SF Rally At SF Japanese Consulate: No Dumping Of Radioactive Water In The Pacific Ocean From The Fukushima Meltdowns!
Thursday November 11, 2021 3:00 PM
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St/California St.
Sponsored by No Nukes Action
Join No Nukes Action to demand a halt to any dumping of over a million tons of radioactive tritium water from tanks around the broken Fukushima nuclear plants into the Pacifica ocean.
The government still has not been able to remove all the melted rods from the meltdown because of their heat and radiation and this is causing more danger of contamination.
Despite the fact that the former Prime Minister Abe has said that the plant had been decontiminated this is absolutely not the case.
TEPCO, the operator which is controlled by the Japanese government is also liable for some 16 trillion yen (about $140.83 billion) to decommission the stricken
Fukushima Daiichi plant and pay compensation to nuclear disaster victims but is fightng them in court. It will take another 30 years for this plan to safeguard the plant.
The government also continues to push nuclear power and the restarting of other plants in the highly dangerous ring of fire which Japan is part of.
Massive earthquakes will continue to happen making another disaster and meltdown likely again. A 7.0 or even 8.0 earthquake could cause many plants to meltdown threatening the people of Japan and the world.
At the same time the new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is carrying on the political agenda of the LDP of nuclear power and more militarization of Japanincluding allowing the construction of US bases in Okinawa desspite the fact that the mass of people are against these bases.
It is time to speak out against the nuclear threat of Fukushima that continues.
Physical distancing and masks for all participants at action
Speak-out In Stop The Restarting Of The Nuke Plants
Defense of the Residents of Fukushima
Don’t Dump The Radioactive Water In The Pacific Ocean
Thursday November 11, 2021 3PM
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St/California St.
No Nukes Action
New evacuation ‘border’ baffles, splits community in Fukushima
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
November 5, 2021 at 07:10 JST
Shoichi Sasaki’s house on the right, shown here on July 30 in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, will remain “off-limits” even after an evacuation order is lifted next spring for two houses on the other side of a road. (Shinichi Sekine)
OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture—Evacuees eager to finally return to their homes near the hobbled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have been thrown into confusion over the way evacuation orders will be lifted.
The orders will end in parts of the “difficult-to-return zones” in less than six months but not all of them as the town of Okuma had hoped.
In a compromise with the central government, the town accepted a boundary that cuts across the Machi neighborhood of Okuma, creating a livable “enclave” surrounded on all sides by “no-entry” areas.
Residents from the enclave will be able to return to their homes, but their neighbors, even on the other side of a street, could be prohibited from returning until the end of the decade.
‘RECONSTRUCTION BASE’ DESIGNATION
Okuma co-hosts the nuclear plant, which suffered a triple meltdown after being hammered by the tsunami triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
Machi is located along National Route 6 around 3 kilometers southeast of JR Ono Station, which stands in what used to be Okuma’s downtown.
The road is busy with trucks for post-disaster rebuilding work and passenger cars. But streets behind the barricades along the road are still lined with empty houses.
The around 90 households in the community were all forced to flee after the disaster. Machi was later designated a difficult-to-return zone, the most severe level for evacuation orders.
In 2017, about 20 of the 140 or so hectares of the community’s landmass were collectively designated by the central government as a “specified reconstruction and revitalization base,” entitling the area to preferential decontamination work.
The evacuation order covering those 20 hectares is expected to be lifted next spring.
However, Shoichi Sasaki, head of the Machi community, is not excited by the prospect.
“Our community has been divided, although radiation levels are more or less the same on the inside and outside of the ‘reconstruction base’ area,” Sasaki, 72, said.
Most of the 860 or so hectares in Okuma that have been designated as reconstruction bases are concentrated around Ono Station. The Machi community is detached from those areas.
The reconstruction base in Machi includes only about half of all households in the community. Returning residents may be denied free access to areas outside the reconstruction base that will remain as difficult-to-return zones.
‘PRODUCT OF COMPROMISE’
A behind-the-scenes struggle between Okuma and the central government led to the curious demarcation, according to former senior town officials and assembly members.
Okuma town representatives called for a lifting of all difficult-to-return zone designations, but the central government did not like the idea, which would have required huge cleanup costs.
The “specified reconstruction and revitalization base” zoning system was a “product of compromise” to promote decontamination work for the lifting of evacuation orders only in limited parts of the difficult-to-return zones.
Sources said the central government made the proposal to designate part of the Machi community as a reconstruction base even though it was isolated from other bases around Ono Station.
Central government officials said the proposal took account of the fact that Machi was the seat of the Kumamachi village office before the village merged into Okuma during the Showa Era (1926-1989). Machi was home to a certain concentration of residences.
Okuma town representatives, concerned about a division of the Machi community, called on Tokyo to clean up and lift evacuation orders across all areas of the town, a former senior town official said.
The pleas were in vain.
Okuma ended up accepting Tokyo’s proposal, hoping it would “at least broaden areas where evacuation orders have been lifted,” the former senior town official said.
In Sasaki’s survey in May of all households from the Machi community, 11 said they wanted to return to their homes.
One of those who want to go home is Sasaki. However, his house lies just outside of the reconstruction base zone across a road.
“I have no idea when I will be allowed to go back home,” Sasaki said. “I hope as many residents as possible will be able to return and help each other to rebuild their lives there.”
LATER THIS DECADE
The central government in August released a plan for cleaning up and lifting evacuation orders in areas outside the reconstruction bases, including those in Machi. Residents who had to evacuate from those areas may be allowed to return home by the end of the 2020s.
The specific dates and areas will be determined after talks with local communities, officials said.
Around 33,700 hectares of difficult-to-return zones exist in seven municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture.
Tokyo plans to lift evacuation orders for 1,510 hectares in Okuma, Futaba and Katsurao from next spring, followed by 1,237 hectares in three surrounding municipalities in spring 2023.
Cleanup of radioactive contaminants and development of infrastructure, including water supply and sewerage, are under way in those areas.
However, high residual radiation levels following the cleanup and delays in the restoration work have emerged.
Radiation levels failed to dip below 3.8 microsieverts per hour, the safety standard for lifting evacuation orders, at 1,269, or 2.7 percent, of measurement sites in areas of Okuma where the Environment Ministry conducted cleanup work between June 2013 and May this year.
The Okuma town government initially planned to start “preparatory overnight stays,” or temporary home returns for evacuees, in October.
The starting date has been put off to “by the end of this year.”
Radiation levels also failed to fall below the safety standard at 563, or 1.0 percent, of the measurement sites in the neighboring town of Futaba, the other co-host of the nuclear plant.
Evacuation orders in Futaba were initially scheduled to be lifted next spring. But delays in the infrastructure development will likely push back that schedule to around June at the earliest.
“It is essential to prepare an environment that allows residents to live without anxiety,” said Kencho Kawatsu, a guest professor of environmental policy and radiation science with Fukushima University.
Kawatsu heads an Okuma town committee reviewing the effects of cleanup work and other matters.
The Environment Ministry is conducting supplementary decontamination work in Okuma and Futaba. Kawatsu said the effects of those efforts should be reviewed carefully.
(This article was written by Shinichi Sekine, Toru Furusho and Nobuyuki Takiguchi.)
TEPCO must stop atomic power dependence to fulfill duty to Fukushima recovery
November 8, 2021 (Mainichi Japan)
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO), the utility responsible for the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, has hit a business dead end. Not only is it hemorrhaging customers after the liberalization of Japan's retail electricity market, but its main hope of growing profits, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture, has no perceptible chance of being restarted.
TEPCO is also liable for some 16 trillion yen (about $140.83 billion) to decommission the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant and pay compensation to nuclear disaster victims. Meanwhile, fuel prices have soared. All this has added up to a projected loss for the current fiscal year ending in March 2022 -- the company's first in nine years.
The greatest risk stemming from TEPCO's troubles is that the utility may become unable to fulfill its heaviest responsibility: aiding the recovery of Fukushima Prefecture. Thus, the business's restructuring needs to be drastically rethought.
The biggest problem with how the company is reviving its business is how much it is leaning on the chances of restarting the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant. Distrust of the firm is strong, considering it is responsible for one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.
The plant has already suffered a series of embarrassing revelations this year, including someone gaining illicit entry using a different person's ID card, and malfunctions in intruder detection systems -- both major failures in the station's anti-terror measures. After it completed its inspections of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) -- which must approve any reactor restarts -- effectively forbade TEPCO from restarting the station's No. 7 reactor.
In September, TEPCO released a report on the causes of these problems and policies to prevent a recurrence. The document revealed that the intruder alert system had been left broken for a long time due to an overemphasis on cost-saving. And this and other issues revealed a corporate culture with a disdainful attitude to safety. The pleas of those on-site trying to sound the alarm about the problems apparently never reached TEPCO's executive suite.
"Putting safety first and gaining the trust and understanding of locals are prerequisites for the plant restart we are aiming for," TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa told a press conference. And he is so determined because getting just one of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station's reactors back on-line is projected to add 50 billion yen (about $440 million) to the utility's bottom line.
But locals' distrust of TEPCO is at a fever pitch, and getting the host municipalities' approval for reactor restarts will be very difficult. Meanwhile, pie-in-the-sky plans to get the utility back on track are only making the situation worse and grinding employee morale into the dust.
On the other hand, the company also has many hydro power stations -- the most stable of renewable energy sources -- and is building large wind farms. TEPCO also has a joint venture with fellow regional utility Chubu Electric Power Co. to develop carbon-free thermal power plants burning ammonia.
If TEPCO takes full advantage of these strengths, then it should be able to restructure itself without relying on atomic energy.
It has been a decade since the Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe. TEPCO must wake up to the fact that, if it does not remake itself as a leader of the carbon-free energy era, it will fail in its duty to Fukushima Prefecture's recovery.
Ex-TEPCO executives again plead not guilty to nuke accident
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
November 3, 2021 at 16:47 JST
Ichiro Takekuro, a former vice president of Tokyo Electric Power Co., enters the Tokyo High Court on Nov. 2 for the start of the appeal of his not guilty district court ruling. (Pool)
Three former Tokyo Electric Power Co. executives again maintained their innocence as proceedings began Nov. 2 at the Tokyo High Court on an appeal of a lower court ruling that absolved the three of negligence in the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Tsunehisa Katsumata, 81, a former TEPCO chairman, Ichiro Takekuro, 75, a former vice president, and Sakae Muto, 71, also a former vice president, were indicted by a prosecution inquest panel in 2016.
They were charged with professional negligence resulting in the deaths of 44 people who were forced to evacuate and the injuries of others after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011.
However, the Tokyo District Court in 2019 found the three not guilty on grounds they could not have predicted that a gigantic tsunami would inundate the plant and cut off all electricity to cool the reactors.
In their opening statement on Nov. 2 at the Tokyo High Court, the lawyers designated as the prosecutors in the appeals case argued that the district court ruling should be overturned because the executives could have foreseen a tsunami could swamp the plant based on the long-term earthquake forecast made by a government panel.
The two main issues in question in the case are whether the executives could have foreseen the tsunami and whether they took the necessary steps to prevent damage to the nuclear plant from a tsunami.
The Tokyo District Court cast doubt on the reliability of the long-term earthquake forecast and said the executives could not have foreseen that a situation would arise calling for the immediate stoppage of operations at the Fukushima plant.
The prosecutors at the high court said the district court made a major error by denying the forecast, which was the only official view of the central government, and based on scientific rationale.
They also said the district court should have considered if other measures, such as the building of a tide embankment, could have prevented damage to the plant.
Meanwhile, bereaved family members of the 44 who perished during the evacuation process said they only wanted justice.
Mitsuko Honobe, 90, not only lost her husband, Kinji, but also their home in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, because it was located in the no-entry zone and later destroyed. She now lives alone in an evacuation center in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture.
“I don’t know how much longer I can go on living,” Mitsuko said. “I want to hear a verdict as soon as possible and see the former executives atone for their crimes.”
Kinji was an inpatient at Futaba Hospital when the triple meltdown occurred. The hospital was located about 4.5 kilometers from the Fukushima plant.
Mitsuko and a grandchild visited Kinji at the hospital on the morning of March 11, 2011. When she said she would come again, he nodded.
That was the last time she would see her husband alive.
Kinji was transported by a Self-Defense Forces bus on March 14, 2011, from Futaba Hospital, but the high radiation levels around the Fukushima plant meant a roundabout route had to be taken to evacuate. That meant it took more than 10 hours to reach Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture.
Kinji also could not receive treatment, such as an IV drip, during the transport. He died at an Iwaki senior high school gymnasium on March 15, 2011.
“If measures against tsunami had been taken, my husband would still be alive today,” Mitsuko said. “Since a number of lives were taken, I was not convinced by (the district court) not guilty verdict. I want the court to recognize the responsibility of the former executives.”
(This article was written by Eri Niiya and Keiji Iijima.)
Japan PM says Fukushima wastewater release can't be delayed https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/world/2021/10/683_317177.htmlPosted : 2021-10-18 10:38Updated : 2021-10-18 10:38
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a news conference at the prime minister's official residence, Tokyo, Oct. 14. AP-Yonhap
Japan's new prime minister on Sunday said the planned mass disposal of wastewater stored at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant cannot be delayed, despite concerns from local residents.
Speaking at his first visit to the facility since taking office, Fumio Kishida said his government would work to reassure residents nearby the plant about the technical safety of the wastewater disposal project.
The Fukushima Daiichi plant suffered a triple meltdown in 2011 following a massive earthquake and tsunami.
Kishida's brief tour of the facility by its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, focused on the ongoing decommissioning of the plant, and the massive amount of treated but still radioactive water stored there.
''I felt strongly that the water issue is a crucial one that should not be pushed back,'' Kishida told reporters after the tour.
The government and TEPCO announced plans in April to start releasing the water into the Pacific Ocean in the spring of 2023 over the span of decades.
The plan has been fiercely opposed by fishermen, residents and Japan's neighbors, including China and South Korea.
In this Feb. 27 file photo, nuclear reactors of No. 5, center left, and 6 are seen with tanks storing water, which was treated but still radioactive, at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan. AP-Yonhap
Contaminated cooling water has continued to leak from the damaged reactors since the disaster. The water has been pumped up from basements and stored in about 1,000 tanks which the operator says will reach their capacity late next year.
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|Rally At SF Japanese Consulate: No Dumping Of Radioactive Water In Pacific From Fukushima!|
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|Date||Thursday November 11|
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|Organizer/Author||No Nukes Action|
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St/California
Added to the calendar on Monday Nov 8th, 2021 7:58 PM