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.



"Mom’s anti-nuclear stance inspires film"

As reported by Kyodo and posted at Japan Times, the daughter of a long-time anti-nuclear activist who passed on in 1996 has been moved by the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, and inspired by her mother's lead, to make a documentary film about the ravages of nuclear weapons and nuclear power in Japan and around the world.

Shizuko Sakata was "an ordinary person living in the quiet city of Suzaka, Nagano Prefecture," but moved to warn her fellow townspeople about nuclear dangers, after learning of radioactive pollution from her daughter Yuko, who had moved to the English Channel Islands, immediately downstream from the French radioactive waste reprocessing facility at La Hague.

Shizuko Sakata began publishing her own newsletter on nuclear matters in 1977, and handed them out to passersby in Suzaka, asking them "Could you listen to me?" Her many newsletters were collected into a book, entitled Please Listen.

Masako Sakata, Shizuko's daughter and Yuko's sister, is an environmental documentary filmmaker. She has traveled the world to nuclear hot spots, such as the Marshall Islands where the U.S. tested hydrogen bombs, and Kazakhstan, where the U.S.S.R. tested nuclear weapons. She has also traveled to Fukushima a number of times, carrying her mother's old radiation monitor with her.

Her film is entitled "Journey Without End," and will be available in Japanese and English versions.


"Fishermen oppose dumping radioactive water into sea"

As reported by JIJI and posted at Japan Times, "The National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations called on the Abe administration Tuesday not to allow the release of radioactive water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant into the sea."

Tokyo Electric and the Abe administration are planning to begin releases in 2017, supposedly after radioisotopes such as Cesium-137, Cesium-134, Strontium-90, etc. are filtered out (where the contaminated filters will be stored or buried is not clear).

The article does not report, however, that tritium cannot be economically filtered out at an industrial scale. Thus, the official plan, currently, is simply to release the 100 million gallons of tritiated water into the ocean.

Tritium can go anywhere in the human body hydrogen goes, which is everywhere, such as right down to the DNA molecule, where it can cause damage, including genetic damage. Tritium bio-concentrates in the food chain -- just the dynamic the fishermen are concerned about.


Childhood obesity included in "fallout" from Fukushima catastrophe

As reported by the Asahi Shimbun, the healthy fear of outdoor radioactive contamination, leading to severe or total restrictions on outdoor play by children, has led to a dramatic increase in childhood obesity in Fukushima Prefecture. Several age categories (7-years, 9, 11, 13) exhibited the increase in childhood obesity, with Fukushima Prefecture ranking as the worst, or second worst, of the 47 prefectures across Japan. In certain age groups, the childhood obesity in Fukushima Prefecture is twice the national average.


High-tech experiment merely first, uncertain step to find Fukushima Daiichi's melted cores

As reported by the Asahi Shimbun, cosmic rays called muons will be studied in an attempt to see the "shadow" of what highly radioactive nuclear fuel may still remain in the melted down reactor cores at Fukushima Daiichi, starting with Unit 1.

Estimates vary from the optimistic -- perhaps half of the core remains in the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) -- to the likely more realistic -- "almost all" of the core melted through the bottom of the RPV, fell to the concrete floor beneath, and likely melted some distance down into the concrete and steel layers of the radiological containment structures, if not entirely through them. The exact status of the melted cores remains largely to entirely unknown, nearly four years after the nuclear catastrophe began.

The high-tech experiment is highly uncertain, and limited in its resolution, as well as what areas of the wrecked reactors can be examined.


Survivors of Fukushima catastrophe vow to fight on, despite prosecutors' repeated refusal to indict TEPCO execs

As reported by the Asahi Shimbun, "a group of residents, disaster victims and lawyers" has vowed to persevere in its years-long quest to seek prosecutions of top TEPCO executives, stemming from their suffering in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe that began on 3/11/11.

But, as the article reports:

"The Jan. 22 decision by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office rejected the stance of an independent judicial panel of citizens that former TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and two former vice presidents, Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro, should be indicted on charges of professional negligence resulting in death and injury."

The prospective plaintiffs will file a report with the independent judicial panel of citizens, appealing the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office decision. The Prosecutors Office previously declined to bring the TEPCO executives to justice in 2013.

As reported in the article, among the Prosecutors Office's lame excuses for not trying the TEPCO executives is:

'Prosecutors also said the probability of the Fukushima plant being hit by a 15.7-meter-high tsunami was “once in a million years to 10 million years.”

“It cannot be said that it was a duty for TEPCO to take measures (against tsunami of that height),” the prosecutors office said.'

But even larger scale tsunamis than the one that hit on 3/11/11 have struck northeast Japan, as recently as 869 A.D., as well as earlier just a few millenia ago, scientists have proven. The Prosecutors Office's “once in a million years to 10 million years” estimate flies in the face of such facts.

The Japanese Parliament's 2012 independent investigation report on the nuclear catastrophe contained a section describing how nuclear industry lobbyists with little to no expertise in tsunami science pressured decision makers to lower protections across Japan several years before the fateful day of 3/11/11, in order to save the nuclear power industry money by not having to build taller sea walls.

The question that was not asked was, how many Japanese perished by drowning due to the lowered sea walls across northeast Japan?

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