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FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE QUESTIONNAIRES – JUST A USELESS NEEDLESS IMPOSITION

26 Jul 2011

FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE (STATE) is worried about health problems stemming from radiation leaked from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.  Such worries have been exacerbated by the finding of “hot-spots” in Fukushima City (some 60 Km from the plant). So, the Fukushima State government has decided to carry out health checks on all of the about 2 million residents in the State. PROBLEM IS: LENGTHY QUESTIONNAIRES – WHAT GOOD ARE THEY?

“DO I HAVE TO WRITE-IN SO MUCH DETAIL ?” asked Mrs. Makiko Kowata, 37 who has been taking shelter in the City of Fukushima after evacuating from Namiemachi (located within the no-go zone around the crippled nuclear power plant).  She was unpleasantly surprised when she saw the questionnaire from the State government in mid-July. External radiation exposure is estimated based on data about radiation in the air and a person’s activities. Kowata has been asked to write a MINUTE-BY-MINUTE ACCOUNT about what she did for the two(2) weeks after the disaster. She is also asked to write the amount of vegetables, fruits and milk she consumed through the end of March 2011;  However, since the disaster, Kowata has moved many times from evacuation centers in and outside the prefecture to her relatives’ and acquaintances’ houses with her 37-year-old husband and their three daughters.  She said the health check may be necessary for children;  But, as for me: “I don’t remember what I did four(4) months ago. If the government planned to conduct this research, it should’ve told us earlier. Then I would/could have recorded what I ate, and where I went…I wonder if precise radiation exposure can be estimated through this kind of questionnaire” – She ponders angrily.

ANOTHER FUKUSHIMA STATE RESIDENT Mr. Katsuaki Honda, 66, who lives in the Watarimatsuho district in Fukushima State, measured radiation levels in his yard using a dosimeter that his community association had purchased. The result was between 3.2 and 3.5 (mS) per hour – close to the outdoor activity restriction limit of 3.8 mS. Thinking it was a problem, he removed the grass from his lawn with a hoe. His grandchildren, aged 3 and 5, who live in the neighborhood, have not visited his house to play due to radiation fears;  Now, Honda says with a sadly bitter smile: “The other day, I met them at a restaurant and we were able to eat together,”

The State government also plans to closely monitor internal radiation levels taken in through food, targeting about 200,000 people from evacuation areas; However, it is likely that very little radioactive material will be detected, according to experts.  In addition to the fact that ingested radioactive material is carried out of the body in urine, radioactive iodine has a half-life of just eight days.  FOLKS, ALL THESE STATISTICAL IMPOSITIONS SEEM LIKE “MAKE-WORK” MEASURES THAT WILL HELP NO-ONE, AND BURDEN ANALYSTS FOR YEAR TO COME.  IT IS CLEAR THE EFFORT IS NOT BEING RUN BY SCIENTISTS, BUT BY BUREAUCRATS.  PUT PLAINLY, IT IS NOW TOO LATE TO HELP MANY CITIZENS, AND QUESTIONNAIRES ARE A WASTE OF TIME, AND A VIOLATION OF PRIVACY RIGHTS.

Makoto Akashi, Executive Director of Japan’s “National Institute of Radiological Sciences”, said: “I don’t think radioactive iodine will be detected. It’s likely that State residents were not exposed to high levels of radiation, but I don’t think it’s possible to make a precise estimate of their radiation exposure.” Some experts have questioned whether exact radiation exposure can ever be tested four(4) months after height of the radioactive spew.  Thanks to The Yomiuri Shimbun for quotations,  26 Jul 2011.

MEANWHILE THE CITY(Municipality )OF FUKUSHIMA tried on 24 Jul 2011(Sunday) to remove radioactive materials from school routes, and other locations in a the Watari District believed ( don’t they know?) to be a “hot spot” , by mobilizing some 400 experts and 3500 residents in the effort. Although Fukushima City, the State Capital, is about 60 km from the stricken Fukushima Dai No.1 nuclear power plant, its Watari district showed higher radiation levels than elsewhere in the city in a survey in Jun 2011.  A specialized cleaning vehicle (Mechanized broom?) brushed around 1.5 km of roads on routes; especially those used by children to commute to school, while residents removed soil and weeds from and around ditches.  With over 300 “experts” on hand, one hopes all necessary safety measures were observed, to preserve the workers health. If the effort proves successful, it could be applied to other local areas.  Now, the city plans to monitor radiation in the district after several days, to gauge the result of their decontamination effort.

DETAILS ON THE CLEANUP ARE SCANT; HOWEVER, WHILE WE APPLAUD THE CITIZEN’S SELF-SACRIFICE AND EFFORT (IN THE ABSENCE OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE)WE REGRET TO SAY CONTAMINATED SOIL IS NOT LIKE SNOW.  It will not melt or go away for perhaps thousands of years.  ENSURING THE REMOVED SOIL IS PLACED IN REMOTE, IMPERMEABLY-LINED PITS, TO PREVENT LEACHING INTO ADJACENT WATER; THEN, COVERED-UP TO PREVENT RAIN FROM ACCELERATING THE PROCESS IS A NECESSITY. 

“A WHOLE LOT OF SHAKING GOING ON”  Late Singer Jerry Lee Lewis never imagined such events: On 23 Jul 2011(Saturday afternoon), a magnitude 6.4 quake struck off the east coast of Honshu; Then, on 25 Jul 2011(Monday 03:51) a magnitude 6.2 quake struck, also with an epicenter 282 km northeast of Tokyo at a depth of 35.6km in the Pacific Ocean, 94km east of Fukushima State.  Both quakes were felt in Tokyo, but no losses or casualties reported.

NATURE TOO IS RATCHETING UP FEARS. Last week two magnitude 5+ quakes were felt.  This week, both earthquakes were in the magnitude 6.2 Richter class.  It is amazing no losses were reported.  Quakes such as this could have had disastrous effects on other parts of the world.  It is no wonder Japan’s suicide rate is significantly higher.

gonzedo

July 26, 2011 at 9:09 AM
10 comments »
  • July 27, 2011 at 7:37 AMNathan Schmidt

    Your blog seems to be dominated by nuclear news. Energy does matter, and we have to find solutions that work. Not that I believe nuclear energy is the answer, but how about bringing together discussions about new technologies and ideas? There are three things guiding solutions for energy: cheap, clean, and reliable — pick two! Finding a balance between all three is near impossible, but doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. So, my question to you is, if not nuclear, what are you doing to make a difference?

  • July 27, 2011 at 8:22 AMgonzedo

    All “nuclear energy” is not uranium. I have for years advocated a return to “Thorium”- based nuclear Boiling Water Reactors. The very powerful Uranium cartel has for decades, shoved that research aside. Now the Chinese who are not so dominated are showing interest in this old, but excellent technollogy; There is at least one article on this forum about their interest. India has also showed such inclinations. Notice neither country is dominated by the Uranium Cartel. Such technollogy may be the “fuel of the future”,: Clean reliable?, and cheap. HOW SOON ? – MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR QUESTION.

    It seem to me that, given the newly found abundance of “Fracked” Nat Gas, it may be the answer to our problems while the Uranium Cartel flounders. Nat gas is cheaper(at least for now), easy to retro-fit for many Coal -fueled plants, and about half as air polluting. I did write an article here, titled “Is Drill, Baby Drill the answer? Perhaps for for a little while”. Nat Gas is both cheap and reliable, plus semi-clean – while it lasts.

    WHAT AM I DOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?, well… I AM “TELLING IT LIKE IT IS” about energy, its politics, and its advantages Vs disadvantages, in this forum, and at the other(linked) forum where you will find many articles which explore “alternative energy generation”. Check it out! Wind, Solar(Photo-Voltaic), Solar (Concentrated Solar Power), Hydro, Geothermal, etc. Each has its good, and its bad side. I do advocate going away from Coal, and oil for power generation. You will see I am not a “newby” on the energy scene. Please read some of my earlier articles, you may find them “food for thought”. Many thanks for your interest.

    gonzedo

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