Thursday, October 13, 2011

(UPDATED) New Twist on 4.7 Microsieverts/Hr Radiation in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo: Radium??

(UPDATE: They say it was most likely radium-226, the surface radiation was 600 microsieverts/hour.)

From Tokyo Shinbun quoting Kyodo News (10/14/2011):

東京都世田谷区弦巻の区道で局地的に高い放射線量が検出された問題で、保坂展人区長は13日夜、区役所で記者会見し、区道沿いの住宅の床下にあった瓶の付近から毎時30マイクロシーベルト以上の高い線量が検出されたと発表した。

Regarding the localized hot spot location on the municipal road in Tsurumaki, Setagaya-ku in Tokyo, the Mayor of Setagaya-ku, Nobuhito Hosaka, held a press conference on October 13 evening that over 30 microsieverts/hour radiation was detected from the bottles found from under the floor of the house that borders the road.

 区から通報を受けた文部科学省は瓶の中の物質を調査し、ラジウムとほぼ特定。原発から放出される放射性セシウムなどとは異なるため、同省は東京電力福島第1原発事故とは関係ないと断定した。

The Ministry of Education and Science analyzed the content of the bottles, and almost identified it as radium. Since it was not one of the nuclides released from a nuclear reactor such as radioactive cesium, the Ministry concluded that it had nothing to do with the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident.

 区や文科省によると、瓶はガラス製とみられ、高さ約7センチ、直径5~6センチ程度のものなど数十本が木箱に入っており、中身は粉状。

According to Setagaya-ku and the Ministry of Education and Science, the bottles look to be made of glass, about 7 centimeters long and 5 to 6 centimeters in diameter. There are several tens of bottles in a wooden box. The content of the bottles are powdery.

The radiation was so high that the survey meter that they brought couldn't measure as it went overscale. No one is currently living in that house.

Whether people believe the government is another matter. Some simply do not. I am rather shocked to see the Ministry of Education, of all people, responding so quickly, even releasing the photo above so quickly. That ministry is the last one I'd expect to respond to ordinary people's concern. How ironic.

(Oh wait... The radiation near the surface of the side walk (5 centimeters off) was rather high at 1.34 microsievert/hour, according to Mainichi Shinbun (10/13/2011). Radium in the bottle under the house cannot explain that, can it??)

In the meantime, more radiation "hot spots" (often several microsieverts/hour) have been discovered in the Tokyo metropolitan area. More later.

26 comments:

netudiant said...

These look like reagent bottles such as were commonly used in chemistry labs and for artists supplies.
Uranium salts were used to give a strong yellow glaze for pottery and also to make yellow or green crystal. Perhaps there is something similar involved here. Radon is a decay product.
Still is weird, a quick response team from the Education Ministry while the rest of the government is issuing reassuring communiques. Japan sure is different.

Nancy said...

They are likely radium bromide or a similar radium powder preparation. These quack cures were popular in the US and Japan up into the 50's and 60's even though they were known to kill people. Pics of radium bottles and details here. http://houseoffoust.com/group/wp-admin/post.php?post=3610&action=edit&message=6#

BTW, we borrowed your pic from the news story but gave credits.

Anonymous said...

Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906 banned Patent medicines in the United States. Patent medicines were 'cure all's' that had all kinds of nasty things in them including a lot of what are now illegal drugs. Its hard to believe they still sold these so called cures into the 50's and 60's in the US. I would guess more likely somebody was involved with chemistry that lived in that house. Its an odd location to store such things below a house.

Anonymous said...

10 Radioactive Products that People Actually Used

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/offbeat-news/10-radioactive-products-that-people-actually-used/1388?image=0

How convenient of a find ... how alarming it all is.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Many in Japan are saying this is a "wag the dog" event, because the response from the government was just too quick..

Unconfirmed report that the company who did the radiation measurement was a TEPCO subsidiary.

Anonymous said...

bonus info just for family in Tokyo
the Guardian apologists may not even believe this story
RADON decay info: http://pissinontheroses.blogspot.com/search/label/MAXIMUM%20ALERT
Goto (first part of saga) Tuesday, September 20, 2011
HOHO HAHA
sorry for the course language used in Web Site title but rest of language at Web Site is Very Boring (OK)

Anonymous said...

They said it was radium, not radon.

Anonymous said...

yes, it says radium-226 in the UPDATE at the top.

William Milberry said...

Strange ... It reminds me of the playground in Prague where they found a small rod of Radium the other week after a citizen detected elevated radiation: http://www.praguepost.com/news/10474-radioactive-element-found-on-playground-in-prague.html

Anonymous said...

Stuff like this is known as orphan sources they are actually quite common since 9/11 the DOE has managed to collect 15,000 of these abandoned hazards in the US alone. Google "orphan sources" and you might be shocked at what you find.

http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/source-reduction-management/recovery.html

http://iaea.org/newscenter/features/radsources/orphaned20040219.html

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Orphan_sources_in_Indian_scrap_market_2304101.html

Anonymous said...

Well that's not at all surprising, as if there was going to be a 10 meter highly contaminated area in Tokyo when all the surrounding area was clean. I wish people would use some common sense. I don't know why people post this kind of alarmist rubbish.

Anonymous said...

With all the hysteria being created by "Hot Spots are everywhere and they are going to kill you all" bloggers, it is not surprising the local government acted so fast. Just a shame some people are upset that the result is not to do with the disaster at all, which is good news.

Seems that the house was built in 1950s. The owner of the house, a 90 year-old woman, was living there until last February. (not sure how long she had been living there but Japanese don't move so much). Likely, she has been exposed to high levels of radiation for a long time, but she seems to be fine, according to morning news. 90, I would be happy to get to 90.

Hmmmm.....not good for the doomsayers ay?

Anonymous said...

@anon 6:18 PM,

I'm sure ALL the hot spots have been caused by kooky old ladies. Those same witches are the ones poisoning the food. It has nothing whatsoever to do with reactors up north that 20,000 workers have been trying (and failing) to control. Doom, thy name is woman.

Steveo said...

This is not 'alarmist rubbish", the real tin foil hatters would point to this as a media event, to prove to people that just because you measure high radiation, you don't really know where it is from or you can't prove its from Fukushima.

Deception at its best, played out quickly, pimped by the media.

James said...

@anon 5:40 PM

Well the radium IS quite surprising, as there are several well reported 10 meter highly contaminated areas in Tokyo when surrounding areas are relatively 'clean'.

They are mostly dotted around Tokyo's garbage and sludge incinerator sites, as well as most drains, and roadsides in any of Tokyo's far eastern and western suburbs. I wish people would use some common sense.

Hot Spots are everywhere. Although they're not going to kill you in the short to medium term, there's plenty of evidence to point to a slight long term increase in cancer risk. Come visit and I'll take you on a tour.

Anonymous said...

If there is any manipulation here, I think it is not to camouflage radiation from Fukushima as radium, but to spread a message that radiation has been around, we have been living with it, and you should not worry too much, and you should not mind nuclear reactors. For such a message, planting this stuff in a 90 year old person's house and then find it, is pretty good PR.

caustixoid said...

the Guardian reports that Ra-225 was in the bottles. It's a beta and alpha emitter therefore cannot account for high street readings even if the bottles were open.

caustixoid said...

sorry, they said Radium-226 (not that it matters because Radium is not a gamma emitter):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radium-226#Radium-226

Anonymous said...

I am no radiation expert but Ra-226 is an alpha emitter which would be stopped by even a piece of paper.

Let's see if the radiation is still high after they removed the bottle.

Whoever measuring the radiation should be able to tell us the type of radiation being emitted.

Anonymous said...

Ra 226 is also gamma http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/radionuclides/radium.html

Anonymous said...

More info:

http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/rp/factsheets/factsheets-htm/fs29ra226.htm

Principal Modes of Decay (MeV):
Alpha 4.78 (94.5%), 4.61 (5.55%)
Gamma 0.186 (3.5%)

According to the government's theory:
1) the lamps/bottles are the source
2) the radiation measured is gamma and is 4.7ms/h

Something does not add up:
a) That is some serious stash of radioactive substance under the floor. It does not look to be left-over from hospital. Where does one get something so radioactive?? If Gamma is 3.5%, alpha would be close to 130ms/h??
b) The gamma radiation would have caused some damage to people living in the hotspot. This is not even low radiation.

Anonymous said...

It is more than 130mSv/h because the alpha radiation is more damaging so it is multiplied by 4 to get the Sv. As I said, I think it was planted so that they can say that people lived there for decades without effect on the health.

Anonymous said...

This story is a crock of shit peddled by the government and media to divert people away from fukushima, it was planted there and made to look harmless, oh a 90 year old woman was living there, how amazing, you mean she didnt get irradiated? .... this story stinks to high heaven, Tokyo is a radioactive waste dump lets face it

Anonymous said...

The radiation penetrated through the pavement and got into the fences, trees, and leaves in the surrounding area. How did the ppl that lived in the house survive all those years?

Anonymous said...

いつも、重要な情報をありがとうございます。今回の世田谷の件は過剰なメディアの反応と文科省の迅速な対応に確かに驚かされました。ただ、私は10月13日の日中に現地に行きましたが、ラジウムだと言う事は本当だと思います。自分の数種のガイガーカウンターで測った時も、私は専門家ではありませんが「福島由来じゃないかも」と思いました。首都圏のホットスポットと言っても1マイクロSv/h以上行く事は経験上、ほとんどない事と原発事故から7ヶ月経った今空間線量はほぼ事故前と同じくらいの通常値に戻っていて、地表よりも地表1メートルの方が線量が高かったのですから、まずそこでおかしいと思いました。周辺の木の葉なども線量上がるわけではありませんでしたから。また、あるテレビ局が持っていたシンチの線量計で核種スペクトルを見れる機種で測っても、セシウムのピークが全く現れなかったので。その方と、不可解ですね、と話した覚えがあります。あなたのブログを見て、間違った印象を東京に対して持ってしまった人がいる…という事に気をつけて下さい。英語で発信されているので各国の人が恐らく読まれていると思いますが、「東京は酷い汚染をされていて、それを隠すための行政の工作だ。ラジウムはやらせだ。東京も避難区域にしないといけないほど汚染されているらしい」という事を言いふらしている方がいらっしゃいます。それこそ、風評被害ですよ。たしかに都内にもマイクロホットスポットと呼ばれる箇所は点在していますが、住めないほどの汚染だとは思いません。そういった箇所に気を払い、食べ物に気をつけていれば今のところ問題はないと思います。震災後から自分でもいろんなところを測ってきて、専門家ではありませんが、それなりに色々調べ勉強もしました。もし、今回の行政と政府の対応に不信感を持たれるのであれば、このお宅の土壌調査をご自分でされてから発言されたらいかがでしょうか?もちろん、私も予々から政府・東電の発表は信じていませんでしたが、今回の件は自分でも現地で確認したのであまりにも危険を煽るのはどうかな…と感じました。東京が酷い汚染されているという事が世界中で噂になったところを想像してみて下さい、日本経済が今以上に厳しい状況に置かれることは間違いないですよね。

Anonymous said...

@anon at 12:34AM, this is an English-language blog. If you want to say something say it in English please so that the world can understand whatever it is that you're saying.

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