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Asahi Interview: Official radiation measurements are wrong — Contaminated soil removed near monitoring post — Radioactivity now many times lower

Published: March 23rd, 2012 at 3:12 pm ET
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Follow-up to: Author, farmer expose manipulation of radiation data -- "Employees wash monitoring post by high-pressure water and changed the whole soil"

Title: Fukushima farmer says government got it all wrong
Source: AJW by The Asahi Shimbun
Author: SOPHIE KNIGHT
Date: March 24, 2012

Nobuyoshi Ito [...] 68-year-old former systems engineer [...] is now determined to prove that official radiation measurements are not only wrong, but that the government’s decontamination project is futile. [...]

Iitate was particularly unfortunate as wind swept the radioactive plume released from the crippled reactors directly toward the village. As it passed overhead on March 15, it rained, pelting radioactive particles onto fields, forests and valleys, “fixing” them into the ground. [...]

As soon as the snow and frost had melted, he planted sample batches of rice, cabbage, radish, corn and other vegetables in the contaminated fields and contacted several universities to see if they would help him measure levels once the crops were harvested. All refused. [...]

He is also concerned that the local government is trying to play down radiation levels in the village in a bid to encourage people to return. According to his regular measurements, someone working outdoors on a farm for eight hours a day would receive 29 millisieverts a year of radiation, well over the international average of 1 millisievert. Ito says the soil has been removed near the town hall’s monitoring post, used for official figures on radiation levels in the town. Before it was removed, the monitor showed levels that were a third or half of what Ito was measuring. Now they are more than 10 times lower. [...]

Read the in-depth report here

The monitor appears to be able to sense the radioactivity from the ground, which is likely not the case at many of the other official monitoring posts throughout Japan — as they are over 50 feet in the air:

Published: March 23rd, 2012 at 3:12 pm ET
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17 comments to Asahi Interview: Official radiation measurements are wrong — Contaminated soil removed near monitoring post — Radioactivity now many times lower