Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and the 2020 Olympics
The following is drawn from a Report to the National Committee, Green Party of the U.S. (GPUS) on February 17 by Tom Bailey, a member of the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA), and Stephen Verchinski, a member of the Green Party of New Mexico. Both of the authors are elected delegates to the International Committee of the GPUS.
HARRISBURG, Pa – Members of the National Committee of Green Party of US (GPUS) adopted Proposal 940 on December 2, 2018. Among other goals, [Proposal] 940 called for a representative of GPUS to travel and tour in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (Fuku Station) sits east of the mountains, directly on the ocean beach. Proposal 940 continued on to state, “A video recording of the tour should be made to educate the world community. Greens Japan must know GPPA and GPUS as solid allies.”
Green Party of Pennsylvania
On March 11, 2011, an offshore earthquake triggered a tsunami which smashed onto the Pacific Ocean shoreline in Eastern Japan. The tsunami knocked out electricity to several of six nuclear reactors at Fuku Station. Without electricity to continually pump water inside the reactor to cool the nuclear fuel, the fuel core heated up. This increase in temperature created a hydrogen bubble inside each of three concrete reactor buildings. Over a period of a couple days, the hydrogen bubbles burst out of these reactors. These implosions blew holes in the walls and the floor of each building. The implosions spewed high level radioactive Cesium particles throughout the Japanese countryside and onto the Pacific Ocean. US Navy sailors on warships traveling towards Fuku Station, reported being covered by “clouds” of particles. Residents refer to these events as 311.
In April, 2011, the Japanese Government told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it had suffered an International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) Level Seven nuclear catastrophe. This announcement to the IAEA created automatic permission for Japan to increase its Maximum Radiation Dose (MRD) per year for residents. IAEA rules permitted Japan to increase the estimated dosage each person will receive in one year from 1 millsievert to 20 millsieverts.
In 2013, a second INES event was declared by the Japanese Government. A Level Three event was announced due to the constant, uncontrolled release of coolant waters from the three blown reactors at Fuku Station. By coming into contact with remaining uranium fuel, the cooling water became contaminated with radionuclides. The hydrogen explosions had destroyed the reactor floors, so the radioactive cooling water left the concrete structure like human waste in a toilet bowl. The deadly water flushed down through the sandy soil and joined the Pacific Ocean as groundwater. TEPCO was unable to stop this groundwater contamination of the Pacific Ocean since it began on 311.
[Japan chosen to host 2020 Olympics]
Shinzo Abe became Prime Minister in December, 2012. He told the IOC [International Olympic Committee] radioactive fallout and releases from Fuku Station were “under control” in September, 2013. As a result, the IOC named Japan as the host country for the 2020 Olympics. Now nine years down the road, everyone can see that Mr. Abe was being optimistic or naive. His administration has been unable to stop water from Fuku’s blown reactors from flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
The maximum radiation doses men, women and children are suffering surrounding Fuku Station and the Exclusion Zone communities remains out of control. The radioactive fuel has continued to burn at Fuku Station and in the communities within the Exclusion Zone for almost nine years. Japan has both a Level Three and Level Seven INES nuclear emergencies occurring at the same time. [Near Fuku Station, east of Fukushima City,] you will see current radiation readings between 10 and 15 millsieverts per year. This is the reason for the Exclusion Zones. The readings are so high and the danger to public health is clear to many.
The IOC and its corporate sponsors have chosen to direct their athletes to live and perform in the same region that is simultaneously suffering two INES nuclear emergencies. The IOC and their athletes apparently seek to entertain the residents of Japan, not help them address and mitigate their contaminated coastline and mountains.
[Green Party Open Letter]
In the Open Letter to both the IOC and Athletes’ Council, we asked these bodies to meet with members of Greens US and Greens Japan. We also requested the IOC to transfer the 2020 Olympic Games out of Japan due to the radiation contamination.
On January 21, 2019 we carried our Open Letter to Rhonda King, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council [ESC], in New York City. This Open Letter requested an Audience with the ESC to discuss the ideas expressed in our Open Letter. We then walked over to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. We met with two employees of the Mission that day and gave them a copy of the ESC Open Letter.
On July 26, 2019, [Tom Bailey] traveled to Tokyo and met several members of Greens Japan. First, [we saw] the March, 2019, video produced by Green Party of Japan (Greens Japan) featuring Ikuko Hebiishi, an elected Greens Japan member on the Kooriyama City Council. Kooriyama is about 60 kilometers from Fuku Station.
Later the same day, [Tom] traveled by bullet train to Fukushima City. We shot [four videos] while visiting the Exclusion Zone in Fukushima Prefecture. We were there on August 26, 2019, with Hiroko Aihara, a free lance journalist native to Fukushima City.
To date, ESC, the U.S. Mission to the UN and the AC have not responded to either Stephen or [Tom]. These Open Letters and my research are posted on the website maintained by the Green Party of Allegheny County [GPOAC].
[Our plan going forward is to] tell these people [IOC, the Athletes’ Commission of the IOC, the President of UNESCO, and the U.S. Mission to the UN] what we believe has happened and what they should do as a result. The more opinions these people hear from citizens around the globe, the more likely they will take the difficult steps to implement resource sustainability as a priority. If we all do this, we will act as the proactive stewards our clean air, pure water and land need.
The Green Party of PA (GPPA, https://www.gpofpa.org/) is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party’s four pillars: grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please visit www.gpofpa.org or email [email protected]. Please follow GPPA on social media: Facebook and Twitter.
For further information, please see:
Proposal 940, National Committee, Green Party of the U.S., passed on December 2, 2018,
“Green Party Requests UN to Takeover Fukushima Reactors,” Green Party of PA (GPPA) news release, January 10, 2019, https://www.gpofpa.org/green_party_requests_un_to_takeover_fukushima_reactors;
“Fukushima: Eleven Years After,” GPPA news release, February 12, 2019,
“About Greens Japan,”
“Letters to United Nations, International Olympic Committee, and other organizations,” Green Energy Working Group, Green Party of Allegheny County (GPOAC),
“Playlist of YouTube Videos produced by Tom Bailey on his 2019 trip to Fukushima, Japan,”
“Seven years on: Sailors exposed to Fukushima radiation seek their day in court,” The Nation, March 9, 2018, https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/seven-years-on-sailors-exposed-to-fukushima-radiation-seek-their-day-in-court/;
“The official report of Executive summary The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission,” National Diet of Japan, 2012,
“Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Anand Grover,” U.N. Human Rights Council, May 2, 2013, https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session23/A-HRC-23-41-Add3_en.pdf;
“Lessons from Fukushima,” Greenpeace, September 9, 2011,
“Japan must halt returns to Fukushima, radiation remains a concern, says UN rights expert,” U.N. Human Rights Council, October 25, 2018, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23772&LangID=E;
“Fairewinds Recommendation for Fukushima Daiichi,” Fairwinds Energy Education, 2018,
“Japan to Nationalize Fukushima Utility” by Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, May 9, 2012, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/business/global/japan-to-nationalize-fukushima-utility.html;
“Experts letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,” September 13, 2013,
“International cooperation [on] the consequences of the nuclear accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant,” U.N. General Assembly, December 21, 1990,
“Chernobyl: A site transformed,” European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,
“Nuclear Waste: Abandonment versus Rolling Stewardship,” Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, http://ccnr.org/Rolling_Stewardship.pdf
Photo Credit: Screen capture from a video by jimbonumber9
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster Continues