UN Special meeting on Fukushima 9-22

This is a brief (3rd draft) of the recent Sept. 22nd UN High Level meeting on Fukushima.

As part of the UN’s September 22nd High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Safety and Security a delegation from Japan held a press conference at the National Press Club on the 20th of September. Last May the UN announced a system wide investigation of nuclear safety as a result of Fukushima. On September 14th, the UN released its analysis of the Fukushima disaster.

On September 19th, Japan had its largest protest against nuclear power to date with thousands of people attending.

On September 11th the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom released a 111 page report on the state of Fukushima and the global Nuclear Fuel Cycle.  Their report includes an introduction of what has been happening since the initial disaster along with presentations by 32 different experts and commentators.

Also on 9-11 the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP) held a symposium in Fukushima Japan making public claims that the radiation released would have few if any health impacts.

Grassroots groups and experts in Japan released commentaries on these startling claims. Green Action also posted a number of rebuttals as well as materials on their press conference as well.

The UN based ICRP has been put in charge of determining what radiation levels are safe or not for humans.  They in turn have been relying on a group called Radiation Effects Research Foundation  (RERF) that has been in charge of the original Hiroshima fallout database that was set up after the US dropped the nuclear bomb on the city in August 1945.  There is an extensive controversy about the creation of the Cancer database as well as an extensive history of scandals wrapped around the the formative years of the ICRP.  Just as the United Nations based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was and still is in charge of both promoting as well as overseeing global nuclear safety, the ICRP’s original development was setup to protect the nuclear agenda from a global anti-nuclear sentiment that has included millions of people worldwide.

The history of global radiation standards has a horrific history that including doing nothing while letting the US (the primary funder of the UN agency)  used hundreds of thousands of American Servicemen as nuclear guinea pigs in the 1950’s, not to mention doing nothing to protect the rest of the country during Atmospheric testing during the 1950’s.  The tragic stories of contamination of millions of people from the fallout has long been shrouded in secrecy by the U.S. government.  Even a 14 year study was nearly buried until political pressure exposed its existence in 1997, forcing its release. Note that every time there is a new radiation controversy the online report disappears from its website and can take hours to find in the the National Cancer Institute’s online labrynth.  Soon after its original publication which included detailed maps of all weapons test, all but a few of the maps were removed so that individuals concerned about actual exposure histories would never be able to track individuals radiation levels.

Since the inception of  the ICRP it has been a captured agency of the global nuclear culture.  In the past Rosalie Bertel did a detailed investigation of the ICRP’s membership back during the 1950’s showing that all were either directly part of the nuclear industry or managerial policy types brought into to legitimize an agency that was letting workers be exposed to excessive radiation levels all in the name of national security.  In the late 1980’s at the peak of the collapse of the nuclear infrastructure within the USA, a national movement arose from within the ranks of Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear workers who were seeing ever growing numbers of fellow workers die of rare cancers and other illnesses.  That movement would eventually lead to legislation passed in the late 1990’s that would give workers up to $150,000 in compensation if they could prove that they had been exposed to excessive levels of radiation or other carcinogens.  An example of one of the most egregious coverup came when it was disclosed in 2006(?) that the workers’ health records from the DOE’s Mound facility in Ohio had been purposely exposed to radiation and then dumped in a nuclear waste dump half way across the country.  A decade later of the ten’s of thousands of workers who have applied for compensation barely 1 in 4 have ever been given money and most have died trying.  See library link for historic stories on this issue. The DOE worker health scandal continues up to the present.  Much of the movement for compensation has all but died as most of those who fought for compensation are now deceased.  The system was setup so a single family already facing economic hardship from medical bills would then have to prove a health connection and do so against the entire legal and technical resources the US government threw back in defense, of not wanting to pay compensation.  Additional compensation programs for native american miners and downwinders were also set up and disbursed monies to very tightly defined communities.  Coverage of this health disaster by the US media has been almost completely censored out of existence.  Only a few times has there been an attempt to bring out these stories to the general public and only in a few areas of the country.  The radiation standards community has been part and parcel to these long standing scandals.

Last spring the US based environmental group NRDC released a report suggesting that there would be 80 excess cancers, based on the radiation release reports at the time.  The NRDC study only evaluated external doses in coming to those figures, not to mention that it was public acknowledged that during the height of the accident TEPCo’s radiation monitors were all off line.  Even so, recent reports suggest that ocean fallout into the pacific to be at least three times higher than previously stated publicly.

It is expected that both the UN’s High Level meeting on September 22nd will be filled with the claims of both the IAEA which conducted an investigation in May and released its report in June as well as the US NRC’s Fukushima. While NGO reports like WILPF’s will take back stage unless attention is drawn to the fact that there are major controversies across the board on what has and continues to happen at Fukushima.

If you know of any other UN registered NGO there still may be 4 minute speaking slots available (see details below on how to apply).

At the same time this is happening the International Atomic Energy Agency is holding a week long global symposium on nuclear safety in Vienna Austria.  Here’s the link to the schedule of events taking place.

Last week the agency as well as the ICRP held a symposium on Fukushima in Japan.  Here is the link to presentations made then which includes video. This particular IAEA page is probably the most complete page by any agency with extensive links to all major reports on the accident, including videos, photos and more.

Here’s the link to the UN’s Live Webcast service.

Here’s the link to the National Press Club event.

Opening Session

Working Session on Safety

Closing remarks on the UN Safety Symposium

9-23 Comments on Symposium

WE were told via email that the symposium would not be webcast by the UN prior to the event.  In fact it was.  There was major security involved as many countries wanted to make formal statements.  One session was broadcast by audio only while there were two sessions, that included Ban Ki Moon’s closing wrap up of the entire meeting.  This consisted of two written reviews of the working meeting presented by the two co-chairs, one from korea and the other from Brazil.  There was not enough time to let all representatives makes presentations.  Most were openly pro-nuclear statements from wanna-be nuclear countries.

The opening session led by the UN Secretary General included statements by the head of the IAEA followed by Japan’s new Prime Minister who gave the UN Japan’s formal statement about Fukushima.  It included the country’s new position on continued use of nuclear as well as promoting the development of nuclear power.  The rest of the General Assembly presentations by various countries were as expected, promoting the authority of the IAEA and the continued develop nuclear power.

Only the representative from Qatar spoke out calling for a nuclear free middle east as well as having grave concerns about the dangers of nuclear power expansion.  They also mentioned that the new agreements were also voluntary which means that people will continue doing what they are doing.  The country of Marshall Islands also spoke out about the corruption of the UN mentioning that it was the UN that originally allowed the US to do atomic bomb testing on their islands resulting in radioactive contamination that is to this day effecting the health and environmental safety of their country and people.

In summation, the process was clearly nothing more than a public relations ploy by the world’s nuclear promoters, of which the United Nations has played a major role since Eisenhower’s 1954 Atom’s for Peace before the UN.  How the UN has allowed a single agency to both promote as well as regulate nuclear development is a sad example of a intentionally structured (captured) agenda that has resulted in the corruption of scientists around the world, who’s skills could have been used elsewhere.

Audio podcast

Below is the official UN Agenda for 9-22

High-level Meeting on Nuclear Safety and Security
The high-level meeting will take place on 22 September 2011, and will be held
according to the following schedule:

8-8.45 a.m. Opening plenary meeting (GA Hall)
9-12.00 p.m. Two parallel interactive ministerial sessions, both of which will
address “Strengthening Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Disaster Risk
Preparedness”. (CR 2 & CR 4 (NLB))
12.15-1.00 p.m. Closing plenary meeting (CR-2 (NLB))

The opening plenary meeting will be held in the General Assembly Hall. The
opening plenary meeting will be chaired by the Secretary-General and the
provisional list of invited speakers includes the Heads of States or Government of
Brazil, France, Japan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Ukraine
and United States as well as the Director General of the International Atomic Energy

The two parallel interactive ministerial sessions will be held in Conference
Rooms 2 and 4 (North Lawn Building) and will be co-chaired by Member States as
designated by the Secretary-General. The sessions will each address the theme
“Strengthening nuclear safety and nuclear disaster risk preparedness” and will each
include three to four lead discussants as designated by the Secretary-General.

To ensure balance in the number of participants, Member States have been divided
alphabetically with A-L, including the Holy See, in its capacity as observer,
assigned to Conference Room 2. Member States M-Z, including Palestine, in its
capacity as observer, are assigned to Conference Room 4.

The Intergovernmental organizations, other entities having received a standing
invitation to participate as observers in the sessions and the work of the General
Assembly and maintaining permanent offices at Headquarters as well as specialized
agencies and related organizations maintaining liaison offices at headquarters,
including the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban
Treaty Organization, are assigned to a meeting room, as follows:

Session 1, Conference Room 2
Intergovernmental Organizations: African Union, Asian-African Legal
Consultative Organization, Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Central
American Integration System, Commonwealth, Cooperation Council for the
Arab States of the Gulf, European Union, International Criminal Court,
International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), International
Development Law Organization.

Specialized Agencies and Related Organizations: International Labour
Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, World
Health Organization, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, International
Telecommunication Union.

Other entities: International Committee of the Red Cross, International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Olympic

Session 2, Conference Room 4
Intergovernmental Organizations: International Institute for Democracy and
Electoral Assistance, International Organization for Migration, International
Organization of la Francophonie, International Seabed Authority, International
Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, International Union for Conservation of
Nature, League of Arab States, Organization of the Islamic Conference,
Partners in Population and Development, University for Peace.
Specialized Agencies and Related Organizations: World Meteorological
Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization, International Fund for
Agricultural Development, United Nations Industrial Development
Organization, World Tourism Organization, International Atomic Energy
Agency, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban
Treaty Organization. Other entities: Inter-Parliamentary Union, Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

At the closing plenary meeting, the Secretary-General will present a summary
of the discussions during the high-level meeting, including summaries of the
discussions during the interactive ministerial sessions to be transmitted to the
closing plenary, and will transmit the summary, under his authority, to the sixtysixth
session of the General Assembly for its consideration. The closing plenary will
be held in Conference Room 2 (North Lawn Building).

The list of speakers for the interactive sessions will be made available prior to
the meeting. Participants wishing to inscribe their names on the list of speakers are
invited to contact the Disarmament and Peace Affairs Branch (Ms. Ruby
Kulanusorstit, Room IN-0613B, telephone 212-963-5592; fax 212-963-5305, e-mail:
kulanusorstit@un.org for delegations A to L and session 1, and Mr. Dino Del-Vasto,
Room IN-0608E, telephone 212 963 0388, fax 212 963 5305, e-mail: delvasto@
un.org for delegations from M to Z and session 2). In order to accommodate
as many speakers as possible and taking into account time constraints, interventions
should not exceed four minutes.

Because of enhanced security measures during the general debate of the sixtysixth
session of the General Assembly, from 20 to 30 September, and in view of the
limited capacity of Conference Rooms 2 and 4, members of non-governmental
organizations will be permitted access to the overflow room only, Conference Room
5. Their access will be honoured on the basis of the availability of seats in the
overflow room and upon verification of valid United Nations passes and appropriate
access cards issued for the High-level Meeting. Eligible representatives of nongovernmental organizations wishing to attend the meeting should inform Ms. Soo-
Hyun Kim, telephone 917 367 3596, email: kim12@un.org.