Step-by-step demolition of the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, Tokyo

The Grand Prince Hotel in Akasaka, Tokyo was built in the 70s and it is one of the most notable buildings in that area of the Japanese capital. At the beginning of 2011 the hotel was closed for demolition. However, the plans had to be changed due to the Tohoku earthquake. The hotel was re-opened to host some of the homeless victims of the tsunami.

After almost a year, Taisei, a construction corporation, has been put in charge of the demolition using a new technique they have developed. The building is unmounted from the inside. For the method to work cleanly the higher floors are left until the very end. These floors are kept with temporary columns, as the lower floors are being eliminated. I know, it sounds a bit too cumbersome. It is easier if you see it in progress (in timelapse):

The method has the advantage of being safer than others and the noise level is kept low. Taisei is planning to use this technique to demolish buildings higher than 100m. Once the Grand Prince Hotel is gone, a new one will be built to replace it.

原発くん – Nuclear Boy

Kazuhiko Yatani created a cartoon character called 原発くん(げんぱつくん)aka Nuclear Boy to explain to his kid the Fukushima nuclear power plant situation. This has quickly turned into an animation that has been doing the rounds in some reports to try to explain the situation.  The explanation is not technical, but it tries to put the situation in a context that young kids can understand…

It stars Genpatsu-kun (Genpatsu is slang for a nuclear power plant, and -kun is a suffix used to address young boys), who has a bad stomach ache. Other characters inlcude  Three Mile Island in America, and Chernobyl-chan (-chan is a suffix used for kids of both genders).

What do you think? Is this helpful information? Or not?

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