Fukushima-135-8-19-2022 - 9-2-2022


September 23, 2022

  • Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority is 10 years old. It was formed in September 2012, after the questionable policies of its predecessor were found to be lacking following the 2011 F. Daiichi accident. It upgraded Japan's nuclear safety standards, purported to be the most stringent in the world. Since NRA screenings began in July, 2013, only ten units have been allowed to operate. Several of those are now idled based of a requirement to have remote operating capability, in response to national anxiety over terrorists. Current NRA chief Toyoshi Fuketa warns that there can never be a revival of the so-called “safety myth” allegedly behind the Fukushima accident. He is concerned that Tokyo might eventually resurrect the “myth” if it lets its guard down.  Prime Minister Kishida wants nine currently idled nukes restarted by the end of the year. The standards now in place are supposed protect nukes during natural disasters NRA Chair Fuketa confirms “We cannot hope to shorten the screening period significantly.” Fuketa will resign later this month, to be replaced by colleague and nuclear fuel expert Shinsuke Yamanaka.   https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2022091900172 - https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220921_28/ - https://japannews.yomiuri.co.jp/politics/politics-government/20220919-59147/

  • Add Micronesia to the list of deniers over the release of F. Daiichi wastewater.  President David Panuelo appealed to the United Nations. He said,"We cannot close our eyes to the unimaginable threats of nuclear contamination, marine pollution, and eventual destruction of the Blue Pacific Continent. The impacts of this decision are both trans-boundary and inter-generational in nature. As Micronesia’s head of state, I cannot allow the destruction of our ocean resources that support the livelihood of our people."   https://japantoday.com/category/national/at-u.n.-micronesia-denounces-japan-plan-to-release-fukushima-water-into-pacific1

  • The Yomiuri Shimbun says 40% of Japan's nuke operators lack actual experience. In most cases, it is because of the prolonged moratorium on nukes and strict post-Fukushima regulations. To overcome these things, power companies use simulators and/or send operators to operating nuclear power plants for training. One operator says, “I cannot gain (experience)just by reading manuals. I want to take part in the restart of (my) plant with confidence.” Another says, “Operators must have actual experience to perceive any abnormalities instantly.” Of the seven utilities now under safety review, only 37% of their operators have actually operated nukes. https://japannews.yomiuri.co.jp/business/companies/20220918-59196/

  • France returns reprocessed nuke fuel (MOX) to Japan. MOX is the acronym for Mixed Oxide because it is a combination of 92% Uranium and 8% recycled Plutonium separated from used nuke fuel. The usual environmental naysayers say the shipping of the material is exceedingly treacherous. Greenpeace says "Transporting such dangerous materials from a nuclear proliferation point of view is completely irresponsible."   https://japantoday.com/category/national/france-sends-latest-nuclear-shipment-to-japan

September 16, 2022

  • Tepco posts its status report on testing marine organisms for biological effects from F. Daiichi wastewater. It is called a “rearing test”. Tepco explains, “In order to alleviate people’s concerns and to cultivate peace of mind, we will rear marine organisms in tanks of seawater containing ALPS treated water and compare them with organisms reared in normal seawater and report the results carefully in an easy-to-understand manner.” They are now beginning “preparation stage 2”, moving from mock-ups to actual rearing tanks. The first species tested is Flounder. They will also eventually test seaweed and Abalone. https://www.tepco.co.jp/en/hd/decommission/information/newsrelease/reference/pdf/2022/reference_20220913_01-e.pdf

  • Tokyo's Economy Ministry wants to promote “clean energy”, including new nukes. The goal is to “decarbonize” the electric power supply. The system will be paid for by consumer electricity fees. Currently, power providers pay into a fund to ensure a stable supply of electricity with existing units. The new program will cover construction of new units, including nuclear. The concept is supported by Prime Minister Kishida. https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14720336

September 9, 2022

  • Tepco opens construction of the F. Daiichi wastewater release tunnel to the News media. Work began in early August, first boring down 16 meters, and then horizontally out to sea. The tunnel begins near the quay wall of units number 5 & 6. Work has progressed at at rate of 5 to 6 meters per day. It seems the only issue with starting the release is Tepco and Tokyo gaining local public understanding. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220906_24/

  • Fukushima Minpo posts the latest news on reopening part of Futaba to repopulation. Event organizer Kazuharu Fukuda said, "At long last, we are able to make a fresh start toward reconstruction in a visible manner." Futaba mayor Shiro Izawa said that he hopes "this opportunity being given today will move us forward step by step." Governor Masao Uchibori added, "This is a result of everyone in this town working together for reconstruction and revival of their hometown while cherishing a strong desire to make it exist by all means." http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=1123

  • Construction of the Oma nuclear plant in Aomori is further delayed. If and when completed, it will be the world's first nuke using only MOX (Mixed Oxide) fuel. MOX is recycled nuclear fuel, containing both Uranium and Plutonium. J-Power official Osamu Hagiwara said the screening of the plant, including its anti-quake measures, is taking time. Plant operation is now expected in 2030. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220909_31 

September 2, 2022

  • Submersion for F. Daiichi #3 corium removal? Maybe! If Tokyo chooses this method, it would provide at least two critical benefits. First, water is a great radiation shield, which would help keep workers from over-exposure during the removal procedure. Secondly, debris removal could be effected from the top of the reactor vessel and greatly simplify things. The concept has no real-world track record, but it is a possibility.  https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/09/7822a9ad9e56-new-submersion-method-in-consideration-for-fukushima-debris-cleanup.html

  • Part of Futaba is officially reopened. On Monday the 29th, a celebration for residents was held at JR Futaba railway station. Resident Fukuda Kazuharu said that the lifting is the first visible step forward for the town. He said he wants to revitalize Futaba, not for the sake of the town but rather for himself. Mayor Izawa Shiro said that only a few residents might return at first, but the number will increase day by day. However, the Asahi Shimbun says the reopening is a virtual failure. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220830_11/ - https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14706619

  • Tokyo mulls over a new fund to protect Fukushima fishermen. This will be in addition to hundreds of millions in funding already promised. A written proposal says (in part), that the government will “introduce measures continuously to realize sustainable fishing operations through the use of a fund.” The government will also continue to consider local resident's protests.    https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220830_22/ - https://japannews.yomiuri.co.jp/society/general-news/20220831-55123/

  • Japan's ruling party urges upgraded decontamination work in Fukushima's difficult to return zones. The Liberal Democratic Party has proposals for rebuilding the areas affected by the 2011 natural disasters and nuclear accident. The lawmakers are focusing on the F. Daiichi co-host towns of Okuma and Futaba.  https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220829_05/

  • Mihama #3 is restarted. Restart of the 826 megawatt BWR has been delayed by several recent problems. The restart will go a long way toward restart of Kansai Electric's Takahama units #1 and #2, next year. The three units all have surpassed their initial 40 year licensing. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2022083000786

August 26, 2022

August 19, 2022

  • The new Industry Minister,Yasutoshi Nishimura, visits F. Daiichi. He seems to think the main problem is the ongoing challenge to the release of wastewater containing “trace” levels of Tritium. While at F. Daiichi, he said, "I will give my best in gaining understanding on safety (of the discharge plan) and preventing reputational damage" to local businesses. https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/08/fc4793599f8f-japans-industry-minister-inspects-crippled-fukushima-nuclear-plant.html

  • Industry MinisterNishimura says idled nukes need to be restarted soon. Why? Because Japan needs “a stable electric power supply from next summer and onward.” He added one caveat, "We are not thinking about building new nuclear plants or expanding or rebuilding existing plants as of now." https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2022081300293

  • Local support for a Hamaoka nuke restart takes a sharp upswing. This is the result of a polling of three nearby cities, Kakegawa, Makinohara, and Kikugawa. Kakegawa Mayor Takashi Kubota said, “More young people today have little knowledge of the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which explains the higher ratio of supportive individuals. The outcome was also no doubt influenced by rising energy prices and Chubu Electric’s campaign to foster greater understanding over the issue of a restart.”   https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14687320

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