Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Moms to Save Children from Radiation: "Please Help!"

Moms to Save Children from Radiation, a new Japanese NGO, is pleading for support:
"Please help!" press release in English

Please help!
Children in Fukushima are at risk!

The area within 20 km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was designated as a “caution zone”, where people are prohibited by law from setting foot. There is however no evacuation instruction yet issued for the areas near this zone, so that children go to school every day just as before.

Recently, the Ministry of Education announced the following statement for 13 schools in the cities of Fukushima, Koriyama and Date:

1) When air dose rate on their schoolyard and playground is below 20mSv / year or 3.8μSv / hour, outdoor activities are "safe" so that the facilities can be used as usual.

2) For the facilities exposed to the dose rate exceeding the level set as above, outdoor activities should be limited to one hour per day and kindergartens and daycare centers should not allow their children to play in the sandbox..

The threshold established by the Ministry of Education for children is higher than for the area currently subject to planned evacuation and six times higher than for the "radiation controlled area". Besides, this threshold of 20msv/year was found to be equal to the upper limit of exposure rate for nuclear power plant workers in Germany.

Currently, 75 percent of elementary and middle schools in Fukushima under survey is reported to be contaminated as highly as in the "radiation controlled area". Although children are not allowed to stay for longer than one hour in the playgrounds and parks with a 3.8μSv or higher level of contamination, this threshold level seems to be too high to protect them from radiation poisoning. Possible risks for children, who are several times more susceptible to radiation exposure than adults, thus remain ignored by the Japanese authorities.

What will happen to the children ten or twenty years later?

All the parents in Fukushima are in agony considering their future.

A lot of people are beginning to raise their voices to say: Things shouldn’t remain as they are, we must save children.

Faced with great authority of the Japanese government and TEPCO, however, they are yet unable to find any concrete solution.

We call for the following three actions from the government, Tepco and other authorities concerned.
1) Establish a lower exposure threshold for children;

2) Take as early action as possible to remove the contaminated soil from the schoolyards where a radiation level exceeding the set threshold is detected, or to allow the children at those schools to study at other schools outside the contaminated area;

3) When evacuation of children with or without their parents is necessary, ensure that they can find appropriate hosting facilities and are supplied with the sum of compensation enough to sustain their livelihood.
Since TEPCO sponsors a number of nation-wide mass media, major TV stations and newspaper companies in Japan are not positive about such actions. We therefore would like to appeal to you press people outside Japan for assistance.

Please report as much as possible on this problem. Please disseminate it to the world.

Please pursue the status quo of the children being exposed to radiation.

Please endeavor to save the future of children together with us.

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