Day 396 Henry, even if you haven’t learned anything from this, much of the rest of the country has.

 M 8.7 quake hits off Sumatra

The US Geological Survey says a magnitude 8.7 earthquake struck Wednesday afternoon off the northwest coast of Sumatra Island in Indonesia.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is warning of a possible tsunami for areas around the Indian Ocean, including Indonesia, India and Madagascar.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 18:29 +0900 (JST)

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New standards for reactivating nuke reactors are too hasty and sloppy

The government should be criticized for having moved too hastily and in a sloppy manner when it set new standards for deciding whether to reactivate nuclear reactors, even though the criteria are crucial in ensuring the safety of the public.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and three Cabinet ministers concerned approved the standards on April 6 with an eye to approving resumption of operations at the No. 3 and 4 reactors at the Oi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture, which are currently suspended for regular inspections.

The standards apply to not only the Oi reactors but also to all nuclear plants across Japan. Nevertheless, the government spent only three days on working out the standards — from the prime minister’s instruction to do so until the adoption.

The government claims that the new standards are based on knowledge and lessons learned from the crisis at the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant and were adopted earlier than initially intended, but it is hardly convincing. The government has not yet got to the bottom of the accident, and the standards appear to contain nothing new.

Article continues at:

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Kansai leaders boost pressure against restart

Staff writer

OSAKA — As the central government moves toward a final decision on restarting the Oi No. 3 and No. 4 reactors, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Cabinet find themselves in a looming showdown with popular Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and the governors of Kyoto and Shiga prefectures, who want the reactors to remain offline for now.

In addition, despite warnings from pronuclear Tokyo bureaucrats at the Natural Resources and Energy Agency and Kansai Electric Power Co. which operates the facility in Oi, Fukui Prefecture, that the Kansai region will face electricity shortages of 20 percent or more without the reactors, there is great skepticism among local leaders, who say they have seen no convincing evidence to support such claims.

Article continues at:

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An important read:

Yasumi Iwakami Tweets About His Recent Health Problems After His Visit to #Fukushima I Nuke Plant in February

(and boy he received some nasty tweets in response…)

Yasumi Iwakami is arguably one of the best known independent journalists in Japan covering the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, particularly among net users. I happened on Iwakami’s live netcast of TEPCO press conferences on his USTREAM channel very early on in the crisis, and have followed him and his reporting since.

He was one of the independent journalists allowed inside the plant compound in February this year on the second plant tour for the press (first one was in November last year). And ever since, he seems to have been plagued with one health discomfort after another. He tweeted about them on April 10, and someone compiled a “togetter” – a string of tweets.

Article continues at:

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***** From ENENEWS at: ****** (IMPORTANT)

Gundersen: No. 3 fuel pool worse off than No. 4 — Mechanically it’s rubble, the pool is rubble — Nobody has even gotten near it yet (AUDIO, 30 min.)

Title: Interview with Arnie Gundersen
Source: The Radio Ecoshock Show*
Date: April 10, 2012

At 1:30 in

Annie Gundersen, Fairewinds Associates: The Unit 3 fuel pool should also be a concern to policy makers.

At 11:00 in

Gundersen: Unit 3 is worse [than No. 4]. It’s mechanically its rubble, the pool is rubble. It’s got less fuel in it. It faces the same problem. Structurally the pool has been dramatically weakened. And, god nobody has even gotten near it yet.

Listen to the broadcast now by clicking here

About 1,400 households on waiting list for temporary housing in disaster-hit region

Thirteen months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami devastated a wide swath of northeastern Japan, about 1,400 households in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures are still on the waiting list for temporary housing, as more and more affected people are trying to live close to their homes or workplace.

The Mainichi conducted a survey in April on 41 local governments in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, including those municipal governments along the Pacific coast and those that were designated as evacuation zones after the outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

The survey showed that at least about 1,400 households in 21 municipalities in the region are waiting to move into temporary housing. This is a reflection of the fact that an increasing number of local residents, who have taken shelter for more than a year, want to live in houses close to their homes or workplace. But there are few vacant temporary homes available in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures and in some areas in Fukushima Prefecture, making it harder for the disaster-stricken residents to put their lives back in order.

Article continues at:

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American Nuclear Society Report on Fukushima: “Human Error, Flaws in Governance and Oversight Contributed to the Severity of the Accident”

 From the website of American Nuclear Society:

The American Nuclear Society Special Committee on Fukushima

On Friday, March 11, 2011, one of the largest earthquakes in the recorded history of the world occurred on the east coast of northern Japan. This earthquake also generated a major tsunami, causing nearly 20,000 deaths. Electricity, gas and water supplies, telecommunications, and railway service were all severely disrupted and in many cases completely shut down. These disruptions severely affected the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing a loss of all on-site and off-site power and a release of radioactive materials from the reactors.


From the Executive Summary:

As importantly, the Committee believes that in responding to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPS, human error and flaws in governance and regulatory oversight contributed to the severity of the accident. These errors and human factors must be understood and addressed before substantively modifying technology.

Read the entire article at:
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uh-oh… Tokyo gov’t won’t want to let TEPCO sink and lose its investment, now, will it?

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Is Now the Largest Shareholder of TEPCO

Yomiuri Shinbun (4/11/2012) reports:


It has been revealed that the Tokyo Metropolitan government, who was the third largest shareholder of TEPCO, is now the largest shareholder.

Article continues at:

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From ENENEWS at:

Radio Program on Units 3, 4: Whole Northern Hemisphere at risk right now — Storm of international worry — We don’t have to totally panic, there’s a possiblity we may luck our way through this — Station owned by Clear Channel (AUDIO)

Radio Ecoshock
960 AM San Francisco Bay Area
Sundays at 6:30p and 10:30p PT (Schedule)
Date Available Online: April 10, 2012

Wikipedia: KNEW (960 AM) is an American talk radio station licensed to Oakland, California, which serves the San Francisco Bay Area. The station is owned by Clear Channel Communications.

At 0:15 in

Now there’s a storm of international worry about nuclear fuel ponds tottering in blown-up buildings. The whole northern hemisphere is at risk right now.

At 20:00 in

This isn’t a guaranteed event we don’t have to totally panic right now, there is a possibility we may luck our way through this.

Listen to the broadcast now by clicking here

Download the broadcast: Right-click here and choose ‘Save as’ or ‘Save link as’

Be sure to write the station(s) and let them know whether you appreciate their programming. If the product or service interests you, consider visiting the websites of the stations’ advertisers. Donations in the name of Radio Ecoshock may also work…

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From the Safecast listserv:

Tokyo garbage incinerators may become radioactive while burning the tsunami debris

      Last month Tokyo metropolitan started incinerating max.150 tons/day of radioactive debris transported from Onagawa, Miyagi prefecture at its regular garbage disposal facilities.
      The official measurements of the debris in Onagawa is as follows:
      Wood waste 69Bq/kg
      Paper waste 77Bq/kg
      Fabrics 440Bq/kg
      Plastics 100Bq/kg
      Straw 220Bq/kg
      Fine dust 130Bq/kg

      The radiation levels measured at monitoring posts located at the Onagawa power plant in March 2011: 21uSv/h (March 13) to 0.68uSv/h (March 29)

      At a briefing held to residents of Shibuya, Tokyo in February the authorities said that the debris sent to Tokyo is all hand picked, and that it consists of waste with low radiation levels. The filters of the incinerator is usually replaced after 5-year use, and the discarded filter is burnt (in the same incinerator). Ash from the Shibuya garbage disposal facility will be buried at a final disposal site 8km from Odaiba.

      The test burn of the handpicked Onagawa debris measured 133Bq/kg, showing a cesium concentration of 2300Bq/kg in its ash.

      The Forestry Agency says the cesium level in bark concentrates 30 times in ash after incineration. When fly ash and bottom ash were melted to reduce the volume, the cesium concentration becomes 100 times, according to Professor Moriguchi of Tokyo University, a Council member of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Land and Transportation, and the Ministry of Health.!/y_morigucci/status/186972765369282560

      The location for burning radioactive debris in Tokyo is rotated among several incinerators, and the site below shows the schedule:

      In April garbage disposal facilities in Koto ward, Minato ward, Ohta ward and Shinagawa ward will incinerate the debris.
      The video on the website of the Ministry of the Environment shows debris being sorted out by hand into plastics, papers, metals, stones, etc. and that staff measure the radiation level of the trucks transporting the debris. It says that bag filters are capable of collecting 100% of the cesium from incinerators.

      The citizens against accepting radioactive debris have been calling around several major bag filter manufacturers and all of them said that their filters are not capable of removing cesium in emissions from incinerators.
      Professor Moriguchi is concerned that the radioactive materials get attached to the walls of incinerators and the incinerators themselves become radioactive over time. He thinks people should pay more attention to this point than emissions from incinerators and research should be initiated on this issue.

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