Protest against the Construction of the Ohma Nuclear Power Plant – the meeting with the vice minister

A group of people from civil society and some like-minded MPs including the members from the Women for No Nukes and Atsuko Ogasawara (see the earlier post, “A Woman who resists alone the nuclear power plant”) visited the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Oct 10 to protest against the resumed construction of the Ohma nuclear power plant. The group met the vice minister and demanded to reverse the approval given by the minister for resuming the construction.

The group pointed out: The Ohma plant would have to be shut down soon after its completion of the construction according to the Strategy for Energy and Environment released this September by the Government which says there will be zero nuclear power plants by 2040; The government would be demanded higher compensation for the cancellation of the construction at the later stage by the company (the company demands around 8000 oku yen (approx. 10 billion USD) for the cancellation at the current stage – 38% built); The construction should follow the new safety guidelines which will be issued early next year; etc.

(Photos provided by the Women for No Nukes)

“You should stop the construction before the nuclear fuel rods are loaded.  The nuclear power generation is not the option for Japan which is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons. Please think about the safety in people’s lives,” Atsuko appealed.

The vice-minister mentioned nothing about people’s safety: There is no legal ground to reverse the decision on the resuming of the construction; The idea of zero nuclear power plants in the 30s presented in the “Strategy” is not 100% confirmed (?!), which depends on securing the supply of the new energy sources; The constructing company will have to follow the new guidelines but that is under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Environment.

The protest was followed by the meeting where the response from the Ministry was reported to 180 participants. Atsuko called for support in developing the idea of her mother to create the space where children can mingle with animals on the land which Atsuko and her mother have defended against the plant construction.

Another meeting was organised a week after with the representative from J-Power, the company constructing the plant. The company representative said the nuclear power generation is necessary. The negotiations and protests have to be continued.

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Protest against Resuming the Ohma Nuke Plant Construction

The Government of Japan hammered out in “the energy-environmental strategy” this September: zero nuke in the 30’s; shutting down the plants at work at the end of their 40 years life; building no new plants (apparently the strategy is inconsistent). However it gave its go-ahead to the plants in the pipeline.

The half-built (38%) Ohma plant which has been stopped since the quakes and disaster in the Northeast Japan is one of them to resume its construction. Anti-nuke activists in Japan pointed out there will be no point to continue the Ohma plant which has only completed its framework, and furthermore, designed to fully run by MOX fuel which Japan has no precedent and so no tested technology for safety.

The emergency session inviting Ms. Ogasawara from Asako House (see the post A Woman who resists alone the nuclear power plant) will be organised at the office building of the upper house members on Oct 10 by Women for No Nukes. It will lodge a protest with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

(8 October 2012)

Litigation against the Tokyo Electric Power Company: A woman calls for thorough investigation and judgment

Ruiko Muto, an anti-nuke activist in Japan leads the group of 1324 people in Fukushima who have sued the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

They lodged the criminal complaint at the Fukushima District Public Prosecutors’ against 33 individuals in TEPCO for:

i) Professional negligence resulting in death and injury;

ii) A violation of the Law for the Punishment of Environmental Pollution Crimes

Relating to Human Health; and

iii) Detonating of Explosives.

They claim exposing people to radiation is the offence of injury.

The building of the No.4 reactor at the Fukushima First nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company, 5 July 2012 http://photo.tepco.co.jp/library/120711_01/120711_02.jpg
Part of the building housing No. 4 reactor was blown off by the hydrogen explosions last March. There are 1533 used and unused nuclear fuel rods contained in the cooling pool inside this building. It is concerned that the broken building may not have enough strength to hold the pool with the nuclear fuel rods and it would further spread radiation if the rods are exposed to air.

Ruiko talked about her aim to sue the power company. “I want the issues which were omitted by the investigation made by the government to be disclosed one by one as well as clarify the individual responsibilities for the accident.”

Ruiko practiced her quest for “producing energy not just consuming it”. She lived in the forest in Fukushima building her house, collecting forest products, managing by solar and other natural sources of energy. She has been expressing her concerns of the danger and discriminatory system of the nuclear power cycle since she encountered the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986. Her warning became a reality. The explosions and subsequent accidents at the Fukushima nuclear plant contaminated the forest she lived in with the invisible radioactive substances.

The letter of accusation says, “to charge someone with their crimes is in turn to examine our way of life”.  The accusers are committed to doing so.

They are preparing for the 2nd submission in this November aiming for more than 10,000 people nationwide to be accusers.

Earlier, 42 TEPCO shareholders have sued 27 individuals in top management of TEPCO. They claim around 5.5 trillion yen (around 70 billion US dollar) as compensation for the negligence liability. It is the largest-ever compensation claimed by the shareholders’ litigations in Japan.  The accusers-shareholders want the company to spend the amount for the compensations of the victims of the nuclear accident caused by the company.

References:

Fukushima Net

http://www.fukushima-net.com/sites/content/193

Fukushima nuclear disaster accusers

http://kokuso-fukusimagenpatu.blogspot.com/

Our Planet-TV
http://www.ourplanet-tv.org/?q=node/1321

Presentation by Ruiko Muto, recorded live on August 19, 2012

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/24807674

TEPCO shareholders’ litigation

http://tepcodaihyososho.blog.fc2.com/