Archives de mars 2012

The ghost ships that haunt the oceans

Reports that a 150ft squid-fishing boat ripped from its moorings in the Japanese port of Hachinohe by last year’s tsunami has been spotted drifting, rusty and abandoned, off the west coast of Canada – more than 4,700 miles away – saw news media around the world reach unhesitatingly for the words « Mary Celeste ».

In fact, the Flying Dutchman is the original ghost ship, doomed never to make port and sail the seas forever. But despite being celebrated in verse and prose since the 1700s, as well as inspiring a Wagner opera and the Pirates of the Caribbean, she was only ever a legend.

The brigantine Mary Celeste really was found abandoned, heading for the Strait of Gibraltar in 1872. She was missing her crew but otherwise intact, carrying six months of supplies and still, remarkably, under sail. The last entry in the ship’s log was written 11 days prior to her discovery.

In 1921, the five-masted schooner Carroll A Deering washed up on a beach in North Carolina; six US government departments investigated, but the episode has never conclusively explained. Nor could an inquiry into the fate of the 25 passengers and crew of the merchant vessel Joyita, discovered abandoned in the Pacific in 1955, return any verdict other than that the incident was « inexplicable on the evidence submitted ».

More recently, in 2006, the tanker Jian Seng was found off the coast of Queensland, Australia; not only was its crew missing but neither its origin nor its owner could be established. The same year, coastguards investigating the case of the schooner Bel Amica, discovered drifting off the coast of Sardinia, found half-eaten Egyptian meals, French maps of North African seas and a flag of Luxembourg – but not a living soul on board.

Even more mysteriously, the Kaz II, a 12m catamaran, was spotted near the Great Barrier Reef in April 2007 with its sails up, its engine running, the radio and GPS working, a meal set to be eaten and life jackets and survival equipment still on board, but no sign of its three-man crew. And four years ago when the Taiwanese fishing boat Tai Ching 21 was found drifting near Kiribati, a search of 21,000 sq miles of the Pacific Ocean found no trace of its captain or 28-strong crew.

Jon Henley



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TEPCO says Fukushima No. 2 reactor water level only 60 cms from bottom

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) on Monday said the water level of the No. 2 reactor container at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is only 60 centimeters from the bottom, indicating a large quantity of water injected to cool the melted fuel is leaking from the vessel.

TEPCO made the discovery after a worker used an endoscope to take photos of water in the No. 2 reactor’s primary containment vessel at the the tsunami-crippled plant.

A TEPCO official said that water is being continuously injected into the reactor to keep the melted fuel cool. He said that the water temperature in the vessel was about 48.5 C.


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TEPCO execs should face poverty over Fukushima, lawyer says


A lawyer representing shareholders suing Fukushima nuclear plant operator TEPCO for 5.5 trillion yen said Monday the company’s executives should be prepared for misery and poverty to make amends.

Hiroyuki Kawai, who is leading 42 shareholders in their bid for compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Company for negligence over the tsunami-sparked disaster at the plant, said senior managers must be made to pay.

“Warnings have to be issued that, if you make wrong decisions or do wrong, you must compensate with your own money,” Kawai told a press conference.

“You may have to sell your house. You may have to spend your retirement years in misery. In Japan, nothing can be resolved and no progress can be made without assigning personal responsibility.”

The lawsuit, which is demanding a record 5.5 trillion yen, claims that 27 current and former executives of TEPCO ignored warnings by researchers about the possible damage to the Fukushima Daiichi plant that a huge earthquake and tsunami could cause.

The Fukushima crisis might have been prevented, had TEPCO taken the research seriously and carried out simple preventative measures, such as placing an emergency power source on higher ground, Kawai said.

Reactors at the plant were sent into meltdown when huge waves swamped their cooling systems following the March quake.

Radiation leaked over a large area, forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes and rendering vast areas unfarmable.

No one from TEPCO has been arrested and there is no active criminal investigation into the case, despite a number of inquiries that found serious shortcomings in the company’s emergency safety procedures.

TEPCO declined to immediately comment on the ongoing civil case.

© 2012 AFP


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Japanese pushed to the corner to revolt

Japanese is finally noticing that they are surrounded by the invisible walls.
Since when the bubble ended in 1992, Japan has been in the long recession, called Japanese lost 20 years. Leaders changed like revolving lantern. Japanese became aware that their voice is not reflected in the political situation but they tried to ignore the fact and indulged themselves in the fading prosperity.

However, they can not ignore it anymore.
Since 311, their government has been all trying to kill the people instead of saving. Concealing SPEEDI, having people remain in hotspots, covering all the information and having set the food regulation to save the producers instead of the consumers.

Countless petition, demonstration, and discussion have been done but none of them have been effective.

Since last Japanese revolution in mid 19th century, Japanese have not felt the necessity of revolt this much.
Japanese is finally starting to be aware that they have been quiet for too long. They are trying to recall how to stand up against the power.

On 3/11/2012, 14,000 people demonstrated in Tokyo and made a human chain to surround Japanese parliament. A man in the chain asked police, anti-nuke movement is getting slow. Police whispered, it’s not getting slow. They think it was an achievement to have had 2012 without any clash. It’s rather to be more active.

Because people are more and more aware, mass media is busy at manipulating information. NHK can’t establish their policy to be pro-nuke or anti-nuke. Currently, SNS leads the social consensus. The world has changed.

However, the fact is that none of the consensus can affect the political decision.
On 3/11/2012, Japanese prime minister Noda had speech to spread the radioactive debris to all over Japan. It is assumed that they will take radioactive debris even to Okinawa in April. There is even an unconfirmed information that they have already taken it and landfilled. People in Okinawa is starting to claim that they are having nosebleed or sore throat.
Utter ignorance of the public officers keeps situation going worse regardless of the petition and enlightening movement of the citizens.
In Okinawa, there are approximately 10,000 people evacuated from the main islands of Japan. For them, Okinawa is the last radiation haven. In the end of WWW2, Okinawa was the last battle field between Japan and US. Now in 21st century, Okinawa is becoming the last battle field between radiation pilgrim and Japanese government.

At this moment, it’s highly likely that citizens will fail.
Contaminated food is still served at school lunch, and on the shelves of the supermarkets. Decontamination is becoming the business to be beneficial for the government.
There is the concrete fact that people can no longer change the situation legally.

Japanese have been educated to think expressing your own opinion is rude. Now they are trying to learn how to speak out from the cases of overseas, such as Tibet, Tunisia, Egypt or Greece.
Because they are becoming more emotional, they are ignoring that most of the protests ended up failing. Everyday, new terms come up on the SNSs such as hunger strike, human chain, direct appeal, use of force and assassination.
Authority made a police box in front of the house of Mr. Katsumata, the chairman of Tepco. It means they are feeling the threat of people.

Because people can’t do anything for Fukushima anymore, they keep themselves distracted at alternative issues.

1. Attempt to stop all the nuclear plants in Japan.
2. Measuring radiation all around in their circumstances and food.
3. Acting against the policy to spread the radioactive debris.
4. Revealing the manipulated facts about the decontamination business..

Soon these will be united and lose its focus to turn to be violence.

The more aware people become, the harder the government becomes.
Japanese society is tensioned.

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The Children of Fukushima

Between the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and the Great East Japan Earthquake last year, a lot has been said about the effects of natural disasters on the health and well-being of the communities that are affected the most. Much of the dialogue has revolved around how to rebuild these communities using limited (and sometimes nonexistent) financial and logistical resources from NGOs and foreign governments. While these discussions are immensely valuable, and usually succeeded by an initial outpouring of aid and volunteerism from the international community, they are usually somewhat short-lived. But, unfortunately, it often takes years, if not decades, to rebuild the lives of those who have lost their homes, loved-ones, and livelihoods. This is especially true in the case of Japan, where it is still unclear how long people will continue to feel the financial and health consequences of the radiation spill.

While the initial outpouring of aid is extremely important (and I do not wish to degrade the efforts of these initial responders!), there appears to me to be a huge gap in the area of long-term support systems for disaster victims. This is perhaps most noticeable in the area of aid for children. In Japan, for

instance, many of the children who live in the coastal regions of Fukushima were witness to unthinkable emotional and psychological trauma, and the little research that has been done in this area has shown that these children are also more prone to disorders such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) than their adult counterparts. This is especially true when the children have lost a parent and/or have had to be relocated from their homes.

In Fukushima, though, there is an additional problem. In addition to the life-long health concerns that the children face, they will likely also experience some sort of social and/or economic discrimination in other parts of Japan for the rest of their lives (primarily caused by the intense prejudice against radiation victims that started with the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima/Nagasaki in World War II). It is unclear what, if anything, can be done at this point to address this problem, other than educate people outside Fukushima that radiation poisoning is not contagious (something that I was surprised to find is not known in much of Japan).

For now, though, there are some small but extremely worthwhile interventions in Fukushima to help the children continue to develop

‘normally’ both physically and psychologically. One of the most successful ones consists of a series of indoor playgrounds called « PEP » (I’m not sure what the acronym stands for) that allows kids to just…be kids. Because many parents do not let their children play outside due to the radiation in the soil, this type of intervention is extremely important as it allows children to develop many of the social skills and health habits that will assist them for the rest of their lives. While the intervention is still in its infancy phase, it will hopefully be a vital first step in helping the children of Fukushima continue to develop normally, and eventually become well-adjusted adults and productive citizens of Japan in the years and decades to come.

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Tsunami that hit around Fukushima nuke plant was 21 meters high: researchers




Tsunami that hit around Fukushima nuke plant was 21 meters high: researchers

The Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, background, is pictured from a Mainichi helicopter above Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, in this photo taken on Aug. 30, 2011. (Mainichi)

The Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, background, is pictured from a Mainichi helicopter above Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, in this photo taken on Aug. 30, 2011. (Mainichi)

The tsunami that hit the Pacific coastline within what is now the no-go zone around the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant topped 21 meters, researchers have found.

A team of researchers headed by University of Tokyo professor Shinji Sato and the Fukushima Prefectural Government found that up to 21.1 meters of tsunami had struck the coastal areas within a 20-kilometer radius from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011.

The finding came one year after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami struck, as the 20-kilometer nuclear exclusion zone had hampered researchers from conducting a field survey there.

Clad in protective gear, the researchers entered the no-go zone on Feb. 6 and 7 this year, covering 28 locations along a 40-kilometer coastal stretch from Minamisoma to Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture.

After examining the traces of tsunami left on window glass and roof tiles, researchers found that a 21.1-meter-high tsunami had hit the Kobama district of Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, located between the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants; followed by a 16.5-meter-high tsunami that attacked the town of Futaba; and tsunami 15.5 meters high in Namie and 12.2 meters high in Minamisoma and Okuma. Overall the tsunami topped 10 meters high at a total of 16 locations.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) had previously estimated that the tsunami that hit the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, straddling Futaba and Okuma, had reached 14 to 15 meters high.

Researchers also found that there were only a few locations in Fukushima Prefecture outside the exclusion zone that had been hit by tsunami topping 10 meters high — a result that underscores the fact that the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants were located among the most severely hit zones.

« It is likely that the waves were easy to gather (around the nuclear plants) because the shores there are arching out into the sea, » said professor Sato, explaining why high waves attacked the no-go zone.

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Reports: Tokyo Vice Governor suggests Fukushima draft? “We all Japanese must face it” — Sale of foreign Geiger counters banned?

At the end of the NHK TV program Hakunetsu class, we talked about the justice of landsknecht [German mercenaries] and conscription. We can’t think about it as reality because Japan is not supposed to have a war, but as a matter of fact, Fukushima is in the war state, currently sub-contract workers are there like landsknecht. However, Fukushima is a national problem. We all Japanese must face it and try to settle down.




March 19, 2012 tweet translated by Fukushima Diary

My geiger counter got out of order, went to the shop to repair. They said, they can no loger [sic] sell foreign geiger counters from the order of Japanese government. Government says, foreign geiger counters are not accurate, may cause panic. I wonder what they will do for the geiger counters that have already been bought by normal people. They also said it was ordered backstage. I’m scared of Japan, feel like I’m being killed quietly.

March 19, 2012 tweet translated by Fukushima Diary

I wonder the shop is under surveillance because they seem to have a strong pipe with foreign makers. Just after 311, geiger counters were out of stock all over Japan but only that shop had stock. I’m sorry because I wanted to buy a better one made in “a” country. I don’t want to disturb the shop, so will delete this tweet soon.


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