23 Avril 2012
April 23, 2012
April 23, 2012
Edano: some can't return even after 10 years
Japan's Industry Minister Yukio Edano says there will be some areas near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that will have radiation levels too high for residents to return, even 10 years from now.
In a meeting with local officials in towns near the nuclear plant on Sunday, the minister showed an estimation based on government monitoring carried out by aircraft in November.
It forecasts the level of atmospheric radiation in five to 10 years, but the effects of decontamination is not taken into account. The estimate predicts that in March 2017 there will be areas in the towns of Futaba and Okuma where radiation exposure will exceed 100-millisieverts per year.
In some areas in these two towns, as well as in Namie Town, radiation exposure will exceed 50-millisieverts.
By March 2022, some areas in these three towns and in Tomioka, radiation will remain higher than 20- millisieverts.
After the meeting, Nuclear Crisis Minister Goshi Hosono told reporters the government should be prepared to talk to the residents about making a decision to give up returning home.
But at the same time, Hosono said the government will consult local administrations about decontamination plans because some residents are insisting on returning.
FUKUSHIMA -- The government on April 22 released six hot spot charts to show projected annual dose rates of radioactive materials spewing from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant from the end of March this year through 2032.
The charts, based on airborne monitoring of radioactive contamination in November last year, compare annual dose rates in March this year with projections for 2013, 2014, 2017, 2022 and 2032.
Tatsuo Hirano, state minister in charge of post-March 11 reconstruction and disaster prevention, says, "They are prognostic charts based on theoretical values but decontamination factors were not taken into account." It is the first time that the government has made public such forecasts.
The government produced the charts which focus on areas with high levels of radiation contamination extending in the northwestern direction in Fukushima Prefecture. Government officials say the charts will help local governments affected by the nuclear disaster to draw up a plan to assist evacuees in returning home.
The projections reveal that borders along the towns of Okuma and Futaba, where the Fukushima plant is located, will remain as zones with an annual radiation dose of more than 50 millisieverts, which are basically difficult for residents to return to live even after 20 years. The town of Namie and the village of Katsurao will continue to have restricted districts due to annual radiation doses of over 20 millisieverts and below 50 millisieverts.
The central government presented the charts during a meeting in Fukushima with leaders of the prefecture's eight towns and villages around the nuclear plant.