Radiation Up To 4 Times Higher Than Chernobyl Evac Zone Found In Soil 30 km Away From Fukushima; Rice Harvest In Question

Tyler Durden's picture

And some more bad news for rice farmers in Japan, who were already told that planting of this key crop would be banned in contaminated soil ahead of the rice planting season which begins in April and May. The problem so far has been the nobody really knows how to classify contaminated soil, and how far it spreads. Now a new study from Hiroshima and Kyoto Universities has found that the radioactive content of soil samples beyond the 30 km semi-evacuation zone is as much as 400 times the normal. From Asahi: "The predicted changes in the level of radiation at the ground surface were calculated after analyzing the amounts of eight kinds of radioactive materials found in the soil and taking into consideration the half-lives of each material. The study results are considered more accurate than the study conducted by the science ministry, which only released information concerning two types of radioactive material. [Scholars] collected soil samples from five locations in the village at depths of five centimeters. All the locations were outside the 30-km radius and were by roadways in various hamlets. The study found cesium-137 at levels between about 590,000 and 2.19 million becquerels per cubic meter." Comparing this to Chernobyl: "After the Chernobyl nuclear accident in the former Soviet Union in 1986, residents who lived in areas where cesium-137 levels exceeded 555,000 becquerels were forced to move elsewhere. The amounts of cesium-137 found in Iitate were at most four times the figure from Chernobyl." Which begs the questions: just who will be allowed to plant rice, who will have faith that the rice they are eating is not contaminated, and how soon before rice prices surge? And how long before the fully impaired disaster zone, which could possibly spread as far as 50 km away from Fukushima, be told about the inherent risks to their lives?

From Asahi:

If more radioactive materials are emitted from the crippled Fukushima plant, the level of cesium-137 could rise even further.

Calculations were also made of changes in the radiation level in the air one meter above contaminated ground over a three-month period from March 15, when an explosion occurred at the Fukushima plant.

The study found that even after three months there would be between 7 and 21 microsieverts per hour being emitted from the contaminated soil into the air.

If an individual remained outdoors for the entire three-month period, the person would be exposed to between 30 and 95 millisieverts over the period.

Assuming the cesium remains in the soil, the accumulated level of radiation after one year could be between about 70 and 220 millisieverts.

The central government is considering using an accumulated radiation exposure figure of 20 millisieverts over the course of a year as one indicator of whether an evacuation instruction should be issued.

The cesium-137 could move or be washed away by rain and wind, so there is the possibility that the actual accumulated radiation exposure figure could fall below the study's estimates.

Studies by the science ministry have found that contamination of the soil by radiation does not spread out in concentric circles, but is more irregular due to wind direction and other factors.

And more on the critical rice harvest from the AP:

Vegetables and milk were the first foods that sparked concerns about the safety of Japanese agriculture after the March 11 tsunami flooded the nuclear plant and its reactors began to overheat and spew radiation. But those worries intensified when highly radioactive water was spotted gushing from the complex into the Pacific and contaminated fish showed up in catches.

Those concerns have abated somewhat after the leak was plugged and bans on produce from some areas were lifted.

But rice has now come under the microscope as the planting season begins in April and May.

"We had to come up with a policy quickly because we are in planting season," said Agriculture Minister Michihiko Kano, who announced the ban Friday.

The ban will apply to any soil found to contain high levels of radioactive cesium, and farmers who cannot grow rice will be compensated. Rice grown in uncontaminated soil will be screened.

Yoshiyuki Ueda, a 47-year-old rice farmer from the town of Futaba, where the damaged nuclear plant is located, said he had already given up on trying to plant this year's crop because of radiation fears.

"The ground is ruined," Ueda said. "I think it will be a long time until things return to normal."

We wonder how long before the rice HFT crew processes this information and bangs the rice close limit up for several consecutive sessions.

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Jendrzejczyk's picture

"supply chaings" are Chinese....not Japanese, knucklehead.

Sweet Chicken's picture

This just in.

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/04/84721.html

Japan may raise nuke accident severity level to highest 7 from 5

TOKYO, April 12, Kyodo

The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan released a preliminary calculation Monday saying that the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had been releasing up to 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials per hour at some point after a massive quake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11.

The disclosure prompted the government to consider raising the accident's severity level to 7, the worst on an international scale, from the current 5, government sources said. The level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale has only been applied to the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.

The current provisional evaluation of 5 is at the same level as the Three Mile Island accident in the United States in 1979.

According to an evaluation by the INES, level 7 accidents correspond with a release into the external environment radioactive materials equal to more than tens of thousands terabecquerels of radioactive iodine 131. One terabecquerel equals 1 trillion becquerels.

Haruki Madarame, chairman of the commission, which is a government panel, said it has estimated that the release of 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials per hour continued for several hours.

The commission says the release has since come down to under 1 terabecquerel per hour and said that it is still examining the total amount of radioactive materials released.

The commission also released a preliminary calculation for the cumulative amount of external exposure to radiation, saying it exceeded the yearly limit of 1 millisieverts in areas extending more than 60 kilometers to the northwest of the plant and about 40 km to the south-southwest of the plant.

It encompasses the cities of Fukushima, Date, Soma, Minamisoma, and Iwaki, which are all in Fukushima Prefecture, and some areas including the town of Hirono in the prefecture.

Within a 20-km exclusion zone set by the government, the amount varied from under 1 millisieverts to 100 millisieverts or more, and in the 20-30 km radius ring where residents are asked to stay indoors, it came to under 50 millisieverts.

The commission used the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information to calculate the spread of radiation.

Fenlander's picture

10,000 terabecquerals?  OK, only for a few hours, but still.  Just a week ago, we were told about 2000 becquerels in some broccoli.  We seem to have missed out mega- and gigabecquerels entirely, jumping straight to the tera stage.  What next, yottabecquerels?  I don't even want to think what comes after that.

uranian's picture

bernankuerals?

meanwhile, the xenon 133 cloud is projected to have actually rounded the globe now:

http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/weather/news/fukushima?LANG=en&VAR=niluhe...

trav7777's picture

looks like a 7 if these numbers are correct.

All along the way, they had chances to save this thing and seem to have failed to take appropriate action at nearly every turn. 

Maybe we'll find out in a year wtf was really going on.  Honestly I do not know how you watch buildings fill up with H2 and not do something, anything to vent that.  Then you watch one building explode and fail to act at all while 2 more do.  As a consequence you have no ability whatsoever to perform any substantial work.

Was the face of TEPCO managers this fucking important?

Sweet Chicken's picture

I'm quite sure the numbers are NOT correct but rather conservative considering who is stating them.

this whole thing has made me sick to my stomach. I wish something traumatic could be caught on live camera from there right now, something, anything that would force the issue to be front page news again.

eisley79's picture

if you think that was only hydrogen exploding, I got a bridge and some silver shorts to ell you. It was always a level 7, regardless of what they called it and more radiation has been released than they say, no matter how many times they adjust it upwards. 

Banjo's picture

eisley79: I agree with your conclusion. People downplaying this incident from the start were in wanton deinal as to the severity of the crisis. The amount of spent fuel in storage and the fact that vast amounts of radiation were being emitted into the environment easily made this far worse than three mile island.

I remember reading Karl Denninger clearing up the FACTS about this accident and that Fukushima was no big deal.  Denninger is wrong yet again taking an extreme position. Just like he has so far been wrong on Gold and Silver, anyhow I digress.

PolishHammer's picture

Yes, he was BLEATING how this was NOTHING.

 

He's such a blowhard, screw his worthless site -- it exists only to sell memberships to his worthless forum

etudiant's picture

The evidence seems to be that the Fukushima prefecture has been written off by the Japanese government.

The evacuation zone is being expanded, there are rumblings that NISA will up its disaster asssessment to INES 7, on par with Chernobyl and there is no tangible progress in the cleanup.

As a senior official noted, we are still just looking at the mountains, we have not yet begun to climb them.

So this will be a very long fight, decades at best. No quick fix, unless raising the radiatioon limit is your idea of a speedy solution.

Thorlyx's picture

It can't be that bad. Tepco was limit-up today. All is fine.

Theal's picture

Another good site for seeing the daily quakes here (in Japanese, but you can understand the numbers just fine): 

http://weathernews.jp/quake/

Don't need an alarm clock much these days as these wake you up just fine in the morning...you even get a "snooze" feature.

 

majia's picture

I'm reposting my question from the previous, now dead, update on Fukushima.

http://www.fairewinds.com/updates

Arnie Gunderson explains that at least in reactor #2 (and maybe #3) the fuel pellets are melting THROUGH the bed of the nuclear reactor. I do not know what that means but it doesn't sound good....

Is a big boom imminent?

 

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Depends how you define "big". No danger of "nuke bomb big". They seem to be getting ahead of hydrogen accumulation, so probably no more blasts like before.

The fuel pyle is throwing off dust and steam regularly. I suppose there is a risk of it coming in contact with the water table but it won't induce much more steam than is already being generated by the water application topside.

so, chances are, no big boom.

trav7777's picture

sigh...I'm going to tell you the same thing I've said a half dozen times before, here and elsewhere.

Google if you do not believe, but Japan has roughly 300,000kg of plutonium at its disposal.  Couple that with the high technology of the economy and they are already a defacto nuclear weapons state.  You need really only crush a couple subcritical blocks of Pu239 together manually into critical mass to make an atomic bomb (albeit an inefficient one).

Why the fuck would Japan need to conceal anything?  Detailed implosion bomb designs are already widely available on the internet; the obstacle to nations to acquisition of the Bomb is fissile material.  Japan has that in abundance.  Even if they lacked an implosion device, the nation is littered with enough supercomputing to solve any technical problems.  If they don't already have a Bomb, at any point they could put one together in about a day.

zerozulu's picture

Israeli Security Firm in Charge at Japanese Nuke Facilities Prior to Disaster.

http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/israeli-security-firm-in-ch...

d_senti's picture

I'm sorry, but this is just one of the dumbest conspiracy theories I've ever heard. I understand others, even if I don't agree with them (save the moon landing one, that one's just nuts). But this is stupid.

Like Trav said, WHY would they do this? If you say it was Israel, the exact same argument still applies. Israel HAS NUCLEAR WEAPONS. Everyone knows this. It's the worst-kept secret in the world. They have them, they have or can get material easily, and they have the ability to make more. THIS MAKES NO SENSE. YOU ARE JUST CRAZY.

I know hating Jews is a pastime of some, but ffs, at least form a cogent argument. And yes, I junked you.

zerozulu's picture
Will the Jews get the reputation of the Nazis?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceT_ahpHyjY

 

Banjo's picture

trav7777: No one is suggesting lack of technical competence. The is about Japan having the nuclear weapons made, assembled and ready to be delivered.

The significance is on a world stage telling people:

  • They (Japan) don't have a bomb

  • Their (Japan) nuclear program is for peace only

  • We (Japan) are against nuclear weapons look what happend to us in WWII

  • Other countries can't have nuclear weapons e.g. North Korea (look we're peaceful intent only)

  • Other countries are really scary and dangerous (Saddam's Iraq) and need regime change.

If you have a nuclear arsenal then it's a bit more difficult to credibly posture and pontificate about peace, nuclear power and being against nuclear proliferation.

d_senti's picture

If Japan wanted nuclear weapons, they would already have hundreds of them sitting in some secret facility somewhere. They would have done it 40 years ago, not in 2011.

I'm not saying they don't have a stockpile. Maybe they do. But if so, they would not have waited until 3 months ago to start making them. If it really is something they think they need, it could have been easily accomplished for decades. It would have happened by now.

If I'm wrong, then woops, I'll say I'm wrong. But this is just silly, and regardless it has nothing to do with the disaster.

Unless of course it was that evil HAARP laser that caused the earthquake! /sarc

SilverRhino's picture

>> Why the fuck would Japan need to conceal anything? 

Polite fiction.  Surely you have seen overexaggerated politeness from the Japanese?

Japan has turnkey SOTA nuclear weapons but they were and are the type that sit disassembled on a shelf but are ready for assembly in a matter of a couple of hours.  

Their space program is advanced enough to put one of their warheads anywhere in the world a few hours later.  

VisualCSharp's picture

Good post, trav. Pretty good logic there.

Obummer's picture

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow Americans, good people of the world.  There has recently been much discussion of the nuclear disaster in Japan and its effects on the health of Americans. I am here to tell you that there is no cause for alarm.

Like other Americans some of the things I hold most dear include wide open blue skies, clean air, and clean water. America has more of these resources than anywhere on earth. This has not changed since the tsunami hit the Fukushima nuclear power plant on March 11. It will not change in the coming months, I promise you that.

Some Americans look at our own power plants and wonder if Fukushima could happen here.  But Fukushima can not happen here. Our power plants are safe. Our regulations are much stronger than in Japan. Our disaster mitigation plans are much better developed than in Japan. And, finally, American ingenuity will solve all problems thrown our way, just as it has through the history of our proud country.

Much talk has been made about the rise of atmospheric radiation above our nation, about the rise of radiation in our soils. Let me be clear that these levels are far below the levels that government organizations would consider unsafe for human habitation.  The iodine 131 and cesium 137 levels being detected in our milk and produce is far below the levels that are considered unsafe for human consumption.

There are those who would have you believe that you cannot trust government statistics, that you should buy a geiger counter if you want to know the truth. These people are the true enemy, not the radiation.  These "truthers" are a clear threat to our standards of democracy, human values, and good old-fashioned American decency.  For behind the truthers are the very terrorists we have been fighting against for so long.  And now these terrorist organizations have infiltrated the very heart of America, and are in our living rooms and our bedrooms even as I speak.  Rest assured that I will do everything in my power as President of this great nation to repel this threat to our freedoms, and that in the coming months we shall take decisive action against this new menace to our financial stability and to our Constitution.  Thank you, good night, and God bless America.

avonaltendorf's picture

Truthers in the bedroom? Hubba hubba.

AG BCN's picture

You need to add the word "folks" into every sentence. Walton's esque.

AC_Doctor's picture

Japan- "We will sacrifice our citizens to save the all-mighty Nikkei"

VisualCSharp's picture

Yeah, since when are actual people necessary from strong GDP numbers?

MrBinkeyWhat's picture

I live in a "disaster zone". Not nuclear, but just as deadly. I hope and wish for the well being of all the good local survivors of this catastrophy, with all my heart. I don't want to text that y'all are fracked, but you are. Peace!

digalert's picture

nobody really knows how to classify contaminated soil

Silly, everyone knows you go by the color of the ground glow. Classified from Yellow, Green to Blue and if the Blue glow has sparkles then you definitely don't want to plant rice.

americanspirit's picture

Dear Fenlander - regarding the nukes at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and air bursts generally, our government had this advice in 1950 - surely not much has changed

Individual Action

Air Burst of Atomic Bomb

GPO Document 1950  O- 908880

 

Before Burst

Air raid alert or General Quarters is sounded. Take prescribed action! The best defense against an "A" bomb is the same as against HE bombs.

 

During and After Burst

  1. Take cover, unless under other attack, and stay for 10 seconds or until heavy debris has stopped falling.
  2. Underground shelters, ships, basements and slit trenches are all good protection. Lie close to wall out of path of flying debris. Keep head covered and avoid exposure of bare skin. Fall flat if no protection is available.

 

If At Duty Station

 

  1. Resume duties if able
  2. The war won't be over. Get back to work and be ready for orders and instructions.

 

If Not At Duty Station

 

  1. Help Others
  2. Thousands of lives can be saved by prompt aid. Help save lives by helping others.
  3. By the time the debris has stopped falling there is no further radiation hazard.

 

Report to Duty Station

 

  1. Organization is necessary to reduce the effects of the bomb.
  2. Report to receive treatment if necessary, and work to help overall situation.

 

Don't Panic and Don't Spread Rumors

 

  1. Rushing aimlessly about will hinder rescue and damage control. Keep your experience to yourself and don't enlarge on what you hear from others.
  2. Remember - the large casualties in Japan resulted from failure to provide air raid warning and from lack of organization.

 

Effects of Air Burst of Atomic Bomb

 

Blast

  1. Sudden shock
  2. Shock pressure from burst not enough to kill. Flying debris causes most injuries.

Heat

  1. "Flash heat" - first few seconds. Burns on exposed skin occur out to two miles.
  2. Light colored clothes afford protection
  3. Keep your shirt on

 

Fires

  1. Flash heat causes forest and brush fires. Many fires started by stoves, short-circuits, etc.
  2. Broken power lines on ships start electrical fires. ( Fight these fires in normal manner)

 

Nuclear Radiation

 

Flash Radiation

  1. 50% of radiation occurs in first second.
  2. 80% occurs in first 10 seconds
  3. 100% in first 90 seconds
  4. Fall or dive fast to place as much material as possible between you and the blast. In most cases if you are not wounded or burned you will not have to worry about radiation.

 

Lingering Radiation

1. So small it is not a hazard. Disregard it.

americanspirit's picture

Dear Fenlander - regarding the nukes at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and air bursts generally, our government had this advice in 1950 - surely not much has changed

Individual Action

Air Burst of Atomic Bomb

GPO Document 1950  O- 908880

 

Before Burst

Air raid alert or General Quarters is sounded. Take prescribed action! The best defense against an "A" bomb is the same as against HE bombs.

 

During and After Burst

  1. Take cover, unless under other attack, and stay for 10 seconds or until heavy debris has stopped falling.
  2. Underground shelters, ships, basements and slit trenches are all good protection. Lie close to wall out of path of flying debris. Keep head covered and avoid exposure of bare skin. Fall flat if no protection is available.

 

If At Duty Station

 

  1. Resume duties if able
  2. The war won't be over. Get back to work and be ready for orders and instructions.

 

If Not At Duty Station

 

  1. Help Others
  2. Thousands of lives can be saved by prompt aid. Help save lives by helping others.
  3. By the time the debris has stopped falling there is no further radiation hazard.

 

Report to Duty Station

 

  1. Organization is necessary to reduce the effects of the bomb.
  2. Report to receive treatment if necessary, and work to help overall situation.

 

Don't Panic and Don't Spread Rumors

 

  1. Rushing aimlessly about will hinder rescue and damage control. Keep your experience to yourself and don't enlarge on what you hear from others.
  2. Remember - the large casualties in Japan resulted from failure to provide air raid warning and from lack of organization.

 

Effects of Air Burst of Atomic Bomb

 

Blast

  1. Sudden shock
  2. Shock pressure from burst not enough to kill. Flying debris causes most injuries.

Heat

  1. "Flash heat" - first few seconds. Burns on exposed skin occur out to two miles.
  2. Light colored clothes afford protection
  3. Keep your shirt on

 

Fires

  1. Flash heat causes forest and brush fires. Many fires started by stoves, short-circuits, etc.
  2. Broken power lines on ships start electrical fires. ( Fight these fires in normal manner)

 

Nuclear Radiation

 

Flash Radiation

  1. 50% of radiation occurs in first second.
  2. 80% occurs in first 10 seconds
  3. 100% in first 90 seconds
  4. Fall or dive fast to place as much material as possible between you and the blast. In most cases if you are not wounded or burned you will not have to worry about radiation.

 

Lingering Radiation

1. So small it is not a hazard. Disregard it.

nah's picture

We will never forget

americanspirit's picture

sorry - double post

 

TuffsNotEnuff's picture

Where's a map of these sites ?

Any chance these are run-off areas ?

That is a huge among of cesium. Heavy metal, atomic weight 133. Not easy to move large distances.

Caviar Emptor's picture

There's always an up side: American diets are deficient in Cesium, Iodine, Strontium, Zirconium, Ruthenium and Americium. 

You can't buy these at GNC! 

DNB-sore's picture

There is a real problem with agricultural products and the water they need. Rice needs a lot of water because the rice can not be grown without the pools. Water is at least a bit conterminated with water and in it heavy materials that sink to the ground and stay there. Also there is fall-out on the fields and it accumulates unless you dig down after harvest.

topcallingtroll's picture

Tepco or whoever they are said rolling blackouts will last for years.

I dont think it is.hyperbole to say that japan is totally fucked and their.continued support for treasury bonds is in doubt.

That may not happen, but a japan unable to generate a.significant surplus to buy treasuries is not priced in.

williambanzai7's picture

Unfortunately, some of the best rice in Japan comes from that region. At least that is what I am told by people who should know the difference.

Moreover, that atmospheric chart last week should the cloud going out into the Pacific and then back winding over the whole country. More unpleasant questions for the bureaucrats.

bob_dabolina's picture

Who cares if radiation is 4 times that of Chernobyl 30 kilometers away.

Don't get all hysterical moonbats

topcallingtroll's picture

All trolls must relicense annually.
Trolling without a license will not be tolerated.

breezer1's picture

the winds will be changing direction soon. tokyo, population 39 million. might be a little less by now maybe more with evacuees looking for new digs.

notamused's picture

I think this is an interesting solution for the contaminated soil problem:

http://www.hopedance.org/other-news/1971-myco-remediation-of-the-japanes...

 

Too much treehugging here?

goldsaver's picture

50Lb Bag of Texas grown rice at Sam's: $22.00

2- 5 gallon buckets at Home Depot: $6.00

2- 5 gallon Mylar bags with oxygen absorvers: $6.00

Total cost for 400 servings with a shelf life of 20 years: $34

Eating radiaton free rice while everyone else's shit glows in the dark? Priceless!

wally_12's picture

The bombs dropped over Hiroshima & Nagasaki contained les than 20 kilograms of fissionable material.

The Hiroshima bomb was Uranium 235 and the Nagasaki bomb was Plutonium 235.

The blasts released large amounts of heat, Gamma, Beta and Alpha radiation. The fissionable products were less that 20 kilograms. The Fukushima plant had 1700 tons of fissionable material. A nuclear power plant is not designed to create a similar fission explosion.  The possibility of global contamination is unthinkable with the amount of material on hand. I sympathizes with the Japanese people.

 

Jim in MN's picture

I just wish someone, official or otherwise, would get a handle on the air releases. Level 7 is a nice headline but an academic point. It's beyond surreal, beyond criminal even, to fail to inform the public of the ONGOING release.

University researchers driving around...Greenpeace...this is it? This is all ya got?
Can we at least get Doctors Without Borders or somebody else? If the US has sophisticated satellite, overflight or drone data, where is it and what does it say?

We The Interwebz have analyzed the shit out of this thing. It's plenty bad, cannot be stabilized ANY time soon, and could get much worse. Yet the exposed civilians get NO information upon which to act.

What is the "diminished to less than 1 terabequerel" based on? Is that real? Is there variability?

Seriously, it's like saying your company is losing a lot of money but you don't know how much, and have limited ability and little inclination to try to find out.

Sheesh.

Theal's picture

"Seriously, it's like saying your company is losing a lot of money but you don't know how much, and have limited ability and little inclination to try to find out."

Now *that* is an explanation many should be able to understand, and exactly the kind of attitude I'm seeing here in Tokyo right now.