Fukushima high school makes students clean pool, “Atmospheric dose is 0.5μSv/h”

Last April, it was reported that over 100,000 Bq/Kg of Cs-134/137 was measured from the mud in the swimming pool. [URL]

The samples were taken in two high schools in Fukushima. CRMS (Citizens’Radioactivity Measurement Station) conducted the measurement.

On 5/8/2013, a radiation researcher of citizen captured Fukushima prefectural Koriyama high school had their students clean the pool. The atmospheric dose was 0.5μSv/h.

The researcher reported it to Fukushima prefectural board of education, but they only answered they don’t know anything.


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Français :

Un lycée de Fukushima fait nettoyer une piscine par ses élèves, la dose dans l’air est de 0,5 μSv/h


En avril dernier, on avait rapporté que plus de 100 000 Bq/kg de Cs 134/137 avaient été relevés dans la vase du fond de la piscine. [Lien]

Les échantillons avaient été pris dans deux lycées de Fukushima. Le CRMS (Citizens’Radioactivity Measurement Station) avait procédé aux mesures.
Le 8 mai 2013, un de leurs contrôleurs a repéré qu’un lycée préfectoral de Fukushima à Koriyama faisait nettoyer sa piscine par ses élèves. La dose dans l’air était de 0,5 μSv/h.
Le contrôleur a rapporté le fait au bureau préfectoral de l’éducation de Fukushima mais ils se sont contentés de répondre qu’ils n’y connaissaient rien.

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  1. I’m really concerned about the Fukushima accident and I’m really against nuclear power but this article is a bit hysterically. 0.5 microSivert/hour is about twice as high as the >averageprior< the accident. This certainly implies that already prior the accident there were areas with increased background and others with less. Sorry, but for me this looks just like a regular pool cleaning activity.
    And even if the intention is to lower the radiation – what do you expect them to wear as protective gear? Those tissue masks? They are completely useless in such a case. My personal tip: read up about hot particles, their typical size and how to filter them successfully.

    1. It may be that the atmospheric dose was indeed 0.5 microSieverts per hour, yet that works out to 4380 microSieverts or 4.38 mSv per year.

      Would you want your child, or any other for that matter, to be exposed to radiation dosage that is at minimum approximately one quarter the maximum level a nuke-puke worker is seemingly limited to?

      Also note that the atomospheric dose does not take into account the handling of waste, nor ingestion by any means, on site.

      Hysterical? I have always found this web site to be rather sobering and saliently calm in relaying facts.

      Please point to an article or two that shows hot particle sizes & adequate filtration methods as i look for relevant legislation banning the use and or employment (without pay) of child labour.

      No child should be expected to perform labour than any knowledgable adult would fear to do. Period.

      Make the adults clean their own damn pool!

      1. I don’t want to downplay effects of low-dose radiation. Beleieve me. Years ago I was a nuclear technology engineer but Chernobyl opened my eyes. I lived in an area contaminated by the fallout (Germany) and I know the fear quite well and I’m really happy and thankfull that I have two healthy young childs. Since then I fully turned away from nuclear technology and fight for renewables with all I have.

        The issue I see regarding this article is that it sets a higher-than-normal (=average natural background of 0.27 microSievert/h in Japan) dose-rate in relation with a pool cleaning activity and suggests that those students should have protective gear.

        Here some points to consider/question/clarify:

        1) The readings in the video mean this is about two times the average background of prior the accident. So, the additional radiation is really low. But I agree with you – it is concerning. But there are places on earth where the _natural_ background is even higher.

        2) At such readings it requires good and professional measurement devices to spot the source of a possible contamination. Remember spotting radiological sources within or close to the natural background is really difficult!

        3) The measures the students take to clean the pool are most likely insufficient to decontaminate the area. Without accurate measuring they simply don’t know whether the radiation comes from some few hot particels or from a larger contamination of the whole area by radio nuclides. Without knowing that it makes no sense to just clean the pool (as they will never know whether they actually removed radiation sources successfully).

        4) As they don’t know the source of radiation it is hard to take protective measurmeents. Especially those low dowses can come from anything. Radioactive dust (regular dust contaminated with hot particles)? Radioactive aerosols (typical for Cesium)? Radiocative gases (still emmerging from the reactor ruins)? Protective gear for these three categories looks quite differently. And if you are uncertain you would need the most professional micro dust and gas filter masks to have at least _some_ protection. Those simple fabric nose-mouth-caps do not help in any of the above cases.

        So, from my own experience of the Chernobyl fall-out I know that with a 0.5 microSiever/h reading it is completely useless to scrub just the pool’s surface as they do it in the video. Hence my assumption is that what we see is just a regular pool cleaning action.

        And a final question: if the video-makes is so concerned about the cleaning action. Why didn’t he come back a day later and checked whether the cleaning reduced the radiation? I personally guess the cleaning had absolutely no effect on the readings… And that makes me believe that this video is just hysterically.

  2. Hmm… I think the point here is that this probably is the same pool that was recently checked to have some mud-like stuff at the bottom measured 100.000 Bq/Kg. If that is so, maybe then that’s not kid’s job to do.

    1. The point is that if you do a decontamination you should do it _right_. Otherwise you just waiste time and effort moving contaminants from A to B and vice versa.
      On the other hand if you do not have the right equipment to do it right there is in my eyes only one conclusion: leave the area.

      Certainly this is a very hard consequence but if you take the effects of low-dose radiation serious then this is the only consequence.

      And another point regarding the pool: If this is really the pool mentioned by Mr. Beam then this should have be mentioned in the original article.
      I can’t help but this article is not serious journalism.
      In general I would appreaciate if Fukishima Diary would put more effort in depth than mass. FD has published some really good articels from time to time but unfortunately also lot of boulevard-style articles that lack depth and background like this one here.

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About this site

This website updates the latest news about the Fukushima nuclear plant and also archives the past news from 2011. Because it's always updated and added live, articles, categories and the tags are not necessarily fitted in the latest format.
I am the writer of this website. About page remains in 2014. This is because my memory about 311 was clearer than now, 2023, and I think it can have a historical value. Now I'm living in Romania with 3 cats as an independent data scientist.
Actually, nothing has progressed in the plant since 2011. We still don't even know what is going on inside. They must keep cooling the crippled reactors by water, but additionally groundwater keeps flowing into the reactor buildings from the broken parts. This is why highly contaminated water is always produced more than it can circulate. Tepco is planning to officially discharge this water to the Pacific but Tritium is still remaining in it. They dilute this with seawater so that it is legally safe, but scientifically the same amount of radioactive tritium is contained. They say it is safe to discharge, but none of them have drunk it.


May 2013