Fukushima Accident Updates (Blog)

Your most reliable source of objective Fukushima News... summaries of news reports in Japan's Press on Fukushima Daiichi, often mis-stated as a nuclear disaster.

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January 14, 2022

  • Tepco began its video survey of F. Daiichi Unit #1 Containment on Wednesday. The inspection is scheduled to last thru August. The company will use six different underwater robots to take pictures that are hoped to show resolidified fuel debris and heat-damaged structural materials, which will help the company plan on how to remove it all. https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0008173687 Such photographic scrutiny has been made inside units #2 and #3 containments. The photographic inspection of unit #1 did not reveal any visible fuel debris. See the Inside Fukushima Daiichi video tour from February 2021, which is attached. https://www.tepco.co.jp/en/insidefukushimadaiichi/index-e.html It is hoped that the new level of scrutiny will show unit #1 fuel debris and damaged structural materials, similar to units #2 and #3.

January 7, 2022

We did not post last week because of a dearth of Fukushima postings in the Japanese Press. However, this week is not the same...

  • Tepco to put new robotic probes in F. Daiichi Units #1, #2, & #3. Unit #1's probe is scheduled for mid-January. It is expected to take up to six months to complete. Deposits are expected to be identified, measured, and possibly collected for analysis. Retrieval of Unit #2 debris is underway, after the British device undergoes performance tests in Japan. Hopefully, it will collect some small deposits. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220102_06/

  • Futaba Town prepares for the return of interested former residents. It is the only Fukushima Prefecture town where residents are banned from returning, even if only for brief visits. Some visits are expected to begin overnight visits on January 20. Futaba Mayor Izawa Shiro expects this to be a busy year for evacuees since some will be allowed to return. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220104_12/

  • A traditional New Year's fishing ceremony is held at Namie. The event was held at Ukedo Port where rebuilding was completed last year. The port is about 7 kilometers north of F. Daiichi. “Test” fishing ended for the Port last year, and catches have increased since then. However, the volume is only about 20% of pre-accident levels. The problem is negative rumors and false conceptions. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220102_07/

  • This winter's cold spell forces Tepco to get emergency power from neighboring utilities. The main problem is concurrent heavy snowfall has increased demand for electric heating. The main supplying companies are from the Hokkaido, Tohoku, and Chubu (Tokyo) regions. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220106_22/

  • Japan offers to help America develop new nuclear systems to achieve carbon neutrality. Industry minister Hagiuda Koichi made the proposal during an online meeting with US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Thursday. New systems will include small modular and fast fission reactors. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220106_23/

  • Japan's Atomic Energy Agency will give technical cooperation to Bill Gates' Terra Power. The group intends to provide energy from a novel fast fission reactor, beginning in 2028. JAEA will soon sign a memorandum of understanding to compile knowledge from the venture. Minister Kobayashi Takayuki said on Friday that Japan's participation in projects overseas is important for international cooperation and opportunities to train its staff. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220107_29/

  • Tepco is alleged to be slow when responding to new F. Daiichi radiation fears. The continuous buildup of radioactive “slurry” from the water cleanup system (ALPS) is stored in containers that are degrading and will need replacement. The Nuclear Regulation Authority has chimed in on the radiophobic conception and says the company has overlooked how gravity has caused radioactive concentrations to accumulate at the container bottoms and told Tepco to “wake up and “understand how urgent the issue is since transferring slurry will take time” and increase the risk of an environmental release. https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14503708

December 24, 2021

  • Tepco files for approval of treated water release in 2023. The plan is to release it through an undersea tunnel, which is preparing to be bored. The outlet will be where fishing is not conducted. Tepco's purification systems will remove all radioactive substances, except for essentially harmless Tritium. Before release, the water will be diluted so that the Tritium concentration is one-fortieth of Japan's ridiculously low limit. The water will be pumped from the storage tanks to a shoreline facility, then released at a depth of 12 meters, roughly 1 kilometer out to sea. The plan is to be filed with Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority. https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0008117512 - https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211221_18/ - https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2021122100430 - https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14507285

