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Screening of Residents Following the Tokyo Electric Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

Kondo, Hisayoshi*; Shimada, Jiro; Tase, Choichiro; Tominaga, Takako; Tatsuzaki, Hideo; Akashi, Makoto; Tanigawa, Koichi§; Iwasaki, Yasumasa§; Ono, Tatsuo*; Ichihara, Masayuki*; Kohayagawa, Yoshitaka*; Koido, Yuichi*

doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e318287bf0e
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On 11 March 2011, the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake occurred, causing the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Residents were surveyed for contamination, and hospitalized patients within a 30-km area were transferred. In this report, the authors review the results of the survey and the effects. The screening teams measured total body contamination of each person using a Geiger-Mueller survey meter. Decontamination level was set at 100 kcpm (100,000 cpm). For levels of 13 to <100 kcpm, decontamination by wiping was planned and took place. Contamination screening during 11–21 March 2011, was carried out for 72,660 people at 200 sites. From 12 March 2011 until 10 February 2012, a total of 244,281 people were screened. As a result, there were 110 cases exceeding 100 kcpm, and 901 cases with contamination levels of 13–100 kcpm. The number of contaminated individuals screened reached a peak from 16–18 March. In the accident, contamination screening of victims and residents was performed to deal with anxiety and discrimination toward the residents. Although there was some early delay, almost all of the evacuees were relatively promptly screened. There was no external contamination at levels thought to affect the health of residents. In addition, the detection of contamination levels over 13 kcpm peaked between 15–22 March. Considering factors such as the evacuation period, this suggests that even if iodine tablets had been administered during this time, they would not have been effective.

*National Hospital Organization Disaster Medical Center, 3256 Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo, Japan; †Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan; ‡National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Chiba, Japan; §Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact: Hisayoshi Kondo, National Hospital Organization Disaster Medical Center, 3256, Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo, Japan, or email at kondo@dmat.jp.

(Manuscript accepted 14 January 2013)

© 2013 by the Health Physics Society