‘Fukushima: The Silent Voices’ London Premiere, Tuesday 21 February 2017

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Room 116, main building, SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), London WC1H OXG

‘Fukushima: The Silent Voices’, a film by Chiho Sato and Lucas Rue

19:00screening, followed by a Q&A with the directors

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more about the film here: https://fukushimathesilentvoices.wordpress.com/blog/

Poster for the SOAS, London screening:

fukushima-silent-voices-poster-2-web

 

A5 flyer pdf:

fukushima-silent-voices-soas-a5-flyer

‘Fukushima: The Silent Voices’ London Premiere, Tuesday 21 February 2017

Fukushima Update Summer 2016, by Kick Nuclear London

Fukushima Update Summer 2016

Five years after the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, 400 tonnes a day of radioactive water continues to pour into the Pacific Ocean. There are now over 30 million 1-tonne, 1m3 black plastic bags containing radioactive debris from the ‘cleanup’, piling up along the coast, in fields, around blocks of flats, along the edge of school grounds. These bags were designed to last a maximum of 5 years but there is still no permanent home for them – and there won’t be until at least 2020.

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was built on an ancient riverbed. For the last five years, water coming from the hills behind the site has poured down this old riverbed, passing through the multiple cracks and holes in the basements of the reactor buildings, where it mixes with the escaped nuclear fuel, becoming radioactive before flowing on into the Pacific Ocean. About 400 tonnes a day. In order to stop this flow, site owners Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power Company) have attempted to surround the plant with an ‘ice wall’. Brine, cooled to -30 degrees C, passes through pipes set into the ground, freezing the soil around them. One problem with this is that the ice wall only goes down 30 metres. Any cracks, fissures or porosity in the bedrock beneath it will provide a route for the deadly contamination to find its way into the ocean – for centuries. Another problem is the risk of thawing should there be an interruption to the electricity required to freeze and maintain the ice wall – also for centuries. A third problem is that now the size of the pool of lethal water has been increased, from inside the building basements to the much larger area within the ice wall as well. In the event of an earthquake fracturing the ice wall or the bedrock beneath the site, this pool will escape. Also the newly waterlogged ground within the ice wall could cause the reactor buildings to subside. Tepco recently admitted that the ice wall will let through 50 tonnes of contaminated water a day anyway. Better than 400, but still a permanent ecological catastrophe.

Meanwhile, the 800,000 tonnes of poisoned water in tanks on the site remains a problem. Tepco claim to be filtering the worst radionuclides out through the ALPS filter process. This produces a thick, highly radioactive sludge which still needs to be stored. And the remaining water still contains tritium – radioactive hydrogen – which cannot be safely removed [1]. Tepco want to dump this in the Pacific, claiming that it will be diluted and therefore not a problem. However they are finding it hard to convince local people, including fishermen, that this is a good idea.

Last year Tepco finished removing the used nuclear fuel from reactor 4. But there are still tonnes of used nuclear fuel in large, swimming pool-like ‘spent fuel pools’ on top of reactor buildings 1, 2 and 3. These are harder to work on due to the massive levels of radioactivity in the buildings. Should another earthquake collapse the buildings or crack and drain the pools, the exposed fuel would catch fire and release massive amounts of radioactivity, causing a global catastrophe.

Tepco have begun preparations to empty spent fuel pool 3, which involves a new floor, 6 metres above the roof, with a 75 tonne crane, and 22 cameras so that workers can operate all this remotely. We’ll just have to wait and see how this turns out, again hoping nothing goes wrong.

Why are Tepco stopping work at Fukushima Daiichi for 2 days during the 42nd G7 summit? The venue is 700km away in Mie prefecture. Does work at Fukushima pose a risk to the bigwig delegates? If so, does it not also pose a risk to the citizens of Japan during the other 363 days of the year?

During the recent multiple earthquakes on the island of Kyushu, the Abe administration ordered NHK, the Japanese equivalent to the BBC, to only repeat government statements and consult no external experts. Not wanting anything to get in the way of restarting the other nuclear power plants?

