Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Schools in #Fukushima Don't Know What to Do with the School Swimming Pools

Public schools in Fukushima Prefecture say they are frustrated that there is no direction from the national government as to what to do with the school swimming pools. "Can we have swimming classes? Is it safe to drain water? Just tell us what to do!"

What is surprising to me is that they were even thinking about using the swimming pool.

From Asahi Shinbun (5/18/2011):


The Council of School Administrators in Cities in Fukushima Prefecture, made up of school superintendents in all 13 cities in Fukushima Prefecture indicated in its May 18 regular general general that classes using the swimming pools at the cities' 500 elementary schools and middle schools won't be held this summer.


During the general meeting, Iwaki City reported, "If the pool water is drained, the radioactive water will flow into the water for agriculture." Many cities were frustrated that there is no national guidelines for disposing the [radioactive] water in the pools.


They were also frustrated that there is no radiation level set by the national government to allow the use of the pool. Date City said "Since we don't know the national standard, we can't judge. We can't persuade the parents without such standard," indicating it is not too eager to allow the use of the swimming pools.

In other words, if there's a word from the national government that it is safe to use the swimming pool if the radiation level is, say 3.8 microsieverts/hour (just like the use of the school yards), these school administrators may be just as happy to let the children swim in the pools, and have them clean the pools like they do every year.

As Professor Takeda said so eloquently the other day, these school administrators should resign immediately. They are not fit for being involved in any way in educating children.


Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

Everything will be fine TEPCO is going to supply all the schools with "Newt suits"

I think the schools concerns are based on the fact that swimmers will be exposing their mucous membranes to radiation. I doubt the people who set radiation standards ever figured people would wonder about swimming in radioactive water.

Oops said...

It must be terribly confusing to be living in Japan right now, if you are one of those citizen's that has faith in their government and wants to believe everything that they are told :-(

Anonymous said...

So sad that schools are not protecting students. What's happening there is a crime!

netudiant said...

Is there not a simple way to clean the water?
TEPCO is expecting to clean up the seawater inside the plant harbor with bags of zeolite. It should be simple to install a zeolite filter to do the same for the school swimming pools. The quantities of cesium that need to be screened out are small and pools already have water circulation systems. The particular zeolite involved may be costly, but surely that is government responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... This is all tap-dancing around the idea of an evacuation.

According to law, that water is or might be "low-level rad waste". It can certainly NOT be reused in place.

Speaking of responsibility, if you let your kids go to school when there's three nuclear reactors releasing radioactive steam into the atmosphere 30 km away you're not fit for parenting, pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

I don't think zeolite treatment is very expensive when compared to other ion exchange and capture mediums. Most swimming pool filters already use zeolite and zeosand as a filtering agent as do many sewage treatment plants. I think the main issue is the lack of guidance from the "experts" on what is consider "safe" protocols. How often do they need to change the ion capture filter medium? How dangerous is the accumulated radiation found in the zeo-trap medium and should it require special handling? Where are they suppose to store this material until the government takes it off their hands?

One thing to keep in mind is zeolite was used at TMI and 100's of thousands of tons of it was/is used at Chernobyl. The Japanese have zoelite they just don't have a protocol to handle and store the waste, much less vitrify it on such a massive scale at the drop of a hat.

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