Japanese GP Report Rates Radiation Negligible

July 25, 2011
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Japans Twin Ring Motegi circuit.
Twin Ring Motegi circuit during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend  but MotoGP was grounded thanks to Icelands out-of-control volcano.
It appears the Twin Ring Motegi will host a Japanese Grand Prix, but will the premier class riders be in attendance?

The controversial Japanese Grand Prix will go forward as planned on October 2. The FIM based its decision off a preliminary independent report which found radiation exposure at the Motegi circuit negligible.

The Italian environmental agency ARPA was commissioned to produce an independent report investigating the radiation risks of the Motegi circuit and its surrounds. The report analyzed radiation contamination levels in air, soil, food and beverages.

Translated from the Italian source by the FIM, the report deems radiation exposure at Motegi no higher than the world average dose from natural sources. The report concludes: “Based on the estimate dose it can be said by no doubt that the radiation risk during the race event is negligible. “

(Click for the full text of preliminary ARPA report)

Yet doubt has surrounded the status of the Japanese GP round ever since being rescheduled from its original date (April 24th) following the Tohuku earthquake and tsunami. The radiation risk posed by the nearby Fukushima nuclear plant has since stoked a rider revolt in the premier class.

In early July, MotoGP riders, excepting Japanese pilot Hiroshi Aoyama, signed a petition weighing against travelling to Japan. The championship points leading duo of Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo went a step further, announcing at the German Grand Prix that they will boycott the Japanese round regardless of whether it goes forward or not. 

Should riders elect to follow through with their plans, there could be legal ramifications enforced, including breach of contract.

Full statement from the FIM is as follows:

The FIM and Dorna Sports SL recently commissioned an independent report by a recognised body to investigate the current situation in Japan, in advance of the Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi which is scheduled to take place on 2 October.

This study is intended to complement the information already available from various Governments and the World Health Organisation, which addresses the general situation in Japan following the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that occurred in March. This independent investigation reports specifically on the situation in Motegi and its environs, making it much more relevant to MotoGP participants.

The official detailed report will be delivered later this week, but a preliminary report has already been made available – with an original version in Italian and an English translation provided by the Championship organisers.

ARPA, the agency commissioned for this report, has measured levels of radiation from all sources including the air, environment and food. The final conclusion is that “based on the estimate dose it can be said with no doubt that the radiation risk during the race event is negligible”.

Based on this information the FIM and Dorna Sports will announce later this week that, subject to there being no further serious incidents, the Grand Prix of Japan will take place on 2 October as planned.
The preliminary report can be accessed through this link:
Italian version
English version 

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