No nukes! Niigata!

カテゴリ:English( 19 )

2016年 10月 22日

Japanese anti-nuclear candidate wins election... (the guardian)

Japanese anti-nuclear candidate wins election at site of world's biggest atomic power station (the guardian 17/Oct/2016)

An anti-nuclear candidate has been elected in a region of Japan that houses the world’s biggest atomic power station, striking a blow to Tokyo Electric Power’s attempts to restart the plant in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

Ryuichi Yoneyama, a doctor-lawyer who has never held office and is backed mostly by leftwing parties, won the race for governor of Niigata, north of Tokyo, Japanese media projected on Sunday. Shares in Tokyo Electric Power fell 8% on Monday after the news broke.

The vote was dominated by concerns about the future of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station and nuclear safety more than five years after the Fukushima catastrophe. The result represents a challenge to the government’s energy policy.

“As I have promised all of you, under current circumstances where we can’t protect your lives and your way of life, I declare clearly that I can’t approve a restart,” the 49-year-old told supporters at his campaign headquarters.

Cheers of “Banzai!” erupted as media began projecting him the winner over former mayor Tamio Mori, 67, backed by prime minister Shinzo Abe’s pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic party (LDP).

Yoneyama had more than 500,000 votes to about 430,000 for Mori with 93% of the vote counted, public broadcaster NHK said. Voters opposed restarting the plant by 73% to 27%, according to an exit poll by the broadcaster.

Mori, a former construction ministry bureaucrat, apologised to his supporters for failing to win the election.

Yoneyama, who has run unsuccessfully for office four times, promised to continue the policy of the outgoing governor who had long thwarted the ambitions of Tepco, as the company supplying about a third of Japan’s electricity is known, to restart the plant.

Reviving the seven-reactor site, which has a capacity of 8 gigawatts, is key to saving the utility, which was brought low by the Fukushima explosions and meltdowns, and then the repeated admissions of cover-ups and safety lapses after the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

Tepco, put under government control in 2012, is vital to Abe’s energy policy, which relies on rebooting more of the reactors that once met about 30% of the nation’s needs.

The election became a litmus test for nuclear safety and put Abe’s energy policy and Tepco’s handling of Fukushima back under the spotlight.

The government wants to restart units that pass safety checks, also promoting renewables and burning more coal and natural gas.

Only two of Japan’s 42 reactors are running, more than five years after Fukushima, but the Niigata plant’s troubles go back further.

Several reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa have been out of action since an earthquake in 2007 caused radiation leaks and fires in a disaster that prefigured the Fukushima calamity and Tepco’s bungled response.

Yoneyama, who has worked as a radiological researcher, said on the campaign trail that Tepco didn’t have the means to prevent Niigata children from getting thyroid cancer in a nuclear accident, as he said had happened in Fukushima. He said the company didn’t have a solid evacuation plan.

The LDP’s Mori, meanwhile, was forced to tone down his support for restarting the plant as the race tightened, media said, insisting safety was the priority for Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, while promoting the use of natural gas and solar power in Niigata.

(posted by Ben 10people10color)

by nonukes_niigata | 2016-10-22 21:20 | English | Comments(0)
2014年 01月 30日

For Fukushima’s Displaced, a Struggle to Recover Lives Torn Apart by Nuclear...

For Fukushima’s Displaced, a Struggle to Recover Lives Torn Apart by Nuclear Disaster
(DEMOCRACY NOW! January 15th, 2014)

We continue to look at the fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant crisis in 2011 with a documentary about the former residents of Futaba, where the facility is located. "Nuclear Nation: The Fukushima Refugees Story" follows them in the first year after the disaster as they live communally in an abandoned school near Tokyo. Many mourn the loss of family members and their homes, and worry about the impact of radiation exposure on their health. We play excerpts from the film and are joined by director Atsushi Funahashi...

(posted by Ben 10people10color)

by nonukes_niigata | 2014-01-30 21:41 | English | Comments(0)
2013年 09月 08日

Fukushima Radiation at Record High

Fukushima Radiation at Record High(Democracy Now! September 4th 2013)

Radiation levels at Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear plant have hit a new high. The latest figures show radiation levels of 2,200 millisieverts, an increase of more than 20 percent and the worst level in the plant’s holding tanks since an earthquake and tsunami caused a triple-reactor meltdown at Fukushima in March 2011. The plant’s operators say the higher levels are explained by improved detection equipment, not new leaks. The news comes one day after Japan pledged to spend around $500 million to stop the leaking of radioactive water. That announcement came in advance of the International Olympic Committee’s pending decision on whether to hold the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he will assure the IOC that Fukushima would not threaten the Olympics’ safety...

(posted by Ben 10people10color)

by nonukes_niigata | 2013-09-08 00:32 | English | Comments(0)
2013年 08月 31日

As Fukushima Raises Severity Level, Nuclear Expert Warns Radioactive Leaks Will...

As Fukushima Raises Severity Level, Nuclear Expert Warns Radioactive Leaks Will Only "Get Worse"(DEMOCRACY NOW! August 28)

Japan’s nuclear regulator said today it has officially raised the severity rating of the latest radioactive water leak at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to Level 3 on an international scale for radiological releases. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), said last week that 330 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from a storage tank at the facility. Crews of workers have been rushing to check for leaks in hundreds of other tanks holding radioactive water. Japanese regulators have accused TEPCO of failing to properly monitor the storage tanks. "The problem is going to get worse," warns Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear industry executive who has coordinated projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the United States. "Radioactive water is leaking out of this plant as fast as it is leaking in."...

(posted by Ben 10people10color)

by nonukes_niigata | 2013-08-31 01:45 | English | Comments(0)
2013年 08月 24日

New Radiation Areas Found at Fukushima Nuclear Plant

New Radiation Areas Found at Fukushima Nuclear Plant(DEMOCRACY NOW! August 22 2013)

The operator of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says new areas of high radiation near storage tanks holding contaminated water have been discovered. The announcement raises fears of new leaks two days after the plant disclosed 300 tons of contaminated water have leaked from a storage tank into the ground, reportedly the worst such leak to date. That leak prompted the plant to raise its severity level from one to three. Crews of workers are now rushing to check for leaks in hundreds of other tanks holding radioactive water. Speaking to the BBC, Mycle Schneider, a nuclear expert who authors the World Nuclear Industry status reports, said he believes the Fukushima leaks are "much worse than we have been led to believe."

(posted by Ben 10people10color)

by nonukes_niigata | 2013-08-24 12:06 | English | Comments(0)
2013年 07月 08日

Tepco chief gets cool reception in Niigata

Tepco chief gets cool reception in Niigata(The Japan Times July 5th)

KASHIWAZAKI, NIIGATA PREF. – Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida declined Friday to give his consent to Tepco’s plan to restart two of the seven reactors at the world’s largest nuclear power plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose went to Niigata to tell local leaders about the utility’s plan to apply for a government safety assessment of reactors 6 and 7 at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant as a step toward bringing them back online...

(posted by Ben 10people10color)

by nonukes_niigata | 2013-07-08 22:06 | English | Comments(0)
2013年 03月 28日

Google Street View lets former Fukushima residents see the town they left

Google Street View lets former Fukushima residents see the town they left
(engadget, March 27th, 2013)

It's been more than two years since the tragic Eastern Japan tsunami and resulting Fukushima Prefecture nuclear plant crisis, but many of those who lived in affected areas still can't return: witness the 21,000 residents of Namie, who had to evacuate and haven't been back since. Thanks to a newly published Google Street View run, those former residents can once more see the town they had to leave. The 360-degree imagery shows Namie in the deserted state it faces today, with little recovery work done or possible. Google's photos can't accelerate the recovery process, but Mayor Tamotsu Baba views them as an incentive to eventually return -- and a better way for the rest of the world to understand the tsunami's long-term effects.

(posted by Ben 10people10color)

by nonukes_niigata | 2013-03-28 22:35 | English | Comments(0)
2013年 03月 07日

March 7th -17th "Since that day...the terror of the ongoing nuclear disaster"

"Since that day...the terror of the ongoing nuclear disaster" Naomi Toyoda's photo exhibition @Niigata City Central Library

Date: March 7th(Thu)-17th(Sun) *8th(Fri) will be closed.
Place: Niigata City Central Library also known as Hon-port, (Central Ward or Chuo-Ku)
Entrance: Free

Naomi Toyoda is a JVJA member. JVJA stands for Japan Visual Journalist Association.
He is one of the journalists who have been covering Fukushima since 3.11, 2011.

(posted by Ben 10people10color)

by nonukes_niigata | 2013-03-07 23:36 | English | Comments(0)
2013年 01月 24日

Niigata Assembly Rejects Referendum Bill on N-Plant

Niigata Assembly Rejects Referendum Bill on N-Plant(Jiji press Jan.23, 2013)

The prefectural assembly of Niigata, central Japan, rejected Wednesday a bill for a referendum on whether Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant should be allowed to resume its operations.

At an extraordinary assembly plenary meeting, the bill was rejected by a majority vote led by the Liberal Democratic Party.

The LDP, which holds more than half of seats at the assembly, insisted that the central government should be responsible for deciding whether to allow the restart of the nuclear plant.

After the meeting, Niigata Governor Hirohiko Izumida said it was very regrettable that a bill for a referendum to hear the opinion of the public had been rejected for the reason that nuclear policy should be decided by the central government.

But the governor suggested he would not submit a similar referendum bill again, although he said he is not sure.

(posted by Ben 10people10color)

by nonukes_niigata | 2013-01-24 00:26 | English | Comments(0)
2012年 12月 27日

Civic Group Seeks Nuclear Referendum in Niigata Pref.

Civic Group Seeks Nuclear Referendum in Niigata Pref.(JIJI PRESS Dec.25 2012)

A local civic group petitioned the Niigata prefectural government on Tuesday to establish an ordinance to call a referendum on whether a Tokyo Electric Power Co. nuclear plant should be restarted.

The petition about TEPCO's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in the central Japan prefecture was filed with Niigata Governor Hirohiko Izumida.

According to the prefecture, Izumida will call a meeting of the prefectural assembly within 20 days of accepting the petition and submit to it a draft ordinance that reflects his opinion.

The electoral councils of Niigata municipalities approved signatures from 68,353 people for the petition out of 72,027 submitted by the group in November.

The final figure exceeded the 2 pct of eligible voters in the prefecture, or nearly of 40,000 people, needed to submit a petition.

(posted by Ben 10people10color)

by nonukes_niigata | 2012-12-27 20:45 | English | Comments(0)