Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Safecast Report 2016 final01-print

2,876 views

Published on

This is a print-quality PDF of the 2016 edition of the Safecast Report

Published in: Environment

Safecast Report 2016 final01-print

  1. 1. 1 VOLUME 2 - MARCH, 2016 THE SAFECAST REPORT www.safecast.org
  2. 2. All text and images in this publication are made available under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license with attribution to SAFECAST, except as noted. www.safecast.org 2 Foreword So, what is The Safecast Report? This is the second edition of the Safecast Report, released in March, 2016. Five years have passed since the start of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Powerplant Accident, and also since the start of Safecast. A fifth anniversary is a good time for taking stock. As we said last year, when we started Safecast in March, 2011, amidst the chaotic aftermath of the unfolding nuclear disaster, our primary questions were, “What are the radiation levels?” and, “Is it safe?” These concerns became the major drivers for the Safecast project. They are still very important today. But as time has gone on we have found ourselves motivat- ed as much by the larger questions which enfold our soci- ety’s relationship with the environment, with information, with openness, and with risk. Though we started by measuring radiation levels in the streets of Fukushima, our mission has expanded to the wider quest for more open data about the environment everywhere, and to promote policies which en- courage openness. We’ve reached out to people from all corners of society, and many have reached out to us: cit- izens young and old, companies, educational institutions, experts, and local governments As we’ve collected and shared more data, Safecast has been building an information and action-based ecosystem that includes a lot of innovative hardware and software, new visualizations, unique measurement methodologies, human relationships, and a communication and design “style.” We’re all about participation and inclusiveness. We often find ourselves in agreement with people who are concerned about environmental and nuclear issues, but rather than voicing anger and trying to smash things, our response is to try to build better alternatives which can be easily and widely shared and built upon by others. We’ve deployed a lot of sensors worldwide and have amassed the largest open data set of radiation measurements to date. We’re develop- ing new equipment and forming new teams. But we don’t pretend to have any real answers. On the other hand, we can’t help but notice that the main result of our efforts has been that we’ve developed a better appreciation for how challenging the questions are. A lot has happened in the past 5 years. As the The Fukushi- ma Daiichi nuclear disaster is far from over. Five years may seem like a long time, but as we and others have pointed out, the half-life of Cs-137 is many times longer than this, and it will take generations before the radiation levels can re- ally be considered back to normal. It will be a long haul, and Safecast intends to be in it for the duration. As we’ve collect- ed and shared more data, we’ve been better able to gauge the true scale of the problems we’ve tackled, have gotten a better idea of what else is out there, seen what is working, and more importantly, areas where we could do better. In this report, we want to share what Safecast is doing today, in Japan and globally. We also want to acknowledge and share what we have learned from projects, studies, and initiatives done by others. But we don’t shy away from objective criti- cism of governments and other institutions, and make a point of noting where governments, universities, companies, and others could improve their contribution to the public good by embracing openness and public participation more fully. We call on all of them to recognize the importance of third party verification by open, citizen-powered projects like Safecast. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is far from over. Four years may seem like a long time, but the half-life of Cs-137 is many times longer than this, and it will take generations before the radiation levels are really back to normal. Over the past few years, The Internet of Things has become a major buzzword, and despite the hype, the technology and applications that are making it possible are helping usher in the age of open data and citizen empowerment. With the Safecast Report we want to show what we’re doing now and what others are doing that we feel are worth sharing, and hopefully will inspire others to participate in this exciting project, to learn, and to take action. We wanted this second edition of the Safecast Report to be a “stand alone” document which would not require readers to refer back to Vol. 1 for basic background information. As a result much of that material is repeated, and information updated where relevant. Over 40 pages of new material has been added, however. Then as now the report is split into two sections: an update about the Safecast project itself, and an in-depth examination of the status of measurement and monitoring at the Fukushima Daiichi plant and in the wider environment, as well what we know about radiation in food and in people’s bodies, and the consequences for the health of individuals and communities. We intend to is- sue updates to the Safecast Report as often as possible, and plan to add information about air and water pollution in future installments. We also welcome your feedback and suggestions, as well as your questions. None of this would have been possible without the support of our many passionate and generous volunteers! THANKS!!! THE SAFECAST REPORT TEAM: Azby Brown, Pieter Franken, Sean Bonner - March 2016
  3. 3. 3 With a disaster the size of Fukushima Daiichi, there is no way a single report could adequate- ly reflect all viewpoints or answer all questions. The best we can do is to present a bird’s eye view and point out where the landmarks seem to be. Concerned individuals must be prepared to inform themselves and seek their own an- swers. This report is intended to help people around the world to do that more effectively.
  4. 4. 4 The limited-edition Fifth-anniversary bGeigie Nano (front plate design by Jurgen Westerhoff)
  5. 5. 5 2..........Foreword 6 .........EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 6..............Part 1: SAFECAST PROJECT 7..............Part 2: SITUATION REPORT 11........PART 1: THE SAFECAST PROJECT UPDATE MARCH 2016 12............1.1 Safecast Code 13............1.2 DRIVECAST - Mobile Radiation Measurement 15............1.3 POINTCAST - Stationary Radiation Measurement 16............1.4 POINTCAST - Air Pollution Measurement 17............1.5 Open Data (aka The Safecast API) 18............1.6 Data Visualization 19............1.7 Outreach Activities 19............1.8 Press & Publicity 20............1.10 Funding & Support 21............1.11 Always Improving 23........Part 2: SITUATION REPORT 23............Prefatory note 27............2.1- ISSUES AT FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI NUCLEAR POWERPLANT (FDNPP) 27................2.1.1—Decommissioning roadmap 29................2.1.2—Spent fuel pools 30................2.1.3—Water problems 31...................2.1.3.a—Radionuclide removal systems 33...................2.1.3.b—Groundwater problems 37................2.1.4— Melted fuel debris removal 38...................2.1.4a— Muon imaging 39...................2.1.4b— Other investigations 42...................2.1.4c— Robot technology 43................2.1.5— Worker Issues 44............2.2- EVACUEES AND RETURNEES 44................2.2.1—Number of evacuees 46................2.2.2—Compensation 49................2.2.3—Evacuee housing 52............2.3- ENVIRONMENT and DECONTAMINATION 52................2.3.1—Overview 54................2.3.2—The land environment 56...................2.3.2.a—Forests 57...................2.3.2.b — Biota studies 58...................2.3.2.c—Decontamination progress, plans, effectiveness 65...................2.3.2d—Travel in the area 66................2.3.3—The Ocean 66...................2.3.3.a—Measurement overview 68...................2.3.3.b—Within 100km 71...................2.3.3.c—The wider Pacific: 75............2.4- FOOD 76................2.4.1—Basic findings 76...................2.4.1a - Rice 76...................2.4.1b - Food products in general 77...................2.4.1c - Seafood 77...................2.4.1d - Greatest risks 78...................2.4.1e - Consumer sentiment 78................2.4.2— Food: In-depth 78...................2.4.2a— Overview of Japanese government food monitoring 79...................2.4.2b— Food in general 80...................2.4.2c— Rice 83...................2.4.2d— Fish 83...................2.4.2e— Independent testing overview 88............2.5- HEALTH 88................Introduction 89................2.5.1—Thyroid disease findings 90...................2.5.1a—Results and interpretation 93...................2.5.1b— Independent thyroid tests 94................2.5.2— Internal contamination screening (WBC) 94...................2.5.2a—Fukushima prefecture WBC program 95...................2.5.2b— WBC Screening programs administered by local governments 96...................2.5.2c—Independent programs 97...................2.5.2d— WBC Scams 97...................2.5.2e— Comparison to Chernobyl 98................2.5.3—External Exposures 98...................2.5.3a—Personal dosimetry results 100.................2.5.3b—International comparisons 100.................2.5.3c—Iitate 101.................2.5.3d—Overall trends, public health screening 102..............2.5.4— Worker doses 104..............2.5.5— Mental health Table of Contents
  6. 6. 6 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Part 1: SAFECAST PROJECT 1.1 Safecast Code In 2014 we published the Safecast Code 1.0, which attempts to describe the Safecast ethos through a list of 10 attitudes that guide our efforts. It can be considered our code of con- duct, something we use to remind ourselves of our goals and to help us focus our efforts. We try to measure up to the values and attitudes embodied in this list and encourage others to do the same. The Safecast Code is unchanged since last year. In addition, then as now: — We strongly feel that data about our environment should be open, easy to access and easy to understand. — A second opinion about environmental data has to be available. In the age of the Internet of Things, that voice can come directly from citizens. — Official groups such as governments, universities, and companies should publish data about the environment un- der Creative Commons Zero (CC0) public domain designa- tion and acknowledge the importance of a third parties to validate their own data against. 1.2 DRIVECAST - Mobile Radiation Mea- surement Since April 2011, Safecast volunteers have been collecting radiation data using bGeigie mobile radiation sensors. As of March 2016, the size of the Safecast data set has grown beyond 43,000,000 measurements, adding 16 million mea- surements over the past year alone. Over 5 million of these measurements have come from fixed sensors, while the re- mainder is from bGeigies. There are over 900 registered us- ers, over 50 of whom have logged over 100,000 data points each, 6 of whom have logged over one million each. The number of Safecast detectors deployed (fixed and mobile) is approximately 1000, including over 500 bGeigie Nanos. Development of Drivecast-related hardware continues, with new models in prototype stage and due for initial deploy- ment during 2016. We are also looking at ways to better utilize the bGeigies that are already out in the world. 1.3 POINTCAST - Stationary Radiation Measurement iIn March, 2015, pointcast.safecast.org launched. This initia- tive is focused on deploying stationary radiation sensors in Japan and globally. These sensors send real-time updates about radiation levels and publish it without interceptions; this data is also open through CC-0. Currently over 30 real- time sensors have been deployed, and our goal is to deploy 30 to 40 more inside Fukushima over the coming months. The sensors deployed in Japan will increasingly focus on ar- eas around the Fukushima Daiichi plant, including the exclu- sion (“difficult to return”) zone. We’re working with volunteers who are in contact with evacuees who have expressed the desire to be able to check the radiation levels at their evac- uated houses in realtime. For people living outside of the zone, we will work with volunteers to house the sensors. In the meantime work is under way to develop the next gener- ation Pointcast devices and visualizations. 1.4 POINTCAST - Air Pollution Measure- ment While the primary focus of Safecast to date has been ra- diation measurements, we’ve always intended for the proj- ect to grow to include other environmental data. Air quality testing emerged as the prime candidate. At SCC2015 we announced a modular Safecast Air Quality prototype pro- duced in conjunction with Pasadena based IO Rodeo. This device is based on the bGeigie form factor, and eventually can be fused with other sensors. Since that announcement we’ve designed and deployed a number of prototype Air Quality devices, with different sensor configurations to test out viability. These devices looked at gases such as meth- ane, ozone, nitrogen monoxide and others. We also looked at particulate in PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0 sizes. The natural gas leak in the Porter Ranch area outside Los Angeles pro- vided valuable opportunity to field test these devices and helped us decide to use a single sensor per unit direction rather than trying to fit many different sensors into a single housing. 1.5 Open Data (aka The Safecast API) SAFECAST tries to set an example of openness in how we gather and present our data, and to demonstrate what the wider benefits of easy access to open data are for society as a whole. It’s not just a matter of principle, but also one of pragmatism and practicality: we’re convinced that the more open data is, the more useful it becomes. “Openness” is not something that can be easily added later, but needs to be integrated into the data collection system from the start, including insuring that there’s a consensus among all the participants that it’s a major priority. An open system doesn’t have to cost more than one that’s not, but it does require careful consideration and planning. Our detailed FAQ about our openness and data access fea- tures remains valid: http://blog.safecast.org/faq/openness-and-data-access/ 1.6 Data Visualization When creating maps, our goal is to provide visualizations of the data we collect that are accessible and easily under- stood without compromising detail or accuracy. Perhaps our most accessible visualization endpoint is the Safecast web map. In 2015, many improvements were made to it, both to the data backend and new usability features. The primary backend software for the web map -- our own OS X pro- duction app and Retile -- also saw improvements to better support it. Steady improvements have been made to the iOS and OS X apps as well.
  7. 7. 7 1.7 Outreach Activities From the start, we’ve considered events and outreach activ- ities to be an important part of communicating what we are doing, building our community, and training our volunteers. We frequently hold workshops, run hackathons, give talks, and participate in public symposia. We also have ongoing relationships with MIT Media Lab, Keio University, Aoyama Gakuin University, Kanazawa Institute of Technology, and San Diego State University. Our outreach activities increased in number and intensity during 2015. A few highlights in- clude: — The Safecast Conference 2015 - SCC2015 - attracted over 500 participants in Tokyo and Koriyama (Fukushima) — Academic presentations and participation in several ex- pert symposia and in Japan, Europe, South America, and India.— Workshops in Japan and abroad on an almost monthly basis. — Ambitious educational initiatives in Japan, Europe, and the United States. — Participation in art exhibitions in the UK, Europe, Singa- pore, and Taiwan. .1. 8 Press & Publicity The Safecast project emerged from the possibilities of the in- ternet age and “runs” on a fabric of social media, the cloud, chat rooms, Slack, etc. Safecast does not spend any re- sources on advertising, relying instead on word of mouth. However we do get coverage from various types of media regularly, and we see these as endorsements that what we do remains relevant. Over the past years we have been featured, mentioned, or covered in over 150 media publi- cations—printed press, books, TV, blogs, online, etc. (ap- proximately 30 newspaper articles in Japan and abroad, 6 features by major broadcast media, at least 50 mentions in online media, etc.) . Though we have historically gotten more media coverage outside of Japan than inside, over the past year Safecast has been well-covered by mainstream media in Japan. 1.19 Funding & Support We continue to benefit from the generosity of donors such as the Shuttleworth Foundation, which is sponsoring key ar- eas of our activity this year, as well as past support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Many companies continue to provide contributions in kind as well. We express our sincere gratitude to all for this invaluable support. 1.10 Always Improving If you see anything you think could be done better, needs fixing, or can be complemented, or if you simply want to help out or to contribute, let us know at info@safecast.org. And if you want to learn how to make your data open and more useable (as a citizen, company, university, or govern- ment body), we’re here to help. Part 2: SITUATION REPORT 2.1- Issues at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Powerplant (FDNPP) As we noted last year, the Fukushima crisis has been evolving slowly in most respects compared to the situation in 2011. It is less dynamic in terms of new developments which de- mand emergency action, but it is a continuing situation with continuing hazards. Regardless, it is difficult to keep up with changing circumstances and new information. We’ve gath- ered a large store of data on issues such as the condition of the Fukushima Daiichi plant itself, the situation for evacuees, environmental consequences of the accident, food risks, and health issues, which we share among ourselves and which help us focus our efforts. Every aspect of this disaster is accompanied by controversy, and we strive to be as open and inclusive as possible. To this end we make a point of listening to experts on all sides. 2.1- Issues at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Powerplant (FDNPP) There are many continuing issues of concern at the Fukushi- ma Daiichi site itself, and how quickly and well they are re- solved will greatly influence the ultimate severity of the effects to the environment and to people’s health. The following sections summarize the current status of decommissioning, removal of spent fuel rods, water problems, and other is- sues, noting that the information comes almost entirely from TEPCO and for the most part cannot be independently con- firmed. 2.1.1—Decommissioning roadmap Briefly put, everything that is being done now and which will be done on site until the year 2020 is merely preparation for the really hard work of removing the melted fuel debris from the bottom of the reactor buildings. TEPCO’s roadmap has slipped more than once, though the company seems to be basically on schedule so far, but but the work gets much harder from this point forward. Muh of the needed technology is either untried or does not yet exist. Regulatory oversight is in place, but we don’t think it’s intrusive enough. Slow progress was made in 2015 on the most challenging issues. 2.1.2— Spent fuel pools TEPCO quieted some critics by safely removing all of the spent fuel from Unit 4 in late 2014. This unit had the most fuel to remove, but the remaining three units will almost cer- tainly be harder. Over a year has passed, and the schedule for removing the remainder has been pushed back. The last fuel pools are now due to start being emptied by 2020. This fuel needs more secure long-term storage than in the com- mon pool onsite, though no progress seems to have been made on preparing a place to put it.
  8. 8. 8 2.1.3—Water problems about at the Daiichi site have gotten better overall since our last report. They remain serious and are an obstacle to start- ing the other work which needs to be done, and continue to pose potential consequences for the environment and ma- rine life. The influx of groundwater into the site is what poses the greatest problems, and because it has been impossi- ble to map its underground flow, every effort to control it has had unpredictable consequences. The water problems have forced TEPCO to think ambitiously and innovatively, and though none of the ideas have worked out quickly or perfectly, they appear to be advancing technology in some areas. Other leaks which have low-tech, easily preventable causes continue to make the news, mainly because they can be easily detected. 2.1.3a—Radionuclide removal systems TEPCO has spliced together several different systems for removing radionuclides from water onsite. These started as an unreliable hack, but have gradually grown and become more reliable, and a modular approach has made it pos- sible to scale up and add new capabilities, and to initiate new technological developments. While breakdowns and poor performance were frequently noted in earlier years, the technology seems to be one of the few major elements of the overall water strategy that is working well now. The inability of these systems to remove tritium, however, means that more tanks will continually be needed to store the treat- ed water, unless new, expensive, and relatively untried sep- aration technologies are put in place, or a difficult political decision is made to release it into the ocean. 2.1.3b— Groundwater problems Unless the flow of groundwater int the reactor building basements is stopped, it won’t be possible to carry out the next steps to prepare for removing the melted fuel debris. The planned solution is an ambitious series of underground dams made of frozen soil, and dozens of pumps. All of the work is complicated by the radioactivity of the water and the site itself. The frozen wall is about to be activated, and if it doesn’t work, there does not seem to be a plan “B.” Since our last report, several elements of TEPCO’s groundwater strategy have been put in place, but have generally been less effective than hoped. 2.1.4— Melted fuel removal The process will require decades and the most optimistic scenarios have it starting in 2022. The last time something similar was attempted was over 25 years ago, at Three Mile Island, where melted core removal was completed in 1990 (it has not yet been attempted at Chernobyl). Consequently there are not many people with relevant experience to call on for assistance. A new, well-funded research institute has been established to incubate the kinds of technologies that will be necessary. Meanwhile many systematic attempts at surveying conditions inside the reactor pressure vessels remotely have been made, some which deserve credit for ingenuity. 2.2- Evacuees and Returnees Evacuees’ lives are uprooted, and their grievances are se- rious and deep-seated. Much of their plight is rooted in hastily made decisions about where to draw lines between the evacuated and those who were allowed to remain — as- suming they wanted to, or would be financially able to leave if they didn’t. At the moment, not many evacuees want to return to their abandoned home towns despite enticements from all levels of government, but quite a few who lived out- side the evacuation zones have returned. Meanwhile, a large disparity in compensation has continued to drive communi- ties even further apart. Since last year another evacuated town has been reopened and the schedule for the reopening of others has been accelerated, while lawsuits by evacuees against TEPCO and the government have proliferated. 2.3- Environment and Decontamination The radioactive releases to the environment from Fukushi- ma Daiichi are unprecedented in many respects, but also comparable to releases from other accidents and from nu- clear weapons testing. Radionuclides are both persistent in the environment and mobile, and it’s of paramount impor- tance to locate and track them as they disperse through the ocean and migrate into the soil and through watersheds, to know where to expect food species to be contaminated and by how much, and where the places where people live will require remediation, or even abandonment. Since our last report, radiation levels have continued to decline overall, while an increasing number of studies have helped clarify the overall movement of radionuclides within the environment and the effects on plants and animals. 2.3.1—Overview The levels of radiation in the post-accident environment do not remain constant, but change over time due to physical decay of nuclides, as well as their mobility within ecosys- tems due to migration into the soil and through watersheds, their dispersion through the oceans, uptake and dispersion by plants and animals, and other processes known collec- tively as “weathering.” In this section we will deal briefly with the most relevant impacts of Fukushima radiation on the en- vironment. 2.3.2 The land environment Odd though it may seem to say it, it was fortunate that only about 20% of the radioactive releases from Daiichi ended up on land. Even that much has caused the displacement of over 100,000 people, and necessitated very costly remedi- ation of farmland and living areas. Fortunately as well, most kinds of environmental radiation is not very difficult to detect and map. This is why SAFECAST exists. 2.3.2a Forests About 70% of the fallout that fell over land in Japan ended up in forests. The possibility of decontaminating these vast areas continues to be discussed, but government agencies and other researchers who have conducted experimental forest decontamination concluded that it would be relatively ineffective even with a great expenditure of money and ef- fort. Consequently, radionuclides in the forest environment
  9. 9. 9 are likely to remain bioavailable to plants and wildlife for decades. Radionuclides have essentially hijacked the watershed, turning it into a cesium delivery system (while delivering smaller amounts of other nuclides as well). Fortunately researchers have a lot of experience tracking them in these environments. 2.3.2b Decontamination progress, plans, effectiveness The area needing to be decontaminated is vast. When we investigated the results of the techniques being used in 2013, we concluded that decontamination was only partly effective, and that in many situations it made more sense to wait for natural radioactive decay to take its course. But much of the time it can make a big difference in radioactive exposures and doses, though it rarely eliminates them. The decontamination process has produced vast quantities of waste that needs to be disposed of somehow. 2.3.3 The Ocean The radioactive releases from Fukushima Daiichi to the ocean were huge, but when the radioactive contami- nation that entered the ocean as fallout during the cold war is considered, the overall amount is not necessarily unprecedented. Many teams of oceanographers have been tracking and sampling the nuclides as they make their way across the Pacific, and predictions they made as early as 2012 about how long it would take the ocean “plume” to reach the coast of North America, and how much cesium would be in it when it got there, have proven to be very accurate. As predicted, the levels throughout the Pacific in general are lower now than they were in the 1970’s. But Fukushima Daiichi is still leaking and major releases of contaminated water cannot be entirely ruled out. Meanwhile, the radioactive contamination on the seabed off the Fukushima coast has been mapped. Experts agree that while contami- nation in marine species has declined significantly since 2011, only time will reduce the ongoing impact there to truly negligible levels. Close monitoring of the ocean environment is extremely important and will continue to be for years to come. 2.4- Food Keeping contaminated food off the market is essential for minimizing internal exposures to radiation. This risk is chronic because cesium and other radionuclides re- main in the environment for years -- decades in many cases -- usually migrating deeper into the soil, and even if the problem appear to be controlled at some point, it is still present. The Japanese government quickly in- stituted a food monitoring program in March 2011, and in scale and comprehensiveness it has been unprec- edented. Not everything is checked, however, which is why the appearance of dozens of independent, cit- izens-run food testing labs all over the country is ex- tremely welcome. Also welcome are independent tests of actual meals being eaten by residents of Fukushima and elsewhere. While the relative paucity of tests for strontium remains a matter of concern, the independent tests tend to support official findings, that less that 1% of the food being produced in Fukushima has above-limit concentrations of cesi- um, and virtually none of this is finding its way onto the market. Farmers themselves deserve almost all the credit for this. The biggest food risks -- wild mushrooms and vegetables, and wild boar and other game -- are well known, and will continue to pose problems for years to come.. 2.5- Health The concern about health damage from radiation exposure, and particularly the vulnerability of children, has made it the single most contentious issue surrounding the Fukushima di- saster. Health concerns are the reason people were evacuated, and prompted many families to mistrust official assurances and move away on their own. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the most likely radiation-related diseases, such as can- cer and leukemia, will not appear for years after the exposures, and will only be detected by large-scale, long-term monitoring. The government quickly established such programs, and the results so far give cause for cautions optimism. Nevertheless inadequate transparency and poor communication have left many citizens suspicious. The finding of many cases of thyroid cancer in adolescents in Fukushima through mass screening has caused alarm, and a contentious debate between those who claim it is due to radiation exposure and experts who dis- agree.
  10. 10. 10 Top: Reception following the Safecast Conference in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, in March 2015.. Left: Joe Moross installs a Pointcast realtime radiation sensor at Odaka Worker’s Base in Odaka, Fukushima Prefecture, 7 km from Fukushima Daiichi. Below: Completed Pointcast units ready to be deployed.
  11. 11. 11 PART 1: THE SAFECAST PROJECT UPDATE MARCH 2016 Compiled by Pieter Franken (Japan ops), Sean Bonner (Global ops), and Nick Dolezal (visualizations) The Safecast Project now spans numerous aspects of environmental measurement. The key areas where we’re active today are: • Mobile Radiation Measurement • Stationary Radiation Monitoring • Air Quality Measurement & Monitoring • Sensor R&D • Data Visualization: maps and apps! • Activities: workshops, hackathons, talks • Outreach: sharing, helping, and learning In addition, we will discuss Safecast principles and other developments: • Open Data (The Safecast API) • Safecast Code—what we stand for and how we (think) we do it • Press & Publicity—highlights and coverage • Volunteers—Safecasters and where you can help • NPO, Funding & Contributions • Always Improving
  12. 12. 12 1.1 Safecast Code The Safecast Code In 2014 we published the Safecast Code 1.0, which at- tempts to describe the Safecast ethos through a list of 10 at- titudes that guide our efforts. It can be considered our code of conduct, something we use to remind ourselves of our goals and to help us focus our efforts. We try to measure up to the values and attitudes embodied in this list and encour- age others to do the same: • ALWAYS OPEN – We strive to make everything we do transparent, public and accessible. • ALWAYS IMPROVING -We can always do better so use agile, iterative design to ensure we’re always re- fining our work. • ALWAYS ENCOURAGING – We aim to be welcom- ing and inclusive, and push each other to keep try- ing. • ALWAYS PUBLISHING - Results are useless behind closed doors, we try to put everything we’re doing out to the world regularly. • ALWAYS QUESTIONING – We don’t have all the an- swers, and encourage continued learning and criti- cal thinking. • ALWAYS UNCOMPROMISING – Our commitment to our goals keeps us moving closer towards them. • ALWAYS ON – Safecast doesn’t sleep. We’re aware and working somewhere around the world 24/7 • ALWAYS CREATING – Our mission doesn’t have a completion date, we can always do more tomorrow. • ALWAYS OBJECTIVE – Politics skews perception, we focus on the data and the questions it presents. • ALWAYS INDEPENDENT - This speaks for itself. These principles incorporate some of the guiding principles of Safecast co-founder Joi Ito <http://www.media.mit.edu/ about/principles>. “Deploy or Die” and “The power of Pull” are two that resonate a lot with us. We’re on a mission We’re not saying that “We’re on a mission from God,” but we do have something to say about openness: • We strongly feel that environmental data should be open, easy to access, and easy to understand for everyone • Independent opinions about environmental data have to be available. In the age of the Internet of Things, that voice can come directly from citizens • Official groups such as governments, universities, and companies should publish data about the en- vironment into the public domain via the Creative Commons (CC0) designation and acknowledge the importance of third parties in validating their own data. The Safecast Report You are currently reading the 2nd edition of The Safecast Report, which was published in March, 2016, as part of the Safecast Conference 2016 (#SCC2016). The original report was published in March 2015 and opened to public feed- back. The 2016 edition integrates much of that feed- back, and adds a significant number of new insights in the situa- tion report (Part 2). With the 2016 edition, we also are publishing the report for the first time in Japanese and we expect the Japanese ver- sion to be available during spring 2016. We plan to publish updates on an annual basis The Safecast Measurement Method One of our goals is to document the Safecast measurement method and answer many of the questions (and challeng- es) we have received concerning that method. Recently Safecast’s first, peer-reviewed, scientific paper has been accepted for publication in a scientific journal. The paper describes the Safecast methodology and includes a com- parisons with similar initiatives to highlight what makes the Safecast approach unique and effective. The article, which should appear later this year, will mark a major milestone for Safecast as a “citizen science” project gaining recognition in the academic world. In 2016 we will continue the work to document the Safecast Method and disseminate it in the most effective way possi- ble. Meet the new Family: Drivecast, Pointcast and Pocketcast! Surprised? Last year, during the SAFECAST Conference 2015, Safe- cast Advisor and original volunteer Ray Ozzie encouraged us to focus on how to best categorize our various projects and devices. The idea was to be agnostic to the type of measurement (e.g. radiation, air quality, water, etc) and group along the measurement format. This resulted into three clusters into which the collection of projects, devices and apps fit: Drivecast - Mobile environmental measurements using a dedicated, stand alone, rugged device. This includes the wide range of bGeigie devices for radiation measurements, and will be expanded to include air quality capable devices. To clarify, Drivecast does not replace the popular bGeigie Nano, rather Drivecast is a classification and bGeigie Nano is one of many devices that falls under that classification. Other Safecast mobile devices are also Drivecast devices.
  13. 13. 13 Pointcast - Stationary environmental measurements us- ing a dedicated device installed in a fixed location. This in- cludes devices for radiation measurement and air quality. The original nGeigies are 1st Generation Pointcast devices, and 2nd generation devices are currently in the works. Pocketcast - Mobile measurements using a highly porta- ble device that piggybacks onto mobile device such as a smartphone for processing, geo-positioning and commu- nication. This is currently our least developed classification, as only a few concept prototypes have been built. We rec- ognize the value of these paired devices, however, and hope to see further development of the Pocketcast line in use in 2016. 1.2 DRIVECAST - Mobile Radiation Measurement The Safecast radiation measurement dataset contains over 40 million measurements as of March 2016. Since April 2011, Safecast volunteers have been collecting radiation data using bGeigie mobile radiation sensors. As of March 2016, the size of the Safecast data set has grown beyond 43,000,000 measurements, adding 16 million mea- surements over the past year alone. Over 5 million of these measurements have come from fixed sensors, while the re- mainder is from bGeigies. There are over 900 registered us- ers, over 50 of whom have logged over 100,000 data points each, 6 of whom have logged over one million each. The number of Safecast detectors deployed (fixed and mobile) is approximately 1000, including over 500 bGeigie Nanos. Almost all major Japanese roads have been measured, with many areas repeatedly measured over time which provides clear evidence of radiation level changes. Additionally, data has been collected from every continent and more than 70 countries, including most of Europe and North America. The Safecast dataset includes data from far corners including Sudan, Iraq, and Antarctica, as well as sites of interest such as Chernobyl, Semipalatinsk, and the Marshall Islands. A significant percentage of the growth of the data set has been from areas outside of Japan. Specifically noteworthy is the growth in Europe where Safecast has gained significant popularity and we have now a growing network of dedicat- ed volunteers. In Asia volunteers in Taiwan and Hong Kong have added significant data covering cities and countryside. Unique locations on our map now include the Bikini Atoll, and an expedition to the North Pole. We have not seen as much activity in Africa, Russia, China, or Latin America yet, and we hope to see volunteers cover these over time. Devices The bGeigie Nano is the current workhorse of Safecast’s radiation mea- surement efforts. Since it was released it in mid-2013, more than 500 bGe- igie Nano kits have been deployed. Previous incarnations of the bGeigie included the original suitcase size bGeigie, bGeigie Mini, bGeigie Plus, bGeigie Stealth, and the a one- of-a-kind special deploy- ment xGeigie. We also designed, prototyped, but ultimately abandoned a bGeigie 3. Models prior to the bGeigie Nano were much more labor intensive to build and had a higher individual cost per unit. Creating the scaled-down (in both price and size) bGeigie Nano solved Safecast’s device availability problem almost overnight, ef- fectively allowing people from all over the world in any loca- tion to become Safecast volunteers, regardless of whether or not they had met other Safecasters in person. bGeigie Bluetooth interface In 2015 the bGeigie Nano was extended with an optional Bluetooth interface that allows iOS and Android devices to connect and facilitate measurement and upload while on the go. The BLE interface is expected to be available through kithub.cc later this spring. With the release of BLE module for the bGeigie, volunteers have released apps for iOS and Android that allow users to collect and upload measure- ments directly with their mobile phones. This eliminates the need to upload data from the SD card into a PC, and makes it easier for our volunteers to get data out. The iOS and An- droid apps can be found in the Apple App store and Google play stores by searching for “Safecast”. Though the iOS and Android Safecast Drive apps have different interfaces, they provide similar functionality.
  14. 14. 14 Pocketcast Pocketcast prototype The first prototype of the Pocketcast was put together during the Safecast Conference 2015 Hackathon. The goal is to make a compact device that connects seamlessly with mobile devices and can run for extended periods without the need for recharging. This project is expected to gain renewed focus in 2016. Fukushima Wheel Fukushima Wheel (credit: Eyes Japan) This ongoing project is being developed by Eyes Japan in conjunction with the University of Aizu, in Aizu Wakamat- su, Fukushima, under the guidance of CEO Jun Yamade- ra. A custom-designed rental bicycle is fitted with sensors and wireless, and can show location-based advertisement on the wheel through a LED display system mounted on the wheels; this combines environmental measurement with a local business model. The second generation of the Fukushima Wheel uses modified bGeigieNano that includes CO, NOX and NH3, temperature, and humidity sensors. A third generation prototype which included PM2.5 and UV sensors was made as a demo for the Japanese web sales corporation Rakuten. Local Government Measurement Program In 2012 we started a program to work with municipalities in Fukushima to measure entire cities, street by street, to discover hotspots and establish values for the entire town. Though many radiation surveys were and are being done in the evacuation zone by the central government (see sec- tion 2.3 on Environment and Decontamination below), sur- veys have been inconsistently done in many other parts of Fukushima. Through this program we have measured four BLEbee interface module Safecast Drive on iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/safecast-drive/ id996229604?mt=8 Safecast:Drive on GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.wizkers. safecast.drive&hl=en Safecast Drive apps-- Left: iOS, Right: Android bGeigie Nano solderless version Work is underway to develop a version if the bGeigie Nano for younger volunteers or those uncomfortable with solder- ing, that can be assembled in a few minutes by snapping a few pre-built parts together. We expect this to become a popular model for those that want to just grab a Nano and measure. The first version is due later in 2016. Fixed sensor transform kit While the vast majority of our data comes from mobile de- vices, we have had a strong interest in having a fixed sen- sor network as well, especially from volunteers who own a bGeigie Nano. Many would like to be able to convert this device into a static sensor so it can collect data at home or the office when it’s not being used to collect mobile data. We’re currently developing an additional board that can be plugged into the XBEE header on existing bGeigie Nanos that will allow them to collect continuous data from a static location and automatically upload the readings. For these purposes we’re developing both hardwired (ethernet) and wireless (wifi and Bluetooth) options.
  15. 15. 15 cities in Fukushima. We were able to remeasure them in 2015, but are planning to remeasure these cities this year. bGeigie Sharing Program To get better milage from the fleet of existing bGeigies, we are developing a sharing program for bGeigie owners to make their bGeigies available to other volunteers in their communities. Preparations for doing the first trial run in Ja- pan are underway and launch is expected in spring 2016. 1.3 POINTCAST - Stationary Radiation Measurement Safecast is deploying a new network of fixed realtime sensors. In March, 2015, pointcast.safecast.org was launched. This new initiative is focused on deploying stationary radiation sensors in Japan and globally. These sensors send real-time updates about radiation levels and publish it without inter- ceptions; this data is also open through CC-0. The web in- terface shows current and past levels, a time versus radia- tion level plot, the location of each sensor, and photos of the sensor itself. In addition comments can be posted for each sensor, encouraging feedback. Sensors that have been off- line for more than 24 hours are listed as offline. http://pointcast.safecast.org The sensors in Japan will increasingly focus on areas around the Fukushima Daiichi plant, including the exclusion (“difficult to return”) zone. We’re working with volunteers who are in contact with evacuees who have expressed the desire to be able to check the radiation levels at their evacuated hous- es in realtime. For people living outside of the zone, we will work with volunteers to house the sensors. This will be a “pull” model, where we’re dependent on volunteers who are willing to support the initiative. Initially we will deploy dual sensors that house two Gei- ger-muller tubes—one that measures the dose rate equiv- alent (in uSv/h) and one “pancake” tube to measure the combined alpha, beta, and gamma activity in counts per minute (CPM). The sensor unit is manufactured by Medcom International and has been in production for the past 25 years. Sensors will installed outdoors, while the electronics (the Point- cast) will be be located indoors. Currently over 30 realtime sensors have been deployed, and our goal is to deploy 30 to 40 more inside Fukushima over the coming months. This deployment is financially made possible by the Shuttleworth foundation. Pointcast hardware elements: Top: Medcom Hawk detector; Bottom: Point- cast control and communication unit. Devices Pointcast is the hardware platform driving pointcast. safecast. org. The system currently consists of a radiation sensor (Med- com Radius or Hawk) that is connected to a communications box (Pointcast) that relays radiation data realtime to the Safe- cast API. The initial deployment will focus on getting dense cov- erage across Fukushima, with some sensors also located in Tokyo and prefectures north of Tokyo. In 2015 we deployed the first batch of 2nd Generation Point- casts in Japan and US. These were mostly equipped with fixed ethernet connection. Though functional, we found that install- ing sensors outside poses challenges when connecting power and fixed internet access. In Japan particularly, more and more people have abandoned fixed internet access together with their fixed phone lines, and only use a mobile phone for internet access. Also, most locations in the exclusion zone do not have fixed internet access. To make deployment less dependent on the infrastructure at a site, we decided to put more focus on 3G capable Pointcast devices. Though 3G subscriptions used to be expensive, last year saw the rise of data-only 3G SIM cards,
  16. 16. 16 Dummycast module developed. This is an Arduino-based simulator of a dual sen- sor Medcom Radius that outputs two random streams of pulses which mimick a LND pancake and LND 712 sensor. resectively The Dummycast can generate a high CPM count enabling us to ensure the system under test can handle those levels appropriately. Safecast 6D One limitation of using Geiger tubes is that they tell us how much radiation is present, but nothing much about the iso- topes emitting the radiation. This is specifically important when measuring food, but this knowledge can also help us understand the main contributors to the levels measured in the environment and to help correctly compute the derived dose rate. In 2014 Safecast volunteers started to work on an new design and sensor selection to augment the bGeigie and nGeigie, which will be able to “see” more dimensions than in the data we currently collect. At present the project remains in the concept stage. ScanningTheEarth In collaboration with Keio university, Safecast helped deploy approximately 300 radiation sensors across Japan as part of the Scanning the Earth project. The data was broadcast in realtime to a dedicated server hosted at Keio Universi- ty. Softbank/Yahoo, which sponsored the project, shared the data for each location on Yahoo Japan on a dedicated webpage (“Radiation Forecast”). This page was regrettably discontinued in 2014, although the network itself remains up and running. One of the limitations of this network is that the sensors are located non-uniformly inside Softbank stores, often in a back room or a closet, and not outdoors, where they would have been more relevant from Safecast’s point of view. The realtime.safecast.org project is building on the experience from this project, and is focused on outdoor sen- sors and broader community to support the sensors. 1.4 POINTCAST - Air Pollution Measurement While the primary focus of Safecast has been radiation mea- surements, we’ve always intended for the project to grow to include other environmental data. At first glance, air quality has many similarities to the concerns that attracted us to radiation. It’s generally invisible, and except in extreme cases one usually can’t just look outside and see it. Most impor- which lowered the costs over 90%. One start-up, Soracom. com, has been very supportive of the Safecast project and is working together with us to further reduce the costs of the 3G hardware and worldwide coverage. The next batch of largely 3G-enabled Pointcasts is expected to be deployed in Fukushima in spring 2016, and should double the number of sensors available. In the meanwhile work is under way to develop the next generation Pointcast. Focus is on a low power solution that can either connect through BLE to a base station inside a house, or use experimental networks such as LoRaWan that have been optimized to consume very low energy. If power consumption can be kept low enough, the system will not require cabling, which will simplify deployment in the field (“drop and forget”). In February 2016, the first LoraWan Pointcast was successfully connected the The Things Net- work (TTN - http://thethingsnetwork.org) an international non-profit group building a LoraWan based network. Safe- cast and TTN are discussing a partnership to leverage Safe- cast sensors and the TTN community. In addition, an iOS app is under development to provide easy acess to the Pointcast system data. that will show all Pointcast radiation sensors, either as a list or map. Users can select “favourite” point cast sensors and monitor these through a separate list and set alarm levels for those sen- sors. This will allow citizens to set alarms at levels they want to be notified at. The Pointcast app is currently in testing and we hope to see it in the iOS app store by summer 2016. The Pointcast app on iOS NRDC partnership (US) In a collaboration with the NRDC (Natural Resources De- fence Council, Washington DC), Pointcast sensors have been deployed on a trial basis in the Washington DC area. In 2016 the goal is to deploy more devices at locations in the US and expand the reach of the network. Dummycast We needed a way to test Pointcast sensors withoutconect- ing a Medcom Radius or other sensor, and also needed to be able to generate high CPM without using dangerous ra- diation sources. A device we’ve dubbed “Dummycast” was
  17. 17. 17 In the 12 months since that announcement we’ve designed and deployed a number of prototype Air Quality devic- es, with different sensor configurations to test out viability. These devices looked at gases such as methane, ozone, nitrogen monoxide and others. We also looked at particulate in PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0 sizes. The natural gas leak in the Porter Ranch area outside Los Angeles provided valu- able opportunity to field test these devices and helped us decide to use a single sensor per unit direction rather than trying to fit many different sensors into a single housing. We expect to have several versions of tested prototypes that we’re confident of shortly and will soon begin a larger de- ployment of these sensors. SCAQMD has graciously offered to collocate our sensors with their governmental spec sen- sors which will provide excellent comparison data. 1.5 Open Data (aka The Safecast API) The ability to load specific drives to be visualized is a very useful API feature. SAFECAST tries to set an example of openness in how we gather and present our data, and to demonstrate what the wider benefits of easy access to open data are for society as a whole. It’s not just a matter of principle, but also one of pragmatism and practicality: we’re convinced that the more open data is, the more useful it becomes. Making everything openly available makes it easy for techni- cally knowledgeable people to investigate our data and test its trustworthiness, and encourages many people to partic- ipate. We designed our system and our openness policies with demanding people and skeptics in mind. We wish this were the case for everyone publishing independent radiation data (or any data, for that matter), but it’s not. There’s no reason for the public to consider “independent” data more trustworthy than “official” data unless the people publishing it can demonstrate that it’s technically comparable and also more transparent and free of possible bias. We encourage others to start with the assumption that their data cannot be tantly, no clear, universally accessible, reliable source of data is available, and the data that can be found is often opaque and vague. With radiation we are essentially measuring just one quantity, but air quality in a much broader and more loosely defined concept. A realistic concern in one city might not be so in another, and this has led to much discussion and the constant question of what aspects of air quality and which gases are most important to measure, and for what purposes. Safecast’s most recent prototype air quality sensor. Unlike radiation where there is a clear consensus about which sensors are reliable for specific applications, air sen- sors are much more diverse and tend to be much less reli- able in general. We’ve spent a significant amount of time and money trying to find and calibrate sensors that produce consistent measurements. At SCC2015 we announced a modular Safecast Air Quality prototype produced in con- junction with Pasadena based IO Rodeo. This device is based on the bGeigie form factor, and eventually can be fused with other sensors. Additionally, we’ve been collabo- rating with the SCAQMD, EDF, NRDC, MIT Media Lab, and Google on air sensors. Particulate pollution, specifically PM2.5, is of global interest and methane, a core greenhouse gas, is an important gas to quantify when considering cli- mate issues. Safecast Air sensor unit for methane.
  18. 18. 18 • Client-side zoom of web map tiles, allowing for the user to continue viewing a visualization beyond the practical logistical limit of its original resolution. • Cloud storage of web map tiles via AWS S3 with region- al endpoints in the US and Japan, significantly improv- ing performance for non-US based users while adding redun- dancy and scalability. • The primary backend software for the web map -- our own OS X app and Retile -- also saw improvements to better support it, including: • Further optimizations to output PNG tile filesize. • Various performance improvements, with a focus on reducing server resource usage. • Code rewrites to support maintainability and unification of the iOS and OS X app codebases. • Change detection, which reduces daily runtimes by hours and allows for continued future dataset growth. • Automated cross-region synchronization with AWS S3 cloud storage. Snapshots of the Fukushima region for 3/11/2011 through 9/10/2011, above, and 3/11/2013-9/10/2013, below. In addition, we’re happy to announce that we have imple- mented a long-awaited time-based “snapshot” feature which allows users to see how radiation levels have changed over time by using a simple slider set to 6-month increments. considered trustworthy unless it can be easily and anony- mously accessed by others and put to demanding analytical tests. “Openness” is not something that can be easily added later, but needs to be integrated into the data collection system from the start, including insuring that there’s a consensus among all the participants that it’s a major priority. An open system doesn’t have to cost more than one that’s not, but it does require careful consideration and planning. The detailed FAQ about our openness and data access features remains relevant: http://blog.safecast.org/faq/openness-and-data-access/ 1.6 Data Visualization 1.6.1 Maps Safecast’s dataset now has over 43,000,000 data points from over 70 countries When creating maps, our goal is to provide visualizations of the data we collect that are accessible and easily under- stood without compromising detail or accuracy. Perhaps our most accessible visualization endpoint is the Safecast web map. In 2015, some of the improvements we made to it were: • Responsive design to better support mobile devices and HDPI displays. • Real-time sensor symbology that dynamically displays their current measurement. • Custom query support, including aircraft-collected data, via scalability improvements to the bGeigie log viewer. • Additional content: aggregate historical layers for 2012 • A query tool to quickly display measurement values from the map. • A transition to 512x512 web map tiles for improved transfer speed, particularly for users with high-latency connections.
  19. 19. 19 NPO IFF-ORME, with support from IRSN • American School in Japan (ASIJ), including new educa- tional units based on the bGeigie • Aoyama Gakuin - a new 1-semester course • Other presentations at schools in Tokyo area: Seisen HS, British School • Mori Building Kids Workshop • KitHub, now bringing the educational initiatives together and making open source course material Exhibitions etc 2015: Partial view of Safecast exhibit at the Taipei Digital Art Festival • Big Bang Data (Barcelona, London, Buenos Aires, Sin- gapore) • Taipei Digital Art Festival 1.8 Press & Publicity The Safecast project emerged from the possibilities of the internet age and “runs” on a fabric of social media, the cloud, chat rooms, Slack, etc. Safecast does not spend any resources on advertising, relying instead on word of mouth. However we do get coverage from various types of media regularly, and we see these as endorsements that what we do remains relevant. Over the past years we have been featured, mentioned, or covered in over 150 media publi- cations—printed press, books, TV, blogs, online, etc. (ap- proximately 30 newspaper articles in Japan and abroad, 6 features by major broadcast media, at least 50 mentions in online media, etc.) Contributing to media is a significant activity for Safecast, as it allows our message to be propagated to a larger audience and also helps us to connect to new volunteers. Not only do we appear in articles, we also have become a go-to source for journalists who want to learn about radia- tion and scien- tific findings relate to the Fukushima disaster, and we have spent countless hours with reporters to share what we know and connect them with relevant people and organizations. 1.7 Outreach Activities From the start, we’ve considered events and outreach activ- ities to be an important part of communicating what we are doing, building our community, and training our volunteers. We frequently hold workshops, run hackathons, give talks, and participate in public symposia. We also have ongoing relationships with MIT Media Lab, Keio University, Aoyama Gakuin University, Kanazawa Institute of Technology, and San Diego State University. A few highlights from the past year have been: • The Safecast Conference 2015 - SCC2015 - attracted over 500 participants in Tokyo and Koriyama (Fukushi- ma) Expert symposia, academic presenta- tions, etc: • Ricomet (Ljubljana, Slovenia) • IRSN, Paris • Univ Science Po, Paris • Univ Paris Sud • Nuclear News Conference, New Delhi • Risk Communication - United Nations Univ, Tokyo • Temple Univ Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS)(with Ken Buesseler of WHOI) • Gathering for Open Science Hardware at CERN, Gene- va, Switzerland Workshops & Collaborations in 2015: • Tokyo: about workshops at the Safecast office, one at ASIJ (American School in Japan) • Fukushima (Koriyama), twice. -- Fukushima (Aizu) • France: three times altogether -- Taipei: twice • Hong Kong: once (31 participants, 3 days, biggest ever) • Limited edition run of green bGeigies for the Shuttle- worth Foundation • 10 devices acquired by OpenOil for use at uranium mines • Limited edition run of pink bGeigies for Kithub, girls in technology event Educational initiatives begun in 2015: • France, for high schools, sponsored by environmental
  20. 20. 20 cast received the Good Design Award for the Safecast Project as a whole. The Good Design Award is Japan’s most prestigious award for what is deemed the leading edge in industrial design. 1.10 Funding & Support NPO Status & Advisory Board Safecast is a registered, US-based non profit organization. Over the last year we have begun to set up an advisory board. In addition to the US organization, there are plans to regis- ter Safecast as an NPO in Japan and The Netherlands over the coming year to increase scope and outreach. Shuttleworth Foundation Safecast co-founder Sean Bonner was awarded a Shuttle- worth Foundation Fellowship for the year 2014–2015 which, in addition to being a wonderful braintrust and support group, has provided funds to allow us to do the following: • Daily operation costs, servers, and office rent provided. • Stationary Sensors Project (nGeigie)—25 sensors to be deployed in Fukushima • Visualization—continuation of development of the Safe- cast maps and apps • We now have new Makerbot Replicators and an Other Machine Other Mills in both Tokyo and Los Angeles, allow- ing us to speed up prototyping and share designs globally. We can have an idea in Tokyo, design a circuit board and case for it, and then simultaneously make exact copies in Tokyo and Los Angeles for testing pur- poses. This ability trims days and weeks from our design runway. • The Safecast Conference 2015 was also made possible by Shuttleworth, and enabled us to bring many collabo- rators to Tokyo from overseas. • Air Quality R&D The Knight Foundation • Between 2011 and 2013, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation was the primary funder for Safecast, awarding us several grants to aid with many different aspects of the Safecast mission. Contributions in kind We would like to thank the following companies for offering us help with our office, discounted equipment and services: • Loftwork • Medcom International -- Slack We often accompany reporters into the field. We rarely seek coverage, however, and generally wait to be approached. When we feel information could be more accurately and in- formatively represented, though, we’re not shy about reach- ing out to journalists with more reliable information as well. Though we have historically gotten more media coverage outside of Japan than inside, over the past year Safecast has been well-covered by mainstream media in Japan. There are too many to mention, but we would like to high- light a few recent media appearances, mentions, awards and exhibitions: Press Highlights 2015: • Nikkei Shimbun (printed edition) 2x • Asahi Shimbun 20-part series • NHK documentary (directed by Michael Goldberg) -- The Gardian (series on openness and security) -- Channel News Asia “Danger Zone” • Al Jazeera (Arduino documentary) • Nova TV, Bulgaria • Wissenshaftmagazin (Swiss radio) • National Geographic - http://voices.national- geograph- ic.com/2016/02/13/how-citizen-sci- ence-changed-the- way-fukushima-radiation-is-reported/ • Makery - http://www.makery.info/en/2016/03/01/cinq- ans-apres-fukushima-safecast-attaque-la-pollution-de- lair/ • Forbes Online • Die Zeit (Germany) • The Engineer (Denmark) • NRC Handelsblad (The Netherlands) • Open Data Institute online article Reports and Mentions 2015: • IAEA Fukushima Daiichi Accident Report (They con- si- dered us a noteworthy independent effort and devoted ample space to describing our project) • Peer-reviewed paper “Radiation Monitoring for the Mass- es” • Many mentions in academic papers dealing with infor- mation and communication, citizen initiatives, etc. after Fukushima Recent Awards Won: • 2013 - GOOD DESIGN AWARD, Japan - In 2013 Safe-
  21. 21. 21 • Fundraising - help fund a devices in your area. Especially funding of point cast devices in Japan and else- where is needed. • Safecast Air - experts in air monitoring who are interested in analysing and visualising data coming of our sensors. • Safecast Water - new initiative in need of project lead, experts, funding, etc • Events - help organize events • SCC2017 - help out organising our annual confer- ence  • Safecast Report - researchers and writers to ex- pand the breath and depth of the report. A new chapter on Air is on our shortlist for the next edition If you want to help, please contact us and indicate in which area you want to help out and what relevant skills/experi- ence and time commitment you can bring to the project. Get in touch: info@safecast.org and @safecast on twitter (and if we don’t get back to you quickly enough, please read the previous sections to understand why!) Stephen Dimmock of Cambridge University was our very productive intern in the summer of 2015. • Adafruit • Sparkfun • Pelican Case • MediaTemple • Cloud66 • Kromek (Safecast 6D) 1.11 Always Improving Safecast is the work of volunteers, and is by no means fin- ished. We don’t expect we will ever get to a point where “the final word” has been spoken. This applies to the Safecast Report as well. The information provided here represents the best data we have found, and the best of our understanding and knowledge, but we encourage readers and volunteers to check the data and information themselves and form their own opinions about the environment we’re living in. Ques- tions regarding what is or is not “safe” question can’t be answered the same way for different individuals. However, being aware will hopefully allow us to make better decisions, and to focus our individual actions to better improve our en- vironment and our lives. If you see anything you think could be done better, needs fixing, or can be complemented, or if you simply want to help out or to contribute, let us know. And if you want to learn how to make your data open and more useable (as a citizen, company, university, or govern- ment body), we’re here to help. Want to help? Safecast is a volunteer project and is in constant need of help. Areas where we need you are: • Measuring (of course!)- measure radiation in your area. Team up with others to share a device for greater reach. Find locations for fixed sensors. Help share devices. • API - Ruby programmers, Google Go program- mers, SQL programmers (Postgress) • Devices - embedded system developers, low ener- gy hardware designers • Pointcast - web developers with experience in WordPress and basic scripting • Apps  - iOS and Android developers • Translators - J/E, E/J, Chinese • Community managers - manage a community in your locale • SNS gurus - keep Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Vimeo, Slideshare and other social media channels alive in multiple languages • Blog - write feature articles about what’s happen- ing in and around Safecast
  22. 22. 22 Top: The Safecast Shinnenkai New Year’s Party in Tokyo, Jan. 2016. Left: Participants at our workshop at Aizu University, Oct. 2015 Below: Panel discussion at the Safecast Conference 2015 in Tokyo, March 2015. From left: Safecast co-founder Joi Ito (MIT Media Lab), Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa (NAIIC Re- port Chairman), Joe Paradiso (MIT Media Lab), Karien Bezuidenhout (Shuttleworth Foundation), Matthew McKinzie (NRDC).
  23. 23. 23 Part 2: SITUATION REPORT Information compiled and summarized by Azby Brown, with contributions as noted. Prefatory note: As we noted last year, the Fukushima crisis has been evolving slowly in most respects compared to the situation in 2011. It is less dynamic in terms of new developments which demand emergency action, but it is a continuing situation with continuing hazards. Regardless, it is difficult to keep up with changing circumstances and new information. While the core of SAFECAST’s work is making crowdsourced environmental monitoring data freely available online, we’ve also gathered a large store of data on issues such as the condition of the Fukushima Daiichi plant itself, the situation for evacuees, environmental consequences of the accident, food risks, and health issues, which we share among our- selves and which help us focus our efforts. From the start we have made a point of talking to researchers regardless of their ideological stance on nuclear power, and over the past several years have fielded countless questions and requests for data, which we’ve always tried to respond to positively. The robustness of this dialogue has also made it possible for us to seek expert advice and opinion on many related subjects, and to pass this knowledge on to our community as well. From time to time we have published in-depth blog posts on specific subjects, and made technical backgrounders avail- able online, and have often pointed researchers, journalists, and others towards these to help them get up to speed. Quite a lot of technical information and many scientific re- ports are discussed, sometimes heatedly, on the Safecast Radiation Discussion Google Group. Volume 1 of the Safe- cast Report, <http://blog.safecast.org/the-safecast-report/> released online in March 2015, was an attempt to make this kind of information more accessible. You are now reading Volume 2, released in March 2016. The following Situation Report is an attempt to compile and summarize the most relevant, current, and accurate information we are aware of on the major aspects of the Fukushima disaster and make it available as a reference for anyone who is interested or has a need to know. In the following sections we describe the current situation at the Daiichi site itself, for the environ- ment in general, for food, and for people’s health, and cite our sources of information in each case. Not surprisingly, we have been forced to leave out as much as we’ve included, and some issues may not be as well addressed as others, but we have taken pains to make it readable, and provide links to more in-depth documents wherever possible. Like Volume 1, Volume 2 of the Safecast Report is intended to be a stand-alone document which avoids as much as possible requiring readers to refer to Volume 1 for important informa- tion. Relevant changes and new developments are noted, while some basic background and other information remains largely unchanged. Every aspect of this disaster is accompanied by controver- sy, and we try to guard against our own biases and strive to be as open and inclusive as possible. Some people will undoubtedly find that our information in some places con- tradicts what they’ve read elsewhere. Others will feel we do not give sufficient weight to one opinion or another. We have concentrated on finding the best-documented sources, and have attempted to evaluate the evidence dispassionately. We welcome criticism, and urge anyone who would like to point out contradictory data not to hesitate to do so, be- cause that is input we particularly welcome. As mentioned above, we intend to update this report on a regular basis, and would be pleased with any feedback which will help us improve it. About information sources The reliability of information has always been a major issue affecting public understanding of the Fukushima Disaster, and in fact the lack of reliable information during the ear- ly stages of the disaster was the reason SAFECAST was founded. Official statements concerning ambient radiation levels in the environment, and to a lesser degree soil con- tamination, can be crosschecked against citizen science and academic research in most cases. Radiation levels and impacts in the ocean, with the exception of the immediate vicinity of Daiichi, have been very well documented by re- searchers, in a way which provides a useful cross-check against official claims concerning releases of contaminated water to the ocean, etc.. Food testing data from many inde- pendent groups is available as well as that from the govern- ment. There has been little or no third-party verification of the decontamination process itself, but radiation levels can be easily confirmed for most locations if desired. Verifying the health monitoring done by the national and Fukushima Pre- fecture governments presents a higher technical hurdle, but several well-done health screening programs run by local governments as well as by community groups and founda- tions allow many useful comparisons to be made. But for understanding what’s happening onsite at the Daiichi plant itself, we are forced to depend on data provided by TEPCO almost exclusively, much of it presented with an ob- vious PR spin. Because there is almost no independent veri- fication of measurements and work onsite, TEPCO data has an inherent unverifiability which in some cases can be sig- nificant. SAFECAST has consistently pushed for third-par- ty verification of radiation monitoring at the Daiichi site and elsewhere, and while some TEPCO staff and gov’t agency employees have privately agreed that it would be beneficial for everyone, including for TEPCO itself, to adopt this kind of policy, none of our proposals have been accepted so far. Other qualified groups and researchers we know have made similar proposals and have also been rebuffed. We will con- tinue to press for the inclusion of third-party monitoring as a matter of course.
  24. 24. 24 Partly in response to this kind of criticism, in March 2015 TEPCO announced a new “disclosure” policy under which all onsite measurement data would quickly be made public- ly available. As will be noted below, while this data can be helpful, it is relatively hard to locate at first (see links below). TEPCO Announces New Disclosure Policy And Inde- pendent Audit Of Drainage Water Issue; Says Findings Will Be Public By End Of March March 6, 2015 http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/ release/2015/1248564_6844.html TEPCO to make all data on radiation at Fukushima plant public Mar. 31, 2015 http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/tepco- says-it-will-make-all-data-on-radiation-at-fukushima-plant- public?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=e- mail&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2015-03-31_PM TEPCO to come clean on radiation levels, allow checks by outside experts March 31, 2015 https://web.archive.org/web/20150411035133/http://ajw.asahi. com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201503310040 Most announcements and news articles about this disclo- sure policy note that TEPCO says it will allow regular checks by third parties. We can only confirm that this is happening for tests of water intended to be released into the ocean after purification. The only third parties that have been ap- proved for this testing to date are JAEA and the Japan Chemical Analysis Center. JAEA is a government agency, and the Japan Chemical Analysis Center, while independent, has close government ties. Both entities have the requisite technical capabilities and experience to do accurate testing of this sort, and we have seen no evidence that would sug- gest that their measurements are inaccurate. Nevertheless, as we said above, we think it is important to allow testing by more fully independent organizations and researchers. Since implementing the policy in March 2015, TEPCO has gradually expanded the data it has made available, and claims that all of its measurement data has been available online since August 2015; it estimates that 70,000 items will be made available annually. Much of this takes the form of handwritten ledger notes which have been scanned, and it is very time consuming to review them; almost all of it is in Japanese. Nevertheless, it will be very useful to research- ers and others to have this information available. Up to date measurement data appears to be available for the follow- ing categories: Water treatment facilities; Tanks, Discharged water /Sprinkled water; Accumulated water/Contaminated water in the buildings; Units1-4 facilities/Common facilities; Units 5,6 facilities; General facilities/Whole site facilities /Oth- ers; Waste fluid/ Water used for Decontamination; Drainage/ River; Groundwater; Soil /Gravel /Gravel inside the Power Station; Hazardous materials; Outside Power Station: TEPCO Disclosure page (Japanese): http://www.tepco.co.jp/decommision/planaction/disclo- sure/2015/01/index-j.html English index: http://www.tepco.co.jp/decommision/planaction/disclo- sure/2015/04/images/english_form.pdf In addition, since our last report, TEPCO has improved the accessibility of its overall monitoring results, and has made it possible to choose reports in various categories using a calendar interface: TEPCO Monitoring results page (English) http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/f1/smp/in- dex-e.html Quite a lot of information related to the disaster is made avail- able by various Japanese Government agencies in down- loadable form, much of it in English. These efforts are poor- ly coordinated at best, and the content is often repetitive, with nearly identical information being published by different agencies, though often with minor differences which require vigilance to spot. The original sources for the information are usually cited somewhere, and while several agencies have the official power to conduct their own inspections, in prac- tice information regarding Fukushima Daiichi itself almost invariably comes from TEPCO. In the absence of adequate independent sources, we are forced to rely on official doc- uments like these for much of the information we include in Section 2.1, about the Daiichi site, and we attempt to high- light relevant caveats and uncertainties. While we also make use of official data in the sections on evacuees, environment, food, and health as well, much more independent informa- tion and research data is generally available for these. Official Reports The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) plays a ma- jor role in the global governance of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy, and its actions (and inaction) have been key factors in the response to the Fukushima disaster. IAEA in- vestigation teams are given access to the Daiichi site regu- larly, and also evaluate TEPCO and government data, issu- ing periodic reports on their findings. One of the most recent reports is from Nov. 2015. Approximately 23 pages of sum- maries and links provided by the government are followed by 2 1/2 pages of commentary and critique from the IAEA: Events and highlights on the progress related to recov- ery operations at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Sta- tion, November, 2015 https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/highlights-ja- pan1115.pdf This is actually a useful list of reports and findings from TEP- CO and government sources, and includes recent informa- tion about the ocean, decontamination, food, etc. It’s im- portant to keep in mind that participation in IAEA programs is voluntary on the part of national governments, and though there are consequences for non-participation and non-com- pliance, the IAEA is given access at the behest of the gov- ernment and only with its cooperation. The IAEA can request access to specific sites or to specific information, but there are occasional signs that it doesn’t always get what it has requested. All of this must be kept in mind when reading and parsing IAEA reports, whose language is always extremely formal and diplomatic. More reports related to the Fukushi- ma accident are available on the IAEA’s website : https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/fukushima
  25. 25. 25 The IAEA issued its comprehensive report on the Fukushima Disaster in August, 2015: IAEA Releases Director General’s Report on Fukushima Daiichi Accident https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/iaea-releases-di- rector-general%E2%80%99s-report-fukushima-daiichi-ac- cident It includes the Report by the Director General (about 220 pages), as well as five technical volumes, each with several electronic annexes. The Director General’s Report is divided into several sections: — The accident and its assessment (how the ac- cident progressed, how and where safety functions failed, contributing human factors, etc) — Emergency preparedness and response (initial official responses in Japan, protective measures taken for emergency workers and the public, international response, etc) — Radiological consequences (environmental con- sequences, public exposure, health effects, etc) — Post-accident recovery (remediation and decon- tamination, on-site preparations for decommissioning, com- munity issues, etc) — The IAEA response to the accident (Initial activ- ities, action plans developed, cooperation, meetings and conferences, etc) The technical volumes follow a similar breakdown: — Technical Volume 1/5 - Description and Context of the Accident — Technical Volume 2/5 - Safety Assessment — Technical Volume 3/5 - Emergency Prepared- ness and Response — Technical Volume 4/5 - Radiological Conse- quences — Technical Volume 5/5 - Post-accident Recovery. There are 40 downloadable files in all, and a printed version, with CD-ROM annexes, is also available. The Director Gen- eral’s report section is also available in several languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish and Japanese. The report is massive, in short, and we suspect that very few people have read more than a portion of it. We will refer to some of its relevant findings in Section 2.5: Health and else- where, but won’t attempt to summarize the entire report. We will note that though it couched it in characteristically diplomatic language, the IAEA’s criticism of TEPCO and the Japanese government in this report is as scathing as we are ever likely to read from a UN agency. It is reasonable to ask why, of course, if the regulatory failures and lack of prepa- ration for accidents were so extreme, the IAEA had not de- tected this prior to the accident and insisted that Fukushima Daiichi and other TEPCO nuclear powerplants be shut down until safety modifications had been made. I think the only answer for this is that the IAEA cannot enforce safety, can only recommend what it considers best practices, and that it is only given access to what the government wants it to see. We think the recognition of the huge consequences of this in case of Fukushima should by now be leading to calls for more effective and binding governance of nuclear energy worldwide. Such calls may be being made, but do not yet appear to have had much impact. The IAEA report includes discussion of volunteer efforts after Fukushima, and Safecast is mentioned very positively in that context (see Technical Volume 4, Annex III, p.23): http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/Addi- tionalVolumes/P1710/Pub1710-TV4-Web.pdf While the full IAEA report was issued in August 2015, a draft of the Report by the Director General section was leaked online by Greenpeace in late May: IAEA report draft download page (Japanese): http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/ja/news/blog/dblog/ iaeaweb/blog/53006/ Greenpeace also issued a critique of the report based on the leaked draft: http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/Global/japan/pdf/IAEA analysis by GP 20150528.pdf Interestingly, TEPCO, in its first major progress report issued since the release of the IAEA report, agrees with IAEA criti- cism on all of the main points regarding inadequate prepa- ration, complacency, underplaying tsunami risk, faulty safety analyses, etc.. (see p. 71 of the text linked below). TEPCO enumerates the measures it has put in place to address these shortcomings, but while it may be possible to evaluate some of of the technical aspects, we may never know which of those those which are rooted in corporate and political culture are actually being remedied. TEPCO: Nuclear Safety Reform Plan - Progress Report (Including Progress on Safety Measures at Power Sta- tions) (2nd Quarter, FY2015) November 20, 2015 http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/ betu15_e/images/151120e0102.pdf The IAEA report follows on others from UN agencies: WHO Preliminary dose estimation from the nuclear ac- cident after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, 2012 http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/pub_meet/fukushi- ma_dose_assessment/en/
  26. 26. 26 WHO Health risk assessment from the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsuna- mi, based on a preliminary dose estimation, 2013 http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/pub_meet/fukushi- ma_risk_assessment_2013/en/ UNSCEAR 2013 Report to the General Assembly, Vol- ume I: Report to the General Assembly, Scientific Annex A: Levels and effects of radiation exposure due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 great east-Japan earth- quake and tsunami, 2014 http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/publications/2013_1. html (A draft of the UNSCEAR report on Fukushima was also leaked in 2013 several months prior to release.) Safecast made a summary critique of the UNSCEAR Fukushima report: http://www.slideshare.net/safecast/unscear-2013-fukushi- ma-final-report-commentary-v02 The German branch of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) issued a critique of the UNSCEAR report as well: http://www.fukushima-disaster.de/fileadmin/user_upload/ pdf/english/Akzente_Unscear2014.pdf Dr. Keith Baverstock also published a strong critique of the UNSCEAR report, through the Japanese magazine Kaga- ku, focusing on structural issues within the organization and their implications: https://www.iwanami.co.jp/kagaku/Kagaku_201410_Bav- erstock.pdf After it’s 2013 report was issued, UNSCEAR experts con- tinued to collect data on the Fukushima accident, reviewing more than 80 publications issued between October 2012 and December 2014 (the 2013 report considered informa- tion available up to October 2012). UNSCEAR issued an update in late 2015 in the form of a white paper. In it they address the critiques from Baverstock and IPPNW, among others: Developments Since The 2013 UNSCEAR Report On The Levels And Effects Of Radiation Exposure Due To The Nuclear Accident Following The Great East-Japan Earthquake And Tsunami, 2015 http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/publications/Fukushi- ma_WP2015.html In the following sections, we begin with a general summary of each topic, followed by more in-depth discussion. Acknowledgements: Many thanks to Andrew Pothecary, designer of many of the infographics which appear on throughout the Situation Report section. Many of these previ- ously appeared in the Number 1 Shimbun, the magazine of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ) and are credited as such, while others were made specifically for the 2015 version of this report and have been updated. We would also like to thank the many researchers and specialists who have given us valuable feedback on our drafts. Of course any errors are our own.
  27. 27. 27 Organizational acronyms: JAEA: Japan Atomic Energy Agency IAEA: International Atomic Energy Agency NIRS: National Institute of Radiological Sciences NRA: (Japan) Nuclear Regulatory Authority METI: Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry MEXT: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology IRID: International Research Institute for Nuclear Decom- missioning Recent site guide to the Fukushima Daiichi 2.1.1—Decommissioning roadmap Briefly put, everything that is being done now and which will be done on site until the year 2020 is merely preparation for the really hard work of removing the melted fuel debris from the bottom of the reactor buildings. TEPCO’s roadmap has slipped more than once, though the company seems to be basically on schedule so far, but but the work gets much harder from this point forward. Much of the needed technol- ogy is either untried or does not yet exist. Regulatory over- sight is in place, but we don’t think it has enough teeth. Slow progress was made in 2015 on the most challenging issues. TEPCO released it’s first decommissioning roadmap — a timeline describing the expected schedule of work on the cleanup of the Daiichi site — in Dec. 2011, and has issued periodic updates, most recently in February, 2016. The orig- inal 2011 plan is a complicated document that points to the ultimate removal of melted fuel from the reactor contain- ments at some as yet unknown date in the future, demolition of the buildings themselves, and remediation of the site. Much of the actual planning for later stages of the work can- not be done until success has been assured on earlier stag- es, particularly in solving the many water-related problems on the site. In fact, some of the technologies expected to be required for actually extracting the melted fuel do not exist yet.. Long-term decommissioning diagram (Credit: TEPCO, annotations by SAFECAST) TEPCO: Mid-and-long-Term Roadmap towards the Decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4, Dec. 21, 2011 http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/ betu11_e/images/111221e14.pdf 2.1- Issues at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Powerplant (FDNPP) There are many continuing issues of concern at the Fukushi- ma Daiichi site itself, and how quickly and well they are re- solved will greatly influence the ultimate severity of the ef- fects to the environment and to people’s health. We quickly summarize the current status of decommissioning, removal of spent fuel rods, water problems, and other issues. Notable changes since last year’s report: Updates on the overall decommissioning timeline; updates on preparations for removing remaining spent fuel from the spent fuel pools; progress on water treatment and remediation; discussion of the tritiated water problem; update on progress with the by- pass, subdrains, and the frozen underground wall; discussion of the effectiveness of the seaside impermeable wall; update on preparations for melted fuel debris removal; updated Muon imaging results; description of progress of investigations inside the reactors; discussion of onsite worker issues. Recent site guide to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FD- NPP).(Credit: TEPCO)
  28. 28. 28 TEPCO does not make its plans in isolation, but receives guidance and instructions from Japanese government agencies such as METI, NRA, JAEA, NIRS, and IRID, and is required to demonstrate to the IAEA that progress is being made onsite. As noted above, NRA and IAEA conduct pe- riodic reviews and onsite inspections, but we feel they lack the manpower, if not the mandate, to conduct the kind of unannounced inspections that seem to be warranted. The government seems to rely too heavily on what TEPCO tells it, and the IAEA seems to depend primarily on information provided by the Japanese government. We’re left to con- clude that the only entity which really knows what’s hap- pening onsite is TEPCO itself, and that despite its new dis- closure policy it is able to be selective about what data it releases, how, and when. The IAEA issued a (preliminary) inspection report on Feb 17, 2015, and its major Fukushi- ma report in August 2015, as described above. Documents released by UN agencies invariably adhere to a thick dip- lomatic language which requires a fair amount of parsing and reading between the lines. Not surprisingly, however, the IAEA reserved its strongest criticism for TEPCO’s failures of management and oversight. Partly because of continued problems in these areas, we suspect, new corporate enti- ties, the Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination and Decom- missioning Engineering Company and the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corpo- ration, were established, intended to improve oversight of these critical long-term projects IAEA International Peer Review Mission On Mid-And- Long-Term Roadmap Towards The Decommissioning Of Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4 (Third Mission) -- Preliminary Summary Re- port To The Government Of Japan, 9 – 17 February 2015 https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/missionre- port170215.pdf METI website: Mid-and-Long-Term Roadmap towards the Decommis- sioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4 http://www.meti.go.jp/english/earthquake/nuclear/decom- missioning/index.html Summary of Decommissioning and Contaminated Wa- ter Management January 28, 2016 http://www.meti.go.jp/english/earthquake/nuclear/decom- missioning/pdf/20160128_e.pdf This site makes a lot of relevant information about the de- commissioning process easily accessible: Website of the Information Portal for the Fukushima Daiichi Accident Analysis and Decommissioning Activ- ities https://fdada.info/ IRID website: http://irid.or.jp/en/ (IRID seems to be developing many robots for use in the decommissioning process, but has not issued much new information in the past year regarding overall decommis- sioning strategy) Mid-and-long-Term Roadmap towards the Decommis- sioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Units 1–4, index with updates http://www.meti.go.jp/english/earthquake/nuclear/decom- missioning/index.html This NRA document from Feb 2015 describes the overall strategy: Measures for Mid-term Risk Reduction at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi NPS (as of February 2015) http://www.nsr.go.jp/data/000098679.pdf This summary from Jan. 2016 describes the current sched- ule: Summary of Decommissioning and Contaminated Wa- ter Management January 28, 2016 http://www.meti.go.jp/english/earthquake/nuclear/decom- missioning/pdf/20160128_e.pdf The overall long-term timetable has changed little since 2011, and is divided into three phases: —Phase 1 (2012-2013): This involved stabilization and other work done prior to the start of removing spent fuel. —Phase 2 (2014-2021): This is the current phase, and includes the continuing removal of spent fuel, and prepara- tion for removing melted fuel debris from the reactor contain- ments, including solving many water-related issues onsite. Unit 1: Fuel removal to start in FY2020 (previously sched- uled to begin in FY2017) Unit 2: Fuel removal to start in FY2020 Unit 3: Fuel removal to start in FY2017 (previously scheduled to begin in FY2015) Unit 4: Fuel removal completed in 2014 —Phase 3 (2022 -?): This is the melted fuel removal and decommissioning process itself. The Jan. 2016 METI sum- mary states, “The fuel debris removal method for each unit will be decided two years after revising the Mid-andLong- term road map (June 2015). The method for the first unit will be confirmed in the first half of FY2018.” Many kinds of work are carried on concurrently, and TEPCO can be said to have met its primary goal for the end of Phase 1 and the start of Phase 2. The more detailed timelines are frequently adjusted, as are actual work targets, and often slip by months or longer. The 2014–2021 phase is very long, and this reflects the fact that many technologies do not exist for what needs to be done, and will require years of de- velopment. The melted fuel removal and decommissioning phase expected to start in 2022 currently has no estimated end point, though TEPCO has previously stated it would be 30–40 years from now. Based on prior experience at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl (where melted fuel has not yet started to be removed), we should assume it will require sev- eral decades.
  29. 29. 29 Unit 3: Rendering of planned cover for Unit 3 (credit: TEPCO) Spent fuel removal plans are furthest along for Unit 3. Ac- cording to the current roadmap, removal of spent fuel from Unit 3 will begin in fiscal 2017 (likely early 2018). Although the 566 assemblies that need to be removed (514 used, 52 unused) are far fewer than there were in Unit 4, Unit 3 is al- most entirely inaccessible to workers because of high dose rates. Work onsite is being done remotely for this reason, and the removal of the spent fuel rods is expected to be done primarily remotely as well. Removal of rubble from the roof was completed in Oct. 2013. The spent fuel pool was also full of structural debris which was carefully mapped and modeled in 3D to help guide the remotely controlled removal equipment. TEPCO, 3d debris maps etc, Jan 2015. (in Japanese) http://www.meti.go.jp/earthquake/nuclear/ pdf/150129/150129_01_3_5_07.pdf 3D debris map of Unit 3 spent fuel pool. (credit: TEPCO) There were mishaps, such as equipment accidentally dropped back into the pool while it was being removed, and highly radioactive dust being released while a large gird- er was being removed from the roof adjacent to the pool (known as the Tobichitta jikken. See Sec 2.4: Food). One of the most challenging tasks, the removal of the 20-ton fuel handling machine, the largest piece of debris in the Unit 3 spent fuel pool, was safely concluded in August 2015. It re- quired the development of special cutting and lifting appa- ratus. 2.1.2— Spent fuel pools TEPCO quieted some critics by safely removing all of the spent fuel from Unit 4 in late 2014. This unit had the most fuel to remove, but the remaining three units will almost cer- tainly be harder. Over a year has passed, and the schedule for removing the remainder has been pushed back. The last fuel pools are now due to start being emptied by 2020. This fuel needs more secure long-term storage than in the com- mon pool onsite, though no progress seems to have been made on preparing a place to put it. Unit 1: This spent fuel pool contains 392 fuel assemblies, and the schedule for staring the removal of the spent fuel has been pushed back from FY2017 to FY2020. The building is cur- rently covered by a lightweight structure intended to contain ongoing releases of radiation to the air. Remaining debris on the top floor of the reactor building was cleared while using dust suppression measures, and dismantling the roof pan- els in preparation for installing a cover for removing the fuel began in July and was completed in October. Events and highlights on the progress related to re- covery operations at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, November, 2015 https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/highlights-ja- pan1115.pdf CNIC- Current State of Post-Accident Operations at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station July to De- cember 2015 ~Nuke Info Tokyo No. 170, Feb 2 2016 http://www.cnic.jp/english/?p=3280 Unit 2: This spent fuel pool contains 615 fuel assemblies, and re- moval is currently expected to begin in 2020, although the final plan is not expected to be decided until 2017. Because this reactor did not suffer a devastating explosion like the others, the erection of a large separate secure structure like at units 3 and 4 will probably not be necessary. But because of the high dose rates and the need for adequate access for remotely-operated heavy machinery, as well as space needed to install the fuel handling equipment and fuel re- moval frame, it has been decided to completely dismantle the building above the top floor. The area around Unit 2 is also being cleared for heavy machinery access, which en- tails dismantling small buildings nearby, which began in Sep- tember 2015. Events and highlights on the progress related to re- covery operations at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, November, 2015 https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/highlights-ja- pan1115.pdf Asahi Shimbun: TEPCO to dismantle top part of Fukushi- ma No. 2 reactor building by fiscal 2018, Nov 27, 2015 https://web.archive.org/web/20151212051450/ http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/ AJ201511270048

×