TOKYO (majirox news) — Radiation is at its highest point in the 20-kilometer Evacuation Zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. It is equivalent to 500 years’ worth of the normal annual limit of artificial radiation absorption, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) said Aug. 19.
Annual radiation absorption in the Koirino district of the Fukushima prefecture town of Okuma was estimated to reach 508.1 millisieverts (mSv) one year after the March 11 meltdowns, the equivalent of more than 500 years of the designated safe absorption level of 20 mSv.
Thirty-five of the 50 points within the Evacuation Zone at which MEXT took radiation readouts also recorded levels that would exceed the 20 mSv level.
Measurements were taken from 50 points located in eight of the nine municipalities that fall within the Evacuation Zone. MEXT calculated radiation levels in the area from March 12 to Aug. 11 and made its estimations of annual exposure based on the assumption people were spending 16 hours a day outdoors.
The Koirino district lies 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) west-southwest of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which continues oozing radiation more than five months after going into meltdown.
The figures MEXT released Friday were the first it has disclosed regarding estimated annual radiation absorption levels since the meltdowns following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that hit the Tohoku Region.