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Quantum Life and Medical Science Directorate

Radiation Protection

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Study on radiation in everyday life to allow for a society in which people can live with peace of mind

The targets for radiological protection are (1) the public, (2) occupationally exposed personnel such as those in nuclear power plants and hospitals, and (3) patients exposed to radiation therapy and/or examinations. A part of research activities in QST is to assess the exposure of public after the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. For this purpose, QST measures radioisotope concentrations in the environment and food and provide the scientific data to UNSCEAR and the ICRP. For example, the technology only in QST was developed to isolate and measure plutonium in crops that is below the detection level of previous technologies. This technology revealed that the amount of plutonium in rice grain is incredibly small, at 10,000 to 100,000 less than the concentrations of plutonium in paddy soil. The analysis of long-lived radioisotopes, i.e., strontium-90, uranium, and caesium-137 currently underway in order to accumulate scientific knowledge to enable appropriate responses to the social anxiety regarding the accident.

Analysis by using mass spectrometry

For occupationally exposed personnel, research is currently being conducted on dosimetric analyses of eye lenses, which increase the risk of cataracts due to exposure. For patients, the Japan Network for Research and Information on Medical Exposure (J-RIME) advocated by QST plays an important role in optimizing doses used in radiological examinations. The QST is responsible for organizing and contributing to information hubs that promote radiological protection measures under the all-Japan system.

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Research Department

High-Profile Research Papers

  • "Method for 90Sr Analysis in Environmental Samples Using Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry with Daly Ion-Counting System" Norbert Kavasi, Sarata Kumar Sahoo, Anal. Chem. (2019), doi: