Fukushima Refugees Allowed to Return to the Hot Zone

B. McPherson
For those returning to the hot zone the prospect of radiation trumps the "cages".
A little over three years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station was wrecked, 350 people have been allowed to return to Tamura City. It lies within the 20km exclusion zone. The refugees have been assured that the area is safe for habitation.

The former residents, 80 000 of them, have been assured of many things since the explosions at the electrical facility spread radioactivity over the area.

The Japanese government has joined with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to reassure people of their quick responses to the dangers of radiation and their quick and efficient response to safety issues. However over the past three years, the facts have often been contrary to the official stories.

This excerpt from Fukushima Update says it as well as anyone can:

Because we all know TEPCO would never misreport the radiation surrounding Fukushima. Oh wait: “From April to September of 2013 TEPCO admits that levels of radiation measured from water samples around the destroyed Fukushima nuclear reactor were “significantly undercounted.” But that was all, TEPCO swears – this time will be different. And it is certainly “counting” radiation correctly now, when it has given people the all clear to go back to the disaster zone.

While some older people are venturing back into the hot zone to try to take up their former lives, cleanup crews are still scraping away contaminated topsoil and hosing down hard surfaces trying to reduce the radioactivity, many younger people are not. There is the danger of developing cancers from increased insult to their genes and elevated danger to growing children. Some cancers are slow growing and take many years to cause a problem, but many juvenile forms are quick and aggressive. Elevated incidents of thyroid cancers are being detected in children exposed to the disaster.

It looks as if those in power in Japan are continuing to embrace the friendly atom in spite of this ongoing disaster, living on an unstable ground and placing most of their nuclear power stations at or near the ocean subject to tsunamis, earthquakes and rising ocean levels.

Not everyone in Japan agrees with restarting the remaining 48 nuclear plants. A writer for the Japan Times has written a scathing article about this, likening the prospect to a cruel April Fool’s Joke.


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