Posts Tagged Mainichi

Costs of switching nuclear off | Lenz Blog

Prof. Lenz has some interesting things to say about the Fukushima nuclear crisis. As there is so much hyperventilating blogging going on (anxiety and unease sell, and they are also somewhat addictive), I like to read alternative views. Here’s a selection:

New York Times has an excellent article about some of the damage to the climate and Japan’s economy expected from slowing down nuclear energy.

They estimate about 3 trillion yen per year in extra fossil fuel costs, which will place a burden on the balance of trade. And they report on a government estimate of about 210 million tons of CO2 emitted over 1990 records, a 16% increase, while Japan is supposed to reduce by 6% under the Kyoto protocol.

I learned that Japan was the world’s largest importer of coal to begin with.

via Costs of switching nuclear off | Lenz Blog.

SPIEGEL has published an interview on radiation damage from the Fukushima accident with Shunichi Yamashita, who has been working as an adviser to the Fukushima prefecture government and plans to be involved in the large follow-up studies coming up.

He is reasonably well informed about the lack of danger from low doses, but still says that he doesn’t know for sure about the absence of risk under 100 millisieverts dose. I don’t agree with his position, which I think is much too generous to the irrational fear crowd. As far as I am concerned, at the very least the 100 millisieverts per month proposed by Wade Allison should guide all related decisions.

One thing I have learned from this interview is that people relocated from Chernobyl saw their life expectancy reduced from 65 to 58 years. That is a massive health effect from the evacuation, and it is mostly caused by irrational fear, leading to symptoms as depression, alcoholism, and suicide.

This story should not repeat itself in Japan.

SPIEGEL interview with Shunichi Yamashita | Lenz Blog.

Mainichi reports on a couple of cases where Fukushima residents’ health was damaged by fear-induced stress. They say that Fukushima Medical University plans to study the problem in a systematic way and will publish results of a survey in autumn of this year.

Since no one has got radiation exceeding a reasonable limit of 100 millisieverts a month, all the health damage from the accident is expected from this kind of nocebo effect, and none whatsoever from radiation.

via Psychological stress | Lenz Blog.

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Prime minister Kan’s nuclear adviser resigns – Yahoo! News

Don’t worry about a thing: it’s all in good hands.

WOODY: You are not worried, are you?
BUZZ: Me? No. No. No, no, no, no, no, no. Mm-mmm. Are you?

What, me? Worried?

Buzz Lightyear: "What, me? Worried? No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.


TOKYO (AFP) – A senior nuclear adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan submitted his resignation on Friday, saying the government had ignored his advice and failed to follow the law.

Toshiso Kosako, a Tokyo University professor who was named last month as an advisor to Kan, said the government had only taken ad hoc measures to contain the crisis at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

In a tearful press conference, he said the government and its commissions had taken “flexible approaches” to existing laws and regulations, and ignored his advice after he was named an advisor on March 16.

“I cannot help but to think (the prime minister’s office and other agencies) are only taking stopgap measures… and delaying the end” of the nuclear crisis, he told reporters.

Tokyo officials had drafted measures to deal with the accident that were not in strict accordance with the law, and the decision-making process had been unclear, he said.

“There is no point for me to be here,” as the Kan administration had failed to listen to him, said Kosako, an expert on radiation safety.

via Japan prime minister’s nuclear adviser resigns – Yahoo! News.


Goshi Hosono, secretary-general of the government joint task force, has declared that education-related issues will not be covered by the conferences, but reporters questions for several days nonetheless centered on government set limits on radiation exposure for outdoor activities of elementary and junior high school students. Currently those activities are restricted when the annual dose of radiation exceeds 20 millisieverts, but this has become a controversial issue.It was pointed out by reporters that an NSC member who was said to have suggested the upper limit had actually been opposed to it. They sought a disclosure of the details of that matter and asked that the NSC member attend at a later conference.However, the task force secretariat declined to comply, repeating that the government had gone through the proper procedures in setting the standards and stirring protest from the journalists.

via Combined govt and TEPCO news conferences dont appear to be improvement – The Mainichi Daily News.


TOKYO (AP) — Japanese officials under public pressure to streamline information flows about the crisis at a radiation-spewing nuclear plant came up with a solution: They merged four separate daily briefings into one.

The result is a marathon of highly technical information delivered in dull and excruciating detail that regularly drags on for four hours or more, to the dismay of the patiently long-suffering reporters.

To some, this dragged-out daily rundown has become another symbol of Japan’s cultural passion for process — the very opposite of the decisive, topdown leadership that some experts say is desperately needed during the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

“What is missing is one strong balanced leadership to align everything toward one goal,” said Shuri Fukunaga, managing director of Burson-Marsteller in Tokyo, who consults companies and governments about crisis communications.

via Long, polite briefings reflect Japan crisis style – The Mainichi Daily News

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