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Concept: Date, Fukushima


In the first paper of this series, we showed that the ratio c of individual dose to ambient dose did not change with time in Date City, Fukushima Prefecture, after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. The purpose of the present paper, the second in a series, is to estimate the lifetime doses of the Date City residents, based on continuous glass badge monitoring data, extrapolated by means of the ambient-dose-rate reduction function obtained from the airborne monitoring data. As a result, we found that the external exposure contribution to the mean additional lifetime dose of residents living in Date City is not expected to exceed 18 mSv. In addition, effects of decontamination on the reduction of individual doses were not evident. This method of combining individual doses and the ambient doses, as developed in this study, has made it possible to predict with reasonable certainty the lifetime doses of residents who continue to live in this radiologically contaminated area.

Concepts: Effect, Effectiveness, Future, Arithmetic mean, Nuclear power, Prefectures of Japan, Fukushima Prefecture, Date, Fukushima


Date (da'te) City in Fukushima Prefecture has conducted a population-wide individual dose monitoring program after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident, which provides a unique and comprehensive data set of the individual doses of citizens. The purpose of this paper, the first in the series, is to establish a method for estimating effective doses based on the available ambient dose rate survey data. We thus examined the relationship between the individual external doses and the corresponding ambient doses assessed from airborne surveys. The results show that the individual doses were about 0.15 times the ambient doses, the coefficient of 0.15 being a factor of 4 smaller than the value employed by the Japanese government, throughout the period of the airborne surveys used. The method obtained in this study could aid in the prediction of individual doses in the early phase of future radiological accidents involving large-scale contamination.

Concepts: Japan, Nuclear power, Prefectures of Japan, Government of Japan, Fukushima Prefecture, Tōhoku region, Honshū, Date, Fukushima


The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident contaminated the soil of densely populated regions in Fukushima prefecture with radioactive caesium, which poses significant risks of internal and external exposure to the residents. Applying the knowledge of post-Chernobyl accident studies, internal exposures in excess of a few mSv per year would be expected to be common in Fukushima. However, extensive whole-body-counter surveys have shown that the internal exposure levels of residents are much lower than estimated; in 2012-2013, the Cs-137 detection percentages (the detection limit being ∼300 Bq body(-1)) were approximately 1% for adults and practically 0% for children. These results are consistent with those of many other measurements/studies conducted to date in Fukushima. As a consequence, risks from external exposure assume greater importance for the majority of residents in Fukushima due to the lower contribution from internal exposure. In both cases, average doses remain low, although some residents are exposed to higher-than-average risks; it is these members of the population who need to be identified and followed-up. Consequently, it is essential to re-establish communication at all levels in society.

Concepts: Population, Population ecology, Chernobyl disaster, Nuclear fission, Population density, Nuclear power, Fukushima Prefecture, Date, Fukushima