Resolution 940: Fukushima-Daiichi: Seven Years Later

 

Approved by the National Committee of the Green Party of the United States, December 2, 2018

Approved by the Green Party of Pennsylvania State Committee, July 8, 2018

 

Background

Three nuclear reactor buildings at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (Fuku) blew apart following the Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting tidal wave in 2011. Nuclear fuel was thrown into the air, onto the land and into the Pacific Ocean. The roofs and floors of the three reactors were destroyed.

The plant owner poured millions of tons of water on the bottoms of each reactor to keep the remaining nuclear fuel “cool”. Thousands of residents of the nearby communities became evacuees, both voluntary and involuntary. The Japanese Government took over operation of the Fuku from the plant owner, Tokyo Electric Power Corporation. The Japanese Government has collected contaminated soil and building materials and stored same in above ground, temporary containers stored in open, unprotected fields.

In March, 2018, the Japanese Government agreed to implement recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Commission concerning its treatment of nuclear evacuees within its borders and the maximum allowable radiation dose for its residents. The United Nations General Assembly and International Atomic Energy Agency have taken no actions.

The International Olympic Committee has identified Japan to be the host of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

OPEN LETTER TO THE UNITED NATIONS 

December 2, 2018

Ambassador Niki Haley
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017

Dear Ambassador Haley:

Thank you for taking time to read our letter and to hear our ideas. The Green Parties of Pennsylvania and of the United States ask you to request the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) take action to protect the people of Japan and the Pacific Ocean from additional radiation exposure. 

The Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011 caused three reactor buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (Fuku) to explode. The plant operators had cooled the uranium fuel inside with seawater. When the tsunami cut off electric power, they were unable to continue to cool the nuclear fuel leading to a buildup of hydrogen gas. The hydrogen gas expanded, formed a bubble and eventually detonated. Radioactive materials were forced through the roofs and into the soil. It was an unbelievable domestic tragedy that now affects our entire globe.

We ask you to focus on events after these explosions. How did the explosions affect the quality of life for the residents of Fukushima Prefecture. What steps have the plant operator and the Japanese central government taken in response in the past seven years? What role do the 2020 Olympic Games, to be hosted by Japan, play in Japan’s current recovery? 

Nuclear fuel left Fuku in the form of “hot particles” dispersed throughout East Japan. Our Pennsylvania state government’s environmental monitors recorded Fuku-sourced radiation shortly after the explosions. Air borne particles covered the farmland, houses, schools, forests and businesses of the communities surrounding Fuku. Ground water picked up the radiation below the reactors and carried it into the Pacific Ocean yards away from the facility.

The Japanese Government issued mandatory evacuation orders to protect the residents and increased the maximum annual radiation dose by a factor of 20. Money was given to the evacuees to compensate them for their loss of homes, commercial livelihood and family ties. Their lives were torn apart. In addition, contractors were paid to begin gathering together and storing six inches of top soil, broken building materials and storm debris now all radioactive. This rubble was stored in temporary storage bins which now punctuate the landscape of East Japan.

The quality of life in East Japan steadily declined in the last seven years. In fact, in March of this year, the Japanese Government agreed to abide by recommendations made by the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC). The UNHRC determined the treatment of the nuclear evacuees, by the Japanese Government to be unacceptable. The UNHRC recommended the government not force the evacuees to return to their home communities contaminated with radiation at this time. The government’s financial compensation was also to continue while the evacuees are displaced. The Japanese Government’s attempt to clean up Eastern Japan was started, but remains incomplete. 

Back inside Fuku, Toyko Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the plant operator, continued to cool what remained of the three reactors with water. One hundred tons of fresh water are released into each reactor daily. Unfortunately these tons of cooling water sink through the former floors, join the ground water below and seep into the Pacific Ocean only yards away. The Pacific Ocean is an international waterway. This ongoing practice is ocean dumping of radioactive waste. This process is illegal in international law. 

The long term cumulative effects of radiation exposure upon plants, animals and marine life are not contested. High level radiation in the Pacific Ocean’s food chain is an international public health hazard because it is entering our food chain. States around the Pacific are seeing the effects of Fuku-sourced radiation today. Many do not wish to buy agricultural and seafood from Japan. The effect on our food chain will be devastating to all life on Earth today and for future generations. Fuku has released more nuclear radiation into Earth’s environment than any other single source that we are aware of. Ocean and soil contamination is problem one. 

Without a roof to contain it, radioactivity escapes freely from the three reactor shells today. By contrast, the governments responsible for the crippled reactor at Chernobyl Power Station sealed it off within months of the meltdown in 1986. Air contamination is problem number two.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) owned Fuku at the time of the meltdowns. TEPCO is a for profit, private utility company. The Japanese Government took over operation of Fuku in 2012. The Japan Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA) is the government agency in charge of Fuku now and for collecting and storing the above ground nuclear material. These makeshift bins hold 16 million cubic meters of radioactive debris. These bins do not isolate the radioactive elements inside from direct contact with water, air and soil. This is problem number three.

 Japan is a member of the United Nations. As such, its nuclear resources and facilities are subject to oversight by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The keyword is “oversight.” The UNGA controls the IAEA via the International Atomic Energy Act (Statute). As first written in the 1950s, the objectives of this Statute were to promote construction and operation of nuclear power generating stations worldwide. Key word is promote. The Statute did not delegate to the IAEA the police power to assume control of a nuclear facility in a sovereign state that is out of control. This is problem four. 

The intervening seventy years has shown us that prior UNGA sessions were naïve and painfully shortsighted in regards to nuclear power. Naïve meaning the members of the UNGA took on face value the promises of governments and private companies within the nuclear fuel, engineering and construction economic sector. These governments and private companies promised cheap electricity and safe reactor operation. Warnings of radiation dangers by conservation and safe energy groups were ignored. Short sighted by failing to require peer reviewed examples of safe, long term storage of nuclear waste before allowing nuclear stations to operate worldwide! The promises of cheap electricity, safe reactor operation and waste isolation were false. The role of citizen activists was marginalized and ignored. This is problem five. 

In the 1990s, the IAEA created the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). INES was designed to help IAEA tell the public the threat level of an ongoing nuclear event. INES is to speak to, and warn if necessary, the global community. It currently has seven different levels ranging from no safety significance to Major Accident, Level 7. Level 7 is the most severe category for nuclear disaster. The IAEA classified Fuku as a Level 7 nuclear event in April, 2011. It needs to be amended by adding a Level 8 and here is why. Level 7 doesn’t include an event with radiation affecting more than one sovereign state nor an international waterway. Level 8 is needed to warn everyone on Earth of the IAEA’s perception of the danger to global public health. Fuku is the first, and hopefully last, Level 8 nuclear event. This is problem six.

If the hydrogen bubble had continued to grow inside Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island reactor in 1979, would that reactor have withstood the blast? That is where we live! Many of us who lived in the Harrisburg area at the time have not forgotten being told to prepare to evacuate and leave our homes because of a possible hydrogen explosion. Chernobyl’s reactor building did explode in 1986. Pictures of the “dead zone” surrounding this plant fill the Internet. Based upon these unfortunate experiences, why wouldn’t the UNGA have taken steps then to prevent us from being where we are today… with three blown reactors? Intelligence is learning from mistakes. How much physical damage and cancer must occur? How many citizens must be displaced and families separated before you, Ambassador Haley, and the UNGA say enough?! Problem seven is the UNGA’s history of inaction regarding the dangers of nuclear energy.

With these problems, Japan is preparing to play host to the world to play sports. Japan has no business entertaining sport contests as three hundred tons of radioactive water enters the Pacific Ocean daily. Japan has no business building sports venues when the three blown reactor building continuously release radiation into the atmosphere. Most importantly, Japan should make sure all of its citizens and residents are not receiving doses of radiation 20 times higher than the rest of the world primarily because it has failed to complete the removal and isolation of radioactive debris from East Japan! It should have cleaned up the prior disaster completely before diverting its attention and resources to building swimming pools and track stadiums in search of tourism dollars and international notoriety. The Japanese Government should be ashamed of its performance the past seven years. The people of Japan and the world community deserve better.

This is where we are now in time. The obvious question is where do we go from here? Here are the actions we ask you to take to resolve these problems.

  • Please meet with the IAEA for their comments on these issues and then meet with our representatives to discuss your views of IAEA positions and recommendations;

  • Draft a UNGA resolution to amend the Statute by giving the police power to the IAEA. This police power must include the jurisdiction to physically occupy nuclear facilities in a sovereign member state deemed to be out of control. “Out of control” should be defined as the ability of a sovereign government to provide a natural environment where it’s residents will receive no more than 1 miliservert annual dose. This will help to resolve problems four and seven.

  • Include in this UNGA resolution a provision directing the IAEA to physically occupy and operate the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant and to take all steps necessary to seal off the three reactors from further water, air and soil radiation contamination, both above and below ground level. This will resolve problems one and two.

  • Include in this UNGA resolution a provision to amend the Statute to IAEA to establish an INES Level 8 for nuclear events affecting more than one state or involving an international waterway. This will resolve problem six.

