•  The remaining Fukushima evacuee number drops below 90,000. On July 4th, Fukushima Prefecture announced that the combined total of remaining mandated and voluntary evacuees stands at 89,323. Nearly 48,000 remain in the prefecture, and just over 41,000 reside elsewhere. The highest confirmed total was in May, 2012, and stood at nearly 165,000. http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/number-of-fukushima-evacuees-falls-below-90000/
  • Cattle breeding resumes in Naraha Town. When Tokyo ordered everyone to leave in 2011, there were about 40 cattle breeders in the area. The Town restarted the breeding process soon after the evacuation order was lifted last September. Now, one breeder has taken over the “test breeding”. Four calves were delivered to his farm on Wednesday, and he hopes to eventually reach full operation once he proves there is no danger to the livestock. Shuko Watanabe, the breeder, says each calf cost around $9,000, but the town covered half the cost. It will be two years before the calves are mature and ready for market. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160707_02/
  • Tepco will re-use flanged water tanks to store so-called “waste” water. It seems the company has run out of other options. The Nuclear Regulation Authority has approved the re-use of the flanged tanks. As yet, only the Mainichi Shimbun has reported on this, and given it the usual antinuclear spin. The Mainichi purports that the reason for tank re-use is “because TEPCO has failed to prevent contaminated water from being generated on the premises of the plant or to secure enough storage tanks to hold treated water.” At the end of the article, we find the admission that the waters destined for the tanks will have been purified by the site’s highly-efficient, multi-stage contamination removal systems, and the only remaining radioactivity will be from Tritium. The biologically-innocuous isotope of hydrogen is the only hold-up in the release of the entirely harmless waters to the sea. Of course, the Mainichi fails to mention it. http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160707/p2a/00m/0na/003000c (For an objective science-based explanation of Tritium’s utterly harmless nature, see http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/background-information-on-tritium.html )
  • The Mayor of Imari City opposes restarts at Genkai station. Mayor Yoshikazu Tsukabe said, “I have no intention of giving consent to restarting [the nuclear plant]. I was worried about the ramifications on the local economy and the livelihoods of local residents when the Genkai nuclear plant suspended [operation]. Five years on, there have been no large disruptions. The prevailing sentiment in this city is that the plant does not need to go back online.” However, he has no official restart jurisdiction. Imari is in Saga Prefecture within the 30km emergency planning zone, but its consent is not required for restart because it is not a host community. Saga Prefecture and host Genkai town have non-binding “safety agreements” with Kyushu Electric Company. But, Imari City is not part of the pacts. Kyushu Electric plans to restart two units at Genkai by the end of the year. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201607050064.htmlhttp://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160705/p2a/00m/0na/004000c
  • A Tokyo professor says re-use of mildly contaminated soils could lead to illegal dumping. Last month, the Environment Ministry said they will allow mildly contaminated soil to be re-used for road construction and other public works, provided it is covered with material to shield the mild radiation field. To be used, the soil must have a contamination level less than 8,000 Becquerels per kilogram. Gakuin University Professor Kazuki Kumamoto criticizes the ministry decision. He says there is a “high risk of onerous contracts in which dealers take on contaminated soil in exchange for financial benefits. If contaminated soil was handed over under inverse onerous contracts, there is a risk that such soil could be illegally dumped later. Reuse of tainted soil would lead to dispersing contamination.” Prof. Kumamoto has a long history of disagreement with government rulings concerning trash disposal, dating back to the mid-1990s. http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160705/p2a/00m/0na/012000c