What a wonderful present from the Japanese national government to its subjects, particularly those in Fukushima. Instead of coals it gives radioactive concrete bits.
Asahi Shinbun and others report that the Ministry of the Environment, getting bolder by the hour with its 1 trillion yen budget, has decided unilaterally that it is "safe" to use radioactive concrete bits from the March 11 quake/tsunami disaster in Fukushima as substrates under the pavement of the roads and breakwaters in Fukushima.
There will be no effect on the health of residents living nearby, assures the Ministry.
Why are they doing this? Why because they enacted the law that says the radioactive concrete debris in Fukushima to be "recycled".
Why do they have to recycle radioactive debris? Why it's green! Reduces CO2! Kyoto Protocol!
From (still free-of-charge) Asahi Shinbun (12/25/2011):
Concrete Debris in Fukushima OK to recycle if the radiation is 3000 becquerels/kg and below
Regarding the disposal of concrete debris within Fukushima Prefecture generated by the March 11 earthquake/tsunami, the Ministry of the Environment decided on December 25 that the safety standard for the debris to be recycled and reused in Fukushima Prefecture was to be 3000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium and below. As long as the concrete debris tests within the standard, the Ministry says it can be safely reused by pouring asphalt, sand or gravel 30 centimeters thick on top of it.
The Ministry of the Environment is envisioning the concrete debris to be used for roads and breakwaters. If used for roads, the debris can be used if more than 30 centimeters deep from the surface. In that case, the additional annual radiation exposure for the residents living nearby will be 0.01 millisievert and less, and therefore "There will be no effect on health".
The disaster debris inside Fukushima is not to be the subject of wide area disposal [unlike Miyagi and Iwate debris] and be processed inside the prefecture. As for the concrete debris, the Special Measures for Dealing with Radioactive Materials Contamination, effective as of January next year, calls for the recycling of the concrete debris. However, there was no safety standard as set by the government, and the processing couldn't move forward.
The Ministry also decided to tighten the regulation on how to bury the ashes containing radioactive cesium at 8000 becquerels/kg and below. The Ministry will call for measures to prevent the leak of radioactive materials by covering the ashes with soil at every 3 meters of the radioactive ashes.
For now, it seems this 3000 becquerels/kg cesium concrete is only for Fukushima Prefecture. But then, the so-called safety standard for the ashes from waste/sludge disposal was only for Fukushima Prefecture in the beginning. It was used as de facto standard for everywhere else, as the Ministry, probably on purpose, did not decide on the safety standard elsewhere. Then after several months of this unofficial standard, it became official for everywhere.
Let's see, what could the citizens of Japan do? They've been protesting, they've been writing, calling, emailing the officials. The government couldn't care less, it simply ignores the subjects whose only worth to the government is that they pay taxes.
Oh, another one. They are enrolled in the national pension scheme (one of the world's largest) from which the government can plunder a huge amount of money. The government has indeed announced it is going to.