|No Nukes Asian Forum 2011
Sharing experiences of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant
July 30, 2011
-To inform civil society organizations in Asian countries, who are engaged in anti-nuclear campaigns and campaigns against exports of nuclear power technology, about the current situation and serious damages caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and to learn a lesson from the Japanese experiences.
-To provide an opportunity for participants from Asia, Fukushima and people who are engaged in supporting activities in Fukushima to interact and discuss issues corresponding with nuclear power etc.
Date and time: The 30th July Sat, 9:00-18:00
Venue: Tokyo Azabudai Seminar House, Osaka University of Economics and Law
Explanation of purposes, Self-introduction
Current situation in Fukushima (information on risks from radiation exposure)
Speaker: Hideyuki Ban (CNIC)
Session 1 : Issues on evacuation
Speaker: Seiichi Nakate (Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation)
Questions & Answers/Discussion
Session 2: Issues on agriculture ( actual damages and harmful rumors caused by the accident)
Speaker: Kazuoki Ohno (Agriculture Journalist)
Questions & Answers/Discussion
Session 3: Effects of nuclear power plants on local communities
Speaker: Ayako Ohga (HAIRO Action)
Questions & Answers/Discussion
Mekong Watch; Network for Indonesian Democracy (NINDJA); Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES); Citizensf Nuclear Information Center (CNIC); FoE Japan; Pacific Asia Resource Center (PARC)
Explanation of Purpose, Self-Introduction
The purpose of this seminar is to mutually share the experience of Fukushima. Each presenter will speak about their own experience regarding nuclear power, as well as whatfs happening in Fukushima now. People who are working and supporting people in Fukushima will discuss their experiences and wefll exchange ideas and views about the situation.
Current Situation in Fukushima
Presenter: Hideyuki Ban (Citizenfs Nuclear Information Center)
Good morning everyone. Wefre already running late so Ifll just speak very briefly on the issue of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi accident and what happened as a result of the earthquake and tsunami. There are 4 nuclear plants at the Dai-Ichi site and they exploded in different ways. This image shows Unit 3 and Unit 3 when they exploded. I donft have images for Units 2 and 4. This is a video showing the result of the explosion, with Unit 1 on the far right and Unit 4 on the far left. Unit 2 was damaged as a result of the explosion at Unit 3. A hole was created, the panels blew off, but it was able to avoid damage to the actual building. But the basement area where the containment is, in that area, there was an explosion, caused by hydrogen. The fact that hydrogen exploded means that the fuel inside the reactor was melting down. There are various theories about it and about the extent of the meltdown. The critical view is that the fuel has been completely melted and has breached containment, allowing radiation to go down to the concrete under the containment.
Since the fuel has melted, so of course it has to be continually cooled, so they are putting water on the fuel. The water that is thrown in leaks out though and they have to gather it and put it back in, to circulate the coolant water. However, the actual circulatory system is only acting at 60% capacity. For 10 years they will have to continue this sort of cooling of the reactor fuel. Of course these reactors are scheduled to be decommissioned, maybe in 20-30 years.
This map shows the spread of radiation from Dai-Ichi plant. The left map was created by the Japanese government in cooperation with the US government through the use of airplanes from a height of 150-300 m above the site. They flew over and monitored the radiation levels and mapped cesium radiation contamination on the ground. This survey was undertaken in mid-April. Probably as a result of the March 12th explosion, you can see that the northwest area is very heavily contaminated. Red part is about 3 million-30 million bq of contamination. The blue part (Nakadori) is where the Shinkansen route is to go north and also the main highway and also where Fukushima City, the capital of the prefecture, is located. To the south and south-west, you can see that the radiation has also spread ? indicated by the green or blue parts.
This map on the right is a public map. Yukio Hayakawa of Gunma University created the map. The blue circle indicates a 200km radius so you can see that the contamination spread beyond 200 km and is continuing to spread.
This graph was published by Fukushima Prefecture and depicts airborne radiation measurements. This area in red is Iitate village. Later this area was evacuated even though it was technically outside of the evacuation zone. This bottom line is Shinjuku and the measurements are all in microsieverts/hour. A normal level is 0.05 microsieverts/hour. Iitate, at the peak, had 45 microsieverts/hour. This is just one example, but within Iitate there were areas with even higher levels. This map is from March 15 where it peaked and then gradually went down. You can see that itfs not a straight line coming down but it shows that it peaked again as it went down. As a result of snow, contamination fell to the ground in some areas. Cesium contamination area is a result of whatever came down on the ground.
This map shows all of Japan. The red marks are where theyfve shut down nuclear reactors as a result of the earthquake and tsunami. The blue marks are nuclear reactors that were shut down as a result of regular outage but have not been started up again. 39 have been shut down out of 54.
This is a map of Fukushima City. On August 2nd, a meeting will be held by the local Fukushima Prefectural NGOs. Many people were concerned about the elevation of radiation in the city. Fukushima measured 0.96-1.0 microsieverts/hour in the area where the meeting will be held. The capital has measurements of 1.19 microsieverts/hour.
Session 1: Issues on evacuation
Moderator: Eri Watanabe
This is Mr. Nakate, the head of the Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation. Mr. Nakate has been involved in anti-nuclear work from before the accident. He has been extremely busy giving talks all over Japan.
Presenter: Seiichi Nakate (Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation)
My name is Seiichi Nakate. I live in Fukushima Prefecture. As one adult living there I have huge regret and huge feelings of remorse and apology. The fact that we were not able to prevent this accident has affected people all over the world and in Fukushima. As Mr. Ban stated, the accident is still ongoing. There are various theories but for now, every hour about 1 billion Becquerels of radiation are being released. Some even believe that this is a low estimate. I would like to talk about the evacuation and contamination that is occurring today as we speak. Ifd like to first give a simple self-introduction.
23 years ago, I first realized the danger of nuclear power plants like this one. For about 3 years I was involved in various anti-nuclear activities. After that, for about 20 years, I wasnft involved in anti-nuclear work; I was working on my main occupation. From last year, I felt very strongly that I must start to be involved in stopping the plutonium-thermal program at Fukushima Dai-Ichi Unit 3. And I started to feel that even more strongly when the accident occurred. Since the beginning of March Ifve been very heavily involved with anti-nuclear work, working to try to protect the children, and even trying to save just one person from radiation damage. I live right here. Thatfs where the plant is and I live in Fukushima City about 60 km away in the northwest. As was mentioned earlier, this accident occurred as a result of the earthquake and tsunami. The earthquake was also quite strong in Fukushima City where I live. There were no deaths but the water system and gas system all stopped in my city. In some places there was no electricity or Internet and we could only get information from the radio. Based on information that came across the radio on March 12th, the day after the earthquake, already towns where the plants were located were ordered to evacuate, but it took several days to evacuate everybody from the area. The areas in the 20-30 km zone were known as evacuation preparation areas. Evacuation was not obligatory, but residents here were told to be ready to evacuate and to stay indoors on March 12th.
The reactors were going off one after the other. We still donft know precisely whatfs happening. The hydrogen explosion in Unit 1 on March 15 and 16 caused the highest levels of radiation to be released and a very large area of pollution occurred. For people who had some knowledge of what was going on, they could understand what was happening, but the mass media was saying there was no immediate health effects so almost no one was evacuating except for areas in the mandatory 20 km zone. In mid- to late March, I managed to get a Geiger counter and look around my local area, especially at the elementary schools. The playgrounds of schools get measured on their surfaces. These places had measurements of more than 10 microsieverts/hour. The highest levels were in gutters and ditches on the sides of roads and had measurements of 108.8 microSv/hour, which was much more than I thought they would ever see.
We conducted a survey at seven elementary schools in Fukushima. Schools start in Japan in April, so after the explosion children were basically on spring vacation. We asked the local prefecture education committee to postpone the beginning of school year but unfortunately, the prefecture decided they would go ahead with the beginning of school year. Fukushima Prefecture is roughly in this area. In April they said they would measure the playgrounds and things in elementary schools, junior high schools and kindergartens in about 1600 places. Because of the accident, they had decided to do a full inspection over a wide area. The result was that in the prefecture, they put the results on a website. It was very speedy. My own group also did a compilation of data from inside Fukushima Prefecture in white and red. The white part is 0.6 microsieverts/hour or less. According to Japanese law, that is an area that has to be managed from the point of view of radiation and they have to show this kind of sign. That area is usually where there are workers working in nuclear power stations and they have to be careful because there are radioactive materials present and so people have to be careful about radiation. In 3 months you would get 1.3 milliSv of radiation. The yellow part and red part are 0.6 microsieverts/hour or more.
This is also available on the internet and in English. Itfs a management area map. It shows that three- quarters of places where the children would be would have the same conditions as working in a power plant. By law they would have to put areas under radioactive management.
http://www.foejapan.org/infomation/news/110413_sakagami3.pdf (Japanese only)
Having understood that situation, the 20 km zone, the evacuation zone, was far too small and really needed to be expanded more. Iitate village, northwest from the power plant and these towns over here, in the 30 km zone, are planned evacuation zones. It was not that they actually measured the radiation, but they predicted the radiation would be very bad before they decided it should be evacuated. When they found out there were areas that were really radiated, they put them into planned zones. My younger sister was in Iitate village. I gave her advice early in March (15-16). She has a family of 10 people and I told her that they should leave, even though they were not actually within the evacuation zone. Plus, there is still economic activity going on in the area, such as civil engineering. The people they worked for asked them to come back and continue working, rather than leave. Unavoidably, toward the end of March, my sister and her husband came out to Fukushima City which is further to the northwest and commuted by car to work. At that time, schools were starting up again, and we were anxious about what would happen to the children. It wouldnft be good to take her children away from their classmates, so my sister decided to have her children go to school. But even the planned evacuation areas were highly polluted. People from Iitate village evacuated toward Fukushima City or further out to the northwest, but this posed another problem. Itfs a bit difficult to see, but where the people evacuated to was not really what you would call a safe place to be. If you look at this area for example, people near the coast line, people were moving into this blue zone, which was the least polluted zone but there was also yellow and green parts which were more polluted, but still took evacuees. It was very confused. Some people, because they went to places with pollution, got twice as much exposure as they should have. There were substantial problems with the way they were asked to evacuate.
Regarding the evacuation at Chernobyl. Any places that measured over 5 millisieverts/year were obliged to evacuate. In regions with 1-5 millisieverts/year, evacuation was voluntary. At Chernobyl, these zones were in place up to 5 years after. This posed many problems, but this is the system that the government ran. We can guess that in zones that were compulsorily evacuated, the people moved out and move their towns somewhere else. If we imagine the cost of cleaning the pollution in those areas, it was probably better to leave it alone and build the town somewhere else.
We could not do the same thing in Fukushima so wefre looking at Mr. Hayakawafs map and we can see that wefd like to think about what would happen to an area polluted like this in an area like Japan. In the north is a big island called Hokkaido. And there also, therefs some amount of radiation which is being measured that might go up to 1millisievert/year. So for example in Japan, we have typhoons. When they come, they have circumferences of 300-400 km and they spin around and around stir everything up. So after the typhoon passes, what will happen to the pollution? It will move. Wefre not sure what will happen but something will be experienced. Japan is a relatively small island where this disaster occurred. If you want to evacuate, there is really nowhere to go to.
People were separated during the evacuations. For example, for one family in Iitate, his extended family is now living in 3 different locations. In some cases, they donft even live in the same city. Fukushima City is also a contaminated area so some people have begun renting places outside of the prefecture. So you can understand that the community that originally existed has been destroyed. I think that one main issue with the evacuation policy is that people are not being evacuated with their family.
Therefs a new area, a special evacuation area, in which some families were evacuated and others were not, on a case by case basis. However, in general, people who should be allowed to evacuate are not allowed. Thatfs the biggest problem right now. People who self-evacuate (graph on right) are not following government policy. My wife too is right now is in Okayama, about 700 km from Fukushima with the children living with relatives, so of course she had to quit work. An estimated 50,000 up to today have done this. Currently it is summer vacation season and many people feel that in summer, children should be able to play outside. Approximately 80,000 children have left for summer vacation, with roughly 100,000 children living outside of Fukushima Prefecture, both permanently and temporarily.
About 1.5 million people live in the red area. About 300,000 of them are children. Only 10% have been able to evacuate. The reason for evacuating is to reduce radiation exposure and health damage. However in the current situation, this is unavoidable and it is currently creating a lot of radiation victims. No remedial measures are being undertaken.
During and after Chernobyl, the damage could not be hidden. Currently today in Fukushima there are reports of high incidences of nose bleeds among children. While this has not been scientifically proven, there was a noticeable increase, especially in mid-May. My children are in the first and fourth grades and both had nosebleeds at the end of May. The older child often has nosebleeds so we didnft worry much, but the younger boy also had one, with a lot of bleeding, and he has never had one in his life.
The damage occurring currently probably occurred faster than we imagined. At any rate, I think we have to be concerned that health damage is happening much more rapidly. The effects of radiation are well known, such as cancer, leukemia and other sorts of issues, though therefs very little evidence of early-on symptoms. I believe that a year from now, two years from now, there will be serious health damage. In several years, a larger area will have to be compulsorily evacuated in the future. The work Ifm doing is concerned with the need to have the necessary evacuation occur before these things happen.
What wefre proposing is the right to be evacuated. We are pushing government authorities to create an additional zone in which people have the right to evacuate if they want, such as in areas that have 1 millisievert/year or more. We cannot avoid the damage thatfs already occurred, but we can work to reduce future exposure. While 20 millisieverts/year is a standard, experts have differing views. If the experts have different views, the citizens should also have a variety of choices available from which they can choose. 270,000 people live in my town and so itfs impossible to move them all permanently. However, if each community could keep its identity, satellite communities could be created. We need an evacuation policy where communities and families arenft split up and they can keep the hope of ultimately returning to their original towns. They could create satellite schools, similar to the ones in regions where there is a decreased population. In a satellite school, the whole school would move and a new school could be built or they could occupy an existing building until their original schools are decontaminated. If only the children are moved, they could stay in dormitories or in homestays. If their parents and families can go to the satellite community with the children, support for family housing, etc. would also be needed.
Session 2: Issues on agriculture
Presenter: Kazuoki Ohno (Agriculture journalist)
Today, I would like to talk about three things. One regarding the prohibition of planting. The second is how the contamination of food has appeared, and the third is the feeling of farmers who continue to farm while being concerned about the radiation level of their crops caused by soil, air and water contamination.
Planting at the moment: this is the nuclear plant area and here is the 20 km zone. Nobody can go into the zone, so therefs no agriculture going on there. Animals have been abandoned or evacuated. Out in the 30 km zone, there has been heavy radioactive pollution of land and grass cannot grow there. Vegetables - as long as they have lower radiation levels than government standards, theyfre okay, but actually things arenft really growing at all. This pink area is where Iitate village is. The whole village has been evacuated so rice fields and upland fields have also been abandoned. In the lower part of the pink zone, there are rice fields, but farmers have left and the land has been abandoned. The green part was affected by the tsunami.
This is south Soma city, within the 30 km zone. Rice fields are near the coast. This large tractor was completely destroyed and abandoned. Here are some rice fields close to the coast that are not currently suitable for planting rice with all the debris. The green in the background is pasture land, usually for cattle, which has been polluted quite strongly with radiation and cannot be eaten by cattle and so has been abandoned. Rice fields have been plowed but now cannot be used.
Beyond the 30 km zone: the first pollution that occurred with agricultural produce was milk and vegetables. Immediately after the disaster, the vegetables and milk were not supposed to be shipped out. The first vegetable to be affected was spinach. Spinach is grown from winter to spring, and in March, spinach is ready for harvest. The standard for iodine is 500 becquerels/kg. They found it was polluted to about 5-8x more than the standard. For milk, they found nearly 5 times over the standard at the end of March. By about 30th of March, almost all vegetables in Fukushima, whether grown outside or in greenhouses, were totally banned from being shipped. The grass for cattle was banned from being fed to cows. In the early stages, those kinds of problems occurred and these have gradually spread to prefectures around Fukushima.
The green space is Fukushima Pref. Under that is Chiba and Ibaraki. The milk and vegetables from these prefectures have been polluted with radioactivity, including some places where they were not supposed to ship their vegetables. In April, the radioactive pollution hit the shiitake mushrooms and fish and other marine products. In the sea of Fukushima and Ibaraki, some small baby white fish were found with 4700 becquerels/kg. The local fishermenfs union decided not to go fishing. Vegetable problems were also continuing that month. In May, they had problems with Japanese tea leaves. In May, farmers were picking leaves and drying them (during the time for harvest), but then they found cesium on tea leaves ? in Kanagawa. Therefs an area there where they found radioactive cesium in tea leaves there and also in Saitama and Chiba Prefectures. The Kanagawa location was almost 300 km from Fukushima, to the south. In June, this tea pollution moved even further southwest to Shizuoka Prefecture, 400 km away from Fukushima. Shizuoka is the largest tea producing prefecture in Japan. Tea producing areas were almost completely wiped out and couldnft sell any tea. Tea farmers there have had trouble making a living.
In July, still more problems were happening, this time with beef. They found that beef was polluted with cesium. Cattle had been eating polluted rice straw and had been internally exposed. In particular, the black variety of Japanese cattle was affected. This cow has an earring which has a number which tells about its producer. If you look that number up, it tells you about where the cow was from and the kind of feed it was eating. It also provides information about BSE. This is a very popular sort of cow and very delicious. Usually the feed is corn from the US, but they also give them rice straw to eat, so they eat from between 1-2 kg of rice straw a day. Rice straw is hard to get a hold of in Japan. The straw is cut up finely and put on the field. There are special rice farmers that grow rice for the straw. Rice is harvested in the autumn around October and distributed around the country. Sometimes it rains or snows and sometimes the straw sits in the rain or snow and then they collect it in the spring. Some straw became radioactive because of the fallout this spring and then was sent all around the country. Pollution went from Fukushima to Miyagi Prefecture, where therefs a large area of rice fields. Iwate Prefecture also had radioactive cesium in their straw, and this straw was distributed in Yamagata Prefecture to the west, in Saitama, and in Gifu and Mie Prefectures much farther to the west of Japan.
Here is a map of Japan. The diagonal lines all over the map indicate rice straw. 3000 cattle have been internally exposed to cesium pollution as of today. The producers are asking the government to inspect every cow. As this begins to happen, the 3000 count will most likely increase. At the moment, they have a standard of 500 becquerels/kg. Now, 51 have gone over this limit, but they think it will keep on increasing. Producers have not been able to ship animals. Prices for Japanese beef are shown on this chart. It used to cost Y1635/kg but it has dropped to 607yen/kg. Even in areas where cattle are not eating rice straw, meat has become less popular and so prices have dropped overall. This will mostly likely expand in the future.
Pollution with cattle will probably have some effect on pollution of land. High cesium pollution in rice straw and in April they brought tractors into field and plowed polluted straw into the field, before they knew it was polluted. Rice that will be harvested in autumn will most likely be polluted as well. Cattle fertilizer may also be polluted. Each day each cow produces 30 kg of feces and a huge amount of urine. Every day, the waste materials accumulate in the small pen, in the straw, grass and woodchips, then is removed, piled up, fermented, and made into fertilizer. These farms also create fertilizer for sale to surrounding farms, in exchange for hay, etc. The fertilizer is then used to grow vegetables and other things.
Cattle farms are part of the cycle and beef cattle are key factor in the circle, with 40-50 kg of waste coming from each cow. Where to dispose of it? Right now, itfs not being circulated but everyday these cattle will be eating hay or straw. The situation is now expanding and the rice harvest is coming up soon.
Ifd like to speak about the suffering and sorrow that farmers are going through. Ichiro Shiga, 64 years old. He had a 12-hectare organic rice field in Futaba Village where the nuclear power plant is located. His home, located about 300m from the seashore was swept away and his wife and grandchild are yet to be found. When he rushed back home, there was nothing left. While he was looking for his two family members, the evacuation order was issued and he left with the notion he would be able to return immediatelyche has not returned ever since. He is an expert organic farmer with gold medals at farm shows to his name. Right now, he is staying at a friendfs house while helping out on their farm. In Japan, water adjustments, such as the timing to release water into rice paddies, is done in coordination with all of the farmers in the region who use that water. Mr. Shiga was the coordinator for his area. When I met him for the first time in early April, he was concerned about the water channel. He wanted to return quickly and tend to his rice paddy.
In Mr. Shigafs case, he lost his land and home but what about those farmers whose land and house still remained and are capable of seeding their crops if they had the will? Here are Kazuo and Kiyo Nakamura. They are organic farmers from Koriyama City, located 50km from the nuclear power plant. They raise rice, vegetables, and soy beans. Though Koriyama is located about 50-60km way, the area has been exposed to high levels of radiation due to wind conditions. When speaking with these old acquaintances of mine over the phone after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, they said that it was season to plant potato seeds but they could not work in their fields due to a notification from the prefecture forbidding them to do so. When I went to see them in April, Kiyo, a normally talkative woman, did not speak a word. Until then, they had worked with fellow farmers and run a stand where they sold products made from the vegetables they had grown. But now, they cannot sell these products and they have nothing to do all day. They live with great fear in their hearts. They say, gA peasant (farmer) is a peasant only by planting seeds on his land.h Even if this produces things that are not fit for consumption, there is a sense of duty to make vegetables.
In May, farmers from Fukushima and Ibaraki prefecture gathered in front of Tokyo Electric Power Company headquarters in protest. They held mushiro flags saying, gTEPCO has polluted our rice paddies. They shall not be forgiven.h For ages, mushiro flags have been used by peasants when revolting against authority. With flag in hand, Kazuo and Kiyo Nakamura also joined in the protest in front of TEPCO. They worrycWill our produce escape from radioactive contamination? Is it right to raise food for people on a land that is more or less contaminated by radiation? They are not simply hoping their products will sell but instead, they are raising vegetables with this harrowing distress in heart. Ifd like the people of the city to understand the angst of such producers.
Yoshikazu Takada is in his 60fs. He is a farmer of Koriyama and the leader of his village. He formed a group of 6 men and became the leader of a producerfs association that plants rice in a large, 60 hectare rice paddy. For years, he has worked with local authorities in order to protect farmersf interests. I received a phone call from him in late March consulting me, gYou think itfs alright to make rice this year?h I did not know what to say. In May, we met and spoke over a drink. He said, gIfm depressed and I feel as if Ifve gone haywire.h gUntil now, there was always something on my mind but now, I canft think and I always find myself in stupor. I canft sleep at night. I can no longer read a book.h A man with a love for drinking, he would get together with friends for a drink after work. However, gEver since that accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, nobody can stir up the energy to drink anymore. This is my first drink in a long while.h Tough and experienced farmers such as himself, the leader of the local farm industry and owner of superior farming techniques are falling into such states. The number of Fukushima farmers in such state of depression is by no means small.
From seeds, fertilizer, and gas, farmers are spending money and plowing their land and growing vegetables with the thought that all this money may go to waste. In the city, many people say, gDonft make us eat contaminated foods, donft grow them.h I say, gPlease understand what these farmers are going throughh but I feel the massive gap.
I want to finally say that the continuation of farming is important. We never imagined that straw hay would be contaminated at distances of 150-180 km away. Nobody imagined this would happen and we donft know what will happen in the future. We donft know what path agriculture will take. Many farmers are in cooperatives to get compensation from TEPCO, not just for the products that couldnft be sold but also for the drop in price. At present, 43 billion yen ? thatfs the amount thatfs been billed to TEPCO. The total amount will increase, possibly up to trillions, but nobody knows to what extent the damage will expand and to what extent it will be compensated. Mental damage should also be covered. Some women and elder persons are not included in cooperatives so it is important to find ways to support them.
Session 3: Effects of nuclear power plants on local communities
Presenter: Ayako Ohga (HAIRO Action)
I was 5 km from the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant when the earthquake occurred. I continued to be at the evacuation site and have not been home since that day. The evacuation zone is within the 20 km radius, but even within a 30 km radius there have been evacuations. In Hironomachi, there are still only several hundred people who have gone back, and the situation is the same with other cities. Red areas on this map were required to evacuate. In the prefecture, about 1/3 to 1/2 people have evacuated within Fukushima and the other half have evacuated all over Japan. Life in the evacuated state isnft easy. When we first evacuated, it was like a panic state. Everyone thought they could come back to their homes in 2-3 days and so most people only brought a small amount of articles from their homes. Now I will talk about the 47 year history of power plant and how it affects the economy.
There have been of course many economic advantages. Now everyone is a victim but in the past, a lot of people gained a lot economically and others didnft. When people evacuated there were different categories. For Futaba and Okuma town (where the plant is located), those two townsf evacuees felt they would be the last to return to normal life. Futaba is a typical agricultural town that used to have a military airport. After that, a company brought it up after the war. In 1960, discussions of building the nuclear plant began and in 1963, land was bought up for it. The corporation already had the land where the reactors would be sited, so it was very easy for the land to be purchased. But the surrounding area was agricultural land that was very difficult for doing agriculture. The climate was not good and it was cold often. From post-war times, the agricultural sector wasnft doing very well and people left to go to the cities. Even before construction of the plant, the area was suffering economically.
I was speaking with someone earlier and was asked since Japan had suffered from the nuclear bomb during the war, why would they thus build a nuclear plant? In 1960, the first commercial reactor was built in Ibaraki Prefecture and began operations in 1966. Research was undertaken in the first half of the 1960fs and there were a lot of public relations campaigns regarding the civil use of nuclear power. Citizens were not informed about the potential dangers though. In the early 60s when the project was conceived, nuclear power seemed only like a new technology from abroad and it was seen as advanced. In 1967, the construction of the Dai-ichi plant commenced. In 1968, Dai-ni was announced by the government. In the beginning, all the reactors were imported from overseas, as well as the technicians. There were all kinds of experiments and problems in the beginning, including health problems and problems with radioactivity that was coming out of the plant. In the early 1970fs, a nuclear opposition alliance was formed. At that time, labor unions were completing construction of the second Fukushima power plant. Then the 3-mile island incident occurred in 1979 and Chernobyl occurred in 1986. It turned out that the things they were saying were so nice were not so great after all.
Ifve been involved with the Fukushima power plants for about 20 years. For a while it was taboo to talk about power plants at all. The opposition movement against the plants was going along at the pace of the PR machines of the companies. The movements always feel pressure from those people. From the beginning, if a nuclear power station came to town, there would be lots of subsidies and money for the town, which helps the townfs finances. This would allow for hot spring spas, asphalted roads, and improved levels of life. Agriculture didnft develop very much though, and stayed more of less the same. Other businesses helped to enliven the economy even though the local population didnft increase. Even with the subsidies, some of the towns fell into financial difficulties. There was the idea of mixed-oxide fuels for some reactors. This was opposed because it was considered to be dangerous, but then the government said you have to accept the pluthermal reactors if you want more subsidies. TEPCO gave billions of yen to local towns and they were caught between something very dangerous and something that provides a lot of money. In 1989, there was a big accident at Unit 3 of Fukushima Dai-ni power plant. TEPCO had covered up a lot of trouble in the nuclear power reactors, which was revealed in 2002 and 2007. The revelations showed TEPCO to be a bad company. Everyone thought that they were being transparent, but they were not. And even if you wanted to oppose it, it was very difficult because one of your relatives might be working for the power plant. Having the plant became like breathing air. We didnft think too much about it. With my friends, Ifve been active in opposing nuclear power in this kind of atmosphere.
