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Fukushima Reactor Cleanup Delayed by Five Years as Japanese Public Demands End to Nuclear Energy

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/12/30/fukushima-reactor-cleanup-delayed-five-years-japanese-public-demands-end-nuclear

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I hate to break the news to you Japanese citizens, but where do you think they have been dumping the water they have been spraying to cool the damaged reactors for the last nearly ten years?
In the ocean.

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With the Climate Catastrophe building ferocious momentum, as Mama’s way of letting us know fossil fuels are a mistake, Fukushima’s eternal “clean-up” stands as a stark reminder for any with ears to hear: Nuclear fuels are just as bad a mistake, and cannot ever be regarded as a solution to anything.

God help Japan. We’re likely not far from an epidemiological window opening on a maelstrom of symptoms from all the contamination. (Reporters are jailed for raising such issues in Japan.) Olympic athletes, beware! You might leave off the radioactive seafood, for starters.

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I read this morning that Russia will start pouring concrete for the second nuclear reactor it is building for Turkey in March. Too many people on this spinning rock! I’ve left none behind. I hope future generations can get how to do that and still live meaningful, fulfilling lives neither shackled by fascism nor Idiocracy.

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TEPCO was quite profitable and respected the day before the earthquake and multiple meltdowns. Then they had no money.

Money has its own way of thinking. If there isn’t any money in the company’s kitty and the people are going to die later, the only remaining option is to let them die. Don’t ever ask the government for money if it doesn’t benefit the stockholders.

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“They say no.”–so should we.

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I had a horrible thought— What if Japan has already released all the contaminants into the water-----and the evaporation lie came because the horror is already in the ocean? Besides people, what other life forms eat tuna? I wonder if those poor fish will glow underwater? : ( I read once that soon the ocean will die of life but be full of—jelly fish, who seem to survive everything. : (

Dr Jeremy Jackson has projected The Rise of Slime.

Hi Aleph_Null:
Yes and oh ick! When the ocean is dead, except for jellyfish----it will be hard for people to want to eat them. Having the same orifice for bth the mouth and the anus is so unappetizing! : )

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Radioactive iodine and cesium 137 are extremely dangerous to human thyroid and the ocean food chain. These have been released in clouds of radiation and into the waters. Ocean currents/prevailing winds have brought this calamity to the US West coast. The charts of contamination were quickly removed from the public’s purview early on. The spent fuel pool on a precarious second floor level in a very damaged structure was finally stabilized after years. If that had collapsed it probably would have been the end of our concern about global warming years ago. This is a sentinel event. They even tried to freeze the ground around the plants to stopped the continuous flow of contamination. No go.
An international team of nuclear disaster experts should have taken control of the site immediately after the explosions and meltdowns. Tepco is useless.

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The contaminants in the storage tanks amount to a fraction of a percent of what got out in the first few weeks after the meltdowns. Your “horrible thought” is pretty much the reality.

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When they were about to begin removing the spent fuel from pool 4, Harvey Wasserman was nearly in a panic that they were moving too fast. So who is having these concerns about the pace now being “dangerously slow” and what is this danger that is created by going slow?

Didn’t know that – sad - but thank you.

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If Americans give this any thought they understand that had anyone in government
or the industry or Congress told us here – or the Japanese – that there would be a
30-40 year plan to handle smashed reactors on a coastline here or there, they would
have been protesting nuclear energy. But that’s nothing like what they were told.

And consider the Japanese who had just had actual nuclear weapons dropped on their
citizens in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their likely disbelief at having nuclear energy
pushed on them.

As Big B points out –
I hate to break the news to you Japanese citizens, but where do you think they have been dumping the water they have been spraying to cool the damaged reactors for the last nearly ten years?
In the ocean.

Sadly, that doesn’t only concern the Japanese – it concerns all of us -
And how about California?

There’s so much to be summed up about Fukushima effecting us all –
but basically who would have approved nuclear reactors had any of this had been
given some real hard thought.

Nuclear reactors are fakery – they are time bombs and landmines in all of our states –
two in every state and on waterways because these things require millions of gallons of
water every minute to keep the reactor cool. Likely we could say that they’ve been
returning radiated water to our waterways every minute.

But what is wrong with decision makers who are so anxious for money –
who would ignore their responsibilities to protect our populations –
their own children, grandchildren?

Maybe this thing that’s been invented that we call money is more than an evil –
maybe it actually is a poison destroying all sense, all wisdom, all honesty.
Maybe it’s invention was merely a way to sell your soul?

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1954 quote by the Commissioner of the Atomic Energy Commission:
“Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter …will travel effortlessly over the seas and under them and through the air with a minimum of danger and at great speeds, and will experience a lifespan far longer than ours, as disease yields and man comes to understand what causes him to age …“

That ”too cheap to meter” became the hope and rallying cry for the industry. Now we can all say that it was “too horrendous to consider”. Another genie was let out of the bottle, first oil, then nuclear. There are advocates now who pursue the Idea of new safe reactors; but the greed and imperfections of mankind, and our angry Mother who has decided to dispel us into the four winds, should be lesson learned, time to get our shit together to avoid the type of Hell that is engulfing the entire Continent of Australia at this time.
Listen to the scientists, stop the wars, elect knowledgeable wise leaders. The article on Australia unfortunately gives insight of the reality on the ground, when it comes to survival often the community of people no longer have the ability to aid one another, it often becomes person against person, survival of the fittest.

Bernie and Us. 2020

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The Rise of Slime would also be a good title for a history of the past 40 years of neoliberal economics.

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[BigB]
“I hate to break the news to you Japanese citizens, but where do you think they have been dumping the water they have been spraying to cool the damaged reactors for the last nearly ten years? In the ocean.”

It’s been going into storage. The water that is being dumped into the ocean comes from bypass wells. None of the dumped water has been used to cool the core slag.

[Aleph_Null]
“We’re likely not far from an epidemiological window opening on a maelstrom of symptoms from all the contamination. (Reporters are jailed for raising such issues in Japan.)”

An example of even one reporter who was jailed for reporting about Fukushima contamination would be…?

[Greenwich]
“Didn’t know that –”

You still don’t. If hearing something and accepting it uncritically were all that it takes to qualify as knowledge, then millions of Fox News viewers would “know” that human activity is not causing climate change.

[Earthbound]
“Ocean currents/prevailing winds have brought this calamity to the US West coast.”

In trivial concentrations. At worst, the contamination level in the seawater was about a thousandth the natural radioactivity of seawater.

“The charts of contamination were quickly removed from the public’s purview early on.”

How did they make these charts of contamination early on? And nobody on the entire internet saved any of them?

“The spent fuel pool on a precarious second floor level in a very damaged structure was finally stabilized after years. If that had collapsed it probably would have been the end of our concern about global warming years ago.”

The stabilization had to do with the badly damaged shell structures. The pools are part of the heavy core block. The core blocks are strong enough they’ve been running heavy equipment around on top of them.

“They even tried to freeze the ground around the plants to stopped the continuous flow of contamination. No go.”

That was to reduce the flow of groundwater into the reactor buildings (which then has to go into storage). The water accumulation rate is now roughly a quarter what it was before they turned on the ice barrier.

[Earthbound]
“That ”too cheap to meter” became the hope and rallying cry for the industry.”

Strauss did not come from the industry. He was also not a nuclear scientist or engineer. He was a shoe salesman. Industry leaders and nuclear engineers at the time dismissed the remark as not being something that would happen in the foreseeable future.

“There are advocates now who pursue the Idea of new safe reactors; but the greed and imperfections of mankind, and our angry Mother who has decided to dispel us into the four winds, should be lesson learned”

Lessons learned is how we get better at doing things. Next-gen reactor teams are looking to address and incorporate lessons learned from old-tech nuclear.

“Listen to the scientists”

Next-gen reactors use scientific principles that are already well-established. Whether they can work is not a science question. The question is whether they can be made competitive.

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A civilization that depends upon cheap, dirty and dangerous fuels is a civilization that will destroy itself. A civilization that depends on the wasteful, gratuitous and even narcissistic use of such fuels, while depending on the endless growth of these dirty energies, is doomed. Meanwhile, it vigorously asserts that this folly is meaningful and necessary. Normalized insanity to be sure.

Meanwhile, those who saw this coming decades ago, realized that meaning and fulfillment are available always, here and now. Both do not depend on imposed historical power structures (both meanings intended) with their malignant deceptions.

All the best to you and yours in the new year. Thanks for all your excellent contributions.
May all those working to oppose the madness find some peace in knowing they cultivated wisdom and compassion to benefit us all, while being ignored and ridiculed. Hope is like a fungus - it even grows in the dark. :roll_eyes:

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As to some skepticism expressed here regarding Japan’s incredible Designated Secrets Bill, this is from a journal called The Ecologist (Dec, 2013):

Now, what is easily the most right wing government Japan has seen in decades has forced through parliament a bill to classify “special secrets” that would essentially give the executive carte blanche to withhold information on a massive scale, not seen since the period of militarism directly leading up to, and during, World War 2.

The law, known as the Designated Secrets Bill, was hurriedly rammed through the more powerful lower house on 26 November, and then passed through the upper house in equally speedy fashion on 6 December.

It gives unrestricted power to the executive to designate a broad range of information as national secrets. There are no effective checks or balances, no truly meaningful opportunity for the involvement of any independent body, and no effective way to ensure that the executive is not abusing its power.

It may be hard to track down all cases of reporters jailed for violating this law, because such reporting could, in turn, be deemed another violation. I would not expect Japan to exclude matters Fukushima from the secrets designated, would you? This clampdown is undoubtedly because of Fukushima.

And in the two and a half years between the meltdowns and the secrets bill, those who were paying attention recall severe restrictions on reporting from day one. Objectively, we really have no idea what’s going on over there – how much radioactivity has leaked into ocean waters. With no independent scrutiny, official information is fatally compromised, in Japan as in North Korea.

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Trog.

You obviously have built up quite a knowledge base concerning nuclear power and it’s generation, the pitfalls and advantages. You have come to the defense of nuclear on this site on numerous occasions, rejecting most negative comments and pushing all the nuclear, chemical facts and gibberish of a true believer in that industry.
I have worked inside the industry as a chief medical officer and have some knowledge also in dealing with the worker human side of the equation. Numerous near misses have gone under the radar. And after TMI, Chernobyl, and now Fukushima, the average joe no longer trusts nuclear, is afraid of it, and is tired of being lied to. The sea level is rising, the shore lines are flooding, the storms are increasingly worse. Contaminated wastes are everywhere, in barrels at the bottom of the ocean, in pools at every plant, in the air, dust, food chain. Radioactive iodine, strontium 90, cesium 137 disable and kill life. Why would anyone at this time trust the next gen?, people and machines are fallible.
It’s too late, let’s get on with the real issues of the day, stopping the authoritarian takeover of our country, saving democracy, clearing the world of nuclear weapons and wastes. Then if all stabilizes, then maybe redirect to the next gen research, hopefully in a world where we take care of each other, and get rid of all the stuff in our lives we really never needed. Just that alone would cut energy needs immensely. We are in the midst of an existential crisis and I fear we are losing the battle. Please work your brain on figuring this out for us. Replacing petrol with nuclear is not going to re-emerge anytime soon, and the climate change tipping points are here now. Please figure out a way to provide fresh potable water to save the lives of so many, and to replenish our environment and all its life forms.

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