Fukushima I Nuke Plant has been one big "dirty bomb".
After Koriyama City's sewage treatment center was tested positive for high level of radioactive cesium in the sewage sludge and slag and the sludge had been already sold (my post here and here), Fukushima Prefecture ordered the testing in other 19 similar treatment centers in Fukushima. 18 out of 19 centers were found to have high concentration of radioactive cesium.
What a surprise.
At one facility in Horikawa-machi in Fukushima City, 446,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium were found. At Koriyama, it was 26,400 becquerels per kilogram.
They say they'll have to find out where the sludge has gone. And at one of them, the facility in Fukushima City above, radioactive sludge may have nowhere else to go but spill into the river as soon as May 20.
Koriyama City is 59 kilometers west of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, and Fukushima City, prefectrual capitol, is 62 kilometers northwest of the plant. (Distance with the calculator at this site.)
Koriyama alone sold 928 tons of radioactive sewage sludge in 50 days to Sumitomo Osaka Cement. I hate to think how much total that these treatment facilities in Fukushima may have sold.
Are other prefectures testing their sewage treatment facilities and tracking the shipment? I don't think radioactive fallout stops at the Fukushima border...
From Asahi Shinbun (12:58AM JST 5/9/2011):
Following the detection of high concentration of radioactive cesium in the sewage sludge at one of the sewage treatment centers in Koriyama City, the Fukushima Prefectural government announced on May 8 that even higher concentration of radioactive cesium was found in the sewage sludge at a treatment center in Fukushima City. 18 out of 19 facilities tested for radioactive materials were found to have radioactive cesium, hinting [here you go, Asahi's understatement No.1] that the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident is affecting a wider area in Fukushima.
The Prefectural government will track where the sewage sludge from the facilities has been shipped. The national government is still in the process of establishing the standard for treatment of the radioactive sewage sludge [understatement No.2; the national government was caught, again, flat-footed], so the Fukushima prefectural government will decide how to treat and dispose the radioactive sewage sludge. Sewage treatment facilities in Fukushima have stopped processing the sewage sludge, and if the national policy on the radioactive sewage sludge is not forthcoming, that will result in further delay in sewage treatment
郡山市の県中浄化センターでは４月３０日の調査で、汚泥から１キロあたり２万６４００ベクレルの放射性セシウムを検出。その後、１９施設を調査した結 果、福島市の堀河町終末処理場の汚泥から同４４万６千ベクレルの放射性セシウムが検出された。郡山市の別の施設でも汚泥から高い値を検出。いわき市の施設 では、原発事故前は検出されなかった汚泥の燃え殻から３万５７００ベクレルを検出した。
At a sewage treatment plant in Koriyama City, 26,400 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium was detected on April 30. After conducting the testing at 19 facilities, 446,000 becquarels per kilogram of radioactive cesium was detected at a facility in Fukushima City (Horikawa-machi final treatment center). They also found a high concentration of cesium in the sewage sludge at another facility in Koriyama City. At a facility in Iwaki City, 35,700 becquerels per kilogram of cesium was found in the incinerated sludge [slag?].
As to the high level of radioactive cesium at the Horikawa-machi facility, the Fukushima prefectural government thinks it is because of the higher percentage of rainwater at the facility.
According to Fukushima City that manages this facility, they have stopped the dehydration treatment and shipment of the sewage sludge after the news of the Koriyama treatment facility, and the sewage sludge is being stored in a container at the premise. Fukushima City says, "Unless we resume the treatment, the container will be full by May 20, and the sewage sludge has nowhere to go but spill into the river."