Everyone is getting in on the growing protests, even the jellyfish. Unit 3 at Oi nuclear plant, the subject of a huge blockade protest last weekend by humans, is now under attack by sea. Jellyfish have swarmed the water intake system at Oi causing them to have to decrease power. Jellyfish swarms have caused many nuclear plants to have to decrease power or even shut down and workers may have to clean them out of the intake debris screens. Lightning also caused problems with radiation meters near units 1 & 2 at Oi causing them to alarm.
Protests certainly are everywhere. There was a small protest of mostly people from Japan in NYC over the weekend. They aimed to coordinate with the weekly protests in Japan and bring some awareness of the issues to the US. Anonymous took to the streets of Tokyo to clean up trash, this was done in an effort to show the public they aim for improving society rather than the way the Japanese government had painted the group after a series of web site attacks.
The big Friday protests in Tokyo plan to continue with another planned for 7.13 in front of the Prime Minister’s residence starting at 18:00. If you plan to attend please check the website and anticipate possible police obstruction in reaching the area. Last week police blocked protesters into the subway stations refusing to let them leave. A new slide show of this Friday’s protest here.
Greenpeace Japan is asking people to tweet to the Prime Minister’s office their opposition to the nuclear restarts. Their message is as follows:
“Simply copy the Japanese characters (Saikado Hantai) below to tweet @kantei,.”
再稼働反対 Japanese Prime Minister Noda, #DontRestartNukes. @kantei #紫陽花革命
The hashtag is Hydrangea Revolution, The first portion of the message, Saikado Hantai 再稼働反対!! roughly translates to no nuclear restarts.
AEC in Japan has been holding off the record secret meeting with the nuclear industry for the last 10 years. The meetings took place before the official on record meeting. This news quickly made the rounds on twitter and will probably just add to the growing pile of outrage against the government by the people in Japan.
The recently released Diet report on the Fukushima accident had two different messages depending on the language. The English version blamed Japanese culture where the Japanese version was more nuanced and talked of specific issues that contributed to the failings. The author claimed hope of outside pressure contributed to his changing the English version.
The Diet report also raised more concern that the quake played a key role in the meltdowns at the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. This admission causes huge problems for the nuclear power industry as it shows plants to be more vulnerable that previously admitted.
The new nuclear agency planned in Japan has some rules for members, there are some rules intended to prevent too much industry influence but they are still fairly weak.
AP Reporter Yuri Kageyama interviewed Japanese politician Taro Kono, one of the few openly anti-nuclear politicians. She posted a series of tweets of her interview. There has been a growing opinion online that the next election in Japan could be a turning point in politics and government. A number of politicians showed up at last Friday’s rally including Kono.
Kono: Nobody trusts government nuclear policy including NISA. And so restoring credibility is key
Kono: Safety of spent fuel pools is critical, including as possible terrorism targets. Anti-terrorism is not being addressed
Kono: percentage of power that’s nuclear “I don’t think it means much” as what matters is the goal of going “zero” nukes or not.
Kono encourages those opposed to nukes to talk to local lawmakers. He took his 4th grade son to a Friday anti-nuke protest
Kono: All parties are divided on nuclear power. His group will create a sign to identify anti-nuke candidates for next election.
Kono: prime minister and METI talk about a power shortage is exaggerated to get Ohi restart. “They’ve been lying to the people”
#AAJAAsia with special guest Legislator Taro Kono who will tell us all on Japan’s nuclear crisis
A Democratic member of the house of councilors who attended the protest concluded that the protests and the government backlash against the protests shows they are working. She stated that the center of government is getting scared and that the protests are working.
Last week Anonymous leaked a large amount of data found at a private data handling company. This included NRC, IAEA and NSC Japan information among others.
The small batch of documents already made public while not earth shattering had some larger implications. One being that the US NRC considers spent fuel pools to be a considerable risk issue based on what was seen at Fukushima Daiichi. The NRC considers the pools to be a hydrogen risk among other known risks of spent fuel pools. This is something the US NRC has not conveyed to the public.
Outgoing NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko blasted the US NRC citing that the industry and agency have been fooling themselves about accident risk and that they cost to benefit formula is not adequate to take into account the potential devastation to the public in an accident. He also admitted that the US nuclear power industry is busy trying to scuttle most of the post Fukushima safety changes and that a cyber attack is a considerable threat to US plants.
Another disturbing risk came out this week. The heavily contaminated forests near Chernobyl could pose a serious radiation risk to the area and to Europe if they caught fire.
California almonds were found to be contaminated with Fukushima cesium. Both Cesium 134 & 137 were found in a combined rate of .17 bq/kg.
Fish off the coast of Miyagi were found to have 3300 bq/kg of cesium this week.
The media in Japan has been adding to the criticism this week against the nuclear industry and the government support of it.
Asahi Shimbun: Lawmakers fear power shortage more than nuclear accident
Asahi Shumbun also released a series of articles blasting TEPCO and the central government for their role in the Fukushima disaster.
The Japan Times: Irresponsible reactor startup
Work at Fukushima Daiichi continues to challenge those trying to keep control of the disaster. Worker Happy11311 explains that there is a considerable shortage of workers making some work where multiple workers are needed impossible. TEPCO continues to dump money into repairing the Daini nuclear plant to avoid a financial situation where they would be officially in the negative. This is all “on the books” issues of the status of the plant but is causing TEPCO to waste money repairing a plant they know they will likely decommission.
With new feed in laws in Japan, it may quickly become the #2 solar power market in the world. This may exceed Germany’s levels of solar generation. Much of Germany’s success in solar is due to citizens forming coop’s to build and generate renewable energy. This has caused a true democratization of electricity in Germany.
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