Seven years after the Fukushima nuclear accident, Greenpeace denounces that there are excessive doses of radioactivity in areas near the plant that have been reopened to its inhabitants.
According to the report, many of these areas are in a situation of radiological emergency despite the government lifting restrictions on access to them after years of cleaning and decontamination.
The disturbing panorama presented by Greenpeace, supported by Human Rights Now and other Japanese NGOs, contrasts with the version of the Japanese authorities, who speak of a progressive return to normalcy in these areas hit by the nuclear catastrophe triggered by the earthquake and the tsunami of March 11, 2011.
Above international standards
In the towns ofNamie and Iitate, located between 10 and 40 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi plant and where evacuation orders were partially lifted in March last year, radiation continues at levels"Far above international standards", according to Greenpeace.
The NGO also notes the"Little effectiveness" of the work ofdecontamination in the affected areas, and criticizes that Tokyo"It went too fast" at the time of reopening these areas despite the"high risk" that this entails for its inhabitants, according to the Greenpeace nuclear energy expert Jan Vande Putte told Efe.
The Japanese Executive, for its part, maintains that radioactivity in the reopened areas does not pose risks to human health, and has data corroborated by medical experts from Japan and organizations such as the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Radiation ( UNSCEAR).
But this has not been enough to convince the tens of thousands of people who were forcibly evacuated after the atomic accident or who voluntarily left their homes for fear of radiation, and who have returned home with a dropper.
The radiation dose set as a reference by the government to lift evacuation orders is 0.23 microsieverts per hour (which represents a cumulative annual exposure of one millisievert), in line with the recommendation of international organizations.
However,the experts ofGreenpeace detected peak levels of 6.5 microsieverts per hour in some of the reopened areas - 28 times higher than the cap - and their report shows that 60 percent of the town of Namie exceeds the permitted limit
The population, reluctant
Of the approximately 27,000 residents of Namie and Iitate who were able to return to their homes, only about 950 or 3.5 percent have returned, according to data from the Fukushima prefectural government, which in addition to the population's reluctance reflects the process depopulation that affects all rural areas of Japan.
The radiation dose set as a reference by the Government to lift evacuation orders is 0.23 microsieverts per hour (which represents a cumulative annual exposure of one millisievert), in line with the recommendation of international organizations.
However, the environmental and anti-nuclear organization has detected maximum levels of 6.5 microsieverts per hour in some of the reopened areas - 28 times more than the ceiling - and its report shows that 60 percent of the town of Namie is exceeds the allowed limit.
Greenpeace affirms that its measurements cover larger areas and use more precise methods than those of the Government, as they are carried out with a different methodology and involve more residents to take into account their habits, such as frequenting the forests that surround cities , ignored in the official data.
“It is not that the official data are incorrect, it is that their interpretation has been manipulated. You can always select the most favorable measurements or those taken in less contaminated areas ”, explained the expert.
In any case, and even if official data are taken, the evolution of radioactivity data "makes it practically impossible" for the Executive's objectives of reopening by 2013 some of the most contaminated areas, where it would be necessary at least three more decades to return to safe levels, according to Greenpeace.
The Fukushima nuclear accident is considered the worst in history after Chernobyl (Ukraine) in 1986, and has evacuated tens of thousands of people, in addition to causing serious damage to the local economy and bringing a total cost to the coffers estimated at 20 trillion yen (152,815 million euros).
With information from