A new joint survey by the US and Japan shows that evacuations based on distance from the plant is not the best approach. This confirms suspicions that wind carried radioactive particles to the northwest and many areas beyond the current evacuation zone are showing elevated levels, as well as some areas to the southwest that are within the evacuation zone that are still safe. Most concerning are the revelation that the village of Iitate and the town of Namie – both outside of the current evacuation zone – are currently displaying contamination levels above those that would have caused evacuation during the 1986 Chernobyl event. It’s worth noting that these readings were taken with helicopter and plane mounted sensors rather than sensors actually on the ground. Japan Probe, NHK World and Asahi have more on this.
Additionally, a Safecast volunteer translated some of the report maps which can be seen here (pdf).