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Radiation Levels in Japan

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9/4/2011 5:01:18 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
1) Those interested in recently (?) measured radiation levels (at different distances from the Fukushima reactors in Japan) should see:  
(dose levels measured 1 meter above the ground)
(dose levels measured 1 centimeter above the ground)

Note that the color code is explained near the lower left corner of each display. Radiation levels are expressed in micro-Sieverts per hour. [The 10 micro-sieverts, for example, is the same as 0.01 mSv, etc. And 10 micro-Sievert/hour is the same as 0.24 mSv/day, or 7.2 mSv/month.]

2) How significant are these levels? The effect of penetrating radiation on a person depends on the dose received. The common unit of dose is Sievert (Sv). Smaller doses are expressed in milliseverts (mSv) or microseveret.

A dose of 10 Sv will most likely results in death, within a day or two.
5 Sv would kill about 50% of exposed people.
2 Sv can also be fatal, especially without prompt treatment.

0.25 Sv = 250 mSv is the limit for emergency workers in life-saving operations.
0.10 Sv = 100 mSv dose is clearly linked to later cancer risks.
0.05 Sv = 50 mSv is the yearly limit for radiation workers.

0.004 Sv= 4 mSv typical yearly dose due to natural radiation (cosmic rays, etc).
0.003 Sv= 3 mSV typical dose from mammogram

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It is a testimony based on a diary kept between 1946 and 2004 (in the USSR, Poland, France and the USA).

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9/5/2011 1:15:32 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
The radiation seems to max out at about 19 microsieverts per hour. A year of that would yield a radiation of 166440 microiserverts, which is the equivelant of 166.440 millisierverts or 0.166440 sierverts.

That means that over the course of about 8 months, there are direct cancer risks, but that would require being near radioactively affected ground very constantly, and that's assuming what appears to be the maximum radiation. Ultimately, the threat isn't as extreme as one might think.