Prosecutors demand 5-year prison terms for Tepco’s ex-bosses for Fukushima nuclear disaster

gettyimages-1008038492_wide-5c613955c65d8c03635cd232c5274d878fdbaba8-s800-c85
Prosecutors say TEPCO leaders should have known the risks a tsunami could pose to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which sits along Japan’s eastern coast. Here, the Unit 3 reactor is seen this past summer, amid storage tanks of radiation-contaminated water.
Executives In Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Deserve 5-Year Prison Terms, Prosecutors Say
December 26, 2018
The former chairman and two vice presidents of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. should spend five years in prison over the 2011 flooding and meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Japanese prosecutors say, accusing the executives of failing to prevent a foreseeable catastrophe.
Prosecutors say the TEPCO executives didn’t do enough to protect the nuclear plant, despite being told in 2002 that the Fukushima facility was vulnerable to a tsunami. In March of 2011, it suffered meltdowns at three of its reactors, along with powerful hydrogen explosions.
“It was easy to safeguard the plant against tsunami, but they kept operating the plant heedlessly,” prosecutors said on Wednesday, according to The Asahi Shimbun. “That led to the deaths of many people.”
Former TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 78; former Vice President Ichiro Takekuro, 72; and former Vice President Sakae Muto, 68, face charges of professional negligence resulting in death and injury. Muto and Takekuro once led the utility’s nuclear division. All three have pleaded not guilty in Tokyo District Court, saying they could not have predicted the tsunami.
The stricken plant triggered mandatory evacuations for thousands of people. Prosecutors attribute 44 deaths to the incident, including a number of hospital patients who were forced to leave their facilities.
The sentencing recommendation came as prosecutors made their closing arguments on Wednesday, more than two years after the executives were initially indicted.
The next step in the case will see a lawyer for victims and their families speak in court on Thursday. But it won’t be until March of 2019 that defense lawyers will deliver their closing arguments, according to Japan’s NHK News.
Hinting at what the defense’s argument might be, NHK cites the prosecutors saying, “the former executives later claimed that they had not been informed, and that the executives put all the blame on their subordinates.”
The case has taken a twisting journey to arrive at this point. In two instances, public prosecutors opted not to seek indictments against the three TEPCO executives. But an independent citizen’s panel disagreed, and in early 2016, prosecutors in the case — all court-appointed lawyers — secured indictments against the three former TEPCO leaders.
Both TEPCO and the Japanese government lost a class-action lawsuit in late 2017, when a court found that officials had not prepared enough for potential disaster at the Fukushima power plant. In that case, the Fukushima district court ordered payments totaling nearly $4.5 million to about 3,800 plaintiffs.
All told, around 19,000 people are estimated to have died in eastern Japan’s triple disaster that included a powerful earthquake off the coast of Tohoku, a devastating tsunami, and the worst nuclear meltdown since the Chernobyl catastrophe of 1986.
In September, Japan’s government announced the first death due to radiation that was released at the Fukushima plant.
The region is still sharply feeling the results of the calamity. As of late November, more than 30,000 people who fled the area had still not returned, Kyodo News reports.
 
 
 
Jail term demanded for ex-bosses over Fukushima nuclear crisis
The charges are the only ones to have stemmed from the tsunami-sparked reactor meltdowns at the plant that set off the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl in 1986
December 26, 2018
DANGEROUS. A staff member of the Tokyo Electric Power Company measures radiation levels between reactor unit 2 and unit 3 (Rear) at the tsunami-crippled Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture.
TOKYO, Japan – A 5-year jail term was sought for 3 former executives at the company operating Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, media reported Wednesday, December 26, the only people to face criminal charges over the 2011 meltdowns.
Former chairman of Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) Tsunehisa Katsumata and former vice presidents Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro are charged with professional negligence resulting in death and injury, and have pleaded not guilty.
They are the only charges to have stemmed from the tsunami-sparked reactor meltdowns at the plant that set off the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.
Attorneys, who are exceptionally acting as prosecutors in the trial, said the 3 executives were aware of data indicating the nuclear plant risked being hit by a tsunami with waves exceeding 15 meters (52 feet) – enough to trigger power loss and cause severe accidents.
“They should have halted operations at the nuclear plant” until the company finished anti-tsunami measures, including construction of a breakwater, the prosecutors told Tokyo District Court, according to Jiji Press.
Katsumata, 78, has said during the trial he could not have predicted the towering waves that pummelled Japan’s northeast coast and swamped reactors in March 2011.
The disaster forced tens of thousands to evacuate their homes near the plant. Many are still living in other parts of Japan, unable or unwilling to go back home as fears over radiation persist.
The charges against the ex-bosses are linked to the deaths of more than 40 hospitalized patients who were hastily evacuated from the Fukushima area and later died.
Prosecutors had twice refused to press charges, citing insufficient evidence and little chance of conviction.
But a judicial review panel composed of ordinary citizens ruled in 2015 that the trio should be put on special trial in which designated attorneys accuse defendants and demand a penalty.
Waves as high as 14 meters swamped the reactors’ cooling systems in March 2011 after a 9.0 magnitude tremor.
Although the quake-tsunami disaster left some 18,500 people dead or missing, the Fukushima accident itself is not officially recorded as having directly killed anyone.
A parliamentary report a year after the disaster said Fukushima was a man-made crisis caused by Japan’s culture of “reflexive obedience.”
Advertisements

5-year prison terms sought for former TEPCO executives

n-tepco-a-20181227-870x343
Five-year jail terms are being sought for former Tepco executives Tsunehisa Katsumata (left), Ichiro Takekuro (middle) and Sakae Muto for their alleged failure to prevent the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns in 2011.
5-year prison terms sought for former TEPCO executives
December 26, 2018
Prosecutors on Dec. 26 demanded five-year prison terms for three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. over the disaster caused by a tsunami slamming into the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
“It was easy to safeguard the plant against tsunami, but they kept operating the plant heedlessly,” the prosecution said at the trial at the Tokyo District Court. “That led to the deaths of many people.”
Tsunehisa Katsumata, 78, former chairman of TEPCO, Sakae Muto, 68, former vice president, and Ichiro Takekuro, 72, former vice president, are standing trial on charges of professional negligence resulting in death and injury in connection to the triple meltdown at the plant in 2011.
According to the prosecution, the failure of the three to take countermeasures against tsunami led to the deaths of 44 people and the injuries of many others.
Many of them were hospital patients who were forced to evacuate when the nuclear crisis unfolded.
The defendants have all pleaded innocent. They said they had no way of predicting a tsunami of the height that inundated the Fukushima plant following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011.
Prosecutors had dropped the case against the three, but they were mandatorily indicted by an inquest of prosecution committee comprising ordinary citizens.
Lawyers are acting as prosecutors in the trial.
Shozaburo Ishida of the prosecution side said if a nuclear accident occurs, it results in an irreparable situation in which radioactive materials are spread.
He said the three defendants, who were in the utility’s top management at the time of the Fukushima disaster, should be held responsible because they failed to pay close attention to the safety of the plant.
The prosecution accused the three of “postponing” anti-tsunami measures despite learning that an in-house analysis showed that a tsunami of up to 15.7 meters in height could hit the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
The plant sits on land 10 meters above sea level.
According to the prosecution, the three gave the nod to anti-tsunami measures in 2008 based on a government assessment report about the probability of earthquakes striking Japan.
However, they stalled in taking the necessary steps, the prosecution said.
During the trial, the defendants denied the credibility of the government’s long-term assessment report.
They also said “15.7 meters” was a preliminary figure, and that asking the Japan Society of Civil Engineers to evaluate the appropriateness of TEPCO’s projection does not amount to “postponing” anti-tsunami measures.
5-year prison terms sought for 3 ex-TEPCO execs over nuclear disaster
December 26, 2018
TOKYO — Five-year prison terms were sought for three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on Dec. 26 over a nuclear disaster at the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in northeastern Japan in 2011.
A court-appointed lawyer who indicted the three — Tsunehisa Katsumata, 78, former chairman of TEPCO; Ichiro Takekuro, 72, former vice president; and Sakae Muto, 68, another former vice president — demanded the punishments at a Tokyo District Court hearing.
Prosecutors had abandoned indicting the three former TEPCO executives. However, after a prosecution inquest panel comprising those selected from among members of the general public deemed twice that they deserve indictment, a court-appointed lawyer indicted them in accordance with the Act on Committee for Inquest of Prosecution.
The lawyer said the defendants’ failure to take measures to prevent tsunami caused the accident.
“Even though the defendants were the top-ranking executives of a nuclear plant operator, they failed to do what they should have done, continued to operate the nuclear plant and caused the deaths of many people,” the lawyer said. “If they had obtained necessary information on possible massive tsunami on their own authority and taken appropriate measures, they could have prevented the serious accident.”
Katsumata, Takekuro and Muto are charged with professional negligence resulting in death and injury over the March 2011 nuclear accident. Specifically, they are accused of neglecting to take preventive measures while being aware that a massive tsunami could cause an accident at the plant, forcing patients at Futaba Hospital in the Fukushima Prefecture town of Okuma to take shelter for a long time and causing 44 of them to die.
The key point of contention during the trial is whether the three defendants could have predicted the accident before tsunami triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake crashed into the plant.
In 2008, TEPCO estimated that tsunami waves as high as 15.7 meters could hit the Fukushima Daiichi complex based on a long-term evaluation by the government’s Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion. Nevertheless, the company stopped short of taking countermeasures against such massive tsunami at the plant.
Muto had been briefed of the estimate, but chose to put countermeasures on hold because the company asked experts to re-examine the long-term evaluation.
With regard to this, the court-appointed lawyer pointed out that they delayed countermeasures even though they could have predicted the disaster.
The three defendants argued that they took “appropriate procedures,” and that “it’s only natural that we asked experts to examine the evaluation.”
 
Five-year jail terms sought for ex-Tepco executives over Fukushima nuclear crisis
Dec 26, 2018
Five-year prison terms were sought Wednesday for three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. for their alleged failure to prevent the Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
At the Tokyo District Court, court-appointed lawyers acting as prosecutors said if the three had collected information properly and prepared necessary safety measures it would have been possible to predict the massive tsunami and prevent the disaster.
Tsunehisa Katsumata, 78, chairman of the company at the time of the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, and Ichiro Takekuro, 72, and Sakae Muto, 68, both former vice presidents, have pleaded not guilty, arguing the tsunami was unforeseeable and the disaster would have occurred even if they had implemented preventive measures.
A final hearing for the defense will be held next March.
The court-appointed lawyers said it was clear from earlier testimony that the utility had been informed by one of its subsidiaries in 2008 that a tsunami as high as 15.7 meters could hit the plant, but it did not immediately take preventive steps.
“(Muto) prioritized avoiding suspension of the power plant and put off the problem,” one of the lawyers said.
The three were charged with professional negligence resulting in death and injury by the court-appointed lawyers in 2016 after an independent panel of citizens mandated they be indicted.
The independent panel’s decision came after Tokyo prosecutors twice decided against charging the three.
The former executives have been indicted for the deaths of 44 people, including patients forced to evacuate from a hospital, as well as injuries suffered by 13 people, including Self-Defense Force members, resulting from hydrogen explosions at the plant.
A total of 34 hearings have been held since last June, during which 21 witnesses, ranging from current and former Tepco officials to earthquake and tsunami experts, were questioned.
On March 11, 2011, the six-reactor plant located on the Pacific coast was flooded by tsunami waves triggered by a massive quake, causing the reactor cooling systems to lose their power supply. The Nos. 1 to 3 reactors subsequently suffered fuel meltdowns, while hydrogen explosions damaged the buildings housing the No. 1, 3 and 4 units.
As a result of the nuclear crisis, the worst since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, around 160,000 people were evacuated at one stage. More than 30,000 of them were still displaced as of late November.

5 years in prison sought for ex-TEPCO Executives over nuclear disaster

26 dec 2018.jpg
5 Years in Prison Sought for Ex-TEPCO Execs over Nuclear Accident
Tokyo, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)–Lawyers acting as prosecutors demanded on Wednesday that three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. each be sentenced to five years in prison over the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.
The three–former Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 78, and former vice presidents Ichiro Takekuro, 72, and Sakae Muto, 68–did not act though they were aware of possible tsunami, the acting prosecutors said in their closing statement at Tokyo District Court.
The former TEPCO executives were indicted by the acting prosecutors in 2016, after a prosecution inquest panel reversed the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s decision not to file criminal charges against them.
According to the indictment, the three could foresee gigantic tsunami hitting TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant but neglected to take related measures, leading to the company’s failure to prevent the tsunami-triggered meltdown.
They are accused of professional negligence resulting in death and injury, including the deaths of 44 inpatients at a nearby hospital.
 
Five-year sentences sought for ex-TEPCO execs
The court-appointed lawyers, who serve as prosecutors, have demanded five-year prison sentences for three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company. They say the executives are responsible for the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The court-appointed lawyers delivered their closing argument at the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday.
The defendants are former chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, former vice president Ichiro Takekuro, and former vice president Sakae Muto. They all pleaded not guilty to charges of professional negligence resulting in death and injury.
Public prosecutors decided not to indict the three, but an inquest panel, comprised of randomly chosen citizens, decided that the former executives should stand trial.
In line with that decision, the men were indicted by court-appointed lawyers in February 2016.
The court-appointed lawyers say the defendants were told two to three years before the accident that a massive tsunami could hit the nuclear plant. They also say the defendants did not try to gather information about the potential danger. The court-appointed lawyers indicate that the former executives later claimed that they had not been informed, and that the executives put all the blame on their subordinates.
The court-appointed lawyers also say the defendants should have suspended the plant’s operations when they were told that a massive tsunami could hit the plant.
The court-appointed lawyers maintain that the defendants are responsible because they didn’t do anything to prevent the accident from occurring.
A five-year prison term is the maximum punishment handed down for professional negligence resulting in death and injury.
A lawyer for the bereaved families of the victims will speak at the trial on Thursday. The defense lawyers will deliver their closing argument next March.

Editorial: Japan must ditch nuclear plant exports for global trends in renewable energy

serveimage.jpg
December 25, 2018
Projects to export nuclear power plants, a pillar of the “growth strategy” promoted by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, appear to be crumbling.
Factors behind the failures include ballooning construction costs due to strengthened safety standards after the triple core meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in March 2011, and growing anti-nuclear sentiments around the world.
Nothing else can be said but that the export projects have effectively failed. The prime minister’s office and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry must bear the responsibility of continuing to promote these exports despite a massive change in the attitude toward nuclear power plants.
“We are really stretched to our limit,” Hitachi Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi recently said of the company’s nuclear power plant construction plan in Britain. The statement came at a regular press conference of the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, indicating that continuing the project is not feasible.
Hitachi coordinated closely with the Japanese government to advance the U.K. project. The company was to build two nuclear power reactors in midwestern Britain through a local subsidiary, and to start operating the facilities in the first half of the 2020s.
But, the total estimated cost of the project has skyrocketed from the initial figure of 2 trillion yen to 3 trillion yen due to growing safety measure costs. Hitachi, hoping to distribute financial risk, sought investments from major power utilities and other firms, but the negotiations hit a snag due to the lowered profitability of the project.
In a bid to secure profits at an early stage, Hitachi requested that the British government raise the price of the electricity to be generated by the plants, which was guaranteed to be purchased in advance. This arrangement also hit a wall as confusion spread in the British political sphere over the nation’s planned exit from the European Union. Hitachi, which has a stake in the local subsidiary, would lose some 300 billion yen if the project was cancelled.
Similar trouble has arisen in Turkey. A plan to export nuclear power plants, which began from a close relationship between Prime Minister Abe and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has also run aground.
Under the original plan, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and other businesses were to build four midsized reactors in Turkey along the coast of the Black Sea at a total estimated cost of 2.1 trillion yen. The amount has more than doubled to 5 trillion yen, due in part to increased cost estimates for earthquake-proof measures. This development now requires the Japanese and Turkish governments to extend additional financial support for the project, but the two sides have apparently failed to reach an agreement.
The Abe administration has thrown its weight behind the export of nuclear power plants as a major element of its economic “growth strategy,” with the trade ministry choreographing the moves for the projects. The ministry regards nuclear power generation as one of the main sources of power generation, always protecting and promoting the nuclear power industry.
However, after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, building such plants within Japan has become difficult, and the ministry hoped to maintain the size of the nuclear power industry through exports and the transference of relevant technologies and human resources to the next generation. But this has ignored the fact that international trends have shifted since the disaster.
The construction cost for nuclear power plants has grown exponentially with the increased focus on safety measures, while renewable energy sources such as solar power have become cheaper with the rapid expansion of their use. As such, the relative price competitiveness for nuclear power reactors has declined; it can no longer be called an “inexpensive energy source.”
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global investments for new nuclear power plant construction in 2017 dropped to 30 percent of the previous year’s figure. Global policy is moving away from nuclear power plants and instead tipping toward renewable energy sources.
The failure to reflect this trend led to the huge losses incurred by Toshiba Corp., which bought Westinghouse Electric Co. with backing from the trade ministry to pursue its troubled nuclear power projects in the United States.
In 2012, a national referendum in Lithuania voted down a project to build a Hitachi nuclear power plant, and then in 2016, Vietnam scrubbed a similar construction plan. The same year, Japan signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with India, eyeing exports of nuclear power plants despite concerns about the proliferation of nuclear materials to the nuclear weapon state outside of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Still, the export plan has yet to materialize. It is clear that the export of nuclear power plants has been backed into a corner for quite some time already.
It is Japan that caused one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents, and is now working on decommissioning the damaged reactors in a process that will take decades to complete. Many people in Japan hold deeply rooted feelings against the government’s placement of nuclear power plant exports as a pillar of the nation’s growth strategy.
In response, the government has simply justified the projects by saying they will contribute to developing countries with a growing power demand by offering a cheap source of power to support their economic growth. Rising construction costs, however, has rendered this explanation moot.
Japan still has many nuclear power plants to run, and the decommissioning of older plants will soon be in full-swing. The latest technology and skilled experts are vital for these projects to be completed successfully.
Continuing to focus on nuclear power export, however, will lead Japan nowhere. The government should take another look at global trends, and review the basis of its nuclear power policy to rid Japan of nuclear power as soon as possible.

5 Chiba prefecture mayors request radioactive waste storage facility for the 8th Time

This is an ongoingly highly toxic and dangerous situation made even more difficult by lies and cover-ups and nuclear industry which owns way too many politicians.
PK2018122102100059_size0.jpg
For the 8th time mayors from five cities in Chiba prefecture requested that the central government deal with high level radioactive waste in their cities: Matsudo, Kashiwa, Nagareyama, Abiko, Inzai.
Since 2011, the waste from the Fukushima disaster has been left in temporary storage locations.
The mayors began formally requesting the central government establish a long term storage facility for this waste in January. At the 8th meeting again requesting this assistance they left empty handed again.
Much of this waste consists of contaminated soil, plant matter and possibly dried sewage sludge or incinerator ash. It was not specified what waste streams would be stored in the requested facility. Much of the contaminated soil has been stored in empty lots, some of these near homes or schools, others in watershed areas.
Parts of Chiba received unexpected levels of contamination. Southerly winds at the time of some of the larger releases from the nuclear meltdowns caused contamination into parts of Chiba and Tokyo. Places hours away from a nuclear power plant can find themselves dealing with high radiation levels and contamination due to bad timing and a change of the wind.

Determination and Comparison of the Strontium-90 Concentrations in Topsoil of Fukushima Prefecture before and after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident

serveimage.jpg
Abstract
To precisely understand the status of scattered strontium-90 (90Sr) after the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1-NPP) of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the measurement of the soil samples collected both before and after the day of the accident from the same sampling locations is necessary. However, very few reports have investigated the background contaminant data before the accident even though several studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of the F1-NPP accident. To address the lack of the passed 90Sr information and reestablished baseline, this study focuses on the stored topsoil samples that are collected from the same sampling locations from the Fukushima Prefecture before and after the F1-NPP accident, which are analyzed for obtaining the 90Sr concentrations. The results of our investigation exhibited that the 90Sr concentrations in the Fukushima Prefecture soils ranged from 0.2 to 20.4 Bq/kg in the samples that were collected before the accident and from 1.37 to 80.8 Bq/kg in the samples that were collected after the accident from identical sampling locations. Further, the soil samples that were collected from 30 out of 56 locations displayed significant differences in terms of concentrations before and after the accident. In addition, the relations between the 90Sr concentrations and the soil properties of the samples (organic content, pH, water content, and composition) were investigated, and it was found that the organic content and water content had a positive correlation with 90Sr concentrations and, in contrast, the sandiness was shown to have a negative correlation with 90Sr concentrations. The depth characteristics were also investigated. The aforementioned results indicate that this tendency would be observed even in the future.
 
Introduction
 
A large amount of radioactive materials was scattered throughout the environment (ocean, atmosphere, land, and so on) because of the accident that occurred on March 11, 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1-NPP) that was owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO).(1−3) Seven years have passed by since the accident, and research institutes around the world have been monitoring the influence of the environmental dynamics of radionuclides that have been released.(4−13) More specifically, there have been several environmental monitoring reports regarding β-ray-emitting nuclides, such as radioiodine and radiocesium, because multiple samples can be analyzed in a relatively short time using certain types of instruments such as a germanium semiconductor detector, a sodium iodide scintillator detector, and a lantern bromide scintillator detector.(14−19) Meanwhile, radiostrontium (90Sr) (half-life: 28.79 y(20)) is a pure β-ray-emitting nuclide that does not emit γ-rays, which makes it necessary to chemically isolate it for measuring β-rays because the β-ray spectra overlap. In particular, it is imperative to monitor 90Sr over a long period because it will require several decades to decommission F1-NPP. In Japan, instead of a few literature concerning the development of a rapid analytical means,(21−25) radiochemical analysis using milking-low background gas-flow counter (milking-LBC) is adopted as the official analysis method for analyzing 90Sr because of good sensitivity and/or high-precision analysis in low concentration levels in the environment.(26) This method requires considerable amount of time and effort to pretreat the analysis as compared to those required by the γ-ray measurement method. Although various studies have been vigorously conducted,(27−33) the study related to the scattering of 90Sr is not as advanced as compared to that related to the γ-ray-emitting nuclides such as radiocesium.
To precisely understand the status of scattered 90Sr after an incident of nuclear accident, the samples collected both before and after the day of the accident should be measured, thereby distinguishing from the fallout of atmospheric nuclear tests (20th century’s) that have been conducted in the past. So far, the survival ratios of nuclides with short half-lives in samples have been employed in several studies.(34) However, this technique cannot track the long-term process because it becomes difficult to evaluate the nuclides that exhibit a short decrease in half-lives. The optimal method for addressing these issues is to measure the radioactive concentrations of 90Sr in soil that is collected at identical locations before and after the accident. However, few examples exhibited the presence of 90Sr in soil before the F1-NPP accident, which was completely unexpected. Fortunately, we already possessed analytical data related to the 90Sr concentrations in soil samples that were collected before the accident with precise sampling locations throughout the Fukushima Prefecture (not published). Therefore, in this study, we succeeded in estimating the exact amount of 90Sr deposition before and after the F1-NPP accident. When performing the long-term observation, understanding the background level of 90Sr before the accident was observed to be considerably important for understanding the environmental radioactivity and the environmental dynamics or the usage of 90Sr as a tracer.
In this study, we measured the radioactivity concentrations of 90Sr in the topsoil at the same locations in the Fukushima Prefecture before and after the accident and obtained the background levels of 90Sr before the F1-NPP accident. Thus, we revealed the deposition status of 90Sr before and after the accident. We also investigated the correlation between the soil properties and 90Sr to determine the status of deposition of 90Sr on the topsoil in Fukushima prefecture (Figure 1).
Read more at:

Tohoku disaster reconstruction to miss ’20 deadline for completion

hkl.jpg
A resident in the Yuriage district of Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, returns to her home after shopping. The housing complex was built after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
 
December 19, 2018
Reconstruction of areas devastated by the 2011 triple disaster will not be completed by fiscal 2020 as initially scheduled, and Fukushima Prefecture residents could be hit hardest by the delay, the Reconstruction Agency said.
Agency officials said Dec. 18 that further measures would be needed after fiscal 2020 to help areas affected by the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, as well as municipalities heavily damaged by the tsunami triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011.
The government had set a 10-year reconstruction period as its basic policy, with the first five years described as an “intensive reconstruction period” and the second five years labeled as the “reconstruction and revitalization period.”
The Reconstruction Agency will also be eliminated at the end of March 2021, meaning the government will need new legislation to designate an agency that will handle the reconstruction effort in the Tohoku region from fiscal 2021.
Reconstruction Agency officials conducted studies in the five prefectures of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki during the current fiscal year to determine the extent of progress as well as what support measures should be continued beyond fiscal 2020.
The officials said some public works projects were taking longer than expected because of delays in buying land for those projects and revisions in reconstruction plans.
Although no specific project names or locations were revealed, the officials said all of those public works projects would not be completed by the end of fiscal 2020.
Under the government’s plan, the need for temporary prefabricated homes will no longer exist at the end of fiscal 2020.
However, elderly people who move out of such housing will still require care and supervision especially if they live alone and are suffering from psychological damage stemming from the natural disaster.
The situation looks especially dire in the locales most seriously affected by the nuclear accident.
Mountains of decontaminated soil will be moved outside of Fukushima Prefecture, but the relocation is not expected to happen for another 20 years. That means support measures for evacuees as well as Fukushima farmers and fishermen still dealing with negative publicity about their harvests will have to continue well beyond fiscal 2021.
A total of 32 trillion yen ($285 billion) has been set aside for the reconstruction effort. Whatever is left can be carried over after fiscal 2021 for still-incomplete projects.
At the end of fiscal 2017, 4.6 trillion yen had still not been spent. Reconstruction Agency officials did not say if additional budgetary measures would be needed.