Sunday, April 10, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Evacuation Zone to Be Expanded Outside 20-Kilo Radius

The "radius" approach, which doesn't make sense at all when you consider the radioactive materials being dispersed in the air, is set to be modified, though it will be continued to be used.

From Asahi Shinbun (5:00AM JST 4/11/2011):


The Kan Administration has decided on the new policy to issue orders for evacuation in the areas outside the 20-kilometer radius from the Fukushima I Nuke Plant which have high cumulative radiation. The new policy will be announced as early as today (April 11). Some areas between 20 to 30-kilometer radius ("stay indoors") and some areas outside the 30-kilometer radius are to join the evacuation zone.


The areas that will be newly designated as "evacuation zone" are the areas whose cumulative radiation level is expected to exceed 20 milli-sieverts per year, and they will be called "planned evacuation zone". The residents will have about 1 weeks to prepare, and they will be evacuated by buses prepared by the government. The new "planned evacuation zone" will not form a concentric circle like the evacuation zone that has been in place, but will be like a mosaic.

 一方、避難指示が出ている20キロ圏内については、災害対策基本法に基づく「警戒区域」として厳しく立ち入りを禁止し、併せて条件付きで一時帰宅も認め る方針。枝野幸男官房長官は10日、警戒区域設定について「最終段階の詰めをしている。遠くない時期だと思う」と記者団に語った。

The current "evacuation zone" within the 20-kilometer radius will become the "warning zone" under the Basic Emergency Measures, and entering the zone will be prohibited, while allowing the residents to temporarily return home on certain conditions. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told the press on April 10 that the "warning zone" was "in the final stage of planning. [We will be able to tell you about it] in not too distant future."

That "temporary return", they're talking about 1 or 2 hours for the residents to collect the absolute minimum from their homes. This is after the government sent out scholars and researchers in the cities and towns affected by the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident to convince the residents not to worry about radiation and radioactive materials.

The cumulative radiation of 20 milli-sievert was what the Nuclear Safety Commission (not the Agency) had been advising the government to adopt as one of the criteria in deciding whether to evacuate the residents.

As I posted before, the radiation level in part of a town (Namie-machi) at about 30 kilometers northwest of the Fukushima I Nuke Plant is already at 11.63 milli-sieverts, cumulative over 13 days ending April 5. That number seems to measure only external exposure.

In the meantime, the news on the MSM in Japan is scrubbed almost clean. Yomiuri's site right now has only one headlines at the top that is related to Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, that the TEPCO's president is visiting Fukushima to apologize. Asahi has a report on a family who lived next to Fukushima I Nuke Plant, but the rest of the news are about the local elections and Masters' golf. It's similar with other major papers.

Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident is a minor nuisance, or is treated as such both by the government and the media. Never mind that TEPCO or Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency doesn't seem to have a clue as to what to do and how to do it. If you don't report it, it doesn't exist.


netudiant said...

It is incomprehensible that this disaster is being allowed to unfold with no apparent government action.
TEPCO seems to have total authority over the management of the recovery effort, even though the firm manifestly has neither the tools nor the skills needed to perform.
Japan is in danger, the situation is not improving, yet the media are silent and there is no voice raising the alarm.
Would the Japanese people rather die than express dismay at the way this problem is being mishandled?

Anonymous said...

The way they have screwed up a lot of the radiation surveys so far I wouldn't trust anything they have to say now. It is nice that they finally have to admit in a backhanded manner that radiation doesn't obey nice neat circles or their predetermined "safe" distances. I think the government is staying out of it as much as possible it gives them "plausible" deniability. Remember the Japanese government didn't order the waste dumping in the ocean TEPCO did. TEPCO is in charge because theoretically they should know the most about the plants operations. Japan doesn't have a nuclear military program so they really don't have any outside expertise that the government could rely on.

As for the lack of concern shown by the media it is very understandable. The nuclear industry as a whole came to the realization after TMI & Chernobyl that they needed to control the image they allow the media to portray of them.

The Nuclear Industry's Secret PR Strategy:

It is no secret TEPCO's advertising budget assures that they will be treated more than fairly in the local media. Unfortunately in order for this story to make it back in the headlines it will take a major malfunction that they can't easily hide or the unavoidable disclosure of something horrible that has already happened that they haven't revealed yet.

BTW, did anybody else hear about this terror attack at a nuclear industry office? I don't agree with nuclear power but I really don't agree with terror bombing somebody over it. How is this going to do anything but kill innocent people?

"2 wounded by bomb at Swiss nuclear industry office":

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@netudiant, many Japanese people seem to be learning quickly not to trust what government says, but they are still a very small minority.

@robbie, most of MSM journalists there do not know what to ask, to begin with.

"2 wounded by bomb at Swiss nuclear industry office" -- WTF?

That only confirms that nuclear power is deadly in more than one way.

M. Simon said...

The radius approach is not a bad one until things get better organized. It is easy to understand and easy to carry out.

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