Title: After 500 Years in Family, Rice Farmers Forced Off Land by Fukushima
Source: PBS NewsHour
Date: March 12, 2012
MILES O’BRIEN: [...] And back at the home [in Minamisoma], while the soil may now be safe for kids to play, the driveway is still dangerously contaminated with cesium. The only solution, grind off the top layer of concrete. Kunihiro Yushida believes this neighborhood should be officially evacuated so that residents can be compensated.
“The government is just delaying the inevitable, in my eyes,” he said. “Instead, the government should honestly acknowledge that decontamination is unrealistic, apologize and evacuate citizens as soon as possible.”
The mayor of Minamisoma, Katsunobu Sakurai, is conflicted on this issue.
Is it possible that this cleanup can’t be done?
“It’s impossible,” he said. “Only a few parts of the area may be decontaminated. It is better than doing nothing, so it should be done anyway.”
In the city of Onami, about 40 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, they are embracing that philosophy, putting a lot of time, effort and money to clean up some once-fertile rice farms now heavily contaminated with cesium fallout.
Worker Yuichi Ito told me what happens after the cleanup.
YUICHI ITO, cleanup worker: A few days later, the radiation — it’s cesium. Cesium — cesium is very familiar to the soil, so the dust in the soil will fly from the mountain and come here.
MILES O’BRIEN: It comes right back down.
YUICHI ITO: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Read the report here
Watch In Japan, Nuclear Clean-up May Be Mission: Impossible on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
Published: March 12th, 2012 at 9:57 pm ET