  • In addition, the IAEA should be directed to classify and isolate the radioactive materials contained in the thousands of temporary storage bins from further water, air and soil radiation contamination. To carry out this task, the IAEA should be directed to review and implement the hybrid structure set forth in “The Report of the German Commission on the Storage of HighLevel Radioactive Waste written in July, 2016” (German Report). This Report establishes an open merger of citizen groups, the nuclear fuel, engineering and construction economic sector and political bodies. Germany is attempting to isolate their domestically sourced radioactive materials. The IAEA should replicate this organization within Japan to isolate all their domestically sourced radioactive materials in an expedited manner. The IAEA should speak on behalf of the UNGA in this process. This will help to resolve problems one, two, three and five.

  • Draft a second UNGA resolution to require all member states with nuclear facilities to create the same hybrid organization set forth in the German Report within their state. This group will be responsible to site low and high level radioactive wastes thereafter. This will help to resolve problem four in the future.

The adults alive today must take responsibility to care for radioactive materials for what could be thousands of years. Because our generation consumed the electricity, our generation must be responsible for what we benefitted from. We have selfishly burdened future generations. 

The meltdowns and explosions of 2011 constituted a nuclear event the likes of which our communities have never seen. Large scale ocean dumping of high level radioactive materials into an international waterway over seven years is off the INES danger chart. Our message to the citizens everywhere is the nuclear fuel, engineering and construction economy can’t fix this one alone. Citizens around the world, in conjunction with the nuclear sector and their political systems, must be responsible. We must take action now to prevent the same or worse nuclear event from happening in the future.

We close by quoting from the 2017 Greenpeace survey, published this past March 1. Greenpeace Japan staffers conducted research:

... in the towns of Iitate and Namie in Fukushima prefecture,  including the exclusion zone, revealed radiation levels up to  100 times higher than the international limit for public  Exposure (1 milliservert per year). The high radiation levels in  These areas pose a significant risk to returning evacuees until  at least the 2050’s and well into the next century. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

OPEN LETTER TO THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE

Kikkan Randal
International Olympic Committee
Town, State

Japan Must Achieve UNHRC Required 1 milliservert Radiation Doseage to host 2020 Olympics

Dear Ms. Randal:

Thank you for reading this letter and considering our views. 

We are the Green Parties of Pennsylvania and the United States. We ask you to request the International Olympic Committee (IOC) perform an inquiry to protect the residents of Japan, possible Olympians and the Pacific Ocean from unnecessary nuclear radiation. The United Nations Human Rights Council ordered the reduced level of radiation exposure must be achieved on behalf of the residents of Japan. We believe these radiation reduction levels must be achieved before the 2020 Summer Olympic Games are opened. 

The Japanese National Government (Japan) is in violation of Paragraph 1 of the Olympic Charter’s Mission section. It reads in part "to encourage and support the promotion of ethics and good governance in sport as well as education of youth through sport and to dedicate its efforts to ensuring that, in sport, the spirit of fair play prevails and violence is banned". 

In addition we believe Japan has violated Paragraph 13 of the Olympic Mission. This reads in part that a host city is"to encourage and support a responsible concern for environmental issues, to promote sustainable development in sport and to require that the Olympic Games are held accordingly".

Pursuant to Rule 59, we respectfully ask an inquiry by the IOC Executive Board be called to resolve these issues. 

We understand these Missions and Rules are very important to you. For you to know where we are coming from, we suggest you read one article in the Japan Times and watch two youtube videos. Background and pictures will help you. 

The Greens Japan International Secretary Ricky Adaichi suggested one of our members read Eric Johnston’s July 16, 2011 article. It is titled “Key Players Got Nuclear Ball Rolling”. Mr. Adaichi feels this article is a beginning to understand the role the United States National Government played in bringing nuclear energy to Japan originally.

Fox News February, 2017, video showed Adam Housely reporting "unbelievable" radiation levels leaving Fukushima Daiichi and Paul Johannessen’s 2013 movie “The Women of Fukushima” with English subtitles are very informative.

Factual Background

The Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011 caused three reactor buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (Fuku) to explode. The plant operators had cooled the uranium fuel inside with seawater. When the tsunami cut off electric power, they were unable to continue to cool the nuclear fuel leading to a buildup of hydrogen gas. The hydrogen gas expanded, formed a bubble and eventually detonated. Radioactive materials were forced through the roofs and into the soil. It was an unbelievable domestic tragedy with international consequences we are beginning to see more clearly today.

We ask the IOC to focus on events after these explosions. How did the explosions affect the quality of life for the residents of Fukushima Prefecture? What recommendations have the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) taken to protect human rights in Japan? What steps has Japan taken to comply with UNHRC recommendations? 

Nuclear fuel burst out of Fuku as “hot particles” dispersed throughout East Japan. Our Pennsylvania state government’s environmental monitors recorded Fuku-sourced radiation shortly after the explosions. Air borne particles covered the farmland, houses, schools, forests and businesses of the communities surrounding Fuku. Rain and ground water picked up the high level nuclear radiation on the soil and below the reactors and carried it into the Pacific Ocean yards away from the facility. 

Japan took four different steps to attempt to safeguard its residents. Contractors were paid to begin gathering together and storing six inches of top soil, broken building materials and storm debris from communities outside Fuku. This rubble was stored in temporary storage bins which now punctuate the landscape of East Japan when seen on news and youtube videos.

Second, Japan issued mandatory evacuation orders to residents in certain communities around Fuku. The rule of thumb for this evacuation was within 20 kilometers mandatory evacuation, within 30 kilometers voluntary evacuation. 

Third, Japan began to pay housing allowances to residents of communities within the mandatory evacuation zones and some voluntary evacuees. 

Finally, Japan increased the permissible maximum dose to Japan residents beginning in 2011 to 20 milliserverts per year. It did this because it was having an “emergency exposure event”namely three blown reactor buildings and high level radioactive waste spread worldwide. Much of the radioactivity concentrated around the plant presumably. Prior to the Great East Japan Earthquake, the maximum radiation dose for anyone living in Japan was 1 milliservert per year. This is the maximum safe radiation dose for all people on Earth according to the International Commission of Radiological Protection (ICRP). Because of the three explosions however, Japan raised the acceptable individual annual effective dose for Japan’s residents by a factor of 20! The IRCP allows national governments suffering an “emergency exposure event”, to increase the acceptable annual dose from between 20 to 100 milliserverts per year. 

The Toyko Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the plant operator, continued to cool what remained of the three blown reactors with water. However, instead of the closed system used before, one hundred tons of fresh water are dumped into each reactor daily. Unfortunately these tons of cooling water sink through the former floors, join the ground water below and seep into the Pacific Ocean only yards away. 

The Pacific Ocean is an international waterway. This ongoing practice is ocean dumping of radioactive waste. International law forbids this practice. 

Without a roof to contain it, radioactivity escaped freely from the three reactor shells and continues today. By contrast, the governments responsible for the crippled reactor at Chernobyl Power Station sealed it off within months of the meltdown in 1986. 

Japan took over operation of Fuku from TEPCO in 2012. The Japan Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA) is the government agency in charge of Fuku now and for collecting and storing the above ground nuclear waste. NRA is unable to remove radioactivity from the nearby forests. The makeshift bins hold 16 million cubic meters of radioactive debris. These bins do not isolate the radioactive elements inside from direct contact with water, air and soil. In addition, NRA assumed responsibility for cleaning and maintaining Fuku itself. This included hiring workers to carry out the cleaning and maintenance duties. 

The IOC announced Toyko as the host city for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in September, 2013.

The quality of life in East Japan steadily declined in the last seven years. Ghost towns surround Fuku. However, the NRA began canceling evacuation orders in specific communities inside some Exclusion Zones in 2017. Ending these orders had the effect of forcing the evacuees to return to their contaminated communities. Other evacuation orders are still in place due to excessive environmental radiation within Fukushima Prefecture. The NRA also ended the housing subsidy from Japan for certain evacuees. The evacuees were forced to choose between income and their health.

Japan is a member of the United Nations. As such, , the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) polices the actions of sovereign members towards their own citizens. Their review is based upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Japanese residents and safe energy organizations informed the UNHRC of the NRA’s decision to cease certain evacuation orders and the housing subsidy. They argued the NRA was violating the human rights of those residents told to return to their homes if their radiation dose will be over 1 milliservert. In reaction, the UNHRC opened an inquiry concerning Japan’s treatment of its residents affected by Fuku sourced radiation. 

In early 2017, the UNHRC delegates from Austria, Portugal, Germany and Mexico took testimony from Japanese residents. Japanese mothers told the UNHRC the radiation levels in Fukushima Prefecture deny them the ability to live where they wish. Some Fukushima Prefecture residents wondered if the radiation dose was low enough for them to return home for the first time in seven years. 

As a result, the UNHRC made many recommendations to Japan in November, 2017. The UNHRC determined the treatment of the nuclear evacuees, by the Japanese Government to be unacceptable. The nuclear evacuees were to be referred to as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP). The UNHRC also recommended the government not force the evacuees to return to their home communities contaminated with radiation at this time. The government’s financial compensation was also to continue while the evacuees are displaced. Also, Japan was to return the maximum annual radiation dosage for all residents to 1 milliservert. Japan has attempted to clean up Eastern Japan, but the clean up remains incomplete. 

In March, 2018, the Japanese National Government agreed to abide by these four recommendations made by the UNHRC for offsite contamination. 

As of today, Japan has attempted to locate remaining nuclear fuel within Fuku’s three blown reactors with robots. These robots filmed the remains of the reactor floors, but lasted about one hour in the intense radiation. Japan’s frozen seawater wall failed to stop radioactive water from entering the Pacific Ocean. As recently as last month, UNHRC has now begun to inquire as to the health and safety of the workers NRA hired to clean and maintain Fuku itself. 

The people most at risk of exposure to toxic substances are those most vulnerable to exploitation: the poor, children and women, migrant workers, people with disabilities and older workers. They are often exposed to a myriad of human rights abuses, forced to make the abhorrent choice between their health and income, and their plight is invisible to most consumers and policymakers with the power to change it,” said the experts. 

Total spending so far on 2020 Summer Olympics is $12 billion, $3 billion alone from the City of Tokyo.

Japan 2018 and the Olympic Mission

Greenpeace’s March 1, 2018 press release summarizes our view of the state of human rights in Japan:

In November last year, the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission’s Universal Review on Japan issued four recommendations on Fukushima issues. Member governments (Austria, Portugal, Mexico and Germany) called for Japan to respect the human rights of Fukushima evacuees and adopt strong measures to reduce the radiation risks to citizens, in particular women and children and to fully support self evacuees. 

The Japanese National Government cannot have it both ways. They can’t be exploiting women and children, migrant workers and the homeless while promoting ethical behavior through good governance. You can perhaps, unless officials who work for that government are caught in these unethical actions. 

The Japanese National Government is openly flushing its radioactive elements into our Pacific Ocean. They have been polluting an international waterway with unstable waste for seven years! Now they want to continue poisoning the Pacific while promoting sustainable environmental policies inside an Olympic track and field arena 80 kilometers away. Contaminating the largest body of water on Earth trumps separating landfill waste from recyclables. 

We do not equate the Japanese National Government with the residents of Japan. They are two different groups. Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan was in office when Fuku exploded. His opinion is much different than Mr. Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister today. Japan is not unified on this issue. 

We ask the IOC to remember, the current Japanese National Government chose to restart a handful of nuclear plants in Japan after Fuku blew in 2011. There are many in Japan who feel they must endure Mr. Abe. They see little hope their displacement from their homeland will end soon. Mr. Abe seems to hope the 2020 Olympics will get the Japanese peoples’ minds off of Fuku and more likely to open their wallets for Olympic events and trinkets. 

The natural environment of the host country must be sustainable. In our view, it is not ethical for Japan to invite international athletes to compete where the permissible radiation dose for an individual is 20 times higher than the rest of the world. 

The unmitigated flow of radiation into the Pacific and the temporary, above ground storage bins create unchecked sources of more environmental radiation! Japan is not isolating the Fuku-sourced radiation fast enough to reach the one milliservert standard today! Japan will likely pay much more than $12 billion to achieve the radiation reduction required by the UNHRC and over hundreds of years. The IOC must force Japan to recognize the serious and long term nature of its response to Fuku-sourced radiation.

Japan has also failed to encourage and support a responsible concern for environmental issues. It has not promoted sustainable development. Japan has shown distain for its responsibilities as an Olympic venue even while it was pledging to uphold it Mission. 

 The first priorities of Japan’s government should be to seal off Fuku’s groundwater-leaking reactors and isolate the above ground rad waste. These acts will help to reduce the environmental radiation lingering in East Japan. 

The delegates of Austria, Portugal, Mexico and Germany on the UNHRC are the adults in the room now. The IOC should join with the UNHRC. Please conduct an inquiry into Japan’s ability to comply with all four of the UNHRC recommendations by March, 2020. If not, please transfer the Olympic Games to another country for Summer, 2020. 

Thank you

 

ATTACHMENT C

Background Details with Endnotes

Watch two Youtube videos to understand where we are coming from. “Women of Fukushima English” (22 minutes) and “Housely Fox News Fukushima” (3 minutes). 

 

Ricky Adachi is currently International Secretary of Greens Japan. To gain an understanding of Japan today, he suggested one of our members read this JapanTimes article. This article explains the US government’s role in the development of Japan’s fission reactor program beginning after World War II up to current day. 

We, as Greens, must become more involved stewards of Earth’s water, air and soil resources. Stewards conserve existing resources while improving the resource, in some cases, by taking two steps. These steps are educating the public and organizing citizen action. Ecological wisdom. Future focus. 

Fukushima Daiichi: Seven Years Later.

1. Each day three hundred tons of water containing high level radioactive Cesium leave Fuku in eastern Japan. The water is poured onto what remains of the uranium fuel rods in each reactor blown apart by hydrogen explosions. (1) Their purpose is to cool the fuel. This cooling water sinks through the former floors, joins the ground water below Fuku and ultimately seeps into the Pacific Ocean only yards away.(2) This ongoing practice is ocean dumping of radioactive waste. Other commentators claim Japan is aware ocean dumping violates international law, but feel they have no other financially viable alternatives. (3) 

2. As a result of the hydrogen explosions, “hot particles” were blown out of the reactors into the atmosphere and eventually came down on soil, into forests on the nearby mountains or water resources throughout Japan and our globe. (4) Without roofs or floors to block them, radioactivity has escaped freely from the skeletal remains of the three reactor buildings. By contrast, the crippled reactor at Chernobyl Power Station was sealed off within months of the meltdown. (5) 

3. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) owned Fuku at the time of the meltdowns. TEPCO was a for profit, private utility. The Japanese Government took over operation of Fuku in 2012. (6) The Japan Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA) is the federal agency managing the plant now. Japan is a member state of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). (7) The United Nations General Assembly controls the IAEA. Japan is a member of the United Nations.

4. The NRA has removed radioactive materials surrounding Fuku and neighboring communities. The radioactive debris gathered by NRA has been stored in thousands of temporary storage bins which surround Fuku. These makeshift bins hold 16 million cubic meters of radioactive waste. (8) The radioactive top soil, bags of water and building materials inside these bins now await processing to remove the radioactivity. They are sitting out in open fields, stacked liked so much municipal garbage.

5. The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) was designed to facilitate IAEA communication with the public of the significance of nuclear events worldwide. It currently has seven different levels ranging from no safety significance to Major Accident, Level 7. Level 7 is the most severe category for nuclear disaster. The IAEA classified Fuku as a Level 7 nuclear event in April, 2011. (9) 

The meltdowns and explosions of 2011 constituted a nuclear event. NRA and TEPCO’s subsequent ocean dumping and above ground, temporary storage are evidence of a second, continuing nuclear event. The Japanese Government is allowing the for-profit utility to treat the Pacific Ocean as an open sewer. Public policy is to serve the common good, not private gain.

6. IAEA should be directed by the United Nations General Assembly to create a Level 8 in INES. Level 8 nuclear events would apply to international public health hazards. IAEA should also be required to intervene in Level 8 nuclear events when the host member state is shown to be unwilling or unable to contain radioactive materials and protect the public. 

7. As first written in the 1950s, the objectives of the International Atomic Energy Act (Statute) have been to promote construction and operation of nuclear power generating stations worldwide. The specific police power to takeover the nuclear facilities of member states when the member state is shown to unwilling or unable to isolate nuclear materials from the natural environment was never enacted by the General Assembly. 

8. History has shown us it was naïve of the General Assembly not to require safer reactor designs and to have resolved long term storage of nuclear waste questions before member states created nuclear stations all over the globe.

8. Now is the time for the General Assembly to amend the Statute to grant the IAEA the authority necessary to seal off the reactors and isolate the temporary storage bins in long term facilities.

9. The INES warning system is outdated. South Korea and Peoples Republic of China have restricted imports of Japanese agricultural products due to increased radiation. This trade issue is being resolved by the World Trade Organization. (10) INES doesn’t address scenarios where the radioactive waste of one state has or appears to have an adverse effect on residents of a second state. 

10. Currently experts disagree as to whether Fuku has created an international public health hazard. The World Health Organization and United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation have issued reports downplaying the long term effects of Fuku sourced radiation in Japan. (11) 

11. The long term cumulative effects of radiation exposure upon plants, animals and marine life are not contested. High level radiation in the Pacific Ocean’s food chain is an international public health hazard because it is entering our food chain. The effect on our food chain will be devastating to all life on Earth. No data exists to predict the extent of Fuku’s devastation because Fuku has released more nuclear radiation into Earth’s environment than ever before that we are aware of.

12. All this radiation from a private company who sought to make money by risking nuclear meltdowns. All these wastes should be placed into long term storage in a manner consistent with the citizen input process described in Report of the German Commission on the Storage of HighLevel Radioactive Waste written in July, 2016. (12)

13. Citizen activists have always asked government regulators, what will we do with the radioactive wastes? Eastern Japan is polluted with radioactive waste and there is no end in sight to their generation of more rad waste. NRA has no solutions…other than stick it out in the middle of an open field. 

14. We close by quoting from the 2017 Greenpeace survey, published this past March 1. Greenpeace Japan staffers conducted research:

…in the towns of Iitate and Namie in Fukushima prefecture, including the exclusion zone, revealed radiation levels up to 100 times higher than the international limit for public 

Exposure (1 milliservert per year). The high radiation levels in These areas pose a significant risk to returning evacuees until at least the 2050’s and well into the next century. (13) 

Transfer All 2020 Olympic Games Events Outside of Japan to Protect the Athletes and Remedy Existing Human Rights Violations inside Japan. 

15. The International Olympic Committee has announced Japan will host the 2020 Olympics. For example, the baseball and softball events will be held at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium in Fukushima City, within Fukushima Prefecture. (14) According to Google Maps, Azuma is 86 kilometers from Fuku. 

16. All athletic contests should be transferred out of Japan for two reasons. First, Fukushima Prefecture is still experiencing an emergency exposure event. Second, the location of the Japanese Government’s recent human rights violations are within Fukushima Prefecture.

17. A hydrogen bubble was growing inside Reactor #2 at Three Mile Island in March, 1979. Government officials and utility owners told the local residents the explosion of a reactor vessel would be catastrophic. (15) 

The residents living around Chernobyl suffered one hydrogen explosion in 1986. It blew the roof of the containment vessel off, sprayed nuclear fuel into the local water, air and soil. An exclusion zone exists today surrounding the former nuclear plant.

18. The residents of Fukushima Prefecture lived through three hydrogen explosions. Nuclear fuel was sprayed throughout Fukushima Prefecture and, eventually, around the entire planet. 

19. Prior to the Great East Japan Earthquake, in March, 2011, the maximum radiation dose was 1 milliservert per year. This is the maximum safe radiation dose for all people on Earth according to the International Commission of Radiological Protection (ICRP).

20. Because of the amount of fuel and other radioactive waste blown out of the plant, NRA raised the acceptable individual annual effective dose for Japan’s residents. The IRCP allows national governments suffering an “emergency exposure event”, to increase the acceptable annual dose from between 20 to 100 milliserverts per year. The NRA increased the permissible maximum dose to Japan residents beginning in 2011 to 20 milliserverts per year because it was having an “emergency exposure event”. (16) 

20. In addition, the NRA issued mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders to residents living around Fuku. The rule of thumb for this evacuation was within 20 kilometers mandatory evacuation, within 30 kilometers voluntary evacuation. Residents living within 20 kilometers were ordered to leave their homes and businesses due to the radioactive fallout. (17) The United States Government’s travel advisory was to remain 80 kilometers away from Fuku to stay safe. (18 ) 

21. The mandatory evacuation zones have become permanent Exclusion Zones. Permanent residency is prohibited. Residents who fled were paid a modest amount of money to compensate them for being forced to leave their homes. 

22. Mandatory and voluntary evacuation zones lie between Fukushima City and Fuku station. Thousands and thousands of temporary storage bins, of yet uncategorized waste, lay open to the air, water and soil. 

23. Safety of the athletes should not be put in jeopardy. What level of exposure to high level radiation is safe? Should athletes need to choose between personal health and representing their homeland in international competitions?

24. Some Fukushima Prefecture residents are wondering if the radiation is low enough for them to return home for the first time in seven years. Athletes, trainers, TV crews and spectators should not be getting into their way. 

25. Within the last 12 months, NRA began canceling evacuation orders in specific communities inside some Exclusion Zones. Ending these orders had the effect of forcing the evacuees to return to their contaminated communities. Another effect was to end the state subsidy. Other evacuation orders are still in place due to excessive environmental radiation within Fukushima Prefecture. 

26. Citizen activists and safe energy organizations informed the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) of these changes in Japanese public policy. They argued the NRA was violating the human rights of those residents told to return to their homes if their radiation exposure will be 20 milliserverts or more. (19)

26. The UNHRC took testimony from Japanese residents. Japanese mothers told the UNHRC the radiation levels in Fukushima Prefecture deny them the ability to live where they wish. As a result, the UNHRC made many recommendations to the NRA. (20)

27. Once again, Greenpeace’s March 1, 2018 Press release summarizes our view of the current state of human rights in Japan: In November last year, the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission’s Universal Review on Japan issued four recommendations on Fukushima issues. Member governments (Austria, Portugal, Mexico and Germany) called for Japan to respect the human rights of Fukushima evacuees and adopt strong measures to reduce the radiation risks to citizens, in particular women and children and to fully support self evacuees. (21)

28. On March 8, 2018 Japan agreed to comply with four of the UNHRC recommendations. 

29. Many other citizen activists in Japan today seek to enact provisions of the Chernobyl Law within Japan. They believe this legislation will guarantee basic rights for the evacuees of emergency exposure events, due to no fault of their own. (22)

30. Just in the last month, UNHRC investigators have announced their concern with Japanese Government treatment of clean up workers at Fuku:

The people most at risk of exposure to toxic substances are those most vulnerable to exploitation: the poor, children and women, migrant workers, people with disabilities and older workers. They are often exposed to a myriad of human rights abuses, forced to make the abhorrent choice between their health and income, and their plight is invisible to most consumers and policymakers with the power to change it,” said the experts.(23)

END NOTES:

1. Fukushima: How the Hydrogen Bubble Was Formed (see below); Russia Today, news channel supported by Russian Government, has had extensive coverage of Fukushima hydrogen explosions and the seven subsequent years (see below) and Reuters News video of Reactor #3 (see below). Some experts disagree as to whether the explosion in Reactor #3 was hydrogen.

 

 

2. See Fairewinds Energy Education, go to fifth paragraph. Arnie Gundersen has been a nuclear engineer for over 40 years. He held a Nuclear Regulatory Commission plant operator’s license and was a nuclear utility’s vice president. A whistleblowing plant operator years ago, he now acts as a safe energy advocate. This website is rich in drawings and explanations of Fukushima events due to Arnie’s several trips to Fuku over the years. The plant operator is pouring 100 tons of water onto the reactor cores daily in order to keep them cool.

3. See Radio Free Europe, Scan down to Seawater Contamination 

4. Press release for 7/27/17 Science of the Total Environment journal article entitled: Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan by combination of gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and SEM/EDS analysis and implications in radiation risk assessment. The article was co-authored by Dr. Marco Kaltofen, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education. The article details the analysis of radioactively hot particles collected in Japan following the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns. 

5. See BBC A more permanent covering of the sarcophagus was under construction in 2015, the time of this article.

6. New York Times 5/9/12 Japan to Nationalize Fukushima Utility

7. International Atomic Energy Agency website 

8. New York Times, The Daily 360, 3/10/17, Fukushima, 6 Years On: Empty and Eerie.  Also see personal video of Vince Wang, Driving Around Radioactive Towns in Fukushima, published 2/1/18 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= ThP3HsuWKU4. See The Guardian Weekly, 3/16/18 article written by Peter Wynn Kirby

 

9. See IAEA Accident Update Log I found interesting discussions whether or not the INES scale accurately assesses the severity of Fuku, See http://ansnuclearcafe .org/2011/04/28/was-the-fukushima-event-rated-correctly-on-the-international-nuclear-events-scale/#sthash.PgzINw7S.dpbs. Scott Portzline, Member of Three Mile Island Alert’s Planning Committee feels a Level 8 Event is necessary due to several concerns. First is one nation can't handle this bad of an accident due to cost, management requirements, radiation monitoring, mitigation resources and honesty, among other factors. 

10. South Korea appeals WTO requirement to remove radiation protection on food from Japan ruling

11. Read Forbes: Five Years On, Fukushima Radiation Health Risk Calculations Remains Hotly Contested Issue

12. Report of the German Commission on the Storage of HighLevel Radioactive Waste July 2016.

13. Paragraph One of March 1, 2018 Press release; Greenpeace 2017 survey and data.

14. Japan Olympic Committee website

15. GPPA member Tom Bailey remembers watching television at his family’s home near Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County during Three Mile Island Emergency. Federal and state officials stated, when considering a mandatory evacuation of Harrisburg, PA, that a hydrogen explosion within the containment building would be “catastrophic.”

16. Evacuation zones turned into Exclusion Zones, CNN article with good maps and videos from 5th Anniversary.
Photos from 12/18/11 blog post of residents and conditions of life within and around Exclusion Zones.

17. A prefecture in Japan is a regional government similar to a state or county in America. The Citizens Nuclear Information Center started as a 3/11 anti-nuke group. Scan down to “Fudging Safety Standards” and look for fourth paragraph. The International Commission on Radiological Protection advised authorities in Publication 109 “For the purpose of protection, reference levels for emergency exposure situations should be set in the band of 20–100 mSv effective dose (acute or per year).” Second paragraph of Abstract. In Publication 111 the ICRP advised authorities to protect the health of their citizens living in long term, contaminated regions to the lower range of 1-20 mSv/year as a maximum dose figure. See ICRP.org and then Publication 111(2009) Executive Summary, paragraph “o”. Emphasis added.

18. See Radio Free Europe website from above.

19. See April, 2018 article entitled “Japan ‘covering up’ Fukushima nuclear danger-zone radiation levels and blackmailing evacuees to return to radiated areas swarming with radioactive pigs and monkeys”

20. See Beyond Nuclear and Greenpeace also helped Japanese mothers testify to United Nations Human Rights Council which returned required recommendations for Japan to take. 

21. Greenpeace 2017 survey and data.

22. Citizens Network for Evacuation from Radiation is protesting Japan’s nuclear energy policy and promoting the Chernobyl Law

23. Fukushima clean-up workers, including homeless, at grave risk of exploitation, say United Nations Human Rights experts


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