Crowd sourced information has been key to our knowledge and understanding of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. It is again proving vital as people work together to find hot spots around Tokyo. The Radiation Defense Project has identified 22 spots of elevated radiation by soil test.
The Setagaya hot spots have been found by local citizens working to protect children in the area and to do the work the government won’t. The grocery store hot spot was found by a Setagaya resident that goes by the twitter name nori_tiki. He has been carrying a radiation detector as he rides his bike around the area. The hot spot in front of a house was found by a member of the local protect children group.
Experts are warning about the danger of plutonium, that it may have traveled much further than initially claimed and how small amounts can be rather deadly. Officials in Ibaraki will begin testing for Stronium 90 in December. Stronium 90 was found as far away as Yokohama after a citizen found multiple hot spots near his apartment.
Safecast.org has collected their 1,000,000 data point. This group has done an amazing job to document the radiation levels around Japan through cars equipped with detectors. They have also informed many locals on their trips to the radiation concerns in their area. Some had no clue the radiation in their city was so high. The group has engaged many in Japan to join in and has found some funding through the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Some of the people gathering data have faced harassment, ridicule or threats from local officials as some don’t want to believe the worst is true. The mayor of Kashiwa said that those worried about radiation have a mental illness. Some older people have a blind belief in anything the major media outlets print. Early on they claimed everything was fine and nothing dangerous was happening calling anything to the contrary “rumor”. As the evidence piles up, some of the major media outlets are struggling to deal with their previous behavior. Many still look for any way to downplay hot spots being found.
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