The Fukushima power plant disaster left long term effects to its surrounding area. The nuclear radiation could damage the health of some residents for as long as 30 years. Residents in Fukushima Prefecture are angry on their government radiation standard and worry about the radiation in the environment. The students from Koriyama in Fukushima Prefecture will not be able to swim in an outdoor swimming pool.
The education ministry is concerning about the outdoor pool radiation standard while there are increasing worries about the nuclear radiation level in swimming pool. The government standard allowing students taking outdoor gym classes is 3.8 microsieverts per hour, which is considered too dangerous for children by their parents and experts because the possible total annually exposure is 20 millisieverts. As a result of parents anger and data from experts, on May 27th, a new annual radiation exposure limit is set as 1 millisievert, which is much lower than the previous standard. Due to the new limit, most of the outdoor swimming classes are suspended in Fukushima Prefecture. The data from Asahi survey shows 30 out of 33 cities will stop their outdoor pools. The uncovered 26 cities are either close to the power plant where people are almost evacuated or far away from the power plant. What is worse is that the residents living in Fukushima are losing their confidence on the government because the new limit is much lower than previous one and it was published suddenly. The various opinions that contradict with each other from many experts also confused people.
In Koriyama, one of the most populous cities in Fukushima Prefecture, students will go to indoor pools instead of outdoor ones at least once and some swimming clubs are asked for lending their indoor pools to the schools. However, due to the limited space, students have restricted time for the swimming classes and have to walk to several swimming clubs.
Not only Fukushima Prefecture, residents in Kanto area also worried about the nuclear radiation effect there. Several cities in Ibaraki Prefecture prohibit the use of outdoor school pools and wait for the decision of the higher level government. In some of the cities, researches are run to check the radiation in school pools. The tests are performed in elementary schools, junior high schools and senior high schools. The officials stated earlier that the radiation level was safe and was not suppose to have any health effect on people. However, a private research group had different conclusion that the radiation in atmosphere is still in a dangerous level. There are also worries about the rain water with radioactive ashes falling into the swimming pool and accumulated. The radiation check is still incomplete and there are several more schools need to be inspected. The Tokyo education office stated that the radioactive materials in pool is much lower than the safe level and tap water and rainwater are also safe.
Nuclear disasters leave long term effect. Not only the power plant itself is dangerous, the radioactive materials left in the air and soil will also result long time pollution.