Posted on Fukushima 311 Watchdogs:
October 16, 2019
Posted on Fukushima 311 Watchdogs:
From Nuclear-Free Olympic Games 2020
In 2020, Japan is inviting athletes from around the world to take part in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. We are hoping for the games to be fair and peaceful. At the same time, we are worried about plans to host baseball and softball competitions in Fukushima City, just 50 km away from the ruins of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. It was here, in 2011, that multiple nuclear meltdowns took place, spreading radioactivity across Japan and the Pacific Ocean – a catastrophe comparable only to the nuclear meltdown of Chernobyl.
The ecological and social consequences of this catastrophe can be seen everywhere in the country: whole families uprooted from their ancestral homes, deserted evacuation zones, hundreds of thousands of bags of irradiated soil dumped all over the country, contaminated forests, rivers and lakes. Normality has not returned to Japan. The reactors continue to be a radiation hazard as further catastrophes could occur at any time. Every day adds more radioactive contamination to the ocean, air and soil. Enormous amounts of radioactive waste are stored on the premises of the power plant in the open air. Should there be another earthquake, these would pose a grave danger to the population and the environment. The nuclear catastrophe continues today. On the occasion of the Olympic Games 2020, we are planning an international campaign. We are concerned about the health effects of the ongoing radioactive contamination in the region, especially for people more vulnerable to radiation, such as children and pregnant women.
by Kristine Liao
October 11, 2019
The first reports came in May. They were sparse, but enough to put seabird-monitoring coordinator Hillary Burgess on edge. “Here we go again,” she thought. By late June, almost every time she checked her inbox, yet more news of washed-up seabirds on the Alaskan coast greeted her.
Volunteers had collected nearly 9,200 seabird carcasses by early September—and those are just the bodies found washed ashore. Kathy Kuletz, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife biologist, estimates the total number of deaths may reach in the hundreds of thousands.
Historically, mass seabird die-offs have been occasional events in Alaska, but for the past five years, they have occurred annually. This year, as the carcasses continued to pile up, a few new trends became clear: The die-offs were more geographically widespread and lasted for a longer period compared to previous years, and they largely targeted Short-tailed Shearwaters, although dead puffins, murres, and auklets—the main victims in recent years— have also been found.
“There’s a lot of concern out there,” says Burgess, who works for the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), a community-science project that tracks populations and deaths. “People aren’t used to encountering hundreds of dead birds on a beach that they walk on regularly.”
On the Frontline of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident:
Workers and Children
Radiation risks and human rights violations
“…so long as the Japanese government remains committed to its failing program in Fukushima, it will continue to come under domestic and international criticism. Eight years after the start of the nuclear disaster, thousands of evacuees are continuing their legal challenges against both TEPCO and the government. These include the judgement of the Tokyo District Court on the criminal prosecution of three TEPCO executives due in 2019 and the newly initiated lawsuit by residents of Namie.
The Japanese government is defying United Nations human rights specialists who have challenged the policy of lifting evacuation orders and exposing citizens, particularly women and children, to unsafe radiation levels. At the same time, nuclear workers in Fukushima are continuing to suffer from varied forms of exploitation, including low pay, lack of comprehensive access to medical services, and the abuse of their right to not be exposed to hazardous radiation.
The Greenpeace survey results highlight the scale of the ongoing nuclear crisis in the most contaminated areas of Fukushima, and why the United Nations human rights experts are fully justified in expressing their urgent concerns.”
This reports contains 9 recommendations to the Japanese government and concludes:
The results of our investigations add further to the
urgency for the Abe government to halt its current
program of lifting evacuation orders, to comply
with its domestic and international human rights
obligations and to initiate a comprehensive and
publicly accountable review of current policy.
By Jane Chang
20 November 2019
SEOUL (Reuters) – Japan’s reluctance to disclose information about the release of radioactive water from its damaged Fukushima nuclear plant is hampering neighboring countries’ efforts to minimize the impact, the head of South Korea’s nuclear safety agency said on Wednesday.
Since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused a meltdown at some of the reactors the Fukushima plant, owner Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) has been storing radioactive water in tanks at the site from the cooling pipes used to keep the fuel cores from melting. The utility will run out of space for the water in 2022.
Japan has not yet decided how to deal with the contaminated water, but its environment minister said in September that radioactive water would have to be released from the site into the Pacific Ocean.
“We have been raising Japan’s radioactive water issue to the international community to minimize the impact … but as Japan hasn’t disclosed any specific plan and process we would need more details to run simulations and study,” Uhm Jae-sik, chairman of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, told Reuters.
In addition to the Fukushima crisis, safety concerns about nuclear energy have increased in South Korea following a 2012 scandal over the supply of faulty reactors parts with forged documents, prompting a series of shutdowns of nuclear reactors.
South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest user of nuclear power, targets a long-term phase out of atomic power to allay public concerns.
“Regardless of the government’s energy policy change, our primary goal is ensuring the safety of nuclear power,” Uhm said.
South Korea operates 25 nuclear reactors, which generate about a third of the country’s total electricity. Of the 25 reactors, 10 are offline for maintenance, according to the website of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power.
Posted under Fair Use Rules
April 11, 2019, 6:30 pm
From by Beyond Nuclear
<iframe src=”https://player.vimeo.com/video/297683916″ width=”640″ height=”360″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>
Click on cc to get English subtitles.
In a season when we remember the nuclear disasters at Fukushima, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, we can also celebrate a hard-won anti-nuclear victory. Beyond Nuclear is honored to be co-hosting a screening of a new feature film, Wackersdorf, the true story of a politician in Southern Germany who at first welcomed the prospect of a nuclear reprocessing plant in his community, then changed his mind and helped lead the protests which contributed to its cancelation.
The screening will take place at the Goethe-Institut in Washington, DC on April 11 at 6:30pm. The film, a drama in German with English subtitles, will be followed by a discussion with the film’s director, Oliver Haffner, moderated by Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear. The event is free and open to the public. Register here.
Watch the trailer (click on CC at right to choose English subtitles.)
And please contact Beyond Nuclear if you are interested in screening the film.
The numbers are startling.
2017 86,586 metric tons
2018 52,065 metric tons
2019 27,547 metric tons, “a 98.5 percent collapse since 2006.”
“The collapse is a result of overfishing, [Geoff] Shester said. Sardine populations go through natural cyclical fluctuations, but to see numbers this low is caused from over-fishing.“
That isn’t credible.
Fukushima hit in 2011 when the sardines were in a severe down-swing (see chart below). Radioactivity contaminated the kelp and the ocean initially. The Monterey Bay kelp had measureable levels. The contamination increases by air and ocean releases to this day, and none of it is “biodegradeable”.
Historic over-fishing is only one factor. Fukushima radioactive contamination is never mentioned by the media or the scientists.
The ocean environment is crashing. The sardines are canaries. They’ve had no chance at recovery. And the brown pelicans and sea lions are just two species that are dying of starvation as a result.
Photo, courtesy of NOAA
From the Monterey Herald
Sardine fishery likely will be closed this season
MONTEREY — Sardine fishermen in Monterey Bay are facing a fifth straight year of restrictions on the amount they will be permitted to catch, creating financial hardships for the commercial industry.
A new draft assessment from the National Marine Fisheries Service indicates a sardine population of 27,547 metric tons. According to the Fisheries Service, any tonnage below 50,000 metric tons is considered “overfished.” That’s a 98.5 percent collapse since 2006.
The restriction, which would essentially cancel the 2019-2020 commercial sardine season, must be applied when populations drop under 150,000 metric tons, said Geoff Shester, senior scientist with the Monterey office of Oceana, a marine environmental watchdog group.
“The crash of Pacific sardines has been difficult to watch,” Shester said. “We’ve witnessed dramatic starvation effects to ocean animals.”