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Increasing Genetic Defects in Fukushima have to be Expected

23.08.2012

Susanne Gerber

The effects of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima have now become visible in butterflies. Researchers worry the effects may start to be felt among human beings. The butterflies found to be deformed as a result of radiation from the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima belong to the butterfly family of gossamer-winged butterflies. These butterflies can be found throughout the world. They are very sensitive to changes in the environment – to water and air pollution, chemicals and radioactivity. For scientists, gossamer-winged butterflies are thus a good biological indicator of the health of the environment. When they get sick, it means there is a problem somewhere in the ecosystem – even if there don’t seem to be any apparent problems, Winfrid Eisenberg, radiation expert and member of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), told DW. „The findings of the Japanese scientists don’t surprise me. There were similar findings in studies conducted after Chernobyl,“ he explained. After the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl in 1986, deformities similar to the ones recently seen in butterflies in Fukushima were also observed in plant insects. Even today, Eisenberg said researchers continue to find around 100 times more genetic mutations in field mice, now the 52nd generation since the disaster, than in mice in uncontaminated areas. Swallows were also greatly affected. In Chernobyl and its surrounding area, the birds are as good as extinct. The ones that do still exist there have „very small heads and very low success rates in breeding,“ Eisenberg explained. But not only animals and insects pass on genetic defects to their offspring. Nine months after Chernobyl, there was a significant increase in the number of babies born with trisomy 21 (also known as Down syndrome) – a disease in which there is one copy too many of chromosome 21 in the DNA. During that time, the number of deformities and miscarriages was especially high – even outside of Chernobyl. According to a report by the Society for Radiation Protection, there are between 18,000 and 122,000 people who have genetic defects as a result of the Chernobyl disaster throughout Europe. The minimum dose of radiation cells can be exposed to before mutating is unclear. Peter Jacob, head of the Institute for Radiation Protection at the Helmholz Center in Munich, told DW that even small quantities of radiation was enough to cause damage. But human cells have remarkable defense mechanisms that have evolved throughout time. Should any abnormalities occur during cell division, certain enzymes make sure that most of them are repaired. But a quick repair after short-term exposure to radiation could lead to further mutations, which are then passed on to the next generation of cells. In the long term, that could lead to cancer. And if the mutations happen to be in sperm or egg cells, there is a much higher risk that such disease-causing mutations can be passed down for generations. A study conducted by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) found that the number of cases of thyroid cancer and leukemia in Japan would not rise significantly as a result of the reactor meltdown in Fukushima. Yet Eisenberg said the deformed butterflies spoke for themselves, even if findings in research on animals and insects could not completely speak for humans. A series of ultrasound examinations conducted on over 40,000 children in Japan found 35 percent of the children to have lumps or cysts. „That is not normal among children,“ Eisenberg, who is also a retired pediatrician, told DW. He added that the figure was alarming. He, along with some of his colleagues, requested access to Japan’s birth statistics for the time since the disaster at the Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima. As of now, he is still waiting for access to be granted.

http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16170549,00.html

Einsortiert unter:Consequences, Danger, Fukushima, Radiation

Japan Times: Enough Electricity Without Any Nuclear Power

22.08.2012

Susanne Gerber

Sales by 10 major power utilities in July dropped by 6.3 percent due to a decline in demand, the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan has revealed.

But while efforts to cut down electricity use by households and the business sector are paying off, some say the numbers prove that last month’s reactivation of two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture may have been unnecessary.

„Electricity utilities may be opting to restart their nuclear reactors since they are cheaper than thermal power plants,“ Hideyuki Koyama, executive director of Mihama no Kai, which opposes Kepco’s nuclear power use, told The Japan Times.

„The data are solid proof that Japan can supply enough electricity even without any nuclear power generation,“ he stressed.

The federation said Monday that overall electricity use in July dropped 6.3 percent compared with the same month last year. Nine out of 10 utilities reported a decline in sales, with the exception being Tohoku Electric Power Co., where recovery from the March 2011 disasters is making progress.

Rolling blackouts are to be implemented if necessary this summer in the Kansai region and Kyushu, but so far none has been needed.

The decline in electricity demand also came even though higher than average temperatures were recorded nationwide last month, according to the Meteorological Agency.

In announcing the restart of the two Oi reactors, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in June warned that it was aimed at supporting the economy and the public’s livelihood. His appeal was validated at least in the Kansai region, where electricity demand would have surpassed supply levels during peak hours had the reactors remained offline.

But pundits say that instead of relying on nuclear power, Kepco could have easily covered any shortage by requesting neighboring electricity utilities, which had an oversupply, to provide backup.

„Reactivation of the reactors was decided considering the cost and profits of the electricity utilities,“ Mihama no Kai’s Koyama said. „But under the circumstances, nuclear plants should be shut down for the safety of the public.“

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120822a3.html

Einsortiert unter:Consequences, Fukushima, Politics

NISA was Blocking any Release of Information

17.08.2012

Susanne Gerber

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency ordered Tepco in March 2011 to delay announcing that the pressure level in one of the Fukushima No. 1 plant’s wrecked reactors was spiking to critical levels, teleconference footage released by the utility shows.

