Friday, May 27, 2011

Geiger Counter Sales Skyrocket in Tokyo (I bought one too!)

Well, I've always bragged that I was a trend leader...
On this blog, I've written extensively about how you can't trust the government (nor can you trust the mass media) and the best way to protect yourselves and your family is to gather information yourselves. This has been especially true during the recent nuclear accident at Fukushima. 

While the situation in and about Fukushima is very serious, due to weather patterns and distance Tokyo is still a safe place. I've listed educational and science institutes and other places where you can check the daily radiation levels in Tokyo in the air and water everyday here and at the top of this blog daily. Even so, I thought it would be fun and interesting to do checking on my own. So I bought a personal geiger counter.

Well, I should say, I ordered a personal geiger counter from Amazon Marketplace. It never arrived. I almost got cheated by a dishonest dealer (named Frontline Mobility) who now, it seems, has lost their contract with Amazon after many people (including me) complained. That was a dealer in the USA.

Then, I ordered one from a dealer in Japan using Marketplace.... Hmmm? Same sorts of problems, it seems. It's been weeks now since I ordered and still no geiger counter. This has happened even though when I ordered the dealer claimed to have it in stock and that shipping would be within three days....

Now this! Just today I found an article on Yahoo that says that sales of personal geiger counters have skyrocketed in Japan! 

Reuters reports:

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – With a nuclear plant just 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo still leaking radiation, demand for personal Geiger counters has skyrocketed in the Japanese capital and manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the demand.
Engineers are battling to plug radiation leaks and bring the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant under control more than two months after the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and deadly tsunami that devastated a swathe of Japan's coastline.
With many people unsure of who to trust for their information, some buy Geiger counters to check for themselves.
In Akihabara, Tokyo's electronics mecca, many stores have sold out and are unable to keep up with demand for the devices.
"Nobody even looked at or even knew the name (of the Geiger counter), but ever since the earthquake struck people have become very interested," said Makoto Ogasawara, sales manager at electronics store Akibaoo.
"We are selling 100 times more."
"We are producing four to five times more of the Geiger counter (than usual)," said Michihiro Kitazawa, Fuji Electric CEO.
Most of the Geiger counters at that factory are hand-made, which takes roughly 3 to 4 months. It makes about a dozen different types, producing about 2,000 per type each month.
Kitazawa said his company has also benefited from efforts to make the devices less complex so anybody can use them.
"Of course, there was the earthquake, but in the past 2-3 years, we have been trying to produce Geiger counters that are easier to operate," he added.
But most of the Geiger counters made at the factory will still be used by those working inside nuclear power plants, prompting the company to carry out rigorous checks to make sure the devices are working correctly.
"We really care about credibility," Kitazawa said.
Sigh...I am told by the dealer on that the geiger counter I ordered will arrive by tomorrow... I continue to have my doubts. It's now been almost two months since I ordered a geiger counter and I am still not a proud owner of a device. 
No sign of any geiger counter...

I think, at this rate, I am hoping to have one by Christmas... But I am not holding my breath. I am not holding my breath waiting for the device to be delivered nor am I holding it in fear of breathing in radioactive fallout.
I just want my new "toy". As soon as I get it. I am going to go around Tokyo and check for myself and report on what I find. Stay tuned!


Murasaki Shikibu said...

More than a few of my friends have bought one and I'd like to get one too. As you've mentioned it will be my new toy!

Anonymous said...

Have fun. Watch out for those 20/30% error margins!!

Anonymous said...

There are even cheaper devices, sold online for ¥30,000 to ¥100,000, which experts say are no better than toys. (From Japan Times Online)
How much did YOU pay? ;-)

mike in tokyo rogers said...

I ordered a ¥132,000 model.... It was the most expensive one. I learned my lesson long ago about buying cheap-assed stuff....

Also, I haven't paid anything... Amazon Marketplace doesn't charge you until they ship.... Of course, my device did not arrive as estimated... NOW they say the ship date is June 6.... I'll believe it when I see it.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

It will be like getting a slightly expensive science kit. You know the kind we used to get with our kiddie science magazines. ;)

Anonymous said...

Where can I buy one in Tokyo?

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