Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Japan ignored own radiation forecasts: School in path of plume from damaged Fukushima plant became shelter

An Associated Press investigation has found that Japan exposed thousands of its citizens to risk by failing to use radiation forecasts in the early days of its nuclear crisis.

The government forecasts predicted Karino Elementary School would be in the path of the plume emerging from the tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

But they never reached decision-makers and the school was not cleared out. Instead, it became a temporary evacuation center.

It's unclear how much radiation people were exposed to or if they will suffer health problems. But the breakdown may hold lessons for other countries because similar warning systems are used around the world. This was their first test in a major crisis. (more)