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Kenichi Hasegawa, former dairy farmer who continued to tell the truth about the nuclear accident in Fukushima, passes away.

Immediately after the accident, I pressed the village mayor to disclose information.
He also shared the voice of a dairy farmer friend who committed suicide.

 Mr. Kenichi Hasegawa, a former dairy farmer who continued to appeal about the current situation in Iitate Village contaminated by radiation after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in 2011, died of thyroid cancer on October 22, 2011 at the age of 68. He was 68 years old. He was the co-chairman of Hidanren, a group of victims of the nuclear power plant accident, and the head of the group of Iitate villagers who filed for alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Since 2005, he has been focusing on growing buckwheat noodles in the village, while criticizing what the government and administration call “reconstruction projects” and “reconstruction Olympics. In February and March of this year, he was diagnosed with cancer and fell ill. Many people are saddened by the death of Mr. Hasegawa, who continued to communicate the issues of the nuclear accident both inside and outside Japan.

Mr. Hasegawa at the time, when he was the head of the community association of temporary housing.

 On January 13, 2012, prior to the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World held in Yokohama, NGO officials and journalists from overseas visited Fukushima and Mr. Hasegawa conveyed the current situation of the Iitate villagers. He said, “I wish there were no nuclear power plants. He said, “I wish we didn’t have nuclear power plants, and I hope the remaining dairy farmers will do their best not to be defeated by nuclear power plants. He left a message that said, ‘I have lost the will to work.

Our government has been promoting nuclear power plants as a national policy, so I thought they would take proper measures when an accident occurred. But the government did not take any action. I may return to my village, but I can’t bring my grandchildren back. If we go back and end our lives, that will be the end of the village.

 Paul Saoke, a Kenyan public health specialist and then secretary general of the Kenya chapter of the International Council for the Prevention of Nuclear War, recorded Hasegawa’s lecture on his iPad. Mr. Saoke said, “In Kenya, the Fukushima nuclear accident is almost unknown. When I return to Japan, I would like to have the media watch the video of my lecture and let them know what kind of damage is being done by the residents. Mr. Hasegawa’s appeal was posted on the Internet and quickly spread around the world.

In 2012, he gave a speech at the European Parliament.
The film “My Legacy: If Only There Were No Nuclear Power Plants

In 2012, Mr. Hasegawa gave a lecture at the European Parliament in Belgium on the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear accident. Mr. Hasegawa visited Europe with his wife Hanako, and together with Eisaku Sato, former Governor of Fukushima Prefecture, conveyed the current situation in Fukushima.

Kenichi Hasegawa (center) attended the symposium held at the EU headquarters in Belgium. Kenichi Hasegawa (center) attended a symposium at the EU headquarters in Belgium with his wife Hanako (left) and former Fukushima Governor Eisaku Sato (second from right) (March 2012)

Our Iitate village was a beautiful village,” said Mr. Hasegawa. “Our Iitate village was a beautiful village,” Mr. Hasegawa began. While explaining how the government experts who came to the village kept saying that the village was safe, he said, “The villagers were exposed to radiation while the mayor and the people in the village administration clung to the village. We dairy farmers were told not to raise cows in the planned evacuation zone, and with no follow-up from the government, prefecture, or village, we made the decision to quit dairy farming on our own. Finally, I conveyed the regret of my friend who committed suicide, leaving behind a note saying, “If only there were no nuclear power plants.

A view of a pasture in Iitate Village (2011).
Photo: Hideaki Takamatsu

 In 2002, Naomi Toyoda’s film “The Last Will and Testament: If Only There Were No Nuclear Power Plants” was completed, and Mr. Hasegawa’s words and the events of his friend who committed suicide were further disseminated to society. Yasuhiro Abe, manager of the Forum Fukushima movie theater, said, “At the time, various debates were boiling in the local community, and despite the length of the film, it was fully booked for three days. Mr. Hasegawa’s words about Iitate were very human, and he had a different level of strength that no one else had.

Through his activities in Japan and abroad, Mr. Hasegawa has connected and interacted with a wide range of people.

Mr. Toshiyuki Takeuchi, the president of Fukushima Global Citizen’s Information Center (FUKUDEN), who has been informing people in Japan and abroad about Mr. Hasegawa’s activities, said, “Mr. Hasegawa is a person who has been affected by pollution. Mr. Hasegawa has been active as an anti-nuclear and anti-radiation activist, criticizing the government, the administration (village authorities), and TEPCO for failing to take appropriate measures that put the health of the residents of the contaminated area first. At the same time, he has a strong attachment to the Maeda area and his life there, and has returned to the area to start making soba noodles and rebuild his life. The complexity of his feelings (“irrationality”) was sometimes difficult to convey to people overseas.

 As I listened to Mr. Hasegawa’s story, there were many moments when I felt that “everything was there in Iitate Village and Maeda area before the earthquake, and it was the center of the world and life. “Complex irrationality” is probably a cross-section of the tragedy of everything being taken away on its own.

Solidarity with the Nuclear Weapons Abolition Movement
Bringing together people from all walks of life

 In 2007, after the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, ICAN Co-Chairman Tilman Ruff (Australia) and ICAN International Steering Committee member and Peace Boat Co-Chairman Satoshi Kawasaki visited Mr. Hasegawa’s house in Iitate Village with medals.

Mr Hasegawa with ICAN Co-Chairman Tillman Ruff, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate

 Mr. Ruff said. He refused to be cowed or silenced, and continued to speak the truth about the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, stressing the need for rights, dignity, health, and recognition of the people and land that the government and TEPCO unreasonably put in harm’s way. I am honored to have known Kenichi and to have been able to work for a common cause.”
 Mr. Kawasaki also mourns his death. Mr. Kawasaki also mourned his passing. “We were together on many occasions, including the European Parliament in Belgium in 2012, the round trip to Australia in 2013, and the Peace Boat trip. I remember the way he spoke straight from the bottom of his heart about the damage he had suffered as a dairy farmer and the anger and frustration of the people of Fukushima, strongly conveying his message to people even though they spoke different languages. I believe that Ms. Hanako, who has always accompanied us and talked about the damage caused by nuclear power plants from her own perspective, will continue to play a role as a sender.
 Ms. Riko Mutoh (Funehiki), who is also a co-chair of Hidanren, said, “Ms. Hasegawa was a big presence. His words were powerful and persuasive. After returning to Iitate Village, she was busy with local activities. He was a person who brought people together, both inside and outside of the village, within and outside of the prefecture, those who had evacuated and those who were living there.
(Text and photo by Hiroko Aihara)


February 13, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

PCB waste treatment plan in Fukushima: “Insufficient explanation” and opposition from many people

Feb. 07, 2022
A meeting was held to check the government’s plan to dispose of highly concentrated PCB waste generated in Fukushima Prefecture after the nuclear power plant accident in Muroran City.

The Ministry of the Environment presented a plan to treat waste containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a toxic substance, from the “contaminated waste management area” in Fukushima Prefecture at a facility in Muroran City, and the city and province approved the plan last December.
On the 7th, a meeting was held in Muroran City to check the government’s project, with representatives of citizens’ groups and academic experts attending.
At the meeting, a representative from the Ministry of the Environment explained that the decision was made based on the opinions of experts who had investigated the safety of the treatment at the site.
In response to this, a number of committee members expressed their opposition to the disposal of PCBs, arguing that the Ministry of the Environment’s explanation was too sketchy and that they had not received a reply to their questionnaire.
One of the committee members, Akiaki Kono, representative of the Association for the Safety of PCB Disposal, said, “Information on the field survey has not been properly disclosed. I felt that the administrative procedures were incomplete. The situation is not such that safety can be confirmed,” he said.
The Ministry of the Environment said, “We have not decided when we will start processing. The Ministry of the Environment says, “We have not decided when we will start the treatment, but we will answer the opinions and questions raised this time.

February 13, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Robot photos appear to show melted fuel at Fukushima reactor

MARI YAMAGUCHI – February 10, 2022

TOKYO (AP) — A remote-controlled robot has captured images of what appears to be mounds of nuclear fuel that melted and fell to the bottom of the most damaged reactor at Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, officials said Thursday.

A massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 damaged cooling systems at the power plant, causing the meltdown of three reactor cores. Most of their highly radioactive fuel fell to the bottom of their containment vessels, making its removal extremely difficult.

A previous attempt to send a small robot with cameras into the Unit 1 reactor failed, but images captured this week by a ROV-A robot show broken structures, pipes and mounds of what appears to be melted fuel and other debris submerged in cooling water, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings said Thursday.

About 900 tons of melted nuclear fuel remain inside the plant’s three damaged reactors, including about 280 tons in Unit 1. Its removal is a daunting task that officials say will take 30-40 years. Critics say that’s overly optimistic.

The robot, carrying several tiny cameras, obtained the internal images of the reactor’s primary containment vessel while on a mission to establish a path for subsequent probes, TEPCO said.

TEPCO spokesperson Kenichi Takahara said the piles of debris rose from the bottom of the container, including some inside the pedestal — a structure directly beneath the core — suggesting the mounds were melted fuel that fell in the area.

Takahara said further probes will be needed to confirm the objects in the images.

At one location, the robot measured a radiation level of 2 sievert, which is fatal for humans, Takahara said. The annual exposure limit for plant workers is set at 50 millisievert.

The robot probe of the Unit 1 reactor began Tuesday and was the first since 2017, when an earlier robot failed to obtain any images of melted fuel because of the extremely high radiation and interior structural damage.

The fuel at Unit 1 is submerged in highly radioactive water as deep as 2 meters (6.5 feet).

TEPCO said it will conduct additional probes after analyzing the data and images collected by the first robot.

Five other robots, co-developed by Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy and the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, a government-funded consortium, will be used in the investigation over the next several months.

The investigation at Unit 1 aims to measure the melted fuel mounds, map them in three dimensions, analyze isotopes and their radioactivity, and collect samples, TEPCO officials said.

Those are key to developing equipment and a strategy for the safe and efficient removal of the melted fuel, allowing the reactor’s eventual decommissioning.

Details of how the highly radioactive material can be safely removed, stored and disposed of at the end of the cleanup have not been decided.

TEPCO hopes to use a robotic arm later this year to remove an initial scoop of melted fuel from Unit 2, where internal robotic probes have made the most progress.

February 13, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Zero Contaminated Water” and “Dismantling of Reactor Buildings” Missing from the Plan: The Final Form of Decommissioning the TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Work to bring the accident under control continues at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Unit 1, with its upper steel frame exposed (top left), is lined up with Units 2, 3, and 4 on the right.

February 11, 2022
 On March 11, it will be 11 years since the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant occurred. During this time, two goals have disappeared from the decommissioning plans of TEPCO and the government. During this time, two goals have disappeared from the decommissioning plans of TEPCO and the government: “zero generation of contaminated water” and “dismantling of reactor buildings. The core of decommissioning has been lost, and the goal of convergence work has yet to be drawn. (Kenta Onozawa)

Unable to stop inflow of groundwater as source of contamination
 We want to proceed according to the schedule. We want to proceed as scheduled,” Akira Ono, chief executive officer of TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 Decommissioning Promotion Company, stressed at a press conference on January 27. The Nuclear Regulation Authority’s review of the plant’s facilities is scheduled to be conducted once a week, and is expected to be completed by the end of March.
 In its initial decommissioning plan, TEPCO had set a goal of “zero generation of contaminated water. However, this goal disappeared when the plan was revised in 2019. Although the amount of contaminated water has been reduced to about one-third of what it was at the time of the accident, it is not known how the large amount of groundwater is flowing into the reactor buildings, the source of the contamination.
 The frozen soil barrier, which was introduced to stop the inflow of groundwater, has not been proven to be effective. TEPCO did not respond to the request from the Regulatory Commission to show a direction to stop the water in the building, and continued to emphasize that the tanks would be full next spring, and the government decided to release the water into the ocean.
 Once the release of treated water begins, there is no need for TEPCO and the government to hastily revive the goal of “zero contaminated water” because even if contaminated water continues to be generated, it can be purified and treated before being released. However, as long as contaminated water is not reduced to zero, the process of purification, storage, and release will continue endlessly.

Nuclear fuel removal technology and storage also face a difficult road.

 What is even more unclear is what to do with the melted down nuclear fuel (debris) and the reactor building where it remains.
 In a survey of the interior of the containment vessel of the Unit 1 reactor, a large amount of molten debris, which appeared to have solidified, was seen at the bottom of the vessel photographed by an underwater robot on August 9. It is likely to be debris, as it is close to the pressure vessel where the nuclear fuel was located.
 Of the three reactors that suffered meltdowns, Unit 1 was the only one where the accumulation of debris could not be confirmed, and the detailed investigation using six different robots finally showed signs of progress.
 However, the road to debris recovery is long and arduous. At the Unit 2 reactor, which will be the first to take out debris, trial collection is planned to start within 2010, but it will be limited to a few grams each by robots.
 The total amount of debris, which is high-dose radioactive waste, is estimated to be 880 tons for the three reactors. The total amount of debris, or high-dose radioactive waste, is estimated to be 880 tons for the three reactors, and even if it takes 30 years to remove the debris, it will not be finished until 80 kilograms are removed each day. We do not have the technology to remove the entire amount of waste, nor do we have a concrete plan for how to store it in an environment where high radiation levels are a hindrance.

Decommissioning usually means clearing the land…
 TEPCO and the government will maintain the plan to finish decommissioning the plant in 41-51 years, but the original plan to dismantle the reactor buildings disappeared in 2013. Decommissioning refers to the clearing of the land for normal nuclear power plants, but what is the status of Fukushima Daiichi?
 The final decision on what to do will be made in consultation with the local government. Akira Ono, who is in charge of TEPCO’s decommissioning, once answered at a press conference. TEPCO and the government have yet to even consider the final form of decommissioning, with only the end date unchanged.

February 13, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment