The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

93% of S. Koreans concerned over safety of food from Fukushima region: survey

February 15, 2023

A recent survey conducted by Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun has revealed differing opinions over how safe it is to eat food produced in the Fukushima region. In an internet poll of 3-thousand people released on Tuesday, 93-percent of Koreans asked felt it would be “dangerous” to eat food produced in the Fukushima area. On the other hand, 36-percent of Japanese residents felt it would be unsafe to do so. People from other parts of the world also took part in the survey, with 87 percent of Chinese respondents expressing concerns over food from Fukushima. Japan is set to release contaminated water into the sea from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in the coming months.


February 19, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive material exceeding voluntary standards in sea bass landed in Japan; voluntary restraint on shipments

Feb. 07, 2023
Radioactive materials exceeding the voluntary standard set by the Fukushima Prefectural Fisheries Federation were detected in sea bass landed off the coast of Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture on February 7, and the federation has suspended shipments of sea bass.

According to the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries, on the morning of March 7, radioactive substances exceeding the standard voluntarily set by the federation were detected in sea bass caught 8.8 km off the coast of Iwaki City at a depth of about 75 m. After a detailed investigation by a prefectural agency, the sea bass was found to have a high level of radiation.

Subsequent detailed examination by a prefectural agency revealed that radioactive cesium-137 was detected at a concentration of 85.5 becquerels per kilogram.

This is below the national food standard of 100 becquerels per kilogram, but above the standard of 50 becquerels per kilogram voluntarily set by the prefectural fisheries federation.

Therefore, the prefectural fisheries federation has decided to recall all sea bass landed in the prefecture on July 7, and to refrain from shipping until the levels remain below the voluntary standard for a certain period of time.

This is the first time that the government has voluntarily refrained from shipping sea bass since the shipment restrictions were lifted in April 2018, almost five years ago.

In January of last year, radioactive materials exceeding the national standard were detected in black sea bass caught off the coast of Soma City, and the restrictions on shipments are still in place. jESkkyBuh4

February 13, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , , | Leave a comment

De retour à Fukushima, un voyage à travers la zone d’exclusion nucléaire

February 3, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , | Leave a comment

Ministry of the Environment Plans Demonstration Test for Reuse of Decontaminated Soil from Fukushima in Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo

Friday, December 9, 2022 11:53

Minister of the Environment Yoshiaki Nishimura announced that the Ministry of the Environment is planning to conduct a demonstration test at the Shinjuku Imperial Garden in Tokyo to see if the “decontaminated soil” generated during the decontamination process after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident can be reused.

The government has indicated that it intends to reuse the large amount of “decontaminated soil” in Fukushima Prefecture for public works projects if the concentration of radioactive materials is below a certain standard value.

At a press conference today, Environment Minister Nishimura announced that the Ministry of the Environment is planning to conduct a demonstration test at the Shinjuku Gyoen, which is managed by the Ministry of the Environment, to demonstrate the reuse of the soil. The plan is to create flower beds using decontaminated soil in areas that are off limits to the general public, and to test the radiation levels in the surrounding areas.

This is the second time that a demonstration test is being planned outside of Fukushima Prefecture, following Tokorozawa City in Saitama Prefecture, and the other is in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture.

January 4, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , | Leave a comment

Decontaminated soil from the nuclear power plant accident “Cleanup is right in front of my house…” Plans to reuse soil from outside Fukushima emerge in Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokorozawa, and Tsukuba

December 10, 2022
An important move has been made regarding the cleanup of the TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. A demonstration project to reuse decontaminated soil is planned to be conducted for the first time outside of Fukushima Prefecture. The Ministry of the Environment is planning to reduce the amount of decontaminated soil for interim storage in the prefecture by reusing it, and briefing sessions are scheduled for Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture, on December 16 and Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, on December 21. Why has reuse emerged in these areas? Can we easily proceed with reuse that will lead to the proliferation of pollution? (Special Reporting Division: Takuya Kishimoto, Takeshi Nakayama)

A demonstration project to reuse decontaminated soil is planned at the Environmental Research and Training Institute in Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture.

◆Local residents voiced their confusion, and the city office was reluctant to go ahead with the project.
 A 10-minute walk from Koku Koen Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line in Tokorozawa City, we came upon a corner lot adjacent to the National Defense Medical College. This is the Environmental Research and Training Institute, one of the facilities where a demonstration project to reuse decontaminated soil is planned. Across the main street to the west was a residential area.
 How do local residents perceive the plan?
 What is right in front of our house? A woman in her 50s who lives across the street from the training center voiced her confusion. I remember hearing on the news that there was going to be some kind of experiment in Tokorozawa, but…. But have you already decided? I’m not absolutely against it, but there are so many things I don’t understand that I can’t say for sure.
 The training center is a Ministry of the Environment facility used to train personnel involved in environmental conservation. The plan for the demonstration project was explained by Environment Minister Akihiro Nishimura at a press conference on April 6. Decontaminated soil will be used to create a lawn at the facility to confirm its safety.
 He also visited the city hall, which is a few minutes’ walk from the training center. Mr. Kazuto Namiki, director of the Environment and Clean Environment Department, was open to accepting the project.
 The reuse of decontaminated soil is a nationwide issue, not just in Fukushima. We would like to cooperate with them on the premise of ensuring the safety and security of residents. The Ministry of the Environment approached the city in June of this year, and discussions have continued. Naturally, we are proceeding with the project after consulting with the mayor.
 Mayor Masato Fujimoto. He seems to have such strong feelings about the project that he wrote on the city’s website, “The Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear power plant accident were the starting point of my desire to become mayor.
 In 2012, the year after the earthquake, the city once announced a policy to cancel the installation of air conditioners in junior high schools, saying, “Now that we have experienced the disaster, we need to be patient. Although he later retracted the policy in response to a referendum in which the majority of residents opposed it, a source familiar with the city government described him as “the type of person who goes his own way, without regard for criticism.
 In August of this year, he revealed that he had attended an event of an organization affiliated with the Family Coalition for World Peace and Unification (formerly the Unification Church), causing controversy when he said, “I don’t feel that much remorse” and “My personality is such that I can’t say I won’t go anymore.
◆Residents’ explanatory meeting was limited to 50 people, many of whom were unaware of the event.
 The lack of explanation about the demonstration project to reuse decontaminated soil seems to be conspicuous.
 The Ministry of the Environment plans to hold a briefing session for residents at the training center on the evening of the 16th of this month. The details of the project will be revealed there for the first time. However, the number of participants is limited to 50 residents of the neighborhood, and pre-registration is required. The city was in charge of the briefing, but it was only announced on 28 bulletin boards in the area.
 A local man (81) said, “I didn’t know about the briefing. I don’t usually look at bulletin boards. Another woman said, “I thought it would be announced in the city’s newsletter. When we asked about 10 residents, none of them knew that the information about the briefing was posted on the bulletin board.
 After the plans for the demonstration project came to light, the city received about 40 inquiries, the majority of which were negative. Yoichi Sugiura, who has been involved in the local anti-base movement and has confronted the government and the city, said, “Even if it is a national project, the city is not going to accept it.
 Even if it is a government project, the city should confirm the wishes of the citizens before taking any action, but they are proceeding with the project without informing us well. If the city is going ahead with the project by fiat without listening to citizens’ opinions, it will be the same as when the air conditioner was installed.
◆Decontaminated soil in Fukushima also failed due to local opposition.
 Why is the Ministry of the Environment trying to reuse decontaminated soil?
 Interim storage facilities in Fukushima Prefecture (Futaba and Okuma towns) began receiving decontaminated soil in 2015, and the amount is expected to reach about 14 million cubic meters. The government has stated that final disposal will take place outside the prefecture by 45 years for both towns. In June 2004, the Ministry of the Environment set a standard for reusing decontaminated soil with a level of 8,000 becquerels per kilogram or less. This is considerably looser than the standard for reusing materials from decommissioned nuclear power plants (100 becquerels per kilogram).

Interim storage facilities for temporarily storing contaminated soil spread out around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in the town of Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on January 25, 2012, from the “Oozuru” helicopter operated by the head office of the company (photo by Ryo Ito).

However, it is difficult to say that recycling is on track.
 In Fukushima Prefecture, a plan to use the soil for filling city roads in Nihonmatsu City was abandoned due to opposition from local residents. In Minamisoma City, the city built fill and measured the radioactivity concentration of seepage water, but a plan to reuse the soil for construction of the Joban Expressway did not materialize due to local opposition. Now, only an experiment in crop cultivation is underway in Iitate Village. Tsunehide Chino, associate professor of environmental sociology at Shinshu University, said, “It is difficult to obtain broad public agreement, and the demonstration project has nowhere to go.
 Nevertheless, in August, the Ministry of the Environment announced a policy to implement the demonstration project outside of Fukushima Prefecture. In addition to the Environmental Research and Training Institute in Tokorozawa City, Shinjuku Gyoen (Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo), a facility affiliated with the Ministry of the Environment, and the National Institute for Environmental Studies (Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture) are also being discussed as possible sites. A Ministry of the Environment official explained, “We took into consideration the fact that there is space in the area that is not accessible to the general public. In the demonstration project, flowerbeds, grass plazas, parking lots, etc. will be built, and data on changes in radiation levels in the surrounding area will be collected.
◆Tokorozawa, Tsukuba, and Shinjuku Gyoen…places with close ties to the country
 Tokorozawa was the site of an army airfield before World War II and is now the site of a U.S. military communications base, so it is closely related to national security policy. Tsukuba has the face of an academic city, and research institutes with close ties to the national government are also prominent. Shinjuku Gyoen was the site of the “Cherry Blossom Viewing Party” hosted by the prime minister.
 The connection with the government may remind one of the government-led recycling of decontaminated soil, but Mr. Chino said, “If a facility has a relationship with the Ministry of the Environment, it may be easier to conduct a demonstration project. In other words, it is only possible there. He then goes on to express his concern, “It is not clear to what extent the project will be agreed upon, including with the residents of the surrounding area, and they are trying to move forward without finding a way out.
 On the other hand, an official in charge of Shinjuku City, the home of Shinjuku Gyoen, where the demonstration project was announced, remains calm, saying, “The Ministry of the Environment should take the responsibility of explaining the project to the local residents and gain their understanding.
 Chia Yoshida, a freelance writer who has been covering the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, is suspicious of the Ministry of the Environment’s preoccupation with the issue, saying, “I suspect that they are trying to proceed with the project by putting the residents’ wishes second.
 This attitude of the national government can be seen in the ongoing reconstruction project in Hamadori, Fukushima. In the area, the Reconstruction Agency will launch the Fukushima International Research and Education Organization in the next fiscal year, bringing together industries such as robotics, drones, and radiation science. Many of the technologies being handled are “dual-use” technologies that can be used by both the military and civilian sectors.
 In the name of ostensibly “reconstruction,” the idea of the business community and some research institutes that share its intentions may be taking precedence. The government’s policies, including the reuse of decontaminated soil, are proceeding without sufficient explanation to the local communities, and the residents are being left behind.
 Yoshiharu Monma, 65, chairman of the “30-year Interim Storage Facility Landowners Association,” said, “It is out of the question that decontaminated soil, which should be confined to one place, is being spread around the country by using the sound of reusing it. As with the restarting of nuclear power plants, we are seeing the government move in such a way as to make people think that they can do whatever they want after so much time has passed since the Fukushima accident,” he continued.
 In the first place, TEPCO, which caused the accident, should take responsibility for the final disposal of the decontaminated soil. For example, the government should consider condensing the decontaminated soil on TEPCO’s land, and the government should shoulder the shortage of funds and manpower. I would like to see these disposal methods discussed in a forum open to the public as a problem for Japan as a whole.”
Related article] Where to in 2045? Contaminated soil generated by the nuclear power plant accident: The current location of intermediate storage facilities in Fukushima
◆Desk Memo
 Decontaminated soil should be cleaned up by those who caused the accident. However, the Ministry of the Environment tries to bring it to various places in the name of reusing it. Without regard to pre-accident standards, a system will be set up to allow use even if considerable contamination remains, and a demonstration project for vegetable cultivation will also be carried out. The wild story looms over the Tokyo metropolitan area. This is no time to be distracted by the World Cup. (Sakaki)

December 11, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Tokyo park to be used in Fukushima soil recycling demonstration

Dec. 9, 2022

Japan’s environment ministry has announced plans to demonstrate the reuse of decontaminated soil from Fukushima at a Tokyo park.

Environment Minister Nishimura Akihiro announced on Friday that the project will take place at the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

Soil exposed to radioactive fallout from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been decontaminated and kept in intermediary storage in the prefecture.

The government plans to reuse the soil for public works projects as long as the concentration of radioactive substances falls below a certain threshold.

Nishimura said the ministry will use the soil in a flower bed in an area normally closed to the public and later hold public flower-viewing events.

Ministry officials are to meet with nearby residents to explain about the project on December 21. The project is due to start early next year.

Nishimura said the ministry hopes to use the project to gain public understanding for the recycling of the decontaminated soil.

Earlier in the week, the ministry announced a plan to test soil recycling at the National Environmental Research and Training Institute in Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo.

Trials to reuse the soil have so far only taken place in Fukushima.

December 11, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Ministry plans tests on reusing Fukushima soil in Tokyo area

A temporary storage site for soil contaminated from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in February. The bags of radioactive waste were due to be shipped to an interim storage facility.

December 7, 2022

The Environment Ministry is eyeing the Tokyo metropolitan area for its first trial runs outside Fukushima Prefecture on reusing soil decontaminated after the 2011 nuclear disaster, The Asahi Shimbun learned on Dec. 6.

The ministry said the tests will take place at three government-related facilities in Tokyo, Saitama and Ibaraki prefectures.

But authorities said they have yet to gain the understanding of residents at all three candidate sites on the reuse of the soil, which still contains low-level radioactive substances.

Decontamination work was carried out on soil exposed to radioactive materials after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The decontaminated soil has been kept at an interim storage facility in Fukushima Prefecture, but a law requires final disposal of the soil outside the prefecture by 2045.

The volume of decontaminated soil in Fukushima Prefecture, excluding the difficult-to-return zones where radiation levels remain high, is about 14 million cubic meters, enough to fill 11 Tokyo Domes.

Reusing the soil is part of the government’s efforts to reduce that volume before disposal.

The ministry is considering conducting the tests at the Shinjuku Imperial Garden in Tokyo, the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, and the National Environmental Research and Training Institute in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture.

Tokorozawa city will hold a briefing on the plan for about 50 residents on Dec. 16.

Under the experiment in Tokorozawa, decontaminated soil will be reused for lawns, and tests will be conducted to verify changes in radiation doses in the air.

For the trial runs in Tokyo and Ibaraki Prefecture, the soil will be used for parking lots and flower beds.

“We would like to use the experiments to gain public understanding regarding the reuse of the soil,” Environmental Minister Akihiro Nishimura said at a news conference on Dec. 6.

Only soil that measures below 8,000 becquerels per kilogram, the threshold set by the government, will be used in the trial runs.

The ministry has been conducting experiments on reusing the decontaminated soil for farmland in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture.

But plans for similar tests in Minami-Soma and Nihonmatsu cities, also in the prefecture, fell through after residents opposed.

December 11, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Ministry of the Environment to Reuse Decontaminated Soil in Shinjuku Gyoen and Other Places

December 6, 2022

The Ministry of the Environment is considering conducting demonstration tests to reuse soil removed from decontamination sites in Fukushima prefecture outside the prefecture, including the ministry’s Environmental Research and Training Institute (Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture) and Shinjuku Imperial Garden (Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo).

The other is the National Institute for Environmental Studies (Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture). 

At a press conference after the Cabinet meeting on the same day, Environment Minister Akihiro Nishimura explained that there were several candidate sites and that he was coordinating with related local governments.

This is an important project for Fukushima Prefecture. We want to confirm the safety of the project and help build understanding. The Environmental Research and Training Center plans to reuse the land to create a lawn square, and will hold a briefing session for local residents on March 16.

December 11, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Reuse of decontaminated soil to be tested outside Fukushima

Dec. 6, 2022

Japan’s Environment Ministry is planning its first trial outside Fukushima Prefecture on the reuse of soil that was decontaminated after the 2011 nuclear accident.

The ministry says the demonstration will take place at the National Environmental Research and Training Institute in Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo.

Officials will use the soil in a courtyard to grow a lawn. They plan to brief nearby residents in mid-December to seek their understanding, and begin the trial in January at the earliest.

Soil exposed to radioactive fallout from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been cleansed and kept in intermediary storage in the prefecture.

The government plans to reuse the soil for public works projects as long as the concentration of radioactive substances falls below a certain threshold.

Trials to reuse the soil to grow vegetables and create earth mounds have so far only taken place in Fukushima.

Environment Minister Nishimura Akihiro told reporters on Tuesday that his ministry hopes to use the experiment in Saitama to confirm safety and gain public understanding for the recycling of the soil.

He said the ministry will coordinate with other candidate sites where similar trials could be held.

A law mandates the final disposal of the decontaminated soil outside Fukushima by 2045. But it remains unclear how this will be achieved.

December 11, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

A Survey on the Concentration of Radioactive Cesium in Japanese Milk Samples (2021)

by Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center · Published December 4, 2022 · Updated December 4, 2022

Investigating the origin of the contamination and assessing the risks of cases where the radioactive cesium level is below the Standard Limits for Radionuclides in Foods

By Tanimura Nobuko (NPO Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center) and Fuseya Yumiko (NPO Shinjuku Yoyogi Citizen Monitoring Center)

  1. Introduction

Radioactive contamination of food due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident occurred in March 2011, resulting in the contamination of the environment and food by radioactive materials. At that time, no standard limit of radiation levels of food distributed in Japan existed, and a temporary standard was therefore set by the government. In April 2012, about one year after the accident, new standard limits were established, in which radiation exposure due to the consumption of food was limited to 1mSv per year, thus making the standard value of radioactive cesium 100Bq/kg for general food, 50Bq/kg for milk and baby/infant food and 10Bq/kg for drinking water. While this was supposed to regulate contaminated food, there were many reports of the discovery of food that was over the standard limit being distributed. In fiscal year 2020, twenty-two cases of food over the standard limit were recognized.

Due to inadequate food contamination checks and distribution management systems, some people who refused to be unnecessarily exposed to radiation decided to select food according to the area in which it was produced in order to avoid risks of radiation exposure. The Japanese government terms this action—avoiding the food produced in the affected area of the Great East Japan Earthquake—‘reputational damage,’ something which must be eliminated if reconstruction is to proceed.

Risks of radiation and risks of chemical materials

However, is making a choice of avoiding a health risk an unfair act that prevents the reconstruction of the affected areas?

The cancer risk of chemicals in tap water and other substances is regulated to a level of 1 in 100,000 per substance, which is usually the risk for a lifetime of ingestion of such substances. But those who do not want to take the risk of developing cancer from chemicals in food are able to buy organic products at some additional cost. This consumer action is not criticized by the government as ‘reputational damage.’

The standard for radiation exposure from consuming food is set at 1mSv/year. According to the ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection) the fatality risk is about 5% per 1Sv and ‘the standard is based on the hypothesis that the probability of radiation-induced cancer or hereditary effects increases in direct proportion to the increase in dose.’ In addition, it estimates that the fatality risk is 0.4% if a person continues to be exposed to radiation at 1 mSv per year throughout his/her lifetime.

Adding five hundred-thousandths per year (0.005% for 1mSv/year) means that if we take 80 years as the average lifetime, four hundred people’s deaths are added per hundred thousand people, a risk that is two digits higher than that for chemical materials.

It is sometimes claimed that as the risk of radiation exposure is the total of the risks of various radionuclides, comparing the regulation for one chemical material to the regulation for radiation exposure is improper, since there are thousands of chemical materials that we may come into contact with in daily life. However, the radiation exposure standard of 1mSv per year is not the ‘total’ amount of exposure but an ‘additional’ exposure. The following are all conveniently used to explain that exposure of 1 mSv or less is safe: a) the radiation dose limit for the public from nuclear facilities under pre-accident conditions, b) the new standard for radioactive cesium in food, c) the standard of 8,000 Bq/kg for “designated waste” introduced to handle the large amount of radioactive waste generated by the Fukushima nuclear accident (exposure of workers disposing of the waste), and d) the standard for the disposal of radioactively contaminated water, which has been the focus of attention at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, now undergoing decommissioning. The fact that these exposure risks add up, as well as the effects of this addition, have not been explained to civil society by the regulators, and of course have not been discussed.

In addition, the risk assessment of carcinogenic chemical materials is based on ‘causing cancer,’ but the risk assessment of radiation exposure is based on ‘deaths from cancer’; it is impossible to compare the two risks. ICRP estimates that the risk of ‘developing cancer’ is twice as high as that of ‘death from cancer.’

Further, it is the user who decides whether or not to use chemical materials, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of use, but in the case of exposure due to nuclear power plant accidents, there are no direct advantages to anyone.

Research and objective

We would like to support people’s right of choice to avoid the risk of radiation exposure by measuring even low levels of radioactive cesium contained in milk and disclosing the areas of production and levels of contamination.

Even though many people avoided milk produced in the Tohoku district and chose milk produced in Hokkaido to avoid risks of radiation exposure. In FY2020 our research revealed the unanticipated fact that the milk produced in Hokkaido is also contaminated due to the Fukushima accident. The survey was therefore expanded to include western Japan products in order to compare contamination on a national scale.

Each measurement sample was 22kg of commercial milk which had an identifiable production location. In FY2021, the milk produced in 11 areas was included in the survey: Iwate (K), Miyagi (L), Ibaraki (M), Tokyo (N), Shizuoka (O), Ehime and Kochi (P), Miyazaki and Kagoshima (Q), Nagasaki (R), Oita (S), Shimane (T), and Ishikawa (U). (See Table 1. Areas A to J indicate areas surveyed in FY2020).

In measuring the concentration of radioactive cesium, 2kg of the sample was used as a direct measurement sample and the remainder (20kg) was used as a concentrated measurement sample. In order to detect small amounts of radioactive cesium, we performed the ammonium phosphomolybdate (AMP) method on whey after separating the whey from the milk.

 The germanium semiconductor detector (BSI Co. GCD70-200) was used for gamma ray detection in these radioactivity measurements.

The results of the measurements are shown in Table 1. In FY 2021, the production areas in which cesium 137 was detected in the direct measurement were Iwate (K) and Miyagi (L). No cesium 134 was detected in any areas in the direct measurement. In the concentrated measurement, cesium 137 was detected in all areas including the Kyushu district. The most contaminated area was Miyagi (L) with 152mBq/kg. This figure was higher than the 135mBq/kg found in Fukushima (H). The second most contaminated was the milk produced in Iwate (K), 79mBq/kg. These were followed by Shizuoka (O) (16mBq/kg), Ibaraki (M) (11mBq/kg), Tokyo (N) (7.3mBq/kg), Miyazaki and Kagoshima (Q)(7.0Bq/kg), Oita (S) (5.7mBq/kg), Shimane (T) (5.4mBq/kg), Nagasaki (R) (5.2mBq), Ehime and Kochi (P) ( and Ishikawa (U) (3.9mBq/kg). Cesium 134 was detected only in Miyagi (L) ( and Iwate (K) (2.0mBq/kg).

Please note that about 90% of cesium in milk exists in the whey, and therefore adopting this cesium concentration method indicates figures that are 10% lower in the concentrated measurement than in the direct measurement.

  1. Discussion

Origin of cesium 137

At the time the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident occurred, cesium 134 and cesium 137 were emitted into the environment at the ratio of about 1:1. The half-life of cesium 137 is about 30 years, and that of cesium 134 is about 2.1 years. By taking into account the half-life of cesium 134 and 137, and the length of time from the disaster to the measurement, it is possible to calculate a cesium ratio (cesium 134/cesium 137) of cesium that was emitted as a result of the accident at the time of the measurement. Five years after the accident (March 2016), the cesium ratio had fallen to 0.21, Ten years after (March 2021), it had decreased to 0.046.

The cesium ratio differs slightly according to each reactor. Thus the cesium ratios due to the accident in the fallout in each location are different. The initial cesium ratios in the atmospheric fallouts in each area from March to May in 2011 were calculated using data from the environmental radiation database.

The proportions of cesium-137 (derived from the Fukushima nuclear reactor / total in the milk sample) were derived by calculating the measured value of cesium 134 concentration and calculated cesium 134/137 ratio at the time of measurement.

In the survey conducted last fiscal year (2021), the production areas where cesium 134 was detected were Hokkaido, Fukushima, Gunma, Tochigi, Iwate and Miyagi. The cesium 134/137 ratios in the atmospheric fallouts soon after the Fukushima nuclear disaster were as follows: Hokkaido 1.05, Fukushima 0.94, Gunma 1.00, Tochigi 1.01, Iwate 1.00 and Miyagi 1.00. The cesium 134/137 ratios (at the time of the measurement) were calculated by using the figures for the half-life of each cesium radionuclide and the number of years from the disaster to when the measurements were taken. The following figures were obtained: Hokkaido 0.053, Fukushima 0.044, Gunma 0.045, Tochigi 0.045, Iwate 0.035 and Miyagi 0.036. Dividing the cesium 134 concentration of the measurement by the cesium 134/137 ratio (at the time of the measurement) of the sample production area, the results of cesium 137 concentrations that derived from the Fukushima nuclear disaster were obtained and are shown in Table 2.

The following is one calculation example for Iwate. The cesium 134/137 ratio measured on November 19 in 2021 which was derived from the Fukushima nuclear disaster was calculated as 0.035 in Iwate. As the result of the measurement, 2.0±0.1mBq/kg of cesium 134 was detected and therefore cesium 137 derived from Fukushima reactor should be 56±3.9mBq/kg on the basis of the cesium 134/137 ratio. However, the measurement result of the concentration of cesium 137 in the sample was 79±0.8mBq/kg. The reason why it was higher than expected is because it contained cesium 137 that traces back to nuclear weapon tests and other sources. Thus, out of the total cesium 137 contained in the milk produced in Iwate, it was concluded that the ratio of 0.71±0.05 was derived from the Fukushima nuclear accident.

The origins and concentrations of cesium 137 in the samples were compared based on the production areas (Figure 2). In western Japan (P-U), which was supposed to have been mostly uninfluenced by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the concentrations of cesium 137 were below 7mBq/kg. This cesium 137 was thought to be derived from various nuclear weapon tests and the Chernobyl disaster.

By contrast, in eastern Japan (except Hokkaido) H-O, the cesium concentrations derived from nuclear weapon tests and the Chernobyl accident were 7-19mBq/kg, and in Hokkaido the cesium concentration tends to be higher (15-66mBq/kg) than those in eastern Japan.

Consideration of health risk

Assuming that the radioactive contamination level of milk is 50Bq/kg of and also assuming that radiation exposure from all food is up to 1mSv per year, what is the additional risk of cancer death caused by radiation exposure through food based on the concentration of Cs137 in the milk measured in this study?

 The concentration of cesium in milk in this survey was found to be 4-150mBq/kg, and when milk is at the contamination level of 150mBq/kg, this is equivalent to 0.003mSv per year. Under these conditions the lifetime risk of dying from cancer increases by 1.2 people per 100,000.

As noted at the beginning of the article, in general, carcinogenic chemical materials are regulated so that their concentration causes one person per 100,000 to develop cancer in his/her lifetime. If people are to face an equivalent risk of cancer death from consuming radioactively contaminated food, the detection limit should be lowered to 0.1Bq/kg (100mBq/kg), and this information should be published to allow citizens who wish to avoid exposure to make choices on what products to buy. A sufficient number of detections are also required to support this choice of citizens to avoid exposure.

  1. Summary

 The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident has caused serious environmental radiation contamination to Fukushima and surrounding areas. Since then, some people have selected and purchased food that is produced in western Japan and Hokkaido in preference to food produced in the affected area in order to avoid radiation exposure through food.

 The concentrations of radioactive cesium in milk produced in specific areas across Japan were measured using the AMP method and the germanium semiconductor detector. This procedure made it possible to compare contamination in each area.

In all measurements, figures were considerably lower than the new standard limit of radioactive cesium contained in food (50Bq/kg), but the commercially available milk produced in Miyagi measured in 2021 was more highly contaminated than that produced in Fukushima measured in 2020, which suggests that Fukushima products are not necessarily the most contaminated. The milk produced in Hokkaido tended to contain more cesium than that produced in western Japan.

The risk of dying from cancer caused through food intake 10 years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in the contaminated area was calculated based on the measurement values obtained this time, and was found to be of around the same order as the management standards for carcinogenic chemical substances, even though we are talking about a risk of suffering from cancer with chemicals and a risk of dying from cancer with radiation exposure.

Every person’s sense of values, what he/she thinks is the highest priority and what risk he/she wants to avoid, should be respected. The option of avoiding the risk of exposure to radiation should be thought of as important as the option of avoiding the risk of chemical substances and a mechanism must be established to allow this.

Western Japan, which was not so much affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, has also been contaminated by radiation from a historical angle; the harsh fact is that the past contamination caused by atmospheric nuclear weapons tests is still contained in food. We must become more aware that the mistake which the current generation has made by causing serious environmental radiation contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident will continue to affect generations in the future.


December 11, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Environmentalists devoted to reveal nuclear contamination in Fukushima

A team of elderly Japanese environmentalists has been devoted to revealing the real environmental conditions of Fukushima after the nuclear incident in 2011. The team, with all members over 60 years old, volunteered to have a routine check for nuclear radiation in Fukushima. Masami Aoki, 77 and a former media worker, is one of the persons in charge of the team founded in 2012. Over the past 10 years, Aoki has worked with his team to examine nuclear radiation levels near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, including Futaba Machi and Minamisoma.

November 27, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | | Leave a comment

Plaintiff woman gives statement: “I can’t even think about what’s going to happen in the future.”

Here’s how it looked at the third trial yesterday.

Typically, one or two in 1 million people have pediatric thyroid cancer

Over 300 cases have been tested so far with approximately 38,000 people. “The plaintiff also argues that in epidemiology survey by experts using data from the town’s rural health survey, etc., the plaintiff’s thyroid cancer to be seen as a cancer causing outbreak (outburst) was an extremely high value of 94,9~99/3%. In the past, the causal relationship between the events and the disease that cause this 50-70% probability, has been recognized, and the causal relationship of damage and thyroid cancer is “with a high level of coincidence (and sometimes it’s good to treat it as proven.”

Supporters’ meeting for the thyroid cancer lawsuit. The plaintiffs’ lawyers explained their claims in the trial.

November 10, 2022

On November 9, the third oral argument was held at the Tokyo District Court in a lawsuit filed by seven men and women, aged 17 to 28, who were living in Fukushima Prefecture at the time of the accident, claiming that they developed thyroid cancer as a result of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In their statements, the plaintiffs expressed their anxiety about the future, saying, “We can’t even think about the future.

 The plaintiff, a woman in her 20s who was in the first year of junior high school and living in Nakadori at the time of the accident, made a statement of opinion. After the second surgery, the wound, which extended down to her ear, did not close easily, and after she was discharged from the hospital, she said, “I was very upset when fluid started flowing from my neck.

 Recently, her cancer recurred, and there is talk of a third surgery. While she was frankly worried about her future and said, “The present, the future, in fact, it’s not good,” she added, “I am glad that it was me who got sick and not my relatives or friends.

Supporters’ meeting for the thyroid cancer lawsuit. Plaintiffs’ lawyers explained their claims in the trial November 9, 2022, Kasumigaseki, Tokyo; photo by Tetsuya Kasai.

Since the nuclear accident, more than 300 people in the prefecture have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer or suspected thyroid cancer. The woman told the judge, “I want to tell the judge that there are more than 300 people who are worried and their families are also worried. I hope that the current situation will change, even if only a little.

 On the day of the hearing, the plaintiffs mainly presented rebuttals and statements of opinion in response to TEPCO’s claims. In response to TEPCO’s claim that the plaintiffs were exposed to low levels of radiation (less than 100 millisieverts) and that the risk of developing thyroid cancer did not increase, the plaintiffs pointed out that “there is a risk even at much lower levels than 100 millisieverts,” citing overseas papers.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers hold a press conference on the thyroid cancer lawsuit.

The plaintiffs also claimed that an epidemiological survey conducted by experts using data from the prefectural health survey showed that the “probability of cause” of the plaintiffs’ thyroid cancer being attributable to radiation exposure was extremely high, ranging from 94.9% to 99.3%. In past pollution lawsuits, a causal relationship between the causative event and the disease was recognized even when the probability was 50-70%, and the causal relationship between radiation exposure and thyroid cancer “can be treated as proven with a high degree of probability,” he said.

 The two plaintiffs are scheduled to present their arguments on January 25 and March 15 next year, respectively. (The two plaintiffs are scheduled to present their opinions on January 25 and March 15.)

November 20, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment

Long-lived radionuclides from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, and consequences for Pacific ecosystems and seafood consumers

October 28, 2022

Nicholas Fisher

Distinguished Professor

School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

Abstract: After the Fukushima accident in March 2011, marine organisms, seawater and sediment were contaminated with both 134Cs and 137Cs that was released into coastal waters. We analyzed radionuclides in Pacific biota, including plankton, diverse invertebrates, and pelagic and benthic fish. Field data (~41,000 data points) showed temporal declines of 137Cs levels were >10x lower in benthic than pelagic fish, reflecting 137Cs declines in sediments and seawater, consistent with lab studies showing benthic fish acquiring 137Cs from benthic invertebrate diets. Bluefin tuna that spawn near Japan and migrate to waters off California were contaminated with Fukushima-derived radiocesium that they obtained from Japanese waters. The consequent risk to seafood consumers was assessed and compared to that from naturally occurring radionuclides.

Bio:  I am a marine biogeochemist who has focused on the bioaccumulation of diverse contaminants in marine organisms. This research has considered the impacts of this bioaccumulation on organisms and public health, and has also considered the influence of organisms on the cycling and fate of the contaminants. Most of this work has involved metals and long-lived radionuclides. I received a BA from Brandeis University, and a PhD from Stony Brook, I was a postdoctoral investigator at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, after which I worked for a government lab in Melbourne Australia, the IAEA Lab in Monaco, the Brookhaven National Lab, and Stony Brook University (since 1988).

Watch live here


October 31, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment

The mishandling of scientifically flawed articles about radiation exposure, retracted for ethical reasons, impedes understanding of the scientific issues pointed out by Letters to the Editor

October 23, 2022


Tanimoto Y, Hamaoka Y, Kageura K, Kurokawa S, Makino J, Oshikawa M. The mishandling of scientifically flawed articles about radiation exposure, retracted for ethical reasons, impedes understanding of the scientific issues pointed out by Letters to the Editor. JoSPI. Published online October 23, 2022. doi:10.35122/001c.38474


We discuss the editorial handling of two papers that were published in and then retracted from the Journal of Radiological Protection (JRP).1,2 The papers, which dealt with radiation exposure in Date City, were retracted because “ethically inappropriate data were used.”3,4 Before retraction, four Letters to the Editor pointing out scientific issues in the papers had been submitted to JRP. The Letters were all accepted or provisionally accepted through peer review. Nevertheless, JRP later refused to publish them. We examine the handling by JRP of the Letters, and show that it left the reader unapprised of a) the extent of the issues in the papers, which went far beyond the use of unconsented data, and b) the problems in the way the journal handled the matter. By its actions in this case, JRP has enabled unscientific, unfounded and erroneous claims to remain unacknowledged. We propose some countermeasures to prevent such inappropriate actions by academic journals in future.

October 26, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment

104th protest in front of TEPCO’s head office, “Net for the Realization of No Exposure to Radiation” issued a full-length letter of offer summarizing the actual damage caused by exposure to radiation.

August 1, 2022
Children suffering from radiation exposure: “Acknowledge the relationship between the nuclear accident and childhood thyroid cancer
The Network for the Realization of No Exposure to Radiation Takae Miyaguchi

The Fukushima nuclear power plant accident spread enormous amounts of radiation.
 After the accident, many people gathered in front of the TEPCO headquarters in protest. 14 years ago, a joint protest began on the first Wednesday night of every month, and this May marked the 104th such event.
 About 100 people gather each time. Before the protest, drums are beaten and a microphone relay is used to protest and make a request to TEPCO. Each time, we hand the TEPCO a written request, and if there is any doubt about the response, we submit it again.
 This is the first time that the “Network for the Realization of Exposure Free Japan,” which I am involved with, has submitted a written request to the TEPCO. The content of the letter is a reflection of the situation and thoughts I have been experiencing through my support for the “Children’s Lawsuit for Exposure to Radiation” and other activities.
The following is a summary of the letter.
 Eleven years have passed since the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, but the declaration of a nuclear emergency remains in effect. At the Fukushima nuclear power plant, exposure work with no foreseeable future and convergence work continue amidst the remaining debris with high concentrations of radioactive materials that are inaccessible to humans. Radioactive materials have been released into the air and are flying into the Tokyo metropolitan area on the wind. The Fukushima nuclear accident has not ended.
 TEPCO understands the despair, grief, and anger of the victims of the nuclear accident, and in an effort to hold TEPCO accountable, victims have filed lawsuits against TEPCO in various regions, and the courts have confirmed TEPCO’s responsibility for the nuclear accident, but the amount of compensation awarded by the courts to each person is shockingly small compared to the extent of the damage.
 What the victims truly desire is the return of their hometowns as they were before the nuclear accident, where people made their living, families lived, children cheered, and people laughed, and where life was normal, rooted in the local climate, and connected to history! This is what we have been trying to achieve for the past 11 years.
 Eleven years later, the evacuation designation has been lifted except for some areas that are difficult to return to.
The policy of forcing people to return to their hometowns because their annual exposure level is below 20 mSv, 20 times the allowable annual exposure level of 1 mSv for the public, is unacceptable. We denounce the depth of TEPCO’s crimes of spreading massive amounts of radioactive materials, polluting the mountains, rivers, and land of Fukushima, destroying our hometowns, and depriving people of their livelihoods.

In the face of radiation taboos and discrimination
Young People Who Courageously Stood Up Against Radiation Taboo and Discrimination

He continued.
 In January of this year, six young people who had developed childhood thyroid cancer rose to their feet. Three or four years later, many of them were found to have pediatric thyroid cancer in a Fukushima health survey, and all of them underwent surgery.
 Thyroid cancer is a slow-growing cancer, and the prognosis for surgery is good, according to the committee’s experts. However, some of the plaintiffs had recurrence after surgery, reoperation, RAI isotope treatment, and some were found to have distant metastasis in the lungs.
 Their health did not recover even after the surgery, they dropped out of college, resigned from the company where they worked, were not hired when they were told they had cancer, etc. They have thought about, worried about, and suffered from the despair of having the door closed to them at the starting line of their lives, anxiety about the recurrence of cancer in the future, treatment costs, work, and whether or not they will be able to make a living independently.
 Why is it that nearly 30 out of 380,000 children in Fukushima have developed thyroid cancer, compared to only one or two out of a million children in Japan? Why have nearly 300 cases been reported among 380,000 children in Fukushima? The Prefectural Health Study Review Committee acknowledges the high incidence of childhood thyroid cancer, but denies any causal relationship with the nuclear accident, saying that it is overdiagnosis.
 Last July, the Hiroshima A-bomb “black rain” victims’ lawsuit recognized that internal exposure is not a matter of quantity, but that if even a small amount of radiation enters the body’s tissues and is deposited, it damages cells and causes cancer. In the case of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, a causal relationship between childhood thyroid cancer and the nuclear power plant accident was recognized. The plaintiffs want to clarify why they developed pediatric thyroid cancer.
 The relationship between childhood thyroid cancer and the nuclear power plant accident” is a taboo subject, and the plaintiffs have been hiding their illness for a long time for fear of being discriminated against, but they want to make their illness public and have the court find a “causal relationship between childhood thyroid cancer and exposure to radiation. They have stood up courageously to make TEPCO pay compensation for their illness. We demand the following
TEPCO must admit that it is the perpetrator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident and the spreading of radioactive materials.
Please admit the causal relationship between radioactive iodine released from the Fukushima nuclear power plant and childhood thyroid cancer as soon as possible.
Please take responsibility for the future of these six young people.
We ask that you take responsibility for the future of these six young people.
 The fight to leave a world without radiation exposure to children continues.

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment