Japan’s Press continues to focus on the “meltdown” issue. Tepco’s current president says one thing, and the majority of Japan’s Press outlets twist it into something decidedly different. Perhaps the most extreme “spinning” comes from outside Japan, with the Associated Press…

  • Tepco apologizes for its delay in acknowledgment of meltdown. The company admitted that its leadership during the March, 2011, nuclear crisis had intentionally avoided using the term “meltdown”. President Naomi Hirose said, “We deeply regret that our previous leadership failed to live up to the standards of transparency and thoroughness that we strive to meet today. We sincerely apologize for it.” This seems to conform to the Yomiuri Shimbun editorial we covered in our previous update; then-PM Naoto Kan’s order to stop using the term “meltdown” should have been ignored by Tepco. In addition, Hirose said it is natural for the public to interpret the decision to follow Kan’s orders as a cover-up, “It’s natural for the public to regard the delay in the disclosure as an attempt to cover up the meltdowns, and I deeply apologize for that.” http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/2016/1300509_7763.htmlhttp://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2016062100639http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160621_35/
  • Many Japanese Press outlets say the Hirose admitted a Tepco cover-up. The Mainichi Shimbun and Japan Times twist the Tepco president’s above statements into, “It is extremely regrettable. People are justified in thinking it a cover-up.” Both popular Press outlets say the Tepco-funded investigative panel report points a guilty finger at then-PM Naoto Kan for ordering the ban of the term “meltdown”. However, they stress that the precise identification of the person who passed the mandate on to Tepco officials is not given in the report, and both Kan and his Chief Secretary, Yukio Edano, says it is a sham. In fact, Kan believes the panel finding is an attempt by Tepco and the current ruling party to sling mud prior to the Upper House election. Edano says the DPJ will consider legal action. http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160621/p2g/00m/0dm/079000chttp://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/06/21/national/tepco-head-apologizes-311-ban-issued-meltdown/#.V2kscylf0dV
  • The Associated Press further contorts Hirose’s statements into a false citation. The AP says,  “I would say it was a cover-up.” It further tries to absolve then-PM Kan’s culpability in the matter by saying there is no proof that Tepco was muzzled because Kan denied the allegation. The AP subsequently purports, “The report found that Shimizu’s instruction to avoid using the term “meltdown” delayed full disclosure of the plant’s status to the public, even as people who lived near the plant were forced to leave their homes, some of them permanently unable to return,” to make the speculated cover-up seem egregious and unconscionable. http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/japan-utility-delay-declaring-meltdown-cover-40008157

Here are some other updates…

  • A researcher in Minamisoma says the world needs to know the realities of Fukushima. While a graduate student at Edinburgh University, Claire Leppold thought she understood what Fukushima accident had done to its neighbors. In February, 2015, she attended a guest lecture by Fukushima researchers. She found that her previous conceptions may have been wrong. So she set a goal of actually going to Fukushima to prepare her Master’s dissertation. It happened. But, she has not left. She is now a researcher at Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital. She writes, “…one of the most unexpected parts of this experience has been the confrontation between what I thought I knew, and the reality which I found.” She says the second-biggest thing she has learned is the damage caused by misinformation, “I never saw the actual results of misinformation until I moved to Fukushima. Now, I see them everywhere.” She goes on to detail how unfounded fear of radiation and wild rumors deeply damage people, then states, “…it is of paramount importance to be aware that misinformation carries consequences. Unfounded ideas have led to suffering, and misinformation is one of the biggest things to overcome for the future of Fukushima.” Her report should be read by everyone! http://www.huffingtonpost.jp/claire-leppold/fukushima-and-the-art-of-knowing-en_b_10537440.html
  • All Fukushima school lunches found safe for the 4th straight year. The prefecture’s education board announced that samples of all 2,669 lunches served in 2015 were well-below the 100 Becquerel per kilogram national standard for Cesium. In fact, only two of the samples had any detectable radiocesium. One was 1.01 Bq/kg (Iwaki City) and 1.14 Bq/kg (Yanaizu Town). A prefectural official said, “We have been able to confirm the safety of school meals. We would like to continue monitoring in municipalities and at schools that desire testing.” http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=685
  • Takahama units #1&2 have a number of hurdles to surmount before restart. The biggest technological hurdle is upgrading facilities and system, including installation of nearly 8,000 kilometers of fire-resistant cables. In addition, the tops of the two primary containment buildings must be covered in cement, new emergency response and control facilities must be finished, and, state-of-the-art control room panels must be installed. This will cost about $2 billion USD to complete. In addition, it is likely that Japanese antinuclear activists will petition the courts to stop the restarts. Takahama units #3&4 are currently shuttered because of a temporary injunction granted by the Otsu court in neighboring Shiga Prefecture, and residents of 14 prefectures have filed a petition with Nagoya District Court to bar restart of units #1&2. http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003030608http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160621/p2a/00m/0na/015000chttp://www.jaif.or.jp/en/nra-approves-extensions-of-operating-periods-to-60-years-for-takahama-1-and-2-the-first-for-aging-reactors/