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Fukushima Soil Contamination Probed 95

AmiMoJo writes "New research has found that radioactive material in parts of north-eastern Japan exceeds levels considered safe for farming. The findings provide the first comprehensive estimates of contamination across Japan following the nuclear accident in 2011. An international team of researchers took measurements of the radioactive element caesium-137 in soil and grass from all but one of Japan's 47 regions. The researchers estimate that caesium-137 levels close to the nuclear plant were eight times the safety limit, while neighbouring regions were just under this limit."
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Fukushima Soil Contamination Probed

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:43PM (#38060992)

    I have to quote each time this topic pops up those two idiots [] on slashdot on March 16. 2011:

    AnonGCB (1398517) says:

    It's funny because what is happening in Japan is exactly why Nuclear Power is SAFE!

    An earthquake 7 times more powerful than the biggest it was built for hit, and all that happened to the reactors that didn't shut down cleanly was a small amount of radioactive noble gases, which decay within minutes. Even if the cores DO melt, they're safely contained in ... wait for it... containment chambers!

    Containment chambers indeed!

    On which kannibal_klown (531544) answers:

    Hey, I know it. But Joe Sixpack is gonna say "But look at their problems now, I don't want that here." Bla bla bla

    Beavis and Butthead anyone?

    I just read through a lot of that thread. It's really telling how many well-educated, smart people here on Slashdot, who really SHOULD know better, always run and start parroting whatever the media the tells them and sticking their heads in the sand when the shit REALLY hits the fan.

    Fukushima is STILL emitting dangerous radiation, and the crisis is STILL far from over, while it may not be over for at least a decade. That's the reality, and that so many people who claim to be in the upper echelons of intelligence choose to ignore it, frankly scares the shit out of me.

  • by mcguiver ( 898268 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:46PM (#38061030)
    The exciting(?) thing about this study though is how small of an area is contaminated beyond the legal limit. Since Cs is the major radionuclide that was released then these mappings should also be closely correlated to background doses. Given the conservative estimates that are used for setting regulations I am even more convinced that the general Japanese public is in essentially no danger from the radiation. I would like to see a more detailed analysis of the area right around the plant but given the picture in the article it gives me hope.

    Many in the anti-nuclear crowd like to spout off and say that Fukushima has rendered vast amounts of land unusable for generations []. This news actually bodes well for the Japanese people that in a couple of years all the land that was previously not part of the power generating stations might be returned to original state.
  • by tp1024 ( 2409684 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @03:09PM (#38063184)
    Show me one anti-nuclear protagonist mentioning risk assessments and mitigation procedures. If they would, they would have to admit that effective procedures are in place wherever people cared about the placement and number of emergency generators (2 per reactor is not enough, 4 per reactor is standard. The shutdown German reactor at Isar-1, for example, had 8 emergency generators.), wherever they installed filtered containment vents and catalytic converters to prevent hydrogen explosions. All that is standard at least is France, Germany and Sweden. (I don't mention other countries, because I don't know anything about them and I stopped making assumption about such things on March 12th or so.) They would also have to admit that Fukushima Daiichi was one of the worst governed nuclear power plants in the world [].

    Hence, they don't. It is the pro-nuclear side that must make those points. All argumentation about lack in safety standards undermines the position of the anti-nuclear side, because of the anti-nuke dogma that nuclear power can't be safe, safety standards must not be talked about unless it is to dismiss the present state of safety of some plant. Talking about a lack of safety standards of a plant after an accident reinforces the revolutionary notion that safety standards can actually improve safety (as you could see in the accident-free shutdown in all other tsunami-hit powerplants) - which is not in the interest of the anti-nuclear crowd.

    So what does it say about the situation, when the pro-side has to argue with arguments that the anti-side should have brought forth, while the anti-side has basically decided not to argue and resorts of FUD and dogmatism instead?
  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @03:11PM (#38063222) Homepage Journal

    To be fair there were a lot of towns build in areas that no-one expected to flood. The Japanese spend a huge amount of time and money preparing for natural disasters, after all they do have very regular earthquakes and tsunami. Fukushima Daiichi survived the tsunami fairly well except for the backup generators which were its Achilles heal, and which at Fukishima Daini up the cost were made flood-proof.

    So rather than is being a problem of where the plant was built it was the failure of TEPCO to fix the backup system's vulnerability to flooding which they were warned about.

    Most Japanese people do not blame anyone for failing to predict the scale of the tsunami. Everyone did their best and it was simply an event beyond what anyone thought was possible.

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith