Archive for the ‘Minami Soma’ Tag

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.

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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.

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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

Fukushima Rescue Dogs   23 comments

Dogs at Minami Soma, Fukushima Rescued by Japanese Volunteers

Japanese volunteers from a Sheltie Rescue, some in radiation suits, and others in only vinyl raincoats for protection ventured into the nuclear exclusion zone to rescue stray dogs left behind in the empty streets of the abandoned town, Minami Soma in the City of Fukushima, near the nuclear plant, who were still waiting for their owners to return.


 

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Photos of the pack of Shelties wandering the abandoned streets were displayed on Asahi.com, the website of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper from which information regarding their whereabouts were obtained by Estimi Ogino, a 56 year old volunteer at an animal shelter in the Chiba prefecture. “My heart trembled. They looked just like my dog (13year old Kein) I started searching for them right away.” Estimi passed on the details to the Sheltie Rescue Team who had been receiving emails from dog lovers around the country about the abandoned pack.


The group contacted the Fukushima city branch of the Japan Collie Club, and via emails and internet research they were able to track down the owner, a breeder in Minami Soma. She was contacted by phone at a shelter and gave her go-ahead to rescue the dogs.

Seven volunteers left Tokyo early Sunday morning driving over wrecked roads and past ruined houses to meet three other volunteers in the ghost town that Minami Soma has become. Some had prepared radiation suits and others wore simple vinyl raincoats. The first two to arrive found the pack around the Odaka train station, near the owner’s home, where Associated Press writer Eric Talmadge and accompanying photographer Hiro Komae last saw the dogs in Minami Soma on April 7. The dogs had been left some dry food, and weren’t starving. It took a while to entice them with snacks, and six or seven were bundled into each car. The group saved 20 dogs in all.


They were reunited with their happy owner, who did not want to be identified, after being taken to a veterinary clinic in Kanagawa prefecture just west of Tokyo. Others are being cared for by individuals in other areas. But one volunteer Tamika Nakamura said that despite their best efforts there are still dogs out there also waiting for their owners, not yet rescued. Some of the dogs in the Sheltie pack ran away and countless others are still stranded in the evacuation zone. These they are concerned about and it is these the animal rescue team wish to return for.