TEPCO, despite financial woes, still thinking to make donations

gghkk.jpg
March 30, 2019
Saddled with massive outlays following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the parent company of Tokyo Electric Power Co. is only able to keep going through the injection of public funds.
Yet, it has emerged the company now feels it is in a position to donate about 200 million yen ($1.8 million) to a village in Aomori Prefecture through a special tax program that allows firms making payments to receive a corporate tax break.
The donations would underwrite the cost of three projects totaling 800 million yen that the village of Higashidori hopes will revitalize its economy. One program is for branding local farm and fishery products.
TEPCO gained approval in January 2011 to construct a nuclear power plant in Higashidori, and the initial plan was to begin operations in March 2017.
But the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that triggered the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant led to an indefinite postponement of construction work. The village had anticipated property tax revenues after the nuclear plant was constructed, but has had to undertake stiff fiscal belt-tightening instead. A number of inns in the village have since closed.
TEPCO Holdings on March 29 proposed the donation for fiscal 2018 to the village and also indicated it was prepared to make another donation for fiscal 2019.
Its largesse is at odds with the fact that TEPCO is effectively under state control, given the huge amounts of public funds pumped into the utility to keep it afloat.
It also faces crippling costs in decommissioning the stricken Fukushima plant and compensating victims of the nuclear accident.
Given the situation, eyebrows will likely be raised if donations are made to local municipalities that play host to nuclear plants seeking to resume operations or serve as candidate sites for new plants.
Read more:

‘I am the witness’: Post-Fukushima, a Japanese man’s regrets mirror his country’s turn against nuclear power

japan-17-1920x1412-768x565
As a boy, Yuji Onuma won a contest to create the town slogan for Futaba, Japan. His phrase — “Atomic power: energy for a bright future” — was enshrined on an archway over the town’s main street. But after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, Onuma — like many in Japan — has turned against what he used to champion. Here, he stands in front of the archway holding a banner that modifies his slogan as statements opposing nuclear energy.
March 29, 2019
The partial meltdown at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in central Pennsylvania 40 years ago in March did not lead to large releases of radiation, but it helped turn public opinion away from nuclear energy. In Japan, an even more catastrophic nuclear disaster occurred eight years ago this month. And like many Pennsylvanians, the Japanese have largely turned against nuclear.
The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown is known in Japan as simply “March 11.” And everyone knows where they were on March 11, 2011.
Yuji Onuma was in the town of Futaba, where he grew up and was living with his wife, who was pregnant with their first child. Their home was about 3 or 4 kilometers from the Daiichi nuclear power plant.
But right now, he’s living away from the coast in another prefecture, and he says he wants to settle in a town that is about as far away from any of Japan’s 54 nuclear power plants as he can possibly be.
During an interview, Onuma showed a picture of when he was about 12 years old and getting an award from the Mayor of Futaba. A teacher had asked the kids to come up with a town slogan. In a place where everyone depended on the nearby nuclear plant for work, Onuma’s entry won:
“Atomic power: energy for a bright future” became the slogan on an archway over Futaba’s main street.
“I was very proud because this is my first ever award by the town,” Onuma said through a translator. “And all the town people praised me and said, you are very great. So I was so proud of that.”
Then he showed another photo. It’s only a few months after the accident, and no one is left living in Futaba. This time, he’s wearing a protective Tyvek suit and mask, he’s standing below the sign holding up a placard that changes his slogan to:
“Atomic power: energy for a destructive future.”
“I made the wrong slogan,” Onuma said. “If we didn’t have this accident I would have still believed that atomic energy has a bright future. But I’m glad that I realized my mistake before I died.”
Read more:

Behind the Scenes / Labor shortage plagues nuclear industry

fjjkkl.jpg
University students participate in a job seminar featuring nuclear power-related companies.
March 28, 2019
With the nuclear power industry buffeted by headwinds, hiring and training personnel has become an urgent priority.
The suspension of a Hitachi Ltd. project to construct a nuclear power plant in Britain is also casting a shadow. The nuclear power industry, which is responsible for supplying stable electricity, is now struggling to secure human resources.
The job-hunting season for university students planning to graduate in 2020 has begun, and an employment seminar featuring nuclear power-related companies was held in Tokyo on March 3. Major power companies set up booths and energetically touted themselves to attendees, but students’ interest in major power companies that operate nuclear power plants has been somewhat lacking.
“I want to work for a company that deals with radiation measurement and management,” a 21-year-old male student majoring in nuclear power at Tokai University said. “I wasn’t considering a major power company.”
Factors such as the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and delays in the resumption of nuclear power generation have reduced student interest in nuclear power-related companies. In fiscal 2010, before the Fukushima disaster, over 1,200 students attended the seminar, but the number this year was 213, almost 50 fewer than last year.
The Nuclear Human Resource Development Network, composed of the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum Inc. and other entities, will launch in April a new organization called the “strategic working group to strengthen recruitment and personnel training.”
The organization will aim to strengthen links between industry, academia and the government; provide a venue for the exchange of ideas with the government; and promote human resource development strategies.
Read more:

Fukushima Radioactive Contamination Detected in Northern Bering Sea Alaska

serveimage.jpg
Water samples detect low levels of Fukushima-related contamination
March 28, 2019
… The sampling, conducted by residents of St. Lawrence Island, documents the Fukushima plume’s northern edge arriving in the Bering Sea for the first time, and shows levels of cesium-137 higher than they were before the 2011 nuclear power plant accident in Japan, Alaska Sea Grant agent Gay Sheffield said…
…Ungott has been collecting seawater samples for several years off the coast of Gambell. He sends them to Sheffield in Nome who then ships them to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts for analysis. During 2014, 2015 and 2017, the lab found very low levels of cesium-137, similar to those prior to the Fukushima nuclear accident. No testing was done in 2016 due to lack of funding.
The 2018 results, however, showed the presence of cesium-137 at levels slightly higher than before accident…
 
…The level of cesium-137 measured in the 2018 seawater sample was found to be 2.4 becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3). That’s above pre-accident levels, but still thousands of times lower than what the EPA considers unsafe for drinking.
Historically, cesium-137 levels in the Pacific Ocean were below 2.0 Bq/m3. The EPA considers drinking water containing levels of cesium-137 up to 7,400 Bq/m3 to be safe for human consumption….
… While the Bering Sea test results are not indicating a health concern, Ungott said he hopes more testing will be carried out.
“We need to know if our marine mammals that we hunt are catching some of this stuff or not,” he said.
Read more:
Fukushima contaminants found as far north as Alaska’s Bering Strait
March 28, 2019
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – Radioactive contamination from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant hit by a tsunami in 2011 has drifted as far north as waters off a remote Alaska island in the Bering Strait, scientists said on Wednesday.
Analysis of seawater collected last year near St. Lawrence Island revealed a slight elevation in levels of radioactive cesium-137 attributable to the Fukushima disaster, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Sea Grant program said.
“This is the northern edge of the plume,” said Gay Sheffield, a Sea Grant marine advisory agent based in the Bering Sea town of Nome, Alaska…
…LONG-TERM STUDY
The results reported on Wednesday came from a long-term but small-scale testing program.
Water was sampled for several years by Eddie Ungott, a resident of Gambell village on the northwestern tip of St. Lawrence Island. The island, though part of the state of Alaska, is physically closer to Russia than to the Alaska mainland, and residents are mostly Siberian Yupik with relatives in Russia.
Fukushima-linked radionuclides have been found as far away as Pacific waters off the U.S. West Coast, British Columbia and in the Gulf of Alaska.
Until the most recent St. Lawrence Island sample was tested by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the only other known sign of Fukushima radiation in the Bering Sea was detected in 2014 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
NOAA scientists found trace amounts of Fukushima-linked radionuclides in muscle tissue of fur seals on Alaska’s St. Paul Island in the southern Bering Sea. There was no testing of the water there, Sheffield said.
The people of St. Lawrence Island, who live well to the north of St. Paul Island, had expected Fukushima radionuclides to arrive eventually, she said.
“They fully anticipated getting it. They didn’t know when,” she said. “The way the currents work does bring the water up from the south.”
Read more:

‘Shocked’ Fukushima evacuees say Tepco ruling fails to fairly compensate them for suffering

photo-1-870x595.jpg
Rice planting for commercial sales begins at a paddy in Iitate in May 2017, for the first time since the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011.
March 27, 2019
A Tokyo court on Wednesday ordered the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to pay a total of ¥21.34 million in damages to a group of evacuees from the March 2011 nuclear disaster.
But the ruling by the Tokyo District Court, which was the 11th such decision against Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., came as a shock to the evacuees, who claim the court has neglected their suffering.
The lawsuit was filed in March 2012 by 42 former residents of Iitate, a village in Fukushima Prefecture, who claim their lives were affected by the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant disaster in 2011. They were forced to evacuate from the prefecture due to evacuation orders that were only lifted later, in March 2017. They had sought a combined ¥1.68 billion from the utility for their psychological suffering.
Presiding Judge Tetsuro Nakayoshi awarded compensation to 13 of the 42 plaintiffs whose damages were deemed more severe. The plaintiffs in general have been already compensated by the nuclear plant operator and had already found new homes, the court concluded. Only one pair was awarded the highest amount, of more than ¥3 million in damages, due to illness and required nursing care.
Read more:

Arnie and Maggie Discuss Fukushima Meltdown On Project Censored

hlkjmmmù.jpg
March 26, 2019
Arnie and Maggie recently appeared on Project Censored to discuss Fukushima and why nuclear is not part of the answer the climate. Give it a listen!
 
Nuclear-power experts Arnie and Maggie Gundersen return to Project Censored to publicize the ongoing damage the Fukushima meltdown site is inflicting on Japan and the Pacific. They also rebut the idea that nuclear power is part of the answer to climate change.
This has been edited from the original show to showcase only Arnie and Maggie’s interview. To listen to the full show go herehttps://www.projectcensored.org/fukashima-meltdown-site-with-anri-and-maggie-gundersen-and-us-military-plans-to-dominate-outer-space-with-bruce-gagnon/
Notes:
Arnie and Maggie Gundersen are the founders of Fairewinds Energy Education (www.fairewinds.org), and former employees of the nuclear-power industry. 

“Tokyo 2020 – The Radioactive Olympics”

Website_Logo_Olymp.jpg
 
Tomorrow in one year, on March 26 2020, the Olympic torch relay will start in the radioactively contaminated Fukushima Prefecture. This is why tomorrow, a group of anti-nuclear oranizations in Germany, Switzerland, France and Japan will launch an international information campaign entitled „Tokyo 2020 – The Radioactive Olympics”. The campaign will focus on the ongoing radioactive contamination of parts of Japan due to the nuclear catastrope of Fukushima, which began eight years ago.
 
Dr. Alex Rosen, chairman of the German affiliate of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), one of the principal organizations behind the campaign explains: „We are concerned about the health consequences of radioactive contamination, especially for people with increased vulnerability towards radiation, such as pregnant women and children.“
 
International regulations limit the permitted dose for the general public of additional radiation following a nuclear accident to 1 mSv per year. “In areas where evacuation orders were recently lifted, the returning population will be exposed to levels up to 20 mSv per year, however”, says IPPNW physician and founding member of the campaign, Dr. Jörg Schmid. “Even places that have undergone extensive decontamination efforts could be recontaminated at any time by unfavourable weather conditions, as mountains and forests serve as a continuous depot for radioactive particles. Now the Japanese authorities are trying to force the people evacuated from the contaminated areas to return by cutting their financial assistance and ending housing schemes for nuclear refugees,” says Schmid.
 
The campaign, which will continue all the way until the end of the Olympic Games, has a clear message: We denounce the attempt of the Japanese government to pretend that normality has returned to the contaminated regions of Japan”, says Rosen. “Already now, we are seeing an increased rate of thyroid cancers in Fukushima children and adolescents. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. More than 50,000 nuclear refugees continue to live as displaced persons in their own country. At the same time, more and more radioactive refuse is seeping into groundwater and the ocean and the decontamination and reconstruction work is largely carried out by unskilled and uninformed subcontractors, without proper training or protection. Normality looks different.“

Tokyo 2020 – The Radioactive Olympics

In 2020, Japan is inviting athletes from around the world to take part in the Tokyo Olympic 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. Our concern is that athletes and visitors to the games could be harmed by the radioactive contamination in the region, especially those people more vulnerable to radiation, children and pregnant women.

According to official Japanese government estimates, the Olympic Games will cost more than the equivalent of 12 billion Euros. At the same time, the Japanese government is threatening to cut support to all evacuees who are unwilling to return to the region. International regulations limit the permitted dose for the general public of additional radiation following a nuclear accident to 1 mSv per year. In areas where evacuation orders were recently lifted, the returning population will be exposed to levels up to 20 mSv per year. Even places that have undergone extensive decontamination efforts could be recontaminated at any time by unfavourable weather conditions, as mountains and forests serve as a continuous depot for radioactive particles. Our campaign will focus on educating the public about the dangers of the nuclear industry. We will explain what health threats the Japanese population was and is exposed to today. Even during normal operations, nuclear power plants pose a threat to public health – especially to infants and unborn children. There is still no safe permanent depository site for the toxic inheritance of the nuclear industry anywhere on earth, that is a fact.

We plan to use the media attention generated by the Olympic Games to support Japanese initiatives calling for a nuclear phase-out and to promote a worldwide energy revolution: away from fossil and nuclear fuels and towards renewable energy generation. We need to raise awareness of the involvement of political representatives around the world in the militaryindustrial complex. We denounce the attempt of the Japanese government to pretend that normality has returned to the contaminated regions of Japan. We call on all organisations to join our network and help us put together a steering group to coordinate this campaign. The Olympic Games are still two years away – now is still time to get organised. We look forward to hearing from you, with best regards,

For the campaign „Nuclear Free Olympic Games 2020“:
Annette Bänsch-Richter-Hansen
Jörg Schmid
Henrik Paulitz
Alex Rosen

 
Supportes of the Campaign „Tokyo 2020 – The Radioactive Olympics“
 
antiatom-fuku
 
German-Japanase Community Dortmund
 
IPPNW-Dortmund
 
Doro-Chiba (National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba)
 
Fukushima Collaborative Clinic
 
Granny Peace Brigade, NYC
 
IPPNW Deutschland
 
IPPNW / PSR SchweizNo Nukes Asia Forum Japan
 
Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World
 
NAZEN (National Conference for the immediate closure of all nuclear power plants)
 
Preserving Deciduous Teeth Netowork (PDTN)
 
Sayonara Nukes Berlin
 
Sayonara Nukes Düsseldorf
 
Strahlentelex
 
Veterans for Peace – NYC ChapterVivres après Fukushima
“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.”
pdf of excellent info Flyer here, for you to download & share…
If you are interested, please contact us at olympia2020[at]ippnw.de