national

Record high radiation reported at crippled Fukushima nuclear plant

95 Comments

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said Monday it had monitored record high radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant crippled by the March 11 quake and tsunami.

TEPCO said radiation levels reached at least 10 sieverts per hour near the debris left between the number one and number two reactors of the plant at the center of the ongoing nuclear crisis.

The previous record was three to four sieverts per hour monitored inside the No. 1 reactor on June 3.

"Three plant workers were exposed to a dosage of four millisieverts while they were monitoring radiation," a TEPCO spokeswoman said. "We are still checking the cause of such high levels of radioactivity."

The government and TEPCO say they remain on target to bring the reactors to a safe state of cold shutdown by January at the latest now that a water circulation system has been established.

Efforts to stabilize the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years ago have continued since a 9.0 magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami, sparking reactor meltdowns at the plant and spewing radiation into the environment.

The government has said radiation levels around the plant, which lies 250 kilometers from Tokyo, had fallen to "two-millionths" of the peak recorded March 15.

Tens of thousands of people remain evacuated from homes, businesses and farms in a no-go zone around the plant.

© 2011 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

95 Comments
Login to comment

The government has said radiation levels around the plant, which lies 250 kilometers from Tokyo, had fallen to “two-millionths” of the peak recorded March 15

Another in the long list of government statements that have proven to be completely wrong. This would be funny if it were not so tragic. Millions of people are making decisions regarding their lives in Japan and cannot count on getting reliable information from their own government on which to base those decisions.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Another week of 'black rain' in Tokyo.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Millions of people are making decisions regarding their lives in Japan and cannot count on getting reliable information from their own government on which to base those decisions.

Isn't this reliable information???? Or am I missing something? Higher levels of radiation detected, it's reported.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

“We are still checking the cause of such high levels of radioactivity.” Don't worry everything is under control o_O

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Does anyone else here think that the evacuation zone is too small?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

people are making decisions regarding their lives in Japan and cannot count on getting reliable information from their own government on which to base those decisions.

This story needs to go on and fill in the blanks.

High levels detected, AND what?

What does this mean to us?

What are the implications?

Spell it out, to the lesser mortals who cannot connect the varying vagueness of dots.

NHK's English website news is the same-

News, without implications.

HOW WILL THIS DEVELOPMENT AFFECT US?!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If people here haven't figured it out by now maybe they should think again about living in Japan. The mouthpiece news agency NHK NEWS only reports the news, nothing more, nothing less.

If you want specifics about how it affects YOU personally, you have to watch other programs and more importantly educate yourself without relying on the government to do it for you. Otherwise you are just another lemming in the pack.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

News in Japan is just intended to inform to the degree that the state wishes people to be informed. It does not exist to evaluate news. That has been clear since the first day I arrived in Japan.

But to be fair, news in the US is designed to keep you worried and afraid so you will shop and buy things you don't need.

I am honestly no longer sure which is worst.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The government and TEPCO say they remain on target to bring the reactors to a safe state of cold shutdown by January at the latest now that a water circulation system has been established.

Does this mean their target is to get some kind of world record for the amount of radiation they can release? Does "on target" mean discovering another building flooded with 70000 tons of highly radioactive water yesterday? How about food contamination hundreds of miles away...on target? Vaguely monitored contaminated sea..on target? Why don't they just say "we are stuffed, have no idea, can't stop it", so at least people can make a serious life/death decision.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Govt can not play with the life of millions of people....there should be cut n clear information about the correct situation of radioactivity .

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The bright side is - We're doomed - with a Capital D.

Seriously, even Godzilla, Umpaman, Kamei Rider are leaving Japan.

SOMEONE SAVE US !!!!!!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Why don't they use MO - CHI to patch up the leaks.

Michigan is strong just like cement.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Smorkian -- as usual, yes, you are missing something. (You really ought to stop asking those kinds of rehetorical questions.) First, how do we know its reliable? First the goivernment said the radiation had been lowered to "two millionths" of the levels after the quake. Now it turns out, fully four and one-half months later, that it is actually still at record levels. Second, as usual, they are "reporting" something months after the fact and when they cannot hide the magnitude of their original error any longer. If you want to give them credit for that, go ahead.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"The previous record was three to four sieverts per hour monitored inside the No. 1 reactor on June 3".

So maybe whatever was inside No 1 reactor is now outside No. 1 reactor?

“We are still checking the cause of such high levels of radioactivity.”

Hmmmmm.

"...radiation levels reached at least 10 sieverts per hour near the debris left between the number one and number two reactors of the plant "

Ummm. I don't know, but maybe that would be a good place to start looking?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There have been a kind of big earthquakes and Tsunami around Japan for thousands of years. Japan should not have adopted nuclear power in the first place because of too risky. But it is too late to say that. I wonder who sold the nuclear power technology to Japan long time ago. Everything is too late now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think NHK updated their page about this :- "The utility says the high level of radioactivity was detected because the pipes were used to vent air containing radioactive substances from the crippled No.1 reactor on March 12th."

You would think that they would know about the vent pipes would still be radioactivity hot and warn the workers to avoid it and to monitor them.

@Asagao Get your facts right it's 700 Tons not 700,000 at you stated

Also JT seems not to have reported that the Fuel Pool cooling in reactor 4 has started that just leave the pool in reactor 1 uncooled

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TEPCO spokeswoman said. “We are still checking the cause of such high levels of radioactivit

How about your reactors that blew up?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tepco are far too relaxed about this entire thing

3 ( +4 / -1 )

On the up-side; Poke-mon is now capable of i-sen-man volt!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@gogogo

Thank you I really needed a laugh this morning.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The US for one, part of it's plan post WWII plan to wean Japan of its nuclear "allergy" - an obscene term since it implies an allergy i something o be controlled. And GE is the manufacturer of the plant in question....a GE Whistleblower, an American, wrote about safety coverups at this very plant 20 years ago as well as others in Niigata. Check out Kei Sugaoka on You Tube. An old video of famous journalist Chikushi Tetsuya's program on TBS . While there, check out videos by Imwano Kiyoshiro, whose anti nuke song Summertime Blues was censored by nuke plant maker Toshiba, which also owned his record label. And the current video by Rankin Taxi. Japan has a long history of fighting abuse by the gov/big business, and you won't find it in the mainstream media. I do not believe JT does itts own reports, so I am talking about the Kisha Club controlled gov statements that get redistributed. There is a whole bugger world of info out there. Try Peace Philosophy Center. Check out the video of Todai Dr. Kodama and others ,such as professor Koide, ignored by the mainstream even when they testify the Diet and accuse the gov of at least incompetence if not outright criminality bin their handling of the evacuation, the food contamination, the truth about the explosions at Fukushima.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Why anyone can not see the implication from THIS NEWS is beyond me!

Firs this is really news as it is something new from place we are all interested. The implication is that it obstructs the operator (TEPCO) to send people to do work in THAT area. They have to find out the source of this radiation and why it is there. And finally they (TEPCO) state there will be NO IMPLICATIONS from this new finding as they eventually will not change their schedule for fighting the disaster.

About government statement for "radiation levels around the plant, ... had fallen to “two-millionths” of the peak" I totally agree. They should use the real values that are only relevant in long term. There are hotspots and schools that still have 1 micro sievert/h detected in the school yards. And that's in Fukushima town and other places well over 30km !

2 ( +2 / -0 )

oops. whole BIGGER world. Damn IPad auto correct!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kwatt, if you wonder who sold the technology to Japan you needn't look far: a glance to the other side of the pacific will suffice.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Honestly, I don't see how this is big news (except for the workers on site) - they found radioactive debris or piping or whatever, which, very localized, emits high levels of radiation. Which, in turn, will not even be measurable once you leave the perimeter. The problem here is not, that something radiates happily, but that wind and rain might distribute radioactive material in a wider radius. So, bind the stuff with resin or whatever, mark the spot with red color (or green, if that's more environment-friendly...) to keep workers away from it, and get back to work cooling the reactors.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

“Three plant workers were exposed to a dosage of four millisieverts while they were monitoring radiation,” a TEPCO spokeswoman said. “We are still checking the cause of such high levels of radioactivity.”

Where specifically were these workers? if they were outside near the reactors then is the radiation imminating and is it being traced? will more hotspots develop?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

surprised no one has mentioned the 6.4 quake on the weekend that was epi-centered very close the the Dai-ichi plant? The fact a quake of that size, that close to a that damaged plant has shaken something already damaged loose and widened some cracks wouldn't be a surprise at all. And the fact Tepco and the Govt has lied and covered up a lot of the details up until now, shouldn't surprise anyone at all that the problem there has been exacerbated with tepco responding a Homer Simpson mumbling shoulder shrug of "I dunno"

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@herefornow

I'll ignore your snide comment towards me.

First, how do we know its reliable?

You are reading this article and obviously getting upset, so you think there's truth in it. If you don't think it's reliable then why are you getting upset?

First the goivernment said the radiation had been lowered to "two millionths" of the levels after the quake. Now it turns out, fully four and one-half months later, that it is actually still at record levels.

Here's where careful reading helps you. This is a current radiation spike - new levels of radiation - not something undisclosed before. Yes, that makes it worse. Can you not accept that radiation levels were lowered to "two millionths" of the levels after the quake and now at this one spot they are much higher? Is this difficult to grasp?

Second, as usual, they are "reporting" something months after the fact and when they cannot hide the magnitude of their original error any longer.

See my comment above. It's a new increase in radiation levels. I can't understand how you and others can scream for timely, accurate information and then scream when you do get it!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Apparently, describing the spread of contamination to resemble neat concentric circles is entirely meaningless according to this University of Tokyo professor who has been leading teams into the disaster area to help with decontamination efforts. These videos are all subtitled in English:

Prof. Kodama Angry about Japanese Gov.'s Gross Negligence (Part 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlf4gOvzxYc

Prof. Kodama Angry about Japanese Gov.'s Gross Negligence (Part 2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDlEOmcALwQ

Links to French and German subtitled versions of this video can be found from this blog entry: http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/07/professor-kodamas-speech-in-four.html

Things are much more complicated than it seems and there is an extreme lack of any scientific commentary in mainstream news.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Carcharodon

Nothing would surprise me, but I think it is more likely this was caused by the rain washing radioactive away dust and soil containing radioactive particles from debris in the area then gathering in puddles, and when the water evaporates you get very concentrated levels of radioactivity.

The same thing is most likely happening on a smaller scale all over northern Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

10 Sv/ hr = 166 mSv/ minute. A 4 mSv dose would be absorbed in less than a couple of seconds, like walking past the pipe! How many workers have done this over the last 4 months?

Apparently they do not know the actual dose, as the meter went off the scale, so they are guessing it was only 10 SV/ hr.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Professor Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto Uni, says that 2 hours exposure to 10 seiverts will result in death. http://hiroakikoide.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/tanemaki-aug/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

0 ( +1 / -1 )

News in Japan is just intended to inform to the degree that the state wishes people to be informed.

This is exactly what Japanese government needs to do. TRANSPARENCY.

People of Japan has been lied too much after the 3/11. This is very good for a change. The world is still watching what J. government will do for Fukushima.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yeah, the first step is to admit their is a terrible problem and then answers will start continuing to arrive. No one can deny nuclear accidents, they can not be buried or covered up either. Getting into the damaged reactors is not going to be possible if no one can locate the reactor rods that are causing the exposure. That meltdown has to be located, it's probably under the torus. Maybe a tunnel to the location can give a better direction into containing the mass.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

interesting..the Chinese did their own testing of the oceans of the western Pacific region east and southeast of Fukushima and found elevated levels of Cesium and Strontium. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-07/31/c_131021046.htm

This is kinda depressing too..mountaineer Noguchi's pictures of the dead and dying livestock in the 20km "dead zone". http://blog.livedoor.jp/fuji8776/archives/52166029.html

0 ( +2 / -2 )

4 min 4month WARNINING, already too **** late. A record? Nice to hear all is on track

I bet they can do better!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

MEXT has FINALLY decided to let us all know what isotopes rained down on us in March and April..It doesn't make pleasant reading..don't think you escaped cos you live in Okinawa or Hokkaido either...and if you are in Kanto you got seriously nuked.

http://www.mext.go.jp/component/a_menu/other/detail/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2011/07/29/1306949_072914.pdf

Tokyo got the obvious Cesium and Iodine, and...

ニオビウム95 テルル129 テルル129m テルル132 銀110m セシウム136 ランタン140 バリウム140

read this PDF folks!!!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Thanks for sharing the .pdf! It also clearly states that most of the regions luckily got away with not so much fallout. The readings are in MBq per square-kilometer (meaning Bq per square-meter) and month. So, a reading of 5 is not very high. It's detectable, alright, but not high (like, e. g., Hokkaido). Now, for most of Kanto, it's a different story, but everyone knew that already, right...? Personally, I still think we got kinda lucky this time, could have been much much worse...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ozakadaz:

" This is kinda depressing too..mountaineer Noguchi's pictures of the dead and dying livestock in the 20km "dead zone". http://blog.livedoor.jp/fuji8776/archives/52166029.html "

The livestock is not dead because of radiation. They are dead because their owners were ordered to leave, and the left the animals locked in. That's an entirely human decision. Mixing it in with the radiation story is misleading.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

news in the US is designed to keep you worried and afraid so you will shop and buy things you don't need.

Impressive! It took only 8 posts for the US to be mentioned.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Thank you Osakadaz Too think that a Government would...nothing. And today we have a Record high reported, two days ago it was slipped into a report that the much hyped water cleaning system is not really working. Thus no more reports about that, it might cause confusion. It's totally out of control, totally out of control. Yet they say we are on track, except the filter system isn't working so well, and readings are getting higher OH we forgot to say that isotopes in large numbers are falling everywhere. But we will check the water rice grows in ...but not the Rice! Idiots idiots idiots and yet more idiots

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

if you wonder who sold the technology to Japan you needn't look far: a glance to the other side of the pacific will suffice.

Exactly!

Like I said last week...

First they nuked them from the skies and now they dealt the final uppercut from below. The USA should be proud of itself for forcing the Japanese to rely on this obviously superior technology.

This message will "self destroy" in 30 seconds...............

-4 ( +1 / -6 )

Professor Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto Uni, says that 2 hours exposure to 10 seiverts will result in death

4Sv and above and you are entering the LD 100 territory (Lethal dose where 100% of victims will die) from what I have read anyway. With immediate treatment about 4Sv is the limit for humans.

50mSv per year is the general limit for nuclear workers - that is 1/20 of a sievert. 4Sv is 80 years worth of radiation for a nuclear worker in 1 hour. 10 Sv for 2 hours? - 20Sv worth you would be glowing in the dark. 2 hours?no, you would have about 20 mins tops there before death. Being that close to such intense radioactivity would instantly cause extreme nausea and the the worst headache of your life. Any worker accidentally entering that area would have got the message pretty quickly from their bodies.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The core of number one, which I called as a melt through, sat on its concrete mat has eaten its way through. QED.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The Japanese Government are a pack of Liars! Tepco are 100 times worse. We all remember Minamata, not much has changed since then. Q.When can you tell a Government official is lying? A. See his lips moving... Imagine increasing the safe level of radiation exposure for children up 20 times to stop the panic? What a pack of Scumbags ! No amount of sorry bowing will change anything, the Northern part of Japan has been ruined thanks to a pack of money hungry officials....Shame on you all!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I don't see "no immediate health risk" in the article. Now I am worried.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

MEXT has FINALLY decided to let us all know what isotopes rained down on us in March and April..It doesn't make pleasant reading..don't think you escaped cos you live in Okinawa or Hokkaido either...and if you are in Kanto you got seriously nuked.

What is "seriously nuked"? I see the numbers there, but this isn't any different than what was known at the time (widely reported on MEXT site in March and April) - just a bit more detail on the composition. I think everyone knows March was not a good time for fallout in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ah yes the dreadfull Black Rain. Best described by Dr. Christpher Busby....

http://www.wat.tv/video/japan-fukushima-dr-christopher-3yagd31wod.html

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Smorkian: "This is a current radiation spike"

How do you know this is a "spike"? You're certain the level has dropped drastically or will very soon drop drastically? (which is what the technical term "spike" means.) The story doesn't indicate such a thing happening.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Smorkian -- JeffLee beat me to it. Your response is total nonsense. You have no way of knowing if this is a "spike" or not, or has been there all along, but no one bothered to measure it. The government stated uncategorically that the radiation had been reduced to "two millionth" of the immediate levels after the quake. Which means this discovery means that information, and quite possibly even this new information, was not reliable. In fact there were record levels present. What about the word reliable can't you grasp? All I can do is wish you well, because you are still trying to rationalize the government's incompetence, while others, including myself, have accepted it as a given and made decisions accordingly.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Skeptical Hippo: "First they nuked them from the skies and now they dealt the final uppercut from below. The USA should be proud of itself for forcing the Japanese to rely on this obviously superior technology."

So now you're blaming the US for what's going on in Fukushima? It's poor management, plain and simple, and cost-cutting by the electric companies. No one forced them to keep an aging plant running, nor did anyone say they shouldn't have decent backup equipment (actually, people DID warn TEPCO but they just ignored it). So long as people like yourself refuse to address the real issues and look for any excuse or person to point the finger at, this kind of situation will happen again.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

run for your lives you morons...

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@JeffLee

You're certain the level has dropped drastically or will very soon drop drastically? (which is what the technical term "spike" means.)

Oh, spike is a "technical term" now? Let me be pedantic: the levels were lower, now they are much higher. A spike. If I had a time machine or a crystal ball I could tell you what will happen next week or next month.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@herefornow

You have no way of knowing if this is a "spike" or not, or has been there all along, but no one bothered to measure it.

You think nobody has measured the radiation levels between reactors 1 and 2 in the past 5 months? Seriously? If I thought people were that incompetent I'd move myself and my family out of Japan immediately.

The government stated uncategorically that the radiation had been reduced to "two millionth" of the immediate levels after the quake.

And it had.

Which means this discovery means that information, and quite possibly even this new information, was not reliable.

You realize things change right? Levels are low, then they are high, then they are low. There's not a fixed level of radiation, it has changed constantly since minute one of the crisis. This discovery means the DATA has changed, not that it was unreliable before. If the outside temperature is high one day, then it's low the next, do you say the information was unreliable (and blame the weatherman) or that the weather has changed? The sane person concludes the weather has changed.

What about the word reliable can't you grasp? All I can do is wish you well, because you are still trying to rationalize the government's incompetence, while others, including myself, have accepted it as a given and made decisions accordingly.

So you get information you don't like or understand and the government is therefore incompetent? Got it.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

MEXT has FINALLY decided to let us all know what isotopes rained down on us in March and April..It doesn't make pleasant reading..don't think you escaped cos you live in Okinawa or Hokkaido either...and if you are in Kanto you got seriously nuked.

I really appreciate you posting this link, it makes for very interesting reading. But can someone correct me if I am wrong: the numbers for Tokyo specifically dont suggest to me that we have been "seriously nuked". I get that any radiation is not good compared to none at all (bar normal background) so was "seriously nuked" just a figure of speech, or am I totally deluded and missing something here?! Confirmation on either is fine! I am not looking for a fight, just to confirm my understanding (which is that although Tokyo took a hit, it was not significantly worrying one).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Radiation spike is a common terminology for a sudden increase in radiation. This does neither include nor preclude that the radiation will rapidly return to lower levels.

In the case of the damaged nuclear facility, it is very likely that the increased radiation levels can be attributed to parts of the machinery being moved around by the earth quake and stirring up dust clouds of radioactive particles. This is something which will happen many, many times in the next years.

The central issue of interest to us is not, whether this cloud contains a dose somewhat higher or somewhat lower. As a physicist, I say 10 Sieverts per hour is incredibly high. But it is a local dose. This doesn't tell You anything about the dose in Tokyo. While the picture of the circular evacuation is complete bullshit - if the Japanese authorities had tried to profit from the european experience with the Chernobyl accident, they would have known that - the containment at Fukushima is seriously damaged, but it is not completely blown into pieces. Therefore, most of the radioactive material still remains there and the high local dose is no surprise.

But the radioisotopes responsible for this radiation spikes will not make it far, if Tepco doesn't fumble again and again. It is probably mostly heavy material. It can travel far by being washed away by either rain (oh, didn't we have a real deluge in Fukushima prefecture) or in hot clouds from fire and explosions. A repetition of the latter is rather improbable by now.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Three plant workers were exposed to a dosage of four millisieverts while they were monitoring radiation,” a TEPCO spokeswoman said. “We are still checking the cause of such high levels of radioactivity.

So the clowns are still running the circus. I wonder when the government will say enoughs enough and get serious about ending this monumental screw up

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Johannes Weber

Thanks for the nice, well written, rational response. As a fellow scientist, it's very much appreciated.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

oh crap

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The government and TEPCO say they remain on target to bring the reactors to a safe state of cold shutdown

How can they obtain cold shutdown when the cores have already breached the vessel and outer containment? They are out in the open. There can be no cold shutdown of these reactors.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As usual, things are "surreal" with Tepco...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

sorry, I was dashing out the door as I put up the link.What I mean by Kanto (not Tokyo) got seriously nuked is that Kanto got a broader spectrum of isotopes and metals than most other places because of the prevailing winds at the time I guess. Niobium95 tellurium129 tellurium129m  tellurium132 Silver110m Cesium136 lanthanum140 Barium140 I think I would be very concerned if I was living in Ibaraki,Tochigi or Gunma...even Chiba.Yamagata was very high too. Johannes maybe you can tell us more? Tochigi and Ibaraki are of massive importance because they are big suppliers of wheat and barley and quite a lot of other produce.What is the halflife of this stuff Johannes?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ah, ok, thanks OsakaDaz. Thanks also for posting the isotope names in english - I was translating from katakana back into English in wikipedia and getting nowhere!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

no probs miamum. If you live in Tokyo then this maybe interesting to you then. The sewage and waste water treatment centres in Tokyo are pulling in more than 21 billion Bq of radioactive substances in sludge and ash everyday, and a good 3 billion Bq of that is going missing daily, with the presumption that it is leaving these centres in gaseous form or being dissolved in the treatment water. http://eco.nikkeibp.co.jp/article/report/20110729/107086/?P=1

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Osakadaz, thank you for the link, an interesting although totally frightening article--you seem to have the Japanese prowess--would you be so kind as to translate the article? Intelligent coverage (in English) about radiation from Fukushima is so meager at this point.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I do not know the typical half-lives of all these isotopes, but You can look them all up on this page:

http://ie.lbl.gov/education/isotopes.htm

However, there is also a so-called biological half-life. Please have a look at this wiki page, if You want to know about it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_half-life

It measures how long the radioisotopes stay in the human body (or until half of the amount has left). It is also an average quantity, which depends on the individual physical circumstances. It does not depend on the isotope number, so cesium 134 and cesium 137 have the same biological half-lives. In the case of cesium, the biological half-life is about 100 days (+-20% or so). This is far less than the typical 30 years of nuclear half-life for cesium. However, strontium (half-life 29 years) has a very long biological half-life (about 20% lodges in the bones until it decays). And it is chemically similar to calcium. It causes me a much bigger headache than cesium.

Niobium 95 has a half-life of 35 days. Tellurium 129 has 70 minutes, 129m has 33 days, 132 has 3 days, silver 110m has 250 days, cesium 14 days, lanthanum 140 has 41 hours, and barium 140 has 13 days. I assume silver 110m is probably very, very rare. The rest is basically quite harmless (if it doesn't show up in excessive amounts) over long.

I could not read the pdf from the MEXT page. Is there someone else who has similar problems? I am living in Tsukuba and I measure the local dose with my dosimeter. It is in fact a dose due to the fallout which is on par with typical locations in europe. Looking on the various maps of the distribution of radioactivity says that the contamination in Tsukuba is in fact very low. I can confirm here 2-3 microSieverts per day.

However, Tsukuba is in the far southwest of Ibaraki, so I do not know much about the other parts of Ibaraki myself. I think, judging from the radiation maps, that it should be mostly acceptable in Ibaraki. But I would not bet on that.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Johannes, I have heard that there is little information on internal radiation -- as in there has been little research on the effects of radiation internally where as the effects of external radiation are based on past events . . . obviously I don't know much, do you know where I could read more? thanks

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Real Science: This is a lethal level of radiation that can kill within seconds!

Japanese Science: There is no need to worry as the levels will have no immediate effects on health!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NattoToday..I also struggle with a lot of the terminology I am not used to reading, but it seems to say that Prof. Yamauchi from Kobe Univ. did a study to see if it was possible that the contaminants from the waste centres could reenter the environment.They produce 100t a day of radioactive ash which has up to 20000 Bq/kg.In all of Tokyo every day ,21billion,5 million Bq of radioactive isotopes in sludge which becomes17 billion,six million Bq of isotopes in ash. If this trend continues in one year that will be 7847billion 5 million Bq of radioactive isotopes collected in Tokyo's waste treatment centres.This is as much as a a nuclear power plant would produce. Whether the sludge is burned or not, the radioactive isotopes remain unchanged (or something to that effect) but the question is where are the missing 3 billion 9 million bequerels of radioactive isotopes lost during the incineration process? This professor seems to think it is may be lost as gas which is then reentering the atmosphere.If this was the case then that would be 1423billion, 5 million Bq of radioactive material released into the atmosphere around Tokyo.

(just a rough translation of the article and likely far from perfect)

Johannes that was great information!! thank you!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have said this many times. We do not understand nuclear properties and radiation. We have no business applying something to commercial purposes and deploying it in an unstable place like Japan, nor any where else.

There are many good scientists out there who have been studkying this field for nearly 100 years. Everything about it is still basically theoretical.

As I have said on other occasions, people in the USA and Japan need to be held accountable for the terrible situation Japan is in now, and for nuclear accidents in Japan that have been swept under the carpet by people like Tepco.

The young people in Japan need to "Step Up", take leadership and make their voices heard loudly...

Prime Minister Kan, his government and Tepco leadership must pay for their behavior and irresponsibility.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We do not understand nuclear properties and radiation.

Actually, yeah, we do. Very well.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Johannes the full list is here http://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/saigaijohou/syousai/1305495.htm In March Hitachinika in Ibaraki shows 120,000 Bq Iodine/km sq, 18000 Bq CES134, 17000 CES137 and traces of Nb95 Ag110 two types of Tellurium and cesium 136.

pretty much everything goes down to zero after May all over Japan..which is unusual as Fukuichi was pumping out more than 40 billion bq an hour in May.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

For a somewhat more direct style, here's a link to "Death in Seconds."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43982727/ns/world_news-asia_pacific/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@osakadaz: Keep up the good work - it's much appreciated.

@Johannes: Ibaraki certainly copped it in March - highest caesium fallout levels anywhere in Japan except Fukushima, almost double those in Yamagata (3rd) and Tokyo(4th). In April again it was highest anywhere except Fukushima, double that in Tochigi (3rd). This is pretty worrying as far as agricultural contamination is concerned.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ Farmboy

Good article, thank goodness those workers were at a distance, this answered my previous post and Daiichi has it's a hot spots their coming across, which also answered my previous post.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually, yeah, we do. Very well.

As a fellow scientist, it's very much appreciated

Smorkian -- lol. The only thing you are a "scientist" of is semantics. And a great one at that. There is 5 full months of eviudence of complete incompetence on behalf of both TEPCO and the J-government, and you decide, based on no evidence, that this latest gaff is a result of a mysterious "spike". So, OK, Mr. Scientist, please provide some factual support for that. Not your silly theory that even the government has not put forward.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Just read that Tuesday the readings were higher and TEPCO has admitted that exposure will result in Death. But still they say "no concern" Where are the media? Where are the reporters? Printing a fax from a government or TEPCO is not good enough. Starting to think there might be $ involved in the coverage. If you work in the media adjust your moral compass and make a stand...If you save one life that is nobal. Do nothing and all deaths are on you. It has been 5 months of crap! Do your job or get out.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Cricky,

Where are the media? Where are the reporters?

Try reading the Japanese version of the Asahi Newspaper on a daily basis -- though gagged by the press club they have been on top of the stories since 3/11. Just say the word Asahi Newspaper to any right-leaning (by Japanese standards) and observe the blushing and revulsion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TEPCO said radiation levels reached at least 10 sieverts per hour near the debris left between the number one and number two reactors of the plant at the center of the ongoing nuclear crisis.

This is bad. But to those who see a disconnect between this and the following statement, I have a possible reason:

The government has said radiation levels around the plant, which lies 250 kilometers from Tokyo, had fallen to “two-millionths” of the peak recorded March 15.

The bad reading is inside the plant perimeter - specifically between the buildings housing reactors 1 and 2, while the second statement addresses readings "around" (i.e. outside of) the plant perimeter. What I take away from this is the radiation inside the plant is increasing while outside the plant the radiation is dissipating. Definitely a "Bad News/Good News type of article.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why are so many people getting confused between radiation release rate/radioactivity levels outside the plant, and a newly discovered hotspot right next to 1 and 2 reactor? There's no connection between the two things at all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can only trust Tokyo Electric as far as I can throw it!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Japan population in some areas is going to need Hermetically sealed Homes with a decontamination chamber at all entrances. leadlined outerwear and a Handheld Surface Contamination Meter for foodstuff. Because the Daiichi NPP is going to be doing it's thing for a long while now and the contamination is not staying still it's being spread around.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A Man-made tragedy? - about 4 weeks prior to the earthquake/tsunami, the govt gave the go ahead for a 10 year extension to the Fukushima reactor operation, even though in 2002, TEPCO operatives were caught cementing over cracks to the main containment vessel. 2 weeks prior to the earthquake/tsunami, TEPCO issued an official apology, stating that they had failed to test and therefore certify 36 critical systems, including the back-up generators, battery back-ups, the emergency pumps and piping, all of which subsequently failed in the ensuing disaster. Given that, the Nuclear agency still did not take any action......

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@herefornow

The only thing you are a "scientist" of is semantics. And a great one at that.

Actually, I am a scientist in industry here. You can believe it or not, but it's my actual job.

and you decide, based on no evidence, that this latest gaff is a result of a mysterious "spike"

I assume you are pulling my leg. Radiation levels were measured lower, now they are measured much higher - a spike. This is not a difficult concept. The factual support is a) the earlier lower readings b) the current higher readings. I suppose you can just mumble "eh, government liars!" and leave it at that. Feel free.

I guess if you want actual proof you can believe you can construct a time machine, go back a few months to the plant, take some readings with the instrumentation of your choice, and compare to current readings.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

the no go zone is a ridiculous 20km from Daiichi npp and what about the hot spots as far away as Tochigi, if your going to live in a hotspot area your going to have to protect yourselves, as the J Govt is sleeping on the job.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What alot of people do not realize, is the "government" is pretty much just normal people. in other words they know what they get told, there is no fortune tellers, well maybe some for the less normal people, but more or less normal people. They have to put up with the same crap that tepco, and the experts tell them. Then the have to weed through it, to find out what is really happening, If you think there is some really smart guy running this stuff, your are sorely mistaken

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From MSNBC...................................

" Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) reported on Monday that radiation exceeding 10 sieverts (10,000 millisieverts) per hour was found at the bottom of a ventilation stack standing between two reactors.

Tepco said Tuesday it found another spot on the ventilation stack itself where radiation exceeded 10 sieverts per hour, a level that could lead to incapacitation or death after just several seconds of exposure. "

........................................... sounds " serious "...........hype from gaijin media again ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is not a single Gov in the world that does not lie to their people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

True words Importer and Andreas..doesn't stop the masses from complaining as if they could do any better. The crowning jewel of humanity is Democracy, where everybody is to blame for the failures of their own government.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The government has said radiation levels around the plant, which lies 250 kilometers from Tokyo, had fallen to “two-millionths” of the peak recorded March 15.

OK. Can someone translate the official language for ordinary citizens and evacuees?? This is NOT a pop quiz or a math test you take at school.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Can someone translate the official language for ordinary citizens and evacuees?? This is NOT a pop quiz or a math test you take at school.

The government says the radiation levels had fallen to .0002% of what they were on March 15. Is that what you are asking for?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Still can't open the pdfs from MEXT. Japanese agencies often use character encoding which has very little compatibility with non-Japanese-mainstream pdf-viewers or character encodings (like UTF-8). This sucks!

I know that Kita Ibaraki got lots of Fallout, but if You look at the maps for radiation distribution, many parts of Ibaraki have been spared the worst. You don't have much other choice than trust the prefectural governments on the contamination, since even those people who have the skills and the devices to measure radiation are limited (You can't measure all sorts of contamination with the same devices) and their time is limited, too.

The other things (except Iodine and the two Cesium isotopes 134 and 137) are really just traces. I would not worry about these things. Traces really means that they exist, but they can be ignorerd in comparison with the rest.

I think the "kills in a matter of seconds" statement is a little bit extreme. If the 10 Sieverts per hour are right, workers would end up with radiation sickness in five minutes, feint after 20 and die after 40 minutes. Of course, cellular damage and serious destruction of DNA already in the first seconds. I must admit that I have never known which limit dosimeters (the radiation detector giving out readings in Sieverts) have. Mine typically measures things at the scale of microSieverts/hour.

The effects of internal radiation are widely known. The properties of radiation are widely understood. Go to wikipedia and read it. Scientific articles on wikipedia are very good in most cases. What no one really knows is the distribution of the radioisotopes through heavy human interference, where humans move it around, burn it, dig it and do whatever other creative stuff You can think of. Since it also depends on the weather (rain, wind and whatever), I fear that really no one can predict the radiological situation in Tokyo next year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The effects of internal radiation are widely known. The properties of radiation are widely understood. Go to wikipedia and read it. Scientific articles on wikipedia are very good in most cases.

Yes, absolutely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This should be posted under the 'Crime' section

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I was always against nuclear energy back in the 70s, today there are many other options. We should start using them now and more often. Does anybody know what's going on in the Pacific Ocean? I wish Jaques Cousteau was still alive and doing his research.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites