Tag Archive: 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami


“Why we are the way we are: the Internet of our brains. These are axonal nerve fibers in the real brain as determined by the measured anisotropy (directionality) of water molecules inside them. 3T 30 channel GRAPPA DTI scan protocol, deterministic tractography performed using TrackVis/FACT algorithm. You might know the subject :-)”

jgmarcelino from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Wikimedia . org



Disaster Survivors: How Stress Changes the Brain

How well a person recovers from traumatic events may depend  in part on their self-esteem, according to researchers who examined the effects of a major earthquake on the survivors’ brains.

The researchers had conducted brain scans of university students for a study before the Great East Japan Earthquake struck in 2011. After the earthquake, they repeated the scans on 37 of the same people, and tracked stress-induced changes in their brains in the following months.

“Most importantly, what these findings show, is that the brain is dynamic — that it’s responding to things that are going on in our environment, or things that are part of our personality,” said Rajita Sinha, professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, who wasn’t involved in the study. [Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind]

In the brain scans taken immediately after the incident, the researchers found a decrease in the volume of two brain regions, the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex, compared with the scans taken before the incident.

One year later, the researchers repeated the scans and found that the hippocampus continued to shrink, and people’s levels of depression and anxiety had not improved.


Read More Here



Japan Quake Shows How Stress Alters the Brain

HealthDay April 29, 2014 SHARE

TUESDAY, April 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A small study of people who experienced the devastating 2011 earthquake in Japan shows that although traumatic events can shrink parts of the brain, some of those regions can rebound once a person’s self-esteem returns.

“Higher self-esteem is one of the most important traits of resilience in the context of stressful life events,” said study author Atsushi Sekiguchi, who noted that these latest findings also illustrate that brain changes are dynamic and fluid over time.

Sekiguchi’s prior research had already demonstrated that people with lower self-esteem following a traumatic event are likely to experience a quick, short-term drop in the size of their orbitofrontal cortex and hippocampus. The first brain region is involved in decision-making and emotions, while the second area is involved in memory.

But by tracking the same individuals over time, Sekiguchi’s team observed that the “part of the brain volume which had decreased soon after a stressful life event [ultimately] increased, especially in individuals with [renewed] high self-esteem.”

Sekiguchi, from the division of medical neuroimage analysis at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, and his team report the findings in the April 29 online edition of Molecular Psychiatry.

To gain insight into how the 2011 earthquake — and ensuing tsunami that heavily damaged several nuclear reactors in northern Japan — affected its victims, the researchers focused on 37 men and women who were about 21 at the time.

All had MRI brain scans right after the earthquake, and then again one year later.

At the same time, the earthquake victims were given psychological assessments to gauge anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and other characteristics of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Investigators concluded that none of the patients ever developed full-blown PTSD.

Yet, the group did experience a big dip in self-esteem immediately following the earthquake. And by comparing their brain scans with those of 11 other people taken before the earthquake, the team determined that the loss of self-esteem was accompanied by a downsizing of the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex.


Read More Here


Enhanced by Zemanta

Fukushima plant operator reverses claim groundwater not contaminated


Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc
An aerial view shows Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture March 11, 2013. REUTERS/Kyodo

TOKYO | Tue Jun 4, 2013 9:44am BST

(Reuters) – Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Tuesday it had detected radioactive caesium in groundwater flowing into its wrecked Fukushima Daiichi plant, reversing an earlier finding that any contamination was negligible.

The announcement is yet another example of Tokyo Electric initially downplaying a problem, only to revise its findings because of faulty procedures. It casts further doubt over its control over the cleanup of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

“Once again, they’ve missed something they should be aware of,” said Atsushi Kasai, a former researcher of radiation protection at the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute.

“This shows again they lack the qualification to be managing the plant, which is the root cause of their failure to contain the March 11 disaster.”

In recent weeks, the company has been battling with leaks of radioactive water and power outages — more than two years after an earthquake and tsunami knocked out power and cooling and caused three reactor meltdowns.

The discovery that groundwater is also being contaminated before it enters the damaged reactor buildings compounds the problems for the company known as Tepco.

Read Full Article Here







A laboratory technician uses a Geiger counter to measure radiation in fish, which was caught close to the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, at Fukushima Agricultural Technology Centre in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture May 28, 2013. Commercial fishing has been banned near the tsunami-crippled nuclear complex since the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake. The only fishing that still takes place is for contamination research, and is carried out by small-scale fishermen contracted by the government. Picture taken May 28, 2013. REUTERS/Issei Kato


A crab is hauled aboard the “Shoei Maru” fishing boat, close to Hirono town, about 25 km (19 miles) south of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Fukushima prefecture May 26, 2013. Operated by 80-year-old Shohei Yaoita and 71-year-old Tatsuo Niitsuma, the boat’s catch will be used to test for radioactive contamination in the waters near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility. Commercial fishing has been banned near the tsunami-crippled nuclear complex since the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake. The only fishing that still takes place is for contamination research, and is carried out by small-scale fishermen contracted by the government. Picture taken May 26, 2013. REUTERS/Issei Kato


A laboratory technician is seen through a closed door, as he tests for cesium levels in fish caught close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, at Fukushima Agricultural Technology Centre in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture May 28, 2013. Commercial fishing has been banned near the tsunami-crippled nuclear complex since the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake. The only fishing that still takes place is for contamination research, and is carried out by small-scale fishermen contracted by the government. Picture taken May 28, 2013. REUTERS/Issei Kato


Japan Today


Gov’t suggests TEPCO freeze soil around Fukushima plant


A government panel of experts on Thursday recommended that Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) consider freezing the soil around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to reduce the amount of radioactive groundwater being generated by water flowing into the plant.

According to the panel’s plan, pipes would be placed in the ground and filled with coolant at a temperature of minus 40 degrees Celsius. This would then freeze the surrounding soil, effectively acting as an underground wall around the plant.


Read Full Article Here


Earth Watch Report  –  Power  Outage

18.03.2013 Power Outage Solomon Islands Temotu Province, [Province-wide] Damage level

Power Outage in Solomon Islands on Monday, 18 March, 2013 at 11:14 (11:14 AM) UTC.

People are still living under temporary shelter without access to water or toilets in the capital of Solomon Islands’ Temotu province almost six weeks after the region was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami. The premier, Father Charles Brown Beu, says more than 100 people who lost their homes are under tents or tarpaulins next to the Lata soccer field, many of them from other islands in the province. He says he needs to know what the plan is for those people. “Where would people go and so on. The sea is too far from here. One of my major concerns now is there are no toilets in those camps. And stronger ones still go down to the seaside which is about almost, almost 20, 30 minutes’ walk from the huts, temporary shelter, to the sea.” Father Charles Brown Beu says one option is for people to move back to their seaside land but they need reassurance from a geological expert that they will be safe.

SIEA explains power outages

Tuesday, 20 September 2011 09:31

SOLOMON Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA) yesterday explained the power outages experienced on Sunday and yesterday.
In a statement SIEA said it regrets the load shedding that has occurred over the last two days.

“This was a result of unexpected power outages caused by one of the generators.

“This came as a result of a problem with the Automatic Voltage Unit (AVU) that controls the supply of power coming from the generators onto the grid.”

SIEA said the AVU on one of the main generators, Watsila Gen set L7 has been experiencing outages over the last two days and as a result it had to be shut down a number of times.

Yesterday workers chose to shut down the L7 to allow electricians to work on a temporary fix to the issue.

“Replacement parts for the AVU are now on order.

“The issue with the AVU was that it normally controls to regulate load, but it was not responding and supply was inconsistent.

“Therefore a decision  to avoid any further complications was put in place, which was to shut down the system entirely for the period of time needed to fix this.

“Workers are now waiting to see whether they have successfully remedied the problem for the short term,” the statement said.

Power was believed to have returned yesterday afternoon barring further unexpected complications.

“Apologies are sincerely extended to the public and the industries affected by the power outages,” the company said.

Earth Watch Report  –  Disaster Management


Smoke is seen coming from the area of the No. 3 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant The radiation leaks at Fukushima was the biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), owner of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, has been sued by eight US sailors over radiation exposure.

They claim that Tepco lied about the threat posed by the leaks after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami damaged the plant.

The sailors were involved in relief operations after the natural disasters.

They have each sought $10m (£6m) in compensatory damages and $30m in punitive damages from Tepco.

The eight, who have filed the case in a US Federal Court in San Diego, also want Tepco to set up a $100m fund to pay for their medical expenses.

They have claimed that the utility provider created an impression that the level of radiation leaks from the nuclear plant did not pose any threat.


Read Full Article Here

Nuclear Power Truths

World News : Government Corruption/ Depravity – Violation of Human Rights

Fukushima Officials and Principals of Tokyo Metropolitan High Schools Want to Send Students to Fukushima on School Trips

To help Fukushima recover, of course. Wirtschaft über alles. Above well-being of children.

(That’s part of what 20-plus years of economic “malaise” does to a country.)

From NHK Tokyo Metropolitan Edition (link won’t last, emphasis is mine; 9/4/2012):


[Fukushima officials] luring school trips to Fukushima Prefecture


On September 4, officials from the Fukushima prefectural government dropped by at the conference of the principals of metropolitan (public) high schools (in Tokyo) to promote Fukushima as the destination for the school trips. The number of students who visit Fukushima Prefecture on school trips has dropped off significantly due to the March 11, 2011 earthquake and the nuclear accident.


About 700,000 children used to visit Fukushima Prefecture every year for school trips and training camps. However, last year after the disaster, 90% of these trips were canceled. It hasn’t recovered to pre-disaster level yet this year.


So, the Fukushima prefectural government has started an initiative to attract school trips mainly by schools in Kanto Region. On September 4, the officials in charge participated in the conference of principals from metropolitan high schools, which was held in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo.


Mr. Haruo Hoshi, head of the Tourism and Exchange Bureau of Fukushima Prefecture, told the principals, “Except for the areas damaged by the tsunami and the nuclear accident, things are getting back to normal. I would like you to tell the parents [of your students] that Fukushima is safe.”


Then, other officials explained that visitors from Tokyo had dropped off dramatically except for training camps by college students, and the prospect was dire, but radiation levels were such that they wouldn’t affect health except for part of Fukushima close to [Fukushima I] Nuclear Power Plant.


Mr. Hoshi said, “Fukushima has a lot of cultural and historical attractions, and we offer rich programs for school trips. We will do our best in attracting [the schools] and bring the number of visitors to the pre-disaster level.”

Radiation levels are such that they won’t affect health, meaning they are low except in the immediate neighborhood of Fukushima I Nuke Plant. Only in the minds of government officials in Fukushima.

To these officials from Fukushima City (that’s where the prefectural government office is located), radiation levels in Fukushima City and in Nakadori (middle third) of Fukushima are not high. 1 microsievert/hour at 1 meter off the ground? Not a problem. Why? Because these officials live there and they say so.

What is this obsession of sending or bringing young people and children to Fukushima (of all places)? Remember the misguided attempt to send elementary school children to Date City to give cheer to the people there? The LDP city assemblyman in a city in Osaka who was going to co-sponsor the event was extremely indignant that he was roundly criticized for proposing the trip, which he eventually canceled. He clearly did not understand why people were upset with his project of good intention.

The school principals, being more of administrators than educators, will duly follow official recommendations.

Japan probes claim workers’ radiation levels faked

by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP)


Japan’s labour minister on Tuesday ordered an investigation into claims that subcontractors at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant told workers to lie about their radiation exposure.

Yoko Komiyama told a press briefing in Tokyo that she had launched a wide-ranging probe, including checks on a firm at the centre of allegations which have appeared in Japanese media in recent days.

“This is an issue that shakes the foundation of the management of workers’ radiation exposure,” said the minister for health, labour and welfare.

“We will deal with it in a strict manner if any laws were broken. (If true) this is extremely regrettable,” she added.

An executive at construction firm Build-Up in December told about 10 workers to cover their dosimeters — used to measure cumulative radiation exposure — with lead casings when working in areas of high radiation, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and other media said.

The move was aimed at under-reporting employees’ exposure to radiation so the firm could continue working at the site of the worst nuclear disaster in a generation, the media reports said.

A 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 crippled cooling equipment at the Fukushima Daiichi atomic plant, triggering meltdowns that spewed radioactivity and forced tens of thousands of residents to flee.

Several workers at Build-Up reportedly said that their on-site supervisor told them he had used a lead casing and urged them to do the same, otherwise they would quickly reach their legally permissible annual radiation exposure.

“Unless we hide it with lead, exposure will max out and we cannot work,” the executive was heard saying in a covert audio recording, the Asahi reported.

Some workers refused and left the company, the newspaper said.

The workers were hired for about four months to insulate pipes at a water treatment facility, Kyodo News has said.


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes