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Amano says IAEA will work to improve nuclear plant safety

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Still no words about energy saving, reducing the over-the-top general lighting in Japan, or investing in sustainable energy sources rather than continuing down the npp road in earthquake/tsunami central. "...there is no 100 percent safety in the real world" rather begs the question, doesn't it?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Monday his agency would keep working to improve safety after the Fukushima crisis, but no nuclear plant could be “100%” safe from natural disasters.

if atomic plants can't be built which are 100% safe against the forces of nature then we shouldn't have them especially in a country like Japan, with a history of powerful earthquakes and tsunami and now the country is moving into an era of mega quakes as shown by the Tohoku earthquake which will appear at a greater frequency than in the past.

The role of the IAEA is to promote the use of nuclear energy, no matter what.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Let me laugh loudly. So there is no 100% anymore. It used to be, wasn't it? Amano care about his technology but no words on people who lost their homes.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

All of these Japanese politicians talk about is safety nuclear power, but what about all of the people that was affected by their stupidity and mistakes from Fukushima? Nothing!! I hear nothing at all!! Japan should be focusing on how to improve their country and not how to destroy it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

For more than four decades, the gov't and the nuke village told the people nuclear energy was safe, clean and cheap, an urban myth busted by the nuclear disaster.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

As zichi also quotes from the article :

no nuclear plant could be “100%” safe from natural disasters.

We all KNOW this so please stop entertaining the idea of a "re-start" wherever in Japan. On the other hand, isn't it about time the gov. started taking better care of the victims of 11th March in the Fukushima region ?

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" but no nuclear plant could be “100%” safe from natural disasters."

Then they should not be allowed to operate. Period.

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Zichi, name one type of power that is 100% safe. Wind power can fail and kills wildlife. Coal and oil pollute. Steam can explode. Gas pollutes.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

He, like the rest of the people at the IAEA, are at a loss as to what to do with Fukushima. The right thing is for the IAEA to recommend the shutting down of all nuclear facilities world-wide, stop the building of new ones and disband. A non-Japanese would have been a better choice at the helm of the IAEA especially since Fukushima is Japanese. Someone else would be able to see what needs to be done without being burdened by Japanese blinkers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mike Will

Zichi, name one type of power that is 100% safe.

Yes but none are like nuclear energy when its goes belly contaminating more than 10% of the land mass, massive contamination of the ocean and rivers, contamination the food chain. No energy other than nuclear creates waste which takes tens of thousands os years to be safe.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

That's actually incorrect.

Coal, Oil and gas contaminate all of the land. All of the seas. All of the food chain. They also increase global warming which have a serious impact on communities living at low levels etc etc.

This whole discussion is basic risk assessment management... the risks and the benefits.

Some on here see the potential death of the planet from fossil fuels to be a more acceptable risk than the potential consequences of a nuclear disaster. Though if Fukushima tells us anything it's that the consequences of a major nuclear disaster are actually very small. Certainly not when you compare it to other options.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

No energy other than nuclear creates waste which takes tens of thousands os years to be safe.

The waste from burning coal stays toxic forever, just a bit longer than tens of thousands of years. Other fossil fuels put pollutants into the air and water that are also forever.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

To echo others, nothing is 100% safe.

Geothermal - problems with arsenic polution. Solar PV - poisonous elements needed for production. Solar Thermal - fire hazard. Hydro - dam collapse. Wave & Tidal - risky environments for workers. Fossil Fuels - not safe in normal operation.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Even Chernobyl was never the unmitigated disaster that the nuclear superstitious claim it to be.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qaEKfPlCL_4

And all this talk about contamination fails to understand that radioactivity is naturally occuring, in some places more than others. During 311 I escaped from Tokyo to Hong Kong. Only months later did I learn that HK's naturally occuring background radiation was even higher than Tokyo's after Fukushima.

And the stock of radiation in the seas is magnitudes higher than Fukushima overflow that even throwing all the contaminated water to the Ocean will hardly make a dent in the ocean's stock of radioactivity.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/09/04/solving-the-fukushima-radioactivity-problem-dump-it-all-into-the-ocean/

Lots of headless superstitious chickens around here.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

massive contamination of the ocean and rivers, contamination the food chain. No energy other than nuclear creates waste which takes tens of thousands os years to be safe.

Zichi,

Did you post the above because you'd forgotten the damage that fossil fuels can do? Didn't know the damage that fossil fuels can do? Don't agree that fossil fuels can do any damage? Or another reason?

For someone who appears to be as well informed as you, it's a very surprising comment to make.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The bottom line is: fossil fuels are changing the climate of the Earth, possibly permanently. Nuclear power doesn't, but Japan has renewed its love-affair with them because nuclear power is not 100% safe. Crazy.

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"Watchdog" LOL! Try LAPDOG

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Johannes Weber Aug. 12, 2011 - 06:58PM JST

The airtight roof - You may call it tent, You could also call it temporary sarcophagus - is a poor man's substitute for a sarcophagus like in Chernobyl. They will have to renew it very soon. But it has lots of positive effects.

First, it drastically reduces the particle flow into and out of the damaged building. The really dangerous stuff is not that little atmospheric iodine and iodine that is still around in Tokyo. The really dangerous shit that is still leaking out into the air are hot particles. These guys stick to Your internal organs and deliver an extremely high local dose. The "tent" can reduce the amount of these particles that get out through smoke, wind and rain. As such, it is very valuable. The only thing that should get through in any significant amount is gamma radiation and that reduces with the square of the distance.

The tent can't do anything about the water leakage. You would have to build a water-tight shell in the earth surrounding the facility. That is really expensive and a large scale project, because it has to done piecewise. But in principle it is possible, even though not in this year, if Tepco doesn't mobilize everything it has.

The important question why they are so slow is answered by the fact that they didn't tackle the situation as fast and concise as the Russians did in Chernobyl 25 years ago. No liquidators for Japan. Tepco and the Japanese government have been too proud to ask for help in countries that are more proficient with nuclear power (like those that already had dealt with nuclear accidents inside or near their borders). This is one of the main reasons why repairs don't advance faster. This is one of the main reasons, why people in Fukushima prefecture still don't know, how safe or unsafe their daily lives are. Japanese pride makes Japanese people suffer

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

IAEA are a joke.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Some on here see the potential death of the planet from fossil fuels to be a more acceptable risk than the potential consequences of a nuclear disaster. Though if Fukushima tells us anything it's that the consequences of a major nuclear disaster are actually very small.

Well, there's an open-ended bill that the country has been presented with. Everybody likes money, so I think these are consequences that even you should be capable of understanding. If the costs had been borne by TEPCO, the world's fourth largest power utility, they'd have gone under. Hardly small consequences.

Reactors 7 and 8 were supposed to begin construction around now and come into operation less than 5 years from now, so due to the meltdown of reactors 1 to 3, the plan to have 8 reactors operating is dead and will never be resurrected.

Another four reactors at Fukushima Daini are shut down and their future doesn't look very bright, nor do TEPCO's prospects of generating nuclear power from its other installations.

That's some pretty serious damage, even before considering the effect on the wider nuclear programme in Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Everybody likes money, so I think these are consequences that even you should be capable of understanding.

I find that it's always a good idea to start with a personal attack. It shows a quality of debate doesn't it?

Interesting that you've now decided to go down an economic route for the cost of the disaster. No longer comfortable with claiming that nuclear is an environmental nightmare?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Interesting that you've now decided to go down an economic route for the cost of the disaster.

Silly point.

I'm old enough that I was being bombarded with pro-nuclear propaganda back when Sellafield was called Windscale, and I've always been sceptical about the claims of the nuclear industry, not least its claims about costs. And that's when things are running as planned.

The financial side of the Fukushima disaster is obviously of vital importance. Who would be foolish enough to think it isn't? I certainly never stayed silent on that. Industrial accidents don't normally run to hundreds of billions of dollars, and few countries have that kind of money to throw down a hole.

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BP spent over 40 billion on that small oil spill, the costs of global warming will dwarf anything that the nuclear industry costs, nuclear stacks up well in terms of costs.

And it certainly stacks up well in times of safety and health issues. 11 people died in the BP explosion. 11 more than died when the tsunami caused the Fukushima incident.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The post isn't about oil or any fossil fuel, it about the General Dircetor stating the IAEA will work to improve safety at atomic power plants because of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima which they decided was a LEVEL 7. The IAEA only deal in the promotion of nuclear energy and have nothing to do with fossil fuels, renewable energy or any other kind of energy.

But just to add that BP spent $40 billion of its own company money on the Gulf oil spill while the nuclear disaster is being paid for directly from public coffers. ¥10 trillion to date, another ¥25 trillion over the coming 10 years, and eventually more than ¥50 trillion. TEPCO who have admitted responsibility for the nuclear disaster will be limited to paying ¥120 Billion, and since the introduction of the new safety standards by the NRA, the nuclear liability in the event of a nuclear disaster remains at ¥120 billion.

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I was responding to a comment on industrial accidents. Should I have just ignored it? I know that you promote the use of fossil fuels but still, you've also previously brought them into this topic.

Care to respond to my previous question?

Did you post the above because you'd forgotten the damage that fossil fuels can do? Didn't know the damage that fossil fuels can do? Don't agree that fossil fuels can do any damage? Or another reason?"

As it stands I'm assuming you think that it's okay for fossil fuels to kill tens of thousands a year and cause billions and billions of dollars worth of damage. Simply because it's not nuclear.

Nuclear may do damage. Fossil fuels. Does. Will. And always has.

Not that you seem to care.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

BP spent over 40 billion on that small oil spill, the costs of global warming will dwarf anything that the nuclear industry costs, nuclear stacks up well in terms of costs.

You're assuming that nuclear actually help curb the CO2 emission.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I'm sorry, are you suggesting that nuclear does not have an impact on reducing CO2 emissions?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Not for its price in the long term, no. It costs too much money to build and maintain nuclear plants.

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I'm confused... because it costs money it therefore doesn't reduce CO2 emissions?

It's without question that nuclear reduces CO2 emissions. It's even been suggested that there have been 54 billion tons of CO2 reduced because of nuclear. In the US aline.

When you consider the environmental damage that has been prevented and the lives that have been saved, not to mention the illnesses that have been reduced, it's very difficult to argue that the costs of nuclear are anyway comparable to the costs of fossil fuels.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The pro nuclear energy supporters constantly try to steer the discussion away from the topic of the post and constantly onto fossil fuels. Because its also wrong to use fossil fuels does not make it right to use nuclear energy, particularly in a country like Japan with a long history of powerful quakes, tsunami and other very powerful natural events.

In the future, because of the increase increase in the required safety standards at nuclear power plants, its most likely the power utilities will be unable or unwilling to invest their capital in new atomic plants, which is also happening in countries like Britain which is now unable to build new ones and have gone begging to the Chinese and Japanese to own and build them for them. The French pulled out having realised that the increased capital costs didn't bear the investments and lower profits.

Even though for decades the nuclear village promoted the expanding use of nuclear energy, and told the people how safe it was, it failed to create a system of balances and checks to ensure that the safety of the atomic plants was always the most important, instead following the nuclear disaster we discover that companies like TEPCO actually put profits ahead of plant safety.

In the three years since the beginning of the nuclear disaster TEPCO haven't changed on that point and their first priority, even before dealing with the nuclear disaster, is to return the company to profit.

Like I have already said, in the event of another nuclear disaster, the power utility involved will be limited to paying out only ¥120 billion, no matter how many trillions it will take.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No energy other than nuclear creates waste which takes tens of thousands os years to be safe. Zichi, Mar 18

The pro nuclear energy supporters constantly try to steer the discussion away from the topic of the post and constantly onto fossil fuels. Zichi, Mar 21

I initially mentioned fossil fuels after your grossly incorrect statement on March 18.

Oh, and as you are very aware. As a result of Japan stopping nuclear power it has increased it's fossil fuel reliance. I'm not entirely sure how you can claim that fossil fuels isn't relevant to Japan and nuclear given that is the current only alternative.

In the future, because of the increase increase in the required safety standards at nuclear power plants, its most likely the power utilities will be unable or unwilling to invest their capital in new atomic plants, which is also happening in countries like Britain which is now unable to build new ones and have gone begging to the Chinese and Japanese to own and build them for them.

Given that the British are using Japanese companies to help in their nuclear program would it be too off the wall to assume that those same Japanese companies would be able to help the Japanese?

And let's be honest... bringing the British nuclear program into the discussion, now that's off topic.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Heda_Madness,

every post on nuclear energy you comment on always includes your mentions of fossil fuels regardless of what others post. Sort of like your back line defence.

I stand by what I said that nuclear energy is the only one which produces waste which takes tens of thousands of year to become safe. Nothing you have posted shows otherwise. Finland seems to be the only country with nuclear energy which has come up with a solution to the long term safe storage of its nuclear waste. Both America and Japan have failed on that with most spent nuclear fuel being in open cooling pools which are reaching capacity limit.

Given that the British are using Japanese companies to help in their nuclear program would it be too off the wall to assume that those same Japanese companies would be able to help the Japanese? And let's be honest... bringing the British nuclear program into the discussion, now that's off topic.

The British power utilities are unable or unwilling to invest in new nuclear power plants. Those British companies are now mostly owned by foreign countries. The British gov't are unwilling to directly finance the new building but are willing to go with begging bowl to the Chinese and Japanese and in return the British gov't will safe guard their investment. Who wants foreign countries owning the country's nuclear power? The French pulled out because there's no longer enough profit to be made in nuclear energy even though its the world's largest user of nuclear energy.

The Japanese gov't have not stated its willing to safeguard capital investments in new atomic plants.

The post is about nuclear energy plants in all countries since the IAEA General Director made the statement about trying to increase safety standards but clearly also mentioned that no nuclear power plant should be considered 100% safe. He, unlike you, makes no mention of fossil fuels and again, the wrong use of fossil fuels does not make nuclear energy the right one.

There are 31 countries using nuclear energy, including Britain so as usual my comment is right on topic but you will keep trying to divert the discussion away from the safety of nuclear power plants.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

BP spent over 40 billion on that small oil spill.

Which is being spent by BP, not the public. Just as importantly, 40 billion is a fraction of what Fukushima is going to cost.

You see the difference, I trust.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The BP spill is not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A pecentage of the cost, a substantially smaller amount of the power. That was just one example though - I guess the hydro dam in China cost a penny or two as well.

Nuclear creates something which takes tens of thousands of years to be safe... Coal, gas, oil... produces something which will never be safe... Yet you keep promoting it.

That spent fuel in America is such a huge amount it would cover a football field 7 yards deep...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Heda_Madness

the cost of hydro dams in china has nothing to do with the post topic of nuclear power plant safety?

You always accuse me any anyone else who is opposed to nuclear energy is then also a supporter of fossil fuels even though I informed you that just because its wrong to use fossil fuels does not make using nuclear energy right? You are unable to separate them except when I mention that in most countries nuclear energy is only viable because its also locked in with coal, since there isn't a single country, including France, which has been able to generate 100% power from nuclear energy.

You still have not shown any requested proof that fossil fuels creates waste more dangerous than nuclear waste and lasts for tens of thousands of years. Even the leading climate scientist, Dr James Hansen has stated that nuclear energy should be used in 4th generation reactors which are not in this country.

If you are using power generated from fossil fuels, and I suspect at least in part you are, then you too are promoting it by buying it?

I think you would find. with a little reading that the spent nuclear fuel in America would cover more than a football pitch. Here, there are currently 48 reactors each with a spent nuclear fuel cooling pool.In addition each atomic plant also has a common pool and each atomic plant has a dry cask storage building. Then there"s the reprocessing plant in Aomori. All together, there's more than than 15,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel with the cooling pools at more than 80% capacity. Since 2002, the gov't has been trying to find a location to build a safe storage, but guess what, even before the nuclear disaster, no one wanted it?

America with its vast land mass and mountains has not found a location for its spent nuclear fuel.

The nuclear disaster at Fukushima showed the weakness of using a pool system and the No 4 pool came very close to collapsing. There were cooling problems with the other pools too.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was responding to Wipeout - if you don't like it then ignore it but I'm certainly not going to ignore someone speaking to me.

I'm pretty sure I've never said any country is 100% nuclear. Or should be. I'm pretty sure that I've said, and have always said it should be a combination of nuclear and renewables.

I think you would find. with a little reading that the spent nuclear fuel in America would cover more than a football pitch.

Perhaps the most arrogant thing you have ever written, I think you will find with a bit little reading America would cover more than a football field... it's not only arrogant, it's yet another statement which is easily proven wrong with a quick Google search.

I think you'll find I did a little reading and guess it what it said. A football field. The only question is the depth and 7 yards deep actually seems to be on the extreme side.

So before you make arrogant accusations you probably should do a bit of reading on the subject because it's awfully repetitive for me to yet again prove that a statement you've made as an absolute fact is indeed woefully incorrect.

The nuclear disaster at Fukushima showed that the biggest danger are ill informed commentators on the internet. No one has died yet. Few will. As a result Japan has increased it's reliance on fossil fuels. In the US it's been reported that nuclear has saved 76,000 lives from 2000 to 2009 alone.

As Japan. currently has two options - nuclear and fossil fuels. I advocate nuclear. You, on the other hand, despite accepting that fossil fuels are bad. Prefer the absolute guaranteed killer.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The nuclear disaster at Fukushima showed that the biggest danger are ill informed commentators on the internet.

Comments on the internet are not the reason for settlements near the plant being turned into ghost towns.

https://www.reconstruction.go.jp/english/topics/2013/03/the-status-in-fukushima.html

The danger is from radiation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It would be great if the IAEA can come up with a way to neutralize/safely dispose of highly toxic waste from spent nuclear fuel.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Heda_Madness,

The nuclear disaster at Fukushima showed that the biggest danger are ill informed commentators on the internet.

It wasn't comments on the internet which made more than 160,000 people flee from their homes, some in the middle of the cold dark night clutching a few personal belongings. Maybe a photo of a deceased loved one? Most thinking they could return to their homes and communities which had existed for hundreds of years.

After all, TEPCO, the nuclear village and decades of government had told them how safe the atomic plant was.

Left dazed and confused, pushed first into emergency shelters and then into low grade temporary accommodations. The lucky ones have managed to leave the prefecture but many remain behind in a sort of nuclear limbo with the hope that TEPCO will pay out compensations that just might enable them to start rebuilding their lost lives. But most won't be able to return to their former homes and communities because the radiation levels are just too high.

Some of those former communities are over run with feral pigs, wild rats, wild dogs and cats all abandoned by their owners in the rush to avoid the on coming clouds of radiation from the busted atomic plant. Their homes have become victims to mildew and rot and will cost many millions just to repair them.

May are sadden by having to leave their family graves which are always important to all Japanese people.

According to the prefecture gov't about 1,600 died from those evacuations and a further 1600 have also died since from various aliments including stress and suicides.

The biggest dangers are ill informed commentators who would have us all believe that the LEVEL 7 nuclear disaster is no big deal because thousands have died from radiation poisoning and cancers.

There are the 350,000 children within the prefecture having to under go thyroid cancer scans. The stress and worry for the parents seems a less concern to the pro nuclear energy commentators.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Amano: "...no nuclear plant could be “100%” safe from natural disasters."

This was a human made disaster as much as, if not more than, a natural one. Nature should not be made a scapegoat like this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, the Fukushima meltdown was effected by a natural disaster, but was entirely preventable. Human failings, in this case greed in not wanting to spend the money to create proper defenses, as well as a lack of oversight by an independent and unbiased watchdog, enabled an environment that allowed the tsunami to cause the problems it did.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The biggest dangers are ill informed commentators who would have us all believe that the LEVEL 7 nuclear disaster is no big deal because thousands have died from radiation poisoning and cancers.

Thank you for contributing to the "stress" portion.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

typo in my last comment "The biggest dangers are ill informed commentators who would have us all believe that the LEVEL 7 nuclear disaster is no big deal because thousands have died from radiation poisoning and cancers."

should have stated

"is no big deal because thousands have NOT died from radiation poisoning and cancers."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

According to the prefecture gov't about 1,600 died from those evacuations and a further 1600 have also died since from various aliments including stress and suicides.

The first set of numbers sounded very high... so it got me Googling... and I can't find a single article that gives a number. I have found many though that say the total deaths from the Fukushima evacuation is around 1600 which includes the actual evacuation and those that have died in the temporary housing communities.

As I've mentioned to you in the past 1600 people have died in temporary housing - but there are similar (albeit lower) numbers in Miyagi and Iwate. So unless you're trying to include those numbers in that, it's clear that no where near 3000 people have died as a direct result of Fukushima.

Unless of course you have some links to prove that the 1600 died in the actual evacuations and 1600 died purely from stress of radiation. But then again, why has there been such stress of radiation. Science is telling us something, science is telling us something really big and important. Unfortunately certain commentators are telling us that radiation is bad. M'kay

The biggest dangers are ill informed commentators who would have us all believe that the LEVEL 7 nuclear disaster is no big deal because thousands have died from radiation poisoning and cancers. There are the 350,000 children within the prefecture having to under go thyroid cancer scans. The stress and worry for the parents seems a less concern to the pro nuclear energy commentators.

What did WHO say? A couple of hundred may die from the radiation of Fukushima. A couple of hundred compared to the 1600 that YOU claim (obviously it isn't as I've proven) that have died from the fear and stress. Radiation is bad and anybody (especially the experts) who tells you otherwise is wrong. As I've previously posted the fact that 350,000 children are getting tested for Thyroid cancer will lead to a 100% diagnosis of thyroid cancer. Something that would never have happened before. Ironically, this will save the lives

Incidentally I notice that you didn't respond to the football field comment... Are you still maintaining that I need to do a bit of reading or are you now accepting that the amount of nuclear waste in America would fill a football field 7-8 yards high. Or have you done a bit of reading on the subject....?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

In the meantime amazingly high amounts of radiation found in reservoirs around Fukushima, with residents praying they never dry out. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20140323_02.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The first set of numbers sounded very high... so it got me Googling... and I can't find a single article that gives a number

.However what I have found is...

○ Human sufferings

・Deaths: 15,884

・Missing: 2,640

・Injured: 6,150

・Disaster-Related deaths*: 2,916

Now the disaster related deaths are correct as of September 2013, however they include all of the deaths from the three prefectures including those that have died in temporary housing etc.

So given that we can accept that there have been around 1600 who have died in Fukushima and a similar number in Iwate and Miyagi it's clear that Zichi's claim that 1600 died in the evacuation is wrong.

There's simply no evidence to support it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Fukushima: NHK Documentary; Downwind From Disaster http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6Jdl-k01Gs&sns=em

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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