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Saturday, 25 May 2013

Strict radiation reference levels shunned to stem Fukushima exodus and compensation


The government avoided setting stringent radiation reference levels for the return of Fukushima evacuees for fear of triggering a population drain and being hit by ballooning costs for compensation, an Asahi Shimbun investigation shows.

The revelation could rekindle debate over the government’s safety standards as many evacuees prepare for their eventual return. They were displaced by the nuclear disaster more than two years ago.

In December 2011, the government led by the Democratic Party of Japan decided to lift the evacuation order for areas with residual doses of up to 20 millisieverts per year.

The government was regrouping areas in Fukushima Prefecture to pave the way for the return of some evacuees based on radiation doses as of November that year.

But minutes of ministerial meetings and accounts by meeting participants show that government officials initially sought a 5-millisievert cutoff line to ensure evacuees’ safety.

The number was later eased to 20 millisieverts as some Cabinet members insisted on responding to local officials’ concern that the tougher yardstick could spur population flight. 

They also factored in the possibility that costs of compensation for evacuees could significantly rise if they were unable to return home in the contaminated areas for a prolonged period....

Five years after the 1986 Chernobyl accident, a dose of 5 millisieverts was used as criteria for relocating residents for safety reasons.

In Japan, a site measuring more than 5.2 millisieverts per year is designated as a radiation controlled area.
There has been a case of a Japanese worker who developed leukemia after having an equivalent dose of radiation while working at a nuclear power plant being recognized as patient of work-related illness....

One of the participants acknowledged that the 20-millisievert proposal was lax, while the 1-millisievert idea would result in the pullout of all the residents in the prefecture.

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Read the numbers above very carefully....

5.2 mSv was a dose that was recorded for the onset of lukeamia.

They want 20 for re-establishment

If the limit was lowered to previous safety levels, they would have to evacuate the entirety of Fukushima Prefecture, and would be inundated with compensation claims...

So again, it is cost and logistics vs the health and safety of the people... 

This is not TEPCO, it is the Japanese Governors....


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