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  • » 11/29/2011, 00.00

    JAPAN

    Fukushima: Ban on 4322 rice farms. Plant manager hospitalised



    The prefecture of Fukushima yesterday banned the marketing of rice from 2381 farms, in addition to those already affected. The director of power plant is hospitalized, and will be replaced.
    Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Fukushima Prefecture has decided to ban the trade of rice from 2,381 farms in Nihonmatsu and Motomiya as a result of high levels of radioactive cesium (above 500 becquerels / kg) found in the harvests in the area near the cities of Date and Fukushima. The provision, the latest in a series since the crisis at the nuclear power plant damaged by the earthquake / tsunami of 11 March, thus reinforces the ban already in place in recent days and brings to 4322 the total number of farms involved.

    Meanwhile controversy surrounds yesterday announcement by Masao Yoshida (pictured), director of the Fukushima power plant that he was to be hospitalised. According to the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Yukio Edan, at a press conference Yoshida is not being hospitalised due to “exposure to radiation''. If the possibility emerges that his illness is linked to the nuclear crisis, he added, ''all the information would be disclosed immediately.'' TEPCO, the operator did not reveal the nature of the illness, and even the values related to his exposure to radiation for privacy reasons.

    ''It 'important not to give negative signals to the public on this staff turnover at the helm of the ailing facility'', clarified Edan, somewhat surprised at TEPCO’s statement. Yoshida, 56 years, it will be replaced December 1 by Takeshi Takahashi, 54, another official of the utility specialized in the management of nuclear power plants.
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    See also

    25/03/2011 JAPAN
    Fukushima, reactor number 3 maybe damaged
    In China, two Japanese were quarantined for the high rate of radiation. The Japanese government calls for a “voluntary” evacuation.

    12/04/2011 JAPAN
    Fukushima, radiation levels on a par with Chernobyl
    The Japanese Agency for the safety of nuclear power has increased to seven the level of risk in the Fukushima nuclear power plant, where the technicians are unable to stop release of iodine-131. Traces of radioactivity harmful to humans detected at about 60 km from the plant well beyond the 30 km evacuation zone previously imposed by the government. A new quake with a magnitude of 6.3 shakes the Northeast of the country.

    21/03/2011 JAPAN
    Fukushima: signs of progress, but alarm over contaminated water, food and milk
    The technicians at the damaged power station were able to restore electricity in three of the reactors, and are trying to restore the water pumping system. No need to further expand the evacuation area (20 km) around Fukshima, but the emergency is not yet over.

    24/03/2011 JAPAN
    Death toll climbs amid progress at Fukushima
    Toll now stands at 26 thousand between dead or missing. The water in Tokyo returns to normal levels of radioactivity. Electricity restored to reactors 1 and 3. Three workers hospitalized for radioactive contamination. Highway to the north and the high-speed train service reopened. Many survivors not yet reached by rescue teams.

    11/04/2011 JAPAN
    New quake hits Fukushima as Church sends volunteers to tsunami-stricken areas
    The 7.1 magnitude quake hits about 164 kilometres northeast of Tokyo, but does not cause any major damages. A minute of silence is held across the country for the 13,000 people who died in last month’s catastrophe. Sendai diocese opens new aid centres and sends priests and volunteers to the hardest-hit areas.



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    ISRAEL – PALESTINE
    New Vicar of Jerusalem to focus on young people and education, future of peace and hope



    Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo stressed the importance of education to ensure the future of new generations. The Church is a sign of "unity" in a context "marked by divisions" and a bridge in interfaith dialogue. The situation has gone from euphoria for peace to resignation over permanent conflict. He appeals to Western Christians to come as pilgrims to the Holy Land.


    NEPAL
    As Dashain starts, mass slaughter of animals sparks protest by Buddhists and animal rights activists

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    The 15-day event is the most important religious celebration in Nepal. Animal rights activists have gone to Hindu temples to raise awareness among believers. The stench of rotting dead animals fills the areas near the places of worship. Police have been deployed to prevent confrontation.


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