July 9, Saturday

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Fukushima spring -
the quail calls in vain
for its mate

. Quail car toy from Adatarayama, Fukushima .


Gabi reports:

Another humid day ahead of Japan.

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Kan under fire from his own team
. The Political Situation .  INFO .

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Yesterday they opened a bar in Kesennuma!
We saw the lone neon light, like a star of hope in the devastated city.
The Bar "Snack Castanet" スナック「カスタネット」
There is now one place where the survivors can drink and sing karaoke again.
Most of the bars and restaurants have been taken by the tsunami.

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Priest Sokyu Genyu,玄侑宗久 born 1956
(We saw him on TV the other day. Sookyuu Genyuu)
Japan priest speaks out on spiritual toll of nuclear crisis
In Japan, where nature is believed to cleanse spirits, how do people cope when treasured mountains and oceans are tainted by leaks of radiation from a nuclear power plant?
Sokyu Genyu, a Buddhist priest from a temple just 45 km (28 miles) west of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeast Japan, is drawing attention to the less visible scars from the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
His small town of Miharu has welcomed thousands of residents who have evacuated from around the nuclear plant, still leaking radiation after being struck by the tsunami.
Damage to the environment has been especially hard on local communities, where farmers and fishermen have traditionally associated nature with god, building shrines to pray for rich harvests and to ward off accidents at sea, Genyu said.
... "Mountains and oceans have purified us but now those mountains and oceans are contaminated," he said. "We could see the very foundation for our religious beliefs break down, because it is no longer able to purify us."
"Why do we make things that ignore nature's cycles, why do we have summer vegetables in the winter?" he asked. Funerals should not have to stick to the custom of using chrysanthemums all-year round if that meant saving energy to grow them.
source : tamaeigo.blog


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

Saturday, July 09, 2011 06:14
Survey: radioactive materials found in plankton
A scientific survey has found radioactive substances in plankton collected from the seafloor off Fukushima Prefecture.
A group of researchers from the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology ended its 8-day survey on Friday. The goal was to study the spread of radioactive materials into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The group collected samples from the seabed along a 120-kilometer stretch off the coast of Fukushima.
Radioactive cesium was found in animal plankton collected 35 kilometers off Iwaki City. The level was measured at 6 becquerels per kilogram.
The researchers say this level does not exceed the national safety standard. They added that the level would still be under the limit even if the cesium were to enter the bodies of larger fish that eat the contaminated plankton.
Professor Takashi Ishimaru, a member of the research group, says he and his colleagues will continue the survey to check the effects of radioactivity on the local ecosystem.

Saturday, July 09, 2011 06:14
Radiation detected in beef from Fukushima
Beef from Fukushima Prefecture has been found to contain levels of radiation that exceed Japan's safety standards.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced on Friday that it had detected 2,300 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in beef from a cow raised in a Minami Soma. The national limit is 500 becquerels per kilogram.
The Tokyo Government says the beef was not made available to consumers.
Japan's Health Ministry says this is the first time that beef has been found with such high levels of radioactivity following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The ministry has requested 6 prefectures near Fukushima to step up checks on beef.

Saturday, July 09, 2011 06:17
Govt. explains Genkai nuke plant safety measures
The Japanese government held a meeting in Saga Prefecture, western Japan, on Friday to tell local residents about safety measures being taken to enable nuclear reactors in the area to be restarted.
The meeting concerned 2 reactors at the Genkai nuclear plant. It was the second of its kind since the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant began in March. About 370 local residents attended.
An official from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency apologized for causing confusion among local residents by abruptly deciding to perform extra safety tests on all nuclear reactors in Japan. He said the Genkai plant is already safe because of emergency measures taken by his agency after the earthquake and tsunami in March.
One local resident said the government should have performed the extra safety tests before declaring the Genkai plant safe. Another questioned whether it is appropriate to restart the Genkai plant's reactors before the Fukushima Daiichi plant is brought under control.
Genkai Town Mayor Hideo Kishimoto reacted to the government's decision to perform extra safety tests by retracting his approval for restarting the reactors at the Genkai plant.
Saga Governor Yasushi Furukawa 古川康 said he will postpone a decision on whether to allow the reactors to be restarted.

Saturday, July 09, 2011 08:58
BOJ to upgrade economic assessment
Japan's central bank will upgrade its overall economic assessment to reflect gains in production capacity as the nation recovers from the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The Bank of Japan ...

Saturday, July 09, 2011 09:05
TEPCO: 13.1 meter tsunami hit Fukushima plant
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant estimates that the facility was hit by a tsunami as high as 13 meters on March 11th.
Tokyo Electric Power Company released a computer simulation based on data recorded during the disaster and other information.
TEPCO estimates that a 13.1-meter-tall tsunami passed a tidal observatory near the plant 51 minutes after the earthquake struck. That figure is far higher that the company's originally estimate of 5.7 meters.
Ten kilometers away at the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant, a tsunami up to 9.1 meters high was recorded 48 minutes after the quake.
TEPCO says the differences in height of the 2 waves may have been caused by topographic features of the seafloor.
It says tsunamis were generated at 6 locations on seabed faults, resulting in the Daiichi plant being hit with a higher wave.
TEPCO also says the ground beneath the 2 plants fell by 50 to 65 centimeters after the disaster.
(We have seen reports about many normal homes in other regions along the coast, facing the same problem of lower ground and they have great problems fixing this. I wonder how TEPCO will deal with this problem.)

Saturday, July 09, 2011 13:49
Govt., TEPCO draw roadmap to reactor decommission
A roadmap toward decommissioning of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant indicates that the removal of melted nuclear fuel rods at the plant may begin in 10 years.
NHK has obtained the mid- and long-term roadmap which was presented when officials from the operator of the Fukushima plant, government officials in charge of nuclear safety, and manufacturers of nuclear reactors met last week.
The draft roadmap drawn up by the government's Nuclear Safety Commission and Tokyo Electric Power Company says they tentatively set a target date to begin removing fuel rods that melted and fell to the bottom of the reactor.
The work is considered to be the most important phase in the decommissioning process. The roadmap indicates that removal will start in 2021 if technology essential for the work has been developed before that.
The timeline is believed to have been set based on measures taken following the 1979 Three Mile Island accident in the United States.
But unlike the US case, as reactor containment vessels were damaged at the Fukushima complex, they need to be fixed and filled with water.
The roadmap shows that reactor buildings could be finally demolished and cleared away after the removal of melted fuel rods is completed, and that it will possibly take dozens of years.


Voices from around

Japan Times :

Utility execs said behind talk-up
Two now-former Kyushu Electric Power Co. executives, including an executive vice president, were involved in a ploy to have employees solicit supportive public comments during a June 26 industry ministry-sponsored event pushing for the restart of two of the utility's reactors, company sources admit.

Cabinet OKs bill to let state handle tsunami debris cleanup

Shikoku utility delays restarting of reactor

Kaieda takes flak, vows to stay on

Tepco simulates wave strikes

S. Korean women offer quake aid

Citizens' radiation fears beyond crisis zone mount

Moms rally around antinuke cause

Nation lags in renewable energy


source : mytown.asahi.com

丸亀うちわ展 Exhibition of handfans from Marugame
FUNFAN2011 in Takamatsu town
. . . CLICK here for more Photos !

15 designers from Japan have made special handfans in support of the victims of the Tohoku disaster.
The motive of the exhibition this year was
a wind of love from the whole world

今こそ絆 now the bonds among people
are more important than ever

Part of the sales income will go to a relief effort.

(I saw one handfan featured on TV, with a palm tree surrounded by the flags of the world.)

. Handfans from Marugame .

. Diary July 1, 2011
Another story I reported about these fans and the victims.


Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (11)

world in grief              
prayers of hope               

Victor Gendrano (Lakewood, CA, USA)

source : Akita International Haiku Network



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