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

Nuclear and climate news this week

Global problems intertwine. Global heating contributes to epidemics of infectious diseases, by promoting the spread of disease vectors, like mosquitoes.  There is no established link between covid-19 and climate change. However, the way we are altering the planet will make the spread of some diseases more likely.  National responses to the coronavirus pandemic bring the opportunity to tackle climate change.  To get a perspective – the climate crisis is a greater catastrophe than Coronavirus.

The current story of Captain Brett Crozier, captain of the nuclear aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, illustrates the moral poverty of the secretive nuclear culture, and the moral poverty of USA’s nuclear commander-in-chief, Donald Trump. The ship, with nearly 5000 crew, had a number of cases of coronavirus. The captain wrote to the Navy, begging to have the sailors evacuated, a plea which was rejected. Later, the sailors were evacuated, but the captain was fired.  President Trump explained that what Crozier did “was terrible” .

But that’s just one nuclear ship – what about the world’s nuclear ships and nuclear submarines? How safe  are they, with warship crews now falling victim to COVID-19 ?

Some bits of good news –   Another Roundup of Positive Updates on the COVID Outbreaks From Around the World. Earth’s Ozone Layer Continues to Repair Itself. (Also – if you can persevere with  the video “Sam and the Plant Next Door”- it’s  quite uplifting. )

Despite propaganda from nuclear/coal front group, Breakthrough Institute, NOW IS the time to talk about climate changeThe Climate Crisis Will Be Just as Shockingly Abrupt as the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Put people and health before nukesNew hypersonic weaponry complicates Nuclear Arms Control Regime. Noam Chomsky on the urgent need to eradicate nuclear weapons.

Covid 19 and government responses are affecting nuclear construction world-wide. The nuclear industry and the impact of coronavirus.   A creeping catastrophe: the world’s nuclear reactors are getting dangerously old.

JAPAN. Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s deadly hazard – highly radioactive sandbags.-TEPCO plans to take 30 years to release Fukushima nuke plant water into sea or air .  Countries may use coronavirus crisis to rein in climate commitments: Japan a case in point. Protective gear shortage hits Fukushima workers.   Coronavirus question mark still hangs over Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

UK. Doctors warn on coronavirus danger for Australian citizen, Julian Assange, imprisoned without conviction, in a coronavirus incubator. Expert opinion recommends furloughing Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons.    EDF’s hypocrisy –Hinkley C nuclear construction continued, despite pandemic, as “essential” work. Sizewell C nuclear project: community has lost faith in the integrity of EDF.  UK ‘s new nuclear projects further delayedSam and the Plant Next Door – growing up by the nuclear power plant.


UKRAINE. Wildfires in Ukraine: authorities say that those near Chernobyl are now extinguished.  Firefighters battle forest blazes near Chernobyl nuclear siteRadiation spike as forest fire hits Chernobyl nuclear zone .

RUSSIA. Russia’s response to coronavirus risk for nuclear stations – isolate the nuclear workforce.  The Russian point of view on nuclear arms control.

CANADA. Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization to spend millions on propaganda.

CHINA. Nuclear power plant shut down by host of tiny shrimp clogging filters.

BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA. Bosnia and Herzegovina oppose Croatia’s nuclear waste plan.

SWEDEN. Sweden’s Vattenfall AB’s 44-year-old Ringhals-1 shut down, as energy prices fall.

GERMANY.   Germany averages more than 50% renewables over March quarter.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

The wrong crisis stopped the Olympics

Excellent article from Linda Pentz Gunter of Beyond Nuclear


April 5, 2020

Radiation risks couldn’t kill the Games, but Covid-19 has

The Japanese government allowed 50,000 people to cluster around the Olympic flame, then hesitated to postpone the Games, until the IOC (and a reluctant Abe) called them off until 2021. Now those concerned about the persistent radiological contamination, which could harm athletes and spectators, have one more year to organize to stop the Tokyo Olympics altogether.

By Linda Pentz Gunter

On Saturday, March 21, 50,000 people queued up at Sendai station to see the Olympic flame displayed in a cauldron there. Packed together, not all of them wearing masks, the eager spectators waited as long as three hours to glimpse a flame that should have been extinguished in Japan months ago. 

Sendai is just 112 kilometers up the Japanese coast from the stricken Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear reactors that exploded and melted down on March 11, 2011.

Around the same time that those 50,000 people, and the authorities who govern them, failed to take the novel coronavirus pandemic seriously, Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, was making lukewarm noises about maybe possibly postponing the Olympic Games.

After some skillful negotiating designed to spare Japan embarrassment, that decision was finally made on March 24, when the International Olympic Committee, and the Abe government, each announced that the Games would be postponed until the summer of 2021.

hghijlThe 50,000 who queued to see the Olympic torch in Fukushima will not see Japanese Olympians or any others this summer.


Yes, it was beyond stupidity to have continued contemplating an event that would have brought tens of thousands of corona-carrying athletes and spectators to Tokyo and beyond. But it was worse that the persistent radiological contamination of Japan in the now 9-year long aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster didn’t cancel the Games months ago. Or better still, disqualify Japan’s bid in the first place. Things in Japan won’t be significantly better in that regard one year from now. But radiation remains untouchable as a topic.

Japan needed the Games for one compelling reason; to cover-up and sanitize the world’s worst, or second worst, nuclear disaster — arguments still abound as to whether Fukushima will end up being worse than the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident in Ukraine, whose long-term health effects now pass down generations.

That’s why Japan gave the Games, the “Recovery Olympics” moniker, to prove that Fukushima wasn’t all that bad after all and that everything is back to normal. Which is, of course, a big and unforgivable lie.

Just to press their point, the Japanese Olympic committee had the torch relay start in Fukushima Prefecture, and the opening event of the Games was to have been a women’s softball match between Japan and Australia, also played in Fukushima. (Australia, along with Canada, announced it would boycott the Games, before the postponement announcement was made).

Wrote Shaun Burnie of Greenpeace International in early February, before the added coronavirus threat became apparent: “The route of the Olympic Torch relay in all the municipalities of Fukushima prefecture includes the districts of Iitate, Namie, and Okuma where Greenpeace Japan’s Nuclear Monitoring & Radiation Protection Team has discovered radioactive hotspots, both in the open areas as well as in the remaining radiation exclusion zones, that remain too high even by revised governmental standards.”

Burnie was featured in an HBO documentary on the topic in January.

hhlkmlkNo one will be flying to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, but the Games are still scheduled in radiologically contaminated Japan for 2021.


The refusal to cancel the Games because of the radiation risks prompted a group in Japan called Citizens’ Group for Appealing against Danger of Tokyo Olympics, to produce a book warning against going forward. What Endangers Tokyo Olympics — Clear and Present Radioactivity and Health Damage, details a host of reasons to have called off the event long before the cancelation was forced on the Japanese government by the covid-19 pandemic. (The book is in Japanese but there is an introductory summary in English.)

The book is edited by Etsuji Watanabe, a member of ACSIR (Association for Citizens and Scientists Concerned about Internal Radiation Exposure) who also relates that activists opposing the Olympics have faced harassment by police.

The book urges athletes, visitors and spectators planning to attend the Tokyo Olympics not to trust any Japanese government propaganda “claiming that Fukushima and Tokyo ‘are 100% safe now’, ‘have no risk of radiation exposure’, or ‘radiation exposure won’t cause any health effects’.”

The authors ask that people “recognize the real risks of radiation exposure from visiting the Fukushima and Kanto regions including Tokyo, even for short stays, and to reconsider their plans of attending the Tokyo Olympics by applying the precautionary principle.”

hhlkjmlkùThings are by no means all cleaned up and back to normal in Fukushima.


The authors hoped that by drawing attention to these risks, many people, especially the international community, would start to pay attention to the heartless actions of the Japanese government who are masking the termination of all financial support for Fukushima evacuees behind a large scale mass-media propaganda smokescreen. The financially forced return of Fukushima evacuees to still contaminated areas where they face radiation exposures as high as 20mSv/ year is, the authors say, tantamount to ”a crime against humanity”.

And they add: “Based on the Japanese government risk factors, though greatly underestimated, the early-death rate for returnees in lifetime is estimated at 5-15%.”

The coronavirus death rate is about 4% world average, some lower, some higher,” observed Beyond Nuclear’s radiation and health specialist, Cindy Folkers. “Compare that to the 5-15% death rate Japan is demanding its citizens endure.”

Despite this, Japanese authorities and others have routinely downplayed the risks of radiation exposure, never wavering from their claim that the levels are “low”. But beyond the persistent radiological contamination, there is the additional risk of exposure to errant “hot particles” — such as those detailed in Folkers’s earlier story on Beyond Nuclear International.

These could, Watanabe says, “entail so serious a biological danger or 4,500 times that of the external exposure, that only one small particle, say with 1Bq in each, breathed and deposited in one’s lung, could cause a lifetime threat to one’s health.”

It is now even emerging that authorities covered up Japan’s own covid-19 epidemic in an effort to keep the Olympic Games on track. This has effectively sacrificed yet more innocent lives in the name of secrecy and reputation.

These ever-present dangers — far worse of course for the permanent residents of Japan than the temporarily visiting Olympic fans and competitors — were never enough to prompt any kind of rethink from any country about sending their athletes or spectators to the Tokyo Olympics. 

Now the coronavirus has given activists one more year to organize around stopping the Tokyo Games altogether.



April 6, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

New School Opens in Nuclear Crisis-Hit Fukushima Village

Sacrificing the youth in the simulacre of a return to normalty…




Iitate, Fukushima Pref., April 5 (Jiji Press)–A new school offering nine-year compulsory education opened on Sunday in a northeastern Japan village affected by the country’s worst nuclear accident nine years ago.

Iitate Hope Village Academy is the first facility for compulsory schooling launched in a former no-go zone set up after the unprecedented triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which was damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The institution in the village of Iitate in Fukushima Prefecture aims to improve the quality of education by integrating school functions after the number of students fell sharply due to an exodus of residents following the nuclear accident. The academy, run by the government of the village, will provide education programs for elementary and junior high schools.

An opening ceremony, held on Sunday, was attended by 50 of the 65 students and some 150 guardians and guests. While taking measures, such as wearing face masks, to prevent infection with the novel coronavirus that is raging across the country, participants sang the school song written by poet Madoka Mayuzumi and composed by singer Kosetsu Minami.

“As a top-grade student, I’m ready to lead younger students,” Ryosuke Watanabe, 14, said, receiving the new school flag at the ceremony.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

IAEA supports discharge of Fukushima Daiichi water

Yes it is technically feasible but also totally unsafe for our health and our living environment!!!

03 April 2020

A review of the management of treated water stored at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan has been carried out by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It says the two options under consideration for disposing of this water – discharge into the sea and via vapour release – are both technically feasible.


Contaminated-water-storage-tanks-at-Fukushima-Daiichi-(Tepco)Tanks of treated water at the Fukushima Daiichi site


At the Fukushima Daiichi site, contaminated water is treated by the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), which removes most of the radioactive contamination, with the exception of tritium. This treated water is currently stored on site. As of 12 March, some 1.19 million cubic metres of treated water are stored within 979 tanks on the plant site. The total tank storage capacity will amount to approximately 1.37 million cubic metres by the end of 2020 and all the tanks are expected to be full around the summer of 2022.

The Japanese government had requested an IAEA review of the management of the stored water, including of the report by the Subcommittee on Handling ALPS Treated Water issued on 10 February.

In a review published yesterday, the IAEA said the two options for controlled disposal outlined by the advisory subcommittee – vapour release and discharges to the sea – were both technically feasible. These methods, it noted, are routinely used by operating nuclear power plants worldwide under specific regulatory authorisations based on safety and environmental impact assessments. The IAEA experts said the subcommittee’s recommendations to the Japanese government were based on “a comprehensive and scientifically sound analysis addressing the necessary technical, non-technical and safety aspects”.

The IAEA team said water management, including the treated water disposal, was “critical to the sustainability of the Fukushima Daiichi decommissioning activities”. Reiterating advice from an IAEA decommissioning review mission to the plant in 2018, the experts said a decision on the disposition path for the stored treated water – after further treatment as needed – should be taken urgently, considering safety aspects and engaging all stakeholders. “Once the Government of Japan has decided on its preferred disposition option, the IAEA is ready to work with Japan to provide radiation safety assistance before, during and after the disposition,” it said.

“The safe and effective implementation of the disposition of ALPS treated water is a unique and complex case,” said team leader Christophe Xerri, director of the IAEA’s Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology. “Solutions are available. They will require sustained attention, safety reviews, regulatory supervision, a comprehensive monitoring programme supported by a robust communication plan, and proper engagement with all stakeholders.”

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Protective gear shortage hits Fukushima workers


April 2, 2020

The shortage of protective gear caused by the coronavirus pandemic has hit the workers at the meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, where they’ve needed them daily for years to guard against radiation.

Shipments temporarily stopped coming in, although an alternative supplier was later found, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility that runs the Fukushima plant. The 4,000 workers at the plant cannot always practice social distancing as they must come close to each other to carry out cleanup work, spokesman Joji Hara said Thursday.

To reduce the possibility of infection, workers have been forbidden from riding on public transportation, such as trains, and must either drive to work or take the special company buses. When eating at the cafeteria, they can’t sit facing each other, and their temperatures are checked daily, he said.

We are involved in decommissioning work that can’t ever stop and so we are taking every precaution we can,” said Hara.

The workers with special skills, who would be hard to replace, have reduced contact with people to minimize risks of infection. There is no lockdown in Japan and so all such efforts outside work are voluntary.

In March 2011, a tsunami swallowed the plant and sent three reactors into meltdowns, causing the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. The reactors must be chilled constantly, producing tons of contaminated water every day.


April 6, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi Live Camera

01 - 04- 2020
Video pictures of Units 1 to 4 at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station are available.
Starting from January9, 2014, images of Unit 1&4 side of the station are provided.
This is the images of Unit 1 side of the station.
*Expect a 30 second time lag in the system delivery of the picture due to its communication path.
*Images may be unclear under conditions of strong backlight, bad weather and nighttime darkness.
*The service will be suspended during maintenance of equipment and/or other trouble.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , | Leave a comment

Coronavirus question mark still hangs over Tokyo Olympics in 2021

V‚½‚ȃJƒEƒ“ƒgƒ_ƒEƒ“A passerby takes photos of a countdown clock in front of Tokyo Station on Monday showing the adjusted days and time for the start of the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games, which are now set to begin on July 23, 2021.


March 31, 2020

Although this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were postponed by about a year due to the new coronavirus pandemic, the lingering question is whether the global health crisis will be under control by then.

The capital is facing a mounting challenge following the first Olympic postponement in history, with local organizers confronted with the task of reworking the preparations of the last six years.

The International Olympic Committee and the local organizers agreed Monday that the Tokyo Olympics, originally set to open on July 24 this year, will run between July 23 and Aug. 8, 2021, followed by the Paralympics from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

The IOC has stressed the importance of holding the Tokyo Games in 2021, with President Thomas Bach saying the sporting event can be a “celebration of humankind after having overcome the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus.”

However, even as the organizers try to settle one problem after another, ranging from securing venues and lodging for athletes and officials, gathering volunteers and figuring out how to shoulder the additional costs, the key to hosting a successful Tokyo Games is something they cannot control by themselves.

On March 24, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Bach agreed to hold the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021 at the latest after they were pressured by athletes to make changes to the schedule to prevent a further spread of the coronavirus and to provide them a chance to prepare fully.

Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Organising Committee, said at a press conference shortly after the agreement was reached that the virus is their “top concern” but that he expects the situation will change due to medical advancements.

Kazuhiro Tateda, who heads the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases, says whether infections of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, could be drastically curtailed by next summer is still unknown, but predicts the pace of the spread will decelerate.

“The new coronavirus has been spreading at a very rapid pace,” Tateda said. “In the next few months, the virus will spread in both the northern and southern hemispheres. If those people who recovered become immune to the virus, we can say that the outbreak will settle down.”

“But we can’t tell what the situation is like in a year,” he said.

Speaking at the press conference with Mori, the organizing committee’s CEO, Toshiro Muto, said a one-year postponement was a “reasonable” decision at a time when no health experts can say for sure when the pandemic will end.

The March 24 decision came just two days before the initial start of the 121-day torch relay in Japan and exactly four months ahead of the opening of the Olympics.

It was also made on the day Tokyo overtook Hokkaido as the region with the most infections.

“If I’m asked whether the coronavirus (situation) settles in the summer of next year, I can’t say that it will be absolutely fine,” Muto said. “But if something like that happens, not only Japan but also the rest of the world will be in a devastating situation. I predict people to come up with new drugs if that’s the case.”

Tateda, a member of the government’s panel of experts, said the organizers made a “rational” choice, but they need to monitor the situation throughout their preparation period and make changes to the schedule if necessary.

Meanwhile, Koji Wada, a professor at the International University of Health and Welfare, says staging the Olympics next summer could be “difficult,” given that the pneumonia-causing virus has spread to all of the world’s seven continents except Antarctica since it broke out in China late last year.

“I think it’s a little too optimistic to assume that many people will become immune to the virus in one year and three months and be able to travel back and forth,” he said in a recent interview.

“Two years might have been better, but barely possible. Even then, there will be cases of infections around the world, and the games will have to go ahead under tough circumstances,” he said.

Wada said staging the Olympics and Paralympics will be different from any other event because a huge number of athletes and spectators from all over the world will gather, and the development of vaccinations and medications will be unlikely in a year.

“It is difficult to place countermeasures against infections to athletes,” he said. “What are they going to do with athletes who come from countries that still have cases of infection? People will suggest putting them under quarantine for about two weeks, but what would happen if that athlete tests positive?”

The European Union’s disease control body released a report on March 25 saying that the summer heat and humidity will be unlikely to prevent the virus from spreading, adding there is no evidence that COVID-19 displays a marked seasonality.

“Based on preliminary analyses of the COVID-19 outbreak in China and other countries, high reproductive numbers were observed not only in dry and cold districts but also in tropical districts with high absolute humidity, such as Guangxi (China) and Singapore,” the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said in the report.

Wada warns that holding the Summer Games when the virus situation is not under control will take away from the fairness of the sporting extravaganza.

In particular, it would be difficult for athletes competing in contact sports, such as wrestling and judo.

The Tokyo Games are not the first games to be threatened by global health issues.

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Games were held following the outbreak of swine flu the previous year, while the previous Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro were held amid fears over the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus.

However, Wada said the new virus is not like any other, characterizing it as “nothing we have experienced in recent history.”

“The coronavirus is very difficult compared to other viruses because it spreads through people who do not show symptoms. And since none of us are immune to it, it can spread all over the world,” he said.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

New problem at Fukushima site; sandbags found to be radioactive

jmùmùùSandbags sunk in the basement of a high-temperature incinerator building at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant shortly after the 2011 nuclear crisis flared


March 31, 2020

Sandbags placed as an emergency measure to lower radiation levels of contaminated water in the aftermath of the 2011 nuclear disaster now turn out to be so highly radioactive they pose an obstacle to the decommissioning of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

A recent survey showed that the materials are in such a hazardous state that plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. is having to postpone its program to discharge the contaminated water.

The sandbags should be removed, but that will not be so simple,” said an official of the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

TEPCO is struggling to find ways to safely remove 26 tons of sandbags in the basements of two buildings near the No. 1 to No. 3 reactors, where a triple meltdown occurred. They were packed with a mineral called zeolite to absorb radioactive cesium.

They are emitting radiation levels of up to 3 to 4 sieverts per hour, which would kill half of the people exposed to the high reading for an entire hour.

Soon after the nuclear crisis began to unfold, TEPCO used the two buildings as substitutes for tanks to temporarily store a huge volume of heavily contaminated water produced on the plant site.

In doing so, the zeolite-packed sandbags were installed on the floors of the buildings’ basements to absorb radioactive substances in the water.

Interest in the sunken sandbags waned as the years passed, but the issue surfaced again in December 2018 when TEPCO measured radiation levels in the two buildings’ basements in preparation for removing radioactive water there.

Significantly high radiation levels were detected just above the floors.

A zeolite sample collected from the sandbags recorded a cesium concentration of about 130 million becquerels per gram.

TEPCO has been forced to delay the water removal procedure at the two buildings to fiscal 2023 or later. It initially planned to finish the process by 2020. If it doesn’t have countermeasures in place when the water is released, the highly radioactive sandbags will be exposed to air.

TEPCO is now weighing ways to safely dispose of the contaminated materials. One idea is to suck up the zeolite from floors above ground and store it in other receptacles, and the other is to pack the material in different containers in water for temporary storage.

But officials acknowledge that those measures will not eliminate all safety risks.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO puts cost to remove melted nuclear fuel at over 1 trillion yen

jkmA video image shows what appears to be melted nuclear fuel within the No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.


