Certificates of training in radioactive decontamination work were issued by a company in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, to workers who had received no such training.
NIHONMATSU, Fukushima Prefecture–A company has admitted to not giving the required special training to workers before dispatching them to carry out decontamination work in radiation-hit Fukushima city.
A subcontractor called “Zerutech Tohoku” issued at least 100 bogus certificates to its workers showing they had completed the training, when, in fact, they had done nothing, according to the Fukushima Labor Standards Inspection Office.
The office had warned the subcontractor, which is based in Nihonmatsu and decontaminates parts of nearby Fukushima city, which was affected by the 2011 nuclear disaster, that it should give special training to workers to prepare them for the task.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare requires decontamination operators be given at least 5.5 hours of special training to each individual in accordance with the Industrial Safety and Health Law.
The training includes a lecture on potential health hazards and how to operate decontamination equipment as their job involves handling soil polluted by radioactive materials.
The 52-year-old representative of the company admitted wrongdoing in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun.
“We had to hire a large number of workers over a short period of time since we received a contract involving a vast swath of land,” he said of the false certificates, of which between 100 and 150 have been discovered.
In addition, the company, a fourth-tier subcontractor, issued seven other kinds of certificates needed to operate an aerial vehicle or chain saw, which were required to land the cleanup contract.
For issuing false certificates, offenders could be imprisoned for up to six months or fined 500,000 yen ($4,800).
But the law has been criticized for having numerous loopholes.
One is that there is not test of workers’ knowledge after they have received the training.
The operators are also not required to register the certificates with municipal authorities.
And it is not specified what qualifications are required for the person who conducts the training.
The Labor Standards office, a regional arm of the health ministry, has been inspecting the company for breaches of the law and regulations on decontamination work since Oct. 19.
The Zerutech Tohoku representative founded the company in March last year.
FUKUSHIMA — It may be impossible to measure the radioactive contaminant concentrations of water leeching from soil and other waste produced by the Fukushima nuclear disaster cleanup at 31 temporary waste storage sites in Fukushima Prefecture due to a planning flaw, a Board of Audit inspection has found.
The cleanup waste is put in bags, put in piles and covered with a waterproof tarp at the temporary disposal sites. These piles are built atop a low convex mound of earth, which is also covered with a tarp and is supposed to funnel the water leeching out of the waste into underground tanks. Contaminant concentration measurements are then taken from these tanks.
However, though many temporary disposal sites have been built on soft ground such as agricultural land, apparently no provisions were made for land subsidence — the earth being pushed down by the pressure of the waste bags — during planning.
The Board of Audit chose 34 of the 106 disposal sites in the prefecture for inspection. The 34 sites were spread across five municipalities, had waste piles five to six bags (or about 5 meters) high, and had been established in the four years up to fiscal 2015. Of these, the earth beneath the waste stack had subsided — going from convex to concave — at 31 sites, meaning contaminated water was also not flowing into the storage tanks. It is possible the water is collecting in the tarps.
There are 15 such sites in the Fukushima Prefecture town of Kawamata, five in the town of Namie, four each in the city of Tamura and the village of Iitate, and three in the town of Naraha. The subsidence of the earth bases hasn’t been confirmed, but the Board of Audit has pointed out that if contaminated water is pooling in the tarps, it could impact future operations to move the waste to a mid-term storage site. It has also called on the Environment Ministry, which operates the sites, to take necessary measures to rectify the problem.
The ministry told the Mainichi Shimbun, “The stacks are designed so that contaminated water won’t escape even if the land underneath subsides, and no harm has been done by the treatment of the water. The waste bags themselves have been replaced with waterproof versions, but we would still like to consider ways to reinforce the ground (under the piles), such as by using sand in the middle.”
On October 19, 2016, Governor Masao Uchibori, the Fukushima prefecture governor, took part in a seminar at the United Nations headquarters in New York, a seminar about the reconstruction of Eastern Japan from the 2011 earthquake.
He declared that though there were rumors saying that many people can’t live anymore in Fukushima since the nuclear accident in March 2011, it was not fact. The evacuation zone was only 5 % of the Fukushima prefecture. He also emphasized that life in Fukushima was back in the same way as it was before the 2011 earthquake in 95 % of the prefecture.
In Fukushima Prefecture, large quantities of contaminated soil and waste have been generated from decontamination activities. Currently, it is difficult to clarify methods of final disposal of such soil and waste. Until final disposal becomes available, it is necessary to establish an Interim Storage Facility (ISF) in order to manage and store soil and waste safely.
The only solution proposed is a storage facility of 16 km2 around the Fukushima plant for a period of 30 years. After that, time will tell, because the problems are endless.
The following materials generated in Fukushima Prefecture will be stored in the ISF.
1. Soil and waste (such as fallen leaves and branches) generated from decontamination activities, which have been stored at the Temporary Storage Sites.
2. Incineration ash with radioactive concentration more than 100,000 Bq/kg.
It is estimated that generated soil from decontamination will be approx. 16 ~22 mil. m3 after the volume reduction incineration, estimated value based on the decontamination implementation plan of July 2013. (Ref: approximately 13~18 times as much as the volume of Tokyo Dome (1.24 mil. m3) .
Transportation to Stock Yards
In order to confirm safe and secure delivery towards the transportation of a large amount of decontamination soil, MOE implemented the transportation approx. 1,000m3 each from 43 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture from 2015-2016.
Actual achievement in 2016 as of July 30, 2016
Stored volume: 13,384m3 (58,766m3 in total)
Stock yards in Okuma: 4,883m3; stock yards in Futaba: 8,501m3
* Calculated on the assumption that the volume of a large bag is 1m3
Total number of trucks used: 2,279 (9,808 in total)
Stock yards in Okuma: 815 trucks; stock yards in Futaba:1,464 trucks
To construct facilities, it will need comprehensive area and 2/3 will be assumed to be used for facilitation. The possible volume for installation is to be 10,000m3/ha and 140,000m3/5ha for a storage facility, and will be installed from TSS to ISF sequentially.
Approximate period from contract with operators to ISF operation: 3months for TSS, 6months for delivery & classification, 12months for storage, 18months for incineration.
On the premise that infrastructure construction on roads for Okuma and Futaba IC would proceed as planned, the maximum volume of possible transportation is estimated: 2millions m3 /y before the operation of both IC, 4millions m3/y after Okuma IC & before Futaba IC, 6 millions m3/y after the both ICs operation.
Landowners are still reluctant to sell their land to put the waste. In late September 2016, according to the official data of the Ministry of Environment, only 379 owners out of 2360 had signed a contract. This represents an area of 144 ha, or about 9% of the total project.
The town of Okuma, is almost entirely classified as “difficult to return”zone, therefore it intends to offer all its municipal land to put the waste. This represents 95 hectares, or about 10% of land considered in the town. This includes schools, the Fureai Park with some sports grounds … The town has not yet decided whether it would sell or would lease its land.
Meanwhile, it is an abandoned village:
The Joban railway line was partially destroyed by the tsunami, as here in Tomioka:
Destroyed Tomioka train station and sorting facility for radioactive waste
Some parts have reopened, but not in the most contaminated areas; between Tatsuta and Namie. Japan Railway wants to fully reopen the railway before 2020, avoiding the coast. Decontamination should produce 300,000 m3 of radioactive waste. The radioactive waste bags are along the railway, but they will need to be take them away. The Environment Ministry is negotiating with landowners owning the land beside the railway, but this is not enough because few responded favorably. So it’s a game of musical chairs that is planned: use the lands where some waste is right now after they’ll freed by the transfer of the waste to the storage center located around the Fukushima Dai-ichi.
Meanwhile, the waste is piling up everywhere:
Radioactive waste in Iitate
Valley of radioactive waste in Iitate mura
This storage was not expected to last as long, which is not without causing problems because the bags do not hold. Here in Tomioka, weeds grow back:
The equivalent of the Court of Accounts of Japan went to inspect some of these sites and found other problems, according to the Asahi. Those who receive contaminated soil, are elevated in the center so that the water flows over the edges where it can be harvested and controlled because the bags are not waterproof. There are up to 5 levels. With time and the weight of waste, a hollow that may appear in the center, and contaminated water accumulates there. Monitoring is difficult or impossible. See diagram of Asahi:
It is not normal that the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, the NRA does not control these storage sites for radioactive waste.
Regarding the waste from the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, the NRA wants to bury the most contaminated within 70 meters for 100 000 years. This is essentially reactor control rods. Utilities would bear responsibility for 300 to 400 years. They have not yet found where to have the sites … Read Asahi for more. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609020034.html
The government relies on the radioactive decay for these wastes to pass below the 8000 Bq / kg to be downgraded and utilized …
Not willing to Lie, the Chairman of the Fukushima Thyroid Examination Assessment Subcommittee Resigned
Of course this news was not released in the Japanese national main media nor in the Fukushima local media, it was only released in the Hokkaido Shimbun, a local media from the northern island Hokkaido.
Dr. Kazuo Shimizu
Dr. Kazuo Shimizu, Chairman of the Thyroid Examination Assessment Subcommittee and member of the Oversight Committee for the Fukushima Health Management Survey, a thyroid surgeon and Honorary Director at Kanaji Hospital, and Professor Emeritus at Nippon Medical School, and former chair of the board of the Japanese Society of Thyroid Surgery, submitted his resignation as Chairman of the Thyroid Examination Assessment Subcommittee.
As Chairman of the Thyroid Examination Assessment Subcommittee, he does not personally agree with the interim report conclusion that “it is unlikely that the effects of radiation” caused the high incidence of thyroid cancer found in the Fukushima Prefecture. Not agreeing with the drawn conclusions of the interim report and as Chairman not free to have a personal opinion, nor to express it, he decided to resign.
Dr. Kazuo Shimizu is a doctor, a leading authority in endoscopic surgery of the thyroid gland. Within the Fukushima population, 380,000 children below 18 years old at the time of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident in March 2011 have been examined. 174 people have been so far diagnosed with thyroid cancer or suspected thyroid cancer.
Dr. Kazuo Shimizu says that such high incidence of thyroid cancer, from his long clinical experience, is unnatural. That frequency is a fact, which should not be explained, nor discarded by just the “It is unlikely that the effects of radiation.” caused that high incidence conclusion.
In the former Soviet Union after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, thyroid cancer was frequent in children due the released iodine-131.
However, it is not that surprising. When Oshidori Mako interviewing Dr. Kazuo Shimizu in May 2015 asked « Is it really overdiagnosis that is going on? », Dr. Kazuo Shimizu answered :“I am not in a position to be able to say, ‘It is not due to overdiagnosis.’ As chair of the Subcommittee, I cannot validate opinions of either side. It is hard for me. I would have been able to voice my opinions more clearly if I hadn’t been elected chair of the Subcommittee.”
This is taken on a train in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima. Nihonmatsu is located in a straight line or air distance at 52.75 km west of Okuma (Fukushima Daiichi).
On a running train, inside of a train, radiation is measured already at 0,353 µSv/hour, you can imagine how much more outside of the train, on the ground.
PM Abe’s government forces the population to return despite the obvious contamination, and people are getting fed up with the given continuous lies.
Credit to Kuniko Yamanoi for that information and photo.
Protest at Japanese Embassy in Paris Against Fukushima Evacuees Forced Return and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Today October 22, 2016, in Paris, the French Green Ecology Party (EELV), Green Peace France and Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire, joined together to organize a Fukushima protest in front of the Japanese Embassy.
They denounced the Fukushima evacuees forced return by the Japanese government, and insisted that no one should be compelled to live in irradiated town with high level of radiation. That it is plainly criminal on the part of the Japanese Government.
Since Eastern Japan and Tokyo included, have been contaminated by the now five years and a half ongoing nuclear catastrophe at Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, a catastrophe yet neither under control nor resolved, the 2020 Olympics should be relocated somewhere else.
Some officials of the French Green Ecology Party (EELV) and personalities of Green Peace France and Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire attended the protest. Among those were also present Yannick Jadot and Michele Rivasi, both Europe Ecology deputies at the European Parliament, one of the two to be the French Ecology Party presidential candidate at the coming French presidential election in 2017. Were also present members of the Japanese community.
Michele Rivasi and Yannick Jadot
Japan seeks to lure evacuees back to town near nuclear plant
Abe looks to win support for restarting mothballed reactors
Weed-engulfed buildings and shuttered businesses paint an eerie picture of a coastal Japanese town abandoned after a monstrous earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns in the Fukushima nuclear plant.
Namie, one of the communities hardest hit by the 2011 disaster, had 21,000 residents before they fled radiation spewing from the reactors eight kilometers (five miles) away. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is now looking to repopulate the town as early as next year, a symbolic step toward recovery that might also help soften opposition to his government’s plan to restart Japan’s mostly mothballed nuclear industry.
“The national and local governments are trying to send us back,” said Yasuo Fujita, 64, a sushi chef who lives alongside hundreds of other Fukushima evacuees in a modern high rise in Tokyo more than 200 kilometers away. “We do want to return — we were born and raised there. But can we make a living? Can we live next to the radioactive waste?”
The main street in Namie, Fukushima
So far few evacuees are making plans to go back even as clean-up costs top $30 billion and Abe’s government restores infrastructure. That reluctance mirrors a national skepticism toward nuclear power that threatens to erode the prime minister’s positive approval ratings, particularly in areas with atomic reactors.
Officials in his government are calling for nuclear power to account for as much as 22 percent of Japan’s electricity supply by 2030, nearly the same percentage as before the Fukushima meltdown, in part to help meet climate goals. Only two of the nation’s 42 operable nuclear plants are currently running, leaving the country even more heavily reliant on imports of oil and gas.
A poll published by the Asahi newspaper this week found 57 percent of respondents were opposed to restarting nuclear reactors, compared with 29 percent in favor. One of Abe’s ministers lost his seat in Fukushima in an upper house election in July, and the government suffered another setback when an anti-nuclear candidate won Sunday’s election for governor of Niigata prefecture, home to the world’s largest nuclear plant.
Some 726 square kilometers — roughly the size of New York City — of Fukushima prefecture remain under evacuation orders, divided by level of radioactivity. While the government is looking to reopen part of Namie next year, most of the town is designated as “difficult to return to” and won’t be ready for people to move back until at least 2022.
“We must make the area attractive, so that people want to return there,” Reconstruction Minister Masahiro Imamura said this week. “I want to do everything I can to make it easy to go back.”
Workers are cleaning by scraping up soil, moss and leaves from contaminated surfaces and sealing them in containers. Still, the operation has skipped most of the prefecture’s hilly areas, leading to fears that rain will simply wash more contamination down into residential zones. Decommissioning of the stricken plant itself is set to take as many as 40 years.
The bill for cleaning up the environment is ballooning, with the government estimating the cost through March 2018 at $3.3 trillion yen ($32 billion). That’s weighing on Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., which is already struggling to avoid default over decommissioning costs.
“They are spending money in the name of returning things to how they were” without having had a proper debate on whether this is actually possible, said Yutaka Okada, senior researcher at Mizuho Research Institute in Tokyo. “Was it really right to spend this enormous amount of money?”
