Sunday, September 15, 2013

#Radioactive Olympic in 2020? Try 1964

Cesium-137 in monthly fallout in Tokyo, from 1964 (the year of the first Tokyo Olympic) to 2013, using the data and graph function from Japan Chemical Analysis Center database:

The fallout levels in 1964 look slightly higher than in 2011-2013, except for the initial huge spike in March 2011 due to the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. With luck, in 7 years, the fallout levels may come down to 1970s' levels. Even if Cs-134 is included, the order of magnitude doesn't look to increase. (The Y-axis is log.)

As of July 2013, Cs-137 in monthly fallout in Tokyo is 4.4MBq/km2, and Cs-134 is 2.2MBq/km2.

What about strontium, you ask? The maximum amount of strontium-90 in the monthly fallout after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident was about half of the fallout after the Chernobyl accident, and close to 1/100 of the maximum 1964 level:

Atmospheric nuclear testing by the United States, the Soviet Union stopped after 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty, but France, not being a signatory, continued until 1974, and China until 1980.

Some images from 1964 Tokyo Olympic:

Billy Mills (USA), winner of 10,000 long distance run, who overcame prejudice and discrimination (he was a Native American) to win a surprise win in the Olympic (according to Japanese wiki; no such information in English wiki).

Czech gymnast Věra Čáslavská, who enthralled the Japanese and the world viewers.

Ethiopian marathon runner Abebe Bikila, who had run bare-foot in 1960 Rome Olympic; in 1964 Tokyo Olympic, he wore Puma shoes. After the marathon, he said he could easily run another 10 kilometers.

1964 Olympic poster:


Anonymous said...

Laprimavera. Where does Japan Chemical analysis get their numbers from. Is this data they have collected and analyzed at first hand? Have they published their collection/analysis methodology and has it been peer reviewed? Or are these numbers based upon what Tepco and JP gov would have us believe are true?

In the absence of qualifying data, these charts are pretty but actually totally useless.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Official data that the government and government agencies started to take after the start of atmospheric nuclear testing. If you want qualifying data, this is it. If you think useless, that's too bad.

Anonymous said...

Official data hmmm... That about says it all.
We all know about the veracity of official data of the past two years.

Notwithstanding, the huge spike on the graph for 2011 is at least THREE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE GREATER than anything else on the chart.

Tokyo 2020? Might be time to start thinking about shorting construction stocks in the not so distant future.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:54AM, if you know "qualifying data" by non-government entities, feel free to let us know.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I don't know of any other entity than the government who has collected the fallout information consistently since 1957, using the same method.

Anonymous said...

More facing saving for Japan. Gee, everyone else is discriminatory but....not the Japanese......

Anonymous said...

Tokyo Bay is contaminated with cesium. The Edogawa River is contaminated with cesium. This has been verified by studies from Kyoto and Kinki Universities. According to those studies, the cesium levels will increase next year. Ell caught from the Edogawa two months ago surpassed the government limit for cesium. This is far worse than the nuclear fallout from the 50s and 60s.

How about reporting how the Olympic Village at Kasumi in Tokyo will be adjacent to 4,000 bq/kg of cesium in Tokyo Bay, based on the scientific studies of Japanese Universities?

Japan intends to hold Olympic sailboat races in cesium cesspool of Tokyo Bay! Why not report on the recent Japanese University studies regarding Tokyo Bay contamination if you are going talk about 1960s fallout?

Bloomberg is running articles on how valuable the land at Kasumi will be due to the Olympic Village. Is there no honesty and ethics in journalism anymore?

Unknown said...

i don't think the results will be similar to those.
i think, correct me if i'm wrong that the graph shows results from all the nuclear bomb tests around the world and chernobyl and other less known accidents that took place in those past years,
so, in tokyo at that time the analysis showed such results.

but now i think the situation is quite different,
the "emmiter" of pollution is very near.
and there's more than one (minimum 3 melthrough, but i'm sure other plants elsewhere in japan suffered mild damage too, like daini but not only.)
if you look at the graph, when the data was taken the "emmiters" where far away and pollution had time to get diluated a bit before it reached japan.
now fukushima is directly in japan, i think the results will show something worse than those from the previous olympics in the 1960s despite all the bomb tests going at the time.

what do you all think about this?
you ,ex-skf, you really think pollution will decrease like that over just 10years?

i think i heard somewhere that radioactive pollution kind of "increased" overtime as a process of its decay (radioactive sub products being created from their parent radioactive element decaying giving birth to them)
so the intensity of the radioactive pollution kind of grew stronger overtime.
this isn't correct information?

Anonymous said...

I do not believe for one second that JP Gov data is all that is available.

The radionuclides will not simply disappear over the next ten years. Germany knows that wild boar in certain areas are STILL hugely contaminated with Cs and Sr as a result of Chernobyl.

Welsh sheep farmers only relatively recently were able to farm sheep on the hills because of the ongoing contamination of their land

Anonymous said...

Japan will have its games as it struggles to muster the Olympian efforts that will be required to caretake the mess. To talk about clean up or containment within the confines of the Exclusion Zone is simply foolish. It ain't gonna happen in our lifetimes.

Anonymous said...

So I guess this means it's okay to just keep having nuclear accidents and people will probably be fine?

Kind of an unnecessary gamble. Personally, I'd prefer it there were no nuclear accidents at all. But that's just me.

VyseLegendaire said...

The question is: would you as an athlete still want to appear at the Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo knowing what there is to know ? Would you as a spectator attend the games carefree despite the serious nature of the problem(s) surrounding you ? To do so would be a gross breech of integrity, and sanity, in any case.

シゲル said...

Hi La Primevère,

thank you for this perspective, it's a good reminder:

thanks for reminding me my country has polluted the earth's air for such a long time.

We will shut down (hopefully) two nuclear reactors in the near future (Fessenheim). I wished we stopped all and we had the technology to clean up all that we stop...

dewa, mata.

NYUltraBuddha said...

Thanks for keeping things in perspective. One of the reasons I always come to this blog is because I can trust the reporting is balanced. The MSM usually leaves out pre-Fukushima numbers when explaining whatever opting instead for "banana" or "chest x-ray" comparisons instead which are irrelevant. I am wondering, is there similar data available for soil samples in Tokyo?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, unless Fuku 1 or some other nuclear facility blow up again before 2020 the amount of fallout is going to be smaller by then. Cesium, Strontium and the rest of the nuclear cocktail you can enjoy with food, especially marine products and mushrooms, is going to be pretty much unchanged though, if things evolve like at Chernobyl (source NHK).

If a large earthquake has to hit Japan it better be before Abe restarts the nuclear pressure cookers.


Anonymous said...

Laprimavera: Thank you for another informative post. Sometimes it's difficult for people to understand how a person can be very critical of the nuclear status-quo and the lack of accountability after Fukushima in particular, as well as very conscious of the human tragedy, and still be willing to point out aspects where the nuclear testing period was worse. I'd only add that while you're discussing Tokyo in particular, the graph points from 1964-2010 are basically representative of the fallout that covered the entire country during that time; there was no attempt to keep contaminated food off the market during the testing period either.

Anonymous said...

Hello, nice choice of pics, and you aren't selling snake oil !
I had seen some same kind of graphs, log scales, and couldn't get much out of them : born in the late fifties in Europe, how much did I inhale or ingest ?
Anyway it is much more informative than the numbers of nuclear tests, as a fair proportion were technical tests with minimum payload. (Although the infamous Castle Bravo and Tsar Bomba were just as crazy as their names)
Regardless of Abe's politics, I don't consider a short stay in Tokyo to be dangerous unless there's a major event at that time - and don't bring your newborns with you.
I have kept very aware about contamination as I live some 1+2=3 months a year in the center of Tokyo prefecture, and had a hard work making my mind well balanced about it.
Last point : I would have liked the Games to take place in Istambul, as a geo-political try, I would have liked to match.


Anonymous said...

Dear 11:16
are you trying to say that since it was bad in the sixties we might as well get another sip of the nuclear cocktail? This line of reasoning is similar to talking about x-rays and CT scans, preteding to forget that there is no minimal safe radioactivity dose and that therefore *any* additional exposure adds risk.

In Japan there are media trying to push the view that 20 mSv/yr is perfectly fine, without mentioning that people working with radioactive machinery (physicians for example) are not allowed to take more than 5 mSv/yr and have to undergo periodical health checks.

If it was bad in the sixties and you are old enough there is no reason to increase your dose further, if you are not old enough there is still no reason to expose yourself for the sake of the profit of the nuclear industry.


Anonymous said...

One more thing: maybe the reason food was not taken off the market in the sixties is because there was no choice.

Today, on the other hand, after Fukushima has thrown us back into cold war ages with Cesium fallouts about 1000 times larger than pre-Fukushima (0.05 -> 50), we have to some extent a choice: we can feed our kids stuff from Kyushu or from Tohoku, what would you do?

Anonymous said...

I am surprised at exskf , he / she has sold out to the fucks who are gonna make big on the olympics notably the yakuza who own the construction industry in japan.. should never have been given the olympics ... disgraceful decision..

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