Thursday, October 6, 2011

10/6/2011 Gov't panel mulls interim goals on radiation dose

Source: NHK World 
Date: Thursday, October 06, 2011 15:39 +0900 (JST)
by: Yuko Fukushima

A government panel is calling for Japan's one-millisievert annual radiation limit to be eased for the interim, saying it will be difficult to restrict exposure in some areas near the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant.

The environment is contaminated by radioactive substances in areas hit by fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing concern that residents may be exposed to radiation for long periods.

The panel on radiation believes it will be difficult to keep their dose below the one-millisievert limit set by the government for normal times and proposed on Thursday to set an interim exposure target.

It says the target should be set between one and 20 millisieverts in line with recommendations by the International Commission for Radiological Protection.

The panel says the target should be lowered in steps as decontamination progresses.

It adds that targets could differ by region and that residents should have a voice in setting the targets.

The panel will wrap up its proposal at its next meeting, but its plan to ease the radiation exposure limit is expected to arouse controversy.

Editor's Note: Although it is true that the ICRP (International Commission for Radiological Protection) does give discretion for setting the maximum yearly safe limit, it seems like common sense that instead of arbitrarily raising the safe dosage to match current conditions, it would be better to move people further away from hot spots so that they can meet the lowest yearly radiation dose limit possible. 

What they are actually doing is sending people back in to previously evacuated areas, rather than expanding the exclusion zone and evacuating more people from known hotspot areas. Excerpts from ICRP Publication 103 concerning the guidelines for yearly radiation exposure thresholds can be found here. Page 165 and 166 of the Full text PDF file which contains the excerpted pages from Publication 103 is where the 1 millisieverts/year and 20 millisieverts/year thresholds appear. Another useful reference is ICRP Publication 111 which gives guidelines for protection of people living in long-term contaminated areas. From skimming through this document 1 millisievert/year is a key exposure level. If I understand correctly, if you are getting over 1 millisievert/year you are under normal circumstances considered to be working in a "planned exposure" situation (e.g. you work with radiological materials in healthcare or as a nuclear plant worker etc.). 

Note that 20 millisieverts per year is the maximum allowable dosage for nuclear workers worldwide in most places (averaged over 5 years) as per World Nuclear Association. So basically what the Japanese government is proposing is to potentially up the maximum allowable dosage for an average Japanese citizen to the same level as for nuclear workers!

10/6/2011 Rice market turned upside down by radiation fears

Source: The Japan Times: Yen for Living
Date: October 6th, 2011
by: Philip Brasor & Masako Tsubuku

Japan’s rice harvest season started at the end of August, and is presently centered on the Tohoku region; or, at least it would be centered there if so much of the crop hadn’t been neutralized by the Mar. 11 tsunami and then what was left wasn’t contaminated by fallout from the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear reactor. Japanese people prize rice grown in the northeastern part of the country more than rice grown anywhere else, and they prefer new rice (shinmai), the newer the better. This is a cultural thing, since in some countries — India and Italy, for instance — older rice is considered something of a delicacy.
Read full article here

10/6/2011 Japan Test Reactor Was Shaken Beyond Design Limit in March Quake

Source: Bloomberg
Date: October 06, 2011, 1:06 AM EDT
by: Tsuyoshi Inajima

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- A research reactor operated by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency was shaken beyond its design limits during the earthquake that struck in March and another of the agency’s nuclear facilities was likely damaged in the disaster.

The Japan Research Reactor No. 3 in Tokai village, 115 kilometers (71 miles) northeast of Tokyo, was shaken as much as 5.7 times more than its design allowed, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said in a statement.

Parts of the roof of the experimental Japan Materials Testing Reactor building in the agency’s research center in Oarari, 60 kilometers from Tokyo, was damaged, possibly by the quake, the ministry said. No radiation leaks were found at either site, according to the ministry.

The magnitude-9 quake and subsequent tsunami on March 11 knocked out power and cooling at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, causing the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl 25 years ago.

Neither of the Japan Atomic reactors were running when the quake hit, said Kunimi Yoshida, an official involved in nuclear power regulation at the science ministry.

Tokai village was the site of an accident in 1999 at a nuclear plant operated by Sumitomo Metal Mining Co.’s unit JCO Co. Two workers were killed by radiation after pouring uranium from a bucket into a processing tank, leading to a chain reaction.

--Editors: Aaron Sheldrick, Baldave Singh
To contact the reporters on this story: Tsuyoshi Inajima in Tokyo at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash in Singapore at

10/5/2011 Yakuza possibly involved in TEPCO sub-contracting of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear workers

Both ENENEWS and EX-SKF Blog had recent articles pertaining to the "pointy guy" or "camera guy" (Takeuchi) who has famously stood in front of the TEPCO webcam at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in radiation protective gear and pointed his finger directly at the camera.

So why was he pointing?  "I would like to request that TEPCO and the government improve in a tangible way how they contract work to subcontractors and how they monitor the employment situation.", says pointy guy as quoted from EX-SKF Blog.  Also according to EX-SKF Blog "pointy guy" believes the Yakuza are gathering sub-contractors for TEPCO for the dangerous Fukushima Daiichi nuclear work:
As has been much reported, some workers have been forced to work here by the outlaw element [i.e. "yakuza" or the Japanese mafia]. Such workers are disguised as being employed by legitimate contractors but have to accept an unfair or severe employment conditions. Sometimes even the legitimate contractors who post recruitment information at employment Offices don't know who their workers' true contractors are. The excessive multi-layered subcontracting leads to various problems such as lower wages, no insurance, and no contract document, as has been reported.
The "pointy guy" or "camera guy" (Takeuchi) apparently showed up at a recent TEPCO press conference and said the following according to ENENEWS:
[...] I was working for a sub-contract company at Fukushima in August. [...]
Media is banned to go into the plant site. Is it because media might see and report Yakuza people are working there ?
I actually saw people with Yakuza tatoo [sic] in the backroom. Is it not to let the media report the truth in the plant ?
Matsumoto, spokesman of TEPCO stumbled in his response as per ENENEWS:
Well, um, ah regarding of the Fukushima nuclear plant, eh [...]
The reason why we don’t disclose the actual situation inside is [...]
One of them is, um, because it’s in the caution zone and [...] From our point of view, now, um, [...] we are trying our best, so, ah [...] um, well, there is also the problem of exposure of the reporters. [...]
In that meaning, for now, discussing with the government and um.. [...] we can not disclose the actual situation inside of the plant.
Apparently this is not a new phenomenon in Japan.  There is an old 1995 documentary titled Nuclear Ginza which details how the Yakuza have recruited homeless and poor people from off the streets for high risk nuclear worker jobs in the past.

Nuclear Ginza: Japan's secret at-risk labor force Part 1/2

Nuclear Ginza: Japan's secret at-risk labor force Part 2/2

10/4/2011 Japan to work with IAEA decontamination experts

Source: NHK World
Date: Wednesday, October 05, 2011 05:34 +0900 (JST)
by: Catherine Kobayashi

The Japanese government says it is ready to work with the International Atomic Energy Agency in removing radioactive materials around the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The government's chief spokesman, Osamu Fujimura, made the remark on Tuesday ahead of a visit by a team of IAEA experts who will arrive in Japan on Friday.

Fujimura said Japan will cooperate with and learn from international experts in decontamination. He said he hopes their visit will help the process to move faster and more efficiently.

The government says it also hopes to establish the best way to clean up radioactive substances so it can be shared by other nations.

The 12-member team is to make the 9-day visit at the request of Japan's nuclear crisis minister, Goshi Hosono.

The team will travel to Fukushima Prefecture to watch the decontamination process and give advice before compiling a report.


Radiation News Archive

Older Radiation News

4/29/2011Japan TimesTepco, and state, responsible: Kan No player exempt from nuclear crisis redress burden, as government promoted atomic power
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4/28/2011Truth Frequency NewsUS Government Takes Down HAARP Website to Conceal Evidence of US Weather Modification and Earthquake Inducing Warfare
4/28/2011Russia TodayVIDEO: Fukushima - gross miscarriage of radiation science
4/28/2011EX-SKF Blog#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: A Rare Ground-Level Video Footage
4/28/2011IAEA.orgFukushima Nuclear Accident Update Log
4/28/2011NIKKEI.comJapan Nuclear Operator Postpones Plan To Flood Reactor Vessel
4/28/2011EX-SKF BlogChubu Electric Wants to Restart Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in July
4/28/2011Washington's BlogStorms Knock Out 3 Nuclear Reactors in Alabama ... No Leak, But a Reminder of Nuclear Vulnerability
4/28/2011Kyodo NewsFOCUS: Chinese journalists change image of Japan after covering March disaster
4/28/2011 11:33AM EDTReutersJapanese to mark long holiday with volunteer work, not travel
4/28/2011The Japan TimesTepco woman took three times radiation limit
4/28/2011The Japan TimesFukushima city removing schools' topsoil
4/27/2011 03:50 PM JSTJapan TodayBig tank may be put under nuclear plant to store tainted water
4/27/2011Prisonplanet.comEyewitness in Illinois Reports High Radiation Levels on Forsythia Bush
4/26/2011Fairewinds AssociatesVIDEO: Gundersen Postulates Unit 3 Explosion May Have Been Prompt Criticality in Fuel Pool
4/26/2011EX-SKF Blog#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Contamination Map (Survey Map) by TEPCO
4/26/2011EX-SKF Blog#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Reactor 4 Spent Fuel Pool May Be Leaking
4/26/2011Washington's BlogIs a Rogue Computer Virus Shutting Down Nuclear Plants Worldwide?
4/25/2011Washington's BlogSomething Odd Is Happening at Reactor Number 4
4/24/2011 03:20 PM JSTJapan TodayVets to enter evacuation zone to deal with abandoned animals
4/24/2011 02:21 PM JSTJapan TodayGov't to launch massive 2-day search for quake bodies
4/24/2011 06:20 AM JSTJapan TodayWorkers locked in battle at nuclear plant; exposure to radiation rising
4/23/2011Japan TodayIs U.S. military relief effort Operation Tomodachi really about friendship?
4/23/2011ReutersChina, S. Korea rebuff Japan on import restrictions after quake
4/23/2011Lewis Whitefield HixsonHi-res photographic proof reactor core exploded at unit 3
4/23/2011Propheticseer.comVIDEO: Radioactive America! What the Mainstream media is NOT TELLING YOU!
4/23/2011EX-SKF Blog#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: "Radiation Contamination Map" of the Plant Exists, But TEPCO Hasn't Released It to Public
4/23/2011EX-SKF Blog#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Control Over the Independent Press Getting Tighter
4/23/2011EX-SKF Blog#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Unintended "Water Entombment" of Reactor 1
4/22/2011ReutersJapan earmarks first $50 billion for post-quake rebuild
4/22/2011PressTVJapan's radiation 20,000 times limit
4/22/2011Next Big FutureChina’s nuclear plans could resume by August
4/22/2011 10:06 AM JSTJapan TodayGov't seals off no-go zone around nuclear plant
4/22/2011 07:00 AM JSTJapan TodayAomori business groups ask TEPCO, others to resume building nuclear plants
4/21/2011BloombergTepco to Build Wall for Nuclear Plant After Fukushima Disaster
4/21/2011BloombergTepco Must End ‘Whack-a-Mole,’ Cover Fukushima Reactors as Typhoons Loom
4/21/2011Lucas Whitefield HixsonEPA RADnet Reports Show Plutonium in US since March 18th
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4/21/2011Alexander Higgins BlogJapan Nuclear Radiation Detected In Drinking Water In 20 US Cities
4/21/2011Scientific AmericanThe Japan nuclear crisis at Fukushima: A video summary
4/21/2011Wired ScienceOp-Ed: Psychiatric Disorder Could Complicate Japan Quake Recovery
4/21/2011Washington's Blog"The Risk of a Nuclear Catastrophe ... Could Total Trillions of Dollars and Even BANKRUPT A COUNTRY"
4/21/2011The Japan TimesKan to make 20-km no-entry zone binding Holdout households face ouster; some evacuees may get short visits
4/21/2011Japan TodayCo-op sells banned spinach to consumers in eastern Japan
4/21/2011The Japan TimesCarrier returns to Yokosuka as concerns ease
4/21/2011Japan TodayToshiba's U.S. partner withdraws from Texas nuclear power project
4/21/2011The Japan Times21 mini FM stations helping survivors
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4/20/2011 07:10 AM JSTJapan TodayTsukuba demanded evacuees show radiation certificates
4/20/2011 (Kyodo Time)Japan TimesPowder to remove radiation developed
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4/19/2011Washington's BlogFDA Refuses to Test Fish for Radioactivity ... Government Pretends Radioactive Fish Is Safe
4/19/2011NHK World (English)TEPCO to check if plutonium leaked to seabed
4/19/2011BloombergAreva to Deliver Water-Treatment Unit to Tepco's Crippled Fukushima Plant
4/19/2011NHK World (English)Death toll in Japan disaster exceeds 14,000
4/19/2011Japan TodayTEPCO starts moving highly radioactive water to storage facility
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4/18/2011Associated PressRadiation near Japan reactors too high for workers
4/18/2011ReutersJapan "eyes sales tax rise" to pay for post-quake rebuild
4/18/2011The Intel HubUS Nuclear Plant Without Power After Being Hit By Tornado
4/18/2011Washington's BlogNuclear Overseers Are "Fake" Agencies Funded and Controlled by the Nuclear Power Industry
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4/15/2011ReutersCalls grow for Japan PM to quit in wake of quake
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4/14/2011The American DreamMuch Of Northern Japan Uninhabitable Due To Nuclear Radiation?
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4/11/2011Russia TodayRadioactive Japanese cars detained in Russia’s Far East
4/11/2011 3:50 PMEnergy NewsJapan raises Fukushima to Level 7, same as Chernobyl
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4/11/2011 10:02AM BSTThe TelegraphJapan earthquake: Fukushima nuclear plant evacuated following aftershock
4/9/2011ForbesRadiation Detected In Drinking Water In 13 More US Cities, Cesium-137 In Vermont Milk
4/9/2011The IndependentJapan to pump radioactive water into sea until Sunday
4/8/2011Washington's BlogJapan's Nuclear Meltdown, the Economic Meltdown, and the Gulf Oil Meltdown All Happened for the SAME REASON
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4/7/2011ZeroHedgeWater Leak Found At Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant
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4/6/2011Alexander Higgins BlogTrue Horrors Of Japan Nuclear Disaster Revealed In Confidential Leaked Government Document
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4/5/2011 14:02Activist PostAmerica and EU Agree: Raise Radiation Levels for Food
4/5/2011 14:02Financial TimesTepco seals leak at nuclear plant
4/5/2011The New York TimesU.S. Sees Array of New Threats at Japan’s Nuclear Plant
4/5/2011The Economic TimesImported food items from Japan banned due to radiation fears
4/5/2011 5:58 AMBusiness InsiderJapan Finds Toxic Fish, As Ocean Radiation Soars To 7.5 Million Times Legal Limit
4/5/2011Kyodo News11,500 TONS of radioctive water dumped in to ocean by TEPCO
4/4/2011Prisonplanet.comUNBELIEVABLE: Fukushima Workers Trying To Plug Radiation Leaks With Bits Of Newspaper, Garbage Bags, Diaper Like Material
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4/2/2011Washington's BlogUpdate on Japan's Nuclear Crisis
4/2/2011Bearishtrader's Trading BlogValuable Information for Dietary Protection From Radioactivity
3/28/2011Activist PostEPA to Help Mainstream Media Obscure The Truth About Radiation Exposure to Americans
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3/15/2011UK Mail OnlineAmerica on radiation alert: Japan faces world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl as experts warn fallout may reach U.S.
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