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Fears of children who have to check radiation levels outside before they can go and play

The main problem is internal radiation thru food and drinking, which in this article is not enough emphasized. Plus there is no safe level of manmade radiation.
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Almost seven years after the Fukushima disaster, staff are forced to check if schoolyards are too poisonous to play
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Pupils have to scan their school playground
Children are still using Geiger counters to test for deadly radiation levels at schools struck by the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
Almost seven years after the worst nuclear meltdown in decades, staff are forced to check if schoolyards are too poisonous to play.
A large Geiger counter in their playground measures the invisible threat still hanging over them after the nearby nuclear plant was hit by an earthquake and engulfed by the ensuing tsunami.
If radiation readings are too high, the children are told they cannot go outside.
Students even have their own handheld devices to check for themselves if schoolyards are too poisonous to play in.
One, 13-year-old Yume, admits what many others also feel. “I’m afraid I’m going to get cancer,” she says bluntly.
Her classmate Mei adds: “Some of the playgrounds near here have been shut – the radiation is too high.”
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Device shows readings equal to having a chest x-ray
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Explosion at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station on March 14, 2011
The disaster in March 2011 was the worst nuclear incident in 30 years. Now students spend lessons scanning their school and plotting hotspots on a map back in class.
Ryu, 13, explained: “The trees are where the highest readings are. We picked up 0.23 last month.”
That level is double the 0.1 millisieverts patients face during a chest X-ray, or equal to 50 scans at the dentist.
While those last just seconds, these children are exposed constantly. The Japanese government has declared Fukushima safe, with a 20-mile no-go zone around the crippled power station itself.
Science teacher Takahira Abe, 52, leads workshops designed by Save the Children to educate about the dangers.
He said: “Fukushima will be a shadow these children live with for the rest of their lives. Most were so young life seems normal, but often when we teach them about radiation they get flashbacks.”
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Kids in the area are more likely to get cancer
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Science teacher Takahira Abe
They are taught about monitoring radiation in local crops and fish.
Mr Abe explains: “I want them to understand the risks – and that they are more likely to get cancers. It gives them tools to protect against further dangers.”
After the disaster Mr Abe and his wife Hiromi decided not to flee – despite protests from their son and daughter, then nine and 13. He said: “The school had a geiger counter for science, so I took readings. Levels were not too high.
“My duties as a teacher were more important. I had to stay and educate others.”
His textbook was created by Save the Children to help those living under a radiation threat. And counsellors have been brought in to help deal with mental health issues.
Mr Abe adds: “That’s one positive – we’re encouraging children to talk openly. That’s not happened before in Japan.”

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December 31, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Tepco’s Decision to Hide Public Disclosure of the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdowns in 2011

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December 29, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

So, how many Bananas are equal to Chernobyl and Fukushima?: Jim Green on Nuclear Propagandists

 

Banana-radiation
 
The ‘Nuclear for Climate’ lobby group recently attended the United Nations’ COP23 climate conference armed with bananas, in order to make specious comparisons between radiation exposures from eating bananas and routine emissions from nuclear power plants.

One of the reasons the comparison is specious is that some exposures are voluntary, others aren’t. Australian academic Prof. Barry Brook said in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster: “People don’t understand that they live in an environment that is awash with radiation and they make decisions every day which affect their radiation dose – they hop on an airplane or eat a banana or sit close to the TV.” True – but people choose to hop on an airplane or eat a banana or sit close to the TV, whereas radiation doses from nuclear plants and nuclear accidents are usually involuntary.

Another reason why the comparison made by ‘Nuclear for Climate’ is specious is that it ignores spikes in radioactive emissions during reactor refueling. Radiation biologist Dr Ian Fairlie notes that when nuclear reactors are refueled, a 12-hour spike in radioactive emissions exposes local people to levels of radioactivity up to 500 times greater than during normal operation. The spikes may explain infant leukemia increases near nuclear plants − but operators provide no warnings and take no measures to reduce exposures.

The comparison between bananas and nuclear power plants also ignores the spike in emissions and radiation doses following catastrophic accidents. So, what’s the Banana Equivalent Dose (yes, that’s a thing) of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters?

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the collective effective dose from Chernobyl was 600,000 person-Sieverts. The UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation estimates radiation exposure from the Fukushima disaster at 48,000person-Sieverts.

Combined, exposure from Chernobyl and Fukushima is estimated at 648,000 person-Sieverts. Exposure from eating a banana is estimated at between 0.09-2.3 microSieverts. Let’s use a figure of 0.1 microSievert per banana. Thus, exposure from Chernobyl and Fukushima equates to 6,480,000,000,000 Banana Equivalent Doses – that’s 6.48 trillion bananas or, if you prefer, 6.48 terabananas or 6,480 gigabananas.

End-to-end, that many 15-cm (6-inch) bananas would stretch 972 million kilometres – far enough to reach the sun 6.5 times over, or the moon 2,529 times over.

Potassium cycle

Another reason the comparison made by ‘Nuclear for Climate’ is specious is explained by Dr Gordon Edwards from the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility:

“[T]he body already has a lot of “natural” potassium including K-40 [which is unavoidable], and any new “natural” potassium ingested is balanced by eliminating a comparable amount of “natural” potassium to maintain the “homeostasis” of the body. In other words the body’s own mechanisms will not allow for a net increase in potassium levels – and therefore will not allow for an increase in K-40 content in the body.

“Here’s what the Oak Ridge Associated Universities has to say; (ORAU was founded in 1946 as the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies.): ‘The human body maintains relatively tight homeostatic control over potassium levels. This means that the consumption of foods containing large amounts of potassium will not increase the body’s potassium content. As such, eating foods like bananas does not increase your annual radiation dose. If someone ingested potassium that had been enriched in K-40, that would be another story.’

“The same argument does not work for radioactive caesium, or for any of the radioactive pollutants given off by a nuclear power plant, because most of these materials do not exist in nature at all – and those that do exist in nature are not subject to the same homeostatic mechanism that the body uses to control potassium levels. Consequently any foodstuffs or beverages containing radioactive caesium or other man-made radioactive pollutants will cause an additional annual dose of ionizing radiation to the person so exposed.”

Likewise, Linda Gunter explained in a 16 November 2017 article:

“At the COP23 Climate Talks currently underway in Bonn, a group calling itself Nuclear for Climate, wants you to slip on their false banana propaganda and fall for their nonsensically unscientific notion that bananas are actually more dangerous than nuclear power plants! I am not making this up. Here is the picture.

“The oxymoronic Nuclear for Climate people are handing out bananas complete with a sticker that reads: “This normal, every-day banana is more radioactive than living near a nuclear power plant for one year.” …

“If you smell something rotten in this banana business, you are right. So let’s peel off the propaganda right now. In short, when you eat a banana, your body’s level of potassium-40 doesn’t increase. You just get rid of some excess potassium-40. The net dose of a banana is zero.

“To explain in more detail, the tiny radiation exposure due to eating a banana lasts only for a few hours after ingestion, namely the time it takes for the normal potassium content of the body to be regulated by the kidneys. Since our bodies are under homeostatic control, the body’s level of potassium-40 doesn’t increase after eating a banana. The body just gets rid of some excess potassium-40.

“The banana bashers don’t want you to know this and instead try to pretend that the potassium in bananas is the same as the genuinely dangerous man-made radionuclides ‒ such as cesium-137 and strontium-90 ‒ that are released into our environment from nuclear power facilities, from atomic bomb tests and from accidents like Fukushima and Chernobyl.

“These radioactive elements, unlike the potassium-40 in bananas, are mistaken by the human body for more familiar elements. For example, ingested radioactive strontium-90 replaces stable calcium, and ingested radioactive cesium-137 replaces stable potassium. These nuclides can lodge in bones and muscles and irradiate people from within. This is internal radiation and can lead to very serious, long-lasting and trans-generational health impacts.”

An unfortunate incident in Goiania, Brazil in September 1987 illustrates the hazards of cesium-137, a fission product. Two people stole a radiotherapy source from a disused medical clinic. A security guard did not show up to work that day; he went instead to the cinema to see ‘Herbie Goes Bananas‘. The radiotherapy source contained 93 grams of cesium-137. It was sold to a junkyard dealer. Many people were exposed to the radioactive cesium and they spread the contamination to other sites within and beyond the town. At least four people died from exposure to the radiation source and, according to the IAEA, “many others” suffered radiation injuries. Those injured included eight patients who required surgical debridments, amputation of the digital extremities and plastic skin grafts. The incident was rated Level 5 (‘Accident with Off Site Risk’) on the 7-point International Nuclear Event Scale.

Terrorists don’t arm themselves with bananas

There is a long history of nuclear power plants being used directly and indirectly in support of nuclear weapons programs. Bananas are of no interest to nuclear weapons proliferators. There’s no Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Bananas, no Comprehensive Test Banana Treaty, no Anti-Banana Missile Treaty. Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump aren’t threatening each other with bananas; not yet, at least.

Nuclear historian Paul Langley notes that terrorists don’t arm themselves with bananas:

“The potassium cycle in humans is no excuse for nuclear authorities anywhere on the planet to claim any benefit or natural precedent for the marketing of nuclear industry emissions contaminated food.

“The fission products are not nutrients. Do not eat them. The nuclear industry promises to keep its radioactive sources sealed. When the industry invariably fails in this undertaking, it turns around and claims that the residue of its pollution is like a banana. Crap. The residue is like the residue of a rad weapon. Fact. It’s the same stuff. Terrorists do not attempt to arm themselves with bananas. They are not dangerous.

“Radio Strontium, Radio Iodine, Radio cesium have NO PLACE in food. Nuke is not clean, it is not green and it relies on lies it has concocted over decades. … The more the nuclear industry claims eating plutonium, strontium, cesium, iodine and other fuel and fission products is OK because bananas exist and because the potassium is a needed nutrient, the more I consider them to be blatant liars.”

http://www.dianuke.org/many-bananas-equal-chernobyl-fukushima-jim-green-nuclear-propagandists-radiation/

December 29, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Nuclear Waste Crisis Is Getting Bigger With Every Passing Day

Nuclear waste storages in Namie, Minamisoma and Iitate, Fukushima prefecture in Japan. Adopting a return to normal policy, the Japanese government undertook an unprecedented decontamination program for areas of Fukushima contaminated by the triple reactor meltdown in March 2011. Fukushima prefecture is 70 percent mountainous forest which has not and cannot be decontaminated, with decontamination efforts focussed along roads and in towns, farmland and in narrow areas around peoples houses. The result has been that the Japanese authorities have produced a nuclear waste crisis, with over 7 million tons of waste located in 147,000 locations (as of August 2017). The Japanese government is determined to force people back to their homes despite the on-going radiation risks and the vast volumes of nuclear waste.

December 28, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

TEPCO president gave order not to call 2011 crisis a ‘meltdown’

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NIIGATA–An investigation committee is leveling the blame for the failure to use the word “meltdown” following the Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011 at Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Masataka Shimizu.
Shimizu instructed TEPCO employees not to use the term on his own and was not following orders from the prime minister’s office, the committee’s report said on Dec. 26.
TEPCO did not publicly confirm that a meltdown had occurred until May 2011.
“There were no instructions (to TEPCO) from the prime minister’s office on whether to use the word ‘meltdown’ or not,” the panel said as to why the announcement was delayed for two months.
The committee was jointly set up by the Niigata prefectural government and TEPCO to investigate the cause of the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.
The investigation is a prerequisite for the prefectural government starting discussions on whether to agree to the restart of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, also operated by TEPCO, in the prefecture.
The description of the investigation committee’s report contrasted sharply with a report released in June 2016 by a third-party investigation committee set up by TEPCO.
According to the third-party committee’s report, Shimizu instructed then Vice President Sakae Muto through a TEPCO employee “not to use the word ‘meltdown’ at the direction of the prime minister’s office” when Muto held a news conference on March 14, 2011, three days after the nuclear accident ensued.
As Shimizu’s memory had faded, the third-party committee was unable to confirm details of the “instruction” from the prime minister’s office, but assumed that there was a directive from the prime minister’s office.
Whether an order had been issued by the prime minister’s office became a focus of the investigation of the Niigata prefectural government and TEPCO committee.
According to the joint panel’s report, Shimizu met with then Prime Minister Naoto Kan and then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano of the Democratic Party of Japan-led government at the prime minister’s office on March 13, 2011, a day before Muto’s news conference.
In that meeting, Shimizu received instructions from Kan and Edano on sharing information.
Shimizu thought that since the definition of a “meltdown” is vague, an announcement that one had occurred could cause a panic unless the release of such news was made after reaching a consensus with the prime minister’s office.
Based on this reasoning, Shimizu instructed TEPCO’s employees “not to use the word ‘meltdown,’” on his own, he was quoted by the report as telling members of the investigation committee.

December 28, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

5 more minors in Fukushima Pref. at time of nuclear accident diagnosed with thyroid cancer

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FUKUSHIMA — Five more people in Fukushima Prefecture who were 18 and under at the time of the 2011 nuclear accident were diagnosed with thyroid cancer as of the end of September this year, a prefectural investigative commission announced at a Dec. 25 meeting.
Fukushima Prefecture established the commission to examine the health of residents after the March 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. A total of 159 Fukushima prefectural residents who were aged 18 and under when the meltdowns occurred have now been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
The commission stated on Dec. 25 that “it is difficult to think the cases are related to radiation exposure” from the disaster.

December 27, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Town of Futaba kicks off radiation cleanup with eye on 2022 revival

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Decontamination work begins Monday in the town of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, to make it habitable again by spring 2022 under a government-led reconstruction project.
FUKUSHIMA – Cleanup work kicked off Monday to make radiation-tainted Futaba, one of the towns hosting the meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 power plant, habitable again by around spring 2022 under a government-led recovery project.
Cleanup and demolition crews are trying to decontaminate the town, which was tainted with fallout from the plant’s triple core meltdown after the March 2011 mega-quake and tsunami. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., is shouldering the cost.
The work at Futaba marks the beginning of a series of government-led projects to make areas designated as special reconstruction zones livable again, with an emphasis on new infrastructure.
About 96 percent of Futaba has been designated as “difficult to return to” zone, and an evacuation advisory is still in place for the entire town, which hosts the stricken power plant with neighboring Okuma.
The cleanup will be concentrated in the special reconstruction zone, which covers 555 hectares accounting for 11 percent of Futaba.
“The reconstruction efforts will help motivate residents to return to their homes,” Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa told officials involved in the project.
“We want you to carry out the work while thinking about the feelings of the citizens awaiting the day they can return,” he said.
Overseen by the Environment Ministry, the first steps will involve removing the top layer of soil in the area near Futaba Station, trimming grass along the streets, and dismantling nearly 60 houses and public facilities.
Along with Futaba, seven municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture have been designated as zones that are difficult to return to.
The government is aiming to lift the evacuation advisory near Futaba station by the end of March 2020, when the Joban Line plans to fully resume operation.
Some evacuees from Futaba had mixed emotions about the start of the work.
A 69-year-old woman residing in a temporary shelter in Iwaki said that her house is in the special reconstruction zone but that she had given up hope of returning because she evacuated over six years ago.
“If this was two or three years after the disaster, I might have a choice to return. But my house became run-down and I got old. Realistically speaking, I don’t think I can live there now,” she said.
On the other hand, Masamichi Matsumoto, who also fled to Iwaki, welcomed the project, saying, “I’m glad that a step has been taken to rebuild the town for the future.”
He said it is unlikely many citizens will return, partly because a nearby facility will be storing contaminated soil collected from the cleanup work.
“But I hope that Futaba will become a town where people can visit some day,” Matsumoto, 54, added.

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December 27, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Toshiba unveils device for Fukushima nuclear reactor probe

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Toshiba Corp. unveiled a pan-tilt camera which it jointly developed with the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning (IRND), to inspect the interior of the damaged primary containment vessel of Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 2 in Yokohama, Friday, Dec. 22, 2017. The device shown to media Friday is 13 meters (43 feet) long and designed to give officials a deeper view into the nuclear plant’s Unit 2 primary containment vessel, where details on melted fuel damage remain largely unknown.
By Mari Yamaguchi | AP December 22 at 10:10 AM
YOKOHAMA, Japan — Toshiba Corp.’s energy systems unit on Friday unveiled a long telescopic pipe carrying a pan-tilt camera designed to gather crucial information about the situation inside the reactor chambers at Japan’s tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant.
The device is 13 meters (43 feet) long and designed to give officials a deeper view into the nuclear plant’s Unit 2 primary containment vessel, where details on melted fuel damage remain largely unknown.
The Fukushima plant had triple meltdowns following the 2011 quake and tsunami. Finding details about the fuel debris is crucial to determining the right method and technology for its removal at each reactor, the most challenging process to safely carry out the plant’s decades-long decommissioning.
Japan’s stricter, post-Fukushima safety standards also require nuclear plant operators elsewhere to invest more time and money into safety measures.
On Friday, Kansai Electric Power Co. announced that it would decommission two idle reactors at the Ohi Nuclear Power Plant in western Japan, citing the difficulty of adding all the safety requirements at the nearly 40-year-old reactors that would be needed to get approval for their restart.
Reports have said it would cost about 58 billion yen ($500 million) and take 30 years to decommission a reactor, about half the estimated cost to restart one.
Also Friday, Japan Nuclear Fuel said that it was postponing the planned launch of its trouble-plagued spent fuel reprocessing plant by three more years until 2021. It cited delayed approval by the authorities. It also said it was postponing the planned manufacturing of fuel from recycled plutonium and uranium.
The mission involving Toshiba’s new probe at Fukushima’s Unit 2 reactor could come as soon as late January. Company officials said the new device will be sent inside the pedestal, a structure directly below the core, to investigate the area and hopefully to find melted debris.
The device looks like a giant fishing rod about 12 centimeters (4.7 inches) in diameter, from which a unit housing the camera, a dosimeter and thermometer slowly slides down. The probe, attached by a cable on the back, can descend all the way to the bottom of the reactor vessel if it can avoid obstacles, officials said.
Two teams of several engineers will be tasked with the mission, which they will remotely operate from a radiation-free command center at the plant.
A simpler predecessor to the pipe unveiled Friday had captured a limited view of the vessel during a preparatory investigation in February. A crawling robot sent in later in February struggled with debris on the ground and stalled in the end due to higher-than-expected radiation, its intended mission incomplete.
The upgraded probe has been co-developed by Toshiba ESS and International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, a government-funded unit of construction and nuclear technology companies over the past nine months.

December 23, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear Waste Crisis in Fukushima is a Human Rights Issue

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Nuclear waste storage area in Iitate, Fukushima prefecture in Japan (Oct 2017).
Traditional early morning Japanese breakfast, briefing on objectives, equipment check and drive into the beautiful mountainous forests of this region: this is the daily routine that will allow us to complete our latest investigation into the radiological status in some of the most contaminated areas of Fukushima prefecture.
But there is nothing normal about the routine in Fukushima.
Nearly seven years after the triple reactor meltdown, this unique nuclear crisis is still underway. Of the many complex issues resulting from the disaster, one in particular may have become routine but is anything but normal: the vast amounts of nuclear waste, stored and being transported across Fukushima prefecture.
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A satellite image shows damage at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant In Fukushima Prefecture (March 2011).
As a result of the Fukushima Daiichi accident, gases and particulates which vented into the atmosphere, led to radioactive fallout greater than 10,000 becquerels per square meter contaminating an estimated 8 percent, or 24,000 square kilometers, of the landmass of Japan. The highest concentrations (greater than 1 million becquerels per meter square) centered in an area more than than 400 square kilometers within Fukushima prefecture.
In the period 2013-14, the Japanese government set about a decontamination program with the objective of being able to lift evacuation orders in the Special Decontaminated Area (SDA) of Fukushima prefecture. Other areas of Fukushima and other prefectures where contamination was lower but significant were also subject to decontamination efforts in the so called Intensive Contamination Survey Area (ICSA).
Two areas of the SDA in particular were subject to concentrated efforts between 2014-2016, namely Iitate and Namie. A total of 24-28,000 people formally lived in these areas, with all evacuated in the days and months following the March 2011 disaster.
The decontamination program consisted of scraping, reverse tillage and removal of top soil from farmland, stripping and removal of soil from school yards, parks and gardens, trimming and cutting of contaminated trees and plants in a 20 meter area around peoples homes, and the same along a 10-15 meter strip either side of the roads, including into the nearby forests.
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Aerial view of nuclear waste storage area in the mountainous forests of Iitate, Fukushima prefecture in Japan (Oct 2017).
This program involved millions of work hours and tens of thousands workers (often Fukushima citizens displaced by the earthquake, tsunami and reactor meltdown), and often homeless and recruited off the streets of cities, and exploited for a wage of 70 dollars a day to work long hours in a radioactive environment. All this for a man-made nuclear disaster officially estimated at costing 21 trillion yen but with other estimates as high as 70 trillion yen.
As of March 2017, the decontamination program was officially declared complete and evacuation orders were lifted for the less contaminated areas of Namie and Iitate, so called area 2. The even higher radiation areas of Iitate and Namie, Area 3, and where no decontamination program has been applied, remain closed to habitation.
In terms of effectiveness, radiation levels in these decontaminated zones have been reduced in many areas but there are also multiple examples where levels remain significantly above the governments long range target levels. In addition to where decontamination has been only partially effective, the principle problem for Iitate and Namie is that the decontamination has created islands where levels have been reduced, but which are surrounded by land, and in particular, forested mountains, for which there is no possible decontamination. Forests make up more than 70% of these areas.
As a consequence, areas decontaminated are subject to recontamination through weathering processes and the natural water and lifecycle of trees and rivers. Given the half life of the principle radionuclide of concern – cesium-137 at 30 years – this will be an on-going source of significant recontamination for perhaps ten half lives – or 300 years.
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Greenpeace documents the ongoing radioactive decontamination work in Iitate district, Japan. The area is still contaminated since the March 2011 explosions at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant (July 2015).
So apart from the decontamination not covering the largest areas of significant contamination in the forested mountains of Fukushima, and in reality only a small fraction of the total landmass of contaminated areas, the program has generated almost unimaginable volumes of nuclear waste. According to the Japanese Government Ministry of Environment in its September 2017 report, a total of 7.5 million nuclear waste bags (equal to 8.4 million m³) from within the SDA was in storage across Fukushima.
A further 6 million m³ of waste is generated in the ICSA within Fukushima prefecture (but not including waste produced from the wider ICSA which stretches from Iwati prefecture in the north to Chiba in the south on the outskirts of Tokyo). In total nuclear waste generated from decontamination is stored at over 1000 Temporary Storage Sites (TSS) and elsewhere at 141,000 locations across Fukushima.
The Government projects a total of 30 million m³ of waste will be generated, of which 10 million is to be incinerated, generating 1 million cubic meters of highly contaminated ash waste. Options to use some of the less contaminated waste in construction of walls and roads is actively under consideration.
Government policy is for all of this waste to be deposited at two sites north of the Fukushima Daiichi plant at Okuma and Futaba – both of which remain closed to habitation at present but which are targeted for limited resettlement as early as 2021. Although the facilities are not completed yet, they are supposed to be in operation only for 30 years – after which the waste is to be deposited in a permanent site. The reality is there is no prospects of this waste being moved to another permanent site anywhere else in Japan.
As we conducted our radiation survey work across Fukushima in September and October 2017, it was impossible not to witness the vast scale of both the waste storage areas and the volume of nuclear transports that are now underway. Again the numbers are numbing.
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Aerial view of a nuclear waste incinerator in Namie, Fukushima prefecture in Japan (Sept 2017).
In the space of one hour standing in a main street of Iitate village, six nuclear waste trucks passed us by. Not really surprising since in the year to October over 34,000 trucks moved nuclear waste across Fukushima to Okuma and Futaba. The target volume of waste to be moved to these sites in 2017 is 500,000 m³. And this is only the beginning. By 2020, the Government is planning for as much as 6.5 million m³ of nuclear waste to be transported to the Futaba and Okuma sites – a rough estimate would mean over one million nuclear transports in 2020.
On any measure this is insanity – and yet the thousands of citizens who formally lived in Namie and Iitate are expected and pressurized by the Japanese government to return to live amidst this nuclear disaster zone.
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A contaminated house being demolished in Namie town, Fukushima prefecture (Sept 2017).
Perhaps one of the most shocking experience in our visit to Fukushima was to witness a vast incineration complex hidden deep in the woods of southern Iitate and a nearby vast storage area with tens of thousands of waste bags surrounded on all sides by thick forests. The tragic irony of a multi-billion dollar and ultimately failed policy of decontamination that has unnecessarily exposed thousands of poorly protected and desperate workers to radiation – but which leads to a vast nuclear dump surrounded by a radioactive forest which that can never be decontaminated.
There is no logic to this, unless you are a trucking and incineration business and of course the Japanese government, desperate to create the myth of recovery after Fukushima. On this evidence there is no ‘after’, only ‘forever’.
This new abnormal in Fukushima is a direct result of the triple reactor meltdown and a cynical government policy that prioritizes the unattainable fantasy of effective radioactive decontamination, while de-prioritising the safety, health and well being of the people of Fukushima.
The nuclear waste crisis underway in Fukushima is only one of the many reasons why the Japanese government was under scrutiny at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva last month. Recommendations were submitted to the United Nations by the governments of Austria, Mexico, Portugal and Germany at the calling on the Japanese government to take further measures to support the evacuees of Fukushima, in particular women and children.
The Government in Tokyo is to announce its decision on whether it accepts or rejects these recommendations at the United Nations in March 2018. Greenpeace, together with other human rights groups and civil society in Japan are calling on the government to accept that it has failed to defend the rights of its citizens and to agree to implement corrective measures immediately.
Shaun Burnie is a senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany

December 23, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

90Sr specific activity of teeth of abandoned cattle after the Fukushima accident – teeth as an indicator of environmental pollution

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Highlights

90Sr in cattle teeth was determined after the Fukushima accident.

90Sr was efficiently incorporated into the teeth at development stages.

90Sr specific activity of aqueous extract was higher than that of soil.

Water soluble 90Sr was incorporated into the cattle and accumulated.

Sr transfer is eliminated compared to Ca in the migration route.


Abstract

90Sr specific activity in the teeth of young cattle that were abandoned in Kawauchi village and Okuma town located in the former evacuation areas of the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) accident were measured. Additionally, specific activity in contaminated surface soils sampled from the same area was measured. (1) All cattle teeth examined were contaminated with 90Sr. The specific activity, however, varied depending on the developmental stage of the teeth during the FNPP accident; teeth that had started development before the accident exhibited comparatively lower values, while teeth developed mainly after the accident showed higher values. (2) Values of 90Sr-specific activity in teeth formed after the FNPP accident were higher than those of the bulk soil but similar to those in the exchangeable fraction (water and CH3COONH4 soluble fractions) of the soil. The findings suggest that 90Sr was incorporated into the teeth during the process of development, and that 90Sr in the soluble and/or leachable fractions of the soil might migrate into teeth and contribute to the amount of 90Sr in the teeth. Thus, the concentration of 90Sr in teeth formed after the FNPP accident might reflect the extent of 90Sr pollution in the environment.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0265931X17307610

December 23, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

The Occupation and Glass Badges

It is an article five years ago. But very important so I will post again.
—”Why are children and pregnant women, who are not inside nuclear power plants, wearing these badges? The proposal came from the National Cancer Center of Japan, which suggested to both central and Fukushima regional governments the use of dosimeters “to calm the anxiety of the children and their guardians.”
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by TOMOE NAGANO
 
(日本語による原文は下記に掲載)
 
Today, children in Fukushima are mandated to wear radiation dosimeters called ‘glass badges.’ Some of the regional governments also require pregnant women to wear them. They are a durable, modified version of film badges, one of three main types of radiation monitors: -alarm meters, film badges, and pocket dosimeters – all used by the workers in nuclear power plants.
 
Why are children and pregnant women, who are not inside nuclear power plants, wearing these badges? The proposal came from the National Cancer Center of Japan, which suggested to both central and Fukushima regional governments the use of dosimeters “to calm the anxiety of the children and their guardians.” The Cancer Center, prior to giving badges to children, had monitored radiation exposure on public health nurses who went to the vicinity of the Fukushima Daiichi to give medical care to the residents. Under this project, the nurses, most of whom are women, were turned into radiation monitoring devices. The Center’s official report of the project clearly states that “[the public health nurses are] to become representatives of local residents for monitoring radioactivity.”1 Since the nurses had capacity to go about every single house in the region to check health condition of the residents, the Cancer Center supposedly tried to check radiation exposure of the people by taking advantage of their role.
 
Every three months, the glass badges are collected from the people by various research institutions, universities and specialized companies2, who then would gather the data to report to the Cancer Center. However, aside from collecting the data, the Center as well as any other governmental agencies never give the people any advice as to how to protect themselves from exposure to radiation and how they can deal with health damages caused by radioactive materials. After reporting the levels of exposure, they neglect to offer any health management and support and leave them up to local governments. On the other hand, there is a person who advocates a very simple method to protect oneself from radiation; the representative being Dr. Shun-ichi Yamashita. His simple and honest advise is: “you will not get damage of radiation as long as you are smiling. You only do if you worry.” (There is a Japanese saying ‘Fancy may kill or cure’ – the very word that the former PM Yasuhiro Nakasone had said during his visit to Hiroshima Atom bomb casualty Hospital, trying to calm the minds of hibakusha he met there. Nakasone, known to have passed the very first budget for nuclear power plants in Japan during his term, always promoted nuclear energy.
 
Being a hibakusha nisei or the son of a hibakusha, Shun-ichi Yamashita is a doctor with various entitlements, who took the position of the Radiation Risk Advisor in Fukushima after 3/11, then was appointed for the vice president of the Fukushima Medical College. He also received the 2011 “Asahi Cancer Award,” which is supposed to be given to those who contributed to cancer treatment, presented by Japan Cancer Society, many of whose faculty are appointed from the National Cancer Center. This particular award was co-presented by the relatively liberal newspaper Asahi Shimbin, which came as a surprise and disgust to many, especially since Yamashita’s overly unscientific remarks had been a topic of ridicule even among mass-media.
 
As I described above, the residents of Fukushima today are made into the subjects of human experiments by the Japanese government, research institutions as well as mass-media that support their stance. In a TV report by WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) in Germany, a school teacher, who hands out the glass badges to his pupils, says: “I’m not happy with these dosimeters. They are going to turn our students into study subjects. The dosimeters only accumulate data in them, instead of displaying the levels of radiation. I wish they were radiation alarms which warn you when you have to get out of the area.”
 
The people of Fukushima are expropriated of their health data without being provided with care or treatment. The very situation reminds me of what had been done to hibakushas in Hiroshima and Nagasaki under the US military occupation.
 
In August 1945, atomic bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, thereby many people were killed and exposed to radiation through the thermic rays and radiation. About a year later, the occupying US military under the order of Harry Truman founded ABCC (Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission) under auspices of the military regime, in order to prepare for the future nuclear wars. At the newly set-up research facility in Hiroshima, ABCC began researching the effects of radiation on human bodies. The United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) stated as follows: “The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki provided an exceptional and unique opportunity to monitor the effects of radiation on human groups.3” Although the ABCC collected data and human biological samples from the victims, they never provided any kind of treatment. The focus of their research was the effects on DNA. And this required the development of dynamic statistics of population, the institutionalization of pregnancy/birth registration and the establishment of public health office. Therein, crucially needed for the research was the role of mid-wives, who were to be ordered to record and report in detail the conditions of pregnancy, birth, and the newborn, and if they were safely delivered or miscarried. The research was also targeted on pregnant women and children of the resident ethnic Koreans and other foreigners. It goes without saying that the Japanese government was co-opted to this crime.
 
A woman from Fukushima stated at a rally last summer: “the people of Fukushima have become the subjects of a nuclear experiment. Vast amount of radioactive waste will remain. In spite of the huge sacrifice, the clout of the proponents of nuclear power prevails. We have been abandoned. (…) We are ‘the demons of the northeast’ quietly burning flames of wrath.” There are quite many who understand the meaning of having glass badges attached on their bodies. Thus the people in Fukushima ought to become demons. Not another person, child or woman should be exploited by the development of nuclear military industrial complex.4
 
We must recall the following phrases over and over again:
 
It was not that the victims were never given explanation about the research. However, one might wonder if there were any agreements between the researchers and the victims over the purpose of the research. What kind of resulting reports were given to the victims? Were they ever informed how the results from the experiments were used?
 
During the time [of the nuclear research], no adults ever accused the cruelty of the bomb causality research, nor they told their children what it meant. In this sense, the adults were responsible as well.
 
(from Masao Sasamoto, Atom-Bomb Research Under the US Military Occupation)
 
 
2 One of the companies, Chiyoda Technol, is a corporation whose facility is build in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, under the support from both Central and Aomori governments. They are proponents of nuclear energy.
 
3 Hewlett, Richard G. and Oscar E. Anderson Jr. The New World, 1939-1946, (History of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, Vol.1), University Park, 1962.
 
4 In Manhattan Project even before the dropping of the atomic bombs, the people were made into subject of human experiments where they were injected with plutonium to see its effects. (Albuquerque Tribune, Manhattan Project: Human Plutonium Injection Experiments)
https://jfissures.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/the-occupation-and-glass-badges/

December 23, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Moscow urges Tokyo to prevent discharge of Fukushima radioactive water

Moscow does not rule out that the move may affect Russian territorial waters.

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http://tass.com/politics/981971

 

December 21, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima radioactive contamination: Children nosebleed while asleep and also in daytime, especially after playing in the sand!

Soil contamination survey: 80% of schools have amazing figures!!
The government and Fukushima prefecture do not measure the soil contamination, and lifted the evacuation order one after another, as “external radiation dose has come down to less than 20 mSv/year.” Besides that, Fukushima prefecture closed off in March 2017 the free housing support for voluntary evacuees. “Voluntary evacuees” are evacuees who are evacuating from areas outside the evacuation order zone. The exact number is not grasped and it is estimated to be about 17 thousand people.
For voluntary evacuees, there is no mental reparation from TEPCO, which is paid to forced refugees, 100,000 yen (~1000 $) per month, so only the free provision of housing is a lifeline. Many people will not be able to continue the evacuation life if this is cut off.
Sakamoto says, “The prefecture officials repeatedly said at the briefing session for borrowed housing termination,” We do not know about contamination of the soil, because there are people living in Fukushima. ” But this contamination situation of soil extraordinary. We, the residents in Fukushima, cannot protect ourselves if our prefecture does not clarify the details of soil contamination.”
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In Fukushima prefecture, accurate information was not given to residents after the accident. Some people evacuated in the direction of radioactive plum, and many stayed outdoors for a long time in order to get water and food.
Sakamoto’s second daughter was healthy until the nuclear accident, but for some time after the accident, she suffered from symptoms such as nosebleeds, diarrhea and anemia.
“There are so many people who regret that they allowed their children exposed at that time. We hear that the staff of Fukushima Medical University took iodine, which was not given to residents. We never want children to be exposed. “(Sakamoto)
 
The government and the Fukushima prefecture evaluate the safety only by external radiation dose. Mr. Kono of the citizen environment research institute also alarms the danger of the evaluation.
“Since radioactive material that fell on the ground enters the soil with the passage of time, the radiation dose of the space is shielded by the soil. But it will not be eliminated from the ground and radioactive substances attached to the fine particles soar up and move. Decontaminated ground will be contaminated again and you may suck in and have internal exposure. In fact you do an exact soil survey and decontaminate the place where people live as many times as you can. If the prefecture can not decontaminate, it should give the right to emigrate to people who want to move. It is presumed to be because they do not want to reveal the seriousness of pollution that the government and prefecture do not investigate soil contamination in detail. “
 
Medical Doctor Ushiyama, clinical professor of Shimane University, and in charge of medical departments at Sagami Hospital, who visits medical sites in Chernobyl often, also said, “To judge safety only by radiation dose in space ignores the risk of internal radiation exposure when radioactive substances are taken into the body. “
 
In fact, Mr. Sawada (Fukushima-city) who found that cesium was detected from the urine of her child and she is exposed to internal radiation said:
“I was pregnant when a nuclear accident took place 5 years ago. and I evacuated to Yamagata with my 2-year-old daughter. I gave birth at Yamagata and was struggling to raise children by myself. However, since her eldest daughter became emotionally unstable and wanted to return home, I returned home in January 2014. In Fukushima city, the eldest daughter came to take a nosebleed after playing sand. Nosebleed in asleep and in daytime, and my second daughter also took nosebleed after playing outside.
Now that her eldest daughter became first grade in primary school and she does not play sand, it’s gone … …. “
Mr. Sawada says that if children have nosebleed from now on, they will think about evacuation again.
 
Mr. Endo (Minamisoma city) also talks like this.
“Radioactive dust is terrible because heavy duty trucks carrying decontamination soil and gravel frequently comes and goes back and forth around the school. Her son who goes to the nursery school is picked up by car, but her elder brother goes to
school by bicycle. I worry that my son will inhale the radioactive dust … ”
 
According to a survey group, soil contamination was 449,000 Bq / square meteron the school road in Minamisoma where Mr. Endo lives (around Ishigami 2nd elementary school) . In Fukushima city where Sawada lives, 480,000 Bq / square meter (around Fukushima Daiichi Junior High School) was detected. Ushiyama mentioned that Both the contamination is the value corresponding to the “move rights area” in Belarus ‘(Chernobyl).
 
“Even a trace amount of radioactive substances taken into the body continue to emit radiation irradiate the organs within the body until it is discharged. It いsl be difficult to get out when the radioactive substance enters the lungs. I heard from a Belarusian doctor that there is a possibility that bladder cancer increased by excretion of radioactive substance in the urine. The accumulation in genital organs is also concerned about the influence on the next generation. , It has also been reported that the abnormality worsened if insects are grown with bait contaminated with radioactive materials. “
 
Mothers are exhausted by the irresponsible constitution of the government and the prefecture and the social pressures that force to consider “Don’t worry, Fukushima accident never happened, everything is all right.”
Terumi Kataoka who told me the story that removed the slide says.
“Aizu is believed to have little pollution, but it depends on the location.In Aizu Wakamatsu City, the mayor has declared the safety declaration earlier so it is not even decontaminated.If you want the mayor to decontaminate previously If we asked, “Although tourists are returning, if we decontaminate now, both original and child will be lost” was rejected ”

December 19, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Japanese Embassy Promoting Fukushima Sake in London, UK

Did they inform those people that this sake is made from Fukushima contaminated rice, that no matter how delicious it tastes there is no safe level of radiation, that internal radiation is much more harmful than external radiation?
Of course they didn’t.
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Three Days of a London Ecstatic for Fukushima Saké: The London Fukushima Saké Fair Event Report
In the plot full of excitement at sake of Fukushima
 
A PR Event in London to Highlight Fukushima’s Fifth Year Running With The Most Gold Medals From the All-Japan New Saké Awards
The Fukushima Saké Fair, a public relations event to create buzz for Japanese sakés from Fukushima Prefecture, was held during the three days from October 17th through the 19th, 2017, at venues throughout London, including the Halls of Parliament, famous for Big Ben, and the Embassy of Japan.
More than 480 persons attended the event over the course of the three days. Faces red with delighted intoxication were seen here and there, tasting Fukushima saké, which had, for the fifth year running, acquired the most gold medals at the All-Japan New Saké Awards.
In addition, a Fukushima Night was also held at two Japanese restaurants within London: Tokimeite and Yashin Ocean House. Among the participants were those who remarked that the Fukushima sakés were the best Japanese sakés they had ever imbibed, happily drawing a close on the great success of the Fukushima Saké Fair event.
Negotiations Among Importers and Six Saké Brewers Within Fukushima
Lively discussions were had at the Fukushima Saké Negotiations, held on October 18th, among the participating saké brewers and the local restaurants and alcohol wholesalers.
Interest in Japanese saké is on the rise in London. Many persons are taking note of quality Fukushima sakés, and among the sommeliers and alcohol wholesalers present at the event were comments such as how the Fukushima sakés were full-bodied and crisp, how well they would accompany meat dishes, and how they should be carried by those restaurants and wholesalers. More than 100 negotiations took place. The expectation is that, moving forward, there will be many more Fukushima saké transactions in the market.

 

December 15, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Gimmick to Promote Fukushima Contaminated Produce

Japanese Government won’t stop at anything to promote Fukushima’s contaminated produce to its people so as to calm their fears and to the foreign markets so as to make them lift their imports restrictions on Eastern Japan produce.
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Boris Johnson downs a can of peach juice from Fukushima given to him by Japanese minister to prove goods from the nuclear meltdown zone are safe
Boris Johnson was handed Fukushima fruit drink by Japanese minister Tarō Kōno
He downed can in three gulps as an act of solidarity, saying: ‘Very good. Mmmh’
Many countries – including the US and China – still ban imports from the area
Nuclear plant in the prefecture suffered huge meltdown after earthquake in 2011
Boris Johnson has downed a can of peach juice from an area of Japan that suffered a triple nuclear meltdown in a bid to show its produce is safe.
The foreign secretary was handed the Fukushima fruit drink by Japanese foreign affairs minister Tarō Kōno, who brought it with him on his visit to London. 
A nuclear plant in the prefecture suffered a huge meltdown after an earthquake in 2011, causing a release of radioactive material that led to over 50 countries banning imports of food from the area.   
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The foreign secretary was handed the Fukushima fruit drink by Japanese foreign affair minister Tarō Kōno, who brought it with him on his visit to London. Pictured: He downs the can
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A nuclear plant in the prefecture suffered a huge meltdown after an earthquake in 2011, causing a release of radioactive material that led to over 50 countries banning imports of food from the area. Pictured: Boris with Kono at the Foreign Office in London yesterday 
But Boris didn’t seem to mind as he delightedly gulped down a small can of peach juice, captured on video and published to Twitter by Kōno yesterday. 
Smirking after swigging the drink, Boris mutters: ‘Very good… Mmmh.’ 
He then takes a good look at the can before going for gulp number two.
Again the juice meets his approval, with the foreign secretary declaring: ‘Yum! I need it.’
He then takes a final swig and utters yet another ‘Mmmmh’ before putting the can down, presumably empty. 
 
Kōno explained in his tweet: ‘British FM Boris Johnson drinking peach juice from Fukushima, showing the products from Fukushima are safe.’
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Pictured: Boris finishing off the juice
Many countries – including the US and China – still have restrictions on Fukushima produce in place following the disaster
 
But as part of efforts to persuade the world that the area’s goods are perfectly safe, many Japanese politicians have munched on its food and gulped down its drinks. 
In 2011, however, MP Yasuhiro Sonoda rather fluffed the PR exercise by visibly shaking as he drank water collected from the Daiichi nuclear plant in Fukushima.  
 
 
Boris Johnson swigs can of peach juice from Fukushima
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Foreign secretary drinks down gift from Japan’s foreign minister in attempt to show food and drink from region is safe after triple nuclear meltdown
“Yum.” That was foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s verdict on a can of peach juice from Fukushima – a ‘gift’ from his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono – during their meeting in London this week.
The moment, captured by Kono on his smartphone, was intended to prove that food and drink from Fukushima is safe, almost seven years after the triple nuclear meltdown.
While some countries have maintained restrictions on food from the region – a major producer of peaches – the EU said this month it would ease import restrictions on agricultural items and seafood that were introduced after the March 2011 disaster.
 
More than 50 countries and regions imposed import curbs on Japanese produce after the disaster, and about half – including China and the US – still have them in place.
“Very good … Mmm,” Johnson pronounced, studying the label on the can for good measure.
He polished off the sweet drink without incident, no doubt to the relief of his Japanese guests. But attempts by other politicians to use food and drink to prove a point, or simply ingratiate themselves with voters, have left a bitter taste.
During a BSE scare in Britain in 1990, the then agriculture secretary, John Gummer, unsuccessfully tried to feed his four-year-old daughter, Cordelia, a burger made with British beef.
In recent years, Ed Miliband and Theresa May proved that encounters with the food of the masses – in his case a bacon sandwich, in hers a cone of chips – are best kept out of the public eye.
May’s predecessor, David Cameron, had set a poor example by choosing to tackle a simple hot dog with a knife and fork.
Japanese politicians of all stripes have taken up the cause of Fukushima produce.
In 2011 Yasuhiro Sonoda, then a ruling party MP, visibly shook as he gulped down a glass of decontaminated – and perfectly safe – water collected from inside two reactor buildings at Fukushima Daiichi.

December 15, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment