Fukushima Accident Updates (Blog)


Your most reliable source of objective Fukushima News. No "spins"...just summaries of news reports in Japan's Press, which calls the Fukushima accident a nuclear disaster

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May 7, 2021

  • Japan's defense Ministry feared a U. S. military takeover with its response to the F. Daiichi accident. The American rescue and relief action, called Operation Tomodachi, is now considered an example of a trans-Pacific alliance. But, many in Tokyo at the time weren't sure the operation would in Japan's interest. Former chief of the Joint Staff Ryoichi Oriki says, "The Japanese Self Defense Force is a symbol of sovereignty. We wanted to avoid a relationship in which the United States would take control and Japan would only follow (the United States)." Another Joint Staff leader, Koichi Isobe, was also hesitant, "We were beginning to feel we could work well with U.S. forces in Japan so (the formation of the joint support force) was quite surprising." America wasn't sure about what they could have or should have done because of the lack of information coming out of Tokyo. One senior official commented, "There was a sense of bewilderment that the United States had given up leaving it up to Japan because information-sharing was not done accordingly." There was concern that the SDF would be placed under U. S. Military control, supposedly to protect Americans in Japan. Though nothing of the sort happened, the concern in Tokyo was very real. https://japantoday.com/category/national/japan-was-wary-of-u.s.-military-taking-control-over-fukushima-crisis

  • Oxford asks how to get the public to understand the lack of health effects posed by Tritium. The degree of over-reaction in Japan to the future release of F. Daiichi wastewater shows the extrapolating the health effects is widely considered to be possibly flawed. Use of academic evidence showing the low probability of health effects has not worked. Oxford hopes its scientific skill will help. The article's description gives a clear and detailed explanation about potential health effects triggered by tritium based on reliable scientific evidence in a way that is understandable to the public. It says, “We believe that the present review will be helpful to both scientists and the general public.” Aside – Good luck, with that. - End aside. https://academic.oup.com/jrr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jrr/rrab029/6256015?fbclid=IwAR2QbP139AShJs3HnjaXdvbXOBY5-Ly_vczfWEF4AX1RVrYDv_LCrW7uEZw

  • A strong quake hit the Tohoku region last Saturday. It measured 6.8 Richter Scale, centered about 51 kilometers below the sea surface just off the Miyagi Prefecture's coastline, causing violent shaking in Fukushima. The temblor was felt as far away as Tokyo. Three persons were injured. F. Daiichi and F. Daini both had no resulting abnormalities. https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/05/0d9fdcf68831-update2-m66-quake-shakes-northeastern-japan-no-tsunami-alert-issued.html –- https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20210501_14/

  • Radioactive material spills from a rusted F. Daiichi storage container. This was not from one of the thousand-odd wastewater tanks. Rather, it came from a contaminated waste crate. The gel-like, sticky, blackish material about 3 feet long and a foot wide was found outside one of the boxes. Workers concluded that rainwater likely became contaminated after coming in contact with the chunk. When the water flowed into a ditch, it set off an alarm. The container has ~450 bags of water-absorbing sheets, hoses and cloths that were used during the turbulent period after the nuke accident in March 2011. There are more than 85,000 such containers in existence. 270 steel containers were being moved to a different location at the plant. One had become rusty and had a hole at the bottom. The container emits detectable radiation, but at a level below the “highly radioactive” threshold. Tepco says they will reduce the volume by burning, shredding, and reuse. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14343306

  • The Asahi Shimbun takes Fukui's governor to task over nuke restarts. He seems to have ignored his prior demand for storing radioactive waste outside the prefecture before approving the resumptions. He announced his approval of Takahama and Mihama restarts on April 28th, with no mention of his position against them. He said, “Kansai Electric has indicated it was prepared and the central government has also taken the initiative in dealing with the issue. I believe a certain set of conditions have been met.” Clearly, Japan;s second largest newspaper doesn't like it one bit. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14340146

  • Chernobyl children show no genetic damage. Researchers say there's no evidence of genetic damage in the children of parents who were exposed to radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl nuke accident. They looked at 130 children conceived after the accident between 1987 and 2002. Meredith Yeager of the U.S. National Cancer Institute led the team, which concluded, "This is one of the first studies to systematically evaluate alterations in human mutation rates in response to a man-made disaster, such as accidental radiation exposure, (and) does not provide support for a transgenerational effect of ionizing radiation on germline DNA in humans." This should be great news for Fukushima parents of children conceived after the 2011 nuke accident. https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2021/04/23/Chernobyl-nuclear-disaster-genetic-damage/2911619194850/

April 30, 2021

  • South Korean nuke experts dismiss Seoul's complaints about Fukushima waste waters. The Korean Nuclear Society says the impact on the environment would be negligible, even if all the water was released without further treatment. If all of the roughly 1 million tons of the water now stored in tanks were released all at once, the exposures to Koreans would be one-300 millionth of maximum acceptable levels. Before storage, all water is processed through the multi-stage filtration system called ALPS. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2021042700084

  • Environmental experts downplay the public exposure levels due to Fukushima. Dr. Nicholas Fisher, Director of the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Environmental Research at Stony Brook University says that Fukushima caused “the single largest accidental release of radioactivity into the oceans (but) the [health] effects are virtually negligible.” He further explains, “All life has existed — even before humans appeared on this planet — on a radioactive planet in a radioactive universe. You were born radioactive, and you are radioactive right now. I am radioactive just as much as you are. I drank radioactive water this morning for breakfast, as did you. The radioactivity in your body is all natural.” r. Henrietta Dulai, Associate Professor at the Department of Geology and Geophysics, UH Mānoa adds “Potassium-40 makes the ocean very radioactive. There are 10,000 units of potassium for every unit of cesium in the ocean, even after Fukushima.” As for the Tritium hullabaloo concerning F. Daiichi, Dr. Fisher says, Tritium is “about as harmless as you can get in terms of a radioactive substance”. Thus, he concludes, “I do not expect that there will be any public health impacts to people eating any of the seafood that they happen to harvest and sell.” It should be note4d that the cited report (below) juxtaposes the facts with the false, inciteful rhetoric spouted by Korean officials and the rabble-rousing falsehoods posted by Greenpeace. https://news.yahoo.com/fukushimas-nuclear-meltdown-hasnt-been-the-environmental-calamity-we-feared-035247252.html

  • Fukui Prefecture's governor approves restarts of three “aging” nukes. Governor Sugimoto Tatsuji said the prefecture made its own safety assessment after confirming the opinions of Tokyo and the three unit's owner Kansai Electric Power Company. He said, “After confirming the contents presented by the central government and the plant operator as well as the views of Takahama town, Mihama town and the prefectural assembly, I have consented based on a comprehensive assessment.” https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20210428_15/ –- https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0007352405 -- http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14339481

  • Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama says Japan "will use nuclear power sustainably into the future". At the same time, some other lawmakers said they favor a different way of assessing a nuke unit's operating age to account for the post 2011 accident-based moratorium, and other mandated idle periods that have ensued. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Energy/Japan-allows-1st-restarts-of-nuclear-reactors-older-than-40-years?fbclid=IwAR1x0rmtOLP5rJGWCIdht4f9hcWlCQaa1twYx2eX7AMkx0kLEmDZrGy32ec

April 23, 2021

  • Tepco says 71% of the on-site storage tanks contain radioactive isotopes in addition to Tritium. The isotopes that “slip through” the ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) process includes low amounts of ruthenium, cobalt, strontium, and plutonium. However, the levels are greater than Japan's highly restrictive limits. Ken Buesseler of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution says, “These radioactive isotopes behave differently than tritium in the ocean and are more readily incorporated into marine biota or seafloor sediments.” Tokyo says the tanks that contain these isotopes will be repurified as needed to meet national standards for release. In addition, it is now estimated that 538 Petabecquerels of radioactivity was released by the three explosions in March, 2011. This is about a tenth of the total release that occurred with Chernobyl in 1986. Because the wind was blowing out to sea for most of the five days before, during, and after the explosions, most of the airborne radioactivity was deposited east of the Tohoku coastline. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/04/japan-plans-release-fukushima-s-contaminated-water-ocean?utm_campaign=ScienceNow&utm_source=Contractor&utm_medium=Facebook

  • A soccer youth training facility reopens in Hirono. It was closed following the F. Daiichi accident. The boarding school, JFA Academy Fukushima, held an enrollment ceremony for 19 boys to kick off the 16th annual class at the J-Village national soccer complex located between the towns of Naraha and Hirono. The students come from 13 Prefectures across Japan. The boys school will be populated into three classes by 2023. The girls will go through six grades from junior high to high school and be fully populated by 2024. http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=1052

  • Tepco promises to swiftly compensate fishermen who lose money over unfounded rumors. Tomoaki Kobayakawa, president of Tokyo Electric Power Co., said there will be no restrictions on how long compensation will last, We will respond in a flexible and appropriate manner to reduce the burden on victims as much as possible.” But, Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori says Tepco's promise is being taken with a grain of salt because of recent issues at the Kashiwazaki-Kashiwa nuke station in Niigata, “I hold major distrust as well as anger at the series of mishaps (at Kashiwazaki-Kashiwa).” He also said Tepco does not have an adequate sense of responsibility, tracing back to the nuke accident more than 10 years ago. He also said “I do not believe the (wastewater) situation is one in which the understanding of Fukushima residents and the general public has been obtained.” http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14332655 --

  • South Korea has waxed and waned concerning the future release of the wastewater. At first, Seoul was firmly opposed to the release, so much so that they appealed to U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry to try and stop it from happening. South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong met with Kerry asking for his support In S. Korea's protest against the release at a dinner meeting on Saturday. The Ministry said, "Minister Chung conveyed our government and people's serious concerns about Japan's decision, and asked the U.S. side to take interest and cooperate so that Japan will provide information in a more transparent and speedy manner." But, Kerry responded that America was confident that Japan will proceed in a correct and transparent fashion, "The United States is confident that the government of Japan is in very full consultations with the IAEA. The IAEA has set up a very rigorous process and I know that Japan has weighed all the options and the effects and they've been very transparent about the decision and the process." He added that America will closely monitor the release to insure that there is no public health threat. Then, on Sunday, S. Korea said they were beginning to understand Japan's decision and Minister Chung Eui-yong said Seoul would not necessarily oppose the release if IAEA standards are met. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2021041800176 -– https://japantoday.com/category/politics/s.korea-u.s.-show-differences-over-japan's-fukushima-plans -- https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20210419_29/ -– https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2021041900900

  • Echoing last week's analogy used in the foreign protest, Minamata disease sufferers voice their opposition to the release. A news release composed by their citizen's group said, "We oppose and protest the decision, which completely refuses to learn from the lessons of Minamata disease and looks to repeat the same mistakes." They admit that the Tritium in the wastewater poses little or no actual risk, but oppose the release because Tokyo has not gained consent of the Japanese people. https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/04/1c7f2e89a65a-minamata-disease-patients-oppose-release-of-fukushima-water-into-sea.html

  • Tokyo restricts Fukushima rockfish shipments. One fish exceeded Japan's 100 Becquerels per Kilogram limit in February, but Japan did not impose the restriction then because it was but one specimen out of the entire three ton catch. However, the self-imposed limit of 50 Bq/kg set by the local fisheries took precedent and the restriction was imposed. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20210420_02/

April 16, 2021

Tokyo has announced that F. Daiichi's environmentally benign wastewater release to the sea will happen, beginning in two years.

Immediately upon making the announcement, a tsunami of protests and false claims ensued...

April 9, 2021

April 2, 2021