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Environmentalists devoted to reveal nuclear contamination in Fukushima

A team of elderly Japanese environmentalists has been devoted to revealing the real environmental conditions of Fukushima after the nuclear incident in 2011. The team, with all members over 60 years old, volunteered to have a routine check for nuclear radiation in Fukushima. Masami Aoki, 77 and a former media worker, is one of the persons in charge of the team founded in 2012. Over the past 10 years, Aoki has worked with his team to examine nuclear radiation levels near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, including Futaba Machi and Minamisoma.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-11-26/Environmentalists-devoted-to-reveal-nuclear-contamination-in-Fukushima-1fhsmcE7PZC/index.html

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November 27, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | | Leave a comment

A group of journalists from HT investigates the impact of Fukushima’s controversial plan to dump water into the ocean

A group of journalists from HT investigates the impact of Fukushima’s con-troversial plan to dump water into the ocean

24 Nov, 2022

MADRID, Nov. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — While the Japanese Primer Minister has described the measure as “totally safe and unavoidable”, member countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (ORA), official institutions, non-governmental organizations, environmental associations such as Greenpece, experts and professors in atomic energy, as well as doctors and researchers specialized in diseases related to uncontrolled exposure to atomic substances, denounce this measure as irresponsible, and do not understand the silence of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) in this situation.

A group of international journalists led by Global Think Agency investigates and analyzes the impact of the controversial plan to discharge water from Fukushima into the sea.  The Key findings are:

  • The decision announced by the Japanese government in April 2021, announcing it as a “safe” project, the measure does not convince the scientific community, nor the experts in atomic energy, for all is “the cheapest option.
  • It is currently unknown how the long-lived radioactive isotopes contained in the contaminated water will interact with marine biology, this situation is unprecedented”.
  • An independent analysis of the report published by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Subcommittee shows that the company responsible for the Fukushima plant understood that additional storage of contaminated water beyond 2022 was possible, but it was ruled out because it would require “a substantial amount of coordination, time and financial resources.
  • Last October 30, and in view of the IAEA’s silence, a group of experts and professors in atomic energy, as well as doctors and researchers specialized in diseases related to uncontrolled exposure to atomic substances, submitted a letter to the Director General Mr. Rafael Mariano Grossi, requesting him to urge the Japanese authorities to halt this measure, without receiving any reply to date.

Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace, confirms “the lack of clarity and scientific inconsistencies” in the Fukushima nuclear power plant decommissioning project, considering it “fantasy” and that the discharge of contaminated and treated water into the ocean “does not solve the crisis and will generate an unpredictable environmental situation”.

Eleven years after the earthquake and tsunami that led to one of the worst nuclear accidents in history, Greenpeace is issuing a new wake-up call after reviewing multiple documents from different government agencies and industry.

Satoshi Sato, leader of the nuclear fusion and quantum energy neutron source design group in Rokkasho (Japan), says “decommissioning is not possible in 40 years”. There are many shadows and doubts and the Japanese government should clarify the progress that has been made so far.

It will have to “live with treated water for decades while a safe solution is found”, said the expert in relation to the discharge of treated water into the Pacific Ocean, a plan foreseen for 2023 and which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently evaluated during a mission to the country.

Shaun Burine and Satoshi Sato, agreed, telling us that the IAEA’s position in supporting the plans of the Japanese government and TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.) “does not make sense”. They went on to say that “the mission of this organization is to develop safety standards and maintain high levels of safety for the protection of human health and the environment against ionizing radiation.  As well as to verify that States comply with their commitments.”

“TEPCO has no intention of decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear power plant in the next 20 to 30 years. It is a fantasy and a much longer process than we have been told, said Burnie, who stressed the need to inform affected communities and the public in detail.

“The long-term consequences cannot be dismissed, because this transcends generations and this fact should be crucial in addressing the problem, not the official agenda of the actors involved, Burnie criticized the roadmap approved by the Japanese government.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. is the world’s fourth-largest utility and the bastion of the nation’s nuclear power, from which Japan draws 30% of its electricity. Tepco serves a third of the population.   The company that operates the nuclear power plant has contributed to the disaster with its management before and after the accident It falsified reviews, concealed information and delayed urgent measures

The company is contributing to the scandal, acknowledging that it has falsified safety reports, elevating fleeting inspections to exhaustive examinations.  Tepco is also accused of irresponsibly delaying the cooling of the reactors with salt water because it was going to ruin them beyond repair.

The legacy of scandals in the sector in half a century has punished its credibility.

The Greenpeace organization recalls that the company’s negligence brought the former IAEA management to task on numerous occasions, its spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama denounced on numerous occasions as “extremely regrettable” the errors in the measurements of radioactive water, apparently due to failures in the software used to carry out the measurements. “Tepco is facing a very serious situation and is failing to meet people’s expectations, Nishiyama insisted, in the harshest criticism the company has ever received.

About HT

HT is a global agency specializing in developing documentary, research and entertainment content. The company boasts a team of experts from different fields such as production, creativity, and journalism, some have over 25 years of experience in major production companies in Spain.

https://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/a-group-of-journalists-from-ht-investigates-the-impact-of-fukushimas-controversial-plan-to-dump-water-into-the-ocean-301686967.html

November 27, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | 1 Comment

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident Survivors Urge Diet Members to Provide Adequate Relief in Light of Policy to Revise Compensation Standards

Plaintiffs appealed their plight as evacuees at a meeting held at the House of Councillors building in Nagata-cho, Tokyo, on March 24.

November 24, 2022
On November 24, the National Liaison Group of Plaintiffs in Lawsuits Against Nuclear Power Plants, consisting of victims of the TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, held a meeting at the Diet to demand that the interim compensation standards established by the government’s Nuclear Damage Dispute Review Board be revised to provide adequate relief to the victims of the accident.
 The plaintiffs, who are engaged in class-action lawsuits against the national government and TEPCO in various parts of Japan, submitted their requests to the offices of members of the Diet at both the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors.
 The CALI decided to review the guidelines on the 10th of this month in response to a series of court decisions ordering TEPCO to pay more compensation than the interim guidelines. In addition to the review of the guidelines to match the actual damage, the request also called for the government to consider building new nuclear power plants and extending their operating periods, and to oppose the discharge into the ocean of water treated to purify contaminated water generated at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
 At the rally following the request, lawyer Guntaro Managi, who serves as the secretary general of the legal team for the Fukushima lawsuit, criticized the government’s response, saying, “The review of the guidelines is too little too late. Hiroshi Murata, 79, an evacuee from Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture, who has been living in Yokohama, said, “The guidelines were created immediately after the accident, and it was not assumed that the evacuation would last this long. The guidelines were created immediately after the accident and were not based on the assumption that evacuees would have to live for such a long time. They should be revised in their entirety, not just partially. (Kenta Onozawa)
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/215953?fbclid=IwAR3Ur_jQqDli869rwXoAJspCvxE1W7BFpeTaI_VE4RRqMiOqcN-ZCZFAq60

November 27, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Safety first must be priority for Fukushima water: China Daily editorial

2022-11-23

Since the Japanese government announced its highly controversial plan to release massive amounts of radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean in April last year, it has met with opposition and condemnation, not only from Japan’s neighbors, China and the Republic of Korea, but also from Japanese society, residents in Fukushima and the country’s fishery industry in particular.

Although the Japanese government says that apart from tritium, which cannot be removed from the water, all other radionuclides will have been reduced to safe amounts after treatment, it is not known what the environmental consequences will be after it is discharged into the sea.

Marine experts have raised concerns over traces of ruthenium, cobalt, strontium and plutonium isotopes in the wastewater.

The Pacific Ocean does not belong to Japan. It is an ocean shared by dozens of countries and regions. By discharging the water into the ocean, the Japanese government shows little regard for the health and well-being of its own people and those in neighboring countries. As such, the International Atomic Energy Agency, as the world’s nuclear watchdog, should put public health first and do its utmost to see to it that Japan fully complies with all the relevant nuclear safety standards.

The IAEA set up a task force last year to review the safety of Japan’s discharge plan, comprising a group of IAEA specialists and external experts from 11 countries. The task force conducted a field trip to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station last week, and reviewed the updated technical plans for the water discharge by Tokyo Electric Power Company and the equipment and facilities to be used for the discharge. The IAEA said a report of the mission will be made available within three months, and a comprehensive assessment on the safety of the discharge will be issued prior to the planned release in 2023.

Both China and the ROK have urged the agency to strictly adhere to all safety standards in its assessment of the plan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Monday that China hopes the task force will ensure the “absolute safety” of the treatment.

And the Foreign Ministry of the ROK also struck the same tune on Tuesday, stressing that the discharge of the contaminated water should meet objective scientific standards.

Needless to say, Japan should coordinate closely and transparently with the task force so as to ensure the IAEA clearly grasps the whole picture.

China’s support of the IAEA task force’s work should not be interpreted as an approval of Japan’s decision to discharge the contaminated water. It needs to be pointed out that the task force has not evaluated the alternatives to ocean discharge, leaving the IAEA unable to conduct a comprehensive evaluation and find the best way to dispose of nuclear-contaminated water. China still maintains that instead of pushing forward with its discharge plan, Japan should find a safer way to treat the contaminated water.

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202211/23/WS637e2ecaa31049175432b7ec.html

November 27, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

China supports IAEA review of Fukushima treatment

“Just because China supports the task force’s work does not mean it approves of Japan’s decision to discharge the contaminated water, Mao also said, urging Japan to find an appropriate way to treat the contaminated water, instead of pushing forward with its discharge plan.”

2022-11-21

China supports the International Atomic Energy Agency and its task force in reviewing Japan’s treatment of nuclear contaminated water, and hopes the task force will strictly implement the IAEA’s nuclear safety standards and ensure the “absolute safety” of the treatment, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said.

Mao made the remarks at a daily news conference on Monday after the task force carried out a new mission last week to review Japan’s plan to discharge treated nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

The IAEA said a report of the mission will be made available within three months.

In response, Mao said a time limit should be avoided to ensure the quality and credibility of the report, and Japan should coordinate closely with the task force.

The IAEA didn’t review other plans of treating contaminated water than discharging it to sea, thus failing to make a full assessment and find the best treatment plan, Mao pointed out.

Just because China supports the task force’s work does not mean it approves of Japan’s decision to discharge the contaminated water, Mao also said, urging Japan to find an appropriate way to treat the contaminated water, instead of pushing forward with its discharge plan.

https://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202211/21/WS637b7603a31049175432b07c.html

November 27, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

JNFL’s application for examination of a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant was criticized by the Regulatory Commission for “lacking a sense of urgency”

JNFL Senior Managing Executive Officer Rei Sudo (left) and others explain at the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s review meeting in Minato-ku, Tokyo.

November 22, 2022
JNFL found multiple errors in the seismic calculation results of the application it submitted to the Nuclear Regulation Authority during the examination required for the operation of its reprocessing plant for spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants in Rokkasho Village, Aomori Prefecture. The errors were discovered when the Nuclear Regulation Commission pointed them out to JNFL. Even two years after the application was submitted, NNFL continues to reveal its inadequacies, and there is no prospect that the review will be completed.
 The errors were in the results of seismic calculations for the cooling tower fire detectors, which NNFL submitted on November 8 in the form of an amendment to its application. According to NNFL, when the results of the seismic calculations were transcribed into the application, incorrect values were entered in several places. Although the documents were checked before submission, the mistake was not noticed. The cause of the error has not been disclosed, saying that it is under investigation. The correction will be corrected and resubmitted in the future.
 According to the secretariat of the regulatory commission, the error in the calculation results was so simple that a person with expert knowledge would be able to recognize it at a glance.
At the review meeting held on March 15, the person in charge at the secretariat of the regulatory commission commented, “In the review of facility design, making a mistake in numerical values is a definite and serious problem,” and “It is the most rudimentary of rudiments. Why don’t they notice it? Why don’t they realize this? They have no sense of crisis at all. Rei Sudo, executive vice president of Nenryo, who is in charge of handling the review, simply stated, “This is something that really shouldn’t happen. We take this very seriously.
 The reprocessing plant, a core facility under the government’s nuclear fuel cycle policy, met the new regulatory standards for basic accident countermeasures in July 2020, and in December of the same year, JNFL applied for a review of detailed facility designs and construction plans. However, there has been no significant progress since the application stage due to inadequate explanations from NNFL.
 In September of this year, NNFL announced for the 26th time that it was postponing the completion of the plant due to the difficulties encountered in the review process. The company plans to announce the next target date for completion by the end of this year, but the examination process will inevitably become even more difficult due to the discovery of numerical errors. (Kenta Onozawa)
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/215291?fbclid=IwAR3axQXraZ9FR1wgBWFW97VsXYaz7LEtnmRwhAa8f6fSsxczwS8WNBpIdY4

November 27, 2022 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Iitate will be 1st to lift evacuation order without decontamination

Akihiko Morota, deputy director-general of the government’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters, explains the status of the difficult-to-return zone to Iitate village residents at a briefing in Fukushima city on Nov. 20.

November 21, 2022

FUKUSHIMA–Iitate village near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant plans to lift an evacuation order next spring for a small portion of the “difficult-to-return zone” so it can reclaim space for a park.

This marks the first time an evacuation order will be lifted without first carrying out decontamination work since the government made it easier to lift evacuation orders in 2020.

The order was originally issued due to high levels of radiation detected following the triple meltdown at the plant triggered by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Iitate Mayor Makoto Sugioka and the central government’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters made the announcement at a news conference following a briefing for residents in Fukushima city on Nov. 20.

Residents of Iitate in eastern Fukushima Prefecture had initially opposed lifting the evacuation order without first decontaminating the area, but the mayor said they were persuaded.

“We were able to obtain their consent at the briefing,” Sugioka said.

The area where the order will be lifted without any decontamination work is small. It spans just 0.64 hectares and includes only one household.

Workers will set up shields on the ground there to prevent exposure to radiation.

But the government has confirmed that even without the shielding, the radiation level is below the standard for issuing an evacuation order, at 20 millisieverts per year. The village plans to use this area as a park.

The government designated areas with readings of more than 50 millisieverts a year as difficult-to-return zones.

Iitate has a difficult-to-return zone measuring 1,080 hectares in total, according to the village and the central government.

Within this area, officials have designated a 186-hectare special zone for reconstruction and revitalization, which covers 63 households. That land will be decontaminated by removing topsoil contaminated with radioactive materials.

But there is no prospect for lifting the order for the remaining land outside the special zone, which covers 10 households.

In December 2020, the government created new criteria for lifting an evacuation order for land outside the special zone, where radiation levels are below the standard due to natural attenuation. Those conditions include a request from the local government and confirmation that no one will live there.

Among eight municipalities that have such special zones, this will be the first time that an evacuation order will be lifted outside the zone. No municipalities other than Iitate are seeking a lifting of the evacuation order under the new criteria. 

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14773728

November 27, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Iitate Village Lifting of Evacuation Order for “Out of Base Area” First indication of timing

November 20, 2022

The national government and Iitate Village in Fukushima Prefecture have announced that they will lift the evacuation order for a part of the Nagadori area, which has been designated as a “difficult-to-return zone” due to the accident at the TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, around the major holidays in spring next year under the so-called “lifting of evacuation order without decontamination.

This is the first time that a specific date for lifting the evacuation order for areas outside of the “base area” has been announced.

In the Nagadori area of Iitate Village, which is a hard-to-return zone where entry is severely restricted, 17% of the area has been designated as a “specific restoration and rehabilitation base zone” where decontamination and other measures will be carried out first, with the aim of lifting the evacuation order in the spring of next year.

On April 20, the central government and Iitate Village held a press conference after holding a briefing session for local residents in Fukushima City to discuss the possibility of lifting the evacuation order in the spring of next year under the framework of “lifting the evacuation order without decontamination,” which allows the lifting of the evacuation order even if the government has not decontaminated the land, provided that the local government has strong intentions to use the land and the radiation level is lowered and the residents do not return. The government has announced that it plans to lift the evacuation order for a part of the area outside the “base area” around the major holidays in the spring of next year.

The area to be removed is a 6,400-square-meter plot of land where a government demonstration experiment to block radiation by pouring concrete on the ground was being conducted, and it represents 0.07% of the area outside the “base area” in the village.

Since it has been confirmed that radiation levels have been sufficiently reduced, the government will allow people to freely enter the area to see the results of this demonstration project.

This is the first time that a specific date for the lifting of the evacuation order for “outside the base area” has been announced.

In conjunction with this, the policy of lifting all evacuation orders for the base area in the village was also announced.

Iitate Village Mayor Makoto Sugioka said, “We would like to consider using the site as a place where we can confirm the effects of the radiation dose reduction demonstration project and a place where we can pass on to future generations what has been done in the difficult-to-return zone and Nagadori area.
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20221120/k10013897961000.html?fbclid=IwAR3mZj8YTUnBARRCJV-KqrxSGzF9OP-jVrRRRv2GY1kcSpDWnrIF0boiiNg

November 27, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment