Day 389 Today’s oxymoron: “to ensure safety of Oi nuclear reactors”


Animals after the Tsunami in Japan

this is what’s happening…

What She Was Crying Over Was Dogs She Lost

Posted on April 3, 2012

After the disastrous Tsunami on March 11, 2011, so many photos of those whose lives were dramatically affected by the disaster traveled around the world.

This photo is probably one of the many that left a strong impression among a lot of us in the world and wonder… ‘What is she crying over?’ or ‘Who did she lose…?’

Here is translation of an article published by Sport Writer Media on April 13, 2011.
Why she cried so sadly was about the dogs she had lost.

The photo was taken by a Associated Press photographer, but the girl was grieving and looked clearly devastated that she (the photographer) was not able  to ask for her name.

Article continues at:

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Central gov’t under pressure to ensure safety of Oi nuclear reactors

The Fukui Prefectural Government has been urging the central government to ensure the safety of two idled nuclear reactors at the Oi Nuclear Power Plant in the prefecture before reactivating them, and local government chiefs in the neighboring prefectures of Kyoto, Shiga and Osaka are trying to get involved in decision-making on whether to restart the operations at the atomic power facilities. Hence, the central government has come under increasing pressure from local governments not to make a hasty decision to reactivate the two nuclear reactors idled for regular inspections.
Article continues at:
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From Asahi Shinbun 2 April 2012.
Shows Nankai Trough. Simulation of how a tsunami might spread throughout the Tokai area and further west should an M7 earthquake occur in the Nankai Trough area (large shaded bubble area). The spikes on the chart at the bottom show areas which would experience high tsunami levels, the highest being 35 meters (114.8 feet).
This chart from Nihon Keizai Shinbun 1 April 2012.
Showing the same with colors designating the strength of the quake felt along the coastal areas.
This chart shows how many minutes it is estimated for a 1-meter (3.28 feet) tsunami wave to reach the coast at various points. Examples are:
Chiba: 29 minutes
Shizuoka: 2 minutes
Aichi: 11 minutes
Mie: 3 minutes
Osaka: 57 minutes
Wakayama: 2 minutes
Okinawa: 56 minutes
Above charts found with Japanese article at:
With 2 or 3 minutes before the tsunami starts flowing in, in reality, where would you run for safety?
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Seems the gov’t in Shizuoka might be taking the above information seriously…

Shizuoka Pref. city may relocate city hall in anticipation of high tsunami

SHIMODA, Shizuoka — The mayor of this city said he is considering relocating city hall to an elevated area at least 50 meters above sea level in anticipation of tsunami that could strike the region.

The move was pushed forward after a government expert investigative committee estimated that the city, located at the southern tip of the Izu Peninsula, could be hit by a tsunami that could reach up to 25.3 meters in height following a powerful earthquake in the region.

“If a city hall that is supposed to function as a base in times of disasters is destroyed, it can’t protect its residents,” Shimoda Mayor Naoki Ishii said in an interview on April 3, adding that “the investigative committee’s estimation is serious.”

The current Shimoda City Hall is a two-story reinforced concrete building at a height of 2.5 meters above sea, approximately 700 meters straight from the harbor. Its oldest parts were built over five decades ago, in 1957.

Article continues at:

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So, if Shizuoka’s City Hall is thinking of relocating, well, there go real estate prices in the area, no? How many other cities and towns along the pacific coast will follow suit? Maybe they can rent the buildings to… someone…. Or move everyone to 20-storey complexes? Hmmm…. 

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Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Nitrogen Injection System for Reactors 1, 2, 3 Stopped, TEPCO Trying to Restart

 (UPDATE: TEPCO started the backup system at 12:30PM, and nitrogen injection has started. Still no word about why the system stopped in the first place. Since TEPCO is incurious, don’t hold your breath for the answer.)

Article continues at:

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Over 100°C? New Tepco data shows temperature spiked at two gauges in Reactor No. 2 — Similar rise patterns for both charts

Title: 120402j0101.pdf (Japanese-only)
Source: Tepco
Date: April 2, 2012

A reader writes in describing the contents:

Report to NISA on units 1 ~ 3 thermometer reliability

(the NISA requested Tepco to write a report once a month):

Some of the thermometers not previously evaluated were found to be usable, and some were found to be broken. Some thermometers that were not connected to a digital recorder have been connected to a digital recorder.

According to the plot on page 126

Unit 2′s TE-16-114L#2 RPV BELLOWS SEAL AREA, newly connected to a digital recorder (on 8 March 2012) reached 100°C on 19 March 2012. (but it is not marked as “broken”).

TE-16-114L#1 is having a similar rising trend, reaching 83°C on 19 March 2012.

Article continues at:

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Yokohama begins online information system for temporary shelters during disasters

The map and color-coded facilities appear on the smartphone screen under the system developed by the Yokohama Municipal Government to help stranded people find temporary shelters in the event of a major disaster.

The map and color-coded facilities appear on the smartphone screen under the system developed by the Yokohama Municipal Government to help stranded people find temporary shelters in the event of a major disaster.

YOKOHAMA — The Yokohama Municipal Government has launched a system in which people who are unable to make it home in the event of a major disaster can use their cell phones or smartphones to receive information on facilities capable of temporarily accepting them.

The city government says the service is the first of its kind available in the country. The Cabinet Office estimates that about 5.15 million people in the metropolitan area were unable to go back home on March 11, 2011, when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck, and about 670,000 of them were stranded in Kanagawa Prefecture. The Yokohama Municipal Government had designated two large facilities including Yokohama Arena as temporary shelters, but when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck, about 25,000 people who were unable to make it home stayed temporarily at more than 80 locations including hotels and department stores.

Read the entire article at:

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This is really interesting. Worth reading the entire post:

Yomiuri Daily: TEPCO declines Fukushima wood chips as fuel for thermal power generation

Not even TEPCO is willing to accept radiation-contaminated wood chips, because of the concern for radioactive ashes from burning the chips.

My bigger question is: Why are the lumber companies operating their mills at all in Fukushima, when they should know very well by now that the mountains and forests in Fukushima have been doused with radioactive materials?

Yomiuri Daily (English) has a more detailed story than the Japanese version.


The association came up with the idea of using the wood chips as fuel to generate thermal power. Chugoku Electric Power Co. began power generation by burning coal and wood biomass such as bark simultaneously in 2005. Since then, other utilities have followed suit and TEPCO had also planned to start from this fiscal year.

The association said it asked TEPCO to take the wood chips on four occasions between October and February, but the requests were declined.

TEPCO initially told the association that using the wood chips to generate thermal power is technically difficult. But the utility later changed its rationale, saying such a measure is difficult to be taken at the moment because burying ash that contains radioactive cesium requires consent from local residents.

According to the Forestry Agency, the density of radioactive cesium in ash from burned bark is about 30 times higher than that of bark before incineration. But the radiation level for the bark ash is expected to be less than 8,000 becquerels per kilo-gram–an allowable level for landfill.

Officials of the Forestry Agency and the Natural Resources and Energy Agency view TEPCO’s refusal as an act that goes against the purpose of the special law requiring the utility to cooperate in antiradiation measures. The agencies therefore plan to ask TEPCO to take in the bark, the sources said.

Meanwhile, a TEPCO spokesperson said the refusal is due to concern over a stable power supply.

“If we don’t have clear prospects for disposal of the [bark] ash, that would affect operations of our power stations,” the spokesperson said.

 Read the entire article at: 

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Prime minister’s office not linked to teleconference system during nuclear crisis


The prime minister’s office was not linked to the government’s nuclear disaster teleconference system when the crisis broke out at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant March 11, 2011, government sources said Tuesday.

The teleconference system is designed to link the prime minister’s office, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, off-site centers near nuclear power plants and local governments that host nuclear power plants, to help them share information and discuss measures to be taken.

Equipment for the system is located in a conference room on the fourth floor of the prime minister’s office, not in the crisis management center in the office’s basement floor, the sources said.

Article continues at:

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Teleconferencing System Update: “It Didn’t Occur to Us to Turn On the System”

Oh boy. The reason for the teleconferencing system at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence not being used (see my previous post) when the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident happened was thatpeople in charge of maintaining the system didn’t even think about turning it on. From what Sankei Shinbun describes, they didn’t even seem to remember there was such a thing as the teleconferencing system.

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 Storms paralyze transportation services across Japan

Transportation services were thrown into turmoil as storms lashed Japan on April 3, leaving thousands stranded and prompting companies to send workers home early to avoid a repeat of crowding seen after the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

Predicting that a halt in transportation services would create confusion at train stations in the capital, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government asked the Japan Business Federation and other bodies to avoid sending workers home all at once.

Article continues at:

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Video of Final Disposal Site in Shimada City, Shizuoka on a Rainy Day in February This Year

 Or so the video description says. I have no way to verify. The mayor of Shimada City has become a darling of the Ministry of the Environment for having decided to bring in, burn and bury the disaster debris from Iwate Prefecture in his city despite oppositionfrom the residents.
The video was taken on February 23, 2012 and uploaded on March 29.

Article continues with commentary and video at:

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Caldicott: If Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 collapses I am evacuating my family from Boston (VIDEO)


Watch video here:



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