Honor among nuclear neighbors

We’ve received a lot of questions about radioactive isotopes that were detected in the atmosphere in late June by monitoring stations in northern Europe. We’ve been gathering information and touching base with knowledgeable experts to help clarify the situation. We will state right off that the levels of radiation that were detected are extremely small,…

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Uncertainties about Japan’s COVID-19 data

In our earlier posts (here and here) we tried to clarify the actual policies being implemented in Japan with regard to COVID-19 testing. We pointed out inconsistencies and other official data issues that make it difficult for the public to get a good grasp of the actual number of tests being done and how many…

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Explaining Japan’s State of Emergency

With Prime Minister Abe’s long-awaited emergency declaration for Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka yesterday, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan has entered a new phase. As many people have pointed out, these new measures are not a “lockdown” of the sort that has been implemented in many countries around the…

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Making sense of COVID-19 numbers in Japan

Safecast has launched a crowdsourced COVID-19 testing information map. Please check it out and share it! Last week we wrote an article about COVID-19 testing in Japan. We’ve also been publishing an (almost) daily newsletter, which we hope you’ll subscribe to here. For several weeks we’ve been pointing out that it’s difficult to find clear…

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COVID-19 Testing in Japan: The situation and ramifications

  Source: VOX Basic COVID-19 testing numbers for Japan as of March 16, 2020: Tested: 13,026* Detected: 1,496 (both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases) Deaths: 24 Sources: Toyokeizai, MHLW, Japan Times, Vox *Note added March 18, 2020: MHLW data gives two sets of testing figures; daily report for Mar 18 now gives 33,212, which is noted…

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Best Practices In Reference To COVID-19

As we observe the global spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and the responses to it, we can’t help but feel a bit of déjà vu. Since Safecast began in March 2011, we’ve accumulated significant experience and insight about trust, crisis communication, public perception, and what happens when people feel threatened by the lack of reliable…

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Transparency, the olympics, and that damned water, Part 2

[:en] Above: Official messaging about Fukushima focusses on happiness. Part 1 here Part 2: What about the Olympics? The concerns we hear about the 2020 Olympics are more generalized and less focussed than those about the water in the tanks at Fukushima Daiichi. Some people ask us if it’s safe to come to Japan at…

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Transparency, the olympics, and that damned water, Part 1

[:en] Above: Joe’s drone image of the water tanks at Fukushima Daiichi, December ,2018 Part 2 here Questions, questions… It’s hard to say what we get more questions about lately, the 2020 Olympics or the plan to release water from Fukushima Daiichi to the Pacific Ocean. Both issues involve public safety. How safe from radiation…

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Another Russian Radiation Coverup

[:en] Image above: Satellite imagery from PlanetLabs analyzed by researchers at the James Martin Center for Non-proliferation studies. UPDATED on Aug 19, 2019. A couple of weeks ago, at the end of July, an interesting paper was released which describes a massive multi-national research effort to determine the location and cause of the mysterious release…

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Fukushima cesium-enriched microparticle (CsMP) update

[:en] Image above: Secondary electron images from Utsunomiya et al. 2019, of CsMPs discovered in atmospheric particles trapped on a Tokyo air filter from March 15, 2011, with major constituent elements displayed.  An interesting paper  was recently published by a team headed by Dr. Satoshi Utsunomiya of Kyushu University on the subject of Fukushima-derived cesium-enriched…

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