No Olympics or Paralympics in Radioactive Fukushima!
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Children are our most beloved and cherished gift and they are also the most vulnerable to the generational damage of man-made radiation in air, food, soil and water. Around the world children who are currently adolescent and possibly younger are in training to compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Japan. Their parents most likely have no idea that some of the venues are near the most devastating and ongoing nuclear and industrial disaster in world history, Fukushima Daiichi.
On March 11, 2016, the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima triple nuclear meltdowns, the Japanese Olympic minister Toshiaki Endo stated to the Associated Press that preliminary softball and baseball could be moved from the host city of Tokyo to Fukushima Prefecture. But it gets worse, now soccer has been added too. This isn’t mere speculation, in fact organizers are developing J Village, only a few miles from Fukushima Daiichi, into a training facility for Japan’s soccer team and possibly more. J Village was used as a disaster staging and support facility during the early days of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
SO HOW DID WE GO FROM THE WORLD'S WORST NUCLEAR AND INDUSTRIAL DISASTER TO ONE OF THE VENUES FOR THE 2020 GAMES? In a stunning development in 2013, Japan’s Olympic bid was won by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when he promised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that "it (Fukushima Daiichi) has never done, and will never do, any damage in Tokyo”. Consequently, the IOC and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) are now left to engage in a dangerous game of bait and switch by using venues not only in Tokyo as originally agreed upon, but also in Fukushima Prefecture, not far from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster site.
Holding Olympic games in Fukushima Prefecture will endanger young athletes. To date there is no solution in sight to the ongoing radiation releases leaking into air, soil, food and water not only from Fukushima Daiichi but also from areas around the country that have been used for the open storage and incineration of toxic and radioactive tsunami rubble and garbage.
The man in charge of decommissioning Fukushima Daiichi, Naohiro Masuda, stated on NHK television in Japan that the solution to the radioactive leaks at Fukushima Daiichi “still needs to be invented” and appealed for international assistance. Meanwhile, the Japanese government and IOC are planning for children, parents and coaches worldwide to travel to the region for the 2020 Olympics.
Hundreds of types of radioisotopes are emitted in nuclear accidents, many of which are long-lived and remain hazardous for millions of years. Easily inhaled, they pose a significant danger to everyone in affected environments and certainly to athletes during strenuous competition. Consider these facts:
**There is no safe dose. Women are 2 times more vulnerable to the harmful effects of ionizing radiation than men; girls are at 10 times more at risk, boys are 5 times more at risk. The Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation 7 (BEIR 7) report states "it is unlikely that a threshold exists for the induction of cancers" meaning that any dose of radiation, no matter how small, carries health risks.
Following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster it became scientifically evident that the DNA damaging effects of ionizing radiation are passed on to future generations.
**Highly radioactive water used to cool Fukushima Daiichi’s damaged reactors is leaking and also being intentionally discharged into the Pacific Ocean every day. In addition, highly radioactive soil and other toxic waste has been moved to locations all over Japan and stored in open fields or incinerated by the ton. In one location, nearly 11 million tons of bagged radioactive garbage, soil and more is accumulating in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture.
**Radioactive hotspots have been detected in other areas of Japan including Tokyo. In one case even further south, in Yokohama, a petition on behalf of public schools and childcare facilities is pleading for the removal highly contaminated mud from rainwater recycling tanks, school roofs and gutters.
**Bioaccumulation and migration of radionuclides are extremely complex issues. Greenpeace has reported high readings in areas of Fukushima Prefecture where extensive decontamination measures had already been taken by the government. This information has informed local citizens who had been told previously that they could return home.
**Tokyo Electric and Power Company (TEPCO) the owner of Fukushima Daiichi reactors, as of March 2017, has not been able to locate the molten fuel that continues to release significant amounts of radioactive material into the Pacific Ocean. TEPCO is incinerating more than 8 tons of garbage per day, much of it toxic and radioactive, with plans to burn 90% of all waste on site. It's just one example of an aggressive nationwide incineration campaign underway for several years.
**TO MARKTHE 6th ANNIVERSARY of the ongoing Fukushima disaster, March 11, 2017, nuclear engineer, Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education, provides the most recent update on the condition and near impossible task of "cleaning up" the Fukushima site:
**Drinking water and food are critical concerns, because internal contamination is the most dangerous form of radiation exposure. Trace amounts of radionuclides from Fukushima Daiichi have been found in the tap water of numerous cities, and some samples contain both Cesium 134 and 137. Cumulative trace amounts can pose a significant health problem because there is no safe dose.
**Laboratory tests have documented that some of the highest concentrations of radiation from Fukushima Daiichi are airborne which then settle to the ground. Recent samples from vacuum cleaner bags collected in Japan show readings as high as a shocking 4,454 Becquerel’s per kilogram.
**The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) guideline for the public is 1 millisievert per year compared to Japan's 20 mSv/year since the disaster. By hosting the Olympics, Japan is willing to expose not only their own citizens but also children, young adults, families and coaches worldwide to higher than publicly acceptable levels of radiation per the ICRP. The emergency guideline of 20 mSv/year was never intended by ICRP to be a long term solution.
Allowing the Olympic and Paralympic games in Fukushima is nothing less than preposterous, because it's impossible to shield children from widespread radioactive contamination. Even after 30 years, the 30 km area around Chernobyl remains an exclusion zone, yet only 5 years after the Fukushima disaster began there are misguided plans to train young athletes in the town of Nahara at J Village, which is located 19 km (12 mi) from Fukushima Daiichi.
Here in the United States, Presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders has stated grave concerns about the dangers of nuclear power and has called for the immediate closure of the Indian Point nuclear reactors near New York City. Now that you know the facts, we petition you to learn as much as possible too and then work to stop any and all plans that will endanger athletes, their families and coaches worldwide due to the Fukushima Daiichi ongoing nuclear disaster at the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
Holding the 2020 Games in Fukushima or in fact anywhere in Japan will not, in reality, make the Fukushima Daiichi humanitarian and environmental crisis go away. It will only spread it much farther afield. The whole world is watching this very dangerous game.
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