Title: Japan’s radiation monitoring unreliable: Greenpeace
Author: Kyoko Hasegawa
Date: Oct 23, 2012
Government radiation monitoring in areas near Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is unreliable, Greenpeace charged on Tuesday, with heavily populated areas exposed to 13 times the legal limit.
The environmental group said authorities were wasting time cleaning up evacuated areas and should prioritise decontamination efforts in places where people live, work and play.
Greenpeace found that in some parks and school facilities in Fukushima city, home to 285,000 people, radiation levels were above three microsieverts per hour. Japan’s recommended radiation limit is 0.23 microsieverts per hour. […]
Rianne Teule, Greenpeace’s radiation expert:
- “We also found that official monitoring posts placed by the government systematically underestimate the radiation levels”
- Some machines are shielded from radiation by surrounding metal and concrete structures
- “Official monitoring stations are placed in areas the authorities have decontaminated. However, our monitoring shows that just a few steps away the radiation levels rise significantly”
- “Decontamination efforts are seriously delayed and many hot spots that were repeatedly identified by Greenpeace are still there”
- “It is especially disturbing to see that there are many hot spots around playground equipment, exposing children who are most vulnerable to radiation risks”
Greenpeace’s Japan nuclear campaigner Kazue Suzuki
- Attempts to clean up were “misguided”
- “One home or office may be cleaned up, but it is very unlikely that the whole area will be freed of radiation risks within the next few years” given the mountainous and heavily forested nature of the region
- “The government continues to downplay radiation risks and give false hope (of returning home) to victims of this nuclear disaster”