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Radiation concerns overshadow Tokyo

Ahead of the Summer Games, independent readings remain high

 

12202029While many are concerned about radiation at venues located north of Tokyo, some readings have shown high levels a few miles from the Olympic Stadium, above.

Jan 13,2020

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is now just over six months away, but rather than excitement, there is growing apprehension regarding the radiation levels in Japan.

In the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the Japanese Ministry of Environment has downplayed concerns regarding radiation in the country, but local civic groups and environmental organizations around the world still have their suspicions. Looking at the radiation levels of the sites where each sporting event will be held, it is understandable why so many are concerned.

The J-Village, which is the official training site of the Japanese women’s football team and where the torch relay will start on March 26, is located about 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The Japanese women’s football team is scheduled to kick off the torch relay across the country.

Operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), the power plant suffered severe damage from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that struck in 2011. The damage to several reactors led to leaks of radiation, which is considered the biggest problem ahead of the Games.

When the environmental organization Greenpeace measured the radiation levels of a grassy area near the parking lot of the J-Village in October 2019, the measurement came out to be 71 microsieverts per hour (μSv/h) close the surface and 32 μSv/h at 10 centimeters (4 inches) above the surface, even though the Japanese Ministry of Environment has pledged to keep the reading to below 0.23 microsieverts per hour, according to a report released by the organization.

In the response to the report, the Japanese Ministry of Environment and Tepco moved fast to remove the soil around the hotspot uncovered by Greenpeace Japan.

Based on a Greenpeace report released in December, the organization returned to the J-Village to conduct tests once again and found that the levels at the specific location had dropped to lower than 1 μSv/h at 10 centimeters. However, on the same day just to the north of that hotspot, Greenpeace tested an area adjacent to the parking lot, where levels were up to 2.2 μSv/h at 10 centimeters. Near the entrance of this same parking lot, Greenpeace measured 2.6 μSv/h at 10 centimeters.

“Many questions and uncertainties remain: how were such high levels of radiation (71 μSv/h at close to surface) not detected during the earlier decontamination by Tepco? Why were only the most alarming hotspots removed and not the wider areas following the standard decontamination procedures?” asked Heinz Smital, nuclear physicist and radiation specialist at Greenpeace Germany.

After a request of the Japanese government, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed to host some of the Olympic baseball and softball games at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium, which is only 97 kilometers away from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

The Miyagi Stadium, located in Miyazaki, is a football venue for the Games and is about 118 kilometers away from the power plant.

Since both sites are located relatively close to the site of the accident, many have expressed concerns, as football and baseball are expected to be some of the most popular events at the Olympics this summer.

Interestingly, there hasn’t been much data published regarding those two sites. But when the radiation levels are measured by the organization that takes care of Azuma Stadium every month, the number doesn’t go any higher than 0.2 μSv/h.

Once again, environmental organizations are suspicious. When Greenpeace measured the radiation levels at Namie, located 10 kilometers north of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the radiation levels were as high as 100 times more than the international limit for public exposure. Although the contaminated soil has been removed, the levels still go up when it rains because the soil from the top of the forest runs down to the decontaminated area.

According to Greenpeace, since the Olympics will be held during the summer, typically a rainy and typhoon-prone season in Japan, the soil from the mountains around the Azuma Baseball Stadium may re-contaminate the decontaminated areas.

Although Japan completed the decontamination process around the stadium, right after Typhoon Hagibis last year, the radiation increased about 2000 times.

Aside from baseball, softball and football, the other 39 stadiums at which events will be held are located within a two-hour radius of the Olympic Stadium in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

The Olympic Stadium is about 244 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, so the site is not as affected by radiation as the more contaminated regions to the north.

But members of the anti-nuclear movement in Japan have stated that Tokyo also may not be safe. The 2017 Nobel Peace Laureate Tilman Ruff, who is on the Australian Board of the International Campaign of Abolish Nuclear Weapons (iCAN), said in November that radiation has not only reached areas south and west of the power plant like Chiba, Saitama and Fukushima, but contamination levels are also pretty high in the northern part of Tokyo as well.

The radiation level of soil that Tokyo residents have measured themselves has turned out to be as high as 0.443 μSv/h.

One of the biggest reasons behind the controversies regarding the high radiation levels and hosting the Tokyo Olympics has been the limited data provided by the Japanese Ministry of Environment. Officials have repeatedly said that Fukushima is safe, but they haven’t announced detailed data regarding the contamination or decontamination of the area around Fukushima.

Due to distrust in the government, some Japanese citizens have stepped up to carry out their own measurements of the radiation levels in the areas. Since the disaster, Minna-no Data Site, a collective database of citizen’s radioactivity measurements, has collected readings on food, soil and other things.

International environmental organizations are asking the Japanese government to release more measurements and to reveal the current level of radiation.

Despite the concerns, for professional athletes, the Olympics represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that, for many, is the culmination of their entire career. While they might be concerned about the current political situation or safety issues, very few of Korea’s potential Olympians are willing to give up an opportunity that they’ve trained most of their lives for.

Due to this, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) are considering running their own cafeteria to provide food for the athletes using ingredients from Korea.

BY KIM JEONG-YEON [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]

http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3072530

January 21, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | 1 Comment

Fukushima: Japan court finds government liable for nuclear disaster

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December 13, 2019

A Japanese court has ruled for the first time that the government bears partial responsibility for the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The court was responding to a case brought by a group of evacuees who had been forced to flee their homes.

It ruled that the disaster could have been averted if government regulators had ordered plant operator Tepco to take preventive safety measures.

The government and Tepco were both ordered to compensate the evacuees.

Around 80,000 people were forced to flee their homes when three reactors failed at the plant after a tsunami that struck six years ago.

It was the world‘s most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

The district court in Maebashi, north of Tokyo, ruled in favour of 137 evacuees seeking damages for the emotional distress of fleeing their homes.

The parties were told to pay a total 38.6m yen ($341,000, £275,000) in compensation, far below the 1.5bn yen the group had sought.

A number of legal cases have already been filed against Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power) relating to the disaster, but this is the first time a court has recognised that the government was liable for negligence.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government‘s top spokesman, declined to comment but said the ruling would have no impact on the country‘s nuclear power policies.

Anti-nuclear sentiment runs high in Japan, but the government has been resolute in restarting reactors that were closed in the aftermath of the disaster.

https://stockdailydish.com/fukushima-japan-court-finds-government-liable-for-nuclear-disaster/

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

Hotspots in East Tokyo’s Mizumoto Park

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November 12, 2019
The soil of 12 out of 29 spots in Mizumoto Park (Katsushika-ward, Tokyo city) recorded more than 8000 Bq/kg of radioactive cesium. The highest measurement was over 42,000 Bq/kg.
水元公園かわせみの里残土 地図 Sample115
Here is another measurement data of the highest spot in the Park, which was recorded by a local volunteer in March 2019.

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

Tokyo’s Fukushima cesium-enriched microparticle (CsMP) update

CsMP-01-2.jpgSecondary electron images from Utsunomiya et al. 2019, of CsMPs discovered in atmospheric particles trapped on a Tokyo air filter from March 15, 2011, with major constituent elements displayed. 

 

August 17th, 2019

An interesting paper  was recently published by a team headed by Dr. Satoshi Utsunomiya of Kyushu University on the subject of Fukushima-derived cesium-enriched microparticles (CsMPs). As many readers will know, several researchers have located and analyzed these microparticles, in which the cesium is often bonded within glass-like silicates and therefore generally significantly less soluble than other Cs chemical species in water, though technically not actually “insoluble.” After an accident like Fukushima, it is much more common to find cesium in water-soluble compounds like cesium hydroxide (CsOH), and predictions about how quickly the cesium will be dispersed through the environment, in soil, in watersheds, taken up by plants and animals, etc, are based primarily on this assumption. The discovery of sparingly-soluble Fukushima-derived cesium microparticles, first documented by Adachi et al in 2013, and since then confirmed by many others, has raised a number of questions. How abundant are they? Does their presence increase health risk to humans? How much do they reveal about the process of the accident itself? From the standpoint of researchers the microparticles are very intriguing.

Utsunomiya et al.’s paper is titled “Caesium fallout in Tokyo on 15th March, 2011 is dominated by highly radioactive, caesium-rich microparticles,” and as noted in a recent Scientific American article, it was originally accepted for publication in 2017 by Scientific Reports journal. Weeks before publication, however, Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Technology Research Institute (TIRI), operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, raised objections with Scientific Reports. However no questions about the quality of the science or the validity of the paper’s findings appear to have been brought forward. This in itself was highly irregular. Two years elapsed without resolution, and in March of this year Scientific Reports took the highly unusual step of withdrawing its offer to publish the paper, despite the lack of confirmed evidence that would warrant it. Utsunomiya and several co-authors decided that the best course of action was to place the study in the public domain by publishing it via arXiv, a highly respected pre-print website. The paper is now open and free to download

This study makes a valuable contribution to the body of scientific literature regarding the consequences of the Fukushima disaster in general and CsMPs in particular. I think it was a mistake for Scientific Reports not to publish it two years ago, especially considering the rapid pace of research into these particles and the tremendous interest in them. To summarize the findings briefly, the researchers analyzed air filter samples from March 15, 2011, in Setagaya, Tokyo, when the radioactive plume from Fukushima caused a noticeable peak in airborne radioactivity in the city. The researchers used radiographic imaging (placing the filters on a photographic plate) to identify any highly radioactive spots. Using these images as a guide they were able to isolate seven CsMPs, which they subjected to atomic-scale analysis using high-resolution electron microscopy (HRTEM) to identify their nano-scale structure and chemical composition. Based on these detailed measurements and quantitative analysis, the researchers concluded that 80-89% of the total cesium fallout in Tokyo that day was in the form of highly radioactive microparticles. The second half of the paper is devoted to estimates of how long such particles might be retained in the human lungs if inhaled, based on previous studies that reported the effects of inhalation of non-radioactive atmospheric particles, and some possible physical consequences. The paper is valuable for the quantitative analysis of the Tokyo particles alone, since it is one of few studies that deal with the issue for Tokyo specifically. Research into possible health consequences of the particles, meanwhile, has gained momentum while the paper remained unpublished, using approaches such as stochastic biokinetics, and DNA damage studies.  In a recent paper, Utsunomiya and colleagues produced estimates of the rate of dissolution of the particles inside the human lung, in pure water, and in seawater. A working group at the Japan Health Physics Society has also devoted attention to the issue, noting the need for further study of the risk from intake of these particles, particularly to the lung.  Likewise, others have been studying the particles to learn about the accident progression and possible consequences for decommissioning.

Why did Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Technology Research Institute object to the paper’s publication? When we first heard that publication of the paper was being held up by Tokyo Metropolitan Government, we thought politically-motivated suppression was a likely explanation. Since then the public has learned that the actual complaint given to Scientific Reports stems from a chain of custody issue of the original air filter samples. We don’t want to speculate further about Tokyo’s motivation, because we have seen no direct evidence yet of political suppression in this case. But based on past occurrences with other government institutions, we would find it plausible. We will let readers know if TIRI responds to our inquiries.

We spoke with Dr. Utsunomiya and co-author Dr. Rodney Ewing recently. I was aware of their co-authorship of several strong papers on CsMPs, including Utsunomiya’s plenary talk at the Goldschmidt Conference in Yokohama in 2016, which I attended. I asked how this new arXiv paper fits in with their other papers, and where they think this research is heading next:


Satoshi Utsunomiya:

Thank you for asking. The Tokyo paper was actually our first paper regarding CsMPs. As I mentioned, the paper was accepted two years ago. There were no previous papers of ours on CsMPs that time. Currently we are working on several topics on CsMPs. I cannot reveal the content yet, as we are thinking about a press release for the next paper. But I think it is important to continue this kind of research, providing some insights for decommissioning at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Azby Brown:

I didn’t realize that this was your first paper on the subject.  How does it relate to the one presented at the Goldschmidt Conference in Yokohama in 2016? “Cesium-Rich Micro-Particles Unveil the Explosive Events in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.” Didn’t that paper receive a prize?

SU:

My talk at Goldschmidt briefly covered the story described in the two papers that were accepted for publication at the same time. One was published in Scientific Reports. The other one was not published. There was no prize. It was a plenary talk.

AB:

I see. I recall that it received a lot of attention. Now it makes more sense to me.

Can you tell me a little bit about the specific characteristics and focus of your research, and how it differs from papers like Adachi 2013, Abe 2014, etc? Generally speaking, that is. I’d like to help people understand the different aspects of the field.

SU:

Adachi reported the discovery of CsMPs. Abe demonstrated X-ray absorption analysis on the CsMPs. We focused on the nanotexture inside CsMPs. We are particularly interested in the detailed evidence remaining within the microparticle, which can provide useful information on the development of the chemical reactions during the meltdowns, because it is still difficult to directly analyze the materials inside the reactors. We, for the first time, succeeded in performing isotopic analysis on individual CsMPs. More specifically, the occurrence of uranium can directly tell the story of how the fuel melted. Our research has two directions: one is to understand the environmental impact of CsMPs, and the other is to provide useful information on the debris properties to help decommissioning at FDNPP. We are also interested in the implications for health.

AB:

Can you tell me a little bit about your working relationship? Satoshi went to the US to work in your lab, right Rod? When was that, and what were you working on?

Rod Ewing:

Satoshi and I have known each other since 2000, when he joined my research group as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan. He was a member of the research group until 2007. We collaborated on a wide range of topics that had to do with radioactive materials, such as the transport of plutonium at the Mayak site in Russia to the identification of uranium phases within C60 cages, so called buckyballs, that were formed and released from coal power plants. Once Satoshi returned to Japan to take his position at Kyushu University, we continued to collaborate, particularly on topics related to Fukushima Daiichi.

AB:

How did you both get interested in CsMPs?

RE:

Once discovered, CsMPs were clearly of high interest. They had not been noted in earlier reactor accidents. Satoshi is a master with the transmission electron microscope – exactly the tool/technique needed to study these particles.

AB:

For people who aren’t familiar with what’s involved in a research experiment like yours, can you describe the overall process? What were the technical challenges?

RE:

I would just emphasize that it is very difficult to find and characterize these particles. Considering the full literature and efforts by others as well as our team – the results are impressive. It is rare to have both the TEM characterization and the isotopic data.

SU:

As Rod mentioned, it is difficult to obtain both TEM and isotopic data from a few micron-sized spots. The isolation of CsMPs from soils is a time consuming process. But to date, many scientists have found and isolated CsMPs. The important thing is what information we can obtain from the analysis of CsMPs. We have been taking various approaches to elucidate the properties, environmental impact, and the role in releasing fissile actinides to the environment.    


As described above, many papers examining various aspects of Fukushima-derived cesium microparticles have been published since they were first identified in 2013. Even so, important aspects remain only partially documented and understood to date. Below is a partial list of relevant publications.

Papers mentioned in this article:

Caesium fallout in Tokyo on 15th March, 2011 is dominated by highly radioactive, caesium-rich microparticles

Utsunomiya, et al., 2019

https://arxiv.org/abs/1906.00212

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Emission of spherical cesium-bearing particles from an early stage of the Fukushima nuclear accident

Adachi et al., 2013

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep02554

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Detection of Uranium and Chemical State Analysis of Individual Radioactive Microparticles Emitted from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Using Multiple Synchrotron Radiation X-ray Analyses

Abe et al., 2014

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ac501998d

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Dissolution of radioactive, cesium-rich microparticles released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in simulated lung fluid, pure-water, and seawater

Suetake et al., 2019

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.05.248

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Development of a stochastic biokinetic method and its application to internal dose estimation for insoluble cesium-bearing particles

Manabe & Matsumoto, 2019

https://doi.org/10.1080/00223131.2018.1523756

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DNA damage induction during localized chronic exposure to an insoluble radioactive microparticle

Matsuya et al., 2019

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-46874-6

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Provenance of uranium particulate contained within Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 ejecta material

Martin et al., 2019

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-10937-z

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Internal doses from radionuclides and their health effects following the Fukushima accident

Ishikawa et al., 2018

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1361-6498/aadb4c

 



Related papers (by year of publication):

Characteristics Of Spherical Cs-Bearing Particles Collected During The Early Stage Of FDNPP Accident

Igarashi et al., 2014

http://www-pub.iaea.org/iaeameetings/cn224p/Session3/Igarashi.pdf

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Radioactive Cs in the severely contaminated soils near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

Kaneko et al., 2015

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenrg.2015.00037

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First successful isolation of radioactive particles from soil near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Satou et al., 2016

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213305416300340

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Internal structure of cesium-bearing radioactive microparticles released from Fukushima nuclear power plant

Yamaguchi et al., 2016

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep20548

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Three-Year Retention Of Radioactive Caesium In The Body Of Tepco Workers Involved In The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Accident

Nakano et al., 2016

http://rpd.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/03/14/rpd.ncw036

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Monte Carlo Evaluation of Internal Dose and Distribution Imaging Due to Insoluble Radioactive Cs-Bearing Particles of Water Deposited Inside Lungs via Pulmonary Inhalation Using PHITS Code Combined with Voxel Phantom Data

Sakama, M. et al., 2016

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?&title=Radiological%20Issues%20for%20Fukushima%E2%80%99s%20Revitalized%20Future&pages=209-220&publication_year=2016&author=Sakama%2CMinoru&author=Takeda%2CShinsaku&author=Matsumoto%2CErika&author=Harukuni%2CTomoki&author=Ikushima%2CHitoshi&author=Satou%2CYukihiko&author=Sueki%2CKeisuke

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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

Kaltofen & Gundersen, 2017

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969717317953?via%3Dihub

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Caesium-rich micro-particles: A window into the meltdown events at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Furuki et al., 2017

https://www.nature.com/articles/srep42731

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Isotopic signature and nano-texture of cesium-rich micro-particles: Release of uranium and fission products from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Imoto et al., 2017

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Uranium dioxides and debris fragments released to the environment with cesium-rich microparticles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Ochiai et al., 2018

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b06309

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Novel method of quantifying radioactive cesium-rich microparticles (CsMPs) in the environment from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

Ikehara et al., 2018

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.est.7b06693

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Formation of radioactive cesium microparticles originating from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: characteristics and perspectives

Ohnuki, Satou, and Utsunomiya, 2019

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00223131.2019.1595767

https://blog.safecast.org/2019/08/fukushima-cesium-enriched-microparticle-csmp-update/

August 22, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Citizens Group Leader in Kashiwa Radiation Hotspot Quits

Kashiwa city, in Chiba prefecture is located 31.3 km ( 19.45 miles ) northeast from Tokyo.

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August 16, 2019

The leader of a Citizens’ Group to Protect Children from Hotspot Radiation in Kashiwa city, Chiba, decided to suspend its activities.

Mrs. Yuki Ohsaku, representative of the group evacuated recently to Kyushu after her two children started nosebleeding and other core members also are considering moving out of Kashiwa city. 10 members have already relocated.

In May the Kashiwa mayor wrote in his blog that those worried about the effects of radiation have some kind of mental problems. Kashiwa city originally had no plan to conduct any survey after citizens reported high radiation levels. Mrs. Ohsaku’s group collected over 10,000 signatures and submitted the petition to the City Council with 100 members, and this made the Kashiwa city start measuring radiation levels in schools and do decontamination work.

However, the group’s activities and her relocation with two children to Kyushu caused lots of problems within her family. Her in-laws are not happy that she is disobeying the authorities and that her name gets published (since she is the group leader). Now the in-laws are demanding that she divorce her husband. She says that old and middle-aged people in general have absolute confidence in the printed media as their news source, and what’s not reported in the newspapers is not conceived as reality.

The mainstream media (including newspapers) has the least coverage on health effects of radiation and only report the government’s “adjusted” radiation levels. Yomiuri News even wrote in May that the information about hotspots in Chiba are based on false rumours and that they doesn’t exist. (Matsutaro Shoriki, ex-president of Yomiuri was a CIA agent and is called the father of nuclear power in Japan according to Wikipedia.) She says her in-laws believe in the Yomiuri report.

Only those collecting information from internet sources are aware of what is really going on regarding radiation issues in Japan. As a result, there the public have split opinions on this subject.

Mrs. Ohsaku says the conflict of opinions on radiation issues has been harder to deal with than the radiation itself. Many people around her chose not to think about it and neighbors don’t want her to make it a big issue. Some members of her group are tired of being ridiculed as “freaks”. Her group wants decontamination but others in the hotspot thinks it’s waste of money. They say “Let’s not worry about it. Think of people in Fukushima. They live in an even worse environment than us.”

https://blog.safecast.org/2011/08/citizens-group-leader/

August 22, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Shocked’ Fukushima evacuees say Tepco ruling fails to fairly compensate them for suffering

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Rice planting for commercial sales begins at a paddy in Iitate in May 2017, for the first time since the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011.
March 27, 2019
A Tokyo court on Wednesday ordered the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to pay a total of ¥21.34 million in damages to a group of evacuees from the March 2011 nuclear disaster.
But the ruling by the Tokyo District Court, which was the 11th such decision against Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., came as a shock to the evacuees, who claim the court has neglected their suffering.
The lawsuit was filed in March 2012 by 42 former residents of Iitate, a village in Fukushima Prefecture, who claim their lives were affected by the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant disaster in 2011. They were forced to evacuate from the prefecture due to evacuation orders that were only lifted later, in March 2017. They had sought a combined ¥1.68 billion from the utility for their psychological suffering.
Presiding Judge Tetsuro Nakayoshi awarded compensation to 13 of the 42 plaintiffs whose damages were deemed more severe. The plaintiffs in general have been already compensated by the nuclear plant operator and had already found new homes, the court concluded. Only one pair was awarded the highest amount, of more than ¥3 million in damages, due to illness and required nursing care.
Read more:

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

Tokyo Not Fit For Human Habitation

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This mother followed a doctor’s advice to evacuate from Tokyo due to the ill health of her daughter following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The doctor told her that 9 out of ten of his child patients in metropolitan Tokyo had reduced white blood cell counts due to exposure to radioactivity and that if they moved away some of them might recover. Many other families have evacuated from Tokyo but this has not been covered by the press. She speaks in English with an English transcription below the Japanese transcription.
“I am standing here to tell you that the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe is not over. I evacuated to Kansai three years after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. Where do you think I evacuated from? I evacuated from Tokyo. Do you know that Tokyo has serious radioactive contamination? Tens of millions of people in East Japan live with radioactive contamination now.
My daughter was 5 years old at the time of the accident She was a cheerful and active girl. But after one year since the accident, her health conditions became bad and she was troubled by strange symptoms.
She told me, “Mommy, I feel so bad, I have no power, My hands hurt, my legs hurt, my body hurts!” In fact, my daughter became so sick that she could not live a normal life at all.
At that time I met a doctor who was working with the issue of radiation exposure in the metropolitan area. He said, if sick children are moved to the west away from contaminated eastern Japan, some of them might recover health.
According to his examinations after the accident, the number of white blood cells of children living in the metropolitan area was decreasing. And he added that neutrophils among white blood cells were particularly badly decreasing. And as we found out later, our two children also had the same condition. Today, the doctor is saying that for every ten children in Tokyo, nine of them have below standard numbers of neutrophils.
When I consulted the doctor about my daughter, he clearly stated that she was affected by the radiation exposure.
And he gave me advice to move my daughter
In any case, I tried to move my sick daughter out of Tokyo. Whenever we stayed in a place where there was no radioactive contamination, she became very well. But when we returned to Tokyo, she became sick again. We did not have the option to stay in Tokyo, we just fled from Tokyo and came here.
Living in East Japan means living with many radioactive materials, and it is not a place where people can live in good health.
So, as evacuees from eastern Japan, we are calling for evacuation to West Japan. Our existence here is not broadcasted on the radio nor published in newspapers. So, I am telling you about it now.
After the accident, we were told that radiation was not a problem and health damages would not occur. But it was not true. Many of us have evacuated from East to West due to various health problems. Many people are getting sick today in East Japan. People are dying without noticing that it is due to radiation. Many Japanese can not face this nuclear catastrophe.
Now my daughter is 12 years old. She’s healthy and enjoys everyday life. She has good friends and says she wants to continue living here forever.
My daughter wrote this , It says she wants to stay here with her friends forever.
She is very afraid that nuclear power plants now get restarted and may have another accident. If that happens, she will have to move away from here again. If another nuclear accident happens, she knows that she can not live in this country anymore.
And accidents are not the only ones that threaten her. This is a basic issue but after the accident, our government has not confined radioactive materials to one place.
On the contrary, our government has a policy of diluting toxic radioactive waste by mixing it with water, cement or other materials, and making it look harmless.
And the Japanese government now allows incineration of highly contaminated nuclear waste of up to 8000 Bq/kg, 80 times as high as before the Fukushima accident. It’s all to reduce the enormous amount of nuclear waste. But as conscientious scientists say, we should never burn radioactive materials. It should never have been allowed.
We don’t seem to be able to stop this crazy, irresponsible way of our government.
I hope that my daughter can live in her beloved country where she was born and raised. Please try to know what is going on in Japan now.
We are telling the world that the nuclear disaster is far from being over.”
In addition Dr Shigeru Mita closed his medical practice in Tokyo in 2014 and left the city, declaring it “not fit for human habitation” when he found that all his child patients of 10 years old and under had reduced neutrophils and other illnesses due to “chronic internal exposure to low dose ionising radiation”:

giujk.jpg

January 29, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | , | Leave a comment

Testimony of a mother who evacuated from Tokyo

Listen to her testimony (in English).
She evacuated from Tokyo to Kobe in west Japan to protect her daughter.
The contamination does not stop at the Fukushima department border. Tokyo is also contaminated.

 

 
Transcription (note 1):
I am standing here to tell you that the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe is not over.
I evacuated to Kansai (note2), three years after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.
Where do you think I evacuated from?
I evacuated from Tokyo!
Do you know that Tokyo has serious radioactive contamination?
Tens of millions of people in east Japan live with radioactive contamination now.
I have a daughter who was 5 years old at the time of the accident.
She became very sick one year after the accident.
In fact, my daughter became so sick that she could not live a normal life at all.
However, when she stayed in a place where there was no radioactive contamination, my daughter became so well. But when we returned to Tokyo, my daughter became sick again.
We did not have the option to stay in Tokyo, we just fled from Tokyo and came here.
Living in east Japan means living with many radioactive materials, and it is not a place where people can live healthily.
We are calling for evacuation to west Japan.
We are evacuees from eastern Japan.
Our existence will not be broadcasted on radio waves or published in newspapers. So, I am telling you about it now.
After the accident, we were told that radiation was not a problem, health damages would not occur.
But it was not true.
Many of us have evacuated from east to west due to various health problems.
Many people are getting sick today in east Japan.
People are dying without noticing that it is due to radiation.
Many Japanese can not face this nuclear catastrophe.
Please try to know what is going on in Japan now.
We are telling the world that the nuclear disaster is far from being over.
 
 
Note 1: We thank Ms Yoko Chase for her proofreading of the text prepared by Ms Yoko Shimozawa.
Note 2: The region in west Japan, including large cities such as Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive contamination in the Tokyo metropolitan area in the early stage of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident and its fluctuation over five years

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Fig 1. Sampling sites of soil samples.

Geographical distribution of the 134+137Cs precipitation referred to the aircraft monitoring results by the MEXT of Japan on December 16, 2011 [30]. Adapted from ‘Extension Site of Distribution Map of Radiation Dose, etc.’ (http://ramap.jmc.or.jp/map/).

 

The activity and inventory of radioactive material in the eastern part of Tokyo tended to be high… The radioactive plume with high 131I activity spread into the Tokyo metropolitan area…
Almost no public information about the radioactive contamination in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Kanto district had been shared…
The plume containing a large amount of radioactive material drifted into the Tokyo metropolitan area… where over 30 million residents live… [Publications] include almost no discussion of the fact that radioactive materials were carried into the Tokyo metropolitan area…
The contamination level was extremely high in a roadside ditch sludge in Kashiwa City…
The quantity of 134+137Cs deposited in the region studied was estimated… from values measured in the soil, it was estimated as 5.35 TBq…
High activities and inventories of the radionuclides were found in eastern Tokyo and northern Chiba… The contamination was even higher in the adjoining northern part of Chiba located east of Tokyo…
The results reveal that the Tokyo metropolitan area even now continues to be affected by radioactive contamination caused by the FDNPP accident…
Gordon Edwards, Ph.D, nuclear expert, 2017 (pdf): Intensive contamination extends over 200 km south – right down to the outskirts of Tokyo
IRSN, 2016 (pdf): Fukushima-Daiichi Accident: Main contamination events… Event of 14-16 March – This event is marked by turning winds and by a rainfall that generated significant contamination of the Japanese territory. On the evening of the 14th of March, a first radioactive plume was transported by winds towards the southwest… and reached the Tokyo area. At Tsukuba, 153 Bq/m3** were measured…
** 153 Bq/m3 = 153,000,000 uBq/m3 Cs-137 in Tsukuba after Fukushima vs. 1.2 uBq/m3 Cs-137 in Tsukuba before Fukushima (source) = 127,500,000 times higher Cs-137 after Fukushima

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

High Risk of Inhaling Cesium Contained in Shower Near Tokyo

Via Kurumi Sugita

Screenshot from 2017-09-07 22-23-47

 

The result of analysis of a cartridge filter of shower water using essentially zeolite. The user lives in Funabashi city in Chiba (near Tokyo).

The period of use is from Feb 2017 to August 2017.
The volume of water used is about 52500L.

Cesium fixed in cartridge is 1128.96 Bq/kg

While taking a shower, one is exposed to a high risk of inhaling cesium contained in the steam.

http://cdcreation.grupo.jp/blog/1887327

September 7, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | 1 Comment

Radioactive Contamination from Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Did You Know that Tokyo Metropolitan Area is Widely Contaminated Too?

We are “GO WEST & COME WEST!!! 3.11 Evacuees from Tokyo area”.

Etsuji Watanabe, one of the members of Association for Citizens and Scientists Concerned about Internal Radiation Exposures (ACSIR), estimates that each year at most 180,000 people may develop cancer and 90,000 will be killed by cancer or some other causes.

Radiation Levels in Tokyo Metropolitan Area (Year 2013~2015: µSv/hour)

Screenshot from 2017-09-07 23-25-23.png

Estimation of the risk for 10 million people in Tokyo Metropolitan area exposed by radiation (2.4mSv/year).

Data provided by Mr. Kirishima.

Screenshot from 2017-09-07 23-25-49.png

* Risk occurrence: 10,000 person-Sv

** According to a book ‘Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment’ by Alexey V. Yablokov, ratio of death caused by cancer and not by cancer is 1 to 1.

Fukushima Radiation is Now Spreading to Tokyo and Eastern Japan

The child thyroid cancer which were commonly seen after Chernobyl accident is being found even around Tokyo area after several years from 3.11 Fukushima accident in 2011.

Severe illness such as various cancers, leukemia, and cardiac infarction are increasing too at alarming rate. For some people, immune system has also weakened due to radiation effects, and the conditions of their chronic disease or common cold are worsening.

Therefore some people from Tokyo have evacuated to safer places.

However Japanese government (and main media) continue to ignore the effects of Fukushima radiation even though the radiation level is still dangerously high. The government have recently lifted evacuation orders for the restricted residence areas and cut housing subsidies for evacuees, forcing them to believe it is safe to return.

Therefore some people think it is nonsense to evacuate from Tokyo area and believe the evacuees are over-reacting. Many of the evacuees are feeling very isolated and are living in poverty after moving to safer locations, forcing some to return to the contaminated area against their will.

About 45 million people still remain in contaminated metropolitan area in Tokyo. But many people are started feeling very ill one after another. In fact many of my friends living in Tokyo or Eastern Japan have collapsed from numerous illnesses over these years.

It has proven that an increase of serious illness was seen four-to-five years after 1986 Chernobyl meltdown and hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives.

Now we are facing the same situation in Tokyo and eastern Japan.

Fukushima radiation problem permits no delay. We need to encourage people in Tokyo and Eastern Japan to evacuate to safer places to protect their lives.

In order to fight against the inhumanity of the Japanese government toward lives of people and uncover the fact of radiation effect in Japan, it is urgently needed to spread the information like this to the public.

http://www.gowest-comewest.net/statement/20170825english.html

September 7, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Tokyo’s Tap Water Contaminated

Via Kaye Nagamine

A Japanese local magazine gives the list of prefectures where Cesium 134 and Cesium 137 have been detected in their tap water !

The left column gives the name of the prefecture. The central column gives the Cesium 134 detected and the right column the Cesium 137 : in white with three Chinese characters reads “not detected” while in black the white figures indicates the level of bq detected.

The third line from the bottom is Tokyo. Cesium 134 and Cesium 137 have both been detected in its tap water at high levels!

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Source: https://jisin.jp/serial/%E7%A4%BE%E4%BC%9A%E3%82%B9%E3%83%9D%E3%83%BC%E3%83%84/disaster/26165

September 2, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Delicious Fukushima Peaches at the “konbeni” Checkout

Via Bruce Brinkman on August 16, 2017
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Don’t forget to pick up some delicious Fukushima peaches at the *konbeni* checkout
 
Never mind the “harmful rumors”
(a.k.a. measurements of cesium 137, cesium 134, strontium 90, americium, plutonium, uranium, and a splattering of other radionuclides)
 
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and as the next days those peaches just aren’t moving: ¥50 off to help sales !

August 17, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

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

Bullying cases targeting young Fukushima evacuees spread to Tokyo

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Fresh cases of bullying targeting children who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture following the 2011 nuclear disaster have emerged in Tokyo.

According to Tokyo Saigai Shien Netto (Tossnet), a group of lawyers supporting Fukushima evacuees, three schoolchildren who moved to Tokyo in the wake of the triple core meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant were subjected to bullying at an elementary school in Chiyoda Ward between 2011 and 2015.

According to the group, one elementary school student and two others who are now in junior high school were called names repeatedly, with classmates shunning them by saying they could spread radiation. One of the children recalled being called kin (germ).

The group on Monday reported the incidents as cases of bullying to the board of education in Chiyoda Ward. The board said it had not been aware of the incidents and will look into the matter.

Chiyoda Ward is also investigating a separate case in which another student from Fukushima at a junior high school was allegedly forced to buy snacks for three other students.

The revelation comes in the wake of a bullying case in Yokohama, where a 13-year-old boy had been forced to pay ¥1.5 million to classmates at an elementary school he transferred to following the disaster.

After initially denying the claim, on Feb. 13 the Yokohama Board of Education acknowledged the payments made by the boy to classmates in the school were the result of bullying.

The boy entered the elementary school in Yokohama as a second-grader in August 2011, but after being called kin he began missing school in the third grade, according to a report released by the board.

The boy’s parents told the school in May 2014 that their son was a victim of bullying and told the police in July that he was involved in money trouble with his classmates.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/02/national/social-issues/bullying-cases-targeting-young-fukushima-evacuees-spread-tokyo/#.WLgoa3_ia-d

March 2, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment