Today, unprecedented quantities of data are easily available in cloud computing networks. The open source movement is providing ever-expanding access to this data via dynamic new software and hardware platforms. At the same time, much important data in the world is also being privatized or withheld from public access.
The lack of public disclosure of radiation levels around many nuclear weapons and power plants provide such examples. This information must be made available to the general public so that active and legacy sites can be more effectively monitored.
Data obtained by monitoring the radiation emitted from the stored nuclear waste sites should be available to all concerned citizens. Transparently publishing this data on open servers can accomplish this goal and prepare an informed citizenry for the crucial task of monitoring radioactivity.
Shortly after Fukushima a real time Geiger counter for Tokyo was uploaded to the Internet on Ustream. It ran for several days with over 2 million followers but within a week it was taken down.
Also since the Fukushima triple meltdown, a still strong citizen monitoring project has been well established. Safecast is “a global volunteer-centered citizen science project working to empower people with data about their environments. We believe that having more freely available open data is better for everyone. Everything we do is aimed at putting data and data collection know-how in the hands of people worldwide.”
It is our hope that the information on the Hibakusha Stories website, with further links for research and action ideas for increased activism, will engage young people, and all people in a greater understanding of what it means to live in the nuclear age.