politics

Hosono asks 43 prefectures to take debris from Tohoku

55 Comments

Environment Minister Goshi Hosono, who is also the minister in charge of the nuclear crisis, on Tuesday asked representatives from 74 municipalities in 43 prefectures to accept debris for disposal from Iwate and Miyagi prefectures.

Officials in the tsunami-hit areas say the increasing mountains of debris are hampering reconstruction efforts.

However, many prefectures have expressed reluctance to accept debris for incineration due to radioactive fears. The Tokyo metropolitan government is the only government outside the tsunami-hit zone to agree to accept rubble, but last week, after it announced its decision, it received hundreds of complaints from citizens by phone, fax and email.

The Environment Ministry estimates that over 22 million tons of debris in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures need to be disposed of, NHK reported. Hosono said the ministry will send experts to brief residents and local government officials on how the debris will be tested for radiation, NHK reported.

Many local government officials said the central government has not done a good job of explaining the radiation problem and what levels are safe in terms that are easy to understand.

© Japan Today

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55 Comments
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@Darren, I am a doer.

Since there is no response from you. I decided and I have already submitted my opinion and solution on this matter to Japanese govt.

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protest if they deem it necessary.I did.

@Darren, would you provide me with the weblink? Thanks. I will try to do something from here.

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no of course it isn't all contaminated, but that is not to say that debris from Miyagi and Fukushima ISN'T contaminated either,presto345. Very few places seem to want to process anything radioactive (Osaka will and Tokyo will) and the list of cities prepared to process non-radioactive debris is quite amazing, especially if you look at it on a map.Practically the whole country.Which is a good thing and there is a lot of debris to be cleared. What I would like to know is how these cities intend to keep their promises to their citizens regarding 'no radioactivity' as many have promised. Kobe alone wants to take 160 tons a day...now even a fraction of radioactivity in bits of rubble at THAT volume can become quite large, as radioactive isotopes tend to concentrate.Osaka and Tokyo have agreed to three years worth of waste. In that case we will end up with places like Nanbu in Chiba that are themselves toxic. How will they test for radioactivity in a container full of metal and brick? and when it arrives, if it is deemed to be contaminated, are we supposed to believe the cities will send it back? I read a report today about a paper making plant in Tohoku coming on line to burn the debris in their boiler...how does anyone know what kind of filtration and after service will be done? the government doesn't seem to think we deserve to know.Thinking that Fukushima is the only place in Tohoku that is contaminated is pure folly.Have a look at the stats for Yamagata..even Niigata.

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I believe blast furnaces around the country will be happy to add a certain percentage of (non-radioactive) steel girder when the stuff finally begins to move.

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Hmm, [scratches head], this concerns debris from Iwate and Miyagi. I didn't read anything about Fukushima. 22 million tons. Quite a heap, and reading all the expert opinions here, all debris is contaminated? [still scratching head]

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no worries muttinjapan.Most cities seem to be refusing waste 'contaminated by radiation' but I feel this is largely just for the voters to be assuaged by..if 200 tonnes of waste is arriving by boat or train....how do they check it all? of course they can't..and they can't check it properly at origin either.And if there turns out to be an elevated reading..are they gonna send it back? err..nooo... A lot of these places are seriously only equipped with filters designed to trap dioxins.This is a bloody nightmare even without the govt. raising the acceptable limits for burial to 10000 bq/kg/ The city web pages are concealing this as much as possible in the environment pages as small links, so it is up to every individual to look for the info and to lodge their on protest if they deem it necessary.I did.

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Thanks Darren Brannan for highlighting this insanity and efforts to stop it.

Those concerned should ask Japanese friends to demand that their local govt. absolutely reject this waste.

I guess if we all spread the cancer around we will have true 'gambare' spirt. This is truly insane!! Like a bad dream.

Hosono should be sacked, but the fact that the former minister actually hinted at the truth by saying 'cities of death' - HE gets the axe. What deranged government could conceive of this???

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jforce

in Japan no one can be forced to sell land/property they don't want to.

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The area around the nuclear plant seems fine to me. Too bad if people have land there... it's useless now. Buy them out by force and say move on.

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Oh and Kobe feels it should repay the favour of other cities receiving it's debris too. Never mind the radiation. Kobe will accept 160 tons of burnable waste a day and up to 40 tons of unburnable waste (erm..landfill) and Akashi will accept 60 tons of vegetable waste (namagomi) and Amagasaki will take a whopping 110 tons of vegetable waste. Glorious. http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/shakai/0004234251.shtml oh and according to Koide Hiroaki the plan will be to bury it out in Osaka Bay between Kobe and Osaka and off the coast of Izumi Outsu.

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Maybe Hosono wanted to solve not only the debris problem, but also the problem of the aging of the Japanese society by reducing the average live span.

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I agree with smithinjapan. Put all burned ashes in containers and buried them deep right next to Fukushima Daiichi. And the whole area should be off limit forever. That area is done and finished anyway.

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Darren, thank you for the info. The difference between Chernobyl and Japan are:

Japan-spreading debries all over Japan

Chernobyl-trying to complete a new containment shelter

Twenty-five years on, the dangers of Chernobyl have in no way been confined to the past. On the eve of the tragic >>anniversary, Ukraine is desperately seeking money to complete a new containment shelter over the remains of the >>destroyed reactor.

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Osaka: more than 700 complaints were received last week, but Hashimoto has decided all on his own that Osaka will accept waste even if radioactive. Osaka residents can voice their opinion here: "災害廃棄物(がれき)の広域処理について" http://www.pref.osaka.jp/fumin/fusei_iken/index.html Osaka will do it for 3 years whether the citizens complain or not.

OK...apparently the magazine AERA published a list of all the cities who have indicated they will accept the debris. My city and the city I work in, and no doubt yours too, folks. The lemming-ness of it all is infuriating.

http://plaza.rakuten.co.jp/OmMaNiPadMeHum/diary/201108280001/

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http://savechild.net/archives/8935.html Aomori: 八戸市 'no way not even small amounts'. Oita: 佐伯市,豊後大野市 'maybe possible' Miyazaki: 宮崎,都城,えびの,串間市,延岡市(9 cities all up) 'very difficult without absolute proof that it is safe=no' ,Gifu:大垣市 were going to accept namagomi (vegetable waste /kitchen refuse) but after citizens complained,withdrew their offer. 下呂 Gero was going to accept 7000 tons a year but citizens complained and the offere was withdrawn. Kouchi:四万十町, 'no-citizens are nervous'.須崎市'impossible to do safely-no.' Ehime: 松山市 will accept 21000 tons a year of which 18000 tons will be incinerated and the rest buried...on the condition it is NOT radioactive.新居浜市、西条市 and 3 other locations will accept 560,000 tons a year. Fukuoka: 八女市 'no.Citizens are concerned.' 福岡市 'will accept non-radioactive waste only'

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Oh, there were hundreds of complains by Tokyo citizens? Only hundreds? Very sad!

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Where can we find out which localities and/or prefectures have been asked? I live in a cash-strapped rural area and am sure the offer would look attractive to some bureaucrats in city hall here. If our area even considers such a daft idea, I want to publicise this in the newspapers of the various overseas sister cities that regularly send student groups here. That kind of foreign pressure and shame would (sadly) be more important to these guys than the opinions of the people who live and vote here.

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I meant too much radioactive waste ( topsoil, debris etc. )

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Like Zichi just calculated. there seems to be just too radioactive much waste and it's not including the radioactive ash from household waste ash that can't be buried either, The Govt is going to have to up the annual exposure rate. Geesh

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I agree with herefornow "Why not just convert one of those -- one furthest away from any land mass -- into a massive diposal site?"

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kansaifunOct. 05, 2011 - 09:33PM JST

Bring any of that radioactive debris to their doorsteps and it will truly be the age of fly-jinism!

Those fly-jin can go home to their countries any time, but Japanese will be stuck there as they have no other places to go. Once this is done, they won't be able to undo it.

How would you like to live with the radioactive ashes on your backyard?

Do you allow your children playing there? I would not.

These are the things you need to contain from the public that may cause danger

1)Radiation 2)Desease 3)Criminal 4)Enermy

Enough said, I just care for you guys.

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There have been many articles in the press about removing the top soil in Fukushima contaminated with radiation. There are an estimated 2,000-8,000 sq km of contaminated top soil. If it was possible to remove the top 10 cms of that soil, that would between 250 million to one billion tons of soil.

The debris from the earthquake and tsunami from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima is about 25 million tons, enough to fill Tokyo Dome 25 times.

The removal of contaminated top soil would be enough to fill 250 to 1,000 Tokyo Domes.

I don't think it's possible or realistic to even think that much top soil could be removed especially when 70% of the area is some kind of mountains.

Removing that amount of top soil could also create a major imbalance in the nature because the insect life would be removed too. Removing soil from mountains could create landslides.

And where would they be able to put such a massive amount of soil, except into the ocean? How much actual radiation would that much soil contain?

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For areas affected by radiation, the half-life of Caesium is 30 years, so they could conceivably move back into the area 35 or so years after the plant is completely shut down. That's assuming they don't do the suggested methods of decontamination in the interim.

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Good Gravy, No amount of money would get the landowners to sell? I guess the land is that important to those families. So, the Govt plan is to up the annual exposure so they can say everything is no immediate threat to human health. It's crazy..

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Utrack,

some actually believe in 50 years their grandchildren or great grandchildren will be able to live there again. For others, their families have lived there for hundreds of years and will never sell, whatever the price.

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Fadamor: you're assuming there will be conscientious/competent sorting of debris. Isn't that quite a leap of faith, given the events of the past 6 months?

The only viable answer is 100% containment.

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The government expressed a plan to buy all the land in the exclusion zone, but some owners have stated they won't sell?

Wow, those landowners must want the Govt to up the price they are offering to pay for the land , because there is no going back to that land in the No Go Zone.

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I think the suggestion to store the waste from the disaster and from the nuclear power plant inside the current 20 km exclusion zone, is a good one. A permanent storage for all the material from the power plant. Debris from Miyagi and Iwate. Soil from other contaminated parts of Fukushima.

The problem is land, or at least publicly owned land to store or land that owners are willing to sell. The government expressed a plan to buy all the land in the exclusion zone, but some owners have stated they won't sell?

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I meant to say radioactive and or toxic debris in Fukushima and other prefectures can be disposed of there as well.

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Well maybe it should be pointed out that the radioactive household waste ash in the Tokyo and Chiba facilities is a problem and it needs to be stored somewhere so why not the No Go Zone and the radioactive and toxic debris in Fukushima and other prefectures can be disposed of there as well.

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Well maybe it should be pointed out that the overwhelming majority of debris in the Tohoku region doesn't have radiation issues and could be safely dealt with by any of the normal disposal methods. Or perhaps you feel that the debris in and around Ishinomaki glows in the dark?

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@globalwatcher

This is bigger than just tourism. The only reason there are foreigners still in Japan is because they feel safe away from the Tohoku mess!

Bring any of that radioactive debris to their doorsteps and it will truly be the age of fly-jinism!

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@Smithinjapan

Good comments indeed ! Put the debris in front of each TEPCO office building across Japan.

Ideas : Both the Japanese & Russian authorities had, in the past months, voiced out joint development projects on the disputed territories.. here we go with the First JV project on the Northern territories / Kurils -- incinerators for treating the debris at premium handling charges. No S. Korean or Chinese companies would likely join the investment.

Single out the odd prefectures that are reportedly reluctant to participate in handling the debris -- treat or tricks -- put their names on the website. Then multiple their reconstruction contributions to the national solidarity funds.. Participate or pay !

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Who does this jacka$$ think he is? So when he succeeds in spreading the radioactive debris all across Japan and tourism tanks to nothing, not to mention exports from Japan being turned down, is he going to complain that people are discriminating against Japan? PUT THE DEBRIS IN THE AREA OUTSIDE THE NUCLEAR PLANT.

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Follow the money. What is Hosono's cut?

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LDP or DPJ two sides of the same coin............................

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now the DPJ has demonstrated how poor their leadership over the nation, i am afraid mr noda has got to pay the price of his popularity polls, this ridiculous demands will causing public resentment and anger!

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Honestly, this whole spread it around thing is insane. If the prefecture I live in even attempts to say yes I will start protests of my own - and don't doubt many would join. Keep it where it is.

Rebuild? Why? There was an article that 40% of the population would be gone in the area anyway. Relocate and start over. Save the tax payers the money, get the kids out of harm's way...

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@Herefornow - I like your way of thinking. Dump it all on the islands the Japanese are fighting with Russia and China over.

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Nice one NuckinFutz. Maybe we need one of those on this site too. 3 choices.

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Yes, this has to be (what else could it be ?) a plan to increase the levels of radioactive fallout in Japan as a whole.

What better way would there be for an evasion of responsibility by the government now or any future government?

In the future there will be cancers all over Japan rising at more or less the same rates in all prefectures.

No one prefecture would have recourse to a claim on the government.

Even if the people blamed the government , imagine the whole of the Japanese race filing a claim for legal redress?

It would be impossible to manage and pay for.This politico-legal ploy often used is known as the floodgates argument. Often used by judges to avoid political and economic damage to the political elite.

We should all remember what the word 'government' means.......................

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Doesn't Japan have hundreds of uninhabited islands? Why not just convert one of those -- one furthest away from any land mass -- into a massive diposal site? That way they could build the right kind of facility to do it properly, not ask 43 prefectures unprepared to handle radioactive waste. Is Japan deliberately trying to make sure no one feels safe living or visiting anywhere in the country?

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I wonder what it would feel like to stand behind a podium looking at an audience of 43 middle fingers held high!

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I hope this is properly supervised and moneyed interests or irresponsible individuals are kept in check. This is some toxic stuff and everyone on this planet should be interested what gets done with it.

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BAD idea, creating new contamination sites around the country is simply WRONG.

It wont be perfect but this debris needs to be taken care of locally as much as possible, anything else is wrong!

Create a bunch of small breakwater/reefs offshore might be a good idea, look at the place with all the small islands they weathered the tsunami pretty well, much better than places that tried the monster wall approach which mostly simply got smashed & washed away & did little to protect, better to have smaller reefs that stay intact that can have some affect on a tsunami, what do you think?

Sadly there is no perfect solution, many compromises will be needed

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This translates to a death of Japanese tourism industry. That's all I can tell you.

Sorry guys you have to put up with this nonsense. This guy (Hosono) does not know a word of CONTAINMENT. This is the most craziest thing I have ever heard in my life and I am not kidding about that.

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Actually one of the first plans drawn up was that the debris should be removed in the following order. (a) visual inspection by an official and then dump as landfill. (b) in cases where the safety of the debris as landfill cannot be determined, further testing by qualified experts and then landfill if possible. (c) in cases where debris deemed unfit for landfill the debris should be dumped at sea.

That is my understanding of a Japanese government document that was published months ago. I think this is probably the best practice in many cases..artificial reefs can be made etc etc..

the cruncher is always radiation. That changes things. Japan's govt. with MAFF is doing it's level best to make sure all Japanese have equal access to rogue isotopes and I will always be against the transportation of contaminated material in whatever form they may be.

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This is what you get when you have idiots running the show. Why spread the trouble? Unfortunately those sensible ones would be branded unpatriotic and unjapanese. I wish someone close to Hosono will visit Jtoday

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One incinerator up there shut down due to radiation contamination...and they thought they were burning clean junk. Give us a break clowns. Dump it next to the Daichi plants.

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This news coming with the news about Chiba's recent radioactive ash problem, mind you. The lunacy of this government is confounding!

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Hosono, please take that debris and shove it up your.... Only an idiot would seek to spread radioactive debris, especially all over his own country!

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There lies the mistake: Instead of sending experts to brief residents, he should go himself and explain it.

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Asking everyone to share in the pain? I don't understand the thinking behind this. The debris will need to be transported then stored in some suitable place. Just imagine the problems facing the logistics of moving the stuff. And if the places where the storage suffer a mishap, the problem will continue. Instead of keeping everything in one enormous pile, keeping it in many small piles in many places is the best plan?

Obviously the amount of debris is enormous, but wouldn't be better to keep it all in one place in one enormous facility purpose built to protect it? Japan has an extremely bad reputation with industrial waste dumping and I worry that some prefectures would try to dump some of the stuff to lessen their worries.

But with the plan as it standes, I wouldn't mind betting that the reasoning behind this is cultural rather than practical.

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I can't imagine where this debris is going to go but I most certainly know where it WON'T go. It won't go anywhere near an American military installation.

I think the best bet would be for Japan to try to pay another nation for disposal. Pay another nation and don't use Japanese yen, use U.S. Dollars.

-1 ( +4 / -4 )

Most of it will go ( dumped in the dead of night ) into the ocean. Who's fooling anybody ?

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