Yomiuri, Mar. 3: The risk of adverse impacts on human health caused by radiation that leaked during the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is probably infinitesimal. On Thursday, the World Health Organization released a report saying health hazards resulting from the nuclear crisis are low. The report also says the risk of people in radiation-affected areas getting cancer will not be higher than during their normal lifetime.
Yomiuri, Mar. 3: To ease the concern of people in disaster-stricken areas, it is essential to review the goal of reducing annual radiation contamination levels in these places to one millisievert or less per year. The goal has widely been taken to mean that one millisievert is the threshold between danger and safety in areas affected by the nuclear crisis. The Fukushima prefectural government considers the strict decontamination goal as an impediment to encouraging residents to return to their homes, and has asked the central government to set a new target. The government should quickly start considering this request.
Yomiuri, Mar. 1: The panel, chaired by former education minister Akito Arima, pressed the government to “avoid turning its back on nuclear power and tackle the issue squarely.” We believe the panel’s proposal is reasonable. [... Nuclear Regulation Authority] Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said when deciding on the restart of nuclear power plants, the authority will not take the costs to power companies into account. However, we believe it is impossible to conduct nuclear regulation without considering the efficiency and economic performance of nuclear power plants. The regulation authority’s political independence is guaranteed, but that does not mean it should become self-righteous.
Yomiuri, Feb. 25: Some places in the world are exposed to radiation of 10 millisieverts a year that comes from the ground, among other sources. A radiological examination at a hospital exposes the patient to about seven millisieverts. The one-millisievert threshold also has become a factor delaying the return of nearly 160,000 evacuees from the nuclear crisis to their hometowns.
Yomiuri, Feb. 25: A mistaken political message also was given by Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida. He condemned the disposal by the prefecture’s Kashiwazaki and Sanjo cities of disaster debris from Iwate Prefecture as general waste as a “criminal act.” But radiation levels of debris from Iwate Prefecture are the same as trash collected within Niigata Prefecture. We urge Izumida, the head of a local government, not to exacerbate damage caused by nasty radiation rumors.
Published: March 3rd, 2013 at 7:36 pm ET