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View events for the week of 4/11/2021
SF Rally At Japan Consulate: Stop The Nukes & Japan Olympics
Date Sunday April 11
Time 3:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Event Type Protest
Organizer/AuthorNo Nukes Action
Location Details
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St/California
San Francisco
4/11 SF Rally At SF Japanese Consulate-
Speak Out On
Sunday March 11, 2021 3:00 PM
Defend The People Of Fukushima
No More Fukushimas, No Olympics In Japan In the Middle Of Pandemic

San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St/California St.
San Francisco
Sponsored by No Nukes Action

Despite a world pandemic including in Japan, the Suga Japanese government is going ahead with the Olympics which will also be held in radioactive contaminated Fukushima.
The Japanese government is also proposing to dump over a million tons of radioactive water into the Pacifica because the melted nuclear rods in the broken reactors continue to leak and must be cooled by water.
Nuclear clean-up workers including workers from overseas and other workers continue to get contaminated with no proper health and safety education and tens of thousands of bags of radioactive waste continue to remain scattered throughout the prefecture with no place to go. The government is also seeking to spread the contaminated waste throughout Japan in road construction and other projects.
The criminal negligence of having the Olympics under these circumstances with a full blown pandemic and a three leaking nuclear reactors is a sign of insanity and a danger to not only
Japan but the world.
No Nukes Action asks you to join us to demand the cancellation of the Olympics, the halt to re-opening Japan’s nuclear plants and defense of the Fukushima people. We oppose as well the militarization of Asia including the development of the new Haneko base in Okinawa. The residents continued to be terrorized by US military jets and helicopters. The US is even training with these aircraft in the center of Tokyo despite the great dangers.

Physical distancing and masks for all participants at action
Speak-out In Defense of the Residents of Fukushima/ Stop The Japan Olympics In The Middle Of Covid Pandemic
Don’t Dump The Radioactive Water In The Pacific Ocean and Stop The Nukes

Sunday April 11, 2021 3PM
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St/California
San Francisco
No Nukes Action
http://nonukesaction.wordpress.com/

NRA to delay TEPCO’s reactor restart plan over ‘shoddy’ repairs
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14276457

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
March 17, 2021 at 18:19 JST

Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture (Kazuyoshi Sako)
The Nuclear Regulation Authority effectively halted Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s plan to restart a reactor at its nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture after finding “shoddy” repairs to the porous security situation at the site.
“We are keeping TEPCO’s move toward the restart on hold in our continuing series of inspections until the company is allowed to start commercial operation of the reactor,” Toyoshi Fuketa, chairman of the NRA, said on March 17.
In a preliminary assessment, the NRA on March 16 rated TEPCO’s preparedness for protecting nuclear material at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant at the bottom of a four-level scale. Such preparations must be in place to protect against terrorist attacks, sabotage and other potential crises.
The utility is seeking to restart the No. 7 reactor at the plant in June while it continues struggling to decommission its stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
The restart of the reactor with an output capacity of 1.3 gigawatts would allow TEPCO to save huge costs spent on fossil fuel for its thermal power plants.
The utility was expected to seek approval of procedures to load nuclear fuel in the reactor before it was reactivated.
But with the dismal security assessment at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, the nuclear watchdog said it will delay that procedure, even if the utility applies for it.
Fuketa said an additional inspection of the site will take “at least more than a year even if it proceeds at an extremely fast pace.”
Operators of nuclear power plants use surveillance cameras and security gates to prevent potential intrusions.
But TEPCO reported to the NRA that the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant had been unable to detect unauthorized access at 15 points because of equipment glitches since March 2020. The unsecure situation continued for more than 30 days at 10 points.
Since January this year, TEPCO had repeatedly reported to the NRA that it had taken alternative measures to remedy the situation.
However, the NRA discovered that these measures were inadequate when it conducted an unannounced inspection of the plant late at night on a holiday in February.
The equipment in question has been fixed and no intrusions were confirmed, according to TEPCO.
The NRA did not reveal further details of the company’s problems, saying certain information must be withheld for security reasons.
But Fuketa was clearly infuriated by the utility’s handling.
“The alternative steps are shoddy as anyone can see,” he said at an emergency news conference on March 16. “We need to determine whether TEPCO settled on the measures due to a ‘lack of knowledge’ or it believed that it could just gloss over the problem with ‘that level of response.’”
Industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama acknowledged that TEPCO is nowhere near restarting the Kashiwakazi-Kariwa plant, calling the company’s situation “extremely concerning.”
Kashiwazaki Mayor Masahiro Sakurai expressed “shock” over TEPCO’s actions at a news conference hastily called on the night of March 16. Kashiwazaki co-hosts the nuclear complex, together with the neighboring Kariwa village.
Sakurai said the schedule for the plant’s restart was “reset” and voiced strong skepticism toward the utility.
“I am afraid that the recent problem illustrates the company’s inability to alter its systemic awareness,” he said.
Sakurai, who was re-elected mayor in November, is a proponent of the reactor restart and has echoed the views of local business leaders.
In January, reports emerged that an employee entered a central control room at the nuclear plant using the ID of another employee in September.
The incident was rated as level 2 on the four-level scale by the NRA.
(This article was compiled from reports by Yu Kotsubo, Norihiko Kuwabara, Yasuo Tomatsu, Akifumi Nagahashi and Ayumi Sugiyama.)

Soil from Fukushima radiation decontamination work to be reused in new farmland

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210313/p2a/00m/0na/023000c

March 15, 2021 (Mainichi Japan)
Japanese version


Land scheduled to be developed into farmland by reusing soil from radiation decontamination work is seen in the Nagadoro district of the village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, on March 3, 2021. (Mainichi/Nami Takata)
IITATE, Fukushima -- A farmland development project testing the reusability of soil generated from radiation decontamination work after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has been carried out by the environment ministry in a restricted "difficult-to-return" zone in this northeast Japan village.

While the area suffered damage from the nuclear disaster following the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, residents' feelings on the ongoing tests are conflicted. Although there are plans to send crops yielded on farmland to market in the future, few among the Japanese public know about the scheme to reuse decontaminated soil.

About 30 kilometers from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Holdings Inc.'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station is the Nagadoro district of the village of Iitate, in Fukushima Prefecture. The district is a "difficult-to-return" zone, which residents have been evacuated from since the onset of high radiation doses in the area from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

There, a white building stands; a recycling plant for removing twigs, rocks, and other foreign objects from decontaminated soil. It's set to start operations in late March. The 34 hectares of land scheduled for reclamation stretch around the facility and to soil on the other side of the road it's on. The land it stands was formerly a rice paddy, and will be made into farmland by filling it with soil removed in decontamination processes. Reclamation work begins in April, and there is estimated to be at least 430,000 metric tons of decontaminated soil set for reuse.

Since 2018, The Ministry of the Environment has been doing tests toward farmland development in the Nagadoro district, the only area in Japan where they take place. In their investigations, vegetables and flowers are grown in mounds of soil made of decontaminated dirt with a radioactive cesium concentration of 5,000 becquerels per kilogram or less -- the standard limit said by the environment ministry to have no repercussions for agricultural workers -- and covered in a 50 centimeter-layer of separate dirt.

Cesium concentration levels for corn, turnips and cherry tomatoes harvested in 2020 were between 0.1 and 2.3 becquerels per kilogram, below the 100 becquerels per kilogram maximum standard for shippable produce as specified by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Since 2020, the environment ministry has also tried cultivating crops in soil without the extra dirt layer. Although the produce gets disposed of for now, the ministry plans to give them to the village once the farmland is completed, and have the goods shipped to market after commercial farming resumes. When exactly farming will resume remains undecided.

Today, the Nagadoro district is still uninhabitable due to radiation. Why then did it accept the reclamation project using decontaminated soil? Yoshitomo Shigihara, 70, former head of Nagadoro district, emphasized it was a tough decision, saying, "It wasn't like the district gave its wholehearted support for the plan."

Evacuation orders were lifted from Iitate, excluding the Nagadoro area, in spring 2017. Concern has spread among locals regarding the left-behind district. The national government has set up Specified Reconstruction and Revitalization Bases in difficult-to-return zones, and is carrying out intensive decontamination work to make the area habitable again. It aims to lift evacuation orders from the district in spring 2023, but then-village head Norio Kanno, 74, explained that "only a 'mini reconstruction base' of around 2 to 3 hectares can be made."

According to Kanno, a national government employee who was in the village around 2017 first proposed the reuse of decontaminated soil. A majority of residents were in favor of the plan in hopes the decontamination area may be expanded if the project were accepted. The village and the environment ministry agreed to the tests in November 2017. As a result, the Nagadoro district reconstruction base was expanded to 1.9 square kilometers of the district's total 10.8 square km area.

Before the 2011 disasters, the Nagadoro area was a mountain community of about 280 people. Making a living from farming alone was hard, and many farmers had multiple occupations. Shigihara, who owned cattle, said, "We were told the land would be left barren and untreated by decontamination work. If this mean it'll be restored, I have no choice (but to accept the tests)."

Although Kanno said, "If the district didn't accept the soil reuse project, the reconstruction base would have been left as it was," the Ministry of the Environment responded to a Mainichi Shimbun inquiry by saying the district's approval of the farmland project and the decontamination range expansion were "unrelated." The nature of these causal relations remains unknown.

(Japanese original by Nami Takata, Yokohama Bureau)


Only 9% of people across Japan want Tokyo Games held as scheduled: Mainichi poll

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210315/p2a/00m/0na/012000c
March 15, 2021 (Mainichi Japan)
Japanese version


The Olympic rings are seen in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. (Mainichi/Masahiro Ogawa)
TOKYO -- Only 9% of people across Japan polled by the Mainichi Shimbun and the Social Survey Research Center on March 13 said the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics should be held as scheduled, while 32% said they should be canceled.

In response to a question about the Tokyo Games, planned to be held this summer, 32% of respondents -- the biggest group -- answered they "should be canceled," and 17% said the games "should be postponed again." Those in favor of going ahead with the games as scheduled remained low at 9%, while 21% said "they should be held without letting in spectators from overseas," and 15% said "they should be held without letting in any fans, including those living in Japan." Six percent of respondents answered they "don't know."

The Japanese government has remained intent on holding the Tokyo Olympics, and is arranging to forego accepting spectators from abroad, considering the spread of the coronavirus. The government has not settled on a conclusion over whether restrictions should be placed on domestic fans, which would result in a spectator-less games. Although the figures cannot be simply compared as survey methods differ, a June 2020 poll found 59% of respondents saying, "I think the games cannot be held," far surpassing the 21% who indicated their belief that they will be able to be carried out.

When asked about changes in the state of household finances after one year has passed since the spread of the coronavirus, 32% said their monetary situation has "gotten worse," 65% said it "has not changed," and 3% responded that it has "gotten better." Broken down by occupation, 50% of "self-employed" or "freelance workers" and nearly 40% of "nonregular workers" answered that their financial status worsened. As for "regular workers" and "stay-at-home spouses," 30% claimed a negative impact on household finances, while nearly 30% of "unemployed individuals" responded likewise.

Meanwhile, to a question asking whether they intended to continue being mindful of incorporating anti-coronavirus measures in their daily lives, 78% answered that they "plan to continue" doing so. Eighteen percent expressed their intention to "gradually take a relaxed approach," and 2% said they have "already been relaxing measures." One percent of respondents also said, "I'm not mindful of taking anti-coronavirus measures." While many people continuously value preventative measures against infection, there also seem to be a certain number of individuals who have grown tired of taking self-restraint measures for long periods.

Over five years have passed since the implementation of the women's career advancement promotion law, which requires major companies, the national government, and local municipalities to set numerical targets for hiring women in managerial positions. To a question asking respondents if they think there has been progress in women's participation in Japanese society, 37% answered "there has been no advancement," while 47% said, "there has been an improvement, but it's insufficient." Only 16% said "there has been sufficient progress." When viewed by gender, those who indicated "no progress" accounted for 33% of male respondents and 43% of their female counterparts. Twenty percent of men answered there has been "sufficient progress," while only 9% of women gave such a response, showing a wide gap between the opinions of women and men.

Regarding the implementation of a system allowing married couples to choose between having the same last names or separate ones, 51% were in favor of having the choice, while 23% were against it and 26% said they're "not sure."

(Japanese original by Nanae Ito, Political News Department)


Fukushima at Ten: Aftershocks, Lies, and Failed Decontamination
https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/03/12/fukushima-at-ten-aftershocks-lies-and-failed-decontamination/

MARCH 12, 2021
BY JOHN LAFORGEFacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Photograph Source: Abasaa – Public Domain
It’s now 10 years since the catastrophic triple meltdowns of reactors at Fukushima in Japan. As Joseph Mangano of the Radiation and Public Health project put it three years ago, “Enormous amounts of radioactive chemicals, including cesium, strontium, plutonium, and iodine were emitted into the air, and releases of the same toxins into the Pacific have never stopped, as workers struggle to contain over 100 cancer-causing chemicals.”
There is news of the shortage of Fukushima health studies, big earthquakes (aftershocks) and typhoons rattling nerves, reactors and waste systems, novel radioactive particles dispersed, and corporate and government dishonesty about decontamination.
Very few health studies
“So far only one single disease entity has been systematically examined in humans in Fukushima: thyroid cancer,” says Dr. Alex Rosen, the German chair of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Other diseases, such as leukemia or malformations, which are associated with increased radiation exposure, have not been investigated, Rosen told the German medical journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt March 2. (Five studies have focused not on disease, but on birth abnormalities in the areas most affected: three on infant mortality rates, one on underweight newborns, and one on declining birth rates 9 months after March 2011.*)
The one disease study of the population was a screening for thyroid cancer in 380,000 local children under the age 18. In January 2018, the journal Thyroid reported 187 cases after five years. A typical population of 380,000 children would produce 12 cases in five years, reported Joseph Mangano, director of the Radiation and Pubic Health Project. The increase among children is “exactly what would be expected if Fukushima were a factor, as radiation is most damaging to the fetus, infant and child,” Mangano said.
New Earthquakes Rattle Wreckage and Nerves
Another large earthquake, magnitude 7.3, struck Feb. 13, again off the coast of the Fukushima reactor complex, and the reported 30 seconds of terror was followed by14 aftershocks up to magnitude 5.
The quake was severe enough that its Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) operators and federal regulators suspect it caused additional damage to reactors 1 and 3 where cooling water levels fell sharply, the Associated Press reported. The Feb. 13 quake was felt in Tokyo 150 miles away. Japan’s meteorological agency said it was believed to be an aftershock of the record 2011 quake.
At a Feb. 15 meeting, government regulators said the quake had probably worsened existing earthquake damage in reactors 1 and 3 or broken open new cracks causing the cooling water level drop, the AP said.
“Because (the 2011 quake) was an enormous one with a magnitude of 9.0, it’s not surprising to have an aftershock of this scale 10 years later,” said Kenji Satake, a professor at the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute.
There have been six major aftershocks in the Fukushima area since March 2011: April 7, 2011 (magnitude 7.1); April 11, 2011 (6.6); July 10, 2011 (7.0); Oct. 26, 2013 (7.1); Nov. 26, 2016 (6.9); and Feb. 13, 2021 (7.3). All six of these earthquakes were named Fukushima in one language or another.
Earthquake shocks are not the only recurring nightmare to haunt the survivors of the record quake that killed 19, 630. Typhoon Hagibis slammed into Tamura City in October 2019, and swept away an unknown number of bags of radioactive debris that had been stacked near a river.
Since March 2011, over 22 million cubic meters of contaminated soil, brush and other matter from areas hard hit by fallout has been collected in large black plastic bags and piled in temporary storage mounds in thousands of places. (“Fukushima residents fight state plan to build roads with radiation-tainted soil,” Koydo, Japan Times, Apr. 29, 2018) Yet the volume is the tip of the iceberg: According to R. Ramachandran, in The Hindu, January 31, 2020, no decontamination activities are planned for the majority of forested areas which cover about 75 per cent of the main contaminated area of 9,000 square km.”
Cover-ups and disinformation
Reporting Feb. 14 about the latest quake, the AP noted that Tepco “has repeatedly been criticized for cover-ups and delayed disclosures of problems.” On June 22, 2016, Tepco’s President Naomi Hirose publicly admitted that the company’s lengthy refusal to speak of the “meltdowns” it knew of at its three reactors was tantamount to a cover-up and apologized for it.
The Washington Post reported March 6, 2021 that, “For years, Tepco claimed that the treated water stored at the plant contained only tritium, but data deep on its website showed that the treatment process had failed.” The tanks now hold almost 1.25 million tons of highly contaminated waste water. “In 2018, [Tepco] was forced to acknowledge that 70 percent of the water is still contaminated with dangerous radioactive elements — including strontium-90, a bone-seeking radionuclide that can cause cancer — and will have to be treated again before release,” the Post reported.
Harvey Wasserman reported for The Free Press on a July 2007 earthquake that shook Japan and forced dangerous emergency shutdowns at four reactors at Kashiwazaki. “For three consecutive days [Tepco] was forced to issue public apologies for erroneous statements about the severity of the damage done to the reactors, the size and lethality of radioactive spills into the air and water, the on-going danger to the public, and much more. Once again, the only thing reactor owners can be trusted to do is to lie.”
Radioactive Particles Newly identified
Work just published in the journal Science of the Total Environmentdocuments new, highly radioactive particles that were released from the destroyed Fukushima reactors. The study was led by Dr. Satoshi Utsunomiya and Kazuya Morooka of Kyushu University. “Two of these particles have the highest cesium radioactivity ever measured for particles from Fukushima,” the research found. The study analyzed particles that were taken from surface soils collected 3.9 kilometers from the reactor site.
Speaking with Science Daily Feb. 17, Dr. Utsunomiya said, “Owing to their large size, the health effects of the new particles are likely limited to external radiation hazards during static contact with skin.” The particles were reportedly spewed by the hydrogen explosions that rocked the reactor buildings and fell within a narrow zone that stretches ~8 kilometers north-northwest of meltdowns.
But Dr. Utsunomiya also said the long-lived radioactivity of cesium in “the newly found highly radioactive particles has not yet decayed significantly. As such, they will remain in the environment for many decades to come, and this type of particle could occasionally still be found in radiation hot spots.”
Smaller radioactive particles of uranium, thorium, radium, cesium, strontium, polonium, tellurium and americium were found afloat throughout Northern Japan, according to a report by Arnie Gundersen and Marco Kaltofen published July 27, 2017 in Science of the Total Environment. The radioactively hot particles were found in dusts and soils from Northern Japan. About 180 particulate matter samples were taken from automobile or home air filters, outdoor surface dust, and vacuum cleaner bags. Some142 of the samples (about 80 percent) contained cesium-134 and cesium-137 which emit intense beta radiation and is very dangerous if ingested or inhaled. “A majority of these samples were collected from locations in decontaminated zones cleared for habitation by the National Government of Japan,” the authors revealed.
Greenpeace Reports Cleanup Failures and Deception
Greenpeace Japan released two major reports March 4 that also contradict the country’s positive decontamination and human rights claims after 2011.
“Successive governments during the last 10 years … have attempted to perpetrate a myth about the nuclear disaster. They have sought to deceive the Japanese people by misrepresenting the effectiveness of the decontamination program and ignoring radiological risks,” said Shaun Burnie, Senior Nuclear Specialist at Greenpeace East Asia and co-author of the first report.
Key findings of the radiation report Fukushima 2011-2020 are:
• Most of the 840 square kilometer Special Decontamination Area (SDA), where the government is responsible for decontamination, remains contaminated with radioactive cesium. … an overall average of only 15% has been decontaminated. • No long-term decontamination target level will be achieved in many areas. Citizens will be subjected for decades to radiation exposures in excess of the … recommended maximum. • In the areas where evacuation orders were lifted in 2017, specifically Namie and Iitate, radiation levels remain above safe limits, potentially exposing the population to increased cancer risk.
Key findings of The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station decommissioning report are:
• The current decommissioning plan in the timeframe of 30-40 years is impossible to achieve and is illusory. • Radioactive waste created at the site should not be moved. Fukushima Daiichi is already and should remain a nuclear waste storage site for the long term.
japan_olympics_fukushima.jpeg

Added to the calendar on Monday Apr 5th, 2021 10:34 PM
§Japan Gov Wants Fukushima Contaminated Water In Pacific Ocean
by No Nukes Action
Monday Apr 5th, 2021 10:34 PM
sm_fukushima_water_in_pacifica_ocean_cartoon.jpeg
The Japanese government wants to pour over 1 million tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean despite opposition by the Fisherman and the people of Japan and Asia.
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