Uncategorized petition (in Japanese) calling on the immediate closure of Sendai Nuclear Plant, following the Kyushu earthquakes. Sign and share!


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Rain is forecast for Kyushu. Risk of landslides. 973 households have to evacuate by 3:30 pm.

This, from a Facebook friend:

Listening now to NHK live web streaming (English: and Japanese: The earthquakes in Kyushu are both in Kumamoto and Oita Prefectures. Experts are worried about a chain of earthquakes, which has never happened in the world. Heavy rain expected to start tonight. Risk of continuing earthquakes. Risk of more landslides. Watching the images, the damage is much larger and wide-spread than I realized. I can see how scared and nervous people in the effected areas are. Why the government does not feel any need to suspend operations of the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant is a mystery to me. Sending love and light and millions of angels.

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Oh boy..

Huge Nankai quake could kill 320,000 in Japan: gov’t

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Up to 323,000 people could be killed in Japan in the event of a powerful earthquake with its epicenter in the Nankai Trough off central and western parts of the country, the government said Wednesday.

The figure is far larger than the about 19,000 people who died or went missing in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011. It also surpasses the government’s previous estimated death toll of 24,700 in 2003.

The latest estimate was made on the assumption that a magnitude 9-class quake hits the country in the middle of the night in winter and that a massive tsunami subsequently occurs along the Pacific coast from Suruga Bay to the Kii Peninsula, the Cabinet Office said.

Of the 323,000 potential victims in 30 of Japan’s 47 prefectures, the Cabinet Office predicted that about 70 percent will be killed by tsunami. In the event of such a natural disaster, it also said that about 623,000 people across Japan could suffer injuries.

The Cabinet Office, however, said that the probability of such a powerful quake is “extremely low.” The rise in the number of victims from the 2003 estimate is mainly attributable to the government’s decision to double the size of the focal area and raise the magnitude of a possible quake in the wake of the 2011 unprecedented disaster.

Still, to prepare for the worst-case scenario, the office will create new countermeasures against natural calamities by the end of March, while the government will consider formulating special laws by cooperating with the private sector.

Of the 47 prefectures, Shizuoka in central Japan is expected to be hit the hardest, with the number of expected deaths totaling 109,000, according to the Cabinet Office.

Among the Pacific coastal towns that are expected to experience tsunami after the quake, the town of Kuroshio in Kochi Prefecture is expected to see the highest wave reaching 19 meters in height.

When making these predictions, the Cabinet Office assumed that only 20 percent of people would evacuate immediately after the quake.

If all people escape within 20 minutes of the quake, the number of tsunami victims can be reduced by half, the office said.

Experts said that the number of victims could be reduced substantially if there were adequate evacuation plans and other necessary measures.

Due to tsunami, up to 1,015 square kilometers of land in 24 prefectures could be submerged in total with a water depth of 1 centimeter or more, which is about 1.8 times bigger than the area flooded in the wake of the 2011 disaster, according to the office.

Of the 1,015 sq. km of land, a total of 602 sq. km is expected to be flooded with water reaching a depth of 1 meter or more, a level which could kill almost all people. The size of the area is almost equivalent to one third of Osaka Prefecture, home to Japan’s second largest metropolitan area.

If a huge quake strikes the country at 6 p.m. in winter, when many gas stoves and other heating appliances are used, and if massive tsunami waves occur off the Shikoku to Kyushu regions, a total of 2.38 million buildings are likely to be completely destroyed or burned down, the office said.

August 29, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

And from NHK:

Nankai Trough quake could kill 323,000 in Japan

The Japanese government has released projections that up to 323,000 people could be killed in a massive earthquake and tsunami that could possibly occur near the Nankai Trough along the country’s Pacific coast.

The government on Wednesday released detailed damage estimates based on a scenario with a magnitude 9 mega-quake near the trough off central to western Japan. The data is a follow-up to information released by the government in March.

Last year, the government set up a panel of experts to review preparative measures for any massive quake.

The panel estimates that a tsunami of more than 30 meters high could hit parts of Kochi and Shizuoka prefectures and part of Tokyo’s Izu Islands.
It also estimates that 23 municipalities in 8 prefectures could experience a tsunami 20 meters or higher.

These tsunamis are forecast to flood up to more than 1,000 square kilometers, which is 1.8 times larger than the areas inundated by the giant tsunami in March last year.

In the worst case projection a total 323,000 people could die in 30 prefectures in regions from Kanto, around Tokyo, to Kyushu, in southern Japan.

More than 2.38 million homes and other buildings would be either destroyed or burnt down by tremors, fire or tsunami.

The projection also shows that the casualties could be reduced by up to about 80 percent if people evacuate quickly and make use of safe buildings for shelter.

The government estimates that the number of collapsed buildings will probably decrease by about 40 percent if the ratio of anti-quake resistant buildings is increased.

Aug. 29, 2012 – Updated 10:41 UTC (19:41 JST)

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NISA’s New Safety Standard May Allow Nuclear Reactors on Top of Active Faults to Continue Operation

(No, this is not an April Fool’s Day’s joke.)

Totally, absolutely in line with Prime Minister Noda’s intention of seeking the “fourth way”for the future energy policy on reliance on nuclear power, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (which is still the one and only regulatory agency over the nuclear industry in Japan) is now considering installing a new safety standard:

You can continue to operate a nuclear reactor even if the reactor happens to sit on top of an active fault, as long as the expected size of dislocation is small enough.

This Kyodo News has the largest number of retweets I’ve seen on the websites of the Japanese mainstream media, currently with 9,015 retweets.

Article continues at:

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Elderly Evacuees from Futaba-machi Living in School Bldg in Saitama Will Be Made to Pay for Their Boxed Meals, Starting September 1st

What a country. Wonder of the Orient.

Just remember that this country (Japan) is still the third largest economy in the world. But after more than 17 months since the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear accident, hardly anyone cares that these people are still living in school classrooms. It’s worse than not caring, because now they will charge for the bento (meal in a box), which will cost these elderly residents 30,000 to 40,000 yen per person per month (US$381 to 508 per person per month).

Where do they have such money? No one cares. The evacuees from the same town, Futaba-machi, who have moved to temporary housing and other rental properties, have complained that they are not getting free meals, so everyone gotta pay, to be fair.

Article continues at:

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Well, then, the protests will just have to continue, won’t they?

Japanese Government’s Energy Policy (Reliance on Nuclear Power in 2030) May Go the “Fourth Way”, Not Even Presented to the Citizens in Opinion Surveys

What a joke. Totally predictable but joke nonetheless.

Remember my post about nearly 90,000 public comments from the Japanese citizens and residents about the future energy policy of the Japanese government, where nearly 90% want “zero nuclear”? Also remember the so-called experts in big-name universities whose expertise is in polling and sampling stressing the “quality” over “quantity”? There were three choices that people could comment on: 0% reliance on nuclear power by 2030, 15% reliance, or 25% reliance.

Now, drum rolls please. Here comes your national government under Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda declaring that the government may opt for the “fourth way“.

Article continues at:

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Wow! So many protests going on around Japan. Take your pick!

In English:

in Japanese:

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Anti-Nuclear Japan: EdaNO! Protest in Omiya City, Saitama (Mr. Yukio Edano’s Constituency)

Following the last week’s success, they are at it again, protesting in Omiya City against the restart of Ooi Nuke Plant and against Mr. Edano himself, calling out loud, “EdaNO, YameRO! (Edano, resign!)” with accent on “NO” and “RO”.

The crowd looks less than last week, but just as noisy and vigorous.

Come to think about it, Japan has come a long way. Now ordinary citizens are calling the sitting minister of one of the most powerful ministries in the Japanese government without “Mr.”.

I like these local events. There are no fences, there are no orange cones. People are shouting about all kinds of issues.

“No No EdaNO!”
“Genpatsu Iranai, Edano mo Iranai!” (We don’t need nuke plants, we don’t need Edano)
“Zo-zei Iranai!” (We don’t need tax increase!)

and “Let’s vote them out in election. Let’s vote out Edano!”

I wonder if people in Goshi Hosono’s constituency are doing any protest…

Read the entire article at:

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From ENENEWS at:

Film crew gets tested after “bizarre” incident in high radiation area — “I’ve never been this nervous in my life” (VIDEO)

Follow-up to: Film Crew Near Fukushima Plant: “That was bizarre, I felt it as well” — We drove into a high radiation area and something happened in the car (VIDEO)

In Containment: The people of Minamisoma, 15 months after the meltdown – Part 5/5
Camera: Ian Thomas Ash/ Koji Fujita
Published by DocumentingIan
Published: July 21, 2012


Minamisoma resident Hiroshi: “I’ve never been this nervous in my life.”

Part 5 STORY: After returning from the exclusion zone, the crew goes to a testing site to be measured for radiation exposure. Later, Ian visits a nursery school located just outside of the 30km radiation zone, where the head teacher opens up about her fears for the children’s future. Finally, the children go out to play, but their conversation quickly turns shockingly real.

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Uh, how about ending Japan’s reliance on N.E. NOW????? This has been one of the coolest summers I’ve experienced here in MANY years. Haven’t had the A/C running but two days this year. Where is the HEAT the gov’t said would cause the country to have rolling blackouts?

Close them all – permanently – NOW!

And get the children out of Fukushima – NOW.

And STOP spreading radiation all over Japan by burning disaster debris – NOW. It’s not the radiation levels in the air 1m above ground. It’s the internal radiation people (and children, did I mention children???!!) will get through the water, soil, rivers, food, fish………………………..

Lawmakers in Japan outline denuclearization bill

Former Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan and other governing party lawmakers have announced an outline of a bill that would end Japan’s reliance on nuclear energy by 2025.

The draft outline says nuclear power generation could lead to infinite damages in the event of an accident. It adds that lack of final disposal measures will end up leaving future generations piles of radioactive waste.

It calls for establishing alternative power sources and reducing the number of operating nuclear power plants to zero.

The draft also calls for promotion of solar, wind, and other sources of renewable energy to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

The outline also mandates the central government to create jobs in communities that host nuclear plants.

The secretary general of the governing Democratic Party, Azuma Koshiishi, has been asking Kan to compile a plan on future energy sources.

The former prime minister said he intends to seek support within his party and that he wants to submit the bill with support from the opposition.

Jul. 22, 2012 – Updated 00:58 UTC (09:58 JST)

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Job boss wanted dosimeters encased in lead

Tepco crisis workers faced exposure scam

Kyodo, AFP-Jiji

An executive at a subcontractor for Tokyo Electric Power Co. forced nine workers dealing with the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to encase their dosimeters in lead, the company confirmed Saturday.

The executive is believed to have tried to underreport radiation exposure, prompting the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry to launch an investigation on suspicion of violating the industrial safety and health law, officials said.

The unnamed executive, who is in his 50s and works for Build-Up, a construction firm based in Fukushima Prefecture, told the plant workers Dec. 1 to attach the lead plates to pocket dosimeters provided by Tepco to monitor their radiation exposure, the sources said.

He said during questioning that he issued the instruction to them only once and that they worked at the site around three hours that day, according to the company.

The workers were hired for about four months through last March to wrap pipes at a water treatment facility with heat insulators.

Tepco affiliate Tokyo Energy & Systems Inc., which contracted with Build-Up, said it was told the workers did not use the lead plates, but it is looking into the matter to see if the executive was acting on his own initiative.

Lead is one of the main materials for shielding radiation.

Article continues at:

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From EX-SKF:

Radioactive Disaster Debris: Kitakyushu City Educates Kids How Safe It Is to Burn the Debris

I haven’t written about the disaster debris disposal for a long time, as it has dwindled into a non-issue in most part of Japan now that the amount of the debris in Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures has turned out to be much, much less than what was predicted. EXCEPT in the cities whose mayors are more than ever determined to bring and burn the debris NO MATTER WHAT.

One such city is Tokyo under the 79-year-old governor Shintaro Ishihara. Another is Osaka City under the boy-wonder mayor Toru Hashimoto who would say and do anything to stay in the news.

Then there is Kitakyushu City, whose mayor Kenji Kitahashi has been on a relentless campaign to shove the debris on the residents. His latest antics: Educate elementary school children and junior high school pupils so that they will tell their parents how safe and wonderful it is to bring the disaster debris all the way to their city in Kyushu Island and burn it.

Some Kitakyushu City’s parents were outraged when they found out about this education pamphlets.


According to the togetter about Kitakyushu City’s pamphlets, school principals were instructed by the mayor and the city’s Board of Education to speak positively about accepting and burning the disaster debris in Kitakyushu City at the end-of-semester ceremony before the summer break (most likely it was on July 20). Here’s one of the tweets in the togetter:


The other day, I heard that school principals were instructed by Mayor Kitahashi to repeatedly tell pupils from 4th graders on at the end-of-semester ceremony that “to accept the disaster debris is to do a good thing“. Our child is in junior high school, so I wondered if they do that in junior high school also. Sure enough, [my daughter] said the principal talked about that in the ceremony today [July 20].


Mayor Kitahashi has his own website where he posts his reasoning for accepting the debris in English. If you care to read it, it is here.

Why doesn’t the mayor come outright and say “I want the disaster debris for the money it brings to the city, and the business concessions it will bring to the city”?

By the way, asbestos and mercury have been detected in municipal incineration plants in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo that have been mixing the disaster debris from Onagawa City, Miyagi with the household garbage and burning the mixture. Hexavalent chromium and arsenic have also been detected in the disaster debris in the amount that exceeds the limit set by the regulations.

No matter. All is safe, and all to help “recovery” that is non-existent.

Read entire article showing pamphlet for 4th – 6th graders, as well as further discussion at:

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From ENENEWS at:


Disaster Recovery by “Embalming” the “Miracle Lone Pine” in Rikuzen Takata City, Iwate

The mayor of the city believes the tree is the symbol of hope for the residents for the future, and it has to be standing, dead or alive. 150 million yen or not.

Some residents wholeheartedly agree with the mayor, while others have doubts, particularly about the money supposedly needed to preserve the tree in the standing position. I am rather surprised that the tree gets “embalmed”, instead of burned in a religious ceremony and sent to the “heaven” (wherever the pine tree heaven may be) – a traditional Japanese way.

NHK Morioka (Iwate) had the article for about several hours yesterday, now gone. This is part of the article that I copied while it was still at the local NHK website (7/21/2012):


The method of preservation has been decided for the “Miracle Lone Pine” in Rikuzen Takata City that survived the tsunami of March 11, 2011.


The tree will be cut down at the base, and the trunk will be cut into 5 parts. After they are treated with preservatives they will be pierced through with a metal rod. The tree thus preserved will stand in the original location. Rikuzen Takata Mayor Futoshi Toba disclosed the plan in the press conference on July 20.


According to the plan, the tree will be cut down at the base, and the trunk will be cut into 5 parts. After they are treated with preservatives they will be pierced through with a metal rod, and the base will be secured with bolts so that the tree can stand just like when the tree was alive.


The tree is scheduled to be cut down in the second half of August. [After being cut] the tree will be brought to Nagoya City and Kyoto City where the facilities to treat the wood are located. The core will be removed and the tree will be treated with preservatives. It is hoped that the tree will be standing by the end of February next year.


Rikuzen Takata City is asking for donations to cover the cost of preservation, about 150 million yen [US$1.9 million], but as of two days ago the amount collected was 3.5 million yen. The city will keep calling for support.


Mayor Toba says, “Because the tree, having survived the tsunami and standing, is giving hope to the residents, we have chosen this preservation method. The Lone Pine is our emotional support and our hope for future rebuilding of the city. We would like people all over the country to help us preserve the tree.”

Mayor Toba, I was told by one of my twitter followers, lost his wife to the tsunami.

I would still say “Let it go, let the tree die a peaceful death” and find hope elsewhere.

On the other hand, it may be a clear sign that the “recovery”, much publicized by the national government, doesn’t exist, if the residents of one of the areas hardest-hit by the March 11 tsunami have to rely on a dead tree for hope and support.



2:46 p.m.

March 11, 2011

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How Japan’s nuclear disaster tears families apart:




Dear my son — message from a mother of a workman of nuclear plant

Original text from Blog of 福島 フクシマ FUKUSHIMA
Setsuko Kida, 58-year old, is from Tomioka town where the Fukushima Daini NPP is located. Her son works in nuclear plants. Her hometown was designated as caution zone after the accident, so she relocated herself in Mito, Ibaragi. She lost her house and hometown. It was such terrible shock to her, she had confined herself to her room in a new environment. However, about 5 months ago, she went to a lecture and came to believe that she should do something to protest against restarting nuclear plants. Homesick, a conflict and disagreement between her son about the need of nuclear power generation, regrets of not having been informed of the truth… A true local voice stirs us emotionally.
[I edited her statements at “Fukushima Forum” which took place in Iwaki from June 30 to July 1 and her interview]
 I lost my house and hometown
I’m from Tomioka town where the Fukushima Daini NPP is located. Being originally from Iwate, 34 years ago, I married and came to Fukushima. At first, we settled in Haramachi (currently in Minamisoma), then moved to Iwaki as my husband got a transfer, and we bought a house in Tomioka 20 years ago. The house I lived for 20 years is now in caution zone.
My husband was transferred to Mito after the accident. My daughter and I came along with him and moved into the company housing last April. My son was evacuated from Tomioka to Kawauchimura, then kept on moving to Miharu, Bandaiatami, and ended up to Kashiwazaki where another NPP is located.
(Emission towers of the Fukushima Daini NPP in Tomioka and Naraha)
In my dream
I was not in Tomioka but in my daughter’s apartment in Tokyo when the earthquake occurred. I lived a normal life after that. I regret that I was in a safe place while my son and husband had to keep on moving to be evacuated.
I guessed that many of my relatives in Kamaishi (Iwate) were killed by a quake and tsunami. My friend from Minamisanriku said he mother was dead after that.
However, I was shocked to go out since the accident, so I couldn’t go back there. I tried to convince myself that I should give up the house as all family members survived at least.
I did everything to encourage myself, like participating with my husband in removing wastes in Miyagi as a volunteer, however, it was hard.. I couldn’t get engaged…
I missed my hometown every night in my bed as I closed my eyes, and had dreams of driving back home.
Tomioka is far from Mito. In my dream, I drove along a freeway up to Iwaki, and then familiar National Route 6. Soon the Yokura port came in my sight, then I drove by Hisanoha beach where our matchmaker live. The place was destroyed by tsunami. Then I saw a catering place on the way to Naraha, and recalled their hospitality. I drove through a tunnel and hills, then arrived at Tomioka. Finally I was in front of my house.
Then I noticed that I had forgot to take a key.
But I came to believe that I could go in. So I could. It was a dream.
I walked around in the house, glanced at my son’s room and wondered where he was. When I opened my eyes, I found myself in the residence in Mito. I couldn’t stop crying, and in such circumstances, I started staying at home all the time.
(Town hall of Tomioka which is now in caution zone. It faces toward south on Route 6)
Regret and reflection on my ignorance
There were too many things I didn’t know. Indeed, the people living in big cities didn’t know about the nuclear power plant either. Though I had lived in Tomioka for 20 years, I didn’t know. I was doing a bus tour guide. I worked for Tepco as well. I tried to please the Tepco staffs on such occasions.
However, I had doubt (about the need of nuclear power generation). I also went to Rokkasyomura as a bus tour guide. I heard that someone in the village sold the land that had been his family’s for generations dirt cheap and used up the money, which broke the family apart at the end. People think that all the villagers of Rokkasyomura are rich, but it’s not really true. As a tour guide, I told this story to the passengers.
However, I never questioned the NPP in my town. I regret and feel sorry about it.
The final straw
During the period that I couldn’t go out, I read many books by (anti-nuke writers such as) Takashi Hirose, Kou Kamata or Hiroaki Koide.
In February this year,  It turned out that Tepco intended to restart the Tokai Daini NPP, which is 16 km from Mito.
My daughter encouraged me to go to a lecture of the village mayor of Tokaimura on February 12. He talked about some professor of Fukushima University.
Since then, I started participating in protest holding up a sign with slogan saying “Can you tell your husband and son to work in a nuclear plant? I can’t. I’m a mother of a workman in a plant”. Today, I even make a speech with a microphone in protest meetings in front of the Cabinet Office. I also went to protest in Oi town (where the Oi NPP is located) with other women from Fukushima.


My son works in a Nuclear Plant
My son is 30 years old now. He has worked in nuclear plants since 10 years.
He works in a company that has an office by the Fukushima Daini NPP for 2 years.
He worked in the 4th or 5th subcontractor before that. I saw his salary slip several times. He was paid only 170.000 Yen when he was 28 and had worked for 8 years.
When he quitted the job, the company sent his a certificate of income and withholding tax. He told me that a bonus, which he never got, was registered.
As he changed a job, he is paid more. New company made him a 10.000 bonus payment after 2 month. Maybe he got a pay raise as well.
That was so close
My son told me many things about nuclear plants.
2 years ago, he emailed me saying that he couldn’t come home as a trouble occurred. He came home on the following day, and said “That was so close! But we managed to stop that.” What was close and what was stopped? *
I know that things (such as a tool) sometimes fall into reactors. When my son asked a staff of Tepco if it was OK to leave things in a water pool, the Tepco staff got mad.
It is workers who get down into a pool to pick up these things. I asked my son which kind of clothing they wear when going into a pool.
“Something like diving gears. A helmet of lead, which someone have to help them wear. Also a lead suit that weigh some tens kilograms. They go into high-dose pool like this”.
According to him, the dose is (legally) too high for Japanese to carry this out, so foreigners come to Japan to dive into the reactor pool to earn a few million yen.
[* maybe the drawdown accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP Reactor 2 in June 2010]
(I’ve been keeping diary since February this year. It’s the 4th notebook now)
Control works on the accident scene
After the accident, my son started working in the Fukushima Daiich NPP as a second worker. A second staff of Tepco may sound good, but he has engaged in dangerous operations such as dose measurement in caution zone,  presenting screenings or removing wastes from the site..
Tepco asks the affiliated companies to transfer the staffs in order not to let their own staffs to be exposed to radiation. The affiliated companies can’t refuse it or Tepco will stop giving the work to them. Thus My son had no choice but to be transferred temporarily to Tepco.
 I want to get back my son
My son was in Mito for a while after the accident. I fed him well, we had beers and had fun together.
However, a struggle started in early January this year. When we talked about the issue of restarting nuclear plants, I said, “Japan never changes. They are going to restart nuclear plants regardless of the accident in Fukushima”. Then he said, “But mom, we need nuclear power generation because Japan has no resource”.
I called him stupid, as I learned a lot about the issue from books since the accident. Because I wanted him to know the truth, I sat down and talked with him about it. I also bought some books for him.
I think he hasn’t read them yet. If he did, he would have understood that politicians, electricity companies or intellectuals are taking advantage of the workmen in plants.
He never tried to learn about the issue. Why? Because he is scared to know the truth.
I still can’t get through to him. Maybe because he doesn’t want to hear that any more, he no longer visits us in Mito.
When nuclear power generation was introduced to Japan 60 years ago, the system was also established to make politicians, scientists and electricity industries profitable.
The problem is the workmen working at the tail end of the industry are exposed to radiation. According to a book, politicians and executives of electricity industries decided to build nuclear plants in provinces, employs local people and make them do the dangerous operations.
My son doesn’t know about it.. He has been working in the plants since 10 years without knowing it. Moreover, the reactors exploded and he had to evacuate home. And he says that we need nuclear power generation… I feel deeply regret about it.
Never give up
My activities (participating in protests or meetings and making statements) was introduced on internet. My son saw it and called my daughter to ask why I was making a speech in front of the Cabinet Office. My daughter told him that it was because he is working in the nuclear plant, and I did such things only to get him back.
Me and my son still haven’t understood each other. We are opposed. I will never give up and continue to talk with him, because I’m protesting against nuclear industries only to get him back. I will never give up until the day he comes back to me.
Leukemia and lymphatic malignancy
My son developed lymphatic malignancy when he was 13. He got treatment in National Cancer Center (Tsukiji, Tokyo) for a year, and healed finally.
“He will be OK after 10 years” a doctor said. “He can have children”.
He got married when he was 25. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a baby.
His wife wanted a baby, so they got divorced finally. I was so sad because I liked her very much, but I agreed to the divorce as I wished she would have a happier life.
In the case of my son, it was lymphatic malignancy. There are other stores.
A friend visited my daughter last winter. I asked her if her brother was fine, then she said “He died of leukemia”. He was about same age as my son.
My daughter works as a volunteer to help the people in temporary compounds with her classmates. A boy in this group is suffering a relapse of leukemia.
About 2 year after my son got out of hospital, a child in the neighborhood (about 50 meters away from our place) developed leukemia.
Then, 3 or 4 years later, some child in the school had heart disease and went abroad to have transplant surgery.
3 cases of child leukemia, 1 case of lymphatic malignancy and heart disease within a area about 3 km radius in Tomioka. What does it mean?
Work on this rest of my life
I feel sorry that I hadn’t realized the dangers of nuclear plants for 57 years until the 3.11 catastrophe. Now that I know, I can’t stay silent.
My daughter supports me, though she says, “Mom, even though you try hard, I know Japan will restart nuclear plants again. Your efforts will never be paid”.
My friends says, “I don’t expect the people living in cities will be interested in the issue. There is no use in appealing. Though Fukushima got fatal damage, some people will remain indifferent”.
“It is the generation elder than 50s who should get rid of nuclear power generation” I say to myself. “I can’t die before this comes true”.
Besides, unless the people from Fukushima send a message about what happened in Fukushima, our sacrifice will remain unrequited.
I believe nuclear power plants will be abandoned eventually, either when the second Fukushima occurs or when the people are awaken.
“Which one will you choose?” I would like to ask this to the staffs of electricity industries, politicians, media representatives, and the people.
It’s still a small movement, but if you agree with me, please come to join us in front of the Cabinet Office every Friday.
Courtesy : Hugbai

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In case you haven’t read it, here it is in its entirety (pdf):


Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment


Consulting editor Janette d. sherman-Nevinger

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With fishing suspended, Fukushima fishermen return to sea to catch disaster debris

Masakazu Yabuki, second from right, and fellow fishermen pour liquor into the sea to mourn those who perished in last year's disasters, off the coast of Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on July 11. (Mainichi)
Masakazu Yabuki, second from right, and fellow fishermen pour liquor into the sea to mourn those who perished in last year’s disasters, off the coast of Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on July 11. (Mainichi)

IWAKI, Fukushima — On the morning of July 11, a year and four months after the March 11, 2011 disasters, fishermen here boarded their ships and headed out to sea — not to catch fish, but disaster debris.

“This is a sea with no exit,” muttered Masakazu Yabuki, 75, the head of the Iwaki fishery cooperative. With fishing in the region still suspended due to the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, Yabuki’s 27-meter-long fishing boat is now used to collect debris from the sea — a job local fishermen call “wreckage fishing.”

Article continues at:

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This was published by SAFECAST back in May (29). Not sure I posted it then, so here you are:



26 years have passed since the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster. Many countries in Europe were affected of the radioactive fallout, including Norway which is roughly 2500 kilometers away from Chernobyl.

 Article continues at:
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 Reports image
 Download in English from:
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Fukushima Disaster Was Man-Made, Investigation Finds

Ignorance, Arrogance

The report said the commission found evidence of “collusion” between Tokyo Electric and regulator, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, to avoid implementing new safety regulations.

Tokyo Electric also exploited its cozy relationship with regulators to take the teeth out of regulations. “Across the board, the Commission found ignorance and arrogance unforgivable for anyone or any organization that deals with nuclear power,” the report said.

The six-month independent investigation, the first of its kind with wide-ranging subpoena powers in Japan’s constitutional history, held public hearings with former Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Tokyo Electric’s ex-President Masataka Shimizu, who gave conflicting accounts of the disaster response.

Kan said he agreed with the finding that the disaster was man-made, though he differed with the reports findings on the government response, according to a posting on his official blog last night.

 Read the entire article at:

News from today first. News from yesterday follows.

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Fukushima Pref. deleted 5 days of radiation dispersion data just after meltdowns

“(mainichi Japan) March 22, 2012”

The SPEEDI system is demonstrated at the Nuclear Safety Technology Center in Tokyo. (Pool)
The SPEEDI system is demonstrated at the Nuclear Safety Technology Center in Tokyo. (Pool)

The Fukushima Prefectural Government revealed on March 21 that it deleted five days of early radiation dispersion data almost entirely unread in the wake of the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The data from the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI) — intended to predict the spread of radioactive contamination, information vital for issuing evacuation advisories — was emailed to the prefectural government by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

According to the prefecture’s disaster countermeasure office, just after the March 2011 quake and tsunami, its dedicated SPEEDI terminal was unable to receive data due to effects of the disasters. Therefore, prefectural officials asked the Nuclear Safety Technology Center, which operates SPEEDI, to send data via email on March 12, 2011 — one day into the nuclear crisis. The Nuclear Safety Technology Center then sent the data hourly starting at 11:54 p.m. that day. The Fukushima Prefectural Government, however, deleted all the data it received from March 12 to about 9 a.m. March 16.

Article continues at:

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For Rachel Maddow fans…

MSNBC on Reactor No. 2: It is beyond human capability, “problem gets worse and worse and worse” — The really bad news is this is the good news, as they can’t even determine what is going on at Reactors No. 1 and 3 (VIDEO) Video: How do you solve a nuclear disaster?
Source: MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show
Date: April 6, 2012

Transcript Summary At 5:30 in

  • You want the fuel to be covered with water to keep it cool and shield radiation
  • Expected 33 feet, only 2 feet of water in reactor
  • That’s very, very bad
  • A symptom that something is very wrong
  • It is also a cause of yet more going wrong there… There’s nothing shielding the radiation that’s coming out of that fuel
  • The current plan is to invent something new that doesnt exist yet
  • The thing that does not exist that can allow us to even try to fix this problem
  • The thing that we could imagine might be useful to fix this problem, we’re going to have to invent
  • While the problem gets worse and worse and worse
  • It is beyond human capability
  • The really bad news is this is the good news… can’t even get near
  • They can’t even go near No. 1 and 3 to inspect
  • Nuclear problems are problems we don’t know how to fix

View article and video at:

and watch Rachel at:
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From ENENEWS at:

Former UN adviser: If No. 4 pool collapses I’ve been told “during 50 years continual, you cannot contain” (VIDEO)

Statement by Akio Matsumura:

The crisis at the Fukushima-Daiichi power plants has not ended. While the first three reactors contained fuel and presented a serious threat since March 11, 2011, they have largely been contained. Reactor 4 contained no fuel when the earthquake hit. Instead, the spent fuel rods had been moved to a cooling pool on the second floor of the containment unit. […] If another high level earthquake hits the area, the building will certainly collapse. Japanese and American meteorologists have predicted that such a strong earthquake is indeed likely to hit this year.

The meltdown and unprecedented release of radiation that would ensue is the worst case scenario that then-Prime Minister Kan and other former officials have discussed in the past months. He warned during his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos that such an accident would force the evacuation of the 35 million people in Tokyo, close half of Japan and compromise the nation’s sovereignty. Such a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe is unimaginable. […]

Title: Fukushima Reactor 4
Uploaded by: christopherjamescote
Date Uploaded: Mar 8, 2012
Description: Akio Matsumura talks about nuclear power plants, spent fuel pools, and the trouble with Reactor 4 at Fukushima.

At 2:30 in

Matsumura: People said to me more than 50 years it might take to contain radiation. So during 50 years radiation continue on… During 50 years continual, you cannot contain.

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Debate growing over ‘local’ reactor consent

Governors of prefectures without units seek greater say in process

 OSAKA — Dissent between those inside Fukui Prefecture who want two reactors in the town of Oi restarted quickly and those in adjacent prefectures who want to wait for stronger safety measures or are opposed altogether, highlights the dilemma Tokyo faces in obtaining local consent.
At the heart of the debate is a question with legal and political ramifications for not only Fukui and Kansai, but other regions of the country that host or are near nuclear plants: What does local consent mean?
Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa wants a restart but says Tokyo must convince him that adequate safety measures have been taken. At the same time, however, the governor has a number of pet projects, especially the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension project which, he hopes, will eventually connect Fukui with both Osaka and Tokyo by bullet train. Current plans are for the link between Nagano and Kanazawa in neighboring Ishikawa Prefecture to open in 2015.
But in Shiga, Kyoto and Osaka, politicians and antinuclear activists warn that rushing to restart could have dire consequences. Several point to a 2003 report by Kyoto Sangyo University economics professor Park Seung Joon, who estimated an accident involving Oi’s reactors 3 and 4 could create a radiation leak that would lead to 3.5 million cancer cases in a 50-km radius, including the northern part of the city of Kyoto.

More than 1 million people would die and total economic damage would come to ¥460 trillion, according to Park.

The prefectures surrounding Fukui have also expressed grave concern over how people living within 30 km of Fukui’s four commercial nuclear power plants would be evacuated.

Read the entire article at:
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Ministry of the Environment: “Tsunami Debris May Have Already Reached North America, Back in February…”

 Oops. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution just recently released a paper saying the debris may reach North America in 1 to 2 years (see Huffington Post, 4/3/2012).

Article continues at:

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Disaster Debris INSIDE NO ENTRY ZONE IN FUKUSHMA May Spread Far and Wide

because the Ministry of the Environment cares about free competition.

The Ministry of the Environment put out a notice asking for public comments, for 6 days instead of the normal 30 days, on the proposed revisions of the Special Law to deal with the contamination from radioactive materials.

What are the revisions proposed? The Ministry wants to allow waste disposal companies to dispose debris that is inside the 20-kilometer radius no-entry zone and planned evacuation zone (in Namie-machi, Iitate-mura for example) around Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, instead of the national government doing it.

Article continues at:

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Few new students as school year starts


NARAHA, Fukushima Pref. — About 700 elementary and junior high schools in Fukushima Prefecture held ceremonies Friday to kick off the new school year, but some have significantly fewer new students compared with last April.

About 34,450 students had entered elementary or junior high schools in the prefecture as of Friday, down 1,450 from the previous year, the prefecture’s education board said. Many relocated with their families to other areas of Japan to avoid radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Article continues at:

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Relocation threatens to scatter, destroy bonds of tsunami-hit community

“(mainichi Japan) April 07, 2012”

Residents of temporary housing units are seen in the community of Nagahora in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture. (Mainichi)
Residents of temporary housing units are seen in the community of Nagahora in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture. (Mainichi)

RIKUZENTAKATA, Iwate — The terrible destruction wrought by the March 2011 tsunami along Japan’s northeast Pacific coast has seen tens of thousands of people uprooted and scattered across a host of temporary housing complexes or new homes beyond the prefecture. The local community of Nagahora, however, managed to hold together after the disaster, on this city’s Hirota Peninsula.

Article continues at:

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Kochi Pref. eyes underground tsunami shelter

“(mainichi Japan) April 07, 2012”

KOCHI — Kochi Prefecture in western Japan has decided to look into the feasibility of an “underground shelter” project using submarine technology to protect residents from a tsunami of up to 34.4 meters — the height of the tallest wave an expert panel under the Cabinet Office predicts may strike the prefecture’s coast.

The Kochi Prefectural Government made the decision after concluding that the present scheme to build a tsunami evacuation tower cannot help residents along the prefecture’s coastal region to safely flee from such an enormous wave.

Article continues at:

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Future Tokyo quake could shake high-rise buildings at twice speed of March 2011 temblor

“(mainichi Japan) April 06, 2012”

Long-period ground motion generated by the Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai earthquakes that are predicted to jolt extensive areas of eastern, central and western Japan, will shake high-rise buildings around Tokyo at twice the speed of that seen in the March 11, 2011 temblor, researchers predict.

Seismologists predict that these quakes, which are expected to be triggered by the Nankai Trough that lies south of Japan’s main island of Honshu, will likely register magnitude 9 — equal to the Great East Japan Earthquake.

A subcommittee of the Architectural Institute of Japan analyzed data of the Great East Japan Earthquake on seismometers across the country and predicted how the Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai quakes will affect high-rise buildings.

Long-period ground motion generated by last year’s temblor shook high-rise buildings in Shinjuku and other areas of the Tokyo metropolitan region. However, violent motion with a cycle of 2 to 6 seconds was limited. Rather, much movement had a cycle of more than 6 seconds.

Article continues at:

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CNN: “Sounds unbelieveable, but it’s true” — Japan paying for travelers to visit Fukushima — $63 to share photos on Facebook, $63 to answer 5 questions …More

Title: Japan pays Chinese travelers to tour Fukushima
Author: Raemin Zhang
Date: 6 April, 2012

It sounds unbelieveable [sic], but it’s true. […]

“All [Chinese] visitors who stay in a local hotel, visit two scenic spots in Fukushima and answer a poll of five questions can get a refund of RMB 400 (US$63) after they’ve returned home,” the [East Morning Post (link in Chinese only)] quotes Kokubun Kenji, chief representative of the Fukushima Prefectural Government Shanghai Office.

Article continues at:

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3D Animation Explaining Japan’s New Food Safety Standards for Radioactive Materials

FYI, Japan’s new food safety standards:

  • 10 becquerels/kg for drinking water, not 100.
  • 50 becquerels/kg for baby food
  • 50 becquerels/kg for milk
  • 100 becquerels/kg for general food
  • assuming 50% of food is contaminated
  • numbers are only for radioactive cesium

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Radioactive Japan: Kyoto City to Test Burn Disaster Debris Anyway

Despite the angry residents shouting down the national minister and local politicians at the JR Kyoto Station the other day, Mayor of Kyoto City Daisaku Kadokawa has already made up his mind. He has sent his official letter to the Ministry of the Environment, saying the city is ready to accept the disaster debris after conducting the burn tests at the city’s 3 incineration plants.

The mayor seems quite willing to throw the 650 billion yen per year tourism industry in Kyoto City down the drain in exchange for a few billion yen subsidy from the national government. I do hear that Kyoto City is in a dire financial condition, despite all the money tourists from all over the world drop in the city.

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Osaka Mayor: Japan will collapse if reactors are restarted hastily — Asahi: New safety standards for restarts written in just two days

Read the entire article at:

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Tepco gets gov’t warning about radioactive leak from Fukushima Daiichi — “At this time we have reserved the right to not provide an English version due to potential misunderstandings”

Read the entire article at:

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US Coast Guard sinks ghost ship

The US Coast Guard has sunk an abandoned Japanese fishing vessel that drifted across the Pacific Ocean after the March 11th tsunami last year.
A coast guard cutter started firing a 25-millimeter cannon at the ship on Thursday as it could have posed a danger to other vessels. The ship sank in waters more than 6,000 feet deep in the Gulf of Alaska several hours later.

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New nuclear safety standards criticized as ad-hoc measures

“(mainichi Japan) April 06, 2012”

An outline of the government’s new safety standards for resuming idled nuclear reactors has simply listed measures the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has drawn up in response to the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

The outline also suggests that operators of nuclear power plants express readiness to independently implement measures, reflecting the government’s veiled objective of restarting idled reactors at an early date.


The outline calls for power-source facilities inside nuclear power plants, but it remains unclear what kind of facilities power plant operators should prepare and to what extent they should improve their facilities to boost safety. It simply says nuclear power plant operators should find appropriate measures to ensure safety of nuclear power plants.

Baku Nishio, co-director of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, criticizes the government’s new safety standards, saying they are just ad-hoc measures in reaction to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Read the entire article at:

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Radioactive Japan: Food Items Exceeding New Safety Limit (100Bq/Kg)

Farmers in contaminated areas in Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, and Chiba continue to farm, and the government is busy setting up one PR campaign after another to appeal safety of things produced in Japan. The media do report, but unless your information comes from the net only, the news gets buried in the cacophony of mind-numbing small news of no significance on TV and print media.

Here’s the list of food items that I found which exceeded the new safety limit of 100 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium:

  1. Shiitake mushrooms: 350 becquerels/kg from Murata-cho, Miyagi Prefecture
  2. Bamboo shoots: 120 becquerels/kg from Kisarazu City, Chiba Prefecture; 110 becquerels/kg from Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture
  3. Bamboo shoots: 130 becquerels/kg from Sakae-cho, Chiba Prefecture; 170 becquerels/kg from Abiko City, Chiba PrefectureArticle continues at:

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Japanese mayors to establish anti-nuclear energy conference

TOKYO, April 6, Kyodo

Fifteen current and former Japanese mayors have proposed establishing a conference in opposition to nuclear power plants late this month following the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis, one of them said Friday.

Article continues at:

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Young Mayor of Chiba City Dismisses Citizen’s Concern Over Plutonium on the Disaster Debris

Toshihito Kumagai is a 34-year-old mayor of Chiba City who wants to accept and burn disaster debris from Iwate and Miyagi to “help the recovery” of the disaster-affected region. On his twitter on April 5, he answers a question from a citizen as follows:

(Citizen) Is there plutonium on the debris that Chiba City may accept?

(Mayor Kumagai) I don’t understand why you like plutonium so much [or “Oh that plutonium again”]. I can understand the concern over cesium, but I don’t understand why anyone worries about plutonium in Iwate and Miyagi.

Article continues at:

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Strontium from No. 1 plant taints Pacific


About 12 tons of water contaminated with radioactive strontium are feared to have leaked from the Fukushima No. 1 plant into the Pacific Ocean, Tepco said Thursday.


The water contained 16.7 becquerels of cesium per cu. centimeter and tests are under way to determine how much strontium was in it, Tepco said.

Read the entire article at:


I’m not good with words. Today all of Japan stopped again at 2:46 p.m.  To remember.

Here I repost today’s entry from over at Senri no michi. Will continue with news updates tomorrow.

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We remember

Mar 11th, 2012 by Senrinomichi

Today is the first anniversary of the triple disaster

We remember the 15,850 men, women and children who died that terrible day

those carried away in the icy waters,

those crushed under collapsing buildings,

those who starved to death in the days that followed,

because nobody could hear their cries for help

We remember the 3,287 people who are still declared missing,

the 6,011 who suffered injuries,

the 1,580 children who lost one or both parents

We remember the 260,000 people still living in temporary homes,

the 150,837 evacuated from the nuclear exclusion zone

unable to return to their towns, perhaps forever

We remember

that behind each of these statistics

there is a human life

We remember those countless people that the statistics have forgotten

Those who lost family

Those who lost friends

Those who lost their livelihoods

Those who took their own lives because they saw no hope

Those who go on living, but who have lost their will to live

We remember all who remain in the exclusion zone,

those who remain illegally to feed stray animals

those who work legally at the gates of hell

We remember all who must live with the constant fear of radiation

the children, whose playtime is curtailed

the parents, who worry for their children

To every one of you

May your God go with you,

wherever you may be

We remember the beautiful coastland,

the hundreds of thousands of proud trees,

so lastingly and brutally violated that day

We remember the soil and the sea,

the wildlife and the sea life

poisoned by radioactivity,

the domestic animals, abandoned to their fate

We remember a people whose relationship to nature changed forever that day

We remember a country we know as a friend,

changed forever that day

We remember so that the people, the soil, the sea, the trees,

may feel a little less alone

We remember so that we should not forget

We remember, so that we should not repeat our mistakes

But not only

We remember, we remember

Because we cannot do otherwise

The lead story on Day 273 is this video from Arnie Gundersen’s Vimeo web site. The video is of Marco Kaltofen’s presentation to the American Public Health Association.

In his presentation, Mr. Kaltofen recognizes the help of Safecast in providing samples from the Fukushima area for him to analyze. If you would like more information about Safecast, the web site is   

Safecast also has a discussion group on Google Groups. To sign up, see It’s an interesting listserv with experts, including Mr. Kaltofen, debating the severity of the problem at Daiichi.

If you are reading this from an area of Japan which is recording high levels of contamination, you might be interested in this:

        (snip from Dec 8, 2001 msg to the listerv)
        We are still accepting house dust and kid’s shoe samples by the way. I am hoping to publish all of the results in Environmental Science and Technology over the Christmas/New Years academic break in America. In particular, we’d be happy to test the soil, house dust, and a few shoes from the site where the samples in the video were taken.
        Email offline if anyone can help arrange this. (

      Marco Kaltofen

+ + + + + + + + + +

In case you hadn’t heard about this…

Adding Insult to Injury

TEPCO: Fukushima Radiation Isn’t Our Problem


In the amoral milieu of the corporate bottom line, you can’t blame Tokyo Electric Power Co. for trying.

Tepco owns the 6-reactor Fukushima complex that was wrecked by Japan’s March 11 earthquake and smashed by the resulting tsunami. It faces more than $350 billion in compensation and clean-up costs, as well as likely prosecution for withholding crucial information that may have prevented some radiation exposures and for operating the giant station after being warned about the inadequacy of its protections against disasters.

So when the company was hauled into Tokyo District Court Oct. 31 by the Sunfield Golf Club, which was demanding decontamination of the golf course, Tepco lawyers tried something novel. They claimed the company isn’t liable because it no longer “owned” the radioactive poisons that were spewed from its destroyed reactors.

“Radioactive materials that scattered and fell from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant belong to individual landowners there, not Tepco,” the company said. This stunned the Court, the plaintiffs and the press. An attorney for the golf club said, “We are flabbergasted….”

The court rejected Tepco’s notion that its cancer-causing pollution is owned by the areas it contaminated. But you have to hand it to Tepco. For brash balderdash there’s hardly a match in the world.

Even Union Carbide, whose toxic gas in Bhopal, India killed 15,000 people in 1984, hasn’t tried that one. Dow Chemical, which bought Union Carbide in 2001, is still fighting India’s demand for $1.7 billion in compensation. Perhaps Dow could try Tepco’s dodge: “The gas belongs to the breather now, since possession is nine-tenths of the law.”

Meanwhile, babies in Japan may be in for a life of debilitation and disease because radioactive cesium-137 and cesium-134 was recently found in infant milk powder. A December 6 announcement by the Meiji Holdings Company, Inc. said it was recalling 400,000 cans of its “Meiji Step,” powdered milk for babies older than 9 months. The powder was packaged in April — at the height of Fukushima’s largest radiation releases — distributed mostly in May and has an October 2012 expiration date.

The amount of cesium in one serving of the milk powder was about eight percent of the total contamination allowed by the government. But no one knows how much formula individual babies may have consumed prior to the recall. It is well known that fetuses, infants, children and women are harmed by doses of radiation below officially allowed exposures. Most exposure standards have been established in view of radiation’s projected effect on “Reference Man,” a hypothetical 20 to 30 year old white male, rather than women and children, the most vulnerable.

Even tiny amounts of internal radioactive contamination can damage DNA, cause cancer and weaken the immune system. Fukushima’s meltdowns dispersed radioactive contamination found in vegetables, milk, seafood, water, grain, animal feed and beef. Green tea grown 250 miles from Fukushima was found contaminated. Rice harvested this fall from 154 farms in Fukushima Prefecture was found in November to be poisoned with cesium 25 percent above the allowable limit. Shipments of rice from those farms were banned, but not before many tons had been sold. Presumably, that radiation is now the property of each consumer under the inventive assertion of Tepco’s corporate attorneys.

John LaForge is on the Nukewatch staff and edits its Quarterly newsletter.

Washington Post

Top US nuclear official in Japan: concerns over spent fuel at Fukushima plant were justified


Plant workers also reported high radiation levels from debris

in-between the Unit 3 and Unit 4 reactor buildings. Casto said his
team thought those radiation readings could indicate that damaged
nuclear fuel had spread on the site.

“You put that together and you say, ‘We’re worried that there may not be water in that spent fuel pool,’” he said.

Some information was open to debate. Japanese officials once called Casto to an emergency center where he watched video taken from a helicopter that flew over the Unit 4 building. Japanese officials told Casto that they saw a reflection among the rubble, indicating there was water in its pool.

“I couldn’t see it,” he said.

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Japan Funnels Tsunami Funds to Whaling Hunt

Published: December 8, 2011 at 6:00 AM ET

Tatsuya Nakaoku, a Fisheries Agency official in charge of whaling, defended the move, saying the funding helps support Japan’s whaling industry as a whole, including some whaling towns along the devastated northeastern coast. One ship on the hunt is based in Ishinomaki, a town hit badly by the March 11 tsunami, he said.

The budget request was made to beef up security and maintain the “stable operation” of Japan’s research whaling, he said, which has faced increasingly aggressive interference from boats with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Conservationist group Greepeace blasted the funding move, claiming it was siphoning money away from disaster victims.

The Japanese government has passed supplementary budgets totalling 18 trillion yen ($230 billion) for reconstruction after the March 11 tsunami. Nearly all the items are rebuilding projects, including nearly 500 billion yen for fisheries projects directly in the region, but some, including the whaling expedition, appear less directly related.

Media reports said Japan’s annual whaling expedition left Shimonoseki in southern Japan on Tuesday with plans to cull 900 whales, mostly minke whales, which are not endangered.

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NHK: Plant operators trying to find nuclear cores — All fuel has melted through, much of it into containment vessel… So where’s the rest?


Thank you to Anonymous for this link:

Japan’s Yukio Edano rebuffs Tepco bailout claim

Japan’s trade minister Yukio Edano has denied reports that troubled nuclear firm Tepco is about to receive a huge government bailout.

Mr Edano said Tepco, which runs the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, had made no requests for public money.

Reports said the government would buy about 1tn yen ($12.9bn; £8.2bn) of Tepco shares next year – which would in effect nationalise the firm.

Tepco shares plummeted on Thursday, ending the day down more than 11%.

The firm faces massive compensation payments and clean-up costs after March’s tsunami and earthquake caused three of the Fukushima plant’s reactors to go into partial meltdown.

The government had already agreed a 900bn yen bailout fund in November to help pay compensation for those affected.

Reports on Thursday in Japanese media said the 1tn yen share purchase was separate from the bailout fund.

The reports quoted unnamed sources saying the government would seek shareholder approval to lift the ceiling on issuance of Tepco shares at a meeting in June.

Some reports put the prospective share purchase figure as high as 3tn yen.

But Mr Edano told reporters on Friday: “As of now no requests have been made [from Tepco], and it is not the case that we are making arrangements in the direction of injecting public funds.

“We are considering with all kinds of possibilities in mind.”

Radioactive water leaks at Kyushu Electric’s Genkai reactor

In this file photo, the Genkai nuclear power plant, owned by Kyushu Electric Power Co., is seen in Genkai, Saga Prefecture, on Dec. 7, 2009. (Mainichi)
In this file photo, the Genkai nuclear power plant, owned by Kyushu Electric Power Co., is seen in Genkai, Saga Prefecture, on Dec. 7, 2009. (Mainichi)

SAGA (Kyodo) — Kyushu Electric Power Co. said Saturday that 1.8 tons of coolant water containing radioactive materials had leaked within a purification system at an idled reactor at its Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture.

But the utility failed to report the leak to the local governments when it detected it Friday morning, only notifying them of trouble with pumps in the system for the No. 3 reactor, which has been suspended for regular checkups, prompting the Genkai mayor to complain.

The water leaked from a joining area of the pumps, with no radioactive materials leaking outside the reactor building, and has been completely recovered, the utility said, adding that the intensity of radioactive matter contained is unknown.

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Tepco mulls 10% rate hike tied to ’13 Niigata reactor restart


Tokyo Electric Power Co., which has allegedly been overcharging consumers for possibly a decade, may “temporarily” raise rates 10 percent starting next fall and push for restarting reactors under inspection in Niigata Prefecture in spring 2013, sources said.

But it is uncertain if permission will be given for either goal, given public hostility toward Tepco on both the nuclear safety and information disclosure fronts.The plans are intended to restore the utility’s finances, which will be dicey even if augmented by taxpayer funds as the fuel costs for boosting thermal power generation due to the Fukushima crisis continue to climb.

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1st batch of quake debris from Miyagi arrives in Tokyo

TOKYO, Dec. 10, Kyodo

The first batch of rubble from Onagawa town in quake-hit Miyagi Prefecture arrived Saturday in Tokyo under an agreement through which the capital will help the town dispose of 100,000 tons of debris by March 2014.

Prior to the full-fledged transfer from February of some 50 tons of rubble per day, the Tokyo metropolitan government plans to incinerate about 140 tons in a test run from Tuesday to confirm the radioactive intensity of ash and exhaust gas.

In the first batch, 20 containers with about 30 tons of wood and other combustible waste arrived at JR Tokyo Freight Terminal in Shinagawa Ward for delivery by truck to a waste disposal facility in Ota Ward. A plant in Shinagawa Ward is also due for a similar test run this month.


TEPCO goal of rationalizing operations doubtful

Questions remain as to whether Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the tsunami-hit nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, will be able to achieve its goal of rationalizing its operations under its newly released action plan.

The utility will be required to shoulder the massive financial burden of placing its crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant under control and paying compensation to those affected by the crisis. Furthermore, it anticipates a sharp increase in its fuel costs that are estimated to reach about 1 trillion yen annually.

Moreover, it will be required to foot the costs of decommissioning and dismantling the crippled nuclear reactors and decontaminating areas tainted by radioactive substances leaking from the nuclear plant.

Since the company’s planned streamlining is far from enough to make up for the massive amounts of additional costs resulting from the nuclear crisis, there are no prospects that it can get out of the red.

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And finally, what happened to that vulcanologist professor up at Gunma University? Well, it seems that the press decided to interview him. When they showed up at his office, the president of the university said he couldn’t have a press interview there – even in his time off (i.e. not teaching). in the end, they turned off the electricity in this office. 
Okay, kiddies, now, play nicely. Takada-san, please turn on the lights like a good little boy and go back to your own office.

Professor Hayakawa’s Fukushima-Chernobyl Comparison Map, Updated (and Updated Again Already…)

and the radiation contour map version 5 have arrived. And after the reprimand, the professor seems more invigorated than ever.

He does not fit in, and that’s what irritates many people in Japan. Gunma University was so irritated, in fact, that it disallowed the use of electricity in his office during the press conference (link in Japanese) on December 8. The press conference was done without light and heat, in a dim light from outside. One reporter’s camera ran out of battery.
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