Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fuku-I Nuke Plant Blowout Panel Mystery: Were They Really Welded-Shut or Not?

I wrote on December 31, 2011 about the blowout panels in the reactor buildings at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant may have been welded shut except for the Reactor 2 building when the earthquake and tsunami hit on March 11, 2011 and the nuclear accident started, and that may have caused explosions in Reactors 1, 3, 4.

It doesn't seem anyone attending TEPCO's conference have asked questions on that since. Now that the accident is supposedly "over", what really happened, why, and how back in March 2011 may be of no one's interest. But I remain extremely curious and I want to understand.

So I decided to look for the photographs that show Fuku-I Plant from the oceanside. From the photos below, what I can say is not much. The blowout panel of Reactor 2 building popped sometime between March 12 before the Reactor 1 explosion and March 13. The blowout panels of Reactor 3 and Reactor 4 didn't open at all for whatever reason, and the buildings blew up.

It would be nice to find a photo on March 14 before Reactor 3 blew up, and on March 15 before Reactor 4 blew up at 6:00AM. So far, I haven't managed to find these.


March 11, 2011, after the earthquake and tsunami: Screenshot of the infrared video taken at 10:25PM by the Self Defense Force, aired on NNN News that day seems to indicate the location of the blowout panels in each reactor building. Reactor 1 doesn't even seem to have a blowout panel.

March 12, 2011, before the explosion of Reactor 1: The blowout panels in all 4 reactor buildings seem to be intact. (Photo from Gigapica.)

March 13, 2011: Reactor 1 in ruins after the explosion on March 12. The blowout panel of Reactor 2 looks to be open. (Photo is from DigitalGlobe.)

Earthquake and Tsunami damage-Dai Ichi Power Plant, Japan

March 16, 2011: After the explosions of Reactor 3 and 4. (Photo from DigitalGlobe)

Earthquake and Tsunami damage-Dai Ichi Power Plant, Japan

Japanese Government to Measure Radiation of Rain and Snow in Fukushima Prefecture

About time, you may say. But wait, there's more. The result will be available in March.

And while we wait for the radioactivity of the snow that falls in Fukushima, the prefecture and the national government have been promoting ski slopes in Fukushima to young people with free or discount lift tickets. Come on up, the snow will shield dangerous radiation, so ski and snowboard in our beautiful mountains, the ski hotels in Fukushima say.

The Ministry of Education and Science already announced that there will be no announcement on weekends and holidays.

Yomiuri Shinbun (1/8/2012):


The national government's Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters in Fukushima Prefecture and the Fukushima Prefecture's Disaster Response Headquarters have started to collect rain and snow that fall on Fukushima to measure radioactive materials.


The result of the first measurement is expected to be released by early March. The radioactive fallout in the air is still measured at more than 20 locations inside Fukushima, but since last summer the numbers at many locations are below the detection limit. So the government will test rain and snow in addition to the fallout to see the deposition of radioactive materials on the ground surface.

(English Translation Part 2) Dörte Siedentopf on Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: "They Haven't Learned Anything from Chernobyl"

Translation Part 1 by the reader Viola is here.

The following is the translation of the remaining part by the reader Florian Zschage.

The original article in German is here.

The Japanese translation is here.


Now i want to talk about the health situation, which is normally not an issue here in Germany. It is important to understand the following: The more time goes by, the more catastrophic the situation for the people and all biological life in the region become. That's what our media and our politicians don't want to see, just as Lukaschenko, who declared the accident a thing of the past.

The hidden mothers

After Chernobyl, multiple 'waves of catastrophe' occurred. The first affected the adults: the Liquidators, the physicians, people who went into the contaminated areas, and the people who lived there. Many of them died of cancer quiet fast. The children were affected from the beginning, too. In the affected regions of Belarus generally there is a general iodine deficiency, because there is no coastline as in Japan. Therefore the radioactive iodine was assimilated massively by the infantiles thyroid glands.

After Chernobyl, the government decided to perform abortions on all pregnant women. But many mothers hid. In the year after the accident, many of those infants had thyroid cancer, too. An illness that was practically nonexistent for children. 4000 cases of thyroid cancer in Belarus are officially confirmed. Those had operations, received radiation therapy and take hormone medication for all their life, to not become cretins. And they would have to get this therapy for free – also for later ocurring dysfunctionalities – until today, 25 years after the accident, but they don’t.

Nowadays in the succeeding generation we observe increased numbers of blood deseases. As we say: CHERNOBYL RAGES IN THE GENES. And that will continue for the next 300 years or so, because Strontium and Caesium has a half-life of 30 years, and as a general rule, after 10 half-life periods, no significant amount of these isotopes remain. That equals seven to eight generations. Plus the plutonium, which has a half-life of 24.000 years. Another problem is radiation induced diabetes for children and adults, especially in infants. A phenomenon that was unknown in the past.

The government buys two kinds of insulin and all have to deal with that. But children need at least a third type of insulin and that type is not available, unless NGOs don't take care of it. These NGOs also take care of the missing but necessary education.There are also eye diseases, opaqueness of the eye lens. And we saw an increase in breast cancer, many died within the first 5 years. One may ask oneself if radiation induced cancer is more aggressive than the "normal" one.

The number of birth deformities also increased. Abortion is a big issue. Contraception costs money, and many people simply can't afford it. That's a big problem. On the other hand, there are many infertile couples. In Kostjukovitschi, 30 % of the couples are sterile involuntarily. Another issue is the increase in malignant tumors that occur ow in 6-, 7-, 8-, 9-year old children. Brain tumors. Bone tumors.

Another big problem: In the contaminated areas, wounds didn't heal properly anymore, it was dramatic. The reason for that is low immunity, because radioactive Strontium is incorporated in the bones and stays there. In the bones, human blood is created, and this way, it is irradiated continously during its formation. In a way, it is like AIDS: Immunisation doesn't work anymore, because no antibodies are generated anymore.Therefore we have an increase of polio, despite immunisation efforts. Same with tuberculosis, the more, because the overall nutrition is bad. Many people watered their vegetables with rain water and they collect mushrooms and berries in autumn, which still are highly contaminated.

Aggrieved cells

The majority of the disabilities in children with mental or corporal handicaps in the region originate in radioactive radiation. One has to understand that the ovaries of women already exist in the woman's own embryonic stadium. A big amount of cells become follicles, around 8 millions of them. All damage that happens to the mother inflicts these cells, too. The placenta has a natural barrier but unfortunately it is this barrier where radioactive particles do accumulate. The damaged egg cells can not be repaired. When a woman is born, there are still around 1-2 millions of them. During puberty, there are still 400.000. And those can be already damaged, when a pregnancy occurs. With all the consequences.

One more thing is important to know: All those genetic damages, the cancer frequency and so on... those all are consequences of LOW DOSE RADIATION, and this is something completely different from the radiation disease of the liquidators. This is a fact that is contantly and continually denied by all persons in charge.

The irradiation of vital organs is caused by incorporated radionuclides. If a cell is damaged, there are four possibilities for the cell. 1.: The cell dies instantaneously. 2.: The functionality of the cell is destroyed. 3. The cell degenerates and cancer occurs. 4.: The cell repairs itself. But this is only possible for adult cells. Cells in embryos have no such repair functions, children cells can't do that either. For them it's all about growing and dividing and only with time, the ability to repair themselves becomes existent. That's one of the crucial factors why children are especially in danger. And this is why all pregnants and all children have to be evacuated from the Fukushima area immediately!

The atomic industry in general is an issue that can't be evaluated properly and finally, because so many economic interests are involved, so much money stands behind it. But what we can judge is that the lobbyists – which include many political and semi-political organizations and their people in charge – are cynically and act upon that attitude. This begins with radiation thresholds. Even in the Ukraine and in Belarus, these limits are lower then here (in Germany).

There is simply no binding independent worldwide authority. At WHO, there is JUST ONE person, who deals with Radiation! But the WHO has nothing to say anyway. When it comes to radiation exposure and its consequences, they are not allowed to say anything. Since a contract was sealed in 1957, it is subordinate to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and therefore supresses all reports about the real dangers of radiation. We have to decry all of this. The IPPNW demands that this agreement is dismissed! Maybe the WHO is able to fulfill its first article: to help all peoples to reach the best-possible health status.

The Foodwatch-report of IPPNW (August 2011, German section) states clearly: The determination of limiting values is, in the last consequnce "a decision about the tolerated amount of causualties”.

© 26.12. 2011, taz (Die Tageszeitung)

English translation by Florian Matthias Zschage,
corrected by Dr. Björn Voss
7th of January 2012


Florian Zschage's entire translation can be downloaded at the following links:
PDF file:
text file:

Video: Fukushima Farmer Doubles Down, Vows to Stay and Grow Crops, Repair Land

Why? Because the Japanese people have overcome many obstacles in the past.

He looks too young to remember the days during the World War II when women and children were trained on downing B-29 high-altitude bombers with bamboo spears, and they truly believed it could be done.

The farmer, Mr. Sugeno, says "Even if children evacuate, adults must stay and repair the land". Problem is that children are not evacuating.

To me, he's trying his utmost best to convince himself, justify what he's been doing and he will do. But here's the video, so that you can make your own judgment:

From Youtube video description: Fukushima, Japan organic farmer Seiji Sugeno turns the tables on documentarian Ed M. Koziarski, challenging him to come out from behind the camera and reveal his own opinion about the nuclear crisis and the future of the farmers who've chosen to stay on their contaminated land near the failed Fukushima, Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

On the other hand, there are farmers like Mr. Tanno , who gave up on growing crops in Fukushima after the accident, and moved to Nagano to grow his highly-praised organic vegetables at the age of 70. Compare his smile selling his first batch of carrot juice with the harsh countenance of Mr. Sugeno in the video above.

(H/T @kiyomizu5 for the video)

(English Translation Part 1) Dörte Siedentopf on Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: "They Haven't Learned Anything from Chernobyl"

(UPDATE: Second part of the translation is posted, translation done by the reader Florian Zschage.)


(H/T to the readers who did the translation and the summary of the original German article on TAZ. Thank you.)

What struck me about the article interviewing Dr. Dörte Siedentopf, other than the negative health effects on the residents, is the following:

  • Damage from the nuclear accident will increase, not decrease, over time;

  • Belarus got highly contaminated because the Soviet government induced artificial rain to fall on Belarus when the radioactive plume threatened Moscow;

  • It took 10 years to resettle the residents, during which time they continued to live in the contaminated areas;

  • When the Soviet system collapsed and the money ran out, Belarus declared the end of the accident, Chernobyl as something to be memorialized in a museum.

Well, Japan is well ahead of Belarus and Russia. They already want to memorialize the Fukushima accident by building a museum, "lest the memory of the accident fades away". It doesn't matter to them if their accident is still on-going.

The following is the German to English translation of the original article "Ärztin mit sozialer Verantwortung: Der heiße Stein" by Viola:


The hot stone

Doctor Dörte Siedentopf organizes recreation stays since 20 years for Chernobyl children. She is bewildered about how to deal with Fukushima. By Gabriele Goettle

Ghost town of Pripyat in the Ukraine: The residents were forever evacuated after the disaster.

Dr. med. Dörte Siedentopf, born in 1942 in Oldenburg, school attendance and high school there, and from 1961 studied medicine in Würzburg, Berlin, Göttingen. 1966 examination, promotion 1968, 1967 marriage, two children, from 1970 in Hesse Dietzenbach own medical practice as a general practitioner and psychotherapy in a group practice. Retired since 2003.

She is (since its foundation in 1981) a member of the IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, doctors in social responsibility). She initiated the installation of "stumbling blocks" in Dietzenbach and founded in the early 90s, the "Circle of Friends Kostjukovitschi e. V. Dietzenbach" that besdides other activities, sends relief shipments to Belarus twice a year, with medical equipment, clothing, bicycles, sewing machines, computers, etc.

Since 20 years, recovery stays in Germany are organized for children of Chernobyl. Hospitable Dietzenbacher families accomodate White Russian children every summer. The Circle of Friends now has many members and many friends in Kostjukovitschi. A number of active helpers for the Circle of friends takes care of everything, even to the collection of monetary and material donations. Since 2009, the 23 Anniversary of Chernobyl, there exists a town twinning. Dr. Siedentopf is married to a physician, both children have studied medicine. Her father was a country doctor, her mother a housewife and a teacher.

Dr. Siedentopf welcomes us into her small rooftop apartment in early December in Berlin Pankow in proximity of a park. Over tea and biscuits, she tells us about her relief activities and experiences.

"The worst thing is that the organizers have nothing learned from Chernobyl. I'm speechless over the handling of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, which is still larger than that of Chernobyl. About the fact that the government's did not increase the evacuation zone accordingly, and women and children have not brought immediately to the south of the country to safety, one can only feel helpless rage. Instead, the population is systematically lied to, they are not at all or misinformed about the real dangers. This is completely irresponsible. What's coming up now to the Japanese - diseases and problems- it's unimagenable. And politics and nuclear industry really put up with everything! Worldwide!

Using the example of Chernobyl, one can see approximately the dimension. Many people think that's a long time ago, that Chernobyl is a bygone disaster that you can read about on Wikipedia. But the people in the radioactively contaminated areas from 1986 to today live with Chernobyl. The consequences do not yield. Unlike natural disasters, they increase with time - and for the next 300 years, at least. I'll say more about that later" (See also the report of the" Society for Radiation Protection "and IPPNW:" The health consequences of Chernobyl, 20 years after the nuclear disaster ", note GG).
People lived for decades in the contaminated area.

"Before, I want to briefly say something about the causes and why we have decided to do relief efforts in Belarus. Most of the contaminated area lies in Belarus. 70 percent of the radioactivity came down on the former Soviet republic of Belarus. A quarter of the land area was contaminated. About 15 kilometers from the reactor,there's the Belarusian border.

And as the wind moved the cloud to Moscow, one has it forced to rain down artificially, with silver iodite. Of course without informing the population. In early May, with wonderful weather, suddenly a sticky, yellow rain came down, people say. One has left the population in the dark for years, there were only resettlements, orders, appeasement. Dosimeters were strictly forbidden.

Particularly affected were the Gomel and Mogilev regions. In Mogilev region there's the town Kostjukovitschi where I've been going to for 20 years. These two areas were contaminated at large area and about a million people had to be resettled, there had to bw built houses in the cities and counties to achieve this. Around Minsk, a huge city has been built. Many people lived ten years in the contaminated areas until they could move into new homes, and many still live on contaminated land and are farming.

Since the demise of the Soviet Union, the Belarusian government has to pay for everything. In 'our' county alone, 8,000 people habe been resettled. 26 villages were demolished and buried. Many villages in the contaminated areas are empty, to some of them came back old people or war veterans returning from Chechnya or Afghanistan, who can not live in the city.

This is comparable to the exclusion zone around Chernobyl. People living in the old villages, no electricity, no tap water, providing themselves as best they can. Everywhere there is sandy soil, as in Berlin - the birch trees go from here to Moscow. The groundwater is very low, ie, when the radioactivity drops 2 inches per year in the sandy soil, then so has now arrived at 50 inches and not far from the groundwater anymore
Half of the budget
There have happened been enormous changes . The costs for Belarus, including the health, were immense. The whole digging works thathave been made in the ten or fifteen years after Chernobyl, the decontamination of the Schoolyards,all the ablation - I don't know where they have brought that. All that was payed by the State of Belarus. I think half of its budget has gone into the elimination of consequences of Chernobyl.

And one day, one could not and would not meet the relatively generous rules from Soviet times any more. That is why President Lukashenko has declared Chernobyl as overcome, as a museum-like event. The formerly contaminated Belarusian areas present no more danger , was officially declared.

Until 20 years after the disaster, there had still existed benefits, there was a so-called coffin money being paid to people who hada status as being liquidators. But as well people who were relocated had a claim. These payments were largely discontinued. It was not much money, but there was free medical care as well, which has now been abolished. And the recognition of certain diseases, as a result of Chernobyl, is no longer taken for granted.

