SVCF Bulletin No. 55 issued on September 8, 2014

A symposium entitled “Regarding clean-ups and decommissioning of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant – What can we do?”

Date & Time: 13:00 p.m. on September 27 (Sat), 2014
Venue: No. 15 building in Waseda University campus

Profile of panelists

Ms. Erinoa, singer/songwriter 

Born in Futaba-machi, Fukushima pref.  Social worker & certified care worker.  Appeared in a TV series “Support each other”, released over the NHK Metropolitan Network; and in “Hold hands all together” in TV Asahi “Yajiuma TV Time”

“What we can do now?  Even a small issue can cause action.  Call out and help each other.  So many men, so many minds  Though the degree of happiness and values differs individually, I challenge various things and deliver pieces of meaningful information as I meet many people.  All I can do is to go forward unrelentingly.”

Mr. Shigetada Kishii, journalist

Senior editor-in-chief of Mainichi Newspaper.  Acted in the ad-hoc steering committee for the 21st Century Project. Became editorial writer in 1985. Successively worked as Director of the Political Department, Deputy Director of Editing Department, and Editorial Chief.  Has appeared in“Sunday Morning” and “News 23” produced by TBS.

“What can we do?  Particularly mass media and journalism bear heavy responsibility.  Indeed, what can we do?  I wish to think and act with you all.”

Mr. Yukiteru Naka, President, Tohoku Enterprise Co., Ltd.

Born in Igona village of Okinawa, moved to Fukushima as an engineer of GE, engaged in the start of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant from scratch. He is one of few engineers who have on-site knowledge of F1.

“I have a mixture of feelings of rage, despair, terror and anxiety.  So many residents still live in refuges, even now, three years and six months after the accident.  We faced the great earthquake and still face the nuclear power plant accident that should not have followed in any case.   Among the various challenges regarding Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant clean-up and decommissioning project, I propose as follows.

  • Secure enough manpower to satisfy a good command of technology and train human resources for the future.
  • Review or mitigate the ceiling of permissible exposure for the workforce.
  • Improve and review the working conditions on site.

Tatsushi Okamoto, Director, Skilled Veterans’ Corps for Fukushima

Engaged in consulting business for social action programs with a broad experience in public relations, marketing, CSR, and industrial workforce.  Spokesperson for the Board of Directors for the Foster Parents for Palestinian children. Takes part in several NPO activities.

“The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant clean-up and decommissioning project is overshadowed and covered up behind the growing tension of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.  I talk, arrange, and try to bring forth the possibility of the Seniors’ contribution, which has not been actualized yet, to the decommissioning from multilateral viewpoints.”

Mr. Hitoshi Yoshioka, former member of the governmental research and examination committee for the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, Professor of the National University Corporation, Kyushu University,  Vice President of Kyushu University. Former member of the governmental research and examination committee

Engaged for 18 years in the governmental research and examination committee for energy fields.  Majored in the history of modern technology and scientific technological policy

“Having been part of the committee for governmental research and examination for the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, and through direct contacts with a number of affected people, I came to feel myself destined to depict precisely the history of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.  In so doing, I believe that I could present something pivotal to be of value in the future.”

Mr. Naohiro Masuda, President, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning Company, Executive Director, TEPCO

Entered TEPCO in 1982.  At the occurrence of Tohoku Great Earthquake, assumed the post of Superintendent of the Fukushima No. 2 Nuclear Power Plant.  Executive Director of TEPCO;  President, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning Company; Executive Director, TEPCO and Chief Executive responsible for decommissioning and for the handling of radioactively polluted water.

“As now three and a half years have passed since the TEPCO Nuclear Power Plant accident, I must apologize to you for having burdened you with troubles and anxiety on an immense level.  I swear that I take full responsibility in tackling with the stabilization and decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.”

Moderator: Ms. Etsuka Yoshida, President, NPO Kanda Trivia University

President of an informal discussion group toward the establishment of the Right to Live Peacefully  During the past fifteen years she has  featured over seven hundred times in the regular lectures of Kanda Trivia University weekly on Fridays.  She has also been a commentator for TV and radio

I joined in the Year 2014 Kawauchi Recovery Festival from the Kyushu island.

On August 15, 2014, I joined a ten member SVCF team led by President Shiotani and we went to Kawauchi Mura in Fukushima prefecture, where the Year 2014 Kawauchi Recovery Festival was held.

The venue was set in a plaza in front of “Iwana no Sato – Experience and Exchange Center” or the Char Village.  In a tent village where local agricultural products were displayed for sale in front of a live-show stage, a quite lively festive mood was in the air before the official start.

In the SVCF booth, we displayed a panel briefing on solar power generation and distributed a handout, “SVCF helps to assist your homeward-bound project” to visitors.  A free game corner nicknamed “Fishing Kitty-chan” was a box office hit.

It was the first time for me to join in SVCF activities.  I have been concerned about Fukushima for 3 years; however, it is quite far from Fukuoka, my city, and travel expenses amount to a lot.  Finally, I got a chance to hear the real facts directly from senior SVCF members and local people. Before my actual visit, my understanding had been something vague and unimaginable.  After this occasion, I wish to visit Fukushima again.


SVCF’s monitoring efforts part 3
Monitoring team leader, Nobuhiro Shiotani

The situation as it stands after the public decontamination work, based on the measuring results 

Although most of the below information is public knowledge, we have decided to try to list what we know.

Judging from the measuring results to date, the air dosage rates inside homes are based on the amount of radiation accumulated on the roofs and facades of the houses.

The Ministry of the Environment is using as its base for its screening that the interior radiation dosage amounts to 0.4 times that of the exterior radiation dosage.  This is not correct; the actual correction factor is 0.7~0.8.

In the entranceways and the back doorways, there were instances of higher radiation levels because radioactive material may have attached to the bottoms of shoes, but instances in which radioactive material had entered the home, leaving residue, were rare.

To be precise, this means that we did not encounter instances in which the dosage rate 1 cm above the floor in a room was higher than the outside radiation level (known as “background,”).

In instances where the background level was high, we wrote in the report, “we don’t believe that the radioactive materials have entered the interior of the home.”

In order to determine whether it is safe for babies to crawl around on the tatami mats or floors, we need to use a more precise measuring technique. For instance, we would have to create a space free from radiation by placing tens of 11 kg lead bricks in a shield formation, and then measure the strength of radiation on a piece of filter paper which had been used for wiping the tatami mat or floor in question.

Block walls are usually sealed on top with cement

Radioactive material can be deposited on coarse cement surfaces, and the public decontamination work has nor been able to remove that.  Therefore, a 1 m zone surrounding the block walls will show higher air dosage rates.

Radioactive substances tend to adhere to garden rocks and lanterns.  These materials may get stuck on clothing, if the wearer sits on these garden items.

We do not believe that the rock surfaces can be decontaminated by brushing. Radioactive material also adheres to pine trees and other plants in gardens.

In the report, we’ve written, “It is advisable to wear hats, masks and gloves when pruning. After pruning, please take a shower to remove any radioactive material that may have adhered to your body.”

As for removal of the polluted soil soaked with rainwater at the outlet of the rain gutters, the removal of soil has not been done to a sufficient depth, in most cases.  Even if soil admixture is used, such places remain hot spots.

There were many instances where the brush decontamination of the concrete ledges  around the house exterior (scarcement) had been insufficient.

In the areas close to forests or woods, the dose rate in a room facing the woods is significantly higher than other rooms.  Forests and woods have become sources of radiation.

We measured one unusual case, where the roof of the one-story main house had been replaced, while the roof of the additional 2-story part adjacent to the main house had not been replaced.

The dose rate near the ceiling in the main house (where the roof had been replaced) was lower than any measurements we had experienced so far, and the dose rate near the ceiling in the top floor of the adjacent house (whose roof had not been renewed) was twice the main house value.  It is obvious that the roof tiles that had been exposed to rain continuously after the accident had become sources of radiation.

Lawn mowing and removal of fallen leaves and surface soil are insufficient measures almost anywhere along the boundary of the house lots.

In case of lots that were adjacent to forests, woods or farm lands, the boundary of the decontaminated part may become obscure. Thus some radiation contaminated soil adhering to the shoe soles may be brought into gardens or entrances after the work in the forests, woods, or farm lands, expanding contamination little by little.

The Ministry of the Environment announces that decontamination work is in progress so that space dose rate is diminishing, and the mass media are reporting accordingly.  Misinformation stating that radioactive substances are removed is given to the disaster victims.

However, as described above, radioactive substances (adhered to dust and dirt) still remain in an easily transferable state, and such contamination may adhere to human bodies.

Current contamination status may not be merely expressed just by one numerical value of the space dose rate.  SVCF is making efforts to provide contamination data as accurate as possible to the disaster victims.