November 27, 2020 15th Dialogue meeting was held at Naraha Junior High School
Date & Time
Friday, November 27, 2020 13:25-15:15
Naraha Junior High School, Naraha Town, Fukushima Prefecture
Hirofumi Tsukada, Professor
Environmental Radioactivity after the nuclear accident in 2011
We held the second dialogue meeting in this fiscal year on November 27.
Professor Hirofumi Tsukada, who studies radionuclides contamination on crops, visited Naraha Junior High School and gave a lecture to approximately 40 students (from 1st to 3rd grade) and their teachers as part of radiation education. Mihoko Kikuchi, a master’s student of IER who is supervised by Prof. Tsukada, also contributed to organizing this event.
Most of the area of Naraha town is within 20 km of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and most of residents were forced to evacuate outside the town after the nuclear accident in 2011. Then, the evacuation order was lifted in September 2015, and Naraha Junior High School resumed educational activities in the town in April 2017.
Prior to the lecture by Prof. Tsukada, several students who voluntarily joined the activity to measure dose rate in the town expressed how they felt after the activity. In particular, two students in third grade made a wonderful presentation on behalf of other students using slides about their measurement results and what they learned about radiation. Students told their impression like “I was relieved to know that even there are spots with high and low dose rates in the town, the dose rate is low enough where I usually live”, “we learned that decontamination made it possible for us to live in the town again”. Thus, they seemed to have removed their anxiety to radiation by joining the activity.
Prof. Tsukada started the lecture with the basics of radiation such as its history and talked about the mechanism of radionuclides transfer from soil of farmland to crops, with showing many figures. Although part of the lecture may have been difficult for junior high school students to understand, they were listening to it very seriously. A teacher told us later day that most of the students said that they learned more about radiation than before by listening to the lecture. During the break and after the lecture, we prepared a cloud chamber to show normally invisible radiation flying so that students can have an image of radiations. Some of the students who were looking at the cloud chamber said that they wanted to make it themselves.
The total number of students at Naraha Junior High School was about 300 before the earthquake, but now it is 39. Even so, the school is actively working on projects to revitalize the town, and we felt that the brand new and comfortable schoolhouse was full of students’ power and vibrancy.
A science teacher said that she gives classes saying, “You should be the junior high school students who knows radiation best in Japan”. We hope this dialogue meeting will help them deepen their correct knowledge on radiation and make the teacher’s words true.