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According to the OECD, TEPCO is liable for Fukushima and is backed up by the Japanese government:

Liability for damages
As the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is exclusively liable for all the consequences of the accident including the indemnification of victims. In addition, the victims of the accident do not need to prove fault or negligence on the operator’s part, because TEPCO is strictly liable for the accident. TEPCO also faces unlimited liability, which means compensation will not be fixed to a limited amount. This liability is, however, limited in time to 20 years from the date of the accident. Victims must address claims within three years of the date of their knowledge of both the damage and the liable party, in this case TEPCO.

Financial security and insurance
Under a nuclear liability regime, the operator of a nuclear power plant must have financial security (usually insurance), which in the case of TEPCO stands at Japanese yen (JPY) 120 billion. However, a Governmental Indemnity Agreement between TEPCO and the Japanese government was reached for this amount, due to the fact that earthquakes and tsunamis are non-insurable risks in Japan.

Yesterday we learned from reuters:
Japan readies additional $30 billion for Fukushima clean-up: sources
Posted:Tue, 12 Nov 2013 11:07:56 GMT
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government is finalizing plans to borrow an additional 3 trillion yen ($30 billion) to pay for compensating Fukushima evacuees and cleaning up the area outside the wrecked nuclear plant, said people with knowledge of the situation.
According to the above article:
The new government borrowing program would increase the amount earmarked for Fukushima-related expenses to the equivalent of just over $80 billion, according to government officials with knowledge of the developing plan who asked not to be named. That $80 billion excludes the cost of decommissioning Fukushima’s six reactors, a process expected to take decades…..But the government has issued bonds to pay the related costs up front. The embattled utility remains on the hook for paying back the money spent to the government over a period of decades under current arrangements.”

Is it enough to hold TEPCO and the Japanese government liable? Is it Just?

In the end, we will all pay with the poisoning of the ocean. It has been argued that ocean plant life is even more important for world oxygen levels than the Rainforest. The Amazon Rainforest accounts for 20% of world oxygen. http://www.wcupa.edu/aceer/amigos/cd/rainforest.htm We MUST do all that we can and make all of the sacrifices necessary to save the oceans and the few remaining forests-trees – both rainforest and non-rainforests. If not, we all die. In some sense we are all guilty. So, should we all sing and cry and hug, as the boat of earth sinks? Not so fast! Even if those guilty say they are sorry it is not sufficient under normal concepts of rule of law or justice. There must be some liability. If you kill someone’s child or run-over their dog with your vehicle, saying you are sorry is a start but it is insufficient. And, it does not repair the damage.

Now let’s sit and think about it.

Girl with Stylus

Girl with Stylus

Fresco found in Pompei: Saffo Roman wall painting” via Wikimedia

There are multiple potentially liable parties. This should hold true for accidents such as Fukushima AND for dealing with nuclear waste:
1) Those related to the Nuclear Power Plant itself. These include not only TEPCO, but those within government who have given approval to having nuclear power in general, and to this plant in particular. It also includes government inspectors. Importantly there is not only TEPCO but those who built and serviced the plant: GE, Hitachi and Toshiba, as Greenpeace point out, http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/fukushima-who-profits-who-pays/blog/40463/ along with any local construction firms. To some extent those who benefitted from the electricity should be held liable and indeed they are through the disaster itself and through energy bills. Nonetheless, Tokyo has probably benefitted more and had less impacts than Fukushima. But were the Japanese asked if they wanted nuclear power plants or was it imposed upon them by the government or TEPCO?

It has also been pointed out by Dave Sweeney, Nuclear Free campaigner for the Australian Conservation Foundation, that Australian Uranium fueled Fukushima. http://foe.org.au/chain-reaction/editions/116/sweeney Note that other countries may have been involved, as well. We do not know.

But, is a Mea Culpa sufficient? We think not. It is a start, but it is critically important that mining of uranium stop; that nuclear power plants be stopped. However, that is not sufficient either.

The mining companies and the governments and all of those who benefit and have benefitted from the mining of uranium must be held accountable-liable. Stopping the mining and stopping the use of uranium does not end the problems. It is a first step in stopping future problems.

Pretending it does end the problems is make believe fantasy. It does not clean up Fukushima. It does not deal with the nuclear waste problem, either. Most of it is precariously located “on site” on coasts and waterways. Concrete casings most likely will leak.

In all of this the 2) uranium producers — both mining companies AND mining countries– must be held liable along with the power companies and governments of countries using the nuclear energy. Currently the top three uranium mining countries are Canada, Kazakstan, and Australia. This liability cannot end even if mining is stopped in Australia or elsewhere.

It is important to note that this is a complex topic and already victimized indigenous peoples within mining countries must not be re-victimized a second time. Nonetheless, there is more logic in sending, at least some of the uranium produced by a country, now nuclear waste, back home to rest, where there is desert wasteland from mining, than to wet, green, forested areas where there has never been mining – uranium or other. And, where no one profited from mining.

We can thank Australian Christina MacPherson of “nuclear news net” blog for indirectly pointing this out to us. She appears to have thought it a brilliant idea for uranium mined in Australia and used in France to be dumped in forested Mississippi, which has a wet, hot, subtropical climate and NO mining. Wastes used by US nuclear power plants remain on site. This means that Mississippians, although they did not ask for nuclear power in the 1970s, ARE dealing with the waste at home. They don’t need anyone else’s. It is all the more ludicrous considering that France is also full of old uranium mines which are alleged to have caused and be causing its people health problems. http://nuclear-news.net/2013/08/29/nuclear-waste-from-france-to-be-dumped-in-mississippi/ So, once Australians and the French have destroyed their own environments they need to come destroy other people’s?

Why should one of the rare remaining world forested areas take other people’s waste? http://nuclear-news.net/2013/08/29/nuclear-waste-from-france-to-be-dumped-in-mississippi/ So it can be a desert like most of Australia? It is exploitation by mining companies that has turned much of Australia into a desert (as well as parts of the US). Overgrazing by cattle has not helped in either place.

As another blogger pointed out, the nuclear waste is so bad that in the end everyone is NIMBYS; everyone is ready to throw every other place “under the bus” so to speak to save their homelands. But, it is also important to do what we can to protect trees everywhere. So, although Mississippi has a dumb ass (arse) governor who wants to make that forested state into a nuclear dumping ground and even if Mississippians wanted the waste (which they don’t) that cannot justify destroying some of the last trees in the world and a land which really belongs to the Choctaw and Chickasaw, and did officially until the 1800s and unofficially into the 1900s and where they are still present. The land should be returned to the Choctaw and Chickasaw rather than destroy it.

Furthermore, there is nothing in the web sites linked to, which indicate that the authors are pro-nuclear, but do not want the waste as implied: http://yallpolitics.com/index.php/yp/post/35788/ http://cottonmouthblog.blogspot.ch/2013/08/three-mile-phils-french-connection.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/GsAJ+(Cotton+Mouth)

It proves that it is important for all to look at what is on the ground, in detail. Without trees in the world we will all die!

And, what can be said about colonial settler states like the US, Canada and Australia who steal the land and devastate it, to various degrees, through mining, and have opened it up to a never-ending stream of immigration, all while continuing to persecute their original peoples? No words which can be printed here. Like Australia, Mississippi has indigenous peoples – the Choctaw and Chickasaw people.

While those colonial-settlers who have lived on these lands for hundreds of years probably can’t return to their original homelands (some later immigrants can), they need to recognize that they are guests on the land and, as such, the land is not theirs to destroy or give away to new immigrants. Gina Rinehart and others listen up! How much land have you destroyed single handedly? Looking at google earth, Australia appears the most devastated of these three. So much of it is desert. Because of mining, Australia did not suffer from the economic crisis as most countries did, but at what cost to the environment? And, what can be said about those who want to destroy a green area with trees, on another continent, with nuclear wastes made in France from uranium sourced from Australia’s mining industry? No words which can be printed here.

Most religions would also say that we are guests on the earth, we are pilgrims passing through, and, as such, the land is not ours to destroy. Nor are we to allow others to destroy it. We are supposed to be stewards of the land, the plants, trees and animals. It is not anyone’s right-indigenous or not- to destroy the earth, nor its oceans, nor its trees, nor its creatures.

An interesting side note is that the Japanese are major land-owners in Mississippi and have two auto manufacturing plants there. Some Japanese have found linguistic commonalities between the Mississippi Choctaw (indigenous) language and the Japanese language.

Let’s have another look at the area which the US gov, France’s AREVA feels is appropriate for a huge nuclear waste dump. It appears to be located between the two halves of Desoto National Forest. Logic suggests that it could also extend under the forest itself. It is a salt dome, like is collapsing in neighboring Louisiana, and leaked water in Germany. Both seem to have emitted radionuclides into the surrounding water and even air. The German salt dome seems to have leaked naturally, the Louisiana one is probably due to human error. Both lasted only about 20 years – substantially less than above ground canisters. (see our previous post).


Mississippi Box Turtle:
Mississippi Box Turtle, Natchez Parkway, State of MS
The box “turtle … has existed virtually unchanged since prehistoric times…The turtle watches undisturbed as countless generations of faster ‘hares’ run by to quick oblivion, and is thus a model of patience for mankind…http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/pubsweb/symbols/sy-turtl.htm
The largest remaining population of Gopher Tortoises, classified as threatened, are found in Desoto National Forest.

Black Creek in Desoto National Forest
Black Creek Desoto National Forest usgov
The Black Creek extends 30 miles across the De Soto ranger district. Enjoy seeing wildlife, birds, wood ducks, and otters while floating along this scenic river. A 21 mile section of the creek is designated as the only National Scenic River in Mississippi.” http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mississippi/about-forest/districts/?cid=stelprdb5209588 Note that this National Forest (like all forest) acts as a wind break and has even caused small hurricanes to dissipate.

Mississippi green lizard
"Anolis carolinensis". By Crystal Pare, 2007, via wikimedia
Anolis carolinensis”. Photo by Crystal Pare, 2007, via wikimedia
Some of these precious sweet little green lizards were reportedly born deformed due to nuclear testing in another Mississippi salt dome in 1964.

Short YouTube video clip of the Black Creek