Japan to stop pumping radioactive water into sea

[What happens whenever the next inevitable catastrophe occurs, the total collapse of the Japanese economy?]

Japan to stop pumping radioactive water into sea


* Beijing to closely monitor Japan’s nuclear actions

China detects above-normal radiation in ships, aircraft, cargo

* Govt says economy in “severe condition”, no quick recovery

By Yoko Kubota and Chisa Fujioka

TOKYO, April 9 (Reuters) – Japan expects to stop pumping radioactive water into the sea from a crippled nuclear plant on Saturday, a day after China expressed concern at the action, reflecting growing international unease at the month-long nuclear crisis.

“The emptying out of the relatively low radiation water is expected to finish tomorrow (Saturday),” a Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) official said late on Friday.

TEPCO is struggling to contain the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl, with its engineers pumping low-level radioactive seawater, used to cool overheated fuel rods, back into the sea for the past five days due to a lack of storage capacity.

China said it will closely monitor Japan’s actions to regain control of the plant and demanded Tokyo provide swift and accurate information on the crisis which began on March 11 when a magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami struck.

“We hope that Japan will act in accordance with international law and adopt effective measures to protect the marine environment,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement on Friday.

China said it had detected 10 cases of ships, aircraft or cargo arriving from Japan with higher than normal levels of radiation since mid-March. [ID:nL3E7F81JE]

It said traces of radioactivity had been found in spinach in three Chinese provinces, and state news agency Xinhua reported trace levels of radioactivity detected in 22 provinces.

Japan also faces calls to revive its disaster-hit economy to prevent a knock-on impact on the global economy.

G20 finance leaders will ask Tokyo for a plan to resuscitate its economy as they see the economic damage from the earthquake as a risk to global growth, Takatoshi Kato, a former IMF deputy managing director, told Reuters in an interview on Friday. [ID:nLME7DP00O].

The earthquake and tsunami left 28,000 people dead or missing, and damaged six nuclear reactors north of Tokyo.

The world’s third largest economy is now in a “severe condition”, the Japanese government said on Friday.

A major 7.1 aftershock on Thursday night rocked Japan’s east coast, killing three people, injuring 141 others, and leaving four million homes without power. It also prompted a brief evacuation of workers from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.


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WE DISagree with war. STOP NOW.

Obama’s Jets Mistakenly Pound Obama’s Rebels

[A little of this collateral damage is to be expected with duplicitous policies of the simultaneously buying-off and selling-out of all parties involved.  It is only right that this is all backfiring and blowing-up in Mr. Obama’s face, just as they always do, in all our Frankenstein “Islamist” terror outfits, like “al-Qaeda, in (fill-in-country-HERE) Iraq,” TTP, etc., first we train them up and arm them, then we knock them down.  Libyans are screwed.]

US Commander Sees Libya Stalemate

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Nato ‘apologises for hitting Libya rebels’

The BBC’s Wyre Davies: “There is a lot of anger and confusion at the hospital”

The commander of Libya’s rebel forces has said Nato apologised for mistakenly hitting a column of rebel tanks near the eastern town of Ajdabiya.

Gen Abdelfatah Yunis said the deadly air strike had occurred despite a warning to Nato that the tanks were being moved to the front line.

Nato said it was investigating the claim, without giving further details.

Rebels said four rebels died, while local doctors told the BBC at least 13 fighters had been killed in the strike.

“We would like to receive answers about what happened. We would like a rational and convincing explanation,” Gen Yunis said.

He also said such mistakes must not be repeated and called for better co-operation in the future.

But the general stressed that there was no tension between the opposition and Nato, despite anger among some local residents.

It was the third such incident in recent days involving international forces deployed to protect Libyan civilians.


Nato, with all the equipment they have – is this the second mistake? Is it really a mistake or something arranged secretly?”

Benghazi resident

The BBC’s Wyre Davies reported chaotic scenes on the outskirts of Ajdabiya, with rebel forces in retreat.

Meanwhile, a relief ship carrying emergency supplies of food and medicine has arrived in the besieged rebel-held city of Misrata, in western Libya.

‘Fluid zone’

The rebels hit in the air strike had been moving a group of tanks, armoured vehicles and rocket launchers near the front line between the towns of Ajdabiya and Brega in more than 30 transporters.

One rebel commander told the BBC he saw at least four missiles land among rebel fighters.

As well as those killed, many more were injured, he said.

There is considerable anger among rebel troops at what appears to have been a terrible mistake, our correspondent says.

They are asking why rebel units were hit, he adds, when they could be seen clearly advancing in a westerly direction towards the front line.

“It is unbelievable,” said one Benghazi resident. “Nato, with all the equipment they have – is this the second mistake? Is it really a mistake or something arranged secretly?”

Another said: “The allies and the UN Security Council must allow us to be armed. We don’t want anything, just to be armed to defend ourselves against this dictator and fascist.”

Rebel forces in the area began retreating on Wednesday after heavy bombardment from government forces.

Chairman of Nato’s military committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, said it is still unclear what happened

They had been calling for more Nato air strikes in recent days.

Nato said it was investigating the incident, noting that the area where the attack occurred was “unclear and fluid with mechanised weapons travelling in all directions”.

“What remains clear is that Nato will continue to uphold the UN mandate and strike forces that can potentially cause harm to the civilian population of Libya,” said the alliance in a statement.

Meanwhile, a different rebel spokesman said Thursday’s fatal air strike was carried out by pro-government forces rather than by Nato.

“This was not a Nato air-strike; on the contrary, it was conducted by Gaddafi’s brigades using SIAI Marchetti SF-260 planes,” Col Ahmad Bani told al-Arabiya television.

‘Friendly-fire incidents’

The alliance took over air operations from a US, French and British coalition a week ago, to enforce a UN mandate to protect civilians in Libya.

Last Friday, at least 13 people were reportedly killed when a coalition plane fired on a rebel convoy between Brega and Ajdabiya.

Three medical students were among the dead.

The attack came after rebels reportedly fired an anti-aircraft gun.

In a separate incident, seven civilians died and 25 were hurt in a coalition air strike on a pro-Gaddafi convoy near Brega.

Further west, in Libya’s third-biggest city, Misrata, a ship chartered by the UN World Food Programme delivered hundreds of tonnes of high energy biscuits, flour, and water purification tablets, as well as enough medicine to last 30,000 people for a month.

Misrata has been under attack by Libyan government forces for several weeks, and Libyan rebels have complained it would “cease to exist” within a week unless Nato took action to save it.