Monthly Archives: September 2015

Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees promised 2017 return but ‘ineffective’ clear-up may take 200 years

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/fukushima-nuclear-disaster-evacuees-promised-6307229

Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees promised 2017 return but ‘ineffective’ clear-up may take 200 years

In an abandoned village where 15,839 people used to live, an unnerving silence prevails.

The families have gone, their cars have been left to rust, and house roof tiles lie shattered on the pavement.

Something terrible has taken place.

Even though the power lines are still down above the deserted streets, a newly installed LED screen over the main road flashes up numbers: 3.741, 3.688, 3.551.

They are radioactivity readings measured in microsieverts per hour, taken from Geiger counters in the ground below.

The normal safe level of background radiation in the air for humans to live in is 0.2 microsieverts. Here in Tomioka, in the shadow of the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, radiation is 19 times that.

Recent photographs purporting to show mutant daisies near the plant went viral on Twitter. No wonder people are not coming back.

In March 2011, the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl left the world fearing the extent of the fallout.

Japan’s 43 other reactors were shut down after the meltdown and remained dormant until earlier this month, when Japan restarted its nuclear power programme by turning on a reactor at its Sendai plant in northwest Japan.

But just last week, London-based radioactivity expert Dr Ian Fairlie claimed that while 2,000 people have already died from the effects of evacuation and suicide, another 5,000 could develop cancer after exposure to radiation.

see link for full article

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A Tale of Two Forests: Addressing Postnuclear Radiation at Chernobyl and Fukushima

http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/121-a78/

A Tale of Two Forests: Addressing Postnuclear Radiation at Chernobyl and Fukushima

Winifred A. Bird and Jane Braxton Little

Winifred A. Bird is a freelance journalist living in Nagano, Japan. Her work has appeared in the Japan Times, Science, Yale Environment 360, Dwell, and other publications.

Jane Braxton Little writes about science and natural resource issues from California’s Sierra Nevada. Her work has appeared inScientific American, American Forests, the Los Angeles Times, and Audubon, where she is a contributing editor.

A grant from the Society of Environmental Journalists covered the authors’ travel costs.

To report this story, Jane Braxton Little traveled to Chernobyl, and Winifred A. Bird made numerous trips to the Fukushima area. For Little, whose Harvard MA is in Japanese cultural history, it was the Fukushima accident that sparked her interest in how radiation affects ecosystems and led to her first visit to Ukraine. Bird has been living in Japan and writing about natural resource issues since 2005; in July 2011 she reported for EHP on chemical contamination following the Tohoku tsunami and earthquake. Seeing the effects of the accidents firsthand and interviewing residents and cleanup workers on the ground deepened the partners’ understanding of the management issues and the underlying science.

Cost and Effectiveness of Decontamination Strategies in Radiation Contaminated Areas in Fukushima in Regard to External Radiation Dose

http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0075308&representation=PDF

Cost and Effectiveness of Decontamination Strategies in Radiation Contaminated Areas in Fukushima in Regard to External Radiation Dose Tetsuo Yasutaka1 , Wataru Naito2*, Junko Nakanishi3 1 National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Institute for Geo-Resources and Environment (GREEN), Higashi, Tsukuba, Japan, 2 National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Research Institute of Science for Safety and Sustainability (RISS), Onogawa, Tsukuba, Japan, 3 National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), AIST Fellow, Higashi, Tsukuba, Japan

Abstract The objective of the present study is to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of decontamination strategies in the special decontamination areas in Fukushima in regard to external radiation dose. A geographical information system (GIS) was used to relate the predicted external dose in the affected areas to the number of potential inhabitants and the land use in the areas. A comprehensive review of the costs of various decontamination methods was conducted as part of the analysis. The results indicate that aerial decontamination in the special decontamination areas in Fukushima would be effective for reducing the air dose rate to the target level in a short period of time in some but not all of the areas. In a standard scenario, analysis of cost and effectiveness suggests that decontamination costs for agricultural areas account for approximately 80% of the total decontamination cost, of which approximately 60% is associated with storage. In addition, the costs of decontamination per person per unit area are estimated to vary greatly. Appropriate selection of decontamination methods may significantly decrease decontamination costs, allowing more meaningful decontamination in terms of the limited budget. Our analysis can help in examining the prioritization of decontamination areas from the viewpoints of cost and effectiveness in reducing the external dose. Decontamination strategies should be determined according to air dose rates and future land-use plans. Citation: Yasutaka T, Naito W, Nakanishi J (2013) Cost and Effectiveness of Decontamination Strategies in Radiation Contaminated Areas in Fukushima in Regard to External Radiation Dose. PLoS ONE 8(9): e75308. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075308 Editor: Eshel Ben-Jacob, Tel Aviv University, Israel Received April 16, 2013; Accepted August 13, 2013; Published September 17, 2013 Copyright: © 2013 Yasutaka et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding: This work was supported by AIST Environment and Energy Unit. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Fukushima Dai-Ichi and the Economics of Nuclear Decontamination.

http://www.grips.ac.jp/r-center/wp-content/uploads/12-01.pdf

GRIPS Discussion Paper 12-01 Fukushima Dai-Ichi and the Economics of Nuclear Decontamination. By Alistair Munro May 2012

Abstract: Economic analysis of nuclear accidents and their aftermath is comparatively rare. In this paper, in the light of the Japanese government’s intensive efforts to decontaminate areas affected by radioactive Caesium from Fukushima dai‐ichi nuclear power plant, we create a cost‐benefit framework for assessing the merits of decontamination strategies. Using some benchmark data for Japan we estimate that optimal delay is positive for most reasonable parameter values. For low value land, optimal delay could be in excess of 30 years. For higher value, urban land, optimal delay generally lies in the range of 5‐10 years.

Accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Stations of TEPCO —Outline & lessons learned

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3511977/

Accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Stations of TEPCO —Outline & lessons learned—

Editor: Toshimitsu YAMAZAKI

Abstract

The severe accident that broke out at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power stations on March 11, 2011, caused seemingly infinite damage to the daily life of residents. Serious and wide-spread contamination of the environment occurred due to radioactive materials discharged from nuclear power stations (NPSs). At the same time, many issues were highlighted concerning countermeasures to severe nuclear accidents. The accident is outlined, and lessons learned are extracted with respect to the safety of NPSs, as well as radiation protection of residents under the emergency involving the accident. The materials of the current paper are those released by governmental agencies, academic societies, interim reports of committees under the government, and others.

Verification of screening level for decontamination implemented after Fukushima nuclear accident

http://rpd.oxfordjournals.org/content/151/1/36.long

Verification of screening level for decontamination implemented after Fukushima nuclear accident

  1. Haruyuki Ogino*,
  2. Takeshi Ichiji and
  3. Takatoshi Hattori

Abstract

The screening level for decontamination that has been applied for the surface of the human body and contaminated handled objects after the Fukushima nuclear accident was verified by assessing the doses that arise from external irradiation, ingestion, inhalation and skin contamination. The result shows that the annual effective dose that arises from handled objects contaminated with the screening level for decontamination (i.e. 100 000 counts per minute) is <1 mSv y−1, which can be considered as the intervention exemption level in accordance with the International Commission on Radiological Protection recommendations. Furthermore, the screening level is also found to protect the skin from the incidence of a deterministic effect because the absorbed dose of the skin that arises from direct deposition on the surface of the human body is calculated to be lower than the threshold of the deterministic effect assuming a practical exposure duration.