Some Japanese Children To Wear Radiation Detectors

Originally published on June 15, 2011 6:42 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Starting in September, the Japanese city of Fukushima will begin distributing radiation detectors to children. That move comes after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated a nuclear plant. As eerie as the plan sounds, the radiation detectors are intended as reassurance. Lucy Craft reports from Tokyo.

LUCY CRAFT: Reeling from charges that it's not doing enough to protect citizens from radiation, the embattled Fukushima city government will spend about two million dollars on radiation detectors for children 15 and under. The badge- type gauges will be checked monthly to pinpoint accumulated radiation exposure. The response from local residents, like Keiko Sasaki, has been lukewarm.

KEIKO SASAKI: (Japanese language spoken)

CRAFT: Sasaki and other parents - who angrily confronted bureaucrats in Tokyo recently - say there's only one solution - wholesale evacuation of everyone under 18, along with pregnant women.

SASAKI: (Japanese language spoken)

CRAFT: For NPR News, this is Lucy Craft, in Tokyo. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.