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Universities to monitor radiation levels via The Japan News

An organization to closely monitor the dispersion of radioactive materials is being set up by universities across the nation that possess radiation facilities, to prepare for possible accidents at nuclear power plants and terrorist attacks using nuclear materials.

In case of emergency, experts at these universities will collect data for such purposes as evacuating residents and providing medical treatment to people exposed to radioactive materials. They will also be in charge of providing explanations for residents.

Ten universities, including Nagasaki University and the University of Tokyo, have already decided to join the project and will seek more universities to join, aiming to establish the organization within several years.

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The latest project is intended to address such confusion and concerns by complementing the existing monitoring networks and disseminating accurate information from experts.

The new organization will comprise 10 universities with experiment facilities to handle radioactive materials. Another 49 universities are considering joining the project.

Since fiscal 2016, the Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority has also provided support in such areas as teaching students how to measure radioactive materials.

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Other universities will also look into how radioactive materials are dispersed in their respective locations and provide the data to the government. A database will be created to manage such information in a unified manner.

Naoki Matsuda, a professor at Nagasaki University and head of the Japanese Society of Radiation Safety Management, is leading efforts to create the organization.

“We want to create a system to remove residents’ concerns in cases of emergency by making use of experts and facilities across the country,” said Matsuda, an expert on radiation protection.

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