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Japan

Until the Fukushima accident, Japan had 55 operating nuclear reactors as well as enrichment and reprocessing plants which had suffered a series of deadly accidents at its nuclear facilities resulting in the deaths of workers and releases of radioactivity into the environment and surrounding communities. Since the Fukushima disaster, there is growing opposition against re-opening those reactors closed for maintenance.

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Thursday
Jun302016

FOE Japan: Urgent Petition regarding Fukushima decontamination: “No” to the Policy “To Use Contaminated Soil (Less than 8,000 becquerel/kg) for Public Works”

Our colleague Aileen Mioko Smith of Green Action Kyodo in Japan has asked us to sign onto this Friends of the Earth Japan petition (which we have done!), and to spread the word (which we are now doing!):

Urgent Petition regarding Fukushima decontamination: “No” to the Policy “To Use Contaminated Soil (Less than 8,000 becquerel/kg) for Public Works”

PETTITION DEADLINE: June 30, 2016
 

Download here for signing the petition via internet:
https://www.change.org/p/minister-of-environment-tamayo-marukawa-contaminated-soil-produced-by-the-nuclear-disaster-to-be-used-for-public-works?lang=en-US 

FULL TEXT OF PETITION:

To: Minister of Environment Tamayo Marukawa 

Urgent Petition: “No” to the Policy “To Use Contaminated Soil (Less than 8,000 becquerel/kg) for Public Works”— Don’t Contaminate the Environment, Don’t Force Radiation Exposure on the Entire Population 

On March 30, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) Investigative Committee on Strategy for Technological Innovation for Reducing and Recycling Temporarily Stored Contaminated Soil decided to allow the use of 
contaminated soil (lower than 8,000 becquerel/kg) for public works nationwide with “proper containment measures.” The committee argues that the additional effective dose for residents will be less than 10µSv/year, but the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Act that specifies 100 becquerel/kg or less as the threshold for reusing concrete and metals from nuclear power plants. MOE’s latest policy increases the threshold eighty-fold. 

Moreover, the Working Group on Safety Evaluation of the Effects of Radiation within the investigative committee met behind closed doors, and its meeting minutes have not been published. In fact, the goal of 
the committee is to increase an amount of radioactive waste for reuse in order to decrease an amount for final disposal. The committee seems to consider it inevitable to expose the entire Japanese population to radiation to implement the infeasible policy of “decontamination and repatriation” for Fukushima residents. 

MOE boasts that “the reconstruction of Fukushima and the Tohoku region not only constitutes a crucial project for the renewal of Japan but also will become an unprecedented source of knowledge and experience to be shared with international society.” But “proper containment measures” is unrealistic. Even strictly managed disposal sites contaminate their surroundings and groundwater; how can public works, which are not as strictly as managed, prevent contaminated soil from spreading radioactivity? Indeed, rainfall, erosion, and disasters can damage public works to trigger a significant release of radioactivity in the environment. Construction work will also expose laborers to radioactivity. If a huge earthquake occurs, roads will be damaged, exposing radioactive waste to the air. This is indeed a “national project” to force radiation exposure on the entire Japanese population, including children. We cannot, and will not, allow it. 

Petition Items 

1. Retract the policy to use decontaminated soil, which contains radioactive waste, for public works. 
2. Rethink the goal of the policy to “decontaminate and repatriate.” 
3. Enlist wider participation from people inside and outside Fukushima Prefecture in deciding on issues related to decontamination and disposal of decontaminated soil. 
4. Disclose all information regarding the Working Group on Safety Evaluation of the Effects of Radiation, including the names of members, meeting minutes, and reference materials. 

(Translated by Hiro Saito)

Contact: 
Friend of the Earth Japan 
Tel:+81-3-6909-5983 Fax:+81-3-6909-5986 
info@foejapan.org
Thursday
Jun092016

Disaster Fallout: Fukushima's Legacy Five Years Later

Five years after three nuclear reactors catastrophically failed in Fukushima, an anonymous young woman has broken cultural taboos by speaking about thyroid cancer she contracted due to radiation exposure.

Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear spoke with Kevin Kamps, the radioactive waste watchdog for Beyond Nuclear, about the Fukushima tragedy, how victims have been silenced and whether a similar meltdown could occur in America.

Listen to the full 18 minute 30 second interview at the following link:

(The interview was recorded on June 8th, and aired on June 9, 2016.)
Thursday
Jun092016

Thom Hartmann interviews Beyond Nuclear on Fukushima Daiichi's 600 metric tons of missing corium

On June 9, 2016, Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture" on RT, interviewed Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, regarding a Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) spokesman's admission that the 200 metric tons in each of three melted atomic reactors (for a total of 600 metric tons) is simply still missing, more than five years into the ongoing nuclear catastrophe.

Kevin talks about the risks associated with 22 identically designed General Electric Mark I Boiling Water Reactors still operating in the U.S., as well as the 8 additional Mark IIs of very similar design.

Kevin also shares the revelation from a recent U.S. National Academies of Sciences report, that a high-level radioactive waste storage pool fire at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 was very narrowly averted in March-April 2011, by sheer luck. A gate between the pool, and the adjacent water-filled reactor cavity, failed for some still unexplained reason. The flood of water prevented the pool from boiling or evaporating dry to the tops of the irradiated nuclear fuel assemblies, which then would have quickly reached ignition temperature, releasing up to ten times the radioactive Cesium-137 that got out during the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe.

Listen to the full interview, from the 44:30 minute mark to the 49:30 minute mark of the program.

Tuesday
May032016

Experts present startling findings around Fukushima and Chernobyl at commemorative event

Beyond Nuclear held a stimulating afternoon and evening of presentations, panel discussions and short films to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the 5th anniversary of the still on-going Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.  The event took place on May 3rd at the Goethe-Institut in Washington DC and was also supported by the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America.  Beyond Nuclear is also very grateful to our member cosponsors: James Cromwell, Alice and Lincoln Day, Dr. Ian Fairlie, Judi and Lou Friedman, Jay Hormel, Redwood Alliance, and Carolyn and Roy Treadway. Learn more.

Thursday
Apr282016

Hibakuaha's International Signature Campaign Launched. Please Support It

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Friends,

                Yesterday Peace & Planet Japanese member organizations Nihon Hidankyo, Gensuikyo and Peace Boat launched an international petition campaign urging support for the Hibakuksha’s call for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

                Please find the announcement and a link to the petition below. Better yet, please print out the petition, sign and circulate it.

                For a nuclear weapons-free, peaceful, just and sustainable world,

                Joseph [Gerson, Peace & Planet]
 
 

A starting joint action of the international signature campaign in support of the Appeal of the Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors of Hiroshima & Nagasaki) for the elimination of nuclear weapons was carried out at downtown Shibuya, Tokyo on April 27, 2016.

With a banner reading “Hibakusha Earnestly Desire Elimination of Nuclear Weapons” hanging high, Terumi Tanaka, secretary general of Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), called on passers-by to support the petition for the abolition of nuclear weapons.  He said, “I want hundreds of millions of people in the world to support the petition”.  Many Hibakusha took part in the action from Tokyo and nearby prefectures, and insisted that nuclear weapons must never be used again, speaking of their A-bomb experiences. Many peace organizations and individuals, which support the Appeal of the Hibakusha, also joined the street action and called for the start of negotiations on a treaty to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.  They include Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo), Japan Peace Committee, Peace Boat, Religions for Peace Japan, etc.

The Hibakusha and participants were so much encouraged to get support for the petition from young people, high school students, housewives and tourists from USA, UK, France and China.  A total of 277 signatures were collected in the 45-minute action.

Linked here, please find the Appeal of the Hibakusha and petition form

The Appeal of the Hibakusha was announced in April, 2016 in Tokyo, and this signature campaign was proposed and initiated by the Hibakusha and Nihon Hidankyo.  Japanese peace organizations and individuals are determined to jointly support and develop this campaign in Japan and the rest of the world.

Please send us your support message to the petition and spread this signature campaign in your country.

Sincerely,
Yayoi Tsuchida
Gensuikyo Assistant general secretary