Before getting to the Fukushima News, I want to share a blog article posted by colleague Rod Adams on the 5th anniversary of the accident. He asks “Why haven’t world leaders learned the most useful lessons about Fukushima?” Among his points are the needless evacuation of Japanese for prolonged time periods, bagging up perfectly good soil as radioactive waste, and the fact that less than 20 of Japan’s long-idled nukes are actually at-risk with respect to tsunamis. I recommend this fine work to everyone.

Now for the latest Fukushima news…

  • The NRA calls an Asahi Shimbun news report “criminal”. Nuclear Regulation Authority Chair Shunichi said a recent Asahi article misleads residents who live near Sendai nuke station. On Monday, Japan’s second-largest newspaper said more than half of the rural radiation monitors around Sendai “cannot measure levels that serve as a criteria for evacuation”. The NRA’s Tanaka made a stern response, “(The article) is criminal in the sense the content fanned unnecessary anxieties among municipalities hosting nuclear power plants and people living around them.” He explained that this is not an actual problem because the higher range monitors are sufficient to judge the need for evacuations. Tanaka also said the NRA takes umbrage with the article’s citing an agency official as supporting evidence for the Asahi’s brash, unfounded claim, “Our staff never said what was written.” Of course, the Asahi defends its scare-mongering, arguing that it is merely a matter of informing the public. (Comment – The Asahi wrote that the monitors in question are “useless”. Does that sound like appropriate information, or overt FUD? The Asahi has had a long history of extreme antinuclear agenda, and this merely adds more fuel to the fire.)
  • An American oncologist says increased Fukushima child thyroid cancers are due to over-diagnosis. David Gorski, MD & PhD, has written Op-Ed articles about modern medical overdiagnosis issues for several years. In his latest report, he states that when searching for a prime example of overdiagnosis, and unnecessary invasive surgery, “…it’s hard to find a better example of this than the aftermath of the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant…” Gorski then asserts, “There is almost certainly no thyroid cancer epidemic in Fukushima [Prefecture].” His rebuttal of the widely-broadcast claim of such an epidemic by a maverick Epidemiologist at Okayama University is detailed and pulls no punches.
  • Japan’s emperor visits Katsurao evacuees. The imperial couple met with some of the 700Katsurao refugees in Miharu Town. The Katsurao mayor briefed the emperor on efforts made to lift the evacuation order. Then the imperial couple met with five evacuees. One said he can’t wait to return home and reopen his shop.
  • Shikoku Electric wants to restart Ikata unit #3 this summer. If all goes as planned, the Ehime Prefecture unit will clear its Nuclear Regulation Authority safety screening by the end of this month. The Ikata staff will then begin the pre-operational inspections and tests required for restart. The 890 MWe Pressurized Water Reactor could well be the fifth to restart after the Tokyo-mandated moratorium following the Fukushima accident.