Tuesday, August 9, 2011

More on Returning Residents to Evacuation-Ready Zone in Fukushima

It's all about money. The national and prefectural governments don't want to spend on the residents, decontamination, compensation. So what do they do? They return the residents to their high-radiation homes and schools by telling them Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant is broken in a stable way, so carry on with your lives and stay there.

In addition to Yomiuri's information in the previous post, here's a bit from Asahi Shinbun (11:20PM JST 8/9/2011):


To pave way for the lifting of the "emergency evacuation-ready zone" designation in Fukushima Prefecture, the Nuclear Disaster Countermeasures Headquarters announced the result (provisional) of the survey of the air radiation levels in 1,424 locations in the 5 municipalities in the zone. The survey was done in schools, on commute routes to schools and in other public facilities. The highest and lowest readings were both in Minami Soma City, 5.5 microsieverts/hr and 0.1 microsievert/hr respectively. The house that measured 5.5 microsieverts/hr radiation has already been designated as "specific evacuation recommendation spot".


The survey was conducted in mid July. By disclosing the result, the government wants the residents to decide whether to return. The range of radiation in the other 4 municipalities were (highest, lowest, in microsievert/hour):

Tamura City: 4.0, 0.2
Kawauchi-mura: 4.7, 0.2
Hirono-machi: 1.8, 0.3
Naraha-machi: 1.6, 0.6


According to the government, if the radiation level exceeds 3 microsieverts/hour, the annual cumulative radiation exposure may exceed 20 millisieverts, the number that the government pays close attention to as it will require thorough decontamination of radioactive materials.

So, each of these 5 municipalities may have annual cumulative radiation levels of:

Minami Soma City: 0.88 to 48.18 millisieverts
Tamura City: 1.75 to 35.04 millisieverts
Kawauchi-mura: 1.75 to 41.17 millisieverts
Hirono-machi: 2.63 to 15.77 millisieverts
Naraha-machi: 5.26 to 14.02 millisieverts

That will be on top of added internal radiation and natural radiation exposure (which in Japan is 1.5 millisievert/year).

What's more unconscionable than returning the residents to these municipalities is that the governments, both national and Fukushima, never bothered to evacuate people, not even warn them, in higher radiation areas much further away from the plant, like Fukushima City, Date City, Koriyama City, and many more. They are 50 to 60 kilometers from the plant, and everyone was told their city was safe because it was so far away from the plant.

What the government didn't bother to tell them was that it was not an atomic bomb explosion where distance may have mattered, but it was a nuclear power plant explosion where weather played a much greater role than the distance.

But from early on, the government must have known that those distant cities were in big trouble. Recall that it was to Fukushima City first, that Dr. Shunichi "100 millisieverts are safe" Yamashita was dispatched on his very first assignment as Fukushima Prefecture radiation risk management advisor on March 21, one day after he was appointed.

But what was he instructed to do? We all know now that he was sent to tell everyone in those cities it was safe, nothing to worry about. Proud descendant of Byakko-tai, he addressed the Fukushima City residents. As if it were their noble duty to die, fighting the invisible radiation.

The Japanese government has become so much alike the government in the US, where they try to accomplish the task of governing by talking. A sign of a bankrupt government, both fiscally and morally.

Oh, and to make sure the residents who are not well-to-do have no choice but to come back, the Fukushima prefectural government has been closing the official evacuation shelters and cutting off the subsidies to the residents who fled to other prefectures, now that the nuke plant is "stable".


STeVe the JeW said...

great reporting and context.

the "morally" bankrupt card was cheesy and unnecessary, but the rest is spot on and quite pertinent in the effort to understand what is really going on as this situation evolves.

Anonymous said...

what else would you call them, who are willing to subject people to radiation risk in order to save money, other than "morally bankrupt"?

Anonymous said...

"The Japanese government has become so much alike the government in the US, where they try to accomplish the task of governing by talking. A sign of a bankrupt government, both fiscally and morally."

Spot on, agree 100%.


@anon (both)...

invoking two-bit terms like "morally [ie, morality]" is laughable... and wrong.

the only thing worth considering in these situations is the law...

the law as it applies to the scum breaking it...

and the law as it applies to the society that allows shit like nuclear power (in its current miserable format) to exist in the first place.

Anonymous said...

After seeing these people forced to live in the nuclear contamination, who in Japan is going to want a new nuclear plant built in their area?

Anonymous said...

Will the government will pay for all health issues for the victims of fallout? Pay for treatment of the thyroid cancer and leukemia which will surface in two to three years, or sooner in exposed children? What will prove the radiation caused sickness or DNA damage? Chernobyl has demonstrated the data points, 80% of children are ill and many demonstrate lower intelligence! The contamination area for Fukushima is larger,and has higher radiation areas from what limited information is available. Thank goodness for individual citizens using private dosimeters! Yes, Japan has learned media control--following other great examples such as the former USSR and the USA. Makes it a LOT cheaper when citizens can't make radiation health claims.

Peoplee should wear RAD Stickers, a small stamp sized radiation counter which turns DARK when exposed to high radiation(~ 20 USD). A better device is a small dosimeter (~170 UDS) which sounds and counts when radiation is detected. Without physical evidence, there is no valid record to keep authorities honest.

Anonymous said...

STEVE THE JEW said .. at 10:43,

feel free to include that in your first post.

Caveat Emptor said...


A man from Tokyo went to Hokkaido for sightseeing.
He had a whole body counter check to see if he’s taken radioactive particles into his body.

The result was “positive”.

Cesium137 ; 868bq
Cesium134 ; 6373bq

The doctor asked him if he went to Fukushima,he replied no.

He normally spent days in Tokyo.

Post a Comment