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Number 1 Shimbun

Four Years After: An Illustrated Guide


The data presented here was collated by AZBY BROWN,

a Safecast volunteer and director of the KIT Future Design Institute,

and ANTONIO PORTELA, an independent researcher and translator.

All graphics by ANDREW POTHECARY.

For links to the sources of the data, go to the bottom of the page.

For a pdf of the entire page, go here.











Data is from this searchable database run by Fukushima Pref., in both Japanese and English:

Other food test results for Fukushima can be searched here:



Data is from this site run by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). It provides seafood product testing data in summary and as downloadable PDFs:



Historical radiation test data for Japan is provided by the Japan Chemical Analysis Center. In most categories data dating back to the early 1960’s is available.

Japanese site:

English site:

Data for food tests in all categories, including milk, done since March 2011 is provided by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW), as both PDF and searchable Excel files:


Decontamination costs

It is challenging to find up-to date information on costs for most aspects of the disaster. Several different agencies as well as TEPCO each prepare their own budgets and provide summaries, but determining how much money various agencies provide to each other and to Fukushima Pref., for instance, is extremely difficult. In March 2014 NHK compiled estimates from the govt and TEPCO and provided a summary of expected total costs:


These figures are fairly close to others compiled by Prof. Oshima of Ristumeikan Univ, in October 2014, quoted in this article by former PM Kono Taro:

These can be compared to much lower early estimates released in Dec 2011 by the Cabinet Office:


Health screening costs

Data from NHK:



Health screening future budget allocation

Diet member and former cabinet minister Renho Murata posted Finance Ministry budget figures for 2014 online. This figure is taken from that data:


Decontamination progress

Decontamination is primarily under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment, which publishes regular progress reports and other information:

Fukushima Pref. also publishes progress reports:



Data from this Fukushima Pref. report:


Health screening

Data from Fukushima Pref., which publishes of findings from several types of health screening every few months as part of the Fukushima Health Management Survey. English language translations appear about one month later. Most informed observers consider Fukushima Pref’s reporting of Whole Body Counter (WBC) screening results to be incomplete and uninformative:


Internal contamination in adults and children

In contrast, many municipal govts in Fukushima have very well-run and well-reported health screening programs in place. This data is from the City of Minamisoma:,21095,61,344,html


Thyroid cancer in children

Data from official Fukushima Health Management Survey reports. These results require context and interpretation. Expert consensus is that the latency period for radiation-induced thyroid cancer is 4-5 years. The first round of screening, which was due to be completed by March 2014 but is still ongoing, is intended to clarify the normal baseline prevalence of thyroid cancer in children under 18, before any effects from radiation exposure would become apparent. The second round of screening, now underway, looks at the previously screened population again to determine how many new cases have emerged since the first round, which indicates the incidence rate of the disease. Subsequent rounds will show if the incidence rate is increasing, as it did sharply in Chernobyl, and will be the strongest evidence that radiation exposure is the cause. Nonetheless, the significance of the findings so far has been disputed.


Published in: March 2015

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