Fieldwork 7 or 1.15μSv/h in a Vegetable Field near Tokyo

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog:http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/100066627.html

On May 11th in the afternoon, I went for a walk for some exercise. This time I just took my Air Counter with me and left my heavy survey meter at home. 

At around 2.30 pm, my reading went up to 1.15μSv/h in the middle of a vegetable field. It is more or less the same as the 1.1μSv/h measured at the Okumamachi Fureai Park (only 4 km away from The Fukushima Daiichi plant) on the same day! Now this was a shock.

The following is the record on the dosimeter. I had started to measure the air dose rate from about 1 pm and at 2 pm had measured around 0.3μSv/h. 

(時刻 time)

1.15μSv/h is the highest reading that I had had during the 1 1/2 years of use of this dosimeter.

As you can see it was just for a short while that I measured such a high dose rate. As I moved about I still had high readings. I presume that there was an air current that carried radioactive substances near the ground. 1.15μSv/h is the equivalent of 300.000 Bq/m2 of cesium in the soil.

According to the following map the spot was at altitude 25.5m, in an area with mostly vegetable patches where urbanization is restricted.

松戸駅 Matsudo station
測定地点 location of measurement
船橋駅 Funabashi station
江戸川河口 mouth of Edogawa river

They were burning something in a home-use incineration unit nearby but the wind wasn’t coming from there. The wind was coming from the south and wasn’t strong.

The following spot was quite far away from the previous one. The altitude is about 14m lower. The readings are not much different.

Where do the radioactive substances come from? It could be radon but would it rise so much on a plateau? There are incineration plants and waste recycling centres of Funabashi city in Sanbanse near the mouth of the Edogawa River. They are 8 km south of where I measured. If the chimneys of these plants are high then I guess the emission could travel quite far. It wouldn’t be unnatural to think that the emissions would have an impact on the surrounding environment in a radius of 8-10 km. I shudder to think that there are plants that release radioactive gas of 1μSv/h everywhere though.

I do not like the idea of taking a walk in a place where I can measure more than 1μSv/h. This is a dose rate where I literally should be running away from. 

So on May 11th I was irradiated. These days, every time I go out to the countryside I get irradiated. I am starting to have the feeling that I cannot live near Tokyo any more.

Radiation Dose Estimates according to the US Department of Defense

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog: http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/101771049.html

June 20th, 2014

The Unites States Department of Defense (USDD) has uploaded a report on radiation dose estimates for American civil servants that were in Japan at the time of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident. 

According to the USDD the estimates were calculated based on the assumption that one spent “24 hours outdoors, having a constantly high physical activity level and associated breathing rates, and being exposed to the radiation measured in the air, water and soil over the entire 60- day period” from March 12th to May 11th 2011.

Let’s have a look at the adult estimated radiation dose. The left axis is for the thyroid dose estimates and the right axis for the whole-body estimates. N.B. the scale for the right axis is a tenth of the left.

Estimated Radiation Dose for Adults

The second chart gives the estimated radiation dose for non-adults. Here I typically used the case of Hyakuri Air Base but the trend is followed more or less at all locations of the survey. The unit used here is mSv. 

The thyroid radiation dose is highest in the age group of 1-2 yrs and then declines in the order of 0-1 yr, 2-7 yrs, 7-12 yrs, 12-17 yrs. The adults’ estimate is more or less the equivalent of that of the 12-17 year olds. As I mentioned before, this trend can be observed at the other locations of the survey. The whole-body radiation doses follow the same pattern as well.

We know from independent reports that at Yokosuka Naval Base measures were taken to insulate the houses from the outside air. In the Atsugi Base families were evacuated from March 17th onwards. On March 21st the aircraft carrier George Washington left Yokosuka as an emergency reaction. However, in Hyakuri, Oyama and Sendai the adult estimated dose rates for the thyroid are even higher than in the before-mentioned bases around Tokyo (4 mSv) with Sendai being the highest (12 mSv). If you include the children, you get the exceptionally high measure of 27 mSv for the 1-2 year olds of Hyakuri Air Base.

The Hyakuri Air Base is a highly contaminated zone. On March 15th and 21st, a radioactive plume passed the nearby city of Hokota. 

The following graph that shows the estimated thyroid radiation dose of all the age groups (in mSv) stresses the exceptionally high dose rate for Hyakuri as well.

Thyroid Radiation Dose, All Age Groups

Personally I have doubts about how accurately a radiation dose expressed in Sv can reflect the damage done to the human body. Sv is used to indicate how an object heats up by receiving energy from a radioactive source. It does not indicate the damage that was caused in human cells, their DNA and tissues. Strontium, cesium or radioactive iodine each act differently in the human body and hence have different effects on the organs. I therefore think that it is difficult to predict the scale of health damage simply using figures in Sv. 

However, some experts say that concerning the thyroid its dysfunctions occur in proportion to the received radiation dose. If this is true, considering the high radiation dose of the toddlers in the Hyakuri Air Base, I fear that the health deterioration might become very serious there. The toddlers in Hyakuri received more than twice the radiation dose the toddlers in Tokyo or Yokosuka did, places where the radiation dose was considered too high for American civil servants to stay. This thought breaks my heart.

In Japan there has been little information available on the air dose rate of Sendai and when there is, the dose rates are relatively low. Compared to those figures, the thyroid estimates of the USDD for Sendai seems disproportionately high.

A US sailor has filed a lawsuit against Tepco along with 71 other sailors of the Operation Tomodachi. The health damage that he has been suffering from as a result of his mission measuring the contamination at Sendai airport (Natori city and Iwanuma city) doesn’t seem to match the relatively low air dose rate of the city of Sendai published by the Tohoku University. 

There is too little information on Internet about the rural areas and it has therefore been difficult for me to grasp the state of health deterioration there but looking at the adult thyroid estimates one can only predict at least as much, if not much more, health deterioration than in Tokyo for Oyama and Sendai.

I presume that the USDD mainly used the raw readings of radioactive iodine to calculate the thyroid estimates of each location. Cesium would have been taken into account as well, since it could cause thyroid dysfunction, yet I can imagine that they would have done it in a conservative way. On the other hand, the whole-body estimates would have been calculated based on the readings of gamma rays in general, like those of cesium, iodine and other nuclides. This assumption enables us to estimate the amount of radioactive iodine and gamma nuclides that the USDD had at each location.

It looks like the USDD applied the estimates of certain places to the nearby cities. So I did the same and created the following maps using their estimates. 

Health problems may rise in the whole North hemisphere

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog:http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/101570148.html

This shows the readings of the global monitoring stations of CTBTO, copied from “Survey of Man-made Radionuclides in the Atmosphere using IMS by CTBTO,” a report by Chusiro Yonezawa and Yoichiro Yamamoto. 

Here are main monitoring posts indicated on a CTBTO map. Radionuclides originated from Fukushima were detected all over the northern hemisphere. 

This is a screen shot taken from “Global deposition of Cs-137 radionuclides from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.” by CYI VISLAB of the Cyprus Institute. To make it easy to see, colors were adjusted.

About 70 days after the accident:

This simulation result matches the fact that the reading in Florida was about the same as the West Coast in CTBTO’s survey.

In North America, some health problems are reported to be linked to the contamination.

Birth defect deaths in West Coast state hit record levels during 2011 Spiked 60% statewide, then returned to normal in 2012 New gov’t document lists ‘Fukushima release along west coast of US’ as possible factor in birth defect cluster

After Fukushima, there has been an increase in deaths in the United States This has been corroborated by findings of deaths, particularly of children younger than 1 year in British Columbia

U.S.Nuclear Authorities publicly stated that only a tiny amount of radionuclides from Fukushima fell on North America. If that’s true, it’s possible that considerable levels of internal exposure occurred.

Research institutes in Vilnius, Lithuania and Spitsbergen (Norway) reported that radionuclides such as cesium from Fukushima have been found. 

A simulation (conducted by a French government institution Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics) indicates the plume reached South East Asia, Philippines, and Indochina.

The Cyprus Institute's simulation suggested the same.

It is difficult to prove the effect of radiation exposure on health problems, but data showed increases in the numbers of sudden deaths and cancers after the Chernobyl accident.

If indeed the number of health problems rose in North America, the same may happen in other areas in the whole North hemisphere. In Japan it is getting harder to receive appropriate medical support. There are countries without adequate medial system in South East Asia. This is a source of concern.

People living overseas damage their health after brief stay in Japan.

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog:http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/100080574.html

There are several comments posted by Japanese people living overseas, and they said that they upset their health after coming back temporarily to Japan. In addition, I heard a few stories about that foreign citizens upset their health, or were strongly suspected of internal exposure to radiation during their stay in Japan.

The followings are just a few of cases.

Case 1   A Japanese nationals living in West Coast stayed in Tokyo for a few months a year for these 3 years. She had the last checkup and found its TSH value near 30, then started to take the drug immediately. During her stay in Japan at midsummer in 2013, she shivered from cold and wore borrowing sweater. She purveyed her meals from Japanese supermarket in West Coast.

Case 2  A Japanese nationals living in Australia was at some place in Japan near the Sea of Japan with her daughter when the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred. They went to Toyama prefecture for safety in Mar.14. After that, they went to Haneda Airport by air in Mar 17 and went to Narita Airport by land soon. Then they departed to Australia around 21 o’clock on the same day. After going back to Australia, she suffered from menstrual problem and hair loss those she rarely experienced before. After a while, she came back to Japan twice about for 10 days each. During the first stay in Japan, she had pain and nagging feeling in her eyes. Just after the second stay in Japan, she felt chilly and suffered from severe iron deficiency. Although she recovered from iron deficiency by taking drugs, she still suffers from chill, pain and nagging feeling in her eyes and visual loss. In Australia, she ate foreign meals except Japanese seasonings like soy sauce and miso. According to her story, her Japanese friends in Australia cannot go back to Japan without falling sick, heart pain, fever and eye pain.

Case 3   A Japanese nationals living in Europe stayed at Kyoto for a month from Oct, 2011. She/he found blisters in her/his forehead during the second week. After that, her/his nose was runny for a while. After going back to Europe, she/he had got a big bruise upper back of the leg twice, and also suffered from cold-like symptoms for 2 weeks in 2013. Finally she/he developed cystitis in 2014.

Case 4   An American woman in her 20s participated in a study abroad program in Kyoto for three months, from the end of August through the end of November, 2011. During the penultimate week of her stay in Japan, she spent one week in Tokyo, Nikko and Sendai. She ate Sushi near Tsukiji Uoichiba in Tokyo, but she did not eat any fish in Nikko and Sendai. Also she did not eat any dairy during her short trip. While in Nikko, where she went hiking through forests of colorful maple leaves, she began experiencing strange headaches and fatigue. As she traveled by bullet train to Sendai, the train stopped in Fukushima. Her headache that was lingering for the past three days suddenly magnified into a piercing migraine. By the time she arrived in Sendai, her pain had completely dissipated. For the next three days, she felt fine. In mid-November she returned to Kyoto, where she spent her final week in Japan. During the last four days, she experienced a migraine again. She flew from Osaka to Tokyo and then from Tokyo to the U.S. During the entire transpacific flight, she felt unexplainable stabbing pains in her stomach, nausea and delirium. By the time she arrived back home, she felt relieved that her pain was gone. The following morning she woke up with a bloody nose. During the next month, she experienced daily nosebleeds, headaches and dizziness. She felt chronic fatigue and weakness. During the second week of December, she vomited for two days straight, uncontrollably purging all of the liquids from her body. On those days, she could not consume food. Her body became weak and drained of energy. She continued to have nosebleeds halfway into January. Since mid-January 2013, these symptoms have stopped.

Case 5   An unidentified foreign student came to Japan to study in April, 2011. She/he measured her/his exposure through WBC, which resulted in certain internal exposure caused by radioactive iodine. Then she/he was very surprised and went back to her/his home country immediately.

The followings are my guesses those are guided by these cases.

1. After Mar 15, 2011 in the area around Tokyo, there were still many radioactive substances in the air (indoors or not) after the radioactive plume had left. The inside of transportation is polluted. So did everything like clothing, furniture and bedding. Additionally people in Tokyo were exposed to the radiation by breathing polluted air.

2. Agricultural products have kept on being strongly polluted by radioactivity since Mar, 2011. Polluted agricultural products were distributed in large quantities in restaurant industry.

3. Food products around Kansai area (Kyoto and Osaka) in the autumn of 2011 seemed to be appreciably polluted by radioactivity. Since there is a high possibility that people living in Kansai area were exposed to the radiation by breathing polluted air, they are in danger of damaging their health for a long time.

4. I guess that American student in case 4 would have been exposed to the radiation since she was already in Kyoto. She ate polluted food in Kyoto, and was exposed to the radiation ever so much in Tokyo, Nikko and Tohoku district. For this reason she was plagued by ill health for a while even after returning home. 

5. With regard to case 1 and 2, you would see that the more they came back to Japan, the stronger their body reacted to internal exposure. What we can learn from this is that it is possible for the people, who have been in Japan since Mar, 2011 and damage their health, to have even worse health problems especially after eating strongly polluted food.

Discussion about “search words”

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog:http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/101702183.html

“Many people recently die. It is the result of the radioactivity?”,“Sudden death is connected with radiation exposure?”, “Will many people die this year?”

I would answer to these questions with confidence, “That is sure” .There are many individuals who get access to my blog by typing “radioactivity” or “health damage” into a search engine. The following is search words and the number of searches in June 2014.

Since they find that they could no longer rely on the doctors or government, they would have no choice but to search Internet for the information.

The followings are the search words of serious situation since the middle of Dec 2012. Recently there are wide variety of illnesses in search words like “disorder of eyes” and “toothache”.

“leukemia, died in 3 days”
“age of 52, subarachnoid bleeding”
“wake up and suddenly die”
“suddenly being unconscious, feel cold”
“myocardial infarction, keel over and die”
“I woke up in the morning and found my brother had died”
“So many people recently die. It is because of radioactivity?”
“Does radiation exposure have something to do with sudden death?”
“My co-workers died after another”
“Why do many old people die?”
“Healthy people die unexpectedly of leukemia, why?”
“I have a sense of dread that I have a child”
“My husband suddenly died, subarachnoid hemorrhage”
“My husband is beginning to be concerned about radioactivity only recently”
“blindness, infant”
“radioactivity, dental pain”
“Will I die of exposure in the future if I continue to live here Tokyo?”
“north Kanto (around Tokyo), crematorium, 3 weeks wait”
“My acquaintance suddenly looked pale and died”
“Five-year-old child suddenly died”
“Although I am suffering from leukemia, bioclean room is always full”
“Sometimes I have an excruciating pain in my Adam's apple, what should I do?”
“I am butterfingered”

Young women, who were not interested in radiological problem, begin to see the abnormal changes around them and think that “Something is wrong…”. As no one let them know, they have no choice but to search Internet. I wish they could notice the danger of radioactivity much earlier… I can't help it.

Referring to population change of Ukraine after Chernobyl accident, the birth rate had been decreasing from the following year first. On the other hand, the mortality rate had been increasing slightly for an initial duration of 3 years. But, it had been increasing significantly after 4 years of Chernobyl accident.

Deadly health damages that occur in a short time after exposure are considered to be cardiac muscle damage and cerebral vascular disease. In Japan, I saw an upsurge in myocardial infarction so far. Cerebral infarction and subarachnoid hemorrhage are also , but they are relatively rare cases. Recently leukemia cases are increasing, and deaths from interstitial pneumonia, lung cancer, leukemia and brain tumors are likely increasing.

We can not do anything to cancel initial exposure now. You will develop these serious diseases sooner , if you do not make efforts to avoid exposure. I desire you to avoid internal exposure caused by contaminated food and drink. For you and people who rely on you.!

The Imperial General Headquaters again? A notice too simplistic ; the cesium contamination of Minamisoma might be amplified during removing the rubbles.

 Original text from Blog of Koichi Oyama in Minamisoma City : http://mak55.exblog.jp/20907679/


'Sources recently learned that the radioactive fallout wasn't from the time of the accident'
What? I had to question the wording of this NHK report,  as radio-contamination of rice stalk planted in 2013 is obviously not of the accident in 2011.

Moreover, it concluded definitively that it was radiation spewing from Unit 3 during demolition work without suggesting other possibilities, and then just issued an irresponsible alert over the contamination.

The NHK report didn't give either details on the detected radioactive materials or microgram.
Neither did it mention the 'black thingy', which turned out to be bioaccumulation, or radioactive bird droppings.

From what basis was the cause decided to be air dose of Unit 3 during the demolition work, when the radioactive materials came out in clusters?

I felt 'oh no, not again'.
Radioactivity has been dispersed not only over the monitored rice paddy 23km away from the accident site but everywhere.

Death ashes obviously fell across the cities and roads, which keep being disturbed by the traffic.

Mass media brainwashing

I am going to contact Akaba vice minister of economy and industry, director of Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters, city mayor and chairman of Minamisoma tonight to provide evidence to the pollution dispersion.

NHK ducked the issue by asserting that 'one of the causes' is the demolition operation.


Death ashes are even attaching to the clothes...
NHK just made the whole story that the detected contamination was due to the demolition work and avoided the pollution dispersion issue. We call it information manipulation.


In Support of Young Mothers

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog : http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/99503681.html

--- Contribution by a reader in her 50s ---

In Support of Young Mothers

I feel it's hard to talk about what I do to avoid [internal] exposure because some people may be in the situation where they can't actually perform all that I suggest--because of the time, physical and economic constraints, among others. 

For example, a young full-time working mother who puts her baby in a daycare is one of the first people who must detoxify from radionuclides she already took in and avoid internal exposure, but is it easy to do?

I feel I'm lucky, and somewhat guilty, that I can select what I eat to avoid produce from certain areas. I'm also afraid that I may confuse people or make people feel uneasy by suggesting something that doesn't guarantee safety or that is difficult to do. 

Most Japanese people, I think, never doubted what's reported in the paper and on TV [before Fukushima]. Most politicians, we believed, spent their lifetime to serve for the country and its people. We believed that intelligent bureaucrats worked to improve our country. I believed so.

After 311 I had to rely on the internet to gather information on the Fukushima accident and internal exposure. While I was looking up what was happening around Fukushima Daiichi, I started to think, 'I never ever want to get killed by wrong information [distributed by the government].' 

Luckily reading a lot didn't bother me, so I read hundreds of blogs and articles until I was satisfied. I also went to various lectures. 

The first online form I sent from my PC was the application form to attend a lecture by Prof. Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University. I had to do it on my own since I was afraid that it would have been filled up right away. I was desperate. I didn't want to wait for my family to come home to help me send the form. 

I attended lectures by about ten people, only because I wanted to know what was happening. I wanted to know the truth, and I wanted to hear it in person. I wanted to protect my children. 

Here are some of the unforgettable words I heard in those lectures.

Mako Oshidori: Don't trust what others say without questioning--including what I say. After you hear someone talk, please judge on your own. You need to look with your own eyes, listen to with your own ears, and judge according to your feeling and opinions.

Prof. Kunihiko Takeda: Some say that mothers who are worried about radiation are just nervous, but because the mothers are nervous, Japanese infant death rate is low. 

What was the most shocking after 311 was that the Japanese government and mass media lied. That the government didn't protect its people and it doesn't have any intention to do so even now. Then I realized that I have the right to live according to my belief. 

During the war, who would have thought of staying in a dangerous city only because his next door neighbor stayed. We are here because the earlier generations did everything they could do to protect themselves. 

Investigate, think, question, and judge on your own. Be responsible for your own life. Think what you can do to help others. I want to keep telling this to myself and to my children. This is the most valuable thing I learned in these three years.


Is Fukushima Really 'Under Control?'

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog :http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/98910744.html

Fumikazu Nishitani interviews Prof. Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute

Nishitani: NHK, in April, aired documentaries about the decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi. More than three years after the accident, they finally produced programs on the difficulty of decommissioning and expressed that there weren't going to be enough workers. This is nothing new, is it?

Koide: Of course. In Chernobyl, they used 600,000 to 800,000 workers... they were soldiers, former soldiers, workers, and even some prisoners, I heard. That's how they tried to control the accident. In Chernobyl, only one reactor broke. In Fukushima, four broke at the same time and currently the accident is still going on. Of course they need many workers... many experienced workers. But the number of experienced workers is limited from the beginning, and they are forced to be out of the plant after reaching the radiation exposure limit.

Japanese law sets the limit at 100 milisieverst per five years, or 20 milisievert per one year. Many well-experienced workers already reached that limit and they can't work at the site any more. Some get 100 milisievert in one year, so those workers can't go back to the site for five years. This means practically they can't work. 

N: Another problem is the low payment for the workers. [The NHK program] said [Fukushima Daiichi] workers switch to decontamination work or they quit. 

K: TEPCO pays extra, but as the jobs are handed out through layers of labor brokers, each layer taking a piece of the payments. In the end the extra money won't reach the actual workers.

N: In Chernobyl, they required 2,000 workers per day. Ukraine paid 150% of the normal rate, so they got three times more applicants than they needed. Japan is not handling this well. 

K: Not at all. TEPCO doesn't have good control of the situation any more. They just ask other companies to gather workers. Those companies ask the next tier companies and so on. They will not be able to collect enough workers. 

N: The problem is that the Japanese government didn't take over the job from TEPCO. TEPCO should have been dissolved, I think. 

K: I do think so. The damage is far more than TEPCO could have handled even if they went through several bankruptcies. They should dissolve TEPCO to clearly show the country's plan to take control of the situation, then the country has to take the responsibility. 

N: They didn't do that so as not to upset their stockholders--banks, I think.

K: I agree. Big banks are TEPCO's biggest stockholders. I think it's the Japanese government's policy to not to damage those big banks. 

N: Since those politicians receive a lagre amount of donations from those big banks and TEPCO.

K: Right.

N: NHK indicated 2,000,000,000,000 yen will be needed for decommissioning. Is it enough?

K: No way. TEPCO's plan requires 40 years for the decommissioning process. I don't think that's enough at all. There will be many, many difficult tasks that they have to face. Two trillion yen is not enough at all.

N: Do you think the Japanese government should take over the process even now? Isn't it too late?

K: Yes. They should take over as soon as possible.


Jiro Ishimaru interviews Prof. Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute

Ishimaru: TEPCO announced the launch of 'HAIRO [Decommissioning] Company', its new company to deal with decommissioning. What is your take on this?

Koide: That's a dirty strategy. TEPCO, one of the leading companies in Japan, has been operating Fukushima Daiichi saying its nuclear plants are absolutely safe. Then Fukushima Daiichi had an accident. So, the right thing to do is for TEPCO to take full responsibility for it. Even if TEPCO tries to compensate for the damage, the amount of damage exceeds what TEPCO could offer by going bankrupt many times over. Instead, TEPCO has the Japanese government pay for the damage, while TEPCO itself is trying to survive. Now it created 'HAIRO Company' and let it take full responsibility. At the same time TEPCO continues its profitable operation. That is totally wrong. 

I: On the other hand, they say by detaching the decommissioning section from TEPCO, the new company can focus on its mission. Also, it can make the decision process shorter and quicker, so they can deal with various troubles as they rise. Is it effective?

K: TEPCO should make a team within and find a way for it to act swiftly. Making a new company is meaningless. To me, it sounds like a dirty way to escape from the responsibility.

I: About the current progress of decommissioning ...

K: The first thing they need to do is to move all the used fuel rods to less dangerous places from all the Used Fuel Pools that's located at each reactor. In November 2013, they started with Reactor #4 because it was the most accessible pool, and the most dangerous. The floor that housed the Used Fuel Pool in Reactor #4 was hugely damaged and it has been feared that the pool might collapse in any time. This is a very dangerous job. Any scale of accident is possible. But they have to do it. I hope they can complete the job without making the workers get so much radiation. 

I: As of May 7, they say they moved 814 rods out of 1533 from the UFP. Is this reasonable?

K: Yes. They moved about half the rods in about half a year. TEPCO hopes they move all the rods [from Reactor 4] this year. If everything goes well, they probably can complete this task by December. I look at TEPCO as a criminal, but I really want to wish them well about this work. 

I: On the other hand, they don't even know where the melted fuel is. What is the current situation of the melted fuel?

K: Nothing has been done. I don't think the melted fuel is sitting in one piece as TEPCO and the government imagine. Probably, many pieces are scattered everywhere in the reactor vessel. For example, there are pieces stuck to the wall, I think. If, for example, they somehow can collect 50 pieces of debris they can't collect the other 50; if many workers are forced to be exposed to radiation to do this ineffective job, I think it's better to just contain it like the Chernobyl sarcophagus.

I: It is going to be a long road to decommissioning...

K: The government says it will take 40 years, but that is not going to be enough at all. When they finish, I will have been dead for a long time.

note:小出裕章氏の著述については、翻訳者が同氏から英訳の許諾を得ている。Radio Forumには、「ずくなしの冷や水」から翻訳と掲載の許可を申請中。

Nuclear power won't last(Prof. Hiroaki Koide)

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog : http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/98464301.html

It was 4.6 billion years ago that the earth was born as a fireball. It was 4 billion years ago that life emerged on the earth. It was just 4 million years ago that humans emerged on the earth. We are a new species on the earth. Humans lived as a part of nature at first, then discovered hunting and farmingthe start of human culture. 

Just 200 years ago, the Industrial evolution started and since then humans started to consume a large amount of energy. Since then, humans thought that the more energy they use, the richer their lives would become. 

Of the whole amount of energy that humans consumed in their entire history, about 60% was consumed within the last 200 years. Because of this, many other species have become extinct. 

For quite a while, I have been calling America and Japan 'regressing' countries, not 'advanced.' Countries that destroy the environment and force other animals to become extinctto me, they are nothing more than regressed. 

Many regressing countries want to use more energy than they do today. I myself once thought we needed energy to live enriched lives. However, when I stepped into the world of Nuclear Power research, all my expectations were totally shattered. 

Currently there are 55 nuclear power plants in Japan, but none are in big cities like Tokyo and Osaka. They consider nuclear power plants dangerous to build in highly populated areas. 

A nuclear power plant of 1000 MW capacity burns 1 ton of uranium per year. The amount of uranium used in the atomic bomb used in Hiroshima is about 1 kg, which equals about 20,000 tons of conventional bombs. 

Japan doesn't possess nuclear weapons. However, it has all the core nuclear technologiesnuclear power plants, processing, and recycling. The reason behind this is the country's desire to possess [ability to build] nuclear weapons. 

The recycling plant in Rokkashomura in Aomori prefecture started test operation on March 31 last year [2006]. By starting operation on March 31, the last day of the fiscal year, the local government made sure it could receive fiscal year 2006 funds from the central government. 

Recycling plants, even without any accidents, will release a large amount of radiation into the environment. There will be serious consequences if we allow this plant to operate. 

The Japanese government and electric companies claim that there will be a severe shortage of electricity if they stop nuclear power plants, which provide 30% of country's electricity. This is not true. Other power plants can easily cover the difference even if they stop all the nuclear power plants. 

The government and electric companies will then say, "Since we can't reserve electricity, we need nuclear power plants to provide the peak consumption amount in summer." If you look into the data, however, that is not true either. A few years at the beginning of the 90s, we needed nuclear power plants to cover all the consumption. But after that there was no problem. The peak demand occurs only for a few afternoon hours on about the three hottest summer days. If they really cannot provide enough electricity during that time, we can reduce consumption. 

Another point they make is that nuclear power plants are necessary to reduce CO2. Although I think CO2 may be the culprit of global warming, there is no conclusive evidence. Even if CO2 is the reason for global warming, nuclear power plants do not solve anything. 

The government and electric companies changed the wording of their press releases from 'nuclear plants do not produce CO2,' to 'nuclear plants do not produce CO2 when they produce electricity.' 

It's obvious that the process of nuclear power production produces a large amount of CO2 in their process such as mining and processing uranium, and managing nuclear waste for the next 1 million years. 

Moreover, nuclear power plants produce CO2 when they produce electricity. Nuclear power plants are made of a gigantic amount of concrete and iron. It requires a large amount of energy to operate them, so they are producing CO2. Scientifically, the correct wording is that "nuclear fission reaction doesn't produce CO2." 

To reduce CO2 emissions, we need to first stop nuclear power plants, which release huge amounts of warm water. Nuclear power plants only use one third of energy they produce to produce electricity. The rest, over 60%, is dumped in seawater, warming up the ocean. 

One 1000 MW nuclear plant will warm 70 tons of seawater by 70C [about 120F] per one second. For comparison, flow rate of Arakawa, a large river in Tokyo is probably 30 to 40 tons per second. 

55 nuclear power plants in Japan release 100 billion tons of warm water. The amount of precipitation in Japan is 650 billion tons and 400 billion tons of that go into rivers. A quarter of the total amount of water that runs in Japanese rivers is warmed up by 7°C and dumped into the ocean. 

When I was in high school, they said that coal supply would be exhausted in 30 years. In 1930, they said that coal would be exhausted in 18 years. In 1940, they said it was 'in 23 years.' That prompted Japan to get into the war in order to secure coal supplies. 

In 1950 they said '20 more years,' in the 70s and 80s it was '30 more years,' and in the 90s they said '45 more years.' The most recent estimate is 50 years. 

Of course, the coal supply will be exhausted at some point. But nuclear power is not the answer. The amount of uranium the earth has is smaller than the amount of oil, which is even smaller than that of coal. Nuclear power won't last. 

The fundamental problem is that humans use too much energy. 

As Japanese people became able to use 40,000 to 50,000 kCal per day, their average lifespan climbed into the 80s. Today a Japanese person uses 120,000 kCal per day but life expectancy is still in the 80s. 

I propose that we reduce energy consumption by half. This is about the same level as 1970s. In the 70s, we already had major electric appliances. Today's eco technology is by far better. So we can live a comfortable life with just 60,000 kCal a day. If we don't waste energy, we can sustain our lives and live a humanly comfortable lifestyle. 

Moreover, this consumption level is still above the world average [40,000 to 50,000 kCal]. Three quarters of the whole population on earth live without much energy. 1.1 billion people live with less than $1 per day. Half a billion of them face starvation. A child dies every 2 to 3 seconds. 

While many people suffer, Japanese people are trying to build a society where we use even more energy and enjoy the benefit of it. 

Kenji Miyazawa said, 'there cannot be happiness for a person until the whole world is happy.' I don't think 'the whole world' just means humans. We are at the point where we won't be able to save the earth unless we think about the whole world.


from Translator

Thank you Nukui-san of Actio for allowing me to share this in English. (got permission to put English on FB around July 2012)

This is a gist of the article found in the above site. It's published in ACTIO issued on Sept. 25, 2007.

Foreign visitors in Japan, let's work together to avoid internal exposure!

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog : http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/98972069.html
日本語原文 : http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/98548281.html

You may feel uneasy since you can't find much information on the progress of the clean-up effort at Fukushima accident or food contamination. Here are some information and examples of what Japanese people who consciously try to avoid exposure to radioactivity do everyday.

1. Contamination in Food

In Japan, the current safety limit for cesium is 100 Bq/kg.

Three years after the Fukushima Nuclear Plant accident, radiation levels in the atmosphere and levels of contamination in food are lower compared to the time shortly after the accident. But contaminated food is still found, for example, more than 100Bq/kg in wild plants. 

By looking at which food imported from Japan that America bans we can tell what food is highly contaminated. America has the most detailed list of regulations in the world. 

It lists banned food items from each prefecture. For dairy products from the three prefectures including Fukushima, it requires a document that certifies the products clear all the US regulatory numbers. For other food, the U.S. will conduct sampling tests.

Roughly speaking, the more items are restricted, the closer the area is from Fukushima Daiichi. The U.S. uses stricter limits than Japan.

2. Banned Food Items from Each Area

You see a lot of mushrooms, along with rice, beef, vegetables, and soy. Various ocean products are listed too.

3. Mushrooms Prove that the Large Areas are Contaminated 
After the Chernobyl accident, it was found that mushrooms condense radionuclides. This map shows the highest readings of cesium in mushrooms measured by various local governments. You can see wide areas in Eastern Japan are contaminated with cesium.

Mushrooms absorb cesium on the surface more than other produce, but in highly contaminated areas rice and legumes are also contaminated. 

4 Health Problems from Internal Exposure are Already Observed

When you take in radionuclides with food, you are internally exposed. Radionuclides are mainly heavy metals, so even without radioactivity they are hazardous to human body.

It's not yet known how much damage internal exposure will cause. This is because we can't test this on animals and also because it is usually the case that it takes multiple years for palpable damage to emerge.

However, among the children who had internal exposure through respiration, there is a higher rate of thyroid abnormality including thyroid cancer. 

Among people who have been living in Japan since before the Fukushima accident, a number of various health problems is reported, including sudden death and cancer.

Some of the food regularly consumed by Japanese people is highly contaminated. Some try to avoid them, and the others don't care at all.

5. Many Japanese Say that Radioactivity is Not Dangerous, but They Pretend Not to Notice Those Who Have Health Problems.

When you voice your worry about radioactivity, many would say there is no need to worry about. I'm guessing those people will experience health problems in the near future.

Don't feel safe just because many Japanese people say it is safe. It's wise to worry and protect yourselves against radioactivity. 

Why many of decontamination volunteers died

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog : http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/99319263.html

“Genpatsu Mondai” wrote a blog article in the May 21, 2014 titled “Joining the volunteer with Fukushima citizens result in sudden death!!! Two of fifteen students in the neighborhood already died from an unknown cause”.

In this article, you can read many dead cases of volunteers who went to Fukushima and worked there. They went to contaminated area and worked for decontamination as volunteers. I am wondering why many of them died…

Suspected causes are as follows;
1. Volunteers stay and work in the area where there is much fallout radioactivity and with a high air dose rate.
2. Volunteers lack equipment against radioactivity. They do not wear Tyvek, just wear easy mask. In fact, they are supposed to wear Tyvek and high-performance mask because they are in highly contaminated area.
3. Volunteers often eat a boxed meal sold at convenience stores and also eat it outdoors.
4. Volunteers cannot always stay at a room with perfectly clean up, low level of air dose rate and air conditioner with air cleaning filter.
5. Sometimes volunteers have to wait outdoors for long time because they have to make a round trip between their accommodations and sites of work. Thus they could be exposed to the radiation internally in addition to external exposure even during off-work period.

Now let’s take this case in a comparison with the case that a doctor goes to contaminated area as a volunteer.

A doctor arrives at a destination and rides on a courtesy car to and from the doctor's accommodation, or takes a taxi for its own traveling. A doctor stays at a luxury hotel with perfectly clean up rooms. And also, a doctor has many choices as for meals. 

The lower the air dose rate is, the less you are exposed to the radiation externally. And the less you breathe open air, the less you are exposed to the radiation internally naturally.

I think that he can reduce these risks in case that someone goes to contaminated area on business.

Otherwise, I do not think volunteers take a taxi for each traveling. Basically the purpose of volunteers is to go to the contaminated area where the air dose rate is high and to work there. They are surely exposed to the radiation internally if they spent long time to stay outdoors without wearing a mask.

There are some cases that people in Tokyo suffer an array of health problems after working for decontamination around their houses like roof and yard without sufficient degree of protection against radioactivity. They might well be able to take a bath not so long after such a work for decontamination.

And I guess they should clean up their rooms and take care of not to eat contaminated ingredients because they are enough to clean up outside the house. But they upset their health even in familiar place!!!

You can imagine easily how dangerous it is to work for decontamination in a strange place and to stay unequipped accommodations.
In the first place, it is dangerous to work for decontamination. 

And I do not think decontamination works so well. If you would still go there, please pay for the fully-equipment against radioactivity including gas mask!!! Of course you have to replace Tyvek on a daily basis, and also discard all your shoes and clothes before leaving contaminated area. 

Unless you can do them, you should not go to work for decontamination as a volunteer. 

Construction workers face health deterioration

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog :http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/98624132.html

The cases are going on increasing that workers on the building site die suddenly. Authorities and construction companies must take urgent action!

After Fukushima nuclear accident, I thought that it was possible for workers on the building site and landscaping contractors in areas around Tokyo to damage their health seriously because of radiation exposure. 

Although I wrote about the concern in my blog posts again and again, I did not take other steps to call attention to all the concerned parties because I did not find the cases of their health deterioration.

Now I finally got the reliable information that the cases were going on increasing that workers on the building site die suddenly. It was as I suspected… I am disappointed very, very much.

There are cited as possible causes as follows;

1. In Japan, March is the end of a fiscal year and is a busy month for constructive works and public works constructions, and unfortunately, Fukushima nuclear accident occurred in March, 2011. Therefore, there were many workers working outside who might be exposed to the radiation by breathing radioactive plume.

2. Radioactive plume passed directly above areas around Tokyo early in the morning in Mar 15, 2011, and the second plume attacked again in that afternoon. This means that radioactive substances were hanging over the areas around Tokyo for long time.

3. These radioactive substances fluttered to the ground, and stirred up again and again especially at the scene of earthmoving and soil improvement work. Then workers on the building site are likely to be exposed internally to the radiation by breathing the air contaminated with radioactive substances.

4. Of course there is no shielding outdoors; workers are more likely to be exposed externally to the radiation than staying indoors.

5. In case when workers have lunch outdoors, radioactive substances in the air may flutter to their food and they eat it without knowing that.

6. Many workers tend to eat boxed meals from a convenience store for their breakfast and lunch. And it could be that the ingredients in such boxed meals are contaminated by radioactivity.

Although Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare must take measures against radiation exposure prevention in terms of industrial health and safety, they do not do anything about that. 

Actually I hardly see that workers on the building site and landscaping contractors wear even a mask at all. And then I also point out that the list of victims will be lengthening in the future as long as authorities will not improve such dangerous work environment. 

I need your help, all my readers! I hope you to move into the following actions;

1. Please tell that the cases are going on increasing that workers on the building site die suddenly to your friends and relatives, if they work as building constructors and landscaping workers.

2. In addition, please tell them that boys' baseball coaches and physical-education teachers most often die suddenly who spend long time in the field.

3. Although mask is the best of all to prevent them from being exposed internally to the radiation, it makes no sense if company does not force them to wear a mask as a rule.
I am convinced that authorities must be aware of the changing in death toll patterns of the industry through managing social security. Then authorities never take actions unless we increase public concern over their health damage caused by radiation exposure.

4. However we can take limited defensive measures on an individual basis, the most effective action is not to consume contaminated food and drink. And it is also effective to wash work clothes frequently to keep dust attachment to a minimum.

5. Field superintendents have to do the best to prevent themselves from being exposed to the radiation too. I would like them, especially business managers and persons in charge of subcontractors, to know that these actions prevent themselves from being exposed to the radiation.

6. I think it would be accurate to say that there will be a dramatic increase in health damage and we will learn more about the details as time goes on. We have to take actions against health damage caused by radiation exposure before list of victims will lengthen.