Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.106

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

111. The ineffective Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

An intensified global rivalry between the East and West following World War II accelerated the race for military expansion, including nuclear weapons. The number of nuclear missiles in the world increased rapidly, as did the number of nuclear tests. In 1962, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, there were 178 nuclear tests conducted around the world.

    At the time, most of the nuclear tests were conducted within the atmosphere, and as a result, radioactive materials were spread all over the world, exposing people to radiation. Given such circumstances, the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom signed a Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibited the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, underwater, or in the atmosphere. However, France and China did not sign the agreement, and nuclear tests were continuously performed around the world after the conclusion of the treaty.

    In 1996, after the end of the Cold War, The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, a multilateral treaty that bans all nuclear tests, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, and Japan signed the agreement. However, to this day, several countries including the United States, China, India, and Pakistan do not support this treaty, and it has therefore remained technically ineffective for more than 20 years since its adoption.

112. 20% of transport of waste to interim storage facilities is completed

Following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, national and local governments took the lead in decontamination work and nuclear waste disposal in various areas in the Fukushima prefecture. Except for the difficult-to-return zone, the decontamination process in the prefecture was completed in March 2018.

 Soil and waste are temporarily stored at storage sites and decontamination sites and are currently being delivered to interim storage facilities. The interim storage facilities are located in the towns surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, such as Futaba and Okuma Cities.

Soil and waste delivered from decontaminated areas are stored separately in waste storage facilities; the soil is transported to the soil storage facility, and most of the burnable waste is incinerated to reduce its ass before stored.

All the soil and waste delivered from decontaminated areas are managed properly, and as of January 2019 (this article was originally published in February 2019), approximately 16% of transportation of the waste is completed.

The process of transporting the waste is currently under tight control. Just like with an online flight-tracking system where you can track the real-time flight status and location of planes everywhere in the world, you can also track where the dump truck is running in real-time via webpage. For example, the transportation of soil and waste in some regions, such as Aizu region, the southern villages of Fukushima prefecture, and Shinchi Town in Hamadori Region, has already been completed.

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The Japanese version of the manuscript was originally published in Fukushima Minyu, a local newspaper in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, 27th January and 3rd February 2019 was reproduced for MRIC Global under the author's permission.

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