BAYAN holds solidarity action in support of Japanese people,

says PH must learn from disaster and drop Bataan nuclear plans

 

Peace Bell, Quezon Circle, QCI

 

March 17, 2011

 

 

POEMS

 

■   Talababa sa Japan I by Richard Gappi (with English translation)

 

■   Talababa sa Japan II by Richard Gappi (with English translation)

 

■   Talababa sa Japan III by Richard Gappi (with English translation)

 

■   Sa Alaala ng mga Biktima ng Lindol at Tsunami sa Japan by Nonilon Queano

/p

 

 

     

Talababa sa Japan: Marso 11, 2011 (I)

Matapos ligligin ng lindol ang kanyang talampakan,
nilamon ng alon ng dagat ang kanyang pamayanan.
Ang 60 taong gulang na matandang lalaki
ay dalawang araw na nagpalutang-lutang
sa rabaw ng dagat; nanimbang siya at naging bangka
ang piraso ng kisame ng kanyang gumuhong bahay.

Siyam na milya siyang hinugot
mula sa ugat ng kanyang kabataan.

Nang dumating ang rescue boat, iwinagayway
niya ang pulang tela upang siya ay makita.
Nang makaupo na sa bangka, binigyang siya
ng isang boteng tubig at matapos ang ilang lagok,
saka siya humagulgol, umiyak nang walang patid.

Sa dalampasigan, nakasilip sa kurtina ng putik
ang larawan ng isang pamilya na nasa photo album:
ang saksi sa pagitan ng Armageddon at Apokalipsis.

Putol ang dila ng hangin. Minsan, binabasag ito
ng sigaw at yakap dahil sa sinasalubong na
mahal sa buhay na biglang dumating
at wari’y nawalay nang napakahabang taon.

Sa paanan ng gumuhong lupa,
may bumubukad na krisantemum at bulaklak;
inaabot ang malambot na ulap sa asul na alapaap.


-Richard R. Gappi
1:28PM, Lunes, 14 Marso 2011
Angono, Rizal, Pilipinas

 

Footnote to Japan: March 11, 2011 (I)

As the quake shook his land, his feet wobbled
and giant waves engulfed his community.
Sitting on a debris from the ceiling that collapsed,
a 60-year old man was found floating on the seacoast
two days after his house was swept on the sea.

He was pulled up 9 miles
away from the womb of his childhood.

When the rescuers came, he waved
a red banner to catch their attention.
While on the boat,
a fellow gave him a bottle of water
which he drunk profusely.
Then, he cried out loud like a fuzzy child.

On the seashore, a family picture
sneaks a quick look from the curtains of mud:
the silent witness to the unfathomable;
perhaps the vicious void between
the Apocalypse and Armageddon.

The air is tongue-tied. Sometimes,
a scream breaks the deafening silence
to welcome and embrace a loved one
who seemingly has left for years
but has suddenly came back to their arms.

Beneath the landslide,
a chrysanthemum spreads its leaves:
reaching out to the pliant clouds
that punctuate the blue sky.


-Richard R. Gappi
8:14PM, Monday, 14 March 2011
Sa Garahe ni Pedro
Angono, Rizal, Philippines

 

     

Talababa sa Japan: Marso 11, 2011 (II)


Saan nagtatagpo,
nasaan ang sangandaan
ng ngatngat ng lamig
at panganib ng nukleyar
na nakaligid, nakabitin
ngayon
sa litid ng ating titig?

Ang sagot,
marahil,
ay nasa
pangangaligkig
na parehong tumatawid
sa panginorin:
naninimbang
nangangalay
nagbabantang
humapay ang bigat,
tumagilid at lumigwak
na singbilis ng kurap.
Ito ba ang buntonghiningang
pangungusap sa pagpikit
nang madilim na ganap?
Ano ang hugis ng dilim?
Paano nasasalat ang kanyang said?

Sukatin sa titig
dahil isang bolang itim
ang malamlam na tingin.
Malalim.

-Richard R. Gappi
9:48PM, Martes, 15 Marso 2011
Angono, Rizal, Pilipinas

 
/p

/p

 

Footnote to Japan: March 11, 2011 (II)

Is this 
the crossroad 
of biting cold
and teetering 
nuclear explosion?

A street leading, 
perhaps, 
to the end 
that shivers
and cuts 
across the 
horizon:
unsteady 
worn-out
and about to throw
its weight
to the other side
as swift as the fox? 
Is this the 
fleeting breath that 
unseals the darkness,
the fear of unknown?
Bring out the flesh. 
Figure out the profound abyss.

Decipher 
the language of her eyes
whose grammar speaks 
of tangent solitude.

(Caption: A Japanese traveler wipes away tears as she talks over the telephone at Incheon international airport in South Korea on March 11. Flights were disrupted after a magnitude 8.9 earthquake hit Japan's Pacific coast. Photo by Yonhap via AFP - Getty Images)

-Richard R. Gappi
4:21PM, 17 March 2011
Angono, Rizal, Philippines

 

           

 

Triple whammy of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis

Bayan holds solidarity action in support of Japanese people,

says PH must learn from disaster and drop Bataan nuclear plans
 

Multisectoral group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) today held a solidarity action to show support to the people of Japan who were devastated by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and a 33-foot tsunami that hit the country’s Pacific coast last week. Bayan said that the Philippines must learn from the disaster, noting that the explosion of three nuclear reactors and the resulting radiation leakage because of the earthquake and tsunami should put an end to all attempts by some local politicians to revive the controversial Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

The activists brought flowers and lighted candles to express sympathies to the relatives of the more than 5,100 and still growing number of people who perished in what Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan described as “the toughest and most difficult crisis for Japan” since the World War II. The damage and destruction of the earthquake and tsunami, which one estimate claims could reach as much $183 billion, have been greatly magnified by the looming nuclear crisis.

Over 200,000 people have been evacuated after three reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant exploded as the tsunami destroyed the diesel engines meant to keep coolant pumping around the plant. Bayan said that the Japanese government must be held to account to its people following reports by the UK-based The Telegraph that its Nuclear Safety Commission wrongly claimed that the safety functions of Japan’s nuclear facilities will not be significantly affected by tsunamis. Japan has also allegedly submitted documents to the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) claiming that all its power plants were tsunami-proof.

Bayan pointed out that this must serve as a lesson for Filipino policy makers to take extra precaution on developing nuclear energy. The group slammed advocates of reviving the Marcos-era BNPP despite indisputable safety issues surrounding the plant such as being near major earthquake fault lines aside from having over 4,000 defects. Bayan said that if an industrial country like Japan could not assure the integrity of its nuclear plants and simply relies on false safety claims, the Philippines which is way behind Japan in terms of development should take a more cautious path. The country should not blindly rush into projects like the BNPP revival just to attract private and foreign investors, Bayan said. (end)

           
     
     

 

PRESS STATEMENT
March 16, 2011
Sendai City

We, the association of Filipino students in Sendai would like to express our deep rage and great disappointment with the kind of response we are receiving from the embassy of the Philippines here in Sendai. We demand the government of the Philippines to utilize all possible resources to evacuate and secure the safety of our Filipino citizens immediately!

Below are grounds that deem to be inappropriate:

Time of Response:
 

March 11, 2011 – 9.0 magnitude earthquake followed by tsunami struck and devastated Miyagi-ken and other northeastern part of Japan as early as 2:46 in the afternoon. The first team from our embassy arrived on the night of March 13, 2011, the time when other foreign nationals are starting to evacuate. In any emergency situation, actions should be taken with great sense of emergency. What we observed from our embassy’s action does not align with emergency response protocol. Time is very critical as the Nuclear Power Plants in Fukushima show a continuous sign of failure. Three days have already passed and our Filipino community in Miyagi and Fukushima-ken are still uncertain of the “rescue operation”.

Emergency Response Team:
 

With the magnitude of the damages and the threat we are exposed to, we expect a strong team of experts consisting of diplomats, medical personnel, psychology specialist and other experts to come and asses the area. Also, we even expected them to provide us with food supply as they have promised when they first came in contact with us. Instead, we were handed over to the media without proper briefing. The first day of “rescue” is nothing but an illustration of unpreparedness and lack of skills in decision making. The team just came in Sendai without concrete contingency plan and data, instead asked the students on how to move on with the rescue effort. We feel the lack of sincerity and initiative from the “team” as they rely from the decisions coming from the distressed victims. Coordination is inefficient, decisions uncertain.

Is this the kind of people our government hires in this most critical situation? Is this the only assistance the government of the Philippines can do? WE DEMAND AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE FROM OUR GOVERNMENT. WE DEMAND A SENSE OF URGENCY IN TIMES OF EMERGENCY . WE DEMAND THE GOVERNMENT TO EXHAUST ALL MEANS TO SURPASS THE INCOMPETENT ACTIONS OF THE “PHILIPPINE CONTINGENCY” HERE IN JAPAN! ACT NOW!

Sincerely,
Apostol, Lea Necitas
Bantaculo, Rolando
Coronel, Rochelle
Enobio, Eli
Peque, Genaro
 

     
           
           
     
 
     
     

 

SA ALAALA NG MGA BIKTIMA NG LINDOL

AT TSUNAMI SA JAPAN
- NONILON V QUEANO/ 21Marso2011

Sa kasamaang-palad
Ang daigdig ay hindi tulang
Inuuyayi sa puso
Kapag lumilindol
O may tsunaming sasagupa:
Hindi sumasayaw ang lupa,
O kumukutitap na tila lasing ang langit,
O umaatungal ang dalampasigan
Dahil lamang sa lungkot at pag-iisa;
Ang mga bahay na yaon
(Kahit turingang pugad ng pag-ibig)
Ay sinawaling bubog at bato rin;
Mga gusaling kay tayog
(Na pahingahan, bangko,
Sanlaan, pagawaan):
Buhangin, semento’t bakal din lamang;
At ay! hinagpis ng langit,
Mga mina’t plantang nuklyar,
(Na di maaaring panustos-gatong
Ngayon at magpakailanman),
Sadyang walang pakialam kung, sa pagsabog,
Patayin ng singaw nito ang lahat lahat,
Pati pangarap, lunggati’t pag-aasam,
Tula, awit, larawan,
Mga alaala’t pagmamahal.
Takda yaon ng kalikasan:
Ang pagkagawak ng lupa,
Pagligwak ng dagat,
Pagguho’t pagkalunod ng maaanuran.
Papaano magiging tula
Kung hatid ay kamatayan?

 

Ngunit totoo ring tayo’y di mabanaag na batik
Lamang sa liit,
Kudlit sa katiting na espasyong
May buhay na hamak sa liit pa sa sindi’t patay
Ng kandila sa iglap
Na binabayo ng unos ang gabi.
Sa maliit na sandaling ito,
Sa sasang-iglap kong buhay,
Hindi mangyayari sa panahon ko
O ninuman,
Saanman, kailanman
Na maglaho ang mundo

Kaya’t hahanapin ko pa rin ang tula
Kung saan may puso,
Kahit sa takot at pighati,
Pag-iisa’t kawalan ng sinalanta.
Lilikumin ko
Ang mga pangarap at pagmamahal,
At walang humpay na lalabanan
Ang pangwawasak
At libong higit na mapamuksa sa lindol o tsunami man,
Na pananalakay ng imperyalistang
Mga ganid at gahaman,
Kahit sa kabilang ibayo ng mundo,
Kahit na batik lang ako,
At buhay ay iglap lamang.

=          
==          

 

PRESS STATEMENT
March 16, 2011

Scientist group calls for clear guidelines regarding nuclear accident, calls on government to immediately secure our compatriots in Japan

Scientist group AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People called on the Philippine and Japanese governments for clear guidelines and information regarding the nuclear hazards due to the accident in Japan.

The growing industrial disasters in the Fukushima reactors in Northeastern Japan should prompt both governments to be transparent in reporting the incidents in order to avoid panic and disruption for both Japanese and Filipinos alike. The government of Japan should be transparent and open about telling the world of the updates regarding the nuclear accident.

The problems in the Fukushima reactors range from fires, exposed fuel rods and potential cracks in the nuclear containment structures. The massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Friday last week caused the reactors to automatically shut down but cooling systems failed leading to the series of disasters that is still unresolved as of now.

There had already been radiation exposure of around 190 people in Fukushima and the danger zone has been increased to 30 km from the plant site. The radioactive emissions are reported to range from isotopes of cesium and iodine as well as radioactive nitrogen and argon. Radioactive iodine can cause thyroid cancer in young people near the plant and cesium accumulates in tissue that could affect the individual later on.

A nuclear plant generates heat through nuclear reactions inside the reactor. In the Fukushima plants, this reactor is in contact with water which then generates steam that powers the turbines for electricity.

The pump that circulates coolant within the reactor failed to operate after the earthquake. The reactor then continued to heat up despite the control rods that were in place to prevent runaway nuclear reactions.

The heat boiled away the water and corroded the coating and structure inside the reactor prompting a chemical reaction that produced hydrogen gas. The plant workers tried to vent it outside the reactor but the pressure was too great that the structure itself collapsed.

Workers then pumped in seawater with boric acid to cool down the reactor as well as to prevent further nuclear process to proceed.

For some plant units, such as Fukushima unit 2, the workers failed to fill the vessel due to failures in the seawater pump causing fears that the fuel rods could have melted. Explosions in the same unit caused damage in the suppression pool that could possibly release radioactive materials in the surroundings. Last Tuesday, March 15, Yukiya Amano from the IAEA said that there was “less than five percent” that there was a possibility of core damage to the No. 2 unit.

The same type of failure and explosion happened in Unit 3 which runs in the potentially more dangerous mixed uranium and plutonium oxide, or MOX fuel. Unit 4 had a fire which affected the spent fuel pool which stores fuel rods that were already used in the reactors. The workers in the plant are having difficulty in controlling the fires as well as in putting more water inside the pool.

Although Unit 5 and 6 were offline during the event, there are similar problems with cooling systems in these units and the roofs of the buildings were removed to prevent buildup of hydrogen inside the units.

These events could still escalate as the problems are still unresolved as of today. There are indications that this crisis could become greater than the Three Mile Island accident in 1979.

Because of rapid developments in the situation of the Fukushima nuclear power plants; and because the Filipino people have had very limited experience in facing nuclear hazards, we call on the Philippine government to plan in advance possible scenarios that could result from the ongoing accident.

There should be available data for the public about three- to five-day wind forecasts and the current level of radioactive emissions in the atmosphere. Without these information, it is easy for the public and the media to speculate about the possible effects of this nuclear accident. On the other hand, we are also urging citizens to be critical of information being received especially through SMS, social networks and email regarding this matter. We should be responsible in not forwarding unverified information.

The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute and the Department of Science and Technology should immediately launch a massive information campaign regarding these information and scenarios and tell the public the necessary interventions to mitigate any potential disaster. At the present, the IAEA has classified the nuclear emergency as level 4 which means that the accident has effects of a local nature.

The Department of Foreign Affairs should have clear plans in evacuating Filipinos that are in Japan especially those who are clamoring to be immediately sent home. Even if the emission cloud fails to reach our shores, the safety and security of Filipinos in the surrounding areas should be the top priority of the Aquino government.


REFERENCE:
DR.GIOVANNI TAPANG, Ph.D., 09275736714
Chairperson, AGHAM

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Address Japan Nuclear Threat with Truth and Precaution, not Misinformation
Romeo F. Quijano, M.D.*
Professor
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
College of Medicine, U.P. Manila

www.pinoyweekly.org



The threat to Filipino health and environment from the nuclear power plant disaster in Japan is serious and should not be downplayed. This threat should be addressed with truth and precaution and not misinformation. Government officials and the mainstream media repeatedly claim that there is no possibility that the nuclear radiation from Japan will reach the Philippines and that the radiation leak is minimal and pose no significant health risks. This is gross misrepresentation of facts.

There is already a partial meltdown and it is not farfetched that a complete meltdown will occur, if it has not already occurred by the time this article is circulated. There is already a significant breach in the reactor core containment facilities, both immediate and secondary. There is no doubt that significant amounts of radioactivity had already been released into the open environment, exposing thousands of people within several kilometers radius. It is highly probable that this radiation pollution will worsen in the next few days and will most likely reach the Philippines. The claim by Philippine authorities that the radioactive cloud will not reach the Philippines because the prevailing wind direction from the nuclear plant is way towards the Central Pacific is no reassurance because wind direction can change at any moment. Furthermore, radioactive elements are extremely persistent and will inevitably affect practically the entire planet after some time. Levels of radiation in the nuclear disaster site has already reached alarming levels, forcing the evacuation of 750 workers involved in the desperate efforts to contain the damage.

This is a clear sign that the situation is out of control. Earlier, dose rates of up to 400 millisievert per hour have been reported, more than enough to cause acute radiation sickness. Radiation levels in Tokyo has been reported to be 10-23 times the normal levels and in Saitama, near Tokyo, the levels were reported to be 40 times normal. These levels have been erroneously proclaimed to be “safe.”

It must be emphasized that, theoretically, no level of radioactivity is “safe.” While these levels are still quite low compared to levels known to be clearly associated with various illnesses due to exposure to radiation, there is a real risk that over time, additional cases of cancer, birth defects, immune disorders, and other illnesses would occur among the population exposed to these low level radiation, especially the more susceptible population groups such as women and children. Furthermore, it is not unlikely that the actual levels of exposure are higher than what is officially reported and given the fact that the situation is far from being controlled, more releases of radioactivity to the open environment is of high probability.

The Japanese reactor is reported to be one hundred times more powerful than the Chernobyl power plant, which exploded in 1986 and which resulted in worldwide radioactive contamination which continues until today and which will continue for many years to come. The two stations in the Fukushima region reportedly produce the world’s largest joint amount of energy. If complete meltdown occurs in any of the Fukushima reactors, this may lead to a much worse contamination of the atmosphere than the one that was caused by the Chernobyl disaster.

The Union of Concerned Scientists have expressed serious concerns on what is happening to the Fukushima reactors. The first is that the damage to the Unit 2 containment may be leaking gases and or liquids. Normally the reactor building is intended to act as a secondary containment and capture radiation leaking from the primary containment so that filters can remove the radioactivity before it is released to the atmosphere. But the reactor buildings for all three reactors have been damaged by explosions and no longer provide this secondary containment. So if the primary containment is leaking, then a core meltdown could lead to a very large release of radioactivity to the environment. The second concern is that even if the primary containment is currently intact, the Mark I containment system used in these reactors has a known vulnerability to meltdowns. Molten fuel that enters the primary containment area can melt through the wall of the primary containment—a situation called liner melt-through—which would also allow the release of large amounts of radioactivity to the environment.

The Mark I is unusually vulnerable to containment failure in the event of a core-melt accident. A recent study by Sandia National Laboratories shows that the likelihood of containment failure is nearly 42%. The most likely failure scenario involves the molten fuel burning through the reactor vessel, spilling onto the containment floor, and spreading until it contacts and breeches the steel containment-vessel wall. The Sandia report characterizes these probabilities as “quite high.”

The situation at the Fukushima plant is getting much worse. Larger radiation releases have occurred. The radiation levels around the plants have gotten so high that workers from the plants have been withdrawn. If efforts to cool the reactors are stopped or become completely ineffective, the result may be meltdowns of the fuel in all three reactors.

Another concern expressed is the reported presence of mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel constituting about 6% of the core of unit 3. MOX is a mixture of plutonium and uranium oxides. The use of MOX generally increases the consequences of severe accidents in which large amounts of radioactive gas and aerosol are released compared to the same accident in a reactor using non-MOX fuel, because MOX fuel contains greater amounts of more the highly toxic radioactive elements such as plutonium, americium and curium. Because of this, the number of latent cancer fatalities resulting from an accident could increase substantially if there were a severe accident with core melt and containment breach.

What is happening in Japan should also serve as a clear signal to the Philippine government to junk completely the efforts to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP). The probability of a similar catastrophe occuring if the BNPP is revived should not be taken for granted. The Philippines is vulnerable to earthquakes and the BNPP is situated on the slopes of a potentially active volcano. The reopening of the BNPP would not benefit the Filipino people but instead would expose us to unnecessary risks and potentially horrendous consequences.

What needs to be done is to reverse the privatization of the power industry and build sustainable, safe and appropriate sources of energy.

At this time, a disaster preparedness program to address the potential health, environmental and socio-economic consequences of the nuclear disaster in Japan should be in place. The government claims to have a radiological preparedness plan but an “alert zero” declaration indicates an inappropriate plan with erroneous assumptions and interpretation of facts. Rather than downplaying the seriousness of the situation and nonchalantly dismissing the risks, the government should expand its radiation monitoring, immediately mobilize resources and implement precautionary measures to prevent or at least mitigate the potential effects of radioactive contamination.

* Si Dr. Quijano ay isa sa nangungunang toxicologist sa bansa. Kasalukuyan din siyang presidente ng Pesticide Action Network Philippines.

     
     
           
     

 

Nuclear hazards
March 17, 2011

 

A Filipina cousin of mine who was living 70 kilometers away from the site of the Fukushima nuclear plant sent a message to me through the Internet asking advice on what her family could do about the nuclear accident. It struck me that even if the Philippine government has allayed fears about the direct effect of the nuclear accident, there are Filipinos that are going to be near the site of one of the biggest industrial disasters in record.

The continuing disasters in the Fukushima reactors in Northeastern Japan should prompt both the Japanese and Filipino governments to be transparent in reporting the incidents in order not to cause panic and disruption for both Japanese and Filipinos alike.

The problems in the Fuku-shima reactors range from fires, exposed fuel rods and potential cracks in the nuclear containment structures. The massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Friday last week caused the reactors to automatically shut down but cooling systems failed leading to the series of disasters that is still unresolved as of now.

There had already been radiation exposure of around 190 people nearby and the danger zone has been increased to 30 km from the plant site. The radioactive emissions range from isotopes of cesium and iodine as well as nitrogen and argon. Radioactive iodine can cause thyroid cancer especially in young people near the plant and cesium accumulates in tissue that could affect the individual later on.

A nuclear plant generates heat through nuclear reactions inside the reactor. In the Fukushima plants, this reactor is in contact with water, which then generates steam that powers the turbines for electricity.

The pump that circulates coolant within the reactor failed to operate after the earthquake. The reactor then continued to heat up despite the control rods that were in place to prevent runaway nuclear reactions.

The heat boiled away the water and corroded the coating and structure inside the reactor prompting a chemical reaction that produced hydrogen gas. The plant workers tried to vent it outside the reactor but the pressure was too great that the structure itself collapsed.

Workers then pumped in seawater with boric acid to cool down the reactor as well as to prevent further nuclear process to proceed.

For some plant units, such as Fukushima unit 2, the workers failed to fill the vessel due to failures in the seawater pump causing fears that the fuel rods could have melted. Explosions in the same unit caused damage in the suppression pool that could possibly release radioactive materials in the surroundings. Last Tuesday, March 15, Yukiya Amano from the IAEA said that there was “less than five percent” that there was a possibility of core damage to the No. 2 unit.

The same type of failure and explosion happened in Unit 3, which runs in the potentially more dangerous mixed uranium and plutonium oxide, or MOX fuel. Unit 4 had a fire, which affected the spent fuel pool, which stores fuel rods that were already used in the reactors. The workers in the plant are having difficulty in controlling the fires as well as in putting more water inside the pool.

Although Unit 5 and 6 were offline during the event, there are similar problems with cooling systems in these units and the roofs of the buildings were removed to prevent buildup of hydrogen inside the units.

These events could still escalate as the problems are still unresolved as of today. There are indications that this crisis could become greater than the Three Mile Island accident in 1979.

There should be available data for the public about three-day to five-day wind forecasts and the current level of radioactive emissions in the atmosphere. Without this information, it is easy for the public and the media to speculate about the possible effects of this nuclear accident. On the other hand, we are also urging citizens to be critical of information being received especially through SMS, social networks and e-mail regarding this matter. We should be responsible and not forward unverified information.

The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute and the Department of Science and Technology should immediately launch a massive information campaign regarding these data and scenarios and tell the public the necessary interventions to mitigate any potential disaster. At the present, the IAEA has classified the nuclear emergency as level 4, which means that the accident has effects of a local nature.

The Department of Foreign Affairs should have clear plans in evacuating Filipinos that are in Japan especially those who are clamoring to be immediately sent home. Even if the emission cloud fails to reach our shores, the safety and security of Filipinos in the surrounding areas should be the top priority of the Aquino government.

Author:
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.
Author Description:
Dr. Tapang is the chairperson of AGHAM-Advocates of Science and Technology for the People.

 

     
     
           
     
     

 

Filipinos concerned about nuclear emergency in Japan: Revival of Bataan nuke plant should be junked
March 12, 2011

Following reports that the nuclear plant in Japan around 250 kilometers northeast of Tokyo had explosions and vented smoke to the environment, Philippine activist groups under the No to BNPP Revival! network reminded the Aquino administration of the dangers of reviving the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) here in the Philippines.

The two affected nuclear plants are in the Fukushima plant owned by the Tokyo Power Electric Company. Although the nuclear plants went onto automatic shutdown, problems after the event such as the failure of cooling systems caused the nuclear emergency. People have been evacuated around a 10-km radius of the plant. The reactor was already leaking radiation eight times the normal levels outside the facility and 1,000 times normal inside Fukushima 1's control room.

“Japan should issue a full disclosure of the status of their nuclear plants and immediately implent protocols to contain the potential meltdown. The affected communities should be protected and nearby countries such as the Philippines should also ready in case the emissions affect our surroundings,” said Dr. Giovanni Tapang, convenor of the No to the BNPP Revival!

Dr. Tapang said that this unfolding precedent in Japan should serve as an ample warning to the Philippine government to not rush headlong into the BNPP's revival.

“Issues concerning the safety, viability and environmental risks associated with the Bataan nuclear plant are still unresolved and yet the Department of Energy and the National Power Corporation seem to be hell bent on pushing through with plans to privatize the operations of the BNPP,” explained Dr. Tapang.

Similar problems such as falling barrels containing radioactive material thus releasing it to the environment were also observed in previous accidents such as the 2007 Kashiwarazaki-Kariwa accident caused by a 6.6 Mw earthquake near Niigata, Japan. There were radiation leaks in the sea and 400 drums ng low-level nuclear waste fell down during the earthquake. Fourty of these barrels opened and emitted traces of radioactive Cobalt 60 and chromium 51 in the environment. The Kashiwarazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant was one of the largest plant in the world.

“There are chances of having a similar accident if the government operates the BNPP. The Philippines is vulnerable to earthquakes, being near the Manila Trench and is sitting on the slopes of Mount Natib”, added Dr. Tapang.

“Things also become problematic if the operations of a facility like the BNPP will be handed over to a private foreign firm like the Korean Electric Company (KEPCO) which had conducted feasibility tests on the plant,” said Dr. Tapang. Other firms from Russia, Japan and South Korea were reportedly interested in operating the BNPP.

“The reopening of the BNPP is just one of the plans of the Aquino administration that is no different from his predecessor. It would not benefit the Filipino people and instead expose us to unncessary risks to its recommissioning,” Dr. Tapang added.

“What should be done is to reverse the privatization of the power industry and build safe and reliable sources of electricity. The country has vast indigenous energy resources from fossil fuels to alternative energy that we can use if only the government stops selling these to private investors,” said Dr. Tapang.###

Reference: Dr. Giovanni Tapang, spokesperson,
Contact details: NO to BNPP Revival!

     
           

www.gmanews.tv

Filipino students in Sendai, Japan have expressed deep rage" and great disappointment" at the Philippine Embassy's allegedly inefficient evacuation of Filipinos from disaster-stricken Japan.

 

 

 
           

 

SOS FROM THE GROUP OF STUDENTS IN SENDAI

by Agham Nasyunal on Friday, March 18, 2011 at 2:38pm

(FROM THE FB ACCOUNT OF MR. CESAR SANTOYO OF MIGRANTE-JAPAN, March 17, 2011)

 

Group of 5 students and perhaps to be joined by other families will try to make their evacuation route starting this morning. They are in need of the following:

 

1. Pressure the DFA/Embassy to assist them, as their rights, to be repatriated to the Philippines immediately.

 

2. Appeal to send them financial aid.

 

Please help and pray for their safe journey starting at this moment.

 

-----------------------------------------

 

Dear Cesar,

 

The students are now planning to move from sendai to niigata via yamagata and tsukuoka, by bus. Any form of help will greatly be appreciated. Then we might head to Sapporo. Most of us only have our clothes and don't have enough monetary resources. We would greatly appreciate if you could refer us to Filipinos in Niigata for assistance.

 

We'll keep in touch. Magtulungan po tayo na maipahatid ang hindi katanggap-tanggap na pagtugon ng embahada ng Pilipinas sa pangangailangan ng mga Pilipino dito sa Sendai at ibang parte ng hilagang Japan. Patuloy na sumasama ang lagay ng mga Nuclear reactors sa Fukushima at ayon sa US umabot na ng 80km ang radius of danger zone. At sa pagkakaalam ko abot na ito sa Sendai.

 

Maraming pong salamat.

 

Rochelle*

*A Ph.D. student of Physics in Sendai, Japan

 

▲  Photos by Norma Dollage/PCPR  ▼
   
   

Radiation from Japan may reach PH: UP scientist | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Break

www.abs-cbnnews.com

MANILA, Philippines - Despite assurances to the contrary, there is a serious threat to Filipino health and environment as a result of radiation from the nuclear power plant crisis in Fukushima, Japan, said a toxicology expert in the country.

 

   

 

 

Talababa sa Japan: Marso 11, 2011 (III)

Buhangin.
Kung saan sinisinsin
ang mga butil na ipinadpad ng hangin.

Muhon sa lupa at dagat.
Singlambot ng yapak,
lagda sa bigat at lawak ng apak;
kawayang nahuhutok
sa pihit at hubog ng palad.

Sa gabi,
likaw na bituka ng buwan.
Sa araw,
sandalan ng pagod na katawan
na kinukumutan ng sinag.

Karaniwan,
lumalapad kapag mababa ang tubig;
nagtatago ang noo
kapag ang alon ay tumataib.

Pero ngayon:
nasa tadyang mo din
ang ulos ng tanghaling tapat.
Mula sa Sendai, Japan
kumalat ang malat ng lamat
tulad ng lambat na nagbitak-bitak.

Maraming boses
ang namalat sa pagtawag.
Naligwak sa napunit na hinagap.

Bawiin mo
ang dilang naumid,
nabatak
at pumunit sa hanggahan ng dalumat.
Pakikinggan ko ang iyong bulong.
Tulad ng bago mabasag
ang alon at mag-isang pumalaot
ang mangingisda sa dulo ng aking tanaw.

[A sand sculpture created by sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik to raise awareness of the tsunami that struck Japan is seen at Golden sea beach resort, Bhubaneswar, India, on March 12. (Str / EPA)]

-Richard R. Gappi
6:45PM, Biyernes, 18 Marso 2011
Angono, Rizal, Pilipinas

 

 
 
   
**          

 

/p

  
 

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