It may not be gold, but it is the closest substitute to the shiny metal in the fiat space (where comparative devaluation is the name of the game once again). While the Swiss Franc has yet to retest recent lows against the euro, the USDCHF just touched an all time record low price of 0.8287, as today’s theme is once again wholesale shorting of the funding (note, not reserve) currency. In the meantime Swiss exporters continue to pretend that margin compression is something best left for the comic books. And after all, Tim Geithner made it all too clear at all recent G8 meetings that it is every country’s patriotic duty to welcome DXY 0 with open arms.
Yasuteru Yamada, 72, a former antinuclear activist, will lead a group of retirees to the Fukushima No. 1 plant in early July to help clean up the site of Japan’s worst atomic disaster since World War II.
Yamada, a retired Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. plant engineer, is waiting for Tokyo Electric Power Co. to allow his volunteer Skilled Veterans Corps to carry out on-site preliminary inspections, a move the government welcomes.
Almost four months since the crisis started, 3,514 workers involved in the cleanup have been exposed to radiation, including nine whose readings breached the annual limit of 250 millisieverts for a nuclear plant worker. Tepco said it had 1,044 workers at the plant as of June 19, about half the number a month earlier.
“I’m not on a suicide mission,” said Yamada, a 1962 University of Tokyo graduate. “I am going to try my best to protect myself and come back alive.”
Radioactive tellurium was detected for the first time in the seawater at the water intake canal for the Reactor 1, but TEPCO thinks it’s just a mix-up for some unknown reason, according to Yomiuri Shinbun (6/29/2011).
So I went to look for the original data at TEPCO.
It turns out that tellurium-129m (half-life 34 days) was found near the water intake canal for the Reactor 1, AND tellurium-129 (half-life 70 minutes) was found near the water intake canal for the Reactor 4. Tellurium-129 was also found in deep-sea water 8 kilometers off the coast of Fukushima.
Some kind of a mix-up.
TEPCO dumped 143 pages of “confirmed” data (no English yet) on types of nuclides and density found at and around Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant in air and water on June 29. The company releases many of the data everyday or at a regular interval but the nuclides announced daily are iodine-131, cesium-134 and -137 only. For other nuclides, after being excoriated by NISA in early days of the crisis, they’ve stopped releasing the data until “confirmed”.
It was on page 74, as part of the “confirmed” results of the seawater samples taken on June 4:
Te-129m (half-life 34 days): 720 becquerels/liter, outside the silt fence in front of the Reactor 1 water intake canal.
The legal safety limit for the exhaust water from a nuclear power plant is 300 becquerels/liter.
Then, on page 99 for the test results for the samples taken on June 12:
Te-129 (half-life 70 minutes): 230 becquerels/liter, outside the silt fence in front of the Reactor 4 water intake canal.
Te-129 was also found in the deep seawater 8 kilometers off the coast of Minami-Soma City and Onahama on June 7 (pages 27, 28) and June 9 (page 39) separately.
No data on this file on radioactive strontium (89 and 90), which is reported separately. No word ever on plutonium in any water or ocean soil.
(Reuters) – Deutsche Bank’s (DBKGn.DE) CEO described the situation in Greece as critical and warned contagion to other euro zone members could lead to a crisis bigger than the one sparked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
Governments across the single currency bloc are pushing the banks, pension funds and insurance firms that hold Greek sovereign debt to play a role in a second rescue package for the heavily indebted euro zone nation.
Josef Ackermann cautioned against any steps that could spread the crisis to other vulnerable countries in the 12-year old currency bloc.
“If it is Greece alone, that’s already big. But if other countries are drawn in through contagion, it could be bigger than Lehman,” the Deutsche Bank chief said at a Reuters banking event on Monday.
Two small leaks forced Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday to briefly halt its problem-plagued water decontamination system at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.
The system is a key part of Tepco’s efforts to cool down the crippled nuclear reactors.
Tepco said it found decontaminated water leaking from the two small holes in a 30-meter-long vinyl hose connecting a storage tank and a pump that sends water to the reactors.
Repeated troubles with the water treatment system have been keeping the utility from consistently cooling the reactors with the decontaminated water.
The system’s “circulation injection cooling” operation stopped Monday shortly after it commenced due to a water leak.
Faced with a looming overflow into the sea of highly radioactive water accumulating in the complex, and high radiation levels in the reactor buildings, the system’s continuous operation is vital for containing the crisis.
Tepco has also made little progress in injecting nitrogen into reactor 3′s containment vessel to prevent an explosion.
It began sending nitrogen into the No. 2 unit’s containment vessel Tuesday, but a high level of radiation within the No. 3 building is obstructing preparation work needed to send workers in.
WASHINGTON (June 22, 2011) – Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) unmasked the inane nature of the standards guiding TSA checkpoint procedures during a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee meeting Wednesday.
“Currently the invasive pat-down searches are random and not based on risk assessment?” Paul asked John Pistole.
Speaking typical bureaucratic gobbledygook, the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security indicated that they were, but they weren’t.
“No, actually they are based on intelligence that we know specifically from Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the way he concealed that device. There are some random pat-downs if that’s what you’re referring to, but it is based on intelligence.”
The ridiculous nature of the response apparently wasn’t lost on Paul.
“I guess this little girl would be part of the random pat-downs, this little girl from Bowling Green Kentucky, one of my constituents. They’re still quite unhappy with you guys, as well myself and a lot of other Americans, who think you’ve gone overboard. You’re missing the boat on terrorism because you’re doing these invasive searches on 6-year old girls.”
Over the past two weeks, we have been suggesting, tongue in cheekily, that despite the relentless desires of everyone to sell the EUR, it has continued to drift higher, due to some inexplicable force with bottomless pockets, which, after some deductive logic, we assumed was China. It turns out we were correct. Naturally, figuring out what China does with its $3 trillion in foreign reserves is sometimes more complex than brain surgery (except what it does every time it sees a barrel of oil for sale: then it is pretty much guaranteed what it will do). But when it comes to preserving its 3 rounds of horrendous European down payments, it was pretty logical that China would do everything in its power to prevent a waterfall effect that would result in Europe imploding in a ball of illiquid singularity. The WSJ has confirmed that China’s SAFE is actively doing all it can to transfer billions of its dollar-denominated holdings into euros. And while this does not mean the EUR is the new reserve currency, it certainly means that China has now become the deciding factor as to just who is (much to the chagrin of Markel, and delight of Geithner… for the time being).
China’s deep pockets are momentarily keeping the euro supported.
But with Greece’s financial future still uncertain even after lawmakers passed an austerity package on Wednesday, and the single currency’s long-term prospects far from assured, Beijing risks learning a lesson about trying to fight a market more inclined to sell than buy.
For months, whispers of “Asian official buying” have permeated markets when the euro fell below certain levels. That talk has kept euro/dollar hemmed into a tight seven-cent range since late May, even as fears of a Greek default make traders disinclined to hold the single currency.
China, the world’s biggest holder of foreign-exchange reserves, has pledged financial support to the distressed euro-zone periphery while touting its economic links to Europe.