July 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

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Daruma on a plump sparrow (fukura suzume)
Aizu, Nakayugawa hot spring 中湯川土人形, Fukushima



. . Bulletins from NHK WORLD

. . Japan Times


July 20, 2011

Typhoon Ma-on bringing heavy rain to Japan
. 台風6号 Typhoon Nr. 6 - Ma-On .

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 08:00 - NHK
Govt to step up radiation monitoring
The Japanese government will step up radiation monitoring and decontamination work to consider whether to lift evacuation orders after completing the second stage of the plan to bring the Fukushima nuclear crisis under control in January.
The government announced on Tuesday that the first stage, a stable cooling of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, had been achieved on schedule.
The government also released a new plan, including the second stage to be completed by January, and mid-term targets to be achieved within about 3 years after that.
Industry minister Banri Kaieda said the process of putting the crisis under control has been making steady progress and is producing results.
The minister for the nuclear crisis, Goshi Hosono, said the government hopes to lift the evacuation advisories for areas around the plant. He said the state will make a decision after confirming the safety of the reactors by early August and consulting local authorities.
The government also aims to lift the evacuation orders for the 20-kilometer no-entry zone and the planned evacuation areas after completing the second stage of the plan in January. In the second phase, the government aims to significantly reduce the volumes of radiation emitted from the plant.
To speed up the process, the government will increase radiation monitoring and decontamination work in the 2 zones before completing the second stage.
It will also step up the decontamination of infrastructure by cleaning up water and sewage systems and disposing of radioactive waste.

. . . . .

. . . . . Japan Times

Fukushima cattle under shipment ban

The government bans beef cattle shipments from Fukushima Prefecture more than a week after meat from the prefecture showed high levels of radioactive cesium, including some already sold and consumed.

Tepco plans for cold shutdown by January
The government and Tepco say they have successfully achieved consistent and stable cooling of the reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant and will by mid-January reduce the amount of radioactive materials being released.

Brittleness factor of aging reactors key restart criterion

Kepco woes mean Kansai must use less juice: Edano

Mongolia to be home for spent nuclear fuel

3/11 victims face welfare cuts


July 21, 2011

The typhoon is continuing to move east off the southern coast of Japan's main island of Honshu. We had a quiet night in Western Japan.

. . . . . at 4:18
Earthquake M 5.3, mainland Okinawa

. . . . .

Thursday, July 21, 2011 07:31 - NHK
High levels of radioactivity found extensively
Japan's science ministry says air above the ground about 150 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is as radioactive as areas 50 kilometers from the source of radioactivity.
The ministry on Wednesday released a map showing radiation levels at locations one meter above the ground in Miyagi Prefecture, north of Fukushima, based on the results of an aerial survey from June 22nd through 30th.

Radioactivity levels are highlighted in different colors.
Some parts of Kurihara City, about 150 kilometers north of the plant are light blue, indicating that the air there was 0.2 to 0.5 microsieverts per hour.
That's similar to areas close to the crippled plant, such as Iwaki City in Fukushima Prefecture, about 50 kilometers from the radioactive source.
Radioactive cesium far above the government standard was detected in rice straw for cattle feed collected by a supplier in Kurihara City.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 07:31 - NHK
Two of 18 active reactors to be shut down
Two of the 18 nuclear reactors now operating in Japan are due to be shut down shortly for regular inspections with no prospect of restarting.
Kansai Electric Power Company says it plans to begin turning off the power of the No.4 reactor at its power plant in Takahama, Fukui Prefecture on Thursday.
The utility also plans to shut down another reactor at Ohi nuclear plant in the same prefecture for regular checkups on Friday.
But the Fukui prefectural government has decided not to approve the resumption of nuclear reactors there until the central government draws up new safety standards for reactors after the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
In Japan,18 of the country's 54 nuclear reactors are currently in operation.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 16:17
Rain increases contaminated water at plant
Heavy rain brought by a tropical storm has increased the level of radioactive contaminated water at the basements of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Typhoon Ma-on moved east off the southern coast of Japan's main island of Honshu. 115 millimeters of precipitation was recorded in Namie Town, north of the plant, between Tuesday and Thursday.
Rain has been gathering in the buildings housing the reactors because the roofs were severely damaged by hydrogen explosions that occurred after the initial March 11th disaster.
Tokyo Electric Power Company or TEPCO, the plant's operator, says that at 7 AM local time on Thursday, the level of contaminated water pooled at the basement of the building of the No. 1 reactor was 44 centimeters up from the previous day.
Officials at the utility say that there is no immediate danger of the contaminated water spilling out.
But it is likely that the level of water will continue to rise for the time being. TEPCO says they are monitoring the situation.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 16:17 -NHK
Kansai business groups demand energy assistance
Five major business groups in western Japan say they want the government to help businesses introduce self-reliant power generation facilities and develop energy-saving technology.
The groups' representatives, including Chairman Shigetaka Sato of the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, delivered a petition to Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama in Tokyo on Thursday.
The request came one day after the government asked companies and households in areas served by Kansai Electric Power Company in western Japan to curb electricity use by 10 percent or more for about 2 months starting July 25th.
In their petition, the business groups asked the government to include in the 3rd supplementary budget for fiscal 2011 measures to boost solar power generation and rechargeable batteries.
They also called on the government to restart idled nuclear power plants as soon as regular inspections are complete. They insisted that the government produce a vision for the future of Japan's energy policies immediately.
Fukuyama said the government will consider including in the 3rd supplementary budget medium-term measures for stabilizing the balance between power demand and supply for the coming winter and summer of next year.
He said the measures would cover capital investment for businesses to generate power themselves and to save energy.
The government's request for a 10-percent electricity use cut in western Japan came after problems caused the suspension of one of the reactors at Kansai Electric's nuclear plant at Oi in Fukui Prefecture and a thermal power plant of Chugoku Electric Power Company.
Fukuyama said the troubles at these plants had been unexpected and asked for understanding of companies and local governments in the region.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 18:53
Farmers demand govt action to dispel consumer fear
Japanese cattle growers have demanded that the government take steps to dispel consumer fears, after it suspended all beef cattle shipments from Fukushima Prefecture.
The government ordered the ban on Tuesday, after radioactive cesium exceeding government safety levels was detected in cattle shipped from the prefecture.
On Wednesday, about 100 cattle farmers and meat distributors attended a briefing at the agriculture ministry.
Distributors noted that prices of beef other than that from Fukushima Prefecture are falling, and expressed concern that more and more consumers might start avoiding beef altogether.
They called for tougher inspections and other steps to eliminate consumer concerns.
An agriculture ministry official said they would consider such measures to convince consumers that domestic beef on the market is safe.
A distributor from Fukuoka Prefecture expressed hope that the government would step up inspections and ensure that only safe beef is made available to consumers.

. . . . .

. . . . . Japan Times

Kan: State may buy tsunami-hit property
Prime Minister Naoto Kan says the administration is willing to consider buying out residential land hit by the March 11 tsunami from owners looking to relocate to higher ground.

Plugging reactors no longer stated goal for Tepco
The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. are boasting success in achieving the first stage in the road map to stabilize the reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, but experts said big challenges remain as the utility moves to the second phase, the goal of which is to achieve a cold shutdown in three to six months.

LDP's nuke power advocacy stands, but renewables OK

Taiwan students to get disaster funds after all

Step 2 of nuclear crisis control

... The most important goal in mitigating the crisis is to attain the cold shutdown of the reactors by mid-January 2012.
In Step 2, the government and Tepco hope to constantly keep the water temperature inside the reactors' pressure vessels at less than 100 C. At present, no means to gauge that temperature are available....


Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011 07:27 - NHK
70% of Japan's nuclear reactors remains shut
37 nuclear reactors in Japan, or nearly 70 percent of them, remain shut. This includes 2 reactors operated by Kansai Electric Power Company in Fukui Prefecture that were recently closed for regular inspections.
According to the plant operators, inspections for 11 of the 37 reactors will finish by August. But it is still unknown when any of these will be resumed due to the government's new stress-test requirements announced earlier this month.
The remaining 17 reactors that are currently in operation will also be brought to a halt for regular inspections every 13 months. Among these is the Kansai Electric Ohi power plant No. 4 reactor in Fukui Prefecture that will shut down by Saturday. An additional 3 reactors will be brought to a halt by August.
Among the 13 other reactors in operation, 5 will be stopped by autumn, 6 by winter, and 2 by spring. This would leave Japan with no nuclear reactors in operation by spring next year.

Govt to ask utilities to conduct nuke safety tests - NHK
Japan's nuclear safety agency says it will demand that power companies conduct additional tests to ensure the safety of nuclear power plants.
The move will follow Thursday's approval by the Nuclear Safety Commission of the agency's revised 2-stage test plan.
Using computer simulations, the utilities will assess the ability of reactors to withstand earthquakes, tsunami and the loss of external power, as well as a simultaneous quake and tsunami.
Power companies will also check the effectiveness of previous safety measures.
The government requires the measures before allowing utilities to restart reactors that have been offline for regular checks.
But the deadline for the additional safety tests and the length of time it will take for the agency to assess the results has yet to be determined.

o Ito-Yokado sold beef linked to irradiated feed
o Govt plans to buy up tainted beef

. Radiation Problems - INFO .

. . . . . Japan Times

State to buy all radioactive beef

The government will buy up all beef found to contain radioactive cesium at levels exceeding the allowable limit, and incinerate it, according to a senior farm ministry official.

Contaminated beef may have been sent abroad

More hot spots to be named

Sunflower seeds sown in Fukushima hot spot to denuclearize field


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011 13:41 - NHK
TEPCO to eliminate gangsters from nuclear projects
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is stepping up efforts to prevent gangsters from earning money in projects for bringing the crisis under control.
Tokyo Electric Power Company and 23 affiliates set up a council to eliminate criminal organizations from such projects.
More than 50 people from member companies and the National Police Agency, the council's advisor, attended its first meeting in Tokyo on Friday.
The head of the council, Satoshi Muto of TEPCO, said gangsters may become involved in rebuilding efforts and could work at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
He said the council will step up cooperation with police to develop measures to stop their participation.
Police say criminal syndicates are gaining work in rebuilding projects, claiming to be companies and volunteer groups.
A gangster has been arrested in Iwate Prefecture for illegally sending workers to construction sites for temporary housing.
The council plans to cooperate with police in drawing up contracts and exchanging information on criminal groups to prevent their participation in projects.

. . . . . Japan Times

Hamaoka to get seawalls of 18 meters

Chubu Electric Power Co. says it will build seawalls as high as 18 meters at its Hamaoka nuclear plant to protect the facility from tsunami.

Are worries over meat warranted?
The disclosure that 1,500 cows fed hay containing radioactive cesium in excess of the government limit were shipped nationwide raises questions about whether it remains safe to eat beef, or even chicken and pork.

Simpler radiation detectors to be permitted for beef

Kansai Electric seeks approval to run four-decade-old reactor

Utilities' data credibility lapses need rectifying before stress tests

IAEA chief sets Monday visit to Fukushima No. 1

Tepco tries to woo Niigata leaders

'70s activist foresaw nuclear disaster
When the late Shizuko Sakata 坂田静子 started distributing the newsletters she wrote in Nagano Prefecture more than 30 years ago to campaign against nuclear power, her daughter, Masako, was not fully supportive.

. . . . . at 13:34
Earthquake M 6.5, off the coast of Miyagi
It was felt all the way from Hokkaido to Shizuoka !

A strong earthquake hit Iwate Prefecture on Saturday afternoon.
NHK world news
The quake had a magnitude of 6.5, with the focus estimated to be in waters off Miyagi Prefecture.
It registered an intensity of 5-plus on the Japanese scale of 0 to 7.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says the quake had no effect on operations of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011 01:52 - NHK
Nuclear agency: reactor restart months away
Japan's nuclear watchdog says it will take months to complete safety tests on the country's idled nuclear reactors. It says it is unlikely that any of the reactors will resume operating this summer.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency made the comment on Saturday, one day after it ordered power utilities to conduct stress tests in an attempt to ease public concern about the safety of nuclear power.
The tests use computer simulations to assess how well nuclear power plants can withstand emergencies such as earthquakes and tsunamis.
The agency said that it will take months for the utilities to report the results of the first phase of the 2-stage tests.
The first phase targets reactors that have been halted for regular safety checks. At least 22 nuclear reactors, about 40 percent of Japan's total, are subject to it.
Cause of Fukushima blackout identified
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the interruption on Friday of a system that cools one of the spent fuel pools was caused by the incorrect set-up of a circuit breaker ... Tokyo Electric Power Company said on Saturday that a circuit breaker had been mistakenly set up at one-third of the correct level, causing it to shut down prematurely.

Sunday, July 24, 2011 13:05 - NHK
No.1 reactor temperature falls below 100 degrees
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the temperature at the bottom of the No. 1 reactor is being kept at the lowest level since a new cooling system went into operation late last month.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says the temperature fell below 100 degrees Celsius for 6 consecutive days through Sunday.
It says a thermometer attached to the bottom of the reactor registered between 96 and 97 degrees, the lowest since a new circulatory water injection system was started. The system is the key to stably cool the reactor.
TEPCO says the lower temperature was achieved by raising the amount of water injected into the reactor, and that it wants to maintain the current condition.
Nuclear fuel inside the reactor remains hot and needs to be cooled continuously.
On Monday, TEPCO started implementing a revised work plan for bringing the plant under control. The second step of the plan aims at keeping the temperature of the bottom of the plant's reactors below 100 degrees by January.
TEPCO says the cooling system is still unstable and the amount of water to be injected into the No. 1 reactor continues to decrease. The company says it wants to accelerate work to fix the problems.

. . . . . Japan Times

Utility execs are major LDP donors
Current and former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. and eight other utilities accounted for more than 70 percent of donations made in 2009 by individuals to the Liberal Democratic Party's political fund management body, a survey shows.

570 'quake-related deaths' feared
The death toll from the March earthquake and tsunami may rise by hundreds as about 570 possible "related deaths," such as those from stress and chronic disease while living in shelters, have been reported in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures.

Genkai reactor may have faulty vessel
A nuclear reactor that began operations 36 years ago at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Genkai plant may have a faulty pressure vessel and should be suspended until its safety is confirmed, according to an analysis by researchers.

Tepco should partly cover cost of irradiated beef purchases: Kaieda

Fukushima perseveres with festival
An annual festival that traces its roots to the 10th century opened Saturday in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, featuring dozens of horsemen in full samurai armor and offering prayers for the victims of the March 11 quake and tsunami.
The event was almost canceled because of the Tohoku catastrophe and the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear crisis, but the organizing committee of the Soma Nomaoi (Soma Wild Horse Chase), headed by Minamisoma Mayor Katsunobu Sakurai, decided to carry on the ancient tradition, albeit on a smaller scale. As in previous years, the festival will run from Saturday through Monday.
During a ceremony at Soma Nakamura Shrine to kick off the three-day event, Michitane Soma, 36, the eldest son of the 33rd patriarch of the former Soma clan, offered prayers for the disaster victims.

. 相馬野馬追(そうまのまおい)Soma Nomaoi Festival

. . . . .

Kan may quit early August: DPJ exec



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1 comment:

  1. --BNO News

    Japanese nuclear-polluted tires found in Iraq, gov't says

    Iraq's Planning Ministry announced on Monday that a shipment of Japanese tires which bear traces of nuclear pollution were found to have entered the country.
    ... The Ministry informed all Iraqi trade representations worldwide about its measure, noting that "check up measures will start from now." Shukri did not say where the shipment of tires is now or how high the levels of radiation were. ...