Sorry, this entry is only available in 日本語.
SAFECAST is proud to announce that we have been awarded a Good Design Award for 2013, in the “Services and Systems for the Public” category.
SAFECAST was founded shortly after the start of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March, 2011. Independent and volunteer-run, SAFECAST has developed hardware and software systems for rapidly gathering accurate radiation data and making it easily accessible to the public via the internet and an iOS app. To date SAFECAST has collected and mapped more than 13 million data points, covering Fukushima and the rest of Japan as well as many locations overseas.
To celebrate our Good Design award, on Saturday Oct. 19, 2013, SAFECAST will hold a daylong bGeigie Nano building workshop on the 10th floor of Loftwork in Shibuya, and a thank you party immediately following. Please join us! It’s your chance to build an award-winning radiation detector with assistance from the designers, and learn how to contribute radiation data you’ve collected to our public database.
Date: Saturday Oct. 19, 2013
10:00 Doors open
10:30 Workshop starts
17:00 Workshop closes
Fees: Workshop: 45,000 yen (to cover the cost of a bGeigie Nano kit);
Party: 1,000 yen
Contact SAFECAST :
Written by: Norio Watanabe
Safecast Volunteer from Koriyama
On a cloudy day in early summer, Safecast members and volunteers gathered in Aizu-Wakamatsu to hold a bGeigie Nano-assembling workshop. The workshop took place at the IT company Eyes, JAPAN Co., Ltd. courtesy of the company president Mr. Yamadera.
Through the first round of measurements by car, Safecast mostly completed the radiation map of Fukushima Prefecture in 2011. The map is available on the Safecast.org website. Data has been collected at 10 million points so far and is being updated every day. The radiation map is becoming more detailed as volunteers take measurements while either cycling or walking in order to measure radiation in places that cannot be accessed by car.
The bGeigie Nano is small, light and much easier to use than the original b-Geigie. It has a measuring mode and a recording mode. In measuring mode, you can take the bGeigie Nano out of the case and measure surface contamination. The measurements can be converted from CPM to Bq/m2. In recording mode, CPM measurements are recorded on the microSD card along with the GPS coordinates, the time and the name of the person taking the measurements (the owner’s name is registered in each bGeigie Nano). The data can be shared and shown on the map by uploading it onto the Safecast website.
If you have soldering experience, assembling the bGeigie Nano should be relatively easy (although, with my old eyes, some parts are difficult without a magnifier). It does not require detailed soldering of ICs for example because most of the circuit parts are provided in the form of commercially available add-on boards, called “breakouts.” All you need to do is solder resistors, capacitors, transistors, switches, connectors, and some wires. (If your kit contains any incorrect parts, I recommend that you use the opportunity to visit nearby parts shops or to communicate with a Safecast member or volunteer who has experience in making the bGeigie Nano. Both are fun experiences.)
Assembling the bGeigie Nano takes about an hour if you’re experienced. It may take half a day if you are a beginner and need guidance. The bGeigie Nano is not yet sold as a finished product, and it gives you the opportunity to enjoy learning how it works while assembling it. You will also appreciate that despite its high performance, the price of the kit is low.
We got quite some inquiries as to what is the right time to donate to Safecast to have Global Giving match your donation 200% on March 11th, expecially in which time zone.
Well, the 200% matching is as as well as per Japan Standatrd Time (JST) and Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). So:
The 200% Match Day will run on March 10th, 2013 from 11:00:00 AM EDT (March 11th, 00:00:00 AM JST) to March 11th, 2013 23:59:59 PM EDT (March 12th, 12:59:59 PM JST)
So, your (tax deductable) donation is tripled on March 11th and a great opportunity to support Safecast in measuring the planet for radiation and – coming soon – air polution!
Saw this after March 11th? The campaign runs till March 15th, 2013 where Global Giving is matching your donation 100% and we’re really happy to receive any donation after the 15th as well!
In case you had not heard about this campaign to support Safecast – here are the details:
Our friends at Global Giving did this last year and it was incredibly helpful for us, so they’ve decided to do it again. From March 1st to March 15th they will be matching donations 100%, and on March 11th they will match 200%! The trick is there is a limited amount of matching funds available so if they are used up before the end of this campaign then matching stops. What this means is if you’ve been considering making a (tax-deductible) donation to Safecast, doing it now multiplies your impact greatly. Here’s the link to donate. You can also follow along and see how the matching program is going using this leaderboard . Thank you so much for helping us continue this work!
We are happy to announce that local citizens from Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture have joined the Safecast volunteer network. (Mr. Tateno, Mr. Sekine and Mr. Noguchi from the left)
Chichibu has beautiful countryside and is surrounded by mountain ranges. In winter the mountains are covered by snow. I found the scenery very attractive, and somewhat similar to Nagano.
It is believed that a substantial dose of cesium fallout affected this region after the Fukushima NPP accident on 3.11 in 2011. In order to understand the current situation, a local citizens’ group contacted Safecast. Chichibu is an area in which Safecast had not yet measured radiation levels.
The three people in the above photo are the founders of a local food radiation monitoring station called “The association to protect everyone’s health and life from radiation in Chichibu” (“Houshano kara minnano kenko to inochi wo mamoru chichibu no kai”). They are retired school teachers who run the monitoring station and provide services to check radiation contamination levels from food samples brought by local people. They use an Atomtex 1320A, a radiation detector made in Belarus which is designed for food, distributed in Japan by Advanced Fusion Technology, Co., Ltd.. At ¥1,600,000 it is an expensive unit. Local citizens pitched in to purchase the device, and any concerned resident can have food checked with the device by paying just ¥1,000 for a one-item test. A single-item test takes approximately 30 minutes, with adetection limit for cesium of 7 Bq/kg. They purchased the device in July 2012, and since then items they have tested which exceeded the allowable levels (100 Bq/kg) have been publicly reported through their newsletter.
So far, mushrooms, including shiitake, have shown high levels of contamination (the tendency of wild mushrooms to accumulate high levels of cesium became well known after Chernobyl). Here are some examples reported by the group:
|Food type||Region produced||Month tested||[Cs 134/137
|Fresh mushroom||Chichibu City||Dec. 2012||209.5 Bq/kg|
|Yokoze Town||Oct. 2012||367 Bq/kg|
|Chichibu City||Oct. 2012||223 Bq/kg|
|Ryokami Village||Oct. 2012||219 Bq/kg|
They also check the contamination level of soil collected from gardens and the points where water from gutters reaches the ground. The contamination levels of the latter are particularly high. For example, one of the tests found 119,700 Bq/kg at the highest. In the Chichibu area, people traditionally eat wild game, including wild deer and wild boar. Their tests have identified that wild animals have been contaminated, but although the samples they have tested have not been as high as those found in shiitake and other wild mushrooms, wild deer from the area with over 800 Bq/kg was recently reported in the press:
The core members of the group have been providing seminars, talks and workshops to share the information thy have collected. They are collaborating with neighboring regions to inform the public about radioactive substances. The group has been run mainly by retired school teachers, including a high school science teacher who retired once but has returned to teaching part-time. His knowledge about radiation has increased the credibility of the group in the eyes of locals. We look forward to including newly collected data from the Chichibu region to the main Safecast map soon.
Safecast volunteer Kiki
(Translated by Akiko)
Dirk Rösler, one of the ‘early’ Safecasters, found he was living in what is now known as the “Kashiwa Hotspot” in Chiba Prefecture, when Safecast provided him with a geiger counter in May 2011. Here is his report with his personal observations on what happened since.
As an update to from last year, I would like to provide a brief report on the situation in Abiko City. Even though the area is mostly referred to the Kashiwa hotspot, my impression from measurements has been that the consistently highest levels of radiation are found in Abiko City, not Kashiwa City. Personal and professional circumstances allowed me to move out of the area in October 2011. Now, one year later we are visiting our former home and meeting old friends and neighbours. Very sadly I have to say that the things I had predicted have become reality. The positive aspect is that radiation levels seem to have somewhat dropped. My average reading in 2011 was 0.6µSv/h (1.0 µSv max.), now 0.3-0.4µSv/h (0.7µSv/h max.), although this might be impacted by switching from Medcom Inspector to CRM 100 device, which traditionally gives me lower readings. The negative aspect is that, for me, these readings are still rather high considering permanent residence in the area. Whether this will result in any physical health impact is debatable and remains to be seen long term. Admittedly, the likelihood must be very low.
Radiex 2012 was a major trade show for products and services related to radiation monitoring, decontamination, and remediation, and was held at the Science Museum in Kitanomaru Koen in Tokyo from Sept 24-26 this year. When Dan Sythe, CEO of International Medcom, told us that he planned to attend and invited us to share his booth, we jumped at the chance. Medcom, which makes the Radalert and Inspector series of detectors, has been a staunch Safecast supporter from the very beginning, and provided us with much needed radiation detectors as well as extremely helpful advice. Medcom, as those who have been following along already know, will be the first manufacturer of our original open-source geiger counter, designed by Andrew “bunnie” Huang, and also does quite a bit of business in Japan, where its devices enjoy a very high reputation for reliability and cost-performance. We had quite a few reasons to want to participate, such as to make new contacts, talk about our work, and show off our devices. But we also looked forward to spending a few days hanging out with Dan.
Our preparations were a bit more involved than most of our presentations usually are, since we needed to design and print banners for the booth and several different flyers in both Japanese and English, organize display cases and lighting, and prepare new talks. Lots of volunteers pitched in, and amazingly we were ready on time for the Monday morning opening. About six of us manned the booth at one point or another, and Dan, Pieter, Kalin, and Joe gave talks, while Pieter and Dan participated in a panel discussion on the final day of the event.
This summer I returned back to Holland for a summer break. As I had not had a chance to Safecast Holland yet (all bGeigies where in heavy rotation here in Japan!), I decided to make a special version of the bGeigie, so I could easily carry it on board of an airplane, and measure radiation on the way to Holland. Also a small form factor would allow for easy mounting on a bicycle (I don’t own a car) and use it while walking. Lionel Bergeret adopted the bGeigie software to run flawlessly on the Nano. Ergo, the bGeigie Nano was born. The initial prototype was based on a black Pelican 1010 case, and for the trip it was rebuild it into a transparent, yellow case with better mounting of the LND 7313 pancake tube. Over the past three months, the bGeigie Nano has matured quite a bit from this initial prototype, but more about that “any time soon”!