Japan TV: More than 80% of homes are still contaminated with Fukushima fallout

Published: December 5th, 2012 at 8:28 am ET


Title: More than 80% of homes remain contaminated
Source: NHK
Date: Dec. 4, 2012

More than 80% of homes remain contaminated

Radioactive decontamination following last year’s nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has not been completed at more than 80 percent of homes.

Japan’s environment ministry studied the progress of government-funded removal of radioactive substances being undertaken by 58 cities, towns and villages in 7 prefectures around Fukushima as of the end of August.

[…] among nearly 100,000 homes slated for removal of radioactive substances, the process was finished at only about 17,000 or 18 percent of them. […]

Published: December 5th, 2012 at 8:28 am ET


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  2. Textbook: Fukushima disaster contaminated the territory of Japan, Sea of Japan, Korea — Up to 8 orders of magnitude above global fallout background off prefecture’s coast September 28, 2013
  3. Study: Much of Japan’s east, northeast likely contaminated — Yet included NO radiation data before March 19, when explosions spread massive amount of fallout November 17, 2011
  4. Japan official credits typhoons with helping spread Fukushima fallout March 2, 2013
  5. Atlantic: Is gov’t trying to contaminate every region of Japan by burning radioactive debris? “If everyone is ‘contaminated,’ then, in a relative sense, no one is” June 4, 2012

48 comments to Japan TV: More than 80% of homes are still contaminated with Fukushima fallout

  • or-well

    What the article omits is as disturbing.
    Which cities, towns, villages in the 7 prefectures were deemed NOT to need decontamination? On what basis and by who's determination?
    What about hotspots all over Japan?
    What about ongoing RE-contamination?
    What about new contamination from debris transport, burning, disposal?
    While some process has been carried out, how EFFECTIVE has it been?
    Does a pile of hot dirt covered by a tarp in the corner of a daycare yard count as having decontaminated that place?

    The article's superficial data is presented uncritically.

    It really says the smoke and mirrors process continues and when we can report 100% of all officially designated areas have been decontaminated according to what the Gov't says is decontamination
    then successful decontamination will be declared.

    The whole contamination issue is slowly being shrunk and
    back-paged, mellowed with age, so as to concerns assuage –
    NHK, J-Govs' mouthpiece Sage.

    Maybe I'm over-reacting.

    How's decontaminating the forests, mountains, ocean and atmosphere coming along?

  • dosdos dosdos

    I don't give it much odds at getting any better with the coming election. There is no given political party with a chance of winning a majority in the Diet which is intent on doing away with nuclear immediately. From what I see, decontamination will be dropped as a cost saving measure for the sake of the industry and special interests once the election takes place.

    Nowhere is there is real talk of predicted upcoming major earthquakes and the damage they will do to the existing and future reactors. It's all being soft sold to the public, to make them seem that they care about honoring the will of the majority. But in reality, all they want is to grip the power and run things the way they see fit for their own bank accounts.

  • Sickputer

    Reminds me of the classic chocolate conveyor belt scene in I Love Lucy. Technology out of control.

    They have to stop the source of the pollution.

    Then after the plant is ACTUALLY UNDER CONTROL they need a burial site for decontamination and decommission work.

    Note to Tepco: Devote resources to evacuating people from clearly dangerous areas and STOP the coriums at Fukushima Daiichi. Try something besides ludicrous ideas like nets in a polluted lagoon.

  • Sol Man

    It would be a more accurate headline to replace the word "still" with "continuously." This would be because of wind, rain, snow, sea spray and the unending origination of the components.

  • The number of transport vectors and pathways that the radioactive contamination will use goes far beyond any realistic attempt for decontamination at this point. (my opinion)

    Birds, fish and insects move and migrate. They eat, they poop, they die elsewhere. Their offspring, those that are born, may have DNA damage.

    The spewing and accumulation of radiation into all environments from the Fukushima Daiichi facility must 'somehow' be stopped FIRST!

    Until then…?

    The 'experts' seem quiet now.

    • Transport Vectors & Pathways

      by Merrill Peterson Biology Dept. at WWU

      The link:

      Apply the radiation contamination factor and you'll get the picture.

      • or-well

        Transport vectors brings to mind the tsunami debris, but that's another topic.
        Agree, stop the spew, evacuate, stop spreading…

        • Forgot that one – tsunami debris – another bonafide transport vector.

          Also used cars, dental x-rays, hospital apparatus and so on, but I was really trying to focus on Fukushima-borne transports.

          Now my cat is looking at me funny – (she's another transport vector).

      • Just what is the radiation contamination factor?

        I am not a 'matha-magician', but I would express the 'theoretical' equation something like this.

        x1 = The total number of combined radioactive isotopes
        (not just cesium if you know what I mean)
        x2 = The 'actual' amounts being emitted.
        (air and sea)
        x3 = The number of continuous days accumulating.
        (now months and soon years)
        x4 = The Transport Vectors
        x5 = The Transport Pathways

        (x1)(x2)(x3)(x4)(x5)= Radiation Contamination Factor

        Add to that the variables of random and unknown.

    • Thanks for this ChasAha, I was trying to get an informal list of transport vectors, modes of radiation transport – or all the ways that radiation can possibly get to YOU (and me):

      humans (dead and alive)
      tap water

      and so on. Probably a lot more.

      • or-well

        Pu239, I'll add Beliefs, results of reasoning styles, policy…

      • m a x l i

        Recently, I had a leaflet (promoting a certain religious sect) in my letterbox. On the backside it said: "Printed in Japan" – my latest little contribution to "sharing the pain of Fukushima" and getting my daily dose of man-made isotopes

        The possibilities of distribution are infinite. After a long-ish time, all contamination from Chernobyl, Fukushima, and even every gram of nuclear waste the short nuclear age is leaving behind, will be more or less evenly distributed around the globe. Such are nature's laws. If we are lucky (or maybe not so lucky) we will have a few more generations, who will "enjoy" life on a once beautiful planet that will be more and more resembling hell.

      • From the list and from some other discussions, I believe FISH are going to be one of the first worst issues.

        Reason being is that fish are obviously a world food staple, used in many different products and most importantly it's used in fertilizers to grow food on land.

        I can almost see a day when wars are fought over fishing rights.
        (That will be wherever the least contaminated fish are.)

  • I personally think it's more like The Shroud of Turin we need for this one, but for now we'll have to make do with a cheaper substitute:

    Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012

    Cesium-cleanup cloth made cheaper

    So, plastic covers, nets, cloths – all simply smokescreens to hide the never-ending folly of mankind.

    And decontamination -a myth.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Tokyo. Check homes in Tokyo. And homes in countries downwind from Japan. Radiation travels far. Wind and rain brings it to your doorstep.

    • Anthony Anthony

      If someone would just collect your writings, on Fukushima alone, it would be the most profound, well written, factual anti-nuclear body of work.


      Thank you.

  • Well, we can all relax now:

    "Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano who told the world that evening, “Let me repeat that there is no radiation leak, nor will there be a leak.”* "

    DECEMBER 05, 2012

    Deception Confirmed by UN
    Government and Industry Still Denying Science at Fukushima

    Strange that the UN is sourced as confirming the deception – they're part of it.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    In Japan, the 'quick' are no longer there. Only the 'dead'. By 'dead', I mean those whose bodies are hopelessly comtaminated by their environment and by their food, for whom death is simply a matter of time, and a short time at that. Japan is toast. So sad.

  • We Not They Finally

    DE-contamination or RE-contamination? Fukushima is THREE TOTAL MELTDOWNS. The contamination never ends. Look up Rocketdyne at Simi Valley in California. (Enviroreporter.com goes into that.) A "partial meltdown" in 1959! Hundreds of time WORSE than Three Mile Island. What, you never heard of it? OF COURSE you never heard of it! How would they have continued building atom bombs from fission products if you had heard of it? But they "completely de-contaminated" it twice, yet after A HALF CENTURY, it is still sky-high hot! The people in northern Japan just need to be compassionately EVACUATED. This is outright mass murder and no, IT IS NOT GOING AWAY.

  • Please Help

    This study seems to indicate that Fukushima created significantly greater plutonium contamination than Chernobyl

    Can people skilled in technical analysis read the article and confirm my interpretation

    Isotopic evidence of plutonium release into the environment from the Fukushima DNPP accident Jian Zheng


    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      majia, using the last line of the article:

      "The activity ratios of 241Pu/239+240Pu at t = 0 for Nagasaki atomic bomb, the global fallout and the Fukushima DNPP accident were 1.2127, 12.825 and 107.8 (this study), respectively."

      adding these 3 figures together gives 121.81

      of this total figure
      the Nagasaki figure is 1% of the total.

      the global fallout is 10.5% of the total.

      and the Fukushima NPP accident accounts for 87.8% of the total.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        The plutonium from their figures from the Fukushima NPP is 88.89 times more than that from the Nagasaki bomb.

        The plutonium from their figures from the Fukushima NPP is 8.4 times more than that from global fallout.

        And the total is 100.4 times greater that the plutonium from the Nagasaki bomb.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Adding the 83 from Chernobyl into to the total from the last sentence of the article:

        1.2127, 12.825 and 107.8 and 83, the total is 203.838

        Plutonium from the Nagasaki bomb is 0.59 of the total

        Plutonium from global fallout is 6.0% of the total

        Plutonium from Fukushima is 52.89 % of the total

        Plutonium from Chernobyl is 43.17% of the total

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Also, there is this caveat:

      "To understand the differences of Pu emissions between the Fukushima DNPP accident and the Chernobyl accident, we made a rough estimation on the amount of atmospheric release of Pu and the percentage of core inventory released. The estimation was made based on the average of 137Cs/239+240Pu activity ratios (1.48×107) observed in litter samples at site S2 and S3, relative to the total amount of 137Cs releases, 1.5×1016 Bq and 3.58×1016 Bq, estimated by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan)20 and Stohl et al.3, respectively, assuming 137Cs and Pu isotopes followed same deposition mechanism, and no significant variation of 137Cs/239+240Pu activity ratio during the release and deposition. It should be noted that there is no attempt to make an accurate estimation on the release of Pu from the Fukushima DNPP accident due to the limited data on the deposition of Pu, but rather a rough estimation to obtain the information on the order of magnitude of Pu release from the accident."

      So this article is not stating that they know how much plutonium was actually released. This figure could be many times higher as has been estimated by others.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Another quotation from this article: "Therefore, it is highly necessary to investigate the distribution and surface activity of 241Pu inside the 20 km zone, where much higher 241Pu could be expected."

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      majia, this article says that the activity ratio of Plutonium from Fukushima is higher than from Chernobyl:

      "the activity ratio of 241Pu/239+240Pu of the Chernobyl accident (83±5)15, 18 is much lower than that of the Fukushima DNPP accident (107.8, average of S2 and S3 litter,"

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Japan's plutonium stockpiles to increase
    November 28, 2012

    “…Less attention, though, is being paid to what may be a more destabilizing development: next year Japan plans to bring its long-delayed Rokkasho reprocessing plant online, which could extract as much as eight tons of weapons-usable plutonium from spent reactor fuel a year, enough for nearly 1,000 warheads. That would add to Japan’s existing stockpile of 44 tons, 9 of which are stored in domestic facilities….”

    • PurpleRain PurpleRain

      Whoever is left to survive from Fukushima will be the workforce that destroys itself for the Rokkasho plant. Unreal. In my opinion, ALL of Japan will probably all soon be dead and/or sick and drying. It just seems like way too much radiation is already been found in Tokyo anyway…. that small island country has no place to run to and only bad food to eat and bad snow and rain, etc…

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    “In October, a U.S. study – co-authored by oceanographer Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the non-profit Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass., – reported Fukushima Daichi alone caused history’s biggest-ever release of radiation into the ocean – 10 to 100 times more than the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe.” http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/After%2BFukushima%2Bfish%2Btales/5994237/story.html#ixzz1jfk19Yl6

    Reported by

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      This article also does not seem to take into account that much of the spent fuel in the 7 spent fuel pools at Fukushima may have already vaporized:

      "Science Insider noted yesterday:

      "'The Daiichi complex in Fukushima, Japan … had a total of 1760 metric tons of fresh and used nuclear fuel on site last year, according to a presentation by its owners, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). The most damaged Daiichi reactor, number 3, contains about 90 tons of fuel, and the storage pool above reactor 4, which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) Gregory Jaczko reported yesterday had lost its cooling water, contains 135 tons of spent fuel. The amount of fuel lost in the core melt at Three Mile Island in 1979 was about 30 tons; the Chernobyl reactors had about 180 tons when the accident occurred in 1986.
      That means that Fukushima has nearly 10 times more nuclear fuel than Chernobyl.
      "'It also means that a single spent fuel pool – at reactor 4, which has lost all of its water and thus faces a release of its radioactive material – has 75% as much nuclear fuel as at all of Chernobyl.'"

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Report: 76 trillion becquerels of Plutonium-239 released from Fukushima — 23,000 times higher than previously announced

      • dka

        these data are from last year. Since then, Fukushima has still been emitting particles up in the air and still continues to do so.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Still more:

        The higher activity seems to be attributed to MOX fuel at Fukushima.

        And the atmospheric releases of plutonium estimated by the authors of this article may be vastly underestimated as there are indications that much more fuel was vaporized than has been admitted. Also these amounts estimated seem to not have taken into account the vast amounts of plutonium released into the ocean and the vast amounts since vaporized by the extensive incineration of radioactive debris ongoing in Japan.

  • Jebus Jebus

    I hope this is deemed On Topic but,
    Japan's radionuclides will never be cleaned up, because you can't clean up something up that you can't see to clean up…

    It can't be done in Japan.
    It can't be done at Chernobyl.
    It can't be done at Hanford.
    It can't be done at Sellafield.
    It can't be done in Nevada
    And it can't be done at INL…

    Public Asked for Opinion of Nuclear Industry in Idaho

    Report says Idaho may need to change its 1995 nuclear deal with feds


    Gov.’s Commission Weighs Idaho Jobs Against Existing Nuclear Waste Disposal Agreement


    It just can't be done anywhere.
    Once nanoparticles of radionuclides are out into the environment,
    they are there for half of forever…