Arnie Gundersen on Al Jazeera Discussing Fukushima Anniversary

” Today on Fairewinds’ Film series Fairewinds’ Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen discusses the ongoing struggle for the people impacted by the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi disaster in his recent interview on Al Jazeera USA. ”


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Helen Caldicott on Fukushima children vulnerability and infant mortality rates — Independent Web Journal **recommended

Physician and anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott speaks in Kyoto on March 8, 2014, on the effects of radiation exposure on children in Fukushima Prefecture. The following is a transcript of her speech that is available HERE. The speech is both in English and translated in Japanese by Aimee Tsujimoto. I’ve transcribed the English for you, but it is certainly beneficial to view the video, as it includes the maps and trends Caldicott is referring to.

view Japanese article and Helen Caldicott’s speech

Transcript:

” A more realistic estimate of contamination is 60,000 square kilometers occupied by 46 million people including parts of Tokyo and surroundings. As you can see, the whole landmass is contaminated to a greater or lesser extent. [Japanese translation]

This is according to the European Commission Science for Environment Policy “New Insight Into Spread of Contaminations” from Fukushima Feb. 13, 2014. [Japanese translation]

This is the Pacific fallout. [Japanese explanation]

Because so many people now live in highly radioactive areas, instead of evacuating the women and children, the government raised the accepted external dose from 1 millisievert per year to 20 millisieverts per year, which is the equivalent of 1,000 chest x-rays per year. Nuclear workers are allowed 50 millesieverts per year. [Japanese translation]

However children are 10 to 20 times more vulnerable to radiation effects than adults because their cells are actively dividing and are therefore more likely to be damaged by radiation. Little girls are twice as sensitive as little boys. Because of these circumstances, thousands of little children are now locked inside. They wear masks and are eating radioactive food and are experiencing increased obesity as they get virtually no exercise. [Japanese translation]

Infant Mortality. Infant mortality rates increased in the both radioactively contaminated prefectures around Fukushima, showing a rise and fall starting at the end of 2011. In December 2011, nine months after the accident, there was a highly significant drop in live birthrates which correlates with early spontaneous abortions caused by the radiation spike in the first days after the accident. This matches the data on infant mortality that was documented around Chernobyl. [Japanese translation]

This is the drop in live births after Fukushima there and there. [points to map] [Japanese translation] “

More Tepco errors and a fatality; The Latest at Fukushima — Reuters and Enformable Nuclear News

(1) Fukushima worker killed in accident, cleanup halted — Reuters

” (Reuters) – A worker at Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant died on Friday after being buried under gravel while digging a ditch, prompting the operator to suspend cleanup work for safety checks.

Tokyo Electric Power Co said it was the first time a laborer had died as a direct result of an accident inside the plant since the nuclear disaster in March 2011, the world’s worst since Chernobyl in 1986. … ”

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(2) Human error blamed after spent fuel removal operations halted at Fukushima Daiichi — Enformable Nuclear News

” Tokyo Electric, the utility decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, determined that human error is the most likely cause for the alarms which stopped work removing spent fuel assemblies from the Reactor 4 spent fuel pool.

TEPCO officials believe that around 9:30 AM on Wednesday, a worker attempted to operate a crane to remove a spent fuel cask which had been loaded with 22 spent fuel assemblies from the spent fuel pool while an auxiliary brake was applied. … ”

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(3) Human errors strand robot in Fukushima Daiichi reactor building — Enformable Nuclear News

” Tokyo Electric announced today that the “Warrior” robot, designed and engineered in the United States, tipped over during an inspection of the Unit 2 reactor building two weeks ago and could not be retrieved due a dead battery.

On March 13th, the “Warrior” robot was one of several robots collecting samples of the concrete floor on the fifth floor of the reactor building directly above the reactor containment vessel. … ”

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Tepco under-calculated radiation exposure for 142 Fukushima workers — RT

” Tokyo Electric Power Co. underestimated internal radiation exposure of 142 workers involved in immediate emergency operations at the damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011, according to Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

After reexamining exposure records provided by TEPCO, the Ministry said Tuesday it had increased the 142 workers’ radiation data by an average of 5.86 millisieverts, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

The Ministry said one male employee was exposed to 180 millisieverts. He was initially reported to have been exposed to around 90 millisieverts.

Two other workers were exposed to radiation of 50 to less than 100 millisieverts, the Ministry found.

According to the International Commission on Radiological Protection a person should be exposed to no more than one millisievert per year from all sources of radiation, though it says only doses of more than 100 millisieverts are associated with a higher risk of cancer.

The 142 workers – 24 who worked for TEPCO and 118 who worked for 18 different contractors – were part of the 7,500 emergency workers and first responders that were sent to manage containment operations at the Fukushima plant.

TEPCO did not have whole-body radiation counters immediately after the crisis began, thus accurate radiation measurements by the utility were difficult to attain, as the Ministry has shown.

The Ministry urged TEPCO on Tuesday to now assess exposure with the new recordings in mind.

Last July, the Ministry reviewed exposure data on around 1,300 workers and revealed that reported exposure levels of 452 workers were too low. After that announcement, the Ministry followed up on records of the remaining 6,200 workers, which led to Tuesday’s disclosure.

Three years after the catastrophe, Japan is still struggling to deal with the radioactive contamination of Fukushima including a growing volume of contaminated water used to cool crippled reactors. On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 mega earthquake struck off the coast of Japan. The quake triggered a massive tsunami, which inundated the nuclear power plant causing three reactors to melt down. ”

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Tepco to establish ‘Decontamination & Decommissioning Engineering Company” for Fukushima — Fukushima Update via Tepco

” We have been preparing for establishing a new company on April 1, 2014, which will be a new internal entity of the function dealing with decommissioning and contaminated water within TEPCO, for the purpose of clarifying the responsibilities allocation and focusing solely on handling of decommissioning and contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Now the company outline is decided, and we would like to announce the details as follows:

New company official name

The name is decided to be “Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination & Decommissioning Engineering Company”, to show the company is created to exclusively and expertly address decommissioning and contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

Company President and Vice Presidents

Mr. Naohiro Masuda will be assigned to the company president positioned as the Chief Decommissioning Officer (CDO) of the countermeasures against decommissioning and contaminated water. And for the vice presidents, a support role of the president, six persons including three executives invited from nuclear power manufacturers have been assigned.

Organizational structure

The new company will consist of the following three sections.
-General Administration Dept.
Overall management of the whole company, establishment of support and operational infrastructure, and supporting of CDO on site.
-Project Planning Dept.
Schemes of resolution policies and plans for issues related to decommissioning and contaminated water.
-Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
Resolution and implementation of countermeasures against decommissioning and contaminated water.

We will keep considering the countermeasures against decommissioning and contaminated water and also engaging with the government as a national project. In addition, we will continuously show our commitment to the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station with a concerted effort by our entire TEPCO communities.

(Appendix)
Policy on the countermeasures against decommissioning and contaminated water – Fukushima Daiichi D & D Engineering Company- (PDF 82.0KB)PDF (Available only in Japanese version) ”

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The Latest mishaps: Trouble stops fuel removal at nuclear plant – NHK World; TEPCO shuts down Fukushima decontamination system amid leaks — Press TV

(1)  ” Work has been suspended to remove spent nuclear fuel from a storage pool at a reactor building in the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Company said an accident occurred at around 9:30 AM on Wednesday when workers started removing fuel units at the No. 4 reactor building.

The utility explained a large crane used to hoist a cask containing 22 spent fuel units from the storage pool suddenly halted before lifting the cask. Workers were attaching a hook to the crane’s wire at that time.

The company says no rise in radiation levels have been observed around the pool.

Workers are now trying to find out what caused the problem.

TEPCO began removing fuel units from the storage pool of the No.4 reactor in November of last year. The pool held 1,533 units of fuel, of which 1,331 are highly radioactive spent fuel.

As of Tuesday, 550 fuel units had been removed and transferred to another storage pool. ”

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(2)  ” This comes as the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) spotted the defect just hours after the system came back online.

The firm has repeatedly switched off the system over a series of glitches since trial operations began a year ago.

TEPCO is struggling to handle a huge and growing volume of contaminated water at Fukushima following the 2011 devastating quake and tsunami. The Fukushima nuclear plant suffered multiple meltdowns following the disaster. … ”

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