Nearly a million clean-up workers' - mostly young men - were used at Chernobyl and its surroundings. A large part of them came from Belarus. Today, most liquidators are invalid, have lung and thyroid cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diseases of the kidneys, the gastrointestinal area, leukemia and even mental illness. Approximately 100,000 have so far died, aged between 40 and 50 years. Many committed suicide. Though it was simply told that Chernobyl is over. There have been protests in Minsk. And right now, there has been a protest in Kiev again, with a hunger strike by the liquidators, against the stark cuts that the Ukraine as well has made to pensions and benefits.

In the villages costs are low

In Belarus, for example,there was a the free kindergarden for the affected, the school food was free, the children also received special vitamins, and cures -the latter they even get it now, once per year, but otherwise everything was scaled back. as well the vitamin-rich food for the schools and kindergartens. So the identificaton card which they all have, they have shown us, does not account for anything actually. All former claims are deleted.

If you already have very little and are sick as well, then the impact of the cuts and cuts is very high. Right now they have again - as every year - increased the local levies, ie water and heat. And the heat for the city, for the big houses and blocks, which runs in uninsulated pipes on the field during the winter, there's a loss anyway that has to be paid as well. That is why many people prefer to live in the villages, where they can reduce their costs.

The high public debt which restricts and oppresses all people is certainly on one hand caused by Chernobyl, but also by massive mismanagement. There is a hyper-inflation in Belarus, which is currently about 113 percent. The average salary is 150 to 300 euros a month. Working abroad is not allowed.

No opposition is tolerated

The boundaries towards the new EU member states Poland, Latvia, Lithuania are tight for Belarusians. But it's not just the money, the threat of state bankruptcy, there is also a tremendous inability to actually build up any in government at all within 20 years , in democracy. No opposition is tolerated. Yet it comes to protest demonstrations. As against the outrageous decision to build a nuclear plant.

Belarus has no nuclear power plants. But immediately after Fukushima Lukashenko has said he wants to build one now, with Russian help, in Ostrowez, 20 km from the Lithuanian border. The contract has since been sealed by Lukashenko and Putin. It will cost more than 5 billion euros, the NPP is said to be modern and perfectly safe, clean and supply affordable energy and create jobs, all these propaganda stories. As the nuclear industry in East and West is the same.

So this is just a hint to the general conditions. Many things I know from personal experience. It has started this way: We have back then, 1990 - participated in a group trip to Minsk for reconciliation and international understanding - after glasnost and perestroika. The event was organized by a parochial "Working group Peace in Bonn / Bad Godesberg. "

(The Republic of Belarus suffered most from the attack of the German Wehrmacht in the Soviet Union, under the atrocities of military and special operations groups. After three years of occupation, the country was ravaged and plundered, it lost many inhabitants, and almost the entire Jewish population was assassinated. In the vicinity of Minsk, the Germans built the largest death camp on Soviet soil. Note GG)

"That was also interesting for me because my father for many years ... there are letters from Brest. Brest Fortress. There are pictures ... even in the hospital. It was just, what's it called? Army Group Centre, one of the hospitals, which they had there. Letters and pictures ... and as he was so ... Somehow I always thought I have to see this once . We have never talked to him about all these things, of course. And in 1963 he then died, a malignant disease as well. I only know my mother rumored that he once said, 'If we lose the war, then God help us!' "

The children with the scars

Dr. Siedentopf has picked up courage again and goes on:.. "We have looked at everything, the former ghetto as well. And by chance we five doctors from the group have visited a clinic outside of Minsk. There, children recovered that were treated for thyroid cancer. These were the first victims we saw, in a former convalescent home for officers. All the children were pale and with a red scar on the neck.

Only then, we realized that Chernobyl is not over. A doctor then told us that reconciliation and understanding among nations could not really help so much, but that they need real medical help. If we wanted to help, we should go to the provinces, the major hospitals in Minsk were already relatively well supplied. The Frankfurt University Hospital was dedicated there. And we got an address and said we'd considerthis. And soon after two of us went to Kostjukovitschi. It is located about 180 kilometers in a straight line from Chernobyl, in the east of Belarus.

My city Dietzenbach has 35,000 inhabitants, about as many as Kostjukovitschi. We visited the chief doctor there in an old hospital from 1905, it was incredible, barracks, spread on the ground, without anything. He showed us everything, and then we met the pregnant pharmacist Larissa, which is still our reliable contact woman and friend. She showed us the pharmacy, which was also very poorly equipped. There was a lack of dressing material, of expendable items. For children, it was said, there are no suppositories. She couldn't produce itself, because she lacked the crude cocoa butter.

And why you do not have eyes and ear drops? There is no dropper bottle, she said. And since then our project started, first with medical help. It was about the sequelae of Chernobyl, so as to be somewhat helpful. And with these people, the chief physician, the pharmacist and a pediatrician, we actually had a very intensive medical project during ten years.

We have sent for the pharmacy project - or delivered - what was needed as substances. They have it processed there themselves. The children suppositories were then free or very cheaply made. Important assistance was also gynecological preparations, women's suppositories. After ten years, this was no longer possible because the drug allocation was centralized, the pharmacies and retail were outlets only and not allowed to produce anything themselves.

At that early time it had already begun that children were invited to Germany. In 1990 the first children were invited to rest stays in the GDR. They spoke russin and already had contacts. In 1991, it started with us. Our city said they will take over the financing for 50 children from the Chernobyl area for a vacation in the Taunus. But I said, let them take children and families from Kostjukovitschi as well and our families in Dietzenbach should also deal with the issue.

I was about 40 times in Belarus

And it was then made, the city financed it for two or three years and later our 'Friends circle Kostjukovitschi e. V.', who then was founded legally, so the donations we were able to settle properly. Families and children have become friends very quickly despite language difficulties and despite being a stranger. Many of these friendships have survived over the years. To date, more than 900 children and 250 adults were our guests in Dietzenbach . Many friendly return visits have taken place. And since then, I've been in Belarus about 40 times.

From the first year we actually always have collected lacking objects for everyday life in this society of lack - in addition to medical assistance. At first at my practice, then later we got our own rooms. There were sent packets, twice yearly there are shipments by truck, we collected everything, clothes, bicycles, sewing machines, toys, musical instruments, computers, sports equipment, etc. We as well asked there what was needed, an art school wanted a kiln .

A nursing home in a village needed everything: beds, mattresses, bedding, clothes, carpets, furniture, dishes, etc. We were very committed, there were also a furnishings for the doctor's room who came to the village from time to time,deck, appliances. Or for pediatricians, we have sent stethoscopes and ear speculums that were missing, or specula with which one looks into the nose, things like that. Oh yes, we sent small mirrors, with which you look into the larynx, as well . But they were alwaysblind after already one year , and we asked what do they do with them. They were sterilized in the general sterilization and that made them blind. Then we have procured an own small sterilizer , and from there it went good.


The original article goes on to discuss the health effects on the residents in Belarus.

Donation via German Red Cross Used to Build Library, Nursery School for Evacuees in Koriyama City in Fukushima

I'm not really sure that's how German people who donated to the German Red Cross for the disaster relief for the March 11 earthquake/tsunami wanted the money to be spent.

The library and the nursery school are for people evacuated from Kawauchi-mura in a planned evacuation zone to Koriyama City. Koriyama City is in high-radiation "nakadori" (middle third) of Fukushima Prefecture, where pre-schoolers were found with 0.11 millisievert external radiation in one month in November 2011, with the maximum 0.66 millisievert. Certainly not a place where any nursery school should be.

But the donation from Germany was used to build a facility to keep the villagers from Kawauchi-mura in Koriyama City together.

(The photo is the German embassy official Claus Eilrich with Kawauchi-mura's village chief in the tape-cutting ceremony.)

From Kyodo News (1/6/2012):


A facility with the library room and the nursery school opened on January 6 in the temporary housing in Koriyama City in Fukushima Prefecture where the residents from Kawauchi-mura lives after having evacuated from their home after the nuclear accident. The facility was built with the money of about 40 million yen (about 408,000 euro, US$520,000) donated via the German Red Cross.


