May 06, Friday

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The third month after the shock starts !

two months later -
nothing can erase
these memories

. Remember March 11, 2011, 14:46  


Gabi reports:

It is now exactly two months since the great earthquake, tsunami and reactor crises.

. . . . .

In New York at the foreign exchange market, the dollar fell below the 80-yen-level for the first time in nearly 7 weeks.

China again urges Japan to guarantee the food safety of exports.

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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited shelters in Iwate today. Kamaishi and Miyako were on their route.


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Friday, May 06, 2011 03:02
TEPCO says a flooding operation will be safe
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will be able to safely conduct an operation to cool the number one reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. TEPCO is planning on filling the reactor's containment vessel with enough water to bring the temperature below 100 degrees Celsius.
It reported its assessment on Thursday to Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. The company says it hopes to start the work as soon as the agency approves the plan.
TEPCO says about 7,400 tons of water will have to be pumped into the containment vessel for the cooling process. It says the vessel and the reactor building will both be able to withstand the weight of the water.
But TEPCO's calculation for risk to the reactor did not factor in another magnitude-9 earthquake in the foreseeable future.
Should radioactive water leak from the containment vessel, the utility says it would flow into the building's basement, and then into the basement of a nearby turbine building. But TEPCO says it does not expect the water to get into the environment.
Pending regulatory approval of the operation, the company plans to increase the amount of feed-water into the reactor to 8 tons per hour, from the current 6 tons, in hopes of filling the containment vessel in 20 days.
Ventilators installed at No.1 reactor
Tokyo Electric Power Company workers have entered the Reactor Number One building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant for the first time since a hydrogen explosion in March. They installed a system to clean the highly radioactive air inside.
Twelve workers wearing oxygen tanks entered the building on Thursday. A hydrogen blast the day after Japan's March 11th quake and tsunami left it badly damaged.
TEPCO says the team managed to install a total of 8 air ducts inside the highly radioactive building after one-and-a-half hours of work.
TEPCO says the purifiers are now working, and it will take about 3 days to vent the air, filter it, and return clean air.
It hopes to lower radiation levels enough to allow workers to remain inside for longer periods of time.
If everything goes according to plan, workers will enter the building as early as Sunday to check for damage to the pipes and valves. About a week later, in mid-May, TEPCO hopes to start building an external system to circulate cooling water into the reactor.

Friday, May 06, 2011 07:29
TEPCO: Temperature rises at Number 3 reactor
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima, says it has increased the cooling water flowing into the Number 3 reactor after an increase in temperature occurred over the past week.
On Tuesday, TEPCO increased the flow of cooling water from 7 tons to 9 tons per hour for the Number 3 reactor. The temperature at the bottom of the reactor was 143.5 degrees Celsius at 11 AM on Thursday, about 34 degrees higher than Wednesday last week.
TEPCO has been using temporary pumps to inject cooling water into reactors Number 1, 2 and 3. Their fuel rods are believed to have partially melted down after the tsunami disrupted normal cooling functions.
The operator says the temperature rise was apparently caused by a temporary decline in the amount of cooling water flowing into the Number 3 reactor.
TEPCO increased the amount of water of flowing into the Number 1 reactor for 2 days starting on Wednesday last week, the day when the temperature of the Number 3 reactor began to rise. The company says it continues to carefully monitor temperature changes.

Friday, May 06, 2011 07:30
Monju nuclear reactor requires safety checks
Friday marks one year after the Monju experimental fast-breeder nuclear reactor resumed operations in Japan.
However, there is no clear prospect for a research and development program involving the reactor, amid growing safety concerns following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
The reactor, located in Tsuruga-City, Fukui Prefecture, resumed operations on May 6th last year after a 14-year shutdown due to a sodium leakage accident and fire in 1995.
Resumption of operations appeared to support research and development at the reactor as a main pillar of Japan's nuclear fuel recycling policy. However, when the reactor was stopped for inspections last August, a 3-ton fuel exchange device fell into it and got stuck.
The Japan Atomic Energy Agency plans to resume test operations by March 2012. However, the exchange device accident has delayed the research and development program by more than 6 months.
Like other nuclear plants in Japan, a drill for responding to a possible loss of emergency power has been held for Monju following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Fukui Prefecture has also asked the Education, Science and Technology Ministry to ensure the safety of the Monju reactor and to set up a panel of experts for verification.

Friday, May 06, 2011 09:25
High radiation levels detected on seabed
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant says it has detected high levels of radioactive materials on the seabed near the crippled nuclear complex.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, known as TEPCO, collected soil samples on April 29th from the seabed 20 to 30 meters deep near a port attached to the plant.
The samples contained 90,000 becquerels of cesium-134 and 87,000 becquerels of cesium-137 per kilogram.
52,000 becquerels of iodine-131 per kilogram was also detected.
There are no government standards for radioactive contamination of the seabed. But the reading of cesium-137 is 38,000 times higher than the level registered in TEPCO's previous survey of the same location.
Cesium-134 and iodine-131 were not detected in the past survey.
The utility believes the radioactive substances in the seabed originate from highly contaminated water leaked from the plant's number 2 reactor.

Friday, May 06, 2011 10:51
IAEA: Contaminated water may reach US West Coast
The International Atomic Energy Agency says radioactive water leaked from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan may reach the West Coast of North America in one or 2 years.
The IAEA said that, based on an analysis of data provided by Japan and other sources, the contaminated water may spread across the Pacific on the Kuroshio current, and reach the coast of North America by next year at the earliest.

Friday, May 06, 2011 11:32
Decontaminating farm in Fukushima nuclear plant
Japan's agriculture ministry plans to plant sunflowers and rape on irradiated farmlands around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The crops are known for their abilities to decontaminate soil.
The ministry will plant sunflowers on a trial basis by the end of May on farms in Fukushima Prefecture where rice planting has been halted due to radioactive contamination.
Sunflower and rape are grown around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine, the scene of a nuclear disaster in 1986. The plants are reported to be effective in absorbing radioactive substances from soil.
In April, senior agriculture vice-minister Takashi Shinohara visited Chernobyl to learn about these decontamination efforts.
The Japanese ministry will examine the sunflowers grown in Fukushima to assess their level of absorption, and start full-scale planting if the method proves to be effective.

Friday, May 06, 2011 12:52
TEPCO starts raising water volume
Tokyo Electric Power Company has begun pumping more water into the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
It's part of a new strategy to submerge the containment vessels and cool down the reactors in a stable manner.
The amount of water pumped into the containment vessel of the reactor was raised on Friday from 6 to 8 tons per hour.
TEPCO's cooling plan was approved on Thursday by Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. The utility says both the vessel and the reactor building can withstand the weight of the extra water.
TEPCO says it expects the added feed-water to cool and decrease pressure in the containment vessel.
The company says it is working on keeping the right pace for adding water. It wants to prevent pressure from falling too low, which could allow air to get inside and risk a hydrogen explosion.

Friday, May 06, 2011 13:55
TEPCO releases photos of reactor building
Tokyo Electric Power Company has released photos of the interior of the crippled Number 1 reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
They were taken on Thursday by one of the workers who installed an air filtering system.
A photo, taken at 11:45 AM, shows workers in protective clothing carrying a gauge with a radiation monitor at the tip of a stick. This allowed them to check radiation levels to keep their exposure to a minimum.
TEPCO says the maximum radiation reading inside the building was 93 millisieverts per hour. This means that a worker would be exposed to 250 millisieverts of radiation -- the legally permissible limit -- after 2 hours and 40 minutes.
TEPCO says it will continue to do its utmost to protect workers from high levels of radiation.
Another photo of 4 air ducts was taken around 2 PM. The pale green door behind the ducts is part of a double door leading to the exit.
The ducts take in air from the reactor building and send it to the air-filtering equipment.
TEPCO said 4 other ducts for recycling filtered air were installed later on Thursday.

Friday, May 06, 2011 18:01
TEPCO pumping more water into No.1
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is pumping more water into the No.1 reactor in continuing attempt to safely cool the facility.
TEPCO raised the flow of water from 6 to 8 tons per hour on Friday in order to submerge the reactor containment vessel.
The utility says pressure inside the vessel has not changed much. A spokesperson for the company says it aims to prevent pressure from falling too low, which could allow air to get inside the reactor and cause a hydrogen explosion.
Meanwhile, a new ventilation system installed on Thursday to purify the highly radioactive air inside the reactor building is reportedly working well.
TEPCO says it plans to halt the system on Friday evening to check radiation levels. If they have fallen, workers will enter the building as early as Sunday to install new devices and inspect damage.

Friday, May 06, 2011 18:51
Govt panel was preparing to warn of major tsunami
A Japanese panel of seismologists knew about the risk of a major tsunami in northeastern Japan before disaster struck on March 11th. The group had put together a report in February and was planning to release it in April.
NHK obtained a copy of the report drawn up by the government's Earthquake Research Committee. It focuses on quakes and tsunamis off the Pacific coastline of northeastern Japan.
The document includes the committee's analysis of an earthquake that is known to have struck the region more than 1,140 years ago.
Citing recent studies, the report estimates that the ancient earthquake was caused when 3 sections of the seabed shifted simultaneously.
It says the quake probably measured around Magnitude 8.3, triggering enormous tsunamis that flooded vast areas of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
The report concludes that the region should be alerted of the risk of a similar disaster striking again.
The March 11th earthquake measured Magnitude 9.0 and involved the shifting of multiple sections of seabed. Tsunami waves devastated wide areas of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures.
One of the experts involved in the study says he regrets the committee's failure to warn of the risk as soon as it was discovered -- no matter how low the probability was.
Associate Professor Yoshinobu Tsuji at the University of Tokyo's Earthquake Research Institute says the committee needs to further review past disasters to reassess future risks.

Friday, May 06, 2011 19:47
Kan calls for halt of Hamaoka nuclear reactors
Prime Minister Naoto Kan says he has asked a utility company in central Japan to halt operations of all active reactors at the Hamaoka nuclear power plant, due to the risk of earthquakes.
Kan announced the decision on Friday, citing the need to better secure the plant against earthquakes and tsunami in the wake of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The prime minister says he has asked the plant operator, Chubu Electric Power Company, to halt reactors No.4 and No.5, and not to restart reactor No.3, which is now offline for regular inspections.
The Hamaoka plant in Shizuoka Prefecture has 5 reactors. Reactors No.1 and 2 are permanently shut down for decommissioning.
The reactor complex sits directly above the projected focus of a magnitude-8 class earthquake that experts have long warned of.
The plant's safety risks have been repeatedly pointed out by lawmakers during Diet debates.
Kan: Safety plans must be implemented
Prime Minister Kan says in requesting the shutdown of the Hamaoka plant, he considered the impact a serious accident there would have on the country and its people.
Kan said the plant operator needs to draw up and implement medium- to long-term plans to ensure the reactors can withstand the projected Tokai Earthquake.
He said that until the power company's long-term contingency plans are in place, all active reactors at the complex should be stopped, for the sake of public safety.

Friday, May 06, 2011 21:02
Hamaoka plant sits in Tokai quake focal zone
The Hamaoka nuclear power plant is located above the projected focus of a magnitude-8-class earthquake that could strike Shizuoka Prefecture.
Seismologists have long been warning that the likely Tokai earthquake could occur any time.
They say massive earthquakes have hit the region every 100 to 150 years, but no major quake has occurred there since the one that struck in the 19th century.
The government predicts that the focus would stretch inland from the southern edge of Yamanashi Prefecture to the central and western parts of Shizuoka Prefecture, and to the prefecture's Pacific coastal area as well.
All areas in Shizuoka would feel a jolt with an intensity of 6-minus to the maximum 7 on the Japanese scale of 0 to 7.
It also projects that a major tsunami of more than 5 meters will strike the coastal area and in some places, the waves could top 10 meters.


Voices from around

. The Daily Reading List .  

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Japan Times :

Workers enter No. 1 reactor building for first time since explosion
In a bid aimed at restoring a cooling system, nine workers install ventilating equipment at the damaged No. 1 nuclear reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

Edano urges Tohoku Electric to ensure safety at Onagawa plant
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano on Thursday urged Tohoku Electric Power Co. to ensure safety measures at the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture so that it would be acceptable to people living near the facility, officials of the utility said.
... Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda visited Chubu Electric Power Co.'s Hamaoka atomic power station in Shizuoka ...

Noda names disaster prevention as one of Asia's most important development issues


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  1. Radiation: The Future Children of Fukushima
    by Joe Giambrone
    Global Research, May 3, 2011

    A woman in her fourth month of pregnancy was contaminated with 137Cs [radioactive cesium]… The concentration of 137Cs in the mother (0.91 kBq/kg bw) was similar to that in her newborn child (0.97 kBq/kg bw) 1.”

    Children in Belarus, Ukraine and certain provinces of Russia tell us what to expect from a massive radiation contamination such as Japan is currently experiencing. Radiation attacks the young to a harsher degree than it does adults, and yet we do know that it kills adults. Radioactivity causes numerous illnesses including terminal cancers, and not just from a large initial dose but over time from absorbed emitting particles inside the body.

    A senior nuclear adviser to the Japanese Prime Minister, professor Toshiso Kosako resigned in protest from his government. This as the Japanese government raised the level of permissible exposure to schoolchildren twenty fold, from 1mSv/year to 20mSv.

    The atomic power industry, it can be proved, has been an unprecedented catastrophe for mankind.


  2. Anonymous5/06/2011

    Fukushima reactors did not restart after initial shutdown, study suggests - May 03, 2011
    a new analysis posted to the popular physics preprint server ArXiv.org suggests that the damaged reactors at Fukushima Daiichi have not restarted their nuclear processes since 11 March. The work is not peer-reviewed, and like all speculation about Fukushima, it is based on sketchy and sometimes incorrect readings from the plant. Nevertheless, it's notable for its apparently thorough synthesis of a lot of information.

  3. Anonymous5/06/2011

    every news
    a call to pray...

    antony njoroge, Kenya