Fukushima: JEDRO-Projekt III - Radiation Measurement

Ein Brief von JEDRO-Direktor Pfarrer Isamu KOSHIISHI (Moderator des NCCJ)

vom 6. Februar 2012
Betreff: Grant Proposal for Tohoku HELP Food Radiation Measurement Project

Dear Ecumenical Friends and Colleagues:
Greetings in the name of our Lord. On behalf of JEDRO's Steering Committee I would like to propose another grant which you will find in the attachment of this Email.

This is a project called "Food Radiation Measurement" by Tohoku HELP. If you have already generously contributed to projects by Tohoku HELP such as "Grand House Project" or "Non-Japanese Disaster Survivors Support Project," we are most grateful for your continuous support. 

As you know, the consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant explosion continue to threaten a great number of residents in Tohoku, and our relief work especially for those of the next generation requires immediate attention. Internal exposure of radioactive contamination through food is a critical matter that none of us can afford to overlook.

Tohoku HELP already initiated some planning activity for this proposal with the approval of the JEDRO Steering Committee in the end of last year. With your full support, Tohoku HELP will be able to offer information and hope for these residents in Japan.  We also ask that you please share this project with potential donors that we may not be aware of.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. The date of the grant proposal appears late as the project already launched out in December 2011. This was due to some late adjustments we had to make. We hope you will respond generously and expeditiously for the sake of these survivors.

With continued appreciation for your solidarity and partnership,
Rev. Isamu Koshiishi, NCCJ Moderator, JEDRO Executive Director

(Anm. der Adm: Das Budget für dieses Projekt steht am Ende dieser Seite. )

February 1, 2012

Applicant:   NCC-JEDRO (National Christian Council in Japan Ecumenical Disaster Response Office)

On behalf of the Management Committee for Food Radiation Measurement Project by Tohoku Help and Iwaki CERS Net, NCC-JEDRO proposes the following grant.

Project Title:   Food Radiation Measurement
Budget:   JPY 40,000,000
Project Liaison:  Naoya KAWAKAMI (Tohoku Help Office Manager)
Project Period:  December 1, 2011 – November 31, 2012

The Management Committee for Food Radiation Measurement Project is a joint committee by the following two organizations:
・ Tohoku Help (Sendai Christian Alliance Disaster Relief Network)
・ Iwaki CERS Net (Iwaki Christian Earthquake Reconstruction Support Network)


Representative:  Naoya KAWAKAMI (Tohoku Help Office Manager)
Accounts Supervisor:  Takeshi TANAKA (Managing Support, Keyaki Co., Ltd.)
Address:    #D, 1-13-6 Nishikicho, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-0012
Phone:       022-263-0520
Fax:          022-263-0521
E-mail:      sendai@touhokuhelp.com">sendai@touhokuhelp.com

◆Outline of Food Radiation Measurement Project◆

◇Sendai Christian Alliance Disaster Relief Network (Touhoku Help)◇
◇Iwaki Christian Earthquake Reconstruction Support Network (Iwaki CERS Net)◇

1. Project Purpose
Sendai Christian Alliance Disaster Relief Network (Tohoku Help) was established as an ecumenical alliance to support churches affected by the triple disaster, namely the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, the ensuing tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear power plant crisis. This support has in turn allowed these churches to conduct activities to support their local communities. (http://touhoku> help.com/)

Iwaki Christian Earthquake Reconstruction Support Network (Iwaki CERS Net) is an ecumenical alliance of churches in Iwaki city dedicated to providing support to persons affected by these disasters.(http://iwaki-c.net/

“The Food Radiation Measurement Project,” as a project jointly conceived and to be managed by the above two organizations, aims to meet a pressing need, namely the ability to accurately measure radiation levels in food items provided to and produced by persons living in the disaster-affected areas. Although this is a project that should ideally first arise in cities in the high-dose radiation zone, such as Fukushima, Date and Koriyama, there are various technical and social barriers to conducting testing in these areas. (*See Note 1.) Accordingly this project has been conceived for the purpose of measuring radiation levels in food items in the nearest major cities (Iwaki and Sendai), which makes the service available to people within the high-dose radiation zone.

In the period since the explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the national government has announced its views on food radioactivity through the “Radioactive Materials Emergency Response Measures” issued by the Food Safety Commission of Japan and “Indicators for Food Intake Restriction” issued by the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan with reference to recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). However, there are several shortcomings within these documents including
(1) failure to differentiate between external and internal exposure to radioactive substances;
(2) failure by public authorities to include epidemiologic data to determine probabilistic effects; and
(3) absence of policy measures that respond to acknowledged fears concerning the levels of strontium-90.”
In particular, by setting 500Bq/kg as the safe radiation standard for Japan’s daily staple, rice, the Japanese government has effectively aroused concern about food safety throughout Japan. Those at highest risk of suffering adverse effects through exposure to contaminated food items are unborn and newborn infants. According to the “Tondel” Method as outlined in a report published by the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR), 400,000 persons living within the high-dose radiation zone are likely to develop cancer within the next 50 years. Accordingly we believe that it is vital to accurately measure radiation levels in food items consumed by expectant mothers, as well as those in lunches served at kindergartens and day care centers, and also to monitor radiation levels of breast milk. Measurement of radiation in children’s urine is also necessary to accurately assess internal exposure to radioactive substances.

However, for an ordinary family to purchase the required equipment the cost is prohibitive. Furthermore, equipment that is priced around 1,000,000 yen often provides inaccurate results and is unable to exclude from its results readings of kalium-40 or potassium-40. (Kalium-40 or potassium-40 does not build up in the body and poses minimal risk to health). Therefore the purpose of this project is to provide full public access to equipment that accurately records both the level of exposure and nuclide type in order to remove worries about foods they are consuming and help return their lives to a semblance of normality.

We recognize that those living in close proximity to the exclusion zone surrounding the Fukushima nuclear power plant have many concerns besides food safety. Accordingly, we also propose to make trained counselors available within the measurement centers to provide general support. (Counselors will be provided through an organization which specializes in the coordination of counseling services for disaster victims.) As it takes at least 20 minutes to process the results or 60 minutes in the case of a breast-feeding mother, counselors who also serve as receptionists can listen, provide advice, and give support to those in need while they await results. As this project is based on an existing network of churches, we are confident that it will gain the support and cooperation of clergy in this area. By making use of the ecumenical church network, we will pray for each and every person in the affected areas and offer encouragement and assistance so they may be able to ultimately find peace of mind and hope.

2.  Project Outline 
Touhoku Help and Iwaki CERS Net, in cooperation with the National Christian Council in Japan Ecumenical Disaster Response Office (NCC JEDRO) and other supporting parties, propose as Stage One of this joint project (December 2011 – November 2012) to perform the following activities.
(1) Establish “Centers for Food Radiation Measurement” in Sendai and Iwaki cities, to be staffed by one full-time employee at each location to perform the following duties.
(i) Measure levels of radiation in food items harvested or produced within the radiation affected areas (including breast milk) ;
(ii) Measure radiation levels in the urine of those who desire testing within the radiation affected area;
(iii) Report test results to only those who request the tests and to donors;
(iv) Station a counselor at each center to provide all disaster-affected persons with advice and support.

3. Organization
(1)  This is a joint project proposed and managed by the Management Committee for the Food Radiation Measurement Project. Contact persons are assigned from both Tohoku Help and Iwaki CERS Net.

◇  Co-supervisors:
Naoya Kawakami (Tohoku Help)
Eiji Sumiyoshi (Iwaki CERS Net)
Chihiro Saigusa (Tohoku Help)
Fuyuki Okuda (Iwaki CERS Net)
Kiyoshi Nagashima (Tohoku Help Office)

◇  Contact Details:
Touhoku Help 022-263-0520
Iwaki CERS Net 0246-62-3756 (0246-31-1059 Okuda)

(2)  A joint meeting will be held monthly in Koriyama to determine management policy, and an interim report will be created every two months. It also requires attendance of related churches and organizations for advice and cooperation. We already have the approval of Rev. Yoshinobu Ogawa from Japan Baptist Convention Sendai Christ Church.
(3)  Administrative duties for this project will be delegated to the Tohoku Help Office.

(1)  Measurement of radiation levels in food items (November 2011 - October 2012)
・ Daytime: Monday to Friday; β-rays and γ-rays nuclide measurement (Accurate measurement takes 1 hour.)
・ Nighttime: Friday and Saturday; α-rays nuclide measurement (Accurate measurement takes 22hours.)
・ As a general rule, cesium-137 will be measured. (*See note 2.)
(2)   “Care of the Heart” in waiting rooms of the measurement centers. (December 2011 – November 2012)
(3)   Report measurement of radiation levels in food items.

1. Reasons to date why no such plan has actively been proposed from the Nakadori area, a geographical basin in Fukushima prefecture that includes Fukushima, Koriyama, and Shirakawa cities, are:
(1)  Accurate radiation measurement is impossible due to the high level of environmental radiation which interferes with functioning of the equipment.
(2)  No church network has been established yet to perform such measurement.
(3)  Residents of the Nakadori area (central Fukushima Prefecture) have their own strong opinions.  Specifically farmers from the agricultural area believe that:
-  Based on measured values of rough sampling prepared by the government, food safety is sufficiently ensured. 
-  Further radiation level measurement for food items will lead to harmful rumors and is in fact anti-social. It is predicted that depending on how a measurement center handles the collected data, if it were located in this area it would be subject to criticism from the local community. In order to provide the Nakadori residents (central Fukushima) with our service of radiation measurement in food items and for those who do not wish their neighbors to know of their testing, we believe it is preferable to establish centers in slightly more removed cities such as Sendai and Iwaki.

No plan was proposed for the northern Kanto area simply because no church network could serve as a platform to provide with this type of testing. Geopolitically the area around Asian Rural Institute (ARI) was better as a location, and a center was built there with a focus on farmers. In some parts of Nakadori area in Fukushima prefecture with relatively low levels of radiation (such as parts of Sukagawa and Tamura, the mountains west of Fukushima city, etc.), when decontamination activities are in full swing and accordingly dangers posed by exposure to environmental radiation are reduced, we may consider the possibility of extending this project into these areas.

2. We measure gross cesium. It is unnecessary to measure both cesium-137 and 134 as the data of estimated separation is obtainable from the half-life period of cesium. But accurate proportions are incalculable if the machine works automatically.

Furthermore, the type of measurement can be varied according to specific requests by the person who visits the facility for measurement. However, in the case of α-ray nuclides (plutonium, americium, curium), requests for this test during the center’s opening hours may be denied as it takes considerable time to obtain accurate measurements.

Additional Information
1. Iwaki CERS NET (Iwaki Christian Earthquake Reconstruction Support Network)
Iwaki CERS NET was established on April 18, 2011 at an ecumenical meeting called “Iwaki City Pastors Exchange Meeting” in order to share disaster information. This support network was established based on a concept of disaster reconstruction.

Construction of Iwaki City Pastors Exchange Meeting (members of NCC in bold type)

iwaki cersnet_feb2012

The network members consist of 17 denominations and 34 churches. 3 denominations and 4 churches belong to NCCJ. Some churches have ecclesiastical establishments such as kindergartens or preschools. Calvary Chapel, Chiisaki Mure Kyoukai, Congregation of Jesus and Nakoso Church, United Church of Christ in Japan are not included.

“Iwaki・Fukushima Confederation of Christian Churches Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction Task Force”

Rev. Sumiyoshi suggested to set up a committee. Resolutions from the committee meeting were:
1) to establish an “Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction Task Force” and work together as the situation demands;
2) to assign Rev. Sumiyoshi as chairperson and Rev. Kanari as vice chairperson;
3) to discuss name and purposes of the organization with chair and vice chair;
4) to include among the purposes of the “Task Force”;
・ to report volunteer activities of re-establishment/rehabilitation with others;
・ to work as a window for emergency situations in the suburbs not only for this disaster but for future disasters;
・ to respect the autonomy of each church, and to cooperate with one another.

The name “Iwaki・Fukushima Confederation of Christian Churches Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction Task Force” was later changed to “Iwaki Christian Earthquake Reconstruction Support Network.” (“Iwaki CERS NET”)

2. Location of Sodium Iodide (NaI) Scintillation Gamma-Ray Spectrometer LB2045

<Sendai City>
1st Floor, Emmaus Center, 1-13-6 Nishiki-Cho, Aoba-Ku, Sendai City (behind the Book Shop, “KIRISUTO-KYO SHOTEN”)
Director: Rev. Takashi HOSHINA (Sendai Higashi Ichiban Cho Church, The United Church of Christ in Japan)
※ Decontamination construction may be necessary to decrease dose of radiation due to the location on the first floor. We believe this is possible.

<Iwaki City>
Director: Rev. Eiji SUMIYOSHI (Nakoso Christ Gospel Church, The United Church of Christ in Japan)

We have two potential locations which will be narrowed down to one by the end of February 2012. The center is scheduled to open in March 2012, and the Gamma-ray spectrometers LB2045 will be delivered by then.

Requirements for location selection:
1) Low dose of radiation
2) Above the 3rd floor of a reinforced concrete building but neither the top floor nor in the end of every floor
3) Measuring room and waiting room must be completely divided.
4) Easiest access of transportation

3. Networking with “Iwaki Citizen’s Radiation Measurement Center”

Our Food Item Radiation Measurement project intentionally combines activities with mental care. Our activities are open to anyone from the disaster area. For this reason all data will be treated confidential except for clients and donors. In addition, we plan to make this system equally accessible to all citizens, regardless of whether they are nuclear energy proponents, farmers, or fishermen. We believe our policies are different from those of Iwaki Citizens’ Radiation Measurement Center. Without the cooperation of NCC-JEDRO we cannot carry out this activity. Our project is just to measure and not to quantify the data.

4. Anticipated Beneficiaries

Our calculation procedure is based on a presupposition that two machines are available in each location, Sendai and Iwaki.
・In case of simple examination of food alone
3 test / hour × 8 hours 4machines × 5 days × 52 weeks × average number of the household
= 94,848 persons / year
・In case of accurate measurement of breast milk
3 test / hour × 8 hours 4machines × 5 days × 52 weeks × the number of household with grandparents
= 58,240 persons / year

The actual number of beneficiaries should fall somewhere between these numbers. However, we have already received many requests to measure radiation levels of lunches prepared at preschools and kindergartens. If we respond to these requests, the number of beneficiaries will increase after we launch out. Regarding the results of beneficiaries, we will ask the users to fill in application forms and we will report the total in monthly and final report. Activities will be canceled on days with severe weather advisories or thunderstorm warnings in order to protect costly precision machines.

5. Qualifications for Handling LB2045

We must handle our calibration sample (Cs 1000Bq) with caution. As this is the radiation source for a high sensitivity machine, its radiation level is as low as 1000Bq which presents no risk of severe external radiation if kept in a fireproof container. In addition, it is possible to handle legally, without a special license for radiation protection. Nonetheless, it requires full attention. A technician from the manufacturer of LB2045, Berthold, will instruct us on how to handle and use it.

Operational procedures are not difficult, but we will recruit someone who has research experiences of this sort, or a degree in science and engineering majors, to guard against any problem. It is preferable to have skills in Excel spreadsheet and simple programing, such as VBA, as statistical knowledge will be needed to exclude 'hits' from K40 and graph with Poison Distribution. We will use specialized software of Berthold, but we are in need of those who can analyze data and write reports.

6. About the Director

We need a director at each of the two measurement locations, Sendai and Iwaki. The Director must be a pastor. The director’s duties are pastoral teaching for workers, labor management, and public relations including media contact.

7. Regarding Counseling

We are concerned even now about psychological and emotional disturbance of examinees by radiation levels that may be found in breast milk. We will suggest that someone from her family or group of friends to accompany the breastfeeding mother. However, if a family member cannot accompany, we anticipate that there will be a need to have someone sit with and console the examinee. It will not be defined as “counseling,” but we do not know how to name the activity. The same problem might conceivably arise from simple measurements of urine, thyroid, or bladder roof, and it is very important for us to share their suffering and lend emotional support. We also think the existence of a counselor will be a key for this project. Furthermore, the pastor who engages him/her pastorally is most important as well. When deemed necessary, we also intend to refer examinees to professional practitioners, to meet their needs for continual mental care. We hope to be part of the networking to build a relationship with those who are spiritually and emotionally in pain due to the nuclear accident.

Regarding the recruitment of a counselor, we do not presuppose any specific skills or experiences because nobody has experienced such a catastrophic incident, especially the spread of radioactive materials from the nuclear accident. We believe that a strong commitment is the most important qualifications, as these are a sign of his/her strong will to face the victims. But consultation with a male figure could be difficult for breastfeeding mothers, and they may feel uncomfortable. A female counselor may be better and practical. To prevent problems with a counselor and with human resources development, we plan to initiate counseling courses to learn how to work with clients.

We did not account for a counselor in our funding proposal to NCC-JEDRO. Some Christian volunteer groups executing mental care in Iwaki city have already discussed hiring temporary staff. We are still seeking ways in Sendai city. We pray that an appropriate candidate will be found. It will be a real pleasure to have some inputs from NCC-JEDRO.


Das Budget

iwaki cersnet_budget1_jan20

iwaki cersnet_budget2_jan20