New Safecasters joined in Chichibu


We are happy to announce that local citizens from Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture have joined the Safecast volunteer network. (Mr. Tateno, Mr. Sekine and Mr. Noguchi from the left)
Chichibu has beautiful countryside and is surrounded by mountain ranges. In winter the mountains are covered by snow. I found the scenery very attractive, and somewhat similar to Nagano.
It is believed that a substantial dose of cesium fallout affected this region after the Fukushima NPP accident on 3.11 in 2011. In order to understand the current situation, a local citizens’ group contacted Safecast. Chichibu is an area in which Safecast had not yet measured radiation levels.
The three people in the above photo are the founders of a local food radiation monitoring station called “The association to protect everyone’s health and life from radiation in Chichibu” (“Houshano kara minnano kenko to inochi wo mamoru chichibu no kai”). They are retired school teachers who run the monitoring station and provide services to check radiation contamination levels from food samples brought by local people. They use an Atomtex 1320A, a radiation detector made in Belarus which is designed for food, distributed in Japan by Advanced Fusion Technology, Co., Ltd.. At ¥1,600,000 it is an expensive unit. Local citizens pitched in to purchase the device, and any concerned resident can have food checked with the device by paying just ¥1,000 for a one-item test. A single-item test takes approximately 30 minutes, with adetection limit for cesium of 7 Bq/kg. They purchased the device in July 2012, and since then items they have tested which exceeded the allowable levels (100 Bq/kg) have been publicly reported through their newsletter.
So far, mushrooms, including shiitake, have shown high levels of contamination (the tendency of wild mushrooms to accumulate high levels of cesium became well known after Chernobyl). Here are some examples reported by the group:

Food type Region produced Month tested [Cs 134/137
detectd?]
Fresh mushroom Chichibu City Dec. 2012 209.5 Bq/kg
Wild mushroom
(Tamago-dake)
Yokoze Town Oct. 2012 367 Bq/kg
Wild mushroom
(Ippon-shimeji)
Chichibu City Oct. 2012 223 Bq/kg
Wild mushroom
(Aka-monitake)
Ryokami Village Oct. 2012 219 Bq/kg

 
They also check the contamination level of soil collected from gardens and the points where water from gutters reaches the ground. The contamination levels of the latter are particularly high. For example, one of the tests found 119,700 Bq/kg at the highest. In the Chichibu area, people traditionally eat wild game, including wild deer and wild boar. Their tests have identified that wild animals have been contaminated, but although the samples they have tested have not been as high as those found in shiitake and other wild mushrooms, wild deer from the area with over 800 Bq/kg was recently reported in the press:
http://www.saitama-np.co.jp/news10/24/02.html

The above photo shows Chichibu’s “food monitoring station”
The core members of the group have been providing seminars, talks and workshops to share the information thy have collected. They are collaborating with neighboring regions to inform the public about radioactive substances. The group has been run mainly by retired school teachers, including a high school science teacher who retired once but has returned to teaching part-time. His knowledge about radiation has increased the credibility of the group in the eyes of locals. We look forward to including newly collected data from the Chichibu region to the main Safecast map soon.
Safecast volunteer Kiki
(Translated by Akiko)
このたび、セーフキャストに新しく、秩父の方々が加わりました。
(左から立野さん、関根さん、野口さん)
秩父は山に囲まれたとても美しいところです。冬の間は雪をかぶった山々が連なっています。個人的にはちょっと長野を思わせられるとても素敵なところです。
しかし、秩父の山々にも3.11後の福島原発事故で多くのセシウムが降りそそいだそうです。その実態を早く把握したいと、セーフキャストに連絡が入りました。秩父はまだセーフキャストが計測をしていない領域です。
彼らは『放射能からみんなの健康といのちをまもる秩父の会』の方々です。定年退職した先生らが集まって、食品の測定もしています。食品測定器はアドフューテック社のATOMTEX。1台160万円もするこの機械はドネーションで購入し、食品測定を希望する人には、1検体1000円で受け付けています。1検体にかかる検査時間は約30分、放射能測定濃度7ベクレル(キロ)以上が計測できます。
昨年7月にこの機械を導入して以来、同会で測定し、測定値の高かったものは、ニュースレターで紹介されています。
http://www.saitama-np.co.jp/news10/24/02.html
ちなみに、これまでに多いのは、シイタケ、キノコ類です。チェルノブイリでもそうですが、特に野生のキノコ類は高く出ています。
同会の計測値の一例を挙げると

生シイタケ 秩父市内 2012年12月 209.5 ベクレル/kg
野生キノコ(タマゴダケ) 横瀬町 2012年10月 367 ベクレル/kg
野生キノコ(一本シメジ) 秩父市内 2012年10月 223 ベクレル/kg
野生キノコ(赤モミタケ) 両神村 2012年10月 219 ベクレル/kg

 
また、同会では、家屋など建物の雨どいの土も計測しています。雨どいの中の土には大変高く、最高で11万9700ベクレル(1キロ当たり)が測定されています。
秩父方面では、鹿や猪など、野生動物の肉を食する習慣もあるようです。数値はシイタケやキノコほど高くはありませんが、野生の動物も汚染されていることが数値からわかります。

食品測定ができる「みんなの測定所」
同会は、講演会や学集会など、集めた情報を地元の人達と共有したり、近隣の団体と提携して活動を行うなど、放射線情報について積極的に発信しています。
秩父のメンバーは定年退職した先生を中心に運営されています。理系の先生方だけに、放射線の知識は十分お持ちです。
これから、セーフキャストの地図に秩父方面のデータがどんどん反映されていくことでしょう。
セーフキャスト・ボランティア
キキ