July 8, Friday

Posted by Chika On 3:32 PM
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Daruma from Miharu for reconstruction

復興 。福島の三春 Fukkoo Daruma
source : kitaro.chaya


. Miharu Daruma for Reconstruction .  

July 8 is the Day of Daruma.

reconstruction continues -
Daruma helps all
as best as he can

In Nishida there will be a three-day long festival to encourage the reconstruction of Fukushima and the Tohoku region, from July 7 to 9.

デコの里復興祭 Deko no Sato Fukko Matsuri

Many Daruma will be sold there too.

. Earthquake Daruma .


Gabi reports:

. . . . . at 3:35
Earthquake M 5.6, off Fukushima coast
It was felt as one all the way from Hokkaido to Shizuoka.

and more radioactive tea leaves ...

The rainy season was declared over today for our region ... with about 1.5 times the amount of rain this year.
And still no summer sky, but cloudy with occasional heavy downpours, although the earth in drenched to the limits already.


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

Friday, July 08, 2011 03:25
TEPCO to boost radiation monitoring at plant
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will boost its monitoring of airborne radioactive substances around reactor buildings.
At the plant, it is believed that dust containing radioactive substances and contaminated steam leaking from reactors continue to be released from reactor buildings into open air.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has been measuring the concentration of radioactive substances in the air at the plant regularly since mid-March.
TEPCO decided to step up its monitoring and take measurements at additional locations near the No.1 to No.4 reactor buildings.
The plant operator will also use remote-controlled robots to measure the level of radioactivity inside reactor buildings.

Friday, July 08, 2011 03:25
Nuke plant equipment fails quake-resistance check
The Japanese government has found that electrical equipment at a nuclear power plant in eastern Japan does not meet earthquake-resistance standards.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency inspected nuclear power plants nationwide after the March 11th earthquake damaged equipment at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The plant was unable to cool its reactors after losing power.
The agency found that the level of quake-resistance of the electrical equipment at Tokai Daini nuclear power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture was below the standard set by power companies.
The Tokai Daini plant is currently undergoing regular inspections. The operator plans to strengthen the quake-resistance of its equipment during the inspection period.
The agency says the electrical equipment in other nuclear power plants are up to standards.
Once it identifies what caused the damage to the equipment at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the agency plans to re-examine all nuclear power plants in the country.

Friday, July 08, 2011 08:43
Radioactive cesium detected from Tochigi tea
Radioactive cesium exceeding the government limit was detected in processed tea made in Tochigi City, about 160 kilometers from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The Tochigi Prefectural Government says 1,810 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium was detected in tea processed from leaves harvested in the city in early July.
The level is more than 3 times the provisional government limit.
On Thursday, the prefecture requested that tea farmers in the city voluntarily stop shipments of their products.
Radioactive cesium has also been detected in other areas in the prefecture.
After the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, tea leaves and processed teas contaminated by radioactive substances have been found over wide areas near Tokyo. These include the prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa and the country's largest tea production center, Shizuoka.

Friday, July 08, 2011 10:48
Nuclear stress tests trigger backlash
Prime Minister Naoto Kan's recent decision to conduct additional safety tests on all nuclear power plants in Japan has triggered a backlash from local governments.
The government announced the so-called "stress tests" on Wednesday. The decision has received support in some quarters because the tests will reassure the safety of people living near the plants.
But local governments hosting nuclear power facilities strongly criticized the abruptness of the announcement.
The decision also triggered confusion about the status of the Genkai nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture, western Japan. The central government last month asked local governments near the plant for permission to restart the reactors, saying they were safe. But this week, it suddenly decided on the additional tests.
The announcement came just as Saga's governor, Yasushi Furukawa, was about to decide whether to approve the restart.
On Thursday, the mayor of Genkai, Hideo Kishimoto, retracted his approval to restart the reactors.
Industry Minister Banri Kaieda suggested on the same day that he will resign to take responsibility for the government's contradictory moves.
Kaieda's comments came just 2 days after former reconstruction minister Ryu Matsumoto stepped down over his controversial remarks about disaster recovery efforts.
The central government says it intends to work out the details of the safety tests as soon as possible.
But observers say the latest developments have put additional pressure on Prime Minister Kan to resign immediately.
Kan apologizes for stress test confusion
Prime Minister Naoto Kan has apologized for causing confusion in local municipalities hosting nuclear power plants by abruptly deciding to conduct additional safety tests on all reactors in Japan.
Kan told a Cabinet meeting on Friday he was late in giving instructions on the stress tests, and feels responsible. The tests are designed to find out how well nuclear facilities can withstand earthquakes and tsunami.
Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission Kansei Nakano 中野寛成 urged Kan and industry minister Banri Kaieda to unify their policies on the criteria for restarting nuclear reactors.
After the meeting, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the government is now rushing to finalize a policy on resuming operations at the power plants.
Edano also apologized to Genkai town and Saga Prefecture, host of the Genkai nuclear plant in southwestern Japan.
The town's mayor had approved the restart of 2 idled reactors at the plant after the central government assured their safety. But he retracted his approval after the additional tests were announced.

Friday, July 08, 2011 13:06
TEPCO to send workers into No.3 reactor building
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will send personnel, instead of a robot, into one of the reactor buildings to take steps to prevent a hydrogen explosion. But the work is likely to face difficulty because of the high radiation levels.
Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to inject nitrogen into the No.3 reactor to prevent another hydrogen explosion.
The utility used a camera-mounted robot on Wednesday to examine the No.3 reactor building to determine if it can connect injection pipes to the containment vessel. But TEPCO was unable to assess the situation because the robot couldn't reach the area.
TEPCO says it will send workers inside the reactor building instead. A few more days will be needed for the government to confirm safety before nitrogen can be injected.
The company hopes to complete the injection by July 17th according to its schedule, but the prospects remain unclear. Removing the risk of hydrogen explosions and stably cooling down the reactors are the keys to bringing the situation under control.

Friday, July 08, 2011 14:05
Reactor restart at Ikata nuclear plant postponed
The operator of the Ikata nuclear power plant in western Japan says it will postpone restarting one of the plant's reactors because of opposition from local residents.
Shikoku Electric Power Company said on Friday that it decided not to resume operations at the No.3 reactor on Sunday as originally scheduled.
The utility halted operations at the reactor for regular inspection on April 29th, but reloaded it with fuel rods in late June to prepare for the restart.
The company said it did all it could to ease the concerns of local residents in light of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, including conducting detailed safety inspections of the reactor.
But it was still unable to gain the necessary support.
The utility says it plans to continue efforts to win the understanding of local municipalities and residents so that it can restart the reactor as soon as possible.

Friday, July 08, 2011 14:48
Systematic involvement suspected in Genkai scandal
Kyushu Electric Power Company says its nuclear energy division may have been involved in a systematic effort to manipulate public opinion to support the restarting of its Genkai nuclear power plant.
Last month, the government held a meeting to explain safety measures to local residents before restarting the No.2 and 3 reactors at the plant in Saga Prefecture.
The meeting was broadcast live on TV and the internet, and viewers were invited to submit their opinions by e-mail or fax.
It was learned on Friday that the 2 of the utility's executives, including a vice president in charge of the nuclear energy division, instructed their subordinates to help with the effort, referring to the meeting.
The company previously admitted that employees of the utility and 4 affiliated firms -- more than 1,500 people in total -- were instructed to send e-mails during the meeting in support of the reactors' restart.
The 2 reportedly felt that the meeting was important because it took place just prior to Kyushu Electric's general shareholders' meeting.
They were also reportedly interested in the opinions sent to the meeting.
Industry Minister Banri Kaieda said he was deeply disappointed at the utility's behavior in light of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. He said he would like to prevent a recurrence of the scheme by keeping power utilities in check.
(Tonight was another town meeting on TV live, I hope to get the details tomorrow.)

Friday, July 08, 2011 15:59
Oyster farmers receive equipment from France
Oyster growers hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan have received oyster farming equipment from their French colleagues.
The more than 5 tons of buoys and ropes 0arrived in Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture, on Friday.
The equipment was sent to repay Miyagi farmers for sending larvae to French oyster growers when their farms were hit by an epidemic about 40 years ago. The support helped France overcome the crisis and rebuild the industry.
In Kesennuma, most oyster farming equipment was swept away by the tsunami, but farmers there partially resumed operations last week.
Oyster farmer Masanori Hatakeyama said he's thankful for the precious gift as it has not been easy to get such equipment since the disaster. He added that he will do his best to help rebuild the industry in Kesennuma.

Friday, July 08, 2011 17:16
Sendai Airport to resume non-regular int'l flights
Sendai Airport in northeastern Japan is to resume non-regular international service this month for the first time since being damaged in the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The airport in Miyagi Prefecture is to resume the service and regular domestic flights on July 25th. The airport resumed non-regular domestic service on April 13th, while international flights were limited to chartered services.
US-based Continental Airlines and South Korea's Asiana Airlines plan to start non-regular service from Sendai to Guam and Seoul. Continental plans to resume regular flights from the airport in October.
Before the disaster, 5 foreign carriers operated regular international flights at the airport.
Japan's transport ministry says it will allow the carriers to resume their services once they apply.

Friday, July 08, 2011 19:48
TEPCO to inject nitrogen into No. 3 reactor
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is preparing to connect pipes to the plant's No. 3 reactor to inject nitrogen to prevent a hydrogen explosion.
Tokyo Electric Power Company workers spent 10 minutes in the reactor building on Friday to determine whether pipes can be connected to the reactor's containment vessel.
The utility says the workers confirmed that the reactor's connections are intact, and that work to lay the pipes can start on Saturday.
The firm had sent a robot equipped with a camera into the building to check the situation, but the device was blocked and could not finish the work.
Stably cooling the plant's reactors and preventing hydrogen explosions are the pillars of the utility's plan to bring the facility under control.
Nuclear crisis minister Goshi Hosono says that around July 17th, he hopes to begin studying whether to lift advisory designating areas where residents are required to be prepared to evacuate in case of emergency.
But the work to lay the pipes has already been delayed, and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency must confirm safety for several days before beginning the nitrogen injection.
It remains uncertain whether the injection can be carried out by July 17th as scheduled.

Friday, July 08, 2011 20:22
Govt: Safety first in reactor restart policy
The Japanese government says it will put safety before energy-supply concerns when it announces its views on restarting the country's suspended nuclear reactors.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano made the remark at a news conference on Friday.
He is discussing the wording of the government's so-called "unified view" with Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda and the Minister in charge of the nuclear crisis, Goshi Hosono.
The government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan has been criticized for a lack of consistency and for holding disparate views on the safety of the nuclear reactors.
On June 18th, Kaieda declared that safety measures were in place for the suspended reactors, and asked local communities to allow electric power companies to restart them.
On Monday, Mayor Hideo Kishimoto of Genkai, Saga Prefecture, officially agreed to have 2 reactors at the nuclear plant in the town restarted.
On Wednesday, however, Kaieda announced a plan to conduct stress tests on all reactors in the country on the instruction of Prime Minister Kan. This sudden change baffled the local communities and especially angered Kishimoto, who withdrew his agreement to allow the restart.
Opposition members have also accused Kaieda and nuclear crisis minister Hosono of making differing comments on the planned stress test.
The Chief Cabinet Secretary said he believes he and the 2 ministers share views on the matter. He indicated that the 3 are discussing the wording of the government's unified view so they can explain it without causing any misunderstanding or confusion. He said the government will take great care about how it announces the unified view.
Edano said the government must present its outlook on the country's future energy supply, but that nuclear safety and a sense of security will have priority when coming up with the government's unified view on the reactors.

Friday, July 08, 2011 20:59
Four cities request bigger nuclear safety zone
Four municipalities around a nuclear power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture have asked the central government to expand the plant's official emergency zone, so their communities can be included in the event of a nuclear accident.
Mayors and representatives from the cities of Fujieda, Yaizu, Fukuroi and Iwata handed a petition requesting the change to nuclear crisis minister Goshi Hosono on Friday.
The mayors asked that the emergency planning zone around the Hamaoka nuclear power station be expanded from the current 10-kilometer radius to 30 kilometers.
The municipalities are all located 10 to 30 kilometers from the Hamaoka plant.
The petition notes that in the Fukushima accident, evacuation areas have now expanded beyond the zone initially mandated by the government.
The mayors said the municipalities are unable to draw up evacuation plans unless their locations are recognized within the emergency zone. They said the matter is raising concern among residents.
Hosono agreed the Fukushima accident revealed the inadequacy of a 10-kilometer radius, and said the government must promptly review the matter.

Friday, July 08, 2011 22:12
Tohoku region sees net outflow of 30,000 residents
Three disaster-stricken prefectures in northeastern Japan have seen a net outflow of more than 30,000 residents between March and May after the region was struck by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The internal affairs ministry conducted a demographic survey for the March-to-May period based on the resident register.
The results show that a total of 32,367 people moved into Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, while 64,119 residents moved out.
This represents a net outflow of 31,752 people.
The ministry says this is the first time in 39 years that the combined net outflow of residents in these 3 prefectures has topped 30,000 for the 3-month period.
During the same period, the number of residents who left Tokyo for the Nagoya area increased 5.9 percent from a year earlier and those who left for the Osaka area jumped 14.5 percent.
The ministry says such a move of people to the west is thought to have been caused mainly by companies that transferred their headquarters to western Japan.


Voices from around

Japan Times :

Genkai mayor withdraws OK for two reactors' restart
Genkai Mayor Hideo Kishimoto retracts his controversial decision to let two nuclear reactors restart and slams the government for ordering "stress tests" out of the http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110708a1.html

Water treatment, cooling systems finally working
After numerous setbacks, the water decontamination system at the Fukushima power plant and another designed to recirculate that water to cool its damaged reactors are finally working.

Kyushu Electric TV stunt slammed
Kyushu Electric Power Co. drew fierce criticism Thursday for ordering employees of its group firms to send comments to a local television program supporting the restart of the utility's two nuclear reactors at the Genkai power plant in Saga Prefecture.

Foreign media invited to see recovery efforts

Firms branching out to mitigate disaster impact

Nuke crisis still drag on food exports

Nuclear accident disclosure
The Atomic Energy Society of Japan, an academic society made up of experts on nuclear power engineering, nuclear reactor physics and radiology, on Monday issued a statement criticizing the government, Tokyo Electric Power Co. and other related institutions for delays and insufficiency in their disclosure of information concerning the accidents at Tepco's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which began March 11.
People will give an approving nod to each of the points raised by the society because these points accurately show what they have been feeling about the behavior of the government and Tepco in connection with the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
The government, Tepco and other related institutions should closely examine their past behavior as to information disclosure and quickly change their attitude.


Quake-hit 'cat island' launches fund drive
ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi Pref. —
A small island in the northeast known as "cat island" is making use of its name to seek support for its reconstruction from the March natural disaster.
Tashiro Island, a part of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, has launched a drive to raise at least ¥100 million in donations to launch an oyster farm.
The island is home to fewer than 100 mostly elderly residents and about 100 cats. It became famous after the media played it up as "cat island" in 2006.
... "Our income sources from both the fishing and tourist industries were lost because of the quake," said Yutaka Hama, 53, operator of a guest house and one of the seven islanders taking part in the project.
... People who contribute ¥10,000 or more to "Nyanko the Project" will receive cat-related goods — and some oysters as well in a few years time, the organizers said. Nyanko is a popular term meaning cat or cats.
Half of the fund will be used for oyster farming, 40 percent for various other needs and the remaining 10 percent for the cats.
... One resident remains missing and presumed dead and about 10 cats were believed lost.
The water supply is still out.
Tashiro's residents have long looked after the local felines and even built a small shrine called Neko Jinja (Cat Shrine) in their honor in the middle of the island.

CLICK for more photos

neko jinja 猫神社 cat shrine
田代島 Tashiro Island

. WKD : Cats and Haiku .   



Reconstruction Festival for Fukushima!



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