Japanese govt. blacks out radiation readings near smoldering nuke plants

U.S. radiation experts try to decipher reports from Japan
By Steve Sternberg, USA TODAY

The Japanese government’s radiation report for the country’s 47 prefectures Wednesday had a notable omission: Fukushima, ground zero in Japan’s nuclear crisis. Measurements from Ibaraki, just south of Fukushima, were also blanked out.

Radiation experts in the USA say that the lack of information about radioactivity released from the smoldering reactors makes it impossible to gauge the current danger, project how bad a potential meltdown might be or calculate how much fallout might reach the USA.

Japanese nuclear experts are hard at work gathering information, said Fred Mettler, the U.S. representative for the United Nation’s committee on the health effects of radiation. “They’re monitoring and evaluating and watching the meteorology,” he said. “They need to know what the dose rates are in various places, what direction the (radiation is) moving in and what’s causing it.”

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