Monthly Archives: March 2012

Today’s Japanese lesson:

“Kaere!!” (kah-ay-ray) = Go home!

“Kodomo wo mamore!!” (koh-doh-moh oh mah-moh-ray) = Protect the children!


It’s great to see 28 minutes’ worth of Japanese with teeth. Wonder why we don’t see this news on NHK?


Goshi Hosono Is Being Shouted Down by Protesters in Kyoto

Hosono and his officials are right now in Kyoto, trying to persuade Kyoto residents that they have to accept disaster debris, and the protesters want to have none of that. Hosono has to shout to be heard over the ruckus.

He’s trying to appeal to the people in Kyoto by showing some craft piece made by a Miyagi elementary school child. “Do you think this is contaminated? Do you?”

Click on this link to watch the video:


=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

It’s Official: Canned Fish from Tohoku Will Go to Developing Countries, With the Help from UN

Another “win” for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who operates the ODA (Official Development Assistance). They have managed to obtain support from the United Nations on this one.

first wrote about this particular ODA in June last year, with the follow-up post in September when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs formally requested the appropriation for the 3rd supplementary budget.

Now it’s official, with the help of the UN. Canned fish from Tohoku will be given to people in developing countries in the world so that the fisheries in the disaster-affected areas can recover and “baseless rumors” disappear.

The fish cans will go to Cambodia and 4 other countries and will be used in school lunches to feed school children.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Foods with excessive radiation under new rule found in 8 prefectures

TOKYO, March 31, Kyodo

Food items containing levels of radioactive cesium exceeding a new limit, to be enforced from Sunday, have been found in 421 instances in eight prefectures since January this year, a survey by the health ministry showed Saturday.

The food items with levels exceeding 100 becquerels per kilogram of cesium were found in Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures in the survey conducted through March 21, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Of the 421 cases, about 80 percent involved seafood and river fishes, and the remainder involved shiitake mushrooms and the meat of wild animals such as boars and birds.

Read the entire article at:

 =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Fukushima fishermen hopeless after nuke contamination postpones fishing season

Kiroku Gonoi posts a sign reading

Kiroku Gonoi posts a sign reading “No Fishing ” on a road along the Nojiri River in the Okuaizu region of Fukushima Prefecture, on March 30. (Mainichi)

FUKUSHIMA — Fishermen in this prefecture’s Okuaizu region were left hopeless after radioactive cesium exceeding the allowable limit detected in some river fish forced them to postpone this year’s fishing season indefinitely.


The fisheries cooperative of the town of Kaneyama and Showa village near the Nojiri River was forced to postpone this year’s mountain stream fishing season, which was set to begin on April 1, after fish samples caught in the river in mid-March registered 119 to 139 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram.

Read the entire article at:
=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Projected Tokyo quake to hit top intensity over wider area; science ministry

A powerful inland earthquake expected to occur in the Tokyo metropolitan area is likely to register 7 on the 7-point Japanese intensity scale over the largest area if it hits near the Tokyo-Chiba border, according to a science ministry research team estimate.

The team of experts set up by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry announced the estimate on March 30.


The team, comprised mainly of University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute researchers, surveyed the subsurface structure of the metropolitan area using seismometers at 296 locations in Tokyo and its vicinity.


It then estimated the vibration intensity of a magnitude-7.3 inland earthquake on the assumption that the epicenter would be in a coastal area near the border of Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture, around the city of Chiba or in western downtown Tokyo.

The team estimates that if the epicenter is near the Tokyo-Chiba border, the quake will register 7 on the Japanese intensity scale in the most extensive areas, including the Edogawa, Koto, Shinagawa and Ota wards of Tokyo as well as the Kanagawa Prefecture city of Kawasaki, among other areas. Moreover, such a temblor is assumed to measure an upper-6 in Yokohama and the eastern Tama region of Tokyo, even though it had been previously estimated at a lower-6 in these regions.

If its epicenter is around the city of Chiba, the team predicts that it will register 7 near the mouth of the Sumida River. If its epicenter is situated in a western Tokyo ward, it is presumed to measure 7 in Kawasaki and other areas as well as near the mouth of the Sumida River.

Furthermore, the team predicts that such an earthquake will measure at least an upper-6 in most of the 23 wards in central Tokyo, regardless of where the epicenter is located. It had previously been believed that it would register not more than a lower-6 in western Tokyo wards.

Read the entire article at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

14 nuke disaster evacuation zone residents file 265 million yen suit against TEPCO

Fourteen residents of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, have filed suit with the Tokyo District Court against Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), demanding some 265 million yen in compensation for what they call mental suffering caused by radiation exposure fears and life in temporary housing.


The plaintiffs, however, are demanding 300,000 yen per month for two years starting from the beginning of the crisis, plus 10 million yen per head of household, stressing the mental and physical suffering they’ve experienced as their lives have been thrown into disarray by the evacuation, and the constant fear of radioactive contamination.

Read the entire article at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  TEPCO’s Answer to the Leak of Concentrated Water after Reverse Osmosis at #Fukushima I: Sandbags

TEPCO has a countermeasure to the leak of highly concentrated, contaminated water after the reverse osmosis treatment. Sandbags. And some shiny steel “barrages” as TEPCO calls them.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Has Started Propaganda Campaign to Invite Foreign Social Medial Writers to Japan

(Applicants can download an application in Excel file at the Embassy’s site. Go to the end of the post for more.)

Remember that harebrained project that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would do after grabbing some extra money in the supplementary budget last year? Well it has just started.

“An Invitation Program to Japan for SOCIAL MEDIA WRITERS: Hello social media writers!–the Government of Japan invites you to participate in an opportunity to travel to Japan and share your experience through social media.”

The anon reader who gave me the link says the Embassy people (or whoever is managing their Facebook page) keep deleting the negative comments.
The Japanese people I know are all disgusted with the government scheme and they are extremely ashamed. And angry that their tax money is being used like this by their government.


This is hilarious. I clicked on the link in the Embassy’s Facebook post to take a look at the application form. IT’S AN EXCEL FILE! Are we still in the late 1980s, when companies that were very much behind the curve about computers were using Excel spreadsheet as word processor?

So these Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials do not even know how to create a simple form either in editable PDF format or web format, and they want to invite social media writers.

It was probably created by a local secretary who doesn’t know anything about social media…

(What an atrocious color scheme… What has happened to the fine sense of design and color that the Japanese want to think they possess?)

Read the entire article at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

From ENENEWS at:

NYT: “Cores at three of plant’s reactors melted down, breaching their containment vessels” — Tepco maintains fuel stopped short of breaching containment vessels

Title: New inspections find grave risks persist at Japan’s ravaged reactors
Source: New York Times
Date: March 29, 2012

Fukushima Daiichi’s vital cooling systems were knocked out in the early stages of the crisis last year. The uranium cores at three of the plant’s six reactors quickly melted down, breaching their containment vessels and triggering a massive radiation leak.

The above New York Times article appears to contradict previous reports by Tepco, Japan’s gov’t, and the media. This article excerpt from The Japan Times shortly after a state of cold shutdown was declared is one of many examples:

Based on a computer simulation, Tepco believes reactors 1, 2 and 3 suffered meltdowns […] and that the fuel rods inside melted through the pressure vessels and stopped just short of breaching their containment vessels.

Yomiuri: “The worst-case scenario is a China syndrome” […] A China syndrome refers to a situation in which nuclear fuel in a reactor melts and goes through a containment vessel –Masao Yoshida, former chief of the Fukushima Daiichi plant

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Japanese Magazine Says Hitachi May Be Pulling Out of Nuclear Business (or Maybe Not..)

The subscription-only magazine called “FACTA” has the first paragraph of the article available for everyone.

Read the entire article at:


“That Unit 4..they had 1,500 rods stuffed in there, they just kept stuffing them in”


=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Woods Hole Scientist’s Latest View on Ocean Contamination from Fukushima Accident: “We Haven’t Gone Very Far” in Assessing the Extent, Damage

Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institute researcher Ken Buesseler wrote a special article for CNN on March 11, 2012 about the effect that radioactive materials released from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant have had on the ocean and marine life. He led a team of international researchers last June to survey the ocean where the contaminated water was dumped by TEPCO.

[see link below for CNN article]

We’re no wiser one year after the accident, whether it is about:

  • the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident itself;
  • how much radioactive materials have been released so far;
  • degree of contamination on land or in the ocean;
  • effect of radiation on heath of humans (the national government is not taking health statistics in Fukushima Prefecture), animals, and plants

The Japanese government and government researchers cannot deal with any of these effectively. The Kan administration turned down the offer for help from the US and other nations for the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident, citing some “national security” concerns. Mr. Edano, current Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and then-Chief Cabinet Secretary under PM Kan, still says he, as Chief Cabinet Secretary, did not turn down the offer but told the US and others “We will consider your offer”. That is, as fans of Sir Humphrey Appleby know, a bureaucrat/politician speech for “get lost”. Will this change? Not very likely.

As Mr. Buesseler would know, there are different movements of seawater depending on the depth and proximity to the coast in addition to a major move by a major current like “Kuroshio”. Significant amount of radioactive materials moved south along the coast, creating ever-shifting hot spots along the way, contrary to what the government researchers had assured the public (that they would be carried away by Kuroshio and disperse rapidly and evenly in the Pacific Ocean).

Mr. Buesseler may also be interested to know that squid, crab, and abalone have been found to highly concentrate radioactive silver from the ocean environment with ND level of radioactive silver (seemy post on abalone). The ND levels of radioactive materials can still become harmful, because of bioconcentration.

The Chinese survey ship was finding radioactive strontium in the firefly squid 800 kilometers off the coast of Fukushima, back in August 2011. They also found radioactive silver. (See my post from August 2011.)

Read the entire article at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

18 Bq/kg of Radioactive Cesium from Canned Salmon

(Update: Checked the corporate site of Maruha Nichiro. It is “pink salmon” or “humpback salmon”, in northern Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, Japan Sea, Iwate Prefecture, and Hokkaido.)

Seikatsu Club is a co-op that has been publishing the results of its own analysis of food items it sells.

In the latest results on March 30, 2012, there are several items with radioactive cesium including a can of salmon from a major seafood company (Maruha Nichiro):

30 Bq/kg from lemon
32 Bq/kg from Kiyomi tangor (hybrid of satsuma mandarin orange and regular orange)
18 Bq/kg from a can of boiled salmon

For people trying to eliminate as much radioactive cesium as possible from the food they eat everyday, it’s not getting any easier after one year.

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

NYT on Reactor No. 4: “Risk of another colossal radiation leak, experts say” — “Tepco has been racing to fortify crumpled outer shell”

Title: Inquiry Into Fukushima Plant Suggests Worse Damage
Source: NYTimes
Date: March 29, 2012

[…] The spent fuel rods stored at the No. 4 reactor pose a particular threat, experts say, because they lie unprotected outside the unit’s containment vessel.

Tokyo Electric has been racing to fortify the crumpled outer shell of the reactor, and to keep the tank fed with water.

But should a problem also arise with cooling the spent fuel, the plant could run the risk of another colossal radiation leak, experts say. […]

Read the report here

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

All Fukushima residents to get compensation thanks to prefectural gov’t

FUKUSHIMA — All 2 million residents of Fukushima Prefecture will receive compensation after the prefectural government decided March 29 to provide residents living outside the evacuation zones with redress in lieu of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) over the nuclear disaster.

Shirakawa, Aizuwakamatsu and other cities, towns and villages with relatively low levels of radiation agreed to accept the prefectural government’s compensation proposal, But some municipalities maintain that TEPCO should primarily compensate them and the amounts offered by the prefectural government are small.

During a meeting with municipal governments, the prefectural government offered to pay 200,000 yen to every pregnant woman and child under 18 in the 17 municipalities in the Aizu region even though it is not an evacuation zone; as well as 100,000 yen to each pregnant woman and minor in nine cities, towns and villages in southern Fukushima Prefecture that are also outside the evacuation zone. In addition, TEPCO has offered to pay 200,000 yen each to all pregnant women and children in these nine cities, towns and villages. The prefectural government also offered to pay 40,000 yen to all other residents of these areas.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Radioactive cesium over government standards found in rainwater collection tanks in Yokohama City over 250 km from Fukushima Daiichi

Posted by Lucas W Hixson on March 29, 2012

NHK reports sand from underground rainwater collection tanks at elementary and junior high schools in Yokohama City have been found contaminated with radioactive cesium in excess of 16,800 becquerels per kilogram, well over the national safety standards.  The Board of Education announced that it will conduct investigations at over 40 other schools with similar water tanks.

The Board of Education conducted the survey after a request from a contracted sludge treatment company to examine radioactive materials in the reservoir.  The water in the tanks was primarily used to flush toilets on each floor of the school.  There had been no concern prior to the investigations, and at some locations the water may have been considered as an alternate source of water supply.

Article continues at:


=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Gov’t to buy up, discard rice from Fukushima areas exceeding new radiation standard

All rice from areas of Fukushima whose radiation levels exceed a new government standard of 100 becquerels per kilogram will be purchased by the government this year and discarded, it has been learned.

The new standard of 100 becquerels per kilogram comes into effect in April, and will apply to rice harvested from around October this year. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries decided to go ahead with the move to alleviate consumers’ concerns while supporting farmers.

Up to 37,000 metric tons of rice is expected to be covered by the measure, with the purchase cost reaching 9 billion yen.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Highest level of radioactive cesium to date found in freshwater fish in Fukushima village

IITATE, Fukushima — Radioactive cesium far exceeding the allowable limit and way higher than previously detected contamination levels in fish has been found in river trout here, the prefectural government said on March 28.

The yamame, or landlocked masu salmon, caught in the Niida River in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, measured 18,700 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, a reading over 37 times more than the government-imposed provisional limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram.

 Article continues at:
=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Radioactive Bamboo Shoots (Takenoko) from Inzai City, Chiba

Inzai City is located in the northwest corner of Chiba Prefecture, sitting in the immediate east of the high-radiation “Tokatsu” region that includes cities like Kashiwa, Nagareyama, and Abiko.

Chiba Prefecture announced on March 27, 2012 that bamboo shoots (spring delicacy in Japan) harvested in Nagareyama City and Inzai City exceeded the soon-to-be implemented new safety standard for radioactive cesium (100 Bq/kg), and requested the majors of these cities to instruct farmers to voluntarily withdraw the bamboo shoots from the market.

Again, if it’s done “voluntarily”, the local or national government does not need to compensate the farmers.

Nagareyama City is the one who quietly shipped the ashes from the garbage incineration plant by rail to Akita Prefecture to be buried last July. Akita Prefecture found out that the ashes contained 28,100 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium (link is in Japanese) and they angrily returned the ashes back to Nagareyama.

Article continues at:
=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Fukushima farming areas hope new cesium limits will ease radiation concerns

Farming areas affected by the nuclear disaster in Fukushima have expressed hope that a new radiation limit for food will help them promote the safety of local products, but some still wonder whether consumer confidence can be restored.

The new radioactivity limit for cesium of 100 becquerels per kilogram is due to go into effect on April 1.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =


Up to 1 billion Bq/kg was estimated in seaweed near Fukushima reactors -Study

Title: Canopy-Forming Kelps as California’s Coastal Dosimeter: 131I from Damaged Japanese Reactor Measured in Macrocystis pyrifera (ACS Publications)
Source: Environmental Science & Technology
Author: Steven L. Manley and Christopher G. Lowe, Department of Biological Sciences, California State University
Publication Date (Web): March 6, 2012

Lower values of 131I were measured in kelps along the Japanese coastline prior to the reactor leak: 0.01− 0.37 Bq kg−1 fresh weight (0.067−2.5 mBq gdwt−1 assuming 15% dry wt). […]

It was estimated, however, that seaweed near the Fukushima reactor leak could be as high as 10^8 Bq kg−1 fresh weight (or 10^6 Bq gdwt−1).

Source: Schiermeir, Q. Radiation release will hit marine life. Nature 2011, 472, 145

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  

Radioactive soil left after decontamination work stored near original locations

FUKUSHIMA — Massive amounts of radioactive soil left after decontamination work at schools, parks and other public spaces here has been stored near its original locations, prefectural authorities have revealed.

The Fukushima Prefectural Government disclosed at a meeting on March 29 that such removed soil — contaminated with radioactive materials emanating from the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant — had been temporarily stored at 1,513 locations in 37 local governments as of Feb. 10. The waste included soil removed from school grounds.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =


Japanese adults and children in Fukushima told to endure radiation on par with nuclear plant workers


This map illustrates the distance between the Daiichi nuclear power plant and the Kawauchi office. It comes in at 20km. Some parts of the town are within the exclusion zone.

Kawauchi, a small town in Fukushima prefecture, had to be evacuated due to its proximity to the radiation coming out of the plant. One year later, several hundred people have returned, or what represents roughly 1/12th of the 3,000 residents who used to live there.

The idea, it appears, is that the town is supposed to return to normal. The municipal office has been reopened, and “elementary and junior high schools are set to reopen” in April, says the Mainichi newspaper. The Mainichi  quotes an old man who said, “It’s nice that there are a lot of people at the office again.” Surely the people in the disaster area have the right to rebuild their lives, and repopulating a village is an integral part of that.

Unfortunately for those residents, the city of Kawauchi is situated about 20 km from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. That means anyone who lives there will be exposed to levels of radiation that exceed what most safety experts consider to be safe. The levels exceed some areas of the Chernobyl exclusion zone. One would never know it by looking at the positive spin the Mainichi or Japan Today newspapers have given the story. It’s an emotional story of a “rebirth” (reminiscent of the legendary Phoenix ).

The Japan Today newspaper reports: “the village told more than 2,500 residents that” Kawauchi has “levels below 20 millisieverts per year, which it says is safe” (see here). This leads one to believe that the levels are close to 20 mSv. Some of the town lies in the exclusion zone (see here). There is no comment, questioning or anything other than the clause “it says is safe,” and the next sentence which says levels of radiation would need to be reduced further in future. The Japan Times published an article in which it said areas near the plant were between 1 to micrsoieverts, which would average close to 20 mSv per year (3 microsieverts per hourwould be 26 mSv per year. See article here). How is exposure to radiation near 20 mSv per year safe?

Does the city government have a basis for claiming that 20 mSv per year are safe for children? “The average annual radiation exposure from natural sources is about 310 millirem (3.1 millisieverts or mSv),”says the NRC (seelink). The NRC is giving a high estimate; many places have levels at 1 mSv per year or lower. Environmentalists and parents often prefer the more conservative figure of 1mSv (see here). However, even at the NRC’s rate, a person would be exposed to 20 mSv in a year, which is over six times the normal recommended background levels. This figure might be reduced a little with decontamination efforts, but that might take years and, in the meantime people will have been exposed to abnormally high levels of natural radiation (not background).

Article continues at:


Fukushima One Year On: Nuclear workers and citizens at risk

An interview with Paul Jobin

Could you summarize the policies towards radiation protection in Fukushima, and what characterizes the current situation, one year after the nuclear disaster?

Even before the disaster, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) employed a large pool of workers in order not to exceed the annual quota of radiation per person. The latest statistics from TEPCO (dated November 30, 2011) reported 3,745 workers on the site in March (about 1700 TEPCO employees and 2,000 subcontractors), and 14,000 for the time from April to October. The overwhelming majority of the latter, more than 12,400, were subcontractors. These figures, already substantial, might not take into account level 5 to 8 subcontractors who perform the tasks that are the most directly exposed to ionizing radiation.


In the absence of a report by TEPCO or the Japanese government on the numbers of workers at Fukushima Daiichi, we estimate that around 30,000 workers have been exposed to significant levels of radiation, some for a few days, many for more than one month. And there will be many more as the cleanup continues in the years ahead. Because, contrary to what Prime Minister Noda said on December 16, the reactors are far from “cold shut down”.


What defines the urgency and the gravity of the situation?

This is a never-ending question. I interviewed the deputy head of the emergency response unit of the IRSN (French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety), who was sent to the French embassy in Japan on March 12, 2011. He commented that at that time, the major challenge was to save the storage pools of used fuel rods from meltdown. This was even more vital than saving the reactors, since if the fuel rods in the pools melt, they would produce radioactivity levels that could not be measured in hundreds of millisieverts but would need to be measured in hundreds or thousands of sieverts! In that case, TEPCO would have been unable to intervene by sending in workers. It would lose complete control of the site. The result might then be something like a Godzilla movie, an apocalyptic scenario. As a recent‘independent’ report suggests, at the very least, Tokyo should have been evacuated.7 I doubt the authors’ independence because they focus their criticism on Prime Minister Kan Naoto, avoiding discussion of the responsibility of the nuclear industry lobby, which, unlike the former Prime Minister, is still very active. Nevertheless, the report confirms that the tremendous risk posed by the nuclear meltdown, is indeed far “beyond expectations”. The storage pools, in particular those of reactor no 4, might not survive another significant seismic event, as nuclear scientist Koide Hiroaki made crystal clear in a March 9, 2012 interview with Asahi Television.8
In short, if the nuclear “risk managers” themselves tell us that the industry’s risk exceeds the probability calculations, a risk so great that they do not even want to think about it, we had better take their word for it.

Read the entire article at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Still critical: radiation levels at Fukushima can kill in minutes

Latest readings from tsunami-stricken nuclear plant overturn claims that reactors have been made safe

by David McNeill

A lethal level of radiation has been detected inside one of the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, throwing fresh doubts over the operator’s claims that the disabled complex is under control.

Engineers for Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) say readings of airborne radiation inside the containment vessel of Reactor 2 showed nearly 73 sieverts per hour this week, the highest since the crisis began following the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March last year. Exposure to radiation at that level is deadly within minutes, according to Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK.

Tepco said the find would have “no impact” on the company’s long-term plans to decommission the plant’s six reactors. “We were not surprised that the radiation was this high because the reading was taken from inside the pressure vessel,”a spokesperson said.

Tepco announced in December that the Daiichi complex had achieved a state of cold shutdown, meaning that radiation emissions are under control and the temperature of its 260 tons of nuclear fuel has stabilised below boiling point. The company plans to remove the fuel and dismantle the plant’s steel and concrete structure – a task it estimates will take decades.

But engineers have only a rough idea of where the melted fuel inside three of the six reactors is, or how badly it has corroded the base of the reactors and their containment vessels.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

JNST: “A scenario of large amount of radioactive materials discharge to the air from the Unit 2 reactor in the Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident”

 Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology has a paper by Fumiya Tanabe of Sociotechnical Systems Safety Research Institute published online on March 28, 2012.

Tanabe is the one who said last August that there was a second “meltdown” in Reactor 3 on March 20-21, in which the melted fuel dropped through the Reactor Pressure Vessel onto the floor of the Containment Vessel, releasing a large amount of radioactive materials that caused the spikes in radiation levels in wide areas in Tohoku and Kanto.

In November last year (11/19/2011), he also disclosed his analysis of the Reactor 2 Suppression Chamber, and concluded that it may have been damaged by the earthquake. This paper looks to be that analysis, now peer reviewed and published.

The paper was received on December 9, 2011, accepted final version for publication on January 24, 2012.

So it is possible to disclose the outline of the analysis before submitting the paper to a peer-reviewed magazine, and the magazine has no problem accepting and publishing the paper. (All those researchers in Japan and elsewhere in the world who withheld their data, analysis, research until their papers were published by peer-review magazines, what would you say now?)

Article continues at:

Good comments afterwards as well.

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

TEPCO seeks additional public money injection

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has asked for more public funds from a government-backed entity to avoid negative net worth and to compensate the victims of the nuclear crisis at the facility.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, on Thursday asked the entity set up to help compensate the victims for one trillion yen, or over 12 billion dollars, for capital reinforcement. The utility also requested about 10 billion dollars to bolster its reserves for compensation.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Reactor 2 radiation too high for access

73 sieverts laid to low water; level will even cripple robots

Staff writer

Radiation inside the reactor 2 containment vessel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has reached a lethal 73 sieverts per hour and any attempt to send robots in to accurately gauge the situation will require them to have greater resistance than currently available, experts said Wednesday.

Exposure to 73 sieverts for a minute would cause nausea and seven minutes would cause death within a month, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The experts said the high radiation level is due to the shallow level of coolant water — 60 cm — in the containment vessel, which Tepco said in January was believed to be 4 meters deep. Tepco has only peeked inside the reactor 2 containment vessel. It has few clues as to the status of reactors 1 and 3, which also suffered meltdowns, because there is no access to their insides.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Fukushima town seeks long-term designation as no-go zone

A Fukushima Prefecture town affected by the ongoing nuclear crisis is set to ask the national government to designate the whole town as a zone where residents will unlikely be able to return in the foreseeable future.

Okuma Mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe announced the plan during a session of the municipal assembly held at the temporary town office in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, on March 28. Okuma will be the first municipality in nuclear disaster-hit areas to ask that its entire area be designated as such.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Why do I find this next story so difficult to comprehend. Why is it hard to put these words in one sentence: Japan, test, school lunches, cesium? Sounds like something out of a bad 1950s propaganda film, not the country where I live in 2012. How have we allowed this to happen? What can we do to stop it from happening again? (Is that what people near TMI and Chernobyl said, as well?)

44 Japanese municipalities test school lunches for cesium

TOKYO (Kyodo) — A recent Kyodo News survey has found that 44 of 74 major Japanese municipalities are testing school lunches or their contents for radioactive cesium amid fears of radioactive contamination following the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident.

In 17 eastern Japan prefectures, including Fukushima, where the central government requires food products to be tested before shipment, 34 of 42 municipalities covered by the survey are conducting such tests. In the other prefectures, similar tests are undertaken in 10 out of 32 cities.

The survey conducted between March 16 and 22 covered school boards of the 74 major municipalities including the country’s prefectural capitals and Tokyo’s 23 wards. Municipal governments are left free to decide whether to test school lunches.

Forty-four of the 74 survey targets test school lunches or their materials in various ways.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

18,700 Bq/Kg from fish in Iidate mura

Posted by Mochizuki on March 28th, 2012

Following up this article..Fukushima local gov is dumping radioactive mud from decontamination to Abukuma river

18,700 Bq/Kg of cesium was measured from trout caught in Niidagawa of Iidate mura, Fukushima prefectural government reported on 3/28/2012. This is the highest reading among all the fish caught from sea and river.
The former highest reading was 14,400 Bq/kg from young lancefish, caught offshore of Iwaki shi last April.

They fished this for a test before lifting the restriction of fishing trout.
Additionally, On 3/23/2012, Ibaraki prefectural government reported they measured cesium from 77 of 87 samples (88%) of fish caught from 3/8~3/21 offshore Ibaraki. (0.7~218 Bq/Kg)

With this test, bass (218 Bq/Kg) and blowfish (111 Bq/Kg) were newly added to the list.

Source 1 2



=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  

90% of companies oppose TEPCO’s rate hike


Nearly 90 percent of companies oppose Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s planned rate increase, but the higher charges will be imposed as scheduled, the utility said on March 27.

Article continues at:
=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  

Disaster Debris Wide-Area Disposal: Tokyo Univ. Students to the Rescue with the Help from Largest Ad Agency in Japan

 Students at the prestigious (at least hard to get in) Tokyo University have formed a group called “Project to Think About 3.11 Debris”. The group held a public symposium on March 28 on the Tokyo University Komaba campus, co-sponsored by Jiji Tsushin and others with “special support” from the Ministry of the Environment.

Their message: More information disclosure from the national government should help; there is a “silent majority” who would gladly accept disaster debris.

Article continues at:



In tomorrow’s morning edition of the Asahi Shinbun, Greenpeace will be taking out an ad asking the people in Japan to send letters to Prime Minister Noda regarding the restarting of the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture. According to a video report of the meeting of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, it took the committee about six minutes to review the report that endorses the results of the reactor’s stress test.

Here is what the ad will look like:

found at:

and here is the video of the NSCJ meeting, 22 Feb 2012:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  

Very high radiation, little water in Japan reactor

By MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press – 6 hours ago

TOKYO (AP) — One of Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water to cool it, according to an internal examination that renews doubts about the plant’s stability.

A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No. 2 reactor’s containment chamber for the second time since the tsunami swept into the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant a year ago.

The data collected Tuesday showed the damage from the disaster was so severe, the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant, a process expected to last decades.

The other two reactors that had meltdowns could be in even worse shape. The No. 2 reactor is the only one officials have been able to closely examine so far.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Fukushima No. 2 reactor radiation level up to 73 sieverts per hour

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said Tuesday that the radiation dose inside the crippled No. 2 reactor stood at an extremely high level between 31.1 and 72.9 sieverts per hour, underscoring the existence of radioactive substances from the melted fuel inside the structure.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. measured the radiation level by inserting a long dosimeter into the round-bottomed, flask-shaped primary containment vessel, where fuel is thought to be accumulating at the bottom following the nuclear accident last year.

Human beings could die within one month once exposed to 7 sieverts and within several days once exposed to 20 sieverts or more. Usually, when an ordinary reactor is not operating, the radiation level is low enough for workers to enter inside, according to the utility known as TEPCO.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

via ENENEWS at:

*Yomiuri* Experts: Melted fuel may not be covered in water — Far shallower than assumed — Tepco still claiming Fukushima Daiichi in state of ‘cold shutdown’

Title: Fukushima reactor water level shallower than thought

Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun
Date: Mar. 28, 2012

The water level in the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is only about 60 centimeters deep, far shallower than previously assumed […]According to some experts, it is possible that nuclear fuel that melted through the reactor’s pressure vessel and accumulated on the bottom of the containment vessel in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami may not be completely covered in the water.

[…] The discovery of the unexpectedly shallow water level will not affect TEPCO’s judgment that the reactor is in a state of “cold shutdown.”

Read the report here

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

73Sv/h in container vessel

Posted by Mochizuki on March 27th, 2012

Videos of endoscope at Daiichi 27 Mar 2012 and read entire article at:

During the endoscope operation of 3/26/2012, Tepco measured the radiation level of inside of container vessel. Tepco published the data the next day, 3/27/2012.

It was measured at 8 points, 50~100cm away from the wall.
The highest reading was 73Sv/h.(100,000 times higher than the radiation level of the container vessel in periodic checkup) Other readings were 31.1~57.4 Sv/h.

In this level of radiation, human starts vomiting within a minute and dies within 8 minutes. It is impossible to have human work inside of container vessel.

Actually, Tepco did not intend to watch the fuel debris in this endoscope operation. Tepco is assuming that the fuel is in pedestal, which is separated from where they checked with endoscope this time with concrete wall. (Like this picture below.)

To see where Tepco assumes the fuel debris is, they have to put the camera under the pressure vessel, surrounded by the concrete of pedestal. About this potential attempt, actual Fukushima worker Happy11311 tweeted like this below.


— ハッピー (@Happy11311) March 27, 2012


The highest reading of 73 Sv/h was lower than I thought, but no one can get close to there. Probably it is higher than 1000Sv/h  inside or in front of the entrance of the pedestal. The endoscope used this time can’t resist the radiation of  higher than 1000Sv/h so it would be over scale.



— ハッピー (@Happy11311) March 27, 2012


The fuel debris has not been checked yet, but this operation made it clear that it would take considerable amount of time to fill container vessel with water as Tepco is planning, or it would be simply impossible. and they are planning to take out the fuel in 10 years but it would take way more than 10 years. I don’t know how long it takes.


Source 1 2

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

From ENENEWS at:

Just In: Suppression chamber “may have been destroyed” at Reactor No. 2 -NHK (VIDEO)

Title: Lethal radiation detected inside Fukushima reactor
Source: NHK
Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 11:13 +0900 (JST)

Tokyo Electric Power Company has detected extremely high levels of radiation inside one of the crippled reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. […]


It says radiation levels increased as the dosimeter was lowered inside the reactor. This suggests the nuclear fuel melted down and collected at the bottom of the vessel.

The utility also learned the water level inside the vessel was only 60 centimeters, compared to the original estimate of about 3 meters.

TEPCO suspects the suppression chamber at the bottom of the vessel may have been destroyed. […]

Read the report here

Only last week Tepco and the media were saying something quite different: No cracks or strains seen in suppression chamber of No. 2 reactor at Fukushima plant – The Mainichi Daily News

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Radioactive Fallout in Futaba-machi, Fukushima in January 2012: 19,120 MBq/Square Kilometer

The Ministry of Education and Science released the data on radioactive fallout by prefecture in January 2012, on March 23.

For Fukushima Prefecture, it is measured in Futaba-machi, where Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant is located. The measurement for the month of January, 2012 was:

Cs-134: 8,020 Mbq (megabecquerels)/km2
Cs-137: 11,100 MBq/km2
Total cesium: 19,120 MBq/km2

Article continues at:


=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Fukushima Medical Univ. Researcher: “If People Do Their Own Decontamination, They Can Feel Secure”

The researcher, Shinichi Niwa, is talking about people in Fukushima Prefecture where the soil is very contaminated (probably with the exception of Aizu Region, although even there hot spots or hot areas do exist).

Mainichi Daily reports from the original Japanese article which is about the fear of radiation caused by the accident and how that affected the Fukushima residents. (You can read more on that topic by reading the post about Ms. Emiko Numauchi of Minami Soma City, Fukushima.)

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Tepco to delay rate hike by a year for some customers


Tokyo Electric Power Co. will delay its planned electricity rate hike by one year for some corporate customers that are opposed to the increase, after coming under fire for its insufficient explanation on the matter.

The delay may result in Tepco bringing in only an extra ¥300 billion in the next business year, compared with its initial estimate of ¥400 billion, Managing Director Hiroaki Takatsu said Tuesday.

Tepco is planning to raise its rate in April by an average of 17 percent for large-lot customers.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Fukushima to Help N-Crisis Victims Not Covered by Govt Rules

Fukushima, March 28 (Jiji Press)–The Fukushima prefectural government has decided to give cash handouts to residents in 26 municipalities who are not eligible for nuclear crisis compensation under the central government’s guidelines, it was learned Wednesday.
The prefecture, home to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s <9501> disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station, will pay 200,000 yen per head to children aged 18 or younger and pregnant women who lived in the inland Aizu region on March 11, 2011, and 100,000 yen to these people in the Kennan southern region including Shirakawa.


=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

School textbooks diverge on handling of tsunami photos, nuclear disaster

A page from the textbook

A page from the textbook “Kagaku to Ningen Seikatsu” shows an award-winning photo, left, taken by Mainichi photographer Koichiro Tezuka. (Mainichi)

New high-school textbooks whose screening results were announced on March 27 made many references to the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, but diverged on the handling of photos, and descriptions of the ensuing disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

=  L E V I T Y === H U M O R === L EV I T Y === H U M O R =


Nuclear Energy Advocates Insist U.S. Reactors Completely Safe Unless Something Bad Happens

MARCH 17, 2011 | ISSUE 47•50 ISSUE 47•11

WASHINGTON—Responding to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission sought Thursday to reassure nervous Americans that U.S. reactors were 100 percent safe and posed absolutely no threat to the public health as long as no unforeseeable system failure or sudden accident were to occur. “With the advanced safeguards we have in place, the nuclear facilities in this country could never, ever become a danger like those in Japan, unless our generators malfunctioned in an unexpected yet catastrophic manner, causing the fuel rods to melt down,” said NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko, insisting that nuclear power remained a clean, harmless energy source that could only lead to disaster if events were to unfold in the exact same way they did in Japan, or in a number of other terrifying and totally plausible scenarios that have taken place since the 1950s. “When you consider all of our backup cooling processes, containment vessels, and contingency plans, you realize that, barring the fact that all of those safety measures could be wiped away in an instant by a natural disaster or electrical error, our reactors are indestructible.” Jaczko added that U.S. nuclear power plants were also completely guarded against any and all terrorist attacks, except those no one could have predicted.


Industry body opposed boosting nuke disaster prevention steps before Fukushima crisis

The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC) had told the government’s Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC) in writing that it would oppose any plans to step up preventative measures against nuclear accidents shortly before the outbreak on March 11, 2011, of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, according to documents obtained by the Mainichi through information disclosure laws.

The FEPC, which groups 10 power companies in the country, said in written documents addressed to the NSC that it would stand against the government body’s move to strengthen the country’s preventative measures against nuclear accidents because such plans would give the impression that nuclear power was dangerous and affect the regions hosting nuclear power plants accordingly, as well as push up costs for such measures. The revelation shows that the utility firms in the country downplayed preventative measures against nuclear accidents.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

From a post on the Safecast listserv:
      Kenichi Ohmae, an ex Hitachi reactor designer with a Ph.D in nuclear engineering from MIT, was the first in Japan, about a week after the March 11 events, to publicly state the likelihood of meltdown in three of the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors in his regular internet broadcasted program that I followed throughout the nuclear crisis. Prime Minister Kan consulted with Ohmae in March and April 2011.
      When Ohmae visited Kan on March 29, 2011 he said: The hydrogen explosion blowing off the upper part of the reactor building indicates that the core has already melted, which means that all of the zirconium alloys has melted, and thereby created hydrogen. Black smoke rising after the explosion means that the core had already melted through the bottom of the RPV and the PCV and reached the man made rock in the basement of the reactor building. Anyone engaged in reactor design should be able to tell that at first sight and the public should immediately be informed of this situation.
      At this point in time there was no report in Japan’s mainstream media neither on the meltdown nor on the release of large amounts of radiation.
      After talking with Ohmae, Kan confronted the NSC officers and NISA personnel who did not admit that meltdown had occurred until two months later.
      In June Ohmae proposed to the Government that he conduct an unofficial investigation into the accident and submitted his report to Hosono, the Minister in charge of the nuclear power accident in December 27. During his investigation he got hold of printed material created 40 years earlier by Tepco and government agencies that details how they convinced the Fukushima people into accepting construction of the nuclear power plants. This material made him realise that the government has covered up a large amount of important information and provided an erroneous explanation of nuclear power to the public. The material was full of lies, and he thinks that these lies should be challenged and addressed before resuming operation of power plants at other locations.
      One thing that gave him a glimmer of hope was that the nuclear power industry employees of Hitachi, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Tepco, and Kansai Electric Power Company that he interviewed all had surprisingly accurate understanding of what really had happened in the accident. He realized that they have deeply reflected and learnt many lessons from the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident. This is despite the fact that information passed on to the public had been manipulated.
      Kenichi Ohmae’s essay in Nikkei BP March 20, 2012:

Water level of Fukushima No. 2 reactor only 60 cm above bottom

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Monday found that the water level in the No. 2 reactor’s primary containment vessel was only 60 centimeters deep when it checked the interior of the crippled reactor using an endoscope.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Junichi Matsumoto gave assurances that the melted fuel inside the No. 2 reactor remains cooled through continuous water injection, as the water temperature in the vessel was 48.5 C to 50 C.

But he acknowledged that the lower-than-expected water level suggests that a large portion of the injected water is leaking from the primary containment vessel, possibly via the damaged suppression pool that is linked to the reactor.


TEPCO also said Monday that about 120 tons of water containing radioactive substances leaked from the water circulation system involved in cooling the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors.

Of the leaked water, which is believed to contain radioactive strontium, 80 liters leaked out into the Pacific Ocean. The concentration level is about 140,000 becqueruels per cubic centimeter, the company said.

Read the entire article at:
=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 2: Water Is Only 60-Centimeter Deep in the Containment Vessel

TEPCO did the second endoscopic examination of Reactor 2 Containment Vessel on March 26, 2012, and finally found water. It was 3 meters below where TEPCO had expected to find (which was at the grating), and only 60 centimeters deep from the bottom of the CV.

Article continues at:

 =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

1.4×10^11 Bq/m3 of beta nuclides leaked to domestic sewage system

Posted by Mochizuki on March 26th, 2012

At 8:30 on 3/26/2012, a subcontract worker found water leakage at concentrated water tank area.
It was from the pipe to carry concentrated water from desalination facility to concentrated water tank.

At 8:50, they stopped the pump of the desalination facility so water leakage was stopped.

The leaked water flowed to the sea through the near drainage of domestic sewage system.

It is assumed that the leakage started at 5:00, it was 120 tones in total. At least 80 L has leaked to the sea.

Because the water purifying system can’t filter beta nuclides such as strontium, it contains 1.4×10^11 Bq/m3 of total beta nuclides.

Gamma nuclides leakage

  • Cesium 134  4.1×10^6 Bq/m3
  • Cesium 137  6.3×10^6 Bq/m3
  • Sb 125  8.1×10^7 Bq/m3
Article continues with photos at:
 =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Leak from the Pipe after Reverse Osmosis (Desalination) Treatment: 120 Tonnes, 80 Liters May Have Flowed into Ocean

 According to Yomiuri Shinbun (3/26/2012), 120 tonnes of the concentrated, contaminated water after the reverse osmosis treatment had leaked from 5:30AM to 8:30PM when a worker noticed the leak and stopped the treatment. 80 liters of this water which contained 140,000 becquerels per cubic centimeter of all beta nuclides including radioactive strontium may have leaked into the ocean, as evidenced by the elevated radioactivity in the sea water at the southern exhaust water drain.

No word on tritium in the Yomiuri article.

Article continues at: 

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Fukushima No. 2 reactor radiation level up to 73 sieverts per hour

TOKYO, March 27, Kyodo

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said Tuesday that the radiation level inside the crippled No. 2 reactor stood at an extremely high level between 31.1 and 72.9 sieverts per hour, underscoring the existence of radioactive substances from the melted fuel inside the structure.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. measured the radiation level by inserting a long dosimeter into the round-bottomed, flask-shaped primary containment vessel, where fuel is thought to be accumulating at the bottom following the nuclear accident last year.

The highest radiation level was measured at about 4 meters from the bottom and about 1 meter away from the vessel’s interior wall.

Read the entire article at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Nuclear safety agency to brief nearby prefectures

Japan’s nuclear safety agency is to give its first briefing on reactor stress tests to prefectures that have no nuclear plants.

The government’s Nuclear Safety Commission last Friday endorsed the results of initial stress tests on the idled No.3 and No.4 reactors at Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture. The 2 reactors have been halted for routine inspections.

The endorsement moves procedures forward for their reactivation. It’s now up to the government to decide whether to restart the reactors, after winning acceptance from local residents.

But it’s not only people in Fukui who are worried about a resumption of operations at the reactors. The adjacent prefectures of Kyoto and Shiga, which would be affected in the event of a nuclear accident, are also demanding explanations on the stress tests and safety measures at the plant.

Officials from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency are to visit the 2 prefectures on Thursday to explain to governors that the Ohi plant is safe to be restarted.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 16:21 +0900 (JST)

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

A few days back, I posted a couple of maps showing high radiation levels around Fukushima Daini (pronunciation is “die-knee”). Apparently, there have been higher levels:

from ENENEWS at:

New Tepco Survey: Most contaminated location is near Fukushima Daini, not Daiichi (MAP)

Title:  Additional nuclide analysis results of ocean soil
Source: Tepco
Date: March 26, 2012


See location 20

  • Cs-134 @ 620 Bq/kg
  • Cs-137 @ 840 Bq/kg

Survey Result Map on Nuclide Analysis of Ocean Soil within 20 km
Radius Area from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

Read the report here

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Fairewinds’ Gundersen Scrapes Soil in Tokyo, Says It’s Like Picking Flowers in “Radioactive Waste”

Enenews (3/25/2012) has a post featuring the recent video by A. Gundersen of Fairewinds Associates telling the viewers how he collected soil samples in Tokyo on his recent trip there and found them to be “radioactive wastes” by the US standard.

There is a screen capture from the video at Enenews, showing the result of the soil analysis.

For the Sample NO.1 (Shibuya-ku), the table shows:

cesium-134: 137 pCi/g or 5.069 Bq/g, (or 5069 Bq/kg)
cesium-137: 167 pCi/g or 6.179 Bq/g, (or 6179 Bq/kg)
(cesium total: 11,248 Bq/kg)
cobalt-60: 40 pCi/g or 1.48 Bq/g, (or 1480 Bq/kg)

1 picocurie (pCi) is 0.037 becquerel (Bq).

Now these numbers are way out of line from anything I’ve seen in the radioactivity measurements of the soil done in Tokyo metropolitan areas for radioactive cesium (no info about cobalt-60, as the nuclide has never been measured by the authorities), unless you measure the rooftop sediments or the dirt near the gutters or the side of the road. So I watched the video.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =
News photo
Survival knowledge: Fourth-graders discuss the health effects of radiation exposure at Akagi Elementary School in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, on Feb. 21.MIZUHO AOKI PHOTOS

Children taught radiation studies

Nuke education now compulsory subject in schools in Fukushima

Staff writer

KORIYAMA, Fukushima Pref. — A group of elementary school students in Koriyama, about 60 km from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant, may only be 10 years old, but they possibly know more about radiation than fourth-graders anywhere in the world.

After a year of study at Akagi Elementary School in Fukushima Prefecture, the 28 students in Tomoyuki Bannai’s class can now explain the difference between alpha, beta and gamma rays. They know alpha rays are dangerous in terms of internal exposure to radiation and that gamma rays pose the biggest threat for external exposure.

“I believe my class of fourth-graders is probably the best in the world in terms of radiation education,” Bannai, 43, told The Japan Times in late February.

“Children, who are more vulnerable to radiation exposure, are the ones who need to gain a thorough understanding,” he said. “I want them to have the ability to select the right information when so many different data exist.

“And I want them to be smart enough to think for themselves based on such information.”

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

School books to contain articles on the disaster

High school students in Japan will use textbooks with material related to the March 11th disaster starting in April next year.

An education ministry council finished screening 275 textbooks on Monday. All but one passed after making revisions based on the council’s recommendations.

53 textbooks in 8 courses contained articles and pictures on the disaster and the Fukushima nuclear accident. The courses are wide-ranging and include geography, history, and physics.

A geography textbook has pictures of the damages caused by the tsunami, nuclear accident and soil liquefaction after the quake.

A physics textbook explains the nuclear fuel meltdown at the Fukushima plant.

The textbooks that passed the screening will go into circulation in May. High schools will then select their textbooks and local education boards will make the final choice.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 19:20 +0900 (JST)

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Vastly Different Point of View: “Let’s All Eat Tohoku Vegetables and Food to Support the Recovery” If You Are Old or Not Having Children!

tweet of a person in Japan, an exemplary citizen who should be praised by the national government and by people like Hiroaki Koide:


Let’s eat vegetables and food from Tokyo, if you are old or if you don’t plan to have children! I was exposed to 9 millisievert radiation the other day in a medical test. No big deal. Those who can, let’s all support the recovery of Tohoku.

Gresham’s law. After one year, there are people who still refuse to learn about the difference between the targeted, and supervised and brief high-dose radiation exposure during the medical procedures for diagnosis or treatment and chronic, overall, and uncontrolled low-dose internal and external radiation exposure.

Even the farmers in Fukushima refuse to eat what they grow.

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Scientists to study mechanism of Tohoku earthquake

Researchers are set to launch a project to find the mechanism of the March 11 earthquake.

The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, or JAMSTEC, said the deep sea scientific drilling vessel, the Chikyu, will embark on Sunday. Chikyu means “earth” in Japanese.

Researchers from JAMSTEC, Kyoto University and around the world will be on board to study the seabed 220 kilometers off the Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi Prefecture.

Slippage on the fault in the area reached 50 meters at the time of the earthquake.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

More today on the Boso faults story from:

Threatening, active faults found off Boso

Dual jolt could trigger Tokyo temblor up to magnitude 9


Two previously unknown active faults were found off the Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture, with one researcher warning that a jolt in the two faults at the same time could trigger an earthquake of magnitude 8 to 9.

The two faults, one at least 160 km long and the other more than 300 km, were found on the floor of the Pacific Ocean around 100 to 200 km southeast of the southern tip of the peninsula, according to a group of researchers from Hiroshima University, Nagoya University, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and other parties.

“The faults have been unmarked and uninvestigated. There is a possibility of strong jolts and tsunami reaching the southern Kanto region (including Tokyo) and the Tokai region (central Honshu). It should be promptly investigated in detail,” said research group member Mitsuhisa Watanabe, a professor at Toyo University.

The group will report its findings at a Thursday meeting of the Association of Japanese Geographers in Tokyo.

The group used a bathymetric chart made by the Japan Coast Guard to analyze the geography of the seafloor in detail. It then estimated the location of the active faults by taking into consideration cliffs formed by earthquakes and other elevated features.

According to Watanabe, the two faults were found near a “triple junction,” a point where the boundaries of two oceanic plates and a continental plate meet.

Both north-south faults run parallel. The longer fault to the east has a cliff with a height of more than 2,000 meters, while the other one has a cliff more than 3,000 meters high formed by earthquakes, indicating the high possibility that both have repeatedly caused big quakes, he said.

North of the two faults is a focal region for the 1677 temblor, which had an estimated magnitude of 8.0, and the magnitude 7.4 quake that hit in 1953. But the faults seem unrelated to the two quakes, which were likely caused by movement of another active fault, Watanabe said, adding the past movements of the two faults remain unknown.

Active faults have previously been seen as having little connection to earthquakes that occur near ocean trenches. But the same group confirmed last year the existence of a 500-km active fault on the ocean floor along the Japan Trench, which is believed to have moved when the massive earthquake and tsunami disaster hit the Tohoku region last March.

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Japan in Uproar Over Censorship of Emperor’s Anti-Nuclear Speech

MAR 26 2012, 8:46 AM ET

Why did Japanese TV channels cut Emperor Akihito’s address on the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima crisis?

Japan’s Emperor Akihito speaks as Empress Michiko looks on at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo / APThere is a particularly sensitive accusation reverberating through online discussion boards and social media in Japan: that Emperor Akihito’s speech on the one year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami was censored on TV for his comments about the nuclear disaster at Fukushima.

The 78-year-old Emperor Akihito had insisted on attending the memorial service, though he had been released from the hospital for heart bypass surgery less than a week earlier. While the emperor is technically just a figurehead, he is still deeply revered here. Many Japanese see him a source of guidance in times of political difficulty, which have been many in the last 20 years. His speech was highly anticipated. Unlike Prime Minister Noda, who never mentioned the nuclear crisis in his speech on the anniversary, the Emperor addressed it directly.

As this earthquake and tsunami caused the nuclear power plant accident, those living in areas designated as the danger zone lost their homes and livelihoods and had to leave the places they used to live. In order for them to live there again safely, we have to overcome the problem of radioactive contamination, which is a formidable task.

While this statement may seem more obvious than radical to outsiders, underneath the Imperial-grade Japanese understatement were two ideas that have become quietly explosive. First, he seemed to suggest that the nuclear crisis is not over, a “formidable task” yet to be overcome. This noticeably contradicts the government’s official stance that Fukushima has achieved a cold shutdown and, for all practical purposes, the crisis is over.  Second, it implies that it is not yet safe for people to return to areas stricken with high levels of radiation, at least not before the “formidable task” is “overcome.” This, again, contradicts the government’s position that it is now safe for people to return to almost all areas and that neither Tokyo Electric Power Company nor the national government are obliged to assist in long term evacuations.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

NRC Transcript from 3/12/2011: 40 GE Engineers at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, 4 Were Contaminated

Enformable (2/28/2012) has a link to the official transcript of NRC’s meeting (audio file) on March 12, 2011. In the transcript, I found a mention of GE engineers who were at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant when the earthquake and tsunami hit on March 11, 2011.

From the official transcript of teleconferences at NRC on March 12, 2011 (pages 162 and 163):

MR. McDERMOTT: There is one other nugget of information, people might know people.

There were 40 individuals from GE that were actually asked, at this facility, taking part in the refueling of the three units. We understand that out of the 40 people, four were contaminated, but the State Department and GE are working to pull them back to Tokyo and to get them whatever assistance they need to get back to the States.

So the person interviewed by PBS the other day was a GE engineer.

Article continues at:


Where to start today….

Tokyo Soil Samples Would Be Considered Nuclear Waste In The US

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

English subtitles have now been added to the German documentary, “The Fukushima Lie”


German TV: Armageddon if Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 collapses and melts down — Could change the world — Most likely consequence is that reactors 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 get out of control — Interview with nuclear engineer (VIDEO)

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Something I found on a Fukushima discussion list (and all of this sitting atop a country riddles with fault lines, many of which are quite active):

Chernobyl 1 reactor, no mox, no fuel pools, 50 tons, 19 days…..Fukushima 4 to 8 reactors, mox, 2 – 5 fuel pools, 3,700 tons just at Daiichi, 13 months. Chernobyl had 180 tons but only 50 went up. They entombed the other 130.

“That totals 4277 tons of nuclear fuel at Fukushima.” from

and from Scientific American … total maybe 2500 tonnes …

pools at each reactor are thought to have contained the following amounts of spent fuel, according to The Mainichi Daily News:

• Reactor No. 1: 50 tons of nuclear fuel

• Reactor No. 2: 81 tons

• Reactor No. 3: 88 tons

• Reactor No. 4: 135 tons

• Reactor No. 5: 142 tons

• Reactor No. 6: 151 tons

• Also, a separate ground-level fuel pool contains 1,097 tons of fuel; and some 70 tons of nuclear materials are kept on the grounds in dry storage.

The reactor cores themselves contain less than 100 tons of fuel,

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Radiation fears still high in Japan

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

From EX-SKF (Japanese sections omitted):

Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Leak from Reverse Osmosis Apparatus (Desalination), Probably High Tritium and Beta Contamination

Another leak at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, and no one cares. Not even TEPCO cares, as the leak was first found at 8:30AM on March 26, but there will be no press conference (now it’s once a day) until 6PM.From TEPCO’s email on March 26, 2012 sent out to reporters who have signed up for email notices (from Ryuichi Kino‘s tweets):

Today (March 26) at 8:30AM, an affiliate company worker discovered a leak from the pipe (pressure hose) that transports concentrated water from the reverse osmosis apparatus to the storage tank.

To stop the leak, we stopped the operation of the reverse osmosis apparatus. The leak from the pipe has stopped almost completely. Part of the leaked water has gone into the nearby drain. We are investigating whether the water leaked outside the plant.

Kino’s comments:

The reverse osmosis apparatus is to desalinate the water from the cesium absorption towers like SARRY and Kurion so that the water could be injected back into the reactors. According to TEPCO’s email, the concentrated salt water after the reverse osmosis is leaking. Probably high concentration of radioactive materials except for cesium, particularly all beta radioactivity.

The leak was discovered at 8:30 in the morning. When there was a TEPCO press conference at 11AM a new development like this was explained in the press conference. Now there is only one press conference in the evening, so the newspapers and TV will separately ask TEPCO’s PR department. I think it would be better for TEPCO to make an official announcement…

Well, let’s see from TEPCO’s own information what kind of radioactive materials exist in what concentration in the water after being treated in the reverse osmosis apparatus.

From TEPCO’s handout for the press on February 29, 2012, the water after being treated by the reverse osmosis (desalination) had:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

From ENENEWS at:

Watch: Japan’s top nuclear official freezes when questioned — Remains motionless for over a minute (VIDEO)

Title: Japan: “Hurry up! Restart the Oi nuclear power plants!”

Uploaded by: pejorativeglut via grigri6075
Date: Mar 24, 2012

From 2:24 – 3:33 in

Speaking to Haruki Madarame, Chairman of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan: “If today’s meeting is about safety please answer my question.”

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

New fault lines discovered, could cause M8~9 quake

That there are two large active faults that had not been known so far off the Boso Peninsula it was found in the study of a research group at Toyo University.

Professor Watanabe of Toyo University along with researchers from Hiroshima University and others analyzed the data of the seafloor topography of the coast line. According to the survey results, the seabed of the Pacific Ocean hundreds of kilometers or more away from the southern tip of the Boso Peninsula, more than 300 kilometers to the east, there is at least 160 km of parallel active faults.

If each of the faults move at the same time, there is a possibility of an earthquake of magnitude 8-9.


TBS系(JNN) 3月26日(月)12時14分配信






TBS News i

With news video in Japanese at:

 =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Maggie Gundersen speaks at UVM regarding similarities between VY and Fukushima Daiichi


=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Japan down to one nuclear reactor after Niigata shutdown

Japan down to one nuclear reactor after Niigata shutdown


Japan was Monday left with only one working nuclear reactor after Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) shuttered its final generator for scheduled safety checks.

The vast utility’s entire stock of 17 reactors are now idle, including three units that suffered a meltdown when the tsunami hit Fukushima, as Japan warily eyes a spike in electricity demand over the hot and humid summer.

The 1.35-million-kilowatt No. 6 reactor at TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant “stopped generating electricity at 23:59 Sunday, and its reactor was suspended at 1:46 Monday,” TEPCO spokesman Osamu Yokokura told AFP.

The No. 6 reactor is expected to undergo checks for several months, “but it depends on the result of checks and if we find some defects it may take more time to fix them,” Yokokura said.

Only one of Japan’s 54 units—in Tomari, Hokkaido—is still working. A spokesman for Hokkaido Electric Power Co, the operator of the Tomari facility, said its No. 3 reactor “will go through a regular check up from May 5, which is expected to end in August.”

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

TEPCO at Atomic Energy Society of Japan: Reactor 2 May Have Leaked Radioactive Materials from Heat-Damaged Containment Vessel Seal

 4 TEPCO researchers attending the Spring Conference of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ) made their presentation on the first day of the Conference on March 19.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Nuclear industry group paid 7.9 million yen to 4 scholars on Fukui panel

FUKUI — An Osaka-based nuclear power industry group with strong ties to Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO) paid four members of a 12-member Fukui prefectural nuclear safety advisory panel a total of 7.9 million yen in contributions between fiscal 2006 and 2010, the Mainichi has learned.

The Fukui prefectural panel is tasked with giving Fukui Prefecture, home to over a dozen nuclear reactors, technical advice, including guidance related to decisions on the restart of idled KEPCO nuclear power plants.

According to the Osaka-based Kansai nuclear power council (Kan Gen Kon), it gave the money to the four in the form of research grants. They are Fukui University professor Yoshinobu Izumi, who received 300,000 yen in fiscal 2010, Osaka University professor Kazutoshi Nishimoto, who received 3.6 million yen between fiscal 2006 and 2008, former Kyoto University professor Kaichiro Mishima who received 3 million yen between 2006 and 2007 and Nagoya University professor Akio Yamamoto, who received 1 million yen between fiscal 2009 and 2010.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Fear of radiation from Fukushima accident led to psychiatric disorder hospitalizations

Some 24.4 percent of people who were hospitalized in Fukushima with psychiatric disorders in the wake of the outbreak of the crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant had done so possibly because of fears of radiation exposure, according to the results of research conducted by psychiatrists at Fukushima Medical University.

It has also been found that of all the outpatients at 27 hospitals in Fukushima Prefecture, 30 percent of them visited hospital apparently for reasons related to the nuclear crisis, according to the research conducted by psychiatrist Akira Wada and others at Fukushima Medical University. There is no data available in the world on the effects of nuclear accidents on psychiatric diseases that were taken immediately after a nuclear accident, and therefore Fukushima Medical University plans to conduct a follow-up study on the effects on patients of the major nuclear accident and prolonged lives as evacuees.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

The Hot Particle Hypothesis: A Status Report

Presented at the American Nuclear Society’s Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, by Thomas B. Cochran, Natural Rescources Defense Council, June, 1975


If you haven’t done so already, please send a letter or postcard to Asako House. If possible, get on their calendar of people scheduled to send a piece of mail to keep the road open to Asako House. You can help to prevent the Oma Nuclear Power  plant from opening. (Additional details and link at the end of today’s news posts)

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

24,700 Bq/Kg Radioactive Cesium from Tea Leaves in Fukushima City, from Last Year

Move over, Shizuoka tea. Move over, Saitama tea. Here comes Fukushima tea with 24,700 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium.

The tea leaves were picked in Fukushima City in May last year, and they were not commercial tea. A city resident grew in his/her garden and picked for his/her own use.

I hope the tea weren’t consumed or given as gifts. At 24,700 becquerels/kg, you cannot even dump it in the garbage, let alone incinerate.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

One of Japan’s last 2 nuclear plants to shut down

Tokyo Electric Power Company will begin work to shut down a nuclear reactor in Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, for regular inspections.

It is the only active reactor operated by TEPCO, and one of the last 2 reactors currently operating in Japan.

TEPCO will start procedures to reduce the power output at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant’s NO.6 reactor on Sunday, and complete the shutdown on Monday.

The utility firm will suspend all of its 17 reactors for the first time since 2003, when it was found that the company had covered up a series of safety problems.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Plan to add reactor at Hamaoka is on hold


NAGOYA — Chubu Electric has effectively put on hold plans to build a new reactor at its now-idled Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture as it is currently unable to specify a start date for operations, company sources said Saturday.

Chubu Electric Power Co. will not include any time frame for the new unit, construction for which has yet to begin, in a report it will submit to the government by March 31, covering its power supply plan for the 2012 business year, the sources said.

The utility has been unable to draft a detailed schedule for the envisioned reactor at a time when most utilities have shelved plans to build new units in light of the Fukushima meltdown crisis, the sources said.

The government ordered the shoreline Hamaoka complex shut down last year because of its quake-tsunami vulnerability, and plans call for an 18-meter seawall to be constructed.

In 2008, Chubu Electric announced it plans to build a sixth reactor at the Hamaoka plant and has said the new unit would start operations around 2020 in every annual report submitted to the government since then.

The utility suspended all operations at Hamaoka following an unprecedented request from the government in light of the Fukushima disaster and predictions that a magnitude 8.0 quake could strike the area by 2050.

In a similar move, Japan Atomic Power Co. plans to drop a time frame for beginning operations at two planned reactors at its nuclear plant in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, citing construction delays on their main structures, company sources said.

In February 2011, the power firm said construction of the No. 3 and 4 units would begin this month and that operations would start between 2017 and 2018.

But in view of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Japan Atomic Power in its annual power supply plan will state that the start date of operations at the two reactors has yet to be determined, the sources said.

However, Japan Atomic Power has no plans at present to revise the project, one of the sources said, noting the site for the two units already has been prepared and is ready for construction to commence.

The power company will submit its report to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry by the end of this month.

Construction of reactors 3 and 4 was originally scheduled to being in October 2010, but prolonged government quake-resistance examinations have delayed the project.

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Noda to put full weight behind campaign for Oi nuclear restart


An aerial view of the Oi nuclear power plant in Oi, Fukui Prefecture (The Asahi Shimbun)

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said he would mobilize the “entire government” to persuade local leaders to accept the restart of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, after getting the all-clear on the restart from his nuclear safety officials.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =


Disaster Debris Is Radioactive, Ministry of the Environment’s Own Data Shows

Goshi Hosono’s Ministry of the Environment has set up a special website to promote and sell the wide-area disposal of the disaster debris in Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures.

In it, there is a page about radiation levels of the debris. The Ministry, which is sounding more and more like a religious ministry preaching safety of disaster debris, says the radiation coming off of the debris once it’s burned and buried deep should be no more than 0.01 millisievert per year. On the right side, there is a table showing the radioactivity of the debris in becquerels, without specifying what types of debris. However, below the table, there’s a link to the PDF document with far more details, which I reproduced below.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Tsunami-tossed boat spotted off western Canada

A Japanese fishing boat lost in the Pacific Ocean after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami was sighted March 20, 2012 drifting 150 nautical miles off the southern coast of Haida Gwaii near British Columbia, Canada by the crew of an aircraft on a routine surveillance patrol. (AP Photo/Canadian Department of National Defence via The Canadian Press)

A Japanese fishing boat lost in the Pacific Ocean after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami was sighted March 20, 2012 drifting 150 nautical miles off the southern coast of Haida Gwaii near British Columbia, Canada by the crew of an aircraft on a routine surveillance patrol. (AP Photo/Canadian Department of National Defence via The Canadian Press)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — A large fishing vessel swept away by the tsunami that devastated Japan last year has been spotted adrift off British Columbia in western Canada.

Jeff Olsson of Victoria’s Joint rescue coordination center says an airplane contracted by the government spotted the 50-foot-long (15-meter-long) vessel recently about 160 miles (260 kilometers) west of Haida Gwaii, slowly drifting toward shore.

The vessel has been identified as coming from Hokkaido, Japan. Olsson says no one is believed to be aboard and there’s no environmental danger.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Governor of Kyoto on Disaster Debris: “We May Not Tell Residents”

Sankei Shinbun reports (3/24/2012):

がれき非公表処分の可能性 山田知事示唆 京都

Kyoto Governor Yamada indicates disaster debris may be disposed without the public informed


Governor Keiji Yamada commented during the press conference on March 23 on the wide-area disposal of disaster debris from the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and said “If the local authority (accepting the debris) want to proceed without telling the residents, we should oblige”, indicating he might proceed with the debris disposal like the Kyoto government had done in 2004 during the bird flu infection when the disposal by incineration was carried out without identifying which facility would do the incineration.


About Maizuru City, which has already pledged cooperation in debris disposal, the governor said “We want to carry out the test to prove safety”, and said he would visit the city and explain the safety to the city’s residents.

When politicians like him say “地元” (=locals), they mean the local government and heads of the neighborhood associations. It doesn’t mean residents.

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

Now Is the Season for Japan

Kosuke Okahara for The New York Times

The view from Kiyomizu temple, one of 1,600 temples in Kyoto.

Published: March 22, 2012
ONE bright early spring morning this month, I took myself to Ryoanji, the Kyoto temple that is home to the world’s most celebrated rock garden. There was not a single other foreigner in the place. Not even many Japanese were visible across the 120-acre compound (I’d scheduled my trip for spring break, when clamorous school tours are less in evidence).

So as I sat above the enigmatic presentation of 15 rocks, arranged with seeming randomness across a wide bed of raked sand, I could hear nothing but bird song from the cherry trees around me. A trickle of water from a thin bamboo chute issued into a stone basin around the corner, deepening as it intensified the silence. The characters around the basin said, “What you have is all you need.”

Stillness, spaciousness and undistractedness are what I had just then. Though foreign tourism to Japan as a whole plunged by 50 percent in the three months following the earthquake last March, as of January 2012 it was only 4 percent lower, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

Nevertheless, the quiet amplitude that is one of the special graces of Japan has a new resonance this year. On the surface, the country that greets someone arriving from San Francisco or New York tomorrow is startlingly similar to the place you would have seen two years ago, despite last year’s catastrophe. But deep down, Japan seems more vulnerable, and thus more wide open, than ever.

 Article continues at:
=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

No-Entry Zone and Planned Evacuation Zone in Minami Soma to Be Abolished Soon

 Minami Soma City, where the recovery and reconstruction road race and marathon is taking place on Sunday March 25 in the area that has higher radiation levels than radiation control areas in a nuclear power plant, will soon be able to welcome the residents back to the no-entry zone and planned evacuation zone.

Radiation? What radiation?

Article continues at:

=  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =  ~  =

From the Asako House web site at:

Send a letter to Asako House!

Mailing Schedule (send a letter!)
Déjà 830 promesses d’envoi de lettres depuis le 01/01/2012 !!! Et vous ?
Once upon a time, an old woman named Asako Kumagai lived by the sea in Northern Japan. She loved the landscape. She also knew the dangers of the “peaceful” atom and fought in her lifetime against the establishment of a nuclear power plant next to her home in Aomori Prefecture.

By refusing to sell her land, she forced an electric utility to move the site of their planned reactor plant by 250 meters because the project was too close to her home.

Asako knew that if she let them build the plant, the sea, air and soil would become contaminated — as proven by Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and other incidents before the Fukushima Dai Ichi and Dai Nii Nuclear Power Plant breakdowns and subsequent ongoing radiation health hazards. Despite threats and bribes, she stubbornly held out against the plans of Japanese power company “J-Power.” In 2006, Asako died mysteriously by being bitten by a poisonous bug which had not killed any person in Japan for over 40 years. We haven’t seen the coroner’s report and wonder if this a cover-up, like the recent “suicide by shotgun” of another Japanese nuclear activist and city councilman in January 2012. After her suspicious death, her daughter and granddaughter retained Asako’s property in order to continue their mother’s fight. They have named the home “Asako House.”

Oma Nuclear Power Plant (NPP; 大 间 原子 力 発 电 所) is currently under construction. It is being built by, will be operated by, the Electric Power Development Company (doing business as “J-Power”). The reactor, if it ever starts operations one day, will be unique because it will be able to use 100%MOX fuel, which is not just uranium but also contains weapons-grade plutonium As you already know, Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 24,200 years if leaked into our living environment Currently J-Power is working to make the nuclear power (bomb) plant resistant to a strong earthquake. The electric utility says it will be operational starting from November 2014.

By sending a letter to Asako House, you will participate in the fight against the development of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons and you will contribute to the abandonment of the manufacture of MOX in France by Areva.

If each additional one thousand visitors of this site agrees to send a card to Asako House, the factor will increase every day, for 3 years on the road that the nuclear lobby is trying to close.

To facilitate this operation, we ask that you indicate the date of your mail shipment on the calendar, before checking that the date has not been chosen. Once you’ve made your commitment to Asako House, write the to-do on your own calendar so as not to break the thread of this action, and keep Asako’s momentum going.

Asako, who died in 2006, belonged to a generation who knew the dangers of radioactivity due to Hiroshima. Not caring for money, she refused a J-Power corporate offer to buy her property for $2 million dollars. Since 1982, when construction of the plant had been decided, nearly $136 million dollars were distributed in public subsidies to bribe and buy off the conscience of the people of Oma.

Do as Asako did, do not be corrupted by the industry of death!

There is a reason Plutonium is named after the Greek god of the underworld (the god of death). Plutonium poison has a half-life of 24,000 years.

More information at:

h/t Senrinomichi at