Daimler (known for Mercedes-Benz) shut down its Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus plant, in Kawasaki, Japan. The shut down came after the March 11 disasters.
As other vehicle makers have said, Daimler says supply of parts will be a continuous problem from here on out. The German company hopes to start production on April 20.
Daimler owns 89.29% of Mitsubishi Fuso.
Tokyo Electric Power Company president, Shimizu Masakatsu, is stepping down from his post as chairman of the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan. It is a direct result of the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi.
The FEPC is a kind of union, or club, of electrical power companies in Japan. Yagi Makoto, president of Kansai Electric Power Company, will replace Shimizu as chairman of FEPC.
Shimizu said he plans on resigning from one of Japan’s biggest nuke power lobby groups, Nippon Keidanren, as well.
“As strong aftershocks occur almost daily, we have to consider what will happen to buildings already damaged by blasts.”-Nishiyama Hidehiko, Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency
Concern for new problems at Fukushima Daiichi, caused by several intense aftershocks, and rising temperatures in Reactor 4 spent fuel pool after a battery storage box caught fire.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says that higher-than-usual levels of radioactive iodine-131, cesium-134 and cesium-137, are coming from Reactor 4 fuel pool. Reactor 4 was shut down at the time of the tsunami, and all the active fuel rods were in the spent fuel pool. Inspection of the fuel pool revealed that some rods are damaged, but most are intact.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency wants TEPCo to inspect all buildings for more damage caused by aftershocks. The concern is that the buildings have been weakened by the 9.0 quake, tsunami and massive hydrogen gas explosions.
Off the coast of Fukushima, sand lance fish are contaminated with high levels of cesium-137.
Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said the latest samples, taken as far away as 37km (22.9 miles) from Fukushima Daiichi, show the fish have 12,500 becquerels per kilogram of cesium!
The safe limit, under Japanese current 2011 Food Sanitation Law, is 500 becquerels.
The French company Areva SA is increasing the number of nuclear experts they’ve sent to Japan, to help deal with the Fukushima Daiichi crisis.
Areva SA now has 15 technicians in Japan. Some of the technicians specialize in removing contaminated water, and dismantling nuclear power plants.
France based Areva is also trying to get a uranium enrichment operation built in Idaho, U.S.A.
Despite efforts to stop the contaminated water from spilling into the Pacific Ocean, Tokyo Electric Power Company, and the Japanese government, say contamination levels just off the Fukushima coast are at highest point so far.
Iodine-131 has hit 88.5 becquerels per liter, 30km (18.6 miles) away from Fukushima Daiichi. Cesium-137 levels continue to climb as well, but are still under Japanese safe limits.
Toyota is suspending production at all its European factories.
Plants in Britain, France, Turkey and Poland will be closed for several days on April 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and May 2.
Toyota also said they have yet to decide what they’ll do after that. The parts supply problem in Japan does not show signs of lessening. Toyota might be force to continue with sporadic factory shut downs, with all its plants.
President Benigno Aquino ordered all Filipinos living within 50km of Fukushima Daiichi, to leave the area. Any Filipinos living outside the 50 kilometers (31 miles) zone, can voluntarily leave.
The Philippine government said they would pay all the costs of bringing their citizens back to the Philippines. Any Filipinos who want to stay are ordered to move to the southern part of the big island of Honshu.
The order came when it was officially announced that Fukushima Daiichi was a level 7 nuke disaster (the highest level).
More info on the strontium contamination found more than 30km from Fukushima Daiichi.
Namie Town and Iitate Village have evidence of strontium 90 contamination, they are 30km (18.6 miles) from the reactors. Strontium 90 was also found in plant samples from Motomiya City, Ono Town and Otama and Nishigo Villages. They are between 40 to 80 kilometers (24.8 to 49.7 miles) from Fukushima Daiichi.
The strontium was detected between 16 & 19 March. One nuclear engineer points out that is immediately after Reactor 3 exploded. Strontium would only come from fuel rods, and it’s a possible indicator that the reactor itself was damaged.
Radioactive strontium has been detected in soil and plants, beyond the 30km (18.6 miles) zone around Fukushima Daiichi.
Strontium 90 is produced by nuclear reactors. It’s half life is about 29 years. It is absorbed by your bones, leading to disorders such as bone cancer.
Officially, this is the first time the detection of strontium has been announced. The samples were taken on 15 & 16 March. There have been several nuclear analysts who said not all types of radiation where being reported to the public!