Fukushima 127... 9/25/2020-10/2/2020

October 2, 2020

  • Japan’s Press makes PM Suga’s visit to Fukushima seem specific to F. Daiichi, alone. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga visited Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday, September 26th,accompanied by Reconstruction Minister Katsuei Hirasawa (Fukushima High School graduate) and Gov. Masao Uchibori. The visit comprised several communities devastated by the quake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, including Hirono and Futaba, in addition to F. Daiichi.  Nearly all Press coverage singularly addressed the tour of F. Daiichi while ignoring his visits to the other communities on the itinerary. Even Tepco’s Press releases failed to mention that F. Daiichi was only one stop on Suga’s visit. Only Fukushima Minpo, which is circulated in Fukushima Prefecture alone, treated the visit without the aforementioned oversight. During the F. Daiichi visit, the PM carried a small vial of fully treated wastewater stripped of all radionuclides except Tritium, which cannot be removed because it is an integral part of the water molecule. Suga was shown the numerous wastewater storage tanks, land-side impermeable wall, and the current decommissioning efforts from high ground on the west side of Units 1~4. After his visit, Suga addressed the Tepco staff, "I know this decommissioning is a difficult task, but keep working safely and steadily. We in the government will also do our utmost to work diligently with you." Suga then told the Press, "Without the reconstruction of Fukushima, there will be no recovery of Tohoku. Without the reconstruction of Tohoku, there will be no revival of Japan. This is a basic policy of my cabinet." He also said his administration will soon decide on the disposal method for the essentially harmless fully-treated waste water. Further, he talked about rescinding existing evacuation orders, "Ultimately, we would like to remove all of them and enable everyone to live there, even though it will take time." Fukushima Prefecture was Suga’s first regional visit beyond Tokyo since becoming PM. It was so-selected because he felt the prefecture’s reconstruction is essential for Japan’s full recovery from 3-11-11. http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=1027 --https://www.tepco.co.jp/en/hd/newsroom/announcements/archives/2020/20200926_01.html -- https://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/date/2020-e/202009-e/200926-01e.html -- https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2020092600492 -- https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200926_19/

  • The F. Daiichi 11-meter seawall for units #1 through #4 is completed. The barrier was built to address a government warning relative to a worst-case mega quake/tsunami along the off-shore Chisima Trough. The 600 meter-long seawall was finished on Friday, September 25th. Now, Tepco can focus its efforts on yet another Tokyo-mandated seawall of 16 meters in height to protect from a possible worst-case quake and tsunami from the Japan Trench. The new wall was mandated in April. Tepco estimates that new wall will be done before April of 2023. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200929_11/

  • The Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay is rescheduled to begin in Fukushima on March 25, 2021. It will start in the prefecture’s J-Village soccer training center and course its way through all of Japan's 47 prefectures over 121 days. The Olympics are now scheduled to start July 23, 2021. The Olympic flame was lit at the site of ancient Olympia in Greece and arrived in Japan four days before the games were postponed on March 24. The flame remains lit inside Tokyo’s Olympic Museum. https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/09/788bfdb51e62-breaking-news-tokyo-olympic-torch-relay-to-start-on-march-25-in-fukushima.html

  • The Sendai High Court awards $9.6 million to 3,550 Fukushima voluntary evacuees. This was the first high court award to voluntary evacuees holding both Tokyo and Tepco culpable for the 2011 nuke accident. The Sendai court based its decision on the 2017 Fukushima District Court ruling that the massive tsunami which caused the accident was foreseeable, awarding some $4.6 million from Tepco alone. Presiding Judge Ueda Satoshi said the state broke the law by not to taking regulatory measures when the risk of the massive tsunami was predictable. This was the first high court ruling to make Tokyo pay damages to voluntary evacuees, in addition to the roughly $3.5 billion already doled out to them by Tokyo mandate. The suit was filed in 2013 claiming that the accident caused the plaintiffs to lose the basis of their livelihoods and experience mental distress. Tepco and the government are studying the ruling in detail before responding. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200930_29/ -- https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/09/e9822e6ba58a-high-court-orders-govt-tepco-to-pay-damages-over-fukushima-crisis.html -- https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2020093000971 -- https://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/fukushima-evacuee-compensation-payments.html

  • Two Sendai Station units will restart sooner than expected. Kyushu Electric Power Company suspended the No.1 and No.2 units this past spring because they could not meet the deadline for safety upgrades set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. At the time, it was expected that the required upgrades would be completed for unit #1 in December and unit #2 in January, 2021. By “streamlining” construction work, the respective restarts are now anticipated to occur a month earlier. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20201002_02/

  • Hokkaido’s Kamoenai Village assembly votes to apply for becoming the first high level waste repository. On September 11th, we reported that the town Chamber of Commerce had submitted a petition to Tokyo for consideration as the first repository. Now, the town assembly has adopted that petition by majority vote. Mayor Masayuki Takahashi is expected to formally announce the decision after the petition is approved at a plenary session. He said, "The assembly will make its final judgment at the plenary session. I'll respect the voting result." https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2020100201045

September 25, 2020

  • Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga plans to visit Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday. The new PM wants to demonstrate his commitment to the prefecture’s recovery from the March 11, 2011 quake, tsunami, and subsequent nuke accident.  He is considering visiting F. Daiichi, but has yet to commit. He wishes to communicate with the relevant local government leaders, first. He also has not decided on visiting Futaba’s Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum, envisioned to memorialize the 2011 quake and tsunami that caused the nuclear accident. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2020092400420

  • Japan’s new PM promises to continue emphasis on Fukushima’s recovery. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga today said, "I want all cabinet members to think they are reconstruction ministers," urging them to take recovery of the region devastated by the March 11, 2011 quake and tsunami seriously! At the very least, he wants all precedents set by his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, to be continued. He expects his administration to emphasize individual well-being in parallel to promoting industrial expansion. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2020092500771

  • F. Daiichi staff now use “smart glasses” that display work procedures and analytical graphs on a liquid crystal screen. Sampling locations and information on the person in charge are automatically recorded, plus workers can verbally record the date and time. The glasses make it possible to move 30 of the 140 field data takers to other tasks. Tepco says it requires time-consuming effort to record the huge amount of data by hand, resulting in avoidable errors. The glasses should mitigate this problem, as well as improve efficiency, accuracy, and productivity. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200920_17/

  • The Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum officially opened last Sunday. However, the Japanese Press made it seem that that the facility only memorializes the nuke accident. Not so! While the nuke accident is a major part of the museum, the effects of the earthquake and tsunami on Fukushima Prefecture are also focused upon. Once again, the nuclear accident that caused hypothetical deaths is given headlines to the detriment of the natural calamity that caused nearly 2,000 actual immediate Fukushima Prefecture deaths, and more than 2,500 related deaths due to poor governmental planning and the unnecessary chaotic evacuation of tens of thousands of Fukushima residents. https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/09/08eda83f703f-museum-memorializing-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-opens-in-futaba.html -- https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200920_04/ -- https://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2020/09/21/museum-memorializing-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-opens-in-futaba.html

  • Tour guides at the new Futaba museum are told to not criticize the Tokyo government or Tepco. The museum has 29 guides who either experienced the 2011 calamity or were trained to act as if they were. The guides talk about how Fukushima residents lived as evacuees after losing their homes in the tsunami, or ordered to evacuate by Tokyo. Although some early visitors asked guides about Tepco’s responsibility for the nuke accident, the guides said they are under orders to not answer such questions. A Fukushima official explained, “We believe it is not appropriate to criticize a third party such as the central government, TEPCO or the Fukushima prefectural government in a public facility.” Some guides do not like the restriction. One said, “I suffered psychological anguish from TEPCO and I'm also angry with the central government. To me, that is the truth. The facility has asked us to speak the truth so it is not in a position to say ‘Don’t say such things.’ I will quit as a guide if expressing my feelings is considered being critical.” http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13752941

  • The NRA clears Tepco to restart Kashiwazaki-Kariwa units #6 and #7, for a second time. The two units have a combined output of 2.7 gigawatts of electricity. Both units passed the Nuclear Regulation Agency’s pre-startup safety examination in 2017, but the restarts have been delayed to accommodate local concerns about Tepco’s accountability and government objectivity. A Tepco document states (in part), “the president of TEPCO will take responsibility for the safety of nuclear power,” and, “TEPCO will not put the facility’s economic performance above its safety.” In addition, Tepco promises prompt public disclosure on decision-making relative to safety. However, consent to restart has yet to be obtained from local public officials, who have a panel of alleged experts studying whether or not evacuation plans are adequate, and the health impact of the F. Daiichi accident on its local residents. Niigata Governor Hideyo Hanazumi said he will not decide on the restart until the panel completes its review. Apparently, the Tokyo government and the NRA are not to be trusted. If restarted, profits from the two units would go a long way toward alleviating Tepco’s financial stress caused by Tokyo’s mandate on compensation given to evacuees: nearly $30 billion paid out to 75,000 government-mandated evacuees, nearly $3.5 billion to the thousands of voluntary refugees that fled in radiophobic fear, and more than $47 billion awarded in business and property compensation. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13753076

  • South Korea continues to complain about Tepco possibly releasing its radionuclide-stripped F. Daiichi wastewater. S. Korea’s science minister Jeong Byungseon stated, "Releasing contaminated water into the ocean is not an issue of Japan itself, but one that could have a wider impact on the global marine environment, as well as the neighboring countries." In response to this scientifically-groundless exaggeration, Tokyo says Japan has "an overarching obligation to make transparent, concrete communication within the global society." Byungseon asked the IAEA to play a proactive role in the issue, even though it already has! Tokyo says it plans to make a decision on disposal of the major volume of the liquid which has been stripped of all radionuclides except biologically-innocuous Tritium, after it finishes considering opinions from local groups and residents. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200923_03/

  • The openly antinuclear Mainichi Shimbun starts its ten year disaster anniversary posting, half a year early. It highlights a typical annual antinuclear bombast with its annual notion that there is no end in sight for the F. Daiichi decommissioning. The fear-mongering in the article is rife! Read it at your own risk! https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200921/p2a/00m/0na/018000c


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