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Fukushima museum receives pro-nuclear signs for safekeeping

december 2015.jpg

Workers in protective gear remove the banner lauding nuclear energy in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, in December.

AIZUWAKAMATSU, Fukushima Prefecture—Pro-nuclear propaganda signs that became the ironic symbol of a town evacuated in the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster have been moved to a museum’s storage ahead of their possible public display as a warning from history.

The Fukushima Museum in this city took over care of the signs this month on behalf of the town government of Futaba, which co-hosts the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The most well-known of the banners, which residents campaigned to save, reads: “Genshiryoku–Akarui Mirai no Energy” (Nuclear power is the energy of a bright future).

Yuji Onuma, a 40-year-old former resident of Futaba who now lives in Kogawa, Ibaraki Prefecture, came up with the slogan as a sixth grader at a Futaba school. The town hall adopted it to promote nuclear energy.

Onuma, who fled the town amid the triple meltdown, said the move to the museum is welcome in terms of keeping them in good condition.

But I am hoping that they will be shown to the public as soon as possible,” he said.

The signboards were removed between December and March along with other panels of slogans promoting nuclear energy in the town. The town government cited the danger of the tall steel structures collapsing because of old age.

They had been kept in a barn wrapped in blankets until the prefectural museum came forward with the offer of storage space early this month.

The signboards will be kept from deteriorating at the museum where the temperature and humidity can be easily adjusted,” a Futaba official said of the transfer to the museum.

The town hall had initially sought to remove and dispose of the prominent signs, saying they were nearly 25 years old and may fall off at any time.

But after the town announced the decision to do so in March 2015, Onuma and other like-minded people scrambled to start a petition to call for their preservation as historically important items.

The signs should be stored and exhibited as a ‘negative legacy’,” said Onuma, who recalled that he had once been proud of co-hosting a nuclear power station as he believed it would lead the town to a promising future.

But after the disaster, he decided he was wrong and switched to the solar power generation business in Kogawa.

In the end, the town government agreed to preserve them after they were removed from the original site.

A Futaba official said the signs could be featured at a facility to pass down the records of and lessons learned from the powerful quake, tsunami and the nuclear disaster which the prefectural government is planning to construct.


October 29, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Pro-nuclear trolls & disinformation



A few links to some articles dealing about about pro-nuclear trolls  and their disinformation techniques.

Got nuclear trolls? Here’s how to stop them in their tracks.
Eight Traits of the Disinformationalist
How to Spot – and Defeat – Disruption on the Internet

May 18, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear power proponents still scoffing at public safety concerns

An Otsu District Court injunction has suspended operations of two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, one of which was online.

Again, the significance of that development should be taken to heart. Proponents of nuclear power, in particular, should squarely face up to the public anxiety that lies in the backdrop of the court decision. But instead they are boiling with disgruntlement.

safety scoffing“Why is a single district court judge allowed to trip up the government’s energy policy?” Kazuo Sumi, a vice chairman of the Kansai Economic Federation, said resentfully.

“We could demand damages (from the residents who requested the injunction) if we were to win the case at a higher court,” Kansai Electric President Makoto Yagi said, although he prefaced his remark with a proviso that he is arguing only in general terms.

The government is maintaining a wait-and-see attitude.

The decision called into question the appropriateness of the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s new regulation standards and government-approved plans for evacuations in case of an emergency.

But NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka argued, “Our standards are nearing the world’s top level.”

And the government has no plans to review its emergency evacuation plans. It has only reiterated that it will “proceed with restarts of nuclear reactors in paying respect to NRA decisions.”

The Otsu decision is the third court order issued against the operation of nuclear reactors since the meltdowns five years ago at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

There has, in fact, been no fixed trend in court decisions. Another court rejected residents’ request last year for an injunction against reactor restarts at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture.

But courts appear to be playing a more active role now than before the Fukushima disaster.

The nuclear proponents’ reactions reveal an underlying thinking: “The use of nuclear power is indispensable for Japan, which does not abound in energy resources. The government set up the NRA following the Fukushima disaster to increase expert control. Regional utilities have also taken safety enhancement measures. Courts are therefore asked not to meddle.”

But they should have a deeper understanding that this argument is no longer convincing to the public and court judges.

Some critics say the latest decision deviated from the 1992 Supreme Court ruling saying that decisions on the safety of nuclear plants should be made by administrative organs on the basis of expert opinions. But that argument is also off the mark.

The ruling, given in a case over Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata nuclear plant, certainly presented that point of view. But it also stated that the objective of safety regulations based on the Law on the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Reactors is to “make sure that no serious disaster will happen by any chance.”

A safety net, left in the hands of experts, collapsed all too easily during the Fukushima disaster, turning the phrase “by any chance” into reality.

Courts, which are the guardians of law, should rather be commended for trying to find out independently, to the extent that they can, if there is enough preparedness when a nuclear reactor will be restarted.

The latest alarm bell sounded by the judiciary sector provides an opportunity to ask once again why all the safety measures taken after the Fukushima nuclear disaster are still struggling to win the trust of the public.

The Fukushima disaster changed the awareness of the public. The judiciary sector was also affected.

It is high time for a change among nuclear proponents.

March 30, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment