In the wake of Japan’s tsunami earlier this year, Fukushima city’s nuclear power plant released clouds of radioactive dust across the country.
Now, only 40 miles from the plant, schools are back in session.
But a new accessory accompanies the navy blue school uniform.
City officials handed out nearly 30,000 radiation dosimeters to Fukushima school children with instructions to wear the devices around their necks on a cord for 3 months. Data is collected monthly to determine the level of radiation exposure for each child.
Even so, parents are no wiser about levels of contamination in their children. As reported by NPR, “the government still hasn’t told them what it considers a safe level of radiation for children.“
“I just don’t know what this is useful for,” says Hiroko Ishizaka. “Even if I’m told, ‘Your kid had this level of radiation,’ I can’t see whether it means it’s safe or not.”
Rather than providing comfort, irresolution seems to be the underlying feeling of Fukushima parents.