• Tokyo says most rural radioactive debris could be declassified. Because of five years of radioactive decay, about 70% of the currently-stored bags of rural debris now qualify for ordinary landfills because it is no longer above the 8,000 Becquerels per kilogram criterion for Cesium. The Environment Ministry wants to reclassify it for open burial. In ten years, more than 99.9% of the current debris will qualify for landfill disposal. Draft rule changes were presented to the Press today. They were formulated at the request of various local governments and their residents. Currently, some 170,000 tons of decontamination rubbish is stored at hundreds of temporary locations across 12 prefectures. http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002727876http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/nuclear.html
  • Kansai business leaders “hail” the Takahama #3 restart. The two day Kansai Economic Seminar attracted 500 company representatives from the region. Kansai Economic Federation Chairman Shosuke Mori said, “The restart of these reactors means the situation since September 2013, where Japan had no nuclear plants operating, has been eliminated. This is a very significant development. Kepco will also restart the Takahama No. 4 reactor in about a month…” http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/02/04/business/kansai-business-leaders-hail-nuclear-power-plant-restarts-urge-tpp-ratification/#.VrNO3pBf0dV
  • A former advisor reveals the chaos inside PM Kan’s office the first few days of the nuke accident. Haruki Madarame was assigned to Naoto Kan’s staff the evening of March 11, 2011. At the time, he was chairman of Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission. He was the only member of Naoto Kan’s hastily-assembled staff with any actual knowledge of nuclear power plants. Madarame says that once he arrived at the PM’s office, he was so besieged by questions that he was “more explanatory than advisory”. He accompanied the PM on his infamous March 12 helicopter flight to Fukushima. Along the way, Kan asked Madarame about the potential danger of hydrogen buildup. Madarame said a hydrogen explosion was unlikely because the inner Primary Containment (PCV) was inerted with Nitrogen. A Hydrogen explosion needed some Oxygen in order to occur. Madarame told Kan he was more concerned about over-pressurization rupturing the PCV. He did not anticipate leaks developing out of the PCV and into the outer reactor building, which was not a steel-reinforced structure. Madarame admits he underestimated the situation and lost considerable credibility with Kan when unit #1 had its explosion. He was not in touch with anyone at F. Daiichi, other than when he was at the site with Kan on the morning of March 12th. Madarame says he was “astonished” to later find out that Goshi Hosono, special advisor to the PM, was regularly communicating by phone with Masao Yoshida, F. Daiichi plant manager. He was immediately disturbed that decisions were being made based on information passed along by someone other than a nuclear expert. Concerning another infamous event at the Prime Minister’s office, Haruki said he was asked if injecting seawater could trigger re-criticality. He recalls answering, “I can’t say the possibility is zero”. This triggered an over-reaction on the part of Kan’s staff, which assumed a non-zero possibility meant it was actually going to happen. Thus, the irresponsible order to not use seawater was sent to Masao Yoshida. Fortunately, Yoshida ignored the order. In general, Madarame wishes there would have been more nuclear experts in the Prime Minister’s office, since he-alone was clearly not enough. http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002713163
  • Eight Fukushima communities want their forests fully decontaminated. Tokyo has decontaminated forests around municipalities to a depth of 20 meters, as well as campsites and other popular locations deeper in the woods. However, most exclusion zone communities say it is not enough. Futaba Town Assembly Chairman Seiichi Sasaki says not decontaminating whole forests discourages evacuees from returning home. Environment Minister Shinji Inoue says they are ready to expand the work close to places people live, but will not commit to anything more. He wants the local community officials to meet with the ministry and discuss the issue. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20160203_30.html
  • Researchers say they found tiny radioactive glass particles scattered around F. Daiichi. Tokyo professors Noriko Yamaguchi and Toshihiro Kogure report they have collected the miniscule materials (several micrometers diameter) on leaves in the forests near Kawauchi Village. The main component is glass, but they also detected some Cesium, which the researchers say could only have come from F. Daiichi in March, 2011. They believe the Cesium was contained in the concrete of the station’s damaged buildings and melted into the miniscule glass beads because of intense heat. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20160203_33.html
  • Japan’s top antinuclear organization posts Fukushima’s first 5th anniversary tirade. The report literally drips with abject fear-mongering. The Tokyo-based Citizens Nuclear Information Center’s conjectural claims include – very little is still known about the causes and effects of the accident, an unidentified “piece of evidence” suggests that AC power was lost long before the tsunami hit and caused the unit #1 isolation condenser to fail, no-one knows where the water to cool the damaged reactors went or how much was used, the reasons for the hydrogen explosions “are not known at all”, questions of health and safety remain unanswered, and the “possibility of increase in incidence of thyroid cancer among children”. The obvious agenda of the posting is to appeal to the proliferation of fear constructed on uncertainty and doubt (FUD). http://www.cnic.jp/english/?p=3271