Fearless or foolhardy? A Queenslander’s journey to Fukushima

November 15, 2013

Tony Moore

brisbanetimes.com.au senior reporter

Inside Fukushima's nuclear exclusion zone.

Inside Fukushima’s nuclear exclusion zone. Photo: Dylan Pukall


It is the extreme quiet inside the 30-kilometre exclusion zone around the world’s second-worst nuclear disaster that is the most worrying.

Into this nuclear wasteland stepped a 20-year-old photography student from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to explore the nuclear damage after the Tohoku earthquake on March 11, 2011, which left Japan’s Fukushima region devastated.

No-one lives there. Japanese businesses and homes are abandoned. Clothes and food sit in shops to rot in the radioactive air.

“It is basically like having a nuclear power plant in the middle of the Sunshine Coast at Maroochydore and then it has exploded,” Dylan Pukall said.

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“There’s been a tsunami and everyone from Noosa to Caloundra has had to go, within an hour and half’s drive and never come back.

“You drive for an hour and do not seen anyone.

“It is a ghost town. Every single road that leads to a house or to a business – side streets, main streets – are completely barricaded off.

“Every 100 metres there are signs they say things like ‘Don’t get out of your car’, or ‘Warning: Radiation’.”

Mr Pukall ignored all warnings, asked no-one for permission, could not buy a geiger counter to take with him, and wore no protective gear. He couldn’t read his GPS properly because it was Japanese.

He conceded the trip was risky to his health and would have to have regular check-ups to ensure there had been no adverse side-effects due to the radiation levels.

He hired a car in Tokyo, headed north-east and snuck inside Fukushima’s 30-kilometre exclusion zone to show the world what it looks like, 30 months after the tsunami rocked the nuclear power plant.

Mr Pukall was stopped once by guards at a checkpoint, but worked his way past.

“I said I want to go to Odaka and they said, ‘No, no, no, no-one there’,” he said.

“No go.”

He was ordered back to Tokyo, but instead found a new way – four hours longer along the Fukushima Highway – towards the now deserted town of Odaka.

He found his way to a town of Minamisoma, right on the border of the exclusion zone.

Here, he stayed overnight.

“I got up at 4.30am and just drove in. It was pretty heavy. Even before you get in there are just fields and fields of rubbish, just trash left from the tsunami that has not been cleaned off,” he said.

“There’s cars, shipping containers on the side of the road, excavators that have been turned upside down.

“It is obviously really disturbing.”

“It is just like any street where you live. It is like someone has gone, ‘Go, get out now. Go. You can’t come back.

“Some people have been allowed to come back, but only for an hour or two to grab really important things, but you can’t take your car, you have to take a bus.”

Mr Pukall turned to leave at 6.55am, driving past security guards who were setting up for the day.

“So I guess I was pretty lucky to get out when I did,” he said.

“Who knows what might have happened if they caught me.”

Steady radioactive leaks from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, crippled by the tsunami on, makes the area is the world’s newest nuclear wasteland.

Only the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Ukraine compares.

Apart from a few birds, there are few signs of life at all, even 30 months after the nuclear disaster.

About 19,000 people died in the tsunami and 300,000 people fled their homes.

And at the Fukushima nuclear plant, workers are still trying to stop radioactive water running into the Pacific Ocean.

The Brisbane Times

Joe Hockey goes a step too far

November 15, 2013 – 3:26PM

Michael Pascoe

There is politics with its usual play-acting and huffing and puffing, and then there’s going a step too far. Joe Hockey has taken that step.

I gave him the benefit of the doubt, thought he couldn’t be serious, suspected there was a careful use of weasel words to provide an out – but I checked and apparently the Treasurer means what he said: he’ll throw a Tea Party on December 12 and slash government services when the existing $300 billion debt ceiling is reached unless the opposition gives him a $500 billion ceiling now. He won’t accept the proffered $400 billion interim offer.

He told Parliament on Wednesday: “We will stare you down on this because the debt limit is being hit on the 12th of December and I want to know if the Labor Party thinks it is so heroic, so heroic, to go down the path of starting to close down government services because we may need to exceed that debt limit.”

Treasurer Joe Hockey during question time on Wednesday.

Treasurer Joe Hockey during question time on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

And then there was ABC Radio on Thursday: “If Labor prevents an increase in the debt limit there is no choice but to start having massive cuts to government expenditure, because the government is running on borrowed money.”

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Asked whether he was “seriously threatening to shut down government services,” the Treasurer replied: “There is no choice.”

Of course it takes two parties to be as stupid as US politics have become, but it is the Treasurer who has jumped right into the loony bin, raising a genuine question of whether he has abrogated his oath. Certainly he is not putting service of the people first.

The opposition is enjoying a bit of the boot being on the other foot, a little reaping of what has been sown, but it’s not threatening supply, not threatening to cut services.

There is nothing statesman-like in forcing the government to come back for a further increase in the ceiling later. It is all rather petty, silly and unnecessary, as Peter Martin has explained.

But shadow treasurer Chris Bowen’s game is not beyond the bounds of what has been played in recent years.

If Hockey is prepared to damage Australia’s reputation for sound government, to take us down to the US level, to hurt people dependent on federal services, just to avoid a little political embarrassment down the track, well, you see why I have found it hard to believe – that he would so quickly earmark himself as unfit for his position.

It also makes you wonder what his offsider, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, was doing visiting all those Tea Party types in Washington. It looks like he was there to learn from them, not about them.

Michael Pascoe is a BusinessDay contributing editor.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Meet the Socceroos 10am at Kogarah this Saturday

Friday, 15 November 2013 4:09 PM

Meet the Socceroos 10am at Kogarah this Saturday

The Socceroos are calling on all their supporters in the Sydney area to get out and support them ahead of their first ever clash against Costa Rica. New head coach Ange Postecoglou will be putting his recently named squad through their paces at an open training on Saturday 16 November, 10.00am – 12pm at Kogarah Oval – and everyone’s invited!

With time ticking down to the next year’s World Cup in Brazil, this will be one of the few chances to see our boys in action. All players will be signing autographs at the conclusion of the session and there will be free Socceroos merchandise giveaways.

Currently ranked 31st in the world, Costa Rica secured their own passage to Brazil on the back of their strong home form in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying. They have also qualified for the tournament on four occasions in their history, making them the most successful nation in Central America. So the Socceroos will need your support to give them an edge on home soil.

In order to attend fans must register their interest by clicking here. So get ready to don our colours and make the most of this opportunity, as we get behind our Socceroos and cheer them all the way to Brazil!

Socceroos Open Training Session
Saturday 16 November, 10.00am to 12pm
Kogarah Oval. 249 Princess Highway, Kogarah 2217.

Upcoming Match Details

Socceroos vs Costa Rica
Tuesday 19 November 2013
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick Off: 7.30pm
Gates Open: 6.00pm

The match will be broadcast live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS.

ON SALE INFORMATION
General Public on sale now. Click here to purchase tickets

Ticket Prices – General Public
Category A – $85 all tickets
Category B – $55 Adult, $30 Concession/Child, $140 Family
Category C- $30 Adult, $15 Concession/Child, $75 Family
Terrace Australis – $30 Adult, $15 Concession

Credit card and transaction fees apply.
Concession (Pensioner, Student, Child)
Pensioner – Aged,TPI (valid ID cards) including seniors cards
Student – Full time tertiary and secondary school students (valid ID required)
Child – 4–16 years inclusive (children 3 years and under are free unless they are occupying a seat)

 

Football Federation Australia

Flávio Ricco comenta o trabalho de Márcio Gomes nas Filipinas

 

É preciso destacar o trabalho do correspondente da Globo na Ásia, Márcio Gomes, e do seu cinegrafista, Luciano Tsuda, na cobertura do supertufão, “Haiyan”, que atingiu as Filipinas.

 

Superando dificuldades como alimentação, transporte e comunicação, entre outras.

Então é isso. Mas amanhã tem mais. Tchau!

 

Flávio Ricco com colaboração de José Carlos Nery

Flávio Ricco comenta as reações de alguns famosos com os problemas técnicos no VIVO Rio

 

 

Os problemas técnicos ocorridos terça-feira no Vivo Rio, por ocasião do prêmio Extra, deixaram alguns artistas da Globo à beira de um ataque de nervos…
… Marieta Severo era uma das mais incomodadas com as falhas na iluminação, o festival do acende-apaga.

 

Flávio Ricco com colaboração de José Carlos Nery

Valdemônio Sandiabo está paranoico …

 

Valdemiro Santiago teme que exista um plano da Universal para retirar a sua programação também da Rede TV!…
… A exemplo do que já aconteceu na Band.

 

Flávio Ricco com colaboração de José Carlos Nery