• Fukushima Medical University finds no connection between thyroid cancer and the nuke accident. Professor of Epidemiology Tetsuya Ohira reported, “At the present stage, we have found no evidence pointing to any relationship between More than 300,000 children have been screened with state-of-the-art ultrasound technology. The children’s records were divided into three groups; (1) those in which one percent or more of the people had an external radiation dose of 5mSv or more, (2) those where 99.9% or more of the people had an external radiation dose of 1mSv or less, and (3) all others. Less than 0.01% of the children tested positive for thyroid anomalies in all three groupings. The similar rates between the three exposure groups showed there was no correlation with the nuke accident releases. Professor Ohira explained, “We had already released findings on the prevalence of thyroid malignancies or possible malignancies by area, including Nakadori, Aizu and Hamadori. This time, we divided the municipalities by radiation doses for comparison. What is significant is that there was no difference by area or individual.” The team also reported that 112 of the cohort were found to have nodules that tested positive for carcinoma. http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/external-radiation-exposure-found-to-be-unrelated-to-prevalence-of-thyroid-cancer-in-minors-aged-18-and-younger/http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609100031.html
  • A fund is started to support to the families of Fukushima children with positive screenings. The “3/11 Children’s Fund for Thyroid Cancer” will begin accepting donations on September 20th. The money is intended to cover medical expenses for child thyroid cancers in Fukushima and neighboring prefectures. The fund hopes to give each family $500 (50,000 yen). Lawyer Hiroyuki Kawai says, “They are struggling to pay medical bills. I don’t think ¥50,000 will be enough for them, but they are impoverished and are struggling, and even that amount will be of help.” Kawai conveniently overlooks the fact that all thyroid exams and medical expenses are covered by Fukushima Prefecture. He also fails to acknowledge that all but one of the positive tests are indolent (not malignant) and probably never develop into full-blown thyroid cancer. Japan Times says 380,000 Fukushima children have been tested since 2011, but does not say where they got the number from. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/09/09/national/fund-started-help-fukushima-thyroid-cancer-patients-cover-expenses/#.V9KkmdLr0dU
  • Namie evacuees are allowed to go home for short stays. Namie was ordered to become a ghost-town by Tokyo in 2011, under the antinuclear regime of PM Naoto Kan. The limited “short stay” program began September 1st. Just over 300 residents applied for permission to exploit the opportunity, but only a few actually did it during the first two days. The stays only allow the residents to go home for several hours per day. One resident said, “The special stay program is important to pave the way for reconstruction.” Namie Mayor Tamotsu Baba said, “I hope townspeople will stay at their homes, remembering the town’s atmosphere before the disaster.” http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=722 (Comment – once again, the Japanese Press at-large ignores a positive news story. It was only carried by Fukushima Minpo, which is circulated only in Fukushima Prefecture.)
  • 99.9% of Japanese foods were well-below national standards for radioactivity in 2015. Seventeen northern prefectures have had their farm and marine products tested since the nuke accident. A Food Safety Policy Division official said, “The cesium levels of 99.99 percent of vegetables, tubers and roots have dropped below 25 becquerels. There must be farm products for which we can scale down inspections if cultivation management continues to be carried out properly as in the past.” A non-profit group official said, “No matter how you look at it, it is excessive to inspect all cattle. Even if the scope of inspections is scaled down, there will be no change in risks involving beef.” Many feel that since the risk of cesium contamination is extremely low, funds for tests should be used for fighting disease-causing germs of a much higher risk.  Japan’s radiocesium limit of 100 Becquerels per kilogram is ten times lower than the European Union, and 12 times lower than America’s 1,200 Bq/kg standard. More than 260,000 items were tested in 2015, and only a smattering of wild vegetables, meats, and seafood failed to pass the test. Of the 264 items that failed, 259 were wild mushrooms, freshwater fish, and other “hard to control” foodstuffs. None of the seafood taken from waters offshore from Fukushima Prefectures were above-standard. Regardless, food producers continue to complain about public radiophobia hurting business. One said, “We are still suffering from groundless rumors.” http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160909/p2a/00m/0na/023000c
  • Nearly 200,000 tons of F. Daiichi’s stored water has been stripped of radioactive Strontium. More than 720,000 tons have been run through the multi-stage purification system (ALPS), but detectible levels of Sr-90 remain after the process. Tepco added a Strontium-stripping technology to allay public fears. Once stripped of SR-90, all that remains is biologically-harmless Tritium. While scientific evidence shows that the Sr-90 stripped water should be discharged to the sea, local fisheries fear that unfounded rumors would further damage the market for seafood. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu16_e/images/160909e0101.pdf
  • Governor Satoshi Mitazono told Kyodo News he will might annul his demand to shutter Sendai station. Kagoshima’s governor said, “Thinking realistically, time is short before (the reactors will go through) regular checkups,” during which the “concerns” of his supporters can be addressed. Meanwhile, Japan’s largest newspaper says these concerns lack proof. The Yomiuri Shimbun says Mitazono’s shuttering demand have no specificity as to where quake-induced safety problems might exist. Thus, his actions are judged to be “demagogic” – appealing to popular prejudices rather than rational argument. The Yomiuri asks, “Isn’t Mitazono himself fanning the flames of fear among local residents? Isn’t he trying to suspend the plant’s operation for reasons not based on relevant information?” The newspaper says the governor’s actions are “nothing but a political maneuver, apparently with opponents of nuclear power plants in mind.”  http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2016/09/433086.htmlhttp://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003208802