2013年8月31日 星期六

1923年9月1日關東大地震

關東大地震的記載很多. 以後補上.
文中的"殺韓橋事" 應該更深入說明   我印象中那時有許多"謠言"--- 包括趁機縱火搶劫等.

這是Facebook上Chi Ta Tsai‎‏
1923年(大正12年)9月1日日本時間早上11:58分,發生在日本關東平原的一場大震災,達芮氏規模7.9,這次地震影響範圍包括了東京都、神奈川、千葉以及靜岡等縣,所以又稱為東京大地震。關東大地震死亡人數估計大約介於100,000至142,000人(包括大約40,000人失蹤,被推定均已死亡)之間。這次自然災害所造成的損失是戰前最嚴重的一次,而今天恰為大震災90周年紀念日。

30年前熱播一時的晨間連續劇《阿信》,就以戲劇方式陳述東京大地震對於東京市民的深刻影響。廿多年前著名的動漫《帝都物語》也描述了魔人藉由喚醒千年前的平將門怨靈,從而掀起這場大震災。著名的文藝評論家廚川白村遇難,而文學家志谷崎潤一郎因而避難至關西。

大地震發生後造成眾多民眾恐慌和混亂,導致許多虛假的謠言在受到地震影響的地區內外傳播。其中最慘烈者就是,謠傳在日朝鮮(韓國)人利用災難來獲利,甚至謠傳他們在井裡下毒,於是許多市民感到憤怒。在地震發生之後,韓國人在東京和橫濱遭到大規模屠殺,大約有6,600名韓國人在事件中遭到殺害。所以兩天前南韓的《朝鮮日報》還特地提及此歷史冤案,並要求日本政府道歉。另外,此期間也發生諸如憲兵大尉甘粕正彥,趁機殺害無政府主義者大杉榮夫妻的殘虐事件。

不過,大震災對於日本或未必全是負面。甫卸任東京市長未久,時為內務大臣的後藤新平(台灣人該很孰悉他吧!),在兼任帝都復興總裁後,就趁機規畫全新的現代都市規模,一掃江戶時代的舊障礙。是以,小說家永井荷風道出「某年大地忽搖晃……大火焚燒都城時,江戶文化之名化為殘煙……明治文化亦為灰燼」。而深具社會改革意識的菊池寬更說出「最終而言,震災是一場社會革命。」一場死傷數十萬人的超級大地震卻也使東京真正步入現代資本主義之林,歷史的弔詭莫逾於此。


2013年8月29日 星期四

Japan's energy conundrum just got worse.福島核一廠清理惡夢不止




Japan's leaky nuclear plant
No end in sight
Aug 24th 2013 | TOKYO |From the print edition
The Fukushima nightmare lingers.
THE agonising efforts to clean up the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant hit new obstacles this week. On August 21st the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said that leaks of radioactive water were a level three, or "serious", incident on a scale that goes up to seven. Some help from American experts aside, Japan has been dealing with the disaster itself. Now, even Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the plant's owner, would welcome foreign help.
TEPCO is under intense fire at home. It "has no sense of crisis at all", grumbled Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the NRA, as the leaks worsened. Another NRA commissioner questioned whether TEPCO's data could even be trusted. After months of denial, the firm has only just admitted that contaminated water is leaking into the Pacific. China and South Korea have both expressed concern.
The plant's melted reactor cores are tainting both the hundreds of tonnes of water pumped into them each day and the groundwater, producing vast quantities of radioactive liquid. After underground pools leaked, TEPCO has hastily built around 1,000 surface storage tanks. Several are leaking from joints sealed with plastic. The most recent leak, of 300 tonnes, prompted the NRA alert. Experts say many more tanks are at risk.
A shortage of cash may have heightened the crisis. TEPCO faces massive bills for replacement fuels and compensating evacuees. It failed to install even the most basic system to monitor water leaks. Its workers stand on tanks and memorise water levels. The NRA this week ordered TEPCO to install water gauges at once. "What's needed is tanks with stainless-steel seals, but that would take time and money," says Neil Hyatt, professor of radioactive-waste management at the University of Sheffield.
Another explanation for the neglect at Fukushima Dai-ichi is that Japan, under the pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party, is rushing to turn its nuclear reactors back on. All but two are now closed. Importing energy hits Japan's trade balance as well as TEPCO. Instead of scrutinising the operator's jerry-rigged water tanks, the NRA has been busy drafting new safety regulations. Public opposition already meant that restarting reactors would cause a big fight. With Fukushima Dai-ichi ever more visibly out of control, Japan's energy conundrum just got worse.



困難的福島核一廠清理工作,本周面臨了新的阻礙。原子力規制委員會於8月21號表示,福島核一廠輻射水外洩為第三級事件(最高為七級)。雖然有少數美國專家協助,但先前仍主要是由日本自行處理此災難;現在,就連東電都歡迎外國能夠伸出援手。
東電在國內遭受大眾猛烈抨擊。原子力規制委員會委員長田中俊一在外洩惡化之時表示,東電完全沒有危機意識;另一名委員甚至質疑東電資料的可信度。東電在否認數月之後,才終於坦承汙染水已洩入太平洋;中國和南韓皆對此公開表示憂慮。
核一廠的熔化爐心汙染了地下水以及每天灌注的數百噸水,產生大量輻射水。地下水池外洩之後,東電急忙建造約1,000座地表儲存槽,少數儲存槽的塑膠密封接縫也發生了外洩。最近一次外洩汙水量達300噸,引起原子力規制委員會的注意;專家指出,還有更多水槽有外洩風險。
缺 乏現金或許加劇了此次危機。東電面臨巨大的替代燃料及補償支出,甚至連最基本的汙水外洩監控系統都沒有安裝,員工得站上水槽上靠記憶力記住水位。原子力規 制委員會本周命令東電立即安裝水位監控系統。雪菲爾大學的輻射廢料管理教授海雅特(Neil Hyatt)表示,東電需要的是以不鏽鋼密封接縫的水槽,但那需要錢和時間。
福島核一廠問題之所以被忽視的另一個原因則是,在支持核電的自 民黨執政之際,日本正忙著重啟核電廠;目前只剩兩座核電廠並未重啟。進口能源不但影響了東電,也衝擊了日本的貿易餘額。原子力規制委員會忙著起草新的安全 規定 ,無暇檢視東電那些臨時拼湊而成的水槽。民眾的反對聲浪已經讓重啟核電爭議不斷,福島核一廠失控日益明朗,也使得日本的能源困局更加惡化。(黃維德譯)
©The Economist Newspaper Limited 2013
經濟學人英文原文

2013年8月28日 星期三

荘厳な姿よみがえる 京都・二条城で唐門の修理が完了

荘厳な姿よみがえる 京都・二条城で唐門の修理が完了

写真:菊紋の下に葵紋が見つかった垂木の飾り金具=京都市元離宮二条城事務所提供拡大菊紋の下に葵紋が見つかった垂木の飾り金具=京都市元離宮二条城事務所提供
写真:修理が終わり、通り抜けられるようになった二の丸御殿の唐門=28日午前、京都市中京区、戸村登撮影拡大修理が終わり、通り抜けられるようになった二の丸御殿の唐門=28日午前、京都市中京区、戸村登撮影
写真:菊紋の下に葵紋があるとわかった垂木の飾り金具=28日午前、京都市中京区、戸村登撮影拡大菊紋の下に葵紋があるとわかった垂木の飾り金具=28日午前、京都市中京区、戸村登撮影
 【筒井次郎】世界遺産二条城京都市中京区)で二の丸御殿(国宝)入り口にある唐門(からもん、国重要文化財)の修理が終わり、28日から通り抜けられるようになった。1年9カ月かけ、漆塗りの破風(はふ)や極彩色の彫刻で飾られた荘厳な姿がよみがえった。
 徳川家康が1603年に築いた二条城には国宝・重要文化財が計28棟あるが、老朽化で傷みが激しくなり、京都市が2011年度から20年計画で大修理を開始。第1弾の唐門には金箔(きんぱく、約11センチ四方)約6万枚を使った。1619カ所の彫刻も修復。費用は1億8200万円にのぼった。
 修理中、垂木の飾り金具で、皇室の菊紋の下に徳川家の葵紋が見つかった。明治維新などを経て、城の所管が新政府に移った明治中頃の改装とみられるという。

2013年8月26日 星期一

日試辦郵差兼探視老人

月收費320元 日郵差兼探視老人

〔編譯林翠儀/綜合報導〕日本郵差今後除送信外,還得兼負關懷老人的工作。日本媒體報導,日本6個城市103家郵局,10月起將試辦老人關照業務,郵局人員拜訪轄區高齡人士,確定這些長者的近況,並提供代為購物服務。這項業務預定2015年普及到全國郵局。
鑑 於日本非都會區人口外移,高齡者多半居住於人口稀少的非都會區,外出工作的兒女難免掛念家鄉父母的狀況,郵局從中看到商機,利用全國密集的郵務網絡,開辦 關照老人業務。這是日本郵局在郵務、存款及保險之外首度開辦的新業務,這項服務採取會員制方式,每月基本費用為1050圓(約320台幣),郵局人員將每 月定期走訪入會的老人,提供必要的關懷和協助。
郵局新業務 提供電話諮詢以及宅配服務
郵 局人員每月至少一次訪問入會高齡者,確定長者的生活近況,並將長者現況回報給住在外地的長者家人。此外,郵局也24小時提供長者健康或生活等方面的電話諮 詢服務,包括介紹醫療機構或專門業者等。郵局也和物流業者合作,每月定期將長者生活所需的水、米和其他用品宅配到府,但必須額外計費。這項業務將從10月 起在北海道、宮城、山梨、石川、岡山及長崎等6個道縣103家郵局開始試辦,明年4月起將逐步擴大,目標是在後年普及到全國。

Japan's Abe battles doctors' lobby over "Third Arrow" reform

Japan's Abe battles doctors' lobby over "Third Arrow" reform


TOKYO | Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:56am IST
Aug 25 (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to promote the advanced medical technology industry as part of a plan to breathe new life into the economy - but the country's doctors' lobby is opposing what they say is risky surgery.
Health care has become the latest battleground in Abe's efforts to craft a strategy to engineer growth in the world's third biggest economy, the so-called "Third Arrow" of his economic turnaround plan.
The plans include changes to the country's universal health insurance system - as cherished in Japan as the National Health Service is in Britain - in order to boost growth by increasing demand for innovative drugs and medical devices.
The debate is being cast as a litmus test of Abe's commitment to deregulation as he attempts to revitalise Japan's stagnant economy. It also illustrates the opposition that Abe, who returned to power after his Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) big election win in December, faces from within his own camp.
"The idea of the growth strategy is ... for the private and public sectors to get together and promote innovation, We agree with that," Takashi Hanyuda, an LDP lawmaker who is also vice president of a powerful doctors' lobby, told Reuters.
The growth strategy also aims to promote exports of advanced medical technology and speed approval of new drugs and devices.
"But we have to protect the universal health insurance system to which everyone belongs," said the 65-year-old ophthalmologist, elected to parliament last month after running with the support of the Japan Medical Association (JMA).
"If the system starts to break down a little, it will turn into a flood and it would be extremely hard to halt the trend."
On one side of the argument is the 165,000-member JMA and health ministry officials, who say they want to protect the cherished principle of universality in a system that has been the envy of much of the developed world.
Lined up against them, and pushing Abe to go further, are advocates of more radical reform who accuse the small family doctors who make up the bulk of the JMA's membership of wanting protection from competition from larger clinics and hospitals.
Reformers say the changes would give patients more choice and allow doctors more discretion.
The JMA, the health ministry and some experts counter that the reforms would widen healthcare gaps between rich and poor. Critics also question just how much economic growth the changes proposed in a growth strategy unveiled in June would generate.
The JMA also worries that Abe's push for Tokyo to join the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact would give impetus to such changes if Washington pushes in negotiations for market-oriented reforms to healthcare, although U.S. officials deny they have such an agenda in mind.
RETURN OF THE "TRIBES"
Organised interest groups and the "zoku giin" ("tribal lawmakers") who represent them have staged a comeback since the LDP returned to power in December after a three-years gap and cemented its grip on government in a July upper house poll.
So although opposition parties have been badly weakened, Abe faces tough policy battles with forces inside his own party.
"The organised vote is definitely making its presence known. The 'zoku giin' are feeling empowered," said Steven Reed, a political science professor at Chuo University in Tokyo.
At first blush, the proposed reform hardly appears the stuff of a political battle royal.
All Japanese are enrolled in one of four health insurance schemes that provide the same level of cover at the same prices.
But because of a ban unique to Japan, patients who want to combine a new drug or treatment not included in the official health insurance package with a treatment that is ordinarily covered must pay out of their own pocket for both.
That means they are faced with an "all-or-nothing" choice - relatively low-cost treatment inside the public insurance scheme or relatively high-cost treatment without any public cover.
That ban on so-called "mixed medical treatment" was imposed because the system, whose roots stretch back before World War Two, is based on the premise of ensuring equal access for all Japanese to the full range of safe and effective treatments.
Exceptions have been made for some advanced treatments - such as cancer drugs approved overseas but not yet in Japan - on the assumption that effective drugs and devices will eventually be covered by public insurance.
Critics say the system is too slow and exceptions too few.
"HOLY GRAIL" OF HEALTHCARE
Abe returned to power for a rare second term pledging to revive Japan with a radical economic policy - known as "Abenomics" - comprising the "Three Arrows" of drastic monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and a growth strategy that includes structural reforms such as deregulation.
Unveiling his "Third Arrow" in June, Abe promised to "dramatically" expand mixed care in health by increasing the range of treatments included and reducing approval times. On Thursday he reiterated that the change should be a top priority.
Advocates of more radical change want a complete end to the ban.
"The current system is unfair," said Haruo Shimada, president of the Chiba University of Commerce and a former an adviser to then-premier Junichiro Koizumi, a privatisation fan, during his 2001-2006 term. "It's an institutional defect."
Some even want to deregulate public health insurance and widen the scope for private providers, reducing the burden on public finances already heavily strained by Japan's ageing population and spurring growth of innovative medical treatments.
"The government should abandon 100 percent control over the medical industry, especially insurance," Shimada said. "Liberalization of the differential in terms of quality and price would give tremendous growth power for the medical industry."
Doctors at large hospitals that would benefit most from the change also favour a complete end to the ban, pitting them against self-employed physicians operating small clinics.
"The JMA says they are protecting patients' interests, but in fact, it is the patients who are crying," said former surgeon Ryosuke Tsuchiya, a member of the board at the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research and an expert adviser to Abe's panel on regulatory reform, who wants the ban lifted entirely.
Critics say the doctors' group is trying to protect the interests of its members who won't be able to compete against bigger hospitals offering advanced care in a deregulated system, while health ministry officials want to maintain their control.
"They are protecting their turf, power and influence," Shimada said.
Health ministry officials counter that leaving healthcare to market forces threatens both quality and equal access.
Some outside experts agree that lifting the ban, or even easing it, would be a move towards creating a two-tiered medical insurance system in which expensive, advanced treatments would increasingly be left outside universal coverage.
"Universality of access is the 'holy grail' of healthcare in Japan and they (the JMA and health ministry) don't want to see anything that would fundamentally undermine that commitment to universal access," said one foreign medical industry expert.
Given the tangle of conflicting interests, the outlook for drastic reform is dim. The prime minister already faces a politically fraught decision on whether to implement a planned sales tax rise next year and is pushing controversial changes to Japan's security policies, so may have little political capital to spend on deregulation, those involved in the process said.
Still, with no election set until 2016, the next three years may offer the best chance to push deregulation.
"If we want to promote growth, we need to deregulate where possible since the scope for fiscal measures is limited," said Yuri Okina, a Japan Research Institute economist and member of Abe's regulatory reform panel."For deregulation, now is our only chance." (Editing by Alex Richardson)

2013年8月22日 星期四

福島核事故當地兒童患癌受矚

福島核事故升級當地兒童患癌受矚

更新時間 2013年8月21日, 格林尼治標準時間07:15
福島核電站
福島核電站最新洩露事故級別上調,民眾擔心輻射

日本原子力限制委員會周三(8月21日)宣佈,基於福島核電站事故周二發現洩漏300噸的高濃度污染水,該委員會決定提升福島核事故級別到國際標凖中「重大異常」的3級。
福島核電站所屬的東京電力公司周一報告說,發現事故核反應堆至少洩漏污染水120公升,不過周二修訂為300噸。

日本原子力限制委員會根據此一修訂,認為按洩漏的污染水可能放出的輻射能量,事故應屬於國際由8至1標誌事故嚴重程度上升的第三級。

沒斷定的原因

此次事故級別的上調可能導致日本社會對福島嚴重洩漏輻射對人體的影響程度更加感到不安。
福島縣「縣民健康管理調查」的檢討委員會周二發佈報告稱,今年6月為止福島縣18歲以下青少年中又有6人被確診患甲狀腺癌,10人懷疑患甲狀腺癌。
福島縣2011年核電站事故發生後開始對全縣18歲以下兒童實施健康檢查,至今確診甲狀腺癌的患者總數增加到18人、疑患總數增加到26人。
除了甲狀腺癌,發現其它部位疑似癌細胞的兒童也增加了10人,總數達到25人。
儘管檢討委員會解釋說這些現象「不能斷定與核電站事故的影響有關」,但因福島縣民廣泛不安和輿論質疑,檢討委員會決定在今秋以前設立外部專家組成的機構來查究原因。

高於平均記錄

日本20歲以下的甲狀腺癌患者機率平均為幾十萬分之一,以2007年統計為例,全國20歲以下確診甲狀腺癌的有46人。
日本醫學界和研究輻射的學術界之間,一般是依據位於烏克蘭北部的前蘇聯切爾諾貝利核電站1986年發生重大輻射洩漏事故後的健康影響報告,把兒童在事故後4年起發作甲狀腺癌作為輻射影響的常識之一,檢討委員會「不能斷定」的理由也與此有關。
不過包括官方電視台NHK在內,各大傳媒報道這一消息的內容和關注程度都顯示媒體的擔憂,網上出現的很多恐懼和質疑聲更是沸沸揚揚。
研究地球環境的中部工學研究所副所長武田邦彥也公開反駁說,切爾諾貝利事故也只是1次經驗,而且他們的報告也說,明確的甲狀腺癌影響從第4年開始,但之前也發現甲狀腺癌患者。
武田說:「既然事故後兒童患甲狀腺癌的統計明顯增加,那麼還稱不知甲狀腺癌與輻射的關係就是謊言。」

2013年8月21日 星期三

Wrecked Fukushima storage tank leaking highly radioactive water/ Disaster Went From Bad To Worse

 

How Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Went From Bad To Worse

Published 10:44 am, Wednesday, August 21, 2013

More than two years down the line after the disastrous Japanese tsunami, things would appear to be getting worse at the Fukushima nuclear power plant again.
Japan's nuclear agency has raised the severity level of a leak at the plant from one to three on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES), the BBC reports.
For a little sense of what that means, check out this chart:
Japan Fukushima
While the level of radiation has gone from an "anomaly" to a "serious incident," that's still a long way off from a "major accident" — only the original Fukushima disaster and the Chernobyl meltdown have reached that height.
Even so, it's still a hundred-fold increase in severity. That's certainly noteworthy, and it's the worst level at Fukushima since the tsunami.
So far the rating change is only a proposal — Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority have to get the AEA, the UN's nuclear agency, to confirm it — but people are recognizing its importance: Immediately after the news came out, a recent Nikkei rally came to a sudden halt.
The issue is centered around contaminated water currently leaking from the plant that was discovered on Monday. The water is being used to cool the reactors, but over 300 tons of radioactive water have leaked into the soil. In the picture below, taken on August 20, you can see plant workers trying to stop the leak:
Fukushima Japan Plant Leak
Masayuki Ono, an official at Tepco’s plant siting department, told reporters that radiation levels as high as 100 millisieverts per hour were detected near the tank, according to Bloomberg. To put that in perspective, under government regulations plant workers should only be exposed to 100 millisieverts over the course of five years. The water had beta radiation of 80 million becquerels per liter — 8 million times the limit for drinking water.
It gets worse: Not only has this water been leaking into the soil, it may have been leaking into the sea for weeks.
Perhaps the biggest issue is that the situation seems to confirm many people's suspicion that Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), the group that operates the plant, is unable to cope with the scale of the problem and needs help.
If there's one positive, it may be that Tepco now seem to admit that.
“We will revamp contaminated-water management to tackle the issue at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant and seek expertise from within and outside of the country,” Zengo Aizawa, a vice president at Tepco, said last night. “There is much experience in decommissioning reactors outside of Japan. We need that knowledge and support.”

 

福島核洩漏 升至「嚴重事件」


  日本原子能管制委員會(NRA)就日前福島核電廠洩漏污水一事,將國際核能事件級別調高至3級,即「嚴重事件」;當局更質疑東電(TEPCO)資料的可信性,令人再次關注東電處理嚴重污染設施的手法。
 

福島核電廠洩漏污水一事,事件級別調高至「嚴重事件」,東電資料可信性成疑。 (CNS資料圖片)

調高兩級 升1級嚴重性增10倍 
  日前東電公布福島第一核電廠洩漏300公噸放射性污水,NRA原將事件訂為國際核能事件1級「異常」,其後將評估上調至3級「嚴重事件」,為2011年福島核事故後,當局首次發出國際核能事件警告;評級還須獲國際原子能機構(IAEA)確認。
 

  NRA成員稱,污水洩漏為調高評級主因,但質疑東電資料的可信性。秘書長森本英香認為,機構需檢查其他儲水罐有否出現更多洩漏;核電廠有數百個與涉事儲水罐設計相似的儲水罐,政府亦下令徹查其他載有污水的儲水罐安全性。
 
  洩漏污水的污染程度嚴重,若處於污水50厘米外,1小時內就會吸收比核電廠職員每年平均吸取輻射量界綫多5倍,難怪NRA將評級調高兩級;國際核能事件分級每升1級,事件嚴重性就增加10倍。
 
  東電表示,昨日或可清理福島第一核電廠的放射性污水,職員則嘗試以沙包堵住涉事儲水罐;東電稱部分污水或已流入大海。
 
  核電廠接連流出污水,令人關注東電處理嚴重污染設施的手法,首相安倍晉三亦曾稱,東電沒能力獨自處理清理工程,承諾政府將給予更多資金支持。此事勢將令民眾更反對核電,安倍重開國內核反應堆的阻力將不斷增加。
 
東電股價挫1成 漁民陷絕路 
  洩漏事故被評為「嚴重事件」後,東電股價昨最多下跌15%,收報557日圓,跌9.3%。

Wrecked Fukushima storage tank leaking highly radioactive water


Related Video

An aerial view shows Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture in this March 11, 2013 file photo. REUTERS-Kyodo-Files
Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture is pictured in this combination file photo taken December, 2000 (top), February 26, 2012 (C), and March 3, 2013, released by Kyodo on March 7, 2013, ahead of the two-year anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. REUTERS-Kyodo-Files

TOKYO | Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:26am EDT
(Reuters) - Contaminated water with dangerously high levels of radiation is leaking from a storage tank at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, the most serious setback to the cleanup of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
The storage tank breach of about 300 metric tons of water is separate from contaminated water leaks reported in recent weeks, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Tuesday.
The latest leak is so contaminated that a person standing half a meter (1 ft 8 inches) away would, within an hour, receive a radiation dose five times the average annual global limit for nuclear workers.
After 10 hours, a worker in that proximity to the leak would develop radiation sickness with symptoms including nausea and a drop in white blood cells.
"That is a huge amount of radiation. The situation is getting worse," said Michiaki Furukawa, who is professor emeritus at Nagoya University and a nuclear chemist.
The embattled utility Tokyo Electric has struggled to keep the Fukushima site under control since an earthquake and tsunami caused three reactor meltdowns in March 2011.
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority has classified the latest leak as a level 1 incident, the second lowest on an international scale for radiological releases, a spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday.
It is the first time Japan has issued a so-called INES rating for Fukushima since the meltdowns. Following the quake and tsunami, Fukushima was assigned the highest rating of 7, when it was hit by explosions after a loss of power and cooling.
A Tokyo Electric official said workers who were monitoring storage tanks appeared to have failed to detect the leak of water, which pooled up around the tank.
"We failed to discover the leak at an early stage and we need to review not only the tanks but also our monitoring system," he said.
Tokyo Electric, also known as Tepco, said it did not believe water from the latest leak had reached the Pacific Ocean, about 500 meters (550 yards) away. Nonetheless, continued leaks have alarmed Japan's neighbors South Korea and China.
CRITICISM
Tepco has been criticized for its failure to prepare for the disaster and been accused of covering up the extent of the problems at the plant.
In recent months, the plant has been beset with power outages and other problems that have led outside experts to question whether Tepco is qualified to handle the clean up, which is unprecedented due to the amount of radioactive material on the site and its coastal location.
The government said this month it will step up its involvement in the cleanup, following Tepco's admission, after months of denial, that leaked contaminated water had previously reached the ocean.
Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato told an emergency meeting of prefectural officials on Tuesday it was a "national emergency", and that the local government would monitor the situation more strictly and seek additional steps as needed.
Massive amounts of radioactive fluids are accumulating at the plant as Tepco floods reactor cores via an improvised system to keep melted uranium fuel rods cool and stable.
The water in the cooling system then flows into basements and trenches that have been leaking since the disaster.
Highly contaminated excess water is pumped out and stored in steel tanks on elevated ground away from the reactors. About 400 metric tons of radioactive water a day has been stored at Fukushima.
In order to keep up with the pace of the flow, Tepco has mostly relied on tanks bolted together with plastic sealing around the joints. Those tanks are less robust - but quicker to assemble - than the welded tanks it has started installing.
The latest leak came from the more fragile tank, which Tepco plans to carry on using, although it is looking at ways to improve their strength, said Tepco official Masayuki Ono.
A puddle that formed near the leaking tank is emitting a radiation dose of 100 millisieverts an hour about 50 cm above the water surface, Ono told reporters at a news briefing
Tepco has also struggled with worker safety. This month, 12 workers decommissioning the plant were found to have been contaminated by radiation. The utility has not yet identified what caused those incidents, which only came to its notice when alarms sounded as the workers prepared to leave the job site.
A South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said Seoul had asked Japanese officials to explain what they were doing to stop contaminated water reaching the ocean and fishing grounds.
"They also need to make the information available to the public, all over the world, given this is the first case in history where contaminated water from a nuclear plant is flowing into the ocean at this magnitude," he said.
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi, Yoko Kubota; Additional reporting by Linda Sieg, Kiyoshi Takenaka; Writing by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Alison Williams)

2013年8月15日 星期四

Fish stocks threatened by Fukushima leaks

Photo from a Kyodo News helicopter shows (from back to front) the No. 6, No. 5, No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 reactors of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Fukushima Prefecture on Dec. 15, 2011. (Photo: Kyodo)

NUCLEAR

Fish stocks threatened by Fukushima leaks

For more than two years, tons of radioactive water has been seeping daily into the ocean from Japan's crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima. Experts examine the impact on fish stocks and how the leaks could be stopped.
In an interview with Reuters news agency, an official from Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority called it an "emergency." An estimated 300 tons of radioactive water has been leaking every day into the Pacific Ocean since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a meltdown following a massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit Japan on March, 11, 2011. The amount of water leaking into the sea is enough to fill one Olympic-size swimming pool in about a week. The announcement came shortly after plant operator TEPCO stated the protective barriers installed to prevent toxic water from spilling into the ocean were no longer coping with the groundwater levels.
The statement confirmed long-held suspicions that the sea was being contaminated. Local fishermen and independent researchers had already suspected a leak, but Japan's largest utility continued to deny the claims until it finally conceded last month. But even more worryingly, the company also admitted that groundwater and soil samples taken at the plant were showing high levels of potentially cancer-causing isotopes, including cesium-137, tritium and strontium-90. Now TEPCO has started pumping out radioactive groundwater from a pit to reduce the leakage.
Fukushima fish still contaminated
In Japan, where eating fish is a vital part of the nation's culture, people are anxious about seafood safety. There seems to be a consensus among experts that the fish off the coast of the crippled nuclear plant are contaminated, as they are still being exposed to cesium-137, a small portion of which is believed to be trapped in the sediment in coastal waters.
Blair Thornton, associate professor at the University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science Underwater Technology Research Center, points to a monitor displaying maps showing radioactivity levels underwater (R) and on land at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant (F1NPP) operated by Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) in Tokyo August 8, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)Scientists agreee that the fish dwelling in the vicinity of the plant are still contaminated
According to Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the US-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, periodical measurements conducted by the Japanese government have revealed that cesium-137 levels in bottom-dwelling fish, including many important commercial species, are highest off Fukushima.
These monitoring results are also used to keep fisheries near the stricken reactor closed and to keep an eye on neighboring areas where levels are approaching the regulatory limits. "Fishing for many species is currently banned off Fukushima," the expert told DW.
No immediate risk for humans
But Buesseler also pointed out that fish rapidly lose the cesium accumulated in their muscles after exposure stops. "Fish that migrate to less affected waters will gradually lose much of their Fukushima-derived cesium," he said, adding that there was no immediate risk for humans eating fish from outside the contaminated areas off the Japanese coast.
This is corroborated by Günter Kanisch from the Hamburg-based Thünen Institute of Fisheries Ecology. The expert states that since January 2013, more than 90 percent of all cesium values measured in fish in the Fukushima area have been below the Japanese regulation value for food consumption of 100 becquerels per kilogram. "Moreover, since May 2013, 90 percent of the fish sampled were even below 50 Bq/kg, " he told DW.
However, scientists remain concerned about the contamination of marine life in the long run. Both Buesseler and M. V. Ramana, a scientist and researcher at the Nuclear Futures Laboratory, Princeton University, warn that while some of the radioactive materials leaked will mix with the ocean water and become diluted, others, like Strontium-90 will get bound up in ocean sediments or accumulate in living creatures at concentrations greater than the surrounding water.
"Strontium-90 behaves just like calcium and tends to concentrate in the bone rather than being cleared out of the body," Ramana explained.
Impact on fisheries
Jota Kanda, a professor at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, says that most of the contamination found today in the seafloor did not occur recently but rather during the first couple of months after the nuclear disaster. He told DW that the current input of radioactivity is far smaller than that stemming from the major leaks that followed soon after the meltdown. Kanda stresses, nonetheless, that it could take decades for elements like cesium to dissipate from the seabed, thus posing a long-term challenge to coastal fisheries.
According to Shunsuke Managi, environmental expert at Tohoku University, Japanese fisheries reported a $10.5 billion loss in infrastructural damages in 2011. On top of that, Managi told DW he estimates that the local fisheries lost up to $2.6 billion in revenue that same year and at least one billion more in 2012.
A fish market worker carries the day's catch at a port in Oma in Aomori, northern Japan. (Photo: AP)Japan's fisheries have suffered billions of dollars in losses
A frozen wall of earth
It remains unclear whether Tepco will be able to prevent radioactive water from seeping into the ocean anytime soon, especially since the company doesn't seem to know where exactly the leakage is taking place. In light of the urgency of the situation, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged deeper public involvement in the clean-up of the stricken plant. An initial sum of 40 billion yen ($400 million) is being discussed by the government.
The money is to be used for a project to surround the reactor buildings with a wall of frozen earth to block underground water from entering the contaminated buildings, an idea which Michael Golay, professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believes is worth trying. "This is a common technique used in civil projects to try to stabilize the soil."
However the technology, used in subway construction, has yet to be tested in this context. Further, Ramana pointed out, there are questions about how this structure, set to be completed by July 2015, would behave in the event of another earthquake or even if there was a temporary loss of electric power supply.
Running out of storage space
But the Fukushima plant is also facing a storage problem. The reactors need hundreds of tons of water daily to cool the radioactive fuel. This water becomes contaminated and is difficult to store in the quantities in which it is produced..
Tanks of radiation-contaminated water are seen at the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO)'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, in this file photo released by Kyodo March 1, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)TEPCO has built more than 1,000 tanks to store the mixed water, but the firm could soon run out of space
Workers have built more than 1,000 tanks to store the mixed water, but with more than 85 percent of the 380,000 tons of storage capacity already filled, critics fear the company could soon run out of storage space.
The groundwater leaks are bound to worsen if TEPCO and the Japanese government don't manage to contain the problem soon. Kanda therefore argues that the careful assessment of leak source may enable the plant operators to reduce the leakage substantially.
The expert in marine science makes clear, however, that the major effort should be aimed at preventing another large leakage, since there is a "substantial amount of radioactive water" in the basement of reactor housings, underground trenches, and temporal storage tanks on the ground. "The proper management of these waters should be given the highest priority," Kanda emphasized.

2013年8月14日 星期三

Papers that pushed for Pacific War revisited

/

Papers that pushed for Pacific War revisited

Fabricated logistics data supplied by Cabinet member helped military railroad government

by Reiji Yoshida
Staff Writer
The key was lost and the safe remained locked for 22 years after the 1989 death of its owner, former Lt. Gen. Teiichi Suzuki of the Imperial Japanese Army, who had been the last surviving Class-A war criminal of World War II.

Suzuki, who died at the age of 100 in Shibayama, Chiba Prefecture, was among key Cabinet members when Japan started the Pacific War with the Dec. 7, 1941, surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

Two years ago, Suzuki’s relatives had NHK open the safe. Inside were diaries, notebooks and other documents, including a 16-page typed manuscript that the general had read out in front of Emperor Hirohito and national leaders at an Imperial Conference on Nov. 5, 1941, to detail Japan’s logistical strengths.

Suzuki, who headed the Planning Board, a government body in charge of allocating resources for the army, navy and civilians, concluded that Japan, which was already at war in China, would be able to still wage war against the United States, Britain and the Netherlands.

This conclusion may have helped seal the fate of Japan as well as that of millions of victims of the Pacific War.

Some key numbers described in the manuscript were apparently padded. Using those cooked-up figures, Suzuki was able to convince undecided leaders that Japan could secure the logistical supplies needed to wage war against the U.S., said Atsushi Moriyama, associate professor at the University of Shizuoka, noting this argument helped persuade Japan to embark on a hopeless fight.

“This is the first time (Suzuki) revealed his official view (on Japan’s wartime logistical capacity). So this was very critical,” said Moriyama, a noted expert on modern Japanese political history.
Experts have known the contents of the document Suzuki read out, but it wasn’t until NHK broke open the safe that the actual paper he used during the Imperial Conference was discovered.
The safe also contained nine essays Suzuki wrote in the closing days of World War II that to date have been examined only by a few experts. The Japan Times is the first media outlet to report on those essays.
In one of them, Suzuki explained how awestruck he was by his first one-on-one conversation with Emperor Hirohito to detail a national resource mobilization plan for fiscal 1941 on July 5, 1941.
The Emperor asked Suzuki if the 1941 resource plan would still work if a war between Japan and the United States broke out, according to the essay.
“If such a war actually takes place, it would mean big trouble, though,” the Emperor was quoted as saying in the essay.
In the essay, Suzuki wrote that he responded by saying the plan is based on an expanded wartime scenario. The Emperor said, “Then that would be fine.”
Moriyama noted, however, that no contemporary materials, including diaries of the Emperor’s aides, make mention of Suzuki’s meeting with the monarch on that date.
If the meeting actually took place on that date, it is a new discovery.But Suzuki’s memory could have been off, as he wrote the essay more than three years after the meeting supposedly occurred, Moriyama said.
Suzuki kept his essays and the 16-page document together in his safe, apparently aware of the historic meaning of the incidents he was involved in as a Cabinet member during the war.
In the postwar military tribunal, Suzuki was sentenced to life in prison, but was freed in 1956.
The cover of the 16-page document bore “Top-Secret” in red, and many red lines were drawn along key words and phrases, which Suzuki probably emphasized during his presentation in front of the Emperor and other attendants, including Prime Minister Gen. Hideki Tojo.
The manipulated figures in Suzuki’s document were those of projected wartime losses of transport ships to carry oil and other strategic materials from areas in Southeast Asia that Japan planned to occupy if it went to war with the U.S.
Before July 1941, Japan depended on the U.S. for 70 percent of its oil imports. But on Aug. 1 of that year, President Franklin D. Roosevelt cut Japan off after Imperial forces advanced into southern French Indochina ostensibly at the request of France’s puppet Vichy government that the Nazis established. By then, Japan had joined Hitler’s tripartite Axis alliance.
Japan had more than 7 million tons of oil stockpiled as of July 1941, but with daily consumption of 10,000 tons, the nation would be left with no oil by the end of December 1942.
With no alternative sources, Japan was facing the tough choice of whether to launch a desperate war against the Allied Powers in a bid to occupy oil-rich Southeast Asia or pull its troops out of China as demanded by the U.S.
A critical question for leaders at the Imperial Conference was whether Japan would be able to ship vast amounts of oil from occupied Southeast Asia, particularly the Dutch East Indies, to sustain a war against the U.S.
Suzuki’s paper concluded that Japan would be able to maintain enough transport ships in a conflict against the U.S. But according to the paper, the loss of ships was estimated at 800,000 tons to 1 million tons a year, and annual ship production capacity was estimated to be 600,000 tons a year.
Given those figures, Japan would eventually lose all its transport ships, but Suzuki concluded otherwise, without providing an explanation.
“(Suzuki) didn’t make sense,” Moriyama said.
None of the national leaders at the Imperial Conference, however, pointed out the apparent contradiction and simply accepted Suzuki’s conclusion, taking a significant step toward war against the U.S. during the gathering.
According to Moriyama, Suzuki apparently adopted an earlier optimistic simulation provided by the navy that assumed that as the war continued, fewer transport ships would be sunk. The simulation was based on outdated World War I ship-loss data and didn’t assume any damage from enemy aircraft.
“Whether Japan would be able to continue the war depended on how much (shipping) we would lose,” Gen. Kenryo Sato, the army’s military affairs chief in the 1940s, wrote in a memoir published in 1976.
“In reality, the estimated amount turned out to be far off the mark. This was the biggest cause of our defeat” in the Pacific War, Sato wrote.
Suzuki was well aware of the huge gap between the industrial strength of the U.S. and that of Japan, and was among a few members who initially openly argued against a war with the United States.
In 1941, the gross national product of the U.S. was 12 times greater than that of Japan and the U.S. produced 12 times more crude steel and five times more aircraft and ships than Japan.
But after being pressured by a senior army officer, Suzuki made an about-face on Oct. 30, 1941, and started siding with those national leaders who advocated war, Moriyama said.
“Suzuki’s about-face was a big factor” in pushing participants in the Imperial Conference to opt for war, he said.
If Suzuki had maintained his earlier stance against the war, the Tojo Cabinet may not have started the war against the U.S., Moriyama said.
Under the 1889 Meiji Constitution, no national leader — even the prime minister — had the power to sack other members of the Cabinet. If one minister kept resisting the prime minister, the Cabinet would have no choice but to resign en masse.
Also under the Meiji Constitution, the Emperor appointed Cabinet ministers, based on recommendations from the prime minister. But the Emperor was not supposed to officially intervene in Cabinet decisions, although Emperor Hirohito’s attitude sometimes affected key political figures during the war.
This meant all key decisions would have to appear to be unanimous agreements by the Cabinet.
According to studies by experts, many top leaders — including those from the army and navy, were, like Suzuki, reluctant to wage war with the U.S., as they were well aware of how strong it was compared with Japan.
But key government officials, including top brass in the army and navy, both feared losing face and had sectional interests to protect, thus they never expressed their “honne” (true feelings) during top decision-making meetings, Moriyama said.
Top naval leaders could not openly argue against war because the navy had earlier kept winning huge budgets by emphasizing it had to prepare to take on America. Army leaders meanwhile refused to withdraw their troops from occupied China as demanded by Washington as a precondition for the U.S. lifting its oil embargo and improving relations with Japan.
Pressure from the army and navy, which put their interests above those of the nation, eventually pushed indecisive national leaders to gamble on war with the Allies. And Suzuki’s paper helped provide a reason for those leaders to launch the Pacific War.
Moriyama is well-known for his studies on this “indecisive” political process and the sectionalism that eventually led Japan to doom in the Pacific War. Many Japanese who read his book on this theme say the organizations they belong to have very similar problems with indecisive, irresponsible leaders, Moriyama said.
“Many of my readers interpreted (the book) as that of contemporary history. A book like this should be read as a story of the past, but it’s not,” he said. “That means (Japanese) society has serious problems. That’s scary.”
Japan paid dearly for waging war with the Allies.
Most of Japan’s major cities — including Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka — were flattened by massive U.S. bombing raids. In the March 11, 1945, Great Tokyo Air Raid alone, more than 100,000 citizens were killed overnight.
In total, more than 3.1 million Japanese, including 800,000 civilians, were killed during the war, which ultimately cost tens of millions of lives.

2013年8月9日 星期五

兩部 "千利休"Sen no Rikyu 相關電影和展覽


  1. Sen no Rikyū
    Sen no Rikyū
    Sen no Rikyū, is considered the historical figure with the most profound ...
     Sen no Rikyū (千利休?, 1522 - April 21, 1591, also known simply as Sen Rikyū),
     
     

    映画「利休にたずねよ」×百段階段 特別企画展 開催 目黒雅叙園にて 2013年11月26日(火)~2014年1月13日(月・祝)

    2013.8.8 15:37
    (C)2013「利休にたずねよ」製作委員会
    (C)2013「利休にたずねよ」製作委員会【拡大】
    • 百段階段「草丘の間」天井画
    本年創業85周年を迎えた目黒雅叙園(運営:株式会社目黒雅叙園/所在地:東京都目黒区)では、2013年11月26 日(火)~2014年1月13日(月・祝)まで、園内・東京都指定有形文化財「百段階段」において、映画「利休にたずねよ」×百段階段 特別企画展を開催 します。
    ◆崇高なまでに研ぎ澄まされた利休の美の世界と、文化財との華麗な共演
    【12月7日(土)全国公開される話題の映画「利休にたずねよ」の世界観】
    「茶 聖」とまで称えられた至高の芸術家-千利休。その「美」に対する見識や独創性には、かの織田信長や豊臣秀吉でさえ一目置いたといわれています。もしも、そ の崇高なまでに研ぎ澄まされた美意識が、若い頃に体験した情熱的な恋に始まっているとしたら・・・という大胆な仮説のもとに、希代の茶人の出発点を取り上 げた第140回直木賞受賞の歴史小説「利休にたずねよ」が今年末、長編映画として新たな命を宿します。利休を演じるのは、歌舞伎俳優-市川海老蔵。その利 休を見守り、寄り添う妻・宗恩には中谷美紀。利休に惚れ込む戦国の覇者・織田信長に伊勢谷友介。利休への愛憎をめぐらせる天下人・豊臣秀吉に大森南朋。そ して今年2月に亡くなった市川海老蔵の父・團十郎が、若き日の利休の師であった武野紹鴎役として特別出演しています。文化財「百段階段」ならではの絢爛豪 華な空間に、映画の世界がよみがえります。
    【実際に映画で使用された衣裳・小物・映像・音楽を通して、文化財で体感】
    本展では、数 多くの映画の衣裳デザインを手掛ける宮本まさ江氏によるキャラクターの精神性まで加味した貴重な衣裳をはじめ、小道具、映像やパネルによる紹介、音楽に至 るまで、映画の世界観を体感いただけます。各部屋ごとにテーマを設け、映画「利休にたずねよ」のさまざまなシーンと、文化財「百段階段」との融合をお楽し みいただけます。
    ◆企画展 映画「利休にたずねよ」×百段階段 概要
    ■展覧会名:目黒雅叙園 創業85周年特別企画展 映画「利休にたずねよ」×百段階段
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2013年8月8日 星期四

Japanese Government to Help Stabilize Nuclear Plant After Leaks

安倍政府介入福島核電站污染處理工作

工人走在日本福島第一核電站的水箱旁邊。
Pool photo by Toshifumi Kitamura
工人走在日本福島第一核電站的水箱旁邊。

東京——先是一隻老鼠啃斷了暴露在外的線路,導致福島第一 核電站(Fukushima Daiichi)至關重要的冷卻系統再一次停止工作,經過手忙腳亂的搶修才恢復正常。然後是為了存儲大量污染水而匆忙建起的水池開始泄漏。現在為了阻止泄 漏而建起的防護屏障又被新一波放射性水衝破了,大量嚴重污染的水每天都在流入太平洋。
隨着新一輪危機的事態在周四變得明朗起來,深得民意的日本首相安倍晉三(Shinzo Abe)下令政府對電廠清理工作進行干預——自電廠反應堆融毀以來,還沒有哪屆政府採取過如此直接的行動。在2011年,那場導致三個反應堆融毀的事故給福島帶來了世界第二大核災難。
安倍晉三是日本核項目的堅定支持者,他似乎已經作出判斷, 自己需要予以干預,來重建公眾信心,拯救他的經濟復蘇計劃的部分核心內容:重啟許多處於閑置狀態的核電廠。侵蝕信心的不只是最初的災難,還有電廠運營商東 京電力公司(Tokyo Electric Power Company,簡稱東電)在這兩年半里時不時犯下的一些危險的錯誤。在很多日本人看來,這家公司一直在試圖誤導公眾,以掩蓋電廠狀況日趨惡化的事實。
在就污水問題召集的內閣會議上,安倍晉三說,「我們不能讓東電獨自去承擔這個責任,」污水問題已經迅速成為電廠面臨的最大挑戰,而且似乎即將失控。「我們必須從國家的層面上來應對此事。」
但是要在一場大規模的、空前的清理行動中發揮更大的作用,對安倍來說是一次政治賭博,尤其考慮到萬一結果證明,政府和東電一樣無力解決受損電廠的放射性物質泄漏問題。
許多分析人士說,安倍的舉動是在承認前任政府犯了錯,將耗 時40年、耗資110億美元的清理行動交給東電,而許多人指責稱,當初之所以發生如此的浩劫,本身就跟這家公司犯的錯有關。批評人士說,東電領導層一直都 令人擔憂,因為他們仍然深陷政府和核電產業界的共謀泥潭之中,很多人認為這也令電廠格外脆弱。
「這是政府在承認,東電的清理行動管理不善,誤導公眾,」京都同志社大學科技政策教授山口榮一(Eiji Yamaguchi)說。「政府別無選擇,只能出手阻止兩年來一直在掩蓋電廠真實狀況的東電。」
地下水問題是在地震發生後不久出現的,當時東京電力公司發 現,從山上流向海洋的水成噸地湧入被污染的反應堆廠房,積在地下室里,這些水必須被抽出來。但是東電公司遲遲拿不出長遠一些的解決方案,比如挖一些溝槽, 在水流入廠房之前就把它們引走。然後到了5月,東電公司又發現了一個新問題:事故反應堆附近有一些迷宮一樣的管道,明顯是從那裡泄漏出來的污染物導致了核 電廠其他地方的地下水輻射水平驟然升高。
雖然東電公司否認海洋遭受威脅,它還是開始把化學硬化劑注入土壤里,試圖建造一堵地下「牆」。 但這個屏障形成了一道大壩, 壩里的水越積越多,終於溢了出來。本周三,政府官員說,他們相信每天有300噸(7.5萬加侖)受污染的水流入海洋。 
流入海里的一些放射性物質,比如有致癌性的鍶,其含量超過了安全限度,但專家們說,以核電站先前的泄漏量來看,新的泄漏量不算大。
一些專家本周三表示,要讓公眾接受「越來越不可避免」的事 情,政府進行干預可能是第一步。他們所說的就是,把一部分受污染較少的水傾倒入海洋,目前有大量受污染的水存儲在大水罐里,其數量讓核電廠日益難以承受。 在上周的新聞發佈會上,日本原子能管制委員會(Nuclear Regulation Authority)的主席田中俊一(Shunichi Tanaka)似乎就此打下鋪墊,他說,最終「有必要把水排出」,這個方案是可能的,但它也可能會引起不僅是日本國內,還有其他環太平洋國家的擔憂。
山口榮一和其他人表示,政府干預是否能解決地下水問題很難 說。這件事可能會由日本經濟產業省(Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)來牽頭,自從日本的第一個商業核反應堆在20世紀60年代併網運行以來,經濟產業省就跟東電公司以及它扶持的其他核產業公司關係密切, 而且也因此遭到了詬病。涉及拆除福島核電站的其他事務,也一直被日本的「原子力村」(nuclear village)里互相勾結的其他成員把持着。人們將這一稱謂賦予成員關係緊密的核產業,其中包括反應堆製造商和跟政界走得很近的大型建築公司。
很長一段時間以來,專家們一直擔心政府在早期階段犯了一個錯誤,即拒絕讓其他日本企業和外國公司擔任領導角色,包括擁有三里島(Three-Miles Island)核污染清理經驗的美國公司 。
像山口這樣的專家說,只有讓真正的外部人士進入核電廠才能提高它的透明度,無論這些外部參與者是來自其他行業(比如可能有助於清理污染的廢物管理行業)的日本公司,還是專長於讓核反應堆退出運行的美國和其他外國公司 。
山口榮一說:「不讓外部人士進來,就無法真正知道福島第一核電站的現況究竟如何。」
Hiroko Tabuchi對本文有報道貢獻。
翻譯:經雷、土土



Japanese Government to Help Stabilize Nuclear Plant After Leaks


TOKYO — First, a rat gnawed through exposed wiring, setting off a scramble to end yet another blackout of vital cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Then, hastily built pits for a flood of contaminated water sprang leaks themselves. Now, a new rush of radioactive water has breached a barrier built to stop it, allowing heavily contaminated water to spill daily into the Pacific.
As the scope of the latest crisis became clearer on Wednesday, Japan’s popular prime minister, Shinzo Abe, ordered his government to intervene in the cleanup of the plant — taking a more direct role than any government since the triple meltdowns in 2011 qualified Fukushima as the world’s second worst nuclear disaster.

Mr. Abe, a staunch defender of the country’s nuclear program, appears to have calculated that he needed to intervene to rebuild public trust and salvage a pillar of his economic revival plan: the restarting of many idled nuclear plants. That trust has been eroded not only by the original catastrophe, but also by two and a half years of sometimes dangerous missteps by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, and what many Japanese see as the company’s continuing attempts to mislead the public and cover up deteriorating conditions at the plant.
“This is not an issue we can let Tepco take complete responsibility of,” Mr. Abe told a group of cabinet ministers gathered to discuss the water problem that has swiftly emerged as the biggest challenge at the plant and that appears to be spiraling out of control. “We must deal with this at the national level.”
But taking a bigger role in a vast and unprecedented cleanup may also be a political gamble for Mr. Abe, especially if the government proves as unable as Tepco to contain the unending leaks of radioactive materials from the devastated plant.
Many analysts said Mr. Abe’s move was an admission that previous governments had erred by entrusting the 40-year, $11 billion cleanup to the same company that many blame for allowing the catastrophe to happen in the first place. Tepco’s leadership has been particularly worrisome, critics say, since it remains enmeshed in the collusive ties between the government and the industry that many say made the plant vulnerable.
“This is an admission by the government that Tepco has mismanaged the cleanup and misinformed the public,” said Eiji Yamaguchi, a professor of science and technology policy at Doshisha University in Kyoto. “The government has no choice but to end two years of Tepco obfuscating the actual condition of the plant.”
The groundwater problems at the plant started soon after the disaster, when Tepco realized that tons of water flowing from the mountains and toward the sea were pouring into the contaminated reactor buildings, filling their basements with water that had to be pumped out. But the company was slow to come up with longer-term solutions, like digging wells to draw out the water before it reached the buildings. Then, in May, Tepco realized it had a new problem, with contaminants apparently leaking from a maze of conduits near the wrecked reactors causing a spike in radiation levels in groundwater elsewhere in the plant.
It began to build an underground “wall” created by injected hardening chemicals into the soil — even as it denied there was a threat to the ocean — but the barrier created a dam and water pooled behind it eventually began to flow over. On Wednesday, government officials said they believed 300 tons, or 75,000 gallons, of the tainted water was entering the ocean daily.
The amounts of some radioactive materials, like cancer-causing strontium, flowing into the ocean are above safety limits, but experts say that given the size of the plant’s previous releases, the new ones are relatively minor.
Some experts suggested Wednesday that the government’s intervention may be the first step in attempts to win public acceptance for what they say is an increasing inevitability: the dumping into the ocean of some of the less contaminated of the huge amount of water being stored in hulking tanks that are overwhelming the plant. At a news conference last week, Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, seemed to lay the groundwork, saying that eventually “it will be necessary to discharge water,” a possible solution likely to raise concerns not only in Japan but in other Pacific Rim countries.
Whether the government intervention will help remedy the groundwater issue is an open question, Mr. Yamaguchi and others said. The government’s expanded role will probably be led by the Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry, or METI, which has been criticized as having close ties to Tepco and the rest of the nuclear industry which it nurtured since before Japan’s first commercial reactor went online in the 1960s. Other aspects of the Fukushima plant’s decommissioning have also been dominated by other members of Japan’s collusive “nuclear village,” as the close-knit industry is called, including reactor makers and politically connected large construction companies.
Experts have long worried that the government erred early on by refusing to bring in Japanese and foreign companies in leading roles, including American companies with experience in nuclear cleanups from Three Mile Island.
Experts like Yamaguchi said the only way to increase transparency at the plant is to bring in true outsiders, either Japanese companies from other industries like waste management that could contribute to the cleanup, or U.S. and other foreign companies with expertise in decommissioning reactors.
“Without involving outsiders, there will be no way to know for sure what is really happening at Fukushima Daiichi,” Yamaguchi said.
Hiroko Tabuchi contributed reporting.

2013年8月7日 星期三

Japan unveils new carrier-like warship, 日直升機航母出雲號下水

 日直升機航母出雲號下水 2015年服役


日本二戰後建造最大軍艦
〔編譯林翠儀/綜合報導〕二次大戰後日本國產最大型海上自衛隊護衛艦六日在橫濱舉行下水儀式,它被命名為「出雲號」,與日軍侵略中國時的旗艦同名。日媒報導,在中國積極擴軍的背景下,出雲號將被當做自衛隊強化奪回離島作戰能力的旗艦,預定二○一五年三月正式服役。
海自強化奪島戰力的旗艦
出 雲號是海上自衛隊從二○一○年開始打造,為可以搭載直升機的航空母艦,甲板全長二四八公尺、寬三十八公尺,基本排水量為一萬九五○○噸,可同時提供五架直 升機起降,最多可搭載十四架直升機,同時容納五十輛陸上自衛隊三.五噸卡車,人員方面可容納四七○名船員及四五○人長期住宿,艦內還設有手術室及三十五個 病床。
可供F-35B垂直起降
雖然艦上甲板也能提供F- 35B戰機垂直起降,不過防衛省表示,由於有違「專守防衛」的政策,所以並沒有這項計畫,撇清外界質疑出雲號為「攻擊型航空母艦」的疑慮。日本官方強調出 雲號在大規模災害及國際緊急救援的能力,不過日本每日新聞指出,在中國積極擴軍下,出雲號將被做為自衛隊奪回離島作戰的旗艦,艦砲及內部裝備均增強。
出 雲號造價一千二百億日圓(約合台幣三六六億元),比現有的護衛艦「日向號」還大五十%,堪稱海自史上最大的護衛艦,海自原本打算依慣例沿用前海軍名艦為新 艦命名為「長門」,但因「長門」是山口縣的舊地名,而山口縣正是首相安倍晉三的故鄉,海自內部認為目前各國對日本右傾化充滿戒心,此時沒有必要以此刺激中 國等鄰國,所以作罷,最後選擇以島根縣舊地名「出雲」命名,事實上,「出雲」也是前日本海軍在日清甲午戰爭後,以清朝賠款打造的裝甲巡洋艦之一,曾多次遭 到中華民國魚雷艇攻擊而不沉因而聲名大噪,直到一九四五年七月美軍轟炸吳港才被擊沉。
日第三艘準航母 中韓抨擊
中 韓媒體報導出雲號下水明顯充滿戒心,新華網稱其雖名為直升機航母,但戰力與中小型航母無異,等於是日本的第三艘準航母,還批評日本企圖藉此規避二戰戰敗國 不得擁有航母的限制。對於日本選廣島原爆紀念日下水,中韓媒體也質疑日本可能假借維護周邊地區安全的理由,脫離現有的和平憲法。
六日下水儀式邀請日本副首相麻生太郎出席,對於選在六日下水,海自解釋只因六日大潮且為大吉日,與廣島原爆紀念日無關。

 

 

Japan unveils new carrier-like warship, the largest in its navy since World War II

Kyodo News/Associated Press - Japan’s new warship “Izumo”, which has a flight deck that is nearly 250 meters (820 feet) long, is unveiled in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. Japan on Tuesday unveiled its biggest warship since World War II, a huge flat-top destroyer that has raised eyebrows in China and elsewhere because it bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier. Izumo is designed to carry up to 14 helicopters.
YOKOHAMA, Japan — Japan on Tuesday unveiled its biggest warship since World War II, a huge flat-top destroyer that has raised eyebrows in China and elsewhere because it bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier.
The ship, which has a flight deck that is nearly 250 meters (820 feet) long, is designed to carry up to 14 helicopters. Japanese officials say it will be used in national defense — particularly in anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions — and to bolster the nation’s ability to transport personnel and supplies in response to large-scale natural disasters, like the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Though the ship — dubbed “Izumo” — has been in the works since 2009, its unveiling comes as Japan and China are locked in a dispute over several small islands located between southern Japan and Taiwan. For months, ships from both countries have been conducting patrols around the isles, called the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyutai in China.
The tensions over the islands, along with China’s heavy spending on defense and military modernization, have heightened calls in Japan for beefed-up naval and air forces. China recently began operating an aircraft carrier that it refurbished after purchasing from Russia, and is reportedly moving forward with the construction of another that is domestically built.
Japan, China and Taiwan all claim the islands.
Though technically a destroyer, some experts believe the new Japanese ship could potentially be used in the future to launch fighter jets or other aircraft that have the ability to take off vertically. That would be a departure for Japan, which has one of the best equipped and best trained naval forces in the Pacific but which has not sought to build aircraft carriers of its own because of constitutional restrictions that limit its military forces to a defensive role.
Japan says it has no plans to use the ship in that manner.
The Izumo does not have catapults for launching fighters, nor does it have a “ski-jump” ramp on its flight deck for fixed-wing aircraft launches.
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