Welcome (I think) 2012.
I’ve been thinking about a new format this year. Let me know if you don’t like the change. Instead of including entire article here, a *very* brief summary of the articles of the day, all, or most, related to the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
But, before that, here’s a message from KuruKamo, a quake research group that has been measuring the movement of plates according to the pressure of the granite in the earth. (As far as I understand,) when the plates move, they put pressure on the granite, and the rocks give off a certain sound. When there is sound, the movement is normal. When there is silence, pressure is building up. When the sound comes back in force, it may indicate an impending earthquake.
Read more about this at http://www.kuru-kamo.com/, and please write to me and I will correct anything I’ve written above.
Now, for their message (MY translation – no guarantee of 100% accuracy):
The depth of yesterday’s quake (1/1) near Torishima Island, M7.0, was about 370 kms, and a very deep epicenter. The North American plate shook all the way up to Hokkaido. A quake similar to this has been seen in the past, and after a quake of such a deep epicenter, the trend of the place of the next earthquake is nearer to the surface.
A very similar quake to this M7.0 one in the Torishima Island area happened in 2009. On August 9, 2009, a quake occurred in the Toukaido area M6.8 (shindo 4), at a depth of 340 kms. Two days later, on Aug 11, the Suruga Bay quake occurred, M6.5 (shindo 6 jaku[weak]), at a depth of 60 kms. Right now there is cause for caution. Our Hachioji observation point, Omiya point, etc. are seeing special rebound noise. Something is moving, we think. During this week, please take precautions in the event of an M6 quake. In nature, there is not always a perfect example, but it’s a good idea to take precautions.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, 2012
(UPDATED) #Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 4’s Skimmer Surge Tank Water Level Going Down At 5 Times the Normal Pace
UPDATE: translation of TEPCO’s email to the members of the press who have signed up to receive notification of emergencies is posted in this post. It’s not for so-called “mass media”, it is for any journalist who has signed up for the notification from TEPCO.” In fact, I got the link from an independent news media.
Again, it is NOT the water level of the SFP but of the skimmer surge tank, as some people are clearly confused that SFP’s water level is dropping.
Article continues at:
This, filed under “Now, that’s not playing fair, kids.” Apparently, two members of the nuclear safety panel got beaucoup d’argent from Mitsubishi and the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum… two groups with vested interests in keeping nuclear power up and running…
2 nuclear safety panel members got 7.1 mil. yen donation from industry
TOKYO, Jan. 2, Kyodo
Note: The Asahi Shinbun ups the ante to “one third” of the members – wait, how many members are there?
“One third of Nuclear Safety Commission members on committees overseeing inspections of power plants and nuclear fuel received donations from companies and organizations affiliated with the nuclear energy sector…” –> http://ajw.asahi.com/
Wall Street Journal article of 23 Dec, 2011 comparing the health consequences of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings with the radiation effects caused by the Fukushima disaster:
Past Haunts Tally of Japan’s Nuke Crisis
In 2004, someone at the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy told a subordinate to keep out of the public eye the fact that it would be cheaper to dump nuclear waste than to reprocess it. (In other words, don’t tell the public because then we might not be able to make money off of this Rokkasho reprocessing plant.)
Energy agency boss told subordinate to cover up estimated costs to dump nuclear fuel
Currents usually run south to north. They can’t figure out how this boat got on the other side of island of Japan.
Coast Guard mystified as boat lost in March 11 tsunami found on other side of Japan
Checklist of things on the ToDo list for TEPCO this year. Still spouting the “but we’re still in something similar to ‘cold shutdown’ mode, kinda sorta.”
Challenges ahead at Fukushima nuclear plant
A huge spike in the number of cases of conjunctivitis in 2011. Details, photos, and charts at:
Rapid increase of acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis
Hmm, well, this is interesting. EX-SKF has on its site an article from the Atlantic Wire about the connections between TEPCO, the government, and the Yakuza (Japanese mafia). Hmmm?
The Atlantic Wire: The Yakuza and the Nuclear Mafia
And this, from ENENEWS, citing an abstract from the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity about the discovery of radionuclides from Daiichi in the air over Lithuania:
New Study: Aerosolized plutonium from Fukushima detected in Europe — Spent fuel indicated
And a nice message to end on today:
1st sunrise of 2012 gives hope to disaster survivors
People in disaster-stricken northeastern Japan were greeted with a spectacular glowing orange sunrise on New Year’s Day, a sign many in the Tohoku region hoped would herald the arrival of better times in 2012.
In Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, a crowd of people waited for the sun to rise behind the “miracle” pine tree, the only one of tens of thousands of pine trees near the beach in Takata Matsubara that was left standing after the powerful March 11 tsunami.
A 53-year-old man in the crowd expressed hope that he can move forward in 2012.
“Takata Matsubara was a favorite walking spot for me,” said the man, whose home near the pine grove was washed away by the tsunami. “I hope the new year will provide us with some direction in our lives.”
In the Tokyo metropolitan area, meanwhile, people did not have a clear view of the year’s first sunrise due to thick clouds.
In Japan, the first sunrise of the year has special meaning as it is thought to be a time to “refresh” the spirit and to look ahead with a positive attitude.
The sun rises on Jan. 1 behind the lone “miracle” pine tree that was left standing after the tsunami in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture. (Eijiro Morii)