73 years ago today, many precious lives were instantly destroyed by the terrible blast and the heat from the atomic bomb. Did you know, however, that the atomic bomb has had another, lasting effects? It’s an invisible, quiet and lasting effects from the nuclear bombing, called “internal radiation exposure.”
Katsurao Village: its whereabouts and evacuation/return policy history
In June 2016, the evacuation order applied to Katsurao village after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear accident was lifted for 80% of its territory. The northeast part of the village in the vicinity of Namie town is still classed as a ”difficult-to-return” zone, where the annual airborne radiation dose is over 20mSv. The lifting of the evacuation order of this area is not planned.
In June 2018, approximately 300 people are living in the village, which is about 20% of the population before the accident. In April 2018, primary and junior high schools opened where 18 children are currently studying, whereas in 2010, before the accident, 112 children were attending schools.
We have published several soil contamination maps of the “Fukuichi area environmental radiation monitoring project” in this blog (see maps of Namie, Minamisoma 1 & 2 ). Normally, the government should carry out the measurements, but the government relies on the air radiation dose measurements at the expense of the radio-contamination measurements found on the surface and in the air (in terms of the volume of radioactive substances). To fulfill the lack of this essential information for the radioprotection of the population, civil groups conduct soil measurements.
We have published several articles in this blog saying that to protect the population the Japanese goverment should take into account the soil contamination as well as the radiation dose in the air. The policy to open the evacuation zones and encourage the population to return to live there (with the end of financial compensation and relocation aid) is based only on the airborn radiation dose measurements (the evacuation order is lifted when the radiation dose is under 20mSv/year). We have been saying that this is very dangerous, even criminal, for the air radiation dose rate (indicating the amount of radioactive dose received by a person within a certin period time) is useful with a well-identfied fixed source of radiation, but is not adequate to reveal the overall environmental contamination after a nuclear accident. It doesn’t account for the internal radiation exposure induced health hazards (note 1).
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.
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?
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.