The 42nd Regular Diet Meeting
Report by a reformed nuclear power proponent
On May 28 (Thu), 2015 at 11:00 a.m. to 13:00 p.m., the 42nd regular Diet Meeting was held in meeting room No. 103 of the House of Councilors Hall at Nagatacho, Tokyo. In this round, Mr. Toshio Kitamura, who had worked in The Japan Atomic Power Company, lectured for approximately 50 attendees.
Mr. Kitamura, who is known as the author of “Regrets of a Nuclear Power Proponent”, has for long been engaged in the nuclear power industry. He served as counsellor in “Japan Atomic Industrial Forum Inc.” after his resignation from “the JAPC”.
He was among those personally stricken by the a nuclear accident in 2011 and has since been compelled to live in a temporary shelter, because his house, built fifteen years ago, was only 7 kilometer away from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. After the nuclear accident, he joined in the Reconstruction Committee of Tomioka Machi, Naraha Gun.
As a result of the sudden evacuation and his subsequent life in an inconvenient shelter dwelling that has hardly improved at all, he recognizes his responsibility as a formerly firm nuclear power proponent, and expresses the view that local people must not be affected by any nuclear accident. Since then he has made many proposals and recommendations concerning the responsibility for the nuclear accident, assistance and indemnification for nuclear clean-up workers and victims, and given strong views about the timetable toward the reconstruction, from his perspective as a former firm nuclear power proponent.
He brought forth many facts and stories based on his real experiences, with the aid of concrete data, photos, and illustrations.
Tomioka Machi, in which Mr. Kitamura’s house stands, has by and large not been cleaned up, it still retrains many highly radiated areas, and has been classified as “difficult-to-return zone”.
Though the route six has been totally opened and JR Jyoban line has been partly opened, the rebuilding of crucial infrastructure for daily life, such as hospitals, schools, care facilities, still lags behind to the recovery schedule, leaving lots of unsettled issues.
Given these circumstances, those who agreed to return home are fewer than half of the persons who were forced to evacuate. The attitude among these people has gradually changed and those who wish to change their ill-defined life style and future are increasingly leaving their home town.
In closing, Mr. Kitamura mentioned the potential of SVCF and advised us about various technical and practical approaches that may be useful in the relations with local governments and organizations in the affected area. We are very grateful to him for his meaningful talk.
Fukushima Exchange Report
As announced in the previous bulletin on the coverage of a clean-up worker in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and the participation in the radioactive monitoring activities in Minai Soma city, the public interest incorporation organization, Skilled Veterans Corps for Fukushima, will strive for exchange activities with nuclear clean-up workers and local people in the affected area. In April, Director Hiroshi Ando and regular member Hidekazu Hirai visited Kawauchi Mura in Futaba Gun and Naraha Machi in Fukushima prefecture and also performed radioactive measuring at Minai Soma city in the 18th round of “Radioactive Monitoring Project around the environment surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant”
In the monitoring mission, Director Tatsushi Okamoto joined as well. In May, he also visited Fukushima and talked to a clean-up worker in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant at Hirono Machi, joined in the 19th round of the similar monitoring mission, and exchanged with local people.
The contents of the talk with the clean-up worker are too sensitive in substance to be announced in this column; however, what Mr. Okamoto heard told an entirely different story, compared to that of TEPCO and the central government. We received invaluable information at this time.
We performed radioactive monitoring in Minami Soma city at a vast area in every fifty-meter meshed interval grid and at several individual houses. We split out ten members into two groups. Each group measured at pre-determined points (three and six meters in front of the alcove, a half meter above ground at four corners of the yard, surface contamination ratio of one centimeter square, and indoor aerial dose rate) and aerial dose rate of a hotspot. We also collected soil samples for the analysis in a laboratory.
We will keep on engaging in activities of this type. If you are interested, please contact the secretariat.
Invitation to the next 43rd regular Diet meeting
Date & Time: June 25 (Thu) at 11:00 a.m. – 13:00 p.m. (Entrance ID is allotted at 10:30 a.m. in the main lobby.)
Place: B109 room of the House of Councilors’ Hall
Agenda: Annual report of the public interest incorporated association, Skilled Veterans Corps for Fukushima
We have deliberated the policy of SVCF in many rounds since last year. Finally it was decided to continue the management and operations under the new leadership with a new policy, which was adopted in the temporary round of the General Assembly and the Board of Directors in March 2015.
Since April, the new leadership has already begun activities in the new business year. We will open a regular General Assembly on June 11 (Thu) to review annual reports of the previous business year and a new business plan, and will decide the new body to accomplish the objective.
For SVCF regular and supporting members, we will explain the effect in the next 43rd regular Diet meeting. We wish to discuss the future activities, so we ask you to join in the session. Please reserve time for your participation.
Invitation to the 44th round after the next 43rd round regular Diet meeting
Date & Time: July 10 (Fri) at 15:00 p.m. – 17:00 p.m. (Entrance ID is allotted at 14:30 p.m. in the main lobby.)
Place: (Room not fixed) of the House of Councilors’ Hall
Agenda: The past year and future of “Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommission Facilitation Corporation”
The decommissioning of the damaged reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is a quite difficult task, which is estimated to last thirty to forty years, including the removal of melted fuel debris.
For this quite long range project, the central government didn’t entrust the clean-up work to TEPCO, but has proceeded by themselves with decommissioning and polluted water measures by use of a newly established entity in last April called “Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommission Facilitation Corporation”
In the 44th round, guest speakers, who had served twice before, will explain the policy and organizational structure of “Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommission Facilitation Corporation”, and the current status of progress. They will talk of the latest condition so participants will be able to update their understanding hereof. Let’s wait and see.