Day 468 Despite media silence, the people are not giving up so easily

Fukushima is Far From Over
  1. Signatures
    Petitioning The U.S. Senate (+ 3 others)
  2. Created By

    Kathleen Sullivan

    Brooklyn, NY
The radiological tragedy at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is far from over.

If the Unit 4 fuel pool collapses, radioactive particles would be sent around the world, increasing the risk of cancer and mutagenic effects throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

We need to act before it is too late.

This petition was created by members of the Manhattan Project.  We are concerned New Yorkers working together to use art and activism to abolish nuclear weapons and nuclear power.

Sign at:

http://www.change.org/petitions/fukushima-is-far-from-over

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NEWS FROM YESTERDAY (cont’d)

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From EX-SKF at:

 http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/06/ldp-shadow-foreign-minister-prime.html

LDP “Shadow Foreign Minister: “Prime Minister’s Office Refused to Accept Radiation Data from the US”

On June 18, 2012, Asahi Shinbun reported that:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received the fax from the US showing the contamination map created from the actual data collected by Global Hawk drones via the US Embassy in Tokyo on March 18 and 20 last year. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Asahi that it immediately forwarded the fax to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and the Ministry of Education. NISA and the Ministry of Education both sat on the data.

A Lower House Representative and “Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs” of LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) describes the event a bit differently.

Itsunori Onodera, a Representative from Miyagi District 6, tweeted on June 18, 2012 as follows:

福島原発事故直接の米国データ公表しなかった件、事故直接、官邸が受け付けないので、何とかして欲しいと私の事務所にも米国大使館から要請があり、官邸につなぎました。ですが結局無視されてしまいました。あまりに無責任。

About the data from the US right after the Fukushima nuclear accident started, the US Embassy asked my office to do something because the Prime Minister’s Official Residence wouldn’t accept the data from them directly. So I liaised with the PM’s Official Residence. However, in the end it was ignored. It is just too irresponsible.

Some of the people responding to his tweet are rather critical of him. They say, “So what did you do then? Did you speak out?

Mr. Onodera, as with many people at that time – journalists, experts, politicians, bloggers – may have self-censored so as not to cause panic among the population. Or simply, the earthquake and tsunami damage seemed overwhelmingly bigger than the nuclear accident, even after 3 (visible) explosions. (What happened in Reactor 2 is still not known or disclosed.) It was when some people were saying “Let’s go out, have fun and spend money so that the economy doesn’t contract and deflation further sets in”, as I read at that time on an online message board in Japan.

But the government officials at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence knew full well what the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident meant, as Mr. Edano was on record suggesting the evacuation plan for wider areas in Kanto be considered. If what Mr. Onodera says is true, there’s some explaining to do for Mr. Edano, Mr. Kaieda, and Mr. Kan.

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From ENENEWS at:

http://enenews.com/alarm-sounds-at-newly-restarted-japan-nuclear-plant-warning-that-water-level-in-tank-fell-at-least-10-cm-from-normal-more-water-injected-just-in-case-officials-apologize-for-delayed-di

Alarm sounds at newly restarted Japan nuclear plant: Warning that “water level in tank fell at least 10 cm” from normal — More water injected ‘just in case’ — Officials apologize for delayed disclosure (VIDEO)

Alarm goes off at Oi nuclear plant, 1st trouble since restart decided
Kyodo News
June 20, 2012

An alarm went off Tuesday night at the No. 3 reactor of the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, indicating a minor problem, the plant operator and the government said Wednesday during preparations to reboot the reactor.

It was the first sign of trouble since the government decided Saturday to restart the plant’s Nos. 3 and 4 units […]

Delayed disclosure at Ohi plant
NHK
June 20, 2012

[…]

Kansai Electric Power Company said on Wednesday that the alarm suggested the water level had fallen in a tank used to cool an electric power generator at its No.3 reactor.

The firm says workers who examined the tank found no leaks but that the water level was about 5 centimeters lower than usual.

[…]

the disclosure of Tuesday’s incident came about 13 hours after the alarm went off.

[…]

Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency official Yasushi Morishita apologized at a news conference, saying his lapse in judgment caused the delayed disclosure.

(Update) Alarm Rings at Oi N-Reactor during Restart Work
Jiji Press
June 20, 2012

An alarm rang at the idled No. 3 reactor of the Oi nuclear power plant in central Japan on Tuesday night, warning of falling water levels in a cooling water tank for the reactor’s power generator, the plant’s operator said Wednesday.

[…]

The alarm went off at around 9:50 p.m. Tuesday (12:50 p.m. GMT), warning that the water level in the tank fell at least 10 centimeters from the standard level, according to Kansai Electric and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

[…]

The alarm rang due to temporary changes in the water level, Kansai Electric officials said. Some more water will be injected into the tank just in case, the officials said.

More on this from EX-SKF:

Ooi Nuke Plant: KEPCO Waited 10 Hours Before Announcing the Alarm and Leak, with NISA’s Approval

Certain things will never change, nuclear accident or not.

Article continues at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/06/ooi-nuke-plant-kepco-waited-10-hours.html

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(Now They Tell Us) “TEPCO Should Have Been Bankrupted and Reorganized”, Says Government Expert Committee Chairman

And that was what TEPCO’s ex-Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata had insisted in the secret negotiation with the national government (specifically, with DPJ’s Yoshito Sengoku, who has no official portfolio), as reported by Nikkei Shinbun on May 14, 2012(subscriber-only article).

Article continues at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/06/now-they-tell-us-tepco-should-have-been.html

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Radioactive Japan: Tsukuba City, Ibaraki’s Official Radiation Test for Food Showed Only One-Third of What Was Actually In the Food (Barley), Says a Citizens’ Group

In April this year, a citizen volunteer group in Tsukuba City in Ibaraki Prefecture set up “Ibaraki Citizens Radioactivity Measuring Station” to test food and soil for radioactive materials (iodine, cesium). The group uses AT1320A by ATOMTEX (Belarus) with an NaI scintillation survey meter.

The group says over 100 Bq/kg of radioactive cesium was detected from the barley harvested in 2011, using their detector. From the same barley, Tsukuba City had only detected 35 Bq/kg. Tsukuba City uses Hitachi NaI scintillation survey meter, according to the city’s website. (The new safety limit for radioactive cesium is 100 Bq/kg.)

So why the huge difference?

It turned out that the city’s measurement time was too short, and the software for the detector was not updated. When the city lengthened the measurement time and did the software upgrade, the city’s detector found 115 Bq/kg of radioactive cesium.

What a surprise.

Article continues at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/06/radioactive-japan-tsukuba-city-ibarakis.html

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US army was planning to drop coolant onto Fukushima plants by airplane

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From ENENEWS at:

http://enenews.com/nytimes-tepco-has-worked-vigilantly-to-shut-out-close-scrutiny-of-the-ravaged-plant’s-condition

NYTimes: Tepco “has worked vigilantly to shut out close scrutiny of the ravaged plant’s condition”

Tepco, Operator of Fukushima, Exonerates Itself in Report
New York Times
By HIROKO TABUCHI
June 20, 2012

The much vilified operator of the tsunami-hit nuclear power plant at Fukushima released a report on Wednesday that said the company never hid information, never underplayed the extent of fuel meltdown and certainly never considered abandoning the ravaged site.[…]

Over the last year, new details of the disaster have emerged that build a picture of an organization that ignored or concealed that its reactors might be vulnerable to quakes and tsunamis, used its close links with regulators and nuclear experts to hijack nuclear policy and — since the accident — has worked vigilantly to shut out close scrutiny of the ravaged plant’s condition.

[…]

Critics were skeptical. “The report is too full of excuses,” said Masako Sawai of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, an anti-nuclear policy group.

“If we don’t get to the bottom of this accident, how can we prevent future ones?” she asked.

[…]

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From ENENEWS at:

http://enenews.com/cnn-unspeakable-rage-i-saw-my-wife-on-fire-this-is-tepcos-fault-no-official-count-of-how-many-are-killing-themselves-after-fukushima-video

*CNN* Unspeakable Rage: I saw my wife on fire — “This is Tepco’s fault” — No official count of how many are killing themselves after Fukushima (VIDEO)

Fukushima suicide: ‘Unspeakable rage’
CNN
Kyung Lah
June 20, 2012

Transcript Excerpts

  • “This is Tepco’s fault”
  • CNN: “No one is officially keeping track of how many evacuees are killing themselves”

Watch video here:

http://cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2012/06/20/lah-japan-fukushima-suicide.cnn

Updated here http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/20/world/asia/japan-fukushima-suicides/index.html

Mikio Watanabe’s Fukushima home is contaminated with radiation and filled with the nightmares of his wife’s horrific suicide.

“I can still see it,” says the 62-year old, the tears welling in his eyes.

What he sees is Hamako, his wife of 39 years, on fire and scorched.

The 58-year-old doused herself in kerosene and set herself on fire last July after slipping into an overwhelming depression.

As evacuees from last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, Mikio and Hamako lost everything: their home, their jobs, and any hope for the future.

“If there was no nuclear accident, we wouldn’t have gone through this terrible thing,” he says. “This is TEPCO’s fault.”

[…]

Watanabe’s lawsuit seeks to elevate his wife’s suicide beyond the horror tale whispered among evacuees. “Watanabe’s case is very symbolic,” says his attorney Tsugio Hirota.

[…]

“I feel an unspeakable rage,” says Watanabe. “If I don’t do something, my wife is just another suicide case.”

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TODAY’S NEWS

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How do you define “security”?

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120622p2a00m0na015000c.html

Revised nuclear law stipulates aim to ensure Japanese national security

Legislation enacted by the Diet on June 20 to establish a new nuclear regulatory panel in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns contains an appendix revising the Atomic Energy Basic Law to read that the new entity will aim to contribute to Japan’s national security.

The revised law is raising concerns that adding a security guarantee runs counter to the principle of limiting the use of nuclear energy to peaceful purposes.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said at a news conference on June 21 that Japan remains committed to using nuclear power only for peaceful purposes and, abiding by the three non-nuclear principles, has no intention whatsoever to convert atomic power to military use.

The Atomic Energy Basic Law stipulates in Article 2 that research into and use of atomic power are restricted to peaceful purposes, championing democratic, independent and public disclosure principles. The appendix in question, however, alters Article 2 of the basic law, adding a sentence requiring the new regulatory body aim to contribute to national security. A similar revision has been made to the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law.

Although the national security provision was not in the government’s original draft bill, amendments submitted in April by the largest opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito mentioned the security issue. Inclusion of the expression in the enacted bill reflects the view of the bill’s backers that Japan’s high-level nuclear technology is a potential deterrent and should be part of national security policy.

Some members of the House of Councillors Environment Committee on June 20 questioned if Japan plans to declare its intention to build nuclear arms.

In response, nuclear accident minister Goshi Hosono emphasized the government’s commitment to honoring the basic law. Masayoshi Yoshino, the House of Representatives member of the LDP who submitted the new regulatory body bill, cited three areas — security measures by the International Atomic Energy Agency to prevent the military use of nuclear materials, safety of nuclear power and nuclear security to prevent terrorism. Adding “security” to Article 2 means that these issues will be handled by the new regulatory panel, he said.

During the 2008 Lake Toya G8 Summit, Japan proposed an international initiative to address these three fields and consolidate the use of nuclear power only for peaceful purposes.

Initially enacted in 1955, the Atomic Energy Basic Law has been defined as the basic philosophy underpinning Japan’s policy of using nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

It took only four days, however, for the bill establishing the new regulatory entity to win parliamentary passage after it was submitted to the Diet on June 15. There was no full debate on the new panel’s “security aim.”

June 22, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

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Are we being manipulated? Scare the people! Scare the people!!

Gov’t plans on rolling blackouts for case of electricity shortage

TOKYO, June 22, Kyodo

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2012/06/165275.html

Rolling blackouts will be implemented in Hokkaido, Kansai, Shikoku and Kyushu regions with two hours’ advance notice if electricity usage surpasses 99 percent of utilities’ supply capacity, according to a draft of the government’s plan to handle the nation’s tight power supply this summer.

The draft, obtained Friday by Kyodo News, states that rolling blackouts will take place roughly once a day for two hours in the four regions if the rate of utilities’ remaining supply capacity falls below 1 percent. It added, however, the blackouts may happen twice a day in areas covered by Kansai Electric Power Co., whose supply capacity is especially tight.

The government is expected to formally adopt the plan at a ministerial meeting later Friday, together with its plan to ease power-saving requests, given the government’s recent authorization of the restart of two nuclear reactors in Fukui Prefecture.

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Utilities to give 2-hour notice of blackouts

Kyodo

Rolling blackouts will be implemented in the Kansai region and Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku with two hours’ advance notice if usage exceeds 99 percent of utilities’ capacity, according to a draft government plan on power supply this summer.

The draft, a copy of which was obtained Friday, states that outages will take place roughly once a day and last two hours if regional electric utilities remaining power supply capacity falls below 1 percent.

However, the blackouts may have to be held twice a day in Kansai, where capacity is expected to be especially tight.

The government was expected to formally adopt the plan at a ministerial meeting later Friday, along with measures to ease power-saving targets in light of its recent authorization for two reactors to be restarted at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture.

Article continues at:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120622x1.html#.T-RZoI6D76E

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Now WAIT A MINUTE!!! At the same time you’re saying that folks in Kansai and other areas DON’T need to conserve energy???? But if Kanden runs 1% below capacity, you’ll issue rolling blackouts????? What am I missing here?

Gov’t lowers power-saving targets for Kansai, other areas

TOKYO, June 22, Kyodo

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2012/06/165367.html

The government said Friday it will ease its power-saving requests to Kansai, Chubu and other areas once one of the two nuclear reactors in Fukui Prefecture set to restart soon is confirmed to generate electricity at its full capacity.

But with most of Japan’s commercial reactors expected to remain idled this summer following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, the government also prepared a contingency plan to carry out rolling blackouts in the Hokkaido, Kansai, Shikoku and Kyushu regions in the event that power consumption is deemed likely to surpass 99 percent of utilities’ supply capacity.

These were adopted at a ministerial meeting Friday.

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Harrowing Tohoku scenes shock U.S. high schoolers

Staff writer

Seeing how last year’s tsunami toppled breakwaters and houses up and down the Sanriku coast in Iwate Prefecture was a sobering moment for visiting U.S. high school student Katie Kirstin.

News photo
Traditional culture: Students from Roswell High School in Georgia learn calligraphy at Tohoku Gakuin High School in Sendai on June 13. JAPAN FOUNDATION

A native of Casper, Wyoming, where even the biggest tornadoes pale in comparison with the March 11 disasters, Kirstin said the scene along the railway tracks was so shocking that she started crying.

“When I came here, people were (no longer just) numbers or statistics. They were actual people” who lost their lives that day, said Kirstin, 17, who along with 45 other American high school students offered silent prayers on June 13 beside a train swept off the tracks by the waves.

Kirstin was among 100 U.S. high schoolers who traveled to Japan on a 14-day trip as part of “Kizuna Project,” a youth exchange program backed by the Foreign Ministry that kicked off June 12.

Article continues at:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120622f3.html#.T-RL7Y6D76E

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MIT Study: “At low dose-rate, radiation poses little risk to DNA”

That is one of the conclusions that the MIT researchers reached after the 5-week study using radioactive iodine on mice.

From MIT News Office (5/15/2012):

A new look at prolonged radiation exposure
MIT study suggests that at low dose-rate, radiation poses little risk to DNA.

[snip]
I have a feeling that the atomic bomb victims have a different take on this.

By the way, MIT is one of the 4 US universities that have received special grant for recovery and disaster prevention, from the Japan Foundation, a Japanese government fund to promote international academic and cultural exchange (the same one who are sending the US high school students to Tohoku Region including Fukushima to volunteer in cleanup).

MIT got about $70,000, Harvard got $83,000, University of California Berkeley got $62,000, and Randolf-Macon College got $100,000 (one of the graduates from this college died in the March 11, 2011 earthquake/tsunami).

MIT’s project, utilizing this grant, is “MIT Japan 3/11 Initiative – Disaster-Resilient Planning, Design + Reconstruction“.

Read the entire article at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/06/mit-study-at-low-dose-rate-radiation.html

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Eight of 20 Tepco execs resigning over crisis to parachute sweetly to affiliates, other entities

Kyodo

Eight of 20 Tokyo Electric Power Co. directors and auditors, due to resign over the Fukushima nuclear crisis, will get lucrative positions at group companies and other entities, sources said Thursday. 

Masaru Takei, executive vice president of Tepco, will become an outside auditor at Arabian Oil Co., a subsidiary of AOC Holdings Inc., while Managing Director Takao Arai will join Fuji Oil Co., another AOC unit, as auditor, according to the sources.

Tepco held a stake of 8.7 percent in AOC as of the end of March, its biggest shareholder.

Among other executives slated for “golden parachutes,” Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata will become an outside member of the board at Japan Atomic Power Co., while Managing Director Hiroaki Takatsu will assume the post of president at Toko Electric Corp., a manufacturer of electric products for the power utility industry.

The 20 directors and auditors are due to resign at Tepco’s general shareholders’ meeting Wednesday.

Separately, Masataka Shimizu, who stepped down as president of the utility last June, will become an outside board member at Fuji Oil.

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Slowly Degrading #Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Leak from Reactor 3 Gas Management System, Patched Up With Tape (Temporary I Hope)

Meanwhile in TEPCO land in Fukushima, it’s a steady stream of slowly degrading systems and equipment that were hastily assembled last year.

Article continues at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/06/slowly-degrading-fukushima-i-nuke-plant.html

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Bloomberg: Tepco cover over No. 1 reactor designed to withstand only 56 mph winds

and

Japan Gov’t Expert: Water could get sucked out of Fukushima spent fuel pools by tornado and expose nuclear rods

Fukushima Plant Faces Typhoon Summer With Added Tornado Threat
Bloomberg
By Tsuyoshi Inajima
Jun 22, 2012 2:36 AM ET

[…]

Tornadoes, which typically occur in flat lands, tend to hit coastal areas in Japan, mostly in September and October, according to the weather agency.

“It seems Japan has had more tornadoes, down bursts and flurries of winds in recent years as atmospheric conditions have destabilized,” Norio Shimoyama, a weather forecaster at the Japan Weather Association, said in an interview.

Articles continue at:

http://enenews.com/tepco-cover-1-reactor-designed-withstand-only-56-mph-winds-japan-forecaster-tornadoes-down-bursts-flurries-winds-recent-years-atmospheric-conditions-destabilized

and

http://enenews.com/japan-govt-adviser-tornado-could-suck-water-out-of-naked-spent-fuel-pools-and-expose-nuclear-rods

☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢

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