April 5, Tuesday

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source : www.madewithjapan.com

. . . . .

spring at the beach -
they had to poor water
into the sea

Last night around seven they started to dump radioactive water into the sea at Fukushima.

. Sunday, April 4
More see below in the NHK bulletins.


Gabi reports:

Down again today:
. Daily Radiation Levels  

Another cold morning of minus 2 centigrade, but today it is going to be warm --- says the weather forecast.

12,321 people have been confirmed dead.

Debido Arudo writes in the Japan Times:
. Letting radiation leak, but never information   

. . . . .

jishuku 自粛 self-restraint
Many people are not going out any more, are not celebrating, cancellations of events follow each other. Even in Kansai, Shikoku and Kyushu the great festivals are called off.
jishuku was first propagated for the people in Kanto who did not get enough electricity and were asked to turn the heating lower, go to bed earlier and so on to save electricity.
It expanded soon into a mood of "while the folk in Tohoku suffer so much, we can not go on enjoying life".
But this is a vicious circle, dampening consumption even more. No consuption, no taxes, no government money to support Tohoku.
In Tohoku now they decided to go on with the great festivals, Nebuta, Tanabata etc. to invite people to come and spend their money in the region, drink some sake from Tohoku and help in this way.

self-restraint -
the balance between DO
and DON'T  


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Monday, April 04, 2011 21:59 (yesterday)
TEPCO putting radioactive water in the sea
Tokyo Electric Power Company has begun disposing of wastewater containing low-level radioactive substances into the sea from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in a bid to stabilize the plant.
TEPCO began releasing a total of 10,000 tons of wastewater on Monday evening. It also started disposing of 1,500 tons of low-level contaminated groundwater near the Number 5 and Number 6 reactors later in the evening.

The utility company says the release is aimed at making room in facilities to store the more highly contaminated water from the Number 2 reactor's turbine building and a nearby tunnel, as the contaminated water is hampering restoration work.
The company says the level of iodine-131 in the wastewater is about 100 times the legal limit. But the plant operator says that if a person were to eat fish and seaweed taken from near the plant every day for a year, the radiation exposure would be 0.6 millisieverts. It adds that the annual permissible level for the general public is one millisievert.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency approved the disposal of the wastewater as an emergency measure. The agency says it will strengthen its monitoring of the seawater to limit any adverse effects caused by the disposal.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the government approved the plan because removing the water from the No.2 reactor is a more urgent matter.
Edano called the operation an emergency measure to ensure the safety of the plant.
He added that the government told the utility to monitor radioactivity in the seawater and closely track its environmental impact.

Monday, April 04, 2011 21:03
IAEA Convention on Nuclear Safety talks begin
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says the agency will do its utmost to restore public trust in the safety of nuclear energy.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano 天野之弥 made the remark in Vienna on Monday in a speech opening a meeting of the organization.

. . . . . Tuesday 05

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 06:35
TEPCO continues battle to halt radioactive leakage
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will try a new method to stop radioactive water leaking into the sea from its damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
TEPCO discovered on Saturday that contaminated water was gushing from a crack in a concrete pit near reactor Number 2.
The company has tried in vain over the past 3 days to seal the pit with concrete, or to plug the leak with water-absorbing polymers.
After unsuccessful attempts to plug the leak with concrete and absorbent polymers, the company now believes the water may be seeping out through cracks in a cable trench leading to the pit.
TEPCO plans to pour a chemical agent through a hole in the ground to solidify the gravel around the trench. It says the work will begin Tuesday.
In an effort to contain as much contamination as possible, TEPCO is also considering setting up undersea silt barriers near the reactor's seawater intake ducts and two other locations.
The barriers would have fiber curtains attached with weights that would extend to the sea bottom and contain the contaminated water.
It is considering putting up underwater silt barriers at 3 locations, including one near a water intake for the No.2 reactor.
(Gabi thinks : Aaa, can we believe this time?)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 08:10
Japan, US deepen ties over nuclear crisis
Japan and the United States intend to deepen their security alliance by working together to contain the emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The two countries have been coordinating closely since the incident began.

President Barack Obama spoke with Prime Minster Naoto Kan over the phone 3 times about the issue. The US sent a military team specializing in emergency nuclear response to Japan.
Japanese and US foreign and defense ministers also plan to discuss the matter at the next round of the so-called 2 plus 2 talks.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 12:11
Edano: Gov't will closely monitor seawater
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says the government will closely monitor the sea where wastewater with low-level radioactive substances is being discharged.
Edano spoke to reporters on Tuesday morning about the operation by Tokyo Electric Power Company to release contaminated wastewater from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
He said steps are in place to strengthen monitoring systems of the sea water. He added authorities are considering the best way to prevent the contamination from spreading, including the idea of putting up some kind of fence.
On the impact on marine products, Edano said fishing has not resumed off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, and will not for some time. He said fish off the coast of Ibaraki Prefecture will be monitored to see if the fishing of products that have been confirmed safe can resume.
Edano also said in order to prevent unfounded rumors the government will confirm the safety of marine products by monitoring many types of produce over a wide area.
The government spokesman said proper analyses will be made before shipment regulations are put in place.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 12:11
Discharge of radioactive water into sea continues
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, is continuing its operation to discharge wastewater containing low-level radioactive substances into the sea from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The work began Monday evening in a bid to make room for more highly radioactive water from the No.2 reactor. In order to prevent more contaminated water from leaking into the sea, the government has approved the operation as an emergency measure under a law regulating nuclear reactors.
The power company says it plans to use 10 pumps to release a total of 10,000 tons of wastewater, and that by 9:00 AM Tuesday 2,800 tons had been discharged.
TEPCO also started disposing 1,500 tons of low-level contaminated water near the No.5 and No.6 reactors at 9:00 PM on Monday. It discharged 30 tons by midnight, and the operation resumed at 6:00 AM on Tuesday.
The utility firm says the concentration of radioactive substances in the water being released is up to 500 times the legal limit. But it says even if people were to eat fish caught in nearby waters every day for one year, their radiation exposure would be 0.6 millisieverts, which is below the annual permissible level of one millisievert.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters on Tuesday that even though this was done to prevent highly contaminated water from flowing into the sea, he is very sorry that they must intentionally discharge the wastewater. He added the government will properly monitor developments and take all possible measures to prevent the contaminated water from spreading into the open.
TEPCO is now working to empty turbine condensers at the No.1, 2 and 3 units, to make room to store and isolate the highly-concentrated radioactive water.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 13:57
High level of iodine-131 detected in Fukushima
The operator of the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has detected 5 million times higher than the legal limit of radioactive iodine in seawater around the plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it detected 300,000 bequerels of iodine-131 per 1 cubic centimeter, or 7.5 million times higher than the legal limit in samples taken around the water intake of the No. 2 reactor at 11:50 AM on Saturday.
It also found 200,000 bequerels or 5 million times higher than the limit in samples taken at 9AM on Monday.
Monday's sample also shows 1.1 million times higher than the national limit of cesium-137 whose half-life is 30 years.
The power company has been checking concentrations of radioactive materials in the seas around the plant as water containing high levels of radioactive materials has been pouring out of the cracked concrete pit near the No.2 reactor.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 13:57
Fukushima measuring radiation at all schools
Fukushima is measuring radiation levels at all elementary and junior high schools and child care centers in the prefecture.
This is in response to dozens of calls to the prefectural government every day from parents concerned about the effects of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
On Monday, the government announced that radiation of more than 10 millisieverts had been detected at one location in Namie Town, some 30 kilometers northwest of the plant. The figure is what a person would be exposed to if they stayed outdoors for 11 consecutive days at the location. It is 10 times higher than the 1 millisievert-per-year long-term reference level for humans as recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection.
The prefectural government is measuring from Tuesday more than 1,400 institutions in the prefecture outside the 20-kilometer evacuation zone.
The testing will take 3 days and the prefecture will post results as they come in on its website.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 13:57
TEPCO giving money to municipalities near plants
Tokyo Electric Power Company has disclosed that it is in the process of giving money to municipalities (mimaikin) and residents in areas where evacuation instructions have been issued.
Company officials told reporters on Tuesday that it began the payments on March 31st to 10 municipalities. They are within a 20-kilometer radius of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and a 10-kilometer radius of Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant where residents have been instructed to evacuate.
The utility said it also plans to pay compensation after looking into the situation of residents who have evacuated and the damage that has resulted from restrictions on shipments of agricultural produce.
The town of浪江市 Namie said it has refused an offer from TEPCO to pay about 240,000 dollars to each municipality near the power plant.
The town said it cannot understand why a flat amount is being offered regardless of the population. Namie said the figure would amount to less than 12 dollars per person, and would not help their lives.
Namie town officials said aid money is necessary, but it wants the utility to pay according to population and distribute the money to each resident.
Empire State Bldg and landmarks lit for Japan
New York's tallest landmark was lit in the colors of the Japanese flag on Monday in a show of support for Japan following the deadly March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The Empire State Building was flooded in white and red lights at around 7:30 PM.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 15:10
7.5 mil. times legal limit of iodine in sea
The operator of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says 7.5 million times the legal limit of radioactive iodine 131 has been detected from samples of seawater near the plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, found on Saturday that contaminated water was leaking from a cracked concrete pit near the No. 2 reactor.
Experts say this makes it clear that highly radioactive substances from the reactor are flowing into the sea, and that the leak must be stopped as soon as possible.
The utility firm said samples of water taken near the water intake of the No. 2 reactor at 11:50 AM Saturday contained 300,000 becquerels of iodine 131 per cubic centimeter, or 7.5 million times the legal limit.
TEPCO said the figure had dropped to 200,000 becquerels per cubic centimeter, or 5 million times the legal limit, in samples taken at 9:00 AM Monday.
Monday's sample also contained 1.1 million times the legal limit of cesium 137, which has a half life of 30 years.
On March 27th, 13-million becquerels of iodine 131 per cubic centimeter of water were detected in the turbine building of the No. 2 reactor. On Wednesday, water was found accumulated in a tunnel near the turbine building and the radiation level on the surface was measured at more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says it believes the radioactive substances are from nuclear fuel which leaked from the reactor into the water and flowed out.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 16:52
Review of Japan's nuclear policy suspended
The government has decided to suspend discussions on revising Japan's nuclear policy until the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is over.
The Cabinet Office's Atomic Energy Commission met on Tuesday for the first time since the March 11th earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant.
The commission said it is taking the accident at the nuclear plant under the gravest consideration and that it has shaken the country's basic confidence in atomic power generation.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 18:58
High level of cesium detected in sand lances
Small fish caught in waters off the coast of Ibaraki have been found to contain radioactive cesium above the legal limit.
Ibaraki is south of Fukushima prefecture, where the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is located.
Ibaraki Prefecture says 526 becquerels of radioactive cesium was detected in one kilogram of sand lances. The acceptable limit is 500 becquerels. It is the first time that higher-than-permitted levels of radioactive cesium have been found in fish.
All local fishery cooperatives in the prefecture have agreed to suspend sand lance fishing at the request of the prefectural government.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 19:51
Plant radiation monitor says levels immeasurable
A radiation monitor at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says workers there are exposed to immeasurable levels of radiation.
The monitor told NHK that no one can enter the plant's No. 1 through 3 reactor buildings because radiation levels are so high that monitoring devices have been rendered useless. He said even levels outside the buildings exceed 100 millisieverts in some places.
Pools and streams of water contaminated by high-level radiation are being found throughout the facility.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 19:57
Kan pledges state compensation for atomic accident
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan has pledged that the government will take final responsibility for compensating residents in the areas affected by the nuclear power plant disaster.
Kan met the leaders of municipalities surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi plant in his office on Tuesday.
Yuko Endo, the head of Kawauchi Village, asked Kan to solve the crisis as soon as possible, as it is even hampering the search for missing people from the tsunami in the areas.
He said the residents can see no light for their future, and asked the government to reveal its plan to help rebuild their livelihoods through compensation and other means.
Kan said the Tokyo Electric Power Company should take primary responsibility for compensating the residents and it will do all it can, but promised that the government will take ultimate responsibility for the compensation.
The Prime Minister also said the government is making all-out efforts involving the Self-Defense Forces, firefighters and others to stabilize the deteriorating condition of the nuclear facilities brought on by the unprecedented size of the tsunami.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 20:24
Leak at Fukushima appears to be lessening
The operator of the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear plant has injected a hardening agent beneath a leaking concrete pit in a bid to stem the flow of highly radioactive water into the sea.
The firm says the leakage seems to be decreasing, following the infusion of the hardening agent.
The utility showed reporters a photo of the leak on Tuesday evening, saying it indicates such a decrease.
TEPCO said it will infuse another 1,500 liters of liquid glass.
Tokyo Electric Power Company started infusing liquid glass into gravel below the pit near the Number 2 reactor at 3 PM on Tuesday.
TEPCO spotted a crack in the pit 3 days ago while trying to find the source of the leakage of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean.
Since then, the utility has tried in vein to seal the pit with concrete, or to plug piping leading into it with a polymer mixture.
A test using a dye agent showed the possibility that the radioactive water is leaking from a cracked pipe, and then seeping through gravel into the concrete pit.
TEPCO is planning to board up the breached sections of an offshore dike to prevent the tainted water from spreading further into the sea.
It is also considering building underwater barriers at 3 locations, including one near a water intake for the Number 2 reactor.

(Next morning they announced it was stopped.)
. Wednesday, April 6 .  


Voices from around

. The Daily Reading List .  

. Read the Japan Times   

. . . . .

Japan seeks Russian help to end nuclear crisis
By Chizu Nomiyama and Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO (Reuters) –
Japan has asked nuclear superpower Russia to send a special radiation treatment ship used to decommission nuclear submarines as it fights to contain the world's worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl, Japanese media said late on Monday.

Japanese engineers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have been forced to release radioactive waste water into the sea. At the same time they are resorting to desperate measures to contain the damage, such as using bath salts to try to locate the source of leaks at the crippled complex 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) was forced on Monday to release low-level radioactive seawater that had been used to cool overheated fuel rods after it ran out of storage capacity for more highly contaminated water.
A TEPCO official was in tears as he told a news conference: "We are very sorry for this region and those involved."

The water, which is being released to free storage capacity for more highly contaminated water, is about 100 times more radioactive than legal limits. Koichi Nakamura, a deputy director-general of Japan's Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), told a news conference in Vienna about 11,500 tonnes of water would have to be discharged.

He also said Japan had not ruled out expanding the 20-km evacuation zone around the site.
Engineers planned to build two giant "silt curtains" made of polyester fabric in the sea to hinder the spread of more contamination from the plant.

Japan has also asked Russia for the "Suzuran," a ship which treats radioactive liquids, Kyodo and Jiji news agencies said.

TEPCO said it would build tanks to hold contaminated seawater, was towing a floating tank which will arrive next week, and was negotiating the purchase of three more.

Japan, the world's third largest economy but also one of its most indebted nations, has estimated the damages bill may top $300 billion.
source : news.yahoo.com

. . . . .

Tepco Dumping Toxic Water Angers Fishermen; Stock Plunges
Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s decision to dump radioactive water from its crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station into the sea angered fishermen and pushed the Japanese utility’s shares to a record low.

Tepco began discharging 11,500 tons of water yesterday, enough to fill 4 1/2 Olympic-sized swimming pools, to make room to store more highly contaminated fluids. The United Nations nuclear watchdog said the partial meltdown at the station was a result of “errors” from the time a March 11 quake and tsunami knocked out pumps used to cool reactors and spent fuel.

“Such an accident should not have happened,” Denis Flory, deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said at a press briefing in Vienna yesterday. “Something was not done from the very beginning.”

A fishing industry group in Fukushima prefecture has asked Tepco to stop releasing radioactive water into the sea near the Dai-Ichi power plant, NHK reported on its website. Radioactive iodine and cesium were found in fish caught off the coast of Ibaraki, north of Tokyo, the Yomiuri newspaper reported, citing a local fishery cooperative.
The fish aren’t on the market because sand-eel fishing was discontinued after the March 11 earthquake, the report said.
source : www.bloomberg.com

Anxiety for food and water contamination continues ...
source : www.allvoices.com

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In Deference to Crisis,
a New Obsession Sweeps Japan: Self-Restraint

Even in a country whose people are known for walking in lockstep, a national consensus on the proper code of behavior has emerged with startling speed. Consider post-tsunami Japan as the age of voluntary self-restraint, or jishuku, the antipode of the Japan of the “bubble” era that celebrated excess.
... within days of the March 11 quake, Japanese of all stripes began turning off lights, elevators, heaters and even toilet seat warmers.
... At a time of collective mourning, jishuku also demands that self-restraint be practiced elsewhere. Candidates in next month’s local elections are hewing to the ethos by literally campaigning quietly for votes, instead of circling neighborhoods in their usual campaign trucks with blaring loudspeakers.
... cherry blossom viewing parties and fireworks festivals have been canceled. Graduations and commencements have been put off. Stores and restaurants have reduced their hours or closed. Cosmetics and karaoke are out; bottled water and Geiger counters are in.
source : www.nytimes.com



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  1. Incredible! They don't have to pur it to Pacific Ocean! They could have poured it to empty oil tankers and decontaminate it a bit later. Why didn't they do this? The oil tankers can carry thousands of tons of oil, why not to use them as containers for contaminated water.
    What they are doing is not good, not good.

  2. Anonymous4/05/2011

    I love Japan. I sympathize deeply with the tragedy. But what I can't accept is the Stupidity. There is quite a common sense solution: USE EMPTY OIL Tankers!!!
    The authorities may now tell people that discharging the contaminated waters is not harmful for the whole Pacific ocean.
    Plutonium is not harmful???
    It's going to take 244000 years for it to become harmless. It is not simple radioactive water, it is water from the melted rods!!! Thousands times dangerous! What the Japan government is thinking?
    Ask Russians for help, they have technologies!!! Why the Japanese government is not cooperating with the international community????

  3. Japan was certainly not prepared for this kind of disaster. It reminds me how the Bush Administration was not prepared for Katrina and the BP and the Obama Administration were not prepared for the oil spill. It is easy for people to think their country would have done better in each case.

  4. The government has also asked Russia for a ship that is used to dispose of liquid nuclear waste as it tries to decontaminate the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, whose cooling systems were knocked out by the magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11. The plant also plans to bring in a floating storage facility.

    But these other storage options have been slow to materialize, so the pumping began late Monday. It was expected to take about two days to get most of the less-radioactive water out.

    Radioactivity is quickly diluted in the ocean, and government officials said the dump should not affect the safety of seafood in the area.

  5. Although the government eventually authorized the dumping of the less-radioactive water, Edano said officials were growing concerned about the sheer volume of radioactive materials spilling into the Pacific and would be investigating its effects. It is not clear how much water has leaked in addition to what is being dumped purposely.

    Experts said Tuesday that at this point, they don’t expect the discharges to pose widespread danger to sea animals or people who might eat them.

    “It’s a very large ocean” with considerable powers of dilution, noted William Burnett of Florida State University.

  6. Anonymous4/05/2011

    Yes, this kind of damage from the forces of earthquakes and tsunami which lead to these radiation leaks is unprecedented in Japan.
    Yet Japanese are still living who experienced the inferno and radiation let loose over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    It reminds me how Einstein regretted having taken part in the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb, once he understood what kind of hellish mass destruction it produced. Decision makers in many countries need to have accountability for the destruction produced by man-made objects that have been built to harness energy and can also leak radiation.

  7. Japan nuke plant spews more radiation into sea

    TOKYO – Radiation in seawater at the shoreline off Japan's tsunami-ravaged nuclear power plant has measured several million times the legal limit over the past few days, though officials contended Tuesday that the contamination still does not pose an immediate danger.

    Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday that samples taken from seawater near one of the reactors contained 7.5 million times the legal limit for radioactive iodine on April 2. Two days later, that figure dropped to 5 million.

    TEPCO said in a statement that even the large amounts would have "no immediate impact" on the environment but added that it is working to stop the leak as soon as possible.


  8. Anonymous4/05/2011

    Indeed interesting and worthy of consideration. Certainly the concept of jishuku is an admirable one and an expression of Yamato-damashii.
    Yet, one must also consider a certain collective (national trauma) that exists, not to mention a national outrage at its leadership and a growing economic slump - all of it counter-productive.
    n combination with the combined government and TEPCO debacle at Fukushima, the potential grows grows for a national "funk" as well as a growing sense of national guilt - all of it counter-productive if not downright destructive.
    To go ahead with the great festivals would collectively be a good thing, even therapeutic. Such diversions would, I think, be a good step (albeit a small one) toward recovery and some semblance of normalcy. To help assuage the effects of jishuku and any collective guilt, make relief for Tohoku the object of the profits of the festivals (after the necessary taxes) and utilize the festivals themselves as a manifestation of the desire for recovery, a re-birth, in the spring.

  9. Anonymous4/05/2011

    "I hope some solution will come from the scientists."

  10. jishuku is telling of the reaction to the shock of disaster, but, the spirit must be given hope... celebrate the hope... smile with tears

  11. self-restraint . . .
    I think it's guilt to some extend, and a post-traumatic reaction, and it will pass because humans are resilient and adapt to most circumstances regardless, but I also think that the Japanese will be experiencing long term consequences later, and the entire world will too but on a lesser scale.
    This tragedy is not something that will go away easily, even in unaffected areas.

  12. releasing water ...
    Expedience is one one thing, shear stupidity and disregard for the people, other countries along the current, and the environment is intolerable. It's criminal.

  13. Anonymous4/06/2011

    Iodine is less important. it decays to a normal level after some weeks.
    Cesium is more important. Its decay is a matter of three siecles...
    Do you know that very low intake cause a deficiency in vitamin D ?
    It is a problem in Europe after Tchernobyl.
    In that region of Japan, fishes, seaweeds, shellfishes, shells, vegetable, milk, animals, mushrooms will remain unsafe for decades. They
    hide this fact today. And people never return to their homes.
    I read this scenario 40 years ago.
    No future with nuclear industry.