August 12,

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. . Bulletins from NHK WORLD

. . Japan Times


August 12, 2011

saving energy -
the gentle humming
of my pink fan

. setsuden 節電 saving energy in Japan .

. . . . .

at 3.22
Earthquake M 6.0, off Fukushima
Felt from Hokkaido to Shizuoka.
No tsunami, no damage to the Fukushima plant.


Friday, August 12, 2011 - NHK
Radiation measurement experts trained
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant plans to train about 4,000 workers as experts on the safety of irradiated areas.
The government plans to consider lifting evacuation orders for zones which are deemed safe after it achieves the second phase of bringing the plant under control. In the second stage, the government aims to significantly reduce the amount of radiation emitted from the plant.
To determine the safety of the 20-kilometer no-entry zone and the evacuated areas, a large number of experts on radiation exposure will be required. Tokyo Electric Power Company is now training staff for that purpose.
TEPCO plans to have about 4,000 workers take the training by the end of the year. Around 1,900 workers have already completed it.
The Natural Resources and Energy Agency also plans to train 250 personnel by year-end.
TEPCO will have the experts control exposure for workers at the Fukushima plant and measure radiation levels to confirm the evacuated zones are safe enough for people to return home.

Friday, August 12, 2011 02:06
Tomari No.3 nuclear reactor restart not decided
Japan's industry ministry has deferred a final decision on restarting a nuclear reactor in Hokkaido following local government criticism.
The No.3 reactor at the plant in Tomari Village operated by Hokkaido Electric Power Company has been undergoing trial runs for 5 months.
Trials usually last about a month in the final phase of regular checkups by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, the organization controlled by the ministry, before commercial operations are resumed.
The agency told the Nuclear Safety Commission on Thursday that no abnormalities were found in the reactor during a 2-day final check that ended the previous day. The commission endorsed the view that the reactor can restart commercial operations.
But Hokkaido's prefectural government has criticized the operator for applying final tests of the reactor before it has reached its own decision on restarting.
Industry minister Banri Kaieda told Governor Harumi Takahashi on Wednesday that the prefecture's consent is vital, and that he intends to wait for that.
Since the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March, nuclear reactors in Japan are struggling to resume operations after regular checkups.

Friday, August 12, 2011 02:06
Decontamination not successful at nuke plant
5 months after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant crisis started, workers are still struggling to decontaminate large amounts of highly radioactive water.
The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, has now restored all circulating cooling systems for spent-fuel storage pools at 4 of its reactors, after the system was restored at the Number One unit on Wednesday.
Cooling of 3 reactors has been continuing since late June, by decontaminating highly radioactive stagnant water and then circulating it.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says the temperatures of the reactors have been relatively stable at around 100 degrees, lowering the risk of another hydrogen explosion.
But the filtering equipment -- the key part of the system -- has been plagued with problems. Repeated suspension of the equipment's operation has slowed down the water decontamination process.
In the week until Tuesday, the filtering equipment ran at 77.4 percent of its capacity, the largest-ever. But the overall figure stands at 66.4 percent, failing to achieve the initial target of 90 percent.
The utility is now at stage two of its timetable to end the nuclear crisis, which aims to reduce the amount of contaminated water to curb the risk of radioactive releases from the plant.
The stage also calls for achieving a cold shutdown with reactor temperatures being kept stable and below 100 degrees.
TEPCO is reducing the amount of water injection into the reactors to prevent an increase in the amount of contaminated water, but the effort could be a hurdle in achieving a cold shutdown.

Friday, August 12, 2011 08:08
Japan to help create standards for solar cells
Japanese research institutes and businesses will set up a facility in western Japan to create international standards on the efficiency of solar cells.
Amid growing attention to solar power as a renewable energy source, Chinese and Taiwanese firms are rapidly expanding production to increase their share of the international market.
Against this background, Japan's electrical appliance inspection institution and a public research body have decided to collaborate with solar cell parts producers to establish an experiment facility in Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture as early as this fiscal year.
The facility will test 4 types of solar cells to assess how they will perform if used for a long period.
The results will be a resource to create international standards for the efficiency of solar batteries.

Friday, August 12, 2011 11:04
Nearly 57,000 officials sent to disaster-hit areas
Nearly 57,000 local government officials from around Japan have been sent to disaster-hit areas to help out in recovery and rebuilding efforts since the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The internal affairs ministry says 56,923 personnel have been dispatched to Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki, and Chiba prefectures. The number does not include firefighters and police officers.
It says all of Japan's 47 prefectures, except for the 3 hardest-hit, sent officials. 1,272 municipalities, about 80 percent of the nation's total, did the same.
By prefecture, Tokyo sent the largest number of 2,722. By municipality, Osaka City sent 1,677.
Some experts say the downside to these efforts was the long lead time before sending officials. They also say their expertise was not put to best use.
Associate Professor Norio Maki of the Disaster Prevention Research Institute of the Kyoto University says poor coordination between municipalities was one reason for the inefficient use of dispatched officials.
He proposes that municipalities prepare agreements for such support efforts and a manual for sending and accepting personnel.

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

DPJ shifts focus to Kan successor
As the Lower House passes a crucial bill authorizing bond-issuances, lawmakers in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan accelerate their hunt for a successor to Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Nuke regulation inadequate, admits sacked NISA chief

Clash over restarting Tomari nuclear reactor averted

State must buy, restore ruined farms: group



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