Day 534 “I had to do something, and at least it’s a start.”

Will be away for a few days and in and out after that. Just to let friends and family know that if I’m not here regularly for the daily update, I will be mid-September.

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Huge solar power plants spring up in idle industrial complexes

The construction of huge solar power plants is under way in unused industrial complexes across Japan amid expectations that solar power may become a pillar of renewable energy sources in the aftermath of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

Mega solar power plants require vast amounts of land to lay tens of thousands of solar panels as well as power-transmission facilities, but idled industrial complexes meet the requirements. Local government officials have long racked their brains over how to deal with such idled industrial complexes because they have become non-performing assets. The officials are promoting construction of mega solar power plants at those complexes as an engine for regional economic revival.

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Like. Well, one in five, at least it’s a start.

One in five big Japan firms wants exit from atomic power by 2030

(Reuters) – About one in five big Japanese firms wants to see the share of nuclear power in the electricity supply reduced to zero by 2030, a Reuters poll showed, amid a growing anti-nuclear clamor after last year’s Fukushima atomic disaster.

But underlining concerns about a rise in energy costs without atomic power, the rest of the respondents supported a continued role for nuclear energy, with the biggest group opting for a share of 15 percent.

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Dislike. Get these children out of Fukushima.

Schools in Fukushima town reopen after 1 1/2 years

Students at Hirono Elementary School in Fukushima Prefecture carry their chairs to their classrooms after ceremonies at the gym to mark the reopening of public schools and the start of the second semester. (Mainichi)
Students at Hirono Elementary School in Fukushima Prefecture carry their chairs to their classrooms after ceremonies at the gym to mark the reopening of public schools and the start of the second semester. (Mainichi)

HIRONO, Fukushima — Public elementary and junior high schools here reopened Aug. 27, a year and a half after the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered a crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant and the town fell under the government-designated emergency evacuation preparation zone.

The town held a joint reopening ceremony at Hirono Elementary School in a bid to encourage former town residents to come home nearly one year after the town’s evacuation zone designation was lifted. Attending the ceremony were kindergartners and students and their parents.

But the number of students is now only around 20 percent of pre-disaster enrollment levels due to prolonged life at evacuation centers and lingering fears of radiation. The number of elementary school students totaled 65, or 23.6 percent of the total before the nuclear disaster, and that of junior high school students came to 31, or 18.5 percent of the total.

Even after this town was declared safe and extricated itself from the zone in September last year, local officials rented rooms at schools in neighboring Iwaki for Hirono students until the end of the first semester.

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From ENENEWS at:

Physician: International medical community must immediately assist Japanese — Radioactive elements re-concentrate in various bodily organs

Title: The Nuclear Sacrifice of Our Children: 14 recommendations to help radiation contaminated 
Author: Dr. Helen Caldicott
Date: Aug 24, 2012


So what should happen in Japan? These are my recommendations.

  1. All areas of Japan should be tested to assess how radioactive the soil and water are because the winds can blow the radioactive pollution hundreds of miles from the point source at Fukushima.
  2. Under no circumstances should radioactive rubbish and debris be incinerated as this simply spreads the isotopes far and wide to re-concentrate in food and fish.
  3. All batches of food must be adequately tested for specific radioactive elements using spectrometers.
  4. No radioactive food must be sold or consumed, nor must radioactive food be diluted for sale with non-radioactive food as radioactive elements re-concentrate in various bodily organs.
  5. All water used for human consumption should be tested weekly.
  6. All fish caught off the east coast must be tested for years to come.
  7. All people, particularly children, pregnant women and women of childbearing age still living in high radiation zones should be immediately evacuated to non-radioactive areas of Japan.
  8. All people who have been exposed to radiation from Fukushima – particularly babies, children, immunosuppressed, old people and others — must be medically thoroughly and routinely examined for malignancy, bone marrow suppression, diabetes, thyroid abnormalities, heart disease, premature aging, and cataracts for the rest of their lives and appropriate treatment instituted. Leukemia will start to manifest within the next couple of years, peak at five years and solid cancers will start appearing 10 to 15 years post-accident and will continue to increase in frequency in this generation over the next 70 to 90 years.
  9. All physicians and medical care providers in Japan must read and examine Chernobyl–Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment by the New York Academy of Sciences to understand the true medical gravity of the situation they face.
  10. I also suggest with humility that doctors in particular but also politicians and the general public refer to my web page, for more information, that they listen to the interviews related to Fukushima and Chernobyl on my radio program and they read my book NUCLEAR POWER IS NOT THE ANSWER.
  11. The international medical community and in particular the WHO must be mobilized immediately to assist the Japanese medical profession and politicians to implement this massive task outlined above.
  12. The Japanese government must be willing to accept international advice and help.
  13. As a matter of extreme urgency Japan must request and receive international advice and help from the IAEA and the NRC in the U.S., and nuclear specialists from Canada, Europe, etc., to prevent the collapse of Fukushima Dai-ichi Unit 4 and the spent fuel pool if there was an earthquake greater than 7 on the Richter scale.As the fuel pool crashed to earth it would heat and burn causing a massive radioactive release 10 times larger than the release from Chernobyl. There is no time to spare and at the moment the world community sits passively by waiting for catastrophe to happen.
  14. The international and Japanese media must immediately start reporting the facts from Japan as outlined above. Not to do so is courting global disaster.

Dr. Helen Caldicott is a pediatrician specializing in cystic fibrosis and the founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, which as part of a larger group that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. Please visit herwebsite.

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NHK: “Strong concerns” over 36% of Fukushima kids having thyroid lumps — Now testing outside Fukushima to begin

Title: Thyroid tests extended to kids outside Fukushima
Source: NHK
Date: Aug. 26, 2012
Emphasis Added

Japan will conduct thyroid tests on children outside Fukushima Prefecture, to determine whether last year’s nuclear accident in the prefecture has anything to do with the discovery of lumps in the thyroid glands of one in three children in Fukushima Prefecture.The decision has been made by the Cabinet Office’s team supporting people affected by the nuclear disaster.


[Fukushima] prefecture had conducted thyroid checks on 38,000 children by the end of March.
No-one was diagnosed with cancer, but lumps were found in 36 percent of the children.

The prefecture explained that lumps can be found in healthy children, so no special measures are needed, but parents voiced strong concerns over the finding.

Thyroid checks will now be conducted on 4,500 children aged 18 years old or younger in 3 areas outside Fukushima Prefecture by the end of March.


Cabinet Office says data will be collected in areas that are not affected by radioactive materials released from the crippled nuclear reactors. It says the move is designed not only to alleviate concerns, but also to detect possible effects of the nuclear accident on children’s health, if any, as early as possible.

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Anti-nuclear protests signal new activism in Japan

August 26, 2012


This is Japan’s summer of discontent. Tens of thousands of protesters–the largest demonstrations the country has seen in decades–descend on Tokyo every Friday evening to shout anti-nuclear slogans at the prime minister’s office. Many have never protested publicly before.

“I used to complain about this to my family but I realized that doesn’t do any good,” said Takeshi Tamura, a 67-year-old retired office worker. “So I came here to say this to his office. I don’t know if we can make a difference but I had to do something, and at least it’s a start.”

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