5 Janvier 2017
January 4, 2016
Checks urged for cost-benefit of decontamination
A Japanese academic has questioned the cost-effectiveness of decontamination efforts in areas struck by the 2011 nuclear disaster in northeastern Japan.
Professor Masafumi Yokemoto of Osaka City University Graduate School says the initial objective of clean-up work was to reduce radiation levels so residents could return.
But many people have decided not to go back after prolonged stays elsewhere. Government surveys show that more than half the evacuees from parts of Fukushima Prefecture say they do not plan to return.
Yokemoto says decontamination would be essential if it helped restore disaster-hit communities, but its usefulness must be verified.
More than 25.5 billion dollars have been spent to remove radioactive substances in areas around Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and to establish initial storage sites for tainted waste.
Clean-ups have been conducted in 101 municipalities in 8 prefectures in the Kanto and Tohoku regions.
The Environment Ministry says the work was ongoing in 30 municipalities in 4 prefectures as of November 2016 and set for completion by the end of March this year.
Decontamination has not started in no-entry zones with the highest radiation levels. Work in those areas will start in or after April using government funds.