Breaking news on NHK 5 mins ago … a tragic accident has taken place involving two elementary students who were killed along the pavement in Kesanuma city possibly involving a crane  (…no details yet)

There’ve been no IAEA news updates since the 15th.
More from NHK news and other news sources below…
A survey has found that 30 percent of people living in Tokyo and 3 neighboring prefectures had to walk home after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11.Nippon Research Center surveyed 1,000 people aged 15 or above living in Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama prefectures. They examined how people responded to the emergency.

The survey found that 60.5 percent of people were at work or school when the earthquake struck. With many railway lines in the Tokyo metropolitan area not running in the hours after the quake, 31.4 percent of people say they had to walk home.

Twenty-two and a half percent say they drove home, and 9.8 percent cycled home.
Almost 12 percent of people stayed overnight in offices or schools.

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has finalized a new plan to cool down the troubled reactors. Tokyo Electric Power Company will install a new cooling system that filters contaminated water and recirculates it back into the reactors.

Following the quake and tsunami, cooling systems broke down in reactors 1, 2 and 3. TEPCO workers have been pumping in cold water in an effort to keep them from overheating.

However, the water inside the reactors quickly becomes contaminated with high levels of radioactive substances. Due to possible structural damage in the quake, contaminated reactor water has been leaking into the basements of neighboring turbine buildings and service tunnels. This has impeded emergency repair work and created a disposal problem.
To best deal with the present circumstances, TEPCO plans to first pump contaminated wastewater outside the turbine buildings where it can be more safely cooled and filtered. Radioactive substances and salt are removed and a continuous supply of treated water is circulated to gradually cool down the reactors.

TEPCO is scheduled to start operating the new cooling system by summer.

Sunday, April 17, 2011 09:20 +0900 (JST)

New cooling systems may be installed outside Fukushima reactor buildings

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Tokyo Electric Power Co. is considering installing circulating water cooling systems for nuclear reactors and spent fuel storage pools outside the reactor buildings at its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, sources familiar with the matter said Saturday.

The new systems would cool nuclear fuel inside the reactors and spent fuel pools in a stable manner. They would involve heat exchangers and circulation pumps to drain reactor coolant water from the containment buildings, cooling it with seawater and then sending it back to the reactors, the sources said.

TEPCO appears to have already placed orders for dozens of gasketed plate heat exchangers — each measuring 3 meters high, 1 meter wide and 2 meters long — for such systems, the sources said.

The existing circulating water cooling systems at the plant were crippled by the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

In this Tuesday, April 12, 2011 image released by Tokyo Electric Power Co., a metal container, in silver, hanging from a concrete pump, in red, scoops water to sample from the spent fuel pool of the heavily damaged Unit 4 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

In this Tuesday, April 12, 2011 image released by Tokyo Electric Power Co., a metal container, in silver, hanging from a concrete pump, in red, scoops water to sample from the spent fuel pool of the heavily damaged Unit 4 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

The utility has been pumping water into reactors and storage pools in a desperate bid to cool them. But the move has created large puddles of water contaminated with high levels of radiation inside the reactor containment and turbine buildings, as fuel rods in the reactors and storage pools have been partially damaged.

The presence of the large puddles in the buildings has blocked restoration work at the plant.

TEPCO has therefore determined that it is necessary to cool the reactors and storage pools with new circulating water cooling systems to be installed outside the containment buildings, they said.

It is impossible to sufficiently cool the reactors and storage pools simply by pumping water into them without circulating water through the reactors and pools. The pumping operation has also had the negative side effect of raising the water levels of the radiation-contaminated puddles.

It would be necessary to secure five or six heat exchangers to cool one reactor, but the cooling efficiency of the gasketed plate heat exchangers is twice that of conventional heat exchangers for nuclear plants, according to the sources.

In this photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), workers operate a modified Putzmeister 70Z, the world's largest concrete pump mounted on a truck, to pump contaminated water from the Unit 4 at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Tuesday, April 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

In this photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), workers operate a modified Putzmeister 70Z, the world’s largest concrete pump mounted on a truck, to pump contaminated water from the Unit 4 at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Tuesday, April 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

Radiation levels inside the containment buildings remain high. TEPCO plans to utilize the pipes that it has been using to pump water into the reactors in the new circulating water cooling loops, so it can minimize the need for work inside the dangerous buildings.

(Mainichi Japan) April 17, 2011

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REACTOR SHUTDOWNS NINE MONTHS AWAY

Tokyo Electric says six to nine months will be needed to stabilize the Fukushima No. 1 power plant and mulls a daring U.S. plan to remove spent fuel rods.

Kyodo, Staff report

Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced Sunday that it will take six to nine months to complete a cold shutdown of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, while the United States proposed a daring plan to use a remote-controlled helicopter and cranes to pluck out their spent fuel rods.

News photo
Fearless: Robots similar to this one are being used to examine the reactor buildings at the damaged Fukushima No. 1 power plant. KYODO

The “road map” represents the first specific time line Tepco has issued for getting the radiation crisis in Fukushima Prefecture under control.

If all goes well, displaced residents from the evacuation zone should know within six to nine months whether they will be able to go home, trade minister Banri Kaieda said.

The utility and its leaking power plant, which was crippled when the mega-quake and tsunami knocked out its cooling systems, are locked in a vicious cycle in which water being pumped in to cool the reactors is being turned into radioactive runoff that must either be stored or dumped into the sea, while it bleeds off radioactive steam into the atmosphere to cool off the cores.

Beleaguered Tepco Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, who hinted he might quit over the accident, said the utility needs three months to achieve a “steady reduction” in radiation and three to six more to get a handle on the emissions. This would be done by covering heavily damaged reactor buildings 1, 3 and 4, he said.

In the meantime, two U.S. robots with moveable arms entered the No. 3 reactor building later in the day to take temperature, radiation and oxygen readings and survey the damage. An test at the No. 5 reactor showed that the robots, each 70 cm long and 53 cm wide, can open the buildings’ doors by themselves.

In another development, the U.S. government has suggested Japan use a special unmanned cargo helicopter to set up cranes to remove the hazardous spent-fuel rods from the plant, Japanese and U.S. sources said Saturday.

Japan is looking to use a K-MAX helicopter developed by Lockheed Martin Corp. and KAMAN Aerospace Group of the U.S. to place cranes at the radioactive plant.

Since the helicopter can be operated remotely, it would allow repair teams to conduct repairs even in areas with lethal levels of radiation, they said.

Spent nuclear fuel is usually left to cool in storage pools for a few years after use and then taken away from nuclear plants inside of steel casks.

The plan would be to lower the casks into the pool and put the spent fuel in them.

The U.S. has proposed using the unmanned helicopter to transport the cranes in partially assembled form to the plant. It has also proposed installing them after radiation levels fall.

The proposal was originally conveyed by Adm. Robert Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, at a meeting in late March with his Japanese counterpart, Self-Defense Forces Chief of Staff Ryoichi Oriki, the sources said.

The U.S. side is ready to transport the special chopper by plane from the United States to the Air Self-Defense Force’s Matsushima base in Higashimatsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, they said.

The K-MAX helicopters belong to the U.S. Marine Corps and were introduced by the U.S. military after a number of manned helicopters were shot down by insurgents in Afghanistan. The improved version of the K-MAX can lift 1.4 tons.

The proposal was communicated to the unified command headquarters for the crisis, but Japan has not yet responded.

The spent-fuel storage pools on the fifth floors above the reactors are being cooled by hosing them down with water from truck-mounted concrete pumps.

In addition, water- and nitrogen-pumping operations are proceeding to address the more immediate threat of hydrogen explosions emerging in reactors 1 to 3, and toxic water emanating from reactor No. 2.

The Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency recently elevated the crisis to level 7 on the international nuclear incident scale, putting it on par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

[See also Mainichi report on this: TEPCO aims to achieve ‘cold shutdown’ for reactors in 6-9 monthsTEPCO to use robots to examine reactor building conditions] / Daily Yomiuri TEPCO says stabilization months away (Apr.18)

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KAN PENS ‘REGRET’ OVER NUKE PLANT CRISIS

Prime Minister Kan expresses his thoughts about the Fukushima No. 1 power plant crisis in an article published by several English newspapers

“”I take very seriously, and deeply regret, the nuclear accidents we have had at the Fukushima Daiichi plant,” Kan said in the opinion piece, which was carried in the International Herald Tribune that hit newsstands Saturday. Titled “Japan’s road to recovery and rebirth,” the article showed “a pledge from the Japanese prime minister to bolster nuclear safety and international trust” as the paper put it.

“Bringing the situation at the plant under control at the earliest possible date is my top priority” Kan says in the article, which was also carried by The Washington Post and The New York Times.

The prime minister vowed to continue making his utmost efforts to address the leaks of radioactive water into the ocean and other challenges while maintaining transparency in Japan’s efforts to combat the risks posed by the crippled plant.

He also pledged to “promptly and thoroughly verify the cause” of the nuclear accident and to “share information and the lessons learned with the rest of the world to help prevent such accidents in the future.”

While admitting that reconstruction of the devastated areas will not be easy, Kan said, “I have not a single doubt that Japan will overcome this crisis, recover from the aftermath of the disaster, emerge stronger than ever, and establish a more vibrant and better Japan for future generations.”

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On PM Kan’S blog post Apr 13, in contrast to Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara’s call for restraint and following Tohoku interests as well as public sentiment showing support of local economies:

At yesterday’s press conference, I called on the public to refrain from a mood of excessive self-restraint while maintaining a spirit of thoughtful compassion towards the disaster-stricken areas. A mood of excessive self-restraint could reduce consumption and dampen the business activity of Japan as a whole. Conversely, purchasing products from disaster-stricken areas and enjoying them would help support the affected areas.

Tomorrow the Reconstruction Design Council will hold its first session. Professor Takeshi Umehara, Special Advisor to the Meeting, and I will join with the 15 committee members to launch discussions that look squarely to the future.”

Accumulated radiation latest worry for towns

The accumulated radiation level in Namie, 30 km from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, stood at 17,010 microsieverts, according to a tally released by the science ministry Saturday.

The accumulated levels during the period starting March 23 through Friday stood at 9,850 microsieverts in Iitate and 495 microsieverts in Minamisoma, it said. The readings compare with the 1,000 microsieverts that residents of the country can expect to be exposed to during one year

Alternatively see Mainichi report Accumulated radiation tops 17,000 microsieverts in Fukushima’s Namie

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Work under way for transfer of contaminated water The level of radioactive water that has accumulated on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant keeps rising amid concern that the water might overflow, further polluting the ocean.

The radioactive water is believed to originate from water injected to cool the Number 2 reactor, which was seriously damaged by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

In the utility tunnel outside the reactor, the contaminated water is rising despite the firm’s effort to move some of it to a condenser tank last week. As of Sunday morning, the water reached 85 centimeters below ground level, threatening to overflow into the ocean.

Tokyo Electric Power Company hopes to begin transfer of the water some time this week to a nuclear waste facility that can hold 30,000 tons of such water. It is now conducting final checks so that leaks of radioactive material will not occur from the facility.

Underground water at the plant is no exception from radioactive contamination. The level of radioactive substances is increasing at facilities where underground water from the Number 1 and 2 reactors is collected. The concentration of cesium-134 on Wednesday was 38 times the reading a week earlier.

In another development, the utility firm will start using US-made robots on Sunday for measuring radiation levels and taking pictures inside the reactor’s buildings.

High levels of radiation have kept workers from entering the area to contain the situation.

Sunday, April 17, 2011 14:34 +0900 (JST)

Fukushima seawater radioactivity rises inside containment fence

(Kyodo) — The level of radioactive substances in seawater increased sharply overnight inside a containment fence installed near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Saturday.

The utility said the rise suggested that the fence is helping to curb the spread of contaminated water, but the government’s Nuclear Industrial and Safety Agency remained cautious, citing the possibility that radioactive water could still be seeping from the complex.

The company said the level of radioactive iodine rose Saturday morning to 260 becquerels per cubic centimeter in seawater inside the fence near an intake leading to the No. 2 reactor.

The figure, 6,500 times the legal limit, was around six times the 42 becquerels detected the previous day, the company said, adding the reading of radioactive cesium had also jumped by four times.

TEPCO also said it plans on Sunday or later to throw sandbags containing zeolite, a mineral that absorbs radioactive materials, into the sea near intakes leading to the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 reactors to reduce the levels of contamination.

Meanwhile, the utility is considering installing circulating water cooling systems for reactors and spent fuel storage pools outside the reactor buildings at the plant in a bid to bring it under control, sources familiar with the matter said.

The new systems would cool nuclear fuel inside the reactors and spent fuel pools in a stable manner. They would involve heat exchangers and circulation pumps to drain reactor coolant water from the containment buildings, cooling it with seawater and then sending it back to the reactors, the sources said.

TEPCO appears to have already placed orders for dozens of gasketed plate heat exchangers — each measuring 3 meters high, 1 meter wide and 2 meters long — for such systems, the sources said.

The existing circulating water cooling systems at the plant were crippled by the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

The utility has been pumping water into reactors and storage pools in a desperate bid to cool them. But the move has created large puddles of water contaminated with high levels of radiation inside the reactor containment and turbine buildings, as fuel rods in the reactors and storage pools have been partially damaged.

The presence of the large puddles in the buildings has blocked restoration work at the plant.

TEPCO has therefore determined that it is necessary to cool the reactors and storage pools with new circulating water cooling systems to be installed outside the containment buildings, they said.

It is impossible to sufficiently cool the reactors and storage pools simply by pumping water into them without circulating water through the reactors and pools. The pumping operation has also had the negative side effect of raising the water levels of the radiation-contaminated puddles.

It would be necessary to secure five or six heat exchangers to cool one reactor, but the cooling efficiency of the gasketed plate heat exchangers is twice that of conventional heat exchangers for nuclear plants, according to the sources.

Radiation levels inside the containment buildings remain high. TEPCO plans to utilize the pipes that it has been using to pump water into the reactors in the new circulating water cooling loops, so it can minimize the need for work inside the dangerous buildings.

(Mainichi Japan) April 17, 2011

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Japan nuclear commission fails to send experts to Fukushima

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan has failed to send designated experts to Fukushima Prefecture to look into the crisis at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant even though a national disaster-preparedness plan requires it to do so, many of the experts said Saturday.

A commission spokesperson said problems following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami such as blackouts had discouraged it from sending any experts to Fukushima Prefecture, but many of the specialists and government officials questioned the claim.

The commission designates 40 nuclear accident experts including university professors and senior officials of relevant institutions as well as five others as members of its panel on emergency technical advice.

The disaster plan requires the commission to dispatch members of the panel to a location near an accident site.

The commission has dispatched members of its secretariat to the prefecture since the crisis began the nuclear complex but a government official said, “It seems a problem that none of the designated experts has gone to Fukushima. The matter should be examined in the course of post-accident fact-finding.”

(Mainichi Japan) April 17, 2011

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A number of inconclusive hypotheses are being tabled for what’s happening to the spent fuel rods at Reactor no. 4

State of spent fuel rods in storage pool remains mystery(04/16) http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201104150138.html

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Report: Fukushima emitted low levels of radiation into air(04/16)

Only 1 percent to 2 percent of radioactive materials in the No. 1 through No. 3 nuclear reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant were emitted into the air after explosions that occurred at the plant as a result of the March 11 earthquake, while large amounts of radioactive materials still remain within the reactors, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) said Thursday.

The estimates are based on the analysis of iodine and cesium, the two most typical radioactive materials. The proportion was about 2 percent for iodine-131 and about 1 percent for cesium-137. ... snip…

It is thought that radioactive material leaked out through openings in damaged pipes and valves that are connected to reactor pressure vessels and containment vessels. They were also released when vapor in the reactors was vented outside to lower the pressure in the immediate aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. … snip …

Meanwhile, the NISA said Thursday that the temperature is rising in the No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 plant. The temperature, which stood at about 170 degrees on Tuesday, rose to about 200 degrees on Wednesday, and to about 250 degrees on Thursday, although the cause remains unknown.

It is also unclear if the readings are accurate because the thermometers may have been damaged by the earthquake, but it is considered certain that the temperature is rising. Efforts will be made to lower the temperature by adjusting the amount of water injected into the reactor.

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Medical support quickly provided (Apr.17)

In the month following the massive quake and tsunami on March 11, more than 15,000 medical experts from across Japan have provided care in areas hit by the disaster, a Yomiuri Shimbun survey has revealed.

This will make it the largest ever post-disaster operation in terms of medical support, which has been improved since the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake.

In the survey, which ended Thursday and was carried out mainly by phone, various medical organizations and Tokyo and prefectural governments were asked about the number of medical experts they dispatched within a month of the disaster.

Prior to the latest quake, the central government had already set up emergency medical teams, dubbed DMATs (Disaster Medical Assistant Team), across the nation, to provide medical care immediately following a disaster. The government launched the project after criticism of its tardy response in providing emergency medical care when the 1995 quake occurred.

Under the DMAT system, teams across the nation had dispatched more than 1,000 medical experts to areas affected by the March 11 disaster by the following day.

In the aftermath of the Niigata Prefecture Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake in 2007, 42 teams comprising a total of about 200 experts were dispatched to quake-hit areas.

In the latest quake, about 1,500 experts in about 320 teams were sent to disaster areas, over seven times more than the number dispatched in the 2007 quake. Their medical support had finished by March 22.

Medical teams dispatched by the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Japan Medical Association and other medical organizations, medical societies, universities and prefectural governments still remain active in these areas.

In many cases, teams work for several days on-site and then pass on duties to other teams.

Such teams have included doctors providing medical care at evacuation facilities and public health nurses giving health advice, as well as psychiatrists offering psychological care and support.

Dentists dispatched by the Japan Dental Association have identified quake victims based on their dental records.

According to the Japan Red Cross Society, since many areas hit by the March 11 disaster had few doctors to begin with, it is expected that local people will need medical support long into the future.

(Apr. 17, 2011)

Extra LNG arrives from Russia (Apr.17  DY) A Russian tanker carrying liquefied natural gas to help Japan cope with its electricity shortage after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami arrived at Futtsu, Chiba Prefecture, on Saturday.

The LNG, which Russia provided in addition to its normal LNG shipments to Japan, was to be transferred to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s LNG storage base in the prefecture for a thermal power plant in the city.

The tanker, the Grand Aniva, is equipped with four large tanks. It loaded 65,000 tons of LNG in Sakhalin, far eastern Russia, before making the one-week voyage to Tokyo Bay.

The LNG will be used to supply electricity in Tokyo and its vicinity.

U.S. military sent 3 N-teams to offer help (Apr.17)

G-20 financial chiefs express confidence in Japan’s ‘resilience’写真付き記事(04/17)

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Market reopens in Kesennuma

The morning bazaar in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, resumed Sunday for the first time since the coastal city was devastated on March 11.Around 30 stalls opened at dawn at a temporary marketplace, offering fresh vegetables and fruit to eager shoppers.

Since the local fishing industry was damaged by the quake and tsunami, few of them were selling seafood. But traders from Hakodate, Hokkaido, arrived to sell some 130 hairy crabs, a local specialty.

“We have finally been able to restart the morning market,” said Sumio Yoshida, a 63-year-old farmer.

Hard-hit Sendai-Shiogama Port resumes new car shipments写真付き記事(04/17)

SENDAI–Shipments of new cars resumed Saturday at Sendai-Shiogama Port, which had been devastated by the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake. The port, expected to be one of the footholds of economic restoration in the quake-damaged region, touted its “resurrection” as factories affiliated with Toyota Motor Corp. in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures plan to resume operations Monday.

Shipped out Saturday morning were 300 new automobiles manufactured before the quake at the Iwate plant of the Toyota-affiliated Kanto Auto Works Ltd. Starting at around 9 a.m., Toyota Corollas and other models were loaded onto the car carrier Youshou Maru.

The vehicles will be exported via Nagoya Port.

Ten out of the 14 public wharves located in the Sendai division of the Sendai-Shiogama Port have reopened. However, containers and rubble still litter the areas near the wharves and a freighter remains stranded on the opposite shore.

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Surviving fishermen plan return to the sea写真付き記事(04/16)

Seems a bit premature to me to give false hopes up but they must be under pressure … Govt may let evacuees return when plant stabilizes

Tokyo’s Magic Kingdom reopens in subdued manner写真付き記事(04/16)

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Construction of temp. housing shockingly slow…

Temporary housing stalled by lack of electrical, sewage services写真付き記事(04/17)

Construction of temporary housing in earthquake- and tsunami-stricken areas is going slowly, with only 276 units built as of Saturday, far short of the needed 72,000 units.

While housing makers are working as fast as they can to produce housing components, other needed preparations to erect the dwellings are proving difficult.

Municipal government workers with expertise in electricity and plumbing are heading to construction sites to assist.

“We have been operating at full capacity with as many employees as we can handle. But we cannot ship the materials we produce,” an official at a prefabricated housing maker said.

The central government has asked the housing industry to provide 30,000 temporary housing units within two months.

Housing manufacturers have added workers to increase production. But at the disaster sites, preparations for construction are lagging.

Hardest-hit Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures said they have secured space for 26,000 houses, but much remains to be done before construction can begin.

Preparations for electrical wiring and water and sewage systems need to be made. In some locations, the ground may need to be reinforced. But there is lack of workers.

“Employees are working responsibly and doing their best to help ensure that evacuees can move into temporary housing as soon as possible, but (it is difficult),” said an official of a housing maker.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, of 5,500 houses ready for construction this week, work only began on 4,500.

Starting next week, total housing production will increase to 6,000 houses per week. Of those, construction is expected to start on only 3,500.

“We want to hand over 4,490 houses (to the prefectures) by the end of the first week of May,” said Akihiro Ohata, the land minister, at a news conference Friday.

The land ministry plans to nearly double the size of its expert support group next week from 24 members to 45, adding architects, electricians and plumbers from municipalities nationwide to support projects in the three prefectures.

At present 24 experts from Tokyo, Osaka and elsewhere are involved. Another 21 members will join from Yokohama and Kobe on Monday.

Takahiro Uchiyama, a 47-year-old official in charge of construction in Fukuoka, said his city will help as much as possible.

A housing official in Miyagi Prefecture said, “We would appreciate it if the construction process is accelerated with a strengthened support team.”

The land ministry is also considering the import of temporary housing from overseas. The ministry has received offers from about 70 companies that produce temporary housing using overseas materials, such as shipping containers.

The ministry will pass on a list of companies to the three prefectures.

On a positive note, the building of the temporary houses is creating jobs for people out of work due to the disaster.

Fukushima Prefecture has begun soliciting building companies based in the prefecture to participate in the housing project. The prefecture plans to send orders out as early as the end of April.

Iwate and Miyagi prefectures will also start soliciting local construction companies.

Zenkenren Co., a national construction industry group, set up an emergency council for temporary housing construction earlier this month. The council will elect a managing company in each of the three prefectures, which will mete out jobs to local electrical, carpentry and interior finishing companies.

Hiroyuki Aoki, who heads Zenkenren, said, “Many building companies are also victims of the earthquake. If they can start constructing temporary housing, it will create jobs and revitalize towns.”

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ANALYSIS: Defensive TEPCO fears ballooning compensation to evacuees写真付き記事(04/15)

Note: DY links will expire in about two weeks

Mountains of debris overwhelm (Apr.17)  Waste disposal to be nationwide effort (Apr.17)

TEPCO ignored tsunami warnings for years (Apr.17)