Day 171 Henry, sure you weren’t leakin’ hydrogen back in March?

For any researchers who may be reading…

Japan’s 3.11 Earthquake, Tsunami, Atomic Meltdown:
A Guide to Asia-Pacific Journal Resources

This is a guide to the approximately one hundred articles published by The Asia-Pacific Journal on the 3.11 earthquake, tsunami, atomic meltdown and their aftermath including the debate over Japan’s energy policy, the future of nuclear power, the devastation of the Northeast, plans for resettlement and reconstruction, and the resurgence of social movements. Articles are arranged within the following categories with the most recent ones first:

I. Earthquake and Tsunami Damage: Consequences for land, life, economy
II. Nuclear Meltdown: Radiation and its consequences for Japan, the world
III. Energy Alternatives: Nuclear Power, Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, Renewables
IV. Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power
V. Government, Corporate & International Response to Earthquake Tsunami and Meltdown
VI. Citizen, NGO and International Responses to Earthquake Tsunami and Meltdown
VII. Literary, Artistic and Press Responses to Earthquake Tsunami and Meltdown

Please consult the index on the home page to search using keywords, place names and topics.
Coming soon: A guide to other sources on 3.11

All articles available at:

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Fukushima No. 4 unit explosion caused by hydrogen leak from No. 3

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Tokyo Electric Power Co. has found evidence that the March 15 explosion at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s No. 4 reactor unit was caused by hydrogen that had flown from the adjacent No. 3 unit, officials said recently.

When it measured on Thursday the radiation levels of filters of exhaust pipes from the No. 4 and the No. 3 unit before a common exhaust stack, the utility found evidence indicating radioactive steam and hydrogen had flown into the No. 4 reactor building, in an opposite flow from usual, the utility officials said.

The radiation was 6.7 millisieverts per hour near the junction but fell to 0.5 millisievert and 0.1 millisievert at the approach to the building, they said.

The plant operator known as TEPCO initially believed the explosion at the No. 4 unit was caused by hydrogen gas produced by the exposure of fuel stored under water in a pool in that building. But TEPCO officials said the new evidence points to the possibility, first suspected in May, that hydrogen gas had flown from the No. 3 unit as the fuel was not particularly damaged.

(Mainichi Japan) August 29, 2011

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Above-limit cesium found at incinerators in 7 prefectures

[PHOTO]Rice that was harvested early in Aizubange, Fukushima Prefecture, is checked for radiation in a germanium semiconductor detector in the prefectural city of Koriyama on Aug. 25. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Incinerator dust and ash with too much radioactive cesium to allow it to be buried has been found at 42 facilities in Tokyo, Chiba, Iwate and three other prefectures as well as Fukushima, the Environment Ministry said Saturday.

The result of a survey of 469 facilities in 16 prefectures in northeastern and eastern Japan since late June was reported as a panel of experts at the ministry considers how to allow dust and ash containing over 8,000 becquerels of cesium per kilogram to be buried.

The government has already decided to allow dust and ash containing 8,000 becquerels or less of cesium to be buried in waste disposal sites only if residential houses are not built there in the future.

A worker exposed to such a level every day would still not exceed the annual limit of 1 millisievert for ordinary people.

But local governments are required to temporarily store such dust and ash at disposal sites until the panel reaches a conclusion.

The amounts detected were up to 95,300 becquerels in Fukushima, 70,800 becquerels in Chiba and 30,000 becquerels in Iwate.

Since 9,740 becquerels of cesium per kilogram was found in dust at an incineration plant in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward in June, other prefectures also covered in the ministry survey such as Gunma and Ibaraki have released similar findings.

(Mainichi Japan) August 28, 2011

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Fukushima Peaches to Be Pushed by Fukushima City Junior High School Students

Now the adults in Fukushima Prefecture are using school children to push Fukushima produce to the rest of the country.

Students from a junior high school in Fukushima City in Fukushima will promote locally-grown peaches in Yokohama, where they will spend 3 days on their school trip. According to the Kanagawa Shinbun article below, the students are indignant that the local peach growers are suffering because of the “baseless rumor” that their peaches are radioactive.

They are radioactive, actually, and that’s according to Fukushima Prefecture’s measurement. But since the level (64 becquerels/kg) is far less than the national provisional safety limit (500 becquerels/kg), the students, along with their parents and teachers no doubt, consider it as “baseless rumor”, that the fickle, unreasonable consumers in big cities are causing the suffering.

From Kanagawa Shinbun (8/28/2011):


The seniors at Hirano Junior High School (Hirano District, Iizaka-machi in Fukushima City) will conduct a PR campaign in Yamashita Park in Yokohama City on August 30 to promote peaches grown in their town. Fukushima is well-known for peaches, but the sales has plummeted because of the “baseless rumor” after the nuclear power plant accident. The students are visiting Yokohama on their school trip. Using handmade banners and pamphlets, they will appeal safety, and distribute freshly picked peaches for free.


Their school is located in Hirano District [in Iizaka-machi in Fukushima City], a well-known fruit-growing region with many orchards for tourists. In normal years many visitors go there from the Tokyo metropolitan area to pick peaches. This year, however, because of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, the number of tourists has dropped by 90% and the orders for peaches have dropped by 70%.


According to the survey by the Fukushima prefectural government, the maximum amount of radioactive cesium detected from peaches grown in Hirano District is 64 becquerels/kg, far below the national provisional limit of 500 becquerels/kg. The seniors at Hirano Junior High felt it [that tourist stop visiting and people not buying the peaches in Hirano] was “baseless rumor” causing the suffering of the people in the area where they grew up. So, they planned a PR campaign to promote the town’s peaches in Yokohama where they were going to visit on their 3 days 2 nights school trip. The campaign is dubbed “福島は負けない~食べてくなんしょ福島の桃 Fukushima will never be defeated – please eat Fukushima’s peaches [said in Fukushima dialect]”.


On August 26 at school, they made pamphlets and cards that they will distribute in Yokohama. The 14-year-old chairperson for the school trip organizing committee said, “Fukushima’s peaches are safe, and we want to convey that message with our own words”.


70 seniors from the school will launch their PR campaign from 5:30PM on August 30 in Yamashita Park (Yamashita-cho, Naka-ku in Yokohama City) with handmade banners to promote local produce [peaches]. They will distribute 150 bags (each bag will contain 2 peaches) of “Kawanakajima Hakuto [white peach]” peaches, freshly picked that morning [and rushed to the park] along with the “safety declaration” by the Fukushima governor and the mayor of Fukushima City.

It sort of makes you lose hope in the next generation.

300 peaches, each weighing, probably 200 grams, so it’s 60 kilograms total. 64 becquerels/kg times 60 kilograms – 3,840 becquerels of radioactive cesium right there.

Yokohama City, which already made kindergarteners and school children eat radioactive beef, should have no reason to question the campaign.

All it says is the produce has tested below the provisional safety limit. His smiling face is supposed to assure consumers.


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