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Google Releases Street View Images From Fukushima Ghost Town 63

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

    by nadaou ( 535365 ) on Friday March 29, 2013 @04:57AM (#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.

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

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Friday March 29, 2013 @06:18AM (#43310265) Homepage Journal

    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.

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