Baseball91's Weblog

April 7, 2011

The Fukushima

Filed under: Japan — baseball91 @ 7:09 PM

The nearly four-year rally in the yen versus the dollar would seem to be over. It had nothing to do with the policy announced by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geinther over the past two years. Rather, this atomic power incident of March 1th will have an affect on the strength of the yen which would headed down prior to today’s 7.4 earthquake in Japan.

The yen was trading at 84.05 per dollar early on Tuesday when Eisuke Sakakibara, a former senior finance ministry official, said the yen would weaken in the coming months, possibly beyond 90 to the dollar. Initially, the yen had soared following the tsunami, on speculation Japan would repatriate funds for reconstruction, which prompted the G7 to intervene, to knock the exchange rate lower.

Japanese Prime Minister Kan asked the European Union on Monday for a calm response to Japanese imports, as four of the six reactors at the Fukushima plant are considered volatile.
The exact source of the radiation leaks remains unknown. In a desperate attempt to stop radioactive leaks, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) engineers who operate the plant have used sawdust mixed with newspapers along with polymers and cement in a failed attempt to seal a crack in a concrete pit at reactor No.2. To trace the source of the problem on Monday, powdered bath salts were used to produce a milky color in water to find the source of the leak. In an attempt to prevent radioactive silt drifting out into the sea, TEPCO spokesman said it was also planning to drape a curtain into the sea off the nuclear plant, as well as building tanks to hold contaminated seawater.

TEPCO workers are giving their lives as they try to rescue the world from further disaster.
With radiation emitted at more than 1,000 millisieverts an hour in both the water and air, a worker who enters the basement of the turbine building would top their annual radiation exposure quota in just 15 minutes.

“If the current situation continues for a long time, accumulating more radioactive substances, it will have a huge impact on the ocean,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.
On Monday, the process of release of more than 10,000 tons of “Less contaminated water”– about 100 times more radioactive than legal limits – into the sea was begun, to free up more storage space for water which had much higher levels of radioactivity.

Experts say the clean-up will take decades. As the spent nuclear fuel in Fukushima has been damaged by sea water, recycling it probably is not an option and transporting for disposal elsewhere of spent fuel, which will decay and emit fission fragments over several thousand years, is politically unlikely, given the likelihood opposition.

Damage from the Fukushima nuclear crisis, “with the subsequent power shortage,” said Eiji Hirano, former assistant governor of the Bank of Japan, “will last for several years. There’s a strong chance Japan’s economy will contract in the current fiscal year.”

“The situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant remains,”said Denis Flory, head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear safety department, at a news conference in Vienna, “very serious.” As the Japanese leaders request a calm response.

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