nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Fukushima Japan nuclear fallout: Okuma residents encouraged home

48272088_303.jpg
April 10, 2019
Eight years after a triple meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, part of nearby Okuma has been declared safe for residents to return. But there has been no rush to go home as radiation levels remain high.
The evacuation order for parts of Okuma was lifted by the Japanese government on Wednesday.
But just 367 of the town’s pre-2011 population of 10,341 have registered to go home, according to local media reports in Japan.
Okuma sits alongside the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and 40% of the town has been declared safe for a permanent return. But a survey last year found only 12.5% of former residents wanted to do so.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to attend a ceremony in Okuma on Sunday to mark the occasion. But the government has been accused of promoting the return of residents to showcase safety ahead of the Tokyo Olympics next summer.
“This is a major milestone for the town,” Mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe said in a written statement. “But this is not the goal, but a start toward the lifting of the evacuation order for the entire town.”
Lingering radiation
There are plans to open a new town hall in May to encourage more people to go back to their town which was devastated by the earthquake, tsunami and triple meltdown at the plant in March 2011. But the town center near the main train station remains closed due to high radiation levels which exceed the annual exposure limit. There will be no functioning hospital for another two years.
Much of Okuma still records high radiation levels and is off-limits. All of nearby Futaba remains closed, with the former 40,000 residents unable to return home. In a report from an investigation published last month, environmental campaign group Greenpeace said “radiation levels remain too high for the safe return of thousands of Japanese citizen evacuees.”
Reluctance to return
The government lifted the evacuation order for much of neighboring Tomioka two years ago. But only 10% of Tomioka’s population has so far returned. Some 339 square kilometers (131 square miles) of the area around the plant are designated unsafe. 
Fears of exposure to radiation remain high among former residents, especially those with children. In its report, Greenpeace accused the government of failure: “In the case of workers and children, who are in the frontline of hazards resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the Japanese government continues to ignore international radioprotection recommendations.”
Part of the Okuma is being used to store millions of cubic meters of toxic soil collected during the decontanimation operation. Authorities say it will be removed by 2045 but no alternative storage site has yet been found.
In all, 160,000 people were evacuated out of the area when three of Fukushima’s six reactors went into meltdown, leading to radiation leaks.
Advertisements

April 14, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Unclear debris map casts shadow over decommissioning of Fukushima plant

jhkjhlklk.jpg
Pebble-like sediment believed to be nuclear fuel debris is lifted by a special device inside the No. 2 reactor containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
April 9, 2019
TOKYO — The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) are set to launch full-scale probes of the inside of the No. 1 through No. 3 reactors at the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station this fiscal year, in an attempt to determine which reactor to work on first to remove fuel debris — a critical step for decommissioning the facility.
However, the interior of the No. 2 reactor, which is most likely to be the first to go through the debris removal process, has turned out to be different from what had originally been expected, underscoring the difficulties entailing the removal work. Since many companies are involved in the process, how to pass down the know-how acquired over the course of the more than 30 year-decommissioning process also poses a challenge.
“At present, it is difficult to clearly say we are going to remove all fuel debris,” said Akira Ono, who leads the decommissioning project, at a regular press conference by TEPCO on March 28, while noting that the utility will not back down from its ultimate goal of full debris removal.
If TEPCO fails to take out all debris from the nuclear plant, the very premise for dismantling the facility and returning the plot to its original state will be undermined. Such a scenario would adversely affect the disaster recovery plans envisaged by the national government and the Fukushima Prefectural Government. While awareness about the difficulty of debris removal has been shared among concerned parties, the actual dismal situation had not been recognized until TEPCO conducted the first debris survey at the No. 2 reactor on Feb. 13.
In that survey, a remotely controlled special device that was injected into the No. 2 reactor’s containment vessel succeeded in lifting portions of sediment accumulated at the bottom, which were believed to be fuel debris. Officials involved were relieved because they “had been worried the material would not move at all,” according to Ono.
The radiation level of the material, measured at a distance of some 30 centimeters, was 7.6 sieverts per hour, far less than anticipated. If the sediment contained a good portion of nuclear fuel, the radiation doses ought to have been several hundred sieverts per hour, even eight years after the 2011 nuclear meltdowns.
This finding suggested that the sediment that TEPCO came in contact with in the survey was not the main nuclear fuel debris it was looking for. Many speculate that the surface of the sediment may mainly consist of metals including cladding tubes that used to cover nuclear fuels.
The question now is whether fuel debris exists beneath the surface of the sediment or if nuclear fuel still remains within the reactor pressure vessel, or even somewhere else. There are currently no prospects for TEPCO to ascertain an accurate distributions of debris.
The material that was lifted in the survey mostly comprised pebble-like sediment, weighing less than 1 kilogram in total. Meanwhile, fuel debris generated in the core meltdowns is estimated to total 237 metric tons at the No. 2 reactor alone and a combined 880 tons at the No. 1 through No. 3 reactors.
At the No. 2 reactor, TEPCO will conduct a more detailed survey on debris possibly in the latter half of this fiscal year and attempt to collect small amounts of samples. At the No. 1 reactor, several apparatus including a robot submarine will be used to launch a full-scale survey inside the reactor to try to collect debris this fiscal year. As for the No. 3 reactor, the power company is apparently planning to prioritize removal of spent fuel, as related devices have gone through a series of glitches.
Unlike the other reactors, the No. 2 reactor did not suffer a hydrogen explosion in the 2011 disaster. Therefore, the No. 2 reactor remains the primary candidate for the first full-scale debris removal work, which is hoped to start in 2021.
With regard to the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors, the utility has yet to be able to reach materials appearing to be debris. The decommissioning of the nuclear plant is scheduled to be completed in 2051, a full 40 years after the triple meltdowns, but a concrete path toward that goal is not yet in sight.
“We have no choice but to remove whichever debris we can,” said a senior official with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Naoyuki Takaki, professor of nuclear engineering at Tokyo City University, commented, “There could ultimately be a decision to stop debris removal after pulling out as much debris as possible. In that case, we would have no option but to consider building a sarcophagus like the one at the Chernobyl nuclear plant.”

April 14, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Government must help rebuild Fukushima evacuees’ lives

 
jkjm.jpg
In this May 20, 2015, file photo, a Fukushima evacuee in her thirties is living in Tokyo with her two children. Her husband chose to stay in Fukushima for work.
 
April 8, 2019
Eight years on since the nuclear disaster, there are still many evacuees living away from their homes in other parts of the nation, unable to return to their communities after the catastrophic accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
But the situations of these Fukushima evacuees have been fading into the fog of obscurity over time.
The central government and the Fukushima prefectural government should step up their flagging efforts to grasp the realities of their life as evacuees and help them rebuild their destroyed livelihoods.
Some 40,000 former residents of areas around the nuclear plant still live away from their homes, either within or outside Fukushima Prefecture, according to statistics compiled by the Reconstruction Agency and the prefectural government. The figure is one-quarter of its peak level.
But the statistics have been criticized for failing to give a true picture of the problem.
Critics say the data is distorted by questionable government criteria for recognizing evacuees. They point out that the prefecture stopped treating people living in makeshift housing as evacuees when it terminated providing such temporary housing for free.
In many of the municipalities in areas close to the stricken nuclear plant, most local residents have not returned even after the evacuation order was lifted.
There are also people who have “voluntarily” fled their communities even though they were not in evacuation areas.
It is believed that the number of people who regard themselves as “evacuees” is far larger than 40,000. But nobody knows exactly how many.
Many Fukushima evacuees have opted not to return to their former communities after the evacuation order was lifted for various reasons. Some have already purchased new houses while living away from their homes, while others don’t want to force their children to change their schools.
Many others are hesitating to return or wavering about what to do because of concerns about the living conditions in affected areas and possible safety risks, especially radiation.
After years of living away from home, many evacuees are also struggling with problems such as reduced incomes, the difficulties of finding jobs, deteriorating health and isolation.
Some are suffering from poverty, anxiety about losing their housing due to the termination of public financial support and physical and mental illness.
The plights of these evacuees have been only partially made known by surveys of host local governments and support groups.
The government’s response to the problem has been grossly insufficient. The government conducted a survey of Fukushima evacuees last year, but it only covered former residents of areas subject to an evacuation order or other disaster response administrative action.
The government should try to see the entire and accurate picture of the problem including the situations of “voluntary evacuees” to understand what kind of support and systems are needed.
The most pressing issue for evacuees at the moment is housing. The Fukushima prefectural government and some local municipalities discontinued at the end of March most of their programs to provide free housing to evacuees from the areas where the evacuation order has been lifted as well as housing support for voluntary evacuees.
As a result, dozens of families have been left without housing. The local governments should take a more flexible stance in making such decisions. They should, for example, allow evacuees struggling with serious problems such as diseases to live in their current homes under the same conditions.
Behind the moves to cut housing support to evacuees is the policy of the central and prefectural governments of placing the top priority on encouraging them to return home.
While policy efforts to make it easier for evacuees to return to their homes are important, this policy is clearly out of tune with the realities of evacuees. These victims have come from a wide range of areas and already spent many years away from their homes.
Instead of imposing certain time frames for ending their life as evacuees, the authorities should readjust their support programs for evacuees so that they can receive effective help for any of the three options: returning to their hometowns, continuing to live as evacuees and settling down in their current communities.
The Reconstruction Agency has a particularly important role to play. Even though it often stresses its commitment to supporting evacuees and the central government’s leading role in helping these people, the agency has actually left most of the heavy lifting to the prefectural government.
The agency should take more specific actions to fulfill its responsibility to support victims of the nuclear accident that match its words.

April 14, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | | Leave a comment

(Free Tasting) Japan’s No.1 Fukushima Sake Debut to New York

https _cdn.evbuc.com_images_57159229_188385184585_1_original.jpg
by Fukushima Trade Promotion Council
Date and Time: Sat, April 27, 2019 – 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT
Location: Union Square Wine & Spirits, 140 4th Avenue, New York, NY 10003
Fukushima’s Sake Debut to New York!
Experience the best sake in Japan, without leaving NYC!!
 
Most Gold Prizes 6 years in a row in the century-old Japan Sake Awards. “Champion Sake” in 2015 and 2018 at the International Wine Challenge. Unmatched craftsmanship and the finest taste. While famous in Japan, Fukushima sake has remained a mystery to the outside world—until now!
Enjoy a FREE tasting session of premium Fukushima sake with us. Tasting session participants will receive a 20% discount for Fukushima sake purchased during event hours (while supplies last).
You will enjoy 10 sake brands! Be the first to taste these sake in New York.
1. Tenmei Hiire Junmai – Akebono Brewery
2. Tenmei Hiire Junmai Ginjo – Akebono Brewery
3. Junmai Kokken – Kokken Brewery
4. Kokken Yume no Kaori (Tokubetsu Junmai) – Kokken Brewery
5. Yamahai Junmai Kokken – Kokken Brewery
6. Daiginjo Kokken – Kokken Brewery
7. Junmai Daiginjo – Sakaegawa Brewery
8. Chidoriashi(Honjozo) – Sakaegawa Brewery
9. Kissui Hidari Uma Junmai Daiginjo – Ariga Brewery
10. Kissui Hidari Uma Junmai Ginjo – Ariga Brewery

April 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

‘Old man squad’ ends patrols of evacuated town in Fukushima

klmù.jpg
Hisatomo Suzuki, right, speaks after he and other members of the “old man squad” received flowers from town government officials in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on March 31.
April 6, 2019
OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture–A team of older residents that stayed behind to patrol this town after its residents evacuated following the March 2011 nuclear crisis has completed its mission.
The “old man squad,” as its six members called themselves, ended its six-year activities on March 31 before an evacuation order is lifted for the Ogawara and Chuyashiki districts on April 10.
Okuma Mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe and 30 town government officials visited the team’s base and expressed gratitude to the members.
To read more:

 

April 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Buses offer 1-day pass through ‘sakura’ tunnel in Fukushima

kjkpmp.jpg
Bus passengers enjoy the “somei-yoshino” cherry blossoms in the Yonomori district of Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, on April 6.
April 6, 2019
TOMIOKA, Fukushima Prefecture–For decades, locals have flocked to a 2-kilometer stretch of cherry trees in the Yonomori district here for “hanami” celebrations under the blossoms.
But the tunnel of cherry blossoms has been off-limits since the March 2011 nuclear accident at the nearby Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
And while an evacuation order for about 90 percent of Tomioka was lifted in spring 2017, most of the Yonomori district still remains designated as a difficult-to-return zone because of high radiation levels.
Town officials pleaded with the central government for an exception to allow former town residents to once again enjoy the Yonomori cherry blossoms, and their wish came true on April 6.
For the one-day only occasion, buses packed with both former residents and others were allowed to navigate under the “sakura” tunnel. In the past, hanami visitors were stopped at a barrier designating the start of the difficult-to-return zone and had to gaze at the trees from that point.
… As of April 1, only 922 people, or less than 10 percent of the registered population, resided in Tomioka…
 
… The Tomioka town government has designated about 390 hectares of the difficult-to-return zone, including the Yonomori district, as a priority area for reconstruction and resuscitation. They are hoping the evacuation order will be lifted by spring 2023 if further decontamination work continues and social infrastructure is revamped.
Read more:

April 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Evacuees can return next week to parts of Okuma, host of Fukushima nuclear plant, but few likely to

n-fukushima-a-20190406-870x581.jpg
A ceremony in the town of Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, marks the opening of the Okuma Interchange on the Joban Expressway on March 31 ahead of the partial lifting of an evacuation order for residents of the town.
April 5, 2019
The town of Okuma — which saw all of its roughly 10,000 residents evacuate after one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters, triggered by a deadly earthquake and tsunami — will allow former residents to return for the first time in eight years, the government decided. The decision was said to be based on the lower radiation levels achieved through decontamination work.
Futaba, the other town that hosts the plant, remains a no-go zone.
Despite the decision, a very small number of residents are expected to return to Okuma. As of late March, only 367 people from 138 households, or around 3.5 percent of the original population of 10,341, were registered as residents of areas where the order will be lifted.
Read more:

April 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Eight Years Later: Black Sacks and Lonely Children

As usual no mention whatsoever about the incineration of the radioactive waste by the 20 plus incinerators in activity in Fukushima Prefecture….
1
Coastal towns near the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are filled more with sacks of contaminated soil than with children. There are signs that this may be changing, though, as more areas are opened to returnees and new decontamination facilities come online.
I remember how the newsreader Andō Yūko, who visited Fukushima with me in 2014, got angry every time she saw a row of the 1-meter-high black sacks that hold contaminated topsoil.
“I don’t care how many times they say that it’s safe to return. The sight of these enormous sacks in the area completely puts you off.”
2
Bags of collected topsoil interrupt the serenity of the Fukushima landscape.
The sacks contain earth and other contaminated material that has been removed during a decontamination process in which topsoil is sheared off. With nowhere to go, the bags, each holding around 1 metric ton of soil, have been either left on site or piled on top of one another in temporary storage areas and covered with green tarpaulins.
Not all of Fukushima Prefecture has high levels of radiation. In fact, radiation levels across the majority of the prefecture are comparable with the rest of Japan. Nonetheless, an extensive area of Fukushima, particularly communities in the northeast, near Fukushima Daiichi, was decontaminated after the accident to allay public concerns. The process has produced an endless stream of black bags, many of which have been simply left at the decontaminated sites.
3
A roadside lined with black sacks.
Many people in Fukushima who I interviewed in the past told me that they disliked the ominous bags. And with no decision having been made on how the contaminated soil should ultimately be disposed of, the removal and bagging of soil only served to further increase their number.
Eight years after the accident, however, one does get the feeling that there are fewer sacks lying around. This is partly due to the construction of a medium-term storage facility, where sacks have now begun to be transported.
A Visit to the “Dark Side”
The new facility is being constructed to safely manage and store contaminated soil while it awaits final disposal. The facility straddles the towns of Ōkuma, home to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, and Futaba, in an area of the exclusion zone designated uninhabitable due to its particularly high level of radiation.
I went to see one section of the facility under construction in Ōkuma. We drove past houses where the laundry hasn’t been taken in since 2011 and parking lots filled with rusty cars before arriving at a huge pit surrounded by damlike walls.
What used to be an area of houses and fields is now a gigantic concrete-lined containment area for contaminated soil. At the time of my visit in January 2019, a total of 60,000 cubic meters of soil had already been transported to the facility.
4.jpg
Truckload after truckload of soil is dumped at the site.
This amount is scheduled to reach 4 million cubic meters in fiscal 2019 (ending in March 2020) and to climb as high as 12.5 million cubic meters in fiscal 2020— enough to fill the Tokyo Dome 10 times over.
5
The medium-term storage facility stands on what was once woods and farmland. (January 2019, Ministry of the Environment)
While at first glance work appears to be going smoothly, many issues remain. As the “medium-term” in the facility’s name suggests, no decision has been made on where the collected soil will ultimately end up. Nor has any decision been made on how the area would be returned to its original owners when that ultimate solution is agreed upon. The effects are also beginning to be felt by locals, who speak of the noise and traffic jams caused by the constant stream of dump trucks.
My guide from the Ministry of the Environment said apologetically, “There’s a bright side and a dark side to Fukushima. Today, I’ll be showing you the dark side.”
After finishing our tour of the storage facility, the soles of our shoes were meticulously checked to make sure that they had not been contaminated. It was heartbreaking to think that it would be quite some time before this area saw any of Fukushima’s “bright side.”
6
Visitors’ shoes are inspected for radiation before they can leave the site.
To read more:

April 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Unit 2; New Containment Panorama Photos

u2_lower_pedestal_2019_web

April 1, 2019

A pair of new panoramic photos from inside Fukushima unit 2’s containment have been published. TEPCO provided the photos as part of ongoing updates on the disaster decommissioning work. The photos were stitched together from earlier containment inspection work then processed to bring out details of the photos. Also included in this report is details about the radiation and temperature readings inside containment, we explain that later in this report.

To read more on Fukuleaks:

http://www.simplyinfo.org/?p=17075&fbclid=IwAR1_Q_39LzdqLkkBzP9qwYPhAUrvsnpwvdtngLB9iCkKr4o5UVKxP262Yz4

April 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Unit 1 Upcoming Inspection; What You Need To Know

ROV_A_hitachi_Unit1_web-1.jpg

 

TEPCO and the various entities tasked with dealing with the disaster clean up at Fukushima Daiichi have announced details of the upcoming inspection inside unit 1.

When: Summer 2019
Where: Inside containment of unit 1.

The inspection efforts are typically described as being done by robots. Most of the more recent inspections are actually done with ROVs (Remote Operated Vehicle). An ROV has a tether cable used to operate and power the mobile unit. This increases the complexity of the work but gives more reliability to the control of the unit.

A fleet of five robots will be used to complete the work. Each of these ROV units is roughly the weight of a large dog, making them the largest inspection “robots” used inside containment to date. A smaller ROV will be used to visually monitor the other units as they conduct their work. A set of eight rings will first be installed inside containment. These act as route guides for the ROV units and keep the tether cable from becoming entangled in structures inside containment. Then each ROV unit will be used separately to do a specific task related to the planned inspections.

To read more on Fukuleaks:

http://www.simplyinfo.org/?p=17067&fbclid=IwAR2nfff6HvOJTxcuAcDOTmghMSl9RSq6ASusdSt1o8Ydmaw9f0kISfq3u8g

April 8, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reality of Fukushima – 2019

I remember in 2011 or 2012, a deal between a US company and the Japanese government, buying geiger counters, which failed because the Japanese government wanted that US company to under-calibrate its Geiger-counters, which the US company refused to do. So it is quite possible that all those public monitors have been under-calibrated….

A message from Yayoi Hitomi, March 2019

April 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

REMEMBER FUKUSHIMA

“We must never forget this catastrophe …We must continue to counter the efforts of the Japanese Government, TEPCO, academics and official bodies to minimise its effects and to ignore the past.” Caroline Lucas MP re Fukushima, 19 March 2019

version-2-2.jpgL to R: Asami Yokota, Fukushima resident mother; Kaori (interpreting); Akiko Morimatsu, Fukushima evacuee mother; Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party, Host and Chair; Dr Ian Fairlie, independant consultant on radioactivity in the environment.

Caroline Lucas MP, host and chair of the Remember Fukushima Parliamentary public meeting on 19 March 2019, opened the meeting with the following speech:

“Eight years ago on March 11 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was triggered in Fukushima Prefecture about 150 miles north of Tokyo. Over the ensuing weeks, four explosions and three nuclear meltdowns occurred, over 160,000 people were evacuated and radioactive emissions were scattered over large tracts of Japan.

In 2012, an Investigative Panel of theJapanese National Diet (ie Parliament) concluded that the Fukushima disaster was “… profoundly man-made and was caused by a disregard of the risks of earthquakes by an industry determined to preserve the illusion that nuclear power was absolutely safe.” The Panel attributed the accident to the “collusion” of government, regulator and industry to gamble the public’s well-being on lowering the high cost of safety from an inherently dangerous technology.

The disaster continues to this day, and is still causing immense problems.

Unresolved issues include:

  • Many tonnes of melted nuclear fuel remain in an unstable state under reactors 1, 2 and 3
  • An estimated 300 tonnes of contaminated water are dumped daily into the Pacific Ocean. This water is needed to keep cool the melted nuclear fuel which must not be allowed to melt again.
  • Many millions of cubic metres of contaminated soil remain in huge temporary dumps, with no clear idea on where they will be stored in the long-term.
  • According to NHK World Japan, over 50,000 evacuees remain in temporary accommodation. Despite Government pressure to return to so-called ‘cleaned up’ towns, most evacuees are reluctant to do so.

Official TEPCO accounts of the accident and its toll are unreliable. The most comprehensive unofficial account is by the Simply Info Team in the US. Their March 2019 report (33 pages, 9 MB) can be downloaded at http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/SimplyInfoOrg_2019_annual_report_Fukushima_finalc.pdf

The toll of Fukushima is fearsome. Over 7% of the land area of Japan was contaminated to a serious level. Official reports state over 3,600 people have died as a result of the nuclear disaster, including over 2,000 during the evacuations necessary to avoid the large radiation exposures. Over 180 additional cases of thyroid cancer have been recorded in children and teenagers so far: more are expected.  From official WHO collective dose estimates, over 5,000 other cancers will also occur. Reports are now trickling out of other health effects, including recent spikesin congenital heart disease in infants.

But these are just the reported health studies. Who is counting the just as serious numbers of suicides, mental health effects, ‘nuclear’ divorces, and families who remain geographically apart? We shall hear shortly first hand testimonies of these effects.

The restoration, clean up, compensation and recovery costs are immense. The Japan Centre for Economic Research calculates these will range from £240 to £560 billion, about four times higher than Japanese Government estimates.

But we shall probably never know the true full costs of Fukushima.

We must never forget this catastrophe. That is why we are meeting here tonight. We must continue to counter the efforts of the Japanese Government, TEPCO, academics and official bodies to minimise its effects and to ignore the past. This, unbelievably, includes holding some events of the 2020 Olympic Games in contaminated parts of Tokyo and Fukushima Prefecture.

I should briefly mention that the legal fight for compensation is a major issue in Japan. Many court cases are being brought by Fukushima evacuees, parents and others and are now reaching an important stage. Two major class actions are the “Children’s Rights Trial”, which demands that local governments recognize the right of primary and secondary school students of Fukushima Prefecture to enjoy education in a healthy environment. Second the “Parent+Child Trial” which seeks compensation from the Fukushima prefectural and Japanese central governments.

This meeting is about Fukushima, but I wish briefly to refer to the UK situation as it has Japanese parallels. Here, two Japanese multinationals, Toshiba and Hitachi, recently indicated that they no longer wish to proceed with their proposed nuclear reactors in Cumbria and in Wales.  (A third, Mitsubishi, withdrew from its proposed reactors in Turkey 6 months ago.) They are all withdrawing from their nuclear businesses even as the Japanese Government and TEPCO are still pushing for the reopening of old reactors closed after the accident. Why are these Japanese nuclear conglomerates pulling out of nuclear?  A major factor has been the increased costs of safety features in new reactors now required after Fukushima.

I should like now to introduce our speakers tonight.

We warmly welcome to Britain three Japanese mothers from Fukushima, Akiko Morimatsu, Asami Yokota and Ms Sonoda who have been travelling throughout Europerecounting how they were affected and continue to be affected by the disaster.

Initially, Dr Ian Fairlie,an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment and former scientist within DEFRA, our Government’s environment department, will set the scene, and later make some concluding remarks.”

Video of Caroline Lucas delivering the speech

version-2-1.jpg

“We must never forget this catastrophe …We must continue to counter the efforts of the Japanese Government, TEPCO, academics and official bodies to minimise its effects and to ignore the past.” Caroline Lucas MP re Fukushima, 19 March 2019

April 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

KEPCO to ship MOX nuclear fuel assemblies from France in 2020

klmùmùù.jpgA worker shows mixed oxide (MOX) fuel assemblies, which are the same type as those to be transported to Japan, in Marcoule, France, on March 14.

March 31, 2019

MARCOULE, France–Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO) plans to transport 32 plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel assemblies from France to Japan in 2020 at the earliest to help reduce its stockpile overseas.

KEPCO plans to use the MOX fuel in the No. 3 and the No. 4 reactors of its Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, which would reduce its plutonium overseas by about one ton from the current 11 tons.

The MOX fuel was produced in France using plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel generated in Japanese nuclear power plants.

KEPCO, based in Osaka, had asked French nuclear fuel company Orano (formerly Areva) to reprocess the spent nuclear fuel and extract plutonium from it.

The plans were revealed to The Asahi Shimbun by an Orano executive.

In July 2018, the Japanese government announced a goal of decreasing the total volume of plutonium, which is stockpiled in Japan and overseas by Japanese companies, from the current 47 tons.

Japanese companies must reduce their plutonium stockpiles before a reprocessing facility in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, starts operations in 2021 to extract plutonium.

In 2017, Orano concluded a contract with KEPCO to produce 32 MOX fuel assemblies.

Under the contract, Orano has extracted plutonium from spent nuclear fuel, which was transported from Japan, in its reprocessing plant in La Hague in northern France.

The French company plans to transport the plutonium to its facility in Marcoule, southern France, within 2019 to start production of MOX fuel.

Then, the MOX fuel will be transported from a port in Cherbourg, northern France, to the Takahama nuclear power plant in Japan on a sea route in 2020 at the earliest.

Since the 1970s, Japanese electric power companies have entrusted British and French firms to reprocess their spent nuclear fuel to promote nuclear fuel recycling.

Currently, MOX fuel is used in four reactors in Japan: the No. 3 and the No. 4 reactors of the Takahama plant; the No. 3 reactor of the Genkai nuclear power plant operated by Kyushu Electric Power Co.; and the No. 3 reactor of the Ikata nuclear power plant run by Shikoku Electric Power Co.

However, MOX fuel must be used at 16 to 18 reactors to steadily decrease the plutonium stockpile of Japanese companies overseas and up to seven tons of plutonium to be extracted at the Rokkasho facility a year.

If Japan’s stockpile of plutonium, which can be used as a raw material for nuclear weapons, increases, the country could be criticized by the international society.

Since 2018, the Japanese government has asked electric power companies to offer their plutonium to each other to decrease their stockpiles, particularly those overseas.

In the future, the three electric power companies of Kansai, Kyushu and Shikoku that are using MOX fuel could obtain plutonium from Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Chubu Electric Power Co., both of which can’t reduce their stockpiles as their reactors are idled.

“In order to decrease stockpiles, it is most efficient to burn MOX fuel at Japanese nuclear power plants,” said Orano CEO Philippe Knoche.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201903310031.html?fbclid=IwAR3fLXPEpkjjS077woz09ocweWoFpmJt8T-Yb3NID3fTJ9jF-IUdyUmAW6I

April 8, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima: “An Ongoing Global Radiological Catastrophe”. “A Huge Coverup”. Dr. Helen Caldicott

Caldicott

March 21, 2019

Transcript of 8th anniversary interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott

By Dr. Helen Caldicott and Michael Welch

The eight year anniversary of the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility passed mostly without comment in mainstream media circles. In spite of ongoing radiological contamination that will continue to spread and threaten human health for lifetimes to come, other stories dominate the international news cycle. The climate change conundrum, serious though it may be, seemingly crowds out all other clear and present environmental hazards.

As part of efforts to normalize this historic event and cover it up in its magnitude, the Japanese government has invested considerable financial, public relations and other resources into what they are billing the ‘Recovery Olympics‘ set to take place in a year’s time in Tokyo. 

But Helen Caldicott warns that the dangers associated with Fukushima have not gone away and remain a cause for concern. 

Dr. Helen Caldicott has been an author, physician and one of the world’s leading anti-nuclear campaigners. She helped to reinvigorate the group of Physicians for Social Responsibility, acting as president from 1978 to 1983. Since its founding in 2001 she served as president of the US based Nuclear Policy Research Institute later called Beyond Nuclear which initiates symposia and educational projects aimed at informing the public about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and nuclear war. And she is the editor of the 2014 book, Crisis Without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe.

On the week marking the eighth anniversary of the Fukushima meltdowns, the Global Research News Hour radio program, hosted by Michael Welch, reached out to Dr. Caldicott to get her expert opinion on the health dangers posed by the most serious nuclear disaster since, at least, the 1986 Chernobyl event.

Global Research: Now the Japanese government is preparing to welcome visitors to Japan for the 2020 Olympic Games, and coverage of the 8th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster is hardly, it seems to me, registered given the significant radiological and other dangers that you cited and your authors cited in your 2014 book, Crisis Without End. Now it’s been more than four years since that book came out. I was hoping you could update our listenership on what is currently being recognized as the main health threats in 2019, perhaps not registered in the book, that you’re currently looking at in relation to the Fukushima meltdown.

Helen Caldicott: Well it’s difficult because the Japanese government has authorized really only examination of thyroid cancer. Now thyroid cancer is caused by radioactive iodine and there were many, many cases of that after Chernobyl. And already, they’ve looked at children under the age of 18 in the Fukushima prefecture at the time of the accident, and … how many children… 100…no 201 by June 18 last year… 201 had developed thyroid cancer. Some cancers had metastasized. The incidence of thyroid cancer in that population normally is 1 per million. So obviously it’s an epidemic of thyroid cancer and it’s just starting now.

What people need to understand is the latent period of carcinogenesis, ie the time after exposure to radiation when cancers develop is any time from 3 years to 80 years. And so it’s a very, very long period. Thyroid cancers appear early. Leukemia appears about 5 to 10 years later. They’re not looking for leukemia. Solid cancers of every organ, or any organ as such appear about 15 years later and continue and in fact the Hibakusha from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki who are still alive are still developing cancers in higher than normal numbers.

The Japanese government has told doctors that they are not to talk to their patients about radiation and illnesses derived thereof, and in fact if the doctors do do that, they might lose their funding from the government. The IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency interestingly set up a hospital – a cancer hospital – in Fukushima along with the Fukushima University for people with cancer, which tells you everything.

So there’s a huge, huge cover up. I have been to Japan twice and particularly to Fukushima and spoken to people there and the parents are desperate to hear the truth even if it’s not good truth. And they thanked me for telling them the truth. So it’s an absolute medical catastrophe I would say, and a total cover up to protect the nuclear industry and all its ramifications.

GR: Now, are we talking about some of the, the contamination that happened 8 years ago or are we talking about ongoing emissions from, for example–

HC: Well there are ongoing emissions into the air consistently, number one. Number two, a huge amount of water is being stored –over a million gallons in tanks at the site. That water is being siphoned off from the reactor cores, the damaged melted cores. Water is pumped consistently every day, every hour, to keep the cores cool in case they have another melt. And that water, of course, is extremely contaminated.

Now they say they’ve filtered out the contaminants except for the tritium which is part of the water molecule, but they haven’t. There’s strontium, cesium, and many other elements in that water – it’s highly radioactive – and because there isn’t enough room to build more tanks, they’re talking about emptying all that water into the Pacific Ocean and the fishermen are very, very upset. The fish already being caught off Fukushima, some are obviously contaminated. But this will be a disaster.

Water comes down from the mountains behind the reactors, flows underneath the reactors into the sea and always has. And when the reactors were in good shape, the water was fine, didn’t get contaminated. But now the three molten cores in contact with that water flowing under the reactors and so the water flowing into the Pacific is very radioactive and that’s a separate thing from the million gallons or more in those tanks.

They put up a refrigerated wall of frozen dirt around the reactors to prevent that water from the mountains flowing underneath the reactors, which has cut down the amount of water flowing per day from 500 tons to about a hundred and fifty. But of course, if they lose electricity, that refrigeration system is going to fail, and it’s a transient thing anyway so it’s ridiculous. In terms… So over time the Pacific is going to become more and more radioactive.

They talk about decommissioning and removing those molten cores. When robots go in and try and have a look at them, their wiring just melts and disappears. They’re extraordinarily radioactive. No human can go near them because they would die within 48 hours from the radiation exposure. They will never, and I quote never, decommission those reactors. They will never be able to stop the water coming down from the mountains. And so, the truth be known, it’s an ongoing global radiological catastrophe which no one really is addressing in full.

GR: Do we have a better reading on, for example the thyroids, but also leukemia incubation—

HC: No they’re not looking–well, leukemia they’re not looking for leukemia…

GR: Just thyroid

HC: They’re not charting it. So the only cancer they’re looking at is thyroid cancer and that’s really high, and you know it’s at 201 have already been diagnosed and some have metastasized. And a very tight lid is being kept on any other sort of radiation related illnesses and leukemia and the like. All the other cancers and the like, and leukemia is so… It’s not just a catastrophe it’s a…

GR: …a cover up

HC: Yeah. I can’t really explain how I feel medically about it. It’s just hideous.

GR: Well I have a brother who’s a physician, who was pointing to well we should maybe, the World Health Organization is a fairly authoritative body of research for all of the indicators and epidemiological aspects of this, but you seem to suggest the World Health Organization may not be that reliable in light of the fact that they are partnered with the IAEA. Is that my understanding…?

HC: Correct. They signed a document, I think in ‘59, with the IAEA that they would not report any medical effects of radiological disasters and they’ve stuck to that. So they are in effect in this area part of the International Atomic Energy Agency whose mission is to promote nuclear power. So don’t even think about the WHO. it’s really obscene.

GR: So what would… the incentive would be simply that they got funding?

HC: I don’t know. I really don’t know but they sold themselves to the devil.

GR: That’s pretty incredible. So there’s also the issue of biomagnification in the oceans, where you have radioactive debris, hundreds of tons of this radioactive water getting into the oceans and biomagnifying up through the food chain, so these radioactive particles can get inside our bodies. Could you speak to what you anticipate to see, what you would anticipate, whether it’s recorded by World Health authorities or not, what we could expect to see in the years ahead in terms of the illnesses that manifest themselves?

HC: Well number one, Fukushima is a very agricultural prefecture. Beautiful, beautiful peaches, beautiful food, and lots of rice. And the radiation spread far and wide through the Fukushima prefecture, and indeed they have been plowing up millions and millions of tons of radioactive dirt and storing it in plastic bags all over the prefecture. The mountains are highly radioactive and every time it rains, down comes radiation with the water. So the radiation – the elements. And there are over 200 radioactive elements made in a nuclear reactor. Some have lives of seconds and some have lives of millions of years or lasts for millions of years will I say. So there are many many isotopes, long-lasting isotopes – cesium, strontium, tritium is another one – but many, many on the soil in Fukushima.

And what happens is – you talked about biomagnification – when the plants take up the water from the soil, they take up the cesium which is a potassium analog – it resembles potassium. Strontium 90 resembles calcium and the like. And these elements get magnified by orders of magnitude in the rice and in the plants. And so when you eat food that is grown in Fukushima, the chances are it’s going to be relatively radioactive.

They’ve been diluting radioactive rice with non-radioactive rice to make it seem a bit better. Now, into the ocean go these isotopes as well, and the algae bio-magnify them by – you know -ten to a hundred times or more. And then the crustaceans eat the algae, bio-magnify it more. The little fish eat the crustaceans, the big fish eat the little fish and the like. And tuna found in – off the coast of California some years ago contained isotopes from Fukushima. Also fish, being caught on the west coast of California contained some of these isotopes. So, it’s an ongoing bio-magnification catastrophe.

And the thing is that you can’t even taste, smell or see radioactive elements in your food. They’re invisible. And it takes a long time for cancers to occur. And you can’t identify a particular cancer caused by a particular substance or isotope. You can only identify that problem by doing epidemiological studies comparing irradiated people with non-irradiated people to see what the cancer levels are and that data comes from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and many, many, many other studies.

GR: Chernobyl as well, no?

HC: Oh, Chernobyl! Well, a wonderful book was produced by the, uh, Russians, and published by the New York Academy of Sciences, called Chernobyl with over 5000 on the ground studies of children and diseases in Belarus and the Ukraine, and all over Europe. And by now over a million people have already died from the Chernobyl disaster. And many diseases have been caused by that, including premature aging in children, microcephaly in babies, very small heads, diabetes, leukemia, I mean, I could go on and on.

Um, and those diseases which have been very well described in that wonderful book, um, which everyone should read, are not being addressed or identified or looked for in the Fukushima or Japanese population.

May I say that parts of Tokyo are extremely radioactive. People have been measuring the dirt from rooves of apartments, from the roadway, from vacuum cleaner dust. And some of these samples, they’re so radioactive that they would classify to be buried in radioactive waste facilities in America. So, that’s number one.

Number two, to have the Olympics in Fukushima just defies imagination. And uh, some of the areas where the athletes are going to be running, the dust and dirt there has been measured, and it’s highly radioactive. So, this is Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, who set this up to – as a sort of way to obscure what Fukushima really means. And those young athletes, you know, who are – and young people are much more sensitive to radiation, developing cancers later than older people – it’s just a catastrophe waiting to happen.

GR: Dr. Caldicott…

HC:They’re calling it the radioactive Olympics!

GR: (Chuckle). Is there anything that people can do, you know, whether they live in Japan or, say, the west coast of North America to mitigate the effects that this disaster has had, and may still be having eight years later?

HC: Yes. Do not eat any Japanese food because you don’t know where it’s sourced. Do not eat fish from Japan, miso, rice, you name it. Do not eat Japanese food. Period. Um, fish caught off the west coast of Canada and America, well, they’re not testing the fish so I don’t know what you’d do. Um, I mean, most of it’s probably not radioactive but you don’t know because you can’t taste it.

Um they’ve closed down the air-borne radioactive measuring instruments off the west coast of America, uh, but that’s pretty bad, because there still could be another huge accident at those reactors.

For instance, if there’s another large earthquake, number one, all those tanks would be destroyed and the water would pour into the Pacific. Number two, there could be another meltdown, a release – huge release of radiation, um, from the damaged reactors. So, things are very tenuous, but they’re not just tenuous now. They’re going to be tenuous forever.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-an-ongoing-global-radiological-catastrophe-a-huge-coverup-dr-helen-caldicott/5672265?fbclid=IwAR2yWNJN9-C7iGm08V1F7ZCKg_kVcL-WzPi2ftoMScrLEmSstrMKlV3BNG4

April 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO, despite financial woes, still thinking to make donations

gghkk
March 30, 2019
Saddled with massive outlays following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the parent company of Tokyo Electric Power Co. is only able to keep going through the injection of public funds.
Yet, it has emerged the company now feels it is in a position to donate about 200 million yen ($1.8 million) to a village in Aomori Prefecture through a special tax program that allows firms making payments to receive a corporate tax break.
The donations would underwrite the cost of three projects totaling 800 million yen that the village of Higashidori hopes will revitalize its economy. One program is for branding local farm and fishery products.
TEPCO gained approval in January 2011 to construct a nuclear power plant in Higashidori, and the initial plan was to begin operations in March 2017.
But the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that triggered the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant led to an indefinite postponement of construction work. The village had anticipated property tax revenues after the nuclear plant was constructed, but has had to undertake stiff fiscal belt-tightening instead. A number of inns in the village have since closed.
TEPCO Holdings on March 29 proposed the donation for fiscal 2018 to the village and also indicated it was prepared to make another donation for fiscal 2019.
Its largesse is at odds with the fact that TEPCO is effectively under state control, given the huge amounts of public funds pumped into the utility to keep it afloat.
It also faces crippling costs in decommissioning the stricken Fukushima plant and compensating victims of the nuclear accident.
Given the situation, eyebrows will likely be raised if donations are made to local municipalities that play host to nuclear plants seeking to resume operations or serve as candidate sites for new plants.
Read more:

March 31, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment