ACTION ALERT: Urgent Petitions for a Global Response to the Worsening Fukushima Disaster
October 30, 2013
Green Shadow Cabinet & Green Action & The Free Press
The crisis situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan is deteriorating and threatens not only the survival of the population of Japan but could also become a significant global disaster. The potential for additional massive radiation releases now is cause for grave international concern. The attention and resources of the international community must be focused on Fukushima to resolve this crisis in the safest and most transparent way.
ACTION ALERT: Petitions for Global Response to Worsening Fukushima Disaster
Margaret Flowers M.D. / Green Shadow Cabinet
(October 29, 2013) -- This is the final version of the International Sign-on letter regarding Fukushima. We will deliver this letter to the UN on Nov. 7 so we will need the signers before then. It looks like removal of the rods will start on the 8th. And the 7th coincides with the showing of a pro-nuclear movie on CNN called "Pandora's Promise."
Please send this to individuals and organizations you know who would be willing to sign on.
Please ask signers to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also encourage people to plan actions on the weekend of Nov. 9 and 10. We will post the actions on http://www.popularresistance.org/
A Global Call for International
Assistance with the Crises at Fukushima
The crisis situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan is deteriorating and threatens not only the survival of the population of Japan but could also become a significant global disaster.
We express our deepest sympathies to the people of Japan for the tragic loss of life, habitat and infrastructure they are continuing to suffer as a result of the triple disasters -- earthquake, tsunami and nuclear, that began on March 11, 2011.
The potential for additional massive radiation releases now is cause for grave international concern. The attention and resources of the international community must be focused on Fukushima to resolve this crisis in the safest and most transparent way.
Decommissioning of the entire Fukushima nuclear power plant will take many decades; however, there are two urgent situations that require international intervention.
First is contaminated water at the site and second, and more dangerous, is the spent fuel rods, particularly those in Building Four. TEPCO has not demonstrated the capacity to manage these problems nor has it been forthcoming in a timely way about the magnitude of the problems at Fukushima.
TEPCO delayed public admission about the problems with groundwater that is flowing from the surrounding hills into the site. The water presents two dilemmas: it undermines the structural integrity of the damaged reactor buildings and it must be contained because it becomes contaminated when it flows through the site.
TEPCO is pumping the contaminated water into temporary storage tanks, some of which are already leaking. Each day, contaminated water leaks into the Pacific Ocean. The capacity to physically hold this contaminated water on site is diminishing. TEPCO lacks an effective long-term solution to this problem.
In November 2013, TEPCO plans to begin removal of more than 1,300 spent fuel rods located in the heavily-damaged Building 4. The rods are in a pool that is 100 feet above the ground. The roof over this pool was destroyed in the earthquake and tsunami two years ago and debris litters the pool, which further complicates removal of the rods.
Under normal operation, these rods were moved by computer-assisted cranes that knew their exact location, but that equipment was destroyed. The rods must be removed under manual control because of the debris and damage that has displaced them.
This is a task that requires great skill and precision. If a spent fuel rod breaks, gets too close to another rod or is exposed to the air, there could be a massive release of radiation into the air. According to Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute, "If you calculate the amount of cesium 137 in the pool, the amount is equivalent to 14,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs." This could badly contaminate the Northern Hemisphere.
Removal of the spent fuel rods is urgent because another earthquake could also lead to the release of radiation. However, it is imperative that this task be performed with the greatest accuracy and transparency. TEPCO vice president, Zengo Aizawa, admitted in August, 2013 that "we need support, not only from the Japanese government but from the international community to do this job."
The risks of these tasks are global and require assistance from the planet's best experts. Therefore, we, the undersigned, call for the following actions to be taken immediately.
* That the government of Japan transfer responsibility for the Fukushima reactor site to an international engineering firm overseen by a civil society panel and an international group of nuclear experts independent from TEPCO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as outlined in this open letter to the United Nations.
[See letter here: http://www.nirs.org/fukushima/expert-ltr-bankimoon-09-2013.pdf]
* That the decommissioning process be done safely so that workers at the Fukushima site are protected from exposure to hazardous materials, are compensated fairly and are provided with all necessary support given the tremendous risks that they are taking in this disastrous situation.
