[ RadSafe ] Greenpeace investigation shows Fukushima radiation risks to last into next century

Roger Helbig rwhelbig at gmail.com
Thu Mar 1 08:52:42 CST 2018

Greenpeace investigation shows Fukushima radiation risks to last into
next century

by arclight2011part2
プレスリリース - 2018-03-01
Tokyo, 1 March 2018 - A comprehensive survey by Greenpeace Japan in
the towns of Iitate and Namie in Fukushima prefecture, including the
exclusion zone, revealed radiation levels up to 100 times higher than
the international limit for public exposure.[1][2] The high radiation
levels in these areas pose a significant risk to returning evacuees
until at least the 2050’s and well into next century.

The findings come just two weeks ahead of a critical decision at the
United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) review on Japan’s human
rights record and commitments to evacuees from the nuclear disaster.

“In all of the areas we surveyed, including where people are permitted
to live, the radiation levels are such that if it was in a nuclear
facility it would require strict controls. Yet this is public land.
Citizens, including children and pregnant women returning to their
contaminated homes, are at risk of receiving radiation doses
equivalent to one chest X-ray every week. This is unacceptable and a
clear violation of their human rights, ” said Jan Vande Putte,
radiation specialist with Greenpeace Belgium and leader of the survey

Greenpeace Japan conducted the investigations in September and October
last year, measuring tens of thousands of data points around homes,
forests, roads and farmland in the open areas of Namie and Iitate, as
well as inside the closed Namie exclusion zone. The government plans
to open up small areas of the exclusion zone, including Obori and
Tsushima, for human habitation in 2023. The survey shows the
decontamination program to be ineffective, combined with a region that
is 70-80% mountainous forest which cannot be decontaminated.

Key finding from the Greenpeace Japan survey:

Even after decontamination, in four of six houses in Iitate, the
average radiation levels were three times higher than the government
long term target. Some areas showed an increase from the previous
year, which could have come from recontamination.

At a house in Tsushima in the Namie exclusion zone, despite it being
used as a test bed for decontamination in 2011-12, a dose of 7 mSv per
year is estimated, while the international limit for public exposure
in a non-accidental situation is 1 mSv/y. This reveals the
ineffectiveness of decontamination work.

At a school in Namie town, where the evacuation order was lifted,
decontamination had failed to significantly reduce radiation risks,
with levels in a nearby forest with an average dose rate of more than
10 mSv per year. Children are particularly at risk from radiation

In one zone in Obori, the maximum radiation measured at 1m would give
the equivalent of 101 mSv per year or one hundred times the
recommended maximum annual limit, assuming a person would stay there
for a full year These high levels are a clear threat, in the first
instance, to thousands of decontamination workers who will spend many
hours in that area.

This contamination presents a long term risk, and means that the
government’s long-term radiation target (1mSv/year which is equivalent
to 0.23μSv/hour) are unlikely to be reached before at least the middle
of the century in many areas that are currently open and into next
century for the exclusion zone of Namie. In an admission of failure,
the government has recently initiated a review of its radiation target
levels with the aim of raising it even higher.

The Government’s policy to effectively force people to return by
ending housing and other financial support is not working, with
population return rates of 2.5% and 7% in Namie and Iitate
respectively as of December 2017.

In November last year, the UNHRC’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on
Japan issued four recommendations on Fukushima issues. Member
governments (Austria, Portugal, Mexico and Germany) called for Japan
to respect the human rights of Fukushima evacuees and adopt strong
measures to reduce the radiation risks to citizens, in particular
women and children and to fully support self evacuees. Germany called
on Japan to return to maximum permissible radiation of 1 mSv per year,
while the current government policy in Japan is to permit up to 20 mSv
per year. If this recommendation was applied, the Japanese
government’s lifting of evacuation orders would have be halted.

“Our radiation survey results provides evidence that there is a
significant risk to health and safety for any returning evacuee. The
Japanese government must stop forcing people to go back home and
protect their rights,” said Kazue Suzuki, Energy Campaigner at
Greenpeace Japan. “It is essential that the government fully accept
and immediately apply the recommendations at the United Nations.”

[1] Reflections in Fukushima: The Fukushima Daiichi Accident Seven Years On

[2] The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)
sets a maximum dose of 1 mSv/ year in normal situations for the
public, and in the range of 1-20 mSv/y under post-nuclear accident
situations, such as that resulting from Fukushima Daiichi. The ICRP
recommends that governments select the lower part of the 1–20 mSv/year
range for protection of people living in contaminated areas, and “to
reduce all individual exposures associated with the event to as low as
reasonably achievable.”

Chisato Jono, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Japan, email:
chisato.jono at greenpeace.org, mob: +81 (0) 80-6558-4446

Jan Vande Putte, Greenpeace Belgium, Radiation Protection Advisor,
Fukushima radiation research leader, email: jputte at greenpeace.org,
mob: 81-(0)80-8912-7202

Kazue Suzuki, Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Japan, email:
suzuki.kazue at greenpeace.org, mob: +81- (0)80-3017-0046

Greenpeace International Press Desk, pressdesk.int at greenpeace.org,
phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

Source; http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/ja/news/press/2018/pr201803011/

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