SVCF Bulletin No. 40 issued on August 2, 2013

Greeting by Nobuhiro Shiotani, acting SVCF President

As we previously have informed our readers, our President, Yasuteru Yamada, had an extensive surgery this April and has been hospitalized till now.  He appears to be recovering at a good pace after the surgery; however, it will take a longer time to assume the responsibility for and management of SVCF. Until his return, I, Nobuhiro Shiotani, Vice President, represent and manage SVCF under the guidance and suggestion from President Yamada.

To date, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant clean-up work has still been assigned to TEPCO, to bear the whole blame accepted substantially under the scheme of Mid-and-long-Term Roadmap towards the decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4.  Even in an election for the House of Councilors conducted in mid July, the F1 clean-up issue was entirely set aside.

Amid the currently negative trend, we are very concerned that the clean-up work might proceed in such a stopgap manner, as seen typically in the water crisis, while entirely lacking concrete strategy.  Though the reality is far from a due process toward reactor decommissioning, SVCF still can’t approach our consistent objective, that is, “We actually participate in clean-up works in order to reduce radiation exposure for young workers.”

In consideration of the severe surrounding conditions, available manpower and the potential capacity of SVCF, the newly (in June) established Board of Directors convened for a second round of the Board Meeting on July 26, 2013 in the current business term, determined a concrete action policy, and elected responsible directors as follows.

1) Reach-out to state affairs: Mr. Tatsushi Okamoto, Mr. Hirosi Ando, and Mr. Yukio Itoh
2) Enhancement of dialogue with TEPCO: Dr. Kunio Itoh, Mr. Masaaki Takahashi
3) Watcher Group activities: Dr. Nobuhiro Shiotani
4) Radiation Monitoring and Support for suffered people: Dr. Kunio Itoh, Mr. Hiroshi Ando
5) Public Relations: Mr. Yosio Hirai, Mr. Masaaki Takahashi
6) Treasury: Ms. Kazuko Sasaki

In order to reaffirm our banner and mission and to deepen our action policy, we offer a skull session for both regular and supportive members at 10:00 a.m. on August 9, 2013 in the Takinokawa office.  Please feel free to come and join us there.

Report on the result of petition campaign

As we notified you in a previous bulletin, a batch of signed petitions, gathered twice with your sincere efforts since last October to January this year, was accepted officially on May 1, 2013 as “Petition of the establishment of a national project toward the decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant” by the Chairperson Mr. Kenji Hirano of the House of Councilors, through the intervention of Ms. Eri Tokunaga, Democratic Party, a member of the House of Councilors.

The petition was forwarded to the Business and Industry Advisory Committee in the House of Councilors for deliberation; however, it was not put on the agenda because of a delay in the Diet management, and it was treated as a pending issue at the end of 183th Diet session together with a censure resolution against the Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe.

To those who contributed to the petition campaign, we will report individually, with our heartfelt gratitude.

We introduce considerations in accord with our banner and mission.

While we are proud of the fundamental concept for creativity and pioneer spirit on our standing, we are concurrently encouraged by finding and understanding similar ideas and comments in other mediums. Those reports will act as precious resources that help us review and consolidate the SVCF stance.  Herein, we aim to introduce some of them.

In a page entitled “What is the Senior Veterans Corps for Fukushima?” on the SVCF Website, there is an article of the “raison d’être of SVCF”, a discussion on mission statement which summarizes views and opinions from many regular and supportive members.  Please read this.

A group of technical experts to follow orders that entail possibilities of deadly outcome.

Comment by professor Eiji Oguma, Keio University (“Contemporary Thought” published by Seido Sha Publisher on March 2013, excerpted from an interview with former Prime Minister, Mr. Naoto Kan, “Change after March 11 viewed from the official residence of Japan”)

It is good to remind us that there is no legal framework in Japan for issuing a merciless order which forces someone to death, in the worst case. In order to maintain the system of nuclear power generation, we must organize a group of technical experts who follow orders that potentially can be deadly. Unless otherwise legalized, this must be an ethical deficiency, not in the meaning of emotional and institutional theory, but of logic. In that context, Michael J. Sandel, American philosopher, expressed immediately after the Fukushima nuclear accident that the nuclear power generation could be an ultimate touchstone philosophical theme in democracy.  This differs rather from a resolvable issue, for instance, a disparity between Tokyo and locals, within the framework of democracy.

We should argue in both the Diet and among the public: “Which section of the central government organizes the group, who governs, who takes responsibility, in what law and by what methods of managing the victims, in cases where such a law conflicts with the existing constitution and civil law, or else work toward discontinuing nuclear power generation as a constitutionally unnecessary subject.”

 “Decommissioning workers should be over 50 years old.” By Wataru Tokutomi, Tokyo University (excerpted from “Escape from phantom” published from Akashi Shoten in 2012)

Then, we should clarify a grim policy absolutely responsible for all nuclear materials after we remove fuel rods and radiogenic substances and decommission damaged reactors. (…) Concurrently, we should greatly enlarge and enforce research and educational institutions to cope with increasing nuclear waste. To achieve this, we must never rely on the young generation. It is quite illogical, inhumane, and unrealistic for the young who are vulnerable to radiation, to research and handle harmful nuclear waste. Engagement in these fields should be limited to seniors over 50 years old. We should re-educate those who are noble and willing to devote the rest of their lives in order not to leave negative burdens to the next generations. All we have to do is to train them to be experts. In return, we guarantee them life-long employment in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and in other decommissioning sites. If they pass away, we engrave their name respectfully in a monument erected on the site.

“Who finally stops uncontrollable reactors?” a posting by a company executive, Keiji Shimizu.  (“Voice” column in Asahi News Papers on July 3, 2013.  “I wish to ask Prime Minister Abe of his preparedness.”)

It has passed two years and several months since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. There was a change of government in this period. The new government is about to shift to promoting the resurgence of nuclear power. Under current circumstances, I should consider this issue afresh.

In short, “What if the severest nuclear accident happens again and reactors run automatically in an uncontrollable condition, who will finally stop them?”

TEPCO had examined an evacuation plan during the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. They might have decided to save lives of their employees, in view of reactor explosions, and to let huge amounts of radioactive plume flow off naturally to any direction. Nevertheless, it is speculated that the then Prime Minister Naoto Kan who rejected the TEPCO’s request even simulated a grand-scale scenario or “Exodus from the whole Metropolitan area”.

If all the radioactive materials had been emitted into the atmosphere, Japan would have lost her capital. In order to minimize the damage of a Nuclear Power Plant accident, we need a ‘suicide corps’, prepared to rush to the highly radioactive site, to vent reactors, and to supply cooling water. In advance, we must need an organization to choose personnel for such a corps and to issue the deployment order.