fukushima (in collaboration with the Association of Cattle Breeders Fukushima)

5) Getting started a new project to examine the mutation rate in humans using the complete sequencing of genomic DNA. This project will initially focus on families living in contaminated areas of Ukraine. This project is a collaboration with the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University, the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University and the Institute of Radiation Medicine in Kiev, Ukraine.

6) Continued development of new methods for measuring doses and genetic damage in wild animal populations.

7) Coordination of an international association of independent scientists capable of providing non-biased evidence based on health and environmental risks of nuclear accidents information. This group will be responsible for compiling, evaluating and interpreting current medical and scientific literature and develop a literature suitable for public dissemination by the press and Internet media, and used in public presentations in Japan and the rest of the world.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Timothy A. Mousseau
Professor of Biological Sciences
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208 USA
(803) 920-7704


Translation by Google.

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July 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment