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Gov't says Fukushima decontamination likely to be finished by 2017

27 Comments

Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara said Thursday that decontamination of areas around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will most likely be completed by the end of March 2017, rather than the initial deadline of March 2014 set by the previous government.

Ishihara told a news conference that the government had to revise the schedule because it was not realistically possible to complete the decontamination work by March 31, 2014, TBS reported.

Decontamination work in 11 locations has been delayed due to the government's inability find suitable sites to store waste such as contaminated soil.

Earlier this month, Ishiara and Reconstruction Minister Takumi Nemoto met with the mayors of three towns in Fukushima Prefecture -- Futaba, Okuma and Naraha -- to seek their support for the government’s plan to build storage facilities for thousands of tons of soil contaminated with radiation and other nuclear waste from the Fukushima disaster.

The plan calls for the government to spend 100 billion yen on the project, which involves buying about 16 square kilometers of land in Futaba and Okuma towns, which lie in the no-go zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and about three square kilometers of land near the idle Fukushima Daini plant in Naraha. Decontamination work is expected to be completed at that site by 2015, which is when the government wants all three storage facilities ready for operation.

The decontamination work is part of a monumental task: a costly and uncertain effort by Japan to try to make radiation-contaminated communities inhabitable again. Some contractors are experimenting with chemicals; others stick with shovels and high-pressure water. One government expert says it's mostly trial and error.

Experts leading the government-funded project cannot guarantee success. They say there's no prior model for what they're trying to do. Even if they succeed, they're creating another problem they don't yet know how to solve: where to dump all the radioactive soil and debris they haul away.

Radiation accumulates in soil, plants and exterior building walls. Workers start cleaning a property by washing or chopping off tree branches and raking up fallen leaves. Then they clean out building gutters and hose down the roof with high-pressure water. Next come the walls and windows. Finally, they replace the topsoil with fresh earth.

© Japan Today/AP

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27 Comments
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Expect this to be the first of many official announcements putting back the date, 2020, 2025, 2030, and so on…

Even the people who do it say it is haphazard, they do not really know what they are supposed to be doing, and areas are quickly recontaminated from rain, wind and other movement.

The only positive things about it are people are being paid, and some money is going into the local communities.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The only positive things about it are people are being paid, and some money is going into the local communities.

and some money is going back to Nobuteru, as kickbacks.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Isnt 100 billion yen enough to simply help the people to relocate? I am sure it sucks to leave the hometown for good but the people there will only be disappointed again when the govt later says sorry guys we simply cant make it by 2017. Just as wanderlust san said above, rain and wind, which are totally unpredictable, could hinder the decontamination largely. So perhaps other than giving false hope to the people there again and again, how about provding other options for them. Im sorry right now i can only think of moving the people though...:( They just found an island melted with the mainland right?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The ¥100 billion is for building a waste depot is for the 150,000 tons of soil already collected. Many areas inside the exclusion zone will be off limits for many decades. Like I've already, said, the exclusion zone should remain until the nuclear disaster is finished with in a 100 years or more.

TEPCO has refused to make any contribution to the cost of the decontamination work.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Another way round not paying the compensation to the forced out inhabitants. Until they the government puts into law an official exclusion zone, those forced to flee will never be compensated.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

will most likely be completed by the end of March 2017.... I did not know it was legal for government officials to smoke marijuana..... Obviously, a statement made in a bong induced haze. The land surrounding the meltdown area won't be sustainable for human habitation for at least 100 years.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

'Likely' in Japanese, well, we know what that means in its nuanced tones. Also, be aware of the ash hold sites in and around Kanto, Tohoku, Hokkaido and even Kinki, Kyushu.

https://kipuka.buddysp.com/wp-content/uploads/radiation8B.jpg

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Lies.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

what zis guy smokin'?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pure Nonsense. Just some randomly chosen date far enough out into the future so that politicians can effectively ignore it, while people keep getting cancer.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Shouldn't this guy be facing 10 years in prison for releasing "state" secrets?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This insane STUPID ""cleanup"" has to end right now, exclusion zone determined & implemented, waste collected outside the exclusion is then brought to this zone to be stored & no one should be allowed to live inside said zone!

Those forced to leave should be actively re-located to new environs. While I realize this wont be easy or nice in a lot of case it MUST be started already, anything else is simply BS & a waste of time & money.

Enough time has passed time for common sense to kick in & be implemented PRONTO already!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This insane STUPID ""cleanup"" has to end right now,

While the cleanup is nasty business at best, leaving it alone is even more stupid in the long run. People can bitch and moan all they want about the screw-up's, and many are justified to say the least, it has to be done.

Now, getting the job done the right way is another discussion altogether and it appears to me at least that the Japanese should be asking for and getting, international assistance in this effort as leaving it alone would become an even bigger disaster and a world wide one at that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yubaru,

Sorry dude but tearing up the turf, & blasting water everywhere ISNT cleaning anything much & mean while Fukushima is still spewing radiation.

Its non-sense to have people living anywhere near those nukes especially since the problems there are anywhere NEAR being solved, clearly its obvious people need to move on LITERALLY enough of this stupid clean up crap!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As long as the corrupt contractors and yaks are getting rich from this, it will drag on for as long as they can make it ( and of course as long as there are the usual corrupt govt officials helping ).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Lip service, will never happen

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Gov't says Fukushima decontamination likely to be finished by 2017

Well, they've said a lot of things before.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Fukushima has destroyed the west coast of America, radioactive fish and mass die offs are a daily event here. I write not to complain of our plight in this matter but of YOUR"S. The Japanese are well known and respected as a people of peace and life, harmony with their land and kind and caring. I recall a tragedy where a US Submarine struck a research vessel off Hawaii causing terrible grief and life loss, we Americans invented new technology in order to be able to salvage the ship into closer waters to retrieve your lost citizens. So where am I going with this? I cry when I see Japanese children playing near Fukushima, I'm appalled that your governing leaders are hiding the massive amounts of radioactivity leaking into the Pacific and into your own water tables. You are being systematically destroyed by cancers that are only starting to reveal themselves. Where is the outcry? Where is the rage to protect your children? They are the innocents and they are your future. TEPCO is ill equipped and a for profit business they will do as little as possible to protect you in the interest of making money. You right now need EVERY international Scientist and Nuclear Engineers you can get your hands on to stop what is soon to come to you 10 fold of what has already happened. God Bless.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You know, who cares what China thinks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I dont not believe anything uttered by politicains called Ishihara. Fukushima is much worse than the government have been saying all along, and everyone knows that. This is just play acting, and it is untrue.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Who are they trying to kid with the half life of some of the radioactive contanimation at 26,000 years?

With TEPCO showing pictures of a normal reactor having it's rods removed in stead of the 'ACTUAL' picftures that shows this remote control machine that is 'SUPPOSEDLY' trying to remove 'MELTED' rods for anyone standing within 300 feet of it would be dead from the radiation in 2 minutes that actual 'TRUTH' will never be told that TEPCO can 'NEVER' clean it up.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Anyone taking bets on that deadline?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not a shovel needs to be lifted, the contaminated zones are already the storage. Moving people out with full compensation should be where the money goes NOT to corporations

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bear27840Dec. 28, 2013 - 05:52AM JST

Who are they trying to kid with the half life of some of the radioactive contanimation at 26,000 years?

With TEPCO showing pictures of a normal reactor having it's rods removed in stead of the 'ACTUAL' picftures that shows this remote control machine that is 'SUPPOSEDLY' trying to remove 'MELTED' rods for anyone standing within 300 feet of it would be dead from the radiation in 2 minutes that actual 'TRUTH' will never be told that TEPCO can 'NEVER' clean it up.

correct!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I think they mean that they will stop the decontamination farce, not finish it. I wish they'd stop it today, and properly compensate the people who've been affected by the bungling disaster so far out. And we know there's more to come, but at least cough up some compensation for the original screw up and admit that the accident is ongoing, for the forseeable and the unforseeable future.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

UNLIKELY

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some brave journalist who does not care about being sentenced to life in prison for (national security reasons) should do an investigative piece on the non-disclosure agreements that are being circulated to various families who have been severely effected by fall-out in return for large sums of money. If they go to public then they risk losing what little money is being offered to support them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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