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Nuclear Hotseat #289: UK Nuke Military Veterans’ Court Case “Scrooged” – Dr. Chris Busby


Podcast can be heard or downloaded here;

This Week’s Featured Interview:

European Report with Shaun McGee in Ireland:

Numnutz of the Week (for Nuclear Boneheadedness):

Mmmmm mmmmm!  Japan’s newly discovered Hot Rad Potato Chips, straight from Fukushima-adjacent prefectures to your internal organs.  Bet you can’t eat just one… Bequerel!

January 4, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Disparities may arise in evacuee support / Fukushima Pref. to trim housing funds

jan 4 2017.jpg


Starting in spring, housing assistance for residents of Fukushima Prefecture who evacuated to other prefectures voluntarily due to the 2011 nuclear accident will vary from prefecture to prefecture and certain disparities will occur, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

The Fukushima prefectural government has so far been providing free-of-charge housing unconditionally and uniformly. However, it will terminate the provision at the end of March. Accordingly, 19 other prefectures will terminate their own initiatives to provide evacuees with free housing, while 24 prefectures will continue to provide housing free of charge and other services.

Although nearly six years have passed since the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant accident, many evacuees are still reluctant to return to their homes, and each prefecture that has accepted evacuees is responding to this situation in its own way.

After the accident, the Fukushima prefectural government treated voluntary evacuees — those who evacuated from areas that were not subject to evacuation orders — as equal to those who were instructed by the central government to evacuate. Abiding by the Disaster Relief Law, the prefecture has been shouldering rental fees for apartments or public housing facilities using funds from the state budget and other financial resources. The maximum rent for housing to be provided free of charge to voluntary evacuees is set at ¥60,000 per month in principle.

As of October 2016, the number of voluntary evacuees stood at 10,524 households or 26,601 individuals. Of these, 5,230 households or 13,844 individuals have relocated to areas outside of Fukushima Prefecture. In contrast to those who lived in areas subject to the evacuation order, voluntary evacuees are not eligible for regular compensation payments from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. Therefore, the provision of free housing has been the main pillar of public support for voluntary evacuees.

Fukushima Prefecture decided in June 2015 to stop providing housing free of charge at the end of March 2017, judging that living conditions were changing for the better as the decontamination of residential areas progressed.

However, many evacuees responded to this by complaining that they did not want to be moved from places they were getting accustomed to. Accordingly, 24 prefectural governments other than Fukushima have decided to take the matter into their own hands by applying the law on public housing facilities and preferential measures by ordinances to compile their own budgets to extend the provision of free housing, give priority to evacuees in providing public housing for a fee or take other steps. A total of 3,607 households have evacuated on a voluntary basis to the 24 prefectures.

Several municipalities have also taken steps to provide public housing facilities free of charge.

Hokkaido, to which 229 households have voluntarily evacuated, has decided to extend provision of free housing for a year for 34 households. The prefectural government explained that it wants to help evacuees put their lives back in order by alleviating the concerns they may have about where to live.

Meanwhile, Hyogo Prefecture has decided to discontinue its support for the 44 households it accommodates. The spokesperson for the prefectural government said it would not take steps to keep the evacuees in the prefecture, which would be incompatible with policies of the Fukushima prefectural government aiming to bring them home.

Upon discontinuing the provision of free housing, Fukushima has procured 170 prefectural housing facilities for a fee to be provided preferentially to evacuees. The prefectural government is also planning to pay ¥100,000 to every household that moves back from outside the prefecture. Single-person households will receive ¥50,000. Residents who have evacuated to areas inside the prefecture will also receive a partial payment.


January 4, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Tragic death in a fire of its only full-time doctor at Hirono, Fukushima hospital. Volunteer doctors sought.


Hideo Takano, doctor and director of Takano Hospital

Lone doctor who stayed in town after Fukushima crisis dies in fire

HIRONO, Fukushima Prefecture–The tragic death in a fire of its only full-time doctor at a hospital here has dealt another crisis to this tiny community, which is still struggling to rebuild from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Hideo Takano, 81, director of Takano Hospital, died on Dec. 30, threatening the future of the hospital and possibly the community of 2,800 residents.

Hirono Mayor Satoshi Endo on Jan. 3 stepped up his pleas for assistance from the central and prefectural governments.

We would like to prevent the collapse of local medical services,” Endo said at a news conference. “We, as a local government, need to respond to the dedication of Takano.”

Under the law, a private medical facility must have at least one full-time doctor on staff.

Takano’s one-story wooden house, on the same site as the hospital, caught fire on the night of Dec. 30. Police found his body inside the home.

Takano and another doctor at the hospital had treated inpatients as full-time physicians before the triple meltdown in March 2011, which was triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11 the same year.

The hospital is situated around 20 kilometers from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. It offers the only medical inpatient facility in Futaba county, which, alongside Hirono, includes towns co-hosting the Fukushima No. 1 plant and damaged Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant.

When the town government ordered all its residents to evacuate on March 13, 2011, Takano and many of his staff chose to remain to treat inpatients at the hospital. They deemed it too risky to transport aged and frail patients elsewhere when the entire prefecture was in disarray.

Most of the inpatients at the hospital are senior citizens from Hirono, and many of them were bed-ridden.

Hirono had a population of slightly more than 5,000 before the nuclear disaster. But only a little more than half of the residents have returned to live in the town after the evacuation order was lifted a year later.

As of the end of last December, there were 102 inpatients at Takano Hospital, although the size of the staff shrank to about one-third of the pre-disaster level. Part-time doctors have joined Takano in treating patients after the disaster, but he was the only full-time physician on staff there.

Takano used to say nothing makes him happier than treating patients,” said one of the hospital staff, describing his commitment.

According to the Hirono officials, part-time doctors continued seeing patients at the hospital until Jan. 3 after Takano’s death.

The town managed to secure temporary doctors for the hospital after that date through cooperation from Minami-Soma, a city about 60 km to the north.

Physicians from the municipal Minami-Soma General Hospital also have pitched in and formed a group to assist Takano Hospital. More than 20 doctors have signed up to provide volunteer services, including those from Chiba, Shizuoka and Nagano prefectures.

Although there is a medical clinic in Hirono, some residents say it is not sufficient to meet the health-care needs of residents in the town on its own.


Volunteer doctors to be sought for Fukushima hospital after director dies in fire

HIRONO, Fukushima — The body of a man found in a home here after a fire was identified as that of a doctor who continued to treat patients in an area affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, local police announced on Jan. 3. The doctor’s death prompted the local town to seek volunteer doctors from across the country.

Hideo Takano, 81 — who was head of Takano Hospital in the town of Hirono in Fukushima Prefecture — died as a result of the fire which partially burned his home on Dec. 30. The corpse was confirmed to be that of Takano by Futaba Police Station, following DNA testing.

The doctor was particularly noted for his bravery following the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant meltdowns in March 2011 — because he decided not to flee, and continued to attend to his patients’ needs at the only hospital close to the power plant, within Futaba county, that remained operational after the accident.

Currently, Takano Hospital treats patients who have returned to the area, as well as people involved in nuclear reactor decommissioning work, but the hospital now faces a staff shortage problem following the death of Dr. Takano, who was the only full-time doctor at the institution.

With this in mind, the Hirono Municipal Government announced on Jan. 3 that it will bring in doctors until Jan. 9 from nearby medical institutions such as Minamisoma City General Hospital, also in Fukushima Prefecture. The doctors will help treat approximately 100 inpatients, in addition to providing outpatient care. Furthermore, a group to support the hospital, called “Takano Byoin o shiensuru kai,” has been set up by voluntary doctors at the hospital, and there have also been appeals on Facebook, asking for support from doctors.

The Hirono Municipal Government plans to recruit volunteer doctors from across Japan — in an attempt to maintain the town’s medical care system — and has offered incentives such as free accommodation and travel. A representative at the town hall stated that, “Takano Hospital patients reside far and wide across Futaba,” and that the town will request support from both the Fukushima Prefectural Government and the central government.

Takano Hospital has set up a commemorative page on its website in memory of Dr. Takano — who devoted his life to medical care in the region — stating that it plans to “carry on the will of Dr. Takano and continue to provide medical care in the region.”

The Facebook page of “Takano Byoin o shiensuru kai,” or a group to support Takano Hospital:

January 4, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Gun control heartburn: Radioactive boars are amok in Fukushima



The “most adaptable animals that you’ll ever find” are running rampant across parts of rural Japan in the wake of the 2011 nuclear catastrophe and strict gun laws aren’t helping.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, in which a boiling water reactor nuclear power plant largely went Chernobyl after a tsunami knocked it offline has left Japan with a host of problems to include radiation-induced health impacts, some 200,000 displaced locals and possible exposure of groundwater to melted down nuclear fuel for decades to come.

Oh yeah, and the wild hogs.

According to an article in The Washington Post last April, the boar population, lacking natural predators is booming. Worse, thousands of the animals roam an area where highly radioactive caesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years, has been confirmed.

Most agree that the best way to eradicate the rapid population of would-be Orcs is through hunting, but in gun control-friendly Japan, that is easier said than done.

Something that complicates wild boar management in Japan is the exceptionally restrictive ownership, use, and access to firearms,” says Dr. Mark Smith, a forestry and wildlife professor at Auburn University, told Outside online. “This includes not only the general populace, but also with researchers, wildlife biologists, and natural resource managers.”

According to the Australian-based Small Arms Survey, the rate of private gun ownership in Japan is 0.6 per 100 people with only 77 handguns in circulation and just 0.8 percent of Japanese households containing one or more legal guns, most often shotguns.

Smith went to Japan to study the problem in 2013.

Although [recreational] hunting does occur in Japan, it is very limited,” says Smith, “and hunter numbers are declining by the year, so there are fewer and fewer hunters out there harvesting wild boar.”

Plus there is the problem with the meat. In short, there is no good way to make caesium-137 infused pork a balanced part of your complete meal without the diner glowing in the dark, no matter how much BBQ sauce you use.

In Japan, they have to incinerate the carcasses (at 1,771 degrees Fahrenheit) then obliterate the fragments left over with hammers and box them up. Carefully.

Furthermore, the animals are very smart.

They are the most adaptable animals that you’ll ever find: we call them the ‘opportunistic omnivore,’” says Smith.

January 4, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | 1 Comment

Contaminated Glove, Jacket, pants worn by a Fukushima Daiichi worker

By Marco Kaltofen

Activity is 0.7 to 240 kBq/kg, surface rad to 59 uR/hr.



35.5 kBq/kg


0.11 to 0.24 kBq/kg


ND (<0.01) to 17.1 kBq/kg

January 4, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment