- The National Police Agency says 21,586 died due to the 2011 quake/tsunami. 18,498 died or continue to be missing as a direct result of the calamity, and 3,088 have subsequently expired due to related stress or illness. The direct deaths include 9,538 in Miyagi Prefecture, 4,673 in Iwate, and 1,611 in Fukushima. In addition, 1,269 persons remain unaccounted for in Miyagi, 1,132 in Iwate, and 204 in Fukushima. The remains of 90 victims remain unidentified. http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/no-of-dead-and-missing-from-2011-disaster-stands-at-21586?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2014-08-11_PM
- Tepco has applied for permission to build a new groundwater drainage system. The company is currently building an iron barrier along the station’s shoreline which should stanch contaminated groundwater seepage into the Pacific. In addition, Tepco has already announced they will also use sumps surrounding the basements of units #1 through #4 to pump out groundwater and strip it of all radioactive isotopes except Tritium. Subsequently, Tepco wants to discharge the purified water to the sea. To better facilitate the “pumping up” of the groundwater, fifteen new sumps will be made, but only if approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. The company says they have advised local fisheries of the plan, and there has been no objection. However, release to the sea will not happen without a positive consensus from local residents. NHK World; TEPCO files application for new drainage system; 8/10/14
- Tokyo intends to give more than $3 billion (USD) to landowners for temporary waste storage. The subsidies are intended primarily for Okuma and Futaba to cover the thirty-year temporary storage limit. Some lands will be leased, and others might be bought by the government. It is intended to give the land the most environmentally appropriate treatment possible, as well as potentially aid in revitalizing the region. http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2014080800527
- A temporary facility with three shops opened in Nahara on July 31st. Mayor Yukiei Matsumoto said the “Kokonara Shopping Center” is important and pledged to support it. The three shops include a supermarket outlet, ice cream store, and a noodle shop. Residents and reconstruction works are already shopping there. Mizuki Watanabe, a 73-year-old housewife living in evacuee housing in Iwaki city and staying at her Nahara home on a temporary basis, said, “I bought sashimi (sliced raw fish) for dinner at the supermarket. It’s very convenient.” It is hoped this will make repopulation more attractive to Nahara evacuees. http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=384
- A pilot project for forest decontamination could begin as early as September. It is designed to identify effective methods of decontamination, minimize costs, and reduce workers’ exposure to radiation. This will be the first attempt at forestry decontamination. One location will be in Tamura City’s Miyakoji district, where the government lifted an evacuation order in April. Other locations are in Minamisoma city’s Odaka district, Iitate village’s Nimaibashi district, and Kawauchi village’s Modo district. The last three districts are designated as areas preparing for the lifting evacuation orders. http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=383
- Fukushima students try to get anti-nuke signatures in Nagasaki. Two Fukushima students are collecting signatures during the events marking 69th anniversary of the Nagasaki nuclear bombing. The students intend to assist in keeping the survivors of Nagasaki in people’s minds, and pass on their stories about Fukushima in the process. One said, “For people outside the disaster-hit areas, March 11 comes only once a year, but for us, every day is March 11.” She also made an attempt to tie bombs and reactors together, “In Fukushima Prefecture, many people live in fear of harmful effects to their health (from radiation). Nuclear plants and nuclear bombs share the same root, don’t you think?” The relative success of their effort has not been reported. http://fukushima-is-still-news.over-blog.com/article-for-us-every-day-is-march-11-124334129.html
An article in the decidedly anti-nuclear Asia-Pacific Journal says radiation makes people invisible. During the 69th
anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki, the report ties reactors and bombs together through the concept of “Hibakusha” – people discriminated against due to radiation exposure. Writer Robert Jacobs alleges that the bombings and the Fukushima accident makes those associated with radiation exposure “invisible” to the public. He writes, “People who have been exposed to radiation, or even those who suspect that they have been exposed to radiation, including those who never experience radiation-related illnesses, may find that their lives are forever changed – that they have assumed a kind of second class citizenship. They may find that their relationships to their families, to their communities, to their hometowns, to their traditional diets and even traditional knowledge systems have been broken. They often spend the remainder of their lives wishing that they could go back, that things would become normal. They slowly realize that they have become expendable and that their government and even their society is no longer invested in their wellbeing.” He adds that the problem is not only in Japan, but is something global. He also says “sickness and mortality” go hand-in-hand with radiation exposure, but the “Hibakusha” impact is seldom addressed. Further, he writes that it is “disingenuous for nuclear industry apologists to say things like ‘no one died at Fukushima’”. Roberts claims to be an historian of the social and cultural aspects of nuclear technology. [Comment – to the contrary, it is disingenuous for Roberts to infer that many people will get sick and die due to Fukushima. He obviously has no scientific understanding of the biological effects of low level exposure and distrusts anyone who does.