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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Radiation measuring field trip in Iitate village, Fukushima Prefecture by Janick Magne

From Iitate-mura, Fukushima Prefecture 45km from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, 
Janick Magne reporting:

"Northern part of Iitate-mura, Fukushima Prefecture.
Very high radiation hot spot beside of the road: more than 75 microsieverts/hour !!!
The team is looking now in particular for very radioactive mosses and lichens, , which will later be analyzed  in a Tokyo University laboratory.
Many scientists  are at present participating together benevolently to this collect and analysis project. 

At this Observation Center of the planet Jupiter center that belongs to the University of Tokyo, the association surveys and measures radiation in the Iitate town with the help of its inhabitants (about 100 people out the 6200 original population - not allowed to spend the night in the village, only during the day, given the ambient radioaction) has installed measuring instruments that work day and night for 3 years and which relay informations coming from the radiation monitors placed throughout the territory of Iitate-mura.
If this association of 250 members did not do it themselves, nobody would.

In this photo, the radar picks up waves emanating from Jupiter. 
The Jupiter Observatory is built on top of a high wooded hill in a fairly radioactive environment.
Between 1 and 2 microsieverts / per hour at that location, much higher radiation in the forest and on the road. 

The radiation monitors terminal next to the Jupiter Observatory, installed by the volunteers
in Iitate-mura, 45 km from Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Plant

The relay of the radiation monitors, installed inside one of the Iitate-mura evacuees' home. 
The monitors have been placed throughout Iitate-mura's territory: streets, fields, forest, mountains...
It's DIY but it works .... Coping with the available means and the goodwill of a few people.

Geiger counter installed in the house of our host and controlled by the lab at the University of Tokyo: 0.516 microsieverts / h. 
Before the nuclear accident, natural radioactivity in the region was significantly 
lower than that of Tokyo: 0.02 to 0.04 microsieverts / hr. 

There is 0.5 + microsieverts / h in the house of our host, but nearby the mosses gathered yesterday in the area, were measured over 3 microsieverts. 
The highest measure was found yesterday with dried moss and dust by the roadside: 
77 microsieverts / h. 
After analysis, it is common to find more than 1 million becquerels in these mosses, but the mosses discovered yesterday measured at 77 microsieverts will probably have 100 times more! 

4,4microsieverts / h just before the checkpoint, which is more at the center of the village than the northern part , just before the most radioactive area of ​​Iitate-mura, which is the southern part of the village.
Right side there is a "hot spot", 17 microsieverts at ground level.

Part of Fukushima Prefecture, Iitate-mura is now a ghost town. The town of Iitate has not suffered from the earthquake or from the tsunami of March 11, 2011, but no one lives there.
Beautiful houses and beautiful buildings are lifeless since April 2011 (the evacuation order was given late, when the city was particularly affected by radioactivity, radioactive cesium and iodine).
In some neighborhoods, people are allowed to return only the day but should not spend the night. Only a hundred families (without children) are back from time to time out of the 6200 inhabitants who used to live there before.
In this picture, a beautiful private clinic "abandoned" by the force of circumstances. Nearby, there is a particularly nice nursing home where hundreds of residents did not want to leave despite the 2011 evacuation order.
Today assisted by volunteers, fifty people are taking turns to come to work there. All of those employees live elsewhere and sometimes come from far away to take care of the 3rd and 4th age residents.

It was a model school in Iitate now ghost town. The exteriors are being decontaminated, and we see here that the surface was scraped.
But for who is it decontaminate for? No children will return to live here before a very long time and today's children will be adults, maybe old then ..
One of the volunteers, who is doing an admirable job, told me that he basically thought it was useless to decontaminate and that it would be better to leave things as they are ... But, he added, he would not tell this to the people of Fukushima.

Omnipresent scrapped contaminated soil bags cuttings in Iitate-mura. These are not yet covered with tarpaulins and are to be transported elsewhere. I got confirmation today that these bags are not made ​​to last more than 3 years. They do not bear the ultra-violet rays. It was also confirmed that no plants could germinate in it from lack of oxygen and light. As the bags are sealed.

Fukushima, Iitate. Again, many radioactive debris are here with no one knowing what to do with them They are covered with grey tarps, near which I measured only 0.5 microsieverts / h at first. But suddenly there my Geiger counter went up indicating 11 microsieverts / h and then 33 microsieverts / h briefly, my Geiger counter quite sensitive reacting promptly... 

We did not go into the forbidden zone.  At 4.4 microsieverts / h it is an almost 40 millisieverts per year. (Standard: 1 mSv / year)"

(Our special thanks to Janick Magne, for her outstanding dedication in collecting true facts and data, wishing to inform everyone of the real situation in Fukushima. )

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