Taro Yamamoto of the Liberal Party is a member of the Chamber of Deputies. He is one of the few parliamentary members defending the rights of victims of the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.
The Association Nos Voisins Lointains 3-11 translated the questions of Taro Yamamoto to the Chamber of Deputies’ Special Commission on Reconstruction on 18 November 2016*.
The content of his questions reveals the inhuman situation faced by the victims in the framework of the Japanese government’s return policy .
Taro Yamamoto’s questions (video in Japanese)
See Transcript Below
● Taro Yamamoto
Thank you. I am Taro Yamamoto from the Liberal Party. I would like to ask questions as the representative of a parliamentary group.
Declared on 11 March 2011, the state of nuclear emergency has not yet been lifted to date, 5 years and 8 months after the accident at the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Today, I will address a subject that is well known by the members here present.
I will start with the subject of the radioactivity controlled area. This is a demarcated area frequented by workers with professional knowledge who are exposed to the risks associated with ionizing radiation, such as an X-ray room, a research laboratory, a nuclear power plant and so on.
Here is the answer. According to the Ordinance on the Prevention of Risks from Ionizing Radiation**, eating and drinking are prohibited in workplaces where there is a risk of ingesting radioactive substances orally.
Of course, it is forbidden to drink or eat there. So it’s obvious that it’s not possible to spend the night there, is it? Even adults cannot stay for more than 10 hours.
You are well aware of the existence of this Ordinance. This is a rule that must be respected in order to protect workers exposed to risks related to ionizing radiation in establishments such as hospitals, research laboratories and nuclear power plants, isn’t it?
It contains the definition of a radioactivity controlled area. This is Article 3 of the Ordinance in File No. 1. It states that if the situation corresponds to the definition described in Article 3/1 or to that specified in Article 3/2, the zone shall be considered as a controlled area and a sign shall be posted there. I will read parts 1 and 2 of this article.
1: The area in which the total effective dose due to external radiation and that due to radioactive substances in the air is likely to exceed 1.3mSv per quarter – over a period of three months! When the dose reaches 1.3mSv over a period of three months, a zone is called “controlled radioactivity zone”.
● Government expert (Seiji Tanaka)
The conversion gives 40,000Bq/m2
Thus, with 40 000Bq / m2, the zone is classified as a “controlled zone of radioactivity”. It is therefore necessary to monitor not only radioactivity in the air but also the surface contamination, ie the ground dose of radioactive substances, ie other elements in the environment, and to manage the area in order to protect workers from radiation-related risks, isn’t it?
A radioactivity controlled area is defined both by the dose rate of the ambient radioactivity and by the surface density of the radioactive substances. The point is that the risk in a situation where the radioactive substances are dispersed is quite different from that in the situation where the radiation sources are well identified and managed.
Here is my question. Concerning contamination, apart from the dose rate of ambient radioactivity, are there any conditions to take into account in order to lift the evacuation order? Please answer yes or no.
Here is the answer.
Concerning the conditions necessary for the lifting of the evacuation order, as far as the radioactivity measurements are concerned, it is only the certainty that the annual cumulative dose rate of ambient radioactivity is less than 20 mSv.
You did not understand. I asked you to answer yes or no. Are there any other conditions other than the dose rate of ambient radioactivity? To lift the order of evacuation below 20mSv / year, what are the conditions regarding the contamination?
The fact is that regarding contamination, there are no other conditions than the dose rate of the radioactivity in the air. This is abnormal. You, who belong to this Commission, certainly understand to what extent this situation is abnormal.
In the definition of a radioactivity controlled zone, apart from the dose rate of radioactivity in the air, account is taken of the substances dispersed and then deposited, that is to say contamination in the soil etc., which means a criterion of 40 000Bq / m2 is established for surface contamination.
The latter is not an evaluation criterion, the only criterion used is the dose rate of the ambient radioactivity. Politicians and officials who consider this to be a regular situation do not deserve to receive wages paid from tax revenues.
Our job is to protect the life and property of the people. Now, you lighten those conditions. You create, at your discretion, a rule that is less stringent than that applied to workers with a professional knowledge of radioactivity. What are you doing !