Archive for the ‘Disasters’ Tag

Remember Fukushima–3rd Anniversary, Japan 11.3.2011   26 comments

 

        Fukushima, Japan 3rd Anniversary: March 11, 2011

                              fukushimabb-01japan-nuclear-tsunami-earthquake

 

Remember Fukushima_abovetopsecretdespair fukushima-unit-1-aftermath-900x675 

 

Fukushima Nuclear Denial

Remember Fukushima, March 11th 2011 – Many Would Rather You Didn’t….

 

citz_fihn1March 11th 2011: Three years later, marking the Third Anniversary of the Japan tsunami and Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, and still the denial and suppression of information, regarding the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor continues.

 

It is information suppression on a global scale involving bodies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, [IAEA] formed by the United Nations in 1957, national government bodies, the all-powerful nuclear industry and nuclear based scientists, not to mention, even the media, and others who stand to gain from the existence of nuclear energy.

"Fukushima is an eerie replay of the denial and controversy that began with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is the same nuclear denial that also greeted nuclear bomb tests, such as Semipalatinsk in the Kazakhstan, plutonium plant disasters at Windscale in northern England and the nuclear power plant accidents at Three Mile Island in the United States and Chernobyl in what is now Ukraine."

Furthermore, "About a month after the disaster, on April 19, 2011, Japan chose to dramatically increase its official "safe’ radiation exposure levels from 1 mSv [a measure of radiation dose] t o 20 mSv per year–20 times higher than the U.S. exposure limit. This allowed the Japanese government to downplay the dangers of the fallout and avoid evacuation of many badly contaminated areas."

~Yale University Professor Emeritus Charles Perrow in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

imagesEPA-raising-limit-cartoon_communichi_org

"To date no health effects have been reported in any person as a result of radiation exposure from the accident," the IAEA in 2011, a claim it holds to today.  

And a new State Secrets Act sanctioned by the Japanese government now endorses the right to restrict Fukushima reporting- on pain of a 10 year jail sentence.

 "It’s the cancerous mark of a nuclear regime bound to control all knowledge of a lethal global catastrophe now ceaselessly escalating."

~Harvey Wasserman, co-author of Killing Our Own, in a piece entitled Japan’s New Fukushima Fascism.

Fukushima is different because of the sheer extent of disaster; Multiple meltdowns, on-going pollution of a significant chunk of Japan, airborne radioactive fallout conveyed by the winds throughout the world, and colossal amounts of radioactivity disappearing into the Pacific Ocean, flowing with the currents and transported in the systems of the marine life unfortunate enough to consume the nuclear contaminants.

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The Medical Implications of Fukushima:

"Every increment of radiation exposure produces an incremental increase in the risk of cancer." 

~ National Council on Radiation Protection.

There have already been disproportionate numbers of thyroid cancer cases suddenly arising in Japan. This is a well-known primary indication of early radioactivity damage to the human body. Likewise damaged thyroid glands in Californian children were determined, in a study by the “Radiation and Public Health Project,” to be directly attributed to radioactive Fukushima fall-out. [Study conducted by Joseph Mangano and Dr Janette Sherman of the above mentioned Project and also Dr Chris Busby]

There is no such thing as a "safe" level of radioactivity. Any amount can kill.

"The Fukushima disaster is not over and will never end. The radioactive fallout which remains toxic for hundreds to thousands of years covers large swaths of Japan will never be "cleaned up’ and will contaminate food, humans and animals virtually forever."

~ Dr Helen Caldicott, a founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility quoted from Nuclear Madness, one of her books on nuclear power.

All Bluefin Tuna Caught In California-Radioactive:

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In a study by the Stanford University, every Bluefin Tuna arriving from Japan that they caught in Californian waters was without fail, contaminated with radioactive cesium-137, [large scale emissions occurring from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant]:

“The tuna packaged it up [the radiation] and brought it across the world’s largest ocean. We were definitely surprised to see it at all and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured."

~ Daniel Madigan, Study Leader.

Costs and Consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster:

~ The Environmental Health Policy Institute of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)

“Some 800 square kilometres are ‘exclusion’ zones of "abandoned cities, towns, agricultural land, homes and properties, and from which 159,128 people have been evicted."

~ PSR senior scientist Steven Starr. 

"Should the public discover the true health cost of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts of the world and people would refuse to cooperate passively with their own death."

~ Rosalie Bertell, a Catholic nun and author of No Immediate Danger, referencing “the decades of suppression of the impacts of nuclear power and the reason behind it.”

 

Sources:

opednews.com – Karl Grossman

theecologist.org

zerohedge.com

topinfopost.com

counterpunch.org

iaea.org

thebulletin.org

psr.org

ecowatch.com

Fukushima Solar Fire   21 comments

 

Japan’s Renewable Energy Village

Fukushima Farmers Solar Rays of Hope in a Dark Land

renewable_energy_wno.org

 

Deserted Minamisoma_City_Office_wikimedia creative commons licenseDeserted_Lawson_Haramachikitahara_Shop_wikimedia creative commons licenseContaminated and deserted_Fukushima Prefecture_March 2011

Radio-active farmland in the Japanese prefecture of Minamisoma, a coastal city contaminated by nuclear fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi N-Plant in March 2011, is now leading the way in building a blueprint for modern Renewable Energy Villages.

Construction has already begun on this community run project to build the foundations of its Renewable Energy Village.

solar-energy-panels-and-wind-turbine

Roughly two-thirds of the Minamisoma farmland is located inside of Fukushima’s radio-active exclusion zone.

Hi level contamination Minam.outskirts_greenpeace.org

  • To date the Renewable Energy Village (REV) prides itself on 120 photovoltaic panels, generating 30 kilowatts of power which is sold to a local utility.
  • Locating wind turbines on some of the land is another innovative idea currently in the planning stages.
  • Recreational and educational facilities as well as an astronomical observatory are also being aspired to depending on the availability of further funding.

Solar-SharingFukushima Farmers Solar Rays of Hope

renewable-energy-world_nuclear-news.netThe basis of this project is known in Japan as "solar sharing"growing crops beneath raised solar panels. Most other large-scale solar parks in Japan whether already operational or still in the planning stages have/will have solar panels resting on the ground itself, which makes growing crops impossible.

Solar sharing_bellona.ru

The largest solar park to be built in Japan of this nature will also be located in Minamisoma causing Project Leader Ryozo Hakozaki for the Renewable Energy Village (REV) some concerns; "If farmers decide to sell up their land, entire communities will be wiped off the map." However Sohei Takahashi, Project Chairman believes the Renewable Energy Village project offers a workable solution to this problem. "Through the project we can protect farmland and communities, and with two parallel revenues create increased prosperity compared with before the disasters."

 

Rapseed_anagarden.seTakahashi also plans to conduct research into crops that can tolerate radioactive contamination. One crop, rapeseed, has already been planted, as its oil is contaminants-free, although the actual plants do absorb a percentage of radioisotopes such as those of caesium. The project is supported by generous ‘feed-in tariffs’ the government set and which were introduced in mid-2012.

solar-energy-panels-and-wind-turbine_rapeseed field

All proceeds from the crops and energy will go back into the REV project, the hope and aspiration is that the model will inspire and be copied by farmers whose livelihoods were decimated by the nuclear disaster. "People evacuated from areas closer to the plant have given up ever farming their fields again. There might be an amusement park feel to the project, but we’re trying to show them what the future could hold." Project leader Ryozo Hakozaksolar-energy-panels-and-wind-turbine

Source: New Scientist

Japan Nuclear And Earthquake-Tsunami Disaster Anniversary: 2011~2013   39 comments

Japan Nuclear Disaster And Earthquake-Tsunami 2011~2013

“I bowed and begged them to stay…”

Two years ago today the Japanese people were reeling from the nightmare of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake – the most powerful one ever recorded in Japan, and the 30-foot wave tsunami that crashed as much as 6 miles inshore on March 11 2011; It was a nightmare that killed in the region of 20,000 people and triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis since the Chernobyl disaster 27 years ago.

Fukushima Nuclear Plant...Remembering...

Whilst the atomic accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant did not actually claim any lives it has left tens of thousands of people driven from their homes in a mass evacuation and reduced whole towns to an uninhabitable state as a consequence of the dangerous radiation levels. A situation that will probably last for many decades to come.

                     Fukushima-radiation-could-be-ocean-risk  Japanese Evacuees  Contamination

A report compiled by America’s Institute of Nuclear Power Operations highlights the heroism of workers at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in the disaster’s aftermath, which saw three reactors go into full nuclear meltdown…

“The plant’s back-up generators also failed, leaving most of the facility with no power. Workers struggled to cool the overheating reactors in ‘complete darkness’ while hundreds of aftershocks rocked the area, including two of greater than 7.0 magnitude. The workers persisted in their efforts despite ‘elevated and continuously changing dose rates and contamination levels,’ the report said. Food shortages meant they were given only a biscuit for breakfast and a bowl of noodles for dinner. Many slept on the floor. Some of the workers had lost their homes and families to the tsunami, but continued to toil at the crippled nuclear plant. Some operators volunteered to perform dangerous jobs, the report notes, while many had no formal training for the tasks they were attempting. They relied on "creativity" and "unconventional or unique methods to deal with ‘conditions that were beyond the design basis for the station.’ “ ~ America’s Institute of Nuclear Power Operations

Reactor Explosions and Fires

No. 2 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered an explosion when cooling systems in the Unit failed and pressure inside the reactor soared. Reactor Units Nos. 1 and 3 were blasted by hydrogen explosions which blew the roof off No. 1 unit and tore No 3 reactor apart, and a fire broke out in reactor No. 4 spent fuel storage pond.

                  

  No 4 reactor building Fukushima  FukDaic1 Reactor building covered by steel frame

Masao Yoshida then Fukushima Daiichi plant chief told state broadcaster NHK: "In the first week immediately after the accident I thought a few times ‘I’m going to die.”

Making reference to the explosion of hydrogen that ripped the buildings around rectors 1 and 3 to shreds, he added: "I thought it was all over.”

In a provisional report released by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) Masao described how he was forced to face the fact that they had a full blown disaster on their hands “When lights flickered and went out, including those on the control panels.”

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"I came to realise a tsunami had hit the site as one of the workers rushed into the room, shouting ‘Sea water is gushing in!’ I felt totally at a loss after losing power sources. Other workers appeared anxious. They argued, and one asked: ‘Is there any reason for us to be here when there is nothing we can do to control (the reactors)?’ I bowed and begged them to stay.

As immobilised electrical and cooling systems at the nuclear power plant ground to a halt the largely unsung heroes – the heroic plant workers – in a terrifyingly high risk situation took life-threatening health risks in a desperate, punishing bid to prevent a worse nuclear disaster.

The beleaguered, under fire operator of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant released accounts from the plant workers’ themselves describing some of their most desperate moments as they struggled and fought to bring the stricken nuclear plant under control…

                No 4 reactor at Fuk Dai plant  Fukushima 11 March 2012 Credit Reuters_Kyodo 

  • Overwhelming challenges as workers endeavoured to manually open a ventilation valve in a vital effort to discharge pressure from a reactor container.

"We put on the full protection gear but couldn’t possibly let young workers do the task, as we had to go into an area where the radiation levels were high. When I got to the place to open the valve, I heard eerie, deep popping noise from the torus (a donut-shaped structure at the bottom of the reactor). When I put one of my feet on the torus to reach the valve, my black rubber boot melted and slipped (due to the heat).” one worker recalled.

  • Dire working conditions as they strove relentlessly to combat the dangerously unstable and crippled nuclear plant.

"We experienced big aftershocks, and many times we had to run up a hill in desperation (fearing a tsunami) with the full-face mask still on,” one worker said.

  • Race against time to set down power cables and reinstate the electric supply:

"We finished the work (in one section) in several hours, although it usually requires one month or two. It was an operation we had to do in puddles, fearing electrification,” the worker said.

  • Explosions and fires at the plant give a free rein to the release of critically hazardous radiation levels, compelling TEPCO to evacuate all but a handful of brave and desperately needed workers, out of a nuclear workforce of hundreds.

                   Fukushima Nuclear Plant Workers  Credit: Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO): radioactive water on the floor inside the building of a water treatment facility at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.  Fukushima No2 Reactor torus room_Credit: REUTERS

Those workers became known as the "The Fukushima Fifty”, but the final numbers of workers risking lives and health to join the battle increased by thousands who were also joined by partner company technicians, the likes of Toshiba and Hitachi.

They undertook the commission of ensuring the steady flow of cooling water streaming into the six plant reactors, three of which none-the-less were later to undergo overheating and ultimate melted down.

Cooling System Failures at Japan’s Power Plants

“Reactors 1, 2 and 3 experienced a full meltdown in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami in March” ~ Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters (Japan}

“Nuclear fuel rods in reactors 2 and 3 probably melted during the first week of the nuclear crisis whilst fuel rods at the heart of reactor No. 1 melted almost completely in the first 16 hours after the disaster struck.”

A time to remember...2011~2013Fukushima Explosion

“We Came Close To Losing Northern Japan”

~Tokyo Electric Power Co.

Japanese Wolves ~ “Guardian Dog of the Mountains”   66 comments

 

Japanese Wolves

“Yama no Bankun” (Guardian Dog of the Mountains)

Japanese Wolves_The Guardians of the Mountains

Ōkami (wolf)  狼(おおかみ)

Also known as: Okuri-inu 送り犬 (escorting dog), Okuri-ōkami 送り狼 (escorting wolf), Yama-inu 山犬 (mountain dog)

Officially, the last of the Japanese wolves was extinct in 1905 and no wolves now exist in Japan. The Hokkaidō or Ezo wolf, cousin to the grey Honshū wolf (Canis lupus hodophylax, or ōkami, the smallest of all wolves) located in Hokkaidō fell victim to extinction in 1889.

                               Japanese Wolf Japanese Ezo Wolf Japanese Honshu wolf_National Museum of Science and Nature 

It is however thought locally, that the wolf, also very much a creature of folklore and religion is still living, deep in the Japanese mountain forests and many people continue to claim they have seen one. This is probably based on the Wolf’s unique ability to keep so well out of sight of man, that it was almost invisible, allowing it to also keep an unwatched eye on man! Local Hongu saying: “The wolf can hide even where there is only a single reed.”

Wolf Deities – The Wolf in Myth and Legend

 jap wolf agyo at Mitake jinja in shibuya2

The wolves association with the mountains also remains very clear with places names such as Okamitaira (Wolf Plateau), Okamizawa (Wolf Marsh), Okami’iwa (Wolf Rock) and Kobirotoge (Howling Wolf Pass) in the Kii Peninsula mountains abounding.
The wolf, closely connected with the god (kami) of the mountains is considered to be the gods pet or their messenger (otsukai お使い) in the Tamaki Jinja and Takataki Jinja shrines located in Totsukawa Mura. In some cases it is even thought to be a god in its own right, "great kami (大神)", and the Ōguchi-no-makami (大口真神, "true god of the great mouth") is a wolf figure that is worshipped at Mitsumine Shrine in Saitama Prefecture,

“Yama no Bankun” (Guard Dog of the Mountains)

                                                  Guard Dog of the Mountains_Yamu no BankunJapanese_wolf_poster_Canis "Hodophylax"

The Japanese wolf is commonly known as Yama-inu,(mountain dog), and as with domestic dogs that display guard-like behaviour, in myth and legend the okuri-inu or okuri-ōkami ("escorting wolf") can also be seen as man’s protector, frequently from the dangers of other wolves when they are alone in Japan’s deep mountain forests. Another type of wolf is thought to escort in the form of stalking mankind as prey, malevolently attacking if their human “prey” should fall or trip and taking many different forms in order to deceive and bewitch humans. This has led in South/Central Honshū and Shikoku, to the belief that the wolf is a supernatural being. But one which if treated with respect by humans is also an honest creature, willing to offer protection when asked to spare a life and in the face of submissive human behaviour towards them.

Canis hodophilaxCanis Hodophylax – the Japanese scientific name linked to the legend of the benign okuri-ōkami ("escorting wolf") derives from the Greek word for “way/path” – Hodo, and the Greek word for “guard” – phylax, together creating “guardian of the way.” ** This also relates to the Ice wolves of Europa – Guardians of the Wolf-Gates and Pathfinders of the Wolf-Ways (interstellar pathways/gateways between worlds)

Such wolves are encouraged to remain protective with rewards consisting of their favourite foods (salt or sekihan -azuki beans and rice) when they have ensured safe passage for those concerned, helping to cement the relationship between man and wolf. Sekihan was also offered in congratulation, according to tradition in Yamanashi Prefecture, to the She-wolf when her wolf-cubs were born. It was believed that by the giving of this ceremonial food, usually served at the time of newly birthed human babies, would lead to return gifts of congratulation from the wolf when the villagers babies were born, in the form of deer, boar, hares etc.

“The Cypress of Dog Howls”

http://youtu.be/tupOeH4bcfw Wolf Howl in Asahiyama (Hokkaido, Japan)

               honshu-wolf_statue2and Japanese Wolf SymbolThe Cypress of Dog Howls Symbolism

North of Hongu high in the Tamaki mountains “The Cypress of Dog Howls” is found – a giant tree where on the eve of the 1889 Great Flood that killed numerous inhabitants of Hongu and surrounding areas, prophetic wolves howled continuously. They materialised on the Tamaki mountains to protect and aid the vulnerable villagers from the disaster that had overtaken them.

Wolf Charms and Boar Deterrents

Villagers would often pray to the wolf. "Lord Wolf [oino tono], please protect us and stop the ravages of the deer and wild boar.”  Especially in the Sendai region, this would happen whenever the wolf was spotted, as it was believed they would protect the mountain farms and help to control the ever increasing and destructive boar population. So strong was this belief, that even charms were used in the wolf’s absence, enshrined in the shrine of the village. In Hongu and even across Japan they had and still do, a wolf charm (ofuda) they called a boar deterrent (shishiyoke) to guard against the wild boars.

Japanese Wolf’s Natural Symbolism of Society in Japan

Japanese Wolf The quality and nature of the wolf’s relationship to humans, also reflects its moral relationship to them. This can be clearly seen in “Japanese wolf lore” which relates tales not of good or bad wolves but of good or bad people. Wolf lore promotes the wolf as a “natural symbol of society”

There is a strong message to the Japanese people that the exchanges they share with the wolf are also a model of how they should conduct the relationship between themselves and nature.

The wolf symbolises both the wildness and the control of the mountains (Yama) and although the original Japanese wolf may now be extinct, it is most certainly not out-dated or superseded. The reintroduction of wolves to Japan – as has been appealed for over recent times would have many positive influences:

· The wolf would help restore order to the ecology of Japan’s forests

· Nature would also be restored in the process 

· Human control would be reinstated

· The Japanese mountains would become manageable again…..

But in order for human control to be reinstated, first the return of the Yama no bankun, the "guard dog of the mountains"  is a required necessity.

                                  Kuroinu_Japanese Wolf Mask

Sources: 
1.  John Knight ~ "On the Extinction of the Japanese Wolf." Asian Folklore Studies

2. “Japan Guide Book” ~ japanguidebook.com