Day 510.1 News summary from 2 Aug

Catching up on news from yesterday…

Prosecutors open criminal probes over Fukushima meltdown disaster


Prosecutors opened converging criminal probes Wednesday into the March 2011 triple-meltdown disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, looking to hold people in positions of power accountable, including then Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

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Secret meetings on nuclear fuel cycle influenced subcommittee discussion: report

Secret meetings of pro-nuclear power experts organized by the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) influenced discussion by a subcommittee on Japan’s nuclear fuel cycle, a report by a Cabinet Office investigative team has concluded.

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TEPCO still limiting media coverage of in-house footage taken shortly after nuke accident

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is sticking to its media restrictions for news coverage of footage of teleconferences it held immediately after the outbreak of the crisis at its tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011.

Despite protests from news organizations and freelance journalists, TEPCO has refused to change its stance.

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From ENENEWS at:


3 New Interviews Featuring Nuclear Expert Arnie Gundersen

Listen: Nuclear Power: Everything But The Kitchen Sink
Source: All Things Political with host Steve Leal (KJLL Tuscon, AZ)

[…] The show discusses the recently released Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission report; the San Onofre steam generator modifications and ensuing complications in California; loan guarantees for the nuclear industry; radiation concerns worldwide; whistleblowers and domestic nuclear issues; and a future with energy alternatives.

Listen: Fukushima Daiichi: An Accident or Man-made Disaster?
Source: Sojourner Truth with Margaret Prescod (KPFK)

[…] a discussion of the recent revelation from Japan’s independent parliamentary investigation that found that the Fukushima Daiichi was a man-made disaster. Margaret and Arnie also discuss the problem of regulatory capture within the global nuclear power industry.

Listen: The Fukushima Daiichi Disaster: Man-made and Preventable
Source: Radio New Zealand

[…] a discussion of Japan’s Independent Investigation Commission Report determining that the Fukushima Daiichi disaster was man-made and preventable. Kim and Arnie also discuss the Greenpeace report Lessons From Fukushima and Fairewinds Associates analysis in The Echo Chamber: Regulatory Capture and the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster that examines the root cause of the Fukushima Daiichi triple meltdown.


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Government officials get earful in public hearing held on the frontline of reactor catastrophe

Fukushima residents rip nuke power

Staff writer

FUKUSHIMA — Residents of Fukushima Prefecture, speaking Wednesday at a government-sponsored public hearing on national energy policy, called for an end to dependence on nuclear energy by 2030.

The event in the prefecture that hosts the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant was the latest in a series of nationwide hearings by the central government to solicit views on its proposals for the target ratio of nuclear energy by 2030.

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Fukushima residents call for elimination of nuclear plants at hearing on energy policy

Goshi Hosono, state minister for the restoration from and prevention of nuclear accidents, addresses a public hearing in Fukushima on Aug. 1 about Japan's future energy policy. (Mainichi)
Goshi Hosono, state minister for the restoration from and prevention of nuclear accidents, addresses a public hearing in Fukushima on Aug. 1 about Japan’s future energy policy. (Mainichi)

FUKUSHIMA — An overwhelming majority of Fukushima Prefecture residents at a hearing on Japan’s future energy policy that the government held on Aug. 1 called for the total elimination of nuclear power stations.

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3,500 schools in Japan may not withstand powerful quake: gov’t survey

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First seafood shipment from Fukushima Pref. made to Tsukiji market since nuke disaster

Octopus shipments taken off of Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, arrived at Tsukiji market in Tokyo on the morning of Aug. 2, the first shipment of marine products from Fukushima Prefecture to the Kanto region since the nuclear disaster.


Tohto Suisan’s octopus sold out in the morning. Toshiyuki Ishihara, 57, who was in charge of selling, said, “Fukushima was an important business partner since before the earthquake disaster. If we can start the steady stocking of its products, we expect that customers will return.”

(Um, if you can produce products containing no radioactivity that is.)

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From ENENEWS at:

Tokyo Paper: Thick iron shielding placed below radiation monitoring post — Dose was double 5 meters away

Follow-up to: Japan TV: Monitoring posts show far lower radiation dose — Levels shoot up just steps away

Tokyo Shinbun article from March 2012 with summary translation on July 31, 2012 by Safecast member ‘the_STIG’ who lives in Japan:


Journalist Shoji Ozawa reported that surface soil had been replaced and that a thick iron shielding had been placed below a monitoring post in Iitate that measured 1.2uSv. He measured 2.4uSv when he walked 5m away from the post. The Ministry of Education currently publishes less than 1uSv for Iitate. Professor Imanaka of Kyoto University said that the current monitoring posts are not usable at all.



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70 percent of citizens willing to attend policy hearings support zero-percent nuclear option

About 70 percent of Japanese citizens who wanted to attend government-sponsored hearings aimed at sampling public opinion on the country’s future energy mix voiced support for an option to cut the country’s dependence on nuclear power to zero by 2030.

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PM Noda to Meet with Organizers of Friday Protest Against Ooi Nuke Plant Restart, as Early as on August 3

Just like this sometimes-cynical old-timer (I presume; at least he doesn’t seem to be in the same generation as the organizers of the Friday protest) has astutely predicted, former Prime Minister Naoto Kan had already coordinated with current Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda so that PM Noda would meet with these young organizers as representatives of anti-nuclear movement, even before Mr. Kan met with the organizers on July 31.

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And for folks on the west coast of the U.S.:

Tsunami-drifted Japan pier being cut up in Oregon

   The US State of Oregon began work on Wednesday to cut up a floating pier that came ashore after drifting across the Pacific from Japan following last year’s tsunami.
The 20-meter concrete pier went adrift from the port of Misawa in Japan’s northern prefecture of Aomori, and reached the coast of Oregon in June. Its owner, Aomori, did not claim the structure.
The pier will be cut into 5 parts. Each section will be landed by crane and then broken into smaller parts. Concrete and metals from the structure will be recycled. A portion of the pier will be kept as a monument to mark last year’s March 11th disaster.
The Oregon State Government will pay more than 84,000 dollars for the demolishing work.
A spokesman for the State Government’s Parks Department, Chris Havel, expressed regret that they could not reuse the pier as it was.
It is estimated that about 40,000 tons of tsunami debris will reach the Pacific coasts of the United States and Canada by around next February. Local authorities in the region face the issue of how to cover the high costs of disposal.

Aug. 2, 2012 – Updated 06:41 UTC (15:41 JST)

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High chance of major Oregon quake: study

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 22:12 EDT

Earthquake via AFP

WASHINGTON — The western US state of Oregon has a 40 percent chance in the next half-century of suffering a massive earthquake on the scale of Japan’s 2011 disaster, a study said Wednesday.

The Pacific Northwest — from the Oregon-California border to Vancouver Island in Canada — has endured 19 huge earthquakes of around 8.7-9.2 magnitude over the past 10,000 years, Oregon State University researchers said.

An additional 22 major earthquakes have impacted only the southern part of the so-called Cascadia fault that runs from the Oregon areas of Coos Bay to Newport, the study said.

“The southern margin of Cascadia has a much higher recurrence level for major earthquakes than the northern end and, frankly, it is overdue for a rupture,” the study’s lead author Chris Goldfinger said in a statement.

The study, published online by the US Geological Survey, estimated a 40 percent chance of a major earthquake around Coos Bay, Oregon, over the next 50 years.

It said that the earthquake could be on the scale of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck in the Pacific Ocean near Japan on March 11, 2011. Some 19,000 people died as the tremor set off a devastating tsunami.

But Oregon has far fewer preparations in place than Japan, which is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone nations.

The Oregon State University study billed itself as the most comprehensive yet, which is based on 13 years of research including assessments of sediment to determine past seismic events.

Oregon already had an oral history of earthquakes, with Native Americans speaking of a giant tremor in around 1700.

Earthquake preparedness has triggered a major political debate in Oregon, with advocates warning that many schools and other buildings would be woefully inadequate in the event of a giant disaster.

Critics say that the massive cost of upgrading Oregon’s infrastructure could be devoted to more pressing priorities for residents such as building roads.


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