Day 421 Tell it like it is, Prof. Koide!

7/7 Hiroaki KOIDE on Press Conference May 4th 2012

(h/t Senrinomichi FB page)

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Thousands march as Japan shuts off nuclear power

TOKYO (AP) — Thousands of Japanese marched to celebrate the switching off of the last of their nation’s 50 nuclear reactors Saturday, waving banners shaped as giant fish that have become a potent anti-nuclear symbol.

Japan was without electricity from nuclear power for the first time in four decades when the reactor at Tomari nuclear plant on the northern island of Hokkaido went offline for mandatory routine maintenance.

After last year’s March 11 quake and tsunami set off meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, no reactor halted for checkups has been restarted amid public worries about the safety of nuclear technology.

“Today is a historic day,” Masashi Ishikawa shouted to a crowd gathered at a Tokyo park, some holding traditional “koinobori” carp-shaped banners for Children’s Day that have become a symbol of the anti-nuclear movement.

“There are so many nuclear plants, but not a single one will be up and running today, and that’s because of our efforts,” Ishikawa said.

Article continues at:–finance.html

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1st Oil Crisis in 1973 and the Push for Nuclear in Japan

Chugoku Shinbun has the original article on the day when the last operating nuclear reactor at Tomari Nuclear Power Plant in Hokkaido went offline for scheduled maintenance.


The first oil crisis was in 1973-1974 due to the Arab oil embargo in response to the 4th Arab-Israeli War. The second oil crisis was in 1979 after the Iranian Revolution.

Japan was particularly hit hard by the first oil crisis. The inflation soared in 1974 to 23% annually, and to counter the inflation the government raised the short-term interest rate to nearly 10%. The post-war high growth era ended that year when the GDP growth went negative. Energy costs skyrocketed, as Japan depended on the oil from the Middle East.

Read the entire article at:

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Japan nuke-free for first time since ’70

Tomari unit shut down but drive already on to restart Oi plant


Japan was running without nuclear power for the first time in 42 years Saturday, as the final commercial reactor in operation was shut down for routine maintenance.

Hokkaido Electric Power Co. gradually started taking reactor 3 at its Tomari nuclear plant offline around 5 p.m., and operations completely halted by 11 p.m.

No reactors shut for regular scheduled checks have gone back online since the triple-meltdown crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power station in March 2011. All 50 of the nation’s viable reactors must now undergo mandatory two-stage stress tests to determine if they can resume operations, a measure introduced amid the nuclear crisis.


But efforts to gain public support for restarting the Oi reactors have made little headway. Local government leaders near the plant, including the governors of Kyoto and Shiga prefectures and the mayor of Osaka, are reluctant to agree to any restart.

A nationwide poll of 1,019 people conducted by Kyodo News from April 28 to 29 found that 59.5 percent of respondents oppose firing up the two reactors, while 26.7 percent are in favor.

Read the entire article at:

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Japan shows mixed reaction to lack of nuclear energy

TOKYO (Kyodo) — People showed mixed reactions to the suspension of Japan’s last commercial nuclear reactor Saturday with some in business circles and host municipalities calling for early reactivation of nuclear energy and others backing the halt of atomic energy due to safety concerns.

Hiromasa Yonekura, head of the Japan Business Federation, called for the reactivation of nuclear reactors, expressing concern about effects of the suspension of nuclear energy on economic activities.

Yonekura, who heads the country’s largest business lobby, also said utilities have boosted the capacity of their thermal power plants but “that can little help stabilize power supply” which is essential for businesses.

Article continues at:

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1 killed, 40 injured as tornado hits Ibaraki, Tochigi
The tornado that struck the Ibaraki Prefecture city of Tsukuba is pictured on May 6. (Photo courtesy of Kei Hashimoto)
The tornado that struck the Ibaraki Prefecture city of Tsukuba is pictured on May 6. (Photo courtesy of Kei Hashimoto)

MITO (Kyodo) — A teenage boy died, around 40 people were injured and up to 250 houses were damaged Sunday after an apparent tornado hit Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures, north of Tokyo, local police and firefighters said.

Thunderstorms also caused lightning damage and temporarily disrupted bullet train services on the Tohoku, Yamagata and Akita shinkansen lines, according to East Japan Railway Co.

The apparent twister, which occurred at around 1 p.m., shattered windows and blew away the roofs of 150 to 200 homes in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, leaving two people seriously wounded, one of whom, a 14-year-old boy, died after being taken to hospital. The city is located around 50 kilometers northeast of Tokyo.

In the city of Moka and the towns of Mashiko and Motegi in Tochigi, around 50 houses were damaged and 10 people were injured, they said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said local observatories had warned the Tokai, Kanto and Tohoku regions of central, eastern and northeastern Japan to brace for possible tornadoes intermittently from Sunday morning as atmospheric conditions were unstable.

According to the Mito observatory in Ibaraki, a thunderstorm advisory was issued early Sunday for the whole prefecture. Hailstones fell in Mito, the prefectural capital, at around 1:20 p.m.

Following the gusts, which the Mito observatory attributed to either a tornado or downburst, and the thunderstorms, around 20,000 households in Tochigi, Ibaraki and Saitama prefectures suffered power outages, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

In Okegawa, Saitama Prefecture, a 40-year-old mother and her 11-year-old daughter fell unconscious after being struck by lightning around 2:20 p.m., police said.

In Uozu, Toyama Prefecture, Yoshihito Yaguramaki, a 64-year-old farmer, was found collapsed in a field and pronounced dead an hour later. Police suspect he was hit by lightning.

May 06, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

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via EX-SKF:

(UPDATED with Video) Tornado in Ibaraki Prefecture

Nothing seems to go right for Japan since March 11, 2011…

From Yomiuri Shinbun (5/6/2012):

  • Northern part of Tsukuba City in Ibaraki Prefecture was hit by tornado at about 45 minutes past noon on May 6, 2012.
  • As of 2:40PM, at least 30 houses were destroyed, 30 people injured, including heavily injured.
  • About 17,000 households are without electricity.
  • Hails as big as 3 centimeters in diameters fell in Mito City.

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From FukushimaDiary at:

Futaba town mayor “Fukushima medical university stops us from having exposure test.”

Posted by Mochizuki on May 5th, 2012

On 4/25, town mayor of Idogawa testified the actual situation in Fukushima at Constitutional Committee of the House of Councillors.

“Our town citizens reported they tried to have exposure test at several hospitals but they are all stopped by Fukushima medical university.”

Ms. Yamatani from The Liberal Democratic Party reads interview with Idogawa, Futaba town mayor.

“I asked Japanese prime minister Noda, if he thinks Futaba citizens are Japanese people, but Japanese government submit SPEEDI data to US and concealed it from Japanese people. Even now, SPEEDI data is not given to Futaba town.

If we have had that information, we would have escaped to Sendai. We were not even informed of venting. Tepco also explained they would stop, cool down, and close the reactor in case of an accident, so it’s absolutely safe, but Fukushima accident happened. We don’t even have a place to live.
Radiation took schools, hospitals, jobs, and everything from us and everything is collapsed.
I’m losing my hair and have nosebleed everyday. The other day, I asked for blood test at a hospital in Tokyo because I’m exposed but they refused it. We were even exposed and there is even no treatment, or proper inspection. Medical check up for Fukushima citizens are not detailed enough either.”


Protest against restarting nuclear plants-woman “My friend has just died of “myocardial infarction”

Posted by Mochizuki on May 5th, 2012

On 5/5/2012, people demonstrated to protest against restarting nuclear plants in Tokyo.

A Kimono woman, “My friend in Iwaki died of myocardial infarction. More and more people living in highly contaminated place are dying of heart disease because of cesium.”

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From ENENEWS at:

Gundersen: Unit 4 reactor building has not been reinforced — Floor of fuel pool was, but not strong as original


Experts: NRC letting threat fester at Unit 4 because acknowledging it would call into question safety at dozens of identically designed nuclear plants US in


The Worst Yet to Come? Why Nuclear Experts Are Calling Fukushima a Ticking Time-Bomb
Brad Jacobson
May 4, 2012


“All the available information continues to show the situation at Fukushima Dai-ichi is stable, both for the reactors and the spent fuel pools,” NRC spokesman Scott Burnell replied via email. “The available information indicates that Spent Fuel Pool #4 has been reinforced.”

But nuclear experts, including Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president who coordinated projects at 70 U.S. nuclear power plants, and warned days after the disaster at Fukushima last year of a “Chernobyl on steroids” if the spent fuel pools were to ignite, strongly disagreed with this assessment.

“It is true that in May and June the floor of the U4 SFP [spent fuel pool] was ‘reinforced,’ but not as strong as it was originally,” Gundersen noted in an email to AlterNet. “The entire building however has not been reinforced and is damaged by the explosion in both 4 and 3. So structurally U4 is not as strong as its original design required.”

Gundersen, who is chief engineer at the consulting firm Fairewinds Associates, added that the spent fuel pool at unit 4 “remains the single biggest concern since about the second week of the accident. It can still create ‘Chernobyl on steroids.’”


Read the in-depth report here




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