Jun 24, 2012

Iwaishima’s 1,100th weekly anti-nuclear demonstration on June 20, 2011: to protect an island with a 1,100-year history.

This video shows a demonstration by the people of Iwaishima, a small island off the western end of Honshu, in the Inland Sea, against a proposed Kaminoseki nuclear power plant 4 km across the water.

Iwaishima Google MAP

Iwaishima was featured in a 2009 documentary film, “Ashes to Honey: The search for energy independence, in Sweden and Japan.” by a filmmaker, Hitomi Kamanaka. http://888earth.net/en/introduction.html

This trailer shows an amazing scene of the people of Iwaishima protesting on the sea. *********************************************************************************************From the Iwaishima People’s Association’s blog:

The Iwaishima People’s Association holds an anti-nuclear demonstration every Monday afternoon which reached a total of 1,100 times on June 20, 2011.

Our slogans are simple.
“We oppose a nuclear power plant.”
“Let’s protect clean ocean.”
“Let’s protect our hometown.”

Iwaishima’s demonstrators are 80% women, as the demonstration was originally started by the Iwaishima women.

When the nuclear power plant issue arose at the end in 1982, about 20 fishermen’s wives walked around saying “We are opposed to nuclear power plant.” and “We don’t want a nuclear power plant.”  They were told by a policeman to stop it.

They asked “Why can’t we walk around saying we oppose a nuclear power plant?”  They were told that would mean a demonstration, and they would have to request a permission.  They said, “Fine, then let’s get a permission to do a demonstration.”  This is how the Iwaishima demonstration began.

The flag held by a person walking at the head of the procession, stating “We oppose a nuclear power plant (原発反対)” is the one that has been used from the very beginning.

Initially there were a lot of issues: the police would not readily process the request, and the person who went to the police station on the mainland Honshu would waste a whole day of work.

Recently, there are different issues such as a change of demonstration route due to the aging of the participants and cancellation due to bad weather, but we were able to continue it as sort of a weekly town meeting.

Women chitchat between chanting slogans.

Certainly 1,100 is a big number, but it’s nothing to be happy about.

It represents the scale of torment suffered by the Iwaishima people who had to continue to express their intention to oppose a nuclear power plant and also of the indignation towards the movement to build a nuclear power plant without understanding their feelings.

Strength of the Iwaishima women who were able to keep laughing as they marched on despite such hardships is one of the reasons Iwaishima has been able to continue to oppose a nuclear power plant for nearly 30 years.

An excerpt from English information on Iwaishima and planned Kaminoseki nuclear power plant.

Since 1982, the people of Iwaishima have led a determined and patient campaign demonstrating
their objection to the construction of the nuclear power plant. Iwaishima is a small island just 4
km from Tanoura. It is an island of breathtaking natural beauty and its 500 inhabitants continue
a traditional, sustainable lifestyle of fishing and farming that has existed for countless
generations. But this way of life will be destroyed if the construction of the nuclear power plant
goes ahead. The local ecosystem will be disturbed, perhaps irrevocably, and the inhabitants will
no longer be able to live off the area’s fresh fish and rich harvest. Though they have been offered
sizeable financial inducements to accept the project in the form of indemnity, the people of
Iwaishima have expressed their overwhelming preference for a traditional life of sustainable
development. The Iwaishima people have rejected the offer of a lifestyle of financial enrichment
brought about through simultaneous environmental impoverishment.

Also worthy of mention is the Iwaishima “Kan-Mai” festival, which has been in existence since
the Heian era in 886. The people of Iwaishima proudly continue to celebrate their historical and
cultural heritage in a festival that has been held for over 1,100 years.

Jun 15, 2012

A Moving Video by a Protester

There was a huge demonstration in front of the Prime Minister’s official residence in Tokyo by ordinary citizens, on June 15, 2012, against the restart of nuclear power plants in Japan, all of which have been stopped for routine inspections since May 5, 2012.

The Japanese government is on the verge of approving the restart of Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui prefecture.

People have actually been protesting in front of the PDespite the greatest-ever turnout of 11,000 protesters, the demonstration was not broadcast on TV, shielding the rest of the country from learning what was going on.

What is so moving about this short video is that you can hear the person who took the video crying.  You feel like you are in the crowd with her, sharing the emotion of people who gathered there, desperately wanting to change the future of Japan, not only for the sake of their children, grandchildren and future generation, but also for the sake of the planet Earth.

You hear the crowd shouting in unison, “Saikado hantai! (再稼動反対!) meaning “We oppose the restart!”  

“11,000 public citizens gathered in front of the Prime Minister's official residence today to  protest against the restart of Oi nuclear power plant.  I videotaped from the middle of the crowd all the way to the end of the line.
I was so moved by the power and energy of 11,000 people that you can hear me sobbing from part of the way.  Please watch it!  You will feel the power!”

Twitter @emi_mumemo

Jun 11, 2012

Is Nail Mineral Analysis a Good Radiation Test?

As you can imagine, many Japanese people are worried and anxious about whether they and their children were indeed exposed to radiation as a result of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident in March 2011.

Towards the end of 2011, people were beginning to talk about “uranium” detected in them and/or their children.  Actually it was the nail mineral analysis that they were talking about, offered by some clinics such as this. (link)

Nail analysis results in a 4-year-old

Granted, uranium is naturally present in both the environment and human bodies.  The nail mineral analysis can only measure the total amount of each chemical element, radioactive and nonradioactive.  The premise was that any significant “change” seen in the nail mineral analysis result might be indicative of “radioactive uranium,” implying radiation exposure.  The nail mineral analysis also detects other minerals, some of which might have radioactive counterparts, and indicates whether their values are within acceptable ranges.  

Reactions of those whose children’s nail mineral analysis results showed “higher than normal” uranium were, needless to say, an emotional turmoil--a mixture of shock, despair, worries, and anger.

Unsure about the validity of using the nail mineral analysis, even as an indirect sign of radiation exposure, we decided to contact the German analytical company, Micro Trace Minerals, which some Japanese clinics were sending the samples to for analysis.  www.microtraceminerals.com

E-mail exchanges with the research director of Micro Trace Minerals, a clinical metal toxicologist Dr. E. Blaurock-Busch, are shown below.

The bottom line was that neither nail analysis nor hair analysis, offered by this company,could be a certain sign of radiation exposure.  Dr. Blaurock-Busch was knowledgeable and responded to our questions fully and with kindness.  The company seemed to offer excellent services in diagnostic analysis of heavy metal toxicity.  Her suggestion to look for local labs for urine testing of specific isotopes, despite the availability of their own urine testing, seemed reasonable.  However, her advice to contact Poison Control Center or EPA for radiation tests affordable and available to physicians seemed a bit odd, suggesting she was not familiar with the field of radiation testing too well.  (However, the US system might be a total mystery to those outside the US.)

Some Japanese people had been doing the nail mineral analysis even before the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident.  In that case they had a pre-accident baseline to go by.  Some noticed changes in their post-accident analysis.  It might not be absolutely clear that the change was from radiation exposure, yet it could still be a useful piece of information for the specific individual.  

However, physicians should pursue tests that would give people a more definite answer for radiation exposure, rather than analysis that might “only suggest the possibility” of radiation exposure, especially when a huge emotional toll is at stake.  Radiation exposure is quickly becoming part of everyday life in Japan, but it is still a serious issue to acknowledge as one’s own, considering the prejudice endured by the atomic bomb survivors.  It might be human nature to want a quick and relatively affordable tests, possibly to deny the fact that they or their children might have been exposed to radiation.  Nevertheless, it does not seem ethical to offer nail mineral analysis, known to be incapable of distinguishing radioactive isotopes from nonradioactive isotopes, for a serious issue such as radiation exposure.


E-mail exchanges between Fukushima Voice and Micro Trace Minerals
(Fukushima Voice in purple, Micro Trace Minerals in green)

May 12, 2012

I am a Japanese physician residing in the United States.
I am curious about how to test the body for radiation contamination. What do you recommend?

I have seen hair and nail analysis used for the sign of radiation contamination. Do you provide such analysis?

Thank you,

May 14, 2012
Dear Dr.FV,

We test potentially radioactive elements such as cesium, strontium, iodine etc in hair or nails. I have to point out that we do not distinguish between the natural and the radioactive isotopes of an element such as strontium or uranium, for instance. We test the total number of isotopes.

Attached is a hair and a nail sample report.
Hair http://microtraceminerals.com/fileadmin/uploads/pdf/en/2012-05-05_Sample-Patient_1H120001.pdf
Nail http://microtraceminerals.com/fileadmin/uploads/pdf/en/2012-05-05_Sample-Patient_1N120002.pdf
We consider this our extended profile (P10).  For pricing, please check our web site. The laboratory catalog (brochure) can be downloaded or viewed.
If you need further information, please let me know .

Most sincerely,
Dr. E.Blaurock-Busch PhD / Micro Trace Minerals GmbH
Mitglied/member: British Society of Ecological Medicine
Wissenschaftl. Berater / Scientific Advisor:
Deutsche Ärztegesellschaft für Klinische Metalltoxikologie / German Medical Association of Clinical Metal Toxicology
International Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology (IBCMT)

May 15, 2012
Dear Dr. Blaurock-Busch,

Thank you for your quick reply.

What you are saying is that nail and hair analysis do not provide confirmation of radiation exposure?
"Potentially radioactive elements" do not necessarily mean exposure to radiation from a nuclear accident, or do they?


May 14, 2012
That is correct, Dr. FV!

May 15, 2012
Then, can I ethically offer nail and hair analysis to my patients who are worried about their radiation exposure?

May 15, 2012
Dear Dr. FV,

This is difficult to answer.
When it comes to cesium or europium, for instance, we should not see any of the isotopes.
When we are looking at uranium, strontium, or iodine for instance, we do not know the source. This is where a good case history is important.
If you would, for instance, locate an unusually high uranium level in hair or nails, and the patient does not live in an area where natural uranium is present in an unusual amount, then we must inquire regarding the source. We must also realize that natural uranium does contain some radioactive uranium.
If we suspect radiation exposure we can do specific isotope testing.
If we would locate radioactive uranium in an usual amount than the question arises of what to do.
Honestly, we do not have good answers for that one.

In summary, it is not an ethical question so much as a question of priority. Around Fukushima, the people who have been exposed will have experienced radioactive exposure. Most likely, we will not detect radioactive iodine any longer, but cesium would still be detectable. In such a person, you may immediately do the expensive testing for specific radioactive isotopes, or start with inexpensive tests. Still the questions arises of what to do.

I would say the best you can do is support general health by normalizing biochemistry and removing those toxins that are contributing to an additional burden. For instance, when a patient has a healthy calcium metabolism, strontium and lead are better balanced.

Lead is a breakdown product of uranium. We can aim to remove that, esp when we know that the patient has a high body burden of the nonradioactive elements.

It’s all a matter of balance.
I hope you agree.

May 15, 2012
How would you do specific isotope testing?  Do you offer it?

May 31, 2012
Hello.  I am still waiting to hear from you about what you might offer for radiation testing.

Thank you.

May 31, 2012
For specific radioactive isotope testing, Gamma Spectroscopy could be used, however for that test we need lots of material. Urine testing could be done, but we would need 3l.

For simple reasons, you would need to work with a local laboratory.

May 31, 2012
I see. 3L is a LOT of urine!
So nail testing is not really a good indicator of radiation contamination compared to urine testing, isn't it?

May 31, 2012
Hello Dr. FV,

Hair and nail might be the best specimen for testing past exposure to toxic metals. In the case of cesium, we can safely assume that it is not normally found in humans. If we find cesium, we are alerted. We can then check patient history in more details and then decide what further tests or treatment is needed.

When it comes to radioactivity, we have limited diagnostic means that are affordable and available to physicians other than toxicologists. You may check with poison centers or EPA. More about metal toxicity including radioactive metals can be found under https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/156817.

On June 15, 2012, we will do demonstrations in front of the prime minister’s official residence and the Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) headquarter.

Fukui Prefecture Nuclear Safety Commission ratified the government’s judgment about the Oi nuclear power plant reactors #3 and #4 being “safe” and submitted the report to Governor Nishikawa of Fukui prefecture.  At this rate Governor Nishikawa will listen to the prefectural assembly and Mayor Tokioka of Oi-cho, and he will end up agreeing to the restart.  Along the line, as early as by the end of next week, the government will make a final decision on the restart.  Right now, the situation to prevent the restart of Oi nuclear power plant is at the critical moment.

Ever since the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident after 311, there has been a large build-up of anti-nuclear movements nationwide, and the public opinions against the restart have become overwhelming.  In addition, “Osaka Restoration Association” headed by Osaka Mayor Hashimoto, who has his eyes set on the next national election, politicized the restart issue, resulting in the uncertain prospects for the restart of nuclear power plants which were stopped for routine inspections one after another.  On May 5, 2012, no nuclear power plant was in operation in Japan.

However, just merely one month after all nuclear power plants were stopped, while the Fukushima nuclear accident has not even settled, a hasty restart of Oi nuclear power plant is about to go underway after all, despite the overwhelming public opposition.  Yet we must raise our voices to protest against it.  Allowing the restart to proceed will be a huge turning point for the survival of all life forms in the entire world.

Time:  Friday, June 15, 2012, 6 to 8 pm.
Location: In front of the prime minister’s official residence. (In front of Kokkai Kisha Kaikan, right outside #3 exit at Kokkaigijidomae station.)
Organizer: The Metropolitan area anti nuclear power plant alliance members.

Time: Friday, June 15, 2012, 6 to 8 pm.
Location: In front of Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) headquarter. (6-16 Sancho-me, Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka Prefecture)

6月15日 首相官邸前、関電本社前で抗議を行います。

福井県の原子力安全専門委員会が 大飯原発3,4号機を「安全」とした政府判断を追認し、報告書を西川知事に提出。このままいけば、西川知事は県議会と時岡町長の判断を聞き、再稼動に同意 してしまいます。その流れを受けて、早ければ来週中にも、政府は再稼動について最終判断を下してしまいます。今、大飯原発の再稼動阻止を巡る情勢はまさに 瀬戸際です。

311の福島第一原発の事故以来、全国的に大きな盛り上がりを見せた反原発運動や、再稼働反対の世論が圧倒的に なってきたこと、さらに次の国政選挙を見据えた橋下大阪市長率いる「維新の会」が、再稼働問題を政局化させたことにより、定期検査入りで次々と停止した原 発の再稼働の目処は立たず、5月5日には国内で稼働中の原発はついに0基となりました。

しかし、 原発全基停止からわずか1ヵ月が経過した今、福島第一原発の事故の収束もままならないまま、世論の大多数が反対している大飯原発の拙速な再稼働がついに進 められようとしています。それでも、私達には、まだ抗議の声を上げる必要があります。ここで再稼働を許すかは、世界中の生命にとっての大きな岐路です。


【場所】関電本社前(大阪府‎ 大阪市北区中之島3丁目6−16)