Greenpeace Warns ‘Potential Damage to Human DNA’ at Risk With Japan’s Plan to Dump Fukushima Water Into Ocean

Published onFriday, October 23, 2020by Common Dreams

Greenpeace Warns ‘Potential Damage to Human DNA’ at Risk With Japan’s Plan to Dump Fukushima Water Into Ocean

“The policy of the Japanese government to dump nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean is not based on scientific or environmental protection principles and has no justification.”by Andrea Germanos, staff writer

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Storage tanks for radioactive water stand at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant on Jan. 29, 2020 in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

Storage tanks for radioactive water stand at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant on Jan. 29, 2020 in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. (Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

Greenpeace sounded alarm Friday over the Japanese government’s plan to release stored water from the ill-fated Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, releasing a new report warning about the presence of carbon-14, which the group says “has the potential to damage human DNA.”

The warning laid out in a new report says the government and plant operator TEPCO’s controversial plan—which has been under consideration for some time—is founded on “a series of myths” and pursues the cheapest option to get rid of the water over what is best for human and ecological health.

The plan allows “the government [to] create the impression that substantial progress is being made in the early decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors,” Greenpeace says. 

Entitled Stemming the tide 2020: The reality of the Fukushima radioactive water crisis, the publication argues that the planned release of the water “will have serious, long-term consequences for communities and the environment, locally and much further afield.”

“Nearly 10 years after the start of the disaster, TEPCO and the Japanese government are still covering up the scale of the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi,” said Shaun Burnie, author of the report and senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany. He further accused the entities of having “deliberately held back for years detailed information on the radioactive material in the contaminated water.”

Beyond the remaining radioactive material tritium in the water, an additional problem is the presence of high levels of carbon-14, which belies the government’s assertion that the water is not “contaminated,” said Greenpeace.

According to the report,

If the contaminated water is discharged to the Pacific Ocean, all of the carbon-14 will be released to the environment. With a half-life of 5,730 years, carbon-14 is a major contributor to global human collective dose; once introduced into the environment carbon-14 will be delivered to local, regional, and global populations for many generations. […]

Contrary to the understanding of the Japanese government, water that contains large quantities of radioactive carbon-14 (as well as the other radioactive isotopes including strontium-90 and tritium) can only be described as contaminated.

Burnie said that TEPCO and the Japanese government “have failed to explain to the citizens of Fukushima, wider Japan, and to neighboring countries such as South Korea and China that the contaminated water to be dumped into the Pacific Ocean contains dangerous levels of carbon-14. These, together with other radionuclides in the water will remain hazardous for thousands of years with the potential to cause genetic damage.”

“It’s one more reason why these plans have to be abandoned,” said Burnie.

The report puts some of the blame on TEPCO’s decision to rely on technology known as ALPS that the operator should have known was incapable of bringing concentrations of radionuclides down to acceptable levels.

Rather than quickly moving to dump the water into the ocean, the Greenpeace report says the government should pursue “continued long-term storage and processing of the contaminated water.”

“There is no technical, engineering, or legal barrier to securing additional storage space for ALPS-treated contaminated water. It is a matter of political will,” said Burnie.

“The policy of the Japanese government to dump nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean is not based on scientific or environmental n principles,” he said, “and has no justification.”

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Continue ReadingGreenpeace Warns ‘Potential Damage to Human DNA’ at Risk With Japan’s Plan to Dump Fukushima Water Into Ocean

I watched that Panorama program about Sellafield last night :: This is draft

I got the impression that the people supposedly in charge were far too relaxed and too fast to excuse anything and everything, that the people in charge of Sellafield were not taking it all seriously.

Isn’t that the impression you got? Oh radioactive half life of Plutonium Pu-239 of 24,100 years. We’ll just put it in this pond here, forget and ignore it and let seagulls

I got the impression that they had no idea about anything – that they were totally inept. they were treating it like it was nothing. Oh yes, no need to worry that we have got this serious radioactive waste which we have ignored for the past 60 years. There’s no need to worry about that we put it in water in these concrete ponds that are falling to bits.

ed: Sellafield is a nuclear waste shithole

ed:

Sellafield needs urgent inspections. Please get in there urgently. International, EU inspectors?

ed: I intend to do an article on the Radioactive Pollution of Irish Sea which is largely due to Sellafield.

16/9/16: it has been announced that Theresa May’s Conservative government are going for Sellafield C in partnership with EDF and China.

I intend to further investigate and publish on Sellafield’s irrsponsible and fantastically negligent actions of pollution of the Irish Sea and their ridiculous shite pools.

Continue ReadingI watched that Panorama program about Sellafield last night :: This is draft

Has the UK Signed Up to Build a Faulty Nuclear Power Plant?

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/katie-mcque/has-the-uk-signedup-to-bu_b_4136299.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-politics&ir=UK+Politics

by Katie McQue

On Monday, the UK woke-up to the news that the government had struck a deal to build our first new nuclear plant in over 18 years. The 3.2GW plant, named Hinkley Point C, has been touted as a job-maker and a boost to our energy security. Worryingly, however, the design of this nuclear reactor may be flawed, potentially exposing the UK to huge financial risks, as well a gravely unsafe nuclear plant.

The group of firms responsible for building Hinkley Point C; EDF, Areva, China General Nuclear Power Group and China National Nuclear Corp, intend to use nuclear reactor technology that has not yet proven to be successful. In fact, it has caused huge time delays and spiralling budgets in other nuclear projects that are yet to become operational.

Even Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate change has admitted in an interview that the projects using the same nuclear reactor have a track record of mistakes.

Podcast of the interview with Ed Davey:

http://icisenergy.podomatic.com/entry/2013-06-13T07_38_01-07_00

Hinkley Point C will use Areva’s European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) nuclear technology. It is the same reactor being used in the Flamanville 3 plant in France and two reactors in China, which are all EDF projects. The Olkiluoto plant in Finland, being developed by Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima, is also using the EPR.

The construction at Flamanville has overrun by four years and costs have doubled. Olkiluoto, meanwhile, has been hit by delays of over six years. Some experts have estimated its budget has tripled. Less is known about the status of the Chinese power plants.

It is probable that Hinkley Point C may meet similar technical difficulties to that of Flamanville and Olkiluoto projects, since these engineering issues have not yet been resolved.

“Nobody is taking bets at the moment. Even EDF are in despair about the EPR reactor,” said Paul Dorfman of the Energy Institute, University College London. “EDF argue that the Chinese projects are going well. But there are rumours that they’re facing similar problems to Flamanville and Olkiluoto.”
http://www.icis.com/heren/articles/2013/05/09/9666925/concerns+over+uks+hinkley+nuclear+technology+could+add+to.html

Moreover, the major issues with this reactor lie with its computerised control system, known and the instrumentation and control system. Experts believe that the computerised back-up system is too similar to the front-end computer. So, if a fault, either technical glitch or cyber-attack damages one of the computers, it will ll likely cause the whole operational system to crash or become uncontrollable.

“If a technical problem occurs with the plant, you need an entirely independent back-up system, which there isn’t. So if you lose the first system, it might take out the second system. This is a problem with the plants being built in Finland and France.” Stephen Thomas, professor of energy policy at the University of Greenwich.

Unlike most reactors, the EPR does not have manual shut-down system, leaving it further vulnerable for malfunction.

The UK government’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) flagged problems with the instrumentation and control system during its design assessment process. In its quarterly updates on progress, each aspect of the plan was graded by a traffic light-style alert system that represented the difficulty of solving the issues raised.

In August 2012, six issues related to the instrumentation and control system were highlighted. Two were graded as “amber”, meaning that remedying the issue is feasible, but needs prompt attention. Four were given a “red” alert, which, according to the report means the resolving of these issues are “in serious doubt with serious risks apparent”.

But in December 2012 the nuclear regulators approved the EPR design, signing off all of these alerts without much explanation. Many experts have questioned how this is possible, especially since the design faults have not yet been rectified at the Finnish and French nuclear plants. These reports can be found on the ONR’s website.

Continue ReadingHas the UK Signed Up to Build a Faulty Nuclear Power Plant?