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Injured Fukushima cleanup worker sues contractor in place of bankrupt former employer via The Mainichi

A 49-year-old man injured while decontaminating the area around the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant decided to file a lawsuit in Yokohama against a construction company in Ehime Prefecture that contracted the Tokyo-based company which hired him, as his original employer went bankrupt.

In an attempt to meet the demand for decontamination workers, many small companies joined recovery efforts in Fukushima Prefecture, only to withdraw after a short time, causing trouble for those who were injured on the job. The man filing the lawsuit is one such case complicated by the situation as he was forced to file his lawsuit not against the company that hired him, but the one that had contracted that company.

The man is requesting compensation for lost earnings and mental suffering after an accident in December 2014, when part of an iron truck bed fell and broke his right foot while he was working on decontamination efforts in the town of Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, according to his legal representative.

After the accident occurred, the secondary company which had hired him filed an application for worker’s injury compensation to a local labor standards inspection office, which falsely claimed that the accident happened in a warehouse far from the actual site of the incident. The Tomioka Labor Standards Inspection Office in Fukushima Prefecture sent the report to prosecutors in 2016 under suspicious that the company and the onsite supervisor violated the Industrial Safety and Health Act. The Iwaki Summary Court in the prefecture ordered the company to pay 100,000 yen in fines. The construction firm is suspected of filing the false report out of fear that the accident at the decontamination work site would discourage major construction companies from commissioning work from the firm.

The injured man tried to file for compensation from the company directly over the accident and for the difficulty in finding work afterwards due to aftereffects of the injuries, as well as the psychological strain the filing of the false report caused him. However, the company that had contracted the man filed for bankruptcy in June 2015. With no company to file his case against, the man decided to level his lawsuit requesting roughly 18 million yen in compensation against the Ehime construction company instead, claiming that because the contractor company had also supervised the workers, it was also responsible for their safety. The company refused to comment in response to an inquiry by the Mainichi Shimbun as the case is still in litigation.

 

[…]

 

 

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福島県で急速に増え始めた小児甲状腺がん via JBPress

「臭い物に蓋」をしては後で大問題に、チェルノブイリの経験生かせ

想定外の多さ

福島県の県民健康調査検討委員会のデータによると、「甲状腺がんまたはその疑い」の子供が183人。そのうち145人にがんの確定診断が下っている。

確定診断はないが、がんの疑いで手術や検査を待っている子が、さらに38人いると解釈できる。さらに3巡目の検診が行われている。

まだまだ増えるということだ。

これは異常な数なのか。甲状腺の専門医たちもおそらく想定外だったと思う。国立がんセンターによると、2010年の福島の小児甲状腺がんは2人と試算している。

1巡目の検査は、2011~2013年にかけて、2巡目は2014~2015年にかけて行われた。現在は3巡目。

数年で「正常」が「甲状腺がん」になるか

大事なポイントはここ。2巡目の検査で「甲状腺がんまたは疑い」とされた子供は68人の中に、1巡目の検査で「A判定」とされた子供62人が含まれているということだ。

62人のうち31人は、「A1」で結節やのう胞を全く認めなかった。全くの正常と言っていい。「A2」は、結節5.0㎜以下、甲状腺のう胞 20.0㎜以下のごく小さな良性のものである。

甲状腺がんの発育は一般的にはゆっくりである。これが1~3年くらいの短期間に、甲状腺がんになったことは、どうしても府に落ちない。

被曝ノイローゼと言われた時があった

チェルノブイリへ1991年から医師団を102回送って支援してきた。ベラルーシ共和国の小児甲状腺がんの患者数は、1987~89年では毎年1~2人だったのに、90年は17人、そして91年以降激増していくのである。

ベラルーシを中心に、ウクライナ、ロシアなどで6000人の甲状腺がんが発生した。

皆が「何かおかしい」と思い始めた当時、WHO(国際保健機関)は、「チェルノブイリ原発のメルトダウンの直接的な健康被害はない。多くは、被曝ノイローゼだ」と言っていた。

1990年代前半、ベラルーシの甲状腺がんの第一人者、ミンスク大学の故エフゲニー・デミチク教授が、放射線ヨウ素I-131が飛散し、それが子供の甲状腺がんを増やしているという論文を、国際的総合科学ジャーナル「NATURE」に発表した。

デミチク教授の息子ユーリーも、甲状腺外科医を目指していた。父親の教授から「息子を日本で勉強させてほしい」と頼まれた。

(略)

甲状腺外科学の第一人者のユーリーはどう思うかと聞いた。

「日本のスクリーニングは精度が高い。検診をしたために見つかった可能性が高い。スクリーニング効果の可能性がある」と言うのだ。

「ただし…」とユーリー・デミチクは言い出した。

「2巡目の検査で、がんが16人見つかっていることは気にかかる。今後さらに、がんやがんの疑いのある子供が増えてくれば、スクリーニング効果とは言い切れなくなる」

2巡目の検査で、ついに甲状腺がんが増加して44人となった。ユーリーが心配していたことが起きている。

ユーリーは「もう1つ忘れないでほしい」と言った。「ベラルーシ共和国では、放射線汚染の低いところでも甲状腺がんが見つかっている。福島県がI-131の汚染量が低いからと言って、安心しない方がいい」と言うのだ。

子供の甲状腺がんは転移が多い

もう1回確認をとった。「甲状腺がん検診で見つかったがんについて、日本では、見つけなくていいがんを見つけたという意見もあるが、どう思うか」と聞いた。

「子供の甲状腺がんは、リンパ節転移する確率が高いのが特徴。ベラルーシ共和国で手術せず様子を見た例と、手術をした例とでは、子供の寿命は格段に違った。手術すれば、ほとんどの場合、高齢者になるまで健康に生きることができる」

「見つけなくていいがんを見つけた、なんて言ってはいけない。見つけたがんは必ず手術した方がいい。数年経過を見たこともある。すると、次にする手術は大きな手術になった」

(略)

このユーリーの言葉と、重なる意見を言っている日本の専門家がいる。福島県立医大の教授、鈴木眞一氏。

県立医大で行った手術の72人の子供に、リンパ節転移があった。加えて、甲状腺外浸潤や遠隔転移を入れると、子供の甲状腺がんの92%が、浸潤や転移していたというのだ。

鈴木教授も、ユーリーと同じ考えだ。検診をやり、早期発見するようにし、見つけたらできるだけ手術をすること。これが大事な点だ。

「放射線の影響は考えにくい」と言い切れるか

北海道新聞によると、日本甲状腺外科学会 前理事長の清水和夫氏は、1巡目の検査で、せいぜい数mmのしこりしかなかった子供に、2年後に3cmを超すようながんが見つかっていることを挙げ、「放射線の影響とは考えにくいとは言い切れない」と言っている。

これもユーリー・デミチクと同じ考えである。彼は、甲状腺検査評価部会長を辞任した。こういう「空気」に負けない科学者がいることは心強い。

(略)

きちんとしたデータも取らずに、福島県の県民健康調査検討委員会は「放射線の影響は考えにくい」と総括している。

チェルノブイリ原発事故と比べると、I-131の放出量が少なかった。チェルノブイリでは、小さな子供たちにがんがみつかったが、福島県では小さな子供にがんが多くはない。これが理由だ。

検診を縮小しないで

そんな状況の中で、検診を縮小しようとか、希望者だけにしようという動きも、昨年秋に見られた。これはとてもまずい。できるだけ検診をしっかり続け、早期発見・早期治療をし、子供たちの命を救うことが大切だ。

原発事故と関係があったかどうかは、チェルノブイリでも事故から7~8年かけて因果関係が証明されていったことを考えると、臭いものに蓋をするようなことはよくないと思う。

(略)

「がん」になった子供の心を支えよう

因果関係が明白になるまで、できるだけ長く検診を続け、見つかった子供の治療に最善を尽くし、長く医療費の保証をしてあげることが大事だ。同時に、子供たちの心を支えていくこと。原発を国策として進めてきた責任があるように思う。

甲状腺がん家族の会ができていると聞いた。要望があれば応援をしてあげたいと思っている。

全文は福島県で急速に増え始めた小児甲状腺がん

甲状腺がん家族の会については、当サイト既出関連記事参照:

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Lobby groups file challenge to France’s Flamanville nuclear reactor via Reuters

A group of activists has filed a legal challenge with the French prime minister’s office against the extension of EDF’s license for construction of the Flamanville nuclear reactor in northern France.

The move by Greenpeace and other anti-nuclear groups is in response to safety concerns over the Flamanville reactor and is a precursor to elevation of their challenge to the State Council, the country’s highest administrative court.

The lobby groups said in a statement that the license, issued in 2007 and renewed this year, should not have been granted because EDF and reactor supplier Areva were aware of technical shortcomings at Areva’s Creusot Forge nuclear foundry since 2005.

