• Tepco posts the latest progress report for its three nuke stations. The handout covers F. Daiichi, F. Daini, and Kashiwazaki-Kariwa (K-K) stations. At F. Daiichi, freezing of the land‐side impermeable wall pipes has begun, “significantly” reducing the amount of contaminated water inflow into the buildings from groundwater. In addition, shifting the outlet of drainage channel K to the barricaded inner harbor (quay) and steady improvement of the on-site working environment are addressed. At F. Daini, risks with spent fuel pools have been reduced by sealing-off gates to prevent outflow of potentially contaminated pool water. At K-K station, safety measures for earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as hypothetical worst-case nuke accidents, have been upgraded. In addition, emergency response capabilities have been improved through repeated emergency training of personnel. Finally, the Nuclear Safety Reform Plan, focusing on Tepco management, has improved safety awareness, technical capability, and promotion of dialogue with workers and local officials. This last area of concern has been spurred by recent allegations of a Tepco cover-up of a delay in announcing meltdowns at F. Daiichi in 2011.  http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/2016/1292843_7763.htmlhttp://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu16_e/images/160530e0101.pdf
  • A Fukushima professor says unfounded fear of radiation impedes recovery. Dr. Fuminori Tamba, associate professor at Fukushima University, revealed his experiences with Fukushima citizens over the past five years. In 2011, severe anger and deep distrust with Tepco and Tokyo were the norm with Fukushima’s population. The company and the government were unprepared to respond to the public in 2011, and there was no coordination between national and local administrators, resulting in differing opinions on what to do. Tepco and Tokyo assumed defensive postures that made the situation worse than it might have been. Tamba says that after five years “an environment has gradually been created in which both sides can calmly discuss how to face the realities of the region instead of blaming each other for them.” Not that the public has forgiven Tepco for lack of adequate tsunami protection… they haven’t. But, the company’s willingness to squarely face the situation and meet the public face to face has gradually improved the communication environment. Tamba thus has great optimism, “Currently, Fukushima bears the weight of unfounded fears and rumors, as well as important experiences fading from memory. Instead of waiting for attention, I want to tell others that Fukushima itself is an originator of new culture and new values, able to serve as a driving force for Japan and a light for the world, as an interesting place.” http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/vol-4-special-interview-with-dr-fuminori-tamba/