nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Unexploded bomb found at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant

Bomb found at Fukushima nuclear plant — Officials concerned device could explode — “Military unit is headed to the site” — “Police have cordoned off the surrounding area” http://enenews.com/breaking-bomb-found-at-fukushima-nuclear-plant-military-unit-is-headed-to-the-site-police-have-cordoned-off-the-surrounding-area

August 10th, 2017
By ENENews Mainichi, Aug 10, 2017 (emphasis added): Suspected bomb found on premises of Fukushima power plant: TEPCO — What appears to be an undetonated bomb has been discovered on the premises of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) announced on Aug. 10. The device was discovered buried in the ground at a parking lot currently undergoing maintenance in the western corner of the premises… Police have cordoned off the surrounding area

Kyodo, Aug 10, 2017: Unexploded ordnance found at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant

NHK, Aug 10, 2017: Unexploded bomb found near Fukushima plant — Police are checking what appears to be an unexploded bomb found near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant… Police were sending the pictures of the object to the Self-Defense Forces to determine whether it could explode

BBC, Aug 10, 2017: Fukushima disaster: ‘WW2 bomb’ found at Japan nuclear site — A suspected unexploded bomb has been found at the site of the Fukushima nuclear plant… Tepco said construction work was immediately suspended after the object was found and a temporary exclusion zone put in place while bomb disposal experts were deployed…

AP, Aug 10, 2017: Officials say the rusty object is about 85 centimeters (33 inches) long and 15 centimeters (6 inches) wide. A military unit is headed to the site

AFP, Aug 10, 2017: Japan’s Jiji Press reported that under such circumstances police call in bomb disposal experts from Japan’s military.

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, incidents, Japan | Leave a comment

Olympic games in Fukushima: Is it safe?

1

 

Fukushima city is going to host Olympic baseball and softball games in 2020.
What is the level of radio-contamination there? This is the question on everybody’s mind, spectators and players from all over the world. Is it really safe?

Baseball and softball games will take place in Azuma Sports Park in Fukushima city.

 

2

 

3

 

Fukushima prefecture provides the information below on the radiation measurements of the Park.

4

Measurements of the airborne radiation dose in the baseball stadium: No 13-16
Those of the softball stadium: No 4
The lines above and below indicate the value of the radiation dose at 1cm and 5cm above the ground.

We notice that, as usual, Fukushima prefecture gives only measurements in terms of radiation dose. Based on this information, one might think that it would be relatively safe to play there or to attend the games. However, monitoring only the radiation dose is not enough for radioprotection. The radiation dose is an indication of external irradiation exposure. In this case, the measures of radioprotection will be to stay away from the radioactive objects or not to stay in their vicinity for a long time. But the radiation dose does not provide information to avoid the risk of internal irradiation. For this latter, it is necessary to monitor surface contamination density or concentration, in this case, of soil (in terms of Becquerels/m2 or Bq/kg), as well as the concentration of radioactive substances in the air (Bq/m3). The radioprotection measures against internal irradiation would be wearing protective gear and masks to avoid the radioactive substances from adhering to the skin and/or entering the body.

 

 

Here is some information provided by Yoichi OZAWA of « Fukuichi Area Environmental Radiation Monitoring Project », the group of which we have published several soil contamination maps in this blog. OZAWA took measurements on July 27 at the request of the ARD German TV channel team which was visiting Fukushima.

PowerPoint プレゼンテーション
Contamination concentration and density of 5cm surface soil around the Azuma Baseball Stadium

Point A : The entrance of the « Torimu no Mori» where children play.
Radiation dose at 1m above the ground : 0.12 μSv/h
Radiation dose on the ground : 0.19µSv/h
Surface concentration : 605 Bq/kg
Surface density : 47,300 Bq/m2

Point B : In front of the Multi-purpose Fields.
Radiation dose at 1m above the ground : 0.10 μSv/h
Radiation dose on the ground : 0.22µSv/h
Surface concentration : 410 Bq/kg
Surface density : 31,200 Bq/m2

To interpret these figures, let us remind you that in Japan, according to the Ordinance on Prevention of Ionizing Radiation Hazards, places where the effective dose is likely to surpass 1.3mSv in 3 months (approximately 0.6µSv/h of airborne radioactivity) or the contamination density to exceed 40,000Bq/m2 are designated as a « Radiation Control Zone » and public entry must be severely restricted. People under 18 years old are not allowed to enter, and even adults, including nuclear workers, cannot stay more than 10 hours. It is prohibited to eat, drink or stay overnight. To leave the zone, one has go through a strict screening to check for radioactive substances leaving the zone, a measure to protect the individual person as well as the environment.

We do not have the measures of surface density of the baseball nor softball stadiums, but in answering the question of the above German TV team, the information was given as to the decontamination work and radiation dose. There had been decontamination work, and the airborne radiation dose was about 0.04µSv/h in the baseball stadium.

Even when decontamination work has been carried out in the stadium, the mountains and woods behind the park have not been decontaminated, and wind and rain bring the radioactive substances towards the park. Besides, as we can see above, other places in the park are highly contaminated when we look at the surface contamination. They represent high risks of internal irradiation. Moreover, according to recent research, radioactive particles disseminated by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident are mostly insoluble in water. This characteristic makes the health hazard much worse than in the case of the usual water soluble Cesium (see English transcription of NHK documentary on Insoluble Radioactive Particles in this blog). We believe that this Park should not be open to the public, especially to children.

The small type of insoluble radioactive particles – also called Cesium balls -, are dispersed in the Tokyo metropolitan area. People who visit this area should be careful and should take adequate radioprotection measures especially when it is windy and the radioactive particles can be re-disseminated.

All in all, we believe that there is far too much risk for the players and spectators to participate in the Olympic games in Fukushima. Fukushima should not host the Olympic games. Furthermore, we are against holding the Olympic games in Tokyo.

___

Read also :

Forest fire in the exclusion zone in Fukushima: Why monitoring the radiation dose is not enough for radioprotection

See the publication of August 4 2017 in the FB of Oz Yo

https://fukushima311voices.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/olympic-games-in-fukushima-is-it-safe/

August 7, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017, Fukushima continuing | , , , | 1 Comment

Brief fall in groundwater near Fukushima’s crippled nuclear reactors

NHK 3rd Aug 2017, The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the
groundwater level briefly plummeted near a building that houses one of the
crippled reactors.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says the fall
was observed in a monitoring well about 11 meters southwest of the No.4
reactor building on Wednesday. The utility says the groundwater level
temporarily sank roughly 1 meter below the level of contaminated water
inside the reactor building. The firm says the groundwater rose above the
usual level 23 minutes later.

A sharp fall in the groundwater level just
outside reactor buildings could cause contaminated water to leak from
inside the buildings.  https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170804_06/

August 7, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Change of plan needed for Fukushima reactors cleanup, following underwater images

Footage from reactor 3 may force rewrite of Fukushima road map, officials say, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/30/national/footage-reactor-3-may-force-rewrite-fukushima-road-map-officials-say/ KYODO The first images of melted fuel from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant indicate that it did not burn through the pressure vessel of reactor 3, but exited through the holes used to insert the control rods, officials say.

While the landmark robot footage from the primary containment vessel of unit 3 is helping Tokyo Electric grasp the reality of the damaged fuel assemblies, it may also force it to rewrite the road map for decommissioning the meltdown-hit plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., better known as Tepco, sent an underwater robot into reactor 3 earlier this month to confirm its hypothesis that the core — the fuel assemblies in the pressure vessel — broke apart and fell to the bottom, letting molten fuel burn through and drip into the primary containment vessel.

According to Tepco spokesman Takahiro Kimo to, however, the images taken beneath the PCV indicate the pressure vessel probably withstood the heat of the molten fuel. He said the fuel apparently seeped through the holes for the control rods.

“We do not presume that the vessel, which is 14 cm thick, melted and collapsed together with the fuel, but that part of the fuel instead made its way down through holes,” Kimoto said. The control rods are used to moderate the chain reaction and are inserted vertically into the core.

Tepco said it estimates reactor 3 has about 364 tons of fuel debris, and that similar amounts will be found in reactors 1 and 2. Removing the fuel from the reactors is the largest challenge in defueling the aged plant — a process that could take up to 40 years to complete.

The camera on the underwater robot also captured images of rubble around the fuel debris, which could slow the removal process. The rubble includes devices for supporting the control rods at the bottom of the PCV and scaffolding for maintenance workers beneath the pressure vessel.

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko said the government and Tepco will try to draft a plan for removing the melted fuel in September, with an eye to hammering out the specifics in the first half of fiscal 2018 and starting the work in 2021.

But the findings from reactor 3 may force them to alter the state’s road map for decommissioning Fukushima No. 1, officials said.

An entity providing technical support for the project has urged that efforts be made to remove the melted fuel from the submerged lower part of the PCV by keeping air in the upper part, according to a source familiar with the plan.

Although filling the PCV completely with water would largely reduce the radiation risk to the robot probes, the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp. is reluctant to do so because it is damaged and the toxic water will just leak out, the source said.

At the other two reactors, Tepco thinks most of the fuel in reactor 1 fell to the bottom of the primary containment vessel, and that some of the fuel in reactor 2 remained in the pressure vessel. The company made the estimates based on cosmic ray imaging analysis and by sending robots and endoscopes into the PCVs of the two reactors.

July 31, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

The enormity of decommissioning of the Fukushima Reactor No.1 shown by images of melted nuclear fuel

Melted nuke fuel images show struggle facing Fukushima plant http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201707230012.html, By KOHEI TOMIDA/ Staff Writer, July 23, 2017 Images captured on July 22 of solidified nuclear fuel debris at the bottom of a containment vessel of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant show the enormity of decommissioning of the facility.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it will closely study the images from the No. 3 reactor’s containment vessel to determine the spread and amount of nuclear fuel debris.

After analysis, TEPCO will decide on a policy to retrieve the fuel debris. The government and TEPCO plan to start the retrieval process in one of the three crippled reactors at the plant from 2021. It will be a formidable task, given that a method of recovering debris that is stuck to the floor has yet to be considered.

The recent images were taken by a submersible robot, which was sent into the containment vessel on July 19, 21 and 22.The No. 3 reactor’s containment vessel is filled with water to a depth of 6.4 meters. On the final day, the remote-controlled robot was dispatched to the deepest part of the containment vessel.

The images showed that pieces that fell from the structure and deposited material accumulated to a height of about 1 meters at the bottom of the containment vessel.

In particular, what is believed to be nuclear fuel debris is scattered in the form of rocks in the area directly beneath the pressure vessel.

The latest investigation has confirmed TEPCO’s assumption made through analyses that most of the reactor’s nuclear fuel melted through the pressure vessel and accumulated at the bottom of the containment vessel. It also discovered that the nuclear fuel debris has spread throughout the containment vessel. The images marked the first confirmation through a robot probe of a large amount of nuclear debris in any of the embattled No. 1 through No. 3 reactors.

July 24, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Tepco not likely to meet the estimated $192.5 Billion of the Fukushima nuclear clean-up

The Total Fukushima Cost is now estimated at $21.5 trillion Yen ($192.5 Billion Dollars) by the Japanese Government,  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/total-fukushima-cost-now-estimated-215-trillion-yen-1925-maxwell  July 22, 2017Keith Jason Maxwell

The Japanese government said in December that it expects total costs including compensation, decommissioning and decontamination to reach 21.5 trillion yen ($192.5 billion) in a process likely to take at least four decades as highradiation levels slow operations.

