Our friends at Green Action Japan have asked us to urge our supporters to consider signing a Change.Org petition demanding that the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company cease and desist from discharging hazardous radioactivity from the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean. For updates on the ongoing Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, and to learn more about the Japanese environmental movement's struggle to block atomic reactor restarts, be sure to visit Beyond Nuclear's Japan website section!
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.
Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture" (photo, left) interviewed Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps regarding a revelation that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) knew, two and a half years before a 45-foot tall tsunami wrecked its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, that such a natural disaster was possible, and should be defended against. TEPCO shareholders have sued the company for $50 billion in damages, and the 2008 tsunami risk assessment document came to light in the legal discovery process.
Thom also asked Kevin about recent Freedom of Information Act disclosures showing that the highest ranking officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Energy were warned that radioactive Iodine-131 emissions from the triple meltdown in Japan could harm Americans downwind, and yet few to no emergency health monitoring measures were taken.
The untold human suffering and property damage left in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan has been well-documented, but there’s another population that suffered greatly that few have discussed – the animals left behind in the radioactive exclusion zone. One man, however, hasn’t forgotten – 55-year-old Naoto Matsumura, a former construction worker who lives in the zone to care for its four-legged survivors.
He is known as the ‘guardian of Fukushima’s animals’ because of the work he does to feed the animals left behind by people in their rush to evacuate the government’s 12.5-mile exclusion zone. He is aware of the radiation he is subject to on a daily basis, but says that he “refuses to worry about it.” He does take steps, however, by only eating food imported into the zone. More.
A drone carrying a plastic bottle with trace amounts of cesium has landed on the roof of Japanese Prime Minister Abe's office, evidently sending a message about strong citizen opposition to a restart of that country's nuclear power plants. Japan remains at zero nuclear but a court this week gave approval to the restart of the Sendai reactors which will likely come on line this year. Abe (pictured) continues to tout not only a nuclear restart in Japan but the exporting of nuclear technology abroad. But a majority of Japanese citizens -- a figure that rose to 70% shortly after the Fukushima disaster -- still oppose a return to nuclear energy in that country. More
Local judge denies lawsuit to block Sendai nuke restart as Japanese vow continued resistance to potential atomic volcano
The district court judge for Kagoshima Prefecture has denied a citizen-led legal challenge to block the restart of the Sendai nuclear power plant in southwestern Japan. The citizen groups say they will appeal the court ruling. The local residents remain concerned by experts' warning of another nuclear catastrophe triggered by any one of several large volcanoes active in the region. The citizen lawsuit was prompted by the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority approval of the Sendia restart in September 2014
The Kagoshima judge’s ruling sharply contrasts with two earlier court decisions in Fukui Prefecture that have successfully blocked the restart of four units at the Takahama and Ohi nuclear power stations.
Japanese volcanologists are warning that the enormous March 11, 2011 earthquake has intensified volcanic activity throughout Japan. In fact, Mount Ioyama, located 64 km away from Sendai had a series of tremors in 2014 that prompted its reclassification from dormant to the second highest threat level according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency’s volcano bureau. Another frequently active and large volcano, Mount Sakurajima, is located even closer to the Sendai nuke at 40 km. Were these two nearby volcanoes not enough of a concern, Sendai is situated amidst five giant calderas, expansive crater-like depressions that are evidence to past massive eruptions.
The local citizen movement has vowed to continue opposition to the restart and operation of the Sendai nuclear power plant.
Green Action published a 3-page backgrounder before the court ruling.