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Radioactive Boar Are Thriving And Causing Havoc Near The Fukushima Power Plant

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It’s been over five years since tsunami waves crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and led to its nuclear meltdown. While 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the land around the plant remains a dangerous exclusion zone, the area’s wildlife is taking full advantage of the peace.

Since the nuclear disaster, the population of wild boars has rocketed, much to the dismay of surrounding communities, The Times has reported. In the four years following the disaster, the population of boars is thought to have boomed from 3,000 to 13,000. You might think this ancient Japanese symbol of prosperity and fertility might be welcomed, but it’s estimated they have caused $15 million worth of damage to local agriculture.

Assistant ecology professor Okuda Keitokunin told the Japanese Mainichi newspaper that wild boar, along with racoons, have been using the abandoned houses and emptied buildings in the evacuation zone as a place to breed and shelter.

However, this post-nuclear meltdown town isn’t exactly a safe haven for the boars. It’s thought their diet of roots, nuts, berries and water all contain particularly high concentrations of radiation. The animals show no immediate signs of harm from the radiation, however samples from Fukushima’s wild boar meat has shown they contain 300 times the safe amount of the radioactive element caesium-137. Another study on the area’s fir trees showed evidence of growth mutations.

Hunters have been offered rewards to cull the boars by local authorities. However,  the animals are breeding so quickly they can’t keep up. The city of Nihonmatsu, around 56 kilometers (35 miles) from the Fukushima plant, has dug three mass graves capable of holding 1,800 dead boars. Recently, these have become overfilled and authorities are now struggling to cope with the influx of culled beasts.

The boom in boars is a similar story to Chernobyl’s post-meltdown wildlife. A study from late last year showed that the populations of deer and wild boar are thriving in the area surrounding the Ukrainian nuclear power plant.

In a statement Jim Smith, one of the authors of the Chernobyl study, explained, “It’s very likely that wildlife numbers at Chernobyl are much higher than they were before the accident. This doesn’t mean radiation is good for wildlife, just that the effects of human habitation, including hunting, farming, and forestry, are a lot worse.”

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/wild-boar-are-thriving-and-causing-havoc-near-fukushima-power-plant/

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Public cost of Fukushima nuclear accident cleanup topped ¥4.2 trillion as of end of March

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Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s stricken Fukushima No. 1 plant topped ¥4.2 trillion by the end of fiscal 2015, it was learned Sunday.

The cumulative total at the end of last March, including costs for radioactive decontamination, reactor decommissioning and compensation payments to affected people and organizations, translate into about ¥33,000 per capita.

The public financial burden is expected to increase, with Tepco seeking further government assistance.

Jiji Press scrutinized the government’s special-account budgets through fiscal 2015 for the reconstruction of areas affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It summed up the amounts of executed budgets related to the nuclear disaster and additional electricity rates consumers and businesses were charged by Tepco and seven other regional power utilities to help finance compensation payments, among other costs.

According to the study, a total of ¥2.34 trillion was disbursed for decontamination of affected areas, disposal of contaminated waste and an interim storage facility for tainted soil. The expense was shouldered by the government, mainly through affiliated Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp.

The costs for decontamination and tainted waste disposal will eventually be financed by the proceeds from the sale of Tepco shares held by the government-backed organization. The government guaranteed the loans provided by banks for the acquisition of Tepco shares, and if the lending becomes irrecoverable due to weakness of the Tepco stock price, tax revenue will be used to repay the loans.

The government estimates the proceeds from Tepco share sale at ¥2.5 trillion, but to generate the estimated gain, the Tepco stock price needs to trade at around ¥1,050, up sharply from current market levels of some ¥360.

In addition, the Environment Ministry expects that the cumulative total of decontamination and related costs could surpass the estimated share proceeds by the March 2017 end of the current fiscal year.

A total of ¥1.1 trillion will be used from the energy special account to finance the costs related to the interim storage facility for contaminated soil. The account mostly consists of revenue of the tax for the promotion of power resources development, which is included in electricity bills.

Elsewhere, the government spent ¥1.38 trillion on projects including the decommissioning of reactors at the disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant, checks on food for radioactive contamination and building a research and development facility.

Tepco and six other power utilities charged their customers at least ¥327 billion in electricity rate hikes after Japan’s worst-ever nuclear accident. Moreover, consumers paid ¥219.3 billion or more for Tepco, chiefly to finance the maintenance of equipment to clean up radioactive water at the plant and the operation of call centers to deal with inquiries about compensation payments.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/08/28/national/public-cost-fukushima-nuclear-accident-cleanup-topped-%C2%A54-2-trillion-end-march/#.V8MWHTXKO-c

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s surfers riding on radioactive waves

“I put on sunscreen against the sun, but I haven’t found anything against radiation,” said one surfer. “We will only know the true consequences of our time in the water 20 years from now.”

Fukushima, Japan – On 11 March 2011, at 2:46 pm, Japan was hit by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake which generated a tsunami along the coast. The casualties of the disaster included 18,500 dead, 90 percent of whom drowned in the tsunami wave. The bodies of 2,561 people were never recovered.

The tsunami hit the Daaichi nuclear power plant as well, a level-7 catastrophe that was the equivalent of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant meltdown disaster.

Over the course of five years, nearly 50,000 people have worked to decontaminate the plant and stop leaks according to government press releases. They remove between 5 and 30 cm of contaminated soil every day and place them in plastic bags, which are stored on the outskirts of town, pending a better solution.

In Tairatoyoma beach, a prefecture of Fukushima and some 50km from the nuclear plant, was among the most popular areas for Japanese surfers prior to the nuclear accident.

Surprisingly, despite the presence of radiation in the sand and water, some dedicated surfers continue to come here to catch some waves. They are aware of the risks, and the hundreds of bags of contaminated sand piled up on the beach serve as a constant reminder of the health risks to them. 

“I put on sunscreen against the sun, but I haven’t found anything against radiation,” said one surfer. “We will only know the true consequences of our time in the water 20 years from now.”

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Tairatoyoma beach, in the prefecture of Fukushima, 50km from the nuclear plant, was among the most popular areas with Japanese surfers before the accident.

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“I come to Tairatoyoma beach and surf several times a week. it is my passion, I can’t stop surfinhg”, says this surfer. The sign next to him in Japanese indicates that the area is restricted area.

Japanese surfer in the contaminated area after the daiichi nuclear power plant irradiation, Fukushima prefecture, Tairatoyoma beach, Japan

Some surfers were on the beach when the tsunami struck. ‘The earth shook, we came back on Tairatoyoma beach, and a few minutes later, the tsunami wave arrived,’ recalls one surfer. ‘None of the surfers who were on the beach died, as we had time to escape. Those who were in their homes were taken by the waves by surprise and they died.’

 

Fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant five years after the tsunami, Fukushima prefecture, Futaba, Japan

Over the course of five years, nearly 50,000 people have worked to decontaminate the plant and stop leaks. Nearly 500,000 people were evacuated because of the tsunami and the nuclear accident.

A radiation dosimeter placed inthe difficult-to-return zone after the daiichi nuclear power plant irradiation, Fukushima prefecture, Tomioka, Japan

A radiation dosimeter placed in the difficult-to-return zone after the Daiichi nuclear power plant irradiation, Fukushima prefecture, Tomioka, Japan

Radiation sensors indicate the level of radioactivity. But no one is present to read the sensors in the red zones, classified as ‘difficult to return to zones’ by the government.

Roadblock in the difficult-to-return zone after the daiichi nuclear power plant irradiation, Fukushima prefecture, Tomioka, Japan

Roadblock in the difficult-to-return zone after the daiichi nuclear power plant irradiation, Fukushima prefecture, Tomioka, Japan

Residents receive compensation from Tepco company based on the degree of contamination of their homes. In the red zone they receive 1,000$ a month per person. That has created tensions in the population because those who live on the other side of the barrier, like here in Tomioka, do not receive as much.

 

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In the ‘orange zone’, residents have the right to visit their home if they wish to take care of it. In the town of Naraha. This man has come to weed his garden. His wife refuses to come back, and he will not bring his children. He never sleeps in his contaminated home. He knows the dangers well as he has worked at the nuclear plant.

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Abandoned car after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami five years after in the difficult-to-return zone, Fukushima prefecture, Tomioka, Japan

Cities distant from the sea, like Tomioka, were only affected by the earthquake and the radiation, not by the tsunami. They have now turned into ghost towns.

 

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Thirty million tonnes of contaminated soil are stocked in open-air sites.

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The Tairatoyoma beach was popular for its sand, but the tsunami washed this sand away. Now, a concrete wall offers protection against the waves. A few rare foreigners venture here to surf according to the Japanese surfers.

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The surfers cannot ignore the riskS. There are hundreds of bags of contaminated sand piled up on the beach. ‘The government keeps telling us that things are back to normal in the region. But we can see that few people have come back. There are only elderly people. Children are kept away,’ said one surfer.

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Despite knowing the risks, surfers are undeterred and willing to take the risk to surf in these waters. ‘I put on sunscreen against the sun, but I haven’t found anything against radiation. We will only know the true consequences of our time in the water 20 years from now,’said one surfer.

 

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The people from the Fukushima prefecture had supported the construction of the nuclear power plants in the region because this brought jobs and prosperity to this rural area.

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An employee of the nuclear plant said that he would never swim there as the water is too contaminated. Five of his friends who worked at the plant have now brain damage.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2016/08/fukushima-surfers-riding-radioactive-waves-160826095748798.html

 

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive Broom in Tomioka House, Fukushima

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Via Kurumi Sugita:

“A broom collected in the town of tomioka in Fukushima Prefecture, inside of a house.”

http://www.autoradiograph.org/info/%E6%96%B0%E4%BD%9C50%EF%BC%9A%E5%AE%A4%E5%86%85%E3%81%AB%E3%81%82%E3%81%A3%E3%81%9F%E3%81%BB%E3%81%86%E3%81%8D/

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Typhoon Lionrock Might Land On Fukushima Daiichi

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It might land in north east Japan for the first time since the beginning of meteorological records. We are very very worried about the Fukushima Daiichi NPP and the local population.

Typhoon Lionrock has strengthened and changed course. Current predictions as of today shows it hitting the Tohoku coast as a category 1 typhoon. The center of the predicted path is around Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. Fukushima Prefecture and Fukushima Daiichi are within the predicted path zone.

Even if it doesn’t directly hit Fukushima Daiichi, outer bands could still cause significant problems. High winds could damage contaminated water tanks in the process of being disassembled or assembled on site. These tanks are highly radioactive and some may still contain highly radioactive water or sludge. Cranes and other outdoor structures that could be damaged by high winds are a concern.

The “K” drainage system connected to the roofs of the reactor buildings before the disaster. Post disaster we still see spikes in contamination in this drainage system. There are multiple other locations where this system could be fed contaminated run off. This drainage system has been redirected to the port but the port still exchanges water with the sea, so it isn’t a reliable solution. There is a pumping system to pump contaminated groundwater out of the area near the reactor buildings then to contaminated water storage.

It is not clear if it can keep up with both the ongoing groundwater intrusion and influx from a typhoon.

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August 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Yamagata&Niigata prefectural governors request FUKUSHIMA prefecture housing support extension for Nuclear disaster voluntary evacuees

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Yamagata and Niigata prefectural governors strongly request that FUKUSHIMA prefecture should extend the housing support for Nuclear disaster voluntary evacuees.But Fukushima governor, Uchibori Masao did not answer anything to their request. Why?

Yamagata Prefecture governor Mieko Yoshimura has requested an extension of the house support provided asking for the “special consideration.

Niigata Prefecture governor Hirohiko Izumida  also pointed out that further burden in the problems of housing is increasing, which the Fukushima Governor Uchibori Masao  should well consider.

The Fukushima Prefecture governor to enforce central government order to terminate free housing support for evacuees by March 2017.

IfYoshimura and Izumida were Fukushima Prefecture governor, their  treatment of voluntary evacuees might have been quite different.

http://taminokoeshimbun.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-38.html

 

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Inside Fukushima’s Time Bomb

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Five years after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster many residents are still living in a radioactive nightmare.

Bubbling streams, lush forests, cherry blossoms in full bloom – Japan’s north is stunningly picturesque.

But nature’s beauty hides a lethal secret – dangerous levels of radiation contaminate this area, fall-out from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Five years after the twin catastrophes of the tsunami and nuclear meltdown, villages sit silent and empty.

Thousands of workers still toil to clean up the radioactive material but it could be decades before their work is finished.

As Japan continues to suffer the toxic aftermath of one of its worst ever disasters, 101 East reveals that the countryside may never again be safe.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/101east/2016/08/fukushima-time-bomb-160824122108827.html

 

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

President of Fukushima Pediatric Association recently hand delivered the Association’s requests to Fukushima Prefecture to “scale down” thyroid exams for children in Fukushima

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Does Fukushima Prefecture need to scale down or expand its existing thyroid exams provided to Fukushima children who were 18 years of younger at the time of Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011?

President of Fukushima Pediatric Association recently hand delivered the Association’s requests to Fukushima Prefecture to “scale down” thyroid exams for children in Fukushima.

Fukushima Pediatric Association claims that identifying many children with thyroid cancer through Prefecture’s thyroid exams is causing anxiety among children, their guardians, and citizens in the prefecture, and requests that a partial re-consideration of the thyroid exam is necessary.

(By the way, can you tell which one is Dr. Kazuhiro Ohga of Fukushima Pediatric Association and which one is an official of Fukushima Prefecture, just by looking at the photo of the article? I initially thought the man on the right is an official from the Fukushima Prefecture, because the man on left is bowing deeper, as if he is asking a favor by delivering a request. I was wrong. Dr. Ohga is on the right.)

http://this.kiji.is/141480622388215816?c=39546741839462401

 

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On the other hand, a citizens’ group with parents of children whose thyroid cancers were detected because of Prefecture’s thyroid exams requests Fukushima Prefecture to expand the exams.

http://ourplanet-tv.org/?q=node%2F2057

Credit to Mari Inoue

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

Film focuses on ‘irradiated’ cattle kept alive in Fukushima

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In a scene from “Hibaku-ushi to Ikiru” (Living with irradiated cattle), stray cattle head down a road in the 20-kilometer no-entry zone around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in August 2011.

OSAKA–For some cattle farmers in Fukushima Prefecture, the thought of destroying their herds is too painful to bear even if they are contaminated with radioactive fallout.

A new documentary to be shown here this week records the plight of these farmers, who continue to look after their beef cattle in defiance of a government request to euthanize the animals.

I took on this project because I wanted to capture what is driving farmers to keep their cattle. For all the trouble it is worth, the animals are now worthless,” said Tamotsu Matsubara, a visual director who shot the documentary.

Four years in the making, “Hibaku-ushi to Ikiru” (Living with irradiated cattle) is set for its first screening on Aug. 26 at a local community center in the city.

Matsubara’s interactions with the cattle farmers date to the summer of 2011, a few months after the nuclear crisis unfolded at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that year. His assignment was to cover a traditional festival in Minami-Soma, which is located near the stricken nuclear plant.

Matsubara, 57, became acquainted with a farmer caring for more than 300 cattle on his land in the 20-kilometer no-entry zone set by the government. Residents in the zone were ordered to evacuate, but the farmer stayed on to look after his animals.

At that time, the government was seeking to destroy the cattle within the no-entry zone by obtaining their owners’ consent, saying animals that were heavily contaminated with radiation from the nuclear accident could not be sold at market.

But some farmers did not want to put their livestock down.

However, keeping them alive costs 200,000 yen ($2,000) a year in feed per head.

Matsubara became curious why the farmers continued to look after cattle that cannot be sold or bred, despite the heavy economic burden.

He soon began making weekly trips from Osaka to Fukushima to film the lives of the farmers, their cattle and the people around them.

After finishing his regular job in promotional events on Fridays, Matsubara would drive 11 hours to Fukushima and spend the weekend documenting the plight of the farmers before returning to Osaka by Monday morning.

He had 5 million yen saved for the documentary, his first feature film. When the money ran out, Matsubara held a crowdfunding campaign to complete it. Shooting wrapped up at the end of December.

About 350 hours of footage was edited into the 104-minute “Hibaku-ushi to Ikiru.”

The film documents the farmers and their supporters who are struggling to keep the cattle alive.

One couple in the film returns to their land in Okuma, a town that co-hosts the Fukushima plant, to care for their herd. They affectionately named each animal and said it would be unbearable to kill them. Their trips are financed using a bulk of the compensation they received for the nuclear accident.

A former assemblyman of Namie, a town near the plant, tends to his animals while asking himself why he used to support nuclear power.

The documentary also sheds light on scientists who are helping the farmers. The researchers believe that keeping track of the contaminated cattle will provide clues in unraveling how low-level radiation exposure impacts large mammals like humans.

Matsubara said the documentary tells the real story of what is going on with victims of the nuclear disaster.

Not all the farmers featured in the documentary share the same opinion or stance,” Matsubara said. “I would like audiences to see the reality of people who cannot openly raise their voices to be heard.”

Takeshi Shiba, a documentary filmmaker who served as producer of this project, hopes the film will reach a wide audience.

Matsubara broke his back in making this movie,” he said. “I hope that many people will learn what Fukushima people are thinking.”

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201608240067.html

August 24, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Hong Kong still testing food imports for Fukushima’s radiation

More than five years ago on Friday, March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 set off a large tsunami sending a 50-foot wall of water over  three Fukushima Daiichi reactors. Three of the nuclear cores melted down in the next three days.

About 1,600 miles away on the next day, Saturday, March 12, 2011, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) in Hong Kong began stepped up surveillance of fresh foods including milk, vegetables and fruits, imported from Japan for radiation testing.

Eleven days later, on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, CFS discovered three samples imported from Japan with radioactivity levels exceeding those considered to be safe by international Codex Alimentarius Commission.

CFS is a unit of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department of Hong Kong’s City government, which is part of China. The CFS continues to test those Japanese imports but hasn’t found any additional shipments with unsafe radiation levels.

And its not for lack of looking. Since one week before CFS found those hot white radishes, turnips and spinach samples, Hong Kong has tested 344,881 samples.

It breaks down this way: 19,420 vegetable samples; 19,338 fruit samples; 2,189 milk and milk beverage samples; 900 milk powder samples; 594 frozen confection samples; 54,468 aquatic product samples; 9,487 meat product smples; 31,744 drink samples, and 206,741 other samples including cereals and snacks.

The totals are through Aug. 22. CFS continues to test samples from Japanese imports, conducting testing around the clock five days a week.

Hong Kong’s continued surveillance for radioactivity is just one sign of how cautious Asia remains about the Fukushima meltdown. Japan has excluded people and crop production in a 310-square-mile zone around the nuclear plants. No deaths or cases of radiation sickness are attributed to the nuclear accident. And, perhaps due to the large exclusion zone, future cancers and deaths from potential exposures are projected to be low.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration treats Fukushima with a periodically updated Import Alert that permits certain Japanese food imports to be detained without inspection.

Districts may detain, without physical examination, the specified products from firms in the Fukushima, Aomori, Chiba, Gumna, Ibaraki, Iwate, Miyagi, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama Shizuoka, Tochigig, Yamagata and Yamanashi prefectures,” the July 18 Import Alert from FDA says.

Japanese imports from those areas that can still be detained at the U.S. border include:

  • Rice, Cultivated, Whole Grain;
  • Milk/Butter/Dried Milk Products;
  • Filled Milk/Imitation Milk Products;
  • Fish, N.E.C.;
  • Venus Clams;
  • Sea Urchin/Uni;
  • Certain Meat, Meat Products and Poultry, specifically(beef, boar, bear, deer, duck, hare and pheasant products;
  • Yuzu Fruit;
  • Kiwi Fruit;
  • Vegetables/Vegetable Products;
  •  Baby Formula Products; and
  • Milk based formulas.

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/08/hong-kong-still-testing-food-imports-for-fukushimas-radiation/

August 24, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Government subsidies to help Fukushima farmers restart operations

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The central government plans to set up a new subsidy system to help farmers in 12 municipalities near the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant restart their operations, according to sources.

The program represents part of the government’s efforts to promote the reconstruction of areas damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region and the subsequent meltdowns at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. nuclear station.

The government will earmark around ¥7 billion for the program under a planned supplementary budget for its special account related to the 2011 disaster, the sources said Monday.

The program will help farmers buy equipment and livestock.

A support system is already available in which the 12 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture buy facilities and equipment such as greenhouses and tractors and lend them for free to farmers aiming to get back on their feet.

But the system is inconvenient for individuals who want to resume farming operations, because it is mainly designed for group farming and other big operations. Also, approval from local assemblies is necessary to lend out the facilities and gear.

Under the new program, the Fukushima Prefectural Government will cover 75 percent of farmers’ purchase costs for farming equipment and livestock, the sources said. The upper limit on support per farmer will likely be ¥10 million, they said.

The central government will shoulder all costs incurred by prefectural government, the sources said.

The 12 municipalities are Tamura, Minamisoma, Kawamata, Hirono, Naraha, Tomioka, Okuma, Futaba, Namie, Kawauchi, Katsurao and Iitate.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/08/23/national/state-subsidies-works-help-fukushima-farmers-restart-operations/

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

Wind and cars disperse radioactive material

By Kurumi Sugita

A remarkable documentary of the RTBF about contaminated areas, including Minami Soma in Fukushima prefecture. These areas are heavily contaminated. Nevertheless, the Japanese government makes the people return by lifting the evacuation order and stopping aid.

 

The Nos Voisins Lointains 3.11 association, exchanged messages with Mr. Ozawa, the engineer interviewed in the documentary. According to him, the most worrisome problem is the fact that black substances in the mall parking area get attached to car tires and are transported everywhere, as we can see in the documentary. The risk of radiation is thus dispersed.

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On the other side of the parking area, we see collective dwellings from where children play outside, according to Mr. Owaza.

See also the video sent by Mr. Ozawa showing the wind lifting and dispersing the contaminated dust from fields now uncultivated.

 

Linens that are drying on the balcony outside are exposed to radioactive material transported by these dusty winds. Just watch at which height the dust is lifted compared to the passing car towards the end of the video. Farmers working the land inhale this dust.

With the forced return of the population this will become their daily reality.

http://nosvoisins311.wixsite.com/voisins311-france/single-post/2016/08/22/Le-retour-aux-zones-contamin%C3%A9es

August 22, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

American nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen warns: “There is a possibility that now in Fukushima recontamination is occurring.”

 

 

CCTV (Channel 17 in Burlington, Vermont), published Jun 20, 2016

Maggie Gundersen, Chiho Kaneko and Caroline Phillips of Fairewinds Energy Education discuss the nuclear risk concerns for children not only near the nuclear disaster sites of Fukushima-Dai-ichiin Japan and Chernobyl in Ukraine, formerly the Soviet Union, but globally where areas near all nuclear power plants are contaminated with radiation. Since mothers in Japan especially bear the responsibility to protect children, they experience greater hardships in an environment where just expressing one’s concern about radiation is seen as a treasonous act. Even 30 years later, the Belarus government recognizes the merits of relocating children away from radiation contaminated areas but the children of Japan are socially forced to stay put in highly contaminated areas.

Margaret Harrington, host: I know you mentioned Arnie Gundersen, the chief engineer at Fairewinds, and he said that he measured the radiation there, too. Could you talk about that a little bit?

Maggie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education founder and CEO: He’s working with some other scientists who are studying — both Japanese scientists, the samples that they took, and the US scientists who are evaluating the samples — and they’re finding astronomical amounts of radiation, even in downtown Tokyo outside of METI’s door. METI is the regulatory agency over nuclear power… When he and others were downtown in Tokyo, they took samples right there in a garden right outside the door and on the front doormat, and these are really, really high samples. Frightening, because people walking in Tokyo will then be inhaling that dust. What was the film we saw from Japan that had the mothers who were in an area where kids play and run from middle school?

Caroline Phillips, Fairewinds Energy Education: It’s a fantastic video… it’s a mothers organization, they live in the Fukushima Prefecture and they’re actually using Geiger counters that have been issued by the government. They’re walking along the river [in Fukushima City.]

Maggie Gundersen: What’s so tragic about it – kids are running along dirt paths doing gym class and track and things like that and the mothers are right down in areas that are not posted and the kids can go after school and play, and people do nature hikes and stuff. And the radiation readings are horrific.

 

 

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Gendai Business Online’s top ranked article is an exclusive interview with Fairewinds Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen titled, American nuclear expert warns: “There is a possibility that now in Fukushima recontamination is occurring.” With more than 10,000 likes on Facebook, this Japanese article delves into the truth about nuclear contamination from Fukushima Daiichi as uncovered by Arnie Gundersen during his most recent trip to Japan. Fairewinds, with the help of Japanese translators, provides you with an English translation:

On a mid-February morning, just before the 5th anniversary of the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi, a group of young girls in the city of Minami-Soma rode their bikes to school past a shocked and saddened pedestrian. That upset observer was Arnie Gundersen, nuclear reactor expert and Chief Engineer with Fairewinds Associates. Mr. Gundersen has 45 years of experience as a design, operations, and decommissioning nuclear engineer. He has engaged in research of the effects of the meltdown at Three Mile Island (TMI) and conducts independent research of the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi. Mr. Gundersen is in ongoing conversations with both the US and Japanese media concerning the dangers of nuclear reactors and nuclear power operation. Invited by “Peace News Japan” and several other civil groups, Mr. Gundersen visited the Fukushima prefecture five years after the catastrophe at Fukushima Daiichi.

What surprised me at this visit to Japan [his third since the meltdowns] is that the decontaminated area is contaminated again,” Mr. Gundersen said while explaining why it was such as sad shock to witness the girls on their bicycles. “This was not what I had expected. I had thought that we would not find such high doses of radiation in the decontaminated area. But, sadly, our results prove otherwise.”

During his Japan visit, Mr. Gundersen collected samples of dust from the rooftop of Minami-Soma city town hall, the floor mat of a 7-Eleven convenience store, and the roadsides of Minami-Soma city. Although the official data cannot be released before the publication of formal scientific papers, it is evident that high doses of radiation, usually found in nuclear waste, was detected from these samples.

This means that highly radioactive dust is flying around the city. In other words, the decontaminated land is contaminated again. Little girls are affected by the radiation 20 times as much as adult men. The Japanese government’s standard of 20 mSv is based on exposure assessments for adult men. The girls on their bicycles are actually being affected by a radiation dose equivalent to as much as 400 mSv.”

Mr. Gundersen also pointed out that human lungs are heavily affected by internal exposures to radiation.

At this visit, I wore a radiation proof mask that can filter out 99.98% of radiation for six hours. I sent my filter to the lab, and they found a high dose of Cesium. But, unfortunately, the Japanese government only cares about the number on a Geiger counter and does not consider the internal exposure. This has resulted in a hazardous downplay of this kind of data and human lungs are affected by the serious internal exposure.”

Why is the recontamination happening? One of the reasons is that the government did not decontaminate thoroughly. Mr. Gundersen witnessed first-hand the poor decontamination of the prefecture.

In the house I visited, only half of the garden area was decontaminated because only that half fell into the category of a contaminated area. It should not be like that. The other half would be contaminated too. Furthermore, one person discovered highly radioactive dust in their driveway where decontamination had occurred. So, of course, this person notified the related offices but the related offices told them that it was not necessary to decontaminate the driveway again because it had already been done once.  It’s unbelievable. This person’s house is located near a ravine and the opposite side of the ravine is designated a non-habitable zone.”

Another reason for recontamination is that the radiation from the mountains are coming back to the city by way of wind and rain. Mr. Gundersen noted the extreme radioactive contamination of the mountains.

We tracked wild monkeys in the mountains and found a high dose of radiation in their feces. I received the meat of a wild pig as a gift and since I could not bring it back to the US [it is illegal to bring meat back to the United States from Japan], tested the meat on a Geiger counter. The meat showed 120 counts/min. I think that the Japanese government should spend more money to decontaminate the mountains but they don’t appear to have that kind of political will. I also worry that contamination in the rivers is not monitored as rain from the mountains flow down into the rivers.”

Due to the heavy radiation contamination of the mountains, vegetables grown in that area exceed the government’s standard by 1500 Bq. These vegetables were sold at the MichinoEki in Tochigi prefecture, and the bamboo shoot grown in this contaminated region was used for elementary school lunches in Utsunomiya. These school lunches contained more than twice as much radiation as the government’s standard.

Recontamination is happening due to poor decontamination and residents of Kawauchi village in Fukushima prefecture claim that the decontamination in the forests is not enough. However, the government continues to push for the end of people’s relocation and force the return to recontaminated areas.

If I had a little child, I would never let them live there,” Mr. Gundersen pointedly states.

Mr. Gundersen also found that Tokyo remains contaminated. He measured dust collected from the sidewalk in front of MITI (Ministry of International Trade and Industry) and found a high dose of radiation. That dust is in the air that will be inhaled by the visitors and athletes of the 2020 Olympic Games. Needless to say, the current residents are inhaling it every day. “Mr. Abe should not take the advice from IAEA, MITI and TEPCO seriously,” Mr. Gundersen insists. “Instead, he should have an independent organization conduct research and listen to the advice from them.”

http://www.fairewinds.org/nuclear-energy-education//fairewinds-in-the-news-gendai-business-online-feature-article

 

August 22, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan asks Pokemon GO players to stay out of Fukushima fallout zone – but yet still allows thousands to return living in contaminated land

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Evolution at its best! Japan asks Pokemon GO players to stay out of Fukushima fallout zone – but yet still allows thousands to return living in contaminated land.

So far, everything from car crashes to shootings have been associated with the addictive game, and countries all over the world are now trying to stop accidents before they can happen. That, you see, is why Japan is asking Niantic to remove any wild pokemon that are currently cropping up in the Fukushima fallout zone.

TEPCO has asked the developer to keep pocket monsters far, far away from the radioactive site. Obviously, they are worried about trainers stumbling upon the area in their pursuit to catch, say, a Nucleon.

Currently, Tepco has confirmed, “the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the Fukushima Daini plant and the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture,” were all scouted. Unsurprisingly, pokemon were found at all three of the sites.

Masao Uchibori, the governor of Fukushima, said it would be dangerous for trainers to enter the areas due to their radioactive nature. As such, he’s confirmed that, “the prefectural government will consider how to draw attention to this.” Beyond that, the city of Nagasaki has also asked for Niantic to remove the app’s presence from Nagasaki Peace Park, a local memorial for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing.

A month later following the announcement though, Earthquake-stricken regions in Japan are turning to the “Pokemon Go” phenomenon to catch more tourism money.

The Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Kumamoto prefectural governments said Aug. 10 they will partner with Niantic Inc., operator of the popular “Pokemon Go” smartphone app, to promote local tourism.

Money talks !

Credit to Nelson Surjon

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201608200023.html

August 22, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

14 arrested for smuggling illegal irradiated seafood into China from waters off coast of Fukushima

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14 arrested for smuggling irradiated seafood in Shandong

Customs authorities in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, detained 14 people for smuggling frozen seafood from Japan, including irradiated high-end seafood from waters near Fukushima prefecture, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Monday.

The group has smuggled over 5,000 tons of frozen seafood – including shrimp and king crab – valued at 230 million yuan ($34.5 million) into China over the past two years, according to an announcement by the Qingdao Customs District (QCD) posted on its official website on Monday.

Some of the high-end products were from Fukushima, one of 12 Japanese prefectures from which China has banned any seafood imports due to the contamination of their waters after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, according to CCTV.

Before sending the products to Shandong, smugglers transferred the seafood from Hokkaido to Vietnam, where they changed the items’ packaging and altered their production dates to evade taxes and avoid quarantine, Li Fudong of the QCD Anti-Smuggling Department told CCTV.

An investigation by officers from the Anti-Smuggling Department in the neighboring city of Yantai traced some low-priced seafood on the local market to a Shandong-based import corporation that had opened branches in East China’s Fujian Province, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Northeast China’s Liaoning Province.

Qingdao preventive officers arrested the smuggling group’s head in June after he returned to China from the US.

Most of the smuggled seafood products were sold in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Shandong-based dzwww.com reported.

An expert from a tissue engineering and regenerative medicine research center who asked for anonymity told the Global Times on Monday that radioactive nuclear materials can cause irreversible damage to the human body at the cellular level. The expert said such radiation can even damage our DNA and may be present in the body for many years before symptoms occur.

She said that remaining nuclear material may still affect sea life in the waters surrounding the Fukushima site, even though five years have passed since the nuclear accident.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1002105.shtml

August 22, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

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