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Area near Yokohama school closed due to high radiation levels

48 Comments

A vacant lot beside a canal near an elementary school in Yokohama's Seya Ward, has been designated a no-entry area following the detection of high levels of radiative cesium.

According to Yokohama authorities, topsoil to a depth of 1 cm was found to be emitting 6.85 microsieverts per hour, almost 12 times the government's legal limit of 0.59 microsieverts per hour, TV Asahi reported Saturday.

The radiation is believed to be connected to the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, city officials said. Authorities added that they have closed the premises of the disused canal in response to the discovery, TV Asahi reported.

Plans are being made to decontaminate the site by removing topsoil, a spokesperson added.

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48 Comments
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Radiation: that stuff is everywhere ... lots in some places, not so much in others ...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Plenty of it everywhere.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Radiation is causing problems in so many ways, and will continue to do so for many more decades. Part of the price for believing that atomic power was safe, clean and cheap. The rad level might be considered to be low, especially by some here on JT, after some of the recent comments I've read this week, but it's above the standard set by the government and international atomic agencies.

It's not quite one year since 3/11, but there are people who think the nuclear disaster, which is still at Level 7, the highest, is not as bad as first told. That radiation levels of 100 millisieverts per year are safe to live with, or low levels of rads in food are safe to eat. That it's safe for people to return to their evacuated communities, like in Kawauchi Mura, where the mayor is calling for people to return in April.

Or in the very near future, one or two year, the evacuated people will be able to return to their former communities.

The door to a nuclear disaster is not difficult to open but near impossible to close again.

Radiation found some distance from the Fukushima NPP, is always troublesome, especially when it's found so close to a school for very small children. There are those who think the rads released on 3/11 went NW fom the atomic power plant, but Yokohama is south.

16 ( +20 / -5 )

Yokohama is South West of Dai-Ichi and it is not the first time isotopes from the catastrophe have been found there. The isotopes from Dai-Ichi have been found round the planet. Do any actually still believe that the Catastrophe is over? Unfortunately, the majority do. It is in NO way over. The ad-hoc systems in place keep failing, stopping, they are generating more and more highly HIGHLY radioactive waste and the whole thing from contaminated foods to building materials to distributing waste around the nation is being appallingly mismanaged.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

They'll try and play this down, they always do. When cancer rates sky rocket in the next few years, they'll deny, obfuscate and misdirect as well. Question is, do my fellow foreigners still wish to live here?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

@zichi - from a review of some of the dispersion maps; although the prevailing winds were blowing out to sea, some radiation did briefly blow south, gusted west towards Nagano, but was blocked by the mountains, and eventually head back out to sea. This website even reported last year that some mushrooms in Maiooka park, even further south of Yokohama were found to have been contaminated, of course after 700 school children ate them.

Some of the night-time webcam shots of the NPP have show plumes of smoke/ steam rising from the plant at night time - who knows what is being blown away in that?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wanderlust, Yes! And rads have been found in Hiroshima too. The NPP continues to release rads at 70 million bacquerels per hour.

We get much less news/facts/truth than last year. The japanese media seem to just follow the press releases.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

And how long has the stuff been there and the kids possibly exposed to it?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Who found this hotspot? Joe Watanabe or a government official? I can understand the denial thing, though I haven't joined that club yet. Everyone just wants a normal life back. I am only in Tokyo, nowhere akin at all to a tsunami survivor or folk who had to evacuate but I still have this concept of before March 11th and after. It feels like two different worlds. Whilst I would love to believe that all is back to 'normal', I know it isn't. These are the days were we must be vigilant about what we consume and the environment around us.

As Zichi said, a door has been blown open that isn't easy to shut.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

A problem with rad dispersion is that it didn't happen in some kind of neat pattern with decreasing strengths the further away from the NPP. It will be discovered mostly in a piece meal fashion. People will still be finding rads for many decades and cursing the generation responsible for building the atomic plants.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Any news on the name of the school? I used to teach at a school right next to a canal in Seya.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where did the topsoil come from?? Has it been there all the time or was it brought it for something - and possibly from somewhere it shouldn't have come from.

People can bury their hands in the sand (snarf!) all they like but there will be a reality check with cancer rates rise and the J-government refuses to do anything about it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yes! And rads have been found in Hiroshima too.

How very odd to find radiation there!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Incineration plants produce cinder which must be buried. I wonder if there is a connection there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The japanese media seem to just follow the press releases.

Zichi, as I am sure you know thats standard operating procedure for all media in Japan 99.999% of the time, just look at olympus, it GONE

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Any news on the name of the school?

@Isthiezak

It was at Futatsubashi shoggako (横浜市立二つ橋小学校) in Seya-ku. Here is a link to the NHK news report : http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20120203/t10015771131000.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Radiation from the plant has been sampled as far away as .......Nagasaki.

If the radiation in Yokohama is at such a level it is only a matter of time before similar is found in Tokyo in higher concentrations. The plants are still emitting radiation at extremely high rates so we can not expect things to get better

The government line is dispersed to the masses by kisha and NHK no questions asked. Who knows the real truth?

Fukushima victims are barred from giving testimony in parliament , so, it is impossible for the truth to be officially recorded.

In the meantime AKB 48 innocently proclaim Japan as a safe destination......

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japan yes it's special, Land of the waist land. Pathetic from top to bottom, nice people though.

-5 ( +3 / -7 )

Until it is out of Tepco's hands and a national problem will it be handled properly ie if there are enough people around to do the job?

And yes I feel extremely sorrowful that this has happened;I feel more so when I see that it is getting worse and worse.....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

7 microSv/h in Yokohama, The land is owned by the city government, between Futatsubashi elementary school and a private land. A citizen’s group found it and reported to the local government.

Cesium 134 + 137 : 62,900 Bq/Kg.

They measured Futatsubashi elementary school next to the hot spot, it was 0.21 microSv/h at 50cm from the ground. The safety limit is 0.23 microSv/h at 50cm above from the ground to have to decontaminate. Because 0.21 microSv/h was lower than the limit, the city government decided not to do anything for the play ground.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Things like this will continue to happen until the Japanese Government wakes up and start to really do something rather than just playing down everything. I guess it seems like the Japanese Government doesn`t give a damm about anything but saving their own skin. If you ask me, they are or seem to be worst than alkaida!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

the Japanese Government doesn`t give a damm about anything but saving their own skin

They haven't evacuated from Tokyo yet, so why do you believe this might be the case? I see them almost every day, working in Nagatacho, etc.

Nice try at alarmism though.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

They'll try and play this down, they always do. When cancer rates sky rocket in the next few years, they'll deny, obfuscate and misdirect as well. Question is, do my fellow foreigners still wish to live here?

Sarcasm321 -- spot on. And, in my case, the answer was a resounding "No". And I can't wait to get me fiance out of there as soon as possible as well, so I don't have to worry about her anymore as well.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Anyone know a good English site for monitoring hotspots around Kanagawa? This is terrible news! That's where the head Transportation Office is!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ted Barrera it took me a minute but here is the main site with links to prefectures

http://starrwulfe.info/links-to-radiation-level-information-in-japan

Kanagawa / real-time safety and accident prevention bureau, Kanagawa Prefecture (real-time)

this link is not in english I had to click on the page button on my toolbar then click on translate this page

http://www.atom.pref.kanagawa.jp/cgi-bin2/telemeter_map.cgi?Area=all&Type=WL

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Land of the rising radiation level ! I'm with sarcasm123, I would get out but the kids have been poisoned by their blinkered mother.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This may be a little bit off-topic, but I just now got it from a friend in Texas.

A really touching and well-done video.

End of 2011 "Thank" you from Japan……

<http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=SS-sWdAQsYg&vq=mediumhttp://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=SS-sWdAQsYg&vq=medium>

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ewan Huzarmy: Good point. I wonder how many other foreigners married to Japanese and who have kids want to leave Japan but their J-spouse won't let them?

9 ( +8 / -0 )

likely true about foreign & J-spouses & kids, when you compare the paranoia when the tainted chinese made gyouza to whats going on with the nukes there SHUD be wide spread terror about whats happening, but while there is clearly concerns its mostly head in the sand shoganai thats prevailing & kids will be paying the price.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It is not just a question of escaping or staying and waiting to die. it is not that blavk and white and not that simple.

Some people have made the choice to stay because their own areas are not badly affected, and they have found alternative ways of getting around the potential for food contamination. Some people have decided staying and living with the adjustments they have made is ultimately better for them and their families than ripping the family apart or ditching everything they have worked for and starting again somewhere else. Some people believe that uprootin will ultimately be more harmful to their children than staying put and you know what - whatever decision people make based on their own individual circumstances I am REALLY starting to wish other people would accept them and respect them for it instead of falling cleanly into one camp or the other and criticising anyone who didnt make the same decision as them.

It seems to me that the ones most vocal about what other people should or should not do are the ones that deep down are not convinced that they actually have made the right decision. Accept the decision you have made, but for Gods sake accept the decisions other people have made too. Even if you do think they are "mad" or "irresponsible" for staying, it really isnt your call.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Sarcasm123: "When cancer rates sky rocket in the next few years, they'll deny, obfuscate and misdirect as well."

They're already setting this up. Hirano, in stating the government cannot afford to give free health care to children (under 18) who are/were in the areas around the Fukushima plant said, "It'll also be difficult in the future to determine that illnesses are linked to radiation from the nuclear plant" or something very close to that. They know full well they are killing their children, and are setting up the excuses for denial later.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Chernobyl Heart is a 2003 documentary film by Maryann DeLeo. In the film, DeLeo is observing the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on the health of children in the area. Many children suffered from a previously unknown cardiac degradation condition known in the area as "Chernobyl heart", in addition to other severe radiation poisoning effects

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xj6100_yyyyyyyy-y-chernobyl-heart_creation

I wonder how much J-government concern about people's health, especially children.

2 ( +3 / -0 )

I have the top of the line hand held Geiger counter. I check down near Kugenuma all the time. Especially near roof drainage from a flat roof. There are lots of hot spots. 2.42 was the highest I found. That is not good, and it was walked through numerous times as foot prints were easily visible. Most were small, so that means kids.

We are screwed here peeps. If you see someone sweeping the street with one of those low hunch back brooms, tell them to immediately stop.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The UN and the IAEA need to help Japan, well, to help itself and the rest of the world because this stupid Tokyo Electric radiation mess is only the tip of the iceberg!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

my 1132am post I SHUD have said SOME spouses, having re-read my post it seems like I meant all & thats not the case.

But I do think far too many are willing to continue living way to close to the nukes & its a bit bewildering, especially when you kids are in the family.

And personally I often find myself thinking if the govt hadnt of lied to us so much early on after 3/11 wud I even still be here, & even now I wonder if I shud be, I mean if the reporting & announcements had been truthful I bet the exodus of locals & gaijin wud have been much higher, especially early on, wud that have been right or not is for each of us to say, BUT suffice to say I am pretty furious at having been so blatantly lied to by the Govt of Jpn, SOBs!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Particles the size of microscopic dust.... Like the uncovered sneeze that produces microscopic infectious particles in a cloud and can fill a whole room...before a breeze. A 15 mile per hour breeze from Fukushima to Tokyo would only take a SW breeze 10 hours and if that air had particles that were/are radioactive for 30 or a couple thousand years ...who needs Korea or China to invade or any other organization to destroy Japan

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Ewan Huzarmy: Good point. I wonder how many other foreigners married to Japanese and who have kids want to leave Japan but their J-spouse won't let them?

How many have had to leave because their j-spouse is paraniod about radiation but the gaijin other half wants to stay? The numbers might surprise you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

eeehh? but on december 16th?

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano issued the following statement: The IAEA welcomes the announcement by the Government of Japan that the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have achieved a 'cold shutdown condition' and are in a stable state, and that the release of radioactive materials is under control."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

eeehh? but on december 16th?

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano issued the following statement: The IAEA welcomes the announcement by the Government of Japan that the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have achieved a 'cold shutdown condition' and are in a stable state, and that the release of radioactive materials is under control."

Tamanegi - the statement is true. What you are seeing in these hotspots (which are not everywhere) is a concentration of radiation mainly from large flat areas that have concentrated into a small area, mainly in drainage and ditches. It really isn't suprising, most people expected it, but somehow it still seems to panic people EVERY time it gets reported. My kids school has a similar (but not as high level) case in the school grounds. The values discovered and the locations are very unlikely to cause any illness, unless you like sitting in drains.

You will continue to see "hotspots" being reported, only when something out of the blue (i.e. not drainage or similar) strikes should you start to panic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Colorado state has more cosmic radiation at a higher altitude and more terrestrial radiation from soils enriched in naturally occurring uranium. The radiation level is around 0.6microSv/hr all the time.

Are there any hotspots in Colorado?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

oh boy that's too bad. But shouganai, lets move on and continue living life...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@BH

Yes that is true but the chances of inhaling particles and ingesting radiation in food is much higher in Japan.

In Colorado are children passing radioactive cesium in urine?

They were in Fukushima and no doubt in other areas in Japan where measurements are not even taking place.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

kurisupisu, Thank you.

I have been wondering if it is really safe for Kawauchi-mura residents go to back there. Some say it's safe because the radiation level is low enough. I understand there are hotspots/micro-hotspots everywhere in East Japan (or West as well as you mentioned in earlier post). Does Colorado state have hotspots? If not, why not? What are the differences between natural radiation exposure and radiation exposure from the nuke plants?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Utrack, thanks for the link! On another note, while all this news about radioactive hotspots is very disturbing, what I find more frustrating and terrifying is that groceries continue to stock produce from the main prefectures affected by fallout (Fukushima, Tochigi, Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki). Why do they insist on continuing to poison the nation by cultivation agribusiness from these areas?!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

tamanegiFEB. 05, 2012 - 08:45PM JST eeehh? but on december 16th?

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano issued the following statement: The IAEA welcomes the announcement by the Government of Japan that the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have achieved a 'cold shutdown condition' and are in a stable state, and that the release of radioactive materials is under control."

People are under the MISTAKEN impression that the IAEA is for protection of people. That is absolutely not true. They were created for one purpose and one purpose only and they hold true to their purpose to this day, and that purpose is the PROMOTION of nuclear power, period. That is their mission. Of course that is what they said. But it is NOT true. The radiation is still coming out of Fukushima No. 1 in levels in the billions of bequerals per hours. Do not succumb to the lies of the industry nor of their protectors. This accident is not contained, it is not stopped, it is exactly the same only maybe worse now due to the ground water steadily being contaminated and the ocean. The cooling systems and the pools are leaking like sieves and the ocean is the container that is catching this brew. The fish in many areas are way above government limits of cesium, which are set too high to begin with. The radioactive steam continues to pour out of the site every second of every day and that is not going to stop anytime soon. Protect your children. Protect yourselves.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@BH

I guess that living in an elevated location (as Colorado is )means less protection from the atmosphere which blocks harmful energy.Looking at cancer in the US I noticed Colorado is fairly up there with incidents of cancer-there could be a myriad of reasons for this though-not only elevation

Elevation and cancer in pilots

www.bmj.com/content/325/7364/567.full

There seems to be a slight causal link though.

If a child was raised to adulthood in Clorado as opposed to say London which would be more cancer causing?

In Fukushima the danger comes from

processed uranium and that is always going to be more toxic than the naturally occurring element due to higher concentrations and thus a higher toxicity

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very true radiation is everywhere ... likewise, Japan is surrounded by seas ... on the long run all ' things ' contaminated will eventually make its way into it ... ' food chain ' will be affected most, don't you think or rather never will happen ? ... all this while nothing happen, its ok ... when something did happen, it's called AN ACCIDENT, any amount of precaution is pointless ... needless to say ... the damage is done ! i'm no expert but i'm a sure person don't wish to be in that situation - period .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"What are the differences between natural radiation exposure and radiation exposure from the nuke plants?" There are substantial differences in the effects to humans of exposure due to different types of ionising radiation. They harm the body in different ways and for different lengths of time. I recommend starting with the Wikipedia article on radiation. Comparisons of Denver and bananas and dental x rays with the large number of radioactive substances that have been and are being released from the nuclear plants is unscientific. It's as if one would compare someone taking a stroll on the beach with bare feet, or even being buried up to his neck in sand, and having his lungs or stomach filled with sand. Sand is involved in each instance, some harm is possible in each instance, but the situations are quite different.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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