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September 3 Energy News

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Opinion:

¶ “Is Utah missing the renewable energy boat?” • Rocky Mountain Power intends to invest $3.5 billion for renewable energy infrastructure to supply power for Utah. The bad news for Utah is that the money will be spent in Wyoming and Idaho. So the question for elected leaders and legislators from Utah’s more rural counties is, “Why?” [Deseret News]

PVs in Utah (Photo: Governor’s Office of Energy Development)

¶ “Will future storms will be worse than Harvey? The debate over climate and hurricanes” • At the time of Katrina, researchers published studies suggesting that more intense hurricanes were linked to rising ocean temperatures. After all, hurricanes get their energy from the warm waters. The big problem was a need for data, but that is no longer an issue. [Chicago Tribune]

¶ “Sen Kaine vows to help keep island’s Trump-backing residents from sinking below the waves” •…

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September 3, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

878 mb Storm Off North Florida — The Model Forecast for Irma that no one Wants to See Happen

robertscribbler

As the United States struggles to recover from severe damage inflicted by one hurricane made far worse by climate change, another powerful storm is brewing over the hotter than normal waters of the tropical North Atlantic.

As of the 5 PM Atlantic Standard Time statement from the National Hurricane Center, Irma was positioned about 1,100 miles east of the Leeward Islands in the central tropical Atlantic. The storm hosted a small circulation, packing 110 mph winds and a minimum central pressure of 973 mb. Over the next few days, according to the Hurricane Center, Irma is presently expected to reach major hurricane status with 130 mph maximum sustained winds.

(Category 2 Irma in the Central Atlantic seems relatively innocuous. But NHC guidance indicates the potential for Irma to develop into a major hurricane over the next five days. Some of the longer range models, however, are producing some…

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September 3, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Texas Nuclear – Is It Really Watertight? If The Dam Fails Can They Shut The Doors Quickly Enough?

Mining Awareness +


August 31st NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using data from the Land Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) Zoom in of image shows the huge main cooling reservoir-dam at the South Texas Nuclear Power Station site – green spot top center of image – apparently still intact as of August 31st, though the nearby waterways continue(d) to rise.

The STP site has mainly flat topography with few gentle slopes. Elevations across the site range from 15ft (4.6 m) NGVD29 to 30ft (9.1 m) NGVD29 with plant grade of 28ft (8.53 m) NGVD29.https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1425/ML14259A195.pdf

If you read, or even just glance, through the US NRC’s flooding walkdown summary, below, then you will quickly get ideas as to to what the “one thing after another” that Raihan Kondker was “working tirelessly to manage” at South Texas Nuclear Power Station, according to the article…

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September 3, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Texas Waters Run Brown After Hurricane Harvey; South Texas Nuclear Dam Still Holding as of August 31st

Mining Awareness +

From NASA: “On August 31, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of the Texas coast and the Houston metropolitan area. Note the brown rivers and bays, full of flood water from Hurricane Harvey. Along the coast, muddy, sediment-laden waters from inland pour into a Gulf of Mexico that also was churned up by the relentless storm.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using data from the Land Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE). Caption by Michael Carlowicz.
Link to original story on Earth Observatory and link to original images:  https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=90866
Instrument(s): Terra – MODIS


NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using data from the Land Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) Zoom in of higher resolution image showing the huge dam at the South Texas Nuclear Power Station site apparently still intact as of…

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September 3, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 2 Energy News

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World:

¶ The renewables arm of General Electric announced that it has reached 5 GW of installed wind capacity in Brazil and that it will commission 600 MW during September. The 600 MW of turbines to be commissioned this month, which are included in the 5-GW milestone, are located at three previously announced projects. [Renewables Now]

GE wind turbine

¶ ABB has made two project supply deals to support wind and solar energy. ABB is a Swiss developer of power electronics and storage solutions for clean energy. It will install a 2-MW battery to support the 90-MW Burbo Bank offshore wind farm in the UK and has a supply contract to install its solar inverters at 750 Indian railway stations. [pv magazine]

¶ South Africa’s energy ministry is to sign delayed power purchase agreements by the end of October with several renewable energy projects, the South…

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September 3, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two reactors at Tepco’s giant Niigata plant close to being restarted

NRA eager to clear Kashiwazaki-Kariya plant

n-tepco-a-20170903-870x539.jpgTokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. employees take part in a drill in the simulator of the central control room for a reactor inside the seismic isolation building at the company’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power station in Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, in February 2015.

