Reading nothing but good coming out of Yokohama today. The conference was a stunning success. There will be a lot of blogging about it this week, so keep your eyes peeled when you peruse the sites that comment on Japan’s nuclear situation. How I wish I could have gone and reported on it first-hand.
I was most impressed by the Yokohama Declaration. It can be found in pdf format at:
Yokohama Declaration for a Nuclear Power Free World
The 11 March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and related melt down at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has led to great suffering for the people of Japan and has increased radioactive contamination across the globe. It has also sounded a warning bell throughout the world about the long-term health, environmental and economic risks of nuclear power.
As with Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, the accident at Fukushima has reminded us once again that nuclear technology is unforgiving and accidents cannot be contained. The situation is not under control as declared by the Japanese Government. The nuclear power plant is still unstable and workers continue to work under life-threatening conditions.
Radioactive contamination is spreading. This is a regional and global emergency. People are either forced to flee with their children or live with unacceptable health dangers and prolonged radiation exposure. In Fukushima prefecture, evidence of radioactive material has been found in the breast milk of mothers and the urine of children. Lives are threatened, including those of future generations. The regional economy has been destroyed.
Every step in the nuclear fuel chain has created Hibakusha, a term initially used to describe survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, but now used for all victims of radiation exposure. Uranium mining, nuclear weapons testing, accidents at nuclear power plants, and the storage and transport of nuclear waste have all created Hibakusha.
The experience of these Hibakusha around the world is one of secrecy, shame and silence. The right to information, health records, treatment and compensation has been inadequate or denied with excuses of “national security” or due to cost. This lack of accountability is not limited to Japan, but is a problem fundamentally present in the nuclear industry everywhere due to the corrupt relationship between governments and the nuclear industry.
We now stand at a crossroads. We have the choice to break out of the nuclear fuel chain and move towards efficient, renewable and sustainable energy that does not threaten health or environment. For the sake of future generations, it is our responsibility to do so. Turning away from nuclear energy goes hand in hand with nuclear weapons abolition, and will contribute to lasting world peace.
The global solidarity shown towards the people of Fukushima and the spirit of those gathered at the Yokohama Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World demonstrates that connections between people are truly what will create the foundations for our future.
We call for:
1. The protection of the rights of those affected by the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident; including the right to evacuation, health care, decontamination, compensation and the right to enjoy the same standard of living as before 11 March 2011;
2. Full transparency, accountability and responsibility of the Japanese Government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the establishment of an independent body to disseminate information to the public to reverse the history of concealing information from the public and releasing contradictory information.3. Ongoing comprehensive data collection and radiation measurement of humans, food, water, soil and air to inform the urgent and necessary measures to minimise the populations exposure to radiation. Data collection will be necessary for generations and inter-agency governmental undertakings and the support of the international community are required. Corporations that have profited from the nuclear industry should carry their share of the costs.
4. A global road map for the phase out of the nuclear fuel cycle – from uranium mining to waste – and the decommissioning of all nuclear power plants. The ‘safety myth’ has been destroyed. Nuclear technology has never been safe and has never survived without massive public subsidies. Renewable energy is proven and ready to be deployed on a decentralised and local scale if only policies to promote it were advanced to support local economies, such as Feed-in-Tariffs.
5. Currently closed Japanese nuclear power plants to not be reopened. Japan’s energy needs can be met by implementation of the Feed-in-Tariff law that has been adopted and the structural separation of ownership of transmission and production of energy.
6. The prohibition of export of nuclear power plants and components, especially to industrialising nations in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
7. Support for local and municipal authorities that play an important role in creating a society not dependent on nuclear power. We encourage solidarity between local municipal leaders, regional parliamentarians and civil society to promote strong communities, decentralization, bottom up approaches and an end to economic, racial and gender discrimination.
8. Actions, demonstrations, seminars and media events to be held throughout the world on 11 March 2012 to protest the treatment of the citizens of Fukushima and call for a nuclear power free world.
Based on the above principles, the participants of the Global Conference have launched the “Forest of Action for a Nuclear Power Free World”, containing concrete plans for action. These many recommendations will be submitted as appropriate to the Japanese Government, governments of other nations, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and so on.
Over 10,000 people came to the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World in Yokohama, and 100,000 watched online. We, the participants are determined to maintain an international network to support Fukushima, cooperation among those affected by radiation through the Global Hibakusha Network, the establishment of the East Asia Non Nuclear Power Declaration Movement, and a network of local municipal leaders and mayors.
15 January 2012 Declared at the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World Yokohama, Japan
This Declaration was drafted by the Organizing Committee of the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World, and is supported by participants from around the world.
Links to articles on the conference:
- Antinuke confab urges backing for victims’ rights
YOKOHAMA — Citizens, politicians and scientists wrapped up a large antinuclear conference Sunday at Pacifico Yokohama convention center by summarizing their findings and demanding that sufficient support be given to those affected by the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant….
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- Fukushima Fallout: Thousands Protest Against Nuclear Power in Japan
Thousands of demonstrators hit the streets of Yokohama, Japan on Saturday afternoon calling for an end to nuclear energy in Japan after the Fukushima March 11, 2011 disaster that sparked the planet’s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl. The protest began a 2-day conference committed to fostering global momentum against atomic power….
The number of towns and cities opposed to the restart of Hamaoka (in the Chubu area) is growing: Makinohara, Kikugawa, Kakegawa, Shimada, Yaizu, Fujieda, Fukuroi and Yoshida. Keep the pressure on, folks!
Opponents of Hamaoka nuclear plant restart gain momentum
The Hamaoka nuclear power plant operated by Chubu Electric Power Co. is pictured in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, from a Mainichi helicopter in this February 2011 photo. (Mainichi)
SHIZUOKA — A growing number of municipalities near the suspended Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in Shizuoka Prefecture are up in arms about plans by operator Chubu Electric Power Co. to restart the plant.
More news items…
Temperature Remains High at Reactor 2 Pressure Vessel at Fukushima I Nuke Plant
It went as high as 142 degrees Celsius on January 14 before it came down to 138 degrees Celsius on January 15 at “CRD Housing Upper Part” of the Reactor Pressure Vessel of Reactor 2 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.
Details and sharts at:
Radioactive Apartment Update: Was Radiation from Crushed Stone Used in Foundation?
(Update: The stone pit operator, Futaba Saiseki Kogyo, sold the crushed stones to the concrete company in Nihonmatsu City in Fukushima which has since closed down. There is no record kept at the concrete company of where the concrete was sold and how much. The stone pit operator sold about 1000 tonnes to the concrete company, and the remaining 4000 tonnes or so to 20 construction companies inside Fukushima Prefecture.
The stone pit operator executive says he didn’t know much about radiation, and that he would have stopped selling if the government had told him to. Information in Japanese, here and here.)
For now, the media has decided to focus on the aggregate in the concrete used in the foundation of the apartment in Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima. The crushed stones from a stone pit in Namie-machi in the planned evacuation zone just outside the no-entry zone were freely shipped and sold until April 22, and several hundred job sites in Fukushima Prefecture may have used the stones.
Details and a translation of the Asahi news report at:
This, from ENENEWS at:
NHK: 3.75 sieverts per hour was detected far above Reactor 3 by helicopters dumping water on Mar. 16
Sent: Thu Mar 17 09:07:38 2011
Subject: FWS “Official Use Only” : 0700 EDT (March 17, 2011) USNRC Earthquake/Tsunami SitRep
Please see attached information and note thatthis is OUO and should not be shared outside the Federal Family. The below information is addressed further in the attachment.
Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC) reported at 1015 EST, March 16, 2011:
Dose rate at main gate (monitoring station 6) ranged from 150 mr/hr to 1000 mr/hr.
10 Rem/hr west of Unit 3 and 4 (assuming on roadway next to reactor buildings)
30 Rem/hr between Units 2 and 3
40 Rem/hr between Units 3 and 4
NHK media report on March 17, 0100 EDT stated that helicopter crews dumping water on Unit 3 reactor building reported dose rates at 375 R/hr at 300 ft. above the building
(1 Rem = 10 millisieverts)
See the email here
And this, under bitter humor…
More vegetables are deformed from stress
photos and commentary at:
Japan Gov’t Data: 65% of marine life test positive for cesium in Nov. — Average catch exceeds new radiation limits @ 111 Bq/kg
Overall, one in five of the 1,100 catches tested in November exceeded the new ceiling of 100 becquerels per kilogram. […]
The Japanese fisheries data seems to support this conclusion. Far from declining, contamination levels in some species were flat or even rose last fall, including species that Japan exports to Canada like skipjack tuna, cod, sole and eel.
In November, the average Japanese catch had 111 becquerels of cesium per kilogram – above the new radiation ceiling of 100 becquerels per kilo that Japan has announced it will implement for food this spring
[…] an increase from the October average of 78 becquerels per kilo [42% increase from Oct. – Nov.].
Above from ENENEWS – details and links at:
I happened to StumbleUpon a website called Deviant Art at http://www.deviantart.com/
There are quite a few artists who are uploading artwork related to the Fukushima disaster. I would like to include some of these from time to time.
Here is a note that has been making the rounds on Facebook. It is very touching. The person writes from a very deep, personal place, about what it is like for her, living in Fukushima. She realizes that many people may criticize her for being so worried since she currently lives in an area with lower level radiation. I think she is just a normal human being in extraordinary circumstances, someone who needs support and our reaching out in solidarity to her and so many others.
To live in Fukushima My living in Fukushima To live in Fukushima, to me
It means, no more opening the window and taking a deep breath every morning
It means, no more drying our laundry outside
It means, to discard the vegetables grown in our garden
It means, to feel a pang at the sight of my daughter leaving the house with a mask and a dosemeter on, without even being told
It means, not to be able to touch this whitest snow
It means, to get slightly irritated sometimes when I hear the “Fight on, Fukushima” slogan
It means, to notice that I became to breathe shallowly
It means, to tell someone that I live in Fukushima and not be able to help adding “but our area’s radiation is still low…”
It means, to feel that now exist 福島 (Fukushima in Chinese characters) and FUKUSHIMA
It means, to get angry when someone tells us to “stay” feeling “What do you think of our lives?,” and to get angry when someone tells us to “flee” feeling “Don’t say it so easily! It’s not that simple!”
It means, to worry if my 6-year-old girl can get married in the future
It means, to feel like abandoning my responsibilities for having chosen to live in Fukushima
It means, to renew a deep understanding in my gut every morning that our daily lives stand on the thin-ice-like “safety,” which is kept on the sacrifices and efforts of others.
It means, to think every night that I might have to leave this house tomorrow and go far away
It means, to still pray every night that we could live in this house tomorrow
First and foremost, I pray for the health and happiness of my daughter I cannot forget that black smoke I want someone to understand that we still live happily more or less, nonetheless I get furious, everyday I pray, everyday
I have no intention to represent Fukushima. This is what to live in Fukushima means to me, only to me. Today is the 10-month anniversary for Fukushima.
A reader has requested that I repost this video. Gladly.