Radioactivity From the Fukushima Nuclear Plant
Every so often, a disaster occurs at a nuclear or radioactive site that exposes nature and the public to higher than normal levels of radioactivity. One modern day example is the disaster that happened in Japan just a few years ago. It’s possible for you to know the levels of radioactivity in the environment around you and in the food in an area like this by using a radiation detector such as Geiger counters.
The Fukushima Disaster
Fukushima Daiichi in Japan is the site of a modern day nuclear disaster, which happened in 2011. This disaster was not man-made, but instead it happened because of natural disasters. In March of that year, both an earthquake and a tsunami hit Japan and affected the nuclear power plant in Fukushima Daiichi. On the INES scale, this disaster reached a level of 7, which is the highest level, considered a major accident.
When the serious double earthquake hit, it cut the power of the plant and created a tsunami. Then, floods from the resulting tsunami cut the power plant’s cooling systems so the plant became too hot. This disaster affected far more than the power plant itself, as the area of miles around the plant was contaminated with radiation and the people living there were forced to leave. This disaster took the title of the worst nuclear-related accident in Japan from the previous Mihama disaster that occurred in 2004.
Radioactivity From the Disaster
Resulting problems from the disaster included radioactivity released into the air, ground and water. There was also measurable radioactivity in some of the food supply, such as seafood. However, the radiation monitoring stations were also shut down by the tsunami at the time, so it was difficult to figure out exactly how much radioactivity had been released. Nonetheless, radiation has continued to be detected over years both in the immediate area of the disaster and far beyond it.
How to Detect Radiation With Geiger Counters
So how do you know if you’re being exposed to unhealthy levels of radioactivity in an area like this? A radiation detector, such as Geiger counters, can be used to test the environment around you, while other types of detectors can test radioactivity in your food.