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Japan Still Facing Challenges in Reconstructing Fukushim

Reconstruction without full decontamination is nothing else but a pipe dream, mostly made out of PR and propaganda…

July 19, 2022

Tokyo, July 19 (Jiji Press)–Reconstruction of areas in Fukushima Prefecture hit by the March 2011 nuclear accident has shown progress, but a number of challenges have yet to be overcome, including construction of essential facilities for everyday life and creation of jobs to bring back residents who evacuated to other prefectures.
The decommissioning of the meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. should also be pushed forward.
With evacuation orders in afflicted areas having been lifted in stages, the number of evacuees outside the northeastern prefecture has now fallen to some 30,000 from the peak level of over 160,000.
Most recently, it has been decided to remove Aug. 30 the evacuation order for the so-called specified reconstruction zone in the town of Futaba, which co-hosts the Fukushima No. 1 plant, crippled by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and is the only remaining completely evacuated municipality.
After the central and Futaba town governments reached the agreement to lift the order for the area around Futaba Station on the JR Joban Line, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno visited nuclear accident-hit areas for two days through Saturday.

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

Aversion to food from Fukushima remains high in South Korea

TEPCO’s preparing the public for the release of the accumulated stored radioactive water lying through their teeth as always, with the help of the JUapanese mainstream media:

‘The water will be diluted with seawater to bring its radiation level to well within safety standards’

Storage tanks for treated radioactive water line the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in April 2021.

May 16, 2022

Nearly 80 percent of South Koreans want to avoid food products from Fukushima Prefecture regardless of the water-release plan at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, a survey showed.

The Reconstruction Agency conducted the online survey in January and February in 10 countries and regions to gauge international feelings toward Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s plan to discharge treated radioactive water into the sea as early as spring 2023. A total of 2,700 individuals responded.

The survey results, released on April 26, will be used to take countermeasures against negative publicity from the water-release plan that could hurt the image of products from the prefecture, the agency said.

The government in April 2021 decided to discharge the water to reduce the more than 1 million tons of processed water stored at the plant.

Although the treatment process cannot remove tritium, the water will be ‘diluted with seawater to bring its radiation level to well within safety standards’, TEPCO has said.

According to the survey, 13 percent of respondents in Japan “do not want to buy” Fukushima-derived foodstuffs as of now. The ratio rose slightly to 14 percent when the water-release plan was included in the scenario.

The percentage increases were 5 to 8 points in five nations and regions, including Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States.

In South Korea, about 77 percent said they do not want to buy Fukushima-made products regardless of whether the water is discharged into the sea.

The survey asked respondents if they knew that Japan’s food safety levels are controlled under some of the strictest standards in the world.

Around 50 percent each in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan were aware, while the rate topped 30 percent in Europe and the United States.

However, just 15 percent of South Koreans said they were aware of Japan’s safety levels. And 56 percent said they knew about the safety levels but doubted the claims by the Japanese government.

Kosaburo Nishime, the reconstruction minister, on April 26 asked government bodies to show the international community data from the International Atomic Energy Agency and other third parties concerning the water-release plan.

The central government plans to bolster its radiation monitoring of waters around the Fukushima plant after the water is discharged.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14613721

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

Release of Fukushima water to have ‘limited’ impact on consumer habits, poll shows

What a smooth piece of propaganda by Japan’s spin doctors on behalf of the will to dump all that ‘treated’ radioactive water into OUR Pacific ocean!!!

The Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant in March. According to a recent government survey, the impact on consumers of a planned release into the ocean of treated water from the disaster-crippled plant is seen limited in Japan and abroad.

Apr 27, 2022

The impact on consumers of the planned release into the ocean of treated water from the disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is seen as limited both in Japan and abroad, a government survey has shown.

Among respondents from Japan in the online survey, the proportion of those who said they would refrain from buying food items produced in Fukushima Prefecture, where the nuclear plant is located, after the start of the water release came to 14.7%, against 13.3% who said they are already avoiding such items.

The two comparable figures among respondents from the United States stood at 38.3% against 32%, and at 41% against 41.3% among those from Taiwan.

Of respondents from South Korea, 77.7% said they are currently avoiding Fukushima food products while 76% said they would do so after the water release.

The survey polled 300 people from each of Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, the U.K., the United States and France and 150 from each of Australia and New Zealand in January and February.

The attitude survey by the Reconstruction Agency was the first to be conducted over the planned discharge of treated water, which contains radioactive tritium from the plant, run by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., that was the site of the 2011 triple reactor meltdown.

The survey also suggested that only 29% in Japan and only 16% in the United States know that tritium is released to rivers and the sea in many countries based on existing laws and regulations.

“We need to spread knowledge (about tritium) in and outside our country,” Reconstruction Minister Kosaburo Nishime told a meeting Tuesday, where the survey results were reported.

The government will strengthen measures to prevent reputational damage to food items due to the planned water release, he stressed.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/04/27/national/fukushima-water-consumer-impact-limited/

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO to grow fish at nuclear plant to show water safety

No, it is not for April Fools’ Day only, for Tepco it is Fool’s Day everyday

Storage tanks line the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in January

April 1, 2022

Tokyo Electric Power Co. will raise seafood at its stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in a bid to ease concerns about its plan to release treated radioactive water stored there into the ocean.

“We want to contribute to dispelling the public’s anxiety and reassuring people,” a TEPCO representative said.

The government and TEPCO last year announced the plan to treat and then discharge contaminated water accumulating at the nuclear plant into the ocean starting as early as spring 2023. More than 1 million tons of water have already been stored.

Local residents and fisheries industry officials, worried about reputational damage to marine products caused by the water release, asked the utility to demonstrate the safety of the water that will be discharged instead of just spouting off technical terms.

They suggested that TEPCO keep fish at the plant to show that the processed water will pose no health risk.

The water treatment process removes most radioactive substances, but not tritium. The water will be diluted with seawater to reduce the tritium concentration to less than 1,500 becquerels per liter, one-40th the legal standard.

On experts’ advice, TEPCO decided to culture flatfish and abalone on a trial basis because both species can be caught off Fukushima Prefecture and grown easily.

Preliminary farming started in March in seawater at the plant to gain expertise.

Around September, the utility will begin growing 600 flatfish and 600 abalone. Some will be raised in ordinary seawater while others will be in treated and diluted water containing tritium at the same level of the water that will be discharged.

The concentration of tritium and other substances in the creatures’ bodies will be analyzed, as will their growth rates in the two sets of tanks.

A continuing video of the experiment will be made available on the internet.

TEPCO said it expects the raised fish to have tritium readings similar to those in the water of their farming tanks. So the figure for flatfish raised in the processed water will likely be higher than their seawater-cultivated counterparts.

“We hope to counter negative publicity by showing that fish can grow healthily (in the treated water),” a TEPCO official said.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14573752?fbclid=IwAR3JSXsPtkcSZjUQZKnfaDO8EVahd8dTTBvIN_4_weq0eDbGNj7LeVR1CIU

April 9, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan partially lifts import bans on Japanese foods

Political expediancy, lies and cover up, propaganda!

Feb. 21, 2022

Taiwan says it has partially lifted import bans on Japanese foods on Monday that have been in force since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.

Taiwan had stopped importing all food items from Fukushima and the nearby prefectures of Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba. The ban excluded alcoholic drinks.

Officials announced earlier this month that they would lift the ban, except for wild bird and animal meat as well as mushrooms from those prefectures.

They said the move was based on global standards and ‘scientific proof’and noted that most countries have eased restrictions.

Taiwanese authorities say they sought feedback from the public about the decision and ‘received only a few objections’.

Food from the five prefectures must still be accompanied by test results for radioactive materials, and all items will be subject to inspections in Taiwan.

All prefectures must also still provide proof of origin.

Officials in Japan say the safety of the food has been scientifically proven and they will continue asking Taiwan to lift all the regulations.

February 23, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | 1 Comment

Online Tour by Reconstruction Agency to Consider Decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Performers exchanging opinions

2022/02/20
On February 20, an online tour was held at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Nuclear Decommissioning Museum in Tomioka Town, Fukushima Prefecture, to have people from inside and outside of the prefecture think about the decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The speakers voiced the need for greater transparency in the dissemination of information about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

 Prof. Nobuhisa Murao of Kwansei Gakuin University, who appeared as a commentator, said that it was important to ensure the transparency of decommissioning work and pointed out that “even small accidents should be made public immediately without hiding them. Masato Kino, director general of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said, “It is important to disclose information on both good and inconvenient matters.

 Idol Ayaka Wada, who visited the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant last December, also made an appearance. She said, “I learned that it will take a long time to decommission the plant. Some of the participants suggested that the younger generation should be encouraged to visit the disaster area.

 The online tour was organized by the Reconstruction Agency. The online tour was sponsored by the Reconstruction Agency and distributed nationwide via the video-sharing website YouTube. Mr. Kino explained the latest developments in the removal of molten nuclear fuel (debris), measures for contaminated and treated water, and improvements in the working environment. He accepted questions from the participants and exchanged opinions with them.
https://www.minpo.jp/news/moredetail/2022022094602?fbclid=IwAR2npqJ8B2NtHQQMh4O5Hq49pI1lWS9cLCb_ImXblfhX8idUhHAs4eu0nIA

February 23, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

UN to review Japan’s plan to release Fukushima water into Pacific

Transparency coming from Tepco is an oxymoron…

Environmental activists protesting against the decision to release the water. The plans have faced strong opposition.

Taskforce will ‘listen to local people’s concerns’, as government plans to release more than 1m tonnes

February 18, 2022

A UN nuclear taskforce has promised to prioritise safety as it launches a review of controversial plans by Japan to release more than 1m tonnes of contaminated water into the ocean from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Japan’s government announced last April that it had decided to release the water over several decades into the Pacific Ocean, despite strong opposition from local fishers and neighbouring China and South Korea.

Lydie Evrard, the deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], speaking after a team of experts visited the plant to collect water samples, said on Friday: “We listen very carefully to local people’s concerns and the inspection is designed to provide answers about safety in a transparent manner.” .

The controversy comes almost 11 years after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered a huge tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people along Japan’s north-east coast.

Tsunami waves crashed into Fukushima Daiichi, knocking out its backup electricity supply, triggering meltdowns in three of its reactors and sending large quantities of radiation into the atmosphere. More than 150,000 people were forced to flee their homes, and evacuation orders in communities closest to the plant have only recently been partially lifted.

The Tokyo Electric Power company (Tepco) says its treatment technology can remove all radioactive materials from water except tritium, which is harmless in small amounts. It said the gradual release of the water, diluted with seawater, would not pose a threat to human health or the marine environment. In 2020, however, Greenpeace said the water still contained contaminants beside tritium and would have to be treated again.

The wastewater is being stored in about 1,000 tanks that officials say need to be removed so the plant can be decommissioned, an operation expected to take several decades. The tanks are expected to reach their capacity of 1.37m tonnes this summer.

The liquid includes water used to cool the damaged reactors, as well as rain and groundwater that seeps into the area.

Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist for Greenpeace East Asia, said he did not believe the IAEA would fully investigate and address safety and environmental concerns in its report.

Noting that the agency had welcomed the discharge option when it was announced last year, Burnie said: “The IAEA is not an independent agency in nuclear affairs – under statute its mission is to promote nuclear power. It has sought to justify radioactive marine pollution as having no impact and safe. But the IAEA is incapable of protecting the environment, human health or human rights from radiation risks – that’s not its job.

“The IAEA taskforce should be investigating the root cause of the contaminated water crisis and exploring the option of long-term storage and the best available processing technology as an alternative to the deliberate contamination of the Pacific.”

The IAEA team, which includes experts from South Korea and China, will report its findings at the end of April.

South Korea, which has yet to lift an import ban on Fukushima seafood introduced in 2013, has said that discharging the water would pose a “grave threat” to the marine environment. Pacific peoples have challenged Japan to prove the water is safe by dumping it in Tokyo.

Local fishers also oppose the water’s release, saying it would undo a decade’s work to rebuild their industry and reassure nervous consumers their seafood is safe.

Junichi Matsumoto, a Tepco official overseeing management of the treated water, said the utility was prioritising safety and the effect on the Fukushima region’s reputation. “Ensuring transparency and objectivity is crucial to the project,” he said this week. “We hope to further improve the objectivity and transparency of the process based on the review.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/18/un-to-review-japans-plan-to-release-fukushima-water-into-pacific

February 20, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan nuclear watchdog to boost monitoring spots for TEPCO ‘treated’ water release

Smooth propaganda spinning from NHK, ‘treated’ water instead of the reality: radioactive water!

February 16, 2022

Japan’s nuclear watchdog has decided to boost maritime monitoring spots in anticipation of the release of treated water from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, plans to release treated water into the sea, starting from around spring next year.

Water, which has either been used to cool molten fuel or seeped into damaged reactor buildings, has become contaminated with radioactive materials.

TEPCO is treating the water by filtering out most of the radioactive substances. But the filtered water still contains tritium.
The utility plans to discharge the treated water after diluting the tritium level to well below national standards.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday discussed ways to measure levels of radioactive substances in the seawater, based on advice from an expert panel of the Environment Ministry.

The authority decided to increase its tritium monitoring locations from 12 to 20, and to lower the minimum detectible level to enable more precise measurements.

It will adopt these enhancements this spring. This would allow for comparison of water before and after release.

The total of tritium monitoring locations, including those of the Environment Ministry, will be increased to around 50, mainly within 10 kilometers of the release spot.

The head of the authority, Fuketa Toyoshi, called for sufficient confirmation to prevent substandard measurements and errors, noting that analysis of tritium takes time and analytic laboratories are limited.

TEPCO claims that impacts from exposure to treated water are minimal, but fears of damage based on rumors remain strong, especially among local residents.

The government and the plant operator hope that stepped-up monitoring would help ease such concerns.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220216_32/?fbclid=IwAR1ri2fNco0clOHHz4E3DfXIqrK1UbFeadhujM5PfVkwBk_SoUlYmdCb7ck

February 17, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

8% of Japanese consumers still hesitate to buy Fukushima food products

At their own risk and peril. There is no acceptable safe threshold when it comes to radioactive contamination.

Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori (left) promotes peaches from the prefecture in the city of Fukushima in July.


Feb 28, 2021

About 8.1% of consumers in Japan still hesitate to buy food products from Fukushima Prefecture almost 10 years after the March 2011 nuclear disaster, a survey by the Consumer Affairs Agency has shown.

Although the figure is the lowest since the survey started in February 2013, the finding is “very regrettable,” Shinji Inoue, minister for consumer affairs and food safety, said after the survey was released Friday. “Safety has been secured” for produce from Fukushima, he added.

The latest survey, the 14th of its kind, was carried out online on Jan. 15-19, with answers received from 5,176 people in their 20s to 60s mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The share of respondents who hesitate to buy food products from Fukushima has been on the decline since hitting 19.6% in the August 2014 survey, and fell below 10% for the first time in the latest survey.

Fukushima is home to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant, the site of the triple meltdown disaster triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

According to the survey, the share of respondents who hesitate to buy food products from Iwate, Miyagi or Fukushima prefectures dropped to a record low of 6.1%, down from 6.4% in the previous poll in February 2020. The three prefectures were hit hardest in the disaster.

A record high 62.1% of respondents said they do not know that checks for radioactive substances have been conducted on food products from disaster areas. The figure has been rising since standing at 22.4% in the first survey.

An official said the agency will continue efforts to not only boost the share of people who are aware of radiation checks but also offer all of the information available about radioactive substances in food products.https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/02/28/national/fukushima-products-survey/

February 28, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | 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

New School Opens in Nuclear Crisis-Hit Fukushima Village

Sacrificing the youth in the simulacre of a return to normalty…

 

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Iitate, Fukushima Pref., April 5 (Jiji Press)–A new school offering nine-year compulsory education opened on Sunday in a northeastern Japan village affected by the country’s worst nuclear accident nine years ago.

Iitate Hope Village Academy is the first facility for compulsory schooling launched in a former no-go zone set up after the unprecedented triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which was damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The institution in the village of Iitate in Fukushima Prefecture aims to improve the quality of education by integrating school functions after the number of students fell sharply due to an exodus of residents following the nuclear accident. The academy, run by the government of the village, will provide education programs for elementary and junior high schools.

An opening ceremony, held on Sunday, was attended by 50 of the 65 students and some 150 guardians and guests. While taking measures, such as wearing face masks, to prevent infection with the novel coronavirus that is raging across the country, participants sang the school song written by poet Madoka Mayuzumi and composed by singer Kosetsu Minami.

“As a top-grade student, I’m ready to lead younger students,” Ryosuke Watanabe, 14, said, receiving the new school flag at the ceremony.

https://www.nippon.com/en/news/yjj2020040500153/new-school-opens-in-nuclear-crisis-hit-fukushima-village.html

April 6, 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

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