May 01, Sunday

Posted by Chika On 2:13 PM 0 comments
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Gabi reports:

May the first -
I am sooo tired
I need a rest



Rain in the morning, but unpleasantly warm for the season.
The forest is slowly showing its shades of early green, trees are swaying in stormy gusts ... the perfect day to go back to bed ...

. . . . .

More than 25.000 people are now dead or missing.

Volunteers are cleaning the graveyards and photos found in the mud. The photos are later put on display in the shelters for people to find their memories.


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Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

FUKUSHIMA NEWS

Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
TEPCO official: Fukushima is man-made disaster

A vice president of Tokyo Electric Power Company says he believes the nuclear crisis at Fukushima nuclear power plant is a man-made disaster.
TEPCO vice president Norio Tsuzumi 皷紀男 visited Iitate village in Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday and apologized to about 1,000 villagers who gathered to hear him speak.
When he was asked if he thinks of the nuclear crisis a man-made disaster or a natural disaster, he said personally he thinks it is a man-made disaster.
All of the 6,000 residents of Iitate were instructed to evacuate by late May based on accumulated radiation exposure levels caused by emissions from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
After the meeting with local residents, Tsuzumi explained to reporters why he feels it is a man-made disaster.
He said that some say the nuclear accident in Fukushima was beyond any expectations but personally he thinks adequate precautions should have been in place.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
Water from 3rd reactor to be transferred
Tokyo Electric Power Company is preparing to transfer radioactive water from the Number 3 reactor of the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Restoration work at the plant has been hindered by highly radioactive water that has been accumulating in the Number 1 to Number 4 reactors.
The utility has given priority to transferring the most highly contaminated water in the Number 2 reactor to a temporary storage site.
The operation was suspended for maintenance on Friday, but resumed shortly after 2 PM on Saturday.
TEPCO dropped a plan to add another pump to quicken the transfer.
The utility says it needs to set aside capacity in the temporary storage site to transfer contaminated water from the Number 3 reactor, as the water level in its underground tunnel has risen by 12 centimeters in one week.
The power company plans to start transferring water from the Number 3 reactor if the water level continues to rise, and is installing a hose that connects the tunnel with the temporary storage site.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
TPECO to take new measures against disasters
The Tokyo Electric Power Company says it going to implement new measures at the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to protect it from any other tsunami or aftershocks. The work will be completed by late July.
A utility official told reporters on Saturday that it is going to build 12-meter-high temporary levees consisting of stone-filled baskets to protect the plant from any tsunami.
The power company will also fill in the pits leading down to the 4 tunnels on the ocean side of the Number 2 and Number 3 reactors with concrete to prevent highly radioactive water from leaking into the sea.
As a measure to protect the plant from aftershocks, TEPCO will set up a steel pillar at the bottom of the spent-fuel storage pool of the Number 4 reactor, and reinforce it with concrete.
A hydrogen explosion last month damaged the wall of the reactor building, weakening its quake resistance.
An advisor to the prime minister and a senior member of the government's nuclear taskforce, Goshi Hosono, says a magnitude 8 aftershock may happen off the coast where the plant is located.
He says aftershocks and tsunami pose a big threat to the work being done to stabilize the situation at the plant.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 10:35
More workers to be sent to Fukushima

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is studying the possibility of sending more employees and former employees to the plant.
People who have previously worked at the plant and who have been trained in nuclear-related matters, such as radiation monitoring, are the potential candidates. About 3,000 people are believed to qualify.
About 1,000 workers of Tokyo Electric Power Company and its contract companies are currently working at the power plant to bring it under control.
TEPCO laid out a plan on April 17th to stabilize the reactors in 6 to 9 months. But the work is expected to take a long time and the radiation level is high.
On Saturday, 2 workers were found to have been exposed to more than 200 millisieverts of radiation.
Another 30 workers or so were exposed to radiation in excess of 100 millisieverts.
The government recently raised the legal limit for radiation exposure during an emergency from 100 millisieverts to 250 millisieverts.
The power company considers it necessary to have more people on site to proceed with the operation while ensuring the safety of the workers.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 11:01
Fukushima: measures against tsunami

Tokyo Electric Power Company will implement new measures at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to protect it from any other tsunami or aftershocks.

It will build temporary levees on the ocean side and fill part of the tunnels with concrete.

Q: This is the video image taken near the nuclear power plant on March 11th when the massive earthquake hit northeastern Japan.

Tsunami more than 20 meters high hit the cliff.

Q: Aftershocks occur frequently in the area of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. There is concern that aftershocks and tsunami will hinder restoration of the cooling functions of the reactors.
Q: Officials of the power company held a news conference on Saturday.

TEPCO
"The company will build levees on the southeastern side of the plant to protect it from tsunami."

Q: The temporary levees against tsunami will be built at these locations.
Q: They will be on the ocean side of Number 3 and Number 4 reactors.
Q: How are the levees going to be made?
Q: Steel baskets will be used.
Q: The baskets will be filled with rock.
Q: And the rock-filled baskets will be piled up.
Q: The levees will be 12 meters high. The work will begin within several days and is expected to be complete in mid-June.
Q: The second measure against tsunami is to reinforce the underground tunnels of the Number 2 and Number 3 reactors.

Water in the tunnels is contaminated with highly radioactive material.

Q: Work is needed to prevent the water from leaking into the sea at the time of a tsunami.
Q: TEPCO plans to fill in the pits leading down to the 4 tunnels on the ocean side of the reactors with concrete.
Q: This is the cross-sectional view.
Q: The work will be done by late May.
Q: Next is a measure against aftershocks.
A hydrogen explosion damaged the walls of the Number 4 reactor building, and weakened the quake resistance of the spent fuel storage pool.

TEPCO will set up steel pillars underneath the storage pool and reinforce it with concrete by the end of July.

Advisor to prime minister Goshi Hosono
"Aftershocks and tsunami will hinder the work to control the critical situation at the plant. Each measure will be verified for its validity against aftershocks and tsunami as it is put into place."
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/01_12.html


Sunday, May 01, 2011 12:56
TEPCO moving contaminated water to tanks
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant plans to begin transferring highly radioactive water accumulated near the Number 6 reactor to a temporary storage tank.
TEPCO, is expected to start moving the water in the turbine house of the No. 6 reactor to the tank on Sunday afternoon.
At the Number 2 reactor, TEPCO continues to pump out highly radioactive water that has accumulated in a tunnel connected to the reactor to an on-site waste processing facility.
TEPCO says about 2,560 tons of the water has been moved into the facility since work began on April 19th.
The company says the surface of the water in the tunnel was 84 centimeters below ground level as of 7AM on Sunday, down 4 centimeters since the work began.
The utility adds that radioactive water in the tunnel of the Number 3 reactor facility has been rising for several days, and reached 90 centimeters below ground level at 7AM, 2 centimeters higher than the figure a day before.
To prevent the water from overflowing from the tunnel, TEPCO is preparing to transfer the water to the waste facility by connecting the 2 locations with a hose.
TEPCO also says that a woman employee in her 40s was exposed to radiation of 7.49 millisieverts, 1.5 times the national legal limit, while she was working at an in-house medical office of the Fukushima plant.
The woman continued to work there until March 15th, 4 days after the disaster, then she was moved to another office within Fukushima Prefecture. She is described as having no apparent health problems resulting from the exposure.
TEPCO says it is the second case of a woman worker being exposed to radiation exceeding the legal limit, and that no woman has been allowed to work at the plant since March 23rd.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 23:20
Cesium found in sludge
Relatively high levels of radioactive cesium have been detected in the sludge from a waste water treatment plant in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture.
The prefectural government is tracking some of the sludge that has been shipped out of the prefecture to be used in making cement.
The prefecture's investigation found that the sludge contained 26,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram.
The solidified slag made from it contained 334,000 becquerels per kilogram, which is 1,300 times the level before the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The prefecture says rain likely washed radioactive substances from the surface of the ground into the sewer, and they became concentrated through processing.
The sludge from the facility is transported out of the prefecture and used to produce cement.
The prefectural government will suspend the recycling and track the sludge that has been shipped since the accident to determine how it has been used.
The land and transport ministry says it will report the incident to the Nuclear Safety Agency, and coordinate with the Environment Ministry and other relevant organizations to find ways to process the sludge safely. The sludge must be kept at the facility until a solution is found.
The ministry says there is no precedent for this, but that it will decide soon what to do.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 23:20
Kan: safety measures insufficient
Prime Minister Naoto Kan says the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company failed to fully address safety issues that had come to light before the March 11 disaster.
An accident last June at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant caused by the loss of outside power and the subsequent drop in the water levels of a reactor was taken up at Sunday's Upper House Budget Committee meeting.
In response to a question on whether sufficient safety measures had been taken, Kan said nuclear plants operate on the assumption that emergency diesel generators will maintain a reactor's cooling functions when outside power is cut off.
He said the fact that such a back-up system failed to work properly has serious implications.
Kan said measures were not taken despite previous accidents and warnings, and that he must admit that the utility and the government failed to fully deal with the situation.
He also suggested that he will study the possibility of setting up an alternative capital to take over Tokyo's role in an emergency, saying that measures must be taken to secure the continuity of the capital's central functions.

. . . . . . . . . .


Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
Sightseeing boat resting on roof to be removed

Authorities in Iwate Prefecture will start work to remove a sightseeing boat that was carried by the March 11th tsunami and ended up on top of a two-story building.
The 27-meter long luxury cruiser owned by Kamaishi City was in a dockyard in neighboring Otsuchi Town for regular inspection when the tsunami hit the area. The boat came to rest about 400 meters inland on the roof of a Japanese-style inn.
A university professor and others had requested local authorities to preserve the boat as a symbol of the disaster for future generations.
However, the authorities decided against the idea, citing the danger of the 200-ton boat falling off the roof. The city plans to remove it with a crane by the end of the week.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
Non-nuclear nations call for safer nuclear power
Foreign ministers from 10 countries without nuclear weapons have agreed that international cooperation should be promoted to improve the safety of nuclear power plants.
They held the second non-nuclear state conference in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday, followed the first last September in the US. ...


Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
Disaster relief budget passes Lower House
Japan's Lower House has unanimously passed a first supplementary budget aimed at rebuilding regions hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The bill, totals 4 trillion, 15.3 billion yen, or about 49 billion dollars. It is expected to pass the Upper House on Monday.
The budget covers public works to restore roads, ports and agricultural facilities, as well as disposal of debris and construction of temporary houses.
The budget is significantly greater than that for the 1995 Hanshin Earthquake.
Deliberations will take place on Sunday and Monday at the Upper House Budget Committee.
Then, the bill is expected to be approved at its plenary session on Monday.
Related bills, including one that calls for the diversion of funds originally earmarked for the public pension system, passed the Lower House and were sent to the Upper House on Saturday.
Saturday's Lower House plenary session was the first in 49 years to be held during the week-long spring holiday.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
Minute levels of radiation detected in breast milk
Japan's Health Ministry says it has detected a minute amount of radioactive materials in breast milk in 7 mothers in central and northeastern Japan. The ministry says the amount does not pose a danger to their babies' health.
The ministry on Saturday released the results of a study conducted in Fukushima, Tokyo and other 3 prefectures in Kanto region from last Sunday through Thursday.
The ministry says breast milk samples from a mother in Iwaki City of Fukushima Prefecture contained 3.5 becquerels of radioactive iodine per kilogram and 2.4 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram.
Up to 2.8 becquerels of radioactive materials per kilogram were also detected in 6 mothers in 2 other prefectures.
Japan has no regulatory levels to determine the health risk from radioactive substances in breast milk. But it sets the safety levels for babies' consumption of milk and drinking water at 100 becquerels of radioactive iodine per kilogram and 200 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram.
The detected amount in the samples was much lower than the regulatory levels and the ministry says it is too minute to have any impact on babies' health. It also says mothers who are breast-feeding should not be overly concerned.
Professor Nobuya Unno of Kitasato University says it is necessary to carefully analyze how and for how long radioactive materials will affect breast milk when mothers drink water and eat food that contain such substances.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 23:20
Shareholders want nuclear plants closed
A group of Tohoku Electric Power Company shareholders will submit a motion calling for the closure of the company's nuclear plants.
220 individual stockholders decided on the move ahead of the company's annual shareholders' meeting at the end of next month.
The investors are demanding that the utility state in its agreement with shareholders that it will close its nuclear power plants and end its investment in a reprocessing plant in Aomori Prefecture and similar projects.
The shareholders say the problems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was a warning that accidents at any nuclear plant can lead to dangers that cannot be contained by any one company.
They will deliver documents on the demand to the company on Monday. The subject is expected to be discussed at this year's shareholders' meeting.
The move comes after the firm measured tsunamis higher than expected and strong tremors at its Onagawa nuclear plant in Miyagi Prefecture during the March 11th earthquake and the aftershock on April 7th.
The Tohoku Electric Power Company declined to comment on the move. But it said it had safely suspended operations at its power plants and that it will improve its risk management and strengthen measures to check its equipment.


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Voices from around


. Daily Radiation Levels .  

. . . . .

Japan Times :

Tepco pair caught radiation overdose
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110501a1.html

Volunteers rush to help Tohoku
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110501a3.html

Three years eyed to remove disaster debris
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110501a5.html

52 nursing homes in Iwate, Miyagi shut after disaster
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110501a9.html

The lowdown on sieverts and a healthy diet
HIROAKI SATO
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/eo20110501hs.html

Tohoku charity a minefield for Japanese celebrities
PHILIP BRASOR
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/fd20110501pb.html


. . . . .

quote
Gov't estimates 3 years for removal of debris from disaster areas
The Environment Ministry estimates that it will take three years for the three prefectures in northeastern Japan worst hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami to finish removing massive piles of debris left by the disaster, the ministry said Saturday.

Up to around 24.9 million tons of debris mainly from collapsed houses are assumed to be scattered around Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, according to the ministry. The amount is about 1.7 times the debris seen in the 1996 Great Hanshin Earthquake.

The actual amount of debris is expected to be larger as the assumption does not include rubble from wrecked vessels and vehicles.
The removal process is expected to be delayed due to the lack of temporary disposal sites for rubble, according to the ministry.

The Iwate prefectural government said it will need some 3 million square meters of land to temporarily store a total of 6 million tons of debris scattered around the prefecture, but has been able to secure only 40% of the land needed so far. The prefecture has relatively little flat land because of its deeply indented coastline.
...
Meanwhile, the Miyagi prefectural government said it has secured land to pile up about 16 million tons of debris. It plans to secure about 4 million square meters of land in its public windbreak forests for incineration and crushing of rubble in the near future.
source : www.japantoday.com


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haru no mizu 春の水 waters of spring

Fukushima

waters of spring!
in the hells we humans make
you too must suffer!



From Japanese Death Poems:

hito-iki ni kono ajiwai zo haru no mizu

One gulp,
a taste of nectar!
Water in the spring.


--Kimpu, trans. Yoel Hoffman

Hoffman comments:
"Water in the [season of] spring" ('haru no mizu') is a seasonal image in haiku,
yet it hints as well at 'shinimizu', the water given to a dying person."

water of spring,
good to the last drop?
Fukushima


Larry Bole

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May 01, Sunday

Posted by Chika On 2:13 PM 0 comments
[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]
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:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Gabi reports:

May the first -
I am sooo tired
I need a rest



Rain in the morning, but unpleasantly warm for the season.
The forest is slowly showing its shades of early green, trees are swaying in stormy gusts ... the perfect day to go back to bed ...

. . . . .

More than 25.000 people are now dead or missing.

Volunteers are cleaning the graveyards and photos found in the mud. The photos are later put on display in the shelters for people to find their memories.


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

FUKUSHIMA NEWS

Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
TEPCO official: Fukushima is man-made disaster

A vice president of Tokyo Electric Power Company says he believes the nuclear crisis at Fukushima nuclear power plant is a man-made disaster.
TEPCO vice president Norio Tsuzumi 皷紀男 visited Iitate village in Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday and apologized to about 1,000 villagers who gathered to hear him speak.
When he was asked if he thinks of the nuclear crisis a man-made disaster or a natural disaster, he said personally he thinks it is a man-made disaster.
All of the 6,000 residents of Iitate were instructed to evacuate by late May based on accumulated radiation exposure levels caused by emissions from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
After the meeting with local residents, Tsuzumi explained to reporters why he feels it is a man-made disaster.
He said that some say the nuclear accident in Fukushima was beyond any expectations but personally he thinks adequate precautions should have been in place.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
Water from 3rd reactor to be transferred
Tokyo Electric Power Company is preparing to transfer radioactive water from the Number 3 reactor of the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Restoration work at the plant has been hindered by highly radioactive water that has been accumulating in the Number 1 to Number 4 reactors.
The utility has given priority to transferring the most highly contaminated water in the Number 2 reactor to a temporary storage site.
The operation was suspended for maintenance on Friday, but resumed shortly after 2 PM on Saturday.
TEPCO dropped a plan to add another pump to quicken the transfer.
The utility says it needs to set aside capacity in the temporary storage site to transfer contaminated water from the Number 3 reactor, as the water level in its underground tunnel has risen by 12 centimeters in one week.
The power company plans to start transferring water from the Number 3 reactor if the water level continues to rise, and is installing a hose that connects the tunnel with the temporary storage site.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
TPECO to take new measures against disasters
The Tokyo Electric Power Company says it going to implement new measures at the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to protect it from any other tsunami or aftershocks. The work will be completed by late July.
A utility official told reporters on Saturday that it is going to build 12-meter-high temporary levees consisting of stone-filled baskets to protect the plant from any tsunami.
The power company will also fill in the pits leading down to the 4 tunnels on the ocean side of the Number 2 and Number 3 reactors with concrete to prevent highly radioactive water from leaking into the sea.
As a measure to protect the plant from aftershocks, TEPCO will set up a steel pillar at the bottom of the spent-fuel storage pool of the Number 4 reactor, and reinforce it with concrete.
A hydrogen explosion last month damaged the wall of the reactor building, weakening its quake resistance.
An advisor to the prime minister and a senior member of the government's nuclear taskforce, Goshi Hosono, says a magnitude 8 aftershock may happen off the coast where the plant is located.
He says aftershocks and tsunami pose a big threat to the work being done to stabilize the situation at the plant.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 10:35
More workers to be sent to Fukushima

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is studying the possibility of sending more employees and former employees to the plant.
People who have previously worked at the plant and who have been trained in nuclear-related matters, such as radiation monitoring, are the potential candidates. About 3,000 people are believed to qualify.
About 1,000 workers of Tokyo Electric Power Company and its contract companies are currently working at the power plant to bring it under control.
TEPCO laid out a plan on April 17th to stabilize the reactors in 6 to 9 months. But the work is expected to take a long time and the radiation level is high.
On Saturday, 2 workers were found to have been exposed to more than 200 millisieverts of radiation.
Another 30 workers or so were exposed to radiation in excess of 100 millisieverts.
The government recently raised the legal limit for radiation exposure during an emergency from 100 millisieverts to 250 millisieverts.
The power company considers it necessary to have more people on site to proceed with the operation while ensuring the safety of the workers.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 11:01
Fukushima: measures against tsunami

Tokyo Electric Power Company will implement new measures at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to protect it from any other tsunami or aftershocks.

It will build temporary levees on the ocean side and fill part of the tunnels with concrete.

Q: This is the video image taken near the nuclear power plant on March 11th when the massive earthquake hit northeastern Japan.

Tsunami more than 20 meters high hit the cliff.

Q: Aftershocks occur frequently in the area of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. There is concern that aftershocks and tsunami will hinder restoration of the cooling functions of the reactors.
Q: Officials of the power company held a news conference on Saturday.

TEPCO
"The company will build levees on the southeastern side of the plant to protect it from tsunami."

Q: The temporary levees against tsunami will be built at these locations.
Q: They will be on the ocean side of Number 3 and Number 4 reactors.
Q: How are the levees going to be made?
Q: Steel baskets will be used.
Q: The baskets will be filled with rock.
Q: And the rock-filled baskets will be piled up.
Q: The levees will be 12 meters high. The work will begin within several days and is expected to be complete in mid-June.
Q: The second measure against tsunami is to reinforce the underground tunnels of the Number 2 and Number 3 reactors.

Water in the tunnels is contaminated with highly radioactive material.

Q: Work is needed to prevent the water from leaking into the sea at the time of a tsunami.
Q: TEPCO plans to fill in the pits leading down to the 4 tunnels on the ocean side of the reactors with concrete.
Q: This is the cross-sectional view.
Q: The work will be done by late May.
Q: Next is a measure against aftershocks.
A hydrogen explosion damaged the walls of the Number 4 reactor building, and weakened the quake resistance of the spent fuel storage pool.

TEPCO will set up steel pillars underneath the storage pool and reinforce it with concrete by the end of July.

Advisor to prime minister Goshi Hosono
"Aftershocks and tsunami will hinder the work to control the critical situation at the plant. Each measure will be verified for its validity against aftershocks and tsunami as it is put into place."
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/01_12.html


Sunday, May 01, 2011 12:56
TEPCO moving contaminated water to tanks
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant plans to begin transferring highly radioactive water accumulated near the Number 6 reactor to a temporary storage tank.
TEPCO, is expected to start moving the water in the turbine house of the No. 6 reactor to the tank on Sunday afternoon.
At the Number 2 reactor, TEPCO continues to pump out highly radioactive water that has accumulated in a tunnel connected to the reactor to an on-site waste processing facility.
TEPCO says about 2,560 tons of the water has been moved into the facility since work began on April 19th.
The company says the surface of the water in the tunnel was 84 centimeters below ground level as of 7AM on Sunday, down 4 centimeters since the work began.
The utility adds that radioactive water in the tunnel of the Number 3 reactor facility has been rising for several days, and reached 90 centimeters below ground level at 7AM, 2 centimeters higher than the figure a day before.
To prevent the water from overflowing from the tunnel, TEPCO is preparing to transfer the water to the waste facility by connecting the 2 locations with a hose.
TEPCO also says that a woman employee in her 40s was exposed to radiation of 7.49 millisieverts, 1.5 times the national legal limit, while she was working at an in-house medical office of the Fukushima plant.
The woman continued to work there until March 15th, 4 days after the disaster, then she was moved to another office within Fukushima Prefecture. She is described as having no apparent health problems resulting from the exposure.
TEPCO says it is the second case of a woman worker being exposed to radiation exceeding the legal limit, and that no woman has been allowed to work at the plant since March 23rd.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 23:20
Cesium found in sludge
Relatively high levels of radioactive cesium have been detected in the sludge from a waste water treatment plant in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture.
The prefectural government is tracking some of the sludge that has been shipped out of the prefecture to be used in making cement.
The prefecture's investigation found that the sludge contained 26,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram.
The solidified slag made from it contained 334,000 becquerels per kilogram, which is 1,300 times the level before the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The prefecture says rain likely washed radioactive substances from the surface of the ground into the sewer, and they became concentrated through processing.
The sludge from the facility is transported out of the prefecture and used to produce cement.
The prefectural government will suspend the recycling and track the sludge that has been shipped since the accident to determine how it has been used.
The land and transport ministry says it will report the incident to the Nuclear Safety Agency, and coordinate with the Environment Ministry and other relevant organizations to find ways to process the sludge safely. The sludge must be kept at the facility until a solution is found.
The ministry says there is no precedent for this, but that it will decide soon what to do.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 23:20
Kan: safety measures insufficient
Prime Minister Naoto Kan says the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company failed to fully address safety issues that had come to light before the March 11 disaster.
An accident last June at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant caused by the loss of outside power and the subsequent drop in the water levels of a reactor was taken up at Sunday's Upper House Budget Committee meeting.
In response to a question on whether sufficient safety measures had been taken, Kan said nuclear plants operate on the assumption that emergency diesel generators will maintain a reactor's cooling functions when outside power is cut off.
He said the fact that such a back-up system failed to work properly has serious implications.
Kan said measures were not taken despite previous accidents and warnings, and that he must admit that the utility and the government failed to fully deal with the situation.
He also suggested that he will study the possibility of setting up an alternative capital to take over Tokyo's role in an emergency, saying that measures must be taken to secure the continuity of the capital's central functions.

. . . . . . . . . .


Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
Sightseeing boat resting on roof to be removed

Authorities in Iwate Prefecture will start work to remove a sightseeing boat that was carried by the March 11th tsunami and ended up on top of a two-story building.
The 27-meter long luxury cruiser owned by Kamaishi City was in a dockyard in neighboring Otsuchi Town for regular inspection when the tsunami hit the area. The boat came to rest about 400 meters inland on the roof of a Japanese-style inn.
A university professor and others had requested local authorities to preserve the boat as a symbol of the disaster for future generations.
However, the authorities decided against the idea, citing the danger of the 200-ton boat falling off the roof. The city plans to remove it with a crane by the end of the week.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
Non-nuclear nations call for safer nuclear power
Foreign ministers from 10 countries without nuclear weapons have agreed that international cooperation should be promoted to improve the safety of nuclear power plants.
They held the second non-nuclear state conference in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday, followed the first last September in the US. ...


Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
Disaster relief budget passes Lower House
Japan's Lower House has unanimously passed a first supplementary budget aimed at rebuilding regions hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The bill, totals 4 trillion, 15.3 billion yen, or about 49 billion dollars. It is expected to pass the Upper House on Monday.
The budget covers public works to restore roads, ports and agricultural facilities, as well as disposal of debris and construction of temporary houses.
The budget is significantly greater than that for the 1995 Hanshin Earthquake.
Deliberations will take place on Sunday and Monday at the Upper House Budget Committee.
Then, the bill is expected to be approved at its plenary session on Monday.
Related bills, including one that calls for the diversion of funds originally earmarked for the public pension system, passed the Lower House and were sent to the Upper House on Saturday.
Saturday's Lower House plenary session was the first in 49 years to be held during the week-long spring holiday.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 09:02
Minute levels of radiation detected in breast milk
Japan's Health Ministry says it has detected a minute amount of radioactive materials in breast milk in 7 mothers in central and northeastern Japan. The ministry says the amount does not pose a danger to their babies' health.
The ministry on Saturday released the results of a study conducted in Fukushima, Tokyo and other 3 prefectures in Kanto region from last Sunday through Thursday.
The ministry says breast milk samples from a mother in Iwaki City of Fukushima Prefecture contained 3.5 becquerels of radioactive iodine per kilogram and 2.4 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram.
Up to 2.8 becquerels of radioactive materials per kilogram were also detected in 6 mothers in 2 other prefectures.
Japan has no regulatory levels to determine the health risk from radioactive substances in breast milk. But it sets the safety levels for babies' consumption of milk and drinking water at 100 becquerels of radioactive iodine per kilogram and 200 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram.
The detected amount in the samples was much lower than the regulatory levels and the ministry says it is too minute to have any impact on babies' health. It also says mothers who are breast-feeding should not be overly concerned.
Professor Nobuya Unno of Kitasato University says it is necessary to carefully analyze how and for how long radioactive materials will affect breast milk when mothers drink water and eat food that contain such substances.


Sunday, May 01, 2011 23:20
Shareholders want nuclear plants closed
A group of Tohoku Electric Power Company shareholders will submit a motion calling for the closure of the company's nuclear plants.
220 individual stockholders decided on the move ahead of the company's annual shareholders' meeting at the end of next month.
The investors are demanding that the utility state in its agreement with shareholders that it will close its nuclear power plants and end its investment in a reprocessing plant in Aomori Prefecture and similar projects.
The shareholders say the problems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was a warning that accidents at any nuclear plant can lead to dangers that cannot be contained by any one company.
They will deliver documents on the demand to the company on Monday. The subject is expected to be discussed at this year's shareholders' meeting.
The move comes after the firm measured tsunamis higher than expected and strong tremors at its Onagawa nuclear plant in Miyagi Prefecture during the March 11th earthquake and the aftershock on April 7th.
The Tohoku Electric Power Company declined to comment on the move. But it said it had safely suspended operations at its power plants and that it will improve its risk management and strengthen measures to check its equipment.


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Voices from around


. Daily Radiation Levels .  

. . . . .

Japan Times :

Tepco pair caught radiation overdose
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110501a1.html

Volunteers rush to help Tohoku
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110501a3.html

Three years eyed to remove disaster debris
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110501a5.html

52 nursing homes in Iwate, Miyagi shut after disaster
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110501a9.html

The lowdown on sieverts and a healthy diet
HIROAKI SATO
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/eo20110501hs.html

Tohoku charity a minefield for Japanese celebrities
PHILIP BRASOR
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/fd20110501pb.html


. . . . .

quote
Gov't estimates 3 years for removal of debris from disaster areas
The Environment Ministry estimates that it will take three years for the three prefectures in northeastern Japan worst hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami to finish removing massive piles of debris left by the disaster, the ministry said Saturday.

Up to around 24.9 million tons of debris mainly from collapsed houses are assumed to be scattered around Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, according to the ministry. The amount is about 1.7 times the debris seen in the 1996 Great Hanshin Earthquake.

The actual amount of debris is expected to be larger as the assumption does not include rubble from wrecked vessels and vehicles.
The removal process is expected to be delayed due to the lack of temporary disposal sites for rubble, according to the ministry.

The Iwate prefectural government said it will need some 3 million square meters of land to temporarily store a total of 6 million tons of debris scattered around the prefecture, but has been able to secure only 40% of the land needed so far. The prefecture has relatively little flat land because of its deeply indented coastline.
...
Meanwhile, the Miyagi prefectural government said it has secured land to pile up about 16 million tons of debris. It plans to secure about 4 million square meters of land in its public windbreak forests for incineration and crushing of rubble in the near future.
source : www.japantoday.com


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haru no mizu 春の水 waters of spring

Fukushima

waters of spring!
in the hells we humans make
you too must suffer!



From Japanese Death Poems:

hito-iki ni kono ajiwai zo haru no mizu

One gulp,
a taste of nectar!
Water in the spring.


--Kimpu, trans. Yoel Hoffman

Hoffman comments:
"Water in the [season of] spring" ('haru no mizu') is a seasonal image in haiku,
yet it hints as well at 'shinimizu', the water given to a dying person."

water of spring,
good to the last drop?
Fukushima


Larry Bole

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[ . BACK to WORLDKIGO . TOP . ]
[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]

[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 

April 30, Saturday

Posted by Chika On 2:22 PM 0 comments
[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::



まけるもんか、岩手!
Iwate will not be defeated!


source : tohoku-umaimon
Grandaruma

. Earthquake Daruma


. WASHOKU .
Specialities from Iwate prefecture



:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Gabi reports:

Since yesterday, the exodus for the Golden Week Holidays (GW) started, but much less traffic than usual. Hawaii is also suffering from lack of visitors.
Only travel to Tohoku was in full swing, as many use the holidays to visit relatives in the region and many volunteers were also streaming it.
The return peak will be around May 5.

A sudden warm spell here, the thermometer rose above 20 degrees centigrade !

The rainy season has officially started today in Okinawa ... usually it starts in June ! What is happening to climate?

. . . . .

. . . . . at 14:06
Earthquake M5.3, off the coast of Ibaraki

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

FUKUSHIMA NEWS

Saturday, April 30, 2011 06:04
TEPCO president pledges swift, fair compensation

The president of Tokyo Electric Power Company has promised to quickly and fairly pay compensation for losses caused by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Masataka Shimizu testified Friday before a Lower House committee. He referred to the 1st guidelines released Thursday by a government panel. They named evacuees, farmers and fishermen subject to shipping restrictions as among those eligible for compensation.
Shimizu said his company will follow the guidelines and study how to calculate damages and pay them out.
He acknowledged the number of claimants will be vast. But he said TEPCO will act fairly and swiftly with the government's support, financial and otherwise.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan addressed the same Lower House committee on Friday. He said he will ensure that adequate relief reaches all the victims of the March 11th disaster, which he pointed out is the government's responsibility.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 06:08
Japan, China, S. Korea to share disaster info

The environment ministers of Japan, China, and South Korea have agreed to step up their sharing of information to minimize the environmental impact of disasters.
The 3 ministers met in Pusan, South, Korea, on Friday.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 06:09
Japan steps up efforts to prove its food safe

Imports of Japanese food are banned in many parts of the world because of concern about radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, so Japan is stepping up its efforts to prove that its food is safe.
Japan's foreign ministry says more than 50 countries and territories are not allowing imports of Japanese food and other products.
China has banned agricultural products from Tokyo and 11 prefectures including Fukushima and neighboring Ibaraki.
Hong Kong, the largest importer of Japanese farm and fishery products, is not allowing food imports from 5 prefectures.
Governments have kept import bans on Japanese food products that Japanese authorities have declared safe.
Japanese diplomats are stepping up their efforts to deal with the problem by giving governments accurate information on radiation and explaining Japanese screening measures.
They're also working with the Japan External Trade Organization to hold briefings for companies in Beijing and London.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 09:03
Edano: No compensation exemption for TEPCO

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano emphasized that Tokyo Electric Power Company cannot be exempt from paying compensation for the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The country's Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damages would allow the responsibility for compensation to be dismissed if the accident is regarded as an exceptionally massive natural disaster. TEPCO has implied this act should be applied to what happened at Fukushima Daiichi.
But Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano says while the earthquake and tsunami were very powerful, Japan's Diet had warned the nuclear plant would face problems if hit by an enormous tsunami.
Edano points out TEPCO cannot be exempt from its responsibility because the company was not prepared for what had been flagged by the Diet, and therefore the damage is not unexpected.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 09:03
Safety agency seeks nuclear plant quake data

Japan's nuclear safety agency has asked all of the country's utilities to submit data on fault lines and other geological features beneath or close to their nuclear power plants by the end of May.
It made the request after the independent Nuclear Safety Commission ordered a reassessment of the quake-resistance of Japanese nuclear plants on Thursday.
12 utilities must submit data on safety assessments of their nuclear plants and facilities, including fault lines and other geological issues that were previously considered irrelevant to plant safety.
All the utilities conducted their own safety analyses after the government revised its quake-resistance guidelines 5 years ago.
The nuclear safety agency says the Magnitude-9 earthquake on March 11th has caused a dramatic shift in tectonic plates.
It says it's now become necessary to carry out a fresh round of detailed studies looking into which fault lines could pose a risk to nuclear plants.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 15:10
Kan comments on nuclear advisor's resignation

One of the nuclear advisors to Prime Minister Naoto Kan has resigned to protest what he called the government's impromptu handling of the nuclear crisis.
University of Tokyo Professor Toshiso Kosako 小佐古敏荘, who tendered his resignation on Friday, also said that the government has belittled the law.
Speaking at a Lower House committee meeting on Saturday, Kan said Professor Kosako resigned because of disagreements with other scientists.
Kan said the government responded to the nuclear accident based on advice from the Nuclear Safety Commission and has never taken ad hoc measures.
Kosako also criticized the education ministry for allowing students at primary schools in Fukushima Prefecture to perform outdoor activities if the level of radiation of the school ground does not exceed 20 millisieverts per year.
The nuclear scientist said it's very unlikely that even workers at nuclear reactors could be exposed to such a high level of radiation, and therefore he cannot agree on that figure as an upper limit for children.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters that the ministry's decision seeks to reduce exposure to radiation and that it does not mean the government will allow the limit of 20 millisieverts per year for children.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 16:51
Radiation exposure for 2 workers nears limit

Two workers at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been found to have been exposed to radiation levels close to legal yearly limit.
Late last month, the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company measured the internal radiation exposure of the workers whose external exposure exceeded 100 millisieverts.
It says it found that the amount of internal and external radiation that 2 of its employees had been exposed to exceeded 200 millisieverts. The reading for one of the men reached 240.8 millisieverts.
The health ministry recently raised the legal radiation limit that workers can be exposed to in an emergency from 100 to 250 millisieverts.
On March 24th the 2 workers, without wearing proper protective gear, stood in highly radioactive water while working in the basement of the Number 3 reactor building.
The utility says it took about one month to measure their internal exposure levels.
TEPCO says workers are transferred out of the Fukushima plant once their external exposure reaches 150 millisieverts, and that 8 workers in total have been relocated.
The utility says it will manage the situation with utmost attention to make sure that the workers are never exposed to radiation levels above the legal limit.


. . . . . . . . . .


Saturday, April 30, 2011 06:04
Volunteers surge in disaster-hit region

Japan starts a week of national holidays on Friday. And that has caused the number of volunteers visiting its disaster zones in the northeast to surge.
A long line formed before 8AM outside a registered volunteer center at a university in Ishinomaki City, located in Miyagi Prefecture. The region was hardest hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The center has so many volunteers it has already ended its recruitment drive for the holiday period.
The head of Ishinomaki's social welfare council, Hideo Otsuki, says Ishinomaki is now looking for people who can help out when the holiday period ends.
Right now, some volunteers are being asked to remove mud from houses and compounds, and to collect damaged televisions and electrical appliances.



Saturday, April 30, 2011 06:04
Chinese group tours to Japan resume

The first Chinese tour groups to visit Japan since the March 11th disaster have arrived in Osaka and Fukuoka.
Airport staff and transport ministry officials were on hand when a 10-member Chinese tour group arrived at Kansai International Airport in Osaka on Friday.
During their 4-day stay, the tourists are expected to visit Osaka castle and go shopping. One of them, a 65-year-old woman, says she came to cheer up the Japanese people.
The March disaster halted Chinese tour groups across Japan, even though the Chinese government had only advised its citizens to avoid the disaster zone.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 09:03
Labor unions vow to help rebuild quake-hit region

Japan's largest labor organization says it is committed to efforts to rebuild the regions hit by the March 11th disaster. RENGO says it will urge the government and businesses to take action to create jobs.
It held a May Day rally on Friday in central Tokyo.
There are growing employment concerns in Japan because many people lost their jobs in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami.
The rally organizer says around 9,000 people attended the event.
Rengo President Nobuaki Koga said it will take a long time for people in the northeast to rebuild their lives.
He stressed his organization should do everything it can to support them.
RENGO adopted a declaration at the rally asking the Japanese government to provide support for people who have lost their jobs and for affected companies. It also calls for continued assistance for the disaster areas and action to prevent unfounded rumors from undermining the reputation of products from the Tohoku region.
Rengo collected donations at the May Day rally and set up a corner to sell vegetables from Ibaraki. Farmers from that Prefecture have been affected by the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, north of them.
A truck driver at the rally says he is worried about the impact on his industry because production is shrinking in Japan's manufacturing sector. He says he wants workers to join hands and do their best to help with rebuilding efforts.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 09:03
No holidays for quake-affected manufacturers

Japan's Golden Week holidays started on Friday. But this year, some leading manufacturers are not giving workers time off.
The extraordinary move is designed to make up for production declines caused by the March 11th disaster and subsequent rolling blackouts.
Chugai Pharmaceutical Company has cancelled plans to shut down its plant in Utsunomiya for 10 consecutive days. The facility is north of Tokyo. It was damaged in the earthquake and is running short on inventory.
Chugai also plans to keep factories in Tokyo and Shizuoka up and running for 5 to 8 days during the holidays.
Among electronics makers, Sony is calling up some of its research staff in Atsugi, near Tokyo, for 4 days during the holidays. The company is trying to make up for research and development delays.
Other manufacturers are ramping up production now rather than in the summer, when soaring electricity demand could again trigger power shortages.
Fuji Xerox Company will continue producing components for photocopiers for 5 straight days next week at its plant near Tokyo. The factory will go off line for a week in late July.
Camera maker Nikon plans to give its employees in the area covered by Tokyo Electric Power Company 6 extra days off this summer. They will instead be on regular duty for 6 days during this extended holiday period.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 16:52
China lifts advisory against travel to Japan

China has lifted its advisory against travel to Japan.
The country's foreign ministry says the advisory has been lifted as social order and life have returned to normal in most areas.
The advisory was issued following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit eastern Japan on March 11th.
The Chinese government continues to call on people to refrain from traveling to areas that were hit hard by the disaster including Fukushima Prefecture.
A 41-member Chinese tour group arrived in Fukuoka on Friday.
They were the first Chinese tourists to arrive in Japan since major Chinese travel agencies cancelled their tours to Japan after the disaster.


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Voices from around

. The Daily Reading List .  

. Daily Radiation Levels .  

. . . . .


quote
No time for political games as Japan tries to rise again
By KEVIN RAFFERTY
Japanese people who have been hit by the triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident have been — rightly — praised worldwide for their courage and resilience. In many other places, even one such disaster would have triggered widespread looting if not rioting.

But too many sympathizers have made the blithe assumption that all will be well with Japan, that this resilience, sense of togetherness and fighting spirit will pull the country through this disaster, as it has done through so many other crises since World War II. This is dangerous, the language that turkeys gobble before Thanksgiving:
We have been OK before, so we will survive again.
Before the earthquake, Japan stood perilously close to several economic and political fault lines: failure to respond adequately to the disasters could push it over the edge. ...
source : Japan Times


Tepco, and state, responsible: Kan
Prime Minister Naoto Kan acknowledges the government bears some responsibility for the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant crisis.
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110430a1.html

Extra budget for rebuilding sent to the Diet
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110430a3.html

Panel to probe nuke accident
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110430a5.html

Dalai Lama leads prayers
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110430a7.html

Depopulation latest threat
Mayor Futoshi Toba lost his wife in the March 11 tsunami that pulverized his city of Rikuzentakata and left two-thirds of its residents homeless. He says it's too early to move on and rebuild.
About 13 km down the coast is Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, where shops are selling fresh food, schools have opened and city leaders are making plans to partially reopen a damaged fish market.
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110430n1.html

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「復興ダルマ凧(だこ)」 Daruma for reconstruction



A group of handicapped people from Matsuura have made these kites to encourage people in Tohoku.
The money from their purchase will go to charity.

source : /www.nagasaki-np.co.jp


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

[ . BACK to WORLDKIGO . TOP . ]
[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]

[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 

April 30, Saturday

Posted by Chika On 2:22 PM 0 comments
[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::



まけるもんか、岩手!
Iwate will not be defeated!


source : tohoku-umaimon
Grandaruma

. Earthquake Daruma


. WASHOKU .
Specialities from Iwate prefecture



:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Gabi reports:

Since yesterday, the exodus for the Golden Week Holidays (GW) started, but much less traffic than usual. Hawaii is also suffering from lack of visitors.
Only travel to Tohoku was in full swing, as many use the holidays to visit relatives in the region and many volunteers were also streaming it.
The return peak will be around May 5.

A sudden warm spell here, the thermometer rose above 20 degrees centigrade !

The rainy season has officially started today in Okinawa ... usually it starts in June ! What is happening to climate?

. . . . .

. . . . . at 14:06
Earthquake M5.3, off the coast of Ibaraki

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

FUKUSHIMA NEWS

Saturday, April 30, 2011 06:04
TEPCO president pledges swift, fair compensation

The president of Tokyo Electric Power Company has promised to quickly and fairly pay compensation for losses caused by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Masataka Shimizu testified Friday before a Lower House committee. He referred to the 1st guidelines released Thursday by a government panel. They named evacuees, farmers and fishermen subject to shipping restrictions as among those eligible for compensation.
Shimizu said his company will follow the guidelines and study how to calculate damages and pay them out.
He acknowledged the number of claimants will be vast. But he said TEPCO will act fairly and swiftly with the government's support, financial and otherwise.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan addressed the same Lower House committee on Friday. He said he will ensure that adequate relief reaches all the victims of the March 11th disaster, which he pointed out is the government's responsibility.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 06:08
Japan, China, S. Korea to share disaster info

The environment ministers of Japan, China, and South Korea have agreed to step up their sharing of information to minimize the environmental impact of disasters.
The 3 ministers met in Pusan, South, Korea, on Friday.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 06:09
Japan steps up efforts to prove its food safe

Imports of Japanese food are banned in many parts of the world because of concern about radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, so Japan is stepping up its efforts to prove that its food is safe.
Japan's foreign ministry says more than 50 countries and territories are not allowing imports of Japanese food and other products.
China has banned agricultural products from Tokyo and 11 prefectures including Fukushima and neighboring Ibaraki.
Hong Kong, the largest importer of Japanese farm and fishery products, is not allowing food imports from 5 prefectures.
Governments have kept import bans on Japanese food products that Japanese authorities have declared safe.
Japanese diplomats are stepping up their efforts to deal with the problem by giving governments accurate information on radiation and explaining Japanese screening measures.
They're also working with the Japan External Trade Organization to hold briefings for companies in Beijing and London.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 09:03
Edano: No compensation exemption for TEPCO

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano emphasized that Tokyo Electric Power Company cannot be exempt from paying compensation for the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The country's Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damages would allow the responsibility for compensation to be dismissed if the accident is regarded as an exceptionally massive natural disaster. TEPCO has implied this act should be applied to what happened at Fukushima Daiichi.
But Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano says while the earthquake and tsunami were very powerful, Japan's Diet had warned the nuclear plant would face problems if hit by an enormous tsunami.
Edano points out TEPCO cannot be exempt from its responsibility because the company was not prepared for what had been flagged by the Diet, and therefore the damage is not unexpected.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 09:03
Safety agency seeks nuclear plant quake data

Japan's nuclear safety agency has asked all of the country's utilities to submit data on fault lines and other geological features beneath or close to their nuclear power plants by the end of May.
It made the request after the independent Nuclear Safety Commission ordered a reassessment of the quake-resistance of Japanese nuclear plants on Thursday.
12 utilities must submit data on safety assessments of their nuclear plants and facilities, including fault lines and other geological issues that were previously considered irrelevant to plant safety.
All the utilities conducted their own safety analyses after the government revised its quake-resistance guidelines 5 years ago.
The nuclear safety agency says the Magnitude-9 earthquake on March 11th has caused a dramatic shift in tectonic plates.
It says it's now become necessary to carry out a fresh round of detailed studies looking into which fault lines could pose a risk to nuclear plants.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 15:10
Kan comments on nuclear advisor's resignation

One of the nuclear advisors to Prime Minister Naoto Kan has resigned to protest what he called the government's impromptu handling of the nuclear crisis.
University of Tokyo Professor Toshiso Kosako 小佐古敏荘, who tendered his resignation on Friday, also said that the government has belittled the law.
Speaking at a Lower House committee meeting on Saturday, Kan said Professor Kosako resigned because of disagreements with other scientists.
Kan said the government responded to the nuclear accident based on advice from the Nuclear Safety Commission and has never taken ad hoc measures.
Kosako also criticized the education ministry for allowing students at primary schools in Fukushima Prefecture to perform outdoor activities if the level of radiation of the school ground does not exceed 20 millisieverts per year.
The nuclear scientist said it's very unlikely that even workers at nuclear reactors could be exposed to such a high level of radiation, and therefore he cannot agree on that figure as an upper limit for children.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters that the ministry's decision seeks to reduce exposure to radiation and that it does not mean the government will allow the limit of 20 millisieverts per year for children.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 16:51
Radiation exposure for 2 workers nears limit

Two workers at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been found to have been exposed to radiation levels close to legal yearly limit.
Late last month, the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company measured the internal radiation exposure of the workers whose external exposure exceeded 100 millisieverts.
It says it found that the amount of internal and external radiation that 2 of its employees had been exposed to exceeded 200 millisieverts. The reading for one of the men reached 240.8 millisieverts.
The health ministry recently raised the legal radiation limit that workers can be exposed to in an emergency from 100 to 250 millisieverts.
On March 24th the 2 workers, without wearing proper protective gear, stood in highly radioactive water while working in the basement of the Number 3 reactor building.
The utility says it took about one month to measure their internal exposure levels.
TEPCO says workers are transferred out of the Fukushima plant once their external exposure reaches 150 millisieverts, and that 8 workers in total have been relocated.
The utility says it will manage the situation with utmost attention to make sure that the workers are never exposed to radiation levels above the legal limit.


. . . . . . . . . .


Saturday, April 30, 2011 06:04
Volunteers surge in disaster-hit region

Japan starts a week of national holidays on Friday. And that has caused the number of volunteers visiting its disaster zones in the northeast to surge.
A long line formed before 8AM outside a registered volunteer center at a university in Ishinomaki City, located in Miyagi Prefecture. The region was hardest hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The center has so many volunteers it has already ended its recruitment drive for the holiday period.
The head of Ishinomaki's social welfare council, Hideo Otsuki, says Ishinomaki is now looking for people who can help out when the holiday period ends.
Right now, some volunteers are being asked to remove mud from houses and compounds, and to collect damaged televisions and electrical appliances.



Saturday, April 30, 2011 06:04
Chinese group tours to Japan resume

The first Chinese tour groups to visit Japan since the March 11th disaster have arrived in Osaka and Fukuoka.
Airport staff and transport ministry officials were on hand when a 10-member Chinese tour group arrived at Kansai International Airport in Osaka on Friday.
During their 4-day stay, the tourists are expected to visit Osaka castle and go shopping. One of them, a 65-year-old woman, says she came to cheer up the Japanese people.
The March disaster halted Chinese tour groups across Japan, even though the Chinese government had only advised its citizens to avoid the disaster zone.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 09:03
Labor unions vow to help rebuild quake-hit region

Japan's largest labor organization says it is committed to efforts to rebuild the regions hit by the March 11th disaster. RENGO says it will urge the government and businesses to take action to create jobs.
It held a May Day rally on Friday in central Tokyo.
There are growing employment concerns in Japan because many people lost their jobs in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami.
The rally organizer says around 9,000 people attended the event.
Rengo President Nobuaki Koga said it will take a long time for people in the northeast to rebuild their lives.
He stressed his organization should do everything it can to support them.
RENGO adopted a declaration at the rally asking the Japanese government to provide support for people who have lost their jobs and for affected companies. It also calls for continued assistance for the disaster areas and action to prevent unfounded rumors from undermining the reputation of products from the Tohoku region.
Rengo collected donations at the May Day rally and set up a corner to sell vegetables from Ibaraki. Farmers from that Prefecture have been affected by the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, north of them.
A truck driver at the rally says he is worried about the impact on his industry because production is shrinking in Japan's manufacturing sector. He says he wants workers to join hands and do their best to help with rebuilding efforts.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 09:03
No holidays for quake-affected manufacturers

Japan's Golden Week holidays started on Friday. But this year, some leading manufacturers are not giving workers time off.
The extraordinary move is designed to make up for production declines caused by the March 11th disaster and subsequent rolling blackouts.
Chugai Pharmaceutical Company has cancelled plans to shut down its plant in Utsunomiya for 10 consecutive days. The facility is north of Tokyo. It was damaged in the earthquake and is running short on inventory.
Chugai also plans to keep factories in Tokyo and Shizuoka up and running for 5 to 8 days during the holidays.
Among electronics makers, Sony is calling up some of its research staff in Atsugi, near Tokyo, for 4 days during the holidays. The company is trying to make up for research and development delays.
Other manufacturers are ramping up production now rather than in the summer, when soaring electricity demand could again trigger power shortages.
Fuji Xerox Company will continue producing components for photocopiers for 5 straight days next week at its plant near Tokyo. The factory will go off line for a week in late July.
Camera maker Nikon plans to give its employees in the area covered by Tokyo Electric Power Company 6 extra days off this summer. They will instead be on regular duty for 6 days during this extended holiday period.


Saturday, April 30, 2011 16:52
China lifts advisory against travel to Japan

China has lifted its advisory against travel to Japan.
The country's foreign ministry says the advisory has been lifted as social order and life have returned to normal in most areas.
The advisory was issued following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit eastern Japan on March 11th.
The Chinese government continues to call on people to refrain from traveling to areas that were hit hard by the disaster including Fukushima Prefecture.
A 41-member Chinese tour group arrived in Fukuoka on Friday.
They were the first Chinese tourists to arrive in Japan since major Chinese travel agencies cancelled their tours to Japan after the disaster.


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Voices from around

. The Daily Reading List .  

. Daily Radiation Levels .  

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quote
No time for political games as Japan tries to rise again
By KEVIN RAFFERTY
Japanese people who have been hit by the triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident have been — rightly — praised worldwide for their courage and resilience. In many other places, even one such disaster would have triggered widespread looting if not rioting.

But too many sympathizers have made the blithe assumption that all will be well with Japan, that this resilience, sense of togetherness and fighting spirit will pull the country through this disaster, as it has done through so many other crises since World War II. This is dangerous, the language that turkeys gobble before Thanksgiving:
We have been OK before, so we will survive again.
Before the earthquake, Japan stood perilously close to several economic and political fault lines: failure to respond adequately to the disasters could push it over the edge. ...
source : Japan Times


Tepco, and state, responsible: Kan
Prime Minister Naoto Kan acknowledges the government bears some responsibility for the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant crisis.
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110430a1.html

Extra budget for rebuilding sent to the Diet
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110430a3.html

Panel to probe nuke accident
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110430a5.html

Dalai Lama leads prayers
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110430a7.html

Depopulation latest threat
Mayor Futoshi Toba lost his wife in the March 11 tsunami that pulverized his city of Rikuzentakata and left two-thirds of its residents homeless. He says it's too early to move on and rebuild.
About 13 km down the coast is Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, where shops are selling fresh food, schools have opened and city leaders are making plans to partially reopen a damaged fish market.
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110430n1.html

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「復興ダルマ凧(だこ)」 Daruma for reconstruction



A group of handicapped people from Matsuura have made these kites to encourage people in Tohoku.
The money from their purchase will go to charity.

source : /www.nagasaki-np.co.jp


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April 29, Friday

Posted by Chika On 2:28 PM 0 comments
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Photo from Sakurai san.

Daruma Tourist Boat
stranded in Sendai after the tsunami

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Gabi reports:

New videos of a worker at Sendai airport where shown, when he took a video while evacuating to the roof of the building. Cars were floating by in droven, then small airplanes and helicopters, like toys in the fastmoving waves. Lots of debris between the cars ... and now, after less than 50 days, the airport is already functioning again! Well done, Sendai!
. . . CLICK here for Photos ! 仙台空港 大津波


The Tohoku Shinkansen, which was badly damaged, is also up and running for Golden Week, a row of holidays which starts today. More than 3000 workers from all over Japan were involved in the rapair activities.

Yet trains are not fully booked and the highway is not as blocked as usual during this time. Many prefere to stay home and save fuel and energy.

The fifth station on Mount Fuji was opened for the holidays. Usually there are about 100 buses with Chinese tourists, but today, there was none.
And only a few Japanese tourists, the restaurant was empty . . .
A hotel with beautiful view to Mount Fuji has all empty rooms ... now is the time to go!
The fried noodle shops in Fuji, where usually you have to wait for one hour before it is your turn, are empty and not all seats are taken yet, no waiting of course today.

. . . . .

The Hamaoka nuclear reactor in Shizuoka will be reopening in July to help ease the summer supply of electricity. Still, programs about how to save energy at home abound and all are willing to live through a hotter summer, get up earlier to have their private "summer time" or do whatever it takes to keep cool. The temperatures rose to almost 30 degrees centigrade in Tokyo the other day - giving a glimpse of the hot summer yet to start.

. . . . .


It was life broadcast from London during early evening.
Prince William and Miss Catherine "Kate" Middleton.


royal wedding -
so many people
without TV




source : www.cnngo.com/tokyo
see also comment below


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Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Thursday, April 28, 2011 17:54
Gov't warns of risk from quake-caused subsidence

Japan's land ministry has found that areas of land below-sea-level in the Sendai plain, Miyagi Prefecture, have increased 5-fold after the March 11th earthquake.
It warns that these areas are highly vulnerable to flooding from high tides and typhoons.
The ministry on Thursday released the findings of its aerial probe using an ultra-sensitive, laser-equipped camera to check subsidence across the Sendai plain.
The areas below sea level, shown in blue on the released map, spanned 16 square kilometers.
Before the quake, the plain had only 3 square kilometers of such low-lying areas.
The map also shows, in green, areas lying at full-tide levels. The amount of such areas has increased to 56 square kilometers from the pre-disaster total of 32 square kilometers.
Colored yellow are areas lying below the highest-ever tide level recorded in 1980. These areas have grown to 111 square kilometers from the pre-quake total of 83 square kilometers.
Many river banks and seawalls were damaged by the disaster. The ministry is calling on residents in these areas to be on the alert, and is sandbagging the broken banks.

. . . . .

Friday, April 29, 2011 05:05
Fukushima Daiichi's shoreline to be sandbagged

As aftershocks of the March 11th earthquake continue, the operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will sandbag its shoreline as a temporary measure against another possible tsunami.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company moved emergency power generators to higher ground in order to prevent the reactors' cooling systems from failing in case a major tsunami hits the plant again.
The utility firm decided to sandbag the shoreline at the plant to a height of several meters.
Priority will be put on the area near the waste processing facility, where highly radioactive water is being moved from around the reactor buildings. The facility will also serve as a workplace for reprocessing contaminated water from June.
The firm fears that if the facility is hit by another tsunami, highly contaminated water may run into the ocean and damage the reprocessing facility.
Tokyo Electric is also planning to build a breakwater on the shoreline, as the sandbags cannot stand as the fundamental solution for possible tsunami. The tsunami that hit the plant on March 11th reached 15 meters at its height.


Friday, April 29, 2011 10:38
NRC: Fukushima plant situation "improved"

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan has "definitely improved" but still requires close monitoring.
Commission members met on Thursday in Washington to assess the nuclear emergency in Japan.
One of the members said that US nuclear experts continue to provide support in Japan, adding that private US companies have joined the effort.
.
Moves on int'l nuclear safety rules
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the president of France have agreed that compiling international safety standards for nuclear power plants should take place as soon as possible. ...


Friday, April 29, 2011 11:35
Amano reveals Syria's nuclear reactor construction

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says a target destroyed by Israeli warplanes in Syria in 2007 was a nuclear reactor under construction.
Director General Yukiya Amano spoke to reporters in Paris on Thursday about the facility in Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria. ...


Friday, April 29, 2011 13:34
Seabed rose by 7m near quake focus

Researchers have found that the seabed off northeastern Japan surged by as much as seven meters, and shifted about 50 meters southeastward, in the March 11th earthquake.
The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, or JAMSTEC, sent a deep sea research vessel, 'Kairei,' to the focus area after the quake.
The ship probed the seabed using sound waves.
Earlier, the Japan Coast Guard, using GPS data, concluded that the seabed had surged about three meters while a research team from Tohoku University said it rose by about five meters based on data from a water-pressure gauge installed on the seabed.
JAMSTEC says the seven-meter surge shows the earthquake and subsequent tsunami were more powerful than the earlier estimates.
The agency says it will further analyze the data and expand the research area to find out more about the mechanism behind tsunami.


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Voices from around


. Daily Radiation Levels .  

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Japan Times :

School that lost 70% of its pupils mourns
An elementary school that lost 70 percent of its students to the March 11 tsunami remembers them with a Buddhist service on the 49th day since they were taken.
84 victims — 74 children and 10 teachers — from the Okawa Elementary School
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110429a1.html



Rubble cleanup bares asbestos
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110429a3.html

378 students killed, 158 missing in disaster
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110429a4.html

DisneySea reopens for holiday
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110429a5.html

Kan eyes 10 years for repairs
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110429a6.html

Economy took bigger hit than estimated
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20110429n3.html


Evacuee mayor's community torn
Katsutaka Idogawa, mayor of Futaba town, Fukushima
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110429f1.html

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quote
His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Tokyo

Tokyo, April 29 : His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with Japanese and foreign media this afternoon before presiding over a mass prayer at Gokokuji Temple. His Holiness said that he was deeply saddened that Japan was struck with three cataclysmic natural disasters one after another – earthquake, tsunami and threat from the damaged nuclear plant. Japan being a Buddhist country, images of the Buddhist monasteries and the Japanese friends came before him and he felt sad, he said. “I am happy to have this opportunity to be with the people here and share their sorrow and pray for those who have lost their precious lives.

“But the tragedy has happened; there is no use worrying about it. Just as Japan has overcome the tragedy of World War II, I’m quite sure the people of Japan can overcome this tragedy and move forward to rebuild what has been lost in this disaster. You should not lose heart, you need to face the reality with determination,” His Holiness said.
.
Regarding his decision to relinquish formal responsibilities, he said that the world belongs to humanity; it does not belong to religious leaders and governments. “Japan belongs to Japanese people; China belongs to 1.3 billion Chinese, not to the communist party. Since 2001 we have a directly elected leadership and I was in semi-retirement. Now, after ten years, I see that with maturity of democracy among Tibetans in exile, the day has come to handover the political authority to the people. But this does not mean that I am resigning from being the Dalai Lama.
.
Ven. Okamoto, Chief Abbot of the Gokokuji Temple expressed his happiness over being able to pray for the victims of the recent disaster with His Holiness. He thanked His Holiness for taking time out to share the grief and sorrow of the people here. Chief Abbot of Tsurumi Sotoshu Temple Ven. Eigawa also thanked His Holiness the Dalai
Lama for his prayers and encouragement.
source : www.phayul.com


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だるまチャリティ募金プロジェクト
Daruma Charity Donation Project



source : yuka


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