Arnie Gunderson: sampling on five occasions over almost a decade totalled 70 days on the ground. Here are four things we discovered. Existing radiation maps ignore significant sources of radiological exposure; Northern Japan remains radiologically contaminated; Previously “cleaned” areas are becoming radiologically contaminated yet again; Olympic venues in Fukushima prefecture are more contaminated than in Tokyo Olympic venues.
Truthout 11th March 2021 read more »
For one minute last week, workers at the Fukushima nuclear station fell silent to mark the 10-year anniversary of a natural disaster that triggered the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Then they went back to work tearing down the reactors melted down in the days after a tsunami on March 11, 2011. The job ranks as the most expensive and dangerous nuclear clean-up ever attempted. A decade in, an army of engineers, scientists and 5,000 workers are still mapping out a project many expect will not be completed in their lifetime. Naoaki Okuzumi, the head of research at Japan’s lead research institute on decommissioning, compares the work ahead to climbing a mountain range – without a map.
Nasdaq14th March 2021 read more »
A decade after Fukushima, Japan still struggles with its energy future. Ten years after an earthquake and tsunami sparked a crisis in the east of Japan, the country’s electricity generation profile has shifted in favour of fossil fuels. Will its net-zero emissions goal change that?
Energy Monitor 16th March 2021 read more »
Why the Fukushima disaster signalled the end of Big Nuclear. Ten years after the world’s second worst nuclear disaster, large nuclear power stations have yet to regain their appeal. While for many energy experts it may not make sense to hot-headedly shut off existing nuclear for largely ideological reasons, as Germany did in 2011, the past decade has left many countries asking why they would take the economic and political risk associated with new nuclear power stations when they can invest instead in high volumes of renewable energy. Big Nuclear has demonstrated the mistake of looking for an easy solution, and picking one technology as a silver bullet. Without a pragmatic approach, energy debates veer away from the facts, technological and economic, and make it harder for governments to decide on the strategies needed for the most significant challenge of all – the need to reach net zero.
New Statesman 15th March 2021 read more »
Despite mounting evidence from environmental experts as well as economists, the nuclear lobby still holds sway at government level in many countries. Yet nuclear power with its links to nuclear weapons, its detrimental impacts on health (especially in respect of women and children), the costly disposal of highly toxic radioactive waste which will fall to future generations, and the susceptibility of power plants to terrorist attack, should all make us question the wisdom of continuing on this road, especially as alternative green energy solutions are improving in design, output and cost at a rapid rate. Given that public opinion was clearly in favour of a non-nuclear future, the U-turn by the Japanese government represented a huge blow to democracy and civil society. Naoto Kan, the Japanese Prime Minister at the time of the Fukushima disaster, resigned in the wake of what happened in Fukushima, saying, “Japan needs to dramatically reduce its dependence on nuclear power.” Kan is a powerful figure in the anti-nuclear debate and an embarrassment to the neo-liberal political class who seem to have been bought off by the big power companies, pursuing a “There is no alternative…” argument. Kan came to the UK in 2016, where he addressed the Welsh Senned, the local authority on Anglesey and met local campaigners from People Against Wylfa B including a farmer fighting to retain his land.
North East Bylines 15th March 2021 read more »