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Measurement and comparison of individual external doses of high-school students living in Japan, France, Poland and Belarus—the ‘D-shuttle’ project—

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Journal of Radiological Protection

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      Internal radiocesium contamination of adults and children in Fukushima 7 to 20 months after the Fukushima NPP accident as measured by extensive whole-body-counter surveys

      The Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP accident contaminated the soil of densely-populated regions in Fukushima Prefecture with radioactive cesium, which poses significant risks of internal and external exposure to the residents. If we apply the knowledge of post-Chernobyl accident studies, internal exposures in excess of a few mSv/y would be expected to be frequent in Fukushima. Extensive whole-body-counter surveys (n = 32,811) carried out at the Hirata Central Hospital between October, 2011 and November, 2012, however show that the internal exposure levels of residents are much lower than estimated. In particular, the first sampling-bias-free assessment of the internal exposure of children in the town of Miharu, Fukushima, shows that the 137Cs body burdens of all children (n = 1,383, ages 6–15, covering 95% of children enrolled in town-operated schools) were below the detection limit of 300 Bq/body in the fall of 2012. These results are not conclusive for the prefecture as a whole, but are consistent with results obtained from other municipalities in the prefecture, and with prefectural data.
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        Measurements of individual radiation doses in residents living around the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

        At the outset of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011, the radiation doses experienced by residents were calculated from the readings at monitoring posts, with several assumptions being made from the point of view of protection and safety. However, health effects should also be estimated by obtaining measurements of the individual radiation doses. The individual external radiation doses, determined by a behavior survey in the "evacuation and deliberate evacuation area" in the first 4 months, were <5 mSv in 97.4% of residents (maximum: 15 mSv). Doses in Fukushima Prefecture were <3 mSv in 99.3% of 386,572 residents analyzed. External doses in Fukushima City determined by personal dosimeters were <1 mSv/3 months (September-November, 2011) in 99.7% of residents (maximum: 2.7 mSv). Thyroid radiation doses, determined in March using a NaI (TI) scintillation survey meter in children in the evacuation and deliberate evacuation area, were <10 mSv in 95.7% of children (maximum: 35 mSv). Therefore, all doses were less than the intervention level of 50 mSv proposed by international organizations. Internal radiation doses determined by cesium-134 ((134)C) and cesium-137 ((137)C) whole-body counters (WBCs) were <1 mSv in 99% of the residents, and the maximum thyroid equivalent dose by iodine-131 WBCs was 20 mSv. The exploratory committee of the Fukushima Health Management Survey mentions on its website that radiation from the accident is unlikely to be a cause of adverse health effects in the future. In any event, sincere scientific efforts must continue to obtain individual radiation doses that are as accurate as possible. However, observation of the health effects of the radiation doses described above will require reevaluation of the protocol used for determining adverse health effects. The dose-response relationship is crucial, and the aim of the survey should be to collect sufficient data to confirm the presence or absence of radiation health effects. In particular, the schedule of decontamination needs reconsideration. The decontamination map is determined based on the results of airborne monitoring and the radiation dose calculated from readings taken at the monitoring posts at the initial period of the accident. The decontamination protocol should be reevaluated based on the individual doses of the people who desire to live in those areas.
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          Chapters 3 and 4

           ICRP (2007)
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Journal of Radiological Protection
            J. Radiol. Prot.
            IOP Publishing
            0952-4746
            1361-6498
            March 01 2016
            March 2016
            November 27 2015
            : 36
            : 1
            : 49-66
            10.1088/0952-4746/36/1/49
            © 2015

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