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Gov't to probe radioactive apartment block

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The government on Monday said it would investigate how an apartment had been built with radioactive concrete in the latest scare from the country’s ongoing nuclear crisis.

I know how it was built using those materials. The government just overlooked the checking of the materials hoping not to get caught.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Authorities said that radioactive gravel may have then been sold to another 200 companies.

Translation — another 200 or more newly-built houses/buildings in Japan contain the same materials.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yet another demonstration of the complete lack of understanding of radiation contamination by the government and ministries involved. If I was one of the twelve families living there I would be looking to get out asap.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The government on Monday said it would investigate how an apartment had been built with radioactive concrete

It "happened" because no one has any respect for the government - be it the no go zone or not selling things from the area. The government needs to punish this company and the locals in those buildings need to sue the company. When the government finally gets their heads out of their butts, perhaps they could enforce what "no-go means" and charge people going in the areas - and spreading the contamination around?? I mean, least they can do. Oh and perhaps ban everything from the area ? Asking too much??

8 ( +7 / -1 )

tmarie, it isn't respect for the government it's like nsg wrote, the government doesnt understand the effects of the radiation and just where and how it gets spread around.

Evidently the government is responsible for not enforcing it's no go zone regulations, however before crucifying the government any further one has to know just when the gravel was shipped out, and if it was prior to or after the no go zone was enacted as well.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't actually agree with that. I think they know damn well how to spreads and gets around. I am the furthest thing from a scientist and I get it. They care more about saving face and making money.

From the news I read, the gravel was shipped after 3/11.

11 ( +8 / -1 )

I agree with Tmarie. It's not just about 'misunderstanding' or not 'understanding' the radiation complications. Failure here on different levels. The government should have imposed a shut down on anything coming from that area. In the case of 'not understanding the future effects' how about putting people's health first and just not taking the risk at all. We aren't talking about the common cold here, we're talking about something that could.....could affect people's health for even generations. It's money again. I am willing to bet some officialdom was involved there with hand in pocket. There should also be stiff penalties imposed on anyone selling banned products from that area.

Unfortunately, we are going to hear more news like this over time. I shudder to think what else is going on. I've given up listening to the government and have taken as much responsibility for my family's well being that I possibly can.

5 ( +3 / -0 )

The quarry lies in Namie town, which is within the 20-kilometer no-go zone

@moderator,

Are you sure it's no-go zone? not planning evacuation zone?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just sad.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@NetNinja. Totally agree. It is sad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Namie town is situated within the 20-km no-go zone around the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How the hell could the quarry which is within the no-go zone ship out gravel just a month after the disaster? Was the quarry's warehouse outside?

What I would recommend: demolish all structures that have used the gravel, but let the supplier, contractor and government agency who approved the construction handle out the bill. My reason: safety checks failure.

Unless, of course ... if the governement shoulders the bill, and then further urge the entire populace to share the burden by increased taxes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Unfortunately, the problem of radiation prefectly suits the Japanese way of handling crisis. Like an ostrich. If the problem can't be seen, it's not there and can be ignored.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Given the behavior of the government, of companies and individuals, how could anyone in Japan feel a sense of relief about radiation? Whether we like it or not, the simple fact is that people in positions of making decisions about the impact of radiation on the general population have proven that they fall into three primary categories.

People who are not competent to be trusted. People who cannot be trusted. People who can be trusted but are not because of the obvious worries over people in categories 1 and 2.

Net result... no rational person can feel certainty over this situation. Thus we must all weigh in our own thoughts and continue to live in doubt over the situation. It is unecessary since only a little open candor would have made people trust in and believe their leaders. But that bridge is long burned.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Corruption, more corruption, lies and total incompetence. These are the only headlines we read about politics in Japan..... Sigh!

After living in Japan for 12 years, I think the time has come to seriously consider leaving. I cannot stand the complete and utter uselessness of the government and their total lack of common sense. Is their any government body or agency in Japan that isn't useless, totally inefficient and which isn't corrupt from the top down?

I am convinced that they (government and ALL law makers) only care about their own privileged group and pushing their own private agendas'. They continually fail to demonstrate any compassion towards the people of Japan. I am also convinced that they have forgotten (or have never known) the role and responsibilities of a government.

I am getting really sick and tired and totally frustrated. It seems like everyday we read another story that is justifying a 'hostile takeover' of these idiots who cannot lead or manage.

Am I the only one who feels this way???

10 ( +9 / -0 )

I had to take a break from this article. Just to let it soak in. That's really messed up. Those families have to move out now. They're homeless again.

Again this is a case for the D.A and the city prosecution. Please allow me to reference a past story that is along the same lines.

In one name, maybe you can all see where I'm going with this. ANEHA. I'm not going to quote the story here but you can read it for yourself here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidetsugu_Aneha

The behavior by TEPCO and obviously this UN-named construction company has been nothing less than criminal. Aneha was sentenced to 5 years in prison. So should whoever decided to make a radioactive apartment building.

Look no further than the organization below for who's to blame.

In Japan, architects building structures exceeding a certain floor area or number of storeys must submit a report of construction costs to the authorities, demonstrating that the building is safe (e.g. adequate funds spent on earthquake-proofing, etc.) "Structural Calculation Forgery Problem" kozo keisansho gizo mondai) refers to a series of incidents.

It is clear that someone HAD to report all the details to the government. Someone on a certain document lied. The question is who? The pressed charges against Aneha. It's only fair that whoever decided to use radioactive materials from a No-Go Zone should also have the book thrown at them.

Just my two cents on the topic.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"The three-story condominium was constructed in July with concrete made from gravel taken from a quarry near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in April, one month after it began spewing radiation into the air and sea."

Well, gee... hmmm... let's see... now how could the building contain radiation? What a complete bunch of idiots. They know the company that sold the gravel -- and I guess they made a handsome profit -- so ARREST the company executives and throw them in prison. I'm tired of this 'no immediate threat' and 'not reached the government (newly) set limits' crap. No WONDER everyone is skeptical. I'm simply amazed these people are allowed to ship ANYTHING from within the no-go zone at all! And if they found radiation in this one building, you can bet your bottom dollar it'll be in others. The families living in that condo should sue (but they won't).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How the hell could the quarry which is within the no-go zone ship out gravel just a month after the disaster? Was the quarry's warehouse outside?

Easy. Go in, take what you want. Leave. With no punishments being handed out and people looking the other way for cash, why not? It is sickening.

I would LOVE to get out of this country right now. Just when you think it can't get any worse the people and the government step it up a notch and it does.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Might be a good time to start thinking about leaving Japan. Just to be safe.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I agree with tmarie. Just sick.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Things might be even worse. Inside of the evacuation zone You will even have a higher concentration of the really heavy elements like Uranium and products from its alpha decay chain. Namie is just 10 km away from the plant. These atoms would eventually decay in to radon, which is a radioactive gas and emits alpha particles. These will not be picked by gamma detectors. Thus, this radiation is not included in the official dose. And inhaled alpha emitters are far more harmful than normal gamma rays (even if incorporated).

In fact such processes happen in some mountainous areas naturally in the rocks. The gas drifts upwards through tiny cracks in the stone and the walls of houses and collects in cellars. Which is the reason why the measured alpha dose in cellars (without good ventilation) is often far higher than one storey above. And since this argument is not restricted to cellars, it is also a reason to open doors and windows sufficiently often to reduce the radon inhalation in stonework houses. This is something which has been often measured in Germany in various areas.

Therefore, people in these houses have an additional radiation risk which potentially exceeds the official risk by far since their walls are very likely to emit radon. They should make sure that this is not the case before producing data saying it is below the evacuation levels. I wouldn't want to live in such a house even if I were paid for it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The no-go-zone should have and should still be tightly monitored.....but it is not.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Am I the only one who feels this way???"

No Tokyokawasaki you are not the only one. But sadly the only people I have me who are outraged enough to wish to take action are foreingers. Oddly enough the people with the most ability to just walk away from this are the ones who would be willing to go out on a personal limb to fight for change.

Meanwhile my Japanese friends are equally burdened, disillusioned and outraged. Yet I have not heard a single person raise even the slightest possibility or suggestion that the are prepared to do anything about it other than carry on gripeing.

Isn't that just the most sad and pathetic circumstance you can imagine?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

OMG, that's 10.8624 millisieverts per year! You all have a calculator in your phones, right? Yes absolutely health concerning. Come on guys, give it a break. There is more natural background radiation in some parts of the bavarian forest and they seem to be living fine for centuries.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Patric,

we would also need to know the average radiation reading, as the article says 'up to 1.24 microsieverts per hour'.

Still very worrying. You'd think someone in the bureaucracy would have responsibility for this, though if there is they were probably thinking of their post-retirement job.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

NHK News reported that the rocks were shipped before the mandatory evacuation order was made, so the workers though that if they were safe to work in Namie, then the rocks were safe too.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

tmarie, what you are asking for is common sense. However, this is a Japanese company.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

STOP the PRESS. TEPCO may not be to blame.....you see. After the radiation leaves the factory it no longer belongs to TEPCO...Bwahahahahhahahaha See for yourself.

http://www.truth-out.org/fukushimas-owner-adds-insult-injury/1325868945

Pure evil.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Star-viking: "NHK News reported that the rocks were shipped before the mandatory evacuation order was made, so the workers though that if they were safe to work in Namie, then the rocks were safe too."

Simply an excuse. They could have had the materials checked ANY TIME while building, which would not have been completed AFTER the mandatory ban and fears of radiation had started.

Can I get a big 'shouganai' from the public?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its not a high level of radiation but still why is materials being used from inside the exclusion zone which would also mean that there are workers there and transport workers moving the gravel.

The accumulated rad level would be about 10 millisieverts/year which is 50% of the current accepted level in Fukushima of 20 millisieverts/year but 10 times the accepted national level of 1 millisievert/year.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Isn't this an "expected" outcome.... when normal day-to-day life remain unchanged within an environment heavily contaminated with all kinds of radioactive isotopes and in the absence of stringent testings, then it is but normal that the spread of these long-term radioactive particles would be all invasive in all aspects of life!!! Our heart and soul goes out to symphatize with the poor Japanese who are forced to live within this nightmare scenario only imagined by the sci-fi movies in their doomsday fictional plots!!!

Wake Up Japan Government and for once, make the people's safety the priority rather than your political and financial agenda!!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Patric

And you believe the press release of a government official, who relies on reports handed to him by "reliable sources"?

Also, knowing that TEPCO regularly gives out fallacious information, which makes people very wary even by the smallest "beep!" of the geiger counters.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hate to tell you but I will stop going to Japanese grocery stores here in US after reading this. I have been checking all labels of Japanese products where they are coming from to make sure the products are free of radioactive exposures and safe. Well, now I have realized that the product labels do not mean anything anymore. Plese do not ship them here. They may not be safe to eat at all.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

You can bet there are more of these radioactive apartments. I hope the so-called 'probe' extends into tracing every ounce of tainted gravel from that quarry and any other quarries in the vicinity.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

i am glad i live in an old building but i have to worry about earthquakes :(

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is nothing to probe.The govt. were too slow in banning the transfer and sale of Cesium hay and potting mix but finally created legislature.They did nothing about gravel, but legislated cement. The 'guys who run construction' saw the writing on the wall, splashed the cash and made a huge profit, even managing to funnel the raw materials to areas they were rebuilding.They must have known what they were doing but obviously got in when they saw a chance and there is absolutely nothing illegal about it. Plenty of other people sent their cows to different parts of Tohoku and their pigs to Kyushu to be fattened.I can understand why they were desperate to make at least some money from their products before the govt. could ban them..they haven't exactly been royally compensated.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

**But sadly the only people I have me who are outraged enough to wish to take action are foreingers. Oddly enough the people with the most ability to just walk away from this are the ones who would be willing to go out on a personal limb to fight for change.

Meanwhile my Japanese friends are equally burdened, disillusioned and outraged. Yet I have not heard a single person raise even the slightest possibility or suggestion that the are prepared to do anything about it other than carry on gripeing.**

Well said. I have personally been verbally attacked by "friends" for commenting on the issue and pointing out how pathetic the government is here. They'll defend their country and their crappy government to "us". Pride is a b@itch. It is certainly what is doing this country in. That and greed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Elvensilvan I don't believe anything. I explained such an occasion in my article at http://japanoutdooradventures.com/radiation-levels-in-gunma a few months back when hot-spots where found in Minakami. When I was there with my own Geiger, nothing showed up. We simply tend to overreact to this topic as to so many other. 2 weeks after Fukuchima I released http://japanoutdooradventures.com/post/4126799166 to show that we are safe where WE live. Btw, it was so predictable to read the comments bellow after having read the article. News of any kind and source is 95% garbage, so I suggest we all stop reading/watching them and turn on our Facebook when being on the road ;)

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Fukuchima > Fukushima :)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Nihonmatsu city government knew about the high radiation exposure of the residents in the apartment back in December but didn't tell the residents.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry knew about it on December 28, 2011 when the city emailed the Ministry asking for guidance, but didn't do anything until January 10, 2012 because it was New Year's Day holiday and then a long weekend on January 7, 8 and 9.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The government has consistently been at pains to stress the lack of an “immediate” health risk, but has been faced by skepticism from the public.

Immediate... but nothing about long term exposure

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm with Yubaru and Star-viking. I think it's important to get the fact straight so that we will know exactly who to blame/sue for what. (TEPCO for sure), but I personally the government, especially Edano is responsible for it.

Namie-machi lies on two zones; Northwest side is 計画的避難区域(evacuation zone: you won't be punished even if enter), East side is 警戒区域(no-go zone: You will be punished if you go.)

http://www.meti.go.jp/earthquake/nuclear/map.pdf

(JT doesn't agree with me, but) those stones were shipped from evacuation zone, not no-go zone (every media including AFP written in Japanese say it's evacuation zone.) I have been questioning if it was evacuation zone or no-go zone because if the stones were shipped from no-go zone after April 22, it's obvious the company is breaking the law and will be punished, no question about it. The problem is (I assume) the greedy company executives knew that those stones are contaminated but there are no regulations against radioactive stones and also they were kept in the evacuation zone. They knew they wouldn't be caught and they shipped and sold them.

http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/q11880317/archive/2012/1/16

Edano had the result of SPEEDI (at least by March 17). The SPEEDI showed the radioactive particles spread over to the North to Northwest. But still Edano made those zones with radius from Fukushima Daiichi Plant. That's why Namie-machi lies in two zones while the whole town was highly contaminated. The company that operates the gravel facility will never been punished because the government never told them not to go there or not to ship anything from the evacuation zone. They know they can get away with it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What especially blows my mind is this 'motainai' attitude to things from or near the evacuation zone. Now I know that companies have workers and need to keep working to pay wages and so on. But there should have been a blanket ban on much more than there was, or is. Which does mean massive compensation for those affected. But better safe than sorry- nothing from within that zone (or near it) can be considered safe unless it is tested.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry knew about it on December 28, 2011 when the city emailed the Ministry asking for guidance, but didn't do anything until January 10, 2012 because it was New Year's Day holiday and then a long weekend on January 7, 8 and 9.

Heads should roll for this. And they would - in any other country but since this is Japan, carry on folks, carry on. I get more disgusted with this country's government as the days go by. And I get disgusted with the public for allow their government to continue the way it is.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I get more disgusted with this country's government as the days go by. And I get disgusted with the public for allow their government to continue the way it is.

Japanese media is so controlled by the government.

For example,

Freelance and foreign journalists are allowed to attend official press conference by the government only once a week on Friday. BUT on the day of 3.11 FRIDAY, freelance and foreign journalists were not allowed. Only kisha club members were allowed to attend.

On March 12, Koichiro Nakamura (NISA spokesperson) said at the press conference that there is a possibility of "Meltdown". He was replaced by another spokesperson the next day.

TV Asahi journalist, Toru Tamakawa, interviewed Koide Hiroaki (nuke expert) on March 14. He said, "Meltdown is highly likely. Even people in Tokyo had better evacuate depending on the wind". The interview was never on the air.

I can go and go on about the manipulation of the government and media, but I'm afraid the moderator will remove my post...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Is there anyone in the Department Of The Environment who is sufficeintly qualified in the aftermath of nuclear pollutants able to monitor this situation,and in doing so, prevent any future gaffs?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So now they have three choices: Tear down the building (releasing dust containing the cesium), let people live there with the knowledge that they're going to be near higher than background levels of radiation, or vacate the building for the 30-year half life of cesium. None of those three options are acceptable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Christina O'Neill

The Ministry of Environment opened the "Fukushima Office for Environmental Restoration" in Fukushima on January 4, 2012, in order to promote remediation of large contaminated area off-site the "Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP" and recover the environment in Fukushima and surrounding prefectures.

http://www.env.go.jp/en/headline/headline.php?serial=1707

MOE has compiled guidelines for investigation of contamination in Fukushima and surrounding prefectures. (English translation unavailable)

http://www.env.go.jp/jishin/rmp/attach/josen-gl01_ver1.pdf

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OMG, that's 10.8624 millisieverts per year! You all have a calculator in your phones, right? Yes absolutely health concerning. Come on guys, give it a break. There is more natural background radiation in some parts of the bavarian forest and they seem to be living fine for centuries.

Radioactive CESIUM, in NOT in Background Radiation. Radioactive Cesium is formed as a fission product by nuclear fission. It has a half-life of about 30.17 years. So lets get off the natural background radiation Bandwagon because it has NOTHING to do with the situation at hand.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A household with 3 children live on the first floor of this building.

Trapped? 3 children living in radioactive apartment built with tainted cement, dose over 10 millisieverts/yr — Nuclear Official: Not an amount where evacuation is warranted

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ever get the feeling the government just doesn't care?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This cement could have been shipped anywhere in the country. Any overseas potential tourists reading these posts-- your hotel anywhere in Japan could have been built or repaired with radioactive materials. Beware.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

your hotel anywhere in Japan could have been built or repaired with radioactive materials. Beware.

A little paranoid are we? Just stay at someplace built before 3/11.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Blair, I am aware of that - and have to worry abotu what we don't read or makes the news. Pathetic.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just how many times will we have to shake heads and wonder why these people in charge can't see the obvious and why nobody seems to react to such news and take over? In other places heads would be rolling long time...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

From the news I read, the gravel was shipped after 3/11.

The no go zone however was set up much later, and it is obvious that the stuff was shipped after 3/11, if it had been shipped prior to that date that would have been a much bigger problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru Jan. 18, 2012 - 12:19PM JST

The no go zone however was set up much later, and it is obvious that the stuff was shipped after 3/11, if it had been shipped prior to that date that would have been a much bigger problem.

Surely you mean it would be no problem, as if it were shipped prior to 3/11 there would be no contamination to worry about?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan Times reports a reading on the 1st Floor around the 1 microSievert mark, 2nd and 3rd floors 0.1 and 0.3 respectively.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120117a1.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What on earth is the problem with factual posts? Does someone not like reality here?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What on earth is the problem with factual posts? Does someone not like reality here?

Factual posts usually do not get many thumbs up, but I always read your posts seriously especially when it comes to radiation leak things. Facts help me to decide what to worry or not to worry. Please do not stop posting facts even if you get thumbs down. Some people find your posts very informative.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cheers Blair!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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