Hiroshima to review reach of `black rain`

Hiroshima city govt will reexamine reach of "black rain" containing radioactive materials that fell after the 1945 US bombing of the city.

Hiroshima: Hiroshima city government will
reexamine the reach of "black rain" containing radioactive
materials that fell after the 1945 US atomic bombing of the
city in a two-year study from fiscal 2010, its first such
review in about 20 years, it said today.

The planned analysis by computerized weather simulations
is aimed at offering new evidence to the city office and local
atomic bomb survivors, or hibakusha, in asking the central
government to expand coverage of its free medical checkups for
people who were in areas hit by the contaminated rain, the
office said.

The results of its large-scale questionnaire of hibakusha
in 2008 have indicated that black rain might have fallen in
areas at least double the size of areas currently designated
by the state.

The municipal government said it booked about 9.8 million
yen (0.081 million USD) for the study in its initial budget
plan for fiscal 2010, which begins in April.

Previously, a panel of experts set up in 1988 by the city
and Hiroshima prefectural governments concluded in 1991 that
black rain-affected areas are almost identical to the state
designated areas.

But the finding has since been questioned by other
experts including meteorologists who see problems in the
setting of conditions such as the altitude of the atomic cloud
and the quantity of radioactive materials spawned from the Aug
6, 1945, explosion.