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Earthquake/tsunami in Tohoku, North East Japan (11th March 2011)

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More please!   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HrO2H4Sraw   You'd think they might put in some of the overly loud throat noises and he would do a big "ahhhhhhhhhh" at the end. Come on, where's th

Japan mulls nationalising Fukushima nuclear plant company


Japan's government is reportedly ready to consider nationalising the operator of the crippled power plant at the centre of the worst nuclear accident in the country's history.


News that the state could take a majority stake in the Tokyo Electric Power company (Tepco) came after nuclear safety officials confirmed traces of plutonium had been found in soil in five locations in the Fukushima Daiichi atomic complex.


The prime minister, Naoto Kan, fought off criticism of his handling of the crisis, insisting to MPs that a state of "maximum alert" would be maintained until the power plant had been made safe.


Doubts over the future of Tepco, the largest power company in Asia, has coincided with mounting criticism of its handling of the world's worst nuclear emergency since Chernobyl.


Much of the criticism is being directed at Tepco's president, Masataka Shimizu, who has not been seen in public for several days. Tepco officials said Shimizu, 66, had been absent for a few days last week due to a "minor illness", but claimed he had resumed work directing emergency operations at the company's headquarters in Tokyo.


Shimizu hasn't appeared before the media since 13 March; for six days from 16 March, as his employees battled to prevent stricken reactors from going into full meltdown, he reportedly did not attend crisis meetings or visit Tepco's HQ.


On 15 March Shimizu was on the receiving end of an outburst from Kan, who said the firm had been too slow to inform him of an explosion at the plant. Reporters overheard Kan demanding of Shimizu and other Tepco executives: "What the hell is going on?"


In addition, Shimizu's firm has been accused of delaying the use of seawater to cool overheating reactors at Fukushima because of the damage it might cause. The government has since said the plant will be decommissioned.


On Sunday, the firm offered wildly inaccurate readings of radiation levels inside the No 2 reactor building, for which it later apologised. Last week it emerged that two workers exposed to high levels of radiation were standing in puddles of contaminated water wearing only ankle boots.


Shimizu, an enthusiastic cost cutter, was praised for restoring Tepco to profitability after it sustained heavy losses in a 2007 earthquake. But recent reports said that under Shimizu, Tepco failed to make mandatory safety checks and sought to extend the operational life of old reactors.


Tepco's shares have lost about 70% of their value – or $30bn (£19bn) – since the 11 March earthquake and tsunami, and the cost of insuring its debts against default are 10 times higher than they were before the crisis.


The government's chief spokesman, Yukio Edano, denied newspaper reports that nationalisation was among the options under consideration.


"It is my understanding that the government is not considering it," he said. "The government will be directing Tepco to do everything possible to resolve the situation and help the people who are affected."


But the national strategy minister, Koichiro Gemba, said it could not be ruled out. "There will naturally be various debates about Tokyo Electric's future," Kyodo news agency quoted him as saying.


Several members of the government reportedly believe the state should temporarily take control of the company to enable it to compensate businesses and households affected by radiation leaks, and to repair its damaged nuclear reactors.


Hajime Motojuku, a Tepco spokesman, said he was unaware of any plans for nationalisation. "Our first and biggest priority at this moment is to prevent the nuclear power plant accident from worsening further," he said.


Tsunami and quake damage has forced a significant drop in Tepco's capacity to generate electricity, resulting in rolling power cuts that could last into the summer.


Tepco is reportedly in talks with several banks over emergency loans worth a potential ¥2tn (£15bn), a move that surprised some analysts given its large cash reserves. Financial statements show that at the end of last year, Tepco held cash and similar assets worth ¥432bn, and ¥7.5tn in outstanding debt.


Kan, meanwhile, faced accusations that his visit to Fukushima Daiichi the day after the tsunami had held up initial attempts to vent damaged reactors to relieve pressure inside them.


Kan denied that his visit on the morning of 12 March had worsened the situation. "It was necessary for me to go there to understand what was going on," he said. "It was helpful in making decisions later on, and it's not true that my visit caused a delay in the procedure."


Yosuke Isozaki, an opposition Liberal Democrat MP, said Kan should have ordered people living within a 20-30km (12-19-mile) radius of the plant to evacuate. The 130,000 people living in the area have so far been told to remain indoors. "Is there anything as irresponsible as this?" Isozaki said.


Nuclear safety officials said the plutonium traces announced on Monday were not hazardous to health, but the discovery lends weight to fears that dangerously radioactive water is leaking from damaged nuclear fuel rods.


"The situation is very grave," Edano said. "We are doing our utmost to contain the damage."


If inhaled, plutonium, a byproduct of uranium fission, can linger in internal organs and bones and cause cancer. It is also an ingredient in mixed oxide (MOX) fuel used in the plant's No 3 reactor, but officials have yet to determine whether that is the source of the leak.

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Guardian has this as it's very top news:




Japan may have lost race to save nuclear reactor


Fukushima meltdown fears rise after radioactive core melts through vessel – but 'no danger of Chernobyl-style catastrophe'


The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel and on to a concrete floor, experts say, raising fears of a major release of radiation at the site.


The warning follows an analysis by a leading US expert of radiation levels at the plant. Readings from reactor two at the site have been made public by the Japanese authorities and Tepco, the utility that operates it.


Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the units at Fukushima, told the Guardian workers at the site appeared to have "lost the race" to save the reactor, but said there was no danger of a Chernobyl-style catastrophe.




Just an exciting headline? I can't find similar elsewhere.

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I think the media are trolls.

And our insatiable appetite for gossip and disaster feeds them.


Let the people of Japan get on and rebuild and refocus without the hysteria - please oh Western Media Troll.

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"The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel and on to a concrete floor, experts say, raising fears of a major release of radiation at the site."


Ok, lets take this at what it says....sounds bad, end of the world.....right?! Lets say that the reactor HAS melted through the bottom of its containment vessel.....it may be true.....its now on the concrete floor....of.......the outer containment vessel. This is in the design and exactly why a Chernobyl style accident can't happen. In terms of containment, the rods are contained in a metal casing...this is 1st level containment.....2nd level is the 2-3 foot thick steel Pressurised Reactor Vessel (PSV) which may or may not have been melted through in this hypothesis.....next is the (and since I'm a bit drunk just now and don't know the exact specs of the concrete) Uber thick concrete and steel outer containment vessel.....then if all fails, when a meltdown of all this occurs, theres the uber thick concrete containment basin, where the molten metal and concrete from the previous 3 levels, melt into a pond of cold water, solidifies and awaits irradiated men to come and clear it out. Its not fool proof and shit may happen along the way but as long as I try and keep informed with as many sources as poss.....I'm not worried....and neither should you

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Strange isn't it.


The day after this happened the urgency with the Fukushima thing was there and people were clamouring for it to be fixed, like, NOW!


People still really really want it sorted of course, but two weeks later and we realise that it might be some time before it is sorted and are almost learning to live with it. If that makes sense.

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Just talking about that with a friend last night.

They seem to be talking weeks (even MONTHS?!) now for this to be fully sorted.

Just as long as they actually do sort it without any major doh

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Originally Posted By: fukdane
Seriously? You mean eastern Japan?

Still getting regular shakes here in Fukushima.

Yep, problem is that 4 reactors are out for sure. TEPCO is going to consult the locals on using the other 2, but if not, the whole of Eastern Japan will be on power cuts for a long time.
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we've had a few Fukdane. Although a lot of the time they've been scheduled then at the last minute an announcement has been made and the power cut has been cancelled. Actually one night last week me and the mrs were out in town walking around looking for somewhere to eat when the power just went out.....pretty weird that one minute the city is normally lit and the next complete darkness. Of course we knew it was coming so we were prepared (I had my bike light with me) but it made finding a restaurant that was open very difficult. Thankfully we managed to find an Indian restaurant that would stay open for us, so we had the place to ourselves, ate a beautiful sag-lamb curry with Garlic nan and tandoori chicken by candlelight.......it was actually very romantic! biggrin


I imagine that the summer will be a bit of a nightmare. The air-con uses a lot of electricity and with it being so sweaty, people will want to use them.......I think the power cuts will be a lot more frequent in summer than they are now.

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good boy!


Every time Ryo Ishikawa tees it up between now and the end of the season he will be literally playing for his country.

The sensational young Japanese announced yesterday that he would put every penny he earns in prize money over the 2011 season towards helping the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeastern part of his country last month.

If he plays as well as he has done since turning professional three years ago, Ishikawa will find himself boosting relief funds to the sum of about 200 million yen (about £1.5 million).

On top of that, he plans to donate £750 for every birdie he makes, which could add up to a tidy sum when you consider that he racks them up almost at will. “My goal is Y200 million,†Ishikawa said. “I have enough money to spend. I still have savings and I believe this is the most positive way for me to spend money. I know recovery in the quake-affected areas will take a long time. I’d like to strive together with the victims in recovery efforts.â€

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wow!! Thats the first sportsman I've ever seen doing this!1 well done Ryo clap


When you think of disasters from the developed world, the New Orleans one for example, I've yet to hear to a highly paid sportsman do something as self less as this. Think of the money that could've been raised if a top NFL or NBA star had donated his years wages to the Katrina clean up

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