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Poland to receive 500 U.S. rocket launchers, Patriot batteries to follow — Anti-bellum

Defense NewsMay 27, 2022 Poland eyes 500 American rocket launchers to boost its artillery forces As Poland is accelerating a number of acquisitions…Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced he has signed a letter of request to buy about 500 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, from the United States. “We are increasing the […]

Poland to receive 500 U.S. rocket launchers, Patriot batteries to follow — Anti-bellum

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan’s plan to release toxic water into sea irresponsible

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, as seen in March, has been a focal point for concerns over the Japanese government’s plan to dump contaminated water into the sea.

May 28, 2022

The Tokyo Electric Power Company, according to Japanese media reports, started seabed excavations on May 5 to build a drainage outlet for the nuclear-contaminated water to flow from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to the Pacific Ocean. The seabed operation is expected to be completed in early July, meaning Japan has taken a substantive step toward discharging the radioactive water into the sea despite strong opposition at home and abroad.

In March 2011, immediately after a tsunami triggered by a massive earthquake destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, TEPCO discharged the highly radioactive water into the sea. But under great pressure from the public, it stopped its controversial move and began building tanks to store the contaminated water.

But these storage tanks can hold only 1.37 million cubic meters of water, and are expected to be full in 2023. So the Japanese government and TEPCO announced on April 13, 2021, that the radioactive water would be “discharged into the sea”.

This plan, too, has come in for severe criticism from the Japanese people and the international community, because it would cause immense damage to the marine environment, as well as human beings, especially in neighboring countries, without benefiting the Japanese people.

The Japan Atomic Energy Regulatory Commission issued “a draft of review paper” on May 18 preliminarily agreeing to the government’s plan, but will make a final decision after one month.

However, the Japanese government said the radioactive water would be treated to meet the so-called standard for discharge. After the nuclear accident, TEPCO used a kind of “purification” equipment to treat the contaminated water to make it less harmful. It claimed that all radioactive materials will be removed from the toxic water, except for tritium.

But in 2018, on studying the contaminated water treated in 2017, a group of experts found that it contained not only tritium but also other radioactive materials such as carbon 14, cobalt 60 and strontium 90, all of which are highly harmful to living beings.

TEPCO has also said the radioactive water will be discharged after being diluted with seawater. But studies show that 1 liter of the radioactive water needs to be mixed with 254 liters of clean seawater to be properly diluted, and it would take at least 30 years for the process to be completed.

The severe consequences of the Fukushima nuclear accident have been emerging over the years. The animals in the Fukushima isolation zone have been showing visible effects of radiation, radioactive materials in fish in the nearby waters are much higher than normal levels, and the incidence of thyroid cancer in Fukushima has significantly increased.

Since the marine ecosystem is a highly integrated and delicate system, the Fukushima water will be enough to contaminate the entire Pacific and beyond.

The international scientific community has reached a consensus on the cumulative effects of radioactive materials. For instance, a Greenpeace report issued in October 2020 said that if discharged into the sea, the radioactive water could also affect human beings’ DNA. And the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other marine authorities said that once the Fukushima water enters the sea, its radioactive materials will spread across the Pacific and other oceans, causing unprecedented damage to the marine ecology.

Ever since the Japanese government decided last year to discharge the radioactive water, countries around the Pacific Rim have been opposing it. In particular, China, the Republic of Korea, Russia and some Pacific island countries have voiced serious concerns over Japan’s decision.

Many environmentalists and scholars have also criticized Japan’s plan. In Japan alone, thousands of people, mainly belonging to NGOs, as well as the National Federation of Fisheries Associations have publicly opposed the plan.

In a public opinion survey conducted by Japanese media outlets, nearly 60 percent of the respondents said they were worried about the effects of the radioactive water on the sea and marine life. And rightly so, because even 11 years after the Fukushima nuclear accident, prices of sea food, vegetables and fruits from Fukushima Prefecture, Ibaraki Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture and nearby places are still much lower than those from places not affected by nuclear radiation.

Besides, the investigation report of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s technical work group released on April 29 did not give a final judgment on whether discharging the nuclear-contaminated water into the sea was safe, and instead suggested a series of technical improvements to reduce its environmental impact. In fact, Japan did not allow the IAEA’s technical work group to evaluate other plans. As a result, it was not possible for the agency to find the best way to deal with the problem.

But despite the strong opposition to its plan both at home and abroad, Japan is hell-bent on discharging the toxic water into the sea, which shows that it does not give two hoots to the concerns of the international community or the Japanese people.

Actually, Japan can deal with the issue in a way that would not harm the marine environment. For example, the Japan Atomic Energy Civic Committee has said that storing the radioactive water in large storage tanks installed on land or “solidification treatment with mortar” are safer ways to deal with the toxic water.

As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Japan knows that discharging the contaminated water into the sea will have cross-border effects. But without exhausting all safe disposal means, disclosing all relevant information, and consulting with all the stakeholders including neighboring countries, Japan has decided to go ahead with its plan in order to fulfill its selfish economic and political interests, and save costs.

Japan’s decision is a serious threat to marine life as well as human beings, and a gross violation of international rules. Therefore, Japan should change its decision, conduct a serious study on safe operational plans to deal with the contaminated water, and act like a responsible country.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | 1 Comment

Fukushima reactor sitting on shaky base raises quake concerns

The exposed metal framework of the base supporting the pressure vessel at the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant (Provided by IRID and Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd.)

May 28, 2022

Alarm bells are sounding over signs the heavily damaged structure of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant may be too flimsy to withstand another major earthquake.

Photos taken by a remote-controlled robotic device sent into the No. 1 reactor found that a large portion of the concrete base supporting the pressure vessel appears to have melted, leaving only a metal framework holding up the pressure vessel.

Experts are now saying the remaining structure may not be strong enough to withstand a big earthquake, a troubling prediction given that the region has been hit by a number of strong temblors in recent months.

An official with the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy who is handling decommissioning work said at a May 26 news conference the remaining structure could not be described as safe, noting that a large portion of the concrete base only had the metal framework remaining.

At a news conference the previous day, Toyoshi Fuketa, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, said, “We remain concerned about whether it will withstand a strong quake.”

The Fukushima plant went into triple meltdown after the magnitude-9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 that generated devastating tsunami. 

The No. 1 reactor bore the brunt of the damage at the nuclear complex. Photos taken by the remote-controlled robot showed not only the exposed metal framework but what looked like a pile of melted fuel on top of the framework.

Officials believe the meltdown at the No. 1 reactor caused most of the fuel to melt through the bottom of the pressure vessel. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., suspects the tremendous heat from the nuclear fuel may have melted the concrete of the base supporting the pressure vessel.

The cylindrical base is 1.2 meters thick with a diameter of about 6 meters. It supports the pressure vessel, which weighs about 440 tons.

A fiscal 2016 estimate by the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning said that the seismic resistance of the structure would not be an issue even if one-quarter of the base was structurally compromised, along with other damage to the interior of the pressure vessel.

But the latest photos captured only about 25 percent of the base, prompting the agency official to speculate the concrete around the entire base had melted.

TEPCO officials plan to send in another robot to take photos of the interior of the base to better grasp the seismic resistance of the structure.

Fumiya Tanabe, a former senior researcher at what is now the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, offered an even scarier possibility.

Noting that the interior of the base lies directly under the reactor core there, he said it was possible that piping hot nuclear fuel flowed into the interior.

“The metal framework in the interior of the base may even have melted,” Tanabe said.

That is a particularly worrisome thought in light of the fact that quakes with a seismic intensity of upper 6 on Japan’s maximum scale of 7 hit off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture in February 2021 and March 2022.

Tanabe said that in a worst-case scenario, another strong quake could cause the pressure vessel to topple over, making work to remove the melted fuel that much more difficult.

He recommended that work start quickly to assess the extent of damage.

The No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, work to remove contaminated pipes suspended again due to detection of high radiation dose at level of “death by exposure for several hours

A high radiation dose of 3 sievert per hour was detected inside the cut surface at the left end of a 12-meter pipe that was cut by equipment at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on May 23.

May 27, 2022
 The removal work of pipes contaminated with high levels of radioactive materials between Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Units 1 and 2, which had been resumed by Tokyo Electric Power Co. for the first time in two months, was suspended again after extremely high radiation levels of 3 sieverts (3000 millisieverts) per hour were detected in the first cut pipe on May 23. The second disconnection scheduled for the 26th was cancelled. TEPCO will take time to reconsider the cutting method and measures to control workers’ exposure.
 The radiation dose of 3 sievert per hour is high enough to cause death if a person is exposed to radiation for several hours. According to TEPCO, workers who measured the dose inside the cut surface of the pipes were exposed to a maximum of 0.41 millisieverts, which did not exceed the exposure limit that had been planned in advance.
 Before cutting, the 30-centimeter-diameter pipe was covered with urethane to prevent radioactive materials from leaking out of the pipe when it was cut. However, the cut surface with the high radiation dose did not have a lid, and the inside of the other cut surface, which had a lid, was 120 millisieverts per hour.
 The pipes were used for venting highly contaminated steam from the reactor to prevent the containment vessel from rupturing at the beginning of the accident in March 2011. Akira Ono, chief executive officer of the Fukushima Daiichi Decommissioning Promotion Company, said at a press conference on March 26, “The high concentration is thought to be caused by the venting. We need to work carefully and consider our procedures.
 The removal of piping using remote-controlled equipment began at the end of February, but was suspended for about two months due to a series of troubles that forced a review. The plan was to cut and remove a total of 135 meters of piping in 26 installments, and the first installment was finally completed on the 23rd of this month. (The first round finally succeeded on the 23rd of this month.)

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Cancer patients seek damages from Fukushima nuclear plant

Lawyer Kenichi Ido, second left, sitting among other lawyers representing plaintiffs who were children in Fukushima at the time of the 2011 nuclear disaster and later developed thyroid cancer, speaks during a news conference after a trial in Tokyo, Thursday, May 26, 2022. A Tokyo court began hearing a case Thursday seeking nearly $5 million in damages for six people who lived as children in Fukushima and developed thyroid cancer after its 2011 nuclear disaster. (AP Photo/Mari Yamaguchi)

By Mari Yamaguchi Associated Press

May 26, 2022

A Tokyo court has begun hearings in a lawsuit seeking nearly $5 million in damages for six people who were children in Fukushima at the time of its 2011 nuclear power plant disaster and later developed thyroid cancer

TOKYO — A Tokyo court began hearings Thursday in a lawsuit seeking nearly $5 million in damages for six people who were children in Fukushima at the time of its 2011 nuclear power plant disaster and later developed thyroid cancer.

The plaintiffs are suing the operator of the nuclear plant, saying radiation released in the accident caused their illnesses.

It is the first group lawsuit filed by Fukushima residents over health problems allegedly linked to the disaster, their lawyers say.

One plaintiff, identified only as a woman in her 20s, testified from behind a screen that she had to give up plans to attend university because of repeated operations and treatments.

“Because of the treatments, I could not attend university, or continue my studies for my future job, or go to a concert. I had to give up everything,” she said. “I want to regain my healthy body, but that’s impossible no matter how hard I wish.”

She and the five other plaintiffs are seeking a total of 616 million yen ($4.9 million) in damages from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings for allegedly causing their cancers.

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and massive tsunami destroyed the Fukushima plant’s cooling systems, causing three reactor cores to melt and release large amounts of radiation. Critics say the plant operator should have known that a large tsunami was possible at the site.

The plaintiffs, who were 6 to 16 years old at the time of the accident and lived in different parts of Fukushima, were diagnosed with thyroid cancer between 2012 and 2018, their lawyers said.

The plant operator told the court that they were not exposed to enough radiation to cause cancer, citing tests of 1,080 children from three cities around the plant that showed about 55% were not exposed and none received more than 50 millisieverts, the annual limit for nuclear workers.

An increase in thyroid cancer was found among children following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine.

The Fukushima prefectural government tested 380,000 residents aged 18 or younger at the time of the accident for thyroid cancer. About 300 were diagnosed with cancer or suspected cancer.

That occurrence rate, about 77 per 100,000, is significantly higher than the usual 1-2 per million and can only be linked to radiation from the accident, the plaintiffs’ lawyers said.

Prefectural officials and experts have said the high level of thyroid cancer found in Fukushima is due to an overdiagnosis, which might have led to unnecessary treatment.

Kenichi Ido, one of the lawyers, said none of the cases involve an overdiagnosis and that the plant operator should be held accountable for radiation exposure unless it can prove otherwise.

The plaintiff who testified Thursday said she walked from home to her high school five days after the tsunami, just as the reactors were undergoing meltdowns.

Three other plaintiffs who attended the hearing were also behind a partition to protect their privacy because of criticism on social media accusing them of fabricating their illnesses and hurting the image of Fukushima, the lawyers said.

Ido said many people with health problems feel intimidated to speak out in Fukushima and that he hopes the lawsuit will prove a correlation between radiation and the plaintiffs’ cancers “so that we can have a society in which people can talk freely about their difficulties.”

The government was slow in responding to the crisis, and evacuations in many places were delayed due to a lack of disclosure of what was happening at the nuclear plant. Residents who fled in their cars clogged roads and were stranded for hours outside while radiation spread from the damaged reactors. Some residents headed to evacuation centers in the direction of the radiation flow.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Debris in sediment, bottom of Fukushima Unit 1 Neutron radiation detected at high levels

Debris deposits at the bottom of the containment vessel of the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 reactor on March 17 (International Nuclear Decommissioning Research and Development Organization, Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy, Inc. (Courtesy of International Nuclear Decommissioning Research and Development Institute, Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy)

May 26, 2022
On May 26, TEPCO announced that it had detected high levels of neutron radiation, which is emitted when uranium and plutonium contained in nuclear fuel undergo nuclear fission, in sediment found at the bottom of the containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s Unit 1 reactor. TEPCO announced that it had detected high levels of neutron radiation, which is emitted when uranium and plutonium contained in nuclear fuel fuse. A TEPCO representative said, “It is presumed to be derived from molten nuclear fuel (debris). It is natural to assume that the debris is contained in the sediment.
 TEPCO will focus on examining the thickness of the deposits near where the neutron rays were detected and the types of radioactive materials contained in the deposits.
 According to TEPCO, on March 20 and 21, underwater robots were used to survey four locations at the bottom of the containment vessel, and neutron rays were detected in all of them. The values at three locations near the openings in the base of the pressure vessel were particularly high.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Class action lawsuit against the victims of thyroid cancer caused by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident begins

May 26, 2022
On May 26, a class action lawsuit began in which six people who were children at the time of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant are seeking compensation from TEPCO for thyroid cancer they contracted as a result of the accident.

The six, who were between the ages of 6 and 16 when the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident occurred 11 years ago, claim that they were living in Fukushima Prefecture at the time and that they developed thyroid cancer as a result of radiation exposure from the nuclear accident.

