Mainichi: Decontamination workers not showing up, worried about health — Went from 33 companies down to 2 — Radiation levels persisting — Expected to take much longer

Published: November 25th, 2011 at 1:34 pm ET


Decontamination work at homes in Fukushima not going well as radiation lingers, The Mainichi Daily News, Nov. 25, 2011 (Emphasis Added):

  • Work to decontaminate homes and yards in a district here is not proceeding as hoped, as radiation levels persist and decontamination workers worried about their health stay away.
  • The city began decontamination work in the Onami district [57 km / 35 mi. from Fukushima meltdowns] on Oct. 18.
  • Originally, there was a plan to complete decontamination work on all 367 households in the district by the end of the year, but decontamination work is now expected to take much longer.
  • Thirty-three companies were originally planned to take part, but due to fears about worker safety, most canceled and only two companies joined the work when it started in October.
  • A man in his 60s who lives in the area said, “I was hoping decontamination work would finish before the snow fell. There’s been no explanation of why things have been put off, and I’ve become more distrustful.”

Six homes were monitored where decontamination was carried out There was an average drop of:

  • 70 percent for front of entrances
  • 70 percent for gravel parking spots
  • 30 percent drop for roofs
  • 25 percent drop for asphalt in the yard
  • 22 percent drop for second floor interiors
Published: November 25th, 2011 at 1:34 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Japan Newspaper: Radiation levels rising every month since decontamination in Fukushima district — Gov’t won’t help or even respond — “Are they forcing us to tolerate high radiation?” October 23, 2012
  2. Mainichi: Worries are growing — Every rainfall brings a new batch of radioactivity — Radiation levels HIGHER after decontamination October 11, 2011
  3. “Geiger counters going off their scales” in Watari during recent survey — Radiation levels rise once again after decontamination October 22, 2011
  4. Asahi: Decontamination zone may be larger than expected — Could spread to Tochigi and Gunma prefectures October 4, 2011
  5. Report: Radiation levels double within 20 days of decontamination by Japan forces January 13, 2012

23 comments to Mainichi: Decontamination workers not showing up, worried about health — Went from 33 companies down to 2 — Radiation levels persisting — Expected to take much longer

  • kx kx

    Nothing that cant be solved at gun point

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    33 to 2 companies?! Horrible news.

    • StPaulScout StPaulScout

      Horrible news? Not in my opinion. It simply means more people are completely aware of the radiation and it’s inherent risks and will not subject themselves to it. Sounds like poeple are wising up to some extent over there. Would you agree to work decontaminating driveways knowing what you know? I sure as hell wouldn’t…..

  • nobuggy nobuggy

    I don’t know if this is the truth… it probably revolves around money, and the unwillingness of some official to pay the decon workers what the job is worth.
    Also from the article:
    “The city has suggested that the low effect on the roofs may be due to radiation from the surrounding forests”

    Riiiight. Forget about the corium, blame the trees. Might as well chop down every single one if you use that logic.

  • many moons

    Seems like they are throwing sand into the wind. So there is a little less contamination for now, but because the problem hasn’t been addressed, resolved, contained, delt with etc, what does this expensive decontamination really accomplish….besides injury to the workers and a “we look busy cause we’re gettin stuff done appearance. Will these folks want to live in a less radioactive enviroment when this work is all done?

  • Hmmmmm…. let’s stack the deck chairs while the Titanic is sinking, after hitting the iceberg.

    By all means, listen to the soothing music and do not pay any attention to the water rushing in. That is just a new cleaning system we are using to really scrub the ship clean…

    Anyone want to dance?

  • decontamination of picograms…..
    shredder the contaminated matter, rinse with water 10000 times the amount of contaminated matter, unshredder the matter, purify the water, get rid of picograms of stuff, reuse water. ah, and develop the unshredder thingy before

  • Edward Edward

    Not willing to pay bloated union demands???
    These people have lied to us from the beginning, including the U.S. government and media. NO NUKES!

    • StPaulScout StPaulScout

      I read the article and see no references to anything Union. No demands, nothing. I take it you must hate ‘unions’?

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Maybe at last the information has begun to sink in that powerwashing roofs and streets is NOT decontamination, but still just powerwashing.

  • chrisk9

    Decontaminating these homes is a complete joke and sham. I worked for 15 years in the nuclear business and helped or supervised decontamination efforts in everything from Reactor Pressure Vessel Walls to hand tools. I have seen it take hours to clean hand tools,and sometimes days to clean a slightly contaminated room.

    Contamination is like dust particles. Look at how dust particles float around your own room in the sunlight, and now think about how hard it would be to remove all those particles. And how would you keep it clean if people were going in and out your door picking up the same dust (contamination) from outside. And to make matters worse the source of the contamination is still emitting more contamination daily.

    It would be beneficial for homeowners to keep there houses as clean as possible to reduce there external and internal dose, but these house will always have some level of contamination unless you burn them down, and even then the ashes will be contaminated.

    My guess is the real story here is that they started to decontaminate some houses and then discovered how futile and time consuming these efforts really were, and then backed off the efforts. DUH, these people lie and misinform on a regular basis, but may be just incompetent and stupid more often.

    • arclight arclight

      the real cost of this type of cleanup…

      “Mound Plant, Miamisburg, OH – In 1969, a pipe carrying seven types of radionuclides, including plutonium, and VOCs broke and flowed to a nearby canal that runs constantly. Contamination was found in the one-mile strip of the canal closest to the spill at levels between 3 and 5 Curies. The contamination had seeped 5 to 10 feet into the soil.

      The U.S. EPA, Ohio EPA, City of Miamisburg, Neighbors in Need and Miamisburg Environmental Safety & Health (MESH) worked to establish cleanup standards for the site. The VOCs drove the cleanup. The first proposed cleanup level was 150 pCi/gm of plutonium in soil for a parkland use scenario; recreational standard use for four hours/day. In a community of 18,000, a cleanup level of 150 pCi/gm of plutonium meant that six people in 10,000 would die from exposure.

      MESH added a child playing in the park scenario. The City and EPAs agreed on 75 pCi/gm. MESH asked for 25 pCi/gm and stepped aside on the 75 pCi/gm standard. The resulting cleanup was an average cleanup of 25 pCi/gm of plutonium in soil. During cleanup they found that the plutonium contamination was underestimated; they found 15 curies of plutonium-238 in the soil. Cleanup costs: $48 million.”

  • lam335 lam335

    Why have articles (and associated comments) been disappearing, reappearing, and getting rearranged here lately? First the article about Strontium 89 appeared, then the comments associated with it disappeared, then today they reappeared. Today the Busby article from yesterday is gone, though the picture from it is now under the heading “Forum: Petition drives,” etc., but dated March 23.

    Is this site documenting reality or trying to construct it?

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Hi, I think Admin is facing some serious server / technical problems….look at the “update” box in the upper right corner of main page…we need a little patience.

    • It’s a lot of work to run a site like this and get things just right, even just on the tech side. It’s a dynamic process. learn as you go lot of the time. My guess is we are lucky to not have ene down right now while Admin organizes site maintenence. Yes, it’s disconcerting from a reader and poster perspective, but perhaps, as we have been asked, we have some patience things will smooth out in a short bit.

      Welcome chrisk9! Your expertise in nuke clean up is a blessing to hear.

  • pg

    Wise getting out of there. Decontamination is one thing. Decontaminating radiation is another. 1) It requires special training, tools and skills. 2) Its hard to clean something that just keeps on coming.

    Japan is done. Thank the people who put 10 reactors near one another, on a fault line, in a tsunami zone. If you ask me, it was done deliberately…

  • It’s a lot of work to run a site like this and get things just right, even just on the tech side. It’s a dynamic process. learn as you go lot of the time. My guess is we are lucky to not have ene down right now while Admin organizes site maintenence.

    yes and really: thx for putting it up.
    the extent of datamamgling let me think that admin is in serious trouble,
    the ghosts i called or something comes to my mind 🙂
    no word about german castor transports hindered by activists on the railtracks.

  • dpl dpl

    another myth blows-up ..We will decontaminate the country side.
    decontamination process will cost those doing the cleaning to limit out on their lifetime exposure and leave nothing for survival. It’s selling the years of your life for a low paying job. All risk and no benefit.

  • As mentioned above, “decontamination” is a technical sounding name for power washing. I think it is more of a PR campaign then anything else. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out it is a useless operation. Given the size of the disaster and the size of the country it looks like the government is trying hard to manage the people to keep the economy running smoothly. And since Japan is a key player in the world economy, that motivates the other countries to minimize Fukushima. Governments run by the rich, for the rich and of the rich. Everyone else can eat plutonium….

    • Edward Edward

      Well said Mark. It is always about the money/economy, not peoples health and well being. The poor expendable peasants do the dangerous, unpleasant, dirty work for the rich untouchables.