May 29, Sunday

Posted by Chika On 2:49 PM
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Typhoon Nr. 2 is roaring along the Pacific coast of Japan.

It has been raining all night and will be more heavy rain during the day, with a peak later around midnight, when the heavy wind is expected to hit Okayama too.
Wish us luck !

. Typhoon Nr. 2 . Special .


Gabi reports:

The snow has melted now in most parts of the mountains in Tohoku and more damage by the strong earthquake becomes visible. The small paths between rice paddies are broken and need repair before they can hold water again. But in the small terraced fields, you can not use heavy maschinery to do the work, so it takes much longer that in other regions.
For some farmers it might be too late to plant rice this year, meaning no income this year.

. . . . .

Most prefectures work on their "hazard maps" now, including our Okayama. Some of the shelters (often regional shools and kindergardens) are found to be right in a hazard area, and new shelters have to be provided to guarantee the safety of people in case of natural desasters. Considering much higher tsunami, more escape routes have to be provided.


Bulletins from NHK Online
source :

Sunday, May 29, 2011 05:08
Cooling systems restored for fuel pools
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has now successfully restored cooling systems to the spent fuel pools of reactors 1, 2, 3 and 4.
On Saturday, TEPCO injected about 5 tons of water to the spent fuel pool of reactor 1 on a test basis. It was the last system to be restored.
The power company is also working to install new water-circulating systems that will more efficiently cool all the fuel pools. The new systems for reactors 1 through 4 are scheduled for completion by July.

. . . . .

Sunday, May 29, 2011 09:15
. . Typhoon Songda hits Amami islands
Powerful Typhoon Songda is sweeping through the Amami islands in southern Japan and moving to the northeast. ...
Sunday, May 29, 2011 10:08
Fukushima prepares for heavy rain
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is preparing for an approaching powerful typhoon by piling up sandbags and moving cranes to a safe place.
Japan's Meteorological Agency says heavy rain is expected in the area around the power plant beginning on Sunday night. In some areas, torrential rain and strong wind are expected from Monday to Tuesday.
Tokyo Electric Power Company is piling up sandbags around electric facility buildings and sealing the doors to keep rainwater out.
The company says if rain and wind become intense, all operations except for patrolling will stop.
The level of contaminated water in the turbine buildings of the Number 2 and 3 reactors and tunnels has been rising.
The company says it will closely monitor the level to prevent contaminated water from overflowing and seeping into ground water and the sea.
The utility is also studying ways to stop radioactive substances deposited on debris and buildings from being washed away by rain and flowing into the sea via gutters.
... at 12:39
Storm moving northeast
A severe tropical storm is sweeping over the ocean off Kochi Prefecture in western Japan and moving northeast.
The Meteorological Agency says as of noon on Sunday, weakened typhoon Songda was located 100 kilometers south of Kochi and was moving northeast at 55 kilometers per hour.
The severe tropical storm has atmospheric pressure of 975 hectopascals, and winds of up to 108 kilometers per hour near its center.
The storm has brought heavy rain to a wide area of western and central Japan.
In the disaster-hit Tohoku region, heavy rain is expected through Monday.
Weather authorities have issued warnings for strong wind, high waves, possible landslides, and flooding.

. . . . .

Sunday, May 29, 2011 10:55
Power-saving products sell well
Retailers in Japan are launching sales campaigns to help customers save energy. A shortfall in electric power is expected this summer.
Major supermarket chain AEON is handling about 30 percent more energy-saving products than it did previously. Among those goods are sunshades to mitigate higher room temperatures, plastic films to keep cold air inside refrigerators, and bedding covers containing refrigerants.
Beginning in July, AEON will give extra points to its e-money card holders who show that they have reduced power consumption by 15 percent from last year.
Major convenience store chain Seven-Eleven Japan will start evening savings campaigns beginning in June. The price of some food items will be reduced at 6 PM.
The chain hopes to target people leaving work early in the evening as businesses close earlier to avoid using power at night and shoppers who do not want to go outdoors while it's hot during the day.
. Saving Energy - Setsuden .

Sunday, May 29, 2011 11:09
Parties working on no-confidence motion
Prime Minister Naoto Kan may face a no-confidence motion from the political opposition.
Kan returned to Japan on Sunday morning after he attended the Group of 8 summit and other meetings in France and Belgium.
During his overseas trip, the leading opposition Liberal Democratic Party was working on a no-confidence motion against the Kan cabinet.
On Saturday, LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki 谷垣禎一 said the current political situation needs a breakthrough and that he is determined to accept the responsibility.
Some members of the governing Democratic Party of Japan, mainly those close to former leader Ichiro Ozawa, are moving to support the motion. Ozawa himself has not denied such a possibility, saying that Prime Minister Kan should be replaced as soon as possible.
In Belgium, Kan told reporters that he believes his party will unite in voting against a no-confidence motion, as his administration needs to deal with the aftermath of the March 11th disaster and nuclear accident in Fukushima.
Kan said he hopes to seek the cooperation of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and other former party heads to oppose such a move.
DPJ leaders say the party will deal harshly with members who support the motion. Expulsion from the party is one possibility.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 13:08
No.5 reactor temperature rises after pump failure
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says temperatures in the Number 5 reactor and its spent fuel storage pool have risen due to pump failure. The reactor has been in a state of cold shutdown.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it found at 9 PM on Saturday that a pump bringing seawater to cooling equipment for the reactor and pool had stopped working.
TEPCO says temperatures have been rising since then.
The water temperature in the reactor rose by about 24 degrees Celsius to 92.2 degrees at 11 AM on Sunday. The temperature in the fuel storage pool increased to 45.7 degrees from 41 degrees.
On Sunday morning, TEPCO installed a new pump that started operating shortly after noon.
The company suspects failure in the pump motor caused the malfunction. It is now working to detect the cause of the failure while monitoring temperatures in the reactor and pool.


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels .  

. . . . .

Japan Times :

Memo emblematic of disaster plan flaws
Nuclear regulators trusted that the reactors at Fukushima No. 1 were safe from the worst tsunami imaginable based on a single-page memo issued by Tokyo Electric Power Co. nearly a decade ago.

G-8 differ in reactions to Fukushima
At the G-8 summit in France, member nations express different opinions on atomic power in response to the nuclear disaster playing out in Fukushima Prefecture.

As nuke workers wait, tainted water climbs
Tokyo Electric Power Co. treads water as engineers race to build a treatment plant to remove radioactive substances from the deadly water threatening both the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and the sea.

Power outages, downed communication lines knocked out most radiation monitoring systems in disaster areas

New role for robots in Japan

Kan government struggles to raise reconstruction funds




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