— Ecologist: Fukushima catastrophe unfolds … key facts and figures for an unhappy sixth anniversary

From the Ecologist

L’ACROnique de Fukushima & Hervé Courtois
10th March 2017

IAEA technicians examine Unit 4 of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, the only one of four reactors to be stabilised - because it was defuelled at the time of the earthquake and tsunami. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

IAEA technicians examine Unit 4 of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, the only one of four reactors to be stabilised – because it was defuelled at the time of the earthquake and tsunami. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

The 2011 Fukushima catastrophe is an ongoing disaster whose end only gets more remote as time passes. The government is desperate to get evacuees back into their homes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but the problems on the ground, and in the breached reactor vessels, are only getting more serious and costly, as unbelievable volumes of radiation contaminate land, air and ocean.

If Fukushima taught us one thing it is that people should not expect the government to protect them – nor will corporations be held responsible in time of nuclear disaster.

Six years after the catastrophe at Fukushima, the situation is still far from being resolved, still ongoing.

Three reactor core meltdowns still releasing radioactive nanoparticles into the open skies, contaminated water is still leaking continuously into the Pacific ocean, and partially decontaminated water is being dumped into the ocean.

All available information and figures are controlled by Tepco and the Japanese government, with no independent party allowed to verify the veracity of the given information.

A massive public relations campaign of disinformation and denial is under way, to brainwash the Japanese population and the whole world that everything is now under control and OK. Systematic denial of the radiation risks for the people’s health is the rule, economics being the Japanese government priority, not public health protection.

Evacuated persons are coerced to return to live with high radiation in their previously evacuated townships so that Japan may seem safe, clean and beautiful to welcome the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

If Fukushima taught us one thing it is that people should not expect the government to protect them – nor will corporations be held responsible in time of nuclear disaster.

This article that follows is based on officially released data by Tepco and the Japanese government. All the figures and claims should therefore be taken with a pinch of salt. Always bear in mind that the officially released information does not really teach us the essential truths about the still ongoing catastrophe, and about its victims getting more abandoned than ever.

As we approach the sixth anniversary of the disaster, here are some key figures as they appear in the media and official sites.

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— Fukushima decommissioning costs soar to at least $24bn

From RT

October 26, 2016

Cleanup costs of the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant over the next three decades will be far more than TEPCO previously estimated. An expert panel is now considering ways to avoid increasing the “public burden.”

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has estimated that it will cost around 80-billion yen ($770 million) annually to clean up the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. But a new study released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry says that the cost to complete a 30-year decommissioning process is likely to cost far more than the two trillion yen ($19 billion) initially estimated by TEPCO, Kyodo News reported.

The ministry said that decommissioning costs will continue to run at several hundred billion yen a year, totalling at least 2.5 trillion yen ($24 billion).

“The panel is considering ways in which TEPCO can secure funds while avoiding an increase in public burden,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference. “It is still discussing the issue.”

The nuclear plant operator did not comment on the government projection, as the company is still trying to work out the total cleanup cost figures.

“It is difficult to calculate the entire cost for the decommissioning,” TEPCO spokesman Shinichi Nakakuki said, as quoted by Japan Today.

The two-trillion-yen figure previously estimated by TEPCO factored in expenses for removing nuclear debris based on the cleanup effort of the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear incident in the US. That estimate also included the costs and equipment needed to keep the reactors at Fukushima stable, the spokesman stressed.

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude-9 earthquake struck northeastern Japan at 2:46pm local time, unleashing a deadly tsunami. At the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the tsunami caused a cooling system failure resulting in a nuclear meltdown and release of radioactive materials.

Five years after the disaster, TEPCO faces massive liabilities as it decommissions the facility, compensates tens of thousands of evacuees, and pays for decontamination of the area.

The firm has cut its costs and raised prices, but its long-term sustainability remains in doubt. To cope with the financial pressure, TEPCO was forced to seek government assistance in July.

https://www.rt.com/news/364121-fukushima-decommission-cost-soar/