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Radiation when holidaying in Japan

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 04, 2013 at 5:32 AM

I'm planning a hotly anticipated Japan trip mid-2013 (read: iodine bender) and was wondering if anyone had advice re. the Fukushima aftermath?

I'm quite a sensitive little Grokette and don't want to irradiate my entire being the moment I step off the plane. Is it silly to be worried about holidaying over there for 3 weeks or are there still real safety concerns as a result of the disaster?

I know it depends on location and such, but as a general enquiry: will I be fried like a tempura prawn and if so, what can I do about it?

Thanks!

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on January 04, 2013
at 03:54 PM

Yet...............

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 04, 2013
at 12:20 PM

+1 for the flight exposing to more radiation than anything else.

3fc95bca9e723edfbbb72b172798ab49

(1354)

on January 04, 2013
at 06:23 AM

I'd like to also add a comment that nuclear radiation has been a part of life on Earth since...forever. Dealing with the background radiation we receive is one of the "Grokkiest" things we could ever do as Earth's relatively low bombardment (thank you things like the magnetosphere!) predates...well...anything. Complete avoidance is futile and, possibly, not even desirable. Of course our weapons testing and accidents have changed the game, and they need to be avoided. Just do some research on food and water contamination and stay safe

42cd0feeeda5fa2e2fe1c4fd8255073a

(1930)

on January 04, 2013
at 06:14 AM

I was in Tokyo for 2 weeks in July last year. I haven't grown any extra eyeballs or legs.... yet

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6 Answers

3
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on January 04, 2013
at 02:28 PM

I'm not sure what information you guys have been getting, but those plants have not been repaired. The contamination is continuous and will be for the foreseeable future. If you trust the Japanese & International sources (the same ones who want us to believe that nuclear energy is perfectly safe in the first place), then touri$m in Japan is and always will be greenlit.

No thanks...

2
3fc95bca9e723edfbbb72b172798ab49

(1354)

on January 04, 2013
at 06:01 AM

You will be fine, ESPECIALLY if it is only for a three week stay. I'm not even sure an iodine "bender" is really necessary (or recommended), though I suppose a dose is not a bad thing if you have thyroid/iodine issues already (Wikipedia entry on Fukushima Iodine-131 release). Iodine-131 has a half life of 8 days which really only makes it an issue soon after the fact.

If you're REALLY worried about radiation exposure then your real boogeymen are going to be the scanner at the airport or the flight itself where you are likely to soak up much more cosmic radiation than you are going to get from the disaster in Japan. Just...don't go licking the ground in the exclusion zone.

3fc95bca9e723edfbbb72b172798ab49

(1354)

on January 04, 2013
at 06:23 AM

I'd like to also add a comment that nuclear radiation has been a part of life on Earth since...forever. Dealing with the background radiation we receive is one of the "Grokkiest" things we could ever do as Earth's relatively low bombardment (thank you things like the magnetosphere!) predates...well...anything. Complete avoidance is futile and, possibly, not even desirable. Of course our weapons testing and accidents have changed the game, and they need to be avoided. Just do some research on food and water contamination and stay safe

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 04, 2013
at 12:20 PM

+1 for the flight exposing to more radiation than anything else.

1
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on January 05, 2013
at 08:41 PM

I wouldn't risk ignoring the threat. If anything get a portable geiger counter, you can get them on Amazon. Use it to check anything before you eat it.

Stuff that's just out there in the environment probably won't hurt you, but anything you ingest, or inhale can be very problematic. Typically, the shorter half-life stuff is more energetic and more dangerous, hence the overloading with iodine before heading there is not a bad idea, but it's not the only thing to be worried about.

A counter won't be useful when there's high background counts per minute, but if you're near a significant source, you'll notice it.

This detector's not too bad: http://www.amazon.com/GQ-GMC-300-Radiation-Detector-Detection/dp/B006X3WNLC/ - it's portable, will graph the results and let you download them over USB and has a built in rechargeable battery. I'd put a sticker over the large radiation logo on the front, and turn the sound off, so you don't freak people out at dinner. :)

I also saw a watch that claims to be a geiger counter too, and it's pretty expensive: http://www.amazon.com/Polimaster-1208m-Wrist-Gamma-Indicator/dp/B005FK3R0U/r I wouldn't mind one, but not at that price.

You can get a Vaseline Glass bead from here: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/GM/vaseline_glass_bead.html to test your meter.

1
7c8e227dd8d5bdd77febfdebaa78dc13

on January 04, 2013
at 08:12 PM

I was just in Japan last october for 2 weeks, had a wonderful time. The radiation levels in Tokyo are like that of New York city, you really have nothing to worry about.

If you want up to date information on radiation levels around Japan check out this website: http://www.japantravelinfo.com/news/news_item.php?newsid=431

Have a great trip!

0
800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

on March 12, 2013
at 08:24 PM

I recommend xkcd, as always.

http://xkcd.com/radiation/

0
32d059a467e99a4fc83201407a4a238d

on March 12, 2013
at 08:18 PM

"Thyroid abnormalities have now been confirmed among tens of thousands of children downwind from Fukushima."

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/03/11-3

Really, really awful. The devastating effects of the Fukushima fallout are only beginning to surface. Over the next 10 to 15 years we can expect even worse. It appears Fukushima isn't a safe place for anyone right now, especially children.

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