China warns nationals visiting Japan over high radiation levels in Fukushima

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The Chinese Embassy in Japan on Sunday issued an alert to its nationals who have plans to travel in Japan, reminding them of the high-level radiation inside a damaged reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the facility’s operator, announced last week that the radiation levels detected inside the plant’s No. 2 reactor had reached 650 Sieverts per hour, even higher than the previous record of 530 Sieverts per hour in January.

Even with a 30 percent margin of error, the reading is described by many experts as “unimaginable.” It is much higher than the 73 Sieverts an hour, which was detected in 2012, one year after the nuclear plant’s collapse. Under such exposure, a person would only be able to survive a few minutes at most.

The TEPCO on Thursday sent a remotely controlled robot into the reactor, equipped with a camera that is designed to withstand up to 1,000 Sieverts of cumulative exposure. The robot was pulled out after it broke down only two hours into the probe.

The company is planning to send better robots to conduct more detailed probes. However, it insists that radiation has not leaked outside the reactor.

Last week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China has issued safety alerts to its nationals over the high-level radiation. He added that China hopes that the Japanese government could clarify how they are going to thoroughly eliminate the impact caused by the nuclear accident.

Six years have now passed after three reactors at Fukushima’s nuclear power plant were damaged by a devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami on March 11, 2011. After the accident, the local government ordered residents living within 30-kilometer radius around the Fukushima nuclear plant to evacuate.

http://www.ecns.cn/travel/2017/02-13/245088.shtml

“Abita”, an animated film about the plight of 360,000 Fukushima Children

 

This is an animation from 2013 made by a japanese student living in Germany. A girl living in Fukushima suffers fron radiation exposure.

“Abita”, is an animated short film about Fukushima children who can’t play outside because of the radioactivity. About their dreams and realities.
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Children in Fukushima can no longer play in nature due to radioactive radiation.
For nature is not 100% decontaminable.
This is just a story of 360,000 children who stay at home and dream of their freedom in nature and experience reality.

Abita was given many international prize, but this not reported in Japan. Sad country!!

Awards:
Best Animated Film, International Uranium Filmfestival, Rio de Janeiro, 2013
Special Mention, Back-up Filmfestival, Weimar, 2013

Upcoming Competitions:
Eco-Filmtour, Potsdam, 2014 (nominated)
Winter Film Awards, New York City, 2014 (nominated)

Screenings:
International Festival of Animated Film ITFS 2013, BW-Rolle
Japanese Symposium, Bonn, 2013
Nippon Connection, 2013
International Uranium Filmfestival, Rio de Janeiro, 2013
International Uranium Filmfestival, Munich, 2013
International Uranium Filmfestival, New Mexico, 2013
International Uranium Filmfestival, Arizona, 2013
International Uranium Filmfestival, Washington DC, 2013
International Uranium Filmfestival, New York City, 2013
Back-up Filmfestival, Weimar, 2013
Mediafestival, Tübingen, 2013
zwergWERK – Oldenburg Short Film Days, 2013
Konstanzer Filmfestspiele, 2013
Green Citizen’s Action Alliance GCAA, Taipei, Taiwan, 2013
Stuttgart Night, Cinema, 2013
Yerevan, Armenien, ReAnimania, 2013
Minshar for Art, The Israel Animation College, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2013
IAD, Warschau, Gdansk, Wroclaw/Polen, 2013
IAD (BW-Rolle, Best of IC, Best of TFK) Sofia, Bulgarien, 2013
05. November 2013: Stuttgart Stadtbibliothek (BW-Rolle) , 2013
PISAF Puchon, Southkorea, (BW-Rolle, Best of IC, Best of TFK) , 2013
Freiburg, Trickfilm-Abend im Kommunalen Kino (BW-Rolle), Freiburg, 2013
Zimbabwe, ZIMFAIA (BW-Rolle, Best of IC, Best of TFK), Zimbabwe, 2013

Upcoming Screenings:
18. Dezember 2013: Böblingen – Kunstverein Böblingen (BW-Rolle)
21.-22. Dezember 2013: Schorndorf – Kino Kleine Fluchten (BW-Rolle, Best of IC, Best of TFK)
27. August 2014: Künzelsau – Galerie am Kocher (BW-Rolle)
Movie Night for the anniversary of the Fukushima desaster,Zurich, 2014
:引用終了

http://saigaijyouhou.com/blog-entry-1519.html

Up to 20µSv/h at Namie Junior High School, Fukushima

 

Namie Junior High School, Namie, Futaba, Fukushima prefecture.

Measures taken on February 5, 2017, on March 31, 2017 the japanese government will lift the evacuation order in Namie, for its inhabitants to return….

 

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At 1m above the ground : 3.5μSv/h

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At 50cm above the ground : 6μSv/h

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At 5cm above the ground 20μSv/h

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Measurement location
https://goo.gl/maps/27kyf41xyUr

 

China urges Japan to act responsibly over Fukushima radiation and recommends strict testing for China imports

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China on Monday urged the Japanese government to clarify how they plan to deal with the impact of the deadly levels of radioactivity that have been detected inside the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.

A Chinese expert also warned not to eat seafood caught from waters near the site due to possible organ failure.

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a press briefing on Monday that China had been watching closely the repercussions of the Fukushima nuclear leakage accident and the ministry had issued relevant safety alerts.

“[The Chinese side] has been asking the Japanese government to properly handle the accident and follow-up matters in a timely fashion,” Lu said, adding that “any responsible government will pay continuous and high attention to the impact of the nuclear leakage on the marine environment, food safety and people’s health.”

Lu added that it is Japanese government’s obligation to not only the Japanese people, but also to people from the rest of the world, its neighbors included.

Gui Liming, a professor at the Department of Engineering Physics with Tsinghua University, warned that seafood which was caught from the radiated waters and illegally imported still pose a threat to Chinese people’s health.

Customs authorities in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, detained 14 people in August 2016 for smuggling frozen seafood from Japan, including irradiated high-end seafood from waters near Fukushima prefecture, China Central Television reported.

“We need to closely inspect every product to single out the radiated ones, which was not part of the usual routine of customs before,” Gui said.

Radiation levels from melted fuel inside the containment vessel of reactor No.2 at the crippled Fukushima No.1 power plant have reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, the highest since the triple core meltdown in March 2011, The Japan Times reported Friday, citing Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. (Tepco).

At 530 sieverts, a person could die from even brief exposure.

The Japan Times said Monday that Tepco will place a robot inside the reactor to further investigate the radiation levels. No radiation has leaked outside, Tepco said.

However, Gui pointed out that the high radiation level will affect the optical system of the robot, making it difficult for it to observe and collect data. It is also very difficult to control the robot in such an environment, Gui added.

http://english.sina.com/china/d/2017-02-08/detail-ifyafenm3023857.shtml

Food contamination fears after 3/11 make the invisible visible

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Radiation brain” was a pun that made the social media circuit after March 11, 2011, deriding people whose brains () had become unduly contaminated with fears about radiation after the disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. They had, people claimed, “radiation brains” (hoshanō), a kind of soft-minded hysteria that made them figures of fun but also figures of potential danger to society and the economy. Their lack of confidence in government regulation of foodstuffs, people argued, became the source of harmful rumors that hurt farmers and dairy producers in disaster-affected areas. Such citizens, usually mothers in charge of providing meals for their children, were reckless in their caution.

Aya Hirata Kimura, a sociologist and professor of women’s studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, presents case studies of mothers with such anxieties and examines citizens grappling with post-Fukushima food safety concerns in “Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The Gender Politics of Food Contamination After Fukushima.” Kimura does not make claims about the extent of actual dangers to the food supply, but she does argue that the reality of the post-disaster threat is far from certain. The government, in other words, may be right about the limited health risks posed by irradiated produce, dairy, and meat; but skepticism on the part of citizens is a rational, rather than a hysterical, response. She also examines the various constraints that made many citizens — mothers, in particular — turn to scientific activities such as running citizen radiation-measuring organizations rather than engaging in out-and-out criticism of government and industry responses to safety concerns.

Immediately after the disaster, many expected a surge of specifically anti-nuclear political activism in Japan, and indeed protests and demonstrations flourished in the spring and summer of 2011. However, just five years on from the worst nuclear disaster in decades, political activism remains a fringe activity. Part of what interested Kimura was why citizens seemed to be “more concerned than outraged.” As she noted recently, “so many seem to be perplexed why Japan, after the major nuclear accident, has not seen transformative politics.” Her book offers some answers to that question.

Kimura makes the point that avoiding confrontational politics and direct dissent is not, as is often claimed, a characteristic particular to Japanese culture. It’s a characteristic particular to neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is one of the key concepts that guides Kimura’s analysis, and she traces how the neoliberal shift to limited government, rule of the free market, and individualism has determined what kinds of demands citizens in post-Fukushima Japan can make of their government. In a neoliberal society, the government is no longer responsible for ensuring citizens’ rights to safety, economic factors rule in cost-benefit analyses and the good neoliberal citizen is willing to take on individual risk and make individual choices, while they are less willing to act collectively.

Alongside neoliberalism, Kimura introduces us to the concepts of scientism and post-feminism. Scientism indicates a tendency in which science holds authority in society to determine the “reality” of controversial and uncertain situations, although culture and society influence the creation and application of science itself. Post-feminism is the idea that systematic oppression of women has been eliminated and collective feminist activism is no longer necessary, since motivated individual women can empower themselves.

An example of how these three larger forces of neoliberalism, scientism and post-feminism play out in post-3/11 society and constrain citizen activism is the case of fūryōhigai, or harmful rumors. The term “fūryōhigai” apparently originated in the 1980s, and indicated a decline in seafood sales because of nuclear reactor accidents. After agricultural producers in areas near the distressed Fukushima No. 1 plant suffered economic losses, the term gained new currency and shifted blame onto concerned consumers, particularly “radiation brain” moms, and away from government and business interests. The prioritization of economic recovery and the individual consumer’s responsibility to participate in this effort reflected neoliberal priorities. The view of scientism insisted on the scientific authority of nuclear experts, although many of those experts had an interest in promoting nuclear power, and the science of post-Fukushima health impacts remains contested. Contradictory demands placed women at the center of controversies about food safety as mothers responsible for the health of their families but also as targets of gendered stereotypes of women as particularly unscientific and irrational, while the post-feminist social context deterred them from making collective political demands of the powers that be.

The role these three ideologies play in Kimura’s analysis might put off a nonacademic reader, but Kimura employs them to make the power dynamics to which we are all subject visible, much as her citizen scientists labor to make the invisible threat of radiation visible. Speaking about her book, Kimura noted that “all these ‘-isms’ tend to be normalized and taken for granted.” So scientism, for example, makes science’s objective authority something that is taken for granted in spite of the fact that science is shaped by social forces. Kimura works to make the ideologies of neoliberalism, scientism and post-feminism visible, because “invisibility is at the crux of their power. The more they are named, the less they can masquerade as apolitical.” Just because we cannot see these forces does not mean that they do not impact our world, and they are very real in their consequences for potential political activism.

Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists, by Aya Hirata Kimura. 224 pages Duke University Press.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2017/02/04/books/book-reviews/radiation-brain-moms-citizen-scientists-aya-hirata-kimura-224-pages/#.WJZl1fLraM8

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Workers at a consumer safety center in the city of Fukushima prepare to conduct radiation checks in March 2012 on vegetables brought in by residents

All Fukushima seafood samples pass safety tests for radioactivity

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Fish caught during test fishing operations are sold at the Iwaki City Central Wholesale Market on Jan. 13. (Kazumasa Sugimura)

 

IWAKI, Fukushima Prefecture–For the first time, radioactivity levels were lower than the government’s safety limit in every seafood sample caught off Fukushima Prefecture for an entire year, officials said.

The Fukushima Prefectural Fisheries Experimental Station said 8,502 fish and shellfish samples were tested in 2016, and all recorded radioactivity readings under the safety standard of 100 becquerels per kilogram.

Ninety-five percent of them tested below the detection limit of around 15 becquerels per kilogram.

It was also the first time more than 90 percent of samples were below the detection threshold since the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant started in March 2011, according to the officials.

People in the local fishing industry hope the numbers will help lead to a return to normal operations, although they say it is difficult to gauge the impact of harmful rumors about Fukushima seafood because prices depend on multiple factors, including quantity and quality.

Test fishing is, after all, test fishing,” said Yuji Kanari, a managing director with seafood wholesaler Iwaki Gyorui KK. “Turning that into full fishing operations like before (the disaster) will emerge as a major challenge this year.

I hope that local consumption of locally produced goods that was disrupted by the nuclear disaster will soon be back.”

The hauls from test fishing, which began in June 2012, have grown from year to year.

Preliminary figures show last year’s catch at 2,072 tons, up 560 tons from 2015, but still only 7.9 percent of the annual catch of 26,050 tons averaged over the decade preceding the 2011 disaster.

Ninety-four species are eligible for this year’s test fishing, which the Soma-Futaba fisheries cooperative association started on Jan. 10 and the Iwaki city fisheries cooperative association began on Jan. 12.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201702030003.html

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Gov’t plan to cut back radiation tests on produce draws mixed reactions

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The national government suggested it would scale back radiation tests on produce from Tokyo and 16 other prefectures affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, at a citizen-oriented event in Tokyo on Feb. 2, drawing mixed reactions from those in attendance.
A draft policy was put together by government bodies including the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Consumer Affairs Agency and calls for allowing reduction of the tests from the 2017 fiscal year. The plan was influenced by the fact that there are now almost no cases of agricultural products that exceed the regulatory limit for radioactive cesium of 100 becquerels per kilogram. Under the draft policy, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government or any of the affected prefectural governments whose agricultural products were at half or less of the limit for the past three years could choose to scale back their tests.

Representatives from consumer groups and Fukushima producers were present at the Feb. 2 meeting. There were many voices of opposition against the draft policy, saying it was too early to cut back the tests, or that the requirement for scaling them back should be stricter than half or less of the regulatory limit. On the other hand, another attendee said that over the last five years the tests had cost around 4 billion yen and the money should “be spent toward more meaningful goals.”

According to the testing results from fiscal 2011 through fiscal 2015, during the first two years the percentage of products like vegetables, fruits, tubers and meats from these areas with radioactive cesium in excess of the regulatory limit was between 0.1 percent and 5.9 percent, but since 2013 no excessive radiation has been detected.

The central government plans to hold an event to exchange ideas on the matter on Feb. 17 and get a better understanding of public opinion, before deciding on whether to actually downsize the testing.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170203/p2a/00m/0na/004000c

 

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