– Map shows spot with high level of radiation near Fukushima plant (Mainichi Japan, August 20, 2011):
TOKYO (Kyodo) — The science ministry published a map on Friday on cumulative radiation estimates five months after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was crippled in March, showing a nearby town with a high level of radiation.
In giving specific estimates for 50 locations in the no-entry zone for the first time, the ministry said cumulative radiation of 278 millisieverts was estimated for a location in the town of Okuma, 3 kilometers southwest of the troubled plant.
The annual radiation exposure limit for ordinary people is 1 millisievert. The government has urged people living in areas around the plant where annual exposure is likely to exceed 20 millisieverts to evacuate.
The estimates for the five-month period were varied, with several millisieverts of cumulative radiation for some locations even within the no-entry zone.
The data would therefore be used as a guide when considering the lifting of the entry ban in the future, according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, which oversees the readings.
The government is also considering allowing evacuees from areas within a 3-km radius of the plant to return home temporarily.
Cumulative radiation over the one-year period from the start of the disaster is projected to reach between several millisieverts and over 500 millisieverts at the 50 locations within the no-entry zone.
Outside the exclusion zone, cumulative radiation in the town of Namie, 22 km northwest of the plant, was estimated at 115 millisieverts over the five-month period, the highest among locations outside the zone and equivalent to 229 millisieverts over a 12-month period.
The cumulative radiation map is based on readings taken at 4,283 locations, with a focus on Fukushima Prefecture.