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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Unbelievable.

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Japan Officials Failed to Hand Out Radiation Pills in Quake’s Aftermath 

By YUKA HAYASHI

TOKYO—Government officials failed to distribute to thousands of people pills that could have minimized radiation risks from the March nuclear accident, government documents show.

The disclosure is the latest evidence of government neglect of emergency procedures in the chaotic days after the disaster, in which an earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

JPILLS

The Yomiuri Shimbun/Associated PressPackaged pills of potassium iodide at a shelter in Miharu on March 20.

The Fukushima area and some municipalities surrounding the stricken plant had ample stocks of potassium iodide, like most local communities near nuclear reactors around the world. That is a relatively safe compound that can prevent thyroid cancer, the most common serious outcome of a major nuclear accident.

Government disaster manuals require those communities to wait for the central government to give the order before distributing the pills. Though Japan’s nuclear-safety experts recommended dispensing pills immediately, Tokyo didn’t order pills be given out until five days after the March 11 accident, the documents show.

By then, most of the nearly 100,000 residents evacuated had gone to safer areas and the release of radiation from the plant had subsided from its earlier peaks.

Potassium iodide, which blocks radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid gland, is most effective when taken just before exposure, or within two hours after. It has little effect when administered days after the release of radiation.

In interviews with The Wall Street Journal, several national and local government officials and advisers blamed the delay on a communications breakdown among different government agencies with responsibilities over various aspects of the disaster.

They also cited an abrupt move by the government shortly after the accident, when local officials raised sharply the level of radiation exposure that would qualify an individual for iodine pills and other safety measures, such as thorough decontamination.

“Most of our residents had no idea we were supposed to take medication like that,” said Juichi Ide, general-affairs chief of Kawauchi Village, located about 20 miles from the plant. “By the time the pills were delivered to our office on the 16th, everyone in the village was gone.”

[JPILLS]

Mr. Ide said the boxes containing pills, also known as KI, for Kawauchi’s 3,000 residents still sit in its now-empty village hall.

The towns closest to the plant had pills in stock, and two of them—Futaba and Tomioka—did distribute them to residents without awaiting word from Tokyo. Two communities farther away from the plant, Iwaki and Miharu, handed out KI pills to their residents based on their own decisions. While Iwaki residents were told to hold off until the government gave instructions, those in Miharu took the pills, leading late to a reprimand from prefectural officials.

Japanese radiation experts say results of subsequent tests among Fukushima residents suggest few had been exposed to dosages large enough to raise the risk significantly of developing thyroid disease, even without the medication.

Still, officials from two government bodies—the Nuclear Safety Commission and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency—are asking why the residents weren’t given the pills known to be highly effective, particularly among young children.

A NISA official said the agency is investigating the case.

“It was very clear to us experts what we needed to worry about the most was to provide protection against the risk of thyroid cancer among children,” said Gen Suzuki, a physician specializing in radiation research who was summoned to the Nuclear Safety Commission following the March 11 accident as a member of its emergency advisory team. “I had simply assumed local residents had been given potassium iodide.”

When he learned recently that wasn’t the case, Mr. Suzuki said he was “flabbergasted.”

The NSC, a national government-policy advisory body, recently posted on its website a hand-written note dated March 13 as proof that it recommended distribution and ingestion of the pills.

NISA, the main nuclear-regulatory body charged with administering the government’s nuclear-disaster headquarters, says the note never came.

Kenji Matsuoka, director of the Nuclear Emergency Preparedness Division at NISA, said the agency was still investigating the case of the lost memo. “We are sorry if the message was lost because of the chaos at the disaster headquarters,” he said. “Our priority at that time was getting people out as quickly as possible.”

Officials in Fukushima prefecture in charge of distributing potassium iodide to local communities say they waited in vain for an instructions from the government’s disaster headquarters, headed by then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

The failure to disburse the preventive pills follows other examples of how the Japanese government failed to implement available measures aimed at protecting local residents from the harms of radiation.

Some local officials have accused the government of failing to share the data from its radiation-projection systems, which, they said, resulted in their evacuating residents into highly contaminated areas.

Others blame the authorities for taking weeks before asking some residents outside the initial evacuation zones to evacuate, despite signs of radioactive dangers. The government was widely criticized for declaring food, including beef, to have been safely tested, only to find later that contaminated meat had been sold in grocery stores.

Potassium iodide is an inexpensive and readily available substance that governments and local communities with nuclear reactors typically have on hand. Following the Chernobyl accident in 1986, Poland gave 10.5 million children at least one dose of KI soon after the accident, with very few reports of resulting side effects. In the U.S., Congress passed a law in 2002 promoting distribution of the pills to communities near nuclear plants, but the law hasn’t been implemented.

Japan’s NSC recently posted on its website a document dated March 13 stating Fukushima residents aged 40 or younger should be given potassium iodide, if radiation screening confirmed they received certain levels of exposure. The commission says the document was sent to NISA, the coordinator of disaster response, at 10:46 a.m. that day, two days before the worst day of the accident on March 15, when explosions of two reactors sent thick radioactive plumes across many towns of Fukushima prefecture.

As with most of the correspondence between government officials following the accident, the statement was sent to disaster headquarters in Tokyo by fax, rather than via e-mail. An NSC representative stationed in that office then handed a copy to a NISA official, according to Hideaki Tsuzuku, director of the radiation-protection and accident-management division at the NSC. “It’s not for us to know what kind of judgment was made and action was taken after that,” he said in an interview.

NISA’s Mr. Matsuoka says the agency can’t confirm whether a NISA official received the memo, adding that an investigation into the case continues.

NISA issued an instruction March 16 for residents of towns within 20 kilometers of the plant to take KI pills, nearly four days after the government issued an evacuation order for those same towns.

People close to the situation say the delay may have been caused in part by an abrupt change in the standard used in determining what level of radiation exposure would trigger distribution of the pills. According to official disaster manuals written before the accident, anyone who showed radiation readings of 13,000 counts per minute—a measure for external exposure, as opposed to the more commonly used benchmark of sieverts, which measures health effects—was to be given KI pills, as well as a thorough decontamination, including showering and a change of clothes.

On March 14, Fukushima prefecture raised that cutoff to 100,000 cpm. Once the level was raised, people registering between 13,000 and 100,000 were given wet wipes to clean off the top layer of their clothing. They were not given pills.

During March, roughly 1,000 residents registered readings of 13,000 cpm or higher—102 had readings above 100,000 cpm.

“When they told us they wanted to raise the screening level, we instantly knew we had a serious level of contamination,” said Mr. Suzuki, the NSC adviser. “They were implicitly telling us they had more people than they could handle logistically, amid the shortage of water, clothing and manpower.”

Naoki Matsuda, a professor of radiation biology at Nagasaki University and an adviser to the Fukushima prefecture government, recalled a meeting with prefectural staff after a day of screening local residents on March 14. They reported gauges on radiation monitors set for 13,000 cpm going off repeatedly. “It was very clear the previous level of 13,000 cpm wouldn’t work,” Mr. Matsuda wrote in an essay posted on the university’s website. “We discussed how the staff should turn off alarm sounds and refrain from wearing protective suits and face masks in order not to fan worries among residents.”

The NSC was initially cautious about allowing the higher screening benchmark. On March 14, it issued a statement advising Fukushima to stick to the current level of 13,000 cpm, noting that level is equivalent to a thyroid-gland exposure level at which the International Atomic Energy Agency recommends disbursing KI. The World Health Organization advocates one-tenth of that level for giving the medication to children.

The NSC relented on March 20, after the prefecture used the new benchmark for days. In a statement, the commission noted 100,000 cpm was permissible according to the IAEA’s screening standard in the initial stage of a nuclear emergency.

Before the government’s March 16 order to disburse the iodine pills, two towns located near the plants, Futaba and Tomioka, with a combined population of 22,500, independently ordered some of their residents to take the pills that were in their stock, according to town officials.

Those in other nearby towns never did so, including Namie, where contamination was later confirmed to be worst among Fukushima communities.

In all, after the government’s March 16 order, the prefecture delivered to all communities located within 50 kilometers of the plant enough KI pills and powder to be given to 900,000 people. Most were untouched.

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There is more about this WSJ article from EX-SKF at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/09/wsj-potassium-iodide-that-never-came.html

In particular, this quote:

“Oh wait a minute…. I just noticed the part that this WSJ English article mentions but is completely missing in the WSJ Japanese article on the exact same topic. It’s this part in red:

The NSC was initially cautious about allowing the higher screening benchmark. On March 14, it issued a statement advising Fukushima to stick to the current level of 13,000 cpm, noting that level is equivalent to a thyroid-gland exposure level at which the International Atomic Energy Agency recommends disbursing KI. The World Health Organization advocates one-tenth of that level for giving the medication to children.

I don’t know who the editor is at Wall Street Journal Japan, but the paper sure behaves just as good as the Japanese counterparts. Omit the very inconvenient part that the Japanese authorities may not want the citizens to know from its Japanese version, but state it clearly in the English article to calm their journalistic conscience.”

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This, filed under “not playing with a full deck”…

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Fujimura confirms lifting of evacuation advisory

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/30_24.html

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura has made it clear that an evacuation advisory for 5 municipalities outside the 20-kilometer no-go zone around the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will be lifted within the day.

Fujimura told reporters on Friday that a formal decision will be made at a meeting of the government’s nuclear accident task force in the evening.

He said restoration plans submitted by the municipalities differ slightly in content, but he vowed that the government will strongly support them in all areas, including the removal of radioactive materials.

Nuclear crisis minister Goshi Hosono told reporters that he wanted to lift the advisory as soon as possible, as it has created hardships for the local residents.

Calling the latest step a major turning point, Hosono stressed that efforts to contain the nuclear accident have entered a new phase, in which residents are encouraged to return to their normal lives.

Friday, September 30, 2011 12:18 +0900 (JST)

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This, about No-Duh:

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Japan’s PM ‘isolated, out of his depth’

ABC News Video Report

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-28/japans-pm-isolated-out-of-his-depth/3034664

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***There was a series of interesting reports on Fukushima Diary yesterday. I suggest you check them out and see what you think.***

http://fukushima-diary.com/

Some snips:

Brontide

Here is the tweet of a Fukushima citizen.

Question-
Did you hear something before the earthquake came ?

Answer:

It sounded like wave in the sea. At first,it sounded far. and it came slowly,and finally became as loud as the wave.(It was very long)

I recognized it to be a brontide from the very beginning. It sounds so different from our everyday noise.

At latitude 37.1 north and longitude 140.8 east (Fukushima) ,there has been 10 earthquakes since 7PM tonight….

[clip]

the actual threat is the finally starting hydrovolcanic explosion underground. [from the melted fuel rods hitting the groundwater]

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Reactor 4 on fire

See photos of fine taken at 20:00 on 28 Sept

http://fukushima-diary.com/

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Explosion Underground?

[as source of the earthquakes felt yesterday in area around Fukushima]

http://fukushima-diary.com/

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How Late Are We?

Unusual forms of vegetables showing up everywhere in Japan

http://fukushima-diary.com/

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Doctors and nurses “retiring” from hospitals in Fukushima Prefecture

http://fukushima-diary.com/

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Professor Koide prevented from publishing findings of amount of radiation that flew to Tokyo on March 18.

http://fukushima-diary.com/

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“Reactor 1 contains 60% hydrogen and other kinds of flammable gas. It may explode if it comes in contact with oxygen. It can’t be released or replaced by nitrogen, so we can only inject nitrogen from isolation valves.”

http://fukushima-diary.com/

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Nuttier than a fruitcake

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Eight prefectures eyed for radioactive dumps

Tokyo included in temporary soil storage sites

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110930a1.html

By NATSUKO FUKUE

Staff writer

The Environment Ministry has revealed a controversial plan to build temporary storage facilities for soil contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in eight prefectures in the Tohoku and Kanto regions.

The eight are Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, Tokyo, Chiba, Tochigi, Ibaraki and Gunma, Vice Environment Minister Hideki Minamikawa told reporters Wednesday after visiting Fukushima Prefecture for talks with local leaders.

The volume of contaminated soil and waste, estimated at 28.79 million cu. meters, is enough to fill the Tokyo Dome 23 times over, according to a recent ministry survey.

No details were released on when, or specifically where, the facilities will be built, or how much contaminated soil they will store.

“In order to proceed with the decontamination promptly, we want to decide locations to set up temporary storage facilities immediately,” Minamikawa told reporters in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture. “We need to discuss things with not only the Fukushima government but also other local governments.”

The ministry will hold talks with the eight prefectural governments to explain the plan.

In late August, then Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced plans to build a facility in Fukushima, which was strongly opposed by local politicians. On Sept. 8, his successor, Yoshihiko Noda, said in Fukushima that the government will continue talks with the local government on the issue.

Anticipating opposition in the prefectures named by the ministry, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura emphasized Thursday that nothing concrete has been decided.

“The Environment Ministry will continue discussing this issue,” Fujimura said at a news conference Thursday morning.

The contaminated soil is currently stored in makeshift yards at several locations. It will have to be shipped to the temporary facilities once the central government decides on their locations.

A permanent disposal site will be built outside Fukushima, according to the government.

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Tokyo plans to store, burn debris from disaster zone

Staff writer

To help quake- and tsuami-damaged areas rebuild, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said Thursday it is offering to store about 500,000 tons of debris and waste from Iwate and Miyagi prefectures for three years.

The amount of debris in the disaster zones is so massive and regional disposal capacity so low that it is hampering with efforts to rebuild.

Tokyo intends to approve the plan with Iwate on Friday, while the agreement with Miyagi is pending.

Tokyo would become the first municipality outside Tohoku to accept disaster debris.

The metro government plans to transport the debris by train to private waste disposal facilities, which will separate it into burnable and nonburnable waste.

The burnable trash will be reduced to ashes and dumped into landfills in Tokyo Bay with the nonburnable waste, which will just be directly dumped as is, metro government officials said.

Some residents outside Tohoku are particularly sensitive about plans to move debris from the area because it might be tainted with nuclear fallout from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

Article continues at:

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110930a2.html

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TEPCO to sell “idle assets”? They should have thought of that long ago, starting with the people who came up with the idle-brained idea of installing 54 nuclear reactors on a tiny island located atop 4 active earthquake faults.

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Third-party panel to demand resignation by TEPCO management

Tokyo Electric Power Co. headquarters in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. (Mainichi)

Tokyo Electric Power Co. headquarters in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — A third-party panel tasked by the government with overseeing Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s cost-cutting efforts has decided to call for a resignation by the utility’s management, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

In its final report to be possibly compiled later this month, the panel is set to clearly state that it would be desirable for the management to “fulfill its business responsibility through measures including resigning, declining retirement pay and returning stock holdings” as a prerequisite for the firm to receive government financial support in compensation to victims of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

A cost-cutting plan unveiled by the utility in May includes pay cuts for the management, eliminating the full remuneration for the president and cutting 60 percent of pay for managing directors.

But the panel has apparently judged that a stricter measure will be needed, calling on the management to fulfill a level of responsibility from a moral perspective as the firm would be receiving a large amount of public funds.

TEPCO, which is expected to draft a special business plan possibly at the end of next month with the Nuclear Damage Compensation Facilitation Corp., is supposed to reflect the panel’s final report into the plan.

In the report, the panel will suggest that TEPCO have a serious discussion with the compensation facilitation body over specific ways to take business responsibility, the sources said.

Toshio Nishizawa, the President of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), talks to the Mainichi in an interview at TEPCO headquarters in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on June 23. (Mainichi)

Toshio Nishizawa, the President of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), talks to the Mainichi in an interview at TEPCO headquarters in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on June 23. (Mainichi)

The panel will also request that TEPCO fundamentally improve its business practice, including its high cost structure, to meet its compensation payments for the nuclear accident, according to the sources.

TEPCO is considering corporate pension cuts for current and former employees and implementing its first-ever voluntary retirement program to save 100 billion yen a year.

It is also considering cutting expenses through suppression of repair and maintenance costs and also by selling idle assets.

(Mainichi Japan) September 28, 2011

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Industry ministry underreported opponents to reactivation of nuclear plant in Kyushu

An aerial view of the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant in Saga Prefecture. (Mainichi)

An aerial view of the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant in Saga Prefecture. (Mainichi)

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is suspected of underreporting the number of people who were opposed to the reactivation of the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant in Saga Prefecture, sources close to the case said on Sept. 28.

If about 100 respondents to an Internet broadcast survey who were excluded from counting because their responses were sent after the deadline were included, the total number against would far outnumbered those who were in favor of reactivating the plant.

Moreover, one of the online responses pointed to the possibility that Kyushu Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant, instructed employees as well as subsidiaries to send opinions to the program to express support for reactivation in an apparent attempt to manipulate public opinion, but the ministry failed to act on the claims.

METI’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy denied that it attempted to decrease the ratio of those against reactivation.

“We stopped accepting opinions during the broadcast, calculated them and released the results during the program. We never tried to make it look as though those who were opposed to the resumption of operations at the plant outnumbered those who were in favor by a smaller margin,” said an official with the agency’s public relations division.

METI had announced that 589 messages were sent from viewers to the program broadcast online on June 26 — 286 expressing support for the resumption of operations at the plant and 163 against reactivation.

Of the messages in support of the resumption, 141 messages subsequently turned out to have been sent by Kyushu Electric insiders. After these messages are excluded, messages against reactivation slightly outnumbered those in favor.

If about 100 messages sent to the broadcaster after the deadline were included, the ratio of those opposed to reactivation becomes larger, according to the sources.

(Mainichi Japan) September 28, 2011

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The Myth Lives On….

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Reactor restart may avert rate hike

Tepco redress estimated to top ¥4 trillion

Kyodo

The government panel tasked with overseeing Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s financial standing has estimated the utility could face more than ¥4 trillion in compensation costs related to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

Panel sources said Monday that the independent committee calculated the figure based on government compensation guidelines, but the amount could increase as discussions are continuing on such issues as how far the utility should shoulder the costs to compensate people who have voluntarily evacuated from around the radiation-leaking plant.

The estimate is expected to provide a basis for talks over Tepco’s special operating plan, to be compiled as a condition for the company to seek assistance from a government-backed entity to secure funds to pay the massive amount of compensation.

The panel, headed by lawyer Kazuhiko Shimokobe, has calculated that Tepco could avoid falling into negative net worth without raising electricity rates if it is allowed to restart reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant in Niigata Prefecture next summer.

But it also said that a rise in electricity rates would be unavoidable if there are delays in restarting the reactors, as the likelihood of accumulating liabilities will increase if the restart is pushed back, raising fears that Tepco could be crushed by debt.

The assessment, however, doesn’t take into account the costs of decommissioning the Fukushima No. 1 plant, the sources said.

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From EX-SKF

Radiation Map by Ministry of Education: Gunma Looks Worse Than Expected

On September 27 the Ministry of Education and Science announced the result of their latest aerial survey of radiation contamination they did over Gunma Prefecture, and many people are dismayed that the contamination in the prefecture looks worse than feared.

So far, the Ministry has done the aerial surveys and mapped air radiation and soil contamination in: Fukushima, Miyagi, Yamagata, Ibaraki, Tochigi, and Gunma.

MAPS AND MORE DETAILS AT:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/09/radiation-map-by-ministry-of-education.html

Sorry I’ve been offline. Bad cold and need rest. Will post a few things here and be back in a few days.

I hope you have been following EX-SKF. He has the best up-to-date IMPORTANT info on the nuclear situation. Too many to post here, so please check that website.

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TEPCO: It May Be 100% Hydrogen Gas Inside the Pipe Connecting to Reactor I Containment Vessel

First it was reported that “over 10,000 ppm” or over 1% of hydrogen gas was detected at 2 locations in the pipe that connects to the Containment Vessel of Reactor 1 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. Then it was allegedly “over 40,000 ppm” or 4%.

According to Jiji Tsushin, TEPCO thinks the hydrogen gas concentration in the pipe may be 100%. 1,000,000 ppm.

Still, TEPCO says possibility of explosion is not necessarily high because there is no source nearby that could cause sparks. (Never mind that they were going to use blow torches to cut the pipes…)

Jiji Tsushin (12:28PM JST 6/24/2011):

福島第1原発1号機の格納容器につながる配管から1%を超える濃度の水素が検出された問題で、東京電力は24日、配管内部の気体はほとんどが水素である可能性が高いと発表した。東電の松本純一原子力・立地本部長代理は同日の記者会見で、「着火源がないので、直ちに爆発のリスクが高いとは言えない」と述べた。

Concerning the detection of hydrogen gas in more than 1% concentration inside the pipe that connects to the Containment Vessel of Reactor 1 at Fukushia I Nuclear Power Plant, TEPCO announced on September 24 that it is highly probable that almost all the gas inside the pipe is hydrogen gas. TEPCO’s Matsumoto said in the press conference, “Since there is no source for sparks, it cannot be said that there is a high risk of explosion immediately”.

東電によると、23日午後に配管の出口部分の気体を複数回測定したところ、いずれも「水素を含む可燃性ガスが100%以上」との数字が出た。今後、水素だけを計れる測定器を用意し、正確な濃度を測定する方針。

According to TEPCO, they measured the gas at the pipe exit several times in the afternoon of September 23. Each time, the result showed “flammable gas including hydrogen gas, over 100% “. The company plans to use the instrument that only measures hydrogen, in order to accurately measure the concentration of hydrogen.

It’s so TEPCO. First they used the device that could only measure up to 10,000 ppm, and that maxed out. Then they apparently used the device that could only measure up to 40,000 ppm, and that maxed out. So they brought in a bit more powerful instrument, but it measures all flammable gases including hydrogen.

I suppose they were hoping that one of these devices would suffice. But now, even they have admitted that the air inside the pipe may be 100% hydrogen.

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MUST VIEW:

Hartmann: A Fukushima survivor reveals all

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From EX-SKF:

Radioactive Train in Tokyo Metropolitan Area? Over 10 Microsievert/Hour Inside the Train

 http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/09/radioactive-train-in-tokyo-metropolitan.html

See for yourself. An expat from California measured the radiation level inside the train to Narita, and found it was extremely high right where he was sitting.

No, it was not his suitcase. It seems it was that particular seat where he was sitting.

Yes, his personal survey meter could be broken, as he repeatedly wonders in the video, and people just ignore the gaijin telling them the radiation level inside the train is the Fukushima level, while a woman sitting next to him praises his Japanese as native level. Surreal.

This line, Sobu-Yokosuka Line, belongs to JR East, which covers the entire Tohoku, Kanto and about half of Chubu.

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Fuku I Hydrogen Gas Update: TEPCO Was Going to Cut the Pipe Without Testing

In case you’re wondering what happened to the precise measurement of the hydrogen gas inside the pipe that leads to the Reactor 1 Containment Vessel, the worker who tweets from Fukushima I Nuke Plantsays (in Japanese) it will be a few more days till TEPCO can even get the instrument for measurement.

“I’m so glad that we didn’t cut the pipe. It may sound incredible but there was no measurement [of flammable gas] scheduled in the initial work plan. But they decided to measure one day before they were going to cut the pipe. Close call. There is no instrument that can measure hydrogen alone, at Fuku I. It will come on September 28, so the measurement may be done on either September 28 or 29. The result seems obvious, but…”

You have to give TEPCO some praise for their dare. They were going to cut the pipe without measuring what could be inside the pipe. But don’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet, because the worker also says TEPCO currently plans to cut the pipe anyway while purging the hydrogen gas inside the pipe with nitrogen gas. There seems to be no plan to deal with anything else than this particular pipe, although the regulatory agency NISA has asked TEPCO to conduct similar tests in Reactors 2 and 3.

TEPCO sort of knows how to operate a nuclear power plant. They have zero expertise in how to fix an utterly broken nuclear power plant, but they continue to be allowed to attempt, to the horror and dismay of the northern hemisphere.

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Q: And just where does all that contaminated water go? (Not to mention brushes, rags, topsoil, buckets, and other stuff that can’t be un-contaminated)?

Fukushima City to decontaminate all houses

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/27_08.html

Fukushima City, about 60 kilometers from the crippled Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, plans to remove radioactive materials from all private houses in the city.

The plan was decided after high levels of radiation were detected in some areas of the city. The amounts were close to a level that would prompt authorities to recommend evacuation of nearby residents.

Some people concerned about possible health risks to their children have already moved out of the city.

The plan aimed at substantially lowering radiation levels in the air for the next 2 years includes decontamination of all 110,000 households in the city.

Of those, highly contaminated houses where children of high school age or younger live will be given extra thorough cleaning.

Under the plan, professional cleaners commissioned by the city will scrub radioactive substances from roofs and ditches of the houses, and remove concrete, which radioactive material tends to adhere to. They will also decontaminate roofs and ditches of other nearby houses, but residents will be required to remove surface soil and weed gardens by themselves.

The city says it will recruit volunteers from around the nation, if necessary, and send them to households that need manpower. The city also plans to decontaminate parks and community halls.

But it has yet to be determined how the contaminated soil and other materials will be disposed of.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 10:39 +0900 (JST)

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And this, from Fukushima Diary. Read this entire article at:

http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/09/breaking-news-high-level-of-radiation-is-making-hydrogen-from-h2o/

Breaking News: High level of radiation is making hydrogen from H2O

Posted by Mochizuki on September 26th, 2011

These are the tonight’s tweets of actual Fukushima worker called Happy20790.

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今日も無事帰って来ましたっ。1号機の原子炉建屋は今日も作業中止でし。先週、可燃性ガス測定器で4%Maxって言ったけどまさかの100%越え(*_*)今ある測定器は可燃性ガスを計るものだから水素単体はわからないけど東電はほとんどが水素だろうだって言ってる。

I managed to come back safely today. We couldn’t work at reactor 1 today, again. Last week,they said they detected 4% of hydrogen but it turned out to be over 100%. The current measurement tool is to detected only flammable gas, but Tepco says probably it is all hydrogen.

配管切んなくて良かった~。あり得ない事だけど、最初の工程には測定なんて項目なくて前日に決まったから、ヤバかったよ。水素単体の測定器は今1Fにはなくて、28日に準備出来る予定なんだ。28か29日に測定出来ると思う。結果は明らかだけどね。

We would have been all dead if we cut of the pipe. Unbelievable story, but as our original schedule, we didn’t plan to check the presence of flammable gas. The process was added the day before the day. It’s so scary.

The measurement tool to detect only hydrogen is not in Fukushima plant right now.

It’s coming on 9/28. We are to measure it on 28th or 29th but the result is already obvious. Most of the gas is hydrogen.

その後は窒素置換して窒素パージしながら切断する計画を検討してる。空気中の酸素濃度は18%位だから空気に触れても爆発だから凄く怖いんだけど…。窒素も大量に使うから酸欠事故も心配だし…。

then we are going to inject nitrogen to cut out to pipes. but normal air contains 18% of oxygen, which is enough to cause a hydrogen explosion even without fire. It’s so scary. Injecting nitrogen may also cause lack of oxygen..

水素が配管内に溜まってるのは事故当初のものが抜けてないやつや、新たな水素が溜まって…と両方の理由があるみたい。新たな水素は色々な情報によると、どうも燃料被覆管のジルカロイの反応ではなくて水蒸気が高線量を浴びると水素が発生するみたい。

They say there are two possibilities why there’s so much hydrogen remain there still.

  • (1) Some of it remained even after the hydrogen explosion.
  • (2) New hydrogen came out ..

From looking at variety of information, it seems like it’s not from the (thermal) Zircaloy reaction.

It’s probably that high radiation is producing hydrogen out of H2O.

どこにどれだけ溜まってるかわかんないから大変だよ。原子炉建屋だけじゃなくてタービン建屋の配管だって危ないし…。凄い配管の量だよ。対象配管だけアイソレ(仕切る)出来ればいいんだけど、仕切れる(アイソレ)バルブも壊れてるし、健全でも気体を止めるには難しいし…。

It’s impossible to know how much hydrogen is stocked and where. It could be everywhere. and the amount of the pipes are crazy..If we can identify the pipe that has hydrogen inside,we could isolate the part butthe valves are broken and it’s not enough to stop gas.

東電は対象配管だけなんとか対応して工事進めるみたいだけど、作業側としては先に全体をなんとかしないとって考えるけど多分無理なんだろうな。

Tepco is planning to do with only the “troubled” pipes, but from the view of us, actual workers, we want them to check the whole plant first..

東電は1号機爆発の時も絶対爆発は無いって言ってオイラ達は2号機の中の作業、自衛隊や消防はヤード作業してた時にドドドッカーンてきたからなぁ。自衛隊は東電信じないって撤退しちゃうし…。あれがなきゃもっと自衛隊手伝ったかもなのに。

In the last explosion of the reactor 1, they told us there would never be an explosion. We were working at reactor 2, and fire fighters and self defense force were working at the yard, when it exploded.

–> then self defense force quit trusting Tepco anymore and they withdrew.

そんな今の現状で28日に避難準備区域が解除される。もう少し待てないのかなぁ…。せめてカバーリングが出来るまで。最近ニュースも詳しく伝えないから危険性がわからないのかなぁ。汚染水処理だってサリーが止まったりまだまだ安心出来ないし…。

In this situation, they are going to lift the mandatory evacuating area on 9/28. They should wait at least until we finish making the cover for reactor 1.

Recently mass media don’t broadcast any details so they might not be afraid anymore. Even the water purifying system is broken and being stopped.

*            *           *

From his valuable statements, we can tell the hydrogen is still being produced by the very high radiation hitting H2O in the reactor.

Nobody has seen it by their own eyes,but the melted fuel rods must be very active still.

Hydrogen keeps being supplied.

Dismayed (though not all THAT surprised) at this lead story. The Aichi area is due for The Big One at any time. Is this what we have awaiting us? Food stored and no procedure to get it to the people who need it – AGAIN???

– – – – – –

Typhoon evacuees spent hungry night despite well-stocked shelters

Typhoon evacuees at a high school gymnasium in Nagoya's Kita Ward are seen on the night of Sept. 20. (Mainichi)

Typhoon evacuees at a high school gymnasium in Nagoya’s Kita Ward are seen on the night of Sept. 20. (Mainichi)

NAGOYA — Municipal officials here left residents at evacuation centers during the height of Typhoon No. 15 without any food, even though the centers had been stocked with supplies, a source close to the situation has told the Mainichi.

Some 1.09 million people were ordered or advised to evacuate by the city as the massive typhoon approached, and many residents took shelter at designated evacuation centers. No municipal government staff, however, spent the stormy night with the residents, and no food was distributed.

According to officials at Nagoya’s Kita Ward Office, as many as 270 people evacuated to a gymnasium at a local high school on Sept. 20, of whom at least several dozen spent the night there. As many as 12 municipal employees were also there, but did not distribute any of the 256 hardtack ration kits, or 50 rice porridge meals in storage at the school, for just such an emergency. The municipal staff also told residents nothing about the food situation.

One 83-year-old woman who had arrived at the gym with almost no food of her own told the Mainichi, “Even though no one knew how long the evacuation would last, there was no explanation about meals. It made me very anxious.”

A 42-year-old evacuee said, “There were long periods when there were no ward staff there at all, and there was no one to talk to about what was going on.”

The Kita Ward official responsible for the evacuation center said, “We didn’t know how many evacuees there would be. We didn’t distribute the food because that would have been unfair to anyone who came later, when there was none left.” Furthermore, “There were ward staff at the high school, but they did not stay in the gym with the evacuees. I am very sorry for this oversight.”

(Mainichi Japan) September 23, 2011

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Typhoon No. 15 does severe damage to fruit farmers in disaster-stricken northeast

A farmer examines one of his apple trees at his orchard in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, in this recent photo. Unripe fruit torn from the trees by Typhoon No. 15 lies at his feet. (Mainichi)

A farmer examines one of his apple trees at his orchard in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, in this recent photo. Unripe fruit torn from the trees by Typhoon No. 15 lies at his feet. (Mainichi)

RIKUZENTAKATA, Iwate — Fruit farmers in this tsunami-ravaged region are once again counting up the damage of a natural disaster after powerful Typhoon No. 15 wiped out a significant portion of the year’s crop.

One 70-year-old local farmer walked through his orchard after the storm to find many of his apples on the ground, only about a month before harvest time. Nothing can be done with unripe fruit that has fallen off the trees but throw it away. Some still left on the trees will also go to waste, as the typhoon winds caused tree branches to smack into the apples, scratching and bruising them. All told, about 60 percent of the farmer’s crop was wrecked. Furthermore, of the some 300 trees on the orchard, about 10 snapped in the storm.

“They were so perfectly round this year, too,” the farmer lamented as he surveyed the damage.

(Mainichi Japan) September 23, 2011

Fukushima evacuee makes anti-nuclear speech in NY

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/23_08.html

A farmer in Fukushima Prefecture has urged people around the world to get rid of nuclear power plants, saying there is no such thing as safe nuclear power.

53-year Sachiko Sato from Kawamata Town spoke at a gathering in central New York on Thursday. The event, organized by a US anti-nuclear group, was attended by about 70 people.

Sato was forced to evacuate from Fukushima to neighboring Yamagata Prefecture with her family after the accident in March at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Sato said the nuclear accident changed her life totally and that she wants people to know the hardship she has gone through after being forced to abandon her farmland.

Sato called on people all over the world to work together to get rid of nuclear plants, saying that when one thinks about the future of children what they have to do is clear.

Friday, September 23, 2011 09:30 +0900 (JST)

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There are a few words I would like to use to preface this next article, but as I have rated this blog “P” for general audiences, I shall refrain.

– – –

Noda voices confidence over resolution of Fukushima nuclear crisis

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/09/116448.html

By Takuya Karube
NEW YORK, Sept. 22, Kyodo

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Thursday expressed confidence that the ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant will be brought under control in the not-too-distant future.

In a speech at the United Nations, Noda pledged that Japan will disclose all information related to the crisis, the worst since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, and share with the international community the lessons Japan has learned about nuclear safety.

Noda explained that he had visited the power plant, crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, earlier this month to get a closer look at its reactor buildings.

”This very fact demonstrates the steady progress in our efforts to bring the accident under stable control,” he told the world body’s high-level meeting on nuclear safety and security.

The prime minister informed U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and other world leaders of the latest Japanese estimates showing that the amount of radioactive substances being released from the reactors has fallen to around one-four millionth of the level at the early stage of the crisis.

Noda, who took office three weeks ago, said Japan will aim to bring the reactors into a state of cold shutdown by the end of this year, one month ahead of the initial target.

While admitting Japan’s emergency response and preparedness for an enormous tsunami was insufficient, he said, ”Japan is determined to raise the safety of its nuclear power generation to the highest level in the world,” signaling that his government has no immediate plans to phase out the country’s nuclear reactors.

Noda also said Japan stands ready to continue to export its technology and expertise to emerging economies seeking to introduce nuclear facilities and at the same time to step up its efforts to take the lead in expanding the use of renewable energy.

Noda, who is making his international debut as premier in New York, noted that Japan will present the specifics of its new energy policy over the medium and long terms around next summer.

He added that Japan will strengthen nuclear security with the rest of the world to prevent terrorist access.

In closing his remarks, Noda said he is confident Japan will overcome the nuclear crisis and there will be a time when Fukushima will be remembered as ”the place where, through people’s strong will and courage, a new era was opened for the future of humankind.”

The high-level meeting, organized at the request of the U.N. chief in the wake of the Fukushima crisis, was attended by world leaders including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak, as well as top officials from more than 50 countries.

Many of them proposed that global nuclear safety standards be enhanced in conjunction with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

”Participants affirmed that the responsibility for ensuring the application of the highest standards of nuclear safety…lies with each state and operating organization,” the U.N. chief said in his chairman’s summary.

Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, president of the 66th U.N. General Assembly, said the Fukushima disaster was ”a loud global wake-up call.”

”When one of the world’s best-prepared countries can experience such a large-scale nuclear accident, it is all too clear that we must continue to evolve our thinking and practices for the safe and secure operation of nuclear facilities worldwide,” Al-Nasser said.

Still, many attendees at the same time said it would be unrealistic to abandon nuclear energy in the near future.

South Korean leader Lee said the Fukushima accident was ”a hard blow” to trust in nuclear safety. But he said this should not be ”cause to renounce nuclear energy. On the contrary, this is a moment to seek ways to promote the safe use of nuclear energy based on scientific evidence.”

==Kyodo

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Two stories on “Fukushima Diary”

Background: Impact of Radiation on Babies

http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/09/background-impact-of-radiation-on-babies/

and

News: Japan after the typhoon

about elevated levels of radiation

http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/09/news-japan-after-the-typhoon/

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And two from EX-SKF… please click on the link to read the entire article:

More than 10,000 ppm Hydrogen Detected Inside the Pipe That Leads to Containment Vessel of Reactor 1

Speaking of hydrogen, TEPCO just announced it detected hydrogen at 2 locations inside the pipe that leads to the Containment Vessel of Reactor 1.

–snip–

[TEPCO] assures us, according to Yomiuri Shinbun, that the existence of hydrogen in the pipe had been expected, although the density was higher than expected, and that there would be no danger of an explosion.

So if TEPCO says “more than 10,000 ppm”, it either means they didn’t bring the instrument that could measure higher than 10,000 ppm, or they don’t want you to know how high.

I wouldn’t be surprised at either. We haven’t heard anything more about the location near the exhaust stack for Reactors 1 and 2 that measured “more than 10 sieverts/hour”. Was it 11 sieverts? 20 sieverts? 50 sieverts?

It could be the same here in the pipe. “More than 10,000 ppm” could be 11,000 ppm, 20,000 ppm, or 40,000 ppm.

TEPCO To Sprinkle Low-Contamination Water from Reactor 5 and 6 Turbine Bldgs in the Fuku I Compound

after they treat the water to remove as much radioactive materials and salt as possible from the water.

TEPCO seems to be running out of storage space for contaminated water, and at the same time is worried that the wood piles may catch fire after the trees were cut down to make room for storage facilities on the west side of the plant.

Typhoon hits quake-ravaged regions, floods temporary housing community

A woman is seen cleaning up her temporary housing unit in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sept. 22, while her husband, behind, looks on. (Mainichi)

A woman is seen cleaning up her temporary housing unit in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sept. 22, while her husband, behind, looks on. (Mainichi)

SUKAGAWA, Fukushima — Powerful Typhoon No. 15 has caused major floods in temporary housing units here, bringing disaster once more to this city still suffering from the effects of the March 11 earthquake and ensuing nuclear disaster.

The fast-moving typhoon smashed into the Tohoku region late in the evening of Sept. 21, leaving two dead, several missing and affecting tens of thousands more as strong winds and heavy rain pounded the entire area.

Temporary housing units in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, were flooded when the river running through the park hosting the units overflowed due to heavy rains. According to unit residents, at one point the water reached their waists.

At around 6:50 p.m. on the same evening an evacuation advisory was issued to all 58 households — a total of 138 people — residing in the units.

“We were just beginning to return to normal life and we had to evacuate again,” one of the residents of the units said as they returned to clean the mud out of their temporary homes the morning after the storm.

The typhoon hit the temporary housing community only a day after residents from the city of Tamura — one of the municipalities within the 20 kilometer no-go zone around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant — were allowed to briefly return to their homes.

Yoshie Suzuki, 62, was one of those people who looked forward to the short return, as she was hoping to bring out a few necessities for the coming winter. She gathered some warm clothes, a heater, and a part of a Buddhist altar. Everything she brought back, however, was soaked with water and mud by the Sept. 21 flood.

“I was hoping to welcome this year’s winter relaxed and settled down,” Suzuki said. “But look at this. How can I live here? I don’t know what to do anymore.”

“We’re back where we were right after the earthquake,” said a 68-year-old woman, while carefully placing soaked vegetables on a mat to dry in front of her unit. “We have to start from scratch.”

Typhoon No. 15 left a trail of damage through other parts of quake-devastated Tohoku as well, leaving at least two dead and several unaccounted for.

A woman, 65, was killed in the city of Ninohe in Iwate Prefecture when her home was destroyed by a mudslide in the early morning of Sept. 22. According to police, she was asleep when the mudslide hit, and her body was recovered after a five-hour search of the ruined house.

An 82-year-old man, whose house in Ninohe also collapsed due to a landslide, suffered minor injuries.

In Sendai, two municipal government workers went missing while inspecting a swollen river on Sept. 21 and one of them was found dead more than 400 meters downstream on Sept. 22.

(Mainichi Japan) September 22, 2011

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Death toll from strong typhoon reaches 11

Firefighters haul sandbags up a levee in Nagoya's Moriyama Ward on the morning of Sept. 21 as Typhoon No. 15 approached the Japanese archipelago. (Mainichi)

Firefighters haul sandbags up a levee in Nagoya’s Moriyama Ward on the morning of Sept. 21 as Typhoon No. 15 approached the Japanese archipelago. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The death toll from a strong typhoon that struck Japan reached 11 Thursday, with five people remaining unaccounted for, a Kyodo News tally showed.

Concerns over mudslides have grown across wide areas following heavy rains caused by Typhoon Roke, prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency to call for extreme vigilance.

The year’s 15th typhoon weakened into an extratropical cyclone Thursday afternoon and was located over waters northeast of Hokkaido as of 3 p.m., after greatly disrupting transport networks in the Tokyo metropolitan area the previous day.

A woman struggles against strong wind and rain in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

A woman struggles against strong wind and rain in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

A man and a woman were buried in a landslide in Ninohe, Iwate Prefecture, early Thursday morning. Both were rescued, but the 65-year-old woman, Tami Sannai, died later, according to local police.

In Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, two municipal officials went missing while working near a swollen moat, with one of them, Masayuki Watanabe, 61, eventually found and confirmed dead.

In Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Norikazu Matsui, 44, was found dead on the seashore after he was washed away by high waves cased by the typhoon the previous day.

Meanwhile, some 180 people from 100 households in Hayakawa, Yamanashi Prefecture, have been isolated as a mudslide cut a main road to the town. The prefectural government will deliver food and water by helicopter.

The flooded Kumano River in Totsukawa, Nara Prefecture is pictured early on Sept. 21. (Mainichi)

The flooded Kumano River in Totsukawa, Nara Prefecture is pictured early on Sept. 21. (Mainichi)

At the No. 1 reactor of the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture, rainwater accumulated in two basement floors and plumbing areas underneath the turbine building due to torrential rain in the area, the plant’s operator, Tohoku Electric Co., said Thursday.

No radioactive substance was detected in the water, it said

Yamagata Shinkansen bullet train services were halted Thursday morning between Fukushima and Shinjo stations due to heavy rains.

Passengers wait for the resumption of bullet train service at Tokyo station in Tokyo, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Passengers wait for the resumption of bullet train service at Tokyo station in Tokyo, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Some 5,000 people stayed overnight in passenger cars of Shinkansen bullet trains at Tokyo and Shizuoka stations as they could not return home Wednesday.

(Mainichi Japan) September 22, 2011

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Typhoon isolates 472 people in disaster-hit Tohoku

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/22_15.html

In Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, people living in temporary housing were isolated overnight on Wednesday due to flooding caused by a powerful typhoon.

Typhoon Roke hit wide areas of Japan on Wednesday, including Onagawa Town and other areas in the Tohoku region that were devastated by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

As a river was flooding, evacuation instructions were issued to 472 people, or 170 families living in temporary housing since the quake disaster.

But they could not reach the designated location on higher ground because the access road was flooded.

They spent the night in a nearby community center until Ground Self-Defense Force personnel entered the area early Thursday morning.

A 66-year-old man said people looked scared as they were stranded at the community center through the night.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 12:17 +0900 (JST)

Radioactive iodine spread south of nuclear plant

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/22_12.html

A Japanese government survey shows that radioactive iodine emitted from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant spread not only northwestward but also to the south of the plant.

The science ministry sampled soil at 2,200 locations, mostly in Fukushima Prefecture, in June and July, and created a map indicating the extent of the radioactive contamination as of June 14th.

Officials were able to obtain data for iodine 131 at only 400 locations, because of its short half-life of 8 days.

The latest map shows that iodine 131 spread northwest of the plant, just like cesium 137 as indicated on an earlier map. But the substance was also confirmed south of the plant at relatively high levels.
The researchers found that accumulation levels of iodine 131 were higher than those of cesium 137 in coastal areas south of the plant.

Ministry officials say clouds that moved southward over the plant apparently caught large amounts of iodine 131 that were emitted at the time.

Iodine 131 could cause thyroid cancer through internal exposure. The ministry is therefore trying to determine at what levels the substance spread immediately after the accident at the plant in March.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 11:11 +0900 (JST)

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From EX-SKF:

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Reactor 2 Containment Vessel May Have Had a Hole Right After March 11 Earthquake

according to a government researcher at Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).
Yomiuri Shinbun (9/22/2011):

東日本大震災直後に、東京電力福島第一原子力発電所2号機の格納容器が損傷、直径約7・6センチ相当の穴が開いた可能性のあることが、日本原子力研究開発機構の柴本泰照研究員の模擬実験で分かった。

The simulation done by Yasuteru Shibamoto, researcher at Japan Atomic Energy Agency, shows that the Containment Vessel of Reactor 2 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant may have been damaged, and had a hole about 7.6 centimeters in diameter right after the March 11 earthquake.

格納容器の損傷度を示す具体的な数値が推定されたのは初めて。北九州市で開かれている日本原子力学会で21日、発表された。

It is the first time that the degree of damage on the Containment Vessel is estimated in numbers. It was announced on September 21 at the fall conference of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan in Kitakyushu City.

Read entire article at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/09/fukushima-i-nuke-plant-reactor-2.html

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Al Jazeera: Japan Radiation Levels to Exceed Chernobyl Disaster

Al Jazeera’s Steve Chao reported on September 17.

He first meets Kouta Kinoshita, an independent journalist whom I have quoted several times here and who has been spearheading the grassroots effortto measure the radiation levels in many parts of Tohoku, Kanto, and now in Chubu and Kansai and beyond. He has also urged from the beginning of the crisis for people to leave Tohoku and Kanto, including Tokyo, as the contamination levels there are much more grave than the national or municipal government has admitted. In the interview, he says there are many spots in the Tokyo Metropolitan area where the radiation levels exceed those in Chernobyl where people had to evacuate.

Read entire article at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/09/al-jazeera-japan-radiation-levels-to.html

If you’ve been following the typhoon posts, I may have some updates tomorrow, news articles, etc. For now, though, it’s back to the main purpose of this blog: news on the situation of rebuilding Tohoku and the current situation at Fukushima’s Daicihi Plant.

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Fukushima nuclear plant on typhoon alert

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/21_25.html

Workers struggling to bring the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant under control are stepping up precautions in advance of the approaching typhoon.

Typhoon Roke is expected to approach Fukushima Prefecture late on Wednesday.

Efforts to install steel plates at the plant’s water intake area and to decontaminate seawater have been halted for fear of storm surges. Strong winds have forced the suspension of work to cover the No.1 reactor building.

Outdoor piping and pumps for injecting water into the reactors have been secured with ropes to keep them from being knocked over by strong winds.

Rainfall of up to 250 millimeters is expected in the area, but the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, says there is no risk of radioactive wastewater overflowing from the reactor turbine buildings.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 15:48 +0900 (JST)

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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2011

TEPCO Admits to 200 to 500 Tonnes of Groundwater Flooding into Bldg Basements Every Day at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant

Here are some numbers from Yomiuri Shinbun article (9/20/2011):

200 to 500 tonnes of groundwater per dayto the basements of reactor buildings and turbine buildings of Reactors 1, 2, 3 and 4.

105,000 tonnes of highly contaminated water in the basements at the end of May

90,000 tonnes of this water have been processed by TEPCO up to September 13

102,000 tonnes of highly contaminated water in the basements as of September 13

87,000 tonnes of water added

Of that 87,000 tonnes, estimated 47,000 tonnes were recirculated back into the reactors, leaving 40,000 tonnes of water to have been coming from somewhere.

TEPCO now admits that the rainwater contribution to this amount is only a small portion, and most is from groundwater.

40,000 tonnes divided by 180 days equals is 222 tonnes. Hmmm. Where did that 500 tonnes per day number come from?

 

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TEPCO burdened with task of treating contaminated water at damaged nuclear plant

Workers at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant stand around the radioactive water decontamination system

Workers at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant stand around the radioactive water decontamination system “Sally” in this photo provided by TEPCO.

The government is pouring effort into bringing the temperature at Unit 2 of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant under 100 degrees Celsius to prevent the release of radioactive materials through steam, but workers are also faced with the task of dealing with huge amounts of contaminated water.

The process of bringing the temperature in the reactor core under 100 degrees Celsius is known as a “cold shutdown.” However, this normally applies to a properly functioning reactor, and experts are split over whether it is applicable at the Fukushima No. 1 complex, where meltdowns have occurred.

In this June 12, 2011 photo released on July 5, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., masked workers in protective outfits prepare to drop a sliding concrete slab into a slit of the upper part of the sluice screen for the Unit 2 reactor at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in their effort to decrease the leaking of radiation contaminated water into the ocean. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

In this June 12, 2011 photo released on July 5, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., masked workers in protective outfits prepare to drop a sliding concrete slab into a slit of the upper part of the sluice screen for the Unit 2 reactor at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in their effort to decrease the leaking of radiation contaminated water into the ocean. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

The government has stated that managing and controlling the release of radioactive materials is a condition for completing Step 2 of the roadmap for bringing the nuclear crisis under control. However, even though the temperatures of the plant’s Unit 1 and 3 reactors have been brought under 100 degrees Celsius, radioactive materials continue to be released.

According to data from the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the level of radioactive materials released from the plant between Sept. 1 and 15 reached 200 million becquerels per hour. Meanwhile, dosages of up to 0.4 millisieverts per year were estimated at the boundary of the nuclear power plant — about the same level as that announced by TEPCO in August. TECPO has included the installation of a system to remove radioactive materials from gas in the reactor containment vessels in its schedule for bringing the crisis under control.

In the plant’s circulatory cooling system, which is necessary in order to achieve a cold shutdown, TEPCO in mid-August managed to activate a cesium decontamination system dubbed “Sally,” which was added to an existing low-performing system to purify decontaminated water. The amount of contaminated water it was able to process increased from 30 cubic meters per hour to 55 cubic meters per hour, and as of Sept. 7, the system was operating at 83 percent of capacity.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) begins a trial run of a contaminated water treatment system, developed by France's Areva SA, on June 15. (Photo courtesy of TEPCO)

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) begins a trial run of a contaminated water treatment system, developed by France’s Areva SA, on June 15. (Photo courtesy of TEPCO)

However, it has emerged that an estimated 200 to 500 cubic meters of underground water has seeped into the reactor and turbine buildings each day. TEPCO maintains that this will not affect its schedule and its achievement of a cold shutdown, but it remains a fact that this is one major cause for the slow progress in treating contaminated water. To clean up the underground water, TEPCO plans to restore a broken pump as part of Step 2 of its roadmap.

(Mainichi Japan) September 21, 2011

 

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Realtime radiation map of Japan at http://atmc.jp/realtime/?l=all

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Japan’s Nuclear Disaster: Radiation Still Leaking, Recovery Still Years Away?

by Richard Wilcox / September 19th, 2011

If nuclear power is so ‘safe,’ why is it that nuclear power stations are not placed where the power is most needed – in or very near large cities? Because they are dangerous. OK, if they’re dangerous, why is it the operators are not terribly interested in safety measures?

– Tony Boys, Can Do Better Blog1

Over six months have passed since the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. What progress if any has been made to deal with what is surely one the worst industrial accidents in history?

Article continues at:

http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/09/japan’s-nuclear-disaster-radiation-still-leaking-recovery-still-years-away/#more-37246

 

17:51 NHK:

– 254,580 homes are without electricity in Shizuoka Prefecture

– At Fukishima Daiichi, they have suspended work near the coastal area as well as work on the tent they are putting in place over reactor #1. Again, TEPCO assures the public that no radioactive water will be released, even though the area is expecting 250mm (10 inches) of rain tonight.

19:32 NHK:

Hundreds of thousands of people across 22 prefectures have been ordered to evacuate due to the possibility of flooding rivers and ponds.

Many train services in Tokyo have been suspended and people are lining up at bus stops, many people stranded at train stations. Some lines began again after 7:00 pm. However, the typhoon is moving quickly and should be leaving Honshu within a few hours. 

It remains to be seen what, if any, damage there will be to the low-lying areas in Tohoku.