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Abe visits Fukushima to check areas affected by 2011 nuclear disaster

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New town hall and about 50 new houses built with public funds for only about 350 people out of 10,500 who want to return to a community badly destroyed by the earthquake and then the tsunami then highly contaminated with radiation from the nuclear disaster. Putting 60% of the prefecture off limits for many more decades.

Can't even reach the coast without having to pass through the hot spot places including the locations for the cherry blossoms.

No infrastructure in place. No transport, schools, clinics, hospitals, fire or police service. I think one policeman travels everyday from Ibaraki.

Shipped bused in for photo op.

24 ( +24 / -0 )

Take the ball kid, before I drop it again

14 ( +14 / -0 )

There is no point to this insanity.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Public Relations instead of actual action. The usual.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Abe's sudden flying visit to the ravaged prefecture is nothing more than a transparent exercise in damage control to try and smooth the feathers of the local voters which were badly ruffled by the ousted minister's out-to-lunch comments last week.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

The radiation from Fukushima yeardoses of 120 mSv do increase the risk for lungcancer with 1 percent while smoking do increase it with 1 500 percent. British experts do questionised the evacaution at all.

In India crowded areas do have yeardoses of 200 mSv and if you do a flight a Geiger-measuring device do react continouesly while inside a nuclear plant no reaction in many cases. If you are afraid of radiation then do not flight ever.

Like Harrisburg the outdoor radiation were equal to a group of four persons as every single person do have an inside radiation.

An astronaut following the Mars-lander will be affected by a yearly radiation dose of 350 mSv which according to the University in Kiev that developed the measuring device which followed the Mars-lander. According to them the risk for lungcancer will increase to 3 percent.

What I mean is that we have to look at the nuclear risk in a sensible way comparing with the risks we have in combination with other industrial processes.

By get rid of coal burning plants for electric generation the health effect will be even better than to not use nuclear for civil production. Instead try to mimize nuclear weapon production which is quite more unnecessary.

To reduce nuclear weapon with 1 percent the result will be more effective than to remove all civil nuclear production.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

How sweet and timely. Did he get a hero's welcome? In all seriousness, why now? The gaijins are coming, the Koreans don't want Japanese (Fukushima) food. Time to look good. But, is Fukushima really safe, politics & economics aside?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

BTW, let's compare how much was spent in the 8 years since the Fukushima disaster and how much was lost last week when the jet fighter came down... just miles from Fukushima. I just hope there's no new disaster; what Fukushima got may be a jackpot compared to what the next place may get.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Would any of you move back to a previously evacuated and contaminated area which is now deemed safe by the Japanese government? Damn sure I wouldn’t.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@Carl

What about inhalation/ingestion of radioactive material?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The J stadium is 24 km south from the nuclear disaster site with most of the radiation release going NW from the doomed plant.

Carl-Åke Utterström

The acceptable radiation level set by the International Atomic Agency, 1 millisievert per year above normal background levels. That is the legal level in Japan except for Fukushima which was increased to 20 millisieverts per year. 60% of the town in question, Okuma is above the 20 millisievert levels and therfore former residents and visitors are not allowed to live there.

The radiation from Fukushima yeardoses of 120 mSv do increase the risk for lungcancer with 1 percent while smoking do increase it with 1 500 percent. British experts do questionised the evacaution at all. 

BTW, let's compare how much was spent in the 8 years since the Fukushima disaster and how much was lost last week when the jet fighter came down... just miles from Fukushima.

I thought the crash was off the coast of Aomori? Cost of plane ¥1 billion. Cost of nuclear disaster to date ¥20+ trillion.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Abe the PR-ime minster.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

It's definitely election time now.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

As prime minister I'd like to present the younger generation with this token that represents my legacy to the youth effected by a bleak future, full of low pay, excessive hours, no time for forming any meaningful relationship, and a eye watering national debt you will have to pay. So without any further ado here a leather ball full of air! Ironic but it represents the government. Hope it brings you some happiness before your soul is crushed and your part time contract expires- now don't go getting cancer before you pay your taxes little fella.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Stay tuned folks. I’m off to Fukushima to do radiation research next week. I just decided to include interviews with local people after reading this.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Goodlucktoyou - please share the URL for your interview(s).

5 ( +5 / -0 )

You know by this photo, another election is near.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Abe: "Okay. Here's a ball. Nice catch. You look fine. I'll have a minister eat some lettuce to prove everything's safe. I'm leaving now. Been a nice photo op -- err... nice to meet you".

3 ( +4 / -1 )

In response to various comments above:

Measurable health effects only start to be seen at radiation levels of 100 mSv/year. The question is what would motivate bodies like the ICRP to set radiation dose limits that are orders of magnitude smaller than the levels required to have any effect, and are lower than natural background. It appears that it was an effort to allay public concerns, by adopting stricter and stricter limits, and more generally by having larger and larger measures and reactions to smaller and smaller things (actual threats). The truth being that all such efforts only result in increased public fears (since they basically said, and acted like, radiation is far more dangerous than it really is).

A dose of 120 mSv/yr in Okuma? I thought Japan's limit was 20 mSv. Most of the prefecture off limits for decades?? Even the original evacuation zone was a small fraction of Fukushima prefecture's area, and most of that zone has already been reopened, after only a few years. Most of the rest will be soon to follow. And, as others have pointed out, those long-term relocations (evacuations) were never justified in the first place. No areas around Fukushima were as unhealthy a place to live as most of the world's large cities.

As for the comparison to a large airplane crash, how about we compare the death tolls. That's hundreds of people for the airplane crash, vs. few if any, ever, from the meltdowns. And yet (as was pointed out), we spend so little on air crashes and so much in response to meltdowns, in an extreme effort to avoid any radiation-related deaths. Makes you wonder if our priorities are in order. Imagine if we took half of the ~2 trillion yen spent on response to the meltdowns and spent it on airline safety instead. Imagine how many thousands of lives we could save.

Note that the use of nuclear power (in place of fossil generation) has already saved millions of lives and has greatly reduced mankind's CO2 emissions. Also note that the amount of money that Japan has voluntarily spent on imported fossil fuels, to use in place of nuclear, since 2011, is already much larger than the ~2 trillion yen spent on the accident itself. Also, all that fossil generation that Japan decided to use in place of nuclear since 2011 has already killed thousands of people (and greatly increased CO2 emissions), whereas the meltdowns themselves caused few if any deaths.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@Gooodlucktoyou

Please update us here.

Good luck!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Jim Hopf; You are so way off base on your comments. If you really feel so strong about what you have written, you'll have no problem moving your family to the areas Mr. Abe just opened for populating again. Also, just because you haven't read about any deaths and or sickness due to the triple meltdown, doesn't mean it has not/is not been happening. Also don't forget that it was TEPCO that ignored warnings and didn't follow safety regs so that they could enjoy a rich life. Share holders enjoy collecting on profits and taxpayers have to pay to clean up the mess. Finally, air travel is by choice. Is how nuclear power managed by choice?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

British expert Philip Thomas, Professor of Risk Management at the University of Bristol  questioned the evacuation. Evacuating a nuclear disaster areas is (usually) a waste of time and money, says a study "J-value assessment of relocation measures following the nuclear power plant accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi" by I. Waddington, P.J. Thomas, R.H. Taylorb. and J. Vaughan.

The research that shows this kind of mass evacuation is unnecessary, and can even do more harm than good. We calculated that the Fukushima evacuation extended the population’s average life expectancy by less than three months. To do this, they had to estimate how such a nuclear meltdown could affect the average remaining life expectancy of a population from the date of the event. The radiation would cause some people to get cancer and so die younger than they otherwise would have (other health effects are very unlikely because the radiation exposure is so limited). This brings down the average life expectancy of the whole group.

But the average radiation cancer victim will still live into their 60's or 70's. The loss of life expectancy from a radiation cancer will always be less than from an immediately fatal accident such as a train or car crash. These victims have their lives cut short by an average of 40 years, double the 20 years that the average sufferer of cancer caused by radiation exposure. So if you could choose your way of dying from the two, radiation exposure and cancer would on average leave you with a much longer lifespan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"Abe also visited the nuclear plant for the first time since September 2013 ...."

Quite some time has expired since his last PR stunt up there.

But looking at the picture, he got the ball(s) (not!!).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

since1981

Not only would I be happy to live in the just-opened areas, but I would be happy to live in the areas still classified as being off limits. At a recent conference they polled a large group of radiation experts and almost none of them said that they would relocate their families away from an area with a radiation level of 100 mSv per year.

It's not a matter of me not reading about deaths or illness from the accident. It is the official consensus of the world scientific community (United Nations, World Health Organization, etc..) that the meltdowns caused no deaths and that any future health impacts will be too small to measure. Also, more generally, that nuclear power's public health and safety risks are negligible compared to those of fossil power generation (which Japan is no indefensibly using in place of nuclear). I love how you've just decided to place your personal opinion over theirs (the basis of your opinion being unclear).

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Zichi.

A worker in a nuclear plant was earlier allowed for a yeardose of 200 mSv but the limit were reduced to 20 mSv. May Wechselmann and Gösta Elmquist measured the radiation level at the worst exposed areas in Fukushima and registrated that the radiation were five to six times the new radiation limit. That is 120 mSv.

The background radiation in crowded area in India is also 200 mSv.

The evacuation of areas around Fukushima were a result of the Tsunami and earth quake. Like the British experts no evacuation were needed as effect of the radiation.

The explosion were caused by the hydrogen exhaust. More modern reactors have filter for that to avoid explosion and why therefor discussing hydrogen cars at all.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Carl-Åke Utterström

Zichi.

A worker in a nuclear plant was earlier allowed for a yeardose of 200 mSv but the limit were reduced to 20 mSv. May Wechselmann and Gösta Elmquist measured the radiation level at the worst exposed areas in Fukushima and registrated that the radiation were five to six times the new radiation limit. That is 120 mSv. 

The radiation levels set by the Japanese government are based on the recommendations of the IAE which set radiation at 1 millisievert per year above what can be expected from any given location. Following the 2100 nuclear disaster, the Japanese government increased that level to 20 milisieverts per year just for Fukushima prefecture because the levels of contamination exceeded the international standards. It also set the standard for allowed radiation in foodstuffs. Following the nuclear release there were hotspots inside and near the nuclear plant which exceeded 1 Sievert per hour.

The allowed radiation level for nuclear workers inside the plant was increased from 50 millisieverts per year to 200 millisievert per year. That was again reduced to 50 millisievert per year or a maximum of 100 millisievert over five years.

The evacuation of areas around Fukushima were a result of the Tsunami and earth quake. Like the British experts no evacuation were needed as effect of the radiation. 

The 20 km and then 30 km area from the nuclear plant was evacuated by the Japanese government because an enormous level of radiation was being released. The second highest since the Chernobyl disaster. Because the Fukushima nuclear plant is located on the coast, probably 80% of the released radiation was blown out to the sea. The radiation released into the ocean from the plant quickly reached the west coast of America and recently it was also detected off the coast of Alaska.

Even though 80% of the released radiation went out to sea, the remaining 20% contaminated a large area of the prefecture, especially inside the 30 km and 20 kn exclusion zones.

If there had not been an evacuation and all of the released radiation had travelled inland then the situation would have been more serious than what it was.

The explosion were caused by the hydrogen exhaust. More modern reactors have filter for that to avoid explosion and why therefor discussing hydrogen cars at all.

That is irrelevant to what happened in the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The explosion inside the No1 reactor was strong enough to dislodge the cover of the reactor which since 2011 has been releasing very high levls at about 15 Siervert per hour. Enough to kill someone very quickly.

Today, TEPCO has started to remove the spent fuel rods from the very badly damaged No3 reactor. Just seven rods can be removed in a single operation lasting weeks because again the radiation are too high and the removal must be done by remote control. Never done before. The entire removal will take 2-3 years.

TEPCO fears about what would happen at the plant if there was another powerful earthquake and tsunami. It was the correct decision to evacuate the people from within the 30 km zone and should be maintained until the nuclear disaster is over.

Jim Hopf

since1981

Not only would I be happy to live in the just-opened areas, but I would be happy to live in the areas still classified as being off limits. At a recent conference they polled a large group of radiation experts and almost none of them said that they would relocate their families away from an area with a radiation level of 100 mSv per year.

You are free to move to Fukushima with your family and should do so immediately. You will not be allowed by the Japanese government to move to any area off limit but there are still plenty of other locations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zichi thank you

I found an article that compare the radiation from coal versus nuclear.

The committee said that while exposure levels are very low, the coal cycle contributed more than half of the total radiation dose to the global population from electricity generation. The nuclear fuel cycle, it said, contributed less than one-fifth of this. The collective dose for coal generating technologies is 670-1400 man Sieverts, depending on the age of the power plant, while that of nuclear is 130 man Sv. This is followed by geothermal at 5-160 man SV, natural gas at 55 man Sv and oil at 0.03 man Sv.

UNSCEAR also evaluated radiation exposure per unit of electricity generated, using 2010 as a reference year for comparison. The committee concluded that the values for coal and nuclear are about the same in the short term: 0.7-1.4 man Sv per GWe for coal and 0.43 man Sv/GWe for nuclear.

Zichi I have also an article in Swedish re the exposure of an astronaut following the Mars-Lander. The yeardose there will be 220 - 350 mSv increasing the risk for lungcancer with 3 percent while smoking do increase the risk with 1 500 percent. I´m not sure if I can copy the article in question. Are you able to translate to english.

A coal power plant of 2 500 MW do have the same radiation exhaust during normal condition equal to Harrisburg after the accident. This radiation is equal to a group of four persons. Yourselfe do have an internal radiation to 1/4 of the radiation from Harrisburg.

The common sence is that we are very afraid of radiation from nuclear but not from coal.

The radiation level in deer shoten before the Chernobyl disaster do have higher radiation value than the recalculated limits.

Every industrial activity do have risks but if nuclear can improve the airquality that will be a good result.

If we can electrify the whole transport sector cars, buses, trucks, lorries, ships, aeroplane and convert blast furnace from coal to hydrogen and this by using nuclear we will reduce energy consumption with two third.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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