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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Promise to the Fishermen: Ongoing Debate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oceans Minister Cho Seung-hwan

August 1, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 27, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 26, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 25, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greenpeace Japan
2022-07-22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENDS

Notes: 

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

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

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

TEPCO Approves Plan to Discharge Treated Water into Ocean, Focuses on Local Consent to Begin Construction

TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

July 22, 2022
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) held an extraordinary meeting on July 22 and approved a plan for the offshore discharge of treated water from TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Okuma and Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture), finding no safety issues. TEPCO plans to begin full-scale construction of the discharge facilities after obtaining the consent of local authorities. TEPCO aims to begin discharging the water in the spring of next year.

Flow of discharging treated water from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

 TEPCO applied for the review in December 2021. According to the plan, the concentration of tritium, a radioactive substance, in the treated water will be diluted with a large amount of seawater so that it is less than 1/40th of the national standard, and discharged about 1 km offshore through a newly constructed undersea tunnel.

 Protesters in front of the Nuclear Regulation Authority protest TEPCO’s plan to discharge treated water into the ocean at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Roppongi, Tokyo, on the afternoon of July 22.

There is strong opposition to the discharge of treated water into the ocean, mainly from the fishing industry, which is concerned about harmful rumors.
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/191227?rct=national&fbclid=IwAR0s4gKwWiMVmlLjToo0VuL0vGPtINMOVFCmrO8hYvCHwUpQc6lQly8kgQc

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

Official approval for ocean discharge of “treated water” from Fukushima nuclear power plant…Undersea tunnel construction to begin next spring

On March 22, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority officially approved TEPCO’s plan to discharge “treated water” from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea, on the grounds that there are no safety concerns. Once prior approval from Fukushima Prefecture and the cities of Okuma and Futaba is obtained, TEPCO will begin construction of the facilities for the sea discharge. The government and TEPCO aim to start the discharge next spring.

A dredging vessel arrives off the coast of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant for preparatory work for the discharge of treated water (May 5, from Yomiuri Aircraft).

July 22, 2022
On July 22, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) officially approved TEPCO’s plan to discharge the ever-increasing amount of “treated water” from TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the sea, saying there are no safety issues. TEPCO will now begin full-scale construction of facilities to discharge the water into the ocean after obtaining prior approval from Fukushima Prefecture and the towns of Okuma and Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture, where the plant is located. The government and TEPCO aim to begin the discharge next spring.
According to TEPCO’s plan, an undersea tunnel will be constructed from the plant to about 1 km/meters offshore, and treated water will be discharged from the top of the tunnel. The water will be diluted with seawater before discharge, and the concentration of radioactive tritium (triple hydrogen) will be reduced to less than 1/40th of the national discharge standard and 1/7th of the World Health Organization (WHO) standard for drinking water. The concentration of tritium in the water will be reduced to less than 1/40th of the national discharge standard and 1/7th of the World Health Organization’s drinking water standard.

 The time required for the construction of the undersea tunnel and other work was initially estimated to be about 10.5 months, but will be shortened to about 8.5 months so that the discharge can begin next spring.

 The treated water is produced by the ALPS (ALPS is a system for removing contaminated water after cooling nuclear fuel that has melted and hardened as a result of the 2011 meltdown accident). The amount of treated water continues to increase, and is currently about half of the total amount of radioactive materials in the plant. The amount of water has been increasing, and currently about 1.31 million tons are stored in more than 1,000 tanks on the plant’s grounds. The capacity of the tanks is expected to be reached by the end of next summer or fall. The tanks are expected to be full by next summer or fall.

 Since continued storage would hinder decommissioning work, the government decided in April last year to begin discharging the waste into the ocean in the spring of 2011. It is expected to take several decades to complete the discharge.
The government and TEPCO need to provide more careful information.

 The offshore discharge of “treated water” from TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi NPP is an unavoidable step to reduce the number of tanks on the plant site as much as possible and to facilitate the decommissioning of the plant. If decommissioning does not proceed steadily, it will hinder the reconstruction of Fukushima.

 The treated water is water that has been purified from the contaminated water at the plant and most of the radioactive materials have been removed. Although tritium is technically difficult to remove, it has been scientifically confirmed that tritium has no effect on humans or the environment if it is diluted and its concentration is reduced. Tritium is also generated in the normal operation of nuclear power plants, and its release to the sea is permitted in Japan and other countries.

 In April this year, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which includes experts from China and South Korea who oppose the release of treated water, released a report on the safety of TEPCO’s plans and purification facilities after studying them. The report found no problems with safety.

 Nevertheless, concerns about harmful rumors persist, and local fishermen are opposed to the ocean discharge. In May of this year, after the Regulatory Commission approved a draft review report summarizing the results of its examination, it solicited opinions from the general public. As a result, 1,233 opinions were received, many of them from people who questioned the safety of the plant. The government and TEPCO need to further disseminate information carefully and seek the understanding of the public as a whole. (Makio Hattori, Science Department)
https://www.yomiuri.co.jp/science/20220722-OYT1T50110/?fbclid=IwAR1vstNjc7PCvVofMs-9yAA5GBKitGS0BkJPJw1-x62lwBfAt-0ghm-Ly6A

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

No direct health effects seen from Fukushima nuclear crisis, ex-U.N. panel chair says

The U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation is everything but independent, and its report written mostly by Mikhail Balonov is full of baloney!

A boy is screened for thyroid cancer in Hirata, Fukushima Prefecture, in November 2020

July 20, 2022

The former chair of a U.N. panel on the effects of atomic radiation has reiterated the committee’s view that radiation exposure from the 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture had no direct adverse health effects on local people.

“The accident led to no adverse documented public health effects that were directly attributable to radiation exposure from the accident,” Gillian Hirth told a news conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Noting that the investigation by the U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation is independent and based on up-to-date data, Hirth said the conclusion is “unlikely to change significantly in the foreseeable future.”

Hirth observed that “future cancer rates that could be inferred from radiation exposure (from the Fukushima accident) are unlikely to be discernible.”

The nuclear accident, triggered by the powerful earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, happened at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings’ Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Regarding an increase in new thyroid cancer cases among local children, Hirth said that the rise “was judged to be the result of extensive ultrasensitive screening.”

The news conference was also attended by Mikhail Balonov, the main author of a report released by the panel in March last year.

Regarding the view that the report does not include enough data taken just after the accident, Balonov said that the impact of radiation on health is not something that occurs immediately.

While no adverse health effects have been observed until now, monitoring should continue, Balonov said.

Visits by officials related to the U.N. committee, including Hirth and Balonov, had been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They are set to attend a public meeting in the city of Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on Thursday.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/07/20/national/un-fukushima-health-effects/

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

Regulatory Commission to Approve Plan for Ocean Discharge of Treated Water on 22nd, TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

July 20, 2022
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) announced on July 20 that it will discuss at an extraordinary meeting on July 22 a draft review report on TEPCO’s plan to discharge contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant after purification and treatment, stating that the plan has no safety problems and meets the requirements of government policy. Based on the results of a public comment period, the committee is expected to decide on the review report and approve the plan.
 According to the Regulatory Commission, it received approximately 1,200 comments from the public during the period from May 19 to June 17. The Regulatory Commission will also present its views on the opinions at the meeting.
 According to the plan, the treated water, which is mainly tritium, will be diluted with a large amount of seawater to less than 1/40th of the national discharge standard, and then discharged through a newly constructed undersea tunnel about 1 km offshore. More than 1.3 million tons of the treated water is stored in tanks on the plant’s premises, and TEPCO plans to finish releasing it over a period of about 30 years starting next spring.
 TEPCO is preparing for the construction of the tunnel by installing a shield machine to excavate the tunnel on a site near the seawall of the plant. Tunnel excavation can only begin after receiving approval from the Regulatory Commission and obtaining the consent of Fukushima Prefecture and the two towns of Okuma and Futaba, where the plant is located.
 Fishermen and fishermen are strongly opposed to the release of treated water. (Shinichi Ogawa and Kenta Onozawa)

Processed water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Contaminated water generated when cooling water injected into the reactors of Units 1-3 came into contact with nuclear fuel debris that melted down in the accident and mixed with groundwater and rainwater that flowed into the buildings, and was purified by a multinuclide removal system (ALPS). Tritium, a radioactive substance that cannot be removed, remains in concentrations exceeding the national discharge standard. In April 2021, the government decided to discharge the treated water into the ocean by the spring of 2023. TEPCO is proceeding with a plan to use a large amount of seawater to dilute the tritium concentration to less than 1/40th of the discharge standard and discharge the water into the sea.
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/190829?fbclid=IwAR39Bvgz0pCGmfeTUIeMKiljEVAZgDWOVGRMwAnP2O_mbbKL9LlaUbwt40w

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

VOX POPULI: Power company execs should think of liability if accident occurs

Plaintiffs and their lawyers hold a news conference on July 13 after the Tokyo District Court ordered four former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. to pay 13 trillion yen in compensation.

July 19, 2022

I see something akin to chaos in the notably varied conclusions different courts reached in their verdicts of the 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which Tokyo Electric Power Co. operates. 

Some courts ruled the government’s long-range assessment, which pointed out at an early date the possibility of a major tsunami, was scientifically reliable, while others raised their doubts.

Some verdicts severely questioned the responsibility of plant operators for failing to implement tsunami countermeasures, while other courts ruled that the government could not be held responsible as a regulatory authority because the disaster would have occurred no matter what countermeasures were in place.

Judges are human. As long as their decisions are made independently, I believe it is only natural that their opinions vary.

But as in a kaleidoscope where ordered patterns are created out of disorder, it may be possible to see a broad pattern emerge from the chaotic jumble of diverse court decisions.

When an accident occurs at a nuclear power plant, the government’s responsibility is not questioned too severely, but the utility and its executives are made to pay a huge price.

The Tokyo District Court on July 13 ordered former TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and three other former top executives to pay 13 trillion yen (about $94 billion) in damages.

If this ruling holds, the defendants will probably have to sell off their entire personal assets and, if necessary, eventually file for personal bankruptcy. That is the sheer size of the compensation they will have to pay.

The industrial-bureaucratic-academic complex dealing with nuclear power is dubbed Genshiryoku Mura (Nuclear power village) in Japanese. The “villagers” share common interests, but they do not share a common destiny.

I wonder how TEPCO’s current executives feel about the reality that has emerged from the court rulings to date.

And the government, whose destiny remains independent of the village’s, has started calling louder for nuclear power plants to be brought back online.

I respectfully suggest to utility executives that they think very carefully, as many times as needed, about how much 13 trillion yen actually is.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14673447

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

Fukushima beach in former evacuation zone reopens after 11 years

Located 25 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant… Madness!

Children swim at the reopened Iwasawa beach in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, on Saturday.

July 16, 2022

Naraha, Fukushima Pref. – The Iwasawa swimming beach in the town of Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, reopened Saturday for the first time since it was shut down after the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

The beach became the first swimming beach to reopen in areas once covered by evacuation orders issued after the triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The beach is located about 25 kilometers from the nuclear plant.

Before the disaster, the beach was popular among local surfers, attracting some 30,000 visitors every year.

Due to the tsunami, most of the beach’s facilities, such as a watch tower and revetment blocks, were destroyed.

As an evacuation order was issued for the whole of Naraha following the nuclear disaster, the beach had been left untouched.

After the evacuation ordered was lifted for Naraha in 2015, the town started fixing the damaged facilities in 2019 and completed the reconstruction work in March this year.

The town decided to reopen the beach after no problems were found in monitoring surveys of water quality and radioactive materials.

“We had to rebuild almost everything from scratch,” a town official said. “While preserving the atmosphere from before the disaster, we rebuilt beach facilities that are easier to use.”

Naraha Mayor Yukiei Matsumoto said, “We want the beach to once again become a popular tourist spot.”

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/07/16/national/fukushima-beach-reopens/

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