2017年3月26日日曜日

Report: The celebration of completion the soil measurement project-March 26, 2017

Event report on the celebration of completion the soil measurement project-March 26, 2017


Thank you! A report of the celebration even of completion the soil measurement project.

We held “Thank you! 3000 samples completed for East Japan Soil Measurement Project report” at Yoyogi Olyimpic center in 26th March 2017.


For 2 and half years, we have conducted free charge measurement for soil samples from 17 prefectures in the North East side of Japan. Thank you so much for your support financially and also collecting the soil samples.

Finally, we have achieved to create a map of cesium contamination level in those areas by measuring more than 3,000 soil samples. We would like to show our sincere appreciation for your all, so we organised reporting and sharing event.

On the day, it was raining but approx. 150 people joined us.

Out of 33 measurement stations that belongs to “Minnna no Data Site (MDS)”, 13 measurement station joined us. Also 11 guest organisation which have been working to protect children from radiation have joined us and held their own booth. Below is the report of the event.



2 and half years of development of the Soil measurement project: introduction of the measurement stations

We introduced the history of MDS and how the project was carried out using slide presentation. Also we introduced 13 measurement stations which joined us on the day.

Some of the feedback we received from the participants were “I was impressed to meet all the people who is involved in this activities” and “I could understand how the project has developed and spread out”.

Introduction of the measurement stations















Hokkaido from the North to Onomichi from the South have gathered here

Tho it was a short time, we could share the different situations of measurement stations by regions.



Introduction of the guest organisation booths and mingling and purchasing time 

After the introduction of the guest organisation and what they have in their booth, we held mingling time. Many people enjoyed buying DVD, books and cute items from the booths.

● http://nuu-nuu.com/ 
● http://3tasu1.com/
● http://fbsnetwork.com/
● http://kodomozenkoku.com/
● http://www.nuketext.org/
● https://zendamafes.wordpress.com/think-to/
● http://www.kuminosato.com/
 http://sokuteimiyagi.blog.fc2.com/
● http://www.lab-asunaro.jp/
●Higashi-rinkan Radiation measurement station
●Minnano data site




all of the profits from the crafts go into recreation project 



Guest organisations introducing their booklets






Nuu’s mini concert 

A small concert was held by singer Nuu and Guiter who sang ending song for “Little Voices from Fukushima” directed by Hitomi Kamanaka.

We could feel the preciousness of lives, sweetness of moments of life by listening to their music.

One of the staff members Nakamura said that she could remember this past 6 years in blink of moment.  She recalled “how she started to get involved in this movement and why she is standing here today”, and remembered “all the uncertainty and determination caused by the accident”. There are so many injustice in the society, but she could received power to still keep holding on by listening to the beautiful voice and melody, and she shed some tears.

 A gentle singing by Nuu was applaused by the audience 




Presentation of “soil contamination map” by Director Hitomi Kamanaka and Secretary general Ishimaru

We have carried out this project for 2 and half years over 17 prefectures.
http://en.minnanods.net/soil/

We could gather more than 3,000 soil samples that contributed to data of contamination by cesium in soil. We created prediction map that could tell the situation in 2011 and predictions for 100 years later. Also we compared to situation in Chernobyl and the difference between evacuation standard line in Russia and Japan.

As a outcome of the project we released speculation map of cesium contamination in 2011 until next 100 years. We are working to English version of the map by the end of 2017.

Director Kamanaka talked about the situation around children with thyroid cancer in Fukushima. She also talked about how diseases are increasing in Kanto Area which she heard directly from a nurse. We are waiting for the accurate data from statistics and science. She discussed about how iodine was not distributed to people, and the response by the government at the time.

Soil measurement project by MDS was started by civilians because the government did not put effort in researching and disclosing the informations about the soil contamination. At the end, Ishimaru concluded by saying “Today is not the ending, but the starting point. From now we will discuss and co-operate to think wisely about how to use this data and spread them”.
We received many feedbacks. Here are some of them; “I could understand the importance of knowing the contamination situation well.” or “I could find out many information that I didn’t know”.

Left: secretary general Hidetake Ishimaru Right: Our guest, director Hitomi Kamanaka



A talk by a person who has self-evacuated 


2nd popular content of the day was talk from the evacuee.

There are not many chance where we can listen to evacuee from Fukushima. Also the compensation for self-evacuee by the government which made the rent free of charge was about to be cut in 31st March. In this very busy schedule, she agreed to come and talk. 

Mrs Naoko Suzuki evacuated temporally from Iwaki city to Hachioji, Tokyo at midnight of 15th March, 2011. Then someone offered them to stay with them in Saitama, so they moved there.

In the beginning she evacuated with her 2 daughters thinking it will only be for 3 months, so her partner went back to Fukushima. However, single parent evacuation lasted for 2 years.

Family home which they have only been living for 8 years had to be sold after a very tough decision.

Her partner found a job in Saitama, so the family is united again and living together now. However, in Iwaki city, there is a tradition for the oldest son to stay and inherit the household, so only 3 family evacuated out of 600 students in a school, and now only Suzuki’s family is evacuating.

Everyday they live in the guilt for running away, and the longing for the hometown, that lead into hardship of not being able to be honest with each other among family.

However, among all the evacuee, only 20% of them have returned to their hometown, which proves that many of them have feeling that it is still not safe. In that sense, the map’s data helps think about the safety.

Among 370,000 people, 187 children was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. However, the Fukushima government is trying to minimise the need for health check ups. She said “I cannot forgive the response from them. It is important to take action towards what has already happened, so I will study more and I want to raise voice based on concrete data”.  The memorable phrase she said was, “Children are treasure, but parents are also treasure. Evacuee also deserve to be happy. We already reach that time. I would like to keep my head up and keep holding on”.




About Environmental concentrated bequel measuring project

The East Soil Measuring Project did not include micro hotspot. It was to analyze normal contamination level in each region by creating the map. However, it is impossible to ignore the issues raised by micro hotspots that is prevalent throughout North-East Japan.

From now on, with the support from Hotspot Investigators for Truth (HIT), we will launch “Environmental concentrated bequel measuring project” to measure and disclose datas of micro hotspots.
This project causes risks on health by inhaling exposure when gathering and measuring high level contamination soil, so we are not asking for public to collect the soil.

We will raise awareness of what kinds of places are likely to be hotspot through easy pictures on the website. Website will be released around this May.


  
features of places/conditions that are likely to accumulate cecium
Under rain drainage (2) puddle (3) roadside (4)edge of parking area (5) inside of gutter (6)lower part of steep slope (7) planter (8)near the roots of tree (9)walls beside buildings (10) black substances: those lichen or blue-green algae on the sides of roads (11)moss (12)dusts




What’s next for MDS


●We will produce soil contamination map

In september, we are planning to publishing finalized version of map with explanations of each regions including missing regions.

●We will renew our website, so that it will be easier to understand and use. 


We will created in the way so it is easier to see the results from the projects, and look at the contamination situation in the past, present and future.


●We will add more explanations about meanings of numerical results. We aspire to provide website that can offer users to have their own safety threshold towards the contamination situation, and use the data on the website in their daily life. 


●We will continue to encourage people to use data effectively. 

Also we would like to value the connection we made through this project. We are planning on hosting more events that will gather us together again to think about evacuation, compensation, recreation and protecting children. If you have any ideas, please share them with us.



Gratitude 

Below are the organisation who supported to host this event and our daily activities through their funding.
LUSH Japan https://jn.lush.com/
Act Beyond Trust http://www.actbeyondtrust.org/
The Takagi Funds for Citizen Science http://www.takagifund.org/

We thank you deeply to those of you who donated to us directly, through the cloud funding and share and support our project.

We are not finished yet. From now on, we will move on to spread what the data is showing to us.
We look forward working with you more.

2017年1月17日火曜日

Report:A press conference at " The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan"- January 17, 2017

On January 17, 2017, a press conference was held at " The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan" organized by "3 + 1"(SAN TASU ICHI).


The purpose of the press conference on 17th January is to inform you of the severity and actual condition of compensation for evacuees of the Japanese government during the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.

"Minna no Data Site"  was present as an observer to explain the current situation of radioactive contamination in eastern Japan.

Presenters are Mr. Ishimaru Hidetake, secretary general of  "Minna no Data Site" on the left, Mrs. Noriko Matsumoto on the center, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Incident evacuees, right is a journalist and Chia Yoshida, author of "Rupo Mother and Children Evacuation".



The following is the presentation material used by "Minna no Data Site" on the day.
In addition, the 8th to 10th slides are replaced with those updated after the press conference.

Note: "3 + 1" means that three people who shared the thought that this country would not surprisingly change anything despite East Japan great earthquake disaster of March 11, 2011 It is an action that expressed the thought of a film director.
We are planning screenings and events for each movie against many contradictions such as nuclear power plants, regional disparities, US military bases, poverty and discrimination.
http://3tasu1.com/















The following is an overview of "Minna no Data Site" distributed on the day.

The summary of East Japan soil measurement project by Minna No Data Site.

Commentator:  Hidetake Ishimaru (Director of “Minna no Data Site: Combined database independent Radioactivity Measurement labs”)


<What is Minna no Data Site?> 


After the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in March 2011, the level of radioactive contamination became severe. Thus many Independent Radioactivity Measurement Labs have started around Japan. “Minna no Data Site” is a combined database of those labs on the internet, which offers everyone an easy access to research on foods contamination level. It started in 2013. We started soil measuring project from 2014.

”Minna no Data Site” is the biggest association of Independent Radioactivity Measurement Labs. 32 labs are the member of the association. All of the labs have passed the measuring machine’s accuracy standard to join the database.


We are a non-profit organization. Our committee is made up of members from the Independent labs.We are independent from any political groups, or social groups.

We have about 14,000 data of foods, and about 2,800 data of soil from different areas.


We include unique data like processed foods that the government do not usually measure. You can research them by name, area, date and produced district. 


<The significance of the soil project>


Russia, Belarus and Ukraine are the most contaminated countries after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant’s accident. Their government established “Legal Regime of the Chernobyl problem” 5 years later the accident and set the standard level for evacuation or farming. To set the standard, the government measured the soil.

However, after the accident in Japan, the government has not done the measurement of soil unlike three of the countries. Ministry of Education has done radioactivity measurement monitoring from airplanes, and each municipality has been measuring the contamination in air (1m above from the land).

The parents are worried about if it is safe to let the children play outside, and if it is, they are wondering where the safe place is. There are people who want to know the current situation about radioactivity, wonders from people that essentially this should have been the government’s duty. After hearing all those opinions, we decided to measure the level of Becquerel in soil around 17 prefectures by ourselves. 4,000 people have offered us to help this project, and they sent us samples of the soil from their living area, and we measure those samples in our labs. In this 2 years and half, we have measured soil from 2,500 different places. It is very rare and valuable data.

It has been 5 years after the accident, and it seems as if nothing happened. While returning policy to the stricken area by the government are proceeding, we are trying to understand the accurate contamination level in soil in the wide area. 



<The Methodology of sampling soil>


The sample soil are collected in the same way as Legal Regime of Chernobyl problem standard, thus we can compare the contaminated level in Fukushima with Chernobyl. We made clear about 2 points below to understand different tendency in all the areas of East Japan.

First, the depth of gathering the soil have to be the same. This is because cesium has tendency to be higher when it is closer to the surface and the level decrease as it goes deeper in the land.

Second, we do not include area which have become micro hot spot by concentration of cesium. 
With all the conditions above, we collect more than 1ℓ of soil each, and record the data into a same format. For citizens without any experience of gathering soil, we created comic version of the manual. Thus those people can easily join our project.

Applicable place for gathering soil: soil which has been without removed of radiation, and dry.
Not applicable place for gathering soil:
1. Sandbox (because the sand is changed constantly)
2. Under the slopes (Ex: slopes at parks. they can be highly contaminated hotspot)
3. Around roots of trees
4. Moss
5. Under gutter or drain
6. Mud on the side of roads

Below is the items to fill in on the format
●date of gathering
●weather
●address
●latitude and longitude (only until 3 decimals to avoid specifying individual's house to protect privacy)
●types of land
●types of soil
●optional item: the name of the machine to measure radioactivity in the air
●optional item: radioactivity in the air


<About situation of contamination in East Japan>


The attached map is the results of matching our measurements results with the zone criteria from Chernobyl.

Contamination in the 5cm soil in many areas are more than the Zone of Intensified Radio-Ecological Control from Legal Regime of the Chernobyl Problem.

Those tendency can be found in the South area in Iwate prefecture, South area in Miyagi prefecture, all areas in Fukushima prefecture, South and East areas in Gunma prefecture, South area in Ibaragi, North West area in Chiba prefecture, East area in Tokyo.

[*1] Results of caesium 137 is being calculated to match the current date (2017/1/17) from the measured date.
[*2] Each data has been converted into Bq/㎡ by the weight and volume of the sample.
[*3] Both soil project and Chernobyl have gathered the sample from depth of 5cm.
[*4] Each area’s results are the results from a particular point, so please think it as reference results.
[*5] We try to avoid hotspot or decontaminated area, however, there might be areas that applies to one of them.
[*6] It is not easy to compare the radioactive contamination between Japan and Chernobyl due to the difference of food culture, difference of the contamination that moved to the crops from the soil, difference of the level of strontium, and so on.

<Plans for the future>


Minna no Data Site’s “Measuring Becquerel in Soil in East Japan Project” with fee-free measurement will be finished in March 2017. We will continue to measure with some charges. From April to September we are going to make a map book (atlas version) with description for each 17 prefecture. 
Beforehand, we are going to release internet version to make the information available to people earlier, while making those information into the book version. In those times, we are going to issue a press release, so we can continue to be interviewed. 
We are going continue to offer data as a guideline for people to think about the society, protect children from radioactive contamination, and reducing being exposed to radiation.  



2017年1月7日土曜日

Article: Tokyo newspaper issued by 2017/01/07

Investigation on soil: A step away from completing 3000 samples of soil that has been contaminated by the nuclear power station’s accident. Civilians measuring radiation in 17 prefectures in East Japan.




Citizens’ radiation measuring station collectively created website “Minna no Data Site”. It gathers results of foods and soil samples’ radioactive contamination by TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power stations’ accident. The operators of the website are now in the process of publishing a booklet of conclusion of the soil project that they have been carrying out for 2 years. They have measured more than 2,500 soil samples from 17 prefectures of North-East Japan except for Hokkaido. They will complete the project after they measure 500 additional samples.

Minna no Data Site started in October, 2014. There are 33 citizens’ radiation measuring stations around Japan. With the new map coming by the project, viewers can look up areas, dates when the sample was measured and cesium contamination levels of soil samples. On the website, they can also search more than 13,000 foods samples depends on harvested and purchased areas, measured dates and cesium contamination levels. They have covered the expenses of measuring and operation of the organization by funding and donations.

One of the committee members Kiyumi Oyama (52 years old) said “we are one step away from reaching the goal of measuring 3000 soil samples”. They are lacking soil samples especially from Kanagawa, Tochigi and Gunma prefectures. They need 500 more samples from those regions.

For this project, they did crowdfunding campaign to raise ¥2,000,000 on the website called “moonshot” until last January. “We would like to publish the booklet by September” said Ms.Oyama. The booklet will include map that shows radioactive contamination levels in soil as well as analysis by the operator of the measurement.


The results of food samples are going to take more time to be summarized since they will compare it with the analysis of soil contamination situation. “We would like to ask you to rend us a hand to our project that make the invisible radiation visible” said Ms. Oyama. More details of the project can be found on the website of “Minna no Data Site” or “moonshot”.

2016年5月6日金曜日

Article: Asahi newspaper issued by 2016/05/06

Radioactively contaminated soil: Measured by citizens


-       “Is it really safe?” Cooperation of 30 citizens’ radiation measuring stations around Japan.
-       The results of 1900 soil samples from 17 prefectures are available online.

It has been 5 years since TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station’s accidents. The radioactive contamination in the air has shown some decrease due to the natural process of decaying and the results of the decontamination. However, when we look at the contamination level in soil, we still find hotspots that are highly contaminated and radioactivity controlled area. They are found in East Japan. “Is it really safe?”. Some citizen who share the concerns started citizens’ radiation measuring stations around Japan. They upload the results of the measurements on their website.



In October 2015, “Measuring Becquerel level in Soil Project in East Japan” has started (There are three co-founders including Hiromi Abe who is the chief director of Fukushima 30 years project).  They have measured more than 1900 soil samples from people’s habitat zone in 17 prefectures of East Japan. All the samples are gathered in the standardized way. The results of the data are released on their website.

The purpose was to measure the mean of the contamination level for the region. Therefore, they excluded areas that are highly contaminated. Secretary general Hidetake Ishimaru said “We would like to avoid presenting misreading data of the general contamination level of a region with one peculiarly highly contaminated data. We can gain some ideas of where to be cautious about by having one standardized measurement that can be compared with each other”.

The highest contamination found so far is from a soil sample from a copse near a house in Iidate village. In total of 135000 Becquerel of cesium was found (111028 Becquerel of cesium 137 and 23920 Becquerel of cesium 134). The contamination level decreases when measuring samples from Sizuoka prefecture. However, there are soil samples that are contaminated more than 10,000 Becquerel in Kanto area.


30 citizens’ radiation measuring stations around Japan are taking part in the project. Among all the stations, a station from Iwate prefecture “Protecting children from exposure to radiation: Iwate” was the first one who started measuring the soil samples. One year after the nuclear power stations’ accidents, they started measuring contamination in soil and air mainly of schools and parks within the prefecture. They have gathered and released 316 data already.

Chief director Kazuhiro Sugawara (39 years old) was a chairman of PTA for his daughter’s primary school when the accident had occurred. The main debate among the parents after the accident was “whether it is safe to let their children play outside”.  The government had been announcing that it is safe based on the results of air contamination, but the risk was measured based on the contamination levels of soil in the case of Chernobyl. After he found that out, they started measuring soil, saying “if the government is not measuring the soil, then we have to do it by ourselves”.

“Children play touching the soil, and they wipe their mouth with the hands. They inhale the dust that are blown by wind. Those are all the risks of getting internally exposed to the radiation. We cannot feel safe without knowing the results of soil contamination levels”.

The highest radioactive contamination they have detected was from Kanegasaki, Iwate in June 2012. The air pollution was 0.24 mSv/h, but the soil contamination was more than 4500 Becquerel.  

Cost for measuring a sample is about ¥ 2,000. In the project the soil samples are measured for free, and the expense is covered by donation from citizens and funding from some companies.

There are still not enough samples from Niigata, Tochigi and Gunma prefectures. Secretary general Ishimaru said “Those prefectures are all famous for their farm land. Some people are scared of ‘harmful rumors’, so they are reluctant to join our project.” They are holding lectures targeting citizens to raise their understanding of the project in those three prefectures.

Researcher of nuclear power station from Kyoto University Tetsuji Imanaka who has been investigating and measuring the soil contamination mainly within Fukushima prefecture said “Results of soil contaminations are the base data for analyzing the contamination level in the region. Thus, it needs to be investigated and measured as precisely as it can be. It is actually government’s responsibility to do so, but I am looking forward to the outcomes from the project”.


(written by Masakazu Honda)