Amid Renewed Nuclear Worries, Dozens of Classified Bomb Test Videos Made Public

March 17, 2017

Published on
Thursday, March 16, 2017
byCommon Dreams

‘If we capture the history of this and show what the force of these weapons are and how much devastation they can wreak, then maybe people will be reluctant to use them’
byNadia Prupis, staff writer
7 Comments

A clip from Operation Hardtack. (Screenshot/LLNL)
Just months after President Donald Trump advocated for “greatly” strengthening and expanding the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal, dozens of video recordings of weapons tests, long hidden from public view, became available to watch after being declassified.

An estimated 10,000 films exist; 4,200 scanned; and roughly 750 declassified. Now, 64 have been uploaded to YouTube as part of a digitization effort led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) physicist Greg Spriggs, who is hoping to use the videos to analyze the weapons’ data and dissuade their future use.

“We need to be able to validate our codes and trust that the answers that are being calculated are correct,” he said. “The legacy that I’d like to leave behind is a set of benchmark data that can be used by future weapon physicists to make sure that our codes are correct so that the U.S. remains prepared.”

Some footage shows mushroom clouds blooming at high altitudes, while others show shock waves caused by an underground explosion. The clips are titled after the names of the missions, conducted between 1945 and 1962—names like Operation Castle, Operation Hardtack, Operation Plumbbob, and Operation Teapot, among others.

<a href="http://“>video

“It’s just unbelievable how much energy’s released,” Spriggs said. “We hope that we would never have to use a nuclear weapon ever again. I think that if we capture the history of this and show what the force of these weapons are and how much devastation they can wreak, then maybe people will be reluctant to use them.”

The project is expected to take about two more years to complete. And it’s good that his team got to the films when they did, Spriggs added.

“You can smell vinegar when you open the cans, which is one of the byproducts of the decomposition process of these films,” he said. “We know that these films are on the brink of decomposing to the point where they’ll become useless. The data that we’re collecting now must be preserved in a digital form because no matter how well you treat the films, no matter how well you preserve or store them, they will decompose. They’re made out of organic material, and organic material decomposes. So this is it. We got to this project just in time to save the data.”

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People’s Climate March for Peace

March 16, 2017

David Swanson via WarIsACrime.org david@davidswanson.org via sg.actionnetwork.org
10:07 AM (2 hours ago)

On April 29 in Washington DC and at other locations around the world, please join in the People’s Climate March for Peace!

Sign up at https://peoplesclimate.org

For the big march in DC a rally for peace and a “feeder march” to join the start of the march are being planned. Watch for details.

Use these flyers on war and climate:
English.
Spanish.
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Scandal-hit school operator says he received donation from Abe

March 16, 2017

POLITICS MAR. 16, 2017 – 06:00PM JST ( 27 )
Scandal-hit school operator says he received donation from Abe
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
AP photo
OSAKA —
The head of a school operator mired in controversy over its cut-price purchase of a plot of state-owned land in western Japan said Thursday he received a donation from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the elementary school that was to open on the site.

Speaking to ruling and opposition lawmakers visiting the site, Yasunori Kagoike, the head of operator Moritomo Gakuen, said, “Money donated by Abe was included in” the funds for the school.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government’s top spokesman, said in a press conference in Tokyo hours later that Abe had denied the alleged donation.

The school, located in the city of Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, was being built on the 8,770-square-meter plot that the operator bought from the government in June last year for 134 million yen ($1.17 million)—only around 14 percent of its appraised value.

The funds for the school were allegedly raised using Abe’s name at one point. Abe’s wife, Akie, was to serve as the school’s honorary principal but resigned after questions were raised about the controversial land deal and the policies of a kindergarten run by the school operator.

Abe said neither he nor his wife was involved in the land deal and has pledged to resign as prime minister and lawmaker should their involvement in the deal be proven.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada was forced to continue defending herself amid opposition calls for her to resign following her retraction of remarks made in parliament earlier this week.

