Volunteer field report: Kiki

RDTN Probe 0010 Japan [Kiki Tanaka reached out to us and offered to help take readings. We set her up with a geiger counter and some instructions and asked that she report back what she found. This is the the first report from her.]

May 8th, 2011
I am Kiki Tanaka. I am not a technical person, so I am still clumsy dealing with geiger counter and this system. Today is the officially first day for me to do this mission. I took Tohoku Shinkansen to come Hanamaki, Iwate. I had two more missions to be here. So I thought I could measure radiation since I go through Fukushima area, then raise my hand to this.

Today, I only went through Fukushima area by Shinkansen, but I could see the measurement changing very clearly. As I was close to Fukushima, the level was getting high. The peak was around Fukushima-shi. After that, the level was decreasing. You can see it here.

RDTN Probe 0010 Japan

And, inside the tunnel, the level is very low. Even if you are in Fukushima and outside the radiation is high. Tomorrow, I will be at the coastal line most of the day. I will measure soil and many others things.

May 9th, 2011
I am at Otsuchi, Iwate. Otsuchi is completely devastated. The whole town is collapsed and gone. But since this area is about 150km north of Daiichi plant, I thought radioactivity in this area would not be so high. But in fact, I saw over 0.2 µSv/hr in many spots. Sometimes the levels were over 0.3. I tried to measure sea water, but was not sure if this device can measure that correctly. Anyway, I tried once with soaked wood board. You can see it here.

RDTN Probe 0010 Japan May 10th, 2011
I was from Tono, Iwate in the morning. It was raining heavily last night, so I measured the soil at the garden. Level was 0.207 µSV/hr. Air was 0.145 µSV/hr, so rain could have contained some radioactivity. The wind was blewing from SW to NE. Later, I moved to Kamaishi from Tono. Kamaishi is south to Otsuchi, so these towns are close geologically from Daiichi Plant.
I measured air few times and level was around 0.200 µSV/hr

About the Author

Sean Bonner


Sean Bonner is a co-founder and Global Director of Safecast. Based in Los Angeles, he's an Associate Researcher at the Center For Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab and a Shuttleworth Fellow.