Posts Tagged TEPCO

Inside Fukushima – interactive guide | World news | guardian.co.uk

Earlier this month, Kazuma Obara became the first photojournalist to gain unauthorised access to the power plant and produced an exclusive glimpse of life inside the facility

via Inside Fukushima – interactive guide | World news | guardian.co.uk.

Mouse-tip to EX-SKF

Some interesting nuggets of information provided by Obara:

  1. The plant has its own petrol station within the compound.
  2. Petrol is free to workers
  3. Most workers don’t know the purpose of what they are doing.
  4. Workers do not talk to each other much, and don’t know what other groups of workers are doing.

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi. Photo by Kazuma Obara

Fukushima Dai-ichi. Photo by Kazuma Obara. Posted on the Guardian website

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Quake in Japan Causes Costly Shift to Fossil Fuels – NYTimes.com

Back to the Future! Fumes be damned, we need those kilowatts!

YOKOSUKA, Japan — The half-century-old, oil-fueled power generators here had been idle for more than a year when, a day after the nuclear accident in March, orders came from Tokyo Electric Power headquarters to fire them up.

“They asked me how long it would take,” said Masatake Koseki, head of the Yokosuka plant, which is 40 miles south of Tokyo and run by Tokyo Electric. “The facilities are old, so I told them six months. But they said, ‘No, you must ready them by summer to prepare for an energy shortage.’ ”

Now, at summer’s peak, Yokosuka’s two fuel-oil and two gas turbines are cranking out a total of 900,000 kilowatts of electricity — and an abundance of fumes.

via Quake in Japan Causes Costly Shift to Fossil Fuels – NYTimes.com.

Have those folks who are screaming “We don’t need no stinkin’ nuclear power!” really thought through the consequences of getting what they want?

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US envoy: Tokyo didn’t take charge when crisis hit – Yahoo! News

“There was nobody in charge. Nobody in the Japanese political system was willing to say, ‘I’m going to take responsibility and make decisions,'” said Maher, who coordinated U.S. offers to help Tokyo deal with the crisis.

“Nothing was taking place at Fukushima Dai-ichi in terms of the government solving the problem” until about a week later when Tokyo and Washington launched a joint task force, he told a news conference.

via US envoy: Tokyo didn’t take charge when crisis hit – Yahoo! News.

VOA’s article seemed to show Maher and the U.S. in a rather self-serving light. This Yahoo article adds a few details, that’s all, including this TEPCO statement:

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday that the reactors are still leaking small amount of radiation — about one 10-millionth of the amount released after several explosions in mid-March that eventually forced about 100,000 people to evacuate their homes. TEPCO and the government say they plan to bring the reactors to a stable shutdown state by early January.

Maher said he sympathized with Japanese evacuees and expressed optimism that their communities could be cleaned up and restored.

“It can be done,” he said, adding that it requires a huge expenditure and a very “decisive approach.”

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In Rare Tape, Fukushima Daiichi Chief Apologizes – Japan Real Time – WSJ

Twitter alerted me to JapanRealTime:

Scenes from inside Fukushima Daiichi exist but are rare enough. But scenes from within the ravaged Tepco plant featuring its general manager, Masao Yoshida, making a direct apology for the consequences of the March 11 disasters, along with several bows, are even rarer.

Non-existent until now, in fact. While TV cameras have caught up with Mr. Yoshida before, his public appearances have been extremely rare, and the video released by Tepco Wednesday featuring Mr. Yoshida’s direct, on-camera apology–a matter of considerable sensitivity in Japan–is his first such comment within the context of an official company document.

“We sincerely apologize to all local residents, the people of Fukushima prefecture, and the general public for the anxiety and inconvenience caused by the accident,” says Mr. Yoshida.

via In Rare Tape, Fukushima Daiichi Chief Apologizes – Japan Real Time – WSJ.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NT2clOcNlOU’]

“We sincerely apologize to all local residents, the people of Fukushima prefecture, and the general public for the anxiety and inconvenience caused by the accident,” says Mr. Yoshida.

“the general public” is someone’s translation of Yoshida’s “zen-koku no mina-san” or “everyone living in Japan”. In other words, Yoshida’s apology stops short at Japan’s borders. Unfortunately, the radiation emitted by his plant did not. He owes an apology to a lot more than just the Japanese. Tho I have heard good reports about Yoshida’s quick thinking and actions – he has been inside the plant since March 11 – his apology seems to reveal a typical Japanese parochialism.

 

Japan Real Time is a newsy, concise guide to what works, what doesn’t and why in the one-time poster child for Asian development, as it struggles to keep pace with faster-growing neighbors while competing with Europe for Michelin-rated restaurants. Drawing on the expertise of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, the site provides an inside track on business, politics and lifestyle in Japan as it comes to terms with being overtaken by China as the world’s second-biggest economy. You can contact the editors at japanrealtime@wsj.com or follow Japan Real Time on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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How to get rid of radioactive caesium?

Back in April, TEPCO was dropping bags of zeolite into the ocean. Also in April, the Japanese police arrested two people for selling medicine without a license. The headline says “fake radiation drug”, but the article says nothing about the efficacy of the product they were selling, “Premium Zeolite”. However, I doubt TEPCO would be dumping zeolite into the ocean or using it to purify its cooling water, if it did not absorb radioactive cesium. Nor would the Japanese Agricultural Ministry be burying it in rice fields in Iitate, Fukushima Pref. if they didn’t think there was a good chance it would do the trick. The Ministry’s experiment also included sunflowers, which were planted in many areas around Chernobyl after that disaster.

I notice the article assumes that if the medicine is not licensed, it must be harmful or a fake or both. The article authors asked no deeper questions.

Questions such as, were these people actually selling a zeolite product, and if so, is it as effective when taken internally as it is when used externally?

A friend of mine sent me the following info on zeolite and a zeolite product which is intended to be taken internally (it is actually a suspension of zeolite in water; it is not sold in Japan):

One of the few negatively charged minerals in nature, zeolite is formed from the fusion of volcanic lava and ocean water….

any old zeolite will not do; firstly, it is by its very nature full of contamination, ie positively charged particles attracted into its honeycomb structure – so it has to be very thoroughly cleaned – “activated” – which is a laborious & thus expensive process; secondly if it has not been micronized, the powder will just stay in the digestive tract. If it does not enter the bloodstream it can’t get to work on pulling out the toxins wherever they are sequestered throughout the body.

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Nuke plant hires not overexposed | The Japan Times Online

A radiation table with data on about 70 employees from subcontractors hired to bring the Fukushima nuclear plant crisis under control says none were exposed beyond the emergency limit of 250 millisieverts, a document obtained by Kyodo News says.

The document — a table on workers’ radiation exposure — was compiled by subcontractors based on information on each worker’s radiation exposure and other data from Tokyo Electric Power Co., also known as Tepco.

The document lists the workers’ names, employers and kind of work they engaged in, along with daily exposure divided by working time, traveling time and waiting time, and accumulated amounts of exposure.

The data reveal for the first time how Tepco is managing workers’ radiation exposure. Many workers already have a cumulative exposure of around 30 millisieverts, the table says. One worker was exposed to 0.2 millisievert each day, which brought his cumulative exposure to over 30 millisieverts.

via Nuke plant hires not overexposed | The Japan Times Online.

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2011/08/06 04:18 – Fuzzy Guidelines May Slow Fukushima Compensation

Tokyo Electric would face 5-7 trillion yen in compensation claims should the period for damages end next January, according to Yusuke Ueda, chief credit strategist at Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Co., who based his estimates on the Tokaimura disaster. If the period lasted for a year after that, the total would climb to 9-11 trillion yen.

via 2011/08/06 04:18 – Fuzzy Guidelines May Slow Fukushima Compensation.

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TEPCO to start Nitrogen Injection in Reactor 3 at #Fukushima 1 Nuke Plant: EX-SKF

Ex-SKF has an interesting take on TEPCO’s plan to start injecting nitrogen into Reactor 3: it’s “excellent proof that the winding down of the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident is on schedule.”

In less than 4 hours from now, at 8PM JST on July 14, TEPCO will start injecting nitrogen gas in the Containment Vessel of Reactor 3.

High radiation? So what? TEPCO is just too eager to oblige the national government who, for some unknown reason, believes injecting nitrogen gas in a still very unstable Reactor housed in a half-destroyed reactor building (which does not offer any protection when the radioactive materials inside the Containment Vessel get pushed out by the nitrogen gas) is an excellent proof that the winding down of the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident is on schedule. Then the government can issue an order that will either eliminate, or reduce the size of, the “emergency evacuation-ready zone”, declaring it safe for the residents.

via EX-SKF Financial and Economic News, Data, Links, Analysis and Commentary.

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Yakuza eye cleanup profits | The Japan Times Online

The government and law enforcement authorities appear to be fighting an uphill battle to prevent gangsters and other “antisocial” groups from cashing in on disposing of huge amounts of debris generated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which played havoc with large areas along the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan.

via Yakuza eye cleanup profits | The Japan Times Online.

I was going to make a sarky comment about this, along the lines of “who cares if they’re anti-social, as long as they get the job done?” but then further down in the article I read something more interesting:

Another category of “antisocial” groups is groups of people known as sokai-ya, which are corporate blackmailers unique to Japan. They extort money by threatening to publicly humiliate or embarrass companies and their executives at annual meetings of stockholders (kabunushi sokai).

One such group is said to have dispatched more than 30 workers to the stricken nuclear power station in Fukushima to work on disposal of contaminated debris. Each worker carries a Geiger counter to measure and records the levels of radiation. The group’s aim, of course, is to threaten Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the nuclear station, and win compensatory money by proving that these workers have were over-exposed to radiation.

Anti-social? Seems to me they’re providing much-needed resources: a) workers,  b) Geiger counters (at one stage it was revealed that Tepco didn’t have enough dosimeters to go round) and c) information about radiation levels inside the plant. Considering Tepco’s secrecy and poor treatment of their workers, seems like this could be considered near enough a public service!

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Theme of the day – faith in government is waning

The following excerpts pretty much speak for themselves, but because this is the media speaking, take a large lump of salt with all this. I’ll add my usual pearls of wisdom after you’ve read the quotes.

“It breaks my heart that they did nothing for the children,” said Sadako Monma, herself a mother of two, who has run the Soramame center for 15 years. “Our answer was to stop waiting for someone to help us.”

Slow action by the government has set off a revolt among the usually orderly ranks of Japanese bureaucrats.

“I don’t believe the government,” said Kanako Nishikata, 33, a mother of two elementary school children here. “The air here is dirty. The soil is dirty. They are leaving Fukushima to suffer and perish.”

via In Japan, Fukushima Parents Grow Angry Over Radiation – NYTimes.com.

The figure is equivalent to 20 times the annual radiation limit for ordinary people. When releasing the statement, the ministry also did not touch on any measures to decontaminate school facilities.

Parents voiced complaints and concern. “It is a figure too high for children,” said one parent. “No specific measures have been presented,” said another.

The city of Koriyama has decided to remove top soil from school playgrounds on its own. Even so, the central government brushed aside the local government’s move. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said, “Based on the guideline of the education and science ministry, there is no need for removal.” Read the rest of this entry »

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