Monthly Archives: June 2012

Uh-oh received a comment on the last blog entry:

I am always underwelmed when I hear that a few hundred or more turn out for an event like this, due to the thousands who turn out sometimes overnight for the newest in there new I pads, pods, phones, etc.


Dear Someone,

Yes, I agree. AND there were up to 200,000 in Tokyo – the largest crowd to assemble since the 60s in this country. True, there were only a couple hundred or so in Nagoya (see revised figures below), but there were a couple hundred!!! And many more who either were not able to attend or who wanted to but were held back by social attitudes, perhaps. We can’t forget that 800 turned out on 11 June 2011 and 5,000 at the demonstration on 3.11 of this year (click for sources).

When people feel threatened and they know that their friends and neighbors are also worried, they are more likely to take some sort of action. When mothers know that other mothers will be at the event, they are more likely to attend as well.

In the city of Oogaki, in Gifu Prefecture, today (30 June) there was a demo “‘No way! No Ooi Restart’ Papa Mama Whoever Demo in Oogaki”. They were planning for more than 100 people, but actually 250 came according to a post on the DaysJapan listserv which said, “It was a very lively demonstration for this very conservative countryside town.”

Here in “conservative” Nagoya, there may be a variety of reasons that keep people home, but one thing is for sure, this city of 2.26 million would be in the direct path of any accident up in Nuclear Ginza (i.e. Fukui). 

This, from my blog entry on 12 Mar of this year:

…There was an experiment conducted on 3 Mar 2012, from 10a.m. to 12:30p.m. The group doing this experiment let off 1,000 balloons from Suishohama in Fukui Prefecture. They followed the balloons to track how far they would go and how long it would take. You can see the list of places and the times at:

2012 03 03水晶浜からの風船飛ばし

They arrived in Gifu City at Nagara at 13:30

Kozouji at 13:00

Aichi-ken Ichinomiya at 13:00.

The point of all this is…. if one of the reactors up in Fukui – Mihama or Monju – were to release radiation as a result of an accident, it would only take a few hours for that radiation to reach one of the largest population centers in Japan, the greater Nagoya area.

Food for thought.

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Now for some revision of the numbers last night.

Retraction: Apparently it was not 400 in Nagoya. The organizers said there were about 100, but when I was there I counted at least 200, so maybe the lower figure was near the beginning when they were talking to the newspaper reporter.

And… MUCH more importantly, as the world knows by now, the total in Tokyo was not 80,000, but somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000!!  (The Japan Times reported 200,000.)

EX-SKF include this in an entry today:

Hibi Zakkan” (daily random thoughts) blog (6/30/2012) has a summary of the Japanese media reports on the number of protesters at June 29’s rally:

TBS TV: 200,000, quoting the organizers
Organizers: 150,000
Asahi Shinbun: 150,000 to 180,000 quoting the organizers, 17,000 quoting the police
Asahi TV (Hodo Station): 40,000 to 50,000
NHK: “More than the last time”
The Metropolitan Police: 17,000
Mainichi: quoting both the organizers (150,000) and the police (17,000)
Yomiuri: (there is no article)

Read the entire article at:

And here are some headlines of this historic event:

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I love Japan. Even the protests are orderly. Mostly. 

While noisy, the protesters on Friday demonstrated Japan’s penchant for being well organized and fastidiously polite. In many places, they kept passages clear for pedestrians and stood in neat lines along sidewalks. When the protest ended at 8 p.m., organizers quickly dispersed participants using megaphones, with hardly a scrap of garbage left behind.

In Tokyo, Thousands Protest the Restarting of a Nuclear Power Plant

Kyodo News, via Associated Press

An antinuclear demonstration took place on Friday outside the residence of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Tokyo. Protests of any size are rare in Japan.

Published: June 29, 2012

TOKYO — Shouting antinuclear slogans and beating drums, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in front of the Japanese prime minister’s residence on Friday in the largest display yet of public anger at the government’s decision to restart a nuclear power plant.

Koji Sasahara/Associated Press

Protesters shouted, “No to restart!” as they held up banners outside Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence on Friday.

The crowd, including women with small children and men in suits coming from work, chanted “No more Fukushimas!” as it filled the broad boulevards near the residence and the national Parliament building, which were cordoned off by the police.

Estimates of the crowd’s size varied widely, with organizers claiming 150,000 participants, while the police put the number at 17,000. Local news media estimated the crowd at between 20,000 and 45,000, which they described as the largest protest in central Tokyo since the 1960s.

Article continues at:

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Protest rally against Noda, Oi reactor restarts intensifies

Staff writer

As Kansai Electric Power Co. prepares to fire up a reactor at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture on Sunday, a massive crowd gathered in central Tokyo to express their anger toward the government and the utility.

News photo
A massive crowd fills the street across from the prime minister’s office Friday evening to protest against the government’s decision to begin the process Sunday to restart two reactors at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture.KYODO

The protest outside the prime minister’s office has become a weekly event in the past few months, with the number of participants increasing each time.

“The best we Tokyo residents can do is to protest in front of the prime minister’s office, although this is really a last-minute action,” Misao Redwolf, one of the protest organizers, told reporters.

The organizers said the rally a week earlier drew 45,000 people, while police said there were about 11,000 protesters. On Friday, organizers were aiming for a gathering of 100,000 people.

Given the increasing number of participants, the police heightened security by stationing hundreds of officers there. It was the tightest security for a public protest in several decades, according to the Mainichi Shimbun.

The protest on Friday, which began at 6 p.m., saw a huge crowd gather beforehand, with participants calling on the government and Kepco not to restart the reactors. Organizers said around 200,000 people took part, while police said participants were in the tens of thousands.

Article continues at:

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Published on Friday, June 29, 2012 by Common Dreams

200,000 Protest in Japan Ahead of Nuclear Restart

– Common Dreams staff
Hundreds of thousands of protesters showed up at the door of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence on Friday, lining the streets of central Tokyo to express outrage over the continued push for nuclear reactor restarts in the country.

Shareholders of Japan’s electricity companies voted on Wednesday to reboot nuclear power throughout the nation, despite widespread public opposition.

Noda approved the restarts of two reactors at Kansai Electric’s Oi plant on June 16, but his pro-nuclear stance has prompted weekly protests outside of his residence. Friday’s protest was perhaps the biggest yet. Organizers estimated the turnout to be over 200,000 people, according to Japan Times.

Japan had shut down the last of its 50 nuclear facilities in early May, following continued public disapproval of nuclear power after last year’s disaster in Fukushima, which continues to plague the region with record levels of nuclear radiation.

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ネットで拡大、再稼働反対 官邸前に人の波

(with video)

(h/t: Kurisu)

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From ENENEWS at:

Watch: Up to 200,000 reported lining streets of Tokyo for protest (PHOTOS & VIDEOS) — Armored vehicles barricade PM’s residence — NYT Reporter: “See office workers, moms w/ small kids, seniors, Buddhist priests”

Tens of thousands protest Japan nuclear restart
June 29, 2012

Tens of thousands protest Japan nuclear restart


The protesters, carrying placards which read “Rise up against the restart” and “The nuclear era is over,” lined the streets around Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence in central Tokyo as police watched on, according to an AFP photographer.

The main entrance to the residence was seen guarded by armoured vehicles and barricades of uniformed police.

Organisers quoted in local media estimated turnout exceeded 100,000 people, over double the turnout they estimated at a similar protest last week. Lawmaker Yoshisu Arita, however, placed the figure at closer to 20,000 on Twitter.


The demonstration had been called by liberal writers Takashi Hirose and Satoshi Kamata in an online message which spread on Twitter and Facebook in what was likened by a popular tabloid to the “Arab Spring,” a wave of protests that topped governments in the Arab world last year.


UPDATE: Asahi: 150,000 to 180,000 said to protest in Tokyo streets — Top headline on Mainichi (NEW VIDEO)

Perhaps lawmaker Yoshisu Arita should work on his crowd estimating skills.

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New TEPCO leaders to push restarts of reactors in Niigata

The new management leaders of Tokyo Electric Power Co. showed a bit of apprehension but still plan to restart reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture.

Article continues at:

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From ENENEWS at:

Kyodo: No. 4 Spent Fuel Pool’s cooling system stopped after alarm sounds — Tepco: “Leakage of water with radioactive materials has not been confirmed”

Cooling system for Fukushima Daiichi No. 4 reactor suspended
Kyodo News
June 30, 2012 at 11:31a JST

The cooling system for a spent fuel pool at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant’s No. 4 reactor automatically suspended operation Saturday morning after an alarm issued a warning at around 6:25 a.m., Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.The water temperature of the pool was 31 C at the time of the suspension, and leakage of water with radioactive materials has not been confirmed, TEPCO said, adding it is unlikely the temperature will rise rapidly.


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Meltdown scenario excluded from nation’s emergency drill plan

TOKYO (Kyodo) — A government-affiliated body tasked with planning what was to be the nation’s first nuclear emergency drill following the core meltdowns last year at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant omitted a reactor meltdown scenario from its disaster simulations, according to a draft obtained by Kyodo News.

While the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization said such a simulation “would stir concerns among local residents,” the exclusion of the meltdown scenario from the disaster prevention drill has been criticized as an inadequate crisis response.

(And how about the response you’re getting from Japan’s residents recently, JNESO?)

Article continues at:

And, from EX-SKF:

Fukushima’s “Lesson” Learned Well by the Japanese Government: Don’t Plan for Core Melt, Don’t Train, Don’t Alarm Residents

The first Nuclear Emergency Preparedness Training since the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident was being planned last year. What did the national government assume in an nuclear accident, now that they had supposedly learned the “lessons” from the Fukushima accident?

Why, eliminate the situations like “core melt” (meltdown), of course! We cannot alarm the public, can we?

Article continues at:

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Did anyone else happen to see this? I found it on a Facebook page. Looks like someone hacked the NHK web site.

(and… on a related note:)

Anonymous still on attack: member


NEW YORK — The hacker group Anonymous, which has warned of attacks on the Japanese government to protest a revision of the country’s copyright laws, will continue its campaign, a man claiming to be a member said Thursday.

“It’s going to continue of course. Anonymous is not going to stop fighting,” the member said. “We will keep fighting till we see our end result.”

Article continues at:

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From ENENEWS at:

“Problem after problem after problem” at Japan’s restarted nuclear plant — Self-sustaining chain reaction to be established Monday morning (VIDEO)

Ohi nuclear power plant to restart on Sunday
June 29, 2012

Kansai Electric Power Company, the operator of the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, will restart the No.3 reactor on Sunday night for the first time in 15 months.


It will reach the critical stage on Monday morning. This is where a self-sustaining chain reaction of nuclear fission is established.


An interruption in the power grid monitoring signal, an accidental switch-off of the power source for monitoring instruments and six other minor problems have taken place.

Problem after Problem after Problem at Ooi Nuke Plant, Still Set to Restart on July 1
June 28, 2012

Problem after Problem after Problem at Ooi Nuke Plant, Still Set to Restart on July 1

(UPDATE) “… after Problem” Alarms sounded off in the central control room for the Reactor 3′s pump in the afternoon of June 29, according toJiji Tsushin (6/29/2012). The pump circulates the primary coolant that goes into the Reactor 3 Pressure Vessel.


In a matter of few days, Ooi Nuclear Power Plant has managed to have three separate minor problems, and two of them triggered alarms. First it was poor maintenance, then it was a human error, then probably another case of poor maintenance.


h/t Anonymous tip

Watch the video here


About 400 show up in Nagoya to tell Kansai Electric to Stop the Restart of the Ooi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture

The people were probably from all walks of life, following no particular political party: young and old, some families, some mothers with small children, many with signs, some in costumes, tambourines, drums, and a lot of chanting. It felt more like a sort of festival than a protest.

But underneath the happy surface one could hear in the voices of those chanting a certain tense eagerness to see their demand met, and as soon as possible. 

Walking up to the site, the Tokai branch of Kansai Electric Company, I noticed some police standing guard along a couple of side streets, not sure why they were there. There was one police van with about 8 or so police inside. That was the only van I saw, in contrast to the heavy police presence in past demonstrations in Nagoya such as that of 3.11.

I talked with one young mother who was there with her two little boys. She had heard about the demonstration from Facebook. She was there because she was worried what might happen if the were an accident at the Ooi power plant. “We would have to evacuate, and I really wouldn’t know what to do. It’s very scary.” 

One woman who appeared to be in her 60s struck up a conversation with me. She had heard about the event through e-mail. I mentioned that the weren’t a lot of college-aged young people. She said that, unlike years ago, university students really have to take their studies seriously. Before, if they got thrown out of school, they had alternatives. Today, they’re working part-time just to pay for living costs, education, and then they don’t really know if they’ll have a job when they finish school. It’s not like when she was young, she said.

She went on to say that a turnout of 400 was really pretty good considering the conservative behaviour of Nagoyans. She noted that there are many more who would like to attend, but the social pressure (along with other commitments such as work, families, etc.) kept them from participating, though in their hearts they are very supportive of the event. She also told me that she heard in Tokyo there were 80,000 tonight, many more than have protested in a single event since the “Stop Nuclear Power” demonstrations began in 2011.

Here’s one video someone posted of it:

The event was covered by independent journalist Iwakami Yasumi who had journalists on the ground in various cities and a helicopter in the air in Tokyo to get evidence of the numbers turning out.

This from EX-SKF at:

June 29 Protest Looks Much Bigger than June 22 Protest

Watch it live in Iwakami’s 9 channels:

I just wanted to post this screenshot of all his 9 channels. Channel 2 has TEPCO’s Matsumoto in the regular press conference currently on-going.

and this:

June 29 Anti-Ooi Protest in Tokyo Will Be Covered by IWJ’s All 9 Channels: “Project to Visualize Citizens’ Voices”

(UPDATE) Tweet by Japan Communist Party’s newspaper “Akahata” (Red Flag) says “30 minutes before the official start of the protest, but the sidewalks are already full of people. There are significantly more people than last week.”

Iwakami’s USTREAM channel 5 is already showing protesters.


Journalist Takashi Hirose and his supporters will fly a helicopter to cover the event from the air, and journalist Yasumi Iwakami and his staff will fly something “on a small budget” as Iwakami tweets.

And Iwakami’s IWJ‘s all 9 USTREAM channels will cover the protest at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence in Tokyo from different locations and angles. Now that’s true journalism in my book.

Iwakami calls it “Project to visualize citizens’ voices”.

Article continues at:


 More tomorrow…

Protests scheduled around the country tomorrow

[from listserv of Days-Japan – my translation]

In Nagoya: 29 June 18:00-20:00

Kansai Denryoku (Electric Co.) Tokai Branch office

Sakurayama Line, Takaoka Station right outside the #1 exit

Also in front of Osaka Kansai Electric Company’s Main offices

And again, in Tokyo, the Hydrangea Revolution continues

On 6/16 Noda administration announced the Oi Nuclear Power station’s Units # 3 & 4 will restart. However, it has not come up with a system to safeguard the reactors should a natural disaster occur. It is thinking “We’ll deal with that later” and has ruled that the plant is safe. They have not built buildings that won’t be damaged during a quake, or provided vent filters, nor have they built a higher tsunami wall. Yet, it was recently announced that under units 3 & 4 there is a quake fault, but they haven’t done adequate surveying. This is extremely dangerous, but the Japan Nuclear Safety group still gave a thumbs up to the safety of the plant. The Oi Macho gov’t, Fukui Prefectural government and Fukui  governor have agreed to the restart.

Just what have we learned from Fukushima?


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Fukushima radiation at record high



RECORD amounts of radiation have been detected at the Fukushima nuclear reactor, further hampering clean-up operations.

TEPCO, the operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear plant, took samples from the basement of reactor number 1 after lowering a camera and surveying instruments through a drain hole in the basement ceiling.

Radiation levels above radioactive water in the basement reached up to 10,300 millisievert an hour, a dose that would kill humans within a short time after making them sick within minutes.

The annual allowed dose for workers at the stricken site would be reached in only 20 seconds.

“Workers cannot enter the site and we must use robots for the demolition,” said TEPCO.

The Fukushima operator said that radiation levels were 10 times higher than those recorded at the plant’s two other crippled reactors, number two and three.

This was due to the poor state of the nuclear fuel in the reactor compared to that in the two others.

The meltdown at the core of three of Fukushima’s six reactors occurred after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and ensuing massive tsunami shut off the power supply and cooling system.

Demolition of the three reactors as well as the plant’s number 4 unit is expected to take 40 years and will need the use of new technologies.

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From ENENEWS at:

Jiji: Residents continuing to flee Fukushima — People also leaving Tokyo

Residents continuing to flee Fukushima one year after disasters: ministry
June 28, 2012

Residents continuing to flee Fukushima one year after disasters: ministry

Fukushima saw a net outflow of 9,779 residents between March and May this year, indicating the prefecture is continuing to lose residents more than 12 months after the nuclear crisis started, according to data compiled by the internal affairs ministry.


Meanwhile, the number of people who moved from the Tokyo metropolitan area to urban areas in and around Osaka and Nagoya between March and May this year increased 9.1 percent from 2010, while the number of new arrivals fell 5 percent.

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Japan after Fukushima: A Hydrangea Revolution Underway?

Ruthie Iida

Ruthie Iida has lived, worked, and raised her children in Japan for thirteen years. When not teaching English, she writes about changes in post 3-11 Japan and lends her support to Japan’s anti-nuclear movement when and wherever she is able.

Her wonderful blog – Kanagawa Notebook – is a rare source of humane stories on life in Japan after Fukushima. Strongly recommended for the readers of!

While I’ve been busy teaching children to wrestle with nouns, verbs and adjectives (if you can recognize them, you’ve won the fight),  history has been in the making in Tokyo.  For weeks, I’ve been following friends’ accounts of the Friday evening anti-nuke demonstrations outside the Prime Minister’s residence in Kasumigaseki, and wishing desperately that I could join them. Kasumigaseki is a full two hours away from my station, Shibusawa; making the commitment to go would mean canceling classes for the entire day at my English cram school, necessitating apologies, explanations, and full refunds for the day’s lost lesson.  In addition, I’d face the disapproval of  my in-laws, my staff, and a large roomful of irate mothers.  Although the demonstrations in Tokyo have now been officially labelled “Revolution” by the Japanese media, mothers of my students would be unimpressed by my throwing responsibility to the wind and charging off to Kasumigaseki.  In a matter of time, I would be out of work.  Many of my students, however, would think my actions were “kakko ii” (cool! awesome! whatever young people in the US say now. da bomb??).  I do not know if this would be enough consolation for the loss of income.  I guess you can tell by now that this will be an unusually personal blog post.

Article continues at:

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Fukushima Mother Testimony in NYC

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New TEPCO chairman says restarting reactors essential for turnaround

TOKYO, June 28, Kyodo

New Tokyo Electric Power Co. Chairman Kazuhiko Shimokobe on Thursday called for reactivation of the utility’s idled nuclear reactors in Niigata Prefecture from next April as a “building block” in the company’s turnaround plan compiled following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.

A board member brought in from outside to lead the utility, which will be placed under state control in July, Shimokobe, in his first press conference as chairman, said reactivation of the reactors could not happen without local approval, but added there would be severe consequences if reactivation did not proceed as planned.

New Tokyo Electric President Naomi Hirose, who attended the press conference with Shimokobe, also said the company will remain engaged in projects to export nuclear power technology to other countries “to the extent it can,” while there are constraints because many people are busy dealing with the accident-stricken plant.

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From EX-SKF at:

Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 1 Torus Room: Over 10 Sieverts/Hr on Water Surface

TEPCO, soon to be “effectively” nationalized, sent own workers to the Reactor 1 building at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on June 26 to measure the water level, radiation levels and temperatures inside the Torus Room. The workers used the CCD camera fitted with thermometer and dosimeter, and fed the cable through the gap in the floor from the 1st floor of the reactor building.

Right near the surface of the water, it was 10,300 millisieverts/hour, or 10.3 sieverts/hour.

TEPCO reports that the dosimeter failed in the water, at it exhibited the values of “10^8 – 10^9” (100,000,000 to 1,000,000,000) millisieverts/hour.

If you recall, this was the reactor building where the steam measuring 4 sieverts/hour was gushing through the gap between the pipe and the floor on the first floor.

From TEPCO’s Photos and Videos Library, June 27, 2012 (there is also a 40-minute video, I’ll post here later):

TEPCO also reports on page 4 of the handout,

  • The accumulated water level was OP. 4,000. (The Torus Room floor is at OP. -1,230, so the water is 5,230 millimeters (5.23 meters) deep.)
  • Transparency of the water confirmed at least to 60 centimeters.
  • Floating sediment on the bottom.

And no, they didn’t do the water sampling.

There is no information on the document about the radiation exposure of the workers. They were in the vicinity of extremely high radiation for at least 40 minutes (length of the video). I hope several groups of workers took rapid turns.

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From ENENEWS at:’t-have-a-plan-b-says-president

Tepco commits to restarting nuclear reactors — “We don’t have a Plan B” says president

Tepco Plans for Restart of World’s Largest Nuclear Plant
By Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada
Jun 28, 2012


[Tepco] is committed to restarting another nuclear plant next year that is the world’s largest and itself was damaged in a 2007 earthquake.

Bringing the Kashiwazaki Kariwa power station online, even though it sets up the state-controlled utility for further conflicts with a nuclear-weary public, is part of “Plan A,” President Naomi Hirose, 59, said in an interview.


“We have no choice right now but to do our best to carry out Plan A,” Hirose said on June 18. “We don’t have a Plan B.”


Hirohiko Izumida, governor of Niigata prefecture, where the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant is located, has said the Fukushima nuclear accident should be fully investigated before approving the restart


Seventy-one percent of respondents to a Mainichi newspaper poll published on June 4 objected to a speedy restart of Kansai Electric Power Co.’s reactors at Ohi. The restart was approved on June 18. In a separate poll released June 5 by the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of Japanese said the country should reduce its reliance on atomic energy and 52 percent feared they or their families may have been exposed to radiation.


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Uh-huh. File this under “We don’t buy it any more.”

Japan Reactor Building Is Tilting but Not a Risk, Operator Says


TOKYO — A heavily damaged reactor building at the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has a slight tilt, but the tilt does not pose a risk to the integrity of the building, according to the plant’s operator.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, said in a report on Monday to Japanese nuclear regulators that at least two of the walls of the No. 4 reactor building are bulging outward at various points and that the building is tilting. The biggest bulge measured about 1.8 inches about a third of the way up the building, the report said.

The latest findings could add to concerns over the state of the No. 4 reactor building, which houses on its upper floors a cooling pool filled with 1,331 spent and 204 unused nuclear fuel assemblies. Each assembly contains approximately 50 to 70 rods.


TEPCO shareholders’ meeting marked by calls to break away from nuclear power

Anti-nuclear activists hand out flyers to TEPCO shareholders in front of the venue for the shareholders' meeting in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward on June 27. (Mainichi)
Anti-nuclear activists hand out flyers to TEPCO shareholders in front of the venue for the shareholders’ meeting in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward on June 27. (Mainichi)

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) came under bitter criticism over its corporate management and handling of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant at a general shareholders meeting in Tokyo on June 27, the utility’s second since the outbreak of the crisis.

At 10 a.m., 3,112 shareholders filed into Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward for the meeting — highlighting the high interest in a horde of issues including huge compensation payments over the nuclear disaster triggered by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. The shareholders’ meeting kicked off in a highly tumultuous atmosphere, with civic groups and ordinary citizens also gathering outside the venue, calling for a nuclear-free energy policy.

Individual shareholders and other interested parties started turning up shortly after 8 a.m., about two hours before the start of the meeting. Among them was a 45-year-old company employee from Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward, who held a fan reading “No nuclear power.”

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TEPCO shareholders approve public bailout plan

Shareholders of the Tokyo Electric Power Company have accepted the utility’s proposal to receive billions of dollars of public funds to help rebuild its finances.

The decision, made at TEPCO’s annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, formalizes a plan to effectively put the utility under government control.

The plan calls for the central government to acquire a stake of up to 75 percent in the utility in exchange for an injection of about 12 billion dollars in public funds.

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From ENENEWS at:

Japan TV: ‘Anonymous’ penetrates gov’t computers — Posts message opposing nuclear restart on Ministry website (PHOTO & VIDEO)

Hackers target Japanese govt. websites
Jun. 26, 2012

Screenshot of Message (Source: NHK)

Japanese government websites have been targeted by hackers. An international hacking group, Anonymous, had earlier threatened to attack official sites.

The Finance Ministry says it shut down part of its website on Tuesday after the content was tampered with.

The altered page carried a photo of an overseas protest rally and a superimposed message opposing the restart of a nuclear power plant in Japan. A statement by Anonymous also appeared on the site.


The hackers’ group released a statement on Monday protesting Japan’s new copyright protection law and threatened to attack government websites.


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Naoto Matsumura, Japanese Rice Farmer, Refuses To Leave Fukushima Japan FarmerNuclear Zone

TOMIOKA, Japan — Vines creep across Tomioka’s empty streets, its prim gardens overgrown with waist-high weeds and meadow flowers. Dead cows rot where they were left to starve in their pens. Chicken coops writhe with maggots, a sickening stench hanging in the air.

This once-thriving community of 16,000 people now has a population of one.

In this nuclear no-man’s land poisoned by radiation from a disaster-battered power plant, rice farmer Naoto Matsumura refuses to leave despite government orders. He says he has thought about the possibility of getting cancer but prefers to stay – with a skinny dog named Aki his constant companion.

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Seismologists Warn Japan Against Nuclear Restart

– Common Dreams staff

Despite widespread public opposition to a restart of nuclear reactors across the country, Japan recently approved the restart of two reactors at the Oi nuclear plant which could go back online as early as July 1st. Today, however, two prominent Japanese seismologists, have argued that that plant reactors sit far more precariously than their operator, Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO), has claimed in order to rush their restart, that officials are moving too fast and that grave dangers still exist.

A mother and her child join a protest against the Japanese government’s decision to restart two nuclear reactors, in front of the Japanese embassy in Bangkok June 15, 2012. (Reuters/Sukree Sukplang)

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Oi nuclear power plant reactor to be reactivated July 1

TOKYO (Kyodo) — One of the two reactors slated to be fired up again at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi nuclear power station is expected to be restarted on July 1, utility officials said Monday.

Work to restart the No. 3 reactor at the Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture has been largely progressing well, said officials, noting rods used to control nuclear fission reactions will be pulled from the reactor core sometime during the evening to late night on July 1.

The operator suggested earlier it would reactivate the No. 3 unit between July 1 and 3.

In a related development, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency suggested it will not immediately disclose incidents involving some alarm activations at the seaside power plant, following several recent incidents when alarms sounded, indicating abnormalities with equipment used to monitor power transmission lines.

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Internal vs. External Radiation Exposure Explained (Arnie Gundersen)


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Local residents file suit against Hokuriku Electric, demand Shika nuke plant be halted

KANAZAWA — One hundred and twenty local residents filed a lawsuit with the Kanazawa District Court against Hokuriku Electric Power Co. on June 26, demanding the utility stop operating the Shika Nuclear Power Plant, which they say is not fully resistant to major earthquakes.

In the suit, the local residents from Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures said, “The present quake-resistance guidelines for the nuclear power plant have serious flaws.” They argued that the nuclear power station was not built on the assumption that multiple active faults near the nuclear plant could work together and the utility does not take into account an assessment made by experts that the “Togikawa-nangan fault” immediately next to the nuclear plant is an active fault.

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TEPCO to pay damages to Tohoku hotels

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has offered an expanded compensation plan for hotels in northeastern Japan.

Tokyo Electric Power Company presented the plan to an innkeepers’ association in Yamagata Prefecture on Monday.

The utility is to cover a portion of the losses incurred by inns and hotels due to booking cancellations from March 11th to April 22nd last year.

Payments are to be made for facilities in 5 prefectures in the Tohoku region, except Fukushima.

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News photo
Incalculable loss: Mikio Watanabe holds a photograph of his wife, Hamako, on Monday. He blames Tokyo Electric Power Co. for her suicide and is seeking compensation from the utility. THE WASHINGTON POST

Nuclear redress will never approximate losses

The Washington Post

It was 15 months ago that the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant suffered three meltdowns and contaminated a broad circle of countryside and left hundreds of thousands of people without homes, jobs or both.

But for all the damage and despair it wrought, the disaster so far has unfolded without one conventional element: a widespread and contentious legal fight by those who say they should be compensated for their losses.

Victims of the worst nuclear crisis in a quarter-century have filed roughly 20 lawsuits against Tokyo Electric Power Co., according to the utility. That compares with the several hundred suits filed against BP within weeks of the 2010 Gulf oil spill, including the near-finalized settlement of a class-action suit that will pay 120,000 plaintiffs upward of $7.8 billion. BP also paid out some $6.2 billion to victims via a neutral claims settlement process, administered by a lawyer appointed by the Obama administration.

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From ENENEWS at:

Japan Bird Assoc.: It reminded me of ‘Silent Spring’ by Rachel Carson; Forest of no chirp — We found only a few swallows in Fukushima town, other summer birds missing as well

Tweets by Japan Wild Bird Association translated by Fukushima Diary:

June 25 at 3:53a

Visited Iidatemura Fukushima to research how radiation affect swallows. Atmospheric dose was 4~5μSv/h at average, the highest reading was 8μSv/h on the ground. Rice fields were abandoned, all the villagers evacuated, we found only a few swallows.

June 25 at 4:07a

It is not only swallow, we couldn’t find other summer birds such as Narcissus Flycatcher or blue-and-white flycatcher either. It reminded me of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Louise Carson. Forest of no chirp.

See also: Bird Study: “Increases in frequency of selective deaths due to mutations” as consequence of Fukushima — “Results suggest significant mortality costs of low-dose radiation” — 0.05 microSv/h considered contaminated

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Australian TV Report: Many fish caught off Fukushima contain dangerous levels of radioactive material — Japan TV: Fukushima seafood now on sale (VIDEOS)

Fukushima fish still hard to stomach
ABC Radio Australia
26 June 2012

An ABC report shows that many fish caught in the oceans around Fukushima contain dangerous levels of radioactive material.


Fishing cooperative spokesman Takashi Niitsuma says in samples of fish caught 40 kilometres from the nuclear plant, just under a third have been above the contamination safety level.


[Fukushima fisherman Akira Kaya] says he thinks it is impossible for Fukushima’s fishing industry to recover in his lifetime.


Contamination could spell end of Fukushima fishing

Quarter of catch was above safety limit, worst contamination was 16 times above safety limit

First catch off Fukushima since disaster sold
Jun. 25, 2012

Seafood caught off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture went on sale at local stores on Monday.


A type of shellfish and 2 kinds of octopus caught near Soma City are being sold at a local supermarket. The seafood can also be purchased in Fukushima City.

Sales were approved after the prefectural fisheries association found no unsafe levels of radiation in last Friday’s test fishing catch.


The association says it hopes to ship the next catch to Tokyo and other large cities if customer response is positive.


Might make it short today. Just got back home. There was a party at work – someone is retiring. They offered the usual catered dishes, sushi, beef, etc. I stuck to the veggies and fruit and felt ever so sad. I love sushi. Can I ever trust it again?  Oh, come on. Don’t tell me the question of “Is this okay for me to eat?” hasn’t crossed your mind since 3.11.

Such is life in 1PF (1 year post Fukushima).

Today’s lead video:

Researchers caution restart of Oi nuclear power plant because it sits atop and active earthquake fault


in Japanese, but you can get the gist from the visuals.

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From EX-SKF:

KEPCO Can’t Find Photos of Fault at Ooi Nuclear Power Plant, But NISA Says No Problem

We are supposed to take their word for it that it’s not active and that the plant is is safe.

Fukui Shinbun reports that KEPCO, Ooi Plant operator, cannot find photographs of the crushed zone that runs through the plant compound, between Reactor 2 and Reactor 3 buildings.

Two university researchers have said publicly that the crushed zone could be active faults or that it could be activated by the active faults nearby.

From Fukui Shinbun (6/26/2012):

大飯原発の敷地内断層写真未提出 保安院要請に関西電力

KEPCO hasn’t submitted the photos of faults at Ooi Nuke Plant despite the request from NISA


It has been pointed out by researchers that the crushed zone at the Ooi Nuclear Power Plant may cause the slippage of the ground surface when the active faults move. The plant is currently being prepared for the restart in Ooi-cho in Fukui Prefecture. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency disclosed on June 25 that the photographs of the crushed zone that the agency had asked KEPCO to submit weren’t submitted.

Article continues at:

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From ENENEWS at:

Japan Nuclear Expert: I’m so worried — I can’t believe No. 4 spent fuel pool will withstand next big quake (VIDEO)

Japanese Diplomat urges UN intervention on SFP4
ABC Australia
Mark Willacy
June 25, 2012
Uploaded by voltscommissar

At 7:50 in

Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute: Tepco says the [No. 4] fuel pool can withstand the next big earthquake, but I cant believe this. That’s why I’m so worried.



Putting it to a vote – nuclear power/ Yes or No?

Info in Japanese only at:

・原発Yes or No?公開討論会


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Keeping Silent After Fukushima is Barbaric: Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto
Ryuichi Sakamoto is one of the most famous Japanese music composers and pianist. He formed Yellow Magic Orchestra from 1978 and won an Oscar in 1988 for best original score for the music in “The Last Emperor”. In 2009, he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France’s Ministry of Culture for his musical contributions. In 2010, he received the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in Japan.

We had recently started a signature campaign recently in support of the people in Japan struggling against the nuclear re-start in Oi .

We have received a note of thanks and solidarity from Sakamoto Ryuichi, one of the best and most famous music composers in Japan. He has been actively involved in various projects to provide assistance to survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

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Ryuichi Sakamoto “Shizukana Yoru (Quiet Night)”

A support song for Project FUKUSHIMA! from Ryuichi Sakamoto. It’s a grand, ambient acoustic work that will reveal new discoveries with every listen. It’s simply a gem. The beat heaves in the distance over subliminally arranged noisy high frequencies to create a sequence full of tranquility and tenderness… Please playback using the largest speakers possible so you don’t miss a single nuance. Otomo Yoshihide will remix this song and post it to Sakamoto’s aid site by the end of July.

Listen at:

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Long, detailed report from the folks at SimplyInfo:

The Real Risks At Oi

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Anti-nuclear protest at the Japanese Consulate, Los Angeles

From the FB page of Mark Thormahlen

Americans are learning Japanese. In addition to “Genpatsu Hantai”, they are now learning “Saikado Hantai.”

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Fukushima marine products hit shelves for first time since disaster

A shopper selects a pack of octopus at York Benimaru supermarket's Soma Kuroki outlet in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, on June 25. (Mainichi)
A shopper selects a pack of octopus at York Benimaru supermarket’s Soma Kuroki outlet in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, on June 25. (Mainichi)

FUKUSHIMA — Octopus and shellfish landed in this nuclear disaster-hit prefecture went on sale at supermarkets here on June 25, marking the first time that marine products caught off Fukushima have hit store shelves since the outbreak of the disaster.

The fish and shellfish were netted during trial fishing off Fukushima Prefecture by a local fishermen’s cooperative in the Soma and Futaba districts on June 22. Another round of trial fishing off Fukushima Prefecture — the third of its kind — is scheduled for June 27, and those catches will be shipped outside the prefecture as well.

Read the entire article at:

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Solitary deaths up at temporary disaster housing units in second year

In the second year after the Great East Japan Earthquake, solitary deaths at temporary housing units for victims are at over double the number of the first year, it has been learned.

There have been at least 11 solitary deaths at temporary housing units in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures for victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami between March 11 of this year and the end of May, according to police of the three prefectures. There were 22 solitary deaths in the first year, ending March 10.

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From EX-SKF 

Alarms Sounded 26 Times at Power Transmission Line Monitoring Systems for Ooi Nuke Plant

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, still the one and only regulatory agency for the nuclear power plants in Japan, disclosed it during the press conference in Ooi-cho on June 24. Plant operator KEPCO says that happens all the time, nothing to worry about.

And the famous last word, “It won’t have any effect“, on the restart.

Article continues with translation of Sankei Shinbun article at:

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Tokyo gov’t warns against unfair ads over radioactive decontamination

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government found 136 cases of unfair advertisements on the Internet for radioactive decontamination in fiscal 2011 in the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, government officials say.


According to the metropolitan government, 56 cases were for ads for water purification equipment, 34 cases involved ads for health food, 16 concerned ads for radioactivity measuring devices and 11 were ads for protective masks.

Some ads for water purification devices said the equipment could remove 95 percent to 99 percent of radioactive cesium and 96 percent to 99 percent of iodine, while some promoted supplements that could supposedly remove radioactive materials and carcinogenic substances from the body.

Read the entire article at:

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I met a Japanese woman earlier today, and we got to talking about the nuclear situation here. I mentioned the following article to her and she said, “Pregnant women in Fukushima are depressed? I live in Aichi and I’ve been depressed since 3.11! I can’t really imagine how depressing it must be to be so close to it all.”

15% of pregnant woman in Fukushima suffer from depression

15% of the women who were pregnant in 311 or had a birth after 311 in Fukushima are suffering from depression.

Health management division of Fukushima prefecture conducted the research to send questionnaires for 15,954 expectant and nursing mothers this January. 8,886 of them (55.7%) were retured by March, 1,298 (14.6%) people answered “yes” for the question “Have you felt depressed in this month ?” to show that they need mental support.

 From Fukushima Diary at:
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From ENENEWS at:

Fukushima plant workers keep saying to us “It could go any minute” kind of thing -Teacher in March 2012 Interview — Even now people say to always have your stuff ready to go (VIDEO, 30 min.)

In the Zone: one year later (Part 2 of 3) 南相馬市メルトダウンから1年後
Published by: DocumentingIan
Published on Mar 10, 2012

Part II at ~7:30 in

Alison Nemoto, Teacher/Parent in Minamisoma, Fukushima: Even now people keep saying, you should keep your petrol full in your car and stuff always ready to go. People who are working in the plant, in and out, keep saying to us, “It could go any minute” kind of thing.

Ian: Even now?

Nemoto: [Multiple nods]

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And finally, I’m reposting the entire article from EX-SKF on the 45,000-person demonstration. Great to see that 1) people are serious about stopping nuclear power in japan and 2) people have a sense of humor about it.

From EX-SKF at:

How It Was Like in June 24 Protest Against Ooi Restart and PM Noda in Funabashi (PM Noda’s Hometown)

I watched bits and pieces of the USTREAM live stream and it was fun. I was laughing as I watched. Here’s a report from one of the readers of this blog who was there, and it seems it was indeed fun:

Hello everyone, I was there and it was fun ! People on the streets looked absolutely stunned, like it was the first demonstration of their life (and possibly so!). But many smiled or waved back to us, though I also saw some of them obviously not satisfied with the demonstration (I’m thinking about one particular elderly lady who shaked her head saying “No!” to us). The music was great, the slogans too. There was a young man, mike in hands, who used the shops’names or buildings’names to shout slogans, and it was irresistibly funny, like (near a hairdresser’s) : “Let’s save the hairdresser from radiations! Let’s save him from Noda!” or: (near a sake and tobacco shop) : “Let’s save tobacco ! let’s save it from radioactivity ! Let’s save it from Noda! Let’s protect sake! Let’s protect it from radiations!” The Suginami-ku group is just so full of energy and so creative (always), it’s very exciting to be around them ! Good deed and good time altogether.

By the way, to answer the question: yes, we rode the SOBU sen in big numbers, especially in the front car of the train. When I was at Shinjuku station, waiting for the 13:04 train, I spotted a few people wearing yellow (like myself) and talked to a gentleman who was obviously also going to NishiFunabashi (in a yellow Tee Shirt, with a yellow ribbon around his hat). We rode the train together and talked all the way about nuclear plants in Japan and in France and about how to convince people to take part into demonstrations in bigger numbers.
Everyone was very, very friendly and I spotted people I met before in demonstrations elsewhere.

To round up the good time, as I posted as an update yesterday, local pubs in Funabashi decided to offer discounts to demonstrators for a drink after the 2-hour walk. Smart. Good “imprinting” too – out-of-town people who come for anti-nuke demonstration are good for local businesses.

Asahi Shinbun reported on this protest, perhaps because the number of participants was safely below 10,000, with this picture:

The caption of the photo says:

Participants holding up the portraits of Prime Minister Noda and protesting against the restart of nuclear power plants, walking in the prime minister’s constituency.

They do look like they are having a good time.

(H/T Reader ‘Janick’ who was there)


Enlighten the Diet?

This appears to be an event in which the people will surround the Diet Building in Tokyo with candle lights aglow. July 29th from 5:30 pm.

And here’s another one, on July 16 from 11:00 a.m. 

“Sayonara Gempatsu assembly of 100,000 people”

Info at:




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From ENENEWS at:

Japanese Journalist: Nobody can stop this movement anymore — Even if police make controls, people will gather together — A revolution made by citizens

Ryusaku Tanaka’s Journal of June 22, 2012 translated byDissensus Japan:

Earth Rumbling of “Oppose to the restart of nuclear power plant” “Hydrangea Revolution “in front of Prime Minister Office


Nobody can’t [sic] stop this movement anymore. Even if the police makes controls, people will gather together. Finally 45 000 people participated to the protest on June. (Issued by the promoter) It would not be strange if it becomes 100 000 people next time. Some protesters calledl this demonstration “Hydrangea Revolution” like the arabian spring was called the “Jasmine Revolution” . “Retire Noda!”, “Oppose to restart nuclear power plant!” were echoed all around PM’s Office and the congress hall. It will be the citizens surrounding PM’s Office which will depose PM Noda’s government, not by the rise in rebellion of Ozawa group. It’s already a revolution made by citizens.

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Why are people protesting the mess that TEPCO and the government have created? Watch this:

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Shoes swept up in tsunami land on Washington beaches

Shoes swept up in tsunami land on Washington beachesCredit: Jackie Sheldon, Anna Aragon


A grim and personal reminder of the thousands of lives lost in last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan is drifting toward the West Coast — shoes.

Some in pairs, some individual, shoes of all sizes and types are now washing up on the beaches of Washington and Canada.

This week two shoes were found along Washington’s Long Beach, where dozens of other items swept away by the March 11, 2011 tsunami have also made landfall.

Article continues at:

And… for readers along the West Coast of the U.S., the NOAA has set up an email for beachcombers to notify authorities:

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Japan, US to discuss disposal of tsunami debris

Japanese and US officials plan to exchange information on floating debris created by last year’s massive tsunami. The debris is now turning up along the North American west coast after drifting across the Pacific.

The officials are scheduled to hold talks in Seattle on Monday.

The Japanese government estimates that around 1.5-million tons of debris is now drifting in the Pacific. It was washed out to sea in March last year by the tsunami waves that struck coastal areas of northeastern Japan.

Article continues at:

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Until it happens in your own back yard… 

APEC ministers to agree on importance of nuclear energy use: draft

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Energy ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum will agree at their two-day meeting from Sunday in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the importance of using nuclear energy to reduce carbon dioxide emission and to meet the growing demand for energy, a draft of the joint declaration obtained by Kyodo News showed Saturday.

Article continues at:


From EX-SKF:

APEC Ministers Want Japan to Share #Fukushima Lessons, Stress Importance of Nuclear Energy for Economic Growth and Global Warming Countermeasure

By now, it should be obvious that these two statements may be mutually exclusive, because Japan (the government) clearly hasn’t learned a lesson, the global economy may be tanking again into another “Great Recession” and global warming (anthropogenic one that the activists have been working on for the past decade or two) may not exist.

Nonetheless, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation(APEC) made up of 21 Pacific Rim countries is gung-ho on nuclear energy as ever, with lip service to the Fukushima accident and nuclear safety.

After all, major nuclear exporters are all members of the APEC: the US, Canada, Japan, China, Russia. And a big uranium exporter (Australia), too.

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Disaster spending estimated to exceed $50 bil.

Japan’s land and infrastructure ministry estimates that public spending on the reconstruction of disaster-stricken northeast Japan will total about 50 billion dollars this fiscal year that ends in March, creating nearly half a million jobs.

The ministry calculated spending on construction of roads, buildings, and ports in disaster-hit areas and the ensuing ripple effect.

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From EX-SKF at:

June 24 Demonstration in Funabashi, Chiba (PM Noda’s Hometown) Going On Right Now

(UPDATE) Funabashi Protest is over now. Organizers say 2,250 people participated. It looks like a great success and fun. Orderly event. Over 9,000 people viewed it on USTREAM.

And it looks like some pubs in Funabashi are doing “Demo Discount” for the participants. Excellent business acumen.

(Chibaguy, are you there?)

With music and prompting from an accompanying car (they have DJs in the car), people with something yellow on them are walking the street of Funabashi, Chiba. This is fun. Protesters look just ordinary people.

I wonder if they rode the yellow Sobu Line together.

For details of this unique protest, see my previous post.

There are also smaller protests in Osaka and in Saitama. IWJ’s USTREAM channels:


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From ENENEWS at:

Japan TV: Fukushima seafood to be sold in stores starting next week… after one round of tests on three kinds of samples

Fukushima sea food “safe” for eating
June 23, 2012


The prefectural federation of fisheries co-operative associations announced on Saturday that three kinds of test samples it chose showed radiation levels lower than detectable by radioscope.


This is the first test of any sea food samples from the area since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March of last year.

The octopus and shellfish will be boiled and processed before being sold at supermarkets in the city next week.

The fishery federation plans to conduct another round of fishing before the end of the month to sell catches in Tokyo and other major markets, if possible.

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From Dissensus Japan at:



It’s too late to…

Original text from blog of Emiko Numauchi (Numayu) in Minamisoma City 16.06.2012
Minamisoma City started to say that they will issue the measuring instrument of radiation though it’s already been more than a year since the nuclear plant accident and it’s too late.
People who care about the radiation already bought one on their own money. Did they thought to issue the measuring instrument because of the radiation dose level became relatively equable? But when i go 2 or 3 minutes from my place to the west by car, on the road which is getting through Iitate Village, the radiation level is 2 or 3 micro sievert.
Inside my house, there’s at least 0.3 micro sievert. What kind of measuring instrument will be issued? If it’s only to measure the Gamma Ray, it has no big importance. They will also going to issue the disaster prevention wireless equipment. It’s better than nothing but the government response is too lent.
Incidentally, our family unit will go to receive them. I want to compare with my measuring instruments made in Russia. It’s not only inside Minamisoma City that once uranium and plutonium are condensed, it’s beyond human’s knowledge.
It doesn’t matter if there’s a lot or less radioactive substances released from atomic fission, the only important thing is if they exist in the air or not…
Dr. Shuntaro Hida have been diligently talking about the awfulness of low dose exposure.
Please be aware of the fact that the radiation from nuclear fusion, except for the radiation from the sun, is a frightful thing which can even break the Ecosystem.
Courtesy : Emiko Numauchi