Posts Tagged Steve Herman

Former US Diplomat Criticizes Japan Nuclear Response | Asia | English

Interesting article by VOA’s Steve Herman, tho perhaps not for the reasons Maher hopes.

A former high-level U.S. diplomat, who was posted in Japan for many years, is speaking out about Tokyo’s initial response to the Fukushima nuclear crisis.He is also revealing the level of concern that was expressed behind closed doors in Washington at that time.

After a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and historic tsunami battered northeastern Japan on March 11 a veteran U.S. diplomat, who had just been removed from the top post on the island of Okinawa, was among those put in charge of a crisis task force in Washington

Kevin Maher says American decision-makers quickly realized there was little reliable data coming from their Japanese counterparts about the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant. “There was a point where we told the Japanese government, ‘Look you guys got to take this seriously. This is a real serious situation. The government needs to respond to this.’ And, I think the [Japanese] government eventually came to that conclusion, itself,” he said.

via Former US Diplomat Criticizes Japan Nuclear Response | Asia | English.

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Twitter / @Steve Herman: Plan to spray resin at Fukushima called off due to rain

Plan to spray resin at #Fukushima-1 to mitigate radiation spread canceled today due to rain.

via Twitter / @Steve Herman: Plan to spray resin at #Fu ….

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In Onagawa, Japan, residents are using the local nuclear plant as a shelter

Japanese Nuclear Facilities - from World Nuclear Association

Onagawa nuclear power station is owned by Tohoku Electric (Tohoku Denryoku). Slightly further north along the coast than Fukushima, it was also struck by the tsunami and earthquake.  An emergency was declared there March 13, due to triggering levels of radioactivity, but it was later deemed that the source of this was Fukushima’s reactor, not Onagawa.

VoA’s Steve Herman tweets:

RT @neiupdates: In Onagawa, #Japan residents are using the local #nuclear plant as a shelter.

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Govt may spray resin on N-plant / Sticky material should keep down radiation : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Commenter on this blog, Aldritch Parsons, suggested on March 30 some kind of tent of dome over the reactors to contain or limit the diffusion of radioactive materials. And today, I read on the Yomiuri (via the very useful

The government will likely go ahead with a plan to spray resin inside the troubled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which it hopes will contain the spread of radioactive substances, sources said Wednesday.

The government has begun full-fledged discussions on different plans to stop the spread of radioactive substances that have been leaking continuously from damaged reactors at the plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Co.

In addition to efforts to cool the reactors and spent nuclear fuel pools by TEPCO and the Self-Defense Forces, the government has asked for aid from private companies and other nations, including the United States, to deal with the accident.

It is believed spraying resin would minimize the spread of radioactive substances, which would allow repair work at the plant to proceed more smoothly, the sources said. Efforts to restore the reactors’ cooling functions have seesawed repeatedly, with the detection Wednesday of radioactive iodine-131 at levels 3,355 times the legal limit in seawater near the plant being the latest wrench in the works.

Spraying resin on debris inside the plant could begin as early as Thursday, the government sources said. The operation would last for about two weeks, they said.

The plan involves using a remote-controlled robot to spray resin over about 80,000 square meters inside the 120,000-square-meter facility. The areas to be sprayed were contaminated by radiation from debris scattered by several hydrogen gas explosions in the days after the March 11 earthquake.

via Govt may spray resin on N-plant / Sticky material should keep down radiation : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri).

And VOA’s Steve Herman, back in Seoul after 2 weeks covering the tsunami/earthquake/Fukushima disaster in Tohoku and Tokyo, tweets:

Officials: Unmanned, remote-controlled vehicle will spray the resin beginning Thursday “on a trial basis.”

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VoA’s Steve Herman leaves Japan

VoA’s reporter Steve Herman has left Japan and returned to his base in Seoul, according to his Tweet. I came to rely on his Twitter feed as source of up-to-date news and also links to related resources. I only follow 4 Twitter feeds. Steve’s is one of them.

On OZ1015 at 1205JST HND-GMP. Will continue coverage from Seoul & back in Japan in early April. @martyn_williams on ground for VOA.

Although he visited the Tohoku area, he was mostly reporting on the Fukushima nuclear crisis. He showed balls when he refused to stop recording an announcement by PM Kan to the foreign press corps. He was being asked to stop because of the rule that only those approved by the Kantei can do this.

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Radioactive Seawater Latest Woe for Battered Japan | News | English

Steve Herman, Voice of America reporter who is doing sterling work reporting on the Fukushima nuclear crisis from within Japan, tweets his latest report. 

 elevated levels of radioactive materials in sea water off Fukushima are raising concerns that Japan’s important fishing industry will be hit with an even deeper blow. Many fishing communities were destroyed or severely damaged by the March 11th tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake.

The government ordered expanded testing of marine life and sea water to begin Wednesday.

Traces of external radiation from the damaged Fukushima-1 nuclear plant have already tainted raw milk and spinach, as well as tap water. Government officials and scientists say the levels, while significantly above normal, do not pose a threat to human health even if the contaminated food and liquids are ingested for a year.

via Radioactive Seawater Latest Woe for Battered Japan | News | English.

His writing, tho better than most, is still not free from the sensationalism and deceptiveness that characterises so much of the MSM these days, as you can see in the comments to the article. 

Here are a couple:

Samantha Atkins (USA)

Non story unless you say exactly how much radiation, from what sorts of material and of what types with what half lifes. It could range all the way from largely deadly to 10x above background (utterly negligible) and from thousands of years to about eight days (most common isotope of iodine). Either report enough to know what is meant or avoid the lurid headlines. Enough is enough.

John Reynolds (USA)

BigDad, I think they should just outlaw tsunamis and earthquakes. Not one life has been lost to the reactors.

(United States)

For weeks we’ve heard about all the seawater being sprayed on the nuclear reactors…where do you think it’s going when it runs off?

samiya hussein (england)

Make a pump,which can be detatched from the generator.Take the pump up in helicoptor,and pack ice around it,and place in large paper bag.lower the pump by cable into the chamber of rods,the heat will burn around the paper bag,and ice will melt,by this time the pump is in the chamber.Lower helicoptor,and attatch the cable to the generator switch on.Please pass on to japanese authorities.

Without real numbers “elevated numbers” can be minuscule. The reported milk and spinach “contamination” was so small you could eat and drink that for a year without problems. Many radioactive products die quickly like I131 some not. So let’s not panic. Check here: for Fukushima radioactive reports and live online Geiger counters in Japan and California. Most show only background radiation. So let’s not panic!

jim R (USA)

Please check out the MIT Nuclear website for some accurate information They have some very good explanations of the different areas of concern. Having a fuel melt down doesn’t necessarily mean you have a release of radioactive materials. As far as I can tell, what has happened that some of the radioactive isotopes in the form of gas were vented with steam.

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VoA report

A plug for Voice of America’s Steve Herman latest report: Japanese Engineers Prepare Damaged Reactors for Electrical Power.

I’ve been following his Tweets. They are very informative.

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