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Radiation hotspot found in residential Chiba

55 Comments

Japanese officials said Saturday that they have detected elevated levels of radiation in a residential area of Chiba.

The hotspot was found on a plot of vacant land in Kashiwa on Friday, after a concerned resident reported high radiation levels, NTV reported. Authorities tested the land and reported a reading of 57.5 microsieverts an hour.

Kashiwa is located in northern Chiba, and has a estimated population of 404,820 people.

The reading is higher than several areas within the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant that was evacuated by the government, according to Science Ministry data.

Authorities said that once they buried the hotspot under sand and a sheet, the reading fell to 0.4 microsieverts an hour, NTV reported.

Despite initial fears that the spike in radiation readings was a result of fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, authorities said there is a low probability that the two are connected.

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Despite initial fears that the spike in radiation readings was a result of fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, authorities saidy there is a low probability that the two are connected.

What??? More bottles?, or a natural spike? Is Japan naturally covered with hot spots? Way way too little information, explanations..."regrettable" It's the best word so functional.

5 ( +8 / -2 )

How the hell can the nuclear plant explosion and this be connected? Jeez that would just be impossible. YEAH RIGHT !

The two are most defintely connected and I'd say there are plenty more areas contaminated like this, tempted to get a geiger counter and start measuring places i frequent see just how much is around.

0 ( +7 / -5 )

Authorities said that once they buried the hotspot under sand and a sheet, the reading fell to 0.4 microsieverts an hour

Would not a meter high slab of concrete poured onto the hotsppot be more of a permanent fix.

Despite initial fears that the spike in radiation readings was a result of fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, authorities saidy there is a low probability that the two are connected

This hotspot Probably came from burning radioactive waste in the incinerators.

2 ( +4 / -1 )

Authorities said that once they buried the hotspot under sand and a sheet...

Um, why not find the cause? Sand and a sheet. Great. Why I do I see Fukushima covered in a sheet in the future?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Don't worry, Kashiwa is pretty much an extension of Saitama.

On a serious note, it could be another stash of industrial waste that's dumped, concealed and forgotten during the chaos of the post-war recovery period.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Nedo (Kita-Kashiwa) area is said to be lower than other areas. It often gets flooded there. Minor flood, though. There are many schools in the area.

0 ( +2 / -1 )

They are burning the radioactive material out in chiba

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The dots, clear, are there to be connected. To deny is sheer lunacy.

1 ( +6 / -4 )

Authorities tested the land and reported a reading of 57.5 microsieverts an hour.

This is dangerous number, right?

Kashiwa is located in northern Chiba, and has a estimated population of 404,820 people.

I'm one of them ><

Authorities said that once they buried the hotspot under sand and a sheet, the reading fell to 0.4 microsieverts an hour, NTV reported.

They buried??? What was the cause of it, then???

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What??? More bottles?

The radium paint thing won't work twice. I'm going with uranium marbles this time, or maybe an old vaseline glass factory.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The fact is, and if you want to try it yourself you can, no matter where you go in the world, if you take a radiation instrument with you and look around, you'll eventually stumble across something that's above what the background for that area normally is.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Mahiru Shiratori,

I think that would be about 64 millisieverts in one year if you stayed on that spot 24/7. If it's a small area, like it sounds then it will be less of a problem than a larger area but there could be other hotspots so the picture does not look great. I guess you are getting very stressed out? I think the radiation must be from the Fukushima power plant.

2 ( +5 / -4 )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEeuIOy8lBI

I remember that back in June, there were quite a few of these videos coming from Kashiwa. The reading was not 57.5, but it was about half that, and a Fukushima connection doesn't seem that unlikely.

3 ( +4 / -0 )

What happened to the other 2 hotspots from not so long ago in Chiba and Yokohama? Will this one also be forgotten next week?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

God's presence is everywhere so is radiation in Japan.

-3 ( +2 / -4 )

Now that there are tens of thousands of geiger counters in the hands of citizens, the Japanese government must be very, very worried. Many of the radioactive sites that the authorities and Japanese power companies have dumped in neighborhoods over the past 5 or 6 decades are going to be turned up in the next few years. I'm sure there will be a lot of "we have no idea how that plutonium could have got there, it's a real mystery" kind of stuff...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

God's presence is everywhere so is radiation in Japan.

No one doubts, couldn't be told better. The only difference is, we know much more about God than the radiation.

-1 ( +3 / -3 )

Really, 5.7 millisieverts is high. 57 millisieverts is enormous. Maybe somebody has a nice fuel rod collection or something.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The rad figure is 5.7 microsieverts/hour.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The rad figure is 5.7 microsieverts/hour.

Sorry, my mistake. Micro, not millisieverts, but it's 57, not 5.7.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Farmboy,

yes 57 microsieverts per hour which is a high reading outside of Fukushima.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Not related to Fukushima? So what is it related to exactly? The way the article reads, they don't caew where is came from as long as it wasn't Fukushima.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

yes 57 microsieverts per hour which is a high reading outside of Fukushima.

Any opinions or guesses what could generate that kind of reading?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I live one station down from Kashiwa, and the safety of my children and the value of my property just went through the floor. In a couple of weeks the city office - the people who agreed to accept radioactive waste and burn it on my backdoor, are going to be expecting me to shell out an arm and a leg in residence tax.

I wish them luck. They'll be getting a single-barrelled salute via my winking ringpiece should they try to pop round to collect it.

3 ( +6 / -2 )

Has anyone been around the US bases in Okinawa with a Geiger counter?

Just wondering.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Farmboy,

the spread of the radiation from the Fukushima power plant isn't in some tidy pattern but according to wind and rain. I suppose like rain, some places will get more than others even in a small location.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Good luck selling that piece of land and persuading someone to build on it. A bunch of sand and a plastic sheet as a fix??! Are they insane? Here`s a wild, crazy idea - how about finding out the source of the problem?

1 ( +3 / -1 )

Farmboy, those videos are grossly misleading, they get people all excited. That spot in the puddle is high but I can almost completely guarantee that at one metre above the ground it won't be. And with the same level of certainty it won't be any where near that level once it's stopped raining.

Go back to the same spot, measure one metre above ground on a dry day and if it's still very high then it's a problem.

But as scientific evidence it's the same as saying the world is flat because all I can se is flat land.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Heda Madness,

The amount of 57 microsieverts is really high, and if people are excited about that, they are correct in being that way. It's a dangerous level of radioactivity. My point with the video(s) is that this area has had usual readings before, so that there may be some link between the two events. I don't know what caused either reading, but come on, it's 57 microsieverts! That's not a small amount in anyone's playbook, even if you live one meter above the ground.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Farmboy, I'm talking about your video which is of a puddle. And taken just above the puddle. It's inaccurate and misleading. I asked someone at safecast if Geiger counters should be used to measure radiation at ground level 'no, absolutely not' was the answer. In short, it distorts the readings.

Radiation particles are carried in rain, where rainwater gathers it will be higher. When that has dried the level of radiation drops dramatically.

No official data is taken at ground level. Around the world. And that's for a reason.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It seems to be an ex Japan-military site - what on earth were they doing here all those years ago?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is dangerous number, right?

No, not really. If it were milliSieverts, it would be a problem, but this is a thousand times less. If you sat on top of the spot your entire life, you might increase your risk of cancer somewhat, but the dose would still be much much less than if for example you lived in Ramsar.

In fact, the consumer geiger counters I've seen for sale will not be able to measure really dangerous levels of radiation, as it would be off their scale. "As long as this instrument returns a reading, you're safe," should be printed in the ads and documentation, and "when it doesn't, it's probably because it's broken."

Not to say they shouldn't figure out what the source is - if something's leaking it can leak more. If it's Fukushima fall-out, there're no worries.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Wow, a low probability that the two events are connected!

Probably so much radiation from unreported leaks over the years that only since the Fukushima disaster are citizens (not gov't) finding all the hot spots only because they are actually looking for them.

You'd think the Occupy movement in the US would provide a clue as to how to deal with the problem, and kick the old men out of office. All of them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

from the ex-skf blog

The highly radioactive dirt in Kashiwa City in Chiba, which measured 57.5 microsieverts/hr 30 centimeters below the surface, was not from radium after all or any other nuclides that are used in industrial or medical use. It was from radioactive cesium.

On October 22 Kashiwa City announced the result of the analysis of three dirt samples from the location at different depth (one on the surface, two at 30 centimeter deep). The analysis was done on October 22. The unit is becquerels per kilogram:

Sample A (surface dirt)

Radioactive iodine: ND

Cesium-134: 70,200

Cesium-137: 85,100

Total cesium: 155,300

Sample B1 (30 centimeters below the surface)

Radioactive iodine: ND

Cesium-134: 87,000

Cesium-137: 105,000

Total cesium: 192,000

Sample B2 (30 centimeters below the surface)

Radioactive iodine: ND

Cesium-134: 124,000

Cesium-137: 152,000

Total cesium: 276,000

http://www.city.kashiwa.lg.jp/soshiki/080800/p009761.html

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If it's cesium for sure, then I imagine it's connected to the incinerator they shut diwn for high radioactivity. That was in Kashiwa, wasn't it? If so, then the question is if it settled there or if it was dumped there. If it settled there, then there must be a lot more hotspots. If it was dumped, it would be easier to deal with, I would think.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Farmboy,

it would have to be asked, what waste was burnt and where did it come from.

The greatest concentration of cesium was discovered 30 cms below the surface, but I suppose, given the recent typhoon it might have been washed down.

However, in the last standard by the government for contaminated areas, which it estimated to be 13,000 sq km over 8 prefectures, the government was also suggesting that only the top 5 cms of soil needed to be removed. This test shows cesium at 30 cms, which could put a whole new face on the problem of contaminated land.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

zichi and other people, thank you very much for the information. I am trying to get as much information as possible myself, too :)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They really need to stop dragging radioactive materials from low population areas of Japan and dragging them for incineration to high population areas such as the outskirts of Tokyo.

Everyone involved in this madness, from company workers to politicians, should be rounded up and jailed for this madness. It is quite literally criminal.

And yes, there are tests to determine if the isotopes came from Fukushima or not.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The science ministry will set up a call center Oct. 24 for members of the public to report so-called radiation hot spots.

It will be set up with a special measurement team within the Emergency Operation Center at the science ministry.

The call center will be available to all prefectures except Fukushima, which already has its own radioactive decontamination assistance framework.

A radiation hot spot is defined as a location where the radiation level at a height of 1 meter above the ground is more than 1 microsievert per hour higher than the surroundings. For example, since the radiation level in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward is currently 0.056 microsievert per hour, any reading above 1.056 microsievert per hour is considered a radiation hot spot.

The call center's number is 03-5253-4111, extension 4630 or 4631, between 9:30 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. on weekdays. Relevant guidelines are available on a website.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Papa_will_preach

I think to date, there has been no movement of debris from the disaster areas.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This test shows cesium at 30 cms, which could put a whole new face on the problem of contaminated land.

I wonder if the pattern of settling of cesium from Fukushima and the pattern of settling of cesium from the incinerator would be different... The incinerator stuff might have a different consistency, and yes, the typhoon might have driven the stuff further into the ground as well. I'm just thinking aloud...

PS: Somebody really has it in for you with the ratings, it seems...I don't know why. I think you usually post good, informative stuff.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why does it always seem to be the case that 'concered resident' are the ones reporting this information?

I cannot recall seeing any news where central government or local government have found any contamination.

I suppose that when looking for contamination on the ground that trying to locate anything from a fast moving helicopter hundreds of metres up in the air would prove difficult,,,,,,,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/radioactive-ash-causes-shutdown-of-kashiwa-incinerators This is the incinerator I was talking about. I wasn't sure it was Kashiwa, but it is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

some people on this forum don't want the real facts to come out?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The science ministry plans to release a map by the end of the year that will show an expanded view of radiation contamination in 22 prefectures.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Farmboy,

the waste burnt in the incinerator must have been collected from around Kashiwa or other areas from Chiba? That's why is might be helpful if knew where the burnt waste came from?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

zichi,

That's true. Originally they were suggesting the ash came from trees and leaves...I don't know from where. This little snippet from a Japan Time article is interesting, though:

According to the city, the reading for cesium is high not only because the waste contains contaminated leaves and branches but because the new incinerator at the Nanbu center has a high-tech function for incinerating waste at high temperatures.

"In that way, the amount of waste condenses to one-tenth, and thus the radioactive cesium increases by 10 times per kilogram," Yokozeni said.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It just gets worse and worse. Time to start packing, wouldn't you say?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It just gets worse and worse. Time to start packing, wouldn't you say?

Folks in the U.S. could escape the bad economy and the hurricanes, folks in Japan could escape the tsunamis, earthquakes, and radioactivity. Folks in Mexico could escape the drug wars and violence. Folks in Thailand could escape the massive flooding. Folks in Greece could escape the austerity measures. Etc., etc.

I won't be packing anytime soon, but have a nice trip, wherever you're headed. Iceland has nice hot springs, I hear.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

from the EX-SKF blog, 57.5 microsieverts/hour radiation on the dirt in Kashiwa City that has maximum 276,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium of Fukushima origin was caused by natural concentration by rainwater flowing into the particular location, according to the city who's having a press conference on the scene.

According to the Ministry of Education and Science, there is a drain that collects rain water at that particular location and the drain broke for some unknown reason, contaminating the location.

Really? 57.5 microsieverts/hour?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

They are calling it a residential area, but looking at the aerial photos reveals some large industrial sites nearby. The presence of large industrial sites is probably a requirement for Japanese residential areas. Zoning and public health and safety are not widely understood concepts here. But caesium cannot be a result of industrial production, it can only be from a nuclear plant so the link to Fukushima is clear. Now they are saying that rainwater brought this circumstance into being. If so there are probably many dozens if not hundreds of such sites in Chiba alone.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The science ministry said Sunday the high radiation detected is emanating from cesium that was probably ejected by the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, contradicting earlier government claims.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Heda_Madness,

don't worry about it, I picked up someone trolling all my comments and voting them down regardless of the content. They'll get bored in the end. I think I know who's doing it? George Roper the groper who has been sulking.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

They don't know how long the drain has been broken, but all the rainwater for the past 7 months leaking out from around the pipe into the soil would give a high reading, don't you think?

There was a military facility there a long time ago (WWII?) as someone pointed out.

The plastic sheeting is a temporary measure until the contaminated earth can be moved.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not sure if this disputes or corrects any claims made so far, but this morning they were talking about the ratio of Cs134 and Cs137 being almost 1:1, which is unusual since the current disaster is producing a lot more Cs137 than 134. i.e. the ratios are different to other hotspots..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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