Back in 2012, Prime Minister Noda established a policy to phase out nuclear power by 2030. Giving the impression that it represented the official views of the US, Washington DC-based think tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) was among those who strongly objected and when Shinzo Abe became PM in December 2012 he overturned the nuclear phase-out policy. In 2014 CSIS revealed that it had received at least $500,000 from Japan – one of its top three donors. Other CSIS donors from this time include a number of Japanese and US nuclear industry companies … [2] [3]

But perhaps the main feature of this 5th year of the catastrophe is the process of forgetting Fukushima. Having denied that there had even been a meltdown for the first two months, when they knew at the end of the first day they had one meltdown, and knew within three days that they had three meltdowns, Tepco and the Japanese government now insist that it is the evacuations and the fear of radiation that cause stress and death, not the radiation itself. Is it better that the population remain in place, quietly absorbing radiation, and concentrate on remaining cheerful and optimistic? Many of the 100,000 evacuees are to have their compensation cut off and are being told it’s safe to return to areas that have up to 20 milliSieverts a year (mSv/yr) of radiation. Yet in Chernobyl areas with 1-5mSv/yr were ‘areas with relocation rights’, while areas over 5mSv could not be lived in or even farmed. Under the Japanese Atomic Energy Basic Law, the maximum annual exposure limit for the public used to be set at 1 mSv. But people are now being forced to accept a revised threshold 20 times greater.

The word ‘radiophobia’ is being used to describe the Japanese peoples’ fear of radiation. As if fear were the problem and not the huge amounts of dangerous radioactivity initially released, and the chronic internal exposure to low-level radiation via the ingestion of contaminated food and water and the inhalation of radioactive dust. People whose kids run a high temperature, have nosebleeds, develop a cancer, are told that their worry about radiation is irrational. All so that the other nuclear power plants can be restarted, so that money can be made and ‘restoration’ can proceed, in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics? This is, perhaps, the greatest crime to emerge from this tragedy.

[1]www.ianfairlie.org/news/fukushima-evaporating-tank-contents-is-not-the-solution/

[2] www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=15416

[3] http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/09/29/wagging-plutonium-dog-japanese-domestic-politics-and-its-international-security-implications-pub-61425

Produced by Kick Nuclear, London: www.kicknuclear.com

previous Fukushima Updates can be found here

福島 最新情報 2016年夏

福島第一原子力発電所で原子炉3基が炉心融解(メルトダウン)を起こしてから5年が過ぎました。1日400トンの汚染水が太平洋に流れ込み続けています。「除染作業」で出た汚染土は、重さ1トン、大きさ1立法メートルのビニール袋(フレコンバッグ)に入れられ、海辺や野原、住宅、学校の周りに3000万個以上も積み上げられています。フレコンバッグの耐用年数は最大5年とされていますが、いまだに汚染土の最終処理場は決まっていません。決まるのは2020年以降になる見通しです。

福島第一原発は昔の河床の上に建っています。この5年間、原発の後方にある岡から地下水がこの河床に流入し、いくつもの亀裂や穴を通じて原子炉の建屋底に入り込み、溶け出した核燃料と混ざって汚染された状態で太平洋に漏れ出しています。1日に約400トンもです。この流れを止めるため、東京電力は「凍土壁」で原発を囲おうとしています。摂氏マイナス30度の塩水を地下に埋設したパイプに通し、周囲の地盤を凍らせようというのです。問題の一つは、凍土壁の深さが地下30メートルにすぎないという点です。それより深くにある岩盤の亀裂や穴は、非常に危険な汚染水が何百年にもわたって海へ流れ込むルートであり続けます。二つ目の問題は、凍土壁を凍らせた状態で何世紀も維持するために必要な電力が途切れた場合、溶けてしまう恐れがあることです。三つ目の問題は、建屋の地下だけではなく、凍土壁で囲まれたもっと大きなエリアに汚染水が溜まることです。地震で凍土壁や原発の下にある河床が決壊すれば、ここに溜まった汚染水が流れ出します。さらには、凍土壁で囲まれた建屋を含む部分に水が溜まり地盤沈下を起こす可能性もあります。東電は最近、凍土壁が出来ても1日50トンの汚染水が流出することを認めました。400トンよりはましかもしれませんが、環境にとっては永久的な大惨事です。

一方、原発敷地内のタンクに収容されている80万トンの汚染水も問題として残ります。

東電は多核種除去設備(ALPS)のフィルターで最も影響の大きい放射性核種を取り除くとしています。しかしALPSを使えば放射性の泥が残り、それを保管する必要があります。しかもALPSではトリチウム(放射性水素)が取り除けず、これを安全に除去する方法はありません[1]。東電はALPSで処理した汚染水を太平洋に流す考えで、薄まるから問題はないと言い張っています。しかし、漁業関係者をはじめとする地元住民から賛同を得るのは難しいでしょう。

東電は昨年、第4号炉からの使用済み核燃料の取り出しを終えました。しかし第1~3号炉の建屋内にある大きな貯蔵プールにはまだ多数の使用済み核燃料が置かれています。建屋内の放射線量がとてつもなく高いため、除去作業は困難を極めます。また地震が来て建屋が壊れたり、プールに亀裂が入って水が漏れたりすれば、むき出しになった使用済み燃料に火がついて大量の放射線物質をまき散らし、世界的な大惨事を引き起こすことでしょう。

東電は第3号炉の貯蔵プールから使用済み燃料を取り出す準備を始めましたが、屋根の上方6メートルに新たな床を作り、75トンのクレーンを使い、22個のカメラを設置して作業員が遠隔作業できるようにしなければなりません。われわれは何事もないよう祈りながら、どのような結果が出るか見守るしかありません。

第42回目の先進7か国(G7)伊勢志摩サミットが開かれた際、東電は何故2日間にわたって福島第一原発での作業を中止したのでしょうか。開催地の三重県からは700キロも離れた場所です。福島第一原発での作業が、各国首脳を危険にさらすのでしょうか?もしそうなら、残り363日の毎日の作業で日本に住んでいる市民達を危険にさらしているのではないでしょうか。

熊本地震が起こり、安倍政権はNHKに対して、政府の公式見解だけを繰り返し、外部の専門家に意見を聞かないよう命じました。他の原発の再稼働を進めていく上で邪魔が入らないようにしたいのではないでしょうか。

2012年、当時の野田首相は2030年までに脱原発を目指す政策を打ち出しました。ワシントンDCにある米戦略国際問題研究所(CSIS)はあたかも米国政府の公式見解であるかのように見せかけながら政策に反対しました。安部首相が2012年12月に就任し、脱原発の方針は覆されました。CSISが2014年に公表した情報によると、日本から少なくとも50万ドルの寄付金を得ています。これは寄付金額の上位3位に入るほどで、他にも日本や米国の原発関連企業が寄付の提供者に名を連ねています。[2][3]

しかし、原発事故から5年目を最も特徴付けるのは、福島が忘れ去られようとしていることでしょう。事故初日には1基、3日以内には3基の原子炉でメルトダウンが起こったことが分かっていたにもかかわらず、東電と日本政府は最初の2カ月間この事実を否定してきました。今となっては、被曝そのものではなく、避難や被曝を心配することがストレスや死亡の原因になると主張しています。住民がその場にとどまり、黙って放射能を浴びながら、明るく楽しく暮らしていくのが良いとでも言うのでしょうか。避難した10万人のうち多くの人々への補償が打ち切られ、年間20ミリシーベルト(mSv)の放射線量の地域へは帰還しても安全だと言われるようになりました。チェルノブイリでさえ年間1~5

mSvの放射線量の地域は「移住権利ゾーン」に指定され、5mSvを超える場所では居住することも、農業を営むこともできません。日本の原子力基本法の附則では一般の線量限度が「1年間につき1mSV」と定められています。実際にはその20倍もの被曝を強いられているのです。

日本では「放射線恐怖症」という言葉が使われています。危険な放射性物質が大量に放出され、汚染された食品や水の摂取、放射性埃の吸気被曝で低線量の内部被曝を慢性的に強いられながら、あたかも恐れを抱くことが問題であるかのような表現です。子どもたちが熱や鼻血を出し、がんを発症しているのに、被曝を心配するのが非合理的だと言われるのです。他の原発を再稼働するために、経済的な利益を得るために、「復興」が進むために、そして 2020年の東京オリンピックに間に合うために?このことはおそらく、原発事故の悲劇から生ずる犯罪のうちで最大なものでしょう。

[1] http://www.ianfairlie.org/news/fukushima-evaporating-tank-contents-is-not-thesolution/

[2] http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=15416

[3] http://www.carnegieendowment.org/2015/09/29/wagging-plutonium-dog-japanesedomestic-politics-and-its-international-security-implications/ii96

文責:キック ニ・ ュークリアー http://www.kicknuclear.com

Fukushima Update Summer 2016, by Kick Nuclear London

EXPERT CALLS FOR UK DISTRIBUTION OF IODINE TABLETS — Radiation Free Lakeland

May 25, 2016 NFLA publish independent analysis of scientific advice in nuclear related emergency incidents and call for national issuing of stable iodine tablets The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) publishes today an independent submission by radiation risks expert Dr Ian Fairlie (1) on the role of science and scientific advice in emergency incidents […]

via EXPERT CALLS FOR UK DISTRIBUTION OF IODINE TABLETS — Radiation Free Lakeland

EXPERT CALLS FOR UK DISTRIBUTION OF IODINE TABLETS — Radiation Free Lakeland

‘Biological Effects of Nuclear Radiation from the Chernobyl and Fukushima Disasters’

The following is a presentation made by Professor Timothy Mousseau at the Remember Fukushima Parliamentary meeting in London on 17 March 2016.

Powerpoint: TMousseau-reChernobyl-UK-March 2016

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‘Biological Effects of Nuclear Radiation from the Chernobyl and Fukushima Disasters’

A message from Mikhail Gorbachev

Statement by Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Board Chairman of Green Cross International 

Delivered by Professor Dr Alexander Likhotal, President of Green Cross International, at the Remember Fukushima Public Parliamentary meeting at Portcullis House, London, 17 March 2016

Honourable members of the House, dear participants,

We live in urgent times. The sum of the concurrent crises that have been engulfing everything from climate to security, to politics and economy is creating a spiral of need for change. Therefore I welcome your effort to review the linkages between nuclear energy and world development and to examine broad lines of action to improve human wellbeing and security in the new conditions of the 21st Century. Unfortunately my health prevents me from joining you, which I regret, as the situation in the world makes this meeting extremely timely and important.

Nearly seventy years ago, a group of Manhattan Project scientists, having seen the power of nuclear destruction, created what they called the Doomsday Clock. It was a mechanism designed to warn the world about the threat of imminent global catastrophe. This year, the Doomsday Clock is 3 minutes to midnight, having ticked back down to its setting when the Cold War was at peak ice. Why? The global number of warheads has resumed climbing; up to 30 countries either have nukes or can get them quickly; North Korea is blowing smoke; ISIS stealing one is not beyond belief. Unquantifiable human delusion and game playing underlie our most serious threats.

In addition the Doomsday Clock began factoring in risks peripheral to nuclear detonations: the risks and impacts of a future Chernobyl or Fukushima; accidents within nuclear storage sites; processing and transporting nuclear materials; climate change affecting living organisms in addition to radioactive pollution.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe and the fifth of the Fukushima nuclear disaster: the worst disasters humankind has had to deal with. Both were the result of the inability of scientists and engineers to foresee how seemingly small problems can snowball into disasters of almost unimaginable scale. For me, personally, Chernobyl remains one of the most tragic incidents of our time. From the moment I was informed – by telephone, at five o’clock in the morning on that fateful 26 April 1986 – that fire had broken out in Block Four of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, my life has never been the same. Although the full magnitude of the disaster was not known at that time, it was immediately obvious that something horrific was happening.

The questions raised by Chernobyl and reiterated by Fukushima are more relevant today than ever before, and they are still unanswered. How can we be sure that nations using nuclear power for civil or military purposes will comply with the necessary protective measures and regulations? How can we reduce risk to the welfare of future generations? Are we hiding from the answers to these questions when we shut down debate by invoking “national security” or energy needs?

Contrary to the statements of nuclear energy advocates that there were only two major accidents, if one redefines an accident to include incidents that either resulted in the loss of human life or significant loss in property damage, a very different picture emerges.

At least 99 nuclear accidents meeting this definition, totaling more than $20.5 billion in damages, occurred worldwide from 1952 to 2009 – or more than one incident and $330 million in damage every year.

This recurrence rate, demonstrating that there are many risks that are not being properly managed or regulate, is worrying, to say the least, given the severity of harm that even a single serious accident can cause. The meltdown of a 500- megawatt reactor located 50 kilometers from a city would cause the immediate death of an estimated 45,000 people, injure roughly another 70,000, and cause $17 billion in property damage.

And moreover according to recent findings of Swiss and Danish experts the chances are 50:50 that a major nuclear disaster will occur somewhere in the world before 2050.

It is vital that any discussions about nuclear energy address the issue comprehensively and in all its complexity. Nuclear power systems are not just a security issue, an environmental issue, or an energy issue. They are all of those at once. And as Green Cross International has been arguing for years, these aspects of the issue must be addressed together.

Consider the question of cost. The information we can get from financial markets is not above suspicion, but it cannot be neglected either. In principle, private capital does not take the direction of non-profit activities. Therefore it does not take the direction of atomic energy but of renewable. According to a recent report in 2011 the United States, for example, invested over US$48 billion in renewable energy, up from US$34 billion in 2010, regaining first place in the global clean energy investment rankings.

This means that the money needed to build nuclear plants cannot be found in private capital. It is found in State tax coffers and bonds. Taxpayers or unconcerned buyers of such securities finance nuclear energy usually without any knowledge of this.

And we should not forget that when the alleged “cost-savings” of nuclear power are voiced, never does that cost include the price tag for direct and indirect governmental subsidies, the decommissioning of ageing facilities and – in light of the noted disasters –emergency clean-up, along with the remediation of the impacted communities, all again at the expense of the taxpayers . At Fukushima, the bill will include costs of the heroic efforts by hundreds of workers to cool down its reactors, the protracted loss of economic output in the 20km exclusion zone (estimated at $128.5bn), the decommissioning and clear- up costs, and the costs of replacing 4.7GW of generating capacity. On top of that, there is the possibility of healthcare costs resulting from radioactivity.

All these hidden costs make the price of nuclear energy higher than the cost of shifting to renewable energies while raising energy efficiency. It is not incidental that private capital has started opting for renewables. Thus 2015 was characterised by stunning progress in clean power delivery. In the U.K., just as the government was announcing its new dash for gas, Department of Energy published figures showing renewables had delivered 24 percent of the country’s electricity in the first two quarters, up from just 4 percent in 2004, and all for the price of half a cup of cappuccino per household per week on family bills. Germany is now at 35 percent renewable electricity. In the US, more coal plants closed in 2015 than in any previous year, more solar capacity was installed, and power sector emissions fell to their lowest levels since 1993.

Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to think that we can abandon nuclear power overnight. With 15 countries relying on nuclear power for 25 per cent or more of their electricity, we have to come to grips with the continued presence of nuclear plants for years to come. And shutting down nuclear plants precipitously, without a sensible long-term plan to replace them with renewables, may not be beneficial. The expansion of coal-fired electricity to fill the gap left by abandoning nuclear, for example, does not amount to progress.

So what can we do? The most important solution is possibly the simplest: conserve energy. Dollar-for-dollar, there is no better way to invest in energy than by improving efficiency. In fact it generally produces savings. Supporting new, more efficient technologies has a huge role in reducing waste, but massive improvements can be achieved just by changing behaviours and choices – which cost nothing to do.

Reducing consumption is also the most sensible way to reduce our ecological footprint. People living in rich countries use an unsustainable and unnecessary amount of energy. Another lesson from the Fukushima experience is that in the aftermath, with nuclear plants temporarily shut down, Japanese consumers managed to quickly reduce their energy consumption by a quarter. Coupled with a well-founded mix of renewable power sources, smarter energy use will

be a key part of moving away from highly-polluting traditional energy generation.

The world needs to create a new global energy policy that matches demand and supply within the limits of sustainable development. This does not need to bring about a decline in quality of life. In the medium-term, it will make it possible to extend decent living standards to all the world’s population. It is imperative that members of the international community work together to develop and distribute clean and renewable sources of energy.

Last but not least, let me express my firm belief that transparent government, combined with open and clear information policies and a commitment to the best possible educational standard for all people, are of utmost importance to solving the complex challenges ahead. In the case of Chernobyl, the only reason the world was able to find out the truth about the disaster and learn from it was that the process of Perestroika and the policy of Glasnost were already being instituted in the Soviet Union. Otherwise the facts and effects would have been withheld, concealed or distorted. Today, people want to have a say in what direction their countries’ economies take. They want to know how it affects the air they breathe, the water they drink, the food they eat, and the future they leave to their children. Governments have a responsibility to respond to those concerns.

A message from Mikhail Gorbachev