14 Feb 2016
STAND against Oldbury: latest newsletter
Wrong technology, wrong place, better ways to power our future
March 11th Commemoration of Fukushima nuclear accident
As in previous years, we will meet at Lydney docks to join together to remember this event and take time to think of those people who were told, like us, that Nuclear Power is safe, but who are still evacuated from their homes and suffering health consequences 5 years on. Meet at the standing stones at Lydney Docks at 6.00pm on March 11th. There will be speakers and music. Please join us to sing and talk and throw flowers into the water (See film of 2014 here and Molly Scott Cato in Strasburg last year here).
As we come up to the fifth anniversary of the meltdown of the three nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan, the situation there just moves further out of control. Fukushima Port was found to have Strontium90 levels of 1,000 Bq/l (becquerels per litre) this last June, up from 700 a few months before. The US sets the “safe” limit in water at 0.3 Bq/L. Strontium90 is known as the 'bone-seeker' isotope. Its presence in bones can cause bone cancer, cancer of nearby tissues, and leukemia. Additionally, ionizing radiation levels of 9 Sv/h (sieverts per hour) were found on the ground outside reactor 2. This would give you a lethal dose in 30 minutes.
Tepco, who own the plant, plan to begin freezing an ice wall around the plant by the end of the year, hoping this will stop the 400 tons of water a day currently flowing into the plant mixing with the radioactive fuel and then moving out into the Pacific Ocean (Bloomberg, 10/10/15). They have tried to do this before and failed. A 30 metre deep steel wall that they have just finished along the sea edge has begun leaning due to the pressure of ground water behind it.
In order to cut the long-term cost of the existing Fukushima Daiichi evacuation burden, evacuees' re-housing subsidies are being cut and they are being told that they can return home, some to still radioactive areas that cannot be successfully decontaminated. Less than 15% of evacuees questioned said that they wanted to return to their former homes, most of which have become ghost towns, with no shops, schools or other resources.
Mushrooms measuring 14,290 Bq/k were being sold - the safety limit in Japan is 100 Bq/k. (Fukushima Diary, 23/11/15). These mushrooms were twice as radioactive as mushrooms grown in the same spot last year. Thyroid cancers have risen to 230 times the normal rate in Fukushima prefecture.
Belgium has just restarted two ancient and cracked nuclear power plants that could unleash another nuclear disaster right in the heart of Europe. One of the aging reactors suffered a fire and explosion weeks ago and Belgium’s own nuclear safety chief called for checks after discovering 16,000 cracks! Neighbouring countries are raising the safety alarm and people in Holland and Germany have been out on the streets protesting. Such a serious radioactive risk in a highly populated area affects us all across Europe.
Nuclear map of Europe
We were sent a map recently with details of all the working Nuclear Power stations in Europe, showing their age, output, predicted life-span, etc, and thought you might find it interesting and informative. It can be seen on the home page of the STAND website.