(English) Waste site open to journalists in Okuma
58,000 Bq/kg from earth from discarded vinyl greenhouses from Togane, Chiba, being recycled in a plastic factory in Chiba prefecture. The factory has recalled all the earth (140 tons) produced after the nuclear accident.
A study group of the ministry of education and science held a meeting on 13 February about sea radiation surveys. They decided to launch another survey of river mouths and seas in Tokyo Bay and on the Pacific coast, with Fukushima prefecture as the main focus, starting in April. The frequency of testing in coastal waters and in far waters will be reduced to once every 2 or 3 months instead of once a month.
3000 Bq/kg in dried daikon radish grown in Fukushima city. 102 bags (50 g each) have already been sold.
468 Bq/kg in Fukushima wood in an Okinawa restaurant. 3 Other restaurants have already used their Fukushima wood so it cannot be tested, but 39,960 Bq/kg was found in ashes. 15.7 tons of Fukushima wood were distributed in Okinawa by a Gifu prefecture based company. 8.4 tons were sold to restaurants, and 7.3 tons are remaining in a container near Naha port.
Chiba prefecture tested 46 locations in a park and found 3 locations above the 1 microsievert/hour standard. The highest is 3.42 microsievert/hour at 50 cm above ground near a parking lot storm-water inlet.
6.85 microsievert/hour at 1 cm above ground (above the 0.59 microsievert/hour at 1 cm above ground standard) near an unused drainage channel near a school in Yokohama. 62,900 Bq/kg in earth samples taken in a close location.
Second announcement of results of the whole body counter examinations of Minamisoma citizens. The first results were announced in October. Among 579 primary and middle school children, 218 were above the detection level for Cs-137 and 361 were below detection level. 4 had 20 Bq/kg or above. The highest one had between 30 and 35 Bq/kg. Among 4745 senior high school students, 1943 were above detection level. Among these, 1774 had 20 Bq/kg or below. 16 had 50 Bq/kg or above. The highest had 110.7 Bq/kg. According to the City, only one person had an accumulated dose higher than 1 milisievert over 50 years, with 1.069 milisievert/50 years.
There is a problem with the new food safety levels. There are two sorts of radiation measurement tools. The Germanium semiconductor detector, and the sodium iodide scintillator detector. As a rule, one should have a detection level of about 10% of the safety standard. As the safety standard for general food is brought down to 100 Bq/kg, one should have a detection level of 10 Bq/kg. This is possible with a Germanium (Ge) detector, but sodium iodide (NaI) detectors can't do this. At present the national government and the prefectures own 116 Ge detectors and 227 NaI detectors. The person in charge at Ibaraki prefecture government says "we don't have the budget to buy new detectors. We have to do with the detectors we have". Ibaraki prefecture owns one Ge detector, which performs between 15 and 20 tap water tests per week, and 5 NaI detectors, that perform beef tests on 500 to 600 cows per week. When the 100% beef control was started in August, they had only one Ge detector, and for two months they had to perform tests on a 24 hour/day basis, and the employees could hardly sleep. They are afraid that the same situation is going to occur again as the new safety levels are implemented. The health ministry issued a proposal to set the NaI detector detection level at 25 Bq/kg, but according to the maker, Hitachi Aloka Medical, the test must last for 60 to 70 minutes instead of the present 10 to 15 minutes. To reduce that time, and increase the measurement tool's sensitivity, the sample holding container would need to be improved. Miyagi prefecture has decided to perform such improvements, but it will cost 13 million yens. "Can the national government help with the improvement cost?" the Miyagi prefecture person in charge is asking.