nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Yusuke Kimura’s ‘Sacred Cesium Ground and Isa’s Deluge’: Tohoku refuses to be silenced

p18-boyd-sacredcesium-a-20190324.jpg
March 23, 2019
An anger directed toward Tokyo underlies Yusuke Kimura’s two novellas, “Sacred Cesium Ground” and “Isa’s Deluge.” Born from a keen sense of abandonment felt by the Tohoku region in the aftermath of the 3/11 disaster, this anger plays out across stories exploring the post-disaster relationships between humans and animals.
The main character in “Sacred Cesium Ground” is a woman from Tokyo who travels to Fukushima Prefecture to volunteer at the Fortress of Hope, a farm where cattle irradiated by the meltdown of the Fukushima No. 1 power plant are tended to despite a government order to kill them.
Based on the story of a real post-Fukushima ranch, the novella carries with it a weight of research born from the author’s own volunteering, though proves somewhat slow reading and ultimately unsatisfying, never quite reaching the moment of reinvention that the lead character hints at throughout.
“Isa’s Deluge” is the more readable of the two, with a flow and pacing that draws in the reader. Shortlisted for the Mishima Yukio Prize after it was first published in 2012, it follows a family of fishermen who relate the story of their uncle Isa and his “deluge” of pain and depression, an allegory of the 3/11 tsunami.
Both novellas highlight peripheral voices in the post-3/11 period and ultimately return time and again to that tension between a “sacrificial” Tohoku and an all-powerful capital. These perspectives are those not frequently heard and challenge the widespread narrative of an ever-dominant Tokyo.
Read more:
Advertisements

March 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive material released from Fukushima plant doubled up since last year

Radioactive-material-released-from-Fukushima-plant-doubled-up-since-last-year-800x500_c.jpg
March 23, 2019
The released amount of Cs-137 and Cs-134 from the crippled reactors in Fukushima plant reached over the double compared to the previous year.
Tepco released their monthly report about the additional atmospheric contamination on 25th February 2019.
According to the report, from January 2018 to January 2019, 933,000,000 Bq of Cs-137 and Cs-134 were release from the buildings of reactor 1, 2, 3 and 4 in total. It was 471,000,000 Bq during the corresponding period of the previous year.
 
Tepco commented it is likely to be affected by debris removal task around reactor 1 etc.. They avoided mentioning the further details.
 
 

March 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

10 Reasons You Might Want to Think Twice about the Tokyo Olympics

goforit-01-1.png
March 23, 2019
Sure, the Olympics/Paralympics deliver thrilling races, stunning performances and inspiring stories… But they also steal green space and leave mountains of trash, require massive human displacement (gentrification on steroids) and worker abuse (including athlete exploitation), enforce the gender binary, promote noisy nationalism, high-tech surveillance, corruption and cost overruns.
So what’s unique about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?  It’s happening with a Declaration of Nuclear Emergency, issued March 11, 2011, still in place. Then why is Japan spending astronomical sums for the Games? Because these Games are supposed to show the world that the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster is a thing of the past, that Japan is roaring and ready for business. Should we go along with that agenda? Here are ten issues for you to consider:
1.     Eight years and counting, Tepco, the owner of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, still lacks a viable plan for dealing with the fuel cores that not only “melted down” but “melted through” the heavy steel pressure vessel and landed …where?
2.     To keep the site “under control,” the plant uses massive amounts of water daily. The result? Tank after tank of contaminated water, with leaks and releases, exposing workers and the surrounding environment – including the Pacific Ocean. Factor recurring earthquakes into that mix.
3. The Japanese government has spent huge sums to corporations to “decontaminate” – moving radioactive contaminants instead of getting people away from harm. Their method involves bagging yard waste and topsoil, resulting in seas of neatly stacked black plastic bags. And just think: 70 % of Fukushima consists of forests and mountains – which by definition cannot be decontaminated. Moreover, the government even wants to reuse contaminated soil.
4.     Decontamination can reduce radiation levels to a degree, for a limited time and space. But, every part of the process – hosing down, trimming, digging, bagging, burying, re-digging, transporting, reusing – subjects workers to the risk of exposure. Not surprisingly, many of them are Fukushima residents who lost their livelihoods in the 2011 disaster.
5.     Radioactivity itself is invisible. In Fukushima, strange white columns called “monitoring posts” for measuring airborne radiation have become an awkward feature of the landscape. The government wants to get rid of them. Local residents insist that the disaster is not over and that the government needs to be looking after its people—not hosting a sports extravaganza that benefits an elite few.
6.     People who fled radiation—often women with children—knew all too well from the beginning the absurdity of the Games being hosted in Tokyo. Their existence is now being erased, with the government cutting off housing aid and opening up mandatory evacuation zones it deems safe for return. What’s “safe” for the Japanese government is 20 times looser than international standards.
7.     The mandated evacuation zone in Fukushima was too narrow in the first place, and many areas including parts of Tokyo should be designated “radiation-controlled areas,” where you’d have to be trained in radiation occupational safety and wear personal protective equipment.
8. The Japanese government and the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC), with the implicit collaboration of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), have concealed or distorted data inconvenient not just for declaring an end to the disaster but for continuing with the national nuclear program. In fact, the Games are a key weapon in suppressing information on radiation and health effects. In the only large-scale health study conducted on the nuclear disaster, the government consistently denies a link between radiation and people’s health, despite a striking increase of thyroid cancer among children and youths.
9.     The JOC claims that airborne radiation levels in Fukushima and Tokyo are no higher than those in other world cities. But radionuclides move around, and there are many radioactive waste storage sites close to Olympic venues, in addition to “hotspots” with highly radioactive contaminants carried by the wind and distributed unevenly throughout eastern Japan.
10.  The JOC has chosen sites in Fukushima for the Olympic softball and baseball games. As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. To make sure we get the point, the Olympic torch relay will begin in Fukushima, just 20km (12 miles) south of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are a disaster coverup.
Is that something you want to be part of?
Statement drafted by NoTokyo2020, an informal collective standing in solidarity with the people of Fukushima and other disaster-affected areas, both those who have left and those who have stayed on.
Image courtesy of 281_Anti nuke

March 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s Swimming Great and 2020 Tokyo Olympics Hopeful diagnosed with Leukemia cancer

gkjlkl.jpg
NEW YORK – March 22, 2019 – PRLog — Rikako Ikee, Japan’s reigning national record holder in multiple swimming events and record-setting winner of 6 gold and 2 silver medals at the recent Asian Games has been diagnosed with cancer in the form of Leukemia.
 
Author of “Fukushima 311: Is the enduring aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster killing off the Earth?” Col. Walter T. Richmond was saddened to learn the news, and expressed his sincerest best wishes that Ikee is able to beat the disease since doctors apparently discovered it in its earlier stages.
 
In light of the serious news, Richmond revisited his health warnings surrounding the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He said “Ikee would have been about 10 or 11 years old at the time of the original Fukushima nuclear disaster. She’s also a native of Tokyo, and Japanese citizen scientists have reportedly found radioactive materials all over Japan, including Tokyo.”
 
Author Richmond pointed out that since “the health effects and cancers from nuclear radiation exposure can take years to manifest, chances are people won’t get sick immediately, if ever. But why would anyone roll the dice on their health? The research we did for this book paints a very disturbing radioactive picture compared to the apparent marketing hype coming out of Japan.”
 
That the authorities were often not forthcoming or transparent about the gravity of the actual crisis has Richmond equally concerned, saying, “After the anomalies we found during our Fukushima 311 research, plus the serious concerns and red flags raised by the United Nations recently, we have little faith in official claims that ‘all is well’ that aren’t corroborated by independent outside sources. The time to ask hard questions is now, not after the 2020 Olympics.”
 
Richmond ended by, yet again, calling for an impartial international team of highly-specialized scientists and doctors to determine the actual radiation safety levels in and around the 2020 Olympic facilities, in Tokyo and the Olympic ball fields in Fukushima, as well as the surrounding areas likely to be visited by athletes, guests, and spectators.

March 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

On the Frontline of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: Workers and Children – Radiation risks and human rights violations

1262973-b12d8f83-frontfksm_en.png
22 Mar 2019
 
Eight years after the start of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and two years after the Japanese government lifted evacuation orders in areas of Namie and Iitate, radiation levels remain too high for the safe return of thousands of Japanese citizen evacuees.
 
This report summarizes information from Greenpeace’s latest extensive radiation survey in Namie and Iitate, Fukushima prefecture. The survey, conducted during October 2018, focused in particular on the radiation risks to decontamination workers, whose exploitation and human rights violations have rightly become a focus of attention from United Nations human rights experts during the last year.
 
The report also focuses on the failure of the Japanese government to comply with its international obligations to protect the rights of children. Preventing exposure of children to harmful radiation, one of the obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is particularly critical given their higher vulnerability to health effects from radiation. In the case of workers and children, who are in the frontline of hazards resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the Japanese government continues to ignore international radioprotection recommendations

Download PDF (12.03 MB)

https://reliefweb.int/report/japan/frontline-fukushima-nuclear-accident-workers-and-children-radiation-risks-and-human

 

March 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Court dismisses Navy vets’ case over radiation exposure from Japanese power plant

gavel.png
Mar 21, 2019
SAN DIEGO – On March 4, GE and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) convinced the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California to dismiss U.S. Navy vets’ case against them after allegedly being exposed to radiation.
 
.. “The court concludes that Japan also has a strong interest in resolving the issues surrounding the incident, which occurred in Japan. Having found that both Japan and California have an interest in having their own laws applied, a true conflict exists,” U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino wrote in the ruling…
… Sammartino didn’t agree with the plaintiffs’ concerns that trying the case in Japan would cause them to be awarded with little or no damages. Ultimately, the court found that Japanese law is applicable to the case and granted GE’s motion to dismiss…
… TEPCO’s motion to dismiss was also granted. TEPCO argued that it never forfeited its personal jurisdiction defense, meaning the court should dismiss the lawsuit against it for lack of personal jurisdiction. While the court pointed out TEPCO failed to raise its personal jurisdiction defense in its motion to dismiss (and said now isn’t the time to raise it), it still agreed with TEPCO that the case should be dismissed.
 

 

March 25, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Mega-quake would likely flood more of Fukushima than 2011 tsunami

n-fukushima-a-20190322-870x574.jpg
Mar 21, 2019
This handout picture released by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. on March 21, 2011, shows black smoke rising from reactor No. 3 of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after a mega-quake and tsunami knocked off the plant’s backup generators, triggering a triple meltdown crisis.
If a once-in-1,000-years earthquake occurs, the area of Fukushima Prefecture expected to be flooded by subsequent tsunami could be 1.3 times larger than at the time of the March 2011 disaster, the prefectural government said Wednesday.
If such a powerful earthquake takes place, tsunami of up to 22.4 meters high could hit the coast of Fukushima, and some 14,300 hectares of land in the prefecture could be inundated, according to a prefectural government estimate.
The prefectural government plans to call for 10 coastal municipalities to create hazard maps and review evacuation routes by the end of fiscal 2020.
Fukushima is the first of the three prefectures hardest hit by the 2011 disaster to work out such an estimate.
Read more:

March 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Japan’s Energy Security 8 Years After Fukushima

thediplomat_2016-03-01_01-58-23-386x289
Fukushima’s nuclear power plant, before the 2011 disaster.
 
March 21, 2019
To increase energy self-sufficiency after the 2011 nuclear disaster, renewables are Japan’s only option.
It’s been eight years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster. Since then, the utilization of nuclear energy, which accounted for more than one-tenth of Japan’s energy mix before 2011, has become a controversial issue in Japan. Japan thus started to face the severe challenge of energy security.
First, due to the shutdown of most nuclear power plants, Japan’s energy self-sufficiency rate plummeted from 20.2 percent in 2010 to 11.5 percent in 2011. Since then, the self-sufficiency rate has remained under 10 percent, which is extremely low compared to other countries.
Japan has significantly increased its energy imports from overseas. The reliance on foreign energy not only deteriorates the government budget deficit, but also brings increasing political risk. More than 80 percent of Japan’s imported oil comes from the Middle East. It is not easy to assure a stable supply of oil from those politically unstable countries.
Second, Japan is highly dependent on fossil energy compared to other advanced countries. Fossil energy accounted for 94 percent of Japan’s energy mix when the oil crisis happened in 1973. Since then Japan has made great efforts to reduce that share, which dropped to 81 percent in 2010. However, the degree of dependence on fossil energy rebounded to 89 percent in 2016, approaching the level at the time of oil shock. The increased use of fossil energy is meant to fill the gap caused by the suspension of nuclear energy. Japan now is extremely vulnerable to another oil shock as crude oil accounts for more than 40 percent of its energy source.
Third, the price of electricity in Japan has risen greatly due to the soaring energy cost. Electricity rates peaked in 2014, when rates for household increased by about 24 percent and those for industries increased by about 38 percent over rates in 2010. Although the cost is on a downward trend, rates of electricity for both households and industries remain over 10 percent higher than 2010 rates.
Read more:

 

March 25, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

The Unlearned Lessons of Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

a_japan-fukushima-anniversary-03202019-1.jpg
March 20, 2019
Last week, Japan marked the eighth anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in 2011, leaving more than 18,000 people dead or unaccounted for and triggering one of the worst nuclear accidents in modern history. A moment of silence was observed across the country at 2:46 p.m. on March 11, the time the earthquake struck. Sports teams interrupted their practice to pray for the souls of those who perished. “We must never let the valuable lessons that we have learned from the enormous damage caused by the disaster to fade away,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a commemorative ceremony.
 
The following day, three former executives of the Tokyo Electric Power Corporation, or TEPCO—which operated the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant when it took a direct hit from the tsunami—entered the district courthouse in Tokyo for the final day of their trial. They reiterated pleas of “not guilty” in response to charges of criminal negligence in connection with the disaster at Fukushima. The prosecution is requesting that each defendant serve five years in prison….
… Eight years on, residents of Fukushima continue to feel the impact of the nuclear accident. Much of the surrounding area remains designated as a “difficult-to-return zone,” requiring special permission to enter. Even in parts of the nine municipalities that have been deemed safe since 2014, most residents have yet to return home. An investigation by the Kyodo News service revealed that only 23 percent of registered homes in those areas are currently inhabited.
For citizens affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the process of seeking justice has been halting and uncertain.
Even for areas outside the initial evacuation zone, fears of radiation persist amid a massive, ongoing cleanup effort. One problem has to do with contaminated soil and debris that has been removed and stored in black bulk container bags across Fukushima. There’s still no set plan for their removal, so in many neighborhoods, the bags simply pile up—an ugly reminder of a tragedy that continues to reverberate through the area. In some cases, storage pits have been created, but they are far from a lasting solution, and not sufficient to hold the massive amounts of contaminated material slated for eventual disposal. The government has also installed monitoring posts throughout the affected area, but these sensors often fail to catch radioactive “hot spots”—concentrations of contaminated particles that accumulate over time due to weather patterns…
 
… Concerns over residual radiation are also hampering the recovery of the largely agriculture-based economy in Tohoku, the region that includes Fukushima. In the weeks and months after the meltdown, as many as 54 of Japan’s trading partners, fearing that radiation would reach their shores via contaminated produce, enacted trade embargoes on agricultural products from the region. Many governments have since removed or relaxed these prohibitions, but 24 countries and territories maintain some form of restriction despite repeated assurances from Tokyo that food products from the region are safe. These include major nearby export markets like China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s most widely circulated daily newspaper, reports roughly $6 billion worth of exports are affected….
 
… This reality points to the permanent reputational damage to the people of Fukushima and its neighboring prefectures caused by the nuclear meltdown, which is proving just as hard to clean up. Like other sites of major nuclear accidents—Chernobyl, for example, and Three Mile Island—Fukushima is indelibly associated with nuclear fallout and the stigma that comes with it…
 
… For affected citizens, the process of seeking justice has been halting and uncertain, but there has been some progress. The verdict in the Tokyo criminal case is expected in September, though legal experts point out that guilty verdicts in cases that have been forcibly brought to trial by an inquest panel are rare. Meanwhile, roughly 30 class action lawsuits brought by residents of the Fukushima plant’s surrounding area are working their way through Japan’s legal system. A number of courts in those cases have found both TEPCO and the Japanese government liable for the disaster, awarding substantial damages…
 
… Japan is certainly no exception when it comes to lax and failing government regulation. Nor is it the only country that has prioritized economic growth over safety concerns. But as Japan’s nuclear reactors gradually come back online eight years after the meltdown in Fukushima, the potential costs of failing to learn from its mistakes seem particularly stark.
Read more:

March 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Tohoku Electric says donation not a payoff for idle nuclear plant

safe_image.php.jpg
Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s Higashidori nuclear power plant in Aomori Prefecture, which has been idled since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disater
March 20, 2019
Tohoku Electric Power Co. plans to give an estimated 400 million yen ($3.58 million) to a village that hosts one of its nuclear power plants, but denies it is compensation for losses stemming from the facility’s suspension since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The utility said March 19 it will make a donation to Higashidori, Aomori Prefecture, where its Higashidori nuclear power plant is located, through a corporate version of the “furusato nozei” (hometown tax payment) system.
The company did not disclose the amount, but only said it wants to donate “about half” the maximum amount that the village is allowed to receive under this system. The ceiling for the village is about 800 million yen.
 
… Satoshi Shimoyashiki, vice manager of Tohoku Electric’s Aomori branch, rejected the notion that the donation was meant as compensation for such economic losses and emphasized that it is being made as “part of corporate social responsibility (CSR).”
“We decided to provide this form of cooperation because co-prosperity with local communities has been part of our management philosophy since the founding of our company,” Shimoyashiki told reporters at the Aomori prefectural government building.
“We believe that Tohoku Electric decided to support the village’s regional revitalization projects,” said Higashidori Mayor Yasuo Echizen….
 
… The furusato nozei system allows individuals to divert part of their local tax payment to a local government of their choice. In return, many of those governments send local specialties to donors.
Its corporate version allows companies to reduce their corporate and other tax payments if they donate to projects of local governments.
Read more:

March 25, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

As fears linger, Fukushima rice rebounds under anonymity

hjkllmm.jpg
A Fukushima prefectural government worker advertises rice from his prefecture at a Tokyo commercial facility in November 2018
March 20, 2019
FUKUSHIMA–Shipments of Fukushima rice have rebounded since the 2011 nuclear disaster, but Masao Matsukawa, a rice farmer in the prefecture, is not happy about the situation.
Before the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, most of the rice grown at Matsukawa’s farm in Sukagawa was sold for household use.
Now, the bulk of his annual harvest of 15 tons is designated for “industrial use,” mainly by convenience store and restaurant chains, and simply labeled “domestic product.”
“I am so sad about it all,” Matsukawa, 74, said. “I am so confident in the rice I grow, so I wish to sell it openly under the ‘Fukushima’ label.”
But rice from the northeastern prefecture is still struggling to reach pre-disaster levels for household use because of lingering consumer concerns about radiation.
The nuclear disaster took a heavy toll on the prices of Fukushima rice.
The “arm’s length price” of the rice, for direct transactions between marketing groups and wholesalers, was 10.4 percent below the national average for the 2014 harvest.
However, the price was only 3.0 percent below the national average for the 2018 harvest, according to preliminary figures.
The comeback has been driven by solid demand for industrial use rice for products sold at convenience stores and dishes served at restaurants.
According to a farm ministry survey, industrial use accounted for 65 percent of shipments of rice produced in Fukushima Prefecture in the year through June 2017, one of the highest ratios in Japan.
No comparable figures are available, though, for the pre-disaster period.
When the scope is limited to rice handled by the Fukushima Prefecture branch of the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations, industrial use accounts for more than 80 percent of the shipments, up about 15 percentage points from pre-disaster levels, officials said.
“There is high demand for industrial use rice from Fukushima Prefecture, which is cheap for its taste,” one distributor said.
Industrial use rice often only carries a “domestic” label with no mention of the production area.
But labels on rice for hpusehold use usually show the production area. And consumers are still pulling back from Fukushima labels.
Rice of the Tennotsubu strain, a brand from Fukushima Prefecture that debuted in autumn 2011, was put on the shelves at a rice store in Tokyo last year, only to be withdrawn because of next-to-nothing sales.
“Products of Fukushima Prefecture, where the nuclear disaster has had lingering consequences, are not the first to be chosen,” the shopkeeper said.
Since 2012, all bags of rice produced in Fukushima Prefecture have been subject to the prefectural government’s blanket testing. The screening has cost about 6 billion yen ($54 million) annually.
Since August 2015, no rice has been found with radioactive substances exceeding the central government’s safety standards.
The prefectural government plans to switch to a sample testing, possibly with the 2020 harvest.
According to a Consumer Affairs Agency survey conducted in February, 12.5 percent of consumers are hesitant to buy products from Fukushima Prefecture because of possible radioactive content.
Although that percentage is the lowest since the survey started in 2013, it shows that aversion to Fukushima products remains.
In hopes of further reducing the ratio, the prefectural government in October began sending its workers to rice shops across Japan to advertise the taste and safety of Fukushima rice.

March 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | | Leave a comment

2020 Tokyo Olympic torch relay in Japan to begin at soccer middle in Fukushima

japan-olympics-fear.gif
March 19, 2019
TOKYO, March 12 (Xinhua) — Japan’s torch relay of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will kick off on March 26, 2020 at a soccer facility in Fukushima Prefecture that was stricken by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, president of the organizing committee Yoshiro Mori said Tuesday.
The move of selecting the J-Village national soccer training center as the starting point was part of the Olympic organizers’ efforts to demonstrate the games as “reconstruction Olympics.”
“It is important to help showcase the reconstruction to people in Japan and abroad. But I hope this will be some support to the people, who struggled so hard, to find new hope,” Mori said, as Tuesday marked 500 days to go ahead of the Tokyo Games.
The J-Village national soccer training center is regarded as a symbol of the country’s reconstruction from the natural catastrophe, as it served as an operational base during the nuclear crisis.
Located 20km away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the center sheltered thousands of workers engaged in the cleanup of the nuclear plant in northeastern Japan.
Read more:

March 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima water headache: 1 million tons and counting

hjjlmlmm.jpg
Hundreds of storage tanks on the grounds of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant hold water contaminated with radioactive materials.
March 19, 2019
The crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant reached an undesired milestone on March 18: Storage tanks at the site now contain more than 1 million tons of radiation-contaminated water.
The announcement by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., came as the utility and the central government continue to weigh water-disposal methods while hearing the concerns of fishermen who fear for their livelihoods.
Toyoshi Fuketa, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, has repeatedly said a decision must be made soon on how to deal with the contaminated water.
Groundwater becomes contaminated when it flows into the buildings of the three reactors that suffered meltdowns in 2011 following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
… Water is used to cool the nuclear fuel debris, but its processing in order to remove radioactive substances is far from successful, which Tepco itself recently finally admitted after years of claiming that it was effective and that only tritium remained in the filtered water, lobbying for its relase into the ocean…
… These problems have forced TEPCO to store the contaminated water in hundreds of tanks installed at the Fukushima plant.
If more storage tanks are constructed, the overall capacity of 1.37 million tons at the site will likely be reached by the end of 2020….
… Fukushima fishermen are already on alert for the one option they have already criticized–diluting the water and dumping it into the Pacific Ocean…
… The government has spent about 34.5 billion yen ($309 million) to build a frozen underground earth wall around the three reactor buildings to divert the groundwater to the ocean. The “ice wall” has cut down the flow of groundwater, which at one time reached about 500 tons a day.
But still, groundwater continues to flow into the three reactor buildings at a rate of about 100 tons daily.
Read more:

March 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Schools reopen, but student numbers fail to rebound in disaster-hit Fukushima municipalities

n-fukushima-a-20190320-870x589
Four elementary schools in Fukushima Prefecture link up via a teleconference system in February and conduct a joint class on ethics.
March 19, 2019
FUKUSHIMA – Eight years after the March 2011 disasters, elementary and junior high schools have reopened in 10 Fukushima Prefecture municipalities after the lifting of nuclear evacuation advisories. Student numbers have not rebounded.
According to statistics released last May, the number of students stood at only about 10 percent of the level before 3/11.
During the protracted evacuations, many families rebuilt their lives in new locations, leading to the sharp fall in students in Fukushima. As a result, local governments are facing difficulties keeping schools operating.
… A man in his 60s who is a member of a neighborhood community association in the Yamakiya district in the town of Kawamata is disappointed by the steep decrease in the number of children.
“The disappearance of children’s voices is like the lights going out,” the man, who did not want his name published, said….
… The central government is working to improve small-class education in depopulated areas through the use of information and communications technology.
Read more:

March 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Tokyo 2020 Games: Japan Olympics chief Tsunekazu Takeda quits

_106083230_tsunekazutakedabody_reu.jpg
Tsunekazu Takeda announced his resignation to the media on Tuesday
March 19, 2019
The head of Japan’s Olympic Committee (JOC) is stepping down over corruption allegations relating to the awarding of the 2020 Games to Tokyo.
 
Tsunekazu Takeda is being investigated by French prosecutors who are looking into claims a 2m Euro (£1.7m) bribe was paid to secure Tokyo’s winning bid.
 
Tokyo was awarded the Games in 2013, beating Madrid and Istanbul.

March 25, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment