Day 464 Guchol headed our way

From Accuweather:

Guchol, a tropical cyclone in the western Pacific, has its sight set on Japan. Winds currently are 120 mph, with even higher gusts. If Guchol were an Atlantic Hurricane, it would be considered a strong Category 3 storm.

While Guchol is currently bringing minimal impacts to civilization in its current location in the Philippine Sea, this is likely to change as Guchol continues to head north over the next few days.

Not only will Guchol continue to head towards more populated islands, but the storm is also expected to maintain its intensity over the next 12 hours.

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From NHK:

Sorta makes you want to stay home, doesn’t it.

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From ENENEWS at:

“Fatal Error”: Japan given precise radiation levels from US gov’t just after explosions — Officials kept data secret from public — Year of ‘safe’ radiation received in 8 hours

Government ignored U.S. radiation monitoring data in days after 3/11
Hiroo Sunaoshi and Kazuyuki Kanai
June 18, 2012

Source: Asahi AJW


Japanese government officials took little notice of up-to-the-minute high radiation measurements provided by the U.S. Energy Department.

The Energy Department used its Aerial Monitoring System (AMS) between March 17 and 19, 2011


The data was provided to Japanese government officials, but not released to the public.



A major difference between the SPEEDI forecast and the Energy Department observations is that the U.S. data concerns actual radiation measurements taken over an area with a radius of about 45 kilometers from the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

1 Year in 8 Hours

The monitoring showed that communities in a northwestern direction from the plant, including Namie and Iitate, had radiation levels exceeding 125 microsieverts per hour over an area as wide as 30 kilometers.

Exposure to that level of radiation for eight hours would exceed what is deemed by the government to be safe over the course of a year.

Official: “No thought given to using the provided data for the benefit of evacuating residents”

When asked by The Asahi Shimbun why the information was not used to implement evacuation plans, [Itaru Watanabe, the deputy director-general of the Science and Technology Policy Bureau] said: “While I now feel that the information should have been released immediately, at that time there was no thought given to using the provided data for the benefit of evacuating residents. We should have also passed on the information to the NSC.”

NISA “will not publicly admit” receiving data

Even though 15 months have passed since the data was passed on by the U.S. government, officials of NISA’s Nuclear Safety Public Relations and Training Division said they were still looking into whether they obtained the information in response to repeated requests for interviews from The Asahi Shimbun.


Although NISA officials will not publicly admit it, several government sources said the radiation map information was passed on to NISA.

One former high-ranking NISA official recalled that a large map of radiation levels was posted on a whiteboard in a NISA office used at the time as the central government’s emergency response center.

Fatal Error

Tokushi Shibata, professor emeritus of radiation management at the University of Tokyo, said: “It was a fatal error in judgment. If the data had been released immediately, the situation of residents evacuating in the wrong direction and becoming exposed to radiation could have been avoided.”

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Miracle cow’s offspring victorious at Miyagi fair
Ryosuke Nagasaki, center, a student at Miyagi-ken Agricultural High School, is all smiles as he celebrates Sunny's victory at a farm fair in Misato, Miyagi Prefecture. (Mainichi)
Ryosuke Nagasaki, center, a student at Miyagi-ken Agricultural High School, is all smiles as he celebrates Sunny’s victory at a farm fair in Misato, Miyagi Prefecture. (Mainichi)

MISATO, Miyagi — Sunny, an offspring of one of the surviving cows at an agricultural high school in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, hard hit by tsunami triggered by the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, won first prize at a farm fair here on June 18.

Sunny entered the competition for cows of less than 12 months old along with Mao at the Holstein cattle fair at the prefecture’s livestock market in Misato.

Sunny and Mao were born last summer at Miyagi-ken Agricultural High School in Natori, which lost 20 of its 34 head of cattle to the huge tsunami. School officials say 34 animal husbandry majors cared for Sunny and Mao to carry on the tradition of raising cattle from past graduates.

During the fair, Sunny and Mao were escorted by students as cattle farmers watched. Ryosuke Nagasaki, a 17-year-old third-year student who chaperoned Sunny, said, “I never imagined she would come in first” and cracked a smile.

(Related link)

Miyagi-ken Agricultural High School:

June 18, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

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(Now They Tell Us) Minister of Reconstruction Tells #Fukushima Town Mayor, “Decontamination Has Its Limits”

From Asahi Shinbun (6/17/2012):


Minister of Reconstruction Tatsuo Hirano met with Mayor of Namie-machi Tamotsu Baba on June 17 in Nihonmatsu City in Fukushima Prefecture and discussed the decontamination effort. Minister Hirano reported to Mayor Baba the result of the model decontamination that showed what decontamination could do and could not do.


According to the result, by decontaminating a road [surface] for 2 and a half minutes the air radiation level would go down by one-third, but beyond that there was hardly any effect of decontamination. The reduction of radiation by wiping off the roofs and walls of a residence varied significantly, between 19 and 66 percent, and the conclusion was that “not much effect in reducing the radiation can be expected by repeating the same decontamination”. After meeting with the Namie-machi Mayor, Mr. Hirano spoke with the press. He said, “Maybe the national government has given a wrong understanding [impression] that decontamination will instantly reduce (the annual cumulative radiation exposure) to less than 1 millisievert”, admitting to the limit to what decontamination could do.

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