Japanese people block government’s Fukushima waste dumping plans


This video from California in the USA says about itself:

Fukushima Remembered”, Miyagi Delegates Spoke @ SCCC. March 10th 2012. Pt1

March 10th, 2012, San Clemente Community Center. Two delegates from Miyagi, Ms. Kyoko Suagasawa and Mr. Hirohide Sakuma, spoke to the community of San Clemente. Moderated by Gary Headrick. Interpreted by Yushi Yamazaki, and Umi Hagitani. Sponsors and endorsers of the events include: Citizens Oversight Project, Peace and Recourse Ctr. of S.D, Residents Organizing for a Safe Environment (ROSE), San Onofre Safety (SOS), San Clemente Green, S.D. Coalition for Peace and Justice, Talk Nukes, Occupy Encinitas, Occupy San Diego, Ocean Outfall and No Nukes Action Committee.

From the Mainichi Shimbun daily in Japan:

Angry Miyagi residents block gov’t survey of candidate nuclear waste disposal site

KAMI, Miyagi — Local residents here blocked an attempt by Environment Ministry officials on Aug. 28 to inspect a candidate site for the disposal of waste contaminated with radioactive substances that have leaked from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The ministry was unable to begin surveys on three candidate sites in the Miyagi Prefecture municipalities of Kami, Kurihara and Taiwa as of 1 p.m. because the Kurihara and Taiwa municipal governments had agreed to accept surveys on condition that the ministry simultaneously launch them in all three municipalities.

The ministry aims to complete its drilling surveys on the three sites before winter snowfalls, and hopes to select a site from among the three candidates by the end of the current fiscal year.

The Environment Ministry had notified the three municipalities on Aug. 27 that it would launch surveys at the three candidate sites.

In Kami, Mayor Hirofumi Inomata, municipal government officials, as well as about 200 people including members of an association of 50 groups opposing the construction of the disposal facility, gathered on a road leading to the site in the Tashirodake district of Kami at around 6 a.m., and blocked the street with a banner expressing opposition to the project.

At around 8 a.m., 16 Environment Ministry officials arrived at the scene to conduct a survey — the first since October 2014 — only to be met by protesters.

The ministry officials confronted the mayor as protesters raised their voices expressing stiff opposition to the construction plan.

“We’d like to go ahead with the survey as planned,” a ministry official said.

“This area doesn’t meet the requirements for a candidate site,” the mayor responded.

About 20 minutes later, ministry officials withdrew from the scene, but one of them said the ministry was determined to go ahead with the survey.

“We must ensure that specified waste is disposed of in a stable manner as early as possible,” the official said.

Fukutsugu Takahashi, leader of the anti-disposal site association, which includes a local agricultural cooperative, criticized the construction plan.

“It’s wrong to bring materials contaminated by the nuclear power plant to a beautiful mountain like this,” he said.

As of the end of June, some 3,404 metric tons of rice straw, sludge and other waste containing cesium with a level of radioactivity topping 8,000 becquerels per kilogram — designated under a special measures law as specified waste — is being stored at 39 locations in nine municipalities in Miyagi Prefecture, according to the ministry. A disposal facility that the ministry is planning to build would store such waste.

August 28, 2015

Morphological defects in native Japanese fir trees around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant: here.

Japanese butterflies sick from Fukushima radiation


This 2014 video is called Mating dance of butterfly Zizeeria maha okinawana. This is is Okinawa, in the south of Japan, far from the Fukushima pollution.

From Nature journal:

Body size distributions of the pale grass blue butterfly in Japan: Size rules and the status of the Fukushima population

Wataru Taira, Mayo Iwasaki & Joji M. Otaki

Published online: 22 July 2015

Abstract

The body size of the pale grass blue butterfly, Zizeeria maha, has been used as an environmental indicator of radioactive pollution caused by the Fukushima nuclear accident. However, geographical and temporal size distributions in Japan and temperature effects on size have not been established in this species. Here, we examined the geographical, temporal, and temperature-dependent changes of the forewing size of Z. maha argia in Japan. Butterflies collected in 2012 and 2013 from multiple prefectures throughout Japan demonstrated an inverse relationship of latitude and forewing size, which is the reverse of Bergmann’s cline.

The Fukushima population was significantly larger than the Aomori and Miyagi populations and exhibited no difference from most of the other prefectural populations. When monitored at a single geographic locality every other month, forewing sizes were the largest in April and the smallest in August. Rearing larvae at a constant temperature demonstrated that forewing size followed the temperature-size rule. Therefore, the converse Bergmann’s rule and the temperature-size rule coexist in this multivoltine species. Our study establishes this species as a useful environmental indicator and supports the idea that the size reduction observed only in Fukushima Prefecture in 2011 was caused by the environmental stress of radioactive pollution.

Livestock offspring contaminated by Fukushima radiation: here.

Hundreds of refugees drown in Mediterranean, again


This video says about itself:

Libyan refugees recount horrors of journey to Europe

20 June 2015

More than 50,000 boat migrants have arrived in Italy from Libya this year, and roughly 2,000 have drowned while making the journey across the Mediterranean Sea. CCTV’s Stephanie Freid met one Libyan migrant who was terrified of crossing the sea, but grateful he made it alive. Watch the video to know more about his “horrible” journey.

By Martin Kreickenbaum:

Hundreds dead as refugee boat sinks in Mediterranean

7 August 2015

Up to 700 refugees were on board a fishing boat that capsized 15 nautical miles off the Libyan coast on Wednesday. More than 200 are feared drowned. According to the Italian coast guard, around 400 people were rescued, while 26 bodies were recovered from the sea so far. One hundred refugees were below deck at the time and likely went down with the ship.

The small, overloaded fishing boat was caught in heavy seas and sent out a Mayday call. When the Irish coastguard ship LE subsequently approached the boat, several refugees apparently rushed to one side of the boat, causing it to capsize.

“It was a horrific sight,” said Juan Matias, coordinator of Doctors without Borders who was on the ship Dignity I, which also came to the assistance of the refugees. “People desperately clutching life belts, boats and anything, fighting for their lives among the drowning and those who were already dead.”

Dignity I received the call from the coastguard just as it was saving 100 refugees from another fishing boat that was in difficulty. “The fact that we were first called to assist this boat and then shortly afterwards sent to another one highlights the severe lack of resources available for rescue operations,” said Matias.

Wednesday’s tragedy was the first such mass drowning since 1,200 refugees lost their lives in a series of boat sinkings in April, prompting the EU to step up patrols on the Mediterranean and threaten air strikes against refugee boats before they left the Libyan coast.

Some 224,000 refugees have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe this year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced Thursday. Italy has registered 97,000 boat refugees and Greece 91,000. One in three refugees traveling by boat comes from Syria, with other main countries of origin including Afghanistan, Eritrea, Somalia and Nigeria.

The death toll among those people desperately trying to reach Europe is shocking. On Tuesday, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) stated in Geneva that more than 2,000 refugees have lost their lives trying to reach Europe since the beginning of the year.

According to IOM, these figures confirm that “the route across the Mediterranean is the most deadly for migrants,” a development which has intensified over the last six months. In 2014, the attempt to seek protection in Europe from persecution and poverty cost 3,279 refugees their lives.

“It is unacceptable that in the 21st century people fleeing from conflict, persecution, misery and land degradation must endure such terrible experiences in their home countries, not to mention en route, and then die on Europe’s doorstep,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

Terrible incidents take place almost daily on the main route across the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy. On July 29, 14 refugees arrived dead in the Sicilian port of Messina, on a ship with 456 survivors. On August 1, a rescue ship from Doctors without Borders discovered five bodies on board a boat transporting 120 refugees.

The loss of life in the Mediterranean is not merely a tragic event, but a crime. The imperialist powers in Europe and the United States bear responsibility for the mass deaths of refugees at sea.

The number of refugees has dramatically increased over the past three years, according to calculations by the UN agency for refugees. Almost 60 million people were on the move in 2014, 40 percent more than in 2011.

The Syrian civil war, which was triggered by the United States and its Arab allies in 2011, and is still raging, has driven more than 3.5 million people over the border. An additional 7.5 million people within Syria have fled their homes.

The NATO-led war against the Gaddafi regime in Libya, which began almost simultaneously, turned more than 1 million people into refugees. A further 500,000 refugees from Syria, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia are marooned on the Libyan coast, which is now under the control of rival militias, desperately hoping for a place on a boat to Europe.

Hundreds of thousands were forced from their homes as a result of the imperialist wars and subsequent famine crises in the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia). The US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have had disastrous consequences for the populations of both countries. In Yemen, the US-aligned Saudi Arabian regime’s bombing raids on the country, using US supplied weapons, together with Washington’s drone war, have forced countless people to flee.

In addition, there are numerous Palestinian refugees who lost their livelihoods in the Israeli war in the Gaza Strip and are effectively imprisoned by the closure of the border by the Israeli government, on one side, and the Egyptian military dictatorship on the other.

In western and central Africa, it is above all the neo-colonial policies of the European powers that have forced thousands to flee from Mali, Mauritania, Central African Republic, Niger and Chad in the face of wars and the plundering of these countries by European companies.

The European Union has responded to this humanitarian catastrophe by pulling up the drawbridge and expanding fortress Europe. The deaths of refugees on the EU’s external borders are meant to serve as a deterrent.

In Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, and in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, barriers several metres tall with razor-sharp spikes have been constructed to guard against refugees. In November 2013, the EU began the Eurosur programme for the surveillance of the Mediterranean with drones, satellites and reconnaissance aircraft.

Under pressure from the German government, the military mission conducted by the Italian government, which used warships to search for refugees throughout the Mediterranean, sending them back to Libya, was incorporated into Operation Triton, run by the EU border agency Frontex. The EU states cynically declared that the Italian mission, known as Mare Nostrum, had encouraged too many refugees to travel to Europe.

In response to the two tragedies in April this year, the EU sent additional warships to the Mediterranean. However, these ships were not primarily to focus on rescuing refugees from the sea, but to wage war against “smugglers” as part of the Eunavfor Med mission and destroy refugee boats. In addition, measures were agreed to accelerate the process of deporting refugees back to Africa and the crisis regions of the Middle East.

At the same time, the fight against the “root causes” of migration, proclaimed by the EU, has been revealed as an effort to arm dictatorial regimes in Africa so that they could more effectively prevent their populations from fleeing. The German television programme Monitor reported that Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and Egypt have been integrated more closely into the EU border management system through the training of their soldiers.

British ship sent on Mediterranean migrant mission has not rescued a single person: here.

Fukushima worker dies


This video is called Fukushima Tomioka the abandoned city.

From Vice News:

Worker Dies at Disabled Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

By Pierre Longeray et Pierre-Louis Caron

August 4, 2015 | 10:15 pm

A 30 year-old man died this weekend as he worked on decommissioning Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, which was devastated in the 2011 Tohoku tsunami, in which 20,000 died or were reported missing.

It is not yet known whether the man’s death was due to radiation exposure, and an autopsy is pending.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant suffered a series of meltdowns in 2011 during a massive earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Japan. The quake knocked out the plant’s cooling systems, causing meltdowns in the plant’s reactors and a radioactive leak that triggered the evacuation of thousands of people in the area.

In a statement released Monday, the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), said that the man had been taken to the emergency room after complaining that he wasn’t feeling well. “His death was confirmed early in the afternoon,” Tepco said.

Isabelle Dublineau, the head of the experimental radiotoxicology laboratory for France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), said that, “there are many thresholds of radiation exposure.” Speaking to VICE News Tuesday, Dublineau said it was “too early” to comment on the death.

This is the third recorded death at the stricken Fukushima plant since the start of the decommissioning work. In March 2014, a laborer at the plant was killed after being buried under gravel while digging, and in January 2015, a worker died after falling inside a water storage tank.

While the latest death has already been branded suspicious in the media, Tepco has so far denied that any of the deaths are related to radiation exposure.

On some days, radioactive emissions at the Fukushima plant can be as high as 2.16 millisieverts [mSv] — more than one-tenth of the allowed annual exposure for nuclear energy workers. As a result, workers are limited to three-hour shifts, and labor in grueling conditions, particularly in the summer, when the temperature can reach 113 degrees. The heat is made worse by the heavy protective gear worn by workers to protect themselves from radiation exposure — including suits boots, gloves and masks.

The worker who died over the weekend was working up to three hours a day at the plant, on the construction of the “ice wall” — an underground frozen wall designed to box in the melted reactors and contain the seeping radioactive water to prevent further groundwater pollution. Today, clean groundwater from around the plant flows through the melted reactor and mixes with the contaminated water in the reactors. To prevent ocean pollution, Tepco has to store the contaminated water in reservoirs and treat it, before pumping it back out.

Tepco has warned that decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear plant could take up to 40 years. In early July, the Japanese government notified the evacuated residents of Naraha — a town of 7,400 that lies 20 miles from the nuclear plant — that they would be able return to their homes in September. Naraha has an estimated annual radiation dose of 20 millisieverts — the maximum annual dose allowed for nuclear energy workers in France.

Following the 2011 nuclear disaster, Japan shut down all of its 50 working reactors, which were supplying close to a third of the country’s electricity. …

Tepco has been heavily criticized for its handling of the Fukushima catastrophe, and three former Tepco executives currently face criminal charges and are due to stand trial soon for “negligence.”

In February, the nuclear operator revealed that contaminated water had been leaking into the Pacific ocean. According to French daily Le Monde, Tepco had known about the leak for almost a year before it made the information public.