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Independent Report Concludes Radiation Risk at Motegi “Negligible”

As we reported back on July 20, nearly all of the MotoGP riders have indicated they intend to boycott the Motegi GP round scheduled for October 2 due to a concern about radiation resulting from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.  Below is a brief statement from the FIM regarding an independent assessment of the radiation risk associated with attendance by teams and personnel at this year’s Motegi round of the grand prix series. Following that is the “conclusion” section of the preliminary report, followed by a link to the entire preliminary report in English.

The FIM and Dorna Sports SL recently commissioned an independent report by a recognised body to investigate the current situation in Japan, in advance of the Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi which is scheduled to take place on 2 October.

This study is intended to complement the information already available from various Governments and the World Health Organisation, which addresses the general situation in Japan following the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that occurred in March. This independent investigation reports specifically on the situation in Motegi and its environs, making it much more relevant to MotoGP participants.

The official detailed report will be delivered later this week, but a preliminary report has already been made available – with an original version in Italian and an English translation provided by the Championship organisers.

ARPA, the agency commissioned for this report, has measured levels of radiation from all sources including the air, environment and food. The final conclusion is that “based on the estimate dose it can be said with no doubt that the radiation risk during the race event is negligible”.

Based on this information the FIM and Dorna Sports will announce later this week that, subject to there being no further serious incidents, the Grand Prix of Japan will take place on October 2 as planned.

Here is the conclusion reached by the independent assessment of the radiation risk (at least, in the preliminary report):

IV.  CONCLUSIONS AND ABSORBED DOSE ESTIMATE

The measures analysis shows the presence of radioactivity contamination due to the Fukushima accident in the Motegi Twin Ring track areas, as it was expected.

The on-field-spectrometry analysis on soils shows in fact the presence of the Cs134 radionuclide released during the accident: air gamma intensity is higher than what it was in areas close to Motegi before the accident (acording to data coming from the Mobilityland Corp. Twinring Motegi technical staff).

Based on the measures taken it is possible to estimate the individual absorbed dose during the race event, in the assumption that the event duration will be one week and the ambient situation will stay the same until the race date.

The estimate is based on the measures for the ambient and inhalation gamma dose, while calculations have been made for the ingestion dose, considering the average Italian diet and food/beverages delivered in the TRM (rice, for instance, is still 2010 production and some foods like bread, pasta, oil, cheeses and some fruit are imported) and safely considering the minimum measurable concentrations of Cs134 e Cs137 as positive values.

Based on the experimental data the average air gamma dose (0.144μSv/h) resulting from the sum of the Cesium fallen on the ground after the Fukushima accident plus the natural radioactivity of the Motegi area, the gamma radiation dose estimate for one week, not considering any shield factor, can be 24μSv, and this figure can be considered normal. It is worth to remind here that the levels are in line with ambient values measure in other towns (e.g. Piacenza =0.0090μSv/h, Roma = 0.330μSv/h, Madrid = 0.190μSv/h).

The inhalation estimate dose for one week is less than one tenth of μSv, safely considering the maximum Cesium level (Cs134 e Cs137) as measured just once in the paddock area (Cs134 and Cs137 concentrations respectively 80 and 160mBq/m3).

The ingestion estimate dose for one week is less than some μSv, calculated as above said.

Table 5 summarizes our estimates.

Table 5 – Dose estimate for adult people in one week

Motegi

INHALATION

< 0.1µSv

INGESTION

< 5µSv

RADIATION

about 24µSv

TOTAL DOSE

< 30µSv

The above mentioned weekly dose is in line with the average world natural sources dose of about 46μSv, obtained by the yearly average dose of 2.4mSv (Unscear 2000).

Based on the estimate dose it can be said by no doubt that the radiation risk during the race event is negligible.

Written in Motegi on July 22nd, 2011.

The entire text of the report can be found here.

24 Comments

  1. Brooster says:

    Gotta love the “Independent Report”! When was anything ever truly independent? Esp when there’s the whiff of big money just next door.. These guys are rock stars man – As Marx said: The workers control the means of production. And my take on that is that they are the product pure and simple so the MotoGP boys should call ALL the shots about where and when they perform.. If its too dangerous in their opinion for whatever reason they should boycott. Ideally relocated to another track of course…

  2. Randy Singer says:

    This came out today (August 2):

    Fukushima Plant Now Leaking Highest Radiation Levels Since Tsunami

    http://gizmodo.com/5826738/fukushima-plant-now-leaking-highest-radiation-levels-since-tsunami

  3. Anon says:

    Bloomberg is reporting off the scale radiation at the reactor sites.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-01/tepco-says-highest-radiation-yet-is-detected-at-fukushima-dai-ichi.html

    Might not be all over yet…

  4. Gutterslob says:

    I wonder how many skull X-rays MotoGP riders have to get per season?

  5. Foogunheimer says:

    The party that pays for the “Independent Report” always gets a favorable review. It’s akin to slamming an advertiser in your own magazine….not real good for business. I’m sure all the racers will be absolutely glowing in October when they are forced to race or give up their chance to win the championship.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I’m sure all the racers will be absolutely glowing in October when they are forced to race or give up their chance to win the championship.”

      no pun intended, but it’ll be a public relations nightmare for the factorys when word of this gets out past the niche world of motorcycling to the world at large. given honda’s heavyweight status on car side, they are especially vulnerable. toyota got a black eye just over alleged prius issues. one phone call from a rider to any mainstream press outlet associating their name with nuclear radiation and that’ll be all she wrote. their stock will plummet. so i say to any factory attempts at “strong arming”…? hey, good luck with that.

  6. kpaul says:

    So when you look at the location of the Fukushima accident near Okuma Japan on the coast compared to where Motegi is, I get it now which I didn’t get before shame on me. Motegi is around 100 miles South by South West of the accident. The important thing was Motegi was up wind for most of time of the crisis. Shame on me. Let’s race.

  7. Norm G. says:

    “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread…”

    - Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “The measures analysis shows the presence of radioactivity contamination due to the Fukushima accident in the Motegi Twin Ring track areas, as it was expected.

      The on-field-spectrometry analysis on soils shows in fact the presence of the Cs134 radionuclide released during the accident: air gamma intensity is higher than what it was in areas close to Motegi before the accident (acording to data coming from the Mobilityland Corp. Twinring Motegi technical staff).”

      credit given for someone in japan being honest. something that perhaps understandibly has been in short supply.

  8. Ryan says:

    I wouldnt go.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I wouldnt go.”

      you are wise beyond your years. no “timothy treadwell psychosis” here.

  9. Anon says:

    The question is not so much about how much radioactivity is at the site right now – though obviously that is important, it is more about how much the various authorities who are responsible for releasing information about the issues can be trusted in the future.

    To date there has been more of a cover up than free and open release of the data. So the question is more of whether the radiation levels will be safe at the time of the race and will it be possible for anyone to find out if there are issues before their geiger counter goes off.

    It is OK to want to help Japan, but when the people who are supposed to be monitoring the state of the reactors have lost all credibility by stating there was no meltdown when three meltdowns occurred, it makes sense to be cautious and to not trust the reports that everything is OK.

  10. Dale says:

    Outstanding! Bring on the Race! World Superbike should be good this weekend. Checa may never see a better chance to win a World Title than this season. May the Best Man win.

  11. Roger says:

    Lose of available points is a big penalty. There are many people that have suffered because of these diasasters in Japan. Maybe these people we look up to in MotoGP, are not people we should admire if they cannot be there for the people of Japan.

  12. ROXX says:

    I hope that the penalties any boycotting riders receive are severe!

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I hope that the penalties any boycotting riders receive are severe”

      they won’t be. it’s going to be tough penalizing all of motogp, moto2, and gp125. they’ll go blind on paperwork.

    • kpaul says:

      A better way to handle it is to give them a bonus and perhaps have expert brief the riders at a meeting at the race before.

    • Billygoat says:

      And I hope that the penalties are donated to the People of Japan!

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “And I hope that the penalties are donated to the People of Japan!”

        OR, they could just “cut to the quick” and donate money to the peeps of japan…?

        if one’s going to be altruistic, then go be ALTRUISTIC…! don’t waste time connecting it to something somebody else may…? or may not do…? that’s ridiculous. they need help NOW, not weeks and months from now.

  13. MGNorge says:

    Someone needs to step up and present the facts in such a way that it eases the fears of any concerned. Just look at how many people here in the US were taking potassium iodide because of their overblown fears.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Someone needs to step up and present the facts in such a way that it eases the fears of any concerned”

      and if their best efforts still don’t ease anyone’s fears…?

  14. Joe Bar says:

    “comparable”, not “comperable”.

  15. BillyGoat says:

    I don’t know where these riders received their information or if they know they are doing more harm to the people of Japan, but the risk to the health of racing at 200km/h is much higher than the radiation risk. Probably by a factor of a million per year.

  16. Joey Wilson says:

    While I can certainly understand a rational fear of radiation, TwinRing is a huge Honda-owned complex (with its own hotel, the Honda Collection Museum, several racetracks where HRC and other parts of Honda do lots of tests and all manner of other series hold races, an amusement park, and so forth) that would surely not be open for a Race Weekend if Honda and the FIM had any concerns about race team and fan safety.

    So I’d suggest this: Either you racers put on your Big Boy Pants, man up, and do this, OR . . . . immediately remove all those ‘We’re With You Japan’ stickers from your rides. I’m sure there’s no International Law against hypocrisy, but if you’re THAT worried, Casey (and I’m a big fan), dontcha think you better take a geiger counter to all those HRC Staff and Technicians’ luggage when they go home to Japan between races, and then show up to work for you at the next race ?