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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Radioactive Cesium From Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Still In Tokyo Bay

I know I’ve gone on and on carping about the complete mismanagement of things during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

The 9.0 earthquake caused a tsunami, which hit many places along Japan’s north east coast, moving over sea walls, in in this case, over and into the Dai-ichi nuclear power generating station in Fukushima-ken.

The inflow of water swamped the nuclear power site, rendering backup generators inoperable for the most part, allowing three of the six nuclear power units to nearly go into nuclear meltdown after a lack of coolant was unable to be pumped in to keep things under control. 

Look… I actually think nuclear power—if done properly—is an excellent way to generate electricity. But in Japan’s case - prior to the March 11, 2011 events, it simply wasn’t being handled safely.

Perhaps countries should consider using the safer nuclear methods used in Canada, which even uses a different type of uranium base.

But Japan’s nuclear reactors are not built that way. They follow the American style of reactor. Excellent power generation, to be sure… but…

Anyhow… would it surprise anyone to learn that even five years after the nuclear disaster, Fukushima No. 1 (of six) reactors continued to spew radioactive cesium into Tokyo Bay for five years after the initial nuclear disasters in 2011?

No. I’m not surprised. Saddened. But not surprised.

According to Yamazaki Hideo (surname first)—a former professor of environmental analysis at Kindai University (a private university in Osaka)—a study he led a study on hazardous materials being released from the Dai-ichi plant.

His team’s research showed that some five months after the triple meltdown, that there was 20,100 becquerels of cesium per square meter in mud collected at the mouth of the Kyu-Edogawa (Kyu-Edo river). This river leads directly into Tokyo Bay.

Further research shows that by July 2016, that in the same area, 104,000 becquerels of cesium per square meter from mud collected was found.

Basically, that means that the cesium released during the disaster did NOT get washed away in the subsequent five years after.

Well… they did wash away from Fukushima, but it did accumulate and stay adhered to the mud in Tokyo Bay.

Good for Fukushima and Chiba to the south, but bad for Tokyo.

Now… the average amount of radioactivity from the cesium detected in the July 2016 study was only 350 becquerels… implying that there are apparently areas where it is extremely high, and other places were it may not be found.

But is it safe?

Probably not at the points where the study found the 104,000 becquerels in July 2016.

Even at that high level, the Government of Japan will not allow soil to be used on road construction et al. In fact, it will only allow soil containing 8,000 becquerels or less for such usage.

So… is there any damage to the fish in Tokyo Bay?

Maybe… maybe if the fish caught are coming from that area there the radioactivity is through the roof, congregating in the Tokyo Bay mud… but generally speaking, there doesn’t seem to be an issue with the fish.

Apparently of the fish caught and measured in the Tokyo area, the average still appears to be less than 100 becquerels per kilogram… 100 becquerels per kilogram is considered to be the number for safe fish consumption in Japan.

So… there’s some cesium radiation in the fish… but not enough to worry the Japanese Government.

Heck… there’s even a few hot pockets of cesium radiation in the mud in Tokyo Bay… but I’m sure that’s no big deal.

Move along… nothing to see here. Yeesh.

Kanpai,
Andrew Joseph

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