Day 457 Hitchhiking species hit U.S. west coast

15 months ago today the lives of many, many people living in Japan or associated with it changed. Forever.

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70 percent of residents near Fukushima nuke plant forced to evacuate 4 times after disaster

Some 70 percent of residents in six municipalities surrounding the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant were forced to evacuate at least four times after the nuclear disaster, a survey by the Diet’s committee investigating the disaster has shown.

The Diet’s Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) released the results of the survey covering some 10,000 affected households on June 9. The survey found that 70 percent of residents in Namie, Futaba and four other Fukushima Prefecture towns near the crippled nuclear power plant had to evacuate four times or more during the first year after the outbreak of the nuclear disaster in March 2011, while half of the residents of Namie were temporarily evacuated to areas with high levels of radiation.

“The government’s evacuation instructions were haphazard and invited confusion,” said NAIIC Chairman Kiyoshi Kurokawa.

The questionnaire, conducted in March and April this year, was sent to some 21,000 households that were randomly selected from the approximately 55,000 households in 12 municipalities that were subject to the government’s evacuation instructions, of which 10,633 households responded. It is the first time that a fact-finding survey on such large-scale evacuations affecting more than 10,000 households has been carried out, according to the investigation committee.

According to the survey, 32 percent of residents in the Fukushima Prefecture town of Namie were forced to evacuate six times or more during the year after the outbreak of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, while 29 percent of residents in Futaba and more than 20 percent of residents in Okuma, Naraha, Tomioka and Hirono in the prefecture, respectively, did the same.

Furthermore, the survey found that 50 percent of residents in Namie evacuated to areas where radiation doses were high without knowing it, while some 30 percent of residents in Futaba and Tomioka, respectively, responded the same.

In an open-response question, respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the government for not swiftly releasing critical information as that on radiation doses, and causing confusion as a result.

“For the rest of my life, my health will be threatened by the fact that I was evacuated to a highly radioactive area. Why did the government withhold the information?” said one resident from Namie.

Article continues at:

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120611p2a00m0na017000c.html

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Public shut out from panel review of Oi nuclear plant safety

Members of the public voice objections at a meeting of a Fukui prefectural nuclear safety expert panel at the Fukui Prefectural Government building on June 10. (Mainichi)
Members of the public voice objections at a meeting of a Fukui prefectural nuclear safety expert panel at the Fukui Prefectural Government building on June 10. (Mainichi)

FUKUI — A meeting of Fukui Prefecture’s nuclear safety expert committee reviewing the possible reactivation of an idled power plant descended into chaos as members of the public wary of the restart sought to witness the meeting’s proceedings.

Approximately 70 people gathered at the Fukui Prefectural Government building on June 10 to observe the meeting, in which the safety of reactors No. 3 and No. 4 at Oi Nuclear Power Plant were to be reviewed. However, only 50 seats had been set aside in the gallery.

Article continues at:

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120611p2a00m0na013000c.html

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Govt. to authorize restarting Ohi nuclear plant

The Japanese government is expected to authorize the resumption of a nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, as early as Saturday.

[snip]

Prime Minister Noda in his speech on Sunday said he understands people in Japan still have complex feelings about the resumption due to the vivid memories of last year’s nuclear disaster. He added the resumption is not meant for this summer only.

Noda has stated that Japanese society cannot afford to keep all nuclear reactors idle, suggesting that other nuclear reactors will be resumed once their safety is established.

Article continues at:

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/20120611_04.html

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Tsunami Debris: 1.5 Tonnes of Seaweed, Mussels, Barnacles, Starfish Hitched Ride on the Dock from Aomori

There may be little to no worry about radiation (other than natural background), but the floating dock from Misawa Port in Aomori Prefecture in Japan that washed up on the Oregon coast had 1.5 tonnes of marine life that had hitched the 5,000-mile ride. Half of the plant species on the dock already exist on the west coast, according to the AP article below, meaning the remainder don’t and may be “invasive species”.

From My Way News quoting AP article (6/9/2012; emphasis is mine):

Invasive species ride tsunami debris to US shore

When a floating dock the size of a boxcar washed up on a sandy beach in Oregon, beachcombers got excited because it was the largest piece of debris from last year’s tsunami in Japan to show up on the West Coast.

But scientists worried it represented a whole new way for invasive species of seaweed, crabs and other marine organisms to break the earth’s natural barriers and further muck up the West Coast’s marine environments. And more invasive species could be hitching rides on tsunami debris expected to arrive in the weeks and months to come.

“We know extinctions occur with invasions,” said John Chapman, assistant professor of fisheries and invasive species specialist at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center. “This is like arrows shot into the dark. Some of them could hit a mark.”

[snip]

The dock, torn loose from a fishing port on the northern tip of Japan, was covered with 1.5 tons of seaweed, mussels, barnacles and even a few starfish. Volunteers scraped it all off, buried it above the high water line, and sterilized the top and sides of the dock with torches.

But there was no telling whether they might already have released spores or larvae that could establish a foothold in a bay or estuary as it floated along the coast, said Carlton.

“That’s the ‘Johnny Clamseed’ approach,” he said, referring to Johnny Appleseed, the pioneer apple tree planter of the early 19th century. “While that is theoretical, we don’t actually know if that kind of thing happens.”

Chapman estimated there were hundreds of millions of individual living organisms on the dock when it washed up on Agate Beach outside Newport, Ore.

But even a small plastic float that washed up on a beach in Alaska carried a live oyster, said Mandy Lindeberg, research scientist at the NOAA Fisheries Auke Bay Laboratories in Juneau, Alaska.

Read the entire article at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/06/tsunami-debris-15-tonnes-of-seaweed.html

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Positive PR at the expense of the young peoples’ health? 

1,000 US High School Students to Do Volunteer Cleanup, Tree-Planting in #Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, Ibaraki and Observe Japan’s Recovery

Following the footsteps of the students from Middle Tennessee State University, 1,000 high school students from across the United States will be volunteering in the disaster affected Tohoku, in Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, and Ibaraki Prefectures. Activities will include clean-up and planting trees, according to the Japanese government foundation who invited them.

Article continues at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/06/1000-us-high-school-students-to-do.html

I’m overreacting, you say?

This, today, from blogger in Fukushima Prefecture:

2012/06/11

What Disaster Countermeasures Office of Prefecture Fukushima has been doing?

Original text from Blog of Koichi Oyama in Minamisoma City 10.06.2012 http://mak55.exblog.jp/16025672/

Related articles (Japanese Only for the moment):
In front of Disaster Countermeasures Office of Prefecture Fukushima
In front of Fukushima Prefectural Office: Over 3 million Bq. Pity.. Expectation proved right
For the citizens of Fukushima city 1
2
3
4
Cesium 134+137. Unit = Bq/Kg
Minamisoma odaka-ku  Kanaya Shimokugino  2,970,000
Minamisoma odaka-ku  Kanaya Shimokugino    522,000
Minamisoma odakaku           5,570,000
Minamisoma odakaku Kamimachi         793,000
Minamisoma odakaku Honmachi        430,000
Minamisoma odakaku Honmachi         580,000
Hirono-cho                 43,917
Hirono-cho (In front of the government office)    247,136
Hirono-cho (In front of the station)         142,794
Hirono-cho, Simokitasako            255,161
Miharu-cho Nishikata Nakanouchi (Miharu Dam)   239,325
Nihonmatsu-city Kamegai          2,061,446
Nihonmatsu-city Kodakouchi          565,767
Nihonmatsu-city Nakae           227,315
Fukushima-city Sugitsuma-cho (Prefectural Office)  3,148,238
Motomiya-city Motomiyayarai          398,995
Bandaimachi Sarashina aza takamatsudaira (Mt.Bandaisan Service Area) 34,600
Ryo-zenmachi              757,000
Date-city Fushiguro Miyamoto         431,917
O-tama mura Tamai               565,767
Ko-riyama-city Hayama (Near a library)  563,824
Ko-riyama-city Hayama (Near Fukushima local court)  253,292
I wonder how much Bq it is going to be if Plutonium and Strontium are included.
So terrifying. I don’t need them to fly over on me.
I feel deeply regret that the radioactive materials that have been released from Fukushima-Daiichi won’t be recovered, and they are just going to be taken into our bodies.
If they need a temporal storage, I don’t mind offering my place, though my neighbors who live some hundred meters away will be against it.
Minamisoma City is promoting a public understanding (of building a temporal storage), however, on the other day,  I asked our business news desk to send a contaminated material to Hiroshima University. Later on, they brought it to the Board Bureau saying that they got no budget for sending it. (Shipping cost is only a few hundred yen, so they don’t need a budget. They just don’t want to do that)
The Board Bureau called me again on the next day to tell me to come to fetch it as soon as possible. Having a contaminated material in the office does not contribute to the air dose rate, as Professor. Kodama or Mr. Sakurai said. However, the chief of bureau was worried about it. He is the one who insists the need to promote a public understanding for the temporal storage, and to have a right fear of the radiation.
This is the reality.
By the way, the volunteers group who recover the radioactive materials accepted my participation, but I wonder where I should store them. I have to find a place where I can gain agreement with my neighbors.
Courtesy : Koichi Oyama

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Kyodo: 1,300 people file criminal complaint against Japan gov’t officials and Tepco execs — Haruki Madarame, 32 others accused

Subscription Only: 1,300 file criminal complaint against TEPCO execs, nuclear safety officials
Kyodo News
June 11, 2012

Around 1,300 people mainly from Fukushima Prefecture on Monday filed a criminal complaint against Tokyo Electric Power Co. Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and 32 others, arguing they were responsible for causing the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and the exposure of the plaintiffs to radiation.[…]

the 33, also including former TEPCO president Masataka Shimizu and Nuclear Safety Commission chief Haruki Madarame

[…]

They also argued the failure to promptly announce data on the spread of radiation from the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information, or SPEEDI, “hindered evacuation of the residents (around the Fukushima complex) and expanded their radiation exposure.”

[…]

Read the entire article at:

http://enenews.com/kyodo-1300-people-file-criminal-complaint-against-japan-govt-officials-and-tepco-execs-haruki-madarame-32-others-accused

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