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Japan:Future radiation levels forecast on electronic map

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Laaska News  Sept. 18,2011

A group of Japanese researchers has drawn up an electronic map which shows changing radiation levels at about 2,200 locations in a 5-year period.

The map was made by a research group led by Professor Isao Tanihata at Osaka University’s Research Center for Nuclear Physics.

The group calculated estimated radiation levels at each of about 2,200 points over the next 5 years based on data released by the education and science ministry.

Most of the locations are in Fukushima Prefecture, where a nuclear accident was triggered in March by the massive earthquake and tsunami.

The group took into account the level of radioactive cesium, which drops as time passes.

By using Google Earth services, the group forecast the level at individual sites and point of time with a bar graph. Possible changes in level naturally caused by rain and wind and the decontamination effort are not included.

For example, the map shows that a radiation level of 4.36 microsieverts per hour detected in June in Kawamata Town about 30 kilometers northwest of the troubled plant will fall to 1.75 microsieverts 5 years later.

Professor Tanihata hopes that the map will help state and local authorities to work out a specific plan to decontaminate areas to get people to return to their hometowns.

The map will be made public at the research center’s Website on Monday.

Laaska News.