Friday, November 11, 2011

OTHER ISSUES WE NEED TO TACKLE


ISSUE # 1 TO MAKE MONEY, OUR GOVERNMENT IS ALLOWING THE IMPORT OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL TO BE BURNED IN OUR COUNTRY INSTEAD OF IN THE COUNTRY WHERE IT CAME FROM

Please help these folks by taking action here and letting others know about what is going on.

http://www.nonukesyall.org/action_STOPGermanRadWaste.html

Please help these folks by signing their petition. It may not affect you directly, but it is affecting someone right now. As citizens of the US, we should start taking care of each other and rebuilding our country.

ISSUE # 1B WE NEED TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE WITH OUR OWN NUCLEAR WASTE

http://www.youtube.com/repshimkus#p/c/2/kh7VZyLrg0M


ISSUE #2 OUR GOVERNMENT WANTS TO INCREASE TRADE WITH JAPAN

Increasing imports from Japan is NOT a good idea right now. They have barely scratched the surface in terms of cleaning up after Fukushima. Check out the other entries on this blog for more details, plus the information below.



On the heels of learning of the rebuilding of buildings with rocks from a quarry located near the Fukushima Diiachi Nuclear Power Plant, I really wonder if we should be purchasing from Japan. Will they be mixing their radioactive material into things they make and send all over the globe? Anybody who denies the possibility of this probably would have also denied the possibility that the Japanese government would have allowed for the rebuilding of their country by mixing in waste material. It seems unbelievable, but it did happen. See below.

I'm no nuclear expert but seriously, if the folks walking around the quarry have to wear full suits with masks on as to not contaminate themselves, shouldn't that quarry have been shut down?

When things like that happen the government needs to be held accountable, whether that is the local or national government or both. That's really not right for the people of Japan and to whomever will be on the receiving end of whatever else they decide to mix it into. Are they mixing it into other things they are selling? I hope not.

2B THE IRRESPONSIBILITY OF THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT

Japan probes radioactive apartment block


How on earth could a 3 story condiminum have been reconstructed with rocks from a quarry located near the Fukushima, Diacchi Nuclear Power Plant?


That begs two more questions: 1. Why did the Japanese government not ban usage of rocks from the quarry being in close proximity to the nuclear power plant? 2. What else was constructed using rocks from the same quarry? Surely it wasn't just this one apartment building.

And as confirmation of this, a video. Apparently the rock was delivered to around 250 companies so it is definitely going to show up in other places too.

While this video is in Japanese, you don't need to speak it to understand the video.




The quote below was taken from the article above.


"Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said annual radiation exposure for someone living in the building would be at around 10 millisieverts, half the government-mandated evacuation level of 20 millisieverts"

This is actually a pretty sad statement if you know anything about this situation. The rate of "acceptable" exposure that was set by the Chernobyl disaster was 1 milliservet a year. Some skeptical citizens decided to measure their children using non government issue geiger counters. The readings the parents were getting were way higher than the 1 milliservet a year on the non government issued Geiger counters.

The government's response? to set the new level of "acceptable" exposure to 20X the amount of radiation set by the disaster of Chernobyl! Then everything after, including this article, makes it sound like oh, this finding is nothing to worry about, because it is 10 times under the limit set by government whereas the reality is it is actually 10 times OVER the amount set by the previous worst nuclear disaster known to man, Chernobyl.

UPDATE: JANUARY 19, 2014

As suspected, the contaminated rock has gone to other places including to build a road outside a school and to repair an irrigation channel. Is the water running through there now contaminated too?

This article says that the contaminated water way went to supply water to agriculture so are the crops contaminated too? Who is that food going to?
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/national/archive/news/2012/01/17/20120117p2g00m0dm152000c.html



Picture above and writing below, taken from this link

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120117005266.htm

"Contaminated crushed stone pieces taken from a quarry in the government's expanded evacuation zone following the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have been used to repair an irrigation channel and a road outside a school in Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture.

The discovery was made after authorities began tracking down the whereabouts of 5,280 tons of the material that was quarried from Namie Town, in the same prefecture, after the stones were used in the construction of a condominium building in Nihonmatsu City, which was later found to contain high levels of radiation. The material is proving difficult to track because it has been sold to more than 100 construction companies throughout the prefecture.

One company said it was part of a group of firms that bought and used about eight tons of the crushed stone pieces to pave a road in front of a primary school in the city's south in April. The work was done to repair cracks caused by the March 11 earthquake and covered a total area of about 80 square meters across three locations along the road.

In a test Monday, the primary school found radioactivity in the air around the repaired road ranged from 0.4 to 0.5 microsievert per hour, almost as same as that detected in neighboring areas. But the school has advised students to walk along the side of the road as a precautionary measure.

The city government said the crushed stone was also mixed with fresh concrete used to repair an irrigation channel in April.

It believes the repaired section of the waterway is contaminated with radioactive cesium. A test conducted this month detected 1.62 to 1.97 microsieverts of radiation per hour at the waterway, higher than the 0.7 to 1.0 microsievert of radiation per hour found in surrounding areas.

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry said all the crushed stone pieces in question were shipped from Namie Town to two ready-mix concrete companies, one in Nihonmatsu City and the other in Motomiya City, as well as to 17 construction companies in the prefecture.

The ministry said documents suggest the crushed stone was then sold by the Nihonmatsu company to more than 100 other businesses, while the Motomiya company distributed the material to dozens of firms. It is difficult to establish the exact route of the crushed stone, the ministry added.

The Yomiuri Shimbun spoke to 11 of the 17 construction firms that bought the material, and all said they used the crushed stone in Fukushima Prefecture. A senior official of a Kawamata Town company that bought more than 500 tons of the crushed stone, said the material was used to build roads and there was never any speculation that the material had been contaminated by radioactive substances.

Futaba Saiseki Kogyo Co. is responsible for operating the quarry and shipping the stone pieces. The company's president, Mitsuru Igari, 50, apologized at a press conference Monday. Igari said he feels sorry for what happened and added that he had pride in the work he was doing because he was helping to rehabilitate the area when others were abandoning it."


Japan set to burn tons and tons of nuclear waste through 2014
Surely Japan is set to become THE worst nuclear disaster with the irresponsible spreading of contamination from doing things like this and also by dealing with the nuclear waste material by deciding to burn it into the atmosphere until the year 2014.



PEOPLE NEED TO WAKE UP ABOUT THIS.

Both people in Japan and people in the US. There are tons, and tons, and tons, of waste material. It really should be buried but that is too costly and time consuming despite probably being the most responsible thing to do if you can call it that.

One of the most IRRESPONSIBLE acts would be to burn it. Which is what they are choosing to do. Why is it irresponsible? Because it is like March 11 over and over and over again when burning it. Toxic, cancer causing materials are blown into the air and everyone around, everything thing around, is put into jeopardy health wise.

Look at how this has affected the milk in California. It is actually WORSE now than 6 months ago. The burning needs to stop!!


People downwind, that's everyone on the west coast of the USA, and even beyond will be affected by this for the next 2 years and probably more as their health will be affected. Food that is supplied to Americans and other countries will be contaminated from fall out. The prevailing winds will carry the new toxic material from each burn over the ocean, most likely contaminating sea life, and will continue travelling west to then contaminate the soil, crops, water, and lungs of people breathing in the contaminated air.

The tough thing about radiation is that we cannnot see it, touch it, taste it, etc. Some of it, particles called hot particles, we can't even pick up with a geiger counter but they can still latch into a person's lungs and cause cancer.

In my book, what the government is doing is a crime against humanity. Burning radioactive material anytime, anyplace, in my book should be illegal, but as I have found out (see issue #1 above) it is not and is done with relative frequency.

But the thing we are talking about in Japan is different, a lot different. It is a magnitude thing. So even people who think burning toxic nuclear waste into the air is okay, this kind of scale that the Japanese government is really not. Its quite frankly unacceptable and is a crime against humanity all around the globe.

Furthermore, it appears that radioactive material is getting into things like building materials now as mentioned at the start of this entry. That's not right.

Last week or so, Bed Bath and Beyond recalled toilet paper roll holders, the thing you put your toilet paper on, because they had radioactive material in them. Where did the raw material to make those come from? Was it Japan? I really wonder. Maybe they are deciding that another option to get rid of it is to combine it into products for sale, then they can actually make money off the radioactive material instead of doing the more responsible, more costly thing, which would be to bury it. Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. Maybe the material is from some other part of the world, but whoever is combining radioactive material into products for sale is definitely not doing the right thing.

To solve the problem with all that radioactive material in Japan, I think countries from around the world should pitch in to help defer some of the costs to bury it instead of burning it. They should have a world wide fund drive for that specific cause. We owe it to Japan to help out. I would donate to that cause.

The Japanese government really, really needs to stop sending contaminated food around the world. Stop telling other governments it is okay and other governments should stop believing the Japanese government. Seriously. We should all be gathering around them as countries and send them clean food instead.

Mothers in Japan agree.


Mothers in Japan have told their story from their perspective.



ISSUE #3 CHINA DOES NOT HAVE THE SAME SAFETY STANDARDS AS OTHER COUNTRIES

This is a horrible story. Chinese citizens also see there are problems. The government has interest in doing things as cheaply as possible. That's what counts most for them.


This also applies to our food supply. China gets over 4.9 Billion dollars from our corporate america food suppliers who want the cheapest ingredients possible so that their profit margin can be as high as possible.


This is wrong for the obvious reason that they are doing it is b/c it is cheap, not b/c it is the healthy for your family to consume, and it is also wrong for some not so obvious other reasons too.



How could this possibly be going on? This wonderfully done video from food and water watch pretty much sums it up. The flood gates to free trade with China opened wide in the 1970s. Corporate america jumped on the bandwagon fast because it was sooo much cheaper to get ingredients for our food supply from there instead of American Farmers and all they care about is how BIG their profit margin can be.




CORPORATE FAT CAT MENTALITY--So what if our consumers get cancer because we are getting cheap stuff that may be adulterated! So what if your kid develops food allergies or behavioral problems... DOESN'T MATTER TO US!! WE ARE MAKING LOTS OF $$$ HA HA!! Plus there's no way you will EVER be able to connect the events together since you won't get the cancer or have kids with problems unless you are genetically predisposed to it and it won't happen right after you eat it it will be years from now and you won't be able to trace it back to us HA HA!! Our hands are clean!!! So sickening what corporate greed has done...

Points perfectly to the need for country of origin labeling. Once we know the truth about what is going on where, we can start voting with our wallets, voting for things without China in it. Vote for feeding our families with products from American Farms the way it used to be before the flood gates of trade with China opened in the 1970s, back when there was LESS childhood cancer, LESS kids with food allergies, etc. Please sign the petition. It's a good thing for the health of our families and for our country. Corporate America should be sourcing from the HEALTHIEST places, not the cheapest.

Sourcing from american farmers are more likely to take pride in the food ingredients they produce for our families. Plus they deserve our support as anytime we can offer support to someone in America it helps our economy in one way or another.

We need to let our reps know we want country of origin labeling. Help get this done by signing and sharing the petition below. Fat cats need to be held accountable for what they are doing. Time they stop being allowed to hide behind "Made in USA" whereas the reality is the ingredients that make up the things we consume everyday are coming from all kinds of other places. http://www.change.org/petitions/mr-president-us-senate-congress-tell-us-where-our-food-is-from.


ISSUE # 4 CHINA IN GENERAL

I'd be saying the same thing if I lived in China and I found out the US were doing these things. No matter where you live, you have to have some common sense when it comes to national security. If you are in China, you would be smart not to do business with a business associated with the United States Military and if you live in the US you are smart not to do business with a company that has ties to the Chinese Military.

http://news.yahoo.com/panel-urges-us-scrutiny-china-military-firms-163048990.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/23/business/global/23telecom.html

Imagine a Chinese company that has ties to the Chinese Liberation Army, the company was actually started by a former member, and that company comes knocking on the door of the United States of America and says "Excuse me, but we want to do a great favor for you. We want to be the ones to provide you with the telecommunications services for your nation's first responders in the case of a national emergency. Let's get started!" You'd have to be pretty dumb to think that's a good idea. Seriously. That's like having the fox guard the chicken coop.

We'll guess what? That invitation actually came!

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/10/11/u-s-blocks-china-telecoms-bid-to-build-wireless-network-over-spying-concerns.html

The government was smart enough to say no thank you to that deal. After all, any sports fan knows you don't give away your game plans to a competitor or a chief rival, right?


The story gets better. This same company, the one that has ties to the Chinese Military, figures those darn Americans, they won't let us in the front door, let's try the back door instead! So you know what this company does just one month later? They purchase a 49% share in Symanetic, the computer company that supposedly guards the security of our computers! Who approved that deal??? If there's a deal that needs to be rescended it would be that one!!

http://the-diplomat.com/flashpoints-blog/2011/04/17/chinas-silent-cyber-takeover/

http://news.yahoo.com/chinas-huawei-buy-symantec-venture-055703621.html

My hunch is Symantic probably got a good chunk of change for agreeing to that deal and I doubt they were thinking hum...wonder what the Chinese might do when they have access to the things we do.... Of course not! The money is too good for us to be thinking about something as trivial as national security! Thank you China and now let's get on with spending the $$ from our new found wealth!!

This is really wrong to be doing. Check out why here.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/11/beijings-electronic-pearl-harbor/

Meantime China has got to be thinking we are the most stupid, naive, selfish, greedy fools on the face of the earth because basically by Symantic agreeing to the deal they are doing all the things mentioned above.

This points to the root of many of our problems in America today. We are overrun by corporate greed. Corporate america is NOT thinking about how things affect us as citizens down the road, they are thinking about how good things can get for THEM, today, right now. This corporate behavior of being stupid, selfish, and greedy has got to stop. It has become the way other nations view our country which is so wrong. Our nation as a whole is not like that. Same goes for China. Their nation is not like that either. The average citizen does not believe it is right to taint foods for example to make them cheaper and unsafe but there are plenty of people in China doing it right now to make a bigger profit not only for their only their people to eat but for your family to eat too (see blog on why no food from China).

THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A MINUTE...

Think about this for a minute. China is making 40.5 Billion per month and has been doing so since July 2005.http://news.yahoo.com/analysis-china-needs-policy-course-capital-tide-turns-061310882.html

That's a lot of money! That's a lot of money to be doing whatever they want to become the world's superpower..stealing technology...building their military, etc. How the heck do they make that kind of money?? Simple. Because of us. As citizens we have been choosing year after year to by cheap China, dumping our hard earned money over there. If we care anything about the future of the United States, its got to stop.

Buying Made in China is not only decimating our labor force --buying Made in China supports their labor force. Ultimately it also ruins our country because while our economy continues downward because, in part, many of our jobs have been sent to China putting USA workers out of work, meaning they can't make purchases, they can't invest and buy here in the US, and less money in our economy means we have to do things like cut back our military, cut back in investments in technologies, and cut back in education for future generations. How will that ever build a strong country??

China on the other hand, thanks to our purchasing cheap things from them that ends up in our landfills, continues to get stronger, and stronger, and stronger because of our need for cheapness. Their technology improves. Their military gets stronger. Everyday they are one step closer to becoming the world's superpower. We've got to change this by each one of us voting for the USA with our wallets and stop sending so much of our money over to China. Search out USA alternatives for whatever it is you need and if none can be found, purchase from any other country besides China. We need to start balancing things out. Right now the scale has tipped very far in China's favor and we need to develop more equity across the board by not choosing China. Our money is better in the hands of USA workers if at all possible, and if not, seek out an alternative to China.

ISSUE # 4B CHINA BUYING UP AREAS IN OTHER COUNTRIES (INCLUDING OURS)

AUSTRALIA

Australia leases out mineral-rich land as China's hunger for resources grows

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/12/china-australia-mining-iron-coal

USA

From a Chinese Newspaper

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2011-07/28/content_13005190.htm

here's more

http://www.finance-ol.com/2011/06/shanghai-is-quiet-network-of-selling-the-united-states-land-a-starting-price-of-just-1/


The Chinese Government Is Buying Up Economic Assets And Huge Tracts Of Land All Over The United States




Idaho

http://www.commentsonnationalamnesia.com/2011/06/01/project-60-china-buying-idaho/


And from the horse's mouth directly: Idaho.gov website

http://project60.idaho.gov/encourage.html

Interesting it says here "Foreign Direct Investment recruitment will be successful in Idaho as we expand our reach into Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia."(a.k.a. China)
Don't they mean, "Foreign Direct Investment recruitment will be successful in China as they allow as they expand their reach into the US?

Texas

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-43042760/texas-land-and-oil-and-gas-grab-what-chinas-cnooc-will-get-for-its-216b/



ISSUE #5 MONEY HAS GOT TO GET OUT OF POLITICS

Need I say more?! Money in politics is at the root of most every problem we have an our country. Think about that. Must watch article and videos here. Our founding fathers must be turning over in their graves. This isn't how it was supposed to be. We MUST find a way to get money out of politics.



PART II


Look, my two oldest kids are in 3rd and 4th grade. They are learning about how our gov is a representative gov, meaning they represent US.

The way things are going now, their textbooks are not giving it accurately. In order to give a more accurate account, textbooks should be rewritten to say we have a rep gov where politicians are elected to then make decisions to best represent their own self-interests.

Is this what we want for our country going forward??

Any adult in this country should be disgusted by this. Anyone who cares about the future of the United States should really be ashamed that things have gotten this bad and we should all work together to make things right. We can't have a strong healthy nation with this crap going on. A really good starting place would be to get money/favors out of politics so that honest representation can begin.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Looking for Blog on Ingredients from Japan- Look Under August


Good ones to start with are FDA/Fukushima, Corporate Responses, and the 60 Minutes Video. Also, here is a great website that has links to recent events coming out of Fukushima. http://fukushima.greenaction-japan.org/

Here are some recent videos and articles in addition to the blogs mentioned above.

JAPANESE MOMS SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!! TELLING JAPANESE GOV - PROTECT CHILDREN IN OTHER COUNTRIES--DON'T SEND CONTAMINATED FOOD AROUND THE WORLD!!

TIME WE AGREE WITH THEM...SIGN THE PETITION...TELL YOUR REPS YOU WANT TO KNOW WHERE YOUR FOOD IS COMING FROM...FOOD COMPANIES SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO SAY "MADE IN USA" WHERE THE ACTUAL INGREDIENTS ARE FROM ALL KINDS OF OTHER PLACES (see august blog on corporate responses)




December 26, 2011

The Japanese Government really messed up. Mothers of Fukushima knew it a long time ago. Now the government is finally admitting to a few mistakes. The saddest part is that exposure to this disaster could have been less, less citizens exposed, less children exposed.

But that would never do. They would have had to put their pride aside and made evacuating people their number one priority. Once again, greed, namely not wanting to admit to the failings over nuclear power, came before keeping families safe. http://news.yahoo.com/japan-probe-finds-nuclear-disaster-response-failed-084637708.html

It is time we call things like this out, both citizens calling out their governments and us calling out our government. I feel bad for the people of Japan and bad for us too. As I have found out, there is very little transparency in governments around the world and that is wrong. Power in the hands of a few for their self interests, no matter what country, is wrong because power concentrated = greed and greed leads to people only thinking about themselves and their own self-interests. We need transparency so accountability, fairness and justice can happen right away, not months or years later. In terms of Japan, it shouldn't be that they are just really starting to tell parts of the truth 9 months down the road. As far as I'm concerned, there should be transparency in all aspects of our lives. When a disaster happens, put the lives of citizens first. Don't put pride first.

Cleaning up Japan’s nuclear mess
The twilight zone
Its owner fears not just radiation leaking out of the Fukushima plant, but also bad news
Nov 5th 2011 | IWAKI | from the print edition
http://www.economist.com/node/21536625



IT IS another world beyond the roadblocks stopping unauthorised traffic from entering the 20km (12.5-mile) exclusion zone around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The few people inside are dressed in ghostly white protective suits. Town after town was abandoned after March 11th, and spiders have strung webs across the doorways. An old lady’s russet wig lies in the road, lost perhaps as she took flight after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Outside the “Night Friend” nightclub in Tomioka, 9km from the nuclear plant, this correspondent was confronted by an ostrich with a feral glint.

Journalists are supposedly barred from the exclusion zone, though sympathetic evacuees, many furious with the authorities about their state of limbo, help provide access. Some of the 89,000 displaced residents have been given one-day permits to go home and each collect a box of valuables. To an outsider, the size and recent prosperity of the abandoned communities is striking. As well as the rice paddies, now overrun with goldenrod, are large businesses and well-built schools for hundreds of children.

Patrol cars stop passing vehicles. The police are particularly vigilant in preventing unauthorised people getting near the stricken plant, owned by Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), Japan’s biggest utility. The air of secrecy is compounded when you try to approach workers involved in the nightmarish task of stabilising the nuclear plant. Many are not salaried Tepco staff but low-paid contract workers lodging in Iwaki, just south of the exclusion zone.

It is easy to spot them, in their nylon tracksuits. They seem to have been recruited from the poorest corners of society. One man calls home from a telephone box because he cannot afford a mobile phone. Another has a single front tooth. Both are reluctant to talk to journalists, because a condition of their employment is silence. But they do share their concerns about safety. One, who earns ¥15,000 ($190) a day clearing radioactive rubble at the plant, says he was given just half-an-hour of safety training. Almost everything he has learned about radiation risks, he says, came from the television.

A strict hierarchy exists among the workers at Fukushima. Tepco’s own salaried staff are in a minority. The firm employs a top tier of subcontractors, from the builders of reactors such as Toshiba and Hitachi. They, in turn, subcontract work to builders and engineers, who subcontract further, down to small gangs of labourers recruited by a single boss. Some lower-ranking companies may have ties to the yakuza, Japan’s mafia, and among the lowest-paid recruits are members of the burakumin minority, who have long been discriminated against.

Those on the lower rungs, say labour advocates, are particularly vulnerable. They often have no corporate health, pension or redundancy benefits. Hiroyuki Watanabe, an Iwaki councillor from the Japan Communist Party who is campaigning to protect Dai-ichi workers, has a document showing one worker’s accumulated radiation exposure. In two months it had reached almost 33 millisieverts, or a third the level normally permissible for those working on a nuclear accident in a year. Mr Watanabe reports many safety breaches. Workers wading through contaminated water complain that their boots have holes in them. Some are not instructed in when to change the filters on their safety masks.

Mr Watanabe believes Tepco is cutting corners because cash is tight. Even such basic tools as wrenches are in short supply, he claims. Tepco is shielded by a lack of media scrutiny. The councillor shows a Tepco gagging order that one local boss had to sign. Article four bans all discussion of the work with outsiders. All requests for media interviews must be rejected.

Those higher up the rungs appear to be treated better—though they, too, are sworn to secrecy. One engineer who has played a front-line role in helping cool the meltdown of Fukushima’s three reactors spoke unwittingly to The Economist. A swarthy man in his 50s, he had worked in nuclear-power stations for 25 years. Once he heard about the accident, he knew it was his duty to help, since so few people understood how to run reactor systems. He came to the Dai-ichi plant in May, despite family protests. Then, he said, the hardest work was done by the low-level labourers. They had so much rubble to clear, he says, that they often keeled over in the heat under the weight of their protective gear. Taken out in ambulances, they would usually be back the following day.

The engineer’s most stressful months, he said, were in June and July, once enough rubble was cleared to let him work on the systems. Seven-hour shifts usually involve an hour on and an hour off. Before he starts he must put on two sets of protective clothing, four pairs of gloves and a helmet with breathing apparatus, all of which is taped up so that not a particle of skin is exposed. At the end of every hour, he has to take off the protective layers and replace them with new ones before starting again. (Tepco says, with attention to finickety detail, that it has accumulated a mountain of 480,000 such suits in need of disposal.) During the busiest months, the hour-on, hour-off rule was foregone, the engineer said. “Though everyone is really trying their best, most of the Tepco guys in head office are clueless about what’s going on. No one has any idea of the conditions we’ve had to work under.” But then he added: “I’m not leaving this until I’m done. Never.”

The brink of bankruptcy

Government officials say some of the low-level safety breaches may be justified, given that Tepco is on a war footing and that its top priority is to stabilise the reactors. This week Yasuhiro Sonoda of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan drank a glass of water from the Dai-ichi plant in an attempt to play down safety concerns. On November 1st the government also said that it intended to invite journalists to Dai-ichi for the first time—though it muddied the message by discouraging women (for health reasons, it said, and because there are no women’s loos at the plant). The following day Tepco reported unexpected signs of nuclear fission in one of the stricken reactors, forcing it to inject boric acid against renewed radiation leaks. Tepco’s share price fell sharply.

The physical mess at Dai-ichi is mirrored in Tepco’s finances. A leaked plan drawn up with the government proposes to cut costs by ¥2.5 trillion over ten years. Government officials insist they will not let the utility cut corners on safety. But Tepco is already expected to lose ¥570 billion this financial year, rendering it barely solvent. The government was expected to confirm massive support of Tepco on November 4th, with a ¥1 trillion injection, mainly to help the 89,000 evacuees.

For those forced from their homes as a result of the disaster, compensation cannot come soon enough. But increasingly they are fed up with the shroud of secrecy thrown over the Fukushima plant and the abandoned towns and villages where families had lived for centuries. The less media coverage there is, the more they worry that their plight will be forgotten—and the less pressure there will be on Tepco to cough up proper compensation. That appears to be one reason some are starting to take the law into their own hands and smuggling journalists into the forbidden zone.

from the print edition | Asia



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Why no food from China either?

Some people have asked what’s so bad about having China mixed across our consumables without us even knowing it, in our food supply, in the sunscreen we put on our kids, in the toothpaste we brush our teeth with everyday, etc? Here is a quick summary of why 4.9 billion given to China each year to supply us with these things are of concern:

1. The former associate commissioner of the FDA sees big time issues. Very enlightening interview. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june07/foodhubbard_06-08.html

2. Unlike our president who shows up at a local hamburger joint to grab something to eat, the leaders of China don’t ever eat the same food as is giving to regular people. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/MG07Ad02.htmlThat means they never eat any foods that is given to you or me either. That says something.

3. American greedy food companies are going to China to get ingredients to get mixed across our food supply b/c it is cheap, not because it is any healthier for us than something that an american farmer can grow for you and your family. Cheap does NOT equal healthier. If it was cheap and healthier, I’d be okay with it. But it is definitely not healthier. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/08/food-safety-in-china-and-the-risk-to-the-us/ I want the healthiest food for your family and mine.

4. China has no equivalent of an FDA, there is no centralized agency that monitors food safety and “bigger, cheaper, faster is the name of the game”. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jun/26/world/la-fg-china-food-20110627. If some type of bad food scandal happens, the government executes the person and/or closes the shops a warning to others and claims to implement food safety standards but there isn’t a central agency to enforce it.

5. There are over 200 farms in China that are sourcing organic food ingredients for the USA and products coming out of there are not necessarily truly organic. This is probably happening because it is so cheap and we don't have enough organic property to keep up here with demand in the US b/c so much has been Monsanto ed. We really need to clean up our fields here in the US so we can provide truly organic, the way we all think it to be. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-report--many-organic-soy-food- brands-importing-beans-from-china-61901012.html

6. “Last year alone, 4 billion pounds of food worth almost $5 billion were imported into the United States from China and large amounts of those shipments are rotten or pumped full of cancer-causing chemicals that violate U.S. Food and Drug Administration health standards. Between 2006 and 2010, more than 9,000 dangerous goods were stopped at the border. Chinese food imported to our country has tripled over the last decade, but less than 1 percent of imports are inspected.”
http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/food-327547-chinese-china.html

7. The Chinese government has received criticism after it ruled that small amounts of potentially lethal bacterium were permissible in frozen foods. This bacterium can cause a range of mild to several infections and diseases including life-threatening pneumonia and meningitis. Watchdog groups have accused the government of "deliberately lowering food safety standards to pander to big business" http://news.yahoo.com/china-govt-under-fire-over-food-bacteria-rule-115730834.html

8.The flood gates to free trade with China opened wide in the 1970s. Corporate america jumped on the bandwagon fast because it was sooo much cheaper to get ingredients for our food supply from there instead of American Farmers and all they care about is how BIG their profit margin can be. This is soooo wrong! Corporate greed for cheap unhealthy ingredients should NEVER come before your family's health! They should be sourcing ingredients from the healthiest places, not the cheapest!!!

9. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1254746/Chinese-medicine-caused-kidney-failure-cancer-So-safe-popular-cures.html

I want to see country of origin labeling so if we want to avoid ingredients from China we can. Back in 2007 before he was influenced by big campaign contributors, Obama agreed. http://www.youtube.com/embed/zqaaB6NE1TI.

If you agree that we should not lose sight on country of origin labeling, please take a moment to sign this petition http://www.change.org/petitions/the-us-senate-tell-us-where-our-food-is-from. If you already have, please repost this message so your friends and family can become aware and do the same. Thank you.

Monday, October 31, 2011

WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO GET MAD?






If you are mad about the Japanese government lying like this expert points out, sign the petition. They will continue the lies b/c their government relies on exports. My question: At what price? Is sacrificing your family's health worth it?? Ingredients for our food supply are coming from there AND over the counter medicines too.

Just watch the video above. People will be getting cancer because of this. In Japan for sure, and people here too because they are shipping it our way!!

If this makes you mad, then take action. Sign the petition and share with all those you know and love. Encourage them to do the same, share and sign. It can't stop with you or me if change is going to happen.






Takeo Hayashida signed on with a citizens’ group to test for radiation near his son’s baseball field in Tokyo after government officials told him they had no plans to check for fallout from the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Like Japan’s central government, local officials said there was nothing to fear in the capital, 160 miles from the disaster zone.


Then came the test result: the level of radioactive cesium in a patch of dirt just yards from where his 11-year-old son, Koshiro, played baseball was equal to those in some contaminated areas around Chernobyl.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/15/world/asia/radioactive-hot-spots-in-tokyo-point-to-wider-problems.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all


Fallout forensics hike radiation toll

Global data on Fukushima challenge Japanese estimates.

Published online 25 October 2011 | Nature 478, 435-436 (2011) | doi:10.1038/478435aThe Fukushima accident led to mass evacuations from nearby towns such as Minamisoma.AP Photo/S. Ponomarev

The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March released far more radiation than the Japanese government has claimed. So concludes a study1 that combines radioactivity data from across the globe to estimate the scale and fate of emissions from the shattered plant.


The study also suggests that, contrary to government claims, pools used to store spent nuclear fuel played a significant part in the release of the long-lived environmental contaminant caesium-137, which could have been prevented by prompt action. The analysis has been posted online for open peer review by the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.


Andreas Stohl, an atmospheric scientist with the Norwegian Institute for Air Research in Kjeller, who led the research, believes that the analysis is the most comprehensive effort yet to understand how much radiation was released from Fukushima Daiichi. "It's a very valuable contribution," says Lars-Erik De Geer, an atmospheric modeller with the Swedish Defense Research Agency in Stockholm, who was not involved with the study.


The reconstruction relies on data from dozens of radiation monitoring stations in Japan and around the world. Many are part of a global network to watch for tests of nuclear weapons that is run by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna. The scientists added data from independent stations in Canada, Japan and Europe, and then combined those with large European and American caches of global meteorological data.


Stohl cautions that the resulting model is far from perfect. Measurements were scarce in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima accident, and some monitoring posts were too contaminated by radioactivity to provide reliable data. More importantly, exactly what happened inside the reactors — a crucial part of understanding what they emitted — remains a mystery that may never be solved. "If you look at the estimates for Chernobyl, you still have a large uncertainty 25 years later," says Stohl.


Nevertheless, the study provides a sweeping view of the accident. "They really took a global view and used all the data available," says De Geer.

Challenging numbers

Japanese investigators had already developed a detailed timeline of events following the 11 March earthquake that precipitated the disaster. Hours after the quake rocked the six reactors at Fukushima Daiichi, the tsunami arrived, knocking out crucial diesel back-up generators designed to cool the reactors in an emergency. Within days, the three reactors operating at the time of the accident overheated and released hydrogen gas, leading to massive explosions. Radioactive fuel recently removed from a fourth reactor was being held in a storage pool at the time of the quake, and on 14 March the pool overheated, possibly sparking fires in the building over the next few days.


But accounting for the radiation that came from the plants has proved much harder than reconstructing this chain of events. The latest report from the Japanese government, published in June, says that the plant released 1.5 × 1016 bequerels of caesium-137, an isotope with a 30-year half-life that is responsible for most of the long-term contamination from the plant2. A far larger amount of xenon-133, 1.1 × 1019 Bq, was released, according to official government estimates.


The new study challenges those numbers. On the basis of its reconstructions, the team claims that the accident released around 1.7 × 1019 Bq of xenon-133, greater than the estimated total radioactive release of 1.4 × 1019 Bq from Chernobyl. The fact that three reactors exploded in the Fukushima accident accounts for the huge xenon tally, says De Geer.


Xenon-133 does not pose serious health risks because it is not absorbed by the body or the environment. Caesium-137 fallout, however, is a much greater concern because it will linger in the environment for decades. The new model shows that Fukushima released 3.5 × 1016 Bq caesium-137, roughly twice the official government figure, and half the release from Chernobyl. The higher number is obviously worrying, says De Geer, although ongoing ground surveys are the only way to truly establish the public-health risk.


Stohl believes that the discrepancy between the team's results and those of the Japanese government can be partly explained by the larger data set used. Japanese estimates rely primarily on data from monitoring posts inside Japan3, which never recorded the large quantities of radioactivity that blew out over the Pacific Ocean, and eventually reached North America and Europe. "Taking account of the radiation that has drifted out to the Pacific is essential for getting a real picture of the size and character of the accident," says Tomoya Yamauchi, a radiation physicist at Kobe University who has been measuring radioisotope contamination in soil around Fukushima.


Stohl adds that he is sympathetic to the Japanese teams responsible for the official estimate. "They wanted to get something out quickly," he says. The differences between the two studies may seem large, notes Yukio Hayakawa, a volcanologist at Gunma University who has also modelled the accident, but uncertainties in the models mean that the estimates are actually quite similar.


The new analysis also claims that the spent fuel being stored in the unit 4 pool emitted copious quantities of caesium-137. Japanese officials have maintained that virtually no radioactivity leaked from the pool. Yet Stohl's model clearly shows that dousing the pool with water caused the plant's caesium-137 emissions to drop markedly (see 'Radiation crisis'). The finding implies that much of the fallout could have been prevented by flooding the pool earlier.


The Japanese authorities continue to maintain that the spent fuel was not a significant source of contamination, because the pool itself did not seem to suffer major damage. "I think the release from unit 4 is not important," says Masamichi Chino, a scientist with the Japanese Atomic Energy Authority in Ibaraki, who helped to develop the Japanese official estimate. But De Geer says the new analysis implicating the fuel pool "looks convincing".


The latest analysis also presents evidence that xenon-133 began to vent from Fukushima Daiichi immediately after the quake, and before the tsunami swamped the area. This implies that even without the devastating flood, the earthquake alone was sufficient to cause damage at the plant.


The Japanese government's report has already acknowledged that the shaking at Fukushima Daiichi exceeded the plant's design specifications. Anti-nuclear activists have long been concerned that the government has failed to adequately address geological hazards when licensing nuclear plants (see Nature 448, 392–393; 2007), and the whiff of xenon could prompt a major rethink of reactor safety assessments, says Yamauchi.


The model also shows that the accident could easily have had a much more devastating impact on the people of Tokyo. In the first days after the accident the wind was blowing out to sea, but on the afternoon of 14 March it turned back towards shore, bringing clouds of radioactive caesium-137 over a huge swathe of the country (see 'Radioisotope reconstruction'). Where precipitation fell, along the country's central mountain ranges and to the northwest of the plant, higher levels of radioactivity were later recorded in the soil; thankfully, the capital and other densely populated areas had dry weather. "There was a period when quite a high concentration went over Tokyo, but it didn't rain," says Stohl. "It could have been much worse."


Additional reporting by David Cyranoski and Rina Nozawa.


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  • #28970

    The Stohl Report is not surprised to many scientists in Taiwan, which is one of the countries closest to Fukushima out of Japan. We visited the Sendai, Fukushima City, and area as close as 40 km from the devastated Daiichi plant at the end of August, and meters read up to 10 uS per hour on unrestricted topsoil in the public parking lots and kindergartens, as well as bustling roads, much higher than those levels in Tokyo city. In early April, radioactivity dusts from Fukushima had reached several governmental monitoring stations in Taiwan. But as early as 2 weeks after Fukushima nuclear spill, Prof. Huh, the leading geochemical scientist in Academic Sinica in Taiwan, already detected exceptional aerial radioactive dusts in several monitoring stations (submitted for publication). In cities in Japan, we met many Japanese public, housewives, quiet but anxious, reserved but with tears and angers. The shocks were totally new to them, to the towns and separated families, as well as the plant operators and the government. The Japanese majority did not enjoy the explanation from the government, though. Many in Japan have worked to recover and scientists are trying on exposure assessment, health check-ups, as well as ways of decontamination. To us, the real amounts of emissions from the plants shall be learned and shared, that we will be able to cope with potential spills from massive spent fuels stored in many ageing nuclear plants throughout the world, as well as those in Taiwan√Ę€™s nuclear plants. (Author a professor in the Taipei Medical University, Taiwan).