The aftermath of last month’s Kagoshima earthquake disaster has been the understandable focus of Japan’s Press. It seems that there will be reduced Press interest in F. Daiichi until recovery sufficiently progresses on Kyushu Island. We will continue to post what we find concerning nuclear energy that may be of related interest to F. Daiichi…

  • Post-WWII fisherman file suit against Tokyo for a radiation exposure cover-up, in Kochi District Court. The plaintiffs are twenty-three still-living fishermen and members of 20 families of men who have died over the past six decades, who were on ships near Bikini Atoll when the Castle Bravo hydrogen bomb was detonated. They allege that the government has illegally withheld information for six decades that would have possibly allowed them financial compensation. Records from 1954 indicate that 556 of the ~1,000 vessels in the region around Bikini Atoll might have experienced fallout. Tokyo found that ten of the vessels probably did receive detectible fallout, so those crews were included in a financial compensation package. But, this information was not made public until 2014. One tuna boat, Fukuryu Maru No.5, was immediately downwind of the blast and showered with considerable bomb fallout. One of the crew died six months later of hepatitis, exacerbated by reduced immune system function. Those with Acute Radiation Syndrome symptoms fully recovered a few weeks later. The United States agreed to pay Japan $2 million in compensation in January, 1955, to be divided among the Fukuryu Maru No.5 crew. The other ten exposed crews were found to not have received enough exposure to be harmful, but were also compensated. However, the fishermen filing the Kochi suit have not been party to the pay-outs, and they want $18,000 each because they might have experienced some fallout exposure. The suits says (in part), “We lost an opportunity to be compensated because the government deprived us of the chance to prove our exposure by ending the official investigation, with Japan and the United States closing the curtain on the issue through a political solution in 1955… The information was deliberately kept from us. It is beyond words to describe the extent of psychological damage and outrage of former crew members about how their health problems were neglected.” The suit also says Tokyo failed to conduct health check-ups on crews of ships other than Fukuryu Maru No.5. They claim that many shipmates suffered radiation-related health effects, but were never acknowledged as such. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160509_23/http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201605090088.htmlhttp://www1.american.edu/ted/lucky.htm [Comment – As with most, if not all of the post-Fukushima lawsuits filed over the past five years, the Kochi plaintiffs want compensation due to the mere possibility of low-level radiation exposures. Thus, we feel this story warrants inclusion in our Fukushima Updates.]
  • This week’s Nuclear Blogger’s Carnival is at Atomic Insights. The authors include Dr. Jim Conca, Andy Dawson, Dr. Gail Marcus, Dan Yurman, Meredith Angwin, and this week’s host Rod Adams. Topics include comparing fracking gas pollution to coal, using nuclear to decarbonize UK power generation, a Texas firm files for a nuclear waste storage license, and much more. (Aside – If anyone knows of nuclear writers who might wish to have their articles included in future Carnivals, please let us know. This site hosts the Carnival regularly, and we are in constant contact with the other participating bloggers. – End aside.) http://atomicinsights.com/carnival-nuclear-blogs-308/