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To save the Great Barrier Reef ‘we need to start now, right now’ – video | Environment | The Guardian

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

GR:  The video leaves us with a grim outlook.  Human wastes running into the oceans coupled with global warming will soon destroy all the reefs.  Do enough people care to force our governments to act?  Probably not.  Do you see any answers?

Josh Wall and Michael Slezak, theguardian.com:  Jon Brodie from James Cook University says to give the Great Barrier Reef even a fighting chance to survive, Australia needs to spend $1bn a year for the next 10 years to improve water quality. If we don’t do that now, he says, we might need to just give up on the reef. ‘Climate change is happening much more quickly and much more severely than most scientists predicted’•

The Great Barrier Reef: a catastrophe laid bare – special report.    Source: To save the Great Barrier Reef ‘we need to start now, right now’ – video | Environment | The Guardian

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Green Conservatives call for earlier UK coal power phase-out | Environment | The Guardian

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

Damian Carrington:  The UK should close all its coal-fired power stations two years earlier than the government’s pledge of 2025, according to green Conservatives including former energy minister Lord Greg Barker.

The move would not cause the lights to go out, would cut both carbon emissions and air pollution and would boost cleaner energy projects, according to a report from Bright Blue, a thinktank of Tory modernisers.

The report also concludes that if the troubled Hinkley C nuclear plant is cancelled it could be replaced by renewable energy.  Source: Green Conservatives call for earlier UK coal power phase-out | Environment | The Guardian

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June 7 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “French nuclear under pressure – from German renewables” • In late May, strikes reduced nuclear power production in France. Yet even more plants were offline a few weeks earlier without any strikes at all. This was partly because of renewable electricity from Germany. [RenewEconomy]

Nuclear plant Paluel 2 “just barely escaped catastrophe,” as Le Parisien put it, on March 31. (Photo by Bodoklecksel, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0) Nuclear plant Paluel 2 “just barely escaped catastrophe,” Le Parisien said, on March 31. (Photo by Bodoklecksel, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0)

World:

¶ A 20% increase in wind and solar energy generation in 2015 has combined to deliver another annual increase in the amount of Australia’s electricity sourced from renewables, more than compensating for a drop in hydro production, a new report has found. [CleanTechnica]

¶ More detail has come on Solastor’s proposal for a “baseload” solar thermal and storage power plant in Port Augusta, South Australia. The ambitious 170-MW, $1.2 billion project could produce the lowest-price 24/7 solar power…

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Germany’s Attempt to Dump Nuclear Waste and Liability Upon America: SRS Citizen’s Board Objects

Mining Awareness +

Germany is a wealthy and stable first-world ally capable of safely and securely managing this SNF [Spent Nuclear Fuel] without US assistance.” (Citizens Advisory Bd, Savannah River Site)

Reuters reported (30 May 2016) that “The German cabinet plans to approve a draft law on August 3 that will require its utilities to pay billions of euros into a state fund to help cover the cost of nuclear storage,…” Germany’s major nuclear power companies include E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall. The law will be debated and voted in German parliament in November. Reuters reported (1 June 2016) that while this 23.3 billion euros ($26 billion) is to “remove unwanted long-term liability for the storage of nuclear waste. The responsibility for dismantling and storing nuclear waste in the interim will remain with the utility companies.” (Emphasis our own).

Most of the 200…

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Here’s what the science really says about Fort McMurray and climate change | National Observer

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

Climate Change Causing More Fires

Now Fort McMurray residents have begun the difficult journey home weeks after that terrifying day in May when an unprecedented inferno, fueled by unusually hot and dry spring weather, caused them to flee and led to the largest evacuation in Alberta’s history.

Those unusual weather conditions have been widely attributed to El Nino, a naturally-occurring phenomenon linked to warm ocean water that disrupts the weather.

But Flannigan, a professor of wildland fire from the University of Alberta, and many other climate change scientists agree that while the Fort McMurray fires cannot be directly linked to the carbon pollution produced by humans, Canadian wildfire activity of the past few years is well above average. And it’s connected to the warming climate.

In terms of the total areas destroyed by fires, there’s an unmistakable escalation, they say.They see these fires as vivid markers of dangers to come…

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Extent of Ocean Surface Above 86 Degrees (F) Hits New Record During May of 2016 | robertscribbler

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

Warming oceans reach new high temperature

Almost 10% of the ocean surfaces are above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.  The chart below and this record indicate that the oceans are warming up.  Read Scribbler’s analysis to learn just how terrible this really is.

Robert Scribbler:  “Not only is a human-forced warming of the globe expected to increase average surface ocean and land temperatures, it is also expected to generate higher peak readings over larger and larger regions. Such was the case during May of 2016 as a massive expanse of the world ocean saw temperatures rocket to above 30 degrees Celsius (or 86 degrees Fahrenheit).

(A record hot global ocean has brewed up yet one more new extreme in the form of a 32.7 million square kilometer expanse of steaming hot waters above 86 degrees Fahrenheit or 30 degrees Celsius. Image source: Brian Brettschneider.)

“According to climatologist Brian Brettschneider, 32.7 million square…

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June 6 Energy News

geoharvey

Science and Technology:

¶ Using data from satellites, scientists at NASA, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and two universities have found 39 unreported and significant human-made sources of emission of toxic sulfur dioxide. Sulfur Dioxide is a known health hazard and acid rain contributor. [Maine News Online]

Scientists located 39 unreported sources of sulfur dioxide emissions. Scientists located 39 unreported sources of sulfur dioxide emissions.

World:

¶ RedT Energy plc will install a power storage system at a 1-MW wind farm on the Scottish Isle of Gigha. The 1.68-MW vanadium flow system was chosen for this remote location, which has limited grid connection, for their ability to balance variable renewable generation. [reNews]

¶ Global electric vehicle sales figures for the first quarter of 2016 were recently released by EV-Volumes, revealing that plug-in sales in 2016 to date totaled 180,500 units, including cars and light commercial vehicles. That is an increase year-on-year increase of roughly 42%…

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European Commission Nuclear Push? 90% of Uranium for European Reactors is Imported

Mining Awareness +

From Greens-EFA:
Leaked EU Commission Paper Foresees Major Expansion of Nuclear Power, 17.05.2016

A draft paper from the EU’s Sustainable Energy Technology Plan, which is being steered by the European Commission, was leaked today in the German media. The paper argues for the expansion of nuclear power and builds on an analysis on the future of nuclear power in Europe (the Community Nuclear Illustrative Programme – PINC) by the Commission last month (1).

Commenting on the paper, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms stated:
“This paper again highlights the EU Commission’s tendency to dress up the figures on nuclear power. The supporters of nuclear power want to do all within their means to secure massive financial support to keep the industry alive, despite the fact it is not able to stand on its own two feet. EU competition law and state aid rules should be set aside for nuclear power.

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REN 2016 Report: How renewables are going mainstream

daryanenergyblog

Cartoon about windpower and economy Figure 1: Renewables, no longer for hippies!

The latest Renewable energy global status report is out, which reveals that 147 GW’s of new renewable generating capacity was added last year. I haven’t had a chance to crunch the numbers, but that’s probably a enough capacity to generate a good 600 TWh/yr worth of energy generating capacity.

ren_report_energy_indicators_2016 Figure 2: Growth in renewables 2015 [Source: REN 2016 Report]

This includes 50 GW’s of new solar panels and 62 GW’s of wind turbines. Solar thermal has also continued to grow strongly, with 26 GW’s added. Biofuels production is now at a level of 120 billion litres of fuel produced a year, equivalent to roughly 2.5 million bbl/day of oil production (i.e. a fairly large oil field!).

ren_2016_average_growth rates Figure 3: Average growth rates in different renewables last year and the 5 year average [Source: REN 2016 Report]

In short, what the report is saying is…

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30 Fukushima children diagnosed with thyroid cancer in second check but radiation said ‘unlikely’ cause

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30 Fukushima children diagnosed with thyroid cancer in second check but radiation said ‘unlikely’ cause

FUKUSHIMA – In a study that began in April 2014 to check the impact of the 2011 Fukushima reactor meltdowns, 30 children have so far been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and 27 others are suspected of having the disease, according to a prefectural government panel.

Most of them were thought to be problem-free when their thyroid glands were checked during the first round of the study conducted over a three-year period through March 2014, the panel said Monday.

The first survey covered about 300,000 people who were under the age of 18 and living in Fukushima Prefecture when the nuclear disaster was triggered by the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami.

The number of children diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the second round was up from 16 as reported at the previous panel meeting in February.

Hokuto Hoshi, head of the panel and a senior member of the Fukushima Medical Association, maintained his earlier view of the correlation between the cancer figures and radiation, saying based on expertise acquired so far, it is “unlikely” that the disease was caused by radiation exposure.

Hoshi also said: “Concerns have been growing among Fukushima residents with the increase in the number of cancer patients. We’d like to further conduct an in-depth study.”

