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Japan Takes S. Korea To WTO Over Fukushima Food Bans

Japan Takes S. Korea To WTO Over Fukushima Food Bans

Japan has filed a WTO trade complaint against South Korea for restricting potentially contaminated Japanese food from entering their market. Japan also recently threatened to do the same to Taiwan after that country put additional proof of origin and radiation screening on some imports. Japan’s argument has been that food products are under that country’s intervention limit for radiation contamination, citing government food testing programs. Those programs involved only spot testing of products. Food products not … Read entire article »

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Takahama Reactor Restarts Appeal Rejected By Court

Takahama Reactor Restarts Appeal Rejected By Court

The restart attempt of the nuclear reactors at the Takahama plant in Japan has again been rejected by the courts. The initial injunction stated that safety could not be guaranteed and that the new safety rules lacked rationality. KEPCO immediately appealed the ruling but now the appeals court has upheld the injunction. This new ruling could give the financially troubled power company another problem to deal with. This also makes two court rulings confirming that … Read entire article »

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Fukushima Radiation Found In Tap Water Around Japan

Fukushima Radiation Found In Tap Water Around Japan

Testing conducted in February and March of 2015 found cesium in many tap water samples collected around Japan. While the numbers were fairly low it is still a persistent problem since tap water is used in some way in everything that is consumed. In the readings, Tokyo had higher tap water contamination levels than Fukushima City. One reading that may cause confusion is the reading for Ichihara Chiba. It indicated iodine 131 was found in that … Read entire article »

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SimplyInfo.org Report: Taiwan Food Testing Of Japanese Imports

SimplyInfo.org Report: Taiwan Food Testing Of Japanese Imports

Thanks to activists in Japan, we were made aware of ongoing Japanese food import testing being conducted in Taiwan. The testing began in 2011 and continues today. Concerns about Japanese food imports were renewed after a mislabeling scandal found that food from banned Japanese prefectures were being relabeled and illegally sold in Taiwan. The testing results included roughly an item a day that was found to be contaminated. Taiwan’s food radiation limit is 370 bq/kg. Japan’s … Read entire article »

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LDP Wants To Reopen Much Of Evacuation Zone By 2017

LDP Wants To Reopen Much Of Evacuation Zone By 2017

The LDP party is pushing a plan to reopen the evacuation zone for any area below 50 mSv/year by 2017. This change to evacuation zone designations would also likely end any compensation for those who moved away or similar aid for the area. According to their plan any area with up to 20 mSv/year would be reopened in 2016. Areas with up to 50 mSv/year in 2017. It is very unlikely any of these areas … Read entire article »

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Taiwan Upgrades Fukushima Food Import Regulations For Japan

Taiwan Upgrades Fukushima Food Import Regulations For Japan

Taiwan has instituted new food import regulations after a recent scandal where mislabeled foods were imported and sold. It also appears some of these food items were contaminated. Japanese food imports must include an origin certificate and certain foods will require test results from radiation testing of that food product. Those regulations will go into effect May 15th. The only authorities that can issue such certification are: The Japanese government Agencies approved by the Japanese government Or documents authorized by … Read entire article »

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US Lax Regulations On Japan Food Imports Raise More Concerns As TPP Close To A Vote

US Lax Regulations On Japan Food Imports Raise More Concerns As TPP Close To A Vote

A recent Japanese food mislabeling scandal in Taiwan showed the differing levels of oversight between countries when it comes to food imports. The US has refused to do any meaningful testing and has clung to an unusually high limit before any product would be taken off the market if it was even tested at all. While China insists any food imported from Japan must have proof of radiation testing results and a prefecture of origin certificate, … Read entire article »

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Banned Japanese Fukushima Foods Mislabeled, Sold In Taiwan

Banned Japanese Fukushima Foods Mislabeled, Sold In Taiwan

A recent discovery of banned Japanese foods being sold in Taiwan is causing considerable concern about the actual safety of the food supply. This comes only weeks after contaminated Japanese tea was reported as being found in Hong Kong. Taiwan has fairly rigorous food safety standards. In 2011 Taiwan banned the sale of all foods from Fukushima and four other prefectures. That ban is still in place today. On top of the ban of all products … Read entire article »

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Fukushima; A Sign Lays Bare A Toxic Relationship

Fukushima; A Sign Lays Bare A Toxic Relationship

When Yuji Onuma was in 6th grade he wrote a phrase. What started as part of a homework project, won an award and eventually became the slogan on large signs as you enter Futaba Fukushima. “Nuclear power the energy of a promising future“ The now ironic signs are to be torn down. The town claims the signs are a safety risk as they have deteriorated. Mr. Onuma wants the signs to stay. “The signboards should be preserved as … Read entire article »

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Fukushima Sea Soil Radiation Readings Released

Fukushima Sea Soil Radiation Readings Released

Japan’s NRA has released a series of sea soil and sediment readings taken off the eastern coast of Japan. The readings cover the near shore areas of Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki and Chiba prefectures. The highest cesium readings were south of the nuclear plant site in Ibaraki prefecture, south of Iwaki City. High strontium 90 readings were found both north and south of the plant. These readings were higher than the ones directly offshore from the … Read entire article »

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Japan Nuclear Safety: 4000 Falsified Safety Checks & Alarm Ignored For 1 Year

Japan Nuclear Safety: 4000 Falsified Safety Checks & Alarm Ignored For 1 Year

JAEA ignored an alarm on a radioactive liquid waste tank for a year, allowing the waste to leak. The incident happened at the materials testing reactor in Ibaraki. NRA called the JAEA dysfunctional. NRA also found that the Onagawa nuclear plant had over 4000 improper entries into inspection records at their #2 reactor. These included incorrect equipment information and even entries for equipment that didn’t exist. The company has not begun similar reviews for the … Read entire article »

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7 More Japanese Nuclear Reactors May Close Permanently

7 More Japanese Nuclear Reactors May Close Permanently

A total of 7 reactors are being considered for decommissioning in Japan. Each unit is at or nearing the 40 year operational limit and would be required to pass additional safety screenings in order to continue operation. This is on top of meeting the new standards enacted after the Fukushima disaster. The main reason for considering shutting down these plants is costs. One plant was going to need over $800 million in upgrades with no promise … Read entire article »

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3.11 Quake Was 9 Years In The Making

3.11 Quake Was 9 Years In The Making

The Great East Japan earthquake that started the Fukushima nuclear disaster and caused tsunami damage to large portions of north east Japan was slowly building for 9 years.  The build up on the fault in the Japan trench was a slow build. Researchers were able to identify it after the fact by tracking GPS stations. They did say not every massive quake like this could be detected ahead of time but they now know more about … Read entire article »

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Japan Nuclear Utilities Ironically Protest Safer Fuel Storage

Japan Nuclear Utilities Ironically Protest Safer Fuel Storage

Asahi Shimbun ran an article recently explaining that some of the nuclear power companies in Japan were resisting a move to make them store more of their spent fuel in casks. Cask storage is a much safer solution than leaving fuel in spent fuel pools, as clearly documented in the Fukushima nuclear disaster. While the spent fuel pools at Daiichi became a long term risk to public safety and the ability to deal with the disaster, … Read entire article »

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4158 bq/kg Mushrooms Found In Tochigi Prefecture

4158 bq/kg Mushrooms Found In Tochigi Prefecture

Mushrooms from Tochigi prefecture tested and found to have 4158 bq/kg of cesium. The test was recently completed and shows that the problems of radioactive foods it not “over” and not isolated to Fukushima prefecture. Mushrooms absorb considerable amounts of radiation. Many wild mushrooms in parts of Europe are still banned from consumption or sale due to high levels of radiation decades after Chernobyl. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the … Read entire article »

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Niigata Fails 2nd Nuclear Disaster Drill

Niigata Fails 2nd Nuclear Disaster Drill

The first nuclear disaster drill in Niigata in 2013 resulted in a considerable failure. This year another supposedly easier drill also failed. The 2013 drill involved a large number of volunteers to evacuate the area near the plant by bus. This ended up taking evacuees not to safety but right into the path of the simulated radiation plume. For 2014 the ran a severely handicapped drill. They skipped having an evacuation and declared the radiation release … Read entire article »

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Multiple Safety Issues Being Ignored In Japan’s Nuclear Restart

Multiple Safety Issues Being Ignored In Japan’s Nuclear Restart

Multiple significant safety issues are being ignored while Japan appears to be rushing into a restart of their nuclear power plants. Evacuation plans are not approved or rejected by any government body yet the national government has had a hand in running evacuation drills. Each of these evacuation drills run has had major breakdowns and failures. One saw residents evacuated into the simulated radiation plume. The most recent one near the Shika nuclear plant found they … Read entire article »

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Japan Diet Approval Required To Join Nuclear Liability Treaty

Japan Diet Approval Required To Join Nuclear Liability Treaty

The US has been pushing for Japan to sign on to a nuclear liability treaty, withholding some cooperation on the Fukushima disaster as pressure. In order for Japan to sign on to this treaty the Diet will have to give approval of the agreement. Currently only a few nuclear countries in the world have signed on to this liability treaty pushed by the US. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/10/24/national/government-seeks-diet-approval-treaty-international-funds-following-nuclear-disaster/#.VE6xEvl4pkA This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo … Read entire article »

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Japan Govt. Experts Expose Nuclear Plant Volcano Risk

Japan Govt. Experts Expose Nuclear Plant Volcano Risk

The response from the government picked volcano expert wasn’t kind. He made it very clear that the Sendai nuclear reactors are at risk from a number of nearby volcanoes and that the ideas concocted by the plant owners to combat a possible eruption are pure fantasy. Toshitsugu Fujii, a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo is the head of Japan’s panel on volcano risk. He is also a member of the NRA’s hastily assembled volcano … Read entire article »

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Japan Nuclear Restarts Continue To Struggle Against Reality

Japan Nuclear Restarts Continue To Struggle Against Reality

The head of Japan’s NRA is now claiming volcanologists that have raised concerns about the safety of the Sendai nuclear plant are wrong. NHK pointed out these key quotes from the latest exchange: “The utility had showed plans to remove nuclear fuel from the facility if it detects any signs of volcanic activity or tectonic plate movement around the plant.” “the NRA chief said Ontake’s hydro volcanic eruption is unlike any huge volcanic eruption that may occur around the … Read entire article »

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Japan Doubles Hospitals Labeled As Radiation Response In Name Only

Japan Doubles Hospitals Labeled As Radiation Response In Name Only

We reported last week on the response failure of radiation injury capable hospitals during the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The government has announced that the number of hospitals designated as radiation response hospitals has about doubled. Kyodo News discovered that these newly designated hospitals lack the needed human resources and equipment to actually operate at radiation response hospitals. This of course sets up a disastrous problem if these hospitals are called to respond to a radiation emergency … Read entire article »

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Japan’s Nuclear Disaster Evacuation Myth; Not Enough Buses

Japan’s Nuclear Disaster Evacuation Myth; Not Enough Buses

Asahi Shimbun continues to investigate Japan’s nuclear evacuation plans. This time they looked at the availability of buses to evacuate those who can’t flee in their own vehicles. The evacuation plans rely on chartered buses. Some of the prefectures could only find half the buses needed, at least one could only find one fourth of the needed buses. Some areas would need thousands of buses but could only find a few hundred. The chartered bus idea quickly … Read entire article »

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Japan’s Old Nuclear Program Is New Again

Japan’s Old Nuclear Program Is New Again

Nuclear restarts in Japan have taken a political turn. Japan’s industry minister revived previous administration’s claims that Japan “needs” nuclear power, citing claims of energy independence. Japan has no domestic uranium resources so even their nuclear program is dependent on importing nuclear fuel materials. The country has long tried to make a fuel reprocessing program work but has run into the reality of costs and viability. The minister also brought back the nuclear safety myth, … Read entire article »

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Sendai May Get Restart Approval, Who Has Potential To Restart

Sendai May Get Restart Approval, Who Has Potential To Restart

Japan’s NRA is expected to give restart approval for the Sendai nuclear plant this week. The reactors still would not restart before winter as a number of tasks still need to be completed including obtaining local consent. A volcano risk committee is still working through the risk factors to nuclear plants. Sendai is one of major concern with a nearby active volcano. Local governments remain skeptical about restarts. Local governments were mostly undecided or against restarts. Only 12% … Read entire article »

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NRA Nuclear Plant Volcano Study Could Take Another Year

NRA Nuclear Plant Volcano Study Could Take Another Year

Without saying how this might impact the potential restart of the Sendai Nuclear Plant, NRA said it would take about a year to determine a plan for dealing with volcano risk. Current laws state that plants at risk from volcanos must take steps including removing nuclear fuel from the plant. We previously documented the known risks of volcanoes to nuclear plants. This includes not just lava flow risks but a considerable risk due to ash … Read entire article »

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Japan Nuclear Evacuation Plans Expose Absurdity Of Restarting Reactors

Japan Nuclear Evacuation Plans Expose Absurdity Of Restarting Reactors

Part of the plan in Japan to attempt to restart reactors including trying to establish evacuation plans based on what was learned from the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. The reality of the cost and difficulty of doing so is coming crashing down around the government plan to restart reactors. Minamata City, near the Sendai nuclear plant can not deal with what is being expected of them should an evacuation be required. The city, about 40km from Sendai … Read entire article »

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Briefcases Full Of Cash For Japan’s Pro Nuclear Politicians

Briefcases Full Of Cash For Japan’s Pro Nuclear Politicians

A former Kansai Electric (KEPCO) executive came forward to admit the nuclear company had been giving huge amounts of secret cash to prime ministers and other government officials. Prime ministers had been receiving about 20 million yen a year for about 18 years while he was involved. The secret money was delivered as cash to the government officials. This was funded ultimately by consumers who paid for the “donations” through higher utility bills. Chubu Electric had … Read entire article »

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Abe Declares He Will Start Japan’s Nuclear Plants No Matter What

Abe Declares He Will Start Japan’s Nuclear Plants No Matter What

Japanese PM Abe made a statement over the weekend that he would restart Japan’s nuclear plants “by some means or other”. Hinting that he would ignore the rule of law or the will of the people as he already has in other unpopular political power grabs this year. He made the statement at a meeting with business executives in Fukuoka. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation … Read entire article »

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Japan Moves Closer To Nuclear Restarts, But Who Decides?

Japan Moves Closer To Nuclear Restarts, But Who Decides?

Japan’s NRA gave an initial approval towards the Sendai nuclear plant meeting government “safety standards”. There are still other aspects of safety and equipment that NRA would need to approve but there is much more that would have to happen before any reactor was to restart operations. NRA also mentioned they are close to giving an approval to the Takahama nuclear plant. Part of these safety upgrades includes construction of a radiation resistant bunker building/command center … Read entire article »

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Japan’s Nuclear Regulator Ignores Scientists Warnings Again

Japan’s Nuclear Regulator Ignores Scientists Warnings Again

It truly is a Hollywood cliche, ignore the scientists until it is too late. This is the newest issue related to nuclear plant restarts in Japan, volcanos. The Sendai nuclear plant sits near a fairly large active volcano as we explained here in the report The Real Risks At Sendai. Reuters reports there are even more diverse volcano risks at Sendai than what we found. Again, scientists in Japan are raising serious concerns about these risks. … Read entire article »

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Japanese Court Blocks Oi Nuclear Plant From Restarting

Japanese Court Blocks Oi Nuclear Plant From Restarting

A Japanese court has ruled that the Oi nuclear plant can not restart. A number of lawsuits have been filed since the 2011 disaster trying to block local nuclear plants from restarting. Kansai electric will appeal the ruling. The court agreed with the plaintiffs that the estimations for quake resistance given by the power company were unreliable. The NRA says they will continue their work to screen the plant for possible restart permission. This is … Read entire article »

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Japan Finds Continuing With Nuclear Power More Than Challenging

Japan Finds Continuing With Nuclear Power More Than Challenging

Japan’s nuclear regulator took a shot at the nuclear industry response to safety after Fukushima. “He said nuclear operators have utterly failed to communicate whether they are seriously reflecting on the accident and making efforts to improve safety. He urged the institute to better instruct the utilities.” This was in a statement to the Japan Nuclear Safety Institute regarding the nuclear utilities efforts to improve safety in the hopes for restart approval for their reactors. The governor of Niigata … Read entire article »

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Japan Radiation Embargoed Food List

Japan Radiation Embargoed Food List

The Japanese government has been wooing the media with claims that all the contamination in the food supply has miraculously just gone away. This is of course not exactly what is going on. Some food products have been able to lower contamination levels by modifying farming tactics, but this has been a very limited set of circumstances. What is not mentioned is how many foods are still being held back from sale and that they … Read entire article »

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Fukushima Fuel Fragment Found In Home Vacuum Bag 460km From Disaster Site

Fukushima Fuel Fragment Found In Home Vacuum Bag 460km From Disaster Site

Marco Kaltofan at Worcester
 Polytechnic 
Institute has issued more information about some unusual findings from a home vacuum cleaner bag they tested. The vacuum bag came from a home in Nagoya Japan, 460 km south and west of Fukushima Daiichi. We reported earlier on their discovery that something was very “off” with this sample sent in for examination. More details have been released as the additional testing was completed and found that: The single radioactive particle was identified … Read entire article »

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Citizens Continue To Find Inaccurate Govt. Radiation Monitors In Fukushima

Citizens Continue To Find Inaccurate Govt. Radiation Monitors In Fukushima

Citizens continue to find government radiation monitoring stations that read lower than the actual reading for the location. This one in Tomioka was off by a full microsievert per hour. These discrepancies become a considerable problem when they are then used to estimate possible human exposure on an annual scale or to declare potential health risks over time. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation … Read entire article »

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Japan Govt. Orchestrates Fukushima Denial, Nuclear Restarts

Japan Govt. Orchestrates Fukushima Denial, Nuclear Restarts

The Japanese government continues to push for reactor restarts and to establish nuclear power as part of the national energy policy even though public opinion is still heavily against it. At the same time the government has pushed for politically motivated reopening of parts of the evacuation zone. The Japanese government has declared nuclear power as an “important baseload energy resource“. While the government insists that nuclear power is an important power source they did not … Read entire article »

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Fukushima Daiichi Radioactive Tank Leak To Pacific Far Worse Than Admitted

Fukushima Daiichi Radioactive Tank Leak To Pacific Far Worse Than Admitted

TEPCO has admitted that the radioactive sludge leak from the H4 tank farm last August was more than three times worse than admitted. TEPCO has already been under fire for hiding or downplaying information leading up to the IOC decision on who would host the next summer Olympics in September. The leak was initially rated at 80 million becquerels of strontium 90, part of which leaked into the Pacific. At this rate the NRA had declared … Read entire article »

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Two Japanese Power Companies Ask For Bailouts

Two Japanese Power Companies Ask For Bailouts

First Hokkaido Electric, now Kyushu Electric is asking for a government bank to give them money. Both are complaining about unexpected costs involved with operating without their nuclear power plants. Kyushu Electric owns quite a few reactors, Hokkaido Electric only owns two. This may sound familiar to readers in the US after Exelon Nuclear began asking for government bailouts because other sources of electricity were so cheap it is putting them out of business. In Japan … Read entire article »

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The Real Risks At Sendai

The Real Risks At Sendai

The Sendai nuclear power plant located in Kagoshima Japan has been selected as the one Japanese authorities would focus on attempting to approve for restart. Sendai includes two PWR type reactors. Intakes reside at: 5ft above sea level Intake pump buildings 13 feet above sea level Reactor blocks at about 35-40 ft above sea level Road routes are problematic at the plant. The plant is bordered by a large river to the north, the sea to the … Read entire article »

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Mainichi Investigation Creates New Fukushima Scandal

Mainichi Investigation Creates New Fukushima Scandal

A news report earlier this week showing how the Japanese government had manipulated radiation data for the evacuation zone has now evolved into a full blown scandal. In a follow up article yesterday Mainichi documented how the actions behind the scenes were clearly done with the intention of forcing evacuees to move back to unsafe areas. A number of officials and experts they talked to agreed this is what has been taking place. This article would … Read entire article »

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