May 14, Saturday

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Gabi reports:

The BLOGGER has been out of use all day yesterday.
I have to do a lot of catching up.
And I was out doing errands most of the day.

Finally stopping the operations at ...
. Hamaoka Power Plant .

The world "meltdown" is now used in connection with the Fukushima accident. But this does not mean that the situation got any worse in the last few days. All is still as it was a day before that news. The radiation level in Fukushima and Tokyo is slowly going down.

. . . . .

The amazing story of a village
that survived the tsunami behind a huge wall:

. Fudai Village .
普代村 ふだいむら

source : usausa
. . . . .

. . . . . at 8:36
Earthquake M 5.7, off the coast of Fukushima


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

Saturday, May 14, 2011 06:01
TEPCO to cover No.1 reactor building

Tokyo Electric Power Company has started preparations to cover the damaged Number 1 reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The company aims to decrease the amount of nuclear materials leaking into the air.
TEPCO has been working to reduce the leakage of those substances while cooling down the reactors.
It has been clearing contaminated rubble and spraying a chemical hardening agent to prevent the spread of radioactive dust.
TEPCO is going to cover the Number 1 reactor building, which lost its roof in a hydrogen explosion in March. On Friday, workers cleared rubble so that a big crane can be set up near the building.
TEPCO says a polyester sheet will be attached to steel frames, enclosing the 50-meter-tall building. The company says the cover can withstand strong winds. TEPCO also says it will install a ventilator with a filter to capture radioactive materials that would otherwise be concentrated inside.
To minimize radiation exposure among its workers, the company says the steel frames will be pre-assembled as much as possible, shortening the set up time at the plant.

Saturday, May 14, 2011 06:01
Wen Jiabao to visit Japan's disaster-hit areas
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will visit areas affected by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami when he visits Tokyo to attend a summit with Japanese and South Korean leaders later this month.
Wen says China may ease food import restrictions
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says China will consider easing import restrictions on Japanese farm products. It imposed them due to fears of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Wen made the remark on Friday during a meeting in Beijing with the chairman of the Japan Business Federation, Hiromasa Yonekura. ...

Saturday, May 14, 2011 09:55
Gov't outlines bill on reconstruction measures
The Japanese government plans to designate some prefectures hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami as special zones to promote reconstruction.
The government revealed the idea in a draft outline of a bill on special measures for disaster recovery.
Under the plan, prefectures that need special support will be designated as extraordinary zones. Municipalities in the hardest-hit areas will be treated as special districts for disaster reconstruction.
Local governments can then draw up their own recovery plans covering land use, industry revival, and the building of social infrastructure. After central government approval, residents and companies in those areas can receive tax breaks and exemption from, or relaxation of, land use regulations.
For instance, companies will be eligible for tax relief and special depreciation rules to promote investment.
Local governments will be able to zone forests and farmland on hilly areas as land for housing, so tsunami-affected people don't have to live in low-lying areas. Building standards, such as floor-space ratios, will be relaxed.
The draft outline also stipulates the creation of institutions in charge of recovery promotion in each special zone to supplement the work of local government. The central government will support the creation of a recovery fund that the institutions can use to finance reconstruction projects.

Saturday, May 14, 2011 12:20
Fukushima Daiichi plant worker dies
A worker at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant fell unconscious at work on Saturday and later died.
The worker in his 60s complained of ill health while working at a waste processing facility. He worked for a subcontracting firm of Tokyo Electric Power Company.
The man was taken to a medical office in the plant, where he was found to have lost consciousness. He was then taken by ambulance to a hospital in Iwaki City and confirmed dead shortly after 9:30 AM. The cause of his death is unknown.
Tokyo Electric says the worker had been transporting equipment since Friday. He was scheduled to work for 3 hours from 6:00 AM on Saturday.
The company says the worker had put on a full protective suit and was not exposed to radioactive substances.
This was the first time that a worker at the Daiichi plant died after the March 11th disaster.

Saturday, May 14, 2011 13:04
TEPCO looking into radioactive water leak
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is trying to identify where highly radioactive water from the No.1 reactor's containment vessel is flowing to, as the reactor is believed to have suffered a meltdown.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, says the meltdown at the No.1 unit created holes in the reactor and damaged the containment vessel.
A large amount of highly radioactive water is believed to be leaking out, but it is not known where it is flowing.
TEPCO says the water could be flowing into the basement of the reactor building, but that workers cannot enter the site due to fear of high levels of radiation.
The company is examining footage from Friday's survey conducted by a remote-controlled robot of the first floor of the building, while analyzing data on radiation intensity.
TEPCO also began installing air-cooled heat exchangers on Friday so that water collected from the containment vessel can be reused for cooling the reactor.
The company plans to bring in 10 heat exchangers by Tuesday and connect them to pipes.
Water can be sent to heat exchangers only when the containment vessel holds a certain level of water. Uncertainty regarding the current level of the water is another challenge facing TEPCO.

Saturday, May 14, 2011 14:35
Govt may enact special law over nuke compensation
Prime Minister Naoto Kan has told the governor of Fukushima Prefecture that the government will consider enacting special laws on compensating people affected by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato met Kan at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on Saturday.
Sato said the meltdown at the No.1 reactor was finally made clear 64 days after the nuclear accident. He called on the central government to bring the situation under control as quickly as possible.
The governor also said the government should handle the compensation issue in a responsible manner by enacting special laws, which would back efforts to help nearby residents and rebuild the local economy.
Kan replied that the government will do all it can to end the crisis and hinted at the possibility of enacting special laws on compensation payments.
The Fukushima governor later told reporters that the leakage of radioactive substances into the air and sea is very troubling, and that he had called on the government to more tightly control the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Saturday, May 14, 2011 16:04
Major banking groups' lending exceeds 2.6 tril yen
Japan's major banking groups have lent more than 2.6 trillion yen, or 30 billion dollars, since the March 11th disaster.
Companies are believed to have borrowed the money to secure cash on hand.
According to the financial results announced by 6 major banking groups for the fiscal year ending March 2011, total lending related to the disaster exceeds 30 billion dollars.
Mizuho Financial Group made fresh loans totaling 15 billion dollars, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group 9.9 billion dollars.
The rise in lending was caused by massive loans made to Tokyo Electric Power Company to deal with the accident at its nuclear power plant, and corporate desire to secure cash on hand.
Although the banking groups realized profits in the last fiscal year, they made provisions for loan losses totaling more than 840 million dollars for possible delinquencies in the aftermath of the disaster.
They also booked losses totaling over 1.86 billion dollars to reflect the devaluation of Tokyo Electric Power Company shares in their portfolios -- another indication of the impact the disaster has had on them.


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels .  

. . . . .

Japan Times :

Tepco, state strike compensation deal
A day after the reported discovery of meltdown holes in reactor No. 1, the government approves a framework for letting Tepco tap taxpayer money to compensate victims of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

Radioactive ash found in Tokyo after March 11
A sewage plant in Tokyo detected a highly radioactive substance in incinerator ash shortly after the nuclear crisis erupted in Fukushima, sources reveal.

Chubu Electric halts No. 4 at Hamaoka

Foreigners key to recovery: Iokibe

Disasters reached Brazilian 'bento' firm in Tokai

Disaster damage threatens carmakers' steady recovery

Nissan says suppliers on the road to revival



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  1. Anonymous5/15/2011

    "Prayer is the best answer to all of the trials that face us,
    because without prayer,
    even if we succeed in accomplishing some great goal in the eyes of men,
    we have failed in our sacred responsibilities,
    and thus we have failed in what is truly important."

    -- Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

  2. Looks like the containment at the number 1 reactor has failed
    Given the amount of water leaking, it's likely that some aspect of the number 3 reactor containment has also failed. Now it will be a question of keeping both reactors cool while somehow getting the water back inside a closed loop.