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Japanese Government disengages its support to Fukushima victims

hhjgklmAs the political class pushes for reactor restarts, their commitment towards Fukushima has turned to outright betrayal.

Starting in 2016 local governments will be forced to pay for part of the reconstruction costs.

Last week the central government announced they plan to reopen any area below 50 mSv/year for people to return by 2017. There have also been problems with animals forcing their way in or thieves ransacking homes.

The government also announced that they would terminate compensation payments for all evacuees except those from the “difficult to return zone” by 2018. There is no consideration being given to the prospect of these people having a functioning home to return to or not.

Asahi Shimbun made this comment about the issue:

However, it is not clear whether radiation levels will drop as expected by March 2018. Even if evacuation orders remain in place because of delays in decontamination work, the compensation payments will still end in 2018 for the two zones, the sources said.”

Efforts to decontaminate many places in the evacuation zone has proven futile. Some areas defied decontamination attempts, others recontaminated as runoff from forests and other areas migrated back in. In previous years the government had said they would not do further follow up decontamination in many areas, telling residents to just accept living in the higher areas. The government statement that compensation payments would end even if decontamination work had not been completed brings the entire plan full circle.

The government has however decided to give businesses a one year extension on compensation payments.

Compounding all of this will be the individual situation of many evacuees. Towns that have reopened so far only saw a small number of residents return.

What will ultimately happen to these people as aid is taken away while the evacuation areas remain unsafe and there is no plan to rebuild their damaged homes remains to be seen. 


Sources :

Quake-hit Tohoku areas to share reconstruction costs starting next April

LDP Wants To Reopen Much Of Evacuation Zone By 2017

Fukushima may end free housing for voluntary nuclear evacuees in 2017

Ministry plans to end TEPCO compensation to 55,000 Fukushima evacuees in 2018

Survey: Large majority of Fukushima evacuees have family members with health problems

May 20, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Neurological and heart disease – huge rise in Fukushima evacuees

Huge spike in neurological diseases after Fukushima — 600% rise in disorders among evacuees — Similar abnormalities reported post-Chernobyl — Cases of heart disease, brain infarction also up — Physicians: “Great concern there will be additional health hazards”

Journal article by authors from Soma General Hospital and Tohoku University, Apr 7, 2015 (emphasis added): Change in and Long-Term Investigation of Neuro-Otologic Disorders in Disaster-Stricken Fukushima Prefecture

[Neuro-otology: Branch of clinical medicine which treats neurological disorders of the ear]

  • Soma City [is] 44 km north of Fukushima Daiichi… almost all patients who require hospitalization for ear, nose, and throat (ENT) care were referred to our department… We thus investigated the influence of the disaster on internal ear diseases.
  • Regarding the evacuation area, the total number of patients [in the ENT department]increased 4.64 times [364% in 1st year], 4.24 times [324% in 2nd year], and 4.54 times[354% in 3rd year] compared with the number before the disaster.
  • New patients [with vertigo, Meniere’s disease, and acute low-tone sensorineural hearing loss] in Shinchi Town… increased by 64.3%, 114.3%, and 46.4% [in years 1, 2, and 3] respectively… In the case of Minami-Soma City, except the evacuation area… increased by 84.2%, 152.6%, and 142.1%, respectively… Regarding the evacuation area… the numbers of patients with vertigo, MD, or ALHL became 7 times [600% increase in 1st year], 5 times [400% increase in 2nd year], and 7 times [600% increase in 3rd year].
  • Although the causes for MD and ALHL are still unknown [the rise] might be due to increased tension and stress… As for the cases [of vertigo] we were unable to establish the neuro-otologic pathogeneses in… 72%  [and] there may have been cases of psychogenic dizziness… administration of an anti-vertigenous drug or advice to keep calm and to have a sound mind did not help… There were some difficult cases where ENT treatment alone did not workpresumably because these cases were complicated with some mental diseases… In some serious cases, we… referred the patients to psychiatric care or prescribed psychosomatic medicine. Some patients refused our advice… or to admit that they had a mental problem.
  • The number of reported cases of heart disease and brain infarction have increased in the devastated area… Diabetes, osteoporosis, and psychiatric illnesses were feared to have worsened… There is a great concern that there will be additional health hazards, and we strongly feel the need for administrative support.

Journal of the American Academy of Audiology (pdf), 1995: Ototoxicity and Irradiation — Additional Etiologies of Hearing Loss in Adults… The article [discusses] the effects of irradiation on hearing [in patients] exposed to excessive radiation as a result of theChernobyl nuclear disaster… Shidlovckaya of the Kiev Research Institute of Otolaryngology has been studying [cleanup workers from] Chernobyl… her patients have evidenced a number of disorders, including hearing loss… When Shidlovckaya divided her population into three groups – [those] who worked directly at the disaster site; residents… nearby; and residents… some distance from the disaster site – an interesting pattern in the auditory resultsemerged… analysis indicated that, in 100 percent of [workers] examined, there aredisturbances or abnormalities… Furthermore, the… lesser radiation exposure… the less likely it was that these deviations would be present… Obviously, this is an important area of further research and could have a significant impact on our reaction to patients who have been exposed to radiation…

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2009: Diseases of Sense Organs — Throughout the more contaminated territories [around Chernobyl,] hearing abnormalities occur with greater frequency… Between 46 and 69% of surveyed liquidators had some hearing disorder.

Watch: St. Louis Children’s Hospital  on radiation-induced hearing loss

May 20, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, health, Japan | 1 Comment

Court rules to keep injunction on restart of Takahama nuclear reactors

judge-1flag-japanJapan court upholds nuclear power plant injunction Phys Org News, 20 May 15 A Japanese court upheld an injunction banning the restart of two nuclear reactors, a report said Tuesday, in a blow to the government’s ambitions to return to atomic power generation.Fukui District Court in central Japan dismissed Kansai Electric Power’s motion for a stay on an earlier decision to temporarily bar the restart of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at plant in Takahama, Kyodo News said.

The decision made Monday comes as the government and Japan’s powerful utility companies work to get reactors back online, more than four years after the disaster at Fukushima……..

Issuing the injunction on the restart, the Fukui court earlier said the safety of the  at Takahama had not been proved, despite a green light from industry watchdog the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), whose guidelines, the court said, were “too loose” and “lacking in rationality”.

May 20, 2015 Posted by | Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

Finland pulls out of building Olkiluoto 4 nuclear reactor

Finland cancelsthumbs-down – is the EPR finished?, The Ecologist,  Dr Jim Green & Oliver Tickell 15 May 15 

This week Finland cancelled its option for a second European Pressurised Reactor as the existing EPR project sinks into a abyss of cost over-runs, delays and litigation, writes Jim Green. It now looks like the EPR is a failed technology and its owner, French nuclear giant Areva, is fast running out of both money and orders as its ‘hot prospects’ evaporate.

There’s been plenty of bad news recently for the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) nuclear power station design.

And now there’s more. The Finnish electricity company TVO announced this week that it had cancelled plans to build a second EPR at Olkiluoto in western Finland because of delays and problems with the first EPR on the site currently being built by Areva and Siemens.

That plant, Olkiluoto 3, is running severely over time and budget. Construction began in 2005 and it is not expected to commence operating until 2018, nine years late.

The estimated cost has risen from €3.2 billion (US$3.6b) to €8.5 billion (US$9.5b). Areva has already made provision for a €2.7 billion (US$3.0b) writedown on the project, with further losses expected. FTVO and Areva / Siemens are locked ina €10 billion legal battleover the cost overruns.

Finland’s government had given TVO a deadline of 30th June to request a building permit for its planned Olkiluoto 4 plant. TVO said it would not pursue the project due to “the delay of the start-up of Olkiluoto 3 plant unit.”

It added: “In this situation it is impossible to make significant Olkiluoto 4 related decisions necessary for the construction license application.” Continue reading

May 20, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics, Reference | Leave a comment

Tough times ahead for the global nuclear industry

nukes-sad-Survival of the fittest? World’s major nuclear builders are in for a long stretch in the red, Bellona, May 18, 2015 by  MOSCOW – Judging by the numerous reports on negotiations under way over new reactor construction projects, 2015 should be a pivotal year for nuclear power development across the world. The most vigorous efforts toward expanding their presence on the international markets are applied by the Russian Rosatom and France’s Areva. But all is not so rosy with both companies’ balance sheets. In free market conditions, without generous subsidies from state budget, the industry is as good as paralyzed, and it’s no wonder that its leaders are made of those with access to state coffers. Will the largest nuclear competitors find salvation in their governments’ support? Continue reading

May 20, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, Russia | 2 Comments

Nuclear power link to breast cancer

there was twice the chance of dying of breast cancer if you lived next to the Blackwater than if you lived next to the Crouch.

BREAST-CANCERBreast cancer and nuclear power – statistics reveal the link ‘they’ wanted to hide,
Ecologist  Chris Busby 18th May 2015  The link between nuclear power and cancer is real, writes Chris Busby, and revealed in the UK’s cancer statistics – if only you look for it. Previous approaches have focused on rare cancers over large, poorly selected populations. But look at common cancers among those most exposed to nuclear radiation, and the statistical evidence is overwhelming.

Do nuclear sites cause increases in cancer in those living nearby? This is the question which has always been the key to stopping the development of nuclear energy.

For if the answer is Yes, the laws would cut in; human rights would cut in. Check Mate. The nuclear industry and its supporters have always known this, just as the cigarette companies and the asbestos makers recognised their own specific nemesis.

You can argue about the economics of nuclear till you are blue in the face, but they can always move the goalposts, global warming, future security of supply, special new safe thorium reactors and so forth. But killing people with your radioactive discharges: that’s it. The End.

This week saw the publication in a peer-reviewed journal – Jacobs Journal of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine – of a study which I carried out in 2003 of breast cancer mortality 1995-2002 near Bradwell nuclear power station in Essex. Continue reading

May 20, 2015 Posted by | Reference, UK, women | 1 Comment

North Korea not willing to end its nuclear programme

North Korea ‘not even close’ to meeting standards on nuclear weapons, says Kerry, Guardian, 28 May 15 
Secretary of state says US is talking to China about boosting sanctions and highlights ‘grotesque’ public executions on whim of leader Kim Jong-un 
The US is talking to China about imposing further sanctions against North Koreaas the reclusive country is “not even close” to taking steps to rein in its nuclear weapons programme, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, has said.

Speaking on Monday in the South Korean capital, Kerry said Washington continued to offer North Korea the chance for an improved relationship in return for signs of a genuine willingness to end its nuclear programme.

“To date, to this moment, particularly with recent provocations, it is clear the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] is not even close to meeting that standard,” Kerry told a joint news conference with the South Korean foreign minister, Yun Byung-se. “Instead it continues to pursue nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.”

North Korea is already under heavy US and UN sanctions for its missile and nuclear tests but Kerry said further penalties were being considered…….

May 20, 2015 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK’s hunt for Trident nuclear system whistleblower

British Submariner Goes AWOL After Leaking UK Military Nuclear Secrets British Royal Navy is searching for Able Seaman William McNeilly after he leaked an 18-page report called “The Secret Nuclear Threat.”

In the document, the submariner explained a wide range of insights relating to the UK’s submarine operations, reports The Independent. It covers everything from the mundane, such as food hygiene, to more worrying topics such as hydraulics failures that prevent submarines from launching missiles. In fact, he describes submarine floods during testing that would have killed if they’d happened at sea, and writes that he “learnt that HMS Vanguard is in the worst of the worst condition.”

Elsewhere, he claims that it’s”harder to get into most nightclubs” than into sensitive parts of the Faslane submarine base on the Clyde in Scotland. “I’ve gotten through a few times by just showing my pale white room key; looks nothing like a Green Area Pass,” he wrote.

He also explains that alarms on the UK’s Trident nuclear submarine’s missile control are often muted. “I could sometimes hear alarms on the missiles control and monitoring position while lying in bed,” he writes. “I later found out that I would have been hearing them more frequently if they hadn’t muted the console just to avoid listening to the alarms.”

McNeilly — who describes himself as “an engineering technician submariner for the UK’s Trident IID5 strategic weapons system” — didn’t return from leave on 11th April. In a press release, the Royal Navy explained that it is “concerned for the whereabouts and well-being of Able Seaman McNeilly and is working closely with civilian police to locate him.” [Independent]

May 20, 2015 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Sadety investigation opened by NRC at Indian Point Nuclear Plant

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Opens Probe at Indian Point Federal agency’s involvement follows fire at plant  WSJ By  JOSEPH DE AVILA May 19, 2015 New York state is renewing its call for tougher oversight of electrical transformers at the Indian Point Energy Center after the third failure in eight years of one of the power-transfer devices at the nuclear plant.

A transformer for Indian Point’s unit 3 exploded and caught fire May 9 in the nonnuclear section of the power plant 30 miles north of New York City. No one was hurt and no other equipment damaged.

The state’s call for more intensive inspections comes as EntergyCorp., the owner of Indian Point, seeks to renew its operating licenses for units 2 and 3 with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The state has opposed the renewal……..

May 20, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Hearings to be held on demand of industry for Income-guarantee for Davis-Besse nuclear plant

text-my-money-2Income-guarantee request envelops Davis-Besse nuclear plant in controversy again, By Dan GearinoThe Columbus Dispatch  •  Tuesday May 19, 2015 In a debate over an alleged “coal bailout” for power plants, Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station doesn’t quite fit.

And yet, it is among the seven Ohio plants — and the only one that doesn’t run on coal — whose owners are seeking income guarantees from state regulators.

This is the latest in a lifetime of controversy for the FirstEnergy-owned plant, which produced its first electricity in 1977.

“The nuclear industry cannot operate with profit in the marketplace, so they’re looking for these different schemes,” said Allison Fisher, outreach director on energy issues for Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocate. “They’re trying to find a way to shift the risk from the company to the consumer.”

Hearings will begin next month for FirstEnergy’s request for an income guarantee, a case before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio that already has thousands of pages of testimony and dozens of participants.

The PUCO has ruled on similar proposals from American Electric Power and Duke Energy, rejecting the plans but saying that their underlying concept was legal; both decisions are being appealed. AEP also has a separate proposal that is still pending……….

Under the proposal, the plants would have a guarantee of enough income to cover costs plus a profit. If the actual income is less than a specified level, then consumers would pay the difference through a charge on their bills……..

May 20, 2015 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Gloomy financial situation for AREVA in so many ways

Despite the guaranteed increased purchase price for Hinkley Point C’s power, however, investors are not in a hurry to jump on board with a project where Areva will not just build the reactors but is also to bring in funding in the amount of 10% of the project’s total cost. The problem is that last fall, the company admitted it was having serious economic difficulties, which may cause it to fail to deliver on the financial commitments in the Hinkley Point C project.

Areva’s economic troubles have to do with another project the company is pursuing: the highly problematic reactor construction at a new site in Olkiluoto, Finland.

Survival of the fittest? World’s major nuclear builders are in for a long stretch in the red, Bellona, May 18, 2015 by  MOSCOW 

“………..The project considered to be the flagship for the French nuclear industry in Europe is the nuclear power plant Hinkley Point C in Great Britain, estimated at €24 billion. The project envisions building two reactors of the EPR – for “European Pressurized Reactor” – design in Somerset, in England’s southwest. No new reactor construction was previously undertaken in Great Britain for a period of many years, and, on account of nuclear energy’s less than perfect reputation from the economic point of view, such a large-scale endeavor in a country with a market economy seemed quite unlikely.

Yet, the project received both the British government’s approval and state guarantees on a fixed purchase price for the power the future plant will be generating. A favorable determination on the project was eventually also handed down by the European Commission, which had been looking into the legality of the state guarantees provided to Hinkley Point C. What the grievances against the project boil down to is that purchase of power from Hinkley Point C at a guaranteed price – one that is substantially higher than today’s energy prices – has too close a semblance to state subsidies, and the latter is prohibited in the EU. This was the reason why far from all the European ministers voted in favor of the project, and litigation is still expected on the matter: Austria, which has voiced its disagreement with the European Commission’s decision, intends to challenge it in court.

Despite the guaranteed increased purchase price for Hinkley Point C’s power, however, investors are not in a hurry to jump on board with a project where Areva will not just build the reactors but is also to bring in funding in the amount of 10% of the project’s total cost. Continue reading

May 20, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Good news about the ozone layer hole

New NASA satellite data confirms what other research has shown, namely that the hole in the ozone layer appears to be getting smaller. Steve Williams, Care2,  May 18, 2015 07:14 AM

The Ozone hole is shrinking The ozone is crucial for us here on Earth because it shields us from some of the Sun’s most damaging radiation. In the 1980s it was confirmed that a host of chemicals like CFCs that we had been using in manufacturing and, in particular in aerosols, had been breaking down that ozone layer, creating several holes including a worryingly large hole over the Arctic. In the long term our CFC use threatened to destroy this vital shield completely if we did not act.

Fortunately, and in a move that might seem rather rare today, politicians did listen to scientists and in 1989 the Montreal Protocol was brought into force as an international agreement to dramatically cut down on CFCs and begin phasing them out entirely. The Montreal Protocol wasn’t and isn’t a perfect solution, as we’ve detailed previously here, but it was at least a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to gauge the impact of our ozone saving efforts–that is, until now.

A new report based on data gained via NASA’s AURA satellite shows a long term trend that, barring unforeseen hiccups, should see the hole over the Arctic shrink to less than 8 million square miles within the next thirty years. At the moment the hole is about 12 million square smiles, so that represents a rapid rate of repair. What’s more, the rate of repair suggests that the hole could be entirely gone by the end of the 21st century.

May 20, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Headlines on renewable energy

renewable-energy-pictureSorry – can’t keep up with all the great renewable energy developments. Here are a few headlines:
Solar Is the Fastest-Growing Source of Renewable Energy in America

Renewable Energy Now Employs 7.7 Million People Worldwide on Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
This Company Is Leading the Charge to Expedite Renewable Energy  | May 19, 2015
Australia leads the world in percentage of homes with solar powe 

Hawaii pushes ambitious renewable energy effort ExtremeTech-18 May 2015Hawaii has become the first state to mandate a move to 100%renewable energy. In a 74-2 vote by the Hawaiian legislature, lawmakers have …

May 20, 2015 Posted by | renewable | Leave a comment

Trying to cut costs, TEPCO to sell uranium stockpile

Tepco looking to sell some uranium stockpiles to cut costs Japan Times, 19 May 15 Tokyo Electric Power Co. is planning to sell part of its uranium stockpiles for nuclear power generation in the current business year to cut costs amid uncertainty over the restart of idled nuclear plants, a company document obtained by Kyodo News showed Monday.

Tepco has not consumed uranium since the 2011 nuclear crisis started at its Fukushima No. 1 complex that eventually resulted in all of Japan’s nuclear reactors being taken offline amid safety concerns. By reducing the stockpiles, the utility is seeking to slash costs for managing them as it faces funding difficulties stemming from the nuclear crisis.

According to the document, Tepco aims to reduce the amount of uranium to levels prior to the Fukushima disaster by the end of fiscal 2015 through March. The company estimated in the paper it can secure ¥12.3 billion ($103.13 million) by selling around half of the planned amount……..

Major utilities including Tepco procure uranium, which could be diverted to military use, under long-term contracts from overseas suppliers in Canada and elsewhere.

As of the end of March, Tepco had a total of 17,570 tons of uranium (tU), equivalent to the amount used at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant for 10 years, compared with 16,805 tU at the time of the nuclear disaster in March 2011.

The amount would increase to 19,317 tU in fiscal 2015 if the company does not sell some of the stockpile.The utility will likely return it to the suppliers or pay for the costs of uranium enrichment in kind, while it will also consider terminating uranium purchase contracts and reducing purchase volumes to streamline its business, according to the document.

Japan Atomic Power Co. has also taken the rare step of selling some of its uranium, apparently to raise money to repay loans amid its faltering business conditions.

May 20, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, Japan, Uranium | Leave a comment

Uranium price takes another dive down

graph-down-uraniumUranium daily spot price down 35 cents from week ago to $35.65/lb Washington (Platts)–19 May2015
The uranium daily spot price was $35.65/lb U3O8 Monday, down 35 cents from a week ago, according to price publisher TradeTech.

The daily U3O8 spot price had held steady at $36/lb during four trading days, May 8-13, TradeTech reported. The spot price declined 25 cents on Thursday and by another 10 cents, to $35.65/lb, on Friday, according to TradeTech, which Monday reported it unchanged…….

May 20, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, Uranium | Leave a comment