Fukushima News Roundup March 17, 2013

All the news you need to know for this week.

TEPCO is considering spending more money at Kashiwazaki Kariwa on safety systems. The additional money in the tens of billions of yen would put the total amount of cash being put into the idled plant at over 100 billion yen. TEPCO continues to throw money at this plant yet has not given a single evacuee a final compensation settlement for their losses.

Japan’s energy panel has begun deliberation after 6 of the 8 members who were somewhat anti-nuclear in opinion were thrown off the board. The head of the panel is Akio Mimura, a senior adviser to Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. The metals industry is one of the largest consumers of electricity.

Three government officials from Futaba spent one month working in the evacuation zone without any protective gear or dosimeters. The emergency government office in charge of the evacuation zone did not give instructions to many working in the area. The three were never informed of the need for gear or the risk. They also have not been tested for radiation exposure and the emergency office has done nothing to address the issue. During the early days of the disaster many communications systems did not work so it is possible the three didn’t fully understand all that was going on at the time.

An article in the Japan Times stresses the need for more diverse involvement to help all aspects of the nuclear disaster in Japan. The IAEA holds a very narrow view and scope to their work and that a diverse set of both opinions and expertise from around the world is needed.

More than half of the workers at Fukushima Daiichi may be doing so under counterfeit contracts. The continuing cycle of layers of subcontractors and worker abuse is compounding the problem that tens of thousands of workers will be needed there over the coming decades.

Check back this week for more in depth articles on developments at Fukushima.


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