Friday, May 27, 2011
Since radioactive particles have started spreading around the world, your message will help to save the world and people (especially children). Here are a few examples of what is happening now in Japan:
1. The Japanese government allows fresh food to be on the market although it contains radiation 20-30 times higher than the global safety standard.
2. The Japanese government does not do anything even with food which contains radiation higher than Japanese safety standards.
3. The Japanese government does not inform its citizens of the results of the seafood radiation investigation, and does not allow Green Peace to conduct a thorough investigation of the sea environment around Japan.
4. According to UK researchers, more than 400,000 additional cancers will occur within the next 50 years on account of the radiation if no preventive efforts take place.
5. Air dose levels of radiation do not reflect the actual doses. Official air doses are half or quarter of the actual doses.
6. The Japanese government insists that 20mSv/year is safe for children at a school yard. The amount is 20 times higher than previous safety standards.
7. Data and information about Fukushima has been hidden, although radioactive particles keep spilling into the water and air every day.
8. Several millions of residents who evacuated from the area surrounding Fukushima still live in public buildings, gymnasiums, and such. There is no plan for them yet.
9. Several millions of Geiger counters donated by foreign counties are sitting, unused, in a warehouse.
Please send an email about these issues to the following Japanese officials:
Mr. Naoto Kan, prime minister (for all of the above): firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Hosokawa, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (Points 126.96.36.199): email@example.com
Mr. Takagi, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Points 5, 6): firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Kaieda, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Points 7, 8) email@example.com
Mr. Matsumoto, Foreign Ministry (Point 9): firstname.lastname@example.org
Please urge them to:
1) Conform to global standards on radiation safety in terms of food, water, and the environment
2) Check radiation levels in the air and water, and on the ground, which are more suitable to protect human life
3) Make all updated radiation information easily available to everyone
4) Disclose information and data regarding the Fukushima plant to Japanese and also the world
5) Take appropriate care of residents who have evacuated and who want to evacuate from Fukushima prefecture
6) Utilize the Geiger counters and other resources donated from foreign countries
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this message. Itsumi regularly tweets about the radiation and earthquake situation. You can follow her tweets at http://twitter.com/#!/ikrockhopper
Thursday, May 12, 2011
One surprise was that the temperature of the pressure vessel is very low, which implies that the hot rods are not at the bottom of the pressure vessel. The rods may have melted the bottom of the pressure vessel and piled up at the bottom of the container vessel. Or, even worse, they may have reached the concrete ground of the building, or even lower. Nobody knows.
TEPCO planned to fill the vessels with water and cool down the rods, but, since they now know that the pressure vessel is broken, they must change their plan. However, the only thing they are able to do is keep pouring on the water, even though they don't know where it is going. Nobody knows where the 10,000 tons of radioactive water have gone.
Many experts including those in the U.S. say that a meltdown has happened in three reactors to a certain degree, but they can't say to what extent. Now, a 100% meltdown has been confirmed at Reactor No. 1.
Presumably the situation at Reactor 3 continues to be dire, and is especially dangerous because Reactor 3 contains the more dangerous MOX plutonium fuel. The situation at No. 4 is also obviously not good, because recently the No. 4 building has been visibly leaning. A video about the leaning No. 4 building and the fact that information is being controlled in order to avoid panic is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPWLwTiSv_Y&feature=youtu.be
The nuclear disaster hasn't gotten any better, but life continues on in Japan. I summarized this update from news that Itsumi, who is in Tokyo, has sent me. She is tweeting regular updates about the disaster situation in Japan. You can read them yourself at http://twitter.com/#!/search/ikrockhopper, or go to http://twitter.com/ and search for ikrockhopper.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
- having the same ruler for 30 years
- poverty (60% of the population lives under the poverty line)
- poor health care (because of a lack of hospital beds, many patients sleep on the floor)
- police violence
- human rights violations such as lack of free speech, and an "emergency law" which allows people to be jailed for opposing the government, for example in a blog or newspaper
Monday, March 21, 2011
Nine survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were on a bus in Naples, Italy, when they heard the news that hundreds of people are being treated for radiation exposure due to explosions at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan in the aftermath of the massive earthquake that struck Japan on March 11. The atomic bomb survivors, or Hibakusha in Japanese, gave testimony of their experiences several times in Naples, to junior high school students and to the public.
"The most horrible part of the atomic bomb is the radiation that it releases," said Sakaguchi Hiroko, a second generation Hibakusha whose mother was exposed to the atomic bomb at the age of 23 in Nagasaki. "Radiation has no color or shape. However, it penetrates the body and damages DNA." Because Ms. Sakaguchi's mother was not near the hypocenter of the atomic bomb, she didn't have any immediate injuries. But later she died of rectal and lung cancer.
The radiation released from an atomic bomb and the radiation released when a nuclear power plant malfunctions are the same, and Ms. Sakaguchi is concerned for the people who have been or are being exposed to radiation in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami which led to an explosion at a nuclear power plant. "The myth that Japanese technology is good enough to make nuclear energy safe and clean has been broken by this earthquake," Ms. Sakaguchi said. "We cannot stop earthquakes, but we can stop nuclear power. And we must," she said, quoting Felicity Hill, a leader in the struggle against nuclear energy. She urged the audience to work toward developing sustainable energy and creating a world with no war and no nuclear weapons. "It's not only the nuclear bomb, it's all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle, including the uranium mining, that create risks for human beings."
Ms. Sakaguchi, born four years after the atomic bomb, emphasized that radiation affects not only those who are exposed but also future generations. "Radiation causes a special damage, and that damage is also in my body," she said. Several of her classmates and cousins, also second generation Hibakusha, have died of leukemia.
An Italian junior high school student asked why Japan, after having experienced nuclear bombs, has nuclear power plants. Tasaki Noburo, who was exposed to the atomic bomb in Nagasaki, explained that until now Japan has relied heavily on nuclear power, and has exported nuclear power overseas. "But because of the earthquake we now know for sure that nuclear power plants are very dangerous," he said. He recommended the use of solar and natural energy. "The use of nuclear power is not just a problem in Japan. Many countries use nuclear power, and they all share the same concern," he said. "As Hibakusha we know the horrors of radiation. We really have to think about how to move forward to make clean and safe energy," he said.
Yamanaka Emiko, exposed to radiation in Hiroshima when she was 12 years old, explained how radiation affects not only future generations, but also human relations. "When I was a teenager I had a boyfriend," she said. "For four years we had a lovely relationship, and eventually he proposed to me. But his parents forbade our marriage, saying that they didn't want any Hibakusha in the family."
Nishida Goro, exposed to the atomic bomb in Hiroshima at the age of three, also emphasized that radiation is the scariest part of nuclear weapons. Mr. Nishida's mother was not in Hiroshima when the bomb exploded, but she was unknowingly exposed to radiation when she entered the city of Hiroshima several days later. His mother passed away when he was in high school, after she had suffered many years from an enlarged spleen caused by radiation. "Radiation is invisible but it comes out in sicknesses such as cancer and leukemia, and it has a strong effect on people and the environment," Mr. Nishida said.
Currently in Japan, radiation has been released during several explosions at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, and radiation has been detected in the populous Tokyo area.
Kakefuda Itsumi, a psychologist in Tokyo, said that in evaluating nuclear power people should consider the psychological impact of nuclear disasters. "People in Tokyo and the surrounding area are experiencing a lot of stress due to worry about radiation," she said. "Some have started to move away. Radiation is not visible, and people can't obtain accurate information. Even the authorities don't know what is happening," she said. "Nuclear power plants are not worth having."