Day 482.2 Nagoya update

Toward the beginning of the protest this evening there were a little over 100 people, but by 8:00 I counted around 200. There was a bit of rain between 6:00 and 7:00, but it let up. With a cool breeze, the weather turned in favor of those who came to voice their opposition to the Ooi restart and to all nuclear power in Japan.

No problems. Police were a bit more prevalent, and this was the first time there was a police wagon (the kind with the mesh wire outside the windows, used for transporting prisoners) parked about a block down on the main road opposite.

Sign below reads, “Zero Nuclear Power (plants). Protect the children from radiation.”

Part of the crowd that came out to tell Kansai Electric company to stop its Power Plant at Ooi in Fukui Prefecture.

Woman below poses with Aichi Police. Sign reads, “Stop them immediately. The nuclear accident was due to human error”, referring to the report issued by Diet’s Fukushima nuclear disaster investigative panel that found the melt through was not solely due to the earthquake and tsunami. More on that below.

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Info on the demonstrations in Tokyo tonight over at Fukushima Diary. With pictures at:

Organizer stopped protest, police shut down the exists of subway

http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/07/live-organizer-stopped-protest-police-shut-down-the-exists-of-subway/

and…

Police shut down the street in front of official residence. Because police keep people at subway station, protest has started underground space.

at:

http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/07/live-police-blocked-official-residence/

and…

Protesters comment there are more people than last week, but because police is making it thiner and long, it is still being impossible to count.

Police is controlling the exists of near subway stations, and prohibited IWJ from using helicopter, but they let TBS take pictures from helicopter. It was supposed to be because of bad weather.

at:

http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/07/live-more-than-last-week-but-independent-journalists-are-oppressed/

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July 6 Protest at PM Official Residence in Tokyo

It’s cloudy, may be raining a little. I have no idea how many people are showing up, but the police and the mainstream media seem more ready than last week.

Some photographs being tweeted by the participants. The protest has just started officially. People are shouting “saikado hantai!”.

Yasuo Tanaka, head of the New Party Nippon (or Shinto Nippon), giving out white balloons (from@singo_mpc). I didn’t even know he became a politician until last year after the Fukushima accident. All I knew of him was that he was a successful and popular novelist.

Mizuho Fukushima, head of the Social Democratic Party of Japan, is also at the protest. Kazuo Shii, head of the Japanese Communist Party, is at her side. No sign of any politicians from DPJ, LDP, or Komei Party.

Article continues at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/07/july-6-protest-at-pm-official-residence.html

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Fukushima plant “great risk”: Head of nuclear accident probe panel

TOKYO, July 6, Kyodo

The head of a Diet-appointed panel to investigate the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster said Friday that the crippled plant in northeastern Japan remains in a dangerous situation because of its fragile structure.

“Fukushima remains at a very high risk, not only because of the spent fuel issues, but also because of its fragile structure,” Kiyoshi Kurokawa, also professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, told a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, noting that another huge earthquake like the one last year may occur off the coast of northeastern Japan again.

The panel compiled a report Thursday that the Fukushima complex was “incapable of withstanding the earthquake and tsunami” that hit the plant on March 11, 2011. It also noted there is a possibility that the quake damaged safety equipment before the tsunami ravaged the plant and inundated power-supplying facilities needed to keep the nuclear reactors cool.

Read the entire article at:

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2012/07/168067.html

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Fukushima nuke disaster investigative panel rejects TEPCO tsunami claims

The final report released by the Diet’s Fukushima nuclear disaster investigative panel has concluded that factors other than the tsunami may have triggered the loss of power at the plant, which aggravated the unprecedented disaster.

In its 641-page report released on July 5, the panel said there is no denying that the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant’s No. 1 reactor was damaged by the earthquake that struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011.

“The primary cause of the disaster should not be attributed to the tsunami alone,” the final report said. The report also stated that there is a possibility that the loss of backup power at the plant “may not have been triggered by the tsunami,” rejecting the views previously presented by plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) and the government’s disaster investigation committee. Because experts’ opinions are divided over the issue, calls may arise for further verification.

The panel analyzed the tsunamis’ arrival time at the Fukushima No. 1 plant and concluded that the second tsunami wave reached the backup power at the plant at least two minutes later than the tsunami arrival time claimed by TEPCO. The utility has earlier reported that the second wave reached the plant at 3:35 p.m. on March 11, 2011, but the panel said the actual arrival time was observed from 1.5 kilometers off the coast.

Article continues at:

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120706p2a00m0na011000c.html

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Fukushima nuclear disaster ‘man-made’

http://m.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10817744

Last year’s Fukushima nuclear accident was a man-made disaster caused by Japan’s culture of “reflexive obedience” and not just the tsunami that hit the plant, a damning parliamentary report said.

Ingrained collusion between plant operator Tokyo Electric Power, the government and regulators, combined with a lack of any effective oversight led directly to the worst nuclear accident in a generation, the report said.

“They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents. Therefore, we conclude that the accident was clearly ‘man-made’,” said the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission.

“We believe that the root causes were the organisational and regulatory systems that supported faulty rationales for decisions and actions,” it said.

The probe is the third of its kind in Japan since the huge tsunami of March 2011 crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.

Reactors went into meltdown, sending clouds of radiation over a wide area, forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes, some possibly forever.

An earlier report by plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) had all but cleared the huge utility, saying the size of the earthquake and tsunami was beyond all expectations and could not reasonably have been foreseen.

But an independent group of scholars and journalists, who reported their findings in February, said TEPCO could and should have done more.

It also said that had the company had its way, its staff would have been evacuated from the crippled plant and the catastrophe could have spiralled even further out of control.

In his straight-talking preface to the more than 600-page report, panel chairman Kiyoshi Kurokawa said difficult lessons that go to the heart of the national character had to be learned from the catastrophe.

“What must be admitted – very painfully – is that this was a disaster ‘Made in Japan’,” he wrote.

“Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with the programme’; our groupism and our insularity.

“Had other Japanese been in the shoes of those who bear responsibility for this accident, the result may well have been the same.”

Kurokawa said in the wake of the 1970s oil shocks, nuclear power had been embraced with an unquestioning singlemindedness that left the industry “immune to scrutiny by civil society.”

“Its regulation was entrusted to the same government bureaucracy responsible for its promotion…. A tightly-knit elite with enormous financial resources had diminishing regard for anything ‘not invented here’.

“This conceit was reinforced by the collective mindset of the Japanese bureaucracy, by which the first duty of any individual is to defend the interests of his organisation.

“Carried to an extreme, this led bureaucrats to put organisational interests ahead of their paramount duty to protect public safety.”

Kurokawa said this way of thinking meant organisations wilfully ignored the lessons they should have learned from previous nuclear disasters and the covering up of small-scale accidents became accepted practice.

“It was this mindset that led to the disaster at Fukushima,” he said.

“The consequences of negligence at Fukushima stand out as catastrophic, but the mindset that supported it can be found across Japan. In recognising that fact, each of us should reflect on our responsibility as individuals in a democratic society.”

The findings call for further investigation into the impact of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake – as opposed to the towering tsunami – on the reactors at Fukushima.

“As for direct cause of the accident, the commission reached the conclusion that we cannot definitely say any devices that were important for safety were not damaged by the earthquake,” it said.

“We cannot rule out the possibility that a small-scale LOCA (loss-of-coolant accident) occurred at the reactor No. 1 in particular.”

Although many scientists and activists have questioned the dominant narrative that cooling systems were knocked out by the rising waters, the government and TEPCO have been unwilling to say the reactors were damaged by the initial earthquake.

Tectonically-volatile Japan has a network of nuclear reactors that, until Fukushima, had supplied around a third of the nation’s electricity.

The nuclear industry has long boasted of its many safeguards against earthquakes, but much recent public opposition to atomic power has focused on the vulnerability of plants, especially those that sit near seismic faults.

TEPCO spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said the company would be carefully reading the report before responding fully.

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From ENENEWS at:

http://enenews.com/fukushima-response-hearing-accident-brought-worst-scenario-melt

Fukushima Response Hearing: The accident brought the worst scenario — A melt-through

July 4, 2012 post by Koichi Oyama, Minamisoma city council member, translated by Dissensus Japan:

Archive of [Minamisoma Mayor Sakurai’s] accounts at a conference in June (the hearing of his accident response)

Q: On 25 March, 26 members of parliament ( the representative was a local legislator) demanded the evacuation of babies, infants and pregnant women from the areas within 30 km from Fukushima Daiichi. Did you cooperate with them?

A: I didn’t agree.

[…]

Q: With the SOS message you uploaded on Youtube, did you intend to barricade yourselves in Minamisoma?

A: My intention was to report the actual situation.

Q: The accident has brought the worst scenario (melt-through). There are risks of vapor explosions and the steam continues to come out. Did you have solid evidence that the accident wouldn’t continue to worsen?

A: We (the mayor and the executives) decided not to move the administrative institution to somewhere else as long as there are the people staying in the city.

Q: Did you do anything to prevent a disaster?

A: I demanded the government to lift the restriction of the areas within 30 km for a resumption of the project. If you ask me about safety, radiation level in Minamisoma was 3 microSV, which was much lower than Fukushima City.

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