Some days, the number of news reports on this catastrophe runs thin. Today, I don’t know where to start (which says something since the headlines everywhere are about the news from North Korea).
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Fukushima probe to avoid assessing quake damage
A government panel investigating the triple-meltdown crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant will not provide in its interim report any in-depth analysis on how badly the March 11 earthquake damaged key facilities before the tsunami arrived, sources said Monday.The decision leaves open the possibility that facilities key to securing the plant’s safety were seriously damaged by the 9-magnitude temblor. Tokyo Electric Power Co. has asserted that the direct cause of the disaster was the larger-than-expected tsunami.The committee, led by Yotaro Hatamura, a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, is expected to release its interim report on Dec. 26.The report could further delay the resumption of atomic power use across the country because local governments are waiting for the probe to conclude before taking a stance on whether to allow reactor restarts. Several were recently idled for regular inspections.If doubts about current quake-resistance standards increase, local governments may feel reluctant to permit reactor restarts at a time when the public is already concerned about nuclear safety in light of the Fukushima crisis and prior revelations on nuclear plant safety that emerged from a deadly 6.8-magnitude quake that struck the massive Kashiwazaki-Kariya power plant in Niigata Prefecture in July 2007.According to the sources, the panel decided it is difficult to determine the impact of the quake, because they cannot inspect the insides of the reactor buildings due to high radiation.The members will continue to carefully assess the controversial issue as it compiles its final report, which will be worked out by the latter half of 2012.Some outside experts, including former engineers of nuclear plant makers, have argued the earthquake severely damaged the Fukushima plant before the tsunami hit the facilities and triggered the meltdown crisis.If the allegation is found to be true, it would force Japan to overhaul all quake-safety findings at many nuclear plants because it has claimed that the tsunami, not the quake, crippled the Fukushima plant.Tepco said in a recently issued interim report on its in-house investigation that key facilities did not sustain damage as a direct result of the quake, but that flooding from the massive tsunami led to the “simultaneous loss of multiple safety functions.”Meanwhile, members of a separate investigation panel set up in the Diet met for the first time in the city of Fukushima on Monday.The panel, led by Kiyoshi Kurokawa, former president of the Science Council of Japan, plans to issue a report next June.
From EX-SKF at:
Fukushima I Nuke Plant “Cold Shutdown” Effect (2): No More Joint Press Conference on the Fukushima Accident
where the reporters get to ask questions to TEPCO and the relevant government ministries and agencies that deal with the accident, all in one room. The joint press conference, which has at least helped keep some politicians and bureaucrats honest or hold them accountable, is not only over for the month of December but over for good.
Why? Because the accident is declared by the prime minister of Japan to have been over, and the members of the Press Club has had enough, according to Ryusaku Tanaka, an independent journalist who’s been covering the Fukushima accident from the beginning.
Read the entire article at:
Here’s another clip:
TEPCO wants to reduce the number of daily press conference to “one” (currently they are still holding two press conferences per day), and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency wants to stop giving a daily press conference and only have it twice a week, now that the accident is “over”.
Cold shutdown of information flow on the way, as the government embarks on an ever grander “Extend and Pretend” that everything is OK – decontaminating, returning the residents, making them grow crops again next year to feed the rest of Japan (some Fukushima farmers have already turned the soil in preparation for the next year’s rice crop) while the NISA looks the other way even if TEPCO lets the treated water with full of strontium and tritium into the ocean.
You see, the radiation is a “kuro-ko” (person in black) in a Kabuki Theater. A “kuro-ko”, dressed in black (thus the name), is present on the stage, assisting the actors or manipulating some tools for theatrical effects. He is there for all the audience to see. But it is an unspoken rule that the audience is not supposed to see, and ignore whatever he does on stage.
The whole country will continue to play Kabuki, until it can’t, if that ever comes to pass.
Mochizuki has an interesting entry today – a translation of a blog of a woman in the city of Minamisoma in Fukushima Prefecture. I won’t include all of it here, but encourage readers to read the entire entry at:
The most important blog in the world
Posted by Mochizuki on December 19th, 2011 · No Comments
A woman in Minamisoma shi Fukushima has been blogging about what is happening around her and herself since August.
She used to work for a high school but she quit it and now opening her private tutoring school because she couldn’t take telling lies.
She started her blog on 8/6/2011.
Because the content was too shocking most of the readers did not take her seriously.
However, reading the articles about the details of charity stuff and etc..Japanese readers are starting to think this is authentic.
From the post of 12/17/2011
Yesterday was terrible.
立っていても、座っていても 「 めまい 」 が します。
Feel dizzy whether I stand up or sit down.
It’s the same today too.
I touched my hair after shower last night.
「 束 に なって 」 抜けました。
A batch of my hair fell off.
Fukushima I Nuke Plant 230-Tonne Leak: TEPCO Admits It Is Highly Contaminated Water
TEPCO took the Kyodo News’s line (see my post from yesterday) and announced that part of the highly contaminated, untreated water from the reactor basements stored in the nearby Process Main Building did leak into the trench, and got diluted by not-so-contaminated groundwater or dew condensation water dripping from an electrical duct.
Probably several tonnes of the highly contaminated water diluted with low contamination water resulting in 230 tonnes of water in the trench, hints TEPCO.
It sure looks like they waited until after the “cold shutdown/accident over” declaration on December 16 to tell you the bad news.
Read the entire article at:
Actor Yamamoto cries foul over nuclear power, raps trespassing complaint
Despite a dwindling income due to his antinuclear activities, actor Taro Yamamoto remains defiant against unrelenting pressure from the “nuclear village” establishment in Japan and is determined to protect children and others from nuclear radiation caused by the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
“I feel a great sense of pride. I have done nothing wrong,” he said on Dec. 20 regarding prosecutors’ questioning the previous day in his lawyer’s office in Tokyo over a complaint filed against him for trying to deliver a petition to the Saga Prefectural Government to protest the restart of the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant.
The complaint, filed by a public notary in Kyoto, was unavoidable said Yamamoto, 37, at a news conference. He added that he was surprised that the Saga District Public Prosecutors Office accepted it at all. Yamamoto said the allegations such as trespassing and forceful obstruction of official duties during a rally on July 11 in the city of Saga were fabricated and represented political repression.
“Japan is a strange nation,” Yamamoto told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ). “Japan is a land of heaven in regard to false accusations.” He said that his income now is only one-tenth of what it was prior to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis but he is determined to carry on his antinuclear campaign.
Yamamoto, who made his acting debut at age 16, said Japan should end its reliance on nuclear power because of the quake-prone archipelagic feature. He said that having a large number of nuclear power plants in Japan is like playing “Russian roulette.”
He also related that some actors and actresses in Japan’s showbiz world privately say, “What you are doing is fantastic but I can’t support you.” He recently visited Germany, Belarus and the Ukraine and said protests in Germany against the transportation of nuclear fuel waste was an eye-opening experience for him because people from all walks of life participated in the protests in a festive atmosphere.
Yamamoto said he wants more Japanese to join him in his antinuclear campaign. His lawyer Fumito Morikawa said at the news conference, “The civil movements are very much active,” referring to antiwar demonstrations in Tokyo on Sept. 11 and 19, which organizers said drew 20,000 people and 60,000, respectively.
Yamamoto recently published a book about his antinuclear campaign. He has appeared in many movies and TV dramas, including “Battle Royale” and the popular NHK morning drama “Futarikko.” He will also appear in a South Korean movie called “My Way” in 2012. (By Shiro Yoneyama, Staff Writer)
(Mainichi Japan) December 20, 2011
Over 462 trillion becquerels Fukushima strontium in Pacific Ocean, Seafood risk
Health risk looms as Pacific seafood accumulates radioactive poisoning
After Japanese Prime Minister declared the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe under control Friday, Japan’s The Asahi Shimbun newspaper released calculations Monday showing at least 462 trillion becquerels of radioactive strontium have leaked into the Pacific Ocean since Fukushima’s No. 1 nuclear power plant catastrophe began, making it one of the world’s most severe marine pollution cases in history. According to Greenpeace independent research, Government and retailors are not adequately protecting the public from dangerous radioactive contaminated Pacific seafood, still sold unlabeled in Japan and on the international market, including to the United States due to a secret pact between Secretary Clinton and the Japanese Prime Minister.
“At least 462 trillion becquerels of radioactive strontium have leaked to the Pacific Ocean since the March disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, making it one of the world’s most severe such cases of marine pollution,according to calculations by The Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
Because Strontium accumulates in bones and can cause bone cancer and leukemia, health experts have called for extensive surveys on the amount of leaked strontium so measures can be developed to manage the problem.
“In April, the month after the powerful tsunami and earthquake crippled Japan including its nuclear power plant, ‘Hillary Clinton signed a pact with Japan that she agreed there is no problem with Japanese food supply and we will continue to buy them so we are not sampling food coming in from Japan,’ according to [Arnie] Gundersen.”
The Power Story by Hanamaru Fujii
Written By: Website Administrator
Hello, I’m hanamaru fujii. I’m an illustrator from Tokyo. One evening, I felt compelled and inspired to take my recent thoughts and put it onto paper. Half an hour later, I had something- a story with illustrations. I put it on Facebook, thinking it would at least see the light of day. I’ve been humbled and surprised to have so much unexpected encouragement and thanks. It made me want to share this with more people. Now that the story’s been translated into English, I hope this can give you a glimpse into the thoughts of one Japanese person. It’s just something that “happened on paper”, but I hope it will give you something to think about, as we try to move forward.
Record-setting Japanese mountain climber has thyroid tested after endless fatigue, choking — Entered Fukushima evacuation zone to photograph abandoned cows — “What happened to my body?”
The Japan Nuclear Incident:
An Overview Part 2
Medical Journal Article: 14,000 U.S. Deaths Tied to Fukushima Reactor Disaster Fallout
Impact Seen As Roughly Comparable to Radiation-Related Deaths After Chernobyl; Infants Are Hardest Hit, With Continuing Research Showing Even Higher Possible Death Count.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — An estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactors inJapan, according to a major new article in the December 2011 edition of the International Journal of Health Services. This is the first peer-reviewed study published in a medical journal documenting the health hazards of Fukushima.
Authors Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman note that their estimate of 14,000 excess U.S. deaths in the 14 weeks after the Fukushima meltdowns is comparable to the 16,500 excess deaths in the 17 weeks after the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. The rise in reported deaths after Fukushima was largest among U.S. infants under age one. The 2010-2011 increase for infant deaths in the spring was 1.8 percent, compared to a decrease of 8.37 percent in the preceding 14 weeks.
The IJHS article will be published Tuesday and will be available online as of 11 a.m. EST athttp://www.radiation.org.
Just six days after the disastrous meltdowns struck four reactors at Fukushima on March 11, scientists detected the plume of toxic fallout had arrived over American shores. Subsequent measurements by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found levels of radiation in air, water, and milk hundreds of times above normal across the U.S. The highest detected levels of Iodine-131 in precipitation in the U.S. were as follows (normal is about 2 picocuries I-131 per liter of water): Boise, ID (390); Kansas City (200);Salt Lake City (190); Jacksonville, FL (150); Olympia, WA (125); and Boston, MA (92).
Epidemiologist Joseph Mangano, MPH MBA, said: “This study of Fukushima health hazards is the first to be published in a scientific journal. It raises concerns, and strongly suggests that health studies continue, to understand the true impact of Fukushima in Japan and around the world. Findings are important to the current debate of whether to build new reactors, and how long to keep aging ones in operation.”
Mangano is executive director, Radiation and Public Health Project, and the author of 27 peer-reviewed medical journal articles and letters.
Internist and toxicologist Janette Sherman, MD, said: “Based on our continuing research, the actual death count here may be as high as 18,000, with influenza and pneumonia, which were up five-fold in the period in question as a cause of death. Deaths are seen across all ages, but we continue to find that infants are hardest hit because their tissues are rapidly multiplying, they have undeveloped immune systems, and the doses of radioisotopes are proportionally greater than for adults.”
Dr. Sherman is an adjunct professor, Western Michigan University, and contributing editor of “Chernobyl – Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment” published by the NY Academy of Sciences in 2009, and author of “Chemical Exposure and Disease and Life’s Delicate Balance – Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues weekly reports on numbers of deaths for 122 U.S. cities with a population over 100,000, or about 25-30 percent of the U.S. In the 14 weeks after Fukushima fallout arrived in the U.S. (March 20 to June 25), deaths reported to the CDC rose 4.46 percent from the same period in 2010, compared to just 2.34 percent in the 14 weeks prior. Estimated excess deaths during this period for the entire U.S. are about 14,000.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A streaming audio replay of a related news event will be available on the Web athttp://www.radiation.org as of 4 p.m. EST/2100 GMT on December 19, 2011. Embargoed copies of the medical journal article are available by contacting Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman, International Journal of Health Services
Farewell to Nuclear Power – A Lecture on Fukushima
Hirose Takashi with an introduction by C. Douglas Lummis
Many people in Japan have understood for years that the country’s nuclear power industry was heading for catastrophe; few people have worked as hard or as passionately to prevent that catastrophe as Hirose Takashi. Since the early 1980s he has written a shelf of books, mostly on that subject. The first to attract notice was his Tokyo ni, Genpatsu wo! (Nuclear Plants in Tokyo! ), a reductio ad absurdum of the nuke promoters’ argument: if they are so safe, why not put them in the center of the city, rather than hundreds of miles away, forcing you to build expensive and destructive power lines all over the country, which also eat up a vast amount of electricity in the wires? The book was a bombshell, exposing as it did big-city egoism: we get the electricity, somebody else gets the danger. The exposé applies to the 3/11 catastrophe: many people haven’t noticed the significance of the fact that the plants at Fukushima belong to the Tokyo Electric Co. The electricity they (used to) generate goes (went) to Tokyo; Fukushima’s electricity comes from elsewhere.
Before the catastrophe, Hirose had written that if a nuclear catastrophe ever really happened in Japan, he would go silent. Of course, he has not been able to do that. Over the years he has been attacked as a fear monger, and indeed, he has generally written about worst-case scenarios. (How would you like it if your fire department took the attitude, Don’t worry, there probably won’t be any fires?) Now the worst has happened and, astoundingly! most people don’t seem to realize that it has. Today Hirose is doing the work he hoped he would never have to do, writing article after article, doing interview after interview, travelling around the country on grueling speaking tours, explaining to people the obvious: yes, this is a genuine nuclear catastrophe, and no, there is no reason to believe that that was the last major earthquake.
Watch the video with translation at: