June 22, Wednesday

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Takasaki Rabbit Daruma to Help Japan !
高崎だるまで応援しています !

source : Yoshida Daruma Shop

. Takasaki Daruma Dolls . 高崎だるま .


Gabi reports:

Prime Minister Kan may resign by the end of August
. The Political Situation . INFO .

. . . . .

Matsurin from Takata 松りん 高田

The Matsubara pine grove from Rikuzen Takata has been destroyed by the tsunami, only one pine was standing!

Matsubara ya
one pine left standing
in the rubble  

. Sunday, April 3, 2011 .  

Now this pine is in danger, since the ground sank more than one meter and its roots are now in salty water. The people who want to protect the tree as a symbol for the city built a wall around the compound and pour clear water in it. They also fortified the trunk of the pine to keep it standing. But the top has now withered to a brownish color now, three months later.
The women of Takata have come together also and produce little items with this pine, for example straps for handy cellphones, like the MATSURIN in the photo above.

The name MATSU means "to wait", in old legends to wait for the deities to come down to the trees and interact with the humans.
Now the people of Takata wait for a miracle too.

. We love Takata! photos

Update on September 11, 2011
A single pine tree that survived the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami in this city is now in danger of dying, the Japan Greenery Research and Development Center said in a Sept. 10 statement issued on its website.

According to the center's statement, many of the tree's new shoots, observed in the beginning of July, have changed from green to brown over two months, showing signs that the tree may be in danger of dying. It is believed that the cause may be related to salt water seeping into the earth around its roots after the sinking of land in the area following the quake, which brought the tree much closer to the shore than its previous location.
source : mdn.mainichi.jp

. . . . .

Today it was very hot and humid. In Kanto it was about 36.3 centigrade, in Shiogama (Tohoku) it rose to 32.4. Even in Tokyo it was above 30 degrees centigrade ... the hot summer is coming !
There ahve been more than 640 cases of heatstroke this year already!
And I turned on the aircondigioning for the first time this year.


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

Selling food products from tsunami-hit companies
A department store in Tokyo is featuring food products made by companies hit by the March 11th disaster amid its seasonal sales push. Products from 3 companies in quake-hit Miyagi Prefecture are among the provisions the store began promoting on Tuesday.
Canned mackerel --- an Ishinomaki City specialty produced by a local marine products firm --- is selling particularly well. The mackerel being sold is in undamaged cans recovered from the rubble after the quake and tsunami.
One shopper said he thinks selling products from quake-hit firms is a great idea because people can enjoy the food while also helping the companies to get back on their feet.
A department store spokesperson said Ishinomaki mackerel has a good reputation with customers, so the store decided to sell the recovered cans after it was determined they were safe.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 06:10
Municipal heads go anti-nuclear
Municipal heads and reconstruction experts are discussing ways to reduce the use of nuclear power after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Japan has 54 reactors, which accounted for 29 percent of the country's electricity generation in 2009. Thirty-five, or about two-thirds of them, have suspended operations because of the March 11th disaster, regular inspections or government requests.
On June 15th, a panel of experts in Fukushima Prefecture agreed on a draft of basic concepts for reconstruction that includes the idea of abandoning nuclear power and promoting renewable energy.
The head of a town in Yamaguchi Prefecture, where the Chugoku Electric Power Company aims to operate a nuclear plant in 7 years, indicated the possibility of reviewing the town's nuclear-tolerant stance.
Kaminoseki Mayor Shigemi Kashiwabara told the municipal assembly on Tuesday that the town needs to consider breaking free from nuclear power.
The mayor of Osaka City, Kunio Hiramatsu, has suggested that Kansai Electric Power Company should pursue new energy sources to replace nuclear power.
Goshi Hosono, the prime minister's advisor for the Fukushima accident, said it is natural for municipal heads and others to voice their objections to nuclear power amid the disaster at the Fukushima plant.
He added that to protect people's lives, the government will operate functional nuclear reactors while ensuring the maximum level of safety.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 06:10
Govt to issue bonds for TEPCO compensation
The Japanese government plans to issue a massive amount of special bonds to help Tokyo Electric Power Company compensate victims of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
On June 14th, the Cabinet approved a bill to help TEPCO pay compensation for nuclear-related damage. It later submitted the bill to the current session of the Diet.
The legislation calls for the establishment of a new body to boost TEPCO's capital and extend loans to the utility. The necessary funds will be raised by issuing special bonds.
The government will make arrangements to include special bonds worth one trillion yen, or 12.4 billion dollars, in the second supplementary budget for the current fiscal year. TEPCO would repay the loans using its annual profits.
The government says it will try to minimize the final burden on the public. But the opposition is objecting to the compensation framework.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 06:10
IAEA ministers agree on emergency reactor checks
Member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency have agreed on the need for emergency inspections of nuclear reactors around the world.
The agreement came on Tuesday, the second day of the IAEA's ministerial meeting in Vienna. A working session was held to discuss nuclear safety based on the lessons from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Some delegates said it is not appropriate to study universal safety measures based on the Fukushima disaster. They said the accident was a special case, as the plant was hit by tsunami more than double the predicted height.
Other delegates voiced the need for stricter safety procedures to prevent nuclear plants from completely losing their backup power sources.
The chairman of the working session, Michael Weightman, expressed hope that the delegates will use the lessons from the Fukushima accident to draw up an action plan to bolster nuclear safety on Friday, the final day of the conference.
However, rifts are emerging between the nuclear and non-nuclear countries on how to strengthen safety. Attention is focused on whether IAEA member nations will be able to overcome their differences and come up with specific measures.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 11:23
Rainy season adds to troubles at Fukushima plant
Tokyo Electric Power Company is stepping up efforts to prevent possible overflows of highly radioactive water building up at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as the region enters the rainy season.
More than 110,000 tons of highly contaminated water is believed to have accumulated in the basements of reactor and turbine buildings at the plant. The water is increasing by about 500 tons a day, as fresh water must be injected into reactors to cool them down.
The annual rainy season began on Tuesday in the region where the nuclear plant is located, raising concerns that the wastewater could overflow. If 100 millimeters of rain falls over the complex, it may raise water levels in the basements of the turbine buildings by about 50 to 70 millimeters.
TEPCO has been trying to operate a crucial system to decontaminate the highly radioactive water so that it can be recycled to cool the reactors. But as a series of problems has surfaced, it may take 2 more days to finish test runs on the system before full-scale operation.
In an effort to slow down the increase of contaminated water as much as possible, TEPCO decreased water injection into troubled reactors by up to 1.5 tons per hour each from Tuesday.
The company also piled up sandbags around building entrances to prevent rainwater from pouring in. But the measure may have only a limited effect, as some of the buildings had their roofs blown off by explosions.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 13:04
Temperature at No.3 reactor rises
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says temperatures at the No.3 reactor have started to rise after it reduced the injection rate of cooling water. The cutback is part of efforts to prevent possible overflows of radioactive water at the facility.
On Tuesday, Tokyo Electric Power Company reduced the amount of fresh water it has been injecting into 3 of the plant's reactors. The volume was cut back by 0.5 tons per hour at the No. 1 and 2 reactors, and by 1 ton at the No.3 reactor.
TEPCO says that by 5 AM on Wednesday, temperatures at the upper and lower parts of the No.3 reactor had risen by 4 and 7 degrees Celsius, respectively, from the day before. But it says temperatures at the other 2 reactors remained relatively stable.
The company says it will carefully monitor the No.3 reactor but will keep the rate of water injection unchanged. It added that it will further reduce the rate of water injection into the other 2 reactors by 0.5 tons per hour.
TEPCO is facing difficulties in striking a balance between cooling down the reactors and limiting the amount of highly radioactive water threatening to spill out.
More than 110,000 tons of such water is believed to have accumulated at the nuclear complex. Tuesday's start of the annual rainy season has also added to fears of overflows.
TEPCO has yet to start full operation of a crucial system to decontaminate the wastewater. It hopes to use the treated water to cool the reactors.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 14:58
Clearing rubble under a scorching sun
Residents and volunteers are clearing rubble under the scorching sun in a disaster-stricken town in Miyagi Prefecture.
About 20 local residents were working hard in the town of Minamisanriku on Wednesday. They wore straw hats under their helmets and cold towels around their necks to avoid heatstroke, as the mercury rose above 30 degrees Celsius before noon.
Retired firefighters from Tokyo and Niigata prefectures were volunteering in the cleanup of a local government building that had been left untouched since the March disaster.
One of them said he would be drinking a lot of water to prevent heatstroke as the temperature continues to rise.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 16:04
Tsunami-hit rice farmer uses salt-removal device
A rice farmer in a tsunami-devastated city is using a specially developed tool to lower the density of salt in his paddy without damaging the seedlings.
Hiroshi Ouchi of Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture operated the device on Wednesday. It was jointly developed by a fellow farmer and an agricultural equipment maker.

The density of salt in rice paddies can be lowered by mixing the soil with fresh water. In normal conditions, this can only be done before planting. But the new tool has 20-centimeter-diameter rollers that run between the seedlings.
Ouchi had worked to remove salt before the planting, but the density remained higher than usual, endangering the plants.
He will try again using the new tool several more times over the next month.
Ouchi says it's his first such attempt, but he thinks it is effective and hopes for a good harvest.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 17:37
Reconstruction panel proposes tax raise
A government panel has finalized a draft on proposals including a tax increase to fund efforts to rebuild areas hit by the March disaster.
The draft compiled on Wednesday says the reconstruction costs should be shouldered by the entire nation and not passed on to future generations. The draft says that if the government is to issue bonds to cover the costs, it must consider raising consumption, income or other key taxes.
The draft also contains a proposal that local governments use a system of special economic zones in the disaster area. The panel stressed the need to establish a fishery revival zone in areas devastated by the tsunami to promote the entry of private firms into the industry.
As for the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the draft also stresses the need to clarify the government's responsibility and set up a panel to discuss with Fukushima Prefecture how to recover.
The panel plans to submit the proposals to Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Saturday.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 17:37
Kyoto seeks accord on Fukui nuclear plants
Japan's Kyoto Prefecture has made emergency requests to a utility to seek agreement on the safety of nuclear power plants in neighboring Fukui Prefecture.
The government of Kyoto and its 26 municipalities made the requests to the Kansai Electric Power Company on Wednesday. Kyoto Prefecture has no nuclear plants but Fukui has 11 reactors at 3 Kansai Electric plants. Operations at some of the reactors are suspended for regular checkups.
Kyoto asked the firm not to resume the operations or make any changes to key equipment without the prefecture's consent, and to hold periodic consultations to draw up a disaster management plan.
Kyoto says the requests were necessary to safeguard its people, and that it hopes Kansai Electric will fully examine the requests and come up with a positive answer.
Following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture, Kyoto has widened its areas to be used in case of evacuation of residents due to accidents in Fukui.
Japanese power companies with nuclear plants have safety agreements with municipalities where the plants are located, but not with neighboring prefectures.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 17:46
Diet session to be extended through August 31
Japan's Diet has voted to extend its current session through August 31st to deliberate on key bills, including one to issue debt-covering government bonds.
The main governing Democratic Party on Wednesday asked the opposition to extend the session.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 18:34
Chain store sales down 2 months in a row
Japan's chain store sales in May dropped from a year earlier for the second consecutive month due to the impact of the March 11th disaster.
The Japan Chain Stores Association says sales at stores that operate nationwide amounted to about 13.2 billion dollars.
... The association says that a major recovery is not yet in sight, as consumers remain cautious, a trend continuing since the March disaster.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 18:34
No initial information on accident reached 6 towns

Six of 10 municipalities around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant say they received no evacuation information from the central and local governments just after the March 11th nuclear accident.
NHK asked the 10 municipalities under evacuation orders in Fukushima Prefecture whether they were given information on how and where to evacuate their residents immediately after the crisis began.
The central and local governments are required to give such information to relevant municipalities when serious accidents take place at nuclear plants.
The plant's operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, was also required to tell 5 nearby municipalities what was happening at the plant, but did not do so properly.
One of the municipalities, Okuma Town, received 80 fax messages from the utility, while another, Namie Town, received none. Namie says the lack of information caused delays in making evacuation calls and securing shelters, resulting in confusion.
The central government, Fukushima Prefecture and the company say they tried to contact the municipalities in various ways but failed, possibly due to communication disruptions caused by the massive earthquake.
They say they plan to improve their communications capability.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 18:41
Work begins inside No.2 reactor building
The operator of the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant reports considerable lessening of humidity at the Number 2 reactor but radioactivity remains high in some parts of the building.
Extreme humidity was one of the factors hampering work inside the reactor building. The humidity level stood at 99.9 percent until Sunday when the Tokyo Electric Power Company opened the doors to lower the level after filtering radioactive air inside.
On Wednesday afternoon, workers found humidity levels inside the building to be between 46 and 65 percent.
Following the findings, they began fixing a water gauge and installing surveillance cameras on the ground floor.
High radiation levels were measured at some spots on the second floor. In one area readings came in at 97.2 millisieverts per hour, compared 15 to 60 millisieverts per hour on the ground floor.
Wastewater contaminated with nuclear material was 6.1 meters deep in the basement, with surface radiation levels between 388 and 430 millisieverts per hour.
Work on the second floor was scheduled to start on Thursday but was postponed because of the high radiation levels there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 19:41
Anti-nuclear conference to be held in Fukushima
The Japan Congress against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs plans to host an international anti-nuclear conference next month in Fukushima Prefecture, site of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The group says the prefectural capital of Fukushima will be one of the venues for its annual world conference. The conference will also be held in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa.
The Fukushima conference, scheduled for July 31st, will include lectures by survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Discussions on nuclear power generation will also be held. Participants are scheduled to stage a march to call for the suspension or abolishment of nuclear power.
The secretary general of the organization, Yasunari Fujimoto 藤本泰成, says he hopes the conference will help lead to a society where nuclear power is abolished by national consensus. He added that priorities should be given to people's lives, not to the economy.
Another anti-nuclear group, the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, also plans to discuss the eradication of nuclear power at its world conference in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August.
A third group, the Japan Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs Sufferers Organizations, says it will also promote its campaign against nuclear power generation.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 22:01
Researchers simulate Fukushima radiation spread
A group of Japanese researchers have created a computer simulation of how radioactive substances from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant spread across the globe.
Researchers at the University of Tokyo and Kyushu University on Wednesday released images of the simulation using a forecast system for air pollution and yellow sand.
The simulation was based on the scenario in which contaminated air was vented from the crippled No.2 reactor building on March 14th, 3 days after the massive earthquake and tsunami.
The simulation shows some of the radioactive material was carried 5,000 meters into the air by ascending currents of a low-pressure system that passed near Japan the next day. Computer images show the substances were then carried by westerly winds and spread over the Pacific Ocean.
The images indicate that on the 4th day after being vented the substances reached the west coast of the United States, and on the 7th day they approached Iceland after crossing the Atlantic.


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels .  

. . . . .

Japan Times :

Water treatment delayed again
Tepco says a pump on its new radioactive water treatment system at the Fukushima No. 1 plant halted automatically during a trial run, freezing up the entire apparatus.

IAEA raps regulators for underestimating tsunami threat

Nation needs nuclear power for main energy source: Kepco head
Shosuke Mori 森詳介, chairman of Kansai Electric Power Co., the nation's second-biggest utility.
... "The proportion of alternative energy sources will probably increase after Fukushima," Mori, 70, said. "It may rise to 2 or 3 percent, but not to the level that can replace nuclear power, because supply is too unstable and expensive."

Minamisanriku must pay rent on temporary facility
... has been stunned to learn it has to pay rent on prefabricated buildings that were used by an Israeli emergency medical team and now serve as a clinic, officials said Tuesday.
... Sato, along with the Israeli ambassador to Japan and Jin Sato, mayor of Minamisanriku, agreed in early April that the town would continue to use the buildings, but its officials said they were unaware that they would have to pay about ¥2.1 million to rent the buildings for three years.

Disaster-hit Tohoku off school excursion map

School excursions to the Tohoku region have decreased by as much as 90 percent following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and the ongoing nuclear crisis, local officials said Tuesday.
Many schools have changed their destinations from Tohoku due to fear of aftershocks and radioactive materials released by the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, the officials said.


TEPCO can't find 69 plant workers for radiation checks
The whereabouts of 69 people who had worked at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant remain unknown, including 30 who have not even been identified, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said June 20.
Government officials are criticizing TEPCO's sloppy management of paperwork on the workers, saying it is now hampering follow-up radiation checks and allowed potential terrorists to enter the plant's site.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare instructed TEPCO to locate the workers immediately for radiation-exposure tests.
TEPCO determined that 3,639 people worked at the plant from the onset of the nuclear accident to March 31. ...
source : www.asahi.com


Japan will show us flowers again!
Chikori Daruma


source : jakeandwess.com

. Earthquake Daruma .



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  1. Anonymous6/22/2011

    Cumulative radiation reaches as high as 82 millisieverts

    Cumulative radiation outside the 20-kilometer radius of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the past three months has reached as high as 82 millisieverts, more than four times the yardstick of 20 millisieverts a year, a science ministry estimate showed Tuesday.

    The highest level was detected in a part of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, around 22 kilometers northwest of the nuclear plant crippled since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

    Namie is among the designated evacuation areas lying outside of the no-entry zone where radiation levels are feared to exceed the annual limit of 20 millisieverts.

    Of 160 monitoring sites in the designated areas outside the no-entry zone, 23 registered radiation levels exceeding 20 millisieverts over the three-month period, the ministry said.



  2. Anonymous6/22/2011


    Detection of radioactive materials in the soil in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (19th release)

    As part of monitoring activity of the surrounding environment, we conducted an analysis of plutonium contained in the soil collected on March 21 and 22 at the 5 spots in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
    As a result, plutonium 238, 239 and 240 were detected. (Previously announced)

    As a result of plutonium analysis in the soil from the samples at the 3 periodic sampling spots collected on June 6 and June 9, plutonium 238, 239, and 240 were detected as shown in the attachment 1. In addition, as a result of nuclide analysis of the gamma ray contained in the soil, radioactive materials were detected as shown in the attachment 2.

    As a result of americium and curium analysis in the soil from the samples at the 3 periodic sampling spots collected on May 2, curium 242 was detected as shown in the attachment 3.

    Today, we informed the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and the government of Fukushima Prefecture of the results.