Monday, August 29, 2011

Soil Contamination in 34 Locations in Fukushima Exceeds Chernobyl Confiscation/Closed Zone Level

In one location, the contamination level is more than 10 times the Chernobyl level.

What a surprise. Now that PM Kan is out, the government dribbles out the information that it withheld as it de-emphasized and even attacked the reports of high soil contamination as measured by private entities including citizens' groups.

The most contaminated location found so far is Okuma-machi, where Fukushima I Nuke Plant is located: 29,460,000 becquerels per square meter with cesium-134 and cesium-137 combined, 15,450,000 becquerels per square meter if only cesium-137 is counted.

The confiscated/closed zone after the Chernobyl accident is set in locations whose cesium-137 level in soil exceeds 1,480,000 becquerels per square meter. The level of cesium-137 in the location in Okuma-machi is 10 times that of the Chernobyl confiscated/closed zone.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (3:05AM JST 8/30/2011):


The soil contamination as the result of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident was reported on the August 29 meeting at the Ministry of Education and Science.


The survey found 34 locations in 6 municipalities exceeding the level of the confiscation/closed zone of the Chernobyl accident (1,480,000 becquerels/square meter of cesium-137 in soil). The purpose of the survey was to understand the radiation exposure of the residents. Prime Minister Kan said on August 27 that there might be locations where the residents wouldn't be able to return for a long time. The survey data validates the prime minister's comment.


According to the survey, the highest cesium-137 concentration in soil as of June 14 was in Okuma-machi in Fukushima Prefecture, within the no-entry evacuation zone, at 15,450,000 becquerels/square meter. If combined with cesium-134, the radioactive cesium concentration was 29,460,000 becquerels/square meter.


Total 16 location in 4 municipalities (Okuma-machi, Futaba-machi, Namie-machi, Tomioka-machi) exceeded 3,000,000 becquerels/square meter in cesium-137 concentration. The area with the high cesium-137 concentration extends northwest from the nuclear power plant. In total, 6 municipalities including Iitate-mura and Minami Soma City had the locations that exceeded the Chernobyl confiscation/closed zone level of cesium-137. The Ministry measured the soil samples from about 2,200 locations.

Here's the map by Asahi Shinbun, including the locations with cesium-137 concentration of less than 1 million becquerels/square meter.


Anonymous said...

How many of these 16 locations are still inhabited? (I see from the article that some areas have been evacuated, but it is not clear if all of them have been evacuated.)

Anonymous said...

Great work, as always collating this blog. Can you possibly post a blown up map of the area with these areas outlined? I think a visual would help enormously.
News of 4 tons of 'safe' brown rice cultivated 60km from the plant being shipped to Tokyo consumers is over on Japan Times.
I am wary of these reports of 'safe' rice coming so close to Fukushima ground zero esp in the light of this articles findings. It just doesn't add up imho.

Anonymous said...

"The level of cesium-137 in the location in Okuma-machi is 10 times that of the Chernobyl confiscated/closed zone." I don't think this is correct. The Cesium concentration is 10 times higher than the level established by the Soviets for mandatory evacuation 4 years after Chernobyl, but we have very little information about the actual levels of contamination inside the exclusion zone around the plant.

I mean, based on aerial surveys made public in 1989 we know there were areas in Ukraine and Belarus which were over 1,480,000 Bq/m2, but over by how much?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon at 5;40PM, here you go, the map. The measured numbers (by the Ministry of Education) are much less than what's been reported by private researchers, by the way.

Anonymous said...

I hope they havent started burning the radioactive debris yet, anyway I tested the park here in Kumamoto, Kyushu, seems ok


Anonymous said...

This data is about zones who are NOT close to the plant (further than 30km, some of them 60km)

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon 11:38PM, they did the survey within 100 kilometer radius from the plant, including towns very close to the plant (Okuma, Futaba).

Anonymous said...

anon from 5:40, Thanks arev for the map and other queries you have answered.
This is the link to the rice from Koriyama. Is Koriyama on that map? I presume so at 60km from the nuclear power station?
How in hell is this low reading possible??

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