hitachi-seaside-parkvia JapanCrush / May 25, 2014 /

Netizens have been alarmed by the news from national broadcaster, NHK, that part of the beautiful Hitachi Seaside Park have been closed off due to a peak in radiation levels.

Ibaraki Prefecture, which is home to the park, neighbours Fukushima Prefecture, and therefore concerns over radiation levels have been ongoing since the 2011 nuclear disaster.

From NHK.com

Seaside Park Partially Closed As Radiation Levels Exceed Standard

A relatively high level of 0.70 μSv/h was measured in three locations in the state-managed Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachi-city Ibaraki prefecture, and to be on the safe side, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has banned entering the vicinity of these three areas.

According to MLIT, when the radiation levels were measured on the 23rd in Hitachi Seaside Park, the hourly radiation levels one metre from the ground exceeded the government standard of 0.23 μSv in three locations such as in the woods and in open fields, reaching levels of up to 0.70 μSv.

To be on the safe side, MLIT has banned entering the vicinity of these three areas, and has put up No-Entry signs and rope around the areas so that visitors do not enter.

In the three years since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster radiation levels of over 2 μSv have occasionally been recorded in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Hitachi Seaside Park is one of Ibaraki prefecture’s leading tourist spots and had over 350000 visitors during Golden Week this year and from now on MLIT will be carrying out decontamination of the area.

Comments from Twitter:

みんと:

Why does a seaside park have high levels of radiation even now?

ナカノ実験室2(旧勇気のセルフブク魔人):

Is it because the sunlight has been strong recently? Or is there no relation?

もっちー:

Will Rock in Japan [music festival] be okay….?

松井 修:

Decontaminating a huge park will only cost money and have no real results. Because it’s a public park, it’s the nation’s taxes paying for it.

すわっと すりー:

I wonder why?

:-):

I’m waiting to hear the excuses of the company president.

かいとすたー:

Is even Fukushima’s neighbour, Ibaraki prefecture, this polluted….?

かぱぴら:

LMFAO I went there just last week.

shunsoku2002:

This issue of the magazine DAYS JAPAN already reported the existence of these radiation hot spots.
Why was it ignored in the news?

古井丸 友宏:

NHK-san, please tell me about the “government standard of 0.23 μSv”. Who is measuring it, and in what way?

W4C:

In Hitachi, eh? Hmm, what’s going on?

Masasikuwata:

Why has it gone up so much? Even though 3 years have passed..

あのん:

I really hope it doesn’t affect Rock In Japan Fest….

松野大介:

3 places in Ibaraki prefecture’s Hitachi Seaside Park are now No-Entry due to radiation levels of 0.7 μSv. Even now, and what’s more, in Ibaraki Prefecture.

ふじいろクローバーZ:

Does this mean they didn’t measure it until now, I wonder?

みく:

Mental! And I couldn’t believe it but it’s Hitachi Seaside Park!

ɴذ:

Too dangerous….

おらおら(雀踊りお囃子太鼓):

0.7 μSv/h is much higher than Fukushima city or Koriyama city. But it’s not high enough to call it high levels of radiation.

kyouichi SATOH:

If it’s a place where hundreds of people gather surely make it all No-Entry, not just partially??

宮脇 勝:

Did they really only measure it once Golden Week was over?

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By Corbett| 6 Comments | Featured, News

6 comments

  1. i sympathise with the people of japan, but if i .was there i would be supplying peaople with iodine tablets instead of festival tickets…. please get your prorities right for your own survival….great love and mercy to you all…take your tablet,,,now…..

    • There’s no radioactive iodine left. All of the iodine-131 has been decayed for two years now. There is no benefit – and potential harm – in taking iodine tablets.

      Do not take iodine tablets unnecessarily. Do not advise people to take iodine tablets unnecessarily.

      • Our differences aside…. This is one thing you’ve definitely got right! Perhaps you could elaborate because I’m sure that many, many people do not understand how or when the use of iodine is appropriate (and/or will be effective).
        Thankyou.

        • I’m glad we can agree on this.

    • Iodine (potassium iodide) tablets are only useful in a limited range of circumstances, which does not include present conditions.

      Iodine is used in the body by one gland – the thyroid, in the neck. As a result, all iodine that is taken up by the body will usually find its way to the thyroid. Someone exposed to moderate or high doses of radioactive iodine (I-131) will therefore have a disproportionate concentration of radiation exposure to their thyroid gland.

      However, if the body has more iodine than it needs, the thyroid will stop taking up more iodine. The idea of potassium iodide pills is that they produce an excess of non-radioactive iodine in the body, specifically to stop the uptake of radioactive isotopes of iodine.

      Potassium iodide pills are specifically and only protective of the thyroid in the environmental presence of I-131. They are not general radiation protection pills.

      Taking these pills when there is no radioactive iodine in the environment confers no benefit and still incurs the risks of side-effects, which range from “gastrointestinal disturbances” to something called “iodine-induced thyrotoxicosis” and no doubt many other minor and occasional major health challenges.

      Thyroid gland
      NRC FAQ on potassium iodide
      FDA guidance (pdf)

  2. The issue is not whether iodine tablets works, it’s how did the radiation got there and what does it mean to the Japanese people. I enjoyed the comment on the iodine, and I sense a wry sense of humour that speaks the truth… a smile is worth a million tears. Personally I am disgusted with such selfishness as people worrying about their little rock festival, when they should be more concerned about all the poor people living under and amid the threat and contamination of radiation. Perhaps this should be the new slogan for the concert, ‘Glow in the dark, at Hitachi Park’ . Featuring the Two headed frogs and the four legged whales. It’s time to go beyond oneself and think of ones neighbours, friends, family, and community, local and global.

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