Fukushima roundup–March 3, 2014

It's been nearly three years since the entire world watched in horror at the explosions that destroyed three Fukushima reactors,  ushering in a new era of opposition to nuclear power.

It’s been nearly three years since the entire world watched in horror at the explosions that destroyed three Fukushima reactors, ushering in a new era of opposition to nuclear power.

We start today with a lot of news out of Fukushima in advance of next week’s third anniversary of the disaster.

We begin with the rather outrageous fact that Japanese prosecutors have dropped charges over the Fukushima nuclear disaster–no one will be held accountable. The public is angry, as should be expected; hundreds rallied in Tokyo shortly after the announcement. Said Aileen Mioko-Smith of Japan’s Green Action to the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, “Absolutely no-one is taking responsibility for this huge accident and when all these people are suffering.”

“The investigation clearly stated this was an accident created by humans, not a natural disaster, but the judicial system here has now decided to side with the powers-that-be,” she said.

“The government will be happy with the decision, but it is completely irresponsible,” she said. “And I fear that failing to prosecute in this case will lead to another disaster in the future.”

The Japan Times editorializes that interim storage of Fukushima waste is urgently needed but public participation is critical. The newspaper acknowledges what the government has not so far: vast amounts of radioactive waste generated (and that continues to grow daily) by the Fukushima disaster needs to be stored in a safer manner than is being done so far. But that storage, which should be in the most contaminated regions, will mean that more residents will never be able to return to their homes. Those former residents need to be able to participate in the process, and the government must be more honest than it has been to date about the reality that large sections of the Fukushima evacuation area will remain permanently evacuated.

Meanwhile, high cesium levels have been found in the mud around hundreds of reservoirs used to irrigate agricultural land in the Fukushima region. In 14 cases, the levels have exceeded 100,000 becquerels per kilogram (soil above 8,000 becquerels/kg is considered radioactive waste), five of those are outside the Fukushima evacuation zone. But, according to the Asahi Shimbun, which broke the story, “The central government says that reservoirs, many of which are located in residential areas, are not covered by its decontamination program.”

The Japan Times also has an editorial on the “appalling death toll” of the Fukushima accident, which it says that in Fukushima prefecture now has exceeded the number of deaths from the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The deaths aren’t from radiation–yet–but rather from “stress-related illnesses and other maladies.” But, as the newspaper notes, “These indirect causes are just as deadly as the direct causes, and are likely to last much longer unless the central government takes action.”

Finally, veteran activist Karl Grossman writes that on Fukushima’s third anniversary deception continues to be the trademark of the nuclear power industry.

Michael Mariotte

Permalink: https://safeenergy.org/2014/03/03/fukushima-roundup-march-3-2014/

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2 thoughts on “Fukushima roundup–March 3, 2014

  1. Don Richardson

    I need to get several million people to refuse to pay taxes until nuclear technology is banned and all plants and weapons facilities closed down. I am doing it alone and theyll just come and get me eventually, but they wont come after several million or more join me. Im too small to fail to jail. I keep getting letters from the IRS. Help! Don Richardson gaia@comporium.net. Cuidado! If you speak the truth your government will hunt you down and kill you.

    Reply

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