GreenTea123 wrote:Well, radiation is very dangerous but it doesn't behave like a virus - spreading from place to place. So you always have to check the local radiation level. People are afraid of the radiation because the media is completely exaggerating because they want to attract many readers/viewers.
The radiation level there is still above average but I don't think it is on a harmful level. This shouldn't stop you from doing the exchange if you are really interested in it.
I hope not too many people are influenced by the exaggeration of the media.
Interestingly enough, we are exposed to varying amounts of radiation every day. Eat a banana, you are exposed to the radioactive decay of the large amount of potassium in the banana. If you are out in the sun, you are directly exposed. Even if you are out at night, you will receive residual radiation that plants and concrete buildings absorb during the day and release well after the sun has set. Heck, you will probably get more radiation exposure flying back and forth to Japan than you will get spending a year there.
The radiation you receive from your surrounding environment is regarded as "background radiation
". Some parts of the world have higher levels of background radiation than others and people function fine. Obviously the less radiation you receive over your lifetime the better off you are (though some studies may counter that thought).
The point is that certain standards have been set around the world as to what "consistent levels" of radiation exposure are considered no threat to the longevity of a person's life and that most of Japan falls well within those levels with the exception of the areas closest to the reactors which are restricted areas. With that said, if I make it into the JET program I'll probably be getting myself a radiation detector, mostly for my own personal curiosity but also so I can feed that data back to other mapping services out there and in case by chance come into contact with a piece of contaminated material (of which the chances are slim to none).
The world is full of risks, you just have to weight the risks as you make your own judgments towards the course you set out for your life.
Wow... that turned into quite the rant. Sorry about that. -_-
TL;DR: You are getting hit with radiation whether you like it or not, so might as well get hit with it doing something you want to do.
.:*~[2012 Applicant - New Orleans (Houston Consulate)]~*:.
"Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."
-Siddhārtha Gautama (Buddha)