Japan ‘covering up’ Fukushima nuclear danger-zone radiation levels and blackmailing evacuees to return to radiated areas swarming with radioactive pigs and monkeys

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Three reactors went into meltdown after the 2011 Japanese tsunami in the worst accident since Chernobyl, leaving an apocalyptic vision of ghost towns and overgrown wildernesses and scared residents refuse to return

JAPAN is lying to the world about nuclear-ravaged Fukushima’s recovery while forcing terrified evacuees to return to their radioactive homes, it is claimed.

More than seven years after the nuclear catastrophe rocked the world, many of the 154,000 people who fled their homes have not returned and towns remain deserted.

Thousands of irradiated wild boars and monkeys roam around while poorly paid and protected decontamination workers scrub homes, schools and shops down ready for people to come home.

Chilling footage of taken inside the evacuated areas of Fukushima City and Köryama lay bare the disaster that unfolded after an earthquake, measuring 9.01 on the Moment Magnitude scale, struck off the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011.

But it was the following 50ft tsunami that damaged reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

This led to the evacuation of thousands of people from a 12-mile exclusion zone, with roads guarded by roadblocks and officials in protective gear.

Now there is a big campaign is under way to make people return but residents, campaigners and experts believe it not safe. 

They accuse the Japanese authorities of wanting to allay public fears over the nuclear power by downplaying the dire consequences of the leak.

Propaganda videos showing the remarkable recovery of Fukushima have been spread by the government on its social media accounts.

“Since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, #Fukushima has been working towards a bright future.
Strict safety standards and monitoring means that #food from the prefecture is enjoyed all over #Japan.” See Fukushima’s amazing recover in this video:http://bit.ly/2CqP0HC

But senior nuclear specialist Shaun Burnie, from Greenpeace Japan, said the nuclear nightmare continues.

He said: “They are not telling the whole truth either to the 127 million people of Japan or to the rest of the world – about the radiation risks in the most contaminated areas of Fukushima.

The nuclear crisis is not over – we are only in year seven of an accident that will continue to threaten public health, and the environment, for decades and well into the next century.

Attempts by the government and the nuclear industry communicate that it is safe and it’s over are a deliberate deception.”

Most of Japan’s power plants shut in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

But in 2015 the Prime Minister announced plans to restart reactors because the economy needed cheap energy and using fossil fuels risked huge carbon emission fines.

Now five of them are back on – and it’s aimed to to have at least 12 in use by 2025.   

The nuclear crisis is not over – we are only in year seven of an accident that will continue to threaten public health, and the environment, for decades and well into the next century (Senior nuclear specialist Shaun Burnie)

Mr Burnie said: “If they can create the illusion of the region that that has recovered from the nuclear accident they think it will reduce public opposition.”

But meanwhile the crisis continues at the Fukushima plant.

He said: “The massive Ice Wall built at the nuclear plant to stop contamination of groundwater is a symbol of this failure and deception – this is no Game of Thrones fantasy but the reality of a nuclear disaster that knows no end.”

Today he says “there were areas of Fukushima where radiation levels could give a person’s maximum annual recommended dose within a week.”

He  said: “This is of particular concern with regards to poorly paid decontamination workers, thousands of whom have been involved in attempts to decontaminate radiation around people’s homes, along roads and in narrow strips of forest.”

Mr Burnie said the government claims decontamination has been completed in 100 percent of affected areas after a £8bn clean up operation.

But he added: “What they don’t explain is that 70-80 percent of areas such as Namie and Iitate – two of the most contaminated districts – are forested mountain which it is impossible to decontaminate.

In areas opened in March 2017 for people to return – radiation levels will pose a risk until the middle of the century.

These areas are still to high in radiation for people to return safely – and is one reason so few people are returning.”

Meanwhile heavy-handed tactics are being used with some fearful residents reporting that they have been warned they won’t receive lifeline compensation cash if they don’t comply.

Dr Keith Baverstock, a radiation health expert who was at the World Health Organization at the time disaster, told Sun Online: “For the past two years the Japanese government has encouraged the evacuees to return to their homes, but relatively few people have taken up this offer, even though there is a threat – it may even now be a fact – that their compensation will cease.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6092789/

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Japan Anti-Nuke Movement Seen Unscathed After Key Governor Quits

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18 avril 2018
The resignation of a Japanese governor blocking the restart of the world’s biggest nuclear power plant in his prefecture may not create an opening for the nation’s pro-nuclear forces.
Niigata Governor Ryuichi Yoneyama, who campaigned on opposition to restarting Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holding Inc.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors, said Wednesday he would resign over allegations he paid women for sex. Shares of the utility, known as Tepco, are heading for their biggest weekly gain in more than a year.
The governor was one of a few high-profile opponents to the technology, which the public has viewed with skepticism since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, and the biggest roadblock for Tepco’s effort to run the reactors, two of which have been given the all-clear by regulators. Although the country imposed stronger safety regulations since 2011, only five of its 39 operable reactors are online.
Yoneyama was not a leader, but certainly an important figure in a position to influence the fate of reactors,” said Jeff Kingston, the director of Asian studies at Temple University’s Japan campus. “Not many of those, so he will be missed.”
Yoneyama repeatedly said he wouldn’t support a restart until a panel of experts appointed by the prefecture investigate the Fukushima disaster and study evacuation plans in case of an emergency at the Niigata plant. He said in January that the process would take at least three years.
When is the next election?
Likely around the beginning of June, according to an official in the prefecture’s election commission. The assembly president will officially inform the commission of Yoneyama’s resignation in the coming days, which will then trigger a gubernatorial election within 50 days.
Would the next governor also oppose restarts?
Probably. The last two governors were against restarting the reactors and 64 percent of voters in the last election opposed the move, according an exit poll conducted by the Asahi newspaper.
“It is likely that the next governor will continue an anti-restart policy,” Daniel Aldrich, a professor at Northeastern University, said in an email. “Anti-nuclear sentiment is still high across the country.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party supports the restarts, while most of the opposition parties don’t. Both sides will likely field candidates.
High-ranking officials from the Constitutional Democratic Party, the nation’s largest opposition party and against nuclear restarts, and the Democratic Party told Sankei newspaper Wednesday that opposition parties should band together behind one candidate.
Tamio Mori, who was backed by the LDP in the 2016 Niigata election, could be a potential contender for Abe. Mori is the former mayor of Nagaoka City, and was seen as the more pro-nuclear candidate in the 2016 election, where he captured 46 percent of the vote. He didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment.
What about the review panel?
This timeline for its work might speed up if the new governor is pro-restart, according to Miho Kurosaki, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“I don’t think the panel review will be removed fully,” said Kurosaki, highlighting lingering safety concerns in the community over a 2007 earthquake that temporarily shut the facility.
Does Tepco even need local approval?
While the local governor’s approval is traditionally sought by utilities before they resume a reactor, it’s not required by law. Kyushu Electric Power Co. continued operating reactors at its Sendai facility despite opposition from a newly elected anti-nuclear governor in 2016.
“The ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ that has provided some unwritten capacity to nuclear host community decision makers is in fact quite weak,” Aldrich said. “Even if another anti-nuclear governor is elected within Niigata, I believe that the economic and political pressure on utilities will push them to restart reactors.”

WTO rules in favor of Japan on South Korea’s post-Fukushima seafood ban

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled in favor of Japan, in a dispute about South Korea’s ban on imports of Japanese seafood, reports KBS World Radio.
 
The WTO reaffirmed the ruling in a report in February, four months after it made the decision last October. In response, the Korean government filed an appeal against the ruling by the Geneva-based organization on April 9.
 
The dispute dates back to 2011, when Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and suffered a nuclear power plant meltdown in Fukushima. Amid fears of radioactive leaks from quake-hit Japan, South Korea prohibited imports of agro-fishery products from Fukushima.
 
In 2013, the ban was expanded to include 28 fishery products from eight Japanese prefectures near Fukushima. Japan took the case to the WTO in protest. The WTO ruled in favor of Japan in its first hearing, saying that South Korea’s measures lacked transparency. In turn, Korea’s trade ministry has filed an appeal against the ruling.
 

Using underpaid Foreign Trainees for Fukushima’s Decontamination

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3 Vietnamese trainees newly found to have taken part in Fukushima cleanup work
Three more Vietnamese technical intern trainees were sent by a contractor to carry out decontamination work at the Fukushima nuclear disaster area, it was learned from sources including a support organization.
The number of foreign trainees known to have taken part in the decontamination work now totals four. The Organization for Technical Intern Training under the jurisdictions of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is investigating the facts behind the incidents and there is a possibility that the number will rise.
According to the Zentouitsu Workers Union based in Tokyo, the trainees in the latest incident are all males and aged 24 to 34. They came to Japan in July 2015 and joined the contractor in the city of Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, to make molds and reinforce metal bars. Instead, the trio worked on decontaminating roads and other areas in Koriyama and the city of Motomiya, Fukushima Prefecture, from April 2016 to March 2018.
A supervisory organization for the contractor reportedly explained to the union that Koriyama and Motomiya were areas free of radiation exposure.
(Japanese original by Naoki Sugi, Maebashi Bureau)
 
More Vietnamese trainees made to conduct Fukushima decontamination work, union says
Three more Vietnamese men in a foreign trainee program in Japan were made to take part in radioactive decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture, which was devastated by the March 2011 nuclear crisis, their supporters said Wednesday.
The Justice Ministry’s Immigration Bureau is conducting a probe, believing more foreigners may have been made to engage in inappropriate work under the Technical Intern Training Program.
Japan introduced the program in 1993 with the aim of transferring skills to developing countries. But the scheme, applicable to agriculture and manufacturing among other sectors, has drawn criticism at home and abroad for giving Japanese companies a cover to importing cheap labor.
According to the Zentouitsu Workers Union, which supports foreign trainees, the three Vietnamese men came to Japan in July 2015 and conducted radiation cleanup work in Fukushima Prefecture between 2016 and 2018 as trainees of a construction company in the city of Koriyama in the prefecture.
Their contracts only stated that they would be engaging in form-work installation and reinforcing steel placements, and the company did not give them a detailed explanation of the decontamination work beforehand.
In March, a Vietnamese trainee hired by a construction firm in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, said at a news conference in Tokyo that he had been misled into conducting decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture.
The Justice Ministry and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare have released statements saying that decontamination work does not fit the purpose of the trainee program.

Niigata’s Prefecture Governor Resignation to Affect the Approval of Tepco’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Plant Restart…

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Niigata Gov. Ryuichi Yoneyama bows during a press conference at the Niigata Prefectural Government office on April 18, 2018.
Governor quits over sex scandal, affects nuclear reactor restart
April 18, 2018
NIIGATA (Kyodo) — Niigata Gov. Ryuichi Yoneyama said Wednesday he will resign after admitting to a sex scandal in a move affecting the approval process for the restart of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s nuclear reactors in the central Japan prefecture.
“I sincerely offer apologies for betraying the trust of many people,” Yoneyama told a press conference, admitting that his relationship with a woman, as described in a weekly magazine due out Thursday, may “look to some as prostitution.”
Shukan Bunshun magazine alleged in an online teaser article Wednesday that the 50-year-old governor has been paying money to have sex with a 22-year-old college student. At a news conference Wednesday, the governor said he gave a woman he met online “presents and money so she would like me more.”
Since being elected governor in 2016, Yoneyama has refrained from approving the restart of the No. 6 and 7 reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear complex.
The governor has said he cannot make the decision until the prefectural government completes its own assessment of what caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.
All seven Kashiwazaki-Kariwa units are boiling water reactors, the same as those at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant where three of six reactors melted down in the days after a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Last December, two reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa complex cleared safety reviews under the stricter, post-Fukushima regulations.
On Tuesday, Yoneyama said he would consider whether to quit over a forthcoming magazine article about a “woman issue.” Calls for his resignation were growing in the Niigata prefectural assembly.
The gubernatorial election to pick Yoneyama’s successor is expected to be held in early June. Yoneyama will resign with two and a half years of his term remaining.
The seven-reactor Kashiwazaki-Kariwa complex is one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants with a combined output capacity of 8.2 million kilowatts.
Facing huge compensation payments and other costs stemming from the Fukushima disaster, Tepco is keen to resume operation of its reactors to improve its financial performance.
The Japanese government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also supports restarting nuclear reactors that have cleared post-Fukushima safety reviews.
Yoneyama won the Niigata governorship in October 2016 with the support of the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party, which are both opposed to nuclear power. He defeated contenders including a candidate backed by Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito.
 
Governor of Japan’s Niigata resigns to avoid ‘turmoil’ over magazine article
April 18, 2018
TOKYO (Reuters) – The governor of Japan’s Niigata prefecture, home to the world’s largest nuclear power plant, resigned on Wednesday, saying he hoped to avoid political turmoil over an impending magazine article about his relations with women.
News that the governor, Ryuichi Yoneyama, intended to resign sent shares of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (Tepco) surging as investors bet his departure could make it easier for the utility to restart its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, which is in Niigata prefecture.
Japan has had few reported “#MeToo” cases about sexual harassment involving public figures but Yoneyama’s resignation came on the same day Japan’s top finance bureaucrat resigned on after a magazine said he had sexually harassed several female reporters. The official denied the allegation.
Yoneyama, like his predecessor, is opposed to a restart of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant and has been a block to attempts to get the station going by the utility, which also owns the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station.

Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan

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Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan by combination of gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and SEM/EDS analysis and implications in radiation risk assessment.
By MarcoKaltofen & ArnieGundersen
Highlights
• Radioactive particles from Fukushima are tracked via dusts, soils, and sediments.
• Radioactive dust impacts are tracked in both Japan and the United States/Canada.
• Atypically-radioactive particles from reactor cores are identified in house dusts.
• Scanning electron microscopy with X-ray analysis is used for forensic examinations.

Contractors siphoned 1.6 million yen off pay of Vietnamese trainees sent to Fukushima

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TOKYO — Construction firms skimmed roughly 1.6 million yen off the danger allowances of three Vietnamese technical trainees they sent to do cleanup work in the Fukushima nuclear disaster area over a period of seven months, the Environment Ministry announced on April 12.
The ministry punished four firms over the finding, including the construction firm “Creation” in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, and a prime contractor. The firms were suspended from participating in bidding for public projects for one month from April 13.
According to the Environment Ministry, Creation skimmed up to 4,600 yen per day off trainees’ danger allowances from September to December 2016, and March to May 2017, when they were working at home demolition sites in Kawamata, Fukushima Prefecture.
(Japanese original by Kazuhiro Igarashi, Science & Environment News Department)