70 000 must evacuate around Fukushima

2011-05-24 16:54

Paris - Seventy thousand people living beyond the 20km no-go zone around Fukushima should be evacuated because of radioactivity deposited by the crippled nuclear plant, a watchdog said.

Updating its assessment of the March 11 disaster, France's Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) highlighted an area northwest of the plant that lies beyond the 20km zone whose inhabitants have already been evacuated.

Radioactivity levels in this area range from several hundred becquerels per square metre to thousands or even several million bequerels per square metre, the IRSN report, issued late on Monday, said.

Around 70 000 people, including 9 500 children aged up to 14, live in the area, "the most contaminated territory outside the evacuation zone", the agency said.

"These are people who are still to be evacuated, in addition to those who were evacuated during the emergency phase in March," Didier Champion, its environment director, told AFP.

Staying in this area means the inhabitants would be exposed to radiation of more than 10 millisieverts (mSv)in the year following the disaster, according to the IRSN.

Taking precautions

This level is used in French safety guidelines for protecting civilian populations after a nuclear accident. In France, 10 mSv is three times the normal background radiation from natural sources.

"Ten mSV is not a dangerous dose in and of itself, it's more a precautionary dose," said Champion, noting however that this figure that does not include any additional doses from contaminated food or water.

The 10 mSV derives from a calculation of exposure to at least 600 000 becquerels per square metre, emitted by caesium 137 and 134, which are long-lasting radioactive elements.

Of the 70 000 people in the zone identified in the IRSN report, more than 26 000 could be exposed to doses of more than 16mSv in the first year after the disaster.

On May 15, Japan began to evacuate 4 000 residents of the village of Iidate-mura and 1 100 people in the town of Kawamata-cho, 30km from the plant. The two locations had consistently received high amounts of radioactive dust due to wind patterns.

The IRSN report is based on data for radioactivity reported by the Japanese authorities and from US over-flights of the zone.

  • edward morehouse - 2011-05-25 03:02

    Millions will die. Nuclear energy will be the death of this planet if they are not all shut down. If Charles Darwin were here, he would surely witness the survival of the fittest which, it now appears, will not include humans. The obverse being: The death of the stupids. Truly, insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome. Can you say Chernobyl? Of course cockroaches will probably be the start of a new evolution/creation. Japan's Keystone Cops reaction to this cataclysm has has provided the only light moments so far. A tragedy of these proportions begs a selection of Stanley Kubrick's classics from "A Clockwork Orange" for surely TEPCO's and General Electric's spent fuel storage pond design is highly suspicious. EXCUSE ME...YOU PROPOSE TO BUILD MORE THAN ONE NUCLEAR REACTOR WITHIN 100 MILES OF EACH OTHER WITH SPENT FUEL STORAGE TANKS LOCATED ABOVE AND AROUND THE REACTOR IN THE EARTHQUAKE CAPITAL OF PLANET EARTH!!!!????!!!!. "Men behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives." Abba Eban." The great nations have always acted like gangsters, and the small nations like prostitutes. Stanley Kubrick

      wpret - 2011-08-19 14:10

      Nuclear meltdown is to be expected if you have third generations since ape days splitting atoms!

  • taoszenshaman - 2011-05-25 03:32

    Ten mSV is not a dangerous dose in and of itself, it's more a precautionary dose." will someone please pass the vice grips, i need to pinch myself. oh lord the more these people go to school the dumber they get.

      Mark Bechthold - 2011-05-25 05:49

      It's not the dose you get on the out side of you that counts. If you are getting lots of bequerels per square meter, that means there a lots of radio active particles in the environment. If you ingest one you've had it. Radio active energy increases/decreases by the inverse of the distance squared. When ingested into the lung, for instance, the distance to the surrounding cells is one millionth of a meter. What does this mean? The energy at that distance is one trillion times more intense than a particle that is one meter away from you. Do you see the danger now? or did you go to public school?

  • McKiGravKuciPaulNade - 2011-05-25 04:18

    The Multinational Corporations little people are very expendable

  • RepublicConstitution - 2011-05-25 04:26

    Millions will die from this and the media and governments will cover it up. The UN and IAEA will have whitewash studies that will claim only 9 people died like they did with Chernobyl claiming only 30 or so died. Lies are the bread and butter of our age.

  • Anon - 2011-05-25 14:15

    People of Japan,this what I would do if I were in your shoes and could not leave. First, get a water filter system using distillation or reverse osmosis(ro) or if this is not possible use imported bottled water and or imported canned or imported bottled juices if you cannnot get such a filter. Second,use imported canned food as much as possible. Third load up on certain nutrients antioxidants and minerals. These include but limited to NAC(N Acetyl Cystine) CoQ10, vitamin C, and Alpha Liopic Acid, as well if you live close to the accident appropriate Potassium Iodate, Potassium Iodide capsules and tablets or Lugol's solution this to protect the thyroid from radioactive iodine. Appropriate dosages can be found on the internet. Do not exceed. Note some people can be sensitive or allergic to iodine so use with caution, start with a tiny amount and work up if you are unsure. There are deaths associated with iodine allergy but this is extremely rare. If you eat seafood (clams, oysters etc. or seaweed you taking in iodine in small amounts.) Secondly as far as the radiation dosage figures quoted they are extremely missleading. Ten millisieverts of elements emitting alpha particles taken in via respired (breathed), oral food or drink or absorbed througth skin is extremely dangerous (high risk of deveoping cancer or other serios illnes) this vs 10 millisievert in the form of gamma rays or xrays are statitially not risky. The reason is the energy of the alpha particle when taken internally is 100% absorbed internally in the tissue where it concentrates by emitters which do not stop emitting. This is not the same as the gamma or exray which larghly pass right through the body without hitting anything. Such a dose is less than a Cat scan exam. Such a dose is many orders of magnitude less dangerous than equivalent alpha particle dose. This is because the gamma dose is whole body, whereas the alpha is contentrated on a smaller amount of a specific target tissue in the body. It is as if you were in a boxing ring where one fighter keeps getting hit with the same blows in one particular spot, whereas the other gets the same energy averaged over the whole body. The one repeatedly hit in the exact same spot will go down first. So these radiation figures are misleading the public. Be as careful as you can to avoid ingesting of inhaling these Alpha emitters if you live in a contaminated area.

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