FUKUSHIMA Lives on the Line

296contaminated areas.”● Opinion exchange meetings are held at Fukushima Prefectural Office from the 26th.November 29● According to the Act on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear Emergency Preparedness, the government instructs Fukushima Prefecture to discontinue the shipment of this year’s rice crop from Oguni District of Ryozen, Date City and one part of Tsukidate, where contaminated rice was harvested. This is the second case of shipment restrictions following the restrictions placed on Onami District, Fukushima City.November 30● A relighting ceremony for Shioyasaki Lighthouse in Tairausuiso, Iwaki is held. The lighthouse was damaged in the earthquake. December 1● A reception for the “Blue Sky Project in NY,” which demonstrates the situation surrounding reconstruction in Fukushima, is held at the Japanese Embassy in New York, USA. Fukushima Minpo News among other newspapers exhibits panels of published photographs.● A new system where highways in the Tohoku region are made free for all users gets underway. All lanes on the pacific side of the Tohoku highway are free for all vehicles every day. December 2● Radioactive cesium levels exceeding the national safe dose are detected in rice from three farms in Watari district, Fukushima City. Fukushima Prefecture requests that shipment restrictions are placed on rice from Watari district (formerly Fukushima City). Radiation levels exceeding the safe dose are also detected in rice from two farms in Onami district (formerly Oguni Village), Fukushima City, making a total of 18 farms across the prefecture.December 6● The Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation decides on a new policy to compensate 1.5 million people from 23 municipalities in Fukushima, where residents were not instructed to evacuate their homes. Pregnant women and children will receive 400,000 yen and others will receive 80,000 yen.December 12● Minister of the Environment and Minister for the Restoration from and Prevention of Nuclear Accidents Goshi Hosono advises local officials in Futaba district of plans to construct interim storage facilities for contaminated waste within the district.December 15● The government working group investigating the health effects of low amounts of radiation over long periods presents proposals including intermediate target figures for the reduction of contamination. The proposals suggest a stage by stage reduction of the amount of radiation, specifically 10 mSv per year after two years and 5 mSv per year for the following stage.December 16● Addressing the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda states “we have confirmed that the nuclear reactors are in cold shut down and that the accident itself is over,” announcing the completion of “Step 2” of the work schedule. December 18● After reviewing the current evacuation zoning, the government advises Fukushima Prefecture and the municipalities concerning plans to restructure evacuation zones into three new zone types on April 1, 2012 according to radiation levels.December 19● The Ministry of the Environment designates 102 municipalities in eight prefectures, including 40 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture, as “Priority Contamination Examination Areas” in which decontamination will be conducted using government funding. The ministry also announces the eleven municipalities within the prefecture that will be decontaminated directly by the government.December 21● Namie Town Assembly approves a resolution to completely revoke Tohoku Electric Power Company’s request to construct the Namie-Odaka nuclear power plant. It is likely that the construction of the plant will be canceled as Minamisoma City Assembly, which includes Odaka district, also approves resolutions to halt construction. The construction of the plant becomes realistically difficult. December 22● Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announces new limits for the amount of radioactive cesium contained in food products. The new limits are significantly stricter than before. Interim measures are implemented for rice and other produce.December 23● “PEP Kids Koriyama,” the largest indoor play facility in the Tohoku region, opens in Yokozuka, Koriyama. Over 1000 children, who are unable to play outdoors, visit the facility. December 24● The government decides on the budget for fiscal year 2012. General account expenditure is 90.33 trillion yen—reduced for the first time in six years. Expenditure increases significantly to approximately 96 trillion yen, the largest ever, owing to a special account for the Great East Japan Earthquake reconstruction.December 26● Following the “declaration of containment” of the nuclear disaster, the government decides to restructure the evacuation zones according to yearly radiation dosage at the end of March. The three zone types will be as follows: “evacuation order removal preparation zone,” “restricted inhabitation zone,” and “difficult to return zone.” The limit for possible inhabitation will be below 20 mSv per year, as before.● The Government’s Investigation Commission on the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster releases its interim report. The report indicates the possibility of mismanagement of cooling operations at the various reactors possibly causing core damage to occur more quickly. For example, none of the plant workers had experience in operating emergency core cooling systems at Unit 1 Reactor. The report indicates that TEPCO was an “extremely incapable” enterprise. December 27● Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries decides on a policy to purchase rice from areas that were subject to restrictions after over 500 Bq/kg of radioactive cesium was detected. The ministry will also purchase rice from farms where over 100 Bq/kg was detected. The rice will be purchased through a nongovernmental organization at the total shipment price.● Addressing the government’s “declaration of containment” of the nuclear disaster in the final plenary session of the December Regular Prefectural Assembly, Fukushima Prefectural Assembly unanimously approves a written argument stating that “the government does not understand the situation in Fukushima. We demand that they revoke the declaration and endeavor to create an environment in which evacuated residents can return home.”December 28● Minister of the Environment and Minister for the Restoration from and Prevention of Nuclear Accidents Goshi Hosono officially advise Governor Yuhei Sato and local leaders of plans to construct an interim storage facility for contaminated waste within Futaba district. Two towns, Okuma and Futaba, are suggested as possible locations for the facility. Earthquake Disaster Document