Day 447 “Japan is not qualified to have nuclear power “

Sorry, folks. Got home late last night from work, so I took the evening off. Did manage to bookmark the news, so will play catch-up below…

First, from yesterday:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tokai mayor at front of antinuclear drive

By KEIJI HIRANO
Kyodo

Since 1957, when the nation’s first research reactor achieved criticality in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, the village has promoted itself as a “pioneer” of Japan’s nuclear development. But the mood has shifted, and the mayor now a chief advocate of abandoning atomic power.

Amid the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant — the world’s worst in a quarter-century — Mayor Tatsuya Murakami said: “We were consumed with the myth of nuclear security, that an accident would never happen in this country. . . . Japan is not qualified to have nuclear power plants.”

As the only antinuclear mayor among those who host atomic plants, and as a facilitator of a group of more than 70 mayors seeking to cut ties with nuclear power, Murakami has been busy giving speeches and visiting government officials to push for the policy change.

In a recent speech in Tokyo, Murakami, 69, said his antinuclear beliefs have become unshakable since April 13, when Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and key Cabinet ministers confirmed the safety of two offline reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture and called their resumption necessary to ensure a stable power supply this summer.

“They made the decision in an impromptu manner without fully scrutinizing the Fukushima nuclear disaster and without sufficiently tackling its aftermath,” he said, slamming the government’s safety conclusion.

Article continues at:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120531f1.html

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From ENENEWS:

Shukan Asahi: Fukushima Daini also had major damage from 3/11 — Submerged under 4 meters of water

May 27, 2012 report in the Shukan Asahi via Yahoo News Japansummarized by Fukushima Diary:

[…]

Fukushima Daini was severely damaged by Tsunami and lost its coolant system as well.

Tepco related workers state, the reactor started overly heating, they ordered 700 hoses for the damaged coolant system.

Last May, Tepco announced reactor 3 and 4 were not damaged. However, Mr. Kirishima, a journalist to work in Fukushima Diani denies that.

A notice is put on the wall “This area is submerged on 3/11/2011. Up to 430cm from the floor.”

[…]

“430cm” means it was not flooding, it was submerging.

Article continues at:

http://enenews.com/shukan-asahi-fukushima-daini-also-had-major-damage-after-311-submerged-under-4-meters-of-water

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Japan Times: Lead investigator says Tepco internal documents may be seized

http://enenews.com/japan-times-lead-investigator-says-tepcos-internal-documents-may-be-seized

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Fukushima Radiation May Actually Save Bluefin Tuna

(i.e. if everyone is afraid to eat it, maybe the species will not go extinct!)

Read the article at:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/monteburke/2012/05/31/could-the-fukushima-radiation-found-in-bluefin-tuna-actually-help-save-the-imperiled-species/

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From ENENEWS at:

http://enenews.com/cnn-clearly-the-radiation-has-not-dissipated-cesium-in-seafood-off-california-raises-a-lot-of-alarm-bells-implications-for-tsunami-debris-video

CNN: Clearly the radiation has not dissipated — Cesium in seafood off California ‘raises a lot of alarm bells’ (VIDEO)

CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux and Casey Wian
May 30, 2012

“I imagine people are probably thinking they shouldn’t be eating bluefish [sic] tuna at this point.”

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From EX-SKF:

Radioactive Japan: Buddhist Monk and Author in #Fukushima Says “Children Withstand Radiation Much Better than Adults”

The column by Sokyu Genyu, a Zen Buddhist monk (Rinzai-shu) and a published author who lives in Miharu-machi in Fukushima Prefecture, appears on the Sunday paper of Fukushima Minpo.

In the most recent column, Genyu says that children are able to withstand radioactive cesium much better than adults, and the traditional thinking that children are more affected by radiation has proven false by numerous examples in Fukushima Prefecture.

[snip]

Dr. Tsubokura at Minami Soma General Hospital, who has been conducting the WBC (whole body counter) measurement, says that the biological half life of cesium in adults are 100 to 120 days, whereas it is about a month in 6 year olds and 10 days in one year olds.

To begin with, children seldom get cancer. It should be quite easy to see that children has much higher ability to nullify the free radicals and higher immune functions than adults.

[snip]

I kept scratching my head as I translated. The laws of nature may indeed be different in Fukushima. I’ve seen a bizarre presentation material prepared by someone in Koriyama City that claims that if there are 10 cesium-137 atoms, 5 atoms will decay in 30 years; if there are 10 plutonium-239 atoms, 5 plutonium atoms will decay in 24,000 years, therefore it’s nothing to worry about in our lifetime. I may write about this presentation later, but it just boggles my mind that people are persuaded by this kind of talk, particularly in a country that has supposedly risen from the ashes after the World War II because of its technological strength. (I guess it was a nice, overrated myth…)

Read the entire article at:
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Massive quake expected off Boso Peninsula

Japanese researchers say a massive earthquake could occur off a peninsula to the east of Tokyo, in an area separate from the one that triggered the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923…. [snip]Pressure there was released in the 1923 earthquake, but the area off Boso Peninsula has not had a major quake for at least 300 years.

Read the entire article at:

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/20120531_11.html

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Should We Hide Low-Dose Radiation Exposures From The Public?

…experts in low-dose radiation will tell you scientists know too little about the effects of low-dose radiation for public officials to make such sweeping statements, and most scientists believe that across large populations, more exposure means more cancer:

“There is scientific consensus on a prevailing hypothesis that, down to near-zero levels, the occurrence of future cancer is proportional to the dose of radiation received,” writes Gordon Thompson, executive director of theInstitute for Resource and Security Studies, in the May/June issue of TheBulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

This hypothesis is called the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) Hypothesis. It implies that no additional dose of radiation, however small, can be described as absolutely safe.

Read the entire article at:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2012/05/29/should-we-hide-low-dose-radiation-exposures-from-the-public/

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Reuters:Alaskan crews gear up to tackle Japan tsunami debris

Posted by Mochizuki on May 31st, 2012

By Yereth Rosen
ANCHORAGE, Alaska | Fri May 25, 2012 6:21am EDT
(Reuters) – Cleanup workers will soon attack a jumble of debris from Japan’s 2011 tsunami that litters an Alaskan island, as residents in the state gear up to scour their shores for everything from buoys to building material that has floated across the Pacific.

The cleansing project slated to start on Friday on Montague Island is expected to last a couple weeks, and organizers say it marks the first major project in Alaska to collect and dispose of debris from the tsunami.

The March 2011 tsunami, caused by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, killed nearly 16,000 people and left over 3,000 missing on Japan’s main island of Honshu, and precipitated a major radiation release at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

A U.S. senator has sought to obtain $45 million to tackle the problem, and officials have cited fears about invasive species and toxic substances thought to be among the floating mess of objects.

Article continues at:

http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/05/reutersalaskan-crews-gear-up-to-tackle-japan-tsunami-debris/

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T O D A Y ‘S  N E W S

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Kansai chiefs accept ‘limited’ reactor restart

Even Hashimoto caves amid intense lobbying, now faces public ire

Staff writer

OSAKA — Kansai leaders, including vocal critic Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, reversed weeks of opposition Thursday to restarting two of the reactors at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, caving to intense corporate lobbying and central government pressure and removing one of the last major political obstacles to bringing the units back online.

News photo
About-face: Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto faces reporters Wednesday. KYODO

The agreement of the Union of Kansai Governments, which includes seven prefectures and two mayors, to a “limited” restart of the reactors created confusion and concern across the region.

Critics and Hashimoto allies noted the definition of limited was left undefined and could mean the reactors will be kept running for weeks, months or years.

“Concerning the restart of the Oi reactors, under the condition of the government’s provisional safety decision, we seek an appropriate judgment on something that is limited,” the Union of Kansai Governments said in a joint statement Wednesday evening.

Article continues at:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120601a1.html

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Demand for ‘fair compensation’ delays reclassification of Fukushima’s evacuation zones

FUKUSHIMA — The central government’s efforts to reclassify evacuation areas around the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant under a new zoning system for decontamination and financial compensation has been significantly delayed as residents in the affected regions continue to demand “fair” compensation.

Under the reclassification that the government had earlier planned to implement on April 1, the 11 municipalities falling within the evacuation zones near the damaged nuclear plant would be divided into three new zones based on radiation levels.

Article continues at:

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120601p2a00m0na019000c.html

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Tepco raises salary

Posted by Mochizuki on May 31st, 2012

Tepco is going to raise their salary from 2013 by 460,000 JPY.

Tepco is planning to raise electrical charges by 10.28% from this August, but they are going to pay their employees “bonus”, which is 500,000JPY at average for this winter.
To avoid criticism, Tepco will start annual salary system from 2013 instead of bonus system.
However, they are going to raise the annual salary by 460,000 JPY when they shift to annual salary system. It’s higher than the average of companies with more than 1,000 employees by 280,000 JPY.

Before 311, the average annual salary of Tepco was about 7 million JPY for some reason. After 311, they reduced it by 20 ~ 25 %. Tepco stopped paying bonus for this summer, the average annual salary of 2012 is about 5,250,000 JPY. After they successfully raise the electrical charges, they are starting to raise their salary again.

Source 1 2 3

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 Group of Students from Middle Tennessee State University to Go to #Fukushima as Disaster Recovery Cleanup Volunteers

From dnj.com (5/31/2012; emphasis is mine):

MURFREESBORO — A contingent of 10 students and two professors from Middle Tennessee State University will leave Nashville early Monday, June 4, to participate in the cleanup and rebuilding mission in Fukushima, Japan.

Three of the students are from Rutherford County: Bridgette Gleaves of Smyrna and Mark Wester and Justin Bingham, both of Murfreesboro.

[snip]

Sure, we are only going to Fukushima, but that will resonate all over Japan,” adds Justin Bingham, a liberal-studies major from Murfreesboro. “So, in a way, we 10 students are going to help an entire nation. That’s something worth smiling about,” he said in a press release.

Each student will pay a fee of $1,000 to cover all instruction fees, lodging and international airfare from Nashville to Japan. The group is slated to return June 15.

This education-abroad program is a joint effort of MTSU International Affairs and Fukushima University with support from the Japanese Ministry of Education. For more information, contact the MTSU Office of International Affairs at 615-904-8190 or Schmidt at david.schmidt@mtsu.edu.

Sure, we are only going to Fukushima, but that will resonate all over Japan“… It may, but it may not be in the way he thinks.

Read the entire article at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/05/group-of-students-from-middle-tennessee.html

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If this doesn’t smell of using human beings as guinea pigs…

Radiation Exposure of Children to Be Measured in Miyagi to See if Decontamination Work Is Effective

Researchers from Tohoku University are going to monitor the radiation exposure of children in a town in southern Miyagi Prefecture bordering Fukushima Prefecture. It’s not that they are particularly worried about the potential negative effect on radiation on the children’s health. They want to evaluate how effective the decontamination will be, and they want to use children as indicators (if I may be so cynical).


[snip]

On a separate news, Koriyama City will start lending out personal survey meters to pregnant women so that they can see their cumulative radiation exposure during their pregnancies.

But as the Rinzai monk/author in Miharu-machi in Fukushima says, children are stronger in resisting radiation. Then the unborn children inside the mothers’ wombs must be even stronger (if I may be more cynical).

Read entire article with an NHK article translation at:

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More from ENENEWS at:

Tokyo Professor: We are facing a nuclear winter in Japan

On the Cesium Road
Hoover Institution’s Hoover Digest
Toshio Nishi
April 6, 2012 no. 2

[…]

We realize now that the government and the power executives think we are not intelligent enough to understand the technical jargon about nuclear power. Of course, we were not familiar with those esoteric terms when the disaster struck. But we do understand we are facing a nuclear winter on this beautiful archipelago, placed on the Ring of Fire, and may not live long enough even to see such a winter.

[…]

Since bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan has cultivated a religion that condemns nuclear arms. Along the way, however, Japan metamorphosed into a strange creature that felt immune to things nuclear. Few Japanese left the country within the first weeks after the Fukushima meltdown. We can remain calm even in the midst of a horrible reality. Meanwhile, the falsehood of safe, cheap, and forever clean energy is swept away like the receding sea.

Toshio Nishi is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. From 1991 to the present, Nishi has been a distinguished guest professor at Reitaku University in Chiba, Japan, and from 2004 a graduate school professor at Nihon University in Tokyo. […] From 1985 to 1991, Nishi was a foreign correspondent for NHK Journal, a radio program of Japan’s largest media system. […] Nishi has been one of the most sought-after speakers on Japan’s national speaking circuit. He has been a member of the board of regents of Executive Forum of Japan since 2000. From 1997 to 1999, Nishi was a commentator for TV Tokyo. Nishi is chairman of the editorial board and a monthly columnist for Kokkai News (a news magazine on politics), Japan’s oldest monthly magazine.

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Life without electricity

by Kazuko Kojima on November 2, 2011

It is not all that long ago when we began using so many electrical appliances in everyday life. Japan’s first “pulsator-type” washing machine, a prototype of current models, reached the market in 1953. Its popularity exploded as it was a convenient product that considerably reduced household work loads. Full-scale television broadcasting also started in 1953. This year set a precedent for the expanding use of various home appliances; so much so that it was later referred to as “year one of electrification”.

Among these new appliances, the washing machine, refrigerator and black-and-white television set were called the “three sacred treasures” (referring to the Imperial regalia of Japan, the sword, mirror and jewel) that everyone longed for at that time. With incomes increasing as a result of rapid economic growth, consumer demand for these home appliances skyrocketed. By 1973 most households had purchased these 3 appliances.

Japan’s electricity use steadily increased starting around this time. Even after the “oil shock” of 1973, electricity use increased about 2.5 fold during the 35 years to 2008. The most substantial increases occurred in the consumer/household and transportation sectors. The increase in household use was partly due to changes in social structure, such as an increasing number of households, and also by changes in private lifestyles demanding more and more convenience and comfort. This was a time of “individual electrification” when each individual, rather than each household, came to own a set of electrical appliances.

Article continues at:
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