In-Focus Japan – Hiroshima and Fukushima to unite in call for end to nuclear victims – More underground faults to be examined at Monju and Mihama plants

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Hibakusha: Nuke safety biggest lie

“I think we can share the same sadness with people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” said Sachiko Sato, a Fukushima evacuee who attended the annual Hiroshima A-bombing commemoration ceremony Monday along with tens of thousands of others. “In my mind, Fukushima is like a third nuclear victim, following Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

Toshiyuki Mimaki, a 70-year-old hibakusha, added: “We want to work together with the people in Fukushima and unite in calling for an end to nuclear victims.”

Scientists have warned it could be decades before it is safe for some residents to return home.

“Nuclear technology is beyond human wisdom. . . . I still want to see a nuclear-free world while I’m alive,” said Sunao Tsubo, 89.

“There is nothing to compare to what I experienced” at the time of the Hiroshima bombing, said Shigeji Yonekura, 79.

“The atomic bomb was dropped in war and no one helped us, while the Fukushima accident occurred in peacetime and a lot of people offered help.”

Source: The Japan Times

Hiroshima Diocese offers Mass for peace on atomic bombing anniversary

The catastrophe at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power in March 2011 illustrated “the errors of the world” that stem from human pride, a Japanese bishop said during a Mass commemorating the anniversary of the first atomic bombing.

Each year, the Japanese Church observes ten days of special prayer for peace.   The decision to celebrate these days was taken after the visit of late Pope John Paul II, who came to Japan in 1981: on that occasion he made a special appeal for peace to the world from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Source: Asia News

Source: The Boston Pilot

Families file for TEPCO compensation

Families of people who died within the 20 kilometer exclusion zone surround the Fukushima Daiichi plant after the March 2011 disaster have filed for compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Co., arguing nearly month-long delays in search and recovery missions following the disaster were caused by the on-going nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi.

A total of 333 people in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, filed claims with the government’s nuclear accident dispute settlement center in Tokyo and demanded TEPCO pay 10 million yen for each deceased family member.

Source: The Yomiuri

NISA calls for underground faults to be examined at Monju and Mihama nuclear power plants

A Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency panel of experts reviewing the safety of nuclear power plants nationwide, has advised that two additional power companies should reassess underground fissures below the power plants to determine whether or not they are active faults. The experts said further studies are needed for the Monju and Mihama plants in Fukui Prefecture. They cited a lack of topographical surveys around the sites.

Surveys have already begun at 4 facilities, including Ohi in Fukui Prefecture, but some experts stressed the need to expand the scope of the ongoing survey at the Ohi complex.  The agency wants to complete the review by the end of this month, but also may order additional surveys to examine more contested possible active faults.

Source: NHK

Municipalities hosting nuclear power plants to get aid as nation reduces reliance on nuclear energy

The Japanese government has been soliciting public opinion on its new energy policy, presenting three options for reducing Japan’s nuclear energy proportion of total power generation by 2030: zero percent, 15 percent or 20 to 25 percent.

The majority of the public response has overwhelmingly called for the drastic reduction of reliance on nuclear energy, which has lead experts to start considering the potential effects of unexpected early shut down of nuclear facilities.  Industry minister Yukio Edano said he acknowledges that “on the whole, there are many citizens who want to abolish nuclear power, if possible. . . . We need to make a decision based on the voices of many citizens.”

Edano stressed the importance of protecting jobs in municipalities that host nuclear power plants when the government reduces the country’s reliance on atomic energy.  “If nuclear power plants are decommissioned sooner than expected, we need to take steps to establish alternative businesses” in the municipalities that host them, he added.

While it’s possible some utilities may seek rate hikes to cover increasing thermal fuel costs to make up for the halt of their reactors, Edano said utilities wanting rate increases must have already started cost-cutting in line with criteria calling for a 20 percent cut in personnel costs.

“Basically, they’re costs that should be covered by electricity companies,” he said, urging utilities to set aside if necessary adequate reserves for possible acceleration of reactor decommissioning.

Edano said that even if utilities are required to decommission their reactors earlier than planned under the new policy, costs for the decommissioning should be shouldered by the utilities in principle, adding that if utilities ask the government to approve their plan to raise electricity rates, the government will apply the same screening criteria as it used when examining a rate-hike proposal by the utility.

“We would not allow them to say that they would set out to implement (restructuring) when they seek a rate hike,” he said.

Source: The Japan Times

 Fukushima evacuee fights back by resurrecting independent sake brewery

“If this can help lift people’s spirits even just a little, then I’m happy to do whatever I can to help.”

Source: The Guardian

Fukushima and Hiroshima are on Japan’s mind

Source: Pravada

Japanese kids get a taste of farming down under

Source: ABC Rural

Fukushima fishermen battle to turn the tide on a crippled industry

Source: Today Online

IAEA completes 10-day inspection of the Onagawa plant

Source: NHK


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