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The danger of sourcing food and material from the Fukushima region

Ground-level nuclear disasters leave much more radioactive fallout than Tokyo is willing to admit
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 A storage tank for contaminated water near the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster
August 25, 2019
International concerns are growing over the Japanese government’s plans to provide meals from the Fukushima area to squads participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The starting point for the Olympic torch relay, and even the baseball stadium, were placed near the site of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. It seems to be following the model of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, where Japan’s rise from the ashes of the atomic bombs was underscored by having a young man born the day of the Hiroshima bombing act serve as the relay’s last runner. Here we can see the Shinzo Abe administration’s fixation on staging a strained Olympic reenactment of the stirring Hiroshima comeback – only this time from Fukushima.
But in terms of radiation damages, there is a world of difference between Hiroshima and Fukushima. Beyond the initial mass casualties and the aftereffects suffered by the survivors, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima resulted in little additional radiation exposure. Nuclear technology being as crude as it was back then, only around one kilogram of the Hiroshima bomb’s 64kg of highly enriched uranium actually underwent any reaction, resulting in a relatively small generation of nuclear fission material.
Whereas ground-based nuclear testing results in large quantities of radioactive fallout through combining with surface-level soil, the Hiroshima bomb exploded at an altitude of 580m, and the superheated nuclear fission material rose up toward the stratosphere to spread out around the planet, so that the amount of fallout over Japan was minimal.
Even there, most of the nuclides had a short half-life (the amount of time it takes for half the total atoms in radioactive material to decay); manganese-56, which has a half-life of three hours, was the main cause of the additional radiation damages, which were concentrated during the day or so just after the bomb was dropped. The experience of Nagasaki was similar. As a result, both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were able to fully resume as functioning cities by the mid-1950s without additional decontamination efforts.
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Piles of plastic bags containing contaminated soil and other waste, a common site in the Fukushima region
 
Fukushima’s radiation increases over time
The Fukushima disaster did not result in mass casualties, but the damages from radiation have only increased over time. The nuclear power plants experiencing core meltdowns had the equivalent of around 12 tons of highly enriched uranium in nuclear fuel – roughly 12,000 times more than the amount of uranium that underwent nuclear fission in the Hiroshima bomb. At one point, the Japanese government announced that Fukushima released 168 times more cesium than the Hiroshima bomb. But even that was merely a difference in emissions; there’s an immeasurable difference between the amount of fallout from Hiroshima, which was left over from a total spread out over the planet at a high altitude, and the amount from Fukushima, which was emitted at ground level.
Hiroshima also experienced little to no exposure to cesium-137 and strontium-90 – nuclides with half-lives of around 30 years that will continue to afflict Japan for decades to come. Due to accessibility issues, most of the forests that make up around 70% of Fukushima’s area have been left unaddressed. According to Japanese scholars, around 430 square kilometers of forest was contaminated with high concentrations of cesium-137. The danger of this forest cesium is that it will be carried toward residential or farm land by wind and rain, or that contaminated flora and fauna will be used in processing and distribution. Indeed, cedar wood from Fukushima remains in distribution in the region, and was even shipped off recently to serve as construction material for the Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, the incidence of thyroid cancer in children – a rare condition – has risen all the way from one to two cases before the incident to 217 in its wake. Yet the Abe administration has only impeded a study by physicians, using various government-controlled Fukushima-related investigation committees as vehicles for sophistry and controlling media reporting on the issue.
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Seok Kwang-hoon, energy policy consultant of Green Korea
 
Abe administration hoping to cut costs in nuclear waste disposal
The economic consequences have been astronomical as well. From an expert group’s analysis, the Japan Center for Economic Research estimated that the 14 million tons of radioactive waste from collecting Fukushima’s cesium-contaminated soil would result in a financial burden of 20 trillion yen (US$187.98 billion) based on the acceptance costs at the Rokkasho-mura radioactive waste disposal center. Contaminated water from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant – which already amounts to 1.2 million tons and is expected to increase to 2 million – was predicted to cost fully 51 trillion yen (US$479.35 billion) in tritium and strontium removal costs alone. Factor in the 10 trillion yen (around US$94 billion) in resident compensation, and the amount is close to the Japanese government’s total annual budget. Hoping to cut costs, the Abe administration announced plans to reuse soil waste in civil engineering, while the contaminated water is expected to be dumped into the Pacific after the formalities of a discussion. But few if any Japanese news outlets have been doing any investigative reporting on the issue.
When Abe declared the situation “under control” during the Olympic bidding campaign in 2013, this truthfully amounted to a gag order on the press and civil society. Having the world’s sole experience of filing and winning a World Trade Organization (WTO) case on Fukushima seafood, South Korea may be in the best position to alert the world to the issue of radioactivity and the Tokyo Olympics. I look forward to seeing efforts from the administration.
By Seok Kwang-hoon, energy policy consultant of Green Korea
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September 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

South Korea express concern about food from Fukushima as Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Seminar begins

tepco_2020_olympics.jpg

 

August 20, 2019

The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) has written to Tokyo 2020 organisers to express concern about food from Fukushima being served at the Games.

Organisers confirmed to Reuters that a letter on the issue had been sent on the opening day of the Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Seminar.

Fukushima was struck by one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit Japan in 2011, when a devastating earthquake and tsunami caused an accident at a nuclear power plant.

Around 16,000 people lost their lives in the tragedy.

Both Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have been keen to promote the Games as a tool which could help with the region’s recovery.

Baseball and softball matches will be staged there and Fukushima prefecture will also host the start of the Japanese leg of the Torch Relay.

Produce from Fukushima has been served at official events, including IOC Coordination Commissions, but the KSOC said they are worried about contamination.

Their letter comes at a period of increasing tension between Japan and South Korea.

“Within our planning framework we will respond to them accordingly,” said Toru Kobayash, Tokyo 2020’s director of NOC services, to Reuters.

“We have said that we will respond to them properly. 

“We have had no further questions [from South Korea].”

A trade war has developed between the two countries with South Korea also angry about reported Japanese plans to dump “toxic” water from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean.

Some voices have even called for a Korean boycott of the Games with the nations further clashing over the appearance of disputed islands on an official Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay map.

The map on the official website includes the Liancourt Rocks, which are governed by South Korea but claimed by Japan.

South Korea calls the islands Dokdo but in Japan they are known as Takeshima, and both countries claim historical ties.

They lie in the Sea of Japan in between the two countries and are valuable due to rich fishing waters and natural gas deposits.

Elsewhere, concerns over sweltering conditions were discussed on day one of the Seminar at the Hotel New Otani.

Rising heat has developed into a major concern before Tokyo 2020 with more than 50 deaths in July as temperatures in Japan approached 40 degrees celsius.

Athletes have also struggled in the weather at the test events, including rowers suffering heatstroke at the World Junior Championships at the Sea Forest Waterway.

The triathlon event was shortened because of the humid conditions while cooling measures were tested at the beach volleyball.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are due to open on July 24 next year.

Among the measures being considered to combat the problem is allowing fans to bring their own bottled water into venues under certain conditions, which had previously been banned at past editions of the Olympic Games due to security and sponsorship reasons.

Misting sprays, air-conditioned tents and special road coatings are other plans put forward by organisers, as well as moving some events to earlier in the day. 

Dutch Chef de Mission Pieter van den Hoogenband, who faced the media on behalf of attending National Olympic Committees (NOCs), said he was impressed with how organisers were handling the issue.

“Of course we know there are some heat issues but overall, for all the different teams, these are the circumstances and we have to deal with it,” the triple Olympic champion said to Reuters.

“Top athletes know that they have to perform in any circumstances.

“Because of the test events, we get a lot of information and a lot of data and the way the Organising Committee is taking all that data to make it even more perfect…

“I was impressed with the way they handled things.”

Organisers have also pledged to install triple-layer screens in Tokyo Bay to combat bacteria in the water.

It comes after the discovery of E.coli which forced the cancellation of the swimming leg at the Paratriathlon test event.

The three-day Seminar continues tomorrow with every NOC invited to attend.

Representatives from the IOC and the Association of National Olympic Committees are also present.

A full progress update has been promised as well as a venue tour. 

https://www.insidethegames.biz/index.php/articles/1083697/fukushima-food-tokyo-2020

August 22, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tokyo’s Fukushima cesium-enriched microparticle (CsMP) update

CsMP-01-2.jpgSecondary electron images from Utsunomiya et al. 2019, of CsMPs discovered in atmospheric particles trapped on a Tokyo air filter from March 15, 2011, with major constituent elements displayed. 

 

August 17th, 2019

An interesting paper  was recently published by a team headed by Dr. Satoshi Utsunomiya of Kyushu University on the subject of Fukushima-derived cesium-enriched microparticles (CsMPs). As many readers will know, several researchers have located and analyzed these microparticles, in which the cesium is often bonded within glass-like silicates and therefore generally significantly less soluble than other Cs chemical species in water, though technically not actually “insoluble.” After an accident like Fukushima, it is much more common to find cesium in water-soluble compounds like cesium hydroxide (CsOH), and predictions about how quickly the cesium will be dispersed through the environment, in soil, in watersheds, taken up by plants and animals, etc, are based primarily on this assumption. The discovery of sparingly-soluble Fukushima-derived cesium microparticles, first documented by Adachi et al in 2013, and since then confirmed by many others, has raised a number of questions. How abundant are they? Does their presence increase health risk to humans? How much do they reveal about the process of the accident itself? From the standpoint of researchers the microparticles are very intriguing.

Utsunomiya et al.’s paper is titled “Caesium fallout in Tokyo on 15th March, 2011 is dominated by highly radioactive, caesium-rich microparticles,” and as noted in a recent Scientific American article, it was originally accepted for publication in 2017 by Scientific Reports journal. Weeks before publication, however, Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Technology Research Institute (TIRI), operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, raised objections with Scientific Reports. However no questions about the quality of the science or the validity of the paper’s findings appear to have been brought forward. This in itself was highly irregular. Two years elapsed without resolution, and in March of this year Scientific Reports took the highly unusual step of withdrawing its offer to publish the paper, despite the lack of confirmed evidence that would warrant it. Utsunomiya and several co-authors decided that the best course of action was to place the study in the public domain by publishing it via arXiv, a highly respected pre-print website. The paper is now open and free to download

This study makes a valuable contribution to the body of scientific literature regarding the consequences of the Fukushima disaster in general and CsMPs in particular. I think it was a mistake for Scientific Reports not to publish it two years ago, especially considering the rapid pace of research into these particles and the tremendous interest in them. To summarize the findings briefly, the researchers analyzed air filter samples from March 15, 2011, in Setagaya, Tokyo, when the radioactive plume from Fukushima caused a noticeable peak in airborne radioactivity in the city. The researchers used radiographic imaging (placing the filters on a photographic plate) to identify any highly radioactive spots. Using these images as a guide they were able to isolate seven CsMPs, which they subjected to atomic-scale analysis using high-resolution electron microscopy (HRTEM) to identify their nano-scale structure and chemical composition. Based on these detailed measurements and quantitative analysis, the researchers concluded that 80-89% of the total cesium fallout in Tokyo that day was in the form of highly radioactive microparticles. The second half of the paper is devoted to estimates of how long such particles might be retained in the human lungs if inhaled, based on previous studies that reported the effects of inhalation of non-radioactive atmospheric particles, and some possible physical consequences. The paper is valuable for the quantitative analysis of the Tokyo particles alone, since it is one of few studies that deal with the issue for Tokyo specifically. Research into possible health consequences of the particles, meanwhile, has gained momentum while the paper remained unpublished, using approaches such as stochastic biokinetics, and DNA damage studies.  In a recent paper, Utsunomiya and colleagues produced estimates of the rate of dissolution of the particles inside the human lung, in pure water, and in seawater. A working group at the Japan Health Physics Society has also devoted attention to the issue, noting the need for further study of the risk from intake of these particles, particularly to the lung.  Likewise, others have been studying the particles to learn about the accident progression and possible consequences for decommissioning.

Why did Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Technology Research Institute object to the paper’s publication? When we first heard that publication of the paper was being held up by Tokyo Metropolitan Government, we thought politically-motivated suppression was a likely explanation. Since then the public has learned that the actual complaint given to Scientific Reports stems from a chain of custody issue of the original air filter samples. We don’t want to speculate further about Tokyo’s motivation, because we have seen no direct evidence yet of political suppression in this case. But based on past occurrences with other government institutions, we would find it plausible. We will let readers know if TIRI responds to our inquiries.

We spoke with Dr. Utsunomiya and co-author Dr. Rodney Ewing recently. I was aware of their co-authorship of several strong papers on CsMPs, including Utsunomiya’s plenary talk at the Goldschmidt Conference in Yokohama in 2016, which I attended. I asked how this new arXiv paper fits in with their other papers, and where they think this research is heading next:


Satoshi Utsunomiya:

Thank you for asking. The Tokyo paper was actually our first paper regarding CsMPs. As I mentioned, the paper was accepted two years ago. There were no previous papers of ours on CsMPs that time. Currently we are working on several topics on CsMPs. I cannot reveal the content yet, as we are thinking about a press release for the next paper. But I think it is important to continue this kind of research, providing some insights for decommissioning at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Azby Brown:

I didn’t realize that this was your first paper on the subject.  How does it relate to the one presented at the Goldschmidt Conference in Yokohama in 2016? “Cesium-Rich Micro-Particles Unveil the Explosive Events in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.” Didn’t that paper receive a prize?

SU:

My talk at Goldschmidt briefly covered the story described in the two papers that were accepted for publication at the same time. One was published in Scientific Reports. The other one was not published. There was no prize. It was a plenary talk.

AB:

I see. I recall that it received a lot of attention. Now it makes more sense to me.

Can you tell me a little bit about the specific characteristics and focus of your research, and how it differs from papers like Adachi 2013, Abe 2014, etc? Generally speaking, that is. I’d like to help people understand the different aspects of the field.

SU:

Adachi reported the discovery of CsMPs. Abe demonstrated X-ray absorption analysis on the CsMPs. We focused on the nanotexture inside CsMPs. We are particularly interested in the detailed evidence remaining within the microparticle, which can provide useful information on the development of the chemical reactions during the meltdowns, because it is still difficult to directly analyze the materials inside the reactors. We, for the first time, succeeded in performing isotopic analysis on individual CsMPs. More specifically, the occurrence of uranium can directly tell the story of how the fuel melted. Our research has two directions: one is to understand the environmental impact of CsMPs, and the other is to provide useful information on the debris properties to help decommissioning at FDNPP. We are also interested in the implications for health.

AB:

Can you tell me a little bit about your working relationship? Satoshi went to the US to work in your lab, right Rod? When was that, and what were you working on?

Rod Ewing:

Satoshi and I have known each other since 2000, when he joined my research group as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan. He was a member of the research group until 2007. We collaborated on a wide range of topics that had to do with radioactive materials, such as the transport of plutonium at the Mayak site in Russia to the identification of uranium phases within C60 cages, so called buckyballs, that were formed and released from coal power plants. Once Satoshi returned to Japan to take his position at Kyushu University, we continued to collaborate, particularly on topics related to Fukushima Daiichi.

AB:

How did you both get interested in CsMPs?

RE:

Once discovered, CsMPs were clearly of high interest. They had not been noted in earlier reactor accidents. Satoshi is a master with the transmission electron microscope – exactly the tool/technique needed to study these particles.

AB:

For people who aren’t familiar with what’s involved in a research experiment like yours, can you describe the overall process? What were the technical challenges?

RE:

I would just emphasize that it is very difficult to find and characterize these particles. Considering the full literature and efforts by others as well as our team – the results are impressive. It is rare to have both the TEM characterization and the isotopic data.

SU:

As Rod mentioned, it is difficult to obtain both TEM and isotopic data from a few micron-sized spots. The isolation of CsMPs from soils is a time consuming process. But to date, many scientists have found and isolated CsMPs. The important thing is what information we can obtain from the analysis of CsMPs. We have been taking various approaches to elucidate the properties, environmental impact, and the role in releasing fissile actinides to the environment.    


As described above, many papers examining various aspects of Fukushima-derived cesium microparticles have been published since they were first identified in 2013. Even so, important aspects remain only partially documented and understood to date. Below is a partial list of relevant publications.

Papers mentioned in this article:

Caesium fallout in Tokyo on 15th March, 2011 is dominated by highly radioactive, caesium-rich microparticles

Utsunomiya, et al., 2019

https://arxiv.org/abs/1906.00212

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Emission of spherical cesium-bearing particles from an early stage of the Fukushima nuclear accident

Adachi et al., 2013

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep02554

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Detection of Uranium and Chemical State Analysis of Individual Radioactive Microparticles Emitted from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Using Multiple Synchrotron Radiation X-ray Analyses

Abe et al., 2014

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ac501998d

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Dissolution of radioactive, cesium-rich microparticles released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in simulated lung fluid, pure-water, and seawater

Suetake et al., 2019

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.05.248

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Development of a stochastic biokinetic method and its application to internal dose estimation for insoluble cesium-bearing particles

Manabe & Matsumoto, 2019

https://doi.org/10.1080/00223131.2018.1523756

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DNA damage induction during localized chronic exposure to an insoluble radioactive microparticle

Matsuya et al., 2019

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-46874-6

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Provenance of uranium particulate contained within Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 ejecta material

Martin et al., 2019

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-10937-z

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Internal doses from radionuclides and their health effects following the Fukushima accident

Ishikawa et al., 2018

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1361-6498/aadb4c

 



Related papers (by year of publication):

Characteristics Of Spherical Cs-Bearing Particles Collected During The Early Stage Of FDNPP Accident

Igarashi et al., 2014

http://www-pub.iaea.org/iaeameetings/cn224p/Session3/Igarashi.pdf

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Radioactive Cs in the severely contaminated soils near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

Kaneko et al., 2015

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenrg.2015.00037

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First successful isolation of radioactive particles from soil near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Satou et al., 2016

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213305416300340

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Internal structure of cesium-bearing radioactive microparticles released from Fukushima nuclear power plant

Yamaguchi et al., 2016

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep20548

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Three-Year Retention Of Radioactive Caesium In The Body Of Tepco Workers Involved In The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Accident

Nakano et al., 2016

http://rpd.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/03/14/rpd.ncw036

—————————————————————

Monte Carlo Evaluation of Internal Dose and Distribution Imaging Due to Insoluble Radioactive Cs-Bearing Particles of Water Deposited Inside Lungs via Pulmonary Inhalation Using PHITS Code Combined with Voxel Phantom Data

Sakama, M. et al., 2016

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?&title=Radiological%20Issues%20for%20Fukushima%E2%80%99s%20Revitalized%20Future&pages=209-220&publication_year=2016&author=Sakama%2CMinoru&author=Takeda%2CShinsaku&author=Matsumoto%2CErika&author=Harukuni%2CTomoki&author=Ikushima%2CHitoshi&author=Satou%2CYukihiko&author=Sueki%2CKeisuke

—————————————————————

Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan by combination of gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and SEM/EDS analysis and implications in radiation risk assessment

Kaltofen & Gundersen, 2017

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969717317953?via%3Dihub

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Caesium-rich micro-particles: A window into the meltdown events at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Furuki et al., 2017

https://www.nature.com/articles/srep42731

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Isotopic signature and nano-texture of cesium-rich micro-particles: Release of uranium and fission products from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Imoto et al., 2017

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Uranium dioxides and debris fragments released to the environment with cesium-rich microparticles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Ochiai et al., 2018

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b06309

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Novel method of quantifying radioactive cesium-rich microparticles (CsMPs) in the environment from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

Ikehara et al., 2018

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.est.7b06693

—————————————————————

Formation of radioactive cesium microparticles originating from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: characteristics and perspectives

Ohnuki, Satou, and Utsunomiya, 2019

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00223131.2019.1595767

https://blog.safecast.org/2019/08/fukushima-cesium-enriched-microparticle-csmp-update/

August 22, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Displaced Fukushima sake brewery to restart in hometown using only local rice

If you have a death wish, make sure to drink Fukushima sake….
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Daisuke Suzuki is seen working at a tank in his brewery in Nagai, Yamagata Prefecture, on July 2, 2019.
August 17, 2019
NAGAI, Yamagata — A local brewery intends to restart some of its sake making business in its hometown of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, in two years. Its storehouse there was swept away by the tsunami that followed the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 and forced the company to relocate to nearby Yamagata Prefecture.
The Suzuki Brewery is looking to hire up to two people to work in Fukushima, and will employ them first in Yamagata Prefecture from fall this year for training.
Although part of Namie is still under evacuation orders due to the effects of the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the company’s head, Daisuke Suzuki, 46, says he wants to work to eradicate the rumors about rice cultivated in Namie by using it as the sole ingredient in its sake.
The Suzuki Brewery was a well-known business in the port town of the Ukedo district with a history stretching back to the Edo period. Its representative sake brew, “Iwaki Kotobuki,” held a special place in the community as a drink used to celebrate big catches of fish.
Over 150 people, close to 10% of Ukedo district’s population, were killed by the tsunami in March 2011. The hydrogen explosion that occurred in the aftermath of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant some 5 kilometers south of the town meant that for around a month search and rescue activities could not proceed.
The wave also took the Suzuki Brewery and its storage out to sea. Although none of its staff were harmed, the nuclear disaster combined with the order to completely evacuate the town forced the company to give up on rebuilding the brewery in Namie.
While the town was left in a state of crisis regarding whether it would continue to operate or not, Suzuki was encouraged by acquaintances at a Fukushima Prefecture elementary school, where they were temporarily taking shelter, to continue making sake for the community. The experience made him realize that Iwaki Kotobuki sake is an indispensable part of the local community.
In October 2011, he took up ownership of a brewery marked for closure in Nagai, Yamagata Prefecture, and from November the following year he began brewing there.
Coincidentally, some of the yeast necessary to make the Iwaki Kotobuki sake had been left in the care of the Fukushima technology support center, who had been asked to analyze it before the disaster took place.
The company completed its first shipment within the year on time, and residents who bought the sake to welcome the New Year even made the news.
Evacuation orders were finally lifted for the Ukedo district and other primarily central parts of Namie in March 2017. Suzuki decided he would restart brewing activities in Namie while also keeping the business running in Nagai.
The new storehouse will be some kilometers inland from the location of the previous one, and the intention is for all of the sake’s ingredients to come from produce made in Namie, including products for home consumption such as the locally grown Koshihikari rice. Since the nuclear disaster, food made in Fukushima has suffered from rumors about its safety, but local sake is appreciated all over the country.
Although it’s considered difficult to make the necessary malted rice for sake from edible rice Suzuki is unfazed, “If we spend a lot of time and care on the work, we’ll get it done,” he said, aiming to become a beacon for the town’s rice that could lead to greater sales of the region’s products.
The company is seeking to hire one or two people up to around the age of 30. Experience or a specific gender is not required. The position will offer involvement in both sake production and the development of new products. The individuals hired will begin working at the company’s location in Yamagata Prefecture to become experienced in sake making.
“It’s low-profile work, but you get out of it what you put into it. I’m waiting to hear from people who feel they want to work together with us in Namie,” said Suzuki. The brewery can be contacted by telephone on 0238-88-2224, in Japanese only.

August 22, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima 2020 Olympics Nightmare: Is PM Abe Criminally Insane?

 

Jul 28th, 2019
This documentary investigates and exposes the plans of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to bring the Olympics baseball games to contaminated Fukushima. Although there is over a million tons of tritium radioactive water in tanks surrounding the plan, thousands of contamined bags of waste and melted nuclear rods still in the broken plants Abe has claimed to the Olympic Committee and world that Fukushima has been decontaminated.
This 2019 documentary looks at the plans of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to bring the Olympic baseball games to Fukushima during the 2020 Japan Olympic games. It interviews experts, community activists and trade unionists about the reality of Fukushima and the massive propaganda campaign to cover-up the continuing dangers and crisis.
 
PM Abe told the International Olympics Committee that Fukushima had been decontaminated but there is over 1 million tons of tritium radiocative water in tanks surrounding the broken nuclear reactors, the melted nuclear rods still remain and there are tens of thousands of bags of contaminated radioactive material spread throughout the prefecture.
 
This documentary hears from people in Japan about the reality of having the 2020 Olympics in Japan and Fukushima.
 
Additional media:
 
Toxic water level at Fukushima plant still not under control As Abe Pushes Olympics In Fukushima
In reality, however, the situation is not under control even now.
 
The Olympics, Fukushima, Capitalism & Creative Destruction
 
Olympics For Whom? Global Depression, the New Cold War, ​and the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games
 
The Super Bowl, NFL, Capitalism and Sports: The Cost, The Politics, Privatization & The Game
JPN Abe Gov Pushes 2020 Olympics To Contaminated Fukushima To Continue Cover-up
 
Fukushima Never Again
 
For additional information:
No Nukes Action
Appeal To Stop Olympics in Japan
Nuclear Olympics
WorkWeek
workweek [at] kpfa.org
Production of
Labor Video Project
 
Fukushima Radioactive Dump Site
While PM Abe says that Fukushima has been “decontaminated” there are thousands of bags of contaminated radioactive was in the prefecture of Fukushima.
 
Over 1 Million Tons Of Radioactive Water Surround Fukushima
The Abe government is trying to release 1 million tons of radioactive water with tritium into the Pacific ocean despite opposition of the fisherman and communities.
 
Fukushima Kids In

July 31, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima village hit by 2011 meltdowns starts raising dairy calves again

Hopefully that milk from these local dairy farms will NOT end up in school lunch…

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A dairy calf is led off a truck in the village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, on July 16, 2019.
July 25, 2019
IITATE, Fukushima — Local farmers have resumed raising dairy calves for the first time in over eight years in this village that was hit by radiation following the March 2011 meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
Feliz Latte, a dairy company jointly managed by five farmers who were forced to evacuate from areas hit by the nuclear disaster, transported its 22 calves aged 8 months to a cowshed operated by a village-run company on July 16.
The dairy company was established in the city of Fukushima using subsidies from the national and prefectural governments to promote reconstruction in the area following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, which triggered the meltdowns.
The firm plans to raise the calves in the village until they reach 22 months old and then move them to its farm in the city of Fukushima.
Prior to the disaster, the village had a total of 12 dairy farmers who used to raise about 240 dairy cattle. However, all of the farmers evacuated from Iitate due to the disaster. The evacuation order was lifted in 2017 for most parts of the village.
Kazumasa Tanaka, 48, president of Feliz Latte, said, “I hope to help the reconstruction by creating an environment where young people can easily engage in dairy farming when they return to the village.”

July 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Temporal variation of radionuclides contamination of marine plants on the Fukushima coast after the East Japan nuclear disaster

Bioaccumulation_in_the_sea
July 16, 2019
As a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake and associated tsunami in March 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) released a large amount of radioactive materials into the environment, resulting in contamination of many marine organisms.
In this study, 15 marine algal and a seagrass species were collected from the sublittoral zone of the Iwaki Coast of Fukushima Prefecture from May 2012 to June 2015 and analysed for variations in 110mAg, 134Cs, and 137Cs with time.
The results indicated that (1) 110mAg, 134Cs, and 137Cs were present in all marine plants collected in May 2012; (2) the concentration of 110mAg in the seagrass Phyllospadix iwatensis decreased significantly with time, while the ecological half-life of 110mAg in P. iwatensis was longer at locations closer to the FDNPP; and (3) the 110mAg/137Cs radioactivity ratio of P. iwatensis was remarkably high until 2015, indicating that detectable 110mAg was present in the coastal environment 4 years after the accident.
The concentration of 110mAg in P. iwatensis was higher than those in other marine algae, demonstrating a species-specific mechanism of accumulation.

July 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | 1 Comment

Workers Enter Fukushima Electrical Room In Socks, Get Contaminated

workers
June 25, 2019
This unusual event at Fukushima Daiichi took place in early June. Workers entered a 2nd floor electrical room in the unit 4 turbine building in their socks. The room holds electrical equipment for the nearby reverse osmosis water filtration system. The equipment in this room is all new, post disaster equipment. The room appears to be a “clean” area where they attempt to keep dust and contamination out of the room.
 
To keep the room clean, workers are expected to change into shoes placed for use in the electrical room to prevent dust and radioactive contamination from entering the room. Instead of switching shoes, five of the ten workers removed their shoes and entered in their socks. TEPCO reports the act of opening and closing the door allowed dust to enter the room. When the workers entered in their socks they picked up contaminated dust on their socks.
 
The contaminated socks were discovered as workers were scanned at the workers facility. The inside of the shoes they wore that day were contaminated. Everywhere they walked in their socks in the worker facility was also potentially contaminated. TEPCO had to track down the shoes these workers wore by scanning all shoes of those sizes until they found the contaminated ones.
 
TEPCO did not clarify if there was a lack of enough pairs of shoes or if they were not proper sizes to allow all of the workers to use them. TEPCO is now reviewing the shoe inventory for this room to assure there are enough available for workers to change shoes. Training and new notices about work processes are being added to avoid a repeat problem. Radioactive dust on site can contain insoluble microparticles and alpha radiation. These are an inhalation hazard as well as a problem of external exposure if they become attached to the skin or hair.
 
Read more: Simply Info

June 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Novellas express anger after Fukushima disaster

sacred cesium and isa's deluge“Sacred Cesium Ground and Isa’s Deluge: Two Novellas of Japan’s 3/11 Disaster,” by Yusuke Kimura, translated by Doug Slaymaker (Columbia University Press, 2019, 176 pages, $60 hardcover, $20 paperback)

May 2, 2019
TOKYO >> An anger directed toward Tokyo underlies Yusuke Kimura’s two novellas, “Sacred Cesium Ground” and “Isa’s Deluge.” Born from a keen sense of abandonment felt by the Tohoku region in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, and the subsequent nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, this anger plays out across stories exploring the post-disaster relationships between humans and animals.
The protagonist in “Sacred Cesium Ground” is a woman who travels to Fukushima Prefecture to volunteer at the Fortress of Hope, a farm where cattle irradiated by the Fukushima No. 1 power plant meltdown are tended to despite a government order to kill them.
Based on the story of a real post-Fukushima ranch, the novella carries with it a weight of research born from the author’s own volunteering, though it proves ultimately unsatisfying, never quite reaching the moment of reinvention that the lead character hints at throughout.
“Isa’s Deluge” is the more readable of the two, with a flow and pacing that draws in the reader. Shortlisted for the Mishima Yukio Prize after it was first published in 2012, it follows a family of fishermen who relate the story of their uncle Isa and his “deluge” of pain and depression, an allegory of the 3/11 tsunami.
Both novellas highlight peripheral voices in the post-3/11 period and ultimately return time and again to that tension between a “sacrificial” Tohoku and an all-powerful capital. These perspectives are those not frequently heard and challenge the widespread narrative of an ever-dominant Tokyo.
https://www.staradvertiser.com/2019/05/02/news/novellas-express-anger-after-fukushima-disaster/?fbclid=IwAR362Oqn0duTDDCRh0Ta6AIklIq8ippMFC1PbBVUp2bN2v4NupNVg1YS_9I

May 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Who will be there?

By Kitty commenting on Abe makes sales pitch for Fukushima sake at Davos:
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other Japanese officials toast with sake produced in Fukushima Prefecture during the Japan Night …
The real killers, the strong beta and gamma-emitting, high level radionuclides like 90Sr, 137Cs, 99Tc and 129I , cobalt 60, Iridium are present in the soil in concentrations, hundreds of times higher than what they are saying in Japan. That is easy to see by the Geiger counter readings. Fukushima radionuclides can be in found very high concentrations across Japan from Fukushima to Yokohama, based on Busby and kaltofen sampling and analysis..
It is not simply cesium 137 that exists there.
An absorbed bolus of  80 billionths of a gram of any one of these beta-gamma  radionuclides, causes acute systemic poisoning and radiation poisoning. The results can be either acute death or prolonged agony and death. There will be death, If there is a massive bolus ingested. These are the most poisonous and dangerous substances on earth.
If  1 ounce of any of these radionuclides- substance : st90, 137Cs, 99Tc and 129I , cobalt 60, were dumped on a group of people it would be like the cesium 137 exposure in Brazil or worse.
If  any one of these radionuclides :90Sr, 137Cs, 99Tc and 129I Iridium, cobalt 60 was diluted in an inert powder for example, that  diffused the RADIONUCLIDE onto 10,000 people, gathered for a festival or event , 3 quarters of them would die horrible deaths in 2 weeks and the rest would have tumors and organ damage that would kill them in a few months.
Obviously the sailors on board the Ronald Reagan did not get such a dose but it came close for some of them.
Radioactivity decreases, with the square of distance. Chronic ionized radiation-wave exposure is dangerous  but , those the high level of those and other RADIONUCLIDEs present do not bode well for Japan in the concentrations that exist from Fukushima to tokyo that have been recorded by Busby and kaltofen.
Nucleoapes like to keep the eyes off the lethal radionuclides that are actually emitting the radiation.
There are also the highly potent alpha emitting, uranic and Transuranic alpha emitters like u235, u238, plutonium, AMERICIUM and actinides like Californium that are destroying the human genome in Japan. The beta-gamma emitters do too, but are not as effective and  as potent, as mutagens and acute carcinogens because of their solubility and other chemical properties.
The Uranics, transuranics, actinides, are causing lung cancers, pancreatic cancers and sharp increases in birth defects from mutagenesis,  and teratogenesis across Japan now.
A great deal of Japan’s water supply is probably  heavily contaminated with tritium by now.  TRITIUM is a strong teratogen, that is known to substantially increase incidence of leukemia. Tritium actually covalently bonds to DNA, protein, fat tissue  and muscle tissue, unlike other radionuclides tritium acts exactly like hydrogen does in the body and the body is constantly doing chemical conversions of proteins using hydrogen and tritium ions in metabolic, acid-base, and enzyme reactions in the body.
The nucleoapes have gone out of their way, to obscure the deadly, insidious-effects of tritium on the human genome, chromosomes and the human body.
We are bags of mostly saline water solutions,  proteins, fat, with some bone in us. When we ingest radionuclides they are sometimes  diluted enough by our water and protoplasm, to not cause recognizable or apparent damage and acute symptoms. It is so with the highly water soluble saline analogs like cesium and strontium.
Dr Chris Busby:
Einstein, politics, physicists-nuclear physicists, and reality

The Uranics, transuranics, actinides are not so soluble because they are heavy metals. Particles of these radionuclides, that  get stuck in the lungs and gi tract are particularly deadly. Many of these radionuclides can be biotransformed or chemically transformed into sulfates and organometallics that are easily absorbed into the body.
Then there are the evil-monkeys that says that some radionuclides increase our resistance to RADIONUCLIDE exposure and bioccummulation. Don’t ya know radioactive tritium increase incidence of leukemia, as has been shown in rigorous studies and case studies, its hormetic!
Question. What are the Four most poisonous substances known to humans that are not radionuclides?
Answers
1. Sarin gas is an organophosphate chemical weapon.
20 micrograms will kill you
2. Botulin toxin: Used cosmetically as a neuromuscular block agent, to get rid of wrinkles is lethally toxic in a bolus of 150 micrograms.
Botulin toxin is used to relax muscles and give the illusion that wrinkes are gone cosmetically. Botulin is used because of its extreme potency and length of duration,of action.
Botulin toxin has to be highly diluted and administered by and expert, for any purpose in the human body.
Botulin toxin is lethaly toxic in millionths of a gram concentrations. You can barely see a millionth of a gram with a powerful microscope.
Drugs are dosed at thousands of a gram,that is milligrams. A milligram is a barely detectable spec on a piece of paper to the human eye.
3. 220 micrograms of Ricin toxin from castor beans can kill a child
4. 300 micrograms of fentanyl can kill an adult. Fentanyl analogs are even more potent.
The Moscow theater hostage crisis (also known as the 2002 Nord-Ost siege) was the seizure of a crowded Dubrovka Theater by 40 to 50 armed Chechens on 23 October 2002 that involved 850 hostages and ended with the death of at least 170 people.
It is known that the Russians used a fentanyl-like agent to try to sedate the Chechens, who were holding the hostages in the theater. Unfortunately fentanyl is very hard to dose and disperse as an aerosol. A highly toxic agent like Fentanyl, has to be prepared in such a very special way, so that only its sedative effects are manifested.
Many of the innocent hostages in Nord-Ost, siege died from fentanyl poisoning from the compounded-fentanyl gas, used by the Russians to try to sedate the chechens, before they stormed the theater.
On the flip side of the coin, Sarin, when aerosolized with a suspending agent that works and diffuses the poison in high enough concentrations, is a deadly nerve gas that will kill thousands, in a few square miles with only a few, weaponized Cannisters, detonated.
The Tokyo subway sarin attack-Subway Sarin Incident was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated on 20 March 1995, in Tokyo, Japan, by members of the cult movement Aum Shinrikyo. In five coordinated attacks, the perpetrators released sarin on three lines of the Tokyo Metro (then part of the Tokyo subway) during rush hour, killing 12 people, severely injuring 50 (some of whom later died), and causing temporary vision problems for nearly 1,000 others. The attack was directed against trains passing through Kasumigaseki and Nagatachō, where the Diet (Japanese parliament) is headquartered in Tokyo
The Aum sarin attack in the Tokyo subways only killed 12 people. They used relatively large amounts of sarin in closed, relatively small areas, with sealed spaces.
They absolutely did not know what they were doing, otherwise they would have known that high doses of sarin have to be aerosolized in a suspending agent like a gas that is liquid under pressure, to properly disperse enough of the agent for it to be widely, dispersed and effectively lethal to a large group of people.
Many radionuclides, and especially the corrosive salt beta-gamma emittors and halogens like I131 and I129 are lethal in billionths of a gram . It even says so in toxicology profiles because, some of these radionuclides are used as radiopharmaceutical agents to treat cancer.
Bllionths of a gram, of any substance, is not even visible with a high powered microscope.
Radionucides are ionizing radiation emitters, as well as being the most poisonous substances to living things on earth, in the universe.
Billionths of a gram concentrations of these elements are highly detectable in billionth of a gram concentrations with scintillometers, gamma spectrometers, and decent pancake Geiger counters.
One of the main difficulties with proving how acutely lethal or chronically damaging RADIONUCLIDE are after nuclear accidents, or with chronic exposure to nuclear waste, are the chaotic mechanisms of dispersion of the radionuclides after catastrophes or in-situ.
Think of the Russian, poisoned with polonium, in London. He was dosed with a nanogram amount of polonium that caused him to die a slow painful death,from systemic organ failure for which there was no cure. He died days after the poisoning.
Boluses of cesium 137, and iodine 131 can kill quite quickly or at lower doses, can kill like the polonium did the murdered Russian in prolonged agony.
Who will be there, to prove what caused people dying a days, weeks or a month, after a.large exposure. Who will speakup for causative agents, after years of bioaccumuted exposure, when no one is even properly looking for the causative agent-RADIONUCLIDE or radionuclides?

February 3, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019, radiation, Reference | , , , | Leave a comment

Determination and Comparison of the Strontium-90 Concentrations in Topsoil of Fukushima Prefecture before and after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident

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Abstract
To precisely understand the status of scattered strontium-90 (90Sr) after the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1-NPP) of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the measurement of the soil samples collected both before and after the day of the accident from the same sampling locations is necessary. However, very few reports have investigated the background contaminant data before the accident even though several studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of the F1-NPP accident. To address the lack of the passed 90Sr information and reestablished baseline, this study focuses on the stored topsoil samples that are collected from the same sampling locations from the Fukushima Prefecture before and after the F1-NPP accident, which are analyzed for obtaining the 90Sr concentrations. The results of our investigation exhibited that the 90Sr concentrations in the Fukushima Prefecture soils ranged from 0.2 to 20.4 Bq/kg in the samples that were collected before the accident and from 1.37 to 80.8 Bq/kg in the samples that were collected after the accident from identical sampling locations. Further, the soil samples that were collected from 30 out of 56 locations displayed significant differences in terms of concentrations before and after the accident. In addition, the relations between the 90Sr concentrations and the soil properties of the samples (organic content, pH, water content, and composition) were investigated, and it was found that the organic content and water content had a positive correlation with 90Sr concentrations and, in contrast, the sandiness was shown to have a negative correlation with 90Sr concentrations. The depth characteristics were also investigated. The aforementioned results indicate that this tendency would be observed even in the future.
 
Introduction
 
A large amount of radioactive materials was scattered throughout the environment (ocean, atmosphere, land, and so on) because of the accident that occurred on March 11, 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1-NPP) that was owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO).(1−3) Seven years have passed by since the accident, and research institutes around the world have been monitoring the influence of the environmental dynamics of radionuclides that have been released.(4−13) More specifically, there have been several environmental monitoring reports regarding β-ray-emitting nuclides, such as radioiodine and radiocesium, because multiple samples can be analyzed in a relatively short time using certain types of instruments such as a germanium semiconductor detector, a sodium iodide scintillator detector, and a lantern bromide scintillator detector.(14−19) Meanwhile, radiostrontium (90Sr) (half-life: 28.79 y(20)) is a pure β-ray-emitting nuclide that does not emit γ-rays, which makes it necessary to chemically isolate it for measuring β-rays because the β-ray spectra overlap. In particular, it is imperative to monitor 90Sr over a long period because it will require several decades to decommission F1-NPP. In Japan, instead of a few literature concerning the development of a rapid analytical means,(21−25) radiochemical analysis using milking-low background gas-flow counter (milking-LBC) is adopted as the official analysis method for analyzing 90Sr because of good sensitivity and/or high-precision analysis in low concentration levels in the environment.(26) This method requires considerable amount of time and effort to pretreat the analysis as compared to those required by the γ-ray measurement method. Although various studies have been vigorously conducted,(27−33) the study related to the scattering of 90Sr is not as advanced as compared to that related to the γ-ray-emitting nuclides such as radiocesium.
To precisely understand the status of scattered 90Sr after an incident of nuclear accident, the samples collected both before and after the day of the accident should be measured, thereby distinguishing from the fallout of atmospheric nuclear tests (20th century’s) that have been conducted in the past. So far, the survival ratios of nuclides with short half-lives in samples have been employed in several studies.(34) However, this technique cannot track the long-term process because it becomes difficult to evaluate the nuclides that exhibit a short decrease in half-lives. The optimal method for addressing these issues is to measure the radioactive concentrations of 90Sr in soil that is collected at identical locations before and after the accident. However, few examples exhibited the presence of 90Sr in soil before the F1-NPP accident, which was completely unexpected. Fortunately, we already possessed analytical data related to the 90Sr concentrations in soil samples that were collected before the accident with precise sampling locations throughout the Fukushima Prefecture (not published). Therefore, in this study, we succeeded in estimating the exact amount of 90Sr deposition before and after the F1-NPP accident. When performing the long-term observation, understanding the background level of 90Sr before the accident was observed to be considerably important for understanding the environmental radioactivity and the environmental dynamics or the usage of 90Sr as a tracer.
In this study, we measured the radioactivity concentrations of 90Sr in the topsoil at the same locations in the Fukushima Prefecture before and after the accident and obtained the background levels of 90Sr before the F1-NPP accident. Thus, we revealed the deposition status of 90Sr before and after the accident. We also investigated the correlation between the soil properties and 90Sr to determine the status of deposition of 90Sr on the topsoil in Fukushima prefecture (Figure 1).
Read more at:

December 27, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima sake shop opens in New York

Plainly criminal. Taking advantage of the unknowing American public and at the same time using such sales as propaganda in Japan telling to the Japanese public that it is safe, look even the Americans buy it. 
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December 2, 2018
The Fukushima government has opened a sake shop in New York specializing in brews from the prefecture.
 
The shop opened its doors on Saturday inside a commercial facility in Manhattan. Officials from the prefecture and the facility celebrated the occasion.
 
Sake sales are booming in the United States. Exports to the US have increased 50 percent in the past 10 years.
 
Sakes brewed in Fukushima Prefecture have performed well in competitions. The shop offers 50 brands from 11 breweries.
 
One customer said he’s tasted Japanese sake several times before, but none were as good as the one he tried in the shop. He said he would like to visit Fukushima someday.
 
A Fukushima tourism official said breweries in the prefecture are having a hard time finding buyers since the 2011 disaster. He said he hopes the shop will boost the image of Fukushima’s sakes worldwide.
 
The shop will operate until March next year.

December 7, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Spatial pattern of plutonium and radiocaesium contamination released during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster

November 14, 2018

Abstract
Plutonium and radiocaesium are hazardous contaminants released by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) disaster and their distribution in the environment requires careful characterisation using isotopic information. Comprehensive spatial survey of 134Cs and 137Cs has been conducted on a regular basis since the accident, but the dataset for 135Cs/137Cs atom ratios and trace isotopic analysis of Pu remains limited because of analytical challenges. We have developed a combined chemical procedure to separate Pu and Cs for isotopic analysis of environmental samples from contaminated catchments. Ultra-trace analyses reveal a FDNPP Pu signature in environmental samples, some from further afield than previously reported. For two samples, we attribute the dominant source of Pu to Reactor Unit 3. We review the mechanisms responsible for an emergent spatial pattern in 134,135Cs/137Cs in areas northwest (high 134Cs/137Cs, low 135Cs/137Cs) and southwest (low 134Cs/137Cs, high 135Cs/137Cs) of FDNPP. Several samples exhibit consistent 134,135Cs/137Cs values that are significantly different from those deposited on plant specimens collected in previous works. A complex spatial pattern of Pu and Cs isotopic signature is apparent. To confidently attribute the sources of mixed fallout material, future studies must focus on analysis of individual FDNPP-derived particles.

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3.jpgIsoscapes of 134, 135, 137Cs and 239, 240Pu for part of the Fukushima prefecture surrounding FDNPP. The green marker is used to highlight an anomalous 240Pu/239Pu atom ratio of 0.64. R1, R2 and R3 correspond to ORIGEN estimated isotope ratio values for Reactor Units 1, 2 and 3, respectively27. SW indicates the mean value for the Cs isotope ratios measured to the southwest of FDNPP by Snow et al.19. 240Pu/239Pu atom ratio for Northern Hemisphere integrated global fallout is denoted by NHF28.

Read more at:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-34302-0?fbclid=IwAR3I0oIwIHCCpSin5H3amNyt1ZZ_9kEe1hC6PrI3jLFAo20duwAGqWBL-Ck

November 30, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima unrecognized threat of radioactive microparticles

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Fukushima Microparticles, An Unrecognized Threat

In the years since the initial disaster there have been disparities between the official radiation exposure estimates and the subsequent health problems in Japan. In some cases the estimates were based on faulty or limited early data. Where a better understanding of the exposure levels is known there still remained an anomaly in some of the health problems vs. the exposure dose. Rapid onset cancers also caused concern. The missing piece of the puzzle may be insoluble microparticles from the damaged reactors.
 
What are microparticles ?
These microscopic bits of fuel and other materials from the reactor meltdowns have been found around Japan since soon after the disaster. Citizens with hand held radiation meters first discovered them as highly radioactive fine black sands on roadsides and gutters. These substances eventually caught the attention of researchers who determined they are tiny fused particles of vaporized reactor fuel, meltdown byproducts, structural components of the reactors and sometimes concrete from the reactor containments. The Fukushima microparticles are similar to “fuel fleas” or “hot particles“. Hot particles or fuel fleas have been found at operating nuclear reactors that had damaged fuel assemblies. These fused particles found around Japan are different in that they are a byproduct of the reactor meltdowns.
The small size of these microparticles, smaller than 114 μm makes them an inhalation risk. Other studies have also confirmed the size is small enough to inhale. These microparticles have been found near Fukushima Daiichi, in the evacuation zone, outside of the evacuation zone and as far away as Tokyo.
 
How microparticles were created at Fukushima Daiichi
The heat of the meltdown processes reached temperatures high enough to cause the nuclear fuel and other materials to break down into small particles. The uranium in the fuel further oxidized and then volatilized once temperatures reached 1900K. As these materials broke down into nanoparticle sized components of the fuel melt process, this set up the conditions for them to condense.  As these materials cooled the fused microparticles were created. Newer studies call these microparticles “CsMPs” (Cesium bearing micro particles).  A 2018 study of how these microparticles were created gives a plain language explanation of the process. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.est.7b06309
“From these data, part of the process that the FDNPP fuels experienced during the meltdown can be summarized as the follows: Cooling waters vaporized, and the steam reacted with Zr and Fe forming their oxides after the loss of power to the cooling system. UO2, which is the main composition of fuels, partially oxidized and volatilized at greater than ∼1900 K. (9,10) The fuel assemblies melted unevenly with relatively less irradiated fuels being heated to a higher temperature as compared with the high burnup fuels and volatilized as evidenced by the 235U/238U isotopic ratio.(9) The fuel assembly collapsed and moved to the bottom of RPV. The temperature increased locally to at least greater than 2400 K based on the liquidus temperature of U−Zr oxides. Locally formed oxides melted to a heterogeneous composition, including a small amount of Fe oxides,(27) which then became a source of Fe−U single crystals and U−Zr-oxide eutectic phases. Specifically, euhedral magnetite nanocrystals encapsulated euhedral uraninite nanocrystals, which would have crystallized slowly at this stage. Liquid U−Zr-oxide nanodroplets were rapidly cooled and solidified to a cubic structure. When the molten fuels hit the concrete pedestal of the PCV, SiO gas was generated at the interfaces between the melted core and concrete and instantly condensed to form CsMPs.(5) The U−Zr-oxide nanoparticles or the magnetite nanocrystals subsequently formed aggregates with CsMPs. Finally, the reactor debris fragments were released to the environment along with CsMPs.”
The microparticles may have left the reactors through multiple processes including containment leaks,  containment venting operations, hydrogen explosions and the later reduction and addition of water in an attempt to control the molten fuel.
 
New study looks at how to quantify these substances
A new study found a useful way to quantify how much of the contamination in an area is due to microparticles (hot particles). By using autoradiography they were able to confirm the number of microparticles in a sample. Soil samples near Fukushima Daiichi ranged from 48–318 microparticles per gram.  The microparticles had high concentrations of radioactive cesiums, in the range of ∼1011 Bq/g. The study stresses the health concern that these microparticles pose due to cellular damage from the highly concentrated radiation level. The authors also mention the risk re-suspension of microparticles in the air poses to the public.
Not just cesiums
A separate study found strontium-90 in the Fukushima microparticles at a ratio similar to what has been found in contaminated soil samples. This study included the amount of hot particles (aka: microparticles) found in soil samples taken in the fallout zone in Fukushima north-west of the plant. They ranged from 0-18 microparticles per square meter of soil. This information confirms that strontium-90 is part of some of these fused microparticles. https://academic.oup.com/jrr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jrr/rry063/5074550
An ongoing research project and paper by Marco Kaltofen documents these hot particles further. In the 2017 paper they found more than 300 such hot particles from Fukushima Daiichi in Japanese samples.  A hot particle was found in a vacuum cleaner bag from Nagoya, over 300 km from the disaster site. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969717317953?via%3Dihub
“300 individual radioactively-hot particles were identified in samples from Japan; composed of 1% or more of the elements cesium, americium, radium, polonium, thorium, tellurium, or strontium. Some particles reached specific activities in the MBq μg− 1 level and higher.”
The study found americium 241 in two house dust samples from Tokyo and in one from Sendai, 100 km north of the disaster site.  The sample set collected in 2016 showed a similar instance of highly radioactive hot particles compared to the 2011 samples. This appears to show that the threat from these reactor ejected hot particles has not gone away. A majority of the collected samples were from locations declared decontaminated by the national government.
The above graph is from the 2017 Kaltofen paper. These represent the highest readings for cesium found in their microparticle samples. The highest in the graph is Namie black sand. These black sand substances found around Fukushima prefecture and as far south as Tokyo were discovered to be largely made up of ejected reactor materials based on multiple studies.
The 2018 study we cited earlier in this report to explain the microparticle creation process also confirms some of these microparticles also contain radioactive isotopes of uranium. This further confirms the creation of some of these microparticles from the fuel itself. Uranium poses a particular concern due to the extremely long half lives involved.
 
How these act differently in the environment
In the case of the microparticles that contained Strontium 90, the isotope would normally move with water in the environment. Due to the insolubility of the microparticles, the strontium 90 stays in the top soils. Studies on microparticles predominantly carrying radioactive cesiums showed that the radioactive substances did not migrate through the environment as expected.
Microparticles were found in road gutters, sediment that collected in parking lots, below downspouts and similar places where sediments could concentrate. These initial discoveries hint at how the microparticles could migrate through the environment. The findings of the 2017 Kaltofen study indicate that microparticles can persist years later, even in places that were decontaminated. This may be due to the natural processes that have caused many areas to recontaminate after being cleaned up. There has been no effort to clean up forest areas in Japan. Doing so was found to be extremely difficult. The forest runoff may be one method of recontamination.
 
The risk to humans and animals
The subject of hot particles and the risk that they might pose to human or animal health has been controversial in recent years. Some studies found increased risks, others claimed a lesser risk from these substances. One study we reviewed may have discovered the nuances of when these substances are more damaging.
Most studies on hot particles aimed to determine if they were more damaging than that of a uniform radiation exposure to the same body part. A 1988 study by Hoffman et. al. found that hot particle damage varied by the radiation level of the particle, distance to nearby cells and the movement of the particle within the tissue. A high radiation particle might kill all the nearby cells but cause transformation in cells further away. Those dead cells near the hot particle would stimulate the transformed cells to reproduce faster to replace the dead cells. https://academic.oup.com/rpd/article-abstract/22/3/149/161256
A hot particle of moderate radiation would cause more transformations than cell death of nearby cells. High radiation hot particles that moved around in the organ, in this case the lung, would cause the most transformations. These acted like multiple moderate radiation hot particles transforming cells as they moved around. Those transformations are what can turn into cancers. This study’s findings appear to explain the results found in other studies where fewer cancers were found than they expected in certain groups.
A veteran who was exposed during US atomic testing had experience over 300 basal cell carcinomas. The study concluded that the skin cancers in atomic veterans could be induced by their radiation exposure. Continued exposure to ultraviolet radiation then promoted those cancers.
Other studies found damage in animal models. A study of hot particles on pig skin showed roughly half of the exposures caused small skin lesions. Two in the higher exposure group caused infections, one of these resulted in a systemic infection. https://inis.iaea.org/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/28/061/28061202.pdf
A mouse study where hot particles were implanted into the skin found increased cancers of the skin. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09553009314550501
Workers at Fukushima Daiichi in the group with some of the highest radiation exposures were discovered to have these insoluble microparticles lodged in their lungs. When the workers radiation levels didn’t decrease as expected, further tests were done. Scans found the bulk of the worker’s body contamination was in their lungs. The lung contamination persisted on subsequent scans. The looming concern is that these microparticles in the lungs can not be ejected by the body.
 
Risks have been known for decades 
The US NRC issued an information notice related to a series of hot particle exposures at nuclear plants where workers were exposed beyond legal limits. https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/gen-comm/info-notices/1987/in87039.html
Damaged fuel was the source in all cases. Even improperly laundered protective clothing was found to be a risk factor. Contaminated clothing from one facility could make it through the laundry process with a hot particle undetected on bulk scans of finished laundry. This would then result in an exposure to a different worker at a different plant who donned the contaminated gear. The hot particles when in contact with skin can give a high dose rate. Plants with even small fuel assembly leaks saw significant increases in worker exposure levels.
“In addition to any increased risk of cancer, large doses to the skin from hot particles also may produce observable effects such as reddening, hardening, peeling, or ulceration of the skin immediately around the particle. “
These problems are thought to only occur in high dose exposures from hot particles. One worker in the review had an estimated 512 rem radiation exposure from a hot particle.  Workers at US nuclear power plants are subjected to strict screening programs when they exit or return to work. This increases the chance of detecting and removing a hot particle before it can do more damage. This also lessens the potential for one to leave the plant site. The general public exposed to a nuclear plant disaster does not receive this level of scrutiny.
 
How this risk may have played out in Fukushima
Soon after the reactor explosions ripped through Fukushima Daiichi, people in the region began complaining of nosebleeds and flu like symptoms. These eventually began being reported as far south as Chiba and Tokyo.  https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/08/201181665921711896.html
The government responded that these complaints were “hysteria” or people trying to scare others. These problems were so widespread and coming from diverse people it had seemed to be a significant sign in the events that unfolded.
On March 21, 2011 there was rain in Tokyo that may have washed out contamination still being ejected at the plant. Events at Daiichi between March 17-21 caused increased radiation releases.
In 2013 there was an unusual uptick in complaints about severe nosebleeds. This happened at the time typhoon Man-yi made landfall in Tokyo. The bulk of the people who responded to a survey by a foreign policy expert working in the office of a member of Japan’s Diet were from the Kanto region (Tokyo) where the typhoon made landfall.
Children in the Fukushima region that were found to have thyroid problems also complained of frequent nosebleeds and skin rashes.  People have described unusual ongoing health problems such as this woman in Minami Soma near Fukushima Daiichi who had odd rashes, a rapid loss of teeth etc.  Cattle housed 14 km from the disaster site have shown with white spots all over their hides, something previously seen after US nuclear tests. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/evaggelos-vallianatos/the-nuclear-meltdown-at-f_b_4209766.html
The USS Reagan was offshore of Fukushima Daiichi March 11 to 14th. Plume maps for iodine 131 (a gaseous release from the meltdowns) blew in the wind north and at times east out to sea during those dates. These same winds could have carried microparticles out to sea. A number of sailors on the Reagan and those working with the rescue helicopters have fallen ill. Eight have died since the disaster. This newer account of the events on the Reagan raise even more concerns about what happened to those trying to save people after the tsunami.
Namie Mayor, Tamotsu Baba resigned his office in June 2018 after a year of off and on hospitalization. He had been undergoing treatment for gastric cancer. He died a few weeks after resigning. His cancer may have predated the disaster, but in the last year his health drastically declined. Namie is in the area of some of the highest fallout from the disaster.
Fukushima plant manager Masao Yoshida died of esophageal cancer in 2013. TEPCO insisted his cancer was not related to the disaster due to the rapid onset. This is a common claim around cancers that could be tied to Fukushima, yet the number of cancers soon after the disaster has been hard to ignore.
As we neared completion of this report the labor ministry announced that the lung cancer death of a Fukushima Daiichi worker was tied to his work during the disaster. The worker was at the plant during the early months of the disaster and worked there until 2015. TEPCO didn’t give specifics of his work role, only mentioning he took radiation levels. TEPCO mentioned that the worker wore a “full face mask respirator” during his work. All of the workers at Daiichi wore the same after ordered to do so after meltdowns were underway. The worker was not among the highest exposure bracket so he may not have been receiving detailed health monitoring. Radiation exposure monitoring during the early months of the disaster was inconsistent and sometimes missed exposures. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180905/p2a/00m/0na/004000c
 
What microparticles change about the disaster
Highly radioactive microparticles were released to the environment during the meltdowns, explosions and subsequent processes in units 1-3 at Fukushima Daiichi.
Microparticles have been found near the disaster site, in the evacuation zone, far outside of the evacuation zone and south into the Tokyo region. These substances persist in the environment and have been found in areas previously decontaminated.
These microparticles significantly change the exposure estimates for the general public. Individual exposures can not be accurately estimated by the use of generic environmental radiation levels as this does not account for the individual’s exposure to microparticles.
Microparticle exposure has multiple variables that create a unique level of risk to the exposed human or animal. They can in the right circumstances cause significant damage to nearby tissues, persist in the body, cause damage, initiate or promote a cancer.
Microparticle exposures may be the missing puzzle piece that explains a number of odd problems tied to the Fukushima disaster. Health problems that showed up soon after the disaster. Exposed populations with aggressive or sudden cancers and other serious health problems that can be created or exacerbated by radiation exposure.
Microparticles continue to pose a public health risk in some parts of Japan that experienced fallout and increased radiation levels due to the disaster.

September 10, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment

Returnee Fukushima farmers offer taste of rice cultivation in hopes of revitalization

Sustaining the hope of recovery despite the radioactive contamination risk
 
10 june 2018 namie.jpg
University students covered in mud plant rice saplings in a drained paddy in the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, on May 19, 2018.
 
June 10, 2018
FUKUSHIMA — University students and others from around Japan are coming to the farming villages of Fukushima Prefecture where evacuation orders from the 2011 nuclear disaster have been lifted, experiencing rice planting and interacting with local residents who are facing a difficult recovery and population decline.
Organized by local municipal governments and residents, the visits by people from outside the region affected by the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster are providing inspiration to farmers, who have seen less than 20 percent of the pre-disaster farmland planted, and few inheritors to carry on the region’s farming industry.
The laughter echoed over the idle farmland of the Sakata district in the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, as university students and other participants planted rice by hand in a drained paddy on May 19.
“Everyone looks like they’re having fun,” said Namie resident and farmer Kiyoto Matsumoto, 79, with a smile. “Watching them is pretty enjoyable.”
Students started coming to Namie to experience rice planting two years ago. The idea of the event was to have them learn about the current conditions in areas affected by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters, and to link the awareness with the revitalization of the region. On that day, roughly 60 students worked up a sweat in the mud of the rice paddies. The students can also take part in the harvest of the crops and sell the rice at a local festival held in the town in November.
“I really got a feel for how hard farmers work, and I also learned about the lack of successors to take over the farms and other issues,” said an 18-year-old first-timer, a student at Waseda University in Tokyo. Matsumoto hopes that “the young people (who participate) will be able to feel something through experiencing agricultural work.”
In areas where the 2011 evacuation order has been lifted, rice production has once again become possible. The Fukushima Prefectural Government has been testing all rice produced within the prefecture, and there have been no cases where the rice exceeded the standard limit of the radioactive material cesium from 2015-2017. Still, even after the evacuation order was lifted, residents have not been returning to their pre-disaster homes, and with the added influence of an aging population and a lack of successors, there are few farmers who have taken up rice cultivation again. Of the farmland across the five villages and towns of Tomioka, Namie, Iitate, Katsurao and Naraha, the Odaka Ward of the city of Minamisoma and the Yamakiya district of the town of Kawamata, for which evacuation orders were lifted between 2015 and 2017, only between less than 1 percent to 14 percent of the pre-disaster farmland was in use this spring.
In the village of Iitate, 73-year-old farmer Masao Aita also held a rice-planting event on May 19 for adults and students alike that attracted 32 participants. Aita and his wife just returned to the village the month before. The couple had given up on cultivating rice out of concern that they would not be able to sell what they had produced, and planned to plant the fields with tulips and other flowers. However, they were approached by a volunteer group. The group recommended the rice cultivation event.
Aita plans to send the harvested rice to each of the participants and have them give it a taste. “If people from the outside come visit the village, then it is bound to spark something eventually,” he said.
(Japanese original by Shuji Ozaki, Fukushima Bureau)

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment