International nuclear experts believe that the growing discontent of the public on the cleanup efforts at the Fukushima nuclear power plant is rooted from a lack of understanding on what are the decontamination efforts, especially the acceptable radiation levels per year. The U.N. nuclear watchdog urged Japan to better educate the public on the matter, which may even help the government lessen their expenses.
By international standards, a radiation level up to 20 millisieverts a year remains acceptable. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team that came to Japan to check on the progress of the Fukushima cleanup, the International Commission on Radiological Protection and the World Health Organization are among the international bodies that recognize the 20-millisievert limit. Based on the information gathered by the team, which was compiled on Monday, most residents expect a less than 1-millisievert radiation level in a year. However, such unrealistic radiation limit demand is only expected for people in a natural environment, not taking into consideration other radiation sources like X-Rays, and may only be applied on a long-term basis.
Noted on the report of the IAEA team of experts was the recommendation for Japan to provide a realistic picture of decontamination to the public. It also recommended to the government to refrain from taking measures that would cost much in efforts to lower radiation levels. The funds may be used for other more important things, like infrastructure rehabilitation and disaster recovery efforts. The IAEA assured Japan that it will have the support of the international community on the “challenging task” to facilitate the public’s gradual understanding and acceptance of the whole process and eventually, the results of the clean-up efforts.
[via Asahi Shimbun]
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