Asahi: We are reminded anew of the huge scale of contamination released from Fukushima plant — Impossible to recover pre-disaster environment — Radiation levels not dropping in certain areas

Published: January 9th, 2013 at 10:34 am ET


(Subscription Only) Title: EDITORIAL: More data needed to make decontamination work effective
Source: Asahi
Date: January 09, 2013

Decontamination work is in progress in areas affected by the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, but cases have been uncovered of workers dumping contaminated soil, vegetation and water into nearby rivers or other places without properly collecting them.

[…] One problem is that radiation levels are not dropping in certain areas. Another problem is that additional manpower is required, but hiring more workers isn’t financially viable.

Thinking about those problems, we are reminded anew of the huge scale of contamination caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

It is impossible to recover the pre-disaster environment, and it is unrealistic to think that all affected areas can be decontaminated. […]

Published: January 9th, 2013 at 10:34 am ET


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38 comments to Asahi: We are reminded anew of the huge scale of contamination released from Fukushima plant — Impossible to recover pre-disaster environment — Radiation levels not dropping in certain areas

  • domjox domjox

    Oh yeah, gotta love the nukes! The costs when these things fail are incredible! Close pandora/nuke box.

  • ProfitOfDoom ProfitOfDoom

    Can you believe these imbeciles are still pursuing an Olympic bid !
    (see story at our good friends … OK lets all think of some new events for this Olympics if it were held in Japan … I bet I could run real fast if you told me I was standing in nuclear waste !

    • norbu norbu

      Welcome to the Nuclear games, where everyone has a glowing chance, this year we have new and exciting games. Here are a few, radioactive relay, corium blob toss, 5k glowing backstroke. Enjoy! Don't forget to wear your Demaron.


      • ProfitOfDoom ProfitOfDoom

        Right on norbu ! … and if any of the spent fuel pools are still holding water they could just install diving boards … we may as well go out laughing !

  • or-well

    I wonder if this Editorial indicates Asahi reportage will more aggressively pursue nuke stories?
    Has their "crooked cleanup" series gained them readers?
    Will other papers up their coverage?
    Will Asahi aim a spotlight on the LDP over nuke issues?
    How are Japanese people responding?
    I have no answers, only more questions, but this statement strikes me as unusually direct – "It is impossible to recover the pre-disaster environment, and it is unrealistic to think that all affected areas can be decontaminated."

  • homeenergyexpert homeenergyexpert

    You can't fix it, just abandon the country, and move, or die an early death! FACT~SEE CHERNOBYL NOW! JUST AS DEADLY, AND THIS IS MUCH, MUCH WORSE!

  • or-well

    Crooked cleanup is an important story, but so is fantasy decon. So is cosmetic whitewashing of corporate culture. So is safety tweeks leading to restarts.

    I am trying to determine if there is a genuine countercurrent developing in Japanese media.

    If so, can it be maintained and grow?

    The nuke utilities and friends have a lot of clout, just with the ad revenues they provide to media.

    I guess we'll see. Or not.

    • m a x l i

      Truth in containment
      Kept in tight
      Pressure is rising
      Day and night

      It must be kept in
      Whatever the price
      Cos it would erode
      Their mountains of lies

      Let's stomp on the ground
      Make the earth wake up
      Stir up big waves
      To give them a shakeup

      Up the big kettle
      They shovel more lies
      To quench the truth
      But the truth not dies

      They try some venting
      To take off the heat
      But it's too late
      They can't succeed

      They don't have plan B
      For this unseen occasion
      Stumbling around foolish
      In their own obfuscation

      The containment will brake
      Despite all helpless acts
      Then we see an explosion
      And a global fallout of facts

      • or-well

        m a x l i –
        "Stumbling around foolish
        In their own obfuscation"
        I suspect, with time, some come to believe their own lies
        and the young, being mentored, see nothing to despise.
        I enjoyed your contribution!

        • m a x l i

          I'm glad that you of all people enjoyed it. So I could give something back. (If any word is out of place, I would be happy about anyone's critique; because English is not my language, and I want to become better.)

          With this little 28-liner, I tried to express my thoughts to your above questions regarding the direction the mass media might take. I see this sporadic reporting here and there as the phase of "venting".

          And I fear that news stories like this might serve the purpose to shift the blame for the radioactive contamination of a whole country away from the real criminals to workers who are being assigned an impossible task and push a few fallen leaves into a river.

          • Anthony Anthony

            Wow – good poem and I'm shocked to read that English isn't your language! Brilliant.

          • or-well

            Hi m a x l i,
            Being uni-lingual myself, I can't help but be impressed.
            Also, articulate, "by-the-book" english speakers probably object to the way I phrase or invent, but the language police haven't come knocking yet, so…haha!

            Yes, I did read your lines in relation to my questions.
            I look, and wonder, but I can't tell if Japanese media reporting might be a sparking fuse leading to an explosion,
            or if it is "business as usual".
            That last line, about "impossible to recover…" really jumped out at me.

            I wonder too, about the focus on the "little guys", the workers, which is why I posed the questions in my post of 10:53. I see today the non-apology apology from the Director of the Fuku Office for Enviro Restoration, and wonder why such rubbish seldom seems to have any negative consequences for the people uttering it.

            Well, I liked "up the big kettle they shovel more lies" 🙂
            What does it actually mean? I don't know, but it certainly suggests some interesting possibilites, and I wouldn't say it's wrong to leave some things to the imagination!

            • m a x l i

              After you had a little time for your imagination to run freely, I can try and tell what my intention was behind that kettle thing. Thinking about the (international) media coverage situation, a nuclear reactor comparison came to mind. They couldn't keep the nuclear fuel in containment. Now they want to keep the truth about the situation that is slowly developing for the people in Japan in containment but will fail equally. "Kettle" stands for the reactor vessel where that truth is closed in. Truth and lies are opposite entities like matter and anti-matter which can annihilate each other. The lies here have the role of the cooling water poured into the reactor to prevent temperature and pressure from rising. Does this make sense?

              • or-well

                Hi m a x l i, yes, makes sense.
                When I saw "kettle", I though of the police tactic of "kettling" protestors in small areas, among other images.

                Thinking about the truth/lies, matter/antimatter explosion, I wonder how much of the truth the Japanese people know.

                Some days I think "Not enough of them know enough."

                Some days I think "People know enough, but they don't know what to do about it."

                I suspect neither we nor they hear enough about their activists.

                We know there are more lies to come.
                I wonder if the media environment will make those lies harder to sell.

      • PurpleRain PurpleRain

        Love your poetry! Or-Well now has a it of good-natured competition and the rest of us readers will have the pleasure of all of your word-smithing. Thank you Maxili. Great job!

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Contamination, not from nature, but from a few men. And all for nothing.

  • Florifornia

    "Graphene oxide soaks up radioactive waste"

    Quote from chemist James Tour:

    "Where you have huge pools of radioactive material, like at Fukushima, you add graphene oxide and get back a solid material from what were just ions in a solution," he said. "Then you can skim it off and burn it. Graphene oxide burns very rapidly and leaves a cake of radioactive material you can then reuse."

    • norbu norbu

      Sounds great. What do you do with the solid that is still radioactive after? Still a problem.

    • ProfitOfDoom ProfitOfDoom

      Hi Florifornia … Graphene oxide burns very rapidly and leaves a cake of radioactive material you can then reuse." Oh boy ! radioactive "hot" cakes ! pass the butter and maple syrup !

    • papacares papacares

      graphene oxide aka GO
      Motivated by both its graphene-oriented applications and its own remarkable properties, interest in graphene oxide (GO) has widely spread across many disciplines. In parallel to the rapid progress of research, industrial-scale production of GO has emerged. GO is highly energetic, thermally unstable and can readily undergo exothermic disproportionation reactions to produce chemically modified graphene under mild heating conditions. This Review highlights the challenges and opportunities associated with GO's thermal instability such as the potential fire risk during large scale production and methods of mitigation, energy efficient way to reduce GO, photothermal patterning and sintering of graphene/polymer composites, and new syntheses using GO as an in situ power source to make nanoparticle decorated graphene composites for energy storage and catalysts.

      • aigeezer aigeezer

        There has been buzz in investment media about graphene. It is definitely worth watching, but it's hard to separate hype from fact at this stage.

        Among the more interesting rumors are paper-thin TVs in the production pipeline, with potential cures for Alzheimer's and cancer to follow later.

        A golden age around the corner, if it lives up to half the hype, reminiscent of Flanders and Swann's fictional wompom:

        Time will tell.

  • weeman

    Got to luv the line not financially viable, no kindling all the money in the whole world would be required to stop release of radioactive isotopes into the environment from three rouge reactors and then and only then would it make sense to decontaminate.
    If Chernobyl bankrupted Russia which it did what chance does Japan have they are already bankrupt and do not have the money to tackle the biggest project on the plant and that is the truth and even if money was no object we still could not completely decommission the site.
    Madness nuclear power just to feed the nuclear arsenals of the neurotic governments around the world, nuclear weapons are no longer a deterrent if you are insaine, a saine person can not take ones own life.

    • richard richard

      A sane person could take their own life. You've made a wild assumption there. Despair and depression are not insanity. A sense of futility or desperation are not insanity.

      Please watch your amateur psychology, you don't appear to be qualified.

      But besides that, I agree with your comment, this disaster will ultimately ruin Japan on many levels.

      • weeman

        You are correct not qualified no malice intended.

        • richard richard

          thanks weeman, i was probably being my own amatuer therapist as well .. i didn't mean to be sounding so agressive.

          Having seen and known of people who have taken their own lives throughout the decades I have an empathy for their lot. I'm not justifying their actions, but I want to defend them in their sanity. Most were very sane at the time.

          • HoTaters HoTaters

            Physical pain nearly drove me to suicide once. I was quite in my right mind, and quite unable to bear the pain, at the time.

  • P14
    "…Two choices that the Japanese authorities are facing:
    – Attempt to reduce the content by moving radioactive soil surface, requiring the displacement of millions of cubic meters of earth.
    – Abandonment of highly irradiated soil for some time, by displacing of residents.
    This time of abandonment may take several decades.
    Obviously, between these two choices, the Japanese prefers to remove the soil. However, this choice of removing the soils is a Herculean task as it takes quite logically to the soil surface to be encaged into concrete. This does not apply to soils other than the Class A . Moreover, one cannot simply clean accessible areas, because the wind can still raise dust on non-polluted inaccessible areas and transport it in reclaimed areas. Finally, radiation is still emanating from the Fukushima plant, ruining the remediation work done in previous days."

    Very big step of clarity in people mind. know, we may talk again about evacuations…

  • Sol Man

    Everybody goes out? Hey, what could be wrong with that?
    We're making money here!
    Breath deep the gathering Pu/d.u. cloud, along with
    benzene, organo-phosphates, silicates, asbestos, dispersents,
    pesti/herba whose side are you on anyway?
    Things too numerous to mention.
    It's all good.
    We're making money here!

    The box can't be closed.

  • Hmm Tokyo 2016.., Impossible Hurdles with water jump; Road race against time; Mutated butterfly 200m swim; U238 shot put; Hammer Throw-ing Up; Girder wrestling; Fire bucket relay race; Re-cycling; Neutron skyshine instead of fireworks at opening ceremony; Mascot – one of the wonky robots…

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "We are reminded" and all our tomorrows.

  • Ecoguy

    HEY PEOPLE and Morons! This is no joke! The radiation is not just affecting people in Japan! The radiation has and still is contaminating us right here in the USA and Canada and the West coast and mountain areas are getting it the worst! The radiation is also growing stronger in the Pacific Ocean and this radioactive pollution is in the fish and sea life that you and your loved ones are eating and swimming in! Just wait and see the coming influx of cancers that its going to create! If you feel that you and your loved ones have been radiated you should look into detoxing the radiation from your body's with some high quality medical grade powdered Zeolite! Zeolite is the PROVEN best way to remove radiation from your body! Be smart and check out the website at there is a ton of information in there that can really enlighten you about radiation and how to flush it from your body!