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Japan:Typhoon Ma-on bringing heavy rain to Japan

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Laaska News  July 20,2011
Govt renews Fukushima plant stabilization plan
A large, powerful typhoon is bringing torrential rain to many parts of Japan.

The Meteorological Agency says typhoon Ma-on landed in Tokushima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, early on Wednesday morning. It is traveling north-northeast at a speed of 10 kilometers per hour.

The typhoon has an atmospheric pressure of 960 hectopascals at its center, and a maximum wind speed of 144 kilometers per hour near its center.

Rain clouds around the typhoon are bringing heavy rain to western and eastern Japan. In Kochi, rainfall since Sunday has exceeded a record 1,100 millimeters.

On Wednesday, the typhoon may make landfall in the Kansai region before approaching central and eastern Japan.

Torrential rain and gusts are expected in many areas from Shikoku to the Kanto region. The central Japanese region of Tokai is likely to have 800 millimeters of rain by Wednesday evening. The agency says the heavy rain will continue for some time as the typhoon is traveling very slowly.

Waves will reach a height of 10 to 12 meters along the Pacific coast from Shikoku to Tokai due to the powerful winds.

Weather officials are urging residents to be on high alert for storms, high waves, landslides and flooding.



Govt renews Fukushima plant stabilization plan


The Japanese government has announced new stages of a plan to bring the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant under control.

The announcement came at a meeting of the government’s nuclear disaster taskforce attended by all Cabinet ministers on Tuesday evening.

The taskforce said the first stage of the plan outlined in mid-April for the stable cooling of the reactors has been completed on schedule by mid-July. It added radiation levels in the plant’s surrounding areas have been steadily reduced.

The meeting approved a renewed plan, including the second stage to be completed by next January, and mid-term targets to be achieved within about three years after that.

Under the renewed plan, the government will carry out regular health checks for about 30 years on residents in Fukushima Prefecture, where the plant is located. The checks will include thyroid cancer screening tests for children, the estimate survey of external exposure, and the measurement of internal exposure.

The government will also start a safety assessment of radiation levels in the evacuation advisory zone around the plant, in an aim to lift the advisories currently in place there.

As for the evacuation zone and the 20-kilometer no-entry zone, the government will start monitoring radiation levels earlier than planned. The government will start lifting its evacuation orders for areas where safety has been confirmed, after the plan’s second stage is achieved by next January.

Also on Tuesday, the government and Tokyo Electric Company formally announced that the target of the first stage to steadily reduce radiation levels from the plant has been achieved, according to a joint assessment.

The assessment said the radiation level from the turbine buildings of the plant’s reactors has been reduced to 1 two-millionth of what it was just after the nuclear accident in March.

In the second stage of the plan for the cold shutdown of the reactors, TEPCO plans to improve its systems to decontaminate wastewater and to cool reactors and fuel rod pools at the plant.

The government and the utility will have to face tough challenges, as the decontamination system has been developing one problem after another and the plant’s reactor buildings have been seriously damaged.

 July 19.



Japan:Typhoon Ma-on brings heavy rain to Kochi

Japan:Typhoon Ma-on brushes Daito Island


Laaska News.