Japanese Mitsui chemical plant explosion, monitored via transmissions of NHK World Radio Japan

A fire at a chemical plant in Japan killed one and injured dozens, according to broadcasts monitored on international shortwave frequencies and Internet news and trade publication sources.

Picture 14

The NHK news includes news of a chemical plant explosion at Mitsui Chemicals' Iwakuni-Ohtake facility, which straddles areas in Yamaguchi and Hiroshima prefectures. The Mitsui Chemicals site identifies the site of the plant as 1-2, Waki 6-chome, Waki-cho, Kuga-gun, Yamaguchi 740-0061, and says the following chemicals are produced there:

  • PTA
  • PET resin
  • TPX
  • MILLION
  • APEL
  • Wax
  • Hydrocarbon resin
  • LUCANT
  • Gas pipes
  • Pelicles
  • Hydroquinone
  • Resorcinol
  • Meta/Para-cresol

ICIS.com, in a story by Tomomi Yokomura, reports that the fire was in the unit which produces resorcinol, an adhesive for wood and car tires.

This safety data sheet for resourcinol, otherwise known as CAS 108-46-3, 3-HYDROXYPHENOL or 1,3-benzenediol, m-dihydroxybenzene, describes that its dust is highly flammable.

Fukushima Diary reports (unconfirmed) nuclear materials on site. This was later confirmed in a Mitsui Chemicals press release.

I'm not able to be up to monitor this (it's late here in Ann Arbor, MI) but there is a YouTube video with a longer shot of the event.

Via the NHK World Radio Japan web site, here is a map of their transmissions on shortwave bands. The "Yamata" site marked is the primary transmission site in Japan.

Shortwave_transmission
I was able to pick up the transmission from Canada, marked as (1) here and on the March 25, 2012 frequency and broadcasting chart (PDF). Of course, the sound quality is much better on the Internet, but if you have a new (to you) shortwave set there's some satisfaction in just making contact.

Picture 13
I always find Japanese infographics to be interesting to look at and get ideas from.

– 30 –

Mandatory disclaimer: Nothing to disclaim at this time.

Copyright notice: The images in this article are Copyright NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) and are not to be further reproduced.

Also see: NHK World, UPI (quoting NHK),  Xinhua (quoting the local press), and Jiji Press (quoted by several, but I could not find the original story).

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