Fukushima 134... 6/10/2022-7/1/2022

July 1, 2022

  • Part of Okuma Town has some of its evacuation order rescinded. The co-host community for F. Daiichi has been under the order since the March, 2011 nuke accident. The order was lifted for about 20 percent of Okuma Town's "difficult-to-return" zone on Thursday. This is the second “difficult to return” zone with the order lifted this month. Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda said, "Ending restrictions on an area, which used to be downtown (Okuma) before the disaster, will be a significant first step in reconstruction." https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220628_19/ - https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/06/e96af5c6ecfb-japan-oks-return-to-nuclear-plant-host-town-for-1st-time-in-11-yrs.html

  • Britain lifts its F. Daiichi import restrictions. British PM Boris Johnson said, “...finally, we are able to have Fukushima-origin products all over the shops in the U.K." Farm products including mushrooms from Fukushima, Miyagi and seven other prefectures had been subject to the restrictions. https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/06/05d8df3e62cd-britain-to-lift-import-restriction-on-food-products-from-fukushima.html

  • Electric utility share owners want nuke restarts to abate summer power shortfalls. A Chubu Electric Power Co. shareholder said, “If the plant (Hamaoka) had been brought back online, consumers' concerns about power shortages might have been eased. A spike in electricity rates as a result of a surge in fossil fuel prices could have been avoided as well.” Kyushu Electric Power Co. president Kazuhiro Ikebe says, “Nuclear energy can play a big role when power supplies are tight.” Japan is currently experiencing a major heat wave, causing a major shortfall in power supply. https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14656785

June 24, 2022

  • More on Japan's Supreme Court denial of government responsibility for the F. Daiichi accident. The court said the earthquake was “beyond expectation”. The most extreme quake supported by scientific evidence was Richter Scale 8.2, while the actual quake was 7-8 times more powerful at Richter Scale 9.0. It was estimated that such a quake could produce a 15.7 meter tsunami hitting the plant site out of the southeast, with an epicenter somewhere between Sanriku and Boso. The actual tsunami produced a greater surge along the Tohoku coast, with a maximum surge of 19 meters. The court ruled on whether or not the accident could have been averted if protective actions based on the prediction were taken. The decision said protective actions for the 8.2 quake and tsunami would not have been sufficient for the actual quake and tsunami. Legal expert Shinsuke Toyonaga said, “As opinions were divided among the judges, the ruling may well have been decided within the limits they were able to draw together. But the top court, as the court of last resort, should have given a collective view on major points of contention, including the long-term evaluation.” A former judge countered with, “The latest ruling has assessed too strictly whether the consequence could have been avoided or not. Given the risks of a nuclear power plant, there was a possibility of ampler measures than suggested by the provisional calculation was taken. Therefore, I would have to say that the top court has not considered the matter sufficiently.” Japanese law requires the company owning the plant having an accident to compensate damaged parties, whether or not the severity of the accident could have been anticipated.https://japannews.yomiuri.co.jp/society/general-news/20220618-38959/ - https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220618/p2a/00m/0op/014000c

  • Fukushima Governor Uchibori responds to a public opinion poll concerning F. Daiichi wastewater. Specifically, 47.3% of the respondents said the prefecture's efforts had not improved public understanding. Thus, the prefecture would “continue to make efforts to provide accurate information.” Uchibori suggested that the poor level of understanding may be due to emergence of new rumors and misinformation. He added that dispelling fears and misinformation—including those overseas—was a high-priority prefectural issue. He wants to “eliminate those concerns, working in cooperation with the national government.”https://www.jaif.or.jp/en/news/5984

June 17, 2022

  • Japan's Supreme Court absolves the government of F. Daiichi accident blame. The court finding says the government "was highly unlikely to have been able to prevent the flooding" of the plant, even if it had exercised its regulatory powers over TEPCO to take preventative measures because the scale and direction of the actual tsunami differed from estimates. Thus, the accident could not have been avoided even if seawalls were built to protect from the theoretical worst-case tsunami, citing a 2002 seismic study's estimate. The decision effectively quashed a four civil suits brought by more than 3,600 citizens that had to evacuate by government mandate. However, the decision does not forgive Tepco of responsibility. The company was ordered to compensate the plaintiffs in March to the tune of about $10.5 million. Of course, the plaintiffs were unhappy with the courts. Plaintiff lawyer Izutaro Managi angrily said it was unacceptable and the court should read the decision to the people of Fukushima. How this will impact the (Aside – if Tokyo cannot be found legally culpable, how can Tepco be held responsible of malfeasance?) https://japannews.yomiuri.co.jp/society/crime-courts/20220617-38551/ - https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/06/e3802f4efbc6-breaking-news-japans-top-court-rules-state-not-liable-for-fukushima-disaster.html - https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220617_24/ - https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220617/p2g/00m/0na/034000c (The above references represent the dozens of news outlets posting on the decision.)

  • Another “difficult-to-return” area will have its evacuation order rescinded. This time for a portion of F. Daiichi co-host Okuma. This covers about 3.2 square miles of the town. The area covers a needed train station and the roads leading to it from outside the town proper. The Order will be lifted on June 30. Mayor Jun Yoshida said, "We hope that the removal (of the evacuation order) will lead to further progress in the town's reconstruction process." https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2022061600879

June 10, 2022

  • Despite Japan's business community's support, nuke restarts move at a snail's pace. Utility companies have applied for 27 nuke unit safety inspections, But, only 10 have actually restarted, and some of them are currently idled by order of the Nuclear Regulation Authority. Seven others have been bogged down with local issues that stand in the way. For the other 10, the blame is squarely on the NRA for unnecessarily protracted reviews on the startup requests, mostly to have anti-terrorism facilities completed. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) are literally fed up and have formally called for immediate restart of those units where safety has been assured through meeting or exceeding the NRA regulations. NRA Chair Toyoshi Fuketa sheepishly retorts with the old NRA line,“We cannot allow any compromise on safety. We can never neglect the confirmation of safety by hurrying.” He constantly promises to improve the speed and efficiency of the screening process, but literally nothing has been done to show that it is actually happening. https://japannews.yomiuri.co.jp/science-nature/science/20220608-35679/

  • Prime Minister Kishida calls for a clean energy strategy with “the maximum utilization” of nukes. This is part of Kishida's “new capitalism” concept. Industry Minister Hagiuda said, “The clean energy strategy aims to make the most of everything we can use, including nuclear power, to respond to circumstances, such as the Ukraine crisis and the energy supply shortage, on condition that nuclear energy is safely used.” Electricity prices have risen to all-time highs because of Russia's invasion of the Ukraine. The trend will continue as long as the NRA and local politics keep nukes idled. https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14636067

  • PM Kishida tells Katsurao residents when their local evacuation order will end... 8am on June 12th. He says, "I am glad, from the bottom of my heart, that I can tell you right here the decision to lift the order. The government will continue to tackle reconstruction of Fukushima responsibly, keeping firmly in mind that the elimination of the evacuation order is not an end goal but a start."http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=1109

  • Will reopened Fukushima areas need sustained federal support? The Mainichi Shimbun says “yes”. On June 12th, a small portion of Katsurao will be the first area designated “difficult to return” to reopen. Only eight of the 82 people evacuated in 2011 plan to return. As such, they will have little-to-no medical or commercial facilities at their disposal. A formal plan of action seems prudent. One local official puts it this way, “It's important to properly support the lives of people who have returned. We want to move forward one step at a time from there."https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220610/p2a/00m/0op/013000c

  • Mihama unit #3 to restart two months ahead of schedule. It restarted for the first time last June, but the NRA shut it down after four months for not being able to meet the mandated deadline for implementing anti-terrorism measures. The designated safety facility will be ready to go around August 12th. It was originally scheduled to begin operation on October 20th. Kansai Electric, which owns the unit, stated “We will operate our nuclear plants in a safe manner while considering current challenges in the power supply and demand." https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/06/a031a57f82df-aging-fukui-nuclear-unit-to-restart-in-aug-2-months-early.html

Next - https://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/fukushima-133-12-31-2021-3-25-22.html