Is the radiation level in Japan higher, equal, or lower than in neighbouring countries to Japan that did not (yet) experience a Nuclear Disaster?
I decided to find out, so I packed a bGeigie in my check-in luggage when leaving on a business trip to Seoul, Korea, and Hong Kong, China. After arriving at Incheon airport in the evening of September 23, I immediately asked my Korean business partner, that picked me up in his car, if it would be all right to mount the bGeigie on the rear window of his car. Surprised, but complying, we soon drove the 1 1/2 hour trip from Incheon to Dongdaemun in the centre of Seoul.
As you can see from the Safecasting Map, leaving Incheon Airport we soon hit a high of 99CPM / 0.283uSv/h, while in the centre of Seoul we saw a more comfortable 40CPM / 0.114uSv/h to 50CPM / 0.253uSv. The Incheon levels are only a bit below the levels we see near the hotspot in Chiba, while the downtown Seoul levels are similar to the levels we measure in central Tokyo. On average the levels in Seoul could even be considered a bit higher than the average levels of Tokyo. But there is no significant difference. So is it safe to visit Seoul considering radiation?
I also took a couple of 1meter air measurements with the Inspector while walking around streets in the centre of Seoul, and found typical readings of 0.14uSv/h – 0.15uSV/h.
Around mid day of September 26 I arrived in sunny Hong Kong. Since no one was scheduled to pick me up, I went to the taxi stand and asked the kind driver if it would be OK to mount my bGeigie on the window of the taxi on my ride to Central, Hong Kong? Interestingly, despite of the past Great Britain Connection, many taxi drivers in Hong Kong only speaks basic, rudimentary English, but a big smile goes a long way 🙂 I have included a couple of photos to illustrate how the bGeigie was comfortable riding on the outside of the taxi window. Yes, the bGeigie just works! No problems locking on to GPS satellites.
After leaving Hong Kong International Airport we soon picked up 93CPM / 0.266uSv/h, but had ups and downs on the way in towards Central. The surprising thing was that the peak value I saw of 104CPM / 0.297uSv/h happened as we drove through Central. Later I experienced that the Inspector ticket away at a highish 100CPM while on the night stand in my hotel room! So naturally I took it out for a walk in the Harbour area where I would get readings of up to 124CPM near the soil (5cm), and 0.32uSv/h at one meter.
So this confirmed what I already had heard about Hong Kong: that the general radiation level here is highish, and actually beyond the Tokyo average even after Fukushima!
So, now it is time to ask which is safer of Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo based on the data available? Safecast stands for MEASURING RADIATION & OPEN SOURCE SHARING of those measurements on an “as is” basis.
How safe you are, and how safe you want to be, is up to yourself to decide based on the raw data available.