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.

Things You Should Know about Fukushima

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog :http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/98324922.html

1. Leaking of radionuclides from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant continues. Additional fallout of radionuclides is detected even outside of Fukushima, for example in Kanto area. At a Chiba city sewage treatment plant, cesium is still detected, although at a lower level than before. 

2. In Kanto, because of the plumes containing a high amount of radioactive materials that were dispersed from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, the effect of internal exposure is big. In addition people have been taking in radionuclides through food. There have been many cases of various health problems. 

3. Population statistics show that after the Fukushima accidents, the number of births declined and number of deaths rose in contaminated areas.

4. In Ukraine, the number of births started to decline from the year after the Chernobyl accident, while the number of deaths went up slightly at first and quickly rose starting four years after the accident. In Japan, the number of births has already declined in large areas in eastern Japan. It's likely that the number of deaths will increase. 

5. When testing food, the lower limits of detection used in tests done by various local governments and compiled by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare varies site by site. In three quarters of cases, the lower limit of detection was higher than 25Bq/kg, which is too high. Material that exceeds 100Bq/kg is radioactive waste that should be strictly handled and isolated. It is poison, not food. 

6. According to the study by 'Safety of Our Food and Life' conducted in Kovalyn Ukraine, health problems become evident at 1.1Bq/kg in food and drink per day.

7. The difference of internal contamination between those who are consciously avoiding radionuclides and those who are not is evident in the results of relatively precise measurements of their urine samples. The former shows the levels around 1Bq/kg and the latter, around 4Bq/kg.

8. Radiation test results collected by a private organization in Western Japan show that food from Western Japan is not completely clean. Average contamination can be calculated as 1.7 Bq/kg. This level is very precise in this kind of test as compared to tests done by various local governments that had an ND limit of 25Bq/kg. For example, the amount of cesium in daily food is calculated as about 2.2 Bq [2.2 Bq per 2kg(average daily food intake) = 1.1Bq/kg]. This is just about the same level at which health problems become evident as reported in the Kovalyn study. 

Contamination of food from overseas is not always low either. 2.91Bq/kg of Cs137 is detected from maple syrup produced in Quebec Canada between mid March and April in 2011. Contamination is also detected in European jam.

9. I see a number of cases of sudden death among people who earlier visited a doctor experiencing some health problems but were told there was nothing wrong with them. There is no cure for radiation exposure. Taking supplements or chelate doesn't necessarily protect against radionuclides.

If you experience health problems without any obvious cause, think about radiation. Try not to take in radionuclides and go to a doctor.

But it's useless to ask a doctor about the radiation effects on your health. Doctors can't answer because they don't have knowledge of radiation exposure symptoms or how to treat them. You may just end up insulting him. 

There are a small number of doctors you can trust, but they seem to be very busy seeing a lot of patients. In contaminated areas the number of patients is rising and the day is close when the balance of supply [medical service] and demand [patients] will collapse. Then you won't be able to see a doctor when you want.

10. Moving to a non-contaminated area is effective to avoid exposure. Evacuation is the only answer to avoid internal radiation contamination by inhalation. 

11. Problems at Fukushima Daiichi haven't been solved at all, rather they are getting worse. It's possible that the buildings will collapse in the event of a big earthquake. We need to keep a close eye on seismic activity.

12. There is a lot of false information that everything is okay. Even a documentary manga that depicted someone experiencing nose bleeding was attacked by a governor and other politicians/government officials [who said the nose bleeding could not be linked to radiation]. This type of excessive response shows that the government plans to deny various health symptoms such as cancer, heart and brain problems, leukemia, etc., that will increase in numbers in the near future. 

We can't hope for the current government to improve medical or livelihood support. They hide information and tell people to avoid danger and survive on their own. They will discard the socially weak. They will send those who survived to the battlefield.

13. The number of sudden deaths among celebrities is increasing. Victims are those who are unable to avoid radiation exposure and those who refuse to listen to unpleasant stories. 

Ignorant people can only have an ignorant government. The current government was elected by the Japanese people. The future is not bright [if the people don't realize that they are the ones who are responsible for the current government]. 

14. Foreign media uses the phrase 'hell at Fukushima Daiichi.' Many Japanese people will suffer in the coming years.

Fieldwork 4

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog :http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/98216282.html

April 24th 2014

Back to the hot spot

As it is certain that there are highly radioactive substances out there I put on some extra protection. I stuck my feet and trainers into plastic bags and sealed them with masking tape.

The sensor of the survey meter was in the cloth wine bag, the bottom of which was protected by a plastic bag. Like this I should be able to detect gamma and beta rays.

This is the photo of the hot spot that I found on my first field trip. On April 13th it looked like this.

When I came today it had changed like this. The preparation of the rice paddies around had started and tractors had been passing this spot.

7.000 and 10.000 cpm
I started to measure the lumps of soil that were scattered around one by one and found a hot lump just a-turn-of-a-tracor-wheel away. 

I raised the range from the very beginning this time as my survey meter has a slow response and I would have to wait for a while if it went off the scale. The limit of the range was 10.000 cpm. Time constant was 30 sec. It read 7000 cpm.

I moved on to measure other lumps. The measurement went over the range.

So I raised the scale to up to 30.000 cpm. The time constant was 30 sec. I detected over 10.000 cpm with the survey meter lying directly on the ground. The highest reading I had ever seen, of course.

The settings:

I repeat that this survey meter is getting on a bit and that the actual figures of the readings may not be very accurate. However, if you consider that usually it only reads 50-60 cpm, it was certainly detecting tremendously high radiation there.

The highly radioactive pieces that made the news in 2013 and which were found near the mouth of the Idegawa river in Narahamachi (Fukushima prefecture) measured 12.000 μSv/h, 4700 μSv/h, 3400 μSv/h and 100 μSv/h each. We were told then that a piece of 3400 μSv/h has a surface radiation contamination of over 100.000 cpm. I remember that these pieces were small but of a substantial size, a size we could visibly see.

In the case of my fieldwork, I cannot tell what exactly is the source of radiation in the lump of soil. But if the reading of my survey meter is accurate, 100.000 cpm is pretty impressive.

Actually I had been planning to report it to the municipality if I detected high radiation today and to provide a detailed indication on the map and the photos of the monitor readings. But seeing how the spot had changed I changed my mind. Rain could simply wash the lump away, or if another tractor passes, it could carry the lump away on its wheels and crush it on the road. The radiation source would be scattered and then lost. If the municipality can’t determine the hot spot they might judge me a false alarmist. I’m not sure if they have the instrument to detect the beta rays anyway. If they just measure with a dosimeter that only detects gamma rays they wouldn’t be able to detect this tremendously high radiation. For example just look at the air dose rate of the area. It is relatively high but not shockingly high.

Chiba is not the only place
I shall never come to this area again. This can’t be the only hot piece that fell here. There must be hot pieces like this all over this place. Since I don’t know what they look like, where they are and how many of them there are, I’d better stay out of here. 

But this applies to all of Kanto and the Tohoku region. Just think of the report by an American civil engineer that found 310 Bq in the dust that had been collected from a bag of a vacuum cleaner in Nagoya. Out of all the dust it was one minuscule particle that was radioactive, only 10 microns across. Or 10 one-millionth of a meter across. You only need 100 such particles and you get 31.000 Bq. And Nagoya is 460 km southwest of the accident site in Fukushima, far beyond Chiba or Tokyo.

There was also a tweet by a person who was working in the central market of Osaka at the time of the accident. He said that around March 22nd 2011, huge amounts of vegetables from Kanto were being sold for next to nothing and among them, some measured above 50.000 Bq/kg. 

So after all, maybe it is not a surprise that there are hot spots with more than 10.000 cpm in the Kanto region. Even if 3 years have passed after the accident and the short lived radioactive particles have disappeared. 

Fieldwork 2

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog :http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/98118813.html

When the wind blows…
Still shocked from the result of my previous fieldwork, I made some improvements to my equipment so I could carry out my survey more easily. I put the detector in a cloth wine bag so I wouldn't need to squat down to hold it close to the ground each time. I first thought of fastening the detector to a stick on a wheel but I thought that the shaking and bumping might just be too much for the poor old thing. For the main body that has the monitor I shall look for a compact and sturdy bag, perhaps something like a tool bag that I can carry on my shoulders.

I went to a nearby park and measured the air dose rate. Maximum 60 cpm. As I am measuring while moving around, there is no correlation between the readings of the Air Counter (stick shaped gamma ray dosimeter) and the survey meter in the bag. 

I found out that when I measured gamma and beta rays together, generally the counts were higher on permeable asphalt paving than on grass although sometimes on grass you can find hot places. 

When the wind blew the counts went up. One gust brought an extra 5-10 cpm (as compared to 20 cpm on my last fieldwork). If the reading was at 20 cpm before the wind and after it goes up by another 20 cpm, it means that the input has doubled for the time constant of 30 sec. In other words, an increase of 10 cpm recorded over a 30 sec period means that there would have been a single burst of 300 counts over a very short time (1-3 sec).

It is only an instant rise and drops down straight away. But considering those figures perhaps I shouldn't ignore radioactive particles that the wind brings. If they come in a gaseous state they wouldn't settle so wouldn't leave any proof on the ground. However much there could be in the wind, it wouldn't raise the base of the air dose rate of that place. But the danger is there.

Some physically sensitive people mention on the Internet that the alarm of their dosimeter often goes off. If it's a sensitive one that needs little time to get the readings, it will certainly set off the alarm when it suddenly receives 5cps on an average 0.2cps basis. That's how these dosimeters work. But on the public monitoring posts with a time constant of 10 min, it wouldn't show anything at all. 

Another hot spot: 150 cpm
So, my survey meter is still sensitive enough to sense these instant differences. Contented to witness that my survey meter is not senile yet (although it's an oldie just like myself) I went from the park to execute some more fieldwork.

I went to a spot that I had been suspecting to be radioactively hot and placed the end of the tube-shaped detector on the ground. There was only a thin plastic bag and a roughly woven textile between the detector and the ground. 

The reading shot up. The range was 0-300 cpm. Time constant:10 sec.

I raised the detector by 50 cm.

The same thing happened over and over again. When I stepped away by 40-50 cm from the spot and took a measurement it didn't show as high but if I went back to that spot it rose again. The photo below shows the 4th time I took a measurement. The detector was laid directly on the ground. I had never had such a high constant reading when measuring the air.

I lifted the detector by 50cm.

I think that it is quite consistent.

This is what the soil looked like.

What is it?
Now what was the particle that emitted such a high dose rate? Two hypotheses are possible:

1. There is a lump of cesium 137. If it is a dot source it is natural that the dose rate drops considerably when you move away from it. But would it drop so much just by moving 50 cm away? Even if my survey meter is old and not so sensitive any more?
2. There is a concentration of beta radiation sources. A beta source in this location could only be from the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant. Pre-Chernobyl there wasn't residential land here. So could it possibly be strontium?

Then I remembered that there was a mention on Twitter in 2011 by someone who had measured the filter of his indoor air purifier. It said that when he measured with his dosimeter that detects both beta and gamma rays, he detected 4 times as many beta rays than gamma ones.

This observation backs up my experience of having 40 cpm at 50 cm above ground and 150 cpm on the ground. The ratio is roughly 1:4. What is it that's there on the ground? 3 years after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, the short-lived particles that were deposited there would have disappeared already. What is it that's still there?

Although it is difficult to determine, I presume that it is strontium. It is more prudent to assume that there is strontium there and try and protect yourself. Whatever the radiation source may be, my two field trips taught me that there are beta radiation sources everywhere. It's just a difference of concentration. And that sometimes, it can be tremendously high.


April 27th, 2014 Follow up 

1. I put a u-shaped resin shield over the end of the detector and measured again with it lying directly on the ground. Time constant: 30 sec. Reading: 45 cpm. 

2. Then I measured this time without the shield. Time constant: 30 sec. Reading: 65-95 cpm. I raised the sensor about 3 cm from the ground so as to protect the mica window of the detector from contamination by the particles on the ground. Perhaps that explains the relatively low reading.

So I confirmed that the 0.8 mm thick polyvinyl chloride resin shield nearly shuts off the emission. I also confirmed that a few cm of distance are enough to get a considerably lower reading. This is probably due to the low permeability of the beta rays in the air and that the effective surface of the mica window reduces as you increase distance from the source.

Which means, to avoid damages from beta rays you need to move away as many cm away as possible from the source. Even 1 cm can make a difference. In other words, if taken internally, the damage done by beta rays is likely to be huge.

(first written on April 15th 2014, addition made on April 27th 2014)