Gov. Ryuichi Yoneyama receives flowers on his first day in office Tuesday at the Niigata Prefectural Government office in the city of Niigata
NIIGATA – On his first day in office, Niigata Gov. Ryuichi Yoneyama reiterated his opposition to an early restart of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant.
“I can’t discuss (the matter) while the investigation is still in progress,” Yoneyama told a news conference Tuesday, referring to the probe into the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.
“I can’t accept a resumption of the plant’s operation under what I understand as the current situation,” he said.
Having never before held public office, Yoneyama won a landslide victory on Oct. 16. His campaign stressed his negative stance toward the restart of the power plant that straddles the village of Kariwa and the city of Kashiwazaki.
Operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., it is the biggest nuclear power plant in the world.
Supported by three opposition parties — the Japanese Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Party — Yoneyama defeated a candidate backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito.
At his inaugural news conference, Yoneyama expressed his intention to “thoroughly investigate” the Fukushima crisis.
He referred to Tepco’s failure to quickly disclose the meltdowns at Fukushima No. 1, which a joint committee of the Niigata Prefectural Government and the company is currently investigating.
The matter will be “scrutinized to an extent at which guidelines to judge (nuclear plant) safety can be drawn up,” Yoneyama said, expressing his hope of hashing out a conclusion by the end of his four-year term.
He said he hopes to hold talks with the central government and Tepco soon on the possible restart. “It’s important to confirm each other’s positions,” he observed.
At a news conference in Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said there is no change in the central government’s policy of pursuing a restart of any reactor that has passed a Nuclear Regulation Authority safety examination.
“We hope to secure local support while listening sufficiently to the new governor,” Suga said.
Another one after so many others. Always nice to read so as to reduce the anxiety of the Fukushima people who have to live with that contamination.
But does it truly works? Or is it just another soothing story cooked by the ETHOS project whose only intent is to make people stay put in the contaminated areas, the costs of evacuation being too high…
A heap of sludge produced in papermaking
FUJI, Shizuoka Prefecture–Charcoal from paper mill sludge that once polluted the ocean here southwest of Tokyo could be used to restore contaminated land near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
An experiment in 2011 showed that the charcoal is effective in reducing radioactive substances in soil and preventing the absorption of cesium by plants, said research leader Ai Van Tran.
Tran, 68, a doctor in agricultural science, was conducting the research for the Corelex Group that includes Corelex Shin-ei Mfg. Co., which has the largest share of recycled toilet paper in Japan.
“We would be delighted if our byproduct, which was once a source of environmental pollution, is useful in decontamination. It will also contribute to reducing the waste from papermaking, so it is killing two birds with one stone,” said Satoshi Kurosaki, the president of the Corelex Shin-ei.
In making recycled paper, about 30 percent of the raw material remains as sludge. In 2002, the Corelex Group developed “blacklite,” a type of activated carbon produced by burning paper sludge. It has a variety of useful properties such as soil conditioning, deodorizing, underfloor humidity control, melting snow and more.
The company produces blacklite from the paper sludge generated at a paper mill in Hokkaido, and it is used at golf courses and farms on the island.
After the radioactive fallout from the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant contaminated a vast area, the team, led by Tran, suggested conducting a trial to use the absorbent property of blacklite to decontaminate the soil.
Between May and October 2011, the company rented about 1,000 square meters of rice fields in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture. It is one of the most heavily contaminated areas. The team grew rice in soil containing blacklite, and compared the amount of radioactivity in the rice with crops grown on soil with no blacklite.
The result was clear.
The rice harvested from the paddies that contained blacklite had just one-35th of the amount of radioactive cesium that was found in the rice grown on untreated soil. The cesium concentration in the treated soil was about half that in the untreated soil.
Also, the rice in the paddies with blacklite showed much better growth than the other crop.
As the ingredients of blacklite is industrial waste, it only costs about 500 yen ($4.80) for a 30-liter bag.
The enormous amount of soil removed from the surface of the ground in Fukushima Prefecture in the decontamination effort has been bagged and piled up at a temporary storage site. It is waiting to be transferred to an interim storage facility, which is still under construction.
It is expected to take a significant amount of time to process this soil and concerns have been raised over radiation leakage in the meantime.
