Fukushima & Nuclear News Roundup April 21,2013

Japan Steel is struggling, their stocks declined and some workers are being given partial furloughs. Their nuclear parts business is cited as the cause for the corporation’s decline. The head of Japan Steel is also a key member of Japan’s business federation that has been screaming for nuclear power restarts since soon after the disaster. You should be able to deduce their motivation.

The NRA is giving the Oi reactors in Kansai an interim inspection to see if they meet the new reactor safety guidelines. Some of the failures at Oi such as a proper seawall, filtered vents and a quake proof command center are not completed but NRA seems to have carved out enough waivers they might pass and be allowed to operate until September.

Families are being lured to have their children participate in government body scans and thyroid scans in Iitate Village with promises of coupons with values between $50-$100 USD. Those who attend a school in Iitate Village or affiliated with the village get the bigger coupon book. Not sure how many takers there are for letting their kids be government lab rats in trade for $50 but it does show that participation remains low if they have to waive money in parents faces.

Slate has an interesting in depth piece on the chronic radiation exposures in Russia from the Russian nuclear program that polluted parts of the country. It also touches on the issue of chronic radiation exposure and how officials in Russia and the US worked to erase the issue over liability concerns.

Workers at Fukushima Daiichi that were dealing with the radioactive ponds and the related leaks were doing so without proper dosimeters. Since parts of the pond complex holds highly radioactive water they should have been wearing ring dosimeters on their hands to record doses as they worked. Add this to the long list of management failures at the plant.

The stunt by Omaha Public Power district in Nebraska to refuse to give consumers information related to spending at the plant without a $5000 fee may turn into an audit of the utility. Since the utility is publicly owned certain rules are in place for public oversight. One is the ability of a government entity to audit the utility. One has not been announced but the possibility is quite high that it could happen since OPPD’s recent actions show they are trying to hide something from the public.

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