June 2012

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- June 2012 -

「上を向いて がんばろう 日本」 Let us look UP !
to the new Tokyo Sky Tree

source : www.railforum.jp

. Tokyo Sky Tree 東京スカイツリー Skytree .


Join the friends on facebook:

. Joys of Japan .


Friday, June 1, 2012

. . . . . Earthquake at 17:56
Magnitude 5.2 - south in Ibaraki prefecture
Felt as 1 from Miyagi to Aichi

Kansai chiefs accept 'limited' reactor restart !!!
Kansai leaders reverse weeks of opposition to restarting two reactors at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, caving in to intense corporate lobbying and pressure from the central government.

Fukushima farmers pray for cesium-free rice

55% against Ohi nuclear plant restart
An NHK survey has found that more than half of the residents near a Japanese town hosting a nuclear power plant oppose restarting the offline reactors.
For 3 days from May 25th NHK surveyed residents of Ohi Town in Fukui Prefecture where the nuclear plant is located. The survey also included residents of 4 neighboring municipalities and Osaka City, the largest municipality served by the plant.
Japan's central government hopes to announce the restart of the nuclear plant as early as next week. ...

DPJ lawmakers want cautious stance on Ohi restart
The ruling Democratic Party's working team on the Fukushima nuclear accident will ask Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to be cautious about restarting the Ohi nuclear plant.
The central government plans to hold a meeting of relevant ministers as early as next week to officially decide whether to restart the plant in Fukui Prefecture. The meeting will come only after the government receives permission for the restart from the Fukui prefectural government and Ohi Town, which hosts the plant.
Members of the Democratic Party's working group met on Thursday to discuss the government's handling of the plant's resumption. ...

Vessels to build wind farm in Japan
A Japanese company is building an offshore wind farm farther off the coast than existing farms.
The company is investing about 57 million dollars to build 8 turbines with special vessels off the coast of Kamisu City, Ibaraki Prefecture.
On Friday, the construction vessels, called self-elevating platforms, drove 25-meter steel pipes into the seabed to support the turbines' pillars. The work is considered to be the most difficult stage of construction. ...

Thermometers malfunctioning at No.2 reactor
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says more than half of the thermometers at the No.2 reactor are not working.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said Friday that 23 of the 41 thermometers are malfunctioning.
TEPCO says high humidity inside the reactor may be to blame. ...


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Silver lining: Nuke crisis raised food safety awareness

Tokyo Electric's ex-president to join Fuji Oil as outside board member


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Smartphones, car navigation systems may aid evacuations when next Big One strikes: Tokyo officials

Paintings brighten up evacuee housing
Art students in disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture are trying to brighten up the lives of evacuees by painting colorful murals on temporary housing units.
Members of the art club at Hobara High School got out their paint brushes on Saturday, and travelled to nearby Miyashiro town. ...

Nebuta dancers perform for Fukushima evacuees
More than 20 Nebuta dancers from the northern Japanese prefecture of Aomori have given a special performance for evacuees from disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture.
Nebuta is one of the most popular festivals in Japan and features a parade of giant paper floats.
The dancers visited temporary housing in Matsukawa Town, Fukushima City, on Sunday. Aomori Mayor Hiroshi Shikanai accompanied the group.
About 450 evacuees from Iidate Village moved to the housing complex after the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. More than 80 percent of the residents are elderly people. ...

Hosono to meet Fukui governor over Ohi plant
The government of Japan will send the nuclear crisis minister to Fukui Prefecture to explain that it will take stronger safety measures for the restart of a nuclear power plant.
Nuclear Crisis Minister Goshi Hosono on Monday will meet Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa. ...


Monday, June 4, 2012

More developed leukemia if both parents exposed to A-bomb

More people born within 10 years of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima developed leukemia by the time they turned 35 if both parents were exposed to the blast than those who had only one exposed parent, a new study shows.

Plutonium reprocessing plan raises alarm amid shutdown

Blackouts threaten to put health care at risk

Traces of strong radiation found in Yakusugi cedar

..... see radiation - ancient radiation levels and

Noda announces new Cabinet lineup
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has announced a new Cabinet lineup that includes replacements of 2 ministers under pressure by the opposition to step down. ...


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Japan's nuclear agency caved to utilities
Officials at Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission say they have found evidence that the agency bowed to pressure from energy companies when it drafted nuclear safety measures more than 20 years ago.
The nuclear watchdog set up a task force in 1991 to study the effects of long-term power loss on nuclear plants.

TEPCO defends its handling of nuclear accident
Tokyo Electric Power Company is defending the way it handled the nuclear accident last year, countering criticism by a government panel.
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is due to release its final report on its in-house investigation into the accident by the end of this month. The utility has been hearing from its workers since last June.
Hydrogen explosions occurred at 3 reactor buildings after the March 11th quake and tsunami knocked out almost all of the plant's power sources.
The government panel pointed out in its interim report late last year that, due to a lack of knowledge and poor skills, workers at the No.1 reactor did not know the valves of an emergency cooling system was closed and the system wasn't functioning.
But TEPCO's draft final report says that it was impossible to check the valves, as power sources had been lost. The utility says, however, it is necessary to re-examine its fail-safe system for total blackouts, and manuals and workers' training should be revised accordingly.
The government panel said that after the earthquake and tsunami, the emergency cooling system at the No.3 reactor could not work for nearly 7 hours as its valve remained closed due to weak batteries. The panel said workers failed to inject water, as they underestimated the risk of the battery going flat.
However, TEPCO says it had to stop the system as soon as possible to protect a water injecting mechanism.

Gunji wonders if TPP serves national interests
Japan's new agriculture minister Akira Gunji has questioned whether Japan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, if it means eliminating all tariffs. ...


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Watchdog let utilities justify omitting nuclear plant power supply safety steps
A newly revealed document shows the Nuclear Safety Commission backed a claim by utilities in a 1992 report that no safety measures were needed to deal with a long-term complete power loss at nuclear plants.

Sky watchers wait for rare celestial spectacle
Sky-watchers in Japan and around the world are waiting for a rare celestial spectacle, the transit of Venus.

TEPCO resumes cooling of Fukushima fuel pool

The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has resumed cooling of a fuel storage pool at the facility. The work had been suspended due to failure of a water cooling pump.
The pump at the Number 4 reactor building pool stopped working on Monday night after becoming burnt. The pool holds 1,535 spent and unused fuel rods, the most at the plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, used a backup pump, but on Tuesday, it also broke. The firm fixed the pump on Wednesday, and restarted it at around 6 PM.
TEPCO says the pool's temperature at 11 AM on Wednesday was 40 degrees Celsius, up six degrees from a day before. As of 5 PM, the temperature had risen to 42 degrees.
TEPCO expects the temperature to fall by about 10 degrees over next 12 to 24 hours.

No revolving-door appointments in new nuclear body
Japan's main political parties have agreed that appointees to the country's new nuclear regulatory body should not be allowed to return to work at their former ministry or agency.
The ruling Democratic Party is discussing a nuclear control bill with the opposition Liberal Democratic and New Komeito parties.
The parties have already agreed to set up a nuclear regulatory committee that's largely independent of the government, and a nuclear regulatory agency that acts on the committee's orders. ...

Prince Tomohito of Mikasa dies
Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, a cousin of Japan's Emperor Akihito, has died. He was 66 years old.
Prince Tomohito had undergone 16 surgeries and rounds of treatment on his throat since having cancer of the esophagus removed in 1991. .....


Thursday, June 7, 2012

NISA to let reactor run beyond 40 years

Official Kansai's reactor nod puzzles

Realtor to build solar power plant in Fukushima
A major Japanese real estate company has announced plans to build a large-scale solar power plant in an area hit by last year's disaster and nuclear accident.
Mori Trust plans to invest more than 50 million dollars to build the "Mega Solar" power station on a golf course in Izumizaki Village, southern Fukushima Prefecture.
The golf club closed after last year's earthquake and accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. ...

Noda to explain need for Ohi nuclear plant restart
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is planning to hold a news conference on Friday on the Ohi nuclear power plant. He is ready to explain to the public the necessity of restarting the reactors in Fukui Prefecture.
Noda is expected to stress that the Ohi plant is safe and it is a vital source of energy for the development of the Japanese economy.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Massive tsunami-hit dock from Aomori port washes up on Oregon beach
A huge floating dock cast adrift by last year's killer tsunami washes up on Oregon's shore, the biggest item of flotsam from the natural disasters to make landfall on the U.S. West Coast so far.

Workers sent to check reactor suppression chambers
Tokyo Electric Power Company has sent workers into the basements of 2 reactor buildings at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for a look at the reactors' suppression chambers.
Workers entered the rooms housing the suppression chambers of the Numbers 2 and 3 reactors on Wednesday for the first time since the nuclear accident in March of last year.
The crew was tasked with pinpointing the source of radioactive water leaking from the chambers. But they were unsuccessful. ...

Noda calls for Ohi plant restart

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has called for restarting the Ohi nuclear power plant, saying that a stable power supply is essential for daily life.
Noda told a news conference on Friday that time is running out ahead of a summer power surge.
Noda said the plant in Fukui Prefecture has adopted measures to withstand an earthquake and tsunami as powerful as the one that hit the Fukushima plant last year. He stated that Ohi's reactor cores would be protected even in case of total power failure.
Noda mentioned that 2 of the 4 reactors at the Ohi plant should resume operation. The government hopes this can be done after local authorities give consent.
Noda held the conference after Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa said a direct message would help the public accept the restart.
Nishikawa is expected to make his own decision by next week at the earliest.
The Ohi plant would be the first nuclear power station to return online after all Japan's reactors went offline in May. The plant usually supplies electricity to the densely populated western area of Kansai.

How the Ohi restart has been handled
Following the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the government instructed all nuclear power plants in Japan to add power trucks and water pump vehicles. This was part of the contingency plan for a major tsunami.
The government also made it mandatory for idled nuclear plants to undergo so-called stress tests before they could go back online.
In October and November last year, the Kansai Electric Power Company submitted the results of stress tests for the No.2 and No.3 reactors at the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan coast. ...

Ohi mayor appreciates PM's sentiment
Ohi Mayor Shinobu Tokioka says he appreciates Prime Minister Noda for pointing out the need to restart the plant for the sake of people's lives.
Tokioka also says he is grateful that Noda expressed his thanks to Fukui Prefecture and his town for hosting the plant for decades.

TEPCO ex-president denies trying to withdraw
Former president of the Tokyo Electric Power Company says he did not ask permission from the government to withdraw all the workers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at the time of last year's accident.
Masataka Shimizu was the president of TEPCO during the crisis. On Friday he talked to a panel appointed by the Diet to investigate the accident.
Shimizu was referring to testimony to the panel about the accident by ex-prime minster Naoto Kan and other cabinet ministers. ...


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Oi reactors' restart is vital, Noda stresses

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says restarting the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture is crucial to meet the nation's energy needs this summer and to ensure sustainable long-term economic growth.

Fukui Governor welcomes Noda's statement on plant

The governor of Fukui has welcomed Prime Minister Noda's statement on the safety of his prefecture's Ohi nuclear plant and the need to restart 2 of its reactors.
In a statement made on Friday Governor Issei Nishikawa commended the prime minister's firm endorsement of nuclear power.
Nishikawa said he will ensure that an accident like last year's Fukushima disaster will never happen in Fukui. ...

Ohi mayor appreciates PM's sentiment
Ohi Mayor Shinobu Tokioka says he appreciates Prime Minister Noda for pointing out the need to restart the plant for the sake of people's lives.
Tokioka also says he is grateful that Noda expressed his thanks to Fukui Prefecture and his town for hosting the plant for decades.

Japan slow in reviewing nuclear emergency plans

Japan's government has yet to come up with new guidelines needed by municipalities around the country's nuclear power plants to draw up plans for coping with serious nuclear accidents.
After last year's accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the government decided to expand zones requiring improved preparedness for any accident. The zones now extend 30 kilometers from nuclear plants, rather than 10 kilometers.
This means that over 130 municipalities, or 3 times more than before, now must draw up their own anti-disaster plans. Most are doing so for the first time. ...

Communities near plant want safety agreement
An NHK survey shows that 78 percent of the local authorities around the Ohi nuclear power plant which have yet to sign safety agreements with the plant operator are seeking such agreements.
NHK surveyed 3 prefectures and 14 municipalities within 30 kilometers of the plant in Fukui Prefecture earlier this month.
Safety agreements are signed between municipalities and electric power companies that operate nuclear plants. Utilities are authorized to decide whether to restart plants.
In the case of Ohi Town, which hosts the plant, the municipal government has the authority to decide on resumption of facility operations when trouble occurs.
It is also authorized to conduct on-site investigations at the plant.
Of the municipalities without safety agreements, 78 percent of them said they want such agreements. ...


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sendai disaster victim to carry Olympic torch

1,000 U.S. high school students to start volunteer work in tsunami zones

Tepco slammed over rate hike plan at public hearing

Exporting 'Japanland'
..... Nothing in the plan is likely to turn into an economic failure, but neither is it likely to showcase the best of life in Japan.
The government should ensure that only the best examples of Japanese culture are exported.

Experimental offshore power generation begins
A floating wind turbine is about to undergo testing in western Japan to gauge its power-generating capacity.
The installation of the turbine began off Goto Island on Saturday. It is the first ever floating turbine to be tested in Japanese waters. ...

Small-scale power exchange to open
Japan will open its electricity market to small-scale power suppliers ahead of the summer season when electricity shortages are expected.
Market operator Japan Electric Power Exchange, or JEPX, says a new market for low-volume electricity trading will open on June 18th.
JEPX currently allows transactions of electricity with a minimum amount of 1,000 kilowatts. 1,000 kilowatts is enough power for about 300 households.
The new market will provide small-scale in-house power generators, such as factories and office buildings, with a place for transactions.
They can trade electricity volume below 1,000 kilowatts as well as energy from solar cells and wind that tends to be unstable. There will be no restrictions on quantity or price.
JEPX wants to see the new market help uncover small lots of electricity that has not been widely used in the past and mitigate the power crunch this summer.
But analysts say a major challenge is to increase the number of participants in the market.

Diet panel criticizes confusing evacuation orders
A survey shows that more than 70 percent of respondents who lived near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said they had to relocate 4 times or more after they were initially ordered to evacuate following last year's disaster.
The survey was conducted between March and April of this year by a Diet committee investigating the nuclear crisis. About half of more than 20,000 households answered the questions.
The results of the survey show that more than 70 percent of those who lived in 6 municipalities near the nuclear plant said they moved 4 times or more after they were initially order to evacuate. The 6 municipalities include Futaba and Ohkuma Towns, where all residents were ordered to leave.
The survey also shows that 50 percent of those queried in Namie Town, 32 percent in Futaba Town, and 27 percent in Tomioka Town, said that the government later issued evacuation orders to the places where they had relocated.
Other respondents said they moved because the locations they initially fled to did not have facilities suitable for long-term stays, or because radioactivity was too high.
The Diet committee says that government's delays in releasing information or communicating with people later caused confusion. It also says unsystematic evacuation orders by the government inconvenienced people as they had to move many times.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Fukui nuclear committee basically accepts report
The nuclear committee of Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, has accepted most parts of a draft report guaranteeing the safety of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Ohi power plant. The committee of nuclear and earthquake experts reached their decision on Sunday evening.
The meeting was delayed by about one hour because of clashes between anti-nuclear civic groups and police officers. The committee members were forced to move to a different room to hold a closed-door session. ...

