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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Anti-War View other events for the week of 11/11/2017
|Rally at Japan Consulate in SF|
|Date||Saturday November 11|
|Time||3:00 PM - 4:00 PM|
|Import this event into your personal calendar.|
275 Battery St near California
|Organizer/Author||No Nukes Action Committee|
11/11 Rally-Speak Out At SF Japan Consulate-Stop Abe Government From Restarting NUKE Plants & Defend the Children and Families of Fukushima
Rally Speak Out
Saturday November 11, 2017 3:00 PM
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St. near California St.
Despite the denials by the Japanese Abe government, Fukushima continues to contaminate the population of the area and the world. The government has declared that the area has been decontaminated but the radioactive water continues to accumulate in thousands of tanks. The clean-up has failed to even remove the radioactive material from the reactors that melted down due to the deadly high level of radiation that has even destroyed robots. There is already 22 million cu. meters of contaminated waste yet the government continues to claim that it is safe to return and is pushing to restart additional nuclear reactors.
The government is also pushing ahead to demand that the residents including families return to Fukushima or face the removal of their subsidies. This despite the fact that the courts have ruled that TEPCO now controlled by the government is financially responsible for the costs of this disaster for the people.
The government at the same time has declared that it is preparing for a massive Nankai Trough earthquake on Japan’s Pacific coast that according to even the government's own estimate might kill 320,000 people yet it is planning to reopen nuclear plants in the very places it says there is a danger of a major historic quake that would create many nuclear meltdowns and a massive nuclear cloud of radioactive contamination threatening not just Japan but entire humanity and the environment.
The effort to reopen the nuclear plants is now combined with growing repression of the people with a secrecy bill and conspiracy law that will allow the government to charge journalists and citizens with crimes who are working to get information out about the dangers of Fukushima and the nuclear power industry.
The Abe government is now working with Trump to remilitarize and remove Article 9 of the constitution which forbids offensive war and Trump is demanding that Japan buy more military equipment and weapons. Over 40,000 people marched in Tokyo last weekend to oppose war and militarization yet the government is pushing ahead despite mass opposition.
It is time to speak out to defend the people of Fukushima and oppose the restarting of Japan’s nuclear plants and oppose militarization of Japan including the development of nuclear weapons.
Make sure your voice be heard.
Speak Out and Rally initiated by
No Nukes Action Committee
Sprawling radioactive waste storage facility opens for business in Fukushima
OCT 28, 2017
The government’s new radioactive waste storage facility in Fukushima Prefecture kicked into full gear on Saturday after completing a roughly four-month trial run.
While the facility near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex is designed to store soil and other tainted waste collected during decontamination work for up to 30 years, it remains only half complete six years after the triple core meltdown struck in March 2011.
An estimated 22 million cu. meters of contaminated waste exists in Fukushima, but the facility does not yet have enough capacity to store it all, and residents fear it will sit there permanently in the absence of a final disposal site.
The government has been able to buy only 40 percent of the land so far but eventually plans to secure 1,600 hectares for the facility, which is expected to generate ¥1.6 trillion ($14.1 billion) in construction and related costs.
The storage facility is urgently needed to consolidate the 13 million cu. meters of radioactive waste scattered around the prefecture. The prolonged disposal work, among other concerns, is said to be keeping residents away from their hometowns even when the evacuation orders are lifted.
Also on Saturday, the government began full operation of a facility where waste intended for incineration, such as trees and plants, is separated from the rest.
Contaminated soil is sorted into different categories depending on cesium level before storage.
Japan Operator set to request 20 years extra for Tokai nuclear plant
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
October 27, 2017 at 17:35 JST
The Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan Atomic Power Co. is preparing to apply for a 20-year extension to operate the aged Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant beyond its 40-year life span, sources said.
Such an extension would be the first among Japan’s aged boiling-water reactors, which include those at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant’s reactor, which went into service in 1978, is in a heavily populated area not far from Tokyo.
The company deems the 20-year extension of the plant in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, as imperative to securing a stable revenue stream, the sources said.
However, the plan is expected to bring a host of challenges to the operator.
One is how to secure funds so as to cover the costs to improve safety at the old facility required under the more stringent nuclear regulations set after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
Another is to ease concerns of local governments of the area where nearly 1 million residents could be affected in the event of a serious accident.
The move toward the extension comes as the Nuclear Regulation Authority is set to rule that the plant has met standards set in the new regulations necessary for a restart, the sources said.
The Tokai No. 2 plant, about 120 kilometers from the heart of the capital, houses one unit capable of generating 1.1 gigawatts.
If Japan Atomic Power proceeds with its plan to apply for the extension, it needs to submit the application to the NRA by Nov. 28.
The Tokai No. 2 plant narrowly escaped a catastrophe like the one at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant when it was struck by the magnitude-9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
It took Japan Atomic Power three and a half days to shut the reactor down when the disaster knocked out power. One of the three emergency generators installed there became dysfunctional after they were submerged by tsunami.
Some experts said it could have become impossible to keep cooling the reactor if the tsunami had been 70 centimeters higher.
Japan Atomic Power is keen to extend the operation of the Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant as the facility is the only venue that will feasibly bring it revenue.
“It has no option but to apply for the extended operation,” said an official familiar with the management of the company.
Apart from the Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant, Japan Atomic Power owns three other reactors: one at the Tokai nuclear plant, also in Tokai, and two at the Tsuruga nuclear plant in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture.
The one at the Tokai nuclear plant and one unit at the Tsuruga nuclear plant are on their way to being decommissioned.
Prospects for whether the company can win approval for a restart of the remaining reactor at the Tsuruga nuclear plant are bleak, as it has been reported that the facility was likely built on an active seismic fault.
If the company pulled the plug on the Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant, it would mean that it would be left with no revenue sources.
That expected management crisis could likely affect the bottom line of utilities such Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which has a stake in Japan Atomic Power.
The Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant supplies power to TEPCO and Tohoku Electric Power Co., and although extending its operation would keep those revenue sources open, it would also come with a huge price tag.
The company said Oct. 26 that the estimated costs of the safeguarding measures for a restart of the plant will balloon to about 180 billion yen ($1.58 billion), more than double the 78 billion yen projected initially.
The total sum is expected to further increase if Japan Atomic Power chooses to operate the plant beyond the 40-year limit, according to the sources.
The plant’s extended operation could prove to be a big headache for local governments nearby.
Municipalities within a 30-kilometer radius are required to draw up evacuation plans to prepare for a contingency in the post-Fukushima crisis years.
Hammering out workable plans for close to 1 million residents in the area is expected to be difficult, the sources said.
Even the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which oversees the nuclear industry, is cautious about the extension.
“The consequences would be too enormous if an accident did occur,” said a ministry official.
(This story was written by Tsuneo Sasai and Yusuke Ogawa.)
Japan NRA approves safety measures at TEPCO plant in Niigata
By MASANOBU HIGASHIYAMA/ Staff Writer
October 4, 2017 at 16:10 JST
The Nuclear Regulation Authority confirmed the results of its screening on the technological aspects of the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors that TEPCO wants to bring online at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant.
It was also the first time for the NRA to conclude that boiling-water reactors, the same type as those at TEPCO’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, met the new safety standards adopted after the meltdowns at the plant in 2011.
The NRA plans to hear opinions from the public about its judgment for 30 days before deciding on whether to make the approval official. It will also solicit the views of the minister of economy, trade and industry.
As one condition for official approval, the NRA is requiring the industry minister to oversee the utility’s management policy concerning its initiative and responsibility for work to decommission the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
From now, the NRA will check equipment designs and security regulations, including how TEPCO will guarantee its promise that its priority is on safety, not economic benefits.
The NRA’s screening process at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant went beyond checking technological aspects of TEPCO’s safety measures. Given TEPCO’s history of mistakes and blunders, NRA members also discussed whether the utility was even eligible to operate nuclear power plants.
In response to the NRA’s demands that TEPCO take full responsibility for decommissioning the Fukushima No. 1 plant, the utility in late August stressed that its stance of putting importance on safety is “a promise to the people.”
The NRA then approved TEPCO’s eligibility but attached some conditions.
In late September, however, it came to light that workers at the Fukushima No. 1 plant were erroneously setting water gauges to measure groundwater levels of wells around reactor buildings, which could cause leaks of highly contaminated water to the outside water.
Inspectors will face a formidable challenge in judging individual issues facing TEPCO based on security regulations.
However, even if TEPCO passes all of the screenings, it must win the consent of local governments to restart the reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant.
Niigata Governor Ryuichi Yoneyama has said that he will wait for three or four years to make decision on the restarts, until his prefectural government completes its own investigation into the cause of the 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.
New guidelines outlined to deal with quake that may kill 320,000
By TAKAOKI YAMAMOTO/ Staff Writer
September 27, 2017 at 18:20 JST
Police officers help an "injured resident" leave a building in an earthquake drill in Yatomi, Aichi Prefecture, on Sept. 1, 2016. The aim of the drill is to prepare for a massive Nankai Trough earthquake along Japan’s Pacific coast. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
New alert guidelines concerning a long-expected and much-feared Nankai Trough earthquake that could claim 320,000 lives will be activated in November.
The government’s Central Disaster Management Council outlined the strengthening of measures to prepare for such a contingency in its final report submitted to Hachiro Okonogi, minister of disaster management, on Sept. 26.
The trough is a shallow seabed depression that runs 700 kilometers along the Pacific seabed off Shizuoka Prefecture and down to Kyushu.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) will provide alerts to people in the region facing the trench when they find evidence of extraordinary underground phenomena on strain meters and other gauges installed in the Tokai region. The largest city there is Nagoya.
Bulletins will also urge residents to confirm where their shelters are located and how to reach them. They will be reminded to have emergency supplies on hand and secure household furniture to stop it from falling over.
A panel of experts to be set up by the JMA will evaluate this evidence and determine if it could be linked to a possible megaquake.
The JMA will also call an emergency meeting of officials from government ministries and agencies to weigh up disaster management options.
The chances of a massive Nankai Trough earthquake occurring within the next 30 years have been put at 70 percent after a study by government experts, who said up to 320,000 lives could be lost. Such a quake would have a magnitude of at least 8 and possibly even 9.
The last big Nankai trough earthquake, in 1854, caused thousands of deaths.
The new system will replace the existing disaster preparedness plan, which was based on the concept that predicting a megaquake within a range of a few days could be possible.
The council dumped this longstanding view in August.
The panel concluded that it is impossible to predict a possible megaquake on the basis of scientific findings, which finally reflects what many seismologists had long argued.
The Nankai Trough consists of three main sections, from east to west, Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai.
Seismologists fear that Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai earthquakes could occur simultaneously in a worst-case scenario.
The current disaster preparedness plan was compiled under the 1978 special measures concerning countermeasures for large-scale earthquakes. It was designed to prepare for the long-anticipated Tokai earthquake, which is predicted to strike off Shizuoka Prefecture.
Under this old plan, the prime minister was expected to declare an emergency warning when the Tokai quake was predicted by experts. Train services would be suspended while other measures kick in.
Under the new system, the JMA will issue bulletins for residents in the region of expected danger zones for the Tonankai and Nankai earthquake, not just the Tokai temblor.
The expanded preparation will involve 707 municipalities in 29 prefectures. The preparedness for the Tokai earthquake concerned 157 municipalities in eight prefectures.
But the suspension of banking services, which is part of the old plan, will be dropped.
The government will also draft guidelines for local governments that could be affected by the disaster so they can draw up evacuation plans based on their needs in advance.
Meetings will be held with local governments and businesses in the prefectures of Shizuoka, Kochi and Aichi, and after investigating local circumstances draw up the central government's guidelines.
Japanese Government Running Denialist Campaign Over Dangers O Fukushima-Presentation At 11/4/17 Workers International Solidarity Rally
I would like to thank all those who have gathered here at the November 4th Workers International Solidarity Rally. My name is Sachihiko Fuse, and I am the hospital director at the Fukushima Collaborative Clinic. I provide clinical care in Fukushima prefecture, the location of the calamitous Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which started on March 11th, 2011.
The Fukushima nuclear power plant experienced full meltdowns at three reactors. It is the worst nuclear catastrophe in history exceeding Chernobyl and Three Mile accidents. Abolish nuclear power plants immediately!—this is the duty for Japanese working class, and at the same time the common struggle of all workers in the whole world.
I would like to introduce our clinic and explain the factors leading up to its establishment.
After the nuclear disaster, the central government, the Fukushima prefectural government and authoritarian medical industry have been leading a denialist campaign: “there is no need to be concerned about radiation”. Under such pressure, residents of the area were concerned about the negative health effects deriving from nuclear contamination, and were refused care at medical facilities all around the prefecture with the reasoning that “there is no need to be concerned about radiation”. Almost no medical facility was available for medical consultation about health problem from radioactive contamination. That was when residents of Fukushima who were concerned about nuclear contamination-related health issues, as well as volunteer doctors from around the countries began to solicit donations nationally and from around the world to establish a medical institution that operated with the understanding that “internal and low levels of radiation exposure were dangerous”. We received assistance not only in Japan, but also from Korea, Germany, America and the wider world and were able to open our clinic on December 1st, 2012. In that sense, this clinic is a crystallization of international solidarity by workers globally. I would like to first thank the workers of the world for their support.
Our clinic provides care under the principles of “refuge, recuperation and care”.
Fukushima is a radioactively contaminated area and its residents should evacuate. That’s why the first principle is “refuge”.
However, there are a lot of people who can’t evacuate from Fukushima. For those people, recuperating in an area without the effects of radiation can reduce the health risks from radiation. That’s why the second principle is “recuperation”.
Even now, many residents of the prefecture live in radioactively contaminated zones. Our clinic provides care to protect the health of those who have no choice but to live here. That’s why the third principle is “care”.
Next, I will discuss problems that are affecting Fukushima.
The biggest problem is the outbreak of childhood thyroid cancer.
Currently, even in official prefecture figures, 194 people are confirmed or suspected of having contracted thyroid cancer, and 154 have been verified to have it via surgery. The UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation), Fukushima prefecture and the Japanese government have stated that it “would be unlikely that these cases are due to the effects of radiation”. However, the incidence of childhood thyroid cancer is usually 1 to 2 people in 1 million. In Fukushima prefecture, we have an incidence of 2 in 3,000 people. One can only conclude that these are the same effects of radiation the world saw after the Chernobyl nuclear accident. On top of it, the Japanese government has openly started to reduce and dismantle the health survey of childhood thyroid cancer. This is the international cover up radiation damage. We can never allow such a crime.
The second problem is the state’s policy of forced radioactive exposure and the abandonment of residents under the pretense of reconstruction.
The state has been returning residents to areas around Fukushima Daiichi, where an accident could again occur at any moment, highly contaminated regions that have an annual radiation measurement of up to 20 mSv (milli-sievert). They have cut the housing reimbursement allowance as of March of this year for those who have fled outside the prefecture. TEPCO (Toden) will also eliminate psychological compensation allowances for residents in shelter as of March. They are trying to drive these residents into economic distress, force them to return to their land and expose them to radiation. These are the abandonment policies of the state under the name of “reconstruction” and “return”. Fukushima Collaborative Clinic is fighting together with residents who are struggling not to return.
It’s not just childhood thyroid cancer; other negative health effects are occurring, and problems like: radioactive water is being pumped out into the sea, plant workers and other disaster relief workers being forced into radioactive exposure, and the state attempting to indefinitely preserve radioactively contaminated materials in earthwork “intermediary storage facilities”.
Next, I will report on our 5 years of activity after our establishment as a clinic.
First is our provision of ultrasonic examination for thyroid cancer. Due to the outbreak of thyroid cancer owing to radiation exposure, we have provided these examinations for 3,000 children and adults.
Second is our activity to protect the health of residents that have evacuated. We have provided health consultations for residents living in temporary housing who have evacuated to these facilities in the wake of the tsunami and subsequent radiation contamination.
Third is our activity to protect the health of plant and decontamination workers. Plant workers are working even now to clean up after the nuclear plant disaster. There are also many workers performing radiation decontamination within the prefecture. Their work necessarily exposes them to radiation, but without their efforts, the livelihoods of the people of Fukushima could not be secured. Protecting their health is also an important part of our work at the clinic.
Fourth is our lecturing activity around the country. These lectures are important activity to abolish all nuclear plants and prevent a second Fukushima disaster.
We have also been working in solidarity with doctors fighting against nuclear power around the world since the outbreak of the nuclear catastrophe. Since 2015, we have had participating by anti-nuclear doctors from Korea, and messages of solidarity from the German branch of IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War). We were invited and I participated in a Korean anti-nuclear international symposium held in the South Korean National Assembly building on January 18th of this year.
Fifth is our support for evacuees both in and outside of Fukushima prefecture. Not only in the prefecture, we have supported refugees by collecting signatures nationally against the policy of forced exposure to radiation and the return of residents. We have collected over 40,000 at this point. This petition work is a sign of rebellion from Fukushima.
Why does the state insist that “there was no accident at Fukushima”. The Abe administration has paved the way for War Laws, the Secret Protection Act and Conspiracy Laws.
Ｔｈｅ nation’s rage also continues to explode at the many payoff scandals. Faced with such political crisis, Shinzo Abe called a snap Lower House election to destroy the war renouncing current constitution and change Japan into a military state capable of waging war.
War in the modern era is nuclear war. To have nuclear weapons you need nuclear plants—nuclear technology. That’s why the state is on the offense with “there was no accident at Fukushima”.
The Fukushima Collaborative Clinic is raising its voice and reporting on health problems arising from radiation exposure, and demanding answers on how many decades, how many hundreds of years it will take to clean up from this accident, as well as placing the responsibility where it lies: the state, and TEPCO.
This clinic alone cannot unseat the Abe administration. We need worker unions like the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions here in Japan. The November 5th worker rally is the starting point for an authentic revival of fighting labor unions amid the collapse of the Rengo federation.
Let’s learn from the Korean people’s uprising, which defeated Park Geun-hye and create a labor union that fights with the Fukushima rebellion (Shut down all nuclear plants now!).
Let’s stop the Tokyo Olympics and defeat Abe who will alter the constitution and bring war to Korea.
Let’s abolish war and nuclear power from the earth with the power of workers internationally. Let’s build a world for us workers with the power of the international solidarity of militant unions.