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Four Years Since Fukushima, Calls Grow for Nuclear-Free World


#1

Four Years Since Fukushima, Calls Grow for Nuclear-Free World

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Four years since disaster struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011, the nightmare has yet to abate.

In the wake of the three reactor core meltdowns, which were triggered when the plant was hit by a tsunami stemming from a 9.0 earthquake, widespread nuclear contamination remains. Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, continues to wrestle with how to contain increasing amounts of radioactive water, which was pumped in to cool the melted fuel rods within the reactors.


#3

Too bad they only had 23,000 protesters show up. They need 100 times that many and then maybe someone might take notice.


#4

Writer McCauley exaggerates the number of evacuees by claiming 250,000, The number is less than half that as shown in the following:
•The total number of Fukushima refugees continues to drop. It is below 120,000 for the first time since March, 2011. The total includes both those forced to leave by government mandate, and those outside the mandated zones who fled out of fear. Voluntary evacuees from outside the exclusion zone are less than 50,000. Fukushima’s government says about 73,000 of the total remain in the prefecture, and nearly 46,000 live elsewhere. While only a few thousand have been allowed to return home within the no-go zone, it appears that tens of thousands of voluntary evacuees have gone home since June of 2012. Officials believe this is due to decontamination efforts and an overall reduction in radiation levels have spurred the return. In addition, economics may have also contributed. About 70,000 of the total are from the dictated “no-go” locations and receive continual monthly compensation checks. On the other hand, voluntary evacuees received compensation for about a year after the nuke accident, but that ended more than 2 years ago. http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=469


#5

From the USA: To the World and Japan in particular, NO words can express the criminality of what we did in dropping two atomic bombs on the people of Japan and the global terror of WMDs we unleashed on all as a consequence.


#7

Something I’ll never understand is why “progressives” expend 1000 times more effort and print opposing nuclear electric generation than they do the far more widespread and environmentally damaging coal electric generation…


#8

No Mr. Finston,

Writer McCauley did not exaggerate.

USA today reported yesterday:

Four years later, Kanno and her extended family are still unable to return to this once-thriving village — and it appears likely they never will.

Radiation levels remain as much as 10 times above normal in areas surrounding the plant, and scores of towns and villages remain off-limits despite a massive cleanup effort. “At first, I thought we would be gone a few days or weeks. Now, I’m not sure if we will ever go back,” said Kanno, 29.

As Japan marks the anniversary of the March 11, 2011, disaster, officials concede that recovery throughout the region is lagging.

Nearly a quarter-million Japanese still live in temporary or interim housing. Hundreds of square miles of forests, farmland and townships remain uninhabitable because of radiation. Endless rows of thick vinyl bags filled with contaminated soil litter the countryside — but represent just a fraction of the land that must be scraped up and hauled away before residents can return.**

At the stricken power plant, radiation is no longer escaping into the air, but workers are still battling to contain leaks of contaminated water. The plant won’t be fully decommissioned for at least three decades…

…Even so, a staggering amount of work remains. Completion of permanent housing for 230,000 evacuees has been pushed back to 2017 in some areas because of difficulty finding suitable land and shortages of construction workers and materials.

The toll of the disaster is evident here in Iitate (ee-DAH-tay) village.

Officials initially said the community, located about 19 miles from the plant, was safe from radiation. But just days later a general evacuation was ordered as radiation readings began to climb.

Residents have been allowed to return to their homes and businesses during the day, but still cannot stay overnight or return permanently. The village had a population of more than 6,000 prior to the disaster, but now only a few hundred venture there during the day.

“It’s eerie here now. There are all these houses and buildings, but at night you see no lights anywhere. In the daytime, wild boars and monkeys roam around like they own place — and maybe they do,” said Muneo Kanno, who owns a farm in the village and heads a volunteer group that monitors local radiation.

Radiation levels at the town hall have dropped to a level widely considered safe for long-term exposure. But Muneo Kanno (no relation to Yumi Kanno) said the radiation levels can fluctuate, and higher levels can be found in wooded areas not slated for cleanup.

Volunteer Muneo Kanno stands near a radiation meter
Volunteer Muneo Kanno stands near a radiation meter in front of the Iitate Town Hall on Feb. 25, 2015. (Photo: Kirk Spitzer for USA TODAY)
“Radiation is something you can’t see and can’t smell. The levels fluctuate all the time. Rain can wash the contamination into a small area, and suddenly you have a hot spot,” he said. “Even now, we don’t know when we will be able to return here permanently.”

Government policy currently calls for decontaminating all homes and buildings in affected areas, as well as all farmland. But wooded areas will be left untouched. So residents and local officials will have to decide the level of exposure they are comfortable accepting, said Norio Kanno, the mayor of Iitate village.

“People still do not understand everything about radiation and long-term exposure. Some people think it’s safe at a certain level, but others don’t. Are you OK as long as you don’t enter the forest? If you have children, are you willing to take that chance? I understand that people are reluctant to return,” he said.


#9

Good comment, Tom. Thanks.

  • On a side issue, I sent this to the Editor a few minutes ago.
*  I'm wondering if this is just me, or is everybody denied, and if so, why put it in with a teaser to get us to try?
Editor,
    You have a story of interest,

    **On Beheading Arabs, Netanyahu's Legacy of Darkness, and the Mitzvah of Voting Against It**
    so I clicked on it and this is what I get.
   Access denied
    You are not authorized to access this page.

    What is going on? What authorization do I need to read a document on CD?
    If I, or we, are not authorized to read it, why is it there in the first place? Why do you have a teaser to get us to click on it?
    Am I locked out of certain articles or subjects? If so, why have I not been notified of such an action?
    Is this a case of "All dreamers are equal, but some are more equal than others?"
    I'd really like to know what this new criterion is.
    Sincerely,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is really weird! Can you access it? Can anybody?
Steve

#10

I have noticed weird things happen if one tries to access a page when they are updating the site. I have no idea if that’s what happened but it seems a possibility, but then again the Hasbara Strikes comes to mind again (I just checked it with the same results as you.) if so, then it would seem that possibly CD has found a way to limit such attacks to a single article and not have the entire site brought down.


#11

Are we down to one nuke shill?

Is it wrong to be happy to see him?


#12

We have more nukes than exist in the rest of the world. Why?? Iran wants a nuke because Israel has nukes. North Korea has nukes in order to feel “secure”. Where and when does it all end. THE TIME FOR ABOLITION IS NOW!


#13

Thanks! I guess we’ll just have to see what is happening. Maybe the Editor will answer my question.
;-})


#14

I trust the Japanese source I quoted (minponews) not USA today.


#15

You are way off-topic, Dive. The question is how many remaining refugees?


#16

Thank you …thank you very much…


#18

I’m surprised that you didn’t pick up on the fearmongering overstatements and misrepresentations in that polemic. I’ll point out just 2:

But [quote=“IPPNW”]IPPNW is a non-partisan federation of national medical groups in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens who share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of *nuclear annihilation.[/quote]

So it’s a federation of “medical groups”, not doctors, and its “global” size appears to be in the “tens of thousands” of people who are probably mostly not doctors at all.

[quote=“Counterpunch again”]
UNSCEAR, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, published its deeply flawed report April 2. Its accompanying press release summed up its findings this way: “No discernible changes in future cancer rates and hereditary diseases are expected due to exposure to radiation as a result of the Fukushima nuclear accident.”

The word “discernable” is a crucial disclaimer here.

Cancer, and the inexorable increase in cancer cases in Japan and around the world, is mostly caused by toxic pollution, including radiation exposure according to the National Cancer Institute.[1] But distinguishing a particular cancer case as having been caused by Fukushima rather than by other toxins, or combination of them, may be impossible — leading to UNSCEAR’s deceptive summation. As the IPPNW report says, “A cancer does not carry a label of origin…”[/quote]

“No discernable changes” means there’s no way to tease out what deaths/hereditary diseases are due to radiation: the increase, if any, is embedded in the statistical “noise”. (It’s well-known that heritable changes are very rare from radiation, which makes LaFarge’s mention of such changes as a plausible outcome a case of fearmongering)

And the NCI’s statement that cancers are “mostly caused by toxic pollution, including radiation” does not, as LaFarge tries to insinuate, mean that radiation is a significant cause in comparison to other sources of “toxic pollution” such as the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels. Where you have a lot of carcinogenic pollutants A and B, and a little of C, it’s very irresponsible in a human sense and definitely anti-scientific to attempt to focus attention on C. The only “deceptive summation” is LaFarge’s.

The two misrepresentations I’ve pointed out here were just the two I found immediately. I’m quite sure there are more.


#19

I had the same experience. I tried every way I could think of to get at it, but no dice.


#21

Actually, now the whole thing has disappeared or are you able to find it? I can’t.


#22

That’s untrue in any meaningful way, as should be obvious from the fact that we’re bombarded by radiation every moment of our lives and in fact can’t survive without it.

LNT is a hypothesis that has neither valid theory underpinning it nor real experimental/experiential support. All it has are believers like those who invented and continue to repeat the now-discredited “you must drink at least 8 glasses of water every day” claim.

Radiology. 2009 Apr; 251(1): 13–22. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2511080671PMCID: PMC2663584 The Linear No-Threshold Relationship Is Inconsistent with Radiation Biologic and Experimental Data Maurice Tubiana, MD, Ludwig E. Feinendegen, MD, Chichuan Yang, MD, and Joseph M. Kaminski, MD


#23

“the second Chernobyl is expected to kill 1.4 million”

Because F. Kenton Beshore, and his followers in the World Bible Society expect Armageddon and the end times to occur in 2018, it is technically accurate to say “it is expected the world will end in 2018.” But we do not have the responsibility to give ridiculous expectations credence.


#24

[OT] Maybe you have a bad link. This one worked for me: