Fukushima 113

September 28, 2017

  • A Fukushima physician says scientists need to better explain the “unknowable”. Dr. Sai Ochi of Soma Hospital has found that a Japanese google search for “Fukushima” and “radioactivity” first brings two articles: “The situation at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station is so serious!” and “People are sick because of radioactivity." Dr. Ochi thus feels that unfounded fears and rumors remain “firmly rooted”. The frustration felt by those who combat these fears is because “facts” often not understood as believable. But, statistical outliers are often given greater emphasis because they come from trusted friends and neighbors. However, such outliers are excluded in scientific data and the public doesn’t understand why. In addition, there is always the unknown factor. Dr. Ochi feels the concept of “unknowability” must be better explained by scientists. Since the public does not expect scientists to say they do not know something, the experts limit themselves to sharing only what they do know. Ochi says this deprives the public of opportunities to confront, discuss, and come to terms with uncertainty. She concludes that with Fukushima “not only what is known, but also what is not known, must be explained both objectively and logically in an easily understood manner.” http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/responsibility-for-explaining-the-unknowable/  
  • The European Union is set to relax bans on some Fukushima foodstuffs. The easing of restrictions will also affect 10 other prefectures. The lifting of the bans is expected by the end of the year. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170927_02/
  • Five Fukushima University interns help with disaster cleanup in Houston, Texas. They are assist with the operations of shelters, clearing out disaster debris, sorting relief supplies, removing flood-damaged furniture, and floors. The students feel this shows their appreciation for the kindness Americans demonstrated after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. Philip McCasland, an associate professor at Fukushima University, was impressed by their volunteer work, “They were proactive in the way they took part in the recovery efforts.” http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=856
  • A court says Tepco, not Tokyo, is responsible for the Fukushima accident. On Friday, the Chiba District Court ordered Tepco to pay $3.4 million in damages to 42 Fukushima evacuees, while absolving the national government of accident culpability. Four of those granted compensation are voluntary evacuees, while the rest were ordered to flee by Tokyo. The ruling says Tepco should compensate the evacuees a bit more than they have already received, but the amount was about eight times less than the plaintiffs had filed for. Presiding Judge Masaru Sakamoto said TEPCO did not entirely fail to implement measures against the risk of tsunami, but Tepco could have upgraded their defenses based on a 2002 government appraisal of worst case tsunamis on the east coast of Japan. Tokyo University professor Kunhiko Shimizaki headed the 2002 study, and testified on behalf of the plaintiffs, “The height of a likely tsunami could have been known if it was calculated based on that appraisal. Even if a specific forecast could not be made, some sort of countermeasure could have been taken.” The estimated tsunami height was for 12 meters, which would have swamped Fukushima Daiichi units #1 through #4 with much less water than was the case in March, 2011 (more than 15 meters). If Tokyo had forced Tepco to upgrade tsunami protection to meet the 12 meter criterion, the accident would have happened anyway. Thus, Tokyo was absolved of responsibility. The plaintiffs' lawyers criticized the ruling as unfair, in that the court did not recognize the state's liability. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170922_25/ -- http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201709220052.html -- https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170922/p2g/00m/0dm/081000c -- https://japantoday.com/category/national/tepco-again-ordered-to-pay-damages-in-nuclear-disaster-but-not-state
  • The revised roadmap for F. Daiichi decommissioning, reported in our September 7 posting, is approved by the Tokyo government. http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003966538
  • The Japan-US nuclear energy cooperation agreement could be automatically extended. The deal is due to expire next July, but will be  extended if neither the Japanese nor U.S. government gives written notice at least six months in advance. The agreement has been in force since 1988. Tokyo says the Trump administration will allow the automatic extension. The agreement allows Japan to reprocess spent nuclear fuel and enrich uranium so long as any the nuclear material will not be used for any military purpose. http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003962364
  • The Nuclear Regulation Authority has a new Chairman, Toyoshi Fuketa. Upon taking office, he said, "There is no end to efforts to keep (nuclear plants) safe. I will uncompromisingly pursue safety." Fuketa is the former director-general of the Nuclear Safety Research Center of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, and has been an NRA commissioner since the agency was created in September, 2012. He is a cautious supporter of restarting Kashiwazaki-Kariwa units #6 & #7, so long as Tepco embraces Fukushima lessons learned. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2017092201319
  • The NRA posted a draft report explaining that two units at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa meet Japan’s new safety standards. The agency’s secretariat announced the possibility a few weeks ago, which spurred considerable debate among the commissioners. NRA Chair Fuketa said the panel continues discussions and additional comments will be sent to the secretariat before the next scheduled meeting on October 4th. By then, the five commissioners should have a decision on whether or not to approve the report. Some of Japan’s Press says the NRA will probably accept the final, albeit revised report. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco -- https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2017/09/103f1fad7dc9-tepco-closer-to-approval-for-first-reactor-restarts-after-fukushima.html [Comment - Japan’s Press calls the K-K BWR units “the same as those that experienced meltdowns in Fukushima.” They are not the same as F. Daiichi units #1 through #3. The K-K units in the NRA report (#6 & #7) are ABWRs (Advanced BWRs) with greatly improved safety systems over those at F. Daiichi. ABWRs are thought to be capable of safely surviving a prolonged full-station blackout that caused the F. Daiichi accident.]
  • Sixteen fuel bundles of MOX fuel arrive in Japan. The shipment arrived at Takahama station on September 21. The bundles will be used in Takahama unit #4, which resumed operation in May. Unit #3 was restarted in June and uses 24 MOX assemblies interspersed with 133 standard fuel bundles. MOX is the acronym for mixed-oxide fuel containing recycled Plutonium. The shipment left Cherbourg, France, on July 5th. The bundles for unit #3 will be included in the next refueling process that is scheduled to begin next June. http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/mox-fuel-arrives-at-kansai-eps-takahama-4-npp/ -- http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR-MOX-fuel-shipment-leaves-France-for-Japan-0607174.html (Comment - once again, the Japanese and international Press outlets ignore a nuclear energy event that could be construed as something positive. When the shipment left Cherbourg, numerous articles were posted, full of antinuclear fear-mongering. The safe arrival of the small shipment got no Press coverage other than JAIF.)

September 21, 2017

  • The main road from Fukushima City to Namie reopens. It occurred on Wednesday. National Route 114 is the most direct, least time-consuming road between the Fukushima capital and the tsunami-devastated coastline. The 27-kilometer section had its northwest access barrier removed at 6am, allowing evacuees and reconstruction workers direct access to the Namie coastline. Until now, residents needed permission from the town government or had to take a lengthy detour route. Namie resident Hisashi Suzuki said, “Until now, we had to arrange for a thoroughfare pass beforehand, and we sometimes had to wait at checkpoints. This is much more convenient.” The reopened part runs through the remaining “difficult-to-return” zone in Namie where evacuees are allowed to make short visits to their homes, but not remain permanently. Highway access is limited to automobiles, with motorcycles and pedestrians forbidden to enter. Tokyo has set up barriers at 88 intersections on Route 114 to prevent thieves and tourists from using side roads to gain entry. Local officials hope this will increase the number of people who will return home. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201709200053.html
  • Used fuel bundle removal from units #1 & #2 is delayed. The Nuclear Regulation Authority is revising the “roadmap” for decommissioning F. Daiichi, which includes adding three years to the on-set of spent fuel removal for the two units. The work is now planned to begin in 2023. It was formerly supposed to start in 2020. The plan to start used fuel retrieval for unit #3 in 2018 has not changed. The delay’s reason is that it is taking longer than thought to remove contaminated debris from the two reactor buildings.  https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170920_04/
  • Most Fukushima residents feel that a recurrence of the 2011 accident is possible. 26,582 families who lived in the communities of Naraha, Tomioka, Okuma, Futaba, Namie, Kawauchi, and Katsurao were polled in February. A little over 10,000 replied. Although essentially impossible, 71.4% found it either “strongly true” or “slightly true” that another major accident is possible before decommissioning is complete. In addition, 70.3% expressed similar concerns about the storage and disposal facilities straddling home communities Okuma and Futaba. http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=854 (Comment - Local officials most do a better job of informing evacuation zone residents that such fears are necessarily unfounded.)
  • The Fukushima accident did not affect the Pacific’s fish or the people of North America. Fukushima InFORM’s Jay Cullen headed the team of nine authors who published their findings in the Journal Environmental Science and Technology. He says, "We're confident in saying that the levels that we see now in our part of the Pacific from Fukushima are below those levels that represent a significant health risk either to the Pacific Ocean or to human beings in Canada or the west coast of North America. We haven't been able to detect changes in the amount of these artificial isotopes that are in our Pacific salmon and steelhead trout or shellfish that we've collected all up and down the [Canadian] coast." https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/japans-nuclear-disaster-didnt-affect-fish-or-human-health-bc-scientist/article36257317/?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theglobeandmail.com
  • The first government-designated “hub” for Fukushima recovery is approved. The hub is a 560 hectare acre portion of Futaba’s no-go zone that should speed up restoration of infrastructure for the community. Tokyo will effect full scale decontamination in the hub to lift the evacuation order for the town’s train station by the end of 2019, allowing resident evacuees to access their homes and make “short stays”.  The entire hub zone is expected to have its restrictions lifted in the spring of 2022, and the rest of the town should be open for unrestricted repopulation by 2027. The rebuilding hub will be paid for by Tokyo. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201709150058.html
  • Two University training and research reactors have resumed operation since April. However, many other such facilities are being shuttered permanently. This has raised concerns about training enough young people to support the future of nuclear energy in Japan. The two operating units are a one watt (thermal) reactor at Kindai University and a 100 watt (thermal) “Critical Assembly” reactor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute, both located in Osaka Prefecture. Tetsuo Ito, director of the Institute said, “There is no substitute for the sense of pressure that comes with operating actual equipment.” In 2010, there were eleven such training and research units operating in Japan. Now, at least three will not restart due to the cost of meeting Japan’s new safety regulations. Another five are planned to restart. In 2010, there were about 1,500 students studying at these facilities, but last year there were only 300, mostly at South Korean university reactors. http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003924264 
  • The NRA says five of the nuclear stations cleared for restart may be at risk from volcanic ash. The five are Sendai, Mihama, Ohi, Ikata, and Genkai stations. The NRA believes that airborne concentrations of volcanic ash could be 100 times greater that formerly estimated, thus current filtration units need to be upgraded. The NRA says the units most likely to be harmed by clogged air filters are Ikata #3 and Genkai #3 & #4. No further details on the NRA’s decision have been posted. https://japantoday.com/category/national/5-nuclear-plants'-cooling-systems-may-fail-during-volcanic-eruptions

September 14, 2017

  • A drone will be used to measure area radiation levels inside units #1 through #4. The 93cm by 83cm four-propeller device has an on-board power supply that should last about 15 minutes. Repeated flights inside the four Reactor and Turbine buildings will be used to create a detailed 3-D map of radiation levels that could be encountered by workers when fuel debris removal begins. Unfortunately, Japan’s Press continues to post that the fuel debris is “molten” or “melted”, which is entirely incorrect. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/09/09/national/drone-measure-radiation-tainted-fukushima-no-1-buildings/#.WbUzSKMUkdU - https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170910/p2g/00m/0dm/008000c
  • A worker at F. Daiichi experienced a tiny amount of internal contamination. The worker was dismantling wastewater tanks no longer being used. The contamination was discovered during a routine medical examination, when a tiny amount was found in nasal cavities. The worst case exposure estimate was 0.01 millisieverts. This level of exposure is essentially harmless. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201709080046.html
  • Less than 10% of Fukushima’s evacuees have repopulated. In 2010, there were about 60,000 people living in the communities where evacuation orders have been lifted. As of August, only 5,950 have actually returned. Of these, more than 2,900 are elderly. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170909/p2a/00m/0na/004000c
  • The Fukushima evacuee jobless rate remains high. Fukushima University’s Fukushima Future Center for Regional Revitalization has found that nearly 32% of those aged 15-64 in the municipalities subject to evacuation orders are still unemployed. The pre-2011 rate was about 11%. Most of the jobless are living off continuing compensation subsidies (56%), as well as pensions (50%), with most receiving both. Only 33% of the respondents in the survey said their main income was from working. Team leader Fuminori Tanba of Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto explained, “The victim’s self-help or the payouts of compensation alone are not sufficient in empowering them to rebuild their lives. Administrative support aimed at helping them find jobs will be needed.” http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201709110027.html
  • The NRA begins final restart inspections for Genkai unit #3. Barring problems, Kyushu Electric Company plans to load fuel in December, and restart the unit in January. In addition to examining safety improvements stipulated in Japan’s new standards for operation, The Nuclear Regulation Authority will further review disaster response measures for unit #3. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2017091100330
  • The NRA does an about-face on Kashiwazaki-Kariwa restart approval. Recently, Tokyo’s nuclear watchdog said that Tepco was qualified to restart K-K units 6 & 7.  Now, Chairman Shunichi Tanaka says “it’s insecure” if the company shows its resolve in words alone. The NRA’s reversal is due to criticism that there had been a lack of debate on whether or not Tepco is qualified to operate the K-K units. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170914/p2g/00m/0dm/006000c
  • Fearmongering ex-PM Junichiro Koizumi says nuclear plants are the same as bombs. In a September 8th speech in Fukui Prefecture, he said, "Having nuclear plants is tantamount to possessing atomic bombs directed at the people of Japan." His statement followed the recent North Korean test flight of an ICBM over Japan and subsequent detonation of what was believed to be a thermo-nuclear weapon. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170909/p2a/00m/0na/012000c
  • Over 20,000 2011 quake and tsunami refugees still live in temporary housing: Iwate Prefecture has 8,142, Miyagi 7,148, and Fukushima 6,210. This is a decline of about 30% since March. The percentage will probably drop further because the people owning the land with the temporary housing want their property back. However, many of the refugees will probably continue staying put well into next year, if not beyond, since construction of new housing on high-enough ground continues to lag. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170911_02/
  • The completion of the Rokkasho used fuel reprocessing plant is delayed. Rokkasho owner Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited has been told by the NRA that rainwater flowing through underground piping at the facility needs to be addressed before it can pass a pre-operational safety screening. A recent examination of the piping’s tunnel, and attendant inspection records, showed that it had not been examined since 2003. JNFL had hoped to begin operation by March 2018, but this development makes that unlikely. The length of the delay is speculative. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170914_14/


