TRIZ Forum:

Current Situations in Japan after the March 11 Disaster: Information Sources and Notes

Editor: Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin Univ.)

Posted on May 19, 2011
  ==> On The East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Power Plants: Messages from Overseas Readers and Editor's Reply (Editor: Toru Nakagawa)   (Mar. 23, 2011 ... May 19, 2011)


This page intends to summarize the Current Situations in Japan after the March 11, 2011 Disaster.  I am going to update this page whenever appropriate and necessary.  Since there are a large variety of issues you want to know and the situations are changing rapidly, I will show you some references and information sources rather than try to write down the situations in detail. 



Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, May 18, 2011)

This is the page for me to reply to the question expressed frankly by our Italian friend, G.C., on Apr. 20, 2011, saying:

Thanks also for keeping me informed about the plans for the 2011 edition of the triz symposium.  Indeed I would like to attend the event, also as a small sign of encouragement to Japanese people; so from my side the accident won't be as a "deterrent" to participation. 

Nevertheless I won't hide that due to the controversial information we have received so far, some questions arise; ... Most of all I wonder about the initiatives which have been taken to control radioactivity of water and food (which are both not univocally related to the venue of the conference). I'm sure that your government has taken precise initiatives from this point of view, but unfortunately Japan is not anymore the main topic of our newspapers these days, just some news about the perspectives of the nuclear plant appear, but nothing about the people...

So, I suggest to add this kind of info to the conference information set, in order to avoid that "ignorance" will cause exaggerated fear... 

My short answer is

No affect at all to our and your health in the ordinary life in Tokyo-Yokohama area. Water and food are kept at the safe level everywhere in Japan, under no-shipping regulation of specific products in specific regions.

Concerning to the disaster directly caused by the Earthquake and the Tsunami, the situations have been settled mostly and have gradually started for rebuilding.  

Fukushima Nuclear Plant accident has been managed now more or less, though not fully yet.  Even though the process of cooling the reactors down will need a few more months and radio active materials have contaminated a limited region of Fukushima Prefecture, the overall situations are getting managed step by step under the initiatives of the government and endeavors of people. 

Thus we are now almost confident that we will be able to hold the TRIZ Symposium 2011 in September without troubles.

For writing this reply, I have surveyed a large number of Web sites.  About  a month ago, we all thought that very little information were publicized.  But last week in the Web I found a large number and range of raw data, such as monitored radioactivity and Nuclear plant parameters, without enough systematization. -- See a collection of such information sources in my Japanese page

Today (May 18) I have found a nice report in the Government's METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) Web site.  It is written in English for international readers:

"Japan’s Challenges Concerning the Domestic and International Implications of Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station", Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), May 12, 2011. 
PDF (47 sheets, 2.6 MB) .

I think this is the most comprehensive report of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident and its implications, and is especially published for people in the world by the responsibility of Japanese government, at the stage after two months since the earthquake.  It is written in a style of presentation slides, with illustrations, maps, graphs, etc.  Its Table of Contents is quoted here:

A. Japan Faces an Unprecedented Challenge (Enormous Earthquake, Tsunamis and Nuclear Accident)
    2.Rescue Efforts and Foreign Assistance 
    3.Nuclear Power Stations

B. Key Challenges
    1.Cool Down of the Reactors 
    2.Contain the Spread of Radioactive Substances (sea, soil and atmosphere) 
    3.Rigorous and Intensive Monitoring 
    4.Ensure the Safety of Food, Products, On-site Workers, Ports and Airports

C. Impact on Japanese Economy
    1.Estimated Economic Damage of the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake and Plan for Reconstruction;
    2.Impact on Energy Supply/Demand in Japan

D. Cooperation and Information sharing with the International Community
    1.Cooperation with International Organizations 
    2.Speedy Dissemination of Accurate Information
    3.Press Release by International Organizations

I suppose this report may cover the full range of your needs and interest.  Hence, I would like to recommend you to refer to it.  For your information, I will quote the map of Japan showing the regulated areas around Fukushima Nuclear Plant; I inserted, in blue, the marks the Quake center and Tsunami.  Note:  Orange circle: 20 km restriction range around Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant; Yellow circle: 30 km range; from the plant to Tokyo: about 220 km; to Yokohama: about 250 km.

The report shows many information sites as references.  In the section below, I will make a brief list of information sources written in English. The list will be updated with new information sources.  If you know any good source in English, please let me know.

  Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster

"Countermeasures for the Great East Japan Earthquake", Web site of Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet. (in English)

"The 2011 off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake (Mar. 11, 2011, M9.0)", Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion (in Japanese Government),
-- Scientific detailed description of the March 11 Great Earthquake (in English). 
"Monthly Reports on Evaluation of Seismic Activity in Japan", Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion, Big and small earthquakes are regularly reported.

  Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

 Government Report: "Japan’s Challenges Concerning the Domestic and International Implications of Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station", Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), May 12, 2011.  Posted on METI's Web site:  PDF (47 sheets, 2.6 MB) .

 Radiation Monitoring Results, published by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), translated into English (and some other foreign languages) by the WIDE project.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Web site (in English):
Its special page on the Fukushima Nuclear Plant Accident, with regular updating (in English):

"How Bad is the Reactor Meltdown in Japan?", A lecture by Professor Benjamin Monreal (UCSB, USA) on Mar. 16, 2011.  Presentation slides and movie.
A lecture given at the very early stage; clear from physics and engineering viewpoints. 


Top of this page Nakagawa's Note (May 18, 2011) METI Report (PDF) Ref. Earthquake and Tsunami Ref. Fukushima Nuclear Plant Accident   Disaster (Parent page) Japanese page


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