Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo’

Abe wins and Rudd loses while Kerry lobbies for Obama’s war

September 8, 2013

It is a misty Autumn morning this Sunday and the last week has had its mix of stories. But a few small encouraging events are over-shadowed by the darkness of Obama’s determination to go to war. Abe won for Tokyo while Rudd lost for Abbott and Kerry lobbies the world for money and support for Obama’s war.

Shinzo Abe made a personal commitment to the IOC that the Fukushima radiation leaks were and would be under control. Tokyo was awarded the 2020 summer Olympic Games yesterday in Buenos Aires beating Istanbul by 60 votes to 36. Madrid had crept up to be perceived as a front runner with their low key, “low cost” games but the mood was not for “restraint”. Delegates were getting tired of financial crises. Moreover they were tired of doping scandals and these could not be ruled out in Madrid or Istanbul. And once Madrid lost to Istanbul in a run-off for second place, the Madrid support – especially from Europe and the Americas – was not ready to let the Games go to an Islamist country for the first time ever. Of Madrid’s initial 26 votes in the first round, only 10 went to Istanbul in the final voting. And that left Tokyo which is a good thing

In Australia, the bookies and the national polls turned out to be pretty well right. Kevin Rudd lost and Tony Abbott won as a consequence. But the Labour loss could have been much worse.  A clear majority in the Lower House for the Coalition but not in the Senate where they only secured the avoidance of a Red/Green majority. The Carbon Tax is toast but it will take a bit of horse trading in the Senate to finally bury it.  The peculiar nature of preference votes means that the Senate composition will not be firm for a few days and there will be some new Senators which could lead to some unusual alliances. The Greens will actually have an extra Senator but thier alliance with Labour may not be as clear-cut. The overbearing self-righteousness of Australian bureaucracy may begin to be curbed. Tony Abbott has already asked his bureaucrats to prepare to stop the Carbon Tax and to stop the asylum boats. The Carbon Tax may well go in 2014 and that is a good thing.

And in the meantime President Obama pursues his war with no objectives. He flew back to the US to shore up domestic support for his war on Syria. He is scheduled to make his weekly address on Tuesday and to have six interviews with leading news anchors broadcast on Monday. Remarkably it is the hawks and neo-cons in the US who are the strongest supporters of his war.. A “coalition of mutual contempt” according to the Atlantic.  John Kerry is travelling around Europe lobbying the European countries. His list of countries supporting the US is “now into double figures”. Even self-appointed policemen have to be paid and Kerry is also meeting with the Arab League in Paris today and its members have offered to pay for the entire cost of Obama’s war! A strike on Syria by the US seems inevitable and that is a bad thing.

War, doping and radiation fears could give 2020 Olympics to Madrid

September 5, 2013

UPDATE! 7th September –

Tokyo Won.


Istanbul, Tokyo and Madrid are competing for the right to hold the 2020 Olympics and lobbying is at its peak since the decision is expected on Saturday 7th September.

Madrid was first trailing because the Spanish economy was/is not in the best of shape. Since Tokyo has already hosted the summer games (1964) and two winter games have been held in Japan, this opened the possibility of Istanbul getting the honour for the first time ever . This is their 5th attempt. But now lingering fears of radiation from Fukushima and of Turkey becoming embroiled in war (even though the games are 7 years away) seem to be bringing Madrid to the forefront again. This is Madrid’s 3rd attempt and the summer games were held in Barcelona in 1992.

Tokyo still has the best chance of raising the necessary finance. Both Istanbul and Madrid give cause for concern for financing. The greatest amount of new construction would be needed for an Istanbul games.

The Telegraph:

Fukushima failures threatening to derail Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics bid

The team behind Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics Games is scrambling to save its long and expensive campaign from falling victim to the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant. …… Until a few weeks ago, the Japanese capital had been considered the front-runner, thanks to a slick campaign that has emphasised Tokyo’s efficient infrastructure, experience in hosting global sporting events, financial guarantees backed by the government and the fact that Tokyo “is one of the world’s safest and most welcoming cities.”

But recent civil unrest in Turkey and the potential for war in the region are worrisome. Istanbul is struggling also to dispel perceptions of rampant doping in Turkish athletics:

A new “zero tolerance” policy and a reaccredited testing laboratory will help Turkey fight doping following a string of positive cases, the head of Turkey’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics said on Wednesday.

More than 30 athletes were banned by the Turkish Athletics Federation in August and Turkish official Ugur Erdener said this was the result of the country’s new hardline stance and a previous lack of comprehensive testing.

“We understand there is no gain without pain,” Erdener, President of Turkey’s National Olympic Committee, told reporters, referring to the recent positive tests.

“Turkey now has a very aggressive anti-doping system. The lab will also be re-accredited by the World Anti-doping Agency this year. Not in the near future but in this year,” said Erdener who is also a WADA executive committee member.

The rumours are now that Madrid is going to win:

Huffington Post

…..  it seems increasingly likely the IOC will choose the Spanish capital of Madrid.

“To my astonishment, it seems like it’s going to be Madrid,” Wolfgang Maennig, a professor of economics at Hamburg University, told HuffPost.

Maennig, an expert in sports economics, is in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at a sports business symposium. Not coincidentally, representatives of the national Olympic committees are also currently in Buenos Aires, meeting to decide where the Summer Olympics will be held seven years from now.

Maennig said he met with two Olympic officials, including the president of a national delegation he declined to name, and both said Madrid was quickly pulling away as the favorite to host the Olympic Games over candidate cities Istanbul and Tokyo.

“I talked today to the president of a national federation and people are still afraid of Syria and even Iraq, even though that was years ago, affecting Turkey,” Maennig said on Wednesday. “There are also many concerns about the level of radiation in Japan.”

Lobbying is heavy and a great deal of Japanese money is being dangled in front of the IOC. It is said that the Japanese Prime Minister might attend but I would have thought he might find it difficult to get away from the G20 meeting in Saint Patersburg.

Well we shall know in a couple of days.

The Great Sendai Quake: Radiation surged from Fukushima Dai-ichi and now decreasing

March 15, 2011

1100 CET: UN’s weather agency says Japanese winds are dispersing radioactive material over the ocean, and there is no danger for Japan or the region for now.

Tohoku Electric will introduce electricity “rationing” with rotating blackouts starting from Wednesday.

TEPCO has come in for strong criticism from the PM’s office for being slow with information.

Kan strongly ordered the company not to withdraw its employees from the power plant, which has been facing a series of problems since Friday’s massive quake, ranging from explosions to radiation leaks.

”In the event of withdrawal from there, I’m 100 percent certain that the company will collapse,” Kan said. ”I want you all to be determined.”

The government, as well as the public, has been dissatisfied with the company’s way of releasing information regarding the crippled nuclear plant.

A man in his twenties and a 74 year old woman were rescued from under debris today – 4 days after the quake.

0930: Kyodo News – Water at spent fuel pools (which reactor? #4, #5 or #6?) may be boiling reducing the water in the pool. Cooling water is to be pumped in.

Is this also what happened at reactor#4? Reactors #4, 5 and 6 were not in operation when the quake and tsunami hit. There seem to be two categories of problems –

  1. at the operating reactors #1, 2 and 3 which all shut down automatically but where lack of cooling caused by a blackout of emergency power by the tsunami wave then led to uncovering of fuel rods and which in turn led to hydrogen explosions, and
  2. at the non-operating reactors #4, 5 and 6 where cooling to the spent fuel pools were compromised also due to loss of emergency power after the tsunami wave. At reactor #4, this somehow led to a fire during which a surge of  radiation leakage occurred. Temperatures are also rising in the spent fuel pools of reactors #5 and 6.

0830 CET: Nuclear designer states that the problem was a station blackout due to the high tsunami and loss of power to the cooling systems.

Press Conference by Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano.

Radiation at the plant perimeter was down to 595 μS at 3.30pm local time which is much higher than normal but not dangerous. For a period in the morning at around 0930 local time it was at the 11,000μS level which in one hour is equivalent to a lifetime dose. Radiation levels are worrying but they are decreasing and we are hopeful. The PM’s instructions to evacuate from the 20 km zone and to stay stay indoors for people in the 30 km zero was a matter of law. The fire at reactor #4 started at 0930 and is now out. This may have caused the radiation surge. Reactor #4 was not in operation but being refuelled(?). Reactor #2 is still being cooled and the rods are thought to be under water now so that the cooling seems to be functioning. Cooling for #1 and #3 continues stable. Temperatures have also risen at #5 and #6 gradually because after the tsunami the power to the cooling is not functioning properly and this is being watched closely and additional measures are being taken. Reactors #4, 5 and 6 were not in operation but some cooling is still necessary for the spent fuel pool. The radiation release after the fire at reactor #4 was probably from the spent fuel pool(?).

Small temperature rise has been observed at spent fuel pool at Fukushima reactors #5 and #6 which were not in operation and is being watched but no cooling has been needed to be applied so far.

0730 CET: The crisis around the Fukushima nuclear plant is diverting attention from the over 300,000 evacuees and the search and rescue efforts. Wintry weather is making things worse for all those displaced.

0700 CET Status:

Reactor No.2 at Fukushima Dai-ichi  has also suffered an explosion, the third reactor to do so. The containment vessel may be damaged. Some of the fuel rods are still exposed.

A fire at reactor no.4 broke out at 0938 local time and has now been put out. The roof of the building of reactor no.4 was damaged. A surge  of radiation leakage may have coincided with the fire.

Radiation levels dangerous to health were measured at the plant perimeter for short times.

Raised levels are measurable in the wind path which is towards Tokyo currently.

People within  the 20 – 30 km radius  are told to stay indoors. All within the 20 km zone are subject to an evacuation order.

A no-fly zone has been established in a 30 km radius zone around the plant.

NHK is broadcasting advice on precautionary measures for individuals when they are being advised to stay indoors.

Cooling efforts for reactors #1 to 3 are continuing.

IAEA believes the reactor containment vessels themselves are undamaged.

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