The Asahi Shimbun, June 17, 2014: Asked why the government officials only expanded the evacuation zones in increments, [Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama] told committee members that it was feared that major traffic jams could ensue [...] Asked why the officials did not issue an evacuation order for people living in a radius of 20 km to 30 km from the plant, Fukuyama suggested they instead were ordered to remain indoors as an emergency response, because it was estimated that it could take four to five days to evacuate all the 140,000 residents [...] Fukuyama’s testimony shows that he apologized for the government’s decision for forcing residents in the area to wait inside buildings for as long as 10 days. [...] 80 percent of [evacuees surveyed] said they believe the government’s evacuation orders were inappropriate. Even though the government expanded evacuation zones in stages, extensive traffic congestion actually blocked evacuation efforts in many areas.
The Asahi Shimbun, June 18, 2014: Does it follow then that areas outside the 30-km radius are safe? That is anything but the case, as indicated by estimates of predicted dispersions of radioactive materials made by local governments around nuclear power plants. [...] the Hyogo prefectural government used data on past weather patterns to estimate what levels of radiation thyroid glands would be exposed to in the event of Fukushima-class disasters taking place at both the Oi and Takahama plants. It found that the doses could exceed the international benchmark of 50 millisieverts in seven days, even on Awajishima island, which is 150 kilometers from the nuclear power plants.[...] Viable evacuation plans [...] need to be in place before issuing the order to evacuate. Otherwise, chaos can result. This was made clear from [the above] statements [...] by Tetsuro Fukuyama [...] the NRA has yet to embark on this task in earnest, mainly because it is engaged in safety screenings ahead of nuclear power plant restarts. [...] Toshiki Kudo, mayor of Hakodate in Hokkaido, who filed a lawsuit demanding the suspension of construction of the Oma nuclear power plant in neighboring Aomori Prefecture, warned that the same old “safety myth” of nuclear power generation will be perpetuated if the project is allowed to have its way. “It will be game over for our country if the government stops trying its hardest to win the understanding of the people,” Kudo said.
CyI VisLab, June 17, 2014: Fukushima Accident Fallout — Global deposition of Cs-137 radionuclides from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. [...] We modeled the global atmospheric dispersion and deposition of radionuclides released from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident. The EMAC atmospheric chemistry – general circulation model was used, with circulation dynamics nudged towards ERA-Interim reanalysis data. [...] In Japan a large inhabited land area was contaminated by more than 40 kBq m-2.
Published: June 19th, 2014 at 11:48 pm ET