By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: August 28, 2011
Archive for August, 2011
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Everybody on the east coast, take care!
People in the U.S. east coast are naturally talking about their magnitude 5.8 earthquake today. It was the largest quake in that part of the U.S. for 114 years.As of this morning, here in Japan, we have had exactly 1,500 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater since March 11. Current tallies are: 15,707 known dead
4,642 still missing
5,717 injured Over 45,000 buildings destroyed
Over 144,000 building damaged
Over 230,000 cars and trucks destroyed And there are still over 85,000 people living in evacuation centers. doug
Kan to spell out no-go zone reality
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Monday he intends to visit Fukushima Prefecture as early as Saturday to tell local officials and residents that some areas near Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s radiation-emitting Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are likely to remain no-go zones for a long time.
Kan is expected to explain that some of the areas with high radiation exposure will have to be declared off-limits — even after the crippled power plant’s reactors are finally coaxed into a cold shutdown.
He is also expected to outline measures to help the evacuees in the future, sources said.
“We cannot deny the possibility that there will be some areas where it will be hard for residents to return to their homes over a long period of time,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.
Edano said the final decision on assigning no-entry designations will be made after considering the outcome of a detailed radiation monitoring and decontamination plan for areas within 20 km of the plant and after consulting those communities.
He declined to say which areas would remain no-go zones and for how long.
As for a proposal to buy up land in such areas or compensate their owners through a leasing arrangement, Edano said the state has not yet made a decision on the matter and is studying whether decontamination will succeed.
The science ministry released an estimate Friday of annual accumulated radiation exposure in the hot zone. The estimate says an exposure level of over 100 millisieverts is expected at 15 of the 50 points surveyed in the zone, which exceeds the International Commission on Radiological Protection’s guideline of 20 to 100 millisieverts even in emergencies.
The annual radiation exposure limit set by the government is 1 millisievert.
At a spot in the town of Okuma, 3 km from the plant, the ministry expects an accumulative level of 278 millisieverts.
The shipment ban on Fukushima Prefecture beef will continue, as more meat has turned up contaminated with an excessive level of radioactive cesium, officials said.The government had planned to lift the ban for Fukushima Prefecture on Friday. The ban on shipments of beef from Miyagi Prefecture was still expected to be lifted Friday as planned. Nobutaka Tsutsui, senior agriculture vice minister, said it would take two or three more days for the government to lift the ban for Fukushima. According to the health ministry, radioactive cesium exceeding a provisional safety limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram was detected in a cow transported in April from a farm within a radius of 20 to 30 km of the stricken nuclear power plant. ref: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/nn20110820a2.html
Wednesday there were more quakes greater than magnitude 4 than usual lately – 7 in all (see map).
Near the bus stop by my house…doug
Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto has committed an about-face on policy by telling his ministry to refrain from vouching for the safety of Japanese food.
The ministry stance changed after radiation-tainted beef was found to have been sold to consumers nationwide, sources said.
The contaminated meat is coming from cattle that were fed rice straw contaminated with cesium isotopes ejected by the disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
To handle surging concerns abroad about the food supply, the Foreign Ministry told embassies and other diplomatic offices overseas to brief local authorities, importers and media organizations on measures the government is taking to prevent contaminated food from making it into public distribution channels.
The ministry has also asked its diplomatic offices to repeat its stance of disclosing safety information in a timely manner.
On July 8, Matsumoto said that he wanted to dispel food safety concerns by explaining what the government is doing to prevent tainted food from making it into the food supply.
But several countries have since asked about the beef scare after several cattle suspected of being fed tainted straw were found to have been slaughtered and their beef shipped to market months ago to stores and restaurants.
Somebody from the Katsushika-ku office just came by and lent me a digital tuner until I can find one of my own. They have them for people like me who don’t have cable or satellite and don’t have a digital TV and haven’t been able to find a digital tuner on sale because they are all sold old.They lend them for free for three months until I can find one of my own. So now I have TV again on my 1988 Fujitsu General TV. Who needs an expensive flat panel! doug