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Lack of proper facilities forced disabled evacuees to move from shelter to shelter after 3/11

FUKUSHIMA – Disabled people have been forced to move to various evacuation shelters since the March 2011 calamity due mainly to the shortage of barrier-free facilities, a survey conducted by support group showed Saturday.

Among the 147 physically and mentally disabled people surveyed, mainly in Fukushima Prefecture, 118, or 80 percent, were moved at least three times, the survey said. Around 40 percent complained that their disabilities got worse.

The survey was conducted between 2015 and 2016.

Given the acute lack of availability in shelters with welfare services and functions in 2011, four people transferred a total of nine times in search of a better environment.

Only 16, or 11 percent, stayed in the first evacuation shelters they landed in, typically public gymnasiums and community halls. On average, the disabled people surveyed were moved four times.

After the meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, Mieko Matsumoto, 58, moved to three evacuation shelters with her 26-year-old son, Yuta, in the space of four months.

Matsumoto said she could not feel relaxed because Yuta, who had cerebral palsy and was confined to a wheelchair, occasionally made loud noises and she always had to be mindful of the other evacuees.

Many respondents said they faced difficulty using the toilet or when they wanted to take a bath, since the shelters were not equipped to handle wheelchair users.

In 2013, the government compiled guidelines stressing the importance of having welfare evacuation shelters and installment procedures, urging municipalities across the nation to take steps in accordance with the lessons learned from mega-quake and nuclear crisis.

But similar problems emerged after Kumamoto Earthquake rocked Kyushu last April.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/22/national/lack-proper-facilities-forced-disabled-evacuees-move-shelter-shelter-311/

April 25, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Show 10 – Fukushima 311 Watchdogs – Fukushima Disaster

Sorry folks for my thick french accent in this interview, but most important is the message itself, not the bearer. Plus this is quite new to me…

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Link to the podcast show : http://ahk42.com/podcast/show-10-fukushima-311-watchdogs-fukushima-disaster/

 

About Herve  Courtois:-
Because my 30-year-old Japanese daughter was living in Iwaki city, Fukushima Prefecture, on March 11 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant disaster abruptly awoke me to the dangers of nuclear and also to the omnipresent omerta in the mainstream media exerted by the powerful international nuclear lobby and various governments.

Visiting my daughter in Iwaki just 3 months after the start of the catastrophe, I was surprised by how the people on location were kept ignorant about what was really taking place, about the gravity of the dangers they faced, and about the possible protective measures they should take to minimize the risks to their life.
After a one-month visit, returning home to France, I looked for information and knowledge on the Internet and on the social networks, then became active myself in sharing that information and knowledge with others, and active in the French and International Anti-Nuclear movements. 3 and a half years later, the Fukushima catastrophe is still ongoing, and its cover-up has been partly exposed, but we still have to struggle to make the truth prevail over their many lies. 3 years later I am still here sharing information.

From June 2011 to July 2012, I was the main administrator of the Fukushima 311 Watchdog FB group, its FB page and its first blog. In July 2012, after a very intensely active first year, I burned-out, so I closed the FB group and its Internet blog, keeping only its FB page going up to the present:

In August 2012 I founded a new group, The Rainbow Warriors FB group which is still active:

I chose the alias of D’un Renard (“from a fox” in French) so as to not be identified by the Japanese government for my anti-nuclear activities, and eventually blacklisted as an undesirable alien, which would prevent me from entering Japan and continuing to visit my daughter.
I believe it is time for me to open again a new Fukushima 311 Watchdogs blog now, as the Fukushima catastrophe still goes on, to reach more people with our information, for people to learn about Fukushima and its continued spitting of contamination into our environment worldwide through the Jet Stream, the constant dumping of radioactive contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean, and its contamination of our food chain, with all the health consequences that we may predict.

Governments are unwilling to learn the lessons from Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima. The people’s lives are always secondary to government priorities, economics and political expediency. People must learn to protect themselves as no one informs them of the true facts nor protects them.

Fukushima is here with us.

The Rainbow Warriors group on Facebook

The Fukushima 311 Watchdogs page on Facebook

WEBSITE LINK

Media for the show:-

The Facebook page about the documentary film Les voix silencieuses (The silent voices) they have 3 versions, one in Japanese, one in french, one in English. LINK

Silent Voices Website LINK
About the documentary film “Fukushima the silent voices” LINK

http://ahk42.com/upcoming-guest-fukushima-311-watchdogs-herve-courtois/

April 13, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

The fallout of a damaged reactor versus the fallout of an atomic bomb

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Translation from french by Hervé Courtois

By AIPRI, the International Association for the Protection against Ionizing Rays.

The purpose of the AIPRI is to provide scientific disclosure in the field of nuclear physics and the radiological hazards of internal contamination.

While it is undeniable that the fallout to the ground during the few hours following the explosion of an atomic bomb is conducive to cause acute irradiations for a few days, more than the fallout of a damaged reactor, it is equally undeniable that the fallout from a damaged reactor causes a considerably higher number of deferred victims for the simple reason that it releases a much larger and more toxic mass of “lasting” fission products than does a single atomic bomb and also more heavily contaminates a much larger territory.

Clearly, Chernobyl scattered at least 24.6 kilograms of cesium 137, while a plutonium device of 22 kt disseminates 47.6 grams. Chernobyl dispersed more than 16 kilograms of plutonium 239 into fine particles, while a device with a 10% fission yield dropped 11 kg in the environment (The bombs only work in excess of their fission output and spoil a lot of the goods, which is why they disseminated 50 tons of “unconsumed” plutonium nanoparticles during the nuclear weapon tests).

To count only the few hundred early victims of the acute irradiations of each one is to demonstrate a satanic malfeasance and an infatuation unparalleled for falsification and death for it is tantamount to spitting out an abject gall on the countless liquidators who prematurely disappeared to whom we owe our lives and to eradicate the millions and millions of anonymous, proven, programmed and calculated victims of this endless nuclear tragedy.

Yet this is known. An atomic reactor is continuously fissioning and accumulates more lasting” fission products every day. A reactor saves and in fact continuously grows its secular toxic capital. On the other hand, a bomb fission instantaneously but without ever accumulating anything.

This is the reason why the fallout from both of them if they are for the whole made of the same radioelements are not however at all in the same proportions and therefore do not have the same lasting radiotoxicity which is of course the most dangerous because it acts over centuries and centuries.

Comparing one to the other is thus already in itself a somewhat hazardous exercise, moreover, to take into account only the victims of the acute irradiations of both to confront the dangerousness is a criminal scam whose ultimate goal is the concealment of the millions of deferred victims of this modern civil and military nuclear tragedy.

Post scriptum:

Cs137 by kt for a load of Pu239
1.444E + 23 at./kt * 6.58% Rdf = 9.50E21 Cs137 * 7.312E-10 λ = 6.947E12 Bq / kt either 6.95 TBq or 187.82 Ci / kt for 2.16 g / Kt

http://aipri.blogspot.fr/2017/03/coup-de-gueule-atomique.html

April 5, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Testimony from Disaster

MINES Paris Tech is the leading institution, at the heart of the french nuclear lobby, a state within the State.

Crisis management students in France are hoping to learn from a first-hand account of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Franck Guarnieri, a researcher in risk and crisis management at one of France’s leading institutions, MINES ParisTech, has been studying the accident.

Guarnieri and his team have interviewed nearly 30 government officials, experts, and employees at Tokyo Electric Power Company who were active during the aftermath of the 2011 disaster.

He is particularly interested in the actions of the late Masao Yoshida, the plant manager at the time.

Some months after the disaster, Yoshida told the government about what he did. The transcript, titled the Yoshida Testimony, was released in 2014.

When Guarnieri saw it, he decided to publish it in French.

The job of rendering Yoshida’s entire 28-hour testimony into French was recently completed. The translation takes up 3 volumes, 2 of which are now in print.

“This is the first time the testimony of a plant manager has been made public. In the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents, the plant managers did not give testimonies,” says Guarnieri.

Rather than simply focusing on the events and facts of the disaster, Guarnieri and his team are especially interested in Yoshida’s emotional and psychological state, as the person in charge of the accident response.

These are some of his statements:

“There was no manual for this situation. To put it bluntly, I realized I’d have to rely on my intuition and judgment.”

“If we had stopped injecting water into the reactors it would have been catastrophic, so I decided to continue.”

Guarnieri’s team says those words indicate that Yoshida had to make decisions based on information that was potentially incorrect. They say the Yoshida Testimony is quite different from other official accounts, which tend to include little regarding the human element.

France now operates more than 50 nuclear power plants, which supply 70% of the nation’s electricity. To date, there haven’t been any major nuclear accidents.

But Guarnieri believes the officials at these French nuclear power plants need to read Yoshida’s testimony.

Recently, he met with Jean-Marc Cavedon, the director of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission on the outskirts of Paris.

Guarnieri stressed the unique importance of the Yoshida document, and urged them to devise safety measures for extreme situations.

“There will be no progress in risk management unless we learn from other people’s experience and improve as human beings,” says Cavedon.

“Nuclear power plants need to improve their risk management, by facing up to the disastrous events in Fukushima,” says Guarnieri.

Two years after the nuclear accident, Yoshida died of cancer.

Guarnieri is now intent on spreading the lessons of Yoshida’s testimony, to make sure such a tragedy never happens again.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/editors/5/20170403/

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April 4, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Yoshida’s Dilemma: if it wasn’t for one man, it could have been much worse

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March 11, 2011. A magnitude 9 earthquake rocks Japan and triggers a mega-tsunami that kills thousands of people. It also knocks out the power at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and triggers one of the worst nuclear accidents in history.
If it wasn’t for one man, it could have been much worse. 
 
“Rob Gilhooly has written what is probably the most comprehensive English-language account yet of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown.  Gilhooly is among the best-informed foreign reporters on this issue in Japan, having travelled to Fukushima several dozen times since being one of the first journalists to arrive in the prefecture on a freezing night in March 2011.  He gives the story of Masao Yoshida, perhaps the key figure in the disaster, all the detail, sympathy and pathos it demands.  His remarkable pictures throughout the book are a bonus.  Highly recommended. “
— David McNeil, The Economist.
 
“A powerful synthesis of the technical and the personal, Gilhooly succeeds in conveying the events of March 2011, its aftermath and the dramatic impact on the people of Fukushima and wider Japan. Six years after the start of the accident, Yoshida’s Dilemma is a necessary reminder of how through the actions of heroic individuals and luck Japan avoided an even greater catastrophe.”  
— S. David  Freeman, former Tennessee Valley Authority chairman, engineer, energy expert and author of Energy: The New Era and Winning Our Energy Independence
“As one of the few journalists to have covered the Fukushima story from the very start, Rob Gilhooly is perfectly placed to discuss the disaster’s causes and aftermath, and its wider ramifications for the future of nuclear power. From the chaotic scenes as the plant went into triple meltdown, to the plight of evacuated residents and Japan’s long and troubled relationship with atomic energy, Gilhooly combines fine story-telling with journalistic integrity to produce a book that is admirably free of hyperbole.” 
— Justin McCurry, The Guardian.
 
In Yoshida’s Dilemma, Rob Gilhooly, a long-term resident of Japan who has worked extensively as a journalist and photojournalist, has assembled a wealth of material, ranging from the reminiscences of the then Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, to the stories of those who worked to save the nation from disaster when the massive earthquake and tsunami hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. 
 
This real-life thriller concentrates on Masao Yoshida, the director of the plant, who inspired his “troops” to risk their lives as they battled the invisible enemy of radiation, but also tells of those living nearby, who were forced to give up their homes and lifestyles which had been enjoyed by their families for generations, as power companies and bureaucrats dithered and obscured the facts surrounding the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
 
While Gilhooly is careful not to take sides in the pro- and anti-nuclear power debate, the almost inescapable conclusion is that nuclear power is a highly dangerous technology – maybe even too dangerous to be employed using the current Japanese business model, where the “nuclear village” shuts out criticism, and even knowledge, of its often dangerous operational practices and decisions. Yoshida’s Dilemma provides a wake-up call to other nations with nuclear power, whether or not they are subject to the kind of natural disaster that destroyed Fukushima, and a must-read introduction to the way in which such technology is managed and promoted, not only in Japan, but in other countries.
 
Main areas covered:
– The story of the nuclear crisis, as experienced by the workers at the nuclear plant, the firefighters and other emergency units who battled to bring the melting reactors under control and officials in Tokyo, such as then Prime Minister Naoto Kan, charged with responding to the disasters  
– The impact of the crisis on residents and their evacuation from their homes near the plant
– US response, including efforts by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to cooperate with TEPCO and Japan’s nuclear watchdog, the NISA 
– Historical and cultural perspectives on nuclear power in Japan, including the launch of the Atoms For Peace expo and other efforts by the nuclear energy lobby, sometimes referred to as the “nuclear power village,” to win over the Japanese public   
– Insights from experts about technical aspects of the nuclear accident
– A look at what might have happened had the worse-case scenario played out
– Anti-nuclear protests, including efforts by communities housing nuclear facilities to prevent those facilities from being re-started
– The real cost of the disasters, including the financial burden and the health impacts uncovered 
–  An examination of the true cost of nuclear power, which was widely promoted in the US and Japan as being “too cheap to meter” 
– The future of nuclear power in Japan and nuclear power’s position in a country often perceived as being resource-poor
– The future of new energies in Japan and the nation’s increasing reliance on coal-fired power stations
 

April 3, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Street Artist 281_Antinuke Uses Art for His Message

“I feel immense pain, and my art is how I scream.” This man uses street art to remind people that Fukushima’s nuclear disaster is far from over.

 

An Interview with 281_Anti Nuke

October 1, 2013

The stickers went up a few months after Japan’s triple disaster in 2011—an earthquake and tsunami that took twenty thousand lives, and an ongoing nuclear crisis that threatens more. They first appeared along the shabby backstreets of Shibuya, in downtown Tokyo, a place that offers some of the very few canvasses for graffiti in a city not given to celebrating street art. The British expat photographer and filmmaker Adrian Storey couldn’t ignore them. “Being a foreigner, there was a sort of brief period after 3/11 when there was this sense of community in Tokyo that I haven’t felt before,” Storey says. “Then it kind of went away, and people just went back to shopping. I was drawn to the stickers because I realized it was a Japanese person behind them, and they actually cared about what was happening. I started photographing every sticker I found.”

Some stickers are small, eight inches or so in height. Others are the size of a stunted adult or a large child. In fact, children are featured in many of them, especially the motif of a young girl in a raincoat above the caption “I hate rain,” with the trefoil symbol for radiation stamped between “hate” and “rain.” On other stickers, silhouettes of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are suspended in white space beside the logo for the Tokyo Electric Power Company, the government-allied conglomerate responsible for the operation and maintenance of the severely damaged Fukushima nuclear power plants. Sometimes the stark black lines and blotches resemble Rorschach tests. You look and see nothing, then look again and see Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s face, his mouth suffocated by an American flag.

The artist behind them calls himself 281_Anti Nuke, and he has become a cult phenomenon among Tokyo locals. The numerals refer to an athletic jersey he wore in high school. “It’s just nostalgia,” he says. “Memories of my happier times.” Tagged as the “Japanese Banksy,” he is an unlikely manifestation of Japan’s shredded identity: a contemporary artist of dissent in a country that rarely tolerates protest and barely supports modern art. His real name is Kenta Matsuyama, though few Japanese know that, since it appears only in the fine print on his manager’s English-language Web site. He is a fortysomething father born and raised near Fukushima, the site of Japan’s most pressing nuclear disaster. We meet in the heart of Shibuya, in a second-story café overlooking the most famous intersection in Japan—a crowded network of diagonal crosswalks that is featured in nearly every film set in Tokyo.

We are hiding in plain sight. “These people,” he says, gesturing toward the window and the masses below, “they only vote for the winner; they only think about the winner. They have no concept of real strength. They feel satisfied just knowing that the party they voted for won.” (That party, the archconservative, U.S.-friendly, and pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party, crows about a mandate after sweeping recent elections.) He is wearing a tight-fitting gray hoodie, pitch-black jeans and sunglasses, and a white surgical mask. It’s not always easy to hear him through the mask, so he tugs it down a bit when his speech quickens in anger. “Maybe it’s true that there’s no political party you can count on, but it’s more than that. It’s fear. It’s Japanese people never doubting their leaders. Looking out at Shibuya, I’m sure that nobody out there remembers the idea of radiation anymore. People abroad know more about the crisis in Fukushima than the Japanese. The Japanese are trying to forget. I want to make them remember.”

Anti Nuke is an active Twitter user, but when he first started posting his art, he received death threats so virulent that last year he temporarily took down his Twitter and Facebook accounts and started hiding all of his personal information. Even now, his Web site is often hacked. In public, when he is not cloaked by hoodie, sunglasses, and mask, he wears a full-body hazmat suit. As for his method: “Stickers are better than graffiti,” he says, “because they are faster to apply. You just stick them on and run off. And I use very simple English to be direct, without nuances. Like, ‘I hate rain.’ In Japanese, it’s ‘Watashi wa ame ga kirai.’ So in Japanese, you really need to talk about who hates rain, and why, and in what context. But in English it’s more iconic. There’s more room for the imagination, and that’s powerful.”

281_Anti Nuke’s work is about to reach more people via exhibitions in the New York and Los Angeles, and a documentary film about his art directed by Storey will début in festivals next year. “His mission is personal,” says Storey. “He wants people to think about the same things he’s thinking about, but, like he said to me many times, it’s about the future of his children. It’s the future of everybody’s children in Japan. He doesn’t want to make a name for himself.”

Perhaps. But donning hoodies, shades, and surgical masks, not to mention the occasional hazmat suit, is an odd strategy for anonymity. “It’s fine if I become famous if it helps communicate this huge problem,” Anti Nuke concedes. “There are bigger problems in Fukushima than we know now. I’m sure of that. I’ve communicated with people there. I have family there. The Japanese government will not save them, and since the survivors cannot escape, Fukushima people hate Tokyo people for the electricity they use and cannot conserve.”

He insists that he is not anti-American, just pro-truth. “I love the American people, but I want them to help save Japan. This time, it’s the Japanese people who are to blame. We’re not aware, and we are actively trying to forget. We need foreigners to save us from ourselves.”

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/an-interview-with-281_anti-nuke

https://fr.pinterest.com/0xf2xv5378195w/281_antinuke/

 

April 3, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Real cost of Fukushima disaster to reach $626 billion. Think tank estimate triple that of government

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A Tokyo-based think tank estimates that the complete cost of dealing with the Fukushima disaster could reach ¥70 trillion.

 

Fukushima nuclear disaster aftermath cost estimated at Y70 trillion

TOKYO —The total cost to deal with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster has been estimated at 70 trillion yen ($626 billion), over three times more than the government calculation, a study by a private think tank showed Saturday.

The Japan Center for Economic Research said total costs at the Fukushima nuclear complex operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc could rise to between 50 trillion and 70 trillion yen. It compares with the roughly 22 trillion yen a government panel estimated in December.

If costs rise, the public burden could greatly increase. The country’s nuclear policy needs to be reviewed,” the JCER said.

Initially in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the government expected the costs to total 11 trillion.

But a study by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed the figure could be double the sum estimated in 2013.

Following that, the government decided to raise electricity rates to secure the money necessary to cover compensation payments, increasing the national burden.

Among the costs, the bill for compensation has been estimated at 8 trillion yen by the ministry. The JCER also adopted the figure.

The JCER, however, estimated costs for decontamination work at 30 trillion yen, compared with the government’s figure of 6 trillion yen, after the think tank made a calculation under a presumption that radioactive substances are disposed of at a facility in Rokkasho village in Aomori Prefecture.

The government is seeking a way to treat waste in Fukushima Prefecture, including radioactive soil, of which the amount could add up to roughly 22 million cubic meters, but where and how it will be disposed of has yet to be decided. Costs related to the procedure are not included in the government’s calculation.

Costs for decommissioning crippled reactors, which is expected to take 30 to 40 years, were estimated by the center at 11 trillion yen, compared with the government’s 8 trillion yen.

Expenses to treat contaminated water that remains in tanks at the plant were estimated by the center at 20 trillion yen unless the toxic water is released in the ocean after being diluted as nuclear regulation authorities recommend.

https://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/fukushima-nuclear-disaster-aftermath-cost-estimated-at-y70-tril

 

Real cost of Fukushima disaster will reach ¥70 trillion, or triple government’s estimate: think tank

A private think tank says the total cost of the Fukushima disaster could reach ¥70 trillion ($626 billion), or more than three times the government’s latest estimate.

In a study Saturday, the Japan Center for Economic Research said costs of dealing with the heavily damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. could rise to between ¥50 trillion and ¥70 trillion.

In December, the government estimated the costs would reach roughly ¥22 trillion.

If costs rise, the public burden could greatly increase. The country’s nuclear policy needs to be reviewed,” JCER said.

The government’s initial expectations pegged the costs at ¥11 trillion.

But a study by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said that the final figure could turn out to be double the sum estimated in 2013.

Following that, the government decided to raise electricity rates to secure the money needed to cover compensation payments to the evacuees.

According to METI’s estimates, the bill for compensation payments will be ¥8 trillion, a figure the JCER decided to adopt.

The JCER, however, estimates the cost of the decontamination work will hit ¥30 trillion, or five times more than the government’s estimate of ¥6 trillion. The think tank based this calculation on a presumption that radioactive substances will be disposed of at a nuclear facility in the village of Rokkasho in Aomori Prefecture.

The government is seeking a way to treat radioactive soil and other waste in Fukushima Prefecture that could grow to roughly 22 million cu. meters, but where and how to dispose of it has yet to be decided.

Costs related to this procedure are not included in the government’s calculations.

In the meantime, JCER estimates that the cost of decommissioning the crippled reactors, which is expected to take 30 to 40 years, will reach ¥11 trillion. The government’s estimate is ¥8 trillion.

JCER also estimates that treating the contaminated water stored in hundreds of tanks at the plant will cost ¥20 trillion unless it is dumped into the ocean after being diluted as recommended by regulators.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/01/national/real-cost-fukushima-disaster-will-reach-%C2%A570-trillion-triple-governments-estimate-think-tank/#.WN_DfVBtn64

April 3, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Bill

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Six years after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, Westinghouse and Toshiba join Tokyo Electric Power in a fight for survival.

Six years after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident three global nuclear corporations are fighting for their very survival.

The bankruptcy filing by Westinghouse Electric Co. and its parent company Toshiba Corp. preparing to post losses of ¥1 trillion (US$9 billion), is a defining moment in the global decline of the nuclear power industry.

However, whereas the final financial meltdown of Westinghouse and Toshiba will likely be measured in a few tens of billions of dollars, those losses are but a fraction of what Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) is looking at as a result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

If the latest estimates for the cost of cleaning up the Fukushima plant prove accurate, Tepco faces the equivalent of a Toshiba meltdown every year until 2087.

In November 2016, the Japanese Government announced a revised estimate for the Fukushima nuclear accident (decommissioning, decontamination, waste management and compensation) of ¥21.5 trillion (US$193 billion) – a doubling of their estimate in 2013.

But the credibility of the government’s numbers have been questioned all along, given that the actual ‘decommissioning’ of the Fukushima plant and its three melted reactors is entering into an engineering unkown.

This questioning was borne out by the November doubling of cost estimates after only several years into the accident, when there is every prospect Tepco will be cleaning up Fukushima well into next century.

And sure enough, a new assessment published in early March from the Japan Institute for Economic Research, estimates that total costs for decommissioning, decontamination and compensation as a result of the Fukushima atomic disaster could range between ¥50-70 trillion (US$449-628 billion).

Rather than admit that the Fukushima accident is effectively the end of Tepco as a nuclear generating company, the outline of a restructuring plan was announced last week.

Tepco Holdings, the entity established to manage the destroyed nuclear site, and the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation (NDF) are seeking ways to sustain the utility in the years ahead, confronted as they are with escalating Fukushima costs and electricity market reform.

The NDF, originally established by the Government in 2011 to oversee compensation payments and to secure electricity supply, had its scope broadened in 2014 to oversee decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi plant on the Pacific Ocean coast north of Tokyo.

The latest restructuring plan is intended to find a way forward for Tepco by securing a future for its nuclear, transmission and distribution businesses. If possible in combination with other energy companies in Japan.

But the plan, already received less than warmly by other utilities rightly concerned at being burdened with Tepco’s liabilities, is premised on Fukushima cost estimates of ¥21.5 trillion — not ¥50-70 trillion.

To date Tepco’s Fukushima costs have been covered by interest-free government loans, with ¥6 trillion (US$57 billion) already paid out. Since 2012 Tepco’s electricity ratepayers have paid ¥2.4 trillion to cover nuclear-related costs, including the Fukushima accident site.

That is nothing compared to the costs looming over future decades and beyond and it comes at a time when Tepco and other electric utilities are under commercial pressure as never before.

The commercial pressure comes from electricity market reform that since April 2016 allowed consumers to switch from the monopoly utilities to independent power providers.

Prior to the deregulation of the retail electricity market, Tepco had 22 million customers. As the Tepco president observed late last year “The number (of customers leaving Tepco) is changing every day as the liberalization continues … We will of course need to think of ways to counter that competition.”

Countering that competition shouldn’t mean rigging the market, yet Tepco and the other utilities intend to try and retain their decades long dominance of electricity by retaining control over access to the grid. This is a concerted push back against the growth of renewable energy.

Current plans to open the grid to competition in 2020, so called legal unbundling, are essential to wrest control from the big utilities.

The message of unbundling and independence, however, doesn’t seem to have reached the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) that oversees the electricity industry.

Current plans would allow Tepco to establish separate legal entities: Tepco Fuel & Power (thermal power generation), Tepco Energy Partner (power distribution) and Tepco Power Grid (power transmission).

Tepco Holdings will retain their stock and control their management, meaning the same monopoly will retain control of the grid. Where Tepco leads, the other nine electric utilities are aiming to follow.

Leaving the grid effectively still under the control of the traditional utilities will throw up a major obstacle to large scale expansion of renewable energy sources from new companies.

Such businesses will be ‘curtailed’ or stopped from supplying electricity to the grid when the large utilities decide it’s necessary, justified for example to maintain the stability of the grid.

The fact that ‘curtailment’ will be permitted in many regions without financial compensation piles further pain onto new entrants to the electricity market, and by extension consumers.

Further, METI plans to spread the escalating costs of Fukushima so that other utilities and new power companies pay a proportion of compensation costs. METI’s justification for charging customers of new energy companies is that they benefited from nuclear power before the market opened up.

The need to find someone else to pay for Tepco’s mess is underscored by the breakdown of the Fukushima disaster cost estimate in November.

When put at ¥22 trillion estimate, ¥16 trillion is supposed to be covered by Tepco. The Ministry of Finance is to offer ¥2 trillion for decontamination, and the remaining ¥4 trillion is to be provided by other power companies and new electricity providers.

The question is how does Tepco cover its share of the costs when it’s losing customers and its only remaining nuclear plant in Japan, Kashiwazaki Kariwa (the worlds largest), has no prospect of restarting operation due to local opposition?

What happens when Fukushima costs rise to the levels projected of ¥50-70 trillion?

The policy measures being put in place by Tepco, other utilities and the government suggests that they know what is coming and their solution for paying for the world’s most costly industrial accident will be sticking both hands into the public purse,

http://www.atimes.com/article/tepcos-fukushima-expensive-industrial-accident-history/

April 3, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Tepco’s Fukushima: the most expensive industrial accident in history

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(MENAFN – Asia Times) Six years after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident three global nuclear corporations are fighting for their very survival.

The bankruptcy filing by Westinghouse Electric Co. and its parent company Toshiba Corp. preparing to post losses of 1 trillion (US9 billion), is a defining moment in the global decline of the nuclear power industry.

However, whereas the final financial meltdown of Westinghouse and Toshiba will likely be measured in a few tens of billions of dollars, those losses are but a fraction of what Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) is looking at as a result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

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If the latest estimates for the cost of cleaning up the Fukushima plant prove accurate, Tepco faces the equivalent of a Toshiba meltdown every year until 2087.

In November 2016, the Japanese Government announced a revised estimate for the Fukushima nuclear accident (decommissioning, decontamination, waste management and compensation) of 21.5 trillion (US193 billion) – a doubling of their estimate in 2013.

But the credibility of the government’s numbers have been questioned all along, given that the actual ‘decommissioning’ of the Fukushima plant and its three melted reactors is entering into an engineering unkown.

This questioning was borne out by the November doubling of cost estimates after only several years into the accident, when there is every prospect Tepco will be cleaning up Fukushima well into next century.

And sure enough, a new assessment published in early March from the Japan Institute for Economic Research, estimates that total costs for decommissioning, decontamination and compensation as a result of the Fukushima atomic disaster could range between 50-70 trillion (US449-628 billion).

If confirmed over the coming years, it will be the most expensive industrial accident in history with even greater implications for the people and energy future of Japan.

Rather than admit that the Fukushima accident is effectively the end of Tepco as a nuclear generating company, the outline of a restructuring plan was announced last week.

Tepco Holdings, the entity established to manage the destroyed nuclear site, and the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation (NDF) are seeking ways to sustain the utility in the years ahead, confronted as they are with escalating Fukushima costs and electricity market reform.

The NDF, originally established by the Government in 2011 to oversee compensation payments and to secure electricity supply, had its scope broadened in 2014 to oversee decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi plant on the Pacific Ocean coast north of Tokyo.

The latest restructuring plan is intended to find a way forward for Tepco by securing a future for its nuclear, transmission and distribution businesses. If possible in combination with other energy companies in Japan.

Map of Japan’s nuclear plants. Photo: Japan Atomic Industries Forum Inc, 2016.

But the plan, already received less than warmly by other utilities rightly concerned at being burdened with Tepco’s liabilities, is premised on Fukushima cost estimates of 21.5 trillion — not 50-70 trillion.

To date Tepco’s Fukushima costs have been covered by interest-free government loans, with 6 trillion (US57 billion) already paid out. Since 2012 Tepco’s electricity ratepayers have paid 2.4 trillion to cover nuclear-related costs, including the Fukushima accident site.

That is nothing compared to the costs looming over future decades and beyond and it comes at a time when Tepco and other electric utilities are under commercial pressure as never before.

The commercial pressure comes from electricity market reform that since April 2016 allowed consumers to switch from the monopoly utilities to independent power providers.

In the ten months to February 2017, the main electric utilities lost 2.5 million customers, with Tepco alone losing more than 1.44 million. Hence, profits have fallen off a cliff.

Prior to the deregulation of the retail electricity market, Tepco had 22 million customers. As the Tepco president observed late last year “The number (of customers leaving Tepco) is changing every day as the liberalization continues … We will of course need to think of ways to counter that competition.”

Countering that competition shouldn’t mean rigging the market, yet Tepco and the other utilities intend to try and retain their decades long dominance of electricity by retaining control over access to the grid. This is a concerted push back against the growth of renewable energy.

Current plans to open the grid to competition in 2020, so called legal unbundling, are essential to wrest control from the big utilities.

The message of unbundling and independence, however, doesn’t seem to have reached the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) that oversees the electricity industry.

Current plans would allow Tepco to establish separate legal entities: Tepco Fuel & Power (thermal power generation), Tepco Energy Partner (power distribution) and Tepco Power Grid (power transmission).

Tepco Holdings will retain their stock and control their management, meaning the same monopoly will retain control of the grid. Where Tepco leads, the other nine electric utilities are aiming to follow.

Leaving the grid effectively still under the control of the traditional utilities will throw up a major obstacle to large scale expansion of renewable energy sources from new companies.

Such businesses will be ‘curtailed’ or stopped from supplying electricity to the grid when the large utilities decide it’s necessary, justified for example to maintain the stability of the grid.

The fact that ‘curtailment’ will be permitted in many regions without financial compensation piles further pain onto new entrants to the electricity market, and by extension consumers.

Further, METI plans to spread the escalating costs of Fukushima so that other utilities and new power companies pay a proportion of compensation costs. METI’s justification for charging customers of new energy companies is that they benefited from nuclear power before the market opened up.

The need to find someone else to pay for Tepco’s mess is underscored by the breakdown of the Fukushima disaster cost estimate in November.

When put at 22 trillion estimate, 16 trillion is supposed to be covered by Tepco. The Ministry of Finance is to offer 2 trillion for decontamination, and the remaining 4 trillion is to be provided by other power companies and new electricity providers.

The question is how does Tepco cover its share of the costs when it’s losing customers and its only remaining nuclear plant in Japan, Kashiwazaki Kariwa (the worlds largest), has no prospect of restarting operation due to local opposition?

What happens when Fukushima costs rise to the levels projected of 50-70 trillion?

The policy measures being put in place by Tepco, other utilities and the government suggests that they know what is coming and their solution for paying for the world’s most costly industrial accident will be sticking both hands into the public purse.

Shaun Burnie is a senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany, Tokyo. He has worked on nuclear issues worldwide for more than three decades, including since 1991 on Japan’s nuclear policy.

http://menafn.com/1095358564/Tepcos-Fukushima-the-most-expensive-industrial-accident-in-history

March 31, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Study: S. Korean nuclear disaster would hit Japan the hardest

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The projected spread of radioactive cesium-137 from a disaster at the No. 3 reactor’s spent fuel pool of the Kori nuclear plant in Busan, South Korea (Provided by Kang Jung-min)

A serious nuclear accident in South Korea could force the evacuation of more than 28 million people in Japan, compared with around 24 million in the home country of the disaster.

Japan would also be hit harder by radioactive fallout than South Korea in such a disaster, particularly if it occurred in winter, when strong westerly winds would blow radioactive substances across the Sea of Japan, according to a simulation by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a Washington-based think tank.

The simulation, based on a scenario of an unfolding crisis at the Kori nuclear power plant in Busan, South Korea, was led by Kang Jung-min, a South Korean senior researcher of nuclear physics, and his colleagues.

At events in Japan and South Korea, Kang, 51, has repeatedly warned about East Asia’s vulnerability to a severe nuclear accident, saying the region shares the “same destiny” regardless of the location of such a disaster.

The Kori nuclear complex is home to seven of the country’s 25 commercial reactors, making it one of the largest in South Korea. Its oldest reactor–and the first in the country–went online in 1978.

Spent nuclear fuel at the Kori plant is cooled in on-site storage pools next to reactors.

But the operator of the plant has ended up storing spent fuel in more cramped conditions than in the past because waste keeps accumulating from the many years of operations.

An estimated 818 tons of spent fuel was being stored at the pool of the Kori No. 3 reactor as of the end of 2015, the most at any reactor in the country.

That is because the No. 3 pool has also been holding spent fuel from the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors since their fuel pools became too crowded.

Storing spent fuel in such a manner greatly increases the risk of a nuclear accident, Kang warned.

Kang’s team simulated the series of likely events that would follow if the No. 3 reactor lost power in a natural disaster or an act of terrorism.

With no power, the spent fuel at the No. 3 reactor could not be cooled. The cooling water would evaporate, exposing the fuel rods to air, generating intensive heat and causing a fire.

Hydrogen gas would then fill up the fuel storage building, leading to an explosion that would result in the release of a large amount of vaporized cesium-137 from the spent fuel.

Assuming that the catastrophe occurred on Jan. 1, 2015, the researchers determined how highly radioactive cesium-137 would spread and fall to the ground based on the actual weather conditions over the following week, as well as the direction and velocity of winds.

To gauge the size of the area and population that would be forced to evacuate in such a disaster, the team took into account recommendations by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, a private entity, and other organizations.

The results showed that up to 67,000 square kilometers of land in Japan–or much of the western part of the country–would fall under the evacuation zone, displacing a maximum of 28.3 million people.

In South Korea, up to 54,000 square kilometers would need to be vacated, affecting up to 24.3 million people.

The simulation also found that 18.4 million Japanese and 19 million Koreans would remain displaced for even after 30 years, the half-life of cesium-137, in a worst-case scenario.

Radioactive materials from South Korea would also pollute North Korea and China, according to the study.

Nineteen reactors in South Korea are located in the coastal area facing the Sea of Japan, including those at the Kori nuclear power plant.

Kang said the public should be alerted to the dangers of highly toxic spent fuel, an inevitable byproduct of nuclear power generation.

One ton of spent fuel contains 100,000 curies of cesium-137, meaning that 20 tons of spent fuel would be enough to match the estimated 2 million curies of cesium-137 released in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

An average-size light-water reactor produces about 20 tons of spent fuel in one year of operation.

East Asia is home to one of the world’s largest congestions of nuclear facilities, Kang said.

Japan, China and South Korea, which have all promoted nuclear energy as state policy for decades, together host about 100 commercial reactors.

A number of nuclear-related facilities are also concentrated in North Korea, particularly in Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang.

If a severe accident were to occur in China, the pollution would inevitably spill over to South Korea and then to Japan.

That is why people should take serious interest in not just their own country’s nuclear issues, but also in neighboring countries,” Kang said. “Japan, China and South Korea should cooperate with each other to ensure the safety and security of spent fuel and nuclear facilities.”

He said the risks of a fire would be reduced if spent fuel were placed at greater intervals in storage pools.

Ideally, spent fuel should be moved to sealed dry casks and cooled with air after it is cooled in a pool for about five years,” he said.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201703300001.html

March 31, 2017 Posted by | South Korea | , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear Energy Has No Future in Japan, Former PM Says

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Former Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan speaking at his lecture “The Truth about the Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima and the Future of Renewable Energy” on Tuesday at Statler Auditorium.

About a year after taking office in 2010, Naoto Kan, the prime minister of Japan at the time, had his worst nuclear nightmare.

Once the Great East Japan Earthquake hit, a tsunami followed and led to the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Kan detailed his reaction to the meltdown and the reasons behind his drastic change in position — from strong support of nuclear power to opposing its use — at a packed Statler Auditorium on Tuesday.

While Japanese politicians have extensive experience responding to earthquakes and tsunamis, no one knew how to respond to an accident of this scale and the response mechanism was underprepared, Kan said.

Not a single person could shed light on what its consequences might be,” he said in Japanese at Tuesday’s lecture, a transcript of which was provided to The Sun.

While the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency was built to equip the prime minister with specialized knowledge of nuclear disasters, Kan was surprised to learn that the director-general of NISA was a Tokyo University graduate with a degree in economics.

How can we fathom the appointment of an economist to be director-general of an agency charged with responding to nuclear accidents?” Kan asked.

What was clear to Kan, however, having majored in applied physics at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, was that it would quickly become an unprecedented disaster.

I knew that if the cooling systems were disabled, a meltdown would occur,” he said.

Realizing that even the electricity company known as Tokyo Electric Power Company that was responsible for the power plant did not have a grasp on the exact situation, Kan braced the dangers and made a personal visit to the disaster site himself on the morning after the incident.

I went to Fukushima because I felt that I would need to have an accurate knowledge of the situation at the power plant to determine the radius of evacuation,” he said.

The week following the disaster, a series of accidents occurred: Three reactors had experienced hydrogen explosions.

Goshi Hosono, his special advisor, informed Kan about multiple “worst-case scenarios” — including the need for a forced evacuation within a 170-kilometer radius of the site and a voluntary evacuation within 250 kilometers.

Tokyo was within that range.

That plan involved the evacuation of an unprecedented 50 million people.

Unimaginable hardship and confusion would ensue,” he said. “Yet there was nothing imaginary about this forecast. We were a hair’s breadth away from this actuality.”

While Japan had lost about 30 of its firefighters at the site during the week, Kan was shocked by TEPCO’s simultaneous request to let its employees leave the Fukushima site.

Abandoning the reactors would mean that the situation would worsen in a matter of hours,” he said. “If the 10 reactors and 11 spent fuel pools were abandoned, Japan itself would be decimated. My own view was that to abandon the site was unthinkable.”

Kan saw TEPCO as responsible for the accident and, without TEPCO’s technicians, the situation was impossible to keep in control. He demanded that TEPCO remain on site, even if that meant putting lives at risk.

To hold TEPCO accountable, Kan established the Integrated Response Center, which facilitated communication between TEPCO and the Japanese government. This coordination allowed helicopters to pump water into the Unit 2 reactor as a measure against spreading radioactivity.

Had venting of the Unit 2 reactor been delayed and pressure risen within its containment vessel, explosions would have erupted that shattered the entire reactor like a rubber balloon and we would have confronted my worst-case scenario,” Kan said.

Kan credited the success of avoiding the “worst case scenario” to TEPCO, Self-Defense Force members, firefighters, the police and some luck.

But, reflecting on the root cause of the accident, Kan placed part of the blame on TEPCO, claiming “TEPCO courted disaster by never formulating a contingency plan.”

Evaluating Japan’s current nuclear energy use plan, Kan was critical of the Liberal Democratic Party’s continued support for restoring nuclear power plants.

While Kan, before his resignation, had proposed reaching zero dependence on nuclear energy by 2030, the LDP chose to restore 44 reactors to operation, he said.

However, the Japanese population at large is against this policy,” Kan said.

Under Kan’s leadership, Japan was able to deflect the worst-case scenario, but the former prime minister was quick to admit that the water contaminated by radiation from the vessels has been leaking.

Kan maintained doubt of TEPCO’s ability to complete incineration of the radioactive debris in 40 years.

My guess is that at Fukushima the process will take more than 100 years,” he said.

Kan’s personal experience in Fukushima led him to advocate for using renewable sources — solar power, wind power and biomass — instead of relying on nuclear power and fossil fuels.

I took my last months as Prime Minister proposing to the Diet [the Japanese parliament] a bill for the establishment of the FIT system,” he said. “Since the introduction of the FIT system, the use of renewable energy and especially solar power has grown in Japan.”

More specifically, Kan promoted combining agriculture with supplying renewable energy.

Sunlight can be shared between crops and solar panels,” he said. “If this practice spreads, Japan could supply over half its energy supply from farmlands.”

Kan called on nations to reduce use of nuclear energy and invest in renewable energy.

The use of renewable, natural energy and the end of reliance on nuclear energy and fossil fuels, can open a path to a peaceful world,” Kan said. “It is my intention to continue to commit myself without respite toward the achievement of this goal.”

http://cornellsun.com/2017/03/28/nuclear-energy-has-no-future-in-japan-former-pm-says/

March 31, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

“THE STATE OF FUKUSHIMA: Sixth Anniversary 3.11 Nuclear Disaster. Evacuation Orders Being Lifted – Ethical or Not?”

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THE STATE OF FUKUSHIMA: Sixth Anniversary 3.11 Nuclear Disaster

Evacuation Orders Being Lifted – Ethical or Not?

by Kerry Anne O’Connor, California native, Tokyo Resident

The Fukushima accident has shown that people cannot coexist with nuclear power. I believe the only way to preserve human life is to completely turn away from nuclear power.”—Kenzaburo Oe, Nobel Prize-winning Novelist.

On March 11, 2011 at 2:46pm, it felt like the world was ending! Frightened people were screaming in terror. Shattered glass was flying everywhere. The memories of that day are tattooed on my brain and will never be erased.

Many cities damaged in the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami disaster are on their way to slow recovery. One disaster area, however, may never have its place on the map again. The triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant forced the evacuation of 170,000 people. Six years later 84,000 residents still cannot safely return to their homes in Fukushima due to the high levels of radiation. They are the forgotten ones their stories swept under Japan’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics carpet.

Since March 12, 2011, the day the Fukushima evacuation orders were put into effect, residents near the power plant were woken up in the middle of the night and told to board buses, destination unknown. They were told not to bring personal belongings, including their pets. Thinking they would return soon, pet owners left two to three days’ worth of food and water. Some tied their pets to their homes, some let the animals run loose. The residents never returned. The animals tied to their homes perished.

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Animal rescue missions in the exclusion zones near the crippled power plant commenced under the supervision of Animal Rescue Nyander Guard in Fukushima (nyan=meow in Japanese). Staff and volunteers entered the contaminated restricted areas to rescue as many endangered pets as they could. Dogs and cats were easy to transport. Farm animals, however, had no escape and most were euthanized. One woman who ran a dairy farm cried profusely, “You can’t just carry a cow out like a dog. I had fifty dairy cows. They were my babies! I was forced to abandon them!”

Today, Nyander Guard still searches for animals left wandering inside the exclusion zones having saved over 760 animals since April 2011. Six years of unrelenting devotion has helped to reunite pets with their owners, find new families for abandoned animals and shelter those who are still homeless awaiting adoption.

March 11, 2017, marked the 6th anniversary of the ongoing Fukushima Nuclear meltdown. It was also the day I went into the exclusion zones to measure radiation levels and document farmlands that are now nuclear wastelands. Much to my shock, I learned that some areas where the evacuation orders will be lifted at the end of this month are actually higher in radiation than in the exclusion zones!

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In its haste to reassure the world community that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are going forward as scheduled with soccer and other games planned for Fukushima, the Japanese government is now forcing people back into heavily contaminated areas. A majority of the returning evacuees may not be well informed about the dangers they face, due to Japan’s Secrecy Law adopted in late 2013 – imposing new legislation to penalize the unauthorized publication of information about the crippled nuclear power plant of up to ten-years-long imprisonment. As a result people and particularly press are intimidated and kept from telling the truth.

The community of Santa Barbara is invited to attend a free public exhibit and presentation at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum Auditorium, 1-4pm, Saturday, April 8th featuring the work of volunteers of Nyander Guard. Akira Honda, shelter owner and founder, will also be in attendance to give firsthand details of the traumatic animal rescues in the exclusion zones in the aftermath of the nuclear meltdown. Further accounts of the State of Fukushima will not only be eye opening but also a timely reminder of the 31st Anniversary of Chernobyl Disaster – April 26th, where much of the land there still remains abandoned due to high radiation levels.

In Chernobyl, “Obligatory Resettlement Zones” were areas with over 5mSv/year of radiation, which is the same amount in some parts of Fukushima that will soon open up. Sadly, many pets will still remain at their desolate homes in these areas, living lonely lives with hardly any human contact. On their routine “Animal Watch,” Nyander Guard feeds and cares for these voiceless victims. Being reunited with them on March 11th reaffirmed how unforgiveable and horrific this disaster has become.

Disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima remind the world how dangerous nuclear power is and how they have devastated humans, animals and lands. This is a worldwide problem affecting us all. By raising awareness of the tragedies innocent people and their loved ones continue to endure, we might be able to unite globally and share our individual stories for the sake of humanity and future generations.

 

Please sign these two important petitions :

From Greenpeace : Defend the human rights of Fukushima survivors

https://act.greenpeace.org/page/6288/petition/1

From FFAN-Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network : NO 2020 Olympics in Radioactive Fukushima:

https://www.change.org/p/no-olympics-or-paralympics-in-radioactive-fukushima

Exhibit:

THE STATE OF FUKUSHIMA: Sixth Anniversary 3.11 Nuclear Disaster Karpeles Exhibit Part II

This coming Saturday, April 8 at 1PM – 4PM PDT

At the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum,

21 W Anapamu St, Santa Barbara, California 93101

Tel : +1 805-962-5322

Kerry Anne O’Connor, California born Tokyo resident and volunteer for Animal Rescue Nyander Guard – in Fukushima, Japan will be Santa Barbara Saturday, April 8th for a follow up to the Exhibit and presentation of March 11th in commemoration of the 6th Anniversary of #Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. On 3.11 this year, Kerry was in Fukushima measuring radiation levels and documenting farmlands that are now nuclear wastelands. Among her shocking discoveries, she learned that some areas where the evacuation orders will be lifted at the end of this month are actually higher in radiation than in the exclusion zones.

The community of Santa Barbara is invited to attend this free public exhibit and presentation featuring the work of volunteers of Nyander Guard. Akira Honda, shelter owner and founder, will also be in attendance to give firsthand details of the traumatic animal rescues in the exclusion zones in the aftermath of the #nuclear meltdown which forced 170,000 people to be evacuated; and six years later 84,000 residents still cannot return to their homes due to high radiation levels. Kerry’s further accounts of the “State of Fukushima” will not only be eye-opening but also a good reminder of the 31st Anniversary of #Chernobyl Disaster – April 26 where much of the land there is still abandoned due to high radiation levels.

Media Contact: Kerry O’Connor, 805-482-1745 kerry_in_hachioji@yahoo.co.jp

 

March 29, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

11,000 Wikileaks documents related to Fukushima

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4131 files on Fukushima 2011
https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/?q=Fukushima+2011&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0&file=&docid=&relid=0#searchresult

4062 files on  reactor 2011
https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/?q=Reactor+2011&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0&file=&docid=&relid=0#searchresult

2470 files on meltdown 2011
https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/?q=Meltdown+2011&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0&file=&docid=&relid=0#searchresult

262 files on cesium 2011
https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/?q=Cesium+2011&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0&file=&docid=&relid=0#searchresult

282 files on  iodine 2011
https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/?q=Iodine+2011&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0&file=&docid=&relid=0#searchresult

344 files on Uss Ronald Reagan
https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/?q=Uss+ronald+2011&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0&file=&docid=&relid=0#searchresult


March 29, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | 1 Comment

Columban missionary backs bishops against nuclear industry after harrowing visit to Fukushima clean-up

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Evacuated: An evacuee rests in a gymnasium serving as an evacuation centre in Yamagata, Japan, in March 2011. Residents from the vicinity of Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant were sheltered at the gym, as officials and workers struggled to contain the situation at the badly damaged nuclear facility.

 

A COLUMBAN missionary has witnessed a massive contamination clean-up in the Japanese region surrounding Fukushima, where a 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear power plant meltdown.

Fr Paul McCartin, recently visited the Fukushima region, six years after the nuclear disaster, and ahead of a government evacuation order being lifted at the end of this month, which will allow people to return home.

Arriving by bullet train at the town of Kouriyama, 60km west of Fukushima Number One Nuclear Power Plant, Fr McCartin said the first surprise was the large radiation monitor in front of the station.

Over the next three days I saw similar monitors in cities, beside country roads and along expressways,” Fr McCartin, the Columban Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation co-ordinator in Japan, said.

He has worked in Japan since 1979 and visited the Fukushima last September.

I had taken face masks but our guides gave us better ones,” he said.

We were told to make sure we washed our hands and around our mouths before eating.

I was given a small radiation monitor to wear around my neck.

Over the two-and-a-half days I was exposed to 8.1 micro Sieverts, an ‘acceptable’ amount.”

The Sievert is a measure of the health effect of low levels of ionising radiation on the human body.

As Fr McCartin drove through the Fukushima countryside, he found houses barricaded, roads closed and warnings from officials amidst a massive clean-up.

I was restricted. There were roadblocks with security personnel,” he said.

I was advised not to hike in Fukushima as there is a lot of radiation in the mountains, especially at the base of mountains as rain washes it down.

Buildings and roads are being washed down, and contaminated soil and vegetation being removed.”

He said topsoil to a depth of five centimetres was being removed and replaced with soil from unaffected areas.

There are large collections of industrial waste bags all over the place. There must be hundreds of thousands, if not millions,” he said.

At the end of March, Japan is set to lift evacuation orders for parts of Namie, located 4km from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, as well as three other towns.

More than half of Namie’s former 21,500 residents have decided not to return.

Namie, and other nearby centres are now ghost towns, dilapidated, and for many, they conjure horrific memories.

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Tsunami damage: Facilities near the seawater heat exchanger building at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant Unit 3 reactor on April 2, 2011, days after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area in north-east Japan.

A government survey showed last year, there were lingering concerns over radiation and the safety of the nuclear plant, which is being decommissioned.

Beyond radiation risks, an unexpected nuisance looms – hundreds of wild boars have descended from surrounding hills and forests into the deserted towns.

The creatures have roamed across the radioactive contaminated region.

In Namie, wild boars occupy the empty streets and overgrown backyards foraging for food.

In the nearby town of Tomioka, local hunters have captured an estimated 300 boars.

Following his visit last September, Fr McCartin is concerned about the spread of contaminated material.

Low-level waste is being recycled,” he said.

Highly contaminated waste is being burned.

So far only one per cent of high-level waste has been burned.

More incinerators are being constructed.

Contaminated waste is being used in the wall being built along the shore to prevent another tsunami hitting the area.

In fact, there is so much radioactively contaminated waste that local facilities can’t handle it, so ‘low-level waste’ is being transported to many distant places for disposal.

Contaminated fishing gear and nets are being disposed of in the town where I live.

In this way, radiation is being spread to many parts of the country.

It would seem to make sense to keep it where it is and avoid unnecessarily contaminating the rest of the country.”

Fr McCartin said the Japanese media was muzzled from challenging the government on Fukushima and the hazards of nuclear power.

The efforts of individual journalists reporting on the issue were often dismissed.

A Catholic in Yokohama told me last year that after his daughter wrote a piece on Fukushima for the newspaper she works for, her boss told her, ‘No more on Fukushima’,” he said.

The government has threatened to shut down any media organisation that publishes something the government doesn’t like.

In the last year or so three forthright and prominent media personalities have been sacked or not had their contracts renewed.”

Fr McCartin said he supported a call by Japanese Catholic bishops to abandon the nuclear power industry.

I believe that if the government transferred a small fraction of the trillions of dollars it throws at the nuclear industry to the renewable energy industry, the country would be awash in safe energy in a very short time,” he said.

http://catholicleader.com.au/news/columban-missionary-backs-bishops-against-nuclear-industry-after-harrowing-visit-to-fukushima-clean-up

March 28, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | 2 Comments

Japan Political Pulse: The truth about Fukushima nuclear disaster compensation

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Of the unknown number of children who have been bullied for being from Fukushima Prefecture, where a nuclear disaster is still ongoing at a power station six years since its outbreak, one boy who evacuated to Yokohama was bullied and extorted by his classmates of 1.5 million yen in total.

Now in his first year of junior high school, the boy wrote when he was in sixth grade, “My classmates said, ‘You get compensation, right?’ That annoyed me, but I was frustrated with myself for not standing up against them.”

Ironically, news reports say that because the family voluntarily evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture, they are not eligible for the high levels of compensation from the operator of the stricken nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), that some victims are entitled to receive.

Those who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture due to the nuclear crisis can be largely categorized into two groups. The first are those who were forced to leave their homes under evacuation orders from the central government, because they lived in areas where annual cumulative radiation levels exceeded 20 millisieverts, or otherwise faced extenuating circumstances as determined by the state. Such people receive a certain lump sum from TEPCO as compensation.

The second group comprises people who lived in areas with radiation levels that did not prompt government evacuation orders, but who evacuated voluntarily out of concern for the health of themselves and their children. As a general rule, these people are not eligible for compensation from TEPCO.

In the case of forced evacuations, TEPCO conducts individual interviews with evacuees to assess the value of their property and homes. But this is strictly to compensate for the assets that people have lost.

What has often attracted attention but remains commonly misunderstood, is the monthly 100,000 yen per person that evacuees are said to be receiving as compensation for emotional suffering. Those who evacuated without orders to do so from the government are not eligible for this, either.

Meanwhile, the provision of compensation for emotional suffering to state-ordered evacuees whose homes are in areas where evacuation orders are set to be lifted will be stopped in March 2018. Whether or not such evacuees will return to their homes in Fukushima Prefecture once the no-go orders are lifted, they face the harsh reality that they will be cut off from government assistance. The government is rushing to rebuild infrastructure, and appeal to the world that they are lifting evacuation orders. But whether to return or to relocate is a difficult decision, especially for families with children.

People who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture have not only been exposed to radiation, but to prejudice and misunderstanding regarding compensation that they may or may not have received.

The false rumor that compensation recipients are enjoying the high life from compensation payments has spread. We can’t deny that some probably indulged in the momentary influx of money and bought property or a fancy car. But because of that, the internet has been teeming with rumors that compensation recipients are tax thieves or calls for them to go back where they came from. And there’s no doubt that such a backdrop of online defamation and scandalmongering emboldened the children who bullied the boy in Yokohama.

The truth is, the family of the boy in Yokohama had evacuated Fukushima Prefecture voluntarily. They received a little over 1 million yen from TEPCO, but the parents said in an interview with an NHK new program, Close Up Gendai, that the money was put toward rebuilding their lives. Voluntary evacuees are exempt from paying rent due to the Disaster Relief Act, but many must restart new lives amid unstable finances.

The abovementioned boy moved to Yokohama with his family when he was in second grade. Shortly thereafter, classmates called him by his name, with the word for “germs” added on to the end. He soon found himself the victim of physical abuse such as hitting and kicking, and once he reached fifth grade, classmates demanded he give them money.

“I was so scared I didn’t know what to do,” the boy wrote. He stole from his parents and gave away a total of 1.5 million yen.

His parents, and other parents of children at the school who realized that something was going on, alerted the school. The school conducted an investigation, but took the bullies’ claims that the boy had given them money willingly at face value, and did nothing to remedy the situation for two years.

I, too, only learned the truth about the case just recently, but I believe the school’s misguided judgment was likely based on ignorance and prejudice toward compensation given to Fukushima Prefecture evacuees.

The boy’s mother had been traveling back and forth between Yokohama and Fukushima. He knew how much his parents were struggling, so he remained silent about the bullying.

What moved the case into a new direction were notes the victim had written in the summer of sixth grade. A message calling on bullying victims not to kill themselves also written by the now first-year junior high school student who attends an alternative school, was also released to the public.

Compensation is given to some victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. But there is still too little compassion toward and understanding of the various misunderstandings, discrimination and divisions that disaster victims face.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170326/p2a/00m/0na/003000c

March 26, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , , | Leave a comment