Nuclear energy has long been controversial, and even in today’s modern societies, not everyone is convinced of the safety of nuclear energy. Take Japan, for example, perhaps the most progressive country in terms of technology today. They have been working on a nuclear reactor for a long time, and it was even suspended for 14 years.
The nuclear reactor is considered a fast-breeder. Dubbed the Monju Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor, it has once again come under the spotlight. The news is that the nuclear reactor has reached the status of criticality. That is, the nuclear chain reaction is now self-sustaining. This was the first of many tests that the nuclear reactor has to undergo before it can become fully operational. The target date is 2013.
The Monju Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor has more than technical issues to face. When it was shut down, it was for a serious reason: a fire occurred in 1995, which was covered up – or at least a cover up was attempted. Naturally, when the news came out, it sparked an outrage among the people of Japan. From the looks of it, though, the nuclear reactor just might be back in the game.
Fast-breeder reactors are supposed to be more advantageous than regular light-water reactors. The former uses uranium and plutonium; more so, it produces more plutonium than it consumes. The danger, as many governments see it, is the amount of plutonium produced – plutonium that may be used to make weapons. Japan, however, is placing utmost importance on this technology and aims to produce fast-breeders commercially by 2050.
Posted May 9th, 2010 by Maki+ | Comment (0)
Japan is known for so many things – the nationâ€™s excellence in technology and affinity for the environment are among of the most notable. On the 23rd of this month, Japan as once again shown leadership in both fields as they launched the first ever satellite meant to monitor greenhouse gases. ENS-Newswire published this report on that day:
The first satellite dedicated to monitoring greenhouse gas emissions as part of global efforts to combat climate change was launched into space today from Japan.
The IBUKI, which means “breath,” will circle the globe every 100 minutes at an altitude of some 670 kilometers (416 miles) and will monitor the levels of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane at 56,000 locations.
The satellite will acquire data covering the entire planet every three days and this data will be shared with other space and scientific organizations.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, launched the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) at 12:54 pm Japan Standard Time from the Tanegashima Space Center.
So how is this satellite important? Now really, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that greenhouse gas emission is one of the most significant factors in the degrading of our environment. If the emissions can be monitored closely, together with the analysis of their impact on the environment, perhaps measures can be taken quicker and more effectively. Of course, this means that everyone in the world should have to be cooperative in this respect. Now thatâ€™s another matter altogether, isnâ€™t it?
Posted January 24th, 2009 by Maki+ | Comments (2)
Japan has long been known for their cherry blossoms. In fact, it is a matter of honor for the Japanese. For hundreds of thousands of years, cherry blossom season has been observed as an important ritual for the Japanese as well as people from all parts of the world. Indeed, many travelers choose this season to visit the country. And why not? The beauty of the cherry trees blossoming is something to behold â€“ an experience not to missed.
This time, the Japanese government is carrying their pride and honor to another level. Cherry seeds are set to be sent out into outer space. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, has just approved a proposal for cherry seeds to be sent to the International Space Station which is orbiting the earth. There is currently a Japanese laboratory at the Space Station.
The people behind the proposal belong to the Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation, which is a private group of companies. Their idea is to send the cherry seeds to the Space Station in order to find out the effects of being in outer space on them. They will be staying in outer space for six months.
Of course, there is more to it than that. The cherry seeds will be traveling to space together with other seeds such as lilies and violets. According to Yuko Otake, a spokeswoman for the consortium, â€œScientific observation is one reason. But we also want the seeds to travel in space on our behalf as few ordinary people can go now.â€
Posted April 22nd, 2008 by Maki+ | Comment (0)
The main source of most electronics and technological gadgets today are surely to be easily traced from Japan. Having this distinction for quite some time now, many people are tracing via the Internet the leaks on new releases of modern technology. This of course was made possible through the proper optimization practices such by affordable search engine optimization to local sites as offered by teams like the Los Angeles SEO. There is surely a large market out there looking for first hand news on the latest trends and tricks today.
Moreover, Japan will always be synonymous with electronics. All it needs is to feed the latest gigs and deals and people will surely be raving and making their reviews. Add to this, release dates will be monitored since people always want to be the first to try them out, not matter what the cost may be!
That is simply how people are today, always after distinction.
Posted October 3rd, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments (2)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is set to launch its first lunar orbiter this August. The project, called SELENE (SELenological and ENgineering Explorer), is already understandably delayed due to its ambitious nature. In fact, the SELENE is considered to be the largest lunar mission since the US Apollo program. SELENE’s mission is to conduct observations for studies of the ENTIRE moon and not just parts of it. It aims to “collect scientific data on the formation of the moon and its transitional history up to today.â€
The SELENE project if successful will not only be a triumph to the scientific community but will also give Japan the edge it seeks to get ahead of China in their heated space race. Japan has grander plans after this project making SELENE a mere (but huge) stepping stone towards a lunar landing and even manned missions to space.
For their awareness campaign JAXA has launched the “Wish Upon the Moon” Campaign where anyone can send their names and messages, which will be delivered by SELENE to the moon.
Posted April 20th, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off
A 5.4 magnitude quake hit Japan yesterday at 12:19pm. The quake was centered in Mie prefecture, which is about 200 miles southwest of Tokyo. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency reported 11 injured with one serious injury. Other damages include partial damage to 26 houses in Mie and a 400 year old castle.
Earthquakes are pretty common in Japan being one of the most earthquake prone countries in the whole world. The reason for this is that the country sits atop four different tectonic plates. Japan, of course, being technologically advanced manages to cope with the problem with cutting edge earthquake-resistant buildings and regular earthquake drills. However, despite all their preparation they are still powerless when nature decides to unleash a powerful quake. All anybody can do then is hope that the preparation minimizes the damage and casualties.
The last killer quake (magnitude of 7.2) occurred in 1995 at Kobe wherein 6,433 people died.
Posted April 16th, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off
The Japanese have always been leaders in technology. This time, they are applying their knowledge and skill to combating global warming. In their efforts to reduce global warming, Japanese scientists are trying out a new method of sequestration. They have been testing the burying of CO2 under the seabed in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
According to Murai Shigeo, leader of the RITE carbon dioxide sequestration group, they â€œhave been able to show that carbon dioxide injection in Japan’s particular geological conditions is possible, and computer simulations based on our monitoring activity give a good idea of how the gas will behave over the next thousand years.” The implications of this study are short of amazing.
If found successful, a country would be able to get rid of about 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide in this manner. With the rest of the world becoming more aware of the need to actively fight global warming, this Japanese innovation is indeed very much welcome.
[tags]Japan, science and technology, environment, innovations, carbon dioxide, global warming, sequestration[/tags]
Posted March 18th, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off
Japan is undeniably a leader when it comes to innovations in the electronics industry. They have long been trying to come up with various applications for robotics. Who does not know about Asimo, Honda Motorsâ€™ child-sized robot? This time, however, a new robot is in the works â€“ with a twist. This new robot is Japanese to the core.
One of the most distinct things about the Japanese is that they consume large amounts of tea. This robot â€œknowsâ€ this fact and is programmed to serve tea to its owners. At present, the researchers at the University of Tokyo are still in the early stages of testing. Their prototype robot can pour tea from a bottle into a cup and deliver this cup â€“ but only in a special room with embedded sensors on the floor and ceiling. A big plus for this robot is that it is also programmed to do the dishes!
[tags]Japan, culture, innovation, electronics, robotics, robots, Asimo, tea[/tags]
Posted March 2nd, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off
The Japan Prize is Japan’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize, and in the field of science at least is considered by many to be second only to the esteemed Nobel. First given in 1995, it is Japan’s way to award and honour “significant and revolutionary achievements of originality” in science and technology “for the peace and prosperity of mankind.”
The prestigious award is given by the Science and Technology Foundation of Japan, for original and outstanding achievements in the advancement of science and technology, which are of benefit to peace for all mankind. Prize laureates win a cash prize of 50 million yen
(about $470,000.), as well as a certificate and medal of distinction.
Like the Nobel, there is no distinction made to laureates in concern to race, profession, or gender, except that they must be living. Also, a single person or a small group is eligable for the prize. Unlike the Nobel, who award a wider range of topics, from peace to literature, the Japan Prize is just awarded for achievements in Science and Technology (of benefit to peace).
Each January, the laureates are announced and the ceremony takes place during “Japan Prize Week”. The week highlights a number of activities centering on the theme, with academic lectures and so forth. The presentation ceremony itself is presided over by the Emperor and Empress of Japan, the Prime Minister and attended by eminent figures from around the world.
[tags]Japan Prize, awards, science and technology[/tags]
Posted January 10th, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off