Berkeley Lab


Hi again this is Sophia. We arrived in Japan Sunday afternoon, and traveled by train to Koriyama City to spend our first night there. We used the Narita express from the airport to Tokyo Station, and then boarded the Tohoku Shinkansen to Koriyama City. Walking through the crowded Tokyo Station gave me a first taste of the busy streets of Tokyo, but also of how efficient they have made their train systems. When we arrived at Hotel Hananoyu, our luggage was brought up to the rooms, and we went to enjoy the hot springs, which are called onsens. It was very relaxing, and the water was not too hot. We went to eat dinner at the buffet after that, and there I had tempura, teriyaki, and sushi, among other traditional Japanese dishes. Koriyama City is the largest city in the Fukushima Prefecture, with a population of about 330,000. It is known for its agricultural industry, especially rice, fruit, and fish. After the accident, Koriyama City was not evacuated, but it still houses many evacuees from other smaller towns nearer the accident.

While on the plane, we took constant measurements at different altitudes. The highest altitude reached was 34,000 ft., and the reading on the dosimeter was about 2.26±0.3 uSv/h. Again, we calculate how much we would get per year at this level, 19798 uSv, then convert it into mSv to get about 20±0.3mSv. This number is of course significantly higher than the one we calculated in my last blog, due to us being a lot higher in the atmosphere and less shielded from the cosmic radiation. When we arrived in Narita, the measurements were 0.08 uSv. Right now, in our hotel in Koriyama City, the radiation is 0.11 uSv/h, which calculates to about 0.9 mSv per year. This measure is barely higher than the one we got in the Bay Area.

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Busy Tokyo Station (on Sunday afternoon).                  A Shinkansen waiting to be boarded.