• All seafood caught within 20 km of F. Daiichi is below cesium limits. Tepco has been running tests on the near-station sea life every three months for more than two years. Of the 263 specimens from the 39 species tested between October and December of last year, none had above-standard concentrations of radioactive cesium. This was the first of the quarterly studies to show no seafood containing more than 100 Becquerels per kilogram. The tests run last summer, tests on 256 specimens from 36 species revealed one angel shark contained a slightly above-limit concentration. http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=642
  • The new low level waste incinerator at F. Daiichi begins operation. The original facility was destroyed by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. There is about 70,000 tons of burnable low level waste materials currently being stored at the nuke station. The wastes include used anti-contamination suits, gloves and boots. Radioactive materials entrained in the smoke from the burning are being filtered from the incinerator’s exhaust and will be sealed in specialized containers for final disposal. Tepco says burning the wastes will reduce the total volume by a factor of 50. http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160321/p2a/00m/0na/004000c
  • Tepco balks at paying $175 million to prefectures for some of their claimed Fukushima costs. In 2011, Tokyo’s Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation laid down guidance for Fukushima accident reimbursement to local governments. Since then, prefectures have submitted about $450 in claims. Reimbursements for decontamination of water and sewage systems, as well as support for evacuees, were clearly delineated in the order. However, there is a grey area in the formal guidance that has led to the company not covering all claims. It states, “…depending on circumstances, additional expenses may be recognized as damage that should be reimbursed.” With respect to Fukushima Prefecture, Tepco refuses to pay for the salaries of government employees overseeing decontamination projects and the ad campaigns intended to repair the image of the tourism industry. Yamagata Prefecture has received but a third of the money they submitted, relative to radiation inspections of agricultural and livestock products plus the salaries of additional teachers to handle the influx of evacuee children. Also, Miyagi Prefecture has not been paid on about half of its submittals. Both prefectures have appealed to Tokyo to try and get all claims paid. Tepco says, “We are processing and compensating claims for damage that meet the appraisal standards. For other expenses, we are making appropriate decisions as we consult with relevant parties about their circumstances.” http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002812484
  • Tokyo says manpower and ownership issues delay razing and rebuilding Tohoku homes. The government recovery program covers not only homes destroyed by the quake and tsunami of 2011, but also those that have been damaged during the prolonged Fukushima evacuation. Only about 30% of the razing requests have been processed in the three hardest-hit prefectures: Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. Some Fukushima evacuees say that once evacuation orders are lifted, they will not be able to repopulate because they cannot return to damaged and/or destroyed homes. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/03/20/national/razing-of-wrecked-homes-lagging-badly-as-fukushima-residents-ponder-return/#.Vu6h15Bf0dU
  • A Tokyo seismologist claims Tepco was warned of a monster tsunami ten years before the nuke accident. Tokyo University’s Kunihiko Shimazaki reports that the Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion predicted in 2002 that a recurrence of an 1896 earthquake could overwhelm Fukushima’s protective barriers. The 1896 quake occurred 166 kilometers off the coast of Iwate Prefecture and the tsunami slammed the Tohoku coast, killing 22,000 people. Shimazaki said the probability of recurrence over a period of 30 years is 20%, “Compared with earthquakes that occur in active faults once in thousands of years, the probability (of 20% in 30 years) is surprisingly high and cannot be ignored.” http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2016031800690
  • Judges for an antinuclear lawsuit visit the F. Daiichi exclusion zone. Dressed in full anti-contamination gear, three judges and lawyers for both plaintiffs and defendants were included in what was obviously intended to be a show for the news media. There were about fifty anti-C clad members in the entourage. Plaintiff lawyers said this is the first visit by a court team hearing a suit against Tepco and/or Tokyo to cover damages claimed by evacuees.  A few evacuee plaintiffs said they need to be compensated. Of course, it was never mentioned that every man, woman, and child, already get huge monthly pay-outs totaling more than $8,000 each.  http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160318/p2a/00m/0na/003000chttp://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/recovery/AJ201603180055