Namie officials, operating from temporary premises 100 kilometers away in the city of Nihonmatsu, are plowing ahead with preparations. A middle school in the town is scheduled for remodeling to add facilities for elementary pupils — even though they expect only about 20 children to attend. Similar efforts in nearby communities have had limited success.
Only 18 percent of former Namie residents surveyed by the government last year said they wanted to return, compared with 48 percent who did not. The remainder were undecided.
Fujita, the sushi chef, has joined the ranks of those starting afresh elsewhere. He opened a seafood restaurant near his temporary home last year, and is buying an apartment in the area. In a sign the move will be permanent, he even plans to squeeze the Buddhist altar commemorating his Fukushima ancestors into his Tokyo home.
For those that do return, finding work will be a headache in a town that was heavily dependent on the plant for jobs and money.
Haruka Hoshi, 27, was working inside the nuclear facility when the earthquake struck, and she fled with just her handbag. Months later she married another former employee at the plant, and they built a house down the coast in the city of Iwaki, where they live with their three-year-old son. They have no plans to return.
“It would be difficult to recreate the life we had before,” she said. “The government wants to show it’s achieved something, to say: ‘Fukushima’s all right, there was a terrible incident, but people are able to return after five years.’ That goal doesn’t correspond with the reality.”
It might be difficult to measure radiation levels in water at this temporary storage site for contaminated soil in Fukushima Prefecture.
Bags of radiation-contaminated soil could be sinking into the ground at temporary storage sites in Fukushima Prefecture, allowing water to accumulate within instead of flowing to outside tanks for testing, the Board of Audit said.
No confirmation has been made that the ground at the sites is actually sinking or if contaminated water has pooled inside. But Board of Audit officials are asking the Environment Ministry to consider additional safety measures if signs indicate that this is actually occurring.
The board’s study focused on 34 of the 106 temporary storage sites that the Environment Ministry set up for soil removed through decontamination work after the disaster in March 2011 unfolded at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Construction of the storage sites started in 2012, and the transfer of contaminated soil to these facilities was completed in 2015.
The temporary storage sites were designed to have a slight mound on the ground in the center to allow water from the bags to flow down into surrounding collection tanks for periodic measurements of radiation levels.
Internal Environment Ministry guidelines called for this setup at storage sites containing bags that are not waterproof.
The Board of Audit studied 34 temporary storage sites where the bags are not waterproof. These bags were piled five deep or higher at those sites.
The study showed that at 31 of the sites, the weight of the bags may have not only flattened the mound in the center, but it also could have created an indent in the ground where the leaking water could accumulate.
If the water does not flow to the tanks, it will be difficult to determine the radiation levels.
The study also noted that the foundations at the sites were soft to begin with and may be unable to support the bags of soil. The sinking phenomenon could worsen as time passes.
The Environment Ministry played down the risk of the water contaminating areas around the storage facilities.
“Even if the ground has sunk, the structure is designed so water does not leak outside the site,” a ministry official said. “Eventually, the water should collect in the tanks. We will make every effort to oversee the sites as well as use waterproof bags as much as possible.”
A total of 4.16 billion yen ($40 million) was spent to construct the 31 temporary storage sites.
The Environment Ministry designed the temporary storage sites under the precondition they would be used for only three years and then removed. For that reason, measures were not taken to strengthen the foundations to prevent the ground from sinking, even if soft farmland was chosen for a site.
The plan is to eventually return the land where the temporary storage sites have been built to its original state and return it to the landowners
However, the Board of Audit’s study adds another concern for residents, many of whom had opposed construction of the temporary storage sites in their neighborhoods.
Toshio Sato, 68, has evacuated to Fukushima city from his home in Iitate village, where four of the possible problem storage sites are located.
“There are some people who want to resume growing rice once they return home,” Sato said. “If water is accumulating, there is the possibility it could unexpectedly overflow into surrounding areas. The concerns just seem to emerge one after another.”
The government plans to lift the evacuation order for a large part of Iitate in March 2017.
A radiation measuring center organized and run by independent citizens, after being lied, betrayed and abandoned by the Japanese Government.
About them :
Here is the page of Tarachine in English with donation information using PayPal.
Iwaki Radiation Measuring Center NPO “Tarachine”
And some of their participating actions:
Fukushima Children Fund
East Japan Soil Measurement Project of Minna no Data, Dec.2015 to Sept. 2016
Here is another propaganda article on Forbes from James Conca, the highest paid pro-nuke shill, wanting us to believe that Fukushima Apples are dynamite in cocktails.
They are certainly not dynamite, but surely hot!
Fukushima Apples Are Dynamite In Cocktails
The 42nd World Cocktail Championships, which kicked off in Tokyo this week, is an unusual event to discuss a nuclear disaster. But that is exactly what Yoshikazu Suda, a bartender in Tokyo’s Ginza district who hails from Fukushima, is doing.
And his demonstration of solidarity with farmers and the people of Fukushima is in the form of some very cool drinks.
Bartenders and mixologists from over from 53 countries will gather in Tokyo to take part in the drink-creating championships. But the International Bartenders Association is no ordinary group. Founded in 1951, the IBA represents the National Bartender Guilds in 64 countries around the world. Over 500 bartenders and mixologists will gather at the event, which is being held in Japan for the first time in 20 years.
The International Bartenders Association is committed to responsible drinking and dispelling myths about alcohol. But this World Cocktail Championship will dispel a completely different type of myth – that Fukushima food is contaminated by radiation. It certainly is not.
During the contest at Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, several varieties of fruit will be used, but only Fukushima-grown apples will be used in the fruit-cutting event, specifically apples grown by Fukushima farmer Chusaku Anzai.
Five years ago, a magnitude 9 earthquake on the Tohoku Fault off the east coast of Japan sent a 50-foot tsunami crashing into the coast with almost no warning, flooding over 500 square miles of land, killing almost 20,000 people and destroying a million homes and businesses.
IOC president Thomas Bach is holding talks with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike in the city
Tokyo 2020: Japan earthquake and nuclear disaster site could host Olympic events
Tokyo 2020 Olympic events could be held in part of Japan hit by the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in a bid to cut costs.
Rowing canoe/kayak sprint events and baseball/softball are among sports that could be moved 400km north of Tokyo.
The International Olympic Committee is holding talks with organisers after a review showed costs could exceed £23bn ($28bn) – four times the estimate.
But IOC president Thomas Bach said “we have to respect” athletes.
“The athletes are the heart and soul of the Olympic Games,” Bach emphasised.
The IOC began four-party discussions with the city government, Tokyo organisers and Japan’s central government on Tuesday in a bid to reduce spending on the Games.
The proposal to move some sports to the north-eastern area of Japan devastated by the earthquake was made in a review of expenses commissioned by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.
The review recommends moving some sports from planned new venues to existing ones.
Several events have already been moved outside of Tokyo, with cycling now due to take place 200km from the village in the Shizuoka district.
Bach said he was confident cost reductions could be made, but suggested Tokyo should try to stay close to its original bid proposal of keeping the majority of venues within 8km of the athlete’s village in the city’s downtown.
He said moving events to the earthquake-hit area was one of several cost-cutting options being discussed, and that it could “contribute to the regeneration” of the region.
The most expensive Games to date are the London Games at £12bn and the Sochi 2014 Winter Games in Russia which cost £17.7bn.
The Rio Olympic Games cost £9.7bn, coming in 51% over budget despite cuts to ceremonies, venues and staff.
According to a recent study, no Games since 1960 has come in under budget.
Bach: Events could be held in northeast Japan
The head of the International Olympic Committee has suggested holding some events of the 2020 Tokyo Games in areas of northeastern Japan that were devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
IOC President Thomas Bach, now visiting Japan, met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Bach told Abe the IOC is thinking of holding some Olympic events in the disaster zone to contribute to revival efforts. He said this could show the world how the areas have recovered. Abe welcomed the idea.
Abe also promised the government’s participation in talks to cut costs for the games.
Bach had proposed 4-way talks by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the IOC, Tokyo 2020 organizers and Japan’s government.
Reporters later asked Bach if baseball and softball will be held in Fukushima City. Bach said it’s an option under consideration. He added that since the sports are very popular in Japan, having the country’s team play in the disaster zone would send a strong message.
From June 1, 2016
In the “7-Eleven” minimarkets in Japan, Fukushima rice is mixed with the other rices, to lower the contamination measuring and to facilitate its selling .
Minimarkets are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.We do not know about the other minimarkets.
Written information of origins:
1, Seven-Eleven rice 2 kg (2014 production)
Iijima rice Co., Ltd. (Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture)
Expiration date 27.5.17
Fukushima Prefecture Koshihikari
Fukushima Prefecture shine
Seven-Eleven US 5 Kg
Iijima rice Co., Ltd. (Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture)
Expiration date 26.12.17
Fukushima Prefecture Koshihikari
Akita Prefecture Akitakomachi
Knowing that we decided to measure ourselves the rice.
Pre-treatment of the sample
We stopped for a while trhe electric furnace.
First it is lyophilized (freeze-dried).
By freezing the sample.
Water removal at high level by lyophilization.
Then into the electric furnace.
It is processed for 4 days at then 180-370 ℃.
A 7kg sample was reduced to about 550g.
After this sample was crushed, we gave it to be measured with a germanium semiconductor detector at the University of Tokyo.
The results are … to be worried about.
Both types of radioactive cesium have been detected: 134Cs and 137Cs. Proving that convenience stores are selling the inexpensive rice from the disaster area.
National route 6 which runs only a few km parallel to the coast where stands what is left of Daiichi Nuclear power plant, high-school students are cleaning up radiation.
14 high school students were picking up trash. 0.7μSv / h radiation measured by some citizens’ group at some of the places. With dust being blown, many high school students were walking still without a mask.
The criticism that it could endanger the children, was ignored by Yumiko Nishimoto, president of the NPO “Happy load net” which organized that acttion, answering “we are living here every day.” .
Clean-up activities with an eye to the torch relay of the Tokyo Olympics. The priority is the “reconstruction”, and the health of children is secondary, completely neglected.
The NPO responsible for such insanity argues that it helps them studying about radiation, that they do that every year.
Children are continuously being used to help the propaganda that everything is back to normal. But it’s a lie and it is borderline criminal. Shame on you Japan.
On September 26-27, 2016, the “5th International Expert Symposium in Fukushima on Radiation and Health: Chernobyl+30, Fukushima+5: Lessons and Solutions for Fukushima’s Thyroid Question” was held in Fukushima City. The symposium was organized by the Nippon Foundation, co-organized by Fukushima Medical University, Nagasaki University, and Hiroshima University, and supported by Fukushima Prefecture, Japan Medical Association, Japan Nursing Association, and Japan Pharmaceutical Association. Program PDF can be viewed here. Information on previous symposia can be found on the following web pages: 1st symposium, 2nd symposium, 3rd symposium, and 4th symposium.
The program featured the usual suspects from the pro-nuclear camp as some of the presenters who informed the audience that “Fukushima is different from Chernobyl” and emphasized the risk of overdiagnosis from cancer screening. This post focuses on clinical information for the surgical cases presented by Shinichi Suzuki, the thyroid surgeon at Fukushima Medical University in charge of the Thyroid Ultrasound Examination.
The last time Suzuki released such information was on August 31, 2015, and it was given in a narrative form on one sheet of paper (can be found here and translated here). This time it was given as a series of PowerPoint slides with more details than ever. Screenshots of some of the slides are shown below, accompanied by narrative explanations to put the information in context. Please note that this is neither the actual transcript of his presentation nor inclusive of all the slides shown during the presentation.
“Childhood and Adolescent Thyroid Cancer after the Fukushima NPP Accident” by Professor Shinichi Suzuki, Fukushima Medical University (starts around 1:45:25 in the video embedded below, with Japanese interpretation).
Note: Suzuki used the Thyroid Examination results released on June 6, 2016 with data as of March 31, 2016 during this presentation, although the new results as of June 30, 2016 were released on September 14, 2016.
This presentation covers 125 cases of thyroid cancer that underwent surgeries at Fukushima Medical University between August 2012 and March 2016. During this time period, 132 cases underwent surgeries, 126 at Fukushima Medical University and 6 at other medical facilities. At Fukushima Medical University, 1 case was post-operatively diagnosed as a benign thyroid nodule, leaving 125 cancer cases. (Note: The August 2015 report stated 7 cases underwent surgeries at facilities other than Fukushima Medical University, but now it is 6 cases. No explanation was given regarding this discrepancy).
As of March 31, 2016, 102 cases suspicious of cancer were operated from the first round (confirmed as 1 benign nodule and 101 cancer cases), while the second round yielded 30 cancer cases. Assuming the 6 cases operated at other medical facilities were from the first round, 125 cases presented here include 95 cases from the first round, leaving 30 cases to be accounted for by the second round. It is not clear how many of the first round and the second round cases were actually operated at Fukushima Medical University. 125 presented here may not include 30 cases from the second round. (Note: Previous sentence was crossed out and a new sentence added on October 11, 2016).
125 cases consisted of 44 males and 81 females, with the female-to-male ratio** of 1.8 to 1.
Age at the time of the accident (i.e. age at exposure) ranged from 5 to 18 years, with an average age of 14.8 ± 2.7 years. Age at diagnosis ranged from 9 to 23, with an average age of 17.8 ± 3.1 years.
Location of tumor was ipsilateral (i.e. one-sided) in 121 cases (96.8%) and bilateral (i.e. on both sides) in 4 cases. In 121 ipsilateral cases, 67 were located in the right lobe, 53 in the left lobe, and 1 in the isthmus which connects together the lower thirds of the right and left lobes.
**Thyroid cancer is known to occur more commonly in females. The female to male ratio tends to increase with age. For instance, the female to male ratio in the 2009 US study is 4.3:1 with 94.5% of cases ≥ age 10  . In the 1995 study of the cancer registry data from 1963 to 1992 in England and Wales, the female to male ratio was 1.25:1 in ages 5-9 and 3.1:1 in ages 10-14 . The female to male ratio is also known to decrease in the radiation exposed cases. In the 2008 study that compared thyroid cancer cases (exposed to radiation) in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia after the Chernobyl accident with unexposed cases in the same region as well as in UK and Japan, the female to male ratio was 4.2:1 overall, 2.4:1 in age <10, 5.2:1 in age ≥10 in the unexposed cases, whereas the female to male ratio was 1.5:1 overall, 1.3:1 in age <10, and 1.6:1 in age ≥10 in the exposed cases .
TNM classification is explained below. Japan has its own clinical guidelines on cancers, but the TNM classification is essentially the same with the exception of the “Ex” notation which refers to the degree of extension outside the thyroid capsule:
Ex1 means minimal extension (example: extension to sternothyroid muscle or perithyroid soft tissues) and is equivalent to T3.
Ex2 means further extension and is equivalent to T4.
Prefix “c” refers to “clinical” while “p” refers to “pathological.”
Pre-operative tumor size here refers to the largest diameter measured by ultrasound. It ranged from 5 mm to 53 mm with average of 14.0 ± 8.5 mm. (Note: The largest pre-op diameter was 45.0 mm for the first round and 35.6 mm for the second round. It is unclear where “53 mm” came from).
44 had tumor size ≤ 10 mm and limited to the thyroid.
57 had tumor size > 10 mm but ≤ 20 mm and limited to the thyroid.
12 had tumor size > 20 mm but ≤ 40 mm and limited to the thyroid.
12 had tumor size > 40 mm and limited to the thyroid, or any size tumor minimally extending outside the thyroid.
28 had metastases to the regional lymph node.
5 had lymph node metastases near the thyroid, within the central compartment of the neck.
23 had lymph node metastases to further areas of the neck.
3 had distant metastases to the lungs. This is the first time that any clinical details of the distant metastasis cases are given.
1) Male. Age at exposure 16, age at surgery 19.
Pre-operative: cT3 cN1a cM1. Tumor size > 40 mm and limited to thyroid or any size with minimal extension outside the thyroid. Metastasis to lymph nodes in the central compartment of the neck. Distant metastasis.
Post-operative: pT3 pEx1 pN1a pM1. Tumor size > 40 mm and limited to thyroid or any size with minimal extension outside the thyroid. Minimal extension outside the thyroid. Metastasis to lymph nodes within the central compartment of the neck. Distant metastasis.
2) Male. Age at exposure 16, age at surgery 18.
Pre-operative: cT3 cN1b cM1. Tumor size > 40 mm and limited to thyroid or any size with minimal extension outside the thyroid. Metastasis to the neck lymph nodes outside the central compartment. Distant metastasis.
Post-operative: pT2 pEx0 pN1b pM1. Tumor size > 20 mm but ≤ 40 mm and limited to the thyroid. No extension outside the thyroid. Metastasis to the neck lymph nodes outside the central compartment. Distant metastasis.
3) Female. Age at exposure 10, age at surgery 13.
Pre-operative: cT1b cN1b cM1. Tumor size > 1 cm but ≤ 2 cm, limited to the thyroid. Metastasis to the neck lymph nodes outside the central compartment. Distant metastasis.
Post-operative: pT3 pEx1 pN1b pM1. Tumor size > 40 mm and limited to thyroid or any size with minimal extension outside the thyroid. Minimal extension. Metastasis to the neck lymph nodes outside the central compartment. Distant metastasis.
TNM classification for differentiated thyroid cancer from the American Cancer Society website.
Primary tumor (T)
T indicates the size of the primary tumor and whether it has grown into the nearby area.
T1a: Tumor ≤ 1 cm, limited to the thyroid
T1b: Tumor > 1 cm but ≤ 2 cm in greatest dimension, limited to the thyroid
T2: Tumor size > 2 cm but ≤ 4 cm, limited to the thyroid
T3: Tumor size >4 cm, limited to the thyroid or any tumor with minimal extrathyroidal extension (eg, extension to sternothyroid muscle or perithyroid soft tissues)
T4a: The tumor is any size and has grown extensively beyond the thyroid gland into nearby tissues of the neck, such as the larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), esophagus (tube connecting the throat to the stomach), or the nerve to the larynx. This is also called moderately advanced disease.
T4b: The tumor is any size and has grown either back toward the spine or into nearby large blood vessels. This is also called very advanced disease.
Regional lymph nodes (N)
Regional lymph nodes are the central compartment, lateral cervical, and upper mediastinal lymph nodes:
N0: No regional lymph node metastasis
N1: Regional lymph node metastasis
N1a: Metastases to level VI (pretracheal, paratracheal, and prelaryngeal/Delphian lymph nodes)
N1b: Metastases to unilateral, bilateral, or contralateral cervical (levels I, II, III, IV, or V) or retropharyngeal or superior mediastinal lymph nodes (level VII)
Distant metastasis (M)
M0: No distant metastasis is found
M1: Distant metastasis is present
1 case: Ground-glass opacity (GGO) of the lungs
This slide shows what was found during the surgery and subsequent pathological examination of the excised tissues and lymph nodes.
Notable is the number and percentage of cases confirmed to have minimal extension outside the thyroid capsule, pEx1. This number, 49 (40%), is the same as pT3, suggesting pT3 in this group denotes any size tumor with minimal extension outside the thyroid capsule.
Even more notable is the number of regional lymph node metastases. 5 cases of cN1a turned out to be 76 cases of pN1a. Overall, 97 (77.6%) of 125 had regional lymph node metastasis.
This slide shows algorithms for diagnosis and treatment of papillary thyroid cancer according to the Japanese clinical guidelines.
This slide shows a comparison of surgical methods between Belarus and Fukushima. Most cases in Fukushima underwent hemithyroidectomy or lobectomy, whereas total thyroidectomy was the most common surgical method in Belarus.
Suzuki mentioned that extra care has been taken to reduce complications from surgeries, and hemithyroidectomy was employed when possible to decrease the lifetime need for thyroid hormone supplementation. Also, this article by Japan’s top thyroid surgeons states, “At present, Western countries adopted almost routine total thyroidectomy with radioactive iodine (RAI) ablation, while limited thyroidectomy with extensive prophylactic lymph node dissection has traditionally been performed for most patients in Japan.(…) In Japan, however, limited thyroidectomy such as subtotal thyroidectomy and lobectomy with isthmectomy has been traditionally adopted as the standard. This is partially because the capacity to perform RAI therapy is limited due to legal restrictions, and RAI therapy is not considered cost effective by the healthcare system in Japan. ”
This slide shows the genetic mutation profile in different study groups. 63.2% of 52 cases from Fukushima was shown to have BRAF mutation. In the 2015 study by Mitsutake et al. shown in the green box, 43 (63.2%) of 68 cases are shown to be positive for BRAF V600E point mutation. The same study also shows 10.3% was positive for RET/PTC rearrangements (6 cases of RET/PTC1 and 1 case of RET/PTC3) and 4 cases (5.9%) had ETV6/NTRK3 rearrangement. (It’s unclear where “n=52” and 8.8% of TRK fusion came from for the Fukushima column, as the Mitsutake study has n=68 and did not test for TRK fusion. It’s also unclear where the Japanese adult data came from. Literature search revealed the BRAF frequency in PTC of Japanese adults varied in a wide range: 28.8% , 38.2% , 38.4%  , 53% , and 82.1% ).
The official stance is that the genetic alterations observed in Fukushima cases are similar to what is seen in typical adult papillary thyroid cancer and “probably reflects genetic status of all sporadic and latent thyroid carcinomas in the young Japanese population .” In other words, the official assert that the genetic profile appears consistent with the official claim that screening is diagnosing spontaneous and latent cancers which might not have been detected without screening.
However, literature varies in regards to how the genetic mutations are associated with radiation exposure, age, and iodine status. RET/PTC rearrangements, frequently seen in Chernobyl, are associated with both radiation-induced and spontaneous thyroid cancer , more common at younger age and in iodine deficient areas . BRAF mutation is known to be seen more frequently in older age, but recent studies showed BRAF V600E was present in 36.8% (median age 13.7 years)  and 63% (median age 18.6 years)  of pediatric papillary thyroid carcinoma. BRAF mutation were associated with high iodine intake in China , while no difference in BRAF V600E frequency was found between iodine-rich and iodine-deficient countries recently .
This slide shows a graph with age distribution of thyroid cancer patients in Ukraine and Fukushima in different post-accident time periods, compiled by superimposing 2 graphs from Letter to the Editor of Thyroid . Blue bars are for 1986-1990 in Ukraine (first 4 years after the Chernobyl accident) and red bars are for 2011-2013 in Fukushima (first 3 years after the Fukushima accident), both time periods representing “latency” for radiation-induced thyroid cancer in children. Orange bars are for 1990-1993 in Ukraine–after the latency period–showing a large increase in thyroid cancer cases in Ukrainian residents who were 18 or younger when the accident happened. Increased number of cases in those who were age 5 or younger set this time period apart. The year 1990 is also when large-scale screening programs began, initiated by international organizations .
The age distribution is “strikingly similar” between the first 4 post-accident years in Ukraine (blue bars) and the first 3 years in Fukushima (red bars), as acknowledged by the letter. However, the letter is inconsistent in claiming “if thyroid cancers in Fukushima were due to radiation, more cases in exposed preschool-age children would have been expected” and defining the first 4 years as “latency.” This illogical claim is also seen in a slightly different format as a comparison between different post-accident periods .
Classification of cervical lymph nodes by the Japanese clinical guidelines
I: Prelaryngeal nodes: LN anterior to the thyroid cartilage and the cricoid cartilage
II: Pretracheal nodes: LN anterior to trachea, dissectible posteriorly from the inferior border of thyroid
III: Paratracheal nodes: LN lateral to trachea, extending inferiorly to where it is dissectible from the neck and superiorly where recurrent laryngeal nerve enters trachea.
IV: Prethyroid nodes: LN adjacent to anterior and lateral parts of thyroid. Laterally includes LN attached to thyroid when middle thyroid artery is ligated and cut. (Equivalent to the AJCC Level IV: lower jugular nodes)
(I, II, III and IV are equivalent to the AJCC Level VI: anterior compartment LN)
V: Superior internal jugular nodes: LN along internal jugular vein but superior to the inferior border of cricoid cartilage. This is further subdivided into superior and inferior at the bifurcation of common carotid artery
Va LN: inferior to the bifurcation of common carotid artery (equivalent to the AJCC Level II: upper jugular nodes)
Vb LN: superior to the bifurcation of common carotid artery (equivalent to the AJCC Level III: middle jugular nodes)
VI: Inferior internal jugular nodes: LN along internal jugular vein, inferior to the inferior border of cricoid cartilage. Includes LN in supraclavicular fossa.
VII: Posterior triangle nodes: LN located in posterior triangle bordered by anterior border of sternocleidomastoid muscle, posterior border of trapezius muscle, and omohyoid muscle.
VIII: Submandibular nodes: LN in the submandibular triangle.
IX: Submittal nodes: LN in the submental triangle.
(VIII and IX are equivalent to the AJCC Level I)
X: Superficial cervical nodes: LN superficial to superficial layer of the deep cervical fascia enclosing sternohyoid and sternocleidomastoid muscles.
XI: Superior mediastinal nodes: LN unresectable by neck dissection
(Equivalent to the AJCC Level VII: superior mediastinal nodes)
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