March 31, 2020

Tokyo Electric Power Co. estimates that 1.37 trillion yen ($12.6 billion) will be needed over 12 years to remove melted nuclear fuel from reactors at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

TEPCO’s announcement on March 30 covers only two of the three reactors that suffered meltdowns triggered by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

No estimate was attempted for the cost to prepare for the removal of melted nuclear fuel from the No. 1 reactor. The situation at that reactor is the most difficult among the three reactors, and TEPCO officials are still struggling to come up with a plan for removing the debris from within.

The estimate covers the period between fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2031. Of that amount, 350 billion yen will be applied as a special loss to the company’s balance statement for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020.

The utility had already released its plan for decommissioning the three reactors, which foresaw a start to removing melted nuclear fuel from the No. 2 reactor before the end of 2021, while removal would begin for the No. 3 reactor by 2031.

In announcing its expected profits for the current fiscal year, TEPCO also outlined its estimated expenses for melted fuel removal over the next 12 years.

A total of 330 billion would be needed as preparatory measures, such as further examining the interior of the No. 2 reactor and decontaminating radiation from the area around the three reactors.

Another 20 billion yen is expected to be spent for trial removal of melted nuclear fuel from the No. 2 reactor, while 1.02 trillion yen would be required to construct the facilities needed to remove the melted fuel from the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors.

The construction cost would be written off as a special loss from TEPCO’s balance statement in the fiscal year when the work takes place.

TEPCO forecasts a net profit of 79 billion yen for the current fiscal year, a decrease of 66 percent from fiscal 2019. Sales are expected to decrease by 2.2 percent to 6.199 trillion yen.


April 6, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

South Korea Expresses Concern About New Fukushima Water Release Plan


30 Mar 2020 – 08:15 by OOSKAnews Correspondent

SEOUL, South Korea

South Korea has expressed concern about a new draft plan from Japan to release contaminated Fukushima water from its disabled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea.

The country’s Office for Government Policy Coordination said March 26 that Japan should ensure that its plan does not affect the health and safety of South Koreans or the maritime ecosystem, while the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that it “cannot support the Japanese government discharging contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in the sea without discussions with neighbouring countries”.

South Korea’s latest protest came two days after the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) issued a more detailed draft plan to release the contaminated water over 30 years.

Currently, treated, but still radioactive water, is accumulating at about 170 tons per day and is being treated to remove most contaminants, following the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

TEPCO reports that currently there is 1.19 million cubic meters of contaminated water in storage on site. The concentration of tritium, which cannot be completely removed, is about 730,000 Bq/litre, or a total of 16 grams. Quantities of treated water are increasing constantly and storage capacity is expected to run out in 2021.

The utility’s report discusses the treatment and disposal methods, which have been developed by outside experts, as being “practical options, both of which have precedents in current practice…the radiation impact of both the discharge into the sea and vapor release is notably small, compared to natural radiation exposure,” saying that the government of Japan, not TEPCO, will make the final decision as to release.

The tritium concentration will be lowered as much as possible under the plan: “For vapor release: TEPCO will study dilution of tritium at a rate equivalent to that for discharge into the sea, as against the regulatory concentration limit of tritium in the atmosphere (5 Bq in 1 liter air)…For discharge into the sea: TEPCO will study dilution rates of tritium with reference to operational standards for “groundwater bypass” and “subdrains” (1,500 Bq in 1 liter water), which are well below the regulatory concentration limit for tritium in seawater (60,000 Bq in 1 liter water).” This is against WHO drinking water guideline (10,000 Bq in 1 liter water)”

If any abnormality is detected, the disposal process will stopped under the draft plan. Monitoring will be enhanced by [an] increase in sampling points and frequency; information will be published promptly.

The report is described as being aimed at the general public and other stakeholders who plan to participate in government-organised “opinion hearings”.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics: New dates confirmed for 2021

_111474685_gettyimages-1208605047Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori (centre, at table) made the announcement at a news conference on Monday


30 March 2020

The Tokyo Olympic Games will start on 23 July, 2021 and run to 8 August after being postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) executive board met on Monday to make the decision.

The Olympics will still be called Tokyo 2020 despite taking place in 2021.

The Paralympic Games, originally due to start on 24 August, 2020, will now take place between 24 August and 5 September, 2021.

IOC president Thomas Bach said: “I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge.

“Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”

International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons added: “When the Paralympic Games do take place in Tokyo next year, they will be an extra-special display of humanity uniting as one, a global celebration of human resilience and a sensational showcase of sport.

