The shortlink for this blogpost is http://wp.me/puwO9-SB
This blog post shows my expanded/improved “map translations” comparing Fukushima and Chernobyl fallout, improved from my earlier attempt to do so, posted in May 2011 (not as good, but it was the original, which includes more data sources: see that one HERE). Sources of maps below are provided below.
You may also like my attempt at ‘Fallout Maps for the United States (2012)‘.
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Friday Sept 30, 2011 – Victoria, Canada — Fukushima update! — (couple small corrections made in 2012)
It’s been awhile, but: Several new maps for Cesium 134 & 137 fallout from the troubled Fukushima-Daiichi NPP were released by MEXT (official / Japan) on Sept 29, 2011 (in Japanese):
April 30, 2012 add-on note: My original source source site, “
http://radioactivity.mext.go.jp/ja/1910/2011/09/1910_092917_1.pdf “, has apparenty been taken down, which is too bad, as it was my source for maps. The new Source for the Sept 29, 2011 map, as well as many other can be found here: !–> http://radioactivity.mext.go.jp/old/en/monitoring_around_FukushimaNPP_MEXT_DOE_airborne_monitoring/
See also: http://radioactivity.mext.go.jp/en
I just picked the “Cesium-134 and -137 deposition (becquerels/square meter)” As well as the Cs-137 only deposition map, both for Japan, and show how they compare to Chernobyl.
Japan Cs-134 + Cs-137 combined (March 2011):
Japan, for JUST Cs-137, which is the only map actually truly comparable to the Chernobyl map, which is for just Cs-137 as well:
Before correcting this mistake, I had only shown the combined map, which doesn’t correctly compare to the Chernobyl map, which is for Cs-137 only. Thanks to a comment, I added that later to correct this mistake.) Luckily that mistake didn’t affect the Bq/m^2 color comparison, below.
Compared to MEXT’s previous fallout map “press releases” (hidden somewhere on a website they let few people know about…), the legend was diversified a little: the dark blue was split into 5 new value ranges to give more detail. Who came up with this color scheme, though? Brown-green, blue-green, from dark to light blue, then green again, but darker than the light blue, yellow lighter than the green, and a soft red… There’s the color choice, and there’s the grey scale choice, neither make intuitive sense to me on the MEXT legends (while they do make sense on the UNEP legend). Is this some “psychological scale of danger” only understood in Japan? Or was it intentionally chosen to hide the severity? To get started, look at the difference of the two legends (Japan 2011 left, Europe 1986 right):
‘Becquerel per square meter (Bq/m^2)’ legend color scale (whether it’s for combined isotopes or just one isotope doesn’t directly affect the color scale comparison itself). See my page ‘Radiation Units‘ for help with the half dozen different units used for various aspects of radioactivity.
Fukushima “green” (600-1000 KBq/m^2) is still Chernobyl “red” (185-1,480 kBq/m^2)… !
This is how the legends line up, below. I added two lines to the right to show the expansion (see also my May 19 original comparing the Cesium fallout maps. All map/legend data sources are listed at my May 20, 2011 ‘Elaboration on my Cesium-137/134 Fallout Color-Legends “Translation Legend”’ Legend comparison:
[ CORRECTION: As already mentioned, it was pointed out (in comments) that I compared the Cs 134 + Cs 137 fallout map of Fukushima with Chernobyl Cs-137 only fallout. Indeed, my mistake, now FIXED. The last page of the MEXT file shows the fallout for JUST Cs-137, which is the only one truly comparable to the Chernobyl map, which also shows just Cs-137. CORRECTIONS MADE]
Here’s the Cesium 137 only fallout from Chernobyl over Europe in 1986, again, for which my SOURCE is: http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/radiation-from-chernobyl; Europe:
So… If you now present Japan the way UNEP presented Europe... [and do so for comparable maps, that is] then you’d get a presentation that looks more-the-less like this, see further below.
NOTE (!): I put a little green in there too, although I do not know if values under 2,000 Bq/m^2 are found in those areas, they mights just as well all be light yellow there, or there may be more green. Uncolored areas: data not released yet. Please contact me if you have additional or better data sources. Or if you know of better fallout maps. Thank you.
NEW (created by me on Dec 22, 2011): color-adjusted map for Cs-137-only fallout in Japan:
And below, the Cesium 134 + Cesium 137 combined map for Fukushima-Daiichi fallout, adjusted to Chernobyl’s Bq/m^2 legend colors, which I originally posted AS IF comparable to the above Chernobyl (Cs137 only) map. Not really comparable as such. Yet it still shows the severity of the contamination.
As But as you can see in either case, though, in colors that make sense, a stretched out dangerous hotspot region 250 kilometers longs compares very much to the mess directly surrounding Chernobyl.
In my opinion, this fallout deposition map of measurements should be expanded to include all the areas predicted to be affected areas (including parts of China, Korea, Russia, the USA, Canada and Mexico), as shown in this below fallout modeled map by the French CEREA (See my Sept 1, 2011 blogpost for more on that):
Side-note: The only reason I spend any time giving attention to this is because I have always been, and still am, 100% opposed to nuclear power. I find it most insane way to boil water. A civilization barely a few thousand years in the making, with a technological leaping of just a few centuries, operating in a profit-oriented economy that thinks in quarter earnings, creating dangerous waste that needs to be securely stored for at lest 100,000 years… That’s simply insane. The only way it was approved (anywhere) is because people have been lied to about its alleged ‘safety’ at every step of this experiment.
I want every nuclear power plant shut down, every nuclear bomb dismantled and all money wasted on weapons research spent on finding a solution for the gigantic heap of extremely long-lasting dangerous nuclear waste. Hopefully, my contribution here helps to raise awareness. ‘Cause if you look at the maps of where all NPPs are… it’s not a comforting sight on a geologically volatile planet: List of Nuclear Power Plants with maps. (We all live downwind… and I happen to absolutely love this world.)
2/28/2012, Added by request: the map of my Dec 22 post with Fukushima fallout inserted on the European Chornobyl fallout map with same legend colors and approximately the same distance scaling:
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See also the ‘Radioactivity’ tab in the top banner above.