Day 437 Henry, now run over to #1…

(UPDATED) Disaster Debris Standoff in Kitakyushu: City Officials Threatening Police Action

so that the trucks can enter the depot. The police are trying to remove the protesters including a pregnant woman.

Someone’s under the truck, trying to prevent it from entering the gate.
City official was heard laughing as he said protesters were pulled from under the truck. (Photo from @asat8)

Policemen were seen locking arms to protect the huge, brand-new truck that carries disaster debris.
Two people have been arrested, according to the tweets by people who have been watching the scene.

Read the entire article at:

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Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 1 Containment Vessel May Have Only 40 Centimeters of Water, Government Researchers at JNES Say

Move over, Reactor 2 (which has 60 centimeters of water)…

Tokyo Shinbun reports that the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry analyzed the parameters of Reactor 1 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, and concluded that there may be only 40 centimeters of water retained inside the Containment Vessel.

Tokyo Shinbun’s graphics shows the cooling water leaking from a downcomer.

The fuel debris (corium) is estimated to have eaten into the concrete floor of the Containment Vessel in Reactor 1, as announced in November last year. TEPCO’s estimate is about 65 centimeters, and the estimate by the Institute of Applied Energy is as much as 2 meters.

Article continues at:

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Absolutely Nuclear Heroes “SUISHINGER” English Subtitle ver.

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Radioactive Japan: Cherries from Fukushima City with 61.66 Bq/Kg of Radioactive Cesium

That’s not much reduction from last year, particularly when the extensive “decontamination” of fruit trees in Fukushima was carried out last year and earlier this year.

Supermarket chain Ichii, based in Fukushima City, measures radiation in food items that the chain sells to customers. In the result for May 21, 2012, the supermarket chain reports that 61.66 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was detected from cherries grown in Fukushima City.

According to Ichii, the cherries were not for sale but they were from a fruit farmer who wanted them tested prior to the shipment.

Last year, cherries from Fukushima City tested 70 to 96 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium, according to the Fukushima prefectural governmentwebpage for Fukushima produce.

Article continues at:

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Editorial: Healthy competition needed in liberalization of Japan’s electricity market

An Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry committee discussing reform to Japan’s electricity industry has agreed on fully liberalizing the electricity market — including electricity delivered to regular households. The ministry plans to bring the changes into effect after a warm-up period of several years.

If the monopolies that major electric power companies have held over their service areas are broken and competition emerges in the industry, the price of electricity could fall. However, there are still many issues to address, including how to ensure a stable supply of electricity. We hope that the government will plan a system that fosters a healthy competing market benefiting consumers.

Liberalization of electricity retailing was introduced in stages from 2000, but when regulations were relaxed in 2005 to cover businesses with electricity contracts of 50 kilowatts or more, major power companies dug their heels in, bringing changes to a halt. Now, households and small stores such as convenience stores have no option but to go with major power companies.

Just what are these issues with this? Article continues at:

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Brain shrinkage seen in Tohoku PTSD cases


Emotional stress over last year’s deadly quake and tsunami in the Tohoku region caused the brains of some survivors to shrink, according to scientists in Japan who had a unique chance to study the neurological effects of trauma.

On a quest to better understand posttraumatic stress disorder, the researchers compared brain scans they had taken of 42 healthy adolescents in other studies in the two years before the disasters new images taken three to four months after they hit.

Among those with PTSD symptoms, they found a shrinking in the orbitofrontal cortex, a part of the brain involved in decision-making and the regulation of emotion, according to a study published Tuesday in Molecular Psychiatry, a branch of Nature.

“The changed volumes in the orbitofrontal cortex are correlated to the severity of PTSD symptoms,” author Atsushi Sekiguchi said.

Previous studies had already suggested PTSD patients experienced changes to the brain, but this is the first to pinpoint which part of the organ is altered by trauma.

The full implications of the findings are so far unclear, but there could be an early benefit for doctors and patients. Telltale changes in brain volume may help in diagnosing PTSD and expedite treatment with psychotherapy.

Article continues at:

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French Researchers: Lower Bound Estimates of Atmospheric Release of Iodine, Cesium from Fukushima “about 5 to 10 times less than the Chernobyl atmospheric releases”

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 117, D05122, 16 PP., 2012 (Received 27 September 2011; accepted 23 January 2012; published 9 March 2012)

Estimation of errors in the inverse modeling of accidental release of atmospheric pollutant: Application to the reconstruction of the cesium-137 and iodine-131 source terms from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant


Because of the poor observability of the Fukushima Daiichi emissions, these methods provide lower bounds for cesium-137 and iodine-131 reconstructed activitiesThese lower bound estimates, 1.2 × 10^16 Bq for cesium-137, with an estimated standard deviation range of 15%–20%, and 1.9 − 3.8 × 10^17 Bq for iodine-131, with an estimated standard deviation range of 5%–10%, are of the same order of magnitude as those provided by the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and about 5 to 10 times less than the Chernobyl atmospheric releases.

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