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Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene, staying with the trouble in Fukushima

 

In the space-time of environmental devastation announced by the Anthropocene, nuclear catastrophe is a type of “fuzzy boundaries trouble” that challenges our capacity for understanding. We know from Günther Anders that it operates in the supraliminary sphere, so large that it cannot be seen or imagined, which causes cognitive paralysis. By Ulrich Beck that produces an anthropological shock, the transformation of the consciousness of the subjects in relation to the experience of insecurity and uncertainty in the face of an invisible threat. By Svetlana Alexeivich that is characterized by vagueness and indefinition, which produces a war without enemies. And by Olga Kuchinskaya that generates a politics of invisibility regarding public knowledge of its consequences for life.

As Chernobyl before, the Fukushima disaster has reached the maximum level in the scale of accidents, when several nuclear reactors melted down 200 kilometers from the most populous metropolitan area of the planet. The dangerous radionuclides, once enclosed between concrete and steel walls, began to blend intimately with the biosphere. Before this mutant ecology, the artists have responded from the first moments. Through photography, guerrilla art, dance, video art or fiction narrative, this artistic response to the nuclear crisis has faced a double invisibility: the one of ionizing radiation and the institutional invisibility – the affirmation of the authorities that the problem “is under control”.

Taking as a theoretical framework the interdisciplinary discussion of the Anthropocene and its critical epistemologies, such Jason Moore’s Capitalocene and Donna Haraway’s Chthulucene, we investigate how artists are staying with the trouble in Fukushima. Recalibrating our sensory systems to adjust them to the contradiction and volatility of industrial advances, we explore the ability of art to construct an ontology complementary to hegemonic technoscience, one that allows us a more in-depth understanding of what nature and we humans has become in the Anthropocene.

 

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December 5, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

NRA blasts Tokai nuclear facility ahead of dismantling plan

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The Tokai spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Tokai, a village in Ibaraki Prefecture

TOKAI, Ibaraki Prefecture–Drums of nuclear waste are stacked in disarray within a storage pool containing unidentified floating objects. Wires in the pool are feared entangled, and containers are believed corroded, possibly leaking radioactive substances. And highly toxic liquid waste remains untreated in a potentially explosive state.

After years of apparent mismanagement, the Tokai spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant is a jumbled mess, as the operator, Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), prepares for the Herculean task of shutting down the facility.

The circumstances at the plant in this village northeast of Tokyo has raised concerns about the JAEA’s ability to dismantle it.

A situation far from appropriate has been allowed to continue at the plant,” said an official of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, the nation’s nuclear watchdog. “Not only the JAEA, but also the former Science and Technology Agency and the former Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, have all looked the other way despite their knowledge of the situation.”

According to a JAEA report submitted to the NRA on Nov. 30, it will take 70 years to complete the dismantling process, with costs estimated at 217 billion yen ($1.92 billion) for the first decade alone.

A recent visit to the plant by Asahi Shimbun reporters revealed drums containing radioactive waste stacked in a disorderly manner in a storage pool.

JAEA officials showed pictures of the pool and explained that it contains about 800 drums piled about 7 meters high. The drums hold demolished clads from spent nuclear fuel assemblies.

The officials said that when an underwater camera was placed near the drums, it stirred up brown objects.

We have no idea if they are water scale or rust,” one of JAEA officials said.

Workers put the drums in the storage pool between 1977 and 1994 by hanging them with cables above the pool and then cutting the cables to allow them to drop in, according to the officials.

The officials said they believed the cables also fell into the pool and became entangled.

Some experts at the NRA suspect the drums are now corroded and leaking radioactive materials.

Radiation at the pool surface measured 3 millisieverts per hour, three times the safety limit for annual exposure for a person, apart from background radiation.

The pool is not equipped with purification units.

Furthermore, JAEA officials said they do not know what’s in other containers at the facility.

Workers will eventually sort them out by opening their lids, they added.

One of the most challenging tasks facing the JAEA in the dismantling work is dealing with the 400 cubic meters of high-level radioactive liquid waste at the plant.

The liquid waste, which was generated during reprocessing, emits radiation registering 1,500 sieverts per hour, which would kill a person exposed for 20 seconds.

Left intact, this waste could produce heat and hydrogen, possibly leading to hydrogen explosions.

The JAEA has put the liquid waste in six stainless tanks and kept them cool with water. A ventilation system has been used to prevent hydrogen from accumulating inside the storage facility and sparking an explosion.

Ibaraki Prefecture is located immediately south of Fukushima Prefecture.

The Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan in 2011 severed all power sources to the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, leading to hydrogen explosions and the triple meltdown there.

The natural disaster also cut off electricity to the Tokai plant for more than 40 hours. But the plant rode out the contingency with emergency power generators.

The NRA is aware of risks involved in keeping the liquid waste in the current state at the Tokai plant.

In 2013, the NRA allowed the plant to resume operations to solidify the liquid waste with glass as a special case before the watchdog checked whether the plant met tougher nuclear safety regulations set after the Fukushima disaster.

Work on the solidification process resumed this year, but it has been suspended because of a series of glitches. Only one-fourth of the scheduled volume of the liquid waste has been solidified.

The reprocessing plant began full operations in 1981. It had reprocessed 1,140 tons of spent nuclear fuel before the decision was made in 2014 to close down the facility.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201612050078.html

 

December 5, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Mom of student called ‘germ’ at school links bullying to Fukushima disaster

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The mother of a fourth-year elementary school student in Niigata, who has been staying home from school since late November after being called “germ” by his peers and his teacher, spoke to the Mainichi Shimbun, saying that her son was bullied because he came from nuclear disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture.
The family evacuated from Fukushima after the nuclear disaster. While the Niigata Municipal Board of Education has denied a link between the bullying of the student and his Fukushima roots, according to the mother, the student started being called “germ” around March of this year, which marked five years since the disaster, and this is one reason she argues that there is a connection.

According to the mother, around March 11 of this year when the nuclear disaster issue came up in class, her son proactively talked about his own experiences.

“He must have been happy to be able to give lots of answers,” she says. However, it was around that time that he started being called “germ” by his classmates.

“Some kids who knew he had come from Fukushima started calling him germ, and that led to kids who didn’t know him also calling him that, like a nickname,” she says.

In June, the student talked to his teacher, complaining that he was “being treated like a germ.” At that point the student is thought to have not considered the name as bullying, and when the teacher referred to him as “germ” after summer vacation ended, he didn’t appear to be deeply bothered by it.

In early November, though, it was reported in the news that a junior high school student in Yokohama who had evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture was bullied by being called “germ.” When the student in Niigata heard this, he said, “It’s the same as me,” and the mother says she thinks “he probably began to see himself as being bullied.” On the mother’s advice, the student talked to his teacher about it again on Nov. 17. When he came home, he triumphantly said with a smile that he had talked to the teacher.

After a strong earthquake off the Fukushima Prefecture coast early on the morning of Nov. 22 this year, the boy went off to school looking anxious, he and his mother having not yet been able to get in contact with the father, who works in Fukushima Prefecture. During recess that day, while the student was receiving teacher-parent correspondence from his teacher, the teacher called him “germ” again. The shocked student returned home, and since Nov. 24 has been staying home from school, saying, “I want to go to school, but I can’t because that teacher is there.”

According to the mother, at first school authorities denied the teacher had called the student “germ.” On Nov. 25 the father called the school and said tearfully that “There are kids who commit suicide (when they are bullied).” Although the teacher apologized, the mother says that the teacher treated them coldly, saying it was only this year that they had become the student’s homeroom teacher. The teacher has said they want to apologize to the student, but the student is refusing to see the instructor and the school principal has been visiting the family’s home every day to try and deal with the matter.

The family has been planning to move after the free rent for the government-leased apartment they are living in ends at the end of this fiscal year. The mother says, “My son had been asking that we stay in the same school district, but now that this has happened, we have no choice but to have him change schools,” adding, “We evacuated voluntarily (from Fukushima), and I don’t want to impose on the people of Niigata.”

According to the Niigata Municipal Board of Education, there are 291 children who have evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture to the city of Niigata. It holds that “there is no bullying of students related to their Fukushima roots.”

———-

Timeline of events involving the bullying of the student:

2011:

March — The Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster occur. The student evacuates to the city of Niigata.

2016:

Around March — Student begins to be ostracized by peers and called “germ.”

April — Student enters fourth grade and homeroom teacher changes.

June — Student speaks to teacher about being called “germ.” Teacher disciplines classmates who bullied student.

Early November — News is reported of a junior high school student in Yokohama who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture and was bullied, including being called “germ.”

Nov. 17 — Student again speaks to teacher about being bullied.

Nov. 22 — During recess, student is called “germ” by teacher in classroom in front of classmates.

Nov. 24 — Student begins to stay home from school (Nov. 23 was a school holiday).

Nov. 29 — School questions students about incident. Multiple students testify that teacher called student “germ,” and teacher also says it is true.

(Based on sources including student’s parents and the Niigata Municipal Board of Education)

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161205/p2a/00m/0na/020000c

December 5, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima reactor N° 3 briefly loses cooling during inspection

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TOKYO — One of the melted reactors at the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant had a temporary loss of cooling Monday when a worker accidentally bumped a switch while passing through a narrow isle of switch panels during an inspection and turned off the pumping system.

The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said cooling for the No. 3 reactor, one of the three that melted following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, was out for nearly an hour before a backup pump kicked in.

