May 26, Thursday

Posted by Chika On 2:30 PM
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Gabi reports:

all the tears
of Fukushima -
starting the rainy season 



A dull morning, typhoon Nr. 2 hangs in the Philippines and is turning toward Okinawa, we will have rain for a few days.
And officially the rainy season has now started for my region, much earlier than usual.

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new green tea -
the geiger counters
tick faster  


see below


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Bulletins from NHK Online
source : www3.nhk.or.jp


Thursday, May 26, 2011 04:39
Nitrogen injection into No.1 reactor stops again
Nitrogen injection to prevent a hydrogen explosion was stopped for more than 4 hours at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Wednesday.
Engineers have been pumping nitrogen into the No.1 reactor since April 6th. The aim is to prevent another hydrogen blast when hydrogen - created when nuclear fuel reacts with water - builds up inside the containment vessel.
On Saturday, the device for pumping nitrogen temporarily stopped, but plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, quickly replaced it.
On Wednesday afternoon, the firm confirmed that the injection had been stopped again. TEPCO used another spare device and resumed work after at least 4 hours.
The plant operator says the stoppage caused only minor change in the pressure inside the containment vessel, and that there is no increase in the risk of a new hydrogen blast.
TEPCO is trying to identify the cause of the problem.
. . . at 13:06
TEPCO suspects new leak at Fukushima
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is inspecting a wastewater disposal facility for possible leaks, after finding that its water level had dropped.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has been removing highly radioactive wastewater from the plant's Number 2 and Number 3 reactors to waste disposal facilities within the compound.
The utility initially planned to transfer 14,000 tons, but it now wants to remove an additional 5,000 tons because there has been no noticeable drop in accumulated water in the reactors.
TEPCO suspended the transfer from the Number 3 reactor on Thursday to check whether the disposal facility could hold more water.
It found that the water level at the facility had dropped by 4.8 centimeters over a 20-hour period, meaning some 57 tons of water had been lost.
TEPCO says there has been no increase in radiation levels in nearby groundwater, but that the water level continues to fall.
The utility plans to begin running a water purifier on an experimental basis in early June.
If a leak is found at the waste disposal facility, it could delay the resumption of water transfer from the Number 3 reactor, raising the risk of radioactive wastewater spilling into the sea or seeping underground from the reactor.






Thursday, May 26, 2011 04:39
Kan to state nuclear safety
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan will pledge at the upcoming Group of Eight summit to make nuclear power safe, following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The summit opens in Deauville in France on Thursday, chaired by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The safety of nuclear power will top the agenda.
Prime Minister Kan plans to express his deep gratitude for the support extended by many countries in the aftermath of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
Kan will also express his determination to realize the highest-possible levels of safety for nuclear power, by sharing the lessons of the Fukushima crisis with the international community, and by joining hands with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The prime minister will also announce a policy of raising the ratio of solar and other renewable energies in Japan as a percentage of power generation from 9 percent to 20 percent by the next decade.
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Japan to express concern over import restrictions
Japan will express concern at the ongoing ministerial meeting over import restrictions against Japanese foods imposed by many countries following the radioactive contamination caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry says since the nuclear accident more than 60 countries have banned or put restrictions on imports from Japan.
The European Union is requiring that products from 12 prefectures in Japan have documents certifying that they are free of radioactive contamination.


Thursday, May 26, 2011 07:45
Radioactive substances detected in tea leaves
Radioactive contamination has been found in tea leaves in Chiba and Gunma prefectures, about 200 kilometers from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Similar contamination has been found over a wide area around Tokyo including Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Saitama and Shizuoka prefectures.
Chiba authorities say up to 763 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium were detected in tea leaves picked on Tuesday in Narita and 3 other cities.
The provisional state limit is 500 becquerels per kilogram.
The Chiba government on Wednesday requested tea growers in the 4 cities to voluntarily halt shipments, and asked dealers not to sell the tea produced in the areas.
But 2 tea growers in Narita City reportedly shipped their tea leaves, and dealers sold some processed tea to local consumers.
Radioactive materials in tea leaves exceeding the legal limit was earlier detected in other areas in the prefecture.
In Gunma Prefecture, 780 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium were detected in tea leaves picked on Tuesday in Shibukawa City 渋川市.
The Gunma government on Wednesday asked farm cooperatives to halt shipment of tea leaves.
This is the first tea contamination case reported in Gunma Prefecture.


Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:00
More wastewater to be moved at Fukushima
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is considering removing more radioactive wastewater from 2 of the reactors as the amount of accumulated water has seen no noticeable drop.
Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to transfer a total of 14,000 tons of highly radioactive water from the No.2 and No.3 reactors to a waste disposal facility within the plant compound.
More than 90 percent of the transfer has been completed, but the amount of contaminated water inside has not decreased much because the injection of water to cool the reactors continues.
TEPCO therefore hopes to remove about 5,000 more tons of wastewater to the disposal facility.
The utility will inspect the facility to see whether it can hold more water without it leaking outside or into nearby groundwater.
TEPCO plans to begin running a water purifier on an experimental basis early next month. Until then, its main challenge will be to prevent the wastewater from flowing out to sea or seeping underground.


Thursday, May 26, 2011 13:06
IAEA team visits Tokai Daini nuclear plant
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency have visited the Tokai Daini nuclear power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, eastern Japan, to see the damage caused by the tsunami. ...


Thursday, May 26, 2011 14:19
Prince and Princess Akishino encourages volunteers
Prince and Princess Akishino have offered encouragement to health care volunteers who are helping survivors of the March 11 disaster.
On the 2nd and final day of their visit to Iwate Prefecture on Thursday, the Emperor's second son and his wife Kiko visited Yamada Town, where more than 500 people were killed in the massive earthquake and tsunami. ...


Thursday, May 26, 2011 14:21
Families of tsunami victims visit no-entry zone
People who lost family members in the March 11 quake disaster are visiting the no-entry zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to offer prayers for their loved ones.
On Thursday, 111 people who were forced to evacuate from Namie and Futaba towns are making brief home visits on a supervised bus tour. This is among the special visits the nine municipalities near the nuclear plant began on May 10th. ...


Thursday, May 26, 2011 15:14
Survey of debris left by tsunami starts at port
Fisheries experts have begun examining debris left in the bottom of a bay in Iwate Prefecture after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Yamada Bay is known for being a good fishing port and a farming ground for oysters and scallops. Currently, a large amount of debris piled up on the seabed is hampering marine farming and the movement of fishing boats.
On Thursday, 3 experts from the Fisheries Research Agency began surveying the bay from a local fishing boat, using devices including a GPS-equipped sonar unit that can accurately survey the seabed.
After a 2-week-long survey, the experts will report to local and central governments on the results.
A member told reporters he hopes the data obtained by the survey will be used in the debris-removal work in the future.


Thursday, May 26, 2011 18:04
TEPCO admonished for sloppy radiation control
Japan's nuclear regulatory agency has admonished the operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for failing to prevent another case of workers being exposed to radiation.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says 2 Tokyo Electric Power Company workers were exposed to 3 millisieverts of radiation, while doing clerical work at the plant over a period of about 10 days after the March 11th disaster. The figure is 3 times the annual permissible level.
The two women had not been registered on the list of workers engaged in radiation-related operations.
The agency, which belongs to the industry ministry, said the utility should have reacted to the problem of radiation more quickly.
TEPCO was also reprimanded for not taking any measures to protect workers from radiation exposure at an earthquake-resistant shelter facility until April 3rd, despite high levels of radioactive substances there.
The utility was admonished for failing to take necessary steps to shield workers from radiation at the Fukushima Daini plant as well, when outdoor radiation levels remained high through March 21st.
The agency ordered TEPCO to carry out measures to ensure there will be no similar occurrences in the future, including regular radiation monitoring of its workers.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 19:57
TEPCO probes into possible leak at Fukushima
The operator of Japan's troubled nuclear plant is trying to determine where contaminated water from a waste disposal facility is leaking to, after finding that the water level inside the facility has dropped.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has been removing highly radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi plant's crippled reactors to the waste disposal facility within the compound.
The utility suspended the transfer from the No.3 reactor on Thursday and checked the water level in its section of the disposal facility.
Engineers learned that the water level had dropped by 4.8 centimeters over a 20-hour period, meaning some 57 tons of water has been lost.
The utility says it inspected inside the disposal facility and found contaminated water leaking to a passageway leading to another building.
TEPCO attributes the problem to a failure to stop the water leaking before the transfer began.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 19:57
Fukushima radiation monitoring map to be made
Japan's science ministry has decided to draw up a map showing radiation levels in soil of Fukushima Prefecture, following the disasters at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The ministry is to start surveying radiation levels at more than 2,200 locations across the prefecture at the beginning of June.
The ministry plans to survey every 4 square kilometers within 80 kilometers of the plant, and every 100 square kilometers elsewhere.
25 universities and research institutions across the country are to take part in the survey.
The participants are to collect soil samples 5 centimeters below the surface and submit results to the ministry.
The ministry plans to release the map by the end of August.



Thursday, May 26, 2011 19:25
Fukushima farmers auction off their beef cattle
Livestock farmers who have been urged to evacuate from areas near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant sold off about 400 heads of cattle at an extraordinary auction on Thursday.
The farmers who took part in the auction in Motomiya City came from Iitate Village and Kawamata Town located about 30 to 40 kilometers northwest of the plant. The government is urging the residents to evacuate by the end of this month for safety reasons.
After the auction, market officials said the calves were sold for slightly below their going price but adult cattle fetched market prices.
One farmer from Iitate Village said he will sell 2 remaining heads of cattle, close his business and evacuate to Fukushima City, located west of the village.


Thursday, May 26, 2011 22:06
Greenpeace calls for wider radiation monitoring
The environmental group Greenpeace has urged Japan to conduct radiation monitoring on more marine species after finding elevated radiation in waters near Fukushima.
The group released in Tokyo on Thursday the results of its monitoring carried out from May 3rd through 9th, with samples analyzed at laboratories in France and Belgium.
Greenpeace said radioactive materials beyond safe limits were found in 11 types of fish, shellfish and seaweed, some of which are not on the government's checklist.
It said a type of fish caught in Onahama Port in Iwaki City had 857 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, 1.7 times the safety limit.
Radioactive iodine and cesium beyond permissible levels were also found in oysters, sea cucumber and seaweed collected from other ports in Fukushima Prefecture.
Radioactive materials were also found in seaweed drifting in waters about 50 kilometers southeast of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Greenpeace said its data shows contamination spreading over great distances from the plant.
The Fukushima prefectural government said contaminated seafood will never reach the market because fishing has been banned in nearby waters.


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Voices from around


. Daily Radiation Levels .  

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Japan Times :

Cooling pipe breach now laid to temblor
Tokyo Electric Power Co. admits that one of the critical cooling pipes at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant's reactor unit 3 may have been damaged in the March 11 megaquake.
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110526a1.html

Sea Shepherd's return to Iwate town enrages local fishermen
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society members who received help during the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, recently returned to the town to resume their antiwhaling activities, angering some locals.
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110526a2.html

Crisis likely spells end for nuclear plant pursuit, Kan tells U.K. paper
The Fukushima nuclear crisis has made it difficult to build new atomic plants in Japan, Prime Minister Naoto Kan suggests in an interview with the Financial Times.
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110526a3.html

More evacuees return briefly to no-go zone
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110526a4.html

One tough job: selling Fukushima
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110526f1.html

Export fall spells first April trade deficit since 1980
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20110526a1.html

Electricity cuts eased for trains, hospitals
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20110526a3.html

BOJ mulled expanded postquake aid in April
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20110526n1.html


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Not related to the earthquake, so take a brief break with Japanese art

Knowing Sharaku's art without knowing the artist

Toshusai Sharaku 東洲斎写楽

CLICK for more photos

Exhibition "Sharaku" at the Tokyo National Museum
source : Japan Times

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