 

Two Tokyo Electric reactors at the massive Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station in Niigata Prefecture are expected to clear the initial safety hurdle for restarts soon, sources said Friday.

According to the sources, the Nuclear Regulation Authority will start talks on the issue on Wednesday, with a view to compiling a document that will certify the two units passed the new safety requirements introduced after the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. has been struggling to recover ever since the triple core meltdown in March 2011 because the seven-reactor Niigata plant is a crucial money maker. The utility has spent years trying to restart the plant, which is the only nuclear complex it runs aside from the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

It filed for safety assessments for reactor Nos. 6 and 7 in September 2013.

The NRA wants to reach a conclusion on the issue before Chairman Shunichi Tanaka’s five-year term expires on Sept. 18, the sources said. But the move may trigger public criticism because Tepco still has a long way to go to scrap the ruined reactors at Fukushima No. 1, which was engulfed by quake-triggered tsunami and lost all power.

The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa complex is one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants and has an output capacity of 8.2 million kilowatts. Units 6 and 7 are boiling water reactors — the same type as the ones at Fukushima No. 1 — and the newest of the seven sitting along the Sea of Japan coast.

The governments hosting the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant are also cautious about restarting the units, with Niigata Gov. Ryuichi Yoneyama saying it will take “around three to four years” for the utility to win local consent on the matter.

Tepco, which is facing massive compensation payments and other costs from dealing with the world’s worst nuclear crises since Chernobyl, has been desperate to restart the idled reactors so it can reduce spending on costly fossil fuel imports needed to run the thermal power plants making up for the nationwide nuclear shutdowns.

Some reactors at other utilities have already resumed operations, but Tepco has been under constant scrutiny to determine whether it is qualified to once again operate a nuclear power plant.

Some inside the NRA have been reluctant to move ahead with the safety review at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa. But Tanaka strongly wants to set a course on the issue before he leaves his position at the NRA, and this was one of the factors that led to the latest development in Niigata, the sources said.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/09/02/national/tepco-hopes-niigata-reactors-will-clear-major-safety-hurdle-road-restart/#.WaxZlRdLfrc

September 3, 2017 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Dying Navy Sailors Push for Trial on Fukushima Meltdown

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SAN DIEGO (CN) – Representing cancer-ridden Navy service members who say they were exposed to radiation on a humanitarian mission in Fukushima, former Sen. John Edwards urged a federal judge Thursday to set a date for trial.

Over a decade after serving as John Kerry’s running mate in the 2004 presidential election, Edwards now represents hundreds of Navy sailors who were aboard the USS Ronald Reagan as part of a humanitarian mission trip to Fukushima, Japan — bringing food and supplies to the city in March 2011 after it was devastated by an earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

We have all these sailors whose case is now five years old, who have died or are in the process of dying right now,” said Edwards, whose firm Edwards Kirby is based in North Carolina.

Edwards noted that some of his other clients have seen their children born with birth defects. He said he made the trip from Raleigh to San Diego to “try to get this thing moving.”

Japan’s earthquake triggered a nuclear meltdown at the power plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Co., and Edwards’ clients say the radiation exposure has caused them to develop cancer and other illnesses.

The suit is one of two pending against TEPCo and General Electric in the Southern District of California — the first filed in 2012 and an additional lawsuit naming more than 150 sailors filed last month.

Thursday’s hearing before U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino came after the Ninth Circuit ruled in June that the lawsuit could proceed in federal court, rejecting an effort to have the case sent to Japan.

Edwards urged Sammartino to bypass the procedural hurdles, “so we know there’s a deadline over there.”

Instead of just staying still and going with the pleadings and the motions to dismiss, is there a way to get us a trial date and a structure,” Edwards asked.

I hate to see these sailors and say we filed motions, went to the Ninth Circuit, went to Washington, and I hate to say I don’t know when [we’ll get our day in court],” Edwards said.

He asked for a May 2019 trial date.

