June 25, Saturday

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Tohoku Smiling - We love Tohoku !

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Another Haiku Collection from our Akita Friends

after the quake
the weathervane
pointing to earth

Michael Dylan Welch
source : Akita Haiku .


Gabi reports:

Maybe a sunny spell in the rainy season, with typhoon Nr. 5 roaring along off Okinawa, heading towart Korea and China.

39.8 in Kumagaya
Yesterday was the hottest day so far, even here it was more than 30 degrees centigrade in the shade of the backyard.
And this morning, already 25 degrees at nine o'clock.
By lunchtime, it is 32 degrees centigrade ...
At night, around nine, it is still 26 centigrade ... ufff

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Radiation results in Fukushima City

Radiation levels in parts of Fukushima City, about 60 kilometers from the disaster-stricken nuclear plant, have been found to require further monitoring.
Responding to residents' demands for more information, Fukushima City released on Friday the results of radiation checks conducted on June 17th and 20th at more than 1,000 sites, including public facilities and roads in residential areas.
Six locations, including a park in a municipal housing complex, registered radiation levels of over 3.4 microsieverts per hour when measured one meter above ground. This exceeds the prefecture's threshold for re-checking.
Radiation of over two microsieverts per hour was recorded at 182 sites.
The city said that it re-checked the six sites on Friday, and all locations registered lower radiation.
But the city intends to restrict use of the park in the public housing complex, where radiation of 4.15 microsieverts per hour, which exceeds the central government's limit of 3.8 microsieverts for a park, was recorded 50 centimeters above the ground.
A municipal official says the city will continue monitoring and post the results on its website.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government says radiation levels at 100 locations in Tokyo pose no health hazard, but that they are reading relatively high in some eastern areas.
source : NHK world news

Yesterday I met a friend, who's daughter lived very close to the spot where they now aknowledge high radiation of 6.65. He said they never trusted the government disclosures and she had come back to Okayama two days after the Fukushima accident. She now lives with grandpa and grandma and her two children, aged 1 and 2. The separation from the husband is a problem and they seriously consider giving up life in Fukushima and him coming down here, find work here and start a new life here.

Details of the NHK release from late last night are here:
. Friday, June 24, 2011 .  

The values in Frankfurt (Germany) are at about 1.62.
. Radioactivity in Germany .

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Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito is in Germany.
He expressed hope that Japan and Germany will seek new ways to join hands in disaster prevention.

Merkel briefs Crown Prince on nukes


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

Friday, June 24, 2011 20:40
Tokyo officials: Radiation levels all below limit
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government says radiation levels at 100 locations in Tokyo pose no health hazard, but that they are reading relatively high in some eastern areas.
Tokyo officials released on Friday the results of radiation monitoring conducted in the week up to Wednesday. The monitoring was carried out in response to public concern about contamination from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Measurements were made at 5 centimeters and one meter above the ground.
The average of the 5-centimeter readings was 0.067 microsieverts per hour. The figure for the one-meter readings was 0.061 microsieverts per hour.
The highest level was detected at an elementary school in Katsushika Ward in eastern Tokyo, where the reading for the 5-centimeter point was 0.19 microsieverts and 0.2 microsieverts for the one-meter point. Both were about triple the average.
Seven other wards near Katsushika also recorded higher-than-average radiation levels.
Tokyo Metropolitan University Associate Professor Tsuguhisa Kato says wind directions and river flows possibly caused radiation levels to rise in eastern areas.
He says residents do not need to worry too much, as the readings are still below the safety limit. He called on the authorities to continue their efforts.
The results are available on the website of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health.

Saturday, June 25, 2011 08:56
Reports on Fukushima reactors made public
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has made public on its website documents revealing what happened at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The agency on Friday posted on its website Tokyo Electric Power Company's reports, which were submitted to the agency between March 11th and May 31st. The documents totaled 11,000 pages.
It says the government used these documents as reference material when it compiled a report on the nuclear crisis, which was submitted earlier this month to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Documents submitted to the government were handwritten up to March 19th, during which the Fukushima Daiichi plant was left without electricity.
Goshi Hosono, the prime minister's advisor on the Fukushima accident, spoke about the documents in a news conference on Friday.
He said he has insisted on their release since they include an account of how the plant operator came to use seawater to cool down reactors.
Hosono also said their release was delayed due to the volume of the reports.
The agency says documents submitted after June 1st will also be made available on its website.

Saturday, June 25, 2011 13:21
TEPCO unable to gauge No.2 reactor water level
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it still cannot obtain accurate data on the water level and pressure of the Number 2 reactor. It says a provisional measuring device installed earlier this week is not operating properly.
Tokyo Electric Power Company believes that readings by the original device are incorrect due to damage suffered in the March disaster.
Workers at the utility company entered the Number 2 reactor building and installed the provisional gauge on Wednesday. The company initially planned to have the gauge begin providing data on Thursday. But it says as of Saturday, the device is not yet working properly.
TEPCO says this is because the temperature near the reactor containment vessel is so high that water inside the device's pipes has evaporated.
Fuel meltdowns are believed to have occurred at the Number 1 through Number 3 reactors, leading to a possibility that there is little water left inside the Number 2 reactor.
Accurate measurement of the water level is essential for ensuring stable cooling of the reactor.
The utility is struggling to find ways to activate the device.

Saturday, June 25, 2011 22:12
Panel proposes tax increase to fund reconstruction
A government panel has compiled a set of proposals on how to rebuild areas devastated by the March 11th disaster that includes increasing taxes.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan says the government intends to make best use of the proposals when it compiles a reconstruction policy.
The proposals are the outcome of a series of discussions by the Reconstruction Design Council.
The council says the expected huge costs for reconstruction should not be passed on to future generations, and that the government should consider raising core taxes, including consumption and income taxes, for a limited time.
It also proposes a system which would allow local governments in the disaster hit region to use state subsidies at their discretion.
On disaster prevention policy, the council says instead of rebuilding breakwaters and coastal levees that proved ineffective in stopping tsunami, parts of towns and cities that are vulnerable must be moved inland or to higher ground.
The panel says a special zone should be established in affected areas to promote the fishing industry.
As for the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the proposals include establishing a forum that will focus on reconstruction and environment-related technologies.
On future energy policy, the council points to the need to promote renewable energy and power saving, including implementing a system that will require power companies to purchase electricity generated by renewable energies.
The government is expected to forge a basic reconstruction policy based on the proposals, and draw up a third extra budget draft.
(We see TV reports about people who want to re-do their half-destroyed homes, but can not by the necessary wood panles, window panes or roof tiles. Most materials are out of stock in the local homecenters, who usually have large stocks of this material.)


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels .  

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Japan Times :

Matsumoto to head reconstruction
Environment Minister Ryu Matsumoto is chosen to fill the new post of state minister in charge of reconstructing areas ravaged by the March 11 quake and tsunami, ruling party sources say amid speculation over other lineup changes in the offing.

Monju reactor unclogged for restart
A device that fell last August into the vessel of the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, is finally retrieved, paving the way for resumed test runs by fall, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency says.

Rebuilding to cost Yen 16.9 trillion


Donations soar via hometown tax break

Osaka's plains at risk of Nankai tsunami, expert warns

Kesennuma refloating tsunami-beached ships

Tepco pensions may be tapped for redress

Landslides strand 1,200 in Nagano
About 1,200 people including tourists and hotel employees spent the night cut off in the Kamikochi highland resort of Nagano Prefecture after massive mudslides shut down the only route in or out, prefectural officials said Friday.

Saitama's Kumagaya roasts at 39.8

39.8 in Kumagaya

Japanese amulets and talismans

. Masaru - to ward off evil in Fukushima .  
Fukushima Inari Shrine



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  1. Nuke crisis evacuees to visit homes without protective gear over heat stroke

    Starting June 28, evacuees on brief visits to their homes in the Fukushima nuclear crisis exclusion zone will not have to wear protective gear -- a change prompted by heat stroke concerns, the government announced on June 24.

    The governmental task force dealing with the nuclear crisis said evacuees can wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers. If clothes are exposed to higher radiation levels than the limit, they will be collected.

    (Mainichi Japan) June 25, 2011

  2. Anonymous7/12/2011

    Jellyfish, With Numbers Increasing From Warming Waters and Pollution, Force Shutdown of Power Plants

    Huge amounts of jellyfish have forced the shutdown of nuclear power plants in Japan, already hit by the earthquake and tsunami, Scotland and a coal-powered plant in Israel in the past few weeks.

    And a sustained explosion in the population of jellyfish throughout the world's oceans has the potential to be "quite catastrophic" if it is not checked, said jellyfish expert Dr Jamie Seymour from James Cook University in Queensland.
    ... the cooling system at one nuclear reactor of the Shimane plant in western Japan was blocked after a jellyfish invasion.


  3. Anonymous7/12/2011

    The No.2 reactor at the Shimane nuclear power plant was attacked by an angry pack of jellyfish. As shown in the photo above and video below, the jellyfish mostly blocked the intake of the cooling seawater supply on Thursday evening.

    The Shimane nuclear power plant provides much of the electricity to the Hiroshima region of western Japan, the No.2 reactor the only one functioning and online at the Shimane nuclear power plant, which was troublesome news since electricy demand was very high at the time because of the record-setting heatwave that Japan has been in the grips of this week.