• It appears that most re-solidified fuel (corium) is in the bottom head of unit #2. The Muon detection system at F. Daiichi has found a large, black shadow inside the bottom of the reactor vessel (RPV). Analysis strongly suggests that most, if not all, of the corium pooled inside the bottom head and plated out on other internal structures. Unit #2 is the first one where the Muon detection could see the bottom head of the RPV. This is the first of the three damaged units to have an indication of where the corium ended up. The Muon scan of unit #1 could not see any lower than the core support plenum, so there was no indication of whether or not the corium pooled inside its bottom head. Most researchers speculate that the unit #1 corium melted through the bottom head. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160630_07/
  • Tokyo considers repopulating Namie Town. The first step will be allowing temporary stays for residents who were forcibly evacuated by government mandate in 2011. On June 23rd, the government told 100 town residents they might begin “special” temporary stays in mid-August. These plans are preliminary and need approval by the town officials and municipal assembly. Namie Mayor Tamotsu Baba doubted Tokyo’s plan because there must be hearings with residents and talks with the assembly, which is why he says they are “considering implementing the trial home stays around mid-September.” It is speculated that Tokyo will announce when the evacuation order will be lifted by the end of this year.  http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=688 (Comment – Once again, Fukushima Minpo is the only Japanese Press outlet to report on good news relative to Fukushima.)
  • Evacuee psychosomatic disorder rates remain high. The percentage for fiscal 2015 was 62%, down more than 4% from fiscal 2014. Of those forced to evacuate by the government, more than 65% reported psychosomatic issues in 2015, a drop of 4.5% from 2014. The voluntary evacuee rate for 2015 was nearly 56% in 2015, a drop of less than 1% from 2014. The most common complaints were sleeplessness, “unable to enjoy anything”, irritated, dismal and depressed, and, isolated, in that order. http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=687
  • A Mainichi Shimbun headline says the NRA has doubts about the F. Daiichi ice wall. But, the Mainichi is mixing apples with onions. The Nuclear Regulation Authority says the seaward-side well-water levels have not decreased, and Mainichi uses this as its proof for the headline. But, the seaward wells are outside the wall, so their steady levels actually prove the wall is working. There would be something amiss if those wells were changing levels. One the other hand, the main body of the article focuses on Tepco being pleased with the system, and supportive expert opinion from a Mie University professor, Kunio Watanabe. He says that large ice walls have been successfully utilized in Japan for about 600 public works projects. Watanabe adds that the F. Daiichi ice wall is about double the size of a Tokyo subway tunnel – the largest one used previously. Consistent with its obvious antinuclear agenda, the Mainichi says Tepco has been “ominously silent” on the ice wall’s effectiveness, and speculates that it is reaching its “do-or-die moment”. This flies in the face of the fact that Tepco has been posting weekly on the in-ground temperatures around the nearly 1,600 thirty-meter-deep refrigerant pipes since the first 55% were allowed to begin operation in April. The data shows that all but a precious few have frozen the earth solid! Because of this, another 43% was started up in June, after the NRA gave them the go-ahead. Tepco says the “ice wall is going according to plan”. But the Mainichi fixates on the few gravel-impregnated sections that have yet to fully freeze, and makes the exception seem the rule. http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160630/p2a/00m/0na/006000c
  • Chiba City wants the “radioactive” designation removed from stored rural wastes. The bagged debris was accumulated after the nuke accident in 2011. Chiba is 25 kilometers east of Tokyo, and roughly 250 kilometers south of F. Daiichi. Almost eight tons of the material have been stored at a city disposal center. All of it has decayed below the national standard of 8,000 Becquerels of Cesium per kilogram, and Chiba wants the “radioactive” designation removed so that it can be handled the same as all other municipal wastes. The Environment Ministry says it will decide on the City’s request in about a month.  http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/06/29/national/science-health/chiba-wants-radioactive-designation-lifted-fukushima-contaminated-waste/#.V3O0rinr0dU
  • Ikata #3 fuel load is complete. Actually, it was completed on Monday, June 27th, as scheduled, but none of the Japanese Press outlets felt it was “newsworthy”. The announcement of completion was posted by Japan Atomic Industrial Forum on Wednesday, the 29th. This is yet another instance where significant nuclear energy news is ignored by the Japanese Press; they would rather appeal to fears over Plutonium in 10% of the fuel bundles. http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/ikata-3-fuel-loading-completed-with-commercial-operation-to-resume-in-august/
  • F. Daiichi experienced a localized power outage on Tuesday. An electrical abnormality was detected in a power source at 3:40am. Some equipment in the water treatment and “ice wall” systems stopped operating. None of the reactor or spent fuel pool cooling systems were affected. The most severe impact was to the ice wall refrigeration units. 22 of the 30 ice wall freezing units were operating at the time, but no-one had reported how many were affected. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160628_19/http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2016/06/418467.html
  • A minority of shareholders call for nuclear power abandonment. 73 antinuclear motions were submitted at nine utility meetings on Tuesday. The motions are essentially the same as those proposed by the same shareowners for the past five years. As before, it is expected that all motions will be voted down. None of the nine utilities have any intention of capitulating to the minority shareowner demands. The antinuclear shareowners responded with the usual rhetoric. For example, a Tepco shareowner made the specious complaint, “TEPCO is trying to resume operations at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant without taking responsibility for the accident” used since 2011. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201606280064.html