TEPCO cheating on radiation levels by using “improved” monitoring posts

During a visit to Germany in November 2011, Kenichi Hasegawa, a resident of Iitate, Fukushima prefecture said that in March 2011 the Iitate Mayor had requested him and Professor Imanaka of Kyoto University to keep secret the extremely high radiation levels that they had measured.

When Professor Kaneko of Keio University went to Iitate with a survey meter in February 2012 he realized that the area surrounding the monitoring posts deliberately had been decontaminated to produce readings far below the actual radiation levels for the area.

On March 2012, the journalist Shoji Ozawa reported that surface soil had been replaced and that a thick iron shielding had been placed below a monitoring post in Iitate that measured 1.2uSv. He measured 2.4uSv when he walked 5m away from the post. The Ministry of Education currently publishes less than 1uSv for Iitate. Professor Imanaka of Kyoto Univeristy said that the current monitoring posts are not usable at all. Ozawa’s article in Tokyo Shinbun

On June 12, 2012 Professor Hayakawa of Gunma Univesity went to Iitate and Namie with his survey meter and reported that the monitoring posts only shows 24% to 39% of the actual radiation levels. At one post the dose on the soil surface was lower than that of 1m above ground. He says it means they have laid clean, non contaminated soil surrounding the monitoring post.

On July 17, 2012, the Japanese TV morning news show “Tokudane” reported that 31 out of 38 monitoring posts in 6 cities in Fukushima showed far lower radiation levels than the general actual levels for the areas where the monitoring posts are in. They measured the radiation levels with Professor Kato of Tokyo Metropolitan University. When they use a survey meter and walk a few steps away from the monitoring posts, the radiation levels shoot sharply up. One post measured 0.24uSv while a measurement showed 0.41uSv only one meter away. A monitoring post in South Iitate indicated 4.51uSv, but a survey meter read 9.5uSv. Professor Kato says that such monitoring posts have been set up on decontaminated spots. Citizens have been skeptical of their measurements for a long time.

TEPCO made a document for public release on April 20, 2012 explaining that they have “improved” the area surrounding monitoring posts by cutting trees within 20
to 30m, replacing soil and placing shielding walls, so that readings remain below 10uSv/h. It details the case of 8 monitoring posts, and they cite an example where the radiation dose went down from 83.6uSv to 9.7uSv.

TEPCO says the reason for making such monitoring posts on decontaminated spots is to make it easier to detect a sudden increase in radioactive dispersion.

A blogger said: “What is most protected in Fukushima is neither children nor pregnant woment, but rather the monitoring posts.”

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