April 12, Tuesday

[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]

frost on the blossoms -
the catfish dances
at a faster pace

CLICK for more photos

The God of Earthquakes in Kashima sleeps,
while the catfish is having a row.

It started last night at 17:16
. Monday, April 11


Gabi reports:

Not much change to yesterday :
. Daily Radiation Levels  

Temperatures are down to minus 1 centigrade in the morning, all is white with frost again.

The earthquakes of M 4 and more continued all night:

I made a new file for the new aftershocks:

. Aftershocks since April 11 .  

. . . . at 14:17
Earthquake M6.3, Fukushima Hamadori


How nuclear apologists mislead the world over radiation

. Article by Helen Caldicott  

. . . . .

A bit of good news:
The Shinkansen to Yamagata is now back in action, but only with half the number of trains.

The Washington National Cathedral held an interfaith prayer service on Monday in honor of the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The famous poem by Miyazawa Kenji, Ame ni mo Makezu (Do not give up to the rain), was recited.

Tokyo Disneyland will open on Friday, and stay open during daytime. They also will give 300 Yen per visitor to charity.

. . . . .

In a mood of self-restraint the consumption of beer is also down, about 10% compared to March last year. Restaurants have less clients too, people stay home and go to bed earlier to save energy in Kanto ... one thing leads to the other.


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Monday, April 11, 2011 21:55
Water radiation levels down

The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says radiation levels in the seawater near the plant have dropped.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said it detected 200 becquerels of radioactive iodine-131 per cubic centimeter in seawater samples taken around the water intake of the No.2 reactor on Sunday.
The figure is 5,000 times the maximum allowed under government standards, but much lower than the 7.5 million times the standard that was detected at the same spot on April 2nd.
On Wednesday of last week, the company stopped a leak of radioactive water from a concrete pit outside the No.2 reactor after pouring a hardening agent into a layer of gravel around the pit.
In another effort to contain the nuclear trouble at the plant, the utility released 1,320 tons of relatively low-level radioactive water from the plant into the Pacific Ocean outside reactors No.5 and 6 between Monday and Saturday of last week.
TEPCO on Sunday detected 11 becquerels of iodine-131 per cubic centimeter in seawater samples collected 30 meters from outlets in the northern part of the complex. The figure was 280 times the government standard.
Measurements at the same spot were 2,800 times the standard last Thursday.

. . . . . Tuesday, April 12

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 01:26
TEPCO receives total $24 bil. emergency loans

Tokyo Electric Power Company has received a combined 2 trillion yen, or nearly 24 billion dollars, in emergency loans from major banks.
The Development Bank of Japan on Monday offered the power company about 1.2 billion dollars in loans. The bank says it will consider further loans if the power company needs them.
At the end of last month, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mizuho Corporate, Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking and other trust banks lent the utility firm a total of about 22.5 billion dollars.
Tokyo Electric sought the funds to cope with the crisis at the quake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The loans will also be used to repair and boost the company's thermal power generation facilities to address expected power shortages.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 01:26
Strong aftershock kills 2

Two people were killed and 3 others seriously injured in a strong aftershock that hit northeastern Japan on Monday evening.
Police say that in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, 4 people were trapped inside a house buried under mudslides triggered by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck at 5:16 PM.
Police and firefighters pulled them from the debris, but a 16-year-old girl was confirmed dead and the 3 others were seriously injured.
The police say 2 more people are unaccounted for, reportedly trapped inside another house buried by mudslides.
In neighboring Ibaraki Prefecture, a 46-year-old man was carried to hospital after he was found unconscious in a parking lot near his house in Ryugasaki City. He apparently fell during the quake and suffered a blow to the head. He was later confirmed dead.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 06:01
Strong aftershock kills 4
Four people were killed and 3 others seriously injured in a strong aftershock that hit northeastern Japan on Monday, just one month after the March 11th disaster.
Police say 4 people were trapped inside a house in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. They were buried under mudslide triggered by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck at 5:16 PM.
Police and firefighters pulled them out. But a 16-year-old high school girl was confirmed dead and the other 3 were seriously injured.
Rescuers recovered 2 other bodies later from a nearby house also buried by mudslide.
Police say the bodies are believed to be of a 63-year-old man and his 84-year-old mother, who were living together.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 01:26
Tokyo Tower bears electronic encouragement

The Tokyo Tower has been decorated with an electronic message wishing a quick recovery for quake-hit Japan.
The phrase, "Ganbaro Nippon", or "Let's hang in there, Japan", appeared on the 150-meter-high observatory of the TV tower on Monday evening, one month after the March 11th quake and tsunami.
8,400 bulbs of solar-powered LEDs were used for the sign.
A 62-year-old woman says the message encourages her to persevere with the rest of the country. She says she wants to save energy and help those in the affected areas by buying their products.
The message will appear on the tower every night through Saturday.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 05:47
Tsunami warning system to be improved

Japan's Meteorological Agency says it will improve its tsunami warning system so that it can give quicker and more accurate alerts after strong earthquakes.
When an earthquake hits, the agency collects data from seismometers across the country to estimate the magnitude. If necessary, it announces preliminary tsunami warnings and advisories within minutes.
But the agency initially underestimated the magnitude for the March 11th quake, rating it a 7.9 instead of a 9.0. It also predicted that a tsunami of up to 6 meters would hit northeastern Japan.
It took over 40 minutes for the agency to revise the estimated height to above 10 meters after studying more detailed data.
The Meteorological Agency says it takes 30 minutes to accurately calculate the strength of a huge quake as it uses seismic data from overseas as well as Japan to determine a precise figure.
Senior agency official Osamu Kamigaichi says the agency did the best it could with its technology, but failed to save many people's lives.
He stresses the agency will do its best to develop technology to quickly determine a quake's magnitude, the height of any tsunami, and issue accurate alerts.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 05:47
Japan to raise Fukushima crisis level to worst

The Japanese government's nuclear safety agency has decided to raise the crisis level of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant accident from 5 to 7, the worst on the international scale.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency made the decision on Monday. It says the damaged facilities have been releasing a massive amount of radioactive substances, which are posing a threat to human health and the environment over a wide area.
The agency used the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, or INES, to gauge the level. The scale was designed by an international group of experts to indicate the significance of nuclear events with ratings of 0 to 7.
On March 18th, one week after the massive quake, the agency declared the Fukushima trouble a level 5 incident, the same as the accident at Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979.
Level 7 has formerly only been applied to the Chernobyl accident in the former Soviet Union in 1986 when hundreds of thousands of terabecquerels of radioactive iodine-131 were released into the air. One terabecquerel is one trillion becquerels.
The agency believes the cumulative amount from the Fukushima plant is less than that from Chernobyl.
Officials from the agency and the Nuclear Safety Commission will hold a news conference on Tuesday morning to explain the change of evaluation.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 08:52
Radiation levels in parts of Fukushima over limit

The Japanese government says the radiation accumulated over a 25-day period at some locations in Fukushima Prefecture has exceeded the permissible level set for a full year.
The government announced the findings on Monday. The calculation is based on data collected from 53 locations, up to 60 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, from the day following the March 11th disasters through April 5th.
34 millisieverts of radiation had accumulated over that period at one location in Namie Town, about 24 kilometers northwest of the plant. This equates to about 314 millisieverts per year, more than 3 times the permissible level of 100 millisieverts.
On Monday, the government expanded its 20-kilometer evacuation zone to include towns where annual exposure is expected to top 20 millisieverts.
It asked residents to evacuate within about a month.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 12:56
TEPCO issues apology

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says it is taking the Nuclear Safety Agency's decision seriously and is deeply sorry for causing trouble and concern.
TEPCO official Junichi Matsumoto 松本淳一 acknowledged that a level-7 disaster means a massive release of radiation.
Matsumoto said he offers his sincerest apologies to people living near the nuclear plant, the residents of Fukushima Prefecture, and all members of the public. He said TEPCO will do all it can to bring the situation under control.
Matsumoto stopped short of releasing details on the exact volume of radiation from the plant, because the utility is still assessing all relevant data.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 13:09
Nuclear accident level raised to maximum

Japan's nuclear safety agency has raised the crisis level at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to 7, from the current 5.
The agency told reporters on Tuesday that large volumes of radioactive substances that could affect human health and the environment are being released in a wide area.
Level 7 is the highest rank on an international standard and equivalent to the severity recorded after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
But the agency said the volume of radiation from Fukushima is one-tenth that at Chernobyl.
The agency said its calculations show that 370-thousand terabecquerels of radioactive iodine 131 and cesium 137 have been released from the plant.
The nuclear safety commission, in a joint press conference with the agency, put the estimated leak at 630-thousand terabecquerels of both substances.
One terabecquerel is equivalent to one trillion becquerels. Both organizations say the leak constitutes a level-7 crisis.
Senior agency official Hidehiko Nishiyama said 29 people died of acute radiation exposure at Chernobyl but there are no fatal radiation casualties at Fukushima.
He added that at Chernobyl the nuclear reactor itself exploded in contrast to the Fukushima plant, which was damaged by hydrogen explosions. He said the reactors themselves retain their shape.
Nishiyama also said the upgrade does not affect the existing evacuation plan, which was made on the basis of the same radiation evaluation.
The agency is required to announce the severity of a crisis at a nuclear facility based on the international standard from zero up to 7 set by the International Nuclear Event Scale.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 13:12
TEPCO to resume removing contaminated water

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant expects to resume the removal of highly radioactive water as early as Tuesday, after a one-day delay due to a strong aftershock.
Tokyo Electric Power Company will begin pumping contaminated water from the Number 2 reactor and transferring it to a condenser, after checking the safety of equipment.
The radioactive water has been hampering work to restore cooling functions in the damaged reactors.
TEPCO says it also resumed injecting nitrogen into the containment vessel of the No.1 reactor late on Monday night.
The work is aimed at preventing further hydrogen explosions. It was suspended because of the strong quake earlier in the day.
TEPCO now suspects a possible leakage of gas from the containment vessel, as its internal pressure has barely risen over the past few days despite the injection of nitrogen.
Radiation levels around in the area have not changed, however, and the utility plans to continue the injection while monitoring the situation closely.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 14:39
Much of radiation leaked on Mar.15,16

Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission says that abnormalities in a reactor suppression pool were to blame for the release of large amounts of radioactive substances at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
It said much of the radiation was released during the 2 days after the suppression pool, connected to the No. 2 reactor, began showing problems at 6 AM on March 15.
The commission said that radiation is still escaping and the amount is rising marginally, but that the volume has dropped considerably since the crisis began.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 15:11
Fukushima radiation measurement program

The Fukushima prefectural government has begun a program to measure radiation levels at more than 2700 locations across the region.
In response to residents' concerns, on Tuesday officials began examining radiation levels at 2,757 sites in 55 municipalities around the prefecture.
However, they plan to exclude the area within a 20-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where residents have been instructed to evacuate.
In front of the Iwaki railway station, officials measured radiation levels at 1 centimeter and 1 meter above the ground.
A local resident said he is concerned about the level of radiation where he lives and wants the authorities to provide the public with accurate information.
The prefectural survey will continue through Friday and include levels of iodine and cesium in the soil.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 15:11
Japan puts priority on public health

Japan's top government spokesman says he feels very sorry for troubling the Japanese people and international community due to the unfortunate accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano made the remark at a news conference on Tuesday, in reference to the nuclear safety agency's raising of the crisis level of the accident from 5 to 7 -- the most dangerous ranking.
Edano said the agency's move indicates the seriousness of the accident.
However, he said that unlike the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, the Fukushima case has caused no direct health problems and that Japan's government will put top priority on protecting public health.
Edano said the scale of the accident at Fukushima is evaluated at the same rank as the Chernobyl disaster but that the 2 cases are quite different in many ways.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 19:04
Aftershocks interrupt work at Fukushima plant

Work to put the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant under control has been repeatedly interrupted by a series of earthquakes since Monday.
On Tuesday, a quake with an intensity of six-minus on the Japanese scale of zero to 7 hit near the plant shortly after 2:00 PM local time.
External power supply to the plant remained intact, and injection of water to cool the Number 1, 2 and 3 reactors continued.
The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, was due to use a hose to remove radiation-contaminated wastewater from a tunnel outside the Number 2 reactor to a turbine condenser on Monday.
But workers were unable to begin the process as of Tuesday afternoon, pending inspection of the hose for possible leaks.
Injection of nitrogen gas into the Number 1 reactor containment vessel to prevent a hydrogen blast has been continuing without any interruptions.
But the pressure level inside the container has remained largely flat over the past few days, suggesting that injected gas may be leaking out of the vessel.
The power company says there has been no significant change in radiation levels around the plant, and is continuing the procedure with caution.
On Tuesday morning, a fire broke out in a seawater sampling facility, but was put out about 7 minutes later.
The plant operator believes a battery short-circuited, and is looking for other possible fire hazards.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 20:15
TEPCO president apologizes for level-7 crisis

The president of the operator of the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant says he is taking the decision by the government's nuclear safety agency seriously.
Masataka Shimizu, the head of Tokyo Electric Power Company, released the comment on Tuesday after the agency raised the crisis level of the accident to 7, the worst on the international scale of nuclear incidents.
He said he is deeply sorry for causing trouble and concern to nearby residents and people in Fukushima Prefecture, as well as to the public.
Shimizu said he wants to resolve the ongoing accident as soon as possible, adding that his company is trying to cool the crippled reactors down and prevent the dispersion of radioactivity.
He also said the company is considering various possible ways and steps to contain the nuclear crisis.
He added that his company will make all-out efforts to resolve the problem in close cooperation with the government, related ministries and municipalities.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 21:12
China demands information on nuclear crisis

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has urged Japan's leader to disclose all necessary information on the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Wen spoke with Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan in a telephone conference on Tuesday for the first time since the March 11th disaster. ...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 20:51
Kawamata residents briefed on planned evacuation

Officials of a town in Fukushima Prefecture have explained to residents an evacuation plan amid increasing risks of radiation released by the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
川俣町 Kawamata Town Mayor Michio Furukawa met about 40 people living in the southeastern part of the town, which is in a newly-designated evacuation zone.
Japan's government on Monday expanded the zone to locations where annual exposure to radiation is expected to exceed 20 millisieverts.
Furukawa said the residents will be sheltered in public facilities in safe areas of the town and that temporary houses for evacuees will also be built.
A resident said the town should clarify how long the evacuation will last. Another said he will not leave his home until compensation is made for his livestock.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 21:39
Removal of radioactive water begins

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has begun work to remove highly radioactive water after a one-day delay due to a series of earthquakes since Monday.
Tokyo Electric Power Company started transferring radiation-contaminated wastewater from a tunnel outside the Number 2 reactor to a turbine condenser on Tuesday evening.
The radioactive water had been hampering work to restore cooling functions in the damaged reactors.
Earlier in the day, a quake with an intensity of six-minus on the Japanese scale of zero to 7 hit the plant.
The external power supply to the plant remained intact, and injection of water to cool the Numbers 1, 2 and 3 reactors continued.
Injection of nitrogen gas into the Number 1 reactor containment vessel to prevent a hydrogen blast has been continuing without any interruptions.
But the pressure level inside the container has remained flat over the past few days, suggesting that certain gases may be leaking out of the vessel. The power company says there has been no significant change in radiation levels around the plant.
On Tuesday morning, a fire broke out in a seawater sampling facility, but was put out about 7 minutes later.
The plant operator believes a battery short-circuited.


Voices from around

. The Daily Reading List .  

. . . . .

High radiation well past no-go zone: Greenpeace

Robert Campbell about his experience

. Japan Times, April 12 .  


A haiku friend wrote this:

I was researching something yesterday about Shikibu's Genji and Akiko Yosano's translation of it from classical into modern Japanese - and was dismayed to discover that the only manuscript of her first attempt, which had taken her 10 years to do, was completely destroyed in Tokyo in the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake!

another friend wrote this:

Dear Gabi,
There is little any of us can do to stem the tide of such dreadful events, and yet what you are doing, keeping these records of events, keeping the world aware of our human connections is perhaps the most valuable thing any of us can do because if it becomes forgotten before there is resolution the tragedy will be compounded beyond number or imagining.
We all owe everyone in Japan such a debt in understanding the dangers that exist in our world... I pray no one ever forgets this... every fear and crying heart must be felt by us all.
In gratitude for your steadfast recordkeeping...
Love, M.
(Thanks, my dear friend, this keeps me going for anther while ... )



[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]


  1. Anonymous4/12/2011

    when will
    that giant catfish
    become coy!?

    My hope that this will be soon and finally calm.

  2. Anonymous4/12/2011

    is the japanese god of earthquakes not looking like a giant catfish?
    that is what i mean

  3. Anonymous4/12/2011

    maybe the japanese people in the past had indeed some sort of special song to calm this ferocious god
    . . .

  4. Anonymous4/12/2011

    These earthquakes must be pushing the people to the limits, the only thing we can offer is prayers I guess, gambare!!!!
    The whole world feels so helpless...

  5. Anonymous4/12/2011

    Awful news. xxx

  6. "Japan to raise Fukushima crisis level to worst"
    terrible news:)
    I think in our hearts, we all knew it, yet it was somehow easier to listen to the lies, the half-truths of men without honor: to hope. People will cry out for vengeance and punishment - it is human nature - and punishment will come, from inside those men as well as from without. But that is for later. Now, the true task that lies ahead is how to stanch this festering sore lest it grow still worse.

  7. Anonymous4/12/2011

    What else can I say; it's so true what you are saying, and it's so sad that so many people's lives are in jeopardy because of the worst aspects of human nature of those in power. Always the same all round the world in different ways such as those in Africa presently.

  8. Anonymous4/12/2011

    We can only be amazed at the courageous way the people cope with unimaginable loss.

  9. I imagine I'm far from alone is asking will these ever end! You are all in my thoughts.

  10. Dear Gabi, I pray every day for Japan.
    But I blame your government for the slow actions. And International Atomic Agency for no actions at all. It is not even the matter of the level of radiation today or the next day, it is the way how people deal with the major disaster.
    Yes, we can measure the radiation, but can we measure the overall consequences? I admire the guts of Japanese people, dealing with the Earthquakes and tsunamis historically.
    But I hate the way how the nuclear power stations are built: all along the coastlines. One need not to be a genius to be able to predict the situations like this.
    We call it " worst case scenarios". We had one in Chernobyl to get the lesson. The lesson was not learned, and I feel very sad about this.

  11. aftershocks . . .
    Crazy...unbelievable... so sorry Gabi. I've heard from others they are tired of it.

    Too much..............I am really tired with always make us feel sea sick!

  12. quote from NHK world

    No need to change Fukushima response

    Japan's top government spokesman says there will be no change in the way the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is being handled.

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano on Tuesday held his first news conference for the international media since the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

    Most questions from reporters focused on the government's decision to raise the severity level at the Fukushima plant to 7 from 5. Level 7 is the highest rank on an international scale and was also applied to the 1986 Chernobyl accident.

    Edano stressed that raising the crisis level does not mean the situation is worsening. He said the upgrade was not due to a new emergency, but is based on the latest analysis of data.


  13. . . . aftershocks . . .

    quake after quake
    inside & outside
    people with folded hands

    Manu Kant


    .catfish bait -- the family secret dough ball starter


    namazu on rampage

  14. Anonymous4/13/2011

    far away
    faces in those clouds
    just drifting

    - vidur

  15. Anonymous4/13/2011

    I sure do understand how terribly hard it is for you and everyone in Japan.
    Life is precious, and so so fragile.
    All my best !

  16. Anonymous4/13/2011

    You can't stay in your corner of the Forest
    waiting for others to come to you.
    You have to go to them sometimes.

    A.A. Milne in "Winnie The Pooh"

  17. Secret Weapons Program Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant?
    by Yoichi Shimatsu

    Confused and often conflicting reports out of Fukushima 1 nuclear plant cannot be solely the result of tsunami-caused breakdowns, bungling or miscommunication. Inexplicable delays and half-baked explanations from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) seem to be driven by some unspoken factor.

    The smoke and mirrors at Fukushima 1 seem to obscure a steady purpose, an iron will and a grim task unknown to outsiders. The most logical explanation: The nuclear industry and government agencies are scrambling to prevent the discovery of atomic-bomb research facilities hidden inside Japan's civilian nuclear power plants.

    A secret nuclear weapons program is a ghost in the machine, detectable only when the system of information control momentarily lapses or breaks down. A close look must be taken at the gap between the official account and unexpected events.

    Conflicting Reports

    TEPCO, Japan’s nuclear power operator, initially reported three reactors were operating at the time of the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Then a hydrogen explosion ripped Unit 3, run on plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (or MOX). Unit 6 immediately disappeared from the list of operational reactors, as highly lethal particles of plutonium billowed out of Unit 3. Plutonium is the stuff of smaller, more easily delivered warheads.