September 7, 2017

  • Minamisoma radiation levels are the same as cities on the west coast of Japan. Most of the city was subject to the 30 kilometer evacuation order rendered by Tokyo in 2011. Though restrictions were rescinded for some of the population in April, 2012, the majority were not lifted until July, 2016. Repopulation has been disappointing due to lingering radiation fears. As a result, the city government conducted a survey to compare the city’s radiation levels to those of cities hundreds of kilometers away, and on the other coastline. 25 dosimeters were issued to city employees of Minami-Soma, Tajimi in Gifu Prefecture, Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture, and Nanto in Toyama Prefecture, from May 29 through June 11. The general exposure level in Minamisoma was found to be 0.82 millisieverts per year, which was essentially no different than with the other three control cities. Project head Masaharu Tsubokura of Minamisoma General Hospital said, ““Making comparisons with other municipalities is important.”  He said the results will be formally posted as an academic paper. The city hopes the results will encourage more former residents to return home. In 2010, the city’s population was about 78,000, but the current estimate is just under 58,000. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201709050042.html
  • Fukushima InFORM says assumptions of bioaccumulation of Fukushima contamination are “unwise”. The conclusion is based on an independent peer-reviewed paper “Assessing Fukushima-Derived Radiocesium in Migratory Pacific Predators”. The author’s results include that no Cesium-134 is detectible in any of the analyzed organisms, except for a trace found in one Ridley sea Turtle. In addition, the concentrations of Cs-137 are essentially the same as before the 2011 nuke accident. Further, the Cs-137 levels are 10 to 100-fold lower than naturally-occurring Potassium-40. Ninety-one species were tested between 2012 and 2015, including tuna, dolphins, turtles, and salmon. Thus, the paper’s authors say, “…predators in the central, eastern, and western Pacific should not be assumed to accumulate detectable levels of radiocesium a priori.” Thus “…anxiety and speculation about the dangers of radiocesium bioaccumulation in the face of such data seems unfounded.” The paper was published in Environmental Science and Technology, July, 2017. (Comment - Once again, important information has not been picked up by the Press both inside and outside Japan because it is not titillating.) https://fukushimainform.ca/2017/09/06/how-much-fukushima-contamination-is-there-in-migratory-pacific-fish/m -- http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b00680 (paper abstract)
  • Tokyo posts the latest F. Daiichi decommissioning “roadmap” on September 1. The last revised version was released in June, 2015. While there are no overall scheduling changes, the methods of damaged fuel debris removal have been modified to reflect the latest decisions made by the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation (NDF). Rather than the headlines posted by the Press near the end of August, a more detailed and accurate step-by-step approach is actually the case. The first step will be removal of corium (fuel debris) that may have collected inside the pedestals of the reactor vessels through the side of the Primary Containment Vessels. Before the next step is made, new evaluations will be made to determine the next step. For example, water-covered removal of corium inside and/or attached to the RPVs will be considered in order to minimize worker exposures. The target date to begin corium removal is 2021. Another important target is decontamination of all water in the damaged unit basements by 2020. http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/government-team-releases-draft-revisions-to-mid-to-long-term-decommissioning-roadmap-for-fukushima-daiichi-npps/
  • The second section of the unit #3 used fuel removal cover dome has been installed. Here are a few pictures. http://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/date/2017/201709-e/170907-01e.html
  • Two of Tepco’s large BWR unit restarts will be discussed by the NRA. Restarts of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa units #6 & #7 began to be reviewed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority commissioners on Wednesday. Discussion focuses on issues concerning the implementation of Japan’s new nuclear safety standards. It is expected the commissioners will create a draft document certifying that the K-K units have satisfied the new safety requirements. The NRA wants to reach a conclusion before current Chairman Shunichi Tanaka’s term expires on September 18th. It is possible that the K-K units will be the first Boiling Water Reactor systems to restart in Japan. The move is expected to trigger considerable socio-political criticism since both units are Boiling Water Reactor systems, although far more advanced than Fukushima Daiichi and having large, domed containments around their reactors. Local governments are also uneasy about supporting the restarts. Niigata Governor Ryuichi Yoneyama says it will takes as long as five years for Tepco to receive the local consent needed for power resumption. Tepco needs the income from the operation of the two units to begin the company’s financial recovery. The two units have a combined 2,630 MWE electrical output.  https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2017/09/e77604d30bbc-exclusive-tepcos-reactors-soon-to-clear-major-safety-hurdle-to-restart.html -- https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170906/p2a/00m/0na/016000c
  • Japan’s Press posts contrasting reports on the NRA’s view ok the K-K units. The Mainichi Shimbun says the NRA is poised to give approval to the K-K safety inspections, saying the Tokyo watchdog has a “suddenly sunny attitude” towards Tepco. That is, the NRA chair, Shunichi Tanaka, now says that currently unresolved problems, like contaminated water build-up, cannot be helped given the socio-political circumstances. An anonymous NRA executive said, "We avoided demanding a detailed (disposal measures) plan because we don't legally have that authority, and doing so could pose legal risks." In contrast, the Asahi Shimbun alleges that the NRA is considering some sort of legal move before approving the K-K units for restart. While the watchdog has found that K-K units meet the technological aspects of the new safety standards, there is doubt that the company has embraced lessons learned from the 2011 nuke accident. The Asahi says the NRA is “…considering holding the utility legally responsible for completing the entire decommissioning process of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant,” which essentially contradicts what is contained in the Mainichi report. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170907/p2a/00m/0na/019000c -- http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201709070026.html
  • Tokyo says it will build a memorial in Namie for 2011 disaster victims. It will not be a structure, per se. Rather is will be a ten hectare plot with a square and hill commemorating those who died in the quake, tsunami, and chaotic evacuation from around Fukushima Daiichi. The memorial will be part of a large park bordering on Futaba, one of the F. Daiichi host communities. It will function as a facility to share lessons learned from the calamity and post the status of reconstruction, in addition to remembering the dead. https://japantoday.com/category/national/national-memorial-for-quake-tsunami-victims-to-be-built-in-fukushima 
  • Fukushima will send 100 tons of its home-grown rice to Malaysia this year. Japan usually ships 150 tons of rice to Malaysia each year, so this will comprise 2/3 of the 2017 shipment. In addition, 15 tons of peaches will be shipped, nearly double of what was sent in the past. This will make Fukushima Prefecture the largest Japanese regional rice exporter to the Southeast Asian country. http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=852

August 31, 2017

  • The Fukushima corium removal methods are modified. Tokyo’s Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp. (NDF) says most of the debris will be extracted horizontally and the rest taken out vertically from the refueling decks. NDF President Hajimu Yamana, says Tepco should combine the several proposed methods instead of specific one specific procedure. The idea of completely filling each Primary Containment vessel to greatly reduce external radiation exposures was officially dropped earlier this year. NDF said that method is not viable because of the difficulties in patching up the holes in the PCVs. However, the NDF now says a partial filling of the PCV before debris removal seems possible. The tentative date for starting the corium removal process is 2021. The specific, step-by-step plan for corium removal is expected to be completed in September.  https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2017/08/c780f4e5b954-debris-to-be-removed-from-side-of-fukushima-reactors-state-backed-entity.html -- http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201708310042.html
  • Fukushima and Ohio State University have begun a medical exchange program. The focus is developing experts in cancer radiation therapy. Ohio State will share its world-class expertise in treatment with doctors and students from Fukushima Medical University. The FMU doctors will then build a research framework to be used at their facility in Japan. The program will eventually be expanded to include other Japanese medical staff and create a joint research framework between OSU and FMU. FMU Professor Yoshiyuki Suzuki said, “I’ll do my utmost to make the best of this international exchange program and build a system to nurture experts in radiation therapy here (Fukushima).”  The deal was finalized last month. http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=851
  • Removal of voluntary evacuees from Tokyo’s “official list” gets some bad press. This past April, housing subsidies ended for all voluntary Fukushima evacuees that have yet to return home. Critics are now condemning the move, alleging that it prevents officials from fully appreciating the plight of these people. One Tokyo sociologist said, “Accurate data on Fukushima evacuees is essential in gaining a better understanding of their current circumstances and crafting measures to address their problems. When only smaller than the real numbers are made available, difficulties facing evacuees could be underestimated and could result in terminating support programs for them.” Nearly 30,000 have been removed from the official evacuee list since March. By cutting off their essentially free housing, it was hoped there would be a prompt return to their hometowns in Fukushima Prefecture, where they could continue to have subsidized housing. But, it seems that most have chosen to remain voluntarily estranged because of radiophobia. One voluntary evacuee said, “We cannot return to Fukushima Prefecture due to fears of the effects of radiation. I feel like I have been abandoned by the state by being denied evacuee status.” http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201708280053.html
  • Three more Japanese nukes ask for restart inspections. On Monday, The Nuclear Regulation Authority was formally requested to begin pre-restart reviews for Kyushu Electric’s Genkai #3. The company should be able to load nuclear fuel bundles in December. Restart for Genkai unit #4 is expected to follow, but the schedule has not yet been formulated. Also on Monday, Kansai Electric requested the same NRA pre-operational inspections for Ohi units #3 and #4. While the Fukui prefectural assembly has yet to approve the Ohi restarts, the existing operation of Takahama units #3 and #4 suggests that approval should be forthcoming. http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/power-companies-request-pre-service-inspections-toward-restarting-reactors-at-genkai-and-ohi/ --https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170829/p2a/00m/0na/011000c
  • The NRA says Tepco restarts depend of the company taking the lead on decommissioning. NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka says that for the restart of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa units "TEPCO must do things based more on its own judgment," and not depend so much on the government and other organizations. He added, "If Tepco is unable to finalize the decommissioning of the Fukushima reactors, it is simply not qualified to restart the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant." The one issue that seems to be of most importance is a firm plan to dispose of tritiated waste waters. Tepco’s most recent document submitted to the NRA had no mention of disposal, and Tanaka doesn’t like it. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170830/p2a/00m/0na/017000c
  • The plaintiffs in the new $5 billion American lawsuit for Fukushima damages appear to be Americans who were in Japan and supported the relief effort immediately following the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. In addition, an un-named American company is subject to the suit along with Tepco. Further, the money is not only to cover medical tests and treatment caused by their low-level radiation exposure - it also calls for mental and economic damage compensation. The identities of the plaintiffs have not been revealed. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170825/p2g/00m/0dm/001000c -- https://japantoday.com/category/national/fukushima-operator-faces-5-bn-us-suit-over-2011-disaster


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