SVCF Bulletin No. 41 issued on September 1, 2013

We have presented TEPCO with a series of questions

On August 12, 2013, board member Kunio Itoh and 3 SVCF members visited TEPCO and handed over a series of questions to Mr. Teizo Anayama of TEPCO. Since last September, we have pursued rounds of talks to seek permission of on-site visitation to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Our requests have consistently been refused by TEPCO Nevertheless, TEPCO agreed to stage a forum for specialists on various issues toward the decommissioning, and convened the first meeting on March 13, 2013. This visit of ours is the second.

 The questions that we put to TEPCO this time covers currently big and serious issues on contaminated water and relevant problems, namely water processing and storage conditions, contaminated water and underground water, radiation exposure for workers, ALPS and cooling water circulation, and the routine inspection of storage tanks.

During this visit, SVCF member Shinichi Nakagawa, one of our Watcher Team, gave a speech explaining the gist of the set of written questions, talking frankly for over 10 minutes.  During the discussion, an organizational arrangement in TEPCO toward decommissioning was focused and it was assured that we’d get further explanations at our next meeting. This meeting with the answers by TEPCO to our questions is scheduled to be held in early September.

 We have visited Naraha Cho town office.

On August 26, 2013, acting President Shiotani and board member Kunio Itoh visited the radiation measure section of Naraha Cho town office and held a preliminary briefing toward an agreement for radioactive monitoring inside and outside residential buildings.

 We reached a basic consent for the draft of an agreement, to be signed around October 1, 2013. Naraha Cho town office will let residents know of the agreement through the internet and will also announce the readings in their public relations magazine in December. We are allowed to distribute a handout to refugees living in various temporary accommodations.

Naraha Cho has a population of approximately 7,500 residents and is located within 20-kilometer zone from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. It was re-arranged in the areas to which evacuation orders are ready to be lifted and so many people are still living in inconvenient and restricting status.

 Invitation to Kita Tohoku meeting

In response to a request from Iwate SVCF members, we decided to organize a seminar for Iwate people on the following condition. We wish to meet as many people as we can see.

Date and time: September 7, 2013, Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 17:00 p.m.

Place: 16, Ichome O-dori, Morioka city, Iwate prefecture, “Iwate Kyoiku Kaikan” 5th floor, No. 6 meeting room, tel: 019-623-3301 ext. 425

Lecturer: SVCF Acting President Nobuhiro Shiotani


1. Conditions of SVCF and SVCF activity policy in the current business term (15 min.)

2. Easy guidance for radiation and exposure (30 min.)

3. Introduction of the principle and theory of measuring devices, and basic monitoring skills (30 min.)

Lunch (bring your own)12:15 p.m. – 13:00 p.m.

4. SVCF Monitoring Manual (10 min.)

5. Monitoring exercise (2 hours)

Please bring your own measuring device, if you have one

We have convened the board of directors

We convened the second meeting on July 26 and the third meeting on August 21, 2013 and reaffirmed the activity policy and role assignment in this business term. We also exchanged views and opinions for our future direction.

 Invitation to a regular weekly meeting at the Secretariat

 We have held liaison meetings at 11:00 a.m.every Friday in our Takinokawa Office. All interested are cordially welcome; please visit us freely

What is the SVCF Watcher Team?

SVCF Watcher Team is the body that invisibly supports and sustains discussions with TEPCO. On the TEPCO website, an enormous amount of information is uploaded daily.

In addition to this source, the Watcher Team gathers and analyzes various information appearing in papers, documents, and visual images supplied by responsible governmental offices, various committees, related academic organizations and public media.

Among the Team members are analysts of technical information at a technical management office in a private company, a designer for a nuclear reactor in Toshiba, an airplane designer as well as many specialists who have profound knowledge and experience in particular fields.

Though their compiled database, partial reports are already uploaded on the SVCF website. We strive to enrich the contents more than ever. We wish to recruit potential members for this project, and wait for your active enquiries. If you feel you may be helpful, please drop a line to Secretariat.

My Thoughts on “K-19”

I recently watched “K-19,” (2002) on DVD. K-19 is the name of a former Soviet nuclear submarine, and while the story took place inside the submarine, and the characters were members of the Soviet Navy, this was a Hollywood film, with Kathryn Bigelow as the director, and Harrison Ford, playing the lead role. It was released in Japanin December, 2002, and has been aired on television several times, so I’m sure several of you have already seen it. The film is based on the true story of how the United Statesand the Soviet Unionwere entering each others’ waters in 1961, with submarines that had nuclear missiles on board.

K-19, which had recently had its maiden voyage, has an accident in the North Atlanticnear a NATO base. The nuclear reactor cooling system breaks down. The temperature inside the reactor core keeps going up, and in a matter of hours, it could have a melt-down and could explode, and the nuclear missiles could accidentally fire. If that happens, an explosive war could take over the Cold War, and nuclear arms war could start in retaliation. In order to protect not only the submarine and all of its crew but the entire world from war, something has to be done to prevent this accident from happening.

The stokers who are in charge of the reactor core team up, and take turns repairing it. There were no radiation protection suits, and the teams, which were all wearing waterproof clothes and gasmasks all received high levels of radiation, and when they left the reactor core site, many of their internal organs had stopped functioning. This scene portrayed a ghastly accident, but the real symptoms were actually even grimmer, so the film’s portrayal was actually a toned down version.

The worst-case scenario was averted, thanks to the 8 repairpersons, but they die soon thereafter. Since that accident, K-19 continued to attack American submarines, causing fires and nuclear reactor accidents, and was finally decommissioned in 1991, with the submarine covered with battle scars. The film’s original title was “The Widowmaker,” but that is a nickname that the Navy personnel who were aboard the K-19 had given it.


The reason I wrote about this movie is because I was inspired by 3 comments that were introduced in the 40th edition of this newsletter: Eiji Oguma’s “The technical experts who follow suicidal orders,” Susumu Yasutomi’s “Reactor decommissioners should be over 50,” and Keiji Shimizu’s “Who will ultimately put a stop to the uncontrolled spillage.” After the Chernobyl accident, many of the firefighters and military personnel who were involved in the initial cleanup efforts died, and after the Fukushima disaster, the word “suicide squad” was thrown around within the walls of the power plant facility, and senior American government officials are said to have asked the Japanese government for “several hundred courageous souls.” Nuclear reactors are such that when a serious accident occurs, one must be prepared to die completing the work that must be done. However, the individuals who will be undertaking this work are of working age, young people with long futures ahead of them. This is exactly what Mr. Yasutomi meant, when he said, “irrational, inhumane, and unrealistic,” and the individuals who have offered to take their places make up the retired individuals’ group known as the Skilled Veterans Corps of Fukushima. It has been almost 2 years since the organization began, and we still haven’t been allowed to get involved in the cleanup efforts, but what’s become apparent is that the large amounts of contaminated water make up, and this is no exaggeration, the “2nd explosion.” Watching the young people die from radiation in “K-19” helped me realize the importance of our organization once again.” (H.Y., SVCF group member)