The reactor had enough water left inside and there was no temperature increase or radiation leak from the incident, TEPCO spokesman Yuichi Okamura said at a news conference.

Even though there was no radiation leak or overheating of the core, or any injuries, the incident was a reminder that Fukushima’s decommissioning work is running on a very fragile system.

The plant was largely running on makeshift pipes, wiring and other equipment in the first two to three years following the 2011 disasters, suffering a series of minor blackouts – including those caused by rats chewing cables – cooling stoppages and other problems.

The plant has since largely stabilized, but it remains vulnerable to unanticipated incidents as it continues to struggle with decommissioning work, which is expected to last decades.

Monday’s incident occurred when the worker was passing by a dimly lit isle that was only 85 centimeters (2.8 feet) wide, flanked by tall switch panels on both sides, Okamura said. With radiation levels still high, the worker was wearing a full-face mask and hazmat suit when he lost his balance while carrying equipment. His elbow jammed into the switch, breaking off its safety cover and inadvertently turning the lever to turn off the water injection pump to the No. 3 reactor.

Okamura acknowledged the lack of space at the site and said that the plant will seek ways to eliminate human errors like one on Monday.

https://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/fukushima-reactor-briefly-loses-cooling-during-inspection

December 5, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan: Food products from Japanese areas are not on sale

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Food products from Japanese areas are not on sale: agency

The Food and Drug Administration yesterday rejected as rumors claims that food products produced in Japanese prefectures surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant can be purchased in Taiwan, urging the public not to buy food products without Chinese-language labels.

The Council of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health and Welfare last month presented a two-stage plan to ease a ban on food imports, which was imposed in March 2011, from five Japanese prefectures near the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Taichung City Councilor Tuan Wei-yu (段緯宇) last week said that wine and snacks from the five prefectures could be purchased at department stores.

However, the Taichung Department of Health said that alcoholic products from the five prefectures can be imported if they have passed batch-by-batch radiation examinations, while the snacks Tuan used as examples were made in other prefectures.

One rumor that has recently spread across social networks claims that Japanese food products labeled as being made in Tokyo that have a “K” appended to the expiration date on their packaging are actually from Fukushima Prefecture.

The administration issued a statement clarifying that letters appended to expiration dates are in fact codes representing different areas for different food companies.

Consumers can check Japanese companies’ official Web sites to verify where products were made, the agency said, adding that, for example, an “A” appended to the expiration date on the packaging of products by Nissin Foods means they were made in Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture.

The administration urged people to only buy food products with Chinese-language labels, not believe everything they read online — especially information without reliable sources of scientific evidence — and avoid spreading false information.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2016/12/04/2003660555

December 5, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | Leave a comment

Dr. Timothy Mousseau speaks on consequences of Chernobyl and Fukushima

 

Dr Mousseau’s lecture on consequences of Chernobyl and Fukushima on plants and animals. Nov 4 2016

Dr. Timothy Mousseau speaks Nov. 4, 2016 to students and faculty of U of T about his research into the consequences of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents on plants and animals. His research shows increased mutations, genetic damage, poorer performing and malformed sperm, sterility, pollen inviability, cancers, cataracts, mental retardation, fewer species, fewer numbers, deadzones, and no evidence of adaptation.

His website is: http://cricket.biol.sc.edu/chernobyl/Chernobyl_Research_Initiative/Introduction.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPWRinjQKyg

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December 5, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Cancer and birth defects in India’s uranium mining area


text-from-the-archivesKoodankulam struggle: Western nations are learning from their mistakes, India is not, The Weekend Leader,   By Nityanand Jayaraman & Sundar Rajan, 30 Nov
 “…..In Jadugoda, Jharkhand, where India’s uranium is mined by the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd, the effects of radiation among the local adivasi population are horrendous.

Indian Doctors for Peace and Development, a national chapter of the Nobel-winning International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War, recently published a health study on Jadugoda. The study found that:
• Primary sterility is more common in people residing near uranium mining operations.
• More children with congenital deformities are being born to mothers living near uranium mining operations.
• Congenital defects as a cause of death of children are higher among mothers living near uranium mines.
• Cancer as a cause of death is more common in villages surrounding uranium operations.
• Life expectancy of people living near uranium mining operations is lower than Jharkhand’s state average and lower than in villages far removed from the mines.
• All these indicators of poor health and increased vulnerability are despite the fact that the affected villages have a better economic and literacy status than reference villages….. http://www.theweekendleader.com/Causes/833/Nuking-myths.html

December 5, 2016 Posted by | health, India, Reference, Uranium | 1 Comment

Fukushima’s voluntary evacuees

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A citizens’ group supporting the people in Fukushima Prefecture who have fled from their homes in the wake of the March 2011 nuclear disaster has submitted a petition to the Diet with nearly 200,000 signatures asking for the continuation of public housing assistance for the evacuees. The prefectural government announced last year that it plans at the end of next March to terminate the assistance for people who voluntarily left their homes. However, most such evacuees have yet to find new residences.

Halting the housing assistance will place a heavy financial burden on low-income evacuees. Fears also persist over the radioactive contamination in the areas where they lived before the nuclear crisis. Not only the prefecture but the national government, which pays for a large portion of the assistance, should rethink the decision.

As of July, some 89,000 Fukushima people continued to live away from their homes — 48,000 inside the prefecture and 41,000 elsewhere in Japan — after they fled from the dangers posed by the triple meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant. Some evacuees followed the government’s designation of their hometowns as no-go zones due to the high levels of fallout, while others left their homes on their own out of fear of radiation exposure, particularly for their children, and other reasons even though they lived outside the designated evacuation zones.

The Fukushima Prefectural Government has since been providing housing assistance to the nuclear refugees regardless of whether they stayed within the prefecture — and regardless of whether they were forced out by government order or fled by choice — to cover their rent, including for public housing units owned by local governments. Fukushima has offered the aid by annually renewing the application of the Disaster Relief Law, under which a prefectural government carries out relief measures to residents in the event of a disaster — including supply of food, water, clothing and medical services as well as emergency repairs to damaged homes — with a large portion of the cost coming from national coffers. The national government has shouldered most of the expense of the housing assistance regarding Fukushima.

The prefectural government announced in June last year that it would end the assistance for voluntary evacuees at the end of next March. Gov. Masao Uchibori said the termination is aimed at prompting the evacuees to return to their original homes and at helping promote their sense of self-reliance. He explained that living conditions in the prefecture have improved with the development of public infrastructure and progress in the cleanup of radiation-contaminated soil.

According to a prefectural report based on a survey conducted in January and February, the decision will halt housing assistance for 12,436 households. Of the 3,614 households that voluntarily evacuated but remained in the prefecture, 56 percent have not yet found a place where they can live once the assistance is halted. The corresponding figure for the 3,453 such households living outside the prefecture is much higher — nearly 78 percent. The prefecture should pay serious attention to these findings. Some families may not be able to find and pay for a new home, although the prefecture reportedly plans to offer small subsidies for low-income and single-mother households after the large-scale assistance is ended.

The voluntary evacuees are confronted with various difficulties, both financial and psychological. The amount of compensation they received from Tepco is much smaller than that paid out to evacuees from the no-go zones. They also do not receive the monthly damages of some ¥100,000 that Tepco doles out to cover the mental suffering of those from the designated evacuation zones. Many of them face hardships ranging from the loss of their former jobs to separation from family members, long-distance commuting and divorces of couples due to differences over evacuating. The loss of housing assistance will likely result in even more hardships, both financial and emotional.

Many of the voluntary evacuees remain reluctant to go back to their hometowns for a variety of reasons, including the persistent fear of radiation, the desolate conditions of their original homes, and anticipated low levels of medical and other services in their former communities. The national government says it is safe for evacuees to return if the annual cumulative dose in the area is 20 millisieverts (mSv) or less, but that level is much higher than the legal limit of 1 mSv allowed for people in ordinary circumstances. In Ukraine, hit by the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, people are required to migrate if the annual cumulative dose in their area is 5 mSv or more and have “the right to evacuate” if the rate is between 1 mSv and 5 mSv. The national government and Fukushima Prefecture need to address why many of the volunteer evacuees are reluctant to return.

The national government may want to highlight the reconstruction in areas devastated by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami as well as the Fukushima nuclear disaster when Tokyo hosts the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. However, this should not result in the premature termination of vital relief measures for the affected people or untimely lifting of the designation of danger zones hit by the nuclear crisis. The government, which has sought to reactivate the nation’s nuclear power plants idled since the 2011 disaster, should understand why the evacuees felt they had to flee from their homes in the first place. It should not give up its duty of adequately helping the disaster victims.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2016/12/03/editorials/fukushimas-voluntary-evacuees/#.WEO9W1zia-c

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December 5, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

School Bullyism Against Fukushima Evacuees Children

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Fukushima evacuee hurt by teacher’s remark

Education authorities in Niigata City, north of Tokyo, have apologized after learning that a school teacher used a word that can mean “germ” to address a pupil. The boy had evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture after the 2011 nuclear accident.
Officials of the city’s education board said on Friday that the 4th grader has not been able to attend his elementary school for more than a week because of what happened.
They say the boy consulted his homeroom teacher several days before the incident. He said his classmates were calling him “kin”, which can mean “germ”.
The teacher has reportedly explained that the students had a habit of adding “kin” to each other’s names, as a way of showing friendliness to their classmates.
He said this also made them sound like “Anakin” Skywalker in the Star Wars movie series and other celebrities.
The teacher said he added the suffix to the students’ names, but he never intended to refer to them as “germs”.
But the officials said the teacher’s use of the term was inconsiderate and hurt the feelings of the pupil, who felt he was being bullied and was seeking help.
They said the teacher will visit the boy and his parents to apologize, and the education board will offer support so he can return to his school.
In a similar recent case, another young evacuee from Fukushima said he was called a “germ” at his school in Yokohama and he thought of killing himself many times.
His parents have criticized school and local education board officials for failing to promptly act on their complaint.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161202_30/

Teacher ‘insulted’ Fukushima boy in latest school bullying case

NIIGATA–In the latest classroom bullying case involving children from Fukushima, a fourth-grader has not attended school for more than a week due to the alleged victimization by a teacher as well as his classmates.

The municipal board of education here is investigating the harassment of the boy who had the derogatory term “germ” added to his name by his classmates, which was then apparently emulated by his teacher.The boy has been absent from his elementary school since his homeroom teacher, who is in his 40s, is alleged to have used the insult on the boy. The teacher has denied the accusation, but other pupils have corroborated the boy’s account.

The school’s principal has admitted that the teacher’s behavior was problematic.

The principal also said in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun on Dec. 2 that the school will provide an opportunity for the teacher to apologize directly to the student and his parents.

The case is the latest to have surfaced of the potentially widespread bullying at their new schools of Fukushima students who fled the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Last month, media reports on a 13-year-old junior high school boy who moved to Yokohama recounted his experiences at his elementary school through his handwritten notes, sparking huge repercussions across the country.

In Tokyo, another Fukushima boy attending junior high school described his ordeal at his elementary school in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun later that month.

The two boys were called “germ” by their classmates, who also harassed them in other ways.

But in the Niigata case, the teacher called the boy by the insulting name in front of other students when he handed his pupil a correspondence notebook on Nov. 22, according to the boy’s mother.

The boy appeared to be devastated by the teacher’s behavior, which compounded the anxiety he already felt when his family was unable to contact his father to make sure he was safe after a powerful quake jolted Fukushima Prefecture earlier that day. His father works in the prefecture.

The following day was a national holiday and the school was closed. The boy has not attended the school since Nov. 24.

The boy’s family moved to Niigata over concerns about radiation in 2011 following the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March that year.

According to his mother, some of his classmates began ostracizing him and calling him “germ” when he was in the third grade.

When he entered the fourth grade, some children threw away his stationery and broke his umbrella, and the harassment later escalated.

Although his mother was worried about him, he reassured her, saying, “I have friends who are trying to protect me. I will be OK.”

But he became visibly depressed when he learned of the report about the bullying the boy in Yokohama went through, according to his mother.

My son must have thought that he is also the victim of severe harassment,” his mother said.

Urged on by his mother, he told his homeroom teacher on Nov. 17 that he, too, was being called “germ” by other children.

Five days later, however, he found that his teacher had joined in the name-calling.

His mother contacted the school to raise the issue. The teacher initially denied the allegation when school officials inquired.

I have never said such a thing, given that the boy came to me for counseling,” the teacher was quoted by one of the officials as saying.

But the teacher was found to have actually used the insult when other teachers interviewed all the students in the boy’s class on Nov. 29. Some students admitted that they called the boys by an unkind name and that the teacher, too, had done the same.

According to the principal, the homeroom teacher said he wanted to apologize for being insensitive.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201612020060.html

December 5, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

“The Silent Voices”: what is really to be living within the Fukushima disaster

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This Sunday, December 4th, 2016, I was invited to the premiere of a documentary film, produced by a couple, Lucas Rue, the french husband, and his Japanese wife Chiho Sato, from Fukushima.

Their documentary film titled “Les voies silencieuses” (The silent voices) in my humble opinion is definitely the best documentary film I have seen about the Fukushima catastrophe.

First because this documentary was made, written, directed by someone who is native of Fukushima. Only a person from Fukushima could penetrate in such manner the social fabric of the Fukushima people, to bring out the inner perspective of what the Fukushima people are living right now. An outsider, Japanese not from Fukushima or a foreigner could never penetrate the intimacy, the reserve of the people in such manner that Chiho Sato did.

Second, this film exposes very well the left unsaid things and the paradoxes in which the population of Fukushima is forced to live.
This film will help many people to better understand the dilemma in which these people live, bringing this living perspective from the inside that was really lacking, which is quite difficult to be understood by those who are not living it, living in it.

They are working right now to produce the english version to be soon screened. This Fukushima documentary is a must, to not be missed, to be absolutely watched by the many. I am also convinced that this documentary film will become THE film of Fukushima, and will win certainly some trophies for its excellency.

Thank you to both Lucas Rue and Chiho Sato for this absolutely excellent, quite unique documentary about Fukushima.

December 5, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | 1 Comment

Leadership of the climate movement – it’s indigenous

Anti-racist solidarities are changing before our eyes at the #NODAPL Standing Rock protest camp. Race formations are morphing into global Indigenous resistance networks.

the resistance by those first and worst impacted – Indigenous peoples – has placed them on the front line, from where we must credit them as leading this struggle on behalf of the living.

We owe them, yet again.

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The Climate Movement Is Indigenous-led https://newmatilda.com/2016/12/02/the-climate-movement-is-indigenous-led/By  on December 2, 2016  Dr Liz Conor pays tribute to the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Indigenous people the world over who are leading the fight for climate action.

In 1923, Iroquois chief Deskaheh travelled to Geneva to present the grievances of his Six Nations people. Although he was officially ignored, he brought about two seismic shifts on the world stage: He appealed to them as the representative of a sovereign domestic state, and in doing so he forged a shared global identification for all native peoples – Indigenous.

In the decades that followed, growing recognition of shared regimes of oppression in located struggles under the same structure of settler-colonialism (rather than unrelated events) deepened the transnational ties around Indigenous and First Nation as global identifications.

It galvanised around ‘loss of land and subsistence, abrogation of treaties, and the imposition of psychologically and socially destructive assimilation policies’. These classical presentations of what Patrick Wolfe famously called settler colonialism’s ‘logic of elimination’ are presently being enfolded into the resource conflicts that beset the extraction of fossil fuels.

In far-flung but linked sites, Indigenous peoples are fighting, yet again, for their very lives and the land that sustains them. Demands for collective rights to self-determination in international law are being led by increasingly forceful appeals to international bodies to act urgently on their particular exposure – climate change, from rising seas in the Pacific to coastal erosion and flooding in Alaskan villages.

In Australia we’ve seen antagonism between Indigenous ‘stakeholders’ and environmental campaigners, most bitterly over the Queensland Wild River legislation (2005, since repealed). Yet barnstorming alliances have also been formed through the perhaps indelicately named ‘Lock the Gate’ campaign opposing fracking in Gippsland and NSW, between farmers, environmentalists and Indigenous custodians. Lock the Gate is presently advising an Indigenous coalition in the NT on CSG campaigning.

Anti-racist solidarities are increasingly expressed around resource protection and climate change. Very different sovereignties – some summarily seized, others defended, both over centuries – are trying to find common ground under entirely new configurations of anti-racist solidarity.

For those of you who haven’t facebook-checked into the Standing Rock protest camp (with the million who did), the Dakota Access Pipeline is at the moment the foremost instance of alliances against incursion and misappropriation or destruction of Indigenous resources. Over 300 Native American Nations have now converged at the site near Sioux lands at Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

The camp is arguably distinct from the blockades of the environment movement, such as the Franklin River blockade in 1982 and the more recent sustained blockades at the Leard State Forest against the Maules Ck Coal mine. Standing Rock doesn’t identify as part of Naomi Klein’s climate Blockadia, nor do the activists wish to be identified as climate activists first and foremost. Rather their struggle is for water.

The Oceti Sakowin leading the obstruction of boring under the Missouri River and on their sacred land identify as Water Protectors moreso than climate protestors, but the links are drawn in Indigenous media bannered ‘CO2LONIALISM’. In their calls to action against this $3.8 billion, 1,200-mile pipeline which will transfer oil across several states and under America’s largest (Ogallala) Aquifier, they have asked global grassroots climate organizations to respect the protest at Standing Rock as Indigenous-led, and to take directives from them.

The resistance by the Oceti Sakowin and other Native American nations is primarily about heritage, water and sovereignty. So far this is largely respected by organisations as diverse as 350.org, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth.

The erasure of Indigenous presence and agency in environmental struggles has been significantly challenged over  the last decade. In amongst today’s coverage, historical continuities are being drawn, the genealogy of treaty perfidies are increasingly written in. The struggle is presented as a continuum of settler-colonial misappropriation and befouling of resources at Standing Rock. It tells us that settler-colonialism is ‘relentlessly active in the present’ and its tenets of expropriation violently enforced by increasingly militarized policing.

Water Protectors have been attacked by the National Guard with rubber bullets, tear gas, mace canisters and water cannons in freezing temperatures leading to dozens of cases of hypothermia. At time of writing, it isn’t clear whether Sophia Wilansky will lose her arm after police threw a concussion grenade directly at her during the face-off on the bridge on Sunday night. Razor wire has been laid on the banks of Cantapeta Creek. The camp is slated to be ‘cleared’ on December 5th.

Expressions of Indigenous pact with the Oceti Sakowin are pouring in from around the world. Australian Aboriginal climate organisations, such as the highly effective SEED (Indigenous youth climate network) and also Palestine artists have pledged support testifying to the global network of dispossessed linking from located sites of resistance.

Israa Suliman, a student and writer in Gaza, penned an open letter that accompanied a video featuring a number of Palestinian artists. She writes, “My ancestors were the indigenous people, just like you. And they suffered the same fate as your people. America’s policy of occupation and displacement through forced marches like the Trail of Tears, and the gradual transfer of so many of your people to massive, impoverished reservations, hurts me deeply because it is so similar to the ethnic cleansing of my ancestors by the Israeli military occupation in what we call al-Nakba (the catastrophe).”

Suliman notes that a large security corporation hired by the pipeline company profits from Israeli prisons. “Like you, we don’t control our natural resources,” Suliman writes. “Just as you were not consulted about the Dakota Access Pipeline that will traverse your land and contaminate your water supply if installed, we are not consulted by Israel, which wants to mine the gas supply in our harbor for its own use and monopolizes the water supply in the West Bank for the green lawns of its own residents – leaving Palestinians parched and dry.” Nor does she fail to draw a parallel to Palestinian expulsion, displacement and occupation, pointing to the five million Palestinian refugees in the global diaspora.

This resource deprivation is perpetrated by multinational fossil fuel conglomerates against Indigenous peoples who are simultaneously defending their homelands while carrying the can for the rest of us on the front line of the climate movement. We settlers owe them under new-yet-old sets of circumstances.

Anti-racist solidarities are changing before our eyes at the #NODAPL Standing Rock protest camp. Race formations are morphing into global Indigenous resistance networks. As Wolfe wrote in his essential read Traces of History, “To be effective, anti-racist solidarities should conjoin as wide a range of historical relationships as colonialism itself has created.”

As the well-worn tenets of settler-colonialism’s land and resource expropriation are rewritten because of its assault on the norms of climate our lives depend on, the resistance by those first and worst impacted – Indigenous peoples – has placed them on the front line, from where we must credit them as leading this struggle on behalf of the living.

We owe them, yet again.

December 5, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, indigenous issues | Leave a comment

Release of carbon from Arctic soils

Arctic soils are set to release a lot of carbon — probably more than plants can absorb Author: , ADN.com 3 Dec 16  As temperatures have risen in the Arctic and worldwide, so have worries about how much carbon might stream into the atmosphere from warmer soils.

Will enough new carbon be released from the ground, potentially exacerbating the global warming cycle? And will new-growth carbon dioxide-absorbing plants growing in warmer conditions be able to keep pace?

Now scientists have some better answers to both questions — and they’re troubling.

Globally, warming will drive 55 petagrams (that’s 55 billion metric tons or 55 trillion kilograms) of carbon gases from soils into the atmosphere by mid-century, according to a comprehensive study led by researchers at Yale. That amount is equal to about 17 percent of projected emissions from global fossil-fuel burning and other human activities.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, cites the highest latitudes and highest altitudes as the biggest contributors of carbon from the ground.

While warmer soils all around the world stimulate more of the below-ground microbial activity that produces carbon gases, the changes are most striking in permafrost regions — the Arctic, where warming is happening at least twice as fast as the global rate, and the tops of the highest mountains. In those high latitudes and high altitudes, permafrost thaw is freeing once-locked carbon left by long-ago decayed plants and animals, and making it available to the microbial processes that produces gases that are emitted above the ground.

“Thaw depths are getting deeper,” said study co-author Jeff Welker, a biology professor and Fulbright Distinguished Arctic Chair at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The global calculation for the mid-century total for carbon emitted from soil — an amount roughly equivalent to all U.S. carbon emissions from human activities — is a gross figure, not the net after uptake by plants above the ground’s surface, Welker said.

But prospects for Arctic plants to absorb the extra carbon gases appear dim, according to another newly published study led by scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

On at least part of Alaska’s North Slope, new carbon streaming out of the soil is already outpacing any carbon uptake by plants on top of the ground and the area has become a net carbon emitter, according to the study, published in the journal Ecosystems.

The UAF-led study monitored eight years of year-round carbon fluxes between the air and the soil, making it a very rare long-term project. (Most studies tracking carbon gas movements only monitor in the summer.) The study used tripod-mounted sensors to measure carbon dioxide, the dominant greenhouse gas, and methane being released and absorbed by different types of tundra at a test site in the Brooks Range foothills……

The result is an ominous sign for the future, signaling more climate-warming gas pouring into a region that has already warmed dramatically, said co-author Syndonia Bret-Harte, also of UAF’s Institute of Arctic Biology.

