This is a music video of the Japanese punk rock band Scrap, consisting of victims of the Fukushima disaster.
By Mike Head:
Japan’s nuclear restart
23 June 2012
Just a little more than a year since the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster—the second worst in world history—Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s administration has ordered the re-opening of two reactors at Oi, on Japan’s western shore.
The decision was clearly driven by the demands of big business, including the energy conglomerates, overriding public opposition and basic safety concerns. Other reactors are already being lined up to follow, including those operated by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which was responsible for the Fukushima catastrophe.
Last year’s earthquake and tsunami quickly resulted in the swamping of the Fukushima plant, the failure of its emergency systems and the partial meltdown of three of its six reactors. About 87,000 residents were forced to evacuate from the surrounding areas, which have become uninhabitable, possibly for decades. At the height of the disaster, there were fears for the safety of the 35 million people living in greater Tokyo.
Such was the depth of the popular concern that all 50 of Japan’s nuclear reactors were shut down by May 2011. Many were merely taken off-line for maintenance or safety upgrades, but they were unable to restart due to the widespread public distrust of the power companies and the government. This hostility has not gone away. A recent survey by national broadcaster NHK found that more than 80 percent of people in areas near Oi think that the nuclear plant may suffer a Fukushima-style accident.
The two Oi reactors sit on Wakasa Bay, a region known as Japan’s “nuclear alley,” home to 13 reactors. Major cities—Kyoto and Osaka—are nearby. Yet basic safety and emergency facilities are not in place. A raised seawall to shield the reactors from tsunamis will not be ready until next year, no on-site command centre will exist until 2016, and filtered vents, which could reduce radiation leaks, will not be ready for three years.
Fukushima Radiation at Record High: here.
Thousands of protesters gathered outside the gates of Japan’s Ohi No3 nuclear power plant today as it became the first to go back online since Japan’s reactors were shut down following the Fukushima nuclear disaster: here.
TEPCO resumes cooling Fukushima Daiichi No. 4 reactor fuel pool: here.