Friday, February 10, 2012

#Radioactive Firewood, This Time from Miyagi Prefecture: 730 Bq/kg Cesium in Wood Would Become 130K Bq/kg in Ashes

Miyagi Prefecture, whose governor has simultaneously insisted that there was no radiation contamination in his prefecture and that his prefecture needs support (aka money) from the national government to deal with radiation contamination, has been found with firewood very much contaminated with radioactive cesium, the only radionuclide that the government cares to measure.

The Ministry of the Environment survey found the firewood from southern Miyagi tested high in radioactive cesium, with the maximum of 730 becquerels/kg in one town. If you burn this wood, the resulting ashes would contain 132,860 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (2/10/2012):

宮城県南部で薪(まき)とその焼却灰に含まれる放射性物質を調査していた環境省は10日、薪から最大で国の指標値の18倍にあたる放射性セシウムを検出したと発表した。

The Ministry of the Environment announced on February 10 that radioactive cesium 18 times the national safety limit [40 becquerels/kg] was detected in the firewood from southern Miyagi. The ministry had been conducting the test of firewood and the ashes from burning the firewood in southern Miyagi for radioactive materials.

焼却灰からも、最大で国の基準値の7倍に上るセシウムが検出された。

Radioactive cesium 7 times the national safety limit [8000 becquerels/kg] was detected from the ashes.

 同省によると、1月26、27日に県南9市町で実施。薪は6市町で指標値(1キロ・グラムあたり40ベクレル)を超え、村田町730ベクレル、白石市670ベクレル、丸森町460ベクレルなどを検出。焼却灰も4市町で一般廃棄物として処分できる国の基準値(同8000ベクレル)を上回り、丸森町で5万9000ベクレル、白石市2万8000ベクレルなどを検出した。

According to the ministry, the test was conducted in 9 municipalities in southern Miyagi on January 26 and 27. In 6 municipalities, the densities of radioactive cesium exceeded the national safety limit (40 becquerels/kg): 730 Bq/kg in Murata-machi, 670 Bq/kg in Shiraishi City, 460 Bq/kg in Marumori-machi. In 4 municipalities, the ashes exceeded the national safety limit (8000 Bq/kg) for safe disposal as regular waste: 59,000 Bq/kg in Marumori-machi, 28,000 Bq/kg in Shiraishi City.

 結果を受けて宮城県は、薪を風呂やストーブに使用せず、灰は袋などに入れて保管するよう呼びかけている。

On receiving the results, the Miyagi prefectural government is calling the residents not to use firewood for baths and stoves, and to keep the ashes in bags and store them.

The news probably came too late for many people in Miyagi. But after 11 months, isn't it time people started to think for themselves? Or am I asking too much?

The Ministry of the Environment has a press release of the result, here.

And contrary to popular belief in Japan, a researcher at Tokyo University of Agriculture says that radioactive cesium has penetrated deep inside the wood. So, even if the bark is stripped off the firewood, radioactive cesium is still there in the wood.

3 comments:

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Anonymous said...

People in Japan also need to realize..its not just wood. Its every object in the high radiation areas. Thats humans as well as wood, snow..water. EVERYHING has picked up radiation and while sluffing off the products--careful disposal or more and more radiation will spread. Somehow Japan needs to have safe zones, and cordon off the radiative are
as..REAL cordoning. Time is all that will decontaminiate the lands/air/water.

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