“Don’t like the answer? Change the assumptions.”

More evidence has emerged that the Japanese government has deliberately manipulated data in order to give the impression that radiation doses in three evacuated Fukushima Prefecture municipalities are significantly lower than has been recorded.

The Mainichi Times  is reporting that the “Cabinet Office” team was concerned that releasing the data as recorded would discourage evacuees from making plans to return to their homes.  It would obviously be extremely disadvantageous to Prime Minister Abe’s plans for resumption of Japan’s dependence on nuclear energy if it became generally known that the evacuated towns continue to be uninhabitable, three full years after the critical event.

Problems with the resettlement plan arose when recent airborne measurements, which the government had expected to show significant declines in radiation, returned results much higher than anticipated.

The new results, however, were significantly higher than expected, with the largest gap coming in Kawauchi. There, the Cabinet Office team had predicted radiation doses of 1-2 millisieverts per year, but the data showed doses at between 2.6 and 6.6 millisieverts. Cabinet Office team members apparently said that the numbers would “have a huge impact” and “we will need to explain them to the local municipalities,” and release of the results was put off.

How to “fix” the uncooperative figures?  Simply change the number of hours that people are assumed to spend outside where their exposure to radiation will be greatest!  Now, instead of assuming people will average eight hours per day in the open, number crunchers are allowing only six hours for outdoor activity.  

‘Probably works just fine in a couple of winter months, but where do you think this nature loving population can be expected to spend much of its time throughout the remainder of the year?

Now that the numbers can be presented in a more palatable manner, evacuation orders will begin to be lifted, this coming month.  

The Miyakoji district of Tamura is set to have its evacuation order lifted on April 1, and the eastern part of Kawauchi is expected to have its evacuation order lifted sometime during the 2014 fiscal year.


Tomorrow, look for a streamed presentation of Fairewinds Associates’ Arne Gundersen delivering the keynote address at Penn State’s TMI@35 Symposium.

“35 Years and Three Meltdowns Later: The REAL Lessons from Three Mile Island” will examine the nuclear industry’s persistent practice of manipulating dose calculations in order to support the myth of “harmless” radiation.

To quote Arne:

Don’t like the answer?  Change the assumptions!


About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

4 thoughts on ““Don’t like the answer? Change the assumptions.”

  1. It will be interesting to see how this plays out but these usually passive well-behaved ppl are outraged in many places & storm local meetings refusing to allow the plant start-ups.

    Not sure if this is continuing but nuclear is hugely unpopular.

    When we see foriegn protests they are vast oceans of emotional ppl as far as one can see – here we have hundreds – maybe.  

  2. Say everything is perfectly safe and then deny the health problems of the people who get sick from it.

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