May 25, Wednesday

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source : ikata47
Destiny Daruma

was it fate
or foolishness ?
Fukushima spring

運命 , 宿命, 立命
. unmei, shukumei, ritsumei .


Gabi reports:

"While a complete transition from the current energy mix would not make economic sense, the government needs to take into consideration the geographical vulnerabilities of Japan's nuclear power plants and public sentiment against them" ...
. Hamaoka Power Plant .

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Prime Minister Naoto Kan is now in Paris for the summit of G8.

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About 160 elderly workers have volunteered to brave the high radioactivity and help stabilize the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. They responded to a call from an engineer to build a "suicide corps", since the elderly will not be affected so much by radiation and they have the expertise to work on the site. The government has to decide to let them join the crew at Fukushima.

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Japan pledges full cooperation with IAEA
see below, NHK bulletins


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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 01:09
Expert: March tsunami traveled at 20km/h in Sendai

An expert says a tsunami triggered by the March 11th earthquake traveled at a speed of 20 kilometers an hour in the Sendai Plain, northeastern Japan, making it difficult for people to escape after they saw the wave.
Professor Fumihiko Imamura 今村文彦 of the Tohoku University Disaster Control Research Center analyzed aerial footage of the tsunami filmed by NHK about one hour after the mega-quake.
Imamura says the tsunami traveled 260 meters in 46 seconds at a location in Sendai City, one kilometer from the coast. This means the wave was moving at a speed of 20 kilometers an hour in the area.
Imamura says that a tsunami flowing inland will slow gradually because of friction with the ground. But the March tsunami traveled much faster because of its enormous height, energy, and the amount of seawater. He adds that the Plain's flat topography was another factor.
He also says the tsunami may have traveled faster than 20 kilometers per hour along paved roads and between buildings.
Imamura points out that even if people evacuate by car, a tsunami that flows straight from the coast would soon catch up with them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 01:09
Kaieda holds talks with IAEA investigating team

A team of experts from the UN's nuclear watchdog group has arrived in Japan to investigate the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and has met with Japan's industry minister Banri Kaieda.
Kaieda met the team from the International Atomic Energy Agency in Tokyo on Tuesday evening. The team of nuclear experts from Britain, France and other nations arrived in Japan earlier in the day.
Kaieda said his government will fully cooperate with the team's investigations.
IAEA to compile Fukushima accident report
A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency will begin investigating the Fukushima nuclear accident on Wednesday. They will present their independent report to the Japanese government on June 1st.
The group of 18 experts from Britain, France, South Korea, and other countries arrived in Japan on Tuesday.
They will visit the industry ministry on Wednesday and will be given a briefing by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on the accident and the steps taken to contain it.
The IAEA team will look into the damage caused by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.
They will examine the timing of seawater injections into the plant's reactors and other measures taken by the government and the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company.
Another key point in their report will be the evacuation advisories and orders that the government has issued for residents living near the plant.
The group will visit the Fukushima Daiichi plant and other nuclear power stations hit by the March disaster. At the Fukushima plant, they will inspect the ongoing containment work and may interview the head official.
Team leader Mike Weightman told Japan's industry minister Banri Kaieda on Tuesday that his agency wants to use the lessons of the Fukushima accident to improve the safety of nuclear power plants across the globe.
IAEA team briefed on Fukushima Daiichi accident
A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency is being briefed on the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant by the Japanese government on Wednesday.
The IAEA team is now in Japan to investigate the Fukushima accident. On Wednesday morning, 18 experts from 12 countries including Britain, France and South Korea visited the industry ministry.
Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency Director General Nobuaki Terasaka 寺坂 信昭( briefed them on the situation at the plant, which has yet to be brought under control.
He said expert analysis compiled by the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, shows that a meltdown likely occurred at the Number One reactor 15 hours after the massive quake hit the facility on March11th.
According to the expert analysis, meltdowns probably occurred at the Number 2 and 3 reactors as well.
Terasaka told the IAEA team that Japan is striving to shift its efforts from stopgap measures to steady and organized containment of the accident.
Team leader Michael Weightman said it will submit a report to an IAEA meeting scheduled for next month. He asked Japan to provide all relevant information so that the international community can share lessons learned from Fukushima.
The team will receive briefings by the Nuclear Safety Commission and the science ministry later on Wednesday before visiting the Fukushima plant on Thursday. It will submit an outline of its report to the Japanese government on June first.
Japan pledges full cooperation with IAEA
Japan has pledged full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency in its investigation into the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano made the pledge when he met IAEA team leader Michael Weightman in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Edano said it is extremely regrettable that the accident has caused worry and trouble around the world. He added that Japan is doing all it can to bring the plant under control, and that it has made efforts to disclose information with maximum transparency.
Edano said the IAEA's study will be crucial to secure transparency, and he asked the team to conduct a full, professional investigation. He added that the government has instructed relevant offices to provide utmost cooperation.
Weightman said the fact-finding mission provides an important opportunity for the world to learn lessons from the accident.
He said the team will submit its findings to an IAEA ministerial meeting scheduled for the end of June.
After the meeting, the chief British nuclear regulator told reporters that his team expects to find out what's happened and what is happening at the Fukushima plant, and the conditions of the sites. He said the team wants to find lessons to learn because high standards in nuclear safety are based on continued improvement.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 05:02
No.1 reactor vessel damaged 18 hrs after quake
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the containment vessel of the No.1 reactor may have been damaged about 18 hours after the March 11th earthquake, allowing highly radioactive water to leak.
The quake knocked out the reactor's cooling system. The situation is believed to have caused the fuel rods to melt, creating holes in the pressure vessel, and damaging the containment vessel.
On Tuesday, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, released the results of its analysis of the temperature and water level of the reactor.
The temperature of the containment vessel began to rise immediately after the earthquake. It shot up 15 hours after the quake, when a meltdown is believed to have occurred.
At 9 AM on March 12th, around 18 hours after the quake, the vessel's temperature had reached 300 degrees Celsius. That's more than double the temperature it was designed to withstand.
TEPCO says that when the temperature of a containment vessel hits 300 degrees, the rubber and metal parts used to seal joints will be damaged. The utility says highly contaminated water may have leaked through these damaged sections.
This is the first time that TEPCO has given details of how highly radioactive water may have been leaked at the No.1 reactor.
Meltdowns are also believed to have occurred at the No.2 and No.3 reactors. Further analysis will be needed to determine if these meltdowns created holes in the containment vessels and allowed contaminated water to leak.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 07:48
High levels of cesium detected above No.1 reactor
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the density of radioactive cesium above the No.1 reactor is 18 times the permissible level for the edge of the plant's compound.
Large amounts of radioactive substances have been released into the air since reactor cores and buildings were damaged, but measurements were not available.
On Sunday, Tokyo Electric Power Company began measuring the density of radioactive elements above the No.1 and No.4 reactors.
The firm used instruments attached to the crane pumps that are injecting water into the reactors.
TEPCO detected 360 becquerels of cesium-134 per cubic meter above the No.1 reactor, where most of the fuel rods are believed to have melted. The amount is 18 times the allowable limit for the plant's perimeter.
The firm also discovered 7.5 times the limit of cesium-134 above the No.4 reactor, which has no fuel in its core. The substance is believed to have come from the fuel storage pool and the neighboring No.3 reactor.
TEPCO says it will measure the levels of radioactive elements above the No.2 and No.3 reactors. It also plans to cover the reactor buildings with polyester sheets to prevent the further dispersal of radioactive materials into the air.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 13:22
Radioactive water transfer halted at Fukushima
Tokyo Electric Power Company, operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, has suspended work transferring highly radioactive water from two of the reactor buildings to storage facilities at the plant.
The utility stopped the work at 9 AM on Wednesday, saying it needed to work on power supply lines.
It said when that work is finished it will resume the transfer of water from the Number 2 reactor, but not from Number 3, because storage facilities are nearly full.
Contaminated water accumulating in the reactors' turbine buildings and utility tunnels is hampering the utility's efforts to get the crippled nuclear plant under control.
Tokyo Electric is aiming to transfer a total of 14,000 tons of contaminated water from the two reactor buildings to the storage facilities.
That work is about 90 percent complete at the Number 3 reactor building, but can't be finished until the utility determines how much more storage space is left.
TEPCO: reactor damage includes holes
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says data analyses suggest damage to its reactors may have caused cracks and openings in the reactor containment vessels equivalent to a 10-centimeter hole.
Reactors 1 through 3 at the plant suffered nuclear fuel meltdowns after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. This is likely to have created holes and cracks at the bottom of the pressure vessels protecting the reactor cores and damaged the containment vessels.
Massive amounts of highly radioactive water also leaked from the structures.
Tokyo Electric Power Company analyzed the changes in pressure levels inside the pressure and containment vessels to gauge the scope of the damage.
TEPCO said the analyses show that holes in the Number 1 reactor containment vessel amounting to 3 centimeters in total may have formed 18 hours after the quake. It said that may have expanded to 7 centimeters at least 50 hours after the quake.
The utility said holes and cracks equivalent to 10 centimeters in diameter may have formed in the Number 2 reactor's containment vessel about 21 hours after the quake. It said a similar amount of holes could have been created in the suppression pool chamber by an explosion heard coming from there on March 15th.
TEPCO said these results were obtained through data calculations, and that it has yet to confirm whether such holes actually exist.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 14:08
Japan posts 1st trade deficit in 3 months
Japan registered a trade deficit in April for the first time in 3 months due to a sharp export decline following the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
In a preliminary report released on Wednesday, the Finance Ministry says Japan's trade deficit stood at 463.7 billion yen, or about 5.6 billion dollars.
Japan usually registers a trade surplus in April as exports tend to rise ahead of the nation's holiday period starting in late April. This is the first April trade deficit in 31 years.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 14:51
Govt sets daytime summer power cuts
The Japanese government is to restrict power usage by factories and other major consumers this summer in areas covered by the Tokyo and Tohoku power companies.
Electricity shortages are expected in these areas this summer after the utilities sustained massive damage in the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters on Wednesday that the restrictions will be in place from 9 AM to 8 PM on weekdays starting July 1st.
He said the measure will continue through September 22nd for service areas of the Tokyo Electric Power Company, and to September 9th for areas covered by the Tohoku Electric Power Company.
The government has already called for a power-saving target of 15 percent compared to the corresponding period last year for individual and corporate users in these areas.
Edano said the government will respect voluntary power-saving efforts by users, and that the restriction is intended to maintain fairness.
He added that the government plans to exclude medical institutions and other entities responsible for protecting people's lives from the measure.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 18:46
Quake may have damaged key piping at No.3 reactor
Tokyo Electric Power Company has released data which suggests the March 11th earthquake damaged a critical piping system in the No. 3 reactor at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The utility said that analysis of pressure and temperature data from the days after the quake shows that the No.3 reactor lost its cooling system on March 13th. Much of its nuclear fuel likely melted down and collected at the bottom of the pressure vessel over the next 24 hours.
The analysis also shows that piping in an emergency cooling mechanism, known as a high-pressure coolant injection system, may have been damaged by the earthquake. The system is designed to maintain the water level inside the reactor vessel during an emergency.
The system is known to have automatically switched on shortly after noon on March 12th. Pressure inside the reactor, which was 75 atmospheric pressure, plunged to about 10 atmospheric pressure over the next six hours.
Tokyo Electric says the drop in pressure is consistent with analysis which assumes the piping system had been damaged.
The piping system is one of the plant's most important structures in terms of safety, and must be damage-proof.
Tokyo Electric refuses to confirm, however, that the key piping system was damaged by the quake, and suggests that it is possible a gauge malfunction may be to blame for the data fluctuation.
Experts note that extensive investigation is needed to examine whether the massive earthquake damaged the cooling system.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 19:48
DPJ calls to keep Fukushima cattle for research
Japan's governing Democratic Party has proposed that livestock left near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant be kept for research purposes rather than culled as planned by the government.
DPJ deputy policy chief Koriki Jojima said at a news conference on Wednesday that his party hopes to negotiate with the government on the proposal.
The government has already instructed the Fukushima prefectural government to cull livestock left in a 20-kilometer exclusion zone, with their owners' consent.
The DPJ says its proposal is for animals whose owners have rejected the government plan.
Veterinary scientists at Wednesday's news conference told reporters that the proposed research would be very valuable since almost no studies have been conducted on livestock continually exposed to low levels of radiation.
The party says it will look for fields in the exclusion zone that can be made available for keeping the animals.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 19:21
Kan, Sarkozy to discuss nuclear reactor safety
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan is to meet shortly with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to exchange views on the safety of nuclear power plants. ...


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels .  

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Japan Times :

Tepco admits two more meltdowns
Tokyo Electric Power Co. admits what many experts had long suspected: The cores of reactors 2 and 3 at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant likely melted down and dropped to the bottom of their pressure vessels, just as happened at unit 1.

Sendai to resume international flights in June

No ill effects seen from radiation so far: U.N. panel
"So far, what we have seen in the population, what we have seen in children, what we have seen in workers . . . we would not expect to see health effects," Wolfgang Weiss, chairman of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, said at a news conference.

Foreign refugees pitch in to help

Effort to ease radiation fears in Asia may have limited effect

Toshiba expects slower reactor sales



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