It has been well over a year and half since the March 11th, 2011 tsunami struck the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing the worst meltdown crisis in more than 20 years. But more than 80% of people’s homes located in the surrounding area, which reaches as many as seven prefectures, are still waiting to be cleared of the radioactive particles that were released, and be safe for their owners to return once more.
A study was recently completed by Japan’s Environment Ministry looking a the decontamination efforts being completed by government-funded efforts. The ministry looked at the 58 cities, towns, and villages that were affected in the areas surround the Fukushima nuclear plant through the end of August, and found that work had been completed at 69% of educational facilities, including schools and centers for childcare. 51% of the roads and streets designated for cleaning have been reached, while 38% of public places like parks and sports facilities are now decontaminated.
Unfortunately, of the nearly 100,000 homes needing to be cleaned and made safe, only around 17,000 have been completed. Japan’s central government has been heavily criticized recently for its mis-use of disaster recovery funds on completely unrelated projects, including building factories in other parts of the country. Likewise, a U.N. representative has stated that the government needs to do more to check and monitor the health levels of those who were living in the areas where radiation was released into the environment. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which also operates under the U.N., has decided to set up an office in Fukushima Prefecture in order to directly contribute to decontamination efforts.
[via RTT News]