On January 17, 2017, a press conference was held at " The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan" organized by "3 + 1"(SAN TASU ICHI).
The purpose of the press conference on 17th January is to inform you of the severity and actual condition of compensation for evacuees of the Japanese government during the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.
"Minna no Data Site" was present as an observer to explain the current situation of radioactive contamination in eastern Japan.
Presenters are Mr. Ishimaru Hidetake, secretary general of "Minna no Data Site" on the left, Mrs. Noriko Matsumoto on the center, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Incident evacuees, right is a journalist and Chia Yoshida, author of "Rupo Mother and Children Evacuation".
The following is the presentation material used by "Minna no Data Site" on the day.
In addition, the 8th to 10th slides are replaced with those updated after the press conference.
Note: "3 + 1" means that three people who shared the thought that this country would not surprisingly change anything despite East Japan great earthquake disaster of March 11, 2011 It is an action that expressed the thought of a film director.
We are planning screenings and events for each movie against many contradictions such as nuclear power plants, regional disparities, US military bases, poverty and discrimination.
The following is an overview of "Minna no Data Site" distributed on the day.
The summary of East Japan soil measurement project by Minna No Data Site.
Commentator: Hidetake Ishimaru (Director of “Minna no Data Site: Combined database independent Radioactivity Measurement labs”)
＜What is Minna no Data Site?＞
After the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in March 2011, the level of radioactive contamination became severe. Thus many Independent Radioactivity Measurement Labs have started around Japan. “Minna no Data Site” is a combined database of those labs on the internet, which offers everyone an easy access to research on foods contamination level. It started in 2013. We started soil measuring project from 2014.
”Minna no Data Site” is the biggest association of Independent Radioactivity Measurement Labs. 32 labs are the member of the association. All of the labs have passed the measuring machine’s accuracy standard to join the database.
We are a non-profit organization. Our committee is made up of members from the Independent labs.We are independent from any political groups, or social groups.
We have about 14,000 data of foods, and about 2,800 data of soil from different areas.
We include unique data like processed foods that the government do not usually measure. You can research them by name, area, date and produced district.
＜The significance of the soil project＞
However, after the accident in Japan, the government has not done the measurement of soil unlike three of the countries. Ministry of Education has done radioactivity measurement monitoring from airplanes, and each municipality has been measuring the contamination in air (1m above from the land).
The parents are worried about if it is safe to let the children play outside, and if it is, they are wondering where the safe place is. There are people who want to know the current situation about radioactivity, wonders from people that essentially this should have been the government’s duty. After hearing all those opinions, we decided to measure the level of Becquerel in soil around 17 prefectures by ourselves. 4,000 people have offered us to help this project, and they sent us samples of the soil from their living area, and we measure those samples in our labs. In this 2 years and half, we have measured soil from 2,500 different places. It is very rare and valuable data.
It has been 5 years after the accident, and it seems as if nothing happened. While returning policy to the stricken area by the government are proceeding, we are trying to understand the accurate contamination level in soil in the wide area.
＜The Methodology of sampling soil＞
The sample soil are collected in the same way as Legal Regime of Chernobyl problem standard, thus we can compare the contaminated level in Fukushima with Chernobyl. We made clear about 2 points below to understand different tendency in all the areas of East Japan.
First, the depth of gathering the soil have to be the same. This is because cesium has tendency to be higher when it is closer to the surface and the level decrease as it goes deeper in the land.
Second, we do not include area which have become micro hot spot by concentration of cesium.
With all the conditions above, we collect more than 1ℓ of soil each, and record the data into a same format. For citizens without any experience of gathering soil, we created comic version of the manual. Thus those people can easily join our project.
Applicable place for gathering soil: soil which has been without removed of radiation, and dry.
Not applicable place for gathering soil:
1. Sandbox (because the sand is changed constantly)
2. Under the slopes (Ex: slopes at parks. they can be highly contaminated hotspot)
3. Around roots of trees
5. Under gutter or drain
6. Mud on the side of roads
Below is the items to fill in on the format
●date of gathering
●latitude and longitude (only until 3 decimals to avoid specifying individual's house to protect privacy)
●types of land
●types of soil
●optional item: the name of the machine to measure radioactivity in the air
●optional item: radioactivity in the air
＜About situation of contamination in East Japan＞
Contamination in the 5cm soil in many areas are more than the Zone of Intensified Radio-Ecological Control from Legal Regime of the Chernobyl Problem.
Those tendency can be found in the South area in Iwate prefecture, South area in Miyagi prefecture, all areas in Fukushima prefecture, South and East areas in Gunma prefecture, South area in Ibaragi, North West area in Chiba prefecture, East area in Tokyo.
[*1] Results of caesium 137 is being calculated to match the current date (2017/1/17) from the measured date.
[*2] Each data has been converted into Bq/㎡ by the weight and volume of the sample.
[*3] Both soil project and Chernobyl have gathered the sample from depth of 5cm.
[*4] Each area’s results are the results from a particular point, so please think it as reference results.
[*5] We try to avoid hotspot or decontaminated area, however, there might be areas that applies to one of them.
[*6] It is not easy to compare the radioactive contamination between Japan and Chernobyl due to the difference of food culture, difference of the contamination that moved to the crops from the soil, difference of the level of strontium, and so on.
＜Plans for the future＞
Minna no Data Site’s “Measuring Becquerel in Soil in East Japan Project” with fee-free measurement will be finished in March 2017. We will continue to measure with some charges. From April to September we are going to make a map book (atlas version) with description for each 17 prefecture.
Beforehand, we are going to release internet version to make the information available to people earlier, while making those information into the book version. In those times, we are going to issue a press release, so we can continue to be interviewed.
We are going continue to offer data as a guideline for people to think about the society, protect children from radioactive contamination, and reducing being exposed to radiation.