August 2012

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- - - August 2012 - - -


Iwate - International Daruma

source : kon-kon_may


. - Restarting Reactors - INFO - .

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Antinuclear demonstrators meet with lawmakers, seek talks with Noda

3/11 victims mourned at Ishinomaki summer festival
A century-old summer festival began in tsunami-hit Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, on Tuesday.The participants are also mourning the victims of last year's March 11th disaster.
The Ishinomaki Kawabiraki, or "River Opening" Festival, traditionally celebrates the city's prosperity.
Since last year, the festival has also been held to pray for the repose of the March 11th victims and the city's reconstruction.

Fukushima octopus shipped to Tokyo, Nagoya

Fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture have shipped radiation-free octopus for sale in the Tokyo and Nagoya areas. ...
The octopus shipped to Tokyo will be sold on Thursday at Tsukiji market.

Energy policy hearing held in Fukushima
People from Fukushima Prefecture have called on the government at an energy policy hearing to eliminate the country's reliance on nuclear power.

Ozawa's party: End nuclear power in 10 years
The new party launched earlier this month by politicians who splintered off from the ruling Democratic Party is proposing to eliminate the country's nuclear power plants in 10 years.
The new party, called Kokumin no Seikatsu ga Daiichi, which literally translates as "people's lives first," opened its head office on Wednesday in Tokyo. ...


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fukushima residents rip nuke power
Residents of Fukushima Prefecture, speaking at a government-sponsored public hearing on national energy policy, call for an end to dependence on nuclear energy by 2030.

Prosecutors open criminal probes over Fukushima meltdown disaster
Prosecutors open converging criminal probes Wednesday into the March 2011 triple-meltdown disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, looking to hold people in positions of power accountable, including then Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Oi reactors will be idled if fault under them is active, new nuclear safety chief warns

First octopuses shipped from off Fukushima traded
Octopuses caught in the sea off of Fukushima Prefecture were traded for the first time in 17 months after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in March last year.
On Thursday dawn, about 110 kilograms of Giant Pacific Octopuses were traded at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market. ...


Friday, August 3, 2012

Kids' safety key worry in Fukushima
A year and half after the start of the nuclear crisis, many who attend the government's latest public hearing on energy policy in Fukushima still express concern about the impact of radiation on their children.

Weekly anti-nuclear rally held near PM residence
Participants in the weekly anti-nuclear rally in central Tokyo have called on the government to listen to citizen's voices when deciding the country's nuclear policy.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Official pushed pronuke stance


Sunday, August 5, 2012

15% nuclear option backed
- - - but
Nearly 70% of Japanese who wanted to attend hearings on nuclear power hoped to discuss its complete abolition


Monday, August 6, 2012

. Hiroshima Memorial Day .

Kane: Nuclear weapons violate human rights
The UN high representative for disarmament affairs has emphasized that the use of nuclear weapons is increasingly seen as being against human rights.
Angela Kane is scheduled to attend Monday's memorial ceremony in Hiroshima, marking the 67th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the city.

New hearing held to gauge nuke sentiment
Hundreds of citizens quiz nuclear experts and engage in debates over the weekend in a "deliberative polling" session held to determine where the public stands on nuclear energy.

Tsunami-hit Iwanuma kicks off relocation project
The city of Iwanuma becomes the first municipality in the three-prefecture area slammed by last year's tsunami to launch a mass relocation project to move coastal residents inland.

Sakamoto plays piano damaged by disaster
Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto gave a concert performance playing a piano damaged in last year's disaster in northeastern Japan.
The recital took place in Sendai City, which was hard hit by the quake and tsunami. The performance was part of a campaign to repair musical instruments at schools that suffered damage in the disaster.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hiroshima honors A-bomb dead; protesters chant
Thousands silently mark the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima as demonstrators underline the modern dangers of nuclear power by protesting post-Fukushima reactor restarts just outside Peace Park.

Tepco airs internal crisis footage
Tokyo Electric allows journalists to view 150 hours of teleconferences between its headquarters and the stricken Fukushima plant, shedding light on the first five days of the nuclear meltdowns.
TEPCO executives leave HQ amid crisis
Video footage released by Tokyo Electric Power Company shows the utility's executives leaving the Tokyo headquarters as the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was unfolding.

Noda hints abolition a theoretical energy option

6 opp. parties submit Noda no-confidence motion
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is facing a censure motion and a no-confidence motion against his Cabinet over his plan to raise the consumption tax.
Six opposition parties submitted a no-confidence motion against Noda's Cabinet to the lower house on Tuesday. ...

Radiation detector for rice tested in Fukushima
Fukushima Prefecture will soon begin checking the radiation levels of all rice to be shipped from the region. The prefecture decided to introduce the mandatory tests after last year's nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
About 70 rice dealers gathered at an agricultural cooperative on Tuesday to verify the process.
The radiation detector can check up to 4 bags of rice per minute to see if it meets the national food safety standards. The rice that passes the test is sealed with a sticker with codes certifying the results. ...


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Depth of Fukushima No. 1 evac plan unclear in videos
Internal footage thus far provided of the first days of the Fukushima nuclear crisis shows top Tepco officials discussing "evacuation" but few clues on whether they were preparing to completely abandon the plant.

Nuclear-free not bad for economy: Edano


Thursday, August 9, 2012

. Nagasaki Memorial Day .

Nagasaki observes 67th A-bomb anniversary
The city of Nagasaki is preparing to observe the 67th anniversary of the US atomic bombing on Thursday. ...


Friday, August 10, 2012

Nagasaki calls for worldwide nuclear abolition treaty
Nagasaki urges world leaders to conclude a treaty banning nuclear weapons at a ceremony marking the 67th anniversary of its atomic bombing.

Seawater option for meltdown galled execs
Video footage showing Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s response to the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant calamity shows the utility was reluctant to use seawater to cool the melting core of one of its reactors because the salt would corrode it.

Nuclear plant locales to get aid, Edano says

Entry ban lifted in a town in Fukushima

The Japanese government has lifted its entry ban on part of a town in Fukushima Prefecture that had high levels of radiation caused by the nuclear accident last year. But some residents are protesting the move.
Residents in that area of the town of Naraha started returning home on Friday after the ban was lifted at midnight. ...
... Those opposed to lifting the ban protested the move at the border of the former no-entry zone.
The protestors held up signs to drivers asking if Naraha could guarantee a safe future for its children.
They say the area's safety is uncertain as health concerns remain. They also say shortening the evacuation period could mean less compensation from the nuclear plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company.

IAEA finds little quake damage at Onagawa plant

International nuclear inspectors say they've detected much less damage than expected at a Japanese nuclear power plant that experienced last year's earthquake.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

IAEA only finds light damage at Onagawa

Access reopens for another Fukushima town


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Radioactive fallout from Fukushima nuclear meltdowns caused abnormalities in Japan's butterflies
Researchers say radioactive materials emitted during the nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture have created abnormalities among the nation's butterflies.

Japanese government receives over 50,000 comments from public on future of nuclear power


Monday, August 13, 2012

Today is the beginning of the Ancestor's festival, O-Bon.

Evacuees visit family graves
Evacuees from a town near the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have visited their family graves for the first time in one and a half years after an entry ban was lifted.
The evacuees arrived at a Buddhist temple in Naraha Town on Monday. People traditionally pay respects to their ancestors during the Bon holidays in mid-August.

Aftermath in Fukushima No. 1 was like hell, says nuclear plant chief
The nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 plant was hellish and gave him a sense of impending catastrophe as it unfolded, plant chief Masao Yoshida reveals.

People pay respect to survivor pine before felling
Many people are visiting the coast of Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, one of the areas worst hit by the tsunami that struck Japan last year. The visitors have come to see a pine tree that survived the disaster.
Of the 70,000 pines that lined the coast of Rikuzentakata before last year's March 11th disaster, only one survived and came to be known as the "miracle lone pine."
The solitary tree became a symbol of hope for reconstruction, but tests have found that it is dying from extensive saltwater damage. As a result, the local government has decided to cut it down early next month. It plans to treat the tree with a preservative and erect it in the same place by next February.
Many people are visiting the coast to see the lone pine before it is felled. The visitors include tourists and people who are in the area during the Bon Buddhist holiday period.
Some people have been taking photos of the tree and others offering prayers in silence.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DPJ vow for next poll: a nuclear phaseout
A nuclear phaseout: As public opposition to nuclear power builds, Prime Minister Noda's Democratic Party of Japan explores the idea of campaigning on phasing out nuclear power to win the next general election.

Tepco workers face mental health crisis after cost cuts: counselor
After toiling for 17 months to contain the nuclear crisis at Fukushima No. 1, the plant's workers are stressed out and being deprived of proper counseling and working conditions, a volunteer counselor warns.

March 11 disaster damage 76,000 vehicles
NHK estimates last year's earthquake and tsunami damaged about 76,000 vehicles in Japan's northeastern coastal areas.
The Environment Ministry says nearly 72,000 units had been brought into yards for disposal by July 11th from Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures. The ministry says 63 percent of those vehicles have been disposed of and the rest will be scrapped by next March.
In addition, about 1,000 had been scrapped by municipal governments in the prefectures without being transported to the yards. ...

Torrential rains hit western, eastern Japan
Torrential downpours hit wide areas in western and central Japan on Tuesday morning, leaving one person dead and 2 others missing. ... Areas in Osaka, Kyoto, and Shiga prefectures had extremely heavy rainfall of around 100 millimeters in one hour. ...

Water leak found at Fukushima Daiichi plant
Tokyo Electric Power Company has reported a radioactive water leak at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant's Number 4 reactor.
The utility says a worker patrolling on Tuesday morning found water one-centimeter deep across a 350-square-meter room on the first floor of the turbine building.
The water apparently comes from a pipe running along a corridor outside the room. The pipe carries contaminated water from the adjacent Number 3 reactor to a storage facility.
Workers later detected radioactive cesium at about 77,000 becquerels per milliliter in the water. TEPCO says there is no evidence the water has escaped into the environment.
Also on Tuesday morning, TEPCO workers found white smoke rising from a pump in a storeroom. The room houses equipment to filter radioactive substances from water. The workers used an extinguisher to put out the fire. The company is investigating the cause.


Wendesday, August 15, 2012

. Day the World War II ended in Japan, August 15, 1945 .

Japan marks 67th anniversary of end of WW2
Japan marks the 67th anniversary of the end of World War Two on Wednesday with events to mourn the war dead and pray for peace.
About 6,000 people are expected to attend a government-sponsored memorial ceremony in central Tokyo.

Downpours in west kill one; two missing
Torrential rains strike a wide area from western to eastern Japan, leaving a woman dead in Osaka Prefecture, two people missing in Kyoto and disrupting transportation services.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

NISA told Tepco to delay reporting looming explosion

Cesium in those near No. 1 rated low, now



Friday, August 17, 2012

Tepco's shaky revival plan

Japanese beef exports to US postponed

Japan has been forced to put off resuming beef exports to the United States at the last minute, due to US concerns about effects of last year's nuclear accident.
Shipments were due to resume on Saturday starting with cattle processed that day.
... But Japanese officials say the US side requested a halt on Thursday, saying it wanted to check how Japan is inspecting beef and managing feed to prevent radioactive contamination.
Japanese officials asked four prefectures that have facilities for processing beef for the US market to suspend issuing of export certificates.

Govt. begins survey of Fukushima evacuees
Japan's government has launched a survey of nuclear disaster evacuees to find out if they wish to return to their former communities.
Reconstruction minister Tatsuo Hirano told reporters that the survey began on Friday, targeting evacuees from Katsurao Village. The area is 20 to 30 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The evacuees are to be asked whether a temporary town should be created elsewhere until they can return to live in their former village. Similar surveys are to follow in other municipalities designated as evacuation zones. ...


