Fukushima Nuclear News Roundup – Monday April 15, 2013

TEPCO is still not ruling out the option of dumping radioactive water into the ocean. Something that would cause obvious outrage from fishing groups, environmentalists and other nations.

TEPCO admits the big challenge in trying to locate the radioactive leaks in the holding ponds on site. The high radiation levels prevent humans from inspecting the tanks in detail.

The IAEA is heading to Fukushima Daiichi to inspect the disaster response at the plant. After a series of failures that are being cited as the reason for the trip it isn’t clear what the IAEA will do beyond another photo op.

Hirano Fukushima, part of the evacuation zone that has been reopened will begin farming rice again. Experimental farming last year showed contamination levels were below the government 100 bq/kg levels. The article cites only below the limit, not that this rice is clean and reading as not contaminated.

An appeals court in Japan may rule soon on a lawsuit that seeks to force the government to evacuate children from Koriyama Fukushima. The city has been proven to have unsafe levels of radiation yet the government has failed to do anything of substance for the people living there. Koriyama is outside the evacuation zones.

Tsunami debris has begun to show up in California. Crescent City found a boat that washed across the Pacific from Rikuzentakata, one of the towns devastated by the tsunami.People from the town found some joy in the connection with Crescent City finding their boat.
Amya Miller, Rikuzentakata’s global public information officer, said the boat’s find was a cause for celebration.’For those of us in Rikuzentakata, these are experiences we will never get used to, and for giving us something to be absolutely joyful about, to talk about, to laugh about, and to be absolutely giddy — we are grateful,’ she said. Most of the high school students have been relocated to a town 30 minutes away, which had a campus that was not being used. ‘We needed this desperately,’ Miller said. “It’s wonderful.‘”

A few things of note from outside Japan this week:

For March 2013 100% of new electricity generation facilities installed were solar. This may be partly due to wind turbine installation being on hiatus for the winter in the upper central states.

Iowa saw some improvements in solar power installation laws. This analysis shows there is still a long way to go in the US to have the structures in place to make solar energy common place.

Former US NRC head Gregory Jaczko repeated his concerns with US reactor safety where he urged the US to shut down their units at a recent conference on nuclear energy. NEI, the nuclear industry’s lobbyist group fired back with a sold claim that US nuclear plants are safe because they say so.

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