Green Action Citizens Against Fukushima Aging Nuclear Power Plants (Fukuro-no-Kai)
Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi, and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants (Mihama-no-Kai)
Friends of the Earth Japan
How and by whom was it decided?
Political Decision Urgently needed as No Government Authority Claims as its Own the "20 milliSievert/year (mSv/y) for Children"
- The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) admitted today that
"children should not/ cannot be allowed to play within a
radiation-controlled area (0.6microSv/h or more)". However, the
Ministry did not respond to whether or not playing in an area of
equivalent contamination as a radiation-controlled area should be/ could
be allowed. (Fact: More than 75% of schools in Fukushima Prefecture are
facing contamination equivalent to a radiation-controlled area.)
- The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
(MEXT) stated today that decontamination activities "are not necessary,
though MEXT will not stop local authorities from undertaking them."
- Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC) stated today, "NSC does not endorse
20mSv as a standard. None of the experts have deemed 20mSv/y was safe."
In response to the nuclear accident in Fukushima, MEXT announced on 19 April an interim radiation dose standard of "20mSv/y" in determining use of school buildings and grounds. This "20mSv/y" standard is currently in disarray. The meeting with the government was called for by the citizen organizations Green Action, Citizens Against Fukushima Aging Nuclear Power Plants (Fukuro-no-Kai), Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi, and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants (Mihama-no-Kai), Friends of the Earth Japan.
The meeting began with MHLW, followed by MEXT and NSC. As shown below, not only did the two ministries fail to respond with certainty about their understanding of and decision-making process taken for arriving at the "20mSv/standard, the NSC also stated that it does not endorse"20mSv/y" as a standard. The conundrum over how and by which government authority the standard was determined is deepening.
MHLW has stated that children should not/ cannot be allowed to play within a radiation-controlled area (0.6microSv/h or more), however, the ministry did not respond to whether or not playing in an area of equivalent contamination as a radiation-controlled area should be/ could be allowed.
NSC stated that it does not endorse "20mSv" as a standard. In addition, it confirmed that none of the Nuclear Safety Commissioners or any of the experts that were involved in the decision-making had deemed 20mSv/y was safe.
NSC received a request for counsel at about 2:00pm on 19 April and had responded at 4:00pm that it would endorse "20mSv/y". During this time, although no formal meeting [of the NSC] was held, there was a gathering at which four commissioners attended. Why this was not a formal meeting of the NSC was not answered.
NSC stated that if it is indeed true that Fukushima Prefecture radiation health risk management advisors have been repeatedly saying that "100mSv or below is safe", then the NSC would "investigate and take necessary actions."
MEXT has admitted that the"3.8microSv/h" standard, which allows for outdoor activities, does not take internal exposure into consideration. It said it concluded this because breathing in dust etc. comprised only 2% of total exposure and was therefore only minor exposure. However, it supplied no data to back up its exposure assessment.
For the facts uncovered at this negotiation and the demands of citizens' group based on these findings, please see: http://fukushima.greenaction-japan.org/2011/05/03/facts-and-questions-arising-from-meeting-the-japanese-government-about-the-20msvy-standard-of-radiation-exposure-to-fukushima-children/
The citizens organizations stated, "How and by whom was 20mSv/y standard decided? In the course of discussion with NSC, none of the experts or the commissioners had deemed 20mSv/y was safe. Therefore, the very basis of the consenting decision to arrive at the 20mSv/y standard does not hold any longer. The children of Fukushima Prefecture should not be exposed to the risk of radiation any longer. A political decision is urgently needed." The citizen organizations will continue to seek a complete withdrawal of the 20mSv/y standard.