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Radiation Levels Big Concern as Japan Preps for 2020 Olympics

August 13, 2019
The 2020 Olympics are set to take place in Japan, but there is a growing concern about the safety of those heading overseas. In the time following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan saw the release of harmful radioactive pollutants or radionuclides, such as iodine‑131, cesium‑134, cesium‑137, strontium‑90, and plutonium‑238.
This resulted in radioactive contamination throughout northeastern Japan, but after eight years, members of the local and central government have said that the radiation is no longer a concern. Unfortunately, that’s not entirely accurate. The steps taken by the government to make the environment safer are viewed as effective by some, but there is far more to the story. According to The Diplomat, the radiation hasn’t entirely disappeared from the environment. Instead, it’s been moved to other locations.
One such process of decontamination has actually consisted of collecting and removing radioactive pollutants. The radionuclides are then placed in black vinyl bags, which, in theory, should impede the risk of rescattering residual radioactivity. The report continues by providing evidence of this process. There are currently mountains of black plastic bags, filled with contaminated soil or debris, that can be seen in many parts of Fukushima.
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Eat and cheer. I say what a shame, but the rice made right next to the pile of radiation contaminated soil. It is not a bad reputation and I can not eat it because I am scared.#Fukushima nuclear accident#Radiation pollution
Unfortunately, this fix of sticking the radionuclides inside the bags only appears to be a temporary solution that will ultimately need to be addressed once again. For example, some of the vinyl bags are now starting to break down due to the build-up of gas released by rotten soil. Plants and flowers have also started to grow inside the bags. With nowhere to expand, these plants are breaking through the bags and exposing the radioactive materials to the atmosphere. At this point, it is far more likely that the weather will distribute the radionuclides once again.
Additionally, there have been countless monitoring posts installed throughout Fukushima, which display the current atmospheric level of radiation. Measurements are taken from different locations and then combined to create an average level for the city. According to these posts, the levels of radiation have significantly fallen.
That being said, The Diplomat reports that there are currently no monitoring posts in the forests and mountains. These areas make up 70 percent of the Fukushima prefecture, but the radiation levels are not being monitored. The other concern is that the monitoring posts only measure gamma rays and ignore radionuclides, which are very harmful if swallowed or ingested.
With the Olympics approaching, the belief is that the radiation is lowering and that the athletes will not be in danger. However, reports by The Diplomat paint a far more troubling picture. Will the events proceed as planned, or will adjustments have to be made as 2020 nears?
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August 16, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

European Commission crooks willing to sell out our health!

Praise be the Korean government which stood to protect their people’s health over hanky-panky  economics, unlike many other governments.
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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and European Council President Donald Tusk, second left, sit at the table with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, at the start of their working lunch on the sidelines of the G-20 summit at the International Exhibition Center in Osaka, Japan, on June 27, 2019.
EU likely to ease restrictions on Japanese food imports
June 27, 2019
OSAKA (Kyodo) — The European Union said Thursday it expects to remove restrictions on some Japanese food imports, including Fukushima Prefecture-grown soybeans, amid receding concerns about radiation contamination linked to the 2011 nuclear disaster.
According to the Japanese government, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the requirement for radiation inspection certificates is likely to be canceled. The two leaders were meeting a day before the start of a two-day summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Osaka.
The European Commission expects the lifting of the requirement to be finalized as early as this fall after it obtains the approval of member countries.
The change impacts food products from Iwate, Tochigi and Chiba prefectures, as well as seafood from Miyagi, Ibaraki and Gunma prefectures, a Japanese government official told a press briefing. The testing requirements would also be lifted for some types of mushrooms.
The move will follow the European Union’s lifting of a ban on rice produced in Fukushima in 2017.
In the meeting, in which European Council President Donald Tusk was also present, Juncker and Abe also discussed the need to reform the World Trade Organization and geopolitical issues including North Korea and heightened tensions in the Middle East, the official said.

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

Nuclear washing machine for soil decontamination?

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Technology to clean radioactive contaminated soil
Tuesday, June 18, 15:14
Japanese researchers say they have developed technology to clean soil contaminated by radioactive fallout from accidents at nuclear power plants.
Waseda University Professor Masahiko Matsukata and his team developed the technology.
The technology involves removing the contaminated particles of soil by adding a special chemical to high-pressure water that is used to clean the soil.
The researchers say their technology needs less electricity and chemicals than conventional methods, reducing costs by more than two-thirds.
Large volumes of soil affected by the fallout from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident have been removed during decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture.
The government aims to bring the soil to intermediate storage facilities and lower the concentration of pollutants or recycle it so that the amount of soil for final disposal will be reduced.
The Waseda team plans to use soil from such intermediate storage facilities in testing its technology before it can put it to practical use.
Matsukata said the team has proven that its technology can reduce the volume of contaminated dirt at low costs. He said he aims to further test the technology and put it into practice in the affected areas.

June 20, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | 1 Comment

Children and Youth Thyroid Cancer Cases in Fukushima and East Japan

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By Mari Inoue
June 17, 2019
OurPlanet-TV, an alternative media, is probably the only media in Japan that has been closely monitoring thyroid cancer cases among children and youth in Fukushima and East Japan.
It is sad to learn that thyroid cancers among children outside Fukushima Prefecture are already reported. OurPlanet-TV reports that 9 thyroid cancer cases were already found among children in Tokyo and 7 cases each in Saitama and Kanagawa Prefectures, and 6 cases in Miyagi Prefecture, according to the data from “3.11 Fund for Children with Thyroid Cancer”, an NPO that provide financial aid to families of children who were 18 or younger at the time of the nuclear accident in 2011.
 
Info on 3.11 Fund for Children with Thyroid Cancer is here: https://311kikin.org/english
fbclid=IwAR1geAYvJdadKYdExEx5ABRObrYub6VeSclAJXEp–6Jqa7jwRjr6RoDsp0

June 19, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Fishermen Release Flatfish Fry

Flat fishes mostly feed at the bottom of the sea close the coast, where the highest radioactive pollution has accumulated…..
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June 10, 2019
Iwaki, Fukushima Pref., June 10 (Jiji Press)–Fishermen in Iwaki in Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan began releasing young flatfish into the sea from Hisanohama Port in the city on Monday.
The release came after a new prefecture-run facility for raising flatfish fry was completed in Soma, another city in Fukushima, in 2018. The previous such facility was destroyed in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which also led to an unprecedented triple meltdown accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
About 100,000 juvenile flatfish, about 6 to 9 centimeters in length, were released into the Pacific Ocean amid rough weather on Monday.
A total of about one million young flatfish will be released from ports around the prefecture by the end of June, bringing the number of released flatfish up to the pre-disaster level for the first time in nine years.
Before the 2011 disaster, fishery products from Fukushima were prized for their taste and sold for hefty prices at places such as the now-defunct Tsukiji wholesale food market in Tokyo.

June 17, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

According to Japan govt’s official statistics on pediatric cancer, children cancers doubled since Fukushima

From the Japan govt’s official statistics of children cancers:
 
The country has been taking statistics on pediatric cancer since 1975. Every year, 2,000 to 2,500 people were affected.
The least was in 2006, where there were 1861 people affected, the year before the Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake.
 
But the numbers of children cancers really much increased after Fukushima. In 2015, 3246 people, in 2016, 3161 people, in 2017, 3279 people.
 
I think the incidence of children cancers will continue to increase in the coming future.
 
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June 10, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | 1 Comment

Thyroid cancer diagnoses in Fukushima youth not linked to nuke disaster: panel

The lies of denial continue:
“Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Soon or later, that debt is paid.”
Quote from HBO mini-series “Chernobyl”
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A doctor administers an ultrasound scan on a child to look for evidence of thyroid cancer in this file photo taken at a clinic in the village of Hirata, Fukushima Prefecture, on Feb. 23, 2016.
June 4, 2019
FUKUSHIMA — A prefectural panel of experts here concluded on June 3 that thyroid cancer diagnosed in a second round of prefecture-wide checks in fiscal 2014 and 2015 on people who were aged 18 and under at the time of the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in March 2011 was unrelated to their exposure to radiation emanating from the disaster.
The panel is tasked with evaluating thyroid examinations conducted by the prefectural government as part of post-disaster health checkups on residents in Fukushima Prefecture, in the Tohoku region northeast of Tokyo. According to their results, the rate of thyroid cancer discovery was higher among children who were living closer to the nuclear plant at the time of the meltdowns. But when taking into consideration factors including age at examination, there was no correlation between high radiation exposure doses and an increase in chances of cancer discovery.
However, as individual exposure doses were not measured and there is no data on those who have yet to be examined, panel members emphasized that its conclusions are provisional. Gen Suzuki, the head of the panel, said, “We haven’t concluded that there are no long-term effects from radiation.” He pointed to the need to continue thyroid cancer screenings for the time being while informing the children and their guardians of the demerits of overdiagnosis.
Following fine adjustments to the content of the report, its conclusions will be presented to an executive examination committee.
The second round of screenings, held in the fourth and fifth years after the onset of the nuclear disaster, is essential for judging the potential effects of the nuclear disaster and were carried out on some 380,000 people. Of those, 71 people were suspected to have some form of the cancer, with at least 52 of them receiving operations for the condition.
(Japanese original by Ryusuke Takahashi, Fukushima Bureau)

June 10, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s mothers became radiation experts to protect their children after nuclear meltdown

 

1The mothers test everyday items including rice, vacuum cleaner dust, seafood, moss and soil for radiation

May 12, 2019
Inside a laboratory in Fukushima, Japan, the whirr of sophisticated equipment clicks, beeps and buzzes as women in lab coats move from station to station.
They are testing everything — rice, vacuum cleaner dust, seafood, moss and soil — for toxic levels of radiation.
But these lab workers are not typical scientists.
They are ordinary mums who have built an extraordinary clinic.
“Our purpose is to protect children’s health and future,” says lab director Kaori Suzuki.
In March 2011, nuclear reactors catastrophically melted down at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, following an earthquake and tsunami.
Driven by a desperate need to keep their children safe, a group of mothers began testing food and water in the prefecture.
The women, who had no scientific background, built the lab from the ground up, learning everything on the job.
The lab is named Tarachine, a Japanese word which means “beautiful mother”.
“As mothers, we had to find out what we can feed our children and if the water was safe,” Ms Suzuki says.

2“We had no choice but to measure the radiation and that’s why we started Tarachine.”

The director of the mothers’ lab in Fukushima said the aftermath of the disaster was “chaos.”
After the nuclear accident, Fukushima residents waited for radiation experts to arrive to help.
“No experts who knew about measuring radiation came to us. It was chaos,” she says.
In the days following the meltdown, a single decision by the Japanese Government triggered major distrust in official information which persists to this day.
The Government failed to quickly disclose the direction in which radioactive materials was drifting from the power plant.

3The mothers lost faith in government officials after they didn’t quickly communicate information about radiation levels.

Poor internal communications caused the delay, but the result was that thousands fled in the direction that radioactive materials were flying.
Former trade minister Banri Kaieda, who oversaw energy policy at the time, has said that he felt a “sense of shame” about the lack of disclosure.
But Kaori Suzuki said she still finds it difficult to trust the government.
“They lied and looked down on us, and a result, deceived the people,” Ms Suzuki says.
“So it’s hard for the people who experienced that to trust them.”
She and the other mothers who work part-time at the clinic feel great responsibility to protect the children of Fukushima.
But it hasn’t always been easy.
When they set up the lab, they relied on donated equipment, and none of them had experience in radiation testing.

4The women had to teach themselves how to use the equipment for their lab.

“There was nobody who could teach us and just the machines arrived,” Ms Suzuki says.
“At the time, the analysing software and the software with the machine was in English, so that made it even harder to understand.
“In the initial stage we struggled with English and started by listening to the explanation from the manufacturer. We finally got some Japanese software once we got started with using the machines.”
Radiation experts from top universities gave the mothers’ training, and their equipment is now among the most sophisticated in the country.

5The women were eventually taught more about testing radiation by world class experts.

 

Food safety is still an issue

The Fukushima plant has now been stabilised and radiation has come down to levels considered safe in most areas.
But contamination of food from Japan remains a hotly contested issue.
Australia was one of the first countries to lift import restrictions on Japanese food imports after the disaster.
But more than 20 countries and trading blocs have kept their import ban or restrictions on Japanese fisheries and agricultural products.
At the clinic in Fukushima, Kaori Suzuki said she accepted that decision.
“It doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong. I feel that’s just the decision they have made for now,” she says.
Most results in their lab are comparatively low, but the mothers say it is important there is transparency so that people know what their children are consuming.

Fukushima’s children closely monitored after meltdown

6Noriko Tanaka was three months pregnant when the Fukushima nuclear plant melted down.

Noriko Tanaka is one of many mothers in the region who felt that government officials were completely unprepared for the unfolding disaster.
She was three months pregnant with her son Haru when the disaster struck.
Ms Tanaka lived in Iwaki City, about 50 kilometres south of the power plant.

7The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant melted down after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Amid an unfolding nuclear crisis, she panicked that the radioactive iodine released from the meltdown would harm her unborn child.
She fled on the night of the disaster.
When she returned home 10 days later, the fear of contamination from the invisible, odourless radioactive material weighed deeply on her mind.
“I wish I was able to breastfeed the baby,” she says.
“[Radioactive] caesium was detected in domestic powdered milk, so I had to buy powdered milk made overseas to feed him.”
Ms Tanaka now has two children —seven-year-old Haru and three-year-old Megu.
She regularly takes them in for thyroid checks which are arranged free-of-charge by the mothers’ clinic.
Radiation exposure is a proven risk factor for thyroid cancer, but experts say it’s too early to tell what impact the nuclear meltdown will have on the children of Fukushima.
Noriko Tanaka is nervous as Haru’s thyroid is checked.
“In the last examination, the doctor said Haru had a lot of cysts, so I was very worried,” she says.
However this time, Haru’s results are better and he earns a high-five from Dr Yoshihiro Noso.
Doctors found that Haru had several cysts during his last thyroid check, but things look better this time.
“He said there was nothing to worry about, so I feel relieved after taking the test,” Ms Tanaka says.
“The doctor told me that the number of cysts will increase and decrease as he grows up.”
Dr Noso says his biggest concern is for children who were under five years old when the accident happened.
The risk is particularly high for girls.
Girls like Megu could be at greater risk than boys from radiation exposure.
“Even if I say there is nothing to worry medically, each mother is still worried,” he says.
“They feel this sense of responsibility because they let them play outside and drink the water. If they had proper knowledge of radiation, they would not have done that,” he said.

Mums and doctors fear for future of Fukushima’s children

After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986, the incidence of thyroid cancers increased suddenly after five years.
Dr Noso travels across the country to check up on the children of Fukushima.
Doctor Noso has operated on only one child from Fukushima, but it is too early to tell if the number of thyroid cancers is increasing because of the meltdown.
“There isn’t a way to distinguish between cancers that were caused naturally and those by the accident,” he says.
“In the case of Chernobyl, the thyroid cancer rate increased for about 10 years. It’s been eight years since the disaster and I would like to continue examinations for another two years.”
As each year passes, the mothers’ attention gradually turns to how their children will be treated in the future.

Noriko Tanaka’s biggest fear now is the potential discrimination her children may face.
Noriko Tanaka has a seven-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter.
Some children, whose families fled Fukushima to other parts of Japan have faced relentless bullying.
“Some children who evacuated from Fukushima living in other prefectures are being bullied [so badly that they] can’t go to school,” Noriko Tanaka said.
“The radiation level is low in the area we live in and it’s about the same as Tokyo, but we will be treated the same as the people who live in high-level radiation areas.”
Noriko is particularly worried for little Megu because of prejudice against the children of Fukushima.
“For girls, there are concerns about marriage and having children because of the possibility of genetic issues.”
Noriko fears her daughter Megu will face discrimination because she was born in the fallout zone
Source:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-12/fukushima-mums-teach-themselves-how-to-be-radiation-experts/11082520

May 15, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

South Korea plans to continue to ban all seafood imports from Fukushima Prefecture and seven other prefectures near Fukushima to protect public health and food safety

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SEJONG, May 7 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s new ocean minister vowed Tuesday to ensure that potentially dangerous seafood will not reach South Korean tables.
“There should never be anything that could compromise public health” and food safety, Moon Seong-hyeok, minister of oceans and fisheries, said in a meeting with reporters ahead of his planned meeting with the top Japanese envoy.
Moon is set to meet with Japan’s Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nakamine in Sejong, an administrative hub located 130 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Wednesday at Nakamine’s request.
Moon plans to stress that South Korea’s import restrictions on Japanese seafood are a legitimate measure meant to protect public health.
South Korea banned all seafood imports from eight Japanese prefectures near Fukushima in 2013. The move came after Japan announced the leak of contaminated water following the 2011 meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
In April, the World Trade Organization finalized its ruling in favor of South Korea’s import restrictions on Japanese seafood.
Moon also plans to call for a quick conclusion to South Korea-Japan fisheries negotiations, according to the ministry.
The last bilateral fisheries agreement expired in June 2016. South Korea and Japan have since failed to narrow their differences on fishing quotas and other issues.
Last month, Moon sent a letter to Japan calling for fisheries talks, though there has been no response from Japan.
https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20190507008000320?fbclid=IwAR2lhWxIqnXaIibyjYLtE8bqJp03sBCNpYms0v52KSkj_F2UDCzvbiCO47s

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

Fukushima Radioactive Contamination Detected in Northern Bering Sea Alaska

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Water samples detect low levels of Fukushima-related contamination
March 28, 2019
… The sampling, conducted by residents of St. Lawrence Island, documents the Fukushima plume’s northern edge arriving in the Bering Sea for the first time, and shows levels of cesium-137 higher than they were before the 2011 nuclear power plant accident in Japan, Alaska Sea Grant agent Gay Sheffield said…
…Ungott has been collecting seawater samples for several years off the coast of Gambell. He sends them to Sheffield in Nome who then ships them to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts for analysis. During 2014, 2015 and 2017, the lab found very low levels of cesium-137, similar to those prior to the Fukushima nuclear accident. No testing was done in 2016 due to lack of funding.
The 2018 results, however, showed the presence of cesium-137 at levels slightly higher than before accident…
 
…The level of cesium-137 measured in the 2018 seawater sample was found to be 2.4 becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3). That’s above pre-accident levels, but still thousands of times lower than what the EPA considers unsafe for drinking.
Historically, cesium-137 levels in the Pacific Ocean were below 2.0 Bq/m3. The EPA considers drinking water containing levels of cesium-137 up to 7,400 Bq/m3 to be safe for human consumption….
… While the Bering Sea test results are not indicating a health concern, Ungott said he hopes more testing will be carried out.
“We need to know if our marine mammals that we hunt are catching some of this stuff or not,” he said.
Read more:
Fukushima contaminants found as far north as Alaska’s Bering Strait
March 28, 2019
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – Radioactive contamination from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant hit by a tsunami in 2011 has drifted as far north as waters off a remote Alaska island in the Bering Strait, scientists said on Wednesday.
Analysis of seawater collected last year near St. Lawrence Island revealed a slight elevation in levels of radioactive cesium-137 attributable to the Fukushima disaster, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Sea Grant program said.
“This is the northern edge of the plume,” said Gay Sheffield, a Sea Grant marine advisory agent based in the Bering Sea town of Nome, Alaska…
…LONG-TERM STUDY
The results reported on Wednesday came from a long-term but small-scale testing program.
Water was sampled for several years by Eddie Ungott, a resident of Gambell village on the northwestern tip of St. Lawrence Island. The island, though part of the state of Alaska, is physically closer to Russia than to the Alaska mainland, and residents are mostly Siberian Yupik with relatives in Russia.
Fukushima-linked radionuclides have been found as far away as Pacific waters off the U.S. West Coast, British Columbia and in the Gulf of Alaska.
Until the most recent St. Lawrence Island sample was tested by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the only other known sign of Fukushima radiation in the Bering Sea was detected in 2014 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
NOAA scientists found trace amounts of Fukushima-linked radionuclides in muscle tissue of fur seals on Alaska’s St. Paul Island in the southern Bering Sea. There was no testing of the water there, Sheffield said.
The people of St. Lawrence Island, who live well to the north of St. Paul Island, had expected Fukushima radionuclides to arrive eventually, she said.
“They fully anticipated getting it. They didn’t know when,” she said. “The way the currents work does bring the water up from the south.”
Read more:

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

Farmers struggle to keep cows left behind near Fukushima plant

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This photo taken on Aug. 18, 2018, shows cattle farmer Fumikazu Watanabe taking care of a cow on his farm in an area designated by the Japanese government as an evacuation zone in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
 
December 26, 2018
FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) — Having disregarded a state instruction to kill cattle left behind in areas near the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, some local farmers have been struggling to keep about 430 cows within a 20-kilometers radius of the complex exposed to radiation.
The instruction was issued two months after fuel meltdowns at the plant in northeastern Japan were triggered by a massive earthquake and a tsunami on March 11, 2011, for about 3,500 cows kept within the area adjacent to the Fukushima Daiichi complex.
Regarding their cows as “family members,” some farmers ignored the instruction, while others who followed it say they still suffer psychologically. The central government allowed cattle breeding in the 20-km zone in 2012, but shipments are still banned.
Keiji Okada, a professor of veterinary science at Iwate University and a researcher of animals exposed to radiation, has been taking blood and urine samples from cows at a couple of farms in the zone to see if there are any genetic abnormalities in them.
One farmer who is cooperating with the research is Fumikazu Watanabe, a 60-year-old local cattle farmer, in the town of Namie, several kilometers from the Fukushima plant.
Watanabe said he wants to protect his 50 cows “until they die a natural death just like human parents protect their children.”
Before returning to Namie in October last year after evacuation orders for some parts of the town were lifted, Watanabe used to shuttle between the farm and his shelter, which was about 50 km away, by applying for special entry permission to take care of his cows.
Radiation levels at Watanabe’s farm stand at 15 to 20 microsieverts per hour, the highest among the seven farms where the 430 cows are kept, but his cows are “so far in perfect health,” Okada said.
“This research is internationally rare and it could be applied to protecting cattle when a nuclear disaster occurs,” he said.
Another farm dubbed “Moo Mow Garden” in the town of Okuma, where the Fukushima plant is sited, is run by Satsuki Tani, 36, who initially worked as a volunteer following the disaster. Eleven cows are still kept at the 6-hectare facility in the community that became a ghost town.
Tani, a former company worker in Tokyo, originally came to Fukushima to protect stray cows after seeing news about cattle starved to death in the disaster-hit areas. She came up with the idea of having the cows, which eat 60 kilograms of grass every day, help to manage and conserve desolate farmland.
The cows released at the farm not only ate the weeds but knocked down a 3-meter-tall scrub and ate its leaves, transforming the deserted farm into a tidy field.
“I was always depressed to see the ruined farm every time I came back for a temporary stay, but now I feel better,” said the farm’s landlady in her 70s.
Tani, who now works part-time at a convenience store to make her living, said she aims to make a business out of her farm project. “I want to maintain the farmland so residents returning to the town in the future will be able to resume farming,” she said.
On the other hand, Kaiichi Shiba, 68, who agreed to abandon his 30 cows in 2013, has regretted his decision. It was tough for him to visit the farm exposed to high levels of radiation from his shelter.
“Yasuhira, Haruka — each of them had a name. It’s like I’ve killed my family,” Shiba said of his cows. “If I could have moved them to a safer place, they would have lived.” But it was impossible because the government prohibited evacuation of the cows outside the 20-km radius to prevent their meat from being marketed.
Shiba, who has evacuated from Namie to the city of Sayama in Saitama Prefecture, about 200 km away from his hometown, said he has yet to find a new motivation in life.

January 2, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , | Leave a comment

Korean distributors halt sales of instant noodles from Fukushima due to unnerved customers

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Korean distributors halt sales of instant noodles from Fukushima
 Dec 5, 2018
 
Korean retailers Homeplus and Wemakeprice have discontinued sales of Fukushima-imported instant noodles after the product’s place of origin label stirred up health concerns.
 
Otaru Shio Ramen — produced in Fukushima, Japan, and imported to Korea by Homeplus and Wemakeprice — has Fukushima printed as the area of production in Japanese. However, the Korean label specifies only Japan as the place of origin, prompting some consumers to point out that the translated label is misleading and takes away freedom of choice for those who do not know Japanese.
 
 
Some Koreans have reservations about products imported from Fukushima following a nuclear meltdown during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.
 
Homeplus, which sold the product through its offline stores, said, “Otaru Shio Ramen is produced in Kitakata city factory, located over 100 kilometers from the area of the nuclear disaster. The product has no problems, as it has gone thorough radiation inspection.” 
 
The company said the instant noodles do not cause health problems, but discontinued sales in response to concerns. 
 
Wemakeprice, which sold Otaru Shio Ramen through its online channels, deleted the item from its website as of Tuesday night. It had sold just 10 packets before deleting the item. 
 
The company said, “The product went through a radiation inspection before being imported, and no health-related problems were found. However, we decided to discontinue the product in response to consumers’ demands.”
 
Instant noodles imported from Fukushima unnerve consumers
 December 6, 2018 
WeMakePrice and Homeplus were found to have sold instant noodles produced in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, raising food safety concerns among consumers.
 
Fukushima is the northeastern part of Japan’s Honshu Island, contaminated by radioactivity following the explosions of reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.
 
According to industry officials Wednesday, the two retailers had sold the made-in-Fukushima “Otaru Shio Ramen” until early this week.
 
But they decided to take the instant noodles off shelves as consumers discovered product information written in Japanese shows the manufacturer is located in Fukushima.
 
The product information written in Korean only says it was made in Japan.
 
After the revelation, angry consumers claimed the retailers tried to deceive those who cannot read Japanese.
 
“I hurriedly canceled my purchase before its delivery. I might have been a guinea pig,” said a consumer, who had bought the instant noodles from WeMakePrice.
 
The companies emphasized the safety of the product, but said they decided to stop selling it to reassure their customers.
 
“The instant noodles were produced at a factory in a Fukushima city of Kitakata, which is located over 100 kilometers from the contaminated region,” a Homeplus official said. “The product also underwent a radioactivity check before its import, and it was found to be safe.”
 
The discount chain also refuted criticisms that the retailers tried to deceive consumers.
 
“According to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety’s guidelines, the product information does not need to include the specific place of origin. It just needs to include the country of origin,” the official said.
 
The government has banned the import of agricultural and marine products from Fukushima, but it still allows the import of processed foods from the prefecture, if their importers get certification.
 
Moreover, Korea may be brought to the World Trade Organization (WTO) if it prohibits the import of made-in-Fukushima foods without any scientific reason.
 
Japan is seeking to file a complaint with the WTO against Taiwan which held a referendum recently and decided to ban the import of agricultural products from Fukushima.
 
Korean consumers, however, demand the right to know the specific place of origin at least, if the government cannot ban the overall import of products from Fukushima.
 
Amid the growing concerns, they have begun filing online petitions on the Cheong Wa Dae website to urge the government to demand retailers specify the exact place of origin of food products.

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

Is pushing contaminated product and poisoning people the ‘right’ path to Fukushima reconstruction?

The South Koreans did not want their food and banned it. The WHO and the UN upheld that they would import food from Fukushima. One of the guiding factors was that the US imports the Fukushima food. How much deeper can corruption go when it is all about the economy?

“Fascism should not be defined by the number of victims but by the way they were killed”. Jean-Paul Sartre

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Fukushima group holds food campaign in Brussels
December 3, 2018
BRUSSELS (Jiji Press) — People from Fukushima Prefecture living in Europe have started in earnest to campaign in Brussels to dispel concerns about foods from the northeastern prefecture following the 2011 nuclear crisis there.
The move by groups of Fukushima people in Britain and three other European countries, excluding Belgium, comes as the European Union maintains import restrictions on some Fukushima food products more than seven years after the meltdown at the tsunami-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.
As part of the campaign, sake brands from across Fukushima were served to guests at an event to celebrate the Emperor’s 85th birthday on Dec. 23, held by the Japanese Embassy in Belgium in late November.
The Fukushima groups and the prefectural government ran a joint booth at the celebratory event, offering more than 10 local sake brands while showcasing progress on reconstruction in Fukushima after the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.
The sake brands included Adatara Ginjo of Okunomatsu Sake Brewery Co., based in Nihonmatsu in the prefecture, which won the top sake award in the 2018 International Wine Challenge competition.
The Fukushima sake brands were well received by guests including foreign government and company officials, according to Japanese sources.
The groups of Fukushima people aim to strengthen direct lobbying of the EU to abolish the import restrictions, planning to set up a similar group in Belgium, where the EU is headquartered.
“We’ve renewed our recognition that it’s necessary to give information about postdisaster reconstruction more actively, while promoting sake and fruit [from Fukushima],” said Yoshio Mitsuyama, who heads the British group of Fukushima people

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

Cloud of suspicion in China over rice from near Japan’s nuclear meltdown zone

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December 2, 2018
Beijing has lifted a ban on rice imports from Niigata prefecture, neighbouring the Fukushima disaster area, but consumers will take some convincing to buy it
The Chinese authorities may be ready to lift a ban on importing rice from a Japanese prefecture neighbouring a nuclear disaster site but Chinese consumers might need more convincing.
China’s General Administration of Customs announced on Wednesday that it had lifted a ban on rice imports from Niigata, one of a number of prefectures neighbouring Fukushima, home to the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which went into meltdown and released radioactive material in the aftermath of a tsunami in March 2011.
According to the World Health Organisation, radioactive iodine and caesium in concentrations above the Japanese regulatory limits were detected in some food commodities soon after the disaster.
China responded by banning imports of food and livestock feed from 10 prefectures.
More than seven years later, Niigata is the first area to have the ban lifted on its rice. “After evaluation, we permit Niigata rice to be imported,” the customs administration said on its website.
It said the rice was produced in the prefecture and processed in registered factories, and that when imported it should satisfy Chinese laws and regulations on food safety and plant health.
 
But Chinese internet users weren’t so convinced.
“The officials would rather sacrifice Chinese people’s health for diplomacy,” one person said on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.
“Whoever wants to buy the rice can buy it,” another wrote. “I only ask for it to be properly marked on the packaging.”
In all, 54 countries and regions imposed temporary import bans on Japanese food from affected areas immediately after the nuclear disaster. Since then, 27 have lifted their restrictions and Fukushima prefecture shipped 210 tonnes of agricultural products abroad last year, mainly to Malaysia and Thailand.
It follows a years-long clean-up effort and a concerted campaign by the Japanese government to promote agricultural products from Fukushima and neighbouring regions, both domestically and internationally.
A page on the Japanese government website, titled “Fukushima Foods: Safe and Delicious”, is dedicated to the clean-up and monitoring efforts and features photos of farmers encouraging tourists to try their rice, vegetables and fruit.
Hopes that the ban would be eased grew as relations between the two countries thawed. An agreement was reached in March to hold talks in Tokyo between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, after which Fukushima officials told the South China Morning Post they hoped Beijing would reopen the door to exports of agricultural and fisheries products. Those prospects rose in late October with the first visit to China by a Japanese prime minister in seven years.
There were grass-roots efforts, too. Last week, a group of Chinese reporters led by Xu Jingbo, from the Tokyo-based, Chinese-language Asia News Agency, quietly visited northeast Japan, stopping in disaster-hit areas including Fukushima.
Xu told the South China Morning Post he had organised the trip because he wanted there to be fair coverage of food safety and the Fukushima nuclear clean-up.
“We should look at the Fukushima nuclear leak in a scientific and fair way,” he said.
The group visited the power station and government centres that test radiation residues on agricultural products and seafood. He said that since the accident, the Japanese government had cleaned up debris and contaminated soil, digging 30cm into the earth and transporting the soil to a remote area for treatment.
“The radiation level tested on my body was only 0.03 millisieverts after the visit, about 1/80 of taking a CAT scan in hospital and about the same level as riding on an aeroplane,” Xu said.
But lingering fear and opposition in China and neighbouring regions remains strong. Last week, voters in Taiwan showed overwhelming support for keeping a ban on food imports.
On the Chinese mainland, every movement towards lifting the ban has provoked hostility online.
Xu’s Weibo account was flooded with comments, calling him a “traitor”. Some questioned whether he received money from the Japanese government for such “propaganda”.
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An article published on the WeChat account Buyidao, operated by the state-run Global Times, questioned the Japanese government and media, saying they had covered up the severity of the radiation in Fukushima and dealt with the clean-up irresponsibly.
“Tokyo Electric Power [the owner of the plant] and the Japanese government have not been honest with the Japanese people and the world, the panic runs inside Japan and has permeated to other countries,” it said.
On the rice ban lifted this week, Guo Qiuju, a radiation expert at Peking University’s physics department, said the Chinese government had its own standard and detection methods.
“China has strict levels on radiation levels detected in foods; if it’s detected below a certain level, it can be assumed to be safe,” she said.
But public concerns persist.
A shopper at Alibaba’s Hema Xiansheng supermarket in Shenzhen she said she probably would not buy any products from the affected areas even if the ban was completely lifted. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.
“I’m afraid of what might happen to me,” she said.

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

Thyroid cancer impact on children and teens following Fukushima nuclear accident

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December 1, 2018
OVER 180 TEENAGERS and children have been found to have thyroid cancer or suspected cancer following the Fukushima nuclear accident, new research has found. 
A magnitude 9.0 quake – which struck under the Pacific Ocean on 11 March 2011 – and the resulting tsunami caused widespread damage in Japan and took the lives of thousands of people.
The killer tsunami also swamped the emergency power supply at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, sending its reactors into meltdown as cooling systems failed in what was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
As of November, the total of dead or missing from the earthquake and the tsunami stood at 18,434 people, according to the National Police Agency.
In addition, more than 3,600 people – most of them from Fukushima – died from causes such as illness and suicide linked to the aftermath of the tragedy, government data shows.
More than 73,000 people still remain displaced, while no one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the nuclear catastrophe.
Cancer concerns 
The accident at the nuclear power station in 2011 has also raised grave concerns about radioactive material released into the environment, including concerns over radiation-induced thyroid cancer. 
Ultrasound screenings for thyroid cancer were subsequently conducted at the Fukushima Health Management Survey. 
The observational study group included about 324,000 people aged 18 or younger at the time of the accident. It reports on two rounds of ultrasound screening during the first five years after the accident.  
Thyroid cancer or suspected cancer was identified in 187 individuals within five years – 116 people in the first round among nearly 300,000 people screened and 71 in the second round among 271,000 screened. 
The overwhelming common diagnosis in surgical cases was papillary thyroid cancer – 149 of 152 cases. 
Worker death
In May, Japan announced for the first time that a worker at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant has died after being exposed to radiation, Japanese media reported.
The man aged in his 50s developed lung cancer after he was involved in emergency work at the plant between March and December 2011, following the devastating tsunami.
The Japanese government has paid out compensation in four previous cases where workers developed cancer following the disaster, according to Jiji news agency. 
However, this was the first time the government has acknowledged a death related to radiation exposure at the plant, the Mainichi daily reported. 
The paper added the man had worked mainly at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and other atomic power stations nationwide between 1980 and 2015. 
Following the disaster, he was in charge of measuring radiation at the plant, and he is said to have worn a full-face mask and protective suit.
He developed lung cancer in February 2016.

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