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10 years after

September 3, 2021

10th testimony of Fonzy, 10 years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Thanks to her for continuing to give us news! The vigilance, even if it is less assiduous, is always necessary.

Hello,

I have been silent for several years. I am fine, I still live in the same place, 280 km from the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Since the accident of the power plant, 10 years have passed. I must confess that it is difficult to be always on the alert, or in a state of alert all the time. Little by little, I am letting go of the restrictions I had imposed on myself. There are still some things I continue to do, for example:

  • Wearing a mask

In 2011, I wore an N95 mask every time I went to Tokyo, even in summer when it was 35 C. Since the N95 mask is expensive, I have been wearing a “normal” mask since 2012, and I still continue to this day. Right now, the mask is almost mandatory even in my neighborhood because of Covid 19.

  • More mushrooms

Shiitake, button mushroom, oyster mushroom,… well all kinds of mushrooms are gone from the table. From time to time, I miss Shiitake, but it will not be fatal not to eat mushrooms. On the other hand, eating mushrooms could be…

  • Buying products from southwestern Japan

I normally buy vegetables that are produced beyond 500 km from the Daiichi plant. The same goes for fruits. In other words, I buy broccoli from Kyoto, but not lettuce from Chiba (250 km). I used to avoid products from the south of Nagano (300 km from Daiichi) or Gifu (400 km from Daiichi), but now I occasionally buy fruits produced there.

  • Eating in restaurants as little as possible

In the early years, I almost never ate in restaurants. When I was forced to attend a party with colleagues, I tried not to eat anything, as it was said that Fukushima products (which should not exceed the limit of 100 Bq/kg) were used in catering. Starting in 2015 or ’16, I began to dine once every two or three months in restaurants that I chose well and that served us products from Kyushu or Shikoku, regions that are in the southwest of Japan.

  • Avoiding the rain

I used to like to walk without an umbrella in the rain, especially with a light rain. After Fukushima, as soon as I feel a drop, I open my umbrella. I always have my umbrella when it might rain later in the day. So I always pay close attention to the weather.

Now I tell you what I don’t do anymore.

  • Mineral water
    Until March 2021, we only drink mineral water, we only use mineral water to make soup, stew, in short everything that is to be eaten at home. However, the water bottles are heavy, we have to go to the supermarket quite often to buy a box of six bottles that we consume quite quickly. It’s not free either… So we decided to stop using mineral water for cooking. We still drink the mineral water whose radioactivity is measured.

Mineral water: cesium and iodine are measured by the gamma spectrometer (Photo Fonzy). The bottle on the left costs 0.6 euros, the bottle on the right 2.15 euros.

  • Fish

For at least eight years after the accident we did not eat fish. However, my partner had colon cancer in 2019, and afterwards he preferred to eat “lightly”, so we resumed the habit of eating fish. I mostly buy fish from southwestern Japan, but occasionally I buy fish from a port near our home, because they are much fresher. I avoid fish from the shallow waters such as sole or turbot.

  • Geiger counter

I walked around with my Geiger counter a lot in 2011, and a little less in 2012, and now … I don’t know where it is anymore, maybe in a drawer, but I haven’t seen it for years. I wonder if my friends who had one still use it.

  • Anti-nuclear demonstrations

For two or three years after Fukushima, there were many anti-nuclear demonstrations organized not only in Tokyo but also throughout Japan. We shouted in front of the Tepco headquarters, in front of the Parliament, in the streets, we were very numerous at one time. There were activists who made anti-nuclear mobilizations every Friday night in front of the Parliament. This was a success for some time. I too participated often, especially in 2011 and 2012. However, they stopped their movement for good in March 2021 because there were, according to them, much less participants lately and they had no budget to continue. Now anti-nuclear demonstrations are very rare, although there are still some who mobilize from time to time. It seems to me that we Japanese are not very demonstrative. We’ll see…

  • Convincing the others

Even though I talked to my friends and relatives about the risks of contamination and the dangers of nuclear power plants, it was almost impossible to convince them to be interested in this kind of problems.

That’s it. I do what I think I can do without too much stress. Still thinking about Fukushima is possible, but now we should have more imagination, because we don’t talk about it anymore. I thank those who continue to think about Fukushima despite so much geographical distance and so many years passed. Thank you for your solidarity.

Fonzy


http://www.fukushima-blog.com/2021/09/10-ans-apres.html?fbclid=IwAR0fXoK3fI0E6mhtRBvAKlCtEHZIdsjqNXdLuKftRhy7WAfIjttLCXGuoI8

September 7, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Commemoration and Meaning: The Case of Fukushima

Robert Jay Lifton and Scott Gabriel Knowles

Abstract: Disaster commemoration serves as a moment to remember victims and honor survivors. In the case of 3.11, commemoration works differently. As a slow disaster, with radiation exposure and evacuation at the center of the story, 3.11 is not yet over. This places special importance on commemoration as a moment for memory, but also for ongoing commitments to research, justice, and health interventions for survivors.

Commemorations of disasters are necessary. They can provide survivors—and the world in general—a sense of where things stand in relation to destruction, the pain caused, and the relief time may have brought. Commemoration can also be a way to give meaning to the disaster itself. But those meanings can be misleading if they minimize the effects of disaster or pronounce shallow claims of recovery.

A case in point is the tenth-year commemoration of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown of 2011. The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency marked the occasion by claiming that “The equipment reacted just as it was designed to do—it stopped!” He did admit that “the ensuing damage caused nuclides to be released into the environment,” but insisted that “scientists have found no evidence that this caused radiation-induced health effects.”1 The meaning he communicates is that there was a bit of a problem, it was immediately taken care of, some dubious materials might have leaked out, but nothing bad happened. There was no real disaster.

That is not the meaning the event holds for the 37,000 people who had to be evacuated, and have still not returned to Fukushima prefecture.2 Their meaning, and that of most thoughtful outside observers, starts with the vulnerability of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors to the extreme events of earthquake and tsunami. Survivor meaning would also turn on the unknown effects of the recent decision to deposit radioactive materials into the ocean.3 It would focus on the resistance by government and nuclear-industry officials to studies of future dangers from nuclear waste, and from radiation effects that could occur over decades and even centuries. Above all, that survivor meaning would include concerns about prevailing radiation levels as well as danger of future bodily effects on the part of people exposed.

At the heart of this meaning is the fear of what one of us (Lifton) has called “invisible contamination,” a fear of a poison that a survivor cannot see, smell, or feel, and whose effects are so lasting, even if they do not show up in one year—or in one generation—they may well do so in the next. As a Hiroshima survivor put it: “You may look healthy from the outside but all of a sudden something goes wrong and you are sick and you die.”4

Hiroshima survivors described their terror at witnessing and experiencing grotesque radiation symptoms: acute effects of severe diarrhea, bleeding from various bodily orifices, dreaded “purple spots” from bleeding into the skin, extreme weakness and frequent death. Delayed effects including increased incidence of leukemia during early post-bomb years, and later of cancer of the thyroid, stomach, lung, ovary, and uterine cervix. Since it is known that radiation can have genetic effects over the generations, there was much fear in Hiroshima about giving birth to abnormal children.

Hiroshima August 6, 1945

The full panoply of nuclear fear is a constant anywhere radiation danger is involved. Fear of invisible contamination has been widely identified in people exposed in Fukushima, as well as in many living far beyond that province—this includes evacuees, first responders, and doctors and nurses who stayed behind in Fukushima.5 Such fear also emerged at the American Three Mile Island disaster of 1979, where less radiation was released than at Fukushima.6 With the much greater disaster at Chernobyl in 1986, that fear has been pervasive and remains at a considerable level. The same fear occurred in Americans exposed to nuclear radiation in various other places: to plutonium waste at Hanford, Washington, in connection with the production of the Nagasaki bomb; to nuclear testing over decades at Rocky Flats, Colorado; and to Ground Zero at test sites in Nevada, from which G.I.’s were marched shortly after nuclear explosions. None of this should be dismissed as “hysteria” or “exaggerated psychological reactions.” We are speaking of the nuclear fear—the fear of invisible contamination—that results from substantial release of radiation, no matter what the source.

What does it mean to pass the 10th anniversary of 3.11 under such conditions? Disaster anniversaries sit on the calendar, they are predictable. Historians know that they can reliably look back at news coverage one, five, and ten years after any disaster to see how recovery proceeded, how the disaster was framed by different political regimes, and which victim support groups persisted while others disappeared. But history is not a stable element, and as such anniversaries sometimes re-ignite political battles over the meaning of a disaster. The commemoration of a disaster anniversary opens the possibility for cynical revision and exploitation by politicians and industry groups eager to declare that the past is now safely in the past. Commemoration meaning can be falsified by bureaucratic collusion between industry and government, which can contribute to denial, rejection, and cover-up of radioactive consequences. Such collusion is notorious in Japan. There were significant protests in Japan against the use of nuclear energy, but pro-nuclear forces prevailed, in part by insisting that there was a significant difference between the technology of nuclear power and that of nuclear weapons. This illusory distinction is restated by those who use moments of commemoration to promote nuclear energy.

The anniversary also demands a recapitulation of trauma, a command performance for survivors and families still grieving, as well as those who may have truly integrated the disaster into their lives and chosen no longer to publicly engage with it, if they ever did. A disaster like 3.11 has its own special complications, a combination of earthquake, tsunami, and radiation, affecting people of all ages, from fishermen to nuclear power plant workers—spread out over a large area, and with many thousands of bodies never recovered. There is not a coherent 3.11 experience for survivors. The harms were many, and variable, and this makes activism for victim support more complicated. Due to the radiation exclusion zone going into effect, many survivors have found themselves advocating for resources to return to empty towns and shattered homes they aren’t totally sure they want to live in again.

Nowhere is the timescale of disaster memory more unpredictable than in cases of radiation exposure. With Hiroshima survivors, for instance, every year brings new testimonials from survivors who tell their stories of August of 1945 for the first time. Similarly, as STS scholar Kyoko Sato has noted, there will most certainly be Fukushima survivors who will not share their truths for many years to come.7 In this way it may be possible that Fukushima memory could “puncture the nuclear mystique” that has gripped Japan since reactors were built in the 1960s.8 This can occur only if anniversary discussions give way to a greater focus on survivor-based memory. Victims’ families, and activists can find in such anniversaries the opportunity to bring their own memories and demands into discussion once again for new audiences. Memorial ceremonies, the reconvening of dormant support groups, educational outreach to students, even phone calls and emails from distant friends and family all serve positive roles for a disaster affected community, even ten years later. And the anniversary serves as a meeting ground for disasters past and present—any discussion of Fukushima now, for example, must take place in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing need for strong public health measures.

New dynamics are at play now as well that offer hope Fukushima memory might not recede so easily from the public mind once this year is over. Research and public policy insisting on post-traumatic mental health support (in Japan starting after the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake) for survivors has been effective in countering the more traditional idea that disasters end once relief payments are made and buildings are rebuilt.9 We are increasingly recognizing that a disaster is a process, not a single event in time. Victims will suffer on the day, and in the aftermath. As we note in the recently published volume Legacies of Fukushima: 3.11 in Context, “the linked disasters of 3.11 were in crucial ways part of a much longer process, a slow disaster that connected the events of a disastrous era … traumas of the Japanese past: radiation exposure, tsunami flooding, seismic destruction, massive evacuation and loss of home and community.”10 Climate change can also be an important factor in causing and sustaining disasters.

Nuclear disaster commemorations can and must leave space for the new exploration of old harms—and they must be in sync with ongoing strategies of mental health service provision as well. Is this too much to ask in a Fukushima commemorative year marked by pandemic and climate change related disasters around the world? Not if disaster history is to be of any use at all in the struggle to reduce disaster risk and heal survivors. As Liz Maly and Mariko Yamazaki note in their recent review of Japanese disaster memorials, 3.11 demands special attention to the overlapping historical trajectories of loss and trauma in Japan. “Important issues for future consideration,” they note, “include comparisons across not only pre-3.11 museums about disasters caused by natural hazard events, but also Japanese precedents of how experiences and lessons from other human-made disasters are conveyed, including by the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and Minamata Disease Municipal Museum, which tells the story of industrial pollution and poisoning of the local community.”11

What’s needed now in this year of Fukushima commemoration is a turn towards the fusion of these ideas, grounded in the reality that nuclear fear demands. We should emphasize the healing function of commemoration. That includes enhancing the mourning process of survivors, instead of impairing that process by negating their pain. Survivors and victims’ families can find in such anniversaries the opportunity to bring their own memories and demands into discussion for new audiences. Memorial ceremonies can reintegrate sources of support and provide extensive educational outreach. By confronting painful disaster effects, there can emerge valuable forms of what can be called survivor wisdom. These anniversaries can also connect, psychologically and politically, with disasters past and present.

Commemoration events can serve as moments of collective renewal, with survivors in the vanguard.

References

COVIDCalls. (2021) Fukushima and the Pandemic: A 3.11 Memorial Episode with Sulfikar Amir, Kohta Juraku, Kyoko Sato, and Ryuma Shineha [Online video]. March 8. Accessed: July 18, 2021).

Cleveland, K, Knowles, S., and Shineha, R. (eds.) (2021) Legacies of Fukushima: 3.11 in Context. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Honda, N., Kelman, I., Kikuchi, S., Kim., Y., Kobayashi, N., Nemoto, H., Seto, M., and Tomita, H. (2019) ‘Post-Disaster Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in the Areas Affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake: A Qualitative Study’, BMC Psychiatry, 19(261). 

International Atomic Energy Agency. (2021) Ten-year Anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident: A Decade of Improving Nuclear Safety [Online] Accessed: June 15, 2021. 

Lifton, R. (1968) Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima. 2nd edn. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 

Lifton, R. (1986) ‘Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Hiroshima’, New York Times, May 18 [Online]. Accessed: July 18, 2021). 

Loh, S.L. and Amir, S. (2019) ‘Healing Fukushima: Radiation Hazards and Disaster Medicine in Post-3.11 Japan’, Social Studies of Science, 49(3), pp. 333-354. 

Maly, L. and Yamazaki, M. (2021) ‘Disaster Museums in Japan: Telling the Stories of Disasters Before and After 3.11’, Journal of Disaster Research, 16(2), pp. 146-156. 

Normile, D. (2021a) ‘This Physician Has Studied the Fukushima Disaster for a Decade—and Found a Surprising Health Threat’, Science, March 4 [Online]. Accessed: July 18, 2021. 

Normile, D. (2021b) ‘Japan Plans to Release Fukushima’s Wastewater into the Ocean’, Science, April 13 [Online]. Accessed: July 18, 2021.

Rich, M. and Inoue, M. (2021) ‘Ten Years After Fukushima Disaster, This Nurse May Be the Region’s Best Hope’, New York Times, March 9 [Online]. Accessed: July 18, 2021.

Notes

1

International Atomic Energy Agency, 2021.2

Normile, 2021a.3

Normile, 2021b.4

Lifton, 1991.5

Rich and Inoue, 2021; Amir and Loh, 2019.6

Lifton, 1986.7

COVIDCalls, 2021.8

Lifton in Cleveland, Knowles, and Shineha, 2021.9

Seto, et. al., 2019.10

Cleveland, Knowles, and Shineha, 2021.11

Maly and Yamazaki, 2021.

https://apjjf.org/2021/17/Lifton-Knowles.html?fbclid=IwAR3tbiGF_TozVgtKWPVlGVzPaDQHy4y2nRsG7FqcbrCjKCXDNAREfNqFqFk

September 7, 2021 Posted by | Nuclear | , | Leave a comment

Nuclear news for the first week in September

While Afghanistan, and Covid-19 continue to be the main focus of news, climate change is getting a new kind of attention. I find it a worrying kind.  When Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, News Corps etc, were busily spouting climate change denialism, at least you knew what they were up to.  Now, I fear that the world is going to be subjected to propaganda that is much more subtle.  Just as Big Media and Big Business now ”support” action on climate change, I think that they will be spruiking technological fixes, ”clean coal” ”carbon capture and storage, ( perhaps even Big Renewables). On the coat-tails of this Big Fix movement rides the nuclear lobby. Nuclear is so far banned from participating in the COP26 Climate Summit in November.   I wouldn’t be surprised if it wriggles its way in.  World leaders like Biden, Johnson, Putin – all depend for their jobs, on the backing of big corporations.  So – COP26 is already under threat.


On the positive side, quiet and thoughtful voices speak up for a more holistic approach to climate action, and a measured study on the world’s energy needs. 

Covid-19 –    Coronavirus worldwide, despite nearly 65,000 deaths and nearly 4.3 million cases in the past week, is leveling off with 8% declines for each category, with every continent dropping except Europe in fatalities.


NUCLEAR. While not much is actually happening, the activity is – under the radar – the ever-increasing push to convince the world that nuclear is ”clean and green and the way to go.”

Some bits of good news –  India Today Group launches Good News Today, India’s first and only positive news channel. ”Good news” – as usual – very much individualistic stuff. I guess that the overall small drop in coronavirus cases is a small plus. 


A New Online Youth Platform Promotes Nuclear Disarmament.      After the Afghanistan war, the time for change is now.  Oblivion and 9 Other Best Dystopian Films About Nuclear War.

How much energy do we need to achieve a decent life for all?     Does technology really matter more than the natural landscape?

Greta Thunberg, critical of governments, may not attend COP26.      COP26 – the need to scrutinise hidden climate agendas.

Formidable radiation dangers in travel to Mars. Radiation could restrict crewed Mars missions to less than four years . Cosmic radiation will probably prevent growing crops on MarsVirgin Galactic ‘ignored red warning light’ in Branson’s race against Bezos to be first billionaire to space.

New Nuclear: What’s At Stake For Wildlife? – Webinar October 7.

International Uranium Film Festival free online screenings September 13 – 19.

AFRICA. Nuclear Disarmament: What the World can Learn from Africa.

JAPAN. Not Seeing the Contaminated Forest for the Decontaminated Trees in Fukushima. IAEA team in Japan to help prepare Fukushima water release. Fukushima radiation monitoring posts to be renewed-. New type of fallout from Fukushima Daiichi found a decade after nuclear disaster.

PACIFIC ISLANDS. Pacific environmentalists call on Japan not to empty radioactive wastewater into the Pacific.

USA. 

UK. UK might have to move its nuclear submarines overseas, if Scotland gains independence. UK government scared that Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon will use COP25 to further SCotland’s independence.  Trident: Scots urged to write to UN to demand removal of nuclear weapons. The Faslane Peace Camp inspired the BBC drama Vigihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRGZVM3f4SU        Chaotic discussion on nuclear waste proposal for UK’s Allerdale region.

CANADA. More issues at Bruce power station raise concerns about aging nuclear infrastructure.

INDIAOver 200kg uranium theft in India poses threats of nuclear terrorism.

AFRICA. A Just Recovery Renewable Energy Plan for Africa.

SOUTH AFRICA. As South Africa restarts nuclear plan, critics and advocates clash over its clean energy credentials. Walking the nuclear dog – a South African tale.

NORTH KOREA. U.S. says North Korea nuclear report shows “urgent need for dialogue” -official.

SOUTH KOREA. South Korea developing a missile as powerful as a nuclear weapon.

FRANCE. Chinon nuclear site again leaks coolants that turn into powerful greenhouse gases . An EDF employee contaminated in the Cruas-Meysse nuclear power plant.

POLANDTwo Billionaires Join Forces in Poland’s Nuclear Energy Push. 

IRANGermany calls on Iran to resume nuclear talks . Iran’s new foreign minister Warns Tehran May Not Return to Nuclear Talks Until November. What’s next for the Iran nuclear deal? Analysts In Iran Pessimistic Over Nuclear Talks, Oppose Further Delays.

CHINA. China’s nuclear missile silo expansion: From minimum deterrence to medium deterrence. In China, wind and solar energy are the clear winners over nuclear.

ISRAELIsrael’s ‘alarmist claims’ raise the stakes against Iran.

AUSTRALIA. The ANZUS treaty does not make Australia safer. Rather, it fuels a fear of perpetual military .   New Australian law allows security agencies to spy on, and manipulate your data – mainstream media ignores this. threat  

 Murdoch’s News Corpse hasn’t seen the light on climate – they’re just updating their tactics.

 

September 7, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | 1 Comment

Fukushima radiation monitoring posts to be renewed

Japan’s nuclear regulators plan to retain radiation monitoring posts in Fukushima Prefecture by replacing old equipment with new.

About 3,000 monitoring posts were set up at schools and other locations across the prefecture following the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The annual test and maintenance cost of the equipment is around 5.5 million dollars.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority decided in 2018 to remove about 80 percent of the monitoring posts, saying that radiation levels had remained low and the posts would likely reach their lifespan of about eight years.

But the authority reversed its decision after it met opposition from local residents.

It decided instead to retain the monitoring posts for the time being to ease local people’s concern about radiation levels and their health.

The authority plans to replace parts in radiation detectors and power supply sources with new ones in the next 10 years. About 300 posts will be renewed annually.

Some 450 monitoring posts containing parts that are hard to obtain will be replaced entirely.

The prefectural government of Fukushima says it wants the authority to continue to measure radiation levels.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20210905_04/

September 7, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , | Leave a comment

New type of fallout from Fukushima Daiichi found a decade after nuclear disaster

Hot stuff: a polished cross section of one of the particles studied. (Courtesy: Satoshi Utsunomiya)

15 Mar 2021

New, large and highly radioactive particles have been identified from among the fallout of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan. An international team of researchers has characterized the particles using nuclear forensic techniques and their results shine further light on the nature of the accident while helping to inform clean-up and decommissioning efforts.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, which occurred as a result of a powerful earthquake that struck off of Japan’s east coast, generating a tsunami that reached some 14 m high when it reached the nearby shoreline. Breaching sea defences, the water from the wave shut down emergency generators that were cooling the reactor cores. The result was a series of nuclear meltdowns and hydrogen explosions that released a large amount of radioactive material into the surrounding environment — including microparticles rich in radioactive caesium that reached as far Tokyo, 225 km away.

Recent studies have revealed that the fall-out from reactor unit 1 also included larger caesium-bearing particles, each greater than 300 micron in diameter, which have higher levels of activity in the order of 10Bq per particle. These particles were found to have been deposited in a narrow zone stretching around 8 km north-northwest from the reactor site.

Surface soil samples

In their study, chemist and environmental scientist Satoshi Utsunomiya of Japan’s Kyushu University and colleagues have analyzed 31 of these particles, which were collected from surface soil taken from roadsides in radiation hotspots.

“[We] discovered a new type of radioactive particle 3.9 km north northwest of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which has the highest caesium-134 and caesium-137 activity yet documented in Fukushima, 105–10Bq per particle,” Utsunomiya says.

Alongside the record-breaking radioactivity seen in two of the particles (6.1×105 and 2.5×10Bq, after correction to the date of the accident) the team also found that they had characteristic compositions and textures that differed from those previously seen in the reactor unit 1 fall-out.

Reactor building materials

A combination of techniques including synchrotron-based nano-focus X-ray analysis and transmission electron microscopy indicated that one of the particles was found to be an aggregate of smaller silicate nanoparticles each with a glass-like structure. This is thought to be the remnants of reactor building materials that were first damaged in the explosion and then picked up caesium that had been volatized from the reactor fuel.

The other particle had a glassy carbon core and a surface peppered with other microparticles of various compositions, which are thought to reflect a forensic snapshot of the particles that were airborne within the reactor unit 1 building at the moment of the hydrogen explosion and the physio-chemical phenomena they were subjected to.

