The long-awaited report from the FIM is in, containing a preliminary version of the report commissioned to investigate radiation levels at Motegi. As expected, the report finds no danger to health from radiation in and around Motegi, in line with all the other data coming in from Japan on radiation levels around the area, both official and unofficial. And as a consequence, the FIM and Dorna stated that there will be an announcement later this week that the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi will go ahead as scheduled, barring any further serious incidents.
The report from ARPA, an independent Italian agency with expertise on environmental radiation, tested air samples, background radiation, and several food samples from around the Motegi circuit, and found both the air samples and background radiation to be consistent with normal levels, and comparable (actually slightly lower) than in the region around ARPA's offices in Vicenza, Italy. Food and drink samples were also found not to have measurable levels of Cesium contamination (the radioactive particle released by the Fukushima reactor), with the exception being one beef sample from cows in the Miyagi region. But even for that sample, the level found was very low, and well within the permitted level of contamination established by the EU for food coming from Japan.
The report comes to the following conclusion:
Total Dose: < 30μSv
Based on the estimate dose it can be said by no doubt that the radiation risk during the race event is negligible
The report makes clear that there is no risk from radiation at Motegi, but there is still some doubt whether this will allay the fears of the riders and the team staff in the paddock. Much of their fear revolves around the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was very badly damaged by the tsunami which followed the massive earthquake which struck Japan in March. A lack of openness from TEPCO, the plant's owners, and by the Japanese government has left many in the paddock wary of news coming out of Motegi, even when it comes from such an esteemed body as the IAEA. The string of aftershocks - some with a magnitude of 6 or more - which continues to rock the region has added to their fears. Despite the aftershocks, the situation at the plant appears to be stable, with the biggest threat at the moment coming from the highly radioactive water being used to cool the reactors, although concerns persist about the state of the molten fuel rods in three of the reactors.
The FIM statement does still contain a get-out clause, however, if only a rather extreme one. The Motegi MotoGP round will go ahead as scheduled, the report says, "subject to there being no further serious incidents." The interpretation of the word "serious" is likely to be at the heart of a lot of heated debate on the subject.
Below is the statement from the FIM, including links to the documents containing the report on radiation:
Grand Prix of Japan: Statement from the FIM
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 October 2 as planned.
The preliminary report can be accessed through this link: