Mar 08

- Greenpeace: Fukushima victims are victims once again (DW, March 7, 2013):

Two years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, radiation levels in the city of the same name remain far higher than normal. Heinz Smital, of Greenpeace, believes residents are being kept in the dark over the dangers.

You recently measured the radioactivity in and around Fukushima for Greenpeace Germany. What were your findings?

The radioactivity there is still very high. In the city of Fukushima, which has some 300,000 inhabitants, there are still children’s playgrounds that are highly contaminated. The values we measured there on the ground were 200 times higher than before the nuclear accident. In the evacuated ghost towns where there has been a great effort to clean things up, we have found that the radiation has not declined. It simply isn’t going away. While the cleanup may have been 20 to 50 percent effective, the radiation level is still too high for people to be able to return to a normal life.

So, people are not going to be allowed to move back there at all?

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Feb 17

- #Radioactive Japan: Decontamination Burned Down a House in #Fukushima City (EX-SKF, Feb 12, 2013):

Decon workers dispatched by Fukushima City used a blowtorch to melt snow in order to decontaminate a house. Instead of decontaminating, they managed to burn down the entire house.

Blowtorch?? Yes, decon contractors are free to use any method, including blowtorch, as there is no rule or regulation as to how they are supposed to remove snow in the decon manual.

Why they are doing this decon stuff in the snowy winter is a mystery to me.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (2/10/2013):

除染のためガスバーナーで融雪、空き家を全焼

Workers used blowtorch to melt snow in order to decontaminate, uninhabited house burned down

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Jan 30

- Fukushima Faces Labor Shortages for Decontamination Work (JiJi Press, Jan 28, 2013):

Fukushima –The northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima faces severe labor shortages for decontamination work following the 2011 nuclear accident.

This is because of fears over radiation exposure and low pay. According to the labor ministry’s Fukushima Labor Bureau, only about 10 pct of some 1,800 jobs offered for decontamination work in the prefecture get filled.

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Oct 28

- [Fukushima conscription started] Tepco will oblige all the employees to go to Fukushima, 100,000ppl/y in total. (Fukushima Diary, Oct 27, 2012):

In the mid-term administration plan, Tepco decided to send all of their employees to Fukushima for decontamination from 2013. They are sent to Fukushima for 2~3 times a year, about 100,000 people in total will go to Fukushima annually. This is not volunteer, this is obligation. Continue reading »

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May 01

- Koriyama board of education stops decontamination of schools (Fukushima Diary, April 30, 2012)

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Apr 26

From the article:

Mr. Zolotoverkh, 58, who is in charge of managing the Zone, says there is no chance that decontamination will be resumed, adding, “No one will be allowed to return, not after decades, not after centuries.”

- With clean-up around Chernobyl abandoned, what can Japan learn from 1986 disaster? (Mainichi, April 25, 2012):

CHERNOBYL, Ukraine — April 26 will mark the 26th anniversary of the worst case of nuclear contamination in history: the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Since the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in March last year, the Japanese government has shown interest in decontamination and other projects around Chernobyl as a reference point for efforts to deal with its own nuclear disaster.

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Mar 29

From the article:

Shinichi Niwa, professor at Fukushima Medical University, said, “I have the impression that the nuclear accident had such a great impact (that many people were admitted to hospital). Take decontamination work for example, people can feel secure if they do it themselves, rather than if they ask others to do it. It is also important to ease anxieties over radiation exposure with participation of local residents in such a program.”

And this is probably the ultimate way to detect hotspots and decontaminate them, …

- Insane Japan: Elementary School Children Used To Search For Hotspots Around School

… producing excellent depopulation results:

Over 30% Of Tested Fukushima Children Have Thyroid Lumps


- Fukushima Medical Univ. Researcher: “If People Do Their Own Decontamination, They Can Feel Secure” (EX-SKF, March 28, 2012):

The researcher, Shinichi Niwa, is talking about people in Fukushima Prefecture where the soil is very contaminated (probably with the exception of Aizu Region, although even there hot spots or hot areas do exist).

Mainichi Daily reports from the original Japanese article which is about the fear of radiation caused by the accident and how that affected the Fukushima residents. (You can read more on that topic by reading the post about Ms. Emiko Numauchi of Minami Soma City, Fukushima.)

Professor Niwa’s comment is at the end of the article.

From Mainichi Daily News (3/26/2012):

Fear of radiation from Fukushima accident led to psychiatric disorder hospitalizations

Some 24.4 percent of people who were hospitalized in Fukushima with psychiatric disorders in the wake of the outbreak of the crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant had done so possibly because of fears of radiation exposure, according to the results of research conducted by psychiatrists at Fukushima Medical University.

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Jan 27

- “Decontamination” Defined by Ministry of the Environment Is Nothing But a General, Thorough Cleaning by Hand (EX-SKF, Jan. 26, 2012):

according to Sankei Shinbun, who has been unabashedly pro-nuclear energy and in favor of dispersing radioactive materials throughout Japan via the disaster debris to share in the “pain”.

The paper has an article about the meeting between the Ministry of the Education officials and the heads of the municipalities within the 20-kilometer radius “no entry zone” where the heads of the municipalities received the information from the Ministry about their lot – whether they can return after the decontamination work by the national government or not.

But that isn’t the interesting part of the article.

At the end of the article, there is a separate section that the newspaper writes about what “decontamination” is, according to the Ministry of the Education:

除染 「がんこな汚れを落とす掃除のようなもの」(環境省幹部)で、基本は人手に頼ってスコップやタワシなどで行わ れる。環境省が昨年末に公表したガイドラインによると、落ち葉など容易に除去できるものは手作業で取り除く。屋根であれば高圧洗浄機で洗い流し、玄関など コンクリート部分であればタワシやブラシでこする。放射性物質が染み込んだ草地や土壌は、スコップやショベルカーなどで表面をはぎ取る。放射能を浴びない ように防護服を着るなど作業時の服装に注意しなければならない。

Decontamination: “It is like a cleaning job of stubborn dirt or stains” (Ministry of the Environment senior officials). Basically, it relies on manpower, using hand tools like shovels and scrubbing-brushes. According to the guideline published at the end of last year by the Ministry of the Environment, what can be easily removed, such as dead leaves, is to be removed by hand. The roofs are to be washed down by high-pressure washers, and the concrete surface such as the entrance of a house is to be scrubbed by scrubbing-brushes and deck brushes. As for the grassland and the soil where radioactive materials have penetrated, the surface is to be removed using shovels or diggers. Workers must pay attention not to get exposed to radioactivity by wearing the protective gear.

It looks as long as you follow these procedures the Ministry will call it “decontamination” and the job is done by the book. The subcontractors get paid by the general contractors, who get paid by the Ministry.

If you believed what Goshi Hosono, Minister of the Environment, said about decontaminating Fukushima – “Japan is not the Soviet Union, we have advanced technology to deal with radiation contamination, and we can do what others may have failed”, sorry. There is nothing high-tech about any of these methods, and they don’t even work.

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Jan 23

- Job Advertisement Poster from Ministry of the Environment: “Without Decontamination, There Will Be No Recovery of Fukushima” (EX-SKF, Jan. 21, 2012):

I took it to mean “Therefore there would be no recovery of Fukushima” but that’s clearly not what the Ministry of the Environment (many on the net are calling “Ministry of the Destruction of the Environment) has in mind, in the job advertisement poster as photographed by Shuji Akagi, a Japanese twitterer:

Lush green in the shape of Fukushima Prefecture.

“Without Decontamination, There Will Be No Recovery of Fukushima”, in the literary style that evokes days before the World War II.

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Jan 13

- Radiation level increased double within 20 days after decontamination (Fukushima Diary, Jan. 13, 2011):

From 12/6/2011 to 12/20/2011, Japanese self defense force went to Fukushima to decontaminate.

900 members were sent to the town halls of Narahamachi, Tomiokamachi, Namiemachi, and Iidatemura.

As expected, they successfully proved decontamination is meaningless.

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Dec 18

- Latest Decon Technology Out of Japan: Hands (EX-SKF, Dec. 16, 2011):

Jiji Tsushin’s site has several photos of the Self Defense Force soldiers carrying out decontamination work.

I wrote a post on Monday about them doing decontamination at the Iitate-mura village office using screwdrivers. Here in Jiji’s photo, they are decontaminating the town office in Namie-machi.

The tools: their hands.

There is no information whether the SDF were ever told of the radiation levels – air radiation, density of radioactive materials from the sludge and dead leaves they were made to remove, or they were fitted with personal survey meters to control radiation exposure.

Probably not. They are the soldiers stationed either in Fukushima City or Koriyama City in Fukushima Prefecture. One is 44th Infantry Regiment (Fukushima) and the other is 6th Artillery Regiment (Koriyama), according to the tweet by the Japan Ground Self Defense Force. You can be pretty sure that they are not trained in decontamination, not necessarily of radioactive materials but of more ordinary chemical spills, etc.

From Jiji Tsushin; the photo was taken on December 8 at the town hall in Namie-machi, 8 kilometers north of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. It was raining slightly, the photo caption says.

More info:
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