March 26, Saturday

[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]


Gabi reports:

snow in Tohoku -
how many flakes carry traces
of radiation ?

05 snowflakes and wall

Quite a lot of snow over night, even my valley is all white and quiet ... and still snowing at seven in the morning.

. My Photo Album - Snow on March 26 .

No major aftershocks over night.


CLICK for enlargement
Radiation levels in microsievert per hour :
from Thursday to Friday (according to Japan Times)
Fukushima - 11.6 / (down from 12.2 yesterday)
Tokyo - 0.138 / (down from 0.148 yesterday)
Aomori - 0.027 (0.029 yesterday)
Shizuoka - 0.049 (0.051 yesterday)

I made a new page to check the daily radiation in Tokoku :

. Daily Radiation Levels


. . . . . at 10:00
Heavy snow is falling again, after a short sunny stop, but then turns back to strong wind and cloudy.

We see images of Tohoku under white covers.


Yagawahama before and after
谷川浜 (close to Ishinomaki town)

after the tsunami hit

source : google earth


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Friday, March 25, 2011 21:29 (yesterday)

Kan says he is determined to tackle crisis
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan has expressed his resolve to continue all-out efforts to tackle the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Kan made the remark at a new conference on Friday, just two weeks after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan.
Kan expressed his respect and gratitude to workers from Tokyo Electric Power Company, the Self-Defense Forces and others at the plant, adding that unpredictable factors remain part of the situation there.
Referring to radioactive contamination in farm and dairy products, Kan apologized to farmers for causing serious damage. He added that the government will give compensation and support.
Kan also said the government will give support to all the areas affected by the quake and tsunami, adding that the damage has spread far and wide. He said the government will also start preparations for reconstruction.
Kan urged the survivors to take a step forward toward reconstruction with courage, saying that the whole country will share the burden.
He called on the people to pull together and overcome the country's greatest crisis since World War Two.