TEPCo attorney Gregory Stone said the Japanese utility accepts responsibility for the radiation released but maintains the amount Navy service members were exposed to was negligible.

He thanked the service members present at the hearing for their efforts, but said that radiation exposure is not necessarily the cause of 300 to 400 sailors out of 70,000 on the humanitarian trip getting sick.

It only indicates what epidemiologists tell us: people get sick at different times of their lives for different reasons,” Stone said.

We don’t think the exposure was at a level sufficient to cause the injuries,” Stone continued, amid muttered comments from the audience. “They don’t agree with us and are probably talking about it now.”

GE attorney Michael Schissel said the length of the case and trial will be significantly impacted if GE remains a defendant in the case. Unlike TEPCo, GE is not admitting liability over the failure of its Boiling Water Reactors. Schissel said this would then require a liability phase at trial, significantly lengthening the process.

Sammartino called the case a “moving target” as the attorneys threw out different ideas for how best to approach setting deadlines and moving forward. She said she would issue an order setting dates.

In an interview with Courthouse News following the hearing, Edwards said they are pleased the case will be tried in America. If the case were in Japan, Edwards said there was a concern that the possibility of traveling across the world would cause his clients to lose hope.

From the perspective of a lawyer, it’s a wonderful cause,” Edwards said. “Here are these completely innocent people whose lives have been taken away from some of them and they were there trying to help the Japanese people. It was such a just and righteous cause that they were there for and they’ve had their lives changed forever as a result of what happened.”

More sailors are coming forward every week, Edwards added, saying they expect the numbers to continue to go up as the word gets out about the lawsuits.

He said they want to make sure “the truth comes out” and that the “word gets out about the dangers and risks that exist not just in Japan, but in other parts of the world.”

https://www.courthousenews.com/dying-navy-sailors-push-trial-fukushima-meltdown/

 

September 3, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Battling nuclear demons: Mental health issues haunt those who were the first line of defense after 3/11

1.jpgWorkers from Tokyo Electric Power Co. travel by bus toward the power plant in April 2011.

 

Ryuta Idogawa traces the onset of his battle with mental illness to a moment not long after his parents had been relocated to Saitama from their hometown of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, in the spring of 2011.

Idogawa recalls with almost claustrophobic clarity how, as he boarded a train to travel to Tokyo, a sense of panic set in when the carriage walls seemed to close in and fellow passengers in the rush-hour squash started to stare — piercing, even accusatory stares, he thought.

I was sweating, but I felt really cold and my heart was racing, faster and faster,” says Idogawa, 33. “I could hardly breathe. I thought, ‘Oh My God! I’m going to die.’”

Today, Idogawa continues to suffer from such panic attacks, although their frequency has decreased. To mitigate the problem, he has found a job near to his apartment and avoids trains whenever possible. On occasions when rail travel is unavoidable, he steers clear of express trains, as there are fewer opportunities to “escape” should panic set in, he explains. Medication, too, has sometimes helped.

One likely cause of this continuing condition, he believes, is guilt — guilt that in the aftermath of the March 11, 2011, disasters that struck northeastern Japan and claimed 18,455 lives (including 2,561 still listed as missing), he was powerless to prevent the accident that occurred at his place of work, the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

At the beginning I wasn’t even aware of my condition, or I felt somehow separate from it and from what was happening,” says Idogawa, a former employee at plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. “Looking back, maybe I was hiding it or hiding from it.”

Such mental afflictions are not unusual among Tepco’s Fukushima plant workers, especially in the aftermath of the disasters, experts say. According to a study of some 1,500 workers compiled by Jun Shigemura and others, all had experienced a variety of stressors (see table on page 12) relating to their direct experiences of the disasters, losses of loved ones and the backlash from a disgruntled public, in particular the 160,000 Fukushima residents who were evacuated due to the contamination of their homes and land that resulted from the multiple reactor meltdowns at Fukushima No. 1.

Jun Shigemura, an associate professor at the National Defense Medical College’s department of psychiatry, sits at his office in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, on Aug. 15.

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According to lead researcher Shigemura, 29.5 percent of workers at the plant subsequently displayed symptoms of high post-traumatic stress responses (PTSR), including flashbacks and avoidance of reminders of the terrifying events they went through.

Around 1 in 5 Tepco workers at neighboring Fukushima No. 2 plant also showed similarly high levels of PSTR, even though there was no serious damage to the four reactors there.

Continued surveys of the workers by Shigemura, an associate professor at the National Defense Medical University’s Department of Psychiatry, and other experts say that while the overall influence of disaster-related experiences on PTSR of workers had decreased since 2011, it remains high.

For some workers, this is going to continue for a long time, probably years and decades,” says Shigemura, who specializes in the mental health of disaster workers.

This is consistent with previous findings following the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986, he says. While scientists then had assumed that cancers and other malignant disorders would be the biggest health risk, mental health issues turned out to be far more prevalent, he says.

Indeed, studies have shown that mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and suicide ideation, were still high and remained the most prevalent problem for the Chernobyl cleanup workers even 20 years after the disaster, Shigemura says. “So I think we can say with some confidence that the Fukushima workers also carry a very high risk of developing long-term mental health issues.”

Furthermore, while PTSD is often thought of as the main persisting illness in such disasters, Shigemura says factors such as depression, anxiety and alcohol abuse are also likely to linger for some time.

More than 6½ years on from the Fukushima disasters, former Tepco employee Idogawa knows all about these problems, although how he got there was a gradual, but nonetheless alarming, process.

A graduate of Toden Gakuen, Tepco’s now-defunct training academy, Idogawa had lived and breathed the utility’s doctrine since he was just 15 years old. It centered as much around technical excellence as it did corporate group identity and loyalty, and those who followed it were rewarded with the kind of mouthwatering salaries that placed them very much among the elite of their communities.

3.jpgRyuta Idogawa believes that guilt over the nuclear accident that occurred at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant on March 11, 2011, has been a contributor to his continuing struggles with mental illness.

 

On the day of the disasters, Idogawa was on leave, having worked a night shift the previous day. Even before the Earth’s violent convulsions had subsided, however, he was heading toward the plant from his nearby home, arriving there just before the black waves of the 15-meter mega-tsunami engulfed the facility.

As one of the plant’s operators, his day-to-day duties took place inside the central control room for reactors 1 and 2, where he was charged with scrutinizing the instruments that monitored the plant’s oldest reactor, the outmoded unit 1. By the time he joined the on-duty team of 14 operators, the tsunami had extinguished all available power sources, plunging the control room into complete darkness and disarray.

With monitoring apparatus also dependent on power, there was no way of knowing for certain if coolants were still reaching the reactor cores. Believing that this was unlikely, by midnight Idogawa calculated that the first reactor, and probably the second, were already in meltdown.

This was supported by readings on portable monitoring devices that showed radiation levels inside the control room were climbing. Idogawa joined all the other operators on the reactor 2 side of the windowless room, only venturing over toward the opposite first reactor side, where radiation levels were considerably higher, to make occasional, but futile, checks of the lifeless instruments.

Over the next two days, he remained inside the control room, still in the dark about the safety of his family and friends as meltdowns and explosions began to take their toll.

On March 14, he was ordered aboard a company bus bound for the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant, which had fared far better than its older neighbor and had been designated an off-duty recuperation and medical center for workers at Fukushima No. 1. It was during that 10-kilometer journey that his focus slowly shifted to the outside world, which had a distinctly fishbowl appearance through his full-face mask.

At one point, just past the entrance to Fukushima No. 1 plant, I looked out of the window and saw a man walking his dog like it was just another ordinary day,” Idogawa says. The scene seemed all the more bizarre because while most workers aboard the bus were wearing masks, the man went about his morning stroll completely unprotected. “I wondered, ‘What is he doing out there’ and wanted to shout out to him to get inside away from the high radiation.”

At the Fukushima No. 2 plant there was a noticeably subdued air. There was little food, no cigarettes and no heat to stay warm amid the snowy, wintery cold.

Idogawa had originally tried to make the trip to the Fukushima No. 2 plant via his own car, which was parked near the newly built quake-proof center at Fukushima No. 1 and was highly contaminated, but he couldn’t get it started.

I wanted to take the car to give me an escape should things get worse. That’s what I was expecting,” he says. “I actually think that’s what (plant chief Masao) Yoshida was thinking, too — that everyone, himself included, should get out of there and go to the Fukushima No. 2 plant.”

