Kategoriarkiv: Japan

Tsunami Trash: Adrift to Hawaii

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow): More than 20 million tons of trash was deposited into the Pacific Ocean last March when a tsunami ravaged coastal areas around Japan, a mind-boggling amount considering that’s around ten times the amount that usually winds up in the Pacific each year.

Scientists believe some of that trash is floating towards the Hawaiian Islands, and concern for Hawaii’s environment and maritime industry is growing. Continue


Deep Sea News: How scientists found debris from the Japanese tsunami 700 miles off Midway

tsunami trash hawai

Animation, University of Hawai

Japan scraps plan for 14 new nuclear plants

Japan PM on Fukushima: “Taking this as a lesson, we will lead the world in clean energy such as solar and biomass”

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday that Japan would abandon plans to build new nuclear reactors, saying his country needed to “start from scratch” in creating a new energy policy….

Mr. Kan said Japan would retain nuclear and fossil fuels as energy sources, but vowed to add two new pillars to Japan’s energy policy: renewable energy and conservation.

Continue: Climate Progress

Vulnerable Cities: Megacities and Earthquake Risk

Vulnerable Cities- Megacities and Earthquake Risk - Views of the World 2011-04-17 21-30-37


The following map is a modified version of the earthquake vulnerability map published on Views of the World last month (see that page for more details on the underlying earthquake map). The map itself does not show much new information, but includes an aditional layer containing the largest cities of the world, the so-called megacities (depending on the definition, these are cities with a population of more than 5, 8 or 10 million).

Continue: Views of the World

Shake-up time for Japanese seismology


For the past 20 years or so, some seismologists in Japan have warned of the seismic and tsunami hazards to the safety of nuclear power plants, most notably Katsuhiko Ishibashi, now professor emeritus at Kobe University. Their warnings went unheeded. Yet in the immediate aftermath of the magnitude-9.1 earthquake that struck Tohoku on 11 March, pundits could be found on many Japanese TV stations saying that it was “unforeseeable”.

Continue: Nature


Guardian: Flawed earthquake predictions gave Fukushima a false sense of security

Japanese put their faith in a system that has consistently failed to predict the risk of major earthquakes, says scientist

Continue: Guardian

Japan must distribute iodine tablets urgently

PARIS, March 31 (Reuters) – Japanese authorities grappling with a nuclear disaster must hand out iodine tablets now and as widely as possible to avoid a potential leap in thyroid cancers, the head of a group of independent radiation experts said.

France’s CRIIRAD group says Japan has underestimated the sensitivity of the thyroid gland to radioactivity and must lower its 100 millisieverts (mSv) threshold for administering iodine.

Continue: Reuters

Factbox: How much radiation is dangerous?

(Reuters): Here are some facts about radiation and the health dangers it poses-

Below are different levels of massive radiation exposure in a single dose – all measured in millisieverts — and their likely effects on humans, as published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

– 50-100: changes in blood chemistry

– 500: nausea, within hours

– 700: vomiting

– 750: hair loss, within 2-3 weeks

– 900: diarrhea

– 1,000: hemorrhage

– 4,000: possible death within 2 months, if no treatment

– 10,000: destruction of intestinal lining, internal bleeding and death within 1-2 weeks

– 20,000: damage to the central nervous system and loss of consciousness within minutes, and death within hours or days

Sources: Taiwan Atomic Energy Council, World Nuclear Association, US Department of Transportation, US Environmental Protection Agency

Continue: Reuters

People at Risk: Visualising Global Earthquake Intensity

Views of the world

A map, which provides a general representation of the risks of earthquakes on humanity using records from the past 4,000 years, has been produced by a geographer from the University of Sheffield.

The new World Earthquake Intensity Map has been created on an equal-population map and allows us to understand the earthquake intensity in relation to today´s population distribution, giving an idea of where most people are at risk in regards to seismic activity.

It provides a visualisation of all major earthquakes that have been complied in the Global Significant Earthquake Database. The database contains information on destructive earthquakes from 2150 BC to the present day that meet at least one of the following criteria: moderate damage (approximately $1 million or more), 10 or more deaths, magnitude 7.5 or greater, modified Mercalli intensity X or greater, or the earthquake generated a tsunami.

Earthquake Density Map_tn

Continue: Views of the world


Benjamin David Hennig

Social and Spatial Inequalities Research Group,Department of Geography,University of Sheffield

Japan turning corner in humanitarian relief

Food aid is flowing, refugees are restoring daily routines, and even mobile banks are appearing in north Japan as the nation rallies around victims of the March 11 double disaster.

Nearly two weeks after an earthquake and tsunami plunged the Asian nation into its worst crisis since World War II, an increasingly thorough and successful humanitarian relief operation is replacing the scenes of suffering and devastation.

Continue: AlertNet

Onkalo: Final disposal of spent nuclear fuel

Into Eternity The Movie - Opens February 2 in the US_1300963139275

Every day, the world over, large amounts of high-level radioactive waste cre- ated by nuclear power plants is placed in interim storage, which is vulnerable to natural disasters, man-made disasters, and to societal changes. In Finland the world’s first permanent repository is being hewn out of solid rock – a huge system of underground tunnels – that must last 100,000 years as this is how long the waste remains hazardous.

Continue: Into Eternity The Movie



ONKALO is Underground Rock Characterisation Facility being built for rock characterisation for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Read more. Posiva Finland

Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant


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What are aid workers doing after the Japan quake?

LONDON (AlertNet) - Despite the high death toll and shocking devastation caused by last week’s quake and tsunami, aid workers are not pouring into Japan.

By and large Japan, as one of the most developed countries, has the capacity to respond and it has only accepted international support in a few specific areas, such as search-and-rescue teams, medical help and nuclear specialists.

Continue: AlertNet

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Animation: Japan earthquake disaster

eq japan marc 2011

16.03.2011 | Potsdam: The earthquake disaster on 11 March 2011 was an event of the century not only for Japan. With a magnitude of Mw = 8.9, it was one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded worldwide. Particularly interesting is that here, two days before, a strong foreshock with a magnitude Mw = 7.2 took place almost exactly at the breaking point of the tsunami-earthquake. The geophysicist Joachim Saul from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (Helmholtz Association) created an animation which shows the sequence of quakes since March 9.

Continue: GFZ Potsdam

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Millions in Japan Without Water—Extent of Damage to Water Infrastructure Unknown

Thursday, 17 March 2011 11:23

Six days into the worst natural disaster in modern Japanese history, millions of people still lack drinking water as relief efforts are hampered by fuel and water supply shortages, the ongoing nuclear crisis, mangled roads, and extraordinarily cold weather.

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, 1.6 million households in 11 prefectures do not have drinking water. Other government sources estimate that as many as 2.5 million households could be affected. The ministry is distributing bottled water and is sending hundreds of water supply vehicles to the three prefectures—Miyagi, Fukushima, and Iwate—that took the barrel end of the twin catastrophes.

Continue: Circle of  Blue