New study says Minami-soma as safe as Western Japan cities – do they really expect us to believe this?


On September 5, 2017, Minami-soma city made a statement on the city’s radiation levels compared to 3 cities in West Japan, which has been reported in several newspapers. It’s important to comment on this study because the statement is intended to persuade the population to return to live there.

We are publishing comments on the articles below after having discussed with M. Ozawa of the citizen’s measurement group named the “Fukuichi Area Environmental Radiation Monitoring Project“. For English speaking readers, please refer to the article of Asahi Shimbun in English. For our arguments we refer to other articles published in other newspapers – Fukushima Minyu and Fukushima Minpo – which are only in Japanese.



Here are the locations of Minami-soma and the 3 other cities.

map 4 cities

Here is the article of the Asahi Shimbun

Fukushima city shows radiation level is same as in west Japan


September 5, 2017 at 18:10 JST

MINAMI-SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture–Radiation readings here on the Pacific coast north of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are almost identical to those of sample cities on the other side of Japan.

The Minami-Soma government initiated the survey and hopes the results of the dosimeter readings, released Sept. 4, will encourage more evacuees to return to their home areas after they fled in the aftermath of the 2011 nuclear disaster.

A total of 100 portable dosimeters were handed out to 25 city employees from each of four cities–Minami-Soma, Tajimi in Gifu Prefecture, Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture and Nanto in Toyama Prefecture. They were asked to take them wherever they went from May 29 through June 11.

The staff members were evenly dispersed with their homes in all corners of the cities they represented.

In addition, only those living in wooden houses were selected as different materials, concrete walls, for example, are more effective in blocking radiation.

In July 2016, evacuation orders for most parts of Minami-Soma were lifted, but not many residents have so far returned.

The city’s committee for health measures against radiation, which is made up of medical experts, analyzed the data.

The median value of the external radiation dosage of the 25 staff of Minami-Soma was 0.80 millisieverts per annum, while the average value was 0.82 mSv per annum, according to Masaharu Tsubokura, the head of the committee and a physician at Minami-Soma general hospital.

No significant difference was found in the three western cities.

Both figures were adjusted to include the natural radiation dose, and are below the 1-mSv per annum mark set by the national government as the acceptable amount of long-term additional radiation dosage, which is apart from natural radiation and medical radiation dosages.

The radiation doses in all cities were at levels that would not cause any health problems, according to Tsubokura.

“Making comparisons with other municipalities is important,” Tsubokura said. “I am intending to leave the survey results as an academic paper.”












Our comments

1) The difference of life style between city employees and local agricultural population
As we see in the article, portable dosimeters were handed out to city employees. They spend most of their day time in an office protected by concrete walls which are efficient for blocking radiation as stated in the article. However, in Minami-soma, most of the population spends more time outside, very often working in the fields. Their life style is different and therefore the external radiation dose cannot be similar to those of city employees. The result of the comparison between the external radiation dose of city employees cannot be used as an argument to say that it is safe for the local population to live in Minami-soma.


2) In the article of Fukushima Minyu, it is stated that in Minami-soma the radiation dose has a wider range than in the other three cities. This means that there are hotspots, which leads to higher risks of internal irradiation.


3) The radiation dose expressed in terms of Sieverts is relevant for radioprotection when the source of radiation is fixed and identified. This is the case for most of the nuclear workers. However, in the case of Fukushima after the nuclear accident where the whole environment is radio-contaminated and the radioactive substances are dispersed widely everywhere, it is not a relevant reference for radioprotection. It is important in this case to measure surface contamination density, especially of soil.


4) 6 years and 6 months since the accident, cesium has sunk in the soil. It is thought to be between 6 and 10 cm from the surface. This means the top layer of soil from 0 to 5 cm is blocking the radiation, reducing the measures of the effective dose. However, this does not mean that the population is protected from internal irradiation, since cesium can be re-scattered by many means, by digging or by flooding, for example.


5) The reliability of individual portable dosimeters has already been raised many times. This device is not adequate to capture the full 360° exposure in radio-contaminated environments as described in point 3 above.


6) In the article, it is stated that background radiation is included in the compared values, but it does not mention the actual background radiation measurements in the 4 cities.


The Table of Fukushima Minyu

Radiation dose of the 4 cities


Median values

Sum of the dose (microsievert) Conversion to annual dose (milisievert)
Minami-soma 31.44 0.82
Tajimi in Gifu prefecture 27.55 0.72
Fukuyama in Hiroshima prefecture 30.41 0.79
Nanto in Toyama prefecture 30.91 0.81

Values include the background radiation dose


Capture d_écran 2017-09-06 à 19.45.12

To summarize, the sample study group does not represent the overall population. The study doesn’t include the risks of internal radiation, for which the measurement of contaminated soil is indispensible. The dosimeters are not adequate to measure the full load of radio-contaminated environments. So, the research method is not adequate to draw the conclusion to say that it is safe for the population to return to live in Minami-soma.

要約すると、サンプルグループが全体の人口の代表していないこと、調査が 内部被ばくのリスクを考慮していないこと(内部被ばくのリスクのアセスメントには土壌汚染測定が必須)、小型線量計は放射能汚染された環境の全体的な測定には不適格であることなどが挙げられます。結論として、南相馬に帰還しても安全という結論を導くには、この調査方法はとても適切とは言えません。

Olympic games in Fukushima: Is it safe?


Fukushima city is going to host Olympic baseball and softball games in 2020.
What is the level of radio-contamination there? This is the question on everybody’s mind, spectators and players from all over the world. Is it really safe?


Baseball and softball games will take place in Azuma Sports Park in Fukushima city.



あづまgoogle map ENG




Fukushima prefecture provides the information below on the radiation measurements of the Park.




Measurements of the airborne radiation dose in the baseball stadium: No 13-16
Those of the softball stadium: No 4
The lines above and below indicate the value of the radiation dose at 1cm and 5cm above the ground.

We notice that, as usual, Fukushima prefecture gives only measurements in terms of radiation dose. Based on this information, one might think that it would be relatively safe to play there or to attend the games. However, monitoring only the radiation dose is not enough for radioprotection. The radiation dose is an indication of external irradiation exposure. In this case, the measures of radioprotection will be to stay away from the radioactive objects or not to stay in their vicinity for a long time. But the radiation dose does not provide information to avoid the risk of internal irradiation. For this latter, it is necessary to monitor surface contamination density or concentration, in this case, of soil (in terms of Becquerels/m2 or Bq/kg), as well as the concentration of radioactive substances in the air (Bq/m3). The radioprotection measures against internal irradiation would be wearing protective gear and masks to avoid the radioactive substances from adhering to the skin and/or entering the body.

よくあることですが、福島県は空間線量率しか公表していません。この情報だけ見ると、そこでプレイしても、観戦に行っても安全であるような印象を受けます。しかし、空間線量率だけを見ていては、放射線防護には十分ではありません。空間線量率は外部被ばくを避けるために参考になる数値です。この場合、放射線防護の方法としては放射性物質から遠ざかる、滞在時間を短くする、などがあります。しかし空間線量率は内部被曝のリスクを避けるための指標には適していないのです。内部被曝の場合は表面汚染濃度、密度(平米やキログラムあたりのベクレル数値)や空間に浮遊する放射性物質の濃度(cm3 やm3あたりのベクレル数値)を参考にしなければなりません。この場合放射線防護の手段としては放射性物質を体の中に取り込まないための、服装やマスクを装着するというものになります。

Here is some information provided by Yoichi OZAWA of « Fukuichi Area Environmental Radiation Monitoring Project », the group of which we have published several soil contamination maps in this blog. OZAWA took measurements on July 27 at the request of the ARD German TV channel team which was visiting Fukushima.



PowerPoint プレゼンテーション

Contamination concentration and density of 5cm surface soil around the Azuma Baseball Stadium

Point A : The entrance of the « Torimu no Mori» where children play.
Radiation dose at 1m above the ground : 0.12 μSv/h
Radiation dose on the ground : 0.19µSv/h
Surface concentration : 605 Bq/kg
Surface density : 47,300 Bq/m2

Point B : In front of the Multi-purpose Fields.
Radiation dose at 1m above the ground : 0.10 μSv/h
Radiation dose on the ground : 0.22µSv/h
Surface concentration : 410 Bq/kg
Surface density : 31,200 Bq/m2

To interpret these figures, let us remind you that in Japan, according to the Ordinance on Prevention of Ionizing Radiation Hazards, places where the effective dose is likely to surpass 1.3mSv in 3 months (approximately 0.6µSv/h of airborne radioactivity) or the contamination density to exceed 40,000Bq/m2 are designated as a « Radiation Control Zone » and public entry must be severely restricted. People under 18 years old are not allowed to enter, and even adults, including nuclear workers, cannot stay more than 10 hours. It is prohibited to eat, drink or stay overnight. To leave the zone, one has go through a strict screening to check for radioactive substances leaving the zone, a measure to protect the individual person as well as the environment.

これらの数値がどの程度のものかを知るために日本の電離放射線障害防止規則を参考にして見ると、外部放射線による実効線量と空気中の放射性物質による実効線量との合計が、3ヶ月につき1.3mSv(概算0.6µSv/h)を超えるおそれのある区域、 あるいは 放射性物質の表面密度が40000Bq/m2を超える恐れのある区域は放射線管理区域と呼ばれます放射線管理区域では 飲食は禁止、寝泊まりもできません。原発労働者なども含む成人でも10時間以上の滞在は許されません。そこから出るときは厳格なスクリーニングを受けなければなりません。

We do not have the measures of surface density of the baseball nor softball stadiums, but in answering the question of the above German TV team, the information was given as to the decontamination work and radiation dose. There had been decontamination work, and the airborne radiation dose was about 0.04µSv/h in the baseball stadium.


Even when decontamination work has been carried out in the stadium, the mountains and woods behind the park have not been decontaminated, and wind and rain bring the radioactive substances towards the park. Besides, as we can see above, other places in the park are highly contaminated when we look at the surface contamination. They represent high risks of internal irradiation. Moreover, according to recent research, radioactive particles disseminated by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident are mostly insoluble in water. This characteristic makes the health hazard much worse than in the case of the usual water soluble Cesium (see English transcription of NHK documentary on Insoluble Radioactive Particles in this blog). We believe that this Park should not be open to the public, especially to children.


The small type of insoluble radioactive particles – also called Cesium balls -, are dispersed in the Tokyo metropolitan area. People who visit this area should be careful and should take adequate radioprotection measures especially when it is windy and the radioactive particles can be re-disseminated.


All in all, we believe that there is far too much risk for the players and spectators to participate in the Olympic games in Fukushima. Fukushima should not host the Olympic games. Furthermore, we are against holding the Olympic games in Tokyo.



Read also – こちらもご参照ください:

Forest fire in the exclusion zone in Fukushima: Why monitoring the radiation dose is not enough for radioprotection

See the publication of August 4 2017 in the FB of Oz Yo
Oz Yoさんの8月4日のFBページ参照。

No human rights in terrifyingly contaminated Namie in Fukushima


The evacuation orders of the most populated areas of Namie, Fukushima were lifted on March 31, 2017.
We are publishing the most recent soil surface density map of Namie created by a citizen’s measurement group named the “Fukuichi Area Environmental Radiation Monitoring Project“. Their members are mainly from Tokyo metropolitan region.

Namie-20170722 土壌汚染地図 ENG S

主として首都圏に在住の市民の皆さんが作っておられる団体「ふくいち周辺環境放射線モニタリング・プロジェクト」が浪江町の最新の 土壌汚染マップを作成されましたので、ここに投稿させていただきます。

20170722-namie-38+39+40+41(0721-3)-s JP

This map is simply terrifying. This is far much higher level of radio-contamination than in the Radiation Control Zone. Any area becomes designated as such when the total effective dose due to external radiation and that due to radioactive substances in the air is likely to exceed 1.3mSv per quarter – over a period of three months, or when the surface density is likely to exceed 40,000Bq/m2. In the Radiation Control Zone, it is prohibited to drink, eat or stay overnight. Even adults, including nuclear workers, are not allowed to stay more than 10 hours. To leave the zone, one has to go through a strict screening.

Namie’s radio contamination is far over these figures! The average soil contamination density of the total of 314 points where the soil was collected and measured is 858,143Bq/m². The maximum value was 6,780,000Bq/m², and the minimum was only 31,400Bq/m²!


浪江町の放射能汚染はこの数値をはるかに超えるものです。土壌採取と測定がなされた全314ポイントでの 土壌汚染密度の平均は 858,143Bq/m²、最大が 6,780,000Bq/m²で、最少でも 31,400Bq/m²です。

And people, including infants and pregnant women, are told to go back to these areas to live, because it is supposed to be safe. Basically the Japanese government does not recognize the fundamental human right to live in a healthy environment. The population is facing a tough future, for the compensation will be cut off soon, and the housing aid by the central government finishes at the same time. As for the auto-evacuees who fled from areas which are not classified as evacuation zones but are nevertheless radio-contaminated, they had only very little compensation and the housing aid was cut off at the end of March 2017. Continuing to live as nuclear refugees is becoming more and more difficult. We consider that this is a violation of basic environmental human rights.

このようなところに、もう安全だから、と言って、幼児や妊婦も含めた人々を生活するために帰還させようとしているのです。基本的に日本政府は良好な環境の中で生活するという、国民の環境権を認めようとしていません。原発事故被災者の皆さんの将来の見通しは困難なものです。精神的損害賠償という名称の賠償は来年3月に打ち切りになり、政府による住宅提供も同時に打ち切られてます。避難指示区域外からの避難者、いわゆる「自主」避難者、または自力避難者については、政府による住宅提供は2017年3月末にすでに打ち切られています。原発事故避難者として生活を続けることはますます困難になりつつあります。 これは基本的人権の一つである、環境権の蹂躙であると考えます。

Let us not forget to thank the members and volunteers of the Fukuichi Area Environmental Radiation Monitoring Project team. They are mostly elderly people over 60 years old. However, that doesn’t mean that they can be exposed to radiation. We thank them and pray for their health.


You might think that Japanese just endure their fate without complaining. This is not true. Many people are fighting and protesting. Let us cite, among numerous on-going trials, the one called the “Trial to require the withdrawal of the 20mSv dose as the limit for evacuation” filed by residents of Minamisoma city in Fukushima, who are against the lifting of the evacuation order when the radiation dose decreases below 20mSv/year. Let us remind you that the Japanese government has adopted 1mSv/year, the internationally recognized dose limitation for public recommended in 1990 by ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection), and this is still the limit for the public all over Japan EXCEPT in Fukushima. This is one of the reasons why many people from Fukushima ask themselves: “Is Fukushima really a part of Japan?” or “Are we the people abandoned by the State?”


Related articles of this site.

Forest fire in the exclusion zone in Fukushima: Why monitoring the radiation dose is not enough for radioprotection

The scandalous deficiency of the health scheme in Fukushima

Incredible contamination in Namie, Fukushima

New data show massive radiation levels in Odaka, Minamisoma

Insoluble radioactive particles (part 3)

We are presenting here a transcription of an NHK TV documentary (note1) on insoluble radioactive particles found in Fukushima and in the Tokyo metropolitan region. This is the 3rd part of the 3 parts.
Here is the 1st part.
Here is the 2nd part.

6月6日に放映されたNHKクローズアップ現代「原発事故から6年 未知の放射性粒子に迫る」の書き起こしの英訳を投稿いたします。画像が多く、重くなりますので、3部に分けて投稿させていただきます。これは第3部です。

As you can see below, small insoluble radioactive particles are dispersed in the Tokyo metropolitan area. We believe that this represents serious health problems for the population in terms of internal irradiation, since the insoluble radioactive particles remain in the body for a long time. For anybody who would stay in this metropolitan area, further radioprotection against internal irradiation would be required.




武田: そして不溶性放射性粒子をはじめとしまして、事故による放射能汚染の調査を行っている森口祐一さんにも伺いますがこういった不溶性放射性粒子どのくらいの範囲に存在しているんでしょうか。

Takeda: I will ask Yuichi Moriguchi, who is carrying out investigations on radio-contamination caused by the accident, including the insoluble radioactive particles, how many of such insoluble radioactive particles exist and in what range of area?

森口: 粒子にはさまざまな大きさのものがあるんですけれど比較的大きな粒子が見つかっているのは原発の近くに限られています。一方で、小さな粒子は風に乗って遠くまで運ばれて関東地方にまで到達したということが分かっています。

Moriguchi: There are many different sizes of particles, but relatively large particles have been found only near the nuclear power plant. On the other hand, we know that the smaller particles were transported far by the wind and reached the Kanto region.


Types A&B S

鎌倉: では詳しくは、こちらをご覧いただきましょう。

Kamakura: Please see here for the details.
Mr. Moriguchi and his colleagues have divided the insoluble radioactive particles into two major types.  They are called type A and type B.
Those of type A are comparatively small with a size of 10 micrometers or less. A lot of them are spherical. What is called a cesium ball is of this type. Since they are small in size, these particles are likely to reach the lungs by breathing.
On the other hand, those of the type B are comparatively large, by more than several tens of micrometers, and most of them are of distorted shape. Because the particle is large, it is not possible to enter the lungs, but it may adhere to the skin and mucous membranes.


B typeS

A typeS


The areas where each type are scattered are gradually coming to be known.
A relatively large, heavy type B particle has been found within 20 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. On the other hand, small light type A particles are found in the Kanto region.



According to the simulation in the paper published by the meteorological laboratory, the type A particles were diffused like this by the wind on March 14-15 immediately after the accident.

武田: Aタイプと呼ばれるより小さな粒子が、事故直後に関東地方まで飛んできたということなんですけれども、これはどういうことなんでしょうか。

Takeda: Smaller type A particles flew to the Kanto region immediately after the accident. Could you explain more?

森口: この点、まさにわれわれ今研究しているところで、先日も学会で発表したんですけれども3月15日に放射性物質が関東まで飛んできたこと自身は以前から分かっていたんですけどそこの中に実際に、不溶性の放射性粒子があるということを突き止めたわけですね。なぜそういったものが、そこに届いたのかということに関して今、解明を進めているわけなんですけれども特定の時間帯に放射性物質が放出されたのであろうということが少しずつ分かってきています。

Moriguchi: This is exactly what we are researching right now. The other day I presented a paper at an Academic society. We knew that radioactive materials had reached the Kanto area on March 15, but we found that there were insoluble radioactive particles among them. We are trying to clarify right now as to why they arrived there. We are coming to know gradually that the radioactive materials are likely to have been discharged at a certain time.

武田: 確認ですけれども、これは3月14日から15日にかけてその時間帯に飛んできたものであるということですね。

Takeda: Just for confirmation: these are the ones that flew in the period between March 14 and 15?

森口: そうですね、はい。

Moriguchi: Yes, that’s right.

武田: これ、どれくらいの量が飛散しているというふうに考えられるんでしょう?

Takeda: Do you have any estimation of the amount that has been transported in the wind?

森口: 全体としてどれだけ飛散したかっていうのはなかなかまだ分かっていないんですけれども3月15日に関東地方に飛んできたものに関してはこれは別の研究グループの研究成果なんですけれども8割から9割がこの不溶性の粒子Aタイプのものであろうというふうにいわれています。福島県から関東地方にかけてかなり広い地域にまで飛んできているということでその影響を慎重に評価する必要があるのではないかなと思います。

Moriguchi: As a whole, I still don’t know how much has been scattered, but as for what flew to the Kanto area on March 15, we have the result of another research group, according to which 80% to 90% of the radioactive materials are composed of this insoluble type A particle. I think that it’s necessary to evaluate the influence carefully because it has reached a considerably large area from Fukushima Prefecture to the Kanto region.

武田: 甲斐さん、このAタイプの健康影響についてはどうご覧になってるんでしょう?

Takeda: Mr. Kai, what is your opinion of the health effect of the A type?

甲斐: 放射線の場合外部被ばくと内部被ばくがございますので国連科学委員会の報告によりますと、外部被ばくの影響が大きいとされています。したがって、こういう不溶性の粒子が発見されたことによって内部被ばくの影響は見直していく必要がございますけれども外部被ばくも合わせた全体の影響としては内部被ばくの影響が変わったからといって、大きく変えるものではないんじゃないかと私は見ておりますが、いずれにしても内部被ばくの評価はきちんと見直していく必要があるであろうと思います。

Kai: In the case of radiation, there are external and internal radiation effects. According to the report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), the influence of external radiation is larger. Therefore, although it is necessary to review the effects of internal radiation due to the discovery of such insoluble particles, the over-all effects including external radiation do not change much, even when the effects of internal radiation have changed. However, the evaluation of internal radiation needs to be reviewed properly in any case.

武田: 国連の科学委員会はこの首都圏の被ばく量については健康への影響はないというふうに評価しているわけですけどこの評価が覆るというような可能性はあるんですか?

Takeda: The UNSCEAR has evaluated that there is no health impact due to the amount of radiation in the metropolitan area. Is there a possibility that this evaluation is reversed?

甲斐: そういう意味では内部被爆の影響というものが変わってくるでしょうけども外部被ばくの影響が大きいとされていますのでそこが覆ることはあまりないんではないかというふうに思っております。

Kai: In that sense, the influence of the internal radiation exposure will change, but I do not think that their evaluation will be revised, because it is assumed that the influence of external exposure is larger.



鎌倉: 一方、原発の近くでは避難指示が解除されて帰還を始めた人もいます。

Kamakura: On the other hand, there are people who had been evacuated and recently returned to the vicinity of the nuclear power plant.
What are the reactions of the local governments about this insoluble radioactive particle?
For example, the environmental policy section of Okuma town says: “No special measures have been taken, but when people enter a difficult-to-return area, we tell them to wear a protective suit and a mask, and to be careful not to blow up the dust when cleaning the room.”
As you can see, all municipalities are basically dealing with the protective measures that have been carried out so far such as avoiding adhesion to the body and inhaling radioactive materials.

武田: 森口さん、原発の近くでは避難指示が解除されて、帰還を始めた人もいるわけですけれどもどういう点に注意したらいいんでしょう?

Takeda: Mr. Moriguchi, the evacuation orders have been lifted near the nuclear power plant, and some people have started to return. What are the points to be careful about?

森口: 除染が行われ、空間線量下がったということで避難指示が解除されてるんですが実は除染っていうのは屋外しか行われていないんですね。それから、空間線量率が比較的低い所でも、事故直後にこういう放射性粒子が室内に入っているような、そういう地域もありますので、放射線防護しっかり取っていただくということが必要だと思います。

Moriguchi: The decontamination work is done, and the evacuation orders are lifted because the radiation dose has dropped, but the fact is that the decontamination work was carried out only outdoors. Moreover, even in places where the radiation dose is comparatively low, there are areas where such radioactive particles entered residential rooms immediately after the accident. Therefore, I think it is necessary to take the radioprotection seriously.


武田: この不溶性放射性粒子には研究者たちが懸念するもう一つの問題があります。原発の敷地内や、除染が済んでいない地域から粒子が再度舞い上げられて飛散する「再飛散」と呼ばれる問題です。実は過去に、実際に再飛散したケースが観測されていました。

Takeda: There is another problem that researchers are concerned about in the issue of  insoluble radioactive particles. It is a problem called “re-scattering”, that is to say, particles are re-raised and scatted from the areas where decontamination has not been done, including the site of the nuclear power plant. In fact, a case of re-scattering was already observed in the past.
On August 19, 2013, at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, following the decommissioning plan, the debris removal work was on the way at the reactor #3. But… the radiation dose increased on the premises. The workers’ body pollution occurred.



30 timesS


At this time, Kyoto University’s research group observed an increase in atmospheric radioactive materials at a point about 26 kilometers away from the nuclear power plant. In addition, insoluble radioactive particles were collected at observation facilities between the nuclear power plant and the Kyoto University observation point.



The research group at Kyoto University simulated the scattering of radioactive particles based on the weather data of the day.  As a result, it was learned that the particles that had been lifted in the debris removal work had scattered over a wide range and reached the observation point.

武田: この再飛散の問題健康影響という観点からはどう捉えたらいいんでしょう?

Takeda: What is your point of view about the health effect of this re-scattering?

甲斐: 線量は比較的小さいというふうに考えておりますけれどもやはりきちんと測定を通して見ていくことが大切だろうと思います。特に連続ダストモニターなどが原発周辺には装備されておりますのでしっかりそういう測定結果を注目していくということが大切ではないかと思っています。

Kai: I think that the dose is relatively small, but it is important to take the measurements properly and keep watching. I think that it is especially important to pay attention to measurement results of the round the clock dust monitors installed in the vicinity of the nuclear power plant.

武田: 森口さんはどうですか。この再飛散対策。

Takeda: How about you, Mr. Moriguchi? What do you think of the measures to take against the problem of re-scattering?

森口: 再飛散、大きな問題が起きるとすればやはり廃炉作業に伴う再飛散が非常に重要だと思いますのでそこを十分に気をつけていただくこれが第一だと思います。

Moriguchi: About the re-scattering, if a big problem happens, most probably it will be in connection with the decommission work. So this is the first thing to be careful about.

武田: そしてもう一つこの不溶性放射性粒子の農作物への影響についてはどういうふうに考えればいいんでしょうか。

Takeda: Another thing: what are the effects of insoluble radioactive particles on the agricultural crops?

森口: これは実際、しっかりとモニタリングがされています。大気中のモニタリングもされていますし農作物そのものについてもしっかりモニタリングがされていますのでその情報を十分に知っていただくということが大切だと思います。

Moriguchi: They are actually monitored rigorously. The monitoring in the atmosphere is done as well as the rigorous control of farm products. I think that it is important to diffuse the information thoroughly.

武田: 出荷される分については安心していいと?

Takeda: You mean that we can trust the products which are put in the market?

森口: しっかり検査が行われていると思います。

Moriguchi: I think that the monitoring is done well.

武田: 森口さんと甲斐さん、粒子がどこに飛散したのかその被ばく線量をどう評価するのか。今年度中をメドに研究を続けているということです。

Takeda: Mr. Moriguchi and Mr. Kai are continuing the research to find out the range of  the scattered particles, and also to evaluate the irradiation dose. They are hoping to have the results by the end of the fiscal year (the end of March).
Researchers are currently trying to clarify the risks of insoluble radioactive particles. And we are going to continue our investigations.
This may cause anguish to some people, but we think that it’s important to receive the information calmly for now.


Note 1: Close-up Gendai, Genpatsu jiko kara 6 nen, Michi no hoshasei ryushi ni semaru (Approaching radioactive particles six years from nuclear accident) (diffusion: 2017 June 6)

Insoluble radioactive particles (part 2)

We are presenting here a transcription of an NHK TV documentary (note1) on insoluble radioactive particles found in Fukushima and in the Tokyo metropolitan region. This is the 2nd part of the 3 parts.
Here is the 1st part.

6月6日に放映されたNHKクローズアップ現代「原発事故から6年 未知の放射性粒子に迫る」の書き起こしの英訳を投稿いたします。画像が多く、重くなりますので、3部に分けて投稿させていただきます。これは第2部です。



Insoluble radioactive particles that do not dissolve in water.
This characteristic is supposed to make a big difference when considering health effects.
In the past, radioactive cesium emitted in the nuclear accident was thought to be carried away adhering to water-soluble particles called aerosols in the atmosphere. When it touches the water the particle melts and the cesium diffuses and gets diluted. The same is true when it is inhaled in the lungs; the water-soluble cesium melts into the body fluid and spreads thinly throughout the body. Then it is supposed to be discharged gradually by the metabolic activity, and decreases by half from 80 to 100 days in the case of adults.




Insoluble radioactive particles, on the other hand, do not dissolve in body fluids. For example, if they adhere to the alveoli at the furthest areas of the lungs, it may take years to discharge. Even with the same amount of cesium, the dose of lung exposure is about 70 times higher than in the case of water-soluble cesium in the case of adults. As for the infants who are more radiosensitive, the dose of exposure is supposed to be approximately 180 times higher.




In fact, this insoluble radioactive particle has not been identified in past nuclear accidents. Why was it emitted in the accident of the Fukushima nuclear power plant?
Yukihiko Sato, who is doing research on this particle, is focusing on the insulation material that contains glass components. It is used in parts such as piping in the nuclear power plant.
A special electron microscope is used to analyze the proportion of elements contained in the radioactive particles and in the insulation material.
The top is radioactive particles, and the bottom is the insulation material.
The proportion of elements, such as silicon and oxygen, which are the main components of glass, is well matched.




From this, Mr. Sato thought about the scenario where the radioactive particle formed as follows:
Radioactive cesium was emitted from the melted nuclear fuel in the event of the accident. It first filled the reactor. Then, it leaked into the reactor containment building.
Cesium was absorbed in the insulation material in the building.
After that, a nuclear reactor building blew up by hydrogen explosion.
As the insulation material melts and becomes glass, cesium is taken in. And with the explosion, it became small particles as it dispersed in the blast.





The radioactive particles found by Sato are in diameter from 0.5 to 500 micrometer. Their shapes vary from a smooth round one to a rugged one.




Tatsuhiko Sato of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.
He simulated the health effects of insoluble radioactive particles using a program to calculate the behavior of each ray. For the simulation, he used a particle of the size which enters the lung, and which is actually found. He compared the simulation of the insoluble radioactive particles remaining to adhere to the same spot on the surface of the organ, and that of the same amount of radioactive material adhered uniformly on the surface.



In the case of uniform adhesion, even after 24 hours, blue and light blue areas are spread out indicating that the radiation dose is low.



On the other hand, in the case of the particle, the dose near the spot increases locally and orange and red areas are expanding.




Even with the same quantity of radioactive materials, the health effect may change.



In fact, there are data of people who may have inhaled insoluble radioactive particles. This is a survey of TEPCO employees who had a large amount of exposure during the nuclear accident.



The amount of the radioactive materials in the body is examined regularly, and the graph in red shows that the value of the vicinity of the chest is comparatively high. While the radioactive cesium that had spread throughout the body decreased over time, only around the chest the speed to decrease was slow. The inhaled insoluble radioactive particles are suspected to remain in the lungs.



武田: 放射線による健康影響と防護がご専門の甲斐倫明さん。

However, researchers say that the amount is not significant enough to worry about the health effects, according to the International Commission on Radiological Protection.

Takeda: Mr. Michiaki Kai is a specialist in the radio-induced health damages and radioprotection.
If the insoluble radioactive particles stay in the body, the radiation dose may increase locally. And according to some experts, it is necessary to investigate the health effects. What is your opinion?

甲斐: まず、線量が健康影響の物差しであるということは皆さんご存じなわけですけれども線量を比べるときに、線量を受けた範囲、被ばくの範囲が小さい場合と大きい場合では比較することができません。一般的に被ばくする範囲が大きいほど、健康影響は大きいとされてます。したがいまして、そういう臓器や組織の全体の平均の線量というものが大きいほど影響が大きいということですからそういう意味では、この不溶性の粒子であっても、平均的な臓器平均的な線量を評価していくことが大切だというふうに考えております。しかし、非常に局所的には線量は高くなる可能性がございますのでそういった心配をされるのでそこもきちんと評価していくことは大切であろうと考えて、こういう評価を行っていると考えております。

Kai: First of all, you know that the dose is a measure of health effects. However, when we compare the dose, you cannot compare the cases of smaller and larger exposures ranges. In general, the greater the exposures range, the greater the health impact is. In that sense, the larger the average dose of an organ or an entire system is, the greater the impact is. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the average organ dose even in the case of the insoluble particle. However, there is a possibility that the dose becomes high very locally, so it is important to evaluate it properly, since some people worry about it. This is why such an evaluation is carried out.

武田: 全体的な被ばくのほうが局所的な被ばくよりも…。

Takeda: The overall exposure more than local exposure is …

甲斐: 同じ線量であればより広い範囲に受けたほうが大きいということが言えます。

Kai: If it is the same dose, the impact on health is larger if the range of exposure is wider.

武田: 影響は大きいんだけれども局所的な被ばくについても調べていく必要があるという。

Takeda: You mean that the impact is larger, but it is also necessary to examine a local exposure.

甲斐: きちんと押さえておく必要があるんだろうと思います。

Kai: I think that it is necessary to examine it properly.

(To be continued in the Part 3)


Note 1: Close-up Gendai, Genpatsu jiko kara 6 nen, Michi no hoshasei ryushi ni semaru (Approaching radioactive particles six years from the nuclear accident) (diffusion: 2017 June 6)

Insoluble radioactive particles (part 1)

We are presenting here a transcription of an NHK TV documentary (note1) on insoluble radioactive particles found in Fukushima and in the Tokyo metropolitan region. Since it is quite heavy with images, it will be uploaded in 3 parts.

These particles contain cesium, which has the property to dissolve in water. However, in the case of these particles, the cesium was taken into glass-like particles during the Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident before it was blown away by the explosion. These particles do not dissolve in water, and as a consequence the cesium will remain longer both in the environment and in the human body, which will modify the impact of radioactive materials on the environment and on health.

6月6日に放映されたNHKクローズアップ現代「原発事故から6年 未知の放射性粒子に迫る」の書き起こしの英訳を投稿いたします。画像が多く、重くなりますので、3部に分けて投稿させていただきます。


Here is the video (in Japanese).


couverture S


武田 : ビー玉のように丸い粒子。

Takeda: A round particle like a marble.
Rugged particles like asteroids.
Presently, the researchers are paying attention to them.



Very small particles contain radioactive cesium.
Therefore, sometimes they are called “cesium balls”.
They are radioactive particles emitted during the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident.



Their existence came to light recently and the investigation is ongoing.
The reason why researchers pay attention is their nature of not dissolving in water.
They are called “insoluble radioactive particles”.
Because of this characteristic, they are considered to stay in the environment for a long time. If inhaled, they may remain in the human body for a long time, but the impact is not yet fully known.
While the evacuation orders are being lifted, the researchers began to raise their voices that they should communicate the information known at this stage.



Six years since the accident.
The reality of the insoluble radioactive particles has gradually become clear.
This is the latest research report.


evacuation zonesS

evacuation lifted S


First, these are the areas where evacuation orders were issued following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident.
In areas where decontamination works have been completed, evacuation orders have been lifted from the end of March and the return movement of the population has begun.
It is in this context that in this year, the research presentations on insoluble radioactive particles have come out in succession.


issues to discussS

鎌倉: 事故の際に放出された放射性物質の中で今も問題とされているのは放射性セシウム。

Kamakura: Among the radioactive material released during the accident, it is radioactive cesium that is still regarded as a problem. Especially this cesium 137. Most of the radioactive materials that remain in the environment are cesium 137 because they are released in large quantities and have a long half-life of 30 years. Until now, cesium has been thought to dissolve in water and gradually become diluted in the environment. However, cesium is found in insoluble state that does not dissolve in water.


half lifeS

武田: この不溶性放射性粒子については、どこにどれくらい存在するかや、健康にどの程度影響があるのかなどまだ分からないことがあります。

Takeda: Many aspects of the insoluble radioactive particles remain unknown, such as where they exist and in what quantity, or how they affect the health.
Today, we wanted to share the information known to us at this point, including the things that remain unclear yet, in order to provide a base to make decisions on this issue.
First of all, we shall see what the insoluble radioactive particles are.
And then, we will have a look to see in what measure the impact on health is known.


Sato2 S

Sato3 S

Sato4 S


A symposium was held in March this year on the irradiation due to the nuclear accident.
Tatsuhiko Sato of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency presented a paper on the health effects of insoluble radioactive particles, which were hardly known so far.



Where are insoluble radioactive particles located?
We accompanied various investigations in difficult-to-return areas.
We entered a building abandoned since immediately after the accident.
We collected dust accumulated in a room.
We took it back to the lab and analyzed it….
A number of black dots emerged. It shows that there are radioactive materials.
We carried out a further examination of the part where the black dots are located.
We came to a small particle.



This is an insoluble radioactive particle.
The measurement has proven that radioactive cesium of approximately 60 becquerels is included in the particle of about 200 micrometers.
There are 27 buildings in the survey. In all the buildings similar radioactive particles have been found.

(to be continued in Part 2)
(and in Part 3)


Note 1: Close-up Gendai, Genpatsu jiko kara 6 nen, Michi no hoshasei ryushi ni semaru (Approaching radioactive particles six years from nuclear accident) (diffusion: 2017 June 6)

Government Reporting on Nuclear Risks: Examining the Recent Forest Fires in Fukushima No-Go Zone

The forest fires in the exclusion zone in Fukushima, near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP), were extinguished on May 10 after having burnt 75 hectares in 12 days, spreading from Namie to Futaba.


The wildfires raised a number of questions about the radiation related health hazards and the ways the information was treated by the Fukushima prefectural government and the mass media.


Fukushima prefecture maintained the attitude of under-evaluating the possible impact of the fire in regard to the dispersion of radioactive substances. Major media transmitted the Fukushima government’s official comments, and an exceptional local newspaper, Kii Minpo (Wakayama prefecture), had to apologize after having received complaints and criticism for its column alerting the local population to the dispersion of radioactive substances by the fire, and saying that the government as well as the national newspapers are too dismissive of the radioactive dispersal problem.


However, when it comes to the news source, the only one on which mass media as well as social media can rely for the moment is the radiation measurement results published by Fukushima Prefecture.


Before the results of the measurements by civil groups come out, they are the only values we have. But then, these results are accompanied by comments of the Fukushima prefecture. So there are measurements, but there is also their evaluation.


We will go through both of them to shed light on the facts but also on the government’s attitude to minimize or even ignore or deny the health hazard risks related to this fire which, if recognized, would question the lifting of the evacuation order, which authorizes the return of the population in the neighboring areas. This questioning would be very inconvenient for both the central and the local governments.


The relevant data in this kind of situation is the measurement of radioactive nuclides contained in the dust in the air. This is precisely what Fukushima prefecture published right after the breakout of the fire.


Nonetheless, this information is preceded by the airborne radiation dose measurement with the comment: “there is no change in the radiation dose” (see Graph 1&2, Table 1 of the picture below). This has certainly a strong effect to ease the worry of the population, and most of the media transmit the message that “there is no change in the radiation dose.”  This comment hides the fact of significant changes in the contamination levels in the dust in the air seen in the last table, which isn’t accompanied by a graph which would more clearly show the changes.


However, in the context of environmental radio-contamination, where the internal irradiation risk has to be taken into account, looking only at the airborne radiation dose can be fatally misleading, as it is only  a measurement to decide if you need to protect yourself against external radiation.  But even TEPCO itself established its workers’ radioprotection policy based on the view that both external and internal radiation protections are necessary. On this point, please see our article “Forest fire in the exclusion zone in Fukushima: Why monitoring the radiation dose is not enough for radioprotection”, and in particular the table showing 12 zones which necessitate corresponding radioprotection methods.  The 12 zones are defined by the combination of the different levels of both airborne radiation dose, in Sieverts/time, and the environmental contamination density in Becquerels (surfaces: Bq/cm2 and air: Bq/cm3).

しかし、内部被曝のリスクを伴う環境汚染がある場合には、空間線量率だけを見ていると大変な片手落ちになり、間違いに陥ります。空間線量率は外部被曝からの防護のためは有効ですが、放射線防護の観点からは、それだけでは不十分です。事実、東京電力では作業者の安全のために、まさにこの観点に立って空間線量率と環境汚染の両者をカバーする政策を取っています。この点については、このサイトの和英併記記事“Forest fire in the exclusion zone in Fukushima: Why monitoring the radiation dose is not enough for radioprotection”をご参照ください。特に記事に記載してある、東電作業者の放射線防護のための管理区域の区域区分の表をご覧ください。この表にある12区分は、シーベルト/時間であらわされる空間線量率のレベルと、ベクレルで表される(表面の場合はBq/cm2、空気の場合はBq/cm3)環境汚染密度/濃度のレベルの組み合わせで定義されています。

Keeping this in mind, and also the fact that only Cesium 134 and 137 have been measured, let’s look at the change of the values (see images below of Info May 12, page 3) as well as the map of the monitoring stations in relation to the fire site (idem, page 4, the site being the big red circle).
We clearly see the increase in measurement values at 3 stations (#5, 6, 7) on May 8 and May 11.


福島県HP 5月12日山林火災データ_Page_1

福島県HP 5月12日山林火災データ_Page_2

福島県HP 5月12日山林火災データ_Page_3

However, as we have mentioned above, this table appears in page 3, after the data in the pages 1 and 2 which show the stability of the values. Of the above 4 tables and graphs only the last table shows significant increases in radioactive dust in the air.  And there is no graph for the last table.  Is that because it would clearly show great changes?  The way in which data are presented can influence how you respond to a crisis.


What are the comments of Fukushima prefecture accompanying the results? The following may be a tedious process, but please be patient so that you can judge for yourself the Fukushima government’s attitude toward secondary dispersal of radioactive elements, which is revealed through these comments.
We will start with the comments of May 5.
Bold letter format, for emphasis, was added by the translator.




Comment May 5

“According to the measurement results of the survey meters near Mount Jyuman, the scene of the fire, no change has been noted compared to the result of the day before (table 1).
As for the airborne radiation dose measurements, no change has been noted compared to the measurements of before the fire (Graph 1).
The measurement results of the dust in the air near the Mount Jyuman were between ND and 1.97mBq/m3 (table 2). The measures of the Yasuragi so (Elderly people’s home Yasuragi) in Namie and those of Ishikuma Community Center increased, but as the data are still scarce, we will continue to monitor the change as well as that of the airborne radiation dose.
As for the measurement values of the dust in the air by the monitoring posts installed by the prefecture (Translator’s note: since before the fire), no change in values has been noted in relation to those of before the fire.”

Here is the comment of May 9.



“Since May 5 portable monitoring posts have been installed at three places near Mount Jyuman, the site of the fire, and we measure those daily. Their results as well as the measurement results of the pre-existing survey meters do not show any change compared to those of the day before (Graph 1, Table 1).

The results of the measurement of the airborne radiation dose by the monitoring posts installed near the fire scene since before the fire do not show any significant change compared to values of before the fire (Graph 2).

On the other hand, the results of the measurement of Cs 137 in the dust in the air near the Mount Jyuman are between 1.35 and 7.63mBq/m3. We are not able to judge the cause for the moment, but in addition to the penetration of the fire to the sedimentary layer of fallen leaves, which is the peculiarity of this wildfire, strong winds of the west which interfered with the operation of the helicopter, was observed throughout the day, so the influence of the upheaval of the dust and the incineration ash in the vicinity of the measurement point cannot be denied.”

Finally, the comment of May 12.


“Yesterday (May 11), the measurement results of the dust in the air were between 0.80 and 15.55mBq/m3. (The maximum value before was that of May 8: 7.63mBq/m3). We are not able to judge the cause for the moment. With these data and the coming results of the survey conducted by the Forestry Agency, we will evaluate the influence to the surrounding area, taking into account experts’ opinions. As for the dust monitor installed with the pre-existing monitoring post since before the fire, no difference in the measurements is noted.

(For information)
The internal irradiation dose would be 0,0063 mSv/year if one inhales continuously the air containing 20mBq/m3 of Cs 137. This value corresponds to about 1/100 of 0,48 mSv/year* which is the internal irradiation dose due to the inhalation of radioactive substances existing in the natural environment. The value is sufficiently small.
*source: “The new edition of Daily Life Environmental Radiation (Radiation calculation of the national population) (Japan Nuclear Safety Research Association, December, 2011″

(end quote)

When we look at the wording, it is clear that the Fukushima prefecture consistently tries to deny the dispersion of radioactive materials and convey the information to minimize the risk of health damage without even mentionning the word “health”. With the quite spectacular increase to 15.55mBq/m3, no mention is made of a possible health hazard risk.
The last comment about the internal irradiation is added to reassure the population that there is minimal radiation risk due to the forest fires. Is this so ?


Let’s now look at two points to question these comments from the prefecture and the attitudes that they imply.

  1. Are the measurements significantly higher than those of before the fire ? Or is the increase insignificant?
  2. Are the radioactive substances in the ground likely to become airborne because of the fire and after the fire ?


  1. 発表された測定値は火災以前の測定値と比べて憂慮しないといけないほど高い数値なのか、それとも無視できるくらいの上昇なのか?
  2. 放射性物質は火災により舞い上がり、火災中、また火災以後、拡散する可能性があるのか?

We will refer to two sources here. For the first point, we refer to the comments of M. Yoichi Ozawa of Fukuichi Area Environmental Radiation Monitoring Project, published in his FB page of May 10. For the second we will turn to the article by Shun Kirishima published in Syu Pre News on May 14.


Yoichi Ozawa’s comments:

フクシマ原発事故前の2010年文部科学省のセシウム137全国平均値は、0.00012 mBq/m3 です。

According to the MEXT (Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), the average amount of Cs137 measured throughout Japan on 2010, that is to say before the accident of the FDNPP, was 0.00012 mBq/m3.
(Translator’s note: The report of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of 2010, Collection of articles of the 53rd research and study on the environmental radioactivity, p.20) (in Japanese).

Report P19 Fallout

Report P20 dust in the air


今回の浪江町森林火災の 7.63 mBq/m3 は、63,583倍の数値です。

The value of 7.63 mBq/m3 (Translator’s Note : the maximum value of May 8. The maximum value increased thereafter) measured this time during the forest fire in Namie is 63,583 times higher in relation to the above average value of the year 2010.

もう一つ、北隣の南相馬市の「広報みなみそうま」の3月後半のデータでは、0.053 mBq/m3 が最大値で、0.021 mBq/m3が平均値とされています。この平均値でも、フクシマ原発事故前より100倍以上も高く、健康影響が心配されるレベルです。

Another piece of data we can refer to comes from Kôhô Minamisoma (Newsletters from Minamisoma) which reports the measurement values of the dust in the air of the last two weeks of March 2017. Minamisoma city is located in the north of Namie. According to these data, the maximum value is 0.053 mBq/m3, and the average value is 0.021 mBq/m3. Even this average value is 100 times higher compared to the value of before the Fukushima Daiichi accident. This is already significantly high for health hazards.



今回の浪江町森林火災の数値は、南相馬市の 10 ~ 100 倍のレベル、フクシマ原発事故前の 1,000 ~ 数万倍の汚染レベルを示しているものです。

The measurement values related to the forest fires in Namie are 10 – 100 times higher than the values of Minamisoma of March 2017, and several 10,000 times higher compared to those before the FDNPP accident.


The extinction of the fire does not mean that we are secure. When the air gets dry, the radioactive particles can become airborne and cause internal irradiation when ingested. Furthermore, the values cited above are only those of gamma rays of Cesium. We know that there are radioactive nuclides emitting alpha and beta rays. The internal irradiation of these radioactive nuclides is very dangerous.
(end quote)


Now let’s have a look of the article of Kirishima on the possibility of the scattering of the radioactive materials.


Extract :


In fact, was there no risk of radioactive material scattering with this wildfire? Professor Susumu Ogawa of the Nagasaki University Graduate School of Engineering says, “Cesium is definitely flying.”


“The fire site is such a contaminated area that people cannot live there. It seems that the leaves and soils under the trees were absorbed in large quantities of cesium. If there is a fire, since the melting point of cesium is 28°C, it becomes a gas by heat, and it is dispersed in the sky. Then, it is cooled and is blown in the wind like pollen while becoming a particle shape. How far it scatters after that depends on the wind speed and direction. If a strong west wind blows, it will fly to the Pacific Ocean, but the nearby settlements will be contaminated if the wind is weaker. “


In addition, Professor Hiroshi Okochi of the Waseda University Science and Engineering Institute points out the example of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.


“Two years ago, in 2015, a large-scale fire occurred in the vicinity of the Chernobyl nuclear plant, and it is known that Cesium 137 was detected 10 times more than the reference value from the nearby monitoring post. Similarly, though we cannot know exactly before an investigation, there is the possibility of the scattering of radioactive materials in the forest areas in Fukushima also.”


Professor Okochi’s research group will begin an investigation near the fire site in Fukushima prefecture soon. It can be verified that radioactive scattering has occurred if the analysis of the dust taken from the air shows that it contains a particle named levoglucosan, which is generated when the plant is thermally decomposed with Cesium.


If the cesium is flying, the concern is how far it is dispersed and its effect on the human body.


According to the Fukushima prefecture, “the amount of cesium dust obtained by the measurement near the site is up to 7.63mBq/m3. This is a level that has almost no effect on health (Radiation management section)”. A milli Bq is 1/1000 of a Bq. The Prefecture’s stance is that there is no need to worry because it is a negligible amount. This implies that the Fukushima prefectural government would not take any particular action nor caution the surrounding residents.


On the other hand, Professor Ogawa points out that it is dangerous to judge only by the measurements of three monitoring emplacements.


“We cannot say definitely that ‘there is no fear of irradiation’, when we consider that a great amount of cesium can pour into a small place in a short period of time, as in the case of a hotspot. The same can be said for the evaluation saying that there is no scattering because there is no change in the values of the monitoring post. People living downwind should be careful. “


A strong wind blows often from the west to the east in Fukushima prefecture blowing over the Ohu mountain range. At five kilometers to the northeast from Mount Jyuman, there are areas in Namie where the evacuation orders were lifted, and people are living there.
(end quote)


So the measurements that are known already at this point are much higher compared to the values of the average of 34 prefectures before the nuclear accident, or those of the vicinity before the fires, and it is very probable that cesium is scattered by the fire.


The way that Fukushima prefecture presents the measurement data deliberately emphasizes the airborne radiation dose and its stability, hiding the fact that the measurements of radioactive dust in the air show strong variation. It also conveys the implicit message that if the airborne radiation dose is stable, in terms of Sieverts, there is no need to worry. However, as we have seen above, we have to take into account the environmental contamination also measured in terms of Bequerels. Since the FDNPP accident, the myth of security (that there can’t be any accident) seems to be replaced by a myth of Sieverts, which hides the risk of internal irradiation, while erasing the problems of hotspots and hot particles in the air.


Opening the area for its population to return to be exposed to such risks and furthermore without informing them about the risks and the measures to protect themselves can hardly be justified. It can be endangering many people.



Read more

Fire crews finally extinguish Fukushima blaze in no-go zone as officials battle radiation rumors, Japan Times, May 11, 2017

Taminokoe Shimbun  民の声新聞 (in Japanese), articles of May 2, 4, 8, 10, 12 and 16. The article of May 2 is published in our blog in English. (Wildfires in Namie, Fukushima 311 Voices, May 2, 2017)

Wildfires in Fukushima: reliable data or disinformation?, Fukushima 311 Voices, May 7, 2017

12日間もの長い間燃え続けた、福島県浪江町の山火事を巡る、報道と市民の態度について考えたこと (in Japanese), May 12, 2017