Digging begins outside Tokyo supermarket to locate radiation source (Kyodo news, Nov 1) | Search for radiation source in Tokyo  (Kyodo news, Nov 1)

Workers unload metallic drums from a truck on Nov. 1, 2011, as part of the process to discover and remove radioactive material believed to be buried underground near a supermarket in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward. High levels of radiation have been detected at the site but the source is unlikely to be related to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, according to the science ministry. (Kyodo)

Extracted from the report by the American Health Association “Radiation Exposure to the Population in Japan after the Earthquake” 8Oct 31):

“The Fukushima nuclear accident dispersed airborne dusts that are contaminated with radioactive particles. When inhaled or ingested, these particles can have negative effects on human health that are different from those caused by exposure to external or uniform radiation fields. A field sampling effort was undertaken to characterize the form and concentration of radionuclides in the air and in environmental media which can accumulate fallout. Samples included settled dusts, surface wipes, used filter masks, used air filters, dusty footwear, and surface soils. Particles were collected from used motor vehicle air filters and standard 0.45 micron membrane air filters. Soils and settled dusts were collected from outdoor surfaces, interior surfaces, and from used children’s shoes. The Japanese filters contained cesium 134 and 137, as well as cobalt 60 at levels as high as 3 nCi total activity per sample. Materials collected during April 2011 from Japan also contained Iodine 131. This short-lived nuclide was not observed in later samples. US air filter and dusts samples did not contain hot particles, except for air samples collected from Seattle, WA during the month of April 2011. The samples of Japanese children’s shoes were found to have relatively high radiocesium contamination levels. Isolated US soil samples contained up to 8 nanoCuries per Kg of radiocesium, while control samples showed no detectable radiocesium. Dusts containing radioactive cesium were found at levels orders of magnitude above background more than 100 miles from the accident site, and were detectable on the US west coast.”

— By Marco Kaltofen, PE , a Massachusetts Registered Professional Engineer engaged in the investigation of nuclear material release, from the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA

Fukushima plant to be open to media Nov. 12 for 1st time since crisis (Kyodo news, Nov 1)

Volunteers begin efforts to decontaminate Fukushima(Asahi, Nov 01)

FUKUSHIMA — More than 100 volunteers took part in decontamination work on Oct. 29 in Fukushima’s Onami district, where relatively high levels of radiation from the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant have been measured.

JAEA unveils software to project post-decontamination radiation levels (Mainichi, October 31, 2011)

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has developed software to project radiation levels after cleanup operations in areas contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The software, unveiled at a Fukushima Prefecture-sponsored decontamination workshop on Oct. 31, will be will be released free of charge to local governments, and is expected to help them boost the efficiency of their cleanup operations.

JAEA built the software based on monitoring data from “model” decontamination operations in Date and Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, starting at the end of August.

Once a user inputs the necessary information for a given area — including local geographic features and building types as well as radiation readings taken at ground level or in the air — the program displays a map of per-hour radiation doses one meter above the ground across that area. The user can then specify which parts of the area will be decontaminated and the “decontamination coefficient” — a constant determined by the type of terrain, which affects the ratio of decontamination.

The software will crunch the numbers and deliver a full-color map of projected radiation levels after cleanup. As long as the local governments know how deep the soil is at a given site and how much cleanup costs per unit of surface area, the software can help them estimate the extent of decontamination needed and how big the bill will be.

‘Mystery man’ gave leads on hot spots in Setagaya Ward(Asahi, Oct 31)

A mystery man’s untiring survey with a dosimeter led to discoveries of alarming levels of radiation in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward, which made headlines after authorities confirmed them.

Local Fukushima residents seek compensation for decontamination gear, costs  (Mainichi, October 31, 2011)

FUKUSHIMA — Residents battling radioactive contamination in and around their houses, who purchased high-pressure water sprayers, are seeking compensation for their independent decontamination campaigns.

The residents are frustrated because such water sprayers bought by individuals are not covered by a compensation scheme carried out by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. Furthermore, the central government stipulated in late September that the state will shoulder decontamination costs when local governments conduct such decontamination work.

But the residents reacted angrily to the government policy, saying, “It is natural for individual expenditures for decontamination work to be compensated in light of the cause” of radioactive contamination. Municipalities concerned are joining the residents in asking the central government to change its policy.

One such resident is Toshimichi Sato who lives in the Onami district of the city of Fukushima, where full-scale decontamination work got under way on Oct. 18. Sato, 60, who chairs the district promotion council and has a second-grade granddaughter, was alarmed in mid-April when the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry announced that the annual radiation level at the city-run Onami Elementary School would top 20 millisieverts.

A survey in June of 1,729 schools in Fukushima Prefecture, excluding those within 20 kilometers of the stricken nuclear power plant, also revealed that Onami Elementary School was exposed to 3.1 microsieverts per hour of radiation, the highest among the schools polled.

Sato, sensing that time was running out, purchased a high-pressure water sprayer for about 40,000 yen in July and also asked local cleaners to carry out decontamination work in and around his house at a cost of about 100,000 yen in late July.

As a result, airborne radiation in a side ditch by the house fell from around 10 microsieverts per hour to 2 microsieverts and that at a parking lot from about 5 microsieverts to 1.8 microsieverts. Sato also replaced carpet by windows with relatively high radiation levels with new floor coverings.

The city of Fukushima mapped out a decontamination program for the entire 110,000 households. But in some districts like Onami, which have been exposed to high levels of radiation, many residents have been conducting contamination work independently. Sato says at least six other households have bought high-pressure water sprayers.

But mid-term compensation guidelines for TEPCO, released by the science ministry’s nuclear redress dispute council on Aug. 5, did not cover decontamination spending by individuals. The central government’s decontamination policy, unveiled in late September, obliges the state to conduct decontamination work in locations with high-level radiation and local governments to do the same in other locations but made no mention of paying for individuals’ decontamination work.

“It is strange not to grant compensation for costs that had been unnecessary in the first place,” Sato said angrily.

The Fukushima city government has been besieged with inquiries about spending for decontamination work, with one official in charge saying he alone has received five to six inquiries. The city government, rallying behind residents as victims of the nuclear accident, has repeatedly asked the central government and TEPCO to provide compensation.

The Environment Ministry, contacted by the Mainichi Shimbun, says it is checking if individual spending for decontamination work can be compensated as part of local governments’ decontamination expenditures.

TEPCO’s Fukushima Nuclear Compensation Consultation Room says only that the utility cannot handle costs that are not covered by the mid-term guidelines.

High levels of radiation detected in Tokyo’s Setagaya, link to Fukushima unlikely (Mainichi, Oct 29) Read extract below:

“The science ministry said it had detected 170 microsieverts per hour of radiation on the surface of a sidewalk near a supermarket in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward in the early hours of Oct. 29, but it said there was little possibility of the radiation coming from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

The Setagaya ward office had earlier detected 110 microsieverts per hour of radiation on the same spot in Setagaya Ward’s Hachimanyama area. But the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry used more sophisticated measuring instruments called “ionization chambers” to measure the levels of radiation and detected much higher levels of radiation there than those measured by the Setagaya ward office.

The science ministry also detected 110 microsieverts per hour of radiation on the premises of the supermarket, about 25 meters away from the first spot, where the ward office had earlier detected 30 to 40 microsieverts per hour of radiation. The science ministry asked the supermarket and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which is in charge of managing the sidewalk, to dig up the ground to find the cause of the abnormally high levels of radiation.

Because rain or mud does not easily accumulate on the two spots measured for radiation, the science ministry believes that there is only a small possibility that the high levels of radiation came from the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Before using the ionization chambers, the ministry used portable dosimeters to measure the atmosphere one meter above the ground on the two spots. The atmosphere above the sidewalk measured 4.7 microsieverts per hour of radiation and the atmosphere above the premises of the supermarket measured 10 microsieverts per hour of radiation. Based on measurements at the time, if a person stays there for 10 minutes a day, he or she is estimated to be exposed to an accumulated total annual dose of about 286 microsieverts on the sidewalk and about 608 microsieverts on the premises of the supermarket.

When sandbags were laid on the two spots, the radiation level at a height one meter from the ground or beyond dropped to 0.2 microsievert per hour. The science ministry says there is no fear of a radiation hazard. In addition, because the sources of radiation are covered with asphalt, radioactive substances will not spread, it says. …” Read the entire article here.

Excessive cesium detected in greenhouse-grown mushrooms in Fukushima (Mainichi, October 30, 2011)

Radioactive cesium exceeding the designated limit has been detected in shiitake mushrooms grown in greenhouses at a farm in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, the prefectural government said Saturday.

The prefectural government has asked the city of Soma and dealers to stop shipment of the mushrooms, and a local agricultural cooperative has begun recalling them after they were found to contain 850 becquerels of cesium per kilogram, exceeding the 500-becquerel limit set by the state.

The farm in question has grown the mushrooms on beds made of a mixture of woodchips and nutrients, and the woodchips used in them are suspected to have been contaminated with the radioactive substance, according to the local government. The mushroom beds were sold by the Soma agricultural cooperative.

The farm has shipped 1,070 100-gram packages of shiitake mushrooms since Monday, and they are believed to have been sold at nine supermarkets in the prefecture from Tuesday. No other shiitake mushrooms produced by the farm have entered the market, it said.

Related: Fukushima shiitake cesium spikes (Japan Times, Oct 30)

Radioactive cesium exceeding the designated limit has been detected in shiitake grown in greenhouses at a farm in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, the prefectural government said. The prefecture said Saturday it has asked the city of Soma and dealers to stop shipment of the mushrooms, and a local agricultural cooperative has begun recalling them after they were found to contain 850 becquerels of cesium per kilogram, exceeding the 500-becquerel limit set by the state… Read full article here

Panel advises limiting lifetime radiation exposure to 100 millisieverts (Mainichi, Oct 28)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — A government food safety panel finalized its report Thursday calling for limiting cumulative internal radiation exposure during a person’s lifetime to below 100 millisieverts, a benchmark beyond which the risk of cancer increases.

Following the Food Safety Commission’s conclusion, which updates an evaluation by its working group in July, the health ministry will convene an advisory panel meeting Monday to revise its provisional limits for radioactive substances in food set after the Fukushima nuclear crisis triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The current provisional limits such as 500 becquerels of radioactive cesium for rice, vegetables, meat and fish per kilogram, and 200 becquerels for drinking water and milk are expected to be lowered with the commission’s advice.

In July, the working group of the commission warned against the health hazard of accumulated radiation exposure, both internal and external, over 100 millisieverts during a person’s lifetime.

But the panel said in the latest report that only internal exposure through food consumption should be taken into account because it believes the negative impact on people’s health from external radiation exposure following the Fukushima disaster “has not risen dramatically.”

The food safety body said the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry should make its own assessment on external radiation exposure in reviewing the provisional limits.

The commission also urged the government and the public to note that children may be more vulnerable to radiation than adults, indicating the possibility of more discussions on lowering allowable levels for children.

Atmospheric behavior, deposition, and budget of radioactive materials from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011” has been published by Yu Morino, Toshimasa Ohara,* and Masato Nishizawa, Regional Environment Research Center, National Institute for Environmental Studies(NIES), Ibaraki. The NIES in order to clarify the behavior of the atmosphere of radioactive materials released from the Fukushima reactor, performed in the study a simulation of atmospheric deposition and advection-diffusion of the central region for Japan (Air Transport deposition simulation). As a result, the impact of radioactive material in addition to Fukushima, Yamagata and Miyagi, Iwate Prefecture, one and six Kanto, Shizuoka, Yamanashi, Nagano Prefecture, revealed that been over wide areas, such as Niigata directly below. In addition, the model analysis, 13% of the iodine-131 emitted by nuclear Fukushima Daiichi, and deposited in the land of Japan, 22 percent of the cesium-137 and the rest is either deposited in the ocean and is transported outside the computational domain model was estimated. This research, Geophysical Research Letters (American Geophysical Union publication) was published on August 11 with the electronic version of the Society for the employee magazine (* 1) .An abstract is reproduced below:

To understand the atmospheric behavior of radioactive materials emitted from theFukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the nuclear accident that accompanied the great Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011, we simulated the transport and deposition of iodine-131 and cesium-137 using a chemical transport model. The model roughly reproduced the observed temporal and spatial variations of deposition rates over 15 Japanese prefectures (60–400 km from the plant), including Tokyo, although there were some discrepancies between the simulated and observed rates. These discrepancies were likely due to uncertainties in the simulation of emission, transport, and deposition processes in the model. A budget analysis indicated that approximately 13% of iodine-131 and 22% of cesium-137 were deposited over land in Japan, and the rest was deposited over the ocean or transported out of the model domain (700 × 700 km2). Radioactivity budgets are sensitive to temporal emission patterns. Accurate estimation of emissions to the air is important for estimation of the atmospheric behavior of radionuclides and their subsequent behavior in land water, soil, vegetation, and the ocean.

Gov’t should thoroughly explain health risks from internal radiation exposure through food (Mainichi editorial)

Thousands rally for Fukushima compensation, decontamination (Japan Today, Oct. 31, 2011)

FUKUSHIMA — Thousands of people angered by Japan’s nuclear power plant accident rallied in Fukushima on Sunday to demand full compensation for victims of the crisis, and swift decontamination of their neighborhoods.

The rally in Fukushima city, some 60 kilometers from the plant, was attended by around 10,000 people, its organizers estimated.

“Our town should be decontaminated at the earliest possible date and our life should be restored as it was before March 11,” Tamotsu Baba, mayor of Namie town, told the rally, according to Jiji Press.

Panel releases report stating it will take 30 years to safely close Fukushima plant (Japan Today, Nov 1, 2011) | Kan feared Tokyo would become uninhabitable due to nuclear crisis (Japan Today)

Forestry Agency to test Fukushima cedar pollen for radioactivity (Japan Today, Oct 30)

TOKYO — The Forestry Agency plans to measure the amount of radioactive cesium contained in cedar pollen originating from Fukushima Prefecture.

The proposed study, the first of its kind, would take place between November of this year and January 2012, the agency said on its website.

The agency said that cedar pollen tends to begin to fill the air in February, so it is important to establish whether or not the pollen is radioactive before that date. If significant amounts of radioactive cesium are detected, the agency said it may start to provide radioactive pollen count forecasts.

According to the agency, 20% of Fukushima Prefecture is forested and contains approximately 185,000 hectares of cedar trees. The agency said that a study on this scale has never been carried out before, and scientists are not yet sure how the cesium will concentrate in the leaves and pollen of cedar trees. “… Read the rest here.

Graduate student elected to assembly in quake-hit town(Asahi, Oct 01)

Kansai Electric submits reactor stress test report to NISA(Asahi Oct 30)

3D Japan quake animations may help visualize temblors (Japan Today, Oct. 31, 2011)

Three-dimensional animations of the devastating earthquake that rocked Japan this year are now helping visualize the effects of its motions.

These animations could help the public better understand such temblors, researchers said.

The magnitude 9.0 quake that struck off the coast of Tohoku in Japan in March ushered in what might be the world’s first complex megadisaster as it unleashed a catastrophic tsunami, nuclear crisis and set off microquakes and tremors around the globe.

Scientists analyzed 3D position data from a dense web of more than 1,200 GPS receiver stations on the ground in Japan to get a clearer picture of the shaking. [See video of the quake animation.]

“When the massive data set from Japan became available through the ARIA project of JPL-Caltech, I had to come up with a better way to look at all this information,” said geophysicist Ronni Grapenthin at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

Slipping and sinking

The researchers have now developed animations of the quake’s effects. Altogether, the vertical and horizontal motions pulled parts of the nation more than 13 feet (4 meters) to the east and sank large portions of its eastern shore more than 1.6 feet (0.5 meters) into the sea.

“Looking at the record of all instruments simultaneously allows us to watch the evolution of this earthquake,” Grapenthin told OurAmazingPlanet.

The researchers suggest their animations can help people understand the quake’s effects more intuitively than standard methods, such as peaks on a seismograph or maps overlain with the locations and magnitudes of temblors.

“When you see a good portion of Japan slide into the sea, you intuitively know those arrows represent a major disaster,” Grapenthin said.

The scientists added that automated methods of animating real-time data from GPS stations could be useful in properly gauging the severity of quakes. For instance, “the initial estimates of the size of the main shock [of the Tohoku earthquake] was magnitude 7.9,” Grapenthin said. “Near real-time visualization of the GPS record in map view would have made clear that this is a gross underestimate, as a large portion of central Japan slid to the east.”

Improving tsunami warnings

Such animations could also prove helpful in early warning systems for tsunamis and aftershocks. For instance, by seeing the estimated length of a ruptured fault, investigators can identify areas prone to large aftershocks. Also, knowing that large portions of Japan’s eastern shore had sunken would have revealed that protective levees were now much lower than expected, giving rapid insight into a potential tsunami and its effects.

“Since the data is already in map view, we know exactly where these exposed regions are,” Grapenthin said. “This would require an extension of the network of continuous GPS stations that transmit their data in real-time and wider availability of GPS data processing in real-time.”

However, establishing such an effort in the United States wouldn’t be easy.

“Funding the installation and maintenance of a dense continuous GPS network is an issue — except for regions in the Pacific Northwest and California, the U.S. comes nowhere near the GPS station density of Japan,” Grapenthin cautioned. “There are places like Alaska that produced giant earthquakes with big tsunamis in the recent past and have the potential to do so again, yet the instrumentation along the Aleutian Trench is rather sparse.” The Aleutian Trench is a subduction zone that runs along the southern coastline of Alaska.

Grapenthin and his colleague Jeffrey Freymueller detailed their findings online Sept 22 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

This story was provided by OurAmazingPlanet, a sister site to LiveScience.

Fukushima reactor building gets new covering

One of the crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant finally has a cover in place that will help lower radioactive emissions.

The operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company, had been building the casing for the plant’s No. 1 reactor since late June. The reactor had been damaged by a hydrogen explosion following the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

The cover is 54 meters high, 47 meters wide and 42 meters deep. It has a ventilation system that filters out radioactive substances.

TEPCO says that during pilot tests, the system removed more than 90 percent of radioactive cesium from the reactor.

The company says the cover will allow it to move nearer to its goal of containing radioactive emissions from the No. 1 reactor.

TEPCO is considering installing similar covers for the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors when debris removal is completed after next summer. Both reactor buildings were damaged by the explosions.

Radioactive emissions need to be lowered before local residents who were evacuated following the earthquake and tsunami can return home.

Radioactive soil to be disposed of 30 yrs after interim storage (Mainichi, Oct 29)

TEPCO press release (Oct 28):

At reactor unit 2 currently in cold shut down: “At 12:53 pm on October 28, we activated the exhaust fan of the gas management system of the reactor containment vessel in the reactor building and started test operation. As we confirmed stable operation of the system, from 6:00 pm on the same day, we put the system in operation. Regarding the hydrogen concentration of the gas management system of the reactor containment vessel in Unit 2, we confirmed that it increased to approx. 2.7vol% at 5:00pm on October 30, which was approx. 1vol% at the beginning of the operation. Therefore we adjusted the amount of injecting nitrogen gas to the Primary Containment Vessel from approx.16.5 N ㎥/h to 21 N ㎥/h at 6:10 pm on October 30 in order to avoid exceeding the combustible threshold concentration (4vol%) of hydrogen.”

ABIKO, Chiba — High levels of radiation have been detected on the premises of two elementary schools here, local education authorities have revealed.

According to the Abiko Municipal Board of Education, 11.3 microsieverts of radiation per hour was detected just above the surface of the ground near a ditch in the compounds of the Abiko Municipal Daiichi Elementary School on Sept. 15. The amount was 1.7 microsieverts in the air 50 centimeters above the ground.

Soil had piled up in the ditch, which had been damaged by growing tree roots, a situation similar to a residential area of the Chiba Prefecture city of Kashiwa where 57.5 microsieverts per hour was detected.

Radioactive cesium amounting to 60,768 becquerels per 1 kilogram of soil was found in the ditch.

The amount of radiation 50 centimeters above the ground had declined to 0.6 microsieverts per hour by Oct. 7 after the soil was removed.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry pointed to the possibility that rain water contaminated with radioactive cesium overflowed from the ditch, soaked the nearby soil and accumulated in it.

At the Abiko Municipal Namiki Elementary School, 10.1 microsieverts per hour of radiation was detected near the surface of the ground where sludge removed from its swimming pool had been buried.

The school covered the area with a waterproof tarp and piled up dirt on the tarp to decrease the radiation emissions, after which 0.6 microsieverts per hour was detected 50 centimeters above the ground.

The two schools have sealed off the areas where high levels of radiation were detected.

An annual food safety exhibition has opened in Tokyo with devices for measuring radiation on display for the first time.

Machines that use a conveyor belt to run food past a radiation sensor proved very popular on Wednesday. They can check an item’s radiation level in 12 seconds, which means a number of foods can be tested in a short time.

The devices are in high demand from farmers’ cooperatives, beef processors and restaurant chains, despite a minimum price tag of 56,000 dollars.

Also on display are small devices that check foods placed in a beaker for radioactive substances.

They are intended for companies and even housewives. The most inexpensive types cost about 9,000 dollars.

An official at a confectioner said the company wants to learn how to take steps to alleviate consumers’ fears on its own.

An official from a manufacturer of radiation monitoring devices said the company wants to help farmers dispel rumors that their products may be contaminated.

The exhibition runs through Friday.

Ministry forms call center to report radiation hot spots (Asahi, Oct 22)

The science ministry will set up a call center Oct. 24 for members of the public to report so-called radiation hot spots.

It will be set up with a special measurement team within the Emergency Operation Center at the science ministry.

The call center will be available to all prefectures except Fukushima, which already has its own radioactive decontamination assistance framework.

A radiation hot spot is defined as a location where the radiation level at a height of 1 meter above the ground is more than 1 microsievert per hour higher than the surroundings. For example, since the radiation level in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward is currently 0.056 microsievert per hour, any reading above 1.056 microsievert per hour is considered a radiation hot spot.

Science ministry guidelines recommend reading the figure indicated on a dosimeter 30 seconds after the measurement begins at a height of 1 meter above the ground.

If the elimination of mud and fallen leaves from side ditches, cutting of tree branches and other simple decontamination measures prove ineffective, the call center will cooperate with local governments to inspect the site.

It will contact the environment ministry or the Cabinet Office, as need arises, to assist in decontamination efforts.

The call center’s number is 03-5253-4111, extension 4630 or 4631, between 9:30 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. on weekdays. Relevant guidelines are available on a website.

Thyroid irregularities found in Japan kids (Natural Thyroid Treatment Oct 19, 2011)

Tokyo – Hormonal and other irregularities were detected in the thyroid glands of 10 out of 130 children evacuated from areas near the damaged nuclear power plant in north-east Japan, news reports said on Tuesday.

The Japan Chernobyl Foundation and Shinshu University Hospital conducted tests on youngsters aged up to 16 including babies for about a month through the end of August in Nagano, where they were staying temporarily after evacuating from Fukushima, Kyodo News reported.

The results of the tests showed that one child was found to have a lower-than-normal thyroid hormone level and seven had thyroid stimulation hormone levels higher than the norm, it reported.

The other two children were diagnosed with slightly high blood concentrations of a protein called thyroglobulin, possibly caused by damage to their thyroid glands, Kyodo said.” Read the rest of the article here

Cesium accumulation higher in latest maps from Niigata Prefecture – Up to 30,000-60,000 Bq/m3 Click here to see maps.


The Ministry of Education has released data and a map on the amount of Tellurium-129m, Silver-110m in Soil In Fukushima (October 31)

See the map reproduced here and resized by the SKF Blog.

Also by the SKF Blogger, news on radiation hotspot in Koriyama City, Fukushima, see extract below:

“Fukushima Chuo Television (FCT) reported that the radiation level near the ground in a bush right by the railroad station was found to be 80 to 120 microsieverts/hour in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture.

It is also possible that the radiation on that particular spot has always been high, and is being discovered only now, as more citizens are armed with personal survey meters measuring everywhere.
Koriyama City is 60 kilometers west of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. Kashiwa City is 200 kilometers south, in the Tokyo Metropolitan suburb.

By mentioning the soil is in a different color, FCT may be indicating that someone brought the highly contaminated soil and dumped it there. It could be. But that was the suspicion for the Kashiwa City’s spot, too, which proved to have been wrong.”

From FCT news (10/27/2011):


This afternoon, radiation exceeding 80 microsieverts/hour was detected from the soil near the roadside bush near the JR Koriyama station.


High school students use the road for commuting. Immediate decontamination is desirable.


This afternoon, a viewer informed FCT that a high level of radiation was confirmed on the soil near the bush located near the west entrance of JR Koriyama station.


FCT went and measured the radiation, and it was maximum 80 microsieverts/hour at 5 centimeters off the ground.


Also, when we measured the same spot with a personal survey meter of a JR personnel, it registered 120 microsieverts/hour.


The soil at this location looks to have a different color [from the soil in the area nearby], and it is considered that the high radiation is only at this location.


The location is near the bicycle parking lot, and many high school students use the road. The quick response from the authorities is desired. Koriyama City is sending the city personnel to investigate further.

If someone stays on that spot with 80 microsieverts/hr 24 hours a day for one year, the external radiation would be 700 millisieverts.

For previous updates click here.