Friday, June 3, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Accident: NISA Now Says 1.31 Million Becquerel Iodine-131 Was Detected on March 15, 38 Kilometers from the Plant

It was not just the tellurium-132 data that the Japanese government hid.

The national government and the Fukushima prefectural government had the data that showed 1,230,000 becquerels/kilogram iodine-131 was detected from the grass on March 15 in Kawamata-machi, 38 kilometers from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.

They sat on it. It didn't occur to them to disclose, said NISA's Nishiyama. His subordinate at NISA further commented, as seen in the news clip on NHK Japanese, "It is not clear that the data would have helped at all, even if it had been disclosed."

Tell that to parents in Fukushima and elsewhere.

By the way, Kawamata-machi is where the residents in the areas closer to the plant intially evacuated, including the residents in Iitate-mura and Namie-machi.

From NHK Japanese (4:32AM JST 6/4/2011):

... 公表されていなかったのは、避難や飲食物の摂取制限など、住民の防護対策を決める際の参考にするため、発電所周辺で国や福島県によって行われた「緊急時モ ニタリング」のデータの一部です。

Part of the "emergency monitoring data" collected by the national government and the Fukushima prefectural government around the nuclear plant wasn't disclosed [until June 3]. The data was to be used for protection of the residents, such as evacuation and restriction on food and water consumption.

このうち、大気中のちりなどに含まれる放射性物質の調査では、事故の翌日の3月12日午前8時半すぎに発電所からおよそ 7キロの浪江町の地点で、核燃料が溶けた際に出るテルルと呼ばれる放射性物質が1立方メートル当たり73ベクレル検出されていました。

In the survey of radioactive materials in the dust particles in the air, 73 becquerels/kilogram of tellurium was detected at 8:30AM on March 12 at a location 7 kilometers from the power plant in Namie-machi. Tellurium is one of the radioactive materials released when the nuclear fuel melts.

このデータが検出さ れる3時間ほど前、政府は避難区域を発電所の3キロから10キロ以内に拡大し、住民に避難を呼びかけていましたが、燃料の損傷の説明はなく、その後、昼す ぎに行われた原子力安全・保安院の会見でも、核燃料は壊れていないと説明していました。深刻な事態が進みつつあることを示すデータが早い段階で公表されて いれば、住民の避難のしかたや避難への心構えなどに役立てられた可能性がありますが、原子力安全・保安院は「データがどれだけ住民のために役立てられたか は現時点では分からない」としています。

3 hours before tellurium was detected, the national government expanded the evacuation zone from 3-kilometer radius from the plant to 10-kilometer radius, and was asking the residents to leave. But there was no mention of the damage to the fuel. In the press conference that afternoon, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the nuclear fuel was not damaged. If the data had been disclosed at an early stage when a serious situation was developing, the data might have been useful in evacuating the residents or better informing the residents. However, NISA claims "It is not known at this point how useful the information would have been to help the residents."

一方、事故発生の4日後に周辺の市町村で行った放射性物質の調査のうち、原発から30キロから50キロの4か所で 採取した雑草などのデータも公表されていませんでした。このうち、原発の北西およそ38キロの川俣町で採取した雑草からはヨウ素131が1キログラム当た り123万ベクレルという高い濃度で検出されていました。

Meanwhile, of the survey done in cities, towns, and villages around the nuclear plant 4 days after the start of the accident, the data on the grass taken at 4 locations 30 to 50 kilometers from the plant wasn't disclosed. The withheld data shows a high concentration (1,230,000 becquerels/kilogram) of iodine-131 was detected from the grass in Kawamata-machi, 37 kilometers northwest of the plant.

原発周辺の雑草については、この調査から9日後になって初めて飯舘村で1キログラム当たり252 万ベクレルの放射性ヨウ素が検出されたと発表されていました。

About the grass in the area around the plant, it was announced [on March 24] that 2,520,000 becquerels/kilogram of radioactive iodine was detected in Iitate-mura, 9 days after [the data in Kawamata-machi was taken].

これについて、環境中の放射性物質に詳しい学習院大学の村松康行教授は「放射性ヨウ素は子ど もへの影響が大きく最も注意が必要な物質だ。早い段階で遠くまで放射性ヨウ素の汚染が広がっていることが公表されていればより早く何らかの対応ができた可 能性がある。当時の対応を検証する必要がある」と指摘しています。

Professor Yasuyuki Muramatsu of Gakushuin University, an expert in environmental radiation, points out, "Radioactive iodine affects children the most and we should monitor it very carefully. If the extent of contamination of radioactive iodine in places far away from the plant was disclosed early on, we could have done something about it. We need to examine the government response at that time."

データの公表が遅れたことについて、原子力安全・保安院は「対策本部を現地から福島県庁 に移す際に混乱したため、データがあることは把握していたが、公表しようという考えに至らなかった。深く反省している」と話しています。

About the delay in disclosing the data, NISA says, "There was a confusion when we moved the headquarters [to deal with the accident] from the plant to the Fukushima prefectural government hall. We knew there was such data, but it never occurred to us to disclose it. We deeply regret."

"Delay" is an understatement. And it is clear that it was a selective amnesia; they picked the worst data and hid it.

The government also "forgot" to disclose the simulation data that were created in case of an accident at Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant, according to NHK.


Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

Didn't the officials say, "Oh, don't worry about the rain the levels of contamination won't cause "immediate" human harm". The constant "We deeply regret" should be followed by some Yubitsume. Nothing says I'm truly sorry like a pile of bloody fingers in a bowl after each press conference. It would also make it a lot easier to keep track of the liars.

Notice the IAEA glosses over important blunders and delays like the one in the OP because their job is to justify nuclear power and minimize negative publicity with cherry picked studies from the country in question. The IAEA doesn't do an investigation they listen to nincompoops who caused the problem's story and they help them fashion a proper lie the world community will accept through obfuscation and omission.

Mark my words like the A.E.C. of old the IAEA will eventually have to change their name because it will become synonymous with industry support.

" Can you give a brief history of the origins of the NRC?

Back in the early 1970s, the Atomic Energy Commission [the predecessor of the NRC] was coming under attack for being overly cozy with the nuclear industry. The fundamental problem with the AEC was that its statutory mandate said it was supposed to promote, develop and regulate nuclear power. It's hard to do all three simultaneously. What inevitably happened was that they were promoting and developing at the expense of regulating.

The Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, which was a uniquely powerful congressional committee, was pushing the AEC to show results. And results meant reactors. So the promotional aspects and the developmental aspects always took priority over the regulatory aspects. By the early 1970s, that was becoming problematic.

Were there specific incidents that people were upset about?

People within the AEC on the scientific end of the body were raising questions about the pace of nuclear development and specifically some safety questions. They felt that the political appointees weren't paying sufficient attention to that -- pushing it under the carpet. Eventually some of these disagreements became public. There were stories in the New York Times, there were exposes on "60 Minutes," the evening news and so on. That created a problem. The second thing that happened right around the same time was the first Arab oil embargo, in 1973. All of a sudden energy got thrust into the nation's spotlight for the first time. What the government ended up doing was splitting the AEC into two. They took the promotional and developmental side of the AEC and that soon became the Department of Energy, and then the regulatory arm became the Nuclear Regulatory Commission."

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

I don't want to leave the impression that the splitting of the AEC solved the problem. You can change the name of your organization as much as you'd like but if you keep the same incompetent boobs you'll get the same results.

"Top nuclear industry officials maintain the public has nothing to fret about — that the NRC is a tough regulator that asks tough questions. NRC critics counter that the agency might ask tough questions, but is all too willing to accept easy answers.

Concerns about the NRC’s oversight are nothing new. A clear illustration is a series of reports issued since 2002 by the NRC’s internal inspector general and the U.S. General Accountability Office related to a near-catastrophe at Davis-Besse, a nuclear reactor on the shores of Lake Erie.

From those reports:

• In 2002 the GAO found the NRC weighed the financial impacts of its safety-related decisions on the industry’s bottom line — stalling a forced reactor shutdown at Davis-Besse because the NRC fretted about the impact on the plant owner’s finances and the “black eye” an emergency shutdown might give the industry.

• In 2004 the GAO found that little had changed within the NRC’s safety and inspection culture since Davis-Besse. An internal NRC task force failed to look at more agency-wide issues uncovered during their post-mortem review, the GAO found.

• In 2009, the OIG found that key NRC staff couldn’t name the four core areas of improvement the NRC had identified to better protect the public’s health and safety after Davis-Besse incident. In fact, the OIG discovered many NRC staff didn’t know the “lessons learned” project existed.

A report issued last month by the nuclear watchdog group, the Union of Concerned Scientists, found 14 “near misses” at U.S. nuclear reactors in 2010, with the NRC’s response to some critical errors less than reassuring.

“If you still believe that the NRC is a nuclear watchdog, you are probably still sending your money to Bernie Madoff,” said Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear-industry executive turned whistleblower.

Anonymous said...

"The government also "forgot".. "

The government, TEPCO-bought politicians, did NOT forget JCO had its offices raided after the Tokai criticality.

That they did not forget. That they have ensured does not happen again.

There's your silence.

Anonymous said...

And to ensure no office raiding, the entire nuke industry gathered behind the effort of "there was no criticality at Fukushima".

Mr. Gunderson would agree?

I personally believe the #3 explosion was a criticality that extinguished itself.

Anonymous said...

Not only JCO, but Sumitomo had its offices raided also after Tokai.

"DECEMBER 14, 1999
The Associated Press. "Police to search JCO parent company offices Thurs."
Police are planning to search the offices of Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., the parent company of the JCO Co., whose workers caused the criticality accident. Police will search Sumitomo's headquarters in Tokyo and the office in Tokaimura. Company officials are suspected of professional negligence and violation of a law regulating nuclear facilities. Police apparently suspect that Sumitomo officials may have been aware that JCO workers were not abiding by legally established procedures. Investigators plan to confiscate operational reports from JCO and question its employees to determine the chain of command between the two companies."

These raidings of their offices evidently generated some resolve to not allow it to happen again.

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