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15,550 Bq / kg radioactive cesium school rooftop sludge in Chiba prefecture

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Noda city (Noda-shi on the map) is located in Chiba prefecture, at the northern doorstep of Tokyo.

Noda City announced on January 24 that more than 15,550 Becquerel of radioactive cesium exceeded the criteria of designated waste (more than 8,000 bq per 1 kilogram) from the rooftop sludge of Municipal Nittsuka Elementary School. It is the first time that sludge exceeded the standard value in the city. The city already removed the sludge, in accordance with procedures as specified waste based on the Special Measures Law.

In response to the high radiation dose measurements found in Kashiwa city public property site this month, the city started inspection of sludge etc. and dose measurement at 300 public facilities. The country’s decontamination standard is 0.23 microsieverts per hour with a measurement height of 1 meter (50 centimeters for children-related facilities), but the city has independently set the measurement height to be a more severe 5 cm. There are no places that have exceeded city standards so far.

Meanwhile, on the 14th and 15th, they measured sludge on the roof of 12 elementary and junior high schools that were the subjects of solar panel roofing projects. As a result, they found doses exceeding city standards at five schools, up to 0.85 micro-Sievert was measured. City removed the sludge and checked radioactive cesium concentration. Only the sludge of Yotsuka-sho, had concentration of cesium exceeding the standard value of designated waste.

The removed sludge is temporarily stored at a temporary storage place surrounded by containers on the city hall premises. Approximately 5 cubic meters of targeted waste is treated, and four schools sludge which cesium concentration was found within the standard value were treated as general waste.

https://t.co/jG1fjJnKT

Translated from Japanese by Hervé Courtois

February 26, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Agency to probe reasons behind underpricing of Fukushima items

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Prices of agricultural products and foodstuffs from Fukushima Prefecture declined after the nuclear plant accident in March 2011, and almost six years later, have yet to recover to pre-disaster levels.

Now the government is seeking to ascertain why these items are still being sold at lower prices, suspecting that wholesalers are deliberately underpricing products being shipped from the prefecture.

The Reconstruction Agency will survey wholesalers’ purchase prices of Fukushima-made food products, according to sources.

The agency believes crops and other items grown in the prefecture are being undersold because of the negative effects of groundless rumors stemming from the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The latest decision is aimed at preventing the spread of those rumors.

The agency’s plan is expected to be included in a draft revision of the Law on Special Measures for the Reconstruction and Revitalization of Fukushima, to be submitted during the current Diet session.

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, triggered the nuclear accident, Fukushima-made foodstuffs have been shipped only after their radioactivity levels are confirmed to be below safety standards.

The levels for those agricultural and other products typically fall below detectable levels, meaning most foodstuffs from Fukushima Prefecture are completely safe to eat.

Despite the fact, trading prices of rice and beef produced in the prefecture are still nearly 10 percent lower than national averages, according to the agency.

The agency suspects that the prices have not recovered to their pre-disaster levels not only because consumers tend to avoid Fukushima-made articles, but also because they are “purchased at unreasonably low rates” at the time of shipping.

When prices to wholesalers of food products grown in the prefecture are lower than pre-disaster rates, farmers can be compensated for the difference by Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Some wholesalers may knock down the price, misusing the compensation system,” said a source at the Reconstruction Agency.

To prevent the abuse of the compensation system, the special measures law will be amended to include a plan to conduct “a survey to make clear why they (Fukushima-made products) are suffering from sluggish sales.”

Based on the revised law, the agency will survey the prices farmers are selling their crops for to wholesalers, how much consumers are paying for the agricultural products and other trading prices of foodstuffs from Fukushima Prefecture.

After identifying the reason for the lower prices, the agency will offer instructions and advice to wholesalers and other related parties.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201702150001.html

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February 25, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

‘Forgery’ suit filed against minister

TRUTHFUL? The Green Consumers’ Foundation claims that a Ministry of Health and Welfare report on Japanese food imports contains false and inaccurate information

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Green Consumers’ Foundation chairman Jay Fang, right, presses the doorbell of the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday to file a lawsuit against Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien following the release of a ministry report on food imports from Japan.

Green Consumers’ Foundation chairman Jay Fang (方儉) yesterday filed a lawsuit against Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延) at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office accusing the minister of “forgery,” claiming that the ministry’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used false data in its report on easing restrictions on Japanese food imports from the five prefectures closest to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which suffered a meltdown in March 2011.

Fang said that the government’s report provided at the weekend at public hearings on lifting the ban on imports of Japanese food items from the five prefectures contained false data that could mislead the public.

He said the report claims that “only China and Taiwan still impose a total ban on food imports from the five prefectures closest to Fukushima [Dai-ichi],” but the US FDA had issued an alert last month stating that the coast guard “may detain, without physical examination,” certain specified products from firms in 14 prefectures near Fukushima Dai-ichi.

The report also claims that “the standard [for acceptable radiation levels in food] in Taiwan is the same as other nations,” but Taiwan has looser standards than many nations, he added.

He said the government in January established 100 becquerel per kilogram (Bq/kg) as the standard radiation limit for food, but another 100Bq/kg was set as the standard radiation limit for iodine-131, meaning the total limit is 200Bq/kg.

Is the Ministry of Health and Welfare protecting the public’s health or is it protecting radiation-contaminated food and feeding it to us?” Fan asked, urging the government to provide truthful data to the public.

In response, FDA Deputy Director Lin Ching-fu (林金富) said the ministry regrets that Fan has misread its data and that the ministry had not forged any data, adding that Fan, having filed a lawsuit, should be held to the equivalent legal liability.

FDA Division of Food Safety official Cheng Wei-chih (鄭維智) said safety standard for general food items is 100Bq/kg for “iodine-131” and 100Bq/kg for “cesium-134 and cesium-137,” and that the radioisotopes are examined separately.
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2016/11/15/2003659308

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | Leave a comment

Ishinomaki beef to be farmed overseas

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A cattle-breeding corporation in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, which was devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, will begin raising about 5,000 beef cattle in Vietnam by the end of this year at the earliest, in collaboration with a state-owned company there.

The Vietnamese company will prepare a ranch and young cattle, and Japanese farmers will provide their expertise in livestock farming.

The Japanese side will be able to receive $3 million (about ¥300 million) annually in consultation fees. It will be a particularly large operation for a move overseas by farmers in a disaster-hit area (see below).

It can be not only post-disaster reconstruction but also a new growth strategy for Japan’s agriculture,” a farming expert said in expectation.

The agricultural corporation that will begin the project in Vietnam is Ushichan Farm Co., one of the largest beef cattle breeders in the Tohoku region. The company now raises about 4,000 beef cattle in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. It ships out beef rich in fat — called shimofuri — and red meat with less fat.

Tsunami following the tremors washed away cattle barns and about 50 cattle. Due to damage from rumors in the wake of the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, sales in the year after the disaster fell by about ¥500 million. However, workers at the company have improved the quality of beef through such steps as utilizing tablet computers in breeding management.

Its Vietnamese partner is Saigon Agriculture Incorporation (SAGRI), a state-owned firm based in Ho Chi Minh City.

In Vietnam, volumes of beef consumption have been rising along with its economic growth. SAGRI paid attention to the high-level production skills of Japanese beef-producing farmers to improve the country’s production volumes and qualities of beef.

Red-meat-type beef is popular in Japan, so SAGRI asked Ushichan Farm to collaborate and the two sides signed a business partnership contract in August this year.

SAGRI will prepare a 500-hectare ranch, cattle barns and about 5,000 young cattle in Ho Chi Minh City. Ushichan Farm will provide such techniques as breeding management that uses individual identification numbers and how to mix feeds.

After conducting administrative procedures in the country, the Japanese company will begin raising the cattle by the end of this year at the earliest. Beef from the Vietnamese ranch will be sold in local supermarkets and other stores starting around 2018. Sales will be evenly shared by the two corporations.

Eyeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, the Japanese side plans to import red meat from the cattle to be raised in Vietnam in the future. Ushichan Farm also aims to prepare for international competition with products from the United States and Australia.

We want to make [the project] an opportunity to send out information about Japan’s livestock industry,” said Kazutaka Sato, 39, senior managing director of Ushichan Farm.

According to an official of the Japan External Trade Organization: “Such a large-scale investment in agriculture in Vietnam is rare. It indicates how high the Vietnamese side’s expectations are.”

Kazunuki Oizumi, a professor emeritus of Miyagi University who is an expert on agricultural economics, said, “Exporting skills and techniques can result in new growth not only in the disaster-hit areas but also in Japan’s agriculture overall.”

Moves overseas by farmers in disaster-hit areas

In coastal areas in Miyagi Prefecture devastated by tsunami, farmers have begun businesses overseas. For example, an agricultural production corporation in the town of Yamamoto has grown strawberries in India since autumn 2012, and farmers in the city of Iwanuma have grown rice in Vietnam since summer 2014. This is partly because exporting products from the prefecture has become difficult, as other countries’ restrictions on imports of farming products from the disaster-hit areas were made stricter in the wake of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003275273

October 24, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Radioactive Contamination of Tap Water in Eastern Japan

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The measures quoted in this article are from the Japan Nuclear Regulatory Agency.

As every measure given by the Japanese government agencies and Tepco during the past 5 and half years, we have the right to question their exactitude and therefore the true numbers could be actually higher than the ones published.

still the fact remains that they do recognize a certain contamination of the tap water in many prefectures of Eastern Japan.

Radioactivity testing of tap water in June 2016

According to the radioactivity test of tap water, the Nuclear Regulatory Agency announced in June 2016 that there is some radioactivity contamination from Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in the tap water of Miyagi Prefecture, Yamagata Prefecture, Fukushima Prefecture, Ibaraki Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, Niigata Prefecture, where radioactive cesium has been slightly detected.

(The detection limit value of White Food: 0.5 Bq / kg).

For Tokyo traces of both Cesium 134 and Cesium 137 were detected, proving with certainty that they are from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.

As a result, we make sure it is not detected by the detection limit value of 0.0001 Bq / kg. So we have to check the non-detection in strontium inspection that is only carried out in the mineral water industry.

We believe that the one of the products that you sould really worry is the water that you drink every day.

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Information Source: Nuclear Regulatory Agency (→ link http://radioactivity.nsr.go.jp/ja/list/194/list-201606.html)

 

Readings of radioactivity level in drinking water by prefecture (January-March, 2016

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1.本データは、1Bq/LBq/kgとみなす  [1.These figures are estimated as 1Bq/liter = 1Bq/kg]

2.原子力規制委員会が各都道府県等からの報告に基づき作成  [2.The table was made by Nuclear Regulation Authority, based on the reports from prefectures.]

3.検出下限値は、 I-131Cs-134Cs-137すべて0.001Bq/kg未満  [3.The detection limits of I-131, Cs-134 and Cs-137 are less than 0.001Bq/kg]

(参考)水道水中の放射性物質に係る指標の見直しについて(厚生労働省)における水道水中の新たな目標値 放射性セシウム(セシウム134及び137の合計) :10Bq/kg  [Ref.[Document created by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare[Radioactive cesium (The sum of cesium134 and 137) 10Bq/kg]

情報元 : 原子力規制庁(→リンク http://radioactivity.nsr.go.jp/ja/list/194/list-201606.html

Cesium level is highest in Tokyo tap water
https://news.whitefood.co.jp/news/foodmap/7290/

September 26, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

7.7 tons of Chiba’s Fukushima waste won’t be deemed radioactive anymore, clearing way for general disposal

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Chiba Mayor Toshihito Kumagai (left) receives a notice from State Minister of the Environment Shinji Inoue at City Hall on Friday stating that tainted waste stored there from the Fukushima disaster won’t be deemed radioactive anymore.

CHIBA – The government on Friday informed the city of Chiba that the radioactive designation for 7.7 tons of Fukushima-tainted waste stored in the city will be lifted on Saturday, allowing it to be treated as general garbage.

State Minister of the Environment Shinji Inoue conveyed the decision to Chiba Mayor Toshihito Kumagai during a meeting at City Hall in Chiba Prefecture’s capital.

The decision came after it was found that the radioactive activity of cesium in the waste had fallen below the state-set limit of 8,000 becquerels per kilogram.

It will be the first time for such a designation to be lifted for such waste.

The waste was part of the aftermath of the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami of March 2011, which triggered a triple core meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant. The defunct plant is owned by Tokyo Electric Power Holdings Inc.

Some 3,700 tons of designated radioactive waste created by the man-made meltdowns, including incineration ash, is stored in Chiba. The 7.7 tons in question is sitting in a garbage disposal facility in Mihama Ward in Chiba.

The lifting of the designation will allow the city to dispose of the waste in the same way as general waste. But Kumagai has expressed his intention to keep it in storage for the time being.

As of the end of March, 172,899 tons of such designated waste was being stored in Chiba, Tokyo and 10 other prefectures in eastern Japan.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/07/22/national/7-7-tons-of-chibas-fukushima-waste-wont-be-deemed-radioactive-anymore-clearing-way-for-general-disposal/#.V5MMs2U5ais

July 23, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pt. 2 – Fukushima Contamination – Dr. Tim Mousseau

“Bio-Impacts of Chernobyl & Fukushima”

Evolutionary biologist Dr. Tim Mousseau shares findings from his unique research on the biological effects of radiation exposure to wildlife from the nuclear disasters at Chernobyl & Fukushima.

This is part 2 of a 3-part series of presentations on Fukushima contamination by independent research scientists Ken Buesseler, of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Tim Mousseau, Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina.

October 3, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment