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IAEA sees ‘limited impact’ of water release at Fukushima nuclear plant

Another smooth propaganda article from the spin doctors…..

Radioactive water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is being treated through an advanced liquid processing system that removes radionuclides except for tritium.

Apr 30, 2022

An International Atomic Energy Agency team expects only a limited impact on humans following the planned release into the sea of treated radioactive water from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s crippled nuclear power plant.

Chemical substances in the treated water are “far below the Japanese regulatory limits,” said the first report by the IAEA task force reviewing Japan’s plans to discharge the water from the meltdown-stricken Fukushima No. 1 plant into the Pacific Ocean.

But the team stopped short of reaching a conclusion on the safety of the release. The team plans to continue its assessment and announce a final judgment before Tepco starts releasing the water.

The task force, comprising a group of independent and highly recognized experts with diverse technical backgrounds from various countries, said that Japan’s preparations for the planned discharge are proceeding largely in line with international safety standards. IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said that Japan has made “significant progress in its preparations” and the task force is satisfied that Tepco and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry have identified the appropriate next steps for the water discharge.

The task force visited Japan in February, inspecting the power plant and interviewing Tepco and government officials. In the report, the task force said that its review of the water release plans focuses on eight points including radiological environmental impact assessment, water quality monitoring and involvement of interested parties.

Water that has become contaminated after being pumped in to cool melted reactor fuel at the plant has been accumulating at the complex, also mixing with rainwater and groundwater at the site.

Tepco expects that its storage tanks for treated water will reach full capacity by around summer or autumn 2023.

The water is treated through an advanced liquid processing system that removes radionuclides except for tritium. The water will be released 1 kilometer off the coast of the power plant through an underwater tunnel.

Before the discharge, it will be diluted with seawater below 1/40 of the current regulations, according to the government.

In a statement issued Friday, industry minister Koichi Hagiuda said the government will continue its efforts to “ensure the safety of handling … treated water and to foster understanding both in Japan and abroad.”

China and South Korea have expressed concerns with Japan’s plan to release the treated water.

Local fishermen have been widely opposed to the release out of fear of reputational damage to the region’s seafood, although a recent survey showed that the release’s impact on consumer habits would be minimal.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/04/30/national/iaea-fukushima-water-release-safety/

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May 1, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, Study Continues – IAEA

Tanks storing treated water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, February 2021.

April 29, 2022
Berlin, April 29, 2022 – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced on April 29 that it will continue its investigation into the discharge into the ocean of treated water containing tritium from TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. On April 29, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) compiled the first report by a team of investigators to verify the safety of the discharge of treated water containing tritium from TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The report noted that, based on TEPCO’s analysis of the impact of radiation on the human body if the treated water were to be released, “it has been confirmed that the level of radiation is significantly smaller than that set by the Japanese regulatory authorities. However, he also explained that a final decision on safety will be announced before the release of the water. He indicated that he would not draw any conclusions for the time being, but would continue his investigation.

 The survey team visited Japan in February, inspected the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and held hearings with related ministries and agencies and TEPCO. The report will be released two months after each survey that will be conducted before the release of the water in the future. TEPCO has set the timing of when the tanks storing the treated water will be full at around the summer or fall of 2023.
https://www.jiji.com/jc/article?k=2022042900719&g=soc&fbclid=IwAR0H-Z3MNHHCUoyzBkx3tRDUufnVKN3yB3eDhHoSde4y9ooHVFfhsbTP7Ys

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

IAEA Releases First Report on Safety of Planned Water Discharge from Fukushima Daiichi Site

April 298, 2022

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Task Force, which is reviewing Japan’s policy to discharge treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station against relevant international safety standards, today released its first report.

The report summarizes the overall progress in the technical preparations for the water discharge. It compiles the initial findings from the Task Force’s first review mission to Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station operator, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in February 2022.

Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi welcomed the initial findings. “Japan has made significant progress in its preparations and the Task Force is satisfied that TEPCO and METI have identified the appropriate next steps for the water discharge scheduled for 2023,” he said. “The work will continue so the Task Force can provide its conclusions before the discharge”.

The report includes a summary of the Task Force’s review and assessment activities across a range of topics such as the characteristics of the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) treated water, safety related aspects of the system built to discharge the water, the radiological environmental impact assessment, regulatory oversight, source and environmental monitoring programmes, occupational radiation protection, and the involvement of interested parties.

Preparing for the next steps in their review, the Task Force identified technical topics for further discussions and clarifications as Japan continues with its preparations. They also noted that TEPCO and METI put significant efforts into consulting with, and communicating to, interested parties and the public about the process to discharge the water. They look forward to seeing this continue as Japan approaches the 2023 water discharge.

“The Task Force highlighted the effective cooperation with the Japanese counterparts, which made it possible to clearly and promptly convey the results of the review mission to the international community” said Gustavo Caruso, Director, Department of Nuclear Safety and Security and Chair of the Task Force.”

The Task Force report is the first in a series of reports as the Task Force carries out more missions to Japan in the coming months and years to assess the water discharge against IAEA safety standards, which constitute the worldwide reference for protecting the public and the environment from harmful effects of ionizing radiation.

The report is available here.

https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/iaea-releases-first-report-on-safety-of-planned-water-discharge-from-fukushima-daiichi-site

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO pushes back timeline for storage tanks at Fukushima plant

Tactics: one step backward to later jump two steps forward…

Storage tanks are seen at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in April 2021.

April 28, 2022

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the tanks that store treated but still contaminated water at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant will reach full capacity later than expected.

It projected on April 27 they will be full in either the summer or fall of 2023, not its previous estimate of spring 2023.

The tanks store water treated through a filtration system, called ALPS (advanced liquid processing system), which is a multi-nuclide removal system that removes various radioactive materials from contaminated water.

TEPCO said on April 27 that the amount of contaminated water at the plant only increased by an average of 130 tons a day.

The amount of contaminated water was lower than what the company had expected because of its measures to prevent underground water or rainwater from coming into the buildings in which nuclear power reactors and other facilities are located, it said.

The estimate for when the storage tanks will be completely full has been modified several times before.

The government and TEPCO initially said the tanks could be full by sometime around summer 2022. That estimate was later amended to “by around the fall of 2022.”

When the company announced plans to add 23 storage tanks with a total capacity of about 30,000 tons at the plant in May 2021, it said the tanks would be full by around spring 2023.

TEPCO plans to dilute the tritium concentration in the ALPS treated water using seawater as the radioactive hydrogen atom cannot be removed through the filtration system. It then aims to discharge it into the sea in spring 2023.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14609795

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s Toxic Dumping Faces Growing Protests

April 29, 2022 by Robert Hunziker

The Japanese government’s decision one year ago to dump radioactive water from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant storage tanks into the Pacific Ocean, starting in the spring of 2023, is facing increasing pressure to back off, especially in light of the facts that not only is it illegal but also morally reprehensible as well as a despicable disregard for the lifeblood of the ocean.

Meanwhile, in a startling maneuver indicative of desperation to convince citizens of its true worthiness, the Japanese government is using mind control tactics reminiscent of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (Chatto & Windus, 1932), which depicts harmful effects that the expansion and development of a capitalist ideology can impose on a society.

To wit: Japanese citizens are outraged over a new government policy of brainwashing children by distributing flyers to primary school students claiming TEPCO’s “diluted, nuclear-contaminated water is safe.”

“The government sent a total of 2.3 million booklets directly to elementary, junior and senior high schools across the nation in December in an effort to prevent reputational damage caused by the planned water discharge. The school staffers say the leaflets are unilaterally imposing the central government’s views on children.” (Source: Booklets Touting Fukushima Plant Water Discharge Angers Schools, The Asahi Shimbun, March 7, 2022)

“A Fukushima resident surnamed Kataoka told the Global Times on Wednesday that the Japanese government’s move was a kind of mind control, and she was strongly opposed to it.” (Source: Japanese Groups Voice Growing Opposition, Organize Rallies Over Govt’s Nuclear-Contaminated Water Dumping Plan Decided One Year Before, Global Times, April 13, 2022)

Japanese citizens are fighting back as four separate civic organizations from Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures submitted a petition signed by 180,000 people to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and to Tokyo Electric Power Company on March 30th 2022 expressing opposition to the government’s plan.

Additionally, Japanese environmental protection groups have organized national rallies in Tokyo and Fukushima, stating they will continue to rally in the streets until the government revokes its decision: “Once the nuclear-contaminated water is discharged into the sea, the result is irreversible. It’s not only Fukushima. The ocean connects the whole world. We hope we don’t discharge toxic substances into the sea,” said protester Ayumu Aoyanagi. “I am angry. They completely ignored public opinion. I hope people understand that the danger may not appear soon but will definitely affect our health in the future,” said another protester named Makiyo Takahashi.” (Source: Fukushima Residents Oppose Government Dumping Radioactive Water Into Ocean, CGTN News, April 14, 2022)

Zhao Lijian of the Chinese Foreign Ministry claims the Japanese government has turned a deaf ear to any and all opposition, failing to provide any convincing evidence of the legitimacy of the discharge program, no reliable data on the contaminated water and effectiveness of purification devices, and no convincing evidence about environmental impact. (Source: Japan Severely Breaches Obligations Under International Law by Persisting in Discharge of Nuclear-contaminated Water Into Ocean, People’s Daily Online, April 15, 2022)

Moreover, “this water adds to the already nuclear polluted ocean. This threatens the lives and livelihoods of islanders heavily reliant on marine resources. These include inshore fisheries as well as pelagic fishes such as tuna. The former provides daily sustenance and food security, and the latter much needed foreign exchange via fishing licenses for distant water fishing nation fleets,” Vijay Naidu, adjunct professor at the School of Law and Social Sciences at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, told Al Jazeera. (Source: ‘Not a Dumping Ground’: Pacific Condemns Fukushima Water Plan, Al Jazeera, Feb. 14, 2022)

The principal radioactive isotope to be released “tritium is a normal contaminant from the discharges, the cooling water from normal reactor operations, but this is the equivalent of several centuries worth of normal production of tritium that’s in this water, so it is a very large amount,” according to Tilman Ruff, a Nobel laureate and associate professor at the Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne in Australia, Ibid.

Japan claims the radioactive water dump will be safe, however: “Obviously, the higher the level of exposure [to radiation], the greater the risk, but there is no level below which there is no effect,” Ruff said. “That is now really fairly conclusively proven, because in the last decade or so there have been impressive very large studies of large numbers of people exposed to low doses of radiation. At levels even a fraction of those that we receive from normal background [radiation] exposure from the rocks, from cosmic radiation. At even those very low levels, harmful effects have been demonstrated,” Ibid.

Chang Yen-chiang, director of the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea Research Institute of Dalian Maritime University is urging the international community to stop the discharge by first requesting the International Court of Justice to issue an advisory opinion on the illegality of Japan’s dumping plan followed by motions to stop the process by China, South Korea, Russia, North Korea, and Pacific Island nations at the UN General Assembly.

Japan, as a signatory to: (1) the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (2) the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident (3) the Convention on Nuclear Safety (4) the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management, and (5) the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management has clearly and knowingly breached its obligations under international law.

According to the plan released by TEPCO for the disposal of nuclear-contaminated water generated by Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the country will soon begin official preparations for the release of the contaminated water and plans to begin long-term discharge of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean in the spring of 2023.

However, according to an article in People’s Daily Online d/d April 15, 2022: “Data from TEPCO showed that the contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear accident still contains many kinds of radionuclides with a long half-life even after secondary treatment.”

Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace East Asia claims the toxic water dump risks additional nuclear debris into the Pacific Ocean whereas the discharge is not the only option as “ the Japanese government once admitted that there is enough space near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and areas around Fukushima prefecture to build more storage facilities for the water.” (Global Times)

The Citizens Committee on Nuclear Energy recommends proper storage on land in Japan similar to storage the country uses for its national oil and petroleum reserves. “The argument that they make… is that, if this water was stored not for an indeterminate period, but even for a period of about 50-60 years, then, by then, the tritium will have decayed to a tiny fraction of what it is today and hardly be an issue.” (Al Jazeera)

Even though the US boldly approves of the dumping plan, the Northern Mariana Islands, a US territory with a population of over 50,000 people, has declared Japan’s plan as “unacceptable.” In December 2021, the US territory adopted a joint resolution opposing any nation disposing of nuclear waste in the Pacific Ocean as well as suggesting the only acceptable option is long-term storage and processing using the best technology available.

In all similar circumstances, historical events have a way of swinging back and forth in time and landing smack dab in the middle of new controversies, for example, when it comes to radioactivity in the Pacific, memories are long. More than 300 atmospheric and underwater nuclear tests by the US, UK, and France from the 1940s, especially in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and French Polynesia, left uninhabitable land in many locations as well as long-term health disorders throughout the region. Japan’s dumping plans bring back haunting memories.

“Satyendra Prasad, the Chair of Pacific Islands Forum Ambassadors at the United Nations, reminded the world in September last year of the Pacific’s “ongoing struggle with the legacy of nuclear testing from the trans boundary contamination of homes and habitats to higher numbers of birth defects and cancers.” (Al Jazeera)

Meantime, and especially over the past couple of decades, Japan increasingly and fearlessly adheres to, and puts into actual practice, the overriding theme as expressed in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, which is “the dangers of state control” whilst the father of liberalism John Locke (1632-1704) not surprisingly spins in his grave.

For example, in December 2013 Japan passed the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets Act providing for whistleblowing civil servants to face up to 10 years in prison and the journalists who work with them could face up to five years for leaking state secrets.

Here’s a major twist to that law: The guidelines empower the heads of 19 ministries and agencies to subjectively “designate which documents and subjects comprise state secrets.” In short, subjective judgment by any given state official determines who goes to jail.

“The result is that while civil servants will be aware of a document’s classification, journalists cannot be sure just what comprises a state secret. Whistleblowing civil servants and journalists could face arrest even if they are convinced they are acting in the public’s interest.” (Source: Japan’s State Secrets Law, A Minefield for Journalist, Committee to Protect Journalists-NY, Nov. 4, 2014)

Since Japan appears to be adhering to the precepts of Brave New World, it’s interesting to note that thirty years following publication of Brave New World, Huxley wrote Brave New World Revisited: “If the first half of the twentieth century was the era of the technical engineers, the second half may well be the era of the social engineers— and the twenty-first century, I suppose, will be the era of World Controllers, the scientific caste system and Brave New World.” (Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited, Harper & Brothers, 1958)

Huxley warned that a Brave New World type of order could be the “final” or “ultimate” revolution when people have their liberties taken from them, but “they will enjoy their servitude and so never question it, let alone rebel.”

Really?

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO Reports Slowdown in Fukushima N-Plant Water Increase

Tokyo, April 27 (Jiji Press)–Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. on Wednesday reported a slowdown in the pace of increase in radioactive water at its meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
As a result, TEPCO expects to reach the full storage capacity for water treated through water cleanup equipment by around summer or autumn 2023, later than the previously expected period of spring the same year.
In fiscal 2021 through last month, the daily increase of radioactive water at the northeastern Japan power plant averaged 130 tons, down from 140 tons in fiscal 2020.
At the plant, rainfall in fiscal 2021 was larger than usual years. But TEPCO said it managed to reduce the amount of contaminated water accumulating at the plant partly by repairing the damaged roof of a reactor building.
At the plant, radioactive water keeps increasing, because TEPCO uses water to cool damaged reactors while rainwater and groundwater flow into damaged buildings. The company treats the radioactive water to remove most of the radioactive substances.

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment

Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida says nuclear power should be reconsidered as energy costs soar

Of 33 operable reactors overseen by the Nuclear Regulation Authority only 10 have restarted under rules imposed since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Apr 27, 2022

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the country must consider using more nuclear power, as the import-dependent nation grapples with rising fuel prices and a weak yen.

Regulations in place since the Fukushima disaster in 2011 need to be made more efficient to help the process of restarting Japan’s idled reactors, he said, adding new impetus to calls for the energy source to take a bigger role. Only about a third of operable reactors have resumed.

“We must think about nuclear power given rising electricity and gas prices,” Kishida said in a TV Tokyo interview late Tuesday evening. “We won’t compromise on safety, and will get the understanding of the people before proceeding.”

Kishida’s remarks come as Japan contends with an energy crisis that’s sent prices of liquefied natural gas and coal to record highs. The nation imports almost all of its energy needs, and costlier fuel has slashed profits of utility companies and stoked inflationary fears among consumers who are facing higher power bills. A beleaguered yen, which has weakened against the dollar to touch the lowest level in two decades, is adding to the burden for fuel importers.

Lawmakers have been calling for nuclear restarts to accelerate, while public support is growing according to a March survey.

Still, a lengthy restart inspection process, combined with frequent lawsuits filed by nuclear opponents, have hampered efforts to get idled reactors back online. Of 33 operable reactors overseen by the Nuclear Regulation Authority only 10 have restarted under rules imposed since the Fukushima disaster.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/04/27/national/kishida-nuclear-energy/

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima: The Curse of Groundwater

April 23, 2022

The decommissioning of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant continues to produce contaminated water. Filtered to remove much of its radioactive content, it is stored on the site as treated water, now filling 1,000 massive tanks. In April 2021, the Japanese government announced plans to dilute the water to contamination levels far below legal limits before discharging it into the sea. However, people in the local fishing industry continue to harbor deep distrust. Why has this problem become so entrenched? The program explores a plan that was proposed soon after the accident 11 years ago, to build an impermeable wall around the plant and prevent the buildup of contaminated water, and why this plan was abandoned.

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment

Release of Fukushima water to have ‘limited’ impact on consumer habits, poll shows

What a smooth piece of propaganda by Japan’s spin doctors on behalf of the will to dump all that ‘treated’ radioactive water into OUR Pacific ocean!!!

The Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant in March. According to a recent government survey, the impact on consumers of a planned release into the ocean of treated water from the disaster-crippled plant is seen limited in Japan and abroad.

Apr 27, 2022

The impact on consumers of the planned release into the ocean of treated water from the disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is seen as limited both in Japan and abroad, a government survey has shown.

Among respondents from Japan in the online survey, the proportion of those who said they would refrain from buying food items produced in Fukushima Prefecture, where the nuclear plant is located, after the start of the water release came to 14.7%, against 13.3% who said they are already avoiding such items.

The two comparable figures among respondents from the United States stood at 38.3% against 32%, and at 41% against 41.3% among those from Taiwan.

Of respondents from South Korea, 77.7% said they are currently avoiding Fukushima food products while 76% said they would do so after the water release.

The survey polled 300 people from each of Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, the U.K., the United States and France and 150 from each of Australia and New Zealand in January and February.

The attitude survey by the Reconstruction Agency was the first to be conducted over the planned discharge of treated water, which contains radioactive tritium from the plant, run by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., that was the site of the 2011 triple reactor meltdown.

The survey also suggested that only 29% in Japan and only 16% in the United States know that tritium is released to rivers and the sea in many countries based on existing laws and regulations.

“We need to spread knowledge (about tritium) in and outside our country,” Reconstruction Minister Kosaburo Nishime told a meeting Tuesday, where the survey results were reported.

The government will strengthen measures to prevent reputational damage to food items due to the planned water release, he stressed.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/04/27/national/fukushima-water-consumer-impact-limited/

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Scientists: Japan’s Plan To Dump Nuclear Waste Into The Pacific Ocean May Not Be Safe

University of Hawaii Kewalo Marine Lab Director Robert Richmond is worried about the wastewater discharge on marine life. 

April 25, 2022

A panel of scientists has identified critical gaps in the data supporting the safe discharge of wastewater into the Pacific.

Independent scientists are questioning Japan’s plans to dump just over 1 million tons of nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean, following a review of the available evidence.

The panel of multi-disciplinary scientists, hired by the intergovernmental Pacific Islands Forum, has not found conclusive evidence that the discharge would be entirely safe, and one marine biologist fears contamination could affect the food system.

Last year Japan announced that wastewater from the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, destroyed in March 2011 following the Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami, would be dropped into the Pacific in 2023.

The announcement triggered immediate concern from nations and territories in the Asia-Pacific region and led the Pacific Islands Forum to hire a panel of five independent experts to review the plan.

Previously, it was broadly believed that dropping the wastewater into the ocean would be safe, given it had been treated with “advanced liquid processing system” technology, which removes radioactive materials from contaminated water.

But panel scientist Robert Richmond, director of the University of Hawaii Kewalo Marine Laboratory, says the panel unanimously believes that critical gaps in information remain.

Previous discussions over the safety of Japan’s plans emphasized the chemistry of the discharge, but not how it could interact with marine life, he said.

“If the ocean were a sterile glass vessel, that would be one thing,” Richmond said. “But it’s not, you know, there’s lots of biology involved.”

Richmond has been particularly concerned about the potential for tritium – a key compound of concern – being absorbed into the food system because the radioactive isotope can bind to phytoplankton.

Through phytoplankton, Richmond says, the radioactive element could then find its way into the greater food system as the microscopic plants are consumed by mollusks and small fish, which are later consumed by other fish and eventually humans.

“Things like mercury in fish are now of an international concern. Radionuclides will be the same,” Richmond said.

The situation is dynamic too, as climate change affects the temperature of waters and weather patterns change.

As temperatures go up, many chemicals become more interactive, they become a little bit different in terms of break down,” he said. “So these are all the things we need to consider.”

Confusing The Masses

The Pacific Islands Forum convened its panel of experts – specializing in policy and different scientific disciplines – because of the highly technical nature of Japan’s plan.

The PIF did not respond to a request for an interview for this story.

But Forum Secretary General Henry Puna has said that while Japan was open and frank in several information sessions held with the Forum, it wanted to bring on its own group of experts to look at the data and advise them.

“I just want to note that, for us, the issue is very urgent but also requires very careful thinking,” Puna said in September.

Since Japan announced it would release the treated water into the Pacific, it has been working with the International Atomic Energy Association to ensure its plans are safe. In February the IAEA made its first assessment and recently completed a second assessment at the end of March.

The IAEA is expected to deliver reports from its site visits in the next two months, according to its website, and would release a fully comprehensive report before any water is released.

Richmond said the panel wants to work with Japan and the IAEA to ensure the best outcome.

Nonetheless, the information seen by the panel showed less than 1% of the tanks of wastewater had been treated and less than 20% had been adequately sampled, Richmond says.

“Based on those numbers alone, we’re uncomfortable in making predictions of where things are going to end up,” Richmond said.

The Pacific Perspective

Community groups and environmental organizations were quick to respond to the news last year, raising concerns about the longterm effects to their region, with its legacy of nuclear testing and the fallout. And coastal communities and fishermen in Japan have also raised concerns.

The U.S. expressed its support for the plan in April last year, which has since been criticized by U.S. territories and affiliated states.

Rep. Sheila Babauta of the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands introduced a resolution to CNMI’s House of Representatives opposing any nuclear testing, storage or waste disposal in the Pacific.

It was passed in December, months after the U.S. stated its position and after other Pacific groups and governments condemned the move.

“I’m really disappointed in the lack of engagement, the lack of information and the lack of free, prior and informed consent,” Babauta, who chairs the Natural Resources Committee, said.

The mistrust that is harbored by many in the Pacific stems back to U.S nuclear testing in the Republic of Marshall Islands following World War II, British testing in Kiribati and the French in French Polynesia, which had flow-on effects to the environment and long term health of Pacific people. And in 1979, Japan provoked backlash when it revealed plans to dump 10,000 drums of nuclear waste in the Marianas Trench.

Babauta says she introduced the resolution as a show of solidarity for the rest of the Pacific.

“The ocean is our oldest ancestor. The ocean is our legacy,” Babauta said. “It’s what we’re going to leave for our children.”

https://www.civilbeat.org/2022/04/scientists-japans-plan-to-dump-nuclear-waste-into-the-pacific-ocean-may-not-be-safe/

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Supreme Court Arguments in Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and Livelihood Lawsuits Plaintiffs: “Our Lives Have Been Changed” Ruling in June

Plaintiffs entering the Supreme Court (April 25, 2022)

April 26, 2022
Residents who lived in Fukushima Prefecture and neighboring prefectures at the time of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant have filed a class action lawsuit, “Give us back our community, give us back our livelihood! Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Lawsuit (Livelihood Lawsuit)” was held on April 25 at the Second Petty Bench of the Supreme Court.

Since the Second Petty Bench of the Supreme Court has already rejected TEPCO’s appeal in March 2022, the only remaining point of contention is the responsibility of the national government.

The Supreme Court has already rejected TEPCO’s appeal in March 2022, so the only remaining point of contention is the responsibility of the government. In the Ikigyo lawsuit, the Sendai High Court in the second trial accepted the government’s responsibility, saying that the accident could have been prevented if measures had been taken.

The plaintiffs, referring to the reliability of the “long-term assessment” that the government agency was supposed to have warned about earthquakes, claimed that the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and TEPCO failed to take tsunami countermeasures despite warnings in 2002 that a tsunami was coming, and that the government, which has regulatory authority, is responsible for this.

The government, on the other hand, argued that the long-term assessment (issued by the government) was unreliable, and that even if it had ordered countermeasures, the accident could not have been prevented. The trial concluded with a request that the plaintiffs’ claims be dismissed.

At a press conference held after the hearing, Takashi Nakajima, the leader of the plaintiffs in the Ikigyo lawsuit, said, “The government has shown absolutely no remorse, so it will repeat the damage, as evidenced, for example, by its policy of discharging tritium-contaminated water into the ocean. If it is not condemned, it will continue to do so,” he said, harshly criticizing the government’s stance. (Chia Yoshida, writer)

  • We have had our lives changed.
Plaintiffs and supporters appealing in front of the Supreme Court. The man on top of the truck is Takashi Nakajima, the leader of the plaintiffs’ group (April 25, 2022)

On the day of the argument, five buses from Fukushima Prefecture, one from Soso in Hamadori, one from Fukushima (northern part of the prefecture), one from Koriyama (central part of the prefecture), one from Shirakawa (southern part of the prefecture), and one from the National Federation of Peasant Movements (Fukushima), headed for the Supreme Court. 350 people gathered from Fukushima Prefecture and beyond, and many banners and banners were raised in front of the Supreme Court.

One of the plaintiffs, a woman who said she left by bus from Fukushima City at 6:00 a.m. that day, spoke her mind along the roadside in front of the Supreme Court, “At the time of the nuclear accident, I had two elementary school children, and I did not allow them to participate in marathons and other events held outside because of concerns about radiation.

The nuclear accident increased radiation levels in their living environment, and many parents made the decision to stop their children from outdoor activities as much as possible in order to prevent them from being exposed to radiation.

I feel sorry for them now because they don’t have the same memories as everyone else,” she said. The children didn’t say anything at the time, but recently they told me, ‘We wanted to do it with everyone. Our lives have been changed. There is no such thing as the government not being responsible. I want my life back to the way it was before.

Another plaintiff, who was standing next to me, added, “If you talk to each and every one of the victims, they all have their own story of the nuclear accident.

“I moved 11 times in 11 years” after the nuclear accident.

Keiko Fukaya, who lived in Tomioka Town, Fukushima Prefecture, was the one who presented her argument that day. At the press conference, she said, “I have moved 11 times in the past 11 years. How hard it has been for me. I wanted the presiding judge to understand that,” she said.

Ms. Fukaya opened a beauty salon in her home at the age of 60 after working for 40 years as a hair stylist in stores in Namie Town and Tomioka Town while raising her children. Welcoming customers from the community, eating vegetables from her own garden together, and chatting happily with them were the things that made her life worth living.

When the nuclear accident occurred, he was at work and evacuated with almost nothing. Since then, he has moved 11 times, but no matter where he went, he never felt at ease. He turned 70 during the evacuation and did not have the energy to build a house or store in a new place.

I want them to give me back my life itself, which the nuclear accident took away from me,” he said. If that is not possible, I joined the trial because I want them to clarify how the accident happened and who is responsible,” said Fukaya.

At the appeal hearing three years ago, a judge from the Sendai High Court came to see Mr. Fukaya’s home and store. That judge ruled in the appeal trial that not only TEPCO was negligent, but also that the national government was responsible.

●”The trial is a major stepping stone, but it is not the end.

The press conference after the arguments. Left: Ms. Keiko Fukaya, center: Mr. Takashi Nakajima, right: Mr. Ittaro Managi, attorney at law (April 25, 2022)

In their arguments on this day, the plaintiffs referred to the reliability of the “long-term assessment” that the government agency was supposed to have warned about the earthquake.

They argued that the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) (the national government) and TEPCO, which has regulatory authority, are responsible for not taking tsunami countermeasures, even though there were warnings in 2002 that a tsunami was coming and could not be ignored.

Attorney Guntaro Managi, who represents the plaintiffs, said, “The government is responsible for not exercising its regulatory authority properly because it has been entrusted with the authority to prevent accidents from happening, even if they should happen, because of the enormous damage that could occur to people’s lives and health.

The government, on the other hand, argues that the long-term evaluation (issued by the government) was unreliable and that the accident could not have been prevented even if countermeasures had been ordered.

Mr. Nakajima, the leader of the plaintiffs’ group, said at a press conference after the argument date, “The government has shown absolutely no remorse, so it will repeat the damage, as evidenced, for example, by its policy of discharging tritium-contaminated water into the ocean. If it is not absolved, it will continue to do so,” he said, criticizing the government’s refusal to accept responsibility.

He continued, “I believe that our trial is required to make the government admit its illegality, and at the same time, to make the government change its attitude through public opinion, not only that of the plaintiffs. The trial is a major stepping stone, but I don’t think it will be the end of the story,” said Nakajima.

In addition to the Ikigyo lawsuits, three other cases in Chiba, Gunma, and Ehime are being argued before the Supreme Court. The Ikigyo lawsuit is the third case to be argued before the Supreme Court, and the Ehime nuclear power plant lawsuit is scheduled to be argued on May 16 before the ruling in June.

Chia Yoshida: Freelance writer. After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, she has continued to cover victims and evacuees. She is the author of “Reporto: Mother and Child Evacuation” (Iwanami Shinsho), “Sotoko no Fukushima: Nukei no Koto o Koto wo Ikiru Hitobito” (After Fukushima: People Living After the Nuclear Accident) (Jinbunshoin), “Korunin Futaba-gun Firefighters’ 3/11” (Iwanami Shoten), and co-author of “Nukei Hakusho” (White Paper on Nuclear Evacuation) (Jinbunshoin).
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May 1, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Mitsubishi Electric Continues Transformer Performance Fraud through March; Nuclear Plant to Which Transformers Are Shipped Undisclosed.

Some of the transformer products with the problem.
Part of the transformer product with the problem

April 22, 2022
Another problem has come to light at Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, which has been the target of a series of fraudulent product inspections and quality issues. This time, the company has been falsifying test data for transformers used in nuclear power plants and thermal power plants for 40 years. Although the top management resigned and emphasized the prevention of recurrence, the fraud continued until March. The time frame for the completion of the investigation is unclear, and the restoration of trust in the company is far from certain.

 The transformers in question are large and are used in nuclear power plants, thermal power stations, railroad substations, and other facilities. Some of the transformers were falsely labeled with temperatures that exceeded specifications during pre-shipment tests. Although this is an irregularity in important equipment related to the supply of electric power, no press conference has been held, and the supplier has not been disclosed. The company claims that “no immediate malfunctions or accidents will occur” with regard to the safety of its products, but this is difficult to verify from the outside. Some of the transformers are large and expensive, and replacing them could be time-consuming and costly.

 In response to the revelation of irregularities at its Nagasaki Works last June, Mitsubishi Electric set up an investigative committee consisting of outside lawyers in July of last year. Since then, irregularities have been uncovered every month.

 Management was held accountable, and then-President Takeshi Sugiyama resigned in July, and then-Chairman Masaki Kenzan resigned in October. The new president, Kei Urushima, had stated that he would take thorough measures to prevent recurrence and hasten reform of the organizational climate.

 However, the Investigation Committee pointed out that the current…
https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASQ4P7KG4Q4PULFA03D.html?fbclid=IwAR33KXcEK15wfqT4TOcFX-E4c1kpRBXT1uGEjLu2-mpG9s8AeveUAso0XvY

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Shield machine to dig undersea tunnel to discharge ‘treated water’ has not yet been approved nor has the local government… Preparations are steadily underway at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

A shield machine is carried by a cart and installed at the bottom of a shaft at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on April 25 (courtesy of TEPCO).

April 25, 2022
 On April 25, TEPCO installed a “shield machine” at the launch site to dig an undersea tunnel to the discharge port 1 km offshore over plans to discharge contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Okuma and Futaba towns, Fukushima Prefecture) into the sea after purification treatment. The plan for the facilities to discharge the contaminated water has not been approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, and the local government has not yet given its approval for the start of construction. However, TEPCO explained at a press conference on the same day, “We are preparing for the construction work, and we will move ahead to the extent that there are no problems.

Contaminated water generated when cooling water injected into the reactors of Units 1-3 came into contact with nuclear fuel debris melted down in the accident and mixed with groundwater and rainwater that entered the buildings. Tritium, a radioactive substance that cannot be removed, remains in concentrations exceeding the national discharge standard. The government and TEPCO have been working on a plan to use large amounts of seawater to dilute the tritium concentration to less than 1/40th of the discharge standard and discharge the water into the sea.

 TEPCO began preparatory work on the 24th, bringing a shield machine (about 3 meters in diameter and 7 meters in length) to the port of the power plant, and on the 25th, placed it at the bottom of a shaft (16 meters deep) where they will begin digging an undersea tunnel built in the port area. The tunnel is now ready for construction to begin immediately. The tunnel will connect the shaft, which will temporarily store water to be discharged, with the offshore water discharge port.
 Preparations for the construction of the water discharge outlet will begin on the 25th, and excavation of the seafloor will begin on the 29th.

Although the regulatory commission has completed its review of the facility plan, TEPCO has yet to submit a revised plan to the regulatory commission based on the content of the review. The approval is expected to come after June, when the public will be invited to comment on the plan. The approval of Fukushima Prefecture and the towns of Okuma and Futaba must also be obtained before tunnel excavation can begin. (Kenta Onozawa)
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/173859?fbclid=IwAR3gMcpXQMAGSFHMfpukggr2I_RPWcgqZifR2PCYgIdmtSOGRu72k9UYjcQ

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima farm products still dealing with negative image

Toshio Watanabe, seen here in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, on March 8, grows rice on an approximately 20-hectare farm.

April 24, 2022

NIHONMATSU, Fukushima Prefecture–Rice farmer Toshio Watanabe felt strongly embarrassed when he saw the estimate for the selling price of rice to be harvested in 2022.

Farm products of Fukushima Prefecture faced consumer pullback and canceled orders following the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant disaster of 2011.

“People drive a hard bargain against rice from Fukushima Prefecture, which they buy only at lower prices than products of other prefectures, even for the same quality and taste,” said Watanabe, who farms in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture.

“We could have put up a good fight if only it had not been for the nuclear disaster. As things stand now, however, we have ended up as the sole loser.”

More than 11 years on, farmers like Watanabe and the public sector in this northeastern prefecture still continue to struggle with lingering reverberations of the effects of negative publicity due to radiation fears.

FUKUSHIMA RICE THE ‘SOLE LOSER’

A document distributed by a local farming association in late February said this year’s rice crop is likely to sell at only 9,500 yen ($77) per 60 kilograms, falling below the 10,000-yen mark for the second straight year.

A rice farmer risks posting a deficit when the take-home selling price is less than 10,000 yen per 60 kg, considering the current production cost of nearly 9,000 yen per 60 kg.

Farmers will likely have to endure difficulties this year like they did in 2021, when rice prices dropped sharply due to a general oversupply and weak demand in the restaurant industry.

Rice harvested in Fukushima Prefecture disappeared from many supermarket shelves following the nuclear disaster, as consumers avoided Fukushima labels due to radiation fears.

More than 11 years on, rice grown in the prefecture has seen its market ratings always stuck in the lower reaches, with trading prices hovering below the national average.

Rice of the Koshihikari variety from the Nakadori (central strip) area of Fukushima Prefecture, which contains Nihonmatsu, was being traded at 11,047 yen per 60 kg, down 17 percent year on year, according to a preliminary report on the “direct trading prices” of rice harvested in 2021, which the farm ministry released in February.

The average price of all brands from all areas of Japan stood at 12,944 yen per 60 kg, down only 11 percent from the previous year. That means the gap has only spread.

CONSUMERS SHOWING MORE UNDERSTANDING

Apart from rice, peaches, grapes and other farm products, which face harsh competition from rivals grown in other prefectures, have also seen, over the past several years, their market trading prices remain stuck nearly 10 percent below the national average.

“Dealers from other prefectures sometimes decline to take products of Fukushima Prefecture when there is too much of products from a good harvest,” said the president of a wholesaler based in the prefectural capital of Fukushima that has dealt in fruits and vegetables from the prefecture for more than 50 years.

“Negative publicity effects remain deep-rooted overseas,” said Koji Furuyama, a 46-year-old farmer who grows peaches and apples in the prefectural capital.

Furuyama has aggressively been venturing into overseas markets. In 2017, for example, he exported peaches to a department store in Thailand.

Following the nuclear disaster, however, food products from Fukushima Prefecture came under embargoes and other import restrictions by 55 nations and regions of the world, 14 of which continue to impose restrictions of some kind or another. 

The central government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, have decided to release treated contaminated water from the plant into the ocean.

The water release, which will start as early as spring next year, could cause additional negative publicity effects, Furuyama said.

By comparison, effects of the negative public image are seldom perceptible these days in food items for which product differentiation is feasible, such as by supplying the items in large amounts when there are few shipments of rival products from other prefectures.

Figures of the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market show that vegetables from Fukushima Prefecture, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, have been priced above the national average over the past several years.

Consumers are coming to show more understanding toward the prefecture’s food products.

In a survey conducted by the Consumer Affairs Agency in February 2022, only 6.5 percent of the respondents said they hesitate to buy food products from Fukushima Prefecture for fear of radiation. The percentage is the lowest ever and is below the 10-percent mark for the second straight year.

SALES PROMOTION CAMPAIGN ALONE ‘NOT ENOUGH’

The government of Fukushima Prefecture has so far allocated large chunks of post-disaster rebuilding budgets for campaigns against negative publicity and for sales promotion.

A centerpiece of the latest years, among other things, is a program for promoting sales on major online marketplaces operated by Amazon.com Inc., Rakuten Group Inc. and Yahoo Japan Corp. Dentsu East Japan Inc., an ad agency, has been commissioned to operate the project.

In fiscal 2020, the program earned proceeds of about 3.4 billion yen, a record since the project started in fiscal 2017, although more than 500 million yen was spent on subsidizing the initial costs for sellers on the marketplaces and issuing discount coupons worth 10 to 30 percent.

In fiscal 2021, the prefectural government project earned sales of more than 2.6 billion yen on a consignment budget of only 360 million yen.

That is not bad in terms of cost-effectiveness. However, that is tempered by the fact that marketing efforts that rely on coupons do not necessarily help empower the production areas, and no information is provided to sellers that would allow them to analyze what kind of customers purchased which products.

“This program is premised on the availability of the post-disaster rebuilding budgets,” said an official in charge of the project. “It is certainly not sustainable.”

“Fukushima Prefecture’s products stuck in low price ranges would need to venture into new markets other than the existing ones, but such a venture can seldom be achieved through public relation efforts of the public sector and an ad agency alone,” said Ryota Koyama, a professor of agricultural economics with Fukushima University.

He added: “More money should be spent on production areas to support efforts for improving breeds and the equipment.”

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14592481

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment