Earthquake 3/11/11

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Mar 22nd, '11, 19:57
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by Chip » Mar 22nd, '11, 19:57

Kevangogh wrote:Looks like this will affect tea merchants outside of Fukushima as well. A note from one of our customers.
Swiss Authorities/customs have ruled that as per today Mar 22 all parcels shipped from Japan containing food items will be retained at airports and samples will be send to a government laboratory to be tested for radioactiv contamination
I doubt it will only be Switzerland. Let's all just panic.
Yikes ... hopefully we will not have to resort to having you stuff teas into clay dolls in order to get tea through customs! 8)

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Mar 23rd, '11, 03:57
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by Chesslover » Mar 23rd, '11, 03:57

Chip wrote:Yikes ... hopefully we will not have to resort to having you stuff teas into clay dolls in order to get tea through customs! 8)
...or into kyusus :mrgreen:

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Mar 23rd, '11, 07:59
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by JBaymore » Mar 23rd, '11, 07:59

JBaymore wrote:It looks like at least some of the mainstream press is maybe now reacting to the negative stuff about the over-the-top reporting starting to tick off many of the public...... and have now maybe decided that they can "stand out" by abandoning the raving pack mentality and looking for "calmer" stuff to report.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42215049/ns ... ood_safety

A headline that actually matched the information in the article for a change. :lol:
OK... I was wrong. Momentary aberation.

Today the headline screams, "FDA bans shipments of milk and produce from Japan". But in the body of the article it says, "from the stricken area near the plant".

How about using "FDA bans milk and produce from near Fukashima plant".

Nah... that is not dramatic enough..... because the action makes perfect sense as a reasonable precaution. Nope... let's get the public thinking EVERYTHING from Japan glows in the dark. Yeah... that's the ticket! The more we scare them... the more they'll read about Japan. Wooo boy. Run with it.

And if we scare the public enough, they'll cause the polititians to react to the public attitude on the subject, and then the polititians will do dumb stuff so that they can get re-elected... and we'll have even more stuff to report on. Hey... make that headline in bigger type.

:roll: :roll: :roll:

best,

.........john

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Mar 23rd, '11, 09:51
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by JBaymore » Mar 23rd, '11, 09:51

Red highlighting, underlining, and bolding is mine....... JB

------------------------------------------
TOKYO, March 23, Kyodo

Radioactive materials drastically exceeding legal limits set under the food sanitation law have been found in 11 types of vegetable grown in Fukushima Prefecture, including broccoli and cabbage, the health ministry said Wednesday.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry called on consumers not to eat the 11 vegetables, also including spinach and the ''komatsuna'' leaf vegetable, produced in the prefecture, where a troubled nuclear power plant is located, for the time being.

The prefecture's vegetables grown in open-air environments are being distributed by the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations, or JA Zen-Noh. No shipments of these vegetables have been made since Monday, it said.

If a person eats 100 grams of the vegetable with the largest detected amount of radioactive materials for about 10 days, it would be equal to ingesting half the amount of radiation a person typically receives from the natural environment in a year, the ministry said.

If a person keeps eating the vegetable at the same pace, the amount of radiation intake could exceed the amount deemed safe, the ministry said.

The ministry detected radioactive cesium that is 164 times the limit -- 82,000 becquerels -- in ''kukitachina'' leaves from Motomiya, along with 15,000 becquerels of radioactive iodine which is more than seven times the limit, it said. The ministry also detected a level of cesium drastically exceeding the limit in some of the other vegetables, it said.

Kyodo news
-----------------------------------------

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Mar 24th, '11, 15:49
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by togei » Mar 24th, '11, 15:49

John,
Thank you very much for your highlighting.
In all truth I don't think it is going to convince those who believe otherwise.
I will post a copy/paste from William D O'Neil from a list I read named NBR. He has excellent analysis of what is going on. The post has a lot more insightful points but this paste only focuses on this phenomenon. I highly recommend the NBR list for those interested in a take on Japan from a lot of the worlds leading scholars, researchers and other thought leaders on Japan.

Begin paste,

While I know of the concept of burning nuclear waste, I don't know
much about the status and problems of such an approach. I am fully
convinced that it is possible to store high level wastes in ways that
are quite safe. But if we continue to avoid dealing with the problem
then at some point it will become impossible to continue using
nuclear power. This would force use of alternatives which are likely
to be more dangerous overall and almost certain to be more
environmentally damaging, but would be deeply satisfying to many
people who would regard it as a victory for the forces of light.
Perhaps their psychic income should be counted in the balance against
the real costs.

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Mar 27th, '11, 07:27
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by togei » Mar 27th, '11, 07:27

I would like to make people aware of this site http://www.japan.woodfire.net/index.php ... 4bf847e364 I know this isn't a potters list but it may be a helpful and or interesting site for those interested in helping.
Dave

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Mar 27th, '11, 19:23
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by JBaymore » Mar 27th, '11, 19:23

togei wrote:I would like to make people aware of this site http://www.japan.woodfire.net/index.php ... 4bf847e364 I know this isn't a potters list but it may be a helpful and or interesting site for those interested in helping.
Dave

Dave,

Thanks for posting that board....... there might be a TeaChatter that would be interested in getting involved and geting to know a Japanese ceramist.

Personally, I had already contacted my friends in Japan directly and offered a "place to go" if they felt uncomfortable or needed to go. None (so far) seemed to be in that position. Everyone there appears to be far "calmer" than many over here in the west seem to be about things. Of course, showing strong emotions is not very "Japanese".... but I think I can read a bit thru that.

best,

..........john

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Mar 27th, '11, 21:37
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by JBaymore » Mar 27th, '11, 21:37

FYI.................

-------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press
Date: Sun. Mar. 27 2011 7:43 PM ET

NEW YORK — A magnitude-6.5 earthquake shook eastern Japan off the quake-ravaged coast on Monday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported, prompting Japan to issue a tsunami alert.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but the Japan Meteorological Agency announced that a tsunami of up to 1.6 feet (a half meter) may wash into Miyagi Prefecture.

The tsunami alert was localized to Japan. The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said no wave was expected in Hawaii or on the U.S. west coast.

The alert was prompted by a quake that the U.S. Geological Survey measured at 7:23 a.m. Monday Japan time (2223 GMT Sunday) near the east coast of Honshu.

The USGS said the quake was 3.7 miles (5.9 kilometres) deep.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by Robert Fornell » Mar 28th, '11, 00:30

JBaymore wrote:
togei wrote:I would like to make people aware of this site http://www.japan.woodfire.net/index.php ... 4bf847e364 I know this isn't a potters list but it may be a helpful and or interesting site for those interested in helping.
Dave

Dave,

Thanks for posting that board....... there might be a TeaChatter that would be interested in getting involved and geting to know a Japanese ceramist.

Personally, I had already contacted my friends in Japan directly and offered a "place to go" if they felt uncomfortable or needed to go. None (so far) seemed to be in that position. Everyone there appears to be far "calmer" than many over here in the west seem to be about things. Of course, showing strong emotions is not very "Japanese".... but I think I can read a bit thru that.

best,

..........john
Hummm... it's a difficult situation with many sub-currents as well as stereotypes in play. If they really felt a need to leave could they give themselves permission (take care of the individual) to do so given the dynamics of the group? Murahachibu is real.... Emotions can and do run strong, just not publically, which is where decisions are made. I tend to believe, as I mentioned earlier, government/TEPCO reports about as far as I can throw them and when talking about "a person" is that human 60 years old or 2? Radiation effects are drastically different depending on age.

Dave, I'd be interest in reading the blance of your "paste" if you have time to post it.

Finally one thing to consider is where does Tokyo eat..... most of it's veggies come from Chiba, Saitama, Ibaraki, and Gunma, and much fish off towns like Choshi, all areas closer to the nuke situation than Tokyo.

Signed,
a Seattle skeptic without cable news.

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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by togei » Mar 28th, '11, 07:55

Here is the post in full. I have attached a second one from the same author on the same subject that was posted a day earlier than the first post. That is to say the second post is older than the first one although that doesn't matter as far as content is concerned.
I would like to add something as far as murahachibu goes.

You need a mura to be excluded from it.

In the present situation the villages/towns are gone. On a more important note I think the idea that a Japanese potter is going to NEED to or want to leave Japan is a deep misreading of what Japan and the Japanese are made of. I did a podcast a while back wherein I told the person I was interviewing that I thought the stewardship of land by the Japanese is exceptional and rooted in a 7 generations type of thinking. He scoffed at me but my opinion wasn't and hasn't changed. The Japanese I know in the village I live in were, for the most part, born here, have lived here, (here in this sense refers to Japan) and will die here, in this sense "here" refers back to the village. This is their home, their great-great-great grandfathers home. The walk I take everyday is through the mountains they have maintained for generations and will continue to maintain long after I am gone. It is in that sense I am talking about stewardship of home, land, and village. If looked at in this way it seems silly to leave when there is a hard time.

Begin first paste.

In response to the question by Yen-Ling Chang, I should say first
that I doubt very much that any of the fuel rods have been breached
and leaked fuel (uranium or plutonium) into the environment, and that
it appears quite unlikely that this will occur.

On the specifics, it should be very easy for experts examining the
radiation spectra from contamination to determine whether any of it
came from fuel, but it is fairly unlikely that such measurements
would identify specifically which fuel had leaked. However,
measurements at the reactor site should give immediate and
unequivocal indications of the location of a leak, should one occur.

If there were a fuel leak, I feel pretty certain that it would be
impossible to conceal such sensational news for long. This is not
North Korea, or the old Soviet Union. That is why I feel so confident
that none has occurred. From what can be determined from official and
press reports, it appears to me that the situation is largely stable
and getting generally somewhat better, so I don't think there is much
risk of a leak in the future. The big risk right now is that some
victims of the Tsunami will suffer owing to inability to meet their
needs quickly enough, not that there will somehow be a nuclear catastrophe.

Turning to the onsite fuel inventory, it may very well be true that
it is larger than it should be. That is certainly the situation at
many places in the United States. The rational approach to spent fuel
is to remove rods after five years of cooling in the pool and place
them in shielded air-cooled "casks" for dry storage. The risks posed
by these casks are not great and it should not be too hard to find
places to store them. But in practice it is difficult for political
reasons. So rods remain in spent fuel pools.

I don't know a lot of details about the French system. France of
course has minimized its waste problem by reprocessing, and a large
proportion of French fuel is MOX. I understand that there are
above-ground dry storage sites in France and that there is active
work in developing a deep long-term storage site.

While I know of the concept of burning nuclear waste, I don't know
much about the status and problems of such an approach. I am fully
convinced that it is possible to store high level wastes in ways that
are quite safe. But if we continue to avoid dealing with the problem
then at some point it will become impossible to continue using
nuclear power. This would force use of alternatives which are likely
to be more dangerous overall and almost certain to be more
environmentally damaging, but would be deeply satisfying to many
people who would regard it as a victory for the forces of light.
Perhaps their psychic income should be counted in the balance against
the real costs.

End of first paste.

Beginning of second paste.

At 08:20 PM 3/21/2011, Rodney E. Armstrong wrote:
>
>Except for my questions about plutonium: Do we know if MOX including
>plutonium was used in the fuel rods in Fukushima? How much danger is
>that the rain now descending here has plutonium particles in it?

My overall judgment is that plutonium is one of the very last things
I worry about in connection with the accident, and that MOX is a red
herring. I outline my reasons below.

While I cannot swear to it, I believe that I read that one of the
Fukushima Daiichi reactors was refueled with MOX fuel. This requires
some changes in procedures and recertification of the reactor.

I have seen nothing to suggest that any of the fuel has been released
into the environment. The radionuclides that have been released seem
all to have been from secondary sources. According to
http://www.jaif.or.jp/english/news_imag ... 58392P.pdf
elevated levels of I-131, Cs-134, and Cs-137 have been detected in
the sea at the plant discharge. This is undesirable but not a major
immediate hazard.

I have seen no reports of any uranium (or plutonium) reaching the
environment. I feel pretty certain that any release of these elements
would be major news.

I do want to point out that there is nothing much special about MOX
fuel. Yes, it has plutonium in it, but so does uranium fuel once it
has been in an operating reactor. In an operating reactor, a
self-sustaining chain reaction involving the U-235 produces a steady
flux of neutrons -- each fission event releases them. About 94% or so
of the uranium in the fuel initially is U-238. This is not fissile
like U-235, but it can absorb neutrons and transmute to plutonium.
(Most of this plutonium is Pu-239, but there are other isotopes in
the mix as well.) So once fuel has been in use for a while it has a
significant plutonium content, regardless of whether it started as
UOX (uranium oxide) or MOX (mixed uranium/plutonium oxide).

It is certainly very important to keep plutonium out of the
environment. But there are plenty of other things in a reactor that
are at least equally dangerous. It is important to keep them all out
of the environment.

One thing to note is that the Chernobyl disaster did release fuel
into the environment, and that the fuel unquestionably had plutonium
in it. The plutonium and uranium were for the most part not widely
dispersed, because they are very dense. The accounts I've read
suggest that they were not significant sources of the health risks
from Chernobyl.

Plutonium alarmists make much of the fact that a very small amount of
Pu in your lungs can result in lung cancer that is likely to kill
you. It's quite true, but it's well to reflect on the fact that a
minute quantity of anthrax spores in your lungs will kill you even
more surely and swifty. And anthrax is everywhere -- there are large
areas of the world where you cannot turn over a spadeful of earth
without getting enough anthrax spores to kill thousands of people.
Yet with very basic precautions (of which most of us are quite
unaware) anthrax has now become quite rare among humans and our
domestic animals. If we can live with anthrax we can live with
plutonium, and so far have done so quite well.

Finally, I'd like to say a few more words about the desirability or
otherwise of nuclear power. It has been suggested that if it reduced
its standards of consumption and overall level of population, Japan
could subsist on renewable and locally-produced energy. Without
trying to judge the technical feasibility of this, I question whether
there is sufficient popular support for such a course. In the absence
of such steps, Japan must have substantial power generation
facilities which depend on imported fuels of one sort or another. Any
major power generation facility involves a considerable concentration
of energy, and such concentrations involve inherent dangers. It is
far from clear that the dangers of nuclear generation are greater
than those of the alternatives, measured by objective standards.

As Japan replaces obsolete generation facilities, or adds more
capacity, I would hope that there will be an effort to objectively
weigh the benefits, costs, and risks of the available alternatives. I
would hope that decisions will not be driven by unanalyzed
extra-rational fears.

In any event, I certainly hope that Japan (and the United States,
inter alia) will develop far better mechanisms to regulate power
production in the public interest.

End of second paste.

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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by JBaymore » Mar 28th, '11, 08:22

Robert Fornell wrote: If they really felt a need to leave could they give themselves permission (take care of the individual) to do so given the dynamics of the group?
Unlikely.... which is why the "public" forum approach set up there, while a laudable attempt to help, likely will see little "action" from the Nihonjin side.
Robert Fornell wrote:a Seattle skeptic without cable news.
You are fortunate :wink:

Yeah..... the fishing industry in the coatal areas of northeast Honshu will really be totally devastated. Not only from the loss of so many boats and fishermen and processing facilities but from the likely huge "off limits" zone,....and even worse from the public preception of the potential dangers. Japan lives by the fish (and other sealife). Combine it with the contamination of crop growing areas.... and the next phase of the disaster will be surfacing soon.

Then there is the summer cooling season looming...and the potential impacts of the lack of electricity to do that.

Awful.... just awful

best,

............john

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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by JBaymore » Mar 28th, '11, 08:27

Dave,

Who is this William O Neil guy? Background?

best,

.........john

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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by togei » Mar 28th, '11, 15:21


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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by Robert Fornell » Mar 28th, '11, 20:13

togei wrote:I would like to add something as far as murahachibu goes.

You need a mura to be excluded from it.

In the present situation the villages/towns are gone. On a more important note I think the idea that a Japanese potter is going to NEED to or want to leave Japan is a deep misreading of what Japan and the Japanese are made of. I did a podcast a while back wherein I told the person I was interviewing that I thought the stewardship of land by the Japanese is exceptional and rooted in a 7 generations type of thinking. He scoffed at me but my opinion wasn't and hasn't changed. The Japanese I know in the village I live in were, for the most part, born here, have lived here, (here in this sense refers to Japan) and will die here, in this sense "here" refers back to the village. This is their home, their great-great-great grandfathers home. The walk I take everyday is through the mountains they have maintained for generations and will continue to maintain long after I am gone. It is in that sense I am talking about stewardship of home, land, and village. If looked at in this way it seems silly to leave when there is a hard time.
Good point Dave and right on target although it's primarily referencing an agrarian context, your comment regarding the potter hit the mark as well. The "mura" I was referring to in this context was the village of long term, interwoven relationships that Japan is. If nothing else, Japan is a society of complex. layered relationships and even though the houses and buildings may be washed away, the relationships still exist which bind ones "mura" together. The smaller the circle of relationships the tighter their binds but this type of thinking exists in any large city as well on different levels. When people offer to help in relocating people from one area of Japan to another or internationally, the network of relationships make it almost impossible to leave the "mura" if the unlikely event that the thought would ever arise.

Thanks for your post Dave.

Best,
R

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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by JBaymore » Apr 3rd, '11, 20:32

Great site for ongoing monitoring of atmospheric and water radiation levels by prefecture:

http://www.mext.go.jp/english/radioacti ... 303986.htm


And an excellent (but long) English interpreted video discussion about the reactors and the current situation:

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13556497


One more item....Tokyo water situation:

"(Posted March 25, 9 a.m. JST) The U.S. Government advises American citizens that the water in Tokyo is safe for drinking. Officials are continuously monitoring the situation."

Source: http://japan.usembassy.gov/


best,

.................john

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