Friday, 24 August 2012

Fukushima nuclear plant Fifth worker dies

A WORKER at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has died of a heart attack, the operator says, the fifth death at the power station since it was hit by the tsunami of March 2011. 
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said the man, who was in his 50s, suffered a cardiac arrest on Wednesday while working on the installation of a tank to store contaminated water.

He was confirmed dead by hospital doctors, company spokesman Jun Oshima said on Thursday, adding it was not believed radiation from the broken reactors had played a part. (Keep reading...http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/fifth-fukushima-nuclear-plant-worker-dies/story-e6frf7k6-1226456987933   Herald Sun

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‘Something Wrong’

“There’s something wrong in this country when even if thousands of people protest in front of the prime minister’s residence they still reactivate the plants,” said Koichiro Mori, a literature student at Kyoto University. “We’ve developed an economy that is capable of sacrificing its own people; our goal is to change such a society,” said Mori, who was at Yoyogi with students representing about 15 universities from Okinawa in the south to Tohoku in the north. .....

Musician Sakamoto said he last attended a rally in the same park 42 years ago when he was 18 years old and demonstrators met to oppose the 1970 revision of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty.

Fukushima Disaster

“This is the first time in more than 40 years that citizens in Japan go to the streets to make their voices heard,” he said. “Anger against the Japanese government’s nuclear policy fills this nation. It’s barbarous to keep silent after the Fukushima disaster.”
Japan’s anti-nuclear demonstrators have been galvanized by a report released on July 5 by the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. The commission found that the reactor meltdowns and release of radiation at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501)’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant stemmed from “man- made” failures before and after last year’s earthquake and tsunami.

The March 11 disaster “cannot be regarded as a natural disaster,” Kiyoshi Kurokawa, who headed the six-month investigation, wrote in the report. It “could and should have been foreseen and prevented.” The commission’s report found evidence of “collusion” between Tokyo Electric and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency to avoid implementing safety measures.

No to Noda

Some children from Fukushima city fled to our town after the nuclear disaster and they experienced health problems, such as bleeding from the nose and blood in urine,” said Tatsuko Takahashi, 63-year-old housewife who traveled from Ito city in Shizuoka prefecture to attend the Yoyogi rally.

“Their experience has never been reported by the Japanese media, which ignored inconvenient facts, so we came here to say no to nuclear power and no to Prime Minister Noda,” she said.

While the anti-nuclear crowds rally in Tokyo, rural communities in Japan that have come to depend on atomic power plants for investment, jobs and subsidies aren’t joining in.
On July 8, pro-nuclear Governor Yuichiro Ito, 64, won re- election in the south-western prefecture of Kagoshima against a challenger who opposed restarting reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co. (9508)’s plant.

Ito, who won almost two-thirds of the votes cast, favors allowing Kyushu Electric to restart two reactors at its Sendai plant, while calling for a freeze on plans to build a third one.
The election was the first since Noda authorized the restart of the two Kansai Electric reactors northeast of Osaka.

‘Powerful Movement’

Radiation fallout from the Fukushima reactors forced the evacuation of about 160,000 people and left land in the area uninhabitable for decades. The potential for a repeat of the disaster at another nuclear plant in earthquake-prone Japan is what is bringing Japanese old and young out on to the streets in large demonstrations not seen in decades.
“I’ve been taking part in the Friday protests every week, it’s a powerful movement,” Hidetsugu Odawara, 80, a former Citigroup Inc. employee and now retired, said at Yoyogi.
“One person alone can’t do much but 100,000 people can make a difference. I’m here to be one of the 100,000.” 


To contact the reporters on this story: Aya Takada in Tokyo at atakada2@bloomberg.net; Shunichi Ozasa in Tokyo at sozasa@bloomberg.net; Scilla Alecci in Tokyo at salecci@bloomberg.net

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