Gov’t loans Fukushima Prefecture, municipalities 700 radiation meters
The government began delivering 700 dosimeters to the Fukushima Prefectural Government and all 59 municipalities in the prefecture on Nov. 8 to help them track radioactive contamination released in the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is lending the devices to the local governments free of charge. It expects to pass out 6,000 dosimeters by February next year, with the prefecture slated for about 1,000 and the rest — in lots of between three and 855 — delivered to municipalities based on their pre-Great East Japan Earthquake populations. The program is expected to cost the science ministry some 1.3 billion yen.
Until the Nov. 8 distribution, there was an “overwhelming lack” of the radiation meters for municipalities, according to Fukushima Prefecture’s disaster response headquarters, with only a few hundred being shared among the prefecture and its cities, towns and villages plus some bought by local bodies after the start of the nuclear crisis. Using the new supply of dosimeters, the municipalities will begin taking measurements to create radiation distribution maps, which will then be publicly released.
On Nov. 8, some 70 representatives from municipalities across Fukushima gathered in Koriyama for a workshop held by the prefecture’s disaster response headquarters on how to use the radiation meters. One participant from Namie, mostly inside the evacuation zone around the nuclear plant, told the Mainichi the town’s government-in-exile had only five dosimeters before the new arrivals.
“Our residents in temporary housing complexes are always asking us if it’s safe to hang laundry outside,” the Namie official said. “I wish we’d got these dosimeters sooner.”
(Mainichi Japan) November 8, 2011
Disposal of earthquake rubble begins in Tokyo
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has begun work to bury rubble left behind by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.
Tokyo began accepting large amounts of debris from Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture, for disposal last Thursday. The rubble is being broken into pieces or incinerated at facilities in the city.
On Tuesday, ash was transferred from a local incinerator to a landfill site in Tokyo port, where it was buried using large construction equipment.
The metropolitan government said it plans to accept up to 500,000 tons of debris from Miyako and other disaster-hit areas by March 2014.
The head of the landfill assured residents that there is no cause for concern, as authorities are disposing of the ash only after conducting detailed radiation checks.
Tokyo is the first prefecture outside the quake-hit areas to offer help in disposing of the debris.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 12:37 +0900 (JST)
[Note: I’ve included U.S. measurements]
Smaller increase in children’s weight in Fukushima
A survey shows that some children in Fukushima Prefecture have smaller average weight gains this year compared to the year before. A pediatrician says the results indicate the negative effects of the nuclear plant accident in March.
Doctor Shintaro Kikuchi tracked the weights of 245 children aged from 4 to 6 in 2 kindergartens in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture. The results show an average weight increase of 0.81 kilograms [1.78 lbs] over the past year through June. The increase for children in the same age group the previous year was 3.1 kilograms [6.8 lbs].
The average increase for children aged 5 to 6 in the survey was 0.84 kilograms. But a nationwide health ministry survey conducted last year for children of the same age group showed an average gain of 1.8 kilograms [3.96 lbs].
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident has caused high levels of radioactivity in areas around the plant. Koriyama is located about 60 kilometers [37 mi] from the facility and many children in the city have been forced to play indoors to avoid contamination.
Kikuchi noted that the smaller weight increases could be related to reduced appetite resulting from less exercise as well as changes in the secretion of growth hormones due to stress. He said measures should be taken to restore normal hormone levels in the children.
Monday, November 07, 2011 20:09 +0900 (JST)
Radiation in Japan: Spiders in Iitate-mura Concentrating Radioactive Silver 1,000 Times
Dr. Bin Mori is a professor emeritus at University of Tokyo, Faculty of Agriculture. Since the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear crisis on March 11, the professor has been writing his blog focusing on the effect of radiation in plants and remediation of agricultural land.
I have featured his autoradiographs of dandelion and horsetail on my blog before.
In his post on October 30, Professor Mori wrote about his discovery, probably the world first, he made in spiders (Nephila clavata) he caught in Iitate-mura, Fukushima Prefecture, where the villagers were forced to evacuate after being designated as “planned evacuation zone”. The spiders, he found, had radioactive silver (Ag-110m) at 1,000 times the concentration in the environment.
Read the entire article at:
From back in August…. would probably happen today as well…
Gundersen suggests ENENEWS & EX-SKF during interview — Experiences audio difficulties
Nuclear power companies subject to cyber attacks
The operators of nuclear power plants in Japan have become the latest victims of cyber criminals.
NHK asked 10 electric power companies that manage nuclear power plants if they have experienced attacks on their computer networks in the past year.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, Hokkaido Electric Power Company and Tohoku Electric Power Company said they had received targeted cyber attacks through emails disguised as business communications from government offices.
TEPCO says, however, that it has no evidence of an information leak.
Five other utilities reported that their computers were hit by viruses delivered through email, but they also said they have had no data leakage.
Noting past cyber attacks on nuclear facilities abroad, Keio University Professor Keiji Takeda says hackers may have sent viruses to try and collect data from plants in Japan.
He says not only electric power companies, but also gas and water suppliers, railway operators and other infrastructure operators should share information on viruses and check again to see if their computers have been infected.
Earlier, Japanese government institutions and defense contractors came under cyber attacks.
Monday, November 07, 2011 19:42 +0900 (JST)