Nelle's Last Fukushima Meltdown Update Oct. 23, 2011

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Japan Updates from Nelle
by Nelle Maxey
Dear Readers, I am ending my Japan Updates. I have been doing these almost daily for the last seven months.
However, I now will be turning my attention and energy elsewhere.
Not doing these updates will free up many hours a day for me.

Furthermore, there are are many sites now covering the information.

For those of you who wish to follow the published information on Fukushima and its aftermath, which daily grows more devastating for the people of Japan, I have prepared a list of internet links.
Good luck in following this story which is so under-reported in the mainstream press. And pray for the people of Japan and their children.


At the top of the list is the new Fukushima Update site from James Corbett.

This is an excellent site with links to international press stories on the situation in Japan and it’s implications for all of us.
Note the two most recent video postings from Arnie Gunderson: his testimony to the NRC on safety concerns and the interview with James Corbett for Global Research TV.

Also note daily updates and the special video this weekend where Corbett describes the many of the stories and notes recommended reading.

A very professional site which will keep you updated on the main turnings of the Fukushima disaster at one click of your computer.
Since Corbett is a Canadian, he highlights Canadian content as well, like the latest Georgia Straight article on radioactivity monitoring in Canada and Global Research TV.


This blog originates in Japan and breaks much of the news on Fukushima that is subsequently picked up by the global press.
But more importantly, this site gives the Western reader a unique look at what the Japanese people are wrestling with on a daily basis in Japan.

It is here that one can get a true feeling for what it means to be Japanese in the shadow of of Fukushima.
I read this site every day before anything else since the level of detail always puts the more mainstream press stories in context.


EneNews collects stories from around the world on the situation in Fukushima and the nuclear industry in general.
They have recently reorganized their site so the home page lists the breaking Fukushima stories, breaking USA nuclear industry stories and then breaking stories from other locations (mostly Europe).

They don’t miss much, but the site must be used with caution as their headlines tend to be slightly exaggerated since they clip lines of text from stories for their headlines. I always go to the original source to read the stories if possible (some links are not translated). They also will pull various text from one story and run it as multiple headlines, so reading the full story link from the getgo is advised. This is not meant as a criticism, so much as a comment on their editorial processes. They do a masterful job of collecting stories and have lots of interesting video links which are always noted in the headlines.


NHK is the national public media outlet in Japan, analogous to CBC in Canada. This site served as the mainstay to my reports in the first few months of the disaster. Now that the disaster is being covered much more broadly, I have been using other references more. The link here is to the “Society and Other” page which carries most of the Fukushima stories. However I also check the Politics & Business link every day as their are often Fukushima related stories there. I find it interesting what NHK doesn’t cover or reports only after other Japanese press sites have headlined the stories.

Ashai Shimburn

This is a link to a Japanese press site page with all their Fukushima stories on one page. This makes it very easy to see the headline stories in Japan. They also do excellent original graphics. This makes understanding press stories on technical aspects of what is going on at the plant site, evacuation areas and radiation maps much easier to understand. They explain (mostly accurately) in detail what other sites simply skim. I find this the most useful of the 3 sites listed here.

Daily Yomiuri

I also skim the national headlines every day at this Japanese press site link. They always carry the main Fukushima stories and have covered the TEPCO financial story in detail.

TEPCO has basically been nationalized with control mechanisms for government put in place as the costs of the disaster are being socialized. This is a much underreported aspect of the disaster.

Note the headlines are grouped by date at this linked page, so you can skim a month of headlines at a single go. I find this particularly useful when looking for stories on specific topics.


Physics Forum

This is technical site made up largely of practicing industry members. The link here is to the last page of the forum (as of today Oct 23, page 721). You may want to update the link if you check it regularly although there is a handy page locater at the top right of the site. I simply click on the last page listed there and read backwards every day.
The latest entries today are disparaging Gunderson and Busby. This is to be expected at this site. However, it shouldn’t turn you off as the technical discussion are of much interest and have led to my deeper understanding of what is really going on at the site. For example, the discussion of the tent over Unit 1 confirmed what Gunderson said about the radioactive emissions being lofted away from the site and high into the air leading to further contamination. Discussions of re-criticality, the re-definition of “cold shut down”, the water decontamination system problems, emergency venting procedures of radioactivity during the first days of the disaster and many other discussions have also proved very useful. There are many links to TEPCO technical documents and press releases of interest as well.


This is an industry site in Japan, namely the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc. They collect the TEPCO data and produce weekly reports on the status of each of the reactors.

These reports are numbered and titled in the list of reports at the link. Here is the link to the latest pdf file report:

[Update 259] Overview of the status of countermeasures at Fukushima Daiichi Unit・・
Just search through the list of reports each week to find the latest report, published on Thursdays. I use these 2-page reports to monitor the temperature of the 3 reactors and the 4 Spent Fuel Pools, the amount of contaminated water being produced and processed and the amount of radioactive waste being produced by the water decontamination process. It is necessary to compare the latest report with the previous one(s), to understand how things are progressing.

TEPCO Data and releases

This is a very useful link to the actual data being released on a daily basis by TEPCO. I look at the PARAMETER reports most days to see the actual temperature measurements taken 4 times a day. The link takes you directly there. However there is much other useful information on this page. I note particularly the TEPCO “photos for the press” which are very useful in actually seeing what is happening at various locations of the site. Also the handouts to the press at press conferences are often simplified drawings of the topics being discussed and are useful for that purpose.

There are hundreds and hundreds of sites covering Fukushima on the net. I have only listed the ones I have found most useful for my daily reporting.

Good luck in following this story which is so under-reported in the mainstream press. And pray for the people of Japan and their children.


For envirowatch readers, since many of you can apparently not access hyperlinked articles in my emails, here is the list of direct links in the order they appear above.  

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