Archive

Monthly Archives: October 2011

Local Fukushima residents seek compensation for decontamination gear, costs

Toshimichi Sato deploys a high-pressure water sprayer to clean a side ditch by his house in the Onami District in Fukushima, Fukushima Prefcture, on Oct. 24. (Mainichi)

Toshimichi Sato deploys a high-pressure water sprayer to clean a side ditch by his house in the Onami District in Fukushima, Fukushima Prefcture, on Oct. 24. (Mainichi)

FUKUSHIMA — Residents battling radioactive contamination in and around their houses, who purchased high-pressure water sprayers, are seeking compensation for their independent decontamination campaigns.

The residents are frustrated because such water sprayers bought by individuals are not covered by a compensation scheme carried out by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. Furthermore, the central government stipulated in late September that the state will shoulder decontamination costs when local governments conduct such decontamination work.

But the residents reacted angrily to the government policy, saying, “It is natural for individual expenditures for decontamination work to be compensated in light of the cause” of radioactive contamination. Municipalities concerned are joining the residents in asking the central government to change its policy.

Read the entire article at:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111031p2a00m0na017000c.html

 

First, read this from Mochizuki at fukushima-diary.com – Second, watch the video – Third, read the article just below the video, remembering that there are 54 nuclear reactors in a country that is overdue for some large earthquakes within the plates on which it stands. I would like to know 1) what these people were thinking when they built them in the first place, and 2) how the hell do we get out of this mess alive?

What must be done for melt out.

Posted by Mochizuki on October 30th, 2011 · 5 Comments

Currently,at least 3 reactors are having melt out.
Even Mr.Koide from Kyoyo University,who has been the most insightful advisory of us says,
there is no major risk of explosion as long as the fuel rods are underground.

Tepco announced they started building the impermeable wall on the sea side of reactor 1~4 on 10/28/2011. They say it takes 2 years to build.

However,in Chernobyl,the biggest concern was the explosion underground after melt out.
They put tons of human robots to settle it down.

They assumed if melted fuel touches the underground water vein,it would cause hydrovolcanic explosion so the entire area of Europe would be uninhabited.
Soviet union was also afraid of the contamination of river.
They ended up putting 800,000 people to settle it down and they suffer from severe health damage.

In Japan,everything is concealed and nobody seems concerned about hydrovolcanic explosion and water contamination though it is likely to be going on already.

Though Fukushima had container vessel,now that all of them were destroyed,the situation is similar to Chernobyl.

Roughly estimating,Chernobyl needed 800,000 people.
In Fukushima,reactor 1~6 are in crisis,which means 800,000×6=4,800,000 people are needed to dedicate their lives.

The video below is very insightful.
It explains what Soviet did to avoid hydrovolcanic explosion.
600 pilots died.
10,000 coal miners were put (all in 20s or 30s) into digging the hole under the reactor,and at least 2500 of them died before 40s.

In short,we must pay 6 times more price for Fukushima.
Yes,nuclear is cheap,and environmentally friendly.

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

File this under “idiots”:

Monju chief says fast breeder reactor project to shift focus

In this file photo, the nuclear reactor Monju is seen in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, on Nov. 16, 2010. (Mainichi)

In this file photo, the nuclear reactor Monju is seen in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, on Nov. 16, 2010. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The Japan Atomic Energy Agency, which runs the trouble-hit Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture, will shift the project’s focus on research from the current goal of generating power with a fast breeder reactor, its president has indicated.

In a recent interview with Kyodo News, JAEA President Atsuyuki Suzuki said the plan to build a demonstration fast breeder reactor and subsequently a commercial one after Monju “will find it hard to be understood by the public.”

“It would benefit not only Japan but the world that it (Monju) will be used as a reactor for trying various new technologies,” Suzuki said, reacting to growing calls in Japan for decommissioning Monju, which is already shut down due to a series of troubles.

The Monju reactor and related research have been regarded as key to realizing the country’s nuclear fuel cycle, in which spent nuclear fuel from Japanese power plants would be reprocessed for reuse as plutonium-uranium mixed oxide, or MOX, fuel. A fast-breeder reactor is aimed at producing more fuel than consumed by using MOX, with practical use planned for around 2050.

But the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry said last month that it has decided to postpone a trial run of Monju to allay public concern over its safety in the wake of the nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

The government is poised to “discuss every possibility” about Monju, including its decommissioning, at the Government Revitalization Unit’s screening of wasteful spending to be held in late November, a government source said separately.

Noting that resource-poor Japan could run out of energy in the future, the JAEA chief said, “If we can master the use of a fast-breeder reactor, it will enhance our national strength. So we should do the minimum needed (to establish fast-breeder technology).”

“At this point, I think there are more factors concerning research and development in the way we use Monju,” Suzuki said, mentioning possible new research purposes such as burning new types of fuel and reducing the amount of waste generated.

On the country’s nuclear fuel recycling program, Suzuki stressed the need for Japan to continue reprocessing nuclear fuel in a transparent manner as the world’s only nonnuclear weapons nation capable of large-scale reprocessing.

It is undesirable to allow only countries with nuclear weapons to monopolize reprocessing technology, he said.

By cultivating the basics for using a fast-breeder reactor in the future, Japan can also provide technological cooperation to countries like Russia, India and China which are eager to develop a fast breeder reactor, he also said.

Suzuki, who was professor at the University of Tokyo, assumed the top JAEA post in August last year after serving as chairman of the government’s Nuclear Safety Commission.

(Mainichi Japan) October 31, 2011

 

 

Published: October 31st, 2011 at 01:13 AM EDT
By ENENEWS STAFF 

Japan Gov’t on Containing Radiation: “We don’t have experience in this field” — “We’re talking about such a vast area” — Using methods not seen in U.S. for 5 decades

KORIYAMA, Oct. 31 — “Japan still is struggling to figure out how to clean up the mess, exacerbating fears about health risks and fanning mistrust of the government,” reports Yumiko Ono in today’s Wall Street Journal.

In fact, government policies may be increasing the spread of radioactive particles: According to the article, “Some experts say some ad hoc cleanup efforts risk spreading radiation further.”

For example, Ono says schools “are temporarily storing contaminated soil in holes dug within the school compounds and lined with plastic sheets.”

Of this ‘storage’ method, Kimberlee Kearfott, a University of Michigan nuclear-engineering professor who has served on U.S. government panels for nuclear cleanups, says:

  • Plastic isn’t a long-lasting seal against radioactive substances leaking.
  • If radioactive materials get into the ground water and are concentrated there that could be worse than soil contamination because it could spread rapidly.
  • “This type of shallow-pit burial has not been used in the U.S. since the 1960s.”
  • “This is definitely not a good idea.”

Officials at Japan’s environment ministry “concede the task is daunting,” according to the Journal article.

During an interview, Vice Minister Hideki Minamikawa said:

  • “We don’t have experience in this field.”
  • “We’re talking about such a vast area.”
  • “Currently, there are no clear signs yet on what needs to be done to make decontamination a success.”

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

Wall Street Journal article here:

  • OCTOBER 31, 2011
INVISIBLE MENACE

Radiation Cleanup Confounds Japan

 

110 micro Sv/h in Setagaya may be caused by a flown piece of control rod.

Posted by Mochizuki on October 30th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Following up the article,http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/10/breaking-news-110-micro-svh-in-setagaya/
from the further investigation,there is a possibility that europium-152 is under the ground.

Europium-152 is a material of control rod in a reactor. If that is true,a piece of the control rod flew from reactor 3 and got into sewage pipe in Setagaya.

After they measured 110 micro Sv/h,they measured higher radiation level of 170 micro Sv/h at 60cm away from the boarder to the next area.
They also suggested the possibility that highly radioactive sewage water is stocked under the supermarket.

If it it europium-152, it proves the reactor 3 had a nuclear explosion as it has been suggested.

(Source)

Disaster-area temple offers volunteers place to rest for winter

A worker puts together a bunk bed at Koshoji Temple in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture. (Mainichi)

A worker puts together a bunk bed at Koshoji Temple in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture. (Mainichi)

RIKUZENTAKATA, Iwate — A temple in this tsunami-hit area is offering volunteers a place to rest as approaching winter cold reduces the number of buses offering same-day returns.

“People who are complete strangers are coming to help us, so we felt we had to do what we could to repay them,” said the chief priest of the temple Koshoji.

With cold temperatures making mountain roads more dangerous, bus services that made it possible to go to a disaster-hit area and return the same day are starting to be put on hold for the season. Without cold weather it takes around two hours to travel to coastal Rikuzentakata from the main nearby inland cities, but with blizzards and frozen roads in winter, it will take longer to safely make the journey. Volunteer groups have been moving or removing their bases of operation because of this.

Koshoji was not directly hit by the disaster, but around 80 percent of the 450 or so families who support it with contributions lost their homes to the tsunami. For months after the disaster the temple was busy performing services for the deceased. Donations came in from friends and temple supporters, and those at the temple were trying to decide what to do with the money. They then heard about how volunteers needed a place to stay for the winter.

They opened up a building on the temple grounds that can hold about a dozen or so people, and they are putting up bunk beds to allow about a dozen more to be accommodated.

A 68-year-old woman who came from Hamamatsu to volunteer says she had spent some nights in her car, but with the temple facilities “winter will be alright as well.”

The number of volunteers heading into disaster areas per day by way of the Rikuzentakata Volunteer Center has already fallen far from the peak in Sept. 24 of 1,215 to around 180, but help is still needed to remove small debris in preparation for crop planting in the spring and to help prepare marine farms to resume operations.

Rumi Yasuda of Rikuzentakata’s social welfare council says, “It’s true that we are coming to a point where we need to get by on our own without help, but there are still many cases where help is needed, such as for the very elderly who have lost their spouses to the disaster. Projects like the one by Koshoji are very helpful for keeping volunteer help coming.”

(Mainichi Japan) October 31, 2011

A rather artistic rendition of daily updates of radiation levels in the Kanto area of Japan:

http://microsievert.net/html5.html

 

Advertisements

Mainichi reveals “Secret” at Japan nuke plant — Country has ‘latent’ possession of nuclear weapons

Japan’s leaders must face country’s ‘latent’ possession of nuclear weapons, Mainichi Daily News by Taro Maki, Expert Senior Writer, October 28, 2011:

[…] There’s a little “secret” to the reprocessing plant [at Rokkasho in Aomori Prefecture], however.

On July 17, 1988, Japan implemented revisions to the Japan-U.S. Nuclear Agreement that would allow Japan to construct nuclear fuel reprocessing plants, despite strong opposition from the U.S. Congress. Using its own enrichment technology, it was now possible for Japan, in theory, to produce the raw materials necessary to build nuclear bombs.

By 2005, the year I last visited Rokkasho, the facility had been subject to 11 routine inspections and 14 unannounced inspections from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose aim was to ensure that the plant was not producing any such materials. Despite being a nonnuclear weapons state, Japan was now a “latent” nuclear weapons state. Japan claims it is protected against threats from other countries by the U.S. nuclear umbrella, but the rest of the world sees Japan as a state that would not hesitate to possess nuclear arms, if the circumstances called for it.

The call to eliminate our dependence on nuclear power has become widespread since the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant began. And yet, our leaders have failed to make any mention of the country’s latent nuclear weapons capacity.

The true elimination of our dependence on nuclear power, however, must include our abandonment of nuclear weapons possession. The decisions we face now hold the key to the security of our country.

Excessive cesium detected in greenhouse-grown mushrooms in Fukushima

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111030p2g00m0dm023000c.html

FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) — Radioactive cesium exceeding the designated limit has been detected in shiitake mushrooms grown in greenhouses at a farm in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, the prefectural government said Saturday.

The prefectural government has asked the city of Soma and dealers to stop shipment of the mushrooms, and a local agricultural cooperative has begun recalling them after they were found to contain 850 becquerels of cesium per kilogram, exceeding the 500-becquerel limit set by the state.

The farm in question has grown the mushrooms on beds made of a mixture of woodchips and nutrients, and the woodchips used in them are suspected to have been contaminated with the radioactive substance, according to the local government. The mushroom beds were sold by the Soma agricultural cooperative.

The farm has shipped 1,070 100-gram packages of shiitake mushrooms since Monday, and they are believed to have been sold at nine supermarkets in the prefecture from Tuesday. No other shiitake mushrooms produced by the farm have entered the market, it said.

(Mainichi Japan) October 30, 2011

 

Radioactive soil to be disposed of 30 yrs after interim storage

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The Japanese government said Saturday it will seek the final disposal of soil and other waste contaminated with radioactive substances emitted from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant within 30 years after they are collected in a storage facility in Fukushima Prefecture.

What the government calls an “interim” storage facility should be in use within around three years, with an estimated storage capacity of 15 million to 28 million cubic meters and a total site area of about 3 to 5 square kilometers.

Read the entire article at:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111030p2g00m0dm016000c.html

 

OurPlanet TV: What’s Happening to Children Now? (7/14/2011)

Our Planet TV is an Internet-based station “with no religious or political affiliations. It was founded by a small group of producers, video journalists and other media professionals who questioned the way mainstream media covered 9.11 and the events that followed.” (from their website)

One of the programs, ContAct, did an interview with Mika Noro, which was webcasted on July 14, 2011. Ms. Noro has been active in helping children in areas affected by the Chernobyl nuke plant accident, and after the Fukushima accident her organization has been setting up free medical consultations for mothers and children in Fukushima.

(More details at:)

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/10/ourplanet-tv-whats-happening-to.html

 

Radioactive Forests

Posted: October 24, 2011 by survivaljapan

I have recommended for us as citizens to monitor radioactivity also in our relatively spared areas, especially near incinerators and mountain spots where wild garbage dumps spoil forests (Cf. Mid-October Status & Editorial in SurvivalJapan). It turns out that the government seems to be candid about its intention to pollute forests with radioactive waste as reported by Yomiuri Shimbun, a mainstream news media whicharticle is reproduced hereafter. The same newspaper also mentions, in a differentarticle, the risk of internal contamination by radioactive pollen from cedars (cryptomeria or in Japanese “sugi”). Many people are allergic to these during pollination – the risk here is much more serious. When yellow dust was found in the rain in the no man’s land, I surmised it was sulfur (Cf. Typhoon Roke Aftermath In Fukushima in SurvivalJapan) created by nuclear reaction on-going at Fukushima while some other people proposed uranium, plutonium compounds or simply pollen from China. If pollen it was, one can imagine how far cedar pollen could fly within Japan. Fortunately, dominant winds usually spare our areas from the no man’s land fallout – but facial masks remain highly recommended during pollination even outside the no man’s land (Cf. Of Gloves And Masks in SurvivalJapan). Although now symbolic in Japan, sugi was introduced after WWII to replace forests burnt by American bombings and as an effort to promote wood industry. The article about sugi pollen is also reproduced below, however there is no “harmless” level, contrary to what Satoshi Yoshida, an expert on radiation ecology and a senior researcher at the Research Center for Radiation Protection of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (again some Orwellian Newspeak), states in the article. Radioactive particles which gets into the human body are harmful in minute quantities which do not compare to external exposure effects of the same dose. In some regions within the no man’s land, local people have decided to fall whole forests with the aim to protect forest workers from cesium supposedly concentrated in tree leaves and burn the wood. However it may be true that these forests are dangerous places, the solution offered by human beings is as usual worse than the original problem. Radioactive forests will remain a hot topic.

Read the entire article at:

http://survivaljapan.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/radioactive-forests/#more-728

Cesium-137 flow into sea 30 times greater than stated by TEPCO: report

In this photo from a footage of a live camera released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), black smoke billows from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in Okumamachi, northeastern Japan, on March 22, 2011. (AP Photo)

In this photo from a footage of a live camera released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), black smoke billows from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in Okumamachi, northeastern Japan, on March 22, 2011. (AP Photo)

PARIS (Kyodo) — The amount of radioactive cesium-137 that flowed into the Pacific after the start of Japan’s nuclear crisis was probably nearly 30 times the amount stated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. in May, according to a recent report by a French research institute.

The Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety said the amount of the isotope that flowed into the ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant between March 21 and mid-July reached an estimated 27.1 quadrillion becquerels. A quadrillion is equivalent to 1,000 trillion.

Of the amount, 82 percent had flowed into the sea by April 8, according to the study, which noted that the amount released as a result of the disaster triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami was unprecedented.

The report also said the Pacific was polluted at an exceptional speed because the plant stands in a coastal area with strong currents, though it said the impact of the contamination on marine life in remote waters is likely to wane from autumn.

But the institute warned that a significant degree of pollution would remain in waters off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo. Radioactive cesium-137 has a half life of around 30 years.

(Mainichi Japan) October 29, 2011

 

Panel lowers limit of radiation in food

Experts quiz decision to ignore external exposure

Staff writer

Health minister Yoko Komiyama announced Friday that the government will lower the allowable amount of radiation in food products from 5 millisieverts per year to 1, but some experts are puzzled.

Permanent limits for various categories of food will be set based on recommendations submitted Thursday by the government’s food panel.

The current limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram of radiation for meat, fish and vegetables is also expected to be lowered by about one-fifth in April.

Citing findings from various studies, the food safety panel concluded Thursday that a cumulative dose of 100 millisieverts or more throughout one’s lifetime poses significant health risks.

But experts question the focus solely on internal exposure from food and drink, while ignoring external exposure from radioactive materials, such as fallout on the ground, roofs and in ditches.

“I can’t think of a reason why they decided to omit external exposure as a factor in the proposal this time,” said Dr. Eisuke Matsui, who heads the Gifu Environmental Medicine Research Institute.

The radiology expert noted that while consuming food contaminated with radiation is a far bigger risk to human health than being exposed to radiation from the environment, it does not mean it can be disregarded.

“Think of the children in the cities of Fukushima or Minamisoma, where there is a relatively high level of radiation in the environment,” Matsui said. “Any guideline on radiation should consider the total exposure and not only the limit of contaminated food one can consume.”

Article continues at:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20111029a1.html

 

Emergency press conference reveals 110 microsieverts per hour at Tokyo supermarket

http://enenews.com/breaking-emergency-press-conference-reveals-110-microsieverts-per-hour-at-tokyo-supermarket

TOKYO, Oct. 28 — Breaking news from Mochizuki, “110 micro Sv/h in Setagaya.”

“In Setagaya, Tokyo, ward mayor held an emergency press conference at 10PM,” says the report. They announced the 110 micro Sv/h near ‘Powerlarks Setagaya’ supermarket.

“If an average citizen measured it, it might be way higher,” notes Mochizuki.

Major Study: Reactor No. 5 releases may explain why so much radioactive xenon detected… or “recriticality has occurred in one of the reactor units”

SOURCE: Xenon-133 and caesium-137 releases into the atmosphere from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, Stohl, A., Seibert, P., Wotawa, G., Arnold, D., Burkhart, J. F., Eckhardt, S., Tapia, C., Vargas, A., and Yasunari, T. J., October 20, 2011

“Fortunately, due to the maintenance outage and the survival of one diesel generator, it seems that unit 5 reactor cores as well as spent fuel ponds have not suffered major fuel damage,” says the study.

Though, Reactor No. 5 is mentioned again several pages later:

“Total a posteriori [experienced levels] 133Xe emissions are 16.7 EBq, one third more than the a priori value [predicted levels] of 12.6 EBq (which is equal to the estimated inventory) and 2.5 times the estimated Chernobyl source term of 6.5 EBq.”

If there was only 12.6 EBq of xenon-133 inventory that could be emitted from reactors 1-3 and spent fuel pool No. 4 — yet 16.7 EBq was experienced — where did the extra xenon come from, according to the study?

  • There is the possibility of additional releases from unit 5.”
  • Another possibility is that recriticality has occurred in one of the reactor units.

The study says the a priori emissions could have been overestimated, but discounts the notion that the initial 12.6 EBq figure so poorly underestimated the amount of xenon in Reactors 1-3 and SFP 4, “It is unlikely that the 133Xe inventories of the reactor units 1–3 were one third higher than estimated.”

ABSTRACT: ACPD – Xenon-133 and caesium-137 releases into the atmosphere from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant: determination of the source term, atmospheric dispersion, and deposition

SOURCE: Discussion Paper

NOTE: ENENEWS.com also has this headline for the above research publication:

“High concentrations” of radiation hit US and Canada — Plume was rich in Cesium-137 and “close to the surface” from Vancouver southward — See also Hawaii, Florida (MAPS)

 

 

 

 

 

***Please circulate****

Fukushima Women’s Sit-In (Oct. 27-29) / All Japan Women’s Sit-In

(Oct.30 – Nov.5)

Fukushima women have rallied, saying,“We shall not abandon children in
this war zone drenched in invisible radiation!”

More than 100 women of Fukushima have made the decision to end their
silence and take a stand against current Japanese energy policy. They
will sit-in in front of METI October 27 – 29, 10am – 3pm.
Please see this URL for their press release:
http://www.greenaction-japan.org/internal/111026_PressRelease_Fukushima_100_Women.pdf
Contact: (In Japanese)
OGA Ayako  +81-80-1807-6999
KURODA Setsuko  +81-80-3195-0229

In solidarity, women from all over Japan will come to Tokyo from
October 30 and stage a sit-in at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and
Industry until November 5. (9am – 6pm)
See this URL for our statement:
http://www.greenaction-japan.org/internal/111026_fukushima-women_sit-in_flyer.pdf
Blog:
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/onna_suwarikomi/20111020
Contact: Aileen Mioko Smith +81-90-3620-9251

PLEASE SEND MESSAGES OF SOLIDARITY TO:
onna_suwarikomi@yahoo.co.jp

Please help keep international attention focused on the ongoing nuclear
accident and women’s efforts to end nuclear power in Japan by visiting
the sit-in or sending a message of solidarity.

Yours sincerely,
Aileen Mioko Smith
Executive Director,
Green Action

———
Green Action
Suite 103, 22-75 Tanaka Sekiden-cho
Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8203 Japan
Tel: +81-75-701-7223
Fax: +81-75-702-1952
Cell:+81-90-3620-9251
email: amsmith@gol.com
URL: http://www.greenaction-japan.org/
http://fukushima.greenaction-japan.org/

 

 

More at:

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/send-your-message-of-solidarity-to-japanese-w/blog/37427/

 

 

 

“No More Nuclear Power” 100 Women from Fukushima: A Sit-in Action in Tokyo

With English subtitles:

 

USTREAM of the event at:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/iwakamiyasumi5

Hey, AP, you forgot to include something below, third paragraph from the end. Here, let me make a correction for you:

…Some radiation from the accident has also been detected in Tokyo and in the United States, but SOME experts say they expect no significant health consequences there. Yet other experts believe there will be major repercussions – to children in particular – as a result of the radiation released from the explosions at three reactors at the Daiichi Nuclear Power plant….

– – – – – –

Nuclear radiation from Fukushima twice more than estimated: report

NATIONAL OCT. 28, 2011 – 12:45PM JST ( 63 )

(AP)NEW YORK —

The Fukushima nuclear disaster released twice as much of a radioactive substance into the atmosphere as Japanese authorities estimated, reaching 40% of the total from Chernobyl, a preliminary report says.

The estimate of much higher levels of radioactive cesium-137 comes from a worldwide network of sensors. Study author Andreas Stohl of the Norwegian Institute for Air Research says the Japanese government estimate came only from data in Japan, and that would have missed emissions blown out to sea.

The study did not consider health implications of the radiation. Cesium-137 is dangerous because it can last for decades in the environment, releasing cancer-causing radiation.

The long-term effects of the nuclear accident are unclear because of the difficulty of measuring radiation amounts people received.

In a telephone interview, Stohl said emission estimates are so imprecise that finding twice the amount of cesium isn’t considered a major difference. He said some previous estimates had been higher than his.

The journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics posted the report online for comment, but the study has not yet completed a formal review by experts in the field or been accepted for publication.

Last summer, the Japanese government estimated that the March 11 Fukushima accident released 15,000 terabecquerels of cesium. Terabecquerels are a radiation measurement. The new report from Stohl and co-authors estimates about 36,000 terabecquerels through April 20. That’s about 42% of the estimated release from Chernobyl, the report says.

An official at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, the Japanese government branch overseeing such findings, said the agency could not offer any comment on the study because it had not reviewed its contents.

It also says about a fifth of the cesium fell on land in Japan, while most of the rest fell into the Pacific Ocean. Only about 2% of the fallout came down on land outside Japan, the report concluded.

Experts have no firm projections about how many cancers could result because they’re still trying to find out what doses people received. Some radiation from the accident has also been detected in Tokyo and in the United States, but experts say they expect no significant health consequences there.

Still, concern about radiation is strong in Japan. Many parents of small children in Tokyo worry about the discovery of radiation hotspots even though government officials say they don’t pose a health risk. And former Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said the most contaminated areas inside the evacuation zone could be uninhabitable for decades.

Stohl also noted that his study found cesium-137 emissions dropped suddenly at the time workers started spraying water on the spent fuel pool from one of the reactors. That challenges previous thinking that the pool wasn’t emitting cesium, he said.

 

 

Um, what, “thank you?” A little late, donchya think?

Gov’t to slash upper limit on internal radiation exposure from food

See link below for full article:

The government will tighten the provisional safety limit for annual internal radioactive cesium exposure through food intake from the current 5 millisieverts to 1 millisievert by around April 2012.

[snip]

A Health Ministry report released in July has revealed that each person in the country was estimated to have been internally exposed to an average of about 0.1 millisievert per year of radiation through food intake since the onset of the nuclear crisis.

“Under the current provisional safety limit, consumers are experiencing increased anxiety as they watch radiation measurements. Tightening the safety limit will reassure many people,” said Hisa Anan, secretary-general of the National Liaison Committee of Consumers’ Organizations.

– – – –

And here’S EX-SKF’s take on it (just the first four paragraphs. Please hit the link and read the rest.)

Lifetime Cumulative Limit of Internal Radiation from Food to Be 100 Millisieverts in Japan

That’s the formal recommendation of the experts on the government’s Food Safety Commission.

External radiation is not counted in this number, as opposed to their draft plan in July which did include external radiation, and it is in addition to the natural radiation exposure (by which is meant pre-Fukushima natural).

The experts on the Commission didn’t rule on the radiation limit for children, leaving the decision to the Ministry of Health and Labor as if the top-school career bureaucrats in the Ministry would know better.

Yomiuri and other MSMs are spinning it as “tightening” the existing provisional safety limits on food.

This very informative article continues at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/10/lifetime-cumulative-limit-of-internal.html

 

Cesium flew further than 1200km

(See article with charts at:)

http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/10/cesium-flew-further-than-1200km/

According to the report of Japanese ministry of environment,
Cesium 134 ,137 were measured from refuse incineration ash even in Ogasawara mura,where is 1200km south west to Fukushima plants.

(Bq/Kg)
From the ash trapped by the air filter
Cs134 48.2
Cs137 66.8
Total 115

From the rest of the ash
Cs134 ND
Cs137 13.6
Total 13.6

Sample taken 7/11/2011

There literally is nowhere to evacuate in Japan.

 

Oh boy, has EX-SKF been busy. Here are some of his headlines with links. Stop over there and read these – well worth your time.

 

France’s IRSN New Estimate on Amount of Cesium-137 into the Pacific Ocean: 27,100 Terabequerels, or 20 Times TEPCO’s Estimate

From Jiji Tsushin (10/28/2011):

フランス政府系の放射線防護原子力安全研究所(IRSN)は27日、東京電力福島第1原発事故後の3月21日から7月半ばまでに海に流出した放射性セシウ ム137の総量は2.71京ベクレル(1京は1兆の1万倍)で、東京電力が6月に発表した推計値の20倍に達すると推定した調査報告書を公表した。

On October 27, the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN, Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire) of France announced its research report in which the researchers estimated the total amount of radioactive cesium-137 leaked from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean was 27,100 terrabecquerels from March 21 to mid July. The IRSN estimate is 20 times as much as the estimate announced in June by TEPCO.

….

   – – – – – – – – – –

Fukushima I Nuke Plant: 2,600 Bq/Liter Tritium in Water Being Sprayed in the Plant Compound

On October 24, TEPCO quietly released the analysis of the water being sprayed in the plant compound, supposedly for fire and dust suppression.

The water comes from the basements of Reactors 5 and 6, and is treated, apparently, by the system that uses reverse osmosis. TEPCO assures us the water is safer than the seawater cleared for ocean bathing, though it does exceed the WHO standard….

   – – – – – – – – – –

Radiation in Japan: 80 to 120 Microsieverts/Hr Bush in Koriyama City, Fukushima

It’s been over 7 months since the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident started, and it does look like natural concentration of radioactive materials may be happening in eastern Japan.

57.5 microsieverts/hour radiation from the soil in the city-owned land in Kashiwa City, Chiba sounded extraordinarily high when first reported, but maybe not so.

Fukushima Chuo Television (FCT) reported that the radiation level near the ground in a bush right by the railroad station was found to be 80 to 120 microsieverts/hour in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture….

– – – – – – –

This Is What Passes as “Decontamination” in Fukushima (for That Matter, in Japan)

Date City in Fukushima Prefecture, 60 kilometers northwest of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and with high radiation areas and spots all over the city, has started the city-wide “decontamination” effort on October 26, according to Fukushima Minyunewspaper (10/27/2011). According to the article,

 この日の除染作業では、市が委託した清掃業者が、民家の雨どいにたまった泥などを取り除いたほか、軒先を高圧洗浄機で洗い流した

In today’s decontamination work, the cleaning contractor hired by the city removed the sludge in the rain gutter at a residence, and washed the frontage of the house with a power washer.

That’s called “decontamination” in Japan, instead of “yard cleaning”.

So I looked for any video footage of “decontamination” in Date City. I didn’t find the latest effort, but I did find the ones from this summer, when the city carried out decontamination with the help of volunteers and the advice from Dr. Shunichi Tanaka, former acting commissioner of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (under the Cabinet Office) and current decontamination advisor to Date City….

(article continues with videos)

 

Yomiuri: Local gov’t near Tokyo unable to handle “such a high level of radiation” — Cesium clouds spread over many areas of capital — 57 µSv/hr area yet to be decontaminated


“A radiation hotspot in Kashiwa has still not been decontaminated a week after radiation of 57.5 microsieverts per hour was recorded,” reports The Daily Yomiuri.

The city says it cannot handle such a high level of radiation on its own.

“After the outbreak of the nuclear crisis, clouds containing cesium spread over a widespread area, causing relatively high levels of radiation at many locations in the Tokyo metropolitan area,” explained Yomiuri.

 

 

Breaking News: 31 years old Fukushima worker sent to emergency medical service

At the press conference of 10/27/2011, Tepco announced that one of the Fukushima workers from a sub-contract company, 31 years old was sent to the emergency medical service.

More details at:

Former UN Advisor: Many scientists are emphasizing precarious situation of Fukushima Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 — If rods spill onto ground, it will force Tokyo and Yokohama to close

The Need for Independent Assessment of the Fourth Reactor, Gordon Edwards, Ph.D., October 25, 2011:

“In his recent blog, entitled “The Fourth Reactor and the Destiny of Japan”, Akio Matsumura correctly identifies the spent fuel pool in Unit 4 as the most serious potential threat for further massive radioactive releases from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.”

The Fourth Reactor and the Destiny of Japan, Akio Matsumura, September 29, 2011:

“I, along with many eminent scientists, are emphasizing the precarious situation of the fourth reactor that contains 1,535 nuclear fuel rods in the pool and is balanced on the second floor, outside of the reactor containment vessel. If the fuel rods spill onto the ground, disaster will ensue and force Tokyo and Yokohama to close, creating a gigantic evacuation zone. All scientists I have talked with say that if the structure collapses we will be in a situation well beyond where science has ever gone. The destiny of Japan will be changed and the disaster will certainly compromise the security of neighboring countries and the rest of the world in terms of health, migration and geopolitics. The Japanese government should immediately create an independent assessment team to determine the structural integrity of the spent fuel pool and its supporting structure. This is of the highest importance: the structure’s security is critical to the country’s future.”

Gov’t expects more than 30 years to decommission Fukushima nuclear reactors

In this image released Saturday, April 16, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., top of the container of the nuclear reactor, painted in yellow, of Unit 4 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant is observed from its side with a T-Hawk drone Friday, April 15, 2011 in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)
In this image released Saturday, April 16, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., top of the container of the nuclear reactor, painted in yellow, of Unit 4 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant is observed from its side with a T-Hawk drone Friday, April 15, 2011 in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

Japan is expected to take more than 30 years to fully decommission crippled nuclear reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, according to a draft report compiled by the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan obtained by the Mainichi on Oct. 26.

It is the first time for the government’s body to officially state that it is expected to take “more than 30 years” to decommission the troubled No. 1 to 4 nuclear reactors. According to the draft report, the work to remove spent nuclear fuel from nuclear fuel pools would begin sometime after 2015, while the work to remove melted nuclear fuel from the reactors would start sometime after 2022. The draft report is expected to be endorsed at a study meeting on Oct. 28 of experts on medium- and long-term measures.

At the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, there are a total of 1,496 spent nuclear fuel rods in the No. 1 to 3 reactors, while there are 3,108 fuel rods in the spent nuclear fuel pools of the No. 1 to 4 reactors. In order to actually decommission the reactors, those fuel rods must be recovered, cooled down and stored under stable conditions for a long time.

According to the draft report, the work to decommission the reactors is expected to start as early as next year after a “cold shutdown” is achieved by the end of this year. In order to recover melted nuclear fuel from the reactors, robots and other means would be used to decontaminate the interior of the reactor buildings before repairing damaged parts of the containment vessels. Furthermore, in order to block radiation, the entire containment vessels would be filled with water so that the work to recover melted nuclear fuel could be started sometime after 2022.

Meanwhile, damage to the fuel in the spent nuclear fuel pools is relatively minor, but the existing cranes cannot be used because the reactor buildings, except for the one for the No. 2 reactor, were badly destroyed by hydrogen explosions. Therefore, new cranes have to be brought in to start to recover the fuels sometime after 2015 after fitting out the temporary storage facility installed near the No. 4 reactor.

In this March 24, 2011 file aerial photo, taken by a small unmanned drone and released by Air Photo Service, the damaged Unit 4 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. (AP Photo/ Air Photo Service)

In this March 24, 2011 file aerial photo, taken by a small unmanned drone and released by Air Photo Service, the damaged Unit 4 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. (AP Photo/ Air Photo Service)

In light of the fact that it took about 20 years to recover all fuels at the Three Mile Island nuclear complex, the draft report said it was estimated to take “at least more than 30 years to complete the measures to decommission” the reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. In order to decommission the reactors as early as possible, it is necessary to 1) positively accept opinions from experts abroad, 2) respond flexibly if the plans do not work properly, 3) put priority on research and development essential for the actual work to be done on the spot, and 4) cultivate engineers at home, the draft report says.

At the Fukushima plant, the decommissioning work has to be carried out on the four reactors simultaneously, and therefore it is likely to be an extremely difficult mission. For this reason, the draft report says, “it is necessary for both public and private sectors to join forces as ‘all Japan’ to proceed” with the project. Along with the “Nuclear Safety Agency” to be set up next spring, the draft report for the first time stressed the need to form a third-party organization tasked with checking the progress in the decommissioning work.

(Mainichi Japan) October 27, 2011

Via Fukushima-Diary.com:

Abnormal smoke from reactor 2

Starts around 1:05 minutes into the video.

TEPCO won’t build retaining wall to stop radioactive water seeping into ground water

In this June 30, 2011 photo released on July 5, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., sliding concrete slabs, seen above orange floats, have been set in the upper part of a sluice screen for the Unit 2 reactor at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, as part of TEPCO's efforts to reduce the leaking of radiation contaminated water into the ocean. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

In this June 30, 2011 photo released on July 5, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., sliding concrete slabs, seen above orange floats, have been set in the upper part of a sluice screen for the Unit 2 reactor at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, as part of TEPCO’s efforts to reduce the leaking of radiation contaminated water into the ocean. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, has given up a plan to install a land-side retaining wall aimed at preventing radioactive water from permeating into the ground water, the utility has announced.

The utility, however, will construct an ocean-side retaining wall to prevent contaminated water from leaking into the sea, starting on Oct. 28.

TEPCO had initially planned to build a land-side retaining wall (an underground dam) as well, thereby surrounding all four sides of the reactor buildings and turbine buildings of the No. 1 through No. 4 reactors at the plant, in order to prevent highly radioactive water from coming into contact with the ground water.

In this June 12, 2011 photo released on July 5, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., masked workers in protective outfits prepare to drop a sliding concrete slab into a slit of the upper part of the sluice screen for the Unit 2 reactor at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in their effort to decrease the leaking of radiation contaminated water into the ocean. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

In this June 12, 2011 photo released on July 5, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., masked workers in protective outfits prepare to drop a sliding concrete slab into a slit of the upper part of the sluice screen for the Unit 2 reactor at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in their effort to decrease the leaking of radiation contaminated water into the ocean. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

However, the utility concluded that such a plan would be “ineffective” on the grounds that the ground water in the area flows only downward into the ocean as the area’s terrain is seaward-dipping and building a U-shaped retaining wall on the land side would make no point in preventing contaminated water from leaking into the ocean. The utility also said a land-side retaining wall would lower the ground water level around the reactor and turbine buildings, raising the risk of contaminated water leaking from those buildings. In addition, the utility said, the construction of such a wall would require the removal or relocation of existing facilities surrounding the buildings.

TEPCO will start a drilling survey to assess the depths of the ground water ahead of the construction of the ocean-side retaining wall, which will take two years to complete. Some 700 piles of sheets, each measuring 22 to 24 meters long, will be driven in over an approximately 800-meter-long stretch, the utility said.

(Mainichi Japan) October 27, 2011

Column from one of our correspondents

http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/10/column-of-correspondent/

東京近郊の横浜にあるマンション屋上から ストロンチウムが検出されました。
でもこのニュースは日本国民にとっては悪夢の序章にしかすぎません。

In Yokohama, located on the outskirts of Tokyo, radioactive strontium was detected on a roof. But this news is nothing but the beginning of the nightmare for the Japanese citizens
.
東北の食材を食べて応援しよう、というスローガンを掲げる農林水産省の担当者は、「ストロンチウムは原発から30km以遠は飛ばない」
との仮定のもとに、セシウム300Bq/kgの飼料および400Bq/kgの肥料、そして100Bq/kgの養殖魚飼料を「全国に」解禁してしまいました。

Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) put up the slogan “Help the Tohoku region (Northeast of Japan) by eating their products”, based on the assumption that “Strontium is not moving further than 30 km from a nuclear power plant”. As a consequence MAFF lifted the ban on food products for animals containing less 300 bq/kg and 400 bq/kg for fertilizers; they also lifted the ban on cultured fish feed stuff containing less than 100 bq/kg“across the whole country”.

汚染された地域で生産された畜産飼料、肥料が全国に流通し、国土の汚染は政府の号令のもとに、さらに人為的に拡大されます。

The feed stuff produced in contaminated areas and fertilizers are being distributed in the whole country and, in addition to that, contaminated soil has been largely distributed artificially under governmental orders.

つい先日も、日本の最南端の沖縄、今現在私が疎開している沖縄県にすら、セシウム17500Bq/kg以上に汚染された腐葉土が流通し、すでに消費され、いまだに全部回収できていません。

Only a few days ago, in Okinawa district, located in the southern-most region of Japan, where I evacuated, leaf mold (humus) contaminated with over 17,500 bq/kg has been distributed and they couldn’t recover all of it, because it had already been used.

全国で生産される食品は汚染の危機に瀕しています。
驚くべきことに、農林水産省は、牛において3000Bqの飼料を食べさせることを公式に許可しました。その牛は、例えば、九州に移動し12ヶ月以上、300Bqの飼料を食べさせれば出荷が可能になります。そのときの「産地表示」はどうなるのか、
あなたはご存知ですか?

The food items produced in the whole country are in danger of being contaminated.

Incredibly, MAFF has officially permitted that cattle should be fed with feedstuff containing 3,000 bq/kg. Those cows, for example, will be moved to Kyushu and if they’ll be fed with foodstuff containing 300 bq/kg for over 2 months, they will probably be shipped. Will you know then what will be the “indication of origin”?

さらに恐ろしいことには、すでに3000頭以上の汚染牛、および汚染疑い牛が市場に流通しており、その多くがすでに国民に消費され、極一部は回収されましたが、それはあくまで「精肉部分」の回収であり、汚染牛の「骨ガラ」が回収されていないのです。
私は直接厚生労働省に確認しましたが、回収どころか業界への通達もしていないとの回答が帰ってきました。

Besides, frighteningly, over 3,000 contaminated, and other almost countless possibly contaminated cows have already been distributed on the market and most of the meat already been consumed by the population, which means that only a small percentage was recovered. But this is only “partially dressed beef”, while their “bones” (skeletons) haven’t been recovered.

I checked directly with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, but the reply was that they are far from being recovered; they didn’t even send an official notice to the market.

この問題は日本ではタブー視されているのか、どこのメディアも触れていません。
汚染牛の骨ガラは、その後、「肉エキス」「ブイヨン」「骨エキス」「ゼラチン」「牛脂」、多くの加工食品に使用されます。骨炭は砂糖等の精製にも使用されます。
カレーやシチュー、ラーメンや、ソース、フライドポテトの揚げ油やアイスクリーム等、多数の食品に利用されています。
もちろん、医療用にも工業用にも肥料、飼料にもそれらは活用されています。

I wonder if this problem is made into a taboo in Japan, because there is nothing about it in the media.

The “body carcasses” of the contaminated cows, then the “meat extract”, “bullion”, “bone extract”, “gelatin”, “beef fat” etc are used in many processed foods. The bone char (ashes of animal bones, used as a coloring agent) is even used when refining the white sugar and so on. They are used in a large number of foods, like curry and stew , ramen and sauces, frying oil for French fries, ice cream etc.

Of course, they are also used in medical products, industrial products, food products for animals,fertilizers.

そこで考えてみてください。
ストロンチウムが一番蓄積される場所はどこと言われていますか?
私たちは骨ガラからできる加工品を、知らないで食べさせられているのです。
そして汚染地域から移動した家畜は「牛」だけではありません。。

That’s why I ask you to think about this:

In which part of the body were we told that strontium accumulates in the first place?

We are being fed, without knowing, processed product which are made by bones.

Additionally, cows are not the only animals moved from the contaminated areas.

沖縄県に避難中の私たち母子は、先日ブラジル産のチキンを購入しようとスーパーに行きました。
味付け の された チキンが そこにありました。
そしてその原料の中には「肉エキス」が含まれていました。
この肉エキスについて、消費者には、汚染牛が混入してるか否かを調べる術はありません。

We, a mother and child, who evacuated from contaminated areas to Okinawa, went to a supermarket the other day to buy some Brazilian chicken.

There was seasoned chicken there.

And it was written that “meat extract essence” is included in the ingredients. The customers can’t check if whether that “meat extract essence” comes from contaminated beef or not.

アルミ缶の汚染も深刻な問題となっており、汚染されたアルミの放射性濃度を下げるために、汚染されていないアルミで薄めるなど、とんでもないことが行われていることを知り、その問題についてメーカーの表示が何もなされていないために、私は輸入ビールしか飲んでいません。

Contaminated aluminum cans are are also a serious matter; to reduce the concentration of radioactivity in contaminated aluminum they mix it with not contaminated aluminum etc. Because I know that a lot of terrible things happen, and because I can’t get any indications from the makers, I only drink imported beer.

私たちは政府の愚策(もしくは未必の故意)によって、知らない間に内部被ばくさせられています。
環境省は、汚染瓦礫を日本全土に送り、そこで焼却処理させることを決定しています。
私たちは日本のどこにももう逃げるところを見つけることができません。

Due to the government’s inane plan (or willful negligence), we are being exposed to radiation before we know it.

The Ministry of Environment sends contaminated debris all over Japan and it’s been decided that it will be incinerated.

We can’t find any more place to run within Japan.

(Article continues with German translation at: http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/10/column-of-correspondent/)

Researcher says 4 quakes could trigger huge tsunami

October 24, 2011

In a terrifying scenario where four massive earthquakes strike in conjunction along the ocean trench from off the Tokai region to Shikoku, a 20-meter tsunami in Kochi Prefecture and a 15-meter tsunami in Shizuoka Prefecture could be unleashed, a computer simulation has found.

Takashi Furumura, a professor at the Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo, also said that such combined earthquakes would trigger a tsunami as high as 4 meters in a part of Tokyo Bay.

The professor presented his study at the Seismological Society of Japan meeting on Oct. 14 in Shizuoka.

Furumura simulated an earthquake combined with two powerful temblors–the Hoei earthquake of 1707 and the 1605 Keicho earthquake.

The Hoei quake saw simultaneous Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai temblors, while the Keicho quake occurred along the shallow part of the Nankai Trough.

Strong ocean-trench temblors have repeatedly occurred along the trough.

Furukawa’s simulation estimated that the earthquake would be at the magnitude-8.8 level and could trigger tsunami 1.5 to 2 times higher than that of the Hoei earthquake.

In Tosa Bay in Kochi Prefecture, where the government estimates that a 10-meter tsunami at maximum is possible, a 20-meter tsunami would strike, the simulation found.

In Suruga Bay, a 10-meter tsunami would occur, compared with the government estimate of 6 meters at the maximum.

Furukawa predicts that a 17-meter tsunami would strike part of the Tokai region, while a 15-meter tsunami would engulf part of the Kii Peninsula.

Those compare to the tsunami estimated of at least 9.3 meters in height that struck Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, from the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Furumura also simulated huge earthquakes in which ruptures of four temblors occur in conjunction in short intervals.

The largest tsunami to be spawned by the quakes could top 15 meters in Suruga Bay, 3-4 meters at the mouth of Tokyo Bay and more than 2 meters at the closed-off section of Tokyo Bay, the researcher predicted.

Researcher says 4 quakes could trigger huge tsunami

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/analysis/AJ2011101815125

October 24, 2011

In a terrifying scenario where four massive earthquakes strike in conjunction along the ocean trench from off the Tokai region to Shikoku, a 20-meter tsunami in Kochi Prefecture and a 15-meter tsunami in Shizuoka Prefecture could be unleashed, a computer simulation has found.

Takashi Furumura, a professor at the Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo, also said that such combined earthquakes would trigger a tsunami as high as 4 meters in a part of Tokyo Bay.

The professor presented his study at the Seismological Society of Japan meeting on Oct. 14 in Shizuoka.

Furumura simulated an earthquake combined with two powerful temblors–the Hoei earthquake of 1707 and the 1605 Keicho earthquake.

The Hoei quake saw simultaneous Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai temblors, while the Keicho quake occurred along the shallow part of the Nankai Trough.

Strong ocean-trench temblors have repeatedly occurred along the trough.

Furukawa’s simulation estimated that the earthquake would be at the magnitude-8.8 level and could trigger tsunami 1.5 to 2 times higher than that of the Hoei earthquake.

In Tosa Bay in Kochi Prefecture, where the government estimates that a 10-meter tsunami at maximum is possible, a 20-meter tsunami would strike, the simulation found.

In Suruga Bay, a 10-meter tsunami would occur, compared with the government estimate of 6 meters at the maximum.

Furukawa predicts that a 17-meter tsunami would strike part of the Tokai region, while a 15-meter tsunami would engulf part of the Kii Peninsula.

Those compare to the tsunami estimated of at least 9.3 meters in height that struck Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, from the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Furumura also simulated huge earthquakes in which ruptures of four temblors occur in conjunction in short intervals.

The largest tsunami to be spawned by the quakes could top 15 meters in Suruga Bay, 3-4 meters at the mouth of Tokyo Bay and more than 2 meters at the closed-off section of Tokyo Bay, the researcher predicted.

Asahi: Western Tokyo may have been contaminated when radiation plume fell to ground after Reactor No. 2′s core was exposed, says Japan prof.

http://enenews.com/asahi-western-tokyo-contaminated-radiation-when-plume-fell-ground-after-reactor-2s-core-exposed-japan-prof

Excerpts from The Asahi Shimbun’s Oct. 24 AJW article Expert: Radioactive materials reached Kanto via 2 routes

  • “Hiromi Yamazawa, a professor of environmental radiology at Nagoya University, said the first radioactive plume moved through Ibaraki Prefecture and turned northward to Gunma Prefecture between late March 14 and the afternoon of March 15. Large amounts of radioactive materials were released during that period partly because the core of the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 plant was exposed. “The soil was likely contaminated after the plume fell to the ground with rain or snow,” Yamazawa said, adding that western Saitama Prefecture and western Tokyo may have been also contaminated.”
  • “Earlier this month, the prefectural government asked 35 municipalities to decide whether radioactive materials will be removed. High radiation levels were detected in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, known as a hot spring resort. Mayor Yoshimasa Kishi said the town could be mistaken as a risky place if it decides to have radioactive materials removed.”
  • “In Kashiwa and five other cities in northern Chiba Prefecture, radioactive materials need to be removed over an estimated 180 square kilometers of mainly residential areas.”
More at http://enenews.com/asahi-western-tokyo-contaminated-radiation-
when-plume-fell-ground-after-reactor-2s-core-exposed-japan-prof

French map shows dispersion of radioactive cesium-137 in North America after Fukushima

Tokyo ignored calls to issue iodine during crisis

October 26, 2011

By YURI OIWA / Staff Writer

As the quake-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was spewing radiation, the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan urged the central government to issue iodine tablets to residents in affected areas. But Tokyo apparently ignored the advice.

Iodine tablets help to protect the thyroid gland from the effects of radiation exposure.

At least 900 people should have been issued the medication under the NSCJ’s safety standards, but the central government did not issue instructions to municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture to lessen the health risk faced by residents.

Had those people taken the tablets, they would have markedly lowered the absorption of radiation in their thyroid glands following hydrogen explosions at the No. 3 and No. 4 reactor buildings on March 14 and 15, respectively.

Cesium and strontium were among radioactive materials leaked from the plant.

Article continues at:

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/analysis/AJ2011102615825

Fallout forensics hike radiation toll

Global data on Fukushima challenge Japanese estimates.

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111025/full/478435a.html

Geoff Brumfiel

The Fukushima accident led to mass evacuations from nearby towns such as Minamisoma.The Fukushima accident led to mass evacuations from nearby towns such as Minamisoma.AP Photo/S. Ponomarev

The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March released far more radiation than the Japanese government has claimed. So concludes a study1that combines radioactivity data from across the globe to estimate the scale and fate of emissions from the shattered plant.

The study also suggests that, contrary to government claims, pools used to store spent nuclear fuel played a significant part in the release of the long-lived environmental contaminant caesium-137, which could have been prevented by prompt action. The analysis has been posted online for open peer review by the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

Andreas Stohl, an atmospheric scientist with the Norwegian Institute for Air Research in Kjeller, who led the research, believes that the analysis is the most comprehensive effort yet to understand how much radiation was released from Fukushima Daiichi. “It’s a very valuable contribution,” says Lars-Erik De Geer, an atmospheric modeller with the Swedish Defense Research Agency in Stockholm, who was not involved with the study.

The reconstruction relies on data from dozens of radiation monitoring stations in Japan and around the world. Many are part of a global network to watch for tests of nuclear weapons that is run by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna. The scientists added data from independent stations in Canada, Japan and Europe, and then combined those with large European and American caches of global meteorological data.

Stohl cautions that the resulting model is far from perfect. Measurements were scarce in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima accident, and some monitoring posts were too contaminated by radioactivity to provide reliable data. More importantly, exactly what happened inside the reactors — a crucial part of understanding what they emitted — remains a mystery that may never be solved. “If you look at the estimates for Chernobyl, you still have a large uncertainty 25 years later,” says Stohl.

Nevertheless, the study provides a sweeping view of the accident. “They really took a global view and used all the data available,” says De Geer.

Challenging numbers

Japanese investigators had already developed a detailed timeline of events following the 11 March earthquake that precipitated the disaster. Hours after the quake rocked the six reactors at Fukushima Daiichi, the tsunami arrived, knocking out crucial diesel back-up generators designed to cool the reactors in an emergency. Within days, the three reactors operating at the time of the accident overheated and released hydrogen gas, leading to massive explosions. Radioactive fuel recently removed from a fourth reactor was being held in a storage pool at the time of the quake, and on 14 March the pool overheated, possibly sparking fires in the building over the next few days.

 

But accounting for the radiation that came from the plants has proved much harder than reconstructing this chain of events. The latest report from the Japanese government, published in June, says that the plant released 1.5 × 1016 bequerels of caesium-137, an isotope with a 30-year half-life that is responsible for most of the long-term contamination from the plant2. A far larger amount of xenon-133, 1.1 × 1019 Bq, was released, according to official government estimates.

The new study challenges those numbers. On the basis of its reconstructions, the team claims that the accident released around 1.7 × 1019 Bq of xenon-133, greater than the estimated total radioactive release of 1.4 × 1019 Bq from Chernobyl. The fact that three reactors exploded in the Fukushima accident accounts for the huge xenon tally, says De Geer.

Xenon-133 does not pose serious health risks because it is not absorbed by the body or the environment. Caesium-137 fallout, however, is a much greater concern because it will linger in the environment for decades. The new model shows that Fukushima released 3.5 × 1016 Bq caesium-137, roughly twice the official government figure, and half the release from Chernobyl. The higher number is obviously worrying, says De Geer, although ongoing ground surveys are the only way to truly establish the public-health risk.

Stohl believes that the discrepancy between the team’s results and those of the Japanese government can be partly explained by the larger data set used. Japanese estimates rely primarily on data from monitoring posts inside Japan3, which never recorded the large quantities of radioactivity that blew out over the Pacific Ocean, and eventually reached North America and Europe. “Taking account of the radiation that has drifted out to the Pacific is essential for getting a real picture of the size and character of the accident,” says Tomoya Yamauchi, a radiation physicist at Kobe University who has been measuring radioisotope contamination in soil around Fukushima.

 

Stohl adds that he is sympathetic to the Japanese teams responsible for the official estimate. “They wanted to get something out quickly,” he says. The differences between the two studies may seem large, notes Yukio Hayakawa, a volcanologist at Gunma University who has also modelled the accident, but uncertainties in the models mean that the estimates are actually quite similar.

The new analysis also claims that the spent fuel being stored in the unit 4 pool emitted copious quantities of caesium-137. Japanese officials have maintained that virtually no radioactivity leaked from the pool. Yet Stohl’s model clearly shows that dousing the pool with water caused the plant’s caesium-137 emissions to drop markedly (see‘Radiation crisis’). The finding implies that much of the fallout could have been prevented by flooding the pool earlier.

The Japanese authorities continue to maintain that the spent fuel was not a significant source of contamination, because the pool itself did not seem to suffer major damage. “I think the release from unit 4 is not important,” says Masamichi Chino, a scientist with the Japanese Atomic Energy Authority in Ibaraki, who helped to develop the Japanese official estimate. But De Geer says the new analysis implicating the fuel pool “looks convincing”.

The latest analysis also presents evidence that xenon-133 began to vent from Fukushima Daiichi immediately after the quake, and before the tsunami swamped the area. This implies that even without the devastating flood, the earthquake alone was sufficient to cause damage at the plant.

The Japanese government’s report has already acknowledged that the shaking at Fukushima Daiichi exceeded the plant’s design specifications. Anti-nuclear activists have long been concerned that the government has failed to adequately address geological hazards when licensing nuclear plants (see Nature 448, 392–393; 2007), and the whiff of xenon could prompt a major rethink of reactor safety assessments, says Yamauchi.

The model also shows that the accident could easily have had a much more devastating impact on the people of Tokyo. In the first days after the accident the wind was blowing out to sea, but on the afternoon of 14 March it turned back towards shore, bringing clouds of radioactive caesium-137 over a huge swathe of the country (see‘Radioisotope reconstruction’). Where precipitation fell, along the country’s central mountain ranges and to the northwest of the plant, higher levels of radioactivity were later recorded in the soil; thankfully, the capital and other densely populated areas had dry weather. “There was a period when quite a high concentration went over Tokyo, but it didn’t rain,” says Stohl. “It could have been much worse.”

Additional reporting by David Cyranoski and Rina Nozawa.

High levels of radiation detected at 2 schools in Chiba Prefecture

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111026p2a00m0na010000c.html

ABIKO, Chiba — High levels of radiation have been detected on the premises of two elementary schools here, local education authorities have revealed.

According to the Abiko Municipal Board of Education, 11.3 microsieverts of radiation per hour was detected just above the surface of the ground near a ditch in the compounds of the Abiko Municipal Daiichi Elementary School on Sept. 15. The amount was 1.7 microsieverts in the air 50 centimeters above the ground.

Soil had piled up in the ditch, which had been damaged by growing tree roots, a situation similar to a residential area of the Chiba Prefecture city of Kashiwa where 57.5 microsieverts per hour was detected.

Radioactive cesium amounting to 60,768 becquerels per 1 kilogram of soil was found in the ditch.

The amount of radiation 50 centimeters above the ground had declined to 0.6 microsieverts per hour by Oct. 7 after the soil was removed.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry pointed to the possibility that rain water contaminated with radioactive cesium overflowed from the ditch, soaked the nearby soil and accumulated in it.

At the Abiko Municipal Namiki Elementary School, 10.1 microsieverts per hour of radiation was detected near the surface of the ground where sludge removed from its swimming pool had been buried.

The school covered the area with a waterproof tarp and piled up dirt on the tarp to decrease the radiation emissions, after which 0.6 microsieverts per hour was detected 50 centimeters above the ground.

The two schools have sealed off the areas where high levels of radiation were detected.

(Mainichi Japan) October 26, 2011

Food safety fair features radiation monitors

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/26_24.html

An annual food safety exhibition has opened in Tokyo with devices for measuring radiation on display for the first time.

Machines that use a conveyor belt to run food past a radiation sensor proved very popular on Wednesday. They can check an item’s radiation level in 12 seconds, which means a number of foods can be tested in a short time.

The devices are in high demand from farmers’ cooperatives, beef processors and restaurant chains, despite a minimum price tag of 56,000 dollars.

Also on display are small devices that check foods placed in a beaker for radioactive substances.

They are intended for companies and even housewives. The most inexpensive types cost about 9,000 dollars.

An official at a confectioner said the company wants to learn how to take steps to alleviate consumers’ fears on its own.

An official from a manufacturer of radiation monitoring devices said the company wants to help farmers dispel rumors that their products may be contaminated.

The exhibition runs through Friday.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 15:54 +0900 (JST)

 

Volunteers lend an ear to brighten lives of earthquake victims

An older man talks with a volunteer at a temporary housing unit in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture. (Mainichi)
An older man talks with a volunteer at a temporary housing unit in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture. (Mainichi)

MORIOKA — A volunteer organization here is helping earthquake and tsunami victims recover from their devastating experience by simply being there for them to listen to their stories.

Seven months after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the emotional damage caused by the freighting experience is still haunting many. It is even stronger among the elderly who live at temporary housing units alone, away from their homes and previous surroundings.

An organization based in Morioka in Iwate Prefecture has addressed the problem of elderly people’s loneliness by dispatching volunteers to share time with them and listen to their stories.

Whether through recollections of the earthquake day itself, or simple random talk, the conversations provide a chance for the victims to escape — even if temporarily — from their anxieties and isolation.

As of present, over 330 volunteers have visited evacuation shelters and temporary housing units in some of the prefecture’s most heavily damaged towns, including Rikuzentakata, Otsuchi and Yamada.

“I feel a bit relieved now having done something different. It was fun,” says a 79-year-old man, who lives alone at a temporary housing unit in Otsuchi, after spending about an hour talking with a volunteer.

“Their gloomy facial expressions change into a bright smile after talking for some time,” said Kazutaka Fujiwara, 58, a volunteer with the organization. “What we do is fulfilling.”

(Mainichi Japan) October 26, 2011

Municipalities divided over nuke plants restart

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/26_13.html

Japanese municipalities hosting nuclear power plants are divided over whether reactors that are currently offline should resume operations.

An association of host cities and towns held a meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday. Mayors and officials from 15 communities attended.

The main issue discussed was resuming power generation at reactors which have been idle since the March accident at Fukushima Daiichi.

44 of 54 nuclear reactors in Japan are currently offline. They have no prospects of being restarted soon after data errors were found in safety stress tests required before bringing them back online.

Complicating the issue is the manipulation of public opinion on nuclear power at explanatory meetings for local residents that came to light in summer.

Some municipalities demanded the restart of reactors to benefit their economies after their safety is confirmed.

But others remained cautious, preventing the association from reaching a conclusion.

One representative noted the cause of the Fukushima accident has not been confirmed. Another said neither the central government nor power utilities have clarified their policies on the future of nuclear power in Japan.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 10:41 +0900 (JST)

Tokai No. 2 plant reports radioactive water leakage

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/10/122531.html

TOKYO, Oct. 26, Kyodo

Water containing radioactive substances has leaked from a reactor pressure vessel at the Tokai No. 2 power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, although there was no release of toxic substances into the outside environment, the government’s nuclear safety agency said Wednesday.

Some 64 tons of water may have escaped from the pressure vessel to the outer primary container of the plant’s boiling water reactor, which is undergoing regular checkups, the agency said. The incident has not affected the cooling process of the nuclear fuel, it said.

According to plant operator Japan Atomic Power Co., workers erroneously loosened a screw located at the bottom part of the pressure vessel, resulting in the leakage of water. Water splashed onto four workers, but they were not exposed to radiation.

The following is one example of why radiation is being spread all over Japan. Does the government expect no one to drive, walk, run, use trains, anywhere from up north to the the southwest without carrying some of the radiation with them? Farmers burn their rice stalks, and it gets spread through the air. Trees will release it in pollen next spring, and it will become airborne until the rains come and the cycle starts again.
Published: October 25th, 2011 at 08:22 PM EDT
By ENENEWS Staff

“Just the tip of the iceberg”: Van emitting 110 uSv/hr — Ended up 370 miles from Fukushima in Kobe — “Dangerously radioactive” vehicles must be resold within Japan

Though barred from export, used car dealers have resorted to re-registering vehicles to disguise the origin, and selling them to customers “who have no idea of the risk to which they are being exposed”.

One van was so radioactive that “sitting inside it for two hours a day will expose the occupant to more than the government’s recommended maximum dose over the course of a year”. It “emitted radiation at a level of 110 microsieverts an hour,” according to a reporter for the Asahi Shimbun.

A car dealer told Asahi, “It is just the tip of the iceberg. If high radiation is detected, decontamination is too difficult. This is why such vehicles are auctioned within Japan.”

The van’s owner said, “I decontaminated repeatedly after the test, and retested the filter of the air conditioner, the wipers and tyres, replacing them thoroughly, but the radiation level dropped only to 30 microsieverts per hour. I decided to sell the vehicle in Japan because I couldn’t afford to lose the money.”

“The vehicle eventually sold at auction in Kobe, 370 miles from Fukushima,” according to The Times.

Reporter hot on the trail of a radioactive vehicle

http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201110250335.html

BY AKIHIRO YAMADA STAFF WRITER

2011/10/26

photo

Vehicles for export are lined up on a pier at Sakai-Senboku Port in Izumi-Otsu, Osaka Prefecture, where a radioactive used vehicle was brought. (Ryo Ikeda)

It’s not the stuff of legends, but a rumor has been circulating among used car dealers about a used vehicle with a high radioactive level that has been popping up for sale in various locations in Japan.