Saturday, December 31, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Reactor Bldgs of Reactors 1, 3, 4 Blew Up Because Blowout Panels Were Welded Shut, Fuku-I Workers Say

This information is not confirmed, meaning it is not officially admitted by the national government's agencies and commissions or by TEPCO.

The worker who's been tweeting from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, after watching the late night/early morning TV program on New Year's Day (that I mentioned in my post here) about the plant accident, tweets, as a matter of fact, that:

If the blowout panels in the reactor buildings at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant had opened as designed, there would have been no hydrogen explosion, as one expert on the TV program said.

But at Fukushima, they didn't open except for the one on Reactor 2. Why?

Because all the other blowout panels in other reactor buildings had been welded shut by the order of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency after the earthquake in Niigata Prefecture in 2007, when the blowout panels of the reactor at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant opened.

What's wrong with the blowout panels opening?

From a blogpost and the comment to the post in August, I learn that:

In the Niigata earthquake in 2007, the blowout panels for the Kashiwazaki reactor opened, and that was unacceptable to the government's nuclear regulatory agency NISA. So NISA ordered TEPCO to alter the blowout panels so that they would not open. After the earthquake of 2007 (Chuetsu earthquake), all the blowout panels at nuclear power plants that TEPCO operated were welded shut.

After the March 11 accident, the workers at the plant tried to open the holes to serve as blowout panes that didn't open any more, taking on great risks, but their effort was too late, and the reactors exploded.

The comment to the post was supposedly written by a TEPCO employee who remained at Fuku-I plant after the March 11 earthquake (one of "Fukushima 50"). He also said he feared for his safety and couldn't speak up. The post was written on March 14, 2011, and the comment was written on August 4.

He is saying the same thing as the worker who tweets from Fuku-I. (Maybe they are one and the same? But their writing styles are completely different.)

I still didn't get why it was bad that blowout panels opened, so I asked someone who used to work at a nuclear power plant. He said he didn't know either, except that "if a blowout panel is open, it may look unsightly, giving the wrong impression that radioactive materials may be leaking". If that's the case, it is a pure cosmetic and political reason.

(UPDATE) from the report by NISA (12/19/2007):

The blowout panel was dislocated by the earthquake when the metal hinge that was holding the panel was bent by the quake. The negative pressure necessary to contain radioactive materials from escaping couldn't be maintained because of that, and Reactor 3 of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa was shut down. A cold shutdown was achieved within 13 hours.

Any way to verify this? I am looking to see if I can find any press release from TEPCO or NISA to that effect.

According to TEPCO, on July 16, 2007, the blowout panel of Reactor 3 at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuke Plant was "dislocated" (opened), about 5 hours after the earthquake that day.

Regarding the blowout panels at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, TEPCO's explanation has been:

There were blowout panels installed in Reactors 1, 2 and 3, but the reactor buildings were getting filled with hydrogen without raising the pressure enough to open the panel. The earthquake didn't open the panel either, and hydrogen explosions took place. As for Reactor 2, a shockwave from Reactor 3 explosion blew open the blowout panel of Reactor 2, according to TEPCO. (From Shukan Friday 5/27/2011 issue, taken from this blog.)

If what the anonymous workers at the plant say is true, TEPCO was lying through the teeth.

This is a man-made disaster made worse by the incompetence and ignorance of the government regulators and the timid acquiescence of the plant operator who should have known better, at least better than the government regulators. Still, it is to be totally expected from the plant operator who couldn't say no to then-Prime Minister Kan's performance of visiting the plant on the very next morning after the March 11 earthquake, as the reactor cores were melting down and people were scrambling to contain the accident. Following the authority has been quite profitable, so why change, even in the face of the biggest nuclear accident in the Japanese history?

Still, the mystery still remains why Reactor 2, whose blowout panel worked as designed and didn't blow up, released the most amount of radioactive materials.

Or did it? If it's true that Reactor 3 blew up twice in two days and TEPCO/NISA have been hiding it, there may be more radioactive materials escaped from Reactor 3.

Or if Professor Takashi Tsuruda of Akita Prefectural University is correct and the suppression chambers of both Reactor 1 and Reactor 3 were damaged by the explosions, there may be a gross underestimation of the total amount of radioactive materials released from the plant.

Some happy new year... And Japan is being rocked by the first earthquake of the year.

Happy New Year 2012

I chuckled at the Drudge Report's main headline: HOPE MAYANS WERE WRONG!

Oh yes, 2012 it is, as one region after region greets the first day of the year the ancient Mayans calculated to be the end of the world as we know it.

I'm not so sure. It may be a good idea after all.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you every one from all over the world who has come to my blog since March 11 to read about horrible news after jaw-droppingly stupid news regarding the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident and radiation contamination being willfully spread throughout Japan and the northern hemisphere. I never thought I would be writing about it this long, and I didn't think anyone cared. (Not that I cared that no one would care.) I was wrong on both.

Wishing all of you a happier, healthier new year, here's one of my favorite music for the winter, visualized. It is played by the chamber orchestra of the US Air Force, brisk, clean and precise, and visualized by Stephen Malinowski.

New Year's Headlines from Japan: As If Hardly Anything Happened in 2011

It's already January 1, 2012 in Japan, and the headlines from the Japanese MSM (online) are here for your perusal.

First and foremost pro-nuke, Yomiuri Shinbun, with zero headline on the nuclear accident:

  • Aum Shinrikyo's Hirata turns himself in

  • Department of Defense develops weapon against cyber-attack

  • Population decrease largest ever, at 204,000

  • City employees cautioned for appropriating the large-size garbage [WTF...]

  • Traffic accident deaths worst in Aichi Prefecture, followed by Tokyo

  • Government to consider an imperial household headed by a female

Next, Asahi, which has one report on the nuke industry regulatory capture:

  • Aum shinrikyo's Hirata turns himself in

  • Japan's nuclear industry gave total 85 million yen to the members of the Nuclear Safety Commission

  • Emperor's thoughts on the new year: "Together with people affected by the disaster"

  • Shuto-ko highway to charge by the distance

Mainichi, which, other than SPEEDI's news, lists inane happy new year articles with a focus on people in disaster-affected Tohoku:

  • SPEEDI system temporarily stopped

  • A boat lost in Iwate found in Hyogo

  • Villagers return to Iitate-mura for the new year

But the second news is notable. A boat lost in the March 11 tsunami in Iwate Prefecture on the Pacific Ocean was found on the Japan Sea side of the Hyogo Prefecture, 770 kilometers southwest of Iwate. If a boat could travel there...

Scanning Japanese tweets, many net citizens didn't bother watching the usual New Year programs but instead tuned in to a several-hour-long live talk show with journalists and nuclear experts debating the Fukushima accident and its "aftermath" now that the accident is "over". They were appalled by Professor Narabayashi, one of the "Three Plutonium Brothers" and former Toshiba employee, who said "We will build a nuclear power plant of the highest quality in the world". Apparently the studio audience booed him. That's highly unusual.

Friday, December 30, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 3 Spent Fuel Pool Cooling Will Stop Till Jan 4, 2012

Holiday break for Reactor 3's Spent Fuel Pool. (Or rather, for workers who have to tend to the cooling system.)

From Mainichi Shinbun (12/30/2011):


TEPCO announced on December 30 that the cooling of the Spent Fuel Pool in Reactor 3 will stop until January 4 because of the clogged filter. According to TEPCO, the temperature of the pool is about 13 degrees Celsius, and there is no immediate need to call in workers [to clean the filter]. The cleaning of the filter will be carried out after January 4.


As of 1:42PM on December 30, the temperature of the pool is 13.1 degrees Celsius. If the cooling stops, the temperature rises by 5 to 6 degrees Celsius per day. The safety regulation specifies that the pool is kept at 65 degrees Celsius and below. TEPCO expects the temperature to rise to about 40 degrees Celsius, but the cooling will be resumed at any time if necessary.

The first week of a new year is always filled with mind-numbingly silly shows on TV in Japan. I wonder how it will be in 2012.

#Radioactive Car Emitting 279 Microsieverts/Hr, Reports Asahi Shinbun

I don't know why Asahi is putting out this lame article right now, as it sure looks like the information was there already back in June.

(What surprised me more about the article was that there were over 6,400 workers at the plant at the time of the earthquake/tsunami on March 11.)

All through the summer, as I wrote in my previous post on another radioactive car, there were rumors of cars inside the 20-kilometer "no-entry zone" being shipped outside the zone without any testing, either to the owners or to the used car dealers who sold the cars inside Japan. There is no standard for radiation for used cars sold inside Japan. Back in those days, people who raised the issue of radioactive cars and trucks out of Fukushima were often branded as "racist" discriminating against people in and from Fukushima in both the alternative media and in the MSM.

This blog already reported on the truck in Iwaki City that was emitting 1 millisieverts/hour (1,000 microsieverts/hour) radiation back in August.

From Asahi Shinbun digital version (12/31/2011):


TEPCO didn't do a proper management of cars belonging to TEPCO employees parked inside Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant at the time of the accident and heavily contaminated with radiation. Some of the cars have been sold in the used car market, others causing problems with the neighbors where the cars are parked. Experts say "Highly radioactive cars should be treated in the same manner as the debris inside the plant compound".


According to the public relations department at TEPCO, the company started the radiation inspection and decontamination at J-Village (located in Naraha-machi and Hirono-machi in Fukushima Prefecture) starting March 23, 12 days after the earthquake/tsunami. From that date, cars that exceeded a certain standard [which changed over time] weren't allowed outside [the no-entry zone]. However, prior to that date, it was possible to bring the cars out of the nuke plant compound without any inspection. At the time of the earthquake/tsunami, there were 755 TEPCO employees and 5660 employees of affiliated companies. TEPCO didn't keep track of the number of cars that were parked inside the plant compound at that time, or the number of cars that were taken outside the plant after the accident.


A garage mechanic in Fukushima Prefecture who says he was asked by a TEPCO employee to repair his car in June this year is angry. "279 microsieverts/hour radiation was measured near the windshield wiper. How can they allow a car like this to get ouside the plant?" he said, and showed [the reporter] a photograph he took when he measured the radiation. If one is exposed to that radiation for 12 minutes every day, the annual cumulative radiation exposure would exceed 20 millisieverts which is a standard that the national government uses to prompt residents to evacuate.

12 minutes every day? Realistically if the car was driven to the workplace (Fuku-I plant) and home (say, J-Village, which sits on the edge of the 20-kilometer radius), it is more like 1 hour per day. Instead of over 20 millisieverts, the worker would get 100 millisieverts in one year just by driving his car.

#Radioactive Car Emitting Over 30 Microsieverts/Hr in Musashino City in Tokyo Was Returned to Fukushima

The owner of the car got it from his friend in July and the car was from (guess where) the 20-kilometer radius "no entry zone" in Fukushima Prefecture.

The 20-kilometer "no-entry zone" was officially off-limit until June and the residents weren't allowed to use their own cars until September. Unofficially, there were "rumors" (i.e. not reported in the media) during the summer that people were hired to go and retrieve vehicles inside the 20-kilometer zone. There were also "rumors" of sudden deaths among people who were doing exactly that. The existence of this car in Musashino City, Tokyo is a proof that these reports may have been true.

The car was found emitting over 30 microsieverts/hour radiation at the front grill and inside the engine room. At the perimeter of the parking lot at 1 meter high, the air radiation was 3 microsieverts/hour. Judging by the way the city crafted the announcement, their survey meter went overscale at 30 microsieverts/hour, and the actual radiation level could be much higher.

It was only on December 21 that a citizen finally alerted the city about this radioactivity on wheels.

From the announcement at the Musashino City website:


Regarding the automobile in a parking garage in Nakacho 2-chome, we were notified by a resident on December 21 of the high radioactivity. We measured the radiation level and confirmed it to be high. Therefore we did the following in response:


We confirmed the radiation, and with the help of the Musashino City Police closed off the area after securing safety.


Then we asked for guidance from the Tokyo Metropolitan government and the national government. While we waited for the answer we moved the car to the underground parking at the City Hall, and kept it there limiting the access.


We asked for assistance in decontamination from the Nuclear Disaster Response Headquarters of the Prime Minister's Office. Since the radiation from the car exceeded 30 microsieverts/hour, it was decided that it would be appropriate to return the car inside the "no entry zone" in Fukushima Prefecture.


On December 22 morning, the Prime Minister's Office and TEPCO would transport the car to Fukushima Prefecture, and conduct decontamination and radiation measurement. If the radiation would not drop below a certain level, the car would not be able to leave the "no entry zone".


The owner of the car is a city resident who says he received the car from his acquaintance in July. It has been revealed that the car was used inside the "no-entry zone" before and after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident.


After the car was moved, the radiation levels in the vicinity were confirmed to be below the limit that the city sets (0.23 microsievert/hour).

Radiation levels (from the chart at Musashino City's website, above):

  • Perimeter of the parking lot at 5 centimeters off the ground: 2.60 microsieverts/hour

  • Perimeter of the parking lot at 1 meter off the ground: 3.08 microsieverts/hour

  • Car, front grill: more than 30 microsieverts/hour

  • Car, inside the engine room: more than 30 microsieverts/hour

  • 7 meters from the car in both north and south directions at 1 meter off the ground: 0.19 to 0.23 microsievert/hour

After the car was removed, the radiation levels on the parking lot dropped to 0.11 microsievert/hour, post-Fukushima normal, so to speak.

It looks like there is a kindergarten within 3 minutes of walk from this particular parking lot, which costs about US$320 a month to rent a parking space. This car has been in this parking lot, and running around in town and maybe beyond, for 6 months. It would have continued to do so without the report from a citizen armed with his/her survey meter.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

World Meteorological Organization Report Says 2nd Explosion of Reactor 3 on March 15

The report was written by RSMC Beijing.

RSMC stands for "Regional Specialized Meteorological Center", and there are 8 of them around the globe. The RSMCs operate under the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and are "prepared at all times to provide highly specialized computer-based simulations that predict the long-range movement of air-borne radioactivity". (For more, see the page on RSMCs at WMO.)

The particular report, titled "Summary Report of RSMC Beijing on Fukushima Nuclear Accident Emergency Response" (CBS/CG-NERA/Doc. 5.4 ), which you can download here (Word file), was presented at CBS Expert Team on Nuclear Emergency Response Activities in Vienna, Austria, held from October 31 to November 4, 2011. In it, on page 8, RSMC Beijing says:

On 15 March, an explosion was heard in Unit 2 and damaged the pressure-suppression system, causing the leaks of radioactive cooling water. Shortly afterward, Unit 4 was damaged by an explosion and a large amount of radioactive materials was released into the atmosphere. At 11:00 (Japan Standard Time) JST on 15 March, Unit 3 explored again. At that time, due to the easterly winds and precipitation in and around Fukushima, the surrounding areas including Tokyo, Nagano, Sendai and other places detected high radiation, which matched well with the simulation results.

In the text, "explored" is clearly "exploded". TEPCO lists only one explosive event for Reactor 3, and that's on March 14 at 11:01AM. Where did RSMC Beijing get that data that Reactor 3 exploded twice? Looking at the pages 2 and 10 of the report, the request from IAEA for data on the Fukushima accident went out to RSMC Obninsk (Russia), RSMC Tokyo (Japan) and RSMC in other Asian Countries but RSMC Beijing has been in charge of compiling joint statements.

From Page 2:

In 2011, RSMC Beijing for EER is the chief RSMC in RAII, which is in charge of organizing the emergency response activities among RSMC Beijing, RSMC Tokyo and RSMC Obninsk and composition of the joint statements of RAII.

In other words, the mention of the 2nd explosion in Reactor 3 on March 15 must have been made after consulting with RSMC Tokyo. (EER stands for "Environmental Emergency Response"; RAII refers to Asia.)

It sure looks there are a whole lot of things that the Japanese government and TEPCO haven't been telling the rest of us lesser folks.

(H/T enenews)

OT: Sciatic Nerve Pain Remedy Anyone?

It's been the worst days of my entire life, the past 5 days. I'm still very gingerly moving, and my back is getting extremely stiff again.

Does anyone have good remedy - exercise, herbal, traditional, conventional, anything - that works to reduce the pain and prevent the pain from occurring again?

The best cure would be that I stop sitting in front of the PC for so many hours every single day for over 9 straight months trying to write bilingual blogs on Fukushima, but I'd take the second best.

Thank you for your readership and support since March!

Another Leak at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant, Saved by (Probably) Duct Tape

Now that the accident is officially "over", Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant takes on an atmosphere of a deserted, abandoned place where occasional maintenance is done with all-mighty duct tape. (Nothing against duct tape.)

A TEPCO worker found a leak from a Kanaflex hose near the Reverse Osmosis facility (part of desalination process) during a routine inspection round. The water was not radioactive, as it was the filtered water from the nearby river that TEPCO has been using to mix with the treated water before the water is injected back into the reactors for cooling. The leak was plugged by a tape, but the leak hasn't completely stopped (one drip per 2 minutes, according to TEPCO's handout for the press, 12/29/2011). TEPCO plans to replace the hose. (I hope so.)

From TEPCO's press release on December 29, 2011:

It looks like a puncture. By the way, there are apparently a number of similar punctures throughout the length of the hoses that make up the water injection system. Some of them due to quality problem, but many of them are caused by a weed (Imperata cylindrica L.). The weed pierced through the Kanaflex pipes all over the plant as it grew during the summer; now it is winter and the plants shrivel and die off, unplugging the holes they had made and causing small leaks all over the place. One tough weed.

I suppose this is not what NISA and TEPCO had expected. Totally "so-tei-gai" (想定外).

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Radiation in Japan: No Money to Evacuate Fukushima Children, Says DPJ Politician

Heard it on Twitter. So please take them as jokes. I hope they are jokes, though I don't have any reason to hope so.

From someone who says he heard it live on the radio program on December 29 in Japan:

岡田克也 議員・・・生放送のラジオ番組に出演。リスナーからの質問「福島の子供を、なぜ避難させないのですか?」 岡田議員「お金が掛かるから...」 噂では聴いて いたけど、リアルに聴くことになるとは...

Representative Katsuya Okada appeared on a live radio program. A listener asked him, "Why don't you evacuate children in Fukushima?" Okada answered, "Because it costs money..." I heard it in rumors before but never expected to hear it myself.

Okada is a high-ranking official in the Democratic Party of Japan. The radio program in which Okada was supposed to utter these words is this.

No money to evacuate children but plenty of money (2 trillion yen) to TEPCO.

Well at least Okada was, if he did say this, honest about it. No money. The Japanese government does not have money (public debt to GDP ratio over 200%), as people outside Japan may know but people inside don't.

But another "heard it on Twitter", the alleged word by the mayor of Tomakomai City in Hokkaido who is extremely eager to accept disaster debris from Miyagi and Iwate to burn in his city takes the cake for sheer rudeness and bad taste:

From someone who evacuated from Sendai, Miyagi to Tomakomai City:


Mayor of Tomakomai City is really ignorant and rude. When mothers who evacuated [from disaster-affected areas to Tomakomai] went to petition him not to burn the disaster debris for the sake of children's health in the future, he had the gall to say "I've heard that the excrement from the irradiated evacuees like yourselves contaminates the environment more with radiation". And he is the mayor.

Well, life is cheap, particularly that of children in Japan. The country is finished as a nation.

Alaska's Ring Seals May Be Suffering from #Fukushima Radiation

From Reuters via msnbc (12/27/2011):

SEATTLE — Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether local seals are being sickened by radiation from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska's Arctic coastline since July, suffering or killed by a mysterious disease marked by bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the animals' fur coats.

Biologists at first thought the seals were suffering from a virus, but they have so far been unable to identify one, and tests are now underway to find out if radiation is a factor.

"We recently received samples of seal tissue from diseased animals captured near St. Lawrence Island with a request to examine the material for radioactivity," said John Kelley, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

"There is concern expressed by some members of the local communities that there may be some relationship to the Fukushima nuclear reactor's damage," he said.

The results of the tests would not be available for "several weeks," Kelley said.

Water tests have not picked up any evidence of elevated radiation in U.S. Pacific waters since the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which caused multiple fuel meltdowns at the Fukushima plant and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate the surrounding area.

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been seeking the cause of the diseased seals for weeks, but have so far found no answers.

A ringed seal displays significant hair loss on the Artic Ocean coast near Barrow, Alaska. An unknown disease is killing or weakening ringed seals along Alaska’s north coast. Ringed seals, the main prey of polar bears, and a species that rarely comes ashore, in late July began showing up on the Beaufort Sea coast outside Barrow with lesions on hind flippers and inside their mouths, along with patchy hair loss and skin irritation around the nose and eyes.

"Now They Tell Us" Series: NISA Says Reactors 1 and 3 Explosions May Have Been Caused by Vent

(In case you haven't read about it during my absence...)

Nikkei Shinbun reports that NISA admitted the hydrogen explosions that took place in Reactor 1 and Reactor 3 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant in March may have been caused by hydrogen flowing back from the exhaust stack. In other words, vent may have caused the explosions.

From Nikkei Shinbun (12/27/2011):


The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry disclosed during the experts hearing on December 27 on the cause of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident that a possible cause of the hydrogen explosions in Reactors 1 and 3 may have been that the hydrogen that was vented from the Containment Vessel [to the exhaust stack] flowed back into the reactor building through a different pipe. As the power was lost due to tsunami, the valve of this different pipe remained open, and unable to prevent the reverse flow of hydrogen, according to the NISA.


In Reactors 1 and 3, hydrogen accumulated in the Containment Vessels after the core meltdowns, and TEPCO carried out the vent in order to remove hydrogen. The exhaust pipe for the vent connects to the exhaust pipe for the "standby gas treatment system" for the air ventilation of the reactor building, and then to the exhaust stack.


The valve of the exhaust pipe for the standby gas treatment system opened when the power was lost, so that the air ventilation of the reactor building would continue. In fact, the investigation of Reactor 3 after the accident showed the valve was open. When TEPCO did the vent, hydrogen may have flowed back to the reactor building through the open valve, and with the hydrogen leaked from the top lid of the Containment Vessel caused the hydrogen explosion.


All the other nuclear reactors in Japan has the same system whereby the valve opens when the power is lost. As a countermeasure, the NISA suggests two separate exhaust pipes and installing a valve to prevent backflow. Professor Tadashi Narabayashi of Hokkaido University points out that the vent process needs to be improved fundamentally.

Narabayashi, one of the "Three Plutonium Brothers" who said the toxicity of plutonium was the same as salt, used to work for Toshiba.

So after more than 9 months since the accident NISA feels like telling the truth for some reason, now that the accident is officially "over".

The very act of venting probably caused the explosions, says NISA. How about that, GE?

Product liability lawsuits anyone?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

#Radioactive Concrete Debris (3000 Bq/Kg) OK and Safe to Use in Fukushima Prefecture

What a wonderful present from the Japanese national government to its subjects, particularly those in Fukushima. Instead of coals it gives radioactive concrete bits.

Asahi Shinbun and others report that the Ministry of the Environment, getting bolder by the hour with its 1 trillion yen budget, has decided unilaterally that it is "safe" to use radioactive concrete bits from the March 11 quake/tsunami disaster in Fukushima as substrates under the pavement of the roads and breakwaters in Fukushima.

There will be no effect on the health of residents living nearby, assures the Ministry.

Why are they doing this? Why because they enacted the law that says the radioactive concrete debris in Fukushima to be "recycled".

Why do they have to recycle radioactive debris? Why it's green! Reduces CO2! Kyoto Protocol!

From (still free-of-charge) Asahi Shinbun (12/25/2011):

3千ベクレル以下で再利用可 福島のコンクリートくず

Concrete Debris in Fukushima OK to recycle if the radiation is 3000 becquerels/kg and below


Regarding the disposal of concrete debris within Fukushima Prefecture generated by the March 11 earthquake/tsunami, the Ministry of the Environment decided on December 25 that the safety standard for the debris to be recycled and reused in Fukushima Prefecture was to be 3000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium and below. As long as the concrete debris tests within the standard, the Ministry says it can be safely reused by pouring asphalt, sand or gravel 30 centimeters thick on top of it.


The Ministry of the Environment is envisioning the concrete debris to be used for roads and breakwaters. If used for roads, the debris can be used if more than 30 centimeters deep from the surface. In that case, the additional annual radiation exposure for the residents living nearby will be 0.01 millisievert and less, and therefore "There will be no effect on health".


The disaster debris inside Fukushima is not to be the subject of wide area disposal [unlike Miyagi and Iwate debris] and be processed inside the prefecture. As for the concrete debris, the Special Measures for Dealing with Radioactive Materials Contamination, effective as of January next year, calls for the recycling of the concrete debris. However, there was no safety standard as set by the government, and the processing couldn't move forward.


The Ministry also decided to tighten the regulation on how to bury the ashes containing radioactive cesium at 8000 becquerels/kg and below. The Ministry will call for measures to prevent the leak of radioactive materials by covering the ashes with soil at every 3 meters of the radioactive ashes.

For now, it seems this 3000 becquerels/kg cesium concrete is only for Fukushima Prefecture. But then, the so-called safety standard for the ashes from waste/sludge disposal was only for Fukushima Prefecture in the beginning. It was used as de facto standard for everywhere else, as the Ministry, probably on purpose, did not decide on the safety standard elsewhere. Then after several months of this unofficial standard, it became official for everywhere.

Let's see, what could the citizens of Japan do? They've been protesting, they've been writing, calling, emailing the officials. The government couldn't care less, it simply ignores the subjects whose only worth to the government is that they pay taxes.

Oh, another one. They are enrolled in the national pension scheme (one of the world's largest) from which the government can plunder a huge amount of money. The government has indeed announced it is going to.

Merry Christmas

I was looking for "Regina Coeli" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for joyous burst of C-chord inversion series opening on Youtube, but decided on another of my favorites.

It's not a Christmas song. The words are nothing joyous or celebratory. But I felt the music texture might soothe a tumultuous year with many sufferings.

With an exquisite chord progression in the middle (A-Major to F-Major to d-minor and back to the original key of D-Major).

"Ave Verum Corpus, K618", by Stockholm Chamber Choir with Berliner Philharmoniker by Riccard Muti: