On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by one of the most destructive earthquakes and tsunamis of all time, which triggered the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. In the immediate aftermath, the Japanese government and power plant operator failed to provide accurate radiation data to the public. Officials struggled to mobilize their own detection system. False information was even spread to create an illusion of safety, an official report later concluded. Meanwhile, local residents just wanted to know which areas were safe. And across the Pacific Ocean, people in North America were worried about the spread of radiation. That vacuum pushed ordinary citizens to collect and analyze their own radiation pollution data. Now, nine years later, the people of Japan — and other countries — are still measuring radiation levels in the environment. They’re using their own innovative mobile measurement devices and generating their own open-source data and radiation maps. Some nuclear…



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