Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima

Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima
We feel very sad for the people of Japan who want to end nuclear energy whilst a potential new government and big business are desperate for it

No Fukushima at Oldbury

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Hinkley starts legal proceedings against government

To Reg Illingworth,
Stop Hinkley Legal Challenge Appeal
We need your support! With a number of important decisions being made in relation to the Hinkley C plans, Stop Hinkley is considering whether to challenge these in the courts. Greenpeace recently decided to mount a legal challenge to the government’s national policy on nuclear power, which is excellent news, but we also need to be aware of decisions being made locally on preparatory works for Hinkley C, particularly by West Somerset Council.
With this is mind, and to be well prepared, we have decided to invite members and supporters to contribute to a Legal Challenge Fund. Any donation, large or small, will be welcome, and put to good use in fighting Hinkley C.
Please send your donations, made payable to “Stop Hinkley”, to:
Stop Hinkley Legal Challenge Fund,
8 The Bartons, Yeabridge, South Petherton TA13 5LW.
Or you can send a donation direct to the Stop Hinkley bank account:
Account name: Stop Hinkley
Account number: 19041903
Sort code: 09-01-52
Please Quote: Legal Challenge
Or you can donate online via PayPal at or log in to PayPal and send payment to (please quote Legal Challenge)

Monday, 29 August 2011

Fukushima is worse than Chernobyl

Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl
Japan has been slow to admit the scale of the meltdown. But now the truth is coming out. David McNeill reports from Soma City

Some scientists say Fukushima is worse than the 1986 Chernobyl accident, with which it shares a maximum level-7 rating on the sliding scale of nuclear disasters.

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Yoshio Ichida is recalling the worst day of his 53 years: 11 March, when the sea swallowed up his home and killed his friends. The Fukushima fisherman was in the bath when the huge quake hit and barely made it to the open sea in his boat in the 40 minutes before the 15-metre tsunami that followed. When he got back to port, his neighbourhood and nearly everything else was gone. "Nobody can remember anything like this," he says.

Now living in a refugee centre in the ruined coastal city of Soma, Mr Ichida has mourned the 100 local fishermen killed in the disaster and is trying to rebuild his life with his colleagues. Every morning, they arrive at the ruined fisheries co-operative building in Soma port and prepare for work. Then they stare out at the irradiated sea, and wait. "Some day we know we'll be allowed to fish again. We all want to believe that."

This nation has recovered from worse natural – and manmade – catastrophes. But it is the triple meltdown and its aftermath at the Fukushima nuclear power plant 40km down the coast from Soma that has elevated Japan into unknown, and unknowable, terrain. Across the northeast, millions of people are living with its consequences and searching for a consensus on a safe radiation level that does not exist. Experts give bewilderingly different assessments of its dangers.

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Search the news archive for more stories
Some scientists say Fukushima is worse than the 1986 Chernobyl accident, with which it shares a maximum level-7 rating on the sliding scale of nuclear disasters. One of the most prominent of them is Dr Helen Caldicott, an Australian physician and long time anti-nuclear activist who warns of "horrors to come" in Fukushima.

Chris Busby, a professor at the University of Ulster known for his alarmist views, generated controversy during a Japan visit last month when he said the disaster would result in more than 1 million deaths. "Fukushima is still boiling its radionuclides all over Japan," he said. "Chernobyl went up in one go. So Fukushima is worse."

On the other side of the nuclear fence are the industry friendly scientists who insist that the crisis is under control and radiation levels are mostly safe. "I believe the government and Tokyo Electric Power [Tepco, the plant's operator] are doing their best," said Naoto Sekimura, vice-dean of the Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. Mr Sekimura initially advised residents near the plant that a radioactive disaster was "unlikely" and that they should stay "calm", an assessment he has since had to reverse.

Slowly, steadily, and often well behind the curve, the government has worsened its prognosis of the disaster. Last Friday, scientists affiliated with the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the plant had released 15,000 terabecquerels of cancer-causing Cesium, equivalent to about 168 times the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the event that ushered in the nuclear age. (Professor Busby says the release is at least 72,000 times worse than Hiroshima).

Caught in a blizzard of often conflicting information, many Japanese instinctively grope for the beacons they know. Mr Ichida and his colleagues say they no longer trust the nuclear industry or the officials who assured them the Fukushima plant was safe. But they have faith in government radiation testing and believe they will soon be allowed back to sea.

That's a mistake, say sceptics, who note a consistent pattern of official lying, foot-dragging and concealment. Last week, officials finally admitted something long argued by its critics: that thousands of people with homes near the crippled nuclear plant may not be able to return for a generation or more. "We can't rule out the possibility that there will be some areas where it will be hard for residents to return to their homes for a long time," said Yukio Edano, the government's top government spokesman. "We are very sorry."

Last Friday, hundreds of former residents from Futaba and Okuma, the towns nearest the plant, were allowed to visit their homes – perhaps for the last time – to pick up belongings. Wearing masks and radiation suits, they drove through the 20km contaminated zone around the plant, where hundreds of animals have died and rotted in the sun, to find kitchens and living rooms partly reclaimed by nature. "It's hard to believe we ever lived here," one former resident told NHK.

Several other areas northwest of the plant have become atomic ghost towns after being ordered to evacuate – too late, say many residents, who believe they absorbed dangerous quantities of radiation in the weeks after the accident. "We've no idea when we can come back," says Katsuzo Shoji, who farmed rice and cabbages and kept a small herd of cattle near Iitate, a picturesque village about 40km from the plant.

Although it is outside the exclusion zone, the village's mountainous topography meant radiation, carried by wind and rain, lingered, poisoning crops, water and school playgrounds.

The young, the wealthy, mothers and pregnant women left for Tokyo or elsewhere. Most of the remaining 6000 people have since evacuated, after the government accepted that safe radiation limits had been exceeded.

Mr Shoji, 75, went from shock to rage, then despair when the government told him he would have to destroy his vegetables, kill his six cows and move with his wife Fumi, 73, to an apartment in Koriyama, about 20km away. "We've heard five, maybe 10 years but some say that's far too optimistic," he says, crying. "Maybe I'll be able to come home to die." He was given initial compensation of one million yen (£7,900) by Tepco, topped up with 350,000 yen from the government.

It is the fate of people outside the evacuation zones, however, that causes the most bitter controversy. Parents in Fukushima City, 63km from the plant, have banded together to demand that the government do more to protect about 100,000 children. Schools have banned soccer and other outdoor sports. Windows are kept closed. "We've just been left to fend for ourselves," says Machiko Sato, a grandmother who lives in the city. "It makes me so angry."

Many parents have already sent their children to live with relatives or friends hundreds of kilometres away. Some want the government to evacuate the entire two million population of Fukushima Prefecture. "They're demanding the right to be able to evacuate," says anti-nuclear activist Aileen Mioko Smith, who works with the parents. "In other words, if they evacuate they want the government to support them."

So far, at least, the authorities say that is not necessary. The official line is that the accident at the plant is winding down and radiation levels outside of the exclusion zone and designated "hot spots" are safe.

But many experts warn that the crisis is just beginning. Professor Tim Mousseau, a biological scientist who has spent more than a decade researching the genetic impact of radiation around Chernobyl, says he worries that many people in Fukushima are "burying their heads in the sand." His Chernobyl research concluded that biodiversity and the numbers of insects and spiders had shrunk inside the irradiated zone, and the bird population showed evidence of genetic defects, including smaller brain sizes.

"The truth is that we don't have sufficient data to provide accurate information on the long-term impact," he says. "What we can say, though, is that there are very likely to be very significant long-term health impact from prolonged exposure."

In Soma, Mr Ichida says all the talk about radiation is confusing. "All we want to do is get back to work. There are many different ways to die, and having nothing to do is one of them."

Economic cost
Fukushima: Japan has estimated it will cost as much as £188bn to rebuild following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.
Chernobyl There are a number of estimates of the economic impact, but thetotal cost is thought to be about £144bn.

Fukushima: workers are allowed to operate in the crippled plant up to a dose of 250mSv (millisieverts).
Chernobyl: People exposed to 350mSv were relocated. In most countries the maximum annual dosage for a worker is 20mSv. The allowed dose for someone living close to a nuclear plant is 1mSv a year.

Death toll
Fukushima: Two workers died inside the plant. Some scientists predict that one million lives will be lost to cancer.
Chernobyl: It is difficult to say how many people died on the day of the disaster because of state security, but Greenpeace estimates that 200,000 have died from radiation-linked cancers in the 25 years since the accident.

Exclusion zone
Fukushima: Tokyo initially ordered a 20km radius exclusion zone around the plant
Chernobyl: The initial radius of the Chernobyl zone was set at 30km – 25 years later it is still largely in place.

Fukushima: Tepco's share price has collapsed since the disaster largely because of the amount it will need to pay out, about £10,000 a person
Chernobyl: Not a lot. It has been reported that Armenian victims of the disaster were offered about £6 each in 1986

Fukushima: The UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported bilateral aid worth $95m
Chernobyl: 12 years after the disaster, the then Ukrainian president, Leonid Kuchma, complained that his country was still waiting for international help.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Greenpeace take government to court

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Greenpeace takes government to court over nuclear power expansion

26 August, 2011
Greenpeace UK has today served legal papers on the government for unlawfully failing to take into account the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in their future planning for the building of new nuclear power stations at sites in Britain.

In a 1611 page legal submission to the High Court, Greenpeace is seeking a Judicial Review of the government’s decision not to take into account specialist advice on the implications of the Fukushima disaster on future reactors, which it has an obligation to do. The case made by Greenpeace against the government and the secretary of state Chris Huhne includes:

That the secretary of state unlawfully chose to press ahead with his plans for new nuclear reactors at eight sites in England and Wales (through the Nuclear National Policy Statement) without waiting to take into account relevant considerations arising from the Fukushima disaster.
That the government appears to have regarded Dr Mike Weightman’s Interim Report into the lessons from Fukushima as a ‘green light’ for proceeding with the Nuclear National Policy Statement even though that the report highlighted areas of serious concern requiring further investigation and that Dr Weightman’s review remains ongoing.
That communications between government officials and nuclear companies seems to show that there was no real intention to properly consider the implications of the disturbing events at Fukushima with an open mind as to what careful analysis of those events and their aftermath might reveal about the safety of nuclear power and the UK’s ability to respond to a major nuclear incident.
That he failed to fully consider all the risks of flooding to a nuclear site despite the evidence of how flooding affected operations at Fukishima. Five of the eight sites identified for new reactors are wholly or partly in areas classified by the Environment Agency as being areas of high flood risk.
That he failed to wait for analysis of the lessons from Fukushima on how electricity supply, both on and off site, including back up sources and supplies can be guaranteed in the event of an emergency over suitably long timescales in order to provide vital cooling for reactors. The root causes for the Fukushima station blackout and loss of power supply have not yet been properly analysed.
That the Nuclear National Policy Statement fails to fully consider the lessons from Fukushima on the need for emergency planning for on and off site consequences of a nuclear accident involving a much wider emergency situation with radiation releases over a prolonged time and involving a need to evacuate and re-house large numbers of people. The Japanese emergency planning system demonstrably failed to provide early and sufficient protection for the civilian population in Japan.
Commenting on the legal case John Sauven, Greenpeace Executive Director said:

“The tragic events of Fukushima have been a catalyst for governments around the world to look again at the safety and viability of their nuclear plans. Instead of following the lead of countries like Germany, our government has recklessly decided to push ahead with new nuclear power without properly taking into account many of the lessons from Fukushima or wider implications for the nuclear industry.

"We believe the government’s failure to properly consult experts and the public after the Fukushima tragedy amounts to a dangerous attempt to cut corners and carve out voices of concern, in order to keep pushing forward with its favoured technology. We think they should be challenged on this.

"Following Fukushima, a number of countries decided nuclear power wasn’t worth the risk or increased costs and focused on safer, clean renewable technologies. Instead in Britain, despite election promises, the coalition government is planning hundreds of millions of pounds more in hidden subsidies for the nuclear industry and dragging its heels on creating the green jobs and growth we need. This judicial review should act as wake up call for the government to think again to stop closing ranks with the nuclear industry and properly consult.”


Notes to editors:

UK governments have a long record of failure to properly or fairly consult on nuclear issues.

In February 2007 Greenpeace was successful in its application for judicial review of the then government’s decision to give policy support to nuclear power. The court held that the decision not give support to nuclear power was in breach of Greenpeace’s legitimate expectation of full consultation.
In May 2007, the government published a new consultation on the Future of Nuclear Power. A complaint by Greenpeace and other NGOs was upheld by the Market Research Standards Board which found that “..there were a number of examples where they considered that objectively viewed, information was inaccurately or misleadingly presented, or was imbalanced, which gave rise to a material risk of respondents being led towards a particular answer.”
For press enquiries call 07711 156 881
Article tagged as: Climate Change, Energy, Fukushima, Government, Judicial Review, Nuclear Power

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Gazprom to invest in RWE or Horizon

Amazing as it seems the UK government doesn't want to buy gas off the Russians it just wants them to build and own new nuclear power stations for us.

With the German nation wanting e.on and RWe to end their involvement in new nuclear it looks like Horizon may soon have new owners.

Gazprom are in the box seat!

Watch this space as the Getmans bail out

Urgewald invite Reg Illingworth to speak at RWE Shareholders Conference

← Atomlobby beherrscht ReaktorsicherheitskommissionGreenpeace-Studie: Was Strom wirklich kostet →
Urgewald und kritische Aktionäre fordern Rücktritt von RWE-Chef Großmann
Publiziert am 19. April 2011 von AG-Öffentlichkeit//D
Pressemitteilung 19. April 2011

urgewald und Kritische Aktionäre fordern Rücktritt von RWE-Chef GroßmannDie Umweltorganisation urgewald und der Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionäre fordern die RWE AG bei der morgigen Hauptversammlung in Essen auf, sich von ihrer verantwortungslosen Atompolitik zu verabschieden, die Klage gegen das Atom-Moratorium zurückzuziehen und den Vorstandsvorsitzenden Großmann zu entlassen.

Während sich zwischen den politischen Parteien ein Kompromiss für einen schnelleren Ausstieg aus der Atomenergienutzung abzeichnet, kämpft RWE verbissen für die Kernenergie. “Die Katastrophe in Fukushima führt der Welt die Unbeherrschbarkeit der Atomenergie vor Augen”, erklärt Heffa Schücking, Geschäftsführerin von urgewald. “Vorstandschef Jürgen Großmann hat bis letztes Jahr immer wieder behauptet, Japan zeige, dass man sichere AKW auch in erdbebengefährdeten Regionen bauen könne. Zum Glück machten Proteste und mangelnde Finanzierung einen Strich durch Herrn Grossmanns abenteuerliche Pläne, AKW an erdbebengefährdeten Standorten in Bulgarien und Rumänien zu errichten.”

“Als einziger Energiekonzern hat RWE Klage gegen die vorläufige Abschaltung eines Atomkraftwerks eingelegt und stellt sich damit gesellschaftlich ins Abseits,” sagt Markus Dufner, Geschäftsführer des Dachverbands Kritischer Aktionäre. “Viele Kleinanleger sind gegen die RWE-Klage und immer mehr Städte und Gemeinden, die dem Verband der kommunalen RWE-Aktionäre (VKA) angehören, fordern den Atomausstieg.”

Im Ausland will RWE nach wie vor neue Atomkraftwerke bauen, so in Großbritannien, wo RWE und E.ON gemeinsam sechs Atomreaktoren in Oldbury und Wylfa planen. Reg Illingworth von der Bürgerinitiative in Oldbury ist extra für die Hauptversammlung angereist, um dagegen zu protestieren: “RWE weigert sich, der Realität des Restrisikos ins Auge zu sehen. Dass es innerhalb von 32 Jahren in drei Atomkraftwerken zu Kernschmelzen gekommen ist, zeigt, dass die Grundannahmen der Atomindustrie hinsichtlich der Häufigkeit solcher Ereignisse falsch und unverantwortlich sind. Die Bürger von Oldbury und Wylfa wollen nicht die Leidtragenden sein.”

RWEs aggressive Atom- wie auch Kohlepolitik, die besonders mit Vorstandschef Großmann verbunden ist, blockiert die Energiewende. Aus Sicht von urgewald und der Kritischen Aktionäre gefährdet dies nicht nur die Sicherheit und das Klima, sondern setzt auch den langfristigen Wert des Unternehmens aufs Spiel. “Im Jahresbericht erklärt RWE selbst, dass die Investoren dem Unternehmen Geld anvertraut haben und es die Aufgabe RWEs sei, damit verantwortungsvoll zu wirtschaften”, so Schücking. “Die aktuelle Konzernpolitik tut dies nicht. Deshalb sollte RWE dem Motto seines Geschäftsberichts folgen und Klartext reden. Und zwar mit Jürgen Großmann: Er muss entweder seinen Atomkurs ändern oder sich einen neuen Job suchen, da er RWE mehr schadet als nutzt,” fordern Dufner und Schücking.

Interviews vorab oder am 20. April ab 8:15 Uhr vor der Grugahalle in Essen

Kontakt und weitere Informationen: urgewald, Heffa Schücking, 0160-96 76 14 36,,
Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionäre, Markus Dufner, Geschäftsführer
Tel. 0221 / 599 56 47, mobil 0173 – 713 52 37,, www.kritischeaktionä

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Hinterlasse eine Antwort

Japanese children exposed to dangerous levels of radiation

Violation of the Human Rights of the Children of Fukushima

17 August 2011

We submitted this document to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on 17 August.

This submission concerns the violation of the human rights of the children of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. These children have been continually exposed to radioactive contamination since 11 March 2011, the start of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, and urgent measures are needed to reduce this exposure.

The children of Fukushima have the same right as all other children in Japan to live a life free from unnecessary, preventable radiation exposure. We urgently request that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights/OHCHR come to Japan to investigate this matter.

>Violation of the Human Rights of the Children of Fukushima (PDF)

submitted by;
The Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation
Citizens Against Fukushima Aging Nuclear Power Plants (Fukuro-no-Kai)
FoE Japan (International Environmental NGO)
Green Action
Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants (Mihama-no-Kai)
Greenpeace Japan
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