The new CEO of TEPCO has recently stated that unless TEPCO can increase its cash flow and profit margin (e.g. rate increases) the company will not be able to continue, or ultimately finish the recovery. In this scenario, the Japanese government will then be responsible for the cost of the recovery.

July 24, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Nuclear fuel debris hangs like icicles in Fukushima reactor No 3

Fukushima robot finds potential fuel debris hanging like icicles in reactor 3 http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/21/national/fukushima-robot-finds-potential-fuel-debris-hanging-like-icicles-reactor-3/#.WXJyHRWGPGg, BY KAZUAKI NAGATA, STAFF WRITER, JUL 21, 2017 Tokyo Electric said Friday that a remotely controlled robot investigating the interior of reactor 3 at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant has finally spotted objects that could potentially be fuel debris.

The objects look like icicles hanging around a control rod drive attached to the bottom of the pressure vessel, which holds the core, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said at an evening news conference.

 Enclosed by the huge primary containment vessel, the pressure vessel originally contained the fuel rod assemblies. But the rods melted into a puddle and pierced the bottom of the pressure vessel once the plant lost power after being swamped by the monstrous tsunami of March 11, 2011.

The robot also captured images of lumps of material that appear to have melted and resolidified near the wall of the pedestal, a concrete structure that supports the pressure vessel.

“From the pictures taken today, it is obvious that some melted objects came out of the reactor. This means something of high temperature melted some structural objects and came out. So it is natural to think that melted fuel rods are mixed with them,” said Takahiro Kimoto, a Tepco spokesman.

“In that sense, it is possible that the melted objects found this time are melted fuel debris or probably around it,” he said, saying the utility will think about how they can be analyzed to determine if they are the former fuel rods.

This is the first time Tepco has found something likely to be melted fuel. When the utility sent a different robot into reactor 2 in January, it found black lumps sticking to the grating in the primary containment vessel but said they were difficult to identify.

The utility began probing reactor 3 on Wednesday. Since the PCV has 6 meters of water in it, which is higher than in reactors 1 and 2, the 30-cm robot will have to go deep under water.

The robot has two cameras — one on the front that can pivot 180 degrees vertically, and another on its back.

Tepco will continue the probe on Saturday.

July 22, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

New Tepco chairman wants to hasten release of radioactively polluted water into the sea

TEPCO chair: Nuclear plant must release contaminated water, FOX Business , By MARI YAMAGUCHI  July 13, 2017 TOKYO –  The new chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co. says the utility needs to stop dragging its feet on plans to dump massive amounts of treated but contaminated water into the sea and make more money if it’s ever going to succeed in cleaning up the mess left by meltdowns more than six years ago at the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Takashi Kawamura, an engineer-turned-business leader who previously headed Hitachi’s transformation into a global conglomerate, is in charge of reviving TEPCO and leading the cleanup at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant. In an interview Thursday with selected media including The Associated Press, Kawamura said despite the massive costs of the cleanup and meeting tighter safety requirements, nuclear power is still vital for Japan’s national security…………..http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/07/13/tepco-chair-nuclear-plant-must-release-contaminated-water.html

July 14, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, Japan, oceans | Leave a comment

Security fears for Fukushima residents returning to deserted towns

For Fukushima returnees, security a growing concern in deserted towns, Japan Times, FUKUSHIMA MINPO, 18 June 17  “…..  According to town officials, only about 300 residents have come back so far.

Many of the houses in Sato’s neighborhood remain uninhabited. So when he spots a car parked in the dark, it frightens him.

“If safety and security aren’t ensured, there won’t be more people coming back,” Sato said.

Sparked by returnees’ concerns about security, many recovering municipalities have set up neighborhood watch groups, installed security cameras and taken other measures to increase safety…..

The number of police officers brought in from outside Fukushima to help patrol the no-go zone has been reduced to 192, or about 150 fewer than five years ago. The police presence is expected to decline further as decontamination progresses, raising concerns on how to ensure security there in the future.

Many municipalities have been funding security costs with central government subsidies, but it is unclear whether that will continue after fiscal 2020, when the state-designated reconstruction and revitalization period is scheduled to end. The Reconstruction Agency is also slated to be dissolved by then.

A top Reconstruction Agency official would only say it will “consider the issue in the future.”

For its part, the town of Namie is expected to spend about ¥700 million in fiscal 2017 to fund the neighborhood watch teams and surveillance systems. But town officials are worried whether they’ll be able to afford the systems once the subsidies dry up.

Reconstruction minister Masayoshi Yoshino, a Lower House politician representing the Fukushima No. 5 district, said in April that he will consider creating a new government entity to take over the work of the Reconstruction Agency.

“I want the government to tell us that it will continue to fund” such projects, said Namie Deputy Mayor Katsumi Miyaguchi. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/06/18/national/fukushima-returnees-security-growing-concern-deserted-towns/#.WUb79JKGPGg

June 19, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Underwater robot to probe damage at Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant

Swimming robot to probe damage at Japan nuclear plant, abc news, By MARI YAMAGUCHI, ASSOCIATED PRESS  YOKOSUKA, Japan — Jun 15, 2017, A Japanese industrial group unveiled Thursday a robot designed for underwater probes of damage from meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Remote controlled robots are key to the decades-long decommissioning process for the plant. But super-high radiation and structural damage inside the reactors hampered earlier attempts to inspect areas close to the reactors’ cores.

The developers say they plan to send the new “mini manbo,” or “little sunfish,” probe into the primary containment vessel of Unit 3 at Fukushima in July to study the extent of damage and locate parts of melted fuel thought to have fallen to the bottom of the chamber, submerged by highly radioactive water.

The robot, about the size of a loaf of bread, is equipped with lights, maneuvers with tail propellers and collects data using two cameras and a dosimeter…….

Japan hopes to locate and start removing fuel from the reactors after Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics.

Snake and scorpion-shaped robots tested earlier became stuck inside two reactors. The scorpion robot’s crawling function failed and it was left inside the plant’s Unit 2 containment vessel. The other, designed to clear debris for the “scorpion” probe, was called back after two hours when two of its cameras stopped working after its total radiation exposure reached 1,000 Sievert — a level that would kill a human within seconds. The plan had been to use the robot for 10 hours at an exposure level of 100 Sievert per hour.

The swimming robot was co-developed Toshiba and the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, or IRID, a government-funded consortium……

IRID director Hirotsugu Fujiwara said the biggest challenge is to figure out how to remove melted debris. He’s keen to finally see conditions inside Unit 3. “I feel we are finally at the starting line of decommissioning,” he said.

Scientists need to know the melted nuclear fuel’s exact location and understand structural damage in each of the three wrecked reactors to work out the optimum, safest way to remove the fuel……

TEPCO is struggling with the plant’s decommissioning, which is now expected to cost 8 trillion yen ($70 billion), four times an earlier estimate. Part of that cost will be included in Japanese utility bills.

The 2011 meltdown forced tens of thousands of nearby residents to evacuate their homes. Many are still unable to return due to high radiation levels. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/swimming-robot-probe-damage-japan-nuclear-plant-48050128

June 16, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Review of book on Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

Review: Crisis without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe, Helen Caldicott et al.http://www.sanfranciscoreviewofbooks.com/2017/05/book-review-crisis-without-end-medical.html 4.0 out of 5 stars Vital Detailed Truth, Lacks Compelling Visualization, July 9, 2015 This review was written by Robert David Steele and has been reposted with permission. The original page can be found here.   This book stems from a conference and is a very nicely presented double-spaced precis of the world-class contributions from the conference.

Highlights:
HELEN CALDICOTT QUOTE (3): The Fukushima disaster is not over and will not end for many millenia. The radioactive fallout, which has covered vast swaths of Japan, will remain toxic for hundreds of thousands of years.”
NAOTO KAN QUOTE (19): Considering the risk of losing half our land and evacuating half our population, my conclusion is that not having nuclear power plants is the safest energy policy.
DAVID LOCHBAUM: Fukushima was result of multiple foreseen but dismissed hazards. The cost of the recommended safety measures would have been a tiny fraction of the final cost of the total disaster that will be adding costs for a century into the future.
HISAKO SAKIYAMA: Virtually all hospitals included in today’s nuclear reaction plans are themselves so close as to be rendered victims themselves in the event of any real nuclear disaster.
STEVEN STARR: 13% of the Japanese mainland has been contaminated with cesium-137 while the Pacific Ocean and its seafood have been widely contaminated.
AKIO MATSUMURA: Fukushima could explode again and double-down on threat to humanity. Meanwhile, US stands silent, Japanese government is covering everything up, and no reporters, scientists, or other governments are demanding any form of transparency.
TIMOTHY MOUSSEAU: Roughly a third of wildlife disappears from radiated areas — but the studies are not being done or if done not published because no government, no university, no foundtion, wants to pay for bad news.
ALEXEY YABLOKOV: WHO, IAEA, ICRC have falsified just about everything about Fukushima specifically and nuclear risks generally.
ARNOLD GUNDERSEN: Fukushima was made in USA, with GE knowingly repressing risk information, cutting corners, and failing to provide all of the safety features known to be needed (including provision for a 46 foot tsunami correctly forecast).
ROBERT ALVAREZ: Because US has dithered on a “permanent” nuclear waste solution, the “temporary” pools are now holding five times their planned capacity. A standard US nuclear storage pool fire would be sixty times worse than Chernobyl.
KEVIN CAMPS: CIA helped fund the post-war politicians in Japan, and part of CIA’s mandate was to ensure they all bought into nuclear power.
CINDY FOLKERS: US manipulating radiation standards in post-Fukishima era to allow twelve times more radiation poisoning of children than now allowed in Japan, and to explicitly cover-up the radiation in agricultural and seafood products that would otherwise sharply constrain those markets.
DAVID FREEMAN: Risks aside, nuclear power is unaffordable. QUOTE (217): Even with the latest improvements, the cost overrun is abvout one or two billion dollars.” Nuclear power is now an “existential threat” but the public is completely ignorant of the fact that they have 30 years of nuclear waste piled up in their backyard waiting to be set on fire.
HELEN CALDICOTT: Absent public education, we appear bent on self-destruction.
The book could have been improved with a bibliography and some visualization, but I certainly found it very informative and troubling. In combination, public ignorance, government and corporation corruption, and complacency among academics, media, and think tanks, have allowed the creation of an aging nuclear industry certain to explode in our face again.

May 29, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, resources - print | Leave a comment

Families do not want to return to polluted Fukushima areas

the cleanup extends to only 20 meters around each house, and three-quarters of the village is forested mountains. In windy weather, radioactive elements are blown back onto the fields and homes.

The government is forcing people to go back, some argued, employing a form of economic blackmail, or worse, kimin seisaku — abandoning them to their fate.

The evacuation orders for most of the village of Iitate have been lifted. But where are the people?, Japan Times, BY DAVID MCNEILL AND CHIE MATSUMOTO, 14 May 17 

 “…….A cluster of 20 small hamlets spread over 230 square kilometers, Iitate was undone by a quirk of the weather in the days that followed the nuclear accident in March 2011. Wind carried radioactive particles from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which is located about 45 kilometers away, that fell in rain and snow on the night of March 15, 2011. After more than a month of indecision, during which the villagers lived with some of the highest radiation recorded in the disaster (the reading outside the village office on the evening of March 15 was a startling 44.7 microsieverts per hour), the government ordered them to leave.

Now, the government says it is safe to go back. With great fanfare, all but the still heavily contaminated south of Iitate, Nagadoro, was reopened on March 31.

The reopening fulfills a pledge made by Mayor Norio Kanno: Iitate was the first local authority in Fukushima Prefecture to set a date for ending evacuation in 2012, when the mayor promised to reboot the village in five years. The village has a new sports ground, convenience store and udon restaurant. A clinic sees patients twice a week. All that’s missing is people.

Waiting to meet Kanno in the government offices of Iitate, the eye falls on a book displayed in the reception: “The Most Beautiful Villages in Japan.” Listed at No. 12 is the beloved rolling patchwork of forests, hills and fields the mayor has governed for more than two decades — population 6,300, famous for its neat terraces of rice and vegetables, its industrious organic farmers, its wild mushrooms and the black wagyu cow that has taken the name of the area.

The description in the book is mocked by reality outside. The fields are mostly bald, shorn of vegetation in a Promethean attempt to decontaminate it of the radiation that fell six years ago. There is not a cow or a farmer in sight. Tractors sit idle in the fields. The local schools are empty. As for the population, the only part of the village that looks busy is the home for the elderly across the road from Kanno’s office…….

There has been no official talk of abandoning it. Indeed, any suggestion otherwise could be controversial: When industry minister Yoshio Hachiro called the abandoned communities “towns of death” in September 2011, the subsequent outrage forced him to quit a week later.

Instead, the area was divided into three zones with awkward euphemisms to suggest just the opposite: Communities with annual radiation measuring 20 millisieverts or less (the typical worldwide limit for workers in nuclear plants) are “being prepared for lifting of evacuation order,” districts of 20-50 millisieverts per year are “no-residence zones” and the most heavily contaminated areas of 50 millisieverts or more per year, such as Nagadoro, are “difficult-to-return.”…..

the cleanup extends to only 20 meters around each house, and three-quarters of the village is forested mountains. In windy weather, radioactive elements are blown back onto the fields and homes.

“All that money, and for what?” asks Nobuyoshi Itoh, a farmer and critic of the mayor. “Would you bring children here and let them roam in the fields and forests?”…..

Though nobody knows the true figure, the local talk is that perhaps half of the villagers have permanently left. Surveys suggest fewer than 30 percent want to return, and even less in the case of Nagadoro.

Yoshitomo Shigihara, head of the Nagadoro hamlet, says many families made their decision some time ago. His grandchildren, he says, should not have to live in such a place.

“It’s our job to protect them,” Shigihara says. …….

The government is forcing people to go back, some argued, employing a form of economic blackmail, or worse, kimin seisaku — abandoning them to their fate.

Itoh is angry at the resettlement. For him, politics drives the haste to put the disaster behind.

“It’s inhuman to make people go back to this,” he says. Like the physical damage of radiation, he says, the psychological damage is also invisible: “A lot of people are suffering in silence.”

Itoh believes the government wants to show that the problems of nuclear power can be overcome so it can switch the nation’s idling nuclear reactors back on. Just four are in operation while the fate of 42 others remains in political and legal limbo. Public opinion remains opposed to their restart.

Many people began with high hopes in Iitate but have gradually grown distrustful of the village government, says Kenichi Hasegawa, a farmer who wrote a book titled “Genpatsu ni Furusato o Ubawarete” (“Fukushima’s Stolen Lives”) in 2012. Right from the start, he says, the mayor desperately tried to hide the shocking radiation outside his office……. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/05/13/national/social-issues/fukushima-land-return/#.WRkB8UWGPGh

May 15, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

World Health Organization’s Flawed Fukushima Report

Hidden Radiation Secrets of the World Health Organization, CounterPunch  MAY 2, 2017

Alex Rosen of Int’l Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War critiqued the two WHO Fukushima reports, found to be extremely problematic, and once again, similar to Chernobyl, shoddy work that sweeps way too much dirt under the carpet.

Here’s the problem: WHO’s estimates of Fukushima radioactive exposure are at least 50% less than any other estimates, including estimates provided by TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company, the plant operator) itself. But, WHO is supposed to be the guardian of public health concerns, not TEPCO.

Also, two critical population studies are ignored in the WHO reports, i.e., all of the residents within the 20 km exclusion zone are eliminated, even though their radiation exposure would be very high, actually highest. The second group ignored is workers on site… ahem!

Additionally, WHO cavalierly approved the Japanese government’s drastic change in annual maximum radiation exposure allowed for the general population up to 20 mSv per year.http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/02/hidden-radiation-secrets-of-the-world-health-organization/

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Wildfires near Fukushima crippled nuclear power plant

Fukushima authorities ask troops to help deal with forest fires near crippled nuclear power plant https://www.rt.com/news/386662-fukushima-forest-fires-soldiers/#.WQaIanZz1L8.facebook

Fukushima prefecture has asked the Japanese Self-Defense Forces for help in handling forest fires that have swept areas near the crippled Fukushima power plant, local media report. Strong winds are hindering the firefighting efforts, however.

The forest fires broke out near the town of Namie, some seven kilometers from the disabled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, on Saturday evening, Japanese NHK broadcaster reported.

Namie was evacuated following the 2011 tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

The prefecture has deployed several helicopters to extinguish the fires, which are believed to have been caused by lightning. According to police, at least 10 hectares of forest have burned in the area.

There have been no reports of injuries or damage to buildings so far, Japanese media say.

With strong winds stoking the flames, the Fukushima Prefecture has requested help from the Self-Defense Forces, Japan’s de-facto army, on Sunday.

Earlier in April, residents of Namie, as well as those from the village of Iitate and the town of Kawamata’s Yamakiya neighborhood, totaling 22,100 people in all, were told they could return home – with the exception of those with houses in so-called no-go zones, where radiation levels are still too high, according to Japanese media.

So far, the homecoming has not been as successful as the government had hoped, as few residents have been eager to go back.

Results of a Fukushima Prefectural Government survey released on April 24 show that some 78.2 percent of the evacuated households have no intention of returning to their previous residences and plan to remain in the area they evacuated to.

May 1, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Japan sending people back to radioactively contaminated area in Fukushima

A girl holds her petition to ask the education ministry to protect children from radioactive contamination at Fukushima prefecture during a rally at the Education Ministry in Tokyo on May 23, 2011. Some 400 civic group members, including 60 parents and children from Fukushima, demanded to review the radiation limit of 3.8 microsieverts per an hour as the education ministry has set a radiation limit to allow children in Fukushima. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO

Incredible contamination in Namie, Fukushima where people are being forced to live! European News Weekly,  April 22, 2017Mirrored, Source for article https://fukushima311voices.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/incredible-contamination-in-namie-fukushima/

The evacuation orders of the most populated areas of Namie, Fukushima were lifted on March 31st this year.

“Fukuichi area environmental radiation monitoring project” has published airborne radiation measurements map and soil surface density map. The results are simply incredible. This is far much worse than in Radiation Control Zone. Any area becomes designated as such when the total effective dose due to external radiation and that due to radioactive substances in the air is likely to exceed 1.3mSv per quarter – over a period of three months, or when the surface density is over 40,000Bq/m2. In the Radiation Control Zone, it is prohibited to drink, eat or stay overnight. Even adults are not allowed to stay more than 10 hours. To leave the zone, one has to go through a strict screening.

Namie’s radio contamination is far over these figures! And people are told to go back to these areas……..https://europeannewsweekly.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/incredible-contamination-in-namie-fukushima-where-people-are-being-forced-to-live/

April 24, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment