De facto loosening of standards in radioactive safety is coming fast and furious over in Japan. Shock and awe, sort of.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) is going to allow radioactive sewage sludge to be recycled as cement materials. Starting with the sludge with several hundred becquerels per kilogram of cesium, and gradually expand to the sludge with higher radiation as long as it is "confirmed "safe".
You see, the cement industry is suffering. We've got to help them. The local governments are being flooded with radioactive sewage sludge, We've got to help them. Spread the radiation far and wide, and it will be "safe".
It must be a shock to many Japanese to finally realize that the government ministries are for the benefit of the industries and the ministries themselves, not the citizens and residents of Japan. This is just another proof that the safety and security of the industries ( in the MLIT's case, big ones like construction, railroad, aerospace) is the primary concern of the government, at the expense of "small people".
And I would add that it does make a difference who's at the top. The fish rots from the head. Too bad the rotten head (PM Kan) wasn't taken out, thanks to the silly maneuver by the "space alien" ex-PM Hatoyama.
From Jiji Tsushin (2:34AM JST 6/10/2011):
福島県などの下水処理施設の汚泥から放射性物質が検出された問題で、国土交通省は9日、経済産業省、セメント協会と汚泥のリサイクル再開に向けた最終調整 に入った。放射能濃度が比較的低い汚泥から、セメントの材料に利用する方針で、早ければ来週にも複数のセメント業者が引き取りを再開する見通し。セメント 製品の安全性を確認しながら、段階的に汚泥の利用を拡大する考えだ。
Concerning the radioactive sewage sludge at sewage treatment centers in Fukushima and other prefectures, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has entered the final negotiation with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Japan Cement Association to re-start the recycling of the sewage sludge. Recycling will start with the sewage sludge with relatively low level of radiation and use it as cement material. Several cement companies will start taking the sewage sludge as early as next week. If the safety of the cement products is ascertained, the Ministry will gradually expand the use of the sewage sludge [with higher radioactive materials].
放射性物質を含む汚泥に関しては、政府が5月中旬、一部をセメントに利用できるとする処理基準を示した。しかし、十分な安全確認体制が確立されていない ことから、セメント業界が引き取りを停止していた。通常、汚泥の約4割はセメントにリサイクルされていたため、処理や保管場所の確保に悩む自治体が相次い でいた。
Regarding the radioactive sewage sludge, the national government issued a guideline in mid May that part of the sludge could be used in cement. However, as there is no system to check the safety, the cement industry has halted taking the sludge. Normally, about 40 percent of the sewage sludge is recycled. Municipalities are having a hard time securing the storage space [after the sludge has been found to be radioactive].
セメントに利用する汚泥は、自治体側が定期的に放射能濃度を測定することで、安全性を確保する。また、セメント製品については、原子炉等規制法に基づく 基準を満たせるよう業者側が検査を行う。当面は、自治体側で週数回の測定を行い、放射能濃度が1キログラム当たり数百ベクレル程度であれば、業者が引き取 ることで合意する見通し。
The safety of the sewage sludge is to be ascertained by the local municipalities who will regularly monitor the radiation. As to the safety of the cement product, cement companies will conduct the test so that the radiation level falls within the limit set by the law that governs nuclear reactors, nuclear fuels and materials. Municipalities will conduct the test several times a week, and if the radiation level is about several hundred becquerels per kilogram, the cement companies will take the sludge.
Radioactive Japan. That's what's going to be as long as these government and industry elites run the place.