The tension over the disputed territory in the South China Sea is about to escalate to another level: according to a Reuters report, Japan is preparing to to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea beginning in May, in “its biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two.”
Radiation levels inside a damaged nuclear reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan have hit a record high since the plant suffered a triple nuclear meltdown almost six years ago. The latest readings – described by experts as “unimaginable” – now pose a serious challenge as officials prepare to dismantle the disaster-hit facility safely.
Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the plant’s operator, said atmospheric readings inside the containment reactor No 2 are as high as 530 sieverts an hour, which is far greater than the previous record of 73 sieverts an hour. Reactor No 2 is one of three reactors that experienced a nuclear meltdown when the plant was crippled by a huge earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. (RELATED: See more news about the Fukushima disaster at FukushimaWatch.com) Continue reading »
Record high radiation levels that’s lethal even after brief exposure have been detected at a damaged reactor at the Fukushima power plant in Japan. Specialists also found a hole, likely caused by melted nuclear fuel.
Radiation levels of up to 530 Sieverts per hour were detected inside an inactive Reactor 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex damaged during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami catastrophe, Japanese media reported on Thursday citing the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).
“While we doubt Japanese pensioners are aware that the returns on public infrastrcuture are some of the lowest in the world, if not outright negative, we are confident they will learn soon enough, although since the full IRR will become evident only over a period of years, they may have bigger concerns should the Nikkei and/or global stock markets, where the GPIF is now heavily invested, crash first.“
Having decided to actively increase its risk exposure over the past few years, including venturing into high beta stocks and junk bonds – a gamble that has lead to a big jump in quarterly volatility not to mention significant downside risk should global markets suffer a crash – Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, or GPIF, the world’s largest pension fund, has decided to invest in US infrastructure projects next.
According to Japan’s Nikkei, infrastructure investments in the U.S. by Japan’s GPIF will feature heavily in the economic cooperation package to be discussed at next week’s summit in Washington between the two countries’ leaders. The stated goal is to create “hundreds of thousands of American jobs”, in keeping with U.S. President Donald Trump’s agenda, and deepen ties between the two countries. The unstated goal is to avoid Trump lashing out at Japan as a currency manipulator, and putting in peril Japan’s QQE “with curve control” experiment, which is the bedrock of all Abenomics (as further expained in the following Nikkei piece). Continue reading »
Japan blanketed by sea effect snow so intense that it is creating wind vorticies off the islands in the East China Sea. Tottori Prefecture received a full years worth of snow in one day. Highways cut, millions of people stranded, power outages and in Hokkaido ski resorts closed due to too much snow. North Korea is upgrading its agriculture and Honey oranges out of China ripen six weeks late, no demand now that Chinese New Year is Passing.
Kyodo News. Jan. 21, 2017 (emphasis added): Crane falls on building storing spent nuclear fuel at Takahama plant — A crane collapsed Friday night at the Takahama power station… damaging a building housing spent nuclear fuel, the plant operator said Saturday… An official apologized for the accident at a news conference at the plant, saying the utility would re-examine the risk of crane accidents amid strong winds and investigate the cause of the latest incident…
Asahi Shimbun, Jan 21, 2017: The mangled wreckage of the construction crane at the Takahama nuclear power plant… The 113-meter tall [nearly 400 foot] crane used for construction work collapsed around 9:50 p.m. … The plant’s operations have been suspended. The mangled wreckage lies on [a] building used to store spent nuclear fuel… Winds gusting at 50.4 to 54 kph [31 to 34 mph] were raging at the time, and a warning had been issued… Continue reading »
The Press Democrat, Dec 25, 2016 (emphasis added): Ocean changes upend North Coast fisheries… once reliable ocean rhythms have been seriously unsettled of late, confounding those who depend on predictable, seasonal cycles… a symptom of widespread marine anomalies that have prevailed for the past three years, threatening everything from seabirds and sea lions to treasured catches such as salmon and abalone. “The ocean is changing,” one glum crabber aboard the vessel New Horizon said… Irregularity “is starting to look like the new normal,” he said… Evidence of starvation in abalone populations prompted authorities to impose new restrictions in the sport abalone fishery next year to limit the catch. The commercial red urchin fishery is suffering, as well… Meanwhile, the commercial salmon harvest, California’s most valuable ocean fishery, continues to suffer, with spawning populations reduced significantly… Mass-starvation events have hit a spectrum of other West Coast marine wildlife, mostly due to the collapse of food chains… Large dieoffs of Cassin’s auklets, a tiny seabird, were first noticed when dead birds began washing ashore in fall of 2014. A year later, it was malnourished and dead common murres that were found adrift. Juvenile California sea lions, Guadalupe fur seals and other marine mammals have suffered for several years, as well, both from starvation and, to a lesser extent, from domoic acid poisoning. Continue reading »
One day after Toshiba’s new CEO, Satoshi Tsunakawa, pulled a page from the book of his ill-fated predecessor Hisao Tanaka who presided over the biggest accounting fraud scandal in the company’s history, and bowed down during a press conference to apologize to investors, the company’s stock crashed by the limit 20%, bringing its two day loss to 32% and wiping out $5 billion in market cap in two days.
Japan’s decision to open up its retail electricity market to new entrants is expected to lead to the construction of as many as 43 coal-burning power stations in the next 12 years, an expansion of almost 50% on its current number.
The Environment Ministry gave the green light to the construction of new coal-fired power plants in February, and at least 43 projects have already been announced. Continue reading »
24 Dec 2016 – Around 6,000 people spent last night at New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido after the northern Japanese prefecture was hit by its heaviest December snowfall in 50 years, according to the airport operator Hokkaido Airport Terminal Co. Continue reading »