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Thread: Fukushima questions

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    Default Fukushima questions

    Quick Q about Fukushima - how long are kids allowed to play outside around the no go zone? Are there any restrictions for the rest of the prefecture about kids outside?

    Fukushima seems like one of the most beautiful prefecture, nature-wise!!!! If I wasn't bringing a young child with me, I wouldn't hesitate!!!

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    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomgirl View Post
    Quick Q about Fukushima - how long are kids allowed to play outside around the no go zone? Are there any restrictions for the rest of the prefecture about kids outside?

    Fukushima seems like one of the most beautiful prefecture, nature-wise!!!! If I wasn't bringing a young child with me, I wouldn't hesitate!!!
    I live in basically the closest city you can get to the no-go zone without being actually in it. In fact, half of my city is still evacuated. There are radiation counters set up at every single school and most public buildings in the entire prefecture, and I can see mine from the window right now - it says 0.133 microsieverts/hr. That is actually below the worldwide average - NYC averages 0.25usv/hr just by virture of being a very populated city.

    Basically, if you're outside of the no-go zone, there aren't any restrictions, and it's perfectly safe. The Japanese government is very strict on where they open up - some of the areas still in the no-go zone are safe to return to, but people still aren't allowed to return because they haven't finished the official decontamination efforts yet (such as the half of my city that is still evacuated).

    Fukushima is also the third largest prefecture in Japan - the neighboring prefectures are actually closer to the power plant than the farthest area of Fukushima! (the neighboring prefectures are not contaminated, don't worry. But neither were the inland areas of Fukushima, even right after the earthquake)

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    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    Air in Fukushima is a hell of a lot cleaner than the air in kanto
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    Especially by the ocean! I grew up in an ocean town, I love the fresh air!

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    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomgirl View Post
    Quick Q about Fukushima - how long are kids allowed to play outside around the no go zone? Are there any restrictions for the rest of the prefecture about kids outside?

    Fukushima seems like one of the most beautiful prefecture, nature-wise!!!! If I wasn't bringing a young child with me, I wouldn't hesitate!!!
    Me too. Bringing the kiddos and just nervous about Fukushima and surrounding areas. If it were just me and I had no family, I'd *probably* accept placement there after all the work, time, and $$ spent to make it this far.

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    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    you kiddos will get a lot more radiation on the flight over compared to living anywhere in fukushima for a year. closest places to daiichi you could live are haramachi or hirono and theres no significant radiation there.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamirose View Post
    Basically, if you're outside of the no-go zone, there aren't any restrictions, and it's perfectly safe. The Japanese government is very strict on where they open up - some of the areas still in the no-go zone are safe to return to, but people still aren't allowed to return because they haven't finished the official decontamination efforts yet (such as the half of my city that is still evacuated).
    I have to wonder if you're aware of Japan's horrendous environmental record, especially regarding the disposal of hazardous chemicals and nuclear waste?

    The Japanese government, in collusion with industry, has an egregious record of covering up fires and disturbances at their nuclear facilities, of turning a blind eye to waste dumping in rural areas, of putting its own citizens at risk for fear of stirring social unrest. This isn't different from other countries, to be sure, but the lack of an environmental oversight agency with any real teeth--not to mention a near impossibility of suing government or companies for negligence--means that we have no good reason to believe what the Japanese government-business-media-bureacracy complex tells us about health risks near Fukushima.

    I'm speaking mostly from Alex Kerr's Dogs and Demons, but there are plenty of books in English out there documenting Japan's power brokers' terrible environmental record and the public's absolute lack of power to change it.

    I'm inclined to believe the geiger counter, of course. I doubt anyone would tinker with how it's calibrated... I'm just wary of insinuating there's no way other information could be skewed to put people's minds at rest.

    (Sorry for derailing the discussion. Best of luck on your placements, everybody!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by windar View Post
    I have to wonder if you're aware of Japan's horrendous environmental record, especially regarding the disposal of hazardous chemicals and nuclear waste?

    The Japanese government, in collusion with industry, has an egregious record of covering up fires and disturbances at their nuclear facilities, of turning a blind eye to waste dumping in rural areas, of putting its own citizens at risk for fear of stirring social unrest. This isn't different from other countries, to be sure, but the lack of an environmental oversight agency with any real teeth--not to mention a near impossibility of suing government or companies for negligence--means that we have no good reason to believe what the Japanese government-business-media-bureacracy complex tells us about health risks near Fukushima.

    I'm speaking mostly from Alex Kerr's Dogs and Demons, but there are plenty of books in English out there documenting Japan's power brokers' terrible environmental record and the public's absolute lack of power to change it.

    I'm inclined to believe the geiger counter, of course. I doubt anyone would tinker with how it's calibrated... I'm just wary of insinuating there's no way other information could be skewed to put people's minds at rest.

    (Sorry for derailing the discussion. Best of luck on your placements, everybody!)
    You don't need to believe the Japanese government. That comment was not on their environmental policies in general, just on how slowly they're allowing people back into safe areas.

    There have been numerous independent studies on the radiation levels in the areas outside of the exclusion zone and some areas within the exclusion zone that have concluded that there are no health risks for living there, that have nothing to do with the Japanese government. I don't have links on hand but I can get them from other ALTs here if you are interested in reading them. As a side note, pretty much every ALT here hates TEPCO and the coverups. You can dislike the corruption while still having an informed opinion - TEPCO being evil doesn't equate the prefecture being unsafe.

    This is one reason I ask that people who are placed there talk to ALTs here before making their decision. There are resources that haven't been widely publicized because "Fukushima is safe" doesn't make as much money for media companies as "Fukushima is a nuclear wasteland" does.
    Last edited by Kamirose; May 16th, 2014 at 13:43.

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    Buy your own dosimeter if you are a tin foil hat wearing loony, won't change anything
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Default Re: Fukushima questions

    As you know, the exclusion zone is still a no go. Hence the name exclusion zone, however elsewhere in the prefecture, as Kamirose says has radiation counters everywhere. I have yet to see one that is higher than the worldwide average. I would recommend Fukushima to anyone and everyone.

    EDIT: Also, I have been to Hirono, wonderful place with wonderful people.
    Last edited by yingyangryder; May 16th, 2014 at 14:19.

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    Default Re: Fukushima questions

    Would you bring your 4/5 year old to an area just outside the exclusion zone? Or would you guys who live there hesitate?

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    Default Re: Fukushima questions

    My friend's going through a similar debate, but that's because she's heard a lot of fear-talk. She's worried about just flying over the prefecture.

    As long as your kid isn't running into the exclusion zone and putting their mouths on everything, I'll think they'll be fine.
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    Default Re: Fukushima questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomgirl View Post
    Would you bring your 4/5 year old to an area just outside the exclusion zone? Or would you guys who live there hesitate?
    The only time I would hesitate would be if:
    1. You are planning hiking through the mountains directly next to the exclusion zone with your child a lot, AND
    2. Your child has a habit of eating wild plants like mushrooms

    Otherwise, I would have no hesitation. I don't actually know any JETs in the prefecture with children, though, but being a JET with children is fairly rare to begin with so I doubt it means anything.

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    Default Re: Fukushima questions

    If it was me, I wouldn`t hesitate. However, I don`t have a child so I cannot realistically answer that question. How far outside is "just outside"?

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    Default Re: Fukushima questions

    Isn't that the million dollar question!! I know a few people in Fukushima, so personally I don't have problems with being there, but I am mostly nervous about the food. I was there for the snow brand fiasco, a CEO in our area hung himself because he didn't report the bird flu in his birds, etc, etc - I don't trust food companies there very much. I'm going to guess that much of the radiation is in the land and ocean- inland, I can't imagine there being much of an issue. Still though, as a parent it would be a tough choice!

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    Default Re: Fukushima questions

    Every bag of rice is checked for radiation levels. Each farm has food tested on a regular basis, having visited these test centers too, I trust the food here. Actually the radiation threshold used in these tests is much much lower than that of the UK/US, although I don`t remember the exact amount. I just remember being surprised when I found out. I can imagine it is indeed a tough choice as a parent so I hope Kamirose`s and my posts can help a little. Or anyone else who lives, has lived, or has been to Fukushima.

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    Default Re: Fukushima questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomgirl View Post
    Isn't that the million dollar question!! I know a few people in Fukushima, so personally I don't have problems with being there, but I am mostly nervous about the food. I was there for the snow brand fiasco, a CEO in our area hung himself because he didn't report the bird flu in his birds, etc, etc - I don't trust food companies there very much. I'm going to guess that much of the radiation is in the land and ocean- inland, I can't imagine there being much of an issue. Still though, as a parent it would be a tough choice!
    There are a lot of independent reports on the food. If you do a Google search you will find that the fish, even the bottom feeders (which absorbed the most radiation) are very comfortably in the safe to eat range of radiation. Apparently there are still many people in Fukushima that are paranoid about their food, but independent study has shown that their paranoia does not reflect the actual safety of the food. I get that you are nervous, but all the information available (at least the suitably informed stuff) seems to pretty conclusively say that the food is safe. That being said, I guarantee that there will be lots of alternates that will be quite willing to take your spot if you can't get over your hesitation. Worst case scenario you make the day of some other JET hopeful.
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    Default Re: Fukushima questions

    If you're nervous about the food, pretty much all food and produce are labeled with the prefecture that it was grown in, so you can easily avoid food from Fukushima. I do urge you to put a little research into it, though. I live in the area most affected by the radiation, and there are no farms in production in my area because of the proximity - I'm not even sure if it's legal to farm here. Once you get into the other areas, the food is tested so anything that is sold is fine. Remember, Fukushima is HUGE, the areas that do the most farming are in areas that were never even remotely close to the areas with raised radiation levels.

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    Pimpin wenches aint easy BeckyJones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fukushima questions

    The only risk to children was the release of iodine-131 and cesium-137. iodine having the greatest risk for causing thyroid cancer in children. Iodine-131 will give your kids thyroid cancer. It's proven, and it is super dangerous.. RUN RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!




    oh wait,
    Iodine-131 has a half life of 8 days. so the accident was on 3/11/11 so using today's date of 5/16/14 that accident happened 1162 days ago
    1162/8 = 146 half-lifes ago. So even if the amount of iodine-131 released was a large amount (it wasn't) it hasn't been a danger in years.
    lets do some fun math
    if you know what a half life is, you know that an elements half life is the time it takes for half the amount of that element to decay into another element. Iodine-131 decays into stable non radioactive elements btw (you can look it up).
    so lets say 1000kgs of deadly evil radiative iodine-131 was released, estimates however say that it was less than 100kgs but lets assume 10 times that with 1000kgs. If you divide that by 2 146 times
    here is a handy dandy formula
    (1/2)^(# of half lives past) x (initial mass)
    so let's plug our numbers in shall we
    (1/2)^146 x (1000) = 1.1213kg still around and kicking it.
    AKA, not a fucking problem.

    as for Cesium-137, it's halflife is 30 years. It is less radioactive than Iodine-131 but still dangerous as it decays with beta radiation as well as gamma radiation. im going to quote wiki here with this tidbit

    Caesium-137 reacts with water producing a water-soluble compound (caesium hydroxide), and the biological behavior of caesium is similar to that of potassium and rubidium. After entering the body, caesium gets more or less uniformly distributed throughout the body, with the highest concentrations in soft tissue.[17]:114 The biological half-life of caesium is rather short at about 70 days.[18] A 1972 experiment showed that when dogs are subjected to a whole body burden of 3800 μCi/kg (140 MBq/kg, or approximately 44 μg/kg) of caesium-137 (and 950 to 1400 rads), they die within thirty-three days, while animals with half of that burden all survived for a year.[19]

    Accidental ingestion of caesium-137 can be treated with Prussian blue, which binds to it chemically and reduces the biological half-life to 30 days.[20]

    so you can see, it is deadly. but look at those numbers and note that this is ingestion. They had to eat the cesium. The estimates for how much Cesium released during the disaster are highly contended and debateable. But there is good news, You really have to ingest cesium-137 for it to really hurt you because beta radiation doesn't really penetrate skin all that well and that far...

    Most of the cesium is concentrated in the water, and area directly surrounding the reactor. The radiation it is giving off isn't that high if you look at the sievert count, but if you were to live there, there is a chance you would ingest radioactive cesium hence the exclusion zone. Outside the exclusion zone the cesium has already been diluted enough (it was never really that high to begin with) through natural process that you have nothing to fear from it either. Remember, radiation is normal and everywhere... Don't let the idiots fool you, Radiation is EVERYWHERE and it is NATURAL as well as man made.

    There, I'm done.
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    Pimpin wenches aint easy BeckyJones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fukushima questions

    so a simple easy answer.
    Don't worry about it as there isn't enough radiation/radioactive elements to cause a significant chance of cancer or death. You are worse off in Denver (a very radioactive city), or Australia (a very radioactive continent) than you are in Fukushima city.
    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    His dying breath will not be how sorry he is to leave his wife or children, but it will be saved to insult Jiggit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

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