SF/Global Rally Against Release Of Fukushima Radioactive Water Into Pacific
No Release Of Fukushima Radioactive Water
Stop The Restarting Of The Nuke Plants
No NUKES, No WAR, US Military Out Of Japan & Okinawa
Saturday June 11, 2022 2:00 PM
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St/California St.
Sponsored by No Nukes Action
Join the Rally and Speak Out to stop the Japanese government and TEPCO which runs the broken Fukushima nuclear power plants from releasing over a million tons of radioactive water into the Pacific. This is opposed by the Fukushima fisherman and other countries in Asia who do not want the Pacific contaminated. Only the US government which supports more nuclear power plants is in favor of releasing the contaminated water.
Nearly 900 tons of melted nuclear fuel remain inside the three damaged reactors, and its removal is an unprecedented challenge involving 10 times the amount of damaged fuel removed in the Three Mile Island cleanup following its 1979 partial core melt.
The government has set a decommissioning roadmap aiming for completion in 29 years.
The challenge of removing melted fuel from the reactors is so daunting that some experts now say that setting a completion target is impossible.
We call on all those who oppose the dumping of radioactive water to join our rally and demand that your Congress person publicly oppose this action by the Japanese Kishida government.
At the same time the governnment's Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has said: “We remain concerned about whether it will withstand a strong quake.” After more than 11 years TEPCO and the Japanese government they still have been unable to remove the melted rods in the reactors with the threat of the collapse
of the reactor releasing massive amounts of radioactive material.
Speak-out In Stop The Restarting Of The Nuke Plants
Don’t Dump The Radioactive Water In The Pacific Ocean
Stop The Restarting Of The Nuke Plants
No NUKES, No WAR, US Military Out Of Japan & Okinawa
Friday March 11, 2022 2PM
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St/California St.
No Nukes Action
Japan Plan to Dump Tritium-Contaminated Water into the Pacific Comes With Big Risks
MAY 25, 2022
BY IAN FAIRLIE
Former Japan prime minister,Yoshihide Suga, is handed a sample of contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear site. (Photo: 内閣官房内閣広報室/Wikimedia Commons)
At the present time, over a million tonnes of tritium-contaminated water are being held in about a thousand tanks at the site of the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power station in Japan. This is being added to at the rate of ~300 tonnes a day from the water being pumped to keep cool the melted nuclear fuels from the three destroyed reactors at Fukushima. Therefore new tanks are having to be built each week to cope with the influx.
These problems constitute a sharp reminder to the world’s media that the nuclear disaster at Fukushima did not end in 2011 and is continuing with no end in sight.
Recently TEPCO / Japanese Government have been proposing to dilute, then dump, some or all of these tritium-contaminated waters from Fukushima into the sea off the coast of Japan. This has been opposed by Japanese fishermen and environment groups.
There has been quite a media debate, especially in Japan, about the merits and demerits of dumping tritium into the sea.
Many opinions have been voiced in the debate: most are either incorrect or uninformed or both. This post aims to rectify matters and put the discussion on a more sound technical basis.
1) TEPCO / Japanese Government have argued that, as tritium is naturally-occurring, it is OK to discharge more of it. This argument is partly correct but misleading. It is true that tritium is created in the stratosphere by cosmic ray bombardment, but the argument that, because it exists naturally, it’s OK to dump more is false. For example, dioxins, furans and ozone are all highly toxic and occur naturally, but dumping more of them into the environment would be regarded as anti-social and to be avoided.
2) TEPCO / Japanese Government have argued that it is safe to dump tritium because it already exists in the sea. Yes, tritium is there but at low concentrations of a few becquerels per litre (Bq/l). But the tritium concentrations in the holding tanks at Fukushima are typically about a megabecquerel per litre (MBq/l). In layman’s terms, that’s about a million times more concentrated.
3) TEPCO / Japanese Government have argued coastal nuclear plants routinely dump water that contains tritium into the ocean. Yes, this does (regrettably) occur as their cooling waters become tritiated during their transits of reactor cooling circuits. But two wrongs do not make a right. Moreover, the annual amounts are small compared with what is being proposed at Fukushima. A one GW(e) BWR reactor typically releases about a terabecquerel (trillion Bq) of tritium to sea annually. But Fukushima’s tanks hold about one petabecquerel (PBq or a thousand trillion Bq) of tritium – that is, a thousand times more. A much bigger problem.
4) Readers may well ask where is all this tritium coming from? Most (or maybe all) the tritium will come from the concrete structures of the ruined Fukushima reactor buildings. After ~40 years’ operation they are extremely contaminated with tritium. (Recall that tritium is both an activation product and a tertiary fission product of nuclear fission.) And, yes, this is the case for all decommissioned (and by corollary, existing) reactors: their concrete structures are all highly contaminated with tritium. The older the station, the more contaminated it is. In my view, this problem constitutes an argument for not building more nuclear power stations: at the end of their lives, all reactor hulks will remain radioactive for over 100 years.
5) What about other radioactive contaminants? Reports are emerging that the tank waters also remain contaminated with other nuclides such as caesium-137 and especially strontium-90. This is due to the poor performance of Hitachi’s Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS). Their concentrations are much lower than the tritium concentrations but they are still unacceptably high.
For example, on 16 October 2018, the UK Daily Telegraph stated:
“Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) which runs the plant, has until recently claimed that the only significant contaminant in the water is safe levels of tritium, which can be found in small amounts in drinking water, but is dangerous in large amounts. The [Japanese] government has promised that all other radioactive material [apart from tritium] is being reduced to “non-detect” levels by the sophisticated (ALPS).
“However documents provided to The Telegraph by a source in the Japanese government suggest that the ALPS has consistently failed to eliminate a cocktail of other radioactive elements, including iodine, ruthenium, rhodium, antimony, tellurium, cobalt and strontium.
“That adds to reports of a study by the regional Kahoko Shinpo newspaper which it said confirmed that levels of iodine-129 and ruthenium-106 exceeded acceptable levels in 45 samples out of 84 in 2017. Iodine 129 has a half-life of 15.7 million years and can cause cancer of the thyroid; ruthenium 106 is produced by nuclear fission and high doses can be toxic and carcinogenic when ingested.
“In late September 2017, TEPCO was forced to admit that around 80 per cent of the water stored at the Fukushima site still contains radioactive substances above legal levels after the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry held public hearings in Tokyo and Fukushima at which local residents and fishermen protested against the plans. It admitted that levels of strontium 90, for example, are more than 100 times above legally permitted levels in 65,000 tons of water that has been through the ALPS cleansing system and are 20,000 times above levels set by the government in several storage tanks at the site.”
So what is to be done?
First of all, the ALPS system has to be drastically improved. After that, some observers have argued that, ideally, the tritium should be separated out of the tank waters. Some isotopic tritium removal technologies have been proposed, for example by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but the picture is complicated. The only operating facility I’m aware of, is located at Darlington near Toronto in Canada, though secret military separation facilities may exist in the US or France.
However the Darlington facility was extremely difficult and expensive to construct (~12 years to build and to get working properly), and its operation consumes large amounts of electricity obtained from the Darlington nuclear power station nearby. Its raison d’ȇtre is to recover very expensive deuterium for Canadian heavy water reactors.
Other proposed remedies will probably be more expensive. One problem is basic physics. The tritium is in the form of tritiated water, which is effectively the same as water itself, so that chemical separation or filtration methods simply do not work.
Another problem is inefficiency: with isotope separation, one would have to put the source hydrogen through thousands of times to get even small amounts of separated non-radioactive hydrogen. A third problem is that hydrogen, as the smallest element, is notoriously difficult to contain, so that gaseous tritium emissions would be very large each year.
None of these technologies is recommended as a solution for Japan: any such facility would release large amounts of tritium gas and tritiated water vapor to air each year, as occurs at Darlington. Tritium gas is quickly converted to tritiated water vapor in the environment. The inhalation of tritiated water vapor from any mooted Japanese facility would likely result in higher collective doses than the ingestion of tritiated sea food, were the tritium to be dumped in the sea.
I recommend neither of these proposed solutions.
There are no easy answers here. Barring a miraculous technical discovery which is unlikely, I think TEPCO/Japanese Government will have to buy more land and keep on building more holding tanks to allow for tritium decay to take place. Ten half-lives for tritium is 123 years: that’s how long these tanks will have to last – at least.
This will allow time not only for tritium to decay, but also for politicians to reflect on the wisdom of their support for nuclear power.
This article is republished from Dr. Ian Fairlie’s blog of September 18, 2019 and updated by him in May 2022.
Dr Ian Fairlie is an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment. He has a degree in radiation biology from Bart’s Hospital in London and his doctoral studies at Imperial College in London and Princeton University in the US concerned the radiological hazards of nuclear fuel reprocessing. Ian was formerly a DEFRA civil servant on radiation risks from nuclear power stations. From 2000 to 2004, he was head of the Secretariat to the UK Government’s CERRIE Committee on internal radiation risks. Since retiring from Government service, he has acted as consultant to the European Parliament, local and regional governments, environmental NGOs, and private individuals.
Fukushima nuclear reactor at risk of collapse if another earthquake hits facility
While the interior of the damaged Fukushima reactor was too radioactive for humans to enter safely, a remote-controlled robotic camera has sent back pictures from reactor No 1
Workers stand outside reactor 4 as they continue the radiation decontamination process at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
Workers stand outside reactor 4 as they continue the radiation decontamination process at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (file image) (
By Alice Peacock News Reporter
13:55, 30 May 2022
UPDATED13:57, 30 May 202
A melted-down reactor in the Fukushima nuclear power station resting precariously on corroded supports could be toppled over by a strong earthquake, new photos have revealed.
The images, which were taken by a robot, showed the reactor was resting unsteadily on a fragile frame of corroded supports.
While the interior of the damaged Dai-ichi reactors in Japan was too radioactive for humans to enter safely, a remote-controlled robotic camera has sent back pictures from reactor No 1.
The reactor was one of three which melted down in 2011, when a catastrophic tsunami caused by an earthquake knocked out the cooling systems at the plant.
The 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011, was so forceful it shifted the Earth off its axis and triggered a tsunami which swept over the main island of Honshu and killed more than 18,000 people.
Andy Stenning / Daily Mirror)The damaged sea side cooling unit of reactor No.3 (file image) (Image:
The huge wave surged over defences at the Fukushima nuclear power plant and flooded the reactors, sparking a major disaster.
As a result there were three nuclear meltdowns, three hydrogen explosions and radioactive contamination was released.
The new photos, reported by The Times, show the concrete base on which the reactor vessel rested had been substantially dissolved by the molten reactor fuel, which leaked from the reactor core.
The vessel, which weighed 440 tonnes, was now being supported by the skeletal steel frame of the concrete base.
However, this was not believed to be enough to hold it in place if the earth shook violently.
With a magnitude of 9.0, the earthquake that caused the tsunami was one of the most powerful on record.
Aftershocks from the earthquake continue, which are weaker than the original disaster but still dangerous and posing a risk to the safety of the nuclear plant.
X90040)A member of the media, wearing a protective suit and a mask, looks at the No. 3 reactor building at the nuclear power plant (Image:
Just months ago, on March 16 of this year, four people died and 225 more were injured when a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima.
Terrified witnesses said buildings were left shaking after what felt like two quakes, with the second lasting for around two minutes.
People in Japan are being warned that a similarly strong earthquake could strike again in the weeks following.
The tremor registered magnitude 7.3 and as high as a 6-plus on the Japanese shaking intensity scale in some areas - too strong for people to stand, according to public broadcaster NHK.
While it was not thought to have caused serious damage at the plant, it was impossible to predict when future earthquakes would strike and how destructive they would be.
Speaking of the reactor site last week, the chairman of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority said: “We remain concerned about whether it will withstand a strong quake.”
The task of decommissioning has hardly begun at Fukushima, some 11 years after the disaster occurred.
Authorities have insisted they will dismantle the plant piece by piece and remove the deadly molten fuel inside.
Nothing like this had ever been attempted before, and each faltering step towards the goal seemed to be followed by some kind of setback.
Underground water has been a problem, flowing from the hills above the seaside plant, where it becomes irradiated by the ruined reactors.
This water has been collected by pumps into ever-proliferating storage tanks since the accident.
Japan Entry ban to end for village in Fukushima, but few plan return
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
May 17, 2022 at 16:40 JST
A radiation monitoring post in the “difficult-to-return zone” in Katsurao, Fukushima Prefecture, showed a reading of 1.162 microsieverts per hour on May 15, several times the figure for before the nuclear disaster. (Tetsuya Kasai)
Evacuation orders will be lifted in June for the first time in the residential zone considered the most heavily contaminated from 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture.
Residents who fled from the Noyuki district of Katsurao village northwest of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will be allowed to restart living there on June 12.
The decision followed a meeting between central government officials handling the nuclear accident and Katsurao officials on May 16.
The official decision is expected to be announced at a meeting of the government’s nuclear emergency response headquarters led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Eighty-two people of 30 households who used to live in the district will be eligible to return. The district is about 20 kilometers from the stricken nuclear plant and part of the government-designated “difficult-to-return zone.”
Eight people of four families have expressed their intention to return, according to village officials.
More than 11 years have passed since the area was put off-limits by the government. And many evacuees and their families have started new lives elsewhere.
Yoshinobu Osawa, a 68-year-old man who lives in public housing with his wife in Miharu, a town about 30 km from the Noyuki district, indicated that they will not return to their original home.
His house in the district was dismantled three years ago, and he believes he is too old to rebuild his life from scratch.
“The passage of 11 years after the disaster weighs heavily,” he said.
Following the triple meltdown at the plant in March 2011, the government issued evacuation orders for areas where annual radiation doses were estimated to reach 20 millisieverts, including all of Katsurao.
The government also designated areas with readings of 50 millisieverts a year in the difficult-to-return zone.
Seven municipalities, with a combined pre-disaster population of 22,000, fell in this category, including most of Katsurao as well as Okuma and Futaba, which co-host the nuclear plant.
Barricades were erected to prevent people from entering the difficult-to-return zone.
In December 2011, the government prioritized decontamination efforts in districts outside the difficult-to-return zone. It also said restrictions on living in the zone would remain for many years because of the high radiation levels.
But in a reversal of the policy, the government in August 2016 announced that it would clean up parts of the zone for a future lifting of the entry ban. A government study showed that radiation levels had dropped naturally in some areas of the zone despite the absence of decontamination work.
In 2016, Katsurao villagers whose homes were located in areas with readings of less than 50 millisieverts a year were allowed to return.
However, less than 30 percent have returned, according to the village hall, which is hoping that 80 people will return within the next five years.
Hiroshi Shinoki, the village chief, acknowledged the challenge at a news conference on May 16.
“We have finally reached the starting line for reconstruction,” he said. “But numerous problems have arisen as time passed by.”
The lifting of the entry ban for specific reconstruction areas in Okuma and Futaba is expected between June and July.
Osawa noted that cleanup work has reduced the radiation levels of the Noyuki district to less than 20 millisieverts a year.
Still, the figure is 10 times that of the pre-disaster doses.
He said he cannot gather mushrooms and edible wild plants like he used to because they are now contaminated.
(This article was compiled from reports by Susumu Imaizumi, Tetsuya Kasai, Keitaro Fukuchi and Senior Staff Writer Noriyoshi Ohtsuki.)
Documenting the tragic aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster
Posted on : May.5,2022 17:48 KST Modified on : May.5,2022 17:48 KST
Natsuko Katayama kept fastidious notes on what she saw – and the people she spoke to – on the grounds of the Fukushima nuclear site
Workers retrieve unspent nuclear fuel from reactor No. 4 at Fukushima in July of 2012. (provided by Prunsoop)
The cover of “People on the Front Lines”
on the Front Lines: A Record of Nine Years of Disaster Relief by Workers at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant”
Written by Natsuko Katayama, translated by Lee Eon-suk, published by Prunsoop, sold for 23,000 won
We have already forgotten about Fukushima. Hardly anyone remembers what happened there 11 years ago.
People seemed apathetic when the incoming administration’s transition team announced that it will be extending the operational life of 18 nuclear reactors. There’s little sign of public pushback or opposition. Short-term profit is regarded as more important and precious than human lives and the environment, as greed erodes fear.
I try to imagine the 179 notebooks that reporter Natsuko Katayama kept over nine years at Fukushima. Those tattered notebooks must contain not only the blood, sweat and tears of those years, but also pain, anger and sadness. Disaster, sacrifice, suffering, frustration, tenacity, hope and sadness arise amid unfamiliar words such as Fukushima, nuclear power, workers, contaminated water, nuclear meltdown, protective equipment, radiation exposure, risk, and subcontractors and then grow dim amid imaginary shouts and groans.
Katayama, a reporter on the city desk at the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper, went undercover at Fukushima after the Tohoku earthquake in March 2011 and continued digging for the truth there through 2019. She recorded her struggle in 179 notebooks which serve as the basis for “People on the Front Lines.” The “people on the front lines” that she met at Fukushima during those nine years can be seen as “minor characters.”
According to Osamu Aoki, a freelance journalist whose commentary appears at the end of the book, this book represents “reportage that insists on covering minor characters.”
“There are too many major characters in the world of journalism, including newspapers. [. . .] But there are many voices that are omitted in that process. Unknown people have feelings that contain facts we need to savor, ponder, contemplate and ruminate over,” Aoki wrote in the essay.
In reality, this book is a treasure trove of those minor characters. Katayama’s reporting is raw and intimate precisely because it is so plain and unadorned. Nine years of reporting is divided into nine chapters, which are summarized in a table of contents that runs for six pages.
Randomly sampling the table of contents feels as if you’ve already read the whole book.
“Fighting with sweat under the masks.” “Home before winter?” “Please tell them what’s happening here.” “Heading into the reactor with a son’s encouragement.” “Drilling into the containment vessel despite the radiation.” “Families scattered to the winds.” “Let’s live here.” “They do want to work until the reactor is decommissioned.” “Enough with these pointless inspections.” “Nothing has changed since the accident.” “How long will the contaminated water keep leaking?” “The scariest thing is being forgotten.” “A colleague died, but the work resumes.” “Are they just going to throw it away in the end?” “Someone’s got to do the work.” “We face the radiation, but the company keeps the money.” And so on.
Sei (55, a pseudonym) had been working with nuclear reactors since getting a part-time job at one in high school, at the age of 16. He fled Fukushima with his family three days after the nuclear accident, but came back four months later.
Sei firmly believed in the safety of the reactor. That was partly because he’d been working at nuclear reactors for four decades. His confidence in the five-fold barrier that was supposed to keep the radiation out was shattered into pieces.
A technician goes to work without a tungsten vest, due to a shortage in February 2013. (provided by Prunsoop)
This is what he told Katayama: “We didn’t take any precautions after the accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island in the US because we saw those as being other countries’ problems. There was too much arrogance in the government and the power company. I felt betrayed because I’d believed it was absolutely safe.”
Sei was the technician who “drilled into the containment vessel despite the radiation.” He knew it was risky but thought that someone had to do it.
Compensation from the government made things harder for the victims. They had to deal with resentment from those around them, who thought they didn’t have to work anymore.
Katayama recorded what she was told about the suffering of scattered families who were shuffled from one shelter to another, suffering that they were reluctant to talk about. The victims were shunned in other areas, and their children were treated as refugees and “contaminants” at nurseries and schools.
Parents felt they had to dress their children in plain clothes to keep a low profile. Family breakdowns were common, including separations and divorces. With so many people separated from their families, some were even driven to suicide.
Workers went about their duties in the wrecked reactor despite radiation so heavy that not even robots could operate. That raises many questions. For example, why did they work there? Was it because of the money?
The only way to learn how those workers truly felt was to rub shoulders with them in the field. The stories that Katayama tells so plainly present us with the complex interiority of people facing an unheard-of disaster.
Do people carry the genes of hope that allow them to overcome extreme discouragement when they are pushed to the brink? Their desire to return home and remake it into a place where children can live in peace through their own strength could be seen as foolish bravado. But that conceals their heavy responsibility as members of society — the notion of “if not us, then who?”
In July 2011, a 56-year-old worker was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder, large intestine and stomach after just four months at the Fukushima nuclear plant. The cancer hadn’t metastasized, but had occurred separately in those organs.
But the government didn’t recognize the cancers as being job-related. Too little time had elapsed between the radiation exposure and the occurrence of cancer for a causal relationship to be established, the government said.
That worker had gone to Fukushima not because he wanted to, but because he didn’t want to lose his job. He had been more afraid of being terminated than being exposed to radiation, but now he regrets that decision.
The workers who combated the disaster at Fukushima were given unreasonable duties without receiving decent pay in a network of subcontractors that were often seven or eight times removed from the prime contractor.
Any incident, no matter how horrific, is forgotten with time. But Katayama had been meticulously investigating, listening, and recording what had happened at the Fukushima nuclear plant with the conviction that it must not be forgotten. In the eighth year after the accident, she started coughing up blood and was diagnosed with cancer of the throat.
The workers that Katayama had gotten to know during her long reportage were worried about her. “How did you come down with cancer before we did?”
One worker who was already racked with illness offered her comfort. “When one door closes, another opens.”
Katayama maintains her journalistic interest in Fukushima. She’s now in her 11th year reporting there, and on her 220th notebook.
By Kim Jin-cheol, staff reporter
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|SF/Global Rally: No Release Of Fukushima Radioactive Water Into Pacific Ocean|
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Added to the calendar on Tuesday May 31st, 2022 10:19 AM