November 2012

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nuke regulator sets wider safety zones
The Nuclear Regulation Authority sets new guidelines for fallout disaster mitigation measures, expanding the distance where special preparations are required to 30 km from atomic power plants.

Japan adopts new nuclear disaster guidelines
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority has adopted new guidelines to expand evacuation areas around nuclear plants in case of nuclear accidents.
The government is to ask municipalities to use the guidelines to draw up plans for handling nuclear disasters by next March. ...


Friday, November 2, 2012

Nuclear crisis crew not told of danger
Tepco knew full well of the risks from highly radioactive water at the Fukushima No. 1 plant following the tsunami-triggered meltdowns but sent in crews without adequate protection or warnings anyway, one worker alleges in a legal complaint.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

U.S. needs Japan to remain nuclear, expert says

Emperor awards Order of Culture to 6 recipients
The Emperor has awarded Japan's highest cultural honor to 6 people including this year's Nobel Prize laureate.
Emperor Akihito presented the Order of Culture to the recipients during a ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Saturday -- a public holiday to celebrate Japanese culture. ...


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nuke industry funded NRC's safety experts
Four of the six members on a state panel drafting new nuclear safety regulations each received between \3 million and over \27 million from nuclear industry entities.
Jan.-Feb. 2012 household power consumption fell
The Environment Ministry says Japanese households cut their use of electricity in the first 2 months of this year by about 5 percent from the amount a year earlier. Officials say the Fukushima nuclear accident last year has likely raised people's awareness of the need to save power. ...


Monday, November 5, 2012


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Iwate kin given wrong bodies of disaster victims

TEPCO to seek state funds for decontamination cost

Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to ask the government to cover part of the clean-up costs after the Fukushima nuclear crisis. It says the work will be too costly for a single company to afford.
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant is expected to make the request in its new management plan covering the next 2 fiscal years.
TEPCO Chairman Kazuhiko Shimokobe will announce the plan on Wednesday. ...


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

More errors found in Japan nuclear regulatory body's accident projections
The Nuclear Regulation Authority finds more errors in its recently announced projections for the spread of radiation from reactors in the event of a severe accident.

Active faults found under Nagoya


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Amano: Nuclear power safer than before 3/11

Radiation monitors underreport data
Hundreds of radiation monitors installed in Fukushima and surrounding prefectures have been found to show readings around 10 percent lower than the actual level.
The science ministry installed 675 of the devices to monitor radiation in 7 prefectures.
Fukushima Prefecture has 545, while other prefectures have 10 to 30 each.
The readings have been uploaded in real time on the Internet since April.
But the ministry was examining reports from residents and local governments that their monitors showed higher readings than the government's data.
It found that the detection of radiation was being partially blocked by a metal battery housing in the units, which lead to an underreporting of the levels by around 10 percent.
The ministry will spend about 1.8 million dollars to fix the monitors, starting next week.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Exposure to low-level radiation can cause leukemia, U.S.-Ukraine study of Chernobyl cleanup workers finds

Disposable radioactive sludge remains
At least 130,000 tons of radioactive ash and sludge that could be disposed of along with regular waste remain in Fukushima and 4 surrounding prefectures in Japan in the wake of last year's nuclear accident.
NHK learned of this in its coverage of Fukushima and 8 nearby prefectures.
... Municipal officials cite residents' safety concerns about disposing of the radioactive ash and sludge along with regular waste.
The environment ministry plans to explain to residents that the ash and sludge are safe.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

NRA to probe flawed nuke fallout forecasts
The new nuclear watchdog intends to scrutinize all radioactive fallout simulations for atomic power plants because the projections are riddled with errors.

30% of Japanese live on land vulnerable to shaking
New research shows almost one-third of the Japanese population lives on land that is vulnerable to shaking in the event of an earthquake.

Tsunami debris may reach US next month
The massive debris from the tsunami that hit northeastern Japan last year may reach North America's west coast in December. Japan's Environment Ministry says that's two months later than previously predicted.
An estimated 1.5 million tons of debris from the tsunami is drifting in the ocean. Some of it has already reached the Pacific coast of North America.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fault zones under, near Monju fast-breeder to be probed


Monday, November 12, 2012

Hashimoto claims nuclear arms abolition is impossible
Outspoken Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, while campaigning for his Nippon Ishin no Kai, says Japan is "a bit addicted to peace."

Search operation conducted for missing 2011 tsunami victims


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hashimoto stuns 'addled' nuke foes

Tsunami-hit fishermen resume oyster shipments
Oyster growers in northeastern Miyagi prefecture have made their first regular shipment since last year's tsunami devastated their industry.
The region is famous for its abundant seafood. The Naruse district in Higashi-Matsushima is known for producing large, sweet oysters. ...


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Date set for fissure survey at Fukui nuclear plant
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority will examine fissures beneath the Tsuruga nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture to determine whether the cracks are active faults.
NRA officials will conduct the survey with 4 outside experts on December 1st and 2nd.
A meeting to assess the results of the investigation is scheduled for December 10th. If any of the fissures are judged to be an active fault, the NRA will prohibit the restart of the plant's No.1 and No.2 reactors. .....

NRA questions nuclear operator's Ohi probe
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority has raised doubts over surveys conducted by the operator of the Ohi nuclear power station on fissures beneath the plant.
The authority is currently trying to determine if the fissures below Japan's only operational nuclear plant are signs of an active fault or not.
At the regulator's meeting on Wednesday, official Kunihiko Shimazaki questioned the Kansai Electric Power Company's explanations of its recent surveys. .....


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Noda will schedule election for Dec. 16

Disaster-hit towns face massive staff shortages


Friday, November 16, 2012

Fault study at Oi nuke plant may impact all offline reactors
The Fukushima disaster may have finally changed the rules of the game for a Toyo University professor and polemicist on active faults who until now has fought a long losing battle against the nuclear industry.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

NGO members to discuss drifting debris in US
Japan will again send a team of NGO members to the Pacific coast of North America to discuss specific ways of disposing of drifting debris from the March 11th disaster. ...

Politics is busy with the upcoming elections.


Wendnesday, November 21, 2012

Fukushima to ax nuclear fuel tax

Japanese professors detect high radiation on island in Taiwan
Two Japanese scholars say they have detected high levels of radiation on Orchid Island, a temporary underground storage site of low-level radioactive nuclear waste off Taiwan's southeastern coast.

Sea acidification worsening in Pacific
Japan's Meteorological Agency has found that seawater acidity is rising rapidly in the Pacific Ocean south of Japan. . . .


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Kansai, Kyushu utilities to apply for rate hikes

Expert says maximum M10 earthquake possible
A Japanese seismologist says the maximum scale of an earthquake occurring anywhere in the world would be around magnitude 10, judging from Earth's size and the lengths of quake-triggering faults.
Tohoku University Professor Toru Matsuzawa made the report at a meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday.
A magnitude-10 quake would be 32 times more powerful than the 9.0 earthquake that hit northeastern Japan in March last year. The magnitude-9.5 quake recorded off Chile in 1960 is the world's largest known earthquake to date.
A magnitude-10 quake would occur, for example, if an 8,800-kilometer fault along a northern Pacific Rim trench shifts 20 meters.
Matsuzawa says such an earthquake would result in tremors lasting 20 minutes to one hour, and trigger days of tsunamis.
Matsuzawa stresses he's not saying a magnitude-10 quake would definitely occur. But he notes that Japan was hit by a magnitude-9 earthquake when it had been expecting a maximum magnitude-8, so people should be aware of what could happen.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Japan to set nuclear evacuation standards
Japan's nuclear regulatory body has started working on new sets of standards for issuing government orders for evacuating people in the event of a nuclear accident.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority held a meeting of a panel of experts on Thursday as the first step in efforts to draw up the new standards by the end of the year. Also under review is when to instruct people to take iodine tablets as a precaution against thyroid damage.

Japan to host int'l meeting on nuclear safety
The Japanese government and the International Atomic Energy Agency will co-host an international conference on the Fukushima nuclear accident next month. ...


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tsunami-hit city a hit on Facebook
(see comments)


Monday, November 26, 2012

Anti-nuclear madness doesn't jibe with concern about global warming


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shiga governor mulls new no-nuclear party
Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada contemplates founding a new political party aimed at phasing out nuclear power in a move that could draw small parties being left out of the "third force" evolving around Nippon Ishin no Kai.

Kepco applies for 12% household rate hike in April
Kansai Electric asks the government for permission to hike prices by 11.88 percent for households in April as its business is hit by rising thermal fuel costs linked to the loss of atomic energy.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rebuilding projects not linked to disaster halted
The government says it will halt 35 projects budgeted to support the recovery from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami because they are not directly related to the disasters.

Nuclear zone holdouts, old dog 'Miracle' live on


New global energy picture

Prefectures not positive about nuclear disposal
An NHK survey shows that none of Japan's prefectural governments is positive about hosting a disposal site for nuclear waste generated at power plants.
NHK asked Japan's 47 prefectures last month about a possible proposal by the state government to conduct preliminary surveys for developing such a site. ...


Thursday, November 29, 2012

IAEA to use Fukushima Prefecture facility as a base for nuclear crisis cooperation

NRA to question TEPCO executives
Officials of Japan's nuclear regulatory body are set to question executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company over safety policies at its nuclear plants.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority, or NRA, held a meeting on Wednesday and discussed a recent series of problems at nuclear plants operated by TEPCO.

At the No. 5 reactor of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture, the utility found warps in the water-cooling pipes inside 18 spent-fuel assemblies.
TEPCO reported the tubes may have been warped by excessive force when workers moved the fuel assemblies.
Other troubles and violations of the law have been reported since the nuclear accident in Fukushima in March last year.
On Tuesday last week, water leakage was reported on a line that purifies wastewater at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said his officials will question company executives about the matter.
Tanaka said TEPCO has systemic problems and he cannot dispel doubts over its safety awareness.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Kada urged to look to Merkel for nonnuclear inspiration

Japanese researchers develop solar-cell textile
Japanese researchers have developed a technique of weaving tiny solar-cell balls into textile fabric. This could lead to a more efficient method of photovoltaic power generation.
The technique was developed by a group of researchers from the Industrial Technology Center of Fukui Prefecture, a textile maker in Fukui City, and a solar battery manufacturer in Kyoto City.

TEPCO chief questioned over nuclear plant problems

Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority has questioned the president of Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, about its nuclear safety policy.
Naomi Hirose met the chief of the authority's secretariat, Katsuhiko Ikeda, on Thursday.


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September 2012



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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11/24/2012

    Tsunami-hit city a hit on Facebook

    MORIOKA, Iwate Pref. —
    The coastal city of Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, devastated by last year's earthquake and tsunami, has gotten global attention thanks to its use of Facebook.

    In July, the city set up an official page in both Japanese and English on Facebook, the first municipality to do so among those on the northeast coast that bore the full brunt of the March 2011 catastrophe.

    Since then, officials have been updating the page to display and keep the world updated on the reconstruction process, an unusual move for a municipal government. The posts, mostly written in Japanese, include articles on Rikuzentakata from Japan and around the world, advisories on earthquakes and floods, and the mayor's participation at a local festival.

    When Rikuzentakata's officials made a fundraising page in English to help preserve the city's famed "miracle pine tree," donations came in from around the world.

    "The strength of Facebook is that you can communicate as easily as if you are chatting with your friends. We can't make the most of its strength if city officials hesitate in posting information and comments," said Ryuichiro Koga, who is in charge of the Facebook effort.

    Koga, 42, a municipal official from Takeo, Saga Prefecture, is on loan to Rikuzentaka. Takeo was the first municipality in Japan to fully transfer its official website to Facebook.

    Rikuzentakata tells its city employees to "actively access and comment (on Facebook) during work hours," stressing it is "part of their business," in stark contrast to other local governments that seem to struggle over where to draw a line between private and public access to social media in the workplace.

    Rikuzentakata also allows officials to respond to comments from the public without prior approval from their superiors.