34,000 children living in Fukushima will need dosimeters to measure radiation after abnormally high radiation levels detected

Children living in Fukushima city will need dosimeters to track nuclear radiation after high levels of radiation were detected in the city.

 

While in Canada, the media have all but forgotten Fukushima, the nuclear crisis continues.

In Japan, authorities continue to cover up the extent of the worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl by making misleading announcements.

The Japanese minister Goshi Hosono announced that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the government have successfully completed phase 1 of the plan to bring the Fukushima nuclear crisis under control. 

Yet just yesterday the Guardian reported the Japanese government is banning beef shipments from Fukushima after discovering radioactive caesium in meat that’s already made its way down the food supply.

The London-based Guardian, that has its own correspondents in Japan, also reported that 34,000 children aged between four and 15 living in Fukushima city, 72 kilometers from the damaged nuclear plant, will each be given dosimeters to measure radiation after abnormally high radiation readings were recorded in the area.

Greenpeace has continuously called on Japanese authorities to protect families with children or pregnant women in contaminated areas by moving them to safer places or limit their exposure to radiation.

According to Jan Baranek, radiation monitoring team leader and head of Greenpeace International’s nuclear campaign, TEPCO and the government have failed to meet several of its own objectives. They have rushed to meet formal deadlines to give the impression of normality, instead of accepting that the nuclear crisis will take decades before the reactors are dismantled, the deadly nuclear material inside them removed and properly stored, and the widely-spread radioactive contamination dissipates.

Baranek said ongoing problems with leakage of contaminated water and reactor stability are far from over and current levels of radiation measurement, as well as information transparency, are completely inadequate.

Official measurement data suggest some leakages of contaminated water into both the ocean and ground have not been reported by TEPCO, and thus the problem is larger than previously thought. This underlines a key problem which is that while some isolated data are being published from some radiation monitoring posts, the public does not have a full picture at all about the levels of contamination of land and ocean, the risks and implications, and how people can reduce exposure.

“People need to be given clear information and adequate support to allow them either evacuate or limit their exposure to radiation,” said Baranek. “Widespread, systematic and transparent monitoring of farm produce and seafood must be set in motion to avoid further internal exposure from contaminated food, even in areas that seem far from the Fukushima Daiichi reactors.”

And while the Fukushima nuclear crisis continues, the McGuinty government in Ontario is pushing forward its plan to spend billions of dollars to build two new reactors at the Darlington nuclear plant, 60 kilometers from Toronto.

To learn more about Greenpeace's nuclear campaign, click here.