Monday 19 September 2011

This and that

Thanks for the comments on radiation in food. I'll try and get back to that topic soon but the move of the factory is taking all my time and energy. All the machines except one were moved today and 65 years of rubbish cleared. I was black and had to scrub myself in the bath tonight to get the dirt off.

Today is 'Respect for the Aged Day' so Mum, I send my best wishes and look forward to the day when I can take you out and celebrate properly. Here, there are nearly 30 million people over the age of 65, that's 23.3% of the population. My mother-in-law is still going strong at 99 and next January she'll join the 47,750 other centenarians in this country.

News here today in Fukushima. People with homes in the 20 km zone have been allowed to take their cars in and bring their belongings out: heaters and winter clothes for the winter, but only as much as they think will fit in their temporary housing.

Plans are being made for the 29,000 people evacuated from the 20-30 km zone to return to their homes. Some authorities plan to get people back by next March. Other areas by the end of next year depending on the clean up. Schools are to be cleaned up first but it's not clear when other areas will be cleaned.

Hosono, Minster of the Nuclear Accident was in Vienna today and announced that Step 2, cold shutdown, may be achieved by the end of this year, earlier than planned. Cold shutdown means getting temperatures at the reactors below 100 'C.  The spent fuel pools in the four reactors have been cool for a while. Nowadays on the news we get announcements of 'todays temperature' at the three reactors, a kind of countdown to cold shutdown. Reactor 1 has been below 100'C since May, currently 84'C. Reactor 3, has at last reached 100'C which is a relief, since there had still been a faint possiblity of another hydrogen explosion. So that leaves Reactor 2 which is currently showing 112'C.

Demonstration in Tokyo today. 60,000 people demanding the abolition of nuclear power plants, led, of all people, by the novelist and Nobel Laureate Oe Kenzaburo.

And finally a lovely story on today's news. As a 'thankyou' to the people of Taiwan who gave a massive donation in a TV appeal at the time of the disaster, six young swimmers from Fukushima swam in relay from Okinawa to Taiwan. 110 miles in 52 hours. What an amazing thing to do.

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