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Disaster in Japan

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 pm, March 11th, 2011 - 111 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags: ,

A 8.9 Richter-scale earthquake has struck just off the coast of northeastern Japan. At a depth of just 24km and only 60km offshore, it released 8,000 times more energy than the second Christchurch earthquake. The Kurihara seismic station recorded a 7 on the destructiveness scale, the maximum reading in Chch 2 was an 8 out of 12 on our scale.

Swathes of 70K city of Kesennuma ablaze. Severe damage in Tokyo, over 250km away, and the Tsunami has swept down the coast. Felt as far away as Beijing, 2500km distant.

Death toll unknown. $100 billion to $1 trillion damage. 20+ aftershocks over 5.5 are reported so far. Tsunami warnings across the Pacific, including NZ. We should be OK but stay away from beaches.

A summary map of major damage from the BBC.

Nuclear reactors automatically shut down via the insertion of control rods following the quake but in two reactors there is concern that the pumping systems have failed and the nuclear decay is still heating the coolant water. This is how a meltdown begins, with the inability to dissipate the energy safely. It does seem the situation is under control with an emergency release of vapor from the cooling system of the worst-affected reactor.

111 comments on “Disaster in Japan ”

  1. kriswgtn 1

    The Tsunami that has just hit Japan on tv -fuck ITS HORRIBLE

    Those poor people 🙁

  2. Pete 2

    Horrendous earthquake and tsunamis in Japan.

    • Carol 2.1

      Yes. TV3 has stopped showing Glee and is showing live images frrom a US TV channel. Ongoing major Tsunami on the Japan coast. One of biggest ever quakes in Japan: 8.9 tsunami 6- 10 meters.

  3. Deadly_NZ 3

    A 8.9 earthquake has hit Japan 4.45 PM local time

    • Vicky32 3.1

      Fires, and talk about nuclear reactors… scary stuff! What gives with our world?
      Deb

      • bbfloyd 3.1.1

        what gives???? we have to keep in mind the fact that, on a planetary timescale,, we have had a very peaceful epoch with regard to seismic activity… indeed if we were to compare the period of known human existence,, then we’ve had the luck to emerge during one of,, if not the most peaceful period in the planets existence…

        she’s just doing what she always has done…. if earth was to revert to even a tenth of what she has been like,, then we would cease to exist relatively quickly…

  4. kriswgtn 4

    Tsunami warning for NZ
    get prepared people

    • Carol 4.1

      A quake expert in NZ was just talking on Al Jazeera – watching online. He said it would be 12 hours before a tsunami would reach NZ & it will be low tide, so not more than 1 meter. Not a proble. Worse for mid Pacific, and they have 6 hour wait in Hawaii.

    • Rosy 4.2

      Hate it when tv people talk up a crisis for those who aren’t going to be involved – Al Jazeera reporters going on about tsunami in NZ (CD says will only be 1m). Concentrate on real risk or those devastated already. Not that hard.

      • bbfloyd 4.2.1

        quite right… i stopped watching last night as nearly half the coverage was about the so called threat to nz… which is irrelevant to the actual disaster unfolding in japan,, and unnessesarily alarmist. the coverage i saw was also frustratinly short on information( e;g;where was the epicentre), and long on irrelevent and facile commentry,, to the point of talking over expert analysis with empty rhetoric… i havn’t watched any today, so i’m hoping we aren’t going to be subjected to the same kind of cringeworthy coverage we got from christchurch.

        note to tvnz news dept… FACTS!!! INFORMATION!!! not sensationalism this time please…

  5. todd 5

    A major Earthquake in Japan

    Friday, March 11, 2011 at 06:46:23 PM NZT

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/03/massive-earthquake-in-japan.html

    NZ Civil Defense has issued a warning: A tsunami potential threat advisory is still in effect for New Zealand. Stay away form beaches.

    Initial prediction place potential waves hitting Northland in New Zealand at 6:14 AM.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      This is another major shock to an increasingly fragile world. NZ on tsunami watch tomorrow morning. There will be global and local repercussions to this disaster.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      2205, 11 March, 2011

      A tsunami marine warning is in effect for New Zealand:

      Confirmation been received that a tsunami was generated. No wave heights are available at this time.

      The first wave to arrive to New Zealand will be in the areas around North Cape at approximately 0623 12 March 2011.

      Civil Defence Website is down so they’re presently using Google Docs.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        I think the max wave height is expected to be ~1m.

        • todd 5.2.1.1

          No harm in preparing.

          There’s some major Worldwide activity lately:

          http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/

          • Lanthanide 5.2.1.1.1

            There’s always major worldwide activity. It’s only news when it occurs near populated areas.

            • todd 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Most of the biggest Earthquakes have happened in populated areas.

              http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/10_largest_world.php

              • lprent

                Nope. Look at the map on the link. The most common area for them is in the Kuriles and Alaska – not places known for their population.

                • todd

                  Looks like around four of those fifteen major earthquakes were in less populated areas. I think you might mean the most unpopulated areas are Prince William Sound – Alaska with around a population of 10,000 and Banda Sea, with 15,000. Kuriles has around 19,000.

                  Chile population 17,094,270
                  Alaska Total population 698,473
                  Kamchatka population 402,500
                  North Sumatra population 12,985,075
                  Chile Biobío Region population 1,861,562
                  Ecuador population 14,306,876
                  Assam Tibet 26,655,528

              • Lanthanide

                I’d also point out that measuring only the biggest quakes doesn’t really help your point.

                Earthquakes happen all the time, but it’s only since the 1900 that we’ve been able to record them with a scientific basis. It’s logical to assume that the areas that started off with seimographs were those that were populated, so we can also assume that there may have been many large quakes that occurred during the 20th century that were in unpopulated areas and so simply weren’t recorded at all (mainly talking 6-7 here, the damaging ones that aren’t felt over huge regions).

                In other words you have a sampling bias.

                • todd

                  A sampling bias? You’ve completely lost me there Lanthanide.

                  • Marty G

                    it means if you’re only measuring quakes where there are large populations, it’s going to look like most large quakes happen near large populations.

                    anyway, your map doesn’t show that large earthquakes occur near large populations. most of that top 15 occurred in sparsely populated areas.

                    • todd

                      Most of the biggest Earthquakes have happened in populated areas…

                      Perhaps I should rephrase that; the majority of the largest Earthquakes the world has seen, have effected highly populated areas. I would put this down to people building in areas that are geographically suitable, much of this due to Earthquakes creating those features in the first place.

                      The effects of such large Earthquakes would have been reported even if they happened in unpopulated areas or out to sea where monitoring was not undertaken. I think Lanthanides hypothesis needs some evidence before it is given any relevance.

                      By my count, only four of the 15 major Earthquakes since 1900 were in sparsely populated areas. Prince William Sound (Alaska), Alaska, Banda Sea and Kuriles. The Alaskan Earthquakes are questionable. Now we have the Japanese Earthquake as well. Here’s a small excerpt of some of the Major earthquakes and their effects:

                      Magnitude 8.8 – OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
                      At least 521 people killed, 56 missing, about 12,000 injured, 800,000 displaced and at least 370,000 houses, 4,013 schools, 79 hospitals and 4,200 boats damaged or destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami in the Valparaiso-Concepcion-Temuco area. At least 1.8 million people affected in Araucania, Bio-Bio, Maule, O’Higgins, Region Metropolitana and Valparaiso. The total economic loss in Chile was estimated at 30 billion US dollars.

                      THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA – In total, 227,898 people were killed or were missing and presumed dead and about 1.7 million people were displaced by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 14 countries in South Asia and East Africa.

                      Chile 1960 Magnitude 9.5 – Approximately 1,655 killed, 3,000 injured, 2,000,000 homeless, and $550 million damage in southern Chile; tsunami caused 61 deaths, $75 million damage in Hawaii; 138 deaths and $50 million damage in Japan; 32 dead and missing in the Philippines; and $500,000 damage to the west coast of the United States.

                      etc

                      PS Lanthanide, did you see the other link to reports that people had heard a sonic boom prior to the Christchurch earthquake? Feel like making an apology yet for being an antagonistic twerp?

                    • Marty G

                      I guess it depends what you meant by “populated areas”.

                      none of the ones you listed happened close to large population centres but many of the very biggest earthquakes in recorded history are going to have affected people because they affect such a large area and there are people everywhere.

                      And, remember, sampling bias. we’ve only being collecting worldwide seismic data for a matter of decades before that, the sensors were mostly confined to population centres.

  6. Pete 6

    With a global financial centre like Japan hit like this, I don’t think the global economy will see much in the way of recovery in 2011.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Japan has a massive public debt problem, with public debt ~200% of GDP. (Makes ours at ~35% look miniscule) They were very recently downgraded to AA-/AA2. Its going to make their recovery from this very difficult.

      I agree this is a massive hit. Understanding that with the likelihood of many lives lost this is not the most appropriate time to talk about economic matters – however reinsurers all throughout the world will be reeling. The insurance situation in Christchurch will get worse because of this.

      I hope as a nation we can assist the Japanese people.

  7. prism 7

    Radnz Home has good list of times forecast for waves.

  8. RedLogix 8

    The only upside is that no nation on earth is prepared for this event like the Japanese. Their meticulous preparations will be paying off massively right now.

    As with ChCh in all the loss and tragedy it will be important not to overlook all the things that didn’t fall down and did work. It could have been so much worse in Japan.

    But what to say? This still looks awful. Consequences yet to be even imagined. My heart goes out to Japan and all those caught up in it directly or otherwise.

    But what of the Pacific, and the island scattered across it?

  9. Zorr 9

    For anyone like me who doesn’t own a TV the BBC is currently streaming their coverage at the following link:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698

  10. todd 10

    Alert! A major Earthquake in Japan

    Friday, March 11, 2011 at 06:46:23 PM NZT

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/03/massive-earthquake-in-japan.html

    NZ Civil Defense has issued a warning: A tsunami potential threat advisory is still in effect for New Zealand. Stay away from beaches and waterways.

    The tsunami warning will remain in effect until a cancellation message is issued by MCDEM.

    A Civil Defence advisory panel has been convened to assess the threat of the Japan tsunami to NZ

    NZ Tsunami Marine Warning Northland in New Zealand at 6:24 AM.

    Why do these posts keep disappearing?

  11. Lanthanide 11

    Japan accounts for 20% of the worls 6.0M+ quakes, so they’re the most prepared country in the world for earthquakes, and obviously they named ‘tsunami’.

    At 8.9 it is Japan’s biggest ever quake, and the 7th biggest recorded in history ever.

  12. Marty G 12

    jesus. live images on bbc of houses being swept by the tsunami across fields, ablaze. this is nearly 5 hours after the quake

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    Al Jazeera has noted that the biggest aftershocks so far include magnitude 6.8 and 7.1 hits. Those are crazy size earthquakes in of themselves.

    FFS they have shut down some of the nuclear reactors in the area but power losses mean that some coolant water pumps have failed.

    These older design reactors need active cooling even after they have been shut down.

  14. nadis 14

    Where do you get $100 billion to $1 trillion damage from? TV pictures? Gut feel?

    • Marty G 14.1

      as if I would be making that estimate myself, don’t be stupid. media reports gave those numbers as a simple google search could have shown you if you were skeptical.

      official estimates are now over $1 trillion. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/11/3161959.htm

      For scale, Chch’s $20 billion is 10% of our GDP. $1 trillion is nearly 20% of Japan’s GDP.

      • Luva 14.1.1

        Sounds like john key maths

        • Marty G 14.1.1.1

          don’t be a dickhead. it gives a sense of scale and how difficult this will be to recover from.

          • Luva 14.1.1.1.1

            Sorry didn’t mean to be a ‘dickhead’. Just find it irriating how we speculate or just really guess on death tolls and reconstruction costs 5 minutes after something happens.

            The tv gives more than a sense of scale. Let’s leave the guessing alone

            • Marty G 14.1.1.1.1.1

              apology accepted.

              you’ll note I didn’t list the running death toll and the damage estimates are over an order of magnitude.

            • nadis 14.1.1.1.1.2

              It’s kind of irrelevent to think of this stuff now, but as incredible as the footage we are seeing on TV this quake has occurred in low (relatively speaking) density part of Japan. There is apparently little damage in Tokyo/Yokohama, which is an incredible testimony to the preparedness and building standards of Japan. Nowhere else in the world engineers like they do for earthquake risk, and even more importantly they don’t seem to cut corners on implementation..

              Your trillion dollar figure from that link is an estimate based on widespread damage to greater Tokyo – this will fortunately cost far fewer lives and money than those worst case assumptions or the Kobe experience. A quake like this in any other country with similar population density would result in thousands of pancaked buildings and hundreds of thousands of deaths.

              Japan will do what they are eminently capable of – fund a massive infrastructure spend out of domestic savings. Japan does have relatively high official debt (net debt around 120% of GDP) but unlike every other OECD country they fund most of this out of domestic savings.

              Its a horror event. Be strong Japan.

  15. The television coverage of the tsunami was mindblowing. We were flicking between CNN, BBC and Sky News, and the live pictures of the tsunami approaching then making landfall were freaky; compelling, frightening and shocking, all in one. The worst aspect was watching vehicles driving TOWARDS the approaching tsunami, and possibly unaware of the fury that nature was unleashing. Thoughts, prayers and aroha are with those affected.

    PS – here’s the latest tsunami warning for NZ from Civil Defence (4.44am)

    http://www.civildefence.govt.nz/

  16. rd 16

    From a friend in Tokyo
    Thank you very much for your quickest mail. I am ok, although I was almost in panic at the first shake which lasted a few minutes. That was the hardest quake I’ve ever experienced in my life. The northern part of Japan seems to have been hardest hit by the quake and tsunami, and there must have been remarkable numbers of damages and victims. Quakes in Tokyo Area were a little softer, but frequent aftershocks are still continuing as of 21:30hrs. I am really hoping all this terminates soon. Many thanks again for your kind attention.

  17. RedLogix 17

    If the death toll in Japan remains in the range of about a 1000 as being currently predicted, this will be an astounding outcome. An absolute tribute to meticulous planning, preparation and execution.

    In the past this event would have killed many 100,000’s. In many less well prepared countries in the world it would have, as did the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

    While the images and stories coming out of Japan are shocking and compelling all at once, I find it equally impressive to look around the edges of the destruction … to look at what has not fallen down, and what has worked.

    • Inventory2 17.1

      Sadly RL, it won’t. One of the networks was carrying an unconfirmed suggestion that 80,000 people are missing, and seeing the violence that the tsunami has rendered on some towns in northern Japan, it’s not difficult to accept that kind of number in such a populous country.

      You’re right; the images are both shocking and compelling; none moreso than the video footage of a man trying to out-run the tsunami as it marched across a field. Thank God that the video didn’t show whether or not he made it.

  18. Rosy 18

    Has our government responded with anything other than sympathy? I’m sure there is something we can do even though we have Christchurch to deal with. Japan responded to our disaster really quickly.

    • Marty G 18.1

      they’ll have to cancel the international money appeal for Chch, certainly. There’s no way we can be going cap in hand to the rest of the world when we’re actually well set to cope with our disaster and the Japanese one is so much bigger.

      • Rosy 18.1.1

        yes, it was embarrassing enough before this… I’ve just heard on BBC that Japan has asked for urban search and rescue teams from U.S., Korea, Australia and NZ. So I hope that is being organised quickly.

    • chris73 18.2

      I’ve no doubt that our government will respond to this as our governements in the past have responded to other disasters

  19. r0b 19

    What a mess. Thoughts with all in Japan.

    Last night had the surreal experience of watching cam footage of the Japan earthquake on TV while experiencing our very own Chch aftershock at the same time.

    I’ve pretty much had enough of earthquakes.

  20. word 20

    Some how this is Nationals fault. I’m sure you will connect the dots soon enough.

  21. the sprout 21

    For realtime NZ tsunami data see here:

    http://www.geonet.org.nz/tsunami/

    Dead calm on the northern east coast but obvious tidal surges, low tide has for the last couple of hours looked more like close to high tide where I am – will be interesting to see where it gets at high tide in about 5 hours.

    During the surges the tide has been coming in at about 1ft/sec.

  22. Rosy 22

    “More unsettling news from the Fukushima No 1 nuclear power reactor in Onahama: the plant’s operator Tepco says that radiation “could have already been released” from the damaged reactor, while Japan’s prime minister Naoto Kan is saying that residents within 10km of the plant must leave the area.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/11/japan-tsunami-earthquake-live-coverage

    Captcha: killing

    • chris73 22.1

      To be fair I’ve always thought that, eventually, nuclear power will become more prevalent.

      Maybe not if you’re situated on the pacific rim of fire…

      • Lanthanide 22.1.1

        More modern reactor designs continue to be more and more contained and self-sufficient, as well as shrinking in size and output (as it’s safer). The nukes in Japan are typically older, much larger designs that are inherently more prone to damage.

        • chris73 22.1.1.1

          Coolness! Bring on the nukes!! (based in Auckland of course)

          • bbfloyd 22.1.1.1.1

            fuck you’re a wanker chris…. a genuine goldcard carrying member of the self flagulation club…spray you poisonous crap somewhere else…

        • Rosy 22.1.1.2

          I’ve heard the new ones are way too expensive for all but the richest countries and a way more expensive than any other practicable form of energy, especially when decommissioning is taken into account. Anyway, I for one would rather not have them on these shakey isles.

          Another reactor has been added to the Japanese government’s emergency list.

          • Colonial Viper 22.1.1.2.1

            Latest Gen III+ designs being approved and certified now are generally made to be simpler and cheaper AFAIK. They are designed to have failure rates 1/100 or 1/1000 that of reactors built in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

            What they do is take systems away and allow more natural gravity and convection processes to do the work – less complex, less moving parts, fewer pumps and valves. You don’t need power to working pumps to keep a reactor cool for instance. The natural convection of cold water past hot water does it. In an emergency these reactors are designed to be safe for 48-72 hours with absolutely no human intervention needed.

            In many ways the newest reactor designs are simpler, faster and cheaper to build than the old designs.

            For me, the main problem remains – what do you do with the low level nuclear waste produced which is going to be dangerously radioactive for tens of thousands of years.

            • Rosy 22.1.1.2.1.1

              Yep waste is certainly the biggest problem. Geologic storage doesn’t seem the ticket here either. Maybe Australia, for example, should take full responsibility for disposal of it’s product. That still wouldn’t convince me that nuclear plants are a good idea in NZ though.

              • g says

                it is interesting that we are keen on collecting the waste from nuclear reactors.
                as far as i know we dont collect the waste from the gas or coal turbines which is deadly to humans immediately. this point was in a recent book by the man who put forward the gaia theory (sorry, his name eludes me.)

                • Marty G

                  because if you didn’t you would quickly leave the plant’s surroundings too radioactive for permanent habitation and those radiation levels would persist for hundreds of years or more.

                • chris73

                  Professor James Lovelock

  23. vto 23

    Absolute horror.

    What is the world coming to?

    • word 23.1

      Nothing. This happened before, and is happening again. Just more population than before and we have the interwebs. Easier to get access to media.

  24. Colonial Viper 24

    Question – what have we offered Japan in terms of assistance? I don’t seem to have seen anything on this yet, but have seen news reports that they have requested assistance from several countries, including ourselves.

  25. Treetop 25

    The rarity of a massive earthquake, followed by a tsunami and then cooling systems in a nuclear reactor being compromised, it is the first on this scale that I have heard of. International disasters of this kind require an international solution. In time there may need to be an international organisation set up to fund the rescue, give and distribute immediate aid and rebuilding of the area/s affected.

  26. Marty G 26

    some chilling parallels with the past in japan

    Kesennuma looks like it’s been incidnary bombed. they think the fires are spreading inland, out of control.

    and that refinery fire, watch the video, see the dust of the air being pulled into the fire at incredible speed and up that massive column of flame, which drops debris over a wide area – that’s how firestorms work

    • Treetop 26.1

      Population of Japan approx 127,000,000. The parallels with August 1945 is much worse as a larger population. As well to think that 4,000,000 people in Tokyo are without power. How long until food and water is rationed? The international aid required cannot get there quick enough.

  27. joe90 27

    Hmm..’ wonder if there’ll be a re-think about the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre budget cuts?.

  28. joe90 29

    It appears idiocy is universal.

    A 25-year-old man was swept into the Pacific Ocean near the Klamath River in Del Norte County in Northern California. The man and two friends reportedly traveled to the shoreline to take photos of the incoming tsunami waves, Lt. Todd Vorenkamp said. His friends made it back to shore safely.

  29. Colonial Viper 30

    Total of 5 nuclear reactors in emergency condition now 😯

    The worst one, which was the first declared a problem, now has internal pressures at 2x normal operating levels. They have been venting radioactive steam to manage that, and using a secondary cooling system. And it’s not good enough.

    Japanese engineers will be extremely peeved that something has gone wrong with their multiple back up systems. But when something this big hits, no one can plan for all the eventualities.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/51416204-68/plant-power-emergency-nuclear.html.csp

    • todd 30.1

      Luckily Japans weather is OK today and sunny tomorrow. They will get light rain at times on Monday through to Wednesday and then snow on Thursday. It’s currently 10˚C

      Wind direction is northerly but changes to south easterly tonight and then back to north easterly on Sunday morning. It remains the same on Monday.

      Fukushima is one of the largest nuclear plants in the world with 8 separate units located on site

    • Rich 30.2

      Which is why it isn’t a good idea to build nuclear rectors in the in the first place.

      Still, I’m sure we’ll be told that this is an obsolete technology and the problem could not recur in a western reactor. [Oh wait, that was for Chernobyl] Try: new generations of reactors are intrinsically safe and cannot fail in the way the obsolete Japanese one did.

      • Rich 30.2.1

        On the positive side, having a quake devastated city turned into a radioactive wasteland avoids all that petty argument about reconstruction plans.

        • Marty G 30.2.1.1

          they think one of the reactors may have melted down. But that doesn’t mean a radiation release, just that the fuel rods and the assembly have melted. There are layers of containment (metres thick concrete) to contain the debris from a meltdown without it getting into the external environment.

          Chernobyl also had fires that made things worse and the soviet reactors didn’t have containment buildings

          • todd 30.2.1.1.1

            There’s a report of an explosion being heard and white smoke coming from Fukushima.

            http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/special-reports/japan-declares-nuclear-emergency-following-huge-earthquake/story-fn7zkbgs-1226020058265

            An explosion was heard and white smoke was spotted at Japan’s quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant Saturday afternoon, Jiji press agency said.

            Several workers were reported to be injured in the explosion, and smoke was seen billowing out of the plant.

            Radioactivity at the plant was 20 times over the normal level, and Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission has said it may be experiencing meltdown.

            Pressure has reportedly been growing at the plant, with Japanese officials racing against time to cool the reactors that were disabled by yesterday’s massive earthquake and tsunami or face a nuclear meltdown.

      • hobbit 30.2.2

        Chernobyl-style plants built in the USSR had no containment structure built around them, where as the *rest* of the western world uses full containment structures on their reactor units (What stopped Three Mile Island becoming a serious disaster). Besides, Japanese power reactors are of the PWR or BWR type, ie standard, they are not using backward technology like the Russians were – and still are to this day!

        Still, the fact that radiation is said to be 1000 times normal inside the plant, and 8 times normal outside it, is a cause for concern. We can only hope that they secure the cooling of the reactors, and that the fuel has not melted.

        captcha: degrees

  30. todd 32

    Has Fukushima Killed Us?

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/03/has-fukushima-killed-us.html

    The ceiling of Unit 1 has collapsed and an explosion has blown the entire outer structure off of the containment building of Unit 1 at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

    An increase of radiation levels has been confirmed following the explosion. The hourly radiation leaking from the plant is reported to be equal to the amount permitted in one year.

    A Japanese environmental group, has documented previous safety problems at the Fukushima reactor complex…

  31. prism 33

    Good discussion on Radnz Kim Hill this morning with a nuclear watchdog – good facts and figures. It reminded me of why I don’t like nuclear plants. One of the problems that never gets talked about is that when they are old say 40 years as I think Japanese ones are, nobody wants to spend the money to decommission them. Business find it isn’t their ‘core’ business and governments usually leave it to business. Chernobyl is an example of what can happen with government in charge.
    Saturday 12 March 2011 08:18
    Kevin Kamps: nuclear emergency
    Radioactive Waste Watchdog and specialist in nuclear waste at Beyond Nuclear, talking about the problems at the Fukushima atomic power plant.

  32. Jenny 34

    Fukushima is destined to become a name as well known and infamous as Chenoble.

    Thank the protesters who prevented this technology being built here.

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    7 hours ago
  • Applications open for new 2021 Resident Visa
    The first round of applications for New Zealand’s new 2021 Resident visa open today (6am). “This one-off pathway provides certainty for a great many migrant families who have faced disruption because of COVID-19 and it will help retain the skills New Zealand businesses need to support the economic recovery,” Minister ...
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    12 hours ago
  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
    Minister for Veterans, the Hon Meka Whaitiri announced today that two new conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure have been added to the Prescribed Conditions List. Under the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Crown and representatives of Vietnam veterans and the Royal New Zealand RSA. Vietnam veterans in ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
    Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford announced today that New Zealand will push for new international law to ban and regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS), which once activated can select and engage targets without further human intervention. “While the evidence suggests fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet ...
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    1 day ago
  • New freedom camping rules – right vehicle, right place
    Tougher freedom camping laws will be introduced to prevent abuse which has placed an unfair burden on small communities and damaged our reputation as a high quality visitor destination. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed that new legislation will be introduced to Parliament following an extensive round of public consultation ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government invests to support a classic Kiwi summer
    Vaccinated New Zealanders can look forward to Kiwi summer events with confidence, while artists and crew will have more certainty, following the launch of details of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “The Government recognises that the arts and ...
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    1 day ago
  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
    Due to the ongoing Delta outbreak and extended lockdowns, all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that ...
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    1 day ago
  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
    A further 1,000 transitional homes delivered  New housing development starts in Flaxmere, Hastings  The Government has delivered the next 1,000 transitional housing places it promised, as part of its work to reduce homelessness. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods is marking the milestone in Hastings at a new development that includes ...
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    1 day ago
  • Traffic light levels announced
    The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red The rest of ...
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    2 days ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
    A new transition payment will be made available particularly for affected businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland to acknowledge the restrictions they have faced under the higher Alert Levels. Transition payment of up to $24,000 as businesses move into traffic light system Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence Payment ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
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    3 days ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
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    3 days ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
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    3 days ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
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    4 days ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
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    4 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
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    5 days ago
  • Nailed it! Over 500 apprentices get jobs boost
    Over 500 apprentices and cadets have been placed into work across New Zealand thanks to the Government’s booming build programme, that’s both constructing public houses, and maintaining older homes. Housing Minister Megan Woods announced the milestone today at a public housing construction site in Riccarton, Christchurch. “This Government’s investment in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced an investment to help expand maternal mental health services in five District Health Boards. “Supporting parent’s mental wellbeing during their child’s first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to the long-term emotional, mental and physical wellbeing ...
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    5 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
    With the support of the organisations, additional vaccination requirements will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the New Zealand Police, and all New Zealand Defence Force staff. First doses of the vaccine for workers in these organisations are required by 17 January 2022, and second doses by 1 ...
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    5 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
    During her visit to Ottawa, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development, met with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Canadian Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to further expand and develop the positive relationship ...
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    5 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
    Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare today confirmed that Māori across the motu have now reached 80 percent for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination nationally. “We have seen a huge increase in vaccinations for Māori throughout November, since the beginning of the month the increase for first ...
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    6 days ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
    The Government has today introduced legislation that will reverse provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act as part of a path to rebuild trust and confidence in the organisation. “The Oranga Tamariki Amendment Bill makes a number of changes but by far the most important is the partial repeal of the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament
    The Minister of Justice has confirmed the introduction of the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to Parliament. National security information is information which, if disclosed, would be likely to prejudice New Zealand’s security, defence, or international relations. “This Bill adds to the Government’s work to strengthen New Zealand’s protections ...
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    6 days ago
  • Shortcomings revealed in power cut investigation
    No household should have had their power disconnected 18 recommendations, mostly EA and Transpower related The EA must strengthen its oversight of the system operator An investigation into power cuts that left more than 34,000 households without electricity on one of the coldest nights of the year has found that ...
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework supported by new testing and contact tracing strategy
    Wider use of rapid antigen testing from 1 December Increasing daily laboratory capacity to 60,000 PCR tests Q1 2022 A new national telehealth case investigation service with 475 investigators A nearly $1 billion investment in testing, contact tracing and case investigation A new national testing strategy will provide better protection ...
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    6 days ago
  • Supporting New Zealanders to recover from COVID-19 in the community
    $300 million boost to Pharmac to buy new medicines to treat COVID-19 Care in the Community approach will see most cases receive initial contact from a healthcare provider wiithin 24 hours Support pack provided within 48 hours Regular health checks throughout recovery The Government is increasing the support for New ...
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    6 days ago
  • Additional support for people isolating at home
    New regional MSD COVID-19 welfare teams to coordinate social service support for those isolating at home Regional teams working alongside other government agencies, iwi/Māori and community providers for housing, food and income support Government investment of $204.1m into welfare system support for Care in the Community Minister for Social Development ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tax bill provides vital support for families
    A boost to Working for Families tax credits, as part of a package of financial support that will see 346,000 families better off, has been passed into law late last night.  Revenue Minister David Parker said the measures would lift the incomes of those receiving the Family Tax Credit, the ...
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    6 days ago
  • New text service to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations
    Efforts to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations go from strength-to-strength with the launch of a new text service, Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The service, run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa on behalf of the Ministry of Health, is in response to feedback from the disability community and is an ...
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    6 days ago
  • Proactive Calendar Release – October 2021
    ...
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    6 days ago
  • Pacific community reach vaccination milestone
    Pacific communities across the nation have rolled up their sleeves and played their part to reach a major vaccination milestone, 90 percent  have now had their first vaccination, Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health said. “Reaching this milestone reflects the work Pacific Health Providers ...
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    1 week ago