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Tea is not exempted from radioactive contamination, either

The Tochigi Prefectural government announced on May 19 that radioactive cesium was detected above the referece value from Kanuma Itaga raw tea leaves collected in Kanuna city and Kurobane raw tea leaves produced in Otawara city. The government asked the two cities to refrain from shipping this year's tea for the time being. Because tea collecting has not started, no tea is put on sale yet.

The government said that cesium was detected at a level of 890 becquerels per kilogram from Itaga tea collected on May 17 while cesium was detected at that of 520 becquerels from Kurobane tea (the reference value is 500 becquerels). No radioactive iodine was detected, though.

They also indicated that cesium detected from the raw tea leaves from Nkagawa-cho was below the reference value.
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Is your child enjoying school life, going to school regularly?

Legato Ota Incorpoated to which some OCNet members belong has started Rainbow Bridge Class jointly with Ota City Hall. Rainbow Bridge Class is sponsored by IOM (International Organization for Migration) supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. It aims at encouraging elementary and junior high school students of foreing origin who do not school regularly or have not been enrolled in any school to study Japanese and some other subjects four days a week so that they can return to or start normal school life in 9 months. Lessons are given almost person-to-person, free of charge, at mics Ota Classroom, 5 minutes' walk from East Exit, Kamata Station on the Keihin Tohoku Line,JR.

If your child happens to be a student who does not go to school regularly or is not enrolled in any school but wants to study, be free and quick to get in touch with Mr. Toyota (Englsih and Tagalo) or Mr. Hirata (English and a little Spanish) for further detail, dialing 03-6424-8822 Monday through Friday.

Upon request, a handout will be sent or faxed to your home.

A glossary of radioactivity

Le Monde, a French newspaper, invited the reader to a glossary of radioactivity last month, and the following is a translation from French into English (mechanical translation, which was human-amended)

Becquerel: International unit of measurement of radioactivity. The Becquerel (Bq) measures the activity of a radioactive source, that is to say, the number of transformations or disintegrations of atoms which occur in one second. For example, a body whose activity is 12 000 becquerels means that 12,000 atoms disintegrate every second there.

Bore: Present in the primary circuit water as boric acid dissolved, it allows, through its ability to absorb neutrons, to moderate chain reaction.

Cesium: Rare and toxic metal. One of its isotopes, cesium 137, is a radioactive fission product found in the different circuits of the nuclear zone.

Contamination: Surface deposition of dust or radioactive liquids. Human infection may be external (skin) or internal (through ingestion or respiration).


Containment: Also called the reactor building, the containment building is a concrete building inside the tank which is the heart of the reactor and steam generators. It is the third of the barriers that isolates the radioactive materials contained in the heart of the reactor environment, after the fuel cladding and primary circuit. It must be sealed to retain the radioactive material which would be released during a break in the primary circuit after an accident.


Nuclear fission: Splitting of a heavy nucleus, eg uranium or plutonium, into two parts under the effect of neutron bombardment. This fission is accompanied by a large release of energy and the emission of other radiations, including neutrons that can sustain the reaction. This reaction is the basis for the production of nuclear energy.

Nuclear Fusion: Formation of a heavy nucleus from two lighter nuclei, eg, deuterium and tritium, which are isotopes of hydrogen. The value of fusion is that it could potentially produce much more energy to fuel mass equal to fission.

But in spite of research conducted worldwide for 50 years, outside the military field with the H-bomb, no effective implementation of the fusion energy production has yet emerged. It is the purpose of international research project ITER.

Nuclear fusion reactor: When nuclear reactor ceases to be properly cooled, the nuclear fuel rods (which contain uranium or plutonium and the highly radioactive fission products) are beginning to overheat and melt inside reactor. They move from solid to liquid state.

The fusion of the heart is considered a serious nuclear accident due to the likelihood that radioactive materials can pass through the containment. Not to be confused with nuclear fusion.

Gray: A unit of measurement (Gy) of the amount of radiation absorbed by a body or an object. For example, a dental X-ray corresponds to an absorbed dose of 0.2 mGy, a chest radiograph, 1 mGy, a session of radiotherapy, 2 Gy

INES: International Nuclear Event Scale, and radiological. The logarithmic scale has eight levels, rated from 0 to 7, to measure the severity of a nuclear accident. Designed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has been adopted by some fifty countries in 1991.

Iodine: An element where radioactive isotopes, such as iodine 131, are massively present in the fission products of the nuclear industry. In an accident, emission-131 is a factor for cancer and serious disorders of the thyroid. Thyroid fixes in fact much of the iodine absorbed through food, water or inhalation.

The distribution of stable iodine can saturate the thyroid to prevent its radioactive isotopes from being fixed.

Mox: Nuclear fuel mixture that depletes uranium oxide and plutonium oxide from the reprocessing. It is used in the current generation of reactors (light water, boiling or pressurized).

Pool: The pool of fuel storage has two functions: it receives all the assemblies of the heart of the reactor during refueling outages and serves as the storage of spent fuel assemblies awaiting - often several years - they are sent to a reprocessing plant. The pool cooling is necessary to evacuate the power emitted by the fuel.


Radioactivity: Emission of alpha, beta and gamma radiation accompanying the decay of an unstable element or fission. Radioactivity is naturally and artificially. In the latter case, the nuclei are emitters produced in the laboratory or in nuclear reactors. The radioactivity is measured in becquerels.

Reactor nuclear installation capable of initiating and maintain a fission chain reaction. In a nuclear power plant, it is he who provides the heat for producing steam. Different types of reactors in operation worldwide: pressurized water reactor (PWR), as in France, boiling water reactors, as in Japan, or fast neutron reactors.

Nuclear reaction: Conversion of one or more atomic nuclei. The two main ones are the fusion and fission.

Sievert: Unit of measurement (Sv) of the effects of radiation on living organisms exposed. It is calculated by multiplying the absorbed dose of radioactivity per unit mass by a correction factor unit that takes into account the dangers of radiation. The normal dose received by the organism is an mSv per year. It is considered that from 100 millisieverts (mSv) is likely to develop cancer.


An Invitation to a charity bazaar

Asia-Pacific Embassies including Cambodia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will hold "Friends for Friends Charity Bazaar on May 16 - 17, 2011 at Asean Japan Center situated in Shin-Onarimon Bldg., at 6-17-19 Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo.

Lovely handicrafts and delicious delicacies will be on sale, and all proceeds will be donated to alleviate the sufering of poeple affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

The bazaar will start at 10:00 a.m., ending at 4:00 p.m. each day. The nearest station is Onarimon Station on the Toei Mita Line. Use the Exit A4.

Nuclear fuel at Fukushima No. 1 unit melted after full exposure, TEPCO admits

The Mainichi Daily News reported on Thursday, May 12 that water inside the troubled No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was at an unexpectedly low level, not enough to cover the nuclear fuel, hinting that a large part of the fuel melted after being fully exposed, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday based on data obtained by adjusted gauges.

But the plant operator said the water at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel holding the fuel is keeping the melted fuel cool, assuring that the company is succeeding in preventing the reactor's fuel from overheating by injecting water from outside.

The utility had earlier estimated that 55 percent of the reactor core at the No. 1 unit has been damaged. It is unknown how much fuel melted and dropped to the bottom, but the fuel is unlikely to be at its original position.

The latest finding on the situation inside the unit--one of the six at the plant crippled by the March 11 massive quake and tsunami--suggests that a significant amount of the water injected into the reactor core to keep the fuel cool as an emergency measure was leaking out to the primary container.

A TEPCO official said the company will review its plan to flood the primary container up to the lever above the fuel.

The above is an excerpt from the article. To be honest, who and what can we really believe? Are they sure of getting somewhere?

What has driven Prime Minister Kan Naoto's about-face?

The New York Times said on Tuesday, May 10 that Japan would scrap plans for new nuclear plants. The Times quoted Mr. Kan Naoto as saying that Japan would abandon plans to build new nuclear reactors, adding Japan needed to "start from scratch" in creating a new energy policy. His government released last year to build 14 more reactors by 2030 to increase the share of nuclear power in Japan's electricity supply to 50%, 20% higher than now.

Last week, he requested the Chubu Electric Power Company to suspend operations at the Hamaoka nuclear plant, which stands on an active earthquake fault line. It took the Company some days to finally agreed to shut down the plant until some measures could be taken to strengthen it agains earthquakes and tsunamis. He indicated later that Japan would remain committed to nuclear power.

The Times says Prime Minister's apparent about-face may be driven partly by public opinion, which has soured on nuclear power since the Fukushima accident. It seems he wanted to impress on the Japanese people his stronger leadership role over "criticism of his government's sometimes slow and indecisive handling of the Fukushima accident".

Radiation and health problems

People, Japanese and non-Japanese as well, are still in danger of being exposed to much higher radiation which heavily affects their health, and more than 500,000 foreign residents and migrants left Japan in April foreverr or evacuated from there temporarily in fear of aftershocks and radiation exposure. Even our Japanese classes have fewer students than beore because of the unimproved current situation. On top of that, it seems that people are half angry and half reconciled to Japanese government's improper measures and Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s supply of not always accurate informaton little by little. But now is not the time to give up. It is necessary for us to try to have a better understanding of the matter and take another look at the way we have been.
The following is an excerpt from BBC news on Health effects of radation exposure, dated on April 18:
"How does radiation have an impact on health?"
Radioactive materials decay spontaneously to produce ionising radiation, which has the capacity to cause significant damage to the body's internal chemistry, breaking the chemical bonds between the atoms and molecules that make up our tissues. Damage to the DNA of a cell is particularly important.
The body responds by trying to repair this damage, but at high doses it is too severe or widespread to make repair possible, leading to short-term acute health effects.
There is also a danger of mistakes in the natural DNA repair process, which can lead in the long-term to cancer.
Regions of the body that are most vulnerable to acute radiation damage include the cells lining the intenstine and stomach, and the blood-cell producing cells in the bone marrow.
The extent of the damage caused is dependent on how long people are exposed to radiation, and at what level.
"What are the most likely long-term health effects?"
Cancer is the biggest long-term risk. Usually when the body's cells reach their sell-by date they commit suicide. Cancer results when cells lose this ability, and effectively become immortal, continuing to divide and divide in an uncontrolled fashion.
The body has various processes for ensuring that cells do not become cancerous, and for replacing damaged tissue.
But the damage caused by exposure to radiation can completely disrupt these control processes, raising the risk of cancer.
Failure to properly repair the damage caused by radiation can also result in changes - or mutations - to the body's genetic material (DNA), which are not only associated with cancer, but may also be potentially passed down to offspring, leading to deformities in future generations. These can include smaller head or brain size, poorly formed eyes, slow growth and severe learning difficulties.
"Are children at greater risk?"
Potentially yes. Because they are growing more rapidly, more cells are dividing, and so the potential for things to go wrong is greater.
Following the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in the Ukraine in 1986, the World Health Organization recorded a dramatic increase in thyroid cancer among children in the vicinity.
This was because the radioactive materials released during the accident contained high levels of radioactive iodine, a material that accumulates in the thyroid.
Children continued to eat and drink heavily contaminated foodstuffs, such as milk.

テーマ : 東北地方太平洋沖地震義援金、災害援助
ジャンル : 福祉・ボランティア

What happened to us on and after March 11, 2011?

We resume our activities to provide foreign residents and migrants here with useful and suggestiv information on daily life, including what happened to us recently. Many a TV program reports every day about disater-stricken areas in the northern Japan and spreading damages and fears caused by destructed Fukushima Atomic Power Complex. Unfortunately, little news has reached us about foreing residents and migrants there and what they need now. We are going to collect and transmit as much information as possible.

テーマ : 東北地方太平洋沖地震義援金、災害援助
ジャンル : 福祉・ボランティア

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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。