The village wanted a place where the residents could mix, and the Germany side wanted to provide a support that could symbolize the friendship between Japan and Germany.


The facility is a single-story wooden building of about 265 square meters. It will be managed by the village's Board of Education, and will be used as the nursery school, the tutoring school, and a place for health consultation for the residents. When the villagers go back to Kawauchi-mura, the facility will be dismantled and brought to the village.

The happy result that satisfied both the village people and the German Red Cross was to build a "box" (hakomono in Japanese, a construction project) that will be managed, of all entities, by the Board of Education.

Ever since the nuclear accident started in March 11, 2011, the Board of Education in many cities and prefectures in Japan has done everything in their power to expose children to radiation - having them eat beef and drink milk with radioactive cesium, making them harvest green tea in the rain, making them gargle with green tea, making them clean the yard of dead leaves and sludge, taking them to summer schools in the high radiation areas in northern Kanto.

Of nuclear experts, only Professor Kunihiko Takeda of Chubu University spoke against these school "traditions" mindlessly carried out all over Japan.

The night is deep.

Friday, January 6, 2012

70 Pilot Whales Beached in Nelson, New Zealand

From TVNZ (1/7/2012):

Eighteen of the 25 long-finned pilot whales stranded in Nelson last night have been successfully refloated.

Project Jonah marine mammal medics, Department of Conservation staff and members of the public put the whales back into the water on high tide around 9am.

However, the situation will be monitored to ensure no more whales restrand themselves.

Project Jonah CEO Kimberly Muncaster said whales in a disorientated state can easily restrand.

"The ones that have been refloated are not out of the woods yet, either," said Muncaster. "In their disoriented state they can easily restrand, so Project Jonah medics in the area and locals should remain on high alert for the next few days and keep informed through the Project Jonah website."

The mass stranding of about 70 whales last night followed the refloating of a single stranded whale yesterday.

Despite the efforts of those helping, seven whales died.

Locals can also help by checking their beaches and bays regularly over the next week. Both the refloated whales and the remaining members of their pod may still be in the bay and are at risk of stranding. Any beached whales should be reported to the Department of Conservation as soon as possible to give them the best chance of survival.

107 pilot whales beached in Stewart Island, New Zealand , one day before the February 22, 2011 earthquake (M.6.3).

Mysterious Spike in Cesium Fallout in Fukushima on Jan 2, 2012 (Updated with Chiba Information)

The spike happened one day after the pretty big earthquake (seismic intensity scale 4) on January 1, 2012, which caused the water level of the Skimmer Surge Tank of Reactor 4 to fluctuate unexpectedly.

Only the people on the net paid attention to the data and it was not reported by the MSM. The Ministry of Education and Science issued the result of the fallout measurement, without saying anything as to why these dates (12/27/2011 to date) are being singled out.

This person tweeted the pic with three overlapping charts comparing (from the top): (1) amount of snow on the ground and amount of rain, (2) amount of cesium fallout, and (3) wind speed (average speed in black, maximum speed in blue, and maximum instantaneous speed in red), from December 1, 2011 to January 6, 2012:

The huge spike looks a few sigmas away from the norm, even with the wind speed picking up on January 2, 2012.

On Twitter, people in Tokyo were reporting strange white powder floating in the air several days ago, and people in Ibaraki and Chiba Prefectures were reporting elevated air radiation levels.

No news from the media, and these reports are dismissed by some on Twitter as "hysteria".


Inage District of Chiba City in Chiba Prefecture also had cesium fallout sometime between 12/26/2011 and 1/4/2012, according to the analysis by the Japan Chemical Analysis Center:

Dörte Siedentopf on Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: "They Haven't Learned Anything from Chernobyl"

Dr. Siedentopf says that the Japanese people have been systematically lied to by their own government. The health problems that the Japanese people will face will be tremendous, but the governments and the nuclear industry worldwide turn blind eyes, she says.

The original German article for the readers who read German. I don't know if there's a good English translation. (Any volunteers? German is my third language, not good enough for translation.)

TAZ: Ärztin mit sozialer Verantwortung (12/26/2011)

Yomiuri: "Relatively" High External Radiation Exposure for Children, Pregnant Women in Koriyama City, Fukushima

For the month of November 2011, one pre-schooler in Koriyama City in the high-radiation "Nakadori" region in Fukushima Prefecture was found with 0.66 millisievert of external radiation exposure. The maximum number for the pregnant women was 0.36 millisievert.

On an annualized basis, 7.92 millisieverts from external radiation alone for the particular child, and 4.32 millisieverts for the pregnant woman. The average for the children was 0.11 millisievert, which would be 1.32 millisievert in one year. The average for the pregnant women was 0.10 millisievert, which would be 1.20 millisievert in one year.

Just a friendly reminder: Before the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident, the natural "external" radiation exposure average in Japan was 0.59 millisievert per year.

Another reminder: Koriyama City started fitting the children and pregnant women with glass badges starting November 2011. There is no way of knowing what the radiation exposure may have been in the earlier months.

Yomiuri Shinbun (1/6/2012):


Koriyama City in Fukushima Prefecture announced the result of cumulative radiation exposure in the month of November 2011 for the pre-school children and pregnant women in the city. One child was found with 0.66 millisievert of radiation exposure, which would be 7.92 millisieverts for the annual cumulative exposure, a relatively high figure.


The city says "It is not the level that immediately affect health, but we want to continue to monitor."


The average figure for the pre-schoolers was 0.11 millisievert, and for the pregnant women 0.10 millisievert. The maximum number for the pregnant women was 0.36 millisievert.


The city distributed 16,400 glass badges to children in the city's nursery schools and kindergartens and to people who wanted to be fitted with the badges. The cumulative radiation exposure for the month of November was recorded, and the city collected the badges back from 896 pregnant women and 15,239 pre-schoolers.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

#Fukushima to Test Every Single Bag of Rice This Year (Meaning They Will Definitely Grow Rice in 2012)

If they do it, they should have done in 2011. Damage done.

Who is going to eat Fukushima rice? Probably the same people eating it now, at schools, hospitals, at family restaurants, convenience stores. Oh and the increasingly unpopular prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, who demanded that the Japanese citizens eat Fukushima rice like he did every day.

For people who say "The Fukushima JA didn't ship rice that was found with any amount of radioactive cesium", it's true. The problem is that the Fukushima JA handles only 23% rice grown in Fukushima. (The link is in Japanese.) The rest goes directly from rice farmers to the distributors or to the end customers.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (1/6/2011):


The Fukushima prefectural government has decided to test all bags of rice for radioactive materials for the 2012 rice to be grown and harvested in Fukushima Prefecture with the help from the JA [agricultural producer co-op] and other organizations.


The prefectural government will subsidize the cost when the JA introduces high-precision instruments [to measure radioactive materials]. This is in response to the detection of radioactive cesium in rice exceeding the national provisional safety limit (500 becquerels/kg) in part of the 2011 rice grown in Fukushima.


The prefectural government figured that all bags of rice would need to be tested this fall in order to secure the trust of the consumers. It will encourage the producers and distributors to purchase the instruments.


In testing the 2012 rice, the prefectural government will conduct sampling tests as it did in the 2011 harvest season. In addition, the JA and others will check all the bags of rice at the time of shipment. However, the estimated harvest this fall in Fukushima Prefecture is about 360,000 tonnes in 12 million bags, far exceeding the current capacity of testing (1,200 bags per day). The prefectural government will introduce the instrument that uses conveyer belt to shorten the inspection time. Depending on the performance of the instrument, over 100 such instruments will be needed to test every single bag of rice.

360,000 tonnes of rice. That's slightly more than what was produced in 2011 (353,600 tonnes, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries). So they are all eager to grow as much as they did last year, knowing full well this time that they are growing on highly contaminated soil (except for most but not all of Aizu region).

Before the accident, Fukushima produced about 450,000 tonnes of rice each year as the 4th largest producer of rice behind Hokkaido, Niigata, and Akita. Last year, it dropped in ranking, but it was still the 7th largest producer.

Fuji Electric has a belt-conveyer radiation detection system that it sells for 4.3 million yen, but detection limits are rather high for a speedy 12-second testing (meat 140 becquerels/kg, rice 90 becquerels/kg, leafy vegetables 250 becquerels/kg). The system clearly needs upgrade as the new and improved safety limit for cesium for food will be 100 becquerels/kg starting on the April Fool's Day. (No joke.)

It has been rumored that Shimadzu, the largest analytical instrument company in Japan, is close to introducing the similar product with higher precision and probably costing a whole lot more.

But they will only measure radioactive cesium (134, 137) and nothing else. The government is absolutely silent on radioactive strontium (which has a much higher transfer coefficient than radioactive cesium) or other nuclides that fell on the farm soil in Tohoku and Kanto regions.

Everything done in Fukushima for the sake of "recovery and reconstruction" is paid by the national government, but the national government is broke and it bills TEPCO. TEPCO runs out of money and asks the national government for money to pay for the bills that the national government gives them. The national government gives TEPCO the money, and collect the money by raising taxes for all citizens.

And the citizens get to eat safe Fukushima rice as a reward for supposedly helping Fukushima people.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Japan to Stop Using SPEEDI to Decide Whether to Instruct Residents to Take Potassium Iodide Pills

Instead, the decision will be made using the air radiation levels and the water levels inside the nuclear reactors.

In other words, when (if) they do distribute the pills to citizens who may be affected by a nuclear accident, it may be too late. If the last year is any indication, such data will be released several weeks to several months after a nuclear accident happens.

As to the water levels inside the reactors, it's a joke. TEPCO and NISA insisted there was water inside the Reactor Pressure Vessels until mid May.

But no matter, that's what the Nuclear Safety Commission under Dr. Haruki "Detarame" Madarame has decided and is duly reported by NHK.

NHK conveniently omits the now-known fact that the SPEEDI simulation data was there from the beginning. The politicians and the bureaucrats, in their petty turf war, couldn't make any use of it. They even had three sets of simulation from three different entities - the Ministry of Education, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and TEPCO, from the beginning of the accident. Everyone decided to drop the ball all at once.

How did they manage to do that? Asahi Shinbun's "Trap of Prometeus" has an excellent coverage on that (part 1 here, part 2 here).

From NHK News (1/4/2012):


In the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, the system to forecast the dispersion of radioactive materials didn't function, causing the confusion as to what to do with the potassium iodide pills to avoid radiation exposure in the thyroid. So the Nuclear Safety Commission has decided not to use the system any more to instruct residents to take the pills; instead, the air radiation levels and other indicators will be used.


In a nuclear accident, in order to decide whether to take potassium iodide pills to prevent thyroid irradiation, the national government is to use the data from the simulation system to forecast the dispersion of radioactive materials, called SPEEDI, and to instruct the residents.


However, in the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, this system did not function and the national government and the Fukushima prefectural government did not make a decision [on whether to instruct residents to take the pills], causing confusion in the municipalities affected on what to do with the potassium iodide pills. The working group at the Nuclear Safety Commission has determined that it is doubtful that SPEEDI data will be used for a quick response in the future and therefore the SPEEDI system won't be used in determining the need for the administration of the pills.


Instead, the Commission is considering using the data such as the air radiation levels and the water level in the reactor. Further, the levels to instruct the residents to take the pill will be revised based on the prevailing international standards. For 1 year-old, it will be an equivalent dose of 50 millisieverts at the thyroid, which is half of the current level. The working group will further consider the numbers and will make a suggestion to the government by March.

WHO's standard for 1-year old is 10 millisieverts.

(I sent a tweet to NHK Kabun (culture and science), telling them the article is false about SPEEDI. I was surprised when NHK Kabun marked my tweet as "favorite".)

Speaking of potassium iodide, there are tweets from the residents in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture that they just received an envelope from the city that contained potassium iodide pills. They are wondering why, and wondering if Reactor 4 is as safe as TEPCO has said after the water level decrease in the Skimmer Surge Tank.

Guest Post: "I Cannot Talk About Radiation With Anyone"

(UPDATE: I have her original Japanese writing in my Japanese blog, here. Share it with your Japanese friends.)


A reality in Japan from one of my Japanese blog readers.

From what I hear and read, she is not alone at all, and she doesn't even live in Fukushima. More she tries to do to protect people she cares - family, friends - people think she's crazy.

She may not be eloquent or sophisticated as Ms. Numauchi, but she is just as sincere in her fear and courage (though she says she's not courageous).

From the reader "Nectarina", from her original Japanese writing sent to me:


I am a housewife living in Aichi Prefecture with my husband. I was born in Shikoku. My life completely changed in 2011. Before the nuclear plant accident, I enjoyed my hobby (crafts) and taking a walk on the beach. But after March 11, I don't feel like doing any of that, because I am afraid. How long can I remain healthy? Will something happen again tomorrow?

What's been sad about the nuclear accident, radiation:

My husband, whom I shared the same values and whom I trusted, has changed. When I try to talk to him about the nuclear plant accident, the color leaves his face and he becomes angry. When we had a big fight, I asked him why. He said "I don't want to know. If I knew I wouldn't be able to work". My husband puts a lot of energy in his work, so I suppose he wouldn't be able to cope. So, even when I learn about some horrible news I cannot tell my husband. I deal with it by crying when I'm alone.

My husband resents it when I try to store safe food items like old rice. He thinks anything that's being sold in the marketplace is safe, and thinks I'm crazy. Because I don't want to argue with him, I use my savings to buy food when there is not enough money for [safe] food. 

My husband approves of the wide-area disposal of contaminated debris. His reason is that the disaster-affected areas alone cannot dispose all of the debris. It doesn't occur to him that the debris may be contaminated with radiation. I believe he's wrong, and I cry the tears of misery.
He doesn't care about food or drinks, and doesn't appreciate my effort to make sure of the safety of the food I buy.
My mother back in Shikoku doesn't understand at all when I tell her about the danger of radiation-contaminated food. She says I'm too nervous and it's too tiresome. She believes TV more than me, her daughter, and thinks I've gone crazy.

I have a friend in Fukushima. I told him a number of times to leave Fukushima, but was dismissed. He is still young, single and healthy, and able to move anywhere, but he says he doesn't want to leave his home and his family. We have become distant as the result, as I don't know what to say to him any more, who is like a total stranger now.
And My sister. She's been married for 5 years, and she became pregnant before the nuclear plant accident. During her pregnancy I wanted to tell her to be careful with food and to wear a mask. But my sister didn't care at all about the nuke accident, and I feared that by telling the truth she might be shocked and that might affect her baby. So I couldn't say a word. I felt I was a coward not telling the truth. But I bought a teddy bear as a present for the new baby. I prayed every day to the teddy bear to protect the baby.
But 7th month into the pregnancy, the baby suddenly stopped moving. The baby was dead, and had to be aborted. It was a late child-bearing, so I know it's not necessarily because of the radiation. But I think it's wrong if you cannot bear a child safely.
Afterwords, my sister told me that she had recovered and was now back to work. I thought the future was more important than the past, and plucked up my courage and told her to be careful with food she ate. My sister hasn't contacted me since. Just like my mother, she must have thought I was crazy. Or she was shocked. I failed to make her understand, but I'm not regretting that I told her. 
What's been good:
No family member nor friend understood me, I was alone. With horrible news, I was crying by myself every day in the early days of the accident. But in a blog that I often visited for my hobby, there was one person who was writing articles on the nuclear plant accident. I left comments to the articles and emailed that person, and soon we hit it off together. With that person and that person's friend, three of us started an anti-nuke plant blog. My first friends after the plant accident.

On their recommendation, I started using Twitter, where I met several more kindred spirits. On further recommendation I started using "mixi" (a social site), where I found more friends. Now, I'm active in anti-nuke plant movements. To have met with the like-minded people via the Internet is the happiest thing for me.
What is scary:

All my life, I have believed that Japan is a safe, and good country. I am very shocked that it was nothing but an illusion. [The government] is hiding and lying about the situation of the nuclear plant accident, in collusion with TEPCO and the media. There are many people who could have avoided radiation exposure if the government had warned the danger right away. Children and pregnant women still live in the high-radiation contamination areas in Fukushima Prefecture.
The government wants to spread the radioactive debris from the disaster-affected areas all over Japan. Most municipal officials don't have knowledge of radioactivity. The government is trying to coerce people into accepting the debris with words like "share the pain".
Food is distributed throughout the country with hardly any testing for radiation. With the high numbers set for the safety limits, the [contaminated] food is used in school lunches. When I try to pick food by the place of origin, it is often disguised. I'm scared to go shopping, for I don't even know what's safe to eat.

I am not courageous, I don't have an ability to take action, and I'm not smart. But for the sake of my sister and her unborn baby, I want to "return a blow" to the government and TEPCO. No matter how small a blow it may be.

To people outside Japan:

Radiation from Japan has contaminated the ocean and the countries around the world. The Japanese who know this are very much shocked. We have done the tremendous damage that cannot be undone. I am truly, very sorry.


I ask my readers please to support Japanese people like her and Ms. Numauchi in your hearts.

Emiko Numauchi of Minami Soma, aka "Numayu", Speaks Up, May Testify in the Japan's Diet About Her Health Problems

(UPDATE: In her later post, she says she's receiving taunts and threats again in great numbers, with one of them purportedly from a man living in the same city telling her to leave because she is a disgrace to Minami Soma City. This is so World War II era.)


In her post on 1/5/2012, "Numayu" says her name is Emiko Numauchi, and that she has decided to do an interview with the independent journalist Yasumi Iwakami showing her face to the camera. And it looks she may be giving testimony in the Diet.

She has decided to speak out publicly, no matter what may be coming her way from the government or the detractors.

For her health conditions after the March 11 nuclear accident, see my post on January 2.

The photo is from her Facebook page, when she was still healthy, in the summer of 2011.

From her blog entry on 1/5/2011:

Just now, I spoke with the "true journalist", named Iwakami, on the phone. I realized how "stupid" I had been.

No more "polite" form of speech. I will write in the "regular" speech. Use a search engine [she recommends Yahoo!] for "Emiko Numauchi 沼内 恵美子", and that is me.

It's been six years when I published a novel about "the truth in the battle of Okinawa".

I was overwhelmed by Iwakami's enthusiasm. It seems there are already many cases of mysterious illnesses in Fukushima Prefecture. I am a "living witness", and only a herald to what is to come.

Already, a cat with only one eye has been born.

No matter what the Japanese government may do, no matter what kind of slander it may throw against me, it is important to keep spreading the information. That's what I've learned from the journalist Iwakami.

As the human "life" and "dignity" gets hidden, I hear that malformed babies are born already. The situation in Fukushima Prefecture is getting more dire, with control of speech [or media blackout] as a matter of fact. Without the phone call from Iwakami, I would have simply stopped blogging even though I remain angry.

I made an appointment [with Iwakami] for an interview, with my face shown on camera. I will not speak in an elaborate or circumspect way any more. It will be to the benefit of all Japanese citizens if he shows me as I am.

All the members of the Diet should be replaced. Not the snap election but "replacing the members" is indispensable.

We don't need a cabinet and members of the Diet that are rotten and stink.

In the Diet, I want to tell them how it really is, as a witness. I want to show them the "true soul" of the Japanese people.

Emiko Numauchi

Ms. Numauchi has two books published, searching in

#Radiation in Japan: It's All How You Define Radiation, and Koriyama Defines it "Out"

It is just a matter of how you define the problem, and Koriyama City in Fukushima Prefecture, in the high-radiation "Nakadori" region, has decided to "define out" the problem by drawing the radiation contour map of the city with a new set of color schemes so that people will feel "safe and secure" looking at such "low" radiation levels.

After all, the nuclear accident is "over", remember?

The map used to have 1.49 microsievert/hour as maximum, in red color. Now, in the new version of the map that accompanies the Koriyama City's official decon plan, 45 microsieverts/hour is the maximum in red color. 1.5 microsievert/hour area is now in a calming, safe-looking extremely light blue.

Would the residents of Koriyama fall for this trick? Probably yes.

The map from the "Koriyama City Renewal Decontamination Plan version 1" issued in December 2011 (page 5):

And here's the map in August, showing maximum 1.49 microsievert/hour area in red:

(H/T @chicksmbox)

Video of Birds That Don't Fly, in June 2011 Somewhere in Fukushima

A video posted by a resident somewhere in Fukushima Prefecture in June last year shows two birds in his/her front garden unable or unwilling to fly even when approached by a human.

The video was uploaded by MAYODORA in June 2011; it was posted at GeorgeBowWow's blog on December 23, 2011 (his blog is in Japanese only). GeorgeBowWow thinks the birds may be affected by radiation. The bird (bulbul) in the beginning of the video dropped from the persimmon tree, MAYODORA writes in the Youtube description of the video. MAYODORA says he/she measured radiation on the bird with his/her survey meterand it was rather high.

No information as to what happened to those birds afterwards.

Clearly the comment section of the video on Youtube was trashed, and commenting has been disabled.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

OT: GOP Iowa Caucus Is 3-Way Dead Heat

(UPDATE: It looks MSMs and TPTB did their job. Iowa is a virtual tie between Santorum (Santorum?) and Romney. Paul 3rd. Let's see if they still say Iowa doesn't matter.)


among Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, 23% each with 22% reporting. (CNN)

Much like NHK reporting in the middle of the DPJ leader election in Japan saying the supporters of one candidate would throw their 2nd-round votes to the candidate who eventually won, when there was no such plan, and possibly affecting the people who were undecided, Politico may have done the similar thing in Iowa, saying the last poll before the election showed Rick Santorum in 2nd, way ahead of Ron Paul when in fact it was the other way round.

From Economic Policy Journal (1/3/2012):

HOT: "Error" on Poll Results Put Santorum Ahead of Ron Paul

Run Ron Paul reports:

With just days remaining until the all-important Republican Iowa caucuses, a left-leaning political newspaper based near the nation’s capital made a critical error in reporting the results of the final Des Moines Register opinion poll before voters gather Tuesday.

On Saturday evening Politico incorrectly reported that the poll showed former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum “climbing to second [place] at 21 percent and Ron Paul in third, with 18 percent.” In fact, Paul took second place with 22 percent of the vote. Santorum was third with 15 percent.

The faulty report was issued via email as a “Politico Breaking News” alert. Politico sent a second email shortly afterward with the correct poll results, stipulating that “[t]his breaking news alert corrects a previous breaking news alert...Phone messages left for four top Politico editors were not returned. A fifth, reached by phone, would not speak on the record but promised a return call from someone who would. No such call was received.

They will continue to do anything to thwart the one and only "unelectable" candidate.

They Will Grow Rice Again This Year in Fukushima

I could almost hear the words: "This time, it will be different!"

Up to, say summer last year, the farmers could have been excused for the lack of information given to them (for those who relied on the government information to be handed to them). But now nearly 10 months after the accident and the radioactive contamination in Fukushima Prefecture cannot be hidden any more (except to most of the residents who have remained, apparently) and some rice farmers are suing TEPCO for the damage, if they grow rice again in Fukushima this year hoping theirs will be cesium-free but knowing full well that they may not be, what do you call it?

Then again, doing what the government tells you to do has been the mode of operation in Japan for such a long time, and the farmers may not see any need to change it now.

First, Yomiuri Shinbun (1/4/2012):


Regarding the rice harvested in part of Fukushima that was found with radioactive cesium exceeding the national provisional safety limit (500 becquerels/kg), the Fukushima prefectural government has decided to instruct farmers to give more potassium fertilizer when they plant rice for 2012.


According to the prefectural government, potassium fertilizer works to limit the uptake of radioactive cesium by the rice plant.


In Fukushima Prefecture, the rice grown in 31 farms in 9 districts in Fukushima City, Date City and Nihonmatsu City have been found with radioactive cesium exceeding the provisional limit. The prefecture and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries surveyed the rice paddies and found that the higher the level of radioactive cesium in rice, the lower the potassium level in the soil.


According to Yoichiro Omomo (environmental radiation biology), advisor to the Institute for Environmental Sciences (in Rokkasho-mura, Aomori Prefecture), potassium is one of the three major nutrients of the plants with the other two being nitrogen and phosphorus, and is more easily absorbed by the plants than cesium which is chemically similar. In the soil that is deficient of potassium, it is easy for the plants to absorb cesium.

Omomo is the former chairman of the Institute, and continues to serve as advisor.

Never mind that the problem is not the lack of potassium but the overabundance of radioactive cesium (and strontium most likely). Yomiuri is quiet on the density of radioactive cesium and other nuclides in the soil where radioactive rice was grown and harvested.

So the Fukushima prefectural government and the Fukushima rice farmers are eager to grow rice again this year, hoping that excess potassium will block cesium. If it doesn't, oh well just do what they did last year - sell it to the government to get money.

Asahi Shinbun also reports that the Ministry of Agriculture is very much willing to let the Fukushima rice farmers continue to grow rice. Read between the lines.

From Asahi Shinbun (12/27/2011):


The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries published the policy on regulating the cultivation of rice next year [2012] following the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. The Ministry will ban the cultivation of rice in the areas where radioactive cesium exceeding 500 becquerels/kg was found in the rice harvested this year [2011]. The Ministry is also considering banning the cultivation in the areas where radioactive cesium exceeding 100 becquerels/kg was found in the rice.


It is because the new radiation standard for food starting April 2012 will be 100 becquerels/kg [of radioactive cesium] for rice, while the current provisional limit is 500 becquerels/kg.


So far, 8 districts including Onami District in Fukushima City had rice that exceeded 500 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium and the shipment of the rice was halted. The farmers in these districts will be banned from planting rice in 2012.


In addition, as to the areas where radioactive cesium in rice exceeded 100 becquerels/kg, the Ministry will decide after reviewing the result of the emergency survey that was conducted by the Fukushima prefectural government on 25000 farms in 29 municipalities. Rice with high cesium and rice with low cesium coexist in the same district, and a careful consideration is needed to decide whether to ban the cultivation in the entire district when a test in one location exceeds 100 becquerels/kg. The decision is to be made in March 2012.


This year, the government considered the transfer rate of radioactive materials that fell on the rice paddies, and decided to ban the rice cultivation in the districts with rice paddies whose soil tested 5000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium. Based on the soil tests, the rice cultivation was banned in the areas inside the 20-kilometer radius from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and the surrounding "planned evacuation zone" and "evacuation-ready zone".

The transfer coefficient that the national government picked is 0.1, which had no scientific basis. From the past data, scientists were saying the coefficient was more like 0.01 or less. The government picked the number ten times that, to be on the safe side. That was a political decision, not scientific. Then, the Asahi article says that the soil tests, which were sporadic at best, found that the areas inside 20-kilometer radius were unsuitable, and "planned evacuation zone" like Iitate-mura, but nowhere else.

As to banning the cultivation in the areas that had rice with 100 becquerels/kg and above, it is pointless because there are so many farms that they didn't test in the main survey they did in September and October, whose result was announced with great fanfare. At that time, 2 farms per old municipality were tested, one bag each. The areas that were supposed to be "clean" may not be, simply because they were not even tested.

Nowhere in the Asahi article does it say that the Ministry or the prefecture will conduct the soil sample tests throughout the prefecture. That would cost too much for them.

The Fukushima prefectural government is negotiating with the Ministry, saying the Ministry should buy up all the rice from the district if the rice from one farm exceeds 100 becquerels/kg.

In order to plant rice in spring, farmers turn over the soil in fall. It's already been done, further mixing the radioactive materials in the rice paddies. They will do so again in spring.

I tweeted the Yomiuri article above to my Japanese readers. Someone commented, "Oh you must be careful when you talk about Fukushima and people in Fukushima, because their feeling is hurt." How about the health of consumers who have been eating untested Fukushima rice?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Report from Fukushima (2) Minami Soma: A Woman Speaks Out on Her Health Problems in Post-Accident Fukushima

(UPDATE 1/4/2011: Her name is Emiko Numauchi, and she says she will do on-camera interview with Yasumi Iwakami (independent journalist). It looks like she may testify in the Diet, also. See my latest post.)


Teeth and toenails falling off and clumps of hair coming off, she reports in her blog. She doesn't seem to care any more if people dismiss her as fabricating the story, and just tells as a matter of fact what's been happening to her and her husband, probably both in their early 40s. They live in Minami Soma City in Fukushima Prefecture, within 25 kilometers from the wrecked plant. The district she and husband live have somehow escaped the designation of any "evacuation zone", even though she says the radiation is just as high or higher. She was a high school teacher until 2 years ago, and now she teaches children at her home.

My Japanese blog readers sent me the link to her blog some time ago. I read the posts, researched the response to her blog from people I trust on the net. I have little reason to doubt this is a fake, she sounds sincere, though it is my personal judgment and I could be wrong.

There are many who have attacked her as rumor- and fear-mongering, to which she responds "Look at the reality. Study physics and think for yourselves. No point in getting emotional and wasting time."

She isn't claiming her conditions is due to the radiation exposure since the accident. She just describes her conditions and asks for rational explanations for the conditions, which haven't been forthcoming, as you can see in the very first post linked and translated below.

Well, all spring and summer last year, nosebleed, diarhhea and bruises were "baseless rumors". Meltdown was a baseless rumor, radiation contamination was a baseless rumor.

The following passages are from her blog, "Numayu no blog":

From the entry on 1/2/2012:

Went to see the dentist on duty for the holidays, as I just couldn't stand the pain of my "dens caninus" tooth which was all exposed to the nerve.

However, no matter how I explained to the dentist, he kept insisting that it would never go bad like this in such a short period of time (3 months).

When I told him that my dental treatment had been completed before March 11, he didn't believe it. He just said "It's not possible".

He said this could only happen if one didn't brush one's teeth for 2 to 3 years.

I simply lost interest in trying to explain. My husband was there, and he tried to tell him, but he shut up when the doctor said "I only accept objective data."

Until this summer, my teeth were healthy. My teeth were sturdy. Until this summer.

From the entry on 12/31/2011, on her friend's hair:

A very good friend of mine since high school just dropped by to say hello. We occasionally talked over the phone about my head (balding and hair falling off) and her condition. She's 42 years old.

She came wearing a wig. When she took it out, I had no words to say.

She evacuated [after the accident] to the inland area near the Fukushima-Miyagi border. But when the reactors were exploding and when the vent was being done, she was right near by [in Minami Soma].

With her permission, I'm sharing these sad photos.

She and I both started to lose hair in large quantities starting October. This is the head of a healthy, 42-year-old woman. She is quite active, and she works.

Can you believe it? In 3 months she has lost so much hair. Now you understand why I wanted to cut my hair short to 3 centimeters long. Right now, I have more hair than her, but if I had kept it long I would have lost much more hair.

When I saw her in October, she had her own hair in a bun.

What is it that's happening?

From the entry on 12/27/2011:

I went to see my doctor. The severe pain in the jaw is back, and it hurts like mad. My entire face below the nose hurts.

The doctor gave me two kinds of pain killer this time. Now I'm better.

He also drew blood for testing. We can't even begin to guess what it is, until we have the data.

My doctor is appalled at what has happened to me in the last month - my teeth, thinning hair, bleeding that doesn't stop, severe pain in the jaw, fingernails dropping off. He said, "It's just unbelievable".

Anyway, we will wait for the result of the blood test.

I said to him, "I have a wig, so it will be OK". Then he replied, "Yes, and you can have full dentures!"

Both my doctor and I are positive. So is my dentist. I'll never give up hope and live positively. I am living and learning, and remain positive.

From the entry on 12/20/2011, responding to one of the trolls on her blog:

Just now, there was a comment from someone claiming to be a doctor in Minami Soma City, who said "There is no one with the condition like that". There was no link to that person's blog.

If he/she is really a doctor, he/she would neither confirm or deny.

Do you want to see the photo?

Treatment of the cavities was done by March 11. There was nothing wrong with my gum and my teeth. Just a normal set of teeth. But now it's like this.

Two front teeth are both artificial "ceramic". So are the white teeth in the back. But for the other tooth... Treatment just cannot keep up. My dentist managed to keep the roots to plant a post [for implants, probably].

And do you still say "there is no negative effect on heath"? People in the Japanese government, please give me a "logical" answer.

The photo is rather shocking. You can view it in her post here.

From the entry on 12/17/2011, about her hair and toenails:

It was really bad yesterday. I felt dizzy standing or sitting. Well it's the same today too.

Last night, I tried loosening up my hair with my fingers after shampooing. The hair came out in clumps. I was shocked.

I cut my hair short about 2 weeks ago, for I wanted to stop the hair loss. I wear a wig (long hair) when I go out. There is not much forelock either. I can clearly see the hairline. In 9 months I lost so much hair.

Something felt wrong on my feet after the bath, so I took a look at the nails. In almost all toenails part of the nails was missing. When I tried to cut the nails using a nail clipper, I couldn't believe my eyes. Toenails on the second toes of both feet were coming off. When I touched them, they did come off.

Went to the dentist today. The receptionist looked dead tired. She was such an energetic person. She was barely able to speak. Children are not cheerful. They are not as playful as before.

The Japanese government announced "a cold shutdown 'state'". There is no such word. It's "a cold shutdown" or not. It is just a sly sophistry from liberal arts graduates.

Ouch. She clearly teaches science or math.

Her blog contains more information than just health issues. In fact, health issues are minor compared to the other topics like radiation contamination in Fukushima, what happened in Minami Soma in the early days of the accident, what is happening in Fukushima right now among evacuees, etc. She writes in a very intelligent and feminine way.

She also worries about her husband who tires very easily these days; the soles of his feet remain numb. She says he was outside within 3.5 kilometers from the plant when the accident happened (that's where he worked) and he has been made to go to the company's office inside 3.5 kilometers multiple times to retrieve some documents since the accident. He is now working in Koriyama City, where the air radiation level is three times that of Minami Soma, she says.

I think I will pick out several more of her posts later.

Reality Inside #Fukushima I Nuke Plant (2): 10% of Workers Are Yakuza-Sourced

And all pretend to see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing.

This is the second part of the talk given by Tomohiko Suzuki, journalist who managed to work inside Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant as a temporary worker, at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan on December 15, 2011. For the first part and a bit more about Mr. Suzuki, go to my previous post here.

From BLOGOS Part 1 and BLOGOS Part 2:

About "Fukushima 50":


There are workers and employees [of TEPCO] who became famous world-wide as "Fukushima 50". They are to be praised for having continued working at the plant after the hydrogen explosions trying to contain the accident. But I was told by a researcher at a certain manufacturing company that to work at Fukushima I Nuke Plant at this stage [summer of 2011?] is the same as "to be prepared to die". The crisis situation hasn't changed.


Right after the accident, TEPCO ordered [the first-tier affiliate] companies to gather workers who wouldn't be missed if they died [or who were willing to die]. At that time, no "radioactivity control pocketbook" was needed to enter the plant. There was no health check. In fact, it was a panic situation.

TEPCO's effort to cover their behind:


But TEPCO has been demanding the subcontractors since last month [November 2011] that they submit the name lists of workers [in March and April] together with the results of health checkups. Some workers have already quit, and there is no accurate data on who went to the plant in the [chaotic] situation. There is no point in submitting the result of the health checkups done in order to work in March and April 2011.


So what happens? The subcontractors cannot say to TEPCO that it is impossible to comply with the request. Instead, they will ask workers to "voluntarily" submit the fake health checkup result or close to it. When that's discovered by the media, the subcontractors will say "We didn't order them to fake it" and fire the workers. In almost all aspects of a nuclear power plant operation, that sort of things happens daily.

Yakuza Outsourcing:


In that environment, the yakuza comes in as nuke plant workers. Even before the accident, the yakuza is part of the nuclear plant community. If you ask TEPCO they will say they don't know anything about it. When it becomes a problem, TEPCO will blame subcontractors, and cut them off like a lizard's casting off of its tail to escape.


I know only one confirmed yakuza at the [Fukushima] plant. But the yakuza is on the side of procuring workers rather than actually working at the plant. There are many workers who didn't know they got there with the yakuza acting as go-between.


This cannot be presented as evidence, but the cars owned by a certain [yakuza] organization have been upgraded to better and better cars, and it's been rumored that the organization [has been involved in procuring workers for Fukushima I Nuke Plant]. About 10 percent of the workers are from the companies with ties to the yakuza. If you look up the company register you would know right away, because it would list the names of the members [of a particular yakuza organization] as corporate officers.

Plausible deniability. If you don't know it, or don't officially acknowledge it, you are not responsible. It is in the Japanese DNA. It permeates the political, the corporate, and the social lives in Japan. It works wonderfully in peacetime, when everyone sort of looks the other way when some inconvenience happens and pretends he/she doesn't see. When a disaster stares them in their faces, many still cannot see it, thanks to the training it has gotten throughout the history.

Hopefully that is slowly changing, as the Internet and social media (particularly Twitter in Japan) have helped crack the heads of enough people who are starting to wake up.

But "hope" has been a dirty word for the past few years.

Yomiuri: The Government Knew It Would Be 170-Km Radius Forced Evacuation if Fukushima Had Another Explosion

Old news that Yomiuri Shinbun snuck in on December 31, 2011 says it would have been a forced evacuation in the areas within the 170-kilometer radius from the plant if another hydrogen explosion had taken place at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.

It was in the report submitted by the Japan Atomic Energy Commission under the Cabinet Office on March 25, 2011. And what did the PM and his ministers do? They sat on it, lest the information might cause panic.

The explosion didn't happen. Is it OK therefore? No. A tiny group of politicians and government experts gambled the lives of people living in the entire Tohoku and Kanto areas in exchange for appearing as if they were in control and the situation was under control. They weren't, and it wasn't'.

But at that time, there was a full-on media campaign to discredit any and everyone in any country who dare reported things were not going well in Japan on the Fukushima accident. The Japanese government particularly attacked the foreign press, alleging the foreigners were spreading "baseless rumors" on the accident.

(Ah, those bad old days, when the first trolls started to appear on my little blog telling me I was lying about the accident and radiation contamination.)

From Yomiuri Shinbun (12/31/2011):


It has been revealed that the Japan Atomic Energy Commission under the Cabinet Office compiled a report titled "A rough sketch (outline) of an unforseen accident scenario at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant" right after the accident started in March 2011, and submitted the report on March 25, two weeks after the start of the accident, to the then-prime minister Kan.


According to the report, if another explosion, such as hydrogen explosion, happened, the worst-case scenario would require: (1) forcibly moving the residents within the 170-kilometer radius areas; (2) evacuation within the 250-kilometer radius. The 170-kilometer radius would include southern Tohoku, part of Niigata Prefecture and part of northern Kanto. The 250-kilometer radius would include most of Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture, and part of Yokohama City.


Based on the report, the government ordered the anti-seismic reinforcement work in Reactor 4, where a meltdown of the nuclear fuel was most feared, and the worst-case scenario was averted. The government source says, "Even if the worst-case scenario had come to pass, we would have ample time to evacuate people. So, in order to avoid panic among citizens we didn't make the report public."

Looking at the Atomic Energy Commission's website, the report hasn't been disclosed to the public. Probably never will be.

Just like in the full-on global banking and financial crisis that finally hit in 2008 fall, no one with good connection with TPTB has gone to jail over the accident, and probably never will.

The Hayakawa map (version 5) below gives you an idea of the areas that would have had to be evacuated. The faint, outer-most ring is 250 kilometer, and the area includes almost all of Tokyo and Saitama, 3/4 of Chiba, tiny part of Nagano, almost all of Niigata, all of Yamagata and Miyagi, half of Iwate and Akita.