Radioactive hot particles still afloat throughout Japan six years after Fukushima meltdowns — BuzzFlash

” Radioactive particles of uranium, thorium, radium, cesium, strontium, polonium, tellurium and americium are still afloat throughout Northern Japan more than six years after a tsunami slammed into the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant causing three full-blown nuclear meltdowns. That was the conclusion reached by two of the world’s leading radiation experts after conducting an extensive five-year monitoring project.

Arnie Gundersen and Marco Kaltofen authored the peer reviewed study titled, Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan by combination of gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and SEM/EDS analysis and implications in radiation risk assessment, published July 27, 2017, in Science of the Total Environment (STOLEN).

Gundersen represents Fairewinds Associates and is a nuclear engineer, former power plant operator and industry executive, turned whistleblower, and was CNN’s play-by-play on-air expert during the 2011 meltdowns. Kaltofen, of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), is a licensed civil engineer and is renowned as a leading experts on radioactive contamination in the environment.

415 samples of “dust and surface soil” were “analyzed sequentially by gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis” between 2011 and 2016. 180 of the samples came from Japan while another 235 were taken from the United States and Canada. The study further clarifies, “Of these 180 Japanese particulate matter samples, 57 were automobile or home air filters, 59 were surface dust samples, 29 were street dusts (accumulated surface soils and dusts) and 33 were vacuum cleaner bag or other dust samples.”

108 of the Japanese samples were taken in 2016, while the other 72 were gathered in 2011 after the meltdowns. Gundersen and Kaltofen tapped 15 volunteer scientists to help collect the dust and soil — mostly from Fukushima Prefecture and Minamisoma City. “A majority of these samples were collected from locations in decontaminated zones cleared for habitation by the National Government of Japan,” the study revealed. For the 108 samples taken in 2016, an “International Medcom Inspector Alert surface contamination monitor (radiation survey meter) was used to identify samples from within low lying areas and on contaminated outdoor surfaces.”

Fairewinds Associates’ video from 2012 features Gundersen collecting five samples of surface soil from random places throughout Tokyo — places including a sidewalk crack, a rooftop garden, and a previously decontaminated children’s playground. The samples were bagged, declared through Customs, and brought back to the U.S. for testing. All five samples were so radioactive that according to Gundersen, they “qualified as radioactive waste here in the United States and would have to be sent to Texas to be disposed of.” Those five examples were not included as part of the recently released study, but Gundersen went back to Tokyo for samples in 2016. Those samples were included, and were radioactive, and according to Gundersen were “similar to what I found in Tokyo in [2012].”

Furthermore, 142 of the 180 samples (about 80 percent) contained cesium 134 and cesium 137. Cesium 134 and 137, two of the most widespread byproducts of the nuclear fission process from uranium-fueled reactors, are released in large quantities in nuclear accidents. Cesium emits intense beta radiation as it decays away to other isotopes, and is very dangerous if ingested or inhaled. On a mildly positive note, the study shows that only four of the 235 dust samples tested in the United States and Canada had detectable levels of cesium from Fukushima.

Cesium, due to its molecular structure, mimics potassium once inside the body, and is often transported to the heart where it can become lodged, thereafter mutating and burning heart tissue which can lead to cardiovascular disease. Other isotopes imitate nutritive substances once inside the body as well. Strontium 90 for example mimics calcium, and is absorbed by bones and teeth.

“Different parts of the human body (nerves, bones, stomach, lung) are impacted differently,” Kaltofen told EnviroNews in an email. “Different cells have radio-sensitivities that vary over many orders of magnitude. The body reacts differently to the same dose received over a short time or a long time; the same as acute or chronic doses in chemical toxicity.”

In contrast to external X-rays, gamma, beta or alpha rays, hot particles are small mobile pieces of radioactive elements that can be breathed in, drunk or eaten in food. The fragments can then become lodged in bodily tissue where they will emanate high-intensity ionizing radiation for months or years, damaging and twisting cells, potentially causing myriad diseases and cancer. The study points out, “Contaminated environmental dusts can accumulate in indoor spaces, potentially causing radiation exposures to humans via inhalation, dermal contact, and ingestion.”

The study also explains, “Given the wide variability in hot particle sizes, activities, and occurrence; some individuals may experience a hot particle dose that is higher or lower than the dose calculated by using averaged environmental data.” For example, a person living in a contaminated area might use a leaf blower or sweep a floor containing a hefty amount of hot particle-laden dust and receive a large does in a short time, whereas other people in the same area, exposed to the same background radiation and environmental averages, may not take as heavy a hit as the housekeeper that sweeps floors for a living. People exposed to more dust on the job, or who simply have bad luck and haphazardly breathe in hot radioactive dust, are at an increased risk for cancer and disease. High winds can also randomly pick up radioactive surface soil, rendering it airborne and endangering any unsuspecting subject unlucky enough to breath it in.

Hot particles, or “internal particle emitters” as they are sometimes called, also carry unique epidemiological risks as compared to a chest X-ray by contrast. The dangers from radiation are calculated by the dose a subject receives, but the manner in which that dose is received can also play a critical factor in the amount of damage to a person’s health.

“Comparing external radiation to hot particles inside the body is an inappropriate analogy,” Gundersen toldEnviroNewsin an email. “Hot particles deliver a lot of energy to a very localized group of cells that surround them and can therefore cause significant localized cell damage. External radiation is diffuse. For example, the weight from a stiletto high heal shoe is the same as the weight while wearing loafers, but the high heal is damaging because its force is localized.”

Kaltofen elaborated with an analogy of his own in a followup email with EnviroNews saying:

Dose is the amount of energy in joules absorbed by tissue. Imagine Fred with a one joule gamma dose to the whole body from living in a dentist’s office over a lifetime, versus Rhonda with exactly the same dose as alpha absorbed by the lung from a hot particle. Standard health physics theory says that Fred will almost certainly be fine, but Rhonda has about a 10 percent chance of dying from lung cancer — even though the doses are the same.

External radiation and internal hot particles both follow exactly the same health physics rules, even though they cause different kinds of biological damage. Our data simply shows that you can’t understand radiation risk without measuring both.

Some isotopes, like plutonium, only pose danger to an organism inside the body. As an alpha emitter, plutonium’s rays are blocked by the skin and not strong enough to penetrate deep into bodily tissue. However, when inhaled or ingested, plutonium’s ionizing alpha rays twist and shred cells, making it one of the most carcinogenic and mutagenic substances on the planet.

“Measuring radioactive dust exposures can be like sitting by a fireplace,” Dr. Kaltofen explained in a press release. “Near the fire you get a little warm, but once in a while the fire throws off a spark that can actually burn you.”

“We weren’t trying to see just somebody’s theoretical average result,” Kaltofen continued in the press release. “We looked at how people actually encounter radioactive dust in their real lives. [By] combining microanalytical methods with traditional health physics models… we found that some people were breathing or ingesting enough radioactive dust to have a real increase in their risk of suffering a future health problem. This was especially true of children and younger people, who inhale or ingest proportionately more dust than adults.”

“Individuals in the contaminated zone, and potentially well outside of the mapped contaminated zone, may receive a dose that is higher than the mean dose calculated from average environmental data, due to inhalation or ingestion of radioactively-hot dust and soil particles,” the study says in summation. “Accurate radiation risk assessments therefore require data for hot particle exposure as well as for exposure to more uniform environmental radioactivity levels.” ”

source with video by Arnie Gundersen

Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan by combination of gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and SEM/EDS analysis — Marco Kaltofen, Arnie Gundersen, ScienceDirect


After the March 11, 2011, nuclear reactor meltdowns at Fukushima Dai-ichi, 180 samples of Japanese particulate matter (dusts and surface soils) and 235 similar U.S. and Canadian samples were collected and analyzed sequentially by gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis. Samples were collected and analyzed over a five-year period, from 2011 to 2016. Detectable levels of 134Cs and 137Cs were found in 142 of 180 (80%) Japanese particulate matter samples. The median radio-cesium specific activity of Japanese particulate samples was 3.2 kBq kg− 1 ± 1.8 kBq kg− 1, and the mean was 25.7 kBq kg− 1(σ = 72 kBq kg− 1). The U.S. and Canadian mean and median radio‑cesium activity levels were < 0.03 kBq kg− 1. U.S. and Canadian samples had detectable 134Cs and 137Cs in one dust sample out of 32 collected, and four soils out of 74. The maximum US/Canada radio-cesium particulate matter activity was 0.30 ± 0.10 kBq kg− 1. The mean in Japan was skewed upward due to nine of the 180 (5%) samples with activities > 250 kBq kg− 1. This skewness was present in both the 2011 and 2016 sample sets.

300 individual radioactively-hot particles were identified in samples from Japan; composed of 1% or more of the elements cesium, americium, radium, polonium, thorium, tellurium, or strontium. Some particles reached specific activities in the MBq μg− 1 level and higher. No cesium-containing hot particles were found in the U.S. sample set. Only naturally-occurring radionuclides were found in particles from the U.S. background samples. Some of the hot particles detected in this study could cause significant radiation exposures to individuals if inhaled. Exposure models ignoring these isolated hot particles would potentially understate human radiation dose. ”

source to purchase whole study

Fukushima, miso soup and me — Sheila Parks via OpEdNews

Sheila Parks is a long-time feminist and peace and justice activist who has worked in various public-sector positions to combat sex discrimination in education and the workplace. She is founder of the Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots and takes the position that electric voting can lead to fraud and error. Aside from her vocational background, Parks is a self-proclaimed vegetarian and intermittent vegan and says she believes that “we are what we eat.” Since the Fukushima meltdowns, she stopped eating imports from Japan, in particular miso soup, which, she cites from a scholarly journal, prevents injury from radiation exposure among other health benefits.

Parks was curious about the origin of miso soup and its safety for consumption, so she decided to do a little investigative journalism. In her article, she asks, “How do we know whether or not to trust those who do the measurements and tell us it is all right to eat foods from Japan?” Japan’s limit for fish contaminated with cesium-137 is 100 Bq/kg (or 50 Bq/kg in some areas), while the United States’ limit for food is 1,200 Bq/kg, and Canada’s limit is 1,000 Bq/kg. In other words, foods that Japan deems too radioactive can be exported to the United States and Canada because cesium-137 limits are 12 and 10 times higher!

Miso is a thick paste, most often made with soybeans, and salt and is always fermented with a mold culture called Aspergillus oryzae, or koji. Koji only comes from Japan. It can be found in air, water and soil. Parks writes, “Currently there are five major distributors in Japan supplying A. oryzae conidiospores to 4,500 sake (Japanese alcoholic beverage, ca. 1,900 brewers), miso (soybean paste, ca. 1,200 brewers) and shoyu (soy sauce, ca. 1500 brewers) brewers in Japan, excluding several of the biggest soy-sauce companies.”

Taking her koji research a step further, Parks e-mailed three companies — one in Japan, one in the US and one in the UK — about their miso. She writes, “I asked where their koji came from, and if it was tested for radiation and if so, where and by whom. Each company stated that they use koji from Japan to make their miso. Their answers varied about where in Japan the koji came from and if tested and how, but suffice to say that the answers from all three companies did nothing to allay my fears about eating miso.”

Parks includes the e-mail exchanges at the end of her article.

Read her article HERE to find out more about the history of koji; the opinions of several doctors and an anti-nuclear activist on the dangers of eating contaminated food from Japan; and links to petitions you can sign to (1) ask Tokyo to resign as the host of the 2020 Olympics and (2) ask the FDA to significantly lower levels of cesium-134 and -137 allowed in US food, supplements and pharmaceuticals.


Oyama Koichi of the Minamisoma City Council pleads for help from global citizens, truth about hot particles — translated by Dissensus Japan

I found excerpts from Oyama Koichi’s blog on and decided to provide the entire translation here for you. Here is the original Japanese version from May 13, 2014, and the translation from Dissensus Japan, which also includes a list of research studies on the dispersion of radionuclides from Fukushima Daiichi. The translation is a little rough, but the message is still clear. I put brackets around my own corrections of a few mistranslations and fixed a few grammar errors to make it a little easier to read.

” Important Reference : Emission of spherical cesium-bearing particles from an early stage of the Fukushima nuclear accident Kouji Adachi,Mizuo Kajino,Yuji Zaizen& Yasuhito Igarashi.

The cause substance has been found.

This is an aggregate of radionuclides which starts with Uranium. It was made in the blast furnace of a nuclear reactor at more than 5000°C. This mixed metal contains four different substances, α・β・γ [rays] and also [may emit neutrons].

[No organisms on this earth were composed of these unknown substances.] We are forced to have those strong substances inside our bodies without knowing where they are exactly located.

To say that “cesium has the same system as potassium and it will be discharged from the body” is just a lie!
The body can’t recognize 5% of cesium and other complex substances (mixed metal) so I doubt that the body could badly react.

And this fact can open the closed door of global fallout of nuclear experiences in the ’60s and also the hidden history of hot particles contamination of the world. It also shows the wrong way used by leaders and their methods about the fact of death ash after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The conclusion is that anyone who doesn’t show the facts about the substance of cause is our enemy.

We are all manipulated by the words “radiation” and “radiation doze” without knowing the real identity of the source of radiation. We are not told the real facts of being irradiated, and they force us to believe that it’s just pure metal, and they let us believe in “behavior and extracorporeal elimination” and force us to believe in the myth of security. [In addition], they only compare a radiation doze [with] natural potassium contained in bananas and manipulated people as if it was a scientific study.

I really want the scholars patronized by the government to be punished by the rancorous [acts toward all of the] children on this earth.

The usual practice of misleading people is to create [instigators] and contractors in many layers. They let people believe that they are [decent people], and people who listen to them start to believe them. They are making fans and they lead people as a result. They are always avoiding the issue. The issue is held in the hands of enemies and when people know the issue, the enemy makes a conciliatory move to neutralize the attack of public opinions.

The guilt of global fallout is the corruption of concession groups of the nuclear industry and medical and insurance companies. They cause cancer to increase in a dramatic way. [Even though Japan was a nation victim to atomic bombings and its people have a medical history of contamination], they don’t let us know the substances of death ash in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

And there’s more. They were manipulating us from the beginning of the [Fukushima] accident by telling us that “95% of the contamination comes from food, 4% from water, [and] only 1 % from [inhalation]”.
An adult person [intakes] 20m3 of air per day, or 20kg in weight. We take food and water much less than that. The lung takes in varied chemical substances as it takes oxygen from the air.

The size of a hot particle is1μm. It’s really small so it goes into the blood and into the body. Then the organs take [it]. The size of a mesh hole of a filter to incinerate debris is also1μm. The information says that hot particles were diffused and flew in all directions in Japan.

The particles from hell are flying in the air and people don’t protect themselves anymore three years after the nuclear accident, and children are [inhaling] those horrible particles everyday!!!


Please let all people in the world know the life we are living since the accident, everyday and today.
Spreading the radioactive debris and decontamination that doesn’t work is only increasing the number of HIBAKUSHAS without good reason. ”

Note: Hibakushas is a Japanese term used to refer to people exposed to radiation from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

The Hottest Particle — Fairewinds Energy Education **recommended

” Three years ago, Fairewinds was one of the first organizations to talk about “hot particles” that are scattered all over Japan and North America’s west coast. Hot particles are dangerous and difficult to detect. In this video Mr. Kaltofen discusses the hottest hot particle he has ever found, and it was discovered more than 300 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi site. If Fairewinds Energy Education was a Japanese website, the State Secrets Law would likely prevent us from issuing this video.  Arnie Gundersen provides a brief introduction and summary to the video. ”


What the Japanese government isn’t saying about Fukushima — Fairewinds Energy Education

” Fairewinds Energy Education’s Arnie Gundersen discusses sources of radiation the Japanese government is not taking into consideration when assessing the risk to it’s people and the rest of the world. ”

watch video