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How dangerous is the Fukushima nuke plant today?

By MARI YAMAGUCHI March 12, 2021

OKUMA, Japan (AP) — A decade ago, a massive tsunami crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Three of its reactors melted down, leaving it looking like a bombed-out factory. Emergency workers risked their lives trying to keep one of history’s worst nuclear crises from spiraling out of control.

Proper equipment has now replaced ragged plastic hoses held together with tape and an outdoor power switchboard infested by rats, which caused blackouts. Radiation levels have declined, allowing workers and visitors to wear regular clothes and surgical masks in most areas.

But deep inside the plant, danger still lurks. Officials don’t know exactly how long the cleanup will take, whether it will be successful and what might become of the land where the plant sits.

Journalists from The Associated Press recently visited the plant to document progress in its cleanup on the 10th anniversary of the meltdowns and the challenges that lie ahead.

This photo shows tanks (in gray, beige and blue) of storing water that was treated but still radioactive after it was used to cool down spent fuel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. The reactors of the Unit 3, lower left, and 4 are seen by the ocean. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

WHAT HAPPENED 10 YEARS AGO?

After a magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011, a tsunami 17 meters (56 feet) high slammed into the coastal plant, destroying its power supply and cooling systems and causing meltdowns at reactors No. 1, 2 and 3.

The plant’s three other reactors were offline and survived, though a fourth building, along with two of the three melted reactors, had hydrogen explosions, spewing massive radiation and causing long-term contamination in the area.

Satellite images ©2021 Maxar Technologies via AP

The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., says the tsunami couldn’t have been anticipated, but reports from government and independent investigations and recent court decisions described the disaster at the plant as human-made and a result of safety negligence, lax oversight by regulators and collusion.

FILE – In this Nov. 12, 2011 file photo, the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station is seen through a bus window in Okuma, Japan, as the media were allowed into Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant for the first time since the March 11 disaster. A decade ago, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant melted down. It looked like a bombed-out factory in a war zone. Emergency workers risked their lives as they battled to keep the crisis in check. Eeriness is no longer there. The feeble-looking plastic hoses mended with tape and the outdoor power switchboard that rats got into, causing blackouts, were replaced with proper equipment. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, Pool, File)

This photo shows part of an extra cooling pool storing spent fuel units from reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Several units, seen at lower right, were removed from the No. 3 reactor at the power plant. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

WHAT’S INSIDE THE MELTED REACTORS?

About 900 tons of melted nuclear fuel remain inside the three damaged reactors, and its removal is a daunting task that officials say will take 30-40 years. Critics say that’s overly optimistic.

Separate efforts to remove spent fuel from cooling pools inside the reactor buildings were hampered by high radiation and debris and have been delayed for up to five years. If the plant’s pools lose their cooling water in another major quake, exposed fuel rods could quickly overheat and cause an even worse meltdown.

The melted cores in Units 1, 2 and 3 mostly fell to the bottom of their primary containment vessels, some penetrating and mixing with the concrete foundation, making removal extremely difficult.

Remote-controlled robots with cameras have provided only a limited view of the melted fuel in areas still too dangerous for humans to go.

Plant chief Akira Ono says the inability to see what’s happening inside the reactors means that details about the melted fuel are still largely unknown.

This photo shows the damaged Unit 1 reactor, back, and the exhaust stack shared with the Unit 1 and 2 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. The exhaust stack has gotten its upper half cut off due to safety concerns. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

ARE THERE UNDERGROUND LEAKS?

Since the disaster, contaminated cooling water has constantly escaped from the damaged primary containment vessels into the reactor building basements, where it mixes with groundwater that seeps in. The water is pumped up and treated. Part is recycled as cooling water, with the remainder stored in 1,000 huge tanks crowding the plant.

Early in the crisis, highly contaminated water that leaked from damaged basements and maintenance ditches escaped into the ocean, but the main leakage points have been closed, TEPCO says. Tons of contaminated sandbags used to block the leaks early in the disaster remain in two basements.

Tiny amounts of radiation have continued leaking into the sea and elsewhere through underground passages, though the amount today is small and fish caught off the coast are safe to eat, scientists say.

FILE – In this March 24, 2011 file photo, a young evacuee is screened at a shelter for leaked radiation from the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, northeast of Tokyo. A decade ago, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant melted down. It looked like a bombed-out factory in a war zone. Emergency workers risked their lives as they battled to keep the crisis in check. Eeriness is no longer there. The feeble-looking plastic hoses mended with tape and the outdoor power switchboard that rats got into, causing blackouts, were replaced with proper equipment. (AP Photo/Wally Santana, File)

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE STORED RADIOACTIVE WATER?

The 1,000 tanks filled with treated but still radioactive water tower over workers and visitors at the plant.

TEPCO says the tanks’ 1.37 million ton storage capacity will be full in 2022. A government panel’s recommendation that the water be released into the sea is facing fierce opposition from local residents, especially fishermen concerned about further damage to the area’s reputation. A decision on that recommendation is pending.

TEPCO and government officials say tritium, which is not harmful in small amounts, cannot be removed from the water, but all other isotopes selected for treatment can be reduced to safe levels for release.

TEPCO has managed to cut the amount of contaminated water to one-third of what it used to be through a series of measures.

