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Thursday, December 8, 2011

☢ Japans First Man In Space Robbed Of Everything After Fukushima Disaster ☢

Stories like this are just so sad to hear. Toyohiro Akiyama was Japans first man in space back in the 90s. You might think that he would be set for life after that. I mean if you somehow manage to get into space and I'm sure many of us never will accomplish that in our lifetimes, but the few who do you somehow expect them to retire from all that and spend their days with easy living.. RIGHT?

But in reality that's not so anymore for Japans first spaceman Mr. Akiyama. Akiyama was a journalist with Tokyo Broadcasting System Inc., when he flew on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft in 1990. After retiring Akiyama moved to Fukushima. Akiyama have been living in Fukushima for 16 years, he was initially attracted to Fukushima because of the abundant nature in the prefecture. So much so he decided to buy farmland and build his house there.

After the Fukushima Disaster now everything has built over the years have been robbed from him.

Akiyama said:
"I used my retirement pay to buy the farmland and build a house," 

"I feel as though a robber has taken everything from me."

You can read this story and more at The Asahi Shimbun Japan Watch Site

On March 12, the day after the quake and tsunami, Akiyama packed a suitcase and fled his home in Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, about 32 kilometers from the Fukushima No. 1 plant. As he drove in his truck, the radiation detection device that was hanging from his neck sounded an alarm.

"I bought the device for emergencies, but I never thought the day would come when it would be of help," Akiyama said.

While working for TBS, Akiyama served as chief of the Washington bureau. He stayed aboard the Mir space station in 1990 for one week, giving live reports each day to the nation. Five years later, he took early retirement and moved to the farm along the Abukuma mountain range.

He created a rice farm and also cultivated mushrooms that became his main source of income.

Using his truck on March 12, Akiyama first fled to a hot springs inn in the outskirts of Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, about 50 kilometers away. In the course of learning about organic farming, Akiyama made many friends and with their help he subsequently moved to Gunma and Nagano prefectures before settling at a rented house along the mountains in Fujioka, Gunma Prefecture.

Although his home in Tamura is slightly beyond the evacuation zone established by the central government, Akiyama said, "I cannot trust the central government's argument that it is therefore safe."

In October, he returned to see what happened to his home. A friend who lives nearby told him that cesium had been detected in the rice. Akiyama did not know what to say to his friend, who had continued with organic farming in order to produce safe rice, even though the cesium level was below government standards.

Having lost everything, Akiyama now feels that the anger he feels about the Fukushima nuclear accident is what keeps him going.

"The nuclear accident contaminated the expansive forests of Abukuma and spread radioactive materials into the Earth's atmosphere and waters," Akiyama said.

This autumn, he received an offer to teach at the Kyoto University of Art and Design. He plans to move to Kyoto Prefecture next year.

"I want to start from zero again and grow bamboo shoots," he said. "But Wakasa Bay is close by," Akiyama said referring to the region in neighboring Fukui Prefecture where several nuclear facilities, including the Oi and Mihama nuclear power plants, are clustered. "In today's Japan, no matter where you go there is always a nuclear plant nearby."

Akiyama wrote a book, which went on sale from Dec. 7, about his experience evacuating from his Fukushima farm.

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Geiger Counters - Radiation Detection Meters - Handheld Radiation Detector

When it comes to radiation detection meters you really have a wide field of gadgets to choose from, however radiation detectors are the most common to use. First of all if you need to know what type of radiation you are looking for. There are Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation detectors. And also there is neutron emission of nuclear radiation. And all these different types of emissions have radiation detectors for a specific type of radiation that you can buy radiation detector for. Some also measure both Alpha and Beta. Others detect Alpha, Beta and Gamma. While others let you measure Beta and Gamma radiation.

What most people have use for though are Dosimeters you can buy a handheld radiation detector pretty cheap that are good addition to a survival kit. There are different kinds that you can use that will detect radiation. There are radiation badges that will tell you when radiation become high. Workers at nuclear power plants use these to inform them of how much radiation they have been exposed to. Now also children in the Fukushima prefecture have each been given a radiation badge so they know if they are exposed to radiation. Some come in the shape of a pen that you can carry in your pocket while other are made more compact so that you can attach them to your keychain. And then you have what is called a personal radiation monitor. These are also called Dosimeters and also normally called Geiger counters. Although not all use the Geiger-Muller Tube for the radiation detection some use a semiconductor instead. These and mostly the older geiger counters seen are pretty big to carry around, so they might not be best suited for a survival situation where you only need to carry the most important things. However if you have land and want to check radiation around the property and drinking water then these are the geiger counters to get because they are very well built units.

These are the once that you normally see people use. They have different units of radiation detection, because when it comes to radiation there are many standards used. some give the measurements in Rads, while other use Sieverts. Some have the maximum radiation value for the measured radioactivity quite low but they will still give you an idea of the amount of radiation in the area. With the units ranging from between background radiation 0.001 mSv/hr all the way up to 10 Sv/h. Normally a dosimeter will measure radiation in micro siverts per hour. If you were to walk into one of the reactor units at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant you probably would get an error reading from your dosimeter because the radiation levels are so high there.

Note that some places outside the exclusion zone in Fukushima that are too radioactive for people to live in have areas where the radiation levels are above 30 Sv/h. So if you are in a area that have high radiation the radiation detectors would also there go off the scale. However Geiger counters or radiation detectors are still favored as general purpose alpha/beta/gamma portable radiation detectors and radiation detection equipment, due to their low cost and robustness. Most come with an LCD Display that show you the radioactivity in the area. Nowdays you will even get alarm sound and the possibility to connect the device to a computer. Either with a Infrared, Bluetooth or USB connection.

So if you look at the radiation detectors for sale that have this, then these radiation detection meters will allow you to make maps of contaminated areas that show where the radiation is high and low. This also will help you to see which areas are becoming more contaminated over time. With several nuclear reactors in the US and around the world located near fault zones that makes it a danger if a big earthquake would hit the area there is always a good choice to have a radiation dosimeter avaliable. I'm sure many in Fukushima would have been grateful to have dosimeters avaliable at the time of the disaster and I am sure you to would be grateful to have a geiger counter handy when you need one.