Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Fukushima nuclear debacle Update - June 8 - 9 , 2014 --Fukushima worker “Frozen wall was originally designed to stand with clay wall but they removed to cut the cost.” ......... Focus on decrepit state of the Fukushima facility , examination of vastly understated levels of radiation contamination , " just sad " decontamination efforts , anecdotal evidence of individuals suffering from radiation sickness ... more deception from Tepco and Japan
Following up this article.. 90 cases of malignant and possible malignant thyroid tumor among Fukushima children / Increased from 75 [URL]
Professor. Tsuda from Okayama University commented the thyroid cancer rate of Fukushima children is already 1.65 ~ 40 times much as normal.
From 1975 to 2008, thyroid cancer rate among children 15 ~ 19 years old was only 5 in a million.
Based on Fukushima prefectural government’s own survey, the current thyroid cancer rate is already 40.8 times much as normal in Nihonmatsu city. It’s also 27.9 times much as normal in Koriyama city.
After Fukushima accident, thyroid test is not implemented outside of Fukushima. It’s not implemented for adults even in Fukushima prefecture.
Matsumoto city mayor, Sugenoya, who was involved in the medical support in Belarus for Chernobyl, comments thyroid cancer was transferred to lungs in Chernobyl. Especially adult’s thyroid cancer were often transferred to brain and bone.
The coolant water level is only 30cm from the bottom of Reactor2. Tepco released the report on 6/9/2014.
From 6/5 to 6/6/2014, Tepco finally installed the new thermometers and water gauge in Reactor2. As they observed by the camera on installation, they confirmed the coolant water surface is only 30cm from the bottom of primary containment vessel of Reactor2.
Last time when Tepco investigated Reactor2 on 3/26/2013, the coolant water surface was 60cm from the bottom of the vessel, which was as double was now.
It proves the molten fuel completely melted out Reactor2, and the continuously injected coolant water keeps leaking out from the vessel and the water level is gradually going down.
↑ The ground where the contaminated water has been absorbed for 2 months.
Following up this article.. 2 Contaminated water tanks overflowed / 9,800,000 Bq/m3 of All β / “Rainwater leaking into the tanks since last year” [URL]
On 6/4/2014, Tepco announced the 2 tanks have been leaking 4.0m3 of contaminated water since this April.
From their analysis, approx. 3.4m3 of contaminated water was absorbed by the ground nearby the tanks. 250,000,000 Bq of “radioactive material” is reported to have leaked to the ground but the specific nuclide is not announced.
All β nuclide (including Strontium-90) density in groundwater jumped up by 1,000 times since this February, according to Tepco.
It is from Tepco’s report about groundwater contamination released on 6/6/2014. The location is in the seaside of reactor2.
It sharply started increasing in the end of this February, and has been in the increasing trend. (Graph 1 below)
Also, the similar increasing trend is seen in the seawater contamination level in Fukushima plant port.
Both of the densities of Tritium and all β have been increasing in the seawater of water intake from reasctor1 ~ 4 since the end of this February. In the worst point, it’s jumped up to 10 times. These are still increasing continuously. (Graph 2&3 below)
Tepco is building the underground wall in Fukushima plant port, which is different from the frozen water wall. This may cause radioactive material accumulated in the water intake areas. However if it was the reason, the increasing radioactive density in the seaside of reactor2 can mean that the contamination is flowing back to the land.
A citizen’s radiation monitoring station in Saitama tweeted that they measured the significant level of radioactive material from inside of elementary school student’s shoes.
The sample was the insoles of the shoes after worn to clean the swimming pool. (cf, High schooler leukemia→School had students “clean” the swimming pool last summer [URL]) The location is Kawagoe city Saitama.
The analysis showed the Cesium-137 density was 42.3 Bq/kg.
The sample weighed only 31g. The analyst comments this is only the reference value but Fukushima Diary hopes other nuclides such as Strontium-90 or Plutonium-238/239/240 to be analyzed as well.
The newly introduced robot to decontaminate reactor2 works with a paper napkin-looking mop and a vacuum cleaner, from Tepco’s press release.
Tepco is trying to reduce the contamination level in reactor2 building. From 6/9/2014, they expect to clean the wall (1.8 ~ 5m height) by the robot.
The robot is approx 3m long and 2.3m tall. It reaches 5m height by stretching the arm and weighs nearly 1 t.
However “the decontamination device” is only the mop and vacuum cleaner. The mop looks like a daily paper napkin mop. These look desperate for the scale of contamination but unfortunately it’s from Tepco’s own data from their own website, which is real.
Related article.. Evidence to prove reactor2 also possibly exploded in 311 was found / Hole on suppression chamber [URL]
“Suddenly had the shivers and went to the hospital to find I had over 38 ℃ of fever. Having the health inspection because I’m worried about this unidentified ache in the internal organs. I hope it’s not a serious disease.”
Confusion and misunderstanding ensue, following the reporting on the Ministry of the Environment's plan (yet to be officially announced) to raise the radiation target level after decontamination in Fukushima from the current 0.23 microsievert/hour to 0.4-0.6 microsievert/hour.
The Ministry of the Environment (supposedly) says the additional exposure from the radiation under the new target level will be still under 1 millisievert per year.
The empirical data so far collected in Fukushima Prefecture (glass badges worn by residents, monitoring posts, actual measurements before and after decontamination, for example) seem to endorse the position by the Ministry, but this particular ministry unfortunately lacks credibility after having been headed by Goshi Hosono (DPJ) and now by Shintaro Ishihara's son who once wanted to ban the use of personal survey meters by citizens.
The Ministry and the municipal governments involved seem to be doing this for very wrong reason, if what Fukushima Central TV (FCT)'s reporting is correct.
To them, it is about cost-performance - too costly and time-consuming to decontaminate to the 0.23 microsievert/hr level. But again, this is according to the TV station reporting, and the official word from the Ministry is not expected for two to three months, according to Asahi Shinbun.
FCT has found that the Ministry of the Environment has been discussing with the municipal governments [in Fukushima] on the new policy on decontamination which is considered to be prerequisite for recovery from the nuclear accident.
Some municipal governments in Fukushima Prefecture have requested the Ministry of the Environment to revise the target radiation level to something more realistic. The current target of 0.23 microsievert/hour is too difficult to achieve, according to these municipal governments.
Officials at the Ministry of the Environment say the actual additional radiation exposure per year will still be under 1 millisievert even if the ambient radiation level after decontamination exceeds the current target level of 0.23 microsievert/hour. They will have a meeting on June 15 with the municipal governments involved to discuss raising the target level for decontamination.
The effective dose measured by glass badges is shown to be about half to one-third of the dose calculated by the Ministry of the Environment from the ambient radiation levels indicated by monitoring posts.
Here's a chart from the report by Date City in November 2013. Date City is located in Nakadori (middle third) of Fukushima Prefecture with elevated ambient radiation levels in western part of the city:
(English labels are by me)
The calculation used by the government (Ministry of the Environment) is as follows:
予測年間追加被ばく線量（mSv）＝空間線量率（μSv/h）× （8h ＋ 16 h × 0.4） × 365 (日)÷1000
Expected annual additional radiation exposure (mSv) = (ambient radiation - background radiation of 0.04 μSv/h) x (8h + 16h x 0.4) x 365 / 1000
In other words, expected annual additional radiation exposure in millisievert is calculated by:
(1) Subtract background radiation level of 0.04 μSv/h (pre-accident Fukushima average) from the current ambient radiation level.
(2) Multiply (1) by 8 hours as number of hours one stays outdoors per day.
(3) Multiply (1) by 16 hours as number of hours one stays indoors per day, then multiply by the coefficient 0.4 to account for shielding effect of the buildings (houses, offices, etc.).
(4) Add (2) and (3), then multiply it by 365 to come up with the annual additional exposure dosage in microsievert.
(5) Divide (4) by 1000 to come up with the number in millisievert.
Instead of saying "Decontaminating until the ambient radiation level drops to 0.23 microsievert/hr is too costly and near-impossible to achieve," the Ministry of the Environment could admit its mistake in setting the coefficient at 0.4 (to account for one- or two-story buildings made of wood, according to National Institute for Radiological Science).
Date City's result indicates that the coefficient of 0.2 (to account for one- or two-story concrete buildings) would be closer to the actual effective radiation dose. Children and adults in white-collar jobs may be spending the bulk of their time in buildings that are more than three-story high and made of concrete (schools, office buildings), and the coefficient for such buildings is 0.1.
We will have to wait for two to three months until Shintaro Ishihara's son (Minister of the Environment) officially announces the change, but Japanese Twitter is already full of people thinking that the national government is raising the additional radiation exposure per year allowed for Fukushima to 2 millisieverts.