Day 395 The new light of protest


Nao Matsumoto created hundreds of middle finger candles to protest nuclear power in Japan

by Johnny on April 9, 2012

Sometimes art happens by accident. Never has this been more true for New York-based artist Nao Matsumoto who, in late-2011, nearly sliced off his middle finger while cutting wood in his studio. Living in New York, Matsumoto had found himself relying on the middle finger gesture quite frequently. So the accident made him realize the severity of the potential loss – an accident, he says, that would have been equivalent to losing his voice.

On March 11, 2012, thousands of protesters descended upon the National Diet building in Tokyo. They formed a human chain around it, calling on Japan’s government to abandon atomic energy on the anniversary of the tsunami that sparked the Fukushima atomic disaster. Matsumoto handed out hundreds of his middle finger candles, which the protestors happily accepted.

As the candles burn, the middle finger melts away, leaving a sadly deformed stump of a hand. It’s symbolic of the human tendency to only be able to communicate after things are badly damaged.

If you want to learn more about Nao Matsumoto he is currently showing a group of sculptures at hpgrp Gallery in New York through May 12, 2012.

Read the entire article with more pictures at:

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Mary Olson on how women are more vulnerable to atomic radiation

 This week’s guest is biologist Mary Olson, Southeast Regional Coordinator with the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) in the U.S., an organization that provides information to citizens concerned about nuclear power, radioactive waste, radiation and sustainable energy issues. In her 21st year of this work, Olson has come to focus on the disproportionate impact that exposure to ionizing radiation has on women and children. Her recent paper entitled “Atomic Radiation is More Harmful to Women” reveals information the National Academy of Sciences BEIR (Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation) VII report includes, but does not discuss.
Listen and download at:

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Oi reactors secure from blackout-induced meltdowns, Edano says

Kepco submits new timetable for mid- to long-term safety measures


The safety debate at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture appeared to shift toward reactivation late Monday as trade minister Yukio Edano said it has already fulfilled enough of last week’s hastily drafted extra safety steps to prevent meltdowns from happening during power outages.

Emerging from a Cabinet meeting on nuclear safety Monday night, Edano said the government now believes Oi’s reactors can survive a station blackout like the one that doomed the Fukushima No. 1 power plant in Fukushima Prefecture last March.

“We have confirmed safety measures have been taken to prevent escalation of an accident,” Edano said.

Four other ministers involved in the issue, however, will continue meeting to discuss whether potential safety problems have been overlooked, although they already believe the reactors in question at Oi, Nos. 3 and 4, are now secure, Edano said.

Article continues at:

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3070 Bq/m2 of strontium 90 was measured in Fukushima

Posted by Mochizuki on April 9th, 2012

3070 Bq/m2 of strontium 90 was measured in Okuma machi from the monitoring test of Fukushima prefecture.
They monitored the soil contamination of strontium from July to October. They measured strontium 90 in Nakadori, where Fukushima prefectural government is located, 62km away from Fukushima plants. It is proved thatstrontium 90 flew out of the 20km area too. The highest reading was 3070 Bq/m2 in Okuma machi, where is 3km away from Fukushima plants.
Okuma machi local government assumes plutonium reached their own town too.


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Calls for nuclear compensation grow in Japan
Radioactive contamination in shiitake mushrooms has raised public clamour for compensation.

Tokyo, Japan – The discovery of radioactive contamination in “shiitake” mushrooms grown in Manazuru town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 300 km away from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, has raised public clamour for compensation.

Soon after the discovery, on April 5, Kanagawa authorities directed farmers and organisations dealing with agricultural produce not to ship shiitake mushrooms, a delicacy prized for its nutritive and medicinal properties in East Asian countries.

Some of the Manazuru mushroom samples were found to have over 141 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kg, while samples taken from Murata, Miyagi Prefecture, showed cesium levels as high as 350 becquerels.

Article continues at:

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Professor Yukio Hayakawa Takes a “Radioactive Walk” in Edogawa-ku, Tokyo (4/9/2012)

Edogawa-ku is one of the 23 Special Wards (ku) of Tokyo, situated in the eastern-most Tokyo right next to Chiba. The eastern Wards of Tokyo, including Edogawa, Katsushika, Adachi have elevated radiation levels compared to the western Tokyo.

Professor Hayakawa walked from the southern tip of Edogawa (Kasai Seaside Park) to Shinkoiwa JR Station. Along the way, he measured “black dust” (dark sediment) at two locations, and one of them (in Kasai Seaside Park) measured 1.385 microsievert/hour on his survey meter.

He also used a stick-type cheap survey meter called “Air Counter” (aka “Ea-bo” エア棒), which seems to measure pretty well if the radiation level is above 0.1 microsievert/hour.


Right now, Professor Hayakawa is walking somewhere in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture with his survey meter. Soon it will be on the Everytrail map he will create.

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US National Academy of Sciences to Set Up Fukushima Investigation Commission

So reports Mainichi Shinbun (4/10/2012):


It has just been revealed that the US National Academy of Sciences has set up its own commission to investigate the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. In the next two years, the commission will investigate the cause of the accident and Japan’s nuclear policies in order to improve the nuclear power plants in the US and the US nuclear policies.

According to the people involved, the commission has been set up by the request from the US Congress. About 20 experts in the US will be asked to join. Japanese nuclear researchers and engineers will be asked to participate as advisors. They will probably be the experts who are the members of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan.

Article continues at:


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