Archive for June, 2012

Japanese Shareholders Starting to Show Their Teeth

June 29, 2012

New York Times

Published: June 27, 2012

TOKYO — To say that Yui Kimura is a distressed investor might be an understatement: She is a small shareholder in the operator of the nuclear power plant at Fukushima, Tokyo Electric Power, whose shares have lost nine-tenths of their value.

Now, she would like the company to at least face up to its responsibilities to the more than 100,000 people who have been driven from their homes after the tsunami disaster. She co-sponsored four resolutions at the annual shareholders’ meeting Wednesday, including one demanding that the company decommission all of its nuclear reactors.

“As the company behind a devastating disaster, we feel it needs to go that distance,” she said.

Ms. Kimura is part of an emerging breed of individual Japanese investors who are starting to break the traditionally docile ranks of shareholders and hold company managers accountable, for issues like missed management targets and corporate scandals.

Shareholder meetings this summer have been marked by a flurry of proposals from investors challenging the management — opposing board appointments, for example, or simply expressing anger at executives.

One proposal put forward by a frustrated shareholder at Nomura Holdings suggested that the global investment bank, which is embroiled in an insider-trading inquiry, show its shame by changing its name to Vegetable Holdings. The proposal was voted down at Nomura’s shareholder meeting Wednesday.

Individual investors in Japan still hold little power compared with the institutional shareholders that make up much of the investor base, often as part of a web of cross-shareholdings among creditor banks, suppliers, customers and other interrelated companies that invest in one another to insulate themselves from the market.

“You could say Japan is finally experiencing its own kind of ‘shareholder spring,’ though there’s still a long way to go,” said Nicholas Benes, a representative director at the Board Director Training Institute of Japan, a nonprofit organization specializing in corporate governance and director training.

Any rise in individual shareholder activism in Japan would be a sea change, as investors have long put up with low returns and the most rudimentary corporate governance setups. The benchmark Nikkei 225-stock average remains almost four-fifths below a peak it reached at the end of 1989, and companies continue to hoard cash, instead of rewarding investors.

About half of the companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange do not have any outside directors on their boards, according to Nomura Securities.

Kazuo Kino, the former head of investor relations at Japan Airlines, said the common understanding among many Japanese companies was that individual investors did not care much about company performance.

Instead, they often invest for the corporate perks accorded to shareholders — in the case of JAL, deeply discounted airline tickets. JAL shareholders got a reality check in early 2010, however, when the airline went bankrupt.

“The company going bust was, of course, a big shock for investors,” Mr. Kino said. “But excluding an event like that, most individual shareholders are not much interested in the minutiae of earnings.”

In the mid-2000s, Japan got a taste of shareholder activism when a series of high-profile foreign activist funds sought majority interests in underperforming Japanese companies and sought to change their governance.

The companies spurned their attempts with “poison pills” — moves designed to deliberately dilute the company’s value — and court orders, in the end driving many of those foreign funds to throw in the towel in Japan and dealing a blow to corporate governance. One such fund, Steel Partners of New York, said last year that it was liquidating its Japan fund after fighting for years with companies like the brewer Sapporo Holdings and the candy maker Ezaki Glico.

During the past year, however, large-scale corporate scandals have again put the spotlight on corporate governance, and this time, individual investors are demanding more answers.

One extreme case has been Olympus, a maker of cameras and endoscopes, which last year admitted it had hidden $1.7 billion in losses, a scandal that at one point caused it to lose 80 percent of its market value.

Its managers faced much heckling at its shareholders’ meeting in June, with one investor urging them to use one of their endoscopes to probe the company coffers. Olympus now faces legal action from shareholders over the scandal.

Kengo Nishiyama, a corporate governance analyst at Nomura Securities, said such scandals were particularly damaging for Japanese companies because their shares were supposed to be low-risk, low-return investments. “Investors are right to be concerned,” Mr. Nishiyama said.

A major focus at recent shareholder meetings has been the appointment of directors. In a survey carried out by Mr. Nishiyama this month of 1,000 individual investors and their plans for the meetings this year, a record 14.5 percent said they intended to vote against the appointment of directors and auditors chosen by the company.

His own bank, Nomura, faced challenges Wednesday as it tried to reappoint its chief executive, Kenichi Watanabe, and the board chairman, Nobuyuki Koga. The proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services had recommended that shareholders vote against both directors, who should be held accountable for a continuing inquiry into suspected insider trading, as well as its slumping shares.

But at both Olympus and Nomura, steadfast support from institutional shareholders — like Nippon Life Insurance, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Japan Trustee Services Bank — has largely shielded the companies’ management from the ire of individual investors.

Institutional shareholders also helped Mizuho Holdings, one of Japan’s biggest consumer banks, defeat a shareholders’ proposal that would have simply required the bank to disclose what kind of training its new directors had received. Mizuho’s board opposed the proposal, calling such disclosure “unnecessary.”

“I don’t get any sense that Mizuho takes their shareholders seriously,” said Yasushi Nakayama, an individual investor who co-sponsored the proposal.

Mr. Nakayama may be right. Japanese companies have traditionally made it as difficult as possible for individual investors to raise their voices, for example by holding their shareholders’ meetings on the same day as other companies. The peak for this year was Wednesday, when 709 companies held shareholder meetings — representing 42 percent of companies with financial years ending in March listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

But there are some seeds of change. The 42 percent figure has fallen from a peak of 96 percent in 1995. Some companies, especially new ones, are starting to hold shareholders’ meetings on weekends to encourage more individual shareholders to attend. The start-up company Lifenet Insurance, for example, held its first investors’ meeting on Sunday, one of 33 listed companies to hold weekend meetings.

“In Japan, it was the norm for companies to do their utmost to get as few people to come to their shareholders’ meetings, and to try to keep those meetings short,” said Daisuke Iwase, Lifenet’s co-founder and executive vice president. “But I think norms are changing. For us, the more information we put out there, the better. As a small company, it’s easy for us explain everything right down to the details.”

And even some institutional investors are starting to change. Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Japan’s third-largest life insurer with stock holdings in Japan worth ¥1.7 trillion, or $21.36 billion, at the end of March, said in April that it was tightening guidelines on exercising voting rights, and would start pushing back against companies that insisted on introducing poison pills or holding back dividends despite ample cash holdings.

“We felt that there was a need to ask for more transparency ahead of this round of shareholders’ meetings,” said Masanori Ibuki, a spokesman for Dai-ichi Life. Analysts said that pressure was building at companies like Dai-ichi Life from their own shareholders, who are demanding better returns from the companies’ equity holdings.

Fundamental changes are yet to come. At the shareholders’ meeting Wednesday for Tokyo Electric Power, motions were brought forward by Ms. Kimura and other individual investors, including providing lifelong health care for nuclear workers at Fukushima and selling off more assets to raise money for compensation. They were voted down, one after another, thanks to top institutional shareholders like Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, which is also one of the company’s main lenders.

Executives of Tokyo Electric Power, known as Tepco, largely ignored the heckling from the floor.

“I wonder if Tepco executives are wearing earplugs,” Ms. Kimura said.

Makiko Inoue contributed reporting.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: June 29, 2012

An article on Thursday about a rising number of shareholder proposals in Japan quoted incorrectly from comments by Nicholas Benes of the Board Director Training Institute, a nonprofit organization involved in corporate governance. He said Japan was experiencing “its own kind of ‘shareholder spring,’ ” — not “a kind of investor’s spring.”

Media says 10,000 at Tokyo anti nuke rally. Organisers say 200,000 : Chopper cam of crowd of voters.

June 29, 2012

Tokyo June 29 Demo a no-show in Australian media so far. Mrs Jones farting goldfish will be on page 1 on Sunday unless the official count in Tokyo is challenged.

The challenge is: the Chopper cam video of the crowd. The video gives NHK a run for it’s money.

Nuclear Power and the Not-So-Divided Japanese Public

June 29, 2012

New York Times Examiner
Nuclear Power and the Not-So-Divided Japanese Public

June 20, 2012
Nuclear Power and the Not-So-Divided Japanese Public

June 20, 2012
By Peter Heart:

The news that Japan will re-start some nuclear power facilities gives us this headline in the New York Times (6/17/12):

Japan Public Still Divided as 2 Reactors to Be Opened

But the lead by reporter Martin Fackler almost immediately contradicts the “divided” headline:

TOKYO — Brushing aside widespread public opposition to avoid feared electric power shortages, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ordered the reactivation of two nuclear reactors at a plant in western Japan on Saturday.

If there’s “widespread public opinion,” can people really be divided? It turns out this is not just a problem with a headline writer. The article later states that the “Japanese people have remained deeply divided on the safety of power.”

Have they? Fackler writes:

According to polls, two-thirds of Japanese express deep concern about the safety of nuclear plants after last year’s accident, which contaminated food with radiation and shattered the myth of Japan’s infallible nuclear technology. The day before Mr. Noda gave the order, his government was visited by an antinuclear group led by the Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe, which presented what it said were the signatures of 7.5 million people calling for the abolition of nuclear power.

Two-thirds of Japan being worried about nuclear power doesn’t sound all that divided. And, as the Associated Press reported earlier this month (6/5/12), one poll showed a remarkable shift against nukes in the last year:

Japanese oppose nuclear power more strongly than they did while the tsunami-damaged Fukushima plant was still in crisis a year ago, according to a poll that found widespread dismay with the government’s handling of that disaster and the ongoing recovery.

The survey released Tuesday by the Washington-based Pew Research Center said 70 percent of Japanese believe the country should reduce its reliance on nuclear energy, up from 44 percent last year.

“Divided” appears to be used here in the special media sense of “mostly on the wrong side.” end quote.

At last, a journo who knows how to add up without taking anything away.

Fallout Maps withheld and scientists Subtract Fukushima fallout in a village too hot to live in surrounded by farms now dead for decades

June 29, 2012

ABC Australia

By North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy

Posted June 29, 2012 20:12:07

Nuclear officials withheld Fukushima radiation mapsJapanese nuclear officials have apologised to Fukushima residents for withholding maps showing dangerous radiation areas after last year’s meltdowns.

The US maps were compiled from aerial surveys and given to the Japanese government and its nuclear safety agency immediately after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

But instead of releasing the maps, officials withheld them.

The officials have now apologised to the mayor of Kawauchi, a village near the nuclear plant which is now abandoned.

But mayor Yuko Endo rejected the apology, saying it was too late.

He says if his village had been given the maps they could have avoided evacuating into areas of high radiation.

end quote.

The first organisation to call for evacuation of the affect area was Greenpeace. Their independent monitoring was not welcomed by the government of Japan. It took some time for the Japanese government government to act. Ironic that the US and Japan both knew. Japan wanted secrecy. I have no idea what the US wanted. It gave the maps to the Japanese government, and that was that. The US didnt set up a duplicate Radio Liberty in Tokyo to warn the people of Iitate Village. That was left to Greenpeace and youtube.

Health Phys. 2012 Jun;102(6):680-6. doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e31824cfe18.
Early radiation survey of Iitate village, which was heavily contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi accident, conducted on 28 and 29 March 2011.
Imanaka T, Endo S, Sugai M, Ozawa S, Shizuma K, Yamamoto M.

Research Reactor Institute, Kyoto University, Kumatori-cho, Osaka, Japan.

Following the news that the radiation level in Iitate Village, located 25-45 km from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, was seriously increased, an urgent field survey was carried out on 28 and 29 March 2011. Radiation levels at 130 locations were measured inside a van that traveled throughout the village using a CsI pocket survey meter and an ionization chamber. Soil samples were also taken at five locations and submitted to gamma ray analysis using a Ge detector. A radiation exposure rate of more than 20 μSv h was observed in the southern part of Iitate Village. Volatile radionuclides such as iodine and cesium were found to be the main components of radioactive contamination. A trace amount of plutonium isotopes originating from the accident was also confirmed in several soil samples, the level of which was less than the global fallout. Based on the measured density of radionuclides at the highest contamination location during the present survey, an exposure rate of about 200 μGy h at 1 m above the ground was estimated at the time of the radioactive deposition on March 15. At this location, the cumulative exposure would reach 50 mGy in the middle of May 2011. end quote.

The nuclear industry loves to say “less than”. How can the new background be “less than” when it’s being added to?

Its the total dose that counts. Sad to see such propaganda in a supposed scientific paper.

The place is unsafe, the Japanese government now admits it withheld information and that as a result, people it ordered to evacuate from Fukushima fled into fallout rather than away from it.

As bad as it gets and it’s useless to try to minimise the crime by blaming the bombs. The crimes both add to each other.

That’s the total dose and its more than the Japanese voter will bear. I think.

It’s incredible that Japan cannot even publish a scientific paper about a tragic addition to fallout contamination without doing doing subtraction
inspired by purely propaganda purposes.

The fallout from the bombs killed people. The Australian government health survey shows a 23 percent increased risk of cancer among veterans. The Australian government denies this is related
to the bombs, and it claims that it is perplexed as to the cause.

Over the years various Australian governments have claimed that the Maralinga fallout was less this or that.

The fact remains the Maralinga fallout was more than what was there before. It certainly wasn’t less.

In 1984, 3 decades after the British put their “less than Fukushima” fallout down, the Government here found the fallout at Maralinga was in fact more than what was said by Britain.

To get Maralinga to the point where the plutonium residue was less than what the British put there cost $92 million.

How many trillions of yen will it cost to get Japan as clean as what it was before Fukushima but as dirty as it was after global deposition from nuclear weapons testing?

There is still cesium and plutonium in Nagasaki. Under buildings.

When there is an accretion of fallout, there is never a less than. ITS AN ADDITION.

They think we are so stupid that we would think a pay cut was a pay rise.


If the British government is so certain its radiation from the bombs is “less than”, why is it blocking the nuclear veterans attempt currently to access the British courts?

After the 92 million dollar cleanup of Maralinga, the land was given back back to its traditional owners, who now have to put up with an accumulating dose of 5 mSv per year, mainly from residual plutonium in the soil.

What the accumulating annual dose for the close in residents of Fukushima will be after the “cleanup” remains to be seen.

I point out again to people who would attempt to divert eyes away from reactors by pointing to bombs, and discounting reactor pollution as a result: Some people can look at both and do the adding up.

I have had it with turkeys who claim nuclear pollution is less than background. Background is what is there. A fresh deposit by nuclear industry ADDS TO BACKGROUND. If it subtracted it would not be there. IT IS THERE.

This attempt to normalise nuclear pollution will always get an arithmetic lesson from me.

2+2 = 0 ?? What university did Imanaka et. al. go to? Or was it a School of Inculation?

When Robley Evans was asked by the US Navy what a safe dose of radium was, he replied to the effect “How much would you be happy to have inside your wife or your daughter?”

How much plutonium is ok to be inside the people of Japan?

Noone asked them about this when they signed up for electricity from TEPCO. They just wanted to make coffee and watch TV.

What is happening was never part of the contract.

If you are the industry responsible for 10% of the juice and 100% of the bombs, you hide behind the military secrecy provisions which protect you and of course, you blame the old bombs rather than the reactor residue that actually cakes the farms, homes and children.

The Death of a Farm in Iitate – One year later.

Even by the heart wrenching standards of the March 11 disaster, Hiroshi Sano and his neighbours can count themselves among the unluckiest of survivors. For an entire month, no one told the people of Iitate – a village which lies about 20 km outside of the exclusion zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant – that they were in a so-called “hot spot”. (Paul’s note: Greenpeace picked up the hot spot early, but their urgent report was ignored then contested by the Japanese government).

Radiation levels in Iitate were – and still – are as high as many areas within the zone, so by the time they were eventually told to leave they’d been dangerously exposed. For Sano, 40, who has the weather beaten face and steady gait of farmers the world over, the fallout from Fukushima has robbed him of a property that’s been in his family for eight generations. The stress has stripped 14 kg from his frame.

We meet him at the Senbonmatsu tourist ranch, 140km south, where he’s moved with his family to try to build a new life. He’s found work as a farmhand, which he says he’s grateful for because jobs are in short supply, but it’s clearly an emasculating experience for someone who ran his own beef cattle breeding and rice farming venture.

Sano’s wife, Terumi, says she’s lonely here and finds herself in tears whenever tsunami stories come on the television. Their children …(aged 10 and 9) are coping better, but Terumi says the 9 year old is having second thoughts about becoming a farmer when he grows up. “He wanted to do what his father did, but now he’s lost hope in that. He’s never seen his father working just as a farmhand before.”

Sano says the farming families from Iitate fled to all corners of Japan when the order to evacuate came through. “Nowadays we struggle to stay in contact with each other – each of us is trying hard to get used to a new environment”, he says. “I remember a stream of evacuees coming from the direction of the disaster. I never imagined that I myself would have to evacuate.”

Sano says Iitate’s residents were becoming more fearful even before the evacuation order, as bulletins from from the International Atomic Energy Agency and rumors (Paul: facts) suppressed by JGov, who with held its SPEEDI data which showed the evacuees were led into the path of the radionuclide cloud which traversed Iitate and the mountains ) on the Internet suggested the town had been showered with wind bourn fallout (Which the Chief British scientist falsely claimed would stay within 500 metres of the Fukushima plant, and which consisted of many more reactor products than the cesium and iodine the nuclear authorities claimed.) . He took his family to Tokyo about a week after the the quake, as explosions rocked the nuclear plant, but still hoped he could return to Iitate when the situation improved. Eventually the family wound up in temporary housing and Sano sold his cattle as the crisis deepened.

Amid the confusion, Meat and Livestock Australia’s Japan Manager, Melanie Brock, arranged for Sano and other farmers to visit Australia and tell their story. Subsequent donations of fodder from Australian farmers allowed some nearby farms to survive but Iitate itself is simply too contaminated,

To drive through Iitate now is to drive through a ghost town: It’s empty, save for a few cats. Houses and farms are deserted, and radiation readings remain close to the evacuation threshold (Paul : which is set far too high – we are not talking about transient CT scans here, but scatterings of radio-chemicals) . The government says it will take 30 years for places such as Iitate to be decontaminated. “I’ve explained to my children we can’t go back”, Sano says.

He would dearly love to re-establish a farm of his own, but with inadequate compensation he’s at the bottom of a financial hole that will keep him working as a farmhand at Senbonumatsu for some time yet. (Source: Taken from “Piece by Piece, One Year after Japan’s devastating Tsunami, how much has changed attempting to rebuild their lives?” by Rick Wallace, “The Weekend Australian Magazine”, March 10-11, 2012, pp 22.

IITATE village damaged by Fukushima nuclear emissions

The Mainichi Daily News, Japan


Radiation leaks threaten village’s promotion of eco-friendly lifestyles, farming
April 12, 2011

IITATE, Fukushima — Radiation leaks from the quake- and tsunami-ravaged Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant are threatening this village’s promotion of eco-friendly lifestyles as well as local farmers.

Most areas of Iitate are outside evacuation and “stay-indoor” advisory zones within a radius of 30 kilometers from the plant. Still, levels of radiation at the village’s monitoring post have exceeded eight times the upper limit of 1 millisievert per year.

Radioactive cesium in excess of the upper limit of 5,000 becquerels per kilogram of soil for crops have been detected.

Over 406 hours from March 23 to April 9, total radiation reached 8.141 millisieverts at the village’s monitoring post, slightly below 13.95 millisieverts in the neighboring town of Namie.

Furthermore, 965 becquerels of radioactive iodine per liter of water was found in the village’s water-supply system on March 21, more than three times the upper limit of 300 becquerels, prompting the municipal government to advise residents against drinking tap water and distributing bottles of water to them. The advisory was later lifted.

On March 23, 17,000 becquerels of radioactive iodine was discovered per kilogram of broccoli harvested in the village — 8.5 times the provisionally set upper limit of 2,000 becquerels — forcing the village to restrict the consumption of locally grown broccoli.

About 500 villagers were collectively evacuated from the area to take shelter in Kanuma, Tochigi Prefecture, following the discovery, and nearly half of some 6,200 residents were taking shelter outside the village at one point.

Currently, about 5,000 residents are staying in Iitate, but village authorities are set to evacuate about 50 residents, including expecting mothers, infants younger than 3 and their parents, from the village to take shelter in other areas for about a month from April 13.

The population of Iitate, whose economy relies largely on agriculture and livestock farming, had been in decline.

However, the local government has been trying to revitalize the village through the introduction of clean energy sources over the past 15 years.

In March last year, it opened a slow-life promotion center that is equipped with solar panels and uses heat insulating construction materials as part of the Environment Ministry’s eco-friendly house promotion projects in 20 areas across the country with the aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from households.

Amid these efforts, the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant has hit the village hard.

The village has virtually received no benefits from the plant because it is relatively far from the power station; only its southeastern part with about 160 residents is situated within the indoor standby advisory zone. Its nuclear plant-related revenue is approximately only 200,000 yen a year to cover its public promotion expenses.

Nevertheless, the slow-life promotion center has been used to lodge employees with the government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and workers at the crippled nuclear power plant. A university professor’s lecture meeting on health risks from radiation exposure held there on March 25 drew about 300 people.

Iitate Mayor Norio Kanno expressed grave concern about the impact that the radiation will have on local agriculture. “I think it will be difficult to grow rice in the village. I’m afraid that farmers will leave the village if the current situation continues,” he told reporters on April 9.

Kazuo Shiga, 82, who for 20 years has been raising 24 beef cows in the Warabidaira district — closest to the plant of all areas of the village — has also voiced concern over the radiation leaks’ impact on cattle.

“I never imagined radiation would leak from the plant. I want the authorities to stop it as soon as possible,” he said.

The municipal government’s agricultural panel has instructed local stock farmers not to transport their cattle even though an auction is scheduled to be held on April 12 and 13 in Fukushima Prefecture.

When Shiga held consultations with 11 other stock farmers in the district, most of them said they can no longer continue raising cattle.

“I wonder what’ll happen to us in the future,” Shiga said.

IAEA worried about radiation in Japan village

Independent radiation monitoring by Greenpeace on 27 March 2011 described Litate Village, outside of the Fukushima exclusion zone, as follows:
Fukushima, March 27, 2011: Greenpeace radiation experts have confirmed radiation levels of up to ten micro Sieverts per hour in Iitate village, 40km northwest of the crisis-stricken Fukushima/Daiichi nuclear plant, and 20km beyond the official evacuation zone. These levels are high enough to require evacuation.

“It is clearly not safe for people to remain in Iitate, especially children and pregnant women, when it could mean receiving the maximum allowed annual dose of radiation in only a few days. When further contamination from possible ingestion or inhalation of radioactive particles is factored in, the risks are even higher.” See:

Today the IAEA seems to have caught with the independent monitors at Greenpeace:


IAEA worried about radiation in Japan village

(AFP) – 8 hours ago

VIENNA — Radiation levels recorded at a village outside the evacuation zone around the quake-striken Fukushima nuclear plant are above safe levels, the UN atomic watchdog said Wednesday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said safe limits had been exceeded at Iitate village, 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of Fukushima, well outside the government-imposed 20 kilometre exclusion zone and the 30-kilometre “stay indoors” zone.

“The first assessment indicates that one of the IAEA operational criteria for evacuation is exceeded in Iitate village,” the IAEA’s head of nuclear safety and security, Denis Flory, told reporters here.

The watchdog had advised Japanese authorities to “carefully assess the situation and they have indicated that it is already under assessment,” Flory said.

But he said the IAEA — which does not have the mandate to order national authorities to act — was not calling for a general widening of the exclusion zone.

Iitate lies 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was crippled by a tsunami on March 11 and several explosions, leading to frantic efforts to prevent a catastrophic meltdown.

Advice had been given to “carefully assess the situation and they have indicated that it is already under assessment,” he said.

The reading in Iitate was merely a spot reading, he said.

“Deposition of radioactivity is something which is not the same everywhere, it depends on wind, it depends on rain and also on profile of terrain,” Flory said.

“Saying at one point that there is a need to assess further does not mean that all around that is a concern.”

But he said that overall, the situation at Fukushima “remains very serious.”

According to Elena Buglova, head of the IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre, the reading in Iitate village was 2 megabecquerels per square metre.

That was a “ratio about two times higher than levels” at which the agency recommends evacuations, she explained.

Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved.
End quote


Voice of America

IAEA: High Radiation Levels Detected Outside Japan Evacuation Zones

The United Nations’ top nuclear official says the situation at Japan’s troubled nuclear power plant continues to be very serious as Japanese authorities struggle to bring the situation under control. The U.N.’s nuclear energy body – the International Atomic Energy Agency – says radiation levels in a village outside Japan’s nuclear evacuation zone are twice the levels believed safe for habitation.

The IAEA also revealed Wednesday that radiation levels in Iitate, a village located about 40-kilometers northwest of the plant and outside the evacuation zone, were above those believed to be safe for habitation. The nuclear monitoring agency has told the Japanese government about its findings and said authorities in Japan are looking into the assessment.

The environmental activist group Greenpeace has urged Japanese authorities to expand the evacuation zone from 20 to 30 kilometers, as their independent radiation readings also showed higher than safe levels. Top government spokesman Yukio Edano said the government was prepared to study the organization’s data.

Japan’s government has imposed a 20-kilometer evacuation zone around the plant, and recommended that residents up to 30 kilometers away remain indoors.

IAEA Director General Amano, however adds that it was not all bad news. “There has been also some progress. I really hope the efforts by the emergency workers would lead to the stabilisation of the reactors and this accident and crisis situation,” he said.

Leaking radiation from the Fukushima plant – the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986 – has not only raised concerns about whether areas around the site were safe for habitation but the safety of milk, produce and tap water as far away as Tokyo – which is more then 200 kilometers south of the plant.

Late Wednesday, a small but noisy group of protesters gathered in Tokyo outside the headquarters of the Tokyo Electric Power Company to voice their opposition to nuclear energy.

Thirty-four-year-old Chika Ito was among the protesters. “I had never really thought about it before but, because of the crisis, it has got me thinking of how frightening nuclear energy is,” he said.

On Wednesday Japanese authorities announced a new set of safety measures for the country’s 55 nuclear power plants. A panel of nuclear specialists has been organized to find ways to shut down the plant and prevent the further spread of radiation.

end quote


Quote: ” Call to widen evacuation area around Fukushima
Blogpost by Brian Fitzgerald – March 27, 2011 at 9:38
Our team of radiation specialists in Japan brought back their findings for the day.
The press release says it all:

Fukushima, March 27, 2011: Greenpeace radiation experts have confirmed radiation levels of up to ten micro Sieverts per hour in Iitate village, 40km northwest of the crisis-stricken Fukushima/Daiichi nuclear plant, and 20km beyond the official evacuation zone. These levels are high enough to require evacuation.

“It is clearly not safe for people to remain in Iitate, especially children and pregnant women, when it could mean receiving the maximum allowed annual dose of radiation in only a few days. When further contamination from possible ingestion or inhalation of radioactive particles is factored in, the risks are even higher.”
End Quote.

TEPCO execs get tongue thrashing on visit to nuke disaster evacuees

June 29, 2012

Mainchi Daily News, Japan 29 June 2012

KAZO, Saitama — Top executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) apologized on June 29 to some 150 residents evacuated here from the no-go zone around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

TEPCO Chairman Kazuhiko Shimokobe and President Naomi Hirose visited an evacuation shelter in Kazo, Saitama Prefecture, where the Fukushima Prefecture town of Futaba has moved its office functions following the nuclear meltdowns.

After making their apology, the executives were met with a strong backlash from evacuees in the former high school gymnasium-turned-shelter.

“I want you to live here with us, starting today. You should move into action only after learning the mental conditions we’ve been living under here,” said a male resident evacuated from Futaba. Other evacuees also heaped criticism on and expressed dissatisfaction with the utility over the nuclear crisis.

Prior to the meeting, Shimokobe and Hirose met Futaba Mayor Katsutaka Idogawa.

“We sincerely apologize for having you lead a very inconvenient life here. Our renewed apology will mark the start of a new TEPCO,” the executives said.

“Many of our townspeople are exhausted and spending their time here hopelessly every day. They are full of distrust (for TEPCO), and we want you to take firm responsibility for compensation,” said Mayor Idogawa.

In reply, TEPCO President Hirose said, “We’re really sorry for the fact that the reparation issue hasn’t made progress. We’ll strive to improve the situation if only a little at a time.”

The TEPCO executives had earlier visited Fukushima Prefecture on June 28, where they met Gov. Yuhei Sato. They will also visit 13 municipalities around the troubled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, including the town of Futaba, between June 29 and July 3.

TEPCO shareholders seek to preserve teleconference records over nuclear crisis

June 29, 2012
Mainichi Daily News, Japan
TEPCO shareholders seek to preserve teleconference records over nuclear crisis

Representatives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) shareholders asked the Tokyo District Court on June 29 to preserve recordings of the utility’s teleconferences made during the opening weeks of the Fukushima disaster in a bid to pin responsibility for the crisis on TEPCO executives.

Hiroyuki Kawai, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said at a news conference, “The recordings are first-class data in the pursuit of individual executives’ liability. They are the Japanese people’s common property, so we may all know what happened at the time of a historic catastrophe.”

In a written petition, the plaintiffs are seeking the preservation of teleconference recordings from March 11, 2011 — the day the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami struck and the nuclear crisis began — to March 30 as evidence.

The plaintiffs say they believe the recordings can prove former and current TEPCO executives and others neglected the possibility of a severe earthquake and tsunami and failed to take appropriate safety measures at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. Plaintiffs also believe the recordings will reveal how respective TEPCO executives behaved when the nuclear plant operator was late to vent pressure inside the stricken nuclear reactors and inject seawater into them to prevent the reactor cores from being exposed.

TEPCO is refusing to release the teleconference recordings, citing privacy concerns. But the shareholder representatives maintain that the recordings could be erased once investigations by the government and a parliamentary investigative panel are over.

The video teleconference system can connect multiple participants in different locations. TEPCO’s teleconference system at the time of the nuclear disaster linked TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo with the Fukushima plant’s disaster response headquarters building and the utility’s off-site base in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, among other locations.

June 29, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

Click here for the original Japanese story

Massive turnout in Tokyo for demonstration against Reactor start up

June 29, 2012

Thousands stage anti-nuclear protest outside Japanese PM’s office ahead of reactor startup

By The Associated Press June 29, 2012 9:01 AM

TOKYO – Thousands of people have gathered outside the Japanese prime minister’s office to protest a nuclear reactor startup set for this weekend.

At least 10,000 protesters filled the street outside Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s office Friday, blocking traffic and chanting “No to restart!” as they held up banners with anti-nuclear slogans. The rally was the latest weekly protest held there this month. Noda’s government recently approved a resumption of two reactors in western Japan.

One of them, Ohi No. 3 reactor, will be switched on Sunday for the first time since last year’s tsunami disaster triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

All 50 of Japan’s commercial reactors are offline for maintenance or safety checks.

Noda’s government has pushed to bring some reactors online to avert power shortages during the summer.

Big anti-nuclear rally outside Japan PM’s office
Posted: Jun 29, 2012 9:44 PM CST Updated: Jun 29, 2012 9:44 PM CST

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TOKYO (AP) – Thousands of people have gathered outside the Japanese prime minister’s office to protest a nuclear reactor startup set for this weekend.

At least 10,000 protesters filled the street outside Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s office Friday, blocking traffic and chanting “No to restart!” as they held up banners with anti-nuclear slogans. The rally was the latest weekly protest held there this month. Noda’s government recently approved a resumption of two reactors in western Japan.

One of them, Ohi No. 3 reactor, will be switched on Sunday for the first time since last year’s tsunami disaster triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

All 50 of Japan’s commercial reactors are offline for maintenance or safety checks.

Noda’s government has pushed to bring some reactors online to avert power shortages during the summer.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Dr Yanagisawa on the reality of radiogenic illness in Japan. John Hutton on Maralinga, 1950s.

June 29, 2012

Medical Report by a Treating Doctor in Japan

This is still the ONLY news report of a treating doctor in Japan reporting radiation induced illness that I know of. “Doctors in Japan are already treating patients suffering health effects they attribute to radiation from the ongoing nuclear disaster.

“We have begun to see increased nosebleeds, stubborn cases of diarrhoea, and flu-like symptoms in children,” Dr Yuko Yanagisawa, a physician at Funabashi Futawa Hospital in Chiba Prefecture, told Al Jazeera.

She attributes the symptoms to radiation exposure, and added: “We are encountering new situations we cannot explain with the body of knowledge we have relied upon up until now.”

“The situation at the Daiichi Nuclear facility in Fukushima has not yet been fully stabilised, and we can’t yet see an end in sight,” Yanagisawa said. “Because the nuclear material has not yet been encapsulated, radiation continues to stream into the environment.”….”Yanagisawa’s hospital is located approximately 200km from Fukushima, so the health problems she is seeing that she attributes to radiation exposure causes her to be concerned by what she believes to be a grossly inadequate response from the government.

From her perspective, the only thing the government has done is to, on April 25, raise the acceptable radiation exposure limit for children from 1 mSv/year to 20 mSv/year.

“This has caused controversy, from the medical point of view,” Yanagisawa told Al Jazeera. “This is certainly an issue that involves both personal internal exposures as well as low-dose exposures.” …”Lower doses of radiation, particularly for children, are what many in the medical community are most concerned about, according to Dr Yanagisawa.

“Humans are not yet capable of accurately measuring the low dose exposure or internal exposure,” she explained, “Arguing ‘it is safe because it is not yet scientifically proven [to be unsafe]‘ would be wrong. That fact is that we are not yet collecting enough information to prove the situations scientifically. If that is the case, we can never say it is safe just by increasing the annual 1mSv level twenty fold.”

Her concern is that the new exposure standards by the Japanese government do not take into account differences between adults and children, since children’s sensitivity to radiation exposure is several times higher than that of adults.”

“Early on in the disaster, Dr Makoto Kondo of the department of radiology of Keio University’s School of Medicine warned of “a large difference in radiation effects on adults compared to children”.

Kondo explained the chances of children developing cancer from radiation exposure was many times higher than adults.

“Children’s bodies are underdeveloped and easily affected by radiation, which could cause cancer or slow body development. It can also affect their brain development,” he said.

Yanagisawa assumes that the Japanese government’s evacuation standards, as well as their raising the permissible exposure limit to 20mSv “can cause hazards to children’s health,” and therefore “children are at a greater risk”.

Nishio Masamichi, director of Japan’s Hakkaido Cancer Centre and a radiation treatment specialist, published an article on July 27 titled: “The Problem of Radiation Exposure Countermeasures for the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: Concerns for the Present Situation”.

In the report, Masamichi said that such a dramatic increase in permitted radiation exposure was akin to “taking the lives of the people lightly”. He believes that 20mSv is too high, especially for children who are far more susceptible to radiation.”

“Dr Yanagisawa is concerned about what she calls “late onset disorders” from radiation exposure resulting from the Fukushima disaster, as well as increasing cases of infertility and miscarriages.

“Incidence of cancer will undoubtedly increase,” she said. “In the case of children, thyroid cancer and leukemia can start to appear after several years. In the case of adults, the incidence of various types of cancer will increase over the course of several decades.”

Yanagisawa said it is “without doubt” that cancer rates among the Fukushima nuclear workers will increase, as will cases of lethargy, atherosclerosis, and other chronic diseases among the general population in the effected areas.

Yanagisawa believes it is time to listen to survivors of the atomic bombings. “To be exposed to radiation, to be told there is no immediate effect, and afterwards to be stricken with cancer – what it is like to suffer this way over a long period of time, only the survivors of the atomic bombings can truly understand,” she told Al Jazeera.”

“Dr Nanao Kamada, professor emeritus of radiation biology at Hiroshima University, has been to Fukushima prefecture twice in order to take internal radiation exposure readings and facilitated the study.

“The risk of internal radiation is more dangerous than external radiation,” Dr Kamada told Al Jazeera. “And internal radiation exposure does exist for Fukushima residents.”

“Kodama believes the government needs to begin a large-scale response in order to begin decontaminating affected areas. He cited Japan’s itai itai disease, when cadmium poisoning from mining resulted in the government eventually having to spend 800 billion yen to decontaminate an area of 1,500 hectares.

“How much cost will be needed if the area is 1,000 times larger?”

Edited extract. Until the doctors of Japan are free to treat and speak, I guess I’ll just keep periodically dumping this lonely article onto the blog and forums.

Further finds from a search of the net, thanks to Yi-Ting in Malaysia:
In December 2012 the doctor gave a talk which was posted to Youtube here:

Flyer for the talk: : Google English translation:
“1st Annual Meeting Symposium Memorial Lecture Committee on internal exposure problem of citizens and scientists
Kawane: April 19, 2012 Authors: Sun Posts

Technical Committee on issues internal exposure of citizens and scientists
Notice of the General Assembly and Symposium Memorial Lecture, Part 1

Studies meeting our internal exposure, citizens and scientists, has a General Assembly of the first on April 22,
You finally moved a major step in the activities. The moon is growing along with the General Assembly, of the Memorial
You do’re going to open up our public lectures and symposia widely.
Below, it will inform the content of the lecture and symposium, please join assimilate.

Admission is free but should be noted, in relation to the capacity of the venue, you will be by appointment only
Let’s eat.
If you prefer, please apply by e-mail to non-member supporting member. Will be made up to 100 people-come-first-served basis.

Although the General Assembly will be held only in a supporting member, membership, and its contents,
You can refer to us in our HP.


Hida, Shun Taro Memorial Lecture 1 14:00 to 14:30)

Masamichi Nishio Eisuke Matsui Memorial Symposium Chair 14:35 to 18:30 2)
Remarks from 14:35 to 17:00 symposiasts
“Present state and prospects of internal exposure to radiation” (physicist) Shoji Sawada
“Fundamentals of internal exposure” (physicist) Saki horse Katsu arrow months
(Center for Citizen radioactivity measurement) “food safety, correct evaluation of the data,” J. Onuma
“From the front line of Fukushima” (where the radioactivity measurement citizens) Wataru Iwata
“To protect the lives of children” (pediatrician) true Yamada
“What Resona closer to refugees from Fukushima in remote areas” (physician) Thin Horiguchi
Yanagisawa Yuko “from the site consultation” (physician)
“To Fukushima from Minamata” (physician) Yaeko Itai
“Voices from the Fukushima” (nationwide children) Nobuko Ishida
17:10 to 18:30 from the floor sprinkled with remarks of General Discussion

18:50 to 20:30 2500 yen banquet buffet-formula 3)
Hiroko Takahashi, greeting venue of the General Assembly hall adjacent

★ to attendees
JR Sobu Line will go to the venue, and the departure station (fast, going slowly) Square Station south exit of the Shinkoiwa,
Or confusing directions to the venue is quite crowded buses and taxis, cars, people
May not. Taxi has just go in less than 1,000 yen, bus, walk
It is recommended that if it is kept in check well in advance.

Cultural Center Training Room, 3rd floor Edogawa-ku, Tokyo [Venue]

Shinkoiwa metropolitan bus station from the south exit of [(1) Bus Stop (2)]
Station to Station Chincoteague Shinkoiwa 22 Kasai ~ (Ichinoe station)
Nishi-Kasai Station to Station Chincoteague Shinkoiwa 21 ~ (Funabori station)
3 minutes walk from “High School before Edogawa”
5 minute walk “before Edogawa Ward Office”

[Koiwa station from the south exit bus stop (4)]
[Town bus station Keisei Koiwa] Keisatsushomae Komatsugawa ~ 74 small
Koiwa Station to station two countries Kinshicho metropolitan bus [27] Nishiki
1 minute walk from “cultural center before Edogawa”

15-minute walk from the south exit of the station Shinkoiwa”

Another video with the Doctor speaking:

Good. There is some hope.

It may yet still take some time before the media picks this work and reality up.

Perhaps the Japanese Government will reorder its priorities from controlling individuals to propping up the leaning tower of spent fuel pool 4 and to telling the truth, the full truth.

Sooner it does, the sooner Japan will stop playing acting a re run of the 1950s and move into reality from delusion.

In an earlier time in Australia, government and media worked to deny nuclear victims a voice. At the time of the bomb tests, government and media reported the bomb fallout was safe. Bomb fallout is the same as Fukushima fallout.

The supposed loss of Maralinga nuclear test site hospital records denied victims the proof their needed and were due. Here is the story of what happened then. It is a prototype for what is happening now in Japan. The hospitals are refusing to treat people claiming radiation related symptoms. Easier than misplacing records, the refusal to treat will come back to haunt Japanese authorities.

My blog records these earlier events, and the story of one nuclear veteran, John Hutton, who happened to keep some of his Maralinga Hospital record.

As time passes, more and more people involved in the reality of the nightmare in Japan will come out and declare their knowledge of events. It may take some years before that happens.
The “missing” Maralinga Hospital nuke test treatment records – a lesson for us and for Fukushima.
December 28, 2011

1. John Keane cites the official historian of the more than 500 “minor trials” (the ones that spread fission fuel over the land), Lorna Arnold. Arnold, according to Keane used the Maralinga Hospital records, among other thngs, the come up with exposure doses for the personnel involved in the experiments. He states “Arnold’s report drew upon blood tests and Maralinga hospital records that have since been destroyed.” Well, Arnold’s report, going on Keane’s account of it, is a paradox. For during the clean up in the 1990s was a hazardous affair. Even today areas north of Taranaki are unfit for humans.

So, one account of the records being destroyed after the official account was written. Not a surprising finding, given what was officially written about exposure doses supposedly based, in part, on the Maralinga Hospital records.


A letter was recieved by the Department of Veterans Affairs on 3 Nov 2008. Written by John Hutton, spokesperson, Australian Ex-Service Atomic Survivors Association, he states: “In August 1957 a number of the troop became ill with persistent vomiting but were
reluctant to seek medical help for fear of being called ‘shirkers’. t was admitted to the
Maralinga Village Hospital. on 29 August 1957 and did not return to work until after
7th September. 1 was treated with Largactil, which 1 now know is used not only for
vomiting but psychosis and radiation sickness. I attach a copy of my in- patient
record, probably the only copy of a Maralinga hospital record available as all others
seem to have completely disappeared.
Over the years I have worked very hard to make sure that the grave injustice to these
Veterans didn’t continue. I even lobbied the schools to have the British Nuclear Tests
in Australia included in the curricutum. It is quite remarkable the number of people
who are not aware that this travesty of justice happened on our own soil. ft was
rewarding last year when the National Museum of Australia included this as one off
the subjects in their Touring History Agenda. 1 also appeared before the Royal
Commission, but recently I have had to curtail my activities due to ill health and
failing eye sight.” The Maralinga Hospital document Mr. Hutton attached to the letter gives the “Firm diagnosis” as “Functional Vomiting”. The record gives Mr Hutton’s age at the time as 20 years, and the date of admission is given as 29 August 1957, the date of discharge as 7 September 1957. The total stay in the hospital is given as ten days. One would think that a “Firm diagnosis” of functional vomitting – for ten days – is not a diagnosis but an observation of a sign of a symptom of an undisclosed cause. Apparently the Maralinga Hospital didn’t treat radiation sickness and its signs and symptoms. A lesson apparently learned well by Japanese authorities today. (Hospitals there have new signs which state “We do not treat radiation sickness”. Just “functional vomiting presumably. Just psorasis, not beta burn.)

The clinical notes written on John Hutton’s condition are as follows: “…history of persistent vomiting. No cause found on full examination. Not controlled by 50mg of Largactil tds. Three day intragastric milk drip successful.” The notes were written by a Captain in the RAMC.

(Pecher (1940) and Hamilton (1942) noted that the displacement of Sr** (all isotopes) was enabled by boosting calcium intake. It was one of the protective measures Hamilton communicated to Stone and Groves until the terms of the directive issued by Compton for protective measures to be identified.) Largactil is also known as chlorpromazine. A bried look at studies of the drug turns up the following:
“The vitamins of the B complex, particularly pyridoxine,
were the first group to show undoubted efficacy in the
treatment of radiation sickness (Maxfield et al., 1943;
Oppenheim and Bjorn, 1946; Van Haltern, 1946;
Shorvon, 1949) and are still widely used.
The anti- histamines, having been proved useful in motion sickness,
were advocated for radiation sickness (Lofstrom and
Nurnberger, 1946), but, although still used by some
radiotherapists, neither cyclizine hydrochloride
(” marzine “) nor diphenhydramine hydrochloride
(” benadryl “) is significantly better than inert tablets
(Ellis and Stoll, 1952; Stoll, 1957a). In 1954 the value
of chlorpromazine (“largactil”) in this condition was
reported (Marks, 1954). Since then the phenothiazine
series has expanded widely and has been tried extensively
in the treatment of radiation sickness, and new types
of central sedatives of the vomiting centre have been
developed….” the report records a radomised trial in which patients suffering the effects of radiation treatment
were given Largactil as an oral dose of 25mg. (Source: “Radiation Sickness. An analysis of over 1,000 controlled drug trials by
Basil A. Stoll, M.R.C.S., F.F.R., D.M.R.T.& D., Peter MacCallum Clinic, Melbourne, British Medical Journal, August 25, 1962, pp 507)

The fact that the drug was administered to Mr Hutton was obviously based upon its established (though unsatisfactory) treatment for exposure to radiation. The effetiveness of vitamin B injections is explained by Stoll quite clearly and was known to the Hiroshima doctors. who, Hersey (1945) reports as administering liver extract for radiation victims whenever they had it available. (Liver extract and Vitamin B is discussed in the paper THE VITAMIN B1 AND B2 G CONTENT OF LIVER EXTRACT AND BREWERS’ YEAST CONCENTRATE
D. K. Miller and C. P. Rhoads
From the Hospital of The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research
Received November 26, 1933. J Exp Med. 1934 February 28; 59(3): 315–331.

For milk as a source of vitamin B, see THE FOLIO ACID AND VITAMIN B12 CONTENT OF
Department of Biochemistry, College of Agriculture,
University of Wisconsin, Madison

(Received for publication September 13, 1950) Journal of Nutrition.

All the cited papers are within the era in which the knowledge was being applied to Mr Hutton. It seems to me that the treatments applied were all appropriate ones a doctor who has actually diagnosed or suspected radiation exposure as a cause of the signs exhibited by Mr Hutton. Yet the diagnosis is merely a description of what was happening (vomitting for 10 days).

Hutton in his 2008 letter writes: “Shortly before each bomb was exploded, I and a team of 4 other engineers would
seal the entrance to one of the “Instrument bunkers” with about a thousand sand
bags, which we had previously filled. Then about half an hour after each explosion
we would return in my land rover and removed the sandbags. The bunkers were very
close to the GZ and the task took about an hour. We did not wear protective clothing
and the bulldust was so heavy that we wore handkerchiefs over our mouths. On
return, we were not checked for radiation and had to spend much time in the
showers. Attached is an extract from the list of personnel at the completion of the
countdown for Tadje. I am in charge of Sandbag Party B. It was impossible to work
wearing a respirator for either sandbagging or driving”

In the 1990s. Mr Hutton’s claim against the government was dismissed and in the course of the proceedings, learned gentlemen acting on behalf of our government made statements about their view of Mr Hutton as a drunkard. The sort of person the government would label “not fit and proper”. Crap. The treatment Mr Hutton recieved was the trigger which pulled my pin and started me on this mission to show the truth via the historical record.

Given the facts of the matter, and the uses of the treatments Mr Hutton recieved in the Maralinga Hospital, it is pretty clear that he was being treated for radiation sickness. And this treatment was documented in the records he was allowed to see and possess in such a way that no mention what so ever was made of the actual case of his illness. Any cretin can diagnose vomiting. Even if they do only know enough to label it “chucking up constantly for a phucking long time after inhaling radioactive dirt.”

No wonder the real records from the hospital, the ones sent to England, have gone missing.

So no Mr Keane, it looks like they are not destroyed. One document held by Hutton indicates at least further documents consisting of the secret reports of the condition the personnel, probably despatched monthly to Whitehall or Aldermaston.

As for Lorna Arnold, well…let’s see how her findings of miminal radiation exposure to personnel stack up…
see this:

She was, according to the findings of Dr. Roger Cross, the author of at least one proven “whitewash” in regard to radiation exposure. The documents released to Mr Hutton by the Maralinga Hospital are obviously inadequate. It is enough to make me puke….

(of course, the whitewash continues in the law courts, and is aided by people who contact me telling me to forget the past and focus on modern information….information formulated from the whitewash….)

3. The Independent ( reporter Kathy Marks.
June 15, 2001

Thousands of young, inexperienced troops observed nuclear tests in 1950s Australia. They were never informed of the risks. Survivors tell Kathy Marks of the sickness that has never been acknowledged.

“As Peter Webb clambered over dust-coated Centurion tanks at ground zero in his regulation boots, shorts and short-sleeved shirt, he saw other men walking around in full-length white “space-suits” with gloves, hoods, masks and rubber boots. They were the scientists, and they always wore protective clothing in the forward area. The young servicemen who worked there almost never wore any protective gear. Webb was admitted to Maralinga Hospital with nausea and headaches, as were many others; the precise figure is not clear, as the hospital records have disappeared.
The average life expectancy of the men who helped Britain to achieve its place in the nuclear sun is 55.5 years. There are just a few thousand surviving veterans in Britain and in Australia, and they believe that their governments are simply waiting for them to die.”


Australian Broadcasting Corporation



Broadcast: 21/05/2001
Secret documents detail plan to use servicemen in atomic tests

Reporter: Geoff Hutchison

“ANNE MUNSLOW-DAVIES: What I would really like to see in those documents is the records from the Maralinga hospital.

To date, they have never been found and no-one knows their whereabouts.

PETER WEBB: But every now and again, when something comes up like this, Peter Webb comes up and says, “Hey!

I’m still here, I’m still alive, I’m still breathing’. What are you going to do about it?”

I still get the same answer – “Nothing, bugger off and die,” and that’s the sad part.

KERRY O’BRIEN: We should point out that Veterans Affairs Minister Bruce Scott has been out of the country and unavailable for interview.”


SECRET records detailing the fate of dozens of babies born in the shadow of Maralinga’s nuclear testing hold the key to a case that is building as South Australia’s largest class action.

More than 100 South Australians have joined a class action against the British Ministry of Defence over deaths and disabilities they believe were caused by nuclear testing at Maralinga more than 50 years ago.

Among them are families of the Woomera babies – more than 60 lives lost, many without explanation, during the decade of nuclear testing, up to 600km away.

Lawyers running the case say it is “just the tip of the iceberg”. They have heard only from people who are “very confident” they have a case for compensation, AdelaideNow reports.

Already, families of some of the stillborn children, hours-old babies and toddlers who account for more than half the plots in Woomera Cemetery for the 1950s and 1960s, have come forward.

Edith Hiskins, 79, of Willaston, gave birth to a stillborn daughter, Helene Michelle, in March 1963, and still is not satisfied with the reason given for her baby’s death.

Mrs Hiskins, and her husband John, a serviceman at Woomera, were told the baby girl was stillborn due to “mild toxemia” – a cause not given until years after her death and only after they pushed authorities for a death certificate.

The parents never saw their daughter , who was buried in the cemetery the next day, and they have never seen her medical records. “I would like some answers as to why that happened, because the answers given on her death certificate, I do not find sufficient,” Mrs Hiskins said.

“As far as I know, her records were sealed. It was years before we even got a death certificate.”

Mrs Hiskins said she, or her family, are likely to join the class action. “There are still questions to be answered and reasons to be given,” she said.

In all, the Woomera Cemetery contains 23 graves for stillborn babies born in the hospital between December 1953 and September 1968, and a further 46 graves for other children who died around that period. Autopsies were not always conducted and it is understood the medical records of those 23 stillborn babies remain sealed and held by the National Archives of Australia.

6. British surrender over Maralinga clean-up bill
(The British said the place was perfectly clean and safe. It was not.)

7. Major Alan Batchelor’s submission:
Submission to the Clarke Review…/batchelor.pdf
“Not considered, were the actions taken by Government to hide the total range of health and
genetic effects resulting from exposure to ionising radiation and other toxic materials associated
with nuclear weapon tests. Maralinga and other hospital records went missing and those with
dangerous exposures had their names and dosage records removed from the ofiicial listings.
“ltiere are a number of practical examples where nuclear veterans were exposed to dose rates
many thousands of times higher than the Cancer and Mortality Study’s “ail-purpose‘ dose rate”

and so on.

The google stats on my search for “maralinga hospital records” was 39,800 results (0.26 seconds).

Ms Arnold would be pretty busy these days. And instead we have the hormesis and adaptive response crew writing in telling me to
report on modern stuff instead.

The modern stuff is actually Lorna Arnold’s flock of parrots.

Apparently its ok though if you present with “motion sickness” and “psorasis”. Don’t dare tell the truth, radiation sickness and beta burn or they won’t apparently treat you. Even though the treatments can be the same or similar.

Quake Damage alone Sufficient to cause Fukushima Disaster.

June 29, 2012

The Independent, United Kingdom.

The explosive truth behind Fukushima’s meltdown

Japan insists its nuclear crisis was caused by an unforeseeable combination of tsunami and earthquake. But new evidence suggests its reactors were doomed to fail

David McNeill, Jake Adelstein
Wednesday, 17 August 2011

It is one of the mysteries of Japan’s ongoing nuclear crisis: How much damage did the 11 March earthquake inflict on the Fukushima Daiichi reactors before the tsunami hit?

The stakes are high: if the earthquake structurally compromised the plant and the safety of its nuclear fuel, then every similar reactor in Japan may have to be shut down. With almost all of Japan’s 54 reactors either offline (in the case of 35) or scheduled for shutdown by next April, the issue of structural safety looms over any discussion about restarting them.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) and Japan’s government are hardly reliable adjudicators in this controversy. “There has been no meltdown,” government spokesman Yukio Edano repeated in the days after 11 March. “It was an unforeseeable disaster,” Tepco’s then president Masataka Shimizu famously and improbably said later. Five months since the disaster, we now know that meltdown was already occurring as Mr Edano spoke. And far from being unforeseeable, the disaster had been repeatedly forewarned by industry critics.

Throughout the months of lies and misinformation, one story has stuck: it was the earthquake that knocked out the plant’s electric power, halting cooling to its six reactors. The tsunami then washed out the plant’s back-up generators 40 minutes later, shutting down all cooling and starting the chain of events that would cause the world’s first triple meltdown.

But what if recirculation pipes and cooling pipes burst after the earthquake – before the tidal wave reached the facilities; before the electricity went out? This would surprise few people familiar with the 40-year-old reactor one, the grandfather of the nuclear reactors still operating in Japan.

Problems with the fractured, deteriorating, poorly repaired pipes and the cooling system had been pointed out for years. In September 2002, Tepco admitted covering up data about cracks in critical circulation pipes. In their analysis of the cover-up, The Citizen’s Nuclear Information Centre writes: “The records that were covered up had to do with cracks in parts of the reactor known as recirculation pipes. These pipes are there to siphon off heat from the reactor. If these pipes were to fracture, it would result in a serious accident in which coolant leaks out.”

On 2 March, nine days before the meltdown, government watchdog the Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) warned Tepco on its failure to inspect critical pieces of equipment at the plant, including recirculation pumps. Tepco was ordered to make the inspections, perform repairs if needed and report to NISA on 2 June. It does not appear, as of now, that the report has been filed.

The Independent has spoken to several workers at the plant who recite the same story: serious damage, to piping and at least one of the reactors, occurred before the tsunami hit. All have requested anonymity because they are still working at or connected with the stricken plant. Worker A, a maintenance engineer who was at the Fukushima complex on the day of the disaster, recalls hissing, leaking pipes.

“I personally saw pipes that had come apart and I assume that there were many more that had been broken throughout the plant. There’s no doubt that the earthquake did a lot of damage inside the plant… I also saw that part of the wall of the turbine building for reactor one had come away. That crack might have affected the reactor.”

The reactor walls are quite fragile, he notes: “If the walls are too rigid, they can crack under the slightest pressure from inside so they have to be breakable because if the pressure is kept inside… it can damage the equipment inside so it needs to be allowed to escape. It’s designed to give during a crisis, if not it could be worse – that might be shocking to others, but to us it’s common sense.” Worker B, a technician in his late 30s who was also on site at the time of the earthquake, recalls: “It felt like the earthquake hit in two waves, the first impact was so intense you could see the building shaking, the pipes buckling, and within minutes I saw pipes bursting. Some fell off the wall…

“Someone yelled that we all needed to evacuate. But I was severely alarmed because as I was leaving I was told and I could see that several pipes had cracked open, including what I believe were cold water supply pipes. That would mean that coolant couldn’t get to the reactor core. If you can’t sufficiently get the coolant to the core, it melts down. You don’t have to have to be a nuclear scientist to figure that out.” As he was heading to his car, he could see that the walls of the reactor one building had started to collapse. “There were holes in them. In the first few minutes, no one was thinking about a tsunami. We were thinking about survival.”

The suspicion that the earthquake caused severe damage to the reactors is strengthened by reports that radiation leaked from the plant minutes later. The Bloomberg news agency has reported that a radiation alarm went off about a mile from the plant at 3.29pm, before the tsunami hit.

The reason for official reluctance to admit that the earthquake did direct structural damage to reactor one is obvious. Katsunobu Onda, author of Tepco: The Dark Empire, explains it this way: A government or industry admission “raises suspicions about the safety of every reactor they run. They are using a number of antiquated reactors that have the same systematic problems, the same wear and tear on the piping.” Earthquakes, of course, are commonplace in Japan.

Mitsuhiko Tanaka, a former nuclear plant designer, describes what occurred on 11 March as a loss-of-coolant accident. “The data that Tepco has made public shows a huge loss of coolant within the first few hours of the earthquake. It can’t be accounted for by the loss of electrical power. There was already so much damage to the cooling system that a meltdown was inevitable long before the tsunami came.”

He says the released data shows that at 2.52pm, just after the quake, the emergency circulation equipment of both the A and B systems automatically started up. “This only happens when there is a loss of coolant.” Between 3.04 and 3.11pm, the water sprayer inside the containment vessel was turned on. Mr Tanaka says that it is an emergency measure only done when other cooling systems have failed. By the time the tsunami arrived and knocked out all the electrical systems, at about 3.37pm, the plant was already on its way to melting down.

Kei Sugaoka, who conducted on-site inspections at the plant and was the first to blow the whistle on Tepco’s data tampering, says he was not surprised by what happened. In a letter to the Japanese government, dated 28 June 2000, he warned that Tepco continued to operate a severely damaged steam dryer in the plant 10 years after he pointed out the problem. The government sat on the warning for two years.

“I always thought it was just a matter of time,” he says of the disaster. “This is one of those times in my life when I’m not happy I was right.”

During his research, Mr Onda spoke with several engineers who worked at the Tepco plants. One told him that often piping would not match up to the blueprints. In that case, the only solution was to use heavy machinery to pull the pipes close enough together to weld them shut. Inspection of piping was often cursory and the backs of the pipes, which were hard to reach, were often ignored. Repair jobs were rushed; no one wanted to be exposed to nuclear radiation longer than necessary.

Mr Onda adds: “When I first visited the Fukushima Power Plant it was a web of pipes. Pipes on the wall, on the ceiling, on the ground. You’d have to walk over them, duck under them – sometimes you’d bump your head on them. The pipes, which regulate the heat of the reactor and carry coolant are the veins and arteries of a nuclear power plant; the core is the heart. If the pipes burst, vital components don’t reach the heart and thus you have a heart attack, in nuclear terms: meltdown. In simpler terms, you can’t cool a reactor core if the pipes carrying the coolant and regulating the heat rupture – it doesn’t get to the core.”

Tooru Hasuike, a Tepco employee from 1977 until 2009 and former general safety manager of the Fukushima plant, says: “The emergency plans for a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima plant had no mention of using seawater to cool the core. To pump seawater into the core is to destroy the reactor. The only reason you’d do that is no other water or coolant was available.”

Before dawn on 12 March, the water levels at the reactor began to plummet and the radiation began rising. The Tepco press release published just past 4am that day states: “The pressure within the containment vessel is high but stable.” There was one note buried in the release that many people missed: “The emergency water circulation system was cooling the steam within the core; it has ceased to function.”

At 9.51pm, under the chief executive’s orders, the inside of the reactor building was declared a no-entry zone. At around 11pm, radiation levels for the inside of the turbine building, which was next door to reactor reached levels of 0.5 to 1.2 mSv per hour. In other words, the meltdown was already underway. At those levels, if you spent 20 minutes exposed to those radiation levels you would exceed the five-year limit for a nuclear reactor worker in Japan.

Sometime between 4 and 6am, on 12 March, Masao Yoshida, the plant manager decided it was time to pump seawater into the reactor core and notified Tepco. Seawater was not pumped in until hours after a hydrogen explosion occurred, at roughly 8pm. By then, it was probably already too late.

Later that month, Tepco went some way toward admitting at least some of these claims in a report called “Reactor Core Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit One”. The report said there was pre-tsunami damage to key facilities, including pipes.

“This means that assurances from the industry in Japan and overseas that the reactors were robust is now blown apart,” said Shaun Burnie, an independent nuclear waste consultant who works with Greenpeace. “It raises fundamental questions on all reactors in high seismic risk areas.”

As Mr Burnie points out, Tepco also admitted massive fuel melt 16 hours after loss of coolant, andseven or eight hours before the explosion in Unit One. “Since they must have known all this, their decision to flood with massive water volumes would guarantee massive additional contamination – including leaks to the ocean.”

No one knows how much damage was done to the plant by the earthquake, or if this damage alone would account for the meltdown. But certainly Tepco’s data and eyewitness testimony indicates that the damage was significant.

As Mr Hasuike says: “Tepco and the government of Japan have provided many explanations. They don’t make sense. The one thing they haven’t provided is the truth. It’s time they did.”

The Spent Fuel Situation at the Fukushina-Daichi Site

June 29, 2012

The following is from Aaron Datesman:

“This information comes from Bob Alvarez:

The Spent Fuel Situation at the Fukushina-Daichi Site

It is my understanding that reactor No. 4 contains 1,231 irradiated spent fuel (SNF) assemblies in the pool of Reactor No. 4. The pool is structurally damged, has leaked and is exposed to the elements. The infrastructure to safely remove it has been destroyed.

The SNF in Pool No. 4 contains about 100+ million curies of long-lived radioactive elements. Roughly 40% or 40 MCi is Cs-137. If an another earthquake or other event were to cause the water to drain, it could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving about 40 times the amount released at Chernobyl. (According to a 1995 report of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, The Chernobyl accident released 1.89 millio…n cf Cs-137. The U.S. National Commission on Radiation Protection (NCRP)s in its publication No. 154 estimates that abut 1.6 million curies of Cs-137 was released by Chernobyl

There appears to be a total of 11,138 spent fuel assemblies stored at the Dai-Ichi site. They contain roughly 982 million curies of intermediate and long-lived radionuclides. There are 6,350 assemblies in the common spent fuel pool located about 50 meters away from the unit 4. The remainder are amidst the reactor ruins.

Roughly 393 million curies in the total SNF inventory are from Cs-137 . This is about 145% more than the total NCRP estimate of Cs-137 released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants ( ~270 million curies or 1.0E+18 bequerels).

It’s important for the public to understand that nuclear power plants that have been operating for decades have generated some of the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet. Spent fuel pools at boiling water reactors are particularly of concern, because they are about 100 feet above ground and do not have “defense in depth” protection. Despite the enormous destruction caused at the Dai-Ichi site, the dry spent fuel storage casks were unscathed.

You’re doing excellent work, by the way. Thank you!”
Aaron Datesman

Thanks Aaron.