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The EU’s ‘green taxonomy’ classification sustem – no longer fit for purpose, if nuclear and gas are included,

— EU’s controversial labelling of gas and nuclear energy as ‘green’
prompts backlash. The inclusion of nuclear and fossil gas activities under
the EU taxonomy has called into question whether the green classification
system will still be fit for purpose.

 ING 17th Feb 2022


February 21, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where to in 2045? Contaminated Soil from the Nuclear Power Plant Accident: Current Status of Interim Storage Facilities in Fukushima

February 21, 2022
 Contaminated soil and other materials generated by decontamination following the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant are being temporarily stored at an interim storage facility adjacent to the plant. The decontamination of areas outside the difficult-to-return areas has largely been completed, and the decontamination of areas inside the difficult-to-return areas in the designated reconstruction and revitalization base areas (reconstruction bases), where evacuation orders are expected to be lifted after this spring, is also proceeding. However, no concrete measures have been taken for decontamination of the difficult-to-return areas outside the reconstruction centers, and no progress has been made in discussing the transport of contaminated soil out of Fukushima Prefecture. Eleven years after the accident, there is still no way to solve the problem of radioactive waste. (Kenta Onozawa, Shinichi Ogawa)

12.67 million bags from 52 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture
 Radioactive materials released from the nuclear power plant in the accident contaminated land and buildings in Fukushima Prefecture and other large areas. Each municipality has made progress in decontamination, and the soil and other waste from the decontamination process has been collected in flexible container bags (sandbags, one bag is one cubic meter), and delivery to the interim storage facility built around Fukushima Daiichi began in FY2015. As of February 10, 2022, the total amount of waste will amount to about 12.67 million cubic meters from 52 of the 59 municipalities in Fukushima. (*The graph below can also be viewed by region: Hamadori, Nakadori, and Aizu)

How much contaminated soil has been transported to the interim storage facility?
February 10, 2022

All areas:

Fukushima Prefecture has a population of 1,810,286 (as of 1 May 2021) and has a geographic area of 13,783 square kilometres (5,322 sq mi). Fukushima is the capital and Iwaki is the largest city of Fukushima Prefecture, with other major cities including Kōriyama, Aizuwakamatsu, and Sukagawa. Fukushima Prefecture is located on Japan’s eastern Pacific coast at the southernmost part of the Tōhoku region, and is home to Lake Inawashiro, the fourth-largest lake in Japan. Fukushima Prefecture is the third-largest prefecture of Japan (after Hokkaido and Iwate Prefecture) and divided by mountain ranges into the three regions of Aizu, Nakadōri, and Hamadōri.


Hamadōri (浜通り) is the easternmost of the three regions of Fukushima Prefecture. Hamadōri is bordered by the Abukuma Highlands to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The principal city of the area is Iwaki.

Area: 2,969.11 km2 (1,146.38 sq mi)

Population: (2017) 452,588


Nakadōri (中通り, Nakadōri) is a region comprising the middle third of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. It is sandwiched between the regions of Aizu to the west and Hamadōri to the east. The principal cities of the area are Kōriyama and the prefecture’s capital, Fukushima.

Area : 5,392.95 km2 (2,082.23 sq mi)

Population: ( 2017) 1,159,245


Aizu (会津) is the westernmost of the three regions of Fukushima Prefecture. The principal city of the area is Aizuwakamatsu.

Area: 5,420.69 km2 (2,092.94 sq mi)

Population: (2017) 270,648

Source: Interim Storage Facility Information Website

The total amount of contaminated garbage is not foreseeable.
 According to the Ministry of the Environment, the amount of contaminated soil generated from the decontamination of areas other than the difficult-to-return areas is estimated to be 14 million cubic meters, a huge amount equivalent to 11 fillings of Tokyo Dome. The soil is scheduled to be delivered to the interim storage facility by March 2010. In the remaining difficult-to-return areas in seven cities, towns, and villages in Fukushima Prefecture, six cities, towns, and villages (excluding Minamisoma City) have been designated as “Designated Reconstruction and Revitalization Centers (Reconstruction Centers)” where decontamination will be carried out ahead of time. It is estimated that 1.6 to 2 million cubic meters of contaminated soil will be released from the decontamination of the reconstruction centers.
 In addition to this, in August 2009, the government decided to lift the evacuation order for those who wish to return to their homes in the difficult-to-return areas outside the reconstruction centers. The Ministry of the Environment said, “We will proceed with the acquisition of land and the construction of storage facilities while monitoring the status of delivery. We do not know the maximum amount that can be brought in.

Uncertainty about transporting the materials out of Fukushima Prefecture
 As the name implies, the storage at the interim storage facility is supposed to be “temporary” before the final disposal. The government has promised that the contaminated soil will be transported to a final disposal site outside Fukushima Prefecture in 2045, 30 years after the storage began in 2015. However, it is not clear if there are any municipalities that will accept the waste contaminated by the nuclear accident, and the candidate site has not yet been decided.
 At present, three quarters of the total amount of contaminated soil stored at the site contains less than 8,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram. The government plans to reuse the contaminated soil with a concentration of 8,000 becquerels or less for road construction and other public works. The government plans to reuse soil contaminated with less than 8,000 becquerels for road construction and other public works. However, opposition to the use of contaminated soil from local residents is strong, and efforts to put the technology to practical use are running into difficulties. The Ministry of the Environment says, “We will continue to develop technology and work to gain the understanding of the people concerned.

The interim storage facilities are located around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and cover an area of 1,600 hectares. Of the privately owned land, which accounts for about 80%, 93% has been acquired by the government. The delivery of contaminated soil generated outside the difficult-to-return area is expected to be completed in March 2022.

An interim storage facility for temporarily storing contaminated soil surrounds the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Okuma Town, Fukushima Prefecture (Photo by Ryo Ito taken from the Oozuru helicopter on January 25, 2022)

February 21, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

French government to subsidise EDF nuclear power company by another €2.1bn, to prop up its failing share price

The French government is to inject about €2.1bn (£1.75bn) into
state-controlled energy group EDF to ease the financial pain inflicted by
nuclear reactors going offline and the state making the firm supply power
below market prices. The finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said the capital
injection would be made via a rights issue, announced by EDF on Friday,
aimed at raising €2.5bn to plug holes in the company’s balance sheet.
EDF said the combined effect of having to sell power at below-market prices
and the nuclear outages were likely to knock an estimated €19bn off its
forecast core profits in 2022. Its shares fell 2%, extending a slide in
which the company’s stock has dropped 19.3% in value since the start of
this year.

 Guardian 18th Feb 2022

February 21, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

The case for Saving the Severn Estuary from the dumping of radioactive wastes

A   grave threat to the oceans and the wellbeing of our communities could be
averted with your support for the Save The Severn Estuary Judicial Review
Case Fund – how? Just by quickly copying, pasting and sharing the
information below amongst your networks so that as many people are aware of
the impending danger as  possible and have the opportunity to put their
opposition into practice.

Energy giants EDF dumped contaminated mud in the
Severn near Cardiff in 2018; now, rebuffed in Wales, they were given a
licence to dump at Portishead. The legal action is to stop them resuming
dumping in April. This should be stage-1 in the battle to end EDF’s licence
for mass slaughter of fish sucked in the river of seawater for cooling

Save The Severn is a science-led independent coalition who have
assembled a case and engaged leading environmental lawyers to challenge
MMO’s licence. We obtained Court permission to proceed in December and have
a hearing scheduled for 8-10 March in the High Court. EDF are supporting
MMO while we have some assistance from the Conservation and Fisheries

The Severn Estuary has the highest conservation status, recently
becoming a Marine Protection Area where damaging operations are ended. The
Welsh Marine Plan accepts this but not England’s Marine Management
Organisation (MMO. Some of the Hinkley mud dumped at Cardiff and Portishead
smothered the seabed ecology, while most dispersed around the Estuary.
Increased radioactivity was detected up the coast and not only near Cardiff
following the 2018 dumping. EDF are choosing not to protect marine life for
their own profits, and they need to be stopped. We have three weeks to save
the Severn Estuary, with the Court Case hearing on 8 March 2022. Save The
Severn fundraising page here:

 Save the Severn (accessed) 18th Feb 2022–

February 21, 2022 Posted by | oceans, opposition to nuclear, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

The Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger a Nuclear Catastrophe – Tilman Ruff

The Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger a Nuclear Catastrophe, By Tilman Ruff 21 Feb 22,

  There are two potential nuclear dimensions to a war in Ukraine, which could create a massive humanitarian disaster and have profound global implications.

In the first week of February, US officials estimated that if war using conventional weapons broke out, 25,000 to 50,000 civilians could die in Ukraine, along with 5,000 to 25,000 Ukrainian and 3,000 to 10,000 Russian soldiers, and that between 1 and 5 million people would flee their homes and become refugees.

The toll could be much greater, especially if the conflict spread to neighbouring countries and NATO forces became embroiled. As Max Fisher wrote in the New York Times on 15 Feb: “threats and bluffs work best when they are backed up by action, increasing the risk of a war that neither side may truly want”, and “the more both sides try to make their threats credible, for example by relocating troops, the more they heighten the risk of a miscalculation that could careen out of control. He quotes Columbia University international relations scholar Dr. Keren Yarhi-Milo: “Every day that we’re not resolving it, we are increasing the percentage chance that something will go wrong”.

Conventional wars can be horrific enough. There must scarcely be a family in Russia or Ukraine without a relative among the close to 14 million Russians or 7 million Ukrainians who died during World War II, and Ukraine has been scarred by repeated invasions from both east and west. Modern weapons have greater destructiveness, range, accuracy while military spending has continued to increase to record levels even through the COVID-19 pandemic, to a staggering USD1981 billion in 2020. NATO members account for 56%, the US alone for 39%, and Russia for 3.1% of the global total.

 Eruption of armed conflict in Ukraine risks involving not only Ukraine and Russia (and Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine it has occupied), but neighbouring countries where Russian forces are stationed – Belarus and Modova, and many of NATO’s 30 members in Europe and across the Atlantic, notably the US, with forces stationed in many other NATO countries.

However a war in Ukraine could have two potentially devastating nuclear dimensions.

 Nuclear power plants as potential ‘dirty’ bombs

Nuclear power plants are huge potential pre-positioned radiological weapons.

Ukraine, site of the world’s worst ever civilian nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, has 15 operating nuclear power reactors, in 4 nuclear plants in different parts of the country. The largest is Zaporozhye, in Enerhodar in the southeast of the country. It lies on the east (towards Russia) side of the Dniepr River, 330km west of the city of Donetsk and 200 km from the border of the Donetsk region, part of which has been taken over by Russian/Russian-backed forces. The site has 6 nuclear reactors of 950 Mw each, producing about a quarter of Ukraine’s electricity. It is the second largest nuclear power plant in Europe and one of the 10 largest in the world.

Like most nuclear power plants, highly radioactive and hot used reactor fuel is onsite in cooling ponds, as the fuel needs to be actively cooled for several years, before being put in dry assemblies, which are also on site. As reactor fuel becomes more radioactive the longer it is inside a reactor, cooling ponds often contain more radioactivity in the spent fuel than the reactors themselves do, but are housed in simple buildings without the multiple engineered layers of containment reactors typically have. As we saw in the Fukushima nuclear disaster, reactor meltdowns and explosions releasing vast amounts of radioactivity do not require a high level military assault breaching reactor cores. They can happen simply from disruption to the constant power and circulating water system required to keep reactors and spent fuels pools cool.  At the Fukushima Daiichi site at the time of the disaster, 70% of all the radioactivity on site was in the spent fuel pools.

Nobel laureate physicist Prof Joseph Rotblat described in his landmark 1981 study “Nuclear radiation in warfare” that precision-guided bombardment or a commando raid with conventional weapons could rupture a reactor’s containment and pressure vessel, but that very serious radiological consequences could ensue even without rupture of the pressure vessel if the reactor cooling system were put out of action. He stated that: “In a pressurized water reactor [all Ukraine’s operating power reactors are of this type] the melt-down of the core could occur within less than one minute after the loss of coolant”.

War in Ukraine could turn nuclear if any of its nuclear power reactors and/or spent reactor fuel cooling ponds were damaged sufficiently to cause loss of coolant meltdown and/or explosion. The Russian-made Buk missile which brought down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 people on board, appears to have been launched by Russian-backed separatists. A nuclear power plant may be an attractive high-impact target, including for proxy groups who may not be under direct military control but have access to high level weaponry.

Russia is one of the growing number of states actively engaged in cyberwarfare. Nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities have repeatedly been targets of cyberattack, including infamously the  Stuxnet computer virus targetted by Israel and the US to disrupt Iran’s uranium enrichment centrifuges in 2009.

Rotblat also described how the radioactive fallout from a damaged reactor, and even more so from an explosion in a spent fuel pool, could release more and longer-lived radioactivity than detonation of a nuclear bomb.

Thus nuclear power plants are effectively huge pre-positioned potential radiological weapons.

War turning nuclear

 If fighting erupted in Ukraine, it would almost certainly begin with conventional weapons. Many of these have sufficient accuracy, range and destructiveness to put targets that are of high military value to Ukraine, Russia and NATO members at risk, even far from any frontline – like military and air bases; intelligence, command and logistical centres. Both Russian and NATO/US military doctrines allow first use of nuclear weapons in situations where the prospect of military defeat looms

Russia has 1600 deployed strategic nuclear weapons, and 1912 tactical nuclear weapons. Most of the delivery systems for the latter can carry either conventional or nuclear warheads, increasing the risk of worst-case thinking and precipitous and over reaction on the other side, and the danger of the threshold to nuclear escalation being crossed.

The  US has 1650 deployed strategic nuclear weapons, and 100 B-61 nuclear bombs deployed to bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey for delivery by aircraft of those nations.

in addition,  France has 280 deployed nuclear weapons, and the  UK 120 deployed nuclear weapons.

If the threshold of use of nuclear weapons is crossed, those who have managed nuclear weapons and nuclear war plans tell us the risks or rapid and large-scale escalation are very high. The current Ukraine crisis involves not only complicated history, politics and personalities, but hundreds of senior officials; many thousands of civilian and military officials and advisors; multiple enormous complex and dispersed command, control and communications systems; a web of often unconnected communications across many time zones and languages; and through Russia and NATO involves the 4 nations that possess all the world’s 3750  currently deployed nuclear weapons, including all the 2000 nuclear weapons on high alert, ready to be launched on short notice (counted in minutes).

There is a lot that can go wrong.

Diplomacy to remove the danger of nuclear escalation is desperately urgent and needs to progress to negotiations among all nuclear armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals under strict verification and timelines. Otherwise it will be a matter of time before our luck finally runs out.

Tilman Ruff Tilman Ruff AO is Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Nobel Peace Prize 1985); and co-founder and founding international and Australian Chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, the first to an entity born in Australia.

February 21, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Public Opposition to Nuclear Power

Public Opposition to Nuclear Power. 19, 2022

Nuclear power is not popular with the public in most countries. After the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, a global Ipsos survey put global public opposition at 62% averaged out, with it being much higher in some countries e.g. 79% in Germany.  94% voted against it in a referendum in Italy in the wake of Fukushima. 

While opposition remain strong in most places around the world, with concerns about climate change rising, there have been some shifts in view in some countries, for example, in the USA , at least according to a survey by Bisconti. But even in countries that are relatively pro-nuclear, public support for it is not that strong. For example, it was reportedly at 38% in 2021 in the UK, compared to 79% support level for renewables, with just 2% opposed to them. 

Though its strength may have varied over time, opposition to civil nuclear power has been a world-wide phenomenon attracting people in many countries. To some extent, it grew out of opposition to nuclear weapons, a grass roots response which expanded significantly in the 1960s in Europe in particular, and continued at varying levels right up to the end of the cold war in the late 1990s, and indeed exists still, as does the threat of nuclear war.  

Opposition specifically to civil nuclear power emerged in the early 1970s, but, although it drew on some of the same roots as opposition to atomic weapons, it took on its own character and dynamic. In particular, it reflected increasing generational conflicts and the rise of an ‘alternativist’ anti-establishment counter culture amongst young people in the West. It also reflected growing environmental concerns, and support for alternative energy, as indicted by the ubiquitous ‘smiling sun’ graphic part of ‘Nuclear Power? No thanks!’ campaign button that had originated in Denmark in 1975. 

Although at times quite militant, there was a preference, shared with the anti-bomb movement, for non-violent direct action/passive resistance. For example, in the USA, in the 1970’s there were mass peaceful demonstrations at nuclear sites, with, in May 1977 a 2,500 strong citizens ‘sit down’ occupation of the site of the proposed reactor at Seabrook in New Hampshire, leading to 1,400 people being arrested and detained. The late 1970s also saw some of the largest demonstrations against nuclear power in the UK, at the proposed site of the Torness nuclear power station in Scotland, with 5,000 demonstrating in 1978 and up to 10,000 the following year. 

Although at times quite militant, there was a preference, shared with the anti-bomb movement, for non-violent direct action/passive resistance. For example, in the USA, in the 1970’s there were mass peaceful demonstrations at nuclear sites, with, in May 1977 a 2,500 strong citizens ‘sit down’ occupation of the site of the proposed reactor at Seabrook in New Hampshire, leading to 1,400 people being arrested and detained. The late 1970s also saw some of the largest demonstrations against nuclear power in the UK, at the proposed site of the Torness nuclear power station in Scotland, with 5,000 demonstrating in 1978 and up to 10,000 the following year. 

However, that was avoided. Indeed, nuclear opposition, locally and globally, was subsequently renewed, reinforced and widened, with many new participants becoming involved, by nuclear accidents like that at Three Mile Island in the USA in 1979, Chernobyl in the Ukraine in 1986 and Fukushima in Japan in 2011. The industry certainly faced set back after each of these events, with public opposition increasing. For example, following the Three Mile Island accident, an anti-nuclear protest was held in New York City, involving 200,000 people; Chernobyl led to protests around the world, including up to 200,000 opposing Italy’s nuclear plans; and directly after Fukushima, 60,000 people marched in opposition to nuclear in central Tokyo and again, in 2012, 75,000 people joined a march, this in a country where public displays of dissention on any issue were rare.

Following Fukushima, opposition to nuclear spread across Asia. For example, 130,000 people took to the streets in Taiwan in March 2014 calling for a nuclear phase out. Strong local opposition also emerged in South Korea and Thailand and continued in India. From often being easily dismissed as a fringe, marginal movement, opposition to nuclear power was now wide spread, attracting large majorities (80% and above in polls) in many countries.

Looking back over the whole period, it has to be said that few proposed plants have been halted by direct action/protest campaigns, although they have arguably contributed to a change in political climate, for example in Germany & Spain, but then so did the accidents, e.g. in Asia, following the Fukushima plants spectacular demise. There has been a lot of scholarly research on what mobilises people to act on nuclear issues, much of it done after Fukushima, which clearly had a big impact.

However, so has economics. The progressively poor economics of nuclear has probably been the main reason why nuclear has been in decline in many places. Though there can be two-way interactions between political opposition, with for example linked public demands for improved safety, and the economics of nuclear power. Looking ahead, it may be that the increasingly poor economics and the slow delivery potential of nuclear power compared to renewables, which are clearly progressing, will now move even more people to an anti-nuclear/pro renewables position, including those who see climate change as needing an urgent response. And that may constrain nuclear further. 

The Bottom line 

Nuclear is not doing well. In the US, given the increasingly competitive alternatives, old nuclear plant closures continue, although some plants may be kept open for a while with subsidies (see my last post), and one new one is being built. Some small new plants may also be tested. But otherwise, nuclear is, in effect, phasing itself out there. In Asia, although Japan has restarted a few reactors, no new ones are planned. China is expanding renewables very dramatically, and although it, and India, are also continuing with nuclear expansion programmes, they are relatively small compared with their renewable programmes. Meanwhile, South Korea has continued with its nuclear phase out by 2030 policy. 

In Europe, the UK, France and Finland, as well as some Eastern European countries, still  back nuclear, but in addition to the well-known case of Germany, with its last plant scheduled to close by the end of the year, nuclear phase out commitments have also been made in Belgium, Spain, and Switzerland. As noted earlier, after Fukushima, Italy also voted overwhelmingly in a referendum not to go nuclear, a position already adopted by Denmark, Austria, Ireland, Greece and Portugal.  

All of which makes the recent statement from the pro-nuclear group Human Progress inaccurate as well as appalling: ‘Whereas a few months ago European Union bureaucrats drawing up the “taxonomy” that defines which energy sources would be considered carbon-free (i.e. valid substitutes for fossil fuels) excluded nuclear power, now nearly all except the fanatical Germanic states have reversed themselves. Indeed, the map of pro- and anti-nuclear Euro¬pean countries now closely resembles a map of World War II circa March 1945, shortly before the taking of the Ludendorff Bridge broke the last line of organised resistance in the Reich’. 

Well, it is usually the left that is chastised for playing the ideology card! See my next post…

February 21, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, public opinion | Leave a comment

Shadow of Hiroshima” at Fukushima nuclear power plant: Animation depicts history of nuclear power

Hidenobu Fukumoto, creator of the animated film The Story of the Beginning of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

February 20, 2022

 In the history of nuclear power plants, the “shadow of Hiroshima” is hidden. A Hiroshima-based citizens group that supports victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) nuclear power plant of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has produced an animated film titledThe Story of the Beginning of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The work traces the history of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by the U.S. military and the nuclear accident, and depicts the social movements and people’s thoughts regarding nuclear power.

Hidenobu Fukumoto, a member of the Machi Monogatari Production Committee, has been visiting the disaster-stricken areas in Tohoku and has been creating picture story shows based on local folklore and disaster experiences. Last year, he started an initiative to convert the picture story shows into animated films and donate them to public facilities.

It depicts the life of a man born and raised in Okuma Town, Fukushima Prefecture, and shows the connection between the atomic bombing and nuclear power plants one after another.–FE43aO6xsPCMSzTARPmbP94gBUkzmcrOPRKsjdecEhwWw

February 21, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

IAEA ‘will not approve or oppose’ release of treated water from Fukushima plant, ‘responsibility of each country’

IAEA investigators are examining the safety of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s treated water ocean discharge plan

February 19, 2022

The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) survey team, which is examining the safety of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s treated water release plan, said that they will not oppose or approve the release.

IAEA Deputy Director General Liddy Evrard, who is visiting Japan to lead the survey team, said, “The IAEA does not approve or oppose the decision. The IAEA does not approve or oppose the decision, as it was made under the responsibility of each country.

The IAEA does not approve or oppose decisions because they are made under the responsibility of individual countries,” he said, adding that “the decision to oppose or approve a project related to nuclear safety must be made by the national regulatory body.

When asked if there were any other options other than oceanic release, Mr. Evrard said that consideration of other options had been completed in the past, and that this activity was being undertaken in response to a request for technical assistance from Japan, which had decided on the oceanic release plan.

Under-Secretary General Evrard explained the IAEA’s role as “helping countries improve their nuclear safety regulations through internationally accepted safety standards and providing mutual assessments of the adequacy of equipment to maintain safety.

“The role of the IAEA is not to be involved in regulation on the ground,” he answered, “but to visit the site as necessary at specific stages.” When asked if the IAEA would station nuclear experts with good command of Japanese to fully grasp the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, he said, “The role of the IAEA is not to be involved in regulation on the ground.

Under-Secretary-General Evrard stressed that “we listen carefully to their concerns, as a matter of priority,” regarding the opposition to the release of treated water into the ocean in South Korea and Japan.

However, when asked, “In the course of this investigation, have you met or do you have plans to meet with people who are opposed to oceanic release, such as those involved in fishermen’s groups and environmental groups?” Mr. Gustavo Caruso, coordinator of the IAEA’s Nuclear Safety and Security Directorate, replied, “We will meet with the people decided by the Japanese government.

Gustavo Caruso, coordinator of the IAEA’s Nuclear Safety and Security Directorate, replied, “We will meet with a person to be decided by the Japanese government,” adding, “We will evaluate the report based on IAEA safety standards and make it public later so that anyone can see it. The report on the investigation activities is expected to be released around the end of April.

During the visit, the IAEA team will take samples of treated water and other materials stored in tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and analyze them at three laboratories in Monaco, Austria and other countries.

February 21, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

I just wanted to live a normal life – Akiko Morimatsu

February 15, 2022

It will soon be 11 years since the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
It is estimated that 27,000 people have evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture and 39,000 people have evacuated to 915 cities, towns, and villages in 47 prefectures across Japan (all figures as of January 12, 2022, compiled by the Reconstruction Agency). (As of January 12, 2022, according to the Reconstruction Agency.) However, the exact number of evacuees is still unknown due to discrepancies between the totals of Fukushima Prefecture and those of municipalities, as well as cases where the government has mistakenly deleted evacuee registrations.

The accident is still ongoing.
We would like to share with you some of the stories we have heard from the evacuees.
This time, we would like to introduce Ms. Akiko Morimatsu, who gave a speech with Greenpeace at the UN Human Rights Council on the current situation of the victims.
(All information in this article is current as of 2018)

Akiko Morimatsu’s eldest daughter, who was a newborn infant at the time of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, is now in elementary school. In the seven years since she left Fukushima Prefecture, she has never lived with her father.
Her eldest son, who was three years old, is a father’s child. Whenever his father came to see his evacuated family once a month, he would return to Fukushima Prefecture, and I could not tell you how many times I wet my pillow with tears of loneliness and sadness.

In March of this year, Ms. Morimatsu made up her mind to stand on the stage of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ms. Morimatsu is a so-called “voluntary evacuee. Housing support, which was the only support for “voluntary evacuees” from outside the evacuation zone, has been cut off, and now there are even eviction lawsuits against “voluntary evacuees” who cannot pay their rent.

In the fall of 2017, Greenpeace, together with the victims of the nuclear accident, appealed to the member countries of the United Nations Human Rights Council about these human rights violations that the victims continue to suffer. Many people who supported us with signatures and donations supported this project.

Subsequently, recommendations for correction were issued by Germany, Austria, Portugal, and Mexico. Greenpeace is calling on the Japanese government to accept these recommendations.
We hope that as many people as possible will know why Mr. Morimatsu decided to speak directly with Greenpeace about the current situation in front of the representatives of each country at the time when the decision to accept the recommendations will be announced.

A nursery school in Fukushima Prefecture in 2011

In the midst of impatience, anxiety, and unpredictable fear

It was during the Golden Week holidays, two months after the disaster, that Ms. Morimatsu decided to evacuate.
Until then, she had been trying to rebuild her life in Fukushima Prefecture.

However, even though no evacuation order had been issued for the area called Nakadori, where he was living at the time, the kindergarten distributed disposable masks to all the children and instructed them to wear long sleeves and long pants. Elementary and junior high school students in the neighborhood drive their own cars to school, even if it is within walking distance. They are not allowed to go outside without permission, and of course they are not allowed to play outside either at the kindergarten or around their homes.

On weekends, the whole family travels to Yamagata and Niigata prefectures on the highway to take the children out to play. Radioactive materials have been detected in tap water and fresh food. We could not hang our laundry or futons outdoors.

No matter what we did, we had to first think about the possible effects of radiation on our children and pay close attention to everything.

No one can tell us what is the right thing to do.

I don’t even know if I should continue to live here. I feel impatient, anxious, and unpredictable.

One by one, families in the neighborhood and kindergartens were leaving Fukushima Prefecture, and it was the fathers of the children who first suggested to Ms. Morimatsu that she take the children to the Kansai region, where she had spent her school days, as they were planning to use the holidays to reorganize their living environment.

What she saw there was a media report about the danger of radioactive contamination, which had not been reported at all in Fukushima Prefecture.

What can we do to protect the future of children who are highly sensitive to radiation?

Only I, as a parent, could protect them.

It was time to make a decision.

Greenpeace radiation survey at a kindergarten in Fukushima Prefecture, 2011.

I separated the children from their father.

With the encouragement of relatives and friends in the Kansai region, and with the agreement of her husband, who continues to work in Fukushima Prefecture, Morimatsu decided to evacuate with her children.

No evacuation order was issued for the area where the Morimatsu family was living. They had to pay separate rents and utility bills for the rental house they rented to replace their house that was damaged in the earthquake, and for the house they rented to house their mother and child in Osaka (*Housing support for voluntary evacuees ended in March 2017. Because Ms. Morimatsu had left public housing early, which had a short move-in period, she was not provided with housing after that and is not counted in the number of evacuees, forcing her to continue living as an evacuee completely on her own).

Even for fathers to come to see their young children, the high cost of transportation is prohibitive.

What kind of impact will not being able to see their fathers most of the time have on the children’s mental development?

How do fathers feel when they can’t watch their adorable children grow up?

Was the evacuation really the right thing to do, forcing families to live apart?

Mr. Morimatsu was in agony, but he decided to find a job in the evacuation area so that he could see his father and children as often as possible.

However, there was no way to take care of her oldest daughter, who was only one year old at the time, at the evacuation site.

Because of the risk of not receiving information from the local government regarding public support and health surveys for children, victims who are voluntarily evacuating cannot inadvertently report their departure. As a result, they were not able to receive services such as day-care centers smoothly in their evacuation areas.
As a result, although she was able to be placed on a waiting list for childcare, her childcare fees were also determined based on her household income, so her own income, which she had begun to work to supplement her double life, was added to her household income, which was quite high. Since she is not a widow, she is not eligible to receive subsidies for single-mother households.

Empty playground of local day nursing school called “Soramame” in Fukushima city. Before Nuclear crisis, this school was taking care of 24 kids. However, since most of them have evacuated to other places with their families, now only 7 kids left. A director of the school, Sadako Monma 48 says “After March 11th, kids are not playing on the playground and instead they are playing inside the school all the time due to nuclear issues”. Since many kids left the school, Monma is thinking about closing the school which has been running for the past 15 years due to financial situation. Fukushima prefecture.

The Best Choice in the Worst Situation

The number of people like Ms. Morimatsu who evacuated from areas where evacuation orders were not issued is a small minority compared to the total number of victims of the nuclear accident. She said that she felt guilty and conflicted about evacuating from a place where even temporary housing could be built for victims from areas where evacuation orders had been issued.

But no one would willingly abandon their current life to evacuate.

Ms. Morimatsu’s husband chose to continue working in Fukushima Prefecture even if it meant leaving his family.

Whether to evacuate or not, each victim’s decision should be respected as the best choice under the worst circumstances.

Voicing one’s anxiety or pointing out what one feels is wrong should not be denied.

But we are practically forced to close our eyes, keep our mouths shut, and pretend to forget about it.

The biggest victims are “children”.

Seven years have passed since the accident, and yet the “right to health” of children, who are the most vulnerable to radiation exposure, has not been given equally to everyone’s children?

I just want to live a normal life together with my child.

I want my children to live a long and healthy life, even if it’s just for a minute or a second.

It is a natural wish for parents to long for this.

The current situation is such that even this desire is being ignored.

Akiko Morimatsu (photo taken in 2021) ©️ Greenpeace / Kosuke Okahara

Protecting the Human Rights of Victims of the Nuclear Accident

The right to avoid radiation exposure and protect one’s health continues to be violated regardless of whether one evacuates or not.

Is the right to avoid radiation exposure, in other words, the right to evacuate, equally recognized for those who want to evacuate?

The policy of not recognizing the right to evacuate, discontinuing the provision of housing without medical support or information, and effectively forcing victims to return home through economic pressure is a violation of human rights for the Morimatsu family and other victims of the nuclear accident.

If the same thing happened to you, what would you protect?

What would you value the most?

The right to life and health is a fundamental human right given to every individual, from the newborn baby to the elderly person whose life will end tomorrow.

Mr. Morimatsu is still evacuating with his children.

Greenpeace’s activities are based on scientific evidence derived from the results of radiation surveys conducted in the area immediately after the accident.
We will continue our research activities and human rights protection activities for the people affected by the accident.

February 21, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment