Monthly Archives: August 2011

Fukushima media coverage ‘may be harmful’,

New Scientist by Andy Coghlan, August 30, 2011:

Alarmist predictions that the long-term health effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan will be worse than those following Chernobyl in 1986 are likely to aggravate harmful psychological effects of the incident. That was the warning heard at an international conference on radiation research in Warsaw, Poland, this week.
One report, in UK newspaper The Independent, quoted a scientist who predicted more than a million would die, and that the prolonged release of radioactivity from Fukushima would make health effects worse than those from the sudden release experienced at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in Ukraine.
“We’ve got to stop these sorts of reports coming out, because they are really upsetting the Japanese population,” says Gerry Thomas at Imperial College London, who is attending the meeting. “The media has a hell of a lot of responsibility here, because the worst post-Chernobyl effects were the psychological consequences and this shouldn’t happen again.” […]


Nuclear plant worker dies of acute leukemia

In this Monday, Aug. 1, 2011 photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, a worker in protective gear measures radiation levels near a duct connected to a ventilation stack between the Unit 1 and Unit 2 reactors at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

In this Monday, Aug. 1, 2011 photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, a worker in protective gear measures radiation levels near a duct connected to a ventilation stack between the Unit 1 and Unit 2 reactors at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — A worker in his 40s who had been engaged in recovery work at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has died of acute leukemia, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday.
Tokyo Electric said the worker’s death is not linked with his work at the plant, citing results of medical examination by doctors.
The man had been exposed to 0.5 millisievert of radiation at the plant and showed no internal exposure to radiation, said the power company, known as TEPCO.
The dosage is much smaller than 5 millisieverts or higher per year — the benchmark for recognizing a death as work-related — TEPCO said, citing the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s criteria on work-related deaths. The ministry’s criteria also put the incubation period to develop symptoms of acute leukemia at one year.
TEPCO said the man had been involved with duties on radiation control at the plant for a week starting in early August. He later complained of poor health and underwent medical checkups before his death.

This satellite file image taken on March 14, 2011, and provided by DigitalGlobe shows the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)

This satellite file image taken on March 14, 2011, and provided by DigitalGlobe shows the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)

TEPCO said it received the report on the worker’s death on Aug. 16 from one of its contractors whose subcontractor hired the worker.
The utility said it had no information on the man’s work career before being engaged in the recovery work at the nuclear power plant which was crippled by the March 11 earthquake-tsunami disaster.

(Mainichi Japan) August 30, 2011

Greenpeace: Fukushima schools unsafe after clean-up

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A worker of an office cleaning company monitors the level of radiation at a playground of an elementary school in Fukushima, northern Japan August 6, 2011. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Greenpeace said on Monday that schools and surrounding areas located 60 km (38 miles) from Japan’s tsunami-hit nuclear power plant were unsafe for children, showing radiation readings as much as 70 times internationally accepted levels.The environmental group took samples at and near three schools in Fukushima city, well outside the 20 km exclusion zone from Tokyo Electric Power’s stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in Japan’s northeast.
“No parent should have to choose between radiation exposure and education for their child,” said Kazue Suzuki, Greenpeace Japan’s anti-nuclear project head.
The government had already taken steps to decontaminate schools in Fukushima prefecture, where the crippled plant has been leaking radiation since it was hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Calling the measures “deplorably late and inadequate,” Greenpeace said it had found average dose rates above the maximum allowed under international standards, of 1 millisievert per year, or 0.11 microsievert per hour.
Japan’s education ministry on Friday set a looser standard, allowing up to 1 microsievert per hour of radiation in schools.
Greenpeace said that inside a high school it tested, the reading was 0.5 microsievert per hour, breaching international standards even after the government’s clean-up.
At a staircase connecting a school playground to the street, it found radiation amounting to 7.9 microsieverts per hour, or about 70 times the maximum allowed, exceeding even Japan’s own standard.
Greenpeace urged the government to delay reopening the schools as planned on September 1 after the summer break and relocate children in the most affected cities until decontamination was complete.
Fukushima city dismissed Greenpeace’s calls, saying the schools were safe under the government’s norms.
“We’re finished decontaminating the schools, and they no longer have high radiation levels,” city official Yoshimasa Kanno said. He added that postponing the opening of more than 100 schools in the city based on Greenpeace’s findings of “only three” would be unreasonable.
Despite the government’s reassurances, parents have removed thousands of children from schools in Fukushima since the disasters, fearing damage to their health.
Underscoring such concerns, the government said this month that 45 percent of children living outside the evacuation zone in Fukushima were exposed to low levels of radiation though it was within safety levels.
Greenpeace, which took its samples August 17-19, did not say how long it might take to rid the areas of harmful levels of radiation.
But Jan van de Putte, its radiation expert, noted that cleaning up in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, about 100 km from Chernobyl, required hundreds of thousands of workers toiling over several months.
A vast area is still uninhabitable around the Chernobyl plant 25 years after the world’s worst nuclear disaster, and experts have estimated Japan’s decontamination efforts could cost as much as 10 trillion yen ($130 billion).
“We expect that the radiation levels would persist for a long period of time,” van de Putte said. ($1 = 76.855 Japanese Yen)
(Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Chris Gallagher)

Save us.

[Contaminated food is distributed to all around in Japan.Japanese students are forced to take the risk of internal exposure.]
The situation is worse than you think.Please do know that and tell it to everyone.
If you ever think of visiting Japan,or already staying in Japan,you must be aware of the food risk.
Since 311,under the slogan “Let’s support north Japan by consuming their agricultural products”,
lots of the food have been distributed to all over Japan,with NO radiation check.
7/4/2011,on the TV show of NHK,minister of health,Ohtsuka admitted that highly contaminated food is already distributed in Japan,because of the lack of the checking facility.
Contaminated food has already reached Okinawa,where is 1500km far from Fukushima.
100 of 600 local governments around in Tokyo and north Japan do not conduct any radiation check for their local products.
Even food produced in Okinawa may be contaminated.
They found a lot of the polluted mold leaf were sold in Okinawa.(Max ; 17,500Bq/kg)
From what the gov have been doing,this must be only a part of their entire concealment.
Moreover,JP gov allowed them to move Fukushima cows to all around in Japan,such as beef,pork,chicken,etc..
When they are sold at supermarket,they are labelled as being originated from the “moved area” out of Fukushima.
In the second biggest city of Japan,Yokohama,Fukushima beef was served for school lunch until very recent.
However,some school ban students bringing their home-made lunch box and water bottle only “to keep it normal”.Students were forced to eat contaminated food knowing the risk.
Recently Yokohama local government finally admitted that cesium beef was served for 8,000 students.(Max ; 719Bq/kg)
Suspected food has already been served for 84,000 students only in Yokohama.
Japanese children have NO right to reject consuming radioactive food.
It’s not only children.It’s also you who are not allowed to choose.
Labeling of the food origin is carefully manipulated.
In Hotel,in restaurant,in department store,in convenient store,they make it impossible for you to recognize the origin.
Dr.Takeda warns there is a possibility that they took Fukushima cow to Hokkaido and sell milk with the label of Hokkaido.
Fukushima yogurt is sold in Kobe to “cheer them up”.
Food with “harmful rumor” are positively sold at convenient stores.(Family mart)
Restaurant chains are even proud of selling polluted food.(Skylark)
They will re-start making beer in Sendai.(Kirin)
It’s not only food.
JP gov allowed them to move the polluted rubble to all over Japan.
They will be burnt,radioactive ash will fly around as plume again.
It’s getting more difficult and more to buy “clean” food in Japan.
You can even call it the state of “civil war”.
Please tell this truth to everyone around you and save us.
Label of the origin has been based on the prefectures but it’s becoming “made in Japan”,
when it comes to fish,it’s “from Pacific ocean” and “from Korea/Japan sea”.
i expect you foreign countries put pressure on JP gov,so they may prepare radiation checker for food at every school like Belarus.
If you are planning to Japan,please tell hotels to prepare the checker at hotels too.
by Mariko Toya
Translation Mochizuki Iori 

Full article original author

Experts split on how to decommission Fukushima nuclear plant

What is actually going to take place at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, where word is that the four reactors that were crippled in the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami will eventually be decommissioned?
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) defines “decommissioning” as the process of removing spent fuel from reactors and dismantling all facilities. Ultimately, the site of a decommissioned reactor is meant to be reverted into a vacant lot.
In 1996, the then Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI) — now the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) — finished decommissioning its Japan Power Demonstration Reactor. The decommissioning process of the Tokai Nuclear Power Plant in the Ibaraki Prefecture village of Tokai began in 1998 and is set to end in fiscal 2020, while the No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear reactors at the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in the Shizuoka Prefecture city of Omaezaki are slated for decommissioning by fiscal 2036. Around the world, only around 15 nuclear reactors have thus far been dismantled.
The standard decommissioning process entails six major steps: 1. Remove spent fuel rods, 2. Remove radioactive materials that have become affixed to reactor pipes and containers, 3. Wait for radiation levels to go down with time, 4. Dismantle reactors and other internal vessels and pipes, 5. Dismantle the reactor buildings, and 6. Make the site into a vacant lot.

“Cleaning,” “waiting,” and “dismantling” are the three key actions in this process. Needless to say, this all needs to be done while simultaneously containing radioactive materials.

Government’s move to monitor online sparks public outcry

While the government defends its new monitoring program of online postings concerning the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to stem the spread of “inaccurate” information, critics say it harkens back to Big Brother.
The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy said tweets on Twitter and postings to blogs will be monitored for groundless and inaccurate information that could inflame and mislead the public.
The agency said it is trying to “track down inaccurate information and to provide correct ones instead.”
But critics are skeptical about the agency’s motive, especially because the government has been under fire for failing to provide an accurate picture of what has been occurring at the plant and the spread of radioactive contamination.
The cost for the project was earmarked in an extra government budget to finance the rebuilding of northeastern Japan ravaged by the March 11 disaster.


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Fukushima caesium leaks ‘equal 168 Hiroshimas’

TOKYO, August 25, 2011 (AFP) – Japan’s government estimates the amount of radioactive caesium-137 released by the Fukushima nuclear disaster so far is equal to that of 168 Hiroshima bombs, a news report said Thursday.
Government nuclear experts, however, said the World War II bomb blast and the accidental reactor meltdowns at Fukushima, which has seen ongoing radiation leaks but no deaths so far, were beyond comparison.
The amount of caesium-137 released since the three reactors were crippled by the March 11 quake and tsunami has been estimated at 15,000 tera becquerels, the Tokyo Shimbun reported, quoting a government calculation.
That compares with the 89 tera becquerels released by “Little Boy”, the uranium bomb the United States dropped on the western Japanese city in the final days of World War II, the report said.
The estimate was submitted by Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s cabinet to a lower house committee on promotion of technology and innovation, the daily said.
The government, however, argued that the comparison was not valid.
While the Hiroshima bomb claimed most of its victims in the intense heatwave of a mid-air nuclear explosion and the highly radioactive fallout from its mushroom cloud, no such nuclear explosions hit Fukushima.
There, the radiation has seeped from molten fuel inside reactors damaged by hydrogen explosions.
“An atomic bomb is designed to enable mass-killing and mass-destruction by causing blast waves and heat rays and releasing neutron radiation,” the Tokyo Shimbun daily quoted a government official as saying. “It is not rational to make a simple comparison only based on the amount of isotopes released.”
Government officials were not immediately available to confirm the report.
The blinding blast of the Hiroshima bomb and its fallout killed some 140,000 people, either instantly or in the days and weeks that followed as high radiation or horrific burns took their toll.
At Fukushima, Japan declared a 20-kilometre (12 mile) evacuation and no-go zone around the plant after the March 11 quake and tsunami triggered the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl 25 years ago.
A recent government survey showed that some areas within the 20-kilometre zone are contaminated with radiation equivalent to more than 500 millisieverts per year — 25 times more than the government’s annual limit.