Remember those students, and a fierce supporter of them who came to this blog to defend them and trash us? They are now in Fukushima Prefecture. And according to the article below, instead of Soma City they will help clean up MINAMI Soma City where, according to Assemblyman Ooyama the "black dust (substance, bacteria, etc.)" exceeding 10 million becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium is found. Part of Minami Soma City was within 20-kilometer radius "no-entry" zone, another part "planned evacuation zone", another part "evacuation-ready zone", meaning it is rather close to the wrecked nuclear power plant.
According to Fukushima Minpo, a local newspaper in Fukushima, the students are learning exactly what the Fukushima prefectural government want them to learn so that they can disseminate "accurate" information about Fukushima to the world.
From Fukushima Minpo (6/7/2012; link added):
Students from Middle Tennessee State University in the US have arrived in Fukushima as part of the short-term study program started by Fukushima University this fiscal year. The students are cultivating a better understanding of the situation in the disaster-affected areas.
The program is intended to have [foreigners] disseminate accurate information about Fukushima Prefecture to the world through understanding of the situation of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. 10 students and 2 instructors from the University arrived in Fukushima on June 5.
They attended a radiation protection seminar at Fukushima University on June 6. Kenji Oose, specially appointed assistant professor at the Fukushima Future Center for Regional Revitalization at Fukushima University, explained about the change in radiation levels in Fukushima Prefecture and the different evacuation zones. The students were asking questions such as "What are the health risks caused by radioactive materials?" and "What are the measures to eradicate baseless rumors?"
During their stay till June 15, the students will do volunteer work in Minami Soma City.
Fukushima University's Fukushima Future Center for Regional Revitalization happily tells us the abbreviation of its name is "FURE" - FU from FUkushima and FUture, RE from REgional and REvitalization. That is a bit unfortunate, for the English speakers might associate FU with something else entirely.