• The Yomiuri Shimbun wants a full government investigation on banning the word “meltdown” in 2011. A recent Tepco-funded investigation found that the company avoided using the word early into the March, 2011 crisis. The Yomiuri states, “TEPCO has said that avoidance of the word ‘meltdown’ was in accordance with instructions from the Prime Minister’s Office. Who made TEPCO keep this vital information from being disclosed? This is a matter that directly affects how crisis management should be conducted. The government should endeavor to uncover the truth behind what happened.” Japan’s largest newspaper explains that there are inherent limitations to questioning bureaucrats and other government officials, but the Fukushima Prefectural Assembly says that what happened “trifled with residents of the prefecture”. http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003094494
  • Tokyo removes the word “sarcophagus” from the latest F. Daiichi decommissioning plans. The Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation released a revised plan on Wednesday. The original mentioned consideration to entomb one or more of the three damaged reactors at F. Daiichi, but stressed that Tokyo was committed to removal and burial of re-solidified fuel and RPV internal structures. But, the mere mention of a Chernobyl-like sarcophagus sent Fukushima’s local officials into a tizzy. Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori said he wants the Corporation to appreciate the shock felt by Fukushima residents with the plans including the word “sarcophagus.” Shunsuke Kondo, the head of the body’s technical committee, says he regrets the body’s lack of consideration for the locals. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160720_32/
  • The NRA further fuels the fires of fear over Fukushima contaminated water. Nuclear Regulation Authority Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa told Tepco to reduce the amount of contaminated water inside the turbine building basements of the four crippled units. The NRA sees only two options for Tepco. One is to build more storage tanks, even though space on the nuclear station is running out. The second is to recirculate everything through ALPS (the isotopic removal system) and an un-specified cooling technology. Fuketa said the more than 60,000 tons of basement waters cannot stay there forever and the company needs to better address the problem. He added that the highly-contaminated water could be released to the environment should another massive tsunami strike, and that is unacceptable. He failed to consider that Tepco beefed up shoreline protection for the four units in 2011, with an anti-tsunami wall roughly 15 meters high. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160719_33/http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2016071900531 (Comment – Of course, there was no mention of the best-possible option of releasing the purified waters to the sea, containing only the harmless, naturally-occurring isotope Tritium. As long as the Tritiated water is barred from release, the problem with storage will drag on.)
  • Tepco is ordered to compensate a distant golf course for “false rumor” losses. The Tokyo District Court says the company must pay a Tochigi Prefecture golf course $180,000 in damages for lost revenue due to false rumors spawned by the Fukushima accident. The golf course’s lawyer Kiyohisa Arai boasted, “This is an epoch-making judgment that appropriately recognizes damages caused by false rumors.” Although the course is more than 100 kilometers from F. Daiichi, Judge Tetsuro Nakayoshi said that the public did not know anything about radiation at the time of the accident. Thus the ruling stated, “A significant number of users avoided visiting the facility because sufficient scientific knowledge on the amount of radiation and exposure from the accident was not available at the time.” The plaintiffs had asked for about $800,000 in compensation, but the court said infrastructure damage from the earthquake and the resulting atmosphere of the natural disaster had a greater impact on the golf course’s business than the rumors about radiation. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201607210042.htmlhttp://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160721_01/
  • Kagoshima’s antinuclear governor-elect calls for shuttering the two operating Sendai units. The stated reasons are that he was elected due to his campaign pledge to have the units fully inspected for earthquake damage by prefectural officials, and have the approved evacuation plans reconsidered. Governor-elect  Satoshi Mitazono said, “The people of Kagoshima Prefecture have been anxious (about the safety of the plant) since the earthquakes that occurred in Kumamoto Prefecture. Kyushu Electric would be able to bolster trust from the public if it addressed the public’s anxiety by conducting fresh inspections.” He also wants to reevaluate his predecessor’s approval of evacuation plans and study the status of geologic faults in the Prefecture by bringing in his own “experts”. Mitazono said they would have a problem with being able to evacuate under the current plan because his “experts” believe bridges along evacuation routes might collapse in a severe quake. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201607200049.html
  • Greenpeace Japan continues to foment Fukushima radiophobia because of detectible radioactive contamination in Fukushima riverbanks, estuary, and marine sediments. Their posted report says, “The radiological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster on the marine environment, with consequences for both human and nonhuman health, are not only the first years. They are both ongoing and future threats, principally the continued releases from the Fukushima No. 1 plant itself and translocation of land-based contamination throughout Fukushima Prefecture, including upland forests, rivers, lakes and coastal estuaries.” Of course, the report fails to mention that the contaminants are essentially fixed in the sediments and the so-called “consequences” are exaggerated assumptions on the part of Greenpeace. For example, Kendra Ulrich, senior global energy campaigner at Greenpeace Japan, says the purified waters containing only biologically-harmless Tritium is “highly contaminated”, the ice wall designed to reduce groundwater in-leakage to the turbine buildings is supposed to “reduce groundwater contamination”, and the three long-ago re-solidified reactor cores are still “molten”.    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/07/21/national/greenpeace-reports-jump-radioactive-contamination-fukushima-waterways/#.V5C32ynr0dUhttp://www.ecowatch.com/radiation-fukushima-rivers-200-times-higher-than-pacific-ocean-seabed-1937971722.html