Images of Tokyo Electric Power Co. teleconferences during the initial stages of the nuclear crisis, as well as other materials and information, confirm that Tepco was forced to defer an announcement after pressure inside the reactor 3 containment vessel suddenly spiked to alarming levels around 6 a.m. March 14.

Masao Yoshida, then manager of the crippled plant, instructed workers to temporarily evacuate the reactor building, fearing a hydrogen explosion was about to rip it apart, and Tepco began preparing to announce the development to the press.

However, the utility was instructed to withhold the information by NISA, which is under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The agency then made an announcement shortly after 9 a.m. March 14 — just two hours before a hydrogen explosion destroyed the upper part of the structure housing reactor 3.

The reactor 1 building had suffered a similar blast two days earlier. Both reactors, along with reactor 2, subsequently experienced catastrophic meltdowns.

Before the explosion occurred at reactor 3, a Tepco public relations team based at the Fukushima No. 1 plant prepared a press statement about the surging pressure level.

The footage, however, shows that in a conversation with the utility’s headquarters in Tokyo, one member of the team said, „We’ve been stopped by the government and are being made to wait before issuing any announcement to the press.“

„NISA officials are blocking any release of information on the matter,“ a person who appears to be a head office employee says in the video images. „The agency’s officials are saying that (Tepco) should not be the entity to announce this either.“

Another voice on the recordings can be heard stating that NISA had refused to give Tepco permission to announce the pressure surge, saying, „We’ve been strongly requested, instructed not to announce this.“

NISA has said it kept Tepco’s announcement on hold because officials were unable to get in touch with its chief to obtain the necessary permission.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120816a4.html

 

Einsortiert unter:Fukushima, Politics

3/11: “Reactor 3 Steam Explosion “

09.08.2012

Susanne Gerber

Video from March 14, 2012, around 11:01AM, explosion in the Reactor 3 building translated by EXSKF:

At ~1:15 in

Plant Manager Yoshida at 1F: HQ! HQ! It’s bad! It’s bad!

HQ: Yes!? Yes?

Yoshida: Reactor 3, probably steam explosion, it just happened!

HQ: (in a weak, almost disappearing voice) Alright… (someone else) O..OK.. Emergency communication…

[…]

HQ: That, that is the same as Reactor 1 [explosion], isn’t it?

Yoshida: Yes, in the building, inside the Anti-Seismic Building here, we can’t tell, but a side-way shake, clearly different from an earthquake, came, and there was no after-shake like in an earthquake. So I think this is an explosion, just like what happened in Reactor 1.

At 3:20 in

HQ (Probably Mr. Komori?, executive director, making a phone call to NISA): At 11:02AM, (was that 11:02?), at 11:02, in Reactor 3, there was a possibility of hydrogen explosion, we’ve been just informed by the plant. It’s the first report…

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission transcript excerpt from March 18, 2011:

CHAIRMAN JACZKO: […] Just go back one more time and, and look and see if you can’t come up with a, with what I would call a true worst-case scenario; namely, the worst-case that is physically possible.

TRISH HOLAHAN: Okay.

CHAIRMAN JACZKO: See if you can do that because I, I have to believe that there is no possibility in a light-water reactor design to reject an entire core. I mean, that’s basically steam explosion; isn’t it?

TRISH HOLAHAN: Yes.

http://enenews.com/fukushima-plant-chief-reactor-3-probably-steam-explosion-it-just-happened-nrc-chairman-steam-explosion-to-reject-an-entire-core-video

Einsortiert unter:Accident, Fukushima

Yes, very similar

05.08.2012

Susanne Gerber

Nuclear Expert Arnie Gundersen on Unit 3: Because of the fact that a few pieces of nuclear fuel found offsite, it indicates to me that the fuel racks were lifted up. The only thing that could cause that is something called a prompt moderated criticality…

Host: But that’s what happened at Chernobyl?

Gundersen: Yes, very similar.

 

Title: Arnold Gundersen with the latest on Fukushima: its effects on Japan, and the global risks posed by the No. 4 reactor
Source: If You Love This Planet Radio
Author: Dr. Helen Caldicott
Date: July 27, 2012

Einsortiert unter:Accident, Fukushima

Beklemmende Warnungen

29.07.2012

Susanne Gerber

 

http://www.tagesschau.de/multimedia/video/video1152320.html

Einsortiert unter:Consequences, Fukushima

Japan’s Anti Nuclear Protest

29.07.2012

Susanne Gerber

Tens of thousands of people protested against nuclear power outside Japan’s parliament on Sunday, the same day a proponent of using renewable energy to replace nuclear following the Fukushima disaster was defeated in a local election. The protesters, including old-age pensioners, pressed up against a wall of steel thrown up around the parliament building shouting, „We don’t need nuclear power“ and other slogans. On the main avenue leading to the assembly, the crowd broke through the barriers and spilled onto the streets, forcing the police to bring in reinforcements and deploy armored buses to buttress the main parliament gate. The protest came as results from rural Yamaguchi showed that Tetsunari Iida, an advocate of renewable energy to replace nuclear power, lost his bid to become governor to a rival backed by the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which promoted nuclear power during its decades in power, Kyodo news agency reported, citing exit polls. Iida, who wants Japan to exit nuclear power by 2020, had promised to revitalize Yamaguchi’s economy with renewable energy projects and opposed a project by Chubu Electric Power Co to build a new nuclear plant in the town of Kaminoseki. Energy policy has become a major headache for Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who less than a year in office is battling to hold his Democratic Party together before a general election due next year but which could come sooner. Weekly protests outside Noda’s office have grown in size in recent months, with ordinary salary workers and mothers with children joining the crowds. On Sunday, the protesters – holding candles as darkness fell on the hot summer day – took their demonstration to parliament. Chanting „oppose restarts“, they pressed against steel barriers erected around the parliament building, where thousands of police were deployed to keep the peace. Many of the crowd had marched past the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Co, the company at the heart of the worst nuclear crisis since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. „We are here to oppose nuclear power, which is simply too dangerous,“ Hiroko Yamada, an elderly woman from Saitama prefecture near Tokyo, said. „(Noda) isn’t listening to us. He only listens to companies and Yonekura,“ she said, referring to Hiromasa Yonekura, the chairman of Japan’s biggest business lobby. An upset victory by Iida, 53, would have added to Noda’s woes as the government tries to decide on an energy portfolio to replace a 2010 program that would have boosted nuclear power’s share of electricity supply to more than half by 2030. Still, Iida’s support from volunteers in the conservative stronghold bodes ill for the Democrats and the LDP, support for which has failed to benefit greatly from Noda’s woes, Kyodo said in an analysis of the local vote. „The brave battle by Iida, who sought a change in energy policy, can be said to be proof the popular call to exit nuclear power has spread even to Yamaguchi,“ the news agency said. Noda, who approved the restart of two idled reactors this month, has said he would decide on a new medium-term energy plan in August, although media reports over the weekend said that decision could be delayed. Experts have proposed three options: zero nuclear power as soon as possible, a 15 percent atomic share of electricity by 2030, or 20-25 percent by the same date compared to almost 30 percent before the Fukushima disaster. Under pressure from businesses worried about stable electricity supply, Noda has been thought to be leaning toward 15 percent, which would require all of Japan’s 50 reactors to resume operations before gradually closing older units. The growing anti-nuclear movement, however, may make that choice difficult, some experts said. Multiple inquiries into the March 11, 2011 nuclear crisis, in which a huge quake-induced tsunami devastated the Fukushima plant, causing meltdowns and forcing mass evacuations, have underscored the failure by authorities and utilities to adopt strict safety steps or disaster response plans.

(Reporting by Linda Sieg and Aaron Scheldrick; Editing by Joseph Radford and Michael Roddy)

http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCABRE86S0DA20120729?pageNumber=3&virtualBrandChannel=0

 

Einsortiert unter:Fukushima, Resistance

Radioactive sample from Tokyo air filter

27.07.2012

Susanne Gerber

  • Apartment on 20th floor located 300 meters from the Tokyo Tower
  • A gamma spectrum of the sample scraped from the filter
  • According to the sample information at the bottom of the spectrum:
  1. Taken June 15, 2012
  2. Collected June 18, 2012

So what we can say about this sample is that its extremely radioactive… It contains high levels of uranium and lead-210 and cesium-137.

All substances which are inside an apartment on the 20th floor of a block 300 meters from the Tokyo Tower. Isn’t that quite something? It’s quite something.

Rhodium-102 this is a fission product from Fukushima.

There’s far too much uranium there, there’s about 3,000 becquerels per kilogram. There should be about 20.

So this is from Fukushima as well.

Which means there’s particles of Uranium floating around in Central Tokyo.

Scary stuff. Scary stuff.

http://enenews.com/quite-extremely-radioactive-sample-tokyo-air-filter-150-times-uranium-expected-fukushima-busby-video

Einsortiert unter:Fukushima, Radiation

Total estimated cesium release into air is triple amount published 2 months ago

24.07.2012

Susanne Gerber

The Estimated Amount of Radioactive Materials Released into the Air Due to the Accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station: Progress Since May 24, 2012
Tepco
July 23, 2012

  • Total cesium before reevaluation = 20 petabecquerels (PBq)
  • Total cesium after reevaluation = 50-70 PBq (Average of 60 PBq, or 3 times higher than before)

 

http://enenews.com/tepco-total-cesium-released-into-air-around-triple-what-we-estimated-2-months-ago

Einsortiert unter:Fukushima, Gefahr, Radiation

Fukushima Daiichi workers ordered to cover dosimeters with lead plates

22.07.2012

Susanne Gerber

http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0721/TKY201207200768.html

 

Einsortiert unter:Danger, Fukushima, Politics, Radiation