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Japan’s Mihama nuclear plant reports radioactive water leak, sparking concerns after Fukushima discharge plan

A file photo shows containers of nuclear-contaminated water at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan on October 16, 2020. Japan’s nuclear regulator on July 22, 2022 approved the dumping of the water into the sea, despite international concerns and protests.

August 2, 2022

About 10 days after Japan’s nuclear regulator approved the plan to discharge nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima power plant, another nuclear power plant in central Japan leaked about seven tons of water containing radioactive elements, sparking wide concern over safety of Japan’s nuclear power plants.

Also, on Tuesday the local government in Fukushima Prefecture agreed to allow Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to build facilities to dump the nuclear-contaminated water, Japan’s NHK reported. The Nuclear Regulation Authority of Japan on July 22 officially approved the water discharge plan.

According to the operator Kansai Electric Power Company, about seven tons of radioactive water leaked from Mihama 3 reactor at the Mihama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture on Monday. The amount of radioactivity of the leaked water is about 2.2 million becquerels (Bq).

According to the Waste Management and Recycling Department, Japanese Ministry of the Environment, 100Bq/kg is the standard for safe recycling of waste and 8,000Bq/kg is the standard for safe disposal of waste.

The company claimed that the leak was contained and had no impact on the external environment.

The over 40-year-old reactor is currently out of service. The company is investigating whether the leak will affect the reactor’s scheduled restart in mid-August, Japanese media outlet Sankei News reported.

The aging Mihama 3 reactor has a stained history. In August 2004, a pipeline of the reactor broke down, which killed five and seriously injured six people, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun.

Voices from civil society have expressed their deep concern over the Mihama nuclear power plant.

According to Kyoto Shimbun, a civil group on Friday urged the governor of Shiga Prefecture to publicly announce their opposition to the Kansai Electric Power Company’s plan to restart Mihama 3 in mid-August.

The latest radioactive water leak and the dumping of Fukushima nuclear waste have largely overdrawn the credit of the Japanese authorities and related companies, according to both netizens from Japan and China.

A Japanese netizen said the old Mihama reactor has long been in bad condition. Another Japanese netizen said the accident could be intentional.

“The leak will not affect the outside environment. Really? Japan said the same thing when they decided to dump the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into the sea!” said a Chinese netizen.

Zhang Yancang, director of the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea Research Institute of Dalian Maritime University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the ocean is not Japan’s sewage disposal site, and the marine ecology is an organic whole, so once the pollution spreads, it may affect the entire body. Most countries, including the US, cannot be immune to it.

According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, states should hold an international legal obligation to combat transboundary pollution of the oceans. However, Japan has prepared for a long time to avoid legal responsibility for dumping nuclear-contaminated water and radioactive water leaks, Zhang said.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202208/1272039.shtml?fbclid=IwAR1a95oMFMqanLQ898A5O5iBkpHJZ49ZjOHsIgHw_kOOWFcwwpUbDdo-3VU#.YurMEc3l-Rk.facebook

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Pref. agrees to discharge treated wastewater, protest rally held in front of Prefectural Office

August 3, 2022
On August 2, Fukushima Prefecture, Okuma Town, and Futaba Town agreed to start construction of a facility to discharge treated water that continues to accumulate at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the sea. Overnight, Governor Uchibori handed a letter of request to Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hagiuda, and citizens opposed to the discharge held a protest rally in front of the prefectural government.

On the 2nd, Governor Uchibori, Okuma Mayor Yoshida, and Futaba Mayor Izawa gave their approval to TEPCO’s plan to discharge treated water into the sea and to start construction of the facilities.

From Futaba Town, where the evacuation order will be partially lifted on the 30th of this month, please visit …….

Mayor Izawa of Futaba-machi: “Recognizing that people will actually start living in the town, we ask that you continue to work to ensure that safe and steady decommissioning work at the nuclear power plant proceeds in a systematic manner.

The prior consent was given amidst strong opposition to and concerns about the release of the radioactive waste. Governor Uchibori positioned the approval as follows.

Governor Uchibori: “This is to confirm that the necessary safety measures have been taken for the facilities planned by TEPCO.

When asked about the current lack of understanding of the release, he responded: …….

Governor Uchibori said, “The government and TEPCO are the parties concerned about the handling of the treated water. Today, I asked the president of TEPCO to make further efforts to promote understanding.

On the other hand, the government and TEPCO have promised the fishermen that they will not dispose of the treated water in any way without the understanding of the concerned parties.

President Kobayakawa limited himself to stating that “we will consider the process going forward in consultation with the national government” in determining whether or not understanding has been achieved.

Then, on the 3rd, Governor Uchibori visited the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry together with Okuma Mayor Yoshida and Futaba Mayor Izawa, and handed a written request to Minister Hagiuda.

The written request listed five items, including “explanations and understanding of the situation to all parties concerned,” including the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries industries. Governor Uchibori requested a response, stating that “there are a variety of opinions and that the prefectural residents and the public do not have a sufficient understanding.

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hagiuda said, “We will make further efforts to prevent rumors from arising by delivering information based on scientific evidence to many people in Japan and abroad.

Hagita responded that he would provide fishermen, wholesalers, retailers, consumers, and others with opportunities to inspect the nuclear power plant and disseminate information.

After the meeting, Governor Uchibori said, “We talked about how the government should take firm measures so that fishermen in particular, the current generation as well as the future generation, will be able to fish with hope.

Meanwhile, citizens opposed to the discharge gathered in front of the Fukushima prefectural government office to protest the prior consent.

Don’t pollute the sea any more! Terumi Kataoka, Citizens’ Council, said, “What lies ahead of the prior consent is the ocean discharge, and we, the citizens of the prefecture, will not be satisfied with such language. For us, we feel as if we are being treated like fools.

Earlier, the citizens held a press conference and demanded that the prefectural government rescind its consent.

Don’t pollute the sea any more! Chiyo Oda, co-chairperson of the Citizens’ Council of Japan, said, “It is wrong to say that this is indispensable for decommissioning the plant, but to proceed so quickly to discharge the water into the ocean while the final form of the decommissioning process has not been shown.

Under these circumstances, TEPCO has announced that it will begin construction of a tunnel to discharge treated water from the plant on April 4. While insufficient understanding, opposition and concerns remain, only the technical preparations for next spring are steadily advancing.
https://newsdig.tbs.co.jp/articles/tuf/113919?display=1&fbclid=IwAR0B5YBqahK0csgybH7G2qfIMfDbNw0rs0eo3a2quDU3yH-S8TNIsWLsv4M

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

104th protest in front of TEPCO’s head office, “Net for the Realization of No Exposure to Radiation” issued a full-length letter of offer summarizing the actual damage caused by exposure to radiation.

August 1, 2022
Children suffering from radiation exposure: “Acknowledge the relationship between the nuclear accident and childhood thyroid cancer
The Network for the Realization of No Exposure to Radiation Takae Miyaguchi

The Fukushima nuclear power plant accident spread enormous amounts of radiation.
 After the accident, many people gathered in front of the TEPCO headquarters in protest. 14 years ago, a joint protest began on the first Wednesday night of every month, and this May marked the 104th such event.
 About 100 people gather each time. Before the protest, drums are beaten and a microphone relay is used to protest and make a request to TEPCO. Each time, we hand the TEPCO a written request, and if there is any doubt about the response, we submit it again.
 This is the first time that the “Network for the Realization of Exposure Free Japan,” which I am involved with, has submitted a written request to the TEPCO. The content of the letter is a reflection of the situation and thoughts I have been experiencing through my support for the “Children’s Lawsuit for Exposure to Radiation” and other activities.
The following is a summary of the letter.
 Eleven years have passed since the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, but the declaration of a nuclear emergency remains in effect. At the Fukushima nuclear power plant, exposure work with no foreseeable future and convergence work continue amidst the remaining debris with high concentrations of radioactive materials that are inaccessible to humans. Radioactive materials have been released into the air and are flying into the Tokyo metropolitan area on the wind. The Fukushima nuclear accident has not ended.
 TEPCO understands the despair, grief, and anger of the victims of the nuclear accident, and in an effort to hold TEPCO accountable, victims have filed lawsuits against TEPCO in various regions, and the courts have confirmed TEPCO’s responsibility for the nuclear accident, but the amount of compensation awarded by the courts to each person is shockingly small compared to the extent of the damage.
 What the victims truly desire is the return of their hometowns as they were before the nuclear accident, where people made their living, families lived, children cheered, and people laughed, and where life was normal, rooted in the local climate, and connected to history! This is what we have been trying to achieve for the past 11 years.
 Eleven years later, the evacuation designation has been lifted except for some areas that are difficult to return to.
The policy of forcing people to return to their hometowns because their annual exposure level is below 20 mSv, 20 times the allowable annual exposure level of 1 mSv for the public, is unacceptable. We denounce the depth of TEPCO’s crimes of spreading massive amounts of radioactive materials, polluting the mountains, rivers, and land of Fukushima, destroying our hometowns, and depriving people of their livelihoods.

In the face of radiation taboos and discrimination
Young People Who Courageously Stood Up Against Radiation Taboo and Discrimination

He continued.
 In January of this year, six young people who had developed childhood thyroid cancer rose to their feet. Three or four years later, many of them were found to have pediatric thyroid cancer in a Fukushima health survey, and all of them underwent surgery.
 Thyroid cancer is a slow-growing cancer, and the prognosis for surgery is good, according to the committee’s experts. However, some of the plaintiffs had recurrence after surgery, reoperation, RAI isotope treatment, and some were found to have distant metastasis in the lungs.
 Their health did not recover even after the surgery, they dropped out of college, resigned from the company where they worked, were not hired when they were told they had cancer, etc. They have thought about, worried about, and suffered from the despair of having the door closed to them at the starting line of their lives, anxiety about the recurrence of cancer in the future, treatment costs, work, and whether or not they will be able to make a living independently.
 Why is it that nearly 30 out of 380,000 children in Fukushima have developed thyroid cancer, compared to only one or two out of a million children in Japan? Why have nearly 300 cases been reported among 380,000 children in Fukushima? The Prefectural Health Study Review Committee acknowledges the high incidence of childhood thyroid cancer, but denies any causal relationship with the nuclear accident, saying that it is overdiagnosis.
 Last July, the Hiroshima A-bomb “black rain” victims’ lawsuit recognized that internal exposure is not a matter of quantity, but that if even a small amount of radiation enters the body’s tissues and is deposited, it damages cells and causes cancer. In the case of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, a causal relationship between childhood thyroid cancer and the nuclear power plant accident was recognized. The plaintiffs want to clarify why they developed pediatric thyroid cancer.
 The relationship between childhood thyroid cancer and the nuclear power plant accident” is a taboo subject, and the plaintiffs have been hiding their illness for a long time for fear of being discriminated against, but they want to make their illness public and have the court find a “causal relationship between childhood thyroid cancer and exposure to radiation. They have stood up courageously to make TEPCO pay compensation for their illness. We demand the following
TEPCO must admit that it is the perpetrator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident and the spreading of radioactive materials.
Please admit the causal relationship between radioactive iodine released from the Fukushima nuclear power plant and childhood thyroid cancer as soon as possible.
Please take responsibility for the future of these six young people.
We ask that you take responsibility for the future of these six young people.
 The fight to leave a world without radiation exposure to children continues.
https://note.com/jinminshinbun/n/n137ff335aaa0?fbclid=IwAR2FJl-KiOLqm4GjfTdOT6uBxZ_xlAzh7BOiwkkUyeOXHsyAUXBc88jeFck

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Storage of treated water “postpones the problem” Construction approval, a nail in the coffin of the municipality where the site is located

Tanks storing treated water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma Town, Fukushima Prefecture, February 26, 2022 (photo by Nishi Natsuo)

Aug. 2, 2022
The Fukushima prefectural government, the town of Okuma, and the town of Futaba have expressed their consent to the construction of an undersea tunnel and other facilities that will be a prerequisite for the offshore discharge of treated water from the TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. On April 2, Governor Masao Uchibori and others gave their approval to the start of the construction work necessary for the discharge and informed TEPCO of their approval. Why did the local government give its consent?


The Promise to the Fishermen: Ongoing Debate

 We take this matter very seriously. Tomoaki Kobayakawa, president of TEPCO Holdings, visited the Fukushima prefectural government office at 5:00 p.m. that day and bowed his head with a mysterious expression on his face after receiving prior approval from the prefectural government and the top officials of Futaba and Okuma towns for the discharge of treated water into the ocean.

 According to the prefectural government officials, the three parties agreed that the opinions expressed by the prefecture, Futaba-machi, and Okuma-machi should be implemented at the earliest possible time, without delay. The prefectural government contacted TEPCO after the executive meeting that afternoon. Shiro Izawa, the mayor of Futaba Town, and Atsushi Yoshida, the mayor of Okuma Town, joined the meeting afterwards.

 In July, a report was compiled by the Technical Study Group for Ensuring Nuclear Power Plant Safety, formed by the prefectural government and others, on TEPCO’s implementation plan, which was the basis for the decision to give prior consent, stating that “technical safety was confirmed. Governor Masao Uchibori, based on the report, listed conditions such as ensuring the implementation of eight requirements, including the confirmation of radioactive materials, and reporting on the status of the efforts. At the same time, he did not forget to nudge TEPCO to “take all possible reputational measures.

https://mainichi.jp/articles/20220802/k00/00m/040/307000c?fbclid=IwAR3O0sGtlSCKu86KjzA3kSHztCPHqSFrpXPzJeb509yHN8tvkGbC-1uoooM

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Focus is on fishermen’s understanding of treated water; Governor does not approve of ocean discharge itself

After handing a written response to TEPCO Holdings President Tomoaki Kobayakawa, reporters interview (from left) Shiro Izawa, Mayor of Futaba Town; Masao Uchibori, Governor of Fukushima Prefecture; and Jun Yoshida, Mayor of Okuma Town at the Fukushima Prefectural Office on August 2, 2022, at 5:18 p.m. Photo by Daisuke Wada

Aug. 2, 2022
Regarding the release into the ocean of treated water that continues to accumulate at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Fukushima Prefecture Governor Masao Uchibori and the mayors of Okuma and Futaba, both located in Fukushima Prefecture, informed TEPCO Holdings President Tomoaki Kobayakawa on August 2 of their intention to give their prior approval for the start of construction necessary for the release. TEPCO had asked the three parties for their approval last December. TEPCO will now begin full-scale construction work, including the installation of an undersea tunnel, to discharge treated water approximately 1 km offshore from the No. 1 nuclear power plant. The offshore discharge is scheduled for the spring of 2023.

 The “prior consent” by the prefecture and the two towns is based on an agreement between TEPCO and the municipalities where the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is located to ensure safety in the decommissioning of the plant. TEPCO is required to obtain the approval of each municipality regarding technical safety when constructing new facilities or decommissioning existing ones. Meanwhile, the government and TEPCO have promised the prefectural federation of fishermen’s associations that “no disposal will take place without the understanding of the concerned parties. One of the focal points will be whether or not they can gain the understanding of the prefectural fishermen’s federation.

When President Kobayakawa visited the prefectural government that day, Governor Uchibori, Okuma Mayor Jun Yoshida, and Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa responded that they had “confirmed the technical safety” of the implementation plan for the No. 1 nuclear power plant, which includes designs and procedures for facilities to discharge treated water into the sea. The three parties then made requests regarding the control of new generation of highly contaminated water and the appropriate management of secondary wastes such as contaminated soil.

Fukushima Prefecture Governor Masao Uchibori (second from left) conveys his response to TEPCO HD President Tomoaki Kobayakawa (far right) on an application for prior approval of necessary construction work. Far left is Shiro Izawa, mayor of Futaba Town, and third from left is Jun Yoshida, mayor of Okuma Town, at Fukushima Prefectural Office on August 2, 2022; photo by Daisuke Wada.

Governor Uchibori commented, “There are various opinions, such as concerns about new rumors, opposition to the offshore discharge, and fears about the impact of land-based storage on reconstruction efforts. It cannot be said that the people of the prefecture and the public have a sufficient understanding of the situation,” he stressed. He called for the government and TEPCO to take responsibility for providing careful and sufficient explanations to deepen the understanding of all concerned parties, and to sincerely listen to their wishes and engage in dialogue with them.

After the meeting, Governor Uchibori explained to reporters, “Based on the safety assurance agreement, we confirmed that the necessary safety measures have been taken for the facilities planned by TEPCO. He emphasized that he did not approve the discharge of treated water into the ocean itself. Meanwhile, President Kobayakawa said, “We will give top priority to safety so that the decommissioning work can proceed with the trust of the local people and the reconstruction of the region can make steady progress.

 There has been strong opposition to the offshore discharge, especially from local fishermen who are concerned about harmful rumors. Against this backdrop, TEPCO has been steadily advancing preparatory work since last December, which does not require prior approval. The construction of a shaft that will serve as the entrance to the submarine tunnel and a discharge port that will serve as the exit are underway, and these works are scheduled to be completed in October this year.

 The Nuclear Regulation Commission of Japan has already approved the implementation plan for the No. 1 nuclear power plant in July, which includes the installation of an undersea tunnel for discharging treated water. The safety of the plan was discussed by the prefectural government and the local municipalities, and a report stating that “the safety of the surrounding area will be ensured” was submitted to the prefectural government and the two towns. Eina Isogai and Naohiro Hinuma
https://mainichi.jp/articles/20220802/k00/00m/040/310000c?fbclid=IwAR2QP9tp5CD_bjlcQLqGAaKHvNeD9IP93IqGzS6F0wNzNN2AJc4lRSYkL5s

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Korea considering taking Japan’s Fukushima plan to int’l tribunal: oceans minister

Oceans Minister Cho Seung-hwan

August 1, 2022

Korea is considering whether to petition an international court over Japan’s decision to discharge radioactive water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea, the oceans minister said Monday.

Last month, Japan’s nuclear regulator, the Nuclear Regulation Authority, formally approved the plan to discharge the radioactive waste water stored in tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean. More than 1.2 million tons of tritium-laced water is expected to be released.

During a parliamentary committee session Monday, Oceans Minister Cho Seung-hwan said that the government-wide task force on the Fukushima plan has reviewed “multiple times” whether to take the issue to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

Korea has urged Japan to have in-depth discussions with neighboring countries before pushing ahead with the plan, and has been working to garner international support for alternatives.

“The government, primarily, is making constant efforts to prevent Japan from releasing the contaminated water,” Cho said. “The government has raised the issue during multilateral meetings, stressing scientific and objective analysis verifications.”

Some lawmakers and civic groups have criticized the Seoul government for not doing enough to prevent the plan.

“We do not accept the release plan. Our stance is that we also need to think of responses (to its actual release),” Cho added.

Last year, then-President Moon Jae-in ordered officials to explore referring Japan’s Fukushima plan to the international court, including filing for an injunction.

In August 2021, the Seoul government submitted a document to the London Protocol secretariat that suggests the formation of a task force in charge of the Fukushima issue, though Japan has insisted that the matter is not subject to discussions under the Protocol.

The London Protocol calls for banning dumping, with some exceptions. It has 53 signatories, including Korea which joined it in 2009. (Yonhap)

https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220801009400320

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Citizens of Fukushima City protest against discharge of treated wastewater into the ocean.

Participants holding up placards saying “No ocean discharge” and other slogans.

August 1, 2022
On July 31, a street protest against TEPCO’s plan to discharge treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean was held in front of JR Fukushima Station in Fukushima City, with about 30 citizens holding placards saying “No to ocean discharge” and online participants expressing their opinions.

 On July 22, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) approved a plan to discharge treated water 1 km offshore from the plant. Construction of the discharge facility requires the prior approval of the prefectural government and the towns of Okuma and Futaba, where the plant is located, and the decision of the three parties will be announced in the future.

 DAPPE, a citizens’ group made up of people in their teens to 30s in Fukushima Prefecture, organized the street activities. Ryo Kubota, 33, a member of the group, said, “We should seek other disposal methods (other than discharging the waste into the ocean). Fumio Haga, head of the Nakoso Fishing Cooperative, who participated online, said, “They are forcing us to do this even though we oppose it. We can’t even voice our opinions, so what should we do? (Nobuyuki Takiguchi)
https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASQ707QD6Q70UGTB003.html?fbclid=IwAR2Zo4Sqw8dl-nIVFQnyfC9_NRVA6BTATrwX59pVwj-ev8M5Kng1hOtQex8

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Ex-TEPCO execs appeal $95 bil. damages ruling over Fukushima crisis

This file photo shows a building that houses the Tokyo District and High courts in the capital’s Chiyoda Ward.

July 27, 2022

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Four former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. on Wednesday appealed a court ruling that ordered them to pay the utility some 13 trillion yen ($95 billion) in damages for failing to prevent the tsunami-induced 2011 crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, their lawyer said.

The July 13 ruling of the Tokyo District Court was the first to find former TEPCO executives liable for compensation after the combined impact of a massive earthquake and tsunami on the plant in northeastern Japan in March 2011 caused one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.

Though it would be difficult for individuals to pay such a large sum of compensation, the damages of over 13 trillion yen are likely to be the largest ever awarded in a civil lawsuit in Japan. Nearly 50 shareholders had sought a total of around 22 trillion yen in damages.

The plaintiffs also filed an appeal on Wednesday demanding that damages of 22 trillion yen they are seeking should be fully recognized.

They also demand the seizure of four executives’ possessions, after the district court said that process can begin even if its ruling is appealed and the trial continues at a higher court.

The four executives are former Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, former President Masataka Shimizu and former vice presidents Ichiro Takekuro and Sakae Muto.

The Tokyo District Court ruled that, despite a TEPCO unit’s 2008 assessment of the plant’s vulnerability to tsunamis, the utility’s countermeasures for a tsunami risk “fundamentally lacked safety awareness and a sense of responsibility,” judging that the executives failed to perform their duties.

The former executives’ defense team has argued that an earlier government study on which the 2008 assessment was based lacked reliability and the management was still in the process of having a civil engineering association study whether the company should incorporate the tsunami risk evaluation in 2008 into its countermeasures.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220727/p2g/00m/0na/053000c

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment

Indonesia lifts restrictions on post-Fukushima food imports at Japan summit

TOKYO, July 27 (Xinhua) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo held talks in Tokyo on Wednesday ahead of this year’s Group of 20 major economies’ summit in Bali in November which Widodo will host.

Following a summit meeting between the leaders, Kishida told a joint press conference that Indonesia has lifted all restrictions on imports of Japanese food products that were imposed in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011.

Kishida said he was thankful for the move and that the lifting of import restrictions on food products from seven previously affected prefectures here would “encourages people in the disaster-hit areas.”

Widodo, for his part, said he asked Japan to ease or scrap tariffs it imposes on Indonesian tuna, pineapples and bananas.

He also passed on his condolences over the fatal shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was gunned down during a stump speech earlier this month.

Widodo will conclude his visit to Japan with a meeting with Emperor Naruhito later in the day and will then depart for South Korea, government officials here said.

http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2022-07/27/content_78344112.htm

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

South Koreans hold protests to condemn Japan’s sewage discharge into the sea

July 27, 2022

South Koreans hold protests against Japan for dumping sewage into the sea

Hangzhou Net Release time: 2022-07-27 12:55

CCTV news client news on the 26th local time, some South Koreans came to the Japanese embassy in South Korea to hold a protest rally, condemning the Japanese nuclear regulator for approving the plan to discharge nuclear polluted water into the sea, and asking the Japanese government to withdraw the relevant decision.

On the same day, protesters held placards and shouted slogans, strongly condemning Japan’s nuclear-polluted water discharge plan. They say the ocean is shared by mankind, not Japan’s own. Japan’s decision to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean endangers the health of all human beings and must be stopped.

Protester Kim Soo-hyung: The lives and safety of people all over the world will be destroyed. The decision to (nuclearly pollute the water and discharge the sea) is a major crime that may take away the future of mankind.

Protesters also said that the South Korean government must take a tougher stance and resolutely prevent Japan from discharging nuclear-contaminated water into the sea.

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol: “Japan should seek neighbors’ consent before releasing Fukushima wastewater”

This aerial photo shows the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, north of Tokyo, on March 17, 2022.

July 26, 2022

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Tuesday that Japan should seek the consent of neighboring countries before moving ahead with its plan to discharge treated radioactive wastewater from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean.

When asked by a reporter about the Japanese government’s recent approval to build discharge facilities during his regular morning press briefing, Yoon said: “Since my presidential campaign, my position has been that (Japan) should provide a transparent explanation about the issue of dealing with contaminated water for neighboring countries and gain consent.” He did not give any further details.

Japan’s nuclear regulator last Friday formally approved a plan to construct an underground water tunnel and other facilities to dump treated radioactive water into the sea — which was proposed by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings in December 2021, according to the country’s Foreign Ministry.

The recent approval came after the Japanese government, in 2021, approved a controversial initiative to release irradiated water into the Pacific Ocean starting from around spring 2023 in light of limited storage space.

The massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 destroyed cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. As of July, more than 1.3 million metric tons of highly radioactive wastewater, which was used to cool three damaged reactor cores, has reportedly been retained in the plant tanks.

President Yoon’s comment came a day after Rep. Kim Min-seok of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea called for Yoon to swiftly express the government’s official stance on Japan’s decision and propose counter plans.

“When discharge begins, radioactive materials will flow into our waters along ocean currents, and we will not be able to stop seafood exposed to radioactive substances from being served at the table,” Kim said on his Facebook post.

The lawmaker asked if the Yoon government remains silent in view of potential adverse impacts on its plan to resurrect the nuclear energy sector and its initiative to mend diplomatic ties with Japan.

South Korean Minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, Bang Moon-kyu, convened an emergency government meeting last Friday in response to Japan’s plan.

The Yoon government pledged to reinforce maritime radiation monitoring and make every effort to protect public health, safety, and the marine environment. Seoul also said it would convey concerns about the ramifications of the treated wastewater discharge and request information needed to examine the safety through bilateral communication channels with Japan.

The South Korean and Japanese foreign ministries have held a series of working-level meetings on the issue since last December. The director-level talks were held virtually for the first time in June with the participation of related ministries, including Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings and Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, according to South Korea’s Foreign Ministry.

But the Foreign Ministry has not issued any statements on Japan’s plan — which could stir up anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea — as of Tuesday evening.

In contrast, the decision by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority resulted in an immediate backlash from China’s Foreign Ministry.

“If Japan insists on putting its own interests above the public interest of the international community and insists on taking this dangerous step, it will surely pay the price for irresponsible behavior and leave a stain on history,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said last Friday during a regular briefing.

https://m.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20220726000580

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Decommissioning Safety Monitoring Council accepts the draft report as “safe”

Fukushima Decommissioning Safety Monitoring Council meeting at Fukushima Prefectural Office on the morning of March 26.

July 26, 2022
In response to the Nuclear Regulation Commission’s approval of a plan to discharge treated water from TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Okuma and Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture) into the ocean by diluting it with seawater, the prefectural decommissioning safety monitoring council, consisting of prefectural governments and coastal municipalities, held a meeting at the prefectural office on July 26.

The committee approved a draft report by experts that concluded that “the safety of the surrounding areas will be ensured by the measures TEPCO has proposed.

The draft report evaluated that the measurement of radioactive material concentrations in the treated water and the safety measures for the seabed construction work were all properly planned. The report then sets forth eight requirements for TEPCO, including the dissemination of easy-to-understand information on radiation environmental impact assessments. The experts will complete the report by adding drawings, etc.
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/191904?rct=national&fbclid=IwAR3fpY_7qDRBsbWDd57FXnvI9EDBFA_WTlN7zzHzD_9ldK_hG8AgxSclWDM

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

High anxiety as Japan takes another step toward releasing wastewater from crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into sea

The unit three reactor building and storage tanks for contaminated water at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, February 3, 2020.

July 25, 2022

Tokyo — The fishing industry around Japan’s Fukushima coast expressed disappointment and resignation over the weekend as long-expected plans to start releasing treated wastewater into the ocean from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant moved one step closer to reality. The drastic measure has been adopted as the only practical way out of a dilemma that’s plagued the damaged plant for more than a decade.

Late last week, Japan’s national nuclear regulator formally endorsed the plan to discharge more than 1 million tons of wastewater from the plant into the sea off Japan’s Pacific coast. The water will be filtered first to remove about 60 radioactive isotopes, with the exception of tritium, which can’t be extracted using existing technology.

After inspection and dilution with seawater, the water will be pumped out beyond Japan’s fishing zones through a 0.6-mile-long undersea tunnel, which will be carved through ocean bedrock starting near the Fukushima Daiichi plant’s reactor number 5.

The unprecedented, controversial disposal operation is likely to take decades.

Since the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns in three of the plant’s reactors, operator Tepco has struggled to manage the vast amount of contaminated water — a combination of reactor cooling water, rainwater and groundwater, all irradiated as it flows through the highly-radioactive melted reactor cores – accumulating at the facility.

As a stopgap, the grounds surrounding the damaged reactors have been converted into a giant tank farm, with more than 1,000 storage vessels holding 1,310,000 tons of wastewater.

Tepco has long warned that it will run out of storage space as soon as spring 2023, and that the structures are hampering the technologically challenging work of decommissioning the plant. The temporary storage solution is also highly vulnerable to any future natural disasters.

In an effort to assuage concerns from neighboring countries, Japan sought a review by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Last spring, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi declared ocean disposal “both technically feasible and in line with international practice.” 

He noted that normally functioning nuclear power plants (including in South Korea and China) regularly discharge wastewater into the sea, but he acknowledged “the large amount of water at the Fukushima plant makes it a unique and complex case.

Before construction of the undersea tunnel can even begin, however, Tepco’s proposal must win backing from the regional government in Fukushima Prefecture and the two affected towns of Okuma and Futaba. A Fukushima fish processing company representative told the Asahi newspaper, “to be honest, even if we oppose this, I don’t feel like we have any chance of overturning the decision.”

After years of painstaking efforts to convince the Japanese public and the rest of the world that their seafood is safe, the local fishing industry fears the ocean release will tarnish their brand anew. Tokyo has promised to buy catches if the industry suffers reputational damage.

Of the 55 countries and regions that imposed restrictions on imported Japanese food after the Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe — including the U.S. — five (China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau) still have import bans in place.

Regulators solicited public comment and said they had received more than 1,200 responses, including people voicing concern over whether the undersea tunnel would be earthquake-safe, and what was being done to protect workers.

Tokyo has said levels of tritium — the one isotope that can’t be filtered out — will be diluted to below 1/40th of the allowable level for discharge in Japan, and 1/7th the WHO ceiling for drinking water.

Still, some experts have called for greater transparency, fearing unintended consequences of the operation. There is also concern about whether the discharge of enormous amounts of wastewater could set a bad precedent for dealing with future nuclear accidents.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/japan-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-plant-wastewater-release-into-sea-approved/?fbclid=IwAR2PSNFsRC1uLpZ3IUKmOZyHGEEUDQMO6tkH2rL0_8IbM4_Eo95VIJCp74Y

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

UN Scientific Committee’s Dialogue Meeting Rocks – “No Change in Conclusion” when Error Pointed Out

2022/07/22

The United Nations Science Commission on Radiation Effects from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident (UNSCEAR), which compiled a report on the effects of radiation exposure from last year to this year, held an interactive meeting in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, on March 21 to explain the contents of the report to the public. The meeting was held in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. The former UNSCEAR chair Gillian Haas and others explained that the radiation doses were low and that cancer and other health problems did not occur, but domestic researchers raised questions one after another, saying that the report contained errors and underestimated radiation doses.

From July 19 to 22, UNSCEAR has been conducting “outreach activities” in Japan to disseminate the report. On this day, a meeting for the public was held for the first time, attended by about 30 people, including domestic researchers and media representatives. The meeting began with an hour-long presentation on the report, which cited 500 papers selected from more than 1,000 peer-reviewed articles and other materials published by the end of 2019. He emphasized that the report was scientific and objective, citing 500 papers selected from more than 1,000 peer-reviewed papers published by the end of 2019, and pointed out that the radiation dose from the accident was extremely low. He pointed out that the radiation doses from the accident were extremely low. The report concluded that the large number of pediatric thyroid cancers found in Fukushima Prefecture were not the result of the accident, but rather “the result of ultra-sensitive screening tests.

Dr. Hiyako Sakiyama, a medical doctor and president of the NPO 3.11 Thyroid Cancer Children’s Fund, raised the issue of the radiation dose of radioactive iodine being estimated in half based on the dietary habits of the Japanese people. Looking at the amount of iodine in urine, which is publicized as a result of the secondary thyroid examination conducted by Fukushima Prefecture, she pointed out that “the amount of iodine that Japanese people are consuming from food is the same as the world average. He refuted the report, saying that the exposure in the report was “clearly underestimated.

Shinichi Kurokawa, professor emeritus at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), criticized the existence of impossible data in the report. He pointed out that the deposition rate of radioactive cesium, which is used as a model for simulations to estimate absorbed doses in the thyroid gland, is at a “physically impossible” rate. He harshly criticized the report.

He also sharply criticized the previous day’s press conference, in which Kurokawa and his group of researchers had responded that the error was a mere typo and that they had not received any suggestions that would change their conclusions. He expressed his anger, saying, “Why did they say that?”

Akashi is a former representative of Japan. He had long served as a member of the prefectural health survey committee, but he was unaware of any data on iodine in urine.

In addition, a number of people from the audience raised questions about the data used and its contents, including a former fishery cooperative official who complained that the doses of fish he had measured had been revised downward. Haas and others, however, reiterated that while they would verify the areas pointed out, their conclusions would not change.
The term “scientific” means “picked up from published papers.”

In an interview with Synodos, former Japanese representative Mamon Akashi emphasized that the report was scientific. When asked about the fierce criticism that was leveled at him in his dialogue with the public, he responded. The report is based on a review of published papers, with the exception of personal dosimeter data from Minamisoma and Naraha, but most of the data has been reviewed. I only said that I picked up the data from the published papers, and I described it as scientific, not that I arbitrarily excluded any papers or tried to exclude any papers. I didn’t say that I arbitrarily excluded or tried to exclude any papers,” he responded.

He also emphasized that he had no idea about the report’s suggestion that errors had occurred in its own analysis, since it was outside his area of expertise.

July 22, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

NRA approval for Fukushima Daiichi radioactive pollution of the Pacific Ocean – no justification, no scientific basis and illegal – Greenpeace condemns decision

Greenpeace Japan
2022-07-22

Tokyo, Japan – The final approval by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holding (TEPCO) plans to discharge radioactive waste water into the Pacific Ocean has no justification, is based on incomplete and limited data and flawed analysis and violates international law, according to Greenpeace East Asia.

Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist from Greenpeace East Asia, said: 

“The decision by Japan’s regulator to deliberately pollute the Pacific Ocean with radioactive waste water is as bad as it sounds. The NRA approval of the TEPCO contaminated water discharge plan is scientifically and technically flawed. It is a decision intended to support the false narrative that decommissioning the destroyed reactors at Fukushima Daiichi is making real progress. In reality the contaminated water plan is a symptom of the wider crisis that the current decommissioning plan is doomed. The discharges into the Pacific will not solve any problems but create many more. The NRA knows that a fundamental reassessment of the decommissioning plan is inevitable, and that will also mean choosing the least environmentally damaging option which is long term storage and processing.”

“The NRA has failed to assess many important issues that are fundamental to any environmental assessment. Further, it disregards the human rights of those most impacted by the 2011 disaster – the citizens of Fukushima prefecture, including fishing communities, as well as neighboring prefectures. It ignores the wider environmental marine impact and the rights of the peoples of the Asia Pacific region who are opposed to the deliberate pollution of the Pacific with radioactive waste,” said Burnie. 

Japan is legally required under the UN Convention for the Law of the Sea to conduct a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). No such assessment has been made or is planned either by Japan’s regulator or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). There are many legal issues that the NRA has just completely failed to consider.

The opposition to radioactive discharges continues to grow, including the efforts by the 18 nations of the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) to challenge the false scientific rationale for the radioactive pollution plans.

Greenpeace analysis on the Fukushima water crisis includes submissions to the NRA, IAEA, as well as two reports on the technical issues and problems with the management of contaminated water at the site and discharge plans.

ENDS

Notes: 

See “TEPCO WATER CRISIS”, Greenpeace Germany, January 2019

And, “Stemming the tide 2020: The reality of the Fukushima radioactive water crisis”, Greenpeace East Asia, October 2020 

July 22, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment