• Seabed radiocesium contamination is not transmitted to fish. A team from Japan’s National Research Institute of Fisheries Science ran a 70-day experiment to see if a typically-contaminated sea floor was being ingested by fish. They took actual sea-floor deposits from two Fukushima shore-line communities; Hirono and Iwaki. The seabed materials varied in radiocesium content, ranging between 140 and 220 Becquerels per kilogram. Two food fish were included in the experiment; Greenling and Marbled Sole. None of the fish were found to have more than 2 Bq/kg in them after 70 days in tank-simulated environments, and the concentrations remained constant throughout the experiment. http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=704
  • A demonstration experiment on radiocesium removal from edible seaweed will begin. Fukushima Prefecture’s Local fishermen have refrained from harvesting green laver from Matsukawaura lagoon in Soma City since the 2011 nuke accident. Before the seaweed can be reaped, the local fisheries want proof that the radioactivity is constantly less than 50 Bq/kg. This is half of the national standard of 100 Bq/kg. Fukushima wants to try an experimental drying process that should ensure safety and consumer confidence in order to return Matsukawaura to one of the largest green laver sources in eastern Japan. The methodology is going to be tested in the fall and resume marketing in the spring of 2017. The concern is that contamination in rivers and streams that feed the lagoon may be accumulating in the seaweed, causing an inability to market the foodstuff. http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=703
  • Pacific coast kelp remains free of Fukushima contamination. Results of the fifth sampling period by Kelp Watch 2015 – a campaign headed by Dr. Steven Manley (Cal State – Long Beach) and Dr. Kai Vetter (UC Berkeley). None of the samples collected from March-to-June, 2016, contained Fukushima’s “fingerprint” isotope, Cesium-134. Iodine-131 found in the latest samples from the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports was attributed to an as-yet unidentified local source. This was the fifth consecutive sampling period showing zero Fukushima-related results, so Kelp Watch 2015 has officially ended. https://fukushimainform.ca/2016/08/04/update-2016-sampling-of-north-american-pacific-kelp-finds-no-signature-of-fukushima-contamination/http://kelpwatch.berkeley.edu/Home
  • The new Environment Minister vows to improve public relations with Fukushima Prefecture. Koichi Yamamoto said Friday he try to build trust with people in Fukushima Prefecture to speed up creating contaminated rural waste storage facility. The temporary (30-year) site covers 15 km2 adjacent to F. Daiichi shared by both host towns – Okuma and Futaba. There are more than 2,300 landowners that will be affected by the large land-area, and only 234 have agreed to Tokyo’s proposals. Yamamoto said, “I’m aware that getting landowners’ consent is a very tough issue.” Some uncommitted landowners are questioning the government’s commitment because Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has changed environment ministers four times since he took office. Yamamoto says the turnover has been within the Liberal Democratic Party so there has been much continuity, but conceded, “I have to make efforts to go to Fukushima often to make stronger connections than [former minister] Marukawa did.” http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/08/05/national/japans-new-environment-minister-pledges-build-trust-contaminated-waste-storage-facility-fukushima/#.V6XTz9Lr0dU
  • Ikata unit #3 is scheduled to restart this week. Ikata will be the third nuclear station reactivated since the end of Tokyo’s post-Fukushima moratorium. Shikoku Electric Company wants to begin the restart procedure on Friday (August 12). The original plan was to restart in late July, but problems discovered in pre-operational inspections needed to be resolved. (Aside – Ikata #3 had been shuttered for five years, so the pre-operational issues came as no surprise to this reporter – End aside.) Barring unforeseeable complications, Ikata #3’s reactor operator will begin control rod withdrawal on August 12, criticality should occur on the 13th, and electrical generation on the 15th. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160805_31/http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/ikata-3-to-be-restarted-on-august-12/
  • Tepco says “no” to a suit claiming a dementia patient was lost due to the nuke accident. Tepco has admitted at least partial responsibility for many of the deaths of hospital patients during the evacuation of March 2011. However, in the case of a woman who walked out of a Futaba medical care facility following the 3/11/11 earthquake, the utility testified in Tokyo District Court that it “cannot recognize that the nuclear accident led to the disappearance.” The Fukushima Family Court previously declared that she had “left the hospital alone after the earthquake, ended up wandering through a virtually uninhabited landscape, and encountered deadly dangers” due to the Fukushima accident. But, Tepco says the woman likely “wandered out of the hospital due to the earthquake itself,” because the electrical blackout severed power to the door locks. The family insists that the woman would not have disappeared if the nuclear accident had not occurred. The woman’s body has never been found and Tokyo has ruled that she is most likely dead. http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160805/p2a/00m/0na/003000c