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High levels of radioactive cesium pooling at dams near Fukushima nuke plant

Once radionuclides enter the eco-system, they move around carried by wind and water. They can’t “go away.” They can’t be “decontaminated.” They can only be moved, the biggest force moving them is nature, not clean up crews.

Ogaki Dam in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, sept 2016.jpg

Ogaki Dam in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, as seen from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter in July 2016, contains high concentrations of radioactive cesium exceeding the limit set for designated waste.

High levels of radioactive cesium pooling at dams near Fukushima nuke plant

High concentrations of radioactive cesium have been accumulating at the bottom of 10 major dams within a 50-kilometer radius from the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, a survey by the Environment Ministry has found.

Radioactive cesium emanating from the 2011 nuclear disaster is pooling at those dams, which are used to hold drinking water and for agricultural use, after the substances flew into there from mountains, forests and rivers. The radiation levels at the bottom of those dams top those set for designated waste at over 8,000 becquerels per kilogram.

While the Environment Ministry plans to monitor the situation without decontaminating the dams on the grounds that radiation levels in dam water is not high enough to affect human health, experts are calling for the ministry to look into measures to counter any future risks.

The ministry began a monitoring survey on those dams and rivers downstream in September 2011 to grasp the moves of radioactive substances flowing into them from mountains and forests that are not subject to decontamination work. The survey samples water at 73 dams in Tokyo, Iwate and seven other prefectures about once every several months.

Among them, there were 10 dams in Fukushima Prefecture where the average concentration of cesium in the surface layer of bottom soil measured between fiscal 2011 and 2015 topped the regulated levels for designated waste. Those dams include Ganbe Dam in the village of Iitate with 64,439 becquerels per kilogram of cesium, Yokokawa Dam in the city of Minamisoma with 27,533 becquerels, and Mano Dam in Iitate with 26,859 becquerels.

Meanwhile, the surface water at those 10 dams contained 1-2 becquerels per liter of cesium, which is below the drinking water criteria at 10 becquerels.

While the total amount of cesium deposited at the bottom of those dams is unknown from the environment ministry’s survey, a separate study conducted at Ogaki Dam in the town of Namie by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Tohoku Regional Agricultural Administration Office estimated in December 2013 that there was a combined 8 trillion becquerels of cesium 134 and cesium 137 at the dam. The figure came about after estimating the amount of accumulated cesium every 10-meter-square area based on cesium levels in sedimentary soil sampled at 110 locations at the bottom of the dam, which is for agricultural use.

The National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, will shortly begin a full-scale survey on cesium concentrations at several dams.

“At the moment, it is best to contain cesium at those dams. If we dredge it, the substance could curl up and could contaminate rivers downstream,” said an Environment Ministry official.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160926/p2a/00m/0na/007000c

Anxiety soars as cesium builds up in Fukushima dams

Dams surrounding the stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) have become de facto storage facilities for high concentrations of radioactive cesium as the element continues to accumulate.

With no effective countermeasures in sight, the government insists that water from the dams is safe, but to local residents, the government’s stance comes across as the shelving of a crucial problem.

“It’s best to leave it as it is,” an official from the Ministry of the Environment says, with the knowledge that in 10 dams in Fukushima Prefecture, there is soil containing concentrations of cesium over the limit set for designated waste — or over 8,000 becquerels per kilogram.

According to monitoring procedures carried out by the ministry, the levels of radioactive cesium detected in the dams’ waters, at 1 to 2 becquerels per liter, are well below the maximum amount permitted in drinking water, which is 10 becquerels per liter. The air radiation doses in the dams’ surrounding areas are at a maximum 2 microsieverts per hour, which the ministry says “does not immediately affect humans, if they avoid going near the dams.” This information is the main basis behind the central government’s wait-and-see stance. For the time being, the cesium appears to have attached itself to soil and is collected at the bottom of the dams, with the water above it blocking radiation from reaching and affecting the surrounding areas.

In a basic policy based on a special law, passed in August 2011, on measures for dealing with radioactive material following the onset of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Environment Ministry stipulates the decontamination of areas necessary from “the standpoint of protecting human health.” The ministry argues that as long as high concentrations of cesium at the bottom of multiple dams in Fukushima Prefecture do not pose imminent danger to human health, there are no legal problems in the ministry refraining from taking action.

“If the dams dry up due to water shortages, we just have to keep people from getting close to them,” the aforementioned ministry official says. “If we were to try to decontaminate the dams, how would we secure water sources while the work is in progress? The impact of trying to decontaminate the dams under the current state of affairs would be greater than not doing anything.”

This stance taken by the central government has drawn protests from local residents.

“The Environment Ministry only says that it will monitor the dams’ water and the surrounding areas. They say, ‘We’ll deal with anything that comes up,’ but when asked what they plan to do if the dams break, they have no answers. It’s painful to us that we can only give town residents the answers that the Environment Ministry gives us,” says an official with the revitalization division of the Namie Municipal Government. The central government is set to lift evacuation orders for a part of the Fukushima Prefecture town of Namie in spring of 2017.

According to a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries survey, Ogaki Dam, an agricultural dam in Namie, was estimated to have sediment totaling approximately 8 trillion becquerels of cesium as of December 2013. The agriculture ministry plans to re-survey the dam’s accumulated cesium amounts and water safety before the water is used for agricultural purposes. Agricultural and fishery products from Fukushima Prefecture are tested to ensure that radioactive substances that they contain are below the maximum permissible amounts stipulated by law before they are shipped for distribution.

Still, one town official worries how revelations of high levels of radioactive material in local dams will affect consumers. “No matter how much they are told that the water is safe, will consumers buy agricultural products from Namie, knowing that there is cesium at the bottom of local dams?”

A 57-year-old vegetable farmer from Namie who has been evacuated to the Fukushima Prefecture city of Iwaki says, “The central government keeps on emphasizing that the dams are safe, but doesn’t seem to be considering any fundamental solutions to the problem. If this state of affairs persists, we won’t be able to return to Namie with peace of mind, nor will it be easy to resume farming.”

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160926/p2a/00m/0na/011000c

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

Fukushima city government donated 10,000 bottles of their tap water to Kumamoto city

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On 4/18/2016, Fukushima city Waterworks Bureau donated 10,000 bottles of their tap water to Kumamoto city.

Kumamoto city is one of the main disaster areas of 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes.

Fukushima tap water is named “Fukushima water” by the city government and obtained “Monde Selection” in 2015 and 2016 for its taste.

https://www.city.fukushima.fukushima.jp/suidou/?p=15191

https://www.city.fukushima.fukushima.jp/suidou/?p=7982

http://fukushima-diary.com/2016/04/fukushima-city-government-donated-10000-bottles-of-tap-water-to-kumamoto-city/

 

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April 22, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima contamination in drinking water

A recent Health Ministry report showed that a number of Japanese cities were still finding traces of Fukushima related contamination in their drinking water. The amounts found were low but they did include cesium 134, the shorter lived contaminant from Fukushima Daiichi. A strontium 90 test was not conducted on these samples.
These cities had traces found in their drinking water:
Morioka-Shi, Iwate
Sendai city, Miyagi Prefecture
Fukushima city, Fukushima Prefecture
Ibaraki city
Utsunomiya-Shi, Tochigi
Maebashi city, Gunma prefecture
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Chigasaki-Shi, Kanagawa
Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture

October 3, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Cs-134/137 measured from Tokyo tap-water

Cs-134137-measured-from-Tokyo-tap-water-SEPT 22, 2015

According to MHLH (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), Cs-134/137 has been detected from tap-water of Tokyo since October of 2014. The data is from October 2014 to March 2015. The newer result hasn’t been announced yet.

The sample was collected from the tap of Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health in Shinjuku.

The density was from 0.00178 to 0.003 Bq/Kg. Cs-134 was detected to prove it is from Fukushima plant.

The analysis was implemented by NRA (Nuclear Regulation Authority).

All the other analyses were carried out by Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Waterworks or municipal governments and the lowest detectable amount was over 0.5 Bq/kg to show none of the actual readings.

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http://www.mhlw.go.jp/file/06-Seisakujouhou-10900000-Kenkoukyoku/0000082427.pdf
Source: Fukushima Daiichi
http://fukushima-diary.com/2015/09/cs-134137-measured-from-tokyo-tap-water/

 

September 23, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | 1 Comment

C.A.N Coalition Against Nukes “TRITIUM TRUTHS” Campaign

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“GOT A NUKE FACTORY IN YOUR BACKYARD?” ** (NO SAFE DOSE!!)

** TRITIUM LEAKS FOUND AT MANY NUKE SITES (Associated Press Investigative Report: http://www.ap.org/company/awards/part-ii-aging-nukes)

“BRACEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Radioactive tritium has leaked from three-quarters of U.S. commercial nuclear power sites, often into groundwater from corroded, buried piping, an Associated Press investigation shows.

“The number and severity of the leaks has been escalating, even as federal regulators extend the licenses of more and more reactors across the nation.

“Tritium, which is a radioactive form of hydrogen, has leaked from at least 48 of 65 sites, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission records reviewed as part of the AP’s yearlong examination of safety issues at aging nuclear power plants. Leaks from at least 37 of those facilities contained concentrations exceeding the federal drinking water standard — sometimes at hundreds of times the limit.

“While most leaks have been found within plant boundaries, some have migrated offsite. But none is known to have reached public water supplies.

“At three sites — two in Illinois and one in Minnesota — leaks have contaminated drinking wells of nearby homes, the records show, but not at levels violating the drinking water standard. At a fourth site, in New Jersey, tritium has leaked into an aquifer and a discharge canal feeding picturesque Barnegat Bay off the Atlantic Ocean. …” read full report here: http://www.ap.org/company/awards/part-ii-aging-nukes

(attached photo montage by Laura Lynch)

Source: http://coalitionagainstnukes.org/c-a-n-coalition-against-nukes-tritium-truths-campaign/

May 6, 2015 Posted by | USA | | 1 Comment

Town’s drinking water, and its economy, threatened by uranium milling

“The increased presence of radionuclide particles that will contaminate our surface water bodies, currently used as our municipal drinking water source, is of critical concern to the Town of Telluride.”….it could affect the tourist population, he said, it endangers Telluride’s economy.

(USA) Town of Telluride protests uranium millTown pens letter to CDPHE Telluride Daily Planet, By Katie Klingsporn, November 21, 2010 A group of environmentalists from the Telluride region has been hustling for more than a year to protest a uranium mill proposed to go up in Paradox Valley, a lonely, windswept valley in western Montrose County.
Now, the Telluride Town Council is hopping aboard the opposition movement. Continue reading

November 22, 2010 Posted by | USA, water | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Britain to help renewable energy development in Africa and Asia

Britain today pledged to spend several hundred million pounds to finance a series of private sector green energy initiatives intended to bring electricity to some of the poorest African and Asian households….In Asia the project could generate 5GW of new renewable energy and create 60,000 jobs,”

Government to fund private sector renewable energy schemes for Africa Global development | guardian.co.uk, 18 Nov 10, The international development secretary, Andrew Mitchell, pledges to finance green energy projects proposed by industry that could raise £9 for every £1 of government money  guardian.co.uk,  18 November 2010 Continue reading

November 19, 2010 Posted by | AFRICA, renewable | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Virginia nuclear reactor plant leaking tritium into groundwater

Radioactive groundwater reported at Va. plant – WTKR, 2 Nov 10, LOUISA, Va. —Dominion Virginia Power said Monday it is seeking the source of low-level groundwater radiation detected by one of its monitoring stations at its twin-reactor nuclear power plant in North Anna.The utility said the elevated levels did not pose a health hazard to plant workers or residents, according to a filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.The elevated reading was detected in April by one of eight monitoring stations and has since returned to acceptable levels.

November 2, 2010 Posted by | general | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Desalination plant run by wind and solar power

U.S. based Engineering For The Earth‘s Aeolus system require minimal wind speeds and can produce drinking water for communities of up to 500 people per unit. The only additional energy input required is for telemetry, which can be supplied via small solar panels.

Wind Powered Desalination With A Twist Renewable Energy News, 22 Oct 10, Wind powered desalinationWith potable water becoming an increasingly scarce resource in some countries, governments are turning to solutions such as desalination. An energy-intensive process, desalination has been made “greener” through the use of renewable energy. Continue reading

October 22, 2010 Posted by | renewable, USA, water | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tanzania could lose precious water, and money, with uranium mining

Water is already scarce there and it would be imprudent to let one company consume huge amounts of water at the expense of area inhabitants…If global demand for uranium were to decrease, the estimated value of these deposits would also drop. Therefore, it is unclear how much revenue uranium mining would really bring to Tanzania……

….the average Tanzanian citizen has seen limited benefits from mining projects while the lion’s share of the profits go to foreign mining companies…..

Take care that uranium mining turns into blessing, not curse, for Tanzania, Daily Nation  By SHAABAN FUNDI, October 20 2010 Continue reading

October 20, 2010 Posted by | AFRICA, Uranium, water | , , , , | Leave a comment

Desalination plants, small or large, powered by solar energy

Though still in its design phase, the team hopes scale up the size of the solar module for use in disaster zones and desert areas where climate change has impacted on water stocks.

Portable Desalination System Powered By Solar Energy, renewable energy news,  by Energy Matters, 18 Oct 10, A group of researcher s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), have unveiled a portable solar-powered desalination plant which they say will help provide access to clean drinking water in the developing world. Continue reading

October 19, 2010 Posted by | 2 WORLD, decentralised | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Radioactive tritium leaking from 20 USA nuclear plants

Last week brought more disturbing discoveries of radioactive tritium leaking into groundwater from Vermont Yankee, the aging nuclear plant in southern Vermont….In fact, the nuclear industry has contaminated groundwater with radioactive tritium at nuclear power plant sites all across the country.

Nuclear Power’s Threat to Clean Water | Greenpeace USA, by Jim Riccio – October 15, 2010 , Today is blog action day, an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day, and this year the topic is water. Continue reading

October 16, 2010 Posted by | USA, water | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Government opposition to Cameco uranium mine in Australia’s Northern Territory

The project has been strongly opposed by environmentalists, who say it could pollute underground water. Chief Minister Paul Henderson says there is strong community opposition to the mine and Labor is listening to the concerns…….

Government opposes Alice uranium mine  ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), 28 Sept 10, The Northern Territory Government has decided to oppose moves to establish a uranium mine on the Angela Pamela deposit near Alice Springs. Continue reading

September 28, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Climate change effects could stop nuclear industry

.the effects of climate change could make it to impossible to run nuclear reactors.

The Nuclear Industry Needs A Cap On Carbon To Survive, Wonk Room 26 Aug 2010, “……..the effects of climate change could make it to impossible to run nuclear reactors. For example, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has drastically reduced power generation at the Browns Ferry nuclear plant this summer: The Tennessee Valley Authority has lost nearly $50 million in power generation from its biggest nuclear plant because the Tennessee River in Alabama is too hot Continue reading

August 26, 2010 Posted by | climate change, USA | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Turmoil over nuclear plant’s use of water

Nuclear Plant’s Use of River Water Prompts $1.1 Billion Debate With State, NYTimes.com, By MATTHEW L. WALD August 24, 2010 BUCHANAN, N.Y. — Just beneath the wind-stippled surface of the Hudson River here, huge pipes suck enough water into the Indian Point nuclear plant every second to fill three Olympic swimming pools. And each second they take in dozens of organisms — fish and crabs, but mostly larvae — that are at the center of a $1.1 billion debate:….

New York State argued recently before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that Indian Point poses such a safety risk that its two reactors should be shut down when their licenses expire in 2013 and 2015.

Indian Point Nuclear Plant’s Toll on River Stirs Debate – NYTimes.com

August 24, 2010 Posted by | USA, water | , , , , , | Leave a comment