Saturday, March 26, 2011 04:22
Fault line found to have moved up to 30m
Japan's Meteorological Agency says the recent massive earthquake off the Pacific coast of Northeastern Japan occurred due to a fault line shift of up to 30 meters.
The agency said at a news conference on Friday that it discovered this while analyzing how the quake occurred based on seismometer data it obtained in Japan and abroad.
The findings show the breakdown of the fault started in waters off Miyagi Prefecture. The northern portion of the fault line stretching 200 kilometers off Iwate Prefecture and the southern part stretching 150 kilometers had moved.
Immediately after that, about 100 kilometers of the southern part of the fault line moved toward waters off Ibaraki Prefecture.
All this shows that the 450-kilometer fault line shifted a distance of up to 30 meters in just 3 minutes. This caused a massive quake with a magnitude of 9.0 and a tsunami 10 meters high which hit the Pacific coast of Japan.
The meteorological agency says it will continue its analysis of huge earthquakes and aftershocks to help improve disaster response.
Tsunami floods 500 sq km
The area affected by the massive Tsunami along the coastline of eastern Japan extends as far as500 square kilometers according to satellite image data.
Pasco, a geospatial company in Tokyo, analyzed satellite images of coastline stretching from Aomori to Ibaraki Prefectures taken between March 11th and 20th.The firm says that the flooded area encompasses 470 square kilometers. Miyagi Prefecture is the most affected with 300 square kilometers of flooded land. Fukushima Prefecture follows with 110 square kilometers, while Iwate Prefecture has about 50 square kilometers damaged by the Tsunami.
In southern parts of Miyagi, there was some improvement as the latest image taken on March 24th indicates the area affected by flooding shrank.However, 70 percent of it is still under water.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 04:22
200,000 evacuees in shelters
Two weeks after the massive earthquake and tsunami, more than 200,000 survivors are taking refuge in emergency shelters located mainly in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
More than 30,000, have relocated to other prefectures. Most of them are from Fukushima, where the quake-stricken nuclear power plant is located.
The numbers were obtained by NHK from municipalities and prefectures as of Friday.
Most evacuees are concentrated in Miyagi Prefecture. 655 emergency shelters in the area are accommodating over 88,000 people.
In Iwate Prefecture, over 380 shelters are housing nearly 44,000 evacuees.
And in n Fukushima Prefecture, 298 shelters are accommodating nearly 32,500 people.
So far about 33,500 people have left their home prefectures. Most of them are from Fukushima, where a nuclear power plant accident remains a big concern.
About 8,700 evacuees moved to neighboring Niigata Prefecture. Saitama and Gunma prefectures have accepted over 3,400 and 3,300 people respectively.
The total number of those displaced by the quake topped 200,800 on Friday. There is worry that evacuees' health condition may deteriorate, particularly among the elderly.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 08:47
Challenge to remove water from reactors
Tokyo Electric Power Company is considering ways to remove water from the quake-hit nuclear plant where three workers have been exposed to high levels of radiation.
The workers waded into water that contained 10,000 times the radiation of normal levels. This took place in the basement of the turbine building of the Number 3 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on Thursday. They were working to install power cables.
After the incident, TEPCO examined the reactors and found that not only Number 3, but also the Number one reactor has highly radiated water in its basement.
TEPCO says the fuel rods inside reactors may be breached, causing radioactive material to leak.
TEPCO is working to remove the water inside the reactor buildings. This operation remains a challenge particularly for reactor Number One. The equipment used to remove radioactive elements in the water of this reactor has been damaged, however the firm is continuing its efforts.
TEPCO says it needs to remove the contaminated water as quickly as possible to resume efforts to restore external power to the reactors, in order to restart cooling systems.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 08:45
TEPCO forced to change strategy at plant
Tokyo Electric Power Company has been forced to change its strategy at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant due to high radiation levels at the site.
The plant's nuclear reactors 1 through 4 have all lost their cooling capabilities as both external and backup power supplies failed after the quake and tsunami.
TEPCO has been working to restore the external power supply while trying to cool the reactors and spent fuel storage pools by using pump trucks to secure water levels.
However, 3 workers were exposed to highly radioactive water in the basement of the turbine building of the No.3 reactor on Thursday. The radiation level there was 200 millisieverts per hour at one time.
This led to a change in plans. In an effort to continually cool the reactors, TEPCO has started to pump fresh water instead of seawater into the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors on Friday.
With this strategy in mind, the company first intended to use the reactors' water pumps. But they were forced to use pump trucks instead from a distance, after high radiation levels were detected near the reactors' pumps.
The company plans to switch on lights in the No.2 reactor's control room on Saturday through an external power supply. Meanwhile, they will also continue to use trucks to pump fresh water into the reactor.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 09:38
European Union vows further assistance to Japan
The European Union is ready to provide further assistance for the rebuilding of Japan following the massive earthquake and tsunami.
EU leaders adopted a statement on Friday at the end of a 2-day meeting in Brussels, showing deep condolence to the victims of the March 11th quake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan. They also pledged cooperation for Japan's rebuilding effort.
The EU has already provided 70 tons of blankets, mattresses, and other relief goods at Japan's request.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 12:30
Fresh water injected into No. 2 reactor
Workers at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are now pumping fresh water instead of seawater into the No. 2 reactor.
The measure was taken to prevent salt from building up inside the reactor and affecting its cooling capability. Seawater was used to cool reactors and spent fuel storage pools at the plant as an emergency measure following the tsunami.
A similar measure was taken at the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors on Friday.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says it hopes to complete the switchover at spent fuel storage pools of the No. 2 and No. 4 reactors on Sunday.
The agency says fresh water has helped to stabilize the condition of the No. 1 reactor and accordingly wants to accelerate the process. It adds that further use of seawater could hamper temperature and pressure control.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 12:44
High level of iodine 131 in seawater near N-plant
A high level of radioactive iodine has been detected in seawater near Japan's troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The facility was hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said on Saturday that iodine 131 in excess of 1,250 times regulated standards was found in seawater collected 330 meters south of a plant water outlet at 8:30 AM on Friday.
The agency says there is no immediate threat to people within the 20-kilometer evacuation zone. The agency adds that as seawater is dispersed by ocean currents the contamination level will decline.
Iodine 131 at146.9 times regulated standards was detected in seawater in the area on Wednesday.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 15:47
Residents question need for nuclear power plant
An NHK survey of people living near the troubled Fukushima Daiichi power plant shows doubt about whether the plant is really needed amid growing concern about its safety.
NHK conducted a 2-day survey this week with 104 people who were forced to evacuate their homes near the plant and take refuge at shelters.
The survey found that 52 percent of the respondents said they think a nuclear power plant is needed, and 47 percent said they don't recognize the need.
NHK views the results as showing that some of those who once favored having the power plant in their community have changed their mind.
Some residents say the local economy benefits from the plant. Others say they feel let down by the central government and plant operator, who have long proclaimed its safety.
Asked about the central and local governments' responses to the nuclear crisis, only 14 percent evaluated them favorably, and 66 percent replied that they were not satisfied.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 19:22
Collective relocation of Fukushima residents
Municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture are relocating residents and administrative functions to remote areas. Many of them are located within the evacuation zone around the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
On March 19th, Futaba Town moved its functions and the entire community to Saitama City in Saitama Prefecture.
Two other municipalities have also decided on collective relocation of administration and residents. Okuma Town plans to move to Aizu-Wakamatsu City in Fukushima Prefecture, and Naraha Town, to Aizu-Misato Town in the same prefecture.
In a similar move, Minami Soma City evacuated about 5,000 residents in groups to Niigata, Gunma, and other prefectures.
Residents of Namie Town and Hirono Town have also moved out in groups to Saitama, Tochigi, and other prefectures.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 19:12
Fukushima troubles affecting other nuclear plants
Japanese electric power companies that operate nuclear power plants are facing difficulty in either restarting nuclear reactors in their checkups or transporting nuclear fuel to the power plants.
Municipal governments that host nuclear power plants are urging plant operators to freeze expansion projects and to review safety measures.
Hokuriku Electric Power Company has indicated that the firm has difficulty in rebooting two reactors at its Shika plant in Ishikawa Prefecture without the understanding of the prefectural government and residents. The reactors were taken out of operation for either mechanical trouble or regular inspection.
In western Japan, Kansai Electric Power Company has decided to postpone transporting nuclear fuel to one reactor at its Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture from France.
The company cites difficulty in ensuring the fuel's safe delivery because the government is busy handling the aftermath of the March 11th disasters and can't provide the necessary safeguards for transport.
Kyushu Electric Power Company has delayed restarting its two reactors at the Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture.
Ichiki-Kushikino City in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, says it will ask Kyushu Electric to freeze planned construction of a new reactor at its Sendai plant until the safety of the plant is guaranteed.
Most of the city is within 20 kilometers of the nuclear power plant in neighboring Sendai City.
Fukui Prefecture in central Japan has urged Japan Atomic Power Company, which runs Tsuruga Power Station, to do all it can to ensure safety of its plant.
The plant operator replied that it has just installed portable emergency power generators for its two reactors.
The company has also revealed new safety measures costing nearly 250 million dollars, including a plan to add pipes that supply water directly from a fire truck to one of its reactors and its spent fuel pool.
The reactor is a boiling-water type, the same as those at Tokyo Electric's troubled Fukushima plant.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 20:17
SDF, US forces cooperating to solve nuclear issue
Top officers of Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the US Pacific Fleet have agreed to share information on the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and cooperate in solving the problem.
The head of the SDF Joint Staff Office, General Ryoichi Oriki, and Admiral Patrick Walsh met at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo on Saturday afternoon.
Walsh commands all the US units working for relief operations in the quake-hit area in northeastern Japan.
He told reporters after the meeting that some of his senior staff in charge of communication with SDF officers have specific knowledge and technical skills relating to nuclear power.
His comment suggests that the US military is already having experts take up the matter.
He said he is sharing with the SDF all the ability and experience his experts can offer. He added that US forces are doing their best to help to fix the problem.
US forces are sending a vessel carrying a large amount of fresh water to be used to cool the nuclear plant.
The US said it expects to continue talks with the SDF and further support the affected area.


Voices from around

. The Daily Reading List .  

. . . . .

Injuries point to fuel rod damage in No. 3
The fuel rods in the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant's No. 3 reactor, including MOX, may be damaged, based on the highly radioactive water that injured two workers and exposed a third the previous day, the nuclear safety agency said Friday.

Although nothing is definite, "it is highly likely that some fuel rods have been damaged" and that radioactive material leaked into the water, Hidehiko Nishiyama of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. MOX is mixed oxide fuel made from uranium and plutonium.

The radiation level of the water was 3.9 million becquerels per cu. centimeter, or 10,000 times stronger than water from a healthy reactor would be, Nishiyama said.

NISA - Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, Japan
source : japantimes.co.jp

. . . . .

quote  (March 24) 
Singapore detects radiation contamination in vegetables from Japan

SINGAPORE, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has found radioactive contaminants in four samples of vegetables imported from Japan, prompting the authority to suspend imports of fruits and vegetables from two more Japanese prefectures.
The authority has so far tested 161 samples of fresh produce such as seafood, fruits, vegetables and meat, and four of the samples imported on Wednesday were found to be contaminated, including mitsuba, nanohana, mizuna and perilla leaf, it said.
The AVA also announced on Thursday that it is suspending imports of fruits and vegetables from Chiba and Ehime prefectures of Japan.
source : news.xinhuanet.com

. . . . .

Cranes 4 Japan
As with the rest of the world, we at BBDO and Proximity are still taken aback by the recent series of tragic events in Japan. This morning, Chris Thomas (CEO of BBDO Asia) sent a note to our worldwide network letting us know that we would try to leverage the power of the Internet to send messages and donations of support via virtual origami cranes to affected families in Japan.

An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes (千羽鶴, Senbazuru) will be granted a wish by a crane, such as recovery from illness or injury. We as the global community will take it on to fold not just 1000, but thousands upon thousands of cranes with individual messages of hope and solidarity with the Japanese people to know that we stand together with them in their hour of need.

source : cranes-4-japan

. . . . .

quote GERMAN
Ich bin Kernphysiker, kenne mich also in der Materie aus und wohne zur Zeit in Shiraoi auf Hokkaido.
Es geht hier nicht um eine Verharmlosung der Lage, die ist schlimm genug, es geht darum das ganze aus Sicht eines Wissenschaftlers zu kommentieren und vielleicht klarzustellen.
Zwei bis viermal hoehere Strahlenbelastung als "normal" hat man auch in Deutschland, das ist die natuerliche Schwankung.
Freitag, 18.3:
... die unglaubliche Panikmache in den deutschen Medien und in der Oeffentlichkeit geht mir (und nicht nur mir) extrem auf die Nerven.
Dienstag, 22.3.:
... in den Fokus, die Zerstoerungen durch den Tsunami mit den bis zu 20000 Todesopfern und zerstoerten Haeusern von mindestens 100000 Menschen. Es ist wie nach einem Abwurf einer Atombombe, da ist dann das was mit den Reaktoren passiert ist das kleinere Problem.
Donnerstag, 24.3.:
Der "Super-GAU" ist bei Spiegel online mittlerweile zum "GAU" geworden.
HIER geht es weiter
source : native-tours.org/forum



friends from Kigo Hotline

Dear Gabi:

in my borrowed tongue --
snow in Tohoku

I hope the resilient people of Japan overcome this crisis and rebuild their beautiful land of cherry blossoms.

My thoughts are with you.
Chen-ou, Canada

. . . . .

spring equinox
... yet more snow
in Tohoku

A double kigo, but too many things are happening in Japan at the moment. We are sitting tight with you, Gabi san.

Ella, Holland



[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]


  1. Anonymous3/26/2011

    Dear Gabi
    the stress must be difficult.
    I saw the images of Matshushima...I just could not believe it was the same place. I hope all is well in your area.

  2. Thank you for radiation news.
    Sakuo, Tokyo

  3. The whole world is on edge. Will our Atmosphere die? if it does, we too shall die.

  4. Anonymous3/26/2011

    Since TV news reported the polluted water in Kanto area, bottles of water suddenly disappeared in many shops, even Ehime! People are confused so much by harmful rumor...

  5. Anonymous3/26/2011

    Peace to you all. Only time can heal !

  6. Gabi wrote:
    Japan Times this morning reported about perilla (shiso) from Ehime being on the radiation list ... I have to check if this is a spelling mistake or true ... Ehime is far away in Shikoku ... The news is really confusing ...
    Kyoko wrote:
    Yes!!! I saw the TV news yesterday evening and surprised to see the topics! I love shiso very much!! Our prefecture checked it so much and proved it was a wrong information. Our vegetables are no problem at all! But Shingapore cancelled all trade (vegetables and fruit from Ehime)! Really strange! (-_-;) How about Okayama?
    Gabi wrote:
    Have to check this out now.

  7. tohoku snow
    on my face


  8. nobody should be staying in Japan now.
    it is full of radiation.

  9. Anonymous3/26/2011

    Gabi san thank you for keeping the information open.

  10. another day ~ another day * yet another day...

    . . . . .

    I know it's unbearable. And yet, if only the nuclear plants did not add to the disaster... another day... another hope... another prayer...

    . . . . .
    friends from Facebok

  11. radiation levels going down ...
    That's good news!

  12. This is really good Gabi, a good timestamp of a haiku. The news says that the radiation levels are a thousand times higher than they should be.

  13. We are all worried about the levels around the power plant at Fukushima though.

  14. and Ganbare! Tohoku, Ganbare Ibaraki! as well."

  15. U are talking abt the most ROYAL ppl on earth, they dont give up wat is their own... i really admire their courage n determination
    Su Huo Soon

  16. Anonymous3/27/2011

    Your decision to be, have and do something
    out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties
    that are out of the ordinary as well.
    Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else.

    Brian Tracy

  17. Anonymous5/10/2011

    Thanks for give us deeply description of earth. It's a very painful tsunami.This loss was significantly .

  18. Anonymous7/09/2011

    Man freed after arrest for collecting radiation-contaminated rubble in Fukushima

    A man has been freed after being held on suspicion of collecting rubble allegedly contaminated with radiation from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant without permission, the Mainichi has learned.

    The man was arrested on March 26 after allegedly collecting about 1.8 metric tons of broken brick walls and other rubble from a house in Koriyama for a 42,000 yen fee without a license in violation of the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law.
    The Environment Ministry's Office of Waste Recycling Program Planning said, "The current exclusionary regulations do not define the density and dose of radioactive materials and may abet crime, so we are looking into the possibility of revising the law."