Urgent Request to UN : Intervention to Stabilize Fukushima Unit 4

submitted by Gabrielle Price
[courtesy of Fukushima.greenaction-japan.org]

ADD YOUR VOICE TO THIS PETITION HERE

May 2, 2012

To: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

An Urgent Request on UN Intervention to Stabilize the Fukushima Unit 4 Spent Nuclear Fuel

Recently, former diplomats and experts both in Japan and abroad  stressed the extremely risky condition of the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4  spent nuclear fuel pool and this is being widely reported by world media. 
Robert Alvarez, Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies  (IPS), who is one of the best-known experts on spent nuclear fuel,  stated that in Unit 4 there is spent nuclear fuel which contains  Cesium-137 (Cs-137) that is equivalent to 10 times the amount that was  released at the time of the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
Thus, if an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to  drain, this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving  nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.
Nearly all of the 10,893 spent fuel assemblies at the Fukushima  Daiichi plant sit in pools vulnerable to future earthquakes, with  roughly 85 times more long-lived radioactivity than released at  Chernobyl.
Nuclear experts from the US and Japan such as Arnie Gundersen, Robert Alvarez, Hiroaki Koide, Masashi Goto, and Mitsuhei Murata, a former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland, and, Akio Matsumura, a former UN diplomat, have continually warned against the high risk of the Fukushima Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool.
US Senator Roy Wyden, after his visit to the Fukushima Daiichi  nuclear power plant on 6 April, 2012, issued a press release on 16  April, pointing out the catastrophic risk of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4,  calling for urgent US government intervention.
Senator Wyden also sent a letter to Ichiro Fujisaki, Japan’s  Ambassador to the United States, requesting Japan to accept  international assistance to tackle the crisis.
We Japanese civil organizations express our deepest concern that our government does not inform its citizens about the extent of risk of the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool.  Given the fact that collapse of this pool could potentially lead to  catastrophic consequences with worldwide implications, what the Japanese  government should be doing as a responsible member of the international  community is to avoid any further disaster by mobilizing all the wisdom  and the means available in order to stabilize this spent nuclear fuel.
It is clearly evident that Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool is no longer a Japanese issue but an international issue with  potentially serious consequences.  Therefore, it is imperative for the  Japanese government and the international community to work together on  this crisis before it becomes too late.  We are appealing to the United Nations to help Japan and the planet  in order to prevent the irreversible consequences of a catastrophe that  could affect generations to come. We herewith make our urgent request  to you as follows:
1. The United Nations should organize a Nuclear Security Summit to  take up the crucial problem of the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent  nuclear fuel pool.
2. The United Nations should establish an independent assessment team  on Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 and coordinate international assistance in  order to stabilize the unit’s spent nuclear fuel and prevent radiological consequences with potentially catastrophic consequences.

30 April 2012
Shut Tomari (Japan)
1-2, 6-4 Higashisapporo, Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo 003-0006 Japan
TEL: +81-90-26951937 FAX:+81-11-826-3796 email: kaori-izumi@ta3.so-net.ne.jp

Green Action (Japan)
Suite 103, 22-75 Tanaka Sekiden-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8203 Japan
Tel: +81-75-701-7223 Fax: +81-75-702-1952 email: info@greenaction-japan.org

Endorsed by:
Hiroaki Koide Kyoto University Nuclear Reactor Research Institute (Japan)
Mitsuhei Murata Former ambassador to Switzerland and to Senegal
Board member, Global System and Ethics Society (Japan)
Akio Matsumura Former United Nations diplomat
Robert Alvarez Senior Scholar, Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, D.C. (USA)
Masashi Goto Former Nuclear Plant Engineer (Japan)

Signing organizations: 72 Japanese organizations have signed this petition (as of 30 April 2012)
1. Shut Tomari, Hokkaido
2. Green Action, Kyoto
3. Citizen’s Nuclear Information Center, Tokyo
4. Osaka Group against Mihama・Ooi・Takahama Nuclear Power, Osaka
5. Aging Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Group, Tokyo
6. Stop Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant!, Shizuoka
7. Espace des Femmes, Hokkaido
8. “Let’s learn Pluthermal” Shiribeshi Citizen’s Network, Hokkaido
9. Hairo Action Fukushima, Fukushima and Evacuation Areas in Japan
10. STOP MOX! Fukushima, Fukusima
11. Fukushima Moonlight, Fukuoka
12. Yawatahama Women’s Group to Protect Children from Nuclear Power Plant, Ehime
13. Ikata People Against Mox, Ehime
14. We Do Not Want Plutonium! , Tokyo
15. Genkai Nuclear Power Pluthermal Trial Support Group, Fukuoka
16. Genkai Nuclear Power Pluthermal Trial support Group, Fukuona
17. Pluthermal and 100 Years of Saga Prefecture Group, Saga
18. No Nuclear Plants! Yamaguchi Network, Yamaguchi
19. Food Policy Center・Vision21
20. Genpatsu Yamenkai, Fukuoka
21. Japan Environmental Law Lawyers Association (JELF)
22. Nonviolent Direct Action Network (HANET)
23. Anti-Nuclear-Power and Nuclear Fuels Reprocessing Protest Advertising Group, Tokyo
24. Kochi Green Citizen’s Network, Kochi
25. Kaku-no-Gomi Campaign, Chubu, Nagoya, Aichi
26. Aloha from Hawaii
27. Tohoku Asia Information Center, Hiroshima
28. No-Nukes Citizen’s Network, Tokushima
29. No-nukes Net Kushiro, Hokkaido
30. Fukushima Meeting for Environment, Human Rights and Peace, Fukushima
31. FoE (Friends of the Earth Japan), Tokyo
32. Citizen’s Group on Nuclear Waste, Horonobe, Hokkaido
33. Team From Now On, Hokkaido
34. No Nukes! Protect Children from Radioactivity
35. Concerned Citizens for Children’s Human Rights, Ehime
36. Protect the Sea of Sanriku from Radioactivity, Iwate
37. Iwate Organic Farming Study Group, Iwate
38. Dandelion House, Tokyo
39. Decommission All Nuclear Power! Women’s Group for Protection of Kariwa Village, Niigata
40. Sapporo Shoku Machi Network, Hokkaido
41. Citizens Wind for Peace, Tokyo
42. Together with the Earth NPO, Osaka
43. Kawauchi Tsuyukusa Group, Kagoshima
44. Group against Construction of Kawaunchi Nuclear Plant, Kagoshima
45. Hassei Group against Ikata Nuclear Plant, Ehime
46. For Citizen’s Autonomy, Hokkaido
47. No-Nukes Women Group・Hokkaido, Hokkaido
48. Hokkaido Peace Net, Hokkaido
49. Future for Fukushima Children, Hokkaido
50. Good Bye Kashiwazaki Kariwa Nuclear Power Project, Niigata
51. Weaving A Better Future Mothers’ Group
52. Group Aozora MeeMee
53. Mothers and Fathers’No-Nukes Declaration 2011
54. Southern Osaka Network for Protection from Radioactivity, Osaka
55. Kansai Network on Protection of Children from Radioactivity, Kansai
56. Journey To the Future
57. Morinokoya
58. Kaburaya
59. Nishiyashiki
60. Dandelion Fortress, Fukuoka
61. Dohatsuten Wo Tsuku Kai, Fukuoka
62. Global Ethics Association
63. Buppouzan Zenngennji
64. STOP Nuclear Plants BEFORE Huge Quake Strikes!
65. Lee Group to Prevent Earthquake Disaster and Nuclear Accident
66. Rokkasho Village・ Home of Flowers and Herbs, Aomori
67. Anti-TEPCO-Nuclear-Power Consumers Group, Tokyo
68. Miyazu Mitsubati Project, Kyoto
69. Citizen’s Plaza, Minoh , Osaka
70. Monoh Citizen’s Group on Good Bye Nuclear Power, Osaka
71. Campaign Fukuoka against Nuclear and Uranium Weapons, Fukuoka
72. Seeking for Japan-US Security Treaty Termination Notice, Tokyo

[Here is the link to the US petition to add to the growing number of signatories – we HAVE to let the UN and the Japanese people know – that the people of the United States SEE what is happening, regardless of how sugarcoated the news is or has been ignored entirely, to the great peril of the people and creatures who inhabit this beautiful planet.  Nothing else you do in your lifetime will be as important as this.  Please share, tweet, Digg, Reddit and take this viral.  Thank you – GP]

Reference
1. http://bousai.tenki.jp/bousai/earthquake/seismicity_map/?area_type=japan_detail&recent_type=100days
2. http://jp.reuters.com/article/jp_quake/idJP2011040401000586
3. http://www.beyondnuclear.org/home/2012/4/16/japanese-diplomat-matsumura-warns-of-fukushima-daiichi-unit.html
4. http://jp.wsj.com/japanrealtime/blog/archives/10616/
5. http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2012/04/17/fukushima-daiichis-achilles-heel-unit-4s-spent-fuel/
6. http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/the-largest-short-term-threat-to-humanity-the-fuel-pools-of-fukushima.html
7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-alvarez/the-fukushima-nuclear-dis_b_1444146.html
8. http://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/after-tour-of-fukushima-nuclear-power-station-wyden-says-situation-worse-than-reported
9. http://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/video-and-audio/view/wyden-discusses-a-recent-onsite-tour-of-fukushima-japan-and-recovery-efforts
10. http://akiomatsumura.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/corrected-Mitsuhei-Murata-Fukushima-Dai-Ichi-Cesium-137-04-03-2012.pdf
11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bq81boQL_Y
12. http://akiomatsumura.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Letter-to-Prime-Minister-Noda-by-Amb-Murata.pdf

h/t http://theintelhub.com/2012/05/02/an-urgent-request-on-un-intervention-to-stabilize-the-fukushima-unit-4-spent-nuclear-fuel/

Occupy Journalism Q & A with TRC’s Gabrielle Price

[A question/answer session from an anonymous journalism student from Sweden for Occupy.  We both agreed it would be good to share this for all the young journalists and budding occupy media teams.  So, here you go.  I was honored to be asked to participate.]

Why did you decide to pursue a career in Journalism?

I wrote for a school newspaper in Jr. High and was curious about journalism then and after several creative writing courses in High School – but I didn’t actively pursue it until I was well into my 30’s – mostly because it flushed well with my photography.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words but many of the photographs I took at the time were art photos and descriptions came with them as a matter of course.

My actual career background is in the administrative field [much of that was correspondence and research]. The people I worked for liked the manner and style of my writing and I was highly praised for my ability as a researcher.

After my last administrative job was phased out, I actively pursued photojournalism as a means of sharing information.  Being a politically active book nerd, my skills simply married well with journalism.  I took the leap with my first blog and received a lot of good feedback.  Later, I started a music project which garnered some international attention for my writing and since then, I managed to cross the music writing over into activism.  Two things I am very passionate about.  This started me down a path of deeper research and intelligence gathering – and the study of journalism in history.

In many ways, journalism pursued me.  I’m also a Gemini – ruled by Mercury – the sign of communication and information.  Though, many don’t put stock in those things, I can attest to that being a strong personality trait.

Are you glad that you did?  Do you have any regrets?

This is an interesting question seeing as I feel like I had no choice but to write.  Like an artist creates, a writer writes.  I’m glad my work helps others and in this day and age of corporate news – it feels like my duty to continue.  I’m honored to witness history as it unfolds and try my best to report factually and objectively – which was near impossible to do in political writing.  The deeper I researched, the more I learned and it became a personal awakening process.  For that, I am also glad and couldn’t regret a thing.  It’s been as much a spiritual journey as a professional one.  Seeking to uncover the truth, by it’s very nature, is a spiritual undertaking.

It’s impossible to regret growth as a human being – it is experience that makes the writer, after all.  Though there are few posts by me on TRC, I like sharing others work.  I’m working on a book, building a radio station as well as news videos, which doesn’t lend itself well to news writing at the moment.  There are a lot of great reporters and writers out there and I like to share the ones that impress me.

What successes have you realized as a result of your career choice?

Mostly accolades and the honor of seeing my work alongside some of my personal heroes in the field.  Also using my work to help others less fortunate or that do not have a voice.  Success is a personal reflection because it is defined differently by an individual rather than what society deems successful.  For me personally, I have printed letters and emails framed from other writers and artists I admire – and have met one of them last year who was quite a mentor for me.  So I guess I feel my successes are in my growth and the personal connections with like minded people.

This is also a mixed blessing as some writers may not be socially in tune or egotistical which is a turn off.  But that’s life and all part and parcel of the experience.  That doesn’t make a person’s work any less valuable a contribution.  I mean, Hunter Thompson may have been considered an asshole by many – but his writing put Rolling Stone on the map, in my opinion.

What have been your greatest challenges (or what are your greatest challenges now)?

Money.  I think most writers would say the same.  The corporate media machine and technology has lulled a lot of people into a false sense of what journalism is or should be.  It does get a bad rap.  I feel that is changing however, so honestly, it’s an exciting time to be involved in media as much as it is precarious.   There are many who probably couldn’t hack it and aside from money, the greatest challenge for me was cutting through my own cognitive dissonance in order to report without mainstream bias.  This is much harder than it sounds simply because the mainstream has done it’s job well.  Being a little ‘gonzo’ helps.Hunter Thompson remains one of my favorite writers and he said that it is near impossible for regular people to get good information during wartime.  This makes the job of a journalist much harder as well.  Meeting and overcoming challenges to deliver honest reporting is pretty much how any journalist worth their salt will keep their integrity and the loyalty of their readers [or viewers].  Even when the political climate makes them fickle…and fickle is being kind.  It’s a tough audience out there right now.I’ve always admired Keith Olbermann’s ability to maintain loyal listeners.   I’m not sure European readers will know who he is – but he was on a cable station called Current which is owned in part by Al Gore.  He was fired abruptly two weeks ago and was one of the only remaining voices on [pseudo] mainstream that supported and reported on Occupy.  I hope he gives Current a Gonzo bitch-slap so hard that Al’s wife Tipper will feel it.Don’t get me started on Tipper.

Are there any “unknown” pieces or aspects of such a career that might be helpful for an outsider to consider?

Be prepared to handle the truth when you find it – and be prepared to tell it to others thoughtfully not cautiously. The duty of any journalist is to report what IS – to the best of their ability with the information available.  ‘Available’ does not mean you don’t have to research.  Dig until you are satisfied in your own mind and heart that you have discovered something of value to your readers.  It is ultimately about them.Lastly, if you want to improve a thing [your writing, the political landscape, the press] be critical of it.  In order for the art of journalism to survive corporate control – it needs more critics not suck ups.  This means you need to have a thick skin and an iron constitution.  Journalism is not for the weak of heart.  The old saying that the pen is mightier than the sword is true – words are very powerful things – wield them with respect for the truth and you will never injure yourself.Others may get hurt, however – but if a small few are hurting the 99%, the environment or our democracy – being critical of them is just helping karma along.  It is way past due for a nudge.

Any personal advice or last comments?

Keep a copy of the First Amendment where you write.  I recommend watching the movie “Good Night and Good Luck” at least twice to understand why one of the highest awards for American journalism has Edward R. Murrow’s name on it.  If we were all half as good as he was – we could mop the floor with MSM here.  That time is coming because this economy is seeing major publications laying people off.  Citizen press and underground media need to get their foundations established now – there is a window and I’m unsure how long it will be open.  Connect with like-minded thinkers, photographers, videographers and not worry about trying to “make it” in a dying corporate media culture.  Leave that old cold war corpse to rot…it’s time to get on with the business of telling people the truth.US media is about as useful as a stars and stripes band aid on compound fracture.