nuclear-news

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

Theatre for Fukushima: voices from the silence

safe_image.php.jpg
July 14, 2019
The bare emotions of the Fukushima nuclear disaster as experienced by children
By Carmen Grau
Where were you and what were you doing on that fateful day, 11 March 2011?
Eight years have gone by, and the then six to eight-year-old children are now high school students who use theatre as a channel for self-expression. Through their performance, they attempt to tell the story of their home towns and cities. It is also a way for them to assimilate the experience that changed the face of an entire region.
Still Life is the name of the play performed by six girls and six boys from the Futaba Future public high school in Fukushima. Aged between 15 and 17, the parts they play are based on their own life experiences. They tell the story of what the children went through, laying bare the complex web of emotions they have been caught in till this day. It is a tangled tale of love, childhood and suicide, seen through the unadulterated eyes of young people, who were just small children when the triple disaster struck. They are the youngest and will therefore be the last generation to keep a memory of those tragic events. And it is important for them to be able to share it.
The brown colour of the sea. A uniform left behind when a school was hastily closed down following the radiation alert. A teddy bear with a broken heart and the incessant ringing of a telephone searching for missing grandparents. Lampposts swaying dangerously on a hill, while children huddle together, remembering the adults’ instructions not to be left on their own. Innocently playing in a classroom with the water and sand spilt by the earthquake and cleaning it all up before heading for safety. Sleeping in the car with all the family when not a space was left in the sports centre. Memories of an earthquake, a tsunami, of radioactivity and the fear surrounding the decontamination process.
Until she was eight, Ayumi Ota lived in Tomioka, a town that was evacuated in the aftermath of the disaster. The 16-year-old actor was inspired to join the school theatre group by her elder brother. They are both part of the cast. With her inquisitive and lively gaze, Ayumi shines in her part as the likeable classmate spurring on the others, despite her own longing for a place to which she knows she will never be able to return. She enjoyed the experience so much that she is considering joining a theatre group: “When I’m acting, it brings back what we went through, although [acting] has not been so hard for me because I want to express myself. We are all interconnected, Fukushima and Tokyo, we’re not that different.”
Seventeen-year-old Minoru Tomonaga comes from the town of Iwaki. He likes to sing and wants to study in a professional academy. He admits that his main motive for taking part in the play is a girl he likes. Minoru found the whole process much harder to handle: “My mind was on overdrive. It was like hitting a wall, because each one of us had our own experiences. It was difficult to cope with all those feelings. But I do hope that we are listened to, in this time of fake news.”
After its debut in Fukushima, in September 2018, the young actors wanted to take the play to Tokyo. Writer Miri Yu, the soul of the play, recalls how, as the performance ended and the curtain went down, the students seemed to be glued to their desks.
“They had grown attached to their roles, so they had to do it. Audiences in Tokyo hadn’t experienced the earthquake, the tsunami and nuclear accident first-hand. How the play would be received was obviously a worry, but something always gets across.”
Art and creativity as a vehicle for comfort and consolation
Miri Yu, who is also a playwright, has won a number of national literary awards, including the prestigious Akutagawa Award (1996). After a string of back-to-back, sold-out performances in Tokyo, Yu explains to Equal Times the importance of art and creation as a source of comfort and consolation.
“The play is a still life that captures the sadness of the disaster-struck children. The pain or suffering we carry deep inside eventually ends up overflowing, like water in a dam. Otherwise, the pain breaks the dam and drags you along with it. To prevent this from happening, I wanted to build a channel in which to pour all this sadness. The play is the vessel in which it is collected. Isn’t sadness what we as human beings have most in common? We all carry certain sorrows in our lives; all of us, in Tokyo too. This play emerged as a beacon of light, a source of solace for young people.”
japanese-children-outside.jpg
Children recalled yearning to play outside, but could not.
 
Kanako Saito works as an English teacher at Futaba Future High School. She is also in charge of the theatre group. This teacher, who supports her pupils and is also part of the cast, explains how theatre helps them.
“Back then, they were just small children and were unable to express themselves. Their parents shielded them from what was happening, be it from the radiation or the decision to move. They weren’t allowed to watch television and had to play indoors, never outside the house. They had no way of venting their feelings.
“Eight years on, they now have the vocabulary to express themselves. As they build the drama, they focus on how they felt, which helps in their healing process. It also helps the families who, by watching their children acting, gain a better insight into what they went through. It helps people to move on,” Saito said.
Starting over
Futaba Future High School has kept the name of the place where it had stood until radioactivity made it uninhabitable. Futaba is one of the towns nearest to the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In 2015, the school relocated to Hirono, a nearby town that was outside the danger zone. Its guiding principle is to prepare global leaders that can contribute to tackling today’s new challenges.
Following the disaster, 470,000 people – which amounts to almost the entire population of cities like Lisbon or Edinburgh – were evacuated. According to the Reconstruction Agency, a body tasked with this unprecedented mission, by February 2019, the number of evacuees had reached 51,778. Places like Namie, Tomioka, Futaba and Okuma were totally or partially evacuated. Their names resonate throughout the play, when the budding actors relive their memories.
“The experience had a strong impact on everyone. The actors, who were little children back then, have barely taken in what they went through. The coast of Fukushima has not yet been fully reconstructed. The young locals and their families continue to be faced with great hardships. They have become displaced persons, constantly being shunted from one place to the next, and even now some of these young actors are still having to live in temporary accommodation,” says Yu.
In 2017, the government lifted evacuation orders – based on the area, the radiation levels and the progress made in the decontamination process – but places like Futaba are still classed as ‘difficult return’ or uninhabitable zones.
The decontamination work has also covered farming areas, 89 per cent of which have been recovered, according to the Reconstruction Agency. Reconstruction tasks have been completed in 64 municipalities over a seven-year period. In Fukushima, an area measuring 371 km², greater than the size of a country like Malta, was affected by the triple disaster.
The writer is currently living in Minamisoma, because of a promise she made and a radio show. In the aftermath of the disaster, under the state of emergency, she started working as a volunteer at a provisional radio station set up by the municipal authority to broadcast information to the population and the armed forces. She used to travel once a week from another part of Japan to do the show. Although only meant to last a year, her stay was successively prolonged until she ended up relocating for good, to fulfil her promise.
Today only 3,000 of the 13,000 residents are still living in her neighbourhood, and more than half of them are over 65 years old. Located 16 kilometres from the nuclear power station, the town now has a bookshop and a theatre. For Yu, culture is an integral part of the reconstruction process.
“In a place where people have lost everything, no one at the neighbourhood meetings organised by the government speaks out to ask for culture. People ask for their basic needs to be covered, such as infrastructure, hospitals or supermarkets. But even if the basic needs are met, can this be called a city? Can this be called reconstruction? Not in my view. Culture is something that enriches you, it is relaxing, enjoyable and valuable in its own right. It can be a book or a secondary role in a play.”
Disasters are also a threat to culture. And yet culture is vital to community identity and expression. In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2015-2030 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which sees culture as playing a key role in reducing vulnerability to disasters, aiding recovery and building peace.
At the end of the performance, the Japanese audience leaves in solemn silence. A young woman from Tokyo says it was important to listen to them. On leaving the theatre, people buy a copy of the book on which the play is based. A dedication penned by the author and playwright stands out as a declaration of intent from Fukushima: “Speak out from the heart of silence.”
Advertisements

July 16, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Supermarket opens in Fukushima’s Namie town

20190714_14_705459_L.jpg
July 14, 2019
A supermarket has opened in the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, which was devastated by the nuclear disaster in 2011. It is the first supermarket to operate in the town since the accident. Evacuation orders were partially lifted two years ago.
Major supermarket chain Aeon opened the new outlet in Namie Town on Sunday, drawing many shoppers.
The town now has just over 1,000 residents. That is about five percent of the population before the disaster.
The store stocked items including sake produced by a brewer who was forced to relocate because of the disaster, as well as seafood hauled in at a port nearby.
One shopper said she used to have to travel more than 30 minutes for shopping, and if she bought ice cream it melted on the way home.
Store manager Shunsuke Nihongi said he hopes to support those who have returned to the town and will choose the stock according to their requests.

July 16, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Upper House candidates face cynical voters despite anti-nuclear platforms

n-fukushima-a-20190715-870x576.jpg
People listen to a campaign speech by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the city of Fukushima on July 4 in preparation for July 21 Upper House election
 
July 14, 2019
FUKUSHIMA – Rival candidates, both women, from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the opposition camp for next Sunday’s House of Councilors election in Fukushima Prefecture are campaigning on platforms to eliminate nuclear power from the prefecture.
But their calls are in conflict with the national energy policy of the LDP and the positions of some opposition supporters.
 
With campaigning in the single-seat prefectural constituency shaping up effectively as a one-on-one race, local voters who were affected by the March 2011 nuclear accident are casting a cynical eye at the race for the July 21 election.
 
“I’m determined to push ahead with reconstruction following your requests,” Masako Mori, the LDP’s candidate for Fukushima, said on July 4, the opening day of the official campaign period, in the prefectural capital of Fukushima.
 
“I’ll do my best to achieve the goal of decommissioning all nuclear reactors in the prefecture,” said Mori, 54, vice chair of the LDP’s Headquarters for Accelerating Reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also president of the LDP, gave a speech in support of Mori.
 
Reflecting local voter concerns over nuclear power, the LDP’s Fukushima chapter has set goals of scrapping all reactors in the prefecture and building up knowledge and expertise related to decommissioning.
 
In contrast to the prefectural chapter’s position, however, the Abe government’s basic energy program regards nuclear power as an important base load electric power source, while the LDP’s policy pledges for the Upper House election include efforts to reactivate nuclear reactors.
 
The LDP suffered losses in recent national elections in Fukushima Prefecture, home to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the site of the nation’s worst-ever nuclear accident, which resulted from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
 
n-fukushima-b-20190715-870x556.jpg
Public housing for 3/11 evacuees in the town of Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture
 
In the 2017 House of Representatives election, an LDP candidate was defeated in Fukushima’s No. 1 constituency, which includes the prefectural capital. In the 2016 triennial Upper House poll, Mitsuhide Iwaki, the justice minister at the time, lost the election.
 
In their campaign speeches, both Abe and Mori admitted she is facing a tough race.
 
A lawmaker elected from the prefecture said, “Residents in Fukushima have pent-up emotions toward the LDP.”
 
Mori received the party’s endorsement as a candidate in August last year after failing to pass the first round of screenings a month earlier. Explaining the deferred approval, one party source suggested that she was ill at ease with local party members, including prefectural assembly members.
 
She has been helped by delays in the opposition camp’s selection of a candidate, but frustration is smoldering among her supporters, with one city assembly member grumbling that “she does not know how to greet you properly.”
 
Hard to differentiate
Mori’s key opponent in the three-way race is Sachiko Mizuno, 57, who is running as the opposition camp’s unified candidate.
On June 30, standing in drizzling rain in front of a department store in the city of Fukushima, Mizuno told a small crowd, “Reconstruction of Fukushima is still only half done.”
 
Referring to the LDP’s policy pledge, she said the government “has not presented a road map for decommissioning all reactors (in the prefecture).”
 
The candidacy of Mizuno was decided in April by a forum consisting of the prefectural chapters of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party for the People and the Social Democratic Party, as well as unaffiliated lawmakers elected from Fukushima and the Fukushima chapter of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo Fukushima.
 
After the Japanese Communist Party withdrew its candidate and decided to back Mizuno, she became the unified candidate of the opposition camp.
 
With Mizuno calling for a society free of nuclear power, the policy differences with the LDP are blurred. “It’s difficult to differentiate ourselves (from the LDP) in the prefecture,” a senior official in Mizuno’s campaign office said.
Within her camp, there are differing levels of enthusiasm regarding the elimination of nuclear power.
 
Mizuno concluded a five-point policy agreement with the members of the forum that includes the group’s nuclear goals. But Rengo Fukushima, which has under its wing the Federation of Electric Power-Related Industry Worker’s Unions of Japan, opted out, in consideration for union members who work for electric power and electrical engineering companies.
 
Still, Rengo Fukushima issued a recommendation for Mizuno after concluding from her policies as a whole that there was no other candidate it could support.
 
Still, an official with Rengo Fukushima said, “Cheering for her in street speeches and hearing her emphasis on getting rid of nuclear power leaves me confused about my feelings.”
 
Unenthusiastic voters
After the triple meltdown accident, the government issued an evacuation advisory to 11 municipalities around the stricken nuclear plant. Since the advisory was lifted in the eastern part of the city of Tamura in April 2014, the size of the exclusion zone has been reduced in stages.
 
But the advisory remains in place in the town of Futaba, as well as in parts of six municipalities, including the towns of Okuma and Namie. More than 30,000 people still live as evacuees outside the prefecture.
 
“The evacuation advisory has been removed, but I can’t return home,” said a woman in her 60s who lives in public housing for the displaced in the city of Fukushima. “Only a few people have returned home, and I can’t live in my hometown as most of the residents are elderly people.”
 
She had her house in Namie demolished as she had no prospects of returning.
 
In Namie, more than two years after the evacuation advisory was lifted for most of the town in March 2017, just over 1,000 people have returned. Of people who are still registered as residents of areas for which the advisory was removed, only some 7 percent have returned.
 
In regard to the Upper House election, the woman in public housing said in a weary voice, “Regardless of whoever wins, nothing will probably change in our situation.”

 

July 16, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

11,000 Wikileaks documents related to Fukushima

serveimage.png

 

Global intelligence file dumps from wikileaks involving Fukushima:

262 files on cesium:

https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/?q=Cesium+2011&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0&file=&docid=&relid=0#searchresult

 

282 files iodine:

https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/?q=Iodine+2011&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0&file=&docid=&relid=0#searchresult

 

2470 files meltdown:

https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/?q=Meltdown+2011&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0&file=&docid=&relid=0#searchresult

 

4062 files reactor:

https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/?q=Reactor+2011&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0&file=&docid=&relid=0#searchresult

 

344 files uss ronald reagan:

https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/?q=Uss+ronald+2011&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0&file=&docid=&relid=0#searchresult

 

4131 files fukushima:

https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/?q=Fukushima+2011&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0&file=&docid=&relid=0#searchresult

 

1063 files on blackout (mixed batch):

https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/?q=Blackout+2011&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0&file=&docid=&relid=0#searchresult

July 16, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Japanese Mothers Find High Levels of Radiation in Food Post-Fukushima Disaster

The “Mothers’ Radiation Lab” in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture is staffed by local mothers who test foods, water, soil and other local materials for nuclear radiation.
In the aftermath of the 9.1-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that caused the nuclear power plant in Fukushima to leak radioactive materials, a group of Japanese mothers work to ensure local food is safe to eat. Despite lacking a scientific background or university education, they are passionate about informing keeping the public informed. 
Although levels of radiation have declined since the 2011 incident, these mothers know the struggle for safe food and water is not over. “Mothers’ Radiation Lab” staff has found Shitake mushrooms, which are often included in Japanese cuisine, have the highest noticeable levels of radiation.
“How do you fight these invisible threats? The best way is to measure them,” says Kaori Suzuki, director at Mothers’ Radiation Lab.

July 16, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

A Fukushima Ghost Town Seeks Rebirth Through Renewable Energy

im-88860.jpg
Construction of a hydrogen power plant near Namie is nearly complete
 
July 12, 2019
NAMIE, Japan—Fukushima prefecture, a place synonymous in many minds with nuclear meltdown, is trying to reinvent itself as a hub for renewable energy.
 
One symbol is just outside Namie, less than five miles from the nuclear-power plant devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. At the end of a winding road through miles of barren land, construction is nearing completion on one of the world’s largest hydrogen plants.
 
The government hopes to show that hydrogen, a hard-to-handle fuel that hasn’t been used for large-scale power generation, can supplement intermittent solar and wind power.
 
“Namie has suffered due to nuclear energy,” said Naka Shimizu, its head of industry promotion. “Today, Namie is using renewable energy to stand up again and begin re-creating itself.”
 
There is still a long road ahead. Fukushima prefecture relies on government funding and subsidies for its revival plan. Even under optimistic scenarios, turning hydrogen into an everyday energy source could take decades.
 
In a region prone to earthquakes, Mr. Shimizu said, some citizens are concerned about the construction of a hydrogen plant. During the 2011 disaster, a hydrogen explosion damaged the roof and walls of one of the reactors.
 
Small amounts of liquid hydrogen can be explosive when combined with air, and only a slim amount of energy is required to ignite it. Namie officials said every precaution is being taken to prevent hydrogen leaks. The plant will be equipped with detectors that immediately halt operations if a leak is detected.
 
Until 2017, Namie was abandoned because of its exposure to radiation. Weeds grew through cracks in the pavement and shop windows were boarded up. When radiation levels were deemed safe, people were allowed to return. But the town’s population, about 1,000, is only 5% of its predisaster level.
 
Few shops or homes illuminate the streets at night. On the main road, the darkness is broken by the glow of streetlights that run on used electric-car batteries charged during the day by solar power.
 
“Nuclear energy harmed this region, but in many ways we were indebted to it. People in this area supported families on the money it provided,” said Kenichi Konno, head of planning in Namie. The Fukushima nuclear plant employed many of Namie’s residents and supported its local businesses, officials there said.
By 2040, Fukushima aims to cover 100% of its energy demand with non-nuclear renewable energy. Since 2011, the prefecture’s generating capacity from renewable energy, excluding large-scale hydropower, has more than quadrupled. More than a gigawatt of solar-energy capacity has been added—the equivalent of more than three million solar panels—while other projects are under way in offshore wind power and geothermal energy.
 
The problem, especially with solar panels, is the unreliable nature of the electricity they generate. While batteries can store electricity for use at night, the cost is so high that even some in the green-energy camp say 100% renewable energy isn’t realistic for now.
 
That is where the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy
The facility, which Namie officials estimate will require total operating costs of more than $90 million in public funds, is set to begin test operations over the next few months and enter full operation by July 2020.
 
Whether or not hydrogen is counted as a renewable energy depends on the source of energy used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The Fukushima plant runs mostly on solar energy from an on-site field of solar panels, but also draws on energy from the grid.
 
The Namie plant aims to ship hydrogen south to Tokyo to power the Olympic athletes’ village at the 2020 Summer Games. It will also produce hydrogen for fuel-cell buses and vehicles. The eight hydrogen tanks on site could fill 240 vehicles like the Toyota Mirai that run on hydrogen, Namie officials estimate. The Toyota Mirai has a range of 312 miles per tank.
 
Fukushima hopes to follow the lead of Japan’s port city of Kobe, which built a thriving biomedical industry after an earthquake and fires left parts of the city in ruins in 1995. Some economists say there is a tendency for regions that suffered major disasters to grow more quickly over the long term, perhaps because the disasters spur greater investment in new technologies.
 
Fukushima is “ahead of the curve in the transition to renewable energy in Japan,” said Daniel Brenden, an analyst at Fitch Ratings. “The grass-roots energy movement you see in Fukushima—changing the perspective of how electricity can be generated—that really sets in motion the transition that you have seen in places like Germany.”
 
Still, the transition is costly for Japan’s taxpayers. Solar-power producers nationwide sell output at above-market prices to electric companies, which pass their costs onto consumers. That is adding some $22 billion to electricity bills in the current fiscal year, according to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
 
In the absence of significant nuclear power, Japan is relying heavily on coal. It is following in the footsteps of Germany, which pledged to shut its nuclear plants by 2022 in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Although it has rapidly built out wind and solar power, Germany has largely fallen back on coal to fill gaps in alternative energy sources.
 
On weekdays, Namie buzzes with some 1,000 workers brought in to build the hydrogen plant. One recent weekday night, a few of them gathered at a restaurant in town serving Namie yakisoba, a stir-fried noodle dish for which the town is known. Shop owners say they close on weekends when the workers return home.
 
“A time will come when the country stops providing subsidies,” said Aoi Ogawa, a manager at the Japan Industrial Location Center who advises companies on relocating to Fukushima. “But if facilities and new technologies keep growing as they have, we hope to see cities rebuild around them. The goal isn’t just to return to predisaster levels, it’s to come back better.”

July 16, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

2011 Fukushima nuke disaster cesium circles Pacific in Only 1 Year

8 july 2019.jpg
Decommissioning works are seen continuing at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, in this image taken from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter on Feb. 14, 2019. A multitude of treated water storage tanks can be seen behind the reactor buildings.
2011 Fukushima nuke disaster cesium takes shortcut back to Japan’s waters
 
July 8, 2019
TOKYO — Radioactive cesium released into the Pacific Ocean due to the March 2011 meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station is returning to Japanese shores via a shorter route than expected, according to a joint research initiative.
 
The findings were revealed by a team from the University of Tsukuba, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and Kanazawa University.
 
Until now, it was thought that cesium from the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)-operated plant would be circulated around the Pacific by subtropical gyre currents for several decades before returning to Japanese waters. But in 2012, a year after the reactor core meltdowns, tests on seawater samples collected by the team showed increased cesium concentrations in East China Sea waters off Japan. Researchers say that the concentrations observed are too low to impact sea life.
 
The rate increased, peaking in 2014, and a year later high concentrations were also reported in the Sea of Japan. The team believes the cesium is now flowing around the Pacific Ocean again.
 
It is thought that seawater sank deeply into the sea after its density increased due to cooling by winter winds, causing the cesium to travel on a western-flowing underwater route.
 
Michio Aoyama, a visiting professor at the University of Tsukuba, said, “That the cesium would come back in such a short time was unexpected. We’ve found a previously unknown route.”
 
Senior JAMSTEC research scientist Yuichiro Kumamoto said of the project’s potential benefits, “Because it has visualized ocean circulation, the results could be used in the future for predictions on issues such as climate change.”
 
(Japanese original by Mayumi Nobuta, Science & Environment News Department)
 
Research Group: Radioactivity Attributable to Fukushima Disaster Circles Pacific in Only 1 Year
 
July 9, 2019
A Japanese research group has published data suggesting that radioactive contamination from Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster had circled the Pacific Ocean within just a year of the disaster.
 
According to the Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun on Monday, a joint Japanese university research group said radioactivity presumed to have been released from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after it was hit by a tsunami in 2011 was detected in 2012 off Japan’s coasts. 
 
If confirmed, it would mark a much faster pace than initial expectations that said it would take 20 to 30 years for the contaminated materials to return to Japan after circling the world’s largest ocean.

July 16, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan swimming star battling leukemia posts photos on 19th birthday

jkkmmù.jpg
This photo posted by swimming star Rikako Ikee on her Twitter account shows her celebrating her 19th birthday.
July 5, 2019
TOKYO — Japanese swimming star Rikako Ikee, who revealed in February that she had been diagnosed with leukemia, posted messages and photos on her official website and Twitter account on July 4, her 19th birthday.
“I was able to have many good experiences in the year I was 18. I hope to have more good experiences and days as a 19-year-old,” Ikee posted on her official website.
The message on the website begins with “I turned 19!” Ikee uploaded photos including one showing her surrounded by friends at her birthday party. “The last time I was temporarily discharged from hospital and went home, I was very surprised that a lot of my friends had gathered for me,” she reported.
Ikee also tweeted, “I want to eat cake with delicious fresh cream on it when I go home.”

July 16, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Nuclear fuel transfer resumes at Fukushima Daiichi

july 4 2019.jpg
July 4, 2019
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has resumed work to remove nuclear fuel from one of the damaged reactor buildings.
Each of the plant’s reactor buildings has a fuel storage pool inside, separate from the reactors.
In April, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, began removing nuclear fuel assemblies from the storage pool at the No.3 reactor building.
Workers transferred seven fuel units to another pool about 100 meters away before temporarily suspending their work for an inspection of procedures and facilities.
The transfers were resumed on Thursday, after the safety of the procedure was confirmed.
The fuel assemblies are being hoisted out of the pool by remote control, because radiation levels in the area remain high.
The No.3 reactor is the first of the three that suffered meltdowns to have fuel removed from its storage pool. The other two will undergo the process as part of the decommissioning work.
The work began more than four years behind schedule.
TEPCO plans to remove all fuel assemblies in the No.3 reactor building by the end of March 2021.

July 16, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima: The ‘100 times normal’ radiation area outside exclusion zone – ‘Worrying!’

FUKUSHIMA investigators were left “worried” after recording radiation levels 100 times normal, leading them to suggest the exclusion zone should be increased.

 

 
 
Thu, Jul 4, 2019
 
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred after an accident at the nuclear power plant in Okuma, Japan and was the most significant nuclear incident since the devastating Chernobyl accident of 1986. The accident was started by a tsunami following the Tohoku earthquake on March 11, 2011, and while the active reactors automatically shut down, water flooded the emergency generators providing power to the coolers. The coolant loss led to three nuclear meltdowns, hydrogen-air explosions, and the release of radioactive material in units one, two and three between March 12 and 15.
 
A total of 154,000 people were evacuated from the area as a result and a 12-mile exclusion zone was put in place – later increased to 19 miles – with a roadblock being constantly guarded.
 
However, when Chernobyl researcher Yevgen visited as part of Amazon Prime’s “Radioactive Detectives” series, he was left shocked.
 
The narrator revealed in 2017: “Have the Japanese authorities determined the correct exclusion zone?
 
“The first big surprise is a completely unguarded borderline.
 
“Yevgen wants to carry out his first measurements here.
 
“He has to tell Kenzo that the radiation level exceeds the natural radiation 100 times over.
 
“The men are worried.”
 
Kenzo Hashimoto, a Japanese journalist claimed the exclusion zone needed to be increased as a result.
 
He said: “If the radiation is that high, the authorities should extend the border line even further.
 
“I don’t know exactly how the survey has been made – it seems very strange to me.
 
On July 5, 2012, the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) found that the causes of the accident had been foreseeable and that the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), had failed to meet basic safety requirements such as risk assessment.
 
TEPCO admitted for the first time on October 12, 2012, that it had failed to take stronger measures to prevent disasters for fear of inviting lawsuits or protests against its nuclear plants.
 
There are no clear plans for decommissioning the plant, but an intensive cleanup programme is expected to take at least 30 years.
 
It comes after the shocking cost of a home inside Chernobyl’s exclusion zone was revealed during Amazon Prime’s “Chernobyl’s Cafe” series.
 
The 2016 documentary detailed: “In 1986, Chernobyl city had about 13,000 inhabitants and officially today there are none.
 
“Radioactivity in the city is near to normal.
 
“Homes were abandoned immediately after the disaster, people left everything.
 
“Some have returned and have put their homes back in order, they furnished them and they live there.
 
“In these neighbourhoods, life is modest and for a few hundred Euros, you can buy a small house with a garden and enjoy the tranquillity of a true country house.
 
“A small community exists and social life is slowly growing.”
 

July 16, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

European Commission crooks willing to sell out our health!

Praise be the Korean government which stood to protect their people’s health over hanky-panky  economics, unlike many other governments.
European commission sell out june 27, 2019.jpg
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and European Council President Donald Tusk, second left, sit at the table with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, at the start of their working lunch on the sidelines of the G-20 summit at the International Exhibition Center in Osaka, Japan, on June 27, 2019.
EU likely to ease restrictions on Japanese food imports
June 27, 2019
OSAKA (Kyodo) — The European Union said Thursday it expects to remove restrictions on some Japanese food imports, including Fukushima Prefecture-grown soybeans, amid receding concerns about radiation contamination linked to the 2011 nuclear disaster.
According to the Japanese government, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the requirement for radiation inspection certificates is likely to be canceled. The two leaders were meeting a day before the start of a two-day summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Osaka.
The European Commission expects the lifting of the requirement to be finalized as early as this fall after it obtains the approval of member countries.
The change impacts food products from Iwate, Tochigi and Chiba prefectures, as well as seafood from Miyagi, Ibaraki and Gunma prefectures, a Japanese government official told a press briefing. The testing requirements would also be lifted for some types of mushrooms.
The move will follow the European Union’s lifting of a ban on rice produced in Fukushima in 2017.
In the meeting, in which European Council President Donald Tusk was also present, Juncker and Abe also discussed the need to reform the World Trade Organization and geopolitical issues including North Korea and heightened tensions in the Middle East, the official said.

June 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Fallout particle offers insight into Fukushima nuclear accident

Fallout-particle-offers-insight-into-Fukushima-nuclear-accident.jpg
Researchers used high-powered imaging technology to produce a 3D image of a particle contaminated by uranium from a Fukushima reactor. Photo by University of Bristol/Diamond Light Source
June 26 (UPI) — Researchers have found and studied a fallout particle containing uranium released by the Fukushima nuclear accident. The study offered scientists insights into the sequence of events that led to the Fukushima meltdown.
Researchers successfully isolated a sub-millimeter particle from an environmental sample collected near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Using the powerful light beam at the Diamond Light Source in the United Kingdom, researchers performed high-resolution combined X-ray tomography and X-ray fluorescence mapping. The high-powered imaging technology revealed the presence of uranium trapped around the outside of the highly porous particle.
The so-called microfocus spectroscopy beam at the Diamond Light Source allowed scientists to observe the physical and chemical properties of the uranium incursions. By analyzing the spectral signature that bounced back when targeting incursions with the highly-focused X-ray beam, scientists were able to confirm that the uranium came from Fukushima’s reactor Unit 1.
Though the uranium came from Fukushima’s nuclear reactors, scientists determined that the uranium exists in an environmentally stable state. Its stability has been enhanced by an insulating layer of silicate material.
“While unlikely to represent an environmental or health hazard, such assertions would likely change should break-up of the Si-containing bulk particle occur,” scientists wrote in their paper. “However, more important to the long-term decommissioning of the reactors at the FDNPP … is the knowledge that core integrity of reactor Unit 1 was compromised with nuclear material existing outside of the reactors primary containment.”
Researchers suggest the findings — published this week in the journal Nature Communications — can help them understand the series of events that led to the meltdown at reactor Unit 1.
“I am very pleased that this research has been recognized in Nature Communications. It is a tribute to the excellent collaboration of our partners at JAEA and Diamond Light Source,” Peter Martin, physicist at the University of Bristol, said in a news release. “We have learned an invaluable amount about the long-term environmental effects of the Fukushima accident from this single particle as well as develop unique analytical techniques to further research into nuclear decommissioning.”

June 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

New research identifies Fukushima reactor material in the environment

Through the analysis of specific fallout particles in the environment, a joint UK-Japan team of scientists has uncovered new insights into the sequence of events that led to the Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011.

 

3D-i-696x519.jpgLeft: A 3D image that allowed the researchers to discover the distribution of elements within the sample Right: An X-Ray Tomography scan showing the interior structure of the particle Credit: University of Bristol/Diamond Light Source

 

June 26, 2019

Air-fall material got from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) mishap has formerly been isolated and examined from regions across Japan, expanding many kilometers from the facility.

Like the Chernobyl accident of April 1986, the incident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) has been grouped by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at Level 7 (the most serious) of the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) as a result of the enormous amount of radioactivity released into nature.

Indeed, even now, eight years after the accident, significant areas encompassing the plant remain evacuated because of the high levels of radioactivity that still exist. It is anticipated that a few people may be unable to come back to their homes as an outcome of the accident.

Following the isolation of the sub-mm particulate from environmental samples obtained from localities close to the FDNPP, a new study has uncovered new insights into the sequence of events that led to the Fukushima nuclear accident.

The multi-organisation research, led by Dr. Peter Martin and Professor Tom Scott from the University of Bristol’s South West Nuclear Hub in collaboration with scientists from Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron facility, and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).

Following the isolation of the sub-mm particulate from natural samples acquired from regions near the FDNPP, scientists used the high-resolution combined x-ray tomography and x-ray fluorescence mapping capacities of the Coherence Imaging (I13) beamline at the Diamond Light Source.

From these outcomes, it was conceivable to decide the location of the various constituents distributed throughout the highly- porous fallout molecule, including the precise places of micron-scale inclusions of uranium around the exterior of the particle.

Scientists then analyzed the specific physical and chemical nature of the uranium utilizing the Microfocus Spectroscopy (I18) beamline at Diamond.

By focusing on the profoundly focused X-ray beam onto the regions of enthusiasm inside the sample and analyzing the particular outflow sign produced, it was conceivable to confirm that the uranium was of nuclear origin and had not been sourced from the environment.

Final affirmation of the FDNPP origin of the uranium was performed on the particulate utilizing mass-spectrometry strategies at the University of Bristol, where the particular uranium mark of the considerations was coordinated to reactor Unit 1.

Just as crediting the material to a particular source on the FDNPP site the outcomes have also given scientists pivotal data to summon a component through which to clarify the occasions that happened at reactor Unit 1.

Dr Peter Martin (University of Bristol) and Dr Yukihiko Satou (Japan Atomic Energy Agency) at the Diamond Light Source facilities.
University of Bristol/Diamond Light Source

Dr. Peter Martin, senior author of the study said, “I am very pleased that this research has been recognized in Nature Communications. It is a tribute to the excellent collaboration of our partners at JAEA and Diamond Light Source. We have learned an invaluable amount about the long-term environmental effects of the Fukushima accident from this single particle as well as develop unique analytical techniques to further research into nuclear decommissioning.”

June 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO ordered to compensate ex-plant worker

20190626_34_696708_L.jpg
June 26, 2019
A Japanese district court has ordered the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi power station to pay about 3,000 dollars in damages to a man who worked at the plant just after the 2011 nuclear accident.
The man says he was exposed to radiation without being informed about high radiation levels in a building where he worked.
In his suit against Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, and its subcontractors, the 53-year-old plaintiff demanded more than 100,000 dollars in damages.
He said he was forced to work in the turbine building basement of the plant’s crippled No. 3 reactor while being uninformed of a pool of highly radioactive water there.
The Iwaki branch of the Fukushima District Court on Wednesday handed down the compensation order to TEPCO for psychological damage to the plaintiff caused by working at the plant.
The court said he felt concern and fear while warning signals were sounding that indicated another worker alongside him was exposed to radiation exceeding the utility-set limit of 20 millisieverts.
But the court said 16 millisieverts the plaintiff was exposed to in an hour and half were below a level that would pose a health hazard.
The court also turned down his suits against two subcontractors of the utility. It found them not liable for his damage, saying responsibility for a nuclear disaster lies with the nuclear operator.
The plaintiff’s lawyer said the ruling was the first in favor of a Fukushima Daiichi plant worker, but partly granted his demands. The lawyer added that this will encourage other workers.
TEPCO says it will study the ruling in detail and deal with it sincerely.

June 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Workers Enter Fukushima Electrical Room In Socks, Get Contaminated

workers
June 25, 2019
This unusual event at Fukushima Daiichi took place in early June. Workers entered a 2nd floor electrical room in the unit 4 turbine building in their socks. The room holds electrical equipment for the nearby reverse osmosis water filtration system. The equipment in this room is all new, post disaster equipment. The room appears to be a “clean” area where they attempt to keep dust and contamination out of the room.
 
To keep the room clean, workers are expected to change into shoes placed for use in the electrical room to prevent dust and radioactive contamination from entering the room. Instead of switching shoes, five of the ten workers removed their shoes and entered in their socks. TEPCO reports the act of opening and closing the door allowed dust to enter the room. When the workers entered in their socks they picked up contaminated dust on their socks.
 
The contaminated socks were discovered as workers were scanned at the workers facility. The inside of the shoes they wore that day were contaminated. Everywhere they walked in their socks in the worker facility was also potentially contaminated. TEPCO had to track down the shoes these workers wore by scanning all shoes of those sizes until they found the contaminated ones.
 
TEPCO did not clarify if there was a lack of enough pairs of shoes or if they were not proper sizes to allow all of the workers to use them. TEPCO is now reviewing the shoe inventory for this room to assure there are enough available for workers to change shoes. Training and new notices about work processes are being added to avoid a repeat problem. Radioactive dust on site can contain insoluble microparticles and alpha radiation. These are an inhalation hazard as well as a problem of external exposure if they become attached to the skin or hair.
 
Read more: Simply Info

June 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment