A recent post in Russian Times reported that:
Many of the people who were forced to evacuate after the 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant may never return, Japanese lawmakers admitted, overturning initial optimistic government pledges…Some 160,000 people escaped the vicinity of Fukushima Daiichi, when a powerful earthquake and tsunami transformed the plant into the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. About a third of them are still living in temporary housing. They were promised that this would not last for longer than 3 years… In August the death toll among the evacuees surpassed the threshold of 1,599 lives, which is how many people in the prefecture were killed by the disaster itself. The displaced residents are suffering from health problems, alcoholism and high rates of suicide. The Ministry of Environment wanted to decontaminate 11 townships in the affected area, bringing the average annual radiation dose to 20 millisieverts, a level deemed safe by the International Centre for Radiological Protection. It further pledged to pursue a long-term goal reducing it to 1 millisievert per year.
This post addresses the problems of the former citizens of Fukushima. They have been displaced from their homes, their friends, and their community. They have been promised that they may return, but the place remains toxic. There are significant health costs attributable to this disaster, even if they are not directly related to radiation. It is known that poverty is associated with increased health risks. If daily life becomes burdensome, health consequences follow. These deaths, related to despair and alienation, are attributable to the disaster.
- For many Fukushima evacuees, the truth is they won’t be going home (trust.org)
- For many Fukushima evacuees, the truth is they won’t be going home (ndtv.com)
- Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for November 7 to November 11, 2013 (greenpeace.org)
- Plan to lower radiation readings OK’d (japantimes.co.jp)
- Fukushima residents may never go home, say Japanese officials. (theguardian.com)