Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Japan's Reconstruction Agency Says Infra Will Be Ready in 2 Years in Former Evacuation Zone in Fukushima So That People Can Return, Now That the Agency Has "Grand Design"

The country is either in denial, or in delusion, or in both. Or in the same mental state when many truly believed that bamboo spears wielded by young girls could down the B29 bombers. It may have taken 26 years for the Ukrainian government to contemplate redeveloping part of the evacuation zone around Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, but the Japanese will do better than that and do it in three years since the start of the accident.

The Reconstruction Agency, modeled after the one that was set up right after the devastation of Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, says it now has a "Grand Design" (or Gurando Dezain in English that has a meaning only in Japan) for the recovery and reconstruction of the areas around Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.

Well, the problem is that people have already started returning, whether the infra is ready or not, or whether the national government has a "Grand Design" or not.

From Tokyo Shinbun Evening Edition (part, link won't last long; 9/4/2012):

復興庁 2年後には帰還可能に

Reconstruction Agency says evacuees can return in 2 years


On September 4, the Reconstruction Agency finalized its "Grand Design" that lays out the reconstruction of 12 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture which have been designated as "evacuation areas" of one kind or another after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. The plan explicitly says the environment that will allow the residents to return will be in place in 2 years in the areas where evacuation orders have been lifted. To do so, infrastructure improvement, support for long-term evacuees and recovery of local economy will be necessary, and the report further says the national government "will secure ample, long-term funding to achieve them".



The 2-year short-term targets will include the rebuilding of the infrastructure such as water and sewer services and roads in the areas where the evacuation orders have been lifted. In the 5-year medium term, the reconstruction is to accelerate by industrial development and support for the farmers. After the 10th year, the plan will address the long-term goal of employment recovery.


The long-term goal of decontamination is also stated [in the Grand Design]. In the 12 municipalities, decontamination will be done in the areas where the evacuees will return, so that the additional radiation exposure above the natural background is limited to 1 millisievert per year or lower.


As to the "temporary town" plan where the residents of the municipalities will live together until their return home, the national government will ask the host municipalities for cooperation and provide them with financial support.

It will be incredibly costly. What's worse, it probably will not work the way they plan.

What's even worse, in the areas where the evacuation order has been lifted, the residents are already returning to their homes without any electricity and running water. Their homes and lands haven't been decontaminated at all. When the national government started to "decontaminate" the evacuation zone last year, all they did was to send general contractors (who sent their subcons) and Self Defense Force soldiers to the towns and villages inside the evacuation zone and decontaminate the municipal government offices. What good is that for the returning residents?

The worker who has been tweeting since March last year from Fukushima I Nuke Plant was clearly distressed (I think it was either July or August this year) when he saw people who had just returned to their home in Naraha-machi (that's where J-Village, the staging area for Fukushima I Nuke Plant work, is located). He tweeted that these people were washing things in the nearby river. He told the husband and wife that they shouldn't be doing it (to which they answered they didn't have running water so they had no choice), and that they should wait till he came back with clean water.

He tweeted, "Their home is not even decontaminated! Why do the government return these people?"

So that the government/TEPCO (now one and the same, financially) does not have to pay compensation, I guess. I can't come up with any other good reason.

(Speaking of the Great Kanto Earthquake, the massacre of Korean residents after the quake was triggered by the rumor which was intentionally spread by Matsutaro Shoriki when he worked for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. Shoriki became the owner of Yomiuri Shinbun immediately after he resigned from the Police the next year. He was also a known CIA asset after the war. It fits, doesn't it?)


Anonymous said...

So, the Japanese government is going to build self-contained bubble cities?

If not, their plans of repopulating certain areas in Fukushima will only work if it doesn't rain or snow and wind doesn't blow dust around besides citizens wearing hazmat suits full time not to mention animals and insects traveling at will.

Probably start off with demanding the growing of tea and rice and painting happy faces on what is left of Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 buildings.



Anonymous said...

Animals run away when they sense danger, humans either stand there doing nothing or run head first into it. That's why I suspect humans are the result of de-evolution, not the other way around.

We severely lack basic survival instincts, and the de-evolution will accelerate as the wonders of our "safe" modern technology continue to tear our genetic structure apart.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Grand Design is what TEPGOV is going to do in lieu of compensation payments, "Hey we kind of fixed everything (sort of) and it only took ten years so you can start living again."

If they are waiting a decade before addressing employment recovery how do they expect the locals to live in the mean time? I guess they can do whatever the poor people trapped in the shelters are doing to pay for their meals. Maybe they'll become as desperate as the bandits in Shichinin no Samurai and start robbing their more fortunate neighboring prefectures.

The term "national government will secure ample, long-term funding" sounds like another tax/userfee/ratehike of some sort. It looks like the government doesn't have to do anything other than say it is OK for people to move back home so they can probably get away with a pretty shoddy recovery effort.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Yup... Wait till Hosono becomes the prime minister...

Anonymous said...

In the long run..the people affected will do all the work, decon efforts..and pay with their health and lives. The government will say they didn't TELL them to go back...

Anonymous said...

I can see the decontamination effort now they'll probably just clean up around the public radiation detection stations like it has been reported on this blog. This is the problem with stationary detectors a mobile detector on a public vehicle like a mail truck would give a much better picture of the actual contamination distribution. BUT that would probably generate a troublesome record for officials. I'm surprised local public health officials have allow people to permanently return without basic sanitation and clean water never mind the radiation levels. No sewer service means people will be doing their business in buckets and dumping the waste wherever they can probably in the river where their neighbors wash stuff.

If the government is going to allow people to move back I think they should at least set up public sanitation facilities and distribute clean water before people are allowed to live there. You can't even do a half-ass decon job without clean water you have to keep the dust suspension down and water is the cheapest way. In a sane world the premature returnees would be issued dosimeters but in the crazy world we live in most would refuse them or shield them in fear it might force them to evacuate again.

I'd also like to point out the "best laid plans of mice and men" principle. Didn't AREVA originally say their water treatment system would work "we have lots of experience cleaning water" they predicted it would take about one year the next thing you know Toshiba is treating water from a perpetual contamination machine with no end in sight. Not only did the AREVA system not deliver it is now just another horribly contaminated mess to deal with.

I think anon 6:35 is right the public will be doing a major portion of the decon work if they are making kids clean out school pools you can be sure they aren't going to hire someone to clean your house. Then there's the issue of what to do with all the new waste this decon effort will generate. Are they going to blend it down and bury it or are they going move it to the other side of the island to "share the pain" ? Or are they just going to wash it down the drain to burden the sewage plants and incinerators?

IIRC this blog has pointed out a few examples of decontamination not making a huge difference.

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