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Surge in fires in Brazil’s Amazon

November 2, 2020 Posted by | Brazil, climate change | Leave a comment

Documentary history from the perspective of radiation victims.

Documentary explores history of radiation through victims,, By MASATO TAINAKA/ Staff Writer, November 1, 2020  Paris-based filmmaker Kenichi Watanabe completed a documentary on nuclear radiation in time for the 10th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear plant accident in March.

The film, titled “Notre ami l’atome–Un siecle de radioactivite” (Our friend the atom–A century of radioactivity), traces the history of radioactive exposure, spanning more than a century, from the discovery of radioactivity through today.

It is told from the perspective of radiation victims.

“Focusing on radioactivity, I want to reconstruct the idea that ‘nuclear energy and atomic weapons are inseparable,’” Watanabe, 69, said.

The film is set for theatrical release in spring 2021. It made its broadcast debut this summer in Europe and was shown at select venues across Japan in October.

The documentary features interviews with an ex-soldier who observed a nuclear test during the Cold War in the U.S. Nevada desert, and a former fishing boat crew member from Kochi Prefecture who was exposed to fallout when the United States conducted a nuclear test at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

It also includes interviews with soldiers allegedly exposed to radiation during Operation Tomodachi, a disaster relief effort conducted off the coast of the Tohoku region by the U.S. armed forces after the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and a person who underwent thyroid surgery after that nuclear disaster.

The title is a reference to “Our Friend the Atom,” a Disney film produced to promote the benefits of atomic power in the 1950s during the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who called for the “peaceful use of atomic energy.”

At the time, an anti-nuclear movement was gaining momentum in Japan after the tuna fishing boat Daigo Fukuryu Maru and other vessels were contaminated by fallout from the U.S. thermonuclear weapon test at Bikini Atoll in 1954. The Diet, meanwhile, passed the country’s first-ever budget proposal for nuclear energy.

“It was imperative for Japan, which suffered atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and whose Constitution contains the war-renouncing Article 9, to come up with an ‘atomic dualism’ to introduce nuclear energy, saying that ‘its peaceful use is good and military use is bad,’” Watanabe said.

Watanabe was born in 1951. He started his career working at Iwanami Productions Inc. in Japan before moving to Paris to produce documentaries for European TV companies.

November 2, 2020 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

U.S. Senate unanimously passes resolution supporting nuclear weapons workers made ill by radiation

November 2, 2020 Posted by | employment, health, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Compensation claims recognised – workers made ill by working at Fukushima’s wrecked nuclear plant

Compensation claims related to Fukushima nuclear plant work total 269,

Oct. 31  2020l TOKYO  A total of 269 cases linked to the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant work have been deemed as job-related accidents and covered by compensation since the 2011 nuclear disaster, labor ministry officials say, underscoring the harsh conditions onsite workers still face.

The workers’ compensation claims that have been recognized by labor authorities include six cases of workers who developed cancer or leukemia due to radiation exposure, and four others who suffered from overwork-related illnesses, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare officials.

Decommissioning of the Fukushima plant is still under way nearly 10 years after the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. To this day, about 4,000 people still work on site every day, with many at risk of radiation exposure.

The compensation claims that have been approved refer to the period since the March 2011 nuclear accident through Oct 1 this year.

According to the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc, three people died between fiscal 2011 and 2019.

One worker, who wished to remain anonymous, told Kyodo News the pressure of working at a nuclear power plant as opposed to a normal working site is “incomparable.”

“I have to deal with so much anxiety and stress as I could never know what may happen inside a nuclear power plant,” said the man from Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture.

According to the worker, he wears two protective layers of clothing and tapes them together so there is no space between them, and also puts on a raincoat.

“I sweat a lot even in winter and I drink a lot of water,” he said, adding that several of his colleagues suffered from heat stroke or heat exhaustion while working at the plant.

TEPCO said a total of 98 people suffered from heat-related illnesses between fiscal 2011 and 2019, having had to wear masks and protective gear made of less permeable materials under the sweltering summer heat.

At the site of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, 313 accidents have occurred in the same period of time, including several fatal cases between 2014 and 2015 in which workers fell into a tank, TEPCO said.

Acknowledging that many accidents had occurred, a TEPCO official said, “We will continue to work with our contractors to prevent such incidents from happening.”

November 2, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, health | Leave a comment