I live in japan 135 miles / 220 Km south of Fukushima, in Kashiwa. I had the soil in Kashiwa professionally tested here are the official results for the levels of Cesium-137 and 134 and Iodine-131 only. No lab in Japan offers testing for any of the other dangerous radioactive elements like Plutonium / Strontium / Tellurium or Curium, all elements that were released in the explosion Use these results as you see fit, yes I know the results are nothing less than horrifying, what is even more terrifying is that the soil sample was taken from the side of the street where children walk everyday and not from where the elements could accumulate. This is the Cesium-137/134 and Iodine-131 levels of the soil in Kashiwa, that I had sent in and officially tested by a lab here in Japan. (16)
For Radiation Users and "members of the public" the limit is 1 mSv (100 mrem) per year. (2) however the guiding principle of all radiation work is: the dose should be As Low As Reasonably Achievable, economic and social factors being taken into account. This is called the "ALARA Principle" and is central to all radiation safety.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said on the 19th March 2011 that some workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant have already been exposed to more than 100 mSv (10,000 mrem) and that the company, citing the unprecedented nature of the crisis, has raised the limit to 150 mSv (15,000 mrem) for some outdoor workers.
"This is a considerable amount of radiation," said G. Donald Frey, a medical physicist and professor of radiology at the Medical University of South Carolina. "The limit for radiation workers in the United States is 50 millisieverts per year, but we try to keep them to less than 5 millisieverts per year." (3)
So that is already considerably more in some days than the allowable amount in a year.
Bearing in mind that TEPCO (The company monitoring and cleaning up their own criminal incompetence) are cheats and liars (Sue me) as is shown in this tidbit: Shimahashi was in charge of maintaining and checking measuring instruments inside the nuclear power plant as a subcontract employee, His radiation exposure monitoring databook, which was returned to his family six months after his death, showed that more than 30 exposure figures and other listings had been corrected in red ink and stamped with personal seals. Even after he was diagnosed with leukemia, the data book had a stamp indicating permission for him to engage in a job subject to possible radiation exposure and a false report on his participation in nuclear safety education while he was in reality in hospital.
He died in 1991 aged 29. (After exposure to 50.8 mSv) If I had heard it was 'dangerous,' I would not have sent Nobuyuki to the nuclear power plant," Michiko Shimahashi said. "The workers who have done nothing wrong should not die. (This was 10 years before this emergency) The emergency upper limit should be cut immediately." (4)
The Ministry of Education advised schools in Fukushima that 20msv/(20,000 mrem) year is the level that children can go out to play in the playground. Having removed the topsoil the rate is measured using a Geiger counter which goes over the limit of reading capability. Remember above where it says members of the public should not be exposed to more than 1msv/ (100mrem) year - and that is for an adult - children are far more susceptible. (Experts consider children to be 10 to 20 times more vulnerable to contracting cancer from exposure to ionizing radiation than adults),
On April 12th 2011
According to the Daily Youmiri, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) announced that between 10 and 17 million curies (270,000- 360,000 TerraBq) of radioactive materials were released to the atmosphere before early April, a great deal more than previous official estimates.
April 13th 2011. One of the largest U.S. monitoring systems run by the EPA shut their system off!
Arnie Gunderston from Fairwinds had this report in April.
On April 19, the Japanese government sharply ramped up its radiation exposure limit to 2,000 millirem per year (20 mSv/y) for schools and playgrounds in Fukushima prefecture. Japanese children are now permitted to be exposed to an hourly dose rate 165 times above normal background radiation and 133 times more than levels the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allows for the American public. (5)
The timeline above is just the beginning, well not quite - what no one seems to have noticed at the beginning was this:
Japan has 54 nuclear reactors - Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant (the most quickly constructed
nuclear power plant in the world ) the 11th March earthquake damaged the turbines after a fire broke out, it was then shut down. On March 13, 2011, levels of radiation on this site reached 21μSv/hour, a level at which Tohoku Electric Power Company were mandated to declare state of emergency, and they did so at 12:50, declaring the lowest-level such state. The level reduced after 10 minutes to under EMERGENCY level and so The Japanese authorities assumed the temporarily heightened values were due to radiation from the Fukushima I nuclear accidents and not from the plant itself.
I looked at them both on the map, they are 120 km away from each other. So, for the radiation to have spiked in Onagawa from the Fukushima plant, they KNOW that the radiation monitored had travelled 120km.
The energy radiates (i.e., travels outward in straight lines in all directions) from its source. (not on the wind) High-energy neutrons can travel great distances in air and typically require hydrogen rich shielding, such as concrete or water, to block them. Gamma rays, which are highly energetic photons, penetrate deeply and are difficult to stop. They can be stopped by a sufficiently thick layer of material, where stopping power of the material per given area depends mostly (but not entirely) on its total mass, whether the material is of
high or low density. However, as is the case with X-rays, materials with high atomic number such as lead or depleted uranium add a modest (typically 20% to 30%) amount of stopping power over an equal mass of less-dense and lower atomic weight materials (such as water or concrete).
A journalist made a film about going into the exclusion zone, where he took readings. He was surprised that some of the most dangerous places were further away (remember, this is before full meltdown) which suggests that the distribution was driven other than as a blanket radiating outwards. (film and article may viewed from here)(13)
April 20th 2011
Agency admits 'melting' of N-fuel. (Note that this title and headline DO NOT contain the words Nuclear or Tepco or Fukushima) (6)
The agency had previously only described the nuclear fuel as having been at least 3 percent "damaged."
Damage to reactors can be described in three phases of increasing severity.
In the first phase of initial damage to a reactor's core, the metallic casing surrounding the fuel pellets are damaged but the pellets remain intact.
The second phase involves some melting of nuclear fuel.
In the third phase, what is known as a meltdown, all the fuel pellets melt and accumulate at the bottom of the containment vessel.
The agency said it now believes the fuel pallets have melted because of the high levels of radiation detected at the Nos. 2 and 3 reactors. Melting fuel pellets also likely led to a hydrogen explosion at the No. 1 reactor, Nishiyama said. (6)
TOKYO, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Radiation readings that are 100-1,000 times the normal level have been found on the Pacific seabed near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, local media reported Tuesday.
The high levels of radioactive materials were detected from samples taken Friday from the seabed at points 20-30 meters deep, Kyodo News reported, citing the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (7)
The Highest reported level during the Fukushima accident: 266 Sv/h for the gas/steam inside the primary containment (drywell) of reactor unit 1 on July 3rd, 2011.
Measurements taken after Fukushima accident: Greater than 10 Sv/h for the Ventilation shaft between reactors I and II (equipment used could only read up to 10 Sv/h) !
One wonders why, if they had the equipment to measure up to 266Sv/h why there were subsequently using a machine with a maximum of 10 !
May 9, 2011
The utility firm opened the main access points to the reactor and in doing so released 500 million becquerels of radioactive substances into the atmosphere,
TEPCO is currently mulling ideas to protect its workers -- some who have only had a single medical check since the March 11 triple disasters and many who have been exposed to levels of radiation far exceeded legal levels -- such as constructing a metal tunnel for people to walk through, or using lead sheeting to provide increased protection against radioactive substances and increase safer mobility for the workers moving around in high-radiation areas.
(It later transpired hat they have lost 143 or 148 of these worker, as they didn't bother to keep their details. Does that mean these poor people are walking mini nuke stations themselves?)
The nuclear agency and the Environment Ministry on Monday also began taking readings from highly contaminated rubble from the vicinity of the stricken No. 1 nuclear plant and remove some of the debris and bring it back to laboratories in Tokyo for further tests.
The radioactive rubble continues to emit radiation into the atmosphere, the ministry said. (Notice they dont say how much radiation!)(7)
Wednesday 8 June 2011
Fukushima nuclear plant may have suffered 'melt-through', Japan admits Fuel rods have probably breached containment vessels – a more serious scenario than core meltdown – according to report .
Molten nuclear fuel in three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is likely to have burned through pressure vessels, not just the cores, Japan has said in a report in which it also acknowledges it was unprepared for an accident of the severity of Fukushima. (8)
June 20th, 2011
1.6 BILLION becquerels of radioactive materials released from Reactor No. 2 late Sunday, says TEPCO
TEPCO also began late Sunday to release air containing radioactive substances from the building of reactor 2 by opening its doors. An estimated 1.6 Billion becquerels of radioactive materials were released, compared with 500 million becquerels when the double doors of the building of reactor 1 were opened in May,
July 4th 2011
China has discovered 100,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean waters, at distances up to 800 kilometers from Fukushima, with Cesium radiation levels up to 300 times normal and Strontium radiation levels up to 100 times normal.
China says a study conducted by its State Oceanic Administration has found widespread levels of highly radioactive contamination throughout Pacific Ocean.
China’s State Oceanic Administration said the tests shown that the polluted area is far wider than the areas released by the Japanese government.
According to the study the radiation survey found over 252,000 kilometers, or just shy of 100,000 square miles, of Pacific ocean waters was contaminated by the time the study was completed on July 4th.
July 7th 2011
Faked: Japan nuke company caught using employees to ask questions during televised hearing — Told to impersonate private citizens who want reactors restarted.(11)
July 13th 2011
I thought this summed it up quite well:
Understanding ionizing radiation can also help you understand that many of these of particles have been around the atmosphere for many years. The quantities in which they are currently being released from Fukushima poses a risk to everyone human on this earth. So if for one moment you thought moving to South America would allow you to avoid the risk, think again. Nuclear reactors are covering our entire planet they are all releasing radioactive particles on a daily basis. The real question now is how clean is nuclear energy? It’s obvious it’s the dirtiest form of energy on the planet. It’s responsible for deaths every single day and there is no way of stopping the damage once these plants have been created as no man on this planet has discovered a way to dispose of this waste.
All this said, there is no way we can avoid Cesium-137 in our food chain. It’s already here and will continue to accumulate until they are able to stop the leak at Fukushima. In the short term Iodine-131 is a concern, but with healthy eating and higher levels of iodine in your diet, you should be able to avoid some of these risks. I believe it’s important that we pay attention to the levels of Strontium-90 and Cesium-137 in the years to come. (12)
17th August 2011
At last, a mainstream news channel allowing a voice of dissent, well maybe not.