• Removal of the upper-floor enclosure for unit #1 is complete. On October 7th, Tepco took off the last of the eight upper enclosure panels surrounding unit #1. Local residents and politicians were concerned that the work might stir up radioactive dust and be carried away from the F. Daiichi property by winds. No discernable changes in airborne radioactivity occurred at the station boundary with removal of any of the huge panels. The project began on September 15th and has progressed without a hitch. Removal of the eight bottom panels has already begun. https://www4.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2016/images/handouts_161007_01-e.pdf
  • The Press urges Tepco to accelerate water-purifying at F. Daiichi. Japan’s #1 newspaper (Yomiuri Shimbun) reports that purification systems are being doubled in order to decontaminate water at a higher rate, and larger storage tanks are being installed to replace the current 1,000 ton units. The Yomiuri wants the work done as quickly as possible. The Press outlet also wants Tepco (and Tokyo) to seriously consider ocean release. However, the Yomiuri falls into the same technological fallacy as the rest of the Japanese Press. It says that the radioactive water in the turbine building basements of units #1 through #4 is a “serious impediment to the work to decommission the plant.” However, the major impediment is radiation levels inside the reactor buildings caused by re-solidified corium (formerly melted reactor internals); not the radiation emitted by the water in the turbine basements. Regardless, the paper is right about a release of purified water to the sea. It will cause no actual harm to anyone or anything, but Tepco and Tokyo are loathe to do this unless they gain local approval. Aside – Gaining local approval seems to be a pipe-dream because of public radiophobia. – End aside. The Yomiuri finally points out that the rate of build-up will not be greatly reduced until the “ice wall” is fully frozen. But, the newspaper fails to mention it will not happen as long as the Nuclear Regulation Authority stubbornly refuses to let Tepco freeze the seven gaps the agency ordered to be left open in the wall. http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003279580
  • Another family plans to sue Tepco over a Fukushima suicide. A woman in her 80s hung herself on March 26, 2013 in a housing facility rented for her by the prefectural government. Family members argue that the woman committed suicide because she and her husband were forced to evacuate from their home. The woman’s daughter said, “If she had not been forced to evacuate, she wouldn’t have killed herself.” Tokyo ordered the woman and her husband to leave their Iitate home in April, 2011, as part of the mandated evacuation. After her husband died in August, 2012, she went into a state of depression. A Buddhist, she spent much time at their home altar saying things like, “I want to go to where he (her deceased husband) is soon.” The suit will ask for over $600,000 in damages. http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161012/p2a/00m/0na/006000c