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August 02 2011


Japan - Risk-aversion measures spreading after March 11 quake

asahi.com(朝日新聞社) :: The devastation of the March 11 earthquake has prompted local governments and businesses to scramble for measures and proposals to mitigate future damage in this natural disaster-prone country. Their growing fears have not only led to flight of business operations to safer areas and raised calls for changes in the power generation system, but they are also rekindling calls to relocate capital functions out of Tokyo.

Continue to read Kenichi Goromaru Staff writer, www.asahi.com


Fukushima Japan - More 'tainted cows' shipped to Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama

Daily Yomiuri :: Another 290 beef cattle raised in Fukushima Prefecture have been shipped inside the prefecture as well as to Tokyo, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures after being fed what is believed to be cesium-tainted rice straw harvested in Miyagi Prefecture. This brought to 872 the number of cows suspected to have been contaminated with radioactive cesium and shipped from Fukushima Prefecture. Six cattle farms in Iwaki, Sukagawa, Furudonomachi and Ishikawamachi purchased the straw and fed it to their cows.

Continue to read www.yomiuri.co.jp

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Japan - Nuclear plant workers developed cancer despite lower radiation exposure

There is no reason to believe that low(er) radiation exposure is more safe. The following story reported by The Mainichi Daily reminds us of the workers still staying at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. It shows that we should not feel too save if we hear exposure is below legal limits. It's a deathly job and it will be the same tomorrow.

Mainichi Daily :: Of 10 nuclear power plant workers who have developed cancer and received workers' compensation in the past, nine had been exposed to less than 100 millisieverts of radiation, it has been learned. The revelation comes amid reports that a number of workers battling the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant were found to have been exposed to more than the emergency limit of 250 millisieverts, which was raised from the previous limit of 100 millisieverts in March.

Continue to read mdn.mainichi.jp

July 11 2011


おはようございます "Ohayou gozaimasu" - Japan’s victims: surviving day by day

New America Media :: Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture.–It’s 4:50 in the morning and golden rays of sunshine are already streaming through the glass block windows at the Shizugawa High School Judo Dojo. The sound of rustling blankets can be heard coming from one corner while sounds of snoring emanate from all around.

At 5:30 a.m., Jun Suzuki is standing outside the entrance of the dojo wearing a pair of burgundy sweat pants and a long-sleeved black t-shirt under his black surfboard aloha shirt. While he takes his morning smoke, two ladies walk by and they greet each other with a softly spoken “Ohayou gozaimasu.” It’s a friendly exchange between fellow evacuees.

Suzuki is one of 105 residents at the Shizugawa High School Evacuation Center that sits on a hill above the town where his house once stood just over 12 weeks ago. Most of the residents here escaped with only the clothes on their back. Some, like Suzuki, are just lucky to be alive.

Surviving day by day - continue to read newamericamedia.org

July 01 2011


Japan - Future of TEPCO: Will someone turn off the lights?

The Atlantic Wire ::  ‘Jump in a nuclear reactor and die!’ Those were the words directed at the chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, by one angry man at the tense stockholders meeting held today on June 28. It captured the sentiment of many people in Japan who are demanding the company take responsibility for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant meltdown on March 11. So far at least meltdown at the meeting was avoided.

Tsunehisa Katsumata, the chairman, spoke for the company saying, “I wish to begin by expressing regret for the recent cases of misconduct at our company, which have eroded public confidence in the nuclear power industry.” - Recent events have not helped restore that public confidence.

Does TEPCO have a future? - continue to read Jake Adelstein | Stephanie Nakajima, www.theatlanticwire.com

June 30 2011


Japan after March 11th - 24m tons: debris removal, recycling daunting, piecemeal labor

Japan Times :: According to the Environment Ministry, roughly 24 million tons of disaster waste was generated from the three hardest-hit prefectures: For Miyagi the total runs to 16 million tons, while Iwate faces 4.5 million tons and Fukushima 2.8 million tons. Together it easily exceeds the 14.5 million tons Hyogo Prefecture had to deal with following the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake.

In addition to the scale of the disaster, experts say the complex ways the debris was created adds to the headache.

Continue to read (photos available) search.japantimes.co.jp

June 17 2011


Japan - Takahagi becomes 1st municipality to demand TEPCO compensation

Mainichi Daily :: Ibaraki Prefecture's Takahagi municipality Thursday became the first local government to demand compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Co. over the utility's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant crisis, TEPCO said. Other local governments are expected to follow suit

Continue to read mdn.mainichi.jp


Japan - Kazuharu Kawase, mayor of Tsuruga's lesson learned: go ahead with 2 more reactors

Mainichi Daily :: Kazuharu Kawase, the mayor of Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, has renewed his call for the planned construction of two more reactors at the Tsuruga nuclear power plant to go ahead, despite the nation's rising anti-nuclear sentiment as a result of the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.

[Kazuharu Kawase:] The central government should take primary responsibility for the safety of the reactors and go ahead with the plan.

Continue to read mdn.mainichi.jp

June 14 2011


Fukushima Daiichi - Young parents continue to leave the towns near the nuclear power plant

Mainichi :: Young parents are moving away from towns near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as areas of high radiation continue to be discovered, raising fears over the effects on young children.

I can't stop thinking about the power plant. I can't smile or laugh with all my heart," says Aki Ohashi, 30, tearfully as she cares for her children in her home here.

Published June 11, 2011

Continue to read mdn.mainichi.jp


Fukushima Japan - 6 more workers were exposed to radiation doses up to 497 milliSv

NHK World :: They are 3,726 workers who have worked at the crippled Fukushima plant, 2,367 have undergone medical checkups. The remaining 1,359 have yet to be examined for exposure to radiation. Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, has reported that 6 male workers, in their 20s to 50s, at its damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant may have received radiation doses up to 497 milliSv (allowed: 250 milliSv).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 09:13 +0900 (JST)

Continue to read www3.nhk.or.jp


Japan - To stay healthy, Fukushima City to give dosimeters to 34,000 children from fall

Kyodo News :: The Fukushima city office in Fukushima Prefecture said Tuesday it will give dosimeters to about 34,000 children attending preschools as well as elementary and junior high schools in the city amid growing concerns over exposure to radiation from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant nearby.

Continue to read english.kyodonews.jp

June 13 2011


Fukushima Japan - 2 weeks countdown until overflow: TEPCO to test water treatment system

NHK World :: Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, hopes to begin a test-run of a new system on Monday to treat highly radioactive water that threatens to overflow from facilities at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in about 2 weeks. To prevent the environmental hazard, it is also working on ways to shorten the scheduled 5-day test-run period.

Monday, June 13, 2011 09:59 +0900 (JST)

Continue to read www3.nhk.or.jp

June 11 2011


Fukushima Japan - 3 months after earthquake and tsunami still 90,000 living in evacuation centers

NHK World :: Massive amounts of debris needs to be cleared in the disaster-hit prefectures in Japan. Debris removal has not even begun in the evacuation zones near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. From a total of 52,000 planned temporary homes for the evacuees, currently only about 28,000 have been completed. Many evacuees have declined to move into the temporary housing, citing insufficient support services compared to those at shelters: More than 90,000 still live in evacuation centers.

Saturday, June 11, 2011 07:57 +0900 (JST)

Continue to read www.nhk.or.jp

June 03 2011


Fukushima Japan - TEPCO: nuclear power plant could leak more radioactive water

Reuters :: TEPCO said on Friday that more radioactive water could begin spilling into the sea later this month if there is a glitch in setting up a new decontamination system. Two workers may have been exposed to radiation at more than twice the limit set by the government, the most serious case so far at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. In a report to Japan's nuclear regulator presented on Friday TEPCO said, that nearly 110,000 tonnes of highly radioactive water, enough to fill about 40 Olympic-size swimming pools, are stored at the plant.

Tokyo, Fri Jun 3, 2011 6:51am EDT

Continue to read Yoko Kubota, www.reuters.com

June 02 2011


Japan - Before a no-confidence motion: Prime Minister Kan offers to resign

NHK World :: Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan says he intends to resign once he fulfills his role in handling issues related to the March 11th disaster and the Fukushima nuclear accident. Kan made the comment at a meeting of his Democratic Party's Lower House members on Thursday. The meeting was held just before a Lower House vote on a no-confidence motion submitted by the opposition.

Thursday, June 02, 2011 13:36 +0900 (JST)

Continue to read www3.nhk.or.jp

May 31 2011


Fukushima Japan - real-time footage from webcam 250 meters northwest of unit 1 reactor

NHK World :: TEPCO has begun live-streaming video of the disabled Fukushima nuclear plant through the company's website.

The real-time footage comes from a camera installed about 250 meters northwest of the unit 1 reactor. The unit 1 to unit 4 reactors can be seen in the webcast. TEPCO had until now been uploading still pictures shot from the southern side of the plant once every hour. It began the video service on Tuesday in response to many requests for live images of the reactors.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011 12:50 +0900 (JST)

Continue to read www3.nhk.or.jp

May 30 2011


Fukushima Japan - Radiation exceeds limit in Iitate & Namie within the expanded evacuation zone

NHK World :: The science ministry says the accumulative radiation exposure level has exceeded the government limit for evacuation at two locations more than 20 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The ministry said on Monday that the cumulative exposure had reached 20 milliSv (millisieverts) in a district in the mountain village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, about 33 kilometers and 35 milliSv at one location in Namie Town, 31 kilometers northwest of the plant. Both Iitate and Namie are within the expanded evacuation zone, where residents have been asked to leave due to concerns over dangerous levels of radiation.

Published Monday, May 30, 2011 18:44 +0900 (JST)

Continue to read www3.nhk.or.jp

May 29 2011


Still ... Fukushima Japan - Cooling system pumps stop at No. 5 unit

Mainichi Daily :: Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday the pumps to cool the nuclear reactor and fuel pool stopped at its crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant's No. 5 unit. When a worker at the plant became aware of the problem at 9 p.m. Saturday, the temperature of the reactor stood at 68 C and that of the fuel pool at 41 C. The figures had risen to 94 C and 46 C, respectively, as of noon Sunday, it said. As the temperature of the reactor rose, the operator switched to backup pumps to restore the cooling system, while investigating the cause of the trouble.

Updated: NHK World reports that a broken pump has been replaced and the temperature inside the reactor has started to decline. 

Continue to read mdn.mainichi.jp

Continue to read www.nhk.or.jp

May 28 2011


Japan after March 11 - shizen nōhō, natural farming without chemicals ... or radiation

The Japan Times :: Motegi did not suffer major earthquake or tsunami damage. But soon after the hydrogen explosions at the nuclear power plant, radiation contamination was found on some vegetables grown in nearby prefectures. In Motegi, Toyoguchi and Oidaira sit in the 120-year-old wooden farmhouse they have lovingly restored, and talk about their initial reaction when they heard about the first explosions at the Fukushima nuclear power plants.

We thought about closing up here and starting over in Toyohashi, where I am from, says Oidaira.

But once they'd calmed down, they thought about the years they have spent here in this tranquil corner of Japan, slowly improving the soil of their plots. After talking with other farmers in the area and consulting with organic-farming associations, they decided to stay.

Continue to read Makiko Itoh, search.japantimes.co.jp

May 26 2011


Japan - PM Naoto Kan says 20ps of energy to be from natural resources in 2020s

Kyodo News :: Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Wednesday that Japan will dramatically change its energy policy to be less dependent on fossil fuel and nuclear power, unveiling a new target of generating 20 percent of its electricity from natural resources as soon as possible in the 2020s.

[Naotor Kan, Prime Minister:] Japan will now review its basic energy plan from scratch and is set to address new challenges

Continue to read Takuya Karube, Paris, english.kyodonews.jp

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