Tran, who is originally from Vietnam, and his team have acquired the patent for a new method to contain radiation by mixing contaminated soil with blacklite and then sealing it in a tank made of concrete.
It is believed that the soil is gradually decontaminated when an ion exchange process occurs between the mineral in blacklite and the radioactive cesium in the soil.
Tran’s paper on his team’s experiments attracted attention in the United States, and he has been invited to speak at an international conference on nuclear chemistry scheduled for December in Texas.
The research is still in its early stages, but the Corelex Group has contacted the economy ministry to ask whether blacklite can be used in the decontamination project in Fukushima in the future.
Japan to burn irradiated wood to create electricity, releasing gases to the environment AGAIN! Safe disposal?
“Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection declined to comment on the process of burning radioactive waste in Fukushima. Entrade’s biomass units will be located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the Tepco reactors, said Uhlig.”
A lone tree inside exclusion zone, close to the devastated Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant in February 2016.
Radioactive Fukushima Wood Becomes Power in German Machine
- Entrade contracts 20 megawatts of power sales to Fukushima
- Lighty radiated wood turned to power in 400 biomass plants
Japan is turning to a small German company to generate power from timber irradiated by the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear meltdowns.
Closely held Entrade Energiesysteme AG will sell electricity from 400 of its container-sized biomass-to-power machines set up in Fukushima Prefecture, said the Dusseldorf-based company’s Chief Executive Officer Julien Uhlig. The devices will generate 20 megawatts of power by next year and function like a “biological battery” that kicks in when the sun descends on the the region’s solar panels, he said.
Selling green power with Entrade’s mobile units could support Japanese attempts to repopulate a region that’s struggled to restore normality after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami killed 18,000 people while also triggering the Fukushima nuclear meltdown that dislocated 160,000 others. The prefecture aims to generate 100 percent of its power from renewable energy by 2040.
Entrade’s so-called E4 plants, four of which fit inside a 40-foot (12-meter) container, can reduce the mass of lightly irradiated wood waste by 99.5 percent, according to Uhlig. Shrinking the volume of waste could help Japanese authorities who need to reduce the volume of contaminated materials. Workers around Fukushima have been cleaning by scraping up soil, moss and leaves from contaminated surfaces and sealing them in containers.
“Burning won’t destroy radiation but we can shrink detritus to ash and create a lot of clean power at the same time,” said Uhlig, a former German government employee, in a phone call from Tokyo on Oct. 21. “There’s a lot of excitement about this project but I also detected a high degree of reluctance in Fukushima to talk about radiation.”
The decommissioning of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc.’s stricken plant is set to take as long as four decades and the government estimates environmental clean-up costs may balloon to $3.3 trillion yen ($31.5 billion) through March 2018.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in March that Japan cannot forgo nuclear power. His government wants about a fifth of Japan’s power generated by nuclear by 2030, compared with almost 30 percent before three reactors melted down at the Fukushima plant.
Currently, just two of the nation’s 42 operable nuclear reactors are running, which has translated into higher costs for imported fossil fuels as well as more greenhouse gas emissions.
Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection declined to comment on the process of burning radioactive waste in Fukushima. Entrade’s biomass units will be located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the Tepco reactors, said Uhlig.
Entrade’s biomass plants, which rely partly on technology developed by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute, are “compactors” of lightly irradiated waste, said Uhlig. The “all in the box” technology is attractive to environmentally-conscious clients who have a steady stream of bio waste but don’t want to invest in a plant, he said.
Uhlig’s company is cooperating with London’s Gatwick Airport to turn food waste from airlines into power. Royal Bank of Scotland financed another project supplying power from 200 units to an industrial estate near Liverpool, U.K.
Entrade has experimented with 130 types of biofuel since beginning operation in 2009. The company claims its plants convert biomass to power with 85 percent efficiency.
“It’s a bit like mixing muesli, taking what’s available from clients or the locality and blending it,” said Uhlig.
Entrade is moving its headquarters to Los Angeles to generate investment capital and help meet demand in the U.S. and Caribbean, he said. The company has 250 units in California and can hardly keep up with demand, Uhlig said.
“The government has estimated that decontaminating the areas around the Fukushima plant, including removing radiated topsoil, buildings and trees, will cost at least 2.5 trillion yen ($24 billion).
But experts have been warning that such estimates may be too optimistic.”
Workers check storage tanks of radiation-contaminated water at tsunami-crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northern Japan, on March 24, 2015.
Japan’s estimate of dismantling the Fukushima nuclear plant is ballooning far beyond the utility’s estimate of 2 trillion yen ($19 billion).
A government study released Tuesday found decommissioning the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant already has cost 80 billion yen ($770 million) over the last three years.
The plant suffered multiple reactor meltdowns due to damage from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The ministry overseeing nuclear power said the decommissioning costs will continue at several hundreds of billions of yen (billions of dollars) a year.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility that operated and is now decommissioning Fukushima Dai-ichi, has said decommissioning will take several decades.
Even if it were to take 30 years at an estimated annual cost at 300 billion yen ($3 billion), both conservative projections, the cost would be nearly 1 billion yen or $100 billion.
TEPCO spokesman Shinichi Nakakuki declined comment on the government projection, but he acknowledged TEPCO was still trying to determine what exactly the decommissioning effort might involve.
“It is difficult to calculate the entire cost for the decommissioning,” he said, adding that the 2 trillion yen figure had so far taken into account the effort to remove the nuclear debris, taking the example of Three Mile Island in the U.S., as well as costs and equipment needed to keep the reactors stable.
A security guard stands guard on one of the totally empty main streets in Namie, a town north of Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Fukushima Prefecture, northern Japan, 09 March 2016.
The study did not distinguish between costs borne by the government and borne by TEPCO, which received a government bailout.
Japan has been struggling to clean up parts of the no-go zone to put the worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl behind it.
The government has estimated that decontaminating the areas around the Fukushima plant, including removing radiated topsoil, buildings and trees, will cost at least 2.5 trillion yen ($24 billion).
But experts have been warning that such estimates may be too optimistic. The nuclear disaster in Fukushima displaced about 150,000 people.
Miyagi Prefecture to Request Municipalities to Dispose by Incineration the 8,000 Becquerels Below Contaminated Waste
The radioactive waste generated by the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident will be disposed in accordance to the contaminated waste standard disposal methods of the country. All to be incinerated in the Miyagi Prefecture existing waste treatment facilities.
First of all, they plan to have incineration tests beginning next year, testing incineration in various municipalities facilities, collecting data during approximately 6 months so as to confirm the safety of the concentration in the incinerated ash. Intending to embark on full-scale incineration from the middle of next year, 2017.
The Miyagi Prefecture summarizes its disposal policy : because the procedure for the disposal of contaminated waste above 8000 becquerels takes a long time, we decided to proceed with the disposal of substandard contaminated waste first.
As a specific method, contaminated waste will be burned while mixed with general waste so as not to exceed again radioactive concentration criteria. In addition, some municipalities which stored large volumes of contaminated waste and may not be able to handle it fully on their own, will get help from other municipalities facilities for disposal.
Next month, the Miyagi Prefecture will open the municipal mayors conference, during which it will the municipalities cooperation.
The cost of cleaning up Tokyo Electric Power’s wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant may rise to several billion dollars a year, from less than US$800 million now, Japan’s industry ministry said on Tuesday.
The increased cost projections appeared in ministry documents prepared for a panel tasked with devising a viable financial plan for the utility company known as Tepco, which is struggling to cope with rising costs at its Fukushima plant nearly six years after the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
Japan’s Minister of the Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko, told reporters after the panel meeting, its second, that the government will provide a firmer estimate for annual decommissioning costs for the nuclear plant by the end of the year,
Surging decommissioning costs are being addressed by the panel but it is also looking into options including a break up of Tepco, which is under state control after an earthquake and tsunami sparked meltdowns at the Fukushima reactors in March 2011.
“A combination among nuclear operators is one possibility,” Yojiro Hatakeyama, a director at the industry ministry overseeing the electricity and gas industries, told reporters.
He did not elaborate on the government’s estimate for annual decommissioning costs after repeated questioning from reporters.
Experts say any move to merge atomic operations is likely to meet strong resistance from Japan’s other nuclear operators.
Japan has 10 nuclear operators and all have been hit by the political fallout from the disaster, which has undermined public faith in atomic energy. All but two of Japan’s 42 reactors are in shutdown mode.
Tepco shares were up 1 per cent by 0509 GMT, while the general market and other operators also gained.
The briefing material for the panel said the clean-up may require several hundred billion yen, or several billion US dollars, of funds every year, compared with 80 billion yen (US$766 million) now.
And these estimates are likely to surge when the company and the government decide how to extract melted uranium fuel debris at the plant in 2018 or 2019, a person with direct knowledge of discussions on restructuring Tepco said earlier this month.
The meltdowns of three reactors released radiation over a wide area, contaminating water, food and air, and forcing more than 160,000 people to evacuate.
Dismantling the reactors is expected to take about 40 years, but Tepco is still struggling to contain radioactive water from the plant and has said it can’t predict the eventual total costs of the clean-up and decommissioning.
Tepco wants the government to consider introducing rules to avoid having to book a single huge exceptional loss as soon as cost estimates for decommissioning become clearer, a person familiar with the situation said earlier.
Certificates of training in radioactive decontamination work were issued by a company in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, to workers who had received no such training.
NIHONMATSU, Fukushima Prefecture–A company has admitted to not giving the required special training to workers before dispatching them to carry out decontamination work in radiation-hit Fukushima city.
A subcontractor called “Zerutech Tohoku” issued at least 100 bogus certificates to its workers showing they had completed the training, when, in fact, they had done nothing, according to the Fukushima Labor Standards Inspection Office.
The office had warned the subcontractor, which is based in Nihonmatsu and decontaminates parts of nearby Fukushima city, which was affected by the 2011 nuclear disaster, that it should give special training to workers to prepare them for the task.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare requires decontamination operators be given at least 5.5 hours of special training to each individual in accordance with the Industrial Safety and Health Law.
The training includes a lecture on potential health hazards and how to operate decontamination equipment as their job involves handling soil polluted by radioactive materials.
The 52-year-old representative of the company admitted wrongdoing in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun.
“We had to hire a large number of workers over a short period of time since we received a contract involving a vast swath of land,” he said of the false certificates, of which between 100 and 150 have been discovered.
In addition, the company, a fourth-tier subcontractor, issued seven other kinds of certificates needed to operate an aerial vehicle or chain saw, which were required to land the cleanup contract.
For issuing false certificates, offenders could be imprisoned for up to six months or fined 500,000 yen ($4,800).
But the law has been criticized for having numerous loopholes.
One is that there is not test of workers’ knowledge after they have received the training.
The operators are also not required to register the certificates with municipal authorities.
And it is not specified what qualifications are required for the person who conducts the training.
The Labor Standards office, a regional arm of the health ministry, has been inspecting the company for breaches of the law and regulations on decontamination work since Oct. 19.
The Zerutech Tohoku representative founded the company in March last year.
FUKUSHIMA — It may be impossible to measure the radioactive contaminant concentrations of water leeching from soil and other waste produced by the Fukushima nuclear disaster cleanup at 31 temporary waste storage sites in Fukushima Prefecture due to a planning flaw, a Board of Audit inspection has found.
The cleanup waste is put in bags, put in piles and covered with a waterproof tarp at the temporary disposal sites. These piles are built atop a low convex mound of earth, which is also covered with a tarp and is supposed to funnel the water leeching out of the waste into underground tanks. Contaminant concentration measurements are then taken from these tanks.
However, though many temporary disposal sites have been built on soft ground such as agricultural land, apparently no provisions were made for land subsidence — the earth being pushed down by the pressure of the waste bags — during planning.
The Board of Audit chose 34 of the 106 disposal sites in the prefecture for inspection. The 34 sites were spread across five municipalities, had waste piles five to six bags (or about 5 meters) high, and had been established in the four years up to fiscal 2015. Of these, the earth beneath the waste stack had subsided — going from convex to concave — at 31 sites, meaning contaminated water was also not flowing into the storage tanks. It is possible the water is collecting in the tarps.
There are 15 such sites in the Fukushima Prefecture town of Kawamata, five in the town of Namie, four each in the city of Tamura and the village of Iitate, and three in the town of Naraha. The subsidence of the earth bases hasn’t been confirmed, but the Board of Audit has pointed out that if contaminated water is pooling in the tarps, it could impact future operations to move the waste to a mid-term storage site. It has also called on the Environment Ministry, which operates the sites, to take necessary measures to rectify the problem.
The ministry told the Mainichi Shimbun, “The stacks are designed so that contaminated water won’t escape even if the land underneath subsides, and no harm has been done by the treatment of the water. The waste bags themselves have been replaced with waterproof versions, but we would still like to consider ways to reinforce the ground (under the piles), such as by using sand in the middle.”
On October 19, 2016, Governor Masao Uchibori, the Fukushima prefecture governor, took part in a seminar at the United Nations headquarters in New York, a seminar about the reconstruction of Eastern Japan from the 2011 earthquake.
He declared that though there were rumors saying that many people can’t live anymore in Fukushima since the nuclear accident in March 2011, it was not fact. The evacuation zone was only 5 % of the Fukushima prefecture. He also emphasized that life in Fukushima was back in the same way as it was before the 2011 earthquake in 95 % of the prefecture.
In Fukushima Prefecture, large quantities of contaminated soil and waste have been generated from decontamination activities. Currently, it is difficult to clarify methods of final disposal of such soil and waste. Until final disposal becomes available, it is necessary to establish an Interim Storage Facility (ISF) in order to manage and store soil and waste safely.
The only solution proposed is a storage facility of 16 km2 around the Fukushima plant for a period of 30 years. After that, time will tell, because the problems are endless.
The following materials generated in Fukushima Prefecture will be stored in the ISF.
1. Soil and waste (such as fallen leaves and branches) generated from decontamination activities, which have been stored at the Temporary Storage Sites.
2. Incineration ash with radioactive concentration more than 100,000 Bq/kg.
It is estimated that generated soil from decontamination will be approx. 16 ~22 mil. m3 after the volume reduction incineration, estimated value based on the decontamination implementation plan of July 2013. (Ref: approximately 13~18 times as much as the volume of Tokyo Dome (1.24 mil. m3) .
Transportation to Stock Yards
In order to confirm safe and secure delivery towards the transportation of a large amount of decontamination soil, MOE implemented the transportation approx. 1,000m3 each from 43 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture from 2015-2016.
Actual achievement in 2016 as of July 30, 2016
Stored volume: 13,384m3 (58,766m3 in total)
Stock yards in Okuma: 4,883m3; stock yards in Futaba: 8,501m3
* Calculated on the assumption that the volume of a large bag is 1m3
Total number of trucks used: 2,279 (9,808 in total)
Stock yards in Okuma: 815 trucks; stock yards in Futaba:1,464 trucks
To construct facilities, it will need comprehensive area and 2/3 will be assumed to be used for facilitation. The possible volume for installation is to be 10,000m3/ha and 140,000m3/5ha for a storage facility, and will be installed from TSS to ISF sequentially.
Approximate period from contract with operators to ISF operation: 3months for TSS, 6months for delivery & classification, 12months for storage, 18months for incineration.
On the premise that infrastructure construction on roads for Okuma and Futaba IC would proceed as planned, the maximum volume of possible transportation is estimated: 2millions m3 /y before the operation of both IC, 4millions m3/y after Okuma IC & before Futaba IC, 6 millions m3/y after the both ICs operation.
Landowners are still reluctant to sell their land to put the waste. In late September 2016, according to the official data of the Ministry of Environment, only 379 owners out of 2360 had signed a contract. This represents an area of 144 ha, or about 9% of the total project.
The town of Okuma, is almost entirely classified as “difficult to return”zone, therefore it intends to offer all its municipal land to put the waste. This represents 95 hectares, or about 10% of land considered in the town. This includes schools, the Fureai Park with some sports grounds … The town has not yet decided whether it would sell or would lease its land.
Meanwhile, it is an abandoned village:
The Joban railway line was partially destroyed by the tsunami, as here in Tomioka:
Destroyed Tomioka train station and sorting facility for radioactive waste
Some parts have reopened, but not in the most contaminated areas; between Tatsuta and Namie. Japan Railway wants to fully reopen the railway before 2020, avoiding the coast. Decontamination should produce 300,000 m3 of radioactive waste. The radioactive waste bags are along the railway, but they will need to be take them away. The Environment Ministry is negotiating with landowners owning the land beside the railway, but this is not enough because few responded favorably. So it’s a game of musical chairs that is planned: use the lands where some waste is right now after they’ll freed by the transfer of the waste to the storage center located around the Fukushima Dai-ichi.
Meanwhile, the waste is piling up everywhere:
Radioactive waste in Iitate
Valley of radioactive waste in Iitate mura
This storage was not expected to last as long, which is not without causing problems because the bags do not hold. Here in Tomioka, weeds grow back:
The equivalent of the Court of Accounts of Japan went to inspect some of these sites and found other problems, according to the Asahi. Those who receive contaminated soil, are elevated in the center so that the water flows over the edges where it can be harvested and controlled because the bags are not waterproof. There are up to 5 levels. With time and the weight of waste, a hollow that may appear in the center, and contaminated water accumulates there. Monitoring is difficult or impossible. See diagram of Asahi:
It is not normal that the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, the NRA does not control these storage sites for radioactive waste.
Regarding the waste from the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, the NRA wants to bury the most contaminated within 70 meters for 100 000 years. This is essentially reactor control rods. Utilities would bear responsibility for 300 to 400 years. They have not yet found where to have the sites … Read Asahi for more. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609020034.html
The government relies on the radioactive decay for these wastes to pass below the 8000 Bq / kg to be downgraded and utilized …
TEPCO reported on October 20th they used drones to measure radioactivity at the reactors 1 and 2 vent tower.
Vent towers are quite unstable during earthquakes and are highly contaminated, they are therefore not easy to dismantle, even with robot
When they sent a drone into the vent tower, they found out that a bar prevented the drone to go in lower than 10-20 m below.
It’s pretty amazing that Tepco did not know that this bar was there and that they can not give its position more precisely.
TEPCO only provided two pictures online with a laconic comment. No results of their radioactivity measuring was given. Transparency is progressing …
A cattle-breeding corporation in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, which was devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, will begin raising about 5,000 beef cattle in Vietnam by the end of this year at the earliest, in collaboration with a state-owned company there.
The Vietnamese company will prepare a ranch and young cattle, and Japanese farmers will provide their expertise in livestock farming.
The Japanese side will be able to receive $3 million (about ¥300 million) annually in consultation fees. It will be a particularly large operation for a move overseas by farmers in a disaster-hit area (see below).
“It can be not only post-disaster reconstruction but also a new growth strategy for Japan’s agriculture,” a farming expert said in expectation.
The agricultural corporation that will begin the project in Vietnam is Ushichan Farm Co., one of the largest beef cattle breeders in the Tohoku region. The company now raises about 4,000 beef cattle in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. It ships out beef rich in fat — called shimofuri — and red meat with less fat.
Tsunami following the tremors washed away cattle barns and about 50 cattle. Due to damage from rumors in the wake of the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, sales in the year after the disaster fell by about ¥500 million. However, workers at the company have improved the quality of beef through such steps as utilizing tablet computers in breeding management.
Its Vietnamese partner is Saigon Agriculture Incorporation (SAGRI), a state-owned firm based in Ho Chi Minh City.
In Vietnam, volumes of beef consumption have been rising along with its economic growth. SAGRI paid attention to the high-level production skills of Japanese beef-producing farmers to improve the country’s production volumes and qualities of beef.
Red-meat-type beef is popular in Japan, so SAGRI asked Ushichan Farm to collaborate and the two sides signed a business partnership contract in August this year.
SAGRI will prepare a 500-hectare ranch, cattle barns and about 5,000 young cattle in Ho Chi Minh City. Ushichan Farm will provide such techniques as breeding management that uses individual identification numbers and how to mix feeds.
After conducting administrative procedures in the country, the Japanese company will begin raising the cattle by the end of this year at the earliest. Beef from the Vietnamese ranch will be sold in local supermarkets and other stores starting around 2018. Sales will be evenly shared by the two corporations.
Eyeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, the Japanese side plans to import red meat from the cattle to be raised in Vietnam in the future. Ushichan Farm also aims to prepare for international competition with products from the United States and Australia.
“We want to make [the project] an opportunity to send out information about Japan’s livestock industry,” said Kazutaka Sato, 39, senior managing director of Ushichan Farm.
According to an official of the Japan External Trade Organization: “Such a large-scale investment in agriculture in Vietnam is rare. It indicates how high the Vietnamese side’s expectations are.”
Kazunuki Oizumi, a professor emeritus of Miyagi University who is an expert on agricultural economics, said, “Exporting skills and techniques can result in new growth not only in the disaster-hit areas but also in Japan’s agriculture overall.”
■ Moves overseas by farmers in disaster-hit areas
In coastal areas in Miyagi Prefecture devastated by tsunami, farmers have begun businesses overseas. For example, an agricultural production corporation in the town of Yamamoto has grown strawberries in India since autumn 2012, and farmers in the city of Iwanuma have grown rice in Vietnam since summer 2014. This is partly because exporting products from the prefecture has become difficult, as other countries’ restrictions on imports of farming products from the disaster-hit areas were made stricter in the wake of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Not willing to Lie, the Chairman of the Fukushima Thyroid Examination Assessment Subcommittee Resigned
Of course this news was not released in the Japanese national main media nor in the Fukushima local media, it was only released in the Hokkaido Shimbun, a local media from the northern island Hokkaido.
Dr. Kazuo Shimizu
Dr. Kazuo Shimizu, Chairman of the Thyroid Examination Assessment Subcommittee and member of the Oversight Committee for the Fukushima Health Management Survey, a thyroid surgeon and Honorary Director at Kanaji Hospital, and Professor Emeritus at Nippon Medical School, and former chair of the board of the Japanese Society of Thyroid Surgery, submitted his resignation as Chairman of the Thyroid Examination Assessment Subcommittee.
As Chairman of the Thyroid Examination Assessment Subcommittee, he does not personally agree with the interim report conclusion that “it is unlikely that the effects of radiation” caused the high incidence of thyroid cancer found in the Fukushima Prefecture. Not agreeing with the drawn conclusions of the interim report and as Chairman not free to have a personal opinion, nor to express it, he decided to resign.
Dr. Kazuo Shimizu is a doctor, a leading authority in endoscopic surgery of the thyroid gland. Within the Fukushima population, 380,000 children below 18 years old at the time of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident in March 2011 have been examined. 174 people have been so far diagnosed with thyroid cancer or suspected thyroid cancer.
Dr. Kazuo Shimizu says that such high incidence of thyroid cancer, from his long clinical experience, is unnatural. That frequency is a fact, which should not be explained, nor discarded by just the “It is unlikely that the effects of radiation.” caused that high incidence conclusion.
In the former Soviet Union after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, thyroid cancer was frequent in children due the released iodine-131.
However, it is not that surprising. When Oshidori Mako interviewing Dr. Kazuo Shimizu in May 2015 asked « Is it really overdiagnosis that is going on? », Dr. Kazuo Shimizu answered :“I am not in a position to be able to say, ‘It is not due to overdiagnosis.’ As chair of the Subcommittee, I cannot validate opinions of either side. It is hard for me. I would have been able to voice my opinions more clearly if I hadn’t been elected chair of the Subcommittee.”
This is taken on a train in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima. Nihonmatsu is located in a straight line or air distance at 52.75 km west of Okuma (Fukushima Daiichi).
On a running train, inside of a train, radiation is measured already at 0,353 µSv/hour, you can imagine how much more outside of the train, on the ground.
PM Abe’s government forces the population to return despite the obvious contamination, and people are getting fed up with the given continuous lies.
Credit to Kuniko Yamanoi for that information and photo.
The Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Ningyo-toge Environmental Engineering Center in Kagamino, Okayama Prefecture, is pictured in this May 2013
The external power supply to a uranium processing facility in Okayama Prefecture was temporarily cut following a powerful Oct. 21 earthquake that hit Tottori Prefecture and surrounding areas, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said.
External power was lost for a time at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Ningyo-toge Environmental Engineering Center in Kagamino, Okayama Prefecture, after the magnitude-6.6 quake. Locally, the quake registered an upper 5 on the 7-point Japanese seismic intensity scale, according to the NRA.
However, no problems were reported at the plant, as an emergency power supply system kicked in immediately. The facility was not in operation at the time of the quake.
In related news, operations at the No. 3 reactor at Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata Nuclear Power Plant in Ehime Prefecture have not been disrupted. There is reportedly no problem with Chugoku Electric Power Co.’s Shimane nuclear plant in Shimane Prefecture, which is not in operation.
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