Day 292 Japanese politicians, are you really that coldhearted?

Radiation in Japan: No Money to Evacuate Fukushima Children, Says DPJ Politician

Heard it on Twitter. So please take them as jokes. I hope they are jokes, though I don’t have any reason to hope so.

From someone who says he heard it live on the radio program on December 29 in Japan:

岡田克也 議員・・・生放送のラジオ番組に出演。リスナーからの質問「福島の子供を、なぜ避難させないのですか?」 岡田議員「お金が掛かるから…」 噂では聴いて いたけど、リアルに聴くことになるとは…

Representative Katsuya Okada appeared on a live radio program. A listener asked him, “Why don’t you evacuate children in Fukushima?” Okada answered, “Because it costs money…” I heard it in rumors before but never expected to hear it myself.

Okada is a high-ranking official in the Democratic Party of Japan. The radio program in which Okada was supposed to utter these words is this.

No money to evacuate children but plenty of money (2 trillion yen) to TEPCO.

Well at least Okada was, if he did say this, honest about it. No money. The Japanese government does not have money (public debt to GDP ratio over 200%), as people outside Japan may know but people inside don’t.

But another “heard it on Twitter”, the alleged word by the mayor of Tomakomai City in Hokkaido who is extremely eager to accept disaster debris from Miyagi and Iwate to burn in his city takes the cake for sheer rudeness and bad taste:

From someone who evacuated from Sendai, Miyagi to Tomakomai City:


Mayor of Tomakomai City is really ignorant and rude. When mothers who evacuated [from disaster-affected areas to Tomakomai] went to petition him not to burn the disaster debris for the sake of children’s health in the future, he had the gall to say “I’ve heard that the excrement from the irradiated evacuees like yourselves contaminates the environment more with radiation”. And he is the mayor.

Well, life is cheap, particularly that of children in Japan. The country is finished as a nation.



A post from Safecast Japan listserv:

Volunteer Reporting on Food & Beverage Radiation

Some time after the Fukushima nuclear accident a blogger started making inquiries to food companies of how they ensure the safety of their products regarding radiation and started posting their responses. Volunteers joined to provide more information. Factory location numbers are also posted so that consumers can check in what prefecture a product is manufactured.

Six months ago some food companies and restaurants refused to disclose the source of their ingredients and one even replied “you don’t have to purchase our product if you don’t like it.” Three months ago some of the companies below said “the vegetables we purchase is under the Government’s set limit of 500Bq/kg, so it’s safe.” Now all those comments were removed and it seems that food companies are more safety conscious regarding radiation, thanks to all the parents, mostly mothers, calling to ask for the source of ingredients.

• Jonathan’s restaurant (as of November 2011):

Rice from Tochigi, lettuce from Gunma and Nagano, cucumber from Yamagata, Fukushima, and Shimeji mushroom from Ibaraki and Nagano.

• Kentucky Fried Chicken (as of December 2011):

Chicken from Kagoshima and Miyazaki, lettuce and cabbage from Ibaraki and Chiba.

• Doutor Coffee (as of October 25, 2011):

Sausages from Australia, U.S., Canada, and chicken from Thailand, vegetables from Ibaraki, Chiba, Gunma, Tochigi. They do not test their ingredients for radiation.

• Subway (as of October 29. 2011):

Vegetables from Fukushima and other prefectures. They test for radiation with a detection limit of 10Bq/kg. Their website only says that their vegetables are sourced in Japan and details are not disclosed.

• Gusto: In October Gusto and Subway were reported to be supporting Fukushima by serving Fukushima vegetables. Gusto uses locally sourced vegetables (depending on the location of each particular restaurant).

• MacDonald’s:
Beef from Australia, New Zealand and chicken from Thailand and China. Pork
and potatoes from the U.S. Vegetables from Nagano, Hyogo, Shimane, Saga.
Onions are imported.

• Domino Pizza:

Lettuce from Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Ibaraki, flour from the U.S. and Canada. Deserts are imported.

• Both Asahi and Suntory test their beverages for radiation with a detection limit of 20Bq/kg (Asahi) and 10Bq/kg (Suntory).

• Coca Cola (as of November 2011):
Coca Cola is tested for radiation but the detection limit used is not disclosed.

There are also other volunteer websites reporting on radiation in food:



From Enformable at:

Japan “Megaquake” focal regions double in size from previous estimates

The government’s disaster prevention panel on Tuesday revised the basic plan for disaster preparedness in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, seeking to reinforce measures against tsunami waves that caused most of the damage in the disaster in northeastern Japan, officials said.

