Monday, May 2, 2011

High levels of Cesium found in Sludge originating from Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture

Highlighting the ongoing problems that continue to make life hazardous in surrounding areas of the plant, wastewater end-products from Koriyama that are trucked out and used for construction are clocking high dose rates originating from Cesium 137 in the sludge.

This has to make you wonder why the sludge shipped out from various Fukushima prefectures wasn't checked for high radiation content before this particular incident. Apparently it was caught a bit late in the process - the article mentions "The solidified slag made from it contained 334,000 becquerels per kilogram" - indicating finished construction. I wonder how many structures have been built with the sludge, because they will have to be torn down.

Any wall made from this stuff would be humming with radioactivity - 334,000 Becquerel/kg throws off 45 microSieverts per hour at a 10cm distance, and that's just the gamma component of the calculation.  From just 1 kg of this material, Beta exposure at a 1cm distance is a whopping 67 milliSieverts/hr, ensuring that anyone leaning against the wall is getting his/her butt massively irradiated.

From NHK:

Relatively high levels of radioactive cesium have been detected in the sludge from a waste water treatment plant in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture.

The prefectural government is tracking some of the sludge that has been shipped out of the prefecture to be used in making cement.

The prefecture's investigation found that the sludge contained 26,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram.

The solidified slag made from it contained 334,000 becquerels per kilogram, which is 1,300 times the level before the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The prefecture says rain likely washed radioactive substances from the surface of the ground into the sewer, and they became concentrated through processing.

The sludge from the facility is transported out of the prefecture and used to produce cement.

The prefectural government will suspend the recycling and track the sludge that has been shipped since the accident to determine how it has been used.

The land and transport ministry says it will report the incident to the Nuclear Safety Agency, and coordinate with the Environment Ministry and other relevant organizations to find ways to process the sludge safely. The sludge must be kept at the facility until a solution is found.

The ministry says there is no precedent for this, but that it will decide soon what to do.

Sunday, May 01, 2011 23:20 +0900 (JST)

This wastewater plant may be emitting radiation numbers as high as parts of the Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant. Now they have to go in there and calculate doses for the sewage treatment staff, plus everyone else who was in close contact with the material.

1 comment :

  1. Here are some other examples of what should be controlled source material becoming "orphan" sources that end up in build materials.

    "SHOPPERS were today warned they may be unwittingly giving loved ones radioactive watches for Christmas. The batch of 4,500 wrist watches with straps contaminated with Cobalt 60 have been sold by Carrefour supermarkets in France, said the National Radiological Protection Board."