JAPAN | Locals’ radiation exposure said low

Posted on August 13, 2011

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JAPAN | JAPAN TIMES | 13 August 2011

Tests on Fukushima residents find dosages safely under limit

Tests conducted by Minamisoma on about 900 residents showed low levels of internal radiation exposure and no one required immediate treatment, despite the city’s proximity to the leaking Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, municipal officials said Saturday.

When converted to exposure over the next 50 years, one resident measured just above 1 millisievert of radioactive cesium, while tests on most of the other residents revealed exposure of 0.1 millisievert or less, they said. The maximum radiation exposure limit for a person not involved in nuclear-related work is 1 millisievert per year.

“At this point, internal exposure to radiation from normal daily life is low,” a municipal official said.

The Minamisoma Municipal Government tested 569 people aged between 15 and 91 and 330 elementary and junior high school students. They included people who initially evacuated from the city after the March 11 quake and tsunami, and later returned.

In Chiba Prefecture meanwhile, none of the evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture who have so far been tested for internal exposure to radiation measured more than 1 millisievert, according to data released by the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.

The institute carried out the tests as part of a health survey conducted by the prefecture.

Debris disposal issue

The government must find ways to dispose of debris contaminated with radiation around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant outside Fukushima Prefecture, Goshi Hosono, minister in charge of the nuclear crisis, said Saturday.

“Fukushima Prefecture should not be the final disposal site,” Hosono told reporters while visiting the prefecture, when asked about the removal of massive amounts of rubble in areas near the crippled plant.

Hosono also told a meeting of the prefectural government’s nuclear disaster task force that containing the crisis will not be affected by Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s looming departure, possibly in late August.

“We will not ease up on the work until the day Kan’s administration ends so as not to create a political vacuum,” Hosono said.

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