16 Jul 2011

WHAT’S THE “BEEF” ??(American expresion for: what is the complaint?).  More than four(4) months after the Fukushima Tragedy, Japan’s Central Government has not yet set-up a system to check food for radiation; Instead, they “Pass the Buck” to testing carried out by Prefectures and Municipalities. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government said that one beef sample tested at 650 becquerels(Bq) per kilogram (kg), exceeding the maximum limit of 500 Bq per kg. The radioactive Isotope Cesium was found in large quantity in the hay-feed given to the cattle.  Cesium has an affinity for calcium, hence it goes for the bones; and there, begins to change the human DNA to produce cancers of several sorts. NOT A GOOD THING!  YOU CAN’T SEE IT, YOU CAN’T SMELL IT… AND YOU CAN’T COOK IT OUT EITHER!

A THIRD SHIPMENT OF RADIOACTIVE BEEF has been reported since last weekend, unfortunately, officials believe much of it has already been consumed. It is as though the Central Government has abdicated its responsibilities to Japan as a whole. IN THE LATEST SUCH INCIDENT, A cattle farm in the town of Minamisoma (just outside the 20 kilometer no-go zone placed around the Fukushima nuclear plant), was found to have shipped meat from cows fed with straw containing 75,000 Bq of cesium per kg.

WORSE YET, The Central government has sought to assure the public that there is no immediate health threat from eating “standard servings” of the beef.  Those who say so, are either “lying through their teeth” to protect their nonchalance, or incredibly ignorant;  SO, THEY DO NOTHING! to protect the people of Japan. AS WE SAY IN TEXAS: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW, COWBOY!  For now, officials are also calling it an isolated incident, while vowing to increase inspections of food in wake of the country’s nuclear crisis.  WE’LL SEE!

RADIATION DOSIMETERS (GEIGER COUNTERS) ARE A “HOT” COMMODITY.  Not surprisingly: “It was a wave of panic buying,” Huang said…it was absolutely a seller’s market,” with some manufacturers selling out a year’s worth of inventory in a week through March and April.. we have since restocked supplies”;  PROBLEM IS: Most of the dosimeters on the market now are questionably accurate, and tend to break-own often. Contaminated products including spinach, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tea, milk, plums beef, and fish with cesium-137, and iodine radioactive Isotopes as far as 360 kilometers from Fukushima Dai No. 1 Nuclear station. Unfortunately, it is clear radioactivity has entered the food chain over much of the Japanese mainland.

FORTUNATELY, Japan’s “Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology” has handed out 1,700 dosimeters made by Tokyo-based Fuji Electric Co. to kindergartens, elementary and middle schools since April.  We say fortunately because dosimeters are not inexpensive: somewhere betweent $200 and $800 ea.  Japanese people prefer those made elsewhere in the world: “The Russian and Ukrainian-made dosimeters sell out in a flash.”

MEANWHILE AT FUKUSHIMA DAI NO.1, Nuke plant, 15 Jul 2011  The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports that a contaminated water filtration system was temporarily shut-down after a pipe junction snapped. About 1.3 gallons of radioactive water leaked following the break last 13 Jul 2011(Wednesday). TEPCO said repairing the break will require human intervention, but the high radiation levels of 100-150 millisieverts per hour in the surrounding area make it very difficult to get to the system and, it was unclear when the repairs would be completed.  This is bad news!

One has to feel compassion for the Japanese people these days. A weak, in-cohesive, irresolute Central government, contaminated food, soil, and water(in some areas).  Even Mother Nature continues to “rattle” the country with 5+ magnitude quakes all too frequently still.  It is no wonder there are reports of many young women and children leaving Japan to go to Okinawa. Fortunately for those folks, they are very welcome there, although for how long that will continue remains to be seen.  In most such cases, the husbands found it necessary to remain in Japan to earn a living,  thus adding  family separation to their daily stresses.


July 16, 2011 at 1:50 AM Comments (11)