Tag Archives | Fukushima

Japanese Officials Upped Radiation Yardsticks to Dodge Compensation Costs

Picture: Steve Herman (PD)

Picture: Steve Herman (PD)

Andrea Germanos writes at Common Dreams:

Japanese officials raised the level of acceptable radiation doses for evacuees of the Fukushima nuclear disaster to avoid increasing costs for compensation, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reported on Saturday.

A 5-millisieverts per year dose, the same level of exposure used as a yardstick to relocate residents after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, was proposed at an unofficial meeting of ministers in October of 2011, seven months after the disaster began, they report.

But just weeks later, the yardstick was upped to 20 millisieverts per year.

… at a meeting on Oct. 28, joined by Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura and Tatsuo Kawabata, internal affairs minister, participants appeared reluctant to approve a yardstick other than 20 millisieverts. [...]

“The prefectural government could not function with population drain under the 5-millisievert scenario,” said a state minister who attended the meeting. “In addition, there were concerns that more compensation money will be needed, with an increase in the number of evacuees.” [...]

The Abe administration in March decided to release by the end of this year a set of protection measures for evacuees returning to areas with doses of up to 20 millisieverts.

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Fukushima’s Fallout is Already Harming Our Children

Picture: Fry1989

Harvey Wasserman writes at Counterpunch:

Thyroid abnormalities have now been confirmed among tens of thousands of children downwind from Fukushima.  They are the first clear sign of an unfolding radioactive tragedy that demands this industry be buried forever.

Two years after Fukushima exploded, three still-smoldering reactors remind us that the nuclear power industry repeatedly told the world this could never happen.

And 72 years after the nuclear weapons industry began creating them,  untold quantities of deadly wastes still leak at Hanford and at commercial reactor sites around the world, with no solution in sight.

Radiation can be slow to cause cancer, taking decades to kill.
But children can suffer quickly.  Their cells grow faster than adults’.  Their smaller bodies are more vulnerable.  With the embryo and fetus, there can never be a “safe” dose of radiation.  NO dose of radiation is too small to have a human impact.

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Staged Terrorism, Fukushima Crime Syndicate, Conspiracy Reality

On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin talks to NYU professor and author of 'Fooled Again', Mark Crispin Miller about voting fraud, 9/11 and how the term 'Conspiracy Theory' shuts down legitimate dialogue and questions. Abby then speaks with Kurt Haskell, Congressional Candidate for Michigan's 7th District, about his experience on the flight with the Christmas day Underwear Bomber that completely contradicts the government's narrative. BTS wraps up the show with a look at the intertwined relationship between the Japanese Yakuza crime syndicate and the nuclear energy industry in Japan.
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Experts: The Technology Needed To Clean Up Fukushima Doesn’t Yet Exist

One and a half years later, the consensus seems to be that the site of the Fukushima nuclear accident cannot be cleaned up or contained until future generations invent the technology to do so, Washington’s Blog notes:

World-renowned physicist Michio Kaku said recently: “It will take years to invent a new generation of robots able to withstand the radiation.” The world leader in decommissioning nuclear reactors, and one of the main contractors hired to clean up Fukushima – EnergySolutions – made a similar point in May:

Concerning the extraction of fuel debris [at Fukushima], “There is no technology which may be directly applied,” said [top EnergySolutions executive] Morant.

A top American government nuclear expert – William D. Magwood – told the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works:

There will need to be new technologies and new methodologies created to be able to enable them to clean the site up and some of these technologies don’t exist yet, so there’s a long way to go with that…There’s a long, long way to go.

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Nuclear Power Still on the Books in Japan

Picture: By Hirorinmasa (CC)

Less than a week after announcing a plan to abandon Nuclear Power by the 2030′s, Hiroko Tabuchi at NYtimes.com reports that the Japanese government will not be implementing that plan:

Motohisa Furukawa, the national strategy minister, announced the original plan last week, releasing a document titled the “Revolutionary Energy and Environment Strategy” that said Japan would seek to eliminate nuclear power within 28 years through greater reliance on renewable energy, conservation and the use of fossil fuels. On Wednesday, he defended the cabinet’s omission of the 2040 deadline, saying the government had intended to use it as a reference point.

Furkukawa’s administration has been busy reassuring the public that the government is committed to creating a better system of regulation for the industry. Lapses in regulation have been pinpointed as one of the deficiencies that led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. These lapses, critics say, were a consequence of a far too cozy relationship between government regulators and the industry they were supposed to be policing.… Read the rest

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Japan To Abandon Nuclear Power By 2030s

The future isn’t always what we think it is, via Reuters:

Japan’s government said it intends to stop using nuclear power by the 2030s, marking a major shift from policy goals set before last year’s Fukushima disaster that sought to increase the share of atomic energy to more than half of electricity supply.

Japan joins countries such as Germany and Switzerland in turning away from nuclear power after last year’s earthquake unleashed a tsunami that swamped the Fukushima Daiichi plant, causing the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986. Japan was the third-biggest user of atomic energy before the disaster.

“This is a strategy to create a new future,” a policy statement said, after key ministers finalized the decision on Friday. “It is not pie in the sky. It is a practical strategy.”

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The Fukushima Disaster Produced Mutant Irradiated Butterflies

Radiation turns your dreams to nightmares, via Mother Jones:

Researchers collected butterflies immediately following the nuclear meltdown and six months later, both from the surrounding areas of Fukushima and from various other localities in Japan. As compared with the butterflies collected from elsewhere, Fukushima butterflies showed some abnormally-developed legs, dented eyes, deformed wing shapes, and changes to the color and spot patterns of their wings, with an overall abnormality rate of around 12 percent.

While these levels of mutations were still relatively mild, more alarming were the same data on butterflies collected six months later, in September of last year. The overall rate of similar mutations among these butterflies was around 28 percent, while this number skyrocketed to around 52 percent in the second generation produced from the collected butterflies.

The study renews worries that humans, too, might be affected by the released radiation in the Fukushima area, but the researchers insist that this is not an easy line to draw.

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Radioactive Oatmeal from Fukushima

Via Food Quality news:

Are we about the enter the era of carrying a radiation detector to scan all food before consuming? Damn!

Radiation has been detected in commercial oatmeal in Hong Kong. Despite assurances about “low levels” of radiation, there isn’t truly ANY safe amount of radiation. This is a reasonable concern with extremely hot particles like Cesium-137, which is the culprit in this case.

Even at the miniscule level of 7 Becquerel per kg, I can’t help but wonder about the lifetime bio-accumulation of these particles in the body if they became common in many food products.  There is a lot of conflicting information from all sides of all issues on the radiation legacy of Fukushima … because nobody truly knows the long-term effects.

No recall has been issued by the Hong Kong Center for Food Safety(CFS).

Read more at Food Quality news.

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Full Third of Fukushima Children Face Cancer Risk

 

Photo: Mononeko (PD)

According to  Russia Times, a Japanese public health organization has released grim finding: Aafter examining 38,000 children from the Fukushima Prefecture, site of the infamous nuclear disaster, the organization has estimated that a third of the prefecture’s children will be at risk for developing cancer as a result of radiation poisoning.

The Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey reports that over 13,000 of the children examined exhibited swollen cysts or nodules on their thyroids. Radiation penetrates soft tissues and settles in thyroids. Over time, the nodules can swell and become cancerous.

The children of the effected Prefecture will receive cancer screenings every two years until they turn 20, and will then continue to receive screenings every five years until the end of their lives.

Some physicians in the international community feel that the Japanese are not adequately publicizing the results of the study and minimizing the true danger that the children face.… Read the rest

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