Fukushima cedar pollen to be tested
The Forestry Agency will test cedar pollen in Fukushima Prefecture for radiation from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, agency officials said Friday.
If high radiation is detected, the test data might be incorporated into cedar pollen forecasts the Environment Ministry will announce later this year before the pollen starts raising allergy problems in early spring.
The agency has requested funds to pay for the tests from the third supplementary budget for fiscal 2011 so they can be conducted as early as next month.
The cedar forests in Fukushima cover about 185,000 hectares and account for about 20 percent of the prefecture’s forests, the officials said.
Chiba Pref. city finds major radioactive hot spot on public land
KASHIWA, Chiba — Officials here announced Oct. 21 the city government has discovered a hot spot emitting extremely high radiation of 57.5 microsieverts per hour on a plot of public land in a residential district.
The new hot spot was found within a radius of just one meter. Radiation levels in Kashiwa and its vicinity are relatively high because of the effects of the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis, but the latest discovery of such an intense hot spot in the city’s Nedokoyadai district came as a surprise. City radiation task force chief Seiichi Someya speculates, “It’s hard to imagine that it is due to effects” of the Fukushima crisis.
The city purchased land in the district from the Finance Ministry in around 1957 and built 30 houses, before gradually demolishing them and clearing the land. At one time, the local community borrowed it and used it as a public square.
A resident strolling in the area carrying a dosimeter found the hot spot and notified the city on Oct. 18. City officials checked it with a Geiger counter capable of measuring up to only 10 microsieverts. Chiba Prefecture’s environment foundation took its own measurements and recorded the startling 57.5 microsieverts per hour.
On Oct. 21, the city sealed off roads around the hot spot, banned entry within 3 meters and covered the hot spot with sandbags and blue tarps. The city will work with the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry to conduct a full-scale check on Oct. 24.
A 44-year-old male, who was born and grew up the area, says he has never heard of anything pertaining to nuclear power in Kashiwa. He says he is worried about his mother, who frequents the area.
Radiation of 3.35 microsieverts per hour was recorded recently in an area of Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward, but the culprit turned out to be radium kept in several dozen bottles under the floor of a local house.
(Mainichi Japan) October 22, 2011
Power-saving request eyed in Kansai region from Dec. 19
OSAKA, Oct. 22, Kyodo
The central government, Kansai Electric Power Co. and regional governments in the Kansai region are considering calling for power-saving efforts from Dec. 19 in the utility’s service area to avoid power shortages, people familiar with the plan said Saturday.
The planned campaign, which could last until March 23, is expected to seek a cut in electricity usage of 10 percent or more by businesses and households from last winter’s peak consumption levels, they said.
Kansai Electric Chairman Shosuke Mori has warned that the risk of power shortages in the wake of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant will likely be more severe in the coming winter than this past summer.
“Heroes of Fukushima” receive Spanish award
Five Japanese emergency workers have received this year’s Prince of Asturias Award for Concord in Spain, representing those who worked to help contain the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The 5 attended an award ceremony in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo on Friday. The Prince of Asturias Foundation honored police officers, firefighters, and Self-Defense Force personnel who risked their lives to cool the plant and help residents evacuate, calling them the “heroes of Fukushima.”
An officer at the Tokyo Fire Department, Toyohiko Tomioka, expressed gratitude at the ceremony. He said he was convinced that the title “heroes of Fukushima” was given to all the people in Japan. He said the award has renewed his resolve to work for the safety of the people.
Saturday, October 22, 2011 10:43 +0900 (JST)
Radioactive waste swamps Japan sewage plants
SURVIVAL JAPAN has an article and discusses the incineration of radioactive wast in Kyoto incinerators at
Kyoto Firms To Incinerate Radioactive Waste
Although the article does not mention which companies nor whether they will actually incinerate the waste in Kyoto incinerators, it would seem highly improbable that these companies use facilities elsewhere, especially when incinerators in Tokyo area are already reaching their maximum capacity and maximum radiation level set by the government.
It may seem strange that an enormous amount of nuclear waste may be processed or just stored in Tokyo area whereas the policy for disposal is in limbo. Besides many municipalities are not eager to receive this poisoned business opportunity. The rules have changes once again: these days, cities cannot decide anymore, although in the previous consultation given as a multiple choice survey, “not accepting any waste” was not part of the choices. Nowadays, the Ministry of Environment headed by Goshi Hosono appoints directly private companies to dispose of the waste, hence by-passing any public consultation and shielding any transparency as to where and how it is carried on….