March 23, 2011

Radiation Reports from Japan

Here's a map showing radiation from the Fukushima reactor on March 20th.
This data comes from a Japanese government website that is reporting the amount of airborne radiation in the areas surrounding the Fukushima reactor. Please take a look at the data and then consider whether the 10 mile evacuation zones the US Government has put in place for our reactors are sufficient to protect our population.


This page shows a map of the area surrounding the Fukushima reactor and overlays the radiation readings that are being measured on the map. The numbers on the map are measured radiation in microSieverts per hour. 

1000 microSieverts = 1 milliSievert (mSv) which is the annual radiation limit set by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission for individual exposure above and beyond background radiation levels. 

50,000 microSieverts = 50 mSv which is the annual radiation limit set by the US NRC for nuclear plant workers. 


Here's a map showing radiation from the Fukushima reactor on March 23rd. 
What it shows is that there is still significant radiation of between 7 and 12 microSieverts / hour reaching the town of Fukushima, which is actually 60 km or 37 miles northwest of the reactor. If you convert the radiation that the people in Fukushima have received over the last two weeks, it is approximately 4 mSv or 4 times the annual limit - and this is only two weeks worth of radiation. 

Even more concerning is that the maps show a hot spot of radiation about 30 km or 18 miles northwest of the plant. At that location, they are reporting between 40 and 105 microSieverts per hour. The people at this location have received approximately 14 and 35 mSv over the last two weeks. That is 14 to 35 times the legal annual limit for an individual and between 35% and 70% the legal annual limit for a US nuclear plant employee in just the last two weeks. 

The government data also shows .5 microSieverts per hour in Miyagi which is over 100 miles south of the reactor.  0.5 microSieverts per hour is about 2.5 times the normal background radiation in Japan and works out to about 4.4 mSv per year. 


Does this data indicate that a 10 mile evacuation will be sufficient to protect our citizens in the event of a nuclear accident in our country? 

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