Day 442 Amplification, get yer amplification here! Amplification, read all about it!

Starting out with some good news. Wonder what’s up with the final quarter… maybe they own too much stock in TEPCO?

Three-quarters of Japanese firms oppose nuclear power

(Reuters) – Nearly three-quarters of Japanese companies support abandoning nuclear power after last year’s Fukushima disaster, although a majority set the condition that alternative energy resources must be secured, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

The poll offers fresh evidence of the deep public distrust of nuclear power, the role of which the government is reconsidering after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima nuclear plant, triggering a radiation crisis that caused mass evacuations and widespread contamination.

[snip]

Japan’s biggest business lobby, Keidanren, has voiced worries that a rise in electricity costs due to abandoning nuclear power could prompt Japanese companies to relocate overseas, costing jobs and growth.

Read the entire article at:
Um, may I ask something? 1) Wouldn’t it behoove Japanese companies to cut their electricity usage? Walk though a company and you find wasted energy:  old-fashioned lighting fixtures, machines left on when not in use, and the ever-present vending machines???  2) A rise in electricity costs (even if unnecessary, but that’s for another blog entry) would be an excuse for moving abroad. There are far more important reasons why Japanese companies would/are following the U.S.’s lead in the race to the bottom. 
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Just how tall do red onions get, anyway?
Someone sent Uh-Oh a picture of their onion field. They have one that reached over 80 centimeters in height (about 32 inches). They’re wondering if this is usual or not in Aichi Prefecture. Anyone out there know about red onions?
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 From ENENEWS at:
 

NYTimes: ‘The Web’ has amplified fears that are helping to undermine assurances by Tepco and the Japanese gov’t that Fukushima Daiichi in stable condition

Concerns Grow About Spent Fuel Rods at Damaged Nuclear Plant in Japan
New York Times
By HIROKO TABUCHI and MATTHEW WALD
May 26, 2012

[...]

Fourteen months after the accident, a pool brimming with used fuel rods and filled with vast quantities of radioactive cesium still sits on the top floor of a heavily damaged reactor building, covered only with plastic.

The public’s fears about the pool have grown in recent months as some scientists have warned that it has the most potential for setting off a new catastrophe

[...]

The fears over the pool at Reactor No. 4, amplified over the Web, are helping to undermine assurances by Tepco and the Japanese government that the Fukushima plant has been brought to a stable condition and are highlighting how complicated the cleanup of the site, expected to take decades, will be.

[...]

 + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
 Also from the article:
Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat whose state, Oregon, could lie in the path of any new radioactive plumes and who has studied nuclear waste issues, is among those pushing for faster action. After his recent visit to the ravaged plant, Senator Wyden said the pool at No. 4 poses “an extraordinary and continuing risk” and the retrieval of spent fuel “should be a priority given the possibility of further earthquakes.”
And…
      “Some outside experts have also worked to allay fears, saying that the fuel in the pool is now so old that it cannot generate enough heat to start the kind of accident that would allow radioactive material to escape.”

Comment from someone on the Safecast listserv:

    …What a totally bogus statement.  Somehow, although it is a wild leap of the imagination to think this is possible, but somehow the spent fuel in the #4 Pool has now aged to where it is no longer able to generate heat or deteriorate.  Really?  Just how would it do that?
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Plenty of photos over at EX-SKF about the reporters who were able to view Unit 4 of FD1 this week (see:
and video at FukushimaDiary (see:
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From ENENEWS at:

Former Fukushima Daiichi Worker: TEPCO screwed up by admitting it’s preparared to spray concrete on spent fuel — “They are really admitting they know that it might collapse!”

Chris Canine on Unit 4 (Health Physics Technician, Chemist and Radiation Safety Instructor with 15 years experience. He has worked at over 20 plants throughout the United States, Japan and Mexico — including Fukushima #1 and #2 in the late 1970′s) 

May 26, 2012 at 10:24 am

If the building is standing they can spray water on the pool and maintain some kind of cooling, enough to get by, especially now that the pool is cooler than 14 months ago.The concrete mixture idea can only be in response to a fuel pool collapse. So they are really admitting they know that it might collapse!! It is a completely crazy idea, those who have said the building would collapse if sprayed [with concrete-like mixture] in a standing pool are correct. But the idea was only generated if the building falls down on the ground. Then this idea might be better than doing nothing with fuel laying on the ground because it would slow the release of radioactive material. But it would mean that this pile would forever be dangerous and some releases would continue for years.

What a “Hail Mary” this is. TEPCO screwed up by admitting this, there have been several stories the last few days that are illuminating much more.

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Was informed of this site today. Some of the folks who are still homeless after 3.11 make these little elephants out of hand towels. According to Senrinomichi:
By adopting an elephant, you give hope to one or more of the hundreds of thousands of people made homeless following the triple disaster which struck north eastern Japan last March.
 See this link for more information (Japanese only)
 

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Flawed MIT Study Used To Dismiss Need For Nuclear Disaster Evacuations

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Edano sensed TEPCO intended complete pullout from Fukushima plant

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120527p2g00m0dm066000c.html

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano said Sunday that it was “clear” that Tokyo Electric Power Co. sought to withdraw all its workers from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant at one point in the early days of the crisis last year, contradicting the utility’s claim that it had no such intention.

Testifying to a Diet-appointed panel investigating the nuclear disaster, Edano, then chief Cabinet secretary, said he remembered Tokyo Electric President Masataka Shimizu “stammer” when he asked him over the phone whether the situation might get out of control if all staff were withdrawn from the plant.

“I do not remember the exchanges of words accurately…But it was clear that the company did not intend to leave some (of the workers),” Edano said at the panel’s hearing, which was open to the public.

The utility known as TEPCO has denied it had any intention of withdrawing all of the workers from the plant and has insisted it was trying to remove some staff not directly involved in handling the nuclear crisis.

May 27, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

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Observation…

Iran has enough uranium for five nuclear weapons, claims US think tank (26 May 2012)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/26/iran-uranium-nuclear-weapons

U.S. reveals it has 5,113 nuclear warheads (2010)

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-05-03/politics/us.nuclear.warhead.count_1_nuclear-warheads-nuclear-nonproliferation-treaty-pentagon?_s=PM:POLITICS

Fukushima Daiichi has enough nuclear material to make this discussion have no practical significance.

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