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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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Tuesday
Jul152014

"Underground lab tackles trouble-plagued nuclear waste issue"

The Japan Times has reprinted an AP article about a research facility located in a tunnel located 350 meters below a "sleepy" dairy town, Horonobe, population 2,500, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

While there is no operating deep geologic repository (DGR) for high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) anywhere in the world, several countries claim to be closing in on opening dates: Finland, 2020; France, 2025; Sweden, 2029.

Ontario Power Generation has proposed a DGR for so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes at its Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ontario. The entryway for the permanent dumpsite would be located on a peninusla jutting out into Lake Huron, within less than a mile from the shore of the drinking water supply for 40 million people in 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American/First Nations -- the Great Lakes. The licesning proceeding for this Canadian DUD (the sarcastic name coined by Dave Martin of Greenpeace Canada, short for Deep Underground Dump) is nearly complete.

But the dumpsites are highly controversial. The Canadian DUD is being fiercely resisted, including by opponents on the other side of the Great Lakes, as in Michigan.

Many unanswered questions linger even regarding the "lead dump" in the world, targeted at Onkalo, Finland, in the shadow of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant. This is made clear by the artful documentary film Into Eternity, which interviews only dump proponents, not opponents. Even the proponents can't agree whether or not to warn future generations about the dump by marking it, some fearing markers will simply lure future generations to intrude into the site, as for recovering the precious metals or powerful materials (such as potentially weapons usable plutonium).

Nationwide grassroots organizing, as well as Nevada's fierce resistance, led by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) defeated the Yucca Mountain HLRW dumpsite proposal, pursued by the U.S. DOE, nuclear power industry, and its friends in Congress from 1987 to 2010, when the Obama administration cancelled it.

Thursday
Jul102014

"Fukushima farmer takes on Tepco over wife’s suicide"

The Japan Times has published a Reuters article about Mikio Watanabe's lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Company. He seeks to hold the company responsible for his wife Hamako's suicide in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe. The Watanabe's became nuclear evacuees from their lifelong home, 50 km from the wrecked reactors. The court ruling could set a significant precedent, as suicide rates in Fukushima Prefecture have risen significantly since March 11, 2011.

Wednesday
Jul092014

"Will the typhoon cause another meltdown at Fukushima?"

Thom Hartmann hosted Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps on his radio show to discuss the super typhoon currently hitting Japan, as well as the breakdown in Fukushima Daiichi Unit 5's high-level radioactive waste storage pool cooling system, and other updates from the nuclear catastrophe site.

This website has re-posted a video of Thom's interview with Kevin.

And Thom has written a blog on the issue.

Tuesday
Jul082014

Harvey Wasserman: "Fukushima is still happening"

Harvey WassermanHarvey Wasserman of Solartopia fame (photo, left) hosted Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter and Kevin Kamps on his Progressive Radio Network show "Green Power and Wellness." Harvey's intro is below, and you can listen to the full show at this link here. Harvey plans to have Paul and Kevin back on his show on July 22nd.

FUKUSHIMA IS STILL HAPPENING as we hear from PAUL GUNTER and KEVIN KAMPS of BEYOND NUCLEAR about the horrific on-going disaster in Japan.  Far from being calmed and cool, the crisis in spent fuel management continues at Fukushima. Loss of coolant in Unit Five’s spent fuel pool has developed.  Units Four, Three, Two and One are also in varying states of flux, to the extent that Tokyo Electric has taken a “vacation” from bring down damaged fuel rods at Unit Four.  Paul also reports that a two-inch piece of spent plutonium fuel has been found more than a mile away from the reactors, along with many other fragments of what was obviously a fission explosion.  That the assault on nuclear regulators in Japan continues.  And that the Japanese people have stood firm against opening any of the 48 other reactors still shut.  NONE of this is being reported in ANY corporate media despite its life-and-death impacts on us all.  Paul and Kevin will be back with us for more reports.  In the meantime, please listen closely and send the links for this important show so others can know that FUKUSHIMA IS NOT OVER!!!

Monday
Jul072014

"A Scary Super Typhoon Is Bearing Down on Japan…and Its Nuclear Plants"

U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center map showing projected path of Super Typhoon NeoguriAs reported by Mother Jones, a "once in decades storm" packing winds stronger than 150 miles per hour, Super Typhoon Neoguri, is taking direct aim at some of Japan's nuclear power plants. The good news is, the reactors have long been shut down. However, irradiated nuclear fuel in need of cooling remains stored on-site. Will "Fukushima lessons learned," and supposed safety regulation upgrades in Japan, be enough to weather yet another monster storm?