Radioactive beasts

Found this on VBS.tv

Shane Smith travels to Chernobyl back in 2007 to film this episode. They tour the exclusion zone and then try to hunt mutant boars with machine guns. Classic Russian madness. There are some classic comments and scenes in this video and I think it relflects a lot on the future of Fukushima. in 20 years will VBS come to japan to film an episode in the exclusion zone? Shane hunting wild mutant rabbits in Fukushima!? I guess that remains to be seen.

http://www.vbs.tv/watch/the-vice-guide-to-travel/the-radioactive-beasts-of-chernobyl

The mutant rabbits of Fukushima! They are coming for us!

The video that has gone viral in japan. Apparently showing a rabbit that was born without ears in Fukushima. No way to prove that the video was filmed in Fukushima or even when it was filmed, but it is out there for all to see and make their own judgement.

Japan news updates

“Amakudari” has put us all up shit creek without a paddle.

From NHK world news in English.

68 top bureaucrats assume exec posts at utilities

Japan’s industry ministry says a total of 68 former top bureaucrats have assumed executive posts at electric power companies after retiring from the ministry over the past 50 years.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which oversees electric companies, surveyed 12 firms on the number of former career-track bureaucrats that the companies have employed as executives or advisors.

The ministry found that three former chiefs of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy took post-retirement jobs at utilities or related companies.

They include Toru Ishida, who resigned as an advisor to the Tokyo Electric Power Company last month amid the nuclear crisis at the utility’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The ministry also found that 13 former elite bureaucrats currently hold senior positions at power companies.

The industry ministry faces mounting criticism over the practice known as “amakudari,” in which bureaucrats obtain post-retirement jobs at private companies that they have supervised.

The ministry urges its senior officials and those at energy- and nuclear power-related agencies to voluntarily refrain from accepting post-retirement jobs at power companies.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011 12:48 +0900 (JST)

Now here is a good new story. This is the kind of thing I have been hoping for from the Japanese public!

Shareholders call for nuclear plant closures

NHK has learned that shareholders of five electric power companies in Japan are calling for the utilities to decommission their nuclear power plants in the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

About 400 stockholders of the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the Fukushima plant, submitted official documents in support of the proposal.

Shareholders of at least four other power companies — Kansai Electric, Chugoku Electric, Kyushu Electric and Tohoku Electric — have made similar proposals.

On Monday, a group of 232 stockholders of Tohoku Electric submitted documents calling for the company to abolish its nuclear power plants.

The group says the potential risks of nuclear power generation are too great for any single company to afford.

The group urged the utility to decommission its nuclear power plants and to end its investment in the spent nuclear fuel reprocessing businesses.

The power companies are expected to examine the proposals and submit them to a vote at their annual shareholders’ meeting. The meetings are typically held by the end of June.

Attention is now focused on what decisions will be made at the meetings amid growing public concern about nuclear power generation.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011 12:09 +0900 (JST)

And finally better later than never?

Belated release of radiation forecast data

The Japanese government is about to begin releasing data projecting the spread of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that it initially withheld for fear of causing panic.

The data in question is in a computer system called SPEEDI that predicts the spread of radioactive substances based on actual radiation measurements at various locations and weather conditions.

A joint task force of the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company says about 5,000 undisclosed bits of data will be released from Tuesday.

The information will be carried on the websites of the science ministry, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the Nuclear Safety Commission.
The secretary-general of the joint task force and prime the minister’s advisor, Goshi Hosono, apologized for the delay in releasing the data.

Hosono said the task force withheld the information because some data were based on overly rigorous assumptions and feared it may trigger panic.

But he said the task force now believes that panic can be avoided if it offers proper explanations on the projections. He also promised to promptly release all such data in the future.

Hosono said the task force will carry out a monthly check of how TEPCO is proceeding with its plan to bring the nuclear crisis under control.

The utility firm announced a recovery roadmap on April 17th that calls for stabilizing the situation in 6 to 9 months.

Monday, May 02, 2011 19:34 +0900 (JST)

You can find that Data here.

http://www.nsc.go.jp/mext_speedi/index.html

Inexcusable standards!

Got this one from the Science Insider. The Government hires smart people to advice them on what to do and then doesn’t listen to their advice when it doesn’t suit their needs.

Government Adviser Quits Post to Protest Japan’s Policy on Radiation Exposure for Fukushima Schools

TOKYO—A prominent Japanese radiation safety specialist has resigned his governmental advisory post in protest over what he calls “inexcusable” standards for school children in Fukushima Prefecture. The Yomiuri Online news web site reported in Japanese this evening that Toshiso Kosako, a radiation safety expert at the University of Tokyo, feels the standards are too lenient and that his advice has been ignored.

On 19 April, the ministry of education announced a “provisional idea” for schoolyards contaminated by radiation emanating from the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The ministry cited a recommendation by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), based in Ottawa, Canada, that sets an acceptable level of between 1 and 20 millisieverts (mSv) per year for individuals. In its Application of the Commission’s Recommendations to the Protection of People Living in Long-term Contaminated Areas After a Nuclear Accident or a Radiation Emergency , ICRP recommendation reads:

The reference level for the optimization of protection of people living in contaminated areas should be selected in the lower part of the 1-20 mSv/year band.

Japan’s education ministry figured that children could spend 8 hours a day in a schoolyard with as much as 3.8 microsieverts per hour of radiation and then 16 hours a day inside a building with 1.52 microsieverts per hour and stay within a 20 mSv per year limit. Some 800 groups and 34,000 individuals have signed a petition demanding the withdrawal of the education ministry’s 20 mSv per year standard, according to a coalition of citizens’ organizations that will present the petition to the government on 2 May.

“Setting this (radiation exposure) number for elementary schools is inexcusable,” says Kosako, according to Yomiuri Online. His resignation is expected to put additional pressure on the government to rethink its decision.

たいへんだ Some interesting facts

Interesting fact. The present day radiation level 4klm from Chernobyl in a small village is about 4 microsieverts per hour. Keep in mind no one lives there even to this day as it is inside the exclusion zone.

The Japanese Government is allowing schools and kindergartens to operate and let children play outside up to 3.8 microsieverts per hour in Fukushima.

Would you let your child go to school 4 Km from Chernobyl? What if there was a really great exchange program and your child wanted to go? Would you be like, sure go ahead, but just don’t spend to much time outside ok!

No I don’t think so, well that is what the Government is telling everyone to do in Fukushima area.

Check out this guy below, if you read Japanese you should probably follow him on twitter, he has a lot of great timely information.

Ryuichi Hirokawa

Here is an interview with Koide-san from Kyoto University he also is shocked by the Governments decision.

For more detailed info you might what to check the web site of the ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection) they have a PDF entitled “Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident” that has some interesting statements about recommended radiation dosages.

Basically they are saying that in an emergency situation 20 Millisievert a year is allowable and I guess that is what the Japanese Government is basing there new rule on.  Keep in mind this is the same level allowed for German Nuclear Power plant workers.  You probably would not want to send your child to hang out in a nuclear power plant for a year either…

So once again please check my previous post for more info and a link to sign a petition against the governments decision.