“Owing to their large size, the health effects of the new particles are likely limited to external radiation hazards during static contact with skin,” explained Utsunomiya — with the two record-breaking particles thought too large to be inhaled into the respiratory tract.

Impact on wildlife

However, the researchers note that further work is needed to determine the impact on the wildlife living around the Fukushima Daiichi facility — such as, for example, filter feeding marine molluscs which have previously been found susceptible to DNA damage and necrosis on exposure to radioactive particles.

“The half-life of caesium-137 is around 30 years,” Utsunomiya continued, adding: “So, the activity in the newly found highly radioactive particles has not yet decayed significantly. As such, they will remain [radioactive] in the environment for many decades to come, and this type of particle could occasionally still be found in radiation hot spots.”

Nuclear material corrosion expert Claire Corkhill of the University of Sheffield – who was not involved in the study – says that the team have offered new insights into the events that unfurled during the accident. “Although the two particles selected [for analysis] were small, a mighty amount of chemical information was yielded,” she said, noting that some of the boron isotopes the researchers identified could only have come from the nuclear control rods damaged in the accident.

Ongoing clean-up

“This work is important to the ongoing clean-up at Fukushima, not only to the decontamination of the local area, but in defining a baseline understanding of radioactive contamination surrounding the power plant, to ensure that any materials accidentally released during the fuel retrieval operations can be quickly identified and removed,” she adds.

With this study complete, the researchers are now using the particles to better understand the conditions involved in the reactor meltdown, alongside looking quantify the distribution of this fallout across Fukushima, with a focus on identifying resulting radiation hot spots.

“If we can find and remove these particles, we can efficiently lower the radiation dose in the local environment,” Utsunomiya concluded.

September 7, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , | Leave a comment

Does technology really matter more than the natural landscape?

After we published an article on Beyond Nuclear International about the habitat and ecosystem destruction that would be wrought by the construction of new nuclear power plants on the British coastline, a more serious challenges such as sea-level rise and radioactive contamination.

I understand his sense of urgency. Yet, these don’t seem like either-ors to me. 

 And I do think that “liking landscapes” is desperately important and their enjoyment a growing deprivation. If we have
never been outside, walked an ancient wood, felt awed by the delicate silvery curl of lichen on a branch, heard the eerie, commanding call of a hawk or the whispered rustlings of a small mammal scurrying through undergrowth to safe cover, why would we strive to save any of it? Who will be left to care, to “like landscapes” and all that fills them? So he
may be right that it sounds like a trivial obsession. But it ought to matter…..

Surely the importance of landscapes and all who live in them must be at least in part why we fight to end the use of nuclear power plants? And also because they will contaminate our world forever; because sea-level rise will subsume them at a terrible price for all of us. And because building, operating and decommissioning them involves making and leaving a pervasive and persistent mess the like of which we have not equalled anywhere else.

At the same time, even if we abandon the energy vices of nuclear power and fossil fuels — an urgent necessity — we recognize that we have not solved our destructive ways. Even renewable energy comes with extractive impacts and environmental justice violations. While we struggle to remediate these, we are all too aware that we have left it far too late. We were Once-lers from the beginning, our greed trumping conservation and efficient use of energy. We didn’t listen to the Lorax or hear the Peregrine’s warning call. Instead, we are in a race against time and our own folly. We are in the time of “UNLESS”.

Beyond Nuclear 5th Sept 2021

September 7, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment | Leave a comment

A New Online Youth Platform Promotes Nuclear Disarmament


A New Online Youth Platform Promotes Nuclear Disarmament, I
n Depth News, By Jamshed Baruah, 6 Sept 21,

GENEVA (IDN) — Worldwide youth are standing up for peace and nuclear disarmament and taking a wide range of innovative actions. The Youth Working Group of Abolition 2000 global network to eliminate nuclear weapons builds cooperation amongst these youth actions, brings youth voices into key UN and other disarmament processes. The group has launched a new online platform and youth action plan for a nuclear-weapons-free world: Youth Fusion.

Set up in conjunction with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 2020, the networking platform for young individuals and organizations focuses on youth action and intergenerational dialogue, building on the links between disarmament, peace, climate action, sustainable development and building back better from the pandemic. It informs, educates, connects and engages fellow students, activists and enthusiasts.

Against this backdrop, UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a message for International Youth Day, observed on August 12, said: “I urge everyone to guarantee young people a seat at the table as we build a world based on inclusive, fair, and sustainable development for all.” In fact, ‘Youth 2030’ sums up the organisation’s strategy. Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, appointed in June 2017 at the age of 26, has been working towards making the UN a home to the youth of the world.

Youth Fusion collaborated with the United Nations Office for Disarmament  Affairs‘ (UNODA) #Youth4Disarmament, to mark the International Day against Nuclear Tests on August 29, 1991. The Day was unanimously proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly at the initiative of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. This historic decision sent a strong political message and contributed to international efforts that led to the adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996. 2021 marks 30 years of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site.

Youth Fusion availed of the occasion to call on young people to #StepUp4Disarmament, by walking or running 8.29 kilometers or the approximate equivalent of 10.9,000 steps.

This campaign sought to raise awareness of the devastating health consequences of nuclear testing through the emphasis on physical activity, while also promoting Sustainable Development Goal 3 on ensuring good health and well-being for all at all ages.

Youth Fusion partnered with Docmine, a Swiss-based creative studio, in promotion of Nuclear Games, an innovative film and online platform addressing nuclear history and the risks and impacts of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. It was launched together with a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), anti-nuclear activists and youth leaders with the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on July 23. [https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/armaments/nuclear-weapons/4599-nuclear-games-for-the-young-coincides-with-tokyo-olympics]

As part of an ongoing project, Youth Fusion is highlighting the importance of inter-generational dialogue and of youth learning from the experience of those who have been long-time and effective leaders in the peace and disarmament fields. ………. https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/armaments/nuclear-weapons/4706-a-new-online-youth-platform-promotes-nuclear-disarmament

September 7, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

IAEA team in Japan to help prepare Fukushima water release.

IAEA team in Japan to help prepare Fukushima water release

An International Atomic Energy Agency mission has arrived in Japan to help prepare for a decades-long release into the ocean of treated but still radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant
By MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press7 September 2021  TOKYO — An International Atomic Energy Agency mission arrived in Japan on Monday to help prepare for a decades-long release into the ocean of treated but still radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, officials said.

The three-member team will meet with officials in Tokyo and travel to the Fukushima Daiichi plant to discuss technical details with experts until Friday, IAEA and Japanese officials said.

The team, headed by Lydie Evrard, head of the IAEA’s Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, is gathering information to prepare a review of the discharge plans.

The Japanese government and the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, announced plans in April to start releasing the water in the spring of 2023 so hundreds of storage tanks at the plant can be removed to make room for other facilities needed for its decommissioning.

The idea has been fiercely opposed by fishermen, residents and Japan’s neighbors, including China and South Korea.

The utility plans to send the water through an undersea tunnel and discharge it from a location about 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) away from the coastal power plant after further treating and diluting it with large amounts of seawater……..  https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/iaea-team-japan-prepare-fukushima-water-release-79857833

September 7, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Pacific environmentalists call on Japan not to empty radioactive wastewater into the Pacific

 This year marks the 76th anniversary of the first use of nuclear weapons
for the purpose of war. As the world solemnly observes the tragic
anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we wish to highlight
the Pacific’s own and often overlooked nuclear history that followed.

Asguardians of the world’s largest ocean, we emphasise again our continuing
concern for our region and the irreparably damages on our people and the
environment from 318 nuclear weapons tests undertaken by the United States,
United Kingdom and France.

Today, we acknowledge that our region has still not healed from this trauma and that we did not consent. Given this legacy, we call on Japan to not repeat this brutality through its proposed act of
discharging over a million tonnes of radioactive wastewater from Fukushima.

 Pasifika Environews 6th Sept 2021

September 7, 2021 Posted by | OCEANIA, oceans | Leave a comment