Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

March – Fukushima nuclear anniversary, news this week.

The global nuclear lobby will be glad when March is over. They were glad to see the end of January – too much public interest then in the U.N. Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

March is worse, especially because of the 10 year anniversary (11th March) of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown, with clean-up nowhere in sight. The half-hearted hype is now on for the Olympic Games in July. The whole plan was for the Games to demonstrate that the nuclear catastrophe was actually nothing much to worry about, and yet again, to promise a ‘nuclear renaissance’.

International Women’s Day – today 8th March, is a bit of a worry for the nuclear industry.  Ionising radiation is more damaging to women than to men, and polls consistently show that women oppose nuclear power.  Women are rarely part of decision-making, and when they are –  shock horror!  With nearly equal female representation in Switzerland’s parliament – it decided to shut down the nuclear industry.   In Germany, that very strong Chancellor Angela Merkel, was a supporter of nuclear power – but after the Fukushima catastrophe, she changed her mind.  It’s all a dilemma for the nuke lobby –   trying to get some (preferably  young and glam) women into the nuclear career,  – but oh dear, they might put too much emphasis on health, children’s future, etc – and hysterically change their mind, as Merkel did.

1st March – Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Day.  This day commemorates for Pacific islanders, the nuclear colonialism, that brought atomic bomb testing, radiatio-induced cancers, and continuing environmental pollution to their previously pristine lands and waters.  Today, militaristic colonialism is still in full swing across the region, and is still resisted.

CLIMATE.  I cannot resist referring you to the wonderful Katherine Hayhoe, interviewed on Radio Ecoshock. This woman, who is also a religious communicator, has the gift of explaining climate change entertainingly and with clarity.

Some bits of good news The first real-world data for COVID vaccines is in – and it’s really good news.   

In a Japanese village ravaged by tsunami and nuclear disaster, two farmers grow indigo to rebuild community and heal

 

AUSTRALIA

Australia dodged a bullet in not getting nuclear power – Ian Lowe.   Australian Strategic Policy Institute – a stooge for weapons industries and China-haters. Australia’s purchase of vastly expensive French nuclear-powered submarine design, adapted to diesel, now to be scrapped?

Many people, both inside and outside Kimba, want a judicial review of the government’s nuclear waste dump decision.

Transnational Memory and the Fukushima Disaster: Memories of Japan in Australian Anti-nuclear Activism.

INTERNATIONAL

Nuclear Games.

Elon Musk and Bill Gates: beware of gurus toting solutions to climate change.

Nuclear energy proponents downplay its unresolved moral and ethical concerns.  Despite the problems, small nuclear reactor salesmen aggressively marketing: it’s make or break time for the nuclear industry.

Some bits of good news The first real-world data for COVID vaccines is in – and it’s really good news.   

In a Japanese village ravaged by tsunami and nuclear disaster, two farmers grow indigo to rebuild community and heal

ANTARCTICA.  Ominous news; Antarctic ice is melting at an accelerating rate.

JAPAN.

Ex-PMs Kan, Koizumi urge Japan to quit nuclear power generation .    10 years after Fukushima nuclear disaster, – poor prospects for nuclear revival in Japan.

March 8, 2021 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia achieves record large solar energy output on Friday — RenewEconomy

Utility scale solar output its hits record level in Australia’s main grid on Friday, although it was still just half that of rooftop solar on households and business. The post Australia achieves record large solar energy output on Friday appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia achieves record large solar energy output on Friday — RenewEconomy

March 8, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Isolated and alone — Beyond Nuclear International

Suguru’s story reveals bullying, ostracization and government whitewash

Isolated and alone — Beyond Nuclear International
A teenager’s account of the Fukushima ordeal  https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/3219596582

By Linda Pentz Gunter

Ten years after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, how has the Japanese government responded and what is it like for the people affected, still struggling to return their lives to some semblance of normality? Here is how things look:

  • Manuals are being distributed in schools explaining that radioactivity exists in nature and is therefore not something to be afraid of.
  • The government is considering getting rid of radiation monitoring posts as these send the wrong message at a time of “reconstruction”.
  • The Oversight Committee for Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey is discussing the possibility of stopping thyroid inspections at schools because they stress children out and overburden teachers and staff.

    • Depression and suicide rates among young people from Fukushima are likely to be triggered by being called “germs” and by being seen as “contaminated”.
    • Those who speak out about radiation are more stigmatized today than they were 10 years ago.
    • Those who “voluntarily” evacuated, recognizing that the so-called protection standards were not adequate for their region, are often ostracized from their new communities. They are seen as selfish for abandoning their homeland, friends and families “just to save themselves” and are bullied as parasites living on compensation funds, even though the “auto-evacuees” as they are known, received none.
      • Those forced to evacuate are also bullied if they do not now return, accused of not trusting the government and its assertions that it is safe to do so.
      • The taboo against speaking out for proper radiation protection and for compensation has grown worse as the rescheduled Olympics loom for this summer and Japan is determined to prove to the world it has fixed the radiation problem and beaten Covid-19.
      • On March 1, 2021, it took three judges all of 30 seconds to dismiss a case brought by 160 parents and children who lived in Fukushima prefecture at the time of the nuclear accident, and known as the Children’s Trial Against Radiation Exposure. The class action suit sought 100,000 yen per person in damages from the government and the prefecture, due to the psychological stress brought on by the lack of measures to avoid radiation exposure after the accident.
      • These are some of the realities uncovered by France-based Japanese activist, Kurumi Sugita, as she interviewed those affected and began to compile a graphic short story about her findings, entitled Fukushima 3.11 and illustrated by French artist, Damien Vidal. The booklet is produced by the French NGO, Nos Voisins Lontains 3.11 (Our Distant Neighbors 3.11).

        Fukushima 3.11, a long-form cartoon strip, is told in the first person by the youngest of Sugita’s interview subjects, Fukushima evacuee, Suguru Yokota, who was 13 at the time of the nuclear disaster.

        Suguru was also one of the plaintiffs in the Children’s Trial, and noted after the devastating dismissal, just days before the Fukushima disaster’s 10th anniversary, that “we cannot give up” and that “the court hasn’t issued a legitimate verdict.”

      • In 2012, Sugita had traveled to Japan with a research project she helped create, financed by the French National Centre for Scientific Research where she worked, to set up an investigation into Japan’s nuclear victims. A list of 70 interview candidates was put together.

        “I met Suguru in 2013 in Sapporo where he was living alone after he moved there from Fukushima,” said Sugita. “I also interviewed his mother and they were interviewed once a year over six years.”

        A schoolboy at the time of the accident, the book follows Suguru’s account of his experiences. He encounters the refusal by his uncle to believe the dangers in the early days of the accident, “a typical denial case,” says Sugita, and he is ostracized at school where he is the only pupil to wear a mask.

        Suguru’s only respite comes when his mother, who is equally alert to the radiation risks, sends him on a “radiation vacation” to Hokkaido, the first time he encounters peers who share his concerns.

      • Back at school and feeling isolated and alone, Suguru studies at home instead, eventually leaving the region for a different high school and then college.

      • The book weaves in essential information about radiation risks, and the clampdowns by the Japanese government, which withdrew support for auto-evacuees claiming, as Suguru relates it, that “these families are not victims. They are responsible for their fate.”

        The book was first published in the magazine, TOPO, whose audience is predominantly teenagers and which reports on topics of current interest. 

        “It appealed to us to address an audience interested in world events, but not exclusively the nuclear issue,” said illustrator Vidal.  “We thought our comic strip could be read by all those — and not necessarily just teenagers — who want to understand what the consequences of the nuclear accident were, and how it affected the inhabitants of Fukushima Prefecture.”

      • The book vividly brings home the psychological and emotional pain suffered by those who chose to recognize the true dangers posed by the Fukushima disaster, as well as the financial hardships and fracturing of families. And it exposes the depths of deliberate denial by authorities, more interested in heightened normalization of radiation exposure in the name of commerce and reputation.

      • Even as early as October 2011, an announcement is made that “rice produced in Fukushima Prefecture will supply school canteens again.” We see Suguru and his mother watching this news on their television, then the name-calling Suguru faces in school for bringing his own lunch. He is shown in the strip being called a “hikokumin”, which, explains Suguru, “is a really insulting word, used during the Second World War. It refers to people who are not worthy of being Japanese citizens.”

        But that stigma has only become worse with time, Sugita says. 

        These days people are name-called “hoshano”. “Hoshano”(放射能) means radioactivity, but with a different Chinese character(放射脳) it  means “radioactive brain – or brain contaminated by the fear of radioactivity”, she explains. And that is the slur in common circulation now.

        Nevertheless, the book ends on a hopeful note. “Today,” concludes Suguru on the closing page, “I know I’m not alone. I hope other voices will be heard in Japan and around the world.”

        It’s easy to say “never again.” But in order to ensure it, we must all continue to raise our voices, joining Suguru’s and others yearning to be heard.

        Read the English language version of Fukushima 3.11 on line for free. A version is also available in French. Hard copies (in French only), may be ordered from Nos Voisins Lontains 3.11 for 8€ plus shipping costs.

 

March 8, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi 2011-2021 — Beyond Nuclear International

Greenpeace report reveals deception and abuse

Fukushima Daiichi 2011-2021 — Beyond Nuclear International

The decontamination myth and a decade of human rights violations

The following is the Executive Summary from the new Greenpeace report. Download the full report.

As a result of a catastrophic triple reactor meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on 11 March 2011, several tens of thousands of square kilometres in Fukushima Prefecture and wider Japan were contaminated with significant amounts of radioactive caesium and other radionuclides. The first Greenpeace radiation expert team arrived in Fukushima on 26 March 2011, and Greenpeace experts have since conducted 32 investigations into the radiological consequences of the disaster, the most recent in November 2020.

This report, the latest in a series, chronicles some of our principal findings over recent years, and shows how the government of Japan, largely under prime minister Shinzo Abe, has attempted to deceive the Japanese people by misrepresenting the effectiveness of the decontamination programme as well as the overall radiological risks in Fukushima Prefecture. As the latest Greenpeace surveys demonstrate, the contamination remains and is widespread, and is still a very real threat to long term human health and the environment.

The contaminated areas comprise rice fields and other farmland, as well as a large amount of forest. Many people who lived in these areas were employed as farmers or in forestry. Residents gathered wood, mushrooms, wild fruits and vegetables from the mountain forests, and children were free to play outdoors in the woodlands and streams. Since the disaster, tens of thousands of people have been displaced from their ancestral lands. The harm extends far beyond the immediate threat to health – as well as destroying livelihoods, it has destroyed an entire way of life.

Because of the government’s actions, many thousands of evacuees have been forced to make an impossible choice: to return to their radioactively contaminated homes or to abandon their homes and land and seek to establish a new life elsewhere without adequate compensation. This amounts to economic coercion and may force individuals and families to return against their will due to a lack of financial resources and viable alternatives. Given that these people lost their livelihoods, communities, and property as a result of a nuclear disaster they had no part in creating, this is grossly unjust.

Key findings………..https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/3219595498

 
 
 
 

March 8, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

War Mongering for Artificial Intelligence

 

The testimony is generously spiked with the China threat thesis

the note of warning in not being too morally shackled becomes a screech. 

War Mongering for Artificial Intelligence,   https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/03/02/war-mongering-for-artificial-intelligence/  BY BINOY KAMPMARK-2 March 21,

The ghost of Edward Teller must have been doing the rounds between members of the National Commission on Artificial Intelligence.  The father of the hydrogen bomb was never one too bothered by the ethical niggles that came with inventing murderous technology.  It was not, for instance, “the scientist’s job to determine whether a hydrogen bomb should be constructed, whether it should be used, or how it should be used.”  Responsibility, however exercised, rested with the American people and their elected officials.

The application of AI in military systems has plagued the ethicist but excited certain leaders and inventors.  Russian President Vladimir Putin has grandiloquently asserted that “it would be impossible to secure the future of our civilization” without a mastery of artificial intelligence, genetics, unmanned weapons systems and hypersonic weapons.

Campaigners against the use of autonomous weapons systems in war have been growing in number.  The UN Secretary-General António Guterres is one of them.  “Autonomous machines with the power and discretion to select targets and take lives without human involvement,” he wrote on Twitter in March 2019, “are politically unacceptable, morally repugnant and should be prohibited by international law.”  The International Committee for Robot Arms Control, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and Human Rights Watch are also dedicated to banning lethal autonomous weapons systems.  Weapons analysts such as Zachary Kallenborn see that absolute position as untenable, preferring a more modest ban on “the highest-risk weapons: drone swarms and autonomous chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons”.

The critics of such weapons systems were far away in the Commission’s draft report for Congress.  The document has more than a touch of the mad scientist in the bloody service of a master.  This stood to reason, given its chairman was Eric Schmidt, technical advisor to Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google, which he was formerly CEO of.  With Schmidt holding the reins, we would be guaranteed a show shorn of moral restraint.  “The AI promise – that a machine can perceive, decide, and act more quickly, in a more complex environment, with more accuracy than a human – represents a competitive advantage in any field.  It will be employed for military ends, by governments and non-state groups.”

In his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 23, Schmidt was all about “fundamentals” in keeping the US ascendant. Continue reading

March 8, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment