April 7, Thursday

[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]


Gabi reports:

A warm morning for a change, with the scent of late plum blossoms and fragrant daphne in the garden.

Falling again :
. Daily Radiation Levels  

The radioactive leak had been stopped last night and seems to have not occured again until this morning.

The levels of radioactivity in drinking water and food in Japan are much more strict than for example in Europe. If the Japanese levels had been measured in Frankfurt, there would not have been any problem with them.
I wonder when we get some common ground on this problem.

. . . . .

One gamemaker, Tokyo-based company Irem, cancelled one of its titles, "Disaster Report 4."
The game takes place in a city that is ravaged by an earthquake, and the player aims to make it out alive.
. Game companies put titles on hold  

Toyota motor company will start work at most of its plants on April 18.

Western Japan Railways will take up regular trains again on April 8, after procruring the spare parts needed from Tohoku.

Russia has now banned seafood imports from about 240 companies in Japan, because radioactive water had been released into the ocean.
South Korea has launched its own task force to deal with the problem, as fear of radiation grows in South Korea.
South Korea closed the kindergardens and schools today, because it was raining and they feared radioactivity in the air/rain.

Israel offered to donate a clinic to tsunami-devastated town of Minami Sanriku in Miyagi when its medical team ends its mission there. The six prefab rooms can then be further used, including the equipment.

Hillary Clinton is planning to visit Japan, maybe around April 17, discussing how USA might help with the Fukushima Plant problems and rebuilding in Tohoku.
The american Montgomery Dickson has been confirmed dead.

. . . . .

ROOTOTE Charity Bags

. . . . .

Efforts are now made to find the tsunami victims in the zone around the Fukushima plant, since dead bodies will be decomposing. It is now a race against time and radiation. Minami Soma is at the edge of the evacuation zone and has more than 1000 people missing.

The fear of radioactivity is spreading.
Trucks with a number from Iwaki town were not allowed to bring their luggage to Tokyo. They now have to reload in Gunma and use a Gunma number to be able to get into Tokyo.

Foreign tourists are not coming to Japan any more. We saw the usually crowded streets around Asakusa Kannon temple all quiet and deserted ... shop owners are wondering about their income now.

. . . . .

There was a strong earthquake M 7.4 in the night, details see here:

. Friday, April 8 .  


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Thursday, April 07, 2011 02:07
Nitrogen gas injection begins at Fukushima plant
The operator of the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it has begun injecting nitrogen gas into the containment vessel of one of the reactors.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says the injection is aimed at preventing hydrogen from exploding inside the containment vessel at the No. 1 reactor.
The fuel rods remain nearly half exposed as the coolant water inside the reactor has not yet risen high enough. It is thought that hydrogen and oxygen have been generated as a result of the reaction between water and the zirconium alloy that covers the fuel. Hydrogen can also be generated when radiation dissolves water molecules.
If the density of hydrogen inside the containment vessel increases, it will heighten the risk of explosion through a reaction with oxygen.
Nitrogen gas does not react with hydrogen and is chemically stable.
Work to inject nitrogen gas into the reactor containment vessel began at 10:30 PM on Wednesday, and the actual injection began a little after 1:30 AM on Thursday.
TEPCO says the injection will continue for 6 days. The company is also considering making similar injections in the No 2 and No3 reactors.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency warns that the nitrogen gas injection could cause gases including radioactive substances to leak outside the reactor containment vessel.
It says it has instructed TEPCO to monitor radioactivity in surrounding areas and to fully disclosure any information.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami that hit eastern Japan on March 11th. On the following day, hydrogen that accumulated in the building that houses the No. 1 reactor exploded, blowing off its roof and walls. Two days later, a similar hydrogen blast occurred at No. 3 reactor.


Honda to halve production in Britain
Honda Motor says it will halve production in Britain amid a shortage of parts from Japan following the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The leading Japanese automobile maker made the announcement on Wednesday. The decision will affect its factory in the British city of Swindon from next Monday until at least the end of May.
Honda says 3,000 employees will be paid as usual during the period.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 02:08
Fund distribution committee to be set up

Japanese organizations receiving donations for the areas stricken by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami are going to set up a committee to discuss ways to allocate the funds to affected areas.
The Japanese Red Cross Society and the Central Community Chest of Japan have so far received more than 150 billion yen, or about 1.7 billion dollars, in donations.
However, the funds have not yet reached the stricken areas, more than 3 weeks after the quake. No decision has been made as to how to allocate the donations partly because local authorities have not yet grasped the full extent of damage.
The organizations will work with the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry to launch a committee on Thursday to consider fair ways to allocate the money.
Officials from 17 prefectures affected by the disaster will join the committee to discuss the matter with the organizations receiving the donations.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 06:48
Evacuation standards being reviewed

Nuclear experts are suggesting the government revise the radioactive standards for evacuation advisories involving the emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The move comes almost 4 weeks after tsunami disabled the nuclear plant.
According to existing guidelines, people should remain indoors when radiation levels outdoors reach 10 millisieverts several days after any accident. Evacuation is only considered when levels reach 50 millisieverts. The guidelines were set by the Nuclear Safety Commission using standards adopted by organizations including the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The government has advised residents living in areas within 20 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to "evacuate" while those in areas between 20 and 30 kilometers have been told to "stay indoors".
However, the amount of exposure is likely to rise in these areas as little progress has been made in cooling the nuclear fuels or containing radiation leaks.
Taking into consideration the fact that the situation may be prolonged, the Nuclear Safety Commission has reviewed its guidelines using a 2007 advisory issued by the International Committee on Radiological Protection. The commission now says an evacuation advisory should be issued to prevent residents from being exposed to a total of 20 millisieverts a year.
A member of the commission says the evacuation advisories should reflect the possibility that the situation at the nuclear power plant will be drawn out.
According to the member, the Commission has suggested to a task force that measures should be taken when radiation levels exceed 20 millisieverts. The member says it is the Commission's responsibility to monitor and collect data in each affected area.
Scientists say the limit allowed for an average person is 1 millisiervert a year. The Nuclear Safety Commission is suggesting revising the evacuation standard only for the current emergency. It says it does not necessarily mean that the 1-millisievert limit should be raised. The commission says the government has already begun briefing the affected local communities on the matter.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 06:48
Govt may slash ODA budget after disaster
Japan may cut its aid budget to developing countries as it struggles to rebuild after the devastating March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The government and ruling Democratic Party plan a supplementary reconstruction budget for fiscal 2011, expected to total over 3 trillion yen, or 35 billion dollars.
The first budget plan is expected to be submitted to the Diet before the end of the month.
The government and the Democratic Party may also target extra spending for child benefits and toll-free expressways, but that would still leave a shortfall.
More than 570 billion yen -- or roughly 6.7 billion dollars -- in foreign government aid is earmarked for fiscal 2011. Some lawmakers want to divert about 100 billion yen, or 1.1 billion dollars, out of the aid budget, known as Official Development Assistance.
Democratic Party Secretary General Katsuya Okada has asked the Foreign Ministry to consider cutting the ODA budget by around 20 percent.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 11:20
IAEA experts discuss nuclear safety
Experts with the International Atomic Energy Agency have discussed safety measures at Japan's nuclear plants and its response to the crisis in Fukushima.
Some 200 nuclear experts from around the world held a three-day meeting in Vienna that ended on Wednesday. They discussed the continuing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was heavily damaged by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The deputy director general of Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, Koichiro Nakamura 中村幸一郎, explained that Japan tightened quake-resistance standards after the earthquake in Niigata Prefecture 4 years ago, which resulted in radioactive substances leaking from a nuclear plant on the Sea of Japan coast.
... Foreign experts asked about tsunami preparedness at Japan's nuclear plants, and expressed concern over its decision to release radioactive waste into the sea.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 12:09
TEPCO: Nitrogen injection going well

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it continues to inject nitrogen gas into the containment vessel of the No.1 reactor without problems. The nitrogen gas is being used to prevent a hydrogen blast at the reactor.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says that as of 6 AM Thursday pressure inside the containment vessel of the No.1 reactor had risen only slightly and that this indicates the operation is going well. The gas injection began at 1:30 AM Thursday.
Fuel rods inside the No.1 reactor are nearly half exposed because coolant water levels remain low. It is thought that the overheated fuel rods have caused a buildup of the volatile mix of hydrogen and oxygen. It is hoped the chemically stable nitrogen will counteract this buildup.
TEPCO says it plans to continue the injection for about 6 days and will also consider taking similar measures at the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors.
Regarding another problem, TEPCO said the pool of highly contaminated water in the underground tunnel connected to the No. 2 reactor rose 5 centimeters in the 24 hours leading up to 7 AM Thursday.
TEPCO says the rise is probably related to stopping the leakage of highly radioactive water from a concrete pit of the No. 2 reactor with the use of a hardening agent on Wednesday.
The company says there is still one meter of room to ground level, but will keep a close watch on the situation because an overflow would seriously hamper the already difficult restoration work.
TEPCO is also continuing the release of 8,000 tons of low-level radioactive wastewater from the plant to make storage space for more highly contaminated water. Around 6,000 tons have been discharged so far.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 14:07
Nuclear evacuation zone may be expanded

The Government says it may order residents of some areas within 20 to 30 kilometers of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to evacuate.
Residents within 20 kilometers of the plant have been evacuated, while those living between 20 to 30 kilometers have been advised to remain indoors.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters on Thursday that existing evacuation guidelines assume large amounts of radiation being released over a short period of time and are not relevant in considering the impact of long-term exposure.
He said that total exposure to radiation is high in some areas in the 20-30 kilometer zone as the accident drags on.
Edano said the nuclear safety agency is studying whether to order residents of those areas to evacuate.
The Chief Cabinet Secretary also said the government wants to allow evacuees to return temporarily to their homes to gather valuables and necessities as requested, but is still studying safety issues.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 14:52
Radiation level remains high after leak stopped

At the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, radiation in seawater near the Number 2 reactor remains high, even after the leakage of contaminated water into the sea was stopped.
The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, said it had confirmed early Wednesday morning that highly contaminated water was no longer leaking from a concrete pit after workers injected a hardening agent beneath it.
The company says it detected 5,600 bequerels of radioactive iodine-131 per cubic centimeter in seawater samples collected around the water intake of the reactor at 7:40 AM local time on Wednesday.
That's about half the level detected on the previous day, but still 140,000 times higher than the safety limit under the government's standards.
On Tuesday, the measurement at the same spot was 11,000 bequerels, 280,000 times higher than the standard.
Levels of iodine-131 at this spot have been alarmingly high since April 2nd, when Tokyo Electric detected 7.5 million times higher than permissible levels of the radioactive substance.
Tokyo Electric said it's too early to determine whether the decrease is a result of stopping the leak.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 16:19
Iitate village holds conference for farmers

Farmers in Iitate Village, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan have demanded that the prefecture clearly explain the radiation levels at which safety standards allow the resumption of farm work.
High levels of a radioactive substance have been detected in the soil in the village.
The demand was made at an emergency meeting of village assembly members and farmers from the village on Thursday.
The village mayor, Norio Kanno, said in the meeting that he will study how to deal with the crisis for the sake of the farmers and villagers.
Fukushima Prefecture's analysis from March to April found levels of radioactive cesium in soil 30 to 150 times higher than normal in rice paddies, farms and orchards in 10 of the 70 surveyed locations, including Iitate village. Farm work has since been suspended in the village.
Officials from the prefecture asked the farmers to continue the suspension of their work while the prefecture conducts a re-investigation, the results of which are to be released next Tuesday.
One farmer participating in the meeting complained that the prefecture has not clearly informed them of the radiation levels deemed safe to allow them to resume farm work.
Another said they cannot delay planting this year's crops any longer.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 16:19
Daily radiation checks on fish begin in Ibaraki

The Japanese government has begun monitoring radiation levels in fish in the Pacific off Ibaraki Prefecture, which is located south of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
A trawler left Nakaminato Port at Hitachinaka City in the prefecture on Thursday to catch fish such as plaice and anglerfish as test samples.
The daily checks follow the detection of radioactive cesium above the legal limit in small fish called sand lance. The fish were caught Monday in seas off northern Ibaraki Prefecture, which is nearer to the nuclear plant.
Radiation exceeding the limit has not been found in other fish so far. But all fishing off the Ibaraki coast has been suspended because brokers and retailers are refusing to buy fish from the area.
Nakaminato fisheries cooperative official Kazumi Nemoto says the checks are necessary to confirm the safety of fish off Ibaraki so that consumers can eat them without worry.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 16:38
Foreigners leave Japan after March 11th disaster
The number of foreign nationals who left Japan in the week after the March 11th earthquake was 240,000, up 100,000 from the previous 7 days.
Japan's immigration bureau says the number of foreigners entering the country has dropped to one third after the disaster compared to the number before.
The immigration bureau says 160,000 foreigners entered Japan in the week before the quake, while the number fell to 60,000 in the first week after the quake, and to 50,000 in the second week.
The number of tourists and those on a short stay has sharply dropped to 20,000, from the pre-disaster number of 120,000.
The bureau cites the effects of the devastation after the earthquake and tsunami and the prolonged crisis at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 17:11
Moving radioactive water likely to take long time
Japan's nuclear agency says moving highly radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant's turbine building to a storage facility may not start for another week.
The water in the basement of the turbine building of the plant's Number 2 reactor and a concrete tunnel has been hampering work to restore the reactor's cooling systems.
The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, has been discharging lower-level radioactive water into the sea from the facility to make room for the highly radioactive water. The work is to end on Thursday.
But the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says the facility must first be checked for cracks that might have been caused by the earthquake, and that this could take several days to a week.
The agency says the facility was designed to store low-level radioactive water, and that every effort must be made to make sure that highly radioactive water does not leak.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 20:24
Nitrogen injection ups pressure in reactor

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says pressure inside the containment vessel of the Number 1 reactor is rising following an injection of nitrogen gas.
Tokyo Electric Power Company started the injection early on Thursday to prevent a possible hydrogen explosion at the reactor.
Fuel rods inside the reactor are nearly half exposed after a loss of cooling water, creating a dangerous buildup of oxygen and hydrogen and fears of another explosion.
The company says that after injecting 413 cubic meters of nitrogen gas until 5 PM on Thursday, the pressure reading inside the vessel was 1.76, up 0.2 from before the injection started.
The company says it will continue the work for 6 more days and study a similar operation in the Number 2 and 3 reactors.
Tokyo Electric also admitted that the level of highly radioactive water in a concrete tunnel of the Number 2 reactor rose 5 centimeters in the 24 hours until 7 AM local time on Thursday.
It says the rise may be a result of work on Wednesday to stop highly radioactive water leaking into the sea from a cracked concrete pit.
The company says the water is about a meter below the ground level, and that it will keep monitoring it to prevent an overflow.
Tokyo Electric has so far dumped about 7,300 tons of low-level radioactive wastewater into the sea from a storage facility to make room for more highly contaminated water.
The company says the last 700 tons of water will be discharged by Friday.


Voices from around

. The Daily Reading List .  

. Japan Times, April 7 .  

. . . . .

EU-Grenzwerte für Lebensmittelimporte aus Japan
Seit dem 26. März 2011 ist die EU-Durchführungsverordnung EG 297/2011 (PDF-Dokument, 759 KByte, extern) zum Erlass von Sondervorschriften für die Einfuhr von Lebens- und Futtermitteln aus Japan in Kraft. Sie ist bindend für die Mitgliedsstaaten der EU und gilt für drei Monate. Diese Verordnung ist die Voraussetzung dafür, solche Kontrollen an den EU-Außengrenzen durchzuführen.
... Die Höchstwerte betreffen neben Cäsium die radioaktiven Isotope, Plutonium, Iod und Strontium.
... Die EU-Durchführungsverordnung EG/297/2011 richtet sich vielmehr auf eine kurzzeitige Belastung mit einer überschaubaren Zahl von Lebensmitteln aus Japan. Lebensmittel werden aus Japan nur in geringen Mengen nach Europa eingeführt. Frische Lebensmittel wie Fleisch, Gemüse oder Milch sind praktisch nicht dabei.

Nach EU-Durchführungsverordnung EG 297/2011 gelten für:
Allgemeine Lebensmittel 1.250 Bq pro kg
Säuglingsnahrung 400 Bq pro kg
Milcherzeugnisse und flüssige Nahrungsmittel (einschließlich Trinkwasser) 1.000 Bq pro kg
Nahrungsmittel geringer Bedeutung (Gewürze) 12.500 Bq pro kg.

source : www.bmu.bund.de/atomenergie_sicherheit

. . . . .

U.N. expert: Fukushima not as bad as Chernobyl
Wolfgang Weiss, chairman of the U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, said it’s far too early to even begin an assessment of the situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant because the crisis there is ongoing.
But, he noted, while radioactivity from the 1979 Three Mile Island incident in the United States was largely contained, traces of fallout from Fukushima detected around the world are “much, much, much lower” than traces seen at similar distances after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine.
... Fred Mettler, a member of the U.N. committee, agreed, noting that in contrast to Fukushima Chernobyl was surrounded by land. During that disaster, hundreds of people were exposed to very high doses of radiation and 135 got acute radiation sickness, he added.
“We haven’t seen any of that at Fukushima, so the early management by the Japanese here is very different from what happened at Chernobyl,” Mettler said.
source : www.japantoday.com

. . . . .

Tsunami-hit towns forgot warnings from ancestors
MIYAKO, Japan – Modern sea walls failed to protect coastal towns from Japan's destructive tsunami last month. But in the hamlet of Aneyoshi, a single centuries-old tablet saved the day.

"High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants," the stone slab reads. "Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis. Do not build any homes below this point."
It was advice the dozen or so households of Aneyoshi heeded, and their homes emerged unscathed from a disaster that flattened low-lying communities elsewhere and killed thousands along Japan's northeastern shore.
Hundreds of such markers dot the coastline, some more than 600 years old. Collectively they form a crude warning system for Japan, whose long coasts along major fault lines have made it a repeated target of earthquakes and tsunamis over the centuries.
source : news.yahoo.com


. . . . .

Iwate brewer urges holding cherry blossom parties with Tohoku-made sake
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- While a mood of voluntary self-restraint is spreading following last month's deadly earthquake and tsunami, an official of a Japanese sake brewery in Iwate Prefecture has asked people to go ahead and hold cherry blossom viewing parties with sake made in disaster-hit areas.

Kosuke Kuji 久慈 浩介, 38, executive director of Nambu Bijin, a sake brewing company in Ninohe which was damaged in the March 11 disaster, has posted a video message on the YouTube website, asking people to support the disaster-ravaged Tohoku region in northeastern Japan by consuming alcohol products from the region at such parties.
"My name is Kosuke Kuji, and I am the fifth person to head our brewery here in Ninohe City, Iwate Prefecture. We brew a sake called "Nambu Bijin". Iwate Prefecture was devastated in the Tohoku earthquake.
... While it's not the time and place for us here in Tohoku to be drinking sake, if everyone else in Japan keeps on holding back from enjoying a drink, it will cause us secondary economic damage." ...
source : mdn.mainichi.jp


!!! ganbare Nihon,
ganbare Japan, ganbare Tohoku !!!

variuos events and relief actions are taking place under this motto.

source : Ganbare Tohoku !



[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]

No comments:

Post a Comment