Unplug Nuclear Power.com & Robert Hunziker / CounterPunch & RT News – 2016-03-11 00:32:17
ACTION ALERT: Remember Fukushima on March 11 and Unplug Nuclear Power
Unplug Nuclear Power.com
Let’s take direct action against the utility companies before we suffer another disaster like Fukushima
ACTION: Other Fukushima Events in 2016
There are many other events marking the Fukushima nuclear disaster this year. From blockading bridges to delivering letters of protest to Japanese embassies around the world, people are taking power into their own hands and sending a clear message, NO NUKES!
Click Here to see a list of world wide actions.
(March 10, 2016) — March 11, 2016 will be mark the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Incredibly, the disaster is continuing at this very moment as the Fukushima site continues to leak thousands of tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean and surrounding environment every single day.
The radiation released from Fukushima will continue to sicken, maim and kill every kind of living organism for hundreds of thousands of years. As a protest against nuclear power, we will remember the victims of Fukushima, past, present, and future by boycotting grid supplied electricity. Please join us.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 proved once and for all that nuclear power is too dangerous, too dirty, and too expensive to continue. An entire region of Japan, home to more than 200,000 people is now radioactively contaminated and is uninhabitable, probably forever.
We cannot allow this kind of disaster to happen again. Yet, the electric utility companies continue to promote and use nuclear power. They value money over our environment or our personal safety.
So, on March 11, thousands of people around the Country and from around the world will join together to teach the utility companies a lesson — we do not need them or nuclear power to survive.
By using as little grid-supplied power as possible on that day, we will not only cost the utilities money, we will be declaring our independence from dirty, centralized, unsustainable generation technologies.
It may seem that the simple act of turning out lights would not be enough to shut down as entrenched an industry as nuclear power. However, we are following in the tradition of Ghandi who made the simple act of making salt from seawater one of the things that brought down British colonial rule in India.
The truth is that the nuclear industry is failing. Even without Fukushima, plants are closing all over the world. Sometimes, as in Crystal River, FL it is because they are literally falling apart. Other plants are being shut for economic reasons, and still more such as Vermont Yankee are being closed because of pressure from the people.
It will not take much more pressure at this critical time to cause the indusry to collapse altogether. Let’s apply that pressure. Turn off your power on 3/11, Unplug Nuclear Power!
Levels of Participation
Households at this level reduce their power use an estimated 10 KiloWatt hours by turning off lights, turning down heat and minimizing the use of appliances.
At this level, households cut power use in half (about 15 kWh) by only powering essential systems. .
Turn off grid power, saving 30 kWh CAUTION! Turning off sump pumps or heaters can be dangerous. Requires very careful planning.
These households commit to generating more power than they use through wind, solar, or other renewable technologies
Over 50 organizations and prominent environmental leaders endorsed Unplug Nuclear Power in 2015. We are very proud to have as sponsors such giants in the anti-nuclear movement as Dr. Helen Caldicott and Harvey Wasserman. We are also endorsed by groups such as NIRS, Beyond Nuclear, and Environmentalists Against War and we bring together groups as diverse as the Green Party of California and Ohio Citizen Action.
Fukushima â€“ Deep Trouble
Robert Hunziker / CounterPunch
(February 22, 2016) — The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster may go down as one of history’s boundless tragedies and not just because of a nuclear meltdown, but rather the tragic loss of a nation’s soul.
Imagine the following scenario: 207 million cardboard book boxes, end-to-end, circumnavigating Earth, like railroad tracks, going all the way around the planet. That’s a lot of book boxes. Now, fill the boxes with radioactive waste. Forthwith, that’s the amount of radioactive waste stored unsheltered in one-tonne black bags throughout Fukushima Prefecture, amounting to 9,000,000 cubic metres
But wait, there’s more to come, another 13,000,000 cubic metres of radioactive soil is yet to be collected. (Source: Voice of America News, “Problems Keep Piling Up in Fukushima,” February 17, 2016).
And, there’s still more, the cleanup operations only go 50-100 feet beyond roadways. Plus, a 100-mile mountain range along the coast and hillsides around Fukushima are contaminated but not cleansed at all. As a consequence, the decontaminated land will likely be re-contaminated by radioactive runoff from the hills and mountains.
Indubitably, how and where to store millions of cubic metres of one-tonne black bags filled with radioactive waste is no small problem. It is a super-colossal problem. What if bags deteriorate? What if a tsunami hits? The “what-ifs” are endless, endless, and beyond.
“The black bags of radioactive soil, now scattered at 115,000 locations in Fukushima, are eventually to be moved to yet-to-be built interim facilities, encompassing 16 square kilometers, in two towns close to the crippled nuclear power plant,” Ibid.
By itself, 115,000 locations each containing many, many, mucho one-tonne bags of radioactive waste is a logistical nightmare, just the trucking alone is forever a humongous task, decades to come.
According to Japanese government and industry sources, cleaning up everything and decommissioning the broken down reactors will take at least 40 years at a cost of $250 billion, assuming nothing goes wrong. But dismally, everything that can possibly go wrong for Tokyo Electric Power Company (“TEPCO”) over the past 5 years has gone wrong, not a good record.
And, Japan is hosting the 2020 Olympics?
Yet, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant remains totally out of control with no end in sight. As far as that goes, Olympic events alongside an out of control nuclear meltdown seem unfathomable.
As recently as October 30, 2015, The Japan Times reported: “Extremely high radiation levels and the inability to grasp the details about melted nuclear fuel make it impossible for the utility to chart the course of its planned decommissioning of the reactors at the plant.”
On the other hand, according to TEPCO, preparation is underway for removal of the melted nuclear fuel, scheduled to begin in 2021. “But it is difficult to know what is happening inside the reactors, and there are no established methods for doing so. . . It is not difficult to get a camera inside the reactor. The problem is the camera breaks down due to high levels of radiation,” according to Toru Ogawa, director of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Collaborative Laboratories for Advanced Decommissioning Science (Kiyoshi Ando, senior staff writer, Long Road Ahead for Fukushima Cleanup, Nikkei Asian Review, February 19, 2016).
Beyond the remote possibility they find the melted nuclear core aka: corium, engineers have not yet figured out how to cart the molten core away, assuming it can ever be located, and somehow handled. Meantime, if molten core burrows through the steel-reinforced concrete containment vessels into Earth, then what? It is likely a disaster for the ages! But, what about the Olympics?
If perchance melted nuclear core penetrates its steel-reinforced concrete containment vessel and burrows into the ground, it likely results in deadly isotopes uncontrollably spreading erratically, ubiquitously into surrounding underground soil and water. It is difficult to imagine Olympic events where melted nuclear core is still at large.
“Sporting events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are to be held in the Japanese region of Fukushima . . . Spectators and athletes in the Olympic village will be served with food from the region as part of an effort to restore the reputation of Fukushima, formerly one of Japan’s richest agricultural regions,” Fukushima to Host Olympic 2020 Events, The Times, February 25, 2015.
The Tragedy of Countless Unreported Worker Deaths
Indeed, the question of whether Fukushima can ever be adequately, safely decontaminated is wide-open, which logically segues to question who does the dirty work, how workers are hired, and what’s their health status? According to mainstream news sources in Japan, workers are doing just fine, estimates range up to 45,000 workers all-in, no major problems.
As far as the world is concerned, the following headline sums up radiation-related issues for workers: “First Fukushima Worker Diagnosed With Radiation-linked Cancer,” The Telegraph, October 20, 2015. All things considered, that’s not so bad. But, who’s counting?
Trustworthy sources outside of mainstream news claim otherwise, none more so than Mako Oshidori, a Japanese freelance journalist and a director of Free Press Corporation/Japan, and a former student of School of Life Sciences at Tottori University Faculty of Medicine, in a lecture entitled “The Hidden Truth about Fukushima” delivered at the international conference “Effects of Nuclear Disasters on Natural Environment and Human Health” held in Germany in 2014 co-organized by International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War.
Free Press Corporation/Japan was formed after the 2011 Great Sendai Earthquake as a counterbalance to Japan’s mainstream government influenced media, described by Mako as journalists who do not report truth, journalists afraid of the truth!
“There is one thing that really surprised me here in Europe. It’s the fact that people here think Japan is a very democratic and free country.” (Mako Oshidori)
According to Mako, TEPCO and the government deliberately cover-up deaths of Fukushima workers, and not only do they cover-up deaths, but once she investigated stories of unreported deaths, government agents started following her: “When I would talk to someone, a surveillance agent from the central government’s public police force would come very close, trying to eavesdrop on the conversation,” Exposed: Death of Fukushima Workers Covered-Up by TEPCO and Government, NSNBC International, March 21, 2014.
Mako Oshidori: ”
I would like to talk about my interview of a nurse who used to work at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) after the accident . . . He quit his job with TEPCO in 2013, and that’s when I interviewed him . . .
“As of now, there are multiple NPP workers that have died, but only the ones who died on the job are reported publicly. Some of them have died suddenly while off work, for instance, during the weekend or in their sleep, but none of their deaths are reported.”
“Not only that, they are not included in the worker death count. For example, there are some workers who quit the job after a lot of radiation exposure, such as 50, 60 to 70 miliSieverts, and end up dying a month later, but none of these deaths are either reported, or included in the death toll. This is the reality of the NPP workers.”
The “reality of the NPP workers . . . dying a month later” does not correspond very well with Abe administration insistence that nuke plants reopen, even though the country has continued to function for five years without nuclear power, hmm.
In her speech, Mako talks about problems for journalists because of government interference:
“An ex-agent who is knowledgeable about the work of the Public Security Intelligence Agency (“PSIA”) said that when you are visibly followed, that was meant to intimidate you. If there was one person visible, then there would be ten more. I think that is analogous to cockroaches. So, when you do a little serious investigation about the nuclear accident, you are under various pressure and it makes it more difficult to interview people.”
Still, she interviewed Fukushima mothers, e.g., “Next, I would like to talk about mothers in Fukushima. These mothers (and fathers) live in Iwaki City, Fukushima. They are active on school lunch issues. Currently, Fukushima produce isn’t selling well due to suspected contamination.
“So the prefectural policy is to encourage the use of Fukushima produce in school lunches, in an attempt to appeal to its safety . . . the mothers claim that currently in Japan only cesium is measured and they have no idea if there is any strontium-90.
“They oppose the use of Fukushima produce in school lunches for fear of finding out, ten-plus years down the road, that there was actually plutonium in the food that children ate.”
Mothers who oppose the prefecture’s luncheon policy are told to leave Fukushima Prefecture, move out if they worry about contamination, pull up stakes and move on.
Mako’s full interview is found here.
All of which begs the question of who does the dirty work? According to Michel Chossudovsky, director of Centre for Research on Globalization (Canada), Japan’s organized crime syndicate Yakusa is actively involved in recruitment.
Personnel who qualify for radioactive cleanup work include underemployed, impoverished, indigent, unemployed, homeless, hard up, down-and-out, and poverty-stricken individuals, as well as non-destitute people willing to undertake under-paid, high-risk work. The nameless are shoe-ins.
As intimated by Mako Oshidori, governmental secrecy laws and intimidation techniques vastly overshadow the tragedy of the disaster, an oppressive black cloud that won’t go away. People are scared to say anything for fear of reprisal, jail, and blacklisting. Mako Oshidori’s name is prominently secretly blacklisted. A government mole told her.
Accordingly, it is instructive to look at Japan’s new state secrecy law Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets (SDS) Act No. 108 of 2013 passed on the heels of the Fukushima meltdown, very similar to Japan’s harsh Public Peace and Order Controls of WWII. According to Act No. 108, the “act of leaking itself” is bad enough for prosecution, regardless of what, how, or why.
Thereupon, Susumu Murakoshi, president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations says: “The law should be abolished because it jeopardizes democracy and the people’s right to know,” Abe’s Secrets Law Undermines Japan’s Democracy, The Japan Times, December 13, 2014.
Public opinion is shaped by public knowledge of events, but the Abe government’s enactment of an extraordinarily broad dastardly secrecy law (almost anyone can be arrested) that threatens prison sentences up to 10 years undermines confidence in believability of the Japanese government.
But categorically, Japan needs to nurture confidence.
Nuclear Reactor in Japan Leaking Radioactive Water Amid Nationwide Restart
TOKYO (February 2016) — A nuclear power station in Japan is leaking, this time the Takahama plant, about 380km west of Tokyo. The radioactive water leak comes amid a nationwide push to restart reactors after the catastrophic meltdown at Fukushima five years ago.
The reactor would have been the fourth to come on after the shutdown. The push by the government and utility companies came amid protests across Japan against the continued reliance on nuclear energy, prompted by failures to get the Fukushima crisis under control.
Now Kansai Electric Power says about 34 liters of radioactive water have escaped the plant’s reactor No. 4. An investigation is underway.
“Resumption procedures related to the incident have been suspended as we are still investigating the cause,” a Kansai spokesman said, according to AFP.
The official said the alarm went off as soon as water was injected into a pipe connecting to the reactor’s first cooling system at about 3:40pm local time on Saturday, the Japan Times reported. Two valves for a filter in the cooling room were found to be dripping radioactive water.
An eight-liter pool was discovered, but traces of the contaminated water across the floor indicate a total of 34 liters had managed to spill. This amounts to about 64,000 becquerels of radioactive waste.
The 30-year-old Reactor No. 4 has been idle since the 2011 shutdown, as part of post-Fukishima regulations that involved taking reactors offline for scheduled backups. Takahama Reactor No. 3 was activated earlier in January, while No’s 1 and 2 at the Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai plant were restarted last year.
In March 2011, following the devastating tsunami and earthquake that shut down Fukushima Daiichi, the government introduced strict new safety checks. But, apparently, not every reactor lucky enough to pass the new standards was returned to normal operation.
In fact, two of Takahama’s reactors (3 and the currently leaking 4) were both given a ‘no’ by a local judge, who firmly sided with the people last April.
“The new regulations are not reasonable, therefore there is no need to study whether the Takahama plant satisfies them,” said Judge Hideaki Higuchi in his ruling. “There is little rational basis for saying that an earthquake with a magnitude that exceeds the safety standard will not occur. It is an optimistic view.”
However, this temporary victory only slightly postponed the restart of No. 4 at Takahama to 2016. The residents had hoped the decision would reverberate throughout Japan. Activists had anticipated the regulations would mean lengthy legal procedures for any reactor wanting to restart.
Faced with energy prices that have risen 20 percent, loss-making energy companies that have to be subsidized from the state budget, and huge cleanup costs from Fukushima, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has pushed for nuclear energy to be re-introduced into the mix.
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