NNSA Releases Raw Data from Radiation Monitoring Efforts in Japan

Press Release
Oct 21, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Following the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is today releasing the raw radiation monitoring data it collected in response to the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.

For ten weeks following the natural disaster, NNSA scientists utilized U.S. Air Force aircraft operated out of Yokota Air Base to collect data during more than 500 flight hours of aerial surveys to measure radiation levels associated with radioactive material deposited on the ground surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. 

“NNSA’s commitment to assisting the Japanese people in the aftermath of a devastating natural disaster demonstrates the value of international cooperation in supporting the monitoring and clean-up of a nuclear incident,” said Under Secretary for Nuclear Security & Administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration Thomas P. D’Agostino. “NNSA’s unique capabilities played an important role in responding to this tragedy, and we are committed to the transparency of our data and information.”

After deploying its Consequence Management Response Team and Aerial Measuring System, the Department of Energy and NNSA have provided ongoing assistance to the Government of Japan to support dose assessment through collaboration on data analysis and quality control.  NNSA also loaned the Government of Japan an Aerial Measuring System and other equipment to augment their capability.

A small NNSA team will return to Japan this month to provide further data collection and analysis support.  Once these data have been collected and analyzed, results will also be widely available to the public for independent study and review.

Maps detailing the data collected from the flights can be found here. The data from the efforts mentioned above are now publicly available for download on Data.gov at the following links: 

Field Team Radiological Measurements

Radiological Air Samples

Radiological Soil Samples

Raw Aerial Data and Extracted Ground Exposure Rates

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.