After the accident, they were diagnosed with thyroid cancer in tests conducted by Fukushima Prefecture, and have been forced to have their thyroid glands removed and undergo lifelong hormone treatment.
The trial will begin on March 26 at the Tokyo District Court, and the plaintiffs’ lawyers have stated that, “According to statistics from a national research institute, the average number of thyroid cancer cases in children was only one to two per million people per year for the 10 years until 2007, but in Fukushima, at least 293 cases have been confirmed in the 10 years since the accident. In Fukushima, however, at least a total of 293 cases of cancer have been confirmed in the 10 years since the accident,” and that “the cancer is presumed to be caused by exposure to radiation from the accident.

A female plaintiff stated, “I prioritized treatment over my dreams for the future and had no choice but to quit my university studies. I hope that through the trial, relief for the patients will be realized,” she tearfully appealed.

According to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, this is the first class action lawsuit to hold TEPCO responsible for the health damage caused by radiation exposure from the nuclear power plant accident, and TEPCO has indicated that it will fight the case.

The next meeting will be held in September, and TEPCO is scheduled to make a rebuttal.
The Fukushima Prefecture’s expert panel and the UN scientific committee’s opinion is
The Fukushima Prefectural Expert Panel and the United Nations Scientific Committee have each expressed their opinions on whether the thyroid cancer diagnosed in some children living in Fukushima Prefecture at the time of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was caused by exposure to radiation from the nuclear power plant accident.

As part of its post-nuclear accident health survey, Fukushima Prefecture conducted a large-scale test using ultrasound equipment to check for thyroid cancer in approximately 380,000 people who were under the age of 18 at the time of the accident.

Fukushima Prefecture has established a committee of experts to analyze whether the cancers found were caused by radiation exposure.

Of these, 187 have been evaluated by 2019, and a report has been compiled stating that “no relationship between the thyroid cancers found and radiation exposure can be found”.

The reasons given were that the estimated radiation doses received by children in Fukushima Prefecture after the accident were much lower than those received in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, and that there was no statistical bias in the regional distribution of cancer patients and no trend indicating an association with radiation exposure.

The expert panel is still analyzing the remaining 87 people diagnosed after FY2016, and the results of the evaluation have not yet been presented.

On the other hand, the UN Scientific Committee, which evaluates the effects of radiation on humans and the environment, estimated radiation doses last year based on the type and amount of radioactive materials released by the accident and the evacuation behavior of the residents, and concluded that “it is unlikely that any health effects directly attributable to radiation exposure caused by the accident will be observed in the residents of Fukushima Prefecture in the future. The report states that “the likelihood of health effects directly caused by radiation exposure in Fukushima Prefecture in the future is low.

The report also stated that the cases diagnosed in Fukushima Prefecture “are not the result of radiation exposure, but rather the result of highly sensitive ultrasound examinations that are likely to have diagnosed cancers that would not normally be detected,” and expressed a negative opinion on the causal relationship between thyroid cancer and the cases.
TEPCO “will listen to the plaintiffs’ claims in detail and respond appropriately.

TEPCO said, “We will listen to the plaintiffs’ claims and the details of their claims in detail and respond appropriately. TEPCO once again expresses its sincere apology to the people of Fukushima Prefecture and the wider community for the inconvenience and concern caused by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The plaintiff, a woman in her 20s, said
The six young people who filed the lawsuit claim that they were diagnosed with cancer and that it has affected the future they had envisioned.

One of the plaintiffs, a woman in her 20s from Nakadori, Fukushima Prefecture, was a junior high school student when the nuclear accident occurred.

It was in the spring, about four years after the accident, that she felt a change in her health.

She had just left her family in Fukushima and started living alone when she entered university.

Her body was swollen all over, her menstrual period came once every two weeks, her skin became rough, and she began to feel a strong discomfort in her throat and body pain.

After consulting with her family, she underwent an examination as part of the prefectural health survey conducted by Fukushima Prefecture after the nuclear power plant accident, and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

The woman recalls her feelings at the time, “I had hoped that the surgery would improve my health, but even after the surgery, I continued to feel ill easily, and I became increasingly worried that the cancer might recur or spread.

However, her health did not improve as expected, and she had no choice but to leave the company after about a year and a half in order to prioritize her treatment.

Even now, regular visits to the hospital and medication are essential for her. “I had longed to be a career woman who worked hard, but I now have to prioritize my health in everything I do,” she said. I am worried that it will affect my future choices of marriage and childbirth,” she confides.

Regarding the relationship between exposure to radiation from the nuclear accident and thyroid cancer, the Fukushima prefectural government’s expert panel has so far stated that “no relationship has been found.

All of the plaintiffs, including the woman, are going to trial without revealing their faces or names publicly, as some have criticized them for claiming health problems caused by exposure to radiation as Fukushima is making progress toward recovery.

The woman said, “I was afraid that I would be discriminated against if people knew that I was from Fukushima Prefecture and had thyroid cancer, so I could hardly tell anyone until now,” adding, “I thought there were many people who suffered from cancer as well and had to give up their dreams such as higher education and employment, or who could not speak up for fear of discrimination and prejudice, and I became an adult first. I decided that I would be the one to show courage. I would like to clarify the facts through the trial and seek redress for the damage.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Thyroid cancer surgery 4 times “I want to know the causal relationship

A man who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 19 in Tokyo said, “More than anything, I want to know the causal relationship between the nuclear power plant accident and my thyroid cancer.

May 25, 2022
Thyroid cancer has been confirmed in approximately 300 children who were in Fukushima Prefecture at the time of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The question is, “Is there a causal relationship between the accident and thyroid cancer? A man, 25, who was in the second year of junior high school at the time of the accident, had undergone four surgeries and was fearful that the cancer would recur, so he filed a lawsuit to find the answer. The first oral argument in the lawsuit by the man and six other young people demanding compensation from TEPCO will be held at the Tokyo District Court on March 26. (The first oral argument of the lawsuit will be held at the Tokyo District Court on April 26.)
◆”I am always concerned about the recurrence and metastasis of cancer.
 I live my life knowing that one day the cancer will recur and affect my health,” said a man from Nakadori, Fukushima Prefecture. The man is from Nakadori in central Fukushima Prefecture and works for a company in Tokyo. Although he has to take medication for the rest of his life, he says his health is good and his work is fulfilling.
 However, the fear of recurrence or metastasis always haunts him. What if I lose my voice or my health deteriorates to the point where I can no longer work? I can’t think about the future,” he says. At first, she was not positive about the trial, but now she hopes that she can help other children suffering from thyroid cancer by preserving a record of the facts of the trial.
 He was 19 years old when he found out he had thyroid cancer while attending a university in Tokyo. His father did not tell him that the doctor had told him that the cancer was highly malignant, had metastasized extensively, and that he might not live five years.
 Another doctor told him that it was “the same as what was seen in Chernobyl” and that it was “probably related to the nuclear accident. The father said, “When I told my son that he had cancer, he accepted it without hesitation. I cried inside. I shouldn’t have stayed in Fukushima,” he said. He still feels regret over not evacuating.
 At the age of 20, the man had one thyroid gland partially removed. Six months later, he had the entire thyroid removed, but it had spread to his lymph nodes, and the surgery lasted six hours. Because he was in the same position for a long time, he could not sleep after the surgery due to severe bedsore pain. Unable to speak or even complain about the pain, he endured it while connected to a tube. His heart sank, and he could not respond to his family’s words. She thought about death for the first time, saying, “It might be easier to die.
Shocked by the document “Contraception for 6 months
 At the age of 21, he underwent a third surgery for metastasis to the lymph nodes, and at the age of 24, the disease recurred. During radiation treatment after the surgery, he received a document that said, “Use contraception for six months. The man, who is married and wants to have children, was shocked that this might affect his children. The man said, “For the first time, I understood why fathers were angry about the nuclear accident and desperate to find a hospital for their children.
 The government and the Fukushima prefectural government have taken the position that a causal relationship between the thyroid cancers found in Fukushima Prefecture and the nuclear accident “cannot be recognized at this time. Since filing the lawsuit, the father has also sensed an atmosphere of discrimination directed toward the men and the other plaintiffs. Some people said, “Don’t put a damper on the good progress Fukushima is making,” and some of their acquaintances left them.
 After the nuclear accident, 301 young people were found to have thyroid cancer in surveys conducted by Fukushima Prefecture and other organizations. The plaintiffs’ lawyers claim that the incidence of childhood thyroid cancer is dozens of times higher than usual and that a causal link to the nuclear accident is clear.
 The men say. If it wasn’t the nuclear accident, then what was it? If we don’t say anything, it will be assumed that nothing happened, and the facts will be buried. I want to make this a valuable trial.”

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Korea not to lift Fukushima seafood import ban for CPTPP entry push: oceans minister

Oceans Minister Cho Seung-hwan

May 25, 2022

Korea’s oceans minister said Wednesday that the country will not lift a ban on imports of seafood from Japan’s Fukushima area for the sake of winning Japan’s support for the country’s push to join a major free trade agreement.

Seoul decided to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which involves 11 nations, including Japan and Australia, and has been working on due domestic procedures to submit an application.

Japan has been reluctant to agree to Korea’s entry, as it has banned all seafood imports from Japan’s Fukushima regions since 2013 on concerns over radiation levels following the 2011 nuclear power plant meltdown there.

“We’ve taken a resolute stance on the issue. We aren’t considering allowing imports of Japan’s Fukushima seafood as a tactic to get backing for our bid to join the CPTPP,” Oceans Minister Cho Seung-hwan said during a meeting with reporters.

Cho earlier said the issue regarding regulations on fishery products was directly linked to the health and safety of the people so that it was not a matter being discussed under any international customs agreements.

Korea needs unanimous support from the 11 member states to win membership accreditation.

As for the now-expired fisheries agreement between Seoul and Tokyo, the minister vowed efforts to resume negotiations despite stark differences in their stances amid diplomatic rows stemming from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

The bilateral fisheries agreement has not been renewed after expiring in 2016, as the two sides failed to narrow the gap on fishing quotas and other issues.

Officials here have said that Japan’s demand is closely related to Korea’s sovereignty over its easternmost islets of Dokdo in the East Sea.

“Japan has not been very active in resuming talks on the agreement,” Cho said. “We will continue efforts to make progress on the matter and to develop bilateral relations in a future-oriented fashion.” (Yonhap)

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

If a major earthquake were to occur… “Will it be safe?” concerns the chairman of the regulatory committee after the damage to the foundation of the pressure vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 reactor is discovered

The foundation supporting the pressure vessel has lost its concrete, leaving the rebar exposed inside the reactor of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 (courtesy of the International Nuclear Decommissioning Research and Development Organization and Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy).

May 25, 2022
At a press conference on May 25, Chairman Toyoshi Sarada of the Nuclear Regulation Authority of Japan (NRAJ) said, in response to an investigation that found rebar exposed in part of the reinforced concrete foundation supporting the Unit 1 reactor pressure vessel at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Okuma and Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture), “I have concerns about whether it will be safe when a major earthquake occurs. I have concerns about whether it will be safe in the event of a major earthquake. If we could reinforce it, we would.
 Sarada pointed out that “it is possible to speculate” about the possibility that nuclear fuel (debris) melted down during the accidental meltdown (core meltdown) and broke through the pressure vessel, melting the concrete (1.2 meters thick) of the foundation. He expressed a sense of crisis, saying, “It is necessary to consider what would happen if the foundation collapsed.
 He also recognized that it would be difficult to reinforce the foundation in a nuclear reactor with extremely high radiation levels, and said, “We cannot take too long when considering earthquake resistance, and we should remove the debris as soon as possible, even if it is just an earpick, and analyze its condition.
 TEPCO placed an underwater robot into the containment vessel from March 17 to 21 to investigate its interior. Near the base of the bottom of the containment vessel, several lumpy deposits were found that appeared to be debris. Although the accident caused the meltdown of Units 1-3, this was the first time that the exposure of rebar inside the concrete was confirmed. (Kenta Onozawa)

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Plaintiff diagnosed with thyroid cancer after the Fukushima nuclear accident: “I have suffered without telling anyone

The day the lawsuit was filed (January 27, 2022, courtesy of OurPlanetTV)

May 25, 2022
In January 2022, children who suffered from thyroid cancer and were living in Fukushima Prefecture at the time of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, aged between 6 and 16, became plaintiffs and filed a lawsuit against TEPCO, claiming that their thyroid cancer was caused by the nuclear accident and demanding that the company clarify the causal relationship.

This is the first class action lawsuit filed against TEPCO 11 years after the accident, claiming the effects of radiation exposure.

All of the plaintiffs have had their thyroid glands removed, and four of the six have relapsed; the four who have undergone two or more surgeries and had their entire thyroid glands removed must continue to take hormone medication for the rest of their lives. Another child has been diagnosed with distant metastasis to the lungs.

We interviewed one of the plaintiffs, who said, “I have suffered for the past 11 years without being able to tell anyone. (Writer: Chia Yoshida)
Announcement of acceptance with the possibility of exposure to radiation

Sawa Mukai (15 years old at the time of the accident, pseudonym) was an athletic child who was affected by the disaster on March 11, 2011, the day of her junior high school graduation ceremony. She recalls how eerie it was to see a blizzard immediately after the earthquake, followed by a sky that suddenly cleared up.

The next day, she helped clean up a relative’s house that had been completely destroyed by the earthquake. The road in front of the relative’s house was jammed with cars heading in a westerly direction.

It was strange because there is not usually a lot of traffic on this road, but when I thought about it later, I realized that they were cars evacuating from the nuclear power plant,” Mukai said.

On March 12, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 exploded, Unit 3 exploded on March 14, Unit 2 was in a critical condition, and Unit 4 exploded on March 15.

The next day, March 16, was the announcement of acceptance to high schools in Fukushima. Many junior high school students in the prefecture went out to the high schools they had applied to in order to check their numbers.

Although many teachers and staff members were opposed to the announcement of acceptance in the midst of the possibility of children being exposed to radiation, the prefecture decided to go ahead with the announcement. Mr. Mukai was one of those who had no choice but to go to the acceptance announcement.

Kenichi Ido, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, points out that “elementary and junior high school students who were unprotected at the time of the accident were exposed to radiation, which may have led to their illnesses.

“We often hear stories of students who were engaged in club activities as usual, or who went to the March 16th prefectural high school acceptance announcement,” he said. The government has assumed that there are no health hazards caused by the nuclear accident, but this is not the case,” said Ido.
Even if the radiation dose rate is above the standard value, “Oh, well…

The risk of radiation exposure lurked even in high school.

Although Ms. Mukai was fond of sports, she gave up her outdoor sports club, which she had planned to join. His mother was concerned that he should not be exposed to radiation as much as possible.

Although warning poles were placed at hot spots (areas with locally elevated radiation levels) on campus to alert people to the danger, once they became accustomed to the area, everyone began to pass by them.

Gradually, no one would wear masks to avoid internal exposure. Mr. Mukai wore a mask until the end, but in the summer of 2011, he began to remove it because it was too hot.

At the time, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) had a standard for school grounds that they could only be used if the air dose rate was “less than 3.8 μSv per hour,” but “It’s over. But I once heard a teacher say, “Well, that’s OK.

The radiation level at home was also high. In some places, the radiation levels were 100 times higher than before the accident. Even indoors, the levels were 60 times higher than before the accident. The family decontaminated the area with a high-pressure washer, but the levels did not go down that much.

Mr. Mukai was unable to join an athletic team, so he focused on his schoolwork, aiming to attend a university in Tokyo. Thanks to his efforts, he was accepted with a recommendation. She was so happy that she started living in Tokyo in early March (before entering university),” she smiles.
I will never forget the doctor’s words: “There is no cause-and-effect relationship between the nuclear accident and my life.

There were many places to play in Tokyo, I started a part-time job, and my new life was enjoyable.

However, around that time, she began to experience some physical problems. Her body swelled, her menstrual periods became irregular, she gained weight, and her skin became rough. And when she swallowed water or saliva, she felt discomfort in her throat.

When she consulted her mother, she was told that it might be a thyroid-related condition and that she should get checked out as soon as possible. Mr. Mukai was busy with university classes and other obligations, so he missed the second thyroid checkup conducted by the Fukushima prefectural government.

Soon after, Ms. Mukai took the test along with other children at a large-scale thyroid screening site in Fukushima Prefecture. The test took only a minute or so for the others, but the process stopped at Mr. Mukai’s spot.

While applying the echo, Ms. Mukai saw the doctor nod his head and wondered if something was wrong.

Later, the results arrived at his parents’ home, and his mother contacted Mr. Mukai in Tokyo to inform him of the “reexamination. Fukushima Medical University called her twice and asked her to retest immediately. Ms. Mukai said that by that time she had a dim feeling that she might have thyroid cancer.

In the fall of 2015, he was told at the hospital that he had thyroid cancer. Mukai will never forget being told by the doctor that there was no causal relationship between the nuclear accident and the cancer, even though he had not asked any questions at the time.

I wondered how they could possibly know that,” Mukai said.

She then underwent surgery to remove the left half of her thyroid gland at the age of 20.
He was 20 years old. “I hope that other sufferers will be in a situation where they can raise their voices,” he said.

In consideration of his health condition, he quit the part-time job he had enjoyed.

After graduating from university, he found a job, but his health deteriorated due to the hard work. She quit the job she had longed for, and now works at a job that is less demanding on her body.

If her numbers worsen, she has to resume taking her medication, and she lives her life constantly worrying about her health.

I gave up a lot of things myself, but there are many more people younger than me who had to make the choice to give up,” Mukai said.

People who dropped out of college. Some have dropped out of college, others have been unable to find work. Some confided in me that they had given up on love and marriage and could not even think about falling in love with someone. I was shocked by all of them.

As she recounted her own experiences, Ms. Mukai was considerate of the other plaintiffs and those who had contracted thyroid cancer but were not plaintiffs.

There is a situation where other small children cannot speak up,” she said. I hope that by raising our voices this time, other sufferers will be able to speak out,” said Mukai.

The incidence of childhood thyroid cancer is generally said to be “1 to 2 per million children.

However, in Fukushima Prefecture, according to a prefectural survey, 273 children were diagnosed with suspected malignant (cancerous) thyroid cancer through cytological puncture diagnosis, and 226 children have already undergone surgery. When national cancer registries and regional cancer registries are combined, more than 300 people have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

The aforementioned lawyer Ido also commented, “In Fukushima Prefecture today, people cannot talk about the fact that they have thyroid cancer because it is a sensitive issue, and they are isolated from the rest of the community.

Ms. Mukai, too, had only been able to talk about her thyroid cancer to those close to her. However, this changed when she decided to file the lawsuit. As a result of calling for support for the trial through crowdfunding, he raised approximately 17.62 million yen, far exceeding his goal of 10 million yen.

I was very happy that 1,966 people donated to the trial and sent messages of support. The other plaintiffs were also happy,” said Mukai.

My fears that I would be discriminated against or that I would not be understood were slightly allayed.

On the other hand, however, on the same day that the lawsuit was filed, five former prime ministers, including Junichiro Koizumi and Naoto Kan, sent a letter to the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, stating that “many children are suffering from thyroid cancer,” to which incumbent Diet members and Fukushima Prefecture Governor Masao Uchibori protested, calling the information “false,” “inappropriate,” and “regrettable. The letter was sent to the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU).

They said, “We are surprised and indignant that you would make such a statement even though you know that there are children who have developed thyroid cancer. Because I have seen other plaintiffs who are truly suffering, that statement was unforgivable,” said Mukai.

Mukai, who felt that this trial would not be an easy one, has continued to consider the causal relationship between the nuclear accident and thyroid cancer by attending study sessions with experts and reading the complaint.

Among the plaintiffs, there were some who were so mentally distressed that they could not eat rice, and this made me feel more strongly that something had to be done.

I believe that there is a causal relationship between the accident and thyroid cancer, and although I cannot do it alone, I would like to fight the trial in cooperation with the plaintiffs and the defense team,” said Mukai.

The first oral argument will be held at the Tokyo District Court on May 26 at 14:00. Plaintiffs are scheduled to make statements.

The plaintiffs and their lawyers in the thyroid cancer trial are seeking continued support for the trial through the crowdfunding service “READYFOR.

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).

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

South Korea to keep import ban on Japan seafood due to Fukushima concern

File photo taken in April 2019 shows seafood at a fishing port in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan.

KYODO NEWS – May 25, 2022

South Korea will maintain an import ban on Japanese seafood from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, a minister said Wednesday, denying any plan to lift it in a bid to secure Tokyo’s support to join a regional free trade accord.

“We’ve taken a resolute stance on the issue. We aren’t considering allowing imports of Japan’s Fukushima seafood as a tactic to get backing for our bid to join” the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord, Oceans Minister Cho Seung Hwan said during a meeting with reporters, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Japan is one of the leading members of the 11-nation TPP, which also includes Australia, Singapore and Mexico. Consent of all members is required for new membership.

South Korea has been working on domestic procedures to submit an application, Yonhap said.

China and Taiwan are also seeking to join the TPP.

Taiwan in February lifted an import ban on food products from Fukushima and some other Japanese prefectures imposed in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

Amid radiation concerns, South Korea has banned Japanese seafood imports from eight prefectures, including Fukushima.

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Rebar of the foundation supporting the pressure vessel is exposed, debris may have melted the concrete

The foundation supporting the pressure vessel has lost its concrete and the rebar is exposed inside the reactor of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 (courtesy of the International Nuclear Decommissioning Research and Development Organization and Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy).

May 23, 2022
 On May 23, TEPCO released new images taken by an underwater robot of the bottom of the containment vessel of the Unit 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Okuma and Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture). It was confirmed that rebar was exposed in a part of the 1.2 meter thick reinforced concrete base (1.2 meters thick) that supports the pressure vessel where the nuclear fuel was located. There is a strong possibility that the concrete melted due to the heat from the nuclear fuel (debris) that melted down from the pressure vessel during the accident.

According to TEPCO, several lumpy deposits were observed near the opening from the bottom of the containment vessel to just below the pressure vessel. The closer to the opening, the thicker the deposits were, and the rebar of the foundation was exposed. Concrete is said to melt when heated to over 1,100 degrees Celsius, and if the foundation is severely damaged, in the worst case, the pressure vessel may fall because it can no longer support itself.

A spokesperson for TEPCO told a press conference about the reason the rebar was exposed, “One possibility is that the temperature was too severe, but we don’t know the mechanism. We would like to evaluate the damage after confirming the data in future investigations.

Multiple lumpy deposits were observed at the bottom of the Unit 1 containment vessel at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (courtesy of the International Nuclear Decommissioning Research and Development Organization and Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy).

 The survey was conducted from the 17th to the 21st. The “neutron flux measurement,” which captures the characteristics of radiation, is being used to determine if the deposits are debris, and if so, they are being analyzed. Another four types of robots will be deployed in the future to determine the distribution of the sediments.
(Shinichi Ogawa and Kenta Onozawa)

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Lawsuit by evacuees from nuclear power plant accident: Supreme Court to rule on June 17 for the first time on the government’s responsibility

May 19, 2022
The Supreme Court has decided to hand down its verdict on four class action lawsuits that have been appealed, demanding compensation from the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) by people who evacuated to various locations due to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on June 17. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a unified judgment on the government’s responsibility for the nuclear accident for the first time.

The ruling will be handed down in four of the class action lawsuits filed against the government and TEPCO by people who evacuated to various locations after the nuclear power plant accident, including Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba, and Ehime.

In the four lawsuits, the two courts were divided on the responsibility of the government, and the Supreme Court was hearing the cases.

In arguments held last month and this month, the residents said, “The government should have instructed tsunami countermeasures based on the government’s ‘long-term assessment’ of earthquakes, but neglected to do so. The accident could have been prevented if they had been given measures against flooding.

In response, the government denied responsibility, saying that the “long-term assessment” was unreliable and that the actual tsunami was completely different from the one estimated based on the assessment, and that the accident could not have been prevented even if tsunami countermeasures were ordered.

In the four lawsuits, TEPCO’s responsibility and the amount of compensation have already been determined.

The amount of compensation awarded in each of the four lawsuits exceeds the government’s standard for compensation for nuclear accidents, including damages for changes in the basis of daily life and loss of “hometowns.

It will be interesting to see what kind of unified judgment the Supreme Court will render on the responsibility of the government in the ruling to be handed down on the 17th of next month.

Translated with (free version)

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Magnitude 6.0 quake shakes Japan’s east and northeast

The epicenter of the earthquake that occurred on May 22 at 12:24 p.m. is located offshore in Ibaraki Prefecture

May 22, 2022

TOKYO (Kyodo) — An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 struck Fukushima and other prefectures in Japan’s east and northeast on Sunday, but there was no threat of a tsunami, the country’s weather agency said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or serious property damage following the quake, which occurred around 12:24 p.m.

The quake’s magnitude was later revised upward from the initial estimate of 5.8, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The quake registered a lower 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in Fukushima’s Iwaki city, according to the agency. Its focus was at a depth of about 30 kilometers in the Pacific off Ibaraki Prefecture.

The quake registered 4 in some other parts of Fukushima and 3 in the neighboring prefectures of Miyagi, Yamagata, Ibaraki, Niigata and Tochigi.

No abnormalities were found at the Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant on the coast of Ibaraki or at the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants, their operators said.

There were also no major transport disruptions. JR East said it briefly suspended services on a section of the Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train line between Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment