In-Focus Japan: Cesium found in freshwater and saltwater fish – Standards revealed for Japan’s new nuclear regulator

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Standards revealed for new Japanese nuclear regulatory body

Japan’s central government has been working to create a new nuclear safety commission to replace the embattled Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, which has been revealed to be highly ineffective partly due to the fact that it regulates the industry, but also promotes the development of nuclear energy, a clear conflict of interest.

The new commission will consist of a chairperson and 4 experts. The experts will specialize in nuclear reactors or earthquakes.

The government’s guidelines forbid anyone taking a commission post if they have worked for utilities, reactor makers or other nuclear-related businesses in the past 3 years.

They also rule out those who have received more than 6,000 dollars per year from nuclear businesses.

If the committee members are university lecturers, they will have to disclose any ties between their former students and the nuclear industry.

Source: NHK

Iitate village still coping with Fukushima disaster

Iitate Village is located northwest of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. All of its residents, numbering over 6,000, evacuated from the village after the disaster at the plant on March 11th last year.

The village is to be divided into 3 types of evacuation zone, designated by radiation level.

Source: NHK

Evacuees giving up on returning to no-go zone

About 40 percent of evacuees from the town hosting the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have no intention of returning there, a recent poll indicated this week.

Source: The Japan Times

Cesium contamination found in freshwater and saltwater fish

Japan’s Environment Ministry says it detected over 2,600 Becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium, was found in a goby freshwater fish taken from a river that flows from Iitate Village to Minamisoma City, north of the crippled plant.

Some water bugs, which freshwater fish eat, also showed high levels of 330 to 670 Becquerels per kilogram.

A type of flounder and bass caught off Iwaki City, south of the plant, registered 260 Becquerels per kilogram– the highest level for marine fish.

Source: NHK

TEPCO faces unexpected result from decision to seek raise of residential power rates

Recently, the utility recently nationalized after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, TEPCO, submitted a request, which included plans to raise monthly power rates for household users by an average of 10.28 pct.   After considering the request, a special panel on electricity charges instead called for measures to reduce some costs TEPCO is legally allowed to pass on to consumers.

The panel, urged TEPCO to lower the cost of introducing smart meters, and review the cost of maintaining and building a fiber-optic cable communications network.

The utility was also urged not to include fixed asset tax costs for the crippled nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, as they are legally considered “abolished” under a government decision made in April.

Source: JiJi Press


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