Tuesday, October 4, 2011

#Radiation in Japan: 300,000 Bq/Kg of Radioactive Cesium from Soil in Fukushima City

NGO "FoE Japan (Friends of Earth Japan) did its own survey of radiation contamination in Watari District in Fukushima City with the help from Professor Tomoya Yamauchi of Kobe University. Watari District has high radiation levels throughout the district, but the national government has so far refused to designate anywhere in the district as "evacuation recommended" area.

If the government designate an area as such, the government has to pay for the relocation cost. As the result, the designation in other cities like Date City has been very arbitrary and spotty, rendering the whole exercise worthless. Often, the residents are simply moved to the other parts of the same city with slightly lower radiation.

Professor Yamauchi already released the result of the air radiation survey of Watari District, but today (October 5, 2011) FoE Japan held a press conference and announced the result of the soil contamination survey.

The links at the NGO's site are broken unfortunately, but the newspapers reporting the press conference, the highest contamination was 300,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium. Here's one from Asahi Shinbun (10/5/2011), which is one of the better Japanese newspapers that tend to keep the links alive longer.

Judging from Professor Yamauchi's air radiation survey (in Japanese), this particular location looks like the one that had 23 microsieverts/hour radiation at 1 centimeter off the surface of the dirt in the roadside drain. Professor Yamauchi hypothesized that radioactive cesium from surrounding mountains and forests washes down the drain after the rain, and naturally gets concentrated in the dirt.

In my communication with Professor Yamauchi, I asked if the decontamination as currently practiced in Fukushima works at all, given the non-result in Watari District which he surveyed. He said the spot decontamination like removing the dirt and sludge is useless as radioactive materials simply come from somewhere else, so the district-wide decontamination including the surrounding mountains would be necessary to "decontaminate" in the true sense of the word - to remove radioactive materials, not reduce.

He also said that spraying water with high-pressure washers hardly work at all on concrete and asphalt surfaces, as radioactive cesium is now deeply embedded in the concretes and asphalt. The only way to decontaminate concrete and asphalt, the professor said, was to physically remove all concrete structures - houses, fences, pavement, etc., which he said would destroy the neighborhood. He is of the opinion that all the residents in the district should be evacuated first, with the government paying for the cost, and the experts should get to work to truly "decontaminate".

Professor Yamauchi also wryly observed the the word for "decontamination" in Japanese, 除染 (jo-sen), is misleading. Looking at the characters for the word, it does mean "removing the contamination". So by doing the "jo-sen" work people think they are removing the contamination, when all they may achieve is to reduce the level of contamination somewhat (not much, if Watari District is any indication). He even said it was as if the government was encouraging "decontamination" so as not to evacuate people.

Or in the case of Minami Soma City, it is as if the residents in contaminated areas could feel comfortable enough to remain there by doing the "decontamination" work, as one volunteer related in the US ABC News interview in August. "If this radiation is going to stick around here for five to 10 years, we have to learn to live with it,"she said, instead of moving away from the high radiation area. For her, shoveling dirt from the kindergarten playground was a way to live with "it".

17,000 people live in Watari District, with beautiful mountains and water. It is dubbed "hidden paradise" in Fukushima City for the scenery like this:

(Photo credit: SHEjapan.com, with permission)


Anonymous said...

'hidden paradise'?

Renamed, 'Paradise Lost'.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Well, I couldn't say that after looking at the photograph of the place. I just couldn't.

Anonymous said...

Anyone want to make a guess how long before people get sick with levels of 300,000 Bq/km? Or are they already sick--and its just "flu?"It must be confusing (on purpose?) to see BQ/Km, rads, microsievers, milisievers all used to describe human contamination by radiation. The cross referencing makes it difficult to determine the dangers and total amount of exposure. PLUS since the internal radiation from food is also additive, and everyone eats differently, how does that get factored in?

Anonymous said...


How about 'Paradise we're going to lose'?

Anonymous said...


Professor Yamauchi, like everyone in the big brother -BAND, wants desperately yall to believe the accident is over.

Defying all logic, he wants you to look away from the beach bombs: " Beware of the mountains " (Only Chernobyl continues)...

...thus pointin to the sad fact that all - like FoE - belong to the irradiating glob all fukufamily.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... confusing (on purpose?)...
October 5, 2011 12:44 AM

Whole Circus - On Purpose

Atomfritz said...

I am happy that finally some independent investigation going on.
That's relieving, as we can only mistrust Tepco and government and their way of manipulation and cheating of the people.
Hopefully, we'll get soon a clearer picture of the real radiation situation. Under the given background we have to expect that the true values are way higher than being told to us officially for long time.

And, this picture is so beautiful.

On another PC that's under repair atm, I bookmarked a photo site of Fukushima, the pictures were so beautiful.
Trying to find that site again, I googled for "fukushima beauty nature" and the first link (*) invited to camping in Fukushima.
So sad probably few people will dare to do camping there in the future.

(*) http://www.pref.fukushima.jp/kokusai/english/outlook/35place.html

Anonymous said...

FTW independent investigation?

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

Professor Yamauchi, like everyone in the big brother -BAND, wants desperately yall to believe the accident is over.

What?? Is that what you got from reading the article? You have a serious comprehension problem. No wonder your spammy craapy linky website doesn't make sense. "

Anonymous said...

in dependent in vestige...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... " No wonder your spammy craapy linky website. " October 5, 2011 7:14 AM

Oh dear, you mean this http://wp.me/pwIAV-19 !?

How sad but True. Craapy typos, facty linkys an' pure scientific facts ... I know that doesn't make sense for your ilk. Sorry.

I forgot to print a warning: Just try to keep out; saves lots of doc bills &pills?

Try at least.

Anonymous said...

Figures this came from US ABC News: "If this radiation is going to stick around here for five to 10 years, we have to learn to live with it,"

It's the central lie of the nuclear industry, that radiation contamination is temporary and merely inconvenient. It's a lie. Plutonium is, for all practical human purposes, forever.

Ask the people displaced from Bikini if they could ever go home or if the radioactivity remained too high in the biosphere for them to ever return to their paradise.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

If you are insinuating Professor Yamauchi is somehow a government shill, you are mistaken.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to love him. And I desperately want me being wrong... whatever, thks for this blog page.

But Sorry, lost my clean nuke industry innocence march 2011 ... theses days dont even trust myself: here the mentioned 'mountains' just seem too big for my brains to ovrcome, 'fessor seems ok.

And as for the .org issue - there isnt any without nuke slu$h fund. None. Zero. Nada. Njet... while no visible FoE rrors.

Anonymous said...

By the rules and laws of Nature, there is no safe level of man-made radiation that human beings can endure. Any level of radiation contamination from man-made nuclear processes will be cumulatively harmful--it is only a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

Atomfritz said...

"Hopefully, we'll get soon a clearer picture of the real radiation situation."

If anyone needs a "clear" picture of what the real situation is in Japan just have to google "chernobyl" - there's 25-years of data and documentaion on what the results of a nuclear meltdown "really" looks like!

Half of Europe still has serious Cesium contamination to this day - yet who cares about any of the poor souls that are sick with cancer today or have already died over the last two decades - just more numbers for the statistics that can't be "directly" connected to radiation anyway (must be something else that caused their cancer - couldn't possibly be any of the cesium they consumed since 1986). And just a "coincidense" that all kinds of strange mutations and "rare" cancers have increased during this same time period - again has nothing to do with the increase in radioactive elements in the environment.

To continue as if things are just fine is Japan - you'd have to completely erase everything about Chernobyl from the history books - which they might actually start doing next as the global cover-up continues at the highest levels. The Ukraine is a sparsely populated region that the rest of the world does not need or care about. Japan is one of the most populated and top economic powers on Earth and 2nd largest holder of US teasuries which means no one is going to be drawing an exclsuison zone around Japan any time soon as the money is far more important than all those now condemmed to die from the fallout.

Anonymous said...


These nukelubed besswissers never care about the facts. Like...

Chernobyl; Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment by Alexey V. YABLOKOV, Vassily B. NESTERENKO, Alexey V. NESTERENKO

(thks ex-skf for the linky)

Anonymous said...

"Oh dear, you mean this http://wp.me/pwIAV-19 !?"

Affirmative, that's the craap I mean.

Bruce Hayden said...

The half life of plutonium is 24,200 years. The official story seems to concentrate on cesium etc.
The Japanese government has quit measuring plutonium; or at least reporting it. For an alternate explanation of what happened at Fukushima and why google: jimstonefreelance. Even if you can't accept this guy's speculation you have to ask yourself why no buildings fell down.
All the damage was done by the tsunami. He shows dozens of pictures of the damage of the Kobe earthquake in 1995. That was about a 7.0 on the Richter scale. Widespread and massive damage. A 9.0 is a hundred times stronger than a 7.0 so you would think that something other than an old wooden building in Sendai would fall down.

Anonymous said...

The 9.0M epicentre was out at sea so it wouldn't have been a hundred times stronger than a 7.0M, when measured on land. Distance makes a difference.

a female Faust said...

--- needed to make sure you saw this:


-- and of course: thank you.

a female Faust said...

(no it wasn't specifically relevant to this post; if there is a proper place for reader tips & submissions, am unaware, and meant no disrespect. of course. in fact, the opposite: thanks again.)

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