Day 463 Come on, Earthlings. It’s your planet, too!

Japanese restrict atomic exposure testing

Published: June 14, 2012 at 2:42 PM
OKUMA, Japan, June 14 (UPI) — Japan’s Fukushima prefecture has asked Hirosaki University to stop testing people for radiation exposure levels following last year’s nuclear plant disaster.

Government officials told the research team from the university’s Institute of Radiation Emergency Medicine to stop collecting radiation exposure measurements from residents surrounding the site of last year’s nuclear plant meltdown that followed a tsunami, The Mainichi Shimbun reported Thursday.

The researchers said Fukushima’s Local Medical Care Division told them, “It’s all right to measure environmental levels, but testing people stirs uneasiness, so we would like you to stop it.”

The research team indicated it felt the Fukushima government had prematurely shortened their research.

“The reason anxiety about radiation has become prolonged is that we have no information from that time (soon after the March 2011 disaster),” said Shinji Tokonami, professor at Hirosaki University.

The data Tokonami’s team collected has been published. Of 62 people they tested in March of last year, five were diagnosed to have received an unhealthy dose of nuclear radiation.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2012/06/14/Japanese-restrict-atomic-exposure-testing/UPI-27711339699334/#ixzz1y2gsUSG8

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From ENENEWS at:

http://enenews.com/local-official-radiation-dose-is-increasing-with-rainfall-around-fukushima-plant-i-dont-expect-level-of-contamination-will-decrease-this-year

Local Official: Radiation dose is increasing with rainfall around Fukushima plant — “I don’t expect level of contamination will decrease this year”

An Easy Guide on Biological Concentration published by Minamisoma city council member Koichi Oyama on June 16, 2012 and translated by Dissensus Japan:

[…]By the way, I wonder around when I can collect the plants growing on the board of my atelier this year.

It’s in an evacuation recommended area here, and the radiation dose is increasing slightly with the rainfalls from the mountains. So I don’t expect that the level of contamination will decrease this year.

When can I make up my mind to give up this place?

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Sunday, June 17, 2012
Staff writer

OSAKA — The decision to restart two reactors at the Oi nuclear plant has sparked international concern, with antinuclear activists and politicians in many countries sending letters of protest and holding rallies outside Japanese embassies and consulates over the past week.

Politicians from green parties in Australia and Europe, as well as doctors, activists, and labor unions, have all formally opposed the restart, citing the Fukushima disaster.

In Germany, all 53 members of the green party sent a letter of protest Tuesday to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa via the Japanese Embassy.

Also in Berlin, Rebecca Harms, a German Green and member of the European Parliament, sent a letter on behalf of European Green Party members calling for a halt to the restart.

In Australia, meanwhile, Sen. Scott Ludlam of the Australian Greens sent a letter of protest June 12 to Japan’s Embassy in Canberra.

In Italy, an appeal for a moratorium on restarting nuclear power plants bearing 3,700 signatures was presented to the Japanese Embassy in Rome, while antinuclear activists in New York delivered letters opposing the restart to the city’s Japanese Consulate on Friday.

A separate rally to protest the decision is planned in front of Japan’s Embassy in Washington on Monday. Other antinuclear groups in Chicago and Los Angeles will hold similar events this week and also deliver letters opposing the Oi restart to local Japanese consulates.

In Asia, antinuclear activists in Thailand held a rally in front of the Japanese Embassy on Friday and urged Tokyo to rethink its decision, while Japanese residents in South Korea joined local activists for a demonstration in front of Japan’s Embassy in Seoul, also Friday.

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A little tremor this morning in the Nagoya area, right in the middle of Aichi Prefecture… M3.4, 50 km depth, at 05:47 a.m.

Hmmm, may start keeping records of this.

5 May 2012 18:57  M4.4 at 50 km depth

17 Jun 2012 05:47  M3.4 at 50 km depth

Wonder if today’s tremor was part of the Sanage-Takahama fault system…?

Oh, and we’re expecting a typhoon (big as of this entry) to hit within the next few days…

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Two events to put on your calendar if you live in the U.S.

1) 22 June 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012, at 3:00 p.m.
Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles
350 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90071

2) September 20th, 21st and 22nd

 +       +       +       +       +       +       +

Shut Down, Not Meltdown: Keep Japan Nuclear-Free! (Los Angeles event) Public Event

  • 6-16-2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shut Down, Not Meltdown: Keep Japan Nuclear-Free!

Friday, June 22, 2012, at 3:00 p.m.
Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles
350 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90071

 For further details, see:
 +       +       +       +       +       +       +

Rally For A Nuclear Free Future!

Posted on May 23, 2012

September 20th, 21st and 22nd

Washington, D.C.

SEPTEMBER NO NUKES convergence on Washington D.C.

It is time to PUSH nuclear energy Issues onto the national agenda andFORCE nuclear power issues onto the table during the presidential election season. In order to do this we need to think creatively, multi – dimensionally and dynamically and we must MOBILIZE to act. We are organizing an anti-nuclear convergence to bring the ongoing crisis at Fukushima and the unfolding crises with our own domestic power plants to the forefront of our largely pro-nuke elected leadership and to the broader public. We need YOUR INVOLVEMENT and PARTICIPATION for these events to be a SUCCESS. We don’t want to lose the opportunity of the election season to bring national attention to the pertinent issues surrounding nuclear energy and we want to force the pro nuke presidential candidates of the two corporate parties to consider us. We also want to welcome the Green Party and any other anti-nuke candidates to be a part of these events.
For further details and locations, see:
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From ENENEWS at:

“Oh, very high!!” NHK: Serious radioactivity accumulation causing hotspots in center of large city up to 300,000 Bq/kg (VIDEO)

Real Fukushima 3. River contamination and Radioactive Cs 300,000 Bq/Kg
NHK
June 16, 2012
Uploaded by guardianofmiyagi
Translated by guardianofmiyagi

Excerpts

…Serious radioactivity accumulation is made up, causing hotspots in Koriyama city [60km from Fukushima Daiichi]…

The water of the ponds has been drained… ponds in bare condition now…

The water able to shut in the radiation is not here…

Dr. Kimura investigated…

“Oh, very high!!” …

Sakubata, the bottom soil, Max about 300,000 Bq/kg…

Dr. Kimura informed residents of the results…

The center of Koriyama city.

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This, from Fukushima Diary at:

http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/06/japanese-have-to-rely-on-foreign-media-to-know-the-truth/

【BBC】Japan PM Noda orders nuclear reactors back online

<Quote> [Reuter]

Japan approves two reactor restarts, more seen ahead

By Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka
TOKYO | Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:52am EDT
(Reuters) – Japan on Saturday approved the resumption of nuclear power operations at two reactors despite mass public opposition, the first to come back on line after they were all shut down following the Fukushima crisis.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, his popularity ratings sagging, had backed the restarts for some time. He announced the government’s decision at a meeting with key ministers, giving the go-ahead to two reactors operated by Kansai Electric Power Co at Ohi in western Japan.

The decision, despite public concerns over safety after the big earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima plant, could open the door to more restarts among Japan’s 50 nuclear power reactors.

“There is no such thing as a perfect score when it comes to disaster prevention steps,” Trade Minister Yukio Edano told a news conference after the announcement.

“But, based on what we learned from the Fukushima accident, those measures that need to be taken urgently have been addressed, and the level of safety has been considerably enhanced (at the Ohi plant),” he said.

Edano, who holds the energy portfolio, said the government policy to reduce Japan’s dependence on nuclear energy in the medium- to long-term was unchanged despite the decision.

The decision is a victory for Japan’s still-powerful nuclear industry and reflects Noda’s concerns about damage to the economy if atomic energy is abandoned following the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

The push to restart the two Ohi reactors, before a potential summer power crunch, also underscores the premier’s eagerness to win backing from businesses worried about high electricity costs that could push factories offshore. Kansai electric says it will take six weeks to get both reactors running fully.

But the decision risks a backlash from a public deeply concerned about nuclear safety. As many as 10,000 demonstrators gathered outside Noda’s office on Friday night amid a heavy police presence to denounce the restarts, urging the premier to step down and shouting “Lives matter more than the economy.”

“Prime Minister Noda’s rushed, dangerous approval of the Ohi nuclear power plant restart ignores expert safety advice and public outcry, and needlessly risks the health of Japan’s environment, its people and its economy,” environmental group Greenpeace said in a statement.

PM’S FUTURE UNCERTAIN

Noda’s own future is murky as he struggles to hold his fractious party together after cutting a deal with opposition rivals to double Japan’s sales tax to 10 percent by 2015.

“I imagine there will be a fair number of (reactor) restarts by next year. The government under Noda is surprisingly eager,” said Jeffrey Kingston, director of Asian studies at Temple University’s Japan campus.

Nuclear power supplied almost 30 percent of electricity needs before the March 2011 disaster, which triggered meltdowns at Fukushima, spewing radiation and forcing mass evacuations.

The accident destroyed public belief in the “safety myth” promoted by Japanese nuclear power advocates for decades.

Activists have collected more than 7.5 million signatures on a petition urging an end to atomic power. Protesters have poured into the street almost daily over the past week.

All 50 reactors were shut down for maintenance or safety checks in the months since the accident. The government had placed a priority on gaining the approval of local communities for the Ohi restarts to avert July-August power shortages.

Critics say the government was too hasty in signing off on the restarts, especially given delays in setting up a new, more independent nuclear regulatory agency.

Public trust in regulators was tattered by evidence that cosy ties with utilities were a key reason Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power Co was unprepared for the tsunami, and subsequent signs that relations remain far too snug.

Parliament’s lower house on Friday approved legislation to create a new atomic regulator, but getting it up and running will take months. That could force the government to go slower on restarts, though some politicians are keen to forge ahead.

“We can no longer go back to a life that depends on candles,” ruling party heavyweight Yoshito Sengoku said in an interview with the Sankei newspaper this week.

The Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency, the current watchdog, has approved stress tests for Shikoku Electric Power Co Inc’s 890-megawatt No.3 reactor in Ikata, southern Japan. Next on the list for possible approval are two Hokkaido Electric Power reactors in Tomari, northern Japan and Hokuriku Electric’s two in Shika, western Japan.

“Basically he (Noda) doesn’t want to wait but … it would attract criticism so the government would be cautious if they are clever,” said Hiroshi Takahashi, a Fujitsu Research Institute fellow and member of a panel advising the government on energy policies.

(This story has been refiled to fixe typo in second paragraph)

(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick and Kentaro Hamada; Editing by Ron Popeski)

<End>

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From EX-SKF at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/06/4000-protest-against-ooi-nuke-plant.html

4,000 Protest Against Ooi Nuke Plant Restart in Front of Fukui Prefectural Governmet (sic) Bldg

It is a huge number for a place like Fukui, where Ooi Nuclear Power Plant is located. The organizers say there are about 4,000 people gathered.

Photo posted by @FumikoKawazoe on Twitter:

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Video of June 15 Protest in Front of PM Official Residence in Tokyo

This is one of many taken by protesters and independent media on Friday, June 15, 2012.

This particular video was linked to the comment section of this blog by ‘Janick’. It was also embedded in a tweet by Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times reporter in Tokyo. (I hope she didn’t get into trouble with the bureau chief for tweeting the June 15 event.)

Article continues with video and links at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/06/video-of-june-15-protest-in-front-of-pm.html

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From EX-SKF at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/06/new-york-times-reports-on-june-16.html

New York Times Reports on June 16 Protests in Japan Against Ooi Nuke Plant Restart, Not a Word About June 15

New York Times, regarded as “newspaper of record”, joins the Japanese colleagues in reporting only the June 16 demonstration in front of the Prime Minister’s Official Residence in Tokyo. Not a word about the June 15 protest.

To further diffuse the issue, New York Times mentions thousands of protesters “in Tokyo and elsewhere” on Saturday (June 16).

On Friday June 15, 11,000 people gathered in front of the Prime Minister’s Official Residence in Tokyo, alone.

The writer, Martin Fackler, is the Tokyo bureau chief of New York Times.

From New York Times (6/16/2012; emphasis is mine):

Japan’s Prime Minister Orders Restart of Two Nuclear Reactors

By MARTIN FACKLER
Published: June 16, 2012

TOKYO — Brushing aside widespread public opposition to avoid feared electric power shortages, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ordered the reactivation of two nuclear reactors at a plant in western Japan on Saturday, making it the nation’s first plant to go back online since the crisis last year in Fukushima.

The decision to restart the Ohi nuclear plant ends the temporary freeze of Japan’s nuclear power industry, when all 50 of the country’s functional reactors were idled after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Despite the prime minister’s vows to strengthen the Ohi plant against the same sort of huge earthquake and tsunami that knocked out the Fukushima plant in March 2011, the Japanese people have remained deeply divided on the safety of nuclear power.

Even after the prime minister made a rare appeal on June 8 on national television, opinion polls showed that more Japanese opposed restarting the Ohi plant than supported it. Mr. Noda urged the nation to return to nuclear power to avoid electricity shortages that could cause blackouts and cripple industry at a time of rising competition with China and the rest of Asia. Instead, he has supported a slow phasing out of nuclear plants over several decades, as energy alternatives are found.

Saturday’s decision was seen here as a victory for the still-powerful nuclear industry and its backers in the business world, whose political support has been crucial to the otherwise unpopular Mr. Noda. It remains to be seen how the broader public will react to the restart order. Many Japanese already believe that Mr. Noda has rushed to proclaim the Ohi plant safe despite the fact that a new earthquake-resistant control center and other safety measures at the plant are years from completion.

According to polls, two-thirds of Japanese express deep concern about the safety of nuclear plants after last year’s accident, which contaminated food with radiation and shattered the myth of Japan’s infallible nuclear technology. The day before Mr. Noda gave the order, his government was visited by an antinuclear group led by the Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe, which presented what it said were the signatures of 7.5 million people calling for the abolition of nuclear power.

On Saturday, thousands of protesters turned out in the rain in Tokyo and elsewhere with placards criticizing the prime minister’s assertion that the Ohi plant was safe.

(Full article at the link)

Reuters, whose English article on the Ooi restartmentioned 10,000 people protesting on Friday (June 15), is totally quiet about any protest, June 15 or 16,in the Japanese article. The Japanese article is not the translation of the English article, and it was written by different reporters.

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