Radiation Hot Spots, Up To 200 KM From Fukushima Outside Evac Zone

Numerous radioactive hotspots have been found in Japan at distances up to 200 kilometers from Fukushima exceeding the 20 millisieverts of radiation per year evacuation limit. “Elevated” levels of radiation are being detected up to 300 kilometers away.

Japanese news sources are now reporting the discovery of “numerous hotspots” throughout Japan with radiation levels exceeding the 20 millisieverts per year evacuation limit. Though multiple radioactive hot spots have been detected over a wide area at distances of up to 200 kilometers, evacuations will not be mandated in the affected areas. Instead Japan will designated homes in the hot spot areas, on a house by house basis, as being eligible for financial and other relocation assistance and encourage residents in the affected homes to voluntarily evacuate instead.

Smart Planet writes:

Elevated radiation levels widespread in eastern Japan

By David Worthington | June 17, 2011, 5:52 PM PDT


Unsafe levels of radioactive contamination have been reported from multiple sources throughout vast areas of eastern Japan in locations far away from the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Science Magazine cites data from the prefectural government of Iwate revealing radioactive cesium has traveled over 100 miles away from Fukushima. Pastoral grasses are contaminated beyond safety standards

Japanese scientists have begun to track background radiation levels independently, according to the magazine’s report. Levels are exceeding acceptable safety limits in many locations.

A “citizens’ map” of radiation levels is being maintained by a group of Japanese bloggers. Levels appear highest near Fukushima and toward its northwest. The vicinity around immediate southwest of the reactors shows elevated radiation, and a large pocket of contamination has settled further south in the outskirts of Tokyo.

Even more disturbingly, some local newspapers in eastern Japan have attributed sickness in children to the meltdowns. Children located 50 KM away from ground zero are suffering from fatigue, diarrhea, and nosebleeds.


Here is a screen shot of the official Japan government radiation readings from the data referenced in the Smart Planet article.


Official Government Radiation Readings In Japan - Radiation dose measured by MEXT and local governments at 1 or 0.5 meter height.Official Government Radiation Readings In Japan - Radiation dose measured by MEXT and local governments at 1 or 0.5 meter height.


The Japan Times reports:

Evacuation urged for radioactive hot spots

Recommendation to leave limited areas outside 20-km zone won’t be mandatory

The government said Thursday it will recommend the evacuation of residents living in radioactive hot spots outside the no-entry zone around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

In-depth monitoring by the government found the hot spots outside the 20-km evacuation zone in numerous places, including in Date and Minamisoma in Fukushima Prefecture where levels of radiation exceeded the equivalent of 20 millisieverts per year.

According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, the results of the monitoring showed that the hot spots were limited in scope, unlike the situation in the evacuation zone, and therefore the government determined that “an across-the-board evacuation or restrictions of industrial activities” were unnecessary.

But at the same time, Edano explained that the government decided to encourage their evacuation because it couldn’t completely rule out the possibility of residents being exposed to more than the 20-millisievert benchmark.

“The areas which would exceed 20 millisieverts in the course of a year were limited and we did not find a wide spread in the region,” Edano said.

“But it is natural for residents to feel anxious and we cannot rule out the possibility of exceeding 20 millisieverts depending on people’s lifestyles away from the areas with high radiation . . . so we have decided to call people’s attention, provide information, and support and promote evacuation.”

Households in hot spot zones will be contacted individually by their local governments.

Those who wish to leave will be issued documents certifying them as disaster victims and given government support to evacuate, while those who wish to remain will be able to continue to do so.

“We would especially like to discuss with local governments (ways) to urge families with pregnant women or children to evacuate,” Edano said.

Because the radiation level is likely to change over time, Edano said the government will be flexible in lifting the recommendation.

“The level of environmental radiation changes, so we will conduct monitoring regularly and continue to provide information to the residents and local governments,” Edano said. “If the level goes down, we will . . . be flexible about lifting the warning.”

As the Wall Street Journal reports these hotspots are being detected beyond Tokyo at distances of up to 200 kilometers from Tokyo.

The Geiger Club: Mothers Bust Silent Radiation Consensus

When explosions started to rock the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant complex in mid-March, spewing radioactive particles into the air, there was an exodus of pregnant women and mothers with young children from Tokyo to other parts of Japan, such as Osaka.


Yuka Sasaki, who is 28 years old and has a four-year-old son, lives in Kawashi in Chiba prefecture, which has been designated as a “hot spot” with higher-than-usual radiation levels – even though it’s 200 kilometers away from Fukushima. She says she can’t afford to move. Instead, she has invested in a dosimeter, which she’s waiting to be delivered.


The Wall Street Journal separately reports that elevated levels of radiation are being detected up to 300 kilometers from Fukushima.

Moms Turn Activists in Japanese Crisis

KASHIWA, Japan—Yuki Osaku worried about the welfare of her 1-year-old and 3-year-old boys after a series of explosions rocked Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-plant complex in mid-March. But her parents and husband told her she was overreacting—their suburb of Tokyo is 124 miles away from the stricken plant.

I felt like I was alone and no one felt the same way that I did. The Japanese media kept saying that everything was OK,” says Ms. Osaku, 33 years old.

“I finally put out a message on Mixi and got so many responses,” she added, referring to a Japanese social-networking site.

Fueled by online networking, mothers like Ms. Osaku are now putting increased pressure on Japanese officials at the national and local level to better protect their children.

[...] in an acknowledgment of one complaint that radiation around wastewater-processing facilities is too high, said levels there should be brought down to meet official guidelines. Government officials in recent weeks have disclosed elevated levels in hot spots a considerable distance from the plant. Elevated radiation was discovered recently in Kanagawa prefecture, about 186 miles south of the plant [...]

[...] some experts worry that groups like Ms. Osaku’s could cause the Japanese public to overreact. “There is no conclusive evidence about the effects of long-term exposure to low-level radiation on human health,” says Genichiro Wakabayashi, lecturer at Kinki University’s atomic-energy research institute. “It would be more harmful for children if they had to wear masks and long-sleeved shirts and to stay indoors in the middle of summer.”

[...] the city of Fukushima, 37 miles from the stricken plant, which on Wednesday had airborne radiation levels of about 1.5 microsieverts per hour, 30 to 40 times the usual average [...]

[...] Kashiwa, which has higher-than-normal airborne radiation levels of around 0.3 to 0.4 microsieverts per hour, according to city officials, one of the highest in the Tokyo metropolitan region. [...]


Local officials and researchers say it is unclear whether the elevated radiation is due to the initial radiation leaks from the Fukushima Daiichi, to secondary radiation from a downstream sludge facility, or both.

Ms. Osaku hasn’t let her sons, Takuma and Yuuma, play outside since mid-March because of radiation levels. She bought a $600 personal dosimeter last month. Her boys have stopped drinking milk and the family buys imported food. She said her friends do the same, causing friction between them and other mothers who think they are overreacting—and making them and their children social outcasts in a society that values conformity.


Kashiwa City government measured radiation levels at all schools and pre-schools in their district over three days, from June 6 and 8 and found the elevated readings.


In Koto ward in eastern Tokyo, Ayako Ishikawa, a 33-year-old mother of three formed a citizens group, Protect Children in Koto, with other mothers. A survey the group conducted last month showed that radiation levels exceeded 0.2 microsieverts per hour near a sludge-treatment facility, one of two such facilities in the city of Tokyo.

Radiation levels around the city’s other sludge-treatment facilities, located across the Tokyo Bay in Ota, also were found to be elevated. These facilities gather and incinerate solid waste from wastewater-treatment plants all over the city. Ms. Ishikawa suspects that radioactive fallout was washed away into the sewage, collected in the sludge treatment facilities, and then released back into the atmosphere. Koto ward officials don’t believe radiation is being released from the plant.


The Asashi Simbum reports that Japan will “recommend” that families is the radioactive hot spots to evacuate on a house by house basis! Further more, officials in some of the affected hot spot areas are protesting against their cities being placed on a mandatory evacuation list because such and action “could further damage the reputation of the city’s farm produce and other goods”.

Families outside planned evacuation zone get help to move


The government will assist the evacuation of families in small areas outside the state-designated evacuation zone in Fukushima Prefecture due to fears they could be exposed to radiation exceeding permissible limits.

Dozens of households in one section in Haramachi, Minami-Soma, and three sections in the Ryozen area of Date, each, will be designated for recommended evacuation and assistance.

The government’s nuclear task force made the decision June 16.

Families with expectant mothers and young children are of particular concern. The government will announce as early as next week which households will be designated for recommended evacuation.

The task force chose to recommend the evacuation of individual households rather than opt for an across-the-board evacuation and restriction of industrial activities in the four locations outside the planned evacuation zone.

Annual radiation exposure in these locations could top the state safety limit of 20 millisieverts, but, according to the government, it is unlikely residents will reach the limit under normal circumstances.

These sections are outside the planned evacuation zone, which itself is outside the 20-kilometer no-go zone surrounding the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. Yearly radiation in the planned evacuation zone will likely reach 20 millisieverts.

[...]“The government finally noticed our predicament,” said Kobayashi, who lives about 2 km from the planned evacuation zone.

She was alarmed because city-conducted radioactivity readings have surpassed the state safety standard for days.

But despite her fears, Kobayashi said she couldn’t move without government compensation and assistance.


Koji Kanno, a 55-year-old construction worker, lives in Ryozen, where high levels of radiation were detected.

[...]Date officials opposed the city being placed within the evacuation zone because the step would be compulsory and could further damage the reputation of the city’s farm produce and other goods.

[...]Residents in nearby locations expressed hope that the government will soon designate their areas for recommended evacuation, too.

[...] “If the government identifies places with high amounts of radiation, it should designate those places for recommended evacuation.”

The education ministry said earlier this month accumulative radiation will reach 15 millisieverts by the end of March 2012 at a measuring station in a park just dozens of meters from Sakai’s home. About 3,500 people live in the area.

Eiichi Sato, a 63 year-old company president in Iitate, a village in the planned evacuation zone and outside the 20 km no-entry zone, expressed mixed feelings about the task force decision.

Although all residents in Iitate must evacuate, the area Sato lives in is expected to have annual radiation readings of less than 20 millisieverts


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Posted by Jay White on Jun 18 2011. Filed under ENVIRONMENT. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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