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Hosono takes to street to seek support for tsunami debris disposal

39 Comments

Environment Minister Goshi Hosono, who is also the minister in charge of dealing with the nuclear crisis, took to the streets on Saturday to ask for support on disposing of tsunami debris.

Hosono handed out flyers near a train station in Shizuoka City and asked for the public's understanding and help in disposing of tsunami debris, NHK reported.

On Thursday, the Shizuoka city of Shimada officially announced that it will accept tsunami debris for disposal.

Hosono told reporters that he felt debris disposal work was finally starting to gain momentum.

In the afternoon, Hosono attended a public briefing in Nakanojo, Gunma Prefecture, which has also agreed to accept tsunami debris. Hosono thanked the gathering of 250 citizens and said that by accepting just 1,000 tons, they were setting an example for the rest of the nation.

Hosono reiterated that the government will provide support to local municipalities and make sure the process of testing all debris for radiation is transparent.

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Oh I do hope he comes round Kashiwa way. I have a couple of questions I'd like to ask him about how our incinerators got so contaminated by cesium that they had to be closed down.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Yeah yeah. Have they tested the debris for asbestos and mercury? Have they tested that the incinerators can burn the debris with high enough temperature not to produce dioxin into the surrounding fields? Is the brown envelope the only qualification required to be accepted as debris incinerator?

Japan is already the most dioxin-polluted country due to terribly low-tech incinerators, how many more "world records" must they break?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Where is the logic in once again sending plumes of radioactive material up into the air,this time over the WHOLE of Japan?

Where is it the accepted scientific practice of spreading radioactive material (that is already on the ground) in aerial emissions, after a nuclear disaster to wider areas?

Why is it necessary for radioactive material to be spread in the air to fall on crops,be ingested and breathed in?

How can it be the duty of the Japanese to allow themselves to become contaminated,become ill and suffer birth defects when there is no need?

In Japan, if I by chance receive a related illness due to radioactivity I may be denied treatment by a hospital!

This is happening at present, and will continue?

If we become sick due to radiation poisoning where are the specialists to treat the people?

Blending radioactive debris (why?) and then incinerating it will still produce the same emissions into the environment!

Why has the government ignored expert opinion on the dangers of doing this from their own scientists?

What is the redress for illnesses due to radioactivity spread by these burnings?

Did Mr Hosono explain this to the people of Gunma or Japan?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Let me save you the trouble Goshi. The answer is No.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

OK, I'm going to have a go at answering kurisupisu's questions.

Where is the logic in once again sending plumes of radioactive material up into the air,this time over the WHOLE of Japan?

The logic is that they're stuck with absolutely masses of very slightly radioactive debris from the tsunami, which has to go somewhere, and they don't have enough landfill space for it.

Where is it the accepted scientific practice of spreading radioactive material (that is already on the ground) in aerial emissions, after a nuclear disaster to wider areas?

The accepted scientific practice is that you set limits for how much radiation it's safe to emit, and if the stuff you want to burn is below those limits, as it is here, it's OK to burn it.

Why is it necessary for radioactive material to be spread in the air to fall on crops,be ingested and breathed in?

Because the radioactive material is mixed with the debris, which they need to get rid of.

How can it be the duty of the Japanese to allow themselves to become contaminated,become ill and suffer birth defects when there is no need?

That's not going to happen, because they won't put enough radioactive material in the air. The duty of areas that weren't clobbered by the tsunami is to help the areas that were.

In Japan, if I by chance receive a related illness due to radioactivity I may be denied treatment by a hospital! This is happening at present, and will continue?

Citation needed.

If we become sick due to radiation poisoning where are the specialists to treat the people?

You're not going to get sick due to radiation poisoning.

Blending radioactive debris (why?) and then incinerating it will still produce the same emissions into the environment!

Why has the government ignored expert opinion on the dangers of doing this from their own scientists?

Citation needed.

What is the redress for illnesses due to radioactivity spread by these burnings?

You don't need redress for something that isn't going to happen.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

We all need a clearer picture of this story. Not all areas of Miyagi and Iwate received any radiation contamination. not all of the debris contains radiation. The debris is being sorted into different kinds. 70% of the debris is wood. So about 16 million tons out of the 23 million tons is wood.

A new incinator in Miyagi is burning the debris that can be burnt but it will take decades to deal with it. The debris they want to send to other prefectures is just wood. It will be transported by train. Modern incinators can only operate when at filled to 80% capacity so these have to wait until there`s enough gabage before running them.

If the wood debris was ground into wood chips before transport and tested for radiation then there would be no problem with that.

The incinator in Miyagi is burning the burnable debris. The metal is sorted and I suppose that will go to a smelting plant to be melted down.

I dont believe the reconstruction is being held up because of the debris. Its being held up because in many areas there are still no plans and anyway, the first reconstruction should be the sea walls and raising the height of the land along the coast to at least 20 meters.

I`m not convinced that the debris problem is being dealt with in the best way.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@ivan

Oh I do hope he comes round Kashiwa way.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but Kashiwa did not accept any tsunami debris.

You posted earlier

Meanwhile, the rest of Japan chooses to not remember that when tsunami debris was accepted by Kashiwa City last year, the incineration plant began generating ash with 78,000 bq/kg of Cesium and had to be closed down because the building became hazardous. Kashiwa is now a radiation hotspot.

If you are talking about previous article from JT, you are incorrect. There is nowhere that said those garbage is tsunami debris.

[Japan Today Oct. 4] Authorities in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture, said Tuesday that levels of radioactive cesium found in ash from garbage disposal facilities can no longer be contained and stored, causing garbage incineration plants to be temporarily shut down. In July, the Kashiwa municipal government detected 365 to 70,800 becquerels of cesium per kilogram in radiation checks conducted at two incineration plants and one final disposal facility.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/radioactive-ash-causes-shutdown-of-kashiwa-incinerators

Some part of Kashiwa is highly contaminated because of the rain on March 21. They burnt highly contaminated garbage, not tsunami debris from Tohoku.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ2011102415591

Please explain a bit more in detail the problems/questions you have with Kashiwa and tsunami debris.

I am not supporting Hosono’s idea. I just want to make things clear.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I quite agree with @kurisupisu logic and points except one.

Blending radioactive debris (why?) and then incinerating it will still produce the same emissions into the environment!

Not really, sadly. It won't produce the same amount of emission, it will produce much more. These modern incinerators are high tech, highly effective stuffs and they burn by highly concentrating the intake, thus emitting a more dangerous concentration of even higher radioactive pollution into the air.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Blair - go on then...how did 70,800bq/kg of cesium get there? Potato peelings? I don't eat that many chips.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Ivan,

My question is "Did Kashiwa accept tsunami debris from Tohoku?" You said they did, but I cannot find the link anywhere. Please give me the source, thank you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Readers, please note that no tsunami debris has been incinerated in Kashiwa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kashiwa City became a hot spot for radiation following the nuclear disaster. The radiation discovered in the incinerator was due to local contamination and not burning of debris from Miyagi or Iwate.

There have been many articles on this problem but none mention that it was tusnami debris that was burnt?

Am I wrong?

http://www.cnic.jp/english/newsletter/nit145/nit145articles/contamination.html

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@ MunyaTimes

Let me elaborate,

I believe that the Japanese have decided that the legal limit per kg of waste is 8000 bqs for incineration

Thus if there are 3 kgs of waste with for example 10,000bq/s,8000bq/s and 5000bq/s respectively, then the authorities will allow it to be blended and incinerated as the average figure will be 7,600 bq/s per kg-under the set limit.

Thus it will be permissible to have highly concentrated radioactive sludge and/or gaseous emissions produced .What will be produced will of course depend on the type of filtration and capture system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kurisupisu,

the 8000 becequerels per kg. Isn`t that the figure for ash which can be buried?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's very simple to make decision. The government should outline why it's safe for Japanese nations. If the radiation level after burning debris is beyond the threshold, it would be not acceptable. If the radiation level after burning debris is below the threshold, it would be acceptable. There might no be such explanations and scientific background that could convince nations to accept it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am sure that only a small percentage of the debris is radioactive at harmful levels and most of it could safely be incinerated, but the J-Gov have hidden so many details over the past year it is impossible to believe anything they say, thus creating this situation. Hosono has stated that he will make the testing transparent, but that is the problem. The J-Gov is too transparent and everyone can see straight through their BS!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@kurisupisu

I see. Thanks for clarifying your point. I think I mistook the word "blending". I've got it now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i think its going to take another year before the debris really starts moving

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Send trucks and machines up there to clear it, sorry we can't take it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Um....isn't there a huge wasteland near daiichI.. Dump it there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ivan,

Odd, that, because I live in Kashiwa and it's common knowledge here that it was. The decision was made without public consultation and the residents here are furious about it.

It is common knowledge that Kashiwa accepted tsunami debris from Tohoku??? The residents are furious about it??? Many residents (especially Yuki Osaku and her group) are furious about what the mayor said, but not about the city accepting tsunami debris from Tohoku.

http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2011/09/05/lah-japan-nuclear-six-months-later.cnn

This is the problem in Kashiwa:

Kashiwa disclosed on July 10 that the radioactive cesium exceeding 70,000 becquerels/kg has been detected from the burned ashes at the city's waste processing plant. It is considered to be the result of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, and the city has halted burying the ashes since the end of June. At the current rate, the city will run out of space to store the ashes, and it won't be able to accept the household trash.

The national government set the guideline in June to temporarily store the ashes that tested 8,000 becquerels/kg [of cesium] or more, but there is no guideline as to what to do with the ashes after the temporary storage. The city plans to ask the national government to: 1) come up with a new standard for the final burial; 2) secure the space for temporary storage; 3) fully pay for the disposal cost.

According to the city, it is possible that the number was high because the residents cut grasses and clipped leaves and branches in their backyards trying to lower the radiation level and they were sent to the plants as burnable waste.

The city has two waste processing plants. The highest radiation of 70,800 becquerels/kg was measured at the Nanbu (southern) Clean Center in the three tests done since the end of June. At the Hokubu (northern) Clean Center, it was 9,780 becquerels/kg. When the ashes from the two plants were combined at the final disposal facility, it was 48,900 becquerels/kg.

The city accepts the average of 280 tonnes per day of burnable waste at its two waste processing plant, and buries the average of 21.3 tonnes of burned ashes at the final disposal facility.

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/search/label/Kashiwa

Again, Kashiwa is hotspot of radiation because of the rain on March 21~22, not because of tsunami debris from Tohoku. I think it's very important to share accurate information. Inaccuracy wouldn't make the situation better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So this Hosono finally came out and spat out the real objective' if we can have debris burned all over Japan, certain prefecture's produce will not suffer from 'baseless rumours' and if problems arise the govt will deal with them.

Now I can only interpret that in one way. If the radiation levels rise all over Japan, then produce from the most affected areas will no longer be refused by consumers.

Factor into that that spreading radiation around will make any cancer spike in northern kanto and tohuku look like a bump.. Reducing the blame and compo on Tepco and the govt and making nuke look safe.

I am not saying all the debris is radioactive.. But Hosono seems to be.

And the govt will fix it.

Yup. Sure. Glad my family won't be here waiting for that to happen.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Readers, we have already pointed out that Kashiwa has so far not accepted any tsunami debris for incineration.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

why why why spread it around ? Why burn it so it can be released in the air ?

THIS IS ONE HUGE SCIENCE EXPERIMENT

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@zichi

Yes,that is correct also.

I had that figure of 8000 bequerels in my head from a Fairewinds video. However, it seems as if local authorities are also taking this number as a yardstick for incineration too.

From Kanagawa and the local authority there (article in Japanese)

http://news.kanaloco.jp/localnews/article/1203030005/

The incineration figure and burial figure are both set at 8k bequerels per kg If true then it seems that is the proscribed national limit.......

1 ( +1 / -0 )

kurisupisu

Thank you for the info but just because Kanagawa have stated that does not mean it's necessarily the national standard.

I have concerns about the debris but really I want to try and base my opinions and judgements on known facts rather than just heresy which I'm not saying you do, but too many are.

I blame the government for mishandling of info from day one. I have less of a problem if the debris is just wood and it's shown not to contain radiation.

Also, I don't know enough to fully understand what 8,000 becquerels/kg actually means after incineration takes place?

Hopefully, someone with more knowledge will come along and inform us?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Someone should give Hosono some firm support while I shove the debris where it truly belongs!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know this a hopeless point, willingly overlooked...but if the debris as the debris is 70% wood, why not leave it where it is and let nature take its course....COMPOST. No one should should be living there anyway as the next giant tsunami will wipe it out. Just let it be and about live elsewhere.

I really think this is the best answer. Never going to happen. People must meddle, and profit, and fuss.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have concerns about the debris but really I want to try and base my opinions and judgements on known facts rather than just heresy which I'm not saying you do, but too many are.

I totally agree with you, zichi. I wish I could help Tohoku, but I don’t have enough knowledge and information to say Yes/No to this problem...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ranger_Miffy2

because there's 16 million tons of it and most of it is in the form of timbers which would take many years to break down unless it was turned into wood chips and spread across the land.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The wood does not need to break down, be moved, be converted to wood chips, or be burnt. It can sit there forever, or at least until all the people are permantly relocated to places that won't even be hit by anything short of a repeat of Noah's flood.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Seavey,

the people are permantly relocated to places that won't even be hit by anything short of a repeat of Noah's flood

. it won`t happen! the people will remain and the area reconstructed just like after many other natural disasters in the past. Just like in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico which is hit by powerful hurricanes or tornado alley. A tsunami could hit aprt of the Japanese coast and especially the Pacific Coast. A powerful earthquake could happen anywhere. What makes you think it would be any safer in Tokyo?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

. it won`t happen!

I never implied it would. Nobody listens to me. I just get to say "I told you so" a lot.

Just like in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico which is hit by powerful hurricanes or tornado alley.

Apples and oranges, especially in terms of body count, but also in ability to protect ones self and monetary damage. Then there is the question of radioactive particles floating around.

What makes you think it would be any safer in Tokyo?

That was not my point. My point was about the needless clean-up and the needless rebuilding. And I will make the point now of needlessly tracking radioactive particles across the country. Last I checked Tokyo was still standing, not in need of rebuilding, and I would not support doing so if it were destroyed. But anyone who wants to risk their lives there is welcome to. The things that concern me most are my tax money and radioactive particles, and both seem far better served by leaving that crap in Tohoku where it is.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yep! Burn it! Most everyone knows that everything that is burnt on earth ends up in our atmosphere! Gee, we could breathe some of Japan while you breathe some China! I say bury it where it is! But you won't have to worry about some of it, as it is now starting to wash up on the beaches of the West Coast in California! Some of that will end up in shops as souvenirs! The world is getting smaller and we are running out of space and resources to deal with disasters! Nature has a way of healing! But only to a point!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seavey

My point was about the needless clean-up and the needless rebuilding.

Needles to who? There about 5-6 million people living in Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate. Most of these people won't be moving anywhere.

I doubt the total tax you have paid would pay for much with reconstruction. In fact, it will be future tax paying generations who will pay for the reconstruction and nuclear clean up.

If you measure by body counts then there are worse disasters than the ones last year in this country. Haiti or the mega tsunami in 2004?

The experts are stating there will be a powerful earthquake in Tokyo, more of a case of when than if?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The land is uninhabitable . Build incinerators where the debris is. Stop polluting Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Would not be surprised if Hosono is getting a "political donation" for his kind gesture.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Charles M Burns

The land is uninhabitable .

Which land are you referring to?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Blair Herron

Thanks for your links

The only official link I got for the 8000 bq/kg figure was from this link

http://josen.env.go.jp/

Some bloggers (in Japanese) also suggest that from June 2011 this limit was upped to 10000 bq/kg

The only explanation for the high readings at Kashiwa and other places can be that precipitation has brought airborne particles down to the ground and onto foliage which has been subsequently burned at incinerators around Kanto and of course the ash has become radioactive in high concentrations

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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