Japan: 70 000 More Must Evacuate Around Fukushima – Radioactivity Levels Of Up To Several Million Bequerels Per Square Metre

70 000 must evacuate around Fukushima (AFP):

Paris – Seventy thousand people living beyond the 20km no-go zone around Fukushima should be evacuated because of radioactivity deposited by the crippled nuclear plant, a watchdog said.

Updating its assessment of the March 11 disaster, France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) highlighted an area northwest of the plant that lies beyond the 20km zone whose inhabitants have already been evacuated.

Radioactivity levels in this area range from several hundred becquerels per square metre to thousands or even several million bequerels per square metre, the IRSN report, issued late on Monday, said.

Around 70 000 people, including 9 500 children aged up to 14, live in the area, “the most contaminated territory outside the evacuation zone”, the agency said.

“These are people who are still to be evacuated, in addition to those who were evacuated during the emergency phase in March,” Didier Champion, its environment director, told AFP.

Staying in this area means the inhabitants would be exposed to radiation of more than 10 millisieverts (mSv)in the year following the disaster, according to the IRSN.

Taking precautions

This level is used in French safety guidelines for protecting civilian populations after a nuclear accident. In France, 10 mSv is three times the normal background radiation from natural sources.

“Ten mSV is not a dangerous dose in and of itself, it’s more a precautionary dose,” said Champion, noting however that this figure that does not include any additional doses from contaminated food or water.

The 10 mSV derives from a calculation of exposure to at least 600 000 becquerels per square metre, emitted by caesium 137 and 134, which are long-lasting radioactive elements.

Of the 70 000 people in the zone identified in the IRSN report, more than 26 000 could be exposed to doses of more than 16mSv in the first year after the disaster.

On May 15, Japan began to evacuate 4 000 residents of the village of Iidate-mura and 1 100 people in the town of Kawamata-cho, 30km from the plant. The two locations had consistently received high amounts of radioactive dust due to wind patterns.

The IRSN report is based on data for radioactivity reported by the Japanese authorities and from US over-flights of the zone.

– AFP

1 thought on “Japan: 70 000 More Must Evacuate Around Fukushima – Radioactivity Levels Of Up To Several Million Bequerels Per Square Metre

  1. Thank you for explaining sieverts/ millisieverts for those of us without a scientific background. This is serious, life changing news for the entire world, and your site is one of two I have been able to find providing good, credible and much needed information. The other site is fairewinds.org, but they provide reports once or twice a week only. Other sites I have visited are not as well-researched or credible as yours.
    Since MSM has done a total blackout on this story, your site provides essential information for those of us who want the truth. Huffington Post was actually doing a report on this story yesterday, so I posted your address several times to people frustrated at the lack of information available. I have found a great number of people who want to know more than they can readily find through regular news sources.
    Thank you for your invaluable service.
    Sincerely,
    Marilyn Gjerdrum

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