Over the following months, the cumulation of these events began to take their toll. Idogawa became part of a team that the foreign media nicknamed the “Fukushima 50,” groups of workers on rotating shifts that split their time between battling the reactor meltdowns and recuperating at the Fukushima No. 2 plant, or at residences to which they had been evacuated.

With his home now off limits inside the 20-kilometer no-go zone, Idogawa had evacuated to an apartment in Koriyama, where time proved to be anything but a healer. With nothing to do but await his next shift, his mind wandered, among other things, to the man walking his dog and the tens of thousands of residents like him who had been forced to flee their homes as invisible radioactive substances fell on their land.

He began to suffer stomach cramps, chronic insomnia and depression, and turned to the only thing he could think of that would help him sleep and wash away the unwelcome images in his head: whisky — and lots of it.

I felt bad for those people, like it was my fault,” he says. “I couldn’t do anything (to prevent the accident) and as a member of Tepco, I thought I was to blame.”

Takeshi Tanigawa, a professor of public health at Jutendo University’s graduate school of medicine, has been involved in mental health surveys of Fukushima plant workers.

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Such self-criticism and guilt have been major contributors to enduring mental illnesses among plant workers, according to Takeshi Tanigawa, a professor of public health at Jutendo University’s graduate school of medicine, who has also been involved in the mental health surveys of Fukushima plant workers.

We found that those who have experienced such criticism and discrimination have a high degree of psychological distress or PTSR, more than two times higher than control subjects,” he says, adding that with 80 percent of workers being local hires, the bashing, sometimes at the hands of friends and relatives, was even more difficult to take.

Of all the stressors — including the life-threatening experiences, the loss of loved ones and possessions, and so on — this was the “most influential” among those workers with persisting mental health issues, says Tanigawa, who also has worked as a part-time occupational physician at the nuclear plants in Fukushima Prefecture since 1991.

One thing we can be grateful for is that nobody has committed suicide at the plant,” Tanigawa says. “However, alcohol abuse, increased smoking and obesity are prevalent, and can lead to life-threatening diseases and early mortality.”

However, both Tanigawa and Shigemura believe that the enduring impact of the various “complex stressors” is the main reason why other contract workers and early respondents to the disasters will not display similar long-term mental health problems. This includes personnel from Tepco’s various subcontracting companies and members of Tokyo Fire Department’s Hyper Rescue brigade, who entered the plant on March 17, 2011, in an attempt to pump water onto the overheating reactor 3.

Yukio Takayama, former deputy superintendent and chief of the 8th district Hyper Rescue battalion, revisits his former workplace in Tachikawa on July 13.

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One of the leaders of that Tokyo Fire Department team, Yukio Takayama, who was at the time deputy superintendent of the 8th district Hyper Rescue battalion based in the city of Tachikawa, says a number of firefighters had been deeply affected by the thought of entering such a highly irradiated part of the plant, which offered an invisible fear factor quite different from that to which they were accustomed.

Indeed, Takayama fell sick during the operations and while they left an indelible impression, the 48-hour encounter with the radiation-spewing plant was unlikely to leave any long-term mental scars, he says. “It was stressful, but there were others who were up there for much, much longer,” he says.

A former subcontractor employee, who was working at the Fukushima No. 1 plant at the time of the 2011 disasters, says he had not heard of any mental health issues among subcontractor workers. However, as they made up almost 90 percent of the total plant workforce, he couldn’t discount the possibility.

One thing that was different for us was that we were never forced, or obliged, to return to the plant,” the worker says in an interview, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Like many others, I evacuated from the plant and never went back, but if I had, I suppose it’s perfectly possible I may have succumbed to mental illness.”

One other group that reportedly has been afflicted by mental health problems comes from an unusual quarter, and one that has not been a factor in previous nuclear accidents. American sailors who were taking part in the U.S. military’s “Operation Tomodachi” relief mission at the time of the Tohoku disasters were inadvertently exposed to a plume of radiation that passed over their ships, which were anchored off the Pacific coast north of Fukushima.

Several hundred have since developed life-changing illnesses, including leukemia and other cancers — a result, they claim, of the radioactive plume. Many have also suffered persisting mental health issues, either due to concerns of physical illnesses that have resulted from the exposure or extreme stress brought about by concerns for potential future illnesses, including cancers.

6.jpgSailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan scrub the flight deck to decontaminate it while the ship is operating off the coast of Japan providing humanitarian assistance on March 23, 2011.

 

Unlike the nuclear plant workers, these sailors had no protective clothing. In fact, some of them literally had no shirts on their backs because they had given all their clothing away to people they saved from the tsunami waves,” says Charles Bonner, a lawyer representing some 400 sailors who have filed a lawsuit against Tepco and U.S. nuclear reactor manufacturer General Electric. “And because they had given away all their bottled water to tsunami survivors, they were drinking desalinated water that had also been contaminated. I do not doubt the psychological impact of the disasters on the plant workers, but at least they had masks and other protective clothing, as required by law. The sailors, however, knew nothing of their exposure and were literally marinated in the radiation.”

Idogawa’s exposure levels were also in excess of acceptable levels by the time he quit Tepco in January 2012 to protest the utility’s poor treatment of workers — who were, in most cases, also victims — and the government’s announcement the previous month that the plant had been brought “under control,” which was completely at odds with what he saw.

Whether you take the viewpoint of a Tepco employee or a local resident, the outcome was far from satisfactory,” Idogawa says. “As a plant operator we caused a huge accident — the worst kind. Technicians train over and over, and are charged with ensuring this kind of thing doesn’t happen. That the accident did happen makes us the lowest of the low. From the viewpoint of a resident, the disaster meant they couldn’t go home. That we destroyed entire communities was bad enough. However, they were our communities as well.”

Despite his disgruntlement, Idogawa is hopeful that his former employer will implement measures to monitor and treat mental health issues that he believes continue to persist among many workers.

When asked to comment on post-accident care of its workers for this article, Tepco says it was unable to provide details due to privacy issues. It did, however, continue to hand out “health check” questionnaires, the nationalized utility says. The utility also would not comment on its policy regarding on-site care, which came into question following rumors that an on-site psychiatrist fled the Fukushima No. 1 plant following the 2011 disasters.

7.jpgAn employee from Tepco apologizes to a Tomioka resident during a meeting in the city of Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, on Feb. 11, 2013.

 

Shigemura, whose surveys and subsequent treatment of plant workers was brought to an abrupt halt by Tepco in 2015, believes continued “surveillance” of workers is imperative. One reason is due to the possibility of “delayed onset” mental illnesses, which sometimes occur among “survivors” following a variety of situations, from disasters and conflicts to car accidents and familial loss. Some Vietnam War veterans, for example, only developed mental illnesses following the start of the Gulf War 20 years later, he explains.

During his research, Shigemura came across one plant worker, who was also an evacuee, who had experienced such a phenomenon. Three years later, after the evacuation order had been lifted, he re-visited his hometown, which was overgrown and deserted.

When he evacuated, he hadn’t fully accepted the burden of the disaster,” Shigemura says. “It was only when he returned home that he felt the gravity of the disaster and was forced to confront it. And that’s when he experienced late-onset PTSD.”

Shigemura also believes there is a need for a major reconsideration of disaster management measures, especially those that can mitigate the psychological havoc a nuclear accident can wreak.

We need multiple layers of support in preparation for these disasters because when they happen people tend to act in ways they might not usually act, especially following a disaster you cannot easily perceive, such as a nuclear accident,” he said. “They might run away and you can’t blame them for that, because they also have roles as fathers, mothers and so on. There needs to be measures to respond effectively to such eventualities and to provide effective care for those most affected.”

Fukushima plant worker stressors

Work-related experience

  • Earthquakes and tsunami
  • Plant explosions
  • Radiation exposure
  • Extreme overwork
  • Worker shortage

Survivor experience

  • Mandatory evacuation
  • Property loss
  • Family dispersion

Grief — loss of:

  • Colleagues
  • Family members
  • Friends

Social backlash

  • Public criticism
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Guilt as “perpetrators” of a nuclear accident

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/09/02/national/science-health/battling-nuclear-demons-mental-health-issues-haunt-first-line-defense-311/#.WasAzxdLfrc

September 3, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment