July 3, Sunday

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Amulets from the Tohoku region : Akita

fertility needed
to rebuild Tohoku -
bondeko stick

. Bondeko ぼんでこ fertility stick


Gabi reports:

Sengoku urges Kan to resign soon
. The Political Situation .  INFO .

Fukushima is still going down and up ... with its problems.

More rain forecast for tomorrow!


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

Sunday, July 03, 2011 03:12
Environment Ministry starts power-saving shift
Employees at Japan's Environment Ministry have started to work on Saturdays as part of the nation's energy saving measures.
The ministry is carrying out the weekend shift on a trial basis.
It is the 1st central government department to close for one day during the week and instead have most of its employees work on Saturdays, when power consumption is relatively low.
On Saturday morning, employees arrived at the ministry building in the government district in central Tokyo, which is quiet on weekends.
Fluorescent lights in the office have been turned off and have been replaced by LED desk lamps.
The ministry is also encouraging its staff to wear cooler, more casual clothes in line with the "super cool biz" campaign. ...

Sunday, July 03, 2011 03:12
Home electronics retailers work to save power
Home electronics retailers in Tokyo are doing their part to save electricity.
The government is requiring major corporate consumers in regions served by Tokyo Electric Power Company and Tohoku Electric Power Company to cut power usage by 15 percent from last summer's peak.
This is in response to expected power shortages in the aftermath of the March 11th disaster. A home electronics retailer in Tokyo has turned off 70 percent of the 200 television sets on display on its 1st floor.
The switch-off comes at a time when more consumers are visiting the shop to buy new televisions, ahead of a changeover to digital broadcasting on July 24th.
The temperature in the store has also been set at 28 degrees Celsius, or 3 degrees higher than last year, and about 30 percent of the lighting has been turned off.
The deputy store manager says he wants to save power but not cause inconvenience to customers.

Sunday, July 03, 2011 07:56
TEPCO uses robot to clean No.3 reactor
For the second day in a row, a robot has been sent into one of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
It checked radiation levels after a robot on Friday removed radioactive-contaminated dust and rubble from the No. 3 reactor building. The move was taken before nitrogen is injected into the reactor to prevent another of hydrogen explosion.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has already injected nitrogen into the containment vessels of the No. 1 and 2 reactors. It hopes to complete the injection of nitrogen into the No. 3 reactor by July 17th. But radiation levels in the No.3 reactor are still too high for workers to safely enter.
On Friday, TEPCO used a US-made robot to begin cleaning inside the building.
The robot removed contaminated dust and rubble near the entrance using a strong vacuum cleaner. A second robot on Saturday checked the radiation levels. Officials say the levels were lower than before the cleaning.
TEPCO is studying data obtained by the robot.
TEPCO improves circulation cooling system
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant says the reactor cooling system is now fully recycling its water.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said the system no longer requires fresh water input, and no contaminated water is being released.
Previously, the system required 2 to 3 tons of fresh water per hour.
Water recycling resumed on Saturday evening after being suspended while the plant's operator installed stronger piping to prevent leaks.
Tokyo Electric Power Company had switched off the plant's cooling system for a day and a half after a series of problems.
The operation started a week ago, but was twice halted because of leaks. A water-decontamination device in the system also had to be shut down due to human error.
TEPCO cited a lack of preparation due to the speed of installing the system, which consists of Japanese and foreign devices.
The utility has set a target of July 17th to complete the first stage of its plan to bring the facility under control.

Sunday, July 03, 2011 09:01
NTT DoCoMo starts energy-saving shifts

Sunday, July 03, 2011 11:00
Japan's business delegation visits Europe
... The delegation led by Chairman Hiromasa Yonekura of the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, will visit France, Germany, Britain, and Belgium during the 7-day tour.
In the wake of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, sentiment against nuclear power generation is growing in Europe. Germany, for example, decided to phase out its program. ...

Sunday, July 03, 2011 11:00
Kansai Electric suspends Himeji thermal plant
Kansai Electric Power Company has suspended use of a generator at its thermal power plant in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, due to mechanical problems, amid fear of power shortages this summer.
The company says it suspended operation of the No.5 unit of its Himeji Daini thermal plant on Saturday night. It says safety checks on Friday found a disconnected fuse in power-generating equipment.
The company blamed the problem on deterioration in diodes, a component that controls the flow of electricity. It stopped the operation of the unit to replace the deteriorated parts.
Kansai Electric plans to restart the unit late this month. Its suspension will cause a shortfall of 600,000 kilowatts of generating capacity.
The utility has been calling on households and companies to cut power use to deal with expected power shortages this summer.
Kansai Electric apologizes for the concern it has caused, and that it will do all it can to increase its supply capacity.
KEPCO 関西電力株式会社

Sunday, July 03, 2011 12:58
Hose leaking water at Fukushima No.5 reactor
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says a hose has been leaking seawater used to cool the No.5 reactor, which is currently in a state of cold shutdown.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, is set to replace the hose, but will have to suspend the reactor's cooling function to do so. It says this will raise the water temperature, but the reactor will still remain in a state of cold shutdown.
TEPCO says workers patrolling around the No.5 reactor found a hose leaking water on Sunday morning around the outlet of a temporary pump sending seawater into the reactor's cooling system. The company says the polyvinyl chloride hose has a crack about 30 centimeters long and 7 centimeters wide.
TEPCO stopped sending water at around 10 AM to replace the hose. The reactor's cooling system stopped 15 minutes later, meaning its cooling function was temporarily lost.
The water temperature inside the reactor was 43.1 degrees Celsius at 8 AM. TEPCO expects the temperature to rise 2.5 degrees per hour while the cooling function is halted.
The company says that if the replacement work finishes during the night and the cooling system is restarted, the water temperature will not exceed 100 degrees, the level needed to keep the reactor in a state of cold shutdown.
The No.5 reactor was hit by a pump failure on May 29th, when a delay in recovery briefly sent the water temperature to 94.8 degrees.

Sunday, July 03, 2011 16:58
New nuke minister inspects radiation monitoring
Japan's new nuclear crisis minister has inspected the monitoring of radiation levels in the evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Goshi Hosono on Sunday visited Iitate Village in Fukushima Prefecture, more than 30 kilometers northwest of the troubled plant.
Hosono, who assumed the new position just last week, was guided to see how the Science Ministry carries out the survey.
He saw the figure was 13.9 microsieverts per hour, far exceeding the legal limit forcing the evacuation of local residents.
He was told that the data are collected at one meter above ground level. He asked officials to keep as accurate a record as possible for the safety of the people.
Hosono said after the inspection that the collected data is also important to create a framework for finding ways to remove radioactive materials in the future.
He said he hopes the close monitoring will continue, adding that he wants to consider the possibility of having people return home as soon as possible.

Sunday, July 03, 2011 16:58
Cooling resumes at Fukushima No.5 reactor
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says cooling functions have resumed at the No.5 reactor.
On Sunday morning, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, found seawater was leaking from a crack in a hose around the outlet of a temporary pump sending seawater into the reactor's cooling system.
The company says the polyvinyl chloride hose had a hole about 30 centimeters long and 7 centimeters wide.
The utility stopped sending water at about 10AM to replace the hose. The cooling system halted 15 minutes later and the reactor's cooling function was temporarily lost.
Following the replacement, the cooling system resumed operation 3-and-a half hours later.
The water temperature at the reactor rose by some 5 degrees Celsius to 47.7 degrees Celsius during the suspension. But the reactor is said to have remained in a state of cold shutdown.
TEPCO says the crack happened because the pleated flexible tube was constantly moved by tides and had come under hydraulic pressure.
The firm is considering preventive measures to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Sunday, July 03, 2011 23:21
Mobile phone firms promote disaster warning system
Japanese mobile phone firms are promoting a new warning system for natural disasters.

NTT DOCOMO began offering free bulk e-mail services to municipalities this month so they can send tsunami warnings and evacuation advisories to residents.
It had charged a monthly payment of 21,000 yen, or about 260 dollars. But it decided to scrap the fee from this month as it expects the number of contracts with municipalities to increase from 80 to 300.
KDDI plans to offer a similar free service from next spring. A KDDI official said communications were disrupted after the March 11th disaster, but it hopes the e-mail warnings can reach everyone with a handset, including those who stay indoors and cannot hear messages from public address systems.

Sunday, July 03, 2011 23:21
Preparations underway for nitrogen injection
Preparations are underway to start injecting nitrogen into the Number 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant by July 17th.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the plant, had planned to start injecting nitrogen into the first 3 reactors by that date to prevent hydrogen explosions.
But high levels of radiation on the floor of the Number 3 reactor building, caused by contaminated dust spread by the previous explosion, have delayed the start of the work.
The utility started cleaning the floor with a robot on Friday, but radiation levels remained between 50 to 186 millisieverts per hour as of Saturday, although they fell at 9 of the 16 locations measured.
The company began covering the floor with steel sheets on Sunday to reduce the radiation levels by two-thirds.
The utility will investigate the piping to be used for the injection on Wednesday, and start connecting the pipes on Friday, so the injection can begin by July 17th, as scheduled.
Nuclear Crisis Minister Goshi Hosono said he wants to consider lifting the order to prepare for the emergency evacuation of certain areas after confirming that another hydrogen explosion will not occur.
All eyes are on whether the injection can be started as planned.


Voices from around

Japan Times :

Power pinch may hit five utilities in winter
The industry ministry estimates that five utilities will be unable to meet between 4 and 20 percent of peak electricity demand from December to February if their nuclear reactors, currently shut down for regular inspections, do not resume operations.

Major firms start weekend shifts

Major companies begin operating on weekends to reduce demand for electricity use on weekdays in the face of possible power shortages this summer.

Apple exports to Taiwan fell to less than a ton in May

Antinuke stance within establishment slowly gathers steam

Murakami puts a bomb under his compatriots' atomic complacency
"The Japanese will someday outgrow their nuclear allergy." I've never forgotten futurologist and Cold War military strategist Herman Kahn saying this to me on his visit to Japan in 1969, when I was his guide and occasional interpreter.
The American author of the best-sellers "On Thermonuclear War" (1960) and "Thinking about the Unthinkable" (1962), Kahn believed that nuclear war was both probable and winnable.
He told me that "tolerable" levels of victims would be in the "ballpark" of the tens of millions. ...
... Haruki Murakami's brilliant speech on June 9 in Barcelona, Spain, delivered in acceptance of the International Catalunya Prize.
"This massive earthquake (on March 11) delivered a severe shock to practically all Japanese," he told his audience in Barcelona. "We think of ourselves as generally being used to earthquakes, but this one has thrown us for a loop. We feel helpless and even insecure about the future of the country. ... What brought about this disastrous situation? ...


Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake


on the stone walls
Crane’s Castle

Hidenori Hiruta

The castle is formally called Aizuwakamatsu Castle (会津若松城 , Aizuwakamatsu-jō) , but is usually Wakamatsu Castle (若松城, Wakamatsu-jō).

source : Akita International Haiku Network



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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7/04/2011

    Rumors ?

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) —
    Senior members of Japan’s government have been involved in secret plans to break up the operator of the beleaguered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, according to reports.

    The plan would see the nuclear operations of Tokyo Electric Power Co. come under government control, said Reuters, citing a report Sunday in a local paper.

    The plan has been devised by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku, said Reuters, citing the Mainichi daily. The newspaper said its information was from unnamed sources.