The U.S.has reactors of the same designs that melted down at Fukushima Daiichi, but regulators hope changes could prevent a repeat of Japan's nuclear crisis. Japan still struggles with the effects of a powerful earthquake, devastating tsunami and multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Two years after the nuclear disaster, TEPCO has found a greenling fish in the waters near the crippled Fukushima plant, with a record quantity of radioactive cesium - 7,400 times the country's limit for safe human consumption.
Fukushima - Two years after the nuclear disaster, TEPCO has found a greenling fish in the waters near the crippled Fukushima plant, with a record quantity of radioactive cesium - 7,400 times the country's limit for safe human consumption. Kyodo News reported that Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the company that runs the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station, discovered the fish, which has a record 740,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium. TEPCO had installed a net on the sea floor at the port exit in Fukushima to prevent fish from escaping the area. The bottom-dwelling greenling fish, which measured 38 centimeters in length and weighs 564 grams, was caught near a water intake of the four reactor units on February 21 while workers were removing fish from the port. According to TEPCO the previous record of cesium concentration in fish was 510,000 becquerels per kilogram. This was detected in another greenling fish, caught in the same area. TEPCO reported in January a fish which contained over 2500 times the legal limit for radiation in seafood in Japan, which was caught in the vicinity of the nuclear plant. Most fish caught along the Fukushima coast have been banned from market. After bluefin tuna, caught off the coast of California, tested positive for radiation poisoning at the end of February, experts have speculated that radioactive water may be seeping from the plant into the ocean. The nuclear disaster at Fukushima Dai-ichi plant on March 11, 2011, was caused by an earthquake and tsunami which damaged the plant, causing meltdowns which spewed radiation into the surrounding soil and water. Around 19,000 people were killed and 170,000 local residents were evacuated after the disaster.
The reactor exploded at 1:23 a.m. However, the world discovered the accident two days later, on April 28th, when operators of the Swedish Forsmark nuclear power plant in Stockholm registered unusually high radiation levels ...
Distrustful of official claims, a pregnant sister and her brothers head for Vancouver
By JULIAN LITTLER The ripples from the Fukushima nuclear disaster have been felt across the globe, drawing offers of sympathy and support for Japan, provoking debates about nuclear power and its alternatives — even sparking complete rethinks of energy policy.
Germany decided to shut down all its nuclear reactors by 2022 in response to the Fukushima crisis. Switzerland will close its remaining five reactors by 2032, and Italians were voting on whether to abandon nuclear power for good in a referendum over the weekend.
Japan has made no such promise, and the government has been criticized for being slow to react to the disaster. But as the politicians dither, the Nishida family in Tokyo have already made up their minds about the nuclear dangers.
They have decided to leave Japan to protect themselves and 21-year-old Reina's unborn baby.
TOKYO, Aug 4, 2011 (IPS) - Matashichi Oishi, 78, a radiation victim from Bikini Atoll, the site of a U.S. hydrogen bomb test in 1954, will make his annual lone visit this week to commemorate the Aug. 6 anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima 66 years ago.
This year, says the former sailor, battling lung cancer from exposure to high levels of radiation at Bikini Atoll, his message at Hiroshima will go beyond a routine call to end nuclear weapons.
"Against the backdrop of the disastrous Fukushima nuclear plant accident, I will speak of the absolute need for Japan to not only work to ban nuclear weapons but also to completely eradicate dependence on nuclear energy," he told IPS.
Oishi’s planned speech echoes the emergence of nuclear energy as an equal threat to peace. It gains credence from the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Fukushima and the northeast coasts of Japan on Mar. 11, severely damaging the nuclear plant located there.
Like Oishi, the thousands of peace activists, officials and politicians who will rally at Hiroshima to declare their commitment towards a world without nuclear weapons, will also call for a ban on nuclear energy.
A press release by the Mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui and his Nagasaki counterpart, Tomihisa Taue, makes the agenda clear.
Drafts of their speeches, released to the media, refer to the catastrophe faced by the people in Fukushima, and appeal to the government to promote renewable energy sources.
Matsui is quoted in the Japanese press as saying: "The central government should take responsibility to deal with the nuclear power generation issue."
Indeed, Oishi points out that a ban on nuclear power has been his lonely cry for the last six decades. He was 19 years old and sailing on a tuna boat when the U.S. carried out the bomb test that radiated his crew and forced the massive evacuation of residents from the surrounding islands.
Fourteen of the 23 Japanese crew on board the ‘Lucky Dragon’ contracted cancer, and ten died of it.
For Ayako Ooga, who lives in a temporary shelter in Aizu, 150 km from the damaged reactors in Fukushima, her former home, the upcoming Hiroshima anniversary is a time for solidarity.
"We must join hands with other victims like Oishi because we ourselves have become radiation victims," she said.
Prof. Michiji Konuma, who heads the Japan-based World Peace Appeal group, explained that the Fukushima disaster has reinforced the importance of raising public awareness about the dark side of nuclear energy.
Konuma, a physicist, has long campaigned to highlight the risks to human health posed by radiation. To him, the sobering lesson of Fukushima is that it is the fourth nuclear disaster to hit the Japanese people, counting Bikini Island, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
"The human tragedy of the past disaster that included fatalities, cancer and other radiation induced diseases, as well as the widespread discrimination faced by the survivors, illustrate the hidden and lingering problems of nuclear power," he said.
"We must sustain the awareness raised by Fukushima and speak out about the dangers we face if we continue to pursue nuclear energy," he added.
Konuma represents a panel of intellectuals in Japan that issued a notice to the government in July, calling for a shift away from dependence on nuclear energy.
The group is also spearheading a public movement to bring in a long-needed debate on the safety aspects of nuclear power in Japan with the aim of creating deeper understanding at the citizen level.
"The difficult aspect of sustaining an anti-nuclear energy public mood can only be met if more stakeholders - from intellectuals to radiation victims - get together. We must not repeat the mistake of forgetting again," he said.
Oishi agrees. "My own story shows how lonely the struggle is in Japan to get the authorities to listen to victims who stay silent for fear of being discriminated against," he said. (END)
Congressman Dennis Kucinich hosted a Congressional briefing, Thursday, September 20, 2012, on medical effects of radiation exposure, and health threats presented by United States nuclear power plants, nuclear fleet, and ...
(NaturalNews) Not much information comes out of Japan about Fukushima anymore, and the American MSM seems to have forgotten what watered down reporting they had done earlier. But the human suffering has begun in Japan, and even the Japanese government is trying to pretend it's not happening.
With the release of the latest 2-year business plan by Tokyo Electric Power Co. it appears that the cleanup from the Fukushima disaster will be even more expensive than originally estimated. Costs are now expected to exceed $100 billion, up from the previously estimated $62.5 billion. It is almost tragic to see how one disaster (fault or no-fault) has caused the demise of such a large and strong company as TEPCO.
The rest of the posting moves to discuss other news in the nuclear energy industry. I find an interesting parallel between the nuclear energy industry and the banking system. While their is a strong public opposition to both large Wall Street banks and nuclear power systems, experts in both industries are standing their ground with a strong defense. While the public is calling for the shut down of many nuclear plants industry regulators are continuing relaxed policies allowing reactor operators to ensure reactor safety with minimal new regulations and monitors.
During the Cold War, the radical anti-capitalist left (a group quite distinct from mainstream capitalism-taming liberals) was perpetually searching for a country that would prove by example the viability of socialism, defined as government ownership of all industry and major enterprises. The socialists in the West who had not already soured on the Soviet Union mostly turned against it by the mid-1950s, following revelations about Stalin’s atrocities. From that point until the end of the Cold War in the 1980s, the dwindling numbers of true believers claimed to find a successful socialist experiment in one country after another: Mao’s China, Tito’s Yugoslavia, Castro’s Cuba, even, for a time among, some Western militants in the early 1970s, North Korea. They didn’t deny that these countries had certain, ahem, problems—police-state repression and mass exoduses by fleeing citizens, among other minor defects. But they wanted to believe that, whatever its faults, the utopia du jour proved that you could successfully run a modern economy along the lines of Marxist-Leninist theory.
I am not comparing Greens to communists, in any other sense, when I observe that the validation of a certain kind of faith in renewable energy has depended, in some quarters, on a similar belief in the existence of nation-scale demonstration projects of the feasibility of solar power, wind power, biomass or the other preferred alternative to fossil fuels (and also zero-CO2 emission nuclear energy, which, for no very good reasons, is anathema to most environmentalists). In recent years, Germany—which plans to phase out its nuclear plants while subsidizing solar energy—has been to solar energy enthusiasts what Castro’s Cuba was to pilgrimage-making “sandalnistas” on the radical left a generation ago. With Lincoln Steffens, the fellow-travelling American journalist who visited the Soviet Union in the 1920s, they could say: “I have seen the future and it works.”
But the German solar energy future may not be working after all. On January 18, Der Spiegel published an article by Alexander Neubacher entitled “Solar Subsidy Sinkhole: Re-Evaluating Germany’s Blind Faith in the Sun.”
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