When the results of the first and the ongoing second round of the heath study are combined, the number of children diagnosed with thyroid cancer totals 131, and 41 others are suspected of having it.

According to Fukushima Medical University and other entities involved in the health checks, the 57 children in the second round of the survey either confirmed or suspected to have thyroid cancer were age 5 to 18 when the crisis started, and the sizes of their tumors ranged from 5.3 mm to 35.6 mm.

The examiners were able to estimate how much external radiation exposure 31 of those children had over the four months immediately after the catastrophe started, with the maximum being 2.1 millisieverts. Eleven of the children were exposed to less than 1 millisievert.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/06/07/national/30-fukushima-children-diagnosed-with-thyroid-cancer-in-second-check-but-radiation-said-unlikely-cause/#.V1ZpJde1xlK

June 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Evacuation advisory to be lifted for most of Iitate, Fukushima, next March 31

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FUKUSHIMA – The central government has informed the municipal assembly of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, that it plans to lift the evacuation advisory for most of the village next March 31.

Preparation work for the displaced residents to return to their homes is scheduled to start July 1, as requested by the municipal government in April.

The advisory will be left in place for the Nagadoro district because radiation levels there remain too high to allow people to return.

The government issued the evacuation advisory for the entire village after it was hit by fallout from the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant roughly 40 km away.

In June last year, decontamination work was completed in the village’s residential areas, reducing the average radiation level in the air to 0.8 microsievert per hour.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/06/07/national/state-lift-evacuation-advisory-fukushima-village-iitate-next-march-31/

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Fukushima: Worse Than a Disaster

Disasters can be cleaned up.

Naohiro Masuda, TEPCO Chief of Decommissioning at Fukushima Diiachi Nuclear Power Plant, finally publicly “officially” announced that 600 tons of hot molten core, or corium, is missing (Fukushima Nuclear Plant Operator Says 600 Tons of Melted Fuels is Missing, Epoch Times, May 24, 2016).

Now what?

According to Gregory Jaczko, former head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), it is not likely the fuel will ever be recovered: “Nobody really knows where the fuel is at this point, and this fuel is still very radioactive and will be for a long time.”

A big part of the problem is that nobody has experience with a Fukushima-type meltdown, which now appears to be 100% meltdown, possibly burrowed into the ground, but nobody really knows for sure.

What’s next is like a trip into The Twilight Zone.

“The absolutely uncontrollable fission of the melted nuclear fuel assemblies continue somewhere under the remains of the station. ’It’s important to find it as soon as possible,’ acknowledged Masuda, admitting that Japan does not yet possess the technology to extract the melted uranium fuel,” (600 Tons of Melted Radioactive Fukushima Fuel Still Not Found, Clean-Up Chief Reveals, RT, May 24, 2016).

Nuclear fission is when atoms split apart into smaller atoms. With nuclear bombs, fission must happen extremely quickly to charge a large explosion whereas, in a nuclear reactor, fission must happen very slowly to make heat, which, in turn, is used to boil water to make steam to turn a turbine to generate electricity.

Eventually, by rubbing two sticks together, one can boil water, but modern-day society doesn’t have the patience, which means accepting risks leaps and bounds beyond rubbing two sticks together. Welcome to an altered world.

Even if Masuda’s cleanup crew find the missing 600 tons, which is so highly radioactive that workers cannot even get close enough to inspect the immediate areas, then they need to construct, out-of-midair, the technology to extract it, and then what? It’s guesswork. It’s what modern-day society has been reduced to, guesswork. Toss out rubbing two sticks together and build monstrous behemoths for billions to boil water, and when it goes wrong, guess what to do next. What’s wrong with this picture? Well, to start with, nobody knows what to do when all hell breaks loose.

They do not have the technology to extract it!

In 1986, Russian teams of workers found the melted corium of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant’s reactor core in the facility’s lowest level. Whilst “frying 30 workers” along the way, they contained it just enough to prevent burrowing into the ground, maybe.

During containment work at Chernobyl, a makeshift robotic camera managed to actually photograph the monster, the melted core, nicknamed “the Elephant’s Foot.” Thirty years after the fact, the “Elephant’s Foot” is still lethal.

By way of comparing/contrasting Chernobyl and Fukushima, extraordinarily high radiation zaps and destroys robots at first sight when sent into Fukushima’s containment vessels. It’s kinda like the Daleks in Doctor Who.

Whereas, thirty years after the fact, Chernobyl seems to have found a solution to the elephant’s foot menace to society, but as for Fukushima, they must first locate 600 tons of hot stuff. That may be an impossible task. Then what?

“Thirty years after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, there’s still a significant threat of radiation from the crumbling remains of Reactor 4. But an innovative, €1.5 billion super-structure is being built to prevent further releases, giving an elegant engineering solution to one of the ugliest disasters known to man,” Claire Corkhill, PhD, University of Sheffield, New Tomb Will Make Chernobyl Site Safe for 100 Years, Phys.Org, April 22, 2016.

As it happens, the older collapsing sarcophagus for Chernobyl is being replaced by a brand new enormous steel frame: “Thanks to the sarcophagus, up to 80% of the original radioactive material left after the meltdown remains in the reactor. If it were to collapse, some of the melted core, a lava-like material called corium, could be ejected into the surrounding area in a dust cloud, as a mixture of highly radioactive vapour and tiny particles blown in the wind. The key substances in this mixture are iodine-131, which has been linked to thyroid cancer, and cesium-137, which can be absorbed into the body, with effects ranging from radiation sickness to death depending on the quantity inhaled or ingested,” Ibid

“The Elephant’s Foot could be the most dangerous piece of waste in the world,” (Chernobyl’s Hot Mess, “the Elephant’s Foot,” is Still Lethal, Nautilus, Science Connect, Dec. 4, 2013). It’s a highly charged radioactive massive hunk of goo that will not die or waste away. This could be a Doctor Who script, par excellence! Therein exist the soft underbelly, the vulnerability, and the risks of using nuclear power to boil water, or alternatively, the sun and wind could be used. They’re not radioactive and still much faster than rubbing two sticks together.

Fukushima is three times (3x) Chernobyl, maybe more; however, in Fukushima’s case there’s a distinct possibility that its white-hot sizzling corium has already started burrowing into Earth. Thereafter, let your imagination run wild because nobody has any idea of how that ends, if ever!

But, Einstein knew. Here’s a famous Einstein quote: “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophes.”

We’re finally there!

Gregory Jackzo, former head of the NRC, ponders the security of nuclear power: “You have to now accept that in all nuclear power plants, wherever they are in the world … that you can have this kind of a very catastrophic accident, and you can release a significant amount of radiation and have a decade long cleanup effort on your hands” (Epoch Times).

Looking ahead a few years, the question remains: Where will the sizzling white-hot melted corium be when the Tokyo Olympics arrive in 2020?

Nobody knows!

Still, Prime Minister Abe told the Olympic selection committee that Fukushima was “under control.”

“This debate has dogged him since his Sept. 7 speech to the International Olympic Committee, when he said the nuclear disaster is “under control.” The next day, Tokyo won hosting rights for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games,” (Tsuyoshi Inajjma and Yuriy Humber, Abe Olympic Speech On Fukushima Contradicts Nuclear Plant Design, Bloomberg, Oct. 23, 2013).

“French authorities are investigating payments worth around $2m to a company linked to the son of former world athletics chief Lamine Diack over alleged connections to Japan’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games,” (Tokyo Olympics Bid Questioned as Prosecutors Probe $2M Payouts, The Financial Times, May 12, 2016).

Japan won the right to host the 2020 Olympics with a bid to spend $5 billion, which is suspiciously small, especially in an historical context. For the record, rival Istanbul’s bid was almost $20 billion, a much more realistic commitment for such a momentous worldly event.

Thusly, with mucho “balls-in-the-air,” one has to wonder if PM Abe’s infamous secrecy law will click into play, in other words, is there any way it can impede investigations? After all, the law allows any Japanese politician to put an offender behind bars for 10 years for breaking state secrets, which are (very embarrassingly) whatever the accuser claims to be “secretive.” After all, prima facie, between Fukushima and the Olympics, there could be a lot of secretive stuff going on behind the scenes.

Japan’s state secrecy law Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets (SDS) Act No. 108 of 2013 passed on the heels of the Fukushima meltdown, is very similar to Japan’s harsh Public Peace and Order Controls of WWII (a real doozy). According to Act No. 108, the “act of leaking itself” is bad enough for prosecution, regardless of what, how, or why. Absolutely, if someone “leaks,” they’re going to “the can.”

Susumu Murakoshi, president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations dissents: “The law should be abolished because it jeopardizes democracy and the people’s right to know,” Abe’s Secrets Law Undermines Japan’s Democracy, The Japan Times, Dec. 13, 2014.

The Japan Times needs to fact-check the definition of democracy.

Fukushima: Worse Than a Disaster

June 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

China Issues Travel Warnings to Japan over Fukushima Nuke Leak

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China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued notice to its citizens warning of safety problems regarding the Fukushima nuclear leak, said the ministry’s spokesperson.

Hong Lei also urged Japan to explain to the world with a responsible attitude on the impact of the leak.

Hong said: “Japan should explain clearly to the world with a responsible attitude. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued notice reminding people of the related safety problem and I believe Chinese citizens will make proper arrangements for their tours and well protect their own safety.”

He noted that the number of visas issued to Chinese nationals in 2015 was 3.78 million, accounting for around 80 percent of the total number of visas issued and exceeded the total number of visas issued to all nationals in 2014 (approximately 2.87 million).

The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., on June 1 admitted, for the first time ever, that its insistence on simply calling the tragedy “nuclear reactor damage” in the past five years had “hidden the truth.”

According to Ken Buesseler, marine radio chemist with the U.S. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the consequences of the Fukushima nuclear incident were “unprecedented,” since over 80 percent of the leaked radioactive substances have flown into the sea.

http://english.cri.cn/12394/2016/06/07/3521s930132.htm

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Radioactive soil to be used in base layer for new roads

Normalizing radiation. Distributing it.

The Environment Ministry on Tuesday drew up a basic plan to use soil contaminated with radioactive substances from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to build roads.

Under the basic plan, tainted soil with relatively low radioactive cesium concentrations of up to 5,000 to 8,000 becquerels per kilogram will be used to form the base layer of roads.

This level will then be covered with uncontaminated soil, asphalt and other material with at a thickness of at least 50 to 100 cm.

By covering radioactive soil with untainted material, the health risk for residents living in nearby areas will be minimized as their annual radiation dose will be kept to 0.01 millisievert or less, according to the ministry.

The ministry plans to launch a verification project in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, as early as this summer to test the use of contaminated soil as the base material for road construction.

Tainted soil in the prefecture, generated from decontamination work following the March 2011 accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. nuclear power station, will be kept in an interim storage facility near the nuclear plant for final disposal at a site outside the prefecture within 30 years.

The interim facility, located in an area that straddles the towns of Okuma and Futaba, is believed to store up to 22 million cubic meters of contaminated soil. The latest plan will help the ministry facilitate the reuse of contaminated soil within and outside the prefecture to reduce the amount to be transferred to the final disposal site.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/06/07/national/radioactive-soil-to-be-used-in-base-layer-for-new-roads/#.V1a-cPl97IV

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Fukushima medical survey confirms 14 new child thyroid cancer cases

The 131 number of child thyroid cancers mentioned in this article is wrong.

As of today 173 people diagnosed with thyroid cancer in Japan’s Fukushima

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The number of child thyroid cancers discovered in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster has reached 131, with the latest panel review adding 14 to the list of those suffering from the deadly disease, along with dozens of new suspected cases.

After the latest review of the ongoing second round of medical checkups conducted on almost 300,000 children who were aged 18 or younger at the time of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011, the prefecture-run program announced that a total 131 people have now been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Some 30 thyroid cancer cases were added to the radiation victims toll following the second round of checkups that began in April 2014. A further 27 people are suspected of having the disease. Previous numbers disclosed in February showed that 16 patients suffered from cancer.

In the latest announcement, scientists also say that a child who was less than five-years-old at the time of the tragedy had also been diagnosed with cancer. The new figures of those confirmed or suspected to have thyroid cancer have tumors ranging from 5.3 mm to 35.6 mm.

The first thyroid cancer detection round studying minors was conducted in Japan between 2011 to 2014 and discovered 101 people with thyroid cancer. With the latest numbers, the new toll stands at 131, while another 41 are suspected of suffering from radiation exposure, Japan Times reports.

“Concerns have been growing among Fukushima residents with the increase in the number of cancer patients. We’d like to further conduct an in-depth study,” said Hokuto Hoshi, head of the panel and a senior member of the Fukushima Medical Association.

He however maintained the panel’s earlier accession that it is “unlikely” that the disease cases was caused by radiation exposure, reiterating claims that there is no direct link between thyroid cancer and the nuclear disaster.

After the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, radioactive elements were released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. After the release, Fukushima Prefecture continued to conduct thyroid screening ultrasounds on all residents agds 18 years and younger. The first round of screening included 298,577 examinees, while the round that began in April 2014 focuses on 267,769 people.

https://www.rt.com/news/345641-fukushima-child-thyroid-cancer/

June 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment