Day 374 All stressed out and nowhere to go

Via Senri no michi at:

http://www.senrinomichi.com/?p=5374

“Scared of leaving….but scared of remaining”: giving a voice to the young mothers of Minamisoma

Mar 16th, 2012 by Senrinomichi


“To live inside this contradiction, I have to close my eyes and plug my ears”

Reportage which gives a direct voice to the mothers of Minamisoma, living 25km from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Please take the time to watch this.

Note: there are English subtitles if you click on CC (you may have to open the video in YouTube to view the subtitles).

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High-level cesium logged in soil near Fukushima power plant: gov’t survey

In this Friday, March 18, 2011 satellite image released by DigitalGlobe, the Fukushima Dai-ichi is shown. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)

In this Friday, March 18, 2011 satellite image released by DigitalGlobe, the Fukushima Dai-ichi is shown. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — A recent government survey showed a reading of 154,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram in soil in the village of Iitate near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the highest level yet recorded, the Environment Ministry said Monday.

The high-level cesium was logged in soil on the bank of the Niida River in Iitate in evacuation zones around the power plant which was crippled by earthquake and tsunami last March, the ministry said.

The figure topped the level that requires ash from incinerated debris showing more than 100,000 becquerels of cesium to be buried at disposal sites with ferroconcrete partitions.

Article continues at:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120320p2g00m0dm016000c.html

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Nuclear agency to approve Ikata reactor’s initial stress test soon

This July 23, 2011 photo shows the Ikata nuclear power plant, operated by Shikoku Electric Power Co., in Ikata, western Japan. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

This July 23, 2011 photo shows the Ikata nuclear power plant, operated by Shikoku Electric Power Co., in Ikata, western Japan. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency decided Monday to sign off on the results of an initial stress test on an idled nuclear reactor at the Ikata power plant in the near future, a move that would make it the third reactor to have cleared a key step for resuming operation.

The agency said in a revised draft report that it has confirmed through the test that the plant operator Shikoku Electric Power Co. has taken sufficient measures to prevent the reactor from getting into a situation similar to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, even if it is hit by an earthquake and tsunami like the one that occurred in Japan’s northeast a year ago.

 Article continues at:
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Via ENENEWS:

Fukushima Farmers Face Decades of Tainted Crops as Fears Linger

By Aya Takada and Yasumasa Song – Mar 18, 2012

Farmers in Japan’s Fukushima face years of additional losses as consumers continue to doubt the safety of produce from the region devastated a year ago by the tsunami and nuclear fallout, which may taint crops for decades.

Almost 100,000 farmers lost about 58 billion yen ($694 million) by March 1, or 25 percent of production, according to JA, the country’s biggest agricultural group. Imports of farm products jumped 16 percent to 5.58 trillion yen in 2011, according to the agriculture ministry.

Inadequate testing by the government of rice, milk and fish from the region has prompted consumers to leave them on supermarket shelves and instead select produce from other regions or from overseas. Checks conducted nationwide so far are only 1 percent of what Belarus checked in the past year, a quarter century after the Chernobyl disaster, according to Nobutaka Ishida, a researcher at Norinchukin Research Institute.

Article continues at:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-03-19/fukushima-farmers-face-decades-of-tainted-crops-as-fears-linger.html

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Via Nuclear Free Planet…

A Revolt, The Quiet Japanese Way

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012 AT 10:32AM

New revelations seeped out about the control Japan’s nuclear industry had over its regulators. In early 2006, five years before the apparently preventable meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, the Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC), an “independent” agency, began studying the enlargement of disaster-mitigation zones around nuclear power plants—from Japan’s standard 8-10 km to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s standard of a 5-km “top priority zone” and a 30-km “priority zone.”

But the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), which is under the Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry (METI), demanded the study be shelved, claiming in emails that were just released that the expansion ”could cause social unrest and increase popular anxiety.”

It worked. But if the expansion of the zones had been implemented, it could have prevented the chaos of the evacuations from the areas around the Fukushima plant—and the deaths that occurred during it.

Another revelation seeped out Saturday. In 2005, the IAEA proposed that emergency food regulations should be prepared for a zone with a radius of 300 km around nuclear power plants—a relatively large area on the narrow Japanese islands. But members of the NISA, the NSC, and the METI requested the removal of any reference to the “300 km.” They were worried about “negative publicity and other factors.”

It worked again. However, the validity of the 300-km food regulation zone has been confirmed: “Radioactive cesium exceeded the safety standard in tea leaves from Shizuoka Prefecture, more than 300 km from the Fukushima plant,” said Hideaki Tsuzuku, a director at the NSC, which is currently re-reviewing the guidelines.

Article continues at:

http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2012/3/18/a-revolt-the-quiet-japanese-way.html#ixzz1pc9ZqNO8

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Local gov’ts eager for switch to cheaper power face price hikes, supply problems

The Tachikawa Athletics Stadium, which has been using electricity supplied by a PPS firm since fiscal 2010, is seen in this recent photo. (Mainichi)

The Tachikawa Athletics Stadium, which has been using electricity supplied by a PPS firm since fiscal 2010, is seen in this recent photo. (Mainichi)

Local governments keen to save money by contracting small but government-endorsed power companies are finding it hard to meet their electricity needs, while increasing demand is also pushing up prices.

Since the outbreak of the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, many local governments have been trying to switch to cheaper electricity produced and supplied by companies registered with the central government as power producers and suppliers (PPS).

Article continues at:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120320p2a00m0na012000c.html

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Sendai to buy tsunami-devastated land under collective relocation plan

The Sendai Municipal Government will buy up property devastated in the March 2011 tsunami under a collective relocation plan for residents affected by the disaster, it was learned on March 19.

Under the plan, Sendai will purchase tracts of land at 75-80 percent of pre-disaster values starting next fiscal year. Meanwhile, if residents choose to build new homes on city-owned property inland, their lease rates will be reduced based on the age of the houses they lost to the tsunami.

Article continues at:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120320p2a00m0na014000c.html

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Experts struggle to collect data in Fukushima
Is enough being done to ensure solid data, key to making future nuclear safety plans, is being gathered in Fukushima?
D. Parvaz Last Modified: 18 Mar 2012 17:01

Fukushima prefecture, Japan – Within the tragedy of this country’s disaster rests opportunities to study and learn from what went wrong. In the case of the earthquake, there are lessons in better construction; with the tsunami, surveys of evacuation plans and retainment walls can be fruitful.

But it is the nuclear disaster at the Daiichi plant in Fukushima – damaged and leaking radiation for a year – that offers the most unique opportunity for learning, for information on such meltdowns is hard to come by.

For one thing, because of its ties with governments and weapons programmes, the nuclear industry is rather secretive. One of the nuclear experts who spoke to Al Jazeera said that, if the laboratory for which he worked found results that negatively impacted the nuclear energy industry in Japan, those results would likely be suppressed.

Article continues at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/03/20123158401893688.html

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