Day 345 “I’m thinking every day what we should do if a similar disaster occurs.”

A must-see:

A Letter to Lady Gaga


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Police search for bodies from 2011 disaster on Fukushima coast

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120220p2g00m0dm021000c.html

NAMIE, Japan (Kyodo) — Around 100 police officers searched on the coast of Fukushima Prefecture on Sunday for the bodies of people still listed as missing following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, inside a no-go zone around the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

On the first day of a three-day search operation involving a total of around 300 officers, including personnel loaned from other prefectures who are being used within the zone for the first time, the officers focused on the Ukedo district of Namie town, where around 120 people died or remain listed as missing.

The Fukushima prefectural police currently have 350 officers on loan from Tokyo and 21 other prefectures, and have assigned 145 of them to deal with an increasing number of thefts in the evacuation zone.

Koji Tanaka, a 30-year-old officer from Saga Prefecture in southwestern Japan, who joined the day’s search, said, “I had an acute feeling that huge scars have been left by the quake and tsunami. As Saga also has a nuclear plant, I’m thinking every day what we should do if a similar disaster occurs.”

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5 mSv of exposure may increase the cancer risk as double as average

Posted by Mochizuki on February 19th, 2012

http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/02/5-msv-of-exposure-may-increase-the-cancer-risk-as-double-as-average/

5 mSv of exposure may increase the cancer risk as double as average

Prof. Miyao from Information technology center, Nagoya university found out the low level of exposure may cause high risk of cancer.
Radiation effects research foundation holds the data of 58,000 victims of Hiroshima.
Prof. Miyao compared this data to 1,940,000 of un-exposed people living in Hiroshima and Okayama in 1971. They were 0~34 years old when Hiroshima was damaged.

As the result,

0.005 ~ 0.1 Sv of exposure :

120~130 % risk of Solid Tumors
170~270% risk of liver cancer
180~200% risk of uterus cancer
It’s not known how stress worked.

Source

低放射線も高いがん死亡率 非被爆者と比較調査

広島で被爆した人のうち、浴びた放射線が少量で健康に影響が少ないとされた人でも、被爆していない人よりがんで死亡する率が高いことが、名古屋大情報連携基盤センターの宮尾克教授(公衆衛生学)らの研究グループの4日までの疫学調査で分かった。

研究結果は、9月15日発行の日本衛生学会の英文雑誌で発表する。

同グループは、放射線影響研究所(放影研)が調査している広島での被爆者約5万8000人のデータを、1971年当時の広島、岡山両県の住民で原爆投下時に0-34歳だった非被爆者計約194万人と同じ年齢構成などになるよう補正した。

その上で、被爆者を被ばく線量によって極低線量(0・005シーベルト未満)、低線量(0・005-0・1シーベルト未満)、高線量(0・1シーベルト以上)に区分。それぞれの各種がん死亡率を非被爆者のものと比較した結果、極低、低線量の被爆者は非被爆者よりも固形がん(白血病など造血器系を除くがん)で1・2-1・3倍高く、肝がんでは1・7-2・7倍、子宮がんは1・8-2倍高かった。

2008/08/04 23:32 【共同通信】

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Prof. Yukio Hayakawa’s Walk with his Survey Meter in Nagareyama-Kashiwa in Chiba Prefecture

流山-柏 garmin at EveryTrail


Radiation levels remain elevated in Kashiwa City in Chiba Prefecture. It was in Kashiwa that 450,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was found from the soil near the drain in the public space in the middle of the city. There is a strange (to me anyway) collaboration between the city and the citizen volunteers to decontaminate the city.

Before the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident, the background radiation level in Kashiwa City must have been no higher than the average in Chiba, which was 0.03 microsievert/hour (see this site). Now, as Professor Hayakawa’s walk shows, it is 10 times that in many locations. Contrary to a belief by some in Japan that there was no radioactive plume that went south from Fukushima through Ibaraki to Chiba, Tokyo and Kanagawa, these elevated radiation levels in Kashiwa City are the evidence that the plume did in fact come.

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(Updated) Max 23 Millisieverts External Radiation Exposure for Fukushima Residents in the First 4 Months of the Nuke Accident

From Jiji Tsushin (2/20/2012):

東日本大震災から4カ月間の外部被ばく量調査で、福島県と福島県立医大は20日、調査した約1万人の県民のうち、放射線業務従事者を除く一般住民の最高値は23.0ミリシーベルトだったと発表した。

The Fukushima prefectural government and Fukushima Medical University announced on February 20 that the maximum external radiation exposure in the first 4 months after the March 11, 2011 accident was 23.0 millisieverts among the residents who are not radiation workers. Total 10,000 residents of Fukushima have been surveyed.

The survey, with Dr. Shunichi “Damashita” Yamashita in charge, consists of detailed questions for the residents in order to estimate the radiation exposure. The residents have to fill out the pages with information on their whereabouts, on what day, for how long, what they were doing, etc. Dr. Yamashita’s group considers the information with the SPEEDI simulation done specifically for Fukushima Prefecture to figure out the radiation doses in Fukushima in the early days of the nuclear accident.

The press conference is on-going in Fukushima right now, and the information has not been uploaded on the Fukushima government website yet.

(UPDATE) Jiji has filled in more details:

  • 10,468 residents in Namie-machi, Iitate-mura, Kawamata-machi Yamakiya District
  • Highest (23 millisieverts) from a woman who lived in the planned evacuation zone [no mention of which town]
  • 2 people exceeded 20 millisieverts
  • 58.0% of people tested: less than 1 millisievert
  • 99.1% of people tested: less than 10 millisieverts
  • 71 people exceeded 10 millisieverts
  • Max for radiation workers: 47.2 millisieverts
  • “It is difficult to imagine there would be an effect on health”, says the Fukushima prefectural government.

If you recall, over 30% of 3,765 children from the same towns tested for thyroid abnormalities were found with lumps/nodules and/or cysts.

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Japan Mulling Sending Warships to Strait of Hormuz

http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2012022000467 

   Tokyo, Feb. 20 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government is considering whether it is possible for the country to send Maritime Self-Defense Force ships to the Strait of Hormuz to escort oil and gas tankers amid an growing tension in the region over Iran’s nuclear program, informed sources said.
Some 80 pct of crude oil and 20 pct of liquefied natural gas that Japan imports from the Middle East currently pass through the Straits of Hormuz, a crucial gateway to the Persian Gulf.
It is vital for Japan to secure such imports because demand for use in thermal power generation is increasing rapidly in line with the falling operation rate of nuclear power plants following the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
However, with Iran threatening to shut the strait to counter sanctions planned by the United States and Europe against its nuclear program, it will be difficult for Japanese-tied carriers to go through the shipping lane if the Middle Eastern nation deploys naval ships and sea mines there.
The Japanese government is thus considering dispatching destroyers to protect Japanese ships there, based on the SDF law that allows troops to be deployed for maritime security, sources familiar with the matter said.

(2012/02/20-12:18)

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And… over at EX-SKF, there are several reports on the Press’ entry to Fukushima I with photos and commentary: 

(Being Updated) Nico Nico Live Video: Unedited Footage of Fukushima Plant Tour by the Press, 2/20/2011

Can be viewed at Nico Nico’s site right now:

http://live.nicovideo.jp/watch/lv81820555?ref=nicotop

You would need to register (free) to view.

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/02/nico-nico-live-video-unedited-footage.html

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87,000 Bq/kg of cesium from bottom of a river in Fukushima

Article continues with readings for Cesium 134, Cesium 137, Bq/Kg at:

http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/02/87000-bqkg-of-cesium-from-bottom-of-a-river-in-fukushima/

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Shore shapes made tsunami deadlier: study

Kyodo

SENDAI — The shape of the coastlines along Kamaishi Bay, Ishinomaki Bay and four other areas in Tohoku may have amplified the power of the tsunami that struck there last March, a study by tsunami researchers said Saturday.

A simulation by a group of researchers led by Fumihiko Imamura, professor of tsunami studies at Tohoku University, found that a “resonance phenomenon” may have increased tsunami heights at six places in Iwate, Miyagi, Aomori and Fukushima prefectures. Tsunami in those areas may have been as much as three times higher than those that ravaged other areas on the Pacific coast.

Tsunami can be amplified when their frequencies match certain features of the coast, such as shape and depth — especially where coastlines are deeply indented. This phenomenon occurred at Ofunato Bay in Iwate Prefecture, when tsunami triggered by a major quake in Chile hit the area in 1960.

Imamura and other researchers collected tidal data from wave recorders installed off the Sanriku coast and analyzed the frequencies and shapes of tsunami that struck the region last March.

They found the tsunami had two patterns — a short frequency of about 10 minutes with large movements, and a long frequency of about one hour with moderate movements — and replicated the walls of water in computer simulations.

The six locations also include coastal areas in the towns of Oirase and Hashikami in Aomori Prefecture, Yamada Bay in Iwate Prefecture and Onahama Port in Fukushima Prefecture.

In the city of Higashimatsushima in Miyagi Prefecture, west of Ishinomaki Bay, tsunami reached 10 meters, much higher than the previously predicted maximum of 4 meters for the area, destroying more than 70 percent of the houses in the area.

The researchers said, however, it is difficult to confirm whether the resonance phenomenon actually happened, as all the tidal observatories in the area were ravaged by tsunami last March.

Imamura warned that massive damage could be caused again by tsunami amplified by the phenomenon.

“Residents must flee right away and never return home, even if tsunami appear to have subsided,” he said.

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Residents to sue operator to stop Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant

The Tokai No. 2 Nuclear Power Plant, whose operations have been halted since the March 11 earthquake, is seen. (Mainichi)
The Tokai No. 2 Nuclear Power Plant, whose operations have been halted since the March 11 earthquake, is seen. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — People living near the Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture and their lawyers are planning to sue its operator to stop the plant on the grounds that its aging reactor has raised safety concerns, people familiar with the case said Sunday.

They said the number of plaintiffs is expected to reach nearly 100, partly because members of a local consumer cooperative union are expected to join the suit, adding that the suit could be filed with the Mito District Court as early as May.

The plant, located in the village of Tokaimura and operated by Japan Atomic Power Co., began commercial operations in 1978. Its sole boiling water reactor is capable of generating 1.1 million kilowatts of electricity.

The reactor has been suspended since May for regular maintenance. It is unclear when it could be restarted given widespread public concern over nuclear power following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

In the March disaster, one of the plant’s seawater pumps for reactor coolant was submerged by waves, which also disabled one of three emergency diesel-engine generators at the site.

The co-op, a group located in Moriya, Ibaraki, that declared its opposition to nuclear power last June, decided in September to file a lawsuit over the plant’s operation.

Since the nuclear crisis at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant in Fukushima, similar suits have been filed in various parts of the country that host nuclear power plants.

(Mainichi Japan) February 20, 2012

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3 films on 3/11, nuclear disaster win acclaim in Berlin

photo

In “Nuclear Nation,” residents of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, look for their ancestors’ gravestones during a brief return to their hometown. (Berlin International Film Festival)

BERLIN — Three Japanese documentaries depicting the changed reality for people impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and their resilience have wowed critics at the Berlin International Film Festival.

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