Saturday, August 18, 2012


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Japanese heat wave


Monday, August 20, 2012

Rightwingers land on Senkakus, hoist flags

Japanese nationalists land on the same islet where Chinese protesters were arrested just days ago to raise Hinomaru flags asserting Japan's sovereignty -- an act likely to further enrage China.
(This problem is all over the news . . .)

Japan strengthens alert near Senkaku

Troubles hit thermal power generation facilities
Two of Japan's thermal power generation facilities have experienced problems at a time when the country is struggling under a tight electricity supply.
Kyushu Electric Power Company says output at its Karita power plant in Fukuoka Prefecture, western Japan, has been reduced because of a faulty fuel pump.
The troubled unit, capable of generating 375,000 kilowatts, is now producing only about half the amount.

Fault ruptures confirmed near Japan Trench

Japanese scientists say they have found evidence of displacement of the tectonic plates caused by the March 11th earthquake last year.
A team from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology conducted an acoustic wave study last year along the Japan Trench about 250 kilometers off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture. The study assessed the seabed structure to a depth of several kilometers. ...


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Govt. expects more Fukushima nuclear waste
Japan's environment ministry says radioactive waste from last year's nuclear accident in Fukushima is likely to exceed previous estimates.
The ministry surveyed Fukushima and 8 nearby prefectures, including Tokyo, on Monday. It found they are storing a total of 42,575 tons of waste containing radioactive cesium levels of more than 8,000 becquerels per kilogram.
The figure is expected to rise as officials continue testing for radioactivity. The ministry's original estimate was about 50,000 tons. ...


Wendesday, August 22, 2012

High radiation detected in fish off Fukushima

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it has detected radiation 380 times the government safety limit in a fish caught off Fukushima Prefecture.
Tokyo Electric Power Company is measuring radiation exposure in fish and shellfish caught within 20 kilometers of the troubled plant from March this year.
The company caught 20 kinds of fish and shellfish at 5 locations from mid-July to early August.
The utility says it detected 38,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in a rock trout caught about 1 kilometer off Minamisoma City on August 1st.
The level is 380 times the government safety limit, and the highest so far in the firm's surveys in the area. The previous high was 18.8 times. ...

Nuclear scientists to probe Fukushima accident
Japanese nuclear scientists have set up a panel to investigate last year's accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The Atomic Energy Society of Japan formed a committee on Tuesday that consists of 40 experts from universities and research institutes. ...

Minister seeks zero dependence on nuclear power
National Policy Minister Motohisa Furukawa says he's aiming for zero dependence on nuclear power for Japan when drawing up a new energy policy.
Furukawa said on Tuesday that the government must face up to reality and think hard how to reduce the country's dependence on nuclear power. ...


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cesium-laden fish may point to ocean hot spots

A record-high 25,800 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium has been detected in fish caught within 20 km of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co., indicating there may be hot spots under the sea that need further investigation.

Plutonium traces detected at 10 locations in Fukushima

New citizens group aims for anti-nuclear plant law
Japanese Nobel laureate writer Kenzaburo Oe and 20 others have launched a citizens' group that aims to introduce legislation to scrap all nuclear power plants in Japan. ...


Friday, August 24, 2012

Man dies after removing 1995 disaster debris
Experts are asking volunteer workers to be careful when removing debris from last year's earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.
They made the suggestion after a man who had worked to remove debris from the 1995 earthquake in western Japan died from asbestos-related cancer.

Fukushima No. 1 worker falls ill, dies

Oe, Sakamoto lead charge for no-reactor bill

Fukushima nuclear workers reaching exposure limit
Controlling the crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima is an ongoing challenge in Japan. But many workers crucial to the effort are reaching the limit for radiation exposure.
About 3,000 workers are processing radioactive water and removing debris at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on a daily basis. ...

2 more nuclear plants to be re-examined
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says that it will order assessments of underground cracks at 2 additional nuclear power plants.
The agency decided at a meeting on Friday to order surveys of the Monju and Mihama plants in Fukui Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan coast.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Japan to include zero nuclear power goal in new government policy

Radiation checks on Fukushima-grown rice start
The government of Japan's Fukushima Prefecture has begun radioactivity checks on rice grown locally before being shipped.
Officials tested 14 bags, weighing 420 kilograms, of Gohyakugawa brand rice harvested in Nihonmatsu City on Saturday. ...


Sunday, August 26, 2012

. . . . . 2012年8月26日 3時37
Earthquake M 5.1 - off Fukushima

and shortly before that one in Hokkaido, Tokachi region
2012年8月25日 23時20分 - M 5.9

Tsunami-hit town's mayor faces probe
Mayor Jin Sato of Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, who drew international recognition following the March 2011 tsunami, is now facing a criminal complaint over the deaths of town officials whom he failed to send to higher ground.

Reconstructing Fukushima evacuation zones

The Japanese government has drawn up a roadmap for reconstructing areas in 12 municipalities near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that were previously designated as evacuation zones.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Review of quake preparedness


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Non-Fukushima children to be checked for thyroid abnormalities
"It is not unusual for benign thyroid lumps to be found in healthy people, but Japan lacks epidemiological data on this," a member of the Cabinet Office's medical support team for nuclear victims said.
"The exams will be conducted as far away from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant as possible, where the radiation has no influence."

More tanks for contaminated water at Fukushima

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it will build new tanks to store contaminated water.

TEPCO examines fuel rods at Fukushima plant
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is studying how to safely remove fuel rods from the crippled facility.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Government acknowledges most Japanese favor nuclear-free society
The government says in a draft report that public consultations on the future of nuclear power show that most people favor eventually doing away with all reactors, the only difference being how fast the end should come.

Underwater tsunami sensors planned by year end
The Japan Meteorological Agency says it will set up 3 new tsunami gauges in the Pacific seabed to help speed up detection and issue warnings after huge earthquakes.
The agency says it will install 3 monitors about 300 kilometers off the coast of northeastern Japan sometime around October and start using them as early as the end of the year. The gauges will be placed east of the Japan Trench.

Chronology of Japan-N.Korea relations
Here's a brief recent history of Japan-North Korea relations. . . .

Censure motion against PM passed
A censure motion against Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has been passed in the opposition-controlled Upper House. ...


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Earthquake M 5.7, off Miyagi coast at 4:09
4時09分 宮城県沖 5.7 5強

Fukushima fuel rods show no visible damage
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says there is no visible damage to the surface of fuel rods from the No.4 reactor.
Tokyo Electric Power Company completed a 3-day examination of the rods on Wednesday. The utility is preparing to remove them from the reactor in December next year.
..... The pool contains 1,533 rods, the largest number of all 6 reactors at the plant.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Water levels at 3 damaged reactors fall twice

Coolant water levels at 3 damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant briefly fell below the necessary level twice on Thursday.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says the incidents do not pose an immediate threat to the safety of the reactors, but it will quickly take steps to identify and deal with the problem.
Workers found that the water levels of the first 3 reactors were about 10 percent below the necessary level on Thursday afternoon. The levels recovered later, after workers opened valves to add more water.
TEPCO says it noticed the reactors were not getting enough water again at about 8:00 PM on Thursday. The necessary level of water was restored at about 10:30 PM.
..... TEPCO is trying to improve the quake-resistance of the facilities. The utility is also preparing to remove the fuel rods from the pool, with the goal of starting the operation in December next year.

Ex-US nuclear regulator chief urges transparency
The former head of the US nuclear regulator has stressed the importance of information disclosure for the new nuclear safety agency that Japan will launch next month.
Gregory Jaczko met Fukushima residents during his recent trip to Japan. He served as the chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission for about 3 years until July.

Decontamination underway on Fukushim pastures
Livestock farmers in Fukushima Prefecture are continuing their work to decontaminate pasture land to try to resume the use of pasture grass for cattle next year.


. - Restarting Reactors - INFO - .

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

June 2012



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