What's new

9.0 Earthquake/Tsunami/Fukushima

Nuala

Hell's Finest Daughter
Joined
Jul 15, 2004
Messages
1,725
Reaction score
38
TEPCO seriously ****** up on all levels here. I fear the earthquake was the catalyst for nightmare at the nuclear power plant. That is what happens when you don't reinvest into your energy sources and leave them to rot.
 

Elizabeth

先輩
Joined
Apr 22, 2003
Messages
9,526
Reaction score
131
TEPCO seriously ****** up on all levels here. I fear the earthquake was the catalyst for nightmare at the nuclear power plant. That is what happens when you don't reinvest into your energy sources and leave them to rot.
And now Tepco has influenced even Germany to abandon nuclear power by 2022.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hopes the transformation to more solar, wind and hydroelectric power serves as a roadmap for other countries.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43214183/ns/business-oil_and_energy/

Good luck ! Reality kicks in and the country will be sucking down Russian oil and gas pipelines like there is no tomorrow. Welcome to the great unsustainable European way ! They've made their bed and are more than welcome to lie in it. IMHO. 😌.
 

Nuala

Hell's Finest Daughter
Joined
Jul 15, 2004
Messages
1,725
Reaction score
38
And now Tepco has influenced even Germany to abandon nuclear power by 2022.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hopes the transformation to more solar, wind and hydroelectric power serves as a roadmap for other countries.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43214183/ns/business-oil_and_energy/

Good luck ! Reality kicks in and the country will be sucking down Russian oil and gas pipelines like there is no tomorrow. Welcome to the great unsustainable European way ! They've made their bed and are more than welcome to lie in it. IMHO. 😌.
That's exactly my issue. Am I among the very few who realize that NUCLEAR POWER is a necessity until we come up with something better? Solar, Wind, and Hydroelectric are novelties. There is no way it can sustain our species. Our demand for power is only going to get bigger the more our technology evolves. It will then, as with all things, get smaller & smaller, until we find the next source of energy.

ANTI-NUCLEAR PROPAGANDA? Great job, guys. You're killing our planet with your delusions of other energy sources being seriously viable. Oil & Gas moguls are among you and protecting their wretched assets. Nuclear energy, if followed up on & updated, is the best source we have for now. Uranium need not even be used, with the work being done in the field of thorium reactors. Am I biased because half my state's power is drawn from a few nuclear reactors?
 

Elizabeth

先輩
Joined
Apr 22, 2003
Messages
9,526
Reaction score
131
It's good to see that independent (anti-kisha club) journalism still exists: Free Press Association of Japan Takes on the Information Cartel

Link: Free Press Association of Japan (FPAJ)
Definitely. The programs that TEPCO sponsors may be opinionated and critical, but they are not investigative journalism.

If only freelancers and online journalists had an outlet for establishing an independent credibility besides Ozawa press conferences. But at least it is a start. There is there is more you can see there than is being reported by "mass media" indeed.
 

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
9,175
Reaction score
1,005
Definitely. The programs that TEPCO sponsors may be opinionated and critical, but they are not investigative journalism.
Agreed. But these programmes are what a majority of people watch over dinner or after work. Opinionated, yet opinion-shaping.

I want to post two links that fit into the large context of this thread.

- On May 24 TEPCO released a comprehensive 87-page report on the "Effects of the Earthquake and Tsunami on the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini Nuclear Power Stations". It's very technical, but it illustrates the difficulties the Tepco workers and firefighters were facing in the aftermath of March 11.

- The second link - I believe it has already been posted in this thread - shows the updated radioactivity levels across the country, water radioactivity and even "national food survey data" broken down into countless categories and types of food as well as by region.
 

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
9,175
Reaction score
1,005
Sorry for reviving this old thread, but I found this rather longish, yet non-sensationalist article by the Guardian. A good read, lest we forget:

Fukushima disaster: it's not over yet

[...] Reiko's message began in traditional Japanese style with a reference to the season and her state of mind. The eloquence was typical. The tone unusually disturbing: "It is spring time now in Tokyo and the cherry blossoms are in bloom. In my small terrace garden, the plants – tulips, roses and strawberries – are telling me that a new season has arrived. But somehow, they make me sad because I know that they are not the same as last year. They are all contaminated."

Reiko went on to describe how everything had changed in the wake of the nuclear accident in Fukushima the previous month. Daily life felt like science fiction. She always wore a mask and carried an umbrella to protect against black rain. Every conversation was about the state of the reactors. In the supermarket, where she used to shop for fresh produce, she now looked for cooked food – "the older, the safer now". She expressed fears for her son, anger at the government and deep distrust of the reassuring voices she was hearing in the traditional media. "We are misinformed. We are misinformed," she repeated. "Our problem is in society. We have to fight against it. And it seems as hard as the fight against those reactors." [...]
Here's a great post by a member of our other forum. It perfectly sums up the whole predicament Japan is facing:

[...] Japan did a grand job to fix things to the extent possible post the quake and tsunami but it has been pretty painful to watch how the radiation issue has been dealt with.

While foreign media did sensationalist pieces on that Daiichi radiation was really really scary ,Japanese national media (with the exception of some weekly mags), key bureaucrats and politicians tried to have us believe that the situation wasnt really really an issue.

Much can be said about foreign media blowing things out of proportion at times. However, the nuclear issue became worse with the vast majority of people here buying into what was - at best - an official and corporate attempt to keep people calm. Because it took months for the general public to truly realize what was happening up north, much needed pressure on the powers that be did not happen initially. What could have been decisive action from day one was seriously delayed.

As a part of my job I have been up to Fukushima countless times since late March to ensure independent testing and scrutiny of authority action and lack thereof. Meeting people of coastal towns like Minami-Soma or big cities like Koriyama - there really is no way to describe their pain is it: Fishermen who cannot sell their fish and not getting compensated; parents who have to remove the top layer of the soil from the kindergardens by themselves;, radiation levels far higher than those inside the exclusion zone in numerous pockets outside but often no possibility to go elsewhere. The challenges are endless and much remains to be done. I know some of you have similar experiences with friends or family or via volunteer work.

Nobody is saying that the authorities or TEPCO had an easy job with what was effectively a triple disaster with the quake, the tsunami and then nuclear issue.Things are improving steadily.

However, the initial lack of transparancy, accountability and questioning was - and to some extent still is - a big problem. The "too little too late or maybe a bit of both" approach with regards to required action reminds me a lot of another of the world's biggest environmental disasters, the Minamata Chisso scandal. The company in question was effectively able to weasel their way out of their responsibilities. Not for months or years but for decades. [...]
 

Nuala

Hell's Finest Daughter
Joined
Jul 15, 2004
Messages
1,725
Reaction score
38
Good posts and articles, the both of them, thanks thomas. Can you believe it's been so long? I knew the death toll was going to be high as soon as I knew where the tsunami had hit, and my god. I love Japan so much. I love the Japanese people as much as I do everyone else, and that is no light thing I say.

May those who lost their lives in this tragedy rest in peace, and may the survivors find the will and strength to march onwards. Japan is, afterall, the land of the rising sun. The sun may set every day, but also rises.
 

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
9,175
Reaction score
1,005
The IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, has just released a document painstakingly retracing the first 24 hours of the disaster at Fukushima Dai-ichi. It's a factual and cautious report published by a professional association that deals with technological issues and that by no means can be described as "anti-nuclear".

24 Hours at Fukushima

A blow-by-blow account of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl

[...] close study of the disaster's first 24 hours, before the cascade of failures carried reactor 1 beyond any hope of salvation, reveals clear inflection points where minor differences would have prevented events from spiraling out of control. Some of these are astonishingly simple: If the emergency generators had been installed on upper floors rather than in basements, for example, the disaster would have stopped before it began. And if workers had been able to vent gases in reactor 1 sooner, the rest of the plant's destruction might well have been averted.

The world's three major nuclear accidents had very different causes, but they have one important thing in common: In each case, the company or government agency in charge withheld critical information from the public. And in the absence of information, the panicked public began to associate all nuclear power with horror and radiation nightmares. The owner of the Fukushima plant, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), has only made the situation worse by presenting the Japanese and global public with obfuscations instead of a clear-eyed accounting.

Citing a government investigation, TEPCO has steadfastly refused to make workers available for interviews and is barely answering questions about the accident. By piecing together as best we can the story of what happened during the first 24 hours, when reactor 1 was spiraling toward catastrophe, we hope to facilitate the process of learning-by-disaster.
And in conclusion, lest we forget:

We've learned a great deal about the Fukushima accident in the past seven months. But the nuclear industry's trial-and-error learning process is a dreadful thing: The rare catastrophes advance the science of nuclear power but also destroy lives and render entire towns uninhabitable. Three Mile Island left the public terrified of nuclear power; Chernobyl scattered fallout across vast swaths of Eastern Europe and is estimated to have caused thousands of cancer deaths. So far, the cost of Fukushima is a dozen dead towns ringing the broken power station, more than 80 000 refugees, and a traumatized Japan. We will learn even more as TEPCO releases more details of what went wrong in the first days of the accident. But as we go forward, we will also live with the knowledge that some future catastrophe will have yet more lessons to teach us.
Please read the whole document, it's worth it.
 

Valashu-kun

先輩
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
That's exactly my issue. Am I among the very few who realize that NUCLEAR POWER is a necessity until we come up with something better? Solar, Wind, and Hydroelectric are novelties. There is no way it can sustain our species. Our demand for power is only going to get bigger the more our technology evolves. It will then, as with all things, get smaller & smaller, until we find the next source of energy.

ANTI-NUCLEAR PROPAGANDA? Great job, guys. You're killing our planet with your delusions of other energy sources being seriously viable. Oil & Gas moguls are among you and protecting their wretched assets. Nuclear energy, if followed up on & updated, is the best source we have for now. Uranium need not even be used, with the work being done in the field of thorium reactors. Am I biased because half my state's power is drawn from a few nuclear reactors?
I could not agree more. Altho its far from perfect it is still by far the best energy source we got. Like in the Netherlands were busy building tons of windmills both in sea and land. building and maintenance both cost a ton not to mention their not always viable, either way it still only provides only around 3% of the energy we need.
 

Bob LeKatt

後輩
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
I think the Fukushima nuclear reactor was a fabulous success. 9.0 earthquake and reactor leaks no radiation. 66 ft tsunami and reactor leaks no radiation. Due to failure of the cooling system (no power, no backup generators), eventually 2 reactors did leak, but no one died of radiation poisoning. If the same thing happened to a coal power plant, the place would have blown up and killed a bunch of people. Overall I think the Fukushima reactor did great.
 

zoomingjapan

先輩
Joined
Jun 18, 2012
Messages
268
Reaction score
44
I don't know if you have seen this video yet, but I really liked it!
[video=youtube_share;SS-sWdAQsYg]http://youtu.be/SS-sWdAQsYg[/video]
 

Davey

先輩
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
Messages
7,310
Reaction score
342
Thanks for posting the video! I will have a look at it when I have some more time.
 

zoomingjapan

先輩
Joined
Jun 18, 2012
Messages
268
Reaction score
44
@Davey: You are welcome!

There are still many people who stay away from the Tohoku area because they're too afraid, but they also tend to forget that some cities were devastated and things are STILL NOT back to normal!
By staying away from there we don't really help...

I went to Ishinomaki City (which was also mentioned in the video above as it was hit severely) this year and was shocked to see how much destruction was still left!
You can see a bunch of photos here: Ishinomaki City - Tsunami 2011 Devastation (1 year later)
 

nubero

後輩
Joined
May 2, 2009
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
I made two Interview movies about this. They are both part of a larger project. From the description:

After the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in northeast Japan (Tohoku) in 2011, I – like many others – read all the news I could find. The one thing that struck me was how politically biased all the information was, especially when it had to do with the Fukushima power plant.

This is the reason I started the Life after the Tohoku Earthquake project: I want people that think they have something to say about the catastrophe and how it relates to them, to tell me their story. Those people don't have to be victims, they don't even need to live in Japan.

The films so far:

http://www.nubero.ch/films/view_tohoku1.html

And this:

http://www.nubero.ch/films/view_tohoku2.html


Sorry I can't embed them but they are vimeo videos and that seems to be unsupported here…
 
Last edited:

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
2,233
Last November my motorcycle touring group made our last trip of the year in November with Aizu-Wakamatsu (Fukushima) as our destination. As we were all parking our bikes near the castle an elderly lady came up and started thanking us.

"What are you thanking us for?"

"For coming to Fukushima".

For all of the がんばろう日本 stuff all over the country, I think the people of Fukushima have had trouble actually feeling it in any meaningful way, as lots of people actively shun Fukushima Prefecture now.
 

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
9,175
Reaction score
1,005
At that time I was actually SO far away that I didn’t notice the big Japan earthquake and tsunami 2011 AT ALL! That’s why for me – the world was still as normal as could be – until I turned on the TV.
We were not so lucky in Kanto. While the earthquake was scary enough, many Tokyoites were not able to make it back home that evening. I managed to return home by bicycle around 20:30 and only then learned about the devastating tsunami. My wife was stuck at her parents and I spent the night on the phone and on Skype trying to calm down the family back in Europe. I cannot believe it's been two years already.

For all of the がんばろう日本 stuff all over the country, I think the people of Fukushima have had trouble actually feeling it in any meaningful way, as lots of people actively shun Fukushima Prefecture now.
Last July, we spent a long weekend in Aizuwakamatsu and noticed quite a lot of local tourism. Of course, we wouldn't know how much tourists they receive under normal circumstances. We are planning to visit the Aizu region and Nihonmatsu again this summer and recommend everyone to do so. One of my bicycle mates even toured to Minamisoma.

=> Aizuwakamatsu Travel Guide
 

zoomingjapan

先輩
Joined
Jun 18, 2012
Messages
268
Reaction score
44
We were not so lucky in Kanto. While the earthquake was scary enough, many Tokyoites were not able to make it back home that evening.
I know. Some of my friends complained about it at Twitter back then, but at least they were safe! :)

And Aizu-Wakamatsu is really great! I fell in love with the castle there!
Miyagi Pref. also has many interesting spots to offer. I wish more people would come to visit Tohoku these days. Many still seem to be afraid of the radiation.
 

Kouhia

D.I.Y if you can...
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
20
Reaction score
3
What is cituation in Fukushima?
Is it ower, reactor is now stabel?
News for Fukushima brocen reactors just quietly lost in newsflow, and i newer heard or read, than situation is over?

What is now on?

And, what they will do for brocken reactor?
 

caster55

先輩
Joined
Feb 28, 2013
Messages
231
Reaction score
13
Letter from Fukushima: A Vietnamese-Japanese Police Officer’s Account

Editor’s note: This letter, written by a Vietnamese immigrant working in Fukishima as a policeman to a friend in Vietnam, has been circulating on Facebook among the Vietnamese diaspora. It is an extraordinary testimony to the strength and dignity of the Japanese spirit, and an interesting slice of life near the epicenter of Japan’s current crisis, the Fukushima nuclear power plant. It was translated by NAM editor, Andrew Lam, author of East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres. His first book, Perfume Dreams, Reflections on the Vietnamese DIaspora won a 2006 Pen Award.


Brother,

How are you and your family? These last few days, everything was in chaos. When I close my eyes, I see dead bodies. When I open my eyes, I also see dead bodies. Each one of us must work 20 hours a day, yet I wish there were 48 hours in the day, so that we could continue helping and rescuing folks.

We are without water and electricity, and food rations are near zero. We barely manage to move refugees before there are new orders to move them elsewhere.

I am currently in Fukushima, about 25 kilometers away from the nuclear power plant. I have so much to tell you that if I could write it all down, it would surely turn into a novel about human relationships and behaviors during times of crisis.

The other day I ran into a Vietnamese-American. His name is Toan. He is an engineer working at the Fukushima 1 nuclear plant, and he was wounded right at the beginning, when the earthquake struck. With the chaos that ensued, no one helped him communicate with his family. When I ran into him I contacted the US embassy, and I have to admit that I admire the Americans’ swift action: They sent a helicopter immediately to the hospital and took him to their military base.

But the foreign students from Vietnam are not so lucky. I still haven't received news of them. If there were exact names and addresses of where they work and so on, it would be easier to discover their fate. In Japan, the police do not keep accurate residential information the way they do in Vietnam, and privacy law here makes it even more difficult to find.

I met a Japanese woman who was working with seven Vietnamese women, all here as foreign students. Their work place is only 3 kilometers from the ocean and she said that they don’t really understand Japanese. When she fled, the students followed her, but when she checked back they were gone. Now she doesn't know if they managed to survive. She remembers one woman’s name: Nguyen thi Huyen (or Hien).

No representatives from the Vietnamese embassy have shown up, even though on the Vietnamese Internet news sites they claim to be very concerned about Vietnamese citizens in Japan - all of it a lie.

Even us policemen are going hungry and thirsty, so can you imagine what those Vietnamese foreign students are going through? The worst things here right now are the cold, the hunger and thirst, the lack of water and electricity.

People here remain calm - their sense of dignity and proper behavior are very good - so things aren’t as bad as they could be. But given another week, I can’t guarantee that things won't get to a point where we can no longer provide proper protection and order. They are humans after all, and when hunger and thirst override dignity, well, they will do whatever they have to do. The government is trying to provide air supply, bringing in food and medicine, but it’s like dropping a little salt into the ocean.

Brother, there are so many stories I want to tell you - so many, that I don’t know how to write them all. But there was a really moving incident. It involves a little Japanese boy who taught an adult like me a lesson on how to behave like a human being:

Last night, I was sent to a little grammar school to help a charity organization distribute food to the refugees. It was a long line that snaked this way and that and I saw a little boy around 9 years old. He was wearing a t-shirt and a pair of shorts.

It was getting very cold and the boy was at the very end of the line. I was worried that by the time his turn came there wouldn’t be any food left. So I spoke to him.

He said he was in the middle of PE at school when the earthquake happened. His father worked nearby and was driving to the school. The boy was on the third floor balcony when he saw the tsunami sweep his father’s car away. I asked him about his mother. He said his house is right by the beach and that his mother and little sister probably didn’t make it. He turned his head and wiped his tears when I asked about his relatives.

The boy was shivering so I took off my police jacket and put it on him. That’s when my bag of food ration fell out. I picked it up and gave it to him. “When it comes to your turn, they might run out of food. So here’s my portion. I already ate. Why don’t you eat it.”

The boy took my food and bowed. I thought he would eat it right away, but he didn't. He took the bag of food, went up to where the line ended and put it where all the food was waiting to be distributed. I was shocked. I asked him why he didn’t eat it and instead added it to the food pile …

He answered: “Because I see a lot more people hungrier than I am. If I put it there, then they will distribute the food equally.”

When I heard that I turned away so that people wouldn't see me cry. It was so moving -- a powerful lesson on sacrifice and giving. Who knew a 9-year-old in third grade could teach me a lesson on how to be a human being at a time of such great suffering? A society that can produce a 9- year-old who understands the concept of sacrifice for the greater good must be a great society, a great people.

It reminds me of a phrase that I once learned in school, a capitalist theory from the old man, Fuwa [Tetsuzo], chairman of the Japanese Communist Party: “If Marx comes back to life, he will have to add a phrase to his book, Capital, and that ‘Communist ideology is only successful in Japan.’”

Well, a few lines to send you and your family my warm wishes. The hours of my shift have begun again.

- Ha Minh Thanh
Letter from Fukushima: A Vietnamese-Japanese Police Officer’s Account - New America Media

to Ha Minh Thanh, you are a real Japanese
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
2,233
Same letter, same name, but from a PhD doing field work

Notice:

Following is a story extracted from the letter of Mr. Ha Minh Thanh, Ph.D. written from his field operation in Japan:

(trim)

I turned away to softly cry without being seen by him and other people in the waiting line. How touching it is! I never anticipated a nine years old boy at the third grade could teach meツ―an educated person with a Ph.D.ツ―a lesson of how to be a real person in the most difficult time of oneツ’s life. How impressive and touching is the sacrifice!ツ”

I would like to see some Japanese news source confirmation of there being a Vietnamese-Japanese man working as a police officer.
 

epigene

相変わらず不束者です
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Messages
4,305
Reaction score
160
Same letter, same name, but from a PhD doing field work
Notice:
Following is a story extracted from the letter of Mr. Ha Minh Thanh, Ph.D. written from his field operation in Japan:
(trim)
I turned away to softly cry without being seen by him and other people in the waiting line. How touching it is! I never anticipated a nine years old boy at the third grade could teach me―an educated person with a Ph.D.―a lesson of how to be a real person in the most difficult time of one’s life. How impressive and touching is the sacrifice!”
I would like to see some Japanese news source confirmation of there being a Vietnamese-Japanese man working as a police officer.
I thought the same and googled. Found the same article on JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) website. The story appears to have been published(?) or at least spread in the Vietnamese media. The person, if true, is a man who took Japanese citizenship and became a police officer.
www.jica.go.jp/vietnam/office/others/saigai/pdf/news01.pdf

The PhD stuff is puzzling. Assuming that the story itself is true, there may have been a mistranslation from Vietnamese to Japanese (and later to English). Maybe a degree but no PhD.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
2,233
Interesting link, though apparently translated and not fact checked: there is no such thing as 福島県警察庁.

I find it plausible that there really was a guy and that it really happened, but that he had a policeman's jacket as something given him as relief supplies for himself. Then when he mentioned it, someone assumed he is a policeman and edited/created the intro to fit the assumption. The PhD mention could have been removed for the same reason.

Or it could all be fake.
 
Top