The government likely will dramatically tighten its current safety limit–3.8 microsieverts per hour–on the amount of radiation to which children may be exposed during outdoor activities at school facilities, government sources said.
he Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry plans to offer financial aid for decontamination projects, with the aim of limiting the annual accumulated radiation students are exposed to at school to 1 millisievert (1,000 microsieverts).
The move will be followed by efforts to decontaminate playgrounds and other school facilities with the aim of reducing the amount of radiation exposure affecting schoolchildren to 1 microsievert per hour.
The action is a response to criticism that the current safety limit is too high. The government has also taken note of the fact that local governments in and around Fukushima Prefecture are taking their own initiatives to decontaminate tracts of land affected by the ongoing nuclear crisis.
The figure of 3.8 microsieverts per hour was calculated so that the upper limit of annual radiation exposure for students would be 20 millisieverts per year.
But some radiation and medical experts criticized the decision, saying the annual figure was too high for children.