FILE – This file image made available from Tokyo Electric Power Co. via Kyodo News shows the damaged No. 4 unit of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in Okuma town, northeastern Japan, on Tuesday, March 15, 2011. White smoke billows from the No. 3 unit. A decade ago, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant melted down. It looked like a bombed-out factory in a war zone. Emergency workers risked their lives as they battled to keep the crisis in check. Eeriness is no longer there. The feeble-looking plastic hoses mended with tape and the outdoor power switchboard that rats got into, causing blackouts, were replaced with proper equipment. (Tokyo Electric Power Co/Kyodo News via AP, File)

This photo shows the damaged Unit 1 reactor, back, and the exhaust stack shared with the Unit 1 and 2 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO VISIT THE PLANT?

The first thing visitors see is a stylish office building that holds the TEPCO decommissioning unit.

In another building, plant workers — about 4,000 per day now — go through automated security checkpoints and radiation measurements.

Because radiation levels have fallen significantly following decontamination, full protection gear is only needed in a few places in the plant, including in and around the melted reactor buildings.

On a recent visit, AP journalists donned partial protective gear to tour a low-radiation area: a helmet, double socks, cotton gloves, surgical masks, goggles and a vest with a personal dosimeter.

Full protection gear, which means hazmat coveralls, a full-face mask, a head cover, triple socks and double rubber gloves, was required at a shared storage pool where fuel relocation from the No. 3 reactor pool was recently completed.

A worker for Tokyo Electric Power Co. looks at an extra cooling pool containing spent fuel from reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

Nuclear reactors of No. 1, from left, 2, 3 and 4 look over tanks storing water that was treated but still radioactive, at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

This photo shows tanks (in gray, beige and blue) storing water that was treated but still radioactive after it was used to cool down spent fuel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

FILE – In this Nov. 12, 2011, file photo, officials from the Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Japanese journalists look at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station from bus windows in Okuma, Japan. A decade ago, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant melted down. It looked like a bombed-out factory in a war zone. Emergency workers risked their lives as they battled to keep the crisis in check. Eeriness is no longer there. The feeble-looking plastic hoses mended with tape and the outdoor power switchboard that rats got into, causing blackouts, were replaced with proper equipment.(AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File)

The Pacific Ocean looks over nuclear reactor units of No. 3, left, and 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

FILE – In this Nov. 12, 2011, file photo, the Unit 4 reactor building of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station is seen through a bus window in Okuma town, north of Tokyo, when the media was allowed into Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant for the first time. A decade ago, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant melted down. It looked like a bombed-out factory in a war zone. Emergency workers risked their lives as they battled to keep the crisis in check. Eeriness is no longer there. The feeble-looking plastic hoses mended with tape and the outdoor power switchboard that rats got into, causing blackouts, were replaced with proper equipment. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, Pool, File)

This photo shows a device to freeze dirt to make an underground retention wall to surround nuclear reactors in an attempt to avoid leakage of radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

WHAT’S THE ENDGAME?

A decade after the accident, Japan doesn’t yet have a plan to dispose of the highly radioactive melted fuel, debris and waste at the plant. Technology also isn’t advanced enough yet to manage the waste by reducing its toxicity.

TEPCO says it needs to get rid of the water storage tanks to free up space at the plant so workers can build facilities that will be used to study and store melted fuel and other debris.

There are about 500,000 tons of solid radioactive waste, including contaminated debris and soil, sludge from water treatment, scrapped tanks and other waste.

It’s unclear what the plant will look like when the work there is done. Local officials and residents say they expect the complex to one day be open space where they can walk freely. But there’s no clear idea if or when that might happen.

___

A security guard stops vehicles at a security checkpoint as they enter an area that requires a special permit to enter in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Part of the buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is seen in the background. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

Employees of Tokyo Electric Power Co. look at old tanks which used to store radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

This photo shows the damaged Unit 1 reactor, back, and part of the exhaust stack shared with the Unit 1 and 2 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. The exhaust stack has gotten its upper half cut off due to safety concerns. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

Tokyo correspondent Mari Yamaguchi has visited the Fukushima nuclear plant nine times, starting in 2012.

https://apnews.com/article/world-news-japan-tsunamis-5a5a70d852d2290d527123d3ec300c57?fbclid=IwAR2DEw5sRqv8pheLP-n4PK9Wq8fBMXs9J9l_W43OyIx5t-8cTLLMLd-6VQA

April 23, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment

Fear of broken contaminated pipes being fixed with wire ropes, which may break and sag due to earthquakes, TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

April 20, 2022
On April 20, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announced that it will fix a pipe contaminated with highly radioactive materials between Units 1 and 2 of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Okuma and Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture) to another nearby pipe with a wire rope because the pipe has become brittle due to multiple problems during cutting. Some of the contaminated pipes are on the verge of breaking, and there is a risk that they may break off and hang down due to earthquakes or other causes.

Pipes that are 90% cut and work has been suspended, and there is a possibility that they will break and hang down during an earthquake at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (courtesy of TEPCO).

The pipes to be cut are about 30 cm in diameter. 90% of the pipes to be removed for the first time (about 11 meters long and weighing about 1 ton) were cut on March 27 by a remote-controlled device on one side. The strength of the piping has decreased.
 On March 19, an investigation revealed that the warping of the broken pipe had increased, and on March 20, work began to wrap the wire rope around the pipe by remote control using a crane. (Note: A TEPCO spokesperson corrected the explanation on the 21st, saying that “workers entered the site to wrap the rope around the pipes.)

The thin piping to be removed was 90% cut in the center of the photo, but work was suspended. The pipes will be secured with thicker pipes and wires because they may break off and hang down due to the earthquake, at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (courtesy of TEPCO).