[…]

One member of the group, l’Observatoire du Nucléaire, said in a separate statement that the ASN had committed a major error in December 2013 by allowing EDF to install the reactor containment vessel in the reactor building despite being aware of the problems.

It said that today the vessel could only be extracted by destroying part of the reactor.

“This is an unacceptable option for EDF, which is putting maximum pressure on the ASN to force it to validate the use of this faulty vessel,” l’Observatoire du Nucléaire said.

[…]

The regulator has repeatedly delayed its ruling on Flamanville since the end of 2015 and last month said a decision would be made by Sept. 21 at the latest.

EDF’s planned takeover of Areva’s reactor unit Areva NP — part of a government-led rescue of virtually bankrupt Areva — is conditional on the ASN’s green light for Flamanville.

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Three Mile Island, like much of nuclear industry, is on the brink via Pennlive

Nuclear power, which generates more than a third of Pennsylvania’s electricity, could soon disappear from the state amid a glut of cheap natural gas from the Marcellus Shale play.

And the first of state’s five plants to fall could be Three Mile Island, which could close as soon as 2019.

[…]

For two years in a row, TMI failed to clear PJM’s capacity auction, meaning that it was not able to sell guaranteed power in 2019 and 2020. There are other ways for TMI to sell its electricity but the auction failure meant it was blocked from guaranteed capacity payments that are highly sought after by suppliers. Dominguez said the facility has lost tens of millions of dollars per year for seven years.

And nuclear power was dealt another blow by President Donald Trump’s reversal of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which incentivized zero-carbon energy sources.

Dominguez said the results of this year’s capacity auction in May will weigh heavily on Exelon’s decision about whether to continue operating TMI. It expects to make a decision by Sept. 1, the federal deadline for energy suppliers to withdraw from the next year’s auction.

[…]

In Illinois, Exelon announced the closure of two of its nuclear power plants but reversed the decision when the governor signed off on a $235 million subsidy rewarding Exelon’s carbon-free nuclear reactors there. Competitors have since filed lawsuits to block the measure.

Exelon isn’t the only nuclear energy company to consider closing plants in Pennsylvania. FirstEnergy Corp. announced that it would close or sell the Beaver Valley nuclear power station near Pittsburgh within the next year. PSEG, which owns half of Peach Bottom station in York County alongside Exelon, also said it wouldn’t operate nuclear plants that aren’t profitable. It has pressed New Jersey for similar subsidies to continue operating its nuclear plants there.

[…]

“Here’s what the U.S. government must do to bring about a gradual phase-out of almost all U.S. nuclear power plants: absolutely nothing,” former Nuclear Regualtory Commission member Peter Bradford wrote in 2013. He cited the “abundance of natural gas, lower energy demand induced by the 2008 recession, increased energy-efficiency measures, nuclear’s rising cost estimates and the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station” in Japan.

From the 1970s, nuclear energy was seen as a panacea for the country’s energy woes. It was billed as a relatively clean way to generate electricity without relying on foreign imports of fossil fuels. Even with the growth of other renewable energy sources like wind and solar, nuclear has remained a major electricity generator.

[…]

Retiring the plant earlier could mean that TMI’s decommission trust fund hadn’t fully appreciated. According to Exelon’s SEC filing, that could require the company to put up a $60 million guarantee. Another $145 million may have to be paid to manage spent fuel and restore the site if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission doesn’t allow the company to tap into the fund for those costs.

There is, of course, the question of the radioactive materials.

Although the Trump administration may seek to reopen the issue, TMI would not currently have any place to permanently discard its materials. Under federal regulations, the plant has 60 years to restore the site after its closure.

“For every plant in the nation, it’s a long tail and it’s designed to be,” Dominguez said. “Hopefully, a permanent storage site for waste is resolved within the 60-year period. As of right now, there is nothing but on-site storage.”

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ウラン濃縮工場 新規制基準の審査に事実上合格 via NHK News Web

青森県にある核燃料の製造に必要なウラン濃縮工場について、原子力規制委員会は、事業者が示した地震や火災による事故への対策などが妥当だとして、新しい規制基準の審査に事実上合格したことを意味する審査書の案を取りまとめました。

ウラン濃縮工場は、原発で使う核燃料の製造に必要な濃縮という作業を行う国内で唯一の商業施設で、現在も運転中ですが、原発事故のあと、新しい規制基準が作られ、事業者の日本原燃は3年前から原子力規制委員会の審査を受けてきました。

19日の規制委員会では、日本原燃の示した安全対策が妥当だとして、審査に事実上合格したことを意味する審査書の案を全会一致で取りまとめました。

この中では、液体のウラン化合物を取り扱う設備が地震などで壊れた場合、放射性物質の拡散を防ぐため、この設備や周辺の配管に防護カバーを新設する対策や、火災が起きた際、遠隔で操作できる消火設備を設ける対策が示されています。

日本原燃では、業務をチェックする品質管理の担当部署が改善を求められた際、必要な評価をせずに「対策は完了した」と事実と異なる報告をしていたことが問題になったため、社長をトップとする監視機関を設ける対策も行うとしています。

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原発5基の廃炉計画を認可 via FNN

5基の原発の廃炉計画を、原子力規制委員会が認可した。

認可されたのは、5基の原発の廃炉計画で、福井県にある敦賀原発1号機は2039年度に、佐賀県にある玄海原発1号機は2043年度に、また、島根県にある島根原発1号機と、福井県にある美浜原発1号機、2号機は2045年度に、それぞれ廃炉を完了する予定。

福島第1原発事故を受けて、原発では重大事故対策などが義務づけられたが、今回の5基については、事業者が採算などを理由に運転延長を申請せず、廃炉を決めていた。

規制委員会が発足してから、原発の廃炉計画を認可するのは初めて。

続きは原発5基の廃炉計画を認可

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The U.S. Is Building a Nuclear Bomb That’s More Accurate Than Ever via Newsweek

The U.S. has built a better, smarter nuclear bomb capable of replacing all four of its predecessors and, as of last month, it’s ready to fly.

The U.S. Air Force said Thursday it conducted an inert test in March of an upgraded version of one of its primary nuclear gravity bombs, the B61, in an effort to refurbish the nuclear arsenal of the nation with the second-largest nuclear weapons stockpile in the world. The long-awaited upgrade comes amid a new effort by President Donald Trump to conduct a massive review of the nation’s nuclear capabilities.

An F-16 dropped the non-nuclear B61-12 over the Nellis Test and Training Range Complex in Nevada, assessing functions such as the weapon’s fire control system, radar altimeter, spin rocket motors and weapons control computer. The B61-12 was set to replace four current models—the B61-3, -4, -7, and -10, according to the Aviationist. The initiative, which hoped to see the weapon in production by 2020, was part of the nuclear life-extension program overseen by the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center in conjunction with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

[…]

That same 2014 report said that the $10.4 billion life-extension program and the $1.4 billion tail kit assembly of 500 B61-12 weapons made this the most expensive bomb project ever. Additional hundreds of millions would reportedly be spent integrating the weapons to fit aircraft and maintain stockpiles in Europe. Costs would be saved, however, by consolidating the capabilities of four previous B61 models into one weapon and retiring the B61-11, called the “bunker buster” for its nuclear earth-penetrating ability.

[…]

Modernizing the U.S.’s entire nuclear arsenal would cost $400 billion by 2026, according to a figure released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office. Some military officials have reportedly suggested abandoning nuclear projects such as the Long-Range Standoff nuclear cruise missile (LRSO) in favor of optimized conventional strike options.

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Warren, Markey critical of NRC exemption for Pilgrim plant via The Daily News of Newburyport

BOSTON – Federal regulators on Monday ruled in a decision blasted by the state’s two U.S. senators that the owners of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station will not have to re-evaluate the risks of earthquakes and floods to the Plymouth nuclear plant or upgrade the vent system intended to prevent explosions in accident scenarios.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Monday granted an extension for Entergy, the company that owns and operates Pilgrim, to comply with regulations for the plant’s “reliable hardened containment vents capable of operation under severe accident conditions.”

The NRC also waived Entergy’s obligation to further study the risks of floods or earthquakes because it said that by the time the study could be finished and implemented, the nuclear plant will be closed.

Pilgrim is scheduled to shut down for good by May 31, 2019, but, citing the plant’s safety record and low rating by the NRC, critics of the plant have been repeatedly calling for it to close immediately.

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey blasted the NRC’s decisions Monday, arguing that allowing Pilgrim to avoid heightened safety measures “represents an abdication of (the NRC’s) role as a safety regulator.”

The “decision by the NRC undermines the safety of Massachusetts communities living in the shadow of Pilgrim,” Markey said in a statement. “When Entergy announced its intention to cease operations at Pilgrim, the NRC promised that it would hold Entergy responsible for running the plant as safely as possible until that time. By providing exemptions from requirements meant to address the risk of terrorist attacks or severe accidents such as natural disasters, the NRC has broken its promise.”

The hardened containment vent system, or HCVS. is intended to “avoid an overpressure condition involving the reactor containment building that could lead to a failure of that containment” and could result in a nuclear accident similar to the 2011 meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan.

[…]

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, displeased with the ruling, said the NRC “continues to ignore the concerned voices of Massachusetts communities” in making its decisions.

“Pilgrim may be shutting down in 2019, but that date should have no bearing on Entergy’s – and the NRC’s – responsibility to ensure safe plant operations, each and every day,” Warren said in a statement. “The risks are too high to allow Entergy to stumble forward for the next two years and disregard investment in critical safety upgrades.”

[…]

 

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柏崎刈羽原発 活断層? 13万年前以降に活動、新潟大名誉教授ら発表 再稼働に影響も /新潟 via 毎日新聞

 県内の地質学者などで構成する「柏崎刈羽原発活断層問題研究会」(大野隆一郎代表)は17日、東京電力柏崎刈羽原発敷地内にある複数の断層について、約13万年前以降に活動した「活断層」の可能性があると発表した。東電は「活断層はないというこれまでの評価は変わらない」としているが、原子力規制委員会の新規制基準では12万から13万年前以降に活動した可能性のある断層は活断層と評価されるだけに、事態の推移によっては原発再稼働の判断に影響を与える可能性が出てきた。

[…]

東電は、安田層に含まれる火山灰層「刈羽テフラ」の組成が青森・下北半島沖で報告されている20万から23万年前の火山灰と似ていることなどを根拠に、テフラ周辺の安田層の堆積(たいせき)時期を20万から三十数万年前と評価。テフラの上にある安田層と分ける形で「古安田層」と新たに名付け、23本の断層は古安田層内で生じたものだとした。規制委も同原発6、7号機の審査過程で東電の主張を「おおむね妥当」と認めている。

 一方、研究会は、刈羽テフラは柏崎市藤橋に分布する火山灰「藤橋40」と組成成分が「完全に一致」していることに着目。東電もこの一致点は認めているが、研究会は、藤橋40は12万から13万年前の地層に挟まれていることから、刈羽テフラは古くても13万年前の火山灰層であると結論づけ、20万から23万年前とする東電の推定を「科学的推定とは言えない」と評価した。敷地内の断層は活断層である可能性があるとして、東電に「調査・解析結果の全面的な見直し」を求めるという。

 研究会のメンバーで県技術委員会の委員も務める立石雅昭・新潟大名誉教授(地質学)は「東電の主張は従来の地質学・地形学で広く認められてきた科学的推論とは異なる」と話している。

[…]

 

 

もっと読む。

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Downwinders get mixed support via Messenger Index

Since the summer of 2004, the Messenger Index has championed the voice of downwinders — those who were hit with atomic fallout during above-ground tests in the 1950s and ‘60s. Compensation established for some victims specifically excluded the hardest hit counties from any sort of recognition.

Nearly 13 years later, the cause continues at the national level through attempts to amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990. This acknowledged those living in a handful of counties in Utah, Arizona and Nevada. Those receiving much lower doses fallout of cancer-causing Iodine-131.

[…]

“For all the people who are sick and dying and who have died, I feel like they’ve been let down by our government,” Henderson said.

In January, both of Idaho’s Senators introduced the latest legislation S.197, the seventh version of RECA amendments. This expands the geographic area and would include all Idahoans who have developed cancers from the fallout.

A few weeks later, Guam, also impacted by nuclear tests, sent a resolution of support for the Senate amendment.

On April 6, a companion House bill, H.R. 2049, was introduced listing 25 sponsors in the House. Labrador and Simpson are not among the sponsoring Representatives who come from Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington, as well as Guam.

[…]

If you would like to help “push” the amendment out of committee Henderson asks you to write a short letter. While most people are inclined to write lengthly memories about those who’ve passed on or their own personal battles with cancer, these often aren’t read. A simple letter usually works better. Something that says, “We need this to pass. It’s been far too long,” she said.

In her years of letter-writing campaigns, Henderson has also discovered form letters don’t carry as much weight as a personal letter either.

Write your letter to Honorable Senator Chuck Grassley, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 224 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510-6050.

Read more at Downwinders get mixed support

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