“With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games 512 days away, the priority for all those involved in the Paralympic movement must be to focus on staying safe with their friends and family during this unprecedented and difficult time.”

If that is moved back exactly a year it would clash with the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham which is set to take place between 27 July and 7 August.

“We support the new 2021 dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This gives our athletes the time they need to get back into training and competition,” World Athletics said in a statement.

“Everyone needs to be flexible and compromise and to that end we are now working with the organisers of the World Athletics Championships in Oregon on new dates in 2022.

“We are also in discussions with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and the European Championships.”

Chief executive of the CGC David Grevemberg said his organisation is “fully committed to hosting a successful Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, during 2022”.

He added: “Over the coming days, we will continue to work collaboratively with our international federation partners to ensure the XXII Commonwealth Games maintains its position and stature on the global sporting calendar.”

Olympic organisers hope the delay will allow sufficient time to finish the qualification process which will follow the same mitigation measures planned for 2020.

It has previously been confirmed that all athletes already qualified and quota places already assigned will remain unchanged.

Purchased tickets would be valid for rescheduled events or a refund could be requested when the new dates were set, organisers previously confirmed.

On 24 March, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo said the Games would be held in their “complete form” and no later than summer 2021.

Tokyo 2020 organising committee president Yoshiro Mori said he had proposed the 23 July to 8 August timeframe to the IOC, and that Bach had agreed, following consultations with the international sports federations.

“A certain amount of time is required for the selection and qualification of athletes and for their training and preparation, and the consensus was that staging the rescheduled Games during the summer vacation in Japan would be preferable,” Mori said.

“In terms of transport, arranging volunteers and the provision of tickets for those in Japan and overseas, as well as allowing for the Covid-19 situation, we think that it would be better to reschedule the Games to one year later than planned, in the summer of 2021.”

It is the first time in the Olympic Games’ 124-year modern history that they have been delayed, though they were cancelled altogether in 1916 because of World War One and again in 1940 and 1944 for World War Two. Cold War boycotts affected the summer Games in Moscow and Los Angeles in 1980 and 1984 respectively.

BPA “praises speed” of decision

The British Paralympic Association (BPA) has “praised the speed” with which the Tokyo 2020 Games have been rescheduled and hopes it will give athletes the “certainty they need to refocus on achieving their goals”.

Mike Sharrock, chief executive of the BPA, said: “”We recognise many challenges still lie ahead in the battle with the global Covid-19 pandemic and athletes will not be able to return to their training schedules for some time yet.

“The clear priority now is stemming this public health crisis and ensuring people follow the Government advice to stay safe and well.”

Sharrock added he believes Tokyo 2020 “has the potential to be the biggest and best Paralympics in history”.


April 6, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO plans to take 30 years to release Fukushima nuke plant water into sea or air

25 mars 2020Tanks holding treated radioactively contaminated water are seen on the premises of the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, in this file photo taken from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter on March 3, 2017

March 25, 2020

TOKYO — Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) is planning to take about 30 years to release treated radioactively contaminated water accumulating at its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea or air if the government chooses that option.

According to a draft plan, TEPCO will complete the disposal of radioactively contaminated water at its Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, which was hit by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, sometime between 2041 and 2051. By that time, the government plans to end work to decommission the plant.

If the state decides to release the water into the sea, TEPCO will aim to lower the density of radioactive tritium to around one-fortieth the upper limit set by the government at 60,000 becquerels per liter, while lowering the levels of other radioactive substances as much as possible. The World Health Organization sets the upper limit of radioactive tritium in water for human consumption at 10,000 becquerels per liter. Tritium cannot be removed from contaminated water even if an advanced liquid processing system (ALPS) is used to treat the water.

TEPCO will pay compensation if the release of such water gives rise to harmful rumors and causes damage to local industries.

If the government chooses to release treated water into the atmosphere, TEPCO will also strive to lower the levels of tritium well below the upper limit set by the government.

The government’s subcommittee comprising experts released a report this past February proposing to release radioactively contaminated water at the Fukushima nuclear plant into either the sea or air. The report then emphasizes the advantages of the plan to release the water into the sea.

Junichi Matsumoto, head of TEPCO’s division promoting the decommissioning of the crippled power plant, said the utility remains undecided over the way to dispose of the treated water.

While agreeing that releasing the water into the sea is a better option, Matsumoto said “it’s not true that we can’t technically explore the possibility” of releasing the water into the air.

“We haven’t decided whether to release the water into the sea or atmosphere,” he added.

Tanks on the premises of the nuclear complex are currently holding some 1.19 million metric tons of treated radioactively contaminated water. Since the water contains not only tritium but also other radioactive substances, TEPCO has indicated a plan to begin in the business year of 2020 to conduct experiments using an ALPS and other devices to lower the levels of radioactive substances in treated water.

The government is scheduled to hold hearings to listen to opinions from local communities about the disposal of radioactively contaminated water at the plant, starting in the city of Fukushima on April 6. While explaining the subcommittee’s report and TEPCO’s draft plan in these meetings, the government will make a final decision on the disposal method.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , | Leave a comment

Warship crews—from nuclear aircraft carriers to submarines—are falling victim to COVID-19.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, weapons and war | Leave a comment

EDF’s hypocrisy -Hinkley C nuclear construction continued, despite pandemic, as “essential” work

Bridgwater Mercury 4th April 2020 Roy Pumfrey: WHILE EDF has gone halfway by reducing the number of workers on the Hinkley C (HPC) site, the company seems reluctant to shut HPC down completely (‘HPC construction continues’, Mercury, March 24) due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

An EDF statement talked about reducing worker numbers ‘further as work already in progress is completed’, but was not specific about which work was so critical that it couldn’t be terminated now and how much longer it would carry on.

This is in stark contrast to the situation at Flamanville in France (HPC’s sister station) where EDF has stopped all but essential tasks. EDF hides behind the fig leaf of HPC being ‘a project of critical national importance’.

This is simply no longer justified. If it was okay to stop work for three weeks
over Christmas and the New Year, it must be done now when the stakes are
much higher than a holiday. At the same time, EDF promised to take more
effective measures on social distancing. Photographs of workers grouped in
bus queues and using the canteen but clearly less than 2m apart show that
this is all but impossible.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | health, spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

A Roosevelt salutes as Hero – the Captain of Theodore Roosevelt nuclear aircraft carrier

This story says nothing about this being a nuclear-powered ship. But underlying this whole thing is the fact of the (probably necessary) culture of secrecy that surrounds all things nuclear. This is yet another example of how the nuclear culture means that it is “preferable” for people to die, rather than have the truth get out.

Captain Crozier Is a Hero, Theodore Roosevelt, my great-grandfather, would agree.  By Tweed Roosevelt, Mr. Roosevelt is a great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt and the chairman of the Theodore Roosevelt Institute at Long Island University. April 3, 2020  

On Monday, Capt. Brett Crozier, the commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, sent a letter to the Navy pleading for permission to unload his crew, including scores of sailors sickened with Covid-19, in Guam, where it was docked. The Pentagon had been dragging its feet, and the situation on the ship was growing dire.  “We are not at war,” he wrote. “Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors.”

After the letter was leaked to The San Francisco Chronicle, the Navy relented. But on Thursday, it relieved Captain Crozier of his command.

In removing Captain Crozier, the Navy said that his letter was a gross error that could incite panic among his crew. But it’s hard to know what else he could have done — the situation on the Theodore Roosevelt was dire.

Ships at sea, whether Navy carriers or cruise ships, are hotbeds for this disease. Social distancing is nearly impossible: The sailors are practically on top of one another all day, in crowded messes, in cramped sleeping quarters and on group watches.

It is thought that a sailor caught the virus while on shore leave in Vietnam. Once on board, the virus took its now predictable course: First a sailor or two, then dozens, and all of a sudden more than 100 were sick.

Captain Crozier received orders to take the ship to Guam, but he was not given permission to offload most of the sailors. The virus was threatening to overwhelm the small medical crew aboard. There was not much time before sailors might start dying.

The captain felt he had to act immediately if he was to save his sailors. He chose to write a strong letter, which he distributed to a number of people within the Navy, demanding immediate removal from the ship of as many sailors as possible. Perhaps this was not the best approach for his career, but it got results…….

The acting secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, summarily fired the captain, not for leaking the letter (for which he said he had no proof), but for showing “extremely poor judgment.” Many disagree, believing that Captain Crozier showed excellent judgment. He left the ship Thursday night to a rousing hero’s sendoff………

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment