Fukushima Crisis Management Center

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By Pierre Fetet, translation Hervé Courtois

Difficult to be innovative on the subject of Fukushima. Would we have already said everything for the last six years that the catastrophe is going on?

Well, no, with the film of Linda Bendali, “From Paris to Fukushima, the secrets of a catastrophe”, the subject of the attitude of nuclear France in March 2011 had never been approached from this angle: while Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan faced with nuclear fire became anti-nuclear, the Fillon government launched the heavy artillery to counter any vehemence of debate on this subject in France.

For the french Minister of Industry, Eric Besson, it was an just incident. Nicolas Sarkozy invited himself to Japan while he was not expected, to promote nuclear in the midst of the atomic crisis. And France pretended to help Japan by sending unusable or outdated products.

Therefore a good documentary pointing both Japanese and French dysfunctions that we can see in replay here again a few days. http://pluzz.francetv.fr/videos/cellule_de_crise_,153344813.html

And a good synthesis by Arnaud Vaulerin there. http://www.liberation.fr/planete/2017/02/12/fukushima-la-bataille-de-la-france-au-nom-de-l-atome_1547304

That said, this report has awakened in me an old anger, never really extinct since 1986, and you will not escape the comments that inspires me this report.

Pierre Fetet

The lies of Tepco

At the beginning of the documentary, Tepco, champion of the lie and the unspoken is expressed by the voice of his spokesman Yuichi Okamura: “We never imagined that such an accident could happen. From the statistics, we calculated that the tsunami should not exceed 5 meters. Our forecasts were exceeded. “

He is then contradicted by the film director. I very much thank Linda Bendali for insisting that the report of the parliamentary inquiry commission on Fukushima gave as first conclusion that the Fukushima disaster was of human origin. Because few people understand the sequence of events and it is too often heard that “the Fukushima disaster was caused by the tsunami”.

Now, the real logical chain of events was this:

1) Irresponsibility: Tepco decides to build a nuclear power plant at sea level.

2) Stupidity: While seven tsunamis of 12 to 28 meters in height took place in Japan in the twentieth century, they decided to construct a protective dike of 5 m.

3) Corruption: Japan Nuclear Safety Organizations accept the construction project.

4) A natural event: a 15 m tsunami falls on the east coast of Honshu, and therefore on the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

 

The IRSN is advertising its own self

The IRSN is always taken as an example and looks after its image. Normal, it is the official reference body. Yet I have already taken this institute several times in flagrante delicto of lie: Assurance that the evacuees would return within three months in 2011, http://fukushima.over-blog.fr/article-le-nouveau-pellerin-est-arrive-71748502.html

Assurance that there was no discharge of strontium and plutonium into Japan, http://www.fukushima-blog.com/2016/05/pourquoi-l-irsn-ment.html

Assurance that a nuclear power plant cannot explode in France … http://www.fukushima-blog.com/2016/05/pourquoi-l-irsn-ment.html

Thierry Charles even recently claimed to know where the corium is, even though Tepco itself does not know … http://www.lefigaro.fr/sciences/2017/02/10/01008-20170210ARTFIG00213–fukushima-tepco-evalue-peu-a-peu-l-ampleur-des-degats.php

In the documentary, the narrator assures that “IRSN is the first organization in the world to announce that the molten core has escaped from its confinement”. Indeed, listening to Jacques Repussard we get the impression that his institute communicated on this subject in March 2011.

However, six months after the catastrophe began, the IRSN still was writing: “It remains unclear whether molten fuel could be relocated to the bottom of the enclosure and in what quantity. “ (Communiqué of 25 August 2011) http://www.irsn.fr/FR/connaissances/Installations_nucleaires/Les-accidents-nucleaires/accident-fukushima-2011/crise-2011/impact-japon/Documents/IRSN_Seisme-Japon_25082011.pdf

Yet the Japanese government had already received a report from the IAEA on June 7 recognizing the possibility of perforations in the tanks of reactors 1 to 3 …

No seriously. The first organization that announced the me of the three cores is Tepco, on 24 May 2011. And the IRSN announced it the next day. Previously, IRSN never wrote anything else, for reactors 1, 2 and 3, that “The injection of fresh water continues. The flow rate of the water injection is adjusted in order to ensure the cooling of the core, which remains partially depleted. “

http://www.irsn.fr/FR/Actualites_presse/Actualites/Documents/IRSN_Seisme-Japon_Point-situation-29032011-12h.pdf

In 2011, the first person who dared to break the omerta of the nuclear lobby is Mishio Ishikawa, founder of Japan Nuclear Technology Institute (JANTI): During a Japanese TV show on April 29, 2011, he stated that the hearts of Fukushima Daiichi reactors 1, 2 and 3 were 100% melted. http://www.fukushima-blog.com/article-les-coeurs-des-reacteurs-1-2-et-3-de-fukushima-dai-ichi-auraient-fondu-a-100-73003947.html

That’s the story, that’s how it happened. IRSN never said that before anyone. The IRSN respected the omerta on the total meltdown of the three hearts like all the actors of the nuclear world and obediently waited for Tepco to announce the reality to acquiesce, no matter what Jacques Repussard is saying now six years later.

 

The Naoto Kan myth

The image of the then Prime Minister of Japan is to be nuanced. After seeing the documentary, it seems as though Naoto Kan acted as hero. It must also be admitted that he made several errors:

– Naoto Kan went to the Fukushima Daiichi plant in full crisis and greatly disturbed the ongoing management of the ongoing crisis. Director Masao Yoshida was asked to explain and explain what he was doing, wasting precious time on those who tried to solve problems one by one (It was just before the explosions of No. 2 and No. 4!). The documentary suggests that Masao Yoshida was going to leave the nuclear plant with all the workers, and that through Kan’s intervention they were forced to stay. It’s not true. Tepco may have intended to leave the ship, but the plant’s director denied any plan to abandon the site.

– The documentary shows Naoto Kan kneeling before Nicolas Sarkozy. Politeness or industrial pressures? It is not known why he did not dare to counter the French nuclear VRP.

– Naoto Kan will remain for all inhabitants of evacuated areas the one who decided to raise the standard from 1 to 20 mSv / year. On the one hand, he was ready to evacuate Tokyo, but on the other he made a whole region irradiated with a very high radiation rate. Something is bizarre in these contradictory attitudes.

 

The ghost of Chernobyl

Pierre Pellerin, even disappeared, is still doing damages … Between the two parts of the documentary, Frédéric Boisset, editor-in-chief of Brainworks Press, presents the story of Chernobyl in this way: “In 1986, the radioactive cloud spread throughout Europe. The authorities do not have the technical means to measure the fallout, to give instructions to the French. Can we eat fruit and vegetables? Should we caulk indoors? It was to avoid this type of failure that this institute was created [the IRSN]. “

But this is not an interview taken on the spot, it is a carefully prepared text before the recording. Frédéric Boisset therefore pretends without blushing that the SCPRI of 1986, the ancestor of the IRSN, did not have the means to alert the French of the dangers of radioactivity! What an enormity! In Germany, they had the means to prohibit the sale of spinach and salads, to confine the students inside but not in France. Frédéric Boisset refeeds us the story of the Chernobyl radioactive plume that stops at the border? It is unbelievable that still in 2017 a journalist perpetuates the disinformation lie that began in 1986.

However, the IRSN, worthy successor of SCPRI, made this statement on March 15, 2011, the day when the radioactive cloud of Fukushima arrived in Tokyo: “A slight increase in ambient radioactivity in Tokyo is noted by a few measures. This elevation is not significant in terms of radiological impact. “ Pierre Pellerin would not have said better! At the same time, Olivier Isnard, an IRSN expert sent to Tokyo, advocated caulking the premises of the French embassy. Fortunately, Philippe Faure, the French ambassador to Japan, communicated to his expatriates at 10 am: “Stay in your houses, making sure to caulk them to the maximum, this effectively protects against the low-intensity radioactive elements that could pass through Tokyo. ” But at 8 pm, he changed his tone and resumed the official speech dictated by the IRSN: “The situation remains at this time quite safe in Tokyo. A very slight increase in radioactivity was recorded. It represents no danger for human health. “ 100 Bq / m3 would pose no health hazard for a radioactive cloud coming directly from a nuclear reactor? I am feeling not any more safe than in 1986 unfortunately.

 

The taboo of the steam explosion

One last deception. The IRSN has purposedly mistranslated the words of Masao Yoshida, director of the Fukushima Daiichi power station. Immediately after the explosion of Unit 3, the latter, distraught, called the headquarters to inform them of the situation. Tepco released this recording and the IRSN broadcasted it in a video in 2013. I do not know Japanese but I have Japanese friends who have assured me of the translation of his words. I give you both versions, that of my friends and that of the IRSN. The people knowing japanese will be able to check for themselves.

Japan TV version IRSN version 311.jpg

 

The Japanese TV version : https://youtu.be/OWCLXjEdwJM

The IRNS version : https://youtu.be/tjEHCGUx9JQ

 

The documentary gives another version: “HQ, HQ, it’s terrible! This is very serious ! “Yes, here HQ.” “It seems there was an explosion on reactor 3, which looks like a hydrogen explosion.” Who recommended this text to journalists? Even though Yoshida himself said “suijôki” (steam) and not “suiso” (hydrogen). The IRSN’s translation therefore censures the hypothesis put forward by the director of the nuclear plant: the steam explosion. This is normal, it is the official version of the Japanese government and the IRSN can not go against it.

The steam explosion is a taboo issue among nuclear communicators. Experts talk about it to each other, carry out studies about it, write theses about it, but never talk about it to the public because the subject of a nuclear power plant explosion is too anxiogenic. If we ever learned that a steam explosion had arrived in Fukushima, it would undermine the image of nuclear power worldwide.

http://www.fukushima-blog.com/2014/09/unite-3-de-fukushima-la-theorie-de-l-explosion-de-vapeur.html

In France, the political-industrial lobby has axed its communication on the control of hydrogen: All French power plants have hydrogen recombiners to avoid hydrogen explosions. But against an steam explosion, nothing can be done. When the containment vessel is full of water and the corium at 3000 ° C falls in it, it’s boom, whether in Japan or in France, whether it be a boiling water reactor or a pressurized water reactor.

http://www.fukushima-blog.com/2015/08/l-explosion-de-l-unite-3-de-fukushima-daiichi-1.html

Source : http://www.fukushima-blog.com/2017/02/cellule-de-crise-a-fukushima.html#ob-comment-ob-comment-9004010

VOX POPULI: Nuclear disaster surely taught us not to export this technology

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The town of Futaba, which co-hosts the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, used to boast signage promoting nuclear power generation.

One sign proclaimed, “Genshiryoku–Akarui Mirai no Enerugii,” which translates literally as “Nuclear power: The energy of a bright future.”

This and other signs were removed in the aftermath of the March 2011 nuclear disaster. They were relocated last month to the Fukushima Museum in the city of Aizuwakamatsu, according to the Fukushima edition of The Asahi Shimbun.

The museum is said to be considering an eventual exhibition of these acquisitions, which include a panel bearing the slogan, “Genshiryoku Tadashii Rikai de Yutakana Kurashi” (Proper understanding of nuclear energy enriches life).

These upbeat messages convey the hope, once held by the town of Futaba, that hosting the nuclear power plant will bring prosperity to the community.

But now, the reality gap is all too stark. Completely evacuated in the aftermath of the disaster, Futaba remains a dead town.

Is nuclear power still “the energy of a bright future”?

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed a Japan-India nuclear deal on Nov. 11 during his summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, opening the way for Japan to export nuclear reactors to India.

This bilateral treaty came about at India’s request for Japanese technological cooperation.

In the vicinity of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, more than 50,000 citizens are still living as forced evacuees, while work continues on the dismantling of the plant’s disabled reactors.

How could any country that let this happen have no qualms about providing its nuclear technology to another country? This is simply beyond comprehension.

While campaigning for India’s general election two years ago, Modi stressed that the nation could not hope for industrial or agricultural progress without electricity.

Of India’s population of 1.3 billion, about 300 million are still living without electricity. Correcting this power deficiency is obviously an urgent task, but is providing nuclear technology to India the only help that Japan can offer?

With evacuation orders still in effect for Futaba citizens, there is still nothing to indicate that the town will be habitable again.

And we, the Japanese people, know at first hand how difficult it is to rebuild people’s lives that were destroyed by a nuclear accident.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201611120023.html

 

 

Japan-India nuclear cooperation agreement signed, Japan to supply India with nuclear power equipment, technology

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) is greeted by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the start of their meeting at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan November 11, 2016.

Japan to supply India with nuclear power equipment, technology

Japan and India signed a civilian nuclear accord on Friday, opening the door for Tokyo to supply New Delhi with fuel, equipment and technology for nuclear power production, as India looks to atomic energy to sustain its rapid economic growth.

It was the first time Japan, the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack, had concluded such a pact with a country that is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“Today’s signing … marks a historic step in our engagement to build a clean energy partnership,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a joint news conference with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

The accord stipulates that the nuclear fuel and equipment provided can only be used for peaceful purposes, and a separate document signed in parallel has a clause allowing Japan to terminate the pact if India conducts a nuclear test.

“As a sole nation to have been nuclear-bombed, we bear the responsibility for leading the international community towards the realization of a world without nuclear weapons,” Abe told the same news conference.

“The agreement is a legal framework to ensure that India will act responsibly for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It will also lead us to having India participate practically in the international non-proliferation regime.”

India says the NPT is discriminatory and that it has concerns about its two nuclear-armed neighbors, China and Pakistan.

India is already in advanced negotiations to have U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric, owned by Japan’s Toshiba Corp, build six nuclear reactors in southern India, part of New Delhi’s plan to ramp up nuclear capacity more than 10 times by 2032.

Japanese nuclear plant makers such as Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd are desperate to expand their business overseas as the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster chilled domestic demand for new nuclear plants.

The agreement with Japan follows a similar one with the United States in 2008, which gave India access to nuclear technology after decades of isolation.

That step was seen as the first big move to build India into a regional counterweight to China.

On India’s infrastructure development, Abe said that construction of a high-speed railway connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad, which will be based on Japan’s “Shinkansen” bullet train technology, was scheduled to start in 2018, with commercial operation slated for 2023.

“In Japan, the era of high economic growth began when Shinkansen started its service in 1964. I hope the advent of high-speed railway will trigger fresh economic growth in India as well,” Abe said.

Modi earlier on Friday praised the “growing convergence” of views between his nation and Japan, saying strong ties would enable them to play a stabilizing role in Asia and the world.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-india-nuclear-idUSKBN1360YL?il=0

Japan-India nuclear cooperation agreement signed

The prime ministers of India and Japan have welcomed the signature today of a nuclear cooperation agreement between the two countries. Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe said the agreement reflects a new level of mutual confidence and strategic partnership for clean energy, economic development and a peaceful and secure world.

The agreement between the two countries was signed during a visit by the Indian prime minister to Japan and has taken six years of negotiations. Its signature follows the signing of a memorandum on cooperation by the two leaders in December 2015. It will open the door for India to import Japanese nuclear technology. India has been largely excluded from international trade in nuclear plant and materials for over three decades because of its position outside the comprehensive safeguards regime of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Modi said signing of the Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy marked a “historic step in our engagement to build a clean energy partnership”, adding that their cooperation would help “combat the challenge of climate change”.

In a joint statement, the two prime ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to work together for India to become a full member of the international Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), as well as of the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group, with the aim of strengthening international non-proliferation efforts.

In a separate statement, Modi thanked Abe for his support for India’s membership of the NSG. Membership of the NSG, which seeks to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that could potentially be used to manufacture nuclear weapons, has up to now been limited to NPT signatories. Following the approval of an India-specific safeguards agreement by the International Atomic Energy Agency, an exception under NSG rules and bilateral nuclear cooperation deals, India formally applied to become a member of the NSG in May.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Japan-India-nuclear-cooperation-agreement-signed-1111168.html

On Five Years Of An Ongoing Accident In Fukushima: It’s Not An Anniversary

DiaNuke editorial on the Five Years since the Earthquake-Tsunami-Meltdown

by Kumar Sundaram, March 12, 2016

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The absurd contradictions of disaster management: the government told families that it was safe for children to stay, but not safe for children to play.

On March 11, 2011, I was sitting in my office in the Institute of Defense Studies and Analysis, when the news of massive tsunami and earthquake came. I was working as a Senior Research Fellow on a project funded by the Dept. of Atomic Energy.

I was new to Facebook, and wished safety to all my Japanese friends, and I asked some over Facebook messaging and emails if they were fine.

And then, the news of nuclear accident in Fukushima Dai-Ichi reactors flashed. Within hours, it turned into an unimaginable horror.

I almost didn’t sleep for several days – checking every detail on the internet – the radiation counts, the design details of the reactors, every single news release, the weather reports for understanding the direction and speed of wind, getting glued to the map of Tohoku region. A number of other people tracking Fukushima on the social media from different countries became friends. We kept doing that for months. Some still meticulously gather every single detail.

For me, it was a reckoning of the insurmountable nature of nuclear accidents. The accidents might not happen so frequently, but the fact that every reactor can undergo an accident and there is no human response possible for nuclear accidents, even in technologically most advanced countries, makes nuclear power uniquely and unacceptably dangerous.

The accident also revealed decades of complacency in Japan. The nexus between politics, nuclear corporations, the elites, and the media was openly exposed. We can rely on the Indian system to be far worse than Japan in that respect. The labour mafia in Japan has been callously using the poor and migrant workers as cheap fodder in Fukushima’s clean-up.

The clean-up will take decades. They have not been able to get the reactor under control, even after 5 years. We have no clue about the state of tons of molten fuel in the crippled reactor. What the government means by ‘under control’ is just that they are pouring water daily to keep the temperature in the crumbled building low. Thousands of litres of contaminated water from the reactor are coming out daily, and they have no idea what to do with the water except storing it in thousands of huge tanks and stealthily letting it go into the Pacific Ocean.

A 20-kilometre radius area around the reactor remains uninhabitable, and more than 20,000 people evacuated from this area have no hope to return.

I have been to Fukushima twice since the accident. I went inside the evacuation zone and saw the ghost towns like Namie, Futaba and Itate. Houses, offices, shops, schools, playgrounds, railway stations, everything is there, but there are no humans. In 5 years, heavy dust and moss has accumulated everywhere.

There are decontamination workers working in this 20 kilometre zone, mostly scraping the top-soil and cleaning houses and offices. This highly radioactive dump is transported, shifted from one place to other in ‘temporary’ storage sites. The people doing this work know there’s no solution. They know everything is just an eyewash, for appearance’s sake. The same company which didn’t heed to warnings before the accident, and played every trick in the book to exclude as many people as possible from getting compensation, is gaining from these decontamination contracts.

Life for the evacuated people is unimaginably hard and shattered. Building a new life is not easy for most of them. There’s very little support from the government, and there are many attempts to stop even that as the years pass. There are documented proofs that the community in Fukushima is also facing social ostracism, as people fear that radiation-caused diseases might appear after several years. People are experiencing psychological breakdowns.

The resilience of the community, and the larger Japanese society, however, is moving. People across the country are providing support in every possible manner.

The political fallout of Fukushima is historic. Something has changed in the normally apolitical Japanese society. The kind and gentle Japanese people are angry. They understand the connections between corporations, government, politicians and the media. They are still grappling with how to make their collective response more effective. Thousands of reluctant activists flock to the Japanese parliament building in Tokyo every Friday after their work, chant slogans, play music, light candles, and share dreams of a better future. This has proliferated and there are weekly protests all over Japan.

In India, we have a additional set of problems when it comes to nuclear: higher population density, deeper corruption and unaccountability in the system, absence of an independent nuclear safety regulator, attempts to dilute even the ridiculously low nuclear liability. And more than anything else, brutal bulldozing of public dissent, environmental and safety concerns as the commitment for setting up new reactors stems primarily from the elite’s foreign policy choices rather than some well-thought energy policy.

Fukushima has led to policy changes in several countries. As a BBC survey has revealed, popular support for nuclear power is touching bottom, globally.

But in India, legitimate concerns about nuclear safety are deemed superstition. The previous government sent psychological counselors to Koodankulam when local residents raised objections about the project. And when these counselors couldn’t “cure” them, the police came. Thousands of para-military forces surrounded the villages, ransacked houses and fishing boats, and killed innocents.

Asking questions has become anti-national in India. Thousands of villagers on the southern-most tip of India face sedition charges for peacefully protesting against the project, which has now revealed itself as an expensive and dangerous white elephant. In almost 3 years since its commissioning, after much fanfare and repression, Koodankulam nuclear plant has not even operated successfully for 100 consecutive days. The latest news is that the reactor has been shut down again due to a dangerous leak. People around the area have reported a pungent smell coming from the plant for the last few days.

I left my previous job and have associated myself with the Coalition For Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) after the Fukushima accident. We have been trying to mobilise solidarity for the struggling villagers, amplify their voices and connect the dots by collaborating with civil society groups to ask questions on liability, safety, economic viability and environmental impacts of the proposed and existing nuclear plants in India.

In this country with hugely anachronistic nuclear ambitions, which is one of the handful countries with expansion plans after Fukushima, we all have been labeled anti-national.

One of the first things the new BJP government did after coming to power was to deliberately ‘leak’ an intelligence report calling CNDP and other such organisations anti-national. Some 40 names were mentioned, including mine. The IB became an economist and axiomatically said we are bringing down India’s growth by 2 to 3 percent. How more absurd can it get? I survive in Delhi on odd freelance pieces of work and minimum organisational support.

In the 5th year of Fukushima, I have lost track of the details that I started accumulating in March 2011. It’s not about facts and figures any more. It’s about politics. It’s about power structures. It’s about our lifestyles. Everything needs to be questions and transformed if the world has to be kept safe from nuclear horror and climate change.

If challenging the status-quo is anti-national, so be it. I am proud to carry the label.

http://www.dianuke.org/five-years-ongoing-accident-fukushima-not-anniversary/