• Japanese researchers find no negative health effects in Fukushima field mice. The study was run because due to previously published reports of negative biological effects in Fukushima fauna allegedly caused by low level radiation exposure. The prior reports claimed morphological abnormalities in butterflies, low blood counts in wild monkeys, reduced fecundity in the goshawk, and lowered abundance in bird populations. A team of experts at the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Onagawa, Ibaraki Prefecture, collected field mice from inside the Fukushima plume pathway and two distant prefectures to establish whether or not low level exposure from the 2011 nuke accident had caused damage to the animals; specifically with the testes and spermatogenesis. They found there was no discernable connection between the radiation and negative effects in Fukushima mice during 2013-2014, even though some of the mice had more than 4,000 Becquerels per kilogram of Cesium in their systems. http://www.nature.com/articles/srep23601
  • PM Shinzo Abe visits towns to be repopulated in June. He inspected the villages of Kawauchi and Katsurao. Katsurao residents told Abe that Tokyo should support former evacuees who decide to return, and do whatever is needed to resume farming and other businesses. Abe said that the desire of residents to return home is the driving force for reconstruction, so he will do his best to restore community ties and vitality. Abe told reporters that he is very concerned about the areas still posted as being unfit for return, and he will push for accelerating decontamination work. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160603_39/
  • Tepco’s latest data on the Fukushima Daiichi ice wall shows that the entire seaside portion has frozen. The few locations where freezing has yet to occur are near the parts of the system that the Nuclear Regulation Authority would not allow to be operated for fear that groundwater level inside the wall would drop below turbine basement levels and result in an uncontrolled release of contamination to the environment. Regardless, none of the Japanese Press has reported this – not even the more objective outlets – although it is clear from pages 12 and 13 of the attached link that all of the shoreline side is frozen. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2016/images/handouts_160602_01-e.pdf
  • Tepco begins operation of most of the remaining ice wall sections. Liquid refrigerant is now being circulated through 95% of the in-ground pipes sunk down to 30 meters. In addition, workers began injecting cement into the gravel-impregnated soils around the few pipes where the soil has not completely frozen. These locations are part of the north and south portions of the 1.5 kilometer wall. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160606_28/
  • NHK World reports that a leak from unit #2 possibly contributed to the reactor’s fuel damage. The leak is believed to have been in the emergency cooling system known as RCIC (Reactor Core Isolation Cooling), which is driven by steam from the RPV. According to operator records recorded during the accident, RCIC stopped operating at around 1:25 am on March 14th. The plant staff could not inject more cooling water until about 6pm on the 14th, after the RPV had been depressurized. Tepco believes the leak worsened the loss of RCIC, and may have accelleratedm core uncovery on the morning of March 14th. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160605_02/
  • Tokyo intentionally withheld its March, 2013, report on Chernobyl health effects. The study was authorized under the regime of the deposed Democratic Party of Japan, and budgeted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in November, 2012. The MEXT report rebuffed two highly-publicized European studies claiming far-greater Chernobyl health effects than IAEA and WHO. Both were widely circulated in Japan after the Fukushima Accident. The MEXT report focused on blood and lymphatic disorders, analyzing whether dose assessments were carried out and actually linked to health damage. The study concluded that there was no scientific reason to establish a relationship between exposures and health damage due to the 1986 Chernobyl accident. The report also said there were no reputable resources with which to link negative biological effects to the levels of exposure in the Ukraine. The MEXT department in charge of the report was transferred to the Nuclear Regulation Authority in April, 2013, and the NRA buried it in the congressional library by way of the Environment Ministry. http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160604/p2a/00m/0na/006000c
  • Tokyo’s leading antinuclear group posts a backgrounder for stopping nuke restarts through the court. The Citizen’s Nuclear Information Center (CNIC) describes the two types of litigation that are possible. One is administrative, where the government is the defendant and the plaintiffs demand that approval for operation be annulled. The other is civil, where the owning company is defendant and plaintiffs call for termination of construction or termination of operations. If and when either type of case is rejected or annulled, the plaintiffs can appeal only if the decision might violate a Supreme Court precedent. Because these legal actions can take many years to be tried, CNIC summarizes the way to have a lower court order a provisional injunction to put an immediate, albeit temporary stop to operations, even if the plant is already operating. CNIC points out that if a provisional injunction is overturned, the utility can sue the plaintiffs for incurred losses. To date, there have been no court cases in which a ruling or judgment permanently suspended the operation of nuclear power plants or nuclear fuel cycle facilities, or affirmed the invalidity of a nuclear reactor construction approval. NRA-approved Takahama units #3&4 are currently barred from operation due to a provisional injunction. http://www.cnic.jp/english/?p=3404