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Suttsu, Hokkaido, residents oppose radioactive waste dump plan

Residents Oppose Hokkaido Town’s Radioactive Waste Site Plan  https://www.nippon.com/en/news/yjj2020091000878/residents-oppose-hokkaido-town%27s-radioactive-waste-site-plan.html   Suttsu, Hokkaido, Sept. 11 (Jiji Press)–Many residents of a Japanese town considering hosting a final disposal facility for high-level radioactive waste have voiced opposition to the plan at a briefing session organized by the municipal government.The meeting was the fourth of its kind for residents of the town of Suttsu in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido. The first such session was held on Monday.

At Thursday’s meeting, which was opened to the press, Suttsu Mayor Haruo Kataoka explained the reasons for considering applying for a literature survey, the first stage of a three-stage research process to select the location of the final disposal site for high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.

Some 260 residents attended the session, which lasted for over three hours from 6:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. GMT).

Participating residents voiced concerns that the move will lead to harmful rumors about the town, and that if the town receives subsidies from the Japanese government as a result of applying for the literature survey, it will have no choice but to become a final disposal site. Some said that detailed discussions should be held after the mayoral election in the town next year.

September 14, 2020 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Tokyo Olympics must be held at ‘any cost’, says Japanese minister

Seiko Hashimoto says country is planning for event next year even though a widely available vaccine is unlikely

A man wearing a protective face mask walks past an Olympic Rings monument near the national stadium, the main venue of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

 

September 8, 2020

The Tokyo Olympics must be held “at any cost”, Japan’s Games minister, Seiko Hashimoto, has said, as organisers continue to weigh up options for staging a “post-pandemic” celebration of sport in the city next summer.

“Everyone involved with the Games is working together to prepare, and the athletes are also making considerable efforts towards next year,” Hashimoto told reporters on Tuesday.

The former Olympian suggested the priority had shifted from planning for the “complete Games” once favoured by the outgoing prime minister, Shinzo Abe, towards an event that would enable athletes to compete regardless of the status of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I think we have to hold the Games at any cost,” she said. “I want to concentrate all our efforts on measures against the coronavirus.”

There is also a growing belief within national olympic committees that the Games will go ahead following lengthy discussions over the summer about how they can be staged safely. The Guardian understands that proposals under discussion include:

  • Potentially keeping athletes in preparation camps for longer before they move into the Olympic village, enabling them to be tested regularly for Covid-19 and cleared before competing.
  • Asking athletes to leave the athletes’ village immediately after they have competed, rather than stay until after the closing ceremony as is traditional.
  • Having reduced capacities in stadiums observing social distancing rules.

However, suggestions that there could be a downsized Olympics, with fewer athletes and staff, are being downplayed by senior sources.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed in March as the coronavirus began its rampage through Europe, the US, Brazil, India and other parts of the world.

With health experts warning that a vaccine is unlikely to be widely available by the time the opening ceremony is due to take place on 23 July 2021, a task force of organisers, national and local government officials and health experts met for the first time last week to consider anti-virus measures.

The group, which is expected to release an interim report at the end of the year, is sifting through more than 200 proposals on how best to prevent an Olympic-related outbreak while enabling around 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries to travel to Japan.

“While living with the coronavirus, we need to make sure that athletes can perform at their best and audiences enjoy the Games safely,” the deputy chief cabinet secretary, Kazuhiro Sugita, said at the meeting. “To achieve that, we will adjust border controls, testing and medical systems and the operations of the venues.”

Last week, the Tokyo chief executive, Toshiro Muto, insisted the Games could be held even if a vaccine was not available.

“It’s not a prerequisite,” he said. “It’s not a condition for the delivery of the Tokyo 2020 Games. A vaccine is not a requirement. Of course, if vaccines are developed, we’ll really appreciate it. And for Tokyo 2020 that would be great.”

While the delayed start of domestic and international sports competitions show it is possible to reduce the risks to athletes, it will be harder to ensure the safety of huge numbers of spectators from overseas.

“As far as spectators, we don’t have any conditions yet, but we’d like to avoid no spectators,” Muto said.

The comments from Hashimoto, who represented her country in speed skating and track cycling, echo those made on Monday by John Coates, vice president of the International Olympic Committee [IOC]. He said the event would go ahead next summer “with or without Covid”.

“The Games were going to be … the ‘reconstruction Games’ after the devastation of the tsunami,” Coates said, referring to the disaster that struck north-east Japan in 2011.

“Now very much these will be the Games that conquered Covid, the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Public support is waning in Japan, however, with two-thirds of respondents to a poll in July saying they would prefer the Olympics to be postponed a second time – an option organisers and the IOC have ruled out – or cancelled.

Organisers said they had been encouraged to see international sports events such as the US Open tennis and the Tour de France go ahead in the midst of the pandemic, and by reports that Japan’s government is considering allowing more fans into stadiums to watch domestic baseball and football matches.

“This has been a big, big encouragement for the staff at Tokyo 2020,” organising committee spokesman Masa Takaya told reporters on Tuesday. “We feel that is another step towards seeing sports in action in our society.”

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/sep/08/tokyo-olympics-must-be-held-at-any-cost-says-japanese-minister?fbclid=IwAR0Ot_OQz-lfiMe3hjrCVRFjhT52hid2mE5gdQr19xTHKWW2zkSYWxk8FSA

September 13, 2020 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

IOC Vice President Says 2021 Tokyo Olympics Will Happen

September 7, 2020

The Tokyo Summer Olympics are taking place next year regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, according to International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates.

“It will take place with or without COVID. The Games will start on July 23 next year,” Coates told news agency AFP on Monday, according to multiple outlets.

“The Games were going to be, their theme, the Reconstruction Games after the devastation of the tsunami,” he added, referring to the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011. “Now very much these will be the Games that conquered COVID, the light at the end of the tunnel.”

In late March, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the Summer Games would be rescheduled for the same time slot next year due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The Olympics will now be held from July 23 through August 8, 2021.

There is still much uncertainty regarding the games, however. In June, various Japanese media sources published stories indicating that the Olympics will be “downsized,” “simplified” or “very different.”

Officials have not yet announced any specific modifications, but the reports indicated that athletes may face quarantines and coronavirus testing and seating could be reduced.

Following the published reports, Tokyo Olympics spokesman Masa Takaya appeared in an online news conference but did not confirm any of the leaked information about downsizing.

He did, however, address concerns about reducing the amount of seating, as millions of tickets have already been sold. “We want to brush away these concerns,” Takaya said, speaking to ticket holders.

“We understand that countermeasures for COVID-19 next year, particularly during games time, is one of the biggest things to address in preparing for the games next year,” he added. “But once again these countermeasures will be discussed in more depth from this autumn onward.”

Adam Rippon Says 2020 Winter Olympians Are ‘Grieving’ Amid Postponement

Figure skater Adam Rippon won a bronze medal in the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang

Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto said that costs must be cut for the rescheduled games, but added that ensuring athletes’ safety may lead to higher expenses.

“Unless safety and security are ensured, there will be uncertainty for the athletes-first point of view,” she said, according to the Associated Press. “We must study measures including virus testing in order to ensure safety and security.”

The delay marks only the fourth time in modern Olympic history that the games have been disrupted.

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/ioc-vice-president-says-2021-155509392.html

September 13, 2020 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

There are 15 nuclear power plants in Fukui Prefecture.

By Akihiko Tamai

Fukui SEISMIC INTENSITY 5 weak epicenter, fault expert, chain warning ′′ it can be connected to a big earthquake ′′

According to Professor Taku Okamoto (Earthquake) of fukui college of technology, there is a fault in the hirano part of the epicenter of the earthquake that observed the maximum SEISMIC INTENSITY OF 5 in Fukui Prefecture on the morning of September 4th It was possible to wake up In the future, if the earthquake of magnitude (M) 5 0 class is frequent, it is a chain with the surrounding fault, and it is pointed out that ′′ it can be connected to a big earthquake like the kumamoto earthquake 5

According to Professor Okamoto, the next wave that does not appear if it is not a fault-specific structure near the epicenter of this time is observed in the past earthquake, and in the west rim of fukui hirano, it is a fault that penetrates the confluence of the kuzuryu and hinogawa to the north It is said that there is a.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, this earthquake is a ′′ reverse fault type ′′ that is pushed from both sides and moves in the upper and lower direction. Professor Okamoto points out that the fault of the fukui hirano west rim may have caused the fault of the estimated fault and epicenter.

The Epicenter of this time is about 5 km away from the fukui hirano fault belt, which caused the fukui earthquake on June 28, 1948, and it is not directly related. Also, the earthquake of 4 or more seismic intensity that epicenter the north of the north of the north of the north of the north of the north of the north of the

The current situation is close to the earthquake of the shaking aftershocks, but in the future, if there is a similar earthquake as this time, there is a sabae fault in the south, so it is pointed out that ′′ chain leads to a big earthquake On Top of that, ′′ I need to carefully look at the progression of aftershocks activities for 1 OR 2 weeks

The earthquake is also called ′′ emergency earthquake breaking news is not in time In the future of aftershocks, I’m calling ′′ if you feel the tremor, I want you to lower your posture and take action to protect your head (Fukui Shimbun September 5)

September 13, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Tokyo Olympics will be most costly Summer Games, Oxford study shows

In this June 3, the Olympic rings float in the water at sunset in the Odaiba section in Tokyo.

September 4, 2020

TOKYO

The Tokyo Olympics are already the most expensive Summer Games on record with costs set to go higher, a wide-ranging study from Britain’s University of Oxford indicates.

The Tokyo cost overrun already exceeds 200%, lead author Bent Flyvbjerg explained in an interview with The Associated Press. This is even before several billion more dollars are added on from the one-year delay from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flyvbjerg is an economist at Oxford’s Said Business School. His entire study is available here, and it’s set to be published on Sept. 15 in the journal “Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space.” It’s titled “Regression to the Tail: Why the Olympics Blow Up.”

Tokyo, postponed until July 23, 2021, is only a small part of the focus. The study — the third in a series following editions 2012 and 2016 — looks at Olympic costs since 1960 and finds they keep increasing despite claims by the International Olympic Committee that costs are being cut.

Flyvbjerg cites many reasons for the rising costs and cost overruns, and offers solutions for the IOC. The vast majority of costs are picked up by governments with the IOC contributing only a small portion.

“The Olympics offer the highest level of risk a city can take on,” Flyvbjerg told AP. “The trend cannot continue. No city will want to do this because it’s just too expensive, putting themselves into a debt that most cities cannot afford.”

In his paper, Flyvbjerg cites Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose city is to hold the 2028 Olympics following Paris in 2024.

“Most cities, unless you have a government that’s willing to go into debt or pay the subsidy of what this costs, most cities will never say ‘yes’ to the Olympics again unless they find the right model,” he quotes Garcetti as saying.

By the right model, Garcetti means lower costs.

Tracking Olympic costs is difficult, a dense maze of overlap and debate. Politicians and organizers always argue over what are — and what are not — Olympic expenses.

Flyvbjerg writes: “Unfortunately, Olympics officials and hosts often misinform about the costs and cost overruns of the Games. … We therefore cannot count on organizers, the IOC, and governments to provide us with reliable information about the real costs, cost overruns, and cost risks of the Olympic Games.”

Flyvbjerg looks only at costs to operate the games — the operating costs and capital costs — the cost to build sports venues. He leaves out a third category, which is usually many times larger: renovating roads, building airports, and what he calls “sprucing up projects,” which also fall to taxpayers.

“Our estimates are conservative because there are lots of costs that are hidden that we can’t get into,” Flyvbjerg said. “And there are lots of costs we decided not to include because it’s too complex. We include the things we can get the most reliable numbers for and we do it in the same way for each city that we study.”

He also excludes the cost of debt, and the future cost of running sports venues after the Olympics leave, and inflation.

According to the Oxford numbers. Tokyo’s spending is at $15.84 billion, already surpassing the 2012 London Olympics, which were the most expensive summer games to date at $14.95 billion. He expects several billion more from the cost of the one-year delay.

Tokyo organizers say officially they are spending $12.6 billion. However, a national auditor says the actual costs are twice that high, made up of some expenses that the Oxford study omits because they are not constant between different Olympics.

Tokyo said the cost would be $7.3 billion when it won the bid in 2013.

“They (IOC) obviously don’t like our results, but it’s very difficult to counter a piece of rigorous research like this,” Flyvbjerg said. “And they haven’t done that, and they can’t do that. Our research is a problem for them.”

In an email to Associated Press, the IOC said it had not seen the latest Oxford study and declined to comment.It referenced another study by Mainz and Sorbonne universities.

This study also found Olympic cost overruns but said they were in line with other large-scale projects. Flyvbjerg’s study finds they are not.

Flyvbjerg said he has been in touch on and off with the IOC and had sent a colleague to an IOC workshop. He said a major reason for the rising costs is that the IOC does not pay for them. He also cited rising security costs, and moving the games around the world. He calls this the “Eternal Beginner Syndrome” with new host cities starting basically from scratch.

He’s said the IOC has tried recently to rein in costs, but the effort is “too little, too late.”

“They (IOC) define the specs but don’t pay for them,”Flyvbjerg said. “This is pretty similar to you and I giving the specs for a house that we are going to live in, but we don’t have to pay for it. How do you think we’d spend? We’d gold-plate it. This is what has happened over time.”

Flyvbjerg said he’s relish a chance to sit and talk with IOC President Thomas Bach. He calls himself a fan of the Olympics.

“It’s not that the IOC hasn’t been willing to talk, or I am not willing to talk,”he said. “We certainly are. We have communicated in writing to keep the IOC informed. But yes, we would like to sit down with Thomas Bach.”

https://japantoday.com/category/sports/oxford-study-tokyo-olympics-are-most-costly-summer-games

September 13, 2020 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste disposal is a matter of environmental concern

Aug 31, 2020

It has been reported that the town of Suttsu in Hokkaido is considering applying for a two-year “literature research” into the possibility of storing high-level radioactive nuclear waste. A maximum of ¥2 billion in subsidies will be granted by the central government.

“The future of the town is financially precarious,” said Haruo Kataoka, the mayor of Suttsu, in an interview.

But the money that is thought to revive the town cannot reverse what the nuclear waste is likely to cause.

It is, in my opinion, never a financial issue, but a matter of environmental concern.

What is in question here is high-level radioactive nuclear waste, which can be dangerous for at least 200,000 years and therefore must be handled with the utmost care. It is indeed a problem that any country with nuclear power plants needs to address, however thorny it is. Any indiscreet decision is deemed extremely irresponsible and profoundly unethical.

“Financially precarious,” I must stress, is by no means comparable to environmentally threatening. Besides, it is specifically stated in a Hokkaido ordinance that nuclear waste is hardly acceptable in the prefecture.

Before a final disposal site is selected, or even before an application for research is submitted, the scientific facts ought to be thoroughly understood and the residents properly informed.

The span of recorded history is merely 5,000 years, while 200,000 years is far beyond human experience and comprehension. We certainly cannot live to see what is going to become of the nuclear waste, but I believe that we do not want to leave the thorny problem unaddressed to haunt our future generations.

Jive Sun

Sapporo

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2020/08/31/reader-mail/nuclear-waste-disposal-matter-environmental-concern/

September 13, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s citizen radiation testers still on the job.

Fukushima Has Turned These Grandparents Into Avid Radiation Testers, NPR,     Kat Lonsdorf (@lilkat_bigworldSeptember 11, 2020  Takenori Kobayashi lugs a garbage bag full of soil across a parking lot to an unmarked office. His wife, Tomoko, holds the door to a tiny work space with lab equipment and computers set up. On the edge of Fukushima’s former nuclear exclusion zone, this is the place the couple likes to call their “grandma and grandpa lab.”

It started as a makeshift operation in the city of Minamisoma the year after the 2011 nuclear disaster, when people — mostly elderly — returned to the area and were worried about high radiation levels in their food and soil.”We’ve given up hope that our children and grandchildren will come back to live here,” Tomoko, 67, says. Most young people decided to start lives elsewhere rather than return, not wanting to take the risks with radiation. “But in order for them to come back and visit us,” she continues, “we need to know everything is safe. So we test it all.”

Citizen science like this flourished in Fukushima after the nuclear disaster in 2011, when a tsunami triggered explosions at the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The wind carried radioactive material for miles, covering whole towns and neighborhoods with dangerous, yet invisible, particles. For weeks after the disaster, information was scarce and trust in the Japanese government plummeted. And now, almost a decade later, wide arrays of residents have taken it upon themselves to collect radiation data — from mothers worried about their kids to surfers monitoring beaches to individuals with Geiger counters in their homes — to help regain a sense of control.
Inside the lab, the Kobayashis pair get to work. One measures out soil into small containers, the other starts labeling — so coordinated and practiced, it’s almost like a dance. They put the samples through a donated gamma counter, a big cylindrical machine that measures radioactive particles. Today, they’re testing soil from a nearby farm.

A handful of other residents help run the lab, and throughout the years, experts from nearby universities have come to teach them all about the different equipment and radiation science.

“All the grandparents here are radiation professionals now,” Takenori, 71, says with a smile……..

The maps show that Fukushima’s radiation levels are decreasing, because of both natural decay of particles and large-scale Japanese government decontamination efforts. But there are still a lot of hot spots — places where radiation is worryingly high. The authorities have tried to ease concerns, testing food in supermarkets and setting up radiation monitors in public parks, outside train stations or flashing along highways, but trust in the government is still extremely low. Many residents say they still feel best collecting information themselves. ……… https://www.npr.org/2020/09/11/907881531/fukushima-has-turned-these-grandparents-into-avid-radiation-testers

September 12, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, radiation | Leave a comment

Opposition in Kamoenai to hosting nuclear waste dump

September 12, 2020 Posted by | Japan, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

ICAN chief: Japan sabotaging nuclear disarmament

M6fI3wGBLc7triMaUtGF8YlOZvNuPWNQJ9Bt0hmPBeatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, spoke to NHK about the possible game changers in the drive to get rid of the weapons of mass destruction.

Aug. 15, 2020

Hiroshima and Nagasaki in southwestern Japan are the only two cities to have suffered attacks using nuclear weapons. For people around the country, the anniversary month of August is a time to remember the tens of thousands of lives erased in the twin flashes in 1945, as well as the countless others affected by the subsequent radiation.

Fihn’s organization won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for its efforts to bring people to the negotiating table to pledge to work toward nuclear disarmament. The adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations was a step forward, in which ICAN played a major role.

Fihn says the next few months are crucial, as her team has given itself until the end of the year to get enough signatures to put the treaty into effect. Just this month, Ireland, Nigeria, Niue, and Saint Kitts and Nevis have signed up, bringing the total number on board to 44.

“We always aimed that we would be getting 50 in 2020.” She says. “And obviously COVID-19 has slowed down some processes, but we still think that there’s a really good chance that we can get the 50 ratifications needed this year. So we’re working very very hard on this.”

What about Japan?

But Japan remains one of the countries that’s yet to sign the treaty. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has said every year at the memorial ceremonies that it’s Japan’s mission to, “realize a world without nuclear weapons.”

But Fihn wonders why the commitment hasn’t been backed up by action. “There is no leadership right now on nuclear disarmament from Japan’s side — rather the opposite,” she says. “Japan is going backwards as well and undermining its own resolutions that it’s supported for a long time ago, weakening language and documents.”

 

21DgN2TQlptWtiQF4GfWGphxXYKPNF2Tey4tbtpRJapanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo made another pledge this year that the country would commit to achieving a world without nuclear weapons.

 

“That’s very serious. And I think that’s an insult to the survivors — to the hibakusha,” Fihn says. “We really know the Japanese people want the government to sign the treaty.”

“It’s very often that we look at nuclear armed states as the problem, but we have to recognize that the nuclear-allied states, like Japan for example, are protecting them. They are standing in a circle around them and protecting nuclear weapons. Until those countries stop doing that, it’s going to be very hard to convince the nuclear armed states.”

“How am I going to convince North Korea, the United States and Russia to disarm, if Japan cannot say that nuclear weapons should be illegal?”

Nuclear war ‘like the coronavirus’

Fihn says the coronavirus pandemic is proof that a global emergency could happen anytime. “Health experts have warned about this, and they have been preparing, thinking about it,” she says. “Yet people have been surprised that it happened. It’s the same thing with nuclear weapons. We don’t know when, we don’t know how exactly, but experts say it’s going to happen.”

She warns that nuclear weapons will be far more lethal than the coronavirus. “What we have to do with nuclear weapons — there’s no mitigating it once it happens.” she says. “When we feel the consequences, when the bombs are starting to fall on cities again, then it’s going to be too late to prevent it.”

Nuclear weapons don’t protect us

Fihn says the ongoing pandemic further highlights why governments should be investing in people, not weapons. “This pandemic has shown us where the threats to our security are and how we can’t absorb these things with nuclear weapons,” she says. “Nuclear armed states spend 73 billion dollars on nuclear weapons. Just imagine how many ventilators, doctors, nurses ICU, beds we can have… how many vaccinations we could develop.”

Listen to the hibakusha

She credits atomic bomb survivors for helping spread the message of a nuclear-free world. But she says their time is running out: “Given that it’s probably one of the last milestones where we will still have survivors who are able to speak about it in the first person. I really do think that it’s up to us to use this moment as much as possible to share their stories.”

For the first time, ICAN organized online tours of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb museums this year.

Fihn ended our interview with a message for the hibakusha. “Thank you for doing the incredibly difficult work of sharing your very traumatic experiences so that we can survive, and we can prevent it from happening again,” she says. “ICAN and the millions of people that support us are pledging to take action. We are going to honor the hibakusha, not through words, but through action to eliminate nuclear weapons.”

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/backstories/1251/

September 1, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste in Japan – an environmental worry

Nuclear waste disposal is a matter of environmental concern,   https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2020/08/31/reader-mail/nuclear-waste-disposal-matter-environmental-concern/  It has been reported that the town of Suttsu in Hokkaido is considering applying for a two-year “literature research” into the possibility of storing high-level radioactive nuclear waste. A maximum of ¥2 billion in subsidies will be granted by the central government.

“The future of the town is financially precarious,” said Haruo Kataoka, the mayor of Suttsu, in an interview.

But the money that is thought to revive the town cannot reverse what the nuclear waste is likely to cause.

It is, in my opinion, never a financial issue, but a matter of environmental concern.

What is in question here is high-level radioactive nuclear waste, which can be dangerous for at least 200,000 years and therefore must be handled with the utmost care. It is indeed a problem that any country with nuclear power plants needs to address, however thorny it is. Any indiscreet decision is deemed extremely irresponsible and profoundly unethical.

“Financially precarious,” I must stress, is by no means comparable to environmentally threatening. Besides, it is specifically stated in a Hokkaido ordinance that nuclear waste is hardly acceptable in the prefecture.

Before a final disposal site is selected, or even before an application for research is submitted, the scientific facts ought to be thoroughly understood and the residents properly informed.

The span of recorded history is merely 5,000 years, while 200,000 years is far beyond human experience and comprehension. We certainly cannot live to see what is going to become of the nuclear waste, but I believe that we do not want to leave the thorny problem unaddressed to haunt our future generations.

 

September 1, 2020 Posted by | Japan, wastes | Leave a comment

Evacuation orders for Fukushima radioactive areas to be lifted without decontamination

Evacuation orders for Fukushima radioactive areas to be lifted without decontamination, August 27, 2020 (Mainichi Japan)  TOKYO — The Japanese government is set to allow the lifting of evacuation orders for highly radioactive areas near the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station without decontamination work on condition that residents will not resettle there.

The government on Aug. 26 disclosed the policy to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) for the so-called “difficult-to-return” zones where residents have remained evacuated since the onset of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 due to high radiation doses in those areas in northeastern Japan. The NRA gave its consent to the government policy, paving the way for residents to enter areas outside the specified disaster reconstruction and revitalization base zones.

The government has heretofore made it a condition for lifting the evacuation orders that: the radiation exposure doses will not exceed 20 millisieverts per year; infrastructure necessary for daily lives is developed and sufficient decontamination work is performed; and consultations are held with local bodies and residents. The government previously designated parts of the difficult-to-return zones as disaster recovery bases, which mainly lie in areas where local residents lived, and planned to lift the evacuation orders by 2023 after decontamination work and infrastructure development.

Meanwhile, upon receiving a request from the village of Iitate in Fukushima Prefecture, the government has also been examining under which situations the evacuation directives can be lifted in areas outside the disaster recovery base areas……….. (Japanese original by Hisashi Tsukamoto and Yuka Saito, Science & Environment News Department) https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200827/p2a/00m/0na/005000c

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Strong opposition in Hokkaido to taking on nuclear waste

Hokkaido town becomes flashpoint in Japan’s nuclear waste debate,  Mayor and governor clash over ethics and risks of potential disposal site, Nikkei Asian Review, TORU TAKAHASHI, Nikkei staff writer, August 27, 2020

TOKYO — An idyllic town on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido is embroiled in a hot debate over nuclear waste, as its mayor weighs building a disposal facility there over the opposition of the governor as well as surrounding towns………

Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki has swiftly mobilized opponents. “Hokkaido has no intention of taking on nuclear waste,” he said on Aug. 13, shortly after Kataoka’s announcement. “The national government is basically shoving wads of cash in our face,” he also said on Aug. 18, criticizing the cash offer. ……..

several local industry groups oppose the idea. Fishermen in particular worry that a local nuclear facility could tarnish the reputation of their catch.

Nearby towns and villages also feel they could face all of the risks of the nuclear waste disposal site without any payout from the national government…… https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Hokkaido-town-becomes-flashpoint-in-Japan-s-nuclear-waste-debate

 

August 27, 2020 Posted by | Japan, wastes | Leave a comment

Japan’s Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing plant delayed, for the 25th time!

 

August 22, 2020 Posted by | Japan, reprocessing | Leave a comment

Resistance to nuclear waste survey in Hokkaido

Hokkaido town may delay bid for nuclear waste survey amid pushback, Japan Times , JIJI, Aug 21, 2020

SAPPORO – The mayor of Suttsu in Hokkaido, which is considering applying for a survey to host a final disposal site for high-level radioactive waste, said Friday that it might be difficult to make the decision by September as planned.

“It is difficult to make the decision after listening to many voices,” Suttsu Mayor Haruo Kataoka told reporters after meeting with the nine members of the town’s assembly. “It would not be appropriate to rush the decision by our own judgment. Our plan to decide in September might be postponed.”

Kataoka’s remarks came a day after the mayors of three municipalities neighboring Suttsu said Thursday they will urge the town to make a careful decision.

The mayors of the three municipalities unveiled the plan at a meeting with Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki.

Of the three, Rankoshi Mayor Hideyuki Kon and Kuromatsunai Mayor Mitsuru Kamada expressed opposition to Suttsu’s move, which involves applying for a literary survey, the first stage of the process for choosing a disposal site.

Kon, Kamada and Shimamaki Mayor Masaru Fujisawa told Suzuki that they will ask Suttsu as early as this month to make a careful decision on the application. ……..

Seven other municipalities, including the town of Niseko, an internationally known ski resort, are planning to oppose the plan, sources said Friday.

Also on Friday, members of the association of fisheries cooperatives made up of nine co-ops around Suttsu, submitted to Kataoka a protest letter expressing strong opposition to the town’s plan.

Referring to the fact that the fisheries industry suffered harmful rumors following the 2011 triple core meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, the letter said: “It is utterly unacceptable for those in the fisheries industry. It will have an immeasurable adverse impact not only on the region but also on the fisheries industry as a whole.”

Katsuo Hamano, head of the association, criticized the mayor for making an announcement on the plan even before obtaining the municipal assembly’s approval.

“It goes against the rules of parliamentary democracy,” Hamano told reporters…….

The central government offers up to ¥2 billion in subsidies to any municipality that undergoes the literary survey  https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/08/21/national/hokkaido-suttsu-nuclear-waste-survey-delay/

August 22, 2020 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Japan sabotaging nuclear disarmament – ICAN chief

August 17, 2020 Posted by | Japan, weapons and war | Leave a comment