Thursday, October 20, 2011

7 Microsieverts/Hr Radiation Measured in Matsudo City, Chiba

According to Mainichi Shinbun (linked and translated below), the group of Japanese Communist Party assemblymen in Matsudo City in Chiba Prefecture released the result of their radiation survey of 144 locations in the city, and found 37 locations with over 1 microsievert/hour radiation. The highest was 7 microsieverts/hour. If you stand on the spot 24 hours a day for one year, you would get 61 millisieverts of external radiation.

Matsudo City, located on the western edge of Chiba Prefecture, are one of the cities and towns that have relatively high overall radiation in Kanto. (The map (version 4) is by Professor Yukio Hayakawa of Gunma University. Matsudo City is circled in red.)

The Communist Party assemblymen in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly did the similar survey of Tokyo back in May, which helped force the Tokyo government to start monitoring radiation in more details.

From Mainichi Shinbun (10/20/2011):


The group of Japanese Communist Party assemblymen in Matsudo City in Chiba Prefecture announced on October 20 the result of the air radiation survey of 144 locations in the city. The locations included parks, private residences, and nursery schools. They measured up to 25 points in one location, and the highest radiation was recorded at the side of an agricultural greenhouse, at 7 microsieverts/hour. More than 1 microsievert/hour radiation was measured at 37 locations.


1,830 Matsudo City residents also participated in the survey that was carried out from September 7 to October 17. The radiation was measured at 5 centimeters off the ground at each location. The group says it will not reveal the details of the location that measured 7.0 microsieverts/hour radiation for the fear of "baseless rumors". The highest measurement in parks was recorded at the sand box of Nishinoshita Park, at 3.42 microsieverts/hour. The group notified the city, who decontaminated the sand pit. The radiation was reduced to 0.3 microsievert/hour after decontamination.


The city has already carried out emergency decontamination at 10 locations after confirming the radiation measurements done by the city residents. It will conduct a more detailed survey in parks.


Localized, high radiation contamination has been consistently found in places like sand boxes. The group says, "We are surprised at the very high numbers in locations that have been considered relatively safe. We should make it an urgent task to conduct a more detailed survey."


Anonymous said...

"Baseless rumor" is a terrible translation of 風評. I cringe every time I see it used here. In this case the team collecting the data for the radiation know that the radiation readings are neither a rumor, nor are they without base, and so the translation doesn't make sense. If you retranslated "baseless rumor" back into Japanese, you would get 根拠のない噂 which would be completely inappropriate. Here endeth the lesson.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. There is no definite definition of 風評 in Japanese to begin with. Closest would be 流言, which is 正確な知識や情報を得られず、明確な根拠も無いままに広まる噂のこと。風説、流説ともいう。(Japanese wiki)

Looks like "baseless rumor" to me.

Besides, it is not the group that collected the data who might spread "baseless rumor". It's other people who received the news, and lacking detailed information extrapolate to the wider area. That's exactly the definition of "baseless rumor".

Do come up with your own wonderful translation, instead of throwing words like "terrible" and "inappropriate", and let us judge your appropriateness.

Anonymous said...

I just cringe at seeing the word "風評被害" and am not sure if there is a better translation than "damage from baseless rumors." For some reason, the damage to Japan's reputation due to the nuclear accident can only be attributed to rumors and not the actual fact of horrible mismanagement and little respect towards public health. The official assumption in Japan is that all radiation from the accident is safe, therefore, any damages from radiation can only come from "baseless rumors." It is something cultural that I do not think can or should be avoided during translation.

kintaman said...

Thank you TEPCO, Japanese government and nuclear industry. I have many friends and family in this area. My old girlfriends also live in this area. I suppose I should not look forward to seeing their children and grandchildren in the future. Thanks to you, their lives and the lives of their descendants are finished. How do you sleep at night?

Ise said...

@An 4:29

I think I understand your point. To me the cultural factor here is that it has become a taboo talking about radiation (for censorship reasons and because it is not right to hurt 'oversensitive' people by scaring them with such a reality-don't forget the majority choose the blue pill), therefore whoever does that may be blamed of spreading baseless rumor. The meaning seems to be something near 'exagerated talkings', where 'exagerated' means that people tend to talk too much about it, while they should be quite otherwise the blue pill cannot work properly!

Anonymous said...

Canary backbeat...
11:52 PM

I like the comment about the blue pill... indeed many chose to forget and not to confront the reality that they chose to be part of...

Closing the eyes to what is about to unfold in front of their lives...

Anonymous said...

I guess you can call it "reputation damage from false rumors".

The way it is used by the public is ironic because the rumors became "baseless" when the government redefined permissible radiation level and lied about the extent of contamination (and just about everything else).

In other words, people would have to die from contamination for the rumor to be true. Anything before that is called "baseless".

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