On Tuesday, she apologized for initially denying having ever given Moritomo Gakuen legal advice or represented it in a trial, admitting that she had represented the school operator as a lawyer in a civil case hearing before she was elected to parliament.

The opposition is intensifying its pressure on the defense minister, alleging that she lied to parliament, while at the same time pursuing her over a fresh allegation that the Ground Self-Defense Force had destroyed electronic data on its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan in a coverup.

“She cannot ward off public distrust,” said Yoshio Urushibara, a senior member of the Komeito party, the junior coalition partner of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party.

In connection with her past legal work for Moritomo Gakuen, Inada told parliament on Thursday that it was only after the latest controversy came to light that she learned that her husband had forged a contract with the school operator to provide legal counsel. Her husband, Ryuji Inada, is also a lawyer, and both belonged to the same firm.

“As much as I wanted to share this information with you, I refrained from making it public because my husband is a private citizen and I have an obligation to maintain confidentiality,” she said in parliament. Inada also told parliament that her father was acquainted with Kagoike, but she does not believe he was close to him.

© KYODO

Nuclear Engineer: Fukushima is “worst industrial cataclysm in history of world… As close to hell as I can imagine”

March 15, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews

Nuclear Engineer: Fukushima is “worst industrial cataclysm in history of world… As close to hell as I can imagine” — Melted fuel ‘disappeared’ — Contamination will go on for hundreds of thousands of years… “No one knows when it’ll end” — Gov’t perpetrating ongoing cover-up (VIDEO)
Posted: 14 Mar 2017 03:36 PM PDT

War Abolition 101: How We Create a Peaceful World

March 15, 2017

David Swanson via WarIsACrime.org david@davidswanson.org via sg.actionnetwork.org
11:31 AM (9 hours ago)

War Abolition 101: How We Create a Peaceful World

Register for Online Course: How to Get to a World Beyond War

Sign up here.

How can we make the best argument for shifting from war to peace? How can we become more effective advocates and activists for ending particular wars, ending all wars, pursuing disarmament, and creating systems that maintain peace? Here’s a chance to learn from World Beyond War experts as part of a study group and to do so at your own schedule.

The course will be taught April 10 to June 5, 2017. Prior to the start date, you will be sent a link to a new website and means to access the course. Each week, an instructor will provide text and video, and interact with participants in a chat room. Each week, an instructor will assign an optional written assignment, and will return the assignment to the student with detailed feedback. Submissions and feedback can be shared with everyone taking the course or kept private between a student and the instructor, at the student’s choice.

The cost of the course is the same for someone completing all, some, or none of the assignments.

A certificate will be provided to those who complete all assignments.

Sign up here.

Course Outline and Instructors:

April 10 War can be ended — David Swanson

April 17 War is immoral — Bob Fantina

April 24 War destroys freedom — Barry Sweeney

May 1 War destroys nature — Leah Bolger

May 8 War endangers — Mary Dean

May 15 War impoverishes and wastes — Brian Terrell

May 22 There are alternatives to war / What is an Alternative Global Security System? — Tony Jenkins

May 29 War Will Not Go Away Unless We Make It / How to organize for Peace & Justice — David Swanson and Mary Dean

Sign up here.

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Struggling With Japan’s Nuclear Waste, Six Years After Disaster

March 14, 2017

ASIA PACIFIC

By MOTOKO RICHMARCH 11, 2017
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(Full article with photos here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/world/asia/struggling-with-japans-nuclear-waste-six-years-after-disaster.html?emc=eta1&_r=0)

Photo

A worker on the outside wall of the Reactor 2 building at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station last month. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI NUCLEAR POWER STATION — Six years after the largest nuclear disaster in a quarter-century, Japanese officials have still not solved a basic problem: what to do with an ever-growing pile of radioactive waste. Each form of waste at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, where three reactors melted down after an earthquake and a tsunami on March 11, 2011, presents its own challenges.

400 Tons of Contaminated Water Per Day

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Photo

Tanks for contaminated water, with Reactors 1 and 2 in the background. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
The Tokyo Electric Power Company is pumping water nonstop through the three reactors to cool melted fuel that remains too hot and radioactive to remove. About 400 tons of water passes through the reactors every day, including groundwater that seeps in. The water picks up radiation in the reactors and then is diverted into a decontamination facility.

But the decontamination filters cannot remove all the radioactive material. So for now, all this water is being stored in 1,000 gray, blue and white tanks on the grounds. The tanks already hold 962,000 tons of contaminated water, and Tokyo Electric is installing more tanks. It is also trying to slow the flow of groundwater through the reactors by building an underground ice wall.

Within a few years, though, and no one is sure exactly when, the plant may run out of room to store the contaminated water. “We cannot continue to build tanks forever,” said Shigenori Hata, an official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

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The authorities are debating whether it might be acceptable, given the relatively low radioactive levels in the water, to dilute the contaminated water and then dump it into the ocean. But local fishermen are vehemently opposed. Many people still do not trust Tokyo Electric because of its bungled response to the disaster, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

3,519 Containers of Radioactive Sludge

Photo

Shipping containers holding reactor maintenance equipment from the plant. Other containers at the site hold rubble or filters full of radioactive sludge. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
The process of decontaminating the water leaves radioactive sludge trapped in filters, which are being held in thousands of containers of different sizes.

Tokyo Electric says it cannot quantify the amount of radioactive sludge being generated. But it says it is experimenting with what to do with it, including mixing it with cement or iron. Then it will have to decide how to store it.

64,700 Cubic Meters of Discarded Protective Clothing

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An employee putting on work attire.
Veda Shastri/The New York Times
The estimated 6,000 cleanup workers at the site put on new protective gear every day. These hazmat suits, face masks, rubber gloves and shoe coverings are thrown out at the end of each shift. The clothing is compressed and stored in 1,000 steel boxes stacked around the site.

To date, more than 64,700 cubic meters of gear has been discarded, the equivalent of 17 million one-gallon containers. Tokyo Electric says it will eventually incinerate all this contaminated clothing to reduce the space needed to store it.

Branches and Logs From 220 Acres of Deforested Land

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Cut trees on the grounds of the Fukushima plant.
Veda Shastri/The New York Times
The plant’s grounds were once dotted with trees, and a portion was even designated as a bird sanctuary. But workers have cleared about 220 acres of trees since the meltdown spewed radiation over them.

Now, piles of branches and tree trunks are stacked all over the site. Officials say there are about 80,000 cubic meters of this waste, and all of it will have to be incinerated and stored someday.

200,400 Cubic Meters of Radioactive Rubble

Photo

The shell of the Reactor 1 building at the plant. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
Explosions during the meltdown filled the reactors with rubble. Workers and robots are slowly and carefully trying to remove this tangled mass of crushed concrete, pipes, hoses and metal.

Tokyo Electric estimates that more than 200,400 cubic meters of rubble — all of it radioactive — have been removed so far and stored in custom-made steel boxes. That is the equivalent of about 3,000 standard 40-foot shipping containers.

3.5 Billion Gallons of Soil

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Bags of contaminated soil are stored in this lot in the town of Namie.
Veda Shastri/The New York Times
Thousands of plastic garbage bags sit in neat rows in the fields and abandoned towns surrounding the Fukushima plant. They contain soil that was scraped from land that was exposed to radiation in the days after the accident.

Japan’s Ministry of the Environment estimates that it has bagged 3.5 billion gallons of soil, and plans to collect much more. It will eventually incinerate some of the soil, but that will only reduce the volume of the radioactive waste, not eliminate it.

The ministry has already begun building a massive, interim storage facility in Fukushima prefecture and negotiating with 2,360 landowners for the thousands of acres needed to complete it. And that is not even a long-term solution: The government says that after 30 years it will need another site — or sites — to store radioactive waste.

1,573 Nuclear Fuel Rods

Photo

A pool at the facility for storing spent fuel rods. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
The ultimate goal of the cleanup is to cool and, if possible, remove the uranium and plutonium fuel that was inside the three reactors at the time of the disaster.

Hundreds of spent fuel rods are in cooling pools inside the reactors, and the company hopes to have cleared away enough rubble to begin removing them next year. The much bigger challenge will be removing the fuel that was in use in the reactor core at the time of the meltdown.

The condition and location of this molten fuel debris are still largely unknown. In one reactor where a robot was sent in January, much of the melted fuel is believed to have burned through the bottom of the inner reactor vessel and burrowed into the thick concrete foundation of the containment structure.

The plan is to completely seal the containment vessels, fill them with water and use robots to find and remove the molten fuel debris. But the rubble, the lethal levels of radiation and the risk of letting radiation escape make this an exceedingly difficult task.

In January, a camera inserted into one of the reactors detected radiation levels high enough to kill a person in less than a minute. A robot that was sent into the reactor last month had to be abandoned after debris blocked its path and radiation disabled it.

Tokyo Electric hopes to begin removing fuel debris from the reactor cores in 2021. The entire effort could take decades. Some say the radioactive material may prove impossible to remove safely and have suggested leaving it and entombing Fukushima under a concrete and steel sarcophagus like the one used at Chernobyl.

But the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric say they are committed to removing all the waste and cleaning the site, estimated at a cost of $188.6 billion.

“We want to return it to a safe state,” said Yuichi Okamura, general manager of the company’s nuclear power and plant siting division. “We promised the local people that we would recover the site and make it a safe ground again.”

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A monitoring post in Naraha shows the radiation level at the entrance gate to temporary storage for contaminated soil. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
Correction: March 13, 2017
An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misstated the contents of shipping containers at the plant. The ones in the photograph hold reactor maintenance equipment, not rubble. (Rubble and radioactive sludge are held in other containers.)

Correction: March 14, 2017
An earlier version of this article mischaracterized how lethal levels of radiation were found in one of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors in January. The radiation was detected with a camera inserted into the reactor, not a robot.

A version of this article appears in print on March 13, 2017, on Page A9 of the New York edition with the headline: Nuclear Waste’s Toll and Challenge in Japan, Six Years After Disaster. Order Reprints| Today’s Paper|Subscribe

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A Reporting Team’s Nuclear Stress Test: Hazmat Suits, Face Masks and 9 Flights of Stairs MARCH 13, 2017

What’s Next

Report: Nuclear fuel still burning through bottom of Fukushima plant? — Expert: Corium likely melted into earth… Will pour highly radioactive waste into ocean “for rest of time”

March 14, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews
Fish leaking pus, covered in lesions, deformed along US West Coast — Fisherman: Nearly all fish caught affected; “I’ve never seen this… Some had pus all over body” — Official: So many are showing illness, environmental conditions could be a factor (PHOTOS)
Posted: 13 Mar 2017 10:47 AM PDT

Report: Nuclear fuel still burning through bottom of Fukushima plant? — Expert: Corium likely melted into earth… Will pour highly radioactive waste into ocean “for rest of time” — NYTimes: Fuel may never be removed, reactors to be entombed like Chernobyl (VIDEO)
Posted: 13 Mar 2017 07:48 AM PDT

Message addressed to President Thomas Bach of the IOC

March 13, 2017

Dear Friends,

Conscientious Japanese citizens are bewildered by the widening gap between the ongoing Olympic preparations
and the increasing report regarding the deepening of the Fukushima crisis.The Moritomo School scandal continues to draw nation-wide
attention,reminding us of its similarity with the total breach of the initial commitments by the Tokyo Olympics.
Six years after the 3/11 Fukushima accident,the policy of returning refugees to their home towns based on the 20 milisieverts ICRP standard.
Last week,Japanese television TBS interviewed its vice chairman Jacques Rochard who expressed his surprise that this standard,destined to emergency,
should not have been lowered as initially recommended.It is urgently needed to correct the current policy.
The foregoing is fully supported by the following two articles.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/20/fukushima-a-lurking-global-catastrophe/
https://limitlesslife.wordpress.com/2017/03/12/remembering-6th-anniversary-of-fukushima-march-11-2017/

We are being reminded of Chinese ancient Lao Tsu’s famous saying “Heaven’s venfeance is slow,but sure”.
This is the will of heavens and the earth that is to say,the law of history researched by philosophy.
It does not allow immorality to last long.

Please allow me to count on your support.

With warmest regards,
Mitsuhei Murata
Former Ambassador to Switzerland

Ex-PM Koizumi repeats call for no nuclear power plants

March 12, 2017

POLITICS MAR. 12, 2017 – 06:00AM JST ( 12 )
Ex-PM Koizumi repeats call for no nuclear power plants
Anti-nuclear protesters gather at a rally in front of the Diet building in Tokyo on Saturday.
Reuters photo
SAPPORO —
Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Saturday repeated his call for Japan’s complete departure from nuclear energy as the country marked the sixth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“Nuclear power plants will become a negative legacy for future generations,” Koizumi said at an event organized by a civic group in Sapporo.

The group is seeking the decommissioning of nuclear reactors at Hokkaido Electric Power Co’s Tomari power station on Japan’s northernmost main island.

“Japan can become a much better country with zero nuclear power plants, harnessing natural energy,” Koizumi said, adding it will not be so difficult to replace nuclear energy with renewable energy if technological innovation advances.

After his speech, Koizumi criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policy which promotes restarting nuclear plants most of which remain offline and exporting nuclear reactors.

“If the prime minister said ‘zero (nuclear power),’ the situation will greatly change. I don’t know why he can’t understand this,” Koizumi said.

© KYODO

Remembering 6th Anniversary of Fukushima March.11.2017

March 12, 2017

OpEdNews Op Eds 3/10/2017 at 22:28:45

By Sheila Parks, Ed.D. Follow Me on Twitter Message Sheila Parks, Ed.D. Permalink

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Kimberly Roberson, speaking as a parent and an activist/organizer does not mince her words. They are heart, mind and soul piercing. She is in our faces about the horrific dangers of nuclear power – especially for our babies and children. Her purpose is to inform and rouse to action all those not already involved and aware. “Startling clear to me: radioactive fallout from nuclear power and food do not mix, and children are especially at risk”.But as parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and caregivers we have a responsibility to our children. And remember, radiation from nuclear fallout is transgenerational, meaning that it has been proven to damage DNA for generations to come. The bigger picture after all is really about food safety and human health.

2020 Fukushima Olympics with Gas masks needed
(Image by Herve Cortois) Permission Details DMCA
I marked every page in the book as I was reading. I am focusing on food in this review because that is a major issue for both Roberson and me. What are we doing to our babies and children when we give them milk? Alarmed, I read from Roberson that “strontium 90 has been detected in the U.S. milk supply, as well as other radioisotopes linked directly to Fukushima”.Radioactive strontium is attracted to the body, much like calcium, only rather than nourishing bones it causes cancer. Children’s cells divide and multiply at an accelerated pace which makes the youngest especially vulnerable to radiation.”

Roberson tells us, “The late Dr. Rosalie Bertell, PhD and Gray Nun of the Sacred Heart was an accomplished scientist who warned in No Immediate Danger; Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth not only of the damage to the person coming in contact with radioactive fallout in their food and water, but also to their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren suffering mutations in their DNA as well.”

Roberson continues, again alarmingly, “Probably the one question that perplexed so many of the people I was working with was how could the biggest industrial and nuclear accident in world history be allowed to continue to affect our food supply unchecked .” [emphasis mine]. That continues to this day.

Roberson puts it this way, “One thing I’ve realized in the past two years is to always consider the source”The list goes on and on. Grass fed beef, free range poultry, miso [see the paper I wrote about miso “Fukushima, Miso Soup and Me” ], nori, strawberries”pesky questions, but we all need to be asking them.” Begin today, now, all the time, to ask this question about everything you eat and drink. This is urgent: what is the country of origin?

From my experience working on the many issues about food and drink safety since Fukushima, here are some questions we must understand and work to change since Fukushima: What food and drink does the USA import from Japan? How was and is our food here in the USA contaminated from Fukushima? Who tests the food in each country, including the USA? How do they test it? Is how the food is tested adequate? Who decides? How honest are our labelling laws? [Not honest at all; but that requires a whole other paper.] Thank goodness the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been defeated by the actions of we the people and as immoral and misleading as our food labeling laws are here in the USA, at least it willl still be mandatory to put counrty of origin on our food. What Trump will do, who is now talking about “binary arrangements” instead of the TTP, remains to be seen.

Be wary also, Roberson warns us, of “fish oil, carrageenan, and sea salt [which] all come from ocean waters.” I say, please read all labels. Use pink salt from the Himalayas, not sea salt. This pink salt from the Himalayas sometimes is called sea salt – but from oceans millions of years ago. I eat nothing from the ocean. There is really only one ocean. Look at any map. You might want to read a paper I have written called “The Pacific Ocean Does Not Belong to Japan: It Belongs to All of Us.”

Also pay attention to iodine and where it comes from, continues Roberson. Iodine often comes from kelp “but where is the kelp sourced? Much of the kelp spanning the California coastline has shown significantly increased levels of Iodine-131 since Fukushima began. Not exactly the kind of iodine I want in children’s gummy vitamins.”

While we are here talking about food and drink, note also that most non-mercury fillings that your dentist puts in your mouth come from Japan!!! As does most bonding material at your dentist’s office. Instead, there is a company in Germany – Grandio – where dentists, not you, can get non-mercury fillings. Please ask your dentist to do so for you.

Since Fukushima, I myself do not knowingly eat or drink any food or beverages that come from Japan. My first question about anything that goes into my mouth always is – what is the country or countries of origin? I am an organic vegan now, since Fukushima, and before that was an organic vegetarian for 40 years. For those who eat organic, Roberson notes, “And trust me, radioactive fallout does not distinguish if it lands on conventional or organic items. You may be asking why is radioactive fallout alllowed in organic food but irradiation is not? The answer is because the regulations are not yet in place to test from nuclear accidents and nuclear power production. That clearly needs to change.” She wrote this in 2013. It is now 2016. Nothing has changedI love this from Roberson, “Perhaps Dr. Seuss said it best in The Lorax, ‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

On my birthday two years ago, before I read Roberson’s book, I went to the Dr. Zeuss museum in Springfield, MA and read that quote there for the first time and bought myself a Lorax then. Consider buying a Lorax for a constant reminder and keep her with you = in mind, heart, body, soul. You can buy a Lorax through The Manhattan Toy Store.

A final truth telling from prophet Roberson, “Another lesson learned. Much of what happens to protect our food and water or anything else for that matter starts with us.”

FUKUSHIMA IS EVERYWHERE
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PLEASE SIGN FFAN’S [FUKUSHIMA FALLOUT AWARENESS NETWORK] URGENT PETITION No Olympics or Paralympics in Radioactive Fukushima “Children are our most beloved and cherished gift and they are also the most vulnerable to the generational damage of man-made radiation in air, food, soil and water. Around the world children who are currently adolescent and possibly younger are in training to compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Japan. Their parents most likely have no idea that some of the venues are near the most devastating and ongoing nuclear and industrial disaster in world history, Fukushima Daiichi.

(Article changed on March 11, 2017 at 01:00)

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Sheila Parks, Ed.D., is a former college professor. She had a spiritual awakening many years ago and left her career to do peace and justice work full time. She is the founder of the grassroots group On Behalf of Planet Earth (found on FB). The (more…)

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