Archive for February, 2016

3 ex-TEPCO execs indicted over Fukushima nuclear disaster

February 29, 2016

TOKYO —

Three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) were indicted Monday for allegedly failing to take measures to prevent the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, which was struck by massive tsunami waves five years ago.

The indictment, mandated by an independent panel of citizens after prosecutors decided against laying charges, seeks to answer in court the question of whether the key TEPCO figures should be held criminally responsible over the nuclear disaster.

At the six-reactor plant located on the Pacific coast, tsunamis triggered by the massive earthquake on March 11, 2011, flooded power supply facilities and crippled reactor cooling systems. The Nos. 1 to 3 reactors suffered fuel meltdowns, while hydrogen explosions damaged the buildings housing the No. 1, 3 and 4 units.

The three, who were indicted on charges of professional negligence resulting in death and injury, are Tsunehisa Katsumata, 75, chairman of TEPCO at the time, and two former vice presidents—Sakae Muto, 65, and Ichiro Takekuro, 69.

Monday’s indictment blames the three for injuries to 13 people, including Self-Defense Forces members, from hydrogen explosions at the plant, as well as the deaths of 44 patients forced to evacuate from hospital.

The utility’s public relations office offered a renewed apology over the accident in a statement Monday, but declined to comment on the indictment because it concerns a criminal case.

All the former executives, who were charged without being taken into custody, are likely to plead not guilty, sources familiar with the case said.

The trial is expected to be long, and is unlikely to start by the end of the year, as preparations to compile evidence and points of issue apparently require a considerable amount of time, the sources said.

The Tokyo No. 5 Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution last July decided to mandate that the three be charged with professional negligence for their handling of the disaster, overturning a decision by prosecutors in September 2013 not to indict the three.

The prosecutors determined that it was hard for them to predict the major tsunamis.

The committee, however, said the former executives received a report by June 2009 that the plant could be hit by tsunami as high as 15.7 meters and that they “failed to take pre-emptive measures knowing the risk of a major tsunami.”

A group of Fukushima citizens and other people filed a criminal complaint in 2012 against dozens of government and TEPCO officials over their responsibility in connection with what became one of the world’s worst nuclear crises.

But as prosecutors decided not to file charges, including against then Prime Minister Naoto Kan, the group narrowed its focus and asked the committee to examine whether the prosecutors’ decision was appropriate.

© KYODO

The 2016 Election’s Obama Problem

February 26, 2016

TV: “Mysterious and terrifying epidemic” spreads near radioactive site

February 26, 2016

ENENews


TV: “Mysterious and terrifying epidemic” spreads near radioactive site — “People suffer from hallucinations… They cry, howl, even tear their hair out” — Residents in “coma-like state” with swollen brains — Radiation levels almost 20 times normal (VIDEOS)

Posted: 25 Feb 2016 08:10 AM PST

Gov’t: “Alarming” release of radioactivity from US nuclear site — AP: “Uncontrolled spread of contamination”

February 25, 2016

ENENews


 — Official: Contains “high levels of radioactive isotopes” (VIDEO)

Posted: 24 Feb 2016 05:31 AM PST

Fukushima – Deep Trouble by ROBERT HUNZIKER

February 24, 2016

http://www.opednews.com/Quicklink/Fukushima–Deep-Trouble-in-Best_Web_OpEds-Disaster_Fukushima_Waste-160223-442.html

100% Renewable Energy: What We Can Do in 10 Years

February 24, 2016

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/02/23/100-renewable-energy-what-we-can-do-10-years

Deteriorating nuclear disaster

February 24, 2016

Dear Friends,

 

I am sending you the fifth article written by Mr.Robert Hunziker published in Counter/Punch.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/22/fukushima-deep-trouble/

 

I believe it deserves the widest dissemination.

The irresposible restart of problematic reactors makes us feel that the happenning of another nuclear disaster

is around the corner. Both the NRA and the Government have publicly denied being responsible for an evenyual accident!

The restart proves that top priority is given to the crisis of the management of electric companies

at the expense of the crisis of Japan and the world.

 

The situation in Fukushima continues to deteriorate.

Needless to say that the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 is totally out of the question.

The public,however, is not given sufficient information about Fukushima,

and continues to support its huge expenses.

Mr.Hunziker is quite right to ask for a retreat from it in order for Japan

to consecrate maximum efforts to bring Fukushima under control.

 

I have attached below the message from Mr.Akio Matsumura,former UN advisor,

addressed to outstanding scientists and nuclear experts.

Please allow me to count on your understanding and support.

 

With highest regards,

Mitsuhei Murata

 

(Message from Mr. Akio Matsumura)

 

From: Akio Matsumura

Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 12:03 PM

 

Dear Ambassador Murata,  Robert Alvarez, Helen, Gordon, Arnie, Scott, Steven, Tim, Martin, von Weizsaecker, Claus and our colleagues

On the occasion of 5th year remark of the worst nuclear power accident in history at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant in Japan on March 11, 2011, the newspapers are beginning to reveal the inside story of the panic, confusion, of the government of Japan, and also the political heated discussion between the government of Japan and the US, in regard to the scale of the damages of the 6-reactors at Fukushima, and at the same time, the heated communications in this regard between the military leaders of the US and Japan.

There was a huge gap between the two governments on the assessment of the damages of the 6-reactors, in particular of the reactor number 4.

Japan’s government decided the 12.5 miles (20km) evacuation zone while the US government made the evacuation order to the US citizens in 50 miles (80 km) which created the tension between the two governments.  German and England suggested their citizens in Tokyo (200 km distance) to evacuate to the west part of Japan.

During the period of the panic, the late Dr. Hans-Peter Durr called me to suggest to inform to Prime Minister of Japan and party leaders that the Fukushima accident was much worse than the Japan was talking about.

There was no common scientific measures of the total number of the spent fuel assemblies at the Fukushima site which the TEPCO refused to tell, so I asked Ambassador Murata to get it from the inside sources.   Ambassador Murata informed us that the total numbers of the spent fuel assemblies at the Fukushima Daiichi site excluding the assemblies in the pressure vessels was 11,421.

I asked Robert Alvarez for an explanation of the potential impact of the 11,421 assemblies.

I received an astounding figures from Bob :

Fukushima Daiichi Site: Cesium-137 is 85 times greater than at Chernobyl Accident

Dated April 3, 2012.

It would destroy the world environment and our civilization. This article was recommended by 9,088 people and hit millions of readers , The figures of 85 times greater than at Chernobyl accident was referred by many media all over the world.

This example teaches us that how important it is to have the opinions and recommendations of the prestigious scientists like you because the good politicians badly need the quality scientific recommendations when they face the catastrophic crisis.

I write to express my sincere appreciation to those who have devoted their expertise to improve the situation.  There is no doubt without your public warning about the potential global catastrophe of the fourth reactor, Japan’s government would not have made it a priority to remove the 1,535 fuel assemblies.

Yours truly,

Akio

 

 

 

 

www.akiomatsumura.com

Officials: “Historic crisis” along US West Coast…

February 24, 2016

ENENews


 “We’re facing a fishery disaster”… “Very never-seen-before things”… Should be exclamation alarm to public — Extinction threat for salmon runs; Loss of sardines, squid, sea urchins, kelp; Massive sea star deaths; Marine mammal strandings… more

Posted: 23 Feb 2016 06:37 AM PST

Amnesty slams Japan over secrecy law, refugee policy in annual report

February 24, 2016

LONDON —

Japan has displayed an “intolerance of public criticism” with the introduction of a contentious new secrecy law, Amnesty International said Wednesday in its annual report for 2015.

The London-based rights group said the law on official secrets, which came into effect in December 2014, could “excessively restrict” the right to access information held by the authorities.

Critics of the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets claim public authorities could withhold information without giving a clear justification, says the report.

Amnesty also raises concern about the lack of oversight of the new law and the threat to journalists trying to report on issues which are genuinely in the public interest. Jail terms for those leaking designated secrets could be up to 10 years.

Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s East Asia director, said Japan is showing “growing intolerance toward criticism and dissent.”

Elsewhere, the group said concerns continue to be raised at the fact that only 11 people out of more than 5,000 applicants in 2014 were granted refugee status in Japan.

The assessment also noted the ruling coalition’s opposition to implementing legislation prohibiting racial discrimination despite a recommendation from the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Regarding Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Amnesty says he “expressed grief, but only referred to apologies made by former heads of government.”

On Japan taking responsibility for forcing Korean women into Japanese military brothels during the war, Amnesty comments that the deal between Seoul and Tokyo in December to end the dispute over the issue was criticized for failing to take into account the views and needs of the victims.

On a more positive note, the global campaigning organization welcomed moves by Shibuya Ward in Tokyo to acknowledge same-sex unions as equivalent to marriage. Registered same-sex partners will be offered non-legally binding certification, and have visitation rights in hospitals and the ability to co-sign tenancy agreements.

Turning to global issues, Amnesty voiced concern that many governments have “brazenly broken” international law and are “deliberately” undermining institutions meant to protect people’s rights.

The group is warning of an “insidious and creeping trend” to undermine human rights coming from governments “deliberately attacking, underfunding or neglecting institutions that have been set up to help protect our rights.”

Amnesty claims that in 2015 more than 98 states tortured or otherwise ill-treated people, and 30 or more illegally forced refugees to return to countries where they would be in danger.

In at least 18 countries, war crimes or other violations of the “laws of war” were committed by governments or armed groups.

The report criticizes the United Nations for a “systemic failure” over its handling of the civil war in Syria which has led to “catastrophic human consequences.”

© KYODO

Washington Post: “No one knows what to do with Fukushima” — Scientific American: Plant is in “crisis mode”…

February 23, 2016

ENENews


Washington Post: “No one knows what to do with Fukushima” — Scientific American: Plant is in “crisis mode”… fuel has melted through containers — Official: Corium may never be extracted — Gov’t suggests dumping it under Pacific Ocean

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 06:28 AM PST

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