“Don’t forget us” – that is the message from the people of Fukushima, ten years after the meltdown in the nuclear reactors at Daiichi on 11th March 2011: a day that changed Japan and the world following a terrible tsunami. PAWB’s friends in Japan want the world to know the situation in Fukushima today. As expected, media interest in Fukushima has largely waned, but the nuclear nightmare continues. That isn’t the message which the country’s Government and the nuclear industry want us to hear – they want the people of Japan and the world to think that the situation is under control, and that life is normal.
People Against Wylfa B 9th March 2021 read more »
Fukushima nuclear disaster haunts Japan’s climate change debate. Ten years after the tsunami struck, most citizens are vehemently opposed to re-opening nuclear stations.
FT 11th March 2021 read more »
Pediatrician Dr Alex Rosen, a leading figure in the German branch of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) said it was “luck and divine intervention” that wind from the west blew most of the radiological releases out over the Pacific Ocean, meaning the Fukushima accident released more radioactivity to the oceans than the Chernobyl accident and all the nuclear weapons tests together. Another webinar I attended, on 9 March, was co-hosted by Northwestern University’s Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs located in Evanston, Illinois, and the Bulletin for the Atomic Scientists, based in Chicago, to launch a new international interdisciplinary collaborative study on “Nuclear Disaster Compensation: Lessons from Fukushima: Interviews with Experts and Intellectuals, edited by anthropology professor Hirokazu Miyazaki. Former US Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairperson, Allison McFarlane, now a professor and director of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, pointed out in the webinar that the Fukushima accident has so far cost US$188billion, with projected final costs of US$740 bn.
David Lowry’s Blog 10th March 2021 read more »
Very recently, the United Nations Scientific Committee on Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) published an advance copy of its latest (third) report on the health effects from the Fukushima Daichi nuclear accident which commenced on March 11, 2011. UNSCEAR 2020 Report – Annex B – Advance Copy. The report shows signs of having been rushed out as it is an advance copy and it is unfinished. It states 23 electronic attachments with supplementary information on detailed analyses of doses to the public and their outcomes are currently in production and will be available on the UNSCEAR website – “shortly” it says. I shall look at the Report when the additional information is published. However near the 10th anniversary of the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima, it’s necessary to look at perhaps the most contentious issue arising from the accident – the continuing controversy over the cause(s) of the large observed increases in thyroid cancers (TCs) in Japan since 2011. The 2020 UNSCEAR Report (page 107, para q) concludes that the sharp increase in observed thyroid cancers post-Fukushima was not due to thyroid intakes of iodine isotopes from the accident but due to increased surveillance. However this conclusion is inconsistent with UNSCEAR’s own estimates of high collective doses to the thyroid published in its 2012 and 2013 reports and cited in my previous 2014 post. https://www.ianfairlie.org/news/new-unscear-report-on-fukushima-collective-doses/ Collective dose estimates are again published in table 13 (page 72) of UNSCEAR’s 2020 report. This table states that, in the first 10 years after the accident, the collective thyroid dose to the Japanese population from the accident was 44,000 man Gy. This large collective dose to the thyroid from Fukushima means that UNSCEAR’s conclusion that the observed increases are not due to the accident is scientifically unsound for the following reason.
Ian Fairlie 10th March 2021 read more »
Fukushima disaster should serve as a warning against building new nuclear plants – Dr Richard Dixon. Ten years ago today, the Fukushima nuclear disaster kicked off events which would see 165,000 people evacuated, a Prime Minister resign, a complete change of energy policy in Japan and large amounts of radioactivity dumped in the Pacific.
Scotsman 11th March 2021 read more »
A decade after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, Greenpeace renews calls for the Japanese government to shift to a renewable energy future.
Greenpeace 11th March 2021 read more »
Japan on Thursday marks 10 years since the worst natural disaster in the country’s living memory: a powerful earthquake, deadly tsunami and nuclear meltdown that traumatised a nation. Around 18,500 people were killed or left missing in the disaster, most of them claimed by the towering waves that swept across swathes of the northeast coast after one of the strongest quakes ever recorded. The ensuing nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant blanketed nearby areas with radiation, rendering some towns uninhabitable for years and displacing tens of thousands of residents.
Daily Mail 10th March 2021 read more »
The Japanese government estimates it will cost $75.7 billion and take 40 years to fully decommission and tear down the facility. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency even built a research center nearby to mock up conditions inside the power plant, allowing experts from around the country to try out new robot designs for clearing away the wreckage. The hope is that the research facility — along with a drone-testing field an hour away — can clean up Daiichi and revitalize Fukushima Prefecture, once known for everything from seafood to sake. The effort will take so long that Tepco and government organizations are grooming the next generation of robotics experts to finish the job.
CNet 10th March 2021 read more »
A decade ago, a massive tsunami crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Three of its reactors melted down, leaving it looking like a bombed-out factory. Emergency workers risked their lives trying to keep one of history’s worst nuclear crises from spiraling out of control. Proper equipment has now replaced ragged plastic hoses held together with tape and an outdoor power switchboard infested by rats, which caused blackouts. Radiation levels have declined, allowing workers and visitors to wear regular clothes and surgical masks in most areas. But deep inside the plant, danger still lurks. Officials don’t know exactly how long the cleanup will take, whether it will be successful and what might become of the land where the plant sits. Journalists from The Associated Press recently visited the plant to document progress in its cleanup on the 10th anniversary of the meltdowns and the challenges that lie ahead.
Daily Mail 11th March 2021 read more »
Young families brave the radiation to repopulate towns devastated by Fukushima
A decade on from the second-worst nuclear accident in history, newcomers are giving the area a vital injection of youth. Even inside his log-cabin home, in an idyllic valley in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, the geiger counter clipped to Nobuyoshi Ito’s jacket gives off a near-constant crackle. But every time he goes to put another log on the wood burner in a corner of his living room, it intensifies into a single, drawn-out cacophony. The locally felled timber was exposed to the radiation that escaped from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, less than 40 miles to the south-east, when three of the plant’s reactors suffered melt-downs after the March 2011 earthquake and the tsunami that it unleashed on coastal regions of north-east Japan. The plume of radiation passed directly over Mr Ito’s home, on the outskirts of the town of Iitate, leaving an invisible but very dangerous dusting on everything that it came in contact with. A decade on from the second-worst nuclear accident in history, he says the radioactivity collects in the ashes from his wood-fired stove, as well as in the metal of the burner and the silvered flue that rises through the roof. He shrugs.
Telegraph 11th March 2021 read more »