Scanner measures radiation in babies

University of Tokyo researchers and radiation measurement equipment maker Canberra Japan have jointly developed a device to measure internal exposure to radiation in babies, following the outbreak of the crisis at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.

Hirata Central Hospital in Hirata, Fukushima Prefecture, will start to offer free tests using the equipment, dubbed “Baby Scan,” on Monday.

Developers of the device included Ryugo Hayano, 61, a University of Tokyo professor specialising in particle and nuclear physics. The equipment allows babies to be tested for radiation in a lying position, making it the first of its kind in the nation.

Until now, infants’ internal exposure has been measured with equipment for adults, leading to some errors. In addition, as such equipment requires the subject to remain standing for about two minutes, babies in principle cannot take the test.