We are republishing this story this week, as the Japanese government is now threatening the imminent dumping of the radiologically contaminated water, stored at the Fukushima nuclear site, into the Pacific Ocean. The article below provides the background on this issue and the alternative choices. Our Japanese activist friends are urging us all to sign onto their petitions — there is one for groups to sign and one for individuals — asking the Japanese government not to dump 1.2 million cubic meters of radioactive water into the ocean. Japan civil society groups and Fukushima fishing unions are strongly opposed to this needless ocean discharge. Groups please sign here. Individuals please sign here.
Beyond Nuclear 22nd May 2020 read more »
Fukushima is oddly tidy for all that death that lurks in its forested hills and emerald-green river valleys. On 11 March 2011, or 3/11, as it is known in Japan, nearly 20,000 people were killed by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that wiped out entire towns and scrubbed the northeastern coast of Japan free of human habitation for up to ten kilometres inland. Even before the tsunami flooded six nuclear reactors at the Fukushima power plant, the Tohoku earthquake—the biggest recorded in modern Japanese history—had crippled the cooling system and sent the plant careening towards the meltdowns and explosions that would rock it over the next few days. One hundred and sixty thousand people were evacuated from a nuclear exclusion zone that kept growing, until parts of it, downwind of the reactors, stretched nearly 100 kilometres inland. Nine years on, three of Fukushima’s reactors are still so radioactively hot that the robots sent to examine them are fried in minutes. Five thousand people labour daily to contain the ongoing disaster. They pump cooling water into reactor cores and fuel pools, while struggling to keep the damaged buildings from collapsing. More than a billion litres of contaminated water—the equivalent of 480 Olympic-sized swimming pools—are stored on site in rusting tanks. Another river of groundwater flows down from the mountains into the basements of the flooded reactors, where it becomes contaminated before leaking into the Pacific Ocean.
Mekong Review May 2020 (accessed) 26th May 2020 read more »