Thursday, March 31, 2011

Radioactivity 10,000 times the limit found from groundwater: TEPCO

URGENT: Radioactivity 10,000 times the limit found from groundwater: TEPCO
TOKYO, April 1, Kyodo
A radioactive substance about 10,000 times the limit was detected from groundwater around the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday.
A Tokyo Electric official said the radiation level is ''extremely high.''
The cooling system is not online, pumps are not working, and as much as forty-five tons of sea-salt has accumulated as a result of the desperate decision to flood the reactors with sea-water in the hopes of avoiding a worst-case scenario. The salts are crystallizing at hot-spots and forming a layer of insulation. There are also 3,450 still-fervid spent fuel rods sitting in half-empty pools and therefore exposed to the air. Compounding the issue, the wind changed on Friday...
There are 77,000 people in ad hoc emergency shelters. Another 62,000 live within the 30-kilometer zone. The United States Regulatory Agency (NRC) had advised extending the evacuation zone to 80 kilometers, which would require relocating 2 million.
There are more than 2,500 tons of uranium and plutonium in Fukushima. And Japanese emergency release valves for radioactive steam generated for active fuel rods do not have filters like plants in Germany and the United States. The Japanese, due to radiation levels, have not released the steam in a week, but that can't go on forever.
"This is not an exaggeration," German nuclear expert Helmut Hirsch says. "There is a gigantic radioactive inventory at Fukushima. At least 20 times as much as there was at Chernobyl."
Ministry spokesman Taku Ohara says the cesium was found in a cow slaughtered March 15 more than 70 kilometres from the plant. People within a 20-kilometre radius have been evacuated...
A spokesman for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday that radioactive contamination in groundwater 15 metres under one of six reactors there had been measured at 10,000 times the government standard.
beta radiation spike in California today - see
Water Sources
Surface water (including dam, river and lake) consists 72% of total annual intake, and ground water (including river-bed, shallow and deep well) consists 26% (2006). Therefore, most of the water supply sources can be easily influenced by pollutions such as eutrophication, oil spill accidents, etc....
 “Professor Christopher Busby, of the European Committee on Radiation Risks, says that what we are witnessing in Japan is even worse than Chernobyl and [will] probably be an end to nuclear industry worldwide. ‘I have said right from the beginning that this was a Chernobyl-level disaster,’ he said. ‘I would hope that it means that the nuclear industry is finished… But then I thought about Chernobyl and what happened there –there was a massive international cover-up by the nuclear lobby of all the health effects of the Chernobyl accident, which is only coming out now.’ “

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tohoku disaster may bring automakers to their knees

The auto industry disruptions triggered by the disaster in Tohoku are about to get worse.
News photo
Temporary shutdown: The General Motors Corp. assembly plant in Shreveport, La., appears in this aerial photo from 2003. AP PHOTO
In the weeks ahead, car buyers will have difficulty finding the model they want in certain colors, thousands of auto plant workers will likely be told to stay home, and companies such as Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and others will lose billions of dollars in revenue. More than two weeks since the natural disaster, inventories of crucial car supplies — from computer chips to paint pigments — are dwindling fast as Japanese factories that make them struggle to restart.
Because parts and supplies are shipped by sea, the real drop-off has yet to be felt by factories in the U.S., Europe and Asia. That will come by the middle of April.
"This is the biggest impact ever in the history of the automobile industry," said Koji Endo, managing director at Advanced Research Japan in Tokyo.
Much of Japan's auto industry — the second-largest supplier of cars in the world — remains idle. Few plants were seriously damaged by the quake, but with supplies of water and electricity fleeting, no one can say when factories will crank up. Some auto analysts said it could be as late as this summer.
Hitachi Automotive Systems, which makes parts such as airflow sensors and drive control systems, is waiting for its suppliers to restart while dealing with its own problems. Its plants are without water and gas, and have rolling electricity blackouts. Workers are repairing crumpled ceilings, fallen walls and cleaning up shattered glass. A spokesman said he doesn't know when its plants will reopen.
The uncertainly has suppliers, automakers and dealers scrambling. And it exposes the vulnerability of the world's most complex supply chain, where 3,000 parts go into single car or truck. Each one of those parts is made up of hundreds of other pieces supplied by multiple companies. All it takes is for one part to go missing or arrive late, and a vehicle can't be built.
When General Motors briefly shut a pickup plant in Shreveport, La., due to a lack of parts, it caused the partial closing of a New York factory that supplies engines for those trucks. Sweden's Volvo has warned that its production could be disrupted because it is down to a week's worth of some parts.
Car buyers will soon see higher prices and fewer choices. Some car colors will be harder to get because a paint pigment factory in Japan was damaged and shut production. As a result, Ford is telling dealers to stop ordering "tuxedo black" models of its F-150 pickup and Expedition and Navigator SUVs. It's also shifting away from some reds. The moves are precautionary, Ford said. Chrysler told dealers it was temporarily restricting orders of vehicles in 10 colors.
That worries some dealers, especially when popular colors like black could be in short supply.
"It's hard enough to sell a $60,000 Navigator in this economy," said Fortunes O'Neal, general manager at Park Cities Ford in Dallas. "We don't want to have to tell customers, 'You've got to pick another color."'
Customers also face rising prices for models like Toyota's Prius, which is made only in Japan. Fears of falling supply have some dealers driving a hard bargain with customers who want the fuel-efficient hybrid as gasoline prices rise. Recent discounts of 5 to 10 percent on that car are disappearing.
Japanese carmakers, who have shut most of their domestic plants, are warning that some of their overseas factories will stop running, too, in an effort to conserve supplies. Toyota and Honda expect shutdowns at North American plants. Honda said production could be interrupted after April 1. Even though most of its parts are sourced in the region, a few critical ones still come from Japan.
Goldman Sachs estimates the shutdowns are costing the Japan automakers $200 million a day, which adds up to $2.8 billion for just the past two weeks. Each week of continued shutdowns costs $1.4 billion. By comparison, Toyota made $2.3 billion in all of 2010, and its sudden acceleration recalls cost $2 billion. The cost of damage from Japan's natural disaster could dwarf that recall, which was considered Toyota's biggest crisis ever.

Osaka May Trump Tokyo as Energy Surplus Meets Quake Risk

Japanese companies may rethink their century-long trend of concentrating resources in Tokyo after the nation’s record earthquake crimped power supply to the capital and radiation concern spurred some residents to flee.
Production hubs in Japan should be shifted to the western part of the country and away from the Tokyo region to minimize disruptions to the country’s supply chain, Masamitsu Sakurai, head of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, the nation’s second-largest business lobby, said in Tokyo yesterday.
A shift in offices to Osaka and its Kansai hinterland would benefit an area that was for centuries Japan’s commercial center. Itochu Corp. (8001), an Osaka-based trading company, said it may move some people out of Tokyo and companies from Servcorp Ltd. (SRV), an office-lease and management firm, to recruiter Robert Walters Plc (RWA), anticipate a pick-up in business in the city.
“People may start to think it’s better to disperse their risks, that it’s better not to put all your eggs in one basket,” Hideo Hayakawa, the Bank of Japan’s Osaka branch chief, said in an interview last week. “These completely unanticipated threats will continue to hit us, as was the case with the tsunami and the nuclear power plants this time.” 

Special Cloth proposed to contain radiation

Media reports said that the government and the experts have been studying the feasibility of new steps such as covering reactors of the plant with special cloth to reduce the amount of radioactive particles flying away from the facility and using a big tanker to collect the contaminated water...

Plutonium detected in Soil

Japan on high alert over nuke plant

2011-03-29 07:33 Sendai - Japan said on Tuesday the government is on "maximum alert" over a crippled nuclear plant where highly radioactive water has halted repair work and plutonium has been found in the soil.

The earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan's northeast coast and left over 28 000 dead or missing also knocked out reactor cooling systems at the Fukushima plant, which has leaked radiation into the air and sea.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan conceded that the situation at the coastal atomic power station remained "unpredictable" and pledged that his government would "tackle the problem while in a state of maximum alert".

Emergency crews braving the radiation threat have used fire engines and pumps to pour thousands of tons of water onto reactors where fuel rods are assumed to have partially melted, and also topped up pools for spent fuel rods.

But the run-off from the stop-gap operation is now making it too dangerous for workers to go near several of the reactor buildings - already charred by explosions - to repair the cooling systems needed to stabilise the plant.

For now, however, they have no choice but to keep pumping water into the stricken reactors, said top government spokesperson Yukio Edano.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said his government is in a state of maximum alert over the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Elite Meta Sync released as stand-alone product

EES releases Elite Meta Sync as a standalone product.

Elite Meta Sync synchronizes your files between MT4 installations as well as creating a backup in your My Documents folder. Clients of EES FX will use this tool to get the latest updates from EES FTP server on a regular basis. For non-clients, this tool is a free tool that can keep your MT4 folders synced up.
Elite Meta Sync will sync your experts, indicators, dlls, libraries, and other files between all MT4 terminal installations.

For more information, visit

Friday, March 25, 2011

The story behind JPY volatility

Throughout much of the day Wednesday, the yen was on the rise but failed to cross the 80 level. Just before 5 p.m., however, the Japanese currency suddenly broke through. At first it bounced off its all-time high of 79.75, but then a wave of yen buying, predominantly against the U.S. dollar but also against the Australian dollar, swept through the markets.

Integral Development, which operates electronic trading networks, saw a flood of yen buying out of Japan. Volumes were eight times normal, said Harpal Sandhu, president of Integral. Some 90% of the trades were for less than $100,000. Typically at that time of day, 40% of the trades are from individual investors, Mr. Sandhu said.
"We think there were Japanese retail traders who were placing orders prior to going to work," Mr. Sandhu says.
Many of the trades appeared to have been stop-loss orders left in the market which would automatically buy yen as the currency hit certain levels. Others were unwinding so-called carry trades, which required them to buy yen and sell other currencies.
Conditions quickly deteriorated. Banks widened the gap between the prices where yen could be bought or sold to 50 or 100 so-called pips—tiny increments of currency prices. In normal trading, spreads are around 0.8 to one pip.

At Barclays Capital, the bank's electronic trading system went offline for its routine 15-minute reset at 5 p.m. Amid the heavy trading, the bank's risk management systems delayed the restart until 5:29 p.m.

Last minute USD short covering

* 25 Mar 11: 16:55(LDN) - FX NOW! EUR/USD, USD/JPY Flows - Last minute USD short covering made difficult by Plosser

USD's gradual rate of appreciation into Friday's close, which was fuelled most by dealers squaring positions in advance of the weekend, has accelerated in reaction to another Fed officials comments. Phil Fed's Plosser has made the simple observation that the Fed will need to tighten policy "soon". EUR/USD moved down through the 1.4100 level, where the sovereigns that were noted earlier have apparently gone home for the day/week. USD/JPY jumped up to highs of 81.45-50 and if it goes further the buyers will probably be making a number of exporters very happy. While the moves are dramatic, on the day, the extent of the moves are due mostly to the limited liquidity that is always the case in late Friday trading. Watch for technical support on EUR/USD at 1.4052 and resistance on USD/JPY up at 82.03. M.B.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Comment Closer EA released - tool for manual traders

The comment closer EA is an automated Expert Advisor that monitors your MT4 account for manual trades placed with comments. This is a tool for manual traders who want an automated means of closing orders entered manually.
To use the EA, when a manual order is entered, enter a value in the comment field such as “889”. Then, load Comment Closer onto any chart, and enter the corresponding comment value into the “Comment to Close” parameter field. Be sure the EA is switched on - and it will close orders with comments “889” based on criteria specified in later parameters (Close based on stop loss or profit target, a percentage of the trade, or a percentage of the account)

For EESFX Subscribers only

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Radiation enters US through Airports and Plume  United Nations forecast of the possible movement of the radioactive plume coming from crippled Japanese reactors shows it churning across the Pacific, and touching the Aleutian Islands on Thursday before hitting Southern California late Friday.

Japan Worst Case Scenarios explained

In the absence of a clear picture from the Japanese government of what is happening at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, a number of experts have stepped in to offer their take on what is currently unfolding and the worst-case scenarios that might occur. Tennessee State University's Dr. Michael Allen spent his early career at Sandia National Labs performing simulations of the world's worst nuclear-reactor accidents, including what happens when nuclear fuel is no longer submerged in water. (Yesterday, U.S. authorities in Japan said the pools of water in Unit 4 containing spent fuel rods, which are different from the reactor cores, had boiled dry.) Allen told the Knoxville News Sentinel that he's unsure whether a full-scale meltdown is inevitable, but he explained how it might occur.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Record Earthquake rocks Japan

A massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked northeast Japan late on Friday afternoon, setting a nuclear plant ablaze and unleashing a 10-metre tsunami that tossed ships inland and left at least 88 people dead.