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tv   Newsline  PBS  June 17, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm PDT

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welcome to "newsline." i'm in tokyo with the news at this hour. a system to decontaminate radioactive water has gone into service at the fukushima daiichi plant. the system is considered key to deal with the build up to bring the reactors under control. the tokyo electric power company activated the system on friday after conducting final test runs. the utility found water leaking from one of the systems four components forcing the test runs to be called off on thursday.
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tepco found out that the valve in the pipes were mistakenly closed and had clogged the water which damaged the safety valve in one of the units. the broken valve was replaced. now this is a battle against time and radioactive water is building up in the reactors' facilities as we speak. tepco hopes to decontaminate the water and recirculate the water. tepco has drawn up a revised plan to set a target for cooling down the reactors. measure s control workers exposure was set. officials of tepco briefed reporters on friday. it was the utility's second review of the road map that was released in mid-april. under the plan, tepco says it hopes to cool the reactors by decontaminating the water and using the water as coolant. the utility says pools of spent
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fuel will have cooled down to stable levels within the month. and the revised road map features a new section on radiation control and improving conditions at the plant. this follows recent revelations of workers being exposed to levels above the government limits. the new section calls for stricter controls for the workers exposure levels and installing more equipment. tepco says it will employ more doctors around the clock. the revised plan calls for further study on ways to prevent ground water contamination at the plant. the utility will safely store radioactive waste that is produced in the processing of contaminated water. let's see what is happening in the past two months since tepco announced to stabilize the
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situation at the fukushima daiichi power plant. >> the utility planned to build a system to cool the reactors by mid-july and contain the leakage of the radioactive substances. tepco said it aims to bring the plant into cold shutdown by january of next year. >> translator: we will do all we can to build a stable cooling system and contain the discharge of the radioactive substances as soon as possible. >> tepco originally planned to fill the reactor vessels with water. however, it discovered the fuel rods had melted in reactors one, two and three. damaging the reactors and vessels. the company had concerns that the reactors would leak and gave up the initial plan. it then decided to reduce radioactivity in the water pooled in the reactor and
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turbine buildings and use it to cool down the reactors. this new plan depends on putting a system to decontaminate highly radioactive water into the system. >> now how effective is this plan? i spoke to our reporter earlier. >> translator: you have a revised target date of a cold shutdown? >> translator: with the operations proceeding as planned, it is too early to say. the road map is constructed upon the assumption that the coaminated water treatment system should function without a hitch. the trial operations have been plagued with a series of troubles. the operation was delayed again because of the leakage of the
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tainted water on thursday. the new system is the first of its kind in the world and is a combination of the technology of many countries, including japan, france and the united states. the operators should deal with the system. furthermore, they have been treating low contamination waste water so far. when the pool operation starts, the concentration is expected to be 10,000 times higher which will definitely be more difficult to handle in case of troubles. the operators should be informed during the measures. sharing essential information among them is a key. if, for example, they have signs of increase in temperature and pressure, they have to check and take necessary preventative
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measures to maximize the rate of operation. this is essentihessential for ay the road map. the new road map under scores the safety measures of the operators. but it must be a huge challenge to proceed for the recovery work while protecting the worker from risks of overdose. it is challenging, but i believe it is impossible to bring an end to the crisis without guaranteeing the safety of the operators. eight people so far whose total exposure exceeded the limit of 250 millisieverts. including skilled workers who have played vital roles to the rehab work. once you are exposed to the limit, you cannot go back to the frontline of work.
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if there wil be more and more operators exposed to high levels of the radiation, we may see shortages in the number of people with skills and experience, which delays the overall progress. so far, we are forced to bring the reactors offline to guarantee the safety of operators. consequently, more than 1,400 workers are still working on-site. not even knowing how much radioactivity we are exposed to. tepco should procure the proper numbers as soon as possible and make sure that they have all of the protective gear. there should be a strong safety management system.
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let's switch our focus to other nuclear plants in japan. the prime minister will seek the municipalities for early resumption of halted nuclear reactors. many cities and towns are reluctant to accept the routine suspensions before the disaster at the fukushima daiichi plant. speaking to reporters on friday, federation chairman also mentioned about moves of the utilities to ask businesses to reduce consumption in the summer. >> translator: five more reactors will go through more inspections by august. if the suspended nuclear power plants are not restarted, that will leave 14 reactors operating in japan. >> he apologized for the failure to fulfill the biggest duty.
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he said the power federation is aware of the need to avert mass blackouts and will do its best to achieve the resumption of nuclear plants that are now off line. fukushima city has expanded the monitoring of radiation levels to include over 1,000 additional sites. the city had been monitoring radiation at 160 places, including parks and schools and releasing the results on its web site. to answer the public's demand for more information, fukushima city added 1,045 locations to the check list on friday. at a park, two officials checked radiation levels. they said the levels were below official standards. >> translator: it is good that more detailed information is becoming vi
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becoming available. the city should have done this earlier. >> translator: the idea is to provide information close to where people live. we hope this will contribute to ease their concerns. >> fukushima city will check levels again on monday. the overall results will be released next thursday. the government has approved a plan to ease the growing concerns of people in japan's disaster-stricken areas who are in serious debt. many small businesses owners and individuals have had to borrow money on top of the existing loans. under the plan, agencies will set up a new fund which will purchase the debts of small businesses. the plan is exacted to include tax breaks for financial institutions that exempt the housing loans for individuals. the government hopes to include the cost of implementing the plan in the second supplementary
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budget. the five children are making a last-ditch effort to find items of loved ones. the children were swept away by the tsunami in ishinoki city. police and self defense members are conducting an operation to search for the missing and remove debris ahead of saturday. the 100th day since the disaster. the parents were hoping to find anything of their children before the debris is taken away. >> translator: it is difficult to accept my daughter's death. but i realize i have to do so to keep moving forward.
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and here are other news making headlines tonight. the emperor and empress have expressed gratitude for the relief efforts to japan. they met with the indonesian president and his wife at the imperial palace on friday. he thanked them for sending the supplies. indonesians remain thankful after the 2004 tsunami. he said that he hopes to cooperate with japan on disaster prevention measures. the emperor said cooperation will be beneficial for both countries. japan's diet has passed a revised bill that makes creating
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computer viruses illegal. before the revision, criminals could be charged if they damaged computers hard disc. the change to the criminal procedure passed in the upper house on friday. under the revised law, the creation or distribution of a computer virus is punishable by three years in prison or $600,000 in fines. the revised code only permits the authorities to obtain data from computers confiscated. this is because of the concern expressed by the bar associations about possible infringements. the legislation also enables the authorities to ask internet service providers to obtain communication logs for up to 60 days. the ambassador to japan says the investment submitted to the
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general assembly is a way toward peace. he said the palestinian's bid is progress to make middle east peace talks. >> we want very soon to cross the 130 because that means that we have two-third majority of the general assembly. states recognize the state of palestinian. >> he says it will have no legal force. by gaining support from the international committee, he believes it will put pressure on israel. palestinian will drive to become a full member of the united nations despite the veto of the plan. recognition of a palestinian state would entitd them to a
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full member presentation. next we go to our bureau in bangkok with the latest on what is happening in the region. >> greetings from the thai capital. countries around the world are reacting to the thursday appointment to the al qaeda leader. the response indicates deferring attitudes to the terror group chief. the u.s. secretary of defense robert gates questioned al-zawahri's ability to inspire the group. >> i think he will face some challenges. bin laden has been the leader of al qaeda since its inception. and in that particular context, he had a peculiar attitude. >> meanwhile, pakistan has been a u.s. ally said the new leader would not cause a change in its
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policy. >> what is critical for us is we under take actions in the context of our national security interests. >> osama bin laden's long time deputy is known as an advocate of radical terrorism. the 59-year-old doctor from egypt has appeared in al qaeda videos. ayman al-zawahri is believed to be a key planner of the 9/11 attacks. some say osama bin laden was a figure head for al qaeda. they fear al-zawahri will try to prove his credentials by stepping up attacks against the united states and other countries. >> i don't think that the death of osama bin laden that al qaeda is regrouped. i am afraid we will witness in the future, the near future, within a year, a very big act
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committed by al qaeda. in pakistan, hundreds of supporters are ready to begin a new life after completing a course to rid them of the militant group's violent ideology. 250 men last week received a certificate after three months at the deradicalization in pakistan. they were taught technical skills. they learned to move on with their lives from the taliban. the taliban controlled the valley since 2007 and 2009. some locals say they had little choice but to obey the taliban. >> translator: they were very strong here. they were violent. they could force us to follow them. we had no other option. >> months after retaking the area, the pakistani army opened
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four centers to provide education and vocational training. people can even dance and sing. things that were never allowed under the taliban. >> translator: after getting out of here, i will do good work. i'll teach in the school and try to reform my old ways and complete my education. >> army officials say they will visit people who complete the course every other week to make sure that they are properly reintegrated into society. and in thailand, many families from rural areas move to the cities to earn money, but for people with young children, it is not always easy to find affordable day care. we have the story of a married couple who look after their grand child in an unusual place.
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>> reporter: this is one of southeast asia's busy places. buses cross the city on about 200 routes from early morning until late at night. this is a bus conductor originally from the village. she came to the capital to earn money. the driver of the bus is her husband and in the baby bed behind the seat is her grandson. their son has been missing for two years along with the current mother. so she takes care of her grandson around the clock. >> translator: i like it here because it is cool and there are no mosquitoes on the bus. i want to be a bus driver when i
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grow up. >> reporter: she works on the bus for ten hours a day keeping her grandson near her. in the beginning, people thought he would bug the passengers, but they are used to him now. >> translator: i think it is better for the child to be with his family than to be home alone. >> reporter: the couple works for the bus company. most employees come from rural areas and live in the company dormitory. many of them left children behind with their relatives. others make use over day care center at the dormitory. a babysitter takes care of five children ages one to five. but .
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so the company let her take the boy with her on the bus. three of the couples do the same thing. >> translator: i allowed them to do this because it is good for the future of society. to raise children in a warm environment. >> reporter: the boy jeffery looks comfortable on the bus. he smiles at passengers and seems to know to stay quiet when it is crowded. >> translator: i think it is important for a family to stay together all the time. >> reporter: the family works long hours and life is not easy, but they are always smiling because they are together.
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reporting for nhk world in bangkok. >> a happy mobile home. starting next monday, we will have a three-day special edition of our bulletin reporting from bangkok. we will start with an in-depth look at the thai election scheduled for july 3rd. join us then. with that, we are wrap up our bulletin. i'm reporting in bangkok. hello. time for another update on the world's weather. let's go ahead and see what is happening in central china and japan. we have the stretched out frontline bringing more heavy downpours into the weekend. let me show you what has been happening. this was the scene in jinjang on the coast. you can see the torrential rain
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has come down and demolished a highway here. it has always led to significant flooding across the province. 120,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes. the province's main river is at the highest level since 1955. so flooding and landslides will continue to be an ongoing threat into the weekend. you can see people driving through the flood waters. somebody doing the clever thing and stopping and getting out. it is dangerous to drive through flash floods. let's see what is happening into the weekend. in japan, we can show you off the map. about 150 millimeters of rain is likely. the model is saying over 100 millimeters over the next 48 hours. the yellow is a conservative estimate. that frontline is fed by a tropical depression just here to the east of the philippines. it is going to be moving just
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toward the north along the coast of the philippines. it will be getting stronger. we will have a tropical storm here over the weekend. we have yet another tropical system. a deep depression over west bengal. it is causing heavy thunderstorms across bangladesh and india. in the next 48 hours in the red, 200 millimeters of rain. very heavy downpours and flooding are likely here as well. we will keep you updated. temperatures are going to be really on the up across beijing. widely over 30 degrees. i should say from northern china into mongolia. we have cooler temperatures in shanghai and tokyo where the front is coming close. building heat. t'aipei at 35. that is the figure forecast for manila. in north america. more heavy rain in central
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canada and central plains. severe weather potentially where you are seeing in the orange is showing a slight chance of hail and damaging winds and the potential for tornadoes. it will be unsettled a wet in the mid-atlantic and through the east. into saturday, it will be lingering as well. in the south, we have a problem which is the heat and low humidity. the gusty winds are coming together to bring out critical fire weather from arizona through western texas here. temperatures are 38 degrees in houston. you have a few days of that at least. the heat building in the midwest. 27 for you in chicago. 30 in d.c. cooler in new york and toronto in the mid-20s here. for you in seattle, much cooler. 20 and 19 in vancouver. here is the extended forecast.
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once again, the top story at this hour. a system to decontaminate the water at the fukushima daiichi
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power plant has gone into function. it is dealing with the build up to bring the reactors under control. tokyo electric power company enacted the system on friday. the utility found water leaking from one of the system's four components. a cesium device. tepco found out a valve in the pipes were closed and clogged the water, which damaged the safety valve in one of the units and caused the leak. the broken valve was replaced. this is a battle against time because radioactive water is building up at a rate of 500 tons per day. tepco hopes to cool the reactors by recirculating the water. that is our broadcast for this hour on "newsline." we will be back with more news in a half hour. thank you fowatching. good night.
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