Title: In Japan, an effort to crowdsource radiation information
Source: Marketplace Morning Report
Author: Jeff Horwich
Date: July 17, 2012
Jeff Horwich: To Japan now, where the radiation from the Fukushima nuclear accident is going nowhere fast. And in many cases, it’s not clear where the radiation’s OK and where it’s not. That’s where a group called SafeCast comes in. They’ve been on the ground since the accident.
Co-founder Sean Bonner is still in Japan and he’s with me now. Hello, Sean.
Bonner: [...] there’s no reliable radiation data available to the public on the kind of granularity level that is actually useful to people.
it can change from street to street. We’ve seen levels change a hundred times just walking across the street and so giving one giant average doesn’t tell you the actual story in any case.
some areas that were outside of any kind of recommended evacuation areas have some very high levels and some people made decisions to leave their homes or businesses, based on that, to move areas with lower readings.
Horwich: This mapping that you and your team of volunteers are doing — why isn’t the Japanese government taking care of that?
Bonner: That is an excellent question, one that I don’t have any kind of an answer for. It’s not data that they don’t know. They’re certainly taking readings but we felt that people needed to have this kind of data so we started publishing it.
Published: July 17th, 2012 at 2:42 pm ET