[Valid Atom 1.0]

segunda-feira, 26 de setembro de 2011

#NEWS #Radiation in #Japan: Evacuation-Ready Zone to Be Abolished on September 30

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Japanese government says it will abolish the "evacuation-ready" zone in 5 municipalities that lie between 20 to 30-kilometer radius from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on September 30, all at once. It may be construed as a declaration by the national government that it is now "safe" to return after slightly over 6 months after one of the worst nuclear accidents in history (which many thing is "the" worst).

Yomiuri Shinbun (9/26/2011):

The Japanese government will abolish the "evacuation-ready" zone on September 30. The "evacuation-ready" zone was set between 20 to 30-kilometer radius from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant after the accident [where the residents are required to be ready to evacuate on a moment's notice and where no pregnant women and small children are supposed to be living].


Tadahiro Matsushita, Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, informed the heads of the municipalities in the zone in the morning of September 26.


In the "evacuation-ready" zone, residents are required to be ready to take refuge indoors or evacuate outside the zone in case of a nuclear emergency. The zone includes part or all of 5 municipalities - Minami Soma City, Tamura City, Naraha-machi, Hirono-machi, Kawauchi-mura. Currently, about 30,000 residents out of pre-accident area population of 58,000 have evacuated outside the area.


Each municipality will carry out decontamination of schools and homes based on the "recovery plan" [that it has submitted to the national government], and ask the residents who have evacuated to come back.
Fukushima Prefecture will build new homes for the returning residents, Yomiuri also reports:

On the national government's notice that it will abolish the "evacuation-ready" zone by the end of this month, Fukushima Prefecture is finalizing the plan to build temporary houses in the 5 municipalities whose designation as "evacuation-ready" zone will be lifted. The prefectural government has started the selection process for the locations.


The houses are for people who lost their homes in the earthquake and tsunami, so that they can live closer to their old homes [i.e. come back from their temporary shelters outside the area].


The 5 municipalities are Minami Soma City, Tamura City, Hirono-machi, Naraha-machi, Kawauchi-mura. The prefectural government will ask the municipalities how many houses they want built. Minami Soma City has already asked the prefectural government for 400 houses.
Japanese have always been good at construction projects. I mean, good at "dango" profit sharing of all scales and sizes between the contractors and subcontractors, and between them and the government officials.

And "decontamination"? Good luck to them if the data from Watari District in Fukushima City is any indication. Professor Tomoya Yamauchi of Kobe University compared the radiation levels before and after the district's "decontamination" effort, and found that it hardly made a dent. In a place where the removal of contaminated dirt didn't happen, the radiation level doubled in a month, possibly with new deposits of radioactive cesium migrating from the surrounding area. Scrubbing the roofs and walkways with power washer lowered the radiation by 30% at most. (Professor Yamauchi's report is here, in Japanese.)

But the "decontamination" projects, which are usually undertaken by the neighborhood associations with minimal support from the municipal government's cleaning contractors, seem to have an effect of making the residents feel the radiation may have gotten lower because of their own effort, and that it will be OK to continue to be living there.

A cheap, almost ideal solution for the politicians in the national government and the prefecture - decontamination by the residents, no need to pay for evacuation costs, a building boom for temporary houses creating jobs for the locals.

105,600 Bq/Kg of Radioactive Cesium from Apartment Bldg Rooftop in Yokohama City

The apartment building is located in the same Kohoku-ku in Yokohama City where 63,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was found also from the rooftop of another apartment building, and 42,000 becquerels/kg was found from the dirt around the side drain on the road.

It looks like this person had the dirt on the rooftop tested on his own, and posted the test result sheet on his blog.
Cesium-134: 49,900 becquerels/kg
Cesium-137: 55,700 becquerels/kg
Total radioactive cesium: 105,600 becquerels/kg
Meanwhile, this is how the Yokohama City workers (or the contract workers) "cleaned" the highly contaminated (42,000 becquerels/kg cesium) dirt from the side of the road. No protection, no masks, no rubber boots.

Yokohama City Assembly recently voted down the citizens' petition asking the city not to accept radiation-contaminated disaster debris from Tohoku by the majority vote by the DPJ and LDP and Komei Party.

The city temporarily halted the dumping of radioactive sludge ashes into the ocean as the citizens' protests were fast and furious once they knew about the scheme, but the mayor in the press conference took pains to emphasize that only thing that had gone amiss was that the city officials under her clearly didn't "explain" well enough to the Yokohama residents living in the area around the final dumping site in Minami Honmoku Pier in advance. "We should have explained better to soothe the fear and anxiety of the residents", she said.

The mayor, who fed 80,000 elementary school children in the city with radioactive beef, then went to an APEC's women's meeting in San Francisco and appealed Yokohama. (As what?) And she wants her official residence renovated by city's taxpayers' money.

Something seems to me to be really out of whack in Yokohama City. I've heard Mayor Hayashi speak in the press conference. She speaks well, very dry, businesslike. Maybe that's all she does well - to speak well. Understanding what the issues are or what's at stake is for someone else to do for her.


Sphere: Related Content
26/10/2008 free counters

Nenhum comentário: