Are the radiation droids accurate?

I’m not a scientist. I’m not even good at science. But I’ll do my best with this post.

Here in Fukushima Prefecture, we have radiation detectors in parks, school grounds, and other areas. They became very common here after the earthquake.

Anyway, on the internet, I have heard people say that these detectors (which were provided by the government) are not accurate, and were/are intentionally set at lower radiation levels so people won’t know the real radiation.

So I wonder: Is this true? Or not? As a Fukushimer, I want to know the truth.


This is our family’s personal dosimeter. It is top of the line, costing about 500 U.S. dollars on the American amazon.

http://www.gguida.com/GGUIDA/Stories/Entries/2012/6/27_Having_fun_with_Geiger_Counters_-_The_Gamma_Scout_Rechargeable.html

Proof that they are the same dosimeter.


Let’s begin.

My family’s dosimeter in our house’s living room.

Walking to Shinhama Park.

At Shinhama Park with the radation droid. The droid says: .115 usv/h

The stupid smile on my face is proof of what a poor scientist I am. Good scientists use their serious faces when doing important research.

Actually my dosimeter (at THIS moment in time) says .12 usv/h, which is lower than the radiation droid.

So you can see the droid number better.

Okay, the weird thing is that the number on my dosimeter did not stay stable…It was constantly changing every few seconds, never staying long at any one number.

Just so you can see, this is the back of the radiation droid.

I walked over the statue.

Over towards the playground area.

Back to the same droid as before. I was surprised to see its number had changed! (In just a minute of time.)

At this point, I began to talk to a man who works at the park, tending it. I asked him if he thought the droid was accurate or not.

I don’t think he really knew whether it was accurate (he didn’t say), but he told me that the number changes due to the weather and the wind. At this point, I noticed that yes, it was quite windy. (And everyone who lives in Fukushima Prefecture knows that the amount of radiation depends on where you are. Some parts have more radiation, some very little radiation. And just so you know—EVERY place in the world has some amount of radiation, including where you are right now. The existence of radiation is not what we are looking at. The existence of radiation is already a given. It’s the amount that is important.)

My dosimeter got as high as .21 (shown in photo above, it is .20) It just flickered to .21, but did not stay there for long, and would come down.

The park worker pointed out the label that shows when and where the droid comes from. (I think he did not personally know whether the droid was accurate, so he wanted to show me the label of its origins.)

And then I pointed out to him this interesting sticker some joker stuck onto the droid. Now that I think about, I personally have never seen paint vandalism on the droids. That’s really amazing, now that I think about it. Here in Fukushima City, the droids are always this eggshell white color (and possibly get painted over if there is indeed vandalism. I don’t know. Japan actually does not have very much vandalism.)

The park worker and I were still talking and I was snapping photos of my dosimeter…I think this was the lowest it got, possibly lower. So you can see that its numbers change quite quickly.

I needed to go shopping, so I left the park (and the very nice park worker) and went to my local supermarket.  A five minute walk from the park.

Inside the store.

Sashimi section

Drinks section (Notice the fluctuation from the sashimi section. Maybe the temperature? I honestly don’t know.)

Ice cream section

I needed hand soap.


Okay, folks. Draw your own conclusions. That’s what this blog is for. Not for ME to tell you what to think, but for YOU to think for yourselves.

Discussion questions:

1.) If you had a stray cat hanging around your house, and fed the cat and then found out that your neighbor had just fed the cat before you did, and that the cat was ALSO getting food from a third house, what would you name the cat?

2) Do you think Amy bought ice cream?

3.) Do you think she got a lot of house cleaning done today?

4.) Are you as excited as Amy is about the new Incredibles movie coming out this summer?

Please mark your answers.

If you got all answers correct, I’m very proud of you. You did a great job. Hooray.

 

 

IMG_6271

The very well-fed stray cat from question number one. She is skittish and refuses to live with people. She just hangs around outside and meows for food.

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