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Japan’s TEPCO ‘exaggerates’ nuclear wastewater safety with faulty dosimeter


The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant run by TEPCO, Okuma town, northeastern Japan, March 3, 2022

October 9, 2022

The Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) has been exaggerating the safety of treated nuclear wastewater with a dosimeter that fails to detect certain radioactive substances at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, local media has reported. 

When demonstrating the safety of treated nuclear wastewater, the company uses a dosimeter that fails to detect radioactive tritium, but only responds to high-concentration cesium emitted by gamma rays, the Tokyo Shimbun reported.

During tours at the plant, TEPCO staff put a dosimeter that detects only gamma rays near a bottle containing treated water, as a demonstration that the treated water is safe, according to the newspaper. 

However, the water contained tritium which is about 15 times the amount of the release standard, it reported.

The gamma rays, which may affect the human body due to external exposure, are generated by the radioactive cesium contained in the radiation-tainted water. 

Katsumi Shozugawa, assistant professor at the University of Tokyo, said the demonstration was “meaningless scientifically,” noting that even when the amount of cesium in the sample water is dozens of times higher than the release standard, it can not be detected, as the equipment would only respond to gamma rays emitted by highly concentrated cesium. 

According to a plan released by TEPCO, nuclear wastewater from cooling core meltdowns of reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant should be treated at least twice before it is discharged into the sea, with the treated water containing tritium that emits weak beta rays. Tritium can not be removed by TEPCO’s treatment facilities. 

TEPCO said the demonstration had been shown to about 1,300 organizations and 15,000 visitors since July 2020. 

The company claimed that the purpose of the demonstration is to explain that the gamma rays emitted by the treated wastewater are reduced, and admitted that the tritium emitting beta rays exceeds the standard amount, said the newspaper.

Struck by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit Japan’s northeast on March 11, 2011, the No. 1-3 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant suffered core meltdowns, resulting in a level-7 nuclear accident, the highest on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. 

The plant has been generating a massive amount of radiation-tainted water since the accident happened. TEPCO started construction of facilities that will dump nuclear wastewater into the sea.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-10-09/Japan-s-TEPCO-exaggerates-nuclear-wastewater-safety-1dYZJ8xoz1C/index.html

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October 16, 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

J-pop group TOKIO to promote Fukushima goods in new TV commercials

They pretend that there is no radioactive contamination in Fukushima produce, they say  it is only “harmful rumors”… Would you buy this B.S. ?

 

klkmùThe image shows a poster featuring pop group TOKIO and regional goods of Fukushima Prefecture.

 

July 14, 202

FUKUSHIMA — A set of new TV commercials in which members of the pop group TOKIO promote regional goods from this northeastern Japan prefecture, with the aim to dispel harmful rumors that spread after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, are set to go on air, according to a July 13 announcement.

Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori is optimistic about the ads, saying, “Through these wonderful commercials, we would like to share with everyone in Japan the great qualities of the prefecture’s agricultural, forest and fishery products, as well as the pride of the producers here.”

Since 2012, a year after the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s nuclear power plant, TOKIO has been promoting regional goods from Fukushima Prefecture through commercials and posters.

There are three types of commercials: one featuring group leader Shigeru Joshima with peaches, another showing Masahiro Matsuoka with tuna and one starring Taichi Kokubun with summer vegetables. Producers and children from Fukushima Prefecture appear in all three types of ads, and they present the region’s goods with comical movements and a bright smile.

The commercials will be broadcasted from July 15, not only in the prefecture but also in the Kanto region in eastern Japan and the Kansai region in western Japan.

Every summer, Gov. Uchibori travels to metropolitan areas such as Tokyo and Osaka to promote the trade of regional goods, but he has decided to suspend this year’s visits due to the effects of the novel coronavirus. Uchibori said, “Even with the restrictions, we would like to promote our agricultural products by broadcasting commercials and by other means.”

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200714/p2g/00m/0et/065000c

July 16, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima ‘safe’ to host Olympic torch relay: governor

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

February 19, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 18, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Feb 5, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Japan tries to explain to embassies that releasing Fukushima Radioactive water into ocean is ‘safe’

fukushima-toilet

Japan assures diplomats tainted Fukushima water is safe

Feb. 3 (UPI) — The Japanese government said Monday the planned release of tainted water from Fukushima would have no impact on oceans.

During an information session for foreign embassy officials in Tokyo, the Japanese foreign ministry sent signals of reassurance regarding a plan to release tritium-tainted water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the Mainichi Shimbun and Kyodo News reported.

A total of 28 diplomats representing 23 countries were in attendance, according to reports.

The water comes from Fukushima, where 170 tons of water is contaminated every day at the plant that was severely damaged during a catastrophic earthquake in March 2011. Water has been poured to cool the melted fuel, according to Kyodo.

Japan has been purifying the contaminated water using an advanced liquid processing system, or ALPS. The process does not remove tritium and leaves traces of radioactive elements.

Tokyo has defended its plan to release the water, but neighboring countries, including South Korea, are opposed to the measure.

On Monday, officials from Japan’s ministry of economy, trade and industry said they do not think there would be an impact on surrounding countries.

Japanese fishermen also oppose the measure. Releasing the water into the ocean could affect sales of local seafood, they say.

Japan is planning to release the tritium-tainted water at a time when it is taking stricter measures against travelers from China.

Jiji Press reported Monday Japan turned away five foreign nationals originating from Hubei Province following new restrictions at the border.

Foreigners who have stayed in the Chinese province in the past 14 days or who hold passports issued in the province are banned from entry, according to the report.

Japan has confirmed 20 coronavirus cases since the outbreak in China in December. Japanese airports have built new quarantine stations exclusively for travelers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, according to local press reports.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2020/02/03/Japan-assures-diplomats-tainted-Fukushima-water-is-safe/7381580755235/

 

Japan tries to explain to embassies merits of releasing Fukushima water into ocean

February 4, 2020

TOKYO – The Japanese government on Monday tried to impress upon embassy officials from nearly two dozen countries the merits of a plan to release radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean.

A briefing session was held at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo to give an update on how more than 1 million tons of water that have been treated and kept in tanks at the crippled complex will be disposed of as storage space is quickly running out.

Both releasing the water into the Pacific Ocean and evaporating it are “feasible methods” as there are precedents for them in and out of Japan, though the former, in particular, could be carried out “with certainty” because it would be easier to monitor radiation levels, the government explained.

It has said the health risks to humans would be “significantly small,” as discharging the water over a year would amount to between just one-1,600th to one-40,000th of the radiation that humans are naturally exposed to.

But the discharge could cause reputational damage to the fishing and farming industries in the surrounding area, raising the need for countermeasures, the government said in the briefing, which came after the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Friday submitted a draft report on the methods to a subcommittee on the issue.

About 170 tons of water is contaminated at the Fukushima plant every day as it is poured onto the wreckage to cool the melted fuel or as it passes through as groundwater.

The contaminated water is being purified using an advanced liquid processing system, or ALPS, though the process does not remove tritium and has been found to leave small amounts of other radioactive materials.

Tanks used to store the treated water are expected to reach capacity by summer 2022.

Local fishermen have voiced opposition to releasing the water into the ocean out of fears that consumers would stop buying seafood caught nearby. Neighboring countries, including South Korea, which currently bans seafood imports from the area, have also expressed unease.

But no embassy officials voiced such concerns at Monday’s briefing, according to the industry ministry.

The briefing was attended by 28 embassy officials from 23 countries and regions — Afghanistan, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Britain, Cambodia, Canada, Cyprus, East Timor, France, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Panama, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and the European Union.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/japan-tells-embassies-merits-of-releasing-fukushima-water-into-ocean

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

Forgetting Fukushima

japan-fuku-iitate-cleanup-2015-greenpeace-lr

21st January 2020

By Jim Green – Nuclear Monitor

Irresponsible tactics are being used to bury social and environmental problems associated with the Fukushima nuclear disaster as Olympics approach in Japan.

Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe assured the International Olympic Committee in 2013 that “the situation is under control” in and around the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant.

Now, with the 2020 Summer Olympics approaching, and some events scheduled to be held in Fukushima prefecture, all sorts of irresponsible and cruel tactics are being used to bury a myriad of social and environmental problems associated with the nuclear disaster.

Most evacuation orders have been lifted around the Fukushima plant, but 337‒371 sq kms remain classified as restricted entry zones or ‘difficult to return’ zones. There are hopes that all remaining evacuation orders could be lifted within a few years.

Return

Lifting an evacuation order is one thing, returning the area to something resembling normality is quite another. Only 23 percent of those living in nine areas that were declared off-limits after the Fukushima disaster had returned as of March 2019, according to government figures.

Most people aged under 50 who used to live in the towns of Futaba, Namie and Tomioka have no plans to return, an official survey found in early 2019.

The partial lifting of evacuation orders in the town of Okuma in April 2019 illustrates how the rhetoric of progress masks inconvenient truths. Even after the lifting of the order, about 60 percent of the town’s land area ‒ covering 96.5 percent of the pre-Fukushima population ‒ remains off-limits.

A 2018 survey found that only 10 percent of respondents expressed a desire to return to Okuma, while 60 percent had no plans to return. Few people have returned since the evacuation order was lifted.

About 17 million cubic metres of contaminated waste material has accumulated during decontamination work according to the Japanese ministry of the environment. A new occupant in Okuma is a ‘temporary storage facility‘ for some of the contaminated waste.

Contamination

Decontamination work (outside of the Fukushima nuclear plant) has cost an estimated ¥2.9 trillion (US $26.5 billion). A report by the European Geosciences Union, based on approximately 60 scientific publications, gives this assessment of decontamination efforts.

“This synthesis indicates that removing the surface layer of the soil to a thickness of 5 cm, the main method used by the Japanese authorities to clean up cultivated land, has reduced cesium concentrations by about 80 percent in treated areas. Nevertheless, the removal of the uppermost part of the topsoil, which has proved effective in treating cultivated land, has cost the Japanese state about €24 billion.

“This technique generates a significant amount of waste, which is difficult to treat, to transport and to store for several decades in the vicinity of the power plant, a step that is necessary before it is shipped to final disposal sites located outside Fukushima prefecture by 2050. By early 2019, Fukushima’s decontamination efforts had generated about 20 million cubic metres of waste.

“Decontamination activities have mainly targeted agricultural landscapes and residential areas. The review points out that the forests have not been cleaned up ‒ because of the difficulty and very high costs that these operations would represent ‒ as they cover 75 percent of the surface area located within the radioactive fallout zone.

“These forests constitute a potential long-term reservoir of radiocesium, which can be redistributed across landscapes as a result of soil erosion, landslides and floods, particularly during typhoons that can affect the region between July and October.”

Health risks

Greenpeace coordinated a study in the exclusion zone and lifted evacuation areas of Namie and Iitate and published the results in March 2019. The study found high levels of radiation ‒ ranging from five to over 100 times higher than the internationally recommended maximum of 1 mSv/yr ‒ in both exclusion zones and in areas where evacuation orders have been lifted.

The Greenpeace report documents the extent of the government’s violation of international human rights conventions and guidelines, in particular for decontamination of workers and children (who are more vulnerable to radiation-related diseases than adults).

Associate Professor Tilman Ruff, an Australian public health expert and co-founder of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons gives a sense of the scale of the risk.

He states: “To provide a perspective on these risks, for a child born in Fukushima in 2011 who was exposed to a total of 100 mSv of additional radiation in its first five years of life, a level tolerated by current Japanese policy, the additional lifetime risk of cancer would be on the order of one in thirty, probably with a similar additional risk of premature cardiovascular death.”

Moreover, there is evidence of sinister behaviour to give artificially low indications of radiation levels, for example by placing monitoring posts in areas of low radiation and cleaning their surrounds to further lower the readings.

Risks

Maxime Polleri, a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at York University, wrote in The Diplomat: “In the end, state-sponsored monitoring and decontamination are remedial measures that manage the perception of radiation in the environment.

“However, this does not imply that radioactive contamination is gone – not at all. When we look at the official maps of radiation of northeastern Japan, levels are low, but there are many ways to make them appear low.”

Ryohei Kataoka from the Tokyo-based Citizens Nuclear Information Centre said: “The government’s insistence in lifting evacuation orders where heightened radiation-related health risks undeniably exist, is a campaign to show that Fukushima is ‘back to normal’ and to try to make Japan and the world forget the accident ever happened.”

The Japanese government is promoting next years’ Olympic Games as the “Reconstruction Olympics”. Hence the haste to lift evacuation orders and to skirt around the truth of residual contamination from radioactive Fukushima fallout and the health risks associated with that fallout.

And yet, despite the spin, a poll conducted in February 2019 found that 60 pecent of Fukushima region residents still felt anxious about radiation exposure.

Deflation

Approximately 165,000 people were forced to evacuate because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, in addition to an estimated 26,600 ‘voluntary evacuees’.

More than 30,000 of the involuntary evacuees are still unable to return. Those now in permanent accommodation have returned to their former homes (either willingly or because they had no choice), or resettled elsewhere, and some have purchased their previously temporary accommodation.

The number of evacuees has been artificially deflated. For example, the Japanese government’s Reconstruction Agency sent a notice to prefectures in August 2014 stating that only those people who moved to different places because of the nuclear disaster and have the “will” to return to their original homes will be counted as evacuees.

The notice said that if it is difficult to determine people’s will to return, they should not be counted as evacuees. Those who have purchased a home outside their pre-disaster locale, and those in public restoration housing or disaster public housing, are no longer counted as evacuees even if they want to return to their previous homes but can’t for various reasons.

An April 2019 Asahi Shimbun editorial said that the number of people who regard themselves as evacuees is believed to be far higher than the official figure of 40,000 ‒ but nobody knows the true figure.

Akira Imai, chief researcher of the Japan Research Institute for Local Government, told Asahi Shimbun: “This is an act to socially hide the real number of evacuees, which could lead to a cover-up of the seriousness of the incident. The evacuee number is an index that is used to consider measures to support evacuees. The current situation should be reflected properly in the numbers.”

Trauma

The typical experience of Fukushima evacuees has been a collapse of social networks, reduced income and reduced employment opportunities, endless uncertainty, and physical and mental ill-health.

A growing number of evacuees face further trauma arising from the end of housing subsidies, forcing them out of temporary accommodation and in some cases forcing them back to their original homes against their will.

Around 16,000 people who refuse to return to their original homes had been financially abandoned as of January 2019, according to the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center.

In addition to fiddling with the numbers to artificially deflate the number of evacuees, an increasingly hostile attitude is being adopted towards evacuees to pressure them to leave temporary accommodation and thereby to reduce the evacuee count. The reduction and cessation of housing subsidies is the main component of this problem.

Some years ago, the support structure was modest at best, and many evacuees fell through the cracks. Now, evacuees are being forced through the cracks to reduce expenditure and to create a sense of normality ahead of the ‘Reconstruction Olympics’.

Poverty

The human impact of government policies ‒ national and prefectural governments ‒ are detailed by Seto Daisaku from the Evacuation Cooperation Center. Some evacuees face a doubling of rental payments, some have been deemed “illegal occupants“, some face legal action to have them evicted.

National and local governments promote these policies as necessary to foster independence among evacuees, but as Seto Daisaku notes, “since their income in the places they have evacuated to has dropped precipitously, far from becoming independent they will fall deeper into poverty.”

The April 2019 Asahi Shimbun editorial noted: “After years of living away from home, many evacuees are also struggling with problems such as reduced incomes, the difficulties of finding jobs, deteriorating health and isolation.

“Some are suffering from poverty, anxiety about losing their housing due to the termination of public financial support and physical and mental illness. … The government’s response to the problem has been grossly insufficient.”

Rights

In an October 2018 report, United Nations Special Rapporteur Baskut Tuncak urged the Japanese government to halt the ongoing relocation of evacuees who are children and women of reproductive age to areas of Fukushima where radiation levels remain higher than what was considered safe or healthy before the nuclear disaster in 2011.

Tuncak said the Japanese government’s decision to raise by 20 times what it considered to be an acceptable level of radiation exposure was deeply troubling, highlighting in particular the potential impact on the health and wellbeing of children.

Tuncak said: “It is disappointing to see Japan appear to all but ignore the 2017 recommendation of the UN human rights monitoring mechanism (UPR) to return back to what it considered an acceptable dose of radiation before the nuclear disaster.”

TEPCO is also worsening the evacuees’ plight. Yamaguchi Yukio, co-director of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, wrote in March 2019: “Although the fathomless suffering of the people affected by the accident cannot be atoned for by money, TEPCO has shown no intention of taking any responsibility for the consequences of the accident.

“In the incidents surrounding the petitions by Namie Town, Iitate Village and others to alternative dispute resolution (ADR), TEPCO has refused to agree to the compensation amounts, and rejected the mediated settlement proposal.

“The outlook for resolution of the compensation problem is bleak. This is in complete violation of the three pledges proclaimed by TEPCO: 1) Carry through compensation to the very last person, 2) Carry through rapid and detailed compensation, and 3) Respect mediated settlement proposals.”

This Author

Dr Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia and editor of the Nuclear Monitor newsletter.

https://theecologist.org/2020/jan/21/forgetting-fukushima?fbclid=IwAR2_aBc0KTBXO6O7qWGkTx0Y224A_9Yf8E996eDW8Y19jItelPshSJOcJ0s

January 21, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Journey, Pt. 2: Olympics Propaganda, Thyroid Cancers, Japanese Govt. Lies – 4 days in Fukushima Prefecture w/Beverly Findlay-Kaneko

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November 28, 2019

This Week’s Featured Interview:

  • Fukushima Journey: The “Disappearing” Nuclear Disaster – 4 days on-the-ground in Fukushima Prefecture with Beverly Findlay-Kaneko continues. She lived in Yokohama, Japan for 20 years until March 2011 after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. She worked at Yokohama National University and The Japan Times. Beverly has a Master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Stanford University, and speaks Japanese fluently.

    Since returning from Japan, Beverly and her husband, Yuji Kaneko, have been active in raising awareness about nuclear issues, including the nuclear accident at Fukushima. Their main activities have included organizing speaking tours, giving presentations, networking in activist and nuclear-impacted communities in the U.S. and Japan, and co-producing the annual Nuclear Hotseat podcast “Voices from Japan” special on Fukushima.

    This is the second half of the “Fukushima Journey” Nuclear Hotseat interview, based on more than three hours of source material. Pt. 1 appeared in episode #439 from November 19, 2019.

December 2, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Transparency, the olympics, and that damned water, Part 2

Happy-fukushima-peach-01.jpgOfficial messaging about Fukushima focuses on happiness.

Tuesday November 26th, 2019

Part 2: What about the Olympics?

The concerns we hear about the 2020 Olympics are more generalized and less focussed than those about the water in the tanks at Fukushima Daiichi. Some people ask us if it’s safe to come to Japan at all. Others narrow it down to Fukushima Prefecture. A few journalists and others have specifically asked us to weigh in on the potential risks to people who attend the events which will be held in Azuma Stadium in Fukushima City.  Our response to Tokyo businessman Roy Tomizawa was to suggest he build a bGeigie and survey the stadium himself. He did, and wrote about it. Helping people find out for themselves is how we prefer to interact with and inform the public. We often point out that the entire framing of “safety” when it comes to radiation risk is problematic. The guidelines for acceptable radiation limits in food, the environment, and elsewhere are not really “safety” limits, and exceeding them does not mean “unsafe.” They are warning levels that trigger protective actions intended to prevent actually “unsafe” exposures. In each case, the important questions are: Do you understand this risk, and is it acceptable to you? This is where people need help, and where government has so far largely failed in its mission to inform. Once again we think it comes down to transparency.

A quick Google search of “Fukushima Olympics”  will illustrate the widespread belief that athletes and visitors who go to Fukushima next year will be putting their lives at risk. The Korean government has announced that their teams will bring their own food so as not to incur potential health risks from eating local products. Many people suspect that the Japanese Government is holding Olympic events in Fukushima in order to cover up the effects of the disaster and paint the prefecture with a tint of normality. It seems clear that the government lost control of this narrative long ago and may well be unable to recover before the 2020 Olympics begin, and that the negative effects could persist for years afterwards. We do not see any adequate messaging or information about the kinds of risks people around the world are concerned about, presented understandably and accessibly. What messaging we have seen so far is clumsy and tends heavily towards images of smiley happy people intended to suggest that everything is fine. No-one really trusts these blithe reassurances, because they distrust government itself.

Japanese government agencies seem to be operating under the assumption that their authority in matters like this is still intact in the eyes of the public. Their messages appear to be shaped under the assumption that they can simply say, “We’ve had a committee look into it and we’ve determined that it’s safe,” without demonstrating the necessary transparency and breaking the explanation down in appropriate ways. We have no desire to make government’s job easier about any of this, but we care about the people in Fukushima, and so we want government to present clear and accurate information about their situation. Things in Fukushima are not as bad as alarming Google hits often suggest, but it’s definitely not hunky-dory either. Honest messaging would reflect this. We too wonder why the government has rushed to hold Olympic events in Fukushima, ignoring the global public’s existing fear and skepticism. Many Fukushima residents are supportive of the games and hope they will shed a positive light on the progress the prefecture has made since the disasters in 2011. It could be good for local economies as well. On the other hand, it could be another avoidable PR disaster.

We think people can visit Fukushima today without undue fear. The preponderance of data, both independent data like ours as well as official data, shows that typical visitors are extremely unlikely to travel anywhere in the prefecture where external radiation exposure is higher than natural background radiation levels in most of the world, unless they go out of their way to enter very contaminated areas to which access is normally prohibited. If people are willing to consider normal background radiation levels “safe,” then most of Fukushima fits this description. There are a lot caveats, however. There may be cesium contamination in the ground even in places where the external dose rate is in the normal range (Minnanods has published a very good map of their independent measurements of soil contamination). While food produced in Fukushima is closely monitored by both official bodies and independent labs, both of which indicate that it is overwhelmingly “safe,” people should avoid wild mushrooms, wild vegetables, wild game, and other items which are not produced under controlled agricultural conditions and distributed by supermarkets. With few exceptions the forests are not being decontaminated, and radiation levels can be considerably higher there, so it’s probably best to avoid entering unknown forests.

We get a lot of pushback for saying this, but years of Safecast radiation measurements in Fukushima and elsewhere show that short-term visitors to Fukushima will almost certainly get a higher radiation dose on their flights to Japan than they will by spending several days in Fukushima. (You can see Safecast measurements taken during air travel here.) These exposures are not entirely comparable, though, and the equation is different for people who live in parts of Fukushima where they are likely to receive decades of elevated radiation doses. But we stand by our overall conclusions, while pointing out that the only way to be sure is to have good data available for the places you’re going, which Safecast tries hard to provide. We’re very critical of the Korean government’s politically motivated manipulation of fear about Fukushima food despite not presenting any measurement data in support of its claims. On the other hand, Korea has demanded that radiation risks for next year’s Olympics be verified by independent third-parties, which we highly endorse. The Japanese government and the Olympic committee have announced that the torch relay will run though over 20 Fukushima towns, but they have not provided the public with survey data showing the current radiation levels along those routes. Safecast volunteers are ready to measure these routes, and indeed most have probably already been measured at some point, and while our data might indicate no particular risks for participants and viewers in most locations, it might reveal areas of concern. What maddens us is that we have been unable to obtain information about the actual street routes for the Fukushima portions of the relay and do not know how long before the event’s route information will actually become available.

Ultimately, we expect that official messaging about the Fukushima 2020 Olympic events will continue to avoid frank discussions of radiation risks and will continue to focus on “happiness.” The current information void and amateurish messaging are likely to be shattered at some point early next year by a massive and expensive PR blitz which will also focus on “happiness” but with higher production values and market reach. If radiation is dealt with at all, it is likely to be in a superficial and somewhat misleading manner. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Azby Brown

Azby Brown is Safecast’s lead researcher and primary author of the Safecast Report. A widely published authority in the fields of design, architecture, and the environment, he has lived in Japan for over 30 years, and founded the KIT Future Design Institute in 2003. He joined Safecast in mid-2011, and frequently represents the group at international expert conferences.

https://blog.safecast.org/2019/11/transparency-the-olympics-and-that-damned-water-part-2/

December 2, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan gov’t tells embassies risk of contaminated Fukushima water ‘small’

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In this Aug. 1, 2019 photo taken from a Mainichi helicopter, storage tanks for radioactively contaminated water are seen on the grounds of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture.
November 21, 2019
TOKYO (Kyodo) — The Japanese government on Thursday told embassy officials from nearly 20 countries that the health risk to humans of water contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster would be “significantly small” even if it is entirely released into the ocean and atmosphere.
The briefing session was held to explain how the contaminated water is being dealt with after it is treated via an advanced liquid processing system that does not remove tritium and that causes small amounts of other radioactive materials to remain.
Government officials explained the health risk to humans would be “significantly small,” as discharging the treated water into the Pacific Ocean and atmosphere over the course of a year would lead to between just one-1,600th and one-40,000th of the radiation that humans are naturally exposed to, Foreign Ministry officials said.
The briefing session, attended by 19 embassy officials from 17 countries and a region, was held as the Japanese government has yet to decide what to do with the treated water that continues to build up following the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Water used to cool the melted-down cores and ground water near the crippled plant contains some radioactive materials, and is currently being collected and stored in tanks on the plant grounds.
The tanks storing the water are expected to become full by the summer of 2022, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the operator of the nuclear power plant disabled by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2011.
At the meeting, one embassy official asked whether other radioactive materials besides the relatively non-toxic tritium could be removed from the water before being discharged into the water.
A Japanese government official responded that it is possible if purification equipment is used, the officials said.
A similar explanation was offered Monday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry at a government subcommittee on the issue.
The government plans to finalize its decision on how to deal with the water after the subcommittee draws a conclusion.
Among attendees at Thursday’s briefing session, South Korea had referred to the treated water as contaminated water at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in September and expressed concern over ocean discharge.
But the country did not raise any objections at the briefing session, the officials said.

November 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Lies dominates typhoon Hagibis Diet debate response

For bags made to resist only 3 years, they fared incredibly well in this powerful typhoon, that after 8 years, more than double their resistance expectancy….
The lies and cover-up continue:
 Koizumi (Environment Minister) insists that “there won’t be any impact on the environment” regarding radioactive bags swept away by the typhoon.
Koizumi said, “I’ve received reports that large bags that have already been collected were not damaged, so there won’t be any impact on the environment.”

Anyway, the radioactive bags are not the main problem. The main problem is the accumulated radionuclides in the forested hills of Fukushima prefecture, 80% of its land surface. Which have never been decomtaminated. that powerful typhoon has redistributed a lot of those forested hills radiation everywhere…. To be inhaled by people….

The plan is to bring the 17 million tons of radiactive bags scattered allover the Fukushima prefecture to the intermediary storage location build between Okume and Futaba, to separate the debris from the soil, to incinerate the debris, so as to reduce the volume of incinerated debris by 50. To store the resulting high radiation waste for the 30 years before to find somewhere a final storage site, and to recycle the low radiation waste into roads and building construction….http://josen.env.go.jp/en/storage/

17 million radioactive bags resulting from multiple partial decontamination of the residence areas and some of the agricultural fields, from less than 20% of the Fukushima prefecture land surface. 80%, the forested parts, hills and mountains have never been decontaminated. And from those the accumulated radionuclides are ruisseling down to the previously decontaminated places, recontaminating them, during the raining season, the typhoon redistributing thos radionuclides all over Fukushima and even outside Fukushima to other prefectures. A never ending story.


Typhoon response dominates diet debate
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October 15, 2019
The government’s response to Typhoon Hagibis dominated Tuesday’s debate in the Diet.
Opposition lawmakers grilled the government on its handling of the storm, including why radioactive waste produced after the 2011 nuclear disaster was not properly protected.
Multiple bags of waste produced from decontamination efforts flooded into a river in Fukushima.
Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi says local officials found 10 bags that had been swept away by the storm and are investigating whether there are any more.
Koizumi said, “I’ve received reports that large bags that have already been collected were not damaged, so there won’t be any impact on the environment.”
Another issue debated was the management of emergency shelters.
Opposition members pointed out that a municipality in Tokyo did not accept homeless people at some evacuation centers.
Yuko Mori of Democratic Party for the People said, “We should respect the basic human rights of disaster victims and provide necessary facilities for them. That’s a basic principle.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe replied, “I think it would be desirable for each evacuation center to properly accept all people. We will examine what really happened with the local governments and take appropriate measures.”

October 20, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

S. Korea slams Japan’s actions over Fukushima plant water crisis

Japan is talking about transparency, what transparency?
The transparency of so many lies, cover-ups, and denials during the past 8 years?
Dishonesty at its maximum?
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South Korea’s First Vice Minister of Science and Information and Communication Technology Moon Mi-ok speaks at an IAEA General Conference in Vienna on Sept. 16.
September 18, 2019
VIENNA–South Korea asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to step in on how to manage radioactive water accumulating at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, citing concerns the water may be discharged into the Pacific Ocean.
During the IAEA’s General Conference here, South Korea’s First Vice Minister of Science and Information and Communication Technology Moon Mi-ok said Sept. 16 that the issue of contaminated water has not been resolved, “escalating fear and anxiety throughout the world.”
She said that if contaminated water is discharged into the ocean, it would no longer be Japan’s domestic problem, “but a grave international issue that can affect the whole global marine environment,” Moon said.
She called on the IAEA to get actively involved in how to deal with the situation and urged Japan to take effective steps to resolve the crisis.
Ambassador Takeshi Hikihara, Japan’s representative to the international organizations in Vienna, dismissed Moon’s comments.
Hikihara said Japan had already accepted on-site inspections by an IAEA team of experts and its actions to deal with radioactive water had been well-received.
Hikihara said Japan is still studying ways to dispose of the water and will continue to disseminate its plans. He called Moon’s comments “unacceptable,” saying they were based on the assumption that the water would be discharged into the ocean.
Another Japanese official stressed that transparency was a key ingredient in conveying information about the Fukushima nuclear accident and insisted they had given detailed explanations to the international community about what was going on.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga disputed Moon’s statements at a Sept. 17 news conference.
“What she said was not based on facts and scientific grounds. It is extremely regrettable since it can spread baseless negative publicity,” he said.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the Fukushima plant, said tanks holding contaminated water are expected to have reached capacity by summer 2022.
One option under consideration is to dilute the water and gradually release it into the ocean.
The plant had a triple meltdown after tsunami spawned by the Great East Japan Earthquake inundated the coastal site in March 2011 and knocked out its cooling systems.

September 26, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima map with false data for foreigners

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Via Cecile Brice

Risk communication: they do not hesitate to produce maps with false data for foreigners. What not to do to make believe that everything is fine.

In the picture, we do not see the number given to “Tepco-Fukushima”. No numbers, they removed all hot spots on their map …

 

September 14, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Strawberry shipments start from formerly evacuated Fukushima town

From the Yomiuri Shimbun, a pro-government media… All part of the continous propaganda media campaign by the national and local governments, to incite the people to buy and eat claimed-to-be-safe Fukushima products.

 

fjjklmlm.jpgFukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori, right, and others taste freshly picked strawberries in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on Monday.

 

 

August 20, 2019

IWAKI, Fukushima — Strawberries started being shipped Monday from Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, a town that was given an evacuation order following the nuclear power plant disaster in 2011, although the order was partially lifted this April.

To mark the occasion, authorities and guests were invited to a strawberry tasting event and a tour of a strawberry cultivation facility in the town.

The facility, measuring about 28,800 square meters, was built in the town’s Ogawara district after the disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. It is operated by a semipublic company sponsored by the town.

The facility is installed with waist-high planters that allow workers to stand up when working.

The latest computerized equipment to control room temperature, water temperature and water volume makes it possible to grow strawberries throughout the year.

Two machines to assess radioactive material in fruit were also introduced at the facility.

About 10 tons of strawberries are scheduled to be shipped from the facility this fiscal year. The operator intends to increase the annual shipment to 100 tons in the future.

https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0005950919

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