May 13, Friday

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source : techno.to

Come Alive
Help Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims


Gabi reports:

The BLOGGER is on and off and off again, I can not even add a comment.
I will be back when this mystery is solved.

Today is Friday the 13th ... but this is not a joke.


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Death toll from earthquake tops 15,000
The death toll from the March 11th earthquake and tsunami and major aftershocks in northeastern Japan has surpassed 15,000.

The National Police Agency said on Friday that the number of confirmed deaths including those from 2 major aftershocks on April 7th and 11th stands at 15,019.

The agency said 8,975 people have been confirmed dead in Miyagi Prefecture, 4,421 in Iwate Prefecture and 1,559 in Fukushima Prefecture. 64 deaths were reported in 9 other prefectures including Tokyo.

The agency also says 9,500 people have been reported to police as missing.

Meanwhile, the police say 115,500 people are still in shelters, mostly in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.

In Iwate, 36,500 people are in shelters, in Miyagi 32,800 and in Fukushima 24,400.

Elsewhere, a total of 21,000 people are in evacuation centers set up by municipalities in 15 prefectures including Tokyo.
source : NHK world news

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Friday 13 -
the "meltdown" finally

Please stay calm,
the situation at Fukushima has not changed a bit. just the labelling of it.


Bulletins from NHK Online
source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Friday, May 13, 2011 05:21
No.1 reactor is in a "meltdown" state

Tokyo Electric Power Company says the No.1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is believed to be in a state of "meltdown".
The utility company said on Thursday that most of the fuel rods are likely to have melted and fallen to the bottom of the reactor. Earlier in the day, it found that the coolant water in the reactor is at a level which would completely expose nuclear fuel rods if they were in their normal position.
The company believes the melted fuel has cooled down, judging from the reactor's surface temperature.
But it suspects the meltdown created a hole or holes in the bottom of the reactor causing water to leak into the containment vessel.
It also suspects the water is leaking into the reactor building.
The company is planning to fully fill the containment vessel with water by increasing the amount injected.
The company says, however, it must review the plan in light of the latest finding.

Friday, May 13, 2011 05:21
Radioactive water leaked while being transferred
Tokyo Electric Power Company says an operation to transfer highly radioactive water pooled in the turbine building of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant's No.3 reactor caused contamination of the sea nearby.
Highly radioactive water was found leaking into the sea from a pit near the reactor's water intake on Wednesday.
The utility company says 1,200 becquerels of radioactive cesium 134 were detected in one cubic centimeter of sea water near the water intake on Thursday. The figure is 20,000 times the state limit. 1,200 becquerels of radioactive cesium 137, which is 13,000 times the state limit, were also detected.
The company transferred radioactive water from the turbine building of the No.3 reactor earlier this month. It says during that process radioactive water leaked out from an underground pipe connected to the pit.
The company admitted in a news conference on Thursday that prior inspections to prevent leaks were inadequate.
Last month, highly radioactive water leaked into the ocean from a pit near the No.2 reactor.

Friday, May 13, 2011 05:21
Radioactive element detected in grass, vegetables
A radioactive substance exceeding the state limit has been detected in pasture grass and vegetables in Tochigi and Ibaraki prefectures, neighboring Fukushima Prefecture.
3,480 becquerels of radioactive cesium were detected in one kilogram of pasture grass collected on May 5th in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture. The figure exceeds the state limit of 300 becquerels.
Also, at two different locations in Nasushiobara City, 3,600 becquerels and 860 becquerels of radioactive cesium respectively were detected in one kilogram of pasture grass collected on May 3rd.
Tochigi Prefecture requested farmers in the area where the radioactive substance was detected not to feed pasture grass to livestock.
1,110 becquerels of radioactive cesium were detected in one kilogram of parsley harvested in Ibaraki Prefecture. The figure is more than double the state limit.
The parsley had been shipped to a fresh food market in Niigata Prefecture, west of Fukushima.
Niigata prefectural government instructed wholesale distributers to stop selling the parsley.

Friday, May 13, 2011 12:00
Govt decides on TEPCO compensation support scheme
The Japanese government has officially decided on a framework for helping Tokyo Electric Power Company pay compensation for the nuclear emergency at its Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Under the framework decided on Friday, a new state backed institution will be set up to facilitate quick payments to those affected.
The new body would receive financial contributions from electric power companies that own nuclear power plants in Japan.
The government will inject public funds by allocating to the institution a special type of bond that can be cashed whenever necessary.
The institution would strengthen TEPCO's capital base by making use of these funds to pay compensation claims and make business investments.
The institution would annually return a certain amount of money from TEPCO to the state coffers.
The framework also says the government will support TEPCO if a stable power supply is threatened.
The government must introduce and pass the necessary legislation in the Diet to realize this framework.
But the process is expected to face rough going. Concerns have been raised that the plan could lead to utilities passing on costs to consumers through higher power bills, and the total size of such compensation is not yet known.

Friday, May 13, 2011 12:16
Ministers, TEPCO comment on decision
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda says the government decided to take action to help those affected by the nuclear accident receive compensation as soon as possible, and not to save TEPCO.
Kaieda called on the utility to keep providing stable supplies of electricity.
Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Kaoru Yosano said the government is also responsible because it has promoted the use of nuclear energy as a national policy.
Yosano added that the government will provide TEPCO with as much help as possible.
Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said the government should work to minimize the burden on the public when implementing the framework.
TEPCO President Masataka Shimizu said in a statement that the company will work to facilitate the compensation payments in a swift and fair manner with the government's assistance.

Friday, May 13, 2011 13:17
TEPCO to review No. 1 reactor plan
Tokyo Electric Power Company is being forced to review its strategy for stabilizing the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after announcing that one of its reactors is in a state of "meltdown."
TEPCO revealed on Thursday that most of the fuel rods in the No.1 reactor are believed to have melted and fallen to the bottom of the reactor.
The company said the coolant water in the reactor had dropped to a level that would completely expose fuel rods if they were in their normal position.
TEPCO believes the fuel at the bottom has cooled down, judging from the surface temperature of the reactor.
On Friday, workers brought in equipment for connecting a circulating cooling system to the reactor, in line with a plan TEPCO decided last month.
Under the plan, the utility was to fill the No. 1 reactor containment vessel with water. A cooling system was to be set up that would circulate this water through a heat exchanger.
But this system will only work if the water in the containment vessel is at least 5 meters deep.
TEPCO says it does not know the current water level, but is hoping to quickly establish a way to find out.
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda said it is a fact that the water injected into the No.1 reactor leaked away because of a hole or holes created by the meltdown.
He said this is the main reason why TEPCO's plan needs to be reviewed.

Friday, May 13, 2011 13:17
Japanese automakers report quake-related losses
Japan's seven leading automakers posted losses totaling more than 3 billion dollars for the business year that ended in March, mainly due to the effects of the massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11th.
Toyota reported losses of more than 1.3 billion dollars. Honda lost 900 million dollars and Nissan nearly 500 million dollars.
Automakers had to halt operations at their plants when parts could not be delivered from the stricken regions. Automakers also had to repair their factories and dealer showrooms.
All the leading automakers, except for Mazda, posted an increase in their profits for the business year, due to strong sales overseas.
But major automakers did not release forecasts for the business year to March 2012, as the effects of the disaster are expected to continue for some time.

Friday, May 13, 2011 14:00
Govt sets summer power-saving target at 15%
The Japanese government has decided to set its summer-time power-saving target at 15 percent for the service areas of the Tokyo and Tohoku power companies in eastern and northeastern Japan. The two utility firms sustained massive damage from the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The plan that was hammered out on Friday by the government taskforce calls on corporate and individual users to reduce their electricity use by a uniform 15 percent from the peak summer period last year. This is ten percentage points lower than the maximum 25 percent target announced in April.
Under the plan, factories and other major consumers will be asked to prepare to reduce their use of electricity in the summer.
The energy-saving program will be implemented between 9 AM and 8 PM on weekdays from July 1st to September 2nd for the Tokyo area and to September 9th for Tohoku.
The government will consider exempting corporate users in the disaster-stricken areas or easing the target for them.
Chubu Electric Power Company in central Japan is halting its Hamaoka nuclear power plant, which is located in an area where a massive earthquake is expected to occur.
The industry ministry says the power supply for the areas the utility serves is projected to surpass demand due to increased output from thermal power plants and other measures. But it calls on customers to save electricity to be well prepared for emergencies.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters on Friday that he would like to encourage households to switch to smaller supply contracts. He said this will lead to a lower base rate and smaller electricity bills.

Friday, May 13, 2011 15:57
Radioactive cesium detected in tea leaves
Radioactive substances above the legal limits have been detected in tea leaves harvested in 3 municipalities in Kanagawa Prefecture, neighboring Tokyo.
The prefectural government is checking samples of tea leaves harvested in 15 municipalities in the region. 570 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, exceeding the provisional state limit of 500, were detected in products from Minami-Ashigara City on May 9th.
Officials say that radioactive cesium has been detected in 3 of the 8 samples it has checked so far. The 3 highest readings were 780 becquerels in tea leaves harvested in Odawara City, 740 becquerels in Kiyokawa Village and 670 bequerels in Aikawa Town.
The Kanagawa prefectural government has asked the 3 municipalities and the local farmers' association to voluntarily halt shipments for the time being.
Prefectural officials will hold meetings for farmers on Friday and Saturday to show them how to dispose of contaminated leaves and how to grow tea safely.

Friday, May 13, 2011 16:08
NISA: no need to flood No.1 reactor
An official of Japan's nuclear safety agency has suggested that a nuclear fuel meltdown at one of the damaged Fukushima reactors means that filling the reactor's container with water may be meaningless.
Hidehiko Nishiyama told reporters on Friday that melted rods at the bottom of the No. 1 reactor are being cooled by a small amount of water.
He said he doubts that it's necessary to flood the containment vessel entirely, as the plant operator has been trying to do.
The operator, TEPCO, said on Thursday that most of the fuel rods in the reactor are believed to have melted and sunk to the bottom of the reactor's pressure vessel.
TEPCO says the melted fuel has apparently cooled, even though much of the injected water is leaking through holes at the bottom of the vessel.
Under a plan decided last month, the utility was to fill up the containment vessel with water and set up a system to circulate the water through a heat exchanger.
Nishiyama said TEPCO need only inject water to a height that would allow the system to work.
He said the utility will likely change its strategy and inject water to the minimum necessary level.

Friday, May 13, 2011 19:53
After-quake deaths top 500
NHK has learned that at least 524 survivors of the March 11th disaster have died -- many of them due to stress and fatigue.
NHK contacted 241 hospitals in the 3 disaster-stricken prefectures in northeastern Japan.
It found the number of survivors who have died due to wide-ranging effects of the disaster reached 347 in Miyagi, 123 in Fukushima and 54 in Iwate.
41 percent of the deaths occurred during the first 2 weeks after March 11th. 26 people have died since the start of May, and the figure continues to rise.
Nearly 90 percent of the victims were aged 65 or older. But children as young as 2 have also succumbed to hypothermia and infectious diseases.
62 percent of the deaths involved cardiac and respiratory failures, including heart infarction and pneumonia.
Most deaths in the first 2 weeks following the disaster were related to shock, or due to the loss of power to medical equipment.
But the causes of deaths during the most recent 2 weeks were more preventable. They include fatigue and stress caused by extended stays at public shelters, which led to declines in immunity and high blood pressure.
Jichi Medical University Professor Kazuomi Kario has treated patients in disaster areas.
He says deaths can be prevented by improving food, sleep and living conditions. He says it is a great shame to lose people who have survived the quake and tsunami.

Friday, May 13, 2011 19:53
Mixed reactions to power-saving target
Japanese industries are showing mixed reactions to the government's revised target for summer-time power-saving, down from the initial maximum 25 percent to 15 percent.
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association says its member companies will meet the target by halting production on Thursdays and Fridays and instead operate their factories on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Japan Franchise Association says it has lowered its own target by 5 percentage points to 20 percent and will ask convenience stores and other member firms to observe this goal.
The Japan Soft Drink Association says the industry will save 25 percent of its power consumption by asking drink makers to fully or temporarily suspend vending machine operations.
Some other industries, however, will face difficulties meeting the goal.
The Japan Association of Refrigerated Warehouses says most of the electricity that members use is to keep food fresh and safe, and that power savings of only a few percent are realistic. It says it will ask the government to ease the limit.
Many railway companies say they will need to reduce train services to achieve the target and wants to ask for exemptions. They have already decided to raise temperatures of air conditioners in carriages from 26 to 28 degrees Celsius this summer.

Friday, May 13, 2011 21:27
TEPCO searching for 'missing' radioactive water
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is trying to locate thousands of tons of radioactive water that has leaked from one of the damaged reactors.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, says contaminated water is apparently leaking from the No.1 reactor, which is in a state of meltdown.
TEPCO has injected more than 10,000 tons of water into the reactor since the March 11th disaster damaged the plant. But, less than half that amount is believed to remain in the reactor or its container vessel.
The utility says the leaked water is likely in the basement of the reactor building -- still a no-go zone due to concerns over high radiation levels.
TEPCO is considering using remote-controlled robots to check the situation, but says the wireless links needed to control them may not reach the basement and that it has to explore other options as well.
Injected water is continuing to stabilize the reactor, but any radioactive water that has leaked could hamper the effort.
TEPCO says it hopes to come up with ways to retrieve and purify contaminated water to use it to cool the reactor again.

Friday, May 13, 2011 21:2
Radioactive cesium detected in tea leaves
Radioactive material above designated safety limits has been detected in tea leaves harvested in 5 municipalities in Kanagawa Prefecture, neighboring Tokyo.
The prefectural government checked samples of leaves harvested in 15 municipalities in the region.
Officials say that samples from 5 of those were found to contain unsafe levels of radioactive cesium.
They say 780 becquerels of cesium were detected in tea leaves in Odawara City, 740 becquerels in Kiyokawa Village, 680 becquerels in Yugawara Town, 670 becquerels in Aikawa Town and 530 becquerels in Manazuru Town.
The Kanagawa prefectural government has asked the affected municipalities and the local farmers' cooperative to voluntarily halt shipments for the time being.
It says it will repeat the tests in these towns and villages when tea leaves are harvested next month.
The survey comes after 570 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram -- exceeding the provisional state limit of 500 -- were detected in products from Minami Ashigara City on May 9th.


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels .  

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Japan Times :

Reactor 1 in worse shape than thought
Tokyo Electric Power Co. says that the water level in the No. 1 reactor’s pressure vessel at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant is much lower than thought and that some of the fuel rods melted down and fell to its bottom.

Talks delayed on Tepco redress body
The government delays finalizing a redress plan to help Tokyo Electric Power Co. compensate victims of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Probe into nuke crisis to take about a year

Fukushima village on way to becoming ghost town

Carmakers to switch output to weekends

Employing disaster survivors

Melting of reactor 1 fuel 'no surprise'
Experts were not surprised Thursday to find that most, if not all, of the fuel rods in reactor No. 1 at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant had been fully exposed, melted and fell to the bottom of the pressure vessel.
... "It's neither a surprise nor bad news," Kunihiko Takeda of Chubu University told The Japan Times. "This means Tepco has been pumping lots of water in the reactor without knowing what exactly is happening in it, which is the best thing Tepco could do." He added that reactors No. 2 and 3 may also be in the same situation.
The new finding doesn't increase the likelihood of a hydrogen explosion because the temperature in the pressure vessel is still low, experts said.
Hydrogen explosions can occur if zirconium, material used in fuel-rod casings, melts at around 1,200 degrees, said Ken Nakajima of the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute.
The temperature in the pressure vessel is 100 to 120 degrees.



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  1. Anonymous5/15/2011

    TEPCO now confirms nuclear meltdown in Fukushima reactor No. 1

    TEPCO has now publicly admitted it wasn't telling the truth about the severity of the damage to Fukushima reactor No. 1. We're now being told what we've suspected all along -- that nuclear fuel rods in that reactor are totally exposed and have suffered a nuclear meltdown, releasing vast amounts of radiation comparable to Chernobyl. As Bloomberg now reports, the water level in reactor No. 4 is one meter below the fuel assembly itself. This means, of course, that the water isn't high enough to cover the fuel rods, which is why those fuel rods have suffered a nuclear meltdown.
    Not surprisingly, as AP now reports, "The findings also indicate a greater-than-expected leak in that vessel." But the laws of nuclear physics don't care what you "expect," you see. They don't care about media spin or power company B.S. The laws of physics simply follow their natural course, regardless of what you hope they do.


  2. Anonymous5/15/2011

    Stone monument with lessons from 1933 tsunami recovered from rubble in Iwate town

    OTSUCHI, Iwate -- A stone slab monument engraved with lessons learned from the 1933 Sanriku earthquake was discovered amongst the rubble here on May 11.

    Local fisherman Toshihiko Oshita, 73, who had been searching for the slab day after day, expressed his delight at its recovery, calling it a "treasure."

    The around two-meter-tall slab was found in the Namiita district, washed around 150 meters away from its previous location. On its surface can be read sentences like, "If an earthquake occurs, be ready for a tsunami," "If a tsunami comes, flee to high ground," and "Do not live in vulnerable areas."

    "I think some people admired it for its size but didn't actually read it," says Oshita. He searched for the slab on his own and also asked Self-Defense Forces engaged in debris clearing to be on the lookout for it.

    Oshita's house near the slab was washed away and he now lives in an evacuation shelter, making his joy at the slab's recovery all the greater. "We have to respect the teachings of our ancestors," he said smiling.

    (Mainichi Japan) May 12, 2011

  3. Anonymous6/16/2011

    Japanese officials detect radioactive incinerator ashes in Tokyo, other prefectures

    A radioactive substance of up to 170,000 becquerels per kilogram was detected in incinerator ashes at a sewage plant in Koto Ward, east Tokyo, in late March, the Kyodo News Agency quoted government sources as saying Friday.

    The highly-contaminated ashes were discovered following the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant which escalated through March as a hydrogen explosion exacerbated the disaster and highly radioactive water was both discharged and found to be freely flowing into the Pacific Ocean.

    The ashes have since been recycled into materials used for construction, such as cement, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

    In addition, the sources revealed that also in late March a radioactive substance, which may or may not have been cesium, measuring 100,000-140,000 becquerels per kg, was found in two other separate sewage facilities in the Itabashi and Ota areas of Tokyo.
    ... The Maebashi officials also said that less radioactive cesium was also found in sludge and molten slag.