Nowhere to run: North Korea, citing Ebola concerns, bars foreigners from Pyongyang marathon

ASSOCIATED PRESS  By ERIC TALMADGE                                                                                   Feb. 23, 2015

TOKYO  — Further restricting travel to the already isolated country, North Korea barred foreigners from one of its most popular tourist events — the annual Pyongyang marathon — because of concerns over the Ebola virus, travel agencies said Monday.

While no cases of Ebola have been reported anywhere near North Korea, the country shut out foreign tourists in October with some of the strictest Ebola regulations in the world. North Korean media have suggested Ebola was created by the U.S. military as a biological weapon.

Nick Bonner, co-founder of Beijing-based Koryo Tours, said he did not think the decision reflected any deeper problems in the North's secretive and often enigmatic government, though the news comes amid reports leader Kim Jong Un has called for increased combat readiness and, at a meeting of senior party and military leaders, described tensions on the peninsula as graver than ever before.

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http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2015/02/23/north-korea-bars-foreigners-from-pyongyang-marathon

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Fujifilm says tests results on Avigan as Ebola drug by end-2014

REUTERS                                                 Nov. 11, 2014
By Ayai Tomisawa and Reiji Murai

TOKYO--Fujifilm Holdings Corp said it expects its influenza drug Avigan to be approved by international government bodies to treat Ebola after it receives clinical test results as early as the end of the year.

Tablets of Avigan (generic name : Favipiravir), a drug approved as an anti-influenza drug in Japan and developed by drug maker Toyama Chemical Co, a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings Co. are displayed during a photo opportunity at Fujifilm's headquarters in Tokyo October 22, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Issei Kato

Fujifilm has been growing its pharmaceutical division through a series of mergers and acquisitions as its photography business wanes. In 2008, it bought Toyama Chemical Co, whose drug Avigan has been drafted to the global fight against Ebola.

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Typhoon Neoguri - Flooding in Nago, Okinawa

      

Twitter - @M_Ryuki0529 - https://twitter.com/M_Ryuki0529/status/486648262749732865/photo/1

weather.com - July 9, 2014

In Okinawa, heavy rainfall triggered flash flooding, prompting the Japanese Meteorological Society to reissue an "emergency warning" for landslides and damaging floods for the prefecture, having downgraded it earlier after the typhoon's eye had moved north. The city of Nago on Okinawa Island reported 17.24 inches (438.0 mm) of rain between 9:10 a.m. Tuesday and 9:10 a.m. Wednesday local time.

A Twitter user in Nago posted photos of floodwaters swamping the city of 60,000 Wednesday morning, warning residents of his or her native Miyazaki Prefecture that this was coming their way.

http://www.weather.com/news/weather-hurricanes/typhoon-neoguri-japan-okinawa-flood-threat-20140709

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Japan Issues Highest Alert Over Typhoon Neoguri

      

Japanese meteorologist Satoshi Ebihara answers questions during a press conference in Tokyo, on July 7, 2014
(AFP Photo/)

news.yahoo.com - AFP - by Shigemi Sato - July 7, 2014

Japan was bracing Tuesday for one of its worst storms in over a decade as typhoon Neoguri barreled towards the southern Okinawa island chain, with 55,000 people urged to evacuate as the weather agency issued its highest alert.

The top-level warning means a threat to life, as well as the risk of massive damage from torrential rains and gusts of up to 250 kilometres (155 miles) per hour. . .

. . . Waves could reach as high as 14 metres (45 feet), a weather agency official said in a warning that was likely to revive memories of Japan's quake-tsunami disaster in 2011.

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GDACS Red Alert - Tropical Cyclone NEOGURI-14 in Japan

      

PDC Global Hazards Atlas displaying PDC Integrated Active Hazards with Tropical Cyclone Positions and Segments and Cone of Uncertainty (3 and 5 day) layers.  http://www.pdc.org/weather/

gdacs.org - July 4, 2014

Tropical Cyclone NEOGURI-14 can have a high humanitarian impact based on the Maximum sustained wind speed and the affected population and their vulnerability.

Updated: this report is based on advisory number 9.

  • Tropical Cyclone Hurricane/Typhoon > 74 mph (maximum wind speed of 259 km/h)
  • from 04/07/2014 06:00 UTC to 05/07/2014 00:00 UTC
  • Population affected by Category 1 (120 km/h) wind speeds or higher is 7.4 million

(CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM THE JOINT TYPHOON WARNING CENTER (JTWC)

CLICK HERE - GDACS Tropical Cyclones - Joint Research Centre

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Fukushima Disaster Still A Global Nightmare

      

“The models that predicted the arrival of radioactive seawater stated that the seawater could come anytime from late March or early April to the end of year . . ."  Photo: KAI VETTER

ecowatch.com - by Harvey Wasserman - June 3, 2014

The corporate media silence on Fukushima has been deafening . . .

Ever more radioactive water continues to pour into the Pacific. . .

Hundreds more tons are backed up on site, with Tepco apologists advocating they be dumped directly into the ocean without decontamination.

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Reversing Course, Japan Makes Push to Restart Dormant Nuclear Plants

A TEPCO employee in protective clothing works around tanks filled with radioactive water at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. (photo: AAP)

nytimes.com - by Hiroko Tabuchi - February 25, 2014

TOKYO — The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made its biggest push yet to revive Japan’s nuclear energy program on Tuesday, announcing details of a draft plan that designates atomic power as an important long-term electricity source.

The new Basic Energy Plan, which states that Japan will push to restart reactors that were closed after the disaster in 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, overturns a promise made by a previous government to phase out the country’s nuclear reactors. The plan also leaves open the possibility of building new plants as well as restarting existing ones.

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IAEA Delivers Final Report on Remediation in Fukushima to Japan

Remediation workers check bags of soil and other decontamination waste at a temporary storage site in Date city in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. (Photo: G. Tudor/IAEA)

iaea.org - January 24, 2014

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) handed Japan the final report from an expert mission that reviewed remediation efforts in areas affected by the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

The IAEA report, which is available online, describes the findings of the Follow-up IAEA International Mission on Remediation of Large Contaminated Areas Off-Site the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, held on 14 to 21 October 2013. The report highlights important progress in all areas to date, and offers advice on several points where the team feels it is still possible to further improve current practices.

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Removing Fuel Rods Poses New Risks at Crippled Nuclear Plant in Japan

      

Members of the media inside the Fukushima Daiichi plant on Thursday. The plant’s operator plans to start moving radioactive fuel to safer storage.  Pool photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi

nytimes.com - by Hiroko Tabuchi - November 10, 2013

TOKYO — It was the part of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that spooked American officials the most, as the complex spiraled out of control two and a half years ago: the spent fuel pool at Reactor No. 4, with more than 1,500 radioactive fuel assemblies left exposed when a hydrogen explosion blew the roof off the building.

In the next 10 days, the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, is set to start the delicate and risky task of using a crane to remove the fuel assemblies from the pool, a critical step in a long decommissioning process that has already had serious setbacks.

Just 36 men will carry out the tense operation to move the fuel to safer storage; they will work in groups of six in two-hour shifts throughout the day for months.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

 

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Fukushima Two Years On: a Dirty Job With No End in Sight

      

The effects of the tsunami on the building containing Fukushima Daiichi's reactor three. Photograph: Kyodo/Reuters

The tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has led to the toughest nuclear cleanup ever. Radioactive water is still poisoning the sea – and it could take 40 years to fix the mess. Is Japan up to the challenge?

theguardian.com - by Ian Sample - December 3, 2013

Carefully, gently, one-by-one. The removal of nuclear fuel rod assemblies from a badly damaged building at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is finally under way. Months in the planning, the job is risky, complex, and crucial. Here begins the first major step in the toughest decommissioning project ever attempted.

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Japan asks for world's help on Fukushima leaks

Workers at leaking water tanks at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Japan Pool/ AFP/ Getty Images

Image: Workers at leaking water tanks at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Japan Pool/ AFP/ Getty Images

america.aljazeera.com - October 6th, 2013

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday that Japan is open to receiving overseas help to contain widening disaster at the crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima, where radioactive water leaks and other mishaps are now reported almost daily.

"We are wide open to receive the most advanced knowledge from overseas to contain the problem," Abe said in his English speech to open the conference on energy and environment at an international science forum in Kyoto in western Japan.

"My country needs your knowledge and expertise," he said.

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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Big Typhoons May Collide Off Honshu

      

Double whammy feared; Izu braces for the worst

japantimes.co.jp - by Tomohiro Osaki - October 23, 2013

Less than a week after being hit by the largest typhoon in a decade, Tokyo is bracing for another strong storm that will likely reach the area Saturday, and it may get merged with an even stronger approaching tempest.

Though less powerful than Typhoon Wipha, incoming tropical cyclone Francisco is rated as “strong,” the Meteorological Agency said. But on a possible collision course is Typhoon Lekima, considered “more fierce.”

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(CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

(CLICK HERE - JAPAN METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY - TROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION)

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Typhoon Francisco on Course for Japan — May Follow Typhoon Wipha’s Path … Developed in a Similar Area (VIDEO)

      (CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW - NOAA - Francisco Long Floater - Infrared Channel 4 Imagery Loop)

      

enenews.com - Energy News - October 19, 2013

Weather Channel, Oct. 18, 2013 at 9:45p ET: Super Typhoon Francisco Brushes Guam, Could Threaten Japan Next Week [...] A tropical cyclone is dubbed a “super typhoon” when maximum sustained winds reach at least 150 mph – the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. [...] Conditions appear favorable for development [... allowing] the typhoon to strengthen in intensity, possibly to 160 mph (Category 5 status) over the next few hours. After that, Francisco will move into a region of cooler ocean temperatures, which cause the typhoon to weaken. Francisco may threaten southern Japan early next week, however the current forecast from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center indicates that the typhoon will be much weaker by that point. That said, intensity forecasts at five days out in time can be highly uncertain [...]

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Three Mile Island Veteran Optimistic on Fukushima Fuel Removal

      

Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato, in the orange helmet, inspects the contaminated water tanks at Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture on Oct. 15, 2013. Photograph: JIJI Press-Pool/AFP via Getty Images

bloomberg.com - by Jacob Adelman - October 17, 2013

The first removal of nuclear fuel rods next month from the stricken Fukushima atomic station should be successful based on findings that the rods -- each about twice the average weight of a sumo wrestler -- appear undamaged from an explosion at the site almost three years ago.

That’s the view of Lake Barrett, a former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission official appointed last month as an adviser to Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), the operator of the wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant.

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IAEA Expert Remediation Mission to Japan Issues Preliminary Report

                                          

21 October 2013 | Tokyo -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s international expert mission to review remediation efforts in areas affected by the Fukushima Daiichi accident concluded today with the presentation of a Preliminary Summary Report to Japan's Senior Vice-Minister of the Environment, Shinji Inoue.

The Follow-up IAEA International Mission on Remediation of Large Contaminated Areas Off-site the Fukushima Daiichi NPS recognised the huge effort and enormous resources that Japan is devoting to its remediation strategies and activities, with the aim of improving living conditions for people affected by the nuclear accident and enabling evacuees to return home.

The Mission Team highlighted important progress since the first IAEA remediation mission in October 2011, noted that Japan had made good use of advice from that earlier Mission, and offered fresh advice in a number of areas where it is still possible to further improve current practices, taking into account both international standards and the experience of remediation programmes in other countries.

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