Decontamination process and its problems

The wide areas of Fukushima Prefecture and the adjoining Prefectures have been polluted by the radioactive substances from the crippled nuclear power plants. It is tricky the pollution has occured in a spotty manner. Even if one place turns out to be free from heavy contamination, the adjoining spot a few hundreds meter away could be highly contaminated with radioactive substances. Since the detailed measurements of radioactivity has been done, contamination maps are available in many areas now.

The people of the contaminated areas have started decontamination procedure with the assistance by some groups or NPOs. I believe they were striving for the safer environment for the children or the pregnant women. Some areas turned out to be really hazardous for living even 50 or 60kms away from the disatstered nuclear power plants. The local or central governments were, again, slow in taking this action. However, taking it as an important issue, the governments have started it as well. The expence for this program is estimated up to over a trillion JPY.

It could be a hard way to accomplish this decontamination process. One problem is that the present procedures like washing concrete or the other structures with high hydropressure water could not be enough to lower the contamination. The recent research by Prof Uchiyama of Kobe Univ has reavealed. it and has proposed to replace the surface of the concrete structure and so forth. It means replacing the infrastructures of the areas to new one. It might cost an astronomical amount of money. I am afraid if this observation is true, in some areas they should give up living for many years.

The other problem is where and how to keep the contaminated materials. Our government has determined to maintain them at the contaminated areas. It is puzzling if it is possible to do that for decades or more than hundreds of years without any secondary contaminations. We still need technical break through for this issue. At present, it is still a quite tough problem, I believe.

I hope the peoples in the other countries to learn that the nuclear power plant is made up with a real defective technology and that once it suffers from a real severe accident, it may burden you in this way. We should support the peoples in the affected areas for a long time from now on by ourselves here.     

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