A Child being checked for Radiation Exposure in Fukushima The Japanese government has relaxed the rules on levels of radiation at schools to allow schools in the region of the nuclear disaster to re-open The Ministry of Education Culture Sports Science and Technology (MEXT) has increased by ten times the amount of radiation which is acceptable in education establishments. Teachers point out that children are more vulnerable to radiation than adults and that they are more likely to play in exceptionally contaminated environments like mud and puddles. A group of medical experts - Physicians for Social Responsibility - in the US has condemned the decision of the Japanese government, they say:  "(Twenty millisieverts) for children exposes them to a 1 in 200 risk of getting cancer. And if they are exposed to this dose for two years, the risk is 1 in 100. There is no way that this level of exposure can be considered 'safe' for children." There is a large movement against nuclear power in Japan which is the only country to have suffered nuclear attack. Below is a statement from the Fukushima Teachers Union followed by a petition from anti nuclear groups: Protect Children from Radiation Health Damage
Since the terrible disaster of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the radiation levels remain incredibly high. For the protection of children from health damage by radiation, we have been continuously urging the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Fukushima Prefecture Education Board to set guidelines for security measures. On April 19, a month after the catastrophe, the MEXT finally notified "Tentative Guideline on Use of School Buildings and Playgrounds in Fukushima Prefecture". On this "guidelines", however, many anxious voices are raised from the parents and teachers in Fukushima whether their children could really be protected from the radiation effect by the new radiation standard.
The MEXT has set 20mSv/y as the upper limit of radiation levels for school children on April 19. It states that this maximum level of 20mSv/y is based on the recommendation Pub.109 by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) that recommended a tentative safety standard within a band of 1 to 20 mSv/y as reference levels in "Post Emergency Situation". But this standard is set for the general public. It is not for school children. Moreover, it should be noted that the current guideline of regulation is set on 1 mSv/y. The threshold quantity of 20mSv/y is for the planned exclusion zones and also matches the annual radiation exposure dose limit for workers at nuclear plants (the 1990 Recommendation of ICRP). It is apparently very dangerous to adopt this standard to children who are the most vulnerable to radiation. Moreover, when children are exposed to radiation over many years, cumulative radiation will be considerable amount and therefore their risk to cause health damages will be substantial. If we follow the MEXT’s guideline, the lives and health of our children would never be protected. The MEXT just set the exposure limit at 3.8 μSv/h for children using a school playground. The radiation dose on school playgrounds, however, varies greatly from place to place. The radiation level is comparably high at side ditches and puddles where rainwaters or dusts gather. Children touch soil or sand and run around school playgrounds. They cannot avoid breathing dusts flying in the air. They sometimes fall on the ground and skin their knees. Then radioactive materials would attach to their wounds. Even the air dose rate is less than 3.8 μSv/h, children would receive higher radiation through direct touch with the ground than in the air. There is also a danger of internal exposure. For the protection of children from health damage by radiation, we strongly demand the rapid control of the nuclear plant accident and the prompt implementation of safety measures to prevent risk to children’s health, instead of repeating, "There is no immediate threat to health". TAKENAKA Ryuichi, President of Fukushima Prefecture Teachers’ Union
An urgent appeal to the world from Hiroshima and Fukushima We demand the immediate shutdown of all nuclear power plants So that the genocide and misery of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will never be repeated we demand as follows: 1. Stop all nuclear development and abolish all nuclear power plants immediately 2. Compensate all damages and losses caused by the Fukushima Daiichi power plant 3. Stop the control of information and put the safety of workers and residents first 1. Stop all nuclear development and abolish all nuclear power plants immediately 2. Compensate all damages and losses caused by the Fukushima Daiichi power plant 3. Stop the control of information and put the safety of workers and residents first 1. Stop all nuclear development and abolish all nuclear power plants immediately 2. Compensate all damages and losses caused by the Fukushima Daiichi power plant 3. Stop the control of information and put the safety of workers and residents first 4. Abolish all nuclear weapons and related facilities The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident has brought about unprecedented radioactive contamination and environmental destruction. "Nuclear plants are absolutely safe…clean and free from catastrophe." It is now obvious to everyone that these words were lies! Countless workers and residents are being exposed to high levels of radiation. The farming and fishing industries are in peril. The health of all people: children, neighboring residents, as well as the workers fighting to prevent the meltdown, are in danger. Even their lives are at stake. Nobody can say to what extent the radioactive contamination will damage the environment. The fallout caused by only one nuclear power plant is 1000 times greater than the Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. This enormous amount of radiation is more than enough to destroy the ecosystem. We must stop by any means a recurrence of the power station accident and any further exposure to radiation. We demand the immediate shutdown of all operating nuclear power plants and their abolishment. We call on all people worldwide for joining us in this movement with the sufferers of Fukushima as well as Hibakusha (A bomb victims) who have struggled for over six decades, insisting "No More Hiroshimas! No More Nagasakis!" Reiko Shimoda(Anti war association of a-bomb survivors) ; Mireko Yoshihara (Hibakusha,Christian);Sil Gun Lee (President of Korean a-bomb survivors council of Hiroshima);Makoto Kitanishi(Emeritus of Hiroshima University); Takeshi Nakashima (second generation of A bomb sufferer); Atsuko Oe (Representative of Save the Iraqi Children of Hiroshima); Norio Suzuki(President of Hiroshima Solidarity Labor Union); Matashichi Ooishi (Bikini Hydrogen bomb test survivor / crew member of the affected The fifth Lucky Dragon fishing boat); Koichirou Suzuki (dairy farmer/ Fukushima resident); Junko Ichikawa(President of Fukushima United Workers' Union) Office of the appeal committee Address : 14-3-303 Noborimachi Naka-ku Hiroshima-city Postal zip: 730-0016c/          
signature:     Name Address / Email Address