Eventually the reactors are going to reach the end of their lives. Theyfre only supposed to run for 30 years anyway, but now theyfve been going for 40 years. Therefs a lot of concern about how long exactly these reactors can continue to run. The old fuel which has been inside the reactors is building up. Last year the opposition movement started actions for plant decommissioning, even before the accident happened. People were planning to have the first symposium for that movement in March.
1) Can you tell us more about the group of pediatricians who are helping children in Fukushima Prefecture? (Korea)
A (Nakate): There is a pediatrician network that has been trying to help. Parents can get psychological advice on what they can do in the future. Since no one knows what the situation is with regard to health problems, the network cannot go so far as to take full care of children. The network does try to help protect children against radiation though. Why do we even have to have this network in the first place? Children of Fukushima for example, have been getting nosebleeds. Their parents are very worried about their childrenfs health. So why arenft doctors in Fukushima giving their full support? The local doctors have not been able to do anything at all with regard to childrenfs health after the accident. A week after the accident, in Fukushima Prefecture, the health management risk advisor did exactly the opposite of what he should have done. He said there was nothing to worry about and that everyone could go on living and going outside in the open air. Milk was said to be okay and there was no reason to worry about anything. Even for pregnant women and children, he said everything was fine. And hefs a well-known doctor (Dr. Shunichi Yamashita). This month, this person has been appointed to the high position of vice president of Fukushima Medical University and many people are very angry with the man. No hospital in Fukushima can continue its management if the hospital opposes Fukushima Medical University Hospital, so all the doctors in Fukushima follow Dr. Yamashita. I think this is a very, very sad thing indeed. People in the prefecture are very annoyed and are losing faith in the medical system. Most doctors are being told by the government to tell people that there isnft any problem.
2) To what degree can radiation measurements made public by the government be believed and what effects does that have on people? There is pollution in the environment and must also be pollution in the sea. Do we know about how much has gone into the sea?iThailandj
A (Nakate): Perhaps there are things I shouldnft say about this, but itfs probably true that the numbers arenft lies. For example, regarding the food contamination, all the data being disclosed are probably true. However, before the data were made public, it was proven that contaminated foods had already been distributed. Same thing for land contamination. So inside Fukushima Prefecture, the air dose rate comes out in real time and we think there is no information manipulation going on there. But we canft really know whatfs going on just by figures. We really want to know more precise data about how the environment is being polluted. In Fukushima, a place has opened this month, started by a citizenfs measurement group. They are making a base for themselves to measure food pollution. The government is very slow in handling problems and there is probably some data manipulation. The government said that there was no problem in certain areas, but wefre beginning to see now what the real situation is through the efforts of citizens and activists. Figures that have been announced are not lies, but are not enough to let us judge what to do. We donft really know much about whatfs happening in the sea, but we do know that a lot of radiation in the air went out over the Pacific Ocean and reached the west coast of the US.
(Ban): How much has actually been released? We donft know exactly, but some people estimate around 1015 becquerels have been released with contaminated water and gone directly into the sea. This figure does not include radiation from explosions. Some radiation was blown there after the subsequent explosions. Since there is no measurement that covers a broad area nobody knows the total amounts. Iodine has a very short half life so a lot of it is gone now. However, for fish swimming in middle layers of the ocean or further down, cesium levels are in the several 10s to 100s of becquerels.
3) How are Fukushima residents demanding for increased evacuations? I would also like to find out what the government is doing in terms of compensation for evacuees and the reaction of the government to the demands. (Korea)
A (Nakate): This case is similar to other pollution situations. There is a big gap between what citizens want and what the regional and national governments do. Citizens are fleeing and many more would like to leave. We are demanding that the evacuation zone be extended and more people are demanding evacuation routes. At the same time though, there is almost nothing from Fukushima local authorities. The local authorities have talked about the need for decontamination of an area. However, for the local government authorities, if citizens evacuate, there are fewer people in the towns and villages, there is less work for them to do and there is less of a community. They really should be thinking of whether the lives of the citizens are more important than if they have jobs or not. The reality is that local legislatures are non-assertive about seeking evacuation for their constituents. They are scared the whole area would become less populated. The same situation is true with heads of companies. If they state that evacuations are necessary, theyfll have fewer employees and canft continue their businesses. In some companies, they have actually told employees that if you choose to evacuate, be prepared to be fired. There is a panic among the elite. Theyfre scared that the people under their leadership will leave. What wefre saying is considering childrenfs lives first, letfs work for satellite communities, letfs work to have people leave together, including the authorities and officials. If citizens do not take the lead, nobody will do it.
I would like to explain my gratitude for the network of citizen groups we have in Japan. I think if we didnft have the cooperation of NGOs we would not have been able to negotiate with the government. We were also more able to make headway into the situation and force them to extend the evacuation zone. We have been able to put the situation on national media. If we hadnft spoken up it would have been invisible.
Yesterday there were drafts of mid-term guidelines published by the national government about compensation. However, this did not include the rights of self-evacuees and so was criticized. That would not have happened had we not raised the situation with Japanese domestic NGOs. We got the plight of the self-evacuated people into the public sphere. People need to be compensated after they evacuate. There should be a law for compensation. In many aspects, itfs really hard to obtain results, but step by step wefll work on this diligently without resting.
A (Watanabe) :100,000 signed a petition and busloads of Fukushima parents came down to Tokyo and negotiated with the Ministry of Education. They should be able to obtain a decision that they would work toward 1 milli-sievert/year for the children. 1 milli-sievert/year is the permissible amount for the public set by law. We have all the time said they should end the 20 millisievert rules.
4) Regarding the creation of a law concerning the citizens compensation law for Fukushima victims. What is the difference between that law and existing law? I heard that therefs a bill where TEPCO can avoid compensation. What is insufficient with the current bill? How much compensation has already been given out and how has it been divided among evacuees? (Indonesia)
Currently the compensation law is basically limited to economic damage and there are lots of problems with the bill. Compensation for economic damage would not be sufficient to properly compensate the accident victims. The central thing is it doesnft compensate for contaminated soil. Is it enough to say wefll compensate for the amount of food you would have created on land, or if you have to decontaminate, just paying for that cost, is that enough? Or if you canft find work do we pay for that? What if you need to find other land for farming? Piece-meal compensation is not sufficient unless therefs an overall compensation law.
How much are they paying? TEPCO ? temporary payments ? at the minimum you have this much damage so wefll pay this much for now. Itfs not a final payment and is only temporary. They have made some payments for damage, but for the most part, compensation efforts have not been undertaken. Itfs still in process, but as with most pollution problems, the government authorities will not pay and finally citizens will have to take class action lawsuits.
5) What is the food situation and what is your thinking to avoid health damage for young children and elderly? Also the Thai delegation wonders if you have a message for people from countries where the government is planning nuclear power? (Thailand)
A (Nakate): Food grown in one area will be sent all over the small island country. Any food thatfs produced, if allowed to circulate, will go all over the country. The provisional standard for the amount of radiation contamination was raised and if the standard is met, itfs allowed to be sold. Also the method of checking standard is met is through sampling. Not all food is of course checked. Another situation is that are all people getting the same amount of contamination? Weaker people are more vulnerable. For example, after the accident, vegetables from the Kyushu area were sold at supermarkets. Now only food from Fukushima or prefectures near Fukushima is sold at supermarkets. Fukushima vegetables cannot be sold anywhere in Japan. So now therefs so much more Fukushima produce being sold in Fukushima. People want to eat safe food. And people are willing to pay more money to avoid Fukushima food. School lunches are served around Japan. The budget is very small, approximately 280 yen/meal. Fukushima vegetables are cheap, and while Ifm not able to confirm for sure, a lot of cheap food is now going into the school lunch system. Whenever we ask these lunch centers (the meals are produced at centers and distributed) where does the food come from? They donft know. I wasnft in agreement with this system because itfs very centralized and cheap and the quality is low, but now I think that we should use this system to ensure that safe food is used to protect the children. But currently thatfs not happening.
Also what we need from now is to reduce the damage of children and older people through better medical monitoring. Most important is to get people away from radiation exposure. That is what is needed right now. Other than areas that had mandated evacuation, all schools are having normal school years. However there are still schools with higher levels of radiation than other schools, and parents are very worried. If parents have the addressed the issues, i.e. no activities outdoors, for example, some measures may have been taken. In Japanese schools there are lots of sports activities. After the incident, many activities were still held outdoors even before testing the soil.
My message is that I feel that you must use your bodies; you need to prevent nuclear power from starting in your country. I have so much regret again and guilt because I realized that nuclear power was dangerous but didnft fully commit to the anti-nuclear movement. When I say the word zange, a feeling of regret and repentance, I want to make amends. We adults have responsibilities because we allowed nuclear plants in Japan. Most people feel adults have been silent. Even though we receive a lot of damage we have remained silent but we have our children and they will be damaged, so we have to raise our voices now. We must try our hardest to reduce the damage to children as much as possible. So for those peoples who are planning nuclear power, those of you who realize the danger, please use your bodies to resist that from happening and let us stop all nuclear power plants as soon as possible. And I am intending to do that the best of my ability. Thank you very much.
1) In the region, before the accident, there was quite a lot of activity in the area. How are the citizenfs activities as regards cooperation with the farmers. (Korea)
A (Ohno): This is not limited to Fukushima. There has always been a movement for producing and eating locally. This has been happening all over the country. Some local farmers have been setting up stores for local produce. But this has been almost completely destroyed by the nuclear accident because itfs dangerous to eat local foods. So, all the work that has been done over the last 30 years to build up this system has been destroyed. Japanfs organic farming system has a long history (40 years), and now the soil that theyfve worked for has been polluted. Citizens wanted local foods produced by local farmers, but now eating local foods is being attacked because of the radioactive pollution.
Regarding support for farmers, some scientists have conducted experimental surveys for decontamination. My friends are supporting the revival of a food-processing factory run by women. The idea is that producers and consumers together survey radioactivity and have their own data so that they can eat without worrying about contamination.
2) Do you know how long into the future the pollution of water and plants will continue? How much of a role is the government going to play in compensation and what will they pay for? (Thailand)
A (Ohno): The half-life of Cesium is 30 years, so it will be around for a long time. They have done experiments with sunflowers ? which easily absorb radiation - to learn how to decontaminate the soil, as well as by using potassium and calcium and other minerals. Potassium is chemically similar to cesium, so there is some way of using potassium to clean off radioactive cesium from soil. If you let water go into soil and stir it around a bit, this may help to get rid of some radioactivity. The lessons of Chernobyl have not percolated through to Japanese farmers enough. Farmers and the administration donft know what to do; what kinds of things to do. They donft know what technical means they can use to regenerate the soil in some amount of time in future. The government has a committee to help citizens. Some talk about who is responsible for radioactive pollution in rice straw. Compensation depends on the strength of the farmersf movement. Some things are compensated and others not. TEPCO will have to pay.
3) How has contamination affected food security in Japan? (Philippines)
A (Ohno): Along with the problem of radiation, the idea of importing more food will again become an issue. The large trading companies in Japan and China are doing large contract productions in China to control the amount of pesticides. The impact on Japanese agriculture from the disaster will work in that direction and most consumers will go into food imported from overseas areas.
4) Can fire trucks add water to the cores? Would that work? (Taiwan)
A (Ban): That would require 10 tons/hour. In fact they used fire pumps at Fukushima at first, but then they ran out of water from fire trucks, and had to begin taking water from sea. When this was pumped into the reactors, it left a lot of salt. Then they began to use freshwater from dams.
5) Compensation ? where is it coming from? The government is in debt. (Korea)
A (Ohno): General people who live in the city, what they are thinking of is that they want safer food. If they can get it, they donft mind where it comes from. They will also choose food from overseas. This trend will become stronger. At the same time, if you talk about communities, floods are happening in Niigata Prefecture (big rice producer). This autumn there will be a shortage of rice in Japan. The other day I went to the area to look at what was happening. Already, farmers are drawing up contracts with people for rice for autumn. The price of rice will go up and Japan will have to think about importing rice from other countries. Consumer groups are also dealing in large amounts of rice. First of all, they are interested in getting safe food. Cooperative consumer groups will focus on importing food from other countries. Consumer groups will want to try to get a part of the market share so they will think in terms of safety and imports.
Compensation problem ? the people of Japan share the compensation money. Farmers make justifiable demands on society through the farmerfs movement ? they have very little power though. There was an anti-globalization movement and a farming peoplefs association. Will the farmerfs movement be able to revive itself? This is difficult because of the aging of farmers. This is not just a problem due to the nuclear disaster, but also indicative of the general trend of the economy, population, etc. There has been an emphasis on efficiency and so on. Japanese people need to think about what kind of society they want in the future. Farmers should cooperate with social movements and citizens especially workers and youth.
A (Ban): I have a couple of comments to add: There is a big movement with food cooperatives that are often involved with connecting producers and consumers. Their relationship with producers is strong; it is not just because of contamination that the consumers will dump the cooperatives. They should work together to try to reduce radiation in food. We are having discussions with producers about that. In Iwate Prefecture, theyfve been taking measurements of grass being fed to cattle, even before the government. Itfs not just a straight forward glets import more foodh situation. Contamination of food is mainly cesium from now on. From the experience of Chernobyl ? 25 years ago, 90% of cesium lay within the top 20 cm of the soil. Usually that area had a clay kind of soil, and because radioactive cesium binds with clay soil, it was hard for it to be flushed out. There were efforts like growing particular plants that will suck up radiation, or turning the soil. However, around Chernobyl, there were large areas of forest, it was impossible to turn the soil. Contamination occurs when the leaves drop. The leaves become compost for the forest and radiation is again taken up by the forest.
