NPR logo Fukushima's Plan To Put Radiation Badges On Children Not Pleasing Parents

Rebuilding Japan

Fukushima's Plan To Put Radiation Badges On Children Not Pleasing Parents

The news that the city of Fukushima, Japan, plans to give badge-like dosimeters to 34,000 children in September — to gauge how much radiation they're exposed to from the nearby nuclear power plant that was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami — isn't sitting well with some parents.

May 23, 2011: A woman outside the Education Ministry in Tokyo expresses her opinion. Many in Japan say the government is not doing enough to protect children from radiation that's leaking from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant that was crippled in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Yoshikazu Tsuno /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Yoshikazu Tsuno /AFP/Getty Images

May 23, 2011: A woman outside the Education Ministry in Tokyo expresses her opinion. Many in Japan say the government is not doing enough to protect children from radiation that's leaking from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant that was crippled in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Yoshikazu Tsuno /AFP/Getty Images

As Lucy Craft reported for Morning Edition, those parents say the government should be evacuating everyone 18 and under and any woman who is pregnant, not waiting three more months and then only issuing badges that will be checked one a month to determine exposure.

About 40 miles from the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, Fukushima City (population 300,000) is outside the Japanese government's 12-mile "no-go zone" around that facility.

But, as Reuters reports today, the nuclear plant "is estimated to have released just 15 percent of the radiation at Chernobyl, but a complicated software modeling system created by the government to predict where the radiation would drift proved useless." So-called hot spots are showing up hundreds of miles away.

NPR thanks our sponsors