EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL EXPOSURE TO FUKUSHIMA RESIDENTS

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Abstract

The Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011, caused the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident, which resulted in the release of a large amount of radioactive materials into the environment, and there is a serious concern about the radiation effects on the health of residents living in the affected areas. The evaluation of exposure dose is fundamental for the estimation of health effects, and whenever possible, the exposure dose should be evaluated by actual measurements as opposed to estimations. Here, the outline of the exposure doses of residents estimated from surveys or obtained by measurements is described. Fukushima Health Management Survey reported the results for 460 408 residents during the first 4 months after the accident; 66.3% received doses <1 mSv, 94.9% received <2 mSv, 99.7% received <5 mSv and the maximum dose was 25 mSv. Thus, it was demonstrated that the results from personal dosemeter measurements were comparable to the estimations. The dose assessment of internal exposure of 184 205 residents conducted by Fukushima Prefecture by using whole body counter showed that 99.986% received <1 mSv, with the maximum dose being 3 mSv. Regarding exposure of the thyroid, there is not enough data for the Fukushima accident, but it is presumed that thyroid doses are much lower than those from Chernobyl. The outline of exposure doses of residents in result of the accident is still being clarified, questions and uncertainties in dose assessment remain and further efforts for more accurate dosimetry are required continuously.

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