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S. Korea reiterates priority on citizens’ health in handling Fukushima water issue

Where are all the other countries governments protesting against the radioactive contamination by Japan of our Pacific ocean?
I can only hear South Korean government’s voice, where are all the others? Their absence of any protest is equivalent to consent!!!

October 16, 2020

South Korea’s foreign ministry reiterated its “foremost priority” to protect its citizens’ health and safety Friday in dealing with Japan’s potential discharge of contaminated water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

The ministry also said the government has been handling the issue under a vice-ministerial inter-agency dialogue platform, amid public safety concerns over Japanese media reports that Tokyo has decided to release it into the sea with an official announcement likely to come as early as this month.

“Our government has continued to stress that the Japanese side should share information transparently and maintain communication with the international community regarding the disposal of the Fukushima nuclear plant water,” the ministry said in a statement.

“With the foremost priority placed on the protection of our citizens’ health and safety, the government will continue to pay keen attention to Japan’s activities related to the disposal of the contaminated water and will seek to craft measures in cooperation with the international community,” it added.

The ministry also pointed out that it understands Tokyo has yet to finalize how it will dispose of the tritium-laced water.

Japan has been exploring various options, including evaporating the water and putting it deep underground. Observers said that discharging the treated water into the ocean might be the cheapest, and thus tempting, disposal method. (Yonhap)

http://www01.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20201016000660

October 18, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima ‘blank spaces’ in limbo, left out of decontamination plan

A September 2009 photo shows the home of Takashi Asano in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture. The house is now a wreck with a damaged roof and is accessible to wild animals.

Oct 16, 2020

It was back in the autumn of 2011. Wind blowing from the Pacific Ocean was cutting through the golden rice fields.

Takashi Asano, 67, who had evacuated from the town of Okuma in Fukushima Prefecture following the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent Fukushima nuclear disaster, had returned temporarily to his home.

When Asano was gazing at the paddy fields behind his former home from afar, it looked like the field was full of rice ready to be harvested.

“Why would that be when I haven’t planted rice,” wondered Asano, who had evacuated to Aizuwakamatsu in the prefecture after the disaster.

When he went closer, he noticed the plants had yellow tips belonging to Canadian goldenrods, an invasive foreign plant. In his absence, the plants had already begun to take over the fields.

The area where his home is located had been designated a no-go zone. It was excluded from the area designated by the government where it plans to decontaminate and either rebuild it for future use or make it a storage facility for radioactive waste such as soil by the spring of 2023.

Therefore, local residents call the area the “blank-space district,” in reference to the uncolored space on the government map for reconstruction. With no decontamination projects in the pipeline, locals can’t make any plans for the future.

At Asano’s home, rain has seeped through damaged roof, and there are signs that wild boars have found their way inside. He returns once a year to pay respects at family graves but each time it is difficult to see what remains of his home.

“I don’t want to see it. When I leave, I tell myself not to look back,” he said.

Nearly 10 years have elapsed since Asano was forced to evacuate. Nothing seems to represent the passage of time more than the deteriorating fields and homes.

Before the disaster, Asano had been growing rice and vegetables while working at a chemical factory. He had his two-story home constructed in 1986, with a garage and a shed for farming tools.

Construction fees had been paid off and retirement was just around the corner. After he retired, Asano intended to continue as a contract worker, but plans of a comfortable retirement were shattered by the disaster in 2011.

Two years ago, he considered tearing his house down. When he contacted the municipal government, they referred him to a contractor for the work, only to be turned down.

“We can’t work on projects in the blank-space district,” the contractor said.

Demolition and decontamination efforts were underway in other parts of the town the government has designated areas for reconstruction. However, in the blank-space district contractors are turning down requests for demolition since the government’s plans are still unclear.

“The house is no longer livable,” Asano said. “Buildings are being torn down in other parts of the town, so I don’t understand why I can’t have mine torn down, too.”

The central government announced it would secure about ¥1.6 trillion for a five-year recovery plan from fiscal 2021. About ¥1.1 trillion of that will be allocated for Fukushima Prefecture, separately from which ¥100 billion will be funneled into efforts targeting no-go zones located outside of the designated recovery zones. But specific details on what to do with those places have yet to be mapped out.

Entry restrictions have been loosened in parts of the recovery zones in Okuma, allowing some residents to begin rebuilding their homes.

In those areas, residents have the right to decide whether to return or live elsewhere. But Asano and others living in the surrounding area don’t yet have the freedom to choose their future.

“The government hasn’t made it clear what it plans to do over the next 20 or 30 years,” Asano said. “People who want to return and people who have given up — everybody is stuck.”

The disjointed dismantling of restrictions within and near recovery zones continues to invite frustration.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/10/16/national/fukushima-blank-spaces-decontamination-limbo/

October 18, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , | Leave a comment

Japan to release 1m tonnes of contaminated Fukushima water into the sea – reports

Local media say release could begin in 2022 and would take decades to complete, but local fishermen say move will destroy their industry

Reactor buildings and storage tanks for contaminated water at the Tokyo Electric Power company’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

October 16, 2020

Japan’s government has reportedly decided to release more than 1m tonnes of contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea, setting it on a collision course with local fishermen who say the move will destroy their industry.

Media reports said work to release the water, which is being stored in more than 1,000 tanks, would begin in 2022 at the earliest and would take decades to complete.

An official decision could come by the end of the month, the Kyodo news agency said, ending years of debate over what to do with the water, with other options including evaporation or the construction of more storage tanks at other sites.

The government, however, has long indicated it prefers the option of releasing it into the nearby Pacific, despite opposition from local fishermen who say it will undo years of work rebuilding their industry’s reputation since the plant was wrecked by a huge tsunami in March 2011.

In response, the government has said it will promote Fukushima produce and address concerns among fishermen that consumers will shun their seafood once the water is released.

Environmental groups also oppose the move, while neighbouring South Korea, which still bans seafood imports from the region, has repeatedly voiced concern, claiming that discharging the water represented a ”grave threat” to the marine environment.

Pressure to decide the water’s fate has been building as storage space on the nuclear plant site runs out, with the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), estimating all of the available tanks will be full by the summer of 2022.

As of last month, 1.23m tonnes of water, which becomes contaminated when it mixes with water used to prevent the three damaged reactor cores from melting, were being stored in 1,044 tanks, with the amount of waste water increasing by 170 tonnes a day.

Tepco’s Advanced Liquid Processing System removes highly radioactive substances from the water but the system is unable to filter out tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that nuclear power plants routinely dilute and dump along with water into the ocean.

A panel of experts advising the government said earlier this year that releasing the water was among the most “realistic options”.

Experts say tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, is only harmful to humans in very large doses, while the International Atomic Energy Agency says it is possible to dilute filtered waste water with seawater before it is released into the ocean.

The water at Fukushima Daiichi will be diluted inside the plant before it is released so that it is 40 times less concentrated, with the whole process taking 30 years, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

Hiroshi Kishi, president of a nationwide federation of fisheries cooperatives, voiced opposition to the move in a meeting with the chief cabinet secretary, Katsunobu Kato, this week.

Kato told reporters that a decision on the water “should be made quickly” to avoid further delays in decommissioning the plant – a costly, complex operation that is expected to take around 40 years.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/16/japan-to-release-1m-tonnes-of-contaminated-fukushima-water-into-the-sea

October 18, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan intend to release Fukushim Daiichi’s radioactive water into sea

We knew it all along that they always intended to finally dump it all into the sea, which is the cheapest expedient solution. Giving us repeatedly various B.S. reasons:

That they were running out of space on location to build new tanks to store the additional radioactive water, produced daily by their need to cool those undergoing meltdown reactors.

That it is just harmless tritiated water, that the radioactive water has been filtered by two filtering systems which have removed all the 64 types of radionuclides to the exception of only tritium.

Which is total B.S. as Tritium is not harmless despite them pretending it to be. Various scientific studies have proven the dangerosity of tritium on life, all forms of life. Plus as later Tepco itself has admitted that their two filtering systems were failing to remove completely the 64 types of radionuclides present in that accumulated radioactive water, it is not “tainted water”, nor “tritiated water”, nor “contaminated water” as their propaganda spin doctors name it, but real radioactive water still containing various harmful radioactive fission products.

Japan to release Fukushima’s contaminated water into sea: reports

Oct 16, 2020

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nearly a decade after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan’s government has decided to release over one million tonnes of contaminated water into the sea, media reports said on Friday, with a formal announcement expected to be made later this month.

The decision is expected to rankle neighbouring countries like South Korea, which has already stepped up radiation tests of food from Japan, and further devastate the fishing industry in Fukushima that has battled against such a move for years.

The disposal of contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has been a longstanding problem for Japan as it proceeds with an decades-long decommissioning project. Nearly 1.2 million tonnes of contaminated water are currently stored in huge tanks at the facility.

The plant, run by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (9501.T), suffered multiple nuclear meltdowns after a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

On Friday, Japan’s industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said no decision had been made on the disposal of the water yet, but the government aims to make one quickly.

“To prevent any delays in the decommissioning process, we need to make a decision quickly,” he told a news conference.

He did not give any further details, including a time-frame.

The Asahi newspaper reported that any such release is expected to take at around two years to prepare, as the site’s irradiated water first needs to pass through a filtration process before it can be further diluted with seawater and finally released into the ocean.

