The Fukushima Reactor Disaster 5 Years On

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Changed on: 10.05.2017

The Fukushima Reactor Disaster 5 Years On

A tsunami, caused by the most severe seaquake in Japanese records, devastated the country’s northern coast and led to the disastrous incident at the Fukushima nuclear power station on 11th March, 2011.

This incident and the meteorological forecasts, which predicted airstreams from Japan flowing to Europe, gave AGES reason to intensify its radiation measurement programme. Artificial radionuclides, released at the Fukushima power plant, could be detected in the air in Austria using gamma-ray spectroscopy between 21st March and 23rd May, 2011. However, there was no health risk to the population and the environment in Austria: the radiation levels of these artificial radionuclides were far below the range of natural radiation in Austria.

The radiation levels of the Fukushima radionuclides were much lower than the natural radiation levels that occur in the air, so they could only be detected using high-performance air collection stations in combination with highly sensitive gauging systems and high-resolution gauging electronics. The measurement techniques in use at the AGES laboratories allow for detecting even the slightest hints of radioactive substances and complement the radiation early warning system, which records an increase in radiation above a specific level, but cannot detect minute increases in radiation or – with the exception of the new generation of air monitors – measure nuclides in a specific way. The impact of the Fukushima disaster on Austria was simply too small to be detected by the automatic measuring systems. Information on nuclear emergency response 

Report “Fukushima – Effects of the Nuclear Accident”

Report “Fukushima – Effects of the Nuclear Accident"

The report “Fukushima – Effects of the Nuclear Accident(only in German available) provides a summary of the events and the effects of the nuclear facility disaster at Fukushima in March 2011 and the findings therefrom.  It was compiled by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW) in cooperation with Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG) and AGES and has been updated on the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster to include the latest international findings. The report provides information on the timeline of the accident, environmental measurement in Austria and dose assessment for the Austrian population, as well as measures taken in Austria and other countries.

Inspection of direct imports from Japan and Pacific fish

All direct imports of Japanese food products into Austria have been subject to 100 percent inspection controls since the incident. Additionally, market samples of Pacific fish products are tested for radiation. The results of these inspections are published on the homepage of the Federal Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs.

Federal Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs: Monitoring radiation levels of food products from Japan (only in German available)