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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Environment & Forest Defense View other events for the week of 4/11/2018
|SF Japan Consulate Protest-Defend The Families of Fukushima & Stop Restarting Japan Nukes|
|Date||Wednesday April 11|
|Time||3:00 PM - 4:00 PM|
|Import this event into your personal calendar.|
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St./California
|Organizer/Author||No Nukes Action Committee|
4/11 SF Japan Consulate Protest-Defend The Families of Fukushima and Stop Restarting Japanese NUKE Plant
Wednesday April 11, 2018 3:00 PM
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St./California St.
Join the speak out and rally to defend the residents of Fukushima who are still demanding that they not be coerced to return to the contaminated Fukushima area. The Abe government continues to tell the Japanese people and the world that they have “decontaminated” the nuclear meltdowns despite the fact that the radioactive melted material remains in the broken down plants. There continue to be increases of thyroid cancer not just in Fukushima but in areas outside Fukushima. Additionally tens of thousands of contract workers have been sent to the contaminated plants without out proper training and protection and are not being protected by the government which now runs TEPCO. The government is using subcontractors and even the Yakuza to recruit workers and migrant workers.
The government is also seeking to remilitarize including nuclear weapons and the Trump administration is supporting this remilitarization with massive sales of weapons to Japan. Additionally a “secrecy law” and “conspiracy law” was passed to silence journalists and the investigators from exposing the nuclear contamination and also the propaganda by the government that the dangers of Fukuhima are over.
The No Nukes Action Committee has been rallying to support the Japanese people every month and also supporting the closure of all nuclear plants in California and around the world.
Speak Out Against Restarting Japanese Nuclear Plants
Support the Fukushima Families and Children Who Do Not Want To Return To Fukushima
Stop Militarization In Japan and The Threat Of War In Asia
Join The Wednesday April 11 Rally at 3:00 PM
Speak Out and Rally initiated by
No Nukes Action Committee
Southwestern Japan nuclear reactor back online after 7-yr hiatus
March 23, 2018 (Mainichi Japan)
The reactivated No. 3 reactor of the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant, left, is seen in Genkai, Saga Prefecture, in this photo taken from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter on March 23, 2018. (Mainichi)
SAGA, Japan (Kyodo) -- A nuclear reactor at the Genkai power plant in southwestern Japan resumed operation Friday for the first time in over seven years, amid lingering concerns among residents about evacuating from islets near the plant in the event of a serious accident.
Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s No. 3 unit at the plant in Saga Prefecture was halted for a regular inspection in December 2010, three months before a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The reactor cleared safety screening by the Nuclear Regulation Authority in January 2017 under stricter, post-Fukushima crisis regulations and was later approved for reactivation by the Genkai municipal government and Saga prefectural government. It became the seventh reactor in Japan to restart under the stricter regulations.
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which views nuclear power as an "important base-load power source," is promoting the restart of nuclear reactors considered safe by the regulator.
Local residents, particularly those living on 17 islands within 30 kilometers of the Genkai plant, are concerned about how to evacuate in the event of an accident as there are no bridges connecting the islets with the main island of Kyushu.
Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko welcomed the resumption saying, "(The restart) holds significance from the point of promoting so-called pluthermal power generation and recycling nuclear fuel."
The Genkai plant's No. 3 reactor generates power using mixed oxide, or MOX fuel, which is created from plutonium and uranium extracted from spent fuel.
Early Friday, a group of about 100 citizens gathered in front of the Genkai plant, protesting against the resumption and calling for the shutdowns of all nuclear plants in Japan.
Chuji Nakayama, a 70-year-old man who lives on Iki Island in Nagasaki Prefecture within about a 30-kilometer radius of the plant, expressed anger, saying, "How can islanders escape if an accident occurs?"
Kenichi Arakawa, the deputy chief of an anti-nuclear group who lives in Munakata, Fukuoka Prefecture, said, "An accident could deprive nearby residents of everything in their lives. We should not operate a nuclear plant that threatens our lives."
Meanwhile, a 70-year-old man from the town of Genkai said, "The town will finally become vibrant again because the nuclear plant helped set up roads and create jobs while bringing in more people."
Kyushu Electric plans to start commercial operation of the No. 3 Genkai unit in late April. It is the third reactor reactivated by the utility, following the Nos. 1 and 2 units at the Sendai complex in Kagoshima Prefecture, which came back online in 2015.
The operator also plans to restart the No. 4 unit at the Genkai plant in May, after that unit passed an NRA safety assessment in January 2017.
Fukushima must do more to reduce radioactive water
March 8, 2018 (Mainichi Japan)
In this Nov. 12, 2014, file photo, workers wearing protective gear stand outside the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant's reactor in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, Pool)
TOKYO (AP) -- A government-commissioned group of experts concluded Wednesday that a costly underground ice wall is only partially effective in reducing the ever-growing amount of contaminated water at Japan's destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant, and said other measures are needed as well.
The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., says the ice wall has helped reduce the radioactive water by half. The plant also pumps out several times as much groundwater before it reaches the reactors via a conventional drainage system using dozens of wells dug around the area.
The groundwater mixes with radioactive water leaking from the damaged reactors. Contaminated water also results from rainwater that comes in contact with tainted soil and structures at the plant, which suffered meltdowns of three reactors after a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The panel agreed that the ice wall helps, but said it doesn't completely solve the problem. Panel members suggested that additional measures be taken to minimize the inflow of rainwater and groundwater, such as repairing roofs and other damaged parts of buildings. Results from the recent dry season were positive, but they noted that heavy rainfalls caused spikes in the amount of contaminated water.
"We recognize that the ice wall has had an effect, but more work is needed to mitigate rainfall ahead of the typhoon season," said panel chairman Yuzo Onishi, a Kansai University civil engineering professor.
The 1.5-kilometer (1-mile) coolant-filled underground structure was installed around the wrecked reactor buildings to create a frozen soil barrier and keep groundwater from flowing into the heavily radioactive area. The ice wall has been activated in phases since 2016. Frozen barriers around the reactor buildings are now deemed complete.
On Wednesday, TEPCO said the amount of contaminated water that collects inside the reactor buildings was reduced to 95 tons per day with the ice wall, compared to nearly 200 tons without one. That is part of the 500 tons of contaminated water created every day at the plant, with the other 300 tons pumped out via wells, treated and stored in tanks.
In addition to the 35 billion yen ($320 million) construction cost funded by taxpayers' money, the ice wall needs more than 1 billion yen ($9.5 million) annually in operating and maintenance costs. Critics have been skeptical about the ice wall and suggested greater use of wells -- a standard groundwater drainage method -- as a cheaper and more proven option.
The head of TEPCO's decommissioning company, Naohiro Masuda, said the ice wall deserves more recognition because it has stabilized groundwater movement and helped eliminate emergencies, while reducing the total amount of water pumped up, which also saves costs for water treatment and storage tanks.
"We can work more stably thanks to the ice wall. Intuitively, it is very effective," Masuda said at the meeting, adding that the wall contributed more than its cost.
The plant has been struggling with the ever-growing amounts of water -- only slightly contaminated after treatment -- now totaling 1 million tons and stored in 1,000 tanks, taking up significant space at the complex, where a decades-long decommissioning effort continues. Officials aim to minimize the contaminated water in the reactor before starting to remove melted fuel in 2021.
Only 35% of Fukushima Daiichi workers tested for long-term effects of radiation
Only 35% of Fukushima Daiichi workers tested
March 6, 2018
NHK has learned that only 35 percent of workers who responded to the March 2011 nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi plant have been checked for long-term effects of radiation.
A Japanese government-affiliated research organization began conducting the radiation-exposure screenings 4 years ago. Some 20,000 workers who entered the plant within 9 months of the accident are to undergo life-long monitoring that includes blood tests and thyroid exams.
During the nuclear crisis, many plant workers were exposed to radiation beyond the government limit of 100 millisieverts. The government then temporarily raised the limit to 250 millisieverts so that work could continue.
The Radiation Effects Research Foundation aims to conduct regular screenings on at least 80 percent of those workers. But it says that as of January this year, it has only been able to check about 7,000 people.
Of the workers who remain untested, 35 percent have ignored calls to take a screening, 17 percent have refused to comply, and 8.5 percent cannot be reached.
Several non-participants have told NHK they cannot take days off from work, or that there are too few clinics where they can be tested.
Some were skeptical about the screenings, saying they doubt a checkup would help keep them healthy.
Tomotaka Sobue, a professor at Osaka University, was a member of a government panel that assessed the screening program.
He says the government has a responsibility to confirm whether people who took part in emergency work are facing any health risks.
He says efforts must be made to inform workers about the program, and to make it easier for them to take the tests.
Seventh court orders TEPCO to pay evacuees from Fukushima
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
March 23, 2018 at 14:45 JST
The Asahi Shimbun
A seventh court ruling has ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. to pay compensation to evacuees whose daily lives were turned upside down after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
The Iwaki branch of the Fukushima District Court on March 22 ordered the utility to pay a total of 610 million yen ($5.8 million) in compensation to 213 plaintiffs. The court said the company failed to take measures that could have prevented or reduced the damage to the nuclear plant from the tsunami that devastated coastal areas of the Tohoku region.
Like some previous rulings against TEPCO, the Iwaki branch awarded a compensation amount that went beyond the central government’s guidelines. The ruling included payments for the “loss of one’s hometown,” which covers the destruction of community life, concerns about radiation exposure as well as loss of psychological support.
The court ordered an additional 700,000 yen to 1.5 million yen per plaintiff depending on the evacuation order level that was issued for their neighborhoods.
The central government was not named as a defendant in the latest lawsuit, but the trend so far could influence other litigation before various district courts around Japan. About 30 lawsuits have been filed by Fukushima evacuees.
In five of the seven lawsuits in which the central government has been named as a defendant, four rulings have ordered Tokyo to pay compensation as well.
In those four rulings, the district courts pointed to a 2002 study that mentioned the possibility of a tsunami-spawning earthquake striking in a wide area ranging from off the Sanriku coast in the Tohoku region to off the coast of the Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture.
Based on that study, TEPCO calculated that a tsunami as high as 15.7 meters could possibly hit the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
The four rulings concluded the central government was responsible for compensation because of its failure to instruct TEPCO to take measures that could have limited the tsunami damage to the plant.
The rulings have varied in their judgments on when it was possible to assume a tsunami would strike off the coast where the nuclear plant is located. The periods have ranged from “sometime within 2002” to “2006 at the latest.”
The rulings have also varied on when the central government should have issued instructions or orders to TEPCO, from “about the end of 2002” to “March 2008 at the latest.”
Japan Government Owned TEPCO, state told to pay 3/11 evacuees who left on their own
By RYUTARO ABE/ Staff Writer
March 15, 2018 at 18:45 JST
The legal team for evacuees of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster hold signs stating partial victory at the Kyoto District Court on March 15. (Yoshiko Sato)
KYOTO--The district court here ordered the government and the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant on March 15 to pay a combined 110 million yen ($1 million) to 110 evacuees who fled voluntarily after the 2011 nuclear disaster.
Presiding Judge Nobuyoshi Asami at the Kyoto District Court ruled that the government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. were liable on grounds that they failed to take adequate measures to protect the plant from the tsunami that inundated the facility after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The court noted the government’s “long-term assessment” for possible earthquakes unleashing tsunami compiled in 2002. The report pointed to the possibility of a powerful earthquake and tsunami striking the plant.
All of the 174 plaintiffs from 57 families had evacuated to Kyoto Prefecture without an evacuation order except for one individual from Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture.
Tomioka was within the 20-kilometer radius from the plant ordered to evacuate after the crisis unfolded on March 11, 2011, triggered by the magnitude-9.0 quake and tsunami.
Apart from Fukushima, the plaintiffs were from Miyagi, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Chiba prefectures.
The plaintiffs plan to appeal the court decision, as 64 were not awarded compensation.
The plaintiffs sought 846.6 million yen collectively in damages from the government and the utility.
The district court ruling marked the fifth in a series of similar lawsuits brought across the nation.
In all five cases, the respective courts acknowledged TEPCO’s responsibility to pay damages to the plaintiffs.
The Kyoto District Court’s decision was the third to acknowledge the government’s responsibility.
The key issues in the Kyoto case were if the towering tsunami that swamped the plant was foreseen, if the government had authority to force TEPCO to take countermeasures against such an event, and if the amount of compensation paid by TEPCO to voluntary evacuees based on the government’s guidelines was appropriate.
Most of the plaintiffs sought 5.5 million yen each in damages.
In the ruling, the district court determined that TEPCO should pay additional compensation on top of the amount set in the government guidelines to 109 plaintiffs who fled voluntarily despite not being subject to evacuation orders.
The criteria for extra payment are distance from the plant, radiation levels around homes, and family members who require medical attention due to the exposure to radiation.
Among the plaintiffs who were awarded additional compensation were those from Chiba Prefecture, just east of Tokyo and roughly 240 km from Fukushima Prefecture.
The court stated that the extra payment should be based on damage they suffered over two years after they began evacuating.
In the lawsuits filed at three other districts, some of the plaintiffs who evacuated voluntarily were awarded additional compensation, ranging from 10,000 yen to 730,000 yen per person.
Radiation levels in Fukushima zones still above government target despite cleanup: Greenpeace Japan
MAR 1, 2018
In the wake of the 2011 nuclear crisis, radiation levels at homes and areas nearby in a Fukushima village remain around three times higher than the government target despite cleanup work having been performed, an environmental group has said.
In some areas of the village of Iitate and the town of Namie, levels of radioactivity detected at some points among tens of thousands checked in surveys last September and October were higher than they had been the previous year, Greenpeace Japan said in a report released Thursday.
Most of the six houses surveyed in Iitate, located around 40 kilometers northwest of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 complex, logged radiation levels higher than the government-set target of 0.23 microsieverts per hour, ranging from 0.2 to 0.8 microsieverts per hour.
Some areas in the village had seen radiation levels rise from 2016, Greenpeace said. “There is a possibility (the environment) was contaminated again as radioactive materials that had accumulated in nearby forests may have moved around,” it said.
One house, located near a municipal office with slightly wooded areas nearby, marked lower radiation levels compared with the 2016 survey, but levels at another five houses — which are near forests that have yet to be cleaned up — have remained almost the same.
The points surveyed covered areas in Iitate and Namie where evacuation orders have been lifted as well as some parts of Namie that remain designated as “difficult to return” zones following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which was triggered by the massive March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The survey also showed that the effects of cleanup work conducted in 2011 and 2012 in the Tsushima district of Namie, located 40 km northwest of the Fukushima plant, had been limited, with one house there logging radiation levels of 5.8 microsieverts per hour at the highest readings and 1.3 microsieverts per hour on average.
The district is among areas designated as special reconstruction zones by the government. The state plans to carry out cleanup work and promote infrastructure development intensively at its expense to make such areas livable again.
Japanese banks gave loans to nuke weapon manufacturers
By DAISUKE SHIMIZU/ Staff writer
March 8, 2018 at 17:20 JST
Akira Kawasaki, a member of the ICAN International Steering Group, explains about the practices of Japanese financial institutions that invest in and lend money to nuclear weapons manufacturers at a news conference in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward on March 7. (Daisuke Shimizu)
The radioactive material released by the explosions and meltdowns at Fukushima continues to contaminate the people of Japan and the world.