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Japanese rally against Fukushima nuclear wastewater discharge

6 oct. 2022

Many #japanese gathered at the offices of #tokyo Electric Power Company to protest the plan to discharge nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday. More than 11 years after the #fukushima nuclear disaster, radioactive waste processing and nuclear-contaminated wastewater treatment are almost at a standstill. In April 2021, the Japanese government decided to discharge the nuclear-contaminated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean, beginning in the spring of 2023.

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October 8, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

40,000 signatures submitted to TEPCO and METI opposing release of treated water from nuclear power plants

Katsuhito Fuyuki, President of Miyagi Co-op, submitted signatures opposing the discharge of treated water to Junichi Matsumoto (right), head of TEPCO’s treated water countermeasures.

September 21, 2022
On September 21, representatives of consumers’ cooperatives in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures and Miyagi fishery cooperatives submitted about 40,000 signatures opposing the discharge of treated water from TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean. On March 21, representatives of consumer cooperatives in Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures and Miyagi fishermen’s cooperatives submitted approximately 40,000 signatures to TEPCO and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry opposing the discharge of treated water from TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean. They demand that instead of discharging the water into the ocean, it be treated in a different way that can be understood by the concerned parties and the public.
 According to a person in charge of the co-op, they have been collecting signatures online and in writing since June 2021, and together with those already submitted, they have collected about 21,000 signatures nationwide. The total number of signatures, including those already submitted, amounted to about 21,000 nationwide.
 Katsuhito Fuyuki, president of the Miyagi Co-op, explained the reason for his opposition at the TEPCO headquarters: “We are concerned about the negative impact on the resumption of full-scale fishing operations in Fukushima, the fishing industry in Miyagi, and the local economy.
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/203849?rct=national&fbclid=IwAR1NBf2UdsSbO5dnwol-1MV3Tk76UJu9gvzuyAlN18k6OfTustPAO72RPd8

September 26, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: TEPCO must be candid on plan to discharge “tainted” water into ocean

Tainted, what an euphemism!

Storage tanks at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant hold tons of radiation-contaminated water.

August 17, 2022

Radiation-contaminated water is still being produced in the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.

Progress is being made on the government’s plan to release treated water into the ocean, and local governments have approved the construction of pertinent facilities.

However, local opposition to the project remains fierce, particularly from the fisheries industry.

The central government and TEPCO must spare no effort to thoroughly explain the project to the parties concerned, as well as to the rest of the nation and the world.

At the crippled plant, groundwater is continuing to mix into cooling water for melted nuclear fuel, raising the volume of radiation-contaminated water by about 130 tons a day.

The contaminated water is treated to remove most of its radioactive content and is kept in storage tanks.

But with the existing tanks now nearly full, the government decided in spring last year to dilute the stored water with seawater and discharge it into the sea, fearing that building more storage tanks could affect post-disaster recovery work.

TEPCO is currently proceeding with preparations for the offshore discharge about 1 kilometer from the plant.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority approved the plan last month, saying it saw no safety issues.

NRA Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa told a news conference, “While I recognize opposition to the plan, the offshore discharge (of treated water) cannot be avoided if we are to proceed with the decommissioning of reactors.”

Residual tritium in the treated water is released into the sea by active nuclear power stations in and outside Japan.

The government’s plan is to dilute the tritium content to less than one-40th of the national standard, and keep the annual release volume below the pre-accident level.

The International Atomic Energy Agency noted in its report in April to the effect that the radiological impact on the public was expected to be very low and significantly below the level set by the Japanese regulatory body.  

The Fukushima prefectural government and the municipal governments of Okuma and Futaba–which co-host the Fukushima No. 1 plant–approved the construction of discharge facilities in early August.

Two days later, TEPCO advanced the project to the phase of actual construction of an undersea tunnel through which the treated water will be released into the ocean.

But the local fisheries industry and other opponents of the project are not yielding an inch. They claim that even though the radiation level is below the required safety standard, anything that is being discharged from the crippled plant cannot be considered completely safe and can cause damage due to rumors or misinformation.

In fact, when the NRA solicited opinions from the public, all sorts of questions and negative comments were sent in.

In 2015, the government and TEPCO promised the fishing industry that “no treated water will ever be discharged without the understanding of the parties concerned.” This is the kind of promise they must not be allowed to renege on.

TEPCO says that it fully understands the “importance of explaining everything thoroughly” and will provide information on its official website. Of course, the company must be completely open and be willing to answer questions.

But its trustworthiness is suspect, as the utility proceeded with its tunnel construction project as soon as it was approved by the local governments.

If TEPCO genuinely wants the understanding of the parties concerned, it must listen directly to people’s questions and opposing views and strive to keep up the conversation. 

As if causing an unprecedented nuclear disaster at Fukushima wasn’t bad enough, the damage compensations that TEPCO made to victims were hardly generous, and the company even kept up wrongful practices at its other nuclear power stations.

Unless TEPCO makes every imaginable effort, we doubt it will ever be able to build a relationship of trust with local communities.

It is time for the utility’s president and top executives to consider holding candid, face-to-face meetings with fisheries industry representatives and local residents.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14696482

August 21, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Citizens of Fukushima City protest against discharge of treated wastewater into the ocean.

Participants holding up placards saying “No ocean discharge” and other slogans.

August 1, 2022
On July 31, a street protest against TEPCO’s plan to discharge treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean was held in front of JR Fukushima Station in Fukushima City, with about 30 citizens holding placards saying “No to ocean discharge” and online participants expressing their opinions.

 On July 22, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) approved a plan to discharge treated water 1 km offshore from the plant. Construction of the discharge facility requires the prior approval of the prefectural government and the towns of Okuma and Futaba, where the plant is located, and the decision of the three parties will be announced in the future.

 DAPPE, a citizens’ group made up of people in their teens to 30s in Fukushima Prefecture, organized the street activities. Ryo Kubota, 33, a member of the group, said, “We should seek other disposal methods (other than discharging the waste into the ocean). Fumio Haga, head of the Nakoso Fishing Cooperative, who participated online, said, “They are forcing us to do this even though we oppose it. We can’t even voice our opinions, so what should we do? (Nobuyuki Takiguchi)
https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASQ707QD6Q70UGTB003.html?fbclid=IwAR2Zo4Sqw8dl-nIVFQnyfC9_NRVA6BTATrwX59pVwj-ev8M5Kng1hOtQex8

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

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

July 27, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

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

Flow of discharging treated water from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

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

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

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

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

Fukushima Citizens’ Group Urges TEPCO to Halt Construction Work to Discharge Treated Water from Nuclear Power Plants into Ocean, “Causing Further Burden and Suffering

Chiyo Oda hands a letter of request to Seiichi Iguchi, director of TEPCO’s Nuclear Energy Center (right), in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on March 13.

May 13, 2022
On May 13, the “Don’t Pollute the Sea Anymore! Citizens’ Council” formed by residents of Fukushima prefecture asked TEPCO on March 13 to refrain from constructing facilities for the ocean discharge.
 Chiyo Oda, 67, co-chairperson of the Citizens’ Council, and others handed a written request to Seiichi Iguchi, director of TEPCO’s Nuclear Energy Center, at a building near TEPCO’s headquarters in Uchisaiwaicho, Tokyo.
 Mr. Oda said, “Many people in Fukushima Prefecture are distrustful of the way TEPCO is sacrificing reconstruction by proceeding with preparations such as undersea construction and prioritizing decommissioning,” and pointed out that the ocean discharge “will impose additional burden and suffering on the victims and is unacceptable. He also criticized TEPCO’s 2015 promise to the Fukushima Prefectural Fisheries Federation that it would not discharge treated water into the ocean without the understanding of all concerned parties, saying, “If TEPCO does not keep its promise and forces the discharge, it will leave a huge mark on the future. The citizens’ meeting protested in front of the TEPCO headquarters.
 In addition to protesting in front of TEPCO’s headquarters, the citizens’ group also asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission not to approve the discharge facilities.
 Construction of undersea tunnels and other discharge facilities requires the prior approval of Fukushima Prefecture and the towns of Okuma and Futaba, which are the municipalities where the plant is located, after approval by the Nuclear Regulation Commission. However, TEPCO has partially proceeded with the construction of the tunnel, claiming that excavation of the ground is not subject to prior approval, and has installed a shield machine to dig the tunnel at the launch site, making it ready to start construction at any time. (The construction of the tunnel is ready to start at any time.)
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/177194?fbclid=IwAR201TgVHRidyK-AQfe1ixMrV-JQX5dl6YrfuliIQ2VaWoSwuixjEXHGzZA

May 15, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Chinese City Backs Down on Proposed Nuclear Fuel Plant After Protests

BEIJING — Bowing to days of passionate street protests, a city government in eastern China said Wednesday that it had halted any plans to build a nuclear fuel plant there. The reversal was the latest indication of how public distrust could hold back China’s ambitious plans for expanding its nuclear power industry.

The government of Lianyungang, a city near the coast of Jiangsu Province, announced the retreat in a terse message online. “The people’s government of Lianyungang has decided to suspend preliminary work for selecting a site for the nuclear cycle project,” it read, referring to a proposed plant for reprocessing used fuel from nuclear plants.

No reason was given, but it appeared clear enough. In recent days, residents have taken to the streets to oppose any decision to build the plant nearby. The main urban area of Lianyungang is just 20 miles southwest of a large and growing nuclear power plant on the coast, but the idea of a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility also being built in the area seemed to push public unease to a new height.

A 21-year-old Lianyungang resident with the surname Tang said Wednesday that demonstrators had been chanting “Oppose nuclear waste, defend our home.” Like other people contacted there, she did not want her full name used, citing fear of reprisal for talking to reporters.

Nobody wants this kind of thing built in their own home,” Ms. Tang said.

China’s authoritarian leaders are wary of local protests escalating into broader challenges to their power. But local governments have often given ground in the face of growing public opposition to chemical plants, waste incinerators and other potential sources of pollution. Now proposed nuclear projects are also becoming increasingly troublesome.

jlmm.jpg

A model of a nuclear reactor on display at the stand for the China National Nuclear Corporation at an expo in Beijing last year. Across the country, the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011 has hardened public wariness of nuclear power.

While the Chinese government does not hesitate to arrest the few political dissidents, it spends more time and energy to appease public demands,” Wenfang Tang, a professor of political science at the University of Iowa, who studies public opinion and politics in China, said in emailed comments.

The high level of government sensitivity and responsiveness to public opinion further encourages political activism in Chinese society,” Professor Tang said. “The louder you are, the more quickly the government will respond.”

In Lianyungang and across China, the nuclear calamity in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011 has hardened public wariness of nuclear power, although the government argues that expanding the industry is essential for weaning the economy off coal, with all of its dangerous pollutants.

The biggest protest in Lianyungang took place on Saturday, when many thousands of people, including families with children, marched through the downtown area.

Despite warnings from the government, protests continued on a smaller scale this week, as residents defied ranks of riot officers with shields, according to news reports and video that people shared through social media.

I told my daughter that she must go to this protest,” one resident said, according to Sixth Tone, an English-language news website based in Shanghai. “With every extra person, the momentum will get bigger.”

The announcement does not mean the nuclear fuel-reprocessing proposal is dead. The project is a collaboration between the China National Nuclear Corporation and a French company, Areva, and it has high-level government support, although no final agreement to build it has been signed. Five other Chinese provinces are under consideration for the initiative, and Lianyungang could lift its suspension. The two companies have said that they want to start building in 2020 and finish by 2030.

But in China, suspensions of contentious projects have a way of quietly turning into permanent cancellations, and Lianyungang appears likely to follow that pattern. The big question now will be whether public opposition coalesces in the five other areas under consideration.

All but one — Gansu Province in the northwest — is a heavily populated coastal province. Gansu is already home to China’s first civilian nuclear reprocessing plant, a small facility that has been held back by technical problems.

In 2013, officials jettisoned plans for a nuclear fuel fabrication plant in the southern province of Guangdong after protests. Preliminary proposals to build nuclear power plants inland have also ignited intense opposition.

The Chinese government has said that as it expands its fleet of nuclear power plants, it needs a plant for reprocessing spent fuel, a practice that separates unused plutonium and some uranium from waste. That unused material could be used to generate power, but critics have warned that the plutonium could be deployed for weapons. Japan has also built a full-scale reprocessing plant, but it has not started up yet.

On Chinese social media, and even on news websites, commentators said that the contention in Lianyungang showed that the public should have a bigger say in nuclear energy planning.

In just a few days, the official stand of Lianyungang has undergone a sea change,” read a comment on Sohu.com, a Chinese news website. “Don’t underestimate just how determined the public is in opposition to nuclear waste, which is far more dangerous than wastewater from any paper pulp mill.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/11/world/asia/china-nuclear-fuel-lianyungang.html

August 12, 2016 Posted by | China | , , | Leave a comment