Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fukushima Prefecture's Latest "Decon" Technology: Leaf Collector

Sorry to bother you with another "high-tech" decon strategy coming out of Japan that makes you doubt the collective intelligence of the people in that island nation.

Fukushima Prefecture officials are ready to call "engine bloomer" - a leaf collector - as a powerful tool to decontaminate.

From Mainichi Shinbun Fukushima local version (12/11/2011):


The prefectural government of Fukushima tested the decontamination technology to effectively collect fallen leaves on the lawn on December 9 in Shirasakanomori Sports Park in Shirakawa City.


The government is testing the effectiveness of various decontamination technologies in several locations in Fukushima. On December 9, they tested the German-made leaf collector proposed by a landscaping company in Shirakawa City.


The leaf collecter is called "Engine Bloomer" which uses a rotating plastic brush to scrape leaves off the lawn. It has a big collecting power without damaging the trees, and it may be effective in decontaminating the lawn and orchards.


In the test, the president of the landscaping company removed the dead leaves on the lawn using the "Engine Bloomer". The radiation level 1 centimeter off the ground was 0.44 microsievert/hr before the test, which dropped to 0.24 microsievert/hr after the test. The Fukushima prefectural government will ask the decontamination advisor of the prefecture to evaluate this technology, and plans to make it public.

So, a leaf collector, by virtue of collecting the dead, radioactive leaves off the lawn, is called "decontamination technology". Just like a high-pressure washer is called exactly that because it washes the roof and the wall contaminated with radioactive materials.

Fukushima Prefecture's decon advisor is none other than Shunichi Tanaka, former Deputy Commissioner of the Nuclear Commission. The last I saw him on a Youtube video, he was telling the decon volunteers in Date City in November to use their own judgment whether to put on masks because the local residents didn't dress like these volunteers. Don't alarm the residents, he was basically saying, even though he was there to ensure the volunteers were protected from radiation exposure.

Now, you may ask why Fukushima Prefecture is doing all these bizarre "decon" experiments. Answer: to retain the residents. Why? Because if the residents move out of Fukushima permanently (i.e. removing the resident registers to other prefectures) the prefecture will lose grants from the national government, which are based on the number of residents in the prefecture. Less residents, less money for the Fukushima government. Less money for the government, less power for the politicians.


Anonymous said...

Where is the application form for new technologies ? I want to submit a toothbrush for internal decon.

Anonymous said...

We hope with the use of this new technology experts will be able to decontaminate the plant and the places around it. We are sincerely looking forward to seeing the success of this tool.

The American organization DATAPOKE released a new report concerning the estimated contamination at upper altitudes. The report indicates concentrations orders of magnitude higher than at surface level.

The report includes dispersion images but I can’t figure out how to post them here?

Anonymous said...

I am sorry. This is the level of decontamination tech that is available. Brushes, pressure washers, vacuum cleaners, fixating agents. Things like that, which are also used in normal cleaning. There is no magical high-tech solution.

The law of diminishing returns applies here just as well as anywhere else, too.

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