Editer l'article Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
Le blog de fukushima-is-still-news

information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Fukushima problems not to be resolved soon

July 30, 2012



Editorial: Fukushima nuke crisis opportunity to consider Japan's future energy policy



A year and four months have passed since the outbreak of the crisis at the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. Many evacuees have been exhausted from their prolonged lives away from their homes, and still have a long way to go before they can return to their neighborhoods.

Work to decontaminate areas tainted with radioactive substances leaking from the crippled power station is not going well and the re-designation of evacuation zones has not progressed as planned. If a serious accident occurs at any nuclear plant, extensive areas around the power station are affected by serious damage over a long period. We must face this reality as we try to reduce Japan's reliance on nuclear power.

The government adopted a basic policy on the restoration of Fukushima at a Cabinet meeting earlier this month. It is natural that the government recognizes the restoration of Fukushima Prefecture as one of the most important tasks and pledges to set aside the necessary funds for such efforts over a long period. The basic policy also calls for steady progress in work to decontaminate affected areas, with the long-term goal of reducing additional exposure to radiation, excluding radiation existing in nature, to below 1 millisievert a year.

Since more than 30,000 children have been forced to evacuate due to health concerns, decontamination is an urgent task. However, demonstration experiments conducted by the government have shown that decontamination methods employed by the government are not as effective in reducing radiation levels in highly contaminated areas as expected. Almost no progress has been made in decontaminating forests.

A growing number of local bodies in disaster-hit areas have commissioned general contractors and other businesses to perform decontamination work. National and local governments have no choice but to slowly but steadily make efforts toward decontamination.

What is worrisome is that little progress has been made in the construction of temporary storage sites for radioactive waste. No negotiations have been held on the national government's request that such a site be built in the Futaba County of Fukushima Prefecture. It is no easy task to gain local communities' consent for the plan, and the government cannot just indefinitely postpone the construction of such a site. The national government is urged to exercise leadership in going ahead with the plan.

Those who have been forced to evacuate their neighborhoods affected by the nuclear crisis should receive reasonable amounts of compensation and receive help to steadily put their lives back on track in order to ensure the restoration of areas affected by the nuclear disaster.

After consulting with the local governments concerned, the national government has recently worked out and unveiled the standards for calculating the amounts of compensation for real estate and household articles in evacuation zones.

The government is now reclassifying evacuation zones into "hard-to-return zones," "restricted residency zones" and "evacuation order lifting preparation zones." However, if evacuation orders are not lifted within six years from the outbreak of the nuclear disaster, residents will receive full compensation for their real estate. Local residents basically appreciate the standards, which allow them to estimate the amount of compensation they will likely receive and decide whether they should aim to return home at an early date or move to other areas.

The adoption of the compensation standards is expected to offer a breakthrough in the re-designation of evacuation zones. Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, should sincerely and quickly pay compensation to those affected by the nuclear crisis.

The Fukushima Prefectural Government is aiming to transform itself into a body that does not rely on nuclear plants. In the basic policy on Fukushima's restoration, the central government shows a plan to set up a key facility to promote the introduction of renewable energy in the prefecture. Both the national government and the general public are called upon to continue supporting Fukushima in the future.

Partager cet article
Pour être informé des derniers articles, inscrivez vous :
Commenter cet article