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Japan

Nuclear Industry Executive/Consultant Update on Developments at Fukushima

The astounding pace with which astonishing events are rolling out of this end of the timeline around the world and here at home have preoccupied my days and nights the last few months, it seems. I've been hoping to catch up on things but the phase 'humanly possible' rudely interrupts my everyday agenda.

The tripled-disaster of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant destruction in Japan are not the least important of events and with a science/technology background, I'd feel compelled to commentary, if possible.

Suppressing the Truth About Nuclear Power - If you think this was bad, just wait

By Joaquin posted by Michael Collins

The truth is, there is a big fat lie that the nuclear power industry and the media are foisting on the public and that has not changed. But first let's take a look at some other lies. For example, here is a picture of an exploding reactor building #3 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant: (Image)

We are supposed to believe that this hydrogen explosion is no biggie; course it isn't; it's just a direct hit. WTF, there is a huge amount of concrete flying hundreds of meters in the air not a tin roof; the nature of the damage done by this explosion has proven to be the subject of one lie after another.

New problems emerge in Japan's nuclear power emergency

Freedom

Sampling of ocean water 30 km off Japan's coast found radioactive "iodine concentrations at or above Japanese regulatory limits," as well as amounts of cesium-137 below regulatory limits. Some of the contamination may be due to recycled sea water used to cool down the reactors and spent fuel ponds. Still, the volume of water thus contaminated suggests that the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant complex has already released massive quantities of radionuclides over the past two weeks.

More massive releases are a disturbing possibility, experts say.

US Embassy, Tokyo: Citizen Evacuations Have Begun

Via Dolores M. Bernal's News Junkie Post,

The US Embassy in Tokyo has officially announced that it will start evacuating American citizens and their families off Japan starting on Thursday, local Japan time. The Department of State cited the "deteriorating" nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant as the reason to take Americans to "safehaven."

[...snip...]

The safehaven locations so far are in Korea and China — Seoul and Taipei respectively. Citizens wishing to go back to the US will have to make their own arrangement from these locations.

An updated item from the US Embassy site in Tokyo provides the following information:

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo informs U.S. citizens in Japan who wish to depart that the Department of State is making arrangements to provide transportation to safehaven locations in Asia. This assistance will be provided on a reimbursable basis, as required by U.S. law. U.S. citizens who travel on US government-arranged transport will be expected to make their own onward travel plans from the safehaven location. Flights to evacuation points will begin departing Japan on Thursday, March 17. There will be a limited number of seats available on evacuation flights departing from Narita and Haneda airports on March 17. Priority will be given to persons with medical emergencies or severe medical conditions.

Persons interested in departing Japan via USG-chartered transportation should proceed to Narita and Haneda airports or contact the US Department of State and Embassy Japan by sending an e-mail to JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov or by calling 1-202-501-4444. Please provide the following information:

  • Name
  • age
  • place of birth
  • U.S. passport number, and
  • any special medical needs.

Immediate family members (spouses and children) who are not U.S. citizens must be documented for entry into the safehaven country and/or U.S., if that is your final destination.

We hope that the ongoing situation in Japan can be resolved quickly, preventing further damage and destruction in a nation already reeling from a series of tragic events.

If you can provide any assistance, please do so. There's an excellent list of organizations put together by Lili Ladaga from Yahoo! News. The list there provides some details in a description about giving. In order to get the list of organizations out to the public with the donation links intact, I've listed the organizations directly below, using the links provided by Lili @ Yahoo - so you'll notice that any click-thru tracking credits Yahoo! with the source ID. That's a good thing. Still, check out their original source material for more information, and do what you can to help:

Thank you.

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Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Tsunami Impact, Tech Shortage Edition

The tsunami that struck Japan in the wake of the recent major earthquake has wrought tremendous damage in terms of both loss of life and physical destruction. But the impact isn't limited to Japan. Via Mashable (hat-tip Roxy);

As Japan digs out from its worst earthquake and tsunami in recent history, and engineers scramble to contain the damage at the Fukushima nuclear plant, another crisis is unfolding behind the scenes: massive disruption to the global supply chain.

As relatively unimportant as it may seem, Japan’s factories are the lifeline for electronics companies the world over. Some 20% of all semiconductors and 40% of all flash memory chips sold in the world’s smartphones, tablets, cameras and computers are made in Japan.

[...Read more...]

Affected manufacturers and suppliers include Toshiba, Sony, Texas Instruments and Hitachi. See the original Mashable article for more detail on the products impacted, and share your thoughts in comments below about what other types of impact the series of disasters may have on both Japan and the world at large.

Keep the Japanese people in your thoughts, meanwhile, and remember: This is an Open Thread.

Post Nuclear Japan, Pre Disaster United States

Michael Collins

Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2011-03-14 04:37:12 -0400. -- GH


The Japanese disaster at Fukushima I is a human tragedy of striking proportions. As many as ten thousand citizens may be dead in the general catastrophe, with many more at risk for radiation poisoning at levels yet to be determined. The fact that Japan is a highly organized and wealthy nation in no way diminishes the intensity of the losses and pain experienced by the victims. (Image)

Political and economic implications will emerge rapidly. As the whole world watches, the Japanese experience creates windows of opportunity to learn how to avert future meltdowns at nuclear ticking time bombs placed throughout Europe, the United States, India, and China.

Events have overwhelmed the highly professional Japanese bureaucracy. In a late Saturday night report by CNN, the chief cabinet minister said that he presumed that there was a nuclear meltdown in reactors one and two, with three on the way. A nuclear regulatory official hedged by referring to the "possibility" of a meltdown, which he said could not be confirmed since workers couldn't get close enough to see. The same regulatory official told CNN,

"We have some confidence, to some extent, to make the situation to be stable status," he said. "We actually have very good confidence that we will resolve this." March 12

Experts outside the government referred to the situation as desperate given the use of saltwater as a last resort for cooling the nuclear material.

See interactive map at International Nuclear Safety Center

 

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Friday At 2:46PM

Last Friday as I sat in my apartment watching Ghost Busters an earthquake started at first it seemed like any other for about 30 seconds. Suddenly that all changed as the power of the quake increased about 100 times. Because so many of my neighbors are retried I went downstairs to check on them as my feet touched the ground it was like having instant vertigo. Its amazing just how difficult it is to keep ones balance when there is no point of reference tell which way the ground was moving.

People here are used to earthquakes so it was very strange too see them fleeing their homes and apartment blocks.

As Japan is quite well prepared for these kinds of events all trains ceased operation, all students were evacuated from their schools as well all other public buildings. After making sure my neighbors were OK I rode my bike around the area while there was some damage it was nothing like that which took place in the worst effected areas.

For the last 3 days deliveries to shoppes have been very limited with all most all the shelves completely empty. Hopefully that will change soon.

The Tsunami didn't effect us and so far we are not effected by the problems in Fukushima. At least not yet as far as the radiation is concerned. Where we are effected is that TEPCO has announced rolling blackouts in the Kanto region the first of which occurred this evening staring at 5pm.

My description of what happened doesn't even do it justice. It might impossible to do just that. One of the places I visited on Friday was the local elementary school all of them were in the school yard and the shocked look on their faces was unsettling so I stayed for a while to help comfort them.

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Explosion at 3rd Nuke Plant; Second Tsunami Spotted Off Coast [Update - NO 2nd Tsunami]

Update: The meteorological service has said there is no second tsunami.

______________________________

Another tsunami spotted off the coast of Fukushima - the site where the distressed nuclear plants are located. And an explosion occurred at Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant unit 3 ("The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says a hydrogen explosion occurred Monday morning at the No.3 reactor at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture." via news banner atop NHK World news page). Meanwhile, rescue temas from 9 countries arrive in Japan to assist in relief operations.

What a bloody mess.

For those who may want to help, Shelterbox is on the ground in Japan. Donations to them are one of many possible ways to try to help.

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Earthquake, Tsunami, and now a Volcano

Crikes - it's been one hell of week for Japan. Now, Shinmoedake volcano on the southern island of Kyushu has started erupting:

Hundreds of people were forced to flee when the Shinmoedake volcano on the southern island of Kyushu began spewing ash and boulders.

The explosion from the eruption could be heard miles away and an ash plume extended two miles into the sky.
[Read more]

Located 950 miles or so from the epicenter of the quake, experts are uncertain if the volcano's activity is tied to the recent quake.

Sorry for the short diary - but wanted folks to have something to add to if following relief and recovery efforts in Japan. There is nothing below the fold.

Side note: Something called 'volcano monitoring' was used by experts in recent weeks, who noted increased activity and lava buildup.

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Dual & Dueling Natural Disasters: Major Earthquakes, Tsunamis in Japan

Above the fold: Information and links regarding emergency communication and people finder services. Please DO NOT use these pages or access the links unless you are actually looking for someone, particularly if you are not located in or around the affected areas.

Please provide any corrections to translated text in comments

Google Activates Person Finder page

Google activates Person Finder for Japan quake, tsunami

Google Inc. has just activated a Person Finder page to help people concerned about loved ones in the area affected by Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The Person Finder page can be found at http://japan.person-finder.appspot.com/ and it is available both in English and Japanese.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/techchron/detail?entry_id=84797#ixzz1GI7GlnlV

via SF Gate

In Japan: Emergency Message Board

NTT East Voice171/Web171 Page

災害用伝言ダイヤルをご利用できる電話、提供開始時期、
Overview and emergency messaging
Available for telephone emergency messaging service, offering start date,
We explain our message and phone number can be registered.

災害用伝言ダイヤルの録音と再生方法を具体的に

Specifically, the way emergency messaging service for recording and playback
We explain.

災害用伝言ダイヤルの録音と再生方法を具体的に
Specifically, the way emergency messaging service for recording and playback
We explain

[Source Page on NTT East]

NTT West Web171 Page

災害用ブロードバンド伝言板の概要とご提供のしくみおよび
Mechanism and overview of broadband Disaster Message Board

災害用ブロードバンド伝言板の 登録 および 閲覧 方法を具体的に
Broadband disaster message board for registering and viewing messages

[Source Page on NTT-West]

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Random Japan

Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2010-09-18 10:47:51 -0400. It's always good to see Mishima's work here. :) -- GH

CRAZY TRAINING
Ten-year-old Japanese guitar prodigy Yuto Miyazawa made such an impression on his idol Ozzy Osbourne that the rock’n’roll relic took him along on his 2010 Ozzfest tour.

A 26-year-old bassist from Kanagawa was arrested for breaking into a musician’s home and stealing five double basses and some other stuff worth ¥53 million.

For the first time in Japan LPGA Tour history, twin sisters played a round together when Keiko and Noriko Kubo, both 23, shared the same grouping at the Nitori Ladies tournament in Hokkaido. Unsurprisingly, the twins shot identical 2-over-par 74s in the first round.

A Mainichi Shimbun report revealed that officials at the Tokyo Detention Center execution venue are only made aware of impending executions when the center calls them and asks, “Are you free tomorrow?”

Japan's Sea Of Change

On Sunday August 30 voters in Japan did something that most thought would never take place a change of government. Unlike previous times one Liberal Democratic Party leader wasn't replacing another. In a complete about face voters took a huge leap of faith and voted in the opposition Democratic Party of Japan led by Yukio Hatayama.

Beneath the Spin: America: Are We Really that Exceptional?

 Well, there's that arrogant, xenophobic, and divisive phrase again - "American Exceptionalism."


President Obama is being roundly criticized by many conservatives for refusing to go around the world promoting the conservative vision of American superiority. Their shortsighted idea of effective American diplomacy is for the President of the United States to trot around the globe telling the people of the world that we're better than they are.

"Tears in the Darkness"

"There are no winners in a war."


I sometimes listen to The Diane Rehm show while I'm exercising and today I checked out a program aired in June, that featured an interview with the husband and wife team , Michael and Elizabeth Norman, who wrote the just published book  "Tears in the Darkness," the story of of what happened to the 76,000 Phillipine and American troops who were forced to surrender to the Japanese in 1942 after a four-month war fought under the command of Douglas MacArthur.


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