Day 291 Henry, is that a plastic bucket you’re using in this freezing weather?!

One thing leads to another. Just getting around to finishing up yesterday’s news and it’s already the following evening.

Winter cold may freeze and break the water purifying system

Posted by Mochizuki on December 27th, 2011

Water purifying system of Fukushima has the hose which runs over tens of kilometers, outside. Most of the parts are made of usual vinyl chloride material, which you can buy at a supermarket.

There is a possibility that it is frozen and has blownout because of the cold weather.

Tepco states that if the weather is not unusually cold – it would last, but it has no basis as always.

According to the specification of the hose, it does not last if it is colder than 0~ -5℃.

Last January and February, in the area around Fukushima there were only 5 days when the lowest temperature was warmer than 0℃ and there were 15 days when the lowest temperature was below -5℃.

The water injecting part has the water flowing continuously, but at other parts contaminated water has stopped being subject to the speed of water processing.

Tepco states they will wrap the hose with adiabatic material, where the low level of contaminated water goes but they can not do anything for the parts where the high level of contaminated water goes because you can not even get close to those parts.

If the hose experiences a blowout – high levels of contaminated water will leak or building will be filled with highly contaminated water. In that case, there is no way to specify the broken part except via a person actually walking along the hose and inspecting it.

A msg on ENENEWS with my comment at the end:

Published: December 27th, 2011 at 03:08 PM EDT

Fairewinds: Hot particles bombarded west coast of US and Canada — Contaminated farms and some food sources in US — Radioactive debris island twice size of Texas crossing Pacific

2011 Fairewinds Fundraiser, Maggie Gundersen, Founding Director Fairewinds Energy Education Corp, Dec. 27, 2011:

[…] With your help, Fairewinds Energy Education Corp has created more than 50 videos telling the truth about the failure of four General Electric Mark 1 BWR reactors that rattled the nerves of on-lookers around the world. Vivian Norris of the Huffington Post identified Fairewinds ( as the “best site” for Fukushima analysis, observing that Arnie Gundersen “analyzes the information … in a calm and scientific way”. […]

[A] radioactive debris island twice the size of Texas is nearing Hawaii months before it was anticipated.

Residents on the west coast of the US and Canada were bombarded with radioactive hot particles that have also contaminated farms and some food sources in the US.

And, all the governments involved have been eerily quiet and stopped monitoring in many locations in order to protect sales and profit margins rather than lives.

Thank you for viewing our work, and please consider us in your year-end giving plans ( It is thanks to financial contributions from people like you that Fairewinds Energy Education Corp, a 501(c)3 has been able to tell the truth and meet its educational mission. With the continued support of our volunteers and donors, Fairewinds will continue to educate people around the world about nuclear safety, engineering, and reliability issues. May we all work together to make 2012 healthy and safe.

Best wishes for 2012, Maggie Gundersen, Founding Director Fairewinds Energy Education Corp

Since the beginning of the chaos in Fukushima, I have appreciated Arnie Gundersen’s patient, clear, and sobering explanations of the ongoing crisis. In this letter to the Fairewinds supporters, they either have misspoken or else I missed a couple of words… “debris twice the size of Texas?” 

Let’s look at the area of Texas as compared to Japan:

TEXAS:  268,581 sq mi  (696,241 km2)

 JAPAN:  145,925 sq mi  (377,944 km2)

Hmm, for a debris island to be twice the size of Texas, the debris would have to have come from the entire COUNTRY of Japan – 3.68 times!

I’m no math whiz, but twice the size of Texas = 537162.

Divided by the size of Japan = 3.68…

Given that the damage from the tsunami originated along the northeast coastline of the country, Fairewinds have misspoken. -OR- perhaps they meant the “island” of debris has spread out to a size twice that of Texas?

Will keep an eye out for a clarification…

More from ENENEWS:

Published: December 27th, 2011 at 02:16 PM EDT

Damage at Unit 2 is what prompted Tepco to discuss evacuating Fukushima workers — Perhaps because reactor “burned continuously for several days” as NRC admits?

Panel: Wide communication gaps hampered response in Fukushima, AJW by The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 27, 2011:

[…] On March 14, TEPCO officials became concerned about the dangers to the many workers at the plant due to damage to the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor.

Then TEPCO President Masataka Shimizu called Terasaka, the NISA director-general, and said, “We feel there is the possibility of removing our workers if the situation becomes more serious.” […]

Continues at:–no-man-s-land-around-damaged-plant-attests-to-japan-s-nuclear-nightmare

  • David Guttenfelder
  • Tue Dec 27 2011

No-man’s land around damaged plant attests to Japan’s nuclear nightmare

In this June 5, 2011 photo, two stray pet dogs fight in the deserted streets of Okuma, Japan. In the early days of the crisis, roaming farm animals and pets were everywhere inside the no-go zone. But by midsummer, some animals had been rescued and a number of others had perished of starvation and disease.

JAPAN In this June 5, 2011 photo, two stray pet dogs fight in the deserted streets of Okuma, Japan. In the early days of the crisis, roaming farm animals and pets were everywhere inside the no-go zone. But by midsummer, some animals had been rescued and a number of others had perished of starvation and disease.

David Guttenfelder/The Associated Press

IWAKI, Japan – Fukushima was just emerging from the snows of winter when the disaster hit — a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, the strongest in Japan’s recorded history, followed by a tsunami.

The wall of water destroyed much of the northeastern coast on March 11. In the northeast region of Fukushima, a different disaster was brewing: Three reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant were melting down, irreparably damaged by the super tremor.

Now, as the snows are beginning to fall again, the government has announced the plant has attained a level of stability it is calling a “cold shutdown.” As many as 3,000 workers — plumbers, engineers, technicians — stream into the facility each day.

The tsunami’s destruction is still visible. Mangled trucks, flipped over by the wave, sit alongside the roads inside the complex, piles of rubble stand where the walls of the reactor structures crumbled and large pools of water still cover parts of the campus.

In the ghost towns around Fukushima Dai-ichi, vines have overtaken streets, feral cows and owner-less dogs roam the fields. Dead chickens rot in their coops.

The tens of thousands of people who once lived around the plant have fled. They are now huddling in gymnasiums, elementary school classrooms, bunking with friends, sometimes just sleeping in their cars, moving from place to place as they search for alternatives.

For those who lived on the perimeter of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, fliers used to come in the mail every so often explaining that someday this might happen. Most recipients saw them as junk mail, and threw them away without a second glance. For those who did read them, the fliers were always worded to be reassuring — suggesting that although a catastrophic nuclear accident was extremely unlikely, it could require evacuating the area.

Never was it even hinted that the evacuation could last years, or decades.

At most of the shelters, food is doled out military-style, at set times. Personal space is extremely limited, often just big enough to fit a futon and the collective snoring at night makes sleep fitful, at best. Baths are public, cramped, dark.

The total amount of radiation released from the plant is still unknown, and the impact of chronic low-dose radiation exposures in and around Fukushima is a matter of scientific debate.

Recent studies also suggest Japan continues to significantly underestimate the scale of the disaster — which could have health and safety implications far into the future.

According to a study led by Andreas Stohl the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, twice as much radioactive cesium-137 — a cancer-causing agent — was pumped into the atmosphere than Japan had announced, reaching 40 per cent of the total from Chornobyl. The French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety found 30 times more cesium-137 was released into the Pacific than the plant’s owner has acknowledged.

Under a detailed roadmap, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. will remove the melted nuclear fuel, most of which is believed to have fallen to the bottom of the core or even down to the bottom of the larger, beaker-shaped containment vessel, a process that is expected to begin in 10 years.

All told, decommissioning the plant will likely take 40 years.

The Associated Press

Fisherman writes emotional letter to only daughter killed in tsunami

Kikumatsu Sasaki, left, and his wife, Suzuko, look at a photo album of their only daughter, Chiyako, in Ishinomaki, Iwate Prefecture, on Dec. 20. (Mainichi)

Kikumatsu Sasaki, left, and his wife, Suzuko, look at a photo album of their only daughter, Chiyako, in Ishinomaki, Iwate Prefecture, on Dec. 20. (Mainichi)

KAMAISHI, Iwate — As the year 2011 draws to a close, Kikumatsu Sasaki, a 76-year-old fisherman here, wrote an emotionally-charged, apologetic letter to his only daughter, Chiyako, who was killed at the age of 44 by tsunami triggered by the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake. It reads:

To Chiyako,

Every morning, your mother (Suzuko, 69) changes water for the flowers and offers rice on the family Buddhist alter and your father offers tea there. Although you liked coffee, there is a reason for us to have tea instead. You had a hard time when you were washed away by black tsunami and felt salty, didn’t you? That’s why we thought we should neutralize it.

There is one thing I want to apologize to you for. After you went missing, we walked around the supermarket you had worked at and a morgue every day to look for you. It was one month after the tsunami struck when I heard someone say, “A body of a woman was recovered with two keys in a pocket of her pants.” I thought it was the key to your locker at the supermarket. Thinking that way, I went to confirm the body.

The number attached to the body was “214,” but the face was red and the hair was frizzed, and the body was swollen full of water. Therefore, I did not think it was my Chiyako who was slender with long hair. I heard that the body would be cremated on April 29, but I did not go to the morgue that day.

On May 20, the results of DNA analysis that I had asked for just in case came out. The number “214” was my Chiyako. Why had I not been able to realize it? Why had I not been able to attend the cremation? I am very sorry.

About 20 of your colleagues visited us to offer incense sticks. Chiyako, you became the first female manager of the supermarket, didn’t you? I laughed when I heard them saying, “You were strong-minded and had a strong sense of responsibility.” I also heard them saying, “After you evacuated once, you went back to try to help other staff members and you were apparently swallowed by the tsunami.” This fact is not clear yet, but your father and mother believe it.

Our house sitting on higher ground was unscathed, so don’t worry. We had to stay at an evacuation center for a while because the community became isolated. But after you were found, we moved back to our home. As the three of us had lived together for more than 40 years, it seems like I can still hear you replying, “Yes,” if I call out your name “Chiyako.”

Our fishing boat “Shin Takara Maru,” which I bought when you were born, was taken to an unknown place by the tsunami. When I take a walk past the area where I used to moor the “Shin Takara Maru,” I tend to think about various things. For one thing, Chiyako, our only daughter, was single, and said, “I will take care of my parents,” but I should have let you get married. I also think of something like this; considering the fact that you vanished like this, it (remaining single) may have been better because less people have to feel sad. I think of things like that although nothing will change.

Last autumn, there was a chance for me to go abalone fishing aboard a ship arranged by the fishery cooperative union, but I didn’t feel like going. Although I might get on board a ship to catch sea urchins next spring.

Chiyako, would you feel relieved if I did that?

(Mainichi Japan) December 28, 2011

Fukushima governor demands TEPCO decommission all its 10 nuke reactors

FUKUSHIMA — Gov. Yuhei Sato has demanded that Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled nuclear plant, decommission all its 10 nuclear reactors in the prefecture.

 Article continues at:

Workers in disaster-hit regions hope for brighter 2012

Workers at Kikuchi Seisakusho Co.'s Fukushima factory in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, gather for the last morning assembly of the year, on Dec. 28. (Mainichi)

Workers at Kikuchi Seisakusho Co.’s Fukushima factory in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, gather for the last morning assembly of the year, on Dec. 28. (Mainichi)

As the long road toward recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami continues and the unprecedented nuclear disaster drags on, workers in disaster-hit areas welcomed the last day of work for the year. As they reflected on their expectations for 2012, they expressed hope.

During a morning assembly on Dec. 28, Shigeyuki Kanno, the head of Kikuchi Seisakusho Co.’s Fukushima factory, gathered employees for an end of year wrap-up. “Efforts to decontaminate the factory have progressed and I believe that next year we will have a better work environment. I hope you will do your best next year too,” he spoke.

Article continues at:

Radioactive cesium in cedar pollen in Fukushima poses no health hazard: gov’t agency

Levels of radiation in cesium contained in cedar pollen in Fukushima Prefecture, which hosts the crippled nuclear power plant, are so low that they will not pose any health hazard, the Forestry Agency said.

The agency released an interim report on levels of radioactive cesium in cedar pollen checked at 87 locations in Fukushima Prefecture. Based on maximum levels of cesium measured at 87 spots in the prefecture, the level of radiation a person can be exposed to by inhaling cedar pollen is 0.000192 microsievert per hour, the agency said. Therefore, there is no need to worry about radiation exposure by inhaling cedar pollen, the agency said.

The agency decided to conduct the survey because people have a “strong interest” in cedar pollen which could contain radioactive cesium due to contamination of forests with cesium emitted from the troubled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. Cedar pollen itself flies as far as several hundred kilometers.

The agency collected male cedar flowers that release pollen at about 180 locations in eastern Japan including Fukushima Prefecture, and it compiled the interim report focusing on data on radiation levels in male cedar flowers picked in areas close to the troubled nuclear power station in Fukushima Prefecture.

Of the 87 locations in Fukushima Prefecture, male cedar flowers from Namie carried 253,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram — the highest level of all the male cedar flowers sampled in eastern Japan. But one piece of cedar pollen is very light, and even if the agency calculated the level of radiation an adult person is exposed to per hour using the largest amount of cedar pollen in the air detected over the last nine years when data on cedar pollen is available, then that figure is still only 0.000192 of a microsievert. The agency said 2,200 pieces of cedar pollen per 1 cubic meter — the largest amount of cedar pollen in the air — were detected in March 2008.

Masahiro Fukushi, professor at the Tokyo Metropolitan University’s graduate school conducted a separate but similar survey in November. After analyzing male cedar flowers collected from Okutama, northwestern Tokyo, he found that 93 becquerels of radiation were detected in male cedar flowers per kilogram. Fukushi said, “This is at a level which we need not worry about its impact on humans. If people are still worried about it, they should wear a mask or goggles to protect against pollen.”

(Mainichi Japan) December 28, 2011

Published: December 28th, 2011 at 06:00 AM EDT

Nuclear Expert: 100 years where people will not be able to use groundwater if radioactive water from Fukushima reactors goes inland (AUDIO)

Interview with Arnold Gundersen, Five OClock Shadow Radio by Robert Knight on WBAI, Dec. 27, 2011:

Arnold Gundersen, Fairewinds Associates, Nuclear Engineer

Transcript Summary

At 5:20 in

  • Quake cracked the foundations of reactor buildings
  • Groundwater is coming in and radiation is going out into the soil
  • Tepco building dyke on ocean side, but not building it on the land side
  • If it [radioactive water from Fukushima reactors] goes inland, Robert, I think we’re looking at a hundred years where people will not be able to use that groundwater

Has it already? See yesterday’s report: Mainichi: Radiation detected in drinking water from underground source — Over 15 miles from Fukushima meltdowns

Listen to the broadcast here:



The future of earthquake prediction?

Skeptics abound but professor claims breakthrough in research

Special to The Japan Times
Second of two parts

Six days before the March 11 disasters, Masashi Hayakawa knew that a major earthquake was imminent.


News photo
Telling the future?: Masashi Hayakawa, a professor emeritus at the University of Electro-Communications, stands on the roof of his research center in Chofu, Tokyo, on Dec. 15. ROB GILHOOLY


Using data gathered at the Seismo-electromagnetics Research Station at the University of Electro-Communications in Chofu, Tokyo, Hayakawa says he found “conspicuous anomalies” that clearly indicated a major event was just days away.

“I saw the precursor to the quake,” says the professor emeritus of the UEC’s Advanced Wireless Communications Research Center. “It still makes me uncomfortable knowing that I was the only person in the world to see it.”

The key to his prediction can be found on the roof of the research facility, on which dozens of antennas, satellite dishes and other gadgets have been installed.

Only one, however, is of interest to Hayakawa. Strapped to the metal fence that runs around the rooftop, it looks something akin to a plastic laundry pole.

“It’s nothing flashy, but that’s the Chofu receiver that picked up the signal,” he says.


Article continues at:



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