Day 474 Protests continue 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.


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