Day 250 “Don’t buy food from Japan”…. uh, unless you live here?


Arnold Gundersen with another Fukushima report as radiation levels rise in Japan

Listen or download at:

WBAI interview with Arnie Gundersen about Indian Point and Fukushima

“… In Japan we’re going to see an increase of cancer rates of 20 or 30 percent and perhaps even higher in Fukushima Prefecture.”

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Cesium-137 deposition and contamination of Japanese soils due to the Fukushima nuclear accident


Questions remain over tsunami safety measures at Hamaoka nuclear plant

The initial stages of construction of a coastal barrier are seen at the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Nov. 14. (Mainichi)

The initial stages of construction of a coastal barrier are seen at the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Nov. 14. (Mainichi)

“I’ve never seen anything this solid,” remarked Tomoya Shibayama, a specialist in coastal engineering at Waseda University as he surveyed a coastal barrier under construction at Chubu Electric Power Co.’s Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in Shizuoka Prefecture.

The barrier being built at the plant in the wake of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami that crippled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex has foundations reaching the bedrock as deep as 30 meters below ground. The design, based on steel frames filled with concrete, far surpasses the sturdiness off the barriers destroyed by the March 11 disaster.

Yet Shibayama has his reservations.

“I don’t believe any coastal engineering specialists have been involved in the design. I can’t see any sensible measures such as designing an offshore structure to reduce the force of a tsunami,” he said.

Following the March 11 disaster that trigged the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant, it emerged the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., had not listened to specialists who had warned about the possibility of a tsunami.

Is Chubu Electric Power Co. now heeding the advice of specialists to avoid a repeat of that disaster?

“We consulted the opinions of university researchers and other specialists, but we have not quoted any research papers,” a company representative said. The company has been slow to release the names of the scholars it says it has consulted.

On July 22, Chubu Electric Power Co. announced that its new barrier would reach a height of 18 meters. A company official visited the Shizuoka Prefectural Government Headquarters and stated, “The biggest earthquake we can imagine at the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant is a magnitude-9 quake creating a tsunami 10 meters high. We’ve implement all possible measures.”

Prefectural crisis management official Satoshi Kobayashi questioned the basis for the company’s conclusions, but power company officials simply answered, “These are internal figures.”

Kobayashi then said, “There is no clear basis for them. It would be better not to produce figures so hastily,” sending the company a warning about the danger of acting on internal assumptions.

To independently check the reliability of Chubu Electric Power Co.’s tsunami countermeasures, the Shizuoka Prefectural Government formed a tsunami committee within its disaster prevention and nuclear power science council. Committee member Kenji Harada, an associate professor in coastal engineering at Shizuoka University, expressed concern that the wall to protect the water intake pump at the plant is just 1.5 meters high. Even if a tsunami was stopped by the barrier, a rise in the sea level would cause seawater to overflow from the intake chamber on the plant grounds, submerging the cooling water intake pump and possibly resulting in a malfunction.

Meanwhile, a more serious issue has emerged. At a meeting of the Seismological Society of Japan in Shizuoka in mid-October, Yoshinobu Tsuji, an associate professor in seismology at the University of Tokyo, spoke to the Mainichi about the possibility of a tsunami in the vicinity of the Hamaoka nuclear plant reaching an elevation of 15 to 20 meters — far higher than the maximum level predicted by Chubu Electric.

Chubu Electric Power Co. appears to have adhered to “company decisions” so it can quickly move forward with its tsunami countermeasures. But to win the confidence of local residents and local bodies, it must release information and carefully provide explanations that answer the safety issues raised by researchers.

(Mainichi Japan) November 16, 2011

Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for November 11th –November 14th, 2011

Blogpost by Justin McKeating – November 15, 2011 at 12:42

(This post is by Christine McCann)

Here’s the latest of our news bulletins from the ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant….

Read entries for 

  • State of Nuclear Politics in Japan
  • State of the Reactors
  • Contamination (Includes Human Exposure)
  • Decontamination Efforts and Waste Disposal
  • Other Nuclear News


Mysterious ‘Ultra Seven’ donor sends 1 million yen to foster home

The envelope with 1 million yen and an attached letter that was sent to a foster home in Muroran, Hokkaido Prefecture, is seen in this recent photo. (Mainichi)

The envelope with 1 million yen and an attached letter that was sent to a foster home in Muroran, Hokkaido Prefecture, is seen in this recent photo. (Mainichi)

MURORAN, Hokkaido — A home here for children who cannot live with their parents has received 1 million yen in cash from a donor identified only as a popular TV series hero “Ultra Seven.”

The money and a handwritten letter arrived at the Wakasugi Gakuen foster home in Muroran, Hokkaido, in the post on the evening of Nov. 11, officials from the facility said.

The letter read, “Dear Wakasugi Gakuen staff, I would like you to use this small gift only for the children.” The sender also suggested several ways for the money to be used, including buying clothes, textbooks, toys, games, and movie tickets.

The Ultra Seven donor is the latest in an ongoing anonymous goodwill movement that began in December 2010 with the donation of schoolbags to a child consultation center in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, by a donor going by the name “Tiger Mask,” a popular manga character. The incident has been followed by a number of donations of money, schoolbags and other materials in the names of popular animation characters and historical figures to various children’s facilities across Japan.

“We are very grateful and will use the money as we were asked,” the home’s manager said, adding that some of the money would most probably be used to organize a Christmas party for the facility’s 33 children.

Foster homes such as Wakasugi Gakuen accommodate children who cannot live with their parents for various reasons including child abuse.

(Mainichi Japan) November 16, 2011


MEXT:Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Monitoring information
of environmental radioactivity level

Radiation in Japan: Tokyo to Accept Miyagi’s Disaster Debris in Addition to Iwate’s

Governor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishihara is ready for more “disaster” radioactive debris from Tohoku. After having started on Iwate’s debris and scolded the residents to shut up and put up, he is eager to sign the deal with Miyagi Prefecture and bring in Onagawa’s debris to Tokyo to crush, burn, and dump in the landfill in Tokyo Bay.

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Radiation in Japan: 60,000 Bq/kg Cesium in Riverbed Soil in Fukushima

 From Tokyo Shinbun, quoting Kyodo News

On November 15, the Ministry of the Environment announced the result of the survey of the radioactive material density in bottom soil in 193 locations in rivers, lakes and dams in Fukushima Prefecture. Radioactive cesium was detected in almost all locations, with the highest density of 60,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium in the riverbed soil in the Ota River that runs through Minami Soma City, which was designated as “evacuation-ready zone” after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident.

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Reporters at damaged reactor plant told to stay in the bus

Martin Fackler

November 14, 2011

Behind glass ... reporters view the Fukushima nuclear plant damaged in March by an earthquake and tsunami.Behind glass … reporters view the Fukushima nuclear plant damaged in March by an earthquake and tsunami.Photo: The New York Times

FUKUSHIMA: The most striking feature at this crippled plant was not the blasted-out reactor buildings, or makeshift tsunami walls, but the chaotic mess.

The ground around the four hulking reactor buildings was littered with mangled trucks, twisted metal beams and broken building frames, left mostly as they were after Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

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