July 30, 31

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Akita University Daruma


. . Bulletins from NHK WORLD

. . Japan Times


July 30, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011 04:17 - NHK
Yen surges to 76 level
In New York, the US dollar fell below the 77 yen level for first time in four-and-a-half months.
At one point, the dollar was trading at 76.90 yen. That's the lowest since March 17, when the dollar slid to a record low of 76.25 yen in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. ...

Saturday, July 30, 2011 11:57 - NHK
Torrential rain hits Niigata, Fukushima
Torrential rain in Niigata and Fukushima prefectures in northern Japan has caused rivers to overflow, raising the danger of landslides.
Authorities have issued an evacuation order or advisory to about 389,000 people in 15 municipalities.
In Niigata's Sanjo City, more than 10,000 people were ordered to evacuate after a dike collapsed.
A 67-year-old man in Niigata Prefecture was found in a stream and later confirmed dead. 5 people are missing in the region.
Since Wednesday, more than 650 millimeters of rain has been recorded in some parts of Fukushima. Niigata has gotten more than 600 millimeters.
The Meteorological Agency is calling on people to be on the alert for floods, landslides, lightning, and strong winds.

. . . . . Japan Times . . . . .

Energy policy revised to cut nuclear role
The government officially shifts its energy policy away from nuclear power with the release of an interim report vowing to pare reliance on atomic energy.

Utility says NISA sought 'plants' to talk up MOX bid !!!
Chubu Electric Power Co. says it was asked by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency to set up supportive or neutral questions from the audience at a 2007 symposium about a plan to use a controversial fuel mix at the Hamaoka nuclear plant.

Symposium fiasco forces reclusive NISA chief to surface

DPJ keeps Tohoku revival plan vague
The Democratic Party of Japan-led government bows to strong opposition within its ranks and endorses a watered-down version of its basic reconstruction policy for the Tohoku region that ultimately failed to specify the size and duration of a tax hike to fund the work.


July 31, 2011

. . . . . at 3:54
Earthquake M 6.4, off Fukushima
It was felt all the way from Hokkaido to Shiaga and Aichi, Nagoya.
The quake's focus was 57 kilometers deep.
No tsunami warning was issued.

. . . . .

Sunday, July 31, 2011 01:19 - NHK
About 20,600 dead or missing in March 11 disaster
The number of dead or missing in the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, including aftershocks, stands at 20,627 as of Saturday.
The National Police Agency says 15,648 people are confirmed dead and 4,979 remain unaccounted for.
Miyagi Prefecture has the most deaths at 9,367, followed by Iwate with 4,615 and Fukushima with 1,600.
The disaster also claimed 24 lives in Ibaraki Prefecture, 20 in Chiba, and 7 in Tokyo.

Sunday, July 31, 2011 01:07
Torrential rain hits Niigata, Fukushima
Torrential rain has caused rivers to overflow in Niigata and Fukushima prefectures in northern Japan.
About 207,000 people in 15 municipalities of the 2 prefectures are taking shelter, as of 8 PM on Saturday, following authorities' evacuation orders or advisories.
At least 3,000 houses have been flooded in the prefectures. In Niigata's Sanjo City, more than 10,000 people were ordered to evacuate after a dike collapsed.
2 men in Niigata Prefecture was found dead. 4 people are missing in the region.
NHK's aerial footage shows a destroyed bridge of East Japan Railway's Tadami Line, which connects Fukushima and Niigata prefectures. Only the bridge's columns can be seen in the overflowing river.
680 millimeters of rain has been recorded in Fukushima's Tadami Town in the 72 hours since Wednesday, while more than 620 millimeters fell on Kamo City, Niigata. Sanjo City in Niigata has gotten more than 1,000 millimeters.
These points have recorded more than double the amount of rain it gets in an average July in just 3 days.
The rain has been gradually easing, but some parts of northern Japan are still seeing showers.
The Meteorological Agency says the amount of rainfall in the 2 prefectures has exceeded a downpour 7 years ago that killed 16 people there.
More than 6,400 buildings have been damaged or flooded.
Evacuation orders or advisories were in place for 7,300 people in the 2 prefectures.
On Sunday morning in Fukushima's Tadami town, police, firefighters and Self-Defense Force personnel began an operation to rescue about 90 residents who were stranded because nearby roads have been cut off.

Sunday, July 31, 2011 05:30 - NHK
TEPCO to test run cooling system for No.4 reactor
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is set to test run a system to cool a spent fuel storage pool at the No.4 reactor as early as Sunday.
The pool holds 1,535 fuel rods, the most for any of the plant's reactors. A hydrogen blast on March 15th damaged a wall supporting the pool. The temperature of the pool water remained high at 86 to 87 degrees Celsius on Friday.
Tokyo Electric Power Company began reinforcing the wall with steel pillars and concrete in late May. It also started setting up a cooling device with a heat exchanger in mid-July. This is designed to establish a circulatory cooling system that pumps water out of the pool, cools the water, and returns it to the pool.
The work on strengthening the wall and setting up a cooling system ended on Saturday. Tokyo Electric Power hopes to test run the cooling system as early as Sunday and start full operation if no problem occurs.
TEPCO intends to reduce the temperature of the pool water to around 30 to 40 degrees within one month.
A similar cooling system is in place for spent fuel rod pools at the No.2 and No.3 reactors. TEPCO wants to test run a cooling system for the No.1 reactor no later than early August.

Sunday, July 31, 2011 16:53 - NHK
Parties split over taxes for reconstruction funds
Japanese political parties are divided over increasing taxes to fund the effort to rebuild eastern Japan after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
Officials of the ruling and opposition parties discussed ways to secure reconstruction funds in an NHK debate program aired on Sunday.
The Democratic Party Policy Research Committee Chairman and National Policy Minister, Koichiro Gemba, pledged to cut spending on personnel costs for public servants and other areas to try to secure funds.
But he also stressed the need to use taxes to secure reconstruction funds.
Opposition to more taxes came from other participants in the debate, including Akiko Kamei of the New People's Party, the Democratic Party's coalition partner.
She insisted that priority should be given to economic recovery and ending deflation.
Shigeru Ishiba, the policy chief of the largest opposition party, the Liberal Democrats, said the government's plan appears to give priority to tax increases. He suggested that consumers keep saving money because they are worried about the future and the redemption of reconstruction bonds should be addressed after they use their money for investment and consumption.
Opposition members suggested selling government assets and using construction bonds to secure reconstruction funds. They also called for cutting personnel costs for public servants and reducing the number of Diet members.
The Democrat-led government on Friday decided to spend at least 19 trillion yen, or about 243 billion dollars, on full-scale reconstruction over 5 years.
Since many Democrats voiced opposition to higher taxes, the government did not stipulate in its reconstruction plan how much core taxes should be increased to secure such funds.

Sunday, July 31, 2011 22:41
Record number of fans imported in June
The number of electric fans imported by Japan rose to a record high in June, as many people are trying to save energy because of anticipated power shortages.
According to the Tokyo Customs, nearly 2.2 million foreign-made fans landed at the Tokyo port last month. This is roughly triple the figure for a year earlier and the highest monthly total since 1979 when customs began taking statistics.
The value of imported fans also marked a record high of about 2.7 billion yen, or about 35 million dollars. More than 98 percent of the imported fans were from China, followed by Thailand and Taiwan.
The sharp increase is attributed to increasing demand for fans, which need less electricity than air-conditioners. Japanese electric appliance makers have boosted their overseas production as retailers want to stock more fans.
The Tokyo Customs says imports of electric fans shot up in the 2 months before summer, and they will remain at this high level through the early autumn if the hot weather continues.

Sunday, July 31, 2011 22:41
Full operation of cooling device begins
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has begun full operation of a device to cool a spent fuel storage pool.
The pool holds 1,535 fuel rods, the most for any of the plant's reactors. The wall supporting the pool was damaged in a blast on March 15th.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company reinforced the wall with steel pillars and concrete, and installed a cooling device with a heat exchanger to set up a circulatory cooling system.
TEPCO conducted a test-run of the cooling device at the Number 4 reactor's spent fuel pool on Sunday morning. It gradually increased the volume of water flowing into the device before shifting to full operation in the afternoon.
TEPCO says the water temperature of the pool remained above 86 degrees Celsius in the morning and it was around 82 to 84 degrees as of 5 PM.
The company plans to lower the water temperature to around 55 degrees within a month to cool the reactor in a stable manner.
TEPCO is already cooling the water in the spent fuel pools at the Number 2 and 3 reactors. It plans to do the same for the Number 1 reactor soon.

Sunday, July 31, 2011 22:41 - NHK
Kan criticizes nuke watchdog for manipulation
Prime Minister Naoto Kan has criticized Japan's nuclear regulator for trying to manipulate public opinion on nuclear power.
Kan attended an energy policy forum on Sunday in Chino, north of Tokyo. He referred to the alleged manipulation of opinion on nuclear energy by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
The agency allegedly told Chubu Electric Power Company to ensure that some participants at a symposium asked prearranged questions in favor of nuclear power. The event was held 4 years ago in Shizuoka Prefecture, which hosts a nuclear plant.
Kan said if the allegation is true, it means that the agency sided with the utility to promote nuclear power, although the agency should ensure the safety of nuclear plants for the public.
Kan likened the agency's allegation to the scandal of tainted blood products, which he tackled when he was health minister in the mid-1990s.
In the 1980s, many people, mostly patients with hemophilia, contracted HIV through tainted products because the health ministry allowed drugmakers to sell them even after safer products were developed.
Kan said the current nuclear administration and system totally lack the ability of responding to nuclear accidents. He put the blame on the realignment of government offices about a decade ago under Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto that created various committees in the Cabinet Office.
Kan expressed his resolve to address the fundamental reorganization of institutions related to energy policy, and not just the separation of the agency from the economy ministry. He said he will pursue a fundamental reconstruction of the nuclear and energy administration from a position free from any vested interests.

. . . . . Japan Times . . . . .

10% of foreign residents have left disaster-hit prefectures
The number of foreign residents in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures dropped 10.5 percent to 30,092 between the end of December and the end of March, the Justice Ministry says.

Fukushima teacher muzzled over radiation
Toshinori Shishido, a high school teacher in Fukushima Prefecture who warned his students to wear surgical masks and keep their skin covered with long-sleeved shirts, quits after his school told him not to alarm students.



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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8/01/2011

    Look behind you.
    See your sons and your daughters.
    They are your future.
    Look farther and see your sons' and your daughters' children and their children's children even unto the Seventh Generation. That's the way we were taught.
    Think about it:
    you yourself are a Seventh Generation.

    -- Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA
    Radiation leaves problems for the seventh generation!
    Think about it.