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Rally-Speak Out On Japan Kyushu Earthquake And Dangers Of Another Fukushima Ignored

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Event Type:
Press Conference
No Nukes Action Committee
Location Details:
Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St. near California St.
San Francisco

4/11 Rally-Speak Out On Japan Kyushu Earthquake And Dangers Of Another Fukushima Ignored By Abe Government
Wednesday May 11, 2016 3:00 PM
275 Battery St./California St.
San Francisco

On Wednesday May 11th at 3:00 PM , people will speak out at the San Francisco Japanese consulate to demand the closure of all nuclear plants in Japan including the Sendai nuclear plant and another nuclear plant in Kyushu. The recent 7.3 earthquake in Kyushu was very close to the Sendia plant which has been restarted by the Abe government and the corporate controlled Nuclear Regulatory Agency. The same corporate controlled agency has said that "the Sendai reactors can withstand seismic damage and don’t pose a risk to the surrounding area." The government using secrecy laws is also now clamping down on the press in Japan not to let the public know about the serious dangers to the communities and public about another Fukushima. The Abe appointed head of the national Japanese channel warned the reporters that they "shouldn't stir up needless alarm". This attack on journalist to shutdown information has even been criticized by the UN last month when U.N. Special Rapporteur David Kaye said "The independence of the press is facing serious threats -- a weak system of legal protection, persistent government exploitation of a media lacking in professional solidarity,"
The government and nuclear industry has refused to allow the media to go to the Sendai nuclear plant to check on what is happening there. There is now a national campaign and international campaign to demand that the nuclear plants be shutdown in Kyushu. This cover-up is also going on at Fukushima where the government is demanding that the refugees return or have their housing subsidies eliminated.
The Japanese government which runs TEPCO is continuing to release radioactive water including Tritium into the Pacific ocean and telling the children of Fukushima there is nothing to worry about while keeping information about the growing thyroid cancer surgeries in people in Fukushima and Japan.
People in the United States must not remain silent. They need to speak out for the people of Fukushima and the world that the nuclear plants in Japan as well as the US need to be closed including Diablo Canyon which is also on an earthquake fault.
Our lives and the lives of all people depend on it.

Speak Out and Rally initiated by
No Nukes Action Committee
For more information
(510) 495-5952

Growing Anger In Japan And Around The World Over Reckless Abe Continuing To Keep Nuke Plants Operating In Kyushu
Despite assurances, quakes prompt calls to switch off Japan’s nuclear reactors

• APR 18, 2016
OSAKA – Despite official assurances of no abnormalities at nuclear power plants in Kyushu and nearby areas after a series of earthquakes rocked the region, calls in and outside of Japan are growing to shut down the nations’ only two operating reactors at the Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture.

Since Thursday, the Meteorological Agency has recorded nearly 530 quakes at level 1 or above on the Japanese intensity scale in Kumamoto and Oita Prefectures. This includes more than 80 registering a 4 or higher on the scale. The agency has warned that seismic activity in the region may continue over the next week, possibly prompting more deadly landslides.

inRead invented by Teads
But despite the frequency of the quakes, the Sendai plant, just over the border from Kumamoto in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, has continued to generate electricity since the initial magnitude-6.5 quake rocked Kumamoto on Thursday, followed by a magnitude-7.3 temblor early Saturday.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Monday morning it had confirmed there were no abnormalities at the Sendai plant or at the nation’s other nuclear facilities.

It said the seismic intensity measured by the earthquakes was well below the level at which reactors should be switched off.

In addition, the NRA said, no problems were reported with the spent fuel pools at the Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture, the Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture and the Shimane plant in Shimane Prefecture.

But with continued quakes and aftershocks, fears are growing about what the constant shaking could mean in terms of cumulative damage that could result in a nuclear crisis.

An online Japanese- and English-language petition by a former Kumamoto resident to shut down the Sendai plant had drawn over 42,000 signatures worldwide as of Monday morning, while anti-nuclear activists in Fukui Prefecture have also criticized Kyushu Electric Power Co. and the NRA for continuing to operate the plant.

In Saga Prefecture on Sunday, about 100 mayors and town heads belonging to the Mayors for a Nuclear Power Free Japan added their voices, calling for the central government and the NRA to re-evaluate the way earthquake safety standards for nuclear power plants are calculated.

They also want the government to grant localities within 30 km of a nuclear power plant the legal authority to approve or reject reactor restarts.

The decision to keep the Sendai reactors running is also drawing criticism overseas.

“Given the general situation on Kyushu — including the ongoing seismic and volcanic activity, the large number of evacuees, and the damage to the transportation infrastructure — I believe it would be prudent for the reactors to be shut down until conditions have stabilized,” Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist at the Washington-based Union of Concerned Scientists and an expert on nuclear materials and atomic power safety policy, said in an email to The Japan Times.

In Ikata, Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku Electric hopes to restart the Ikata No. 3 reactor by this summer. But the revelation that the plant lies near the same fault line running through Kumamoto, the Japan Median Tectonic Line, the possibility of a disaster caused by a quake has locals concerned, especially about damage to infrastructure damage that would make it difficult to evacuate residents by either land or sea.

In light of the continued quakes and concerns by locals, political leaders in the area who OK’d the restart are likely to face intense pressure to rethink their stance.

Japan weighs release of tritium from Fukushima plant into sea
April 12, 2016 at 17:40 JST

To dump or not to dump a little-discussed substance is the question brewing in Japan as it grapples with the aftermath of the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima five years ago. The substance is tritium.

The radioactive material is nearly impossible to remove from the huge quantities of water used to cool melted-down reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which was wrecked by the massive tsunami in northeastern Japan in March 2011.

The water is still accumulating since 300 tons are needed every day to keep the reactors chilled. Some is leaking into the ocean.

Huge tanks lined up around the plant, at last count 1,000 of them, each hold hundreds of tons of water that have been cleansed of radioactive cesium and strontium but not of tritium.

Ridding water of tritium has been carried out in laboratories. But it's an effort that would be extremely costly at the scale required for the Fukushima plant, which sits on the Pacific coast. Many scientists argue it isn't worth it and say the risks of dumping the tritium-laced water into the sea are minimal.

Their calls to simply release the water into the Pacific Ocean are alarming many in Japan and elsewhere.

Rosa Yang, a nuclear expert at the Electric Power Research Institute, based in Palo Alto, California, who advises Japan on decommissioning reactors, believes the public angst is uncalled for. She says a Japanese government official should simply get up in public and drink water from one of the tanks to convince people it's safe.

But the line between safe and unsafe radiation is murky, and children are more susceptible to radiation-linked illness. Tritium goes directly into soft tissues and organs of the human body, potentially increasing the risks of cancer and other sicknesses.

"Any exposure to tritium radiation could pose some health risk. This risk increases with prolonged exposure, and health risks include increased occurrence of cancer," said Robert Daguillard, a spokesman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The agency is trying to minimize the tritium from U.S. nuclear facilities that escapes into drinking water.

Right after the March 2011 disaster, many in Japan panicked, some even moving overseas although they lived hundreds of kilometers away from the Fukushima no-go zone. By now, concern has settled to the extent that some worry the lessons from the disaster are being forgotten.

Tritium may be the least of Japan's worries. Much hazardous work remains to keep the plant stabilized, and new technology is needed for decommissioning the plant's reactors and containing massive radioactive contamination.

The ranks of Japan's anti-nuclear activists have been growing since the March 2011 accident, and many oppose releasing water with tritium into the sea. They argue that even if tritium's radiation is weaker than strontium or cesium, it should be removed, and that good methods should be devised to do that.

Japan's fisheries organization has repeatedly expressed concerns over the issue. News of a release of the water could devastate local fisheries just as communities in northeastern Japan struggle to recover from the 2011 disasters.

An isotope of hydrogen, or radioactive hydrogen, tritium exists in water form, and so like water can evaporate, although it is not known how much tritium escaped into the atmosphere from Fukushima as gas from explosions.

The amount of tritium in the contaminated water stored at Fukushima No. 1 is estimated at 3.4 peta becquerels, or 34 with a mind-boggling 14 zeros after it.

But theoretically collected in one place, it would amount to just 57 milliliters, or about the amount of liquid in a couple of espresso cups--a minuscule quantity in the overall masses of water.

To illustrate that point, Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, showed reporters a small bottle half-filled with blue water that was the equivalent of 57 milliliters.

Public distrust is running so high after the Fukushima accident that Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, the utility that operates the Fukushima plant and oversees its decommissioning, has mostly kept quiet about the tritium, pending a political decision on releasing the water.

Privately, they say it will have to be released, but they can't say that outright.

What will be released from Fukushima will be well below the global standard allowed for tritium in the water, say Tanaka and others favoring its release, which is likely to come gradually later this year, not all at once.

Proponents of releasing the tritium water argue that tritium already is in the natural environment, coming from the sun and from water containing tritium that is routinely released at nuclear plants around the world.

"Tritium is so weak in its radioactivity it won't penetrate plastic wrapping," said Tanaka.

Japan's Worst Quake Since 2011 Seen Delaying Nuclear Starts
Stephen Stapczynski
April 25, 2016 — 5:23 PM PDTUpdated on April 25, 2016 — 9:16 PM PDT

Japan’s biggest earthquake in five years may slow a government plan to restart the country’s atomic fleet that was shuttered amid safety concerns after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused the triple meltdown at Fukushima.
A series of earthquakes, including a magnitude-7.3 tremor that struck about 119 kilometers (74 miles) from the Sendai nuclear facility on the southern island of Kyushu this month, destroyed hundreds of homes, snapped bridges and left at least 49 people dead. It has also revived an effort to halt the plants’ operations.
The events may delay Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s goal of returning the country’s nuclear power plants to operation. About 60 percent of Japanese citizens oppose restarting reactors, according to a Nikkei newspaper poll from February, and the earthquake is intensifying pressure on the country’s nuclear regulator to vet safety rules.
“Nuclear is under a magnifying glass now, so even the smallest problem can create big delays,” Michael Jones, a Singapore-based gas and power analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd. said in an e-mail. “Fukushima has changed everything, and earthquakes and volcanoes are only making things worse.”
Transport Disruptions
Trains and highways were damaged in the Kyushu earthquake and if there is a nuclear accident from another earthquake or volcanic eruption, evacuations may be difficult, Datsugenpatsu Bengodan, a group of lawyers working to wean Japan off nuclear power said in an April 19 statement. The group said Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai No. 1 and 2 reactors, which were the first to restartunder post-Fukushima safety rules last year, should be shut.
An e-mail to Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority outside of normal business hours wasn’t immediately answered.
Evacuation Procedures
“Given this is the largest earthquake in over a century in Kyushu that has caused significant damage to infrastructure, it could slow down the pace of restarts,” said Tom O’Sullivan, founder of Mathyos, a Tokyo-based energy consultant. “It may now be even more imperative that emergency evacuation procedures are thoroughly tested.”
A nuclear accident at Sendai would require the evacuation of about 5,000 people in the surrounding 5 kilometers and more than 200,000 would need to seek immediate shelter within a 5- to 30-kilometer radius, according to a local government simulation from 2014.
The NRA, Japan’s nuclear regulator, said on April 18 that it sees no need to shut the two Sendai reactors. A high court on April 6 upheld a ruling that the Sendai reactors can withstand seismic damage and don’t pose a risk to the surrounding area.
A local court issued an injunction in March preventing the operation of Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama No. 3 and 4 reactors, questioning whether evacuation plans and tsunami prevention measures -- which had been endorsed by the government -- were robust enough.
The earthquake near Japan’s only operating reactors “may boost the nation’s anti-nuclear sentiment,” Joseph Jacobelli, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said in an April 22 note. “Technical and political obstacles mean even those units approved for restart are returning at a snail’s pace.”
Added to the calendar on Sat, May 7, 2016 4:56AM
A recent rally in late April 2016 against nuclear power in Japan
§No More Fukushima In Japan
by No Nukes Action Committee
Activists and more and more people in Japan are fearful of another Fukushima caused by the Japanese government opposition to close nuclear plants close to the recent major earthquake of 7.3 in Kyushu. The Abe government with the support of the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton want to keep the plants open despite the dangers.
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