Day 284 What do lab rats and the children of Fukushima have in common?

Japanese Prime Minister doesn’t care about the fuel rods melted out

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TEPCO president running away from press conference?

The news says that the radioactive rain which falled at the east part of Fukushima city was very contaminated. And the level of contamination was almost the same with the rain which fell at epicenter of the Hiroshima atomic-bomb blast.

From EX-SKF at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/12/radiation-in-japan-ministry-of.html

Radiation in Japan: Ministry of the Environment to Do a Special JECS Study on Radiation Effect on Children in Fukushima

The JECS – Japan Environment and Children Study – is a study to be carried out by the Ministry of the Environment headed by Goshi “Let’s share the pain of Fukushima” Hosono to study the effect of environmental pollutants on the health of children.

According to the Study’s website:

The Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS), a birth cohort study involving 100,000 parent-child pairs, was launched in 2011 in order to evaluate the impact of various environmental factors on children’s health and development. The concept plan of JECS was published in March 2010 after three years of development within expert groups and public discussions about the research hypotheses and aims. Pilot studies started in 2008 in four universities, and samples from two preceding cohorts (Hokkaido and Tohoku) are also used for establishing exposure measurement protocols. Recruitment of participating pregnant women started in January 2011, and will continue until 2013. Health outcomes and exposure measurements will continue until the participating children become 13 years old.

By “environmental pollutants” the Ministry was thinking mostly about chemicals. But Hosono announced on December 20 that in Fukushima Prefecture an extra study will be done to gather data on the effect of radiation on 25,000 children born of mothers who were exposed to radiation from the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident during pregnancies for the next 13 years.

All the Ministry will do is to gather data and observe. Japan has learned well from the US-Japan joint radiation research after Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing – ABCC, which became RERF in 1975 and continues to this day.

NHK Japanese has an amusing headline. If you just read the headline, you don’t know what “follow-up study” it is talking about.

NHK News Japanese (12/21/2011):

福島の子ども対象に追跡調査

Follow-up study on children in Fukushima

放射性物質が子どもの健康にどのような影響を与えるかを解明するため、環境省は福島県内の母親から生まれた子どもおよそ2万5000人を対象に、13歳になるまでの大規模な追跡調査を実施することを決めました。

To shed light on the effect of radioactive materials on the health of children, the Ministry of the Environment has decided to carry out a large-scale follow-up study on about 25,000 children born of mothers in Fukushima Prefecture until the children turn 13.

環境省は、身の回りの化学物質が子どもの健康に悪影響を及ぼしていないか確かめるために、ことし1月から全国10万人の子どもを対象に血液中の化学物質の濃度や発育状況などを胎児のときから13歳まで継続して調べる調査を行っています。調査項目に放射性物質は含まれていませんが、原発事故を受けて、子どもへの影響について関心が高まっていることから、環境省は福島県の子どもについては放射性物質の影響も調査することを決めました。

The Ministry of the Environment has been conducting the survey to study the negative effect of environmental chemicals on the health of children since January this year on 100,000 children throughout Japan [to be signed up gradually over the next 3 years, according toSankei Shinbun]. The survey will track the concentration of chemicals in the blood, developmental status, etc of children from embryos [or fetuses; not clear] till they are 13 years old. The survey items do not include radioactive materials, but as the interest in the effect of radioactive materials on the health of children is heightened because of the nuclear accident the Ministry has decided to study the effect of radioactive materials on children in Fukushima Prefecture.

具体的には、福島県内の母親から生まれたおよそ2万5000人の子どもを対象に、母親の被ばく線量と子どもの先天的な異常をはじめ、アレルギーやぜん息も含めたさまざまな疾患との関係性について、13歳になるまで追跡調査します。調査にあたっては福島県がすでに全ての県民を対象に行っている被ばく線量の調査のデータも活用する方針です。環境省は、放射性物質と子どもの健康に関係性が確認できれば、健康のリスク管理や被ばく線量を抑えるための対策につなげていくことにしています。

About 25,000 children born of mothers residing inside Fukushima Prefecture will be the subjects of the study, which will track the radiation exposure level of the mothers, congenital abnormalities in the children, relationship between [radioactive materials, or radiation exposure] and various illnesses including allergies and asthma, until the children turn 13 years old. The survey will also make use of the radiation exposure survey done by the Fukushima prefectural government for all the residents in Fukushima. The Ministry of the Environment will utilize the result of the survey for the health risk management and for countermeasures to reduce radiation exposure, if the relationship between radioactive materials and the children’s health is confirmed.

100,000 children in Japan are to be registered, tested and tracked, of whom 25,000 will be from Fukushima, with extra survey on radioactive materials.

According to Asahi Shinbun, the Ministry had initially planned to select only 7,000 children and their mothers in 14 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture but it changed its mind and expanded to 25,000 children and their mothers throughout Fukushima. I wonder why.

But I don’t know why the Ministry will study the children in Fukushima only, when there are places outside Fukushima with even higher radiation levels and contamination than some of the cities inside Fukushima. I guess they don’t want to spend much money.

 

Charts from original story in Japanese at:

http://www.olivenews.net/news_30/newsdisp.php?m=0&i=0

図1=福島市の放射線量

図1は、福島市の放射線量である。政府は周辺住民にヨウ素剤の服用を指示しなかった。しかし8月27日、埼玉県で開かれた放射線事故医療研究会研究会では、原子力安全委員会の助言組織メンバー、鈴木元・国際医療福祉大クリニック院長が「当時の周辺住民の外部被曝の検査結果などを振り返ると、安定ヨウ素剤を最低1回は飲むべきだった」と指摘している。

図2=3月15日15:15分郡山JCTでの放射能プリューム測定値

図2は、3月15日15:15分郡山JCTでの放射能プリューム測定値で、事故直後に行われた高エネルギー加速器研究機構と理化学研究所の合同チームによる調査結果である。このうちキセノンは、希ガスでありプリューム全体のガンマ線放出源となっている。一方、テルル132が大量に検出されており、この核種は約3日でヨウ素132に変わり、2時間で更に崩壊し別の核種になる。

Radiation in Japan: Map of “Black Rain” Finally Made 66 Years After Hiroshima Bombing

Speaking of RERF – Radiation Effect Research Foundation – which succeeded the notorious ABCC – Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission – in 1975, RERF just came up with the area map of so-called “black rain” after the Hiroshima bombing. They had the survey data of 13,000 people all along, but sat on it for 66 years.

And surprise, surprise. The map shows the area where the “black rain” – radioactive fallout that fell with the rain – fell to be much, much bigger than what the government has admitted so far.

And not at all surprisingly, Toshiteru Okubo, chairman of RERF, says “Personally I do not think this data is important. It’s hard to believe the black rain caused an acute radiation sickness anyway.”

The chairman is right. People who have said they suffer the effect of radioactive fallout that they received by the black rain are not suffering an acute radiation sickness that would have caused them to die in a short period of time after the exposure.

From Yomiuri Shinbun, local Hiroshima version (12/21/2011):

日米の共同研究機関・放射線影響研究所(放影研、広島市南区・長崎市)が、原爆投下後に降った「黒い雨」を浴びた約1万3000人の調査データを基に作製した分布図が公表された20日、援護策の拡充を求める住民団体などから「援護地域の拡大につながる可能性がある」と期待の声が上がった。一方、放影研は「新しく判明したことはない」と健康被害の解明には否定的だが、国の検討会にデータが提供される見通しで、援護地域見直しをめぐる議論が注目される。

On December 20, Radiation Effect Research Foundation, a cooperative Japan-US research organization (RERF, Minami-ku in Hiroshima City and in Nagasaki City) disclosed the distribution map of “black rain” that fell after the nuclear bomb exploded over Hiroshima. The map was created from the survey data of about 13,000 people who were exposed to the black rain. Citizens’ groups calling for more assistance for the bomb victims are hopeful that this may result in more areas becoming eligible for assistance. On the other hand, RERF says “There is no new discovery”, insisting [the map] would not help in understanding health damages. But it is likely that the data will be submitted to a study group of the national government, and discussions may ensue as to whether the support areas should be revised.

援護対象外の住民らで組織する県「黒い雨」原爆被害者の会連絡協議会の高野正明会長(73)は「データの公表は有意義だ」と評価。その上で「現在の援護対象地域外でも降ったとする分布があり、援護地域の拡大に役立てば」と期待を寄せた。

Masaaki Takano, chairman of the Council of “Black Rain” Atomic Bomb Victims, praised the disclosure of the data as significant. He is hopeful that it will be used to expand the support areas, as the data shows the black rain fell outside the current support areas.

県と広島市などは2010年7月、被爆者ら2万7147人分のアンケートを基に、厚生労働省に対して、指定する降雨地域より広範に降ったとして、援護地域の拡大を求める要望書を出した。この日の分布図公開について、市調査課の漆原正浩課長は「これまでの認定地域とは一部で食い違いがあるのがわかる。貴重なデータだが、どのように利用されるか国の判断を注視していきたい」と話した。

In July 2010, Hiroshima Prefecture and Hiroshima City submitted a request to the Ministry of Health and Labor to expand the support areas based on the survey of 27,147 people including atomic bomb victims, as the rain fell in much wider areas than the designated support area. Commenting on today’s disclosure of the distribution map, a Hiroshima City official said, “The map clearly shows the areas [where the rain fell] that are different from the existing support areas. It’s valuable data, but we will wait to see how the national government will decide to use it.”

放影研はすでに厚労省に今回のデータを提供。同省原子爆弾被爆者援護対策室の和田康紀室長は「(公開されたデータを)検討会で議論するかどうかは、座長と相談して決めたい」とした。

RERF has already submitted the data to the Ministry of Health and Labor. The head of the section in the Ministry to support atomic bomb victims said, “We would like to consult with the chairman of the study group to decide whether the data (disclosed today) should be discussed in the stidy group.”

一方、放影研で記者会見した大久保利晃理事長は、雨が降った時期や量などが確認できず、「爆心地付近で直爆を受けた人を中心にした調査。(黒い雨のデータにするには)内容が簡単過ぎるし、偏りがある」と指摘。その上で「私個人は、今回のデータがそれほど大事とは思っていない。雨を浴びて、重い急性症状を引き起こしたとも考えられない」との見方を示した。

On the other hand, Toshiteru Okubo, chairman of RERF, held a press conference at RERF [in Hiroshima City]. He pointed out that the timing of the precipitation and the amount could not be confirmed, and said “The survey was done on people who had a direct exposure to the atomic bomb near the hypocenter. To call this the data for black rain, the data is too simplistic and biased.” He added, “Personally I don’t think the data is that important. It’s hard to believe the black rain caused an acute radiation illness anyway.”

I couldn’t find the map posted anywhere at the RERF site, which Chairman Okubo is holding in the picture below (from Yomiuri):

50 percent of people in quake-stricken region have no prospects for rebuilding homes

A campaign van is seen in tsunami-devastated Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, on Aug. 23, 2011. (Mainichi)

A campaign van is seen in tsunami-devastated Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, on Aug. 23, 2011. (Mainichi)

Nearly 50 percent of people in disaster-hit northeastern Japan, who have been regularly surveyed by the Mainichi, said they have no prospects for repairing or rebuilding their homes in the future, and 20 percent of them still do not have jobs, according to the latest poll.

The Mainichi has surveyed 100 people in the region on a regular basis one, two, three and six months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami. Of them, 73 people — 27 from Iwate Prefecture, 23 from Miyagi Prefecture, and 23 from Fukushima Prefecture (including those who took shelter outside of the prefecture) — responded to the latest survey conducted from late November to mid-December, nine months after the disasters.

Article continues at:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111221p2a00m0na013000c.html

And remember that after the winter rains/snows/wind, the spring pollen flurries, and the summer typhoons, they’ll have to do it all over again, and again, and again…

Fukushima local decontamination costs bust estimates

Workers use high-pressure water cleaners to decontaminate a roof in the city of Fukushima. Some say the method is insufficient. (Mainichi)

Workers use high-pressure water cleaners to decontaminate a roof in the city of Fukushima. Some say the method is insufficient. (Mainichi)

FUKUSHIMA — The prefectural government here has said that radioactive decontamination operations now under way in three municipalities will cost an average of about 1.3 million yen per household, far over the funds allotted.

The figure — revealed by prefectural environment department head Hiroyuki Aratake in answer to a question in the prefectural assembly — is for cleanup operations now under way in the cities of Fukushima and Date, and the village of Kawauchi.

Priority decontamination in these areas began in November and has so far consumed some 1.7 billion yen, and the average household cost vastly exceeds the basic prefectural subsidy of 700,000 yen per home allotted to municipalities to decontaminate properties smaller than 400 square meters. The overrun, Aratake explained, was because large properties in agricultural districts were also covered by the priority decontamination operation.

Workers experiment with draining radioactively contaminated mud from a paddy field, left, onto a tarp-covered adjacent field in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, on Aug. 24. (Mainichi)

Workers experiment with draining radioactively contaminated mud from a paddy field, left, onto a tarp-covered adjacent field in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, on Aug. 24. (Mainichi)

Regarding the cleanup cost for the some 600,000 homes in the decontamination area, Aratake said that based on the 700,000 yen per household estimate, the total cost would come to about 420 billion yen. This must be covered by the 184.3 billion yen allotted for cleanup in the prefecture’s September supplementary budget as well as funds set aside in the central government’s third supplementary budget. If it is not enough, the prefecture plans to ask Tokyo to cover the difference.

Read the entire article at:
And you wonder why nuclear power corporations in Japan are so powerful?

Town hosting Fukushima nuke reactors to keep getting power station subsidies

The government intends to continue providing power station-hosting subsidies to the town where the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant’s shattered reactors are located, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano has stated.

Local governments with power stations in their jurisdiction can apply for the subsidies, with the amount based on how much electricity the plants produced two fiscal years before the application, among other factors. Under this system, the town of Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture — which hosts the Fukushima No. 1 plant’s wrecked No. 1-4 reactors — would no longer be eligible for the subsidies in fiscal 2012, as the nuclear disaster hit the plant and the reactors will be decommissioned.

However, “Considering present societal conditions it would be unthinkable not to provide the subsidies to Fukushima (local governments) if applied for,” Edano said at a news conference following a Dec. 20 Cabinet meeting. He also stated that the government “is considering revising the subsidy system rules to allow for payments for guaranteeing safety and peace of mind,” which would allow money to flow to the Okuma Municipal Government.

The town of Futaba that hosts the Fukushima No. 1 plant’s No. 5 and 6 reactors, Naraha hosting the Fukushima No. 2 plant’s No. 1 and 2 reactors, and Tomioka where the Fukushima No. 2 power station’s No. 3 and 4 reactors are situated are still eligible for the subsidies under the current rules. The Fukushima Prefectural Government is also receiving power station-hosting subsidies, but will reduce its application for fiscal 2012 funds as it has called for all 10 reactors in the prefecture to be shuttered.

 

Paul Gunter – officials declare cold shutdown at Fukushima

Evacuate Fukushima 福島の子供を守れ Part 04 – BACK TO SCHOOL.wmv

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