Thursday, April 4, 2013

#Fukushima Prefecture Installs Fixed Radiation Monitoring Posts, Radiation Levels Drop by Half

Talk about retarded. Fukushima Prefecture replaces portable radiation monitoring posts with fixed ones on April Fool's Day, and one of the local newspaper dutifully reports the results of the new measurement.

Surprise! Radiation levels dropped by half, using the fixed monitoring posts! The radiation level in Koriyama City went from 0.51 microsievert/hour on March 31 to 0.26 on April 1!

Even the Fukushima local residents thought the numbers were suspicious. It turns out that the fixed monitoring posts were installed at locations that had been just "decontaminated", and the measuring unit was changed from sievert to gray.

First, the local newspaper Fukushima Minyu on April 2, 2013, whose article gives an impression that it was because of the "portable" (temporary) nature of the monitoring posts that were giving elevated radiation numbers, with no mention of decontamination or change of measuring unit:


Major "monitoring posts" in 6 regions replaced to fixed type


On April 1, the prefectural government replaced the portable radiation monitoring posts in 6 regions out of 7 regions in the prefecture with the fixed ones.


As the result, the air radiation levels measured in these 6 regions generally dropped lower. In some cities the radiation dropped almost by half; the radiation level in Koriyama City went from 0.51 microsievert/hour on March 31 before the replacement to 0.27 microsievert/hour, and the radiation level in Minamisoma City went from 0.3 microsievert/hour to 0.14 microsievert/hour.


Koriyama City, which saw the radiation level drop significantly, moved the location of the monitoring post by 80 meters [from the original location]. Minamisoma City also moved the location by 45 meters. According to the prefectural government, the new locations were selected so that the power supply for the monitoring posts was secure and that the access to public facilities wouldn't be hindered. The new locations are also close to the roads so that the monitoring posts can be easily seen by residents.

Residents, many of whom have been using their personal survey meters since the accident, are skeptical. FNN Local News reported on April 2, 2013 that radiation levels as measured in Koriyama City got significantly lower in one day. Its reporter spoke with the government official, and found out that, in addition to installing the fixed monitoring posts in locations that just got decontaminated, they also changed the unit of measurement from microsievert/hour to microgray/hour, shaving off 20% in numbers:


Fukushima Prefecture publishes the air radiation levels in 7 locations inside the prefecture on its website. The chart that plots the radiation level in Mid Prefecture District from March 26 shows 0.5 microsievert/hour at 3PM, until April 1, when it dropped by half to 0.27. Many residents are asking the prefectural government about this change.


Fukushima Prefecture measures the radiation level for Mid Prefecture District at Koriyama Common Government Building in Hayama district of Koriyama City.


The air radiation level of Koriyama City as published [by the prefectural government] had been measured by a portable monitoring post [before April 1]. When we checked with our survey meter, the radiation level was over 0.4 microsievert/hour.


Up until March 31 this year, the number at this portable monitoring post was published as the radiation level for Mid Prefecture District.


However, starting April 1, the number at the fixed monitoring post installed at a location 80 meters away from the portable monitoring post has been used.

県中振興局の鈴木 仁副部長は「(低くなっている一番の理由は?)これは、舗装面で風がずいぶん当たって­いた場所だし、せっかくの施設(設備)なので、設置する前に、ここの一角だけは除染し­た」と話した。

(When we asked what contributed most to the lower number,) Hitoshi Suzuki, Deputy General Manager of Mid Prefecture District Development Bureau, said "This location [new location] is on a paved surface exposed to wind. Since we were installing brand-new monitoring post, we decontaminated the corner on which the monitoring post was to be installed."


So, the fixed monitoring post was installed on a spot that had been decontaminated.


Mr. Suzuki also said, "Gray measures physical quantity of radiation, and sievert measures the effect of radiation on human bodies". (We asked, "Is the lower number from measuring in gray?") "Well, that difference is shown this time, [with measuring unit going from] sievert to gray."


So, changing the unit in which the number is published has contributed to the lower number. By changing from "microsievert" to "microgray" starting April 1, the number is estimated to get lower by 20%.


Mr. Suzuki said, "We thought it was the best location in the Government Building compound, as residents can see easily and it is a facility to be used for a long time."


At the Minamisoma Common Government Building, the radiation level has dropped from 0.30 microsievert/hour to 0.14 microsievert/hour.


Fukushima Prefecture says the government will respond to residents' queries properly and sincerely.

Properly and sincerely. Here's very bureaucratic-sounding Mr. Suzuki, in FNN News, explaining how they decontaminated the site before installing the monitoring posts:

The entire FNN news clip:


Anonymous said...

Maybe put some new rad monitoring buoys in the ocean but clean up the ocean before installing and see how that goes.

Anonymous said...

You're fighting the good fight here, Ultraman! Don't give up. This thing in particular - the unconscionable lies, the exposing of citizens to unreasonable risks in the name of civic harmony and other such bullshit - this has GOT to stop. Make noise. Keep making noise.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the video, the old "monitoring post" was kind of precarious. It was just a metal box with a computers inside?

As long as they announce that they are going to change the location of the monitoring post and the units, which they probably did months in advance like anything in Japan, I don't see the polemic. Everyone in Fukushima knows that the radiations levels change a lot within just a few meters, specially the ones that have been measuring around with their own dosimeters.

Anonymous said...

The locals should recontaminate the areas around the new monitors with local soil that hasn't been "cleaned".

Post a Comment