June 5, Sunday

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Working with Haiku poets Alan Summers, founder of With Words, and Hidenori Hiruta, Secretary General of the Akita International Haiku Network, I’m illustrating two mandala prints to sit alongside the beautiful Haiku they’ve kindly created. The prints will be auctioned as a pair.
100% of proceeds will be donated to
the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.

Sarah Jane Robertson, Creative Director at Creative State in UK,
source : http://www.creativestate.co.uk

see mandala below


Gabi reports:

Late last night
Prime Minister Kan implies step-down in not-too-distant future

. The Political Situation .

. . . . .

In the small fishing town of Yamada in Iwate the shopkeepers have set up a "temporary shopping mall" in a tent constructed in a park 岩手県山田町で 仮設商店街 .
CLICK for more photos
Villagers were happy to see each other again, confirm their "kizuna" bonds and do some shopping on the side. Hopefully this will help to speed up the reconstruction of the town.

quote  from May 11:  
Disaster-struck town to set up makeshift stores in tent
... A turn of events came after the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) lent them a large tent measuring 240 square meters for food stockpiling. In mid-April, shopkeepers hit on the idea of using the tent to accommodate makeshift stores.
source : mdn.mainichi.jp

bit by bit -
a little market
binds the hearts

. . . . .

Yesterday the crown prince Naruhito and his wife Masako on Saturday visited Miyagi Prefecture, Iwanuma city.


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

Sunday, June 05, 2011 09:04
Latest video of Fukushima plant
Nearly 3 months after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant bringing the damaged reactors under control is still elusive.
NHK has obtained new video footage showing the severely damaged reactor buildings.
Workers engaged in operations to restore cooling systems are based in this quake-proof building at the plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO.
This video footage was shot by some workers late last month. ...
It has been almost 3 months since the nuclear accident but there is no sign of the situation stabilizing.

Sunday, June 05, 2011 10:50
High radiation levels around ditches in Fukushima
High radiation levels have been detected above roadside drainage ditches in Fukushima Prefecture, which hosts the crippled nuclear power plant.
Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission tested radiation levels in the air about 1 meter from the ground at a business district in the prefectural capital on May 24th and 25th.
The test detected radiation of 3 to 4 microsieverts per hour above ditches covered with mud and fallen leaves. The level reached nearly 100 microsieverts in the mud. It is believed that radioactive dust has accumulated in the mud and leaves.
The results are higher than those in other parts of the city, which were 1 to 2 microsieverts at the same locations.
The commission has noted the need to remove highly radioactive mud and leaves from ditches along busy streets. It calls on people to wear masks and gloves to prevent inhalation of radioactive substances during that work.

Sunday, June 05, 2011 10:50
Pressure in No.1 reactor drops close to atmosphere
Tokyo Electric Power Company has found that pressure inside the Number 1 reactor at its Fukushima Daiichi power plant has dropped to close to the outside atmospheric pressure. It reaffirms that the reactor has been damaged.
The reactor is believed to have suffered a meltdown after the March 11th disaster. The meltdown apparently created holes in the pressure vessel and damaged the containment vessel, letting highly radioactive water flow below ground in the turbine building.
Pressure inside an operating reactor is normally around 70 atmospheres. But after the disaster, the pressure indicator showed 6 atmospheres in the Number 1 reactor, raising questions about data reliability.
On Friday, the utility replaced the gauge with a new one and made measurements again.
The reading was 1.26 atmospheres as of 11 AM on Saturday, almost equal to normal air pressure. The company says this proves that air inside the reactor is escaping outside.
But the utility estimates that the lack of a big hole in the reactor is keeping steam inside, leading to the slightly higher interior pressure.
TEPCO is also planning to install new pressure gauges at the Number 2 and 3 reactors to assess the situation accurately.

Sunday, June 05, 2011 11:59
Radioactive water leak to be prevented for 3 days
Tokyo Electric Power Company has decided to increase the transfer of radioactive water by about 1,500 tons to a facility at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The company says the transfer can keep contaminated water from leaking outside for about 3 days.
More than 105,000 tons of contaminated water is thought to have accumulated in the basements of the reactor and turbine buildings. An additional 500 tons or so flows into the basements per day as a result of the injection of water into the reactors.
The situation is raising concern about the possible overflow of contaminated water.
On Saturday, TEPCO obtained Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency permission to increase the water transfer from its initial plan. It began transferring 12 tons of water per hour from the basement of the Number 2 turbine building to the basement of a facility for nuclear waste.
The utility will start filtering 1,200 tons of highly radioactive water per day on June 15th. It also plans to set up tanks to store 10,000 tons of water underground at the plant in the middle of August.

Sunday, June 05, 2011 14:42
F1 race at shopping district to help damaged areas
A Formula One racing car has run through a shopping district in Yokohama to support the recovery of areas hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
Shop owners held the event at the city's main shopping area on Sunday.
This is the first time an F-1 car ran on a public road in Japan. Over 10,000 people enjoyed the event, taking photos of the car as it raced along the street with roaring sounds.
At the venue, donations were collected to be sent to disaster-hit areas through the Japanese Red Cross society.

Sunday, June 05, 2011 23:21
Plutonium found outside Fukushima plant
Minute amounts of plutonium have been detected for the first time in soil outside the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Shinzo Kimura of Hokkaido University collected the roadside samples in Okumamachi, some 1.7 kilometers west of the front gate of the power station. They were taken during filming by NHK on April 21st, one day before the area was designated as an exclusion zone.
Professor Masayoshi Yamamoto and researchers at a Kanazawa University laboratory analyzed the samples and found minute amounts of 3 kinds of plutonium.
The samples of plutonium-239 and 240 make up a total of 0.078 becquerels per kilogram.
This is close to the amount produced by past atomic bomb tests.
But the 3 substances are most likely to have come from the plant blasts, as their density ratio is different from those detected in the past.
Professor Yamamoto said the quantities are so minute that people's health will not be harmed.
But he recommended that the contamination near the plant should be fully investigated, saying that a study may shed light on how radioactive materials spread in the air.


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels .  

. . . . .

Japan Times :

Kan said planning to leave office by August
Prime Minister Naoto Kan has decided to step down no later than August, according to sources close to him and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.

Tepco projecting ¥570 billion net loss in 2012
Tokyo Electric Power Co. is expected to post an unconsolidated net loss of ¥570 billion for the business year to March 2012, excluding compensation to those affected by the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis, an internal document shows.

Radiation in No. 1 reactor building at highest level yet
Radiation of up to 4,000 millisieverts per hour has been detected in the building housing the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. says.

Poor wheelchair access killed many

Asia-Pacific disaster base proposed

for the art lover:
Horyuji: Buddhism's cradle in Japan


haiku © Alan Summers
translation © Hidenori Hiruta
image/poster © Sarah Jane Robertson

More details about the project:
source : area17.blogspot.com . Alan Summers



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  1. TEPCO eyes design flaw in hydrogen explosion
    asahi shinbun

    A design flaw in the exhaust system within the reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant may have caused a hydrogen explosion at the No. 1 reactor March 12 that blew the top off the structure.

    The same type of exhaust and venting system is installed at other nuclear plants in Japan, meaning a major review will likely be required at those plants.

    TEPCO officials now believe that venting the containment vessel at the No. 1 reactor to reduce pressure within the vessel and prevent damage may have led to hydrogen gas flowing back into the reactor building, rather than outside as originally designed.

    A valve in a separate exhaust system that is supposed to stop a reverse flow of hydrogen gas back into the building failed because all power to the reactor was lost in the hours after the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

    TEPCO executives admitted flaws in the design for the exhaust system could have been a factor leading to the hydrogen explosion.

    According to internal TEPCO documents, the No. 1 reactor has two emergency exhaust systems. One is the standby gas treatment system (SGTS), which releases gas from the reactor building through a filter to the outer atmosphere.

    The other system is a pressure-resistant vent pipe, which releases gas from within the containment vessel to the outer atmosphere.

    The two separate systems eventually join into a single pipe which is connected to the exhaust cylinder that releases all gas into the atmosphere.

    When venting the containment vessel at the No. 1 reactor, the valve for the SGTS stuck in the open position after the reactor was automatically stopped following the quake. The subsequent loss of power source led to an inability to close the valve.

    TEPCO officials believe hydrogen gas that should have been released from the vent pipe flowed back into the reactor building through the open SGTS valve after reaching the point where the two exhaust systems converge.

    The hydrogen gas that flowed back into the reactor building is believed to have accumulated and led to the hydrogen explosion.

    The No. 1 reactor also did not have a valve designed specifically to prevent the reverse flow of gas back into the reactor building.

    . . .


  2. On a happier note, those two haiku that Sarah Jane Robertson made into posters raised over £500.

    Here are more images, including close ups, of the process of those poster haiku: Poster Haiku

    all my best,

    Alan, With Words

  3. Anonymous6/06/2011

    Fukushima Mama –
    Protest 20msv/year Radiation Level - Higher Than Chernobyl Evacuation Limits

    A mother of five children in Fukushima founded Citizen’s Network called ‘Radiological Protection for Our Children Fukushima Network’ visited Sapporo and gave us her lecture yesterday June 5.

    The mom, Ms. Sachiko Sato told us what happened starting right after the 311 earthquake and Fukushima Nuclear Plant’s cripple was the community falling-down. The people who had been against Nuclear Power Plant and aware the immediate danger quickly evacuated to safer places in a few days. But those were minority including Sato family. Most of the Fukushima people are staying except 20 km area evacuees.

    May 2, Ms. Sato and the group went to Tokyo to negotiate with Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to lower the limit of 20msv/year (the video attached) for their children, handing out the soil scraped from a school ground which displayed on the radioactive counter some 30 micro sv/hour. On May 23rd, the same group went to Ministry of Education to urge altering the high maximum level of 20 msv/year lowering down to 1msv/year. Finally on May 27, the Ministry announced that they would aim to reduce the figure of 1msv/year in the school yard: shaving the ground to lower the radiation so that children can play outside. This is only school ground. What about the route from their house to school? Or other parks and streets? In other words, the whole area?







  4. Anonymous6/06/2011

    A rabbit without ears was born in Fukushima ... kawaiii ? or not ? a reaction to radiation? or just a coincidence? Its brothers and sisters are all OK.

    mimi nashi usagi

    .2011年5月22日 ... なんと福島県浪江町で「耳の無いうさぎ」が誕生したとのことだ。これが放射能の影響なのかそれとも、ただの偶然なのかは定かではないが、本当であれば直ちに健康被害に及ぶレベルになりそうだ。 mimi2 原発事故直後に誕生したというこの ...