Day 317 ♬ And the money kept rolling in…

Complete translation of yesterday’s story about universities receiving tons of moolah from gov’t and private businesses if they backed nuclear power:

11 universities received nuclear energy research funds from gov’t, industry

Eleven top universities, such as the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University, accepted a total of some 10.4 billion yen in nuclear technology research funds from the government and industry between fiscal 2006 and 2010, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.

Some of the institutions even accepted hundreds of millions of yen a year. These universities have been effectively guaranteed stable amounts of research funds as long as they cooperate in the promotion of nuclear power, demonstrating that such high education institutions have been incorporated into the national policy.

The Mainichi Shimbun compiled the figures based on documents that it accessed under the Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs.

Of at least 10.487 billion yen in total funding, the institutions accepted 9.3 billion yen from the government and companies in the nuclear energy industry as fees to conduct research on their behalf.

For example, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry paid over 514 million yen to Fukui University in fiscal 2010 for research and development of key technology aimed at placing a fast-breeder nuclear reactor into practical use.

The institutions took a combined 410.83 million yen for joint research projects with private companies and other organizations. Companies typically foot up to several millions of yen for each project.

Researchers at these universities received a total of 218.22 million yen in donations from businesses for their research activities, most of which the recipients were allowed to freely use.

Masanori Aritomi, professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, received 18.85 million yen in donations, the largest amount of an individual researcher.

“I have a chronic disease and can’t use an economy class seat when I travel abroad to attend research sessions, and need a larger amount of funds to cover my travel expenses. I guess the donors took that into consideration,” he said.

Regarding fears that donations from companies could distort the results of his research, Aritomi said, “I take care to prevent such a problem. I specialize in research and development rather than safety assessment. So I don’t think there’s any problem.”

Shortly after the outbreak of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in March 2011, then Prime Minister Naoto Kan appointed Aritomi as an adviser to the Cabinet Secretariat.

The government and the industry did not provide any funds to Kyoto University assistant professors Hiroaki Koide and Tetsuji Imanaka, who have constantly warned of risks involving nuclear power stations.

Four of the 11 universities held lectures on nuclear energy funded by businesses. Electric power suppliers and other firms donated a combined 491 million yen to these institutions to hold such lectures.

By university, Kyoto University received the largest amount of funds from the government and private businesses at about 3.36 billion yen, followed by the University of Tokyo with nearly 2.559 billion yen and the Tokyo Institute of Technology with some 1.67 billion yen.

Click here for the original Japanese story

(Mainichi Japan) January 23, 2012

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Filed under “Lies, lies, lies, yeah”

Gov’t withheld estimates showing electricity surplus to boost nuclear power: critics

The government withheld an estimate that there would be no electricity shortages in the upcoming summer in an apparent bid to underscore the need to restart nuclear power plants, it has been learned.

Instead of announcing the realistic estimate, the government announced last summer that electric power supply in the summer of 2012 “will be about 10 percent short across the country.” Furthermore, the released government estimate greatly downplayed the supply of renewable energy, disregarding the country’s actual energy status.

“The released government estimate stresses the need to resume operations of nuclear power plants by underestimating the actual supply capacity,” a concerned source has told the Mainichi.

Currently, 49 out of 54 commercial nuclear reactors in Japan are under suspension, with five other reactors anticipating regular inspections. By this summer, the country will have no nuclear reactors in operation unless some of them are restarted.

Article continues at:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120123p2a00m0na007000c.html

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Gov’t decides to launch postquake reconstruction agency Feb. 10

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2012/01/137854.html

TOKYO, Jan. 23, Kyodo

The government decided Monday to launch a new agency on Feb. 10 to play a key role in promoting reconstruction of areas devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

The Tokyo-based new agency will have local bureaus in the capitals of the three hardest hit prefectures — Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima — to manage a total of six local branches in the prefectures, according to the government.

The branches will be set up in Miyako and Kamaishi, both in Iwate Prefecture, Kesennuma and Ishinomaki, both in Miyagi Prefecture, and Minamisoma and Iwaki, both in Fukushima Prefecture, while offices will be opened in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, and Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture.

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Risk of big quake in Tokyo area within 4 years may be 70%: institute

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The risk of a big earthquake hitting the southern Kanto region including Tokyo within the next four years could be as high as about 70 percent, according to a study compiled by Monday by a team of researchers at the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute.

The figure is the same as the 70 percent chance of a quake of around magnitude 7.0 in the region during the next 30 years estimated by the government’s Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion on the basis of the intervals between large quakes in the past.

Naoshi Hirata, a professor at the institute and member of the team, said the risk of a big quake may have risen due to the magnitude 9.0 earthquake in March 2011 in northeastern Japan.

Article continues at:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120123p2g00m0dm121000c.html

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March 12, 2011 NHK News at Noon: “Reactor 1 Fuel Rods Are Exposed…” – “Oops, We’re Not Supposed to Say That…”

Full post including Japanese at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/01/march-12-2011-nhk-news-at-noon-reactor.html

After the announcer read the news about the fuel rods in Reactor 1 getting exposed and the situation becoming very dangerous, someone in the background said “Hey we’re not supposed to use that information…”

The audio of that segment is uploaded on Youtube,here. I have no proof that the recording is authentic, though it does sound authentic and there are people tweeting that they do recall hearing the news.

From the transcript of the news, NHK March 12, 2011 noon:

Now the information on [Fukushima I] nuclear power plant.

According to the government agencies including the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, the level of water to cool the reactor has gone down in Reactor 1 of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. As of 11:20AM today, the maximum 90 centimeters of the nuclear fuel bundles are exposed above water and the situation is getting dangerous. The work is currently ongoing to pour 27,000 liters of water stored for fire extinguishing into the reactor using a temporary pump, in order to raise the water level back up. Let me repeat the news …

(Then, there is silence.)

[in the background] “Wait, we’re not supposed to use that information, I’ve been told.”

Again, information about the nuclear power plant.

The pressure inside the Containment Vessel is getting high at Reactor 1 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima Prefecture. TEPCO has started the work to release the gas inside the Containment Vessel. However, the valve that needs to be opened is located right near the Containment Vessel and the radiation level is very high. So TEPCO has halted the work temporarily to figure out how to proceed.

At least someone at NHK wrote the first news up, and managed to get that out on air.

The reactor building blew up on that day 3 and a half hours later, at 3:36PM.

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The following is the 3D radiation dispersion from Fukushima Dai-ichi as forecasted by SPEEDI published on the JAEA website in November:

Dispersion of I131
http://nsed.jaea.go.jp/ers/environment/envs/fukushima/animation2-2.htm

Dispersion of Cs137
http://nsed.jaea.go.jp/ers/environment/envs/fukushima/animation2-3.htm

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7 Tonnes of Stones from Fukushima Sold in Tokyo Last Year

No surprise here, as anything grown or harvested in Fukushima have been freely shipped and sold as long as it is not caught with radiation exceeding the very lax provisional safety limits. And for the construction materials that have been stored outdoors in Fukushima after the March 11 nuke accident, there is no safety standard, provisional or not.

Elite bureaucrats at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (in this case of construction materials) didn’t connect the dots either out of ignorance or out of kindness to assist the producers at the expense of consumers. The producers and distributors didn’t connect the dots either out of ignorance or due to suspension of their own judgment. “If the regulating ministry does not say anything, why should we bother raising the issue? Just sell.”

Article continues at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/01/7-tonnes-of-stones-from-fukushima-sold.html

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TEPCO blamed for farmer’s death

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