SVCF Bulletin No. 49 issued on March 20, 2014

6th Board Meeting held

On March 13 (Thu) the 6th SVCF board meeting convened in the Takinokawa office and adopted the Business Plan and Budget for the year 2014.  We also accepted the resignation of the President Yamada, who has been under medical treatment, and selected the Vice President Nobuhiro Shiotani as President (with tenure till March 31, 2015) for the vacancy.  At the same time, we accorded the previous President Yamada the title of Honorary President.

Though the Business Plan for the upcoming year does not largely differ from previous plans, we have added one item, namely “Execution to research and prepare for the participation in tank patrol” for the contaminated water storage tanks in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.  As for the new budget we are committing to drastic expenditure cuts, to the level of approximately one-third (Yen 2,567,000) of the current value, due to decreasing donations.

In addition, we distributed specific assignments to various board directors for the new business term.  Ms. Kazuko Sasaki, Vice President, who had sustained the secretariat, left that role and assumed a post of board director without a particular role.  For the vacancy, new President Shiotani assumes the assiduous task of choosing an appropriate person.

Before the board meeting, we noted the resignation of Director Yukio Itoh and selected Mr. Yasutaka Sugiyama as a new Director.  We are posting the full text of the Year 2014 Business Plan and Budget on our website.

Inaugural remark by the new President Nobuhiro Shiotani:

I have assumed the role of acting President since President Yamada became unable to execute duties on account of his health condition.  I will act as Representing Director for the rest of my one year tenure approved by the General Assembly and by the Board of Directors.  I sincerely request your assistance and patronage to maintain SVCF activities.

The proposal, “Approach to have retired technicians and skilled workers participate in the clean-up works in the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant”, as presented to TEPCO and the Japanese Government on August 3, 2011 is our concrete plan to achieve the SVCF objective.  This proposal is still valid and active.  In the year 2013 activities, we have tenaciously worked on each of those Diet members that have showed a particular interest in our activities regardless of their party, and have extensively invited Diet members to attend our 6 rounds of regular Diet Meeting.

Our monitoring team has continued radioactive measurement in the 20 kilometer zone, mainly in Kawauchi village and Naraha town, for indoor and outdoor radiation of individual houses, with the trust and reliance of affected inhabitants.

In the course of searching a possibility to participate in clean-up work of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, a task that has consistently been denied by TEPCO, we suggested a contaminated water tank patrol as an appropriate alternative in an agenda and approved “a commencement of concrete research and preliminary work toward the enrolment in the tank patrol” during an ad hoc meeting of the Board of Directors, on January 30, 2014.  At present, Directors and the Secretariat staff are chiefly researching the possibilities.

We have also reported our assertions and activities by dint of SVCF Bulletin and Web services.  Activities in the Year 2014 will be in continuance of those of 2013.  A nationalized projection on clean-up works is to be achieved by a TEPCO subsidized decommissioning company.  The Government and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry have started to organize and integrate various committees which were founded on a case-by-case basis to cope with pending issues.  The current stage will be crucial.  It is recertifying our consecutive legitimacy that fundamental causes of a series of various accidents occurring since last year must be handled and solved under the scheme of national project, with adequate number of capable human resources.  We have to exert much more efforts toward a realization of the national project.

By way of assistance and support for sufferers, we could obtain trust and reliance from them in monitoring activities for indoor and outdoor radiation of individual houses located in the 20 kilometer zone.  We are likely to receive more requests from now on.  We plan and try to provide more opportunities for SVCF members to see, feel and understand the actual situations on the spot, something which is unable to acknowledge away from the site.

As for contaminated water tank patrol, we carefully gather necessary information and plan to draw up a scheme of reinforcing our organizational structure in order to be able to accept a subcontract from TEPCO.

We cut back on expenses in order to maintain SVCF.  We keep standing firm as a third party independent of TEPCO and governments.  Thanks to your precious donations we can manage radiation monitoring in Kawauchi village and Naraha town.  On the other hand, disappointment and disintegration seem to erode our unity because we are still, 3 years after the main accident, being denied any participation in our original and ultimate objective, namely the on-site clean-up works of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.  Consequently, our budgetary condition has become quite austere.

We have cut down the 2014 budget to a total slightly over one third of that in 2013.  The Board of Directors affirmed on March 13, 2013, that we still continue routine monitoring activities while drastically cutting costs at the same time.  In consideration of this background, we genuinely solicit your donation and assistance for our endurance.

The 29th Regular Diet Meeting was held.

On Thursday February 27, 2014, at 11:00 a.m., the 29th regular Diet meeting was held in meeting room no. 109 of the House of Councilors Hall.  Its main purpose was a further discussion on the serial theme discussed in the previous agenda and the agenda before that, i.e. the participation in the contaminated water storage tank patrol.

At the beginning, acting President Nobuhiro Shiotani briefed the following. In accordance with our intention as proposed to TEPCO and the Government immediately after our establishment on August 3, 2011, we address to TEPCO that we apply for a tank patrol bid as a commercial entity which is entitled to benefit from industrial injury insurance.  We will not sit still and wait a day longer, when the clean-up work becomes a national project.

Following two currently active projects, namely, an approach to national politics toward the realization of national project and an indoor radiation monitoring in the 20 kilometer zone based on an agreement with such suffered local governments like Kawauchi village and Naraha town, we wish to pursue the possibility of a third project, which enables us to enter an actual accident site for the first time after the accident.

Then Director Kunio Itoh reported the gist of the actual problems regarding tank patrol (scope of work, staff rotation, supplied equipment, health control and administration, on-site training, qualifications, and more diversified subjects) and the establishment of a committee for preliminary study.

An SVCF regular member, Mr. Nobuyuki Tokoro, presented a detailed explanation on subcontracting and its necessary eligibility requirements (capabilities on liability for damages and so forth) and his ideas and approaches for a future agenda, based on a previous meeting with Mr. Kenzo Takase, General Manager for Nuclear Safety at TEPCO, on February 21, 2014.  A Q and A session ensued.  Our discussion became focused on how and in what way the subcontracting should be performed and what organizational formation and capabilities would be needed for SVCF.  The meeting closed at 13:00 pm, with a number of items carried forward.

Diet members who attended were Ms. Hiroe Makiyama, member of the House of Councilors, Democratic Party, and Ms. Tomoko Abe, member of the House of Representatives, Future Japan Party.  Ms. Makiyama greeted the audience citing an emphasis on “I will add the crisis of contaminated water leak in my questions during the Diet session.” and Ms. Abe did similarly on “I will extensively advocate the water crisis and radiation exposure for workers.”

We visited TEPCO

On February 21 (Fri), 2014, Mr. Nobuhiro Shiotani, Mr. Kunio Itoh, Mr. Nobuyuki Tokoro and Mr. Ken Iemori visited TEPCO and talked with Mr. Kenso Takase, Manager for Nuclear and Land Affairs.  This visit was part of our exploratory work regarding the participation in the contaminated water tank patrol.

We explained once again to TEPCO our proposal which we had worked on, and asked what qualifications were needed to participate in the tank patrol.  On the TEPCO side, they asked what preparations SVCF had done.  After the exchange, TEPCO definitely answered that they had no plan to enter any cooperation with the SVCF at the moment.

We talked for an hour.  TEPCO emphasized “We prefer firms which have already established a confidential relationship with us. We cannot release the specification on tank patrol because of our intellectual ownership rights.”  SVCF side rebutted “Is it a matter of authenticity on the results of patrol?  Anyway, we wish to know how the patrol is concretely carried out.”

Consequently, we agreed on the continuation of dialog and TEPCO’s deliberation of what they could reveal in the next round.

Indoor radiation monitoring held in Naraha Town

From February to March, on two occasions, we did indoor radiation monitoring of 4 houses in Naraha town in Fukushima prefecture.  Attendees were Mr. Katsuyoshi Itoh, Mr. Hiroyuki Takagi, Mr. Noriyuki Kumagai, Mr. Takeshi Matsumoto, and Mr. Nobuhiro Shiotani in the 1st tour, Mr. Jiro Yamada, Mr. Toshio Ando, Mr. Katsuyoshi Itoh, Mr. Noriyuki Kumagai, Mr. Nobuhiro Shiotani in the 2nd tour.

We had heavy snow, as rarely seen, in the Hama Dori when we measured 3 houses on February 12 (Wed) and 13 (Thu).  Regardless of the national holiday on the day before our visit, officials of the town office had kindly checked the route condition to targeted places.  As snow piled up 10 to 20 centimeters around a requestor’s house, we decided only to measure indoors and to take the outdoor readings later, once the snow had melted.

On March 10 (Mon), we measured again a house which we had monitored on November 20 last year.  The owner wished to know to what extent radiation had been reduced, before and after an official clean-up applied last year in this area.

In comparison to previous data, the radiation level had certainly diminished.  After our 1st round, we had sent a measurement report with photos indicative of highly radiating spots so that they could cope effectively.  Our suggestion seemed helpful in reducing the ratio.  As it was a very cold day with little snowing, outdoor work was fairy tough, but we could achieve favorable results.

2014 Business Plan

Starting 4/1/2014
Ending: 3/31/2015

Basic policy

To continue our attempt to assist systematically, continuously, completely and comprehensively in the cleanup efforts of the nuclear accident that happened at TEPCO on March 11, 2011.

In order to decrease the amount of radiation exposure of young people involved in the cleanup efforts, we are suggesting that older, retired technicians utilize their years of experience and know-how to take over these efforts.

We will once again ask the government to accept the Skilled Veterans Force’s offer to assist.

Business description

1. Environmental Radiation Monitoring of the Inside of Fukushima Daichi and its Surroundings

A.  Working in the Special Decontamination Areas and Priority Contamination Surveillance Areas with disaster relief organizations in accordance with the Handling of Radiation Contaminants Law, we will measure the air dosage rates inside the homes and in surrounding areas within the community. We would continue the work we started in 2013.

B.  With intent to start helping with the patrol of the contaminated water tanks that are on the TEPCO Fukushima #1 property, we will start doing research and pre-implementation work.

C. Dispatching experts to the “contamination information plaza,” set up by the federal andFukushima prefectural governments

i.  Dispatch experts to mentor the “contamination experts” that are registered for the “contamination information plaza,” which was set up by the federal (the Environment Ministry) and the Fukushima prefectural government

ii. Supportive projects for the cleanup efforts related to the TEPCO nuclear accident a.  There are jobs other than the aforementioned tank patrolling assignments, which carry with them relatively little responsibility but high levels of radiation – our goal is to give these high priorities. Keep up our continuing requests to the federal government and TEPCO to allow us to assist in these efforts b.Training programs

a.  Basic radiation training and training for radiation testing.

Conduct these training events in major cities nationwide once a year, in Hokkaido, Tohoku, Jyoshinetsu/Hokuriku, Kanto, Chubu, Kansai, Chugoku/Shikoku, Kyushu.

b.  Decontamination training.

Actually go to the locations where decontamination and rubble cleanup efforts are occurring, and conduct training there

c. Publicity and recruiting business

a.  Conduct speaking engagements and meetings in major cities nationwide, and recruit SVC members. Send instructors out to locations where lectures are requested.

b.  Create  flyers and pamphlets