June 20, Monday

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Daruma from Miharu for reconstruction

復興 。福島の三春 Fukkoo Daruma
source : kitaro.chaya


. Miharu Daruma for Reconstruction .  


Gabi reports:

a tiny light
in the darkness of Japan -
first firefly

That was last night, but this evening, things turned

and distant lightning -
drama in my valley

Kyushu is still having problems with heavy rain and thunderstorms are predicted for all of Western Japan.

. . . . .

They are now handing ?dosimeter badges to the children of Fukushima.
But they do not show the daily count or a count of the place where you are. Children have to wear them 24 hours for a whole month. Then the badges are collected by the officials and the reading begins ...
can you imagine the bureaucratic chaos and paperwork this is going to create?

On the other side, the government is encouraging young mothers with babies to move out ... but they have no clear directives as to how they will support this.
Some families have just moved into a new home.
Now the mother/child would have to move out, meaning another household to be financed, and the father should stay in the home alone, since his place of work is somewhere near.
Families will be separated ... for how long, nobody knows.
Or should they sell the new home, move away and find a completely new living and work somewhere else?

Children had to stay indoors in many regions now for more than three months. They catch the nervousness of their parents and begin to show symptoms, from bleeding noses to nervous coughing ... and the question remains, can all this be from radiation? (No, say the doctors, but who believes them?) Young parents are confused, grandparents are confused, and help centers during the weekend are now crowded with anxious young parents. Many buy their own dosimeters.

A family had a geiger counter, and found the grass and garden earth with too high levels of radiation. On the advise of an expert, they dug a deep hole in one corner of the garden, shoveled all the superficial earth and grass into the hole and levelled the ground again. The geiger counter now gave a very low reading, good enough for the young children to play outside again.
BUT for how long? Until the next rainfall?
The measuring keeps going on, uncertainty keeps going on.

. . . . .

Yesterday was a protest demonstration in Fukushima.
A few thousand protested against atomic power.

source : news.yahoo.com/nphotos

Japanese Citizens Petition to Protect the Children of Fukushima

Concerned by high radiation levels in Fukushima prefecture, Japanese citizens’ groups are calling for more government action to protect residents from long-term health risks.

In the domestic petition, to be submitted in early July, the groups insist on more extensive evacuation from highly contaminated areas, measurement of residents’ internal radiation exposure, dismissal of a Fukushima health advisor and strict adherence to a 1mSv limit for public radiation exposure.
source : fukushima.greenaction-japan.org


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

Monday, June 20, 2011 00:03
Panel discusses measures for worst disasters
A Japanese government panel studying measures to counter earthquakes and tsunami has agreed that its draft proposal will include preparations for the worst types of natural disasters.
The panel members held a third meeting in Tokyo on Sunday afternoon to discuss the proposal for their interim report that will be completed at the next meeting one week later.
The members agreed that they must consider the worst-case scenarios for natural disasters, based on earthquake and tsunami damage reports as well as scientific estimates.
They recommended that dikes and other coastal facilities to ward off tsunami should be combined with escape routes to higher ground and structures where people can take shelter from huge waves.
The panel said the current height standards for dikes should be maintained, but they must be able to withstand massive tsunami and help to reduce their height and speed.
The panel chairperson, Professor Yoshiaki Kawata of Kansai University, said tsunami measures should be an integral part of city planning with a priority on saving lives, instead of being focused on structures and buildings.

Monday, June 20, 2011 05:53
TEPCO races to restore decontamination system
Tokyo Electric Power Company has been working to restore a water decontamination system that had to be shut down after a brief operation on Friday.
The operator conducted a more than 4-hour long experiment on Sunday night to determine the cause of a rapid rise of radioactivity in the system.
On Friday the utility put the equipment into full operation to remove radioactive materials from the highly contaminated water accumulated in the plant.
However, the operation was stopped after about 5 hours as the radiation level in a part of system that removes oil and sludge rose more rapidly than expected.
TEPCO says greater than anticipated amounts of radioactive substances flowing into the system may be the cause of the trouble.
The company investigated the system's ability to absorb radioactive substances on Sunday. After examining the results on Monday, TEPCO may add more equipment to remove oil or lower the amount of water flowing into the system.
Contaminated water is increasing by 500 tons a day as fresh water is continuously being injected into the reactors to cool them down.
The storage facilities for the contaminated water are filling up and a delay in restarting the system could cause the water to overflow in about a week.
TEPCO is planning to reduce the injection of the fresh water.
It wants to start full operations of the water decontamination system, but troubles such as water leakage have been blocking the way.
TEPCO opens doors at No.2 reactor
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it has fully opened the doors at the No. 2 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The restoration work inside the No. 2 reactor has been hampered by humidity of almost 100 percent caused by steam from the containment vessel and spent-fuel storage pool.
TEPCO opened the doors halfway at 8:51 PM on Sunday, and it fully opened them at 5 AM on Monday.
The utility has been using an air purification device for more than a week to reduce the radioactive concentration inside the building.
The firm calculated that the level of background radiation around the plant after opening the doors would be 0.0014 microsieverts per hour. The annualized figure would be far below the permissible limit of one millisievert a year.
A TEPCO official told reporters that the door-opening has almost no impact on the nearby environment so far.
TEPCO says it has explained its plan to Fukushima Prefecture and 13 local municipalities. The firm added that it will begin checking radiation levels and adjusting meters inside the building.
TEPCO injects water to No.4 reactor storage pool
Tokyo Electric Power Company has been trying to reduce a high level of radiation discovered in the Number 4 reactor of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The utility started to inject water into a pool on the top floor which was used for storing large equipment contaminated by radiation on Sunday.
The Number 4 reactor was shut down for a routine inspection when it was hit by the earthquake and the tsunami on March 11th.
Large hardware in the reactor was removed and was submerged in the pool to block the release of radiation.
Tokyo Electric Company discovered that the water level of the pool had dropped to about 1/3 of its capacity as of June 11th.
The machinery is thought to have been exposed and releasing high amounts of radiation.
The operator fears it could hamper restoration work in the Number 4 reactor.
TEPCO says the radiation level on the top floor is so high that workers cannot enter, but if the equipment is submerged again, the radiation level will decline enabling operations to restart.

Monday, June 20, 2011 05:53
Govt to cover renewable energy in quake-hit area
The Japanese government will subsidize renewable energy sources for public facilities in areas hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The Environment Ministry wants to revitalize these areas with renewable energy technologies such as wind, solar, and geothermal power generation.
The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is expected to lead to future power shortages, so the government wants to secure alternative energy sources.
The Environment Ministry will cover all the cost for local governments to set up solar panels for city halls, schools and public halls to ensure a steady supply of electricity.
The Ministry is also planning to partially subsidize environmental impact study costs for private companies looking to enter the power generation business.
The subsidy is to be included in a supplemental-spending bill for the current fiscal year.

Monday, June 20, 2011 07:25
Kan hopes to restart nuclear plants
Prime Minister Naoto Kan says his administration will seek the understanding of local governments for resuming the operation of nuclear power plants nationwide, once their safety is guaranteed.
Kan held an online meeting at the Prime Minister's office on Sunday to exchange views on green energy resources with people in 4 prefectures. The participants included residents of the prefecture where the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is located.
Kan said he absolutely agrees with the request Economy and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda made on Saturday that local governments should restart nuclear power plants after implementing measures to avert any serious accidents.
Kan said the Chubu Electric Power Company's shutdown of the Hamaoka nuclear plant was an exceptional case.
He added that a constructive discussion is needed to find good approaches for choosing long-term energy resources, suggesting that the topic of future energy resources should be treated separately from the nuclear plant issue.
Kan hopes to decide on consumption tax hike Monday
Prime Minister Naoto Kan hopes that a decision to raise the consumption tax will be made on Monday despite opposition to the increase within his own party.
Last week the government proposed raising the consumption tax in steps from the current 5 percent, to 10 percent by fiscal 2015 to cover spiraling social security costs. The increase is a part of an integrated reform of social security and taxes.
Members of a study panel of the governing Democratic Party criticized the plan, saying that a tax hike during a bad economy is unacceptable and a consumption tax increase will dampen efforts to recover from the natural disaster.
With a national and local government debt of about 11.2 trillion dollars, Kan feels any delay in reform will adversely affect financial markets.
He wants the reform plan to be officially adopted at the meeting of Cabinet ministers and officials of the governing coalition on Monday.
Some in the Cabinet are considering adding some economic conditions on the timing, while keeping the policy to raise the consumption tax unchanged.

Monday, June 20, 2011 11:47
Road tolls lifted in disaster-hit region
Nationwide projects aimed at encouraging people to travel in Japan and reviving local economies have ended.
The discounted toll system was introduced in March 2008 under the previous government as part of efforts to boost the economy following the global financial crisis.
Last June, tolls were removed on a test basis on parts of 37 highways mainly in rural areas, under the current government.
However, the projects were abolished on Sunday in order to secure revenues to fund the reconstruction of areas devastated by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
Instead, traveling on highways in the Tohoku region as well as Niigata and Ibaraki Prefectures became free on Monday for passenger cars being used by people affected by the disaster and the nuclear accident as well as trucks and buses.
On Sunday, parking areas in toll-free areas were crowded with cars as people took advantage of the last toll-free weekend.

Monday, June 20, 2011 12:15
Japan posts 2nd worst trade deficit in May
Japan posted its second worst trade deficit in May as the impact of the March 11th disaster continues to delay the country's economic recovery.
The Finance Ministry said on Monday in its preliminary report that the May trade deficit stood at 853.7 billion yen, or about 10.6 billion dollars. It was the second consecutive monthly deficit.
May's imports rose to about 70.2 billion dollars, up 12.3 percent in yen terms. The main factors behind the increase were soaring prices of oil and natural gas and demand for fuel to operate thermal power plants.
Exports totaled about 59.4 billion dollars, down 10.3 percent, due to decreasing exports of auto and electronic parts as supply chains were affected by the disaster.
The May trade deficit is the second worst on record after the financial crisis of January 2009.

Monday, June 20, 2011 13:21
Lowering humidity underway at reactor No.2
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant says the high humidity inside one of the reactor buildings has been lowered after an entrance was opened to vent air. It plans to bring the humidity low enough for workers to work inside by opening up another entrance.
Restoration work inside the No. 2 reactor building has been hampered by nearly 100% humidity caused by steam believed to be from the containment vessel and spent-fuel storage pool.
Tokyo Electric Power Company opened the entrance early Monday morning after it had filtered radioactive substances from the air inside the building. The utility says the humidity levels near the entrance and at other points has been lowered to around 60%.
But it says the reading near a cargo entrance, that utility plans to open on Monday afternoon, was still nearly 90%.
It hopes workers will be able to enter the building to begin calibrating a water level gauge for the reactor and other tasks.
The utility says radiation readings were between 5 and 27 millisieverts per hour inside, but no significant change in radiation levels has been observed outside the plant.
The No.2 reactor is believed to have released more radioactive substances than the other reactors at the plant after an explosion apparently damaged its suppression chamber.
The government has asked the utility to look into what exactly happened after the disaster along with efforts to stabilize the reactor.

Monday, June 20, 2011 13:30
Japanese-made robot off to Fukushima Daiichi
A robot developed in Japan for work at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was transported to the facility by truck on Monday. It will be the first domestic robot to be used at the plant since the nuclear crisis began in March.
Researchers at Chiba Institute of Technology, Tohoku University and other institutions developed and modified the robot for use inside the reactor buildings where radiation levels remain high.
The robot is equipped with a device to gauge and collect radioactive water. It also has supplemental rolling belts that allow it to move freely through debris and up and down steep staircases.
Tokyo Electric Power Company workers have been trained in how to operate the robot. They will first give it a test-run at the Number 5 reactor.
Eiji Koyanagi 小柳栄次 of the Chiba Institute of Technology says that since the robot is remote-controlled, workers can gather information from a safe distance that limits their radiation exposure.

Monday, June 20, 2011 14:17
Test of decontamination system continues
The operator of the damaged Fukushima power plant is struggling to fix the problem that caused the suspension of a system to decontaminate highly radioactive wastewater.
The system is designed to filter radioactive material, oil and salt from the contaminated water and to reuse the treated water to cool the reactors.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, halted the filtering system only 5 hours after it went into full operation on Friday. Readings around one of the system's devices indicated higher-than-expected radiation levels.
TEPCO engineers suspect that the density of radioactive substances in the contaminated water was greater than had been predicted.
They initially thought that the device had absorbed large volumes of oil and sludge containing radioactive material. But in a test conducted on Sunday, high radiation levels were registered for equipment set to the lowest of 3 absorption levels.
In another test on Monday, TEPCO adjusted the flow of the contaminated water through the equipment.
The radioactive wastewater is hampering work to bring the plant under control. The amount is increasing by 500 tons a day as fresh water is continuously being injected to cool the reactors. Storage facilities are filling up and a delay in restarting the filtering system could cause the water to overflow in about a week.
(Yesterday, I saw a special on TV, explaining this system. If I remember well, part of it comes from France, but altogether 6 companies are involved, each with a different part of the cleanup, one for oil, one for sludge ... and so on and it is hard to bring them under one cover ... )

Monday, June 20, 2011 14:36
Kesennuma prepares for reopening of fish market
Preparations are underway in Kesennuma City, northern Japan, to reopen a fish market that was damaged by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
Members of a local fisheries cooperative scrubbed the floor and equipment on Monday ahead of the reopening on Thursday. They were joined by 18 volunteers.
Since the earthquake and tsunami, work was completed repairing the grounds around the market. A new conveyer belt has been installed as the old one was swept away by the waves.
A co-op official says he is happy the repair work only took three months, instead of one or two years as initially anticipated. He says he hopes that a thriving market will help with the restoration of the entire city.
The market will handle only bonito for the time being.
Until March 11th, Kesennuma was the largest port in the country handling hauls of fresh bonito caught in coastal waters.
(I saw them struggle to get enough ice to cool the fresh fish catch. The ice producing company has been swept away by the tsunami.)

Monday, June 20, 2011 17:27
Reconstruction bill enacted
Japan's Diet has enacted a bill for rebuilding areas of eastern Japan stricken by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The bill passed the Upper House plenary session on Monday with a majority approval by the main governing Democratic Party, the largest opposition Liberal Democratic Party and some other parties.
The legislation includes setting up a government body that will plan, coordinate and implement policies for reconstruction as well as issuing special bonds to fund the efforts. It also requires designating the disaster-hit regions as special zones eligible for preferential rules to assist their recovery.
In addition, the bill requires establishing a government reconstruction task force and positioning a minister in charge of reconstruction measures.
In the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake that hit Kobe and the surrounding areas, a similar legislation was enacted about a month after the disaster. This time, however, the enactment took more than 3 months.

Monday, June 20, 2011 17:36
Okada asks PM to quit after passage of key bills
. The Political Situation .

Monday, June 20, 2011 18:13
Rice planted for radiation testing in Iitate
The government has planted rice in an experimental paddy in one of the evacuation zones near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant.
A government-affiliated research center on Monday planted rice in Iitate Village, where all agricultural products are under restricted cultivation. The village is located about 40 kilometers northwest of the plant.
An average of 2,600 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram of soil was detected in the rice paddy at 15 centimeters depth. The level is below the government's upper limit of 5,000 for rice paddies. Before contaminated surface soil was removed, the cesium level was four times higher.
The government will harvest rice from the paddy in October and then conduct tests for radioactive contamination. All residents in Iitate have been asked to evacuate.
Removing radioactive substances from rice paddies and vegetable fields is an urgent task needed to reconstruct the village.

Monday, June 20, 2011 19:00
IAEA ministerial meeting opens in Vienna
Ministers from International Atomic Energy Agency member countries are meeting to discuss ways to bolster nuclear safety following the accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
The 5-day meeting opened at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna on Monday. A record number of about 900 delegates are expected to attend, reflecting high interest in the Fukushima accident that dispersed radioactive materials beyond international borders.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in a speech that the agency should play a central role in ensuring the safety of nuclear power around the world.
Amano proposed that the agency conduct unannounced inspections on nuclear plants in its member states and establish a regional emergency response framework.
Japan's industry minister Banri Kaieda briefed the conference on developments at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Kaieda expressed the government's intention to maintain its nuclear energy policy on condition that the safety of power plants is guaranteed. Later on Monday, the ministers are scheduled to issue a declaration calling for an assessment of nuclear regulators and nuclear plants in the member states.
The declaration will also call for an international framework to swiftly respond to nuclear plant accidents or other emergencies.

Monday, June 20, 2011 19:00
2nd entrance opened at No.2 reactor
Two doors at a disabled reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been opened as a part of efforts to bring down humidity inside the building.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says the humidity near the entrance dropped to 58.7 percent on Monday morning when the first door was opened. The ventilation began only after the operator had filtered radioactive substances from the air inside the building. The second door was opened in the afternoon.
The humidity in the reactor building had been near 100 percent before the doors were opened because of steam believed to be from the containment vessel and a spent-fuel storage pool.
The utility now hopes workers will be able to enter the building to begin calibrating a water level gauge for the reactor and carrying out other tasks.
TEPCO says no significant change in radiation levels has been observed outside the plant.
The No.2 reactor is believed to have released more radioactive substances than the other damaged reactors.

Monday, June 20, 2011 19:55
Another TEPCO worker exceeds radiation limit
Preliminary research shows another worker at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may have been exposed to radiation above the limit.
Tokyo Electric Power Company reported the results of radiation checks on more than 1,100 workers at the plant to the health and labor ministry on Monday.
The ministry said one of the workers -- part of the maintenance staff at the plant -- is suspected of having been exposed to 335 millisieverts.
The figure exceeds the limit of 250 millisieverts set by the government for emergency situations.
The checks came after TEPCO found 3 additional workers had been exposed to radiation beyond the legal limit. Five more workers are suspected of having received doses of radiation above the limit.
The ministry has told the utility to conduct checks and report the results on 125 other workers, who were engaged in operations at the plant in March but have not undergone radiation screening.


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels .  

. . . . .

Japan Times :

Tepco airs out humid reactor No. 2 building
Tepco airs out the No. 2 reactor building at its radiation-spewing Fukushima power plant to reduce the humidity enough for repair crews to work inside.

Tepco report reveals lack of preparedness
A 41-page timeline of Tokyo Electric's initial actions in the first days of the Fukushima nuclear crisis reveals a lack of preparedness and severe difficulty coping with the debacle.

Tepco plays down decontamination failure
Tokyo Electric plays down concern that a solution to its nuclear plant crisis faces delays after finding more radiation than expected must be removed from millions of liters of water.

Quake tweets make their way into memorial books

Twitter was flooded with messages as users tried to contact people in the disaster zone with words of both concern and encouragement.
"Pray For Japan," a printed version of the prayforjapan.jp website, was the top-selling book at Kinokuniya Bookstore in New York in May, while the paperback "Quakebook" hit bookstores in Japan in mid-June. Both are written in English and Japanese. ...

17 prefectures leaning toward solar


Tohoku toll roads free for victims

Honda exits power-saving pact
Honda Motor Co. will withdraw from a nonbinding power-saving agreement involving the automobile industry and open some of its plants on Thursdays this summer to work on raising production, a company official said Saturday.
The official said the decision is "inevitable" because parts output hasn't been able to catch up with demand since the March 11 disasters, and its plans would be affected otherwise. ...

Draft for reconstruction

On June 11, just three months after a massive quake of magnitude 9.1 and a mega-tsunami devastated the Tohoku-Pacific coastal areas, the Reconstruction Design Council, a government panel responsible for drawing up a blueprint for reconstruction of the areas, made public a draft of its first proposal, which was to be handed to Prime Minister Naoto Kan over the weekend.
... The council is Mr. Kan's pet idea. He entrusted it with the work of drawing up a blueprint for reconstruction. But it is unclear whether the council's ideas will be faithfully implemented because Mr. Kan may soon step down as prime minister.
... The draft does not include a specific proposal such as moving local residents to elevated areas from coastal areas so that they will be relieved of the risk of exposure to future tsunami.
This is a difficult issue. Elderly people have strong affinity with their old communities. If the idea of rebuilding communities in coastal areas is abandoned, young people may stop engaging in fisheries and local fisheries may decline. Wide public discussions will be needed on this issue.


Tomo 友 - Anthology of Fiction  

Tomo (written 友, meaning “friend” in Japanese) is a forthcoming benefit anthology of short fiction set in or related to Japan for readers ages 12 and up. Tomo will be edited by Holly Thompson (www.hatbooks.com) and published in print and digital formats by Stone Bridge Press in Spring 2012.
Proceeds from the sale of Tomo will support teens affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.

source : tomoanthology.blogspot.com



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  1. .
    a tiny light
    in the darkness of Japan -
    first firefly

    Gabi, your haiku, "a tiny light," is really good!
    It's Basho-esque in its compression of largeness and smallness together in the brief haiku form (Japan/firefly). And your apt use of the word "darkness" evokes the political and social turmoil brought about by great natural disaster, as well as suggesting the electrical power shortages that I read recently are still affecting some areas.

    And your haiku ends on a note of hope and renewal with the image of the season's "first firefly," indicating that nature as we know it is still persisting, in the short-term anyway.


  2. Volunteer firefighters need care / Experts will treat PTSD, survivor's guilt

    The government will dispatch mental health experts to the three prefectures worst hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami to provide counseling for voluntary firefighters who may have been traumatized when they responded to the disaster.

    In the face of imminent tsunami, many volunteers did such dangerous work as trying to manually close floodgates and leading people to safety.

    In the three prefectures, a total of 249 voluntary firefighters died or went missing in the disaster.

    Volunteer firefighters usually are ordinary citizens who help extinguish fires and provide logistical support to their local fire departments. They also participate in local disaster management activities.

    The Yomiuri Shimbun

  3. Moody's cuts Japan's TEPCO to junk status

    Ratings agency Moody's on Monday downgraded TEPCO, the operator of Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, to below investment grade, warning the rating was on review for further possible action.

    Moody's cited a worse-than-thought situation at the Fukushima Daiichi plant and the uncertainty surrounding the level of state support for TEPCO as it faces massive compensation costs.

    The Japan unit of the major US credit rating firm said it downgraded Tokyo Electric Power's long-term issuer rating four notches to B1 from Baa3. Its senior secured debt rating was cut three notches to Ba2 from Baa2.

    "The latest downgrade reflects further escalation of costs and damages from the continuing Fukushima nuclear plant disaster and increased concern that government support measures may not completely protect creditors from losses," Moody's said in a statement.


  4. Anonymous6/21/2011

    March 11 quake freed hundreds of years of strain

    The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that shook Japan on March 11 released hundreds of years of tectonic strain, and has provided researchers with clues about where such large quakes could strike in the future, according to a study published in the journal Nature that provides more information on how the epic quake occurred.

    The March 11 earthquake is the fourth-largest ever recorded in the world. The quake struck off the coast of the Tohoku region of Japan, triggering a deadly tsunami that may have killed nearly 30,000 people.
    The quake deformed a stretch of ground 250 miles long and 124 miles wide, “a remarkably compact area,” according to Jean-Philippe Avouac, a geophysicist at Caltech, who was not involved with the study.

    The Japanese earthquake ruptured along the Japan Trench near the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates — huge, moving slabs of the Earth’s crust. The quake was a megathrust earthquake, where the Pacific plate dove underneath Japan at the Japan Trench. The seafloor was pushed away from Japan sending waves roaring toward Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast.

    The data suggest that the ground between the two tectonic plates slipped as much as 165 feet, twice the slip of other giant quakes such as the magnitude 9.4 off Sumatra in 2004 and the 9.0 in Chile in 2010. This massive movement is one reason why the Japan quake produced such a large tsunami. The slip was also shallower than might have been expected, and was in a notable location.


  5. Anonymous6/21/2011

    Environment Ministry to approve incineration of rubble contaminated with radiation

    The Environment Ministry has decided to approve the proposed incineration of rubble contaminated with radiation from the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant at existing incineration facilities equipped with exhaust gas filters and absorption devices, officials said.

    It made the decision after discussing how to safely dispose of rubble contaminated with radiation from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

    The ministry had initially urged local governments not to move radioactive rubble out of temporary storage sites. However, it will explain its decision to local governments concerned and ask them to resume their disposal of contaminated rubble as early as the end of this month.

    In working out basic policy for the disposal of radioactive rubble, the ministry principally followed the procedure of treating radioactive sludge from sewage disposal facilities near the plant.

    The policy is based on the assumption that residents near disposal sites will be exposed to less than 10 microsieverts of radiation a year.

    The ministry will allow local governments to bury burned rubble containing less than 8,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram of rubble at waterproof final disposal sites for ordinary waste. However, the ministry will ban such disposal sites from being converted to residential areas in the future.

    (Mainichi Japan) June 20, 2011

  6. Science Magazine reports that Japanese scientists have become so concerned about the health of their children that they have initiated their own radiation monitoring program and made their own maps.
    The results are shocking.
    It shows one wide belt of radiation reaching 225 kilometers south from the stricken reactors to Tokyo and another extending to the southwest. Within those belts are localized hot spots, including an oval that encloses northeast Tokyo and Kashiwa and neighboring cities in Chiba Prefecture.
    Meanwhile, a nuclear waste advisor to the Japanese government reported that about 966 square kilometres near the power station - an area roughly 17 times the size of Manhattan - is now likely uninhabitable.


  7. dawn prayers
    a light pierces through

    John Tiong Chunghoo