Japan

Flaminius

hedomodo
日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
Hi,

Thank you for your continued support and messages of solidarity. I cannot but regret that I cannot thank all of you in person.

To pick up a few questions mentioned in this thread, it is getting all the more clear for the situation at Fukushima that we are facing something a little more complicated than a trilemma of pumping water, rewiring the reactor and collecting radioactive cooling water. Radioactive water leaked into the ocean, including a government-induced discharge, works to removed debris from the premises, new pavements for heavy machinery to approach the reactors. I admire those behinds the efforts but we are yet to cope with fuels that melted down.

Relief efforts for tsunami-hit areas is characterised by singular efforts by individuals. A local high school student built a Web site using Google Map to show graphically what goods are needed in what places. A university lecturer I know canvassed evacuation centres near Sendai (which his parents live and where he lost an uncle) to set up a network to request and send goods by-passing local bureaucracy. [Both of the sites are in Japanese and meant for domestic audience but I just wanted to show their improvisation.]

I'd continue for a few more paragraphs but I stop here. I need to rest but I will come back soon.

Ciao
Flam
 
  • bondia

    Senior Member
    English-England
    Hi,

    Thank you for your continued support and messages of solidarity. I cannot but regret that I cannot thank all of you in person.

    To pick up a few questions mentioned in this thread, it is getting all the more clear for the situation at Fukushima that we are facing something a little more complicated than a trilemma of pumping water, rewiring the reactor and collecting radioactive cooling water. Radioactive water leaked into the ocean, including a government-induced discharge, works to removed debris from the premises, new pavements for heavy machinery to approach the reactors. I admire those behinds the efforts but we are yet to cope with fuels that melted down.

    Relief efforts for tsunami-hit areas is characterised by singular efforts by
    individuals. A local high school student built a Web site using Google Map to show graphically what goods are needed in what places. A university lecturer I know canvassed evacuation centres near Sendai (which his parents live and where he lost an uncle) to set up a network to request and send goods by-passing local bureaucracy. [Both of the sites are in Japanese and meant for domestic audience but I just wanted to show their improvisation.]

    I'd continue for a few more paragraphs but I stop here. I need to rest but I
    will come back soon.

    Ciao
    Flam

    Very glad to hear from you. Take care, all the best
    bondia
     

    Oldy Nuts

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Chile
    Hello Flaminius.

    It was good to know from you. I live in Chile, and my chances of travelling to Japan are (almost) zero, so it seems highly unlikely that we will ever meet. But don't worry; don't forget that our countries are the two more highly seismic in the world, and last year we had an earthquake that was only a couple of tenths lower in the Richter scale than the one there. So I may be in a better position to understand how you and your people feel than those who only know earthquakes through the news.

    Thank you for sharing with us those beautiful two examples that make we feel that mankind is not so hopeless as we tend to think on seeing to many examples of the opposite kind. I think I posted in another thread a similar beautiful story that took place here, less than an hour of our earthquake of last years. This was in the middle of the night, with no electricity, no phones, streets full of debris from the damaged houses, etc. And the scene shows a man riding slowly and carefully a bycicle, with only a hand flashlight to see where he was going, and shouting again and again: "I am a doctor, anyone in need of help around here?".

    I know that the Japanese people are strong, and they will recover from this tragedy. There are very many of us around the world who are hoping that those hundreds of anonymous heroes who are risking their lives trying to get the situation at Fukushima under control will succeed very soon. And we do realize that this is by no means easy, but we are all with you.

    Do come back whenever you can. It helps knowing that one is not alone.
     

    bondia

    Senior Member
    English-England
    Hello Flaminius.

    It was good to know from you. I live in Chile, and my chances of travelling to Japan are (almost) zero, so it seems highly unlikely that we will ever meet. But don't worry; don't forget that our countries are the two more highly seismic in the world, and last year we had an earthquake that was only a couple of tenths lower in the Richter scale than the one there. So I may be in a better position to understand how you and your people feel than those who only know earthquakes through the news.

    Thank you for sharing with us those beautiful two examples that make we feel that mankind is not so hopeless as we tend to think on seeing to many examples of the opposite kind. I think I posted in another thread a similar beautiful story that took place here, less than an hour of our earthquake of last years. This was in the middle of the night, with no electricity, no phones, streets full of debris from the damaged houses, etc. And the scene shows a man riding slowly and carefully a bycicle, with only a hand flashlight to see where he was going, and shouting again and again: "I am a doctor, anyone in need of help around here?".

    I know that the Japanese people are strong, and they will recover from this tragedy. There are very many of us around the world who are hoping that those hundreds of anonymous heroes who are risking their lives trying to get the situation at Fukushima under control will succeed very soon. And we do realize that this is by no means easy, but we are all with you.

    Do come back whenever you can. It helps knowing that one is not alone.

    I live in a place where there is no seismic activity (to speak of) although we were affected a few years ago by an earthquake in Algeria which caused a mild tsunsami that damaged boats in the harbour, including ours.
    However, one doesn't need to experience things first hand to understand, and sympathise, with those who do.
    Oldy Nuts, your example of the doctor offering help in the night to the victims of your earthquake is truly moving. One's faith in humanity should never falter, a pesar de todo. And thank you, Flaminius for sharing.
    I, too, am with the anonymous heroes. Keep in touch.
    bondia
     

    Oldy Nuts

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Chile
    Bondia, I know that you didn't, but I see now that there may be people who take my words to mean that I am underestimating the solidarity of those who don't know firsthand what an earthquake is. On the contrary, and fortunately for all of us, there are many good hearted people all over the world who really can feel other people's sorrow as if it was theirs. If I may say this in public, I think you are a good example of this.
     

    bondia

    Senior Member
    English-England
    Bondia, I know that you didn't, but I see now that there may be people who take my words to mean that I am underestimating the solidarity of those who don't know firsthand what an earthquake is. On the contrary, and fortunately for all of us, there are many good hearted people all over the world who really can feel other people's sorrow as if it was theirs. If I may say this in public, I think you are a good example of this.

    I thank you for your words, querido amigo.
    The world would be a better place...
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    I'd like to share news and efforts to recover from tsunamis.

    An NPO in Shizuoka is connecting fishermen and marine culturists (growing, eg, oysters and wakame) to used fishing boats from Taiwan. In that country, there is a surplus of boats due to a policy to curb overfishing.

    Often, tsunami refugees have been left to stay in shelters doing nothing. I even hear stories how they offer to help manage shelters and clean the streets of rubble and get turned down by the municipality. However, now several townships are moving to give them jobs. Yamada-machi Township are now offering refugees temporary employment lasting from 20 days to 3 years. The 500 jobs offered include temp staff at the town hall, marine sweeping and workers at evacuation centres. Rikuzen Takata City plan to hire refugees for debris removal. A local driving school proposes to train refugees for heavy machinery licence at a reduced rate. The volunteer from Tokyo who arranged the deal with the school says lesson fees will be even cheaper because he can use donations collected by his group.

    [The last sentence may need a long footnote. Large famous organisations have amassed a huge amount of donation but victims have yet to get the money. Donation collected by Red Cross Japan, for example, is first handed to a governmental committee and distributed to prefectures (akin to French régions), and then to local municipalities. Finally, municipalities give out the money by the count of population. Finding out the population itself was troublesome because they were reluctant to exclude the number of missing persons like death tolls. Provisional payments are expected to be made this week but in my opinion it took already too long.]

    I could go on about bureaucratic thickness in Japan these days but that would probably be of use to no one. :)
     

    Oldy Nuts

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Chile
    Thank you for the news, Flaminius. I am glad to see that, as most of us expected, Japan is finding ways to overcome the consequences of the disaster. The small-scale and unexpected ones are of course the most valuable from my point of view.

    And Japan is not alone in having to fight bureaucracy. The Spanish word for this disease is "burocracia", but it is common for us to talk about "burrocracia" -an untranslatable play of words, because a "burro" is a donkey...
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    It is not so much a news item than an "olds" item but last week there were two significant progresses.

    First, two nuclear generators at Hamaoka have been shut down in compliance with Prime Minister Kan's request (not unlike an order but PM has no right to order a shut down). Ageing Hamaoka Power Plant is known as the most dangerous nuclear reactors in Japan due to its location along a major fault line.

    Second, the Tepco compensation scheme has been approved by the Government. Yes, it exonerates bondholders, injects a great amount of taxpayers' money, defines the range of relief too narrowly etc., etc. Still, I hope it is a move forward.

    A controversial type of damages is those by "pre-emption for rumours" (translation tentative: original being 風評被害, fūhyō higai, or damage by rumours). By this, I mean something a little different from rumour mongering such as telling tales to manipulate stock prices. When spinach from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gumma Prefectures were banned from market in March for exceeding the limit of radioactivity (ban lifted sometime in April), there was an immediate spinal-reflex-like aversion to anything coming from the regions. Not only that. Some food industry buyers (restaurant chains, eg.) even went so far as to refusing to buy any spinach no matter what region they come from. They would tell the poor grocer, "We are aware your spinach is safe, but we are afraid that our customers are not and wouldn't dine at our restaurants if we serve any spinach." Rice from Fukushima is sold, if at all, at an unbelievably price. Of course they are harvested, packed and stored away last autumn. Those who are afraid of this type of rumour would argue that they are merely pre-empting rumours, even if a rumour is quite unscientific and even if there is no evidence to its existence. A sober businessman would say it is too late when a rumour is actually around. You now see how Tepco, the Government or both are reluctant to cover damages wrecked by this pre-emption.

    I mentioned this because similar things are happening on a global scale. Some countries maintain comprehensive embargo on food from Japan. Others require radioactivity tests for each industrial product coming from Fukushima. Oh no. Products are made indoors at factories outside the evacuation zone. They are enough conditions for products not to collect radioactive dusts. [To be fair, things sitting outdoors for a long time are different. Russian customs refused to accept used cars from Japan last month because they detected radioactivity stronger than their limit. Still, it is a matter of cleaning the surface of the cars.]

    If anyone who reads this is in position to decide to buy or not to buy products from Japan, please consider:
    No objects or living things are so bombarded with neutron and other radiant rays so far that they themselves have become radioactive. For industrial products, micro dusts collected on the surface are the most possible source of radioactivity. With the amount of emission so far, an object should be covered with unreasonable amount of dust to be dangerously radioactive. It is simple as that. Reassure your bosses and your customers.​
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    If anyone who reads this is in position to decide to buy or not to buy products from Japan, please consider:
    No objects or living things are so bombarded with neutron and other radiant rays so far that they themselves have become radioactive. For industrial products, micro dusts collected on the surface are the most possible source of radioactivity. With the amount of emission so far, an object should be covered with unreasonable amount of dust to be dangerously radioactive. It is simple as that. Reassure your bosses and your customers.​
    If it's any small comfort - I can say that I've never heard of such worries in Britain. It wouldn't have occurred to me to think of that before this thread either:).
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Let us hope that the UK public consists of rational people like you, Tim. Any which way, it is worth mentioning that the Japanese MOFA held a briefing last month in London about safety for products from and tourism in Japan. [Briefings were held also in Paris, Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul last month. By the end of May, they are going around to more cities including New York, Tai Pei, Hong Kong and Brussels.
    Briefings are targeted to private businesses that would impose stricter conditions on Japanese products after the quake.]
     

    Oldy Nuts

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Chile
    Hello Flaminius, it was good hearing from you.

    Although I have read of some sort of nuclear panic in some places, I don't think I have seen anything like it around here. In fact, people here are more worried by the lack of news about what is really happening at Fukushima than about hypothetical radiation in articles coming from Japan. I very much doubt that any Chilean renewing his/her car/laptop/TV/calculator/... would even think of rejecting Japanese ones based on radiation risks. And if there was one, s/he would be laughed at...
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hi Oldy, glad to hear from you too!

    Now, here is briefly what is happening. Unit 1 has found to have suffered from meltdown. It is likely the case for Units 2 and 3. By meltdown, the authorities mean that fuel rods melted and heaped at the bottom of pressure vessel. The heat of destroyed fuels poked holes in the pressure vessel. What is luckily NOT happening is recriticality or nuclear explosion. If anyone here believes Arnie Gundersen and the like, rest assured they are wrong. Neutrons, as they are the sign of fussion, have been hardly detected outside the reactors.

    Unit 3 experienced a sudden rise of temperature. The peak was over 330 °C but has subsided to ca. 200 °C now. This is still worrisome as the cause has yet to be determined.

    What is sadly not happening is clear communication. Tepco have waited till the first week of May for a few final data items before withdrawing their "damaged fuels" theory and admitting "meltdown" (both are vaguely defined lay terms). The media was upside down with the buzzword for the last two or three days as the newly found severity of the accident will pose more difficulty for Containment Roadmap.

    Professor Haruki Madarame of Tokyo University, Chair of Nuclear Safety Commission, testified in the Parliament yesterday that his commission have been telling about fuel damage all the same. The Tepco roadmap was based on the assumption that fuel damage to Unit 1 was about 55%. This time, no concrete figure is given to describe how serious the damage is assessed. But this is important to see how today's situation is the same or different from what was assessed a month ago.

    [To be fair, there are scholars who said the damage was much severer. As early as April 13th, Michio Ishikawa, ex-president of the Japan Nuclear Technology Institute, suggested a meltdown in which fuels formed a 4 x 2 metre piling at the bottom of the pressure vessel (Emergency Appeal, PDF, Japanese).]

    An older experience with Tepco shows strong reluctance at communication. Tepco took films on the 17th of April from unmanned helicopters over Fukushima I. They were released to the media and Tepco themselves published files in their Web site. Strangely, T-Hawk videos were only available in an English PR page. It took about a week to see an equivalent Japanese page.

    These are frustrating. I understand that things look even murkier from abroad. I do hope, however, I can exercise patience when delay and inaccuracy are inevitable; sometimes what is reasonably expected is unreasonably low.
     

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    Português/ Brasil
    Thank you for updating us, Fla.

    These are frustrating. I understand that things look even murkier from abroad. I do hope, however, I can exercise patience when delay and inaccuracy are inevitable; sometimes what is reasonably expected is unreasonably low. __
    Ah! The proverbial Japanese exercise of patience! We, westerns would be climbing the walls of anger and impatience! :)
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    These are frustrating. I understand that things look even murkier from abroad. I do hope, however, I can exercise patience when delay and inaccuracy are inevitable; sometimes what is reasonably expected is unreasonably low.

    I admire your forbearance in the face of adversity and do earnestly hope that all works out for the best for your country. I can't resist thinking though that TEPCO might benefit from a good boot up the behind. I have been very far from impressed with their conduct since this crisis broke out.
     
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    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Obviously a lot of us, including yours sincerely, do not look kindly upon TEPCO and their less-than-commendable conduct. When in doubt, I happen to prefer gritting my teeth to panicking. Here panic does not take shape of violence so easily, but there are symptoms such as pre-emptive discrimination and increasingly zany comments by media figures. What I want to share with you here are more sober and reasonable explanations. Nowadays, I believe few can complain about abundance thereof, right? ;-)

    benefit from a good boot up the behind
    Alas, if only I know how to make a sharp thrust at the buttocks and where to find them. Things are developing faster than a layman can understand as they happen. When I have done enough research to form my opinion, the case is over or put aside for a while. Or dirty things are scooped from far out in the past. Even if I look too pensive, I think the approach is better than an alternative; throwing tantrum at suspicious decisions no matter what.

    Here is a case that contains a lot of panic, manufacturing consent, acquiescence to doubt and despair, from all sides. I hope you don't mind a long account as it has been unfolding for the last few weeks. On April 19, Ministry of Education, Science and a Few Other Things (they like to be called MEXT) set forth "the provisional standard for the utilization of kindergartens, elementary schools and high schools in Fukushima Prefecture after the prefecture was struck with the nuclear crisis. The ministry has come up with a guideline for deciding whether the school grounds and buildings can be used: in order to stay within the 20 millisievert annual exposure safety limit, all outdoor activities need to be stopped when the radiation level at the schoolyard hits above 3.8 microsievert/hr." The outdoor activities standard is valid until summer vacation (1). In a Q&A session with the press, Yoshiaki Takagi, the MEXT Minister, failed to answer if measures are to be taken before vacations to improve the radiation level. This is one of the causes of confusion but the official announcement document does declare the necessity of improvement.

    City of Kōriyama decided to take an independent action. At an elementary school with high radioactivity, they scraped the surface of the school ground and the radiation got below the standard. The problem is now how to do away with the pealed soil. The city first wanted to use dump fill but met with opposition from residents near the site. Later the Government intervened to declare that the soil is now radioactive waste. This means the disposal will be regulated by a special law. No one knows when the soil, which is now heaped in the corner of the ground, will be removed from the school. MEXT now suggest replacing surface soil by soil at a deep level in the same ground. They are yet to announce whether it is a mandatory measure or not.

    The radiation level for the standard, 20 mSv/y (milisievert per year), is also contested. Unfortunately, strange comments are uttered by experts who are otherwise known to be very serious and rational. Prof. Shuňňichi Yamashita of Nagasaki University, Fukushima Prefecture's advisor on radiation exposure, said in a lecture to locals that it is a national duty to obey the standard as it was defined by the country. In March, he was reported to have commented, "Radiation won't influence those who are smiling. It gets to those who are worried."

    If you think the proponents of lower radiation level are more reasonable, meet Toshisō Kosako, a professor of Tokyo University. He was an advisor to the PM's Cabinet Office but on April 29 resigned his post as protest to the standard. In a tearful press conference announcing his resignation, he commented that admitting the 20 mSv/y standard would mean the end of his academic career. "I would not let my children undergo this condition," he said.

    He did not reveal the grounds of his opposition in the conference. Later, he was going to hold another conference but it was cancelled after he was "advised" by people around PM on his confidentiality obligation. At least the organisers say so. On May 2, Madarame, the NSC chair, reportedly said, "Honestly, I do not understand what Mr. Kosako is indignant with." It was NSC that at the request of MEXT sanctioned the 20 mSv/y standard. The gathering in which the decision was made being an "informal" one, the minutes was not made.

    Emotion, manipulation, power struggle and secrecy; all comments miss the point. So, let me say at least once in large, friendly letters:

    DON'T PANIC

    Whew.....

    The figure 20 mSv/y is based on an international proposal called ICRP Publication 111 (Special Free Download of ICRP Publication 111 - ICRP).

    The proposal is meant to be applied to areas stricken by a nuclear accident. Here are the gists to the best of my understanding (2):

    1. It sets forth measures for locals to continue living in the area.
    2. The provisional level should be 1-20mSv/y and it has to be as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA).
    3. Local communities and residents should be involved in decision making. The Government should provide help and information to assist their efforts at self-help.
    4. The process of decision making should be recorded.
    5. It employs a "thresholdless linear" model for danger of radiation. There is no threshold, therefore, beyond which radiation suddenly gets dangerous.
    6. Efforts should be made to lower the radiation level. Locals and the Government are both involved. Same as 3.
    7. It follows from 5 and 6 that the provisional standard does not exonerate parties from reducing radiation even the level is below the standard.

    Whether or not children are safe with radiation at a certain level (whether it is 20mSv/y or 10mSv/y) is a pointless discussion. Those media figures running amok do not say this (I hope at least they know). Until a lot of us realise that ICRP Publication 111 is a guideline for forming a policy where everyone works to achieve a clearly defined goal, I will probably keep on saying "Patience" and "Don't panic."

    1. The Japanese "artificial" years (fiscal, school and everything) are between 4-1 and 3-31.
    2. Relied a lot on this Japanese Blog:
    http://www.cp.cmc.osaka-u.ac.jp/~kikuchi/weblog/index.php?UID=1304907764
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    International Fact-Finding Mission dispatched by IAEA had the first full day of work. Their investigation is meant to provide member countries information on TEPCO's preparations and responses to the quake, specially how they addressed the plight of the locals.
    IAIE's own PR is done here:
    http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/2011/japanmission.html

    On 24th, the Japanese Government launched their own Accident Investigation Board headed by Yōtarō Hatanaka, the advocate of "study of failures". Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku said he hopes for a thorough, open and neutral investigation from the public's viewpoint, whose results shall be publicised both to the nation and the world. He also stressed that the investigation will spare no conducts of TEPCO, concerned government agencies, and cabinet members including PM himself.

    The last bit is surely due to the allegations that PM was responsible for stopping cooling process at Fukushima I for about one hour on March 12nd. Records at TEPCO and Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reveal that Mr. Kan was apprehensive that pumping seawater into the reactors might trigger recriticality of fission fuels. Possibility of recriticality, according to NSC's Chair, Prof. Madarame, was close to zero, that is, really zero. There are a lot of speculations going on about TEPCO's motives for publicising records and how Mr. Kan's apprehension deterred the cooling works. The latter was a hot topic in the Parliament's special commission. After a regular round of denial, prompt corrections to official papers, scathing comments by the opposition party members, what few established facts are no longer plausible.
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Latest news reports find that seawater injection was never suspended on Unit 1. Apparently TEPCO headquarters told men on the ground that injection should be suspended but Masao Yoshida, the head of Fukushima I Power Plant, did not comply. According to Sakae Mutō, TEPCO vice president for nuclear plants, Yoshida on his sole discretion continued water injection. He was earlier reported to have been the strongest and the earliest voice in TEPCO in favour of a vent on Unit 1.

    Mutō also reveals TEPCO reached the decision to suspend injection after a TEPCO personnel related from the Office of PM, "the atmosphere here is such that seawater injection cannot be done since PM does not approve of it." [The English article assigns a more active rôle to the politicians by "[T]he prime minister’s office raised the concern." My verbatim translation may virtually means the same, but, presumably, that in itself is a big problem. It would mean either that the PM's office exercises its leadership in a very sinister way to eschew responsibility or, which is no less probably, that TEPCO is a pushover that jumps at the slightest cue from the Government. I'd also factor in the possibility that the whole issue is buck-passing between TEPCO and the Government.]

    Has anyone missed seeing Rashōmon by Kurosawa? The movie is unfolding right in front of us in modern costume.
     

    Oldy Nuts

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Chile
    Hello Flaminius, and thanks for your continued efforts to keep us infomed.

    I tend to be somewhat skeptical of what the media have to say about things like what's really happening in Japan. And the more scientific sites I have consulted have been complaining since immediately after the earthquake of the lack of accurate and reliable information about what has really happened and is happening in the affected reactors. Unfortunately, your recent posts only seem to confirm that there are many causes for the lack of such information.

    One thing that I have found comforting in all this tangle of announcements and counter-announcements, is that I have not yet seen in the more serious sources any mention to dangerous increases in radiation at or around the reactors. So maybe the situation is not so bad after all. I am sure that most people all over the world would wish that such were the case.

    Finally, I would like to express that I would feel much happier if the Japan authorities and TEPCO devoted their strongest effort, not to blame or citicize each other, but to put an end to this threatening situation. Which unfortunately can take many months, even if both pushed in the same direction...

    We are with you, and with all your people, Flaminius.
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Ah, if I can let numerical data speak for themselves, here is a dollop of them:
    http://atmc.jp/
    Translation is available via embedded Google Translate. Individuals have compiled official data from national and prefectural agencies.

    Google Maps offers this.

    Here is visualised data of total dose amount (1704 hours as of now) since 2011-3-15. The measurements are compared with the world average of natural dose and that in Guarapari, Brazil, with the highest level of background radiation in the same period of time.
    http://r.diim.jp/

    All data seem to indicate that there has been no major radiation release after initial vents and hydrogen explosions. Spatial dose measurements are on steady decrease or have dropped to the normal ratio. The current radiation source on the ground outside the site is Cs-137, the radioactive isotope of caesium. As a few scientific papers suggested before the accident, Cs-137 is not flying or flowing away after 2-month long weather changes. Our challenge for the next couple of months is how to effectively and reasonably remove caesium-contaminated soil from our living environment. Hence my lengthy comments on ICRP Publication 111 and how it is implemented.

    Briefing documents for IAEA mission
    http://www.nsc.go.jp/info/20110525_IAEA.html

    Automatically-Updated TEPCO Data in Graphs:
    http://oku.edu.mie-u.ac.jp/rad/
     
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    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    I just hit a wrong button and all the harangue I prepared has gone to where only the wind knows.

    Anyway, KEPCO, utility company providing for Kyōto, Kōbe, Ōsaka etc., was aware of historical records (two most authoritative documents of the time, one being History of Japan by Luís Fróis, a Jesuit missionary) attesting to tsunami damages in Wakasa Bay by Tenshō Earthquake in 1586. Wakasa Bay, Kyōto, is now home to 14 reactors including Monju, the fast-breeder reactor with device trouble while criticality continues. It is widely believed in Japan that coastal areas on the Sea of Japan is unlikely to be hit by tsunamis, due to the distance from oceanic plates. By 1981, KEPCO, while doing the literature survey mandatory for building Monju, came to know History of Japan and Kanemikyō-ki by Yoshida Kanemi. They did not regard their references to tsunamis as trustworty and so did not pass on the information to the locals in briefings.

    KEPCO now say that they will do boring survey to assess the scale of tsunamis by Tenshō Earthquake, but they would not admit that the current safety standards are insufficient. They did say they would revise standards but only in relation to the accident in Fukushima I. Similar stubborn refusal to admit overlooking vital piece of information was practised by TEPCO when the media discovered that they knew about Jōgan Earthquake.

    Their attitude strongly reminds of a sciopsychological phenomenon called groupthink, first proposed by Irving Janis back in the 1970s. Cohesive group, illusion of invulnerability, mindguards, failure to contingency plan; you can see almost all symptoms there.
     
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    bondia

    Senior Member
    English-England
    On 11th March, I started this thread when I saw, by chance, the live images from Japan.
    I will be absent from the Forum for a while (not by choice), but hope you will all continue to inform one another, Oldy, Flaminius, etc.
    All the best
    bondia
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    We'll miss you, bondia. May you finish your errands and come back soon!

    Politicians have now resumed the normal modus operandi, namely to drag each other down. [Japane expresses the same by an idiom "pull one's leg." They not only pull each other's leg (JP) but also pull the collective leg of the public (EN).]
    Mr. Kan, the PM, now faces non-confidence vote:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13624199
    A lot of politicians do seem to be worried that they will fail in the next election if they do not "do something" now. Not one of them knows what that something exactly is, something that at least does harm the rest of us.

    Similar panic-driven behaviours continue outside the parliament, albeit in a subsided scale.
    Opera stars, fearing radiation, cancel:
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110601a9.html


    I hope, however, that a lot of us are more like them.
    Japan pensioners volunteer to tackle nuclear crisis:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13598607
     
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    Oldy Nuts

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Chile
    Hello, Flaminius.

    A series of circumstances have preventes me from commenting your last messages, for which I apologize.

    Unfortunately, your messages only confirm things I had gathered in the somewhat more serious sources. One of them is the appalling lack of reliable, timely and quantitative data about what has happened and is happening in the damaged reactors. Sadly, everything seems to point to the situation being worse than what we have been made to believe. One wonders if we will ever know.

    And now comes your news about the eternal political dogfights from which no country seems to be free. I find it absolutely scandalous to see the outrageous amounts of time, efforts and even money that are wasted in these pointless fights instead of spending them in solving urgent problems such as the ones your country is facing now. Fortunately, the more "normal" people in Japan act quite differently, as your last example shows.

    I hope both things are gradually corrected, hopefully sooner than later, and your people receive the treatment they deserve.
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    At last here is a good news so salient that even a pessimist like myself cannot overlook

    Sanrio Ltd., Tokyo and Mercis B.V., Amsterdam, made an announcement on June 7th that they will donate €150,000 or ¥17,500,000 in a relief package for those stricken by 3.11. It is part of a world-wide settlement deal that ends the copyright dispute over Miffy and Cathy. Sanrio and Mercis say that the very earthquake that they are tackling was the main reason for this settlement (plus they were no doubt tired of all the legal hustle). All litigations and counter-litigations between them have been dropped and Sanrio pledges that they will not make or license Cathy products, a measure that continues from November 2009. Problem solved! :)
     

    Oldy Nuts

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Chile
    I'm not t a big fan of Ann Coulter, but anyway she says "radiation is good for you": http://www.godlessliberals.com/inde...-is-good-for-you&catid=37:politics-&Itemid=57

    If it's good for her, why doesn't she volunteer to go and help in controlling the situation in the damaged reactors? Could it be that she does know that the number of people who have suffered terrible and even mortal consequences of nuclear radiation in disasters such as those of Hiroshima, Nagasaky and Chernobyl is far from negligible?

    Of course radiotherapy can be a useful help in curing some forms of cancer! But the patient always suffers some secondary effects of radiation, which may not be all that pleasing or welcome.
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    An astounding number of physicists find a growing number of evidence credible that radiation is bad for your health in any small dosage. This includes background radiation naturally occurring in the environment. Life is dangerous.

    A smaller number of physicists believe a scientific hypothesis called radiological hormesis (something generally dangerous to the body may be beneficial in a very small quantity). Their experiments have not yet found solid enough evidence to establish it has a scientific fact.

    A yet smaller number of people, mainly politicians and their minions, use radiological hormesis to appease the panic of the half-witted mass. Hey, we are glad to talk to someone who is on the same level as us.

    And as of today, I have come to know this Ann Coulter. I could not download the interview for more than a minute, but I was intrigued, not by her idiocy (we heard crazier opinions from saner people at the height of the crisis), but by the TV station's decision to give her some publicity. Was that meant to provide viewers the joy of deriding a political crank?
     

    frida-nc

    Senior Member
    English USA
    If it's good for her, why doesn't she volunteer to go and help in controlling the situation in the damaged reactors?
    Ann Coulter and Altruism are opposing concepts.
    TV station's decision to give her some publicity. Was that meant to provide viewers the joy of deriding a political crank?
    progress.gif
    She's a regular on Fox, which would not think of deriding her. "Provocative as usual" is as far as they will go to appease those few Fox viewers who thinks that her shock technique is too shocking.
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    An interview with Mr. Bruno Pellaud by a Japanese newspaper was in the news today. Pellaud, however, told a Swiss press almost the same thing as early as Mar 31:
    http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/science...rges_global_nuclear_reviews.html?cid=29892346

    The delay in time is discouraging. I am not just speaking about my poor research skills not being able to locate the Bruno Pellaud interview on my own but also about how the media was so slow to report this ex-IAEA official. The public would have reacted very differently to the government's plan to support TEPCO in the compensation schemes, had they heard an expert's view on how TEPCO neglected voices of caution.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I have the privilege and honor of singing in a Japan Relief Fund concert at Disney Hall in Los Angeles this Sunday. I hope it raises a significant amount to be sent to Japan. The concert is the brainchild of one of the members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

    I know it's only a drop in the bucket compared to the need, but we do what we can.

    Meanwhile, how's everything over there? Our newscasters have very short attention spans here.
     

    swift

    Senior Member
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    C'est une bonne nouvelle, James. Tu nous enverras le liens vers YouTube, après ? ;)

    Break a leg. :cool:
     

    Oldy Nuts

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Chile
    I don't know his field, but top scientists rarely give such details about a most worrying situation without being sure about what they say. Let's hope then that he's not such a top scientist. That's why I said "from someone who should be well informed"
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    There does not seem to be a terminological agreement between the physicist and the CNN anchorman (female). When she asked about "reaction", Prof. Kaku replied that they had not achieved cold shutdown yet. The former may have meant Uranium and Plutonium fission reaction (which is not happening!) but the latter was saying that there are still a lot of decay heat to deal with. I don't mean to downplay the danger of steam or hydrogen explosion due to decay heat, to be sure.

    Prof. Kaku blames Fukushima I for "spike" of radioactive iodine in New York City milk. I don't have actual numerical data to ascertain this but can an element with such a short halflife travel a long distance and remain in so considerable an amount that it can be found in milk?

    Edit:
    Milk generally contains radioactive iodine. It should be checked whether or not the increase is real and, if so, if it is within the reasonable variation range and if other factors may be playing a rôle.
     
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    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    I am worried about "heros".
    Whereabouts of 30 nuclear power plant subcontractors unknown: Health Ministry
    http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110621p2a00m0na005000c.html

    Let me decipher the Japanese penchant for euphemism. "Cooperating companies" for TEPCO's nuclear branches are simply subcontracting companies to the eleventh generation at the maximum. Once in a while the utility brags about high salary that they are paying to their workers but it is skimmed to the minimum before workers actually get the money.

    Unless conspiracy theorist are right in assuming that missing workers have been dead due to overdose, we have to admit that nuclear industry at least in Japan is supported by those who are so down and out that they have to hide their true identity or lost ID documents. [For collateral evidence, TEPCO found last week that a worker was smoking in a mask-on zone in the site. Before reacting "how foolish!", please consider how TEPCO thought it was okay to leave people like him foolish.]
     

    almostfreebird

    Senior Member
    Born and raised in Japón, soy japonés
    Japan and Team USA in Womens World Cup Final

    Great Game!!

    Congratulations to Japan!

    Edit:

    Congratulations to both teams!
     
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