Unnecessary Radiation Exposure Imposed Due to Japanese Government’s Lack of Evacuation Plan and “Declaration of Safety”


Urgent Statement Concerning Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident

High Levels of Radiation Detected in Vegetables, Unprocessed Milk, Water, and Soil
Unnecessary Radiation Exposure Imposed Due to Japanese Government’s Lack of Evacuation Plan and “Declaration of Safety”

  • Immediately evacuate infants and pre-school age children and pregnant women who are within the 20-30km radius (“stay indoors” zone) to locations farther from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
  • Extend the evacuation zone radically to avoid further exposure
  • Discontinue the “declaration of safety” that states “there is no immediate harm to human health.”  This message is not properly transmitting the dangers of internal exposure and late-onset radiation damage (cancer, leukemia, etc).

Due to the catastrophic accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, high levels of radioactive contamination have been detected in a variety of vegetables, unprocessed milk, water and soil. The contamination has spread outside of Fukushima to neighboring prefectures and has been detected on several leafy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, komatsuna/Japanese mustard spinach, broccoli, as well as in unprocessed milk.

Radioactive iodine 131 was detected in tap water in Tokyo (approx. 200Bq/l), and the Tokyo government officially announced that people should “refrain from giving tap water to infants under 1 year of age.” Tap water in Iidate village, approx. 40km away from the nuclear plant, measured 965Bq/kg, three times higher than the limit considered safe (300Bq/kg).

In the same Iidate village, the soil has also been contaminated, showing high levels of radioactive cesium 137 (163,000Bq/kg).  The half-life of cesium is approximately 30 years, resulting in contaminated soil for an extended period of time.  A measurement of 1,170,000Bq/kg of radioactive iodine 131 was also detected. This cesium level is equivalent to levels detected some 10 to 150 km from the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident.

Due to the high levels of radioactive contamination, the government has issued a “shipping restriction” and “consumption restriction.” However, Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano has repeatedly stated that consumption “in the short term will not do any harm to human health.” And that the restriction is “just precautionary.” The government is trying to do one thing: downplay radioactive contamination and its influence on people’s health as much as possible. Those infants and pregnant women told to stay indoors within the 20-30 km area have been left abandoned. Under these conditions, residents are forced to receive unnecessary radiation exposure due to the government’s “declaration of safety” and lack of an evacuation plan.

Newscasters have finally begun asking experts what the phrase “no immediate harm to health” means, but the experts have only replied that “There is no immediate harm. However, people should avoid drinking contaminated water in the long term,” and have failed to explain the effects of late-onset radiation damage, such as cancer and leukemia.

  • We demand the government extend the evacuation area immediately! In particular, evacuate infants and pregnant women within the 20-30 km area to locations farther outside of the zone!
  • The government should retract its statement that “there is no immediate harm to human health,” which does not convey the dangers of internal exposure and the latent effects of radiation exposure (such as cancer and leukemia) and erroneously declares “safety.”

Aileen Mioko Smith,
Executive Director
Green Action
Suite 103, 22-75 Tanaka Sekiden-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8203 Japan
Tel: +81-75-701-7223 Fax: +81-75-702-1952 email: amsmith@gol.com

Hideyuki Koyama,
Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi, and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants (Mihama-no-Kai)
3F., Seiko Building, 4-3-3 Nishi-Temma, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan
Tel: +81-6-6367-6580 Fax: +81-6-6367-6581

23 March 2011 (issued at 21:30 JST).  For more information, visit  www.greenaction-japan.org.