Safecasting Seoul, Korea & Hong Kong, China

Is the radiation level in Japan higher, equal, or lower than in neighbouring countries to Japan that did not (yet) experience a Nuclear Disaster?
I decided to find out, so I packed a bGeigie in my check-in luggage when leaving on a business trip to Seoul, Korea, and Hong Kong, China. After arriving at Incheon airport in the evening of September 23, I immediately asked my Korean business partner, that picked me up in his car, if it would be all right to mount the bGeigie on the rear window of his car. Surprised, but complying, we soon drove the 1 1/2 hour trip from Incheon to Dongdaemun in the centre of Seoul.

As you can see from the Safecasting Map, leaving Incheon Airport we soon hit a high of 99CPM / 0.283uSv/h, while in the centre of Seoul we saw a more comfortable 40CPM / 0.114uSv/h to 50CPM / 0.253uSv. The Incheon levels are only a bit below the levels we see near the hotspot in Chiba, while the downtown Seoul levels are similar to the levels we measure in central Tokyo. On average the levels in Seoul could even be considered a bit higher than the average levels of Tokyo. But there is no significant difference. So is it safe to visit Seoul considering radiation?
I also took a couple of 1meter air measurements with the Inspector while walking around streets in the centre of Seoul, and found typical readings of 0.14uSv/h – 0.15uSV/h.

Around mid day of September 26 I arrived in sunny Hong Kong. Since no one was scheduled to pick me up, I went to the taxi stand and asked the kind driver if it would be OK to mount my bGeigie on the window of the taxi on my ride to Central, Hong Kong? Interestingly, despite of the past Great Britain Connection, many taxi drivers in Hong Kong only speaks basic, rudimentary English, but a big smile goes a long way 🙂 I have included a couple of photos to illustrate how the bGeigie was comfortable riding on the outside of the taxi window. Yes, the bGeigie just works! No problems locking on to GPS satellites.

After leaving Hong Kong International Airport we soon picked up 93CPM / 0.266uSv/h, but had ups and downs on the way in towards Central. The surprising thing was that the peak value I saw of 104CPM / 0.297uSv/h happened as we drove through Central. Later I experienced that the Inspector ticket away at a highish 100CPM while on the night stand in my hotel room! So naturally I took it out for a walk in the Harbour area where I would get readings of up to 124CPM near the soil (5cm), and 0.32uSv/h at one meter.
So this confirmed what I already had heard about Hong Kong: that the general radiation level here is highish, and actually beyond the Tokyo average even after Fukushima!
So, now it is time to ask which is safer of Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo based on the data available? Safecast stands for MEASURING RADIATION & OPEN SOURCE SHARING of those measurements on an “as is” basis.
How safe you are, and how safe you want to be, is up to yourself to decide based on the raw data available.日本の放射線レベルは、(まだ)原発事故をおこしていない近隣諸国よりも、高いのか、同じか、低いのか、どうなんだろう?
空港に迎えに来てくれた仕事仲間に会うとすぐに、車の窓に bGeigie を付けていいか聞いてみた。彼は驚いたけども同意してくれ、すぐさま仁川からソウル中心部の東大門までの1時間半のドライブが始まった。

セーフキャスティングの地図で見られるように、仁川空港を出るとすぐに 99CPM (0.283マイクロシーベルト毎時)だったが、ソウル中心部では、より安全な40CMP~50CPM(0.114~0.253マイクロシーベルト毎時)であった。仁川の放射線レベルは、千葉のホットスポットよりちょっと低いくらいだったが、ソウルの繁華街では東京の中心部での測定結果と同じ程度だった。ソウルの平均的な放射線レベルは、東京よりもほんの少しだけ高い程度と思われるが、大差はない。放射能という点で、ソウルを訪れるのは安全だろうか?

迎えの来る予定はなかった。客待ちの親切そうなタクシー運転手に、香港の中心街まで行くので bGeigie を窓に付けていいか尋ねてみた。面白いことに、過去の英国とのつながりがあるにもかかわらず、香港のほとんどのタクシー運転手は簡単で初歩的な英語しか話さない。bGeigie の写真を何枚か見せ、窓の外に取り付けるから問題ないと言うことを説明し、笑顔で説明した 🙂 それで十分だった。そう、成功したのだ。GPSも問題なく受信した。