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‘Reconstruction Olympics’ theme said not to have gathered momentum

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Azuma Stadium in the city of Fukushima in March 2017, will host the baseball and softball competitions during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Feb 27, 2019
AOMORI – Half of 42 municipalities in northeastern Japan hit by a massive earthquake in 2011 said the public is not fully aware of the government’s efforts to showcase the region’s recovery from the disaster through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a Kyodo News survey showed Wednesday.
The heads of 21 local governments in Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures said in the survey that the “reconstruction Olympics” theme has yet to fully catch on among the public.
Asked whether the slogan has gained public attention, two mayors said “it has not” while 19 mayors said “it mostly has not.” Eighteen said “it has a little” and two said “it has.” The remaining municipality — the Fukushima city of Soma — did not answer.
“The phrase ‘reconstruction Olympics’ was thought up but no substantial progress has been made and the affected areas feel left behind,” said an official of the town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture. “We have limited manpower and cannot spare personnel for Olympic events.”
“The sporting event will be held under the banner of the ‘reconstruction Olympics’ but venues are centered on Tokyo,” said an official of Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture.
Asked what they expect from the Tokyo Games in a multiple-choice question, the biggest group, of 36 mayors, picked “promoting our progress toward recovery,” while 20 mayors, mainly from Fukushima, chose “overcoming reputational damage.”
“We want to use the Olympics as a chance to regain sales channels for our farm products,” said an official of the Fukushima town of Namie.
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March 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Tohoku disaster reconstruction to miss ’20 deadline for completion

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A resident in the Yuriage district of Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, returns to her home after shopping. The housing complex was built after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
 
December 19, 2018
Reconstruction of areas devastated by the 2011 triple disaster will not be completed by fiscal 2020 as initially scheduled, and Fukushima Prefecture residents could be hit hardest by the delay, the Reconstruction Agency said.
Agency officials said Dec. 18 that further measures would be needed after fiscal 2020 to help areas affected by the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, as well as municipalities heavily damaged by the tsunami triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011.
The government had set a 10-year reconstruction period as its basic policy, with the first five years described as an “intensive reconstruction period” and the second five years labeled as the “reconstruction and revitalization period.”
The Reconstruction Agency will also be eliminated at the end of March 2021, meaning the government will need new legislation to designate an agency that will handle the reconstruction effort in the Tohoku region from fiscal 2021.
Reconstruction Agency officials conducted studies in the five prefectures of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki during the current fiscal year to determine the extent of progress as well as what support measures should be continued beyond fiscal 2020.
The officials said some public works projects were taking longer than expected because of delays in buying land for those projects and revisions in reconstruction plans.
Although no specific project names or locations were revealed, the officials said all of those public works projects would not be completed by the end of fiscal 2020.
Under the government’s plan, the need for temporary prefabricated homes will no longer exist at the end of fiscal 2020.
However, elderly people who move out of such housing will still require care and supervision especially if they live alone and are suffering from psychological damage stemming from the natural disaster.
The situation looks especially dire in the locales most seriously affected by the nuclear accident.
Mountains of decontaminated soil will be moved outside of Fukushima Prefecture, but the relocation is not expected to happen for another 20 years. That means support measures for evacuees as well as Fukushima farmers and fishermen still dealing with negative publicity about their harvests will have to continue well beyond fiscal 2021.
A total of 32 trillion yen ($285 billion) has been set aside for the reconstruction effort. Whatever is left can be carried over after fiscal 2021 for still-incomplete projects.
At the end of fiscal 2017, 4.6 trillion yen had still not been spent. Reconstruction Agency officials did not say if additional budgetary measures would be needed.

December 22, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment

« Ask anyone who has visited, and they’ll tell you: Tohoku, Northern Japan is easily one of the most stunning places in the world. »

 

Since last weekend, Japan National Tourism Organization is spending big money for this campaign, posting these ads on YouTube, FB and other places, so as to incite tourists to visit Tohoku, conveniently forgetting totally the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster, its ambiant radiation and food contamination.
 
 
Special thanks to Shui Theriver.

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

Japan’s Reconstruction Agency to Fold in 2021

Japan studies how to support 2011 disaster areas after Reconstruction Agency folds in 2021
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Staff are seen at the Reconstruction Agency in Tokyo in February 2017.
The government has started work to determine how to support rebuilding efforts in areas of northeastern Japan hit by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster after the Reconstruction Agency is abolished in March 2021, sources said Tuesday.
The government has started by gathering views from 12 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture, where a number of residents were forced to evacuate following the triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant. The goal is to find out what support the municipalities expect from the central government, according to officials familiar with the matter.
The government aims to establish a basic assistance policy by the end of March 2020, chiefly by determining the roles of an organization that will succeed the agency, the officials said.
The agency was set up in February 2012 to take control of support for reconstruction efforts — particularly in severely damaged areas in the three Tohoku prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.
It now has some 520 staff to support those affected and back business revitalization. It is also helping with the return of evacuees to their homes in Fukushima.
Legally, the agency cannot exist beyond March 2021, when the government-set reconstruction period for the disaster expires. But affected areas are still struggling. In Fukushima, evacuation advisories remain intact in some areas, prolonging recovery work even further.
The basic support policy and a blueprint for the successor organization will be finalized based on the results of the Fukushima survey, as well as talks with the Iwate and Miyagi prefectural governments and the ruling camp, the officials said.
The government hopes to see necessary legislation pass the Diet in 2020, they added.
One likely scenario regarding the successor body is setting up a department at the Cabinet Office to mainly support reconstruction efforts. But there are calls for creating a government agency to take charge of disaster prevention and reconstruction across the country, critics have said.

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Govt to aid disaster-hit areas in Olympic exchanges to publicize their reconstruction

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Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the government plans to create a “reconstruction host town” program to promote exchanges between countries and territories participating in the Olympics and Paralympics and areas affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, it has been learned.

According to informed sources, the government aims to register all 127 municipalities in the three disaster-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima as reconstruction host towns. The new program aims to boost efforts to involve disaster-hit areas in the Games and spread information on disaster reconstruction to the world, the sources said. It is also expected to enhance the image of the “reconstruction Olympics,” as the concept currently lacks concrete measures.

Registration for host towns for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics began in January last year. The government will also create a separate “reconstruction host town program.” Under the new program, all applying municipalities will be registered as reconstruction host towns, in principle, according to the sources. Additionally, the government will dispatch officials from the Cabinet Secretariat and other bodies as needed. The officials will fully support cooperation between municipalities and government ministries, agencies and the Olympic organizing committee, while connecting the municipalities with countries participating in the Olympics and Paralympics. The government might also invite Olympic and Paralympic athletes to tour disaster-hit areas after the Games, with the hope that they will spread information about the areas’ current circumstances.

The current host town program provides financial support to municipalities so they can organize exchange activities with participating countries and territories. The program is modeled on the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics’s One School, One Country program, in which a country or a territory participating in the Games was paired with a school that would cheer on the country or the territory during events. As of Sept. 14, 252 municipalities across the country are registered as host towns and have launched exchanges with 74 countries and territories in total.

In the three disaster-hit prefectures, Morioka has registered as a host town for Canada, inviting the country to hold Olympic training camps for sport climbing and other events. Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, a host town for Samoa, plans to hold a dance festival featuring Pacific nations. However, municipalities affected by the disaster have prioritized reconstruction projects, so only 10 municipalities from disaster-hit prefectures have registered as host towns.

Municipalities registered as host towns can implement sports and cultural exchange programs with partner countries and territories for the duration of the Games, with half of the project costs covered by special tax grants from the government. Municipalities can host training camps by becoming host towns, and can receive government subsidies for renovating athletic facilities.

We are considering additional preferential measures for them,” a senior government official said of the new reconstruction host towns.

In the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which was cohosted by Japan and South Korea, Nakatsue village (now Hita city), Oita Prefecture, hosted the base camp for the Cameroonian national team. The village became famous for its hospitality, which resulted in a massive influx of tourists. Exchanges between the people and Cameroon continue to this day, raising expectations for the host town program to yield similar success.

Reconstruction has been touted as the theme for the upcoming Tokyo Games. However, questions have arisen over how the theme will factor into the Games, with only Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures hosting event venues. Miyagi Prefecture will host preliminary soccer round matches and Fukushima Prefecture will host preliminary softball round matches.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003945623

October 5, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | 3 Comments

Study: Radioactive Hot Particles Still Afloat Throughout Japan Six Year After Fukushima Meltdowns

Radioactive particles of uranium, thorium, radium, cesium, strontium, polonium, tellurium and americium are still afloat throughout Northern Japan more than six years after a tsunami slammed into the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant causing three full-blown nuclear meltdowns. That was the conclusion reached by two of the world’s leading radiation experts after conducting an extensive five-year monitoring project.

Arnie Gundersen and Marco Kaltofen authored the peer reviewed study titled, Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan by combination of gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and SEM/EDS analysis and implications in radiation risk assessment, published July 27, 2017, in Science of the Total Environment (STOLEN).

Gundersen represents Fairewinds Associates and is a nuclear engineer, former power plant operator and industry executive, turned whistleblower, and was CNN’s play-by-play on-air expert during the 2011 meltdowns. Kaltofen, of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), is a licensed civil engineer and is renowned as a leading experts on radioactive contamination in the environment.

415 samples of “dust and surface soil” were “analyzed sequentially by gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis” between 2011 and 2016. 180 of the samples came from Japan while another 235 were taken from the United States and Canada. The study further clarifies, “Of these 180 Japanese particulate matter samples, 57 were automobile or home air filters, 59 were surface dust samples, 29 were street dusts (accumulated surface soils and dusts) and 33 were vacuum cleaner bag or other dust samples.”

108 of the Japanese samples were taken in 2016, while the other 72 were gathered in 2011 after the meltdowns. Gundersen and Kaltofen tapped 15 volunteer scientists to help collect the dust and soil — mostly from Fukushima Prefecture and Minamisouma City. “A majority of these samples were collected from locations in decontaminated zones cleared for habitation by the National Government of Japan,” the study revealed. For the 108 samples taken in 2016, an “International Medcom Inspector Alert surface contamination monitor (radiation survey meter) was used to identify samples from within low lying areas and on contaminated outdoor surfaces.”

A Fairewinds Associates’ video from 2012 features Gundersen collecting five samples of surface soil from random places throughout Tokyo — places including a sidewalk crack, a rooftop garden, and a previously decontaminated children’s playground. The samples were bagged, declared through Customs, and brought back to the U.S. for testing. All five samples were so radioactive that according to Gundersen, they “qualified as radioactive waste here in the United States and would have to be sent to Texas to be disposed of.” Those five examples were not included as part of the recently released study, but Gundersen went back to Tokyo for samples in 2016. Those samples were included, and were radioactive, and according to Gundersen were “similar to what I found in Tokyo in [2012].”

 

Furthermore, 142 of the 180 samples (about 80 percent) contained cesium 134 and cesium 137. Cesium 134 and 137, two of the most widespread byproducts of the nuclear fission process from uranium-fueled reactors, are released in large quantities in nuclear accidents. Cesium emits intense beta radiation as it decays away to other isotopes, and is very dangerous if ingested or inhaled. On a mildly positive note, the study shows that only four of the 235 dust samples tested in the United States and Canada had detectable levels of cesium from Fukushima.

Cesium, due to its molecular structure, mimics potassium once inside the body, and is often transported to the heart where it can become lodged, thereafter mutating and burning heart tissue which can lead to cardiovascular disease. Other isotopes imitate nutritive substances once inside the body as well. Strontium 90 for example mimics calcium, and is absorbed by bones and teeth.

“Different parts of the human body (nerves, bones, stomach, lung) are impacted differently,” Kaltofen told EnviroNews in an email. “Different cells have radio-sensitivities that vary over many orders of magnitude. The body reacts differently to the same dose received over a short time or a long time; the same as acute or chronic doses in chemical toxicity.”

In contrast to external X-rays, gamma, beta or alpha rays, hot particles are small mobile pieces of radioactive elements that can be breathed in, drunk or eaten in food. The fragments can then become lodged in bodily tissue where they will emanate high-intensity ionizing radiation for months or years, damaging and twisting cells, potentially causing myriad diseases and cancer. The study points out, “Contaminated environmental dusts can accumulate in indoor spaces, potentially causing radiation exposures to humans via inhalation, dermal contact, and ingestion.”

The study also explains, “Given the wide variability in hot particle sizes, activities, and occurrence; some individuals may experience a hot particle dose that is higher or lower than the dose calculated by using averaged environmental data.” For example, a person living in a contaminated area might use a leaf blower or sweep a floor containing a hefty amount of hot particle-laden dust and receive a large does in a short time, whereas other people in the same area, exposed to the same background radiation and environmental averages, may not take as heavy a hit as the housekeeper that sweeps floors for a living. People exposed to more dust on the job, or who simply have bad luck and haphazardly breathe in hot radioactive dust, are at an increased risk for cancer and disease. High winds can also randomly pick up radioactive surface soil, rendering it airborne and endangering any unsuspecting subject unlucky enough to breath it in.

Hot particles, or “internal particle emitters” as they are sometimes called, also carry unique epidemiological risks as compared to a chest X-ray by contrast. The dangers from radiation are calculated by the dose a subject receives, but the manner in which that dose is received can also play a critical factor in the amount of damage to a person’s health.

“Comparing external radiation to hot particles inside the body is an inappropriate analogy,” Gundersen told EnviroNews in an email. “Hot particles deliver a lot of energy to a very localized group of cells that surround them and can therefore cause significant localized cell damage. External radiation is diffuse. For example, the weight from a stiletto high heal shoe is the same as the weight while wearing loafers, but the high heal is damaging because its force is localized.”

Kaltofen elaborated with an analogy of his own in a followup email with EnviroNews saying:

Dose is the amount of energy in joules absorbed by tissue. Imagine Fred with a one joule gamma dose to the whole body from living in a dentist’s office over a lifetime, versus Rhonda with exactly the same dose as alpha absorbed by the lung from a hot particle. Standard health physics theory says that Fred will almost certainly be fine, but Rhonda has about a 10 percent chance of dying from lung cancer — even though the doses are the same.

External radiation and internal hot particles both follow exactly the same health physics rules, even though they cause different kinds of biological damage. Our data simply shows that you can’t understand radiation risk without measuring both.

Some isotopes, like plutonium, only pose danger to an organism inside the body. As an alpha emitter, plutonium’s rays are blocked by the skin and not strong enough to penetrate deep into bodily tissue. However, when inhaled or ingested, plutonium’s ionizing alpha rays twist and shred cells, making it one of the most carcinogenic and mutagenic substances on the planet.

“Measuring radioactive dust exposures can be like sitting by a fireplace,” Dr. Kaltofen explained in a press release. “Near the fire you get a little warm, but once in a while the fire throws off a spark that can actually burn you.”

“We weren’t trying to see just somebody’s theoretical average result,” Kaltofen continued in the press release. “We looked at how people actually encounter radioactive dust in their real lives. [By] combining microanalytical methods with traditional health physics models… we found that some people were breathing or ingesting enough radioactive dust to have a real increase in their risk of suffering a future health problem. This was especially true of children and younger people, who inhale or ingest proportionately more dust than adults.”

“Individuals in the contaminated zone, and potentially well outside of the mapped contaminated zone, may receive a dose that is higher than the mean dose calculated from average environmental data, due to inhalation or ingestion of radioactively-hot dust and soil particles,” the study says in summation. “Accurate radiation risk assessments therefore require data for hot particle exposure as well as for exposure to more uniform environmental radioactivity levels.”

https://www.environews.tv/072917-study-plutonium-hot-particles-still-afloat-throughout-japan-six-year-fukushima-meltdowns/

July 31, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactively-hot Particles Detected in Dusts and Soils from Northern Japan by Combination of Gamma Spectrometry, Autoradiography, and SEM/EDS Analysis and Implications in Radiation Risk Assessment

Authors:

Dr. Marco Kaltofen – Nuclear Science and Engineering Program, Dept. of Physics, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Arnie Gundersen – Chief Engineer, Fairewinds Energy Education, Community Research Fellow University of Vermont 

Complete Methodology: 

The purposes of the study were to identify and collect samples with a high potential to contain radioactively-hot particles for microscopic examination, to determine if local hot spots of contamination existed at the time of the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns, and finally to document whether any hot spots persisted five years after the accidents.

Samples of 180 Japanese house dusts, car engine filters, HVAC filters, street dusts and fine surface soils were collected and shipped to Worcester Polytechnic Institute for radioisotope analysis. A total of 235 US and Canadian samples of similar matrices were collected between 2011 and 2015. Of these 180 Japanese particulate matter samples, 57 were automobile or home air filters, 59 were surface dust samples, 29 were street dusts (accumulated surface soils and dusts) and 33 were vacuum cleaner bag or other dust samples. All filters were in service on or after March 11, 2011, the date of the initial releases from the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors.

Of the 180 samples from Japan, 108 were collected in Japan during 2016 while the remaining 72 samples were collected during 2011. These samples included fine surface soils, sediments from drainage areas, and soils from floor mats. Dusts were collected from bulk and surface dust accumulations; including air handling fans, residential air filters, vacuum cleaner bags, automobile air filters, public restroom ventilation fans and from surfaces at public transportation points throughout northern Japan. This study used a mix of samples submitted by volunteers and by the authors. There were controls on the volunteers’ methods used to select samples, however direct sampling oversight was limited. Fifteen scientists and volunteer citizen-scientists collected these samples in areas across Japan, but predominantly in Fukushima Prefecture and Minamisoma City. Sampling locations were in publicly-accessible areas such as bike paths, roadways, sidewalks and public buildings. Permits were received to sample in restricted areas where post-Fukushima meltdown decontamination work was in progress. A majority of these samples were collected from locations in decontaminated zones cleared for habitation by the National Government of Japan.

Sample collection

Sample collection was biased by performing a preliminary visual survey to facilitate collection from areas where fine particulate matter can accumulate, such as low spots on roads or rooftops, air handling fan blades, floor mats and rooftops. For the 2016 sample set (108 of 180 samples), an International Medcom Inspector Alert surface contamination monitor (radiation survey meter) was used to identify samples from within low lying areas and on contaminated outdoor surfaces. Screening introduces a bias to the soil sample set allowing for maximum probability of collecting particulate matter that might contain hot particles. Indoor dusts, HVAC system dusts and auto air filters were randomly selected and no survey meters were used nor were surface radiation measurements taken prior to dust sample collection.

At the time of the 2016 sampling campaign, mapped surface activity data was available from Safecast, an open citizen-led group that collected activity data via a standardized device of their own design, the bGeigie. Uncontaminated areas in Japan (as mapped by safecast.org) have bGeigie-measured activities on the order of 0.08 uSv/hr. or less. Areas of known contamination are on the order of 0.16 uSv/hr. and higher. More than 90 percent of the samples in this study come from the areas Safecast-mapped as 0.16 uSv/hr. and higher (Figure 1). This indicates that the data are more representative of the contaminated zone, rather than of Japan as a whole. Mapping via the Safecast bGeigie proceeds with a plastic alpha and beta shield around the detector element. This makes the device essentially a gamma activity monitor. Thirteen of the 2016 samples from Japan were measured by the primary instrument (Ortec NaI well gamma photon detector) and the bGeigie. With the shield present on the bGeigie so that both devices measured gamma energy only, the R2 value between the two sets was 0.97, a good fit (Figure 2). Without the shield the bGeigie also accumulated beta and alpha energy, so the fit was poorer, with R2 = 0.15. The strong correlation between the bGeigie in gamma mode and the Ortec spectrometer is added evidence that the sampling methodology provides data that is more representative of the contaminated areas in northern Japan, and less so for Japan as a whole.

For each 2016 sample collection location point, a photograph was taken to provide an image of where the sample was collected as well as a record of the GPS location. All Japanese samples were air dried at ambient temperature prior to analysis, then shipped internationally to Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA, USA, for analysis.

Motor vehicle engine air filters process large volumes of air. In Japan private vehicles average 65 liters of gasoline use per month. (Schipper 2009) This fuel requires approximately 638 cubic meters of air for complete combustion. This is about 30 cubic meters per day, which is in the same order of magnitude as a working adult tidal air volume of 10 to 20 cubic meters per day. It was hypothesized that engine air filters in routine use and first installed prior to March 11, 2011 would provide an approximation of the amount of radioactive dusts present in ambient air for each driving region.

Bulk dust and street dust/soil samples were air dried at ambient temperatures prior to analyses. Dust samples containing macroscopic objects and excessive pet hair were sieved to pass a 150 micron brass ASTM #100 screen. Samples were divided and separately screened by gamma spectroscopy to determine if activity was heterogeneously distributed within samples. Samples were sequentially divided if necessary, based on gamma-screening results.

Dust was mechanically removed from automobile and HVAC filters. Motor vehicle air filters varied in usage from nearly new to as much as 55,000 logged kilometers of use. Sample results for dust samples were reported on a kBq kg-1 basis. Eight filter samples with detectable activities but with dust that could not be quantitatively removed from filter media were assigned a dust mass of 1.0 g. This introduced a low bias to these samples. Nine samples had activities greater than 0.25 MBq kg-1. To ensure safe transport, these samples were mass-limited to 3 grams before shipping from Japan.

Included in this set of nine atypically-radioactive samples, was a 300 mg sample of street dust received from a location about 10 km from the Fukushima-Dai-ichi accident site in Namie-machi, Futaba-gun, Fukushima Prefecture. This is in the restricted zone, close to but just outside of the exclusion zone. A very similar sample was collected from Iitate. The particulate matter samples were analyzed by sodium iodide gamma spectrometry. One vacuum bag received from a home in Nagoya, Japan, yielded subsamples with no detectable radioactivity above background, despite a sizable amount of activity for the bag as a whole. (Nagoya is 433 km from Fukushima Dai-ichi). By sample division and hot particle isolation with a pancake detector, a single 1 cm by 2 cm glass slide was prepared, with a small number of microscopic dust particles (with activity > 1 MBq ug-1) mounted via double sided adhesive tape.

Analyses of the samples proceeded sequentially by NaI gamma spectrometry, autoradiography of high activity samples, and scanning electron microscopy / energy dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM/EDS) of individual radioactively-hot particles identified by autoradiography (Moody 2015). Autoradiographs were prepared from the highest specific activity samples using blue-sensitive X-ray film, followed by SEM/EDS analysis of autoradiographically positive portions of the sample. Air filter media that had positive gamma spectrometry results were mounted in a single layer onto double sided adhesive paper sheets. These sheets with dusts were then attached to 3 mm thick copper plates. Vehicle and HVAC air filters were prepared by cutting the filter media from their frames, and mounting the filter media on 3 mm thick copper plates. A sheet of blue-sensitive Xray film was sandwiched with the mounted filters, and exposed in a dark photographer’s box for seven days. The autoradiographs used MidSci® classic blue autoradiography film BX and D76 processing.

All gamma spectrometry data are corrected for geometry, and were standardized against a known activity of 137Cs. Gamma photon analyses used Ortec® NaI and Canberra® GeLi flat plate photon detectors. An Ortec® NaI well detector and 1K MCA were also used. Counting efficiency @ 662 keV was found to be 30% based on use of a certified calibration standard from an Eckert & Ziegler Isotope Products standard source, manufactured and certified on Sept. 12, 2011, with 40.12 nCi of 137Cs. The 137Cs in the standard used for quantitation and any Fukushima-related 137Cs in the samples were of the same approximate age, therefore no 137Cs decay correction is warranted in this five-year study. Nuclides not amenable to gamma spectrometry, such as strontium, were not analyzed in this study.

Samples with evident gamma spectral peaks for uranium, thorium or plutonium were selected for SEM/EDS analyses. All particles were mounted as a monolayer on a 25 mm OD Ted Pella, Inc., PELCO® tape tab-covered aluminum SEM stub. If necessary to improve particle conductivity, the samples were carbon or gold coated prior to SEM/EDS analysis. SEM/EDS work was tested commercially at Microvision Laboratories of Chelmsford, MA, using a Bruker® X-Flash® Peltier-cooled silicon drift detector (SDD). The electron beam current was 0.60 nAmperes, accelerated at a voltage of < 0.5 to 60 keV.


Want to look at the numbers? Click below to download the complete data sheet of our samples (.xlsx). 

Activities as radio-cesium

27 july 2017

 

Maps of Safecast data and sample sites in Japan

july 27 2017 2.jpgAbove-left) Safecast map with dark blues representing low contamination

(Above-right) Map of study sample areas using same Safecast color scheme

Boat tracks and other clutter have been removed from this graphic.

Japan Radiation Interactive Map

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1SisuJIoEisdEcdieMsml2iT_pJk&ll=38.477934360996386%2C135.87120000000004&z=6

(Above) Browse the location, supplementary info and photographs of samples taken in Japan with our interactive sample map created by Ben Shulman-Reed, Fairewinds Energy Education program researcher. 

Safecast bGeigie data vs. Ortec NaI gamma spectroscopy data

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Japanese dusts and sediments presented by specific activity in kBq kg-1

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Distribution of total radiocesium activities in particulate matter samples from Japan

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Gamma spec Ibaraki Prefecture, analyzed April 11, 2011

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Tokyo vehicle air filter image (Left) and 7 day exposure autoradiograph (Right) Corresponding auto exposed points on the X-ray film are connected by red lines.

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SEM image of hot particle, magnification 5000 X.

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(Top) SEM/EDS spectrum showing one nodule of hot particle with 15.6% Cs, 16.7% Te, 1.2% Rb, 0.61% Po.  (Bottom) second nodule with 48% Te, 1.2% Po, 0.18% Dy (analyzed 12/18/2013).

27 july 2017 7

 

To read more at :

http://www.fairewinds.org/stoten-methods/

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969717317953

July 27, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

EU looks at lifting import curbs on Fukushima rice, Tohoku marine products, wild vegetables ???

It could be some propaganda spin on the Japanese side, but I doubt it. It is most probably true as Japan and Europe just signed a new trade deal on Thursday July 6, 2017, when Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met top European Union officials in Brussels on the eve of a G20 summit of world leaders, including President Trump, in Germany.

The deal, which had been discussed since 2011, will remove almost all customs duties on European exports to Japan. Those are currently worth as much as €1 billion ($1.1 billion) a year.

That lifting import curbs on Fukushima rice, Tohoku marine products, wild vegetables, into Europe, might have been included in that trade deal package, to the detriment of the health protection of yet unaware Europeans.

n-fukushimafood-a-20170711-870x580.jpgThe European Union may lift an import restriction on rice produced in nuclear disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture.

 

BRUSSELS – The European Union is considering lifting an import restriction on rice produced in meltdown-hit Fukushima Prefecture as well as on wild vegetables and marine products from Japan, sources said Sunday.

At present, the EU requires that radiation inspection certificates be submitted by exporters of some food products from 13 prefectures in the eastern half of the Japanese archipelago.

But the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, has drafted import regulation reform plans that call for scrapping the requirement when it comes to rice from Fukushima, home to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the sources said.

The EC also proposes removing the regulation for some kinds of seafood, including shrimp, crab, octopus, yellowtail, red sea bream and bluefin tuna, from the seven prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi, Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba and Iwate, and certain wild vegetables from seven prefectures including Akita, Nagano and Yamagata.

Meanwhile, the radiation certificate obligation will remain in place for food imports from Yamanashi, Niigata and Shizuoka prefectures.

A formal decision on the deregulation proposal could come as early as this autumn, the sources said.

The Fukushima No. 1 power plant is run by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/10/national/eu-looking-lift-import-curbs-fukushima-rice-tohoku-marine-products-wild-vegetables-sources/

July 10, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

SIX YEARS AFTER: Aftershocks at more than twice usual quake rate since 2011 event

Temblors thought to be aftershocks of the Great East Japan Earthquake have rocked the Tohoku and Kanto regions at more than twice the pre-3/11 rate in the past year, according to the government’s Earthquake Research Committee.

Figures released by the committee on March 9 showed that 368 magnitude-4 or higher earthquakes occurred over the past year. That is more than double the number that occurred in 10 years before the 2011 disaster, when an annual average of 136 was recorded.

Seismic activity still remains high and impacts wide areas,” said Naoshi Hirata, head of the committee and professor of seismology at the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute.

It is still more likely that earthquakes that can cause significant damage will occur. So be prepared and keep your guard up.”

According to the committee, 5,383 magnitude-4 or higher temblors occurred in the year immediately following the magnitude-9 Great East Japan Earthquake.

Although the frequency has decreased since then, between 245 and 368 quakes have occurred annually over the last three years.

Furthermore, magnitude-7 or higher major tremors have occurred once every year since 2011, except in 2015.

March 11 marks the sixth anniversary of the quake and the tsunami, which triggered a triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201703100058.html

March 10, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

40% of local leaders doubt 3.11 disaster area recovery by 2020 due to Fukushima crisis

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Many trucks are seen engaged in land redevelopment work in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, on March 9, 2017.

About 40 percent of 42 local leaders along the coasts of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures doubt their areas will recover from the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake by the time of the 2020 Tokyo Games due to the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis, a Mainichi Shimbun survey shows.

A large majority of the pessimistic local chiefs represent cities, towns and villages in Fukushima Prefecture where many residents were forced to evacuate following the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. The survey results show that these municipalities have yet to recover from the meltdowns.

The central government has categorized a five-year period from fiscal 2011 as an intensive recovery period, and another five-year period from fiscal 2016 as a recovery and building period. It plans to spend as much as 32 trillion yen over a 10-year period ending in fiscal 2020 to complete recovery operations and abolish the Reconstruction Agency. It aims to support Fukushima and other disaster-stricken prefectures, but has no clear budget provision.

The Mainichi Shimbun received written responses from all 12 city, town and village mayors it queried in Iwate Prefecture, and from all 15 mayors queried in each of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.

While only two municipal chiefs in Iwate and one in Miyagi did not anticipate an end to recovery efforts by fiscal 2020, 13 local leaders in Fukushima Prefecture — including those in evacuation zones — shared this view. Only the Shinchi town mayor replied that recovery will be possible by fiscal 2020, while the mayor of Soma said he did not know.

Many local leaders in Fukushima Prefecture say they do not expect recovery operations to be completed by fiscal 2020 due to negative effects from the nuclear disaster. The town of Namie says it does not anticipate an end to recovery operations in three years, pointing out that the recovery speeds in areas hit by tsunami versus the nuclear disaster are obviously different.

The town of Futaba, 96 percent of which is designated as a difficult-to-return zone, says post-disaster restoration has not even started. Kawauchi village, which has already seen its evacuation order lifted, laments that its population is set to drop drastically due to a very low birthrate and a rapidly aging citizenry.

Rikuzentakata and Otsuchi in Iwate, and Yamamoto in Miyagi, responded that they are unlikely to witness a full recovery by fiscal 2020. Rikuzentakata explained that its new city hall isn’t scheduled to be completed until fiscal 2021. The town of Otsuchi cited a delay in a land redevelopment project and other reasons. The town of Yamamoto said that community formation at mass relocation sites and psychological recovery take a long time.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170310/p2a/00m/0na/007000c

March 10, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Northeastern Japan Asks Koike for Tokyo Olympics Support

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Northeastern Japan asks Koike for support

Prefectural leaders from northeastern Japan have asked the Tokyo governor for cooperation in supporting reconstruction of the 2011 disaster-hit region through the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The governors and vice governors of the 6 prefectures handed a letter to Yuriko Koike when they met in Tokyo on Monday.

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They hope the Tokyo Games will help revitalize areas affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The region’s recovery is a key theme for the Games.

The letter calls for the region’s festivals and traditional arts performances to be featured in events held in the run-up to the Olympics and Paralympics.

It also asks that the region’s wood materials be used at the Games facilities and food products at cafeterias in the athletes’ village.

The letter requests the torch relay course pass through the entire region so as many residents as possible will be able to take part in the run.

The governors said they hope the Games will contribute to bringing more foreign tourists to northeastern Japan.

They also said people in the region want an opportunity to express their gratitude to other countries for assisting in reconstruction.

Tokyo Governor Koike said the Games are the best opportunity to show to the world how the region has recovered.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161128_20/

November 29, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Tokyo 2020: Japan earthquake and nuclear disaster site could host Olympic events

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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.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/olympics/37703005

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.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161019_29/

October 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Strong quake rattles Tohoku region

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Tohoku region

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 jolted northeastern Japan on Sunday, the Meteorological Agency agency said. No tsunami warning was issued.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the 4:37 p.m. quake. The focus of the quake was about 20 km (12 miles) underground in the Pacific Ocean off Miyagi Prefecture, the agency said.

Tohoku Electric Power Co. reported no abnormalities at the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture.

The quake measured 4 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in some areas of Miyagi, including the city of Ishinomaki, and a 3 in areas including neighboring Iwate and Yamagata prefectures.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/10/16/national/strong-quake-rattles-tohoku-region/

October 17, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Record-breaking typhoon moves northeast to northern Japan

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Typhoon No. 18, packing record-setting winds, was creeping northeast and is expected to hit the Hokuriku and Tohoku regions starting on the afternoon of Oct. 5.

Known as Typhoon Chaba outside Japan, the storm was 120 kilometers north of Tsushima island and moving at a speed of 45 kph as of noon. It could make landfall later in the day or early on Oct. 6.

Wide areas of western and eastern Japan are expected to see heavy rain through Oct. 5. Some areas could be drenched with more than 50 millimeters of rain per hour.

Expected rainfall in the 24 hours until the morning of Oct. 6 is 200 mm on Shikoku island and in the Kinki region, 180 mm in northern Kyushu, and 150 mm in southern Kyushu as well as the Tokai, Hokuriku and Kanto-Koshin regions.

The typhoon cut through waters west of the Okinawa island chain and headed north on Oct. 4.

In the early hours of that day, a maximum wind speed of 173.2 kph was recorded on Kumejima, an island west of the main Okinawa island.

It was the strongest wind recorded on the island since official typhoon observations began in 1951.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201610050028.html

October 5, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Increases in perinatal mortality in prefectures contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in Japan: A spatially stratified longitudinal study.

“Radiation damage spreading to Fukushima and other Tohoku Prefectures, and Kanto Prefectures Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, is demonstrated. Perinatal mortality is increasing, it has been announced for the first time in peer-reviewed medical journals the Fukushima/Perinatal mortality link.”

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Abstract

Descriptive observational studies showed upward jumps in secular European perinatal mortality trends after Chernobyl.

The question arises whether the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident entailed similar phenomena in Japan.

For 47 prefectures representing 15.2 million births from 2001 to 2014, the Japanese government provides monthly statistics on 69,171 cases of perinatal death of the fetus or the newborn after 22 weeks of pregnancy to 7 days after birth.

Employing change-point methodology for detecting alterations in longitudinal data, we analyzed time trends in perinatal mortality in the Japanese prefectures stratified by exposure to estimate and test potential increases in perinatal death proportions after Fukushima possibly associated with the earthquake, the tsunami, or the estimated radiation exposure.

Areas with moderate to high levels of radiation were compared with less exposed and unaffected areas, as were highly contaminated areas hit versus untroubled by the earthquake and the tsunami.

Ten months after the earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent nuclear accident, perinatal mortality in 6 severely contaminated prefectures jumped up from January 2012 onward: jump odds ratio 1.156; 95% confidence interval (1.061, 1.259), P-value 0.0009.

There were slight increases in areas with moderate levels of contamination and no increases in the rest of Japan.

In severely contaminated areas, the increases of perinatal mortality 10 months after Fukushima were essentially independent of the numbers of dead and missing due to the earthquake and the tsunami.

Perinatal mortality in areas contaminated with radioactive substances started to increase 10 months after the nuclear accident relative to the prevailing and stable secular downward trend.

These results are consistent with findings in Europe after Chernobyl. Since observational studies as the one presented here may suggest but cannot prove causality because of unknown and uncontrolled factors or confounders, intensified research in various scientific disciplines is urgently needed to better qualify and quantify the association of natural and artificial environmental radiation with detrimental genetic health effects at the population level.

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27661055

http://ebm-jp.com/2016/10/media2016002/

Read more on the PDF:

http://ebm-jp.com/wp-content/uploads/media-2016002-medicine.pdf

October 5, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment