Radiation levels exceeding state-set limit found on grounds of five Chiba schools — The Japan Times

” Radiation levels exceeding the government-set safety limit of 0.23 microsieverts per hour have been detected on the grounds of five schools in the city of Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, the prefectural board of education said Monday.

Between late April and mid-May, the board officials detected radiation levels of up to 0.72 microsieverts per hour in certain areas of the schools, including Kashiwa High School and Kashiwa Chuo High School. The areas — including soil near a school swimming pool and drainage gutters — are not frequented by students, but the board closed them off and will work to quickly decontaminate them, the officials said.

Kashiwa has been one of the areas with high radiation readings since the 2011 nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

According to NHK, the board of education had been checking the soil on the school premises in Kashiwa after radiation levels beyond the state limit were detected in shrubbery near the city’s public gymnasium. The board will announce the results of radiation tests at other schools in the prefecture around the end of July, NHK reported. ”

by Kyodo, The Japan Times

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Three Chiba cities will store radioactive waste if state fails to build final disposal site, NHK says — The Japan Times

” Three cities in Chiba Prefecture that were heavily contaminated with radioactive materials as a result of the March 2011 nuclear meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant will build facilities to store incinerated radioactive waste in their own municipalities if the central government fails to find a final waste disposal site, NHK reported Monday.

The Chiba Prefectural Government is now temporarily in charge of “designated waste” — incinerated ash and other kinds of waste that contain more than 8,000 becquerels of radioactive materials per 1 kg — produced by the cities of Kashiwa, Matsudo and Nagareyama in northwestern Chiba [as close as seven miles from Tokyo!]. The three cities have produced a total of 526 tons of such waste, according to NHK.

While the central government is supposed to build final disposal facilities for designated nuclear waste, the prefectural government is also asking the three cities to bring the waste back to their own municipalities and dispose of it on their own, if the central government fails to build a disposal facility by next March, the broadcaster reported.

The three cities have agreed to the prefectural government’s request. The city of Kashiwa plans to submit a ¥410 million budget request to the municipal assembly this month in order to build a waste storage plant and transport the waste there, NHK said. ”

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The Asahi Shimbun covers “THREE YEARS AFTER”; What’s in store: radiation exposure, dumping radioactive waste & decontamination efforts

1) Risks of radiation exposure remain high for Fukushima workers

” About half of the workers at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in the three years since the triple meltdown have been exposed to more than 5 millisieverts of radiation, a level used as a radiation exposure reference for humans.

The levels of radiation exposure among workers at the crippled Fukushima plant have decreased since the 2011 nuclear accident, but there was a spike from last summer with the problem of dealing with the growing volume of radiation-contaminated water. … ”

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2) Radioactive waste piles up in Tokyo area with no place to go

” Kikuji Enomoto wanted to live his retirement in peace while helping to beautify his neighborhood, but he is now stuck residing near more than 500 tons of radioactive waste.

The waste, consisting of incinerator ash, is being stored at the Teganuma disposal site, about 800 meters from Enomoto’s home in Abiko, Chiba Prefecture. It is part of the thousands of tons of radioactive waste that remain in temporary storage in the Tokyo area nearly three years after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. … ”

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3) Decontamination planned for agricultural reservoirs in Fukushima

” The central government plans to start decontaminating hundreds of long-neglected reservoirs for agricultural use in Fukushima Prefecture that have shown unusually high radioactivity levels.

“We have been discussing the issue with the agriculture and environment ministries since last fall, and I intend to conduct the decontamination of the reservoirs,” Takumi Nemoto, the minister in charge of post-disaster reconstruction, told reporters in Tokyo on March 9. … ”

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Understanding the ongoing nuclear disaster in Fukushima: a “two-headed dragon” descends into the earth’s biosphere — The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus

If you are interested in learning about Fukushima Daiichi and global nuclear energy in depth, I recommend you read Fujioka Atsushi’s article, “Understanding the Ongoing Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima: A “Two-Headed Dragon” Descends into the Earth’s Biosphere.” From a scientific perspective, this article explains the causes and effects of the March 2011 nuclear meltdowns, outlines the historical roots of global nuclear power plant expansion, and analyses the radiation impacts from Fukushima No. 1 as well as global impacts of nuclear power. Atsushi explores the following headings:

” Breaking Away from the ‘Celestial Fire’ of the Cosmos: The Formation of the Earth’s Biosphere

‘Nuclear Civilization’: Moving Backward in Cosmic History

From Meltdown to Melt-Through

March 15: The Largest Release of Radiation

March 21: A Second Massive Release of Radiation

The Formation of Contaminated ‘Hot Spots’

The Amount of Radiation Released from Fukushima Daiichi

Radioactive Water and Contamination in the Oceans

Comparison with Hiroshima

Comparison with Three Mile Island and Atmospheric Nuclear Tests

Comparison with Chernobyl

Amount of Radiation Lying Dormant in Fukushima Daiichi

The Fate of 2000 Tons of Damaged Nuclear Fuel

Prospects for Resident Health in Five Years and Beyond

In Place of a Conclusion “

Fujioka Atsushi, the author, is Professor of Economics, Ritsumeikan University and Planning Director, Kyoto Museum for World Peace. He is a specialist on the US nuclear economy, space and intelligence strategy, and economic conversion from military to civilian-oriented industry. Michael Bourdaghs, the translator, is Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Literature, University of Chicago. He is the author of The Dawn That Never Comes: Shimazaki Tōson and Japanese Nationalism, and editor of The Linguistic Turn in Contemporary Japanese Literary Studies: Textuality, Language, Politics.

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