Kamis, 12 April 2012

Latest items of interest from Japan / Fukushima watch.....

The Namie town government in Fukushima Prefecture is considering filing a criminal complaint over delays in the disclosure of radioactive material diffusion estimates under Japan’s SPEEDI system, Mayor Tamotsu Baba said Wednesday.
The local government will consider filing such a complaint on charges of professional negligence resulting in death. The complaint may be leveled against central and prefectural government officials, but the municipality may not identify the targets of the complaint, according to Baba. [...]

A confession of an ex-Tepco worker
Translated by: Goldieluvmj
Original Upload: LunaticEclipseKimura
First broadcast: Nov 25 2011
Published: Apr 11, 2012
Via TBS Blog: Confession of TEPCO employees, 2011/11/29 17:56
h/t arclight
Subtitles have been embedded on this clip for those having trouble viewing via CC button in YouTube toolbar — See the full half hour broadcast at bottom of post:
Part 2 At 9:00 in
REPORTER: As an ex-TEPCO employee who handled the nuclear fuel rods and have worked at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, [Toshio] Kimura is most worried about the recriticality.
KIMURA: The fuel rods are still active and alive. Rather than putting more effort in cooling the fuel rods right now, a contingency plan, in case of a recriticality, must be considered. They should have prepared the plan before they started to work on cooling the fuel rods. I think it’s a matter of urgency.
REPORTER: Kimura thinks that there is still a risk of melted fuel rods to become active. Living far away from Fukushima, he still worries about the fuel rods in the reactors to this day
HOST #1: Here is the reporter Matsuda. Mr Matsuda, Mr Kimura is the actual person who operated the reactor, isn’t he? He gave me a startle when he said that the inside of the reactors are still alive.
REPORTER: It seems that they don’t know exactly what is happening inside the reactors.
Most of his concerns were, an importance of maintaining the non-recriticality state and observation of any recriticality signs.
Tepco explains that they are watching the signs of recriticalilty by observing the change of temperature and pressure levels.
In fact, Mr Kimura called the main office of TEPCO in October and he told them that they should measure, interference evaluation as a guideline, the neutron emission rate near the reactor core.
The govt is aiming to bring the reactor temperature down within this year (2011).
But Mr Kimura said that unless TEPCO measures the neutron emission rate, reassurance offered by the government is nothing but the word [...]
HOST #2: I got goosebumps from the warning he made about the danger of tsunami and nuclear power station. I think he had an extremely accurate foresight and predicted the danger of the accident. I am so shocked.
30-minute broadcast:



#Radioactive Japan: Noda Administration to Encourage Use of Recycled Cement From Disaster Debris in Public Works, Pay For Trips to Miyagi and Iwate

What will they think of next? (Anything but accurately measuring radiation levels and doing something about Fukushima I Nuke Plant, probably.)

From reading the Kyodo News article below, I don't get the feeling that this recycled cement use will be confined to public works in the disaster-affected areas.

From Kyodo News (4/11/2012):
公共事業でがれき処理促進 政府、取り組み強化へ'

Public works to promote disaster debris processing, the administration to push harder


The government decided on a new plan on April 11 to give priority to using disaster debris including concrete bits when tsunami-control forests and parks are built and roads and ports are repaired [as part of the public works] in the areas affected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake/tsunami. The government will introduce a new competitive bidding scheme for public works that will give preference to companies who will promise the use of recycled cement. As the wide-area disposal of the debris outside the disaster-affected areas is proceeding with difficulties, the government wants to show its commitment [by introducing these plans]. The second meeting of the involved ministers, with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as the chairman, will be held shortly, and the policy will be confirmed.
So the elected politicians in the National Diet won't matter, not even a Diet committee. The administration simply decides, and starts doing it.

And it is not even the full cabinet meeting of this administration. I believe there are only 4 or 5 ministers, including Prime Minister Noda, who are involved in this meeting.

In case you're wondering what "recycle cement" is, it's the cement that contains ashes from burning the debris. As long as the density of radioactive cesium in the final product is less than 100 bq/kg, the cement is good to use anywhere in Japan. Recycled cement is already being produced, using the ashes from incineration plants. Mix and dilute, that's the strategy.

And to further encourage more municipalities in Japan to accept the disaster debris, Goshi Hosono's Ministry of the Environment will subsidize trips to Miyagi and Iwate for the municipal officials and residents.

Yomiuri Shinbun (4/11/2012) reports that the Ministry of the Environment will cover the cost of:
  • hiring buses
  • lodging
  • renting the halls for meetings with the residents
  • fees for the lecturers at the meetings
The money will come from the current and future taxpayers, many of whom do not want to have disaster debris brought to their cities and towns. Ultimate insult.

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