Monthly Archives: August 2012



It Could Have Been Worse

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Feared Nankai Trough quake could cause 50 trillion yen in economic damage: expert

Japan would suffer economic damage worth up to 50 trillion yen if a massive earthquake occurs in the Nankai Trough in the seabed off central to western Japan, an expert’s estimate has shown.

The feared Nankai Trough quake is expected to directly hit Japan’s pacific belt zone, especially areas spanning from the Chubu to Kinki regions, where the headquarters and main plants of major auto and electric appliance manufacturers are concentrated. If the Tomei Expressway and other main arteries running through the region are cut off, the suspension of distribution and supply chains would also cause tremendous economic damage.

“It wouldn’t be surprising if direct damage (to housing, production equipment and social infrastructure) amounted to about 40 trillion to 50 trillion yen,” said Motohiro Sato, professor at Hitotsubashi University’s graduate school.

Article continues at:

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Gov’t stresses need for anti-disaster steps to cope with possible Nankai Trough quake

While releasing a shocking prediction that up to 323,000 people could be killed in the event of a magnitude 9-class earthquake with its focus in the Nankai Trough off central and western parts of Japan, the government stressed the need to speed up efforts to implement anti-disaster measures across the country to minimize the impact of major disasters.

When the government released a prediction in late March this year that a Nankai Trough earthquake could trigger tsunami of up to 34.4 meters, people in some quarters were caught off guard and hopelessly thought that they would not be able to deal with the onslaught of such a huge disaster. Therefore, the government tried to have people respond to the latest prediction by showing how far quake-resistant measures and early evacuation could help reduce potential damage and casualties and by stressing the need to speed up efforts to implement conventional anti-disaster measures.

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Fukushima I Nuke Plant: New Fuel Assembly Taken From SFP in Reactor 4 Had Pebbles in It

They look like aggregates in concrete. How did they get inside the channel box?

Inspection was carried out in the Spent Fuel Common Pool building.

Article continues with photos at:

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Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Amount of Water Being Injected into RPVs Temporarily Dropped Below Necessary Amount, Cause Unknown

The amount of treated water being constantly injected into the Reactor Pressure Vessels of Reactors 1, 2 and 3 has fluctuated often for no reason that TEPCO cares to identify, but on August 30 that amount temporarily dropped below the levels specified by the NISA’s safety regulations.

Cause is still unknown, but unlike in the past, TEPCO’s Matsumoto says the company will conduct investigation to identify the cause.

If you want to check the temperature readings of the RPVs, here’s TEPCO’s page(English).

Article continues at:

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From ENENEWS at:

Underground cesium near Fukushima reactors increases the deeper samples get — Other locations tested are much different, with higher radioactivity on top

Title: Nuclide Analysis Results of Marine Soil – Inside the Port Entrance of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
Source: Tepco
Tested: July 23, 2012
Published: August 30, 2012

At sample points furthest from the reactors, cesium levels drop rapidly as the samples deepen:

① (0~10cm) Cs-134 @ 19,000 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ 29,000 Bq/kg
① (10~20cm) Cs-134 @ ND Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ ND Bq/kg
① (20~30cm) Cs-134 @ ND Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ ND Bq/kg

③ (0~10cm) Cs-134 @ 360,000 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ 540,000 Bq/kg
③ (10~20cm) Cs-134 @ 80 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ 140 Bq/kg
③ (20~30cm) Cs-134 @ 77 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ 110 Bq/kg

④ (0~10cm) Cs-134 @ 5,300 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ 8,100 Bq/kg
④ (10~20cm) Cs-134 @ 120 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ 200 Bq/kg
④ (20~30cm) Cs-134 @ 37 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ ND Bq/kg

At sample points nearest the reactors, cesium levels do not drop rapidly. At location 6, the levels rise:

② (0~10cm) Cs-134 @ 29,000 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ 44,000 Bq/kg
② (10~20cm)Cs-134 @ 7,500 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ 12,000 Bq/kg
② (20~30cm) Cs-134 @ 24,000 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ 39,000 Bq/kg

⑥ (0~10cm) Cs-134 @ 70,000 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ 110,000 Bq/kg
⑥ (10~20cm) Cs-134 @ 73,000 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ 110,000 Bq/kg
⑥ (20~30cm) Cs-134 @ 130,000 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ 190,000 Bq/kg

Location 2 is nearest Reactor 1, and Location 6 is nearest Reactors 2, 3, and 4.

See link above for chart.

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Oh boy..

Huge Nankai quake could kill 320,000 in Japan: gov’t

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Up to 323,000 people could be killed in Japan in the event of a powerful earthquake with its epicenter in the Nankai Trough off central and western parts of the country, the government said Wednesday.

The figure is far larger than the about 19,000 people who died or went missing in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011. It also surpasses the government’s previous estimated death toll of 24,700 in 2003.

The latest estimate was made on the assumption that a magnitude 9-class quake hits the country in the middle of the night in winter and that a massive tsunami subsequently occurs along the Pacific coast from Suruga Bay to the Kii Peninsula, the Cabinet Office said.

Of the 323,000 potential victims in 30 of Japan’s 47 prefectures, the Cabinet Office predicted that about 70 percent will be killed by tsunami. In the event of such a natural disaster, it also said that about 623,000 people across Japan could suffer injuries.

The Cabinet Office, however, said that the probability of such a powerful quake is “extremely low.” The rise in the number of victims from the 2003 estimate is mainly attributable to the government’s decision to double the size of the focal area and raise the magnitude of a possible quake in the wake of the 2011 unprecedented disaster.

Still, to prepare for the worst-case scenario, the office will create new countermeasures against natural calamities by the end of March, while the government will consider formulating special laws by cooperating with the private sector.

Of the 47 prefectures, Shizuoka in central Japan is expected to be hit the hardest, with the number of expected deaths totaling 109,000, according to the Cabinet Office.

Among the Pacific coastal towns that are expected to experience tsunami after the quake, the town of Kuroshio in Kochi Prefecture is expected to see the highest wave reaching 19 meters in height.

When making these predictions, the Cabinet Office assumed that only 20 percent of people would evacuate immediately after the quake.

If all people escape within 20 minutes of the quake, the number of tsunami victims can be reduced by half, the office said.

Experts said that the number of victims could be reduced substantially if there were adequate evacuation plans and other necessary measures.

Due to tsunami, up to 1,015 square kilometers of land in 24 prefectures could be submerged in total with a water depth of 1 centimeter or more, which is about 1.8 times bigger than the area flooded in the wake of the 2011 disaster, according to the office.

Of the 1,015 sq. km of land, a total of 602 sq. km is expected to be flooded with water reaching a depth of 1 meter or more, a level which could kill almost all people. The size of the area is almost equivalent to one third of Osaka Prefecture, home to Japan’s second largest metropolitan area.

If a huge quake strikes the country at 6 p.m. in winter, when many gas stoves and other heating appliances are used, and if massive tsunami waves occur off the Shikoku to Kyushu regions, a total of 2.38 million buildings are likely to be completely destroyed or burned down, the office said.

August 29, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

And from NHK:

Nankai Trough quake could kill 323,000 in Japan

The Japanese government has released projections that up to 323,000 people could be killed in a massive earthquake and tsunami that could possibly occur near the Nankai Trough along the country’s Pacific coast.

The government on Wednesday released detailed damage estimates based on a scenario with a magnitude 9 mega-quake near the trough off central to western Japan. The data is a follow-up to information released by the government in March.

Last year, the government set up a panel of experts to review preparative measures for any massive quake.

The panel estimates that a tsunami of more than 30 meters high could hit parts of Kochi and Shizuoka prefectures and part of Tokyo’s Izu Islands.
It also estimates that 23 municipalities in 8 prefectures could experience a tsunami 20 meters or higher.

These tsunamis are forecast to flood up to more than 1,000 square kilometers, which is 1.8 times larger than the areas inundated by the giant tsunami in March last year.

In the worst case projection a total 323,000 people could die in 30 prefectures in regions from Kanto, around Tokyo, to Kyushu, in southern Japan.

More than 2.38 million homes and other buildings would be either destroyed or burnt down by tremors, fire or tsunami.

The projection also shows that the casualties could be reduced by up to about 80 percent if people evacuate quickly and make use of safe buildings for shelter.

The government estimates that the number of collapsed buildings will probably decrease by about 40 percent if the ratio of anti-quake resistant buildings is increased.

Aug. 29, 2012 – Updated 10:41 UTC (19:41 JST)

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NISA’s New Safety Standard May Allow Nuclear Reactors on Top of Active Faults to Continue Operation

(No, this is not an April Fool’s Day’s joke.)

Totally, absolutely in line with Prime Minister Noda’s intention of seeking the “fourth way”for the future energy policy on reliance on nuclear power, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (which is still the one and only regulatory agency over the nuclear industry in Japan) is now considering installing a new safety standard:

You can continue to operate a nuclear reactor even if the reactor happens to sit on top of an active fault, as long as the expected size of dislocation is small enough.

This Kyodo News has the largest number of retweets I’ve seen on the websites of the Japanese mainstream media, currently with 9,015 retweets.

Article continues at:

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Elderly Evacuees from Futaba-machi Living in School Bldg in Saitama Will Be Made to Pay for Their Boxed Meals, Starting September 1st

What a country. Wonder of the Orient.

Just remember that this country (Japan) is still the third largest economy in the world. But after more than 17 months since the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear accident, hardly anyone cares that these people are still living in school classrooms. It’s worse than not caring, because now they will charge for the bento (meal in a box), which will cost these elderly residents 30,000 to 40,000 yen per person per month (US$381 to 508 per person per month).

Where do they have such money? No one cares. The evacuees from the same town, Futaba-machi, who have moved to temporary housing and other rental properties, have complained that they are not getting free meals, so everyone gotta pay, to be fair.

Article continues at:

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Well, then, the protests will just have to continue, won’t they?

Japanese Government’s Energy Policy (Reliance on Nuclear Power in 2030) May Go the “Fourth Way”, Not Even Presented to the Citizens in Opinion Surveys

What a joke. Totally predictable but joke nonetheless.

Remember my post about nearly 90,000 public comments from the Japanese citizens and residents about the future energy policy of the Japanese government, where nearly 90% want “zero nuclear”? Also remember the so-called experts in big-name universities whose expertise is in polling and sampling stressing the “quality” over “quantity”? There were three choices that people could comment on: 0% reliance on nuclear power by 2030, 15% reliance, or 25% reliance.

Now, drum rolls please. Here comes your national government under Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda declaring that the government may opt for the “fourth way“.

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Will be away for a few days and in and out after that. Just to let friends and family know that if I’m not here regularly for the daily update, I will be mid-September.

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Huge solar power plants spring up in idle industrial complexes

The construction of huge solar power plants is under way in unused industrial complexes across Japan amid expectations that solar power may become a pillar of renewable energy sources in the aftermath of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

Mega solar power plants require vast amounts of land to lay tens of thousands of solar panels as well as power-transmission facilities, but idled industrial complexes meet the requirements. Local government officials have long racked their brains over how to deal with such idled industrial complexes because they have become non-performing assets. The officials are promoting construction of mega solar power plants at those complexes as an engine for regional economic revival.

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Like. Well, one in five, at least it’s a start.

One in five big Japan firms wants exit from atomic power by 2030

(Reuters) – About one in five big Japanese firms wants to see the share of nuclear power in the electricity supply reduced to zero by 2030, a Reuters poll showed, amid a growing anti-nuclear clamor after last year’s Fukushima atomic disaster.

But underlining concerns about a rise in energy costs without atomic power, the rest of the respondents supported a continued role for nuclear energy, with the biggest group opting for a share of 15 percent.

 Article continues at:


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Dislike. Get these children out of Fukushima.

Schools in Fukushima town reopen after 1 1/2 years

Students at Hirono Elementary School in Fukushima Prefecture carry their chairs to their classrooms after ceremonies at the gym to mark the reopening of public schools and the start of the second semester. (Mainichi)
Students at Hirono Elementary School in Fukushima Prefecture carry their chairs to their classrooms after ceremonies at the gym to mark the reopening of public schools and the start of the second semester. (Mainichi)

HIRONO, Fukushima — Public elementary and junior high schools here reopened Aug. 27, a year and a half after the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered a crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant and the town fell under the government-designated emergency evacuation preparation zone.

The town held a joint reopening ceremony at Hirono Elementary School in a bid to encourage former town residents to come home nearly one year after the town’s evacuation zone designation was lifted. Attending the ceremony were kindergartners and students and their parents.

But the number of students is now only around 20 percent of pre-disaster enrollment levels due to prolonged life at evacuation centers and lingering fears of radiation. The number of elementary school students totaled 65, or 23.6 percent of the total before the nuclear disaster, and that of junior high school students came to 31, or 18.5 percent of the total.

Even after this town was declared safe and extricated itself from the zone in September last year, local officials rented rooms at schools in neighboring Iwaki for Hirono students until the end of the first semester.

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From ENENEWS at:

Physician: International medical community must immediately assist Japanese — Radioactive elements re-concentrate in various bodily organs

Title: The Nuclear Sacrifice of Our Children: 14 recommendations to help radiation contaminated 
Author: Dr. Helen Caldicott
Date: Aug 24, 2012


So what should happen in Japan? These are my recommendations.

  1. All areas of Japan should be tested to assess how radioactive the soil and water are because the winds can blow the radioactive pollution hundreds of miles from the point source at Fukushima.
  2. Under no circumstances should radioactive rubbish and debris be incinerated as this simply spreads the isotopes far and wide to re-concentrate in food and fish.
  3. All batches of food must be adequately tested for specific radioactive elements using spectrometers.
  4. No radioactive food must be sold or consumed, nor must radioactive food be diluted for sale with non-radioactive food as radioactive elements re-concentrate in various bodily organs.
  5. All water used for human consumption should be tested weekly.
  6. All fish caught off the east coast must be tested for years to come.
  7. All people, particularly children, pregnant women and women of childbearing age still living in high radiation zones should be immediately evacuated to non-radioactive areas of Japan.
  8. All people who have been exposed to radiation from Fukushima – particularly babies, children, immunosuppressed, old people and others — must be medically thoroughly and routinely examined for malignancy, bone marrow suppression, diabetes, thyroid abnormalities, heart disease, premature aging, and cataracts for the rest of their lives and appropriate treatment instituted. Leukemia will start to manifest within the next couple of years, peak at five years and solid cancers will start appearing 10 to 15 years post-accident and will continue to increase in frequency in this generation over the next 70 to 90 years.
  9. All physicians and medical care providers in Japan must read and examine Chernobyl–Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment by the New York Academy of Sciences to understand the true medical gravity of the situation they face.
  10. I also suggest with humility that doctors in particular but also politicians and the general public refer to my web page, for more information, that they listen to the interviews related to Fukushima and Chernobyl on my radio program and they read my book NUCLEAR POWER IS NOT THE ANSWER.
  11. The international medical community and in particular the WHO must be mobilized immediately to assist the Japanese medical profession and politicians to implement this massive task outlined above.
  12. The Japanese government must be willing to accept international advice and help.
  13. As a matter of extreme urgency Japan must request and receive international advice and help from the IAEA and the NRC in the U.S., and nuclear specialists from Canada, Europe, etc., to prevent the collapse of Fukushima Dai-ichi Unit 4 and the spent fuel pool if there was an earthquake greater than 7 on the Richter scale.As the fuel pool crashed to earth it would heat and burn causing a massive radioactive release 10 times larger than the release from Chernobyl. There is no time to spare and at the moment the world community sits passively by waiting for catastrophe to happen.
  14. The international and Japanese media must immediately start reporting the facts from Japan as outlined above. Not to do so is courting global disaster.

Dr. Helen Caldicott is a pediatrician specializing in cystic fibrosis and the founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, which as part of a larger group that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. Please visit herwebsite.

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NHK: “Strong concerns” over 36% of Fukushima kids having thyroid lumps — Now testing outside Fukushima to begin

Title: Thyroid tests extended to kids outside Fukushima
Source: NHK
Date: Aug. 26, 2012
Emphasis Added

Japan will conduct thyroid tests on children outside Fukushima Prefecture, to determine whether last year’s nuclear accident in the prefecture has anything to do with the discovery of lumps in the thyroid glands of one in three children in Fukushima Prefecture.The decision has been made by the Cabinet Office’s team supporting people affected by the nuclear disaster.


[Fukushima] prefecture had conducted thyroid checks on 38,000 children by the end of March.
No-one was diagnosed with cancer, but lumps were found in 36 percent of the children.

The prefecture explained that lumps can be found in healthy children, so no special measures are needed, but parents voiced strong concerns over the finding.

Thyroid checks will now be conducted on 4,500 children aged 18 years old or younger in 3 areas outside Fukushima Prefecture by the end of March.


Cabinet Office says data will be collected in areas that are not affected by radioactive materials released from the crippled nuclear reactors. It says the move is designed not only to alleviate concerns, but also to detect possible effects of the nuclear accident on children’s health, if any, as early as possible.

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Anti-nuclear protests signal new activism in Japan

August 26, 2012


This is Japan’s summer of discontent. Tens of thousands of protesters–the largest demonstrations the country has seen in decades–descend on Tokyo every Friday evening to shout anti-nuclear slogans at the prime minister’s office. Many have never protested publicly before.

“I used to complain about this to my family but I realized that doesn’t do any good,” said Takeshi Tamura, a 67-year-old retired office worker. “So I came here to say this to his office. I don’t know if we can make a difference but I had to do something, and at least it’s a start.”

Article continues at:


Starting off tonight, a must read. It is a rebuttal to a recent Wall Street Journal article downplaying the effects of the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi. The article is full of flaws, inaccurate facts and misrepresentations.

This article addresses those inadequacies. It is clear,  easy to follow, and gives pertinent data and sources along with a great discussion of the actual situation at FD1.

The Reality (Not The “Panic”) Of Fukushima

August 23rd, 2012

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Sorry, but nobody wants this job.

NHK: Mayor says work to remove radioactive substances “making no progress” (VIDEO)

Title: Fukushima NHK Special: Daiichi Nuclear Fuel Rod Removal
Source: NewsWatch 9
Published by: Missingsky101
Date Aired: July 18, 2012
Date Published: August 24, 2012

Last December, the government said the accident at Fukushima nuclear plant had been contained, but the local residents still face a long road to rebuild their lives. The government also said the work to remove radioactive substances from areas with relatively low contamination would end by March 2014. But Iitate village Mayor Norio Kanno told reporters yesterday the work was making no progress.


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Fukushima starts radiation checks on all rice


NIHONMATSU, Fukushima Pref. — The Fukushima Prefectural Government is now checking all bags of rice for radiation.

Gov. Yuhei Sato, who visited an inspection center in Nihonmatsu on Saturday, the first day of the comprehensive inspections, said that he “wants safe Fukushima rice to be delivered across the country.”

The checks were deemed necessary to allay fears caused by the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power station.

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And this from the Safecast listserv:

Professor Takeda of Chubu University reported in his blog that 10Bq/kg of thorium234 and 23Bq/kg of protactinium234m were found in Japanese sardine (Ma-Iwashi) from Chiba prefecture.

The fish was sold at a supermarket and measured by “securitytokyo” with germanium semiconductor detector on August 1, 2012. Cesium134 was detected at 0.1Bq/kg and cesium137 was detected at 0.2Bq/kg in the fish. “securitytokyo” does not allow unauthorized linking to their test results.

Uranium238 decays to thorium234 which decays further to protactinium234. On the decay paths of uranium238 to lead206, there are 13 intermediate daughter products. Professor Takeda says that detection of thorium234 and protactinium234 means that other daughter isotopes are present, and that if 30Bq/kg of one daughter isotope of uranium238 is found in fish, the total radiation dose of all isotopes in the fish is around 450Bq/kg. Uranium is not a fission product but a nuclear fuel. When uranium is present in fish, plutonium is likely in that fish.

It reminds us of the fact that the only the cesium level is measured in our food and we are not informed of other isotopes by the authorities. Professor Takeda says the case of sardine raises serious concern over safety of fish and advices careful attention to fish contamination.

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From EX-SKF at:


Fukushima Governor Requested TEPCO to Say “No Health Worries” After Reactor 3 Explosion

(Ah, but you don’t need to believe it, because that’s what TEPCO recorded in the video. “TEPCO lies”, remember? They must have fabricated the scene.)

From Jiji Tsushin (8/24/2012):


Fukushima Prefecture requested TEPCO for “No health worries” PR after Reactor 3 explosion?


TEPCO announced on August 24 that it was highly likely that officials of the Fukushima prefectural government requested [TEPCO] to make the public announcement that “there are no worries on health” when the Reactor 3 building had a hydrogen explosion on March 14 last year. The Fukushima prefectural government says, “There is no concrete information, and the investigation is difficult.”


In the video footage of the teleconferences that TEPCO has made public, a TEPCO employee is heard saying “There has been a request from the governor of Fukushima to insert the words in our press release to say there will be no worries of damage to health judging by the radiation levels that have been measured.” When this particular scene was reported in the media, Governor Yuhei Sato denied he had ever said it, and asked TEPCO to investigate the matter on August 10.

I think it’s more likely that it was not TEPCO who didn’t want the free and open access to all the video recording.

Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato once said he was the most famous governor in the whole world thanks to the Fukushima nuclear accident.

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Mainichi: “Nuclear devastation” for Japan, in peace time — Fukushima disaster “the same as war” -Buddhist Nun

Title: Complacency perished in the Fukushima nuclear disaster
Source: The Japan Times
Date: Aug. 26, 2012


Japan, complacent beneath the American nuclear umbrella, has in fact contributed remarkably little to the cause of nuclear disarmament. Note, besides, [Prime Minister Yoshihiko] Noda’s reference to “nuclear devastation in war,” and what that leaves unsaid — namely, nuclear devastation in peace.


“In my mind, Fukushima is like a third nuclear victim, following Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” added Fukushima evacuee Sachiko Sato.

Nuclear devastation in peace is war, a 90-year-old Buddhist nun named Jakucho Setouchi goes so far as to say. Setouchi is a writer of considerable reputation whose collected works, published in 2002, run to 20 volumes. Speaking to Shukan Asahi magazine, she said, “The earthquake and tsunami were natural disasters, but (Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant) was a manmade disaster, and therefore the same as war.”


“The atmosphere today,” says Setouchi, “is exactly like 1941, ’42.” Back then, the public and mass media bought the official line that Japan’s victory was assured. In our own time, the public and mass media bought the official line that the safety of nuclear power was assured.


Future historians looking back on our time may conclude that the nuclear accident changed Japan not much less than the atomic bombs did. There’s a lot happening, where little was before. The weekly Shukan Gendai talks to three female lawmakers who lately bolted the governing Democratic Party of Japan, largely over its decision to reactivate two nuclear reactors in Oi, Fukui Prefecture. “Foreigners think the Japanese are sheep,” said one of them, Kuniko Tanioka. “But we’re raising our voices now, saying no to nuclear power, no to reactivation.”


“Perpetrators of the subway sarin affair were given death sentences,” she says. “The top people in the company that caused radiation contamination are still in their executive boardrooms, drawing high salaries. That’s odd, isn’t it?”




From ENENEWS at:

Physician: Overwhelming number of cases being reported from around Japan — Medical data in Fukushima is sealed, no idea what’s truly going on there

Title: Analysis: Radiation Health Risk Management Adviser Shunichi Yamashita
Source: Chris Spivey
Date: Aug 24, 2012

Following the publication yesterday on this site […] I was contacted in the early hours of this morning by the author. […]

The Author [Dr.] Yuri Hiranuma, pointed out in his communication to me that the medical report dated back to January 2012. He told me that since the release of that report, he has not had the time to release an update. The following is lifted directly from his message to me and details exactly why no update has been forthcoming:

“We have not had a chance to do more reports simply due to an overwhelming number of reported cases. In other words, current situations in Japan are worse than in this report. In addition, medical information in Fukushima is sealed, which means we have no idea what is truly going on there. What’s in our report is from the rest of the country”.

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Hmm, let’s take a look at this report ( /

It says:

1) Cases of radiation contamination symptoms are being reported all over Japan, not only in the Tohoku region.

2) Some cases may have been caused by radiation sources in food. Food from areas heavy hit by radiation from FD1 has been known to show up in other areas of Japan.


When it comes to restaurants, regardless of whether they are expensive and high class or not, it appears that they barely recognize the radioactive contamination of food as an issue.  As expected, there are many cases where the symptoms improved after refusing school lunches and abstaining from eating out.   It is extremely important to take protective measures against contaminated food no matter where you live in Japan.

3) Other cases may have been caused by airborne radioactivity “due to the government’s policy of incinerating contaminated debris”.

For anyone not following the situation post-3.11, this may come as a surprise. Heads up.

Ok. Now, the nice folks at Safecast know quite about radiation levels. Here’s what one person mentioned in the listserv this week:

      “In a genuine discussion, I don’t see any benefit to claiming there aren’t any health effects at low levels of radiation (0 to 100 mSv), unless you describe a homogeneous population being exposed. Many factors determine the health outcome of an exposure, including variables associated with the individual, the toxin(s), and the environment. Whether the toxin is chemical, biological, or radiological, sensitivity often varies with target organ, age, and health. People are surrounded at home and work by toxic agents with unique properties and specific targets. Simultaneous exposure to multiple toxins may increase or decrease their ability to cause damage. Toxins with a common target organ and synergistic effects may present a healthy challenge to the cells of one individual, but create a perfect storm in the cells of another. The only responsible thing to do is maintain exposures to all toxic agents ALARA and always weigh the benefit to the exposed population when justifying risk IMHO.
      I think Cheryl Rofer does a pretty thorough job of explaining the uncertainty associated with drawing any conclusions regarding the biological effects of low level radiation, and she provides some links to reputable references:

That blog is an interesting site. If you want to learn more, have a look.

Here’s one study entitled “Worldwide health effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.” (Nuclear Diner mentions that the authors of that study in the past have been critical of nuclear power. Good to know if there is a potential conflict of interest either pro or con.)

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Radioactive Japan: Miyagi, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Chiba to Have Final Disposal Sites for Highly Radioactive Ashes from Garbage Incineration, Sludge

Goshi Hosono’s Ministry of the Environment is on the sudden offensive against citizens and residents of Kanto and Tohoku, again.

According to the Yomiuri Shinbun article, the Ministry of the Environment is already talking with the officials in the municipalities in three prefectures to built final disposal sites in their cities and towns.

As the wide-area disposal of disaster debris winds downas it is now widely revealed that there is simply not enough debris to widely distribute, Mr. Hosono looks desperate to do something so that he can claim he has made people “share the pain”.

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Atomic energy commission head Kondo took leading role in secret pro-nuclear meetings

Shunsuke Kondo, chairman of the Cabinet Office’s Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC), told a secret meeting of pro-nuclear power experts that he would have a say over Japan’s level of dependence on nuclear power when a task force set up under the commission drew up a new nuclear power policy, it has been learned.

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Yamada: We cannot cover Fukushima Daiichi reactors like after Chernobyl — It’s more complex (AUDIO)

Yastel Yamada, cofounder and director of Skilled Veterans Corps for Fukushima (Part II)
TUC Radio (Maria Gilardin)
Recorded July 30, 2012

At 19:00 in

Now a very important thing, Fukushima Daiichi is more complex than Chernobyl…

Their task was just to cover the furnace unit.

But in the case of Fukushima Daiichi, we have to continue to cool it for 10 years, 20 years. That is much different.

We cannot cover Fukushima Daiichi.

Listen to the report here



And the protests continue. To watch live:

In Nagoya tonight: 420 according to IWJ reporter.

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Tuesday Protest Against TPP at PM Official Residence Features Fake “Prime Minister Noda”

Taking the advice (or taunts) from Friday protest organizers, people have started to do their own protests outside the narrow (and at this point meaningless) “single issue” protest on Friday at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence in Tokyo.

Here’s one of them, “Against TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership)”, a NAFTA equivalent being pushed by the United States and involving countries around the Pacific Rim.

The first protest was held on Tuesday August 21, 2012, and will be held every Tuesday at the PM’s Official Residence. On August 21, over 300 people gathered, made speeches, staged a short comic play with “Prime Minister Noda”. A good enough start.

(screenshot from the video at Yasumi Iwakami’s IWJ)


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While visiting Tokyo and Fukushima, Greens Senator Scott Ludlam witnessed both the devastation of nuclear energy and a mood for change among the Japanese people.

The rice paddy on the edge of Iitate village is 30km back from the coast, framed by steep forested hills, and we stop here briefly because the scene is so strangely heraldic.

At first glance, this looks like any other rural Japanese town in late summer, but it isn’t any more. The precise geometries of the fields are softened with neglect and waist-high weeds. Two empty police cars sit out front of the vacant community hall. A work team of several dozen men in white masks and overalls tends a slow assemblage of earthmoving equipment out in the field – but this isn’t agriculture.

Iitate village is dead, evacuated after the wind swung to the north-west in the days following the tsunami that smashed hundreds of kilometres of Tohoku coastline into oblivion.

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In today’s Asahi Shinbun, the article “Prometheus” was reporting on the dearth of birds in the Fukushima area. Birds in the area are eating plants, seeds, and insects, and are dying as a result of it. Researchers are not finding carcasses of birds such as sparrows, etc., which means that larger animals such as weasels, dogs, cats, wild boars, pigs and other animals will feed off the remains of birds that are weakened or die. 

The article also mentions that fish in ponds and lakes in areas contaminated with cesium, etc., are being found floating in those bodies of water. Larger animals, crows, certain kinds of hawks, feed off the fish. 

From the water to the plants to the worms… And so it goes, on up the food chain.

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Devil’s Tango: How I Learned the Fukushima Step by Step

by Cecile Pineda

“An astonishing anatomy of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster…” –John Nichols

“Pineda’s masterful framing of the urgency for readers to learn from the Japanese nuclear disaster and the machinations of its industry handlers makes Devil’s Tango one of the most important and required reads this year….” –Jeff Biggers, Huffington Post

Published on the one-year anniversary of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant,Devil’s Tango is a one-woman whirlwind tour of the nuclear industry, seen through the lens of the industrial and planetary crisis unfolding most visibly right now in Japan. As much personal journal as investigative journalism, the author’s journal entries trace her own and the world’s evolution of consciousness during the first year following the March 11, 2011 disaster. Pineda keeps track, day-by-day, of worsening developments at Fukushima Daiichi, and records the daily evolution of her perceptions. Often poetic in tone, philosophic in scope, her reflections are peppered with dramatic monologues,day-to-day reportage, philosophical speculations, meditations, deep song (canto hondo) and occasional flights of fancy, a monoplay, and a grand guignol. There is no other book quite like it. John Nichols calls it an “astonishing anatomy of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster,” “… a revelation, and a searing denunciation of the worldwide nuclear energy industry.”

Read more at:


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Teacher: “I’m lying to a room full of students” — Fukushima City should be evacuated

Title: Visiting the end of the world
Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Author: Senator Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia
Date: Aug 24, 2012


Flash forward to August 2012, with 150,000 people evacuated from places like Iitate. The mood in the region is dark. A young high school teacher downloads the unvarnished truth in a loungeroom in Fukushima City the night before our trip down to the coast.

“I’m lying to a room full of students,” he tells me, daring me to break eye contact. Like many thousands of others, his wife and children now live in temporary accommodation well outside the contaminated area, but Japan has no social security net to speak of and people can’t just walk away from jobs.

Now he is grappling with a hateful dilemma, addressing a room full of students in a city he believes is no longer safe for children. Fukushima City, population 290,000. Kōriyama City, population 336,000. Both of them hit by the plume that carried fission products from the broken reactors to the north-west before the wind swung briefly towards Tokyo. I hesitate, then ask, should this city be evacuated? He pauses a long time before answering, and finally drops his gaze. Yes.


With a slightly different fall of the dice, the Fukushima meltdowns would have cost the people of Japan their country. Another cruel accident of plate tectonics and it still could.

There is no place on this archipelago for nuclear power, and tens of millions of Japanese now understand this. Everything has changed.


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From ENENEWS at:

Atomic Age Symposium II: Fukushima, May 5, 2012 – Session III Roundtable
Published: August 22, 2012
Published by: University of Chicago

Transcript Excerpt

Hiroaki Koide, nuclear reactor specialist and Assistant Professor at Kyoto University’s Nuclear Research Institute:

The problem right now is not figuring out what the cause of the explosion [at Unit 3] is, but where in the world is the melted nuclear material that is in the plant right now?

Unfortunately we have no way of figuring this out…

We can’t go in and look… there’s nothing we can do at this point…

Like I said we have no idea where the melted nuclear core is at this point…

100 tons [was in reactor]…

Fell through steel reactor…

So where did the melted material go from there? It fell into the containment vessel and what is that made of? Also steel.

But what Tepco has been telling us is that underneath that steel is a floor of cement and that cement hasn’t melted yet.

But it’s not as if Tepco has gone there and seen if this is the case or anything like that. It’s based on calculations that they claimed to have worked out that way.

But I don’t believe it for one second.

There’s at least a possibility that it’s gone through all of it and leaked into the ground…

If something like that happens, there’s a strong possibility that it leaks into the environment and the ocean is right there.

I’ve been advocating since last May that a wall be built underground…

That’s really all I know at this point. I really hope something is done so the material doesn’t spread to the greater environment and I’m going to do all I can do to prevent that from happening.

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Rust found in Hamaoka nuclear reactor water

High concentrations of rust have been found in the water in the Hamaoka nuclear plant’s No. 5 reactor following a seawater inflow accident last year, plant operator Chubu Electric Power Co. has announced.

An estimated five metric tons of seawater gushed into the No. 5 reactor shortly after the plant was suspended for safety checks in May last year. Before the incident, the water sampled from around 10 of the reactor’s fuel assemblies registered an iron rust concentration of about 62 parts per billion (ppb). More recent testing following the accident showed concentrations as high as 8,900 ppb — about 14,000 times greater.

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Read and green: Publisher launches renewable energy project in Hokkaido

A Tokyo publisher is branching out well beyond books with a new green energy business using hot springs in Hokkaido to generate electricity.

Kokushokankokai Corp. is aiming to start operation of a binary cycle power plant in the Hokkaido town of Teshikaga by spring next year.

“Hope for green energy has been growing since the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, and we came up with this while thinking about what we as a publisher could do,” the company stated.

Binary cycle power plants produce electricity by pumping hot water out of the earth, passing it through a heat exchanger and then returning it to the ground. A low boiling-point fluid such as ammonia is pumped through the heat exchanger where it vaporizes, and is then put through a generator turbine before being condensed and recycled.

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From FukushimaDiary at:

More hospital food will be from contaminated area

Posted by Mochizuki on August 23rd, 2012

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is spreading the propaganda called “Support by eating”.
They are pushing food from contaminated area even to hospital and senior citizens’ home.

On 8/22/2012, MAFF sent an official request to Public Interest Incorporated Association “Japan medical kyushoku (Lunch) association” to consume more food from the contaminated area.


In order to improve the consumption of food from disaster area, we request you to actively purchase and consume food from disaster area for medical facilities and nursing facilities.

When you are hospitalized, you can not choose the origin of food.



90 percent of public submissions favor zero nuclear power plants

About 90 percent of public comments solicited by the government over the nation’s future energy policy support the abolition of nuclear power, an analysis of the data released Aug. 22 has shown.

The results of the analysis were reported Aug. 22 at a meeting to review public debate. Of the 89,124 submissions from the public, the government analyzed about 7,000 of them. It found that 81 percent favored immediate abolition of all nuclear power plants, while 8.6 percent favored a shift to a society free of nuclear plants in stages. Altogether, about 4 percent of people said they either supported or permitted nuclear power.

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Antinuclear Japan: Nearly 90% of Public Comments on National Energy Policy Are “Zero Nuke”

That’s the number from analyzing 7,000 comments from the public on the national energy policy. 80,000 more to go.

The committee members who have been analyzing the public comments have already started to stress the importance of “quality” over the “quantity”.

From Mainichi Shinbun (8/22/2012):

パブリックコメント:原発ゼロ支持9割 7000件分析

Support for “No nuclear plants” 90% of the 7000 public comments analyzed so far

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Meteorological Agency plans to use advanced devices to speed up earthquake early warnings

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has decided to start using advanced deep underground and underwater seismometers by the end of this fiscal year so that it can issue earlier alerts for major earthquakes hitting Tokyo and the Kinki and Chubu regions.

The JMA plans to use data from “deep underground seismometers” installed at least about 500 meters underground in the Kanto region as well as the so-called DONET (Dense Oceanfloor Network System for Earthquakes and Tsunamis) installed in the Kinki and Chubu regions. In the event of an inland or near-field earthquake hitting the metropolitan area, an alert could be issued one to three seconds faster than the current system. In the case of a powerful earthquake striking the Kinki and Chubu regions, an early warning could be issued seven to 10 seconds faster than the current system.

The National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) installed the “deep underground seismometers” on solid bedrock about 500 to 3,500 meters below ground in order to accurately monitor temblors on the Kanto Plain that consists of soft sedimentary layers. According to the JMA, data from the seismometers will be sent to the JMA’s processing equipment for early warnings. Because the seismometers are installed closer to the focus of quakes than monitoring points set up on the surface of the Earth, an alert for an inland earthquake hitting the metropolitan area could be issued one to three seconds faster and more accurately.

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Worker dies after collapsing at Fukushima nuke plant

A 57-year-old worker died after collapsing at the disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant on Aug. 22, police have announced.

The incident marks the latest in a series of deaths of workers trying to bring the plant under control following the outbreak of the nuclear disaster in March 2011. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) says it is aware of four such workers having died in the past.

According to TEPCO, the man was found collapsed at the plant at around 10:35 a.m. on Aug. 22 and was rushed to a hospital in the Fukushima Prefecture city of Iwaki after suffering cardio-respiratory arrest. The man died that afternoon, Fukushima Prefectural Police said.

“It is not known why he collapsed, but it was not because of the effects of radiation, judging from his exposure dosage,” TEPCO said.

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Cesium-laden fish may point to ocean hot spots

Staff writer

A record-high 25,800 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium has been detected in fish caught within 20 km of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co., indicating there may be hot spots under the sea that need further investigation.

Fishy business: Record-high levels of radioactive cesium were found in these two “ainame” greenlings caught Aug. 1 off the coast of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. KYODO/TEPCO

That level is 258 times the government limit for safe consumption. The cesium was found in two “ainame” (greenlings) caught Aug. 1 at a depth of 15 meters, Tepco said Tuesday. It was the most cesium found among seafood samples so far.

A person could get a dose of 0.08 millisieverts by eating 200 grams of the greenlings, Tepco said. A cumulative dose of 100 millisieverts increases the risk of dying from cancer by 0.5 percent.

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Fukushima co-ops to resume trial fishing for 7 more species

IWAKI, Fukushima — Fisheries cooperatives in Fukushima Prefecture have agreed to additionally permit trial fishing of seven more fish species amid a voluntary ban on coastal fishing off the prefecture following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The fisheries cooperatives reached an agreement with the Fisheries Agency, the Fukushima Prefectural Government and distributors during their meeting in Iwaki on Aug. 22. A formal decision will be made at a meeting of heads of fisheries associations on Aug. 28.

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Japan Nuclear Professor: Fukushima smoke stacks releasing radiation on a daily basis (VIDEO)

Atomic Age Symposium II: Fukushima, May 5, 2012 – Session III Roundtable
Published: August 22, 2012
Published by: University of Chicago

At 9:00 in

Hiroaki Koide, nuclear reactor specialist and Assistant Professor at Kyoto University’s Nuclear Research Institute: I think you saw some pictures of the Fukushima power plants today, and what you saw there is that it’s got huge stacks, smoke stacks, and there’s stuff coming out of that, and that there’s radiation coming out of that on a daily basis.

There’s also radioactive material in fluid form coming out from the water that is released in trying to keep the radioactive material cool.


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Scientists to call for review of nuclear disposal

Japan’s national scientists’ organization is to propose a radical review of the government’s plan for disposing of highly radioactive nuclear waste. The group says an initial plan to bury the waste more than 300 meters underground for tens of thousands of years is wrong for the country.

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