Fukushima Evacuation Zone Needs to be Extended

High radiation found beyond evacutation zone

Feature story - March 28, 2011
Greenpeace radiation experts have confirmed radiation levels of up to ten micro Sieverts per hour in Iitate village, 40km northwest of the crisis-stricken Fukushima/Daiichi nuclear plant, and 20km beyond the official evacuation zone. These levels are high enough to require evacuation.

A Greenpeace team member holds a Geiger counter displaying radiation levels of 7.66 micro Sievert per hour. Radiation levels found by the Greenpeace monitoring team are far above internationally recommended limits - people living here would receive the yearly maximum dose of radioactivity within a few days, yet have not yet been evacuated. The Greenpeace team is continuing to monitor locations around the Fukushima evacuation area in order to assess the true extent of radiation risks to the local population.

The team measured radiation of between 7 and 10 micro Sievert per hour in the town of Iitate, on Sunday March 27th. The levels detected refer to external radiation, and do not take into account the further risks such of ingestion or inhalation. The annual limit for accumulated dose is 1000 micro Sieverts.


“The Japanese authorities are fully aware that high levels of radiation from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant have spread far beyond the official evacuation zone to places like Iitate, yet are still not taking action to properly protect people or keep them informed them about the risks to their health”, said Greenpeace radiation safety expert Jan van de Putte. 

The Fukushima Prefectural Government has been measuring the radiation levels in the same village and confirming even higher range of radiation level during the past two weeks.  

“It is clearly not safe for people to remain in Iitate, especially children and pregnant women, when it could mean receiving the maximum allowed annual dose of radiation in only a few days. When further contamination from possible ingestion or inhalation of radioactive particles is factored in, the risks are even higher.”

“The authorities must stop choosing politics over science and determine evacuation zones around the Fukushima nuclear plant that reflect the radiation levels being found in the environment. In addition to coming clean on the true dangers of the current nuclear crisis, the smartest move for Japan and governments around the world is heavily invest in energy efficiency, and redouble their efforts to harness safe and secure renewable energy sources.”

Map of Radiation Measurement Locations

View Map of Radiation Measurements by Greenpeace team in a larger map