Japanese Artist Uses Radiation’s Effects to Show Contamination Spread via NTD.TV

In the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, one Japanese artist decided to show the invisible aftermath in a more potent way and paired up with a university professor to help print out the contamination that is normally unseen to the naked eye.

Masamichi Kagaya began gathering items shortly after the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and subsequent release of nuclear material across large swathes of Fukushima prefecture in March 2011. He made regular excursions to the exclusion zone to collect contaminated samples.

Working with University of Tokyo Professor Satoshi Mori, he was able to use the technology available at research facilities of the University of Tokyo to provide a more visual way of explaining exposure and radiation levels that normally are only given out in turns of exposure numbers.

Mori, a nuclear research specialist, said that while a grid of numbers is a useful measurement tool for record keeping, a visual library of images has a potentially longer shelf life.

He explained that he hoped that seeing radiation would help the general public to understand how much is ‘stuck’ to plants, animals and household goods which we encounter in our everyday lives.

“No matter how low the levels of radiation, our cells are being damaged when they absorb it. The weaker levels will be stopped at the skin but stronger levels will enter and stay for a long time within the body. I want more people to be aware that we are living in that kind of environment,” Mori told Reuters.
Travelling to the exclusion area and to areas as close as 10 kilometres from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant to obtain contaminated samples, Kagaya has exposed himself to levels of up to 56 to 60 microsieverts or ten times the recommended dosage.

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