Day 528 Do we have that long?

 

 

 

 

 

Gov’t panel considers completely eliminating nuclear power plants by early ’30s

The government’s Energy and Environment Council is considering setting a goal of shutting down all nuclear plants by the early 2030s, government sources said.

The move is in response to growing public calls for the total elimination of atomic power, and is also aimed at spurring technological innovation in renewable energy such as sea-based wind-power generation and solar power generation.

However, there are many challenges to reducing Japan’s dependence on atomic power to zero, and the business world would likely voice stiff opposition to the policy.

 Article continues at:

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120821p2a00m0na017000c.html

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No! nukes action at front of Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo. on Aug 17 2012.(Photo by Teppei) [via Facebook]

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A very good summary of where we stand (crumbling) at this point in the continuing FNPP history:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fukushima Nuclear Situation “Deteriorating”

Richard Wilcox, Contributor
Were it not for certain nuclear whistle blowers and outside, independent experts, the public would have to rely on the glib and technically inaccessible reports from Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) or the Japanese government.

Not that those reports are entirely without substance, but due to the incomprehensible technical jargon most people simply throw up their hands and hope for the best.

Luckily, in this day of the Internet we can learn a lot about what is going on thanks to independent researchers and writers.

To the extent that mainstream newspapers have covered the issue responsibly, and there has been substantive coverage, web sites like “enenews.com”; “fukushima-diary.com” and “rense.com” have served as information clearinghouses for mainstream news, academic studies and independent sources of journalism about the nuclear crisis in Japan.

Given this wide perspective, it is hard to see how any meaningful progress is being made at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP). This is the conclusion I drew, or anyone with reasonable skills of observation would have drawn, in April of 2011. The Japanese government kept telling us that “everything is under control” and there is “no immediate danger,” all the while, lying through their teeth about the reactor meltdowns.

Article continues at:
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Debris Headed to a Beach Near You? Sailors Track Tsunami’s Destruction from Japan to US

In one event, an estimated 3 billion pounds of buoyant debris washed from Japan’s shores. Here’s a firsthand account of where some of that went.
August 17, 2012

Photo Credit: Lindsey Hoshaw

You can view a photo slideshow by Stiv Wilson of his journey here on AlterNet .

One March 11, 2011 a tsunami devastated Japan’s northern prefectures causing one of the worst human and environmental catastrophes in modern history.  The images of chaos and destruction were broadcast around the world, depicting one of the most awful natural disasters conceivable–a standing wave between 30-133 feet high traveling at 500 mph across the ocean, reaching as far as 6 miles inland. Such opulent power triggers something primeval in us—the survivalist—one can’t but help to place himself on a street, imagining what that wave would look like roaring down it at him. Oh the horror.

Article continues at:

http://www.alternet.org/water/debris-headed-beach-near-you-sailors-track-tsunamis-destruction-japan-us

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From ENENEWS at:

http://enenews.com/japan-diplomat-worsening-situation-at-fukushima-daiichi-at-least-40-more-years-of-radiation-contamination-coming-from-plant-may-have-sizeable-effects-in-neighboring-countries

Japanese Diplomat: “Worsening situation” at Fukushima Daiichi — 40+ more years of radiation contamination coming out of plant may have sizeable effects in neighboring countries

Title: Fukushima Needs a Hero: Responsibility and Democracy in Japan
Author: Akio Matsumura
Date: August 20, 2012

[…]

Even taking the TEPCO estimate, 40 years of radiation contamination in the food chain will have sizeable effects in Japan and perhaps in neighboring countries. The public debate in Japan has shifted to restarting power plants across the country, and little is said about the long term effects of the accident.

[…]

I have growing concerns about the management of the national crisis where the central government, local government, TEPCO and media have barriers to speak out about the worsening situation [See also: Fukushima Nuclear Situation Deteriorating].

[…]

We need individuals to champion the health and security of Japan’s residents.

[…]

View the report here

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Report: Concern work not being done at Reactors 1-3 — Perhaps much longer than 50 years just to contain radiation

 

Title: Fukushima Needs a Hero: Responsibility and Democracy in Japan
Author: Akio Matsumura
Date: August 20, 2012

Yastel Yamada is 73 years old. He seems a little tired after weeks on the road in the United States. He is trying to save Japan.

One of the first people I have met who can tell the inside story of the Fukushima accident, Yamada is concerned that work is not being done on the three nuclear reactors that melted down last year because the high radiation levels are still keeping TEPCO workers away. The crippled buildings are unstable, still contain nuclear assemblies, and present a long term threat to the people in the area. The cooling systems especially are a cause for concern. Mr. Yamada, founder and president of the Skilled Veterans Corps for Fukushima (Fukushima Genpatsu Kodotai), along with 700 members, want to help clean up the site.

[…]

Beyond cleanup of the site, Mr. Yamada doesn’t believe TEPCO has the technological capabilities to deal with the long term issues. TEPCO, he says, doesn’t believe this either. TEPCO’s plan, according to Yamada, is to contain the radiation in the next 40 years. He estimates they will need 50 years or perhaps much longer.

[…]

View the report here

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At least 26 people disabled in Fukushima due to effects of earthquake disaster

At least 26 people have become disabled in Fukushima Prefecture due to the effects of the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, and most of them started to have disabilities because of harsh post-disaster living conditions, it has been learned.

More than 90 percent of the disabled people identified started to have disabilities because they became unable to receive treatment for chronic diseases or were forced to take shelter and live in vehicles for a long time as evacuees. About 70 percent of them are elderly.

Article continues at:

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120821p2a00m0na009000c.html

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Web site reporting internal radiation in Tokyo:

http://www.keitousagi.com/tokyo

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Japan Professor: “An emergency within an emergency” at Fukushima plant — Tepco may be criminally liable for endangering workers

Title: Tepco liable for contract workers’ safety in Fukushima
Source: Japan Times
Author: Hifumi Okunuki (Constitutional and labor law at Daito Bunka University and Jissen Women’s University)
Date: August 21, 2012

[…]

Less than 10 percent of the work at this nuclear power plant is conducted by those directly employed by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco). Over 90 percent is done by employees of subcontractors, sub-subcontractors and contractors several times removed. These workers come from a wide range of backgrounds, including some who gave up jobs in local agriculture or fishing, farmers and fishermen who work at the plants during the off-season, day laborers and former coal miners. Some have complicated stories to tell, or not to tell.

Few other workplaces require no experience or skill, and fewer still guarantee anonymity to those hoping to hide their background. Nuclear power firms also benefit from the weak position of such individuals since they are largely spared the obligations of most employers to protect the health and safety of each worker on-site.

[…]

Management faces quite serious, possibly criminal, liability if while understanding the risk radiation exposure poses, they endanger those working on-site through a complicated web of outsourcing. Article 87 of the Labor Standards Law holds firms that outsource (outsourcers) responsible for workplace safety and sanitation for workers employed by their subcontractor.

[…]

Recently it was revealed that subcontractors working at Fukushima No. 1 had been ordered to place lead covers over their dosimeters. Tepco claimed to have no knowledge of this (quite literal) cover-up.

[…]

In this writer’s opinion, the working conditions at Fukushima No. 1 are an emergency within an emergency. I believe special laws should be promulgated to guarantee the safety and fair treatment of the workers, and enable them to seek redress through an independent third party. We must never forget or abandon even one of these workers, who hold in their hands the future of the country and endure on all our behalf the most grave of “labor pains.”

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Japan to use non-existent American technology to remediate contaminated hazmat suits at Fukushima Daiichi

At Fukushima Daiichi, contaminated gear and suits used by workers in and around the nuclear disaster site have been piling up for over a year, as no traditional method of incineration or disposal can prevent the release of radioactive materials on the suits into the environment.

Vision Plasma Systems, based in Reno, Nevada, announced an agreement with the Japanese company Cell Runner Inc., to sell two of its Arc Master I Units, at a cost of $5.8 million per unit, to use for disposal of workers hazmat suits at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.  Cell Runner of Japan is an intermediary technology provider to many commercial businesses and government agencies.

Article continues at:

http://enformable.com/2012/08/japan-to-use-non-existent-american-technology-to-remediate-contaminated-hazmat-suits-at-fukushima-daiichi/

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CCTV Live at Five with Margaret Harrington and Arnie Gundersen

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From:

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/08/20-2

Published on Monday, August 20, 2012

Illinois Nuke Plants Dumping Millions of Gallons of Near 100-Degree Water into Waterways

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is allowing power stations “to dump millions of gallons of hot water into Illinois waterways each day,” a Chicago Tribune report released Monday shows.

Coal and nuclear power plants have had problems getting discharge waters down to the thermal limits because the waters they are bringing in are already warmer than normal due to excessive heat and drought.

Provisions from the agency now allow four coal-fired and four nuclear plants to discharge water up to 97 degrees, the report shows.

Environmental groups warn that releasing these hot waters back into waterways can cause ecological harm.

Josh Mogerman with the National Resources Defense Council told CBS Chicago that the warmer water “impacts fish that are evolved to live in a specific sort of a temperature. You’re basically scalding the fish; forcing them either to dive deeper for cold water, or in the case of our rivers, we’re boiling them.”

Mogerman noted the impacts of global warming. “We shouldn’t be thinking about our power plants in the context of just one year’s drought, or one year’s heat wave. It’s very likely that the conditions we’re seeing are going to become more normal.”

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1 comment
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