Fukushima Update - Canada starts testing food

Update # 51: August 20, 2011

by Nelle Maxey

Canada Testing

More from Canada: Gov't researchers plan to test for radiation in Yukon's local food supply, caribou – An attempt to answer questions by citizens

August 19th, 2011 at 08:30 PM

Yukon to test for radiation in caribou herd, CBC News

Full CBC story

"Researchers plan to test for radiation in Yukon's local food supply some six months after a Japanese nuclear disaster.

The Northern Contaminants Program will test caribou for radiation as part of its ongoing effort to monitor the Porcupine Caribou Herd. […]

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon's Chief Medical Officer of Health. […] said he's confident the test results will prove the food supply is radiation free. […]"

More on Salmon testing including response from Alexandra Morton:

Canadian gov't now plans to start radiation testing on fish off B.C. coast

August 19th, 2011 at 06:34 PM

"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency plans to start testing fish off the coast of British Columbia for the presence of radiation stemming from the Fukushima nuclear disaster […]

Fisheries activist Alexandra Morton with the Raincoast Research Society says she supports the testing, but calls the announcement a political move. Morton says millions of sockeye have started returning to the Fraser River and the fishing season is already well underway.

Salmon are a particular concern to Morton and others because their wide-ranging migration patterns can take them right across the Pacific Ocean to the coast of Japan. […]"

More from Morton

If they were actually concerned about the health of people and the fish, they would have started this actually at the beginning of the commercial openings. But to release this two days before the disease hearings at the Cohen inquiry, to me it's a political statement, it's a political effort to appear responsible.

West Coast fish to be tested for Fukushima radiation [ …]

Other headlines at EnergyNews on Saturday concern NEW information releases on high radiation contamination in Tokyo, Fukushima and more animals and crop contamination.

Radioactive cesium detected in 53 of 56 samples – Average of 30,032 Bq/m², near Chernobyl's "Radiation Protection Area" levels

August 20th, 2011 at 10:50 AM

This one has a Map

Tokyo-area soil testing finds radioactivity at Chernobyl relocation levels – 919,000 Bq/m² (MAP)

Both from TOKYO METROPOLITAN SOIL TESTING, Radiation Defense Project

229 millisieverts/year of cumulative radiation in town outside exclusion zone – Exposure limit for ordinary people is 1 millisievert/year

August 20th, 2011 at 06:17 AM

Here's the link to the original story at Mainichi News

Map shows spot with high level of radiation near Fukushima plant, Kyodo, August 20, 2011:

"[…] In giving specific estimates for 50 locations in the no-entry zone for the first time, [Japan's science] ministry said cumulative radiation of 278 millisieverts was estimated for a location in the town of Okuma, 3 kilometers southwest of the troubled plant. […]

Outside the exclusion zone, cumulative radiation in the town of Namie, 22 km northwest of the plant, was estimated at 115 millisieverts over the five-month period, the highest among locations outside the zone and equivalent to 229 millisieverts over a 12-month period. […]

The annual radiation exposure limit for ordinary people is 1 millisievert."

This one is originally from SKF.

"The doubling of radiation counts in the last 5 days is very disturbing. Is this a question of errors in the first measurements or is something else going on here?

Gov't: South of Tokyo [Kawasaki City] 12,400 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium found next to children's swimming pool

Radiation measurements nearly doubled over recent 5 day period

High Radiation Right Next to Children's Swimming Pool in Kawasaki City, EX-SKF, August 19, 2011:

From Kanagawa Shinbun local site [Translation] (8/18/2011):

Kawasaki City announced it measured 0.90 microsievert/hour at the side of the swimming pool in Hirama Park in Kamihirama, Nakahara-ku (special ward), exceeding the target level of 0.19 microsievert/hour set by the Ministry of Education and Science. […]

The city collected the dirt from the location to have it analyzed, and 12,400 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was found. […]

The location where the high radiation was measured is right next to the building in which the dressing rooms for the swimming pool users are located. […]

The citizen volunteer group "Peace and Smile Project Kawasaki" measured the near-surface radiation in this area on August 14, which measured 0.50 microsievert/hour at 5 centimeters off the ground. The group alerted the city. When the city measured the same area on August 15, it was 0.66 microsievert/hour (5 centimeters off the ground), and it was 0.90 microsievert/hour on August 18. […]

The park management says, "We don't know why the radiation is so high in this area". […]

But the SKF complete translation says:

"The location where the high radiation was measured is right next to the building in which the dressing rooms for the swimming pool users are located. The poolside is just beyond the fence nearby. According to the park management, the area is used to store collected leaves. After cleaning the pool on July 7 to prepare for the pool opening, the leaves and dirt were stored in the 15 square-meter area. "

It just gets worse and worse.

Here are more SKF stories today.

Back at the Plant Site;

Toshiba's SARRY Joins the Underperformers at the Plant

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"TEPCO released the result of the decontamination by Toshiba's SARRY (cesium absorption) after the start of the full run, and it was OK (according to TEPCO) but not as spectacular as the manufacturers (Toshiba, IHI, and the US's Shaw) had claimed.

SARRY achieved the decontamination factor (DF) of about 50,000, instead of 1 million the manufacturers had confidently hoped.

The DF of 50,000 means that the system was able to reduce the amount of radioactive materials (in this case, cesium) to one-50,000th after the treatment.

It is still much better than Kurion, whose most recent DF is slightly less than 350 (reducing the redioactive materials to one-350th.

There goes, for now at least, the idea of just using SARRY and bypassing Kurion and AREVA in decontaminating the water. The desalination unit needs the treated water to have radioactive materials at one-100,000th of the initial contaminated water, at least. TEPCO still needs at least two of the three decontamination units."

Wild Boar in Miyagi Prefecture Was Found With 2,200 Becquerels/Kg of Radioactive Cesium

"It adds to the beef conundrum from yesterday's post that the cow that wasn't fed contaminated rice hay. This wild boar was most likely eating the farm crops, wild plant roots and fruits, and occasional maggots and insects.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (8/19/2011): [Japanese characters removed]

" Miyagi Prefecture announced on August 19 that 2,200 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was found in the meat of a wild boar caught by a member of the hunters' association in the prefecture. The provisional safety limit [for cesium in food] is 500 becquerels/kg.

Wild boar meat is not sold in the market, but the Miyagi prefectural government is asking people to refrain from consuming the game meat. According to the announcement by the prefectural government, the wild boar in question was caught in Kakuda City in southern Miyagi on August 7, and the hunters' association asked a testing laboratory to do the analysis [for radioactive materials] on August 16. Wild boars normally eat worms in the soil and the field crops."

But don't worry about minor details like wild boars being radioactive (never mind that they don't eat rice hay). Miyagi has a big plan for the future, once the governor's "recovery and reconstruction" plan is approved in the prefectural assembly. One of the central ideas of Governor Murai is to build a big museum to commemorate the earthquake/tsunami of March 11, and build a memorial park around the museum. His other ideas include high-rise towers and high-rise residential buildings to separate out the living space and work space (farmers and fishermen would "commute" to their work which would be organized like corporation).

It's a great recovery plan for the area's general contractors who usually have to team up with the national general contractors to share the project. Great for big agribusiness too, if they don't mind radiation in the soil, as this wild boar clearly demonstrates exists in abundance."

Radioactive Manure from Cows Bought from Fukushima

"Shimane Prefecture, in Chugoku region, announced that a high level of radioactive cesium has been detected from manure from the cows purchased from Fukushima Prefecture in May and June.

They were not fed with radioactive rice hay.

Some people in Japan suspected from the beginning when the meat cows from Fukushima were found with radioactive cesium that it was not just from the feed but from air and water. They were dismissed by the government officials who insisted the problem was just the radioactive rice hay.

Both the national government and the Fukushima prefectural government encouraged the cattle farmers in the evacuation zones in Fukushima to sell their cows and pigs to cattle farmers outside Fukushima, and many farmers bought them. Now they are being raised all over Japan.

From Asahi Shinbun (5:00AM JST 8/20/2011):

" Shimane Prefecture announced on August 19 that radioactive cesium was detected at two cattle farms out of 15 that had purchased meat cows from Fukushima Prefecture in May and June. At one of the farms, the level exceeded the provisional safety limit (400 becquerels/kg). The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries had issued a notice earlier to Shimane Prefecture that it was free to move and ship meat cows, based on the survey results from Fukushima Prefecture.

In Shimane, radioactive rice hay from Miyagi Prefecture was used at some cattle farms, and some manure has been found with radioactive cesium. The cows, whose manure was found to be radioactive this time, are not at these farms.

According to Shimane Prefecture, the 15 cattle farms purchased the total 77 cows at the temporary cattle market in Fukushima, which included cows from the farms near Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries notified on July 21 that the cows and the manures should be kept on the farms. However, on August 11, the ministry notified the Shimane prefectural government that 64 cows could be shipped because they were not fed with radioactive rice hay.

However, Shimane Prefecture did its own survey and found out that the manure at one cattle farm that had purchased 2 Fukushima cows was tested for 2,700 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium, and the one at another cattle farm that had purchased 3 cows was tested for 100 becquerels/kg. The prefecture will test all 77 cows for radioactive materials in their excrement and urine."

5 Issues/yr — $25 print; $15 digital