News for April 2012

In April, Japanese people having the hanami custom, the traditional outdoor party enjoying the beauty of flowers.

Mizumoto Park, Tokyo, April 8, 2012. Source: Yukio Hayakawa, Twitter.

The government lifted its off-limits order for parts of Tamura city and Kawauchi village in Fukushima Prefecture, located near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Ministry of Education of Japan (MEXT) has published a new web site that collects official maps of the radioactivity monitoring.

On April 8 the scientist Yukio Hayakawa published on Twitter a picture taken during the Hanami at Mizumoto Park in Tokyo, with this caption: “enjoying the beauty of flowers.” The picture shown the dose of radiation: 0.266 microsievert per hour (mSv/h).

While TEPCO continues to dump radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, the media attention has also begun to focus on the nuclear fuel pool that sits atop the devastated building of the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4.


  • Projection: No return to 7 areas near Fukushima plant for 5 years
    Bereft of decontamination work, residents will be unable to return home for at least five years in seven municipalities around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, according to the government’s radiation projection charts.
    Asahi Japan Watch, April 23, 2012.

  • Fukushima – Could 85 Times More Cesium than Chernobyl be Released?.
    Even though we have all been told that the results of three meltdowns and one burning fuel storage tank at Fukushima are in cold shutdown, now the fuel storage pool at Reactor 4 pose new concerns.
    Russia Today – YouTube, April 19, 2012.

  • Move to restart Oi’s reactors blasted as misinformed haste
    Assurances Friday by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and key ministers that two idled reactors are safe to restart has drawn fire from the public that the government is moving way too quickly to bring atomic power plants back online, given the disastrous meltdowns last year at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.
    Kyodo via The Japan Times, April 16, 2012.

  • Tsunami Projections Offer Bleak Fate for Many Japanese Towns
    The simulations shocked this sleepy community on the tip of Japan’s Shikoku island: a huge undersea quake could bring a tsunami as high as 112 feet here, a government-appointed expert panel said. The waves could arrive in minutes and engulf most of the town, swallowing up even the foothills that the residents had counted on for high ground.
    Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times, April 9, 2012.

  • Enjoying Hanami
    The scientist Yukio Hayakawa published on Twitter a picture taken during the Hanami at Mizumoto Park in Tokyo, with this caption: “enjoying the beauty of flowers.”
    The picture shown the dose of radiation: 0.266 microsievert per hour (mSv/h). Exposure to this dose in a year is equivalent to 2.33 millisieverts (mSv/y).
    As recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the annual dose of artificial radiation exposure should not exceed 1 mSv (see the units of radiation).

    Yukio Hayakawa, 楽しいお花見. Twitter, April 8, 2012.

  • 150 ml of radioactive water leaked into sea from Fukushima plant
    The amount of water contaminated with radioactive strontium that leaked into the sea from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant Thursday totaled around 150 milliliters, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday. The utility had said Thursday that about 12 tons of highly contaminated water leaked from a water treatment pipe at the plant and that a large portion of it probably flowed into the Pacific Ocean.
    Kyodo News, April 6, 2012.

  • TEPCO: Radioactive fluids may have leaked into ocean
    Radioactive waste likely leaked into the ocean from the damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on April 5, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.
    Asahi Japan Watch, April 5, 2012.

  • Gov’t agency sought to raise Fukushima radiation exposure limit to 350 millisieverts
    The government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) demanded the health ministry raise the allowable radiation exposure limit to 350 millisieverts effectively for emergency workers trying to bring the crippled Fukushima nuclear power station under control shortly after the ministry lifted the legal exposure limit to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts on March 14, 2011, it has been learned (editor’s note: according the recommendations of the ICRP, the international exposure limit for nuclear workers is 20 millisieverts).
    The Mainichi, April 5, 2012.

  • New Data Show Fukushima Radiation Moved Rapidly Out Into Pacific Ocean
    American and Japanese scientists say they have found elevated levels of radioactive cesium throughout a 150,000 square kilometer area of the Pacific Ocean off Japan. Scientists say some radioactive cesium levels in seawater are higher farther away than adjacent to Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.
    Steve Herman, Voice of america, April 2, 2012.

  • Off-limits order lifted for parts of 2 Fukushima municipalities
    The government lifted its off-limits order Sunday for parts of Tamura city and Kawauchi village in Fukushima Prefecture, located near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
    Kyodo News, April 1, 2012.

  • Related Pages:
    See also the news and analysis archive for 2012 and 2011.



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    About Backyard World

    Backyard World is an art and information architecture project on the Fukushima crisis. The project was started March 17, 2011.
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