Skip to main content

Fukushima Parks: One-hour Time Limit for Playing

These photos were taken by Akemi, a single mother who had voluntarily evacuated from Fukushima City to Kyoto, over 500 km away, when she visited her parents' home in Fukushima City in March 2013.


What the sign says:

For those using the park:
Due to the effect of environmental radioactivity, please be careful of the following points in using the park.

  • Please limit the use of the park to 1 hour per day.
  • Please wash your hands and face and gargle after using the park.
  • Please be careful not to put soil and sand in your mouth.
For inquiry, contact Fukushima City Parks and Greenery Division Phone 525-3765


This is the park where the sign is posted. Akemi says identical signs were posted at three parks near her parents’ house. The sand pit is covered with blue tarp and weighted down. Akemi says this park used to be a green park. Akemi had sent her son to Kyoto by himself first, but while she was visiting him in Kyoto for a week in August 2012, the green park was turned into a regular playground. Was it part of the decontamination effort? Akemi says there is a child who walks through this park every day on the way to school.


This photo, taken from a slightly different angle, reveals a part of the body of a green and white heavy-duty excavating equipment visible in the upper left.


From yet another angle, the photo reveals what appears to be a construction site above the park. In fact, there is a house being built there.


Akemi got closer to the construction site to shoot this photo. The Radex radiation detector shows, "0.52 μSv/h."


Any park will have official air dose rates displayed after decontamination. The sign at this park states the measurement was taken on March 11, 2013, and the air dose rate is 0.186 μSv/h. However, Akemi's Radex registers 0.49 μSv/h, nearly 2.5 times as high as the official air dose rate.


Incidentally, Fukushima television stations show "Fukushima environmental radiation levels" as in this photo, accompanied by light and easy music, as if it were weather forecast.



*****

By the way, these signs have been posted at various locations in Fukushima City since April 25, 2011.

This is a translation of a Kyodo article dated April 25, 2011.

Signs posted at Fukushima City parks caution radiation levels exceeding the regulatory limit

Fukushima City installed sign posts at two of its parks on April 25th, where the atmospheric radiation level exceeding the national regulatory limits (3.8 μSv/hr) was detected, warning park visitors, "Please limit the use to about one hour daily," and the sandpit was covered with blue tarps.

Despite the distance of over 60 km from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, "Shinobuyama Children's Forest Park" had an atmospheric radiation level detected at the same level as the national regulatory limit. Usually there are many children's voices echoing at the park where many visitors flock to admire cherry blossoms, but there was hardly anybody there.

A worker at the Fukushima City Parks and Greenery Division said, "We have been trying to make it a good park." And a neighbor woman (age 78) said with tears in her eyes, "It is lonesome not to be able to hear children's voices. We never had such a quiet spring. This nuclear accident is just so disappointing."

A similar sign post was installed at the Shinhama Park in the central part of the city where the radiation level was 0.1 above the regulatory limit (of 3.8 μSv/hr).


*****
Rules imposed for the neighborhood park limits children’s playtime to one hour.

The radioactive fallout due to the accident is called "environmental radiation" as if it were part of nature.

Discrepancies exist between the official air dose rate after decontamination and the level detected by a personal radiation detector.

A house is being newly built right near a park with a daily one-hour time limit. (Incidentally, the real estate market is apparently "hot" in Fukushima City, as those who evacuated from Hama Dori, or eastern part of Fukushima Prefecture, look to settle there).


Certainly, there are individual stories and circumstances about their reasons to remain where children can barely be outside. However, seeing these photos makes you wonder about the consequences.

*****
Note: A photo of a sign from Sakabuta Park in Koriyama City, Fukushima, mentioned to be from April 2013, was deleted as of November 16, 2013 due to the following reasons.

  • Current air dose levels are not consistent with what is on the sign.
  • The photo was obtained from a tweet, and its original source is uncertain.
This oversight is deeply regretted.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fukushima Thyroid Examination Fact Sheet: September 2017 (Long Version)

Fukushima Thyroid Examination Fact Sheet:  September 2017
✴Copying or re-posting part or whole of this post is not permitted. Please link to this post instead.

Corrections on July 24, 2018: 
Paragraph 5 in "4. Geographic distribution" in section "Official stance on radiation effects."
"...a clear regional difference of thyroid cancer occurrence (per million) in the second round results: 49.2, 25.7, 19.6 and 15.5 in the evacuation zone, Hamadori, Nakadori, and Aizu, respectively." was corrected (correction shown in red) to "...a clear regional difference of thyroid cancer occurrence (per 100,000) in the second round results: 49.2, 25.7, 19.6 and 15.5 in the evacuation zone, Nakadori, Hamadori, and Aizu, respectively."

Note: Corrections were made in the following paragraphs in pink color on October 17, 2017.
Second paragraph in section "Screening protocol"
First paragraph in section "Thyroid cancer cases"
First paragraph in section &qu…

Mako Oshidori in Düsseldorf "The Hidden Truth about Fukushima"

On March 8th, 2014, comedienne/journalist Mako Oshidori gave a lecture, "The Hidden Truth About Fukushima" in Düsseldorf, Germany, organized by a citizen's group, SAYONARA Genpatsu Düsseldorf. Translation of Mako Oshidori's March 6th, 2014 press conference at the German IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) Symposium in Frankfurt can be found here.
The lecture, given in Japanese with German interpretation, was transcribed and translated into English.




Moderator: Good evening everyone. My name is Mariko. Welcome to a lecture by Mako Oshidori. As we all know, the Japanese people experienced the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. A huge earthquake, followed by tsunami and the nuclear accident, has become an unprecedented disaster for the Japanese as well as the rest of the world. Moreover, this accident is not only out of control but continues to be in critical state.
As you may be aware, the issue of anti-nuclear power p…

Radiation Testing of Canned Salmon Caught in the North Pacific Ocean Before and After the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Accident

Below are the results of radiation testing on canned salmon produced by an American seafood company, Vital Choice Wild Seafood and Organics. (Here is the Japanese article).

Note
Becquerel (Bq) is a unit of radioactivity: 1 Bq means "one disintegration event per second."
Picocurie (pCi) is a unit of radioactivity: 1 pCi = 0.037 Bq

Highlights
In this citizen-driven project, Pacific salmon cans from a U.S. seafood company, Vital Choice Wild Seafood and Organics, underwent radiation testing by citizen labs in Japan. Salmon cans before and after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident (2009, 2011, 2012, 2014) were analyzed for 4 radionuclides: Cesium-134, Cesium-137, Strontium-90 and Tritium.A very small amount of Cesium-137 was detected in all 4 samples, mostly due to background Cesium-137 ("legacy Cesium-137) from nuclear weapons testing.The 2011 sample canned in August 2011 had a slightly higher level of Cesium-137 than the other 3 samples, and the difference of about 0.02 Bq/kg m…