By NBC's Robert Bazell
There is an enormous disruption of life in the region near the crippled nuclear reactor. Because of radiation, the government evacuated some 80,000 people to live in shelters, with family or in government-provided housing.
But one of the biggest dangers is a fear of the unknown--even beyond the 12 mile mandatory evacuation zone. And it is hardly irrational.
Although radiation still leaks from the reactors, the biggest release occurred in the first days of the accident. Still, significant amounts of Cesium 134, which has a half life of two years, and Cesium 137, which has a half life of 30 years, remain in the ground. And it was not distributed evenly, much of it is up to 40 miles from the reactors. As a result most people have no idea how much radiation they are or were exposed to.
Tonight we feature a farmer who worries not just for his workers and himself but about the crops he produces. Radiation counters are in very short supply in Japan. He managed to get one from a non-profit organization called Project 47 -- 47 is the number of prefectures in Japan, but for now the organization is concentrating on the Fukushima area. It provides counters so people at least know how much radiation is on their land. It is a badly needed and much appreciated service.