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Fukushima clean-up has reduced radiation levels, but not all: scientists

23 Comments
By TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA

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And I'll bet that the 9,000 square km area includes areas already deemed "safe" for humans to live!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

re article: "significantly reduced radiation levels" Cesium 137 "is the biggest risk for the population over the medium- and long-term as it can persist in the environment for up to three centuries if it is not dealt with

re: article: "the Japanese authorities targeting 9,000 square kilometers of the most contaminated land for remedial work. "remedial work has only been done on arable and other easily accessible land while forested areas, account for about three quarters of the contaminated zone, have been left untouched

The article fails to mention the figures for Upper Tolerance Level radiation including C137 were raised possibly to lessen the impact against liability immediately after exposure was detected. hmmm. Given this the TEPCO execs were not imprisoned who as documents have proven were provided to them of the dangers by numerous researchers and did nothing thus given them aforehand knowledge. Perhaps the government does not care enough or take this issue seriously enough by appointing a non environmental engineer or highly experienced Minister of Environment but instead give us a politician who says the environment is "cool and sexy" I seriously doubt C137 that remains part of Fukoshima nor its residents think of radiation as a neighbor as either cool or sexy.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Look deep into my eyes, you are falling into a trance. now repeat after me, the radiation is gone the radiation is gone...

10 ( +12 / -2 )

What happened at Fukushima is rare, that place got hit by both a massive earthquake and then a Tsunami. The reactor was also very very old and within a few years it was supposed to be decommissioned.

Nuclear technology of 2020 is much safer then Nuclear technology built in 1965.

Should we use solar - yes

Should we use wind - yes

Should we use nuclear when the wind doesnt blow, when the sun don't shine - yes

Fossil fuels is the one we should reduce.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Alex beau, I can see where your coming from, but Nuclear is not the way forward, its costly to build these plants, and its an absolutely horrendous cost to decommission them, and then there is the environmental cost to, what do you do with all of this contaminated waste? we can tap into thermal energy, and also hydro power too.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

As is so often the case, the headline and the article tell two different stories.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Well lets look at this from a positive angle- The population is severely declining, and there are more than enough Akiya (empty houses) to house all the nuclear refugees all over Japan. There is absolutely no reason why they would have to return to the radiated areas.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

This method however has serious drawbacks, not least the cost at 24 billion euros ($27 billion) so far, the review said. It had also generated massive amounts of material, 20 million cubic meters of topsoil, most of which will have to be safely stored for perhaps 30 years and eventually treated.

Lets hear again how " cheap " nuclear energy is from the N-village foggies.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The nuclear disaster site is still releasing radiation into the environment. The plant clean up and covering the ground with thick steel plates has reduced the levels but there are still high levels near the reactor building. Near the No1 stack is 15 SIEVERTS.

Around the contaminated areas the levels have been reduced but there are still many hotspots with high levels 5-10 microsieverts per hour. 44-88 millisievert per year, above the allowed limit of 20 millisievert per year.

Areas with levels less than 20 millisievert per year have allowed any former residents to return. Areas with levels higher than 20 millisievert per year but less than 50 millisievert per year are off limits for the near future but will become available when the levels are reduced. There are levels over 50 millisievert per areas and those areas will be off limits for many decades.

Some towns and villages have all three types of areas meaning two previous areas will remain off limits making life difficult for anyone returning.

The mountain areas have not been cleaned.

Back in 2011, the costs of dealing with the nuclear disaster was put at ¥5 trillion but to date the cost is more than ¥25 trillion. The final costs will be more than ¥100 trillion.

The contaminated areas are covered with mounds of the black plastic bags of contaminated soils.

30,000 nuclear refugee's left the prefecture and another 11,000 are still in temporary accommodations.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I wonder whether scientists and people who first built a nuclear power plant had an idea of controlling the nuclear materials when the plant had an accident and about disposal of the nuclear waste.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

So, crops and livestock from the district will never be clean next 300 years.

Not a punishment is laid on TEPCO because Jp Gov don't give any but subsidy from which the leaders of TEPCO receive bunuses.

This country needs an operation because it's SICK.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

For more than 50 years, the entire nuclear village, the government, the atomic safety agencies, the nuclear reactor owners, the nuclear scientists never thought a nuclear disaster in Japan was possible.

A very flawed mistake.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

These particles are in the forests and in addition to being carried by water, they obviously get blown away by winds all over Japan. Children (and athletes) may well be breathing them into their lungs in Tokyo and elsewhere, No-one wants to talk about it, and to be fair, there is not much we can do about it now.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This link is for a citizens radiation map of the whole country and shows low levels of radiation in all of the country except for the nuclear disaster area.

https://jciv.iidj.net/map/

5 ( +5 / -0 )

SafeCast have other radiation maps.

https://blog.safecast.org/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The article title and opening paragraph gives an impression that a "pretty good job" has been achieved to date.

"...Clean-up efforts at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, destroyed by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, have significantly reduced radiation levels but untreated forested areas remain a problem, scientists said Thursday..."

But deeper into the story - for those who read -

"...The main concern is that remedial work has only been done on arable and other easily accessible land while forested areas, which account for about three quarters of the contaminated zone, have been left untouched.

It is believed these forests will act in effect as radiation reservoirs for years to come as material slowly washes down from them, the scientists said..."

So it appears that the radiation has NOT been "significantly reduced" as stated, if 75% of the zone remains untouched.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

With thousands of tons of radioactive material under the destroyed power plants, how could anyone say this is a cleanup?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For more than 50 years, the entire nuclear village, the government, the atomic safety agencies, the nuclear reactor owners, the nuclear scientists never thought a nuclear disaster in Japan was possible.

A very flawed mistake.

Hardly the case as numerous researchers throughout Japan, including before it was built wrote and notified execs, government etc about that specific location and design flaws with the entire operation and the numerous dangers if such an occurrence should occur. The safety measures were ignored due to programming, plan cuts and scheduling deadlines. Had the safety measures been more closely looked at, of which many are not or thrown out of design for cost measurements then it would not have been as bad. Of course keep in mind that the earthquake 3/11 of that magnitude was not the BIG one that is still highly expected to occur, hopefully not my lifetime.

One quick note that dentists in that area have experienced an higher number of reported tooth decay or increased number of patients experiencing pre-conditions of tooth decay worsened after this incident. Doctors have added that many patients reported dry mouth which is a sign of exposure. A recent study throughout the northern part of Japan where early maps and physical data recovered resulted in higher number patients reporting tooth decay not attributed to normal decay in most cases after 3.11.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese people have been living there. Is this how the Japanese govt treats their own people ???.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

rgcivilian1

A very flawed mistake.

Hardly the case as numerous researchers throughout Japan, including before it was built wrote and notified execs, government etc about that specific location and design flaws with the entire operation and the numerous dangers if such an occurrence should occur.

The safety standards and regulations set by the government and the various atomic safety agencies were below par for nuclear reactor plants in a Pacific Ring of Fire earthquake and tsunami zone.

There were so many failures in those safety standards. I am a former electrical engineer and always assumed the reactors were built with the most safety standards but that wasn't the case. There was an unbelievable number of safety defects.

I have worked in various highly dangerous chemical plants where safety was the number one priority and cost of that was never denied. We had many safety training day about what to do with an explosion, with fires, with fatal chemical releases.

Basically, every reactor building should have been watertight. No switchgear before 2nd level. Every reactor building with its own emergency generators and water supply to cool the reactor and spent fuel pool.

The lack of training of the operators.

To upgrade 20 reactors is now too costly and instead the power companies will decommission them.

Yes, some points on safety were notified like the height of the seawall at the Fukushima plant.

But I stand by my overall opinion that the whole of the Nuclear Village didn't think a nuclear disaster would ever happen.

The nuclear liability law limits the amount to be paid by the reactor owners when there is a disaster like Fukushima which is ¥120 billion. Compare that with the eventual cost of the disaster of ¥100 trillion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cesium 137 "is the biggest risk for the population over the medium- and long-term as it can persist in the environment for up to three centuries if it is not dealt with," Evrard said

See?! It’s not permanent like all you lefties say! So dishonest of you people to be screaming how nuclear power isn’t safe because of the “permanent” effects of a catastrophe.

Nuclear is safe: Case closed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It had also generated massive amounts of material, 20 million cubic meters of topsoil, most of which will have to be safely stored for perhaps 30 years and eventually treated.

Yes, stored and treated. Not placed near river banks so that hundreds of bags are 'accidentally' washed away by Typhoon Hagibis so that you dont have to worry about treating it.

The way the J Gov dealt with this whole aftermath is a joke.

No wonder you have some of the Olympic teams including the US now thinking of having their bases outside of Japan (eg Busan) due to radiation fears. Its a complete joke.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

all this self congratulatory praise for acvomplishing...what? Where will the soil go? the firests untreated, and worst of all, the continuous cooling of the melt downs by pumping sea water onto the reactors, and allowing that contaminated water to flow back into the sea!!

Radiation has drastically reduced the sea life population of the pacific...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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