  • University student tours provide a “fun side” of Futaba. Some 30 students from Tokyo, Miyagi Prefecture, and other areas, enjoyed starry skies, tasting home-cooked dishes prepared in the town of Futaba, and practicing early morning open-air yoga. Most participants say they want to do it again. Indian student Trishit Banerjee at Tohoku University graduate school developed the tours, and said: “We feel extremely humbled and honored. The participants’ responses were beyond our expectations and opened our eyes to a multitude of possibilities.”https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0008051127

  • A Pacific collective, of the usual suspects, promises to oppose Japan's 2023 F. Daiichi wastewater release. The Pacific Collective on Nuclear Issues, a group of civil society and student organizations, has categorically denied the veracity of the Japanese plan. The objection was filed the day after Tepco filed its plan with the NRA, earlier in the week. The group accuses Tepco of prioritizing convenience over safety. https://sputniknews.com/20211222/pacific-collective-vows-to-oppose-japan-dumping-fukushimas-nuclear-waste-in-ocean-1091723668.html

December 17, 2021

  • Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority posts a new F. Daiichi Unit #1 video. It allegedly shows the current state of an emergency system used to cool the core early-on in the accident. Unfortunately, the video is not shown with the NHK report. The article says the video shows accident-caused debris in an unidentified building, and two tanks that are part of the Isolation Condenser System. The NHK World's public deserves better coverage! https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211212_08/

  • The IAEA has set a new date for its report on F. Daiichi wastewater... “sometime in 2022”. The United Nations watchdog group was scheduled to send a taskforce to Japan this month, but was postponed due to the spread of the COVID19's Omicron variant. The team is doing what it can online, for the time being. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2021121100327

  • Tepco posts pictures of a Self-Elevating Platform Vessel being moved to its desired location for a geological survey of the sea bottom off of F. Daiichi. Evidently, it has something to do with the future boring of the 1 kilometer tunnel to be used for the release of the essentially harmless wastewaters, after full treatment. https://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/date/2021-e/202112-e/211214-01e.html - https://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/date/2021-e/202112-e/211215-01e.html

December 10, 2021

  • Meeting climate goals are unlikely without nuclear. This conclusion comes from “vigorous” discussions held at COP26 (UN Convention on Climate Change), and is explained in the IAEA report, Nuclear Energy for a Net Zero World”. IAEA Director Mariano Grossi said an increasing number of countries are finding nukes should be included in the mix to deal with climate change. Nuclear energy is viewed as the most robust, environmentally sustainable, and reliable energy source. Nuclear energy could reduce Carbon emissions per 1,000MW by approximately 3.1 million equivalent tons per year. Japan 's new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, declared that Japan will use all options to meet climate goals, including nuclear. https://www.jaif.or.jp/en/nuclear-energy-needed-to-achieve-targets-of-paris-agreement/

  • The International Atomic Energy Assn. assessment on F. Daiichi wastewater releases is postponed. The reason in the new omicron variant of COVID19. The team was scheduled to arrive in mid-December, but now there will be a virtual meeting on-line later in the month. The team will include experts from eleven countries, including the United States, China, South Korea, and France . https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2021120600478

December 3, 2021

  • Katsurao evacuees prepare to return home. Evacuation was mandated by Tokyo for 34 households after the nuke accident at F. Daiichi. The reason was “high radiation levels”. At this point, those who want to return can have overnight visits. Kazuo Naito and his wife have decided to return after considering all possible options, He said, “I’ve been dreaming of staying overnight at my home for the past decade.” His wife Mitsuko echoed, I want to cherish this place because my parents spent considerable time and effort making it habitable.” Of the 30 households in their district, they are the only ones to apply for returning home. Many residents are still reluctant to return home because of radiation. Full lifting of restrictions is scheduled for the coming spring. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211130_20/https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14492868

  • Nuclear Regulation Authority Chair Fuketa visits F. Daiichi. He focused on used fuel removal from Unit #2 and general decommissioning efforts. Referring to his last visit, he said, “The area on the ocean side of Units 1~4 has been cleaned so well I thought it was a different place. The work environment has also improved.”https://www.tepco.co.jp/en/hd/newsroom/announcements/archives/2021/20211203_01.html (photos included)

  • Entry to Okuma is further eased by the NRA. Okuma co-hosts F. Daiichi with Futaba. About 60 % of the town is still designated "difficult-to-return", but evacuees who wish to return home can begin overnight stays as early as today. Full return to designated locations can happen in the spring. Mayor Yoshida Jun says he will do whatever is needed to let people go home. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211130_17/

  • A Tepco shareholder lawsuit over F. Daiichi will be ruled on in July, 2022. They are demanding that TEPCO pay 22 trillion yen ($220 billion) in damages. Oral arguments in a Tokyo District Court ended Tuesday. The plaintiffs claim Tepco could have predicted the quake/tsunami and taken appropriate precautions. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2021120100520

  • A Namie evacuee posts two illustrated books where she exhibits her radiophobic fears. She did not return because of fear of fallout from F. Daiichi. Her first book concerns a dog separated from its family, that befriends other abandoned animals to survive. The second focuses on the author's childhood. She says she wrote the books because “The catastrophe should not be forgotten. I want readers to understand such a thing can occur so long as nuclear plants exist on Earth.” https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14485156

  • Ikata Unit #3 is finally restarted. Shut down for a regular refueling and maintenance outage in December, 2019, the company finally surmounted all regulatory hurdles posed after a control rod had been mistakenly removed during the outage. While it did not cause any actual problems, the mistake was found problematic by the NRA. At the same time, a radiophobic injunction was issued by the Hiroshima High Court over safety “concerns” in the even of the eruption of a volcano 130 kilometers distant. The injunction was reversed in March of this year. Restart was further delayed by a plant employee's leaving his job to visit a nearby gas station while on duty. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20211202/p2g/00m/0na/034000chttps://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211202_36/

  • The anti-terrorism plan for Tokai Unit #2 is approved by the NRA. Owner Japan Atomic Power Company was told of the decision on Wednesday. JAPCO will build required facilities, to be completed by December, 2022. The NRA will render the plant inoperable if the work is not completed by then. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211201_25/

November 26, 2921

  • Tepco plans starting a seabed survey on Saturday, November 27th. It will be the first step in preparing to dig a one kilometer tunnel for the release of its essentially harmless wastewaters. It will be going through stable bedrock, so the seabed probe will focus on looking for seabed obstacles that might hamper the tunneling. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211126_22/

  • Tepco plans a detailed submersible robotic survey of F. Daiichi unit #1.The utility originally planned to start the survey in 2019, but was delayed to accommodate preparations. It should begin in January and last for up to six months. There will be six robots used during the survey to examine debris, corium (resolidified fuel), and reactor parts. Such surveys have already been done for units #2 & #3.https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211125_22/

  • Katsurao Village prepares to have residents return. A 95 hectare area will have its evacuation order lifted next spring. It is one of five municipalities setting up reconstruction promotion areas, and Katsurao will be the first to allow resident's stays before reopening the area. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2021112100305

  • Tokyo considers a $260 million fund to bolster the fishing industry if radiophobic fears hurt profits during the release of wastewaters to the sea. Government officials say the fund will pay for the cost of buying unsold marine products and storing them in freezers until demand returns.https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211125_23/

  • Tokyo plans on creating an international education and research center in Fukushima Prefecture, as early as next year. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is optimistic about the project. He called it a dream and hope for Fukushima's recovery and will contribute to strengthening our country's scientific and technological capabilities and industrial competitiveness." https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2021112600472

  • It's about time! America will lift its radiophobic import restrictions on Fukushima rice in 2022. The rice is but one of 35 food products the USA banned after the nuke accident. Since 2020, the rice has been shipped to Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, without incident. America ranks 4h in rice imports from other prefectures not named Fukushima. Of note... America is the no. 1 customer for Fukushima alcoholic beverages, processed food, and craft work. http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=1084

  • Tepco suspects that part of the infamous F. Daiichi Ice Wall has melted. The wall severely inhibits outflow of contaminated water from the three damaged units. The company says a portion of the northern wall has been above freezing since September. Tepco suspects that warmer underground spring water may be the culprit. The good news is that water levels in the basements of units b#1 through #4 have not changed due to the situation. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211126_16/

  • Ikata unit #3 will finally restart next month. It restarted more than two years ago and had been in refueling mode since December 2019. The Nuclear regulation Authority barred the restart because one control rod had been mistakenly removed during the refueling. This caused local concerns which resulted in the NRA action. Th NRA called the incident a serious problem and required local approval for resumption of operations. Local governments gave Shikoku Electric, the station's owner, approval for restart after being assured that safety is the top priority. Restart is scheduled for December 2nd, and commercial operation just after the new year. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211122_28/

November 19, 2021 

  • The reconstruction of all ten Fukushima fishing ports is complete. The Fukushima prefectural government announced this important milestone on November 11th. The Ukedo district of Namie was the site of final work. Its rebuild began in October 2013. The work included a 1,948-meter-long breakwater, a 745-meter-long pier, a port road 1.15 kilometers in length and a 1,132 meters long tsunami-resistant seawall.http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=1083

  • List as “The only place in the world that this is the lead News Story”. Only on Japan? Pretty much so! A shipment of MOX fuel arrived at Takahama station on Wednesday. MOX stands for Mixed Oxide fuel using a mixture of used Uranium and reclaimed Plutonium. This is nothing new. But, it is the first MOX shipment for Japan since September 2017. A smattering of antinuclear fanatics protested, claiming it it is more dangerous than new fuel because it runs a little hotter and takes a bit longer to cool down after use. Kyodo News says the MOX is created, which is actually a misnomer. It is recycled! https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211117_12/

  • Photos of he IAEA assessing the safety of ALPS treated wastewaters. On November 16th, An expert International Atomic Energy Agency team visited F. Daiichi and inspected the treated wastewaters stored on site. https://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/date/2021-e/202111-e/211117-01e.html

  • A nuclear accident drill is held at the Kashiwazaki-Kashiwa station in Niigata. The scenario was a hypothetical severe accident caused by nn earthquake of six-plus on the Japanese scale of zero to seven. Evacuation procedures were checked by having a person in a wheelchair assisted by a taxi driver. Also, a face recognition system for tracking evacuees was deployed for the drill. The Prefecture says the drill went according to plan. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211114_04/

November 12, 2021

  • Fukushima reconstruction progress is shown at COP 26. The event happened at the 26th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow, Scotland, on Wednesday.It was the first time featured at the annual U.N. climate conference. In a video message, Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori said, "Progress has been made in decontamination work.” He added that general area radiation levels have decreased significantly. Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Mariano Grossi said, "Nuclear energy is part of the solution to global warming, there's no way around it." Nuclear official Callum Thomas also said, "At the 2015 COP in Paris, nuclear wasn't welcome. There was a belief it was not needed. Now many countries are looking at the feasibility, especially with the rise in gas prices." https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2021111100342 - https://japantoday.com/category/world/climate-crisis-could-give-nuclear-energy-a-second-wind

  • Nuclear is also touted by noted opinion authors. Andrew Fillat and Henry Miller are highly critical of how the world has addressed climate change. They argue that the issue is fraught with wishful thinking and flawed assumptions. They says that the single greatest sin is “demonization of nuclear power, including the shutdown of existing nuclear plants that remain serviceable.” Among the points they stress are... (1) life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions for nuclear are 1/700th those of coal, 1/400th of gas, and one-fourth of solar. (2) Nuclear requires 1/2,000th as much land as wind and around 1/400th as much as solar. (3) nuclear waste volume is 1/10,000th that of solar and 1/500th of wind (this includes abandoned infrastructure and all the toxic substances that end up in landfills.) (4) One person's lifetime use of nuke electricity would weigh about ½ ounce. https://nucleationcapital.com/nuclear-best-climate-solution-by-far/ (unfortunately the Fillat/Miller opinion paper is behind a Wall Street Journal pay wall. To access it, enter the paper's title “Nuclear Power is the Best Climate-Change Solution By Far” at the WSJ website.)

  • Financial Times editor admits having been wrong about nukes. Gillian Tett changed his mind after interviewing IAEA's Rafael Grossi. It reminded her of asking why the Fukushima accident's alleged death toll was high when antinuclear opinions were posted in social media. At COP 26, antinukes handed out vitriolic leaflets falsely insisting “nuclear disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima endanger whole countries and regions” and “nuclear power generates 4,000 to 5,000 kilograms of waste for every kilogram of fuel” making the fuel “too dirty, dangerous, and expensive”. Such postings made Tett suspicious, so she approached Grossi, and her opinion changed. Grossi's points were echoed by many nations at COP 26. Tett concludes that investigating nuclear solely on social media is “not really a solution at all”. What I Got Wrong About Nuclear Power; https://www.ft.com/content/0823c7a9-ca75-4a75-96cb-e0c006ca791c

  • Fukushima farmers continue to fear the ocean release of F. Daiichi wastewater. Water with the Tritium diluted to one-seventh of the World Health Organization's guidelines for drinking water will be released into the Pacific a kilometer out from the plant in 2023. The major fear is losing money on produce, even though seawater is not used on it. One local farmer said, "We're just about seeing our prices go back to normal after a big drop following the disaster, but now we will have to deal with the potential reputational damage all over again because of the release of the water." It doesn't matter that Tepco has promised the compensate the farmers for lost revenue! (Aside – the actual problem is Japan's rampant radiophobia! - End aside) https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14476167

November 5, 2021

  • Former Tepco executives during the F. Daiichi accident plead not guilty, again. Three former Tepco executives deny charges of professional negligence in an appeals court hearing. The two main issues are whether the executives could have foreseen the tsunami and if they took the necessary steps to prevent tsunami damage. They have been charged multiple times since their indictment in 2016, and found not guilty on all prior occasions. The original indictment was based on a decision by a prosecution inquest panel composed of randomly chosen citizens. The last acquittal was in 2019. The new hearing began November 2. The court will decide if its judges will carry out an onsite inspection of F. Daiichi. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211102_29/ - https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14474341

  • A suit to stop Ikata Unit #3 operation is dismissed. The decision was rendered by the Hiroshima District Court. The petition was filed by residents of Ehime and Hiroshima Prefectures. The court found that plaintiffs provided insufficient evidence. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2021110400919

  • The ruling coalition in Tokyo have differences about nukes. 72 percent of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) supports nuclear power, but only 9 percent of their partner Komeito party. The Asahi Shimbun survey provided but three options for the lawmakers: “Abolish nuclear power immediately”, “Keep it as a power source for the future”, or “neither”. https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14474326

  • Rather that going nuclear, Japan seeks to reduce coal burning by injecting ammonia. Tokyo feels it will reduce carbon emissions and maintain energy reliability in one stroke. If it happens, Japan will be the first to use the novel idea. It hopes other countries will do the same. Ammonia will burn in the super4-hot coal fires, but will not produce greenhouse gasses. The testing of it will be at Hekinan power station in Aichi Prefecture The downside is a pungent odor caused by ammonia burning, which is believed to be toxic. Though the move would be expensive at first, Hekinan manager Katsuya Tanigawa says, “If ammonia becomes a mainstream fuel, the price will fall due to competition among suppliers.” https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14472880

  • Nuke accident bad guy Naoto Kan wins a seat in the Lower House. Before his downfall because of his shenanigans following the 2011 nuke accident, he won a lower seat 13 times as a member of the LDP before becoming P.M. Kan is now in the Constitutional Democratic Party. He beat his former LDP colleague Nagashima Akihisa and independent candidate Koyasu Masami. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211031_424/

October 29, 2021

  • Japanese colleague Shizuyo Sutou reveals that A-Bomb survivors have “elongated lifespans” and “reduced cancer mortality”. Using actual, widely accepted statistics on A-bomb “survivors”, he points out that the people further from the Hiroshima/Nagasaki blasts had both higher cancer and lower mortality rates than those “close in”. In fact, cancer mortality of A-bomb survivors is actually lower than Japan's national average! In conclusion, Sutou says the Linear/No threshold assumption for radiation exposure is wrong and should not be used by regulation authorities to set “permissible” exposure limits. (Your friendly neighborhood Fukushima reporter has espoused this for more than a decade.) Shizuyo's paper is lengthy and detailed, but well-worth the time and effort to absorb it! https://genesenvironment.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41021-018-0114-3?fbclid=IwAR0PwkKaI2M2J4Z_lWJvEO-oBywJ6Mg9fxldyMFaFMxyDy6AHjoZtfxPv0o

  • Tokyo creates a new national plan promoting nuclear energy. In addition to increasing “renewable” energies, the plan says the portion of nukes in the grid will be between 20-22%. To do this, roughly 30 nuke restarts will be needed, and Tokyo vows to get it done. The document states, We will mobilize all options” and the “supply of stable and low-cost energy is a prerequisite,” while promoting new, smaller reactors to replace ones decommissioned in the future. The previous regime, headed by Minister Yoshihide Suga, continually waffled on nuclear, with a definite slant towards less and less nukes. Tokyo will put together a taskforce to “accelerate” restarts. The new plan points to renewables being 36-38% of the power supply in 2030, up from the current target of 22-24%. It wants Japan to emissions-free by 2050, and nuclear is one of the key ingredients. This new plan faces strong opposition from the usual suspects. A local resident living near the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant (where Tepco hopes to restart two large-capacity units) said, “The reason why we feel so strongly about this is because we feel the danger of the nuclear power plant - it hangs over our heads every day.” Local K-K activist Mineo Ono said, “This prefecture as a whole ... is united behind the idea that the nuclear power plant can’t be restarted. We host the world’s biggest nuclear plant, but that energy goes mostly to Tokyo and its surrounding regions. Locals feel deeply about that. ” https://japantoday.com/category/national/japan-oks-plan-to-push-clean-energy-nuclear-to-cut-carbon - https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14469488

  • Suttsu, Hokkaido, re-elects Haruo Kataoka as mayor. He favors hosting a nuke waste storage facility under the town. He gained 1,135 votes, while his anti-storage plan opponent got only 900. Kataoka will serve his sixth term as mayor. In the previous four mayoral elections, he ran unopposed. The three stage process of site selection will give $17.5 million in subsidies to the town of 2,800 for the first, and over $61 million for the second stage. Kataoka says the subsidies will turn around the local economy that has been battered by a dwindling population and the COVID pandemic. https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14469287

  • Ukedo Elementary School in Namie Town has reopened after 10 years of closure. Its pre-opening events were covered in our previous posting. A sixth-grader in 2011, Yokoyama Wakana said memories from that terrible event have faded, but she wants the school to be a place where the memories can be refreshed. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211025_06/ Photos of the school during the opening, can be viewed here... https://mainichi.jp/english/graphs/20211025/hpe/00m/0na/001000g/1

  • The latest nuclear fear in Japan is floating pumice. The Nuclear Regulation Authority says a massive number of pumice stones floating off southwest Japan could affect some nukes. How? By theoretically blocking cooling water intakes. The NRA says accumulated pumice and other objects may clog up the seawater intake equipment. The Regulator admits that the possibility can be avoided by installing fences in front of the water intake equipment. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211027_36/

  • Mihama Unit #3 is shut down, just 4 months after its post-Fukushima restart. It could not meet a deadline set by regulators to implement anti-terrorism measures. Owner Kansai Electric Co. says should be able to resolve the problem around September, 2022, and restart the unit the following October. Mihama #3 is the first nuke to operate beyond the government-mandated 40-year service period. https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/10/e69ddb77abbd-fukui-nuclear-unit-halted-after-missing-deadline-on-antiterror-steps.html

  • An emergency drill is being held for Mihama Unit #3. The Fukui prefecture government began the two day drill, today. 5,000 local residents and 1,800 people from about 100 institutions are expected to participate. The scenario's hypothetical cause is a cessation of cooling water to the plant due to an off-shore seabed earthquake. A focus of the article is the unit's age and is being operated on a 20-year licensing extension. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2021102900504

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