Wednesday, June 22, 2011

#Radiation in Japan: Children as Subjects of Radiation Research?

Some anecdotes I picked up from Japanese blogs and tweets about Fukushima Prefecture that seems to agree with what Professor Kunihiko Takeda of Chubu University has been saying all along, that schools are forcing children to be exposed to more radiation. I do not vouch for accuracy.

  • At one school in Aizu City, if parents want their children to have the physical education class indoors, they have to petition the school. The school knows very well that many parents are intimidated to ask for a "special" treatment for their children. The default PE class is outdoors.

  • Some schools and kindergartens are having the parents sign a consent form to let their children play on the schoolyards, and use the consent as some sort of endorsement for "safety" when someone questions the wisdom.

  • Some junior high schools say they will give students who skip the outdoor PE class the lowest grade, even if that significantly lower the grade point average for the seniors trying to get into good high schools.

  • School principals in Fukushima are trying hard to persuade parents not to remove their children from the schools.

And then, there is this news that has been reported widely in Japan as something "good": Cities and towns in Fukushima Prefecture are fitting children - kindergarteners, elementary school children, and junior high school children - with radiation monitoring badges to keep track of the external radiation that they will receive.

I wrote about it on June 10, when Date City in Fukushima Prefecture decided to fit the young children with "dosimeter". I didn't like the news, as I thought they'd better move those children from places where the radiation monitoring was necessary.

Then I found out that these radiation monitoring devises (which was described in the news as "dosimeter") were not the kind that beeps when high radiation is detected. It is just a badge to record the cumulative external radiation that the wearer is exposed to, usually in one month. It doesn't help small children or their parents avoid high-radiation "hot spots". It just records how much radiation that children receive as they continue to live and play in the elevated radiation environment.

Schools doing all they can to keep children coming to schools and playing outdoors, and the prefectural and municipal governments fitting them with radiation monitoring badges to record the cumulative radiation.

Children in Fukushima seem to have been turned into subjects of a radiation research.

For these kids in Kawamata-machi in Fukushima Prefecture, Kinki University in Osaka has donated those badges. The University is noted for its cancer research.


terry4th said...

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Anonymous said...

Please delete my post if this is duplicate - the first one was lost, I believe.

Those badges may be like the one I was issued in college when I was working with radiation. My badge was plastic layers on the outside and something like a layer of photographic film sealed on the inside (some material sensitive to radiation). The problem was, when I was needlessly exposed to some extra radiation by an incompetent safety officer, my badge and his were collected. When I asked later what my dose was - I was told that 'no one knows' and 'we never know with those badges' because they cannot be read without special equipment and training and when I asked to contact the company that did this I was told it was impossible and if there were any problem, the company would have contacted me. Nothing I said got me any closer to knowing what my does was - it was as if I was being rude just for asking. I fear that's what the children are being given. The gov can collect/read/ and destroy the badges and say that the dose read was low. Looking at the picture - it looks like plastic wafers with student ID information bar coded on it - how would a parent 'read ' that? I hope I am not correct but these badges can be used to refute legitimate concerns about radiation when the gov can read them but the citizens cannot.

Anonymous said...

I was shocked when reading yr writing detailing on the defects of the devices distributed to many children, I'm seriously concerned about vulnerable children as a mum of 2, please take care everyone

Anonymous said...

If it was me and my kids I would GTHO of there. With the governments record so far you can bet on more fudge.
The Japanese way is to scrape and bow AFTER THE EVENT (then resign and get another job) You can stick that as far as I am concerned.
People with children, just LEAVE. Your country has lied to you, is lying to you and will continue to lie to you.

Anonymous said...

So how many Japanese have dropped dead from radiation so far? Many people were prognosticating scores by now. I haven't heard of any. More people died over the weekend here in DC from car accidents and gunfire than this entire nuclear meltdown. I'm afraid if the death toll doesn't start ratcheting up, this accident could turn into a boon for the Nuclear Industry as an example of "worst case" scenario. We'll see. Solid Blog.


Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

They are probably either TLD's or Film Badges.


Comparing the two system I'd think Japanese official would prefer TLD's because Film based systems leave a permanent record if stored properly. Thermoluminescent dosimeters or TLD's are a widely used type of reusable non-archiving dosimeter. They also have a ring for extremity dosimetry if exposure is mainly confined to a workers hands. These systems would avoid contamination damage but as Lampri indicated in his article they are useless for on the spot metering or independent monitoring. The local community should invest in a few private counter style dosimeters or enlist the aid of NGO's like Greenpeace so they can keep their own set of exposure records that won't get lost or fudged. Maybe the group that donated the Geiger counters for the private detection net work could scare up some private dosimeters too.

Disadvantages of TLDs

* Only one time reading during heating, cannot be repeated
* Subject to fading (due to temperature or light effects)

Sounds like dream device for a sham safety program.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

@ John

The century is still young and they haven't figured out how to filter water yet. Did the car accidents in DC force mass evacuations of the city? Are the areas around the crash scenes a national sacrifice? I've already made it clear "nobody died at Fukushima" is why water is on the verge of over-flowing. The nuclear industry is going to bend over backwards while they bend the public over forwards to make sure "nobody dies" while anyone is watching. Do you have a list of all the people working there because if you do TEPCO would like to see it. You didn't see that TEPCO "lost" 30 workers? People could be dead and you won't hear about it for months if at all.

What the disaster at Fukushima is showing the nuclear industry is that pretending to clean up the mess they make can be more lucrative than building new reactors. TEPCO shouldn't exist but the JGOV is rewarding them with lavish efforts to extend their too big to fail status. AREVA is going to get paid regardless of the outcome of their remediation efforts. One quarter of the DOE's budget is spent on hiding the mess they made back in the good old days building our dismal nuclear future.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but agree with the poster above who suggests that families should GTHO of there. I don't understand the reasoning behind keeping their children in such a contaminated area. Do they have no other options?

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

@ Anon 9:33

Your comment reminds me of a Sam Kinison comedy bit about Ethiopia. "You live in a…DESERT! Nothing grows here? Dammit, you see this? This is SAND…we have deserts in America, but we DON"T LIVE IN ‘EM!”. His point was there wouldn't be starvation if people would just live where all the food is (unfortunately sometimes that isn't practical).

The blog owner arevamirpal::laprimavera explained in an eariler post there is no compensation for people voluntarily evacuating outside the official exclusion zone. Are you in a position to be able to abandon your home on a moments notice with the money you have on hand? What about your job, is there an open clean zone close enough to keep it? Can you afford housing in a "clean" zone while you still pay on your contaminated house? If you abandon your old mortgage in Japan nobody is going to want to rent or sell to you. The simple fact is many people are trapped by economics. People do all kinds of stuff they know for a fact isn't good for them because they want to be comfortable. Once you become addicted to a lifestyle it can be very traumatic to have to give it up.

I will agree the children should be moved to uncontaminated areas but it isn't likely. The JGOV isn't going to encourage this activity because it would fly in the face of the "everything is fine" message they are desperately trying to deliver to the entire country. I am under the impression the nails that stick up are going to be furiously beaten down by peer pressure.

Anonymous said...

Ah, if only radiation was purple. And if you caught it like a virus. Otherwise, it's all just your imagination.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001- Thank you for your response re: other options and GTHO. I suppose you are right about the economic situation the people there face. I also suppose that many have lost family members and all of their belongings. Perhaps there is some comfort in being around others they know, in a place that is familiar to them. The children are amongst their friends. It is still difficult to accept, though. It seems possible that at some point they will have to leave anyway...
I appreciate your comments.

wealth said...

Who said people aren't dying from the radiation in Japan?

Fill in the dots.......

Anonymous said...

Its just another "solved" problem, but thereality is that this is just a joke. This mesurements conducted by the "strips" is a Ilution and gives a fals picture.
That was ment for stationary ecuipments and people in close to it physicaly. Like a x-ray machine or a CAT scaner. Thats it.
This is just a continuation of deception and lies from the goverment and the TEPCO.
Dont go to school and dont forgett, ther is a wast difference between Internal and/or External radiation, they are not even comperable at all. A isotope with a halflife of say 30 years, will linger for 80 years(I my be wrong, the decayrate is probably mutch longer), simply by the fact that the decay is exponetial, not linear.
And the woursth is that the realy dangerous isotops are not reported, they are faar more dangerous than the cherrypickings we are feed with. If they are nosebleeding and the general health is poor, keep them home, and by the way, they dont miss anything important, their lifes are faar more important than som days on the school.
I would never have lett my children go to the school, never, not under this circumstances where we are cept in the dark about fallout and its implications on our suroundings.

Face it people of Japan, you are on your own now, betrayed by your own goverment.
They are right now comiting chrimes against us all, not only in Japan anymore, but to the people of this world.

Wake up, its becomed a race against time.

Zen Proverb
It takes a wise man to learn from his mistakes, but an even wiser man to learn from others.

Lora Morgan said...

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