• Fukushima InFORM says trace-levels of Pacific coastline radioactivity are peaking. The concentration of the F. Daiichi “fingerprint” isotope, Cs-134, has “increased considerably” since 2014, but this is nothing to worry about. The level has gone from barely detectible in off-shore locations in 2014, to no more than 3 Becquerels per cubic meter (ton of seawater) in 2015. The trend indicates “…that the smearing effect will continue to disperse the plume and that we are approaching the maximum.” However, concentration in Vancouver ocean water will probably double in 2016, and perhaps triple before it begins to decline. But, InFORM points out that these levels are nothing to worry about because will be hundreds of times less than Canada’s 10,000 Bq/m3 limit for drinking water. https://fukushimainform.ca/2016/09/20/september-2016-informal-update/
  • The number of “farm inns” near the F. Daiichi’s evacuation zone is increasing. There are 24 of these inns in the Towa district of Nihonmatsu, roughly 40 kilometers from F. Daiichi, a few km. from the border of the mandated evacuation zone. Visitors may work on the farms and partake in cuisine grown there. The program is intended to assure Japanese citizens that Fukushima farm produce is safe to eat. The city’s farmer population dropped about 50% over the past half-century. However, the increase in necessary lodging for people working within the evacuation zone has spurred having these inns. To date, only about 1,000 people have taken advantage of the opportunity, but it is expected that those numbers will swell. It is hoped the inns will counter unfounded rumors that persist throughout Japan. http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160921/p2a/00m/0na/016000c
  • Namie cattle are now being used to study the effects of low-level radiation exposure. The article has been released by the Associated Press. Roughly 200 are tested every three months. Researchers draw blood, collect urine, and check for unusual lumps or swollen lymph nodes. This is point at which objective reporting dwindles and makes in accord with the AP’s on-going antinuclear agenda. The report contains numerous misstatements, exaggerations, and negative innuendos. For example, the article states that the animals live in “radioactivity that is 15 times the safe benchmark.” The article is referring to the ultra-conservative Tokyo guideline for decontamination, which is not a benchmark for safety. Further, the article also says Namie is “…a ghost town with no prospect of being habitable for years,” even though 87% of Namie’s former population has been allowed to make visits and over-night stays at their homes since 2014. For these people, the remaining restrictions will be lifted by Tokyo in six months. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/cows-fukushima-radiation-zone-find-purpose-science-42269800
  • F. Daiichi staff prevents groundwater overflow caused by Typhoon Malakas from reaching the sea. The company held a Press conference on September 21st, and provided pictures of the F. Daiichi staff’s efforts. http://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/date/2016/201609-e/160921-02e.htmlhttp://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2016/images/handouts_160921_01-e.pdf However, Japan’s popular Press made it sound as scary as possible. Japan Times said the situation was “raising fears of tainted water flooding out to the plant’s port area.” The Asahi Shimbun said, “there is a possibility that some of it spilled into the sea,” and later adds, “…most of the water may have poured into the sea…” As it turns out, only one of the numerous piezometers for measuring groundwater level indicated a rise to 3cm above ground-level, but Tepco pointed out that there is a much higher wall around it so there is little chance that any of the water made it to the sea. A Tepco official said, “We will analyze the seawater because we cannot determine whether groundwater containing radioactive materials has actually leaked.” None of these reports mention that the entire shoreline is covered by an impermeable wall that virtually assures there will be no outflow to the sea. Further, there is no mention of the actual contamination level in the one suspect piezometer, though it is dubbed “tainted”. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/09/21/national/typhoon-rain-raises-tainted-fukushima-plant-groundwater-near-surface/#.V-JmPNLr0dUhttp://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609210047.html
  • Tokyo forms another Tepco reorganization and management committee. The committee will be overseen by the Industry Ministry. It will study to what degree Tokyo should be helping TEPCO pay for decommissioning costs at F. Daiichi, as well as focus on managerial restructuring of the company’s business. Central issues concern the ever-increasing costs of decommissioning F. Daiichi and providing generous compensation to the government-mandated Fukushima evacuees. The panel’s plan is expected to be submitted by the end of March. The ministry has picked prominent business leaders as members of the committee, including Akio Mimura – chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry – and Yoshimitsu Kobayashi – chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives. Company president Naomi Hirose will attend committee meetings as an observer. http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/meti-to-discuss-ways-to-support-tepco-in-decommissioning-fukushima-daiichi/http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2016092000659http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2016/09/434807.html