• Tepco opens their new water treatment control room. The facility is now located in the main anti-earthquake building, to centralize control functions for water purification and improve the work environment for operators. The water treatment control room is adjacent to the emergency response headquarters. The original monitoring and control equipment from before opening the new facility will be used as back-up. Any remaining space in the water treatment facility will be a resting place for F. Daiichi workers. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2016/images/handouts_160517_01-e.pdf
  • Minamisoma’s mayor says he is antinuclear. Speaking before a group of students from Taiwan, Mayor Katsunobu Sakurai verbally abused nuclear energy by saying, “Putting money ahead of people’s lives is totally unacceptable,” and, “27,000 residents including many children are still displaced.” He added that the municipal government is still monitoring radioactivity in tap water and local food products, which is not normal anywhere else in Japan. But, realizing he was needlessly upsetting some of the students, he said that readings are now “low enough” for the students to be safe. His most antinuclear statement was, “Many local leaders tend to refrain from saying this, but I am making a strong plea to the central government, the business circles and the world that nuclear power plants are not needed because (if there is an accident) it can totally ruin people’s lives.” On the other hand, Sakurai failed to mention that most of his city was never ordered to evacuate, the last of the evacuated parts of Minamisoma will be re-opened in June, the major reason for the delay in repopulation was his personal radiophobic concerns, and that more than 15,000 of those who remain evacuated are voluntary. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201605180045.html
  • Former PM Koizumi supports American sailors suing Tepco. The plaintiffs include crewmembers of the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan that was involved in humanitarian relief called Operation Tomodachi. More than 400 sailors and service members are charging Tepco with lying about the levels of radiation in the atmosphere in March, 2011. Junichiro Koizumi expressed his alleged sorrow at a press conference in Carlsbad, California. Specific to the lawsuit, Koizumi said, “U.S. military personnel who did their utmost in providing relief are now suffering from serious illnesses. We cannot ignore the situation.” He them seemed to begin crying before adding, “Proponents and opponents of nuclear energy must think together about what can be done.” Koizumi also explained why he has turned against nuclear power, “I realized this is something that can’t be skipped over, can’t be ignored any longer. The three claims of being safe, cheap and clean were all lies.” The sailor’s legal team is trying to keep the $1 billion case alive after it was “stayed” by a San Diego court on June 22nd, due to a lack of evidence sufficient to make a judgment. However, on April 5th of this year, U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino said she will expedite the hearing of the case because some of the plaintiffs are “suffering and dying”. Fukushima-fee-chasing lawyer Paul Garner said, “I hope the Japanese people will realize there are American ‘Tomodachi’ who have been forgotten.” Tepco has appealed the suit stating that the court is abusing legal discretion by allowing the case to continue. Medical experts say the exposure levels were miniscule and incapable of causing the physical suffering alleged by some of the sailors. http://www.cbs8.com/story/32000871/sick-sailors-meet-with-japans-former-prime-ministerhttp://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2016/05/411935.html —  http://www.law360.com/articles/780512/9th-circ-agrees-to-speed-up-sailors-1b-fukushima-suit —  http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201605190065.html (Comment – It is unfortunate that a few of the roughly 5,000 USS Reagan sailors have contracted health problems in the last five years, with one dying of a rare cancer. However, the measured levels of exposure were many times less than anything that has ever caused health problems, and never those purported in the lawsuit. For detailed information on the lawsuit prior to 2016, go to http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/2014/01/us-navy-sailors-claims-of-fukushima-health-effects-might-be-misdirected/