Monday, March 12

Wild monkeys to measure Fukushima radiation

Fukushima University researchers have designed radiation-measuring collars to fit on some of the wild monkey population in the surrounding wooded areas. This, of course, is to analyze the higher radiation levels still present since the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent meltdown of reactors at the Fukushima power plant.

Since the monkeys spend most of their time in trees while occasionally dipping to the forest floor, the gps-equipped collars will be able to measure ground and air radiation levels. Supposedly, the monkeys are key in this new project because their area is well known and will help track wildlife exposure to radiation. Also, the monkey collars are supposed to be more reliable than the current readings from helicopter.

These cute little guys even bathe in hot springs.
Now, I understand that the collars can be released even by a remote, and that, well, the monkeys will be living in the radiated areas anyway... but doesn't it sound a bit like exploitation? These little guys are smart enough to bathe in hot springs. They're like little people (that may occasionally throw poop in a fit of anger).

It just seems a bit backwards to employ an itchy and invasive collar on monkeys to study the degree of "not well" a human accident still is. Why not just attach a few "collars" to trees in different areas at varying heights?

Why not just send a few current TEPCO heads out into the forest with dosimeters (hazmat suits optional)? Ah, they're getting sued by their shareholders for sheer incompetence anyway.

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