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REMEMBER FUKUSHIMA

“We must never forget this catastrophe …We must continue to counter the efforts of the Japanese Government, TEPCO, academics and official bodies to minimise its effects and to ignore the past.” Caroline Lucas MP re Fukushima, 19 March 2019

version-2-2.jpgL to R: Asami Yokota, Fukushima resident mother; Kaori (interpreting); Akiko Morimatsu, Fukushima evacuee mother; Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party, Host and Chair; Dr Ian Fairlie, independant consultant on radioactivity in the environment.

Caroline Lucas MP, host and chair of the Remember Fukushima Parliamentary public meeting on 19 March 2019, opened the meeting with the following speech:

“Eight years ago on March 11 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was triggered in Fukushima Prefecture about 150 miles north of Tokyo. Over the ensuing weeks, four explosions and three nuclear meltdowns occurred, over 160,000 people were evacuated and radioactive emissions were scattered over large tracts of Japan.

In 2012, an Investigative Panel of theJapanese National Diet (ie Parliament) concluded that the Fukushima disaster was “… profoundly man-made and was caused by a disregard of the risks of earthquakes by an industry determined to preserve the illusion that nuclear power was absolutely safe.” The Panel attributed the accident to the “collusion” of government, regulator and industry to gamble the public’s well-being on lowering the high cost of safety from an inherently dangerous technology.

The disaster continues to this day, and is still causing immense problems.

Unresolved issues include:

  • Many tonnes of melted nuclear fuel remain in an unstable state under reactors 1, 2 and 3
  • An estimated 300 tonnes of contaminated water are dumped daily into the Pacific Ocean. This water is needed to keep cool the melted nuclear fuel which must not be allowed to melt again.
  • Many millions of cubic metres of contaminated soil remain in huge temporary dumps, with no clear idea on where they will be stored in the long-term.
  • According to NHK World Japan, over 50,000 evacuees remain in temporary accommodation. Despite Government pressure to return to so-called ‘cleaned up’ towns, most evacuees are reluctant to do so.

Official TEPCO accounts of the accident and its toll are unreliable. The most comprehensive unofficial account is by the Simply Info Team in the US. Their March 2019 report (33 pages, 9 MB) can be downloaded at http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/SimplyInfoOrg_2019_annual_report_Fukushima_finalc.pdf

The toll of Fukushima is fearsome. Over 7% of the land area of Japan was contaminated to a serious level. Official reports state over 3,600 people have died as a result of the nuclear disaster, including over 2,000 during the evacuations necessary to avoid the large radiation exposures. Over 180 additional cases of thyroid cancer have been recorded in children and teenagers so far: more are expected.  From official WHO collective dose estimates, over 5,000 other cancers will also occur. Reports are now trickling out of other health effects, including recent spikesin congenital heart disease in infants.

But these are just the reported health studies. Who is counting the just as serious numbers of suicides, mental health effects, ‘nuclear’ divorces, and families who remain geographically apart? We shall hear shortly first hand testimonies of these effects.

The restoration, clean up, compensation and recovery costs are immense. The Japan Centre for Economic Research calculates these will range from £240 to £560 billion, about four times higher than Japanese Government estimates.

But we shall probably never know the true full costs of Fukushima.

We must never forget this catastrophe. That is why we are meeting here tonight. We must continue to counter the efforts of the Japanese Government, TEPCO, academics and official bodies to minimise its effects and to ignore the past. This, unbelievably, includes holding some events of the 2020 Olympic Games in contaminated parts of Tokyo and Fukushima Prefecture.

I should briefly mention that the legal fight for compensation is a major issue in Japan. Many court cases are being brought by Fukushima evacuees, parents and others and are now reaching an important stage. Two major class actions are the “Children’s Rights Trial”, which demands that local governments recognize the right of primary and secondary school students of Fukushima Prefecture to enjoy education in a healthy environment. Second the “Parent+Child Trial” which seeks compensation from the Fukushima prefectural and Japanese central governments.

This meeting is about Fukushima, but I wish briefly to refer to the UK situation as it has Japanese parallels. Here, two Japanese multinationals, Toshiba and Hitachi, recently indicated that they no longer wish to proceed with their proposed nuclear reactors in Cumbria and in Wales.  (A third, Mitsubishi, withdrew from its proposed reactors in Turkey 6 months ago.) They are all withdrawing from their nuclear businesses even as the Japanese Government and TEPCO are still pushing for the reopening of old reactors closed after the accident. Why are these Japanese nuclear conglomerates pulling out of nuclear?  A major factor has been the increased costs of safety features in new reactors now required after Fukushima.

I should like now to introduce our speakers tonight.

We warmly welcome to Britain three Japanese mothers from Fukushima, Akiko Morimatsu, Asami Yokota and Ms Sonoda who have been travelling throughout Europerecounting how they were affected and continue to be affected by the disaster.

Initially, Dr Ian Fairlie,an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment and former scientist within DEFRA, our Government’s environment department, will set the scene, and later make some concluding remarks.”

Video of Caroline Lucas delivering the speech

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“We must never forget this catastrophe …We must continue to counter the efforts of the Japanese Government, TEPCO, academics and official bodies to minimise its effects and to ignore the past.” Caroline Lucas MP re Fukushima, 19 March 2019

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April 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima: “An Ongoing Global Radiological Catastrophe”. “A Huge Coverup”. Dr. Helen Caldicott

Caldicott

March 21, 2019

Transcript of 8th anniversary interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott

By Dr. Helen Caldicott and Michael Welch

The eight year anniversary of the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility passed mostly without comment in mainstream media circles. In spite of ongoing radiological contamination that will continue to spread and threaten human health for lifetimes to come, other stories dominate the international news cycle. The climate change conundrum, serious though it may be, seemingly crowds out all other clear and present environmental hazards.

As part of efforts to normalize this historic event and cover it up in its magnitude, the Japanese government has invested considerable financial, public relations and other resources into what they are billing the ‘Recovery Olympics‘ set to take place in a year’s time in Tokyo. 

But Helen Caldicott warns that the dangers associated with Fukushima have not gone away and remain a cause for concern. 

Dr. Helen Caldicott has been an author, physician and one of the world’s leading anti-nuclear campaigners. She helped to reinvigorate the group of Physicians for Social Responsibility, acting as president from 1978 to 1983. Since its founding in 2001 she served as president of the US based Nuclear Policy Research Institute later called Beyond Nuclear which initiates symposia and educational projects aimed at informing the public about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and nuclear war. And she is the editor of the 2014 book, Crisis Without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe.

On the week marking the eighth anniversary of the Fukushima meltdowns, the Global Research News Hour radio program, hosted by Michael Welch, reached out to Dr. Caldicott to get her expert opinion on the health dangers posed by the most serious nuclear disaster since, at least, the 1986 Chernobyl event.

Global Research: Now the Japanese government is preparing to welcome visitors to Japan for the 2020 Olympic Games, and coverage of the 8th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster is hardly, it seems to me, registered given the significant radiological and other dangers that you cited and your authors cited in your 2014 book, Crisis Without End. Now it’s been more than four years since that book came out. I was hoping you could update our listenership on what is currently being recognized as the main health threats in 2019, perhaps not registered in the book, that you’re currently looking at in relation to the Fukushima meltdown.

Helen Caldicott: Well it’s difficult because the Japanese government has authorized really only examination of thyroid cancer. Now thyroid cancer is caused by radioactive iodine and there were many, many cases of that after Chernobyl. And already, they’ve looked at children under the age of 18 in the Fukushima prefecture at the time of the accident, and … how many children… 100…no 201 by June 18 last year… 201 had developed thyroid cancer. Some cancers had metastasized. The incidence of thyroid cancer in that population normally is 1 per million. So obviously it’s an epidemic of thyroid cancer and it’s just starting now.

What people need to understand is the latent period of carcinogenesis, ie the time after exposure to radiation when cancers develop is any time from 3 years to 80 years. And so it’s a very, very long period. Thyroid cancers appear early. Leukemia appears about 5 to 10 years later. They’re not looking for leukemia. Solid cancers of every organ, or any organ as such appear about 15 years later and continue and in fact the Hibakusha from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki who are still alive are still developing cancers in higher than normal numbers.

The Japanese government has told doctors that they are not to talk to their patients about radiation and illnesses derived thereof, and in fact if the doctors do do that, they might lose their funding from the government. The IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency interestingly set up a hospital – a cancer hospital – in Fukushima along with the Fukushima University for people with cancer, which tells you everything.

So there’s a huge, huge cover up. I have been to Japan twice and particularly to Fukushima and spoken to people there and the parents are desperate to hear the truth even if it’s not good truth. And they thanked me for telling them the truth. So it’s an absolute medical catastrophe I would say, and a total cover up to protect the nuclear industry and all its ramifications.

GR: Now, are we talking about some of the, the contamination that happened 8 years ago or are we talking about ongoing emissions from, for example–

HC: Well there are ongoing emissions into the air consistently, number one. Number two, a huge amount of water is being stored –over a million gallons in tanks at the site. That water is being siphoned off from the reactor cores, the damaged melted cores. Water is pumped consistently every day, every hour, to keep the cores cool in case they have another melt. And that water, of course, is extremely contaminated.

Now they say they’ve filtered out the contaminants except for the tritium which is part of the water molecule, but they haven’t. There’s strontium, cesium, and many other elements in that water – it’s highly radioactive – and because there isn’t enough room to build more tanks, they’re talking about emptying all that water into the Pacific Ocean and the fishermen are very, very upset. The fish already being caught off Fukushima, some are obviously contaminated. But this will be a disaster.

Water comes down from the mountains behind the reactors, flows underneath the reactors into the sea and always has. And when the reactors were in good shape, the water was fine, didn’t get contaminated. But now the three molten cores in contact with that water flowing under the reactors and so the water flowing into the Pacific is very radioactive and that’s a separate thing from the million gallons or more in those tanks.

They put up a refrigerated wall of frozen dirt around the reactors to prevent that water from the mountains flowing underneath the reactors, which has cut down the amount of water flowing per day from 500 tons to about a hundred and fifty. But of course, if they lose electricity, that refrigeration system is going to fail, and it’s a transient thing anyway so it’s ridiculous. In terms… So over time the Pacific is going to become more and more radioactive.

They talk about decommissioning and removing those molten cores. When robots go in and try and have a look at them, their wiring just melts and disappears. They’re extraordinarily radioactive. No human can go near them because they would die within 48 hours from the radiation exposure. They will never, and I quote never, decommission those reactors. They will never be able to stop the water coming down from the mountains. And so, the truth be known, it’s an ongoing global radiological catastrophe which no one really is addressing in full.

GR: Do we have a better reading on, for example the thyroids, but also leukemia incubation—

HC: No they’re not looking–well, leukemia they’re not looking for leukemia…

GR: Just thyroid

HC: They’re not charting it. So the only cancer they’re looking at is thyroid cancer and that’s really high, and you know it’s at 201 have already been diagnosed and some have metastasized. And a very tight lid is being kept on any other sort of radiation related illnesses and leukemia and the like. All the other cancers and the like, and leukemia is so… It’s not just a catastrophe it’s a…

GR: …a cover up

HC: Yeah. I can’t really explain how I feel medically about it. It’s just hideous.

GR: Well I have a brother who’s a physician, who was pointing to well we should maybe, the World Health Organization is a fairly authoritative body of research for all of the indicators and epidemiological aspects of this, but you seem to suggest the World Health Organization may not be that reliable in light of the fact that they are partnered with the IAEA. Is that my understanding…?

HC: Correct. They signed a document, I think in ‘59, with the IAEA that they would not report any medical effects of radiological disasters and they’ve stuck to that. So they are in effect in this area part of the International Atomic Energy Agency whose mission is to promote nuclear power. So don’t even think about the WHO. it’s really obscene.

GR: So what would… the incentive would be simply that they got funding?

HC: I don’t know. I really don’t know but they sold themselves to the devil.

GR: That’s pretty incredible. So there’s also the issue of biomagnification in the oceans, where you have radioactive debris, hundreds of tons of this radioactive water getting into the oceans and biomagnifying up through the food chain, so these radioactive particles can get inside our bodies. Could you speak to what you anticipate to see, what you would anticipate, whether it’s recorded by World Health authorities or not, what we could expect to see in the years ahead in terms of the illnesses that manifest themselves?

HC: Well number one, Fukushima is a very agricultural prefecture. Beautiful, beautiful peaches, beautiful food, and lots of rice. And the radiation spread far and wide through the Fukushima prefecture, and indeed they have been plowing up millions and millions of tons of radioactive dirt and storing it in plastic bags all over the prefecture. The mountains are highly radioactive and every time it rains, down comes radiation with the water. So the radiation – the elements. And there are over 200 radioactive elements made in a nuclear reactor. Some have lives of seconds and some have lives of millions of years or lasts for millions of years will I say. So there are many many isotopes, long-lasting isotopes – cesium, strontium, tritium is another one – but many, many on the soil in Fukushima.

And what happens is – you talked about biomagnification – when the plants take up the water from the soil, they take up the cesium which is a potassium analog – it resembles potassium. Strontium 90 resembles calcium and the like. And these elements get magnified by orders of magnitude in the rice and in the plants. And so when you eat food that is grown in Fukushima, the chances are it’s going to be relatively radioactive.

They’ve been diluting radioactive rice with non-radioactive rice to make it seem a bit better. Now, into the ocean go these isotopes as well, and the algae bio-magnify them by – you know -ten to a hundred times or more. And then the crustaceans eat the algae, bio-magnify it more. The little fish eat the crustaceans, the big fish eat the little fish and the like. And tuna found in – off the coast of California some years ago contained isotopes from Fukushima. Also fish, being caught on the west coast of California contained some of these isotopes. So, it’s an ongoing bio-magnification catastrophe.

And the thing is that you can’t even taste, smell or see radioactive elements in your food. They’re invisible. And it takes a long time for cancers to occur. And you can’t identify a particular cancer caused by a particular substance or isotope. You can only identify that problem by doing epidemiological studies comparing irradiated people with non-irradiated people to see what the cancer levels are and that data comes from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and many, many, many other studies.

GR: Chernobyl as well, no?

HC: Oh, Chernobyl! Well, a wonderful book was produced by the, uh, Russians, and published by the New York Academy of Sciences, called Chernobyl with over 5000 on the ground studies of children and diseases in Belarus and the Ukraine, and all over Europe. And by now over a million people have already died from the Chernobyl disaster. And many diseases have been caused by that, including premature aging in children, microcephaly in babies, very small heads, diabetes, leukemia, I mean, I could go on and on.

Um, and those diseases which have been very well described in that wonderful book, um, which everyone should read, are not being addressed or identified or looked for in the Fukushima or Japanese population.

May I say that parts of Tokyo are extremely radioactive. People have been measuring the dirt from rooves of apartments, from the roadway, from vacuum cleaner dust. And some of these samples, they’re so radioactive that they would classify to be buried in radioactive waste facilities in America. So, that’s number one.

Number two, to have the Olympics in Fukushima just defies imagination. And uh, some of the areas where the athletes are going to be running, the dust and dirt there has been measured, and it’s highly radioactive. So, this is Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, who set this up to – as a sort of way to obscure what Fukushima really means. And those young athletes, you know, who are – and young people are much more sensitive to radiation, developing cancers later than older people – it’s just a catastrophe waiting to happen.

GR: Dr. Caldicott…

HC:They’re calling it the radioactive Olympics!

GR: (Chuckle). Is there anything that people can do, you know, whether they live in Japan or, say, the west coast of North America to mitigate the effects that this disaster has had, and may still be having eight years later?

HC: Yes. Do not eat any Japanese food because you don’t know where it’s sourced. Do not eat fish from Japan, miso, rice, you name it. Do not eat Japanese food. Period. Um, fish caught off the west coast of Canada and America, well, they’re not testing the fish so I don’t know what you’d do. Um, I mean, most of it’s probably not radioactive but you don’t know because you can’t taste it.

Um they’ve closed down the air-borne radioactive measuring instruments off the west coast of America, uh, but that’s pretty bad, because there still could be another huge accident at those reactors.

For instance, if there’s another large earthquake, number one, all those tanks would be destroyed and the water would pour into the Pacific. Number two, there could be another meltdown, a release – huge release of radiation, um, from the damaged reactors. So, things are very tenuous, but they’re not just tenuous now. They’re going to be tenuous forever.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-an-ongoing-global-radiological-catastrophe-a-huge-coverup-dr-helen-caldicott/5672265?fbclid=IwAR2yWNJN9-C7iGm08V1F7ZCKg_kVcL-WzPi2ftoMScrLEmSstrMKlV3BNG4

April 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima 8th Anniversary: 2 events in London

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March 22, 2019
Every year since year 2011, I participated in Paris, France, to the events organized for the anniversary of Fukushima nuclear disaster. This year I decided to do it differently and to go to London, England, to participate there to the events organized by the London antinuclear community and the Japanese community.
Four events were scheduled in London this year for the 8th anniversary:
On the evening of March 11th a vigil in front of the London Japanese Embassy, then on March 16th a march from the Japanese Embassy to the British Parliament, then on March 19th a Parliamentary meeting at the House of Commons with three Fukushima mothers, then on March 20th screening of the film « Munen » (Remorse) followed by a debate with the three Fukushima mothers.
As my very tight budget would not allow me to stay in London for 10 days and 10 nights, I could not go there to attend to all those 4 events, so I decided to go for the two last events on the 19th and 20th, which meant staying in London only 2 nights, arriving from Paris in the mid-afternoon of the 19th and leaving very early morning on the 21st. With my shoestring budget I could only afford to stay at the Keystone House Youth Hostel in the Kings Cross district (cheap dormitory bunk) closed to the St Pancras railway station where I was arriving from Paris on the Eurostar train.
After checking in at the Youth hostel, I went by bus to Westminster district, to attend at 7pm to the Parlementary public meeting  – with three Fukushima mothers in the House of commons, hosted by the member of parlement Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party for Brighton.
The speakers were :
The three mothers of Fukushima : Akiko Morimatsu, Asami Yokota, Ms Sonoda, and also Dr Ian Fairlie, a well-know independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment.
The event was co-organised by Kick Nuclear (London): https://kicknuclear.com; Japanese Against Nuclear London: http://www.januk.org; Nos Voisins Lointains 311 (France): https://nosvoisinslointains311.home.blog/agenda/ and CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament): https://cnduk.org

I was very happy to finally be able to meet in person, Doctor Ian Fairlie, the well-known doctor in radiation biology, Lis field, from the Remember Fukushima blog, David Polden from Kick Nuclear and from CND, Shigeo Kobayashi from Jan UK (Japanese against nuclear UK) Kurumi Sugita from Nos Voisins Lointains 311 (France) who accompanied the Fukushima mothers from Grenoble in France to London, Kurumi Sugita has the excellent blog Fukushima 311 Voices, she is also my co-admin on the FB public page Fukushima 311 Voices and on our FB group Rainbow Warriors, I was also very happy to meet and get to know Robin Lawrence and his wife Camelia, as they came to attend this event, Robin is a longtime member of our FB group Rainbow Warriors.

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Akiko Morimatsu at the House of Commons, London
Each Fukushima mother’s testimony was heart touching, each woman a resistant, a hero of her own :
Akiko Morimatsu, Fukushima mother who evacuated to Osaka with her two young children; leading light in the Japanese anti-nuclear movement & campaigning on behalf of the victims of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster: in March 2018 Akiko appeared in front of the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) to speak on behalf of the victims of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, key member of Osaka-based “Thanks & Dream The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake & Nuclear Evacuee Association” http://sandori2014.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-2062.html.
Asami Yokota, Fukushima mother who remained in Fukushima but evacuated her son to Hokkaido.
Ms Sonoda, Fukushima mother who evacuated with her child and husband; in June 2018 Ms Sonoda attended the 38th UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) as a panellist in the Displaced  Persons session, speaking as a victim of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear disaster. Kaori Mikata-Pralat was the one interpreting from japanese to english and Vice versa.
The apex of the testimonies was certainly Akiko Morimatsu pointing out that to live in a healthy environment without radiation nor contamination should be considered a basic human right, is a basic human right.
Three brave, courageous women, who stood out to protect their children and for what is right, against all odds, despite all the social pressure exercised on them fueled by the media and the government massive campaign of disinformation. My deep respect to those three very courageous women.
After the meeting went to a nearby english pub, with Robin Lawrence and his wife Camelia, had great time in their company and getting to know better, before going back by Tube (subway) to my Kings Cross Youth Hostel.
*****
Then on March 20th went on foot to another district of London, Bloomsbury, not to far from Kings Cross, spend the day around there near the University of London, discovered a great multiple floors bookstore, Waterstones on Malet Street,  then got a free lunch plate distributed on the street at the gate of London University, lentils and potatoes.
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Then later at 5pm met with Lis Fields, Kurumi Sugita, Akiko Morimatsu and her two children, Asami Yokota, and had a quick early dinner, before going at 7pm to attend the second event, at the Brunei’s Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
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That March 20th event also organized by Kick Nuclear (London): https://kicknuclear.com; Japanese Against Nuclear London: http://www.januk.org; Nos Voisins Lointains 311 (France): https://nosvoisinslointains311.home.blog/agenda/ and CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament): https://cnduk.org
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The first part of that event was the screening of « Munen » (Remorse) an 47 minutes animation film made in 2016 by Hidenobu Fukumoto.
Many inspirational episodes in “Munen” film. Below are just some of them.
* Following day of the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, when the firefighters were working to rescue people, they were ordered to cease the rescue mission due to explosion in Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station. Later, even though they understood the risk of nuclear accident, they felt “remorse” and cried – that if, just if, they kept rescuing, they could have helped some more people in the suffered reagion.
* Three days after the earthquake and tsunami, the second explosion happened in the nuclear station. The TV news said it was “hydrogen explosion”. People in NAMIE town were asked to evacuate but people were not given the answers to their questions:
– What is the reason of evacuation?
– Where should we evacuate?
– Until when they need to evacuate?
* “Nuclear Power – Bright Energy in the Future”. This is the slogan in the banner which has been hung in the town. And it was me who made it in my school days, and I was so proud that it was chosen as our town’s slogan, but now I know the slogan was wrong.
About Munen : Group creates film and story series based on interviews with Fukushima evacuees
Six years ago in March, a firefighter in the town of Namie in Fukushima Prefecture couldn’t save tsunami victims in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, because he himself had to evacuate due to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.
His anguish has been illustrated in the animated film “Munen”. The film begins with a scene in which the wife of the firefighter explains to her niece why her husband puts his hands together everyday and looks toward Namie.
“He is apologizing to lives that he could not save,” she tells her niece.
At the screening in Paris, the audience of about 100 people stared at the screen. The crowd erupted in applause when the film ended.
France depends heavily on nuclear power, which produces 75 percent of its electricity.
“I could understand clearly the seriousness (of nuclear power). I want many French people to watch this,” said a male university professor.
A citizens’ group that created the film has also produced about 40 illustrated story performances in the last five years, featuring experiences of evacuees of the nuclear disaster and a folk tale set in areas that have emptied of people. The shows have also been screened at various locations.
One story called “Mienai Kumo no Shita de” (“Under the Unseen Cloud”) depicts the life of a female evacuee from Namie.
Another called “Yuki-kun no Tegami” (“Yuki’s Letter”) features an autistic boy who struggles in an evacuation center, while a work titled “Inochi no Tsugi ni Taisetsuna Mono” (“The Precious Thing Next to Life”) is based on a story from the disaster that a manager of an inn heard from a fisherman.
“Munen” was also based on an illustrated story.
“An illustrated story show is easy and inexpensive (to produce). It tends to win the sympathy of the audience as it stimulates their imagination,” said Hidenobu Fukumoto, who heads a group called Machi Monogatari Seisaku Iinkai (Town Story Production Committee).
The 60-year-old former official of the Hiroshima Municipal Government was born in Hiroshima and graduated from Hiroshima Shudo University.
At the city office, he was involved in publishing a public relations magazine and event planning, with many opportunities to create illustrations. He retired in March.
What prompted him to create the shows was a book about the relationship of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the nuclear plant in Fukushima operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. He read the book when he was engaged in volunteer activities in Fukushima after the disaster.
The book by Hisato Nakajima, titled “Sengoshi no Nakano Fukushima Genpatsu” (“The Fukushima Nuclear Power plant in Postwar History”), includes the story of a Tepco employee who was involved in the construction of the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.
The man, who lost his older brother in to the atomic bombing, also helped rescue atomic bomb survivors. In around 1964, he was assigned to work in the town of Okuma in Fukushima and talked to local people who were concerned about hosting a nuclear plant.
“I saw the B-29 bomber that dropped the atomic bomb and the mushroom cloud that soared in the sky afterward. I know the fear more than you all do, and that’s why I studied nuclear power seriously,” the man is quoted as saying. “I believe nuclear power is safe enough, as it is put under extremely thorough safety measures.”
Fukumoto was shocked to learn that the man’s atomic bombing experience was used to convince people to accept the construction of a nuclear power facility.
Meanwhile, the book also tells about a landowner in Namie — where Tohoku Electric Power Co. had planned to build a nuclear power facility — refusing to sell his land because he witnessed the devastation following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
“In the 1960s when I was in elementary school, atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima refrained from talking about the bombing over fear of being discriminated against,” Fukumoto said.
“If the horror of the atomic bombing had been conveyed better, people in Fukushima might have become suspicious about being persuaded, and nuclear power plants would not have been built,” he said, adding that if Fukushima becomes silent, the silence could be used as an excuse for maintaining nuclear power.
In order to prevent that outcome, Fukumoto is determined to convey the stories of remorse triggered by the meltdown disaster, the stories of evacuees, and the individual personalities of the victims.
Every month, Fukumoto makes a round trip of around 800 kilometers between Hiroshima and Fukushima to hold interviews to create new stories.
On Jan. 31, he visited the Namie home of 56-year-old Yoko Oka. Oka evacuated to the city of Fukushima, as her home was in a restricted zone which allowed only daytime access. The restriction was lifted at the end of March this year.
Her home was almost empty after she threw away everything but a chest, which she brought after getting married. There were many holes in the paper doors because they were devastated by masked palm civets, which also scattered feces in the home.
Oka stood in front of a pillar marked with the heights of her two daughters.
“This is the only proof that we lived here,” she said.
Fukumoto listened carefully to Oka and photographed her. Based on such interviews, he uses his computer to make illustrations for new stories and write scripts.
The production group currently has around 10 members, including a hibakusha from 72 years ago. The survivor continues to contact Fukushima evacuees, believing it is not someone else’s problem as they both were exposed to radiation.
There are also many evacuees who perform similar shows in various places.
Hisai Yashima, 51, who evacuated to the town of Kori, Fukushima, belongs to a group of around 15 storytellers.
“I could not have talked about (the nuclear disaster) if I were in my 20s … waiting to get married or expecting a baby,” she said. “Our generation can talk about it and young generations can succeed after they get older.”
After hearing the experiences of those who survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Yashima thought the prejudice echoes the discrimination suffered by the Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees.
But she is proud that the group was able to visit some 500 locations to screen shows.
“We are able to send out (our message). We will never let people become silent like in Hiroshima,” Yashima said.
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The movie screeningwas  followed by a debate between the three Fukushima mothers, and the people attending. It was less formal than the previous evening at the House of Commons, with plenty time for people to ask many questions, to which Akiko Morimatsu and Asami Yokota, were answering in details, there was a lot to learn there from them, how the Fukushima nuclear disaster had affected their lives, their family life, how it had changed their life forever. Kaori Mikata-Pralat was again the one interpreting from japanese to english and Vice versa.
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Kurumi Sugita explaining what can be done to help the Fukushima people
*****
I was not able to sleep much that second night as I had to go very early at 5 am to the nearby St Pancras station, to get thru immigration and customs to get on the 5:40am scheduled Eurostar train going back to Paris.
This 2 days quick trip, was tiring but not regrets at all. Those two days in London  were awesome, I was able to meet people I had wanted to meet for a long time, and to get to know them now personally, all of them beautiful people, the kind of company who lift your spirit and give you hope and energy to continue, to not give up, to continue to stand for what is right, and help sharing awareness to others.
Thank you all my dear friends for what you are, for who you are.
See you next year March again!

March 22, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

2019 Civil nuclear power in Japan, Fukushima

51983537_497459597324845_7943532234311467008_n.jpgKolin Kobayashi, accompanying Ex-Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his wife on their antinuclear campaigning tour in France last February 2019.

 

Numbers
Total number of plants: 19 plants
total number of reactors: 54 reactors active before Fukushima.
Number of closures decided: 21 reactors

Number of reactors restarted: 9, 1st dec 2018 (Genkai 3,4, Sendai1,2, Ooi 3,4, Takahama 3,4, Ikata 3)
Number of reactors passed to the control of the new standard: 9
Number of reactors under construction: 3 (Oma, totsu, Shimané)

Total shutdown of all plants:
Zero reactor for almost two years between May 2012 and August 2015. During this period, Japan used coal and fuel plants, but the increase in coal consumption did not exceed 10%. Natural gas + 9%
The share of electro-nuclear before Fukushima: 35%
The increase in solar production: 45 billion Khw that would exceed that of electronuclear (17 billion).

Concerns before the 8th year (March 11, 2019) of the Fukushima disaster
The accident continues and we are still under the state of emergency. It is not yet possible to confine the radioactivity.

Return of inhabitants:

Since the spring of 2017, the prepared areas to be opened are now open and the government and the Fukushima Department are urging people to return to their contaminated areas. Mr. Shunichi Tanaka, former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, from Fukushima, settled in Iitate to show that there is no radioactive risk. The municipality of Iitaté (40-50 km north-west of Fukushima-Diichi) is a strategic place for both the pronucleair who want to erase this March 2011 bad memory and for the antinuclear who would like to demonstrate that there can be an important contamination even if you are 40 km away. The villagers were not informed that their village had been heavily contaminated. One month later, all residents were evacuated.

The Japanese and French lobbies work together to accredit the myth of radioactivity security, in the continuity of the Ethos project in Belarus, to bring back the inhabitants.

The propaganda of the Japanese and French lobbies plans to organize a study trip for international high school students to Japan, including French high school students, in Fukushima and also at the Fukushima-Daiichi site, to persuade people that the radioactivity is not very serious. A propaganda organized by Japanese and French scientists linked to the sphere of the international lobby ETHOS.

Discharge of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean:

The quantity of contaminated water now exceeds 1,120,000 tons with more than 1,000 tanks. The limit of the storage margin in the Fukushima site will be reached in two years.

It is found that these waters contain not only more than 1000 trillion Bq in total tritium but also cesium 137 and 134 and strontium. TEPCO and the Japanese authorities recommend dumping it into the Pacific Ocean. They organized three public hearings during which the inhabitants and especially the fishermen were fiercely opposed to this solution. The citizens’ commission of nuclear power (associative organization of the independent scientists) recommends to store it in the large reservoirs for 100 years. For the moment the decision is suspended.

Reuse of contaminated land:

Recycling waste of less than 8000 Bq / kg is allowed.

After the decontamination work, the contaminated waste is stored in the plastic bags and there are today 16 million 50 000 bags: 1100 temporary deposits, 137 000 deposits on the premises. In the municipalities of Okuma and Futaba, two intermediate storage sites are being built, which must finally receive 22 million bags until 2020. To prevent the number of storage increases, the Japanese authorities allow to recycle / reuse contaminated soil of less than 8000 Bq / kg.

The CEO of Veolia said that it intends to make a trade of waste by exporting to Japan those from France of less than 8000Bq / kg.

Removal of the public dosimeters:

The Fukushima Department would like to remove public dosimetry indicators. There are public hearings and here too, residents oppose this decision.

Tokyo Olympics:

The situation created by preparations for the Tokyo Olympics is terrifying. It makes people forget Fukushima The trivialization of radioactivity and ethosian propaganda. The public and the Olympic Committee should be informed of the reality of the contamination.

( Read the text of Prof. Hiroaki KOIDE https://nuclear-news.net/2019/03/03/the-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-and-the-tokyo-olympics/ )

The health consequences:

In Minami-Soma, Fukushima County, according to the local * statistics of the Minami-Soma Municipal Hospital, the number of cases of thyroid cancer is 29 times higher than before the accident, cases of leukemia 10.8 times, lung cancers 4.2 times, childhood cancers 4 times, pneumonia 3.98 times.

* This does not represent the overall situation of the Fukushima Department, but it is significant.

Kolin Kobayashi

January 2019

March 3, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan marks seventh anniversary of 3/11 with moment of silence

Seven years after Fukushima nuclear disaster, more than 70,000 Japanese cannot return home. Many more are living in areas deemed at “acceptable” levels of radioactive contamination.
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An unidentified man offers prayers and a bouquet on Arahama Beach in Sendai’s Wakabayashi Ward early Sunday morning as Japan observed the seventh anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Mar 11, 2018
At 2:46 p.m. on Sunday, Japan observed a moment of silence to mark the seventh anniversary of the mega-quake and tsunami that left about 18,000 people dead or missing while triggering the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
The anniversary of the calamity on March 11, 2011, arrived as about 73,000 people from the disaster-hit areas have yet to return to their hometowns.
They include about 34,000 people from Fukushima Prefecture, who have no choice but to live outside the prefecture due to the radioactive contamination caused by the three reactor core meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 power station.
The death toll from the magnitude 9 Great East Japan Earthquake, subsequent tsunami and prolonged aftershocks had reached 15,895 as of Friday, the National Police Agency said, adding that 2,539 officially remain unaccounted for.
As of Feb. 13, over 53,000 of the 73,000 evacuees were living in government-funded temporary housing or public or private rental housing across the country, while nearly 20,000 were living with relatives or acquaintances, according to the Reconstruction Agency. The remaining 271 are hospital patients.
On Sunday a Tokyo memorial ceremony organized by the government was attended by Prince Akishino and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, along with representatives of the survivors in the hardest-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, and other guests.
“Is it already seven years? Or, is it only seven years? I don’t know. Even though I think about it often, there are no answers in my heart,” Hideko Igarashi, a 70-year-old survivor from Fukushima Prefecture, said in her speech at the ceremony.
“We should not forget what we have learned from the disaster,” the woman from Soma said. “I sincerely pray for the peace and comfort of the victims and offer my most profound condolences.”
Abe said he believes the reconstruction projects in the Tohoku region are steadily making progress.
“More than 70,000 people are still living as evacuees, and many people continue to endure troubled uncomfortable lives seven years later,” Abe said. “When I think of the despair of those who lost beloved members of their families and friends in the disaster, I am overwhelmed even now with deep sorrow.”
“In areas that were affected by the earthquake and tsunami, the restoration of infrastructure closely related to everyday life is nearly complete, while 90 percent of the new homes required after the disaster are expected to be completed by this spring,” he added. Many of the tsunami-hit areas have been cleared of debris, and some areas are preparing raised areas for new homes to mitigate the risk of future tsunami damage. But despite the progress in these large, long-term construction projects, many evacuees have run out of patience and given up any hope of returning to their hometowns, opting to settle inland.
Abe also noted that evacuation orders are gradually being lifted in areas tainted by the triple core meltdown triggered by the tsunami-linked blackout at Fukushima No. 1, which is managed by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings.
Reconstruction Minister Masayoshi Yoshino said during a press briefing Wednesday in Tokyo that more than 80 percent of the farmland in the area is available for planting again, and that over 90 percent of the fish-processing facilities affected have reopened. While echoing Abe’s remarks about steady progress, Prince Akishino expressed his feelings about those still struggling under difficult conditions.
“The government, local authorities nationwide and large numbers of people, both in Japan and abroad, have offered support in many ways,” he said.
“As a result, we have made progress in various areas such as construction and relocation of housing to higher ground, the resumption of industrial operations, improvement in living conditions, and the provision of new disaster prevention facilities,” the prince said.
“It is important that the hearts of the people remain with the afflicted for many years to come in order to ensure that each and every one of those who are in difficult situations will not be left behind and will be able to live in peace and good health, and that reconstruction will continue to make steady progress,” he said.

March 15, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | | Leave a comment

Coming 6th Anniversary of the beginning of the still ongoing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe

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Our Rainbow Warriors Facebook group started in 2011 as an FB group about the Fukushima catastrophe, its old name was the “Fukushima 311 Watchdogs”. In June 2012, after an exhausting first year the Fukushima 311 Watchdogsgroup  was dissolved, and one month later was reborn as the Rainbow Warriors, with a broader scope of interests, environment protection, climate change etc.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/277245265712386/
However the ongoing Fukushima catastrophe still remains one of our our major concerns.
The Fukushima 311 Watchdogs has survived as a community FB page:
Fukushima 311 Watchdogs https://www.facebook.com/fukushima311watchdog/
and as a blog: Fukushima 311 Watchdogs https://dunrenard.wordpress.com/

This coming March 11th will be the 6th Anniversary of the beginning of the still ongoing nuclear catastrophe. Many people have disappeared along the way since March 2011, however among those who were with us right from the beginning, the Fukushima Watchers, the Fukushima Watchdogs, some haven’t yet forgotten  and are still here with us.

3.11.2017 FUKUSHIMA SIXTH ANNIVERSARY ONGOING DISASTER.
TAKE ACTION: #FUKU+6 Anniversary is happening 3.11.17 … six years since the #Fukushima nuclear meltdown and ongoing poisoning of our oceans began … our air land food water have been contaminated. #Fukushima continues to spew radioisotopes into the Pacific Ocean threatening vital marine life, ecosystems and the food chain. Japan continues to burn radioactive debris and dump it into the Pacific spreading poison into the atmosphere. Join the FUKU+6 actions and events fb page taking place worldwide. Act in solidarity, please click on this image, download it, and make it your cover pic, and help spread the word. https://www.facebook.com/groups/3.11fukushimasixthanniversaryactions/601393323403623/?ref=notif&notif_t=like&notif_id=1487640969842420

February 21, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

On Five Years Of An Ongoing Accident In Fukushima: It’s Not An Anniversary

DiaNuke editorial on the Five Years since the Earthquake-Tsunami-Meltdown

by Kumar Sundaram, March 12, 2016

radioactive-slide

The absurd contradictions of disaster management: the government told families that it was safe for children to stay, but not safe for children to play.

On March 11, 2011, I was sitting in my office in the Institute of Defense Studies and Analysis, when the news of massive tsunami and earthquake came. I was working as a Senior Research Fellow on a project funded by the Dept. of Atomic Energy.

I was new to Facebook, and wished safety to all my Japanese friends, and I asked some over Facebook messaging and emails if they were fine.

And then, the news of nuclear accident in Fukushima Dai-Ichi reactors flashed. Within hours, it turned into an unimaginable horror.

I almost didn’t sleep for several days – checking every detail on the internet – the radiation counts, the design details of the reactors, every single news release, the weather reports for understanding the direction and speed of wind, getting glued to the map of Tohoku region. A number of other people tracking Fukushima on the social media from different countries became friends. We kept doing that for months. Some still meticulously gather every single detail.

For me, it was a reckoning of the insurmountable nature of nuclear accidents. The accidents might not happen so frequently, but the fact that every reactor can undergo an accident and there is no human response possible for nuclear accidents, even in technologically most advanced countries, makes nuclear power uniquely and unacceptably dangerous.

The accident also revealed decades of complacency in Japan. The nexus between politics, nuclear corporations, the elites, and the media was openly exposed. We can rely on the Indian system to be far worse than Japan in that respect. The labour mafia in Japan has been callously using the poor and migrant workers as cheap fodder in Fukushima’s clean-up.

The clean-up will take decades. They have not been able to get the reactor under control, even after 5 years. We have no clue about the state of tons of molten fuel in the crippled reactor. What the government means by ‘under control’ is just that they are pouring water daily to keep the temperature in the crumbled building low. Thousands of litres of contaminated water from the reactor are coming out daily, and they have no idea what to do with the water except storing it in thousands of huge tanks and stealthily letting it go into the Pacific Ocean.

A 20-kilometre radius area around the reactor remains uninhabitable, and more than 20,000 people evacuated from this area have no hope to return.

I have been to Fukushima twice since the accident. I went inside the evacuation zone and saw the ghost towns like Namie, Futaba and Itate. Houses, offices, shops, schools, playgrounds, railway stations, everything is there, but there are no humans. In 5 years, heavy dust and moss has accumulated everywhere.

There are decontamination workers working in this 20 kilometre zone, mostly scraping the top-soil and cleaning houses and offices. This highly radioactive dump is transported, shifted from one place to other in ‘temporary’ storage sites. The people doing this work know there’s no solution. They know everything is just an eyewash, for appearance’s sake. The same company which didn’t heed to warnings before the accident, and played every trick in the book to exclude as many people as possible from getting compensation, is gaining from these decontamination contracts.

Life for the evacuated people is unimaginably hard and shattered. Building a new life is not easy for most of them. There’s very little support from the government, and there are many attempts to stop even that as the years pass. There are documented proofs that the community in Fukushima is also facing social ostracism, as people fear that radiation-caused diseases might appear after several years. People are experiencing psychological breakdowns.

The resilience of the community, and the larger Japanese society, however, is moving. People across the country are providing support in every possible manner.

The political fallout of Fukushima is historic. Something has changed in the normally apolitical Japanese society. The kind and gentle Japanese people are angry. They understand the connections between corporations, government, politicians and the media. They are still grappling with how to make their collective response more effective. Thousands of reluctant activists flock to the Japanese parliament building in Tokyo every Friday after their work, chant slogans, play music, light candles, and share dreams of a better future. This has proliferated and there are weekly protests all over Japan.

In India, we have a additional set of problems when it comes to nuclear: higher population density, deeper corruption and unaccountability in the system, absence of an independent nuclear safety regulator, attempts to dilute even the ridiculously low nuclear liability. And more than anything else, brutal bulldozing of public dissent, environmental and safety concerns as the commitment for setting up new reactors stems primarily from the elite’s foreign policy choices rather than some well-thought energy policy.

Fukushima has led to policy changes in several countries. As a BBC survey has revealed, popular support for nuclear power is touching bottom, globally.

But in India, legitimate concerns about nuclear safety are deemed superstition. The previous government sent psychological counselors to Koodankulam when local residents raised objections about the project. And when these counselors couldn’t “cure” them, the police came. Thousands of para-military forces surrounded the villages, ransacked houses and fishing boats, and killed innocents.

Asking questions has become anti-national in India. Thousands of villagers on the southern-most tip of India face sedition charges for peacefully protesting against the project, which has now revealed itself as an expensive and dangerous white elephant. In almost 3 years since its commissioning, after much fanfare and repression, Koodankulam nuclear plant has not even operated successfully for 100 consecutive days. The latest news is that the reactor has been shut down again due to a dangerous leak. People around the area have reported a pungent smell coming from the plant for the last few days.

I left my previous job and have associated myself with the Coalition For Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) after the Fukushima accident. We have been trying to mobilise solidarity for the struggling villagers, amplify their voices and connect the dots by collaborating with civil society groups to ask questions on liability, safety, economic viability and environmental impacts of the proposed and existing nuclear plants in India.

In this country with hugely anachronistic nuclear ambitions, which is one of the handful countries with expansion plans after Fukushima, we all have been labeled anti-national.

One of the first things the new BJP government did after coming to power was to deliberately ‘leak’ an intelligence report calling CNDP and other such organisations anti-national. Some 40 names were mentioned, including mine. The IB became an economist and axiomatically said we are bringing down India’s growth by 2 to 3 percent. How more absurd can it get? I survive in Delhi on odd freelance pieces of work and minimum organisational support.

In the 5th year of Fukushima, I have lost track of the details that I started accumulating in March 2011. It’s not about facts and figures any more. It’s about politics. It’s about power structures. It’s about our lifestyles. Everything needs to be questions and transformed if the world has to be kept safe from nuclear horror and climate change.

If challenging the status-quo is anti-national, so be it. I am proud to carry the label.

http://www.dianuke.org/five-years-ongoing-accident-fukushima-not-anniversary/

March 12, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment