Iitate village in Fukushima divided into 3 zones

TOKYO —

A new zoning system went into effect Tuesday in Iitate village, Fukushima Prefecture.

The village, which is located 40 kilometers northwest of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, has been divided into three zones—one zone that has been declared safe for short visits, one which still requires decontamination work and the third which will remain a no-go zone for many years.

The central and prefectural governments said decontamination work in the second zone should be completed within two years.

Iitate was known for its premium beef cattle before the nuclear disaster. Around 6,000 people fled the once idyllic farming community, leaving behind houses and shops that were once the focus of village life.

The third zone has been barricaded off and many former residents have expressed concern about the future of the village. Decontamination work in the second zone is scheduled for houses and other buildings, but not farmland in the third zone. Since agriculture and livestock are the village’s main industries, residents said they are afraid they will be forgotten in reconstruction plans.

Administrative functions for the village have been moved to a small town 20 kilometers away, while villagers have been scattered, many to newly built prefabricated housing.

Rice and livestock farmers say they want to return home, but added there is no point if they can’t continue farming.

Japan Today/AFP

  • -3

    Maiyim

    Sad,Sad, SAD. We must keep this sort of outcome in mind when we reconsider the restart of nuclear power plants. At Best, this place is only ok for short visits. Agriculture? Livestock? Just not happening there any more. 6,000 people displaced, from this one small town alone.

  • -4

    basroil

    Lets put this into perspective.

    1) It was a small town in the fallout map provided that the government ignored.

    2) All areas are still within the 50mSv/yr international recommendation.

    3) Most areas are well within 20mSv/yr legal limit

    They will be pumping a lot of money for no real reason, especially since few people are young enough to even think about worrying about side effects.

  • 2

    taj

    Due to the winds at the time, Iitate village took the worst of the hit. (just to add to the perspective.)

  • -5

    Venlo

    Basroil, I'm confused.

    Why is there radiation in Iitate, which is 45 kilometers away from Dai-ichi?

    You had previously said that fall-out levels from Dai-ichi "stop being significant after 5-6 kilometers."

    So, I don't understand how the radiation got there in the first place. Surely it can't be from Dai-ichi, right?

    Could it possibly be from an old cobalt-60 medical capsule in someone's back yard?

    Please enlighten me. Thank you.

  • -3

    zichi

    work and the third which will remain a no-go zone for many years.

    That actual means decades.

    Date is another place which still has high levels of radiation. 10 microsivevert/hr in places. 50 millisieverts per year is the level for workers at an atomic power plant not ordinary residents.

    The max allowed in Fukushima is 20 millisieverts per year above normal background radiation. For the rest of Japan it's i millisievert per year above normal background radiation.

    There are still many other places with hot spots including large areas of the no-go zone. The people from those places will never be allowed to return.

    The majority of the nuclear refugee's still have received no compensation from TEPCO to cover the loss of thier homes, business, personal belongings. People are paying mortgages on houses they can'y even live in.

  • -4

    zichi

    People made not have died directly because of radiation from the LEVEL 7 nuclear disaster but people are getting sick from the stress of being a nuclear refugee, not knowing what their future is, and trying to get compensation from TEPCO. I expect within the nuclear refugee group of people we'll see an increase in the level of stress related deaths.

  • -1

    basroil

    VenloJul. 17, 2012 - 05:45PM JST

    Why is there radiation in Iitate, which is 45 kilometers away from Dai-ichi?

    Fallout maps will tell you how the wind conditions affect fallout. They are readily available now that MEXT decided to release them.

    You had previously said that fall-out levels from Dai-ichi "stop being significant after 5-6 kilometers."

    Yes, these numbers are within the internationally recommended levels (World Health Organization) and thus not a significant issue for people living in the area.

    Since new soil samples haven't been taken there, we can assume they still have ~24kBq/kg (radiation levels coincide with that level of concentration), and as with places already decontaminated, we can assume 90%+ of that radiation is in the top 50cm and can be "easily" removed. The result will be less than 4mSv/year, which is perfectly safe. TEPCO would foot the bill as well, so the faster they get contracts out for cleanup the faster they can get back to slowly dying out like they were before the accident.

    Interestingly, research into Cs-137 in the uptake of plants shows that water contamination is far worse for uptake than soil contamination, but the water supplies showed fairly low concentrations around 10Bq/kg compared to a thousand times that in soil. If the soil is replaced, there should be no issue at all even with the ridiculously strict food standards. Even without replacing, it would very likely fall within the US and European limits.

  • -5

    Venlo

    Let me try & rephrase the question, Basroil.

    Why is there radiation in Iitate AT ALL, which is 45 kilometers away from Dai-ichi, when you previously said that fall-out levels from Dai-ichi "stop being significant after 5-6 kilometers?"

    Today, in Iitate, according to MEXT, it was 4.367μSv/h @ 1 meter above the ground.

    <http://radioactivity.mext.go.jp/map/ja/area2.html >

    How is that figure NOT "significant?"

    Please explain.

  • -1

    basroil

    VenloJul. 17, 2012 - 09:48PM JST

    Today, in Iitate, according to MEXT, it was 4.367μSv/h @ 1 meter above the ground.

    How is that figure NOT "significant?"

    Take that number, multiply by 24hours a day, then multiply by 365 days a year. You end up with 38.25mSv/yr, which is well under the World Health Organization recommended exposure rate of 50mSv/yr. The number is not a medically significant number, as there is no evidence to support any increase in cancer rates from that level of radiation. After cleanup, the expected rate is lower than the rate in many older buildings. The number is above legal limits in Japan, but so was background radiation before Fukushima, and it is not medically significant nor is it likely to cause produce to be above internationally accepted limits on radiation. .

    This is the last time I will explain the same thing stated twice above.

  • -5

    Venlo

    Baroil,

    Yes, these numbers are within the internationally recommended levels (World Health Organization) and thus not a significant issue for people living in the area.

    According to MEXT, here are just three government radiation readings outside your so-called "NOT SIGNIFICANT range of 5-6 kilometers." They are by NO MEANS, "acceptable internationally recommended levels." 50mSv/yr are for Atomic Plant Workers.

    昼曽根屯所 @ Namie-Machi @ 15.417μSv/h @ 1 meter above the ground @ 8 km from Dai-ichi.

    小丸多目的集会所 @ Namie-Machi @ 27.334μSv/h @ 1 meter above the ground @ 10 km from Dai-chi.

    蕨平公民館 @ Iitate-Mura @ 5.226μSv/h @:1 meter above the ground @ 45 km from Dai-ichi.

    So, I will ask you one more time.

    **Why are radiation levels NOT SIGNIFICANT after "5-6 kilometers?" **

  • -3

    zichi

    50 mSv is, conservatively, the lowest dose at which there is any evidence of cancer being caused in adults. It is also the highest dose which is allowed by regulation in any one year of occupational exposure. 

    The International limit for occupational limits is 50 mSv per year and 100 mSv over 5 years. 

    The quoted figure would be 192.25 mSv over 5 years which would be above the international limit for occupations, of 100 mSv/5 years.

    The quoted limit numbers don't apply to ordinary residents.

  • -1

    zichi

    The International limit for occupational limits is 50 mSv per year and 100 mSv over 5 years. 

    This is a problem for TEPCO and the workers at the Fukushima plant. The nuclear gypsies can find they have reached their maximum allowed exposure very quickly, 100 mSv/5years.

    There are many outdoor places with high radiation levels. The highest level recently was 300 microsieverts/hr.

    When the nuclear gypsies have used up their 5 year quota, they are not allowed to work at any nuclear facility for five years.

    http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/07/radiation-levels-inside-fukushima-i.html

  • -3

    zichi

    Basic approaches to radiation protection are consistent all over the world. The ICRP recommends that any exposure above the natural background radiation should be kept as low as reasonably achievable, but below the individual dose limits. The individual dose limit for radiation workers averaged over 5 years is 100 mSv, and for members of the general public, is 1 mSv per year. 

    http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Factsheets/English/radlife.html

  • 0

    basroil

    zichiJul. 17, 2012 - 10:45PM JST

    The quoted limit numbers don't apply to ordinary residents.

    No, but they are used to evaluate the need for sheltering and relocation. IAEA recommendations are 30mSv for first month, 10 for subsequent, and 1Sv lifetime exposure (less than background radiation in some cities across the world). For the 85 years Japan has, you can divide everything out and find that areas up to just under 3microSv now will avoid crossing 1Sv. Most areas in that town are already under that, and with decontamination everything can be under. There is no reason why they can't return after cleaning up even only the places with more than 3microSv, or just cordoning it off until cleanup is done and move in right now. The only excuses are political and fear, both of which have nothing to do with the health of the residents.

  • -3

    zichi

    basroil,

    I kindly provided a link stating tne maximum limit for the general public is 1 mSv per year.

  • -5

    Venlo

    BS,

    Yes, these numbers are within the internationally recommended levels (World Health Organization) and thus not a significant issue for people living in the area.

    According to MEXT, here are just three government radiation readings outside your so-called "NOT SIGNIFICANT range of 5-6 kilometers." They are by NO MEANS, "acceptable internationally recommended levels." 50mSv/yr are for Atomic Plant Workers.

    昼曽根屯所 @ Namie-Machi @ 15.417μSv/h @ 1 meter above the ground @ 8 km from Dai-ichi.

    小丸多目的集会所 @ Namie-Machi @ 27.334μSv/h @ 1 meter above the ground @ 10 km from Dai-chi.

    蕨平公民館 @ Iitate-Mura @ 5.226μSv/h @:1 meter above the ground @ 45 km from Dai-ichi.

    So, I will ask you one more time.

    Why are radiation levels NOT SIGNIFICANT after "5-6 kilometers?"

  • 0

    basroil

    zichiJul. 18, 2012 - 12:21AM JST

    I kindly provided a link stating tne maximum limit for the general public is 1 mSv per year.

    http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1133_scr.pdf I have kindly provided a link by the same organization that has disaster management guidelines, and reads off like a list of things that Japan did wrong and made things worse. Of note is appendix III, which includes the reasoning behind saying that most of Iitate is already "safe" .

  • -5

    zichi

    basroil

    No, but they are used to evaluate the need for sheltering and relocation. IAEA recommendations are 30mSv for first month, 10 for subsequent, and 1Sv lifetime exposure.

    Which IAEA document are you quoting from. I can not find those figures from a search of the IAEA web site.

  • -4

    zichi

    interesting that comments with facts and links are voted down while those with mistruths and no links are voted up?

  • -6

    Venlo

    Hey BS,

    Quick question for ya!

    Why are radiation levels NOT SIGNIFICANT after "5-6 kilometers?"

    Tell us again?

  • -4

    zichi

    Basroil

    From the link you provided.

    TEMPORARY RELOCATION AND PERMANENT RESETTLEMENT III–6. The generic optimized intervention levels for initiating and terminating temporary relocation are 30 mSv in a month and 10 mSv in a month, respectively. If the dose accumulated in a month is not expected to fall below this level within a year or two, permanent resettlement with no expectation of return to homes should be considered. Permanent resettlement should also be considered if the lifetime dose is projected to exceed 1 Sv.

  • -4

    zichi

    (Ex-Journalist) Takashi Uesugi Goes Inside #Fukushima No-Entry Zone, Measures 106.87 Microsieverts/Hr Near Fukushima I Nuke Plant

    http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/07/ex-journalist-takashi-uesugi-goes.html

  • 3

    YuriOtani

    The safety standard is not written on fact but extreme caution. Think most people get more radiation exposure than atomic power plant workers. They should let the older people return even at 100 per year. If you are over 60 it is very doubtful this will make any difference. More older people died in the temporary housing than if they would of been kept in their homes. Now they are finding all of these "hot spots" and most have nothing to do with Fukushima. There are other sources of higher than background radiation.

  • -1

    basroil

    zichiJul. 18, 2012 - 01:03AM JST

    Yes, 30mSv/mo is a level of 41microSv/hr (not recorded in places people live, though some are between this and next step down and are within 6km of plant boundaries), and 10mSv/mo would be 13.5microSv/hr. Iidate is well below these levels, and most areas are below 1Sv/life. Of course, that projection is assuming immobile Cs-137 instead of a 30 year micro-ecological halflife as well as 30 year halflife (forgot the source on this one, had to do with the Red Forest though if you care to look it up for confirmation). Adding biological halflife would surely bring down the number of areas that are over 1Sv/life.

  • -1

    basroil

    YuriOtaniJul. 18, 2012 - 01:28AM JST

    Wise words. Many retirees are certainly past the age where they should worry about cancer increases, though 100mSv/yr level is still a bit rough since you need people to check up on them, perhaps even family visits with small children. Luckily all of Iitate is below even 50mSv/yr so it should be fine even for weeklong stayovers with small children.

  • -2

    zichi

    Video about radiation inside the no-go zone

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJVViJiKtxs&sns=em

  • -1

    zichi

    YuriOtani

    The safety standard is not written on fact but extreme caution

    The radiation limit of 1 mSv/yr for the general public and 50 mSv/yr or 100 mSv/5 yrs, are international agreed standards and usually law in those countries having nuclear energy plants. It's the law in Japan, except in Fukushima which was increased to 20 mSv/yr.

  • -1

    zichi

    basroil,

    the figures I quoted are international agreed standards. The figures you quoted from the link are guidelines.

  • -6

    Venlo

    YuriOtani,

    Please explain some more of your thoughts. Thanks.

  • -6

    Venlo

    YuriOtani,

    Think most people get more radiation exposure than atomic power plant workers.

    How so? More than 50mSv/yr?

    Now they are finding all of these "hot spots" and most have nothing to do with Fukushima.

    Could it possibly be from an old cobalt-60 medical capsule in someone's back yard? Please explain some more.

    There are other sources of higher than background radiation.

    More exposure than atomic power plant workers?

  • 1

    YuriOtani

    People who work in these plants are monitored and the atomic plants give off less radiation than a coal fired plant. Like the two that are 10 miles upwind of my American home. They expel mercury as well and are not within Federal standards. However they say they can not take them off line due to the cost. Fukushima is bad but the worst is not being told. Anyhow do you really believe the above ground tests were "harmless"?

  • 0

    Utrack

    Venlo, Zichi - Excellent posts and links all round.

  • -4

    zichi

    YuriOtani

    How many coal fired power plants?

  • -9

    Venlo

    YuriOtani,

    Do significant levels of radiation exist, 5-6 kilometers beyond Dai-ichi?

  • -8

    Venlo

    YuriOtani,

    Another question for ya.

    Today in Iitate-Mura, it is 5.489μSv/h @ 1 meter above the ground.

    Thus we can assume that closer to the ground, the levels are higher.

    In fact, it's safe to assume that levels are 4 times as much, @ 1cm above the ground.

    Let me ask you this. Would you let a child walk in an area with over 20 μSv/h?

    Would you let a family with small children stay in Iitate for weeklong stay-overs?

  • -4

    zichi

    The government approved a long-term goal for reducing exposure to radiation in Fukushima Prefecture to levels in line with international standards as part of the policy for reconstruction and recovery from the nuclear crisis.The Cabinet approved the goal of cutting the annual radiation dose to 1 millisievert or less, excluding exposure to natural radioactivity.

  • 3

    basroil

    zichiJul. 18, 2012 - 09:21AM JST

    The government approved a long-term goal for reducing exposure to radiation in Fukushima Prefecture to levels in line with international standards as part of the policy for reconstruction and recovery from the nuclear crisis.The Cabinet approved the goal of cutting the annual radiation dose to 1 millisievert or less, excluding exposure to natural radioactivity.

    I tell them good luck with that, the average medical radiation exposure alone is listed as 2.5mSv/year. If that is the case they want, then even the most radioactive place there will take ~50 years to drop below that level assuming no Cs mobility, 25 years assuming a 30 year ecological halflife. Still no scientific reasoning behind 1mSv besides it looks cool.

  • -2

    Thomas Anderson

    Still no scientific reasoning behind 1mSv besides it looks cool.

    If we know that in general it's better off to keep the radiation exposure to as minimal as possible, and we have the ability to keep it below 1 mSv/year, then I don't see why not. Better safe than sorry.

  • -7

    Venlo

    Hey BS!

    Quick question for ya!

    Why are radiation levels NOT SIGNIFICANT after "5-6 kilometers?"

    Tell us again?

  • 4

    YuriOtani

    basroil, so the old people die from broken hearts. The quality of life stinks at the relocation centers. Suppose the government wants to house them in warehouse like old people homes. The children need to be kept out but what about adults? So their risk of cancer goes up. How about having the state determine what is good for people. No smoking, sorry it has too much fat in it. So you like the nanny state? Anyhow the "experts" are guessing as usual and proving it with statistics. zichi, living in a concrete home produces more than 1ms a year, flying does the same. It sounds like California. People disturbing the kangaroo rat is bad, their dying in mass by wildfires is ok.

  • -6

    zichi

    YuriOtani

    zichi, living in a concrete home produces more than 1ms a year, flying does the same.

    I live in a very large traditional Japanese style house with 15 rooms. There's no concrete? There's almost zero background radiation, and my location has the cleanest air in the whole of Kobe City.

  • -8

    Venlo

    YuriOtani,

    Quick question for ya!

    Why are radiation levels NOT SIGNIFICANT after "5-6 kilometers?"

  • 0

    basroil

    Thomas AndersonJul. 18, 2012 - 11:25AM JST

    If we know that in general it's better off to keep the radiation exposure to as minimal as possible, and we have the ability to keep it below 1 mSv/year, then I don't see why not. Better safe than sorry.

    Why not 0.5mSv or 2mSv? Why not 0mSv?

    We currently have no ability to keep radiation below 1mSv/yr, background in Japan is between 0.5 and 2mSv, and and food is another .5mSv, so 1mSv is about the limit. But it varies by day, location, etc. There is no scientific way to prove something is supposed to be 1mSv higher or lower. Anything below 10mSv/yr is statistically safe, so why not use that as a total cutoff and ignore the radiation they had before? Iitate would be inhabitable very soon using that measure.

  • 0

    basroil

    zichiJul. 18, 2012 - 01:31PM JST

    I live in a very large traditional Japanese style house with 15 rooms. There's no concrete? There's almost zero background radiation, and my location has the cleanest air in the whole of Kobe City.

    There's probably concrete slab under the house, most have that. Even without it, you have what, 30tons of wood there at about 3.3MBq/ton (3.3Bq/g from K40 becomes 3.3kBq/kg becomes 3.3MBq/ton, trees tend to have more potassium than people)? That's 100MBq for your house, and assuming 500sq m (huge house), you are looking at 200kBq/m^2 of beta and gamma radiation from the wood in the house alone. Certainly lower than Iitate, but certainly going to give you a significant dose.

  • 0

    zichi

    basrroil,

    There's probably concrete slab under the house, most have that. Even without it, you have what, 30tons of wood there at about 3.3MBq/ton (3.3Bq/g from K40 becomes 3.3kBq/kg becomes 3.3MBq/ton, trees tend to have more potassium than people)? That's 100MBq for your house, and assuming 500sq m (huge house), you are looking at 200kBq/m^2 of beta and gamma radiation from the wood in the house alone. Certainly lower than Iitate, but certainly going to give you a significant dose.

    There's no concrete slab under my house or under any traditional built houses. The wood in the house is more than 100 years old. There's no measurable level of radiation inside or outside the house, or in the local community. No significant dose of radiation. The house is almost 100 years old, built before they even thought of nuclear energy.

    Survived the American fire bombing of Hyogo Port. Survived the Hanshin earthquake in 1995. Main timbers are two feet sq.

    What is amazing, is that my monthly power consumption is less than one third of yours?

  • -1

    zichi

    basroil

    Why not 0.5mSv or 2mSv? Why not 0mSv?

    Because the international agreed standard is 1 millisievert per year, excluding normal background radiation for any location. The standard does not include radiation that would be gained from elsewhere like x-rays or long haul flights.

    The international standard fro nuclear plant workers is 50 millisieverts per year and a max of 100 millisieverts per 5 years.

  • 0

    basroil

    zichiJul. 18, 2012 - 04:39PM JST

    What is amazing, is that my monthly power consumption is less than one third of yours?

    Considering the age of the structure, you use oil/gas heating for water and heat.

    You yourself stated you had over 200kWh a month, so I don't see how 200kWh*3 is 300kWh.

  • 0

    basroil

    zichiJul. 18, 2012 - 04:45PM JST

    Because the international agreed standard is 1 millisievert per year, excluding normal background radiation for any location. The standard does not include radiation that would be gained from elsewhere like x-rays or long haul flights.

    The international agreed standard for Cs-137 in meat and produce is 1000Bq/kg, or 10 times the amount Japan allows. Why not also do their ridiculous ten time safer thing now and set it at just 0.1mSv? I'm sure that the people of Iitate will be happy to hear that nobody will ever be allowed back forever since the region naturally is higher radiation than the Japan average by more than 0.1mSv/yr.

  • -3

    zichi

    basroil

    didn't you say you used 700kWh?

  • 0

    basroil

    zichiJul. 18, 2012 - 04:56PM JST

    didn't you say you used 700kWh?

    300-800 depending on month. Summer time it is 300 (perhaps less), winter it is about 90 daytime and up to 700 night time due to electric heating. Doesn't help to live in a corner room in winter (though summer I simply open windows and let in the cold breeze) with temperatures averaging -3C (some times a week of -10C nights).

  • -1

    zichi

    basroil

    The international agreed standard for Cs-137 in meat and produce is 1000Bq/kg, or 10 times the amount Japan allows. Why not also do their ridiculous ten time safer thing now and set it at just 0.1mSv? I'm sure that the people of Iitate will be happy to hear that nobody will ever be allowed back forever since the region naturally is higher radiation than the Japan average by more than 0.1mSv/yr.

    I don't make the international standards for radiation. That's the job of the likes of the IAEA. The international standards are law in many countries, certainly here in Japan. if the radiation level in litate is 38 millisieverts per year then it's 38.5 times higher than the standard.

    The radiation in Iitate is external radition. The radiation in food becomes internal radiation. The gov't set lower limits for radiation in food following the disaster when contaminated food stuffs reached the markets and caused a public outcry. It was also sold for school lunches.

    The radiation level in litate and some other places in Fukushima, like just inside the no-go zone one place is 103 microsieverts per hour, is higher than anywhere else in most of Japan.

    The background radiation in the Rokko Mountains here in Hyogo is about 6 millisieverts per year.

  • -3

    zichi

    basroil,

    ref:power consumption. Time to find a better place you are paying way to much for power. I think you also said, you pay ¥2000 transmission line charge? Never heard of that one before. We don't pay it. Our basic monthly charge is less than ¥300.

    I have lived in minus 20 degs and long winters, sometimes 5 months, when we lived in the Japan Alps but I was 95% off the grid and used wood burning stoves which also provided the bath water.

  • -4

    zichi

    basroil, I bet your rent is higher too. My 15 room house is ¥50,000/month,and the house was totally reformed to a very high standard just before we moved in. The rental contract is every five years, no gift or deposit money. Owner even gave me several pieces of antique furniture and an an amazing collection of antique plates.

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