Gov’t: Plutonium dose at 27 microsieverts in Namiemachi — Will remain “for about 50 years” (MAP)

Published: October 2nd, 2011 at 10:12 am ET


Plutonium detected outside N-plant site, Yomiuri Shimbun, October 2, 2011:

[…] A map released by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry on Friday shows plutonium was found in soil samples taken from a total of six locations in Futabamachi, Namiemachi and Iitatemura, Fukushima Prefecture. […]

A preliminary ministry calculation shows that the level of plutonium contamination in Namiemachi will remain at 0.027 millisieverts for about 50 years. The other five spots were contaminated with 0.55 to 2.3 becquerels of plutonium. […]

The article does not mention a time component for the 0.027 millisievert (27 microsievert) radiation dose.

SOURCE: Daily Yomiuri

Published: October 2nd, 2011 at 10:12 am ET


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  2. Strontium found 80 km from Fukushima plant — 15 Bq/m² of plutonium-239 and -240 in Minamisoma (MAP) October 1, 2011
  3. WSJ: “A potentially disturbing turn” — Plutonium discovered far from Fukushima reactors October 1, 2011
  4. New Scientist: “Plutonium from Fukushima was expected to rapidly disperse in the Pacific Ocean — Instead, it seems that the levels remain high” October 2, 2011
  5. First Time: Gov’t admits Plutonium-238 detected in locations far from Fukushima plant September 30, 2011

58 comments to Gov’t: Plutonium dose at 27 microsieverts in Namiemachi — Will remain “for about 50 years” (MAP)

  • fuckyoushima

    what is a good becquerel to sievert conversion…(at some standard distance)?

    does it vary from isotope to isotope?

    seeing as how criirad showed mushrooms contaminated with 500bq/kg didnt even register on a radex, 27 microsieverts seems like many thousand becquerels per kg?

    fucking radiation physics…

    • Blown Camaro

      I agree. Everytime I think I understand the radiation measurement they change to a different type! Is there an online calculator that can convert?

    • Hemisfear311 Hemisfear311

      It makes no sense to use the unit Sievert/Millisievert/Microsievert without adding time to the unit.

      It is like measuring speed. Without adding time it makes no sense. “My car is fast, it runs 90 miles”, “The speed of light is 300,000 km”, per second, per minute, per hour, day, month or year. It has to have time added to make any sense.

      No wonder some people has difficulties understanding the article above.

    • Hemisfear311 Hemisfear311

      Understanding radiation units. Short version

      1. A radioactive particle disintegrates
      2. This releases energy and other particles
      3. Which can be absorbed by your body doing harm

      When a radioactive particle disintegrates it releases energy in the form of heat, xrays, electrons, protons and neutrons.

      1. The number of disintegrations is measured in ”Bequerel” or ”cpm” (same thing)

      2. The energy released by the disintegration is measured in Joules (you almost never see this)

      3. The effect of the energy on a body is measured in Sieverts or Rem (per hour or year)

      Different particles releases different amounts of energy (and other particles) when they disintegrate.
      Therefore the effect on the body depends on what kind of particles are disintegrating and how long time you are exposed to that amount of energy.

      There is a much more to know about this, this is just my own pocket version of how I understand the radiation units.

      • Understanding the Millisievert
        Millisievert figures are tossed out by the media with little attention to explaining them. Millisieverts (mSv) are measurements of ionizing radiation absorbed by a human body. Geiger counters formally measured with Rems (Roentgen equivalent man) or millirems.
        The figures on Geiger counters now represent mSv units per hour. There is always a low level of measurable background radiation in our environment from celestial bodies and earthly elements.

        • Then there is milli vs micro. Milli =1/1000 of a seivert

          Micro=1/1000000 of a seivert

          Then there is the time thing because the measurement is sieverts over time. Simple Russian Geiger counter measures background radiation in microsieverts per hour. This is the latest trend in electronic personal Geiger counters

          Wikipedia lists Washington State as having

          2 millisieverts per year background radiation

          So you have to watch for fraction of sievert and time unit. Anything that doesn’t quote a time is willful BS.

          God Bless All

          • stock

            Mark thanks for adding value. I did want to point out one thing though. If someone says that they received a 5 mSv dose, then that really means something. It is like saying I bought 5 gallons of milk, it is an absolute quantity. Or they could say, I bought 1 quart of milk every hour for 20 hours.

            So I agree, that it is helpful if time is ALSO stated, then there is no un-clarity about the derivation of the dose, it eliminates a possible misunderstanding.

          • Stock, begging to differ, the mathematical formula for sieverts is very complicated look it up in wikipedia. Its beyond me, but What they are measuring is effect of radiation on skin tissue. A time element is involved.

            Like if you are measuring rate of speed in miles per hour to only give the figure of miles without the time will not give you a rate of speed.

          • stock

            Sieverts is a complicated formula for some think tank guys, but in use it is simple enough. It calcs particular isotopes on various body parts including organs, and then “bad” effects and comes up with a simple number.

            If you at a 1 mSV (per hour) source and stay there for 48 hours, you received 48 mSv.

            In your example, the miles is all you need to know, just like your dose of Sv is all you need to know. If you got dosed it really doesn’t matter whether you got that does in 48 hours or 480 hours…you got that dose, same negative effects.

          • Hemisfear311 Hemisfear311

            Time does matter.

            If you recieve a large dose over a short period of time it does increase the damage compared to if you recieve the same dose over a long period of time.

            For small doses it probably doesn’t matter so much. But omitting time leaves it up to the reader to guess/decide the time factor.

            Like saying: “I drank a bottle of vodka”, without saying more. Did I drink it in an hour or during a couple of years? It is the same dose, but the effect is not the same.

            Time does matter.

          • Stock, MPH measure rate of speed vs miles measure distance. You can’t measure rate of speed without a time factor.

            So yes you could say you received 48 mSv to your body but you need the time factor to explain the rate of radiation emitting from your source, in your case 1 mSv per hour. So I guess I didn’t explain myself properly. Time factor is needed to describe rate of radiation emission.

            In article it states “A preliminary ministry calculation shows that the level of plutonium contamination in Namiemachi will remain at 0.027 millisieverts for about 50 years.” I believe they should have added a time component for that quote to make sense. Author is either ignorant or misleading. You decide.

          • Hemisfear311 Hemisfear311

            Misleading indeed.

            What about all the other isotopes in the same area. They all add to the total amount of radiation.

            As scary as it is, this information is just a small part of the whole picture.

    • stock

      yes it varies from isotope to isotope, Bequerels and Pico-curies measure a scientific amount. Then they do a calculation based on the expected damage to humans expressed in Sievert (the old school nomenclature was REM). The Sievert therefore the most useful figure to have.

      This spreadsheet which I made, has conversions and other interesting stuff, including embedded documents from USA and japan Gov. The USA Radnet shows published air sample data in US, Guam, Hawaii, west coast showing actual uranium measured in the air. Uranium will mess you up as a heavy metal, not JUST the radiation, although the radiation will mess you up also.

      This spreadsheet is always available on this radiation resource page that I made, although this is “just a hobby” I consider it best in class.

      • kx kx

        Sv only makes sense if the geiger counter could read the joules of energie of each count. so that Sv calibrated for cesium is just using the *5 or 2* multiply for each count instead of a 1* for weak gamma or 20* for nastier alpha, so it means is a misleading count.

        CPM is much more standard way to measure with current Geiger counters.

  • arclight arclight

    “The survey was conducted in June and July by sampling soil at 100 locations around the plant. The ministry compared the data obtained from the survey with data obtained in surveys conducted from fiscal 1999 to fiscal 2008 to measure the residual effects of radioactive fallout on Japan from nuclear atmospheric tests conducted during the Cold War.”

    only 100 tests……what a load of (censored due to classy clause in enenews contract)

  • catweazel

    pu will give less bequerel over time than cesium or iodine. the same number of atoms decay in 30 years for cesium and in 30000+ years for pu (hope the numbers are decent :)). so less clicks on the geiger for pu (if the geiger is able to measure alpha). but more deadly in another aspect. analysis of Pu in samples is real high-tech unfortunately. asfarasiknow

    • catweazel

      so much numbers 🙂 sorry for misspost with not so decent hallifes, but when checking halflifes of pu isotopes i have found this:
      The longer a nuclear fuel element remains in a nuclear reactor the greater the relative percentage of Pu-240 in the fuel becomes. For weapons use, the fuel needs to be as low in Pu-240 as possible, usually less than 7% of the total plutonium (this is because Pu-240 sometimes undergoes spontaneous fission, causing the weapon to detonate prematurely), but this is achieved by reprocessing the fuel after just 90 days of use

      that means, every 90 days every single nukehead has to be exchanged? now i know why nuke industry sux so hard on our money. It is totally new to me and i wonder that noone (even the greens) ever mentioned that in public.
      sorry for the wrong halflife numbers, correction via this link:

      additionally: A 100 kg sample of light water reactor fuel that has been irradiated for three years contains only about 700 grams of neptunium-237, and the neptunium must be extracted selectively.
      very nice, that are numbers i do understand, so in the 20 (or whatever number) tons of water in the primary cooling circle are just a few kilos of neptunium. what else is in?

  • Sickputer

    Excuse me… The 88 year life life of PU-238 conveniently left out if the report? So based on the ten times half-life danger factor this stuff makes for nearly 900 years of fatal contamination.

    Quote: “However, a ministry official said because amounts of both substances were very small, decontamination efforts should focus on radioactive cesium.”

    SP: The radioactivity is invisible so you’re screwed folks.. There ain’t no putting that genie back in the bottle. You can’t totally clean this mess… It’s not broken glass you freaking Dr. Frankensteins! Admit it… You murdered millions of

  • Erin

    White House petition — End nuclear energy — please sign!

    Good morning folks,

    This could be a map of anywhere in the U.S. near a nuclear power plant. It’s like that Weather channel show — It Could Happen Tomorrow!!

    If you’re like me, and you believe all nuclear power plants should be closed asap — please sign this petition, spread it around, and get the WH at least TALKING about ending the use of nuclear energy!

    Thank you!

    Details below:

    Dear friends,

    I wanted to let you know about a new petition I created on We the People, a
    new feature on, and ask for your support. Will you add your
    name to mine? If this petition gets 5,000 signatures by October 30, 2011,
    the White House will review it and respond!

    We the People allows anyone to create and sign petitions asking the Obama
    Administration to take action on a range of issues. If a petition gets
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    You can view and sign the petition here:

    Here’s some more information about this petition:

    End the use of nuclear energy in the United States.

    The best available science has taught us that radioactive substances are
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    nuclear power to support safer alternatives, such as wind and solar.

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      Hi Erin. Glad you reposted. I’ll repost at HP.

      • Erin

        Unless it’s a problem or bothersome, I plan to keep reposting once or twice a day until the event is over, as I’m able. My time online is very limited (literally a few minutes here and there), so I’m deeply grateful for the help! Thanks a bunch! 🙂

        • Whoopie Whoopie

          We’ll get the NUMBERS HIGHER! No problemo! I even posted it yesterday on the WS thread (i think it was) we just have to get it out there!

        • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

          Erin, good grief, the signatures went from 4 to only 12 in a whole 24 hours??? And I bet it was only enenewsers who signed….:-(

          No matter what, we’ll shut the beasts down!

          • Whoopie Whoopie

            I think it’s because it’s not getting spread wide enough. I will work on that PRONTO!

          • Erin

            Yes – someone posted on another thread that they were having trouble signing in, so maybe there was a glitch at some point? The page is loading okay for me now, so hopefully the numbers will climb faster today. Keeping my fingers crossed!

            Thanks a bunch! 🙂

          • Whoopie Whoopie

            Yeah, I had an error page yesterday. Today smooth sailing.

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    ERIN do you Tweet? You might TWEET that PETITION.
    I’m seriously considering TWEETING myself today.

  • Erin

    Whoopie — you’re just awesome! Thanks so much!

    I’m afraid I barely know what “Tweeting” is. LOL But please go ahead and Tweet the heck out of it if it’ll get us to 5000! 😉

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Oh god. New tweet just came in CALLING FOR HELP from the MSM and us all!

    • Blown Camaro

      Everytime I hear about the children going to school and playing outside in obviously contaminated soil I just tear up. It’s just too much.

  • After 50 years Bikini Atoll:
    … (IAEA) Bikini Advisory Group determined in 1997 that “It is safe to walk on all of the islands … although the residual radioactivity on islands in Bikini Atoll is still higher than on other atolls in the Marshall Islands,… The dose received from background radiation on the island was found to be between 2.4 mSv/year and 4.5 mSv/year (the lower rate is the same as natural background radiation) assuming that a diet of imported foods was available. But it was because of these food risks that the group eventually did not recommend fully resettling the island. …

  • Anthony Anthony

    Tepco concludes own crisis manual useless
    Emergency measures based on belief cooling systems couldn’t fail

    An in-house report from Tokyo Electric Power Co. has concluded its emergency manual was useless for handling the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power plant and that the widely held belief that a hydrogen explosion might have damaged the No. 2 reactor is false.

  • Anthony Anthony

    Japanese robot set to contribute toward Fukushima plant’s cold shutdown

    Half a year since the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, the plant’s water injection system for cooling the reactors is working again. The Japanese government recently announced that it would aim for a cold shutdown by the end of the year, and robots from both the U.S. and Japan will be cooperating to that end.

  • Anthony Anthony

    Facing Fukushima, Facing Nuclear Disaster
    written by Jack Etkin

    Face to Face with a Nuclear Disaster
    by Victoria Community Television (ICTV)
    We talk to Steve Filipovic about the ongoing nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. Several nuclear reactors have ‘melted down’, they are out of control and emitting large amounts of radiation.

    This is perhaps the biggest single disaster we human beings have ever perpetrated on our planet, and all living things on earth are going to have to pay a heavy price for this corrupt stupidity. The Corporate owned politicians and media remain silent, the disaster is so immense they don’t want us to even think about it, and they intend to keep this industry going because there is money to be made…

  • Anthony Anthony

    No explosion at No. 2 reactor / TEPCO: Only 3 hydrogen blasts occurred at …
    The Daily Yomiuri – ‎4 hours ago‎
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  • Anthony Anthony

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    The Japan Times – ‎11 hours ago‎
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  • Anthony Anthony

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    Climate Spectator – Risa Maeda – ‎14 hours ago‎
    TOKYO, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Tohoku Electric Power Co said on Friday it aims to accept more than triple the capacity of wind power to its grid at 2 gigawatts by 2020 to meet needs to build wind farms in the region whose wind potential is …

  • Anthony Anthony

    Former advisory zones face multiple obstacles
    The Daily Yomiuri – ‎Oct 1, 2011‎
    Topsoil is removed during decontamination at Omika Primary School in Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, on Friday. FUKUSHIMA–Although the government has lifted the designation for emergency evacuation preparation zones that included all or part of …–ITsjVL6ixiALEJw&rt=STORY&vm=STANDARD&

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    Without independent and reliable confirmation of those numbers, taking their word, esp. because the numbers appear low, would not be advised.

  • StPaulScout, Ain’t it the truth. And no time component for the last measurement. I’m guessing its supposed to be a per hour measurement so 27 microsieverts per hour of radiation coming from the plutonium dusted in the area for the next 50 years. .22 microsieverts per hour is background radiation in Washington State pre Fuku according to Wikipedia

    Someone could check my math Wiki figures given per year but the point is that these miniscule particles of plutonium are causing background radiation to go up 10 times or more according to the article. Never mind all the strontium Cesium and host of other particles. For next 50 years. Plutonium dust blowing off the dry soil or sinking into the water table. The article is harsh but the details are hidden enough to avoid panic.

  • Plutonium shows enormous, and reversible, reaction rates with pure hydrogen, forming plutonium hydride. From Wikipedia

    Seems plutonium binds with hydrogen and oxygen thus dissolving into air and water. So I wonder when reactor number three was melting out creating hydrogen from the cooling water if plutonium from the melting core was reacting with hydrogen forming plutonium hydride and it was plutonium hydride with hydrogen that burned during the explosion. Plutonium aerosol.

  • Anthony Anthony

    Scientists report ozone hole over the Arctic for the first time
    Northern conditions combine to spur ozone loss similar to that seen over Antarctica

    This color-coded map of Earth’s north polar region shows ozone in the stratosphere at an altitude of approximately 12 miles (20 kilometers) in mid-March 2011, near the peak of the 2011 Arctic ozone loss.
    By Wynne Parry Senior writer
    The high atmosphere over the Arctic lost an unprecedented amount of its protective ozone earlier this year, so much that conditions echoed the infamous ozone hole that forms annually over the opposite side of the planet, the Antarctic, scientists say.
    “For the first time, sufficient loss occurred to reasonably be described as an Arctic ozone hole,” write researchers in an article released online Sunday by the journal Nature.

    ****Hmmm . Read that closely…. is it a coincidence this happened ecologically this last year to anyone here? My money is on radiation having far reaching effects on the environment, including the Ozone…just like the clouds have changed in appearance and behavior. The vaporized ozone problem probably fed into the accelerated Canadian Arctic ice melts ALSO occurring, yes, this year.****

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Also caused by HAARP. They fool around with all the ionizing radiation given off by nuclear reactors, nuclear weapons, and nuclear power plants. They use HAARP to combat the ionizing radiation, but it depletes the ozone in the ozone layer. Also nuclear explosions cause artificial radiation belts, and when they try to fix these, they deplete the ozone in the ozone layer.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        HAARP – The Instrument of Destruction
        Alaskan physician, Dr. Nick Begich, concurs. His book, ANGELS DON’T PLAY THIS HAARP, co-written by investigative reporter Jeane Manning, contends that ever- increasing electromagnetic pulses could punch a hole in the planet’s magnetic field, leaving us completely vulnerable to intense solar radiation.

        The present hole in the Ozone is miniscule compared to the devastating potential of a massive rupture, the authors suggest. Yet there are even now ever-increasing reports of skin cancer and other carcinomas linked to current ozone depletion. What horror does the future hold? “Without the ionosphere’s electrical shielding,” Manning said, “our own sun would fry us with gamma radiation, X-rays and short wavelengths of UV light. We think that the holes in the ozone layer letting in some UV rays is bad. Wait’ll we’ve got cosmic rays coming through at killing wavelengths.” If HAARP further disrupts the ozone, the consequences could be dire, and deadly, the authors conclude.

        HAARP has the potential to destroy virtually all life forms on earth — not just the “intelligent” kind. And we have to make that qualified distinction because the principals involved in the HAARP project seem astonishingly unconcerned about the negative ramifications of their invention.

  • Anthony Anthony

    Radiation-Loving Fungi Can Remove Toxic Waste
    By Reid Schram
    Epoch Times Staff Created: Oct 2, 2011

    Gomphidius glutinosus is a common woodland mushroom that concentrates radioactive cesium-137 to over 10,000 times background levels. (Bernd Haynold/Wikimedia Commons)
    When Russian scientists sent a robot into the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 2007, the last thing they expected to find was life. Inside the most radioactive areas of the breached core was a group of common fungi collectively referred to as “black mold” growing on the reactor walls.

    These molds were growing in one of the most hostile environments on the planet, with radiation levels high enough to give a lethal dose in minutes. But these fungi weren’t just growing, they were thriving.

    • guitargod92

      So can plenty of other things mother nature provides us. yes we still work against her to try and fix these problems ourselves

  • pure water

    I was just thinking why “for about 50 years”…May be no one of the survival population will care anymore, or what?

    • I thought 50 years would be the time it would take for the dust to disperse. Plutonium reacts with hydrogen and oxygen see my above post. So plutonium will disolve into water and air over time. Has nothing to do with half life which is far greater then 50 years.