Greenpeace radiation team pinpoints need to extend Fukushima evacuation zone

Need to protect pregnant women and children

Press release - 27 March, 2011
Fukushima, March 27, 2011: Greenpeace radiation experts have confirmed radiation levels of up to ten micro Sieverts per hour (1) in Iitate village, 40km northwest of the crisis-stricken Fukushima/Daiichi nuclear plant, and 20km (2) beyond the official evacuation zone. These levels are high enough to require evacuation.

“The Japanese authorities are fully aware (3) 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. 

“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.”




For more information about Greenpeace radioactivity monitoring work in Fukushima please contact:

Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline (Amsterdam): +31 (0) 20 7182470

Photography and video from the radiation monitoring are available:

Greenpeace Picture Desk (Amsterdam): +31 624 941 965

Greenpeace International Video Desk (Amsterdam): +31 6 46 16 2015



(1) 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.

(2) The current official evacuation zone is 20km around Fukushima, while between 20km and 30km is an area where people are advised to stay indoors.

(3) 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.

On March 20th, around 10% of the residents of Iitate voluntarily evacuated: 


Scope of the monitoring: 

This preliminary monitoring work sees the Greenpeace team spend several days documenting radioactive contamination and dose rate levels in the areas north-west of the Fukushima evacuation zone (20km radius from nuclear plant) that have been most affected by the radioactive releases. 

The team is lead by Jan van de Putte (Netherlands) an experienced radiation expert who qualified at the Technical University of Delft, and has participated in environmental surveys of radioactive contamination in Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Belgium and France. 

Also in the team is radiation expert Jacob Namminga (Netherlands), who also qualified at the Technical University of Delft, and has taken part in environmental surveys of radioactive contamination in Ukraine, Spain, and France.

As part of the monitoring work, the team will be using a selection of standard radiation monitoring equipment: 

- Gamma spectrometer: GEORADIS Identifier RT-30 (Super Ident)

- Geiger counter: Radex RD 1503

- Contamination monitor: RADOS MicroCont