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Japan Lifts Shipment Restrictions on All Fish Species off Fukushima

gkjllmmPeople in the fishing industry, including fishermen and brokers, work briskly on Feb. 7, 2019, at the Matsukawaura fishing port in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture.

Japan Lifts Shipment Restrictions on All Fish Species off Fukushima

February 25, 2020

Fukushima, Feb. 25 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government has lifted shipment restrictions on all of its designated fish species caught off Fukushima Prefecture that were introduced due to the 2011 nuclear disaster, a panel said Tuesday.

The government’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters announced the lifting after fish of the one last remaining species of the 43 satisfied safety standards.

The restrictions had covered the 43 fish species caught off Fukushima, which hosts the disaster-crippled Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The last one is a species of skate.

In August 2016, the shipment restrictions on the fish were lifted. But in January 2019, the restrictions were reinstated after above-limit cesium was detected from skates caught off Fukushima.

Currently, members of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations voluntarily refrain from fishing in waters within 10 kilometers of the TEPCO plant, which underwent a triple meltdown after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

https://www.nippon.com/en/news/yjj2020022501227/japan-lifts-shipment-restrictions-on-all-fish-species-off-fukushima.html

Fishermen in Fukushima now free to ship all catches of fish

February 26, 2020

The last restrictions on fish taken off Fukushima Prefecture were lifted on Feb. 25, freeing fishermen here to ship any species caught in the area.

A ban was imposed on ocellate skate after one caught in the area was found to have levels of radioactive cesium exceeding the government standard of 100 becquerels per kilogram in January 2019. 

The government task force on the Fukushima nuclear disaster removed restrictions on the bottom-feeding species related to rays after the prefecture measured levels in about 1,000 fish, and found none exceeded the standard.

The maximum amount found in the fish was 17 becquerels.

The prefecture has since asked the government to lift the restrictions.

Restrictions were placed on 43 species of fish caught off the coast of the prefecture following the 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The restrictions were lifted in stages after the safety of the fish was confirmed, with some fishing allowed on a trial basis.

In 2019, with trial fishing on limited days and in specified areas, the annual catch from the area stood at 3,584 tons, only about 14 percent of that in 2010, a year before the nuclear disaster.

Discussions will now start to resume full operation.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13165594

February 27, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Releasing radioactive water would further damage Fukushima’s reputation

n-sato-a-20200226-870x580Fukushima’s fishing industry was one of the prefecture’s hardest-hit sectors following the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

Feb 25, 2020

Releasing the treated radioactive water stored at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant risks further damage to the disaster-hit prefecture’s reputation and negates the nine-year effort to dispel negative perceptions about local agricultural produce, fisheries and tourism.

Although the government is considering dumping the water into the ocean, it should find a different solution and listen to the concerns of the people of Fukushima and local industries.

As the governor of Fukushima Prefecture between 2006 and 2014, I had my work cut out for me after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in March 2011.

Some of my main challenges after the disaster were securing the safety of the residents, ensuring they had access to evacuation shelters, managing the whereabouts of 160,000 evacuees scattered in and out of the prefecture and deciding on the site for interim storage of the soil and waste generated by the decontamination effort.

Determining the site was very difficult, but in the end the towns of Okuma and Futaba, which co-host the crippled nuclear power plant, honorably made the agonizing decision to accommodate it on condition that the tainted waste would be moved to a final disposal site outside of Fukushima within 30 years after the storage began.

During my term, I visited South Korea and China in 2012 to explain to local media using scientific facts that Fukushima produce is safe. I also helped arrange for several national and international conferences to be held in Fukushima Prefecture, based on the belief that coming to the prefecture and trying the local food was the best way to reassure guests that the area was safe and secure.

In December 2012, I lured an International Atomic Energy Agency meeting to the prefecture. Hundreds of nuclear specialists, ministers and other dignitaries from around the world gathered to share the lessons from the nuclear disaster and discuss the need to reinforce nuclear safety.

Today, nearly a decade after the disaster, Fukushima’s reputation is recovering — but only to a limited extent.

Although the government has prioritized ensuring security based on scientific facts, the public sense of security has yet to be restored.

Notwithstanding the central and prefectural government’s message about safety from radiation, local produce still carries cheaper price tags than those from other prefectures and the number of school trips to Fukushima has not bounced back to pre-disaster levels.

The fishing industry along the eastern coast, which the nuclear power plant faces, has taken one of the biggest hits from the negative perception of Fukushima. The prices of fish caught off the prefecture are extremely low when they are brought to Tokyo.

Fukushima is one of the major rice producers in Japan. After the disaster, officials began to check all of the prefecture’s annual output of around 10 million bags of rice for radioactive materials. The blanket testing takes a lot of effort. Even though the inspection confirms the products’ safety, they are cheaper just because they come from Fukushima.

I heard that farmers in the western region of Aizu — one of the main rice producers in the prefecture — asked the agricultural cooperative to use Aizu labels, rather than those of Fukushima, to avoid stigma. The neighborhood is located more than 100 kilometers from the area that hosts the power plant.

According to the Consumer Affairs Agency, the share of people in Tokyo and other metropolitan areas who said they hesitate to buy food products from Fukushima due to radiation contamination fears was 12.5 percent in February 2019.

The stigma from the nuclear disaster has beleaguered tourism in Aizu, which is finally showing signs of recovery. Because the name of the Fukushima nuclear power plant contains Fukushima, it gives the inevitable impression that the entire prefecture is contaminated with radiation.

Discharging water containing radioactive tritium — which cannot be removed by the current filtering technology — into the environment would only exacerbate these problems. Even though the government insists that releasing the water into the ocean is safe, some in Japan and abroad have yet to change their perceptions of Fukushima.

Gaining the understanding of local residents about the release method would be difficult. Rice farmers, for example, have suffered ever since the disaster. Their prime Koshihikari brand of rice, which was the nation’s second-most popular after Niigata’s before the disaster, used to sell out quickly.

Fukushima is a few more steps away from convincing consumers that its agriculture, forestry and fisheries products are safe and secure, so I want the government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. to prioritize the opinions of people in these key industries when discussing the issue of releasing the water.

When I was governor, the government and Tepco started to curb the amount of water being tainted with radioactive particles because the storage tanks, which could hold 1,000 tons of water each, filled up in just two days.

Doing so required preventing groundwater from flowing into the reactor buildings. We set up an impermeable wall of frozen soil around the reactor buildings to stem the flow of groundwater into the area, but this method did not work well at first.

So we used other approaches to divert groundwater away from the reactors. The combination of the methods reduced water flowing into the buildings from 450 tons to 130 tons a day.

But now the tanks are nearing their capacity, with Tepco estimating that they will reach that point by around the summer of 2022.

I understand that we cannot keep building storage tanks for the water. There is a limit to their capacity.

However, this dilemma calls for pooling scientific and other expertise from around the world to explore potential solutions, while building trust with local residents.

Tepco, which created the problem, and the government should take on the bulk of that task.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/02/25/national/social-issues/fukushima-radioactive-water-damage/#.XlYmt0pCeUk

February 27, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Is ocean discharge the best solution to Fukushima No. 1’s water crisis?

A government panel has said that releasing radioactive water accumulating at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the ocean is the most reliable option

Japan Nuclear Flawed Cleanup

 

Feb 25, 2020

The issue of what to do with the treated radioactive water being stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is nearing its boiling point. Despite plans to install more tanks by the end of the year, the plant’s operator is projected to run out of space around summer 2022.

The estimate by the plant’s manager, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., underscores the fast approaching deadline for the tanks, which now number 1,000.

For three years, an industry ministry panel has been examining five disposal methods for the treated water. In December the number of options was reduced to three: diluting it and dumping it into the sea; letting it evaporate; or a combination of both.

In a report to the government on Feb. 10, the panel recommended releasing the water into the ocean as a more “reliable” method than evaporation, given the practice is common at nuclear power plants here and around the world, and said radiation monitoring would be easier.

One of the major concerns, however, is whether it is safe to discharge the water, which is contaminated mainly with tritium that cannot be removed by ALPS, the advanced liquid processing system installed after the triple-core meltdown in March 2011.

Proponents insist dumping will be safe, arguing that tritium emits beta radiation so weak that the health risks posed will be minimal. The industry ministry estimates that even if all the stored water were to be released into the environment over a one-year period, the resulting radiation exposure would be less than a thousandth of that received from natural background radiation.

Both methods have track records.

Since both volume and radiation levels can be regulated, ocean discharge of tritiated water is a method routinely practiced at nuclear power plants around the world.

Despite scientists’ emphasis on safety, however, opponents argue that either method will again hurt Fukushima’s image, damaging the agriculture, fishing and tourism industries that were just starting to recover from the disaster. The panel noted that risk in its report.

Among Fukushima’s hardest-hit sectors since the disaster is the fisheries industry, which is vehemently opposed to ocean release. They fear the water dumps will ruin a nearly decadelong effort to restore the once-thriving industry, which was forced to halt or restrict operations in waters near the plant.

For the past nine years, fishermen have been conducting operations on a trial basis and measuring catches for radiation before shipping. Amid signs of a recovery, they are now talking about full resumption of fishing.

Because of deep-seated negative perceptions, however, some people still avoid buying fish from Fukushima.

The government is facing a difficult decision balancing the interests of the industries with the shortage of storage space.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/02/25/national/social-issues/ocean-discharge-best-solution-fukushima-no-1s-water-crisis/?fbclid=IwAR3JIWmr2Ggl9ce6FQY785aGmH_Knba_QNzPb8AsnSsRVQ8tJqEjEVA7xDk#.XlYmQUpCeUk

February 27, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO ordered to cough up after it refused deal on compensation

Earlier in February, a Japanese judge ordered TEPCO to pay over 50 plaintiffs: “Refusing the court’s settlement offer was outrageous. It amounted to ignoring the company’s responsibility for causing this unprecedented nuclear disaster.”

ggjlmùPlaintiffs and supporters at a news conference in Fukushima after the court ruling on Feb. 19

February 20, 2020

FUKUSHIMA–The district court here sided with local residents seeking compensation for psychological damage resulting from the 2011 nuclear disaster after the operator of the stricken facility snubbed mediation efforts for a settlement.

The court on Feb. 19 ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. to pay 12.03 million yen ($108,000) to 50 of the 52 plaintiffs. 

The plaintiffs had sought 99 million yen in damages for their psychological suffering due to their voluntary evacuation after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and fear of being exposed to high levels of radiation.

In his ruling, Presiding Judge Toru Endo noted that residents who evacuated voluntarily found themselves living an uncertain and insecure existence with no future prospects.

The court acknowledged that those who didn’t evacuate were also unable to move around freely, given that they lived in fear and anxiety over the prospect of being exposed to radiation.

The court ordered TEPCO to pay between 22,000 yen and 286,000 yen to each eligible plaintiff, in addition to a uniform compensation sum of 120,000 yen per person that the utility had already paid.

The court recommended a settlement last December, the first of its kind among 30 or so class action lawsuits filed around the country over the nuclear accident, but TEPCO refused to comply.

Residents living in designated voluntary evacuation zones in Fukushima city and other areas more than 30 kilometers from the nuclear power plant filed the lawsuit in April 2016, seeking higher compensation than the figure stipulated in the government’s guidelines.

The plaintiffs had sought to settle the lawsuit quickly in light of their mental exhaustion and advanced age rather than engage in a drawn-out process.

In a statement, TEPCO said it will consider how to respond to the ruling after thoroughly examining it.

‘REFUSING SETTLEMENT OUTRAGEOUS’

After the ruling, Yoshitaro Nomura, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, condemned the stance that TEPCO took on the matter.

Refusing the court’s settlement offer was outrageous. It amounted to ignoring the company’s responsibility for causing this unprecedented nuclear disaster,” Nomura said.

Groups of disaster victims resorted to a system called alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, in the hope of winning compensation for the nuclear accident. But many of them started facing an impasse in the process two years ago after TEPCO refused to accept deals proposed by the Nuclear Damage Compensation Dispute Resolution Center.

The issue was taken up in the Diet, and the industry minister warned the utility to be more cooperative. However, the number of ADR cases that went nowhere continues to rise.

TEPCO refused to change course even after the district court recommended a settlement in a trial where the plaintiffs and the defendant are required to provide more solid arguments and proof.

The court-ordered compensation of 12.03 million yen comes to almost the same amount as the court proposed in the settlement last December. The government guidelines set individual compensation at 120,000 yen.

TEPCO has made it clear it intends to make no compromise on settlement offers that may lead to a revision of the government’s guidelines,” said lawyer Izutaro Manaki, a member of the Daini Tokyo Bar Association who is well-versed in compensation issues.

As of Feb. 14, TEPCO had paid more than 9.32 trillion yen in compensation. The company has covered the costs through government loans and higher electricity rates.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13144481

February 27, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima ‘safe’ to host Olympic torch relay: governor

jlmmmFukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori speaks to foreign media on Feb. 18, 2020, in Tokyo

February 19, 2020

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori said Tuesday the northeastern Japan prefecture, devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, is safe to host its leg of the Olympic torch relay.

With the Japanese government designating the upcoming Tokyo Games as “Reconstruction Olympics,” the torch relay in the country will kick off on March 26 at J-Village, a football training center in the prefecture that was once an operational base for dealing with the nuclear crisis. Opening matches for Olympic baseball and softball will be played in Fukushima city as well.

“Through this ‘Reconstruction Olympics,’ we would like to show how Fukushima’s reconstruction has progressed in the past nine years as the result of efforts in cooperation with the Japanese government,” the governor told a press briefing in Tokyo.

Holding the Olympic events “doesn’t mean the reconstruction has finished,” he said, adding the prefecture also suffered damage from Typhoon Hagibis, which left a trail of destruction across wide areas of Japan last fall.

The quake and tsunami disasters in northeastern Japan left more than 15,000 people dead and triggered the world’s worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl crisis. Typhoon Hagibis in October caused massive floods in Fukushima.

The safety of the torch relay route has been confirmed through constant radiation monitoring, among other measures, Uchibori said.

Late last year, Greenpeace Japan informed the Japanese government and Olympic bodies that radiation hot spots were discovered around J-Village, prompting Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the operator of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, to remove the soil in the affected areas.

In the town of Naraha, one of the municipalities hosting J-Village, only about half of the residents have returned after the evacuation, according to Uchibori.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200219/p2g/00m/0na/024000c

February 23, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

South Korean activists and professors sign petition against Japan’s push to dump radioactive water into the ocean

There needs to be a public open debate regarding what to do with the water BEFORE another high magnitude earthquake makes ithe decision for us. There are no easy answers but such a debate will at least serve to highlight the perils of all things nuclear. Pretending everything will be OK is not a credible strategy.

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February18, 2020

Activists, professors, and civic groups have united to lambast Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his push to dump radioactively contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean. Referring to such an action as “nuclear terrorism against humanity and a criminal act,” 100 professors, civic group members, and environmental activists have signed a petition calling for Abe to immediately abandon his plans for the dump. The photo shows an artist painting palm prints on a drawing of Abe in protest. (Kim Wan, staff reporter)

http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/928709.html?fbclid=IwAR2q_z91o2e4Jm-AZC37FE6Pobd01VJhyqNK3s0hYkyCb697r8ckG7-DJPI

February 23, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Indonesia eases import limits on processed foods from Japan imposed after Fukushima nuclear disaster

Japan continues its PR campaign to facilitate its Fukushima contaminated food exports to other countries, making financial loans to some and bribing their corrupt officials, organizing promotion show in some others to fool the unknowing public.

n-fukushima-a-20200219-870x580Visitors to the Paris Japan Cultural Center taste sake at an event featuring sake and food from Fukushima Prefecture on Jan. 23.

Feb 18, 2020

Indonesia has eased its import restrictions on processed foods made in Japan imposed after the nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture in March 2011, the Japanese agriculture ministry said Tuesday.

With the measure, taken as of Jan. 27, Indonesia now accepts processed foods from 40 Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima, without radiation inspection certificates.

Such certificates are still required for processed foods from the remaining prefectures — Miyagi, Yamagata, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Niigata, Yamanashi and Nagano.

In the meantime, radiation inspection certificates are necessary for meat and vegetables from all prefectures, due to concern over effects from the triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/02/18/national/indonesia-eases-import-limits-processed-foods-japan-imposed-fukushima-nuclear-disaster/?fbclid=IwAR3INu5b8zZWu1SxT7SaYIujxj2o9bbIuDfqg0VqsHnEMQZ5Aj3Mk2lLWW8#.XkwY_SNCeUl

February 23, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima staff could use raincoats as virus threatens gear production

The lack of suits and masks may cause work delays. TEPCO’s alternative ideas such as using plastic rain gear may put workers at higher risk of exposure.
Tyvek suits become impossible to obtain.
This could also impact access to N95 masks. These are currently used in lower risk areas to prevent small particles of radioactive dust from being inhaled. The same masks are used to block coronavirus among the public and health care workers in lower risk situations. Masks have been in short supply world wide causing long lines as consumers hope to secure a supply. Masks were recently stolen from a hospital in Kobe.
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Fukushima staff may be forced to use raincoats as COVID-19 threatens gear production
18 Feb 2020 03:40PM
TOKYO: Workers at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant may need to wear plastic raincoats as the coronavirus outbreak threatens production of protective suits in China, the operator warned on Tuesday (Feb 18).
The workers cleaning up the plant wear special plastic overcoats to prevent radioactive dust settling on clothes or the body and the TEPCO operator gets through 6,000 per day.
But a TEPCO spokesman told AFP “we could have difficulties getting certain specific items from our usual suppliers” because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“For example, we have coats with transparent pockets showing an ID badge and their radiation measuring device and it is possible these same products are not available,” he added.
In this case, they would be forced to resort to commercially available products such as plastic raincoats, said the official.
There should be no impact on safety as the coats are not designed to protect workers from radiation since the rays penetrate clothes in any case. << = Gamma rays don’t stop for Tyvek, either.
 
Fukushima staff could use raincoats as virus threatens gear production
Workers at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant may need to wear plastic raincoats as the coronavirus outbreak threatens production of protective suits in China, the operator warned on Tuesday.
Staff cleaning up the plant wear special plastic overcoats to prevent radioactive dust settling on clothes or the body and the TEPCO operator gets through 6,000 per day.
But a TEPCO spokesman told AFP “we could have difficulties getting certain specific items from our usual suppliers” because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“For example, we have coats with transparent pockets showing an ID badge and their radiation measuring device and it is possible these same products are not available,” he added.
In this case, they would be forced to resort to commercially available products such as plastic raincoats, said the official.
There should be no impact on safety as the coats are not designed to protect workers from radiation since the rays penetrate clothes in any case.

February 23, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Tokyo protesting against South Korea’s Tokyo 2020 radioactive Olympics posters

South Korea is definitely right in calling out this shit. No amount of lies and cover ups can bury the truth: 2020 Tokyo Olympics are the radioactive Olympics. Despite the past years gigantic PR campaign to whitewash the still ongoing Fukushima nuclear disater and all its radiation harmful consequences, claiming that all is under control, totally safe, back to normalcy, back to business. Hell no!

So, the multi-billion-dollar propaganda machine of TEPCO and the Japanese Govt is calling out South Korea for creating propaganda against their own propaganda. Again, like always, there is only one truth: radiation kills.

This time, the truth is that Olympians will get high doses of rads that are on the ground in Tokyo, in Fukushima Prefecture, and in every neighboring prefectures all the way down from Fukushima to Tokyo.

There are hot spots all over Eastern Japan. So many of these hotspots have been well documented by folks like you and me, as Japanese citizens had to organized themselves and learned to protect themselves by mapping the radiation present in their living environment, due to the massive campaign of denial of their government  prioritizing economics expediency over people’s health.

South-Korea-Anti-Japan-Propaganda-2020-Tokyo-Olympics-003-e1579737827651-1024x509VANK put up the posters on the walls of the new Japanese embassy on Jan. 6 before uploading images of the posters on social media. (image: VANK)

Japan’s Top Government Spokesman Protests Against Nuclear Safety Poster
 
SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — The Japanese government has expressed frustration over a poster designed by the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), a Korean civic group, that questions the safety of Japan’s nuclear management prior to the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“It is not real. It shouldn’t happen,” said Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, when asked about the poster at a regularly scheduled press conference on Thursday.
“The Japanese government is mobilizing all means possible to strongly protest against such conduct.”
It is the first time that Japan’s top government spokesman revealed the government’s position on this issue by answering a question at a regular press conference.
VANK created the poster last month to raise the issue of nuclear safety following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster as the Tokyo Olympics is now just around the corner.
In the poster, the Olympic torch is depicted as carrying a radioactive material.
VANK put up the posters on the walls of the new Japanese embassy on Jan. 6 before uploading images of the posters on social media.
In response, Japan reportedly notified the South Korean government of its concern, describing the poster as intending to ‘mock’ the Olympics as well as the disaster.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to use the Olympics as a chance to publicize the government’s efforts to overcome the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.
As a part of its initiative, the 121-day Olympic torch relay in Japan will start at J-Village, a training facility for the Japanese National Football Team and former headquarters of the Fukushima Disaster Relief on March 26.
Kevin Lee (kevinlee@koreabizwire.com)
 
Suga blasts S. Korean poster of torch bearer in protective suit
 
February 14, 2020
Posters in South Korea of Tokyo Olympic torch bearers wearing anti-radiation protective suits drew a strong rebuke from Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
“The reality is totally different,” Suga said at a news conference on Feb. 13. “We can never overlook the issue.”
The Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), a private group in South Korea, created several posters depicting torch bearers wearing protective suits and the words “Tokyo 2020.” VANK posted them on its Facebook page in early January.
On its Facebook page, VANK said it created the posters to warn against radiation in Japan, apparently referring to the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant triggered by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
“We included messages of warning about the safety of radiation, the biggest concern during the Tokyo Olympics,” the group said. “Host country Japan said agricultural products from Fukushima Prefecture are safe and announced that it will provide them for Olympic athletes.”
According to VANK’s website, the group was founded in 1999 to “properly convey South Korea to the world through the internet.”
The group opposes Japan’s use of the “kyokujitsuki” (rising sun) flag to cheer on athletes at the Games.
The Liberal Democratic Party’s Fukushima prefectural chapter slammed the posters for “fostering groundless negative publicity.”
On Feb. 12, officials of the chapter urged Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto to proactively convey accurate information about Fukushima Prefecture’s reconstruction to the international community.
(This article was written by Ryutaro Abe in Tokyo and Takuya Suzuki in Seoul.)

February 18, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Fogwater deposition of radiocesium in the forested mountains of East Japan during the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: A key process in regional radioactive contamination

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– High concentrations of 137Cs activity in throughfall were most likely due to fogwater deposition.
– Forested mountain areas were contaminated by fogwater deposition in East Japan.
– Fogwater deposition may have a role in radiocesium cycling in forest ecosystems.
Abstract
Because of limited environmental monitoring data, the regional-scale impact of the deposition of fogwater radiologically contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1NPP) accident remains unclear.
To redress this situation, we present an observational report of the radiocesium concentration in fogwater and its deposition in a Japanese forest during the early stages of the F1NPP accident (March 2011). The data were acquired by using a passive collector to capture fogwater above the forest canopy on a monthly basis. In addition, the radiocesium concentrations in monthly throughfall and stemflow were measured under the canopies of four tree species.
The 137Cs activity concentration in fogwater during the observational period was 45.8 Bq L−1, which was twice as high as that present in bulk precipitation. The ratio of 137Cs in throughfall to that in bulk precipitation (TF/BP ratio) ranged from 1.0 to 2.5. The high TF/BP ratios may have been caused by the high radiocesium concentration in fogwater deposition.
Based on this assumption, we assessed the TF/BP ratio according to the 137Cs activity concentrations of throughfall and bulk precipitation measured in various mountainous regions in East Japan. Our results reveal that the TF/BP ratio is high at some sites and that it increases with elevation.
Sites with a high TF/BP ratio were almost entirely situated in areas of fogwater deposition, as predicted by an atmospheric dispersion model. In addition, sites with a high TF/BP ratio were above the cloud base at the time when plumes with high atmospheric 137Cs activity concentrations passed through the areas.
Thus, these measurements of radiocesium in fogwater during the early stages of the F1NPP accident provide evidence that fogwater with high radioactive contamination was deposited in the forested mountain areas of East Japan.
Given the major impact of fogwater deposition of radiocesium, its role should be considered carefully to better understand radiocesium cycling in forest ecosystems.

February 18, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Young woman leads revival of Fukushima’s fishing industry

When economic considerations take precedence over radioactive contamination and people’s health…

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February 9, 2020
FUKUSHIMA: A courageous young graduate recently crowdfunded 3 million yen to help revive Fukushima’s sagging fishing industry.
The fishermen at the Iwaki market can put their money on Hiromi Sakaki, whom they can rely on as the manager of the Osakana Hiroba Hamasui (Fish Plaza Hamasui) shop, which she now jointly operates with them at Hisanohama.
The Japan News by Yomiuri Shimbun reported that Hiromi was given the honour of launching the shop, where she tied a ribbon around a monkfish.
Fukushima’s fishing industry was dealt a severe blow following a nuclear plant leak nine years ago.
Hiromi, 27, had moved to Iwaki from Aomori Prefecture in 2017, after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, that caused a radioactive contamination leak from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plants.
Hiromi Sakaki tying a ribbon around d a monkfish at the opening of an outlet jointly operated by her and local fishermen at the Iwaki market in Fukushima, Japan.
The radiation also affected farmers who are still reeling from huge losses.
“I want to sell delicious fish that people can buy only here, Although this is a port town, fishing here has been on the decline. So I started thinking about creating a place where children would aspire to become fishermen in the future,” said Hiromi, who had graduated from Saitama University, and whose shop sells fish like sea bass and flounder.
Hiromi first became familiar with the Fukushima fishermen after she became a volunteer to send used bicycles to Iwaki.
Her shop has a window where customers can see fish being processed.
“This is intended to help children get an idea about who caught the fish and what happens to bring them to the dining table.
“I intend to offer breakfast featuring fresh fish at the shop under the name “Ryoshi shokudo” (Fisherman’s diner) in the near future,” she said.
The city’s fisheries cooperative association revealed that there were seven fish markets and four fishery processing companies in Hisanohama before the disaster.
Now, there is only one fish retailer, which is a traveling market.
Fukushima’s fishing industry continues to face restrictions, but fishermen in the prefecture are allowed to operate on a trial basis under which they face limitations on the species the catch, fishing areas, and the number of days they can catch.

February 18, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Britain’s trade deal with Japan could lead to Fukushima food restrictions being dropped

Dominic Raab’s Japanese counterpart has indicated that a deal would mean dropping EU food import restrictions imposed after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (PA)
 
February 8, 2020
Japan has indicated that any future trade deal with Britain would be reliant on food import restrictions imposed after the Fukushima nuclear disaster being dropped.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met with his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi in Tokyo to discuss future relations following Britain’s departure from the European Union.
While in the EU, Britain was part of a comprehensive trade deal with Japan that last year began reducing tariffs across a raft of products, including Japanese autos.
But Britain’s hurry to tie up new trade agreements could be to Japan’s advantage, as it seeks to secure better terms.
Fukushima
Motegi said he had asked Raab at their meeting to lift import restrictions on Japanese food and other products that were imposed by Brussels after the nuclear accident at Fukushima in 2011.
The EU eased those import regulations last year, but still insists on inspections and certificates of origin for some Japanese produce, including seafood.
“Obviously anything that affects food, health and safety standards we would want to look at very carefully, “Raab told Reuters.

February 18, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima and the 2020 Olympics

by Shaun Burnie –  5 February 2020

As 2020 is the year the Olympics and Paralympics come to Japan, this is an exciting time for sports and for the people of Japan. Amidst all the excitement however, there is the ongoing nuclear crisis in Fukushima prefecture. Labeled as the ‘Reconstruction Olympics’, Prime Minister Abe in 2013 declared that the situation at Fukushima Daiichi was under control. Seven years later there still remains a nuclear emergency at the nuclear plant and surrounding areas. In addition to the enormous challenges of how to safely manage over 1 million tonnes of contaminated water at the site and as much as 880 tonnes of molten nuclear fuel for which there is no credible solution, there remain wider issues regarding radioactive contamination of the environment, its effect on workers and Fukushima citizens, including evacuees and their human rights.

01Greenpeace radiation survey team in Fukushima, Japan

 

These issues were the subject of a 28 January 2020 documentary

broadcast by the U.S. network HBO as an investigative report by the program ‘Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel ’, the U.S.’s most-honored sports journalism series (with 33 Sports Emmy Awards, including 19 for Outstanding Sports Journalism) during the opening episode of its 26th season. 

What does it mean to host the Olympics and Paralympics in the context of an ongoing nuclear disaster, the effects of which are still being felt by tens of thousands of Japanese citizens? What does it tell about the Japanese government and its commitment to respecting the values of transparency and the human rights of its citizens? These are some of the important questions raised by HBO and they warrant careful consideration in the months leading up to this year’s summer games.

02Greenpeace radiation survey team in Fukushima, Japan

 

Greenpeace Japan applauds Olympic values and spirit, while recognizing that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the responsibility to ensure the Olympic Games have a minimum impact on the environment and leave a positive legacy for those hosting the Games. The IOC has an opportunity to do this in a way that fulfills the ideals of the environment as the third pillar of Olympism – sustainability – by making the Games a showcase for environmental solutions. Simultaneously, we recognize that hosting the Olympics and Paralympics requires the Japanese Government to ensure absolute safety for athletes, international visitors, and the Japanese public alike. 

The decision to host two sporting events in Fukushima city raises genuine and important questions over radiation risks. The route of the Olympic Torch relay in all the municipalities of Fukushima prefecture includes the districts of Iitate, Namie, and Okuma where Greenpeace Japan’s Nuclear Monitoring & Radiation Protection Team has discovered radioactive hotspots, both in the open areas as well as in the remaining radiation exclusion zones, that remain too high even by revised governmental standards. What does all this mean for the hosting of Olympic events, including for athletes and visitors?

03Greenpeace radiation survey team in Fukushima, Japan

 

By conducting extensive radiation investigations, Greenpeace Japan attempts to explain the complex radiological environment, where nothing is straightforward, and where judging precise risks to health at the individual level is near impossible. In an effort to better understand and explain the radiological situation in parts of Fukushima, as well as the ongoing issues of human rights for both Fukushima citizens and decontamination workers, Greenpeace Japan will be publishing its latest radiation survey results in early March 2020.

Shaun Burnie is Senior Nuclear Specialist at Greenpeace Germany.

https://www.greenpeace.org/international/story/28509/fukushima-and-the-2020-olympics/

February 6, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive 2020 Olympics Torch Run – WTFutaba? Beverly Findlay-Kaneko

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February 5, 2020

Radioactive 2020 Olympics Torch Relay will run through Futaba, town next to Fukushima Daiichi, near former location of PR sign, “Nuclear Power: Energy for a Bright Future.” (pictured above) Runners and tourists will NOT be wearing decontamination garb, unless they’re smart – and if they’re really smart, they won’t be there..

This Week’s Featured Interview:

  • Radioactive 2020 Olympics UPDATE: Beverly Findlay-Kaneko again joins us with on-the-ground information about the Olympics torch relay, including blog post interviews with former residents of Futaba, the town that hosted the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility, translated from the Japanese exclusively for Nuclear Hotseat.

http://nuclearhotseat.com/2020/02/05/radioactive-2020-olympics-torch-run-wtfutaba-beverly-findlay-kaneko/?fbclid=IwAR0sanV0xfZS1dcclbbSEoacP69H4iNTozz93ghjADgFzq7_xxRS_cItKAk

February 6, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , , | Leave a comment

A trip to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant: Full-body suits and three layers of socks

This article is just another slick piece of propaganda, downplaying the dangerosity of the situation, a situation still not resolved that after  9 years of lies and cover-up, still not under control.

Among the many B.S.  a very good example of its deceitful spin: ” Tepco officials later showed me containers of crystal clear water that had been through ALPS. They said it would be safe to release the liquid into the environment after mixing it with fresh water to meet regulations.”

Sorry Mister, crystal clear water does not make it safe when you’re talking about radioactive water, because remember radiation is invisible. Invisible indeed are the various types of radionuclides contained in that “crystal clear water” that they intend to dump into our ocean. Because as TEPCO admitted last year, their ALPS failed to remove  all the Cesiums, Strontium and others, beside Tritium…

The Olympics are near… So the spinned propaganda is up in all japanese media trying to make us all believe how good everything is at Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant, and in contaminated Fukushima prefecture and Tokyo…

 

Employees of TEPCO wearing protective suits and masks are seen inside a radiation filtering  ALPS at tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, JapanEmployees of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. wear protective suits and masks inside a radiation filtering Advanced Liquid Processing Systems (ALPS) at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in January.

Feb 5, 2020

OKUMA, FUKUSHIMA PREF. – Reuters was recently given exclusive access to the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, where three reactors melted down in 2011 after a powerful earthquake and tsunami overwhelmed the seaside facility.

It was my fourth visit to the plant since the disaster to report on a massive clean-up. Work to dismantle the plant has taken nearly a decade so far, but with Tokyo due to host the Olympics this summer — including some events less than 60 km (38 miles) from the power station — there has been renewed focus on safeguarding the venues.

Nearly 10 years into the decadeslong clean-up some progress has been made, with potentially dangerous spent fuel removed from the top of one damaged reactor building and removal underway from another.

But the melted fuel inside the reactors has yet to be extracted and areas around the station remain closed to residents. Some towns have been reopened farther away but not all residents have returned.

This time I was taken to the site’s water treatment building, a cavernous hall where huge machines called Advanced Liquid Processing Systems (ALPS) are used to filter water contaminated by the reactors.

 

Reuters journalist Aaron Sheldrick wearing a protective suit, visits the Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma townJournalist Aaron Sheldrick visits the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

On my first visit in 2012 I had to wear full protective gear put on at an operations base located in a sports facility about 20 km south of the nuclear plant called J-Village, where the Olympic torch relay will start in March. Then I was taken to the site by bus.

This time I was driven by van from a railway station in Tomioka — a town that was re-opened in 2017 — about 9 km away, with no precautions. More than 90 percent of the plant is deemed to have so little radioactivity that few precautions are needed. Nevertheless, reporting from there was not easy.

Before entering the plant itself, which is about the size of 400 football fields, I was asked to take off my shoes and socks, given a dosimeter to measure radiation levels, three pairs of blue socks, a pair of cloth gloves, a simple face mask, a cotton cap, a helmet and a white vest with clear panels to carry my equipment and display my pass.

I put on all three pairs of socks and the rest of the gear given to me, later including rubber boots. I was to change in and out of different pairs of these boots many times — I lost count — color coded according to the zone we passed through, each time putting them in plastic bags that would be discarded after use.

After reaching the ALPS building in a small bus, I was decked out in protective equipment, a full-body Du Pont Tyvek suit along with two sets of heavy surgeon-like latex gloves that were taped fast to the outfit.

I also had to put on a full-face mask after taking off my glasses since it would not fit otherwise and told to speak as loudly as possible due to the muffling effect of the gear.

Will you be able to see?” asked one official from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the plant’s operator. I nodded with as much conviction as I could muster and we entered the building, which was quite dark, making it even harder to see.

 

An employee of Tokyo Electric Power Co's uses a geiger counter next to storage tanks for radioactive water at tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefectureA Tepco employee uses a geiger counter next to storage tanks for radioactive water. 

In the ALPS building I was taken up and down metal stairways that passed around piping, machinery, testing stations, changing in and out of the rubber boots as we crossed yellow and black demarcations, warning signs everywhere for areas that could not be entered.

As well as being dark, it was surprisingly quiet, given the machinery. My dosimeter alarm kept going off as the radiation levels rose. Tepco officials later showed me containers of crystal clear water that had been through ALPS. They said it would be safe to release the liquid into the environment after mixing it with fresh water to meet regulations.

About 4,000 workers are tackling the cleanup at Fukushima, including dismantling the reactors. Many wear protective gear for entering areas with higher radiation.

The plant resembles a huge construction site strewn in areas with twisted steel and crumpled concrete, along with cars that can no longer be used, while huge tanks to hold water contaminated by contact with the melted fuel in the reactors increasingly crowd the site.

Some wreckage is still so contaminated it is left in place or moved to a designated area for the radiation to decay while the important work on the reactor buildings is underway.

As we moved back into the so-called green zone we passed through a building where I was to take off the protective gear in a precise order in stages, with each piece going into a particular waste basket for each item. Gloves were first, then the facemask, after which the suit and socks were taken off at different locations until I was left with one pair for passing back through the various security cordons.

I was then given my external dosimeter reading, which was 20 microsierverts, about two dental x-rays worth.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/02/05/national/fukushima-no1-nuclear-plant-trip/?fbclid=IwAR296KIn5lW-tvFkB12QN0hnMQrcyNbsblJCJrijZehyWmo87WnsEK3DgoQ#.XjsO5iNCeUl

February 6, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment