At Fukushima Daiichi Elementary School in the city of Fukushima, the bottom of the school pool is darkened with dust contaminated with radioactive materials, and algae has turned the water green.
"We're concerned about health, too, so we want to drain the pools quickly, but we don't know the extent of contamination of the water and the sludge, and we can't cause trouble for people around the school," the school's principal commented.
In the cities of Date and Minamisoma, decontamination work using zeolite and other agents that can absorb radioactive materials has been carried out, but the cost of such work is said to reach several million yen per pool.
Since May, the prefectural board of education has asked the Education Ministry to present standards and methods for draining pool water, but ministry officials have merely responded that they will consult with related government ministries and agencies, and have provided no response.
A representative of the ministry's School Health Education Division commented, "Creating standards is difficult, and there is no option but to have schools and other related parties come to an agreement."
When asked about the radiation, a representative of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said, "We are not considering any particular response for pools alone." Meanwhile, a representative of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which is in charge of sewage, said, "There is no problem with draining water into sewage lines, but when it comes to making arrangements with locals, that's out of our jurisdiction."