” MINAMI-SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture–A research headquarters to monitor radiation levels from the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant around the clock opened here Nov. 16.
A branch of the Fukushima Prefectural Center for Environmental Creation, the “environmental radiation center” in coastal Minami-Soma city operates with a total budget of 2.7 billion yen ($21.88 million).
“The center will conduct more minute and precise radiation monitoring and release accurate data to the public to dispel the anxiety of Fukushima residents and negative publicity (about radioactive contamination),” Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori said Nov. 16.
The 1.8-hecter facility was set up to oversee programs to monitor radiation and soil contamination levels in the prefecture’s Hamadori coastal region.
It is tasked with monitoring airborne radiation levels on a full-time basis and conducting systematic soil surveys in areas around the crippled plant.
The center is also tasked with compiling comprehensive data on radioactive contamination and publicly disclosing the results of each survey.
In addition to prefectural officials, around 15 workers of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) staff the facility on a full-time basis to provide their expertise in developing monitoring methods. ”