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Tokyo has high expectations despite nuclear disaster By Takehiko Kambayashi, dpa on September 9, 2013
Fukushima woes force Japan to defend Olympic bid on September 5, 2013
Letter to President of IOC
Mr. Count Jacques Rogge
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Also to members of IOC and Evaluation Committee
Château de Vidy
Case postale 356
June 15, 2013
Citizen Group for Measuring Radioactive Environment of the Facilities for Tokyo Olympics 2020
We appreciate very much the enormous contribution that you and your colleagues have been making to hold the Olympics and Paralympics. These games bring the friendship and peace to the world.
This letter is to inform you of the results of our measurements of the radioactivity levels at thirty-seven stadiums, facilities, and selected places for the 2020 Olympic Games if they are held in Tokyo. Our group, Citizen Group for Measuring Radioactive Environment of the Facilities for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (referred hereafter as Citizen Group for Measuring Radioactive Environment) consists of approximately forty volunteers living in Tokyo or its surrounding areas. We understand that Tokyo, Madrid, and Istanbul remain as candidate cities for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, and the IOC is going into the final process of selection.
The IOC will surely examine the various aspects of the candidate cities. On our part, we have grave concern that the radioactive materials that have been emitted by the explosion of Fukushima nuclear power plants after the catastrophic earthquake of March 11, 2011, is extensive and certainly include Tokyo as well.
The spirit of the Olympics and Paralympics is to develop friendship and peace through fair sport games to which many athletes are coming from all over the world ,and compete their abilities and skills. Many of them are young athletes and young spectators as well. They are more sensitive to radiation. Therefore, their useless exposure to radiation should be limited to the minimum. It is the moral duty of the adult citizens to call attention to this danger, and particularly the duty of those living in contaminated area
Even though the Olympic Invitation Committee for Tokyo (OICT) has selected and planned thirty-seven facilities (such as stadiums, players’ villages, accommodations, and media-centers) located in Tokyo and its neighboring prefectures, it has not published the radiation levels of these facilities. In addition, there is no indication that it conducted such measurement. Alarmed by this negligence, our group decided to measure the radiation levels of these facilities to inform all the people concerned, including the IOC, athletes, spectators and citizens of the world.
Let me briefly present a summary of measurement process and results. Citizen Group for Measuring Radioactive Environment is a group of citizens sharing the same concern about the possible radiation exposure. It was formed on March 30, 2013. Since then the group members measured radiation levels of the 37 facilities planned for Olympics (e.g., stadiums, sport facilities, and planned areas) with the measurement instruments that we collected by ourselves (we did not measure those facilities located in Hokkaido and Miyagi Prefectures. Since, they are sited very far from Tokyo). This work took fourteen days in April and May this year with ninety-two participants (as the total number of man-days).
We measured atmospheric radiation levels of 5cm and 1 meter above the earth for three times at the same point. For each time, considering the characteristics of radiation, we used sevral different measuring instruments. As for the value for each spot, we adapted the value excluding highest and lowest values. We also measured the soil sample at the point where the atmospheric radiation value was relatively high. The soil measurements of the quantity (Bq/kg ) of radioactive Cesium were carried by Nippori Radiation Measuring Center.
Tables 1 presents a summary of radiation levels of facilities for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Just before the Fukushima power plant accident, the mean value of the atmospheric radiation in Tokyo was estimated as 0.04 μSv/h, and radioactive Cesium was almost non-existent. Therefore, atmospheric radiation value above this level can be regarded as the effect of the nuclear accident.
The table No.2 shows the soil contamination level classified by values.
Values of Atmospheric Radiation
at 1 metre above the earth
(unit:μSv/h) Number of measured points whose
value is in the level showed in left
(152 points of 36 facilities out of
less than 0.05 9
0.05 ～0.10 102
0.10 ～0.15 36
0.15 ～0.20 3
over 0.20 2
Quantity of Radio-active Cesium 134+137 until the depth of 5 cm below the earth
Equivalent classification with European map of contamination by Cesium 137 made by UNEP in 1996 (unit: 1000Bq/m2)
Quantity of Cesium 134+137 until the depth of 5cm bellow (unit: Bq/kg)
Number of samples (total 38)
Less than 2 less than 30 1
2～10 30～170 9
10～40 170～670 21
40～185 670～3000 6
185～1480 3000～24700 1*
* One soil sample of 3,042.27 Bq/kg is the discharged soil from racing tracks including used paint. AT this point, the radiation value was relatively high, so the soil was measured. We have not searched intentionally such as hot spots.
In addition to the tables above, for your reference, we will send the tables containing the detailed data of atmospheric radiation and soil contamination (radioactive Cesium 134 + 147), and its Summary. We hope that you take into account these data as information concerning the possible radiation exposure of athletes and spectators, and take it into consideration when selecting the city for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. We also send these data by email, so that you may inform all the people concerned to share this information.
In addition, we think that the IOC would hope to study the radiation contamination of foods in Tokyo, since IOC organizers, its staffs, spectators and visitors will take foods produced in Japan if the 2020 Olympic Games would be held in Tokyo. If contaminated, the foods constitute one of the main causes of internal irradiation.
In this respect, we know that the German Radiation Protection Association had recommended Japan not to consume foods contaminated by Cesium 137 more than 4 Bq/kg for infants, children and adolescents, and more than 8 Bq/kg for adults. But, Japan’s Health and Labor Ministry increased these levels up to 500 Bq/kg for most foods, immediately after the Fukushima accident. This regulation was revised to so called new regulation, on April 1, 2012, to become still very high level of 100 Bq/kg for general foods, 50 Bq/kg for milk and foods for infants, and10 Bq/ℓ for drinking water. In addition, the application and inspection of the new regulation for foods are still very insufficient. As to the processed foods, they are in the hands of processing makers. We hope that you would consider this aspect also in combination with our information on the level of radiation of facilities for Tokyo Olympics.
Finally, we inform you that we will make public the data of radiation levels of facilities planned for Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics not only to the citizens of Tokyo but also to the world. We sincerely regret that the radioactive contamination would affect the Olympic and Paralympics games. However, we must not overlook this reality, since it is our responsibility as the citizens of the world, and we must make the sage decision.
We hope that President Count Rogge and the members of the IOC would share with us the same concern.
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