Thursday, January 26, 2012

"Decontamination" Defined by Ministry of the Environment Is Nothing But a General, Thorough Cleaning by Hand

according to Sankei Shinbun, who has been unabashedly pro-nuclear energy and in favor of dispersing radioactive materials throughout Japan via the disaster debris to share in the "pain".

The paper has an article about the meeting between the Ministry of the Education officials and the heads of the municipalities within the 20-kilometer radius "no entry zone" where the heads of the municipalities received the information from the Ministry about their lot - whether they can return after the decontamination work by the national government or not.

But that isn't the interesting part of the article.

At the end of the article, there is a separate section that the newspaper writes about what "decontamination" is, according to the Ministry of the Education:

除染 「がんこな汚れを落とす掃除のようなもの」(環境省幹部)で、基本は人手に頼ってスコップやタワシなどで行わ れる。環境省が昨年末に公表したガイドラインによると、落ち葉など容易に除去できるものは手作業で取り除く。屋根であれば高圧洗浄機で洗い流し、玄関など コンクリート部分であればタワシやブラシでこする。放射性物質が染み込んだ草地や土壌は、スコップやショベルカーなどで表面をはぎ取る。放射能を浴びない ように防護服を着るなど作業時の服装に注意しなければならない。

Decontamination: "It is like a cleaning job of stubborn dirt or stains" (Ministry of the Environment senior officials). Basically, it relies on manpower, using hand tools like shovels and scrubbing-brushes. According to the guideline published at the end of last year by the Ministry of the Environment, what can be easily removed, such as dead leaves, is to be removed by hand. The roofs are to be washed down by high-pressure washers, and the concrete surface such as the entrance of a house is to be scrubbed by scrubbing-brushes and deck brushes. As for the grassland and the soil where radioactive materials have penetrated, the surface is to be removed using shovels or diggers. Workers must pay attention not to get exposed to radioactivity by wearing the protective gear.

It looks as long as you follow these procedures the Ministry will call it "decontamination" and the job is done by the book. The subcontractors get paid by the general contractors, who get paid by the Ministry.

If you believed what Goshi Hosono, Minister of the Environment, said about decontaminating Fukushima - "Japan is not the Soviet Union, we have advanced technology to deal with radiation contamination, and we can do what others may have failed", sorry. There is nothing high-tech about any of these methods, and they don't even work.

From what's been tweeted by a villager in Iitate-mura, Fukushima Prefecture, the thorough "decontamination" job by hand by the Self Defense Force using screw drivers scraping dirt and dead leaves achieved nothing. It's back to square one:


After decontamination (part 1): About the stone pavement in front of the village office that the Self Defense Force kindly took trouble to decontaminate for us. Right after the decontamination work on December 20, the radiation level was 1.57 microsievert/hour. On December 29 it was 2.87 microsieverts/hour. On January 10, it was 3.26 microsieverts/hour. I told you so, it's no use. The gaps between the stones are filled with dead leaves [again].

He is not angry that the radiation didn't go down. He is angry that the government needlessly exposed these young SDF soldiers who are from the bases inside Fukushima to high levels of radiation.

So far, two workers doing exactly what the Ministry of the Environment defines as "decontamination" have died in Date City and Hirono-machi in Fukushima Prefecture. The deaths have nothing to do with radiation, the government tells us, without giving any further details about the cause of their deaths.

If the government ever measured the density of radioactive materials in the soil and dead leaves that it made these workers and the SDF soldiers remove by hand in places like Iitate-mura and Date City, it hasn't bothered telling us.

By the way, Sankei Shinbun categorizes articles related to the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident and the radiation contamination problems with the label "Radiation Leak". At least Yomiuri and Asahi use "Nuke Plant Accident" as their label.


Anonymous said...

This advanced "decontamination" technology has been around for thousands of years. My cat uses it every day. After he poops, he licks his butt. He'll just have to lick twice as hard now that his poop is radioactive.

It's really amazing to learn that the Soviets didn't have this technology. No wonder the Soviet Union collapsed!

Anonymous said...

Dangerous decontamination performed by young SDF soldiers is criminal act by Japan's Minister of Environment. The Minister is placing the young men of the SDF into radioactive areas without care for long term health or safety. All for a "decontamination" process which DOES NOT work. Basic scrubbing with soap and water, high pressure hose wash downs and removal of vegetation/topsoil is useless, just moving radiation from one place, then back again. Radiation levels continue to increase AFTER decontamination. For example, radiation on December 20,2011 was 1.57 uSv/h (microsieverts). By January 10, 2012 it had increased to 3.26 uSv/h- over DOUBLE the amount of radiation! As long as reactors in meltdown keep generating radioactive fallout, its not working! With shortsighted and bogus decontamination efforts,Japan's government is needlessly exposing young and healthy men to radiation. All to continue with the charade of Japan's success in controlling the meltdowns of Fukushima I reactors 1-4, and proclaiming "emergency over", "cold shutdown." This could also be the same situation at Fukushima II reactors(or meltdowns) as this second nuclear plant has been mentioned in press briefings, with wording suggestive of meltdown as well.

Decontamination can not be successful until the radiation spilling out of Japan's reactors are stopped. Soon, please, very soon gain control of this disaster which threatens not only Japan but the world we know.

Anonymous said...

The Soviets tried to hide their reactor incident but at least they knew what they were dealing with and panicked. The average Russian seems to have been a lot brighter than the average Japanese in regard to what radioactive contamination is and its effects. The Japanese seem clueless and want to stay that way.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

"The Japanese seem clueless and want to stay that way."

Exactly. They want to stay that way, and that's the level of elementary school children who are protected by adults. Problem of course is there are no adults there.

Anonymous said...

January 27 has been declared Downwinder Day in the U.S.

sakuramane2004 said...

I went to the meeting with the gov of kanagawa on Jan 20, 2012 about burning and burying tohoku trash. I recorded it but it is not too good of quality. they showed a video and took questions, the crowd was mostly angry. sorry my mem ran out at question ans time but my friend recorded voice and I think it is on ustream by councilmen fujino in yokosuka. Here are my youtube links to my video
Kanagawa Gareki 1/20/2012

Anonymous said...

they are not clueless -- they are pathological con men who wish to keep on making money, payoffs, keep corruption and business in place, and let others die, let the Japanese people suffer... no conscience, no morality, disgusting!

Hélios said...

It's a pity to see this wonderful video (in english) :

when we know this landscape has become radioactive...

Anonymous said...

Besides the Soviets, Uncle Sam did not have the technology to decontaminate...ask the Marshall Islanders!

Chibaguy said...

Of course it is, Japan is by far the most capable country to clean up something they can see. This is the weak point of course. After living here over 10 years I can say that anything that can be denied, ignored, swept up and hidden or just scrubbed is the Japanese culture. However, in this case, they are building a mansion while the first floor is in fire. This is the culture and difficult change at best, but five years from now this will be all a reality and we will see what happens.

I am not berating the Japanese but just know this is the worst country to have such a horrible man made disaster in which they cannot see.

As an American I will berate the Americans. All they do is sell war and bombs and have thrown the Japanese under the bus. Elections mean nothing anymore. They cannot think for themselves. The only superior about American is they can kill over and over and people will vote these people back in office. It is a democracy of ignorance.

Sorry, got off on a tangent. Decontamination will only be effective until people start dying in masses. Until then, just a money making scheme until they get the connection between radiation and illness.

The new proverb should be "the nail that does not stick out dies."

Anonymous said...

Exactly , here in Japan things are conveniently swept under the carpet and when it comes back to bite them on the ass they find a fall guy and pin it on them... This fukushima thing could not have happened in a worse country, this culture is very backward and limited.... And yes i guess i am berating the Japanese on this as i think its a disgrace the way all sections of society have been dealing with this, the media is also complicit and the public are well and truly deluded... End of Rant

Hélios said...

OT :!

no6ody said...

Certain psychopathic leaders are just maintaining appearances, enabling those who want to believe everything is under control.

"Most people prefer to believe that their leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all." Michael Rivero

Anonymous said...

Assuming the concrete itself is not radioactive, a way to treat surface contamination is by use of concentrated hydrochloric acid.
Besides the danger of acid burns while using it, washing it away could have a cascade of effects, too, so it is iffy.

Then again, the environment has already been 'iffed'.

"Decontamination can not be successful until the radiation spilling out of Japan's reactors are stopped."

"The average Russian seems to have been a lot brighter than the average Japanese in regard to what radioactive contamination is and its effects." 8:19

It even begs the appearance of if a country's military has no experience of 'nuke weapons go Boom!' then that country's citizenry will be clueless when irradiated.

Anonymous said...

I worked to decontaminate a area, we put the top few inches of soil in to 55gal drums (hundreds of them), which were then trucked to a different state to be placed in a deep hole and then covered with "clean" dirt.

Anonymous said...

C o n t a m i n a t e d with radiation means = can't be d e c o n t a m i n a t e d! This "stuff" doesn't wash away! You can only wash it from one place to another. Get it!

Looking at these simpletons power wash a roof is hilarious! Where the hell do they think it is going? It's going on them and everywhere around the area. Water doesn't dissolve radiation!

The Japanese People (I hate to say this but, I will) are finished! Thanks to their "science challenged" leaders! We have the same leaders here in America....WE ARE ALL SCREWED!

Rabbit said...

So...kind of like a hand job is to sex?

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