Day 527 Tadaima

Catching up on the news over the weekend. First off, last Friday, there were two small quakes along the Sanage-Takahama fault running through western Aichi. This is the fault I’ve mentioned before and am keeping an eye on. Didn’t feel them, and didn’t hear of anyone else noticing them either. From my cell phone:

The first on 17 Aug 2012 at 03:12 was an M3.3:

The second, a M3.4, occurred at 04:06:

To see how close they were (or how far apart), here’s a map of the two (the city of Nagoya is just to the left of this picture):

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In other news, the Independent Web Journal has announced it’s site is now available in English at:

http://iwj.co.jp/en/

Although the videos are in Japanese, it makes it easier for an English-speaker/reader to find particular videos.

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Another important video from Arnie Gundersen:

Can Spent Fuel Pools Catch Fire?

With transcript at:

http://www.fairewinds.org/content/can-spent-fuel-pools-catch-fire

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Here’s another site I came across that cores incidents at NPPs around the world. They cited “10 nuclear events in 10 days”:

The Watchers

http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2012/08/18/10-nuclear-events-in-10-days/

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Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012

Citizens’ groups propel rising wave of antinuclear activism

Staff writer

Japanese summers are not kind to protesters. Under the scorching afternoon sun and into the humid evenings, however, tens of thousands of citizens have continued to chant against the restart of Japan’s nuclear reactors.

On June 16, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda decided to restart the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture. On July 5 it became the first reactor to be restarted since the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11 of last year. However, the protesters’ efforts are beginning to have an effect: Earlier this month, Noda announced that he will meet the leaders of the antinuclear protests in front of his office, where the gatherings have been held every Friday evening since March 29.

Article continues at:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20120819x1.html

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Here’s an important piece of news… It seems that TEPCO “made “donations” to the village of Rokkasho where they have the plant for recycling nuclear waste and producing plutonium. This is how very income-limited fishing villages are able to have funds to spend on infrastructure, roads, sports centers, highway bypasses, etc., that the town would otherwise not be able to afford. The local people would welcome that kind of subsidy and the jobs (on site and within the local community) that are created from the opening of such a plant.

TEPCO, Tohoku Power made dubious transactions to Rokkasho nuke plant village

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) and Tohoku Electric Power Co. paid a total of 400 million yen to an Aomori Prefecture village near a nuclear plant under construction following last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, it has been learned.

Article continues at:

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120820p2a00m0na008000c.html

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Monday, Aug. 20, 2012

30% of big companies see potential of green energy

Kyodo

More than 30 percent of 109 major Japanese companies polled believe that renewable energy will constitute a viable alternative to nuclear power.

According to the results of the poll released Saturday, only three companies believe there is no alternative, indicating that business circles are becoming increasingly optimistic that Japan will be able to minimize its reliance on nuclear energy in the future.

Asked what will replace nuclear power, 35 companies said renewable energy in the form of solar or wind power, while 10 firms said thermal power.

Article continues at:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120820a6.html

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And a little local flavour:

Cesium measured from Tofu in Aichi, Mid Japan

Posted by Mochizuki on August 19th, 2012

Food is produced in contaminated areas and consumed in less contaminated places.

Cesium was measured from Tofu. The Tofu was purchased at a supermarket chain, Max Valu in Aichi prefecture. (446km from Fukushima plant) It’s made of soybean from south part of Iwate prefecture. Iwate is in the disaster area of 311, about 220 km from Fukushima plant.

Measurement date : 8/15/2012

Cs-137 : 2.39 Bq/Kg

Cs-134 : 1.95 Bq/Kg

Total : 4.34 Bq/Kg

Source

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THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

Radioactive Japan: Over 200 Evacuees from Futaba-machi (Where #Fukushima I Nuke Plant Is Located) Still Lives in Classrooms, Particioned with Cardboards, 17 Months After the Nuclear Accident

What’s the point of holding a white balloon and chanting “Saikado Hantai!” to the tune of an organization with strange personalities and creed every Friday at Prime Minister’s Official Residence, as if it’s some kind of fashion statement to do so? Not much.

Particularly when just about everybody, from the top government officials on down and including you and me, continue to (or choose to) be ignorant of what has been happening to the people who had to evacuate their homes after the March 11, 2011 nuclear accident, with no prospect of going back any time soon.

An organization called “Enechen” (“energy change”, in Japanese English) is asking for help so that they can at least provide hot meals to the 200 evacuees from Futaba-machi who continue to live in the classrooms in a closed high school building in Saitama Prefecture where the town’s government has temporarily relocated. They are mostly elderly residents, and they have nowhere else to go.

After nearly 17 months since the accident, the country is quite happy having them live in classrooms with card board partitions.

From EX-SKF at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.fr/2012/08/radioactive-japan-over-200-evacuees.html

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Headlines from ENENEWS…

NHK Special: Reactors could break like glass during accident — Neutrons change properties of steel (VIDEO)

http://enenews.com/nhk-special-reactors-could-break-like-glass-during-accident-neutrons-change-properties-steel-video

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Mainichi Interview: “The reactors still continue to release radioactive materials” — “The gov’t needs to recognize the gravity of this situation”

http://enenews.com/mainichi-interview-the-reactors-still-continue-to-release-radioactive-materials-the-govt-needs-to-recognize-the-gravity-of-this-situation

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NBC: Radioactive contamination in San Francisco neighborhood — 400 times EPA limit found in soil sample — Boys & Girls Club exposed to contaminated dust?

http://enenews.com/nbc-radioactive-contamination-in-san-francisco-neighborhood-400-times-epa-limit-found-in-soil-sample-boys-girls-club-exposed-to-contaminated-dust

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Mystery yellow substance on rooftop near Tokyo has cesium at 177,000 Bq/kg (VIDEO)

http://enenews.com/mystery-yellow-substance-on-rooftop-near-tokyo-has-cesium-at-177000-bqkg-video

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NHK: US halts shipments of Japanese beef due to concerns of radioactive contamination from Fukushima disaster (VIDEO)

http://enenews.com/nhk-us-halts-shipments-of-japanese-beef-due-to-concerns-of-radioactive-contamination-from-fukushima-disaster-video

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Jiji: Footage reveals Tepco made plans to evacuate Fukushima Daiichi

http://enenews.com/jiji-footage-reveals-tepco-made-plans-to-evacuate-fukushima-daiichi

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Chiba Produce Fair in Thailand – “All-Out Offensive to Sell Chiba Pears”, Says Sankei Shinbun Article

According to the article, wealthy Thais were snapping up pears grown and harvested in Chiba for as much as 1,000 yen (US$12.67) a piece.

The event in Bangkok was attended by the governor of Chiba Prefecture, a former popular TV actor with little acting skills.

Article continues at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/08/chiba-produce-fair-in-thailand-all-out.html

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Fuel Assembly Covers Found Cracked and Discolored in SFP of Tsuruga Nuke Plant Reactor 1

Reactor 1 of Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant in Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture, operated by Japan Atomic Power Company, is the very first light-water reactor (by GE) built in Japan, and the 7th oldest commercial reactor in the world (as of January 2012).

(Fukushima I Nuke Plant’s Reactor 1 is the second oldest, after Tsuruga’s Reactor 1.)

Reactor 2 of Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant (pressurized-water reactor by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries) may be sitting on top of an active fault.

Article continues at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/08/fuel-assembly-covers-found-cracked-and.html

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More on that butterfly item from last week- Thank you EX-SKF for doing more in-depth research on this!!

FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2012

“Butterfly Mutations Caused by #Fukushima #Radiation” a Redux of the Sokal Affair?

Following the footsteps of “California has banned fishing because of highly radioactive tuna fish from Fukushima!” and “Japanese athletes were excluded from the London Olympics opening ceremony because they were from contaminated Japan and they were wearing badges made of radioactive debris from Fukushima!” (both of which seem to have died a deserved death but not before confusing and distressing many people in Japan and abroad), here comes the latest sensation on Twitter in Japan:

Butterflies mutated because of radiation from Fukushima accident!

This one was doing very well for a few days, being picked up not just by the mainstream media in Japan but also by the august foreign media including BBC,CNN, and Le Monde. Why? Because it was not a lowly blogger or a Russian news who started the “news” but it was the Japanese researchers from University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, by having their paper published in a open-access, peer-reviewed magazine of Nature (the magazine was launched in June 2011).

[snip]

It sounds scary, but what the researcher failed to mention but others in Japan who immediately started dissecting the paper have been saying is this:

  • These particular butterflies’ original, natural habitat is southern, warmer locales such as Okinawa, and Kyushu, Shikoku.
  • These butterflies have been known to have a lot of mutations as it migrates ever northward, far outside their natural habitat, LONG BEFORE the Fukushima accident, and it has been well studied and the results published
  • Why did these researchers pick this particular species prone to mutations if they really wanted to isolate the effect of radiation?

Here’s one good “togetter” (string of tweets) in Japanese by people clearly with solid scientific background analyzing this paper.

Professor Joji Otaki himself has written a paper on the topic of mutation of this particular species, and hasattributed the mutation to colder temperatures. But now, scanning through the paper, I see that he and his fellow researchers attribute physiological and genetic mutations of this butterfly species to exposure to artificial radiation from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, without proving that it is indeed the radiation from Fukushima that have caused genetic mutation. The researchers just say so in the paper, as if that’s what everybody knows.

Read the entire article at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/08/butterfly-mutations-caused-by-fukushima.html

☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢

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