Day 397 Please help stop the spread of radioactive rubble for burning throughout Japan

Eight things to know about the Japanese Government’s plan to spread tsunami rubble around the country

Posted on April 4, 2012

Eight things to know about the Japanese Government’s plan to spread tsunami rubble around the country:

1:  Japanese Government is pushing ALL local governments in Japan located outside of the disaster stricken area to incinerate tsunami rubble and landfill the ashes.

2: On the one year anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the national government reinvigorated its campaign to push local governments to accept tsunami rubble using  personal letters and phone calls, the promise of  financial assistance for rubble processing,  and a taxpayer-funded mass media campaign (websitecommercials, posters, and a nation-wide road show—videos from Kanagawa and Kyoto).   Many cities which originally did not accept the rubble in 2011 suddenly changed their minds.

The new deadline for local governments to accept/reject the national government’s request was Friday, April 6, 2012 (less than one month after its large scale campaign).  Some accepted by the deadline and many are still considering accepting it or running ‘test burns.’

3:  Following March 11, 2011, the government increased its safety level for disposing of radionuclide contaminated debris from 100 becquerels per kilogram (bq/kg) of cesium-137 to 8,000 bq/kg for the entire country without any explanation of the reason or health and environmental repercussions.  Concerning rubble, so far only cesium-137 is measured as an indicator of safety.

4: The government is in charge of testing the rubble, and although data on the Environmental Ministry’s website indicates that the debris contain radionuclide contamination (Original Japanese,English Translation) politicians continue to say the debris are radiation free.  Measurements shown to the public in commercials,roadshows and other exhibitions on the safety of the debris are done using geiger counters, which only measure atmospheric gamma rays and cannot calculate the total amount of radionuclide activity in the debris (measured in bq/kg).  Also, the government is only measuring cesium-137, disregarding the presence of other dangerous radionuclides and pollutants.

5: Although the disaster stricken area contained many toxics-producing industries (pharmaceutical plants, chemical companies and oil refineries), the government is only testing the debris for the one radionuclide, cesium-137 (which is proving to be problematic in itself).  There are currently no tests being done to identify other toxic persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including dioxins, or asbestos which pose great public health and environmental risks when incinerated.

6: Tokyo was the first city to accept rubble. 1,000 tons of contaminated rubble was brought to Tokyo by train on Nov 4th, 2011which has been burnt and dumped into Tokyo Bay. A total of 500,000 tons of rubble will come to Tokyo in the next two years.  While the government continues to say processing the rubble is safe, experts have been warning people about the high levels of radionuclide pollution in Tokyo city which could be a result of Fukushima fallout, or the incineration of rubble.  In addition, in a test incineration in Shimada City, Shizuoka, the bag filters which the government promised would prevent 99 percent of radionuclides from escaping in the air during incineration only successfully contained 60 percent of radionuclides when tested.

7:  Despite large number of protesters in Kyoto, Governor Yamada from Kyoto prefecture said he may dispose of the disaster rubble without informing the people about where and when it is done (Original Japanese English Translation ).

8: Many local government officials who announced they would accept rubble are related to industrial waste industries.

What can I do to help stop this?

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If you understand Japanese… this is from students at Kyoto University:

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A question from a reader:

Why aren’t companies in Tokyo putting pressure on the government and electricity companies to permanently stop nuclear power stations throughout Japan. They must know that Units 3 & 4 are on the brink of a much more serious disaster. Should that occur, the Tokyo companies would surely lose their investments in Tokyo as land prices would drop as people begin fleeing to places west, no longer able to live in the Tokyo area. Obviously, they would not be able to demand reparations from Tepco or the government in such an event, so why would they take the risk?

What is the benefit to these companies’ remaining silent?

Thoughts, anyone?

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Radioactive Japan: Noda Administration to Encourage Use of Recycled Cement From Disaster Debris in Public Works, Pay For Trips to Miyagi and Iwate

What will they think of next? (Anything but accurately measuring radiation levels and doing something about Fukushima I Nuke Plant, probably.)

From reading the Kyodo News article below, I don’t get the feeling that this recycled cement use will be confined to public works in the disaster-affected areas.

From Kyodo News (4/11/2012):

Public works to promote disaster debris processing, the administration to push harder

The government decided on a new plan on April 11 to give priority to using disaster debris including concrete bits when tsunami-control forests and parks are built and roads and ports are repaired [as part of the public works] in the areas affected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake/tsunami. The government will introduce a new competitive bidding scheme for public works that will give preference to companies who will promise the use of recycled cement. As the wide-area disposal of the debris outside the disaster-affected areas is proceeding with difficulties, the government wants to show its commitment [by introducing these plans]. The second meeting of the involved ministers, with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as the chairman, will be held shortly, and the policy will be confirmed.

So the elected politicians in the National Diet won’t matter, not even a Diet committee. The administration simply decides, and starts doing it.

Article continues at:

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Nuclear Hotseat – Cathy Iwane – Burning Fukushima Rubble.mp4

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City in Tochigi Wants Disaster Debris, So It Can Upgrade Disposal Site on the Government Money

Kanuma City, located just west of Utsunomiya City (prefectural capital of Tochigi), wants to help people in the disaster-affected Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures by accepting the ashes resulting from the burning of the disaster debris elsewhere.

If you read the news by Shimotsuke Shinbun (local Tochigi newspaper), it seems the city is correctly seeing the wide-area disposal of the small amount of disaster debris (less than 20% of total) as an excellent opportunity to have the national government foot the bill for upgrading the waste management facilities and doing the badly needed deferred maintenance.

By no means Kanuma is unique among the cities who have expressed eagerness to accept disaster debris over the concerns of the local residents and residents downwind/downstream.

To the city’s request for financial support, the Ministry of the Environment said “yes”.

Article continues at:

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From ENENEWS at:

Official: Criminal charges of “negligence resulting in death” may be filed against Japan gov’t

Title: Fukushima Town Mulling Criminal Complaint over Radiation Data Delay
Source: Jiji Press
Date: April 11, 2012

The Namie town government in Fukushima Prefecture is considering filing a criminal complaint over delays in the disclosure of radioactive material diffusion estimates under Japan’s SPEEDI system, Mayor Tamotsu Baba said Wednesday.

The local government will consider filing such a complaint on charges of professional negligence resulting in death. The complaint may be leveled against central and prefectural government officials, but the municipality may not identify the targets of the complaint, according to Baba. […]

Read the report here

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520 Bq/kg of Cesium in Spinach in Fukushima City, Cesium Is From Polyethylene Covering

News like this may be part of the reason of Professor Hayakawa’s hostility toward farmers in Fukushima.

Where did this cesium come from? Water? Air? Soil?

Answer: None of the above. It came from a polyethylene sheet covering to keep the crop warm.

What is wrong with the sheet? It is the same polyethylene sheet that was in use when the reactors blew up in Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant in March last year.

Why did the farmer continue to use the contaminated sheet? No one knows. Probably because no one told him not to use.

The spinach in question has already been sold, and probably consumed.

Article continues at:

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From ENENEWS at:

Ex-Fukushima Daiichi Reactor Operator: Fuel rods still active and alive — Most worried about recriticality — Tepco must measure neutrons near core (VIDEO)

A confession of an ex-Tepco worker
Translated by: Goldieluvmj
Original Upload: LunaticEclipseKimura
First broadcast: Nov 25 2011
Published: Apr 11, 2012
Via TBS Blog: Confession of TEPCO employees, 2011/11/29 17:56
h/t arclight

Subtitles have been embedded on this clip for those having trouble viewing via CC button in YouTube toolbar — See the full half hour broadcast at bottom of post:

Part 2 At 9:00 in

REPORTER: As an ex-TEPCO employee who handled the nuclear fuel rods and have worked at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, [Toshio] Kimura is most worried about the recriticality.

KIMURA: The fuel rods are still active and alive. Rather than putting more effort in cooling the fuel rods right now, a contingency plan, in case of a recriticality, must be considered. They should have prepared the plan before they started to work on cooling the fuel rods. I think it’s a matter of urgency.

REPORTER: Kimura thinks that there is still a risk of melted fuel rods to become active. Living far away from Fukushima, he still worries about the fuel rods in the reactors to this day

HOST #1: Here is the reporter Matsuda. Mr Matsuda, Mr Kimura is the actual person who operated the reactor, isn’t he? He gave me a startle when he said that the inside of the reactors are still alive.

REPORTER: It seems that they don’t know exactly what is happening inside the reactors.

Read the entire article with videos at:


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