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原発訴訟 「原告団全国連絡会」結成 9700人が参加 via 毎日新聞

 東京電力福島第1原発事故による福島県の避難者らが、全国の避難先などの裁判所で国や東電に損害賠償などを求めている集団訴訟の原告団が13日、連携を 図るため「原発被害者訴訟原告団全国連絡会」を結成した。互いの裁判を傍聴したり適正な審理を求める声明を裁判所に提出したりするほか、避難者への住宅無 償提供の継続など長期的な救済策を求め国などと団体交渉する方針。

 連絡会によると、避難に伴う慰謝料や空間放射線量を原発事故前に戻す原状回復などを求める集団訴訟は全国で約30件あり、原告の総数は1万人を超える。このうち連絡会には21原告団の約9700人が参加した。

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PHOTO: More than 1,100 water storage tanks at Fukushima plant … and counting via The Asahi Shimbun

[…]

As of Feb. 12, there were 1,106 massive water tanks on the premises.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the plant, constructed the tanks to store radiation-contaminated water that has been accumulating at the plant since the disaster unfolded in March 2011.

The utility plans to construct 20 more water storage tanks to accommodate 30,000 tons of water that is expected to be generated in the remaining months of 2016.

As the tanks occupy much of the parking lots, green spaces and vacant areas, TEPCO has no choice but to build new tanks in the narrow alleys between the huge containers.

The accumulation of contaminated water has been a persistent problem at the plant, which is only in the very early stages of decommissioning, a process that will take 30 to 40 years.

Read more at PHOTO: More than 1,100 water storage tanks at Fukushima plant … and counting

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福島第1原発 廃炉への道「まだ1合目」via 毎日新聞

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「プールに入ると風邪をひくくらいの温度まで下がっています」。東電の川村信一・福島第1廃炉推進カンパニー広報担当は、1〜3号機の使用済み核燃料プールの冷却状況についてこう表現し、原子炉を制御できていることを強調した。

 防じんマスクに白い防護服姿になり、最初に訪れたのは海水や敷地内でくみ上げた地下水などに含まれる放射性物質の濃度を調べる化学分析棟。約30人が低 濃度の水を分析しており、外部から汚染物質を持ち込まないように入り口で靴を2回履き替えるなど、厳しく管理されている。

 分析作業に当たる男性作業員(51)は「海水と汚染水の濃度分析は廃炉を進めていく上で、なくてはならない作業です」と説明した。汚染水問題が深刻化し たことを受け、水の分析件数は増え続け、化学分析棟などで分析したサンプルは1年で約8万7000件に上るという。

 タンクの建設現場も取材した。汚染水をためたタンクは約1000基に上り、敷地を埋め尽くすほどの数だ。建設中のタンクは、浄化された水を1200トン 貯蔵できるタイプで、高さ約12メートル。現場責任者を務める男性作業員(55)は「仕事をきちんと仕上げていくことが復興支援にもつながるはず」と話し た。

 福島第1原発には、事務本館のほか、この近くにある別の建物の「旧事務本館」も周辺の放射線量が高いため、手つかずのままだ。水素爆発による爆風の影響かガラスが割れたままで、水素爆発のすさまじさを物語っていた。

 3号機近くの建物の外壁には、がれきが飛散してぶつかったとみられる無数のくぼみが残り、ここにも水素爆発の爪痕があった。放射線量は毎時180マイクロシーベルト。川村氏は「事故直後に比べたらかなり下がったが、それでもまだ高い」と話す。

全文は 福島第1原発 廃炉への道「まだ1合目」

関連記事:福島第1原発放射線量は依然高く 津波や水素爆発の爪痕 via 毎日新聞

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東電幹部を業務上過失致死傷の疑いで起訴へ!原発、大津波事故を予見しつつ対策先送り via Business Journal

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これまでの経緯をおさらいしておく。2012年6月、原発事故被災者らでつくる「福島原発告訴団」が東電幹部らを業務上過失致死傷罪などで検察に告 訴・告発する。しかし、検察は翌年9月に全員を不起訴とした。これを不服とした告訴団の申し立てを受けた検察審査会は14年7月、3人について「起訴相 当」と議決。再捜査した検察は翌年1月に再び不起訴としたが、再度の申し立てを受けた検察審査会が3人に2度目の「起訴相当」の議決をしたため強制起訴と なることが決まった。

起訴されるのは、勝俣元会長と、武藤栄・元副社長(原子力・立地本部長)、武黒一郎・元副社長(同)の3人。罪名は業務上過失致死傷だ。検察審査会の議決は、3人が福島第一原発を 大きく超える津波が襲来して重大事故が発生する可能性のあることを予見できたのに、必要な安全対策を取ることなく運転を続けたため、大震災による津波で炉 心損傷などの事故を起こし、避難を強いられた近くの双葉病院の入院患者44人の病状を悪化させて死亡させるなどした、と認定した。

発足した刑事訴訟支援団は、この事件に対して「公正な裁判が行われ、真実が明らかになり、問われるべき罪がきちんと追及されるよう働きかけるこ と」を目的に掲げている。福島の原発事故には「人災」との指摘があるにもかかわらず、これまで刑事責任が問われてこなかったためだ。

(略)

事故対策を先送り

活動としては、公判の傍聴・記録と社会への発信、証拠の収集・分析などを想定している。賛同する法律家やジャーナリストらのネットワークを形成したり各 地で集会を開催したりして、息長く世論の関心を喚起していく方針だ。年会費1口1000円以上の個人会員も募集している。

続きは 東電幹部を業務上過失致死傷の疑いで起訴へ!原発、大津波事故を予見しつつ対策先送り

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US to drill 5-km-deep borehole in test for radioactive waste storage via Global Construction Review

The US will drill a borehole more than 16,000 feet (4.8km) into rock in North Dakota to test a new method proposed by UK researchers for storing radioactive waste.

Proponents of the method insist it could solve a problem that has vexed governments for years.

Radioactive material will not be poured into the narrow hole. Instead, scientists will study how such a deep wellbore behaves in order to consider the feasibility of the approach.

Scientists at the University of Sheffield, UK, who have been developing the concept of “deep borehole disposal”, say it would be the safest and cheapest way of dealing with the “hottest” – most radioactive – waste.

They claim that all of the UK’s high level nuclear waste from spent fuel reprocessing could be put safely in just six such boreholes on a site no bigger than a football pitch.

Last month the US Department of Energy selected a team to drill a test borehole into a crystalline basement rock formation on a 20-acre patch of state-owned land near Rugby, North Dakota.

[…]

The Sheffield Deep Borehole Disposal Research Group, in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories of the US, is now developing a programme of research for the North Dakota field test. Issues to be investigated include how to prevent groundwater corrosion of the waste packages and how to seal the borehole to prevent radioactive waste escaping.

In North Dakota the drilling team will consist of research organisation Battelle Memorial Institute, the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center, drilling technology giant Schlumberger and Swiss ground engineering firm Solexperts.

Read more at US to drill 5-km-deep borehole in test for radioactive waste storage

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[Audio] Burying Chernobyl – Part One via BBC podcast

Alla Kravchuk, the daughter of a former Chernobyl engineer, returns to her father’s workplace as the huge mobile Sarcophagus built to cover the damaged reactor nears completion.

Listen to the podcast at Burying Chernobyl – Part One

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How is Fukushima’s cleanup going five years after its meltdown? Not so well via The Washington Post

[…]

The scene is a testament to the chaos that was unleashed when the tsunami engulfed these buildings, triggering the world’s worst nuclear disaster since the one at Chernobyl, in Ukraine, in 1986. Almost 16,000 people were killed along Japan’s northeastern coast in the tsunami, and 160,000 more lost their homes and livelihoods.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), the utility company that runs the Fukushima plant and drew fierce criticism for its handling of the disaster, says the situation has improved greatly.

[…]

Efforts to contain the contamination have progressed, according to Tepco, including the completion Tuesday of a subterranean “ice wall” around the plant that, once operational, is meant to freeze the ground and stop leakage. Moves to decommission the plant — a process that could take 30 or 40 years, Ono estimated — are getting underway.

People will be allowed to return to their homes in the nearby town of Naraha next month and to Tomioka, even closer to the plant, next year. For now, Tomioka and neighboring Okuma remain ghost towns, lined with convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and gambling parlors that haven’t had a customer in five years. Bicycles lean near front doors, and flowerpots sit empty on windowsills.

A sign on the road to the plant showed a radiation reading of 3.37 microsieverts per hour, at the upper end of safe. At a viewing spot overlooking the reactor buildings, it shot past 200, a level at which prolonged exposure could be dangerous. Both readings are hundreds of times lower than they were a couple of years ago.

After about 20 minutes at the viewing spot, a Tepco official bustled visiting reporters, wearing protective suits, onto a bus. “We don’t want you out here too long,” he said. Below, men continued working on the site.

But one huge question remains: What is to be done with all the radioactive material?

There’s the groundwater that is flowing into the reactor buildings, where it becomes contaminated. It has been treated — Tepco says it can remove 62 nuclides from the water, including strontium, which can burrow into bones and irradiate tissue. It cannot filter out tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that can be used to make nuclear bombs but is not considered especially harmful to humans.

[…]

Then there’s the radioactive soil that has been collected from areas around the Fukushima Daiichi plant during cleanup efforts. More than 700 million cubic feet of soil — enough to fill 8,000 Olympic-size swimming pools — has been packed into large black plastic bags and is being stored, row upon row, in local fields.

More than 700 of the bags, which contain radioactive cesium isotopes, were swept away during floods last year, some ending up in rivers 100 miles away. The government has said that 99.8 percent of the soil can be recycled.

Finally, and most problematically, there’s the nuclear fuel from the plant itself.

Read more at How is Fukushima’s cleanup going five years after its meltdown? Not so well

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福島のヤマメに貧血傾向 放射性物質多いほど via 東京新聞

 東京電力福島第1原発事故で影響を受けた家畜や野生動物をテーマにしたシンポジウムが11日、(略)開かれた。東北大大学院の中嶋正道准教授(水産遺伝育種学)は、福島県内の河川で採取した魚の調査で、筋肉中に含まれる放射性物質の量が多いヤマメに貧血傾向がみられると報告した。

中嶋氏によると、同県浪江町を流れる請戸川など県内の三つの河川で2012年末~14年にヤマメを採取し、血液などを調べた結果、筋肉中のセシウム137の量が多いほど、赤血球1個当たりのヘモグロビン量が減少するなど貧血傾向にあることが確認された。

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Over 70% of Japanese Against Nuclear Power Plants After Fukushima Tragedy via Sputnik

Over 70 percent of the Japanese are in favor of completely or partially abandoning the use of nuclear power plants (NPP) in the country after the Fukushima disaster, a poll revealed Thursday.

TOKYO (Sputnik) — According to Japan’s NHK broadcaster that conducted the survey, 22 percent of respondents want the country to abandon nuclear power plants in the country entirely, while 49 percent partially supported the idea.The poll revealed that only 3 percent of those surveyed think that the Japanese authorities should continue building new NPPs.

[…]

Of those polled by the broadcaster, 22 percent think that there has been no progress in dealing with the consequences of the Fukushima disaster.

The results of the survey are based on the responses of 2,550 people across the country.

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Five years on, Fukushima cleanup still a daunting task via Nikkei Asian Review

TOKYO — Nearly five years after a devastating earthquake and tsunami, the wreckage that litters the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant underscores the massive undertaking of decommissioning the reactors that is expected to take decades.

For this exclusive report, Nikkei was granted special access to the wrecked power station. The Nos. 1, 2 and 3 reactors are visible from a platform to the west. Debris covers the roof of the damaged building housing the No. 3 reactor. The state of the reactor is not fully known as radiation has prevented human access.

While radiation levels have dropped off significantly to between 200 and 300 microsieverts per hour, one cannot stay in the area too long. Removing some 1,500 spent fuel rods from nearby storage pools, starting as early as fiscal 2017, will be a principal task for the near term.

Radiation levels have dropped in many areas, and the roughly 7,000 workers at the plant no longer have to wear full face masks. Hot meals even began to be served last year, providing relief to the over-burdened workers.

[…]

The plant houses about 1,000 tanks holding around 600,000 tons of treated water. Even after a decontaminationprocess, the water still contains radioactive tritium. A way to dispose of the water has yet to be found.

Read more at Five years on, Fukushima cleanup still a daunting task

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