Japanese officials continue to come under attack for their failure to fully release data related to the radiation contamination – both radiation measurements and additional overlooked plume forecasts. The high radiation measured on the ground 30-50 km from the reactor site in the early stages of the crisis could have better informed safety measures. “Professor Yasuyuki Muramatsu of Gakushuin University says radioactive iodine has a high effect on children. He says that if the data had been released earlier, more measures could have been taken to protect them from exposure.” (Yesterday the government expressed regret for their failure to do so.)
The overlooked plume forecasts were several predictions for the Fukushima (Daiichi) reactors that have been the focus of the crisis, and also numerous predictions for the other Fukushima (Daini) site. The government had promised in May to release all plume forecasts and yesterday the Japanese science ministry apologized for the oversight.
In the U.S., several groups came together in late March to submit a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Department of Energy and NRC to release all radiation measurements that might have informed the U.S. decision-making process: “’By recommending a 50-mile evacuation zone for U.S. residents, N.R.C. Chairman Jaczko gave a strong signal that the Fukushima accident was much worse than reported by the Japanese government and the utility,’ said Michael Mariotte, executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service in Takoma Park, Md. ‘We believe that he was getting information about the severity of the accident from airborne radiation measurements taken by U.S. Department of Energy aircraft. But neither D.O.E. nor the N.R.C. has published those measurements in full.’ ”