national

Gov't to lift evacuation order for Fukushima town on April 1

36 Comments

The government will lift an exclusion order on an area around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, allowing some residents to return to live for the first time since the disaster, officials said Monday.

"The formal lifting of the evacuation order will come on April 1, affecting around 300 people" whose homes are in part of Tamura, a town situated around 20 kilometers west of the wrecked plant, a Cabinet Office official told AFP.

Over the next two years, up to 30,000 people will be allowed to return to their homes in the original exclusion zone, thrown up in a bid to protect people from the harmful effects of leaking radiation, he added.

The decision comes despite sharp divisions among residents over whether or not they should return, with many still concerned over the persistent presence of low-level radiation, despite decontamination efforts.

Under government guidelines, areas are declared suitable for habitation if someone living there is exposed to a maximum of 20 millisieverts of radiation per year.

Officials have said they would like to get radiation exposure down to one millisievert a year.

The International Commission on Radiological Protection recommends a dosage limit of one millisievert per year from all sources of radiation, but says exposure to less than 100 millisieverts per year presents no statistically significant increase in cancer risk.

A single CT hospital scan delivers around 10 millisieverts, according to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Japan.

Once the evacuation order is lifted, people will be free to choose whether or not to return home, the official said.

"Compensation (paid by the government and Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power Co) will continue, in terms of properties and the disaster-led joblessness," he said.

"But the monthly pay of 100,000 yen to address emotional distress caused by the accident will end if residents decide to return home," he said.

Nearly three years after the tsunami and nuclear disaster, around 100,000 people remain displaced because of evacuation orders, according to Japan's Reconstruction Agency.

© (c) 2014 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

36 Comments
Login to comment

Aha! No irony in that date?

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Reading a story like this you really get to feel for the people in this disaster of a situation. Would you return? Would you risk your family to low-levels of radiation and get back to your old home - with all it's memories and meaningness. Or do you opt to continue to struggle in temporary accommodation, struggling to make a living where no one will buy your food wares or want to hire you. I feel for em I really do and I'm sad that with all the money poured into the country after the disaster, they couldn't buy these people a house to live in or just something better. Shame on the government for making this such a difficult decision.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The ¥100,000 monthly payments will end one year after the ban is lifted whether people move back or not. It seems at present less than 10% of the people are interested in moving back! mainly the old ones without young children? TEPCO and the gov't have paid over ¥1 trillion in monthly support payments. This isn't connected to any compensation will receive for the lost of their property and belongings. People who do return home may eventually find they will receive lower levels of compensation, if and when it's paid.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Are their old homes even livable after 3 years? There is nothing to say that some can't happen again with the next 40 years.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

With all the lies that TEPCO and the gov't have made concerning Fukushima radiation, is it REALLY safe to return permanently? And if they did, as ka_chan asked, are their old homes even livable? Are they supposed to clean their houses on their own? I can't imagine how foul an unlived house for three years will be like. The gov't has received LOTS of money that are supposed to go to the victims. They should be providing these folks with new homes instead of burdening them to clean their houses - bringing back more bad memory than they need to be remembering.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is J Govt answer to the folks living in temporary housing in Fukushima Prefecture

20 millisieverts of Radiation Exposure per year...............

4 ( +5 / -1 )

20 millisieverts is 20,000 microsieverts of Radiation Exposure per year...

http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/radiation/rrmsievert.html

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If these are mostly older persons who want to spend their final days there, then seems reasonable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Basically the government is allowing the people back to receive the same dose as a nuclear power plant worker might receive in a year.of course the fallout is not uniformly dispersed and thus some people may live in or be exposed to hotspots. Dust,leaves and continual movement of debris not to forget that the plant still regularly purges itself of extremely contaminated water 24/7 mean that the residents will be gambling with their health It has been discovered that a fetus is 500 times more sensitive to radiation than an adult human being so it is not beyond imaging that any pregnancies carried in or around the area will be compromised.

The exclusion area around Chernobyl is still off limits to people for resettlement as the Russians understand that nuclear contamination doesn't disappear in a few years - Japanese seem to think differently.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

20,000 microsieverts rate of decay in counts per minute is 608,000cpm. l want to scream.... l thought NYC is too high at only 4000cpm which equals 130 microsieverts of Radiation Exposure per year

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The "date" seems to make one wonder if it's either a "joke" or - even if they really will be allowed to return, the "readings" may be MUCH higher than the Government wants to admit... (past lies and "cover-ups" don't leave much room for "confidence" - I know I wouldn't want to risk it).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The government just keeps uping the acceptable limits. Thats why its okay to return.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yes, and soon those limits will reach the rest of the world's limits

And just to confirm, the government is to allow people to return to a town that's radiation levels are below the limit that is accepted as being safe. And this is news because...

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

J Govt went From 1 millisievert as an allowable radiation exposure per year to 20 millisieverts and as the article reads can go up to 100 millisieverts as an allowable radiation exposure per year..... Move J Govt to 20 kilometers west of the wrecked plant in Fukushima.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I wonder if it's really safe to return, or just a measure to reduce the number of displaced people to make the statistics look a bit better...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

These people, slowing being swept under the tatami, have lost the battle and war to be recognized as nuclear refugees in absolute need of re-location. They needed to unite, fight and move forward. They have sadly been beaten by Japan.Inc I wish all of these people health, wealth and lives without fear...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

With a government disclaimer: should these people die of radioactive contamination it was their wish. The government did not declare the place safe for return. TEPCO is therefore absolved from any such deaths.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The town had about 40,000 residents with schools, hospitals, communities centres, town office, all the facilities that people need on a day-to-day basis. These would again need to be in place or in place soon after people return.

Many will find their houses have deteriorated from being abandoned like rot and mildew and most will reforming building work which can cost up to ¥20 million. Some people have already decided, probably because of their age, that its not worth updating their accommodation.

Today, on this radiation map, the level around Tamura is about 0.136 microsieverts/hr which is 1.36 millisieverts per year. This is the level in some parts of Tokyo.

http://jciv.iidj.net/map/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I just can't believe this is happening in Japan...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Rise of psychic mutations can help Japan in Tokyo 2020.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Utrack,

20,000 microsieverts rate of decay in counts per minute is 608,000cpm. l want to scream....

first, sieverts is not a unit of decay, it's a unit of dose. Second, you need to show a bit more math - how did you do your calculation?

J Govt went From 1 millisievert as an allowable radiation exposure per year to 20 millisieverts and as the article reads can go up to 100 millisieverts as an allowable radiation exposure per year..... Move J Govt to 20 kilometers west of the wrecked plant in Fukushima.

That's because the 1 millisievert was not exposure, it was a dose.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's no mention in the article about being able to be exposed to 100 millisieverts?

Nationally, the maximum exposure limit is 1 millisievert/year above normal background levels. The natural background level in some places is more than 6 millisievert/year.

The maximum exposure level in Fukushima is 20 millisieverts/year. Inside the current exclusion zone and special exclusion zone there are places above this limit and there are places with radiation levels greater than 50 millisieverts/year.

Tamura seems to be around 1.39 millisieverts/year.

For workers at a nuclear plant, the maximum exposure level is 50 millisieverts/year, or a maximum of 100 millisieverts over 5 years.

The radiation levels around the country are the levels prior to the nuclear disaster and the levels in Tokyo are less than New york.

The current 20 km exclusion zone should remain in place until the end of the nuclear disaster in 100+ years from now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Star-viking

Counts Per Minute is one way the US measures ionizing radiation, which gives you your dose. Example: 700cpm equals 23 microsieverts,

Radioactive decay, also known as nuclear decay or radioactivity, is the process by which a nucleus of an unstable atom loses energy by emitting particles of ionizing radiation. A material that spontaneously emits this kind of radiation which includes the emission of energetic alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays is considered radioactive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Counts Per Second is another way the US measures ionizing radiation

Counts per minute (cpm) is a measure of the detection rate of ionization events per minute. Counts are only manifested in the reading of the measuring instrument, and are not an absolute measure of the strength of the source of radiation. Whilst an instrument can display at a rate of cpm, it does not have to detect counts for one minute, as it can infer the total per minute.

Counts per second (cps) is used for measurements when higher count rates are being encountered, or if hand held radiation survey instruments are being used which can be subject to rapid changes of count rate when the instrument is moved over a source of radiation in a survey area.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sounds like an April fools day joke to me. The whole area is hot. Radioactive ground water Dust in the Air is also radioactive so how come its safe.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"But the monthly pay of 100,000 yen to address emotional distress caused by the accident will end if residents decide to return home,” he said.

Yeah, right. Because there won't be a bit of stress in living in a place that has a maximum of 20 times what the The International Commission on Radiological Protection recommends as a dosage limit of one millisievert per year from all sources of radiation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Utrack,

Counts Per Minute is one way the US measures ionizing radiation, which gives you your dose. Example: 700cpm equals 23 microsieverts.

No. You forgot to add the duration. Saying CPM equals sieverts is like saying MPH equals Miles. A quick search find the blog the information came from, and it says:

"exposure to 700 CPM would be roughly 23 microsieverts an hour. That would mean that we in Phoenix yesterday would have hypothetically received 552 microsieverts in a 24 hour period"

Those poor Phoenix people...all doomed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Then times my calculations by 24 and scream. Phoenix is 6000cpm which is 197 microsieverts per hour times 24.

http://epa.gov/radnet/radnet-data/radnet-phoenix-bg.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The entire area should be evacuated and the people compensated and moved. The area IS the contamination zone and will be uninhabitable for 100 years or more. This prevarication on that decision affects the health of everyone. Children especially take up the exposure more than adults. Just because the gov't changed the definition of the science didn't change the science.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

J Govt knows no one will do anything know matter what they do. This is not Belarus.....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ignoring gov't guidelines, TEPCO have declared it will stop paying compensation to people whose incomes fell because of the nuclear disaster.

According to TEPCO, "its because of improvement in the employment climate".

TEPCO has been paying residents living in evacuation zones, which have lost or changed jobs because of the 2011 accident, and would continue to do so until end of February next year.

TEPCO will also any payments for emotional distress one year after evacuation orders are lifted, even if the residents are unable to return.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Utrack,

Then times my calculations by 24 and scream. Phoenix is 6000cpm which is 197 microsieverts per hour times 24.

http://epa.gov/radnet/radnet-data/radnet-phoenix-bg.html

according to your link Phoenix goes from 6000cpm down to 40cpm depending on energy range. Also, converting CPM to dose is a pretty complicated process. However, consider this: there are at least 6000 disintegrations per second in the human body, on average, from naturally occuring radionuclides. That's equivalent to 360,000 CPM. I'm not screaming...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Color Chart 6000cpm is at ground level, add in Radioactive Cesium, Strontium, Plutonium, Yttrium, Amercium, Uranium, Cobalt, Iridium and Palladium.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Utrack,

Color Chart 6000cpm is at ground level, add in Radioactive Cesium, Strontium, Plutonium, Yttrium, Amercium, Uranium, Cobalt, Iridium and Palladium.

Are you joking? The graph is divided into energy ranges, not altitude ranges.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it's altitude by color, Gamma Rads by altitude....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can insist all you want Utrack, but the graphs say different: there is no altitude given on the graphs, and the colours are for energy levels.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites