Monday, June 17, 2013

#Radioactive Japan: LDP's Policy Chief Sanae Takaichi Declars "No One Has Died from Fukushima Nuclear Accident, We Have No Choice But Use Nuclear Plants"

That's how Asahi Shinbun reports. It is hard to tell for certain without the full context, but I think she meant "no one died from acute radiation sickness caused by the nuclear accident", just like many foreign experts including former NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko (though now a changed man, it seems, after having visited Fukushima in 2012) have said over the past two years.

People in Japan who read the Asahi article are outraged. Several workers have died at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant while working to contain the accident. There are people who committed suicide after the nuclear accident because of radiation contamination ruining their crops and cattle. There are people who died of hunger and thirst inside the 20 kilometer evacuation zone, as officials, being bureaucratic officials, prohibited the family members from entering the zone to rescue their parents, siblings, relatives. (Why these people nonetheless followed the officials' orders is another issue.) That zone wouldn't have been set if there had been no nuclear accident. There are people who died on the way to distant shelters, who died at shelters for lack of food and heat, and who wouldn't have needed to be taken to the shelters, spending 10 or more hours on an uncomfortable bus, if there had been no nuclear accident.

But they certainly did not die from acute radiation sickness, for sure.

From Asahi Shinbun (6/17/2013):


"No one has died from the nuclear accident", says LDP's Policy Bureau Chief Takeichi


Sanae Takaichi, Policy Bureau Chief of LDP, said in a meeting of Hyogo Prefecture LDP in Kobe City on June 17, "It is not that there has been a death from the nuclear accident, including at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. We have no choice but utilize nuclear power plants as long as we secure maximum safety", emphasizing her (the party's) intention to restart nuclear power plants.


Emphasizing the policy to restart nuke plants because "no one has died" may draw criticism, when there are many people displaced because of the nuclear accident.


The final draft of LDP's campaign promise for the coming Upper House election includes the push for restart of nuclear power plants by saying the party will "make maximum effort to win the understanding of local municipalities". Ms. Takaichi said the stable supply of power is indispensable for maintaining the competitiveness of industries, and that "a nuclear power plant costs enormous amount of money if we think about the cost of decommissioning, but while it is operating the cost is relatively cheap."

Her boss, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has been busy peddling Japanese nuclear power technologies and plants in Asia and central Europe, saying his country has learned the lessons from Fukushima and the country's nuclear technology is better than ever.

In other words, après moi, le déluge.


HIkarius said...


The spokesman of the Chinese communist regime said that "no one died on Tiananmen Square" after the bloody crackdown in June 1989.

The "conservative right-wing" politicians in LDP look more like the Chinese that they hate the most...

How should we interpret such similarity and what is the bottom line in the stupidity of Japanese politics?

Anonymous said...

Probably she was referring to radiation poisoning, the government has already admitted that there were close to 1000 deaths, or mor, don't remember, as a result of the evacuations (or lack of preparedness thereof as a result of the safety myth.)

Anonymous said...

Been seeing this "nobody has died from radiation" rubbish in various places. Just because nobody wants to prove a link doesn't mean it isn't a significant contributing factor.

Anonymous said...

Right, and those 3 thyroid cancers discovered in year 2012, climbing to 12 in this first half of 2013, none of them died yet so no need to worry... and never mind we barely escaped turning half of Japan into nuclear wasteland (worse case scenario envisioned by Kan counselors and the US), let's play Russian roulette a little longer.

Anonymous said...

Ah. Thyroid cancer rubbish.

Anonymous said...

@anonimous above: you'd talk differently if it were your son... probably.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:22PM, the number of children with A2 (nodules larger than 5 mm, cysts larger than 20 mm) in Fukushima was smaller than other prefectures tested by the government. Unofficial tests by doctors in Tokyo, Kobe show the similar results, that the number in Fukushima is totally in line with everywhere else in Japan. Actually, Fukushima's number is lower.

But people like you would simply dismiss them as "they lie". Or "you lie".

Then the next thing you would say is a direct quote from the likes of Caldicott. "Thyroid cancer in children are so rare! One in million!" without realizing you are comparing apples and oranges.

Anonymous said...

The quote comes from prof. Takeda blog; he is mentioning cancers, not cysts.

Today ms. Takaichi retracted ALL she said and apologized. Now she says she has no opinion whatsoever on energy matters: she has as been lobotomized directly by the top of her party for talking nonsense nuclear propaganda without being able to do it and for doing it right before the elections.

Well, it does not matter: her party is one and the same with nuclear industry and it wants to restart the nuke clunkers despite the deaths Fukushima Daiichi disaster caused and despite the risk of an even larger catastrophe that might have made Tokyo inhabitable. Takaichi now looks just like a pathetic pawn.

Anonymous said...

Apart from the no-deaths stupidity, running NPPs is cheaper than decommissioning them? Is there really no limit to how nearsighted a person can become?

Anonymous said...

the diagnosis is probably total blindness, rather than short sightedness.
Firstly I doubt Takaichi knows what she is talking about -- my impression is that she was just parroting some propaganda she happened to hear.
Secondly, talking about running costs, she is not taking into account the cost of final disposal of the "spent" fuel generated while running the plant (paid both cash and health of the people living nearby the final disposal site). Unfortunately electric utilities do not have to account for that cost either, hence they find it economically convenient to restart the plants.

OT: apparently Japanese npps had 5 beyond-design (想定外) events in the last 8 years. What safety factor is the nuclear industry using?? 1.001?

Anonymous said...

By claiming "no deaths" Takeichi is doing a great service to the anti-nuclear agenda - i for one hope he continues to make this ludicrous claims loudly.

What he possibly fails to realize is that the ability to fool the people no longer exists- the tipping point has been reached.

And in this new context, claims such as this are so obviously false that they appear to be an act of desperation to the masses.

Revealing desperation in public relations is akin to spilling blood in shark infested waters - it will only serve to hasten the feeding frenzy.

Perhaps he is instead a very smart man and his real intent is to destroy nuclear by feigning support, however I don't think it's the case - I more believe he is receiving truly horrible public relations advice


Anonymous said...

James, it is "she".

Anonymous said...

@ anon at 11:45: My thoughts exactly. Keep it running now because it's cheaper than decommissioning. But decommissioning costs will STILL come up and there will be more to decommission, i.e. additional fuel. Not to mention the potential added cost in case of an accident. I was thinking near-sighted because she obviously sees the numbers for running vs. closing down a plant, just nothing beyond.

Anonymous said...

ok, I guess it depends on what point in time you account for spent fuel costs: when you use the fuel (blindness) or decommission time (shortsightedness).

Recently in Japan you often hear her reasoning: [nuclear has high upfront costs and] decommissioning is expensive hence we need to restart the clunkers.

High upfront costs are one reason not to invest into nuclear (more risk), if the utilities chose to invest anyways it is their problem, not the ratepayers.

As you say, at some point they will have to decommission anyways so that is another fixed cost utilities will have to pay anyways (unless they go bankrupt by then) so this alone is not a reason to restart the clunkers.Running costs are on the low side but only if someone else pays for the "spent" fuel liability, otherwise every day you run the plant plunges you further into the red.

Anonymous said...

Agree on all points.

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