TEPCO: Radioactive substances belong to landowners, not us
24 November, 2011
During court proceedings concerning a radioactive golf course, Tokyo Electric Power Co. stunned lawyers by saying the utility was not responsible for decontamination because it no longer "owned" the radioactive substances.
“Radioactive materials (such as cesium) that scattered and fell from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant belong to individual landowners there, not TEPCO,” the utility said.
That argument did not sit well with the companies that own and operate the Sunfield Nihonmatsu Golf Club, just 45 kilometers west of the stricken TEPCO plant in Fukushima Prefecture.
The Tokyo District Court also rejected that idea.
But in a ruling described as inconsistent by lawyers, the court essentially freed TEPCO from responsibility for decontamination work, saying the cleanup efforts should be done by the central and local governments.
Although the legal battle has moved to a higher court, observers said that if the district court’s decision stands and becomes a precedent, local governments' coffers could be drained.
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Radioactive strontium found in 3 locations in Tokyo
25 November, 2011
A citizens’ group has discovered radioactive strontium in soil in three locations in Tokyo, peaking at 51 becquerels per kilogram.
The group took measurements throughout Tokyo and Yokohama, and found radioactive mud in several locations, Sankei Shimbun reported Friday. In one case, a soil sample weighing one kilogram was found to be emitting 51 becquerels.
The group said they gathered soil through Oct 31 from various locations and then had them examined at an isotope research facility, Sankei said. The group claimed that a sample taken near the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry building in Kasumigaseki emitted 48 becquerels, one taken from outside the Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho gave off 51 becquerels, and a third sample taken outside Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station in Koto Ward measured 44 becquerels per kilogram.
The group is the same one that discovered radioactive strontium 90 in sediment on the roof of a condominium in Yokohama in mid-October. In that case, the level of radioactive strontium was 195 becquerels, which is 95 becquerels per kilogram above the government standard.
It was the first time that radioactive strontium with a level higher than the government benchmark has been found so far from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Strontium 90 is a radioactive isotope of strontium, with a half-life of 28.8 years. Its presence in bones can cause bone cancer, cancer of nearby tissues and leukemia.
However, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said Thursday that the Yokohama strontium most likely did not come from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. NHK quoted a ministry spokesperson as saying the isotope research did not detect strontium 89 with a half-life period of around 50 days, which would have been the case if it was linked to Fukushima. The ministry said the test detected 0.82 to 1.1 becquerels per kilogram of strontium 90 with a half-life of around 29 years, NHK reported.
Tepco compensated only 1,000 of 20,000 cases
25 November, 2011
By the end of August, Tepco received 20,000 claim for damage, but they compensated only 1,000 cases of them, which was 2 billion yen.
Now it has become clear that Tepco is very reluctant to provide compensation.
Even though they make the claiming process extremely tricky so they can reduce the claiming cases, it is estimated that over 60,000 cases will go to Tepco for the term of September, October and November.
Tepco says, they will try to give “kind and heart warming” service for them.