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View other events for the week of 4/11/2013

Title: Stop Restarting Of Japan NUKE Plants
START DATE: Thursday April 11
TIME: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location Details:
50 Fremont St. San Francisco
Event Type: Protest
Every 11th of the month, activists rally and speak out against the restart of Japanese nuclear plants despite the lessons of the Fukushima meltdown. This month we will also demand that Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi and the Obama administration stop pushing Japan to restart their fifty nuclear plants.
Two years after the meltdown, the "clean up" continues with breakdowns and the Abe government continues to push with US Obama support to re-open the 50 remaining nuclear plants in Japan.
The Japanese government is also pushing to burn nuclear rubble around the country and is refusing to allow for the evacuation of the children and people of Fukushima. In fact the Japanese government and the IAEA is telling the people of Japan that they can overcome radiation and the Fukushima area can be "decontaminated" and that people should move back to within four mile of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown.
They are also arresting and harassing anti-nuclear activists in arrests around the country. The Japanese government is making a clear effort to silence the truth about the continued dangers.
Two Year On, Will the Lessons Of Fukushima Go Unheeded?
http://occupy.com/article/two-years-will-lessons-fukushima-go-unheeded
MON, 3/11/2013 - BY PETER RUGH
New 0 0 0

The word Fukushima translates into English as "happy island," and Diiachi as "beautiful." But the triple nuclear reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima-Diiachi power station on March 11, 2011, two years ago today, left a mess that continues to be anything but happy or pretty for Japan's outraged citizens.

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets since the disaster, calling for the country to move off nuclear power for good. The largest demonstrations occurred last summer, when 200,000 marched on then-Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's residence demanding the government back off plans to restart two of the country's 50 reactors, which had been offline since 3/11.

In Western Japan, protesters blockaded the Ohi plant containing the first of the two reactors set to restart, reportedly forcing employees to commute by boat. Seventy percent of Japan's population remains in favor of a nuke-free future, but the government has, so far, ignored demonstrators' demands. Over the weekend, large rallies were again held in Tokyo commemorating the dark anniversary of the meltdowns.

The earthquake-triggered tsunami that struck Fukushima on March 11, 2011, is often blamed for the disaster. In reality, it was a nuclear industry composed of lax government regulators, a cost skimming mega-corporation and Japan's powerful mafia, the Yakuza, that managed to decimate much of Northeastern Japan. It's a tale that nuclear-fueled nations across the world could learn from if they wish to prevent future Fukushimas.

Approximately 17,000 people were killed when the tsunami struck Japan's northeastern coast, but the deadly effects of the estimated 900 quadrillion becquerels of radiation released from the meltdowns will take longer to reveal themselves. The first cases of illness induced by radiation have only recently begun cropping up among Japanese children. In February, authorities detected ten cases of cancer among children from Fukushima Prefecture.

The region's economy is also fighting for its life. Fields of Fukushima's famed oranges were left to rot on the vine and now the land grows wild without hands to till it. As of two weeks ago, a fish caught near the plant registered radiation levels 2,500 times the government's recommended limit. It will likely take decades to restore the region's agriculture and fishing industries. Experts have given cleanup operations at Fukushima a centuries-long timetable.

In the immediate wake of the disaster, a government spokesperson told reporters, “There has been no meltdown.” Masataka Shimizu, president of Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), one of the world's largest utilities and the operator of the crippled plant, described the tsunami as an “unforeseeable disaster.”

Yet an internal report conducted by Tepco, three years prior to the disaster, warned that the company should fortify the plant to withstand waves higher than 5.7 meters. Company higher-ups dismissed the reports' findings as unrealistic and did nothing. Waves nearly 15 meters high eventually bore down on the plant.

In the weeks leading up to the tsunami, Tepco also failed to inspect 33 pieces of equipment vital to stabilizing the plant's reactors in the event of an emergency, according to Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (now the Nuclear Regulation Authority). The agency described Tepco's maintenance of the 40-year-old facility as “inadequate” and its monitoring of equipment as “insufficient.”

Stress tests conducted by regulators found breakage in backup generators needed as a last resort to keep reactors cool. Those generators would later be disabled by the waters of the Pacific, leading to multiple meltdowns.

An independent committee authorized by Japan's parliament to investigate the disaster reported that Tepco, along with regulators, had “failed to correctly develop the most basic safety requirements—such as assessing the probability of damage, preparing for containing collateral damage from such a disaster, and developing evacuation plans for the public in the case of a serious radiation release.”

When it came to stabilizing and decommissioning the reactors, who did Tepco call? The Yakuza. Thanks to lax governmental oversight, the mafia has long been entrenched in the Japanese nuclear industry, providing plant operators with a steady supply of poorly trained, low wage workers through subcontractor front companies to do the highest risk jobs.

Sometimes referred to as "nuclear gypsies," nearly 90 percent of Japan's nuclear plant workforce are contract laborers. The Yakuza draws them from the bottom rungs of society; the homeless, the chronically unemployed and members of Japan's outcast Burakumin minority. Sometimes those stepping into hazmat suits are working off a debt they owe the Yakuza.

Nuclear gypsies have been on the front lines of Fukushima from the get-go. One worker told Reuters, "I get stomach aches. I am constantly stressed. When I'm back in my room, all I can do is worry about the next day. They should give us a medal." Instead they are rewarded with 840 yen an hour, nearly half the typical wage a construction worker in the region receives.

Video obtained by Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper last summer showed one foreman ordering workers at Fukushima to put lead shields over their dosimeters in order to doctor radiation readings. Further allegations of health and safety violations abound. Outsourcing the clean-up job to nuclear gypsies at the whip of the Yakuza has enabled Tepco to shift costs and responsibility off their shoulders.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld employed a similar strategy during the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, outsourcing the tasks of feeding and providing healthcare and protection to troops, even – in many cases – the job of fighting the wars themselves.

“The primary difference between Tepco and the Yakuza,” a parliament member from Japan's rightwing Liberal Democratic Party told The Atlantic's Jake Adelstein, “is they have different corporate logos,” adding: “They both are essentially criminal organizations that place profits above the safety and welfare of the residents where they operate; they both exploit their workers.”

The lawmaker speculated that the Yakuza might care more about what happens at the plant since many members of the criminal underworld involved in the decommissioning effort live in the area, unlike Tepco's executives who are cloistered in Tokyo highrises 160 miles southwest of Fukushima Prefecture. For them, he said, “Fukushima is just the equivalent of a parking lot.”

Japanese taxpayers continue to bare the cost of decommissioning the plant and of keeping Tepco afloat. The corporation received a $13 billion dollar bailout last year and has raised rates by 10 percent on residential customers in order to pay back the funds. The company estimates cleanup costs could run as high as $125 billion over the next 10 years and is seeking additional funds.

Meanwhile, the price of Fukushima in both economic and human terms has turned many against nuclear power. Olav Hohmeyer, an environmental adviser to the German government, reflected that the $3.7 billion in minimum reactor insurance that German plant operators were required to pay would be merely “enough to buy the stamps for the letters of condolence” should things go the way of Fukushima.

Germany has begun weening itself off nuclear power at the advice of than ethics commission established in the wake of Fukushima. Eight reactors in the country have so far been shuttered. A combination of renewable energy and conservation has filled the gap, although murmurs are growing about a spike in energy costs.

America, where corporations and not ethics commissions decide policy, has taken the opposite route. In 2012, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved two fresh reactor licenses at Plant Vogtle near Augusta, Georgia. Also with NRC approval, General Electric, the designer of the reactors at Fukushima, has begun construction of a new uranium enrichment facility in Wilmington, North Carolina.

President Obama was forced to scale back plans to triple the number of reactors in the U.S. after the Fukushima disaster, yet nonetheless he has remained steadfast to his commitment to nuclear power, which comprises a powerful part of his donor base.

Exelon, one the nation's largest plant operators, has described itself as “The President's Utility.” Employees of the firm, which also has coal and solar holdings, have handed Obama nearly half a million dollars in campaign contributions over the years. In return, the president awarded Exelon a $200 million stimulus grant from the Energy Department. And, under terms described by The New York Times as “extremely generous,” government lent the corporation $646 million to build photovoltaic panels in California.

Not that the corporation is abandoning reactors for that great reactor in the sky called the sun; they're simply diversifying with the president's help. If the recent nomination of Ernest Moniz as Energy Secretary – a nuclear scientist as well as cheerleader for the fracking industry – is any indication, we can expect more atomic favoritism throughout the rest of Obama's second term.

The NRC has estimated that a U.S. nuclear disaster on par with Fukushima could cause more than $500 billion in property damage. Setting aside a review of that assertion by the Congressional Governmental Accountability Office -- which found that the agency had low-balled the figure by half -- it's still quite a whopper.

Under the 1957 Price-Anderson Act, yearly insurance premiums required of plant operators are caped at $375 million. The non-profit advocacy group Public Citizen calculates this arrangement leaves taxpayers footing around 98% of the bill. Originally designed to stimulate the atomic industry, which was then in its infancy, the act was renewed in 2005 and has been padding the pockets of powerful energy conglomerates going on six decades.

Over that time span, most of America's 100-plus reactors, originally designed to last four decades, have entered their geriatric years. All the while, the NRC has remained as committed as their Japaneses counterparts to the industry's desire to keep costs low. The agency has granted hundreds of fire safety exemptions to plant operators through a process it describes as “enforcement discretion.”

Exactly how many of these exemptions remains uncertain, since the NRC does not keep - or at least does not release to the public - a detailed tally. According to a review of NRC records by the investigative website ProPublica, fires occur on average 10 times a year at U.S. nuclear plants. Flames can sever the link between a reactor and its control room.

And Fukushima demonstrates what happens when that umbilical cord is cut.

Why has Germany moved off nuclear just as the U.S. is further ramping up its operations? For one, Germany has been host to a decades-long anti-nuclear struggle, and people power seems to have prevailed. In the U.S., likewise, people will have to hit the pavement if they expect the lessons of Fukushima to be heeded on American soil.

In Japan, the public's faith in authorities has severely eroded since the fallout of Fukushima. The new conservative government of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has announced plans to restart six reactors by the end of this year, and even to build new ones. Which is why, living under a corporate-government alliance that refuses to heed the lessons and evidence of the past, the Japanese public is putting its hopes in the only forum it has left: the streets.





Added to the calendar on Friday Apr 5th, 2013 8:15 AM

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§Art About Fukushima Meltdown
by nonukesactioncommittee(at)gmail.com Friday Apr 5th, 2013 8:15 AM
fukushima-japan.jpg
fukushima-japan.jpg

The Japanese people and the people of the world face continued contamination and dangers of further meltdowns of nuclear plants
§Fukushima Children
by nonukesactioncommittee(at)gmail.com Friday Apr 5th, 2013 8:15 AM
fukushima_childrend_taking_iodined_capsuls.jpg
fukushima_childrend_takin...

Fukushima children taking iodine tablets

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Japan Passes Law To Cleanse Internet Of "Bad" Fukushima Radiation News
http://www.examiner.com/article/japan-passes-law-to-cleanse-internet-of-bad-fukushima-radiation-news

• JAPAN NUCLEAR RADIATION

• JULY 24, 2011

• BY: ALEXANDER HIGGINS


Japanese Farmer Refuses To Kill Radioactive Cows
Credits: Uncanny Terrain - YouTube


Japan has passed a law that will enable the police and contractors to monitor internet activity without restriction to "cleanse" the Internet of any "bad" Fukushima radiation news.

As I previous reported, Japan has officially ordered the censorship of any reporting of the truth about the Fukushima nuclear radiation fallout by ordering telecommunications companies and web masters to scrub any stories negative stories from the about the disaster.

Japan Officially Orders Censorship Of Truth About Fukushima Nuclear Radiation Disaster

The government of Japan has issued an official order to telecommunications companies and web masters to censor reports which contradict the state media reports that the Fukushima nuclear radiation disaster is over.




Japan Government Officially Censors Truth About Fukushima Nuclear Radiation Disaster

The supposedly free democratic nation of Japan, which supposedly values and promotes freedom of speech, has officially issued orders to telecommunication companies and webmasters to remove content from websites that counter the official government position that the disaster is over and there is no more threat from the radiation.

The government charges that the damage caused by earthquakes and by the nuclear accident are being magnified by irresponsible rumors, and the government must take action for the sake of the public good. The project team has begun to send “letters of request” to such organizations as telephone companies, internet providers, cable television stations, and others, demanding that they “take adequate measures based on the guidelines in response to illegal information. ”The measures include erasing any information from internet sites that the authorities deem harmful to public order and morality.

Source: Asia Pacific Journal


Nuclear Expert Arnie Gundersen On The Latest Fukushima Developments


© 2013 Microsoft Corporation© 2012 Zenrin
Location: Tokyo, Japan
35.675195753574 ;139.76959593594
Note: I saw the executive order issued by Japan a week or two ago but could not find it in an English version anywhere but didn't report on it because the Japanese to English translated versions of the order did not provide clear enough meaning. What I gathered from the order was that Japan ordered telecommunication companies to provide notices to websites and webmasters to remove messages from internet bulletin boards and websites that conflicted with the Government reported version of events. If the websites and webmasters did not comply the telecommunication companies are to shut down offending websites as this is considered a national security issue which is affecting public safety and contributing to public unrest. It was also ordered that email communications be monitored to prevent the spread of false rumors. If you can find the original executive order, please send me a tip with the link.

[...]

When Tanaka requested the names of the media executives hosted by TEPCO in China, Katsumata retorted, “I cannot reveal their names since this is private information.” But it is precisely such collusive relations between mainstream media, the government and TEPCO, that results in the censorship of information concerning nuclear problems.

Now the Japanese government has moved to crack down on independent reportage and criticism of the government’s policies in the wake of the disaster by deciding what citizens may or may not talk about in public. A new project team has been created by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, the National Police Agency, and METI to combat “rumors” deemed harmful to Japanese security in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

The government charges that the damage caused by earthquakes and by the nuclear accident are being magnified by irresponsible rumors, and the government must take action for the sake of the public good. The project team has begun to send “letters of request” to such organizations as telephone companies, internet providers, cable television stations, and others, demanding that they “take adequate measures based on the guidelines in response to illegal information. ”The measures include erasing any information from internet sites that the authorities deem harmful to public order and morality.

[...]

Read The Rest...

Apparently the previous order was not enough to stem the flow of negative news as Japan has passed allow that will allow police unrestricted access to monitor all Internet communications to crack down on the so-called rumors. Making matters worse, Japan has issued open bids for companies to monitor blogs and social media such as tweets to crack down on the information making its way around the internet.

According to are report on the U.K progressive, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, opened a call for bids (tender) regarding the “Nuclear Power Safety Regulation Publicity Project”, for contractors to monitor blogs and tweets posted about nuclear power and radiation.

“Nuclear Power Safety Regulation Publicity Project” stipulates that, “The Contractor is required to monitor blogs on nuclear power and radiation issues as well as Twitter accounts (monitoring tweets is essential) around the clock, and conduct research and analysis on incorrect and inappropriate information that would lead to false rumors, and to report such internet accounts to the Agency. The “Contractor” is required to keep the Agency well informed on the internet accounts and keywords used in the blogs and Twitter accounts that are posting incorrect and inappropriate information. The Contractor is required to maintain sufficient number of personnel for around-the-clock monitoring. The Contractor is required to submit reports on internet accounts via CDR.” The document, however, does not state that blogs or Twitter accounts, which run afoul of METI’s guidelines, are to be banned or frozen.”

Nuclear News adds in their report 'Japan about to censor Internet news on nuclear radiation?'

Since March 11, 2011 it has been reported that YouTube videos containing footage or comments unfavorable to Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) or the Japanese government have been removed within several hours of their posting. Examples of offending YouTube videos include excerpts of TV shows with controversial comments like footage showing smoke emitted from the nuclear reactors, and an ex-TEPCO employee speaking on his Fukushima experiences. Likewise, Twitter accounts with too much content regarding nuclear power and radiation issues have been disrupted.

Prof. Ibusuki of Seijo Univ. Law Dept. comments:

“The Computer Network Monitoring Law will enable the police to monitor anyone’s internet activity without restriction.” Although this appears, on the surface, to be beneficial when targeting cyber-attacks, some Japanese commentators are suggesting that the law is un-Constitutional……

“Nuclear Power Safety Regulation Publicity Project” stipulates that, “The Contractor is required to monitor blogs on nuclear power and radiation issues as well as Twitter accounts (monitoring tweets is essential) around the clock, and conduct research and analysis on incorrect and inappropriate information that would lead to false rumors, and to report such internet accounts to the Agency. The “Contractor” is required to keep the Agency well informed on the internet accounts and keywords used in the blogs and Twitter accounts that are posting incorrect and inappropriate information. The Contractor is required to maintain sufficient number of personnel for around-the-clock monitoring. The Contractor is required to submit reports on internet accounts via CDR.” The document, however, does not state that blogs or Twitter accounts, which run afoul of METI’s guidelines, are to be banned or frozen.”

The U.K Progressive further elaborates:

Saturday, July 23, The Japan Times reported, about 1,500 cows that were fed hay containing radioactive cesium, in excess of the government limit, were found to have been shipped from Fukushima and other prefectures to all of Japan except Okinawa, as of Thursday, July 21. Evidence of rising contamination in and around the plant has tempered optimism, and new reports has consumers raising questions about whether it remains safe to eat beef, chicken and pork.

Since March 11, 2011 it has been reported that YouTube videos containing footage or comments unfavorable to Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) or the Japanese government have been removed within several hours of their posting. Examples of offending YouTube videos include excerpts of TV shows with controversial comments like footage showing smoke emitted from the nuclear reactors, and an ex-TEPCO employee speaking on his Fukushima experiences. Likewise, Twitter accounts with too much content regarding nuclear power and radiation issues have been disrupted.

While many radioactive cattle have been discovered long distances from Fukushima, what is more important is where their feed is coming from.

Uncanny Terrain: Yoshizawa’s ranch is 14km downwind from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The government ordered him to kill his 300 cows. Most of his neighbors’ animals are gone, but some have been released and joined his herd. Yoshizawa refuses to kill his cows. He wants them to be studied for the effects of radiation.

Straw found 45 miles from Fukushima is highly contaminated with radioactive cesium, which is an indication that radiation has contaminated large portions of Northern Japan. More than half a million disintegration per second in a kilogram of straw are comparable to Chernobyl levels.

The American Nuclear Regulatory Commission was correct when it told Americans to evacuate beyond 50 miles from Fukushima – the Japanese should have done the same. Ex-Secretariat, Gundersen, of Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission blames this contamination on “Black Rain”. “Rather than minimize the information the Japanese people receive,” Gundersen suggests, “minimizing their radiation exposure..”

This video included in the progressive report page shows the type of the negative information Japan is trying to keep a lid. Even in light of the recent beef scandal were Japan allowed highly radioactive beef to be shipped all over the country and be eaten when it was widely reported that the beef was highly radioactive this man whose cows are only 14 miles from the Fukushima plant refuses to kill his cows.

Meanwhile, in this video, Nuclear Engineer Arnie Gundersen says it is time to stop trying to minimize the flow of information and start minimizing the radiation exposure people are receiving.

Famed Nuclear Physicist Chris Bubsy goes even further says the Fukushima disaster health risk is being grossly underestimated and is far worse than Chernobyl on a global level.

Instead of factual reporting, the new law will mean a news sites and blogs will become proliferated with news articles like this report from Daily Yomuri with the feel good healdine of "Fun in the sun for Fukushima families".

Fun in the sun for Fukushima families

[...]

To make summer more enjoyable for children, a newly organized group called "Fukushima no kodomo o mamoru kai" (group to protect Fukushima children) is planning a 29-day trip around Hokkaido for children and their parents from Fukushima Prefecture.

The group was founded by a woman who evacuated from Fukushima to Sapporo and other volunteers. During the one-month program, which begins Monday, participants can enjoy swimming, hiking and bug collecting.

It costs only 5,000 yen for children and 20,000 yen for parents with additional funds coming from donations by Hokkaido residents and others. A total of 20 families or 44 people are slated to participate in the program.

Yuka Saito, 38, who will join the trip with her three children, said: "My kids and I are tired of worrying about radiation. In Hokkaido, we don't have to worry about food contamination and I want my kids to run around outside and enjoy themselves."

The Fukushima University disaster volunteer center, mainly made up of university students, will invite about 40 primary school students for a free, five-day summer camp on the Shima Peninsula, Mie Prefecture.

In Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, parents and schools will give about 840 children and parents the opportunity to travel abroad to Asian countries or to many destinations in Japan, including Okinawa. Participants do not have to pay for transportation, accommodation or most other expenses, which will be covered by local governments and nonprofit organizations.

[...]

Source: The Daily Yomuri
by repost
Sunday Apr 7th, 2013 9:31 AM
Tepco finds second pit leaking in Fukushima
Seepage minor but casts doubt on radioactive storage strategy
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/04/08/national/tepco-finds-second-pit-leaking-in-fukushima/#.UWGeo46hDFI

Radioactive route: Journalists in protective gear are taken to the No. 4 reactor building at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant on March 6. | AP
NATIONAL
Tepco finds second pit leaking in Fukushima
Seepage minor but casts doubt on radioactive storage strategy

A second underground storage pool is leaking radioactive water at the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 power plant, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday.

The first pool, No. 2, was found to have leaked 120 tons of highly radioactive water on Friday. The size of the leak at the second pool, No. 3, was confirmed at 3 liters late Sunday. The leaks are likely to force Tepco to review its storage strategy for the toxic water, which has become its biggest enemy.

Since the leak is small, there are no plans to drain pool No. 3 into another storage area as is being done with pool No. 2, Tepco said.

The pools are part of a group of seven vast clay-lined storage pits at the plant measuring 60 meters long, 53 meters wide and 6 meters deep. Since each is covered in three layers of protective waterproof lining, how the water escaped will remain a mystery until the faulty pits are drained and examined.

Tepco said Saturday it detected just 0.11 becquerel of radioactive substances emitting beta particles, such as strontium, per cubic centimeter of groundwater found outside the external lining of pit No. 3 the same day. The radiation level was about double that detected Wednesday.

At that time, the utility said the water leaked by pit No. 2 may have seeped into the soil surrounding No. 3, where the second case of leakage was found. But after detecting substances exhibiting 2,200 becquerels of radioactivity in water found between the second and third layers of lining at No. 3 on Sunday, the utility concluded that this pit was leaking as well. The reasons behind the radiation discrepancies were not explained.

The water level inside pool No. 3, however, hasn’t fallen, indicating the leak isn’t that large, Tepco said.

Tepco is transferring the remaining water in No. 2 to two other pits, but the water escaping from No. 3 is raising questions about the integrity of all of the pools and the subsequent risk to the environment.

Aside from the pools, the power plant has been building makeshift tanks to store the tainted seawater, which is perpetually needed to cool the damaged reactors’ melted fuel rods. But capacity is running out quickly.

Masayuki Ono, a senior Tepco official, said at a news conference Sunday that it is difficult for the plant to store all of the radioactive water in the temporary tanks.

On Saturday, Tepco said that around 120 tons of contaminated water with an estimated 710 billion becquerels of radioactivity probably leaked into the ground under the Fukushima No. 1 power plant. No explanation was given about where it might have ended up.

“It is the largest amount of radioactive substances that has been leaked” since the crippled facility’s cold shutdown was declared in December 2011, Tepco official Masayuki Ono said.

The utility said the remainder of the water in pool No. 2 — an enormous 13,000 tons — is being pumped into other tanks nearby — a process expected to take days.