In-Focus Japan: The nuclear bomb proof piano – Executive admits role in Fukushima radiation manipulation scandal

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Nationwide peace tour in Japan features piano which survived nuclear bombing

A piano that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima 67 years ago was played at a concert in Tsukuba City, north of Tokyo, on Tuesday.

Source: NHK

Senior High School Students from Disaster Areas arrive in United States

About 300 students from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday. They are to participate in a 3-week program at the University of California, Berkeley, where they will study the English language, leadership theories, and volunteer.

Source: NHK

A government investigation yields more failures in Fukushima Response

The final report by the government’s investigation committee on the Fukushima nuclear disaster tried to clarify what happened at the site based on a range of information, including interviews with 772 people.

The committee found there were various situations that were poorly handled, such as mistakenly identifying the operating conditions of cooling devices at the Unit 1 and Unit  3 reactors, and was able to show that the abilities of the workers at Fukushima were not adequate to circumventing disaster.

Source: The Yomiuri

Executive admits attempts to manipulate dosimeters carried by workers in high-radiation areas

A subcontract manager who told other Fukushima Daiichi workers that they should enter the plant with lead covers on the dosimeters, has confessed his role in the deception.  He made it clear the attempt of manipulation was aimed at falsifying exposure readings, saying, “If we’re exposed to levels close to the maximum, we won’t be able to get future work.”

“I came up with the idea to use covers because the dosimeters’ alarm repeatedly sounded” when he first entered the site, said Teruo Sagara, a director at Build-up, a subcontracting organization, during a press conference Monday at its office in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture.

“It was wrong,” Sagara, 54, said.

Three of the 10 workers whom Sagara confronted, refused to wear dosimeters with lead covers the following morning and then were excluded from the day’s work.  Sagara said that he refused to allow them to work as he did not know if he would be able to trust them to obey his instructions.

Now the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry has announced an investigation into the cover-up, with the goals of exposing any other flaws or indications of tampering related to radiological safety of the workers.

Source: The Yomiuri

Source: The Japan Times

TEPCO to accept claims for lump-sum compensation for damages caused by Fukushima disaster

Officials say that Tepco will pay lump sum compensation claims in October, and victims can choose to receive compensation in a lump sum or in installments.

Five years worth of compensation, or 6 million yen, will be paid to victims in the most contaminated of the three new evacuation zones around the Fukushima plant, where residents are barred from returning for at least five years.

The company will also pay lump-sum unemployment compensation for the period through February 2014 and compensation for businesses, excluding farms, through February 2015.

Source: JiJi Press

Source: The Japan Times

Chubu Electric admits corroded machinery in nuclear reactor

Many parts of the No. 5 reactor at the Hamaoka nuclear power station in central Japan have been confirmed corroded, apparently caused by the seawater that was found to have flowed into the reactor in May last year during work to halt the plant, Chubu Electric Power Co, the operator of the plant said Wednesday at a meeting with experts hosted by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

According to Chubu Electric, some 400 tons of seawater are believed to have flowed into the reactor because 43 narrow tubes in a steam condenser were broken, and 5 tons of the total seem to have reached the pressure vessel.

Announcing the outcome of its probes so far, Chubu Electric said corrosion affects equipment to raise and lower control rods.

Source: JiJi Press

Operator of Ohi Reactors will attempt to restart Takahama reactors

Kansai Electric Power Co. President Makoto Yagi said this week that “We (the utility) think it most likely” that the Takahama nuclear reactor Units 3 and 4 will be the next ones restarted in Japan.

Source: JiJi Press

Massive Melt of Greenland’s Ice Shocks Scientists

US space agency NASA said on Tuesday that satellite imagery showed melting across 40 percent of the massive ice sheet covering Greenland as of July 8th. But that area had spread to 97 percent just 4 days later, on July 12th. About half of the sheet melts every summer, but scientists say they have not seen it disappear on such a scale in more than 30 years of observation.

NASA attributes the phenomenon to a stationary mass of warm air over Greenland.  “You literally had this wave of warm air wash over the Greenland ice sheet and melt it,” NASA ice scientist Tom Wagner said Tuesday.

“It makes you sit up and ask what’s happening?” NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati said. “It’s a big signal, the meaning of which we’re going to sort out for years to come.”

Source: NHK

Source:  The Seattle Times


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