Day 379 Today’s To-do List: Send a card of letter to Asako House!

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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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



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