Local nuclear safety commission says Oi reactors safe to restart
Protesters attempt to disrupt proceedings but commission proceeds with endorsement of safety measures.

Ohi mayor to back nuclear resumption
The mayor of a town that hosts a nuclear power plant is expected to give consent to a resumption of the plant's operation.
The Ohi nuclear power plant in Ohi Town, Fukui Prefecture, is offline for scheduled safety checks.
Ohi mayor Shinobu Tokioka is expected to announce to the town assembly on Thursday that he will approve switching the reactors back on. ...

18% of Fukushima evacuees may be unable to return home even after 10 years


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

1,300 file complaints against Tepco

Ministry sorry for school radiation limit flipflop
Japan's education ministry says it is sorry that it initially set the radiation exposure limit for schoolchildren at a high level that drew parents' concerns.
The ministry has drafted a report reviewing its response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster that was triggered by the quake and tsunami on March 11th last year.
The report refers to a decision made in April to set the safety limit of radiation exposure for outdoor school activities at no more than 20 millisieverts per year.
At the time, the ministry said it was following recommendations by the International Commission on Radiological Protection. The ICRP advises limiting people's exposure in a post-emergency phase to between one and 20 millisieverts per year.
After parents objected to the ministry's adoption of the higher-end limit, one month later officials lowered the threshold to one millisievert per year. ...


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Oi reactors won't be at max by late July

TEPCO again fails to find leaks at Fukushima plant
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says a new method has failed to locate radioactive water leaking from one of the reactors. Identifying the leaks is a key step towards decommissioning the plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said workers used an infrared camera on Tuesday to search for the leaks in the suppression chamber at the No.2 reactor.
It was hoped that the infrared images would reveal the leakage spots by showing the temperature difference between the water and the air.
But the images failed to show a big gap in temperatures.
TEPCO says it will devise other ways to find the locations.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ohi town agrees to reactor restart
The mayor of Ohi town in Fukui Prefecture has approved the restart of 2 nuclear reactors in his town.
Mayor Shinobu Tokioka told a meeting at the municipal assembly on Thursday that he has decided to agree to the restart of the No.3 and No.4 reactors at Ohi nuclear plant. The 2 reactors have been offline for routine safety checks.

Japan Govt. likely to OK reactor restart

Japan's government is expected to officially decide on Saturday to restart 2 nuclear reactors in Fukui Prefecture facing the Sea of Japan.
The 2 are among all 50 nuclear reactors suspended in Japan following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011.
On Thursday, Mayor Shinobu Tokioka of Ohi Town told the municipal assembly that he has decided to accept the central government's call to restart the reactors. Later, he met Governor Issei Nishikawa of Fukui Prefecture to convey his decision. ...

Shareholders criticize TEPCO for ignoring warning
A group of shareholders of Tokyo Electric Power Company have criticized the utility for having ignored experts' warnings of a possible earthquake and tsunami around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The group of 42 shareholders made the accusation in the opening of a negligence suit against 27 former and current presidents and chairmen of TEPCO, at the Tokyo District Court on Thursday. ...

High radiation one floor above reactor
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it has detected extremely high levels of radiation on a floor just above the No. 2 reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
TEPCO sent a robot into the reactor building on Wednesday to take video images and radiation measurements.
..... TEPCO needs to find and repair the damaged parts of the reactor to recover melted nuclear fuel before starting to decommission the reactor. But it says high radiation often stops workers from entering the building. This scenario means it will take a long time to find the problems in the containment vessel.


復興 陸前高田うごく七夕まつり 
Tanabata Festival at Rikuzen Takada
August 6/7, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

New nuke safety bodies get OK
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan and the two largest opposition groups reach a final agreement on legislation to create new bodies to regulate the nuclear industry.

Wife writes of divorcing radiation-scared Ozawa
The wife of Democratic Party of Japan kingpin Ichiro Ozawa has divorced him, saying he fled Tokyo soon after the nuclear crisis started last year due to his radiation fears, according to reports.

Novelist Oe submits anti-nuclear petition to govt.
Nobel Prize-winning Japanese novelist Kenzaburo Oe has asked Japan's government to end its policy of dependence on nuclear power.
Oe and 3 others handed an anti-nuclear power petition to Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura in Tokyo on Friday. The petition was signed by nearly 6.5 million people across the country. .....

Fukui governor meets Kansai Electric chief
The governor of Fukui Prefecture, host of the suspended Ohi nuclear power plant, has confirmed steps to ensure safety at the facility in a meeting with its operator's chief.
Issei Nishikawa met Kansai Electric Power Company President Makoto Yagi on Friday, one day before Nishikawa is likely to convey his approval to restart two of the plant's reactors to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Japan decides to restart Ohi nuclear plant

I had hoped never to start this new chapter - but as things unfold
in summer 2012 it has become necessary.

.- Restarting Reactors - INFO .


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Disaster-hit region seeks foreign investment
Japan's government will hold seminars outside the country to seek foreign investment for disaster-hit northeast Japan next month.
The government hopes to attract companies to the area with incentives and thereby create jobs. It plans to waive corporate taxes for 5 years for any company starting business there. Unemployment is high in the area.
The Reconstruction Agency and semi-official Japanese External Trade Organization, or JETRO, decided to hold seminars in Hong Kong, New York, and Taipei in July.
A JETRO official says only a handful of foreign firms, including a major American online mail-order company, have started business in the area so far. ...

Japan's steel firms help supply power
Major Japanese steel firms are helping to supply power to compensate for potential shortages caused by the suspension of operations at most nuclear power plants.
Industry leader Nippon Steel will work with Tokyo Electric Power Company on new power generation at a plant in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo, late this month.
The new facility will allow the steel company to produce 15 percent more energy at 1.15 million kilowatts. Half of the amount will be sold to TEPCO. ...

Power saving still urged in Kansai area
The Japanese government is urging people and companies to conserve power in the Kansai area. 2 nuclear reactors in a nearby prefecture will be in full operation only from late July.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and 3 cabinet ministers concerned officially approved on Saturday the restart of the No.3 and No.4 reactors at the Ohi power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan.
The Fukui prefectural government and the town hosting the power plant have both given their consent. ...

Japan's steel firms help supply power
Major Japanese steel firms are helping to supply power to compensate for potential shortages caused by the suspension of operations at most nuclear power plants.
Industry leader Nippon Steel will work with Tokyo Electric Power Company on new power generation at a plant in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo, late this month. ...


Monday, June 18, 2012

- - - - - at 5:32
Earthquake M 6.1, off Miyagi prefecture

Typhoon Guchol approaching Okinawa
A very strong typhoon is approaching Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa. ...The typhoon could make landfall on Japan's main island of Honshu later this week.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Typhoon Nr. 4 is nearing Okayama.

. Typhoon Nr. 4 台風4号 Guchol(グチョル) .
and Nr. 5 is on its heels !!

Japan officials fail to disclose radiation map
Japan's Foreign Ministry says the US government created a map depicting the spread of radiation following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But Japan's Science Ministry did not make the information public.
The US Energy Department created the map using the data collected by US aircraft from March 17th to 19th last year.
The map shows radiation spreading northwest from the accident site. Parts of the map indicate levels of 125 microsieverts per hour. The figure suggests residents close to the plant were exposed to the annual permissible level within 8 hours. ...

Biomass town shining amid Fukushima taint
While the nation in general frets over power supply shortages this summer, many of the more than 300 "biomass towns" in Japan are offering a glimpse at a range of new energy alternatives.
Among them is the city of Maniwa in Okayama Prefecture. It has been attracting attention for successfully developing comprehensive city planning and industrial tourism based on the promotion of biomass utilization to efficient produce energy. ...

Govt. report: 3.11 response was insufficient
A Japanese government report says that science and technology didn't meet public expectations after the March 11th disaster last year.
The white paper on science and technology for 2011 was released on Wednesday. It notes tasks and suggestions the government must address regarding its response to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.
The report points out that tsunami estimates were too lenient and facilities which had been in place for nuclear safety were ineffective.
It says the way the public was notified about the spread of radioactive substances was inadequate.
The white paper also recommends that in order to restore public trust, the government should introduce a system that makes appropriate use of the opinions of science and technology experts.

Govt to review its withholding of radiation maps
Science minister Hirofumi Hirano says the government will review its decision last year not to disclose radiation maps provided by the United States.
The US government drew up maps based on aerial surveys immediately after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The documents show high levels of radiation in areas to the northwest of the power station.
It provided the maps to Japan on March 18th and 20th last year, but the science ministry and the nuclear safety agency decided not to make them public.
Hirano on Tuesday defended his ministry's handling of the matter, saying its job was only to measure radiation levels on land.
But he urged the government to reconsider its decision not to share the map information and put it to use.
Hirano said the government will study whether disclosure of the maps could have helped evacuation efforts.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Assembly rejects nuke referendum ordinance
The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly's general affairs committee has voted down a draft ordinance calling for a referendum on whether Tokyo Electric Power Co. should be allowed to restart any of its nuclear reactors, which have been idle since its Fukushima No. 1 plant suffered three meltdowns in March 2011.

Forum still pushes nuclear power with strict safety proviso added

Fukushima to resume seafood sales

Delayed disclosure at Ohi plant
The operator of the Ohi nuclear power plant says an alarm went off on Tuesday on a water level detector at its No.3 reactor.
(The disinformation seems to continue ...)
.- Restarting Reactors - INFO .

Law to set up new nuclear regulatory body enacted
Japan's Diet has enacted a law to set up a new nuclear regulatory body by September.
The law enacted on Wednesday was prompted by criticism following last year's accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Law makers have said the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency is controlled by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which promotes nuclear power. ...

TEPCO releases final report on Fukushima disaster
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has released the final report of its internal investigation into the crisis following the March 11 disaster last year.
The company admits it failed to adequately prepare for the nuclear emergency, but it also criticizes the government for adding to the unnecessary confusion of the accident.
The report released on Wednesday is based on interviews with about 600 TEPCO employees, on-site inspections, and analysis of other data.
It says the meltdowns at 3 of the plant's 4 reactors were directly caused by a loss of almost all cooling equipment due to a tsunami that was much larger than TEPCO had expected.
The report admits that the company's management of the emergency cooling system, which had been criticized by a government panel, was inadequate. But the company defends itself by pointing to the intense difficulty of responding to the crisis.
The report also blames the government for directly and indirectly interfering with TEPCO's emergency response efforts. It says government officials disregarded what was actually happening on the ground, causing unnecessary confusion.
TEPCO says one lesson it has taken from the accident is the need for an emergency response system that takes into account a nuclear reactor that has lost all its functions. The proposal includes measures to improve the chain of command, information flow and efforts to prevent meltdowns.
But an NHK reporter says TEPCO still doesn't know the extent of radioactivity that has been released since the start of the crisis, or how much damage the reactors suffered from the earthquake independent of the tsunami.

Big solar power plant to be built in Fukushima
Japanese electronics maker Toshiba will build several solar power stations in a city near the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Toshiba managing director Takeshi Yokota signed an agreement with the mayor of Minamisoma, Katsunobu Sakurai, on Wednesday. . . .

APEC to share technology to ensure nuclear safety
Energy ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum are preparing to agree on a plan to share the latest technologies to ensure nuclear safety. This is in response to last year's disaster at Japan's Fukushima plant.
The 21-member APEC forum is scheduled to meet in Saint Petersburg, Russia, next Monday. The debate will focus on ways to secure stable energy supplies.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Paris holds Japan reconstruction exhibition
An exhibition on Japan's reconstruction efforts in last year's disaster-hit areas opens in Paris city hall on Thursday.
The exhibition, planned by a group of Japanese residents and the municipality of Paris, was shown to media on Wednesday.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Earthquakes in Sanriku offshore
012年6月22日  5時38分 三陸沖 5.2
2012年6月22日 17時04分 三陸沖 5.1

'Security' wording in nuke power law change raises arms questions
The main principles of the basic law on nuclear power are revised for the first time in 34 years, leading to speculation it could be used to legally allow the development of atomic weapons in future.

Eight of 20 Tepco execs resigning over crisis to parachute sweetly to affiliates, other entities

Monitoring of Oi reactors beefed up

Reviving Fukushima's fisheries

Govt. to apologize for withholding radiation maps

The Japanese government will apologize to communities around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for not disclosing radiation maps provided by the United States immediately after the accident last year.
Officials from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency will visit Namie Town and other municipalities soon to explain what happened and offer an apology. ...

Japan to send tsunami debris team to US
Environment Minister Goshi Hosono says Japan will send a team of experts to the US to study the impact of debris from last year's tsunami in northeastern Japan.
An estimated 1.5-million tons of debris is drifting in the Pacific. Some of this material was recently washed ashore on the US Pacific coast, and its disposal has become an issue. ...


Saturay, June 23, 2012

Utilities to give 2-hour notice of blackouts

The Kansai region, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku will experience rolling blackouts with two hours' advance notice if usage exceeds 99 percent of utilities' capacity, according to a government draft.

Nuclear power plant collusion


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Utilities paid local governments Yen 73 billion in dividends: sources
Power firms paid out tens of billions in dividends to municipalities in the last five years, and those that received the funds will likely be pressured to convey residents' views more actively, sources say.

Fukushima sea food "safe" for eating
No radioactive substances have been detected in marine products caught off Fukushima Prefecture in the first test fishing following the 2011 nuclear accident.

Disaster spending estimated to exceed $50 bil.
Japan's land and infrastructure ministry estimates that public spending on the reconstruction of disaster-stricken northeast Japan will total about 50 billion dollars this fiscal year that ends in March, creating nearly half a million jobs.
The ministry calculated spending on construction of roads, buildings, and ports in disaster-hit areas and the ensuing ripple effect.
The ministry says spending by the central government and local municipalities will total 4.2 trillion yen, or 52.8 billion dollars, in fiscal 2012. This is 2.8 times the figure for the previous year. ...


Monday, June 25, 2012

False alarm at Oi plant


Radioactive hot spots found in Tokyo park
Tokyo officials are to start decontamination of a 92-hectare park where high levels of radiation have been detected.
On Monday, officials tested 14 locations at Mizumoto Park in Katsushika Ward, following reports from the public about radiation hot spots there.
Thirteen of tested locations registered radiation above one microsievert per hour at one meter above ground, with the highest reading at 1.22.
According to science ministry guidelines, decontamination is required when radiation is at least one microsievert higher than surrounding areas. Based on these guidelines, 9 of the 14 surveyed places in Mizumoto Park will be decontaminated.
Since last year's accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the ministry has received about 150 reports of Tokyo hot spots, as of March.

First catch off Fukushima since disaster sold
Seafood caught off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture went on sale at local stores on Monday. The products were made available for the first time since last year's nuclear accident. ...
Event to promote fish caught off Fukushima
An event to promote marine products caught off Fukushima Prefecture was held on Monday at the Soma fishing port.
Last Friday, fishermen from Fukushima carried out tests by fishing of 2 types of octopus and one type of shellfish. No radioactive substances were detected.
The products went on sale in Soma and Fukushima cities for the first time since last year's nuclear accident.

Yamaguchi Prefecture to stop nuclear plant project

The governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture in western Japan says he won't extend a permit for a land reclamation project to build a nuclear power plant.
Governor Sekinari Nii made the remark at a prefectural assembly on Monday. He was referring to the planned construction of the Kaminoseki plant on the coast of the Seto Inland Sea. ...

Sayama green tea campaign
Commuters at a train station in Iruma, Saitama Prefecture, received packs of fresh green tea on Monday morning, given out by local assembly members in a campaign to show the local produce is safe from radioactivity. ...


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fukushima tests seafood demand in local trial sale
Octopus and whelks caught off Fukushima are showcased in a trial sale at stores in the city of Soma, becoming the first prefectural seafood marketed since the nuclear disaster erupted there last year.

APEC ministers to promote nuclear energy


Tilted walls found at Fukushima No.4 reactor
Tokyo Electric Power Company has announced the No. 4 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has tilted walls caused by a hydrogen explosion in March last year.
The building still contains large stockpiles of nuclear fuel. But the plant operator TEPCO says its quake resistance is not affected. ...

Fukushima eateries serve local seafood

Some restaurants in Fukushima Prefecture are serving local seafood for the first time since last year's nuclear accident.
Fishing in the Pacific off the coast of the prefecture was allowed on a trial basis for one type of shellfish and 2 types of octopus. No radiation was detected in the catch and it went on sale in the city of Soma on Monday. ...

Residents oppose restart of Shika reactors

Residents around a nuclear power plant on the Sea of Japan coast are seeking a court order to prevent the operator from restarting the Number 1 and 2 reactors at the plant. .... see entry RESTARTING . . .

TEPCO to pay damages to Tohoku hotels
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has offered an expanded compensation plan for hotels in northeastern Japan.
Tokyo Electric Power Company presented the plan to an innkeepers' association in Yamagata Prefecture on Monday.
..... A senior member of the Yamagata association said he's afraid the new plan will reduce compensation due to term limitations and other conditions. He added that the group will continue to seek expanded coverage.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nuclear redress will never approximate losses
For all the damage and despair the Fukushima nuclear crisis has wrought, the disaster so far has unfolded without one conventional element in other parts of the world: a widespread and contentious legal fight by those who say they should be compensated for their losses.
... But the reality is, numerous victims are dissatisfied with Tepco's handling. And the situation is very troubling."
... In only a few instances has a victim grown angry enough to launch a lawsuit.
... Victims .. They should go to court, he said, and make Tepco feel sorry.

Hackers target Japanese govt. websites
Japanese government websites have been targeted by hackers. An international hacking group, Anonymous, had earlier threatened to attack official sites.

TEPCO shareholders to approve public bailout
Shareholders of Tokyo Electric Power Company will likely approve a public bailout on Wednesday.
The government is set inject more than 12 billion dollars into the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The move will effectively nationalize the company.
More than 10,000 TEPCO shareholders are attending the annual stockholders' meeting. ...

Activists protest against TEPCO
Environmentalists and citizens groups are protesting at the site of a shareholders meeting of Tokyo Electric Power Company.
The protesters from Japan and overseas gathered outside the TEPCO meeting at a gymnasium in central Tokyo on Wednesday. ...

KEPCO shareholders vote down Osaka proposals
Shareholders of Kansai Electric Power Company have voted down a set of proposals by Osaka City to scrap the firm's nuclear plants.
Some 3,800 shareholders, a record high, attended a meeting on Wednesday. The utility is preparing to restart reactors at the Ohi nuclear plant on the Sea of Japan coast.
Outside the meeting venue, citizens' groups and labor unions protested the restart. ... Mayor Toru Hashimoto urged the firm's management to create an alternative power supply system.
Kansai Electric countered that nuclear plants are crucial for its business and a stable energy supply. ...

TEPCO shareholders approve public bailout plan
Shareholders of the Tokyo Electric Power Company have accepted the utility's proposal to receive billions of dollars of public funds to help rebuild its finances.
The decision, made at TEPCO's annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, formalizes a plan to effectively put the utility under government control. ...


Thursday, June 28, 2012

at 14:56 - Earthquake M 5.2 - off Fukushima
and quite a few minor quakes M 4 in Tohoku.

Utilities defy shareholders' antinuke calls
Nine power companies hold annual shareholders' meetings, with antinuclear investors causing a ruckus by pushing them to shut down atomic plants and explore renewable energies.

New TEPCO President says gov't must share burden

The new president of Tokyo Electric Power Company has called for a review of its financial burden related to the nuclear accident in Fukushima. He has asked the government to bear part of the cost.
In an interview with NHK, Naomi Hirose said it is impossible for the company to bear the burden alone. .....

Better disaster planning needed

Highest radiation found at Fukushima No.1 reactor
The highest level of radiation to date has been detected inside the No.1 reactor vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said it used endoscopes and dosimeters to examine the interior of the reactor on Tuesday. Internal measurements were made for the first time since the accident in March last year.
The utility detected a record level of 10,300 millisieverts per hour. The measurement was taken 20 centimeters above the surface of a contaminated water puddle in the reactor's suppression chamber. This high level of radiation would be fatal for humans within 50 minutes. No broken parts were identified in the containment vessel during the survey. .....

New TEPCO execs meet Fukushima governor
The governor of Fukushima Prefecture has asked Tokyo Electric Power Company to ensure safe decommissioning of its crippled nuclear reactors and compensate those affected by the nuclear accident.
Governor Yuhei Sato met TEPCO Chairman Kazuhiko Shimokobe and President Naomi Hirose at a prefectural government office on Thursday, one day after the 2 were appointed to the posts at a shareholders meeting. ...

TEPCO's new chairman promises reform
The new Chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company says he will push to reform management to regain public trust following last year's Fukushima nuclear accident.
Kazuhiko Shimokobe spoke at a news conference on Thursday, one day after his appointment as TEPCO chairman at a shareholders meeting. ... But he said he is keenly aware of the harsh reality that a significant delay in the planned resumption early next year would adversely affect electricity supply. He added that at the moment, he is not considering asking for higher electricity rates if the reactors are not restarted as planned.

Hokkaido says 35 meter tsunami possible
Officials from Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido say an almost 35-meter high tsunami could hit its east coast if a massive earthquake occurs in the Pacific.
The Hokkaido prefectural government revised its forecast sharply upward on Thursday. ...


Friday, June 29, 2012

Tepco's self-justifying report

.... But what is conspicuous in the report is Tepco's attempt to evade its responsibility for the catastrophe and to minimize legal risks in compensating nuclear crisis victims and in dealing with lawsuits over the disaster. ...

Tepco: Restart Niigata reactors
New Tepco Chairman Kazuhiko Shimokobe calls for the utility's idled reactors in Niigata Prefecture to be restarted from next April, terming the move a "building block" in its turnaround plan.

10 utilities plan sharp August electricity rate hikes to cover renewables' tab

Fukushima radiation sizzling at 1 sievert in flooded basement of unit 1

Tsunami-hit areas vulnerable to rain

Huge rare earth reserves found in Japanese EEZ
A Japanese team of scientists says it has found massive reserves of rare earth metals in the country's exclusive economic zone. ...


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Protest rally against Noda, Oi reactor restarts intensifies
As Kansai Electric Power Co. prepares to fire up a reactor at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture on Sunday, a massive crowd gathers in central Tokyo to express their anger toward the government and the utility.

Protests over nuclear plant restart continue
A crowd rallied in front of the Prime Minister's Official Residence in Tokyo on Friday to protest the restart a nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan. ...

Ohi nuclear power plant to restart on Sunday
Kansai Electric Power Company, the operator of the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, will restart the No.3 reactor on Sunday night for the first time in 15 months.

Lawson enters solar power generation business
Major convenience store chain Lawson is embarking on a new business to sell electricity generated by solar power. It plans to install solar panels at its outlets, mostly in Pacific coastal areas of Japan.
A new government scheme that goes into effect on Sunday obligates power companies to purchase electricity produced by renewable sources at fixed rates.
Lawson says around 2,000 stores from Miyagi in northeast Japan to Okinawa in southern Japan with comparatively more hours of sunlight will have solar cells installed by February 2014.
... The company also plans to install a battery in each store in the future so that it can be used as an emergency energy source in the event of a power outage.
Another convenience store operator, Family Mart, is also planning to enter the solar power business by the end of this business year in March 2013.
Other retailers with a network of outlets across Japan are likely to follow suit to take advantage of the new program to promote the use of renewable energy.

. - Restarting Reactors - INFO - .


. . Bulletins from NHK WORLD . .
. . Japan Times - JT . .

- May 2012 -



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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6/16/2012

    Scott Watson / Quake Notes

    “Watson’s Quake Notes would translate well into Japanese. The diary, from Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book, through Basho and Issa to Kenzaburo Oe’s Hiroshima Notes, has been a prized Japanese art form, and readers familiar with those writers will see how clearly Watson’s work stands in their light.
    Watson is never explicit about this heritage; there is nothing self-consciously literary about this little book, but like its antecedents, Quake Notes is all poetry, the language of survival, life.”
    –John Martone