A group of Japanese scientists have revealed on Tuesday that they have seen high levels of radioactive cesium, presumably from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, in samples of Pacific Ocean plankton collected from 10 areas in the Pacific that they have checked, the highest levels found at a location 25 degrees north latitude and 150 degrees west longitude. This research data was presented by the scientists, researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology, at a regular meeting of the Japan Geoscience Union in Chiba Prefecture.
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) accepted and approved of an expert assessment on Wednesday which points out that the No. 2 reactor at the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Western Japan is built right above a tectonic fault line that is active, strengthening doubts that the facility will be able to resume operation. The acknowledgement from Japan’s nuclear regulators is a significant one, as this is the first time that the NRA has stated that a reactor is located above a fault line with a high possibility of earthquakes in the future. This assessment is likely to leave plant operators Japan Atomic Power Co. with no choice but to scrap the reactor.
Just outside of Japan’s disaster-stricken Fukushima Prefecture, there are people who are saying they have been denied compensation despite experiencing increased radiation levels even from living around the fringes of the nuclear disaster that was caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. 700 residents of the Hippo district in Miyagi Prefecture, an area northeast of Fukushima, filed their claims on Tuesday via a government arbitration office, saying that they should at least be getting the same rates of compensation as the residents of Fukushima.
The children from the devastated town of Namie in Fukushima Prefecture were treated to a great experience as they made a visit to the tallest tower in the world, the Tokyo Skytree. Seventeen students from Namie Elementary School made the trip last April 26, a month before the first anniversary of the tower on May 22.
Japan is looking to resume talks with India regarding its cooperation to provide nuclear energy for the South Asian country, as revealed by Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Monday. Bilateral negotiations regarding nuclear power between India and Japan started as early as 2010, but talks have been suspended since the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
For the first time since the March 2011 nuclear accident in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, farmers in the Miyakojimachi district of Tamura have begun planting rice in what was once a no-go zone. It's also the first time that any kind of farming has been tried out in any former hot zone that's within 20 km of the now inactive plant. Miyakojimachi is the only district that has completed decontamination according to the Fukushima prefecture.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency team that inspected the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant last month said that the plan by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) to pump groundwater into the sea before it flows into the reactor buildings is a good solution to the increasing radioactive water inside the plant.
A new liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Louisiana, United States has seen new investments coming from three big Japanese traders in Mitsui & Co., Mitsubishi Corp., and Nippon Yusen K.K. who will all jointly share a one-third stake in the LNG export facility to be built for as much as 10 billion US dollars. This move is seen as still part of Japan’s desire to tap cheaper fossil fuel sources, like U.S. shale gas exports, following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Second year high school student Haruna Shiraiwa was one of 300 high school students who went on a study tour to the United States last summer. When she came back to her town in Iwaki, one of the cities badly affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, she was inspired to show other people how life in their city was slowly returning to normal. She and seven of her friends decided to organize "Tomotra in Iwaki," a bus tour through the city where they themselves will serve as tour guides.