Seoul, South Korea - Lee Dong-ho, 73, has been fishing waters off South Korea’s southern coast near Japan for 40 years and his eldest son is now taking over the family business, their lifeblood. Lee farms snapper and yellowtail, mackerel and anchovy, and runs a drying and processing plant. “We are surrounded on three sides by the sea,” Lee, who lives in Dadae village on Geoje Island, told Al Jazeera. South Korea has transformed its fishing industry over the past 30 years amid criticism of overfishing. Lee represents positive change as most of his business involves marine-fish farming – as opposed to open-water catching – which now makes up more than half of South Korea domestic seafood production.
What happened at Fukushima Japan 10 years ago, on March 11th, was one of the very worst nuclear power catastrophes in history that was caused when a 9.0 earthquake generated a 45-foot-tall tsunami that slammed into the six-reactor complex. Long story short, over the course of the next several days, three of the reactors melted down. They had been operating on March 11th and they were not able to cool them because the earthquake had destroyed the electric grid, which was the primary source of electricity to run safety and cooling systems. And the tsunami wave had destroyed the emergency backup diesel generators, as well as the seaside cooling water pumps. So, there was no ability to cool the reactors and they melted down. Fortunately, the other three reactors on site were not operating that day or that would have likely led to six meltdowns.
Tokyo - Japanese fish industry representatives on Thursday urged the government not to allow the release at sea of tonnes of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant, saying it would undo years of work to restore their reputation. Tokyo Electric has collected more than a million tonnes of contaminated water since the plant was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The water is stored in huge tanks that crowd the site and it says it will run out of storage room by 2022.
Tokyo - In a matter of weeks, the government of Japan will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the world how much it values protecting human rights and the environment and to meet its international obligations. In the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, myself and other U.N. special rapporteurs consistently raised concerns about the approaches taken by the government of Japan. We have been concerned that raising of "acceptable limits" of radiation exposure to urge resettlement violated the government's human rights obligations to children. We have been concerned of the possible exploitation of migrants and the poor for radioactive decontamination work. Our most recent concern is how the government used the COVID-19 crisis to dramatically accelerate its timeline for deciding whether to dump radioactive wastewater accumulating at Fukushima Daiichi in the ocean.
By the summer of 2022, storage tanks holding processed water on the grounds of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant will become completely full, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co. That marks the first timetable the utility has set on when capacity will be reached in the tanks holding the water processed to remove most radioactive substances. Analysts said setting a deadline for the tank capacity allows TEPCO to push the central government and other entities to take action on the volume of contaminated water...
By Josh Cunnings for Enviro News - Well, there you have it. These risks are there and they are all too real. The question is: how many catastrophic nuclear disasters does humanity need to get the point? And how severe do these catastrophes need to be for humans to understand? It’s important to remember that because Mikhail Gorbachev made the incredibly difficult decision to throw about 600,000 men directly at Chernobyl’s ground zero – and due to the incredibly heroic and deadly work performed by those brave young men and soldiers, only about four percent of what could have been released from Chernobyl, was actually released – and even that wreaked untold devastation. How many nuclear disasters must the world undergo, and what must the severity be, in order for humanity to change its ways? Extremely unsafe situations – like reactors downhill from dams, represent only one example of the myriad threats facing nuclear power plants. Nevertheless, old Mark 1s, and many other dangerously located reactors, remain in operation today – despite countless safety concerns. One thing that’s almost certain is if you play with fire long enough you will get burned. Sadly, humans often suffer a form of collective amnesia regarding the severity of these disasters. Hopefully, over time, and with more good reporting and educational programming, that will change.
By Dahr Jamail for Truthout - When Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a triple-core meltdown in March 2011 as the result of devastating earthquake, most people had no idea this was only the beginning of a nuclear disaster that has arguably become the single worst industrial accident in human history. Keeping the three core meltdowns cool has been an ongoing challenge that has yet to be met. As fresh water is pumped over the cores, it is then stored on site in massive tanks. The Tokyo Electric Power company (TEPCO), the operator of the plant, then has to figure out what to do with that water. Recently, TEPCO announced that it would dump 770,000 tons of radioactive tritium water into the Pacific Ocean. The announcement infuriated local fishermen and environmental groups across Japan. According to Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist and winner of the 2015 Rachel Carson prize, their outrage and alarm is not without merit. "The release of thousands of tons of radioactive tritium by a giant utility company into our aquatic and natural environments is a blood-chilling prospect," Savabieasfahani told Truthout.
By Aaron Sheldrick for Reuters - TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co Holdings said on Thursday it has been hit with another lawsuit filed in a U.S. court seeking $5 billion for compensation over the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the second filed against the utility in a U.S. court. The suit filed by 157 individuals is seeking that amount to set up a compensation fund for the costs of medical tests and treatment they say they need after efforts to support the recovery from the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. The utility, known as Tepco, is being sued regarding improper design, construction and maintenance, claiming compensation for physical, mental and economic damages, the company said in a statement. A multi-plaintiff lawsuit was filed on Aug. 18, 2017, against Tokyo Electric Power Co and other parties in the Southern District Court in California, the legal information group Justia said on its website. Tepco has been hit with more lawsuits than in any previous Japanese contamination suit over the meltdowns of three reactors at its Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo after a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
By Dahr Jamail for TruthOut. When Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a triple-core meltdown in March 2011 as the result of devastating earthquake, most people had no idea this was only the beginning of a nuclear disaster that has arguably become the single worst industrial accident in human history. Keeping the three core meltdowns cool has been an ongoing challenge that has yet to be met. As fresh water is pumped over the cores, it is then stored on site in massive tanks. The Tokyo Electric Power company (TEPCO), the operator of the plant, then has to figure out what to do with that water. Recently, TEPCO announced that it would dump 770,000 tons of radioactive tritium water into the Pacific Ocean.
By Max B. O'Connell for Rapid City Journal - It takes a lot of courage to stick your neck out, but one Rapid City resident has been dubbed a hero for doing just that. Charmaine White Face, an Oglala Sioux scientist, environmentalist and activist, has been named a Giraffe Hero by the Giraffe Heroes Project, a nonprofit organization that encourages people to "stick their necks out for the common good." White Face, who learned of the honor just days before it was announced last Wednesday, was surprised. "I knew someone had nominated me, but I didn't expect it," White Face said. "And I'm glad, but I knew all of the reasons I was nominated, and there's far more that happened than anyone knows." White Face, 69, was chosen for her battles against corruption within tribal governments, as well as her fight against uranium mining in the Black Hills. Her work has been met with threats as well as plaudits: White Face said that the brakes to her car have been cut, and that people have told her to "watch out" or a bomb would be placed in her car. "That's why I have mixed feelings about this, because there's trauma that comes with my work," White Face said. "I still have residue of that." White Face's fights began in the 1980s as she tried to uncover corruption within the tribal governments. At the time, she was the treasurer of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. "I saw all of the corruption and misuse of federal money," White Face said. "Different programs like Head Start and elderly meals programs had money being used to pay people off, and that left people in poverty."
By Russia Today. A federal appeals court has ruled that members of the US Navy can now, in a US court, pursue their lawsuit which alleges that they were exposed to radiation while providing aid after the nuclear crisis in Fukushima, Japan. On Thursday, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in favor of the sailors who were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation while providing humanitarian aid after an earthquake destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. 1ussreaganThe ruling allows sailors, who were aboard the ship at the time, to pursue their lawsuit against the state-owned Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) for misrepresented radiation levels in the surrounding air and water. The lawsuit alleges that TEPCO misled them about the extent of the radiation leak.
By Justin McCurry for The Guardian - A court in Japan has ruled that negligence by the state contributed to the triple meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011 and awarded significant damages to evacuees. Although courts have awarded damages arising from the disaster in other cases, Friday’s ruling is the first time the government has been held liable. The Maebashi district court near Tokyo awarded ¥38.55m (£270,000) to 137 people who were forced to evacuate their homes in the days after three of Fukushima Daiichi’s six reactors suffered a catastrophic meltdown, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
By Arnie Gundersen for Farewinds Energy Education - During last winter (2016), I spent most of February and early March in Japan working with and speaking to citizens, refugees, community leaders, elected officials, engineers, doctors, and scientists. At their request, I taught scientists and citizen scientists how to collect accurate radiation data, and also spoke to many groups of Japanese eager to learn about the scientific and engineering hazards of operating 50 nuclear plants in the most seismically active country in the world. The scientific impact of the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi is an ongoing disaster that was never envisioned by the engineers who created and designed these atomic reactors and countries who built them.
By Niamh McIntyre For Independent - A Japanese company tasked with cleaning up Fukushima, the site of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, has admitted that its attempts to probe the site are failing repeatedly due to incredibly high levels of radiation. The nuclear meltdown at Fukushima in 2011 was triggered by an earthquake and tsunami which left around 18,000 people dead and more than a million buildings destroyed. At least 100,000 people living near the plant were forced to leave their homes. High rates of mental health problems and post-traumatic stress disorder have been observed within the displaced population.
By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams - Greenpeace Japan reported Thursday that waterways in the Fukushima district have hundreds of times more radiation now than before 2011, when the nuclear disaster that forced the evacuation of at least 160,000 people occurred. Looking back at the past five years, the environmental group's new report, Atomic Depths: An assessment of freshwater and marine sediment contamination: The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster—Five years later (pdf), finds that the hazardous chemical cesium-137 was present in the soil on the banks of the Abukuma, Niida, and Ota rivers.