Tag: cancer

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.

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

[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

福島第一原子力発電所で原子炉3基が炉心溶融(メルトダウン)を起こしてから6年が過ぎました。日本政府や原発業界はいまだに被害を小さくみせかけようとし、被害を受けた方々と真剣に向き合っていません。福島を忘れようとする取り組みが続いています。事故後3か月間にわたりメルトダウンが起きていることを全く認めなかっただけでなく、プルーム(放射線物質の雲状のかたまり)を避けようとする住民に正しい情報を提供せず、「メルトダウンで放出された有害な放射性物質にさらされていることではなく、放射能を不安に思う『心理』が問題だ」という聞くに堪えないひどい主張が今も続いています。海外のテレビでも原子炉の爆発する様子が映し出されましたが、もう数年が経過し、他の災害にも対処しなければならない中、多くの関心が他へ移りつつあります。その間も引き続き放射性物質は土壌、大気、水、食品、人々の体に取り込まれ、がんだけでなく心臓発作など、放射能が原因となるさまざまな疾患を引き起こしています。

「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。

がんなどの発症という被害に加え、放射能汚染から避難するために13万人の方々が住み慣れた土地を追われ、故郷も荒廃しました。葛尾村はその一例です。避難指示が5年ぶりに解除されましたが、戻りたい住民がいても、人口の回復が先か、インフラの再整備が先か分からない悪夢は終わりません。カメラの部品を作っていた2つの工場はとっくに別の場所へ移転したため、前の仕事はありません。農地は半分もが5メートルの高さに積み上がったビニール袋(フレコンバッグ)に覆われています。各フレコンバッグには除染作業で集められた放射性廃棄物が目いっぱい詰め込まれています。つまり、農地を耕すこともほとんどできません。わざわざこの土地で育った作物を買いたいという人も多くありません。子どものいる夫婦は去っていったため、学校も閉鎖されました。学校がなければ子どもは戻りませんし、子どもが戻らなければ学校が再開されることもありません。親の多くは、細胞分裂が活発で放射能の影響を受けやすい子どもを、まだ汚染されている地域に戻そうとは思いません。お年寄りは「育った村で息を引きとりたい」と戻ってくる場合もあります。しかし過去5年間に移り住んだ土地で仕事を見つけ、人間関係を築いた若者は戻ろうとしません。村はもう取り返しのつかない被害を受けてしまったのです。住人が少なくなれば、病院や商店などのインフラも乏しくなります。それが一層、人々の帰還を難しくします。1つの村や町が発展するには何百年もかかることがあります。住民を5年もの間ちりぢりにしておいて、元通りに戻ってこいというわけにはいきません。1立法メートルの黒いフレコンバッグが1千万個、福島県の農村地帯を覆っています。福島原発事故の処理にかかる費用の見積もりは最近になってこれまでの2倍に引き上げられ、除染、賠償、廃炉を含めて21兆5000億円に上るとみられています。

「原子力村」に深く取り込まれた政府には誠実さのかけらもなく、電離放射線被害をめぐる先行き不透明感は悪影響を及ぼしています。世界的に、そして日本でも少し前までは、一般市民の被ばく線量が年間1ミリシーベルト(mSv)までと定められてきました。日本政府は基準値を年間20mSvへ引き上げ、ここまでの放射線量の地域であれば居住可能と宣言し、自主避難者のうち6531世帯に対する公的な住宅支援を2017年3月で打ち切ります。[2]しかし、福島原発などで就業した後に白血病を発症して労災が最近認定された原発作業員の累積被ばく量は19.8mSvでした。この数値で白血病が発症するにもかかわらず、一般市民が毎年20mSvの被ばくを許されるなど言語道断です。

凍土壁は部分的にしか機能していません。原子力規制委員会は、凍土壁で十分に地下水の侵入を食い止められていないと指摘しています。福島第一原発の敷地内に入り込んだ地下水は放射能で汚染されていきます。凍土壁はそもそも、地下の汚染水がその回りの土地を浸食して流れ出すまでの数年しか役割を果たせないと考えられています。そのため東京電力は、凍土壁に頼らずに地下水をくみ上げ、貯水タンクを倍に増やすことが求められています。東電にとっての新たな問題は、致死的に汚染された水が4つの原子炉建屋にたまっていた状態から、4つの建屋が入った巨大な「浴槽」にやはり致死的に危険な汚染水がたまっている状態へ変わったことです。凍土壁やその下の地盤に割れ目が生じれば、さらに大量の汚染水が環境中に流れ出すでしょう。『浴槽』内では「地下水に流れがないため汚染されない」という嘘もまかり通っています。しかし皆さん、浴槽の中にティーバッグをいくつか入れて数日も経過すれば、水が全て茶色に染まることはご存じでしょう。拡散という現象です。日本政府は福島第一原発をコンクリートで覆ってそのままにするという案を検討していましたが、世論の大きな反発に遭って撤回しました。

南相馬を流れる新田川の堆積物では1キログラム当たり2万9500ベクレル(Bq/kg)もの放射線量が確認されています。ちなみに、かつては100Bq/kgを超えると放射性廃棄物と定義されていました。福島の原発事故後は放射性廃棄物の基準値が8000Bq/kgに引き上げられました。

福島沖で捕獲された5000トンの魚やカニが中国経由でベトナムへ隠れて輸出され、不正確な表示で売られています。これは逮捕されて発覚した事例ですが、公になっていない事例はどれだけあることでしょうか。

ウッズホール海洋研究所によれば[3]、福島から流れてきた放射性セシウムが太平洋を渡り、今やオレゴン州沖で観測されています。

被害を低く見せかける数々の取り組みは、原発業界を存続させるためです。風力や太陽光による安全な発電がどんどん安くなっている[4]のに、恥ずかしいことです。

[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

文責/キック・ニュークリアー:www.kicknuclear.com

 

 

Advertisements

Senator John F. Kennedy re atmospheric nuclear tests, April 2, 1960

REMARKS OF SENATOR JOHN F. KENNEDY AT WISCONSIN ASSOCIATION OF STUDENT COUNCILS, MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, APRIL 2, 1960

We have been talking about change and challenge, about leadership and vision. No change in the world about us presents a greater challenge – no problem calls for greater leadership and vision – than the radioactive pollution of our atmosphere by the testing of nuclear weapons.

It is not a simple problem with simple answers. The experts disagree – the evidence is in conflict – the obstacles to an international solution are large and many. But the issue of nuclear tests and their effects is one which should be discussed in the coming months – not as a purely partisan matter, but as one of the great issues on the American scene.

I was glad, therefore, that this issue was raised last Sunday in a constructive and thoughtful way by the Governor of New York. His statement contributed to the dialogue on this basic issue – it represented the position of a leading figure in the Republican Party – and it neither hedged nor equivocated. So I commend Governor Rockefeller for his comments, and hope they will be considered and debated by interested citizens everywhere.

But I must also express my own emphatic disagreement with his statement, which called for this country to resume nuclear test explosions. Such a proposal, it seems to me, is unwise when it is suggested just prior to the reopening of negotiations with the British and Russians at Geneva on this very question. It is damaging to the American image abroad at a time when the Russians have unilaterally suspended their testing. And, while Mr. Rockefeller did suggest that the testing take place underground to prevent fall-out, he discounted the harmful effects of fall-out – which I am unwilling to do.

It is true that the amount of radiation created by bomb tests so far offers no serious threat to the well-being or existence of mankind as a whole. But it is also true that there is no amount of radiation so small that it has no ill effects at all on anybody. There is actually no such thing as a minimum permissible dose. Perhaps we are talking about only a very small number of individual tragedies – the number of atomic age children with cancer, the new victims of leukemia, the damage to skin tissues here and reproductive systems there – perhaps these are too small to measure with statistics. But they nevertheless loom very large indeed in human and moral terms.

Radiation, in its simplest terms – figuratively, literally and chemically – is poison. Nuclear explosions in the atmosphere are slowly but progressively poisoning our air, our earth, our water and our food. And it falls, let us remember, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, on all peoples of all lands, regardless of their political ideology, their way of life, their religion or the color of their skin. Beneath this bombardment of radiation which man has created, all men are indeed equal.

Perhaps the ill effects and the dangers of fall-out from bomb tests can be regarded today, in statistical terms, as minimal. But let us remember that there is still much that we do not know – and that too often in the past we have minimized the perils and shrugged aside these dangers, only to find that our estimates were faulty and that new knowledge inevitably increased our appreciation of these dangers. Let us remember also that our resumption of tests would bring Russian resumption of tests – it would make negotiations even more strained- it would spur other nations seeking entry into the “atomic club”, with their own tests polluting the atmosphere – and, in short, it could precede the kind of long, feverish testing period which all scientists agree would threaten the very existence of man himself.

The arguments advanced in favor of a test resumption are not unreasonable. The emphasis is on the weapons development – the necessity to move ahead “in the advanced techniques of the use of nuclear material.” This reason is not to be dismissed lightly. Because this country cannot hope to match the Soviets in raw numbers of ground forces, we rely on technical military superiority. We need to develop small nuclear weapons and so-called “clean” nuclear weapons, in order to deter their use or other forms of limited aggression by the enemy. This is not, I might add, justification for cutting back our ground forces and our ability to wage conventional warfare – but it is nevertheless important.

But let us remember that our present test suspension – while unilateral – is implicitly conditional on a Russian test suspension. If we are not developing new weapons in the absence of tests, neither are they. If we will make progress militarily through the resumption of tests, so, in all probability, will they. And the facts of the matter are that, generally speaking, we are ahead of the Russians in the development of atomic warheads but behind in the development of delivery systems. Until this lag can be overcome, there is a lesser value for us in testing and developing further “techniques in the use of nuclear material.” In short, for both sides to resume atomic tests today might well turn out to be more of a disadvantage to the west militarily than a help.

I would suggest, therefore, the following alternative position:

1. First, that the United States announce that it will continue its unilateral suspension of nuclear tests as long as the Russians continue theirs, and as long as serious negotiations for a permanent ban with enforceable inspection are proceeding in good faith. Our present extension of the ban expires on December 31st.

2. Secondly, the United States must redouble its efforts to achieve a comprehensive and effective test suspension agreement – and develop a single, clear-cut, well defined and realistic policy for an inspection system and for the other conditions such an agreement must meet. We do not have such a policy today.

3. Third, should it be necessary for our tests to resume, they should be confined to underground and outer-space explosions, and testing of only certain small weapons in the upper atmosphere in order to prevent a further increase in the fall-out menace – and in the hope, moreover, that the Russians and others will be forced by world opinion to follow our example.

4. Fourth and finally, we must step up our studies of the impact of radioactive fall-out and how to control it, through the Public Health Service here at home and a special United Nations monitoring commission abroad. Let us not discover the precise point of danger after we have passed it. Let us not again reject these warnings of peril as “catastrophic nonsense” (to quote Mr. Nixon), as they were rejected in 1956 when put forward by a great Democratic standard-bearer, Adlai E. Stevenson.

These four policy positions are no magic solution – nor can they be achieved overnight without effort. But the new and terrible dangers which man has created can only be controlled by man. And if we can master this danger and meet this challenge, we will have earned the deep and lasting gratitude, not only of all men, but of all yet to be born – even to the farthest generation.