• Independent international researchers say Pacific Ocean radiation is nearly normal. The Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), bringing together oceanographic experts from around the world, reports that Pacific radioactivity is rapidly returning to pre-Fukushima levels. Co-author Pere Masque states, “As an example, in 2011 about half of fish samples in coastal waters off Fukushima contained unsafe levels of radioactive material. However, by 2015 that number had dropped to less than 1 percent above the limit.” He cautioned that residual contamination in the seafloor near northeastern Honshu Island suggests that “Monitoring of radioactivity levels and sea life in that area must continue.” SCOR was formed in 1957 as an international ocean research collaboration between scientists from 35 countries. About 250 scientists participate in SCOR activities on a voluntary basis. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/07/04/national/science-health/pacific-ocean-radiation-back-near-normal-after-fukushima-study/#.V3phWCnr0dVhttps://www.ceoe.udel.edu/about/affiliated-programs/scientific-committee-on-oceanic-research
  • U.S. and Canada work together on Fukushima Pacific Ocean tracking. The early question was whether or not predictions of the spread of the plume would be accurate. JoEllen McBride of Fukushima InFORM explains, “The biggest hurdle to testing is the sheer size of the ocean, which makes monitoring and sampling difficult. Another problem is that water is constantly in motion, affected by wind, competing currents and temperature, which can make predictions difficult.” Yet, most reputable projections have proved accurate. The detected concentrations of radioactive material are exceedingly low and can only be analyzed using state-of-the-art laboratory equipment. The concentrations are so low that the “level of monitoring done by [American] states does not meet the level for research.” This means, the trivial concentrations are well-below scientific and regulatory concern. However, some states, like Alaska, collaborate with researchers and agencies to assure their citizens that there is nothing to worry about. http://www.voanews.com/content/states-agencies-work-together-tracking-fukushima-radiation/3402040.html
  • Once again, Japanese news outlets try to resurrect the nuclear energy issue in anticipation of the impending election. Japan Times argues that the main political parties are “divided and uninformed about how fast Japan should reduce its dependence on atomic power.” Three minority parties – The Japan Communist Party, Social Democratic Party and Osaka Ishin no Kai – oppose any and all restarts, but the major parties say that nukes will be needed to keep costs down while beefing up wind, solar, and geothermal production. Japan Today calls for a tougher regulatory body, attempting to show that the Nuclear Regulation Authority is not doing an adequate job. The news outlet focuses on the unrealistic notion that there must be absolute guarantees of nuclear safety, chastising the NRA which says there are no possible safety standards that can guarantee unconditional safety. Further, JT points to IAEA reviews of the NRA which show there is room for improvement, implying that there should be no room for improvement if the NRA was doing its job. Adding insult to injury, the newspaper poses long-time nuclear energy basher Mycle Schneider as an expert, who says, “The regulator is the guarantor for the population, not the manufacturers or the utilities, and it is failing. The first level where the NRA is failing is every single day in their oversight of Fukushima.” http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/07/03/national/politics-diplomacy/parties-vague-atomic-power-pledges-run-upper-house-election/#.V3kSMSnr0dVhttp://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/as-japan-re-embraces-nuclear-power-safety-warnings-persist (Comment – Mycle Schneider is expert at one thing – FUD! He contorts the truth to foment fear using arguments predicated on uncertainty and doubt.)