Fukushima update: spring 2017

please scroll down for Japanese translation:

It is now 6 years since the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, and the Japanese authorities and nuclear industry are still manoeuvring to minimise the effects and marginalise the affected. The work of forgetting Fukushima goes on. Starting with denying for the first three months that they had even had a meltdown, let alone three, lying to the citizens who were trying to get out of the way of the plume, and now continuing with the cruel claim that it is the fear of radiation, the “phobia”, rather than exposure to the radioactivity released during the meltdowns that causes the damage. We watched on our TVs as the plants exploded, but now a few years have slid by and most have moved on, drawn away by other disasters. Meanwhile the radioactivity continues to contaminate the soil, air, water, food and bodies of the Japanese, triggering not just cancers but also strokes and a whole host of other radiogenic illnesses.

The well-respected Physicians for Social Responsibility[1] reported that at least 10,000 cases of cancer will occur in Japan as a result of the meltdown, and laments that the full impact of Fukushima may never be known. This is due to Japan’s failure to immediately and fully track radiation exposures, as well as a “disturbing” lack of testing of the general population for radiation-related health effects such as stroke, cardiovascular disease, endocrine disease, miscarriage, foetal malformations, leukaemia, lymphomas and solid tumours.

Apart from the immediate cancer effects, 130,000 people have had their lives and communities shattered by the evacuations necessitated by the disaster. The village of Katsurao is a good example. Evacuated for five years, the chicken-or-egg nightmare continues even when the former residents want to return to their village. The town’s two factories, which made camera parts, are long gone, set up elsewhere, so there is no work to return to. 50%, yes – one half – of the agricultural land around the village is now stacked 5 metres high with black plastic bags full of radioactive waste from the clean-up and decontamination. So there’s little work in the fields either. Many don’t want to buy produce from there anyway. All the couples with children have gone, so the school closed. They won’t return as there is no school and with no kids the school won’t return.

Moreover, most parents don’t want to bring their kids back to a still-contaminated area, as kids are especially sensitive to radiation, as their cells are dividing more rapidly as they grow. Some older people have returned, saying ‘I want to die in the village where I grew up’. But younger people have found jobs, made friends and grown new ‘roots’, in the areas where they’ve been living for the last five years, so they don’t want to return. So the village is permanently damaged. Less people – less resources like hospitals and shops. Less hospitals and shops – less attractive to return to. It can take hundreds of years for a village or town to evolve; you can’t just remove and scatter its people for five years and then expect it to return to how it was. 10 million 1 square metre black bags of waste now blight the landscape of Fukushima province.

Cost estimates for the catastrophe – cleanup, compensation and decommissioning – have recently doubled, to $190 billion.

The uncertainty about ionising radiation is doing enormous damage, as people cotton on to the lack of honesty from a government firmly in the pocket of the nuclear industry aka the ‘nuclear village’. The worldwide limit for exposure for a citizen to ionising radiation from a nuclear power plant is one millisievert a year. The Japanese government just raised this to twenty millisieverts a year, setting this as the limit up to which land would be declared habitable. Therefore housing subsidies, enabling 6,531 voluntarily evacuated households to live elswehere, will be terminated in March 2017[2].  Yet a worker was just declared eligible for compensation as his leukaemia had been caused by his work in the nuclear industry, mostly at Fukushima, with a total, cumulative dose of 19.8 millisieverts. 19.8 can cause leukaemia, yet 20 a year, every year, for citizens is acceptable. Outrageous.

The ice wall seems to be only partly working; the NRA said it isn’t sufficiently preventing the groundwater from entering the site, where it becomes contaminated. Indeed, the ice wall will only last a few years anyway, until the groundwater erodes the land around it. So Tepco have been told to rely on pumping up the groundwater, and double the number of water storage tanks, rather than rely on the ice wall. The new problem is that Tepco have moved from having 4 cubes (the reactor buildings) full of deadly water to having a much larger ‘bathtub’, containing the 4 cubes, now also full of deadly water. Any future crack in the ice wall, or the rock under it, will mean that this much larger mass of contaminated water will move out into the environment. They say that the lack of water current through the basements means the ‘bathtub’ water won’t be poisoned; but anyone knows that if you drop a few teabags into a still bath the whole bath will be tea-coloured within a few days. It’s called diffusion. The authorities floated the idea of just covering the Fukushima Daiichi site with concrete and leaving it, but public outrage soon made them withdraw that idea.

The Niida river in Minimasoma has been found to have 29,500 Bq/kg of radioactive contamination concentrated in its sediment. To compare, anything with radiation levels above 100 Bq/kg used to be considered to be hazardous nuclear waste. Since the Fukushima meltdowns, this has been raised to 8,000 Bq/kg.

5,000 tons of Fukushima fish and crab was smuggled out to China via Vietnam, relabelled, and sold on. That’s one we know of because they were caught. How many others?

Radioactive Caesium from Fukushima has now crossed the Pacific ocean to reach the shores of Oregon, according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution[3].

All this downplaying of the damage done, just to continue with the nuclear industry, when wind and solar are now so much cheaper, and utterly safe[4]. Shame.


[2]www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003439790 [3]www.ijpr.org/post/tests-find-lingering-radiation- japan-our-shores#stream/0

[4]www.cleantechnica.com/2016/12/25/cost-of-solar- power-vs-cost-of-wind-power-coal-nuclear-natural-gas/

we also recommend: http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/

Leaflet by Kick Nuclear: http://www.kicknuclear.com

福島 最新情報 2017年春


「Physicians for Social Responsibility(社会的責任を果たす医師団、PSR)」 の報告書[1]によると、福島の原発事故が原因のがん患者は少なくとも1万人に達する見通しです。しかしPSRは、残念ながらこうした被害の全容が明らかにされることは決してないだろうと嘆いています。その理由は、日本政府が即座に全力で放射線被害を食い止めることを怠ったうえ、放射能の影響で引き起こされかねない心臓発作、心血管・内分泌(ホルモン)疾患、流産、胎児奇形、白血病、リンパ腫、腫瘍について全人口を対象に調べていないことにあります。








[1] www.psr.org/resources/fukushima-report-2016.htm

[2] www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/003439790

[3] www.ijpr.org/post/tests-find-lingering-radiation-japan-our-shores#stream/0

[4] www.cleantechnica.com/2016/12/25/cost-of-solar-power-vs-cost-of-wind-power-coal-nuclear-natural-gas

こちらの閲覧もお勧めします: http://www.fukuleaks.org/web





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