SurvivalJapan reported last week that a 2.2 uSv/h hotspot had been measured in Yokohama by a citizen, in リーベスト中山 ゴミ捨て場 前 on August 3, after an initial measure of 0.2 uSv/h on July 22. In this spot situated in Nakayama (near Yokohama hospital), the limit of 1 mSv is reached in about 3 weeks. The site is in front of a dumping ground and its radiation level had increased tenfold in ten days. We mentioned that it was a sign that wide dumpings of radioactive waste exist, although here the origin could have been medical, especially with the hospital nearby. Yokohama city confirmed since that mud in the drain system contained 2700 tons of radioactive waste and, as if it was not shocking enough, that they planned to bury it at sea. This illustrates the typical Japanese government handling of industrial waste: just dump it in the wild. Actually it is also a common practice of the population as can be seen by driving in the beautiful Japanese mountains. Wild dumps of television sets, motorbikes, etc. can be found anywhere down the steep slopes but you may need to ride a bicycle to actually notice it. Many construction companies sites with highly-fenced parking lots in the mountains where they keep their trucks and building materials are littered by their garbage all around, which eventually is washed down into the rivers. “What you can’t see can’t hurt you” seems the basic Japanese motto, from ordinary domestic trash to radioactive elements. Following the citizen groups’ outcry, the Yokohama mayor announced that the burial project was officially cancelled. It will therefore go underground. The level of radioactivity was up to 6468 Becquerels/kg. The press-release from Yokohama city (in Japanese) is available here in PDF version. It is reproduced at the bottom of this post. Mainichi Shimbun also reported about the “incident” in a Japanese-only version provided hereafter, according to which the mayor is consulting for other ways to dispose the sludge. Locations of detected waste where in the Southern Sludge Recycle Center in Kanazawa (南部汚泥 資源化 センター 金沢) and in the Northern Sludge Recycle Center in Tsurumi (北部汚泥 資源化 センター 鶴見).
Yokohama is historically an international port city and several global companies still have subsidiaries there. Expats from this area may reconsider putting their families at risk. As reported in SurvivalJapan, Greater Tokyo, originally a frontier of the no man’s land, began falling in its northern and eastern suburbs of Saitama and Chiba. Yokohama, in Kanagawa prefecture, is located on the southeastern side of Tokyo, which means that the front has fallen and the whole city should now be evacuated. The Arakawa River brings radioactive waters into the Bay of Tokyo from Saitama and should be monitored much more closely.
You may wonder what was this radioactive sludge doing there since according to the same newspaper, it should not have left the no man’s land (Cf. Nuclear Troublemaker Hosono’s Policy Promoted by Mainichi Daily News in SurvivalJapan). This clearly shows that all sludge recycle centers across the country should be monitored by citizens. Smokes from these centers can add to air-borne contamination. Finally the “recycled” waters are dumped in rivers where you may want your kids to avoid having a foot bath in summer – and forget about fishing.
Data courtesy of みんなでつくる放射線量マップ (“Let’s make a map of radiation together”)
Yokohama City PR in Japanese :
The Mainichi Shimbun article is reproduced below :
各地の下水処理場の汚泥や焼却灰から放射性セシウムが検出されている問題で、横浜市が横浜港にある廃棄物処分場に焼却灰を埋め立てる方針を決めた ことに対して地元住民らが抗議し、横浜市の林文子市長は１４日、当面の間、埋め立てを凍結することを明らかにした。林市長は会見で「市民に不安を与えたこ とをおわび申し上げたい」と謝罪した。
市は今月９日、市内２カ所の下水処理場で保管している約２７００トンについて、安全性が確保されたとして、１５日以降に南本牧廃棄物最終処分場 （同市中区）で埋め立て処分すると発表。政府は放射性セシウムが１キロ当たり８０００ベクレル以下であれば処分場に埋め立て可能とする「当面の考え方」を 示しており、横浜の下水処理場で保管中の焼却灰は最大で６４６８ベクレルだった。
毎日新聞 2011年9月14日 20時39分