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The ongoing Fukushima crisis and the psychological war in Tokyo

The ongoing Fukushima crisis and the psychological war in Tokyo

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Radiation fears

Radiation fears

The ongoing nuclear crisis at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is creating a hefty weight and this applies to the psychological impact.  It still remains to be seen what the long-term consequences will be but the psychological impact is impinging on many parts of Japan. 

It is abundantly clear that more than 20,000 people have been killed by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake which unleashed a potent and deadly tsunami.  Therefore, while the tsunami was the “real killer” in Iwate, Miyagi and others prefectures hit by the tsunami. It is apparent that for many people in Tokyo and other prefectures which escaped the deadly tsunami, that the “psychological war” is radiation.

It may seem absurd to some people that many Tokyoites, and people from other prefectures including Kanagawa and Saitama, are so scared by the possibility of radiation entering the environment. 

However, it is clear that the ongoing crisis at the nuclear stricken plant in Fukushima is generating many problems, even if these problems are not realistic or based on factuality.  This is because of the mass uncertainty surrounding radiation and how it can impact on people and their health.

Therefore, even miniscule readings in Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama, are setting off alarm bells and this applies to some Japanese nationals leaving for a small break; foreign embassies closing and relocating to other parts of Japan; an increase of foreign nationals leaving Tokyo and the surrounding region; a huge reduction of tourists who were going to visit Tokyo; a scramble for bottled water because of a minor radiation reading which was not deemed dangerous and a host of other factors.

It is also true that other Tokyoites are not worried and many people are just trying to focus on the lighter side of life or focusing on bread and butter issues. 

However, the impact of possible radiation and the never ending saga at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant is creating unforeseen problems and this applies to companies relocating, a huge reduction of tourists visiting Tokyo and other factors which are hindering the economy.

I am sure that people in Iwate, Fukushima, and Miyagi, must be wondering about “how surreal events are in Tokyo” compared with the huge loss of life which was unleashed on so many towns and villages along the coast. 

Also, for people in Fukushima within or near the exclusion zone, it is obvious that the impact is a million times more severe for them and clearly Tokyoites have escaped the real ravages of the earthquake, tsunami, and radiation leaks from the stricken nuclear plant.

Yet just like the huge reduction of tourists who are refusing to visit Tokyo it is all about the psychological damage and irrespective of what government ministers are saying; it is obvious that people are divided about the real impact of the radiation crisis in Fukushima.

Therefore, while some people are hoarding bottled water and other essential products in Tokyo it is also abundantly clear that many people are not. 

On March 25 the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency stated that high level radiation was detected in the reactor’s turbine of the No. 3 reactor.  The main spokesman, Hidehiko Nishiyama, did reassure people that currently it appears that no cracks or damage to the reactor vessel appears to have happened.

According to Nishiyama the high level radiation which led to workers being contaminated was because of overheating fuel rods which are believed to have melted partially.  Nishiyama also made it clear that further verification is needed before concrete conclusions can be given to why workers were exposed to very dangerous levels of radiation.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan stated that “The current situation is still very unpredictable. We’re working to stop the situation from worsening.  We need to continue to be extremely vigilant.” 

Therefore, while police officers and the Japanese military are looking for dead bodies in Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, and other coastal regions where the earthquake and tsunami struck; the psychological war continues in Tokyo and neighboring prefectures.

Many people will be relaxing with friends this weekend in Tokyo but others will be hoarding bottled water.  The surreal nature of everything at the moment is beyond understanding and fashion shows and exhibitions will continue to be held across Tokyo.

In Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, the smell of death is factual and so many have been killed and thousands of families and many communities have been torn apart.   

The deadly tsunami killed more than 20,000 people but not one person appears to have died from radiation.  However, the huge reduction of tourists and people leaving Tokyo is not because they fear a tsunami but it is because of the psychological war which exists within many people.

Therefore, while real tragedy storks northeastern Japan and the impact of radiation is strong in Fukushima; the soft underbelly of Tokyo and people in distant lands is factual and until the nuclear crisis is resolved then little can be done to end the psychological war within many people.

I and millions of others fear little in Tokyo but for millions of others it is different; however, when all is said, it is clear that Tokyoites are lucky to escape the ravages of March 11 and the real menace of radiation which is infringing on the people of Fukushima.

http://moderntokyotimes.com  (please visit)

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Headway being made at Fukushima nuclear plant

Headway being made at Fukushima nuclear plant

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima
Damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima

It appears that one of the reactors out of the six which has been leaving people on tenterhooks is gradually being reigned in.  This was achieved after fire trucks sprayed the stricken reactor No. 3 for several hours.  Therefore, you now have some signs that headway is being made but the situation remains delicate.

According to reports reactor No. 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex is stabilizing and this is welcome news for everybody.  This applies to the fact that reactor No. 3 is the most dangerous reactor because of the usage of highly toxic plutonium and if this reactor comes under control then this will be a welcome tonic for all the workers involved.

It now appears that a power cable was attached to the stricken nuclear plant and if the cable becomes fully effective then water pumps can prevent the fuel rods from overheating.  Therefore, Yukio Edano, the Chief Cabinet Secretary announced that “The situation there is stabilizing somewhat” and it is hoped that this will prevent a major radiation leak which would endanger life.

A significant breakthrough will hopefully materialize on March 20th and this applies to electricity flowing into four reactors and this in turn will boost the stabilization and rescue operation.

It was announced that a power cable is now connected to the No. 2 reactor and on March 20th a test will be held on reactors one to four at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex.  Therefore, the next twenty four hours will be instrumental in making real headway and containing the nuclear crisis in Fukushima.

Roughly three hundred engineers worked on reactor No. 6 and once a second diesel generator was attached to this reactor then attention was put on to cooling pumps in reactor No. 5.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) which is under enormous pressure and this applies to political pressure and from the general public; had some welcome news to give the general public.

TEPCO announced that “TEPCO has connected the external transmission line with the receiving point of the plant and confirmed that electricity can be supplied.”

TEPCO also confirmed that cable is being laid and that once everything is in place then engineers will try to regenerate coolers at reactor No.2.  If everything goes according to plan then numbers 1, 3, and 4, will become functional or partly functional on March 20th.

Hidehiko Nishiyama of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency commented that “Our priority is to have the regular cooling system cool the reactor and storage pool, instead of pouring in seawater.”

Meanwhile TEPCO is coming under close scrutiny because it appears that the nuclear plant was ill-equipped and this applies to a possible tsunami.  Some critics are claiming that the stricken plant was designed to withstand a major earthquake but ill-prepared against a potent tsunami.

Hidehiko Nishiyama confirmed this because he stated that the tsunami was “beyond the prediction.”  He continued by stating that “One of the problems that caused (the crisis) was that the emergency power generators were not placed inside the building complex” and “I have heard that generators in some other nuclear power plants are placed inside.”

On a more optimistic note it is hoped that video feeds and other devices will enable TEPCO to view every detail of the current situation and then respond to these new findings.

March 20th will be an important milestone if everything goes according to plan.

http://moderntokyotimes.com  (Please visit)

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html   (TEPCO website)

 

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