The investigation into the cause of the trouble has not been completed, and the resumption of removal is not expected. TEPCO had planned to remove the piping, which totals 135 meters, in 26 sections by the end of April, but has changed the target to the end of September.
 The pipes were used in the venting of contaminated steam inside the reactor to prevent the containment vessel from rupturing immediately after the accident in March 2011. 11 years have passed, but people still cannot get to them. (Eleven years have passed, and no one can get close to it.)
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/172904?fbclid=IwAR0V8O72lyq_ymfivHwfFbYrclEM_6ZsJD6ymkLBMCWV5lHkw-O1lyoujcM

April 23, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima farmers’ efforts serve to undo TEPCO’s damage

Mobilization of Fukushima farmers. Credit: Fukushima Farmers Federation

April 19, 2022
About Fukushima farmers’ compensation, here is the Tweet thread posted by Mako Oshidori (see note at bottom) translated by us :

“The financial compensation given to farmers after the nuclear accident is designed so that the difference between sales before and after the accident is paid to them as compensation for ‘image damage.

Farmers are developing their own varieties, developing their own sales networks, and conducting experiments to limit the transfer of cesium from the soil to the vegetables.
As a result of all these efforts, when sales returned to pre-accident levels, the compensation became zero.
“Thus, our efforts serve to cancel the damage caused by TEPCO!”

2) Cesium in the soil is still present, so “this is not just an image problem, but real damage.”
Members of the Fukushima Farmers Federation continue to renew their demands for “radiation protection policy for farmers.”

It is TEPCO that benefits from the effects of the slogan “Eating Fukushima products for solidarity” which leads to reducing the amount of compensation received by farmers.
Moreover, if a farmer does not continue to operate in Fukushima, there will be no compensation.

3) Farmers in Fukushima have been trying to find a way to prevent the transfer of cesium from the soil to the crops.
In the years immediately following the accident, vegetables from neighboring counties have been found to have higher levels of cesium than those from Fukushima.

There are still agricultural lands with surface contamination above the standard of the radiation control zone defined by the Ordinance on the Prevention of Radiation Risks.
Negotiations for the establishment of the radiation protection policy for farmers are continuing this year.


Note:
The couple Mako and Ken OSHIDORI are known in Japan as manzaishi (comedy duo in the style of folk storytellers). As soon as the Fukushima nuclear accident began in March 2011, Mako decided to attend TEPCO press conferences in order to access information that was dramatically missing from the media. With the help of Ken, her husband and work partner, she became a freelance journalist, one of the most knowledgeable on the Fukushima issue, and feared as such by TEPCO.
https://nosvoisinslointains311.home.blog/2022/04/19/les-efforts-des-agriculteurs-servent-a-annuler-les-actes-prejudiciables-de-tepco/?fbclid=IwAR1Q9OkhLPO07bp6RxeTxwqHZ-U5HO4Wwaj_igq-aK7dunkrkKvx9J_jy1Y

April 23, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO to Remove Contaminated Pipes at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant by “First Half of FY2022” Due to Continuing Troubles

A cutting device lifted by a large crane grabs a 30-centimeter-diameter pipe at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on March 2, 2022 (photo by Takeshi Yamakawa)

April 18, 2022
On April 18, at a meeting of the Nuclear Regulation Authority to review the status of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, TEPCO announced that it had changed its target date for the completion of work to “the first half of FY2022 (April to September)” regarding the removal of pipes between Units 1 and 2 that were contaminated with high concentrations of radioactive materials. Previously, the target was “within FY 2009. The scope of the removal work includes the areas that interfere with the installation of rainwater inflow countermeasures in the waste treatment buildings of Units 1 and 2 and the installation of a large cover in Unit 1.
 The removal work began on February 24, but has not progressed at all due to a series of problems with the cutting equipment. The timing for the resumption of work is not clear, as investigations are still underway to determine whether the cutting equipment and method used to lift the pipes up by a large crane are appropriate.
 The pipes to be removed were used in the venting process immediately after the accident to release contaminated air inside the reactor to prevent the containment vessel from rupturing. The pipes are 30 cm in diameter and measure 65 meters on the Unit 1 side and 70 meters on the Unit 2 side. The current plan is to cut the piping into 26 sections and remove them. The surface dose at the connection with the exhaust stack is 4 sievert per hour, which is high enough to kill a person if he or she stays there for several hours. For this reason, all work will be carried out remotely. (Shinichi Ogawa)
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/172472?rct=national&fbclid=IwAR1DYTcIpK–IpNqQfheOVBWKG8-G1Eonb274DLuS8FOMWxZ9ciYQLdmaiM

April 23, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Yoshinobu Segawa of Koriyama City, who voluntarily evacuated his wife and children to Saitama City, says the accident “has not been resolved

Mr. Yoshinobu Segawa, who has voluntarily evacuated his wife and child to Saitama City, talks about his desire to continue the evacuation in an online interview.

April 17, 2022
Residents who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture to Saitama and other prefectures following the March 2011 accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant have filed a lawsuit against the government and TEPCO, claiming a total of 100 million yen in damages. On April 20, the Saitama District Court will hand down a verdict in a class action lawsuit seeking a total of 100 million yen in damages from the government and TEPCO. The lawsuit was filed in March 2002, seeking compensation for the mental anguish of being separated from their familiar land, as well as compensation for their homes and land lost in the accident. After three additional lawsuits, the number of plaintiffs has grown to 96. How has the nuclear accident changed their daily lives? Before the verdict, we asked two of the plaintiffs about their thoughts.
 Yoshinobu Segawa, 60, an art teacher at a junior high school in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture, evacuated his wife and children to Saitama City in June 2012. He has been leading a double life, visiting his wife and children on weekends. The physical, mental, and financial burdens are heavy, but he has no plans for his family to return to Fukushima because he cannot shake off his anxiety about the ongoing decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. He complains, “I feel that the public is losing interest in the nuclear accident, but it has not yet been resolved at all.”
 Although no evacuation order was issued for Koriyama City after the nuclear accident in March 2011, he decided to voluntarily evacuate his wife and children for fear of exposure to radiation, as there were hot spots in the city with locally high radiation levels. He decided to evacuate to Saitama City, where his wife’s (47) friend lives nearby. Currently, his wife and four sons in elementary and junior high school are living in a national public employee housing complex.
 After work on Friday night, he drives to Saitama City, spends time with his family, does his daily chores, and returns to Koriyama City on Sunday night. For Segawa, who suffers from heart disease, the burden of traveling three hours each way every week is not small.
 Ten years have passed since he began his double life, and his savings have visibly dwindled. Although she received some money from her retirement in April of this year, she says, “I am not sure how much I can spare for my children’s future school expenses. In addition, since the spread of the new coronavirus, he has had fewer opportunities to see his family, and his wife, who has a designated intractable disease of the nervous system, has been burdened with housework and childcare.
 Recently, when he talks to his colleagues about his family, they are sometimes surprised to hear that he is still evacuating, and even within Fukushima Prefecture, “I feel that the nuclear accident is fading fast. According to TEPCO’s roadmap, the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant will be completed in 41 to 51 years. In February of last year and March of this year, Fukushima Prefecture was hit by earthquakes measuring 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale, and Segawa said, “It is scary to have a dangerous nuclear reactor on the verge of collapse so close to the plant. Segawa said, “I am afraid that a dangerous nuclear reactor that is on the verge of breaking down is nearby.” He plans to continue the voluntary evacuation of his family, saying, “A similar radiation accident may occur again.
 In the trial, the plaintiffs pointed out that the government had failed to regulate nuclear power plants before the accident, and that TEPCO had failed to take countermeasures against a serious accident that could have caused core damage. Mr. Segawa joined the case in an additional lawsuit filed in August 2003. He wanted to make the case an opportunity to examine what happened during the nuclear accident and what should have been done to prevent it, so that he would not be embarrassed when his children ask him in the future, “What did your father do when the nuclear accident happened?
 However, he is distrustful of the way the government and TEPCO handled the case in court. I feel that both the government and TEPCO dodged our questions and failed to provide us with any answers. I don’t think they are thinking about our lives.
 Although it was not a life they wanted to lead, their sons are now blessed with many friends. He is waiting for the verdict, hoping that at least the financial burden will be lightened. “I hope that my wife and son will be able to live in the city until my fourth son (7 years old), who was born in Saitama City, graduates from high school, even if it is only modestly,” he said. (Yusuke Sugihara)
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/172257?rct=metropolitan&fbclid=IwAR1GG4htKi3WUsKARqjlNJBdf8Fi_8JJSF2_-4fJrNT0Ep8kkaAb2TAWV5M

April 23, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment

Examination of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant for discharge of treated water to be finished; Regulatory Commission to solicit public opinion in May.

April 15, 2022
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) held a meeting on April 15 to review TEPCO’s application for an implementation plan to discharge contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean after purification and treatment, and accepted TEPCO’s explanation. The discussion at the review meeting is over, and the NRA will prepare a draft review document summarizing the details of the review by the end of May, and begin the procedures for approval.
One Year After the Decision to Discharge Treated Water into the Sea, the Gulf Between the Government and Fishermen Remains Unbridgeable, and the Sense of Distrust in TEPCO Has Not Changed
 In December of last year, TEPCO applied to the Regulatory Commission for a review of its implementation plan, which outlines the design of the facilities, the method of discharge, and the impact on the environment and people after the discharge. So far, 15 review meetings have been held, and discussions have ended without any major changes to the plan.
 After compiling a draft of the review report, the Regulatory Commission will solicit opinions (public comments) from the public for 30 days before deciding whether to approve the plan. Normally, the review of an implementation plan is closed to the public and no public comments are solicited, but the committee took an unusual step.
 The approval of Fukushima Prefecture, Okuma Town, and Futaba Town, the three municipalities where the plant is located, is required before TEPCO can begin construction of a new undersea tunnel and other facilities to be built in conjunction with the offshore discharge. TEPCO had indicated that it planned to start construction in June, but there is now a possibility of a delay.
 According to TEPCO’s plan, the treated water, which mainly contains radioactive tritium, will be diluted with a large amount of seawater to reduce the tritium concentration to less than 1/40th of the national discharge standard, and then discharged through an undersea tunnel to an area about 1 km offshore. The project is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2023. (Kenta Onozawa)
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/171995?fbclid=IwAR3Dg8jz8qJM3v9ZmAmupioeZ6Bi3c9emoP4mmp_FApNnuYKfl8h3fDGrgQ

April 23, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

No more nuclear power plants, no more war! 〜4.16 “Sayonara Nuke Plant Metropolitan Area Rally” was held.

 On April 16, at 1:30 p.m., a “Sayonara Nuclear Power Plant Metropolitan Area Rally” was held at Kameido Chuo Park in Tokyo. Eleven years have passed since the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, and the decommissioning of the plant, a gigantic accident unparalleled in the world, is still not in sight. The government and TEPCO are forcing the release of ALPUS contaminated water into the ocean. They are trying to pollute the sea of Fukushima again. Without taking into account the lessons learned from the accident, the government has formulated a new basic energy plan that calls for nuclear power plants to account for 20 to 22% of the nation’s power supply by 2030. This is based on the premise that 30 nuclear reactors will be restarted. Furthermore, the government is aggressively trying to extend the life of the broken nuclear fuel cycle. The Fukushima nuclear accident has ushered in an era of nuclear decommissioning, and public opinion strongly demands it. Now is the time to raise the voice of “good-bye nuclear power plant” and create a swell for nuclear power plant phase-out! (Report by Toshikazu Miyagawa)

Organized by Citizens’ Circle for 10 Million Signatures for “Sayonara Nuclear Power Plant
Music】13:00 Nisshikawa meets Folk
Opening】13:30

Organizer’s Greeting: Toshi Kamada (Reportage writer)
The current situation is that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is openly taking place, but cannot be stopped. Biden calls it a holocaust, but speaking of holocaust, we have experienced enormous damage from air raids and the dropping of nuclear power plants. With the invasion of Ukraine, the conservative Liberal Democrats, like fish out of water, talk about possessing nuclear weapons and attacking enemy bases. The Russians are digging trenches and exposing themselves to massive radiation in an attempt to overrun the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Nuclear power plants are playing the same role as nuclear bombs; a ceasefire and an end to the war must be put in place as soon as possible. This is the first gathering in a long time to spread the peace movement. Let’s work hard until there are no more nuclear power plants, until there are no more wars!

Solidarity speech】】 ◆ “From Fukushima
◆”About the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Criminal Complaint Trial” by Ms. Akiko Uno from Fukushima
I am happy to be able to speak in front of so many of you. Those who were evicted and evacuated due to the nuclear accident left everything behind. Some of them lost their lives. There are still more than 60,000 people in Fukushima. There are 293 children with thyroid cancer in Fukushima alone, more than one in 10,000. We must stop the discharge of contaminated water into the sea. The government has abandoned what it learned from the nuclear accident. We will seek a fair trial and work hard until the end.

◆”Japan Power Supply obstructs the postponement of the judgment on Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant” by Mr. Kiyohiko Yamada
I will run for Rokkasho village mayor on June 12. I have been vocal about the seriousness of the nuclear fuel cycle. I will do my best with the pledge “because I am afraid.

◆”About the Tokai No.2 Nuclear Power Plant Operation Injunction Trial” by Mr. Mitsunobu Oishi
The fight has moved to the Tokyo High Court. Last year, Mito District Court ruled that Tokai No.2 Nuclear Power Plant should not be operated. I believe this is in response to the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant accident. 1 year has passed and it has not started. Evacuation must be effective. The Tokyo High Court tries to overturn this. Eleven years of struggle since the nuclear accident has revealed the truth. It was the trial that revealed the truth over the past decade. We will do our best until the Supreme Court in a struggle that is etched in history.

◆Hideyuki Bamba on Russian invasion and occupation of nuclear power plants
The unexpected Russian invasion of Ukraine, from the control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to the exposure of Russian soldiers to radiation at nuclear facilities. The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the best in Europe, was also temporarily overrun. Nuclear power plants are always in danger of being targeted. In Japan, an attack on a nuclear power plant would be a disaster. We must accept the danger and work hard to end nuclear power generation in Japan.

◆Assistance to Ukraine Mr. Tsutomu Taguchi (YMCA)
The YMCA in Russia and Ukraine has been promoting friendship activities from the standpoint of citizens. Individual income in Ukraine is 1/5 of that in Japan, and it is not possible for individuals to travel to Ukraine for evacuation. Individuals cannot evacuate to Japan due to difficulties with administrative procedures. The main evacuees to Japan are women. In Ukraine, 90% of women go to university, work after marriage, and have no sense of being housewives; everyone has a desire to work. In Japan, securing a place to work is also an issue.

Closing remarks】 【Closing remarks
◆Mr. Keiko Ochiai
I saw the trees and thought again that spring has come to a country with nuclear power plants, although it is natural. What kind of words will be used to describe Putin’s invasion of Ukraine? The fact that people are living in a country with nuclear power plants. We must not cease. There are 15 nuclear reactors in Ukraine. Japan is the same. How much suffering did we suffer 11 years ago in the spring? We have not been able to reduce even one of those sufferings. We should not endure it. Our only pride is that we have fought. We can fight against power, it is our treasure. We do not want to be victims. We do not want to look back on the sorrow of Fukushima. We do not want to be perpetrators against anyone. That is our pride. The environment may not change in the future. But, since it won’t change, it is not cowardly not to do it. Let’s do our best to make peace properly.

March】14:45
■Venue→Kinshicho Station area
http://www.labornetjp.org/news/2022/0416hokoku?fbclid=IwAR1F6zxaj7UIxTNik40gJrSloPwbR7_jUV7VrEIDwcxUc-lIh2Enbvpbj6A

April 23, 2022 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

New research institute to open near Fukushima plant next year

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at a meeting of the Reconstruction Promotion Council at the prime minister’s office on March 29.

April 17, 2022

The area devastated by the Fukushima nuclear accident will host an international research and education institute in April next year, which would significantly boost the population around the crippled nuclear power plant.

Hundreds of researchers are expected to work on five areas, including energy, robotics for reactor decommissioning, and agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

The government’s Reconstruction Promotion Council, presided over by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, decided on the outline of the organization on March 29.

The institute will be located in the eastern part of Fukushima Prefecture known as Hamadori as part of the reconstruction efforts from the 2011 nuclear accident.

The government will finalize the site by September after consulting with local officials and residents, but the facility will likely be built around Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, sources said.

The project cost, however, remains unclear.

The institute will have dozens of employees when it opens.

The organization will provide investments and technical assistance to startups and other enterprises to create local jobs, while it will work with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to nurture human resources.

An estimate presented by the Reconstruction Agency at an expert meeting in May 2020 shows the local population will increase 30 to 40 percent due to the migration of some 5,000 people in connection with the institute.

Some have questioned whether the institute is needed, given that many existing national research and development centers are already studying similar topics.

In response, researchers working on selected subjects, such as radioactive materials, at the prefectural offices of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, the National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology and the National Institute for Environmental Studies will be redeployed to the new center together with related research equipment and facilities.

Discussions will also begin over consolidation of another robot research facility set up by the industry ministry and the prefecture into the institute.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14587134

April 23, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment

Is a long, bloody war between Russia and Ukraine really in our national interest?

 https://www.thenation.com/article/world/ukraine-us-nuclear-war/ By David Bromwich,   22 Apr 22

Russia invaded Ukraine in violation of international law, and now we stand on a precipice. Advocates of war are saying that World War III has already begun, and the United States should therefore plunge in. How can they say that? People may finally hurl themselves into an abyss from the sheer terror of falling.

I learned something about this mood from a retired Foreign Service veteran. On October 27, 1962, he was sitting in the next room, listening on an intercom with second-echelon State Department officials while President Kennedy and his advisers discussed the appropriate response to Russian missiles in Cuba. As we now know, Kennedy barely held off an almost unanimous recommendation to bomb. What my informant vividly recalled was the mood of decision. They all recognized that a nuclear war would be a catastrophe of unimaginable dimensions; but at a certain point, the momentum seemed irresistible. “I thought to myself,” he said, “OK, let’s just do this.”

That state of mind—of blank acceptance (because they had already come so far)—“lasted,” he continued, “for about 20 minutes. Then, somehow, I came to my senses. But I’ve thought of that moment ever since. I was willing to ‘live with’ the end of the world. It showed me what we are capable of—what I was capable of.”

Joe Biden has long been a man given to sentimental avowals and reckless denunciations. He was indulged for half a century; the slips were easily exposed and of no large consequence. His rhetorical effervescence took on a graver aspect in mid and late March, when he called Vladimir Putin a war criminal, broke with the US renunciation of chemical weapons by saying we would use them in retaliation if Russia used them, told members of the 82nd Airborne Division that they would soon be deployed in Ukraine, and signaled a wartime goal of regime change in Russia: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

When a leader speaks of an international rival with unbounded contempt, it renders negotiation impossible. Yet the president’s advisers, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, have done little to blunt his message. Congress, too, is full of members who yesterday could not have found Ukraine on a map but today want US missiles to shoot down Russian planes. The US/NATO plan looks forward to a long and bloody war, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians and Russians killed,  Ukraine vindicated and the Russian economy destroyed.

Is this a probable result? Is it desirable?

There is a broader allegorical battle in which many Americans now imagine us playing a part. We—along with our surrogate, Ukraine—stand for democracy, civilization, and enlightenment. Russia is tyranny, barbarism, darkness and dirt and gas.

The push for a bigger war draws enormous strength from the weapons lobby, of course, but another influence is the daily inundation of headlines. Consider The New York Times, April 10: “Russia Resets Military Command as Western Arms Pour In.” April 15: “Russian Flagship Sinks in Black Sea; E.U. Could Ban Oil” It has been permanent Ukraine, all day and every day, with a drumbeat that exceeds any comparable string of headlines during Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a foreign war that the Times and The Washington Post, CNN, NPR, and all the old networks cover as if it were being fought on American soil.

The columnists have followed close behind. On April 13, the Times’ Bret Stephens asked: “What Do We Do if Putin Uses Chemical Weapons?” His answers, fluent and brash, led off with approval of cyberwarfare against Russian pipelines, and proceeded to a series of excited subheads: “Tear apart Russia’s supply chains,” “Arm Ukraine with offensive weapons,” “Plan for a long war.” Writers of humbler strategic ambitions have written accusingly of American faintheartedness. A recent George Packer column in The Atlantic was listed in the magazine’s online “ideas archive” as “Can We Be Worthy of Ukraine?” while the article itself was titled “I Worry We’ll Soon Forget About Ukraine.”

This posture of sorrow and humility, the prayer We are not worthy in homage to people living a higher moral reality, owes much to an undeserved nostalgia for the Cold War. More insistently, our opinion-masters look to the example of World War II. The zealots want another good war like that one; and Volodymyr Zelensky has breathed new life into their yearning. He is courageous, and his appeals are convincing; but 

the truth is that Zelensky is a target from more than one direction: the Russian Army facing him and, at his back, the Azov Battalion and the neofascist militias, who fear him as little as they love the Russians, and whose actions many months ago nullified his election promise to negotiate peace in the Donbas. Even now, Zelensky could save most of his country and many lives if the United States strongly backed negotiations; but our leaders and munitions-makers agree that Ukraine must go on fighting.

What still seems barely possible, at press time, is a solution that Zelensky has come halfway to suggesting, with no encouragement from the US or its European dependents: namely, a neutral Ukraine, part of the Western European community in most respects but not a member of NATO; autonomous status for the Donbas, the details to be decided perhaps by referendum; and Russian troops withdrawn, never to return. Admittedly, this would disappoint believers in a worldwide struggle-to-the-death from which either tyranny or democracy must emerge the final victor.

Words are going to matter more than usual in the next few weeks. The let’s just do this mood is as deranged now as it was in 1962. Trap the invader in a tight enough corner, choke off all the exits, make him feel he has nothing to lose, and he will drive the world off a cliff as surely as our generals and think-tank adepts, our senators and columnists. “I am,” says Macbeth, “in blood / Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er.” We had better step back before we step any further.  AT TOP   https://www.thenation.com/article/world/ukraine-us-nuclear-war/

April 23, 2022 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Mariupol – city under siege – the OTHER SIDE OF THIS STORY

Sonja van den Ende, an independent journalists, traveling with the Russian military into the liberated areas of The Donbass. She has been into the liberated cities, towns and villages and met with many of those who have survived. She saw Russian humanitarian aide trucks delivering food, water and other essentials, as well as many buses and ambulances to evacuate the people and the injured. She reports that many had been shot in the legs by Ukrainian Nationalist troops or Azov brigades. sonjavandenende@gmail.com

April 23, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Ukraine: The End Game – A Proxy War and Armageddon – Who are the Flag Waivers supporting?

Bruce Gagnon in a wide-ranging discussion on the false flag in Bucha, Americans waiving Ukrainian flags, Elinsky a hero in the USA, tens of thousands of mercenaries fighting in Ukraine, armed, trained, and directed by the USA. One of the most important articles about the history and current events in Ukraine: https://www.thepostil.com/author/jacq..

April 23, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Ukraine threatens ‘terrorist’ attack on Crimean Bridge – the longest bridge in Europe

 https://www.sott.net/article/467022-Ukraine-threatens-terrorist-attack-on-Crimean-Bridge

RT, Thu, 21 Apr 2022 ,

Ukrainian official said if Kiev had the chance, it would have struck the Crimean Bridge long ago and would still do so, if the possibility arises

Russia has responded to recent threats by Ukraine’s armed forces about a potential strike on the Crimean Bridge, which connects the peninsula to the rest of the country. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday:

“Such statements are nothing less than the announcement of a possible terrorist act. This is unacceptable. There are many signs here of deeds that are subject to legal verification and subsequent punishment.”

It comes comes after Alexey Danilov, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, stated on Wednesday that if Kiev had the chance, it would have struck the Crimean Bridge long ago, and that its armed forces would do it now if possible.

Danilov, in an interview with Radio NV, when asked if Ukraine could strike the Crimean Bridge, since it is being used to send reinforcements, said:

“If we had the opportunity to do this, we would have done it already. If there is an opportunity to do this, we will definitely do it.”

Former Russian president and current head of the National Security Council Dmitriy Medvedev also replied to the threat by writing in his Telegram channel that

“One of the hard-nosed Ukrainian chiefs spoke of the need to strike at the Crimean Bridge. I hope he understands what will be the retaliatory target.”

Construction of the Crimean Bridge, also known as the Kerch Strait Bridge began in 2016 and was completed two years later. The multibillion-dollar infrastructure project connects the Crimean peninsula with Krasnodar Krai in Russia’s southwest. At 19km, it is the longest bridge in Europe and allows the passage of cars and trains, and has been used by Russia to transport armored vehicles into the southern regions of Ukraine amid the ongoing military conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

April 23, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The big mistake of sudden renewed optimism about nuclear power

The global scramble for fuel after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has decidedly ended any debate over whether nuclear energy should be part of the world’s new renewable era. Governments in Europe, Asia and the US have all recently overridden environmental concerns about radioactive waste and nuclear accidents to recommit to nuclear power plants as a part of any transition away from oil and gas.

As the world celebrates Earth Day this weekend, the return of nuclear energy harks back to the 1970s, before the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl scarred its reputation as a safe and cheap alternative to oil and gas.

But the sudden spurt of nuclear optimism from Washington to London is little more than a political feint.
By the time most proposed nuclear projects are paid for and developed, in a decade or more, we will be either well into a new chapter of solar and wind energy dependence or dashed against the globally-warmed rocks of fossil fuel hubris.

Next week, the Biden administration will commit up to $6bn of its infrastructure bill to preserving almost 100 ailing nuclear power plants for future use. Plans to transform closing coal plants – and their
workers – into nuclear facilities, are taking shape. Nuclear power currently makes up about 20 per cent of US energy usage, compared to wind (9 per cent) and solar (3 per cent), according to the US Energy Information Administration.

In Europe, harsh condemnation of nuclear power in places such as Germany, the UK and Brussels has given way this spring to the political expediency of siding with countries such as France, which have
long supported nuclear power. Belgium, for example, has changed its mind and recommitted to building new power plants. Poland plans to build new ones. France has doubled down and even the UK’s Boris Johnson has placed new nuclear facilities squarely within his government’s new energy strategy, even at the expense of onshore wind farms. He wants to move Britain’s nuclear mix to 25 per cent by 2030 from 16 per cent.

The energy crunch caused by Ukraine is an immediate crisis, not one that can be fixed with long-term, expensive solutions. While Europe – and the rest of the world – must think long term to mitigate global heating and stop burning fossil fuels, the decreasing costs of other renewable energies such as wind, solar, and tidal will eventually catch up with expensive alternative plans. Likely faster than we all think, given the reduction in their costs over the past 10 years.

 Independent 21st April 2022

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/earth-day-nuclear-energy-fuel-energy-b2062615.html

April 23, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment

Overwhelming majority of Members of European Parliament oppose inclusion of nuclear power in Europe’s taxonomy as ”green”

MEPs set to block plan deeming nuclear and gas energy ‘green’

McGuinness seeks to use EU taxonomy of environmentally sustainable activities

  Irish Times,   Naomi O’Leary, 22 Apr 22, Europe Correspondent   A plan by Ireland’s European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness to classify nuclear and gas energy as “green” is facing major opposition in the European Parliament, with MEPs preparing to block the move.

The so-called EU taxonomy was intended as a classification system to label economic activities that are environmentally sustainable in an attempt to direct private investment to industries that help the green transition.

But an attempt by the commission, fronted by Ms McGuinness, to add gas and nuclear to this list is facing a kill vote in the parliament, backed by MEPs from her own centre-right political group, according to the results of an internal consultation seen by The Irish Times.

  MEPs from the European People’s Party, of which Fine Gael is a member, have joined with those from the centre-left Socialists and Democrats; Renew, of which Fianna Fáil is a member; the Greens; and the Independents’ Left group, to which Sinn Féin is affiliated, to back an objection that could block the change from coming into force.

At the parliament’s environment and economy committees, an overwhelming majority of 115 MEPs chose to object to the commission’s move, with just 23 from the hard-right Identity and Democracy and ECR groups opting to acquiesce to the addition of nuclear and gas to the taxonomy, the results show.

The MEPs now have weeks to approve a joint objection text in committees. It would then go to a full vote in the European Parliament in its July session, where a majority of at least 353 MEPs would be sufficient to stop gas and nuclear being added to the taxonomy.

Russia’s invasion

The majority is easily achievable if the same political groups back the objection as they have in the committee stage. Observers believe that if the commission’s move is blocked in July, there would be little political will to make another attempt given the difficulties that have dogged the file and the additional controversy that now surrounds gas since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine……………………………………………

The move to add green and nuclear to this list is being done as a so-called “delegated act” – something which updates existing EU legislation rather than creating new law, and does not need the usual vote of approval by the European Parliament to come into force. It can, however, be blocked by an objection procedure backed by a majority of MEPs.

The opposition of MEPs to adding gas and nuclear to the taxonomy is grounded in doubts about the inherent merits of the move, but also in opposition to the commission’s method in using a delegated act to do it…………………………..   https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/meps-set-to-block-plan-deeming-nuclear-and-gas-energy-green-1.485

April 23, 2022 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

Russia makes another offer to besieged Ukrainian forces

Ukraine – Azovstal Steel PLant in Mariupol

 https://www.sott.net/article/467013-Russia-makes-another-offer-to-besieged-Ukrainian-forces RT, Fri, 22 Apr 2022,

Ukrainian troops and members of the Neo-Nazi Azov battalion, who remain at the surrounded Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, can still surrender to the Russian military, the Defense Ministry explained on Friday.

A day earlier, Moscow announced the capture of Mariupol, with President Vladimir Putin calling off the assault on Azovstal, which remains the last holdout of the Ukrainian forces in the strategic port city. Russian troops should “seal the area so that a fly cannot get through,” he instead ordered.

In its fresh statement, the Defense Ministry pointed out that the offer to surrender for those inside the facility remained in place. “At any given moment, Russia is ready to introduce a ceasefire and announce a humanitarian pause in order to stage the evacuation of civilians (if they’re really in the underground structures of the steel plant) and troops of the Ukrainian armed forces and nationalist battalions.”

The commander of the Ukrainian marines, holed up at the plant, had earlier claimed that “hundreds” of civilians were trapped at the premises. He didn’t explain why the people would voluntarily decide to hide out together with Ukrainian troops, who are under attack by Russian forces.

The Ukrainian fighters and foreign mercenaries only need to raise white flags along the perimeter of Azovstal to be able to surrender. “This humanitarian offer by Russia remains in force 24/7,” according to the statement.

Their lives are guaranteed to be spared, and they will also be provided with medical assistance – just like other combatants, who chose to stop resisting earlier, the Russian side insisted.

According to the ministry, the humanitarian corridors, organized by the Russian forces in Mariupol, have allowed the evacuation of 143,631 Ukrainian civilians, 341 foreign citizens as well as 1,844 Ukrainian servicemen.

Those figures are more proof that claims by Ukraine and the West that Russia is hampering civilian evacuation, or is reluctant to provide necessary conditions for combatants to surrender, are absolutely groundless, it added.

The 2,000 fighters, according to Russia’s estimates, that are holed up at the Azovstal steelworks have been given several opportunities to lay down their arms in recent days, but they have refrained from availing of them.

Intercepted communications from the steel plant suggest that the Ukrainian troops and nationalist battalion fighters are short on food and water and are eager to surrender, but can’t do so without an order from Kiev over fears of being court-martialed.

However, Ukrainian authorities have so far been reluctant to give such a command. On Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that there was still “a military way” to recover Mariupol, but added that it would require the “help of our partners,” apparently referring to Kiev’s backers in the West.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

April 23, 2022 Posted by | Sweden, weapons and war | Leave a comment