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Measuring and assessing individual external doses during the rehabilitation phase in Iitate village after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident

Naito, W.; Uesaka, M.; Kurosawa, T.; Kuroda, Y.

Journal of Radiological Protection: Official Journal of the Society for Radiological Protection 37(3): 606-622

2017


ISSN/ISBN: 1361-6498
PMID: 28510538
DOI: 10.1088/1361-6498/aa7359
Accession: 059950117

After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in 2011, Iitate village was placed under an evacuation order because the level of radioactive materials drifting from the nuclear plant to the village was above a government-set level for allowing residents to live in the area. The evacuation advisory for most of the village was lifted on 31 March 2017. For displaced residents deciding whether or not to return to their homes, it is important to correctly understand and estimate the realistic individual external doses they will receive after returning to the village. In this study, with the support of residents of the village, we used a personal dosimeter (D-Shuttle) coupled with a global positioning system device to measure and thus understand realistic individual external doses while the residents were in Iitate village and to project the individual external doses for different administrative districts as of 1 April 2017. The measured individual external doses measured by D-Shuttle for 38 study participants showed that the doses measured during time spent inside the village were higher and more widely distributed than the doses measured during time spent outside the village. The exposure ratio (ER) was defined as the ratio of additional individual external dose measured by D-Shuttle to the additional ambient dose based on an airborne monitoring survey. The medians of the average ERs were 0.13 (min-max 0.06-0.27) for time spent at home and 0.18 (min-max 0.08-0.36) for time spent outdoors. Projected additional annual individual external doses as of 1 April 2017 for different administrative districts in the village were calculated using ERs obtained in this study. Assuming that individuals spent 8 h per day on outdoor activities and 16 h on indoor activities, additional annual individual external doses were estimated to be below 3 mSv using the mean of the average ERs for most districts in the village, and these values were well below the individual external doses estimated using the approach taken by the central government. The results of this study provide valuable information both for understanding realistic radiological situations in the village and for those who want to know their future individual external dose in order to make a decision on whether or not to live in the village.

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