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Gov't lifts evacuation advisory for 5 zones near nuclear plant

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Is this decision based on science or politics? Is this decision made by the same government that has continually lied about radiation or by a completely independent agency?

7 ( +7 / -1 )

this is contrary to my belief that govt will expand and cover more areas for evacuation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This should not happen, I don't know about the others but I think Minamisoma city still has high levels of radiation or radiation which is too high. I think the exclusion zone should be increased not decreased. Less compensation for TEPCO to pay?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

How can it safe to go back?

Radoiative substances are energetic for YEARS not MONTHS

This is exposing people to radiation needlessly-is it a wonder that people are reluctant to go back?

We should remember that this government has refused to evacuate children that were excreting cesium from their bodies.

This is a horror story made real

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So they are not going to remove the topsoil first? What are they doing???

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They just announced TODAY how the found plutonium 30 and 45 km away from the plant. Not following the 80 km US recommendation is just plain criminal. I just lost any respect I had for Japanese people. How do they stand for this abuse??? Even slaves fought back. The cowardice is too much.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This is pure politics and pandering to the complaints of local residents. The residents are even stupider if they decide to go back, although granted it'd probably feel a lot better than being in a cramped shelter.

There is no way it is safe there, and sadly for anyone who goes back to live there they'll find that out the hard way -- or in a few more months when they finally reveal (probably through a leak) that it's not safe at all.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Meant to add, if you read the thread above this (at least it's there now) it mentions plutonium was found in six locations (where they tested, who knows if they bothered to test for it elsewhere) EIGHTY kilometers from the plant.

The government, for their sake, better be getting the residents who return to sign documents waiving their rights to sue in the future, because there SURE are going to be a lot of sick people filing lawsuits in the future.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As @zichi posted "Less compensation for TEPCO to pay?" That's the only reason I can think of why the government lifted the advisory. But how does the government expect the people to live in these ghost towns? (Ghost towns, I presume at the moment.)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Politics of course. If they are dumb enough to move back with all the news out there about contamination, I don't want my tax money paying for their future cancer treatment. Enough is enough people. You can't go home. The faster you come to gripes with this, the faster Japan can you help to move on and recover.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Wow, I don't know what to say, it's too deep. They want children in those areas, People are probably just shaking their heads there is just know why those areas are safe. Unless safe means highly dangerous now

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

CrazyJoe: "As @zichi posted "Less compensation for TEPCO to pay?" That's the only reason I can think of why the government lifted the advisory."

Precisely the reason, and to boost popularity before next year's election (or at least keep it from declining further). But without the waivers I mentioned earlier it'll bite them back a LOT harder in lawsuits later.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Professor Yukio Hayakawa of Gunma University has been revising his radiation contour map that he first made available in April. Now, he has a version of the map dated September 30 that indicates the routes and the timing of contamination, as you see below.

Professor Hayakawa says in the September 30 post that he specifically prohibits the use of the map by newspapers and television networks, as he protests the "unjust" firing of the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hachiro, which many in Japan, including politicians and some people in the mass media, considered as a hit job by a pro-nuke faction to bring down Hachiro.

To see the map: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-P21M9FXGxXI/ToZUb8mO9CI/AAAAAAAACHE/qKcJmJ1dtMk/s1600/hayakawamap-route.JPG

2 ( +2 / -1 )

Excellent map Zichi.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This should not happen, I don't know about the others but I think Minamisoma city still has high levels of radiation or radiation which is too high. I think the exclusion zone should be increased not decreased. Less compensation for TEPCO to pay?

MINAMI Soma is an amalgamation of a number of different towns and so it covers a wide area. I cannot speak for every area as I haven't been there but everywhere that I have been is fine. In fact there was a map published recently with radiation levels that showed that Gunma was far more contaminated than Minami Soma.

As I said it's a large place and there may be places with higher but around the temporary housing complexes it's well within acceptable levels.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Simple question: 1) Have tens of thousands of years passed already? If the answer is 'no', then don't go back. If the answers is 'meh' then do as you will.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Zichi@,

That map is good, it makes me wonder eu ts not included in the article. Good post!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Heda_Madness

Minamisoma city is only 25 km from the power plant? The city has decided to include infants and small children in tests for radiation taken into their bodies. (Sept.15) Radiation decontamination work was carried out at the Minamisoma city hall for the first time on Sept. 30, the same day the central government lifted the "emergency evacuation preparation zone" designation over part of the city.

The city is calling for residents to become involved in decontamination efforts. About 50 workers took part in the work on Sept. 30, spending roughly an hour and a half using brushes and high-pressure water cleaners to decontaminate the city hall's parking lot and shrubbery.

Japan's deputy chief cabinet secretary said that hot spots of radiation were detected in some residential areas in Minamisoma City. He said, "Hot spots were found, meaning that there were certain spots with very high readings of radiation detected. (Jun.10) A hot spot was defined as an area where radiation levels are greater than 20 microsieverts per hour.(July 21)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

beangry,

didn't quite get all of your comment. You can view a larger version of the map at: http://gunma.zamurai.jp/pub/2011/route930.pdf

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Zichi,

As I said it's a big city in terms of geographical size but going on my on personal experiences in the cityand with the Geiger counter readings that we've taken on a number of occasions as well as those that have been taken by members of the group when I'm not there then i've been able to conclude that in the areas of temporary houses it's fine. Less than 1.0 and regularly less than 0.2

And ALL children and infants should be tested. Regularly.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@zichi, Sorry about that. I was saying the article should include data like this, your contrast of the map with what the article says is interesting. I know the doctor's work and have a lot of respect for it. You're making a valuable contribution by posting certain things most English only speakers wouldn't find. Hats off for the posting of the data, I didn't know it had been released yesterday.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@HedaMadness

I've done similar tests, but (unaware of your methodology) air doesn't always correlate to ground readings, and low levels can be deceptive, as you know. The type of instruments used also matter a great deal, and there are a variety of factors...have you posted data or anything that offers a different pov? I always go for calibrated and certified sensors etc. I'm curious what others do. My readings are low too, but I'm not near the plant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've been with members of safecast who built the Geiger counters as well as others who have bought them online. We've had them strapped to the truck as well as hand held and they've all showed similar readings. Naturally they're higher when you put them on the ground however they aren't designed to check the ground which is why you get all the excited/distorted claims on YouTube. It's constantly indicated to us that in the areas of temporary housing and along the coast it's safe. But that doesn't mean that there are areas that aren't safe. Likewise the road in through itate shows substantially higher readings 3.0 plus and as this is a known hotspur it's fair to assume that there will be higher readings in the village.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hotspur - hot spot

0 ( +1 / -1 )

80km zone is unworkable and silly. Check the maps on Safecast and you will see that the contamination is not everywhere. Some places with the zone are safe, other far outside are not.

People should move back based on radiation, not a circle.

For all those outsiders commenting that the Japanese are cowards for not running. That makes no sense. You are talking about people's life's, jobs, schools, family etc. You can't always just run away.

Btw, I live in Japan and use a Safecast counter for measuring. I could flee back to my native country but I'm staying.

3 ( +3 / -2 )

@HedaMadness

Im familiar with your work then. You couldnt pay me enough to enter an area with 3,0 without an NBC kit. I respect your work and just ask you guys put the proper masks on as those particles do pose a real threat. I agree with he statement on YouTube, I've seen a pc guy put together a map on there with those readings. Some are good but some aren't, but his map allows you to check each person who submitted it, have a look: http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F%3Fgl%3DIT%26hl%3Dit&hl=it&gl=IT#/profile?user=AluminumStudios

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Gerard,

I live here too. I stayed for those very reasons but will always regret it. No job is worth health, and sadly some of us will know for sure we made an error in staying. They put us (people i know) under pressure to stay. But your right, it depends what the levels are and what you're exposed to. However, since we can't rely on j govt for accurate data in a timely manner, we cannot say 80km is safe. Might or might not be plenty of plutonium and who knows what else in the areas they want people to live in. For my family I'm not taking the chance, but I can understand why some do caus eons, family comitments etc make a big difference.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So what you are telling me is that Soviet Russia's government had more concern for its people and put on a ban on living in Chernobyl while a modern Japanese government tries to cover up its Nuclear Meltdown and willingly allow people to go back and live near Fukushima?? Is this not the most insane thing you have ever heard????

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Gerard: "People should move back based on radiation, not a circle."

Agreed -- once things 'cool down'. Until it's brought under COMPLETE control the plant is still spewing radiation areas within the 80 km zone currently not affected could later become as such. Should they go back home and then be asked to evacuate again in a couple of weeks when new hotspots are found?

It's as others have said, this is just a means of lessening the TEPCO payouts; they can technically now say to these people, "Your area has been cleared for return, so you can no longer be compensated for time spent in shelters (or what have you)," as well as being a political ploy to avoid looking bad in the next election (the longer people have to wait and live in squalor, the more upset they'll be with the party in power). I'm not suggesting the exclusion zone be expanded to 80km or anything like that, but letting them back to areas so close is not exercising caution.

And I don't see too many people on here saying "he Japanese are cowards for not running" at all. In fact, many have said while people SHOULD leave the area for safety reasons (especially those with kids, or let the kids themselves leave) it's easier said than done and many absolutely cannot. If they have the OPTION of leaving, they are neither coward for doing so nor cowardly (or stupid) for not going.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Heda_Madness,

Great! yes, I too have a lot of respect for SAFECAST and what they are doing. I make frequent visits to the web site. Thank you for helping to provide info.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They should undergo testing? Not on my dime if they are dumb enough to move back.

Honestly, the sheeply in this country are so brainwashed it is pathetic. Between bleating that the government doesn't help them enough and demanding they be allowed home.... shaking my head. I do not want MY tax money to rebuild in this area or to test anyone who moves back. Rebuild and test those who have been smart enough to relocate.

The politicians in this country make me sick. Yes, it does appear that Russia cares more about its citizens than Japan. Not all that shocking though, is it?

-3 ( +2 / -4 )

Stupid is as stupid does. Truly unbelievable, no wonder people don't trust the Government.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Smith I think you have hit a big nail on the head there about reimbursements. I also think the govt. is desperate to show that progress is being made although I find it quite premature given the fact that the reactors are still a wildcard and there do continue to be occasional iodine spikes. As Heda and other posters have indicated, the area is quite large, but what worries me is the potential for radioactive isotopes in nearby unsafe areas to be whipped up into the air by winds, carried as hot particles in the air and leached into artesian water. If the people living there are eating local food they may also be ingesting more nasty stuff than the rest of us. Fukushima only has a handful of 'sampling' stations. The accumulative effect of radiation worries me. Basically the government can work to remove fears but they are from being able to guarantee much either. Maybe safe enough for older people, but maybe hard to convince those with children.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In this case, I think it would be wise if the activists calmed down. As it can be shown in research, that radiation was not the main cause of death during the Chernobyle incident, which is still ongoing, but it was the constant stress and evacuation, which caused such exaustions as can not be imagined, and which still continues today; in which led many thousands of people to die, well in before their time. And also probably caused so many abnormal births, which then created more than likely the many deformed,handicapped children which populate the orphanages in Beleruse, which would make anyone burst into tears. Check the stats. You'll see. The best thing is to get those towns rebuilt, decontaminated, up and running, and get the people back in their towns, as soon as possible. This will save countless lives. Instead of scaring people to death, by speading the fear of radiation and thyroid cancer, which can not be ruled out, but is less likely, than people prematurely expiring from the stress, dangers and exhaustion of evacuations. These people need emotional care, and stability in their lives, and it's TEPCO, the Gov. And any NPO that can lend a hand's responsibility to see that this takes place. So enough with the fear, more with revitalization and public stabilization. Peace.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Just to clarify, I'm not with safecast but have been there with someone associated with them and have travelled with their Geiger counters.

On a recent trip to Minami Soma we met someone who had recently returned to the city having spent a number of months in Machida. When asked why he returned his response was simple 'because Machida is horrible'. Which made us laugh.

On my most recent trip there I noticed a lot of tired faces which is understandable when you consider that these people have survived the triple disaster and lost so much. Most are in good spirits but there are obviously those who aren't whether this is because of the percieved or actual threat of radiation or because they are still constantly rocked by earthquakes isn't for me to say but I hope that there is sufficient counselling for these people. However, I strongly doubt it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stress killed them, not the radiation? Wow, there is some revisionist history for you......

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Chris,

Depends who you believe. The liquidators got sick and many of them did die. Did you count the soldiers who are still dying? The stats r fake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well it is a good thing fukushima has plans to beat stress. Like the new Ekiden race they have announced, including one for primary school kids. Even though they state their own tests show 1 Microseivert/hr in the location.. Yup that stress is gonna get someone running through that soup.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

NHK, all the Japanese mass communication, newspapers, radio, tv, internet etc..from JAPAN are being FORCED to cover up the real news about Fukushima, IMHO. I have not heard about this ekiden race for Fukushima but just a few weeks ago, Kidzania?? I am not too sure of the name but they already have one in Odaiba, are now planning to build a new kids center for children to play adult roles, like Tepco nuclear plant engineers etc..cleaning up nuclear messes etc..my guess TEPCO is behind this and also behind trying to get people back into Fukushima so we can all pretend everything is back to normal??

0 ( +3 / -2 )

Stress probably caused so many abnormal births, which then created more than likely the many deformed,handicapped children which populate the orphanages in Beleruse, which would make anyone burst into tears.

which comic book did that come from? Revisionist history for nuclear disasters, that's a new one!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The soldiers, or Red Army brigades that were commnded to move huge pieces of heavily contaminated materieal are obviously victims of the radiation, a lot of scientists, and workers, ; but not all. And they all needed to be in the same vicinity were those who perished, but they didn't. In any case these poor souls, were exposed to huge doses of radiation, being that they needed to be actually inside and or in very, very close proximity of the core, or very radioactive material, and many did die, but it's interesting to note, that not all of them did. Many died later, from heart failure, or colon cancer, or what have you, but how many from thyroid cancer? And so, these people can't be put in the same category as the common citizens. Though their deaths are none the less important. But as you can see, stress, fear, exhaustion, by far the greatest theat to the citizens. And these things can be eliminated. And telling the gov. That the evacuation zone needs to be expanded, even now, I just think is not a well thought out idea, the Gov. Is doing what it can, now that the investors understand there is no money to be made, except through reconstruction. So now we have a situation where we can really do well by the evacuees. We should get them back into society as soon as possible, and get the stress out of there lives. If not, more and more suicides, premature death by natural cause(sounds strange, but not) and mental health issues will most undoubtably arise, don't even get me started on the crime situation in those areas. Anyways, I think we should start elevating the stress and problems of these people right away, we have the opportunity, and we should take it, and stop scaring everyone, not you exactly, but those who can should stop. peace.

-4 ( +0 / -3 )

@kurisupisu

How can it safe to go back?

Radoiative substances are energetic for YEARS not MONTHS

This is exposing people to radiation needlessly-is it a wonder that people are reluctant to go back?

We should remember that this government has refused to evacuate children that were excreting cesium from their bodies.

This is a horror story made real

I was going to post my opinion then I saw your post.... you already did it for me.

Excellent, my friend... Thank You!!!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Thyroid cancer isn't the only effect of radiation poisoning. I've been very consistent with my claims that this disaster isn't comparable to Chernobyl but claims like those above are ludicrous.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yes, Heda_Madness...

Japan is NOTHING compared to Chernobyl....There was never a disaster in the first place...just a small shakedown and some broken pipes down at the nuclear plant. right? The people are just being super paranoid... The honest, hardworking government from Japan is just trying to help its people. They would never ever lie to the people. The media, the internet, AP, radiation experts are just fear mongers...right? Japan is the most safest planet in the whole universe. We are indeed a special race very different from the human race, cuz we ain't human, we are superior....we are RADIATION-IMMUNE. So people, listen to folks like Heda_Madness and all those backing up our precious government. We are just plain wrong, there is nothing to be scared about. Everything is just your imagination, there is nothing wrong with Japan or its government. Corruption is non-existent. There is no need to fear radiation. Your children will be safe. Cancer will be wipe out from your memory and your death will be no longer necessary, in the traditional sense...

The sweet is never as sweet without the sour....

So yeah, well said, HedaMadness.... can you feel the flair of sarcasm somewhere around here? (^~)

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Be as sarcastic as you like but it would help if you read what I posted.

Otherwise your attempts at sarcasm come across as illogical rants.

I'm also surprised at the -3 points I currently have. So perhaps other people have missed the point?

I was highlighting that there are more illnesses associated with radiation than just thyroid cancer. And secondly I was saying that the Dai Ichi disaster isn't comparable to the Chernobyl incident. A quick tally of the current death toll that is directly attributed to Dai Ichi compared with the number of fatalities of Chernobyl in the first six months should be sufficient evidence to back this up.

And at no point have I said that people should listen to the government.

So be sarcastic but at least try to be accurate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And the post above that I was referring to was the one by Chris lowery as that was the post directly above when i posted my previous post.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@HedaMadness I've no idea what's going on with the points, mine are -2 or 3 as well and I didn't say the same thing. As to comparing with Chernobyl, that is more complicated and simply looking at the death rate won't tell you enough. If course you're entitled to your pov.

@Chris Do not forget to mention some of those sickness wee linked to radiation, including heart trouble from cesium. The fact not everyone died is a moot point. People survived the titanic but it was a terrible disaster. We simply dont have reliable stats on Chernobyl yet (it's politics) and the same may happen with Fukushima. It really doesn't matter which is worse, it matters that people will get sick by living with radiation in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's not just death rate it's also the areas of contamination and the amount of contamination in those areas. This is bad for the area around the Dai Ichi plant but compared to the effect of Chernobyl both in terms of total devastation and death rates (long term and short) then this is not as significant.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Gerard- People should move back based on radiation, not a circle.

Radius maps were design for a reason so I don't agree with your sentiment because weather patterns could change the areas of contamination a few times a day especially dried topsoil can get blown around with the wind. Wind and rain can do this and spread the area of contamination. So what do you say to the people with Little kids who are told it's okay to move back to your home 24 km from Daiichi and two months later levels have changed in their immediate area.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Insanity personified. Two stories today in this category contradicting the other. This item and then ... Plutonium found! Seriously, how can the above optimists spin this one? Oh, these people have lives, family, jobs, etc... Well, guess what - we all do. The area is contaminated and thinking the government is looking out for those people's best interests is ridiculous. They've proved incompetence by allowing people to return to those areas, and by allowing contaminated foodstuff to (the present) hit shelves of grocery stores and restaurants.

Disasters of this magnitude require hard decisions for the safety of the people. If the government had any concern they'd have relocated all the people in the shelters to other areas in Japan (paid for by your friends at TEPCO and relief funds). There are no jobs worth staying for. Land? Please. Get over it. There's lots of unused land all around Japan that I'm sure - with a little creativity - could be used for these people to rebuild upon.

I'm just saying, there are other ways to get those people back on track. Relocation is the safest option - like it or not. Not saying it's easy, but at least they'll be better off in the long run.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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