TEPCO was really bankrupt and was struggling to survive. Some wanted to nationalize it. Some wanted to bail it out to keep it a corporation that can survive. Right now all beef is bought up by TEPCO but in the future, is it possible for a company to take up the full economic losses through compensation? Also there will need to be compensation for other economic losses due to other indirect effects. What will cost the most to decontaminate Fukushima? There will be high costs involved.
A (Watanabe): Itfs not about increasing taxes only, but also grants and loans, public subsidies to TEPCO. Consumers will pay more for electricity bills or through taxes to public funds. In the end itfs up to public.
6) As a journalist is it hard to convey the suffering of farmers to the general public? (Thailand)
A (Ohno): I have my own Internet paper that I edit and several magazines. There are a lot of people who understand the feeling of farmers. Among a small portion of people, they oppose it and think itfs the farmers are evil. In general, if I explain to city people, they understand. However this topic is not very picked up by the mainstream media. Itfs very infrequently seen in the mass media.
7) Farmers have committed suicide. In S Korea; there were farmers who killed themselves after an oil spill accident. Situations like this cause psychological panic among farmers. Isnft there some kind of psychological help that can be given? Also, in Germany, as a result of Chernobyl, the powdered milk shouldfve been destroyed but was instead exported to Southeast Asia. Maybe this has already happened in Japan as well. Perhaps products that are cheap cannot be sold and are then sent to weaker citizens. Has some of it been exported out of Japan? (Korea)
A (Ohno): When I walk the land of Fukushima, so many people have killed themselves, as a result of the incident. Farmers mostly, in their 50 to 70s. There has been no psychological care for these people, and in general, there is no tradition of psychological help either. Regarding contaminated food in Japan, I donft know and havenft researched this much. Maybe some people will re-label it as not from Fukushima. They probably wouldnft sell it cheaply. I donft know if it will go abroad. Right now there seem to be inspections at ports, but itfs probably fairly easy to sneak it by. Regarding the powdered milk from Chernobyl, I know processing companies labeled it from Singapore and exported it to Japan.
1) People who live in these communities are same in Japan or Korea. It depends on the people who live here that will determine what will happen. After Fukushima, was there some kind of movement to change from nuclear to renewable? (Korea)
A (Ohga): This cannot be determined at the local level but at the country level. Itfs not even easy for towns or villages to determine their own policies. There is a committee for reconstruction in Fukushima Prefecture that has a very strong movement to completely get rid of nuclear power stations. At first it was just some people, but now itfs become more widespread.
(Ban): New forms of energy should be introduced in a systematic form, in an institutional format. Solar energy should be examined and how it can be introduced back into the grid. However, the whole thing is starting under an environment in which the existence of TEPCO is an insult to the country. This whole idea of reselling energy back into grid will come back to individual consumers. There will probably be different kinds of ways theyfll do it in different localities and through different kinds of contract forms. The people who are running it are the same people who oppose it, such as the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry. But the people who are trying to push it make up quite a big group of these inside the ministry. Also there are some who are trying to support industry and try to make sure TEPCO doesnft collapse. Probably for next three years, the movement to push this will be quite strong on both sides.
(Watanabe): Prime Minister Kan announced phasing out nuclear power. When politicians ask him about it however, he says itfs just his personal opinion. Later he said itfs not policy, it was just him saying it should happen. The real problem is that even if he says so, there are still lots of people who oppose it in the government. Many people supported nuclear power in some way, but because of the disaster, theyfre changing their minds. They are working toward a phase-out of the nuclear industry but the industry is very strong and has a lot of money. Many Diet members are shareholders of TEPCO. Even with the background of the current events, itfs not sure whether Japan is moving toward a nuclear phase-out or not. After the accident, Japanese NGOs set up a group thatfs pushing for an energy shift to change policy in the future and they are trying to work this up into a nationwide movement. Wefve put some viable proposals to the government for moving forward on energy issues in Japan in the future.
(Smith): About the cost of nuclear power plants: Theyfve been developing calculation models for the cost, especially with regard to CO2 levels and things like that, and how it compares to renewable energy and so on. At the moment, companies who invest in nuclear power are finding that their credit rates are being pulled down. Companies that invest in nuclear power are at a disadvantage.
2) You spoke about the local authorities where nuclear power plants were built. How did the life of citizens change because of the siting of the plants? Also how much has TEPCO actually compensated citizens to date? The residents who lived in these towns, how did their opinions change? Is advertising for nuclear different? (Thailand)
A (Ohga): First question: The number of people who had to leave the town was reduced, but they were then subcontracted to do work on the power plant. Many were involved with the radiation. At the peak, all 10 reactors were operating. However, records were not kept properly. That peak is where there was the accident.
Second question: In terms of temporary payments, the amount of compensation helped to take care of travel costs involved (1 million yen/family), but if the number of family numbers was different, the amount is variable per person. Even with that kind of money, if there are children involved who are left with nothing, Ifm not sure what would happen when itfs not enough. The second temporary payment is scheduled for August, for the cost of living incurred by individuals. But payment hasnft occurred for those outside the 30 km zone. There are several places where there are subsidies for housing but no compensation for other expenses. Itfs really difficult to answer.
Third question: Before the accident, it was taboo to speak about nuclear power. Discussions like gOh so-and-sofs family member died of leukemiah might occur among people but generally it is taboo to discuss this otherwise. Those who were employed benefited economically from nuclear power, but after the accident, it was impossible to talk to people saying edidnft you benefit from TEPCO before?f There are people who might make a comment that they benefited from TEPCO over decades anyway.
Fourth question: The only thing TEPCO has been doing since the accident is stop all PR and advertising and to apologize in front of everyone.
3) What is the effect of the filters for contaminated water that TEPCO bought from France and US? Are they very expensive? Is the contaminated water still leaking into the ocean? How is TEPCO preventing contaminated water from leaking? (Taiwan)
A (Ban): It is costing 200,000 yen/ton of contaminated water coming out of the reactor that has been cleaned. The plant is operating at about 60% capacity. Theyfve been filtering the water, but that doesnft really help. They plan to collect the radioactive contamination through various methods, but there are no plans as to where to dispose of the radioactive material. Itfs also unclear what sort of company should work on the filtering. Right now, they are working on how to have a purely Japanese company take over the filtering. Concerning the contamination of the ocean and the question of pollution in the water, itfs clear that the release of contaminated water has stopped. One time 15,000 tons was deliberately released, and then there was a second leak, in which there was no estimate for now much contaminated water was released. There is still possibility that more contaminated liquid will go into the ocean. In the future, if there is a lot of rain and typhoons, itfs not definite that there will be no more leaks into the ocean. This could easily happen again.
They are monitoring a radius of 30-40 km around the plant, from which much data is made public. They monitor once a week. 1,000 trillion Becquerels are estimated to have been released into the ocean. This was up to 160,000 Becquerels/ton at one point in April at some sampling sites in the ocean. Theyfve built a fence so the contamination doesnft go directly out. At the drainage pipe, 200,000 Becquerels/cm3 was measured. The Japanese government didnft allow Greenpeace to take measurements or samples. This kind of contamination is so high because its coming directly out of the reactor, unfiltered.
4) About the rate of contamination of fish: Fish swim freely in ocean - Is there any information about how far the contamination has gone? Any symptoms? (Thailand)
A (Ban): It is difficult to estimate where the contamination will go or where it has gone. There are some main currents moving from the north to the south. The currents come down and another current comes from the south and intersects and then goes out into the Pacific Ocean. But currents are complex so itfs difficult to calculate or produce a simulation. Itfs also difficult to estimate which fish will go where. Around 50 km south, in Iwaki City, fish that are in the mid-level of ocean have measured several tens of Becquerels. However, we still know very little about the contamination of fish. There are many fishermenfs unions; their activities were heavily damaged as a result of the tsunami, especially in Miyagi Prefecture ? where there was a lot of damage. Various radiation measurements are very difficult to take.
5) Now that it had been in operation for 40 years, I assume there were many accidents. Is there data regarding radiation victims? What kind of symptoms have appeared? (Thailand)
A (Ohga): In the past, there was never a situation where huge amounts of radiation came out from the plants and caused concrete damage. Of course many people have been affected by radiation exposure working at the plant, but there were never huge amounts of radiation released. However, therefs talk that there was a high rate of cancer and other symptoms in the area around the plant, but this has not been confirmed. Overall there are many power plant workers that have sued as a result of disease from exposure. There are only 10 people who have been compensated in the past 40 years and many were denied compensation due to lack of causal connection. Many did not sue and were given a lump sum or several small payments and they did not pursue official compensation. For example there are discussions that itfs not just cancer but other things as a result of radiation.
A (Watanabe): There was a case in which compensation was paid to a worker who was exposed to radioactivity at a level of 5 milisievert/year.
6) Were those evacuated provided with iodine preparation when they evacuated? Was it easy for them to get it? (Indonesia)
When they were purchasing land in 1960, they were not sure how much they were paying for the land. As you can tell from the 20 km zone, one problem was that some roads were badly damaged so when people were told to evacuate, they used pamphlets which were essentially disaster plan pamphlets. This was 10 km from the nuclear power plant. Every year these have been given out. However this is not very realistic when it comes to what happens when therefs actually a disaster. When disaster took place, there was immediate confusion because even people in the local town office were told to stay at home. Also, the earthquake plan and nuclear accident plan were different plans. Some people didnft know they were supposed to be in their houses. People were given potassium iodide on the evening of March 12th. 10,000 were moved to evacuation areas like gymnasiums. But pills werenft given to everyone. On the 14-15th, there were the explosions at the reactors, and officers at the town office had pills but it was obvious that when the explosions happened, it was dangerous to even be at the evacuation centers in the towns. By March 15-16, they managed to give pills out to everybody in town. What they did was the best they could do at the time. Because explosions were continuing, they decided to give pills to children preferentially. They told people to come to local community centers for pills. The national standard was 100 mls. People should take pills when there was the possibility that this kind of radiation would come.
7) When I visited Hamaoka nuclear power plant four years ago I heard that people had obtained compensation that was 50 times the land price. This kind of thing can easily happen in Indonesia. Approximately what percentage of local residents were hired at the nuclear power plant? And what kind of work did they do? (Indonesia)
A (Ohga): Regarding land acquisition, the same thing that happened at Hamaoka can happen anywhere. Regarding jobs, it is said that several thousand people are needed for the periodic inspections each year, but people with technical skills are not needed very much.
8) If they try to build nuclear plants in a neighboring prefecture, would people oppose?
A (Ban): There is no right to be involved in decision-making for the neighboring prefectures. However, if this town wants it and this other one doesnft want it, then the prefectural government will not allow it.
9) How is the movement for new power plants going to go? In Thailand, agricultural people oppose the construction of nuclear power plants and middle class people in cities oppose nuclear power. Isnft there some way that the urban population can be pulled into the opposition movement of local people? If Japan will not depend on nuclear power, what will the alternatives be? (Thailand)
A (Ohga): The focus in Japan at the moment is to not allow existing plants that are undergoing maintenance to restart. The movement is not just over completely new power stations.
A (Ban): Getting middle class people involved is a difficult problem. In Japan, commerce and industry associations attract nuclear power plants. For new power stations that are supposed to be starting up, local people will elect those who will oppose them, and not sell land or fishing rights. Regarding alternatives, Japan has all the necessary technology. We can cut 40% of energy consumption by energy saving. The level of renewable energy technology is high, but there are systematic obstacles to renewable energy in Japan. However, things are moving in the direction of greater use of renewable energy. For ten years in the future or more, there are plenty of scenarios indicating that Japan will use much more renewable energy.
A (Smith): If you do a survey, about 80% want nuclear power to be phased out. At the same time, people who are being elected to the national parliament are receiving money from TEPCO and labor unions work for the power company. So even if most people want something, the politicians donft care that much because of the company power. The big question is the plants that have been stopped. There are 39 units that have been stopped now. Only 15 units are operating. (As of September 6, 2011, 11 units are in operation.)? can they be started up again? The movement should try to get these stopped.
10) On public television in Taiwan, it shows that people in Tokyo are supposed to be saving 15% of electricity, but everything is moving as normal. The energy savings donft have much impact on daily life in Japan. To really get things moving, have the nuclear stations going right now stopped? (Taiwan)
A (Ohga): We save electricity by dimming the lights and raising the temperature of air conditioning, etc. If we can get through this summer, I think the awareness of ordinary people will change.
A (Ban): The peak is mostly during a short period of time in the summer. At the same time, electrical power demand is going down. If thermal and hydroelectric are used properly, therefs probably no problem meeting demand. TEPCO and Tohouku power have also had their thermal power plants badly damaged by the earthquake and tsunami so they are taking energy conservation measures quite seriously. They are trying hard to push the idea that nuclear power is really necessary to fulfill energy demand in Japan. At the moment, they are using about 80% capacity, which is nowhere near the peak. The 15% conservation idea has been put out by government and people and companies have been working quite hard to conserve energy. This has had some degree of impact. In western Japan, prices for fuel will be increased and the cost of electricity will rise, so the business sector in the Kansai area (western Japan) are opposing this.12) Several places in Thailand have been designated for planned nuclear power plant sites. Middle class people are coming out to look at the plant sites. We want Japanese people to not sell technology to Thailand, and not build things in Thailand. iThailandj
11) Ifm encouraged to know that 80% of Japanese people wish to move towards a nuclear phase-out. Is there any movement towards a national referendum on this? (Korea)
A (Ban): There are various opinions regarding a national referendum. I donft know the concrete name. There are discussions about considering a national referendum, and a diet member network. Those who are anti-nuclear are not very assertive about having national referendum. I am basically for it. There has been a lot of concern because people think that this might lead to efforts to revise our constitution and eliminate or revise Article 9 (renunciation of war).