Tag Archives: Fukushima

Japan Diary 2016, Fukushima+5, Part 7. These women are pissed.

The post-Fukushima period is generating oceans of data, but much of it is useless. These women generate their own, but want more solid data than the government has been willing to provide.

The post-Fukushima period is generating oceans of data, but much of it is useless. These women generate their own, but also want more solid data than the government has been willing to provide.

Don’t get me wrong: These women are pissed! (My word not theirs.) And they have every right to express that, even in Japan, at least according to its constitution.

I cannot leave Japan without peeling back the layer of sticky rice and sweet bean paste that keeps the victims of Tepco’s iodine, cesium and strontium on their feet. Continue reading

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Japan Diary 2016, Fukushima+5 Part 3. People are Sick Now

Fukushima Units 3 and 4, April 2011

Fukushima Units 3 (right) and 4 (left), April 2011

Friends, I am sorry, but I am not sharing any faces or names. I want to protect these women. Nonetheless I can tell you they are more beautiful than any temple…

Radioactivity and the radiation it produces is invisible. I am here in Japan, and after leaving Fukushima Prefecture have begun our speaking tour. Steve Leeper has called on his networks via YMCA and consumer coops to host events, and his ally, Mori-Jushoku has reached out to his Buddhist communities. We have a brisk schedule with one to three events a day spanning five Prefectures. Arnie Gundersen (www.fairewinds.org) is also touring. Some legs we are together, others we diverge. Continue reading

Japan Diary 2016, Fukushima+5 Part 2. Hope and False Hope: Atomic Fallout Changes our Environment and Always Results in Injustice

Fukushima, April 2011

Fukushima, April 2011

Some who read yesterday’s post from Temporary Housing near Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture are probably still unhappy with me! The idea that small reductions in radiation exposure are any kind of “solution” flies in the face of what we know: there is no safe dose of radiation. We say: “No cure, only prevention!”

The women that I met on my first day here have no choice. Elders (60+), many have moved 4 or 5 times since they were forced to leave their homes in March 2011; some report when they reached the first Evacuation Center that their contamination levels were so high they pegged the monitors. Now most of their husbands are gone, their children have jobs in the big cities now, they are alone. For one reason or another, they need the support they get by staying where they are. Where they live now is unrestricted but still radioactive to varying degrees, well above where I live. When the evacuation order is lifted, most will have no choice but to return to houses that while “reduced” in radioactivity are not clean. Continue reading

Fukushima four years on

units1-432411Today is, in case anyone forgot, the fourth anniversary of the beginning of the seemingly endless Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Four years later, hundreds of thousands of people are still displaced from their homes and previous livelihoods; hundreds of tons of radioactive water continues to leak from the reactor site into groundwater and the Pacific Ocean; radioactive waste continues to pile up on the reactor site and surrounding communities–where it likely will stay for decades if not centuries; and there even remains some uncertainty about the exact location of the most lethally radioactive material–the molten fuel cores from the melted reactors. How far down did the molten fuel flow? Did it move horizontally? What further dangers does it pose now, and in the decades of clean-up to come? We don’t know, and neither do Japanese officials. Continue reading

Why is the US teaming with Russia to gut international nuclear safety standards?

The U.S. is teaming up with the people who brought us Chernobyl. Not in an effort to improve nuclear safety, but to block new safety rules proposed by Europe.

The U.S. is teaming up with the people who brought us Chernobyl. Not in an effort to improve nuclear safety, but to block new safety rules proposed by Europe.

Even after 30 years at NIRS, some days the news is just so appalling that it makes one want to scream. And some days, the actions of the U.S. government–regardless of who is in charge–are just wrong on so many levels that it makes one embarrassed to be an American.

Today is one of those days.
Continue reading

Fukukshima aftermath, August 2014

Three and a half years later, the Fukushima accident shows no signs of ending.

Three and a half years later, the Fukushima accident shows no signs of ending.

Three and a half years after the onset of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, its ramifications continue to reverberate across the world, but as one would expect, especially in Japan.

A quick roundup of some recent Fukushima-related news:

Two Japanese economists released their study this week showing that financial costs of the accident are now at 11 trillion Yen, or about $106 billion. That’s about twice previous government estimates. Continue reading

Japanese groups challenge potential nuclear restarts, and other news from Japan

The Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority has issued its draft approval for restart of the Sendai reactors.

The Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority has issued its draft approval for restart of the Sendai reactors.

Yesterday, the new Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority gave its preliminary approval for restart of Kyushu Electric’s two Sendai reactors. In response, seven Japanese clean energy groups issued the statement below, challenging that approval on several grounds. The draft approval does not necessarily guarantee a speedy restart; there are several more step in the process. As Aileen Mioko-Smith of GreenAction put it, “The fight is on!”

Joint Statement Protesting Nuclear Regulatory Authorityʼs Draft Approval of Sendai Nuclear Power Plantʼs Conformation to New Nuclear Regulatory Standards
16 July 2014

Issued by: The Nuclear Regulation Authority Citizen Watchdog Group and 7 other organizations

Today, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) issued a draft report on Kyushu Electricʼs Sendai
Nuclear Power Plant application for restart, stating the NRAʼs review found the plant conforming to the New Regulatory Standards. We strongly protest this report.  Continue reading