May 09, Monday

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Gabi reports:

Protesters demand to stop the Hamaoka Plant:
. Hamaoka Power Plant .

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first typhoon -
Tohoku braces for more

. Typhoon Nr. 1 台風1号

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When setting up temporary housing in Tohoku, they have to consider that a lot of the inhabitants will be elderly. So they need a hospital and nurses in each center. Finding doctors willing to work in Tohoku has been a problem already before the earthquake and tsunami.


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

TEPCO releases footage of No.4 reactor pool

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has released footage of the spent fuel pool in the Number 4 reactor.
The video was taken on Saturday by a camera on the tip of a mechanical arm used to pour water to cool the reactor.
The footage shows 1,535 spent fuel rods stored in racks and covered by water. It also shows debris and ladders damaged by an explosion that occurred after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. The shelves on the side wall have been destroyed.
Bubbles are occasionally visible, as the water is boiling at a temperature of 84 degrees Celsius.
After analyzing the amount of radioactive materials in the water, Tokyo Electric Power Company has concluded that the spent fuel rods are not seriously damaged.
The Number 4 reactor was not operating at the time of the quake. The reactor building was severely damaged by a hydrogen explosion on March 15th.

Monday, May 09, 2011 06:04
Fisheries: No radiation risk beyond exclusion zone
Japan's Fisheries Agency has told fishermen it's safe to conduct regular fishing in waters beyond the 30-kilometer restricted zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The agency sent out a notice to the fisheries industry and municipalities near the plant after the Nuclear Safety Commission conducted a safety assessment requested by the government's nuclear taskforce.
The commission studied underwater radiation levels beyond the restricted zone. It concluded that a person operating far out at sea would be exposed to a maximum of 1.13 millisieverts of radiation per year. The commission also found that a person fishing along the coast more than 30 kilometers from the plant would be exposed to a maximum of 1.43 millisieverts.
The amounts are higher than the annual 1 millisievert exposure limit for regular people, but the commission said they would not cause health problems.
The commission advises that people measure radiation levels while fishing, and avoid exposing skin, in order to reduce exposure levels.
The notice came after fishermen requested confirmation that activities at sea would be safe. These fishermen stopped fishing due to radiation concerns but are considering going back to work.
Following the accident at the nuclear power plant, the government restricted shipping within the 30-kilometer zone around it. Fishing activities are restricted in some areas due to radiation leaking into water.
Separately, the fisheries agency will work with local fishing associations to check the radiation levels of fish and shellfish in waters above the latitude of Kanagawa Prefecture.

Monday, May 09, 2011 06:04
Workers enter No. 1 reactor building
Workers entered the Number 1 reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant early on Monday morning. They will start work to restore the cooling functions.
Tokyo Electric Power Company removed a special tent installed by the door and its workers entered the building at about 4:20 AM. They stayed in the building for about 30 minutes to measure the radiation level under the supervision of staff from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
A new filtering system started operating on Thursday. By Sunday, the density of radioactive substances in the reactor building had fallen to a level that allows staff wearing full face masks to work inside.
Shortly after 8 PM on Sunday, Tokyo Electric Power Company opened the door of the Number 1 reactor building after receiving government approval.
The company says it made efforts to minimize the leakage of substances using the tent, while removing some of the vent pipes and changing the air inside the building over an 8-hour period.
After confirming there are no problems inside the reactor building, workers will check the cooling system pipes and adjust the water gauge to be used in the filling of the containment vessel.

Monday, May 09, 2011 06:04
Radioactive strontium detected at Fukushima plant
Tokyo Electric Power Company has detected high levels of radioactive strontium in soil inside the compound of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Strontium can cause cancer and like calcium it tends to collect in bones once humans inhale it.
Up to 570 becquerels of strontium 90 per kilogram of dry soil were detected in samples taken from 3 locations. They were taken on April 18, about 500 meters from the Number 1 and 2 reactors, between the surface and about 5 centimeters deep. The level detected is about 130 times higher than the previous high, which was measured in Fukushima Prefecture after nuclear tests in the atmosphere, and before the accident at the nuclear plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Company also said it found 4,400 becquerels of radioactive strontium 89 per kilogram of dry soil taken from the same location.
Earlier in March, strontium was detected in soil and plants outside the 30-kilometer zone around the Fukushima plant.
A director of the Japan Chemical Analysis Center, Yoshihiro Ikeuchi, says humans could inhale strontium when wind stirs up the radioactive substance, but the amounts would be very limited. He says the current levels won't be a health hazard to plant workers wearing face masks, but monitoring of strontium levels in the air is needed.

Monday, May 09, 2011 13:10
Preparations underway to restore cooling functions
Preparatory work has begun to restore the cooling functions of the No.1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Company workers opened the door of the reactor building at around 8 PM on Sunday. They measured radiation levels inside the building for about half an hour early Monday morning.
The utility firm says it initially expected that a small amount of radioactive substances would leak for about 8 hours once the door was opened.
However, the firm says radiation levels near the plant have not risen. It says the reading near the west gate of the plant was 18.1 microsieverts per hour after the door was opened while the previous figure was 18.2 microsieverts per hour.
After the radiation levels were monitored, workers entered the reactor building again to remove a special tent set up by the door for air purification and vent pipes.
They will check the cooling system pipes and adjust the water gauge which is necessary when filling the containment vessel to cool down the reactor in a stable manner.
The utility says that decontamination is necessary because radiation levels remain high in some areas in the building.

Radiation tests underway for debris near plant
The Japanese government has begun checking debris for radioactive contamination in areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The Environment Ministry and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency began the tests on Monday at about 120 sites in Fukushima Prefecture.
The debris from the March 11th quake and tsunami could be contaminated with radioactive substances that have leaked from the nuclear plant.
Workers placed radiation monitors near the surface of the piles of debris. They also took samples for testing at laboratories.
As there are no laws covering this type of disposal in Japan, the ministry and the agency will decide how to dispose of the debris after analyzing data and consulting experts.
Debris has been left untouched in the no-entry zone within 20 kilometers of the plant and in the planned evacuation zone outside the 20-kilometer radius.

Monday, May 09, 2011 14:46
Photos show workers inside reactor building
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has released photographs showing workers inside one of the reactor buildings.
Tokyo Electric Power Company released 2 photos taken inside the No.1 reactor building early on Monday.
One shows workers entering the second floor of the building for the first time since a hydrogen blast occurred one day after the March 11th earthquake. TEPCO says radiation readings were between 40 and 100 millisieverts per hour.
The other photo depicts a masked worker walking on the first floor. A unit to the worker's right in the picture drives control rods to adjust the output of the reactor.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says there needs to be a way to block radioactive substances from people working inside.
It says radiation readings inside this reactor building as of Monday morning hit 700 millisieverts per hour at one spot. It says other areas logged about 10 millisieverts per hour.

Monday, May 09, 2011 16:39
Shipment ban placed on some mountain vegetables sansai
The Japanese government has banned shipments of 2 kinds of mountain vegetables from several parts of Fukushima Prefecture that contained levels of radioactive substances above the legal limits.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters on Monday that he had instructed the Fukushima governor to stop shipments of bamboo shoots from 6 municipalities and "kogomi", or ostrich ferns, from 2 municipalities.
Samples of ostrich ferns taken in Kori Town last Thursday had nearly 3 times the permitted amount of radioactive cesium. Cesium levels in samples of the same vegetables taken earlier this month in Fukushima City also exceeded the safety standards.

Monday, May 09, 2011 21:41
High radiation in reactor building
High levels of radiation detected in the No. 1 reactor building at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may disrupt work to cool the reactor.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, continues preparatory work to fill the containment vessel with water and to create a circulating cooling system in the reactor.
The utility firm opened the door of the reactor building on Sunday.
TEPCO measured radiation levels in the reactor building on Monday, concentrating on places where workers will be.
But 700 millisieverts per hour were detected near the first floor, the largest of the places to be checked.
After the plant became contaminated, the government raised the permissible limit of one-time radiation exposure for workers from 100 to 250 millisieverts.
The detected figure shows that workers would be exposed to a level that would exceed even this raised level in about 20 minutes.
The firm says it must work out ways to block radiation exposure so that workers can stay inside the reactor building for longer periods.


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels .  

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Japan Times :

Tepco opens doors at reactor for ventilation
Tokyo Electric opens up the No. 1 reactor building at the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear plant, paving the way for efforts to stabilize the facility's most damaged unit.

Tepco also must pay redress for unfounded radiation fears: Kan
In a boost for farmers, Prime Minister Kan says that any compensation for the nuclear plant crisis paid by Tepco should also cover damages caused by unfounded radiation fears.

Cabinet wants deeper Tepco restructuring

Utility eyes LNG for Hamaoka decision
Chubu Electric prepares to hold another extraordinary board meeting on the fate of the Hamaoka nuclear power plant as its chairman flies to the Middle East to shop for LNG.

Clinics to be built in all temp housing clusters
The health ministry will set up a clinic for each of the temporary housing facililties built for quake and tsunami evacuees in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, sources said Sunday.
Since doctors and nurses are expected to be short supply, the ministry will also ask the Japan Medical Association, a doctors' association and other bodies to send health care specialists for medium- to long-term stays in an attempt to have around 1,000 specialists on call at all times, the ministry sources said.
In the northeast, however, many areas were struggling to deal with doctor shortages even before the quake and tsunami struck.

90% of foreigners to stay put: poll

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Japan, U.S. plan nuclear waste storage in Mongolia: paper
Japan and the United States plan to jointly build a spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Mongolia to serve customers of their nuclear plant exporters, pushing ahead despite Japan's prolonged nuclear crisis, the Mainichi daily said on Monday.

A Trade Ministry official said Japan, U.S. and Mongolia officials, at a meeting shortly before Japan's March 11 earthquake, informally discussed possible construction of a nuclear waste storage facility for countries with nuclear power plants but no spent fuel storage capability of their own.

The Mainichi said the facility would allow Japanese and U.S. nuclear plant exporters, which include joint ventures and units of General Electric, Hitachi and Toshiba, to better compete with Russian rivals that offer potential nuclear plant customers spent fuel disposal in a package.
source : news.yahoo.com



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  1. Thanks. I've been following your blogger since you have been posting about the disaster. I'm in Kobe.

    Blogger are changing the lay out.

  2. Hi zichi, thanks for checking in.
    We are in the mountains near Tsuyama, way off any further tsunami threat.
    Take care!