The education ministry and Fukushima prefectural government will begin operating a computer system from early October that will provide live Internet data on radiation levels at all elementary schools in Fukushima Prefecture.
The ministry will install radiation measurement devices at about 500 elementary schools in the prefecture. That will cover all schools except for those that have been ordered to evacuate.
Similar measurement devices will be installed at an additional 100 locations where children often gather, such as community centers and parks. The installation will be made in response to requests from municipal governments.
The radiation measurements from those 600 or so locations will be sent through telephone lines and be available around-the-clock on the education ministry website (http://www.mext.go.jp/).
The education ministry and Fukushima prefectural government also plan to install radiation measurement devices at an additional 2,100 locations, such as kindergartens, junior and senior high schools, by the end of this year.
The education ministry on Aug. 26 also informed the Fukushima prefectural government that it had decided on a policy of seeking to limit the annual level of radiation children in the prefecture are exposed to at school to under 1 millisievert.
To achieve that objective, the central government will provide financial assistance to decontaminate schools so that radiation levels fall below 1 microsievert per hour at schools. However, the ministry does not plan to limit outdoor activities at schools where radiation is found to exceed 1 microsievert per hour.
Education ministry officials have estimated that if a child attends a school for 200 days a year where radiation levels are 1 microsievert per hour, that child will be exposed to a total of about 0.5 millisievert over the course of a year.
Through decontamination efforts, ministry officials said that by the end of August there should be no school in Fukushima where radiation levels exceed 1 microsievert per hour.
"The radiation levels that are being measured now are at safe levels," a ministry official said.
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