* That the Japanese and global media be permitted around-the-clock access to accurate information throughout the entire process of removal of the spent fuel rods so that the Japanese people and the international community can be informed of any risks to their health.
In addition, we call for three days of global action focused on the crises at Fukushima on November 9 through 11 to coincide with Armistice Day and the 32 month anniversary of the disaster.
Green Shadow Cabinet Sub-committee on Fukushima:
Jackie Cabasso, Secretary for Nuclear Affairs
Dr. Margaret Flowers, Green Shadow Cabinet, Secretary of Health
Bruce Gagnon, Green Shadow Cabinet, Secretary of Space
Steven Leeper, Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, adviser to the sub-committee
Dr. Jill Stein, Green Shadow Cabinet, President
Harvey Wasserman, Green Shadow Cabinet, Secretary of Energy
Endorsing individuals and organizations:
Environmentalists Against War and many others….
Urgent International Petition Calling for
Immediate Action on the Uncontrolled Radioactive Discharges
At Tepco's Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan
Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
Shunichi Tanaka, Chairman, Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA)
T his is clearly not an appropriate time for Japan to restart nuclear plants or export nuclear technology
The ocean, the source of life, must not be contaminated further
We hereby petition the Japanese national government and related entities to undertake the following commitments.
1. Clarify the Japanese government's responsibility concerning the radioactive discharges into the ocean. Concentrate fully on dealing with this issue, and suspend all activity aimed at restarting nuclear plants in Japan and exporting nuclear power reactors to other countries.
Japan's new post-Fukushima regulatory standards do not take into account the possibility of uncontrolled radioactive releases into the ocean. Processing applications to restart nuclear plants in Japan under these conditions can result in additional uncontrolled releases and must be suspended.
2. Implement maximum efforts to prevent further contamination of the ocean. Install tanks for the storage of the contaminated water that are more robust and sustainable in order to prevent leakage. Deliberate discharge of the contents of the radioactive water in tanks into the ocean absolutely must not be permitted.
3. Bring together the combined wisdom of independent experts with no vested interests from within Japan and internationally (i.e. domestic and international independent expertise) and ensure its practical implementation.
4. Ensure transparency. Make all government meetings concerning this issue public, including the meetings of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's Radioactive Contamination Discharges Countermeasures Committee. Immediately hold a public assessment of the proposed ice wall strategy.
5. Retract Prime Minister Abe's following statements made at the International Olympic Commission (IOC): "The situation is under control." "The effects of the [radioactive] discharges are completely blocked within the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant's harbor."
The uncontrolled radioactive discharges into the marine environment as a result of Tepco's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident are alarming. It is essential to undertake urgent measures to stop the leaks of contaminated ground water and to deal with the high-level contamination leaking from the storage tanks.
This situation is so serious that one can almost say yet another serious accident has occurred.
Countermeasures to effectively contain the leakage of the water used to cool the molten fuel remaining in the reactors are yet to be put in place. There are serious doubts about the technical and economic efficacy of the proposed ice-wall strategy.
The ocean, the source of life, must not be contaminated further. This is a serious international issue. Those who fish for their livelihood are raising their voices in anger against this contamination of the ocean.
It is absolutely self-evident that Tepco is not capable of dealing with this situation. But the Japanese government is not engaging with the problems head on. Instead, the nuclear regulatory authorities are allocating their manpower to processing applications from electric utilities to restart their nuclear power plants.
The Ministry of Economy and Trade continues to hold secretive closed-door meetings with industry, providing a market-place for general contractors to lobby for contracts. In addition, Prime Minister Abe flies around the world playing top salesman for the export of Japan's nuclear power reactors.
To address this urgent situation, the government must now actively draw upon international expertise and make maximum efforts to prevent further uncontrolled radioactive discharges into the ocean.
Release of part of the radioactivity into the ocean after treatment of the contaminated water is being considered. This must be prevented at all cost. There must not be any deliberate discharge into the Pacific Ocean.
This is clearly not an appropriate time for Japan to restart nuclear plants or export nuclear technology.
At the International Olympic Committee (IOC) presentation, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated, when addressing the radioactive discharge issue, that "The situation is under control." "The effects of the [radioactive] discharges are completely blocked within the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant's harbor."
On the contrary, the contaminated water continues daily to leak, the government's measures to deal with the problem are woefully inadequate, and the extent of the effects of uncontrolled radioactive discharges are not known. Prime Minister Abe's assertions are therefore groundless.
Green Action, Suite 103, 22-75 Tanaka Sekiden-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8203 Japan. E-mail: email@example.com
Organizations calling for the petition:
Green Action, Greenpeace Japan, FoE Japan, Mihama-no-Kai, Fukuro-no-Kai, Lawsuit Group to Shut Down the Ohi Nuclear Power Plant, The Nuclear Regulation Authority Citizen Watchdog, Peace Boat, No Nukes Asia Actions, No Nukes Asia Forum Japan, Environmentalists Against War
Robert Stone Must Film Fukushima
Harvey Wasserman / The Free Press
(October 28, 2013) -- We are in desperate need of documentary filmmakers at Fukushima. The Japanese government is about to pass a national censorship law clearly meant to make it impossible to know what's going on there.
Massive quantities of radioactive water have been flowing through the site since the 3/11/11 earthquake/tsunami.
At thousand flimsy tanks hold still more thousands of tons of radioactive water which would pour into the Pacific should they collapse.
An earthquake and two typhoons have have just hit there, flushing still more radioactive water into the sea.
The corrupt and incompetent Tokyo Electric Power Company will soon try moving 400 tons of supremely radioactive rods from a damaged Unit Four fuel pool, an operation that could easily end in global catastrophe. The rods contain 14,000 times as much radioactive cesium as was released at the bombing of Hiroshima.
Nobody knows the exact location of the melted cores from Units One, Two and Three or whether they are still fissioning.
Reuters and others report criminal involvement, slashed wages, inhuman working conditions, serious shortages and lack of training in what has become an extremely dangerous labor crisis.
Intensely radioactive hotspots have turned up throughout Japan, including some that threaten human life in Tokyo and make cast a pall on the upcoming Olympics.
At least one report indicates a massive dead zone in the Pacific apparently caused by radiation pouring in from the site. Tuna contaminated with radiation from Fukushima have been caught off the California coast, and there are widespread reports other marine life disappearing throughout the Pacific.
With the information flow from Fukushima apparently about to go dark, the presence of independent media and researchers has become more critical than ever.
Petitions with more than 140,000 signatures asking for a global takeover of the Fukushima site will be delivered to the United Nations November 7. The ask is for a transnational team of world's best scientists and engineers to guarantee that all necessary resources are available to deal with this crisis.
Robert Stone has made a high budget dis-infomercial sponsored by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, whose cohort Bill Gates has bet heavily on new nukes. Called "Pandora's Promise," Stone's promoters have refused to send us a review copy. We're told it mocks industry opponents without actually interviewing them, while downplaying the killing power of atomic radiation. It's scheduled to air on CNN without a balancing point of view.
A trip to Fukushima might change Stone's mind. He's worked in the past with Michael Moore, one of our greatest investigative documentarians. Using Michael's aggressive techniques, we want him to bring back critical information that could make a difference.
At very least we desperately need to know more about the 11,000 intensely radioactive fuel rods on site, the three missing reactor cores, the proposed bring-down of the Unit Four fuel rods, the potential for still more explosions, the labor crisis, the unending flow of potentially lethal radiation into the biosphere, and much more.
The fate of the Earth may now hang at the mercy of a widely distrusted corporation and far-right government intent on blacking out that site.
Dr. James Hanson, an important climate scientist, has expressed his support for atomic energy, and would make a fitting co-worker on this trip.
Along the way, Mr. Stone, you might check out Japan's massive new offshore wind turbines whose promise is to replace all the reactors this disaster has forced shut.
But as a hired industry gun, you need above all to tell us what's happening at Fukushima… before the lights go out.
Our future could well depend on how honestly you undertake this critical task. Please report back as soon as possible.
Harvey Wasserman edits Nuke Free. He is author of SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH and hosts the "Solartopia Green Power & Wellness Show"