In 2018, Tokyo Electric apologised after admitting its filtration systems had not removed all dangerous material from the water, collected from the cooling pipes used to keep fuel cores from melting when the plant was crippled.

It has said it plans to remove all radioactive particles from the water except tritium, an isotope of hydrogen that is hard to separate and is considered to be relatively harmless.

It is common practice for nuclear plants around the world to release water that contain traces of tritium into the ocean.

In April, a team sent by the International Atomic Energy Agency to review contaminated water issues at the Fukushima site said the options for water disposal outlined by an advisory committee in Japan – vapour release and discharges to the sea – were both technically feasible. The IAEA said both options were used by operating nuclear plants.

Last week, Japanese fish industry representatives urged the government to not allow the release of contaminated water from the Fukushima plant into the sea, saying it would undo years of work to restore their reputation.

South Korea has retained a ban on imports of seafood from the Fukushima region that was imposed after the nuclear disaster and summoned a senior Japanese embassy official last year to explain how Tokyo planned to deal with the Fukushima water problem.

During Tokyo’s bid to host the Olympic Games in 2013, then-prime minister Shinzo Abe told members of the International Olympic Committee that the Fukushima facility was “under control”.

The Games have been delayed to 2021 because of the pandemic and some events are due to be held as close as 60 km (35 miles) from the wrecked plant.

Japan reportedly decides to release treated Fukushima water into the sea

Japan will release more than a million tons of treated radioactive water from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea in a decades-long operation, reports said Friday, despite strong opposition from environmentalists, local fishermen and farmers. The release of the water, which has been filtered to reduce radioactivity, is likely to start in 2022 at the earliest, said national dailies the Nikkei, the Yomiuri, and other local media.

The decision ends years of debate over how to dispose of the liquid that includes water used to cool the power station after it was hit by a massive tsunami in 2011.

A government panel said earlier this year that releasing the water into the sea or evaporating it were both “realistic options.”

“We can’t postpone a decision on the plan to deal with the… processed water, to prevent delays in the decommission work of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Friday, without commenting directly on the plan or its timing.

There are around 1.23 million tons of waste water stored in tanks at the facility, according to plant operator TEPCO, which also declined to comment on the reports.

Environmental activists have expressed strong opposition to the proposals, and fishermen and farmers have voiced fear that consumers will shun seafood and produce from the region.

South Korea, which bans imports of seafood from the area, has also repeatedly voiced concern about the environmental impact.

A decision has been getting increasingly urgent as space to store the water — which also includes groundwater and rain that seeps daily into the plant — is running out.

Most of the radioactive isotopes have been removed by an extensive filtration process — but one remains, tritium. It can’t be removed with existing technology.

The expert panel advised in January that discarding the water into the sea was a viable option because the method is also used at working nuclear reactors.

Tritium is only harmful to humans in very large doses, experts say. The International Atomic Energy Agency argues that properly filtered water could be diluted with seawater and then safely released into the ocean.

The Yomiuri reported that the water would be diluted inside the facility before its release, with the whole process taking 30 years.

The treated water is currently kept in a thousand huge tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi site, where reactors went into meltdown nearly a decade ago after the earthquake-triggered tsunami.

Plant operator TEPCO is building more tanks, but all will be full by mid-2022.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fukushima-tsunami-japan-treated-water-sea/?fbclid=IwAR0FTJb5zwChcwRfcudbEIvi3yxCL5lNYHhQfURGD04Sjvdqc5A1UNgiRsM

October 18, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Restart of Japan’s tsunami-hit Onagawa nuclear reactor to be OK’d

October 14, 2020

Sendai – A nuclear reactor in northeastern Japan damaged by the 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster is all but certain to resume operations as the governor of the prefecture hosting the facility has decided to give consent, local officials said Wednesday.

For the No. 2 unit of the Onagawa nuclear plant in Miyagi Prefecture to restart, winning consent from local government leaders is the last remaining step needed after it cleared a national safety screening in February.

Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s Onagawa nuclear plant, as pictured in August 2020

Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai will formally announce his consent by the end of the year, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

By doing so, he would be the first governor of a disaster-hit prefecture to give the green light to the restart of a nuclear reactor.

The other heads of local governments whose consent is essential are the mayors of the city of Ishinomaki and the town of Onagawa where the plant operated by Tohoku Electric Power Co. straddles.

Of them, Ishinomaki Mayor Hiroshi Kameyama has already expressed his willingness to give the nod, and such a move is backed by the two municipalities’ assemblies.

After the quake triggered one of the world’s worst nuclear crises in neighboring Fukushima Prefecture and caused all of Japan’s 54 reactors to halt at one point, nine units at five plants in the country have restarted following regulatory and local approval.

Murai has come to believe residents will support his stance after the prefectural assembly adopted a plea seeking his consent at a panel meeting Tuesday and is set to approve it at a plenary session next week, the officials said.

“When the plenary session shows its stance, I will make a decision upon hearing the opinions of mayors of cities, towns and villages within the prefecture,” Murai said.

The 825,000-kilowatt reactor won the approval of the Nuclear Regulation Authority in February, becoming the second disaster-damaged reactor to pass stricter safety standards after the Fukushima nuclear disaster — the worst since the 1986 Chernobyl accident.

At the Onagawa complex, all three reactors — the same boiling water reactors as in Fukushima — shut down when a massive quake and a 13-meter tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, flooding the underground floors of the No. 2 unit.

However, the plant’s emergency cooling system did not fail and there was no meltdown of the type that occurred at three of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

Tohoku Electric Power Co. aims to restart the Onagawa No. 2 reactor in 2022 at the earliest, after completing anti-disaster work such as the construction of an 800-meter-long seawall at the plant. It has already decided to scrap the No. 1 unit.

Other boiling water reactors at TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture and the Tokai No. 2 plant of Japan Atomic Power Co. in Ibaraki Prefecture have also won the regulator’s approval to resume operations but have yet to obtain local consent.

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/10/390ddd8d53a8-restart-of-japans-tsunami-hit-onagawa-nuclear-reactor-to-be-okd.html

October 18, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Mansion without a toilet: Towns in Japan seek to house, store nuclear waste out of necessity

Oct 12, 2020

Two remote towns in northern Japan struggling with rapidly graying and shrinking populations signed up Friday to possibly host a high-level radioactive waste storage site as a means of economic survival.

Japanese utilities have about 16,000 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel rods stored in cooling pools or other interim sites, and there is no final repository for them in Japan — a situation called “a mansion without a toilet.”

Japan is in a dire situation following the virtual failure of an ambitious nuclear fuel recycling plan, in which plutonium extracted from spent fuel was to be used in still-unbuilt fast breeder reactors. The problem of accumulating nuclear waste came to the fore after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. Finding a community willing to host a radioactive dump site is difficult, even with a raft of financial enticements.

On Friday, Haruo Kataoka, the mayor of Suttsu town on the northwestern coast of Hokkaido, applied in Tokyo for preliminary government research on whether its land would be suitable for highly radioactive waste storage for thousands of years.

Later Friday in Kamoenai just north of Kamoenai, village chief Masayuki Takahashi announced his decision to also apply for an initial feasibility study.

Suttsu, with a population of 2,900, and Kamoenai, with about 800 people, have received annual government subsidies as hosts of the Tomari nuclear power plant. But they are struggling financially because of a declining fishing industry and their aging and shrinking populations.

The preliminary research is the first of three steps in selecting a permanent disposal site, with the whole process estimated to take about two decades. Municipalities can receive up to 2 billion yen ($19 million) in government subsidies for two years by participating in the first stage. Moving on to the next stage would bring in more subsidies.

“I have tried to tackle the problems of declining population, low birth rates and social welfare, but hardly made progress,” Takahashi told reporters. “I hope that accepting research (into the waste storage) can help the village’s development.”

It is unknown whether either place will qualify as a disposal site. Opposition from people across Hokkaido could also hinder the process. A gasoline bomb was thrown into the Suttsu mayor’s home early Thursday, possibly by an opponent of the plan, causing slight damage.

Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki and local fisheries groups are opposed to hosting such a facility.

One mayor in southwestern Japan expressed interest in 2007, but faced massive opposition and the plan was spiked.

High-level radioactive waste must be stored in thick concrete structures at least 300 meters (yards) underground so it won’t affect humans and the environment.

A 2017 land survey map released by the government indicated parts of Suttsu and Kamoenai could be suitable for a final repository.

So far, Finland and Sweden are the only countries that have selected final disposal sites

https://www.firstpost.com/tech/science/mansion-without-a-toilet-towns-in-japan-seek-to-house-store-nuclear-waste-out-of-necessity-8904851.html

October 18, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Agency: Fukushima plant workers should be heard

Oct. 11, 2020

A government agency overseeing the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is urging the plant’s operator to take into account the views of workers in removing radioactive debris, set to start next year.

Each year, the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation compiles its technical policy for the plant’s decommissioning. This year’s plan was recently announced.

It refers to the removal of fuel debris from the plant’s No.2 reactor starting next year. It warns that the work will take place in conditions where there is little information about the interior environment and a high level of radiation.

The agency proposes that Tokyo Electric Power Company seriously take into account the views and concerns of on-site workers, such as the operators of machinery used to remove fuel debris.

It calls for the information obtained from workers to be reflected in the design of equipment used to scrap the reactor.

The agency’s proposals will be reflected in TEPCO’s mid- and long-term schedules for decommissioning the plant.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20201011_24/

October 18, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , | Leave a comment