Monday, January 13, 2014

Results of Geiger Counter Use in Tokyo

I finally got my Geiger counter! It arrived in the mail three days ago. I've been running around all over Tokyo with it, wherever I go, looking for hidden, deadly, mutating radiation. 

Ai-yai-yai-yai.... So far, no luck.

I've been all over Setagaya-ku, Shibuya, Harajuku and Chiyoda-ku... (sung to the melody of Frank Sinatra's "Down South of the Border (Down Mexico Way))" Hamamatsu-cho and down Shinagawa way! 

No sign of deadly radiation.

The readings have all been between 0.07 mSV/hr to 0.13 mSV/hr. A flight on a commercial jet airplane from Tokyo to New York will expose you to about 190 mSV (about 18.0 mSV/hr) so you can see that the current levels are not be worried about. Unless, of course, you are the worrying sort.

0.10... No problemo

You can read more techy stuff about radiation measurements hereIf you check the link at the top of the page of this blog, you can see what the daily levels of radiation are in Tokyo as read by a private scientific institution.

The level of radiation in Tokyo today, even after this March 11 disaster, is still lower than Rome, Italy or Hong Kong. This reports, from the height of the disaster no less, came from Bloomberg:

Hong Kong, Cornwall Radiation Beats Tokyo Even After Japan Nuclear Crisis

Typical amounts of radiation in Hong Kong exceed those in Tokyo even as workers struggle to contain a crippled nuclear plant in northern Japan, indicating concerns about spreading contamination may be overblown.

The radiation level in central Tokyo reached a high of 0.109 microsieverts per hour in Shinjuku Ward yesterday, data from the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health show. That compares with 0.14 microsieverts in the Kowloon district of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Observatory said on its website. A person is exposed to 50 microsieverts from a typical x-ray.
Many countries have naturally occurring radiation levels that exceed Tokyo’s, said Bob Bury, former clinical lead for the U.K.’s Royal College of Radiologists. A 30-fold surge in such contamination in Tokyo prompted thousands of expatriates to leave Japan after the March 11 tsunami knocked out power at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, triggering the crisis. Radiation in Tokyo is barely above levels in London and New York even now, analysts said.
“The situation in Japan looks set to follow the pattern of Chernobyl, where fear of radiation did far more damage than the radiation itself,” Bury said in an e-mail referring to the 1986 accident in the former Soviet Union, the world’s worst nuclear disaster. “Whatever the radiation in Tokyo at the moment, you can be fairly sure it is lower than natural background levels in many parts of the world.”

Here you can see daily radiation levels in Hong Kong that are on par or higher than Tokyo.

I laughed when I read the above because many corporations and foreigners in Japan pulled up their stakes and moved to China after the disaster because of fears of radiation. Just goes to show how poorly people use critical reading skills (or lack thereof) along with analytical thinking abilities (or lack thereof).

It has been well known for decades that many Chinese cities and townships have extremely high background radiation levels compared with most of the world and even the Chinese government has recognized the problem for decades. And still many foreigners left Japan to go to China because of radiation fears? Excellent risk management and risk assessment abilities of the western management of those companies.

I'm sure they will do well in China!
But this post is not about China, it is about radiation in Tokyo. 

Many people say that we cannot believe what the government says about radiation. Even though I link to private scientific institutions, some naysayers still don't believe that. OK. I bought a Geiger counter. I've checked for myself. I've even hoped to find some bizarre glowing green globules of irradiated gook. I've looked everywhere.

Nope can't find them. At least not here in Tokyo.

There are even some pundits and scientists who go on the mass media and say idiotic things like, "There are no safe levels of radiation! Period!"

Well, believe what you want. If what these scientists and other fools say is true, then we all  better stay indoors and hide under our blankets for the rest of our lives. Why? Don't look now, but there's a giant ball of fire in the sky that shoots massive amounts of evil radiation at us EVERY SINGLE DAY...

Trust that if you were so daft as to stand directly out in the blistering sun everyday, with no protection, it most assuredly would be damaging to your health. 

As far as I'm concerned, I've got my Geiger counter and I can't find anything at all to worry about in Tokyo... On the other hand, when I show it to people at work, the cute girls all want to see it and play with it when I show them the device. So it is good for something.

I feel like I wasted a bunch of money on an expensive device as I cannot find any deadly radiation.... I'm married so it's too late, but I can see a good use for a Geiger counter in Tokyo... 

Having a Geiger counter in Tokyo, from my research, shows no radiation levels in Tokyo to be concerned about, but results show that having one sure seems like a great way to pick up on girls!


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to get one and take it to Roppngi clubbing!

Anonymous said...

Try measure the ground level and not the air like this guy did...

Murasaki Shikibu said...

There is too much hysteria about how the government is trying to cover-up 'astronomically high levels of radiation'. It is entirely possible to compare independent readings taken on the ground and the ones the government took meters off the ground and the difference is not...astronomical. Sure, the readings are slightly higher at ground level but not so high that you need to get on the next plane, get more radiated than you are on the ground, and perhaps move to another city with higher background radiation.

mikeintokyorogers said...

I ddid read the ground levels. They were, on average, 0.02 higher than surrounding environment readings. No big deal.

mikeintokyorogers said...

OK. I guess I'm going have to make a video of tests to satisfy guys like Anonymous.

5.55 gamma radiation reading is still well within safe levels. One X-ray is 50. NOT 5.55... If this guy in the video is worried about that manhole, then, obviously stay away from it.

PS: As a professional in media, trust that I can make a much better quality video with more reliable results. One measurement of one manhole doe not make a government cover up and conspiracy.

richardw said...

The question is not what readings you found - but which areas you didn't read that others have found high levels in.

Why is it your call to say no big deal?

You are a shill - and you are doing a good job of protecting the industry.

Hope it goes well for you.

Nice to see you work for the industry that TEPCO is known for funding.

Well done - Marketing suits you.

mikeintokyorogers said...

Once again Richardw writes something that is completely illogical and illconconceived. Richard, aren't you embarrassed writing such stupid stuff?

You wrote: "The question is not what readings you found - but which areas you didn't read that others have found high levels in"

???? Hello! Well, no I can't write about places I didn't read because I didn't read them! Doh! And then you add this brilliant deduction:

"Why is it your call to say no big deal?"

Because, I am reporting what the readings were. Those are facts. You seem to want me to write hysterical conjecture.

Richardw, there's books to help people like you. I sugges: Introductory Logic by Nance & Wilson. Product Description:
Logic is the art of reasoning well—of learning to think God's thoughts after Him. In this book, directed toward junior-high students, Douglas Wilson and James Nance lay the proper foundation of reasoning in the truth of God, and go on to train students in the crucial skills of defining terms, recognizing basic types of statements, arguing with syllogisms, arguing in ordinary language, and identifying informal fallacies.

Anonymous said...

What happens when "safe" radiation enters the food chain? Hmm. Man's arrogance will be the death of him yet.

Anonymous said...

That video posted on youtube showing high radiation levels is in Kashiwa, chiba. That area somehow collected a bunch of radiation, as did Koto-ku (due to the factories producing sludge). But most of Tokyo is fine.

I thought my geiger counter was a fake (because it only showed betweek .10 and .16) until i lent it to a coworker living in Kashiwa. The air/houses etc are fine there, but the dirt and concrete is a bit higher than normal...

Anonymous said...

"What happens when "safe" radiation enters the food chain?" You mean, like the radiation that the sun puts out everyday? I guess plants grow and the earth flourishes.

anthony said...

Here is an alternative video, just posted by a Kashiwa resident, showing much more modest levels.

Anonymous said...

Really!? comparing Fukushima fallout to the suns radiation? Im no nuclear expert but last time i looked into it the sun doesnt throw out "hot" particles that we ingest into our bodies. Any amount of ingested "low level" radiation is in fact detrimental to our health. 1 billionth of a gram of plutonium ingested into the human body (lungs,digestive) will produce cancer cells in that area in 2-60 years, its just the way it is. I agree that the level of radiation in Tokyo is likely realatively low and likely poses no IMMEDIATE health risk, but every person there has likely ingested these "hot particles". fact is, we wont know the true nature of this disaster for decades to come and i dont get a warm fuzzy feeling that everything is going to be fine....

mikeintokyorogers said...

Get serious! You wrote this: "1 billionth of a gram of plutonium ingested into the human body (lungs,digestive) will produce cancer cells in that area in 2-60 years" Ha! Ha! Ha! 2 - 60 years? And what, pray tell, has been the cause of children's cancers for hundreds of years? How about people over 60 getting cancer?

If this is what you have to worry about, then you truly do need to stay indoors under the blankets.

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