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Hayao Miyazaki Gives 300 Million Yen to Build Kids’ Area in Park via Animenewsnetwork

Anime director and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki donated 300 million yen (around US$2.4 million) to the town of Kumejima, Okinawa for the construction of an “Interaction Center for Children” in the town’s Zenda Forest Park. The project’s supervisor and Miyazaki’s friend Tomohiro Horino expects the project to take around two years to complete.

The facility will include a two-story, 1,000-square-meter building. The town has allotted 10,000 square meters of the Zenda Forest Park for the project. The project will solicit opinions and suggestions for the project from the town’s citizens on a regular basis.

[…]
Miyazaki was also asked by a friend last year to draw a logo for the new facility on Kumejima. The facility is intended for families and children, who were displaced from Fukushima, to be outdoors; due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station leak after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, there are areas in Fukushima that are no longer safe for children to play.

[…]

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Japan in Depth / Japanese robots aren’t much help in disasters via The Japan News

By Tatsuo Nakajima and Sho Funakoshi / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writers
Japanese teams were badly beaten at a recent competition for robots that work at disaster sites people cannot approach, such as the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Immediately after the outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima plant, Japan did not have robots capable of working at sites full of debris. Those mobilized at the nuclear plant were all foreign-made, mainly from the United States.

The results of the international robot competition indicated that Japan still faces significant challenges in developing robots for work at disaster sites, even though more than four years have passed since the crisis began.

The Robotics Challenge Finals 2015 was held early this month on the outskirts of Los Angeles, organized by a research division of the U.S. Defense Department.

Among the 24 participating teams, 12 were from the United States, five from Japan and three from South Korea. The competition was conducted under severe conditions — wireless telecommunication lines to remote-control the robots were intentionally cut off, for example.

The Japanese teams’ robots often fell down or became unable to move. The top-finishing Japanese team, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, came in 10th.

First prize was won by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), a South Korean university, which defeated the powerful U.S. teams.

The KAIST team has participated in the event since its preliminary rounds 1½ years ago and remodeled its robot repeatedly. Its robot cleared all eight tasks without falling down once.

Prof. Oh Jun Ho of KAIST said, “We aimed to make a robot that would not break down, fall down or die.”

Japanese robots come up short in practical capabilities.
[…]

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原発避難者が生の声 彦根で勉強会 via 中日新聞

東京電力福島第一原発事故の避難者を招いた勉強会が27日、彦根市小泉町のひこね燦(さん)ぱれすであった。市民団体「彦根・愛知・犬上 原発のない社会をつくる会」が主催し、近隣市町の市民70人が、避難者の生の声に耳を傾けた。

 原発から二十~三十キロ圏内の福島県南相馬市で被災し、大津市に逃れた青田勝彦さんと、昨年十二月に小学生の子ども三人を連れて仙台市から京都市に移った高橋知美さんの二人が今の心情を話した。

 事故以前から原発反対運動に関わってきた青田さんは、「国と東電が憎い。何も悪いことをしていない住民が、いまだに全国に散っている。帰還者には 支援があるが、避難者には厳しい」と厳しい現状を説明。公の場で初めて話すという高橋さんは、「放射能の受け止め方が人によって違う」と自暴自棄になった 日々や、「子どもを守りたい」と北海道などに自主避難し、離婚を決断せざるを得なかったことなどを振り返った。「自分の身になって分かったこと。想像して もらえたら」と訴えた。

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「東京に原発事故の影響あった」 政府が証明した安倍首相の嘘 via 日刊ゲンダイ

 本当にデタラメな首相だ。福島第1原発の爆発が、東京にも影響を及ぼしていたことが、公の場で初めて確認された。

18日の参院環境委員会で、民主党の桜井充議員の質問に対し、環境省や厚労省、望月義夫環境相が、原発事故の影響が都内にあったことを次々に明言。五輪招致の際、「東京は原発事故の影響なし」と大見えを切った安倍首相が、世界に大ウソをついていたことが証明された形だ。

委員会で、東京都の指定廃棄物(放射性濃度の高い廃棄物)について聞かれた環境省の鎌形浩史・廃棄物リサイクル対策部部長は、「原発の事故に伴って出た放射性物質が、東京都にも飛散し、それによって生じたものがある」と“告白”。

また、11年3月23日に東京都の「金町浄水場」で、乳児向け基準を上回る放射性ヨウ素が検出された件についても、厚労省がその事実を認めた。

(略)

委員会では、望月環境相も「数値を見る限り、東京都にも影響はあったと思う」と発言している。

質問に立った桜井議員はこう言う。

「事実に反して五輪を誘致したことについて、強い憤りを感じています。委員会で確認された事実が広まれば、大問題になり、世界から信用を失うでしょう。結 局、安倍首相は自分の主張を通すためには、平気でウソをつくということなんです。『みなさん、簡単に信じないでください』という警鐘を鳴らす意味で、今 回、改めて質問しました」

全文は「東京に原発事故の影響あった」 政府が証明した安倍首相の嘘

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Army Corps finds more radioactive contamination along Coldwater Creek via St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 6/24/15 after the Corps open house – Area residents packed into a room at the Hazelwood Civic Center last night to find out the bad news about radioactive contamination in North St. Louis County.

At the open house, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed it has found radioactive contamination at three new sites along Coldwater Creek.

They are in St. Cin Park in Hazelwood, Duchesne Park in Florissant, and a property of the St. Louis Archdiocese behind St. Ferdinand cemetery, also in Hazelwood. All the contaminated areas are subject to flooding from the creek.

[…]

Terry said he wants Congress to provide the St. Louis Corps with more funding. “I think the more they get, the more they’ll be able to do,” Terry said. “And I also think there needs to be a bigger sense of urgency, because people are dying.”

Like Terry, Michelle Seeger grew up in Florissant near Coldwater Creek. She has stage four cancer.

Seeger called Wednesday evening’s open house a waste of time. “It’s just go to the next booth Michelle, I can’t answer that question Michelle, we’ll let you know Michelle, we’re testing Michelle,” Seeger said. “We found stuff but it doesn’t hurt people. I’m just frustrated.”

Seeger said the Corps needs to do more to educate the public about the risks of radioactive waste — and move faster to clean it up.

“It’s too late for me. I have cancer. It’s incurable,” Seeger said.

But she said she hopes it’s not too late for children growing up near Coldwater Creek now.

[…]

The Army finally responded seven months later. In that response letter, Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy did not commit to any additional funding. Instead she urged Missouri’s DNR to share its concerns with the Army Corps’ St. Louis District team, which is responsible for the Coldwater Creek clean-up.

Meanwhile, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health has started preliminary work on a study of cancer cases among current and former residents of the neighborhoods along the creek. According to Faisal Khan, the department’s director, his staff will start recruiting study participants by early December.

Wednesday’s open house with the Army Corps will run from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Hazelwood Civic Center at 8969 Dunn Road.

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福島、汚染砂利の袋も破損 楢葉町の仮置き場 via 47 News

東京電力福島第1原発事故に伴う除染で出た汚染廃棄物を入れた袋の破損が相次いでいる問題で、全町避難が続く福島県楢葉町でも、JR常磐線の線路に使われていた汚染砂利や土砂を保管する袋が仮置き場で破損し、一部で中身が漏れ出していることが26日、分かった。

(略)

町などによると、砂利の放射性セシウム濃度は1キログラム当たり最大3千ベクレル程度で、指定廃棄物には当たらないという。

全文は福島、汚染砂利の袋も破損 楢葉町の仮置き場

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Germany’s next nuclear plant closes for good via Energy Transition

And then there were eight… This weekend, the Grafenrheinfeld nuclear plant in northern Bavaria will shut down permanently. It is the first nuclear plant to close since 2011.

[…]

After 33 years in operation, the nuclear reactor at Grafenrheinfeld – the oldest one in operation in Germany – will ramp down one final time this Saturday, June 27. With more than half of its fleet now being dismantled, Germany is developing expertise in a lucrative future market: safely tearing down and decommissioning nuclear plants. Europe faces a massive nuclear phase-out with or without an official declaration; the Europeans may only have a few nuclear plants in operation by the 2030s.

Up to now, Germany has only completely dismantled three small nuclear reactors. In Bavaria, the Niederaichbach plant was switched off in 1974 after 18 months (not years) of power production. In 1995, it became the first nuclear reactor in Europe to be completely disposed of. With a rated capacity of 106 MW, it was quite small, however. And the cost of dismantlement (280 million deutsche marks) exceeded construction costs (230 million marks). As the example of another reactor in Stade shows (closed in 2003 after 31 years of operation), the cost ratio between construction and dismantlement has not improved. Stade cost 150 million euros to build. Dismantlement should have already been finished at a cost of 500 million, but the latest estimate is 1 billion euros (report in German).

[…]

Incidentally, Grafenrheinfeld is known to practically everyone in Germany from a famous novel entitled Die Wolke. Written in the wake of the Chernobyl accident, the book describes what a similar meltdown would look like in Germany based on the location of Grafenrheinfeld. The novel became standard reading at German schools. A reported 1.4 million copies have been sold in Germany alone (it was translated into 16 other languages as well – report in German). The closing of Grafenrheinfeld will thus be seen within Germany as a symbolic act. The novel did not have a happy ending. Hopefully, the real power plant will.

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水俣病患者ら講師、原発事故と鉱毒も検証 宇大で28日に市民講座 via 下野新聞

水俣病患者や支援者を講師として招き、公害の背景などを問い直す市民講座「水俣から照らす-原発災害と足尾銅山鉱毒事件」が28日午前10時から、 宇都宮大峰キャンパスで開かれる。同大多文化公共圏センターが主催。2013年の勉強会に続く講座では、福島第1原発事故の影響からの支援を訴える人も新 たに講師に加わる。

13年の勉強会は宇都宮大などが佐野市出身の田中正造(たなかしょうぞう)の没後100年の節目に合わせ、鉱毒事件、水俣病、原発事故の教訓を考察。国や企業が推進した経済活動に伴い、市民生活が犠牲になる構図に類似性がある、と指摘した。

(略)

午後0時半まで。無料。予約不要。(問)同センター028・649・5228

全文は 水俣病患者ら講師、原発事故と鉱毒も検証 宇大で28日に市民講座

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海外11カ国の科学記者、福島第一原発を視察 via 朝日新聞

欧州など海外11カ国の科学記者14人が今月、日本科学技術ジャーナリスト会議の招きで東京電力福島第一原発を視察した。事故から約4年たっても廃炉は進まず、多くの住民が避難を続ける原発事故の深刻さに理解を深めた。視察は朝日新聞などが協賛した。

原発構内に入ったのは今月12日。事故対策の拠点となった「免震重要棟」の内部を見た後、防護服に着替え、水素爆発で崩壊した1号機などの建屋に数十メートルの距離まで近づいた。放射線量は最大で毎時290マイクロシーベルト。同行した東電社員は15分ほどで退避を促した。記者たちは「溶け落ちた燃料の取り出しはいつからか」「避難した住民への補償額はいくらか」などと質問していた。

続きは海外11カ国の科学記者、福島第一原発を視察

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Energy Department guarantees $1.8B in loans for GA nuclear plant via The Hill

The Department of Energy (DOE) will guarantee $1.8 billion in loans for the operators of two new nuclear reactors under construction at a power plant in Georgia, the department announced on Wednesday.

The government had previously provided $6.5 billion in loan guarantees for the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant project, the country’s first new nuclear facility to be licensed and begin construction in more than 30 years. Wednesday’s step, officials said, will allow the project to be fully-financed.
[…]
Construction at the Vogtle plant has been plagued by delays, and the Associated Press reported Wednesday that cost overruns have threatened the $2.7 billion in savings project executives have said they would secure since state regulators approved construction in 2009. Operators expect to spend at least $7.5 billion on the project.

The Vogtle project is one of three new nuclear power facilities under construction in the U.S. today. One of the plant’s two new reactors is scheduled to go online in 2019.

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