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Google Releases Street View Images From Fukushima Ghost Town 63

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-fallout-map dept.
mdsolar writes in with news that Goolge has released Street View pictures from inside the zone that was evacuated after the Fukushima disaster. "Google Inc. (GOOG) today released images taken by its Street View service from the town of Namie, Japan, inside the zone that was evacuated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. Google, operator of the world's biggest Web search engine, entered Namie this month at the invitation of the town's mayor, Tamotsu Baba, and produced the 360-degree imagery for the Google Maps and Google Earth services, it said in an e-mailed statement. All of Namie's 21,000 residents were forced to flee after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the town, causing the world's worst nuclear accident after Chernobyl. Baba asked Mountain View, California-based Google to map the town to create a permanent record of its state two years after the evacuation, he said in a Google blog post."
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Google Releases Street View Images From Fukushima Ghost Town

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  • lolwut (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 29, 2013 @02:05AM (#43309801)

    Google releases images, but we're not going to show them to you. Or load the page's CSS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 29, 2013 @02:29AM (#43309863)

    I like the graphics but the game play can use more work.

    • by rvw (755107)

      I like the graphics but the game play can use more work.

      I think a clown or two could actually improve those pictures a lot.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I see a few nuka-cola vending machines that looks like they might also have a few nuka-cola quantum in them.

  • Unmanned car ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 29, 2013 @02:56AM (#43309919)

    Did they use a manned, or unmanned car for this ?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Maringo (2878973)
      And did they stop for a red light?
    • Re:Unmanned car ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nadaou (535365) on Friday March 29, 2013 @03:57AM (#43310051) Homepage

      In all likelihood manned. If you "drive" around for a few minutes in street view you will notice a number of other cars driving on the main roads. The acute risk from radiation has dissipated (the worst emitting particles have the shortest half-lives) the remaining threat is low-level emitting particles where the danger is more or less cumulative with time. A day spent driving around the town might be a small risk to you and your car, but you wouldn't want to live or work there every day.

      It probably wouldn't hurt to bolt an extra air filter in the cabin air intake, and give the car a good wash down afterwards, just in case you stirred up some nasties in a dust pile.

      • by jrumney (197329)

        Not only were there other cars around, but traffic lights were switched on. The spot where the link takes you looks deserted, and there are a couple of impressively collapsed houses nearby, but travel a couple of hundred metres and things start to look a lot less like a ghost town and more like a run down rural town that is still rebuilding a couple of years after an earthquake.

    • Re:Unmanned car ? (Score:4, Informative)

      by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday March 29, 2013 @04:06AM (#43310085)

      Manned of course. The exclusion zone is not a 100% ban on all people and the radiation isn't even that bad. The highest dose experts (not TEPCO) predict a person would be subjected to is 20mSv/yr, 1/5th the dose that is known to possibly cause cancer, and about the same as a commercial pilot is expected to be exposed to.

      It's easy enough to enter the exclusion zone and several photographers already have, they just haven't made the headlines on Slashdot because they took photos not a streetview.

      • Re:Unmanned car ? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Friday March 29, 2013 @05:18AM (#43310265) Homepage

        Please don't try to make simplistic comparisons of mSv/yr expose, they are not valid or helpful.

        An airline pilot is exposed to radiation from outside his/her body, most of which can't penetrate the skin and none of which accumulates permanently. The next year the pilots exposure is still 20uSv/yr, and if they stop flying it drops back to normal levels.

        A person trying to live in Namie is exposed to dust, earth, paint particles, pollen and accumulated minerals and metals in the environment. It gets inside them, particularly into organs like the thyroid. It sits there irradiating them for decades, with no skin/flesh barrier. That is what causes cancer and leukemia, and that is why every child living near Chernobyl had to have their thyroid glands removed and now can't absorb calcium. Clearly it is not an acceptable place to live.

        Namie may never recover. Even if they clean it all up and make it safe most of the people who used to live there have been forced to move on. They have jobs in other places and have made new homes, or are at least trying to. They won't all just move back, and even if they did a lot of the jobs there have gone now as the companies folded and agriculture became impossible due to contamination. Some people will go back, but it will never be the same.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          You are correct in which ingested radioactive particle are much worst than external radiation. Which is why simple xposure even with Q factor taken into account does not tell the full story. I would rather be exposed to 20mSv per year of cosmic ray, than say , ingest 1/2 of the equivalent radiation in food.

          In fact a lot of town reach similar environmental exposure all over the world without having a big increase in cancer. In fact I used to live in a city in France which had in average 4 mSv per year (m
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            That said the exposure at Namie is not even that high, it is actualy highly irregular.

            Self-contradictory statement. If the exposure is that high in places at Namie, then the exposure is that high at Namie. It really doesn't help you if only 1% of it is highly contaminated if you happen to encounter that 1%.

            Some people in a building in south korea (or china?) in which cobalt 60 iron girder were used had a much higher dose over 10 years and did not suffer more cancer. Possibly due to hormesis. Yes it was not inside exposure, but neither is most of the radiation in Namie !

            Disingenuous, again, since we're talking about Namie, which does have opportunities for internal exposure, unlike your unrelated anecdote about girders.

            The bottom line is that it is not that simple,

            but you're trying to simplify it anyway, without even logging in so that we can decide if this message is being left by a known shill. Whi

          • by Donwulff (27374)

            It's clever to switch to claiming "average" instead of the indefensible "highest", as to prove average one has to go through every square inch... On maps Namie seems to usually be lumped up in the >30mSv/yr range (which ranges ranges all the way up to 1.6Sv/yr on the NPP). 10 mSv/yr would equate to 1.1 microSievers/h and it's actually hard to find outdoors areas that low in Namie town. On Namie town's own site http://www.town.namie.fukushima.jp/ (if you can read Japanese) decontaminated areas are listed

        • Re:Unmanned car ? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Donwulff (27374) on Friday March 29, 2013 @05:59AM (#43310357)

          About that, actually studies have quite consistently found airline crew annual exposure is around 2mSv/yr, see for example http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/commercial flights.html. 20mSV is the absolute maximum annual dose that "should" be allowed for airline crew, while studies have found 20mSv is typical lifetime dose for airline crew.

          There's better comparisons to put the dose rate in perspective though - for example, "Smoking an average of 1.5 packs per day gives a radiation dose of 60-160 mSv/year" (Wikipedia) while a CT-scan can give around 20mSv per examination http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/safety/index.cfm?pg=sfty_xray - classified as "moderate" risk of developing cancer, as in 1 in 1000 to 1 in 500.

          In this context of course none of this hardly matters - the Google driver isn't going to be spending an year there, and they're certainly not going to "internalize" most of that radiation. But it's very valid point for the prospect of people returning to Namie - the dose rates measured are taken at around waist height height where alpha and beta rays hardly even reach, indicating only external gamma ray dose. Those dose rates tell nothing about people who live, bathe and breathe in that isotope-soup. But currently, nobody lives in Namie and it's not know when, if ever, that can even be considered.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            You are making the same mistake as the GP. It isn't just the quantity of expose that matters, in fact it isn't even the most important thing at low levels. The nature of the exposure matters, which is something most people on Slashdot seem to miss.

            • by Donwulff (27374)

              I'm curious why you claim that, although I probably shouldn't expect much as your message boils down to an ad-hominem without even telling what you object to. Sieverts are weighted by biological effectiveness of the particles, so that when comparing committed doses from different sources ("nature of the exposure") they are intended to be comparable. Whether scientists have been successful in making them comparable is a topic that's perhaps more suited elsewhere than web-site discussion trying to find compar

              • by Carnildo (712617)

                Sieverts are weighted by biological effectiveness of the particles, so that when comparing committed doses from different sources ("nature of the exposure") they are intended to be comparable.

                Delivery vector matters as well. 20 mSv/yr of alpha particles delivered to the skin is essentially harmless (alpha particles cannot penetrate the dead outer layer to reach somewhere where they can cause damage), while 20 mSv/yr of alpha particles delivered to the surface of the lungs is more harmful (the lungs have no

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Namie may never recover.

          What is this bullshit and why are you modded insightful?

          Radiation type pollution by definition *disappears* over time. Never is an infinite amount of time. Over a period of 5 generations, there will not be enough radiation to be of any importance. Over a period of 2 generations, there will be less radiation in Namie than in New York.

          And before you start with other bullshit about "outside" radiation, radon is not exactly "outside".

          An airline pilot is exposed to radiation from outside his/her body, most of which can't penetrate the skin and none of which accumulates permanently. The next year the pilots exposure is still 20uSv/yr, and if they stop flying it drops back to norm

          Utter *ignorance*. Most of the extra radiation that pilots are exposed to orig

      • by Donwulff (27374)

        As everybody knows, Wikipedia is the end and be all of any scientific knowledge, so let's have a fact-check:

        "The highest dose". Wikipedia to the rescue! "On 6 May 2012 it became known that according to documents of the municipal education board reports submitted by each school in Fukushima prefecture in April at least 14 elementary schools, 7 junior high and 5 nursery schools so called "hot spots" existed, where the radiation exposure was more than 3.8 microsieverts per hour, resulting in an annual cummulat

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Did they use a manned, or unmanned car for this ?"

      They used interns, much cheaper and they get fucked anyway, so who cares.

    • Manned. I'm curious of they got hazard pay out of it.
  • Direct link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Raven737 (1084619) on Friday March 29, 2013 @03:50AM (#43310033)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ..is driving on the wrong side of the road (right instead of left)

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Friday March 29, 2013 @04:23AM (#43310145)
    Sadly it might have been interesting to record radiation levels during the drive.
    • This is a publicity stunt. It's meant to show how the streets look O.K. to be filled with people again. It's the silent radiation killer that is the problem as everyone knows. Fukushima is a peering legacy like Chernobyl before it about the dangers of conventional generation I, II, and III nuclear reactors. We should have been long off these types of reactors. If we had been investing like the most brilliant minds said about Thorium (since 1940's) [rawcell.com] we would have had 73 years to develop them and we would all
      • by khallow (566160)

        It's the silent radiation killer

        Oh yes, let's tremble at the spooky bogey man.

        Fukushima is a peering legacy like Chernobyl before it about the dangers of conventional generation I, II, and III nuclear reactors.

        No. It's a flaw of this particular design which spans generation I and very old generation II. Lumping generation III, which all has passive cooling, with Fukushima is mere deception.

  • by Cow Jones (615566) on Friday March 29, 2013 @04:39AM (#43310193)

    The linked page on businessweek.com contains no less than 13 trackers:

    ChartBeat
    Disqus
    DoubleClick
    Dynamic Logic
    Facebook Connect
    ForeSee
    Google Adsense
    Google Analytics
    Krux Digital
    New Relic
    ScoreCard Research Beacon
    Taboola
    Twitter Button

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Google Inc. (GOOG) today..."

    Google Inc? Have I heard of them? Google... Google...

    "... (GOOG)..."

    Oh, that Google Inc! Ok, I'm with you now. Go on.

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