Japanese Government Finds Areas Around Fukushima More Dangerous than Chernobyl Standards (Updated)

Illustration for article titled Japanese Government Finds Areas Around Fukushima More Dangerous than Chernobyl Standards (Updated)

You know what happens when 168 Hiroshima bombs' worth of radioactive crap is released in one spot? It's going to leave a mark. The Japanese gov's released a map that shows 34 locales surrounding Fukushima are worse than Chernobyl's threshold.

The measurements, made available by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, found levels of deadly (and long-lasting) cesium-137 in excess of 1.48 million becquerels per square meter, rendering these places completely uninhabitable. Like the last time we encountered an esoteric unit of measurement, you can ignore it—what matters is that 1.48 was the threshold for Chernobyl. Any higher, and the government said humans couldn't live there. It's higher around Fukushima. Mainichi reports that the study also found six prefectures municipalities (Okuma, Minamisoma, Tomioka, Futaba, Namie, and Iitate) with cesium-137 levels equal to Chernobyl's toxic land.

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Just like Chernobyl, these are places where people have made and live(d) their lives. The government will attempt decontamination work, but the road from uninhabitable to completely safe is a very long one. Let's not forget that Chernobyl is still deserted. [Mainichi via Sean Bonner]

Update: To avoid any confusion: the above study doesn't say the Fukushima disaster is of a greater scale than Chernobyl. Rather, radioactive contamination is worse than that which was sufficient to deem Chernobyl uninhabitable.

Photo: Getty/Athit Perawongmetha

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DISCUSSION

Amazing how the pro-nuke folks are still trying to turn every story about how f-ed up Fukushima is into how Gizmodo is fear-mongering.

I don't see any good news/whoops we were exaggerating the radiation by 10-fold stories coming out of Japan.

There's no denying it's dangerous to some degree; more dangerous than expected; more dangerous still possibly; and more dangerous than you would be willing to expose your family to; and that a nuclear disaster is dangerous. Stop trying to disprove it by picking apart Gizmodo articles. It's not going to to make it any safer for those really affected.