“It could be a profound feedback to global climate from a relatively moderate area of the earth,” Bret-Harte said……https://www.adn.com/arctic/2016/12/01/led-by-arctic-warmed-soil-poised-to-pour-vast-amounts-of-carbon-into-atmosphere/

December 5, 2016 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Trump Appoints Climate Skeptic to NASA Team

Global Warming Research in Danger as Trump Appoints Climate Skeptic to NASA Team, The Intercept,  December 2 2016ONE OF NASA’S most high-profile projects has been to track historical average global temperature. In January 2016, the agency released data that showed 2015 had been the hottest year on record. “Today’s announcement not only underscores how critical NASA’s Earth observation program is, it is a key data point that should make policy makers stand up and take notice — now is the time to act on climate,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a statement at the time. Since then, NASA’s monthly updates on temperature delivered a steady dose of dread as month after month was declared the hottest recorded.

Now Donald Trump’s first NASA transition team pick is Christopher Shank, a Hill staffer who has said he is unconvinced of a reality that is accepted by the vast majority of climate scientists: that humans are the primary driver of climate change. Shank previously worked for Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican congressman who played a key role in dragging out debates on the basic nature of climate change at a time when the science is settled and action is urgent.

Shank has criticized the type of scientific data NASA regularly releases. As part of a panel in September 2015 at Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes, he said, “The rhetoric that’s coming out, the hottest year in history, actually is not backed up by the science — or that the droughts, the fires, the hurricanes, etc., are caused by climate change, but it’s just weather.”…..

Shank’s appointment dovetails with threats from Trump’s advisors to scrap NASA’s research on climate change. In an October op-ed for Space News, Trump campaign advisors Robert Walker and Peter Navarro stated, “NASA should be focused primarily on deep space activities rather than Earth-centric work that is better handled by other agencies.”…….

Shank’s longtime boss Smith, the Republican head of the House Science, Space, and Technology committee, led an effort to slash NASA’s earth science budget this year and in 2011 requested an investigation into the “politicization of NASA.”

Smith is obsessed with combatting what he has called “climate religion.” …… https://theintercept.com/2016/12/01/global-warming-research-in-danger-as-trump-appoints-climate-skeptic-to-nasa-team/

December 5, 2016 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

World cities will need $375 bn to fight climate change

World cities seek $375 bn to fight climate change, Phys.org, December 2, 2016 The world’s big cities will need $375 billion of investment to curb climate change, a large gathering of mayors heard in Mexico on Thursday. “It is a lot, but there is no other option. Together we will seek that money,” said the new president of the C40 network of big cities, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

If that amount is made available “humanity will have a chance of surviving,” she told a gathering of C40 mayors in Mexico.

The mayors were meeting to plot strategy in the face of climate skepticism from US President-elect Donald Trump.

They said they planned to make commitments to reduce harmful emissions by promoting cycling in cities and renewable energy, among other measures.

In one such initiative, the mayors of Paris, Mexico City and Madrid said in a statement Thursday they had committed to ridding their cities of diesel engines by 2025 to improve air quality.

As leaders of busy, polluted cities that are home to millions of people, the mayors gathered in Mexico City want countries to push on with adopting the so-called Paris Agreement to limit .

Trump has cast doubt on the accord, which aims to limit  to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels……With only one degree Celsius of warming so far, the world has already seen an upsurge in extreme weather, including droughts, superstorms, heat waves and coastal flooding boosted by rising seas. http://phys.org/news/2016-12-world-cities-bn-climate.html#jCp

December 5, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

EDF’s nuclear reactor troubles pose another hindrance to UK’s Hinkley project

New blow for Hinkley Point contractor EDF after French safety checks
Safety issues force many reactors offline with warnings of power cuts across France, higher energy prices and a rise in emissions,
Guardian,  and , 4 Dec 16, The company building the UK’s first new nuclear power station for decades is facing questions over the health of its fleet of French nuclear plants after an investigation which has left the country with the lowest level of nuclear power for 10 years and the prospect of power cuts during a cold snap.

Thirteen of Électricité de France’s (EDF) 58 atomic plants are offline, some due to planned maintenance, but most for safety checks ordered by the regulator over anomalies discovered in reactor parts……..

The problems stem from a fault identified last year by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) in the as-yet-unfinished reactor at north-western France’s Flamanville plant – the same design approved for Hinkley Point C in the UK…….

Nuclear critics believe the situation shows the need for France to diversify away from nuclear and invest more in renewable sources such as wind and solar power, which account for less than 4% of electricity generation, compared with 25% in the UK.

Charlotte Mijeon, of the anti-nuclear group Sortir du Nucléaire (Get Out of Nuclear), said there was a “chain of responsibility” for the crisis in France’s nuclear industry which ranged from the government at the top to subcontracted private suppliers.

“The system of nuclear safety in France has always been limited,” she said. “It starts from the premise that the industrials are honest and the moment there is a problem they will flag it up to the safety authorities and it will be sorted out.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/02/hinkley-point-edf-new-crisis-safety-checks-french-nuclear-plants

December 5, 2016 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment