Loose ends of small news and "baseless rumors" at the end of the weekend. Links are mostly in Japanese. Sorry English readers...
The case of the high-radiation supermarket in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo:
The contractor hired by the government dug up the location in the parking lot with 110 microsieverts/hour radiation, and found a glass bottle 40 centimeter below the surface. The radiation on that spot was the Fuku-I Nuke Plant level radiation of 40 millisieverts/hour. After removing the glass bottle, the radiation dramatically dropped to 25 microsieverts/hour (which is still very high, actually). The bottle allegedly contained radium-226, again. There are 15 locations in the supermarket compound (including inside the store) that are emitting high radiation, and it will take several weeks at least to dig up those locations to see what's buried. (From various sources: Nikkan Sports 11/2/2011, FNN News 11/3/2011, Nikkei Shinbun 11/2/2011, etc.)
They also dug up the location with 65 microsieverts/hour radiation and found a piece of glass with a small amount of radium from 20 centimeter below the surface. Once the glass was removed, the radiation dropped to 4 microsieverts/hour. (Mainichi Shinbun Japanese, 11/6/2011)
The case of acute lymphocytic leukemia:
No, not in a young child in a high radiation spot that is often talked about on Twitter. A 63-year-old TV newscaster has been diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia and is now hospitalized, getting ready for chemo. He felt a strange lump in his neck on October 28, he says. (Various news sources including: Zakzak 11/7/2011, Yomiuri Shinbun 11/6/2011)
In his morning program on Fuji TV he's been promoting Fukushima produce by eating them in the show. He also happened to be in Fukushima in March 15. Just a coincidence. Never mind that ALL is predominant in small children, and an adult case is one in 100,000 annually in Japan.
The case of Japan's Imperial Family getting sick:
The 9-year-old daughter of the crown prince and princess was hospitalized for a few days for mycoplasma pneumonia (NHK News 11/5/2011). The empress has been ill with aches and pains in the arms and legs (Sankei Shinbun 10/12/2011). Now the emperor himself is being hospitalized for bronchitis (Mainichi Shinbun 11/6/2011).
The areas surrounding the imperial household in the center of Tokyo in Chiyoda-ku has elevated radiation levels. The foodstuff that is used in the imperial household - vegetables, milk, egg, beef - comes from the imperial farm in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture (Imperial Household Agency, announcement on 7/21/2011) where the radiation is even more elevated and where the meat cow nearby was found with high level of radioactive cesium. (This link goes to my English blog post.)
The daughter of the crown prince and princess spent her summer vacation in Nasu. (This link is also in English.) The Kan administration sent the emperor and empress in April and May to cheer up the quake/tsunami victims in Chiba, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Fukushima, Iwate, 7 weeks in a row. They ate food in Fukushima, and bring some home for their sons' families.
The case of radioactive rice in Yokohama City:
The public park where 2770 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was found from the dried shiitake mushrooms, most of which had been fed to the public including 256 small children also grew rice in the rice paddies. The rice was found with 13 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium. Oh such a minute amount, no effect on health!
But the contamination level of Yokohama rice seems no different from the rice grown and harvested in Fukushima and southern Miyagi, two of the most contaminated prefectures. If you calculate the soil contamination level from the radioactive cesium in the rice and the transfer coefficient (the real one, between 0.01 and 0.001, not the one (0.1) used by the government for political reasons), the contamination of the rice paddies could be 1,300 becquerels/kg of cesium (coefficient 0.01) or 13,000 becquerels/kg (coefficient 0.001). (If you read Japanese, go to my post in my Japanese blog.)
Start of yet another week where financial and political shenanigans in Europe will dominate the headlines. Greece's Papandreou (G-Pap, a la Zero Hedge) is being replaced by Lucas Papademos (L-Pap) as the prime minister, and the world tries to muddle through yet another week. L-Pap may have a better chance of muddling through, as he is a favorite of the US Federal Reserve. Well, he worked in the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston as a senior economist.
Gold is going up in Asia. Gold spot at US$1771 (kitco.com).