Tuesday 19 March 2013

My Fukushima Citizen Health Management File

Woke up this morning to the news that a power failure last night at Fukushima Daiichi had stopped nine facilities including the circulating system which cools spent fuel pools in Units 1,3 and 4, and a separate pool storing over 6,000 spent fuel assemblies. There had been some anxiety since we were told that temperatures in the spent fuel pool in Unit 4 had risen from 25 to 30 degrees and could reach danger level of 65' C in four days. By the afternoon, power was restored to all facilities except the spent fuel pool in Unit 3 (power restored at 10:30 pm) and the separate pool (scheduled for tomorrow morning). (The injection of water into the reactors themselves was not affected.) It is still not known what caused the power failure although the problem seems to  be in a switchboard which was temporary (i.e. on a truck) and people are asking why, two years on, there aren't better facilities. 

Questions are also being asked about the delay in reporting the trouble. It happened at 7 pm last night. The NRA and government were informed but the media weren't told until after 10 pm.  At the press conferences Tepco came over, yet again, as condescending and patronising. The prefectural government summoned two Tepco officials and gave them a ticking off in front of the cameras but they just looked like they were play-acting. The whole incident has done nothing to restore confidence in Tepco.
(Next day, 20 March: Seems like a rat got into the truck, burnt to a frazzle and shorted the system. Jesus.)

On a brighter note, I've received my 'Fukushima Citizen Health Management File' issued by the prefectural government and Fukushima Prefecture Medical University and subtitled, 'Safeguarding Your Health:  Aiming to have Japan's Healthiest and Longest Living Citizens'. There's space for my own records and I have to take it with me every time I go to the doctors. There's basic information on radiation. And pockets at the back to file all those bits of paper: results of the basic health survey, results of any tests etc.

Envelope and title page
健康長寿県日本一を目指して(Kenko Chojuken  Nihonichi o  mezashite)
Aiming to have Japan's Healthiest and Longest Living Citizens

'My Radiation Record' and 'My Health Notes' (for the next 10 years!)

Some of the pages, like the one on the left, are in cartoon style with
phonetic script (furigana) so children can read them

To tell you the truth I'm a bit chuffed to be called a 'Fukushima citizen'. And it is reassuring to know that our health will be monitored. We're going to be one of the most studied groups of people in the world! But then  the problems at the nuclear plant today bring it home that the accident is far from over. Also, there is a lot of discussion in the papers and on the television these days about the accident. As time goes on, more data is being recovered and new hypotheses are being offered. But more of those another time. No, this accident is far from over.


  1. A good health care services is one of the most important services that a person should get.

  2. Thanks for sharing this informative post. It’s really very important for every citizen to maintain a proper Health Management file and it helps to have Healthiest and Longest Living Citizens.

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