A separate panel of experts compiled an interim report the same day doubling the focal area of potential megaquakes that could strike Japan and provisionally raising the magnitude of such temblors from 8.7 to 9.0.The Central Disaster Prevention Council, headed by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, created a section devoted to tsunami countermeasures in the revised basic disaster prevention plan.

The Nankai megathrust earthquakes are great earthquakes that occur along the fault that forms the plate interface between the subducting Philippine Sea Plate and the overriding Amurian Plate (part of the Eurasian Plate), which dips beneath southwestern HonshuJapan. All of these great earthquakes have given rise to damaging tsunami.

The Nankai Trough is the near-surface extension of a zone of active seismicity that dips beneath SW Japan. The rupture zone has been subdivided into five areas with respect to seismic modelling.

In 1999, the likelihood of the occurrence of a great earthquake in the Tokai area in the period 2000-2010 was estimated to be in the range of 0.35.–0.45.

Despite the uncertainty of when such an earthquake will occur, local authorities are already taking action to prepare residents for what they regard as an inevitability.

Possible focal regions for a megaquake that experts say could occur along the Nankai Trough off the southern coast should be doubled in size from previous estimates, according to an interim report compiled Tuesday by a Cabinet Office panel.

With the expansion of possible focal regions, the magnitude of the megaquake could be 9 or higher should the three earthquakes occur concurrently, according to the report.

The revision was based on the results of recent studies, with the newly estimated possible focal regions covering an area of about 110,000 square kilometers, expanding to the north and southwest.

The newly added region on the north side has been struck by earthquakes that generated low-frequency seismic waves at a depth of about 30 kilometers or deeper.

The report also included areas off Miyazaki Prefecture as part of the newly estimated possible focal regions because of the likelihood that a magnitude-7.5 quake could occur in the area in conjunction with the three quakes.

The newly estimated possible focal regions have also been expanded to the east to cover the plate boundaries in Suruga Bay, as well as a belt of fault lines centered on the mouth of the Fujikawa river, which flows into the bay.

The interim report stated that tsunami would be triggered by not only the newly estimated possible focal regions, but also an area south of the regions at a depth of about 10 kilometers or less.


The Nankai Trough 南海トラフ is a submarine trough located south of Japan‘s island of Honshū, extending approximately 900 km offshore. In plate tectonics, the Nankai Trough marks a subduction zone that is caused by subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate beneath Japan, part of the Eurasian plate .

This plate boundary would be an oceanic trench except for a high flux of sediments that fills the trench. Within the Nankai Trough there is a large amount of deformed trench sediments (Ike, 2004), making one of Earth’s best examples of accretionary prism.

Furthermore, seismic reflection studies have revealed the presence of basement highs that are interpreted as seamounts that are covered in sediments.

The Nankai Trough is actively deforming and marks a region of seismic activity. Deformation is concentrated in the outermost imbricate zone, with a significant amount of “out of sequence” thrusting occurring landward.

Based on the work of Operta et al., 2006, several areas of intense tectonic activity in the Nankai Trough were identified using full waveform tomography. The upper portion of the upper accretionary prism and the underlying backstop are currently undergoing a great deal of compressional pressure. Several thrust faults were identified by Operta et al., 2006, of which the thrust faults closest to the subduction zone are active.

Furthermore, Pisana et al., 2006, identified protothrusts and decollement surfaces along the Nankai Trough. Recently there has been an increase in interest in the release of water from illite clays in subducting sediments.

Japan starts operating new centrifuges for enriching uranium

AOMORI (Kyodo) — Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. started on Wednesday the operation of new, more efficient centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture.

After a warm-up operation, the centrifuges — each capable of processing enrichment four to five times more efficiently than a previous one — will start producing uranium products around March, the company said.

In one year of operation, the new centrifuges can enrich one-third of uranium required for a 1-gigawatt reactor per year, according to the operator.

Japan Nuclear Fuel plans to replace all old units with new ones over the next decade at the enrichment facility that went on-stream in 1992.

(Mainichi Japan) December 29, 2011



Alaska’s Ring Seals May Be Suffering from #Fukushima Radiation

From Reuters via msnbc (12/27/2011):

SEATTLE — Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether local seals are being sickened by radiation from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska’s Arctic coastline since July, suffering or killed by a mysterious disease marked by bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the animals’ fur coats.

Biologists at first thought the seals were suffering from a virus, but they have so far been unable to identify one, and tests are now underway to find out if radiation is a factor.

“We recently received samples of seal tissue from diseased animals captured near St. Lawrence Island with a request to examine the material for radioactivity,” said John Kelley, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“There is concern expressed by some members of the local communities that there may be some relationship to the Fukushima nuclear reactor’s damage,” he said.

The results of the tests would not be available for “several weeks,” Kelley said.

Water tests have not picked up any evidence of elevated radiation in U.S. Pacific waters since the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which caused multiple fuel meltdowns at the Fukushima plant and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate the surrounding area.

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been seeking the cause of the diseased seals for weeks, but have so far found no answers.

A ringed seal displays significant hair loss on the Artic Ocean coast near Barrow, Alaska. An unknown disease is killing or weakening ringed seals along Alaska’s north coast. Ringed seals, the main prey of polar bears, and a species that rarely comes ashore, in late July began showing up on the Beaufort Sea coast outside Barrow with lesions on hind flippers and inside their mouths, along with patchy hair loss and skin irritation around the nose and eyes.



From EX-SKF (most of the Japanese has been omitted. See link below for entire article):

“Now They Tell Us” Series: NISA Says Reactors 1 and 3 Explosions May Have Been Caused by Vent

Nikkei Shinbun reports that NISA admitted the hydrogen explosions that took place in Reactor 1 and Reactor 3 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant in March may have been caused by hydrogen flowing back from the exhaust stack. In other words, vent may have caused the explosions.

From Nikkei Shinbun (12/27/2011):経済産業省原子力安全・保安院は27日開いた東京電力福島第1原子力発電所の事故原因に関する専門家の意見聴取会で、1、3号機の水素爆発の一因として、原子炉格納容器からベント(排気)した水素が別の排気管を通って建屋内に逆流した可能性があると公表した。津波による電源喪失で排気管の弁が開き、水素の逆流を防げなかったという。
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry disclosed during the experts hearing on December 27 on the cause of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident that a possible cause of the hydrogen explosions in Reactors 1 and 3 may have been that the hydrogen that was vented from the Containment Vessel [to the exhaust stack] flowed back into the reactor building through a different pipe. As the power was lost due to tsunami, the valve of this different pipe remained open, and unable to prevent the reverse flow of hydrogen, according to the NISA.

In Reactors 1 and 3, hydrogen accumulated in the Containment Vessels after the core meltdowns, and TEPCO carried out the vent in order to remove hydrogen. The exhaust pipe for the vent connects to the exhaust pipe for the “standby gas treatment system” for the air ventilation of the reactor building, and then to the exhaust stack.

The valve of the exhaust pipe for the standby gas treatment system opened when the power was lost, so that the air ventilation of the reactor building would continue. In fact, the investigation of Reactor 3 after the accident showed the valve was open. When TEPCO did the vent, hydrogen may have flowed back to the reactor building through the open valve, and with the hydrogen leaked from the top lid of the Containment Vessel caused the hydrogen explosion.

All the other nuclear reactors in Japan has the same system whereby the valve opens when the power is lost. As a countermeasure, the NISA suggests two separate exhaust pipes and installing a valve to prevent backflow. Professor Tadashi Narabayashi of Hokkaido University points out that the vent process needs to be improved fundamentally.

Narabayashi, one of the “Three Plutonium Brothers” who said the toxicity of plutonium was the same as salt, used to work for Toshiba.

So after more than 9 months since the accident NISA feels like telling the truth for some reason, now that the accident is officially “over”.

The very act of venting probably caused the explosions, says NISA. How about that, GE?

Product liability lawsuits anyone?



From ENENEWS at:

Published: December 28th, 2011 at 11:07 AM EDT

UN Agency: Reactor 3 exploded a second time 24 hours later — Then wind and rain brought high levels of radiation over Tokyo, Sendai, Nagano

Summary Report of RSMC Beijing on Fukushima Nuclear Accident Emergency Response, WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION (United Nations), Oct. 27, 2011:

[…] On 15 March, an explosion was heard in Unit 2 and damaged the pressure-suppression system, causing the leaks of radioactive cooling water. Shortly afterward, Unit 4 was damaged by an explosion and a large amount of radioactive materials was released into the atmosphere. At 11:00 (Japan Standard Time) JST on 15 March, Unit 3 explored [sic] again. At that time, due to the easterly winds and precipitation in and around Fukushima, the surrounding areas including Tokyo, Nagano, Sendai and other places detected high radiation, which matched well with the simulation results. […]

View  Microsoft Word .doc here

“The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology (water) and other related geophysical sciences such as oceanography and atmospheric chemistry.

Wikipedia Timeline:

First Explosion at Reactor 3

No mention of a second explosion at Reactor 3 on March 15




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