“Just the tip of the iceberg”: Van emitting 110 uSv/hr — Ended up 370 miles from Fukushima in Kobe — “Dangerously radioactive” vehicles must be resold within Japan

Published: October 25th, 2011 at 8:22 pm ET
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42 comments


Oct. 26 — The only flaw with these vehicles? They are “dangerously radioactive”, writes Richard Lloyd Parry for Australia’s The Times.

Though barred from export, used car dealers have resorted to re-registering vehicles to disguise the origin, and selling them to customers “who have no idea of the risk to which they are being exposed”.

One van was so radioactive that “sitting inside it for two hours a day will expose the occupant to more than the government’s recommended maximum dose over the course of a year”. It “emitted radiation at a level of 110 microsieverts an hour,” according to a reporter for the Asahi Shimbun.

A car dealer told Asahi, “It is just the tip of the iceberg. If high radiation is detected, decontamination is too difficult. This is why such vehicles are auctioned within Japan.”

The van’s owner said, “I decontaminated repeatedly after the test, and retested the filter of the air conditioner, the wipers and tyres, replacing them thoroughly, but the radiation level dropped only to 30 microsieverts per hour. I decided to sell the vehicle in Japan because I couldn’t afford to lose the money.”

“The vehicle eventually sold at auction in Kobe, 370 miles from Fukushima,” according to The Times.

Read More: Radioactive second-hand cars dog Japan

Published: October 25th, 2011 at 8:22 pm ET
By

42 comments

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42 comments to “Just the tip of the iceberg”: Van emitting 110 uSv/hr — Ended up 370 miles from Fukushima in Kobe — “Dangerously radioactive” vehicles must be resold within Japan

  • lam335 lam335

    I’m going to say it again. We are going to start seeing more and more contaminated metal making its way into the world’s scrap metal supply. Some of it is sure to turn up in consumer products sooner or later.

    • Darth

      I agree. This nightmare has barely started.

      • jimbojamesiv

        Why does it seem as if they (i.e. TPTB) are making things worse–i.e. dumping the radioactive water into the ocean, allowing people to remain in death zones, not telling people that the radiation is coming, already here, or what to do to minimize the risks, like staying indoors on rainy days–six months ago?

        Yes, I know the answer is (a) power and (b) money, but the idea that all the governments are keeping mum and allowing radioactive products, especially food, onto the market to spread the contamination even further than it has to be is, beyond belief, as well as a crime against humanity.

        I’m almost certain things like highly contaminated rice, wheat, and seafood have already made their way to market, but why are they deliberately making matters worse?

        The answer: they want you to frickin’ die.

    • nohobear nohobear

      not to mention food as well. The ramifications of this nuclear nightmare are almost too much to take in.

      No closing this Pandora’s box. I used to be a big fan of sci-fi apocalyptic movies. Never thought I be living in one.

      • kintaman kintaman

        I agree with you nohobear. This is beyond the worst imaginable science-fiction or horror movie. I would much rather we had Godzilla attack Tokyo or be invaded by aliens. At least in these cases we could see the enemy and fight or run. However with the current nightmare we cannot see the silent death floating around and in the food, water and land.

    • kintaman kintaman

      I will NEVER be buying another Japanese “made in Japan” product for the rest of my life. It is dead to me now. I cannot trust the sources. But I realize that even if I do this the materials can come from anywhere and be processed in other countries. Even still I bet that Japan will soon begin to falsely label products as “made in China” (previously unthinkable).

      • Their parts are in about everything imaginable !

        • 12,390 Bq/Kg from refuse incineration ash everyday

          Tokyo local government announced the contamination situation of refuse incineration ash in Tokyo.

          According to the data, only the “minor part” of the ash contains 1,525 ~ 12,390 Bq/Kg of cesium-134, -137 on the daily basis. (page 2)
          It’s from our everyday garbage.
          Refuse incineration ash is separated into the major part and the minor part.
          The later one is the dust trapped in the filter.
          This is the data of the minor part.
          About the major part, the data is blank for some reason.
          On 6/28/2011,they decided that …

          http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/10/12390-bqkg-from-refuse-incineration-ash-everyday/

      • jimbojamesiv

        But, Kintaman, you will never know where whatever you buy, including your food, originates, or if it is radioactive.

        Take, for instance, a cereal made by a company based in the State of Washington. The box says that they are organic and that they grow their oats in state, but how do I know (a) that it’s safe to grow wheat in Washington anymore or (b) whose to say that they don’t buy cheap oats dumped on the market because, you guessed it, they come from Japan or somewhere else just as contaminated?

        Sure I could call them, but what do you expect they would say?

    • richard mancer

      indeed.. all products from japan, and all products using components from japan, are all suspect.

      i program new installations of electronics, technology. i’m almost convinced to buy a dosimeter as i will need to test new installations now before i work on them (sony screens are a popular/common device).

      it’s unlikely that i will convince purchasers to change their ways, unless i can demonstrate if/when a product may be contaminated.

      another reason i consider the dosimeter is getting into other people’s new cars (the japanese ones are popular in this part of the world). i wonder if the day will come where i tell someone i will not be getting into their car.

      nearly convinced myself to buy it… mmmmm

    • truthseek truthseek

      It is very daunting… this problem is not going to go away,
      like smoke, fog or a cloud… it disperses. The radioactive load
      or burden, across the system will climb and climb…
      with the enormous volume of released matter.

  • bmurr bmurr

    It would appear to me that you can trace every poor decision made even before the quake back to someone concerned about losing money. The lack of preparation, the hesitations to salt water injection, the refusal to build barrier beneath coriums melting through the earth, and now selling radioactive cars to unkowing people.

    this is truely a sad state of affairs.

    • Misitu

      hear, hear.

    • richard mancer

      i start to wonder how much of world governments and corporation are actually in the hands of mobs/mafia/yakuza.

      the puppets all pretend to be ‘conservative’, but really, they are all simply a cover over a very corrupt criminal organisation.

      making large amounts of money is far more important (then human lives) to polluted minds like that. imo.

    • fellfromthesun

      You got that right.

  • gonefission gonefission

    “Zoom Zoom, Today, Tomorrow, Forever”

    Oh what a feelin…

    Perhaps one of the car companies can borrow ‘takes a lickin and keeps on ticking’ from Timex

  • alasanon

    Question: Are they actually doing anything concrete to remedy the disaster at the site???…Are they doing ANYTHING at all about this maximum screw-up???

  • Jebus Jebus

    Hey buddy, wanna buy a radioactive car?

    Hundreds of cars contaminated by meltdown
    Dealers trying to disguise radiation levels

    news.com.au
    October 26, 2011 1:49PM

    LOW mileage, good body, one previous owner. Oh, and dangerously radioactive.

    Used-car dealers in Japan are sitting on hundreds of vehicles contaminated by high levels of radiation from the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima earlier this year.

    And some unscrupulous salesmen are disguising this fact by re-registering and selling them to unsuspecting customers.

    One vehicle in particular is “so radioactive that sitting inside it for two hours a day will expose the occupant to more than the Government’s recommended maximum dose over the course of a year”, The Times reports (behind a paywall).

    However, the auction house that sold it won’t disclose the buyer’s name.

    One car dealer told Asahi newspaper: “It is just the tip of the iceberg. If high radiation is detected, decontamination is too difficult. This is why such vehicles are auctioned within Japan.”

    Another who bought a contaminated vehicle told the paper: “I decontaminated repeatedly after the test, and retested the filter of the air conditioner, the wipers and tyres, replacing them thoroughly, but the radiation level dropped only to 30 microsieverts per hour. I decided to sell the vehicle in Japan because I couldn’t afford to lose the money.”

    Vehicles that emit radiation higher than 0.3 microsieverts an hour are banned from export.

    Harbour authorities barred 660 cars last month because they exceeded the limit.

    http://www.news.com.au/business/hey-buddy-wanna-buy-a-radioactive-car/story-e6frfm1i-1226177281599

  • Bleifrei Bleifrei

    to force the Jp gov. to do more >
    only one way i think
    Stop any export from Jp
    money rules the world
    so still stop the moneyriver befor Jp
    and soon the gov will startet quickly for change the situation
    inhabitants of the earth dont purchases any from there !
    supply and demand are the weapons against this criminals

    It says friends, and all
    Jp cars make you sick
    JP PC make your sick
    JP food make your sick
    jp .. from there is any danger to sale or buy

  • arclight arclight

    japan.recycle.net

    http://japan.recycle.net/a/0100.html

    18 May 2011 Last updated at 09:17:44 GMTJapan starts recycling metal scraps from earthquake

    “TOKYO (Scrap Monster): Japan has started resurrecting the countries recycling facilities, which were heavily damaged by the earthquake and Tsunami in March in order to recycle the huge amount of metal scraps generated from the same disaster.

    Japan Iron & Steel Recycling Institute (JISRI) president Tsunefumi Nakatsuji said in the 4th China International Metal Recycling Conference that the country has now initiated measures for the revival of its ferrous scrap and steel making industries.

    JISRI has also called up their member companies to get ready for effective recycling of these metal scraps from the disaster. The total volume of metal scraps resulted from the disaster is estimated to be 1 to 2 million metric tons.”

    oh and this

    “Japan’s scrap usage ratio for steelmaking has been increased to 14 percent by 2011. Japan has available scrap for basic oxygen furnace buyers and still generates enough to export some 5 million tons annually to China, South Korea and other nations.”

    http://www.scrapmonster.com/news/japan-starts-recycling-metal-scraps-from-earthquake/1/1844

    confusingly this? too much sccrap metal maybe and the reason that they cant sell radioactive cars for scrap??

    “Japanese H2 scrap prices decline Aug-25-08

    Japanese H2 scrap price was prevailing at ¥46,500~47,000/ton in the Kanto region, and the highest price was ¥50,000/ton when the lowest price was ¥45,000/ton.

    As scrap market weakens in the Kanto region, the scarp price has lowered than ¥50,000/ton at present. On the other hand, Tokyo Steel decreased scrap purchase price constantly.

    Due to softening prices of scrap in the Kanto region, some steel plants have closed operation of electric furnace

    http://www.zimbio.com/Recycling+Steel/articles/112/Japanese+H2+Steel+Scrap+Metal+Recycling+Prices

  • Bobby1

    Strontium and plutonium concentrations table (in Japanese):

    http://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/shingi/chousa/gijyutu/017/shiryo/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2011/10/05/1311753_2.pdf

    The last row of the table is a location near Sendai.

  • ion jean ion jean

    BUT HOW DO WE STOP THE EXPORT OF THEIR ATMOSPHERE?

    The death rate increase for March-Sept 2011 has now been charted by the CDC and the U.S. is UP by 100,000 DEATHS since same period in 2010. This is due to beta activity in the air ALONE, not including water contamination and crop and milk contamination.

    • alasanon

      wow. I’ve personally heard of a lot of deaths lately and incidences of cancer. That’s a huge statistical spike.

      And the full impact of radioactive exposure like this doesn’t kick in for years…. Look out for 2021. Oncologists & surgeons will be bombarded, if they’re still standing themselves!… :/

  • StillJill StillJill

    ion jean,…you got it! And that’s just with the facts as we know them,….certainly not the full extent of the crisis, we all know!

  • tokyota

    The Van emitted over 100 uSv/hr. Obviously there must be wide areas with similar contamination levels. No way to decontaminate this countryside…

  • lam335 lam335

    They should use all of the contaminated steal from these abandoned cars and all of the contaminated cement mentioned in the other article and use these to construct a massive sarcophagus. They can also built large pyramids to contain the rest of the radioactive debris instead on burning it and spewing its contaminants far and wide. Fukushima prefecture will then be an eternal reminder of the dangers that ensue when human corruption, greed, and hubris toy with the most powerful forces in nature.