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TEPCO to Decide on Price Hike Based on Resumption of Nuclear Power Plant Operations, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Unit 7, for Businesses from FY2023

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co.

September 16, 2022
 On September 16, Tomoaki Kobayakawa, president of TEPCO Holdings, announced that the company is considering raising electricity rates for businesses on the assumption that the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Unit 7 nuclear power plant (in Niigata Prefecture) will be restarted in fiscal 2023. President Tomoaki Kobayakawa of TEPCO Holdings announced on September 16 that the company plans to calculate the range of the price increase based on the assumption that the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Unit 7 nuclear power plant (Niigata Prefecture) will be restarted in 2023. The company aims to reduce the burden on contracted companies by about 200 billion yen. He also explained, “We aim to resume operations as soon as possible, but we have no concrete timetable for this.
 The target is the “high-voltage” and “special high-voltage” rate plans used by commercial facilities and factories, with approximately 170,000 contracts. The company plans to raise the rates so that the market price of electricity can be reflected in the rates. At the same time, a system will be introduced to calculate the cost of nuclear power plants, which have lower generation costs, on the assumption that they will operate for nine months a year, thereby curbing the size of the price increase.
 At the press conference, President Kobayakawa explained, “We are not specifying the timing of the restart. Even if we are not able to restart operations, we will curb the price increase. Although this will cause TEPCO’s bottom line to deteriorate, he said, “We will make efforts to reduce (costs). (Kyodo)

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

Legal Battles Continue over TEPCO and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Cause.

PRESS CONFERENCE: Yuichi Kaido and Hiroyuki Kawai, Co-chairs of the National Association of Lawyers for a Nuclear Power Free Japan Yui Kimura, Secretary-General, TEPCO Shareholder Derivative Suit (The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation.) 11:0012:00 Monday, August 8, 2022

August 14, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

104th protest in front of TEPCO’s head office, “Net for the Realization of No Exposure to Radiation” issued a full-length letter of offer summarizing the actual damage caused by exposure to radiation.

August 1, 2022
Children suffering from radiation exposure: “Acknowledge the relationship between the nuclear accident and childhood thyroid cancer
The Network for the Realization of No Exposure to Radiation Takae Miyaguchi

The Fukushima nuclear power plant accident spread enormous amounts of radiation.
 After the accident, many people gathered in front of the TEPCO headquarters in protest. 14 years ago, a joint protest began on the first Wednesday night of every month, and this May marked the 104th such event.
 About 100 people gather each time. Before the protest, drums are beaten and a microphone relay is used to protest and make a request to TEPCO. Each time, we hand the TEPCO a written request, and if there is any doubt about the response, we submit it again.
 This is the first time that the “Network for the Realization of Exposure Free Japan,” which I am involved with, has submitted a written request to the TEPCO. The content of the letter is a reflection of the situation and thoughts I have been experiencing through my support for the “Children’s Lawsuit for Exposure to Radiation” and other activities.
The following is a summary of the letter.
 Eleven years have passed since the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, but the declaration of a nuclear emergency remains in effect. At the Fukushima nuclear power plant, exposure work with no foreseeable future and convergence work continue amidst the remaining debris with high concentrations of radioactive materials that are inaccessible to humans. Radioactive materials have been released into the air and are flying into the Tokyo metropolitan area on the wind. The Fukushima nuclear accident has not ended.
 TEPCO understands the despair, grief, and anger of the victims of the nuclear accident, and in an effort to hold TEPCO accountable, victims have filed lawsuits against TEPCO in various regions, and the courts have confirmed TEPCO’s responsibility for the nuclear accident, but the amount of compensation awarded by the courts to each person is shockingly small compared to the extent of the damage.
 What the victims truly desire is the return of their hometowns as they were before the nuclear accident, where people made their living, families lived, children cheered, and people laughed, and where life was normal, rooted in the local climate, and connected to history! This is what we have been trying to achieve for the past 11 years.
 Eleven years later, the evacuation designation has been lifted except for some areas that are difficult to return to.
The policy of forcing people to return to their hometowns because their annual exposure level is below 20 mSv, 20 times the allowable annual exposure level of 1 mSv for the public, is unacceptable. We denounce the depth of TEPCO’s crimes of spreading massive amounts of radioactive materials, polluting the mountains, rivers, and land of Fukushima, destroying our hometowns, and depriving people of their livelihoods.

In the face of radiation taboos and discrimination
Young People Who Courageously Stood Up Against Radiation Taboo and Discrimination

He continued.
 In January of this year, six young people who had developed childhood thyroid cancer rose to their feet. Three or four years later, many of them were found to have pediatric thyroid cancer in a Fukushima health survey, and all of them underwent surgery.
 Thyroid cancer is a slow-growing cancer, and the prognosis for surgery is good, according to the committee’s experts. However, some of the plaintiffs had recurrence after surgery, reoperation, RAI isotope treatment, and some were found to have distant metastasis in the lungs.
 Their health did not recover even after the surgery, they dropped out of college, resigned from the company where they worked, were not hired when they were told they had cancer, etc. They have thought about, worried about, and suffered from the despair of having the door closed to them at the starting line of their lives, anxiety about the recurrence of cancer in the future, treatment costs, work, and whether or not they will be able to make a living independently.
 Why is it that nearly 30 out of 380,000 children in Fukushima have developed thyroid cancer, compared to only one or two out of a million children in Japan? Why have nearly 300 cases been reported among 380,000 children in Fukushima? The Prefectural Health Study Review Committee acknowledges the high incidence of childhood thyroid cancer, but denies any causal relationship with the nuclear accident, saying that it is overdiagnosis.
 Last July, the Hiroshima A-bomb “black rain” victims’ lawsuit recognized that internal exposure is not a matter of quantity, but that if even a small amount of radiation enters the body’s tissues and is deposited, it damages cells and causes cancer. In the case of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, a causal relationship between childhood thyroid cancer and the nuclear power plant accident was recognized. The plaintiffs want to clarify why they developed pediatric thyroid cancer.
 The relationship between childhood thyroid cancer and the nuclear power plant accident” is a taboo subject, and the plaintiffs have been hiding their illness for a long time for fear of being discriminated against, but they want to make their illness public and have the court find a “causal relationship between childhood thyroid cancer and exposure to radiation. They have stood up courageously to make TEPCO pay compensation for their illness. We demand the following
TEPCO must admit that it is the perpetrator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident and the spreading of radioactive materials.
Please admit the causal relationship between radioactive iodine released from the Fukushima nuclear power plant and childhood thyroid cancer as soon as possible.
Please take responsibility for the future of these six young people.
We ask that you take responsibility for the future of these six young people.
 The fight to leave a world without radiation exposure to children continues.

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

10 years after nationalization, Tepco still faces mounting challenges

Reactors 6 and 7 at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture

July 31, 2022

Sunday marked the 10th anniversary since Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. was effectively nationalized after the devastating triple-meltdown nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

Tepco has struggled to rebuild its business while attempting to restore its reputation and compensate for its role in the disaster that immediately followed the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. However, more competition, a string of scandals and other problems have prevented the restart of its nuclear power plants — a key to rebuilding the company — resulting in sluggish performance.

Recently, the soaring cost of oil due to the Russia-Ukraine war has taken its toll, further exacerbating uncertainties in its restructuring roadmap.

In 2012, the Japanese government placed Tepco under its control by injecting about ¥1 trillion into the firm through the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund to prevent the utility from bankruptcy and facilitate compensation efforts.

The total cost of the nuclear accident, which includes compensation, decommissioning and decontamination, is expected to be around ¥21.5 trillion ($161.3 billion), of which ¥15.9 trillion will be paid by Tepco.

Tepco, which shifted to a holding company structure in 2016 to improve management efficiency, announced a reconstruction plan in 2021 and aims to secure ¥500 billion annually for compensation and decommissioning costs. It also targets annual profits of around ¥450 billion after fiscal 2030.

But for fiscal 2021, the utility’s net profit plunged to ¥5.6 billion from ¥180.8 billion the previous year, as it saw a drop in electricity sales due to intensified competition and was hit by higher fuel costs from liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal.

In September, the fuel cost adjustment system, which allows higher fuel costs to be added to rates, will reach its limit, putting further pressure on the company’s operations. Tepco has not disclosed its outlook for this fiscal year.

Its major hope is to restart reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture, as firing up one reactor is expected to improve earnings by about ¥50 billion. Yet the plant has been hit by a series of scandals, including inadequate anti-terrorism measures. The Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Japan’s nuclear watchdog, has issued a de facto ban on the plant’s operation.

Although Tomoaki Kobayakawa, Tepco president and CEO, claims that “we are working on nuclear reform with the restoration of trust from the community and society as our top priority,” restarting the plant will not be easy.

The stock price is also an obstacle to denationalization. The government hopes to cover the ¥4 trillion cost of decontamination efforts with the proceeds from the sale of Tepco shares. However, the closing share price on Friday was ¥523, far from the ¥1,500 needed to secure the cost.

As its attempt to reconstruct the firm has not proceeded as expected, Tecpo has repeatedly postponed its decision to denationalize.

A government official said that Tepco “was allowed to continue to exist by fulfilling its responsibility to Fukushima, in order to make steady progress in dealing with the accident.”

To steadily continue taking care of tasks related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Tepco will need to improve its business performance through strengthening its retail business by enhancing its services. The utility is also aiming to increase its corporate value by focusing on renewable energy.

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

Why was the tsunami countermeasure postponed? TEPCO resisted the NISA’s request for 40 minutes.

July 12, 2022
<The “warning” that was not utilized

 On July 13, the Tokyo District Court will issue a ruling on a shareholder lawsuit seeking to hold five former TEPCO executives responsible for the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The possibility of a giant tsunami off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture surfaced nearly 10 years before the accident occurred. Why were tsunami countermeasures continually postponed? Ahead of the verdict, we take a look back at the evidence presented in court. (Keiichi Ozawa)

 TEPCO Shareholders’ Suit 48 shareholders are demanding that former TEPCO chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and five others pay approximately 22 trillion yen in compensation to TEPCO for damages, decommissioning costs, and other losses caused by the former management’s failure to take tsunami countermeasures following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. The other defendants are former president Masataka Shimizu, former vice president Ichiro Takekuro, former vice president Sakae Muto, and former managing director Akio Komori. Katsumata, Takekuro, and Muto were indicted on charges of manslaughter in connection with the nuclear accident, but the Tokyo District Court ruled in 2007 that they were not guilty. In June, the Supreme Court ruled against the government’s responsibility in a lawsuit against nuclear power plant evacuees and confirmed that TEPCO must pay a total of approximately 1.4 billion yen in compensation to plaintiffs in four lawsuits in Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba, and Ehime.
 In July 2002, the government’s Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion released a “long-term assessment” of earthquake forecasts, including those for the area off Fukushima Prefecture. The reliability of this long-term assessment is one of the points of contention in the lawsuit.
 The long-term assessment is not a finding, but an opinion.
 At the oral argument last July, Sakae Mutoh, former vice president of the defendant, stood in front of the witness stand and emphasized that the long-term evaluation is not a finding but an opinion. The former management team claims that the long-term assessment was not reliable enough to determine the tsunami countermeasures, as some experts disagreed with the assessment.
 In August 2002, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) requested TEPCO to estimate the tsunami based on the long-term assessment. However, an e-mail sent by a TEPCO official to the relevant parties states that the company “resisted the request for about 40 minutes.

Regarding a request from the then Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) for an estimate based on a long-term evaluation, a TEPCO representative reported in an e-mail to the relevant parties that he “resisted for about 40 minutes” (the e-mail material was provided by freelance journalist Takashi Soeda).

NISA further instructed TEPCO to investigate how the long-term assessment was prepared, but the person in charge merely sent an e-mail inquiry to Kenji Satake, a member of the promotion headquarters (now director of the Earthquake Research Institute of the University of Tokyo), who was skeptical about the occurrence of a tsunami off Fukushima Prefecture. The NISA did not pursue TEPCO any further.

 Later, in December 2004, a tsunami caused by an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, submerged a nuclear power plant in India. The plaintiffs claimed that they could have learned from this accident, but TEPCO did not take any action.

 In September 2006, the “Guidelines for the Examination of Seismic Design” for nuclear power plants were revised to include tsunami countermeasures, and the NISA was assigned to conduct “seismic backchecks. In October of the same year, the NISA gathered together the personnel in charge of the power companies and instructed them to “promptly study tsunami countermeasures and take action.

 At the time, the tsunami height expected at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was 5.7 meters. The height of the tsunami that the facility could withstand was the same 5.7 meters, making it the plant with the least margin of safety in the nation. Even so, TEPCO did not initiate countermeasures. The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s report to the head of the NISA’s review team, submitted in the lawsuit, states, “(TEPCO) is really reluctant to incur costs. Frankly, I was angry at the slow response.

 In response to such backward-looking attitude on the part of the former management, the plaintiffs said, “If there is a warning with reasonable credibility, we should take measures for the time being. The attitude of wasting time while leaving it unattended is unacceptable.

 In 2008, TEPCO took a heavy stance. It sought advice from Fumihiko Imamura, a professor of tsunami engineering at Tohoku University and an expert in civil engineering, and began to study tsunami countermeasures. The issue was also discussed at the “Gozen Conference,” which was attended by the managing board and former TEPCO chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, among others.

 In March of the same year, however, the situation changed when the height of the tsunami was estimated based on a long-term assessment. The tsunami was 15.7 meters high, nearly three times the previous height. The policy to proceed with countermeasures began to waver once again.

July 16, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear plant compensation burden was secretly reduced

© Toyo Keizai Online The benefits of reduced nuclear power plant compensation payments are being extended to major electric power companies. Photo: Kyushu Electric Power’s Kawauchi Nuclear Power Plant

An investigation by a non-profit organization has revealed that a portion of the cost of compensation for damages caused by the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, which is borne by the major electric power companies, has been secretly reduced without proper explanation.

Photo: CALI’s release on March 31 regarding the determination of the general burden. This alone does not reveal the actual situation.

The amount of reduction amounts to 29.3 billion yen for one year in FY2021. Hajime Matsukubo, executive director of the NPO Nuclear Information and Documentation Office, who discovered this fact, criticizes the way it was done, saying, “There is no proper explanation to the public, the electricity users, and the way it was done is opaque.
Reducing the burden on electric power companies by approximately 20%.

Under the Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damage and Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants, the nine major electric power companies, including Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Japan Atomic Power Company, and Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited, have been bearing a total of 11 companies’ costs called the general burden to cover the cost of compensation for victims of the nuclear accident.

A portion of this amount was paid in FY2011 and FY2012, and the full amount in FY2013 and thereafter was paid to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (hereafter referred to as “JNES”). In FY2020, an additional 30.5 billion yen was added as an additional burden, referred to as the “past portion” (see below).

When Makoto Yamazaki, a member of the House of Representatives of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, submitted a written question based on Matsukubo’s point of view, the government responded that the actual reduction in the general burden for FY2021 is 29.3 billion yen. The actual burden for the same fiscal year was 133.7 billion yen.

According to Matsukubo, the burden for the nine companies, excluding Chubu Electric Power and Japan Atomic Power Company, was reduced by about 20% from the FY2020 level. Chubu Electric’s burden was increased by 2.8%, and the reduction for Japan Atomic Power Company was about 14%. The company had the special circumstance that it had been decommissioning nuclear power plants even before the accident.

Regarding the reduction, a CALC official explained, “With the major electric power companies in a difficult business situation, the companies requested a reduction in the existing level of the general burden, which had been determined based on profit levels prior to the Fukushima nuclear accident.

© Toyo Keizai Online Release issued by JNES on March 31

The total amount of general contributions for FY2021, which CALI announced on March 31 after receiving approval from the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, was 194.7 billion yen, up 1.5 billion yen from the previous fiscal year. The aforementioned person in charge said, “The total amount of the general burden itself has not changed significantly compared to FY2020, and the burden on electricity users as a whole will remain the same. The total amount of the general burden itself has not changed significantly compared to FY2020, and the burden on electricity users as a whole has not changed.

However, there is a trick to this explanation.

There are two types of general contributions: one is the contribution related to compensation for the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. The other is a past general burden created in 2015 when it was discovered that the cost of compensation was much higher than initially expected, and the increased amount was added to the transmission charges (charges for the use of transmission and distribution lines) in order to recover it. The new fee is to be collected from the second half of FY2020, as it should have been collected from 1966, when Japan’s first commercial nuclear power plant went into operation, to 2011, when the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident occurred, but had not been collected.

The amount of the past due amount was approximately 61 billion yen in FY2021, when a full year’s worth of fees was collected. 30.5 billion yen in FY2021 was a year-on-year increase of the past due amount, which overshadowed the former amount of reduced fees (29.3 billion yen).
METI and CALI should provide a proper explanation.

A significant portion of the conventional general burden is included in the cost of electricity rates and passed on to users. If the general burden has been reduced, shouldn’t it be used as a source of funds to reduce electricity rates?

Another problem is that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which is in charge of approving electricity rates, has not provided proper explanations. When important utility rates are revised, the Consumer Affairs Agency and the Consumer Commission have a system to check the revision. However, the Consumer Affairs Agency says, “There have been no specific consultations and we have not received any information about the reduction of the general burden fee,” since it is not related to the revision of electricity rates.

On the other hand, one member of the Consumer Affairs Committee said, “This is the first time I have heard about this and I am surprised. The way it is done is opaque,” he told Toyo Keizai.

In addition to the complicated structure and method of determining electricity rates, costs related to nuclear power plants have been added to rates in the form of a roof over the head, with new fees collected retroactively after accidents have occurred. Moreover, “the method of determining the general burden is a black box” (Matsukubo).

Currently, the price of natural gas and other fossil fuels is soaring, causing electricity prices to rise, and households are finding it tougher to make ends meet. The fact that behind the scenes the electric power companies were secretly allowed to reduce their burden may cause suspicion toward the electric power administration. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) should reveal the actual situation of the reduction.

July 10, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Cancer patients seek damages from Fukushima nuclear plant

Lawyer Kenichi Ido, second left, sitting among other lawyers representing plaintiffs who were children in Fukushima at the time of the 2011 nuclear disaster and later developed thyroid cancer, speaks during a news conference after a trial in Tokyo, Thursday, May 26, 2022. A Tokyo court began hearing a case Thursday seeking nearly $5 million in damages for six people who lived as children in Fukushima and developed thyroid cancer after its 2011 nuclear disaster. (AP Photo/Mari Yamaguchi)

By Mari Yamaguchi Associated Press

May 26, 2022

A Tokyo court has begun hearings in a lawsuit seeking nearly $5 million in damages for six people who were children in Fukushima at the time of its 2011 nuclear power plant disaster and later developed thyroid cancer

TOKYO — A Tokyo court began hearings Thursday in a lawsuit seeking nearly $5 million in damages for six people who were children in Fukushima at the time of its 2011 nuclear power plant disaster and later developed thyroid cancer.

The plaintiffs are suing the operator of the nuclear plant, saying radiation released in the accident caused their illnesses.

It is the first group lawsuit filed by Fukushima residents over health problems allegedly linked to the disaster, their lawyers say.

One plaintiff, identified only as a woman in her 20s, testified from behind a screen that she had to give up plans to attend university because of repeated operations and treatments.

“Because of the treatments, I could not attend university, or continue my studies for my future job, or go to a concert. I had to give up everything,” she said. “I want to regain my healthy body, but that’s impossible no matter how hard I wish.”

She and the five other plaintiffs are seeking a total of 616 million yen ($4.9 million) in damages from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings for allegedly causing their cancers.

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and massive tsunami destroyed the Fukushima plant’s cooling systems, causing three reactor cores to melt and release large amounts of radiation. Critics say the plant operator should have known that a large tsunami was possible at the site.

The plaintiffs, who were 6 to 16 years old at the time of the accident and lived in different parts of Fukushima, were diagnosed with thyroid cancer between 2012 and 2018, their lawyers said.

The plant operator told the court that they were not exposed to enough radiation to cause cancer, citing tests of 1,080 children from three cities around the plant that showed about 55% were not exposed and none received more than 50 millisieverts, the annual limit for nuclear workers.

An increase in thyroid cancer was found among children following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine.

The Fukushima prefectural government tested 380,000 residents aged 18 or younger at the time of the accident for thyroid cancer. About 300 were diagnosed with cancer or suspected cancer.

That occurrence rate, about 77 per 100,000, is significantly higher than the usual 1-2 per million and can only be linked to radiation from the accident, the plaintiffs’ lawyers said.

Prefectural officials and experts have said the high level of thyroid cancer found in Fukushima is due to an overdiagnosis, which might have led to unnecessary treatment.

Kenichi Ido, one of the lawyers, said none of the cases involve an overdiagnosis and that the plant operator should be held accountable for radiation exposure unless it can prove otherwise.

The plaintiff who testified Thursday said she walked from home to her high school five days after the tsunami, just as the reactors were undergoing meltdowns.

Three other plaintiffs who attended the hearing were also behind a partition to protect their privacy because of criticism on social media accusing them of fabricating their illnesses and hurting the image of Fukushima, the lawyers said.

Ido said many people with health problems feel intimidated to speak out in Fukushima and that he hopes the lawsuit will prove a correlation between radiation and the plaintiffs’ cancers “so that we can have a society in which people can talk freely about their difficulties.”

The government was slow in responding to the crisis, and evacuations in many places were delayed due to a lack of disclosure of what was happening at the nuclear plant. Residents who fled in their cars clogged roads and were stranded for hours outside while radiation spread from the damaged reactors. Some residents headed to evacuation centers in the direction of the radiation flow.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Class action lawsuit against the victims of thyroid cancer caused by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident begins

May 26, 2022
On May 26, a class action lawsuit began in which six people who were children at the time of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant are seeking compensation from TEPCO for thyroid cancer they contracted as a result of the accident.

The six, who were between the ages of 6 and 16 when the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident occurred 11 years ago, claim that they were living in Fukushima Prefecture at the time and that they developed thyroid cancer as a result of radiation exposure from the nuclear accident.

After the accident, they were diagnosed with thyroid cancer in tests conducted by Fukushima Prefecture, and have been forced to have their thyroid glands removed and undergo lifelong hormone treatment.
The trial will begin on March 26 at the Tokyo District Court, and the plaintiffs’ lawyers have stated that, “According to statistics from a national research institute, the average number of thyroid cancer cases in children was only one to two per million people per year for the 10 years until 2007, but in Fukushima, at least 293 cases have been confirmed in the 10 years since the accident. In Fukushima, however, at least a total of 293 cases of cancer have been confirmed in the 10 years since the accident,” and that “the cancer is presumed to be caused by exposure to radiation from the accident.

A female plaintiff stated, “I prioritized treatment over my dreams for the future and had no choice but to quit my university studies. I hope that through the trial, relief for the patients will be realized,” she tearfully appealed.

According to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, this is the first class action lawsuit to hold TEPCO responsible for the health damage caused by radiation exposure from the nuclear power plant accident, and TEPCO has indicated that it will fight the case.

The next meeting will be held in September, and TEPCO is scheduled to make a rebuttal.
The Fukushima Prefecture’s expert panel and the UN scientific committee’s opinion is
The Fukushima Prefectural Expert Panel and the United Nations Scientific Committee have each expressed their opinions on whether the thyroid cancer diagnosed in some children living in Fukushima Prefecture at the time of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was caused by exposure to radiation from the nuclear power plant accident.

As part of its post-nuclear accident health survey, Fukushima Prefecture conducted a large-scale test using ultrasound equipment to check for thyroid cancer in approximately 380,000 people who were under the age of 18 at the time of the accident.

Fukushima Prefecture has established a committee of experts to analyze whether the cancers found were caused by radiation exposure.

Of these, 187 have been evaluated by 2019, and a report has been compiled stating that “no relationship between the thyroid cancers found and radiation exposure can be found”.

The reasons given were that the estimated radiation doses received by children in Fukushima Prefecture after the accident were much lower than those received in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, and that there was no statistical bias in the regional distribution of cancer patients and no trend indicating an association with radiation exposure.

The expert panel is still analyzing the remaining 87 people diagnosed after FY2016, and the results of the evaluation have not yet been presented.

On the other hand, the UN Scientific Committee, which evaluates the effects of radiation on humans and the environment, estimated radiation doses last year based on the type and amount of radioactive materials released by the accident and the evacuation behavior of the residents, and concluded that “it is unlikely that any health effects directly attributable to radiation exposure caused by the accident will be observed in the residents of Fukushima Prefecture in the future. The report states that “the likelihood of health effects directly caused by radiation exposure in Fukushima Prefecture in the future is low.

The report also stated that the cases diagnosed in Fukushima Prefecture “are not the result of radiation exposure, but rather the result of highly sensitive ultrasound examinations that are likely to have diagnosed cancers that would not normally be detected,” and expressed a negative opinion on the causal relationship between thyroid cancer and the cases.
TEPCO “will listen to the plaintiffs’ claims in detail and respond appropriately.

TEPCO said, “We will listen to the plaintiffs’ claims and the details of their claims in detail and respond appropriately. TEPCO once again expresses its sincere apology to the people of Fukushima Prefecture and the wider community for the inconvenience and concern caused by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The plaintiff, a woman in her 20s, said
The six young people who filed the lawsuit claim that they were diagnosed with cancer and that it has affected the future they had envisioned.

One of the plaintiffs, a woman in her 20s from Nakadori, Fukushima Prefecture, was a junior high school student when the nuclear accident occurred.

It was in the spring, about four years after the accident, that she felt a change in her health.

She had just left her family in Fukushima and started living alone when she entered university.

Her body was swollen all over, her menstrual period came once every two weeks, her skin became rough, and she began to feel a strong discomfort in her throat and body pain.

After consulting with her family, she underwent an examination as part of the prefectural health survey conducted by Fukushima Prefecture after the nuclear power plant accident, and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

The woman recalls her feelings at the time, “I had hoped that the surgery would improve my health, but even after the surgery, I continued to feel ill easily, and I became increasingly worried that the cancer might recur or spread.

However, her health did not improve as expected, and she had no choice but to leave the company after about a year and a half in order to prioritize her treatment.

Even now, regular visits to the hospital and medication are essential for her. “I had longed to be a career woman who worked hard, but I now have to prioritize my health in everything I do,” she said. I am worried that it will affect my future choices of marriage and childbirth,” she confides.

Regarding the relationship between exposure to radiation from the nuclear accident and thyroid cancer, the Fukushima prefectural government’s expert panel has so far stated that “no relationship has been found.

All of the plaintiffs, including the woman, are going to trial without revealing their faces or names publicly, as some have criticized them for claiming health problems caused by exposure to radiation as Fukushima is making progress toward recovery.

The woman said, “I was afraid that I would be discriminated against if people knew that I was from Fukushima Prefecture and had thyroid cancer, so I could hardly tell anyone until now,” adding, “I thought there were many people who suffered from cancer as well and had to give up their dreams such as higher education and employment, or who could not speak up for fear of discrimination and prejudice, and I became an adult first. I decided that I would be the one to show courage. I would like to clarify the facts through the trial and seek redress for the damage.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Thyroid cancer surgery 4 times “I want to know the causal relationship

A man who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 19 in Tokyo said, “More than anything, I want to know the causal relationship between the nuclear power plant accident and my thyroid cancer.

May 25, 2022
Thyroid cancer has been confirmed in approximately 300 children who were in Fukushima Prefecture at the time of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The question is, “Is there a causal relationship between the accident and thyroid cancer? A man, 25, who was in the second year of junior high school at the time of the accident, had undergone four surgeries and was fearful that the cancer would recur, so he filed a lawsuit to find the answer. The first oral argument in the lawsuit by the man and six other young people demanding compensation from TEPCO will be held at the Tokyo District Court on March 26. (The first oral argument of the lawsuit will be held at the Tokyo District Court on April 26.)
◆”I am always concerned about the recurrence and metastasis of cancer.
 I live my life knowing that one day the cancer will recur and affect my health,” said a man from Nakadori, Fukushima Prefecture. The man is from Nakadori in central Fukushima Prefecture and works for a company in Tokyo. Although he has to take medication for the rest of his life, he says his health is good and his work is fulfilling.
 However, the fear of recurrence or metastasis always haunts him. What if I lose my voice or my health deteriorates to the point where I can no longer work? I can’t think about the future,” he says. At first, she was not positive about the trial, but now she hopes that she can help other children suffering from thyroid cancer by preserving a record of the facts of the trial.
 He was 19 years old when he found out he had thyroid cancer while attending a university in Tokyo. His father did not tell him that the doctor had told him that the cancer was highly malignant, had metastasized extensively, and that he might not live five years.
 Another doctor told him that it was “the same as what was seen in Chernobyl” and that it was “probably related to the nuclear accident. The father said, “When I told my son that he had cancer, he accepted it without hesitation. I cried inside. I shouldn’t have stayed in Fukushima,” he said. He still feels regret over not evacuating.
 At the age of 20, the man had one thyroid gland partially removed. Six months later, he had the entire thyroid removed, but it had spread to his lymph nodes, and the surgery lasted six hours. Because he was in the same position for a long time, he could not sleep after the surgery due to severe bedsore pain. Unable to speak or even complain about the pain, he endured it while connected to a tube. His heart sank, and he could not respond to his family’s words. She thought about death for the first time, saying, “It might be easier to die.
Shocked by the document “Contraception for 6 months
 At the age of 21, he underwent a third surgery for metastasis to the lymph nodes, and at the age of 24, the disease recurred. During radiation treatment after the surgery, he received a document that said, “Use contraception for six months. The man, who is married and wants to have children, was shocked that this might affect his children. The man said, “For the first time, I understood why fathers were angry about the nuclear accident and desperate to find a hospital for their children.
 The government and the Fukushima prefectural government have taken the position that a causal relationship between the thyroid cancers found in Fukushima Prefecture and the nuclear accident “cannot be recognized at this time. Since filing the lawsuit, the father has also sensed an atmosphere of discrimination directed toward the men and the other plaintiffs. Some people said, “Don’t put a damper on the good progress Fukushima is making,” and some of their acquaintances left them.
 After the nuclear accident, 301 young people were found to have thyroid cancer in surveys conducted by Fukushima Prefecture and other organizations. The plaintiffs’ lawyers claim that the incidence of childhood thyroid cancer is dozens of times higher than usual and that a causal link to the nuclear accident is clear.
 The men say. If it wasn’t the nuclear accident, then what was it? If we don’t say anything, it will be assumed that nothing happened, and the facts will be buried. I want to make this a valuable trial.”

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Plaintiff diagnosed with thyroid cancer after the Fukushima nuclear accident: “I have suffered without telling anyone

The day the lawsuit was filed (January 27, 2022, courtesy of OurPlanetTV)

May 25, 2022
In January 2022, children who suffered from thyroid cancer and were living in Fukushima Prefecture at the time of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, aged between 6 and 16, became plaintiffs and filed a lawsuit against TEPCO, claiming that their thyroid cancer was caused by the nuclear accident and demanding that the company clarify the causal relationship.

This is the first class action lawsuit filed against TEPCO 11 years after the accident, claiming the effects of radiation exposure.

All of the plaintiffs have had their thyroid glands removed, and four of the six have relapsed; the four who have undergone two or more surgeries and had their entire thyroid glands removed must continue to take hormone medication for the rest of their lives. Another child has been diagnosed with distant metastasis to the lungs.

We interviewed one of the plaintiffs, who said, “I have suffered for the past 11 years without being able to tell anyone. (Writer: Chia Yoshida)
Announcement of acceptance with the possibility of exposure to radiation

Sawa Mukai (15 years old at the time of the accident, pseudonym) was an athletic child who was affected by the disaster on March 11, 2011, the day of her junior high school graduation ceremony. She recalls how eerie it was to see a blizzard immediately after the earthquake, followed by a sky that suddenly cleared up.

The next day, she helped clean up a relative’s house that had been completely destroyed by the earthquake. The road in front of the relative’s house was jammed with cars heading in a westerly direction.

It was strange because there is not usually a lot of traffic on this road, but when I thought about it later, I realized that they were cars evacuating from the nuclear power plant,” Mukai said.

On March 12, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 exploded, Unit 3 exploded on March 14, Unit 2 was in a critical condition, and Unit 4 exploded on March 15.

The next day, March 16, was the announcement of acceptance to high schools in Fukushima. Many junior high school students in the prefecture went out to the high schools they had applied to in order to check their numbers.

Although many teachers and staff members were opposed to the announcement of acceptance in the midst of the possibility of children being exposed to radiation, the prefecture decided to go ahead with the announcement. Mr. Mukai was one of those who had no choice but to go to the acceptance announcement.

Kenichi Ido, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, points out that “elementary and junior high school students who were unprotected at the time of the accident were exposed to radiation, which may have led to their illnesses.

“We often hear stories of students who were engaged in club activities as usual, or who went to the March 16th prefectural high school acceptance announcement,” he said. The government has assumed that there are no health hazards caused by the nuclear accident, but this is not the case,” said Ido.
Even if the radiation dose rate is above the standard value, “Oh, well…

The risk of radiation exposure lurked even in high school.

Although Ms. Mukai was fond of sports, she gave up her outdoor sports club, which she had planned to join. His mother was concerned that he should not be exposed to radiation as much as possible.

Although warning poles were placed at hot spots (areas with locally elevated radiation levels) on campus to alert people to the danger, once they became accustomed to the area, everyone began to pass by them.

Gradually, no one would wear masks to avoid internal exposure. Mr. Mukai wore a mask until the end, but in the summer of 2011, he began to remove it because it was too hot.

At the time, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) had a standard for school grounds that they could only be used if the air dose rate was “less than 3.8 μSv per hour,” but “It’s over. But I once heard a teacher say, “Well, that’s OK.

The radiation level at home was also high. In some places, the radiation levels were 100 times higher than before the accident. Even indoors, the levels were 60 times higher than before the accident. The family decontaminated the area with a high-pressure washer, but the levels did not go down that much.

Mr. Mukai was unable to join an athletic team, so he focused on his schoolwork, aiming to attend a university in Tokyo. Thanks to his efforts, he was accepted with a recommendation. She was so happy that she started living in Tokyo in early March (before entering university),” she smiles.
I will never forget the doctor’s words: “There is no cause-and-effect relationship between the nuclear accident and my life.

There were many places to play in Tokyo, I started a part-time job, and my new life was enjoyable.

However, around that time, she began to experience some physical problems. Her body swelled, her menstrual periods became irregular, she gained weight, and her skin became rough. And when she swallowed water or saliva, she felt discomfort in her throat.

When she consulted her mother, she was told that it might be a thyroid-related condition and that she should get checked out as soon as possible. Mr. Mukai was busy with university classes and other obligations, so he missed the second thyroid checkup conducted by the Fukushima prefectural government.

Soon after, Ms. Mukai took the test along with other children at a large-scale thyroid screening site in Fukushima Prefecture. The test took only a minute or so for the others, but the process stopped at Mr. Mukai’s spot.

While applying the echo, Ms. Mukai saw the doctor nod his head and wondered if something was wrong.

Later, the results arrived at his parents’ home, and his mother contacted Mr. Mukai in Tokyo to inform him of the “reexamination. Fukushima Medical University called her twice and asked her to retest immediately. Ms. Mukai said that by that time she had a dim feeling that she might have thyroid cancer.

In the fall of 2015, he was told at the hospital that he had thyroid cancer. Mukai will never forget being told by the doctor that there was no causal relationship between the nuclear accident and the cancer, even though he had not asked any questions at the time.

I wondered how they could possibly know that,” Mukai said.

She then underwent surgery to remove the left half of her thyroid gland at the age of 20.
He was 20 years old. “I hope that other sufferers will be in a situation where they can raise their voices,” he said.

In consideration of his health condition, he quit the part-time job he had enjoyed.

After graduating from university, he found a job, but his health deteriorated due to the hard work. She quit the job she had longed for, and now works at a job that is less demanding on her body.

If her numbers worsen, she has to resume taking her medication, and she lives her life constantly worrying about her health.

I gave up a lot of things myself, but there are many more people younger than me who had to make the choice to give up,” Mukai said.

People who dropped out of college. Some have dropped out of college, others have been unable to find work. Some confided in me that they had given up on love and marriage and could not even think about falling in love with someone. I was shocked by all of them.

As she recounted her own experiences, Ms. Mukai was considerate of the other plaintiffs and those who had contracted thyroid cancer but were not plaintiffs.

There is a situation where other small children cannot speak up,” she said. I hope that by raising our voices this time, other sufferers will be able to speak out,” said Mukai.

The incidence of childhood thyroid cancer is generally said to be “1 to 2 per million children.

However, in Fukushima Prefecture, according to a prefectural survey, 273 children were diagnosed with suspected malignant (cancerous) thyroid cancer through cytological puncture diagnosis, and 226 children have already undergone surgery. When national cancer registries and regional cancer registries are combined, more than 300 people have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

The aforementioned lawyer Ido also commented, “In Fukushima Prefecture today, people cannot talk about the fact that they have thyroid cancer because it is a sensitive issue, and they are isolated from the rest of the community.

Ms. Mukai, too, had only been able to talk about her thyroid cancer to those close to her. However, this changed when she decided to file the lawsuit. As a result of calling for support for the trial through crowdfunding, he raised approximately 17.62 million yen, far exceeding his goal of 10 million yen.

I was very happy that 1,966 people donated to the trial and sent messages of support. The other plaintiffs were also happy,” said Mukai.

My fears that I would be discriminated against or that I would not be understood were slightly allayed.

On the other hand, however, on the same day that the lawsuit was filed, five former prime ministers, including Junichiro Koizumi and Naoto Kan, sent a letter to the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, stating that “many children are suffering from thyroid cancer,” to which incumbent Diet members and Fukushima Prefecture Governor Masao Uchibori protested, calling the information “false,” “inappropriate,” and “regrettable. The letter was sent to the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU).

They said, “We are surprised and indignant that you would make such a statement even though you know that there are children who have developed thyroid cancer. Because I have seen other plaintiffs who are truly suffering, that statement was unforgivable,” said Mukai.

Mukai, who felt that this trial would not be an easy one, has continued to consider the causal relationship between the nuclear accident and thyroid cancer by attending study sessions with experts and reading the complaint.

Among the plaintiffs, there were some who were so mentally distressed that they could not eat rice, and this made me feel more strongly that something had to be done.

I believe that there is a causal relationship between the accident and thyroid cancer, and although I cannot do it alone, I would like to fight the trial in cooperation with the plaintiffs and the defense team,” said Mukai.

The first oral argument will be held at the Tokyo District Court on May 26 at 14:00. Plaintiffs are scheduled to make statements.

The plaintiffs and their lawyers in the thyroid cancer trial are seeking continued support for the trial through the crowdfunding service “READYFOR.

Chia Yoshida: Freelance writer. After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, she has continued to cover victims and evacuees. She is the author of “Reporto: Mother and Child Evacuation” (Iwanami Shinsho), “Sotoko no Fukushima: Nukei no Koto o Koto wo Ikiru Hitobito” (After Fukushima: People Living After the Nuclear Accident) (Jinbunshoin), “Korunin: Futaba-gun Firefighters’ 3/11” (Iwanami Shoten), and co-author of “Nukei Hakusho” (White Paper on Nuclear Evacuation) (Jinbunshoin).

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Review the standards for compensation for nuclear accidents based on the reality of the situation

Plaintiffs march in front of the High Court decision on the nuclear power plant evacuation lawsuit.

May 12, 2022
A government panel has begun to consider whether to review the guidelines for compensation for damages caused by the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The guidelines were created immediately after the accident, and their inadequacies have been repeatedly pointed out since then. It must be said that it is too late. Many of the victims are elderly, and the revision of the guidelines needs to be hastened.

 In August 2011, the Nuclear Damage Dispute Review Panel compiled an interim guideline for compensation. The guidelines were last reviewed in December 2001, and the general framework has not changed since then. The TEPCO was supposed to determine the amount of compensation by taking into account the individual circumstances of each victim.

 However, about 30 class-action lawsuits have been filed against TEPCO based on this system, alleging that the company’s compensation is inadequate and questioning the responsibility of the government and other parties. Since 2005, the district and high courts have ordered the defendants to pay more than the calculated amount, and in seven of the cases, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of TEPCO this spring.

Although the content of the judgments differed from each other, there were several cases in which the court found that the plaintiffs in a certain area had suffered psychological damage due to the loss of their hometowns, which deprived them of their livelihood and local communities. It can be said that the judiciary recognized the existence of collective damages that the guidelines did not grasp. At the very least, it is essential to revise the guidelines in this area. Fukushima Prefecture and other local governments are also calling on the government to review the guidelines in light of the court decision.

 The Board of Inquiry has finally gotten around to analyzing the content of the court decisions and identifying the types of damages that are omitted from the guidelines. This is necessary work, but it is not the only thing that needs to be done. It is necessary to face the reality of the damage, which is becoming more diverse and complex due to the prolonged evacuation.

 Even if they were not satisfied with the amount of compensation TEPCO had awarded them, many of the victims did not take the matter to court. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit also claim that the amount awarded in the judgment is still inadequate. The Board should also listen to the opinions of the victims and local governments involved and scrutinize a wide range of cases. If there are parts of the guidelines that do not match the actual situation, the Board should not hesitate to revise them.

 TEPCO’s stance is also questionable. TEPCO has stubbornly refused to provide uniform compensation that exceeds the guidelines in class action lawsuits and in settlement mediation procedures conducted by government agencies. It is questionable whether TEPCO is aware of its responsibility as the company that caused the tragic accident to take the initiative in seeking compensation. The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, which is in effect the major shareholder of TEPCO, is required to strictly instruct TEPCO to take a sincere approach.

 It must do everything in its power to make amends to the victims until they are fully compensated. We must not forget that this is the heavy responsibility placed on the government and TEPCO.

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

TEPCO net profit slides 96.9%; cost for Fukushima well out of reach

Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., attends an April 28 news conference where the company’s financial results were announced

April 29, 2022

Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s dismal financial results have compounded the difficulties facing the company in compensating victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and covering the cleanup and decommissioning costs.

The parent company, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., on April 28 announced that net profit for the fiscal year that ended in March plummeted by 96.9 percent over the previous year to 5.6 billion yen ($43 million).

“With fuel prices continuing to surge, the business environment surrounding our company is not a very optimistic one,” Tomoaki Kobayakawa, the company president, said at the news conference to announce the business results.

He said the company would begin work to revise its corporate structure, including reorganizing group companies and heightening cooperative efforts with other companies.

Despite the dwindling profits, TEPCO must still carry out various tasks to clean up the mess made by the 2011 triple meltdown at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

In 2016, the government calculated that the total cost of compensating people displaced by the disaster, decommissioning reactors at the plant and conducting radiation decontamination work would come to a staggering 21.5 trillion yen.

TEPCO is expected to contribute about 16 trillion yen of that total.

About 10 trillion yen has already been spent for compensation and to remove radiation. Much of that total has been paid for by the government on condition that TEPCO reimburses it later.

Under the plan to rebuild TEPCO, the utility must also set aside about 500 billion yen a year to pay for decommissioning work.

But the last time TEPCO was able to reach that monetary goal was in fiscal 2017. For the past three years, it has only managed to set aside about 300 billion yen annually.

The company had also set a goal of 450 billion yen in net profit by 2030.

But as Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, the company chairman, admitted, “If nothing is done, profits will increasingly shrink and we will be unable to fulfill our responsibility regarding Fukushima.”

Retail sales of electric power used to be TEPCO’s strong point. But as of the end of 2021, newly created electric power companies accounted for 30.4 percent of the electricity sold in the area normally covered by TEPCO.

That is the largest ratio of any of the major electric power companies in Japan.

As a result, TEPCO Energy Partner Inc., which handles retail sales, recorded a loss of 66.4 billion yen for the fiscal year that ended in March.

TEPCO has also failed to capitalize on renewable energy, which had been considered a growth sector.

The government in December 2021 picked a group led by trading company Mitsubishi Corp. instead of TEPCO to handle offshore wind power facilities in Chiba and Akita prefectures.

And there is no sign of when TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture can resume operations.

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

Fukushima farmers’ efforts serve to undo TEPCO’s damage

Mobilization of Fukushima farmers. Credit: Fukushima Farmers Federation

April 19, 2022
About Fukushima farmers’ compensation, here is the Tweet thread posted by Mako Oshidori (see note at bottom) translated by us :

“The financial compensation given to farmers after the nuclear accident is designed so that the difference between sales before and after the accident is paid to them as compensation for ‘image damage.

Farmers are developing their own varieties, developing their own sales networks, and conducting experiments to limit the transfer of cesium from the soil to the vegetables.
As a result of all these efforts, when sales returned to pre-accident levels, the compensation became zero.
“Thus, our efforts serve to cancel the damage caused by TEPCO!”

2) Cesium in the soil is still present, so “this is not just an image problem, but real damage.”
Members of the Fukushima Farmers Federation continue to renew their demands for “radiation protection policy for farmers.”

It is TEPCO that benefits from the effects of the slogan “Eating Fukushima products for solidarity” which leads to reducing the amount of compensation received by farmers.
Moreover, if a farmer does not continue to operate in Fukushima, there will be no compensation.

3) Farmers in Fukushima have been trying to find a way to prevent the transfer of cesium from the soil to the crops.
In the years immediately following the accident, vegetables from neighboring counties have been found to have higher levels of cesium than those from Fukushima.

There are still agricultural lands with surface contamination above the standard of the radiation control zone defined by the Ordinance on the Prevention of Radiation Risks.
Negotiations for the establishment of the radiation protection policy for farmers are continuing this year.

The couple Mako and Ken OSHIDORI are known in Japan as manzaishi (comedy duo in the style of folk storytellers). As soon as the Fukushima nuclear accident began in March 2011, Mako decided to attend TEPCO press conferences in order to access information that was dramatically missing from the media. With the help of Ken, her husband and work partner, she became a freelance journalist, one of the most knowledgeable on the Fukushima issue, and feared as such by TEPCO.

April 23, 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.

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

Criminal trial of Fukushima nuclear power plant to reach climax at high court on Feb. 9; adoption or rejection of on-site inspection and other measures key

Feb. 7, 2022
The trial to hold former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) criminally responsible for the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is reaching a climax in the appeals court. The second trial, to be held at the Tokyo High Court on February 9 at 2:00 p.m., is expected to determine the future course of the trial, according to the designated lawyer acting as the prosecutor and a criminal litigation support group. The reason is that the presiding judge, Keisuke Hosoda, will decide whether to accept or reject (1) the on-site inspection at the nuclear power plant site and (2) the examination of three experts.

The court’s decision was based on the “common sense of citizens” that “it is only natural that a ‘high degree of caution’ should be imposed on the managers of nuclear power plants. (Photo: Masakazu Honda) In front of the Tokyo High Court on January 21, an “explanatory banner” was created based on the “common sense of citizens. (Photo by Masakazu Honda)

Since mid-January, a group of residents who have sued and accused TEPCO executives, criminal lawsuit supporters, and lawyers have held a series of press conferences and meetings to explain the current status of the trial, and on January 21, they submitted a list of signatures in front of the Tokyo High Court demanding a fair trial.

 There are about 30 class-action lawsuits across the country seeking damages from TEPCO and the government as civil liability for the Fukushima nuclear accident, with more than 12,000 plaintiffs in total. The total number of plaintiffs is over 12,000. Including individual lawsuits, there are more than 400 cases, but this is the only case in which criminal liability has been sought.

 In June 2012, the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Complaint Group filed a complaint against TEPCO executives and government officials. In June 2012, a group of Fukushima nuclear power plant complainants filed a complaint against TEPCO executives and government officials, and prosecutors repeatedly dropped the case. After the prosecutors’ panel twice voted that the case was worth prosecuting, former TEPCO chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and former vice presidents Ichiro Takekuro and Sakae Mutoh were indicted for manslaughter, and their trial has been ongoing since June 2005. The prosecution alleged that the defendants failed to take protective measures and shut down the reactors when they could have foreseen the possibility of flooding of the buildings, loss of power supply, and explosion due to a tsunami exceeding 10 meters in height, which is the height of the site of the plant.

 The Tokyo District Court (presiding Judge Kenichi Nagabuchi) acquitted all three defendants in September 2007, but Yuichi Kaito, a lawyer with the Criminal Litigation Support Lawyers Association, and others pointed out the “biggest and most fundamental error” in the original verdict. The lawyers for the criminal case, including Yuichi Kaido, claimed that the “biggest and most fundamental error” in the original ruling was that the government’s Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion (SUIBON) stated that “there was no foreseeable possibility of a tsunami exceeding 10 meters” without properly judging the reliability of the “long-term assessment” released in July 2002. In response to the long-term assessment, which predicted that a tsunami earthquake of magnitude 8.2 could occur anywhere along the Japan Trench from off the coast of Sanriku to off the coast of Boso, the court only ruled whether the plant should be shut down, and did not examine the “foreseeability appropriate for imposing the obligation to avoid the consequences of building seawalls and making facilities watertight. The report criticizes the government for not examining the “foreseeability that is appropriate for imposing the obligation to avoid the consequences of building seawalls and making facilities watertight.

The designated attorneys reiterated the necessity of on-site inspections in the appeals court. It is obvious at the site that the facilities of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant were built on the ground where a high quay was dug into the sea, and it is easy to understand where a tsunami barrier should have been installed and where watertight construction should have been carried out. It should be.

 Three witnesses have been called: Atsuo Watanabe, a former nuclear power plant design engineer at Toshiba Corporation, to provide additional evidence on the specifics of the measures taken to avoid the consequences of submerging the facility and their feasibility; Nobuo Hamada, a former director of the Earthquake and Volcano Division at the Japan Meteorological Agency, and Kunihiko Shimazaki, chairman of the Long-Term Assessment Department at SUIMOTO, to prove the reliability of the long-term assessment.

 Takashi Soeda, a science journalist, said, “There are many things that would have been buried in the dark without the criminal trial. (1) Based on surveys of past tsunami deposits, it was possible to predict a tsunami as large as the 869 Teikan earthquake, and Tohoku Electric Power Co. and other companies besides TEPCO had been working on tsunami countermeasures. (2) TEPCO and its employees agreed that a 15.7-meter tsunami was inevitable, but senior management prioritized avoiding management risk over avoiding accident risk and delayed tsunami countermeasures (3) In order to delay countermeasures, Sakae Muto asked the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (3) Mr. Sakae Muto had instructed the Japan Society of Civil Engineers to delay the countermeasures by stalling for time and laying the groundwork for experts to discuss the matter.

 One of the victims, Ruiko Muto, a resident of Tamura City, Fukushima Prefecture, said, “If the district court’s decision is confirmed as it is, it would be extremely unjust. Ten years have passed since the accident, and in Fukushima there is no justice at all. We must not leave this kind of society to future generations. I hope the court will show justice.

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