5 Septembre 2017
September 5, 2017
Fukushima city shows radiation level is same as in west Japan
By SHINTARO EGAWA/ Staff Writer
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.”