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‘South Korea Considers Joining IAEA Monitoring of Fukushima Discharge Plan’

November 4, 2020

Presidential chief of staff Noh Young-min said South Korea is considering joining the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s monitoring of Japan’s reported plan to release radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea. 

In a parliamentary audit Wednesday, Noh said Japan is expected to request reliable international agencies such as the IAEA to play a role in securing global trust in the process. 

He said the Seoul government has consistently asked Japan to transparently disclose information and maintain sufficient communication and consultations with the international community.

He said a task force set up within the presidential office continues to monitor the issue and discuss countermeasures.

Meanwhile the chief of staff said the top office was cooperating with calls to submit records related to the prosecution’s investigation into hedge fund fraud scandals involving Lime and Optimus asset management, adding that some records have already been submitted.

November 15, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan faces another Fukushima disaster crisis

Collecting sea water samples near the damaged Fukushima nuclear power station.

November 3rd, 2020, by Paul Brown

A plan to dump a million tonnes of radioactive water from the Fukushima disaster off Japan is alarming local people.

LONDON, 3 November, 2020 − The Japanese government has an unsolvable problem: what to do with more than a million tonnes of water contaminated with radioactive tritium, in store since the Fukushima disaster and growing at more than 150 tonnes a day.

The water, contained in a thousand giant tanks, has been steadily accumulating since the nuclear accident in 2011. It has been used to cool the three reactors that suffered a meltdown as a result of the tsunami that hit the coast.

Tritium is a radioactive element produced as a by-product by nuclear reactors under normal operation, and is present everywhere in the fabric of the reactor buildings, so water used for cooling them is bound to be contaminated by it.

To avoid another potentially catastrophic meltdown in the remaining fuel the cooling has to continue indefinitely, so the problem continues to worsen. The government has been told that Japan will run out of storage tanks by 2022.

Announcement delayed

As often happens when governments are faced with difficult problems, the unpalatable decision to release the contaminated water into the sea has not been formally announced, but the intention of the government to take this course has been leaked and so widely reported.

Immediately both local and worldwide adverse reaction has resulted. There are the direct effects on the local fishermen who fear that no one will want to buy their catch, but over a wider area the health effects are the main concern.

As ever with the nuclear industry, there are two widely different views on tritium. The Health Physics Society says it is a mildly radioactive element that is present everywhere, and doubts that people will be affected by it. But the Nuclear Information and Resource Service believes tritium is far more dangerous and increases the likelihood of cancers, birth defects and genetic disorders.

The issue is further complicated because the Fukushima wastewater contains a number of other radionuclides, not in such high quantities, but sufficient to cause damage. Ian Fairlie, an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment, is extremely concerned about Japan’s plans and the health of the local people.

“Ten half-lives for tritium is 123 years: that’s how long these tanks will have to last – at least. This will allow time also for politicians to reflect on the wisdom of their support for nuclear power”

In a detailed assessment of the situation he says other highly dangerous radioactive substances, including caesium-137 and strontium-90, are also in the water stored at Fukushima.

They are in lower quantities than the tritium, he says, but still unacceptably high – up to 100 times above the legally permitted limit. All these radionuclides decay over time − some take thousands of years − but tritium decays faster, the danger from it halving every 12.3 years.

In a briefing for the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA), a UK based organisation, another independent analyst, Tim Deere-Jones, discusses research that shows that tritium binds with organic material in plants and animals.

This is potentially highly damaging to human health because it travels up the food chain in the marine environment, specifically accumulating in fish. This means fish-eating communities on the Japanese coast could ingest much larger quantities of tritium than some physicists think likely.

Relying on dilution

Tim Deere-Jones is also concerned that the tritium will be blown inshore on the prevailing wind in sea spray and will bio-accumulate in food plants, making it risky to eat crops as far as ten miles inland. Because of the potential dangers of releasing the water the NFLA has asked the Japanese government to reconsider its decision.

The government has not yet responded though, because officially it is still considering what to do. However, it is likely to argue that pumping the contaminated water into the sea is acceptable because it will be diluted millions of times, and anyway seawater does already contain minute quantities of tritium.

Dr Fairlie is among many who think this is too dangerous, but he admits there are no easy solutions.

He says: “Barring a miraculous technical discovery which is unlikely, I think TEPCO/Japanese Gov’t [TEPCO is the Tokyo Electric Power Company, owner of the Fukushima Daiichi plant]  will have to buy more land and keep on building more holding tanks to allow for tritium decay to take place. Ten half-lives for tritium is 123 years: that’s how long these tanks will have to last – at least.

“This will allow time not only for tritium to decay, but also for politicians to reflect on the wisdom of their support for nuclear power.” − Climate News Network

November 15, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima: Detecting Radiation at Japan’s 2021 Olympic Venues

November 2, 2020

Fairewinds ongoing scientific research with Dr. Marco Kaltofen of WPI has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in the Journal of Environmental Engineering Science. As soon as the Journal of Environmental Engineering Science has an online preprint link available, Fairewinds will release details and a link to the publication.

Fairewinds ongoing Japan Project in this peer-reviewed journal article included samples from Fairewinds’ 4th Japan Trip in September 2017.  Fairewinds Energy Education sponsored chief engineer Arnie Gundersen and Dr. Kaltofen for two weeks in Japan to meet with community volunteer citizen scientists, who were conducting sampling and submitted that data for scientific review by Fairewinds and Dr. Kaltofen at WPI. During his three previous trips to Japan, Mr. Gundersen taught citizen scientists how to sample dust for radiological analysis. Fairewinds Energy Education and WPI students have been collecting and testing samples from citizen science volunteers and our crews from Olympic & Paralympic venues and host communities in Greater Tokyo & Fukushima Prefecture.

This unique project tracks the divergent releases of beta versus alpha-contamination in Northern Japan and potential radiation exposures to visitors and athletes at the upcoming 2021 Games that Japan’s government has named the Recovery Olympics. 

Fairewinds is incredibly grateful to Leon and Rosa Cloder, our host in Tokyo Dr. H. M. Homma, and Steve Leeper (the Founding Partner & Vice President of the Peace, Education, Art, Communication (PEAC) Institute Nonprofit) for hosting us. Our special thanks to Fairewinds other friends in Japan for their hard work and support that made this project possible. We would not have been able to conduct the scientific work we do without the individual donors and foundations who have consistently donated to support Fairewinds travel expenses to Japan and any associated project costs. Good Science takes patience, time, and money.

With the acceptance of this journal article for publication, Fairewinds Energy Education continues the scientific journal research work it began in 2011. The publication of Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan by combination of gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and SEM/EDS analysis and implications in radiation risk assessment in ‘Science of the Total Environment (STOTEN)’ was co-authored by Dr. Marco Kaltofen, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education. That Journal article detailed the analysis of radioactively hot particles collected in Japan following the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns. [Full Report here]

In his ongoing scientific work, Dr. Marco Kaltofen has also researched and is the author of Microanalysis of Particle-Based Uranium, Thorium, and Plutonium in Nuclear Workers’ House Dust published by Environmental Engineering Science Journal Vol. 36, No. 2, February 4, 2019. This peer-reviewed journal article describes how X-ray techniques can detect exotic dust particles containing radioactive matter, thus allowing any analyst to remotely detect nano- and micro-scale traces of the radioactive fuels unique to specific types of weaponization activity. The method firmly distinguishes between natural uranium work, uranium enrichment, fission weapon development, and even three-stage advanced fusion weapons used for MIRV’d delivery systems. 

https://www.fairewinds.org/demystify/fukushima-detecting-radiation-at-japans-2021-olympic-venues

November 15, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Wood incinerator completed at Fukushima Daiichi

November 1, 2020

An incineration facility to dispose of wood contaminated with radioactive substances has been completed at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The 2011 nuclear accident at the plant led to the dispersal of radioactive substances, contaminating the reactor buildings as well as other buildings and roads at the facility.

Trees were also contaminated with low levels of radiation. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, has been building a facility to burn the wood from the trees cut down to make space for tanks to store wastewater.

The incineration facility is expected to undergo a final inspection by the government this month.

The five-story facility is fitted with filters to remove radioactive substances. It is scheduled to start operating in March.

Officials say more than 100,000 cubic meters of wood will be incinerated.

Tokyo Electric Power expects the amount of contaminated waste, such as metal and concrete, to increase as the decommissioning work progresses. It plans to cut the volume of such waste to about one-third through reuse and other procedures.

An official of a TEPCO subsidiary in charge of decommissioning, Saito Noriyuki, said the waste must ultimately be disposed of, but there are many challenges. He said the company will manage the waste in a responsible way.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20201101_17/

November 15, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , | Leave a comment

Fishers and farmers fear impact of Fukushima water release

Storage tanks holding water contaminated with radioactive tritium at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2019

October 30, 2020

Fishermen and farmers in Fukushima Prefecture have voiced concern about the risk of further harmful rumors about produce from the area if the government allows Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (Tepco), the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, to release water contaminated with radioactive tritium into the Pacific Ocean.

The government is in the final stages of giving the green light to release the radioactive water accumulating at the plant into the sea.

Nearly 10 years after the triple meltdowns at the nuclear power plant in March 2011, prices for agricultural and fisheries products from the prefecture haven’t fully recovered.

Some producers are still struggling to get retailers to buy their produce. They are concerned that if the government cannot set out detailed measures to tackle the reputational damage, they will need to start all over again from scratch.

“It’s unprecedented, and it’s hard to predict how much and how long it will last,” said deputy trade minister Kiyoshi Ejima, who heads a government task force on nuclear disasters, in an interview, regarding the harmful rumors. “We can’t offer a comprehensive (aid) package at this point of time.”

The government is expected to offer measures of support for the farm and fisheries industries, conduct public information campaigns based on science and compensate for damages as a result of releasing the water into the sea.

But it appears the government has not set out a detailed approach for how it plans to tackle any reputational damage caused by the release.

Since the 2011 disaster, the prefecture’s fisheries cooperative has only been able to conduct experimental fishing on limited days, with restrictions on the areas fished.

It is planning to move to full-scale fishing in April, with all 43 types of fish approved to be shipped.

“What we have been working on will be all for nothing,” said Toshimi Suzuki, 67, who belongs to a cooperative for sea urchin and abalone fishing in the city of Iwaki that is urging the government to decide against releasing the tritium-laced water into the sea. “I want them to listen to the voices of fishermen who are still struggling due to harmful rumors before deciding what measures to take.”

Farmers are also worried.

“If the waters are released when people at home and abroad aren’t adequately informed that it’s safe, based on science, harmful rumors will spread again,” said Yasuaki Kato, 44, a farmer who produces rice and apples.

When Kato worked to promote the safety of Fukushima-made produce in Tokyo, he felt it was extremely difficult to gain the understanding of people from outside Fukushima Prefecture.

“If people don’t understand the safety of the produce and how it has been made, it won’t have a price tag equivalent to what it’s worth,” Kato said.

In northern Fukushima Prefecture, fruit farmers were hit by heavy rain last year, after Typhoon Hagibis swept through the region, and were significantly affected by plant disease this year. Koji Suzuki, 69, who harvests peaches and persimmons in the town of Kunimi, says he was only able to harvest about 40% of his fruit compared to normal years.

He is afraid prices that plummeted after the meltdowns will once again drop.

“I want (the government) to propose measures on what it will do when consumers avoid produce from Fukushima,” Suzuki said.

This section features topics and issues covered by the Fukushima Minpo, the prefecture’s largest newspaper. The original article was published Oct. 21.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/10/30/national/fishers-farmers-fukushima-radioactive-water/

November 2, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Dumping Fukushima’s Water into the Ocean… Seriously?

By Robert Hunziker

October 30, 2020

For nearly a decade the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has been streaming radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. As it happens, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co.) struggles to control it. Yet, the bulk of the radioactive water is stored in more than 1,000 water tanks.

Assuredly, Japan’s government has made an informal decision to dump Fukushima Daiichi’s radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. A formal announcement could come as early as this year. Currently, 1.2 million tonnes of radioactive water is stored.

The problem: TEPCO is running out of storage space.

Government of Japan’s solution:  Dump it into the Pacific Ocean.

Third-party expert solutions:  Build more storage tanks.

Environmental groups insist there is no reason why additional storage tanks cannot be constructed outside the perimeter of the plant. They accuse the government of seeking the cheapest and quickest solution to the problem. All along, authorities have promised the site will be safe in 40 years. Really, only 40 years!

According to IAEA’s Director General Grossi, who visited Fukushima in February 2020, dumping radioactive water that is mainly contaminated with tritium meets global standards of practice. (Source: Michael Jacob in Tokyo, What! Is Japan Really Planning to Dump Radioactive Water From Fukushima Into the Ocean? Sweden-Science-Innovation, June 10, 2020)

In that regard, advocates of nuclear power utilize a subtle storyline that convinces, and deceives, the public into accepting nuclear power, however reluctantly. It goes something like this: “There’s nothing to worry about. Nuclear power plants routinely release tritium into the air and water. There is no economically feasible way to remove it. It’s normal, a standard operating procedure.” Nevertheless, as shall be explained in more detail forthwith, there is nothing positive about that posture, absolutely nothing!

According to TEPCO, all radioactive isotopes will be removed, except tritium, which is hard to separate. Still, similar to all radioactive substances, tritium is a carcinogen (causes cancer), a mutagen (causes genetic mutation), and a teratogen (causes malformation of an embryo).

The good news: Tritium is relatively weak beta radiation and does not have enough energy to penetrate human skin. The principal health risks are ingesting or breathing the tritium.

TEPCO has deployed an Advanced Liquid Processing System that purportedly removes 62 isotopes from the water, all except tritium, which is radioactive hydrogen and cannot easily be filtered out of water.

However, the filtration system has been plagued by malfunctions. According to Greenpeace International, within the past two years TEPCO admitted to failures to reduce radioactivity to levels below regulatory limits in more than 80% of the storage tanks. Reported levels of Strontium-90 (a deadly isotope) were more than 100 times regulatory standards with some tanks at 20,000 times.

“They have deliberately held back for years detailed information on the radioactive material in the contaminated water. They have failed to explain to the citizens of Fukushima, wider Japan and to neighboring countries such as S. Korea and China that the contaminated water to be dumped into the Pacific Ocean contains dangerous levels of carbon-14. These, together with other radionuclides in the water will remain hazardous for thousands of years with the potential to cause genetic damage. It’s one more reason why these plans have to be abandoned.” (Source: Fukushima Reactor Water Could Damage Human DNA if Released, Says Greenpeace, The Guardian, October 23, 2020)

Cancer is the main risk to humans ingesting tritium. When tritium decays it emits a low-energy electron (roughly 18,000 electron volts) that escapes and slams into DNA, a ribosome or some other biologically important molecule. And, unlike other radionuclides, tritium is usually part of water, so it ends up in all parts of the body and therefore, in theory, can promote any kind of cancer. But that also helps reduce the risk because tritiated water is typically excreted in less than a month. (Source: Is Radioactive Hydrogen in Drinking Water a Cancer Threat, Scientific American, Feb. 7, 2014)

Some evidence suggests beta particles emitted by tritium are more effective at causing cancer than the high-energy radiation such as gamma rays. Low-energy electrons produce a greater impact because it doesn’t have the energy to spread its impact. At the end of its atomic-scale trip it delivers most of its ionizing energy in one relatively confined track rather than shedding energy all along its path like a higher-energy particle. This is known as “density of ionization.” As such, scientists say any amount of radiation poses a health risk.

According to Ian Fairlie, Ph.D. (Imperial College/London and Princeton University), a radiation biologist and former member of the 3-person secretariat to Britain’s Committee Examining the Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters: “At the present time, over a million tonnes of tritium-contaminated water are being held in about a thousand tanks at the site of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan.  This is being added to at the rate of ~300 tonnes a day from the water being pumped to keep cool the melted nuclear fuels from the three destroyed reactors at Fukushima. Therefore new tanks are having to be built each week to cope with the influx.” (Source: Ian Fairlie, The Hazards of Tritium, March 13, 2020)

Furthermore, radioactive contaminants in the tanks, such as nuclides like caesium-137 (an extremely deadly isotope) and strontium-90 (which is equally deadly) in reduced concentrations still exist in unacceptable high levels. According to Fairlie: “These problems constitute a sharp reminder to the world’s media that the nuclear disaster at Fukushima did not end in 2011 and is continuing with no end in sight.”

“There are no easy answers here. Barring a miraculous technical discovery which is unlikely, I think TEPCO/Japanese Gov’t will have to buy more land and keep on building more holding tanks to allow for tritium decay to take place. Ten half-lives for tritium is 123 years: that’s how long these tanks will have to last – at least. This will allow time not only for tritium to decay, but also for politicians to reflect on the wisdom of their support for nuclear power.” (Fairlie)

Meanwhile, over the course of seemingly endless years, Fukushima Daiichi remains “the world’s most dangerous active time bomb” for several reasons, and spent fuel rods are at the top of the list.

In addition to the 800 tons of lava-like molten fuel, aka: corium, (the big meltdown) in the three reactor containment vessels, the crippled reactor buildings contain more than 1,500 units of used nuclear fuel rods in open pools of water and must be kept cool at all times or all hell breaks loose. Loss of water from structural damage or another major earthquake (the structures are already seriously compromised) could expose the fuel rods, resulting in uncontrolled massive release of sizzling radiation that could be worse than the original meltdown, possibly exposing Tokyo to an emergency mass evacuation event with people running and screaming.

Tokyo Electric Power has plans for complete removal of the dangerous fuel rods by 2031. That work is being carried out remotely from a control room about 500 metres distance due to extraordinarily high radiation levels inside the reactor buildings.

Dismally, a perverse endlessness overhangs Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima Daiichi (2011), earmarking these nuclear power meltdowns as the worst industrial accidents in human history.

Yet, with 440 operating nuclear plants worldwide, and 50 new plants under construction, there are plans to build a few hundred more.

Good luck

November 2, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

South Korea’s ‘serious concern’ about Japan’s dumping of Fukushima radioactive water

Students protest against Japan’s disposal of radioactive water, outside the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Oct 20, 2020

South Korea expresses ‘serious concern’ over Japan plan to dump radioactive water from Fukushima

October 29, 2020

SEOUL (REUTERS) – South Korea expressed alarm on Thursday (Oct 29) about the possibility that Japan will dump more than one million tonnes of contaminated water from the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea.

South Korea’s “serious concern” about the contaminated water was conveyed when senior officials from the uneasy neighbours met for talks in Seoul for the first time since Japan’s new prime minister, Mr Yoshihide Suga, took office last month.

“Director-general Kim highlighted our grave awareness and serious concern about the issue of the Fukushima reactor contaminated water,” the South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement, referring to Mr Kim Jung-han, director-general for Asia and Pacific affairs, who led the South Korean team.

Media has reported that Japanese authorities have decided to discharge some one million tonnes of radioactive water into the sea nearly a decade after an earthquake triggered a tsunami that slammed into the Fukushima nuclear plant north of Tokyo, causing extensive damage.

The Japanese government has said no decision has been made on the disposal of the water from the damaged plant.

Among other issues the two sides discussed were an annual trilateral summit with China and a diplomatic and trade dispute over the issue of South Koreans forced to work at Japanese companies during 1910-45 colonial rule, which has seriously strained ties between the two US allies over the past year.

Mr Kim said Japan needed to show a “more sincere attitude” to resolve the row, urging it to lift trade restrictions imposed on South Korea, the South Korean ministry said.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/south-korea-expresses-serious-concern-over-any-japanese-radioactive-water-dump

S Korea expresses concern over any Japanese radioactive water dump

October 30, 2020

SEOUL – South Korea expressed alarm on Thursday about the possibility that Japan will dump more than one million tons of contaminated water from the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.

South Korea’s “serious concern” about the contaminated water was conveyed when senior officials from the uneasy neighbors met for talks in Seoul for their first time since Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, took office last month.

“Director-general Kim highlighted our grave awareness and serious concern about the issue of the Fukushima reactor contaminated water,” the South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement, referring to Kim Jung-han, director-general for Asia and Pacific affairs, who led the South Korean team.

Media has reported that Japanese authorities have decided to discharge some one million tons of radioactive water into the sea nearly a decade after an earthquake triggered a tsunami that slammed into the Fukushima nuclear plant north of Tokyo, causing extensive damage.

The Japanese government has said no decision has been made on the disposal of the water from the damaged plant.

Among other issues the two sides discussed were an annual trilateral summit with China and a diplomatic and trade dispute over the issue of South Koreans forced to work at Japanese companies during 1910-45 colonial rule, which has seriously strained ties between the two U.S. allies over the past year.

Kim said Japan needed to show a “more sincere attitude” to resolve the row, urging it to lift trade restrictions imposed on South Korea, the South Korean ministry said.

https://japantoday.com/category/politics/s.korea-expresses-%27serious-concern%27-over-any-japanese-radioactive-water-dump

November 2, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

269 compensation claims linked to Fukushima plant work

269 compensation claims linked to Fukushima plant work deemed in Japan

October 29, 2020

TOKYO, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) — A total of 269 cases related to the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant work in Japan have been deemed as job-related accidents and covered by compensation since the nuclear disaster in 2011, labor ministry officials said Thursday.

The compensation claims that have been passed refer to the period since the nuclear accident in March 2011 through Oct. 1 this year.

Among them, six cases of workers developed cancer or leukemia because of radiation exposure, and four suffered from overwork-related illnesses, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare officials.

Currently, about 4,000 people still work on site of the Fukushima plant decommissioning every day, with many at risk of radiation exposure, according to local media reports.

The decommissioning work has been under way since nearly 10 years ago when the massive earthquake and tsunami devastated northeastern Japan and triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO), the plant operator, said three people died between fiscal 2011 and 2019.

The company said a total of 98 people suffered from heat-related illnesses between fiscal 2011 and 2019, as they had to wear less permeable masks and protective gear in the scorching summer heat.

Moreover, a total of 313 accidents have occurred in the same period of time at the site of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, including several fatal cases in which workers fell into a tank, TEPCO said. Enditem

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-10/29/c_139476903.htm

This photo taken on Sept. 26, 2020, in Okuma, northeastern Japan, shows the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant where decommissioning work is taking place.

Compensation claims related to Fukushima plant work total 269

October 30, 2020

TOKYO (Kyodo) – A total of 269 cases linked to the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant work have been deemed as job-related accidents and covered by compensation since the 2011 nuclear disaster, labor ministry officials said Thursday, underscoring the harsh conditions onsite workers still face.

The workers’ compensation claims that have been recognized by labor authorities include six cases of workers who developed cancer or leukemia due to radiation exposure, and four others who suffered from overwork-related illnesses, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare officials.

Decommissioning of the Fukushima plant is still under way nearly 10 years after the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. To this day, about 4,000 people still work on site every day, with many at risk of radiation exposure.

The compensation claims that have been approved refer to the period since the March 2011 nuclear accident through Oct. 1 this year.

According to the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., three people died between fiscal 2011 and 2019.

One worker, who wished to remain anonymous, told Kyodo News the pressure of working at a nuclear power plant as opposed to a normal working site is “incomparable.”

“I have to deal with so much anxiety and stress as I could never know what may happen inside a nuclear power plant,” said the man from Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture.

According to the worker, he wears two protective layers of clothing and tapes them together so there is no space between them, and also puts on a raincoat.

“I sweat a lot even in winter and I drink a lot of water,” he said, adding that several of his colleagues suffered from heat stroke or heat exhaustion while working at the plant.

TEPCO said a total of 98 people suffered from heat-related illnesses between fiscal 2011 and 2019, having had to wear masks and protective gear made of less permeable materials under the sweltering summer heat.

At the site of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, 313 accidents have occurred in the same period of time, including several fatal cases between 2014 and 2015 in which workers fell into a tank, TEPCO said.

Acknowledging that many accidents had occurred, a TEPCO official said, “We will continue to work with our contractors to prevent such incidents from happening.”

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201030/p2g/00m/0na/014000c

November 2, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Parties Blast Foreign Ministry Response to Japan’s Water Discharge Move

October 26, 2020

South Korea’s ruling and opposition parties both criticized the Foreign Ministry’s response to Japan’s reported plan to release radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.

In a parliamentary audit on Monday, ruling Democratic Party(DP) lawmaker Lee Jae-jung unveiled an internal document from the ministry which stressed that the handling of the contaminated water is Japan’s sovereign issue.

Lee raised concern about whether the ministry was trying to view the issue as a domestic affair, and urged a more aggressive response as Tokyo is currently promoting its stance to the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA), while Seoul is not.

DP lawmaker Kim Young-ho also expressed concern that the IAEA may accept Japan’s plan and urged Seoul’s Foreign Ministry to persuade the United States.

Main opposition People Power Party(PPP) Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon also noted that Japan has submitted its final report on research results to the IAEA while the Seoul government is only continuing internal discussions. 

He said countries have the obligation to prevent maritime pollution and that legal action must be taken against Japan.

November 2, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan puts off decision to release treated Fukushima water into sea

is it actually possible they are actually listening ???

Japan has put off a decision to release treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, government sources said Friday, after reports of a formal decision later this month triggered strong opposition from fishermen.

Oct 23, 2020

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama told a press conference Friday the government has no plan to make a decision on what to do with over 1.2 million tons of treated water as reported.

His remark came after other government sources said last week it would decide on the release of the water on Tuesday. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said last month, during a visit to the Fukushima Daiichi plant which suffered meltdowns following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, that the government wants “to make a decision as soon as possible” on how to deal with the water.

“We are not at a stage where we can announce the specific timing of a decision” on how to deal with the stored water, Kajiyama said, adding, “We want to proceed with the matter carefully.”

The water used to cool the damaged reactors has been treated using an advanced liquid processing system, or ALPS, to remove all radioactive material apart from tritium and is stored in tanks on the plant’s premises.

The Fukushima complex is expected to run out of water storage capacity by the summer of 2022, with contaminated water increasing by about 170 tons per day.

Several participants at a government meeting convened Friday to discuss what to do with the water said thorough measures are needed to address reputational damage to the fishery sector expected as a result of releasing the water into the environment.

Kajiyama, who chaired the meeting, said, “There is a need to further deepen our discussions” in addressing the concerns expressed by local citizens, municipalities and related organizations.

Participants from other ministries including those overseeing reconstruction from the 2011 disaster and the fisheries industry called for thorough measures to address the repercussions of releasing the stored water.

The government has so far convened seven meetings on the issue since April, hearing opinions from representatives of 29 organizations.

It has also received 4,011 public opinions, with about 2,700 expressing concerns about the treated water’s impact on human health and around 1,400 casting doubt on the process of decision making.

South Korea, which currently bans imports of seafood from the area, has also repeatedly voiced concern about the environmental impact.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Director General Rafael Grossi said during his visit to the plant in February that the release of the treated water into the sea meets global standards of practice in the industry.

This is a common way to release water at nuclear power plants across the globe, even when they are not in emergency situations, he said at the time.

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/10/48bd30f5c630-japan-puts-off-decision-to-release-treated-fukushima-water-into-sea.html?fbclid=IwAR2sbXS8L2Ry2QPjTMwIGi13YUY2l3JnxxrAVpTSJq9r_hjb4LnEwtP1S34

October 26, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Democratic Party leader says he demanded “transparent disclosure” of information about Fukushima water treatment

Lee Nak-yeon discussed issue with Japanese ambassador to S. Korea at National Assembly

Democratic Party lawmaker Lee Nak-yeon (left) and Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Koji Tomita at the National Assembly on Oct. 22.

October 23, 2020

Democratic Party Lee Nak-yeon, considered one of the preeminent “Japan watchers” among South Korean politicians, requested the transparent disclosure of information about treatment of radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant during a meeting with Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Koji Tomita on Oct. 22.

Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Tomita at the National Assembly that morning, Lee said, “I stressed the need for the transparent disclosure of all information regarding treatment of water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, and told him that Japan needs to proceed with the support of the international community.”

Lee also quoted Tomita as replying that the Japanese government “has not finalized its decision and is aware of South Korea’s concerns,” adding that he would “agree to the two requests” from Lee.

“Ambassador Tomita said that all information is being shared in a transparent manner, and that the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] has shared the position that [the release of contaminated water] is technically feasible and consistent with international practice,” Lee said.

Japan’s dumping of contaminated water from Fukushima into the ocean is a sensitive issue that could lead to an outpouring of anti-Japan sentiment in South Korea. The Japanese government is currently treating the water with an advanced liquid processing system (ALPS) to remove radioactive substances and storing it in 1,000-ton tanks. The number of storage tanks has exceeded 1,300 to date, a matter of increasing concern for the Japanese government. Its current plan is to dilute the water and dump it into the Pacific Ocean. While the decision is a matter of Japanese sovereignty and has the support of parties such as the IAEA, it has the potential to escalate into a sensitive diplomatic issue for Seoul and Tokyo.

Lee also quoted Tomita as “sharing his hope for the resumption of interchange and aviation routes between South Korea and Japan.” At the same time, Lee noted, “The issues related to economic measures stem from the forced conscription issue, and it’s a framework where it’s difficult for such issues to be resolved first or separately.”

http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/967017.html

October 26, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Greenpeace Warns ‘Potential Damage to Human DNA’ at Risk With Japan’s Plan to Dump Fukushima Water Into Ocean

“The policy of the Japanese government to dump nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean is not based on scientific or environmental protection principles and has no justification.”

Storage tanks for radioactive water stand at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant on Jan. 29, 2020 in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

Greenpeace sounded alarm Friday over the Japanese government’s plan to release stored water from the ill-fated Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, releasing a new report warning about the presence of carbon-14, which the group says “has the potential to damage human DNA.”

The warning laid out in a new report says the government and plant operator TEPCO’s controversial plan—which has been under consideration for some time—is founded on “a series of myths” and pursues the cheapest option to get rid of the water over what is best for human and ecological health.

The plan allows “the government [to] create the impression that substantial progress is being made in the early decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors,” Greenpeace says. 

Entitled Stemming the tide 2020: The reality of the Fukushima radioactive water crisis, the publication argues that the planned release of the water “will have serious, long-term consequences for communities and the environment, locally and much further afield.”

“Nearly 10 years after the start of the disaster, TEPCO and the Japanese government are still covering up the scale of the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi,” said Shaun Burnie, author of the report and senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany. He further accused the entities of having “deliberately held back for years detailed information on the radioactive material in the contaminated water.”

Beyond the remaining radioactive material tritium in the water, an additional problem is the presence of high levels of carbon-14, which belies the government’s assertion that the water is not “contaminated,” said Greenpeace.

According to the report, If the contaminated water is discharged to the Pacific Ocean, all of the carbon-14 will be released to the environment. With a half-life of 5,730 years, carbon-14 is a major contributor to global human collective dose; once introduced into the environment carbon-14 will be delivered to local, regional, and global populations for many generations. […] Contrary to the understanding of the Japanese government, water that contains large quantities of radioactive carbon-14 (as well as the other radioactive isotopes including strontium-90 and tritium) can only be described as contaminated.

Burnie said that TEPCO and the Japanese government “have failed to explain to the citizens of Fukushima, wider Japan, and to neighboring countries such as South Korea and China that the contaminated water to be dumped into the Pacific Ocean contains dangerous levels of carbon-14. These, together with other radionuclides in the water will remain hazardous for thousands of years with the potential to cause genetic damage.”

“It’s one more reason why these plans have to be abandoned,” said Burnie.

The report puts some of the blame on TEPCO’s decision to rely on technology known as ALPS that the operator should have known was incapable of bringing concentrations of radionuclides down to acceptable levels.

Rather than quickly moving to dump the water into the ocean, the Greenpeace report says the government should pursue “continued long-term storage and processing of the contaminated water.”

“There is no technical, engineering, or legal barrier to securing additional storage space for ALPS-treated contaminated water. It is a matter of political will,” said Burnie.

“The policy of the Japanese government to dump nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean is not based on scientific or environmental protection principles,” he said, “and has no justification.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/23/greenpeace-warns-potential-damage-human-dna-risk-japans-plan-dump-fukushima-water?fbclid=IwAR2ZgJZ1obTZDHZiFBuggz2R5t0lvDphkKs_zDl5M_-EOvipVTIxB7nPshs

October 26, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima: Contaminated water could damage human DNA, Greenpeace says

The radioactive water has been stored in huge tanks which will fill up by 2022

October 23, 2020

Contaminated water from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant contains a radioactive substance that has the potential to damage human DNA, a report by Greenpeace says.

The claim from the environmental campaign group follows media reports suggesting the government plans to release the water into the ocean.

Many scientists say the risk is low but some environmentalists oppose the idea.

The government has not yet responded to the Greenpeace report.

For years Japan has debated over what to do with the more than a million tonnes of water used to cool the power station, which went into meltdown in 2011 after being hit by a massive tsunami.

Space to store the liquid – which includes groundwater and rain that seeps daily into the plant – will fill up by 2022.

The government says most of the radioactive isotopes have been removed using a complex filtration process but one isotope, tritium, cannot be removed.

Last week Japanese media reported that the government had decided to start releasing the water into the sea from 2022. Under the reported plans, the water would be diluted inside the plant first in a process that would take several decades.

In its report Stemming the tide 2020: The reality of the Fukushima radioactive water crisis released on Friday, Greenpeace claimed the contaminated water contained “dangerous levels of carbon-14”, a radioactive substance that it says has the “potential to damage human DNA”.

The group accused the government of suggesting the water was “treated” giving the impression it “only contains tritium”.

The government said no decision had been made, but observers think one could be announced by the end of the month.

Environmental groups have long expressed their opposition to releasing the water into the ocean. And fishing groups have argued against it, saying consumers will refuse to buy produce from the region.

However some scientists say the water would quickly be diluted in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, and that tritium poses a low risk to human and animal health.

What happened in 2011?

On 11 March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the north-eastern coast of Japan, triggering a 15-metre tsunami.

While the back-up systems to prevent a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant survived the initial quake, further damage was inflicted by the tsunami.

As the facility’s cooling systems failed in the days that followed, tonnes of radioactive material were released. The meltdown was the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

Around 18,500 people died or disappeared in the quake and tsunami, and more than 160,000 were forced from their homes.

Billions of dollars in compensation have already been paid to individuals and businesses affected by the disaster. Last month, a Japanese high court upheld a ruling ordering the government and the plant’s operating company to pay a further $9.5m (£7.3m).

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-54658379?fbclid=IwAR3BMy4jGsaWyFXyqePd-P1EuwIILX7xUCemja79yDsFHBEBslfylWc5VnU

October 26, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

More Radiation? Fukushima to Release Radioactive Water Into Ocean, Sparking Public Outrage

October 22, 2020

Japan is still dealing with the consequences of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdowns in the wake of an offshore 9.1 earthquake and tsunami. The facility is out of space to store the ever-increasing amount of radiated waste, and the government is about set to release over 1 million tonnes of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

Eco activists are outraged following recent reports from Japanese media concerning a government panel’s intention to approve the release of highly-radioactive water into the ocean. An official announcement is expected to follow at the end of the month.

Authorities must increase storage capacity by constructing tanks outside the plant, nuclear specialists told DW, also accusing the government of hiding the actual radiation level of the water to solve the problem quickly and avoid extra expense. According to the Kahoko Shinpo newspaper, the levels of radioactive elements in processed water are many times above the safe norm. In particular, the level of strontium in water is 100 times above the safety cutoff, while levels of iodine exceed safe levels in at least half of all samples.

Fukushima fisherman are also against the plan, as they fear consumers will lose trust in local marine products.

Since the 11 March, 2011, undersea 9.1 magnitude Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami that killed over 16,000, Japan has been seeking a safe way to get rid of radioactive water that flooded a local nuclear power reactor. Its disposal is one of the main problems of “Fukushima 1” decommissioning.

The damaged reactors must still be cooled with water that becomes highly radiated, and continues to mix with the groundwater through leaks. Thousand of containers currently store over a million tonnes of radiated water and the facility has limited space.

Tokyo has considered using evaporation techniques, but they have not worked quickly enough. Dumping the radiated water directly into the the Pacific Ocean is said by some to be acceptable only if the contaminants are purified by an ALP (Advanced Liquid Processing) filtering system and then diluted with seawater. Following this process, officials claim that no radioactive elements would remain in the water, except tritium, as it is not filterable but deemed safe in very small concentrations.

For ALP, Japan needs two years of preparations and an abundance of expensive hardware.

A magnitude 9.1 earthquake hit Japan on 11 March, 2011. It caused a giant tsunami that disabled the cooling system of the nuclear reactors and led to devastating explosions. The nuclear power plant “Fukushima 1” meltdown and explosion is the most disastrous nuclear incident after Chernobyl in 1986. Over 16,000 were killed and over 6,000 injured, while 160,000 local residents were left homeless. Healing the twon and its inhabitants will take at least 40 years, according to Tokyo.

https://sputniknews.com/asia/202010221080851455-more-radiation-fukushima-to-release-radioactive-water-into-ocean-sparking-public-outrage/

October 26, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan PM vows swift decision on release of Fukushima radioactive water

October 21, 2020

Jakarta – Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday the government will swiftly decide what to do with treated radioactive water at the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant following reports of a plan to release the water into the sea.

“We cannot postpone the issue forever. We would like to make a decision responsibly as soon as possible,” Suga told a press conference in Jakarta as he wrapped up his first foreign trip since taking office in mid-September. The premier visited Indonesia and Vietnam.

Photo taken Aug. 26, 2020, at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan, shows tanks for storing treated water from which most of the radioactive contamination has been removed.

“There has been no decision on when or how to deal with the water,” Suga said. The government plans to deepen discussions on the matter and work on measures to prevent reputational damage linked to radiation, he added.

Local fishermen have expressed worries while China and South Korea have cast a wary eye on the issue after it was reported that an official decision on the discharge of water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, crippled by the 2011 devastating earthquake and tsunami, may be made by the end of this month.

The Fukushima plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. has been generating massive amounts of radiation-tainted water since the accident as it needs water to cool the reactors, which suffered core meltdowns.

The water has been treated using an advanced liquid processing system, or ALPS, to remove most contaminants other than the relatively less toxic tritium. It is stored in tanks on the facility’s premises.

But space is expected to run out by the summer of 2022, with contaminated water increasing by about 170 tons per day. As of September this year, the stored water totaled 1.23 million tons and continues to grow.

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/10/4b526e849bdb-suga-vows-swift-decision-on-release-of-fukushima-radioactive-water.html?fbclid=IwAR3krmXjWDSh5M8bG1NQonR54wPqVsFIpvcl5ucmb8VuRWmUtbW45iEK9DA

October 26, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment