Day 186 Henry, where’d you get that yoghurt?

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2011

#Radioactive Yogurt in Miyagi Prefecture, 6.5 Bq/kg Radioactive Cesium

This has to be the first time ever that radioactive cesium has been detected from yogurt by the official (government) testing, though I could be wrong.

Savechild.net has the information posted on the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare website. The ministry has been conducting the sampling tests on food items currently sold in the marketplace, while the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries do the sampling tests on produce before they are sold in the market.

According to the table below from the Ministry of Health, the yogurt was sold in Niigata Prefecture, and tested by the lab in Niigata Prefecture. The yogurt contained 3.4 becquerels/kg of cesium-134, and 3.1 becquerels/kg of cesium-137. It was made in Kami-machi in Miyagi Prefecture, about 135 km from Fukushima I Nuke Plant. But the distance doesn’t mean much, as the raw milk used to make yogurt could have come from anywhere and everywhere. (They do mix and match.)

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Plans to sell Fukushima produce in Fukuoka mall abandoned over criticism

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110912p2a00m0na011000c.html

FUKUOKA — Plans to sell produce from Fukushima Prefecture in a shopping mall here to support the prefecture in the wake of the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis have been abandoned amid a stream of complaints and threats.

Citizens group Fukushima Shop Project, which was behind the plans, said a booth selling produce from Fukushima Prefecture was due to open in the Marinoa City Fukuoka shopping mall in Fukuoka’s Nishi Ward on Sept. 17. However, after the plans became public, organizers received a stream of email complaints, including one that said, “Don’t bring Fukushima’s contaminated agriculture products here,” and another that threatened to launch a boycott campaign.

Organizers had planned to open the booth inside Kyushu no Mura Ichiba, a store in the shopping mall that sells farm produce directly. Rather than selling fresh products, they planned to sell processed products made from produce that was harvested in Fukushima Prefecture last year — before the nuclear crisis struck. They had said radiation tests would be conducted before products were sold in the booth.

However, the plans met a barrage of online criticism, and organizers received emails hinting that protesters would launch a boycott campaign against the whole shopping mall. On Sept. 7, Kyushu no Mura Ichiba officials told the organizers they didn’t want the booth, and organizers decided to abandon the plans.

“It’s unfortunate,” said a 70-year-old former senior official from the JA Fukushima agricultural cooperative. “We’re waiting to hear when the booth can be opened in a new area.”

(Mainichi Japan) September 12, 2011

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Lengthy stay in evacuation shelter creates obstacles for evacuees’ return to normal

The Suzukis, from left to right, Hideyuki, Rin, and Miho, are seen in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, on Sept. 6. (Mainichi)
The Suzukis, from left to right, Hideyuki, Rin, and Miho, are seen in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, on Sept. 6. (Mainichi)

KESENNUMA, Miyagi — For some people at a shelter here, a half-year as an evacuee has presented obstacles to returning their lives to normal.

At a city gymnasium here where, as of Sept. 9, 61 evacuees were living, there was a TV broadcasting a U.S. Major League baseball game with the volume turned low. Suddenly, the TV’s sound was drowned out by a loud broadcast across the shelter: “For your health, please remember to take walks.”

Takayuki Sato, 54, a boat crewman, moved his eyes from the television to the ceiling. “Even the announcements are the same, day after day,” he said. Outside it was raining.

Sato lost his home to the March 11 tsunami. Four days later, he arrived at the gymnasium shelter. Half a year has passed since then.

The shelter once held close to 2,000 evacuees. That number has gradually dwindled. Sato’s living space has expanded from being just barely big enough to sleep in to the size of a decently-large room. Food at the shelter switched from cooking rations on-site to premade “bento” meals. However, much of it is fried food, which he doesn’t want to eat too much of.

“What on earth was this half-year of absolutely no change?” complained Sato of his time in the shelter. He was once invited to join an outing on a saury ship, but he turned it down because his move-in date for temporary housing had not been decided yet. He worried that if the shelter were closed while he was out on the ocean, he would have no “home” to return to.

Also living in this shelter for this past half-year was Hideyuki Suzuki, 41, a chef, and his wife Miho, 25, and daughter Rin, 3. They finally moved out of the shelter and into temporary housing on Sept. 10 after being chosen on their fifth try at a temporary housing lottery.

However, having spent the better part of the last half year in the shelter has had an effect on Rin. When the Suzukis opened the front door to their new temporary residence, Rin stopped in her tracks. “It’s scary,” she said, and clung to her father.

Rin had been the object of others’ affection at the evacuation shelter. It had taken away her shyness around strangers, but in its place, to Rin it was no longer normal to live with only her mother and father.

After the March 11 disasters, Hideyuki’s work hours were reduced, and his monthly income fell by around 50,000 yen. Although he wants his wife to work, he worries about then sending Rin off to kindergarten, where she might not know anyone.

As of Sept. 9, there were 541 evacuees living in shelters in Kesennuma.

(Mainichi Japan) September 12, 2011

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Two reports from “Fukushima Diary” at http://fukushima-diary.com/ :

Breaking News: Japanese gov’s trying to stop citizen measuring radiation

Posted by Mochizuki on September 11th, 2011 · 3 Comments

On this morning’s NHK “Sunday Debate” program, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary-General Nobuteru Ishihara stated, “Geiger counters costing between 40,000 and 50,000 yen ($500-600) provide patchy measurements. We have to try and stop citizens from taking their own radiation measurements.” It seems that he really doesn’t like the fact that citizens are taking their own radiation readings. Even if the figures are patchy, the measurements still tell us correctly whether the radiation level is high or low.

Read the rest at:

http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/09/breaking-news-japanese-govs-trying-to-stop-citizen-measuring-radiation/

and this, conspicuously missing from mainstream media:

Breaking News: Public abuse against people

Posted by Mochizuki on September 11th, 2011 · 3 Comments

 

It has been exactly 6 months and today was 9/11 in JST.

Major demonstrations were held in Tokyo ,Chiba , Osaka ,Miyagi ,and Shimane etc.

In Tokyo,more than 11,000 people attended and 2,000 surrounded the building of the ministry of economy.

Police prepared a huge barricade in front of Shinjuku station,where is the center of anti-nuc demonstration.

They also brought right wing groups to control the people.

Read the rest at: 

http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/09/breaking-news-public-abuse-against-people/

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Related to the above:

Anti-nuke protesters, riot police clash – 12 arrested

09/12/2011

By 

TOKYO (majirox news) – Twelve anti-nuclear demonstrators were arrested Sept. 11 after clashing violently with riot police in a protest march near Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station, police said.

The Metropolitan Police Department said Shin Futatsugi, the organizer of the demonstration, was taken into custody for violating a Tokyo Metropolitan Government Public Safety Ordinance, and the remaining 11, all men, were arrested for obstructing execution of public duties.

All suspects were part of a crowd of about 2,200 that marched around JR Shinjuku Station to protest Japan’s use of nuclear power generation.

Police said the arrests arose from one of the men punching a riot police officer in the face. Futatsugi’s arrest came about because he disobeyed regulations regarding protest marches, allowing demonstrators to use sidewalks instead of keeping only to the road as required, the MPD said.

Link to photographer Pierre Boutier’s pictures of the demonstration that he sent Majirox News
:http://pierreboutier.photoshelter.com/gallery/12-antinuclear-activist-were-arrested-in-Shinjuku/G0000JFysOKxB_tQ/

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Sunday, Sep. 11, 2011
Six months on, few signs of recovery

Progress held back by debris, lack of jobs and slow planning

By TAKAHIRO FUKADA and SETSUKO KAMIYA
Staff writers

OTSUCHI, Iwate Pref. — After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami destroyed everything from houses to street lights, the town of Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, has been so dark and quiet at night it’s unnerving….

Read the rest at: 

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110911a1.html

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Sunday, Sep. 11, 2011

Cesium absorption through roots may have long-term effect on farming

Effect of contaminated soil on food chain sparks fears

By MIZUHO AOKI

Staff writer

Six months after the nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima Prefecture, the public’s awareness of the threat posed by radiation is entering a new phase: the realization that the biggest danger now and in the future is from contaminated soil.

News photo

The iodine-131 ejected into the sky by the Fukushima No. 1 power station disaster was quickly detected in vegetables and tap water — even as far away as Tokyo, 220 km south of the plant.

But contamination levels are now so low they are virtually undetectable, thanks to the short half-life of iodine-131 — eight days — and stepped up filtering by water companies.

But cesium is proving to be a tougher foe. The element’s various isotopes have half-lives ranging from two to 30 years, generating concern about the food chain in Fukushima Prefecture, a predominantly agricultural region, as the elements wash fallout into the ground.

The root of the problem is, well — roots….

Read the rest at: 

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110911a3.html

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Um, well, just a question before we begin the first part of this article… The chart below shows the condition of the reactors, but it does not include the status of the spent fuel pools, simply their temperatures.
Unless I am way off base, I believe that Reactor #4, which has been leaning dramatically and was “shored up” by TEPCO, has a spent fuel pool precariously hanging above the reactor. Another aftershock sufficiently large and strategically located could topple that structure and result in damage to that spent fuel pool. Should that be noted in the assessment?
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Sunday, Sep. 11, 2011
News photo

Plugging leaks will end crisis, not cold shutdown: analysts

Evacuees’ health said at risk if they return home after ‘Step 2’ achieved

Staff writer

Ever since the nuclear crisis erupted six months ago, the public has been clamoring to know when the damaged reactors at the Fu ku shi ma No. 1 power plant will be brought under control and when the nightmare will end.

The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., which runs the crippled plant, are working to bring the three reactors into cold shutdown by mid-January.

News photo

Cold shutdown means the temperature at the bottom of the pressure vessel, which holds the core, has been lowered to less than 100 degrees.

This critical milestone, known as “Step 2” in Tepco’s road map for containing the crisis, would limit the release of radioactive materials from the plant to less than 1 millisievert per year, a level that poses no health risks.

Since work at the plant is proceeding relatively smoothly, it appears likely the mid-January target will be met.

But Fukushima No. 1 will still have a long way to go before the flooded plant’s reactors are stable enough to be considered safe, experts warn. The main reason is the abundance of highly radioactive water.

“There are about 110,00 tons of contaminated water (in the plant) and the situation is still not completely under control because coolant water is leaking from the containment vessels.

There is no guarantee that the irradiated water won’t leak from the plant (and contaminate the environment)” if another natural disaster strikes, said Hisashi Ninokata, a professor of reactor engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Read the rest at: 

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110911f1.html

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Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) is the largest (Government affiliated) research organisation in Japan with over 4000 employees. They played a major role in promoting nuclear power, especially fast breeder reactors. On September 5 Professor Kaneko of Keio University mentioned in his tweets a conversation he had with his friend, Professor Kodama of Tokyo University who is organizing decontamination in Minami-Soma city. They went to school together when they were thirteen.

Professor Kodama complained a lot about seeing too many of JAEA people getting involved with the Nuclear Emergency Response Force in Fukushima and its decontamination projects. He says they don’t know anything about decontamination. One of them even suggested at the decontamination symposium in Minami-Soma on September 3 that mixing the soil surface with the soil underneath to reduce the radiation level below the permissible limit and pretending that decontamination has been done.

https://twitter.com/#!/masaru_kaneko/status/110544470386294784
https://twitter.com/#!/masaru_kaneko/status/110546576434409472

In July JAEA was appointed as decontamination adviser to Fukushima University (a national university). Iitate-mura, one of most contaminated cities, also appointed them as advisor. Professor Kaneko says JAEA is now desperately trying to protect their power and business interests. Mr. Hosono, Minister of the Environment, should stop excluding experts and private companies from their decontamination projects. Soon we’ll see many JAEA uniforms all over Fukushima and the water and soil will remain contaminated as they have no idea what real decontamination work is.

https://twitter.com/#!/masaru_kaneko/status/110549480008462336
https://twitter.com/#!/masaru_kaneko/status/110547710611951617

The Decontamination Law passed the Diet without deliberation a week ago. Under the law the Government is only responsible for decontaminating the evacuation areas and other areas exceeding 20mSv/yr. The Article 56 of the law states that the decontamination guideline is to be set by the Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC) that is set to merge with the Nuclear Safety Agency (NSA) next year. Today the Nuclear Safety Agency said that JAEA is the only research organisation in charge of determining the decontamination guideline. What make them think Tokyo Univ. and its Isotope Center is not qualified concerning decontamination?

https://twitter.com/#!/masaru_kaneko/status/111929863170043904

In Japan, even clean-up after a nuclear accident is governed by pro-nuclear forces…

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