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あれから五年 福島からの避難者は今 (英語字幕つき) via レイバーネット

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BBC Wrong on Fukushima, Again via Goddard’s Journal

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「原発の再稼働あり得ない」 京大実験所定年、今中さん /和歌山 via 毎日新聞

京都大学原子炉実験所(大阪府熊取町)を先月定年退職した今中哲二さん(65)の講演会が29日、和歌山市西汀丁の市勤労 者総合センターであった。今月26日で事故後30年を迎えた旧ソ連・チェルノブイリ原発事故研究の第一人者で、長年、原発の危険性を指摘してきた今中さん は「地震が多い日本でこんなに原発を作ったのが間違い。原発の再稼働はあり得ない」と訴えた。

 (略)

 現在、同研究所の研究員を務める今中さんは講演で、東京電力福島第1原発事故によって「日本も放射能汚染と向き合う時代になった」と説明。東京を含む汚 染地域で暮らすことは、「余計な被ばくはしない方がいいが、ある程度の被ばくは避けられないという(相反する)ことに、どう折り合いを付けるかだ」と話し た。

 また、子どもたちの放射線被ばくの影響について適切な調査がされていないとして、国の責任で健康追跡調査を実施すべきだと訴えた。

全文は「原発の再稼働あり得ない」 京大実験所定年、今中さん /和歌山

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11 Hanford workers sick Thurs. from vapors via KING5

Hanford tank farm workers performing routine tasks at the vast nuclear waste site reported getting sick after breathing chemical vapors on Thursday.

The toxic gases most likely escaped from pipes used to move nuclear waste from one area of Hanford to another. Transferring waste always increases the chance of employee exposure to vapors because of the complexity of moving highly radioactive, chemically contaminated nuclear byproducts from aging storage tanks.

Starting around noon, two employees reported a metallic taste in their mouths after removing their personal safety gear. They sought medical attention and the area they were working in, the AP tank farm, was evacuated.

Two hours later two more workers experienced nausea and a dry throat after being exposed to vapors above a line used to transfer waste between the AX and AP tank farms. The area they were working in was evacuated and road blocks were set up as extra precautions. These workers were sent to the onsite medical clinic as well.

Then between 3 pm and 4 pm seven additional workers near a changing trailer outside the AX farm requested medical attention after smelling the strong odor of ammonia.

After the exposures, some employees complained that full respiratory protection wasn’t mandated after the first two workers reported problems mid-day. They also objected to a decision to continue pumping and transferring waste.

[…]

Thursday’s vapor exposures are the latest in a series of problematic events at the nuclear site in the last two weeks. On Tuesday, KING 5 broke the story that signs have emerged that a second double-shell tank, AY-101, is beginning to leak.

And last week the KING 5 Investigators found that the leak in AY-102 has greatly expanded since the pumping operation began.

The liquid nuclear waste held in underground tanks is the result of four decades of plutonium production at Hanford for the country’s weapons defense program. Plutonium produced at the site fueled the bomb dropped on Nagasaki in World War II. Production continued through the Cold War to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Since 1989, the only work at Hanford has been related to cleaning up the waste left behind. The most dangerous byproducts are contained in the 56 million gallons of liquid waste housed in the aging underground tanks.

Read more at 11 Hanford workers sick Thurs. from vapors

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Russia’s nuclear nightmare flows down radioactive river via AP

MUSLYUMOVO, Russia (AP) — At first glance, Gilani Dambaev looks like a healthy 60-year-old man and the river flowing past his rural family home appears pristine. But Dambaev is riddled with diseases that his doctors link to a lifetime’s exposure to excessive radiation, and the Geiger counter beeps loudly as a reporter strolls down to the muddy riverbank.

Some 50 kilometers (30 miles) upstream from Dambaev’s crumbling village lies Mayak, a nuclear complex that has been responsible for at least two of the country’s biggest radioactive accidents. Worse, environmentalists say, is the facility’s decades-old record of using the Arctic-bound waters of the Techa River to dump waste from reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, hundreds of tons of which is imported annually from neighboring nations.

The results can be felt in every aching household along the Techa, where doctors record rates of chromosomal abnormalities, birth defects and cancers vastly higher than the Russian average — and citizens such as Dambaev are left to rue the government’s failure over four decades to admit the danger.

[…]

Thousands already have been resettled by Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corp. to new homes two kilometers (a mile) inland from the river, leaving Dambaev’s village of Muslyumovo in a state of steady decay as shops close and abandoned homes are bulldozed. The evacuations began in 2008, two decades after Russia started to admit disasters past and present stretching from Mayak’s earliest days in the late 1940s as the maker of plutonium for the first Soviet atomic bombs.

The question, 30 years after the former Soviet Union’s greatest nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, is whether Mayak is truly cleaning up its act or remains primed to inflict more invisible damage on Russians. Nuclear regulators say waste no longer reaches the river following the last confirmed dumping scandal in 2004, but anti-nuclear activists say it’s impossible to tell given the level of state secrecy.

Vladimir Slivyak, an activist for the Russian environmentalist group EcoDefense, has visited villages downstream from Mayak many times to help document the poor health of locals in the area, 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) east of Moscow near Russia’s border with Kazakhstan.

[…]

But when the AP took a Geiger counter to the riverbank outside Dambaev’s home, the meter reading surged at the water line and the machine began beeping loudly and continuously. Measurements ranged from 8.5 to 9.8 microsieverts — 80 to 100 times the level of naturally occurring background radiation. A typical chest X-ray involves a burst of about 100 microsieverts.

Nuclear Safety Institute member Leonid Bolshov bills these levels as safe, saying: “The level of pollution in the water today is incomparably less to what it used to be.”

What it used to be is pretty bad. Environmentalists estimate that Mayak tossed 76 million cubic meters (2.68 billion cubic feet) of untreated waste — enough to fill more than 30,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools — into the river from 1948 to the mid-1950s as nuclear scientists scrambled to catch up to the U.S. nuclear program.

[…]

A study by Greenpeace in 2007, citing hospital records and door-to-door surveys of Muslyumovo residents, reported cancer rates 3.6 times higher than the Russian national average. Russian scientists have reported residents suffer 25 times more genetic defects than the general population.

A decades-long Radiation Research Society study of people living near the Techa River conducted jointly by Russian and American scientists has linked radiation particularly to higher rates of cancer of the uterus and esophagus. In their latest 2015 report, the scientists analyzed 17,435 residents born before 1956, among them 1,933 with cancer. They found that the vast majority of residents had accumulated heightened deposits of strontium-90 in their bones and such “radiation exposure has increased the risks for most solid cancers.”

Such figures come as no surprise to one of Muslyumovo’s longest-serving doctors, Gulfarida Galimova, a gynecologist and family general practitioner who started work in the village’s hospital in 1981. Galimova says she was immediately struck by the exceptional volume of pediatric emergencies involving miscarriages, early and still births, and newborns with malformed limbs and other defects.

Read more at Russia’s nuclear nightmare flows down radioactive river 

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ベルギー ほぼ全土でヨウ素剤配布へ 原発事故に備え via NHK News Web

(抜粋)

ベルギーのデブロック保健相は28日、公共放送のインタビューに対し、国内2か所にある原発から100キロ圏内の住民に対し、重大な事故が起きた場合に備えて甲状腺の被ばくを防ぐ効果があるヨウ素剤をあらかじめ配布する方針を示しました。

ベルギー政府は、これまで原発から20キロ圏内の住民にヨウ素剤を配布していますが、新たに示された方針が実施されれば国内のほぼ全域の住民が対象になります。

ベルギーには、北部のドゥル原発と南部のティアンジュ原発があり、いずれも人口が密集する市街地に近く、首都ブリュッセルからも100キロ以内に位置しています。

こ れらの原発の一部は稼働からすでに40年を超えていますがベルギー政府は安全上、問題ないとしておととし、稼働期間を10年延長することを決めました。し かし、2か所の原発ではこのところ、故障や火災で運転を一時停止する事態が相次いでいて、住民からは老朽化に対する懸念の声が上がっています。

全文は ベルギー ほぼ全土でヨウ素剤配布へ 原発事故に備え

関連記事:

オランダ政府、原発事故に備えて国民用にヨード錠剤を買占め via Sputnik

オランダ政府がヨード含有の錠剤を1500万粒買い占めた。原発事故の際、原子力発電所付近の住民の甲状腺への放射線の影響を低めるのが目的。AFP通信が報じた。

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Fukushima No. 1 plant’s ice wall won’t be watertight, says chief architect via The Japan Times

Coping with the vast amounts of groundwater flowing into the broken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant — which then becomes irradiated and seeps back out — has become such a problem that the country is building a ¥35 billion “ice wall” into the ground around it.

Even if the frozen barrier built with taxpayers’ money works as envisioned, it will not completely block all water from reaching the damaged reactors because of gaps in the wall and rainfall, creating as much as 50 tons of tainted water each day, said Yuichi Okamura, a chief architect of the massive project.

[…]
epco resorted to devising the 1.5-km-long (1-mile-long) ice wall around the facility after it became clear it had to do something drastic to stem the flow of groundwater into the facility’s basement and keep contaminated water from flowing back out.

“It’s a vicious cycle, like a cat-and-mouse game,” Okamura said of the water-related issues. “We have come up against many unexpected problems.”

The water woes are just part of the many obstacles involved in controlling and dismantling the Fukushima plant, a huge task that will take 40 years. No one has even seen the nuclear debris. Robots are being created to capture images of the debris. The radiation is so high no human being can do that job.

The ice wall, built by construction company Kajima Corp., is being turned on in sections for tests, and the entire freezing process will take eight months since it was first switched on in late March. The entire wall requires as much electricity as would be needed to power 13,000 Japanese households.
[…]
But critics say the problem of the groundwater reaching the reactors was a no-brainer that should have been projected.

Building a concrete wall into the hill near the plant right after the disaster would have minimized the contaminated water problem considerably, says Shigeaki Tsunoyama, honorary professor and former president of University of Aizu in Fukushima.

Even at the reduced amount of 50 tons a day, the contaminated water produced at Fukushima will equal what came out of Three Mile Island’s total in just eight months because of the prevalence of groundwater in Fukushima, he said.

Although Tepco has set 2020 as the goal for ending the water problems, Tsunoyama believes that’s too optimistic.

“The groundwater coming up from below can never become zero,” he said in a telephone interview. “There is no perfect answer.”

Okamura acknowledged the option to build a barrier in the higher elevation near the plant was considered in the early days after the disaster. But he defended his company’s actions.

The priority was on preventing contaminated water from escaping into the Pacific Ocean, he said. Various walls were built along the coastline, and radiation monitors show leaks have tapered off over the last five years

Opponents say the ice wall is a waste of taxpayers’ money and that it may not work. “From the perspective of regular people, we have serious questions about this piece of research that’s awarded a construction giant,” said Kanna Mitsuta, director of ecology group Friends of the Earth Japan.

“Our reaction is: Why an ice wall?”

PHOTOS
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Journalists look at storage tanks filled with radioactive water at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in the town of Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, in February. | AP

KEYWORDS
3/11, FUKUSHIMA NO. 1, ICE WALL, NUCLEAR ENERGY, NUCLEAR POWER

NATIONAL
4,024 Japanese, 90 non-Japanese in line for government’s spring decorationsJapan makes shinkansen safety pitch in bid for Malaysia-Singapore rail contractJapan pushes for basic AI rules at G-7 tech meetingKumamoto kicks off housing drive for evacuees; Kyushu Expressway reopens

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Kyushu Electric assures public that nuclear plant is safe via The Asahi Shimbun

Kyushu Electric Power Co. brushed aside safety concerns expressed in thousands of phone calls and e-mails, saying its Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture faces no danger from the quakes rattling the southern main island.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority also supports the utility’s stance that there is no need to shut down the nuclear plant, even as a safety precaution during the seismic activity.

“Nuclear power is energy defined as necessary in the nation’s basic energy plan,” Kyushu Electric President Michiaki Uryu said at a news conference in Fukuoka on April 28. “We are operating (the Sendai plant) after confirming its safety and concluding that there is no problem with continuing to operate it.”

The news conference was held to announce the utility’s earnings for fiscal 2015, which included its first net profit in five years.
[…]
Kyushu Electric officials acknowledge that without the Sendai nuclear plant, the company would still have enough electricity to supply Kyushu this summer, even if it proves to be one of the hottest in recent years.

But the utility is eager to keep the Sendai plant online because running a nuclear power plant is cheaper than buying the fuel needed to operate a thermal power plant.

Kyushu Electric had relied on nuclear energy for 40 percent of its electricity supply before the Fukushima disaster, one of the highest ratios among the regional power companies.

Kyushu Electric’s bottom line was hit hard after all reactors in Japan were shut down as a precaution following the meltdowns at the Fukushima plant.

But since the restart of the Sendai plant, which a Kyushu Electric senior official called a “powerful card,” the company has been saving 10 billion yen ($92.6 million) to 13 billion yen a month in operating expenses.

Uryu is already pushing plans for the company’s Genkai nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture.

