Environmental impacts of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident


Environmental impacts of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

Environmental effect

Air Dose Rate

Radiation Level of


Environmental impact caused by the nuclear power accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station: As of December 28th

Area within 30 km radius Area in Fukushima Pref beyond 30 km Other prefectures in east Japan

Trend : Air dose was decreasing gradually after the accident occurred and have reached a stable state in all places. Pattern: Relatively high level of radiation has been monitored in the area north east of the power

station. NSC evaluates the Environmental Monitoring Results published by MEXT almost every day.(Japanese)→http://www.nsc.go.jp/nsc_mnt/index.htm


MEXT creates various kinds of radiation maps and releases them for the use of understanding complete picture of environmental impact and also lifting residential restriction according to “The Plan for Strengthening

Environmental Monitoring.” MEXT released colored map showing varying levels of cesium in soil, which covers 22 prefectures.(http://radioactivity.mext.go.jp/ja/1910/2011/11/1910_1125_2.pdf)

There are some areas that exceed 20mSv/year, which is reference dose for evacuation, in terms of estimated integrated over 1 year.

Radioactive Cesium has been detected in air samples taken at spots both below 20 km and beyond 20 km from the power plant. The levels of radioactive Cesium are

below concentration limit, which is 20Bq/m3 for Cs-134 and 30Bq/m3 for Cs-137.



Radioactivity in

the Soil



・Evacuation area :Area within 20km radius (R)

・Deliberate Evacuation Area:Area in which more than 20 milleSv/year

of radiation is detected within 30km R beyond 20 km R of the power


・Emergency Evacuation Preparation Areas, which is not Evacuation area

or Deliberate Evacuation Area within a 30-kilometer radius of the plant,

was lifted on Sep 30. Gov’t conducted intensive monitoring before this

lifting restrictiuon.→


・All preschools and schools close in evacuation area or Deliberate

Evacuation Area.

・Schools in Emergency Evacuation Preparation Area reopened on Oct

There are some specific spots estimated to exceed an integral dose of

20mSv over a one year outside 30km R from the power plant.

The central government designated the some hundreds households in

Date City, Minami Soma City and Kawauchi Village as “Specific Spots

Recommended for Evacuation” and call the attention of these residents

and assist and promote their evacuation.

・MEXT will lower the threshold for cumulative external radiation

permitted at schools and kindergartens to a maximum annual exposure

of 1 mSv. (News of August 24)

・Integral dosimeters has been distributed to every school and other

applicable institutions throughout Fukushima Pref.

・The prefectural government has begun thyroid examinations for all around 360,000 youths aged 18 or younger living in Fukushima prefecture.

These children are to be monitored for their lifetime.

Fukushima prefecture has been checking the health of its nearly 2-million residents, focusing on estimates of their external radiation exposure

since the accident. The prefecture released the results for 1,727 people in Towns and Villages, which are 10 to 50 kilometers from the plant.

Fukushima says a survey shows that radiation exposure levels among residents near the damaged nuclear plant are low, with little health impact

based on the data that 97 percent of the people are thought to have been exposed to less than 5 millisieverts of radiation. (News of Dec 13)

・MOE will monitor the impact of radiation exposure on 25,000 children born to mothers in Fukushima. The checks will continue until the children

reach the age of 13. (News of Dec 21)

MEXT created and released a map showing how land is contaminated with radioactive substance such as Cs, I, Pu, Sr, Gu and Te. It is for the use of considering lifting restricted zones.


It is reported that Cesium, Strontium and slight amount of Peritoneum has been found in soil sample taken from some towns in Fukushima pref.

Rice planting has been restricted within the evacuation area, the deliberate evacuation area and the emergency evacuation preparation areas.

The decontamination model project in 12 municipalities coordinated by JAEA started on Nov 18. A full-scale decontamination operation

will be conducted next year base on the experience of these 12 model projects.

The Forest Agency released the result of survey on radioactive contaminant distribution and provides guidance decontamination of


・Decontamination work to clean up all 110 thousands house inthe prefecture started on Oct 18. The Self Defense Force’s 900 troops finished

decontamination work for 4 municipality government buildings located within evacuation area on Dec 16. MOE appointed 36 persons including

TEPCO members as staff to promote decontamination work in Fukushima. (News of Dec 15)

・MOE announced that start of a full-scale decontamination of houses and farm land would be delayed until March 2012 due to the process for

getting permission from residents.

・The government work team made recommendation regarding interim target of decontamination work in evacuation zone. These targets are 10

mSv/year in 2 years, 5m Sv/year in next step and 1mSv/year at the end of the day.

MEXT set up a contact point that citizen is supposed to report given a

situation that locally radioactively high spots were discovered areas

around Tokyo.

・The prefecture has compiled a policy paper on how to clean radioactive materials farmland and forests, which occupy about 80 percent of the prefecture.

・Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment specifying rules for decontamination was announced officially. The government is to incur financial burden for decontamination of area whose radiation is over 0.23 μSv/hr and

to accept responsibility for disposing of rubble and sludge whose radioactivity is over 8000 Bq/kg. (Dec 14)

・MOE designated 11 municipalities in Fukushima as special decontamination zone and 102 municipalities in 8 prefectures as the prioritized zone for investigating contamination aspect. (Dec 20)

Agricultural and



・Radioactive substance in excess of provisional standard was found in some products from some areas. Instruction of shipment/intake restraint

has been imposed on designated products.


・Inspection of home grown food was started in some cities. Radiation measuring equipments has been set up at 14 locations. (News of Nov 24)

Radioactive substance in excess of provisional standard was detected in rice sample taken from 5 districts in Fukushima. Instruction of

shipment/intake restraint has been imposed on rice from these districts. The prefecture has beefed up inspection regime.

・Some products grown in some area out of Fukushima such as tea

leaves and mushroom are subject to request of shipment/intake

restrain. (Dec 9)

Municipality set up safety control system including inspection for beef cattle given the fact that contaminated beef was found in market.

Rice planting has not been allowed in the no-entry zone and evacuation zone around the facility and where more than 5,000 becquerels of cesium was detected in soil.

Japanese dairy companies are tightening tests on their products, after radioactive cesium was detected in powdered milk made in the last March by the major Japanese food company. Level of

radioactive cesium detected is below government provisional standard.

・Radioactive substance in excess of provisional standard was found in pasture grass growing in some area. Shipment of milk cow and beef cattle has been voluntarily restrained in some area of Fukushima and Iwate

prefecture and it is based on radiation survey of pursuer glass conducted in Tohoku and Kanto region.→http://www.maff.go.jp/j/kanbo/joho/saigai/syouhi/bokusou_kensa.html

・Governor of Miyagi urged national government to show a guideline of disposing contaminated rice straw. (News of Dec 12)


(Drinking water)


ruble , Sludge,

Cedar pollen




Monitoring plan and


The health ministry panel studying radiation levels in tap water concluded that it contains no safety risks for the time being. (As of Sep 1)

Some actions to prevent a product from being leaked to market such as government’s order or request will be taken in a case that radioactive substance in excess of legal limit is detected in a product.


Each municipality conducts monitoring of tap water everyday. MEXT has been releasing these data to public.→http://radioactivity.mext.go.jp/ja/monitoring_by_prefecture_drinking_water/index.html

The ministry of environment has been monitoring radiation levels in rivers near the power plant through taking sand sample from rivers. Some

experts say radioactive substances in riverbed sands are probably moving downstream based on the data that shows downstream radiation levels

have risen. (News of Nov 16)

Radioactive contamination was widely found in sludge from sewerage processing plant, debris created after Tsunami hit and ashes generated at waste disposal facilities. The Gov't set standard in terms of radiation level

for disposing radioactively contaminated waste such as ashes from incineration plant by landfill. However, there are some cases that these sludge or ash can not be disposed of, because of opposition of local residents

no matter how much these objects are radioactively contaminated.

High radiation levels of more than 250,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium have been detected in male flowers of

cedar trees in the no-entry zone near the power plant. The forestry agency says if people breathe this concentration for 4 months they would be

exposed to 0.553 microsieverts, which is not a great health hazard.

Tokyo decided to accept rubble from Tohoku region. Incineration

treatment for this rubble started on trial basis in Otaku, Tokyo. (Dec 13)

・Small amount of radioactive substance was detected in the samples taken from the sea off the coast → http://radioactivity.mext.go.jp/ja/monitoring_around_FukushimaNPP_sea/


・Radioactive substance such as Cs, Te, Ag and Nb was detected in the soil samples taken from the seabed beyond 30km off the coast of Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaragi prefectures.

・Radioactive Strontium up to 44 detected for on the seabed near the power plant.

・Radioactive Strontium was not found on a sea bed beyond 30km off the coast according to the monitoring conducted by MEXT.

699 Becquerel/kg of radioactive Cesium was found in animal plankton collected in an area 3 kilometers off Iwaki City on July. . (News of Oct 15)

All fishermen’s associations in Fukushima decided not to start fishing activities again in this year having the regard to the fact that radioactive substance in excess of provisional standard has been continuously

found in fishes caught at the coast.(News of Nov 28)

・Some actions to prevent a product from being leaked to market such as government’s order or request will be taken in a case that radioactive substance in excess of legal limit is detected in a product.


・Products subject to request of shipment/intake restrainand voluntary restraint of shipment→http://www.maff.go.jp/e/quake/press_110312-1.html

・The health ministry's panel came up with proposal of sets of standard for foods item containing radioactive cesium based on allowable exposure limit that should be 1 mSv/year. This new set of standard will be imposed

in April, 2012. (News of Dec 21)

Various kinds of radiation monitoring and survey have been conducted on a regional scale under the cooperation of national government, local government and civil agency in line with plan made by national

government. Result of these monitoring are shown at the MEXT’s HP. →http://www.mext.go.jp/english/incident/1303962.htm

Monitoring Plan, Environmental radioactivity level, Drinking water, Fallout, Monitoring Post, Dust sampling, Dose rate measurement at schools, Airborne Monitoring, Sea Area Monitoring, Simulation of Radioactivity

Concentrations in the Sea Area, Pu&U at Monitoring, Strontium in land soil, Distribution map, Outdoor Swimming Pools at Schools, Forest Resources Utilization Facilities, Bathing Resort, Cultural Facilities etc

Standard and


・Establishment of provisional standard for radioactive substance contained foods based on food sanitation act.(Japanese)→http://www.nsc.go.jp/info/20100823.pdf

・Roadmap for Immediate Actions for the Assistance of Nuclear Sufferers (5/17:Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters)→http://www.meti.go.jp/english/earthquake/nuclear/roadmap/

・Guideline for food inspection and specifying products and area of production for shipment/intake and its cancellation(Japanese)→http://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/houdou/2r9852000001h0ni-att/2r9852000001h0tr.pdf

・Provisional allowable limit for Manure, humus and feeding stuff contaminated with radioactive Cesium (Japanese)→http://www.maff.go.jp/j/syouan/soumu/saigai/shizai.html

・Guidelines concerning lifting orders for taking emergent protection measure by Nuclear Safety Commission(Japanese)→http://www.nsc.go.jp/anzen/shidai/genan2011/genan059/siryo3-2.pdf

・Guidelines concerning radioactivity check for rice→ http://www.maff.go.jp/j/soushoku/kaigi_siryo/110803.html

・Other important information released by the national government (Beef, Marine products, etc)→http://www.kantei.go.jp/saigai/syokuhin.html

・Guideline on how to deal with radio logically contaminated byproducts created through water treatment process or sewage treatment process in which radioactive substance is detected (Japanese) →http://www.meti.go

・Guidelines for management of Disaster Waste in Fukushim(Japanese)→http://www.env.go.jp/jishin/attach/fukushima_hoshin110623.pdf

・Guideline on how to deal with waste contaminated with radioactive substances from waste processing plants (Japanese) →http://www.env.go.jp/jishin/attach/osenhaiki-shori20110829.pdf

・Guideline for disposing incinerated ash which is contaminated with cesium more than 8000Bq/kg and less than 100,000Bq/kg(Japanese)→http://www.o-sanpai.or.jp/pdf/topics/2011/0831_02.pdf

・The basic policy for the law concerning the special measures on coping with environmental contamination with radioactive substances released at the accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.→http://www.

・Basic concept of interim storage facility that is necessary in dealing with environmental contamination caused by the nuclear accident in Fukushima and so on (Japanese) →http://www.env.go.jp/jishin/rmp/attach/roadm

・Immediate action for nuclear disaster victim (Japanese)→http://www.meti.go.jp/earthquake/nuclear/kinkyu.html

・Evaluation on health effect of radioactive substance in food: Food Safety Commission(Japanese)→http://www.fsc.go.jp/sonota/emerg/radio_hyoka.html

・Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment for Enforcement of the Act on coping with radioactive substance contamination special measures law→http://www.env.go.jp/press/press.php?serial=14583&mode=print

・Interim report on radioactive substances distribution in forest and results of the analysis(Japanese)→http://www.rinya.maff.go.jp/j/press/hozen/110930.html

・Important school-related information(Japanese)→http://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/saigaijohou/syousai/1303574_14098.html

・Survey on levels of radiological cesium in male flowers of cedar trees: Interim report→http://www.rinya.maff.go.jp/j/press/hozen/111227.html

Radioactive substance

to the environment

Total amount I-131and Cs-137 released to the environment through the air during the period from March 11 to April 5 estimated by Japan Atomic Energy Agency : I-131: 1.3E17Bq Cs-137: 1.1E16Bq

(Nuclear Safety Commission 8/24)

Abbreviation JAEA:Japan Atomic Energy Agency NSC: Nuclear Safety Commission MAFF: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries NISA: Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency MEXT: Ministry of

Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology MOE:Ministry of the Environment

Trend of radiation in the environment at various locations

Locations for monitering



Radiation monitored in various locations in Fukushima

Prefecture(2011/3/14 ~12/27) Unit: μSV/h




ー1Fukushima ー2Koriyama ー3Shirakawa

ー4Aizuwakamatsu ー5Minami Aizu

ー6Minamisoma ー7Iwaki ー8Tamura










3/15 April May June July


Aug Oct Nov ~12/27



Radiation monitored in various locations in Eastern Japan

(2011/3/14 ~12/27) Unit: μSV/h




-1Iwate -2Miyagi -3Akita

-4Yamagata -5Ibaragi -6Tochigi

-7Gunma -8Saitama -9Chiba

-10Tokyo -11Kanagawa -12Niigara






Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power







3/15 April May June July


Aug Oct Nov ~12/27





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