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Urgent Petition Against 20mSv Radiation Exposure onto Children in Fukushima [2011年04月24日(Sun)]

【緊急声明と要請】<子どもに「年20ミリシーベルト」を強要する日本政府の非人道的な決定に抗議し、撤回を要求する> 和文はこちら

Urgent Petition Against 20
millisieverts per year (mSv/y)
Radiation Exposure onto
Children in Fukushima

>Sign the petition

Preliminary deadline:
Tue. April 26, 2011 at 23:00 in Japanese time (UTC/GMT +9 hours)
Final deadline:
Sat. April 30, 2011 at 23:00 in Japanese time (UTC/GMT +9 hours)


We urgently demand the withdrawal of the Japanese Government's inhumane decision to force 20
millisieverts per year (mSv/y) radiation exposure
onto children

On April 19th, the Ministry of Education, Culture,
Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) notified
the Board of Education and related institutions in
Fukushima Prefecture the level of 20 millisieverts
per year (mSv/y) as a Radiation Safety Standard for
schools in Fukushima Prefecture. This is the
standard to be used for school grounds and buildings.
The Government has indicated that 20mSv/y is
equivalent to 3.8microSv per hour measured
outdoors.

3.8 micro Sv/h is roughly 6 times
[the 0.6microSv/h] of "Radiation Controlled
Areas" (0.6 microSv/h or more). The Labour
Standards Act prohibits those under the
age of 18 from working under these
conditions. Forcing children to be exposed
to such radiation doses is an exceedingly
inhumane decision. Therefore, we condemn
this in the strongest terms
.

20 mSv/y is comparable to the [legally]
recognized dose for inducing leukemia in
nuclear power plant workers
. It is also
comparable to the maximum dose allowed for
nuclear power plant workers in Germany.

In addition, this 20mSv standard [for Japanese
children] does not take into account the fact
children have higher sensitivity to radiation than
adults, nor does it take into account any
internal radiation exposure.


Currently, according to the radiation monitoring
conducted at elementary and middle schools within
Fukushima Prefecture, more than 75% of these
schools have contamination levels comparable to
"Radiation Controlled Areas" (0.6 micro Sv/h or
more). Further, roughly 20% of the schools fall
within "Individual Exposure Controlled Areas"
(2.3 microSv/h or more) and are in an extremely
dangerous situation.

The level set by the Japanese Government at this
time amounts to coercion of this dangerous
situation upon children, and, can interfere with
voluntary measures by schools to minimize exposure.

MEXT states that 20mSv/y is based on the
recommendation Pub.109 by the International
Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)
as well as on the reference levels in the band of 1
to 20 mSv/y as "Post Emergency Situation"
Standards from the ICRP statement released on
March 21st. The latter means MEXT has adopted
the maximum level.

As of March 21st, there has been no substantive
information disclosure by the Japanese Government
on the decision-making process for establishing
these standards. Moreover, no explanation has
been given concerning why the Government has
neither taken the sensitivity of children into
consideration nor internal radiation exposure into
account. The contents of the consultation held
between MEXT and the Nuclear Safety Commission
(NSC) are not disclosed, and the situation remains
extremely opaque.


We demand the Japanese government of the
following:

- Retraction of the "20mSv/y" standard for
children.

- Disclosure of the names of experts, who deemed "20mSv/y" for children to be safe.


Note:
At the governmental negotiation held on April 21st, it
became evident that the Nuclear Safety Commission
(NSC) concluded the 20mSv/y standard for children
as "Permissible" without undertaking any formal
consultation. Moreover, on April 22nd, the
Commission reported to the office of Mizuho
FUKUSHIMA, member of the Japanese Diet, House of
Councillors that no minutes (records) exist of the 5
Nuclear Safety Commission members' deliberation
leading to the 20mSv/year standard.

References:
Expert comments cited from the articles on the
establishment of the 20mSv/y standard ("Fukushima
-Katastrophe - Japan legt hohe Strahlengrenzwerte fur
Kinder fest" or "Japan's MEXT sets High Exposure
Limits for Children"), Der Spiegel, April 21st, 2011.
(See comparison to German workers.)
http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,758410,00.html

Edmund Lengfelder (Otto Hug Radiation Institute),
"The cancer risk will visibly rise in the future. By
setting these standards, the government will steer
clear of any liability legally, however not morally."

-------

This petition is being organized by:
Green Action, Greenpeace Japan, Citizens' Nuclear Information Center, Citizens Against Fukushima Aging Nuclear Power Plants (Fukuro-no-Kai), Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi, and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants (Mihama-no-Kai), Friends of the Earth Japan

For further inquiries, please contact:

Green Action
Suite 103, 22-75 Tanaka Sekiden-cho
Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8203 Japan
Tel: +81-75-701-7223
info@greenaction-japan.org

Friends of the Earth Japan
3-30-8-1F Ikebukuro Toshima-ku Tokyo 171-0014, Japan
TEL: +81-3-6907-7217
finance@foejapan.org

[English translation of Japanese original: FoE Japan / Green Action]
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