“We are striving to achieve a restart of the Genkai plant as early as possible,” he told the news conference.
[…]
Even if the Sendai plant loses its ability to cool the reactors after powerful earthquakes, the operator is believed to be prepared to prevent a severe accident involving the release of radioactive substances by cooling the reactors using fire engines, power supply vehicles and other sources under the new regulations.

But those erring on the side of caution note that the magnitude-9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, spawned a tsunami that Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the Fukushima No. 1 plant, was clearly unprepared for.

And two earthquakes 28 hours apart in the recent series of temblors both measured a maximum intensity of 7 on the Japanese seismic scale in Kumamoto Prefecture, an event unprecedented in Japan.

[…]

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川内村6月14日避難解除 政府が方針、村も受け入れへ via 福島民友

東京電力福島第1原発事故で川内村の東部に残る避難指示解除準備区域について、政府の原子力災害現地対策本部は28日、避難指示を6月14日に解除したい考えを明らかにした。政府は5月8日に村と合同で住民懇談会を開き、意見を集約した上で解除時期を最終判断する。村が設けた検証委員会も既に「解除は妥当」と答申しており、村は政府案を受け入れる見通しだ。解除されれば、村の避難区域は全てなくなる。
[…]
対象は村東部の荻、貝ノ坂両地区で、1日現在の人口は19世帯52人。避難指示解除を判断するための「準備宿泊」の登録は1世帯2人(25日時点)で、解除後も帰還する住民は当面、少数にとどまるとみられる。

 原子力規制委員会によると、貝ノ坂地区の村営バス停留所で28日測定した放射線量は毎時0.42マイクロシーベルト。有識者でつくる検証委員会は村への答申で「(住宅周り以外の)特例を除いて毎時0.8マイクロシーベルトを超える世帯はない」と評価している。

もっと読む。

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Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast via Counter Punch

[…]

Hanford, on the Columbia River in Eastern Washington State, is the site where the United States produced the majority of its plutonium for nuclear weapons during the Cold War. These tens of thousands of American nuclear weapons were built as an end product of the high levels of plutonium production at Hanford. The first three nuclear reactors on Earth were built at Hanford, with a total of nine nuclear power plants being built there eventually. Nuclear power plants operated for ten years in this world before they were ever used to generate electricity. Electricity is a secondary purpose for nuclear power plants, they were designed and built as plutonium manufacturing plants.

Hanford was the first of these plutonium production sites. The two worst radiological disasters (besides nuclear weapon detonations) in the first four decades of the Atomic Age were accidents at the plutonium production sites of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, both in 1957. Military plutonium production sites remain among the most contaminated sites on Earth. During the period of operation more than 67 metric tons of plutonium were manufactured at Hanford. Hanford is home to 60% (by volume) of all of the high level radioactive waste stored in the United States. Nearly 80% of the Department of Energy’s inventory of spent nuclear fuel rods are stored just 400 yards away from the Columbia River. (Statistics taken from Physicians for Social Responsibility webpage)

[…]

The Green Run

In December 1949 the United States deliberately released an immense amount of radiation into populated areas at the Hanford Site during the notorious Green Run. It was the largest intentional release of radiation conducted by the U.S. government. While nuclear testing in Nevada exposed many people to significant amounts of radiation, this was a byproduct of the desire to test weapons. In the Green Run the intention was specifically to release the radiation into the Hanford area. The Green Run was conducted in reaction to the test of the first Soviet nuclear weapon in Kazakhstan several months earlier. The first indications that the Soviets had successfully tested a nuclear weapon came when sensors at Hanford picked up the radiation several days later. It was decided to release radiation “similar” to that of the Soviet test to develop and hone detection equipment and better analysis of the Soviet program.

[…]

The Tank Farms

Few things pose as great a threat to public health at Hanford than the Tank Farms. The Tank Farms are 177 single and double shelled waste storage tanks sited at two different locations on the Hanford complex. In the early days at Hanford, when plutonium for nuclear weapons was separated from the spent nuclear fuel, the leftover uranium from the process was stored in these tanks. Over the years a wide range of the highest level radioactive and chemical wastes were dumped into these tanks. According to the State of Washington the 177 tanks hold 53 million gallons of the highest level radioactive waste existing in the United States. 67 of the single shelled tanks have leaked over 1 million gallons of this highly radioactive waste which is migrating through the soil and groundwater into the Columbia River. In 2011 the Department of Energy emptied the contents of many of the leaking single shelled tanks into double shelled tanks, however the design of the double shelled tanks was found to be flawed, resulting in further leaks.

Read more at Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast

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