JAPAN | Radiation concern prompts review of school routes

Posted on August 23, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | 23 August 2011

Fukushima City says it will ask 80 percent of the city’s elementary and junior high schools to review students’ commuting routes due to higher than benchmark radiation levels.

The city is located about 60 kilometers from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In July, all its 72 elementary and junior high schools measured radiation levels 50 centimeters above the surface of roads used daily by their students.

City authorities say 59 of the schools, or 80 percent, detected one microsievert of radiation per hour or higher. 9 school routes measured 3 microsieverts per hour or more, with the highest reading topping 8 microsieverts.

One microsievert is the benchmark the government uses to determine whether top soil at school playgrounds should be removed with state subsidies.

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