There are neptunium and plutonium in Iitate-mura's soil, spiders are concentrating radioactive silver. Back in early April last year, IAEA said they had found 20 million becquerels/kg of iodine-131 from the soil.
Never you mind.
The highly political mayor of Iitate-mura says he will declare that the residents of this highly contaminated village return to the village in the fall of 2014. At the latest, by the spring of 2015.
Mayor Sugano is planning to have the villagers back three and a half years after the worst nuclear accident in Japan. The national government will be delighted, as that will mean the end of paying the compensations to the villagers.
From Yomiuri Shinbun (12/11/2012):
As evacuation after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant continues in Iitate-mura in Fukushima Prefecture, Mayor Norio Sugano mentioned the timing of issuing his declaration for the villagers to return to the village for the first time, saying it would be "around the fall of 2014".
He was answering the general question during the Village Assembly on December 11.
The national government plans to finish decontamination by March 2014. Mayor Sugano acknowledged that it may be delayed, but said "I want to issue the declaration [for the return] in the fall of 2014, or the spring of 2015 at the latest." Once he issues the declaration, the village office, currently evacuated to Fukushima City, will return to the village.
Iitate-mura was designated as planned evacuation zone in April last year, and was reorganized into three zones this July depending on the air radiation levels. The national government has set the target date to lift the evacuation order in 16 districts in the village currently designated as "zone to prepare for the lifting of the evacuation order" and "zone with restriction in dwelling". There are 20 districts in the village.
Iitate-mura is one of the municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture where the national government is in charge of the so-called "decontamination". The decon project in Iitate-mura has been awarded to one of the largest general contractors in Japan (Taisei), but faced with the reality the scope of the project has narrowed significantly. All the government is doing and will do is to remove surface soil in the agricultural land (rice paddies, crop fields) and to clean up around residences. Forests and mountains won't even be touched.
Even the decontamination of the farm land only makes sense in the minds of bureaucrats in the central government who have never worked a single day in the real world (like farm land). The government decontaminates (i.e. removes surface soil) the rice paddies, for example, BUT NOT the footpaths between the rice paddies. No decon work will be done on the footpaths, because the government's decon plan doesn't say anything about the footpaths, according to one of the very frustrated Iitate farmers who tweet.
On December 7 when M7.3 earthquake hit Tohoku and Kanto, a man in his 50s apparently died of a heart attack in Iitate-mura when he tried to escape. He was working at a factory in Iitate-mura, which has been kept open and operational despite the nuclear accident. There are a few, large-scale machining factories in Iitate-mura which have continued to employ hundreds of Iitate villagers since the nuclear accident. One of the reason why it took until late April last year for the evacuation to take effect in Iitate-mura has been rumored to be Mayor Sugano's negotiating with the national government to make these factories exempt and allow them to continue to operate, employing the villagers as before.
Many Iitate villagers on Twitter have been tweeting the high radiation levels in Iitate-mura. One of them, Mr. Ito, recently tweeted that the national government is creating a "temporary" storage area for the highly contaminated soil removed from farmland. Where is it? Right above the reservoir that feeds water to farmland.
Outside the village, no one seem to care any more.