Fukushima radiation problems in Japan


This video says about itself:

Radioactive Salmon Discovered in Canada Linked to Fukushima Nuclear Contamination

22 December 2016

A team of research scientists from the University of Victoria in Canada discovered radioactive salmon due to Fukushima nuclear contamination.

Researchers at the Fukushima InFORM project in Canada, led by University of Victoria chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen, said they sampled a sockeye salmon from Okanagan Lake in British Columbia that tested positive for cesium 134.

This finding comes after seaborne cesium 123, which is thought to be an indicator of nuclear contamination from Fukushima, was detected on the West Coast of the United States this month.

It’s the first time Canadian experts confirmed the news that radioactive plume has made its way across the Pacific to America’s West Coast from the demolished Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in eastern Japan.

Cullen with his research team as well as 600 volunteers started their research on the Fukushima nuclear contamination in 2014 and have collected fish and seawater samples.

Cesium 134 is called the “footprint of Fukushima” because of its fast rate of decay. With a half life of only 2.06 years, there are few other places the dangerous and carcinogenic isotope could have originated.

“In 2015, we collected an individual fish that we could detect artificial radioactivity in the fish itself. This contrasts with almost all the other fish we’ve collected on the order of about 400 fish over those three years where we were unable to actually detect any artificial radionuclides in the individuals. In this particular one, we can detect cesium-137 which is artificial, a man made radio nuclide, and so we decided to have a more careful look to see if some of that contamination was related to Fukushima. The way that we do that is to look for cesium-134 and that isotope has a relatively short half life of two years, and if we see cesium-134 in a fish today, we know that it has been affected by Fukushima. When we count for longer, we can see smaller and smaller amounts of radioactivity,” said Jay Cullen, professor of the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences with the University of Victoria.

It is important to note that airborne radioactive fallout from the initial explosion and meltdowns at Fukushima in 2011 reached the USA and Canada within days, and circled the globe falling out wherever the currents and precipitation carried it – mostly to places unknown to this day.

More here.

US sailors who ‘fell sick from Fukushima radiation’ allowed to sue Japan, nuclear plant operator — The Telegraph: here.

From Kyodo news agency in Japan:

Fukushima’s tritiated water to be dumped into sea, Tepco chief says

July 14, 2017

Despite the objections of local fishermen, the tritium-tainted water stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will be dumped into the sea, a top official at Tokyo Electric says.

“The decision has already been made,” Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., said in a recent interview with the media. …

As of July 6, about 777,000 tons were stored in about 580 tanks at the Fukushima plant, which is quickly running out of space.

Tepco’s decision has local fishermen worried that their livelihood is at risk because the radioactive material will further mar public perceptions about the safety of their catches.

Kawamura’s remarks are the first by the utility’s management on the sensitive matter. Since the March 2011 meltdowns were brought under control, the Fukushima No. 1 plant has been generating tons of toxic water that has been filling up hundreds of tanks at the tsunami-hit plant.

Kawamura’s comments came at a time when a government panel is still debating how to deal with the tritium issue, including whether to dump it all into sea.

Saying its next move is contingent on the panel’s decision, Kawamura hinted in the interview that Tepco will wait for the government’s decision before actually releasing the tainted water into the sea.

“We cannot keep going if we do not have the support of the state” as well as Fukushima Prefecture and other stakeholders, he said. …

But fishermen who make their livelihoods from sea life near the plant are opposed to the releases because of how the potential ramifications will affect their lives. …

Tachiya, of the cooperative that includes fishermen from the towns of Futaba and Okuma, which host the plant, took a swipe at Tepco’s decision, saying there has been “no explanation whatsoever from Tepco to local residents.”

On March 11, 2011, a tsunami inundated the six-reactor plant, situated 10 meters above sea level, and flooded the power supply, causing a station blackout. The cooling systems of reactors 1, 2 and 3 were thus crippled, leading to core meltdowns that became the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

Water is being constantly injected into the leaking reactors to keep the molten fuel cool, creating tons of extremely toxic water 24/7. Although it is filtered through a complex processing system, extracting the tritium is virtually impossible.

Fishermen express fury as Fukushima plant set to release radioactive material into ocean — The Telegraph: here.

” It’ll be a tough journey – previous robots sent in to the ruined nuclear reactor didn’t make it back. … ” View BBC News’ photo essay on Toshiba’s newest swimming robot, a “little sunfish” that is hoped to withstand off-the-charts radiation levels in Fukushima Daiichi’s wrecked containment vessel: here.

Or will this mechanical ‘little sunfish‘ fare as badly as living fish in the Pacific Ocean off Fukushima?

This video says about itself:

Japan’s Homeless Recruited to Clean Up Fukushima Radioactive Hotspots

30 December 2013

It is five o’clock in the morning and close to freezing point in Sendai, 360 kilometres (200 miles) north of Tokyo.

For those living rough, this station is one of the warmest places to sleep, however, their refuge is also a recruiting ground for labour brokers. The men in Sendai Station are potential labourers who can be dispatched to contractors in Japan’s nuclear disaster zone for a bounty of $100 a head.

Shizuya Nishiyama, who is 57, has been homeless for a year and sleeps on a cardboard box, next to a shop window in Sendai station.

Twice Nishiyama says he has been recruited to scrub down radioactive hotpots in Fukushima, 80 kilometres (50 miles) to the south.

“We’re an easy target for recruiters. We turn up here with all our bags, wheeling them around and around the station and we’re easy to spot,” Nishiyama said as the first passengers of the day hurried to their trains.

Nishiyama’s first employer in Sendai offered him $90 a day for his first job clearing tsunami debris unrelated to the Fukushima site. However, he was made to pay as much as $50 a day for food and lodging. He also was not paid on the days he was unable to work. On those days, though, he would still be charged for room and board. He decided he was better off living on the street than going into debt.

“They say to us: ‘Are you looking for work? Are you hungry?’ And if we haven’t eaten anything, they then offer to find us a job,” Nishiyama added.

Almost three years ago, a massive earthquake and tsunami levelled villages across Japan’s northeast coast and set off multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Today, the most ambitious radiation clean-up ever attempted is running behind schedule. The effort is being dogged by both a lack of oversight and a shortage of workers, according to a Reuters analysis of contracts and interviews with dozens of those involved.

In Sendai, the largest city on Japan’s tsunami-devastated northeast coast, homeless people like Nishiyama have flocked here in the hope of finding reconstruction work in the disaster zone.

Activists have said that those jobs are increasingly hard to find. Now more than 300 people live rough in Sendai, twice as many as before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

For companies operating near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, that has presented an opportunity.

“There’s this problem where workers are reaching their radiation limits in Fukushima, and are not allowed to continue working. There’s actually an overall shortage of people available to do those dangerous jobs. So it’s to make up that shortfall that homeless people are now being made to risk their lives,” said Yasuhiro Aoki, a Baptist pastor and head of a support group for Sendai’s homeless.

The shortage of those willing and available to take on dirty and dangerous jobs in Fukushima has not pushed wages higher, workers, lawyers and volunteers said.

Responsibility for monitoring the hiring, safety records and suitability of hundreds of small firms involved in Fukushima’s decontamination rests with the top contractors, including Kajima Corp, Taisei Corp and Shimizu Corp, officials said.

As a practical matter, however, many of the construction companies involved in the clean-up say it is impossible to monitor what is happening on the ground because of the multiple layers of contracts for each job that keep the top contractors removed from those doing the work.

Wage data provided by police in one investigated case showed that after deductions for food and lodging, workers were left with an hourly rate of about $6, just below the minimum wage equal to about $6.50 per hour in Fukushima. Some of the homeless men ended up in debt after fees for food and housing were deducted, police said.

Aoki explained the homeless people’s situation further.

“Without any information about potential dangers, many homeless people are just put into dormitories – and the fees for lodging and food automatically docked from their wages. Then, at the end of the month, they’re left with no pay at all,” Aoki said.

Former wrestling promoter Seiji Sasa, 67 has recruited Sendai’s homeless for more than two decades.

He said he earns about 100 dollars for every introduction, and many of his recent hires are likely to end up in a radioactive workplace but that he didn’t ask questions.

“I don’t ask any questions, that’s not my job. I just find people and send them to work. I send them and get money in exchange. That’s it. I don’t get involved in what happens after that,” Sasa said.

“As a broker, it’s thanks to homeless people that I’ve been able to eat. I introduce them to work, receive money in return, and make my living. If what I did killed homeless people, then I’d be out of a job,” he added.

For Nishiyama, radiation is the last thing on his mind. He just wants to make it through the winter and prepare his cardboard box against the cold of the nights to come.

This Reuters report forgets to mention that recruiting these homeless people as nuclear radiation cannon fodder is done by Yakuza gangsters. This other Reuters report does mention that.

From Kyodo news agency in Japan:

Radiation levels exceeding state-set limit found on grounds of five Chiba schools

Jun 13, 2017

Radiation levels exceeding the government-set safety limit of 0.23 microsieverts per hour have been detected on the grounds of five schools in the city of Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, the prefectural board of education said Monday.

Between late April and mid-May, the board officials detected radiation levels of up to 0.72 microsieverts per hour in certain areas of the schools, including Kashiwa High School and Kashiwa Chuo High School. The areas — including soil near a school swimming pool and drainage gutters — are not frequented by students, but the board closed them off and will work to quickly decontaminate them, the officials said.

Kashiwa has been one of the areas with high radiation readings since the 2011 nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

According to NHK, the board of education had been checking the soil on the school premises in Kashiwa after radiation levels beyond the state limit were detected in shrubbery near the city’s public gymnasium. The board will announce the results of radiation tests at other schools in the prefecture around the end of July, NHK reported.

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 — Marco Kaltofen, Arnie Gundersen, ScienceDirect: here.

Radioactive hot particles still afloat throughout Japan six years after Fukushima meltdowns — BuzzFlash: here.

Increases in perinatal mortality in prefectures contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in Japan — U.S. National Library of Medicine: here.

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2 thoughts on “Fukushima radiation problems in Japan

  1. Pingback: Hurricane Irma, from Caribbean to Florida, USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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