June 18, Saturday

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The Japan Times Special Report 3.11
A chronicle of events following the
Great East Japan Earthquake 

英文版 東日本大震災特集
.available at www.amazon.co.jp

check also the

The Japan Times NEWS DIGEST 2011.5 Vol.30
ジャパンタイムズ・ニュースダイジェスト Vol.30
source : Japan Times - NEWS DIGEST


Gabi reports:

A rainy day in the rainy season just begins.

. . . . . at 20:31
Earthquake M 5.9, off the coast of Fukushima
It was felt all the way down to Shizuoka.

. . . . .

Fact and Fiction about Fukushima ...

Radioactive air filters in cars !?
Arnie Gundersen says something really stupid again.
Now he claims that there is dangerous radioactive "Hot Particles" in Tokyo car air filters and that this radiation is deadly yet it cannot be detected.
This is getting really ridiculous.
His most recent idiocy is on Al Jazeera with an article entitled,
Fukushima: It's much worse than you think.
Radioactive air filters from cars in Fukushima prefecture and Tokyo are now common, and Gundersen says his sources are finding radioactive air filters in the greater Seattle area of the US as well.
No. Gundersen, besides normal levels, there no "common" radiation finding in car filters in Tokyo. Fukushima is not much worse than we think. Your wild imagination and fast progressing senility is much worse than we, or even you, think.
Are these levels of radiation dangerous or something to be concerned about?
Not according to the University of Washington.
source : modernmarketingjapan
東京を走る車のエアフィルター .. 放射線量を測る

. . . . .

Today it is 100 days after the earthquake.
Many temples held special servics for the dead, as it is custom in Buddhism.
Many temples have corners for the unidentified dead people. It is really hard for people who lost loved ones and the bodies are not found or identified yet.


. . . . .

Aaa, and now radioactive tea leaves in Europe...
see below


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

Saturday, June 18, 2011 03:55
TEPCO begins new water decontamination system
The Tokyo Electric Power Company has begun decontaminating radioactive water at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
The purified water will be cycled back into the plant's reactors to help cooling efforts.
But officials still do not know where to finally dispose of the huge volume of condensed nuclear waste that will result from the decontamination.
The water that was purified on Friday is to be re-injected into the cooling system some time on Saturday at the earliest.
The recirculation method is intended to prevent contaminated water from seeping beyond the plant.
The system -- the first of its kind in the world -- is largely untested. Developers do not know if they will be able to meet the daily decontamination target of 1,200 tons of water. That includes seawater from the tsunami and water laced with oil.
Officials are hoping to stabilize the system as soon as possible to prevent a further buildup of contaminated water.
TEPCO plans to store the 2,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste generated this year in tanks and other locations. A final disposal site has yet to be determined.
TEPCO will need to consult with the government because existing laws do not specify how to process the expected nuclear waste.
. . . . . BUT
Saturday, June 18, 2011 13:00
TEPCO suspends water decontamination system
Tokyo Electric Power Company has halted operation of a system to decontaminate highly radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as one of the parts reached its radiation exposure limit in less than 5 hours.
The system went into service on Friday night.
One component of the system uses the mineral zeolite to absorb radioactive cesium. A replacement part of the US-made device had been expected to last one month, but radiation exceeding the maximum 4 millisieverts per hour led to the dramatically shortened lifespan.
TEPCO suspended operation of the device early on Saturday to determine the cause.
The utility says it has so far found no abnormalities with the system or water leakage in the system. It adds that the device's dosimeter may have detected radiation from nearby pipes containing contaminated water or other radioactive materials.
The treatment system holds the key to halting the accumulation of highly radioactive water and re-circulating contaminated water to cool the reactors.

Saturday, June 18, 2011 07:22
IAEA report on Fukushima nuclear accident
The International Atomic Energy Agency says the Japanese government's complicated organizational structure caused it to respond more slowly than it should have to the nuclear accident at Fukushima.
The agency advises Japan to streamline its regulatory structure so it can hand down decisions more quickly.
IAEA experts who visited Japan late last month said the country underestimated the size of the tsunami that hit the Fukushima plant, and that safety measures must be bolstered to deal with natural disasters.
The mission urged the IAEA to continue its investigations so that the data Japan has collected on radiation exposure and its health effects can be fully analyzed.
Representatives from around the world will discuss nuclear safety standards and whether to strengthen the IAEA's role based on the report.

Saturday, June 18, 2011 11:12
Tohoku Electric to build power storage facility
Tohoku Electric Power Company, the electric utility in northeastern Japan, is to build a power storage facility to prepare for possible power shortages in disaster-stricken areas. The facility is likely to be the largest of its kind in Japan.
The new facility, to be built at a thermal power plant in Akita Prefecture, will have 40 rechargeable batteries, which are enough to store a day's supply of electricity for 50,000 households. The batteries will be charged at night so that they are ready to supply power when demand is high. The total output will be 80,000 kilowatts, which will be the highest in Japan.
The March 11th earthquake and tsunami damaged the utility's Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture and main thermal plants, causing a sharp drop in its generating capacity.
Demand is expected to rise as the region recovers from the disaster.
Construction of the facility is to begin next month. It will start operating in January.

Saturday, June 18, 2011 13:00
Kaieda requests restart of nuclear power plants
Economy and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda has asked local governments to restart operations of nuclear power plants that were shut down for safety checks following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Kaieda told reporters on Saturday he had confirmed that all power companies have implemented measures to avert serious accidents, such as a hydrogen explosion, in line with the ministry's instructions earlier this month.
Kaieda said restricted power is a major problem for the Japanese economy. He sought understanding from local people and the general public about restarting operations of nuclear power plants if proven to be safe.
Kaieda noted that he will visit areas housing nuclear power plants to ask local authorities to resume their operation.
The minister said he does not necessarily assume that nuclear power is safe, and that the ministry will strive to enhance the safety of nuclear power by investigating matters at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Local authorities are opposed to restarting nuclear power plants undergoing safety checks, raising concern about nationwide electricity shortages this summer.
And those authorities are increasingly less trusting of the central government, saying its request to shut down the Hamaoka nuclear power plant is not based on clear evidence.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan last month asked the operator of the plant in central Japan to halt operations of all active reactors due to the risk of earthquake and the utility accepted the request.

Saturday, June 18, 2011 16:46
France detects cesium in Japanese tea imports
France has detected radioactive cesium exceeding the EU limit in green tea leaves imported from Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan.
The French food safety authority announced on Friday that it had examined dried tea leaves transported by air from Japan at Charles de Gaulle airport, outside Paris.
It said 1,038 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium was discovered.
The amount is about twice the EU limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram. The figure is equal to the Japanese legal limit for considering shipment suspension.
The French government confiscated the 162 kilograms of imported leaves and intends to dispose of them.
This is the first case of Japanese food imports containing radioactive materials exceeding the legal limit being found in France since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The European Union has been requiring member countries to conduct radiation screening of Japanese food imports from 12 prefectures, including Fukushima and Tokyo, since the end of March.
But products from Shizuoka have not been included in the items for examination.
The French government says it will demand the EU add products from Shizuoka to the inspection list.

Saturday, June 18, 2011 22:12
Kan: no rush to leave post
. The Political Situation .


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels .  

. . . . .

Japan Times :

Tepco begins work to clean coolant water
Tokyo Electric Power Co. confirms that the treatment facility to clean highly radioactive water accumulating at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant started full-scale operations.

43 condenser pipes damaged at Shizuoka nuke plant
see . Hamaoka Power Plant . INFO

Some radioactive sludge to be buried
A government task force on the nuclear emergency will allow sludge containing 8,000 becquerels or less per kg of radioactive cesium to be buried in waste disposal sites, providing there are no future residential developments at the locations.
It also said Thursday the safety of sludge containing between 8,000 and 100,000 becquerels per kg of cesium must be evaluated case by case before it is buried.
Sludge measuring more than 100,000 becquerels per kg should be kept sealed, and a final disposal method remains undecided. ...

'Double loan' relief for disaster victims gets nod
... The package also calls for the public and private sectors to provide consultation services for disaster victims, subsidize loan interest for disaster-hit businesses, and offer credit guarantees for firms that leased equipment.

Japanese stages event in Tehran for quake victims

JR East to cut train services from June 24
East Japan Railway Co. says it will reduce services in Tokyo and surrounding areas for around three months starting June 24 to cut electricity consumption in the face of summer power shortages. ... Meanwhile, Tokyo Metro Co. will stop air conditioning in subway stations during certain times of the day starting in July as part of its power-saving measures.

Chubu Electric urges power-saving after Kepco snub

Tsunami repair work may surpass Kobe quake's: Toyo Construction
... "There is going to be a rush to increase safety and security around the country," Executive Officer Nobuyuki Kawase said in an interview in Tokyo Thursday. "People are increasingly recognizing how important concrete is for protection."

Hitachi joins Lithuania nuke project
Hitachi President Hiroaki Nakanishi in Vilnius.


quote from yahoo news, 11:00
Japan's TEPCO suspends cleanup at Fukushima plant
The operator of Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, said on Saturday it had suspended an operation to clean up radioactive water only hours after it had begun as radiation levels rose faster than expected.
"The level of radiation at a machine to absorb cesium has risen faster than our initial projections," said a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co.
source : beta.news.yahoo.com


Shiogama and the long Sanriku coast have been badly damaged
by the earthquake on March 11, 2001.

. Shiogama Festival 塩釜祭 and Haiku



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  1. Fukushima prepares extensive study of radiation health effects on residents

    The Fukushima prefectural government plans to monitor health effects from radiation leaking from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in a program that could follow some residents for up to 30 years.

    The study will be an unprecedented one in terms of length and number of people covered. But because it will be impossible to conduct thorough health checks on all 2 million residents of Fukushima, a two-step plan is being considered.

    A preliminary study will begin in early July on a small sample of residents from areas that have had high radiation levels in the air.

    The preliminary study will be used to prepare for the wider study and will also be designed to alleviate the health concerns of Fukushima residents.

    Details of the preliminary study are expected to be decided on at a meeting June 18 of Fukushima prefectural government officials, officials of the relevant central government ministries as well as experts in radiation medicine.
    The estimated radiation levels will be compared with actual radiation levels detected during the in-depth measuring stage.
    Because thorough radiation monitoring of all Fukushima residents would be impossible, only those found to have comparatively high estimated radiation exposure levels will actually undergo monitoring that includes blood and urine tests.


  2. Anonymous6/18/2011


    Hydrogen explosions at a number of reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant in the first few days after the nuclear accident led to radioactive materials being spewed over a wide area.

    That means the amount of time a resident spent outdoors during that time will greatly influence his or her radiation exposure level.

    Despite the scale of the proposed study, it may not be easy to clearly determine what, if any, health effects may occur due to the radiation from the Fukushima plant.

    It has generally been thought that health effects will only arise if an individual is exposed to more than 100 millisieverts of radiation. However, the general opinion of experts is that the average Fukushima resident was likely exposed to, at most, several dozen millisieverts of radiation.

    Although that is much higher than the 2.4 millisieverts per year of natural radiation in the air, it is not at a level in which health effects have been confirmed in past studies.

    "At such low levels of radiation exposure, it is very conceivable than health effects from smoking or the stress of evacuation could be greater than radiation exposure," said Toshiteru Okubo, chairman of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation.

    However, the experience of hibakusha atomic-bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki also indicates that it will take decades before health effects from radiation exposure, such as an increase in cancer, become obvious.



  3. Antiradiation measures strengthened / TEPCO sets new timetable; clinic planned

    The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Friday released a revised version of its timetable to bring the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant under control, in response to reports that workers dealing with the crisis at the plant were overexposed to radiation.

    The original timetable in April was revised once before--on May 17.

    Taking into consideration that several workers at the nuclear power plant may have been exposed to levels of radiation exceeding emergency dosage limits, TEPCO added "radiation control and medicine" to the timetable.

    This section pledges the utility will establish a new clinic with state-of-the-art medical equipment within the grounds of the power plant and increase the number of doctors.

    The clinic will help prevent workers from being overexposed to radiation and deal with heatstroke and exhaustion during summer, according to TEPCO.

    Under the revised timetable, TEPCO will strictly control the number of working hours, ensure automatic records are kept of the measurements of dosimeters workers wear, and increase the number of whole-body counters by 10 by October with the government's financial support.


  4. Latest revisions confuse locals

    The Yomiuri Shimbun

    DATE, Fukushima--Many residents in Date and Minami-Soma, both in Fukushima Prefecture, have been confused by a newly announced government plan to designate specific points from which residents would be advised to leave if the annual accumulated radiation there exceeds 20 millisieverts.

    Both cities have shown relatively high radiation levels since the outbreak of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

    The recommendation points are the fourth evacuation category to be decided by the government. In contrast to the situation in planned evacuation areas, from which residents were asked to leave by municipality, residents of recommendation points are likely to receive such requests by individual house.

    Whether to actually leave is essentially left to the residents. Many were puzzled, asking: "What will happen with my family?" or "How will the government support us?"

    "I don't know the details of the support and compensation we could receive. Will my house be designated as a point in the first place?"

    So asked Keiko Endo, a hairdresser in the Ishida area of Date's Ryozenmachi district, after she heard the government's announcement.

    According to a survey by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, the estimated annual amounts of radiation exposure in some parts of Ishida will be 21.7 millisieverts. Therefore some houses in the area may be designated as recommendation points.



  5. Crisis brewing as Japan's tea farmers face radiation ban

    Japan's green tea fields sway in the early summer winds, the picture of bucolic beauty. But beneath these peaceful rows of young green buds, ready for the second harvest of the year, a national crisis is brewing.
    ... Now the discovery of radiation in fields further south in Shizuoka, Japan, some 400 kilometers away from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, threatens the most robust tea-producing region in Japan.

    The Shizuoka government says it asked five tea manufacturing plants in the Warashina district of Shizuoka to voluntarily stop shipping green tea leaves, after tests revealed dried tea contained 581 to 654 becquerels of cesium per kilogram.


  6. In the USA, an average CEO earns the equivalent of 342 average workers, according to the AFL-CIO. What makes anyone worth that?

    In Japan, the average CEO makes what 25 average workers make. Which CEO sounds like he or she is working in the interest of shareholders and regular employees?

    Currently, my bet is that Japan has a better opportunity to get through this financial malaise than we do in the United States.


  7. Anonymous6/20/2011

    ??? ???
    A shocking report prepared by Russia’s Federal Atomic Energy Agency (FAAE) on information provided to them by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) states that the Obama regime has ordered a “total and complete” news blackout relating to any information regarding the near catastrophic meltdown of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant located in Nebraska.
    According to this report, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant suffered a “catastrophic loss of cooling” to one of its idle spent fuel rod pools on 7 June after this plant was deluged with water caused by the historic flooding of the Missouri River which resulted in a fire causing the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) to issue a “no-fly ban” over the area.
    ... the “Level 4” emergency category of an “accident with local consequences” thus making this one of the worst nuclear accidents in US history.
    Obama’s fears of the American people turning against nuclear power, should its true dangers be known, appear to be valid as both Germany and Italy (whose people, unlike the Americans, have been told the truth) have turned against it after the disaster in Japan and vowed to close all of their atomic plants.


  8. Anonymous6/21/2011

    Toxic truth about Japan's 'miracle':
    Post-tsunami harmony is a myth and the reality is startlingly different
    The north-eastern seaboard was devastated. Some 28,000 people are dead or missing. Sixteen towns, 95,000 buildings and 23 railway stations have been destroyed. The town of Minamisanriku has simply vanished.

    It is further proof, we are reminded, that Japan is a society of immeasurable strength. And for this it can thank 'wa', or harmony. This is a collective feeling close to a sense of perfection. It ensures everyone knows their place and acts accordingly. Or so the Japanese like to tell themselves – and the outside world.

    Take Minamisanriku, the town whose devastating fate was pictured on the front page of The Mail on Sunday. There has been no miracle here. Today, it remains a nightmare of twisted metal and fragments of First World comfort. The raging 98ft wave caused annihilation. Harmony has long disappeared from Ishinomaki, too. The port town, 30 miles from Sendai, took the full force of the tsunami. It is a ghost town shrouded in the stench of rotting fish.

    There is no doubt that 'wa' helped Japan to deal with its monumental problems; but it also means that victims suffer in silence. In the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, orderly queues snaked for miles for food, water and fuel. There was no looting and raping, which often accompanies natural disasters elsewhere.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2005289/The-toxic-truth-Japans-harmony-tsunami.html#ixzz1PsK3Ezhl

  9. Anonymous6/21/2011

    Another victim, a 78-year-old widow, Mrs Utako Saito, sleeps in a tent she has pitched in her wrecked wooden cottage. She has not received her pension for three months.
    With unemployment running at 90 per cent, the needy are starting to revolt. One third of families are refusing to move to temporary housing, opting to remain in shelters to hang on to their precious food benefits. Sixty per cent of the 28,000 temporary homes remain unoccupied. A staggering 90,000 people remain in shelters.
    'The government don't want people to get too comfortable here, so they don't allow evacuees electricity inside the shelter,' says a volunteer from the Catholic charity Caritas.
    According to Kei Watabe, who distributes food, people are not starving, 'but they are not getting enough food from the government. Japan is not the Third World. This is not Africa. The Japanese government are the first to send aid overseas, but when it comes to their own people they are blind.'

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2005289/The-toxic-truth-Japans-harmony-tsunami.html#ixzz1PsKIR1Tj