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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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Saturday
Jul022011

"National crime" and "graveyard governance" in wake of Fukushima catastrophe 

Hokkaido Cancer Center director Nishio Masamichi, a radiation treatment specialist, has published a very hard hitting critique of the Japanese government and nuclear power industry's performance regarding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe. The Asia-Pacific Journal's Japan Focus has published a review. Masamichi expresses grave concerns for the health of residents downwind and downstream of the catastrophic radioactivity releases, and offers suggestions of critical changes that need to be made to thus far incompetent and confused emergency response.

Saturday
Jul022011

The devil's in the details with radioactive hot particle fallout from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe

Arnie Gundersen at Fairewinds Associates, in a video dated June 12th posted online at their Fukushima Updates Section, delves into those devils in the details. He reports, based on air filter documentation gathered by independent scientists on the ground in Japan, that residents of Tokyo likely inhaled 10 hot particles from Fukushima daily during the month of April. Residents of Fukushima Prefecture, however, inhaled 300 to 400 hot particles daily. But even residents of Seattle, Washington, likely inhaled 5 hot particles per day during April, which had blown all the way across the Pacific Ocean. Once in the human lung, or other internal tissue, such hot particles cannot be detected by a simple gamma radiation monitor. But they are now in a place where they can do great damage to human health, such as initiate cancer. This information belies false assurances by top U.S. federal officials, whether at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission or even President Obama himself, who told the American media and public that no harmful levels of radioactivity would reach U.S. territory. The National Academy of Science has reaffirmed time and again for decades that any exposure to radiation, no matter how small, carries a health risk; the higher the dose, the higher the risk, in a linear relationship; and that those risks accumulate over a lifetime. The title of NRC's March 13th media release, two days into the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, "NRC SEES NO RADIATION AT HARMFUL LEVELS REACHING U.S. FROM DAMAGED JAPANESE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS," begs the question -- is NRC simply "looking the other way"?!

Saturday
Jul022011

Where is the rest of the irradiated nuclear fuel in Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 storage pool?!

At its homepage, Fairewinds Associates has posted a new video featuring its nuclear safety engineer Arnie Gundersen. Thanks to a tip from Ian Goddard, Arnie has been able to identify a single high-level radioactive waste fuel bundle amidst the wreckage of the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 storage pool, in a video released by Tokyo Electric Power Company many weeks ago now. The discovery raises more questions that it answers. Why is there only one fuel bundle visible, when there should be many? Where have they gone? And why is the fuel bundle so close to the surface of the water, and thus the air above, when it should be located under much deeper water?

Fragments of irradiated nuclear fuel have been found up to a mile away from the shattered Fukushima Daiichi reactor blocks, likely indicating that one or more of the massive hydrogen gas explosions hurled irradiated nuclear fuel from elevated storage pools that far. And the Unit 3 explosion was the most dramatic of all, with a very tall mushroom shaped cloud hurtling skyward, with very large chunks of dark debris visibly raining down in its wake. Were the missing irradiated nuclear fuel assemblies in that rain of debris? Where did they land? Where are they now? Unshielded irradiated nuclear fuel can deliver a lethal dose of gamma radiation to anyone nearby in just a few minutes.

Saturday
Jul022011

"First 24 hours shaped Japan nuke crisis"

As more detail and documentation has surfaced in the past nearly four months, the Associated Press has reported that the first 24 hours, from tsunami-strike to Unit 1's explosion, was marked by chaos and indecision on the ground at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Friday
Jul012011

New petition to protect the children of Fukushima against radioactivity

Aileen Mioko Smith, director of Green Action Japan, has just announced an opportunity for individuals and organizations across the world to sign a petition demanding increased protection for the children of Fukushima against the clear and present danger from the Daiichi nuclear power plant's ongoing releases of hazardous radioactivity. To read and sign the petition, go to the Green Action Fukushima Updates website.