Government Detects 12,400 Becquerels Per Kg Of Radioactive Cesium Next To Children’s Swimming Pool in Kawasaki City

High Radiation Right Next to Children’s Swimming Pool in Kawasaki City (Ex-SKF, August 19, 2011):

The government authorities, whether national or municipal, say they’ve been measuring the radiation at parks and schools where children go, but they’ve been criticized for picking the least contaminated locations to measure.

Here’s a case in Kawasaki City, where a citizens’ group measured on their own, found a high radiation location in a park that the city said it had measured, and alerted the city about the highly radioactive dirt right next to the swimming pool that children are using since early July.

From Kanagawa Shinbun local site (8/18/2011):

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Kawasaki City announced it measured 0.90 microsievert/hour at the side of the swimming pool in Hirama Park in Kamihirama, Nakahara-ku (special ward), exceeding the target level of 0.19 microsievert/hour set by the Ministry of Education and Science. According to the [Kanagawa] prefectural crisis management division, it is the highest level of air radiation measured in Kanagawa.


The city collected the dirt from the location to have it analyzed, and 12,400 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was found. The city has decided to close the swimming pool temporarily, starting August 19.


The national government allows sewer sludge to be buried as long as the amount of radioactive materials is 8,000 becquerels/kg and lower. The city has put the plastic tarp over the dirt, and will decide how to dispose the radioactive dirt after consulting with the experts.

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The location where the high radiation was measured is right next to the building in which the dressing rooms for the swimming pool users are located. The poolside is just beyond the fence nearby. According to the park management, the area is used to store collected leaves. After cleaning the pool on July 7 to prepare for the pool opening, the leaves and dirt were stored in the 15 square-meter area.

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The citizen volunteer group “Peace and Smile Project Kawasaki” measured the near-surface radiation in this area on August 14, which measured 0.50 microsievert/hour at 5 centimeters off the ground. The group alerted the city. When the city measured the same area on August 15, it was 0.66 microsievert/hour (5 centimeters off the ground), and it was 0.90 microsievert/hour on August 18. The radiation levels at the pool entrance and the pool side were below the target level.


The park management says, “We don’t know why the radiation is so high in this area”.


Kawasaki City measured the radiation levels at 447 locations including parks and schools in June, but they were all below the target level [of 0.19 microsievert/hour]; the maximum level measured was 0.17 microsievert/hour.

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