FUKUSHIMA Lives on the Line

298households. Governor Yuhei Sato announces that a supplementary budget of approximately 1.5 billion yen is to be submitted in the regular February Prefectural Assembly.February 15● Kawauchi Mayor Yuko Endo meets with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda at the Official Prime Ministerial Residence and informs him of the “Village Returnee Declaration.” Prime Minister Noda offers his support for continuing compensation for psychological trauma caused to village returnees. February 16● The government’s center for nuclear damage compensation facilitation announces the first “compensation criteria,” which will form the basis of mediation proceedings for claims against TEPCO owing to damages caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. They will be aiming for quick settlements.February 17● The deadline for the primary applications for stage II of the Prefectural High School Admission Exams this spring. Owing to the nuclear disaster, all eight schools and eleven of the twelve departments in Soso, where satellite schools are set up, have significant applicant shortages. The average full time ratio of 1.05 is the lowest since the current system was introduced.February 18● Goshi Hosono, the concurrent Environment Minister and Nuclear Disaster Minister, indicates that he thinks the compensation for psychological damage caused by the nuclear power plant disaster should continue even after residents have returned to their villages. Goshi Hosono visits Kawauchi, the village that issued the returnee declaration, for the first time and meets the residents.February 19● TEPCO announces that it has reduced the amount of cooling water being injected into the reactor pressure vessel of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Unit 2 Reactor from 17.6 tons to 13.6 tons per hour. The measure was in response to the confirmation of the failure of temperature gauges at the bottom of the same container used in the criteria of a “cold shutdown state.” The plan is to reduce the amount to 9 tons. February 20● In a healthcare study on Fukushima residents affected by the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, the prefecture publishes the estimated cumulative dose (over 4 months after the disaster) of external radiation exposure of the 10,486 residents of the municipalities of Namie and Iitate and the Yamakiya district of Kawamata, where priority testing is being performed. Of the 9747 people who have not engaged in work involving radiation, 5636 people, equivalent to 57.8%, had received doses of radiation lower than the annual limit of 1 mSv. Two women had levels over the 20 mSv per year evacuation limit.February 21● Ministry of the Environment data show that only 4% of the estimated 2.08 million tons of debris in coastal Fukushima has been recycled or incinerated. This is the lowest percent among the three Tohoku prefectures affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Moreover, just 59% of Fukushima’s rubble has been moved to provisional processing sites, again, the lowest percent among the prefectures.● Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology begins operation of real-time radiation dose measurement systems in approximately 2700 places around the prefecture, including schools and parks.February 22● A prefecture summary reveals that about 13,000 households and 31,001 people are living in temporary housing in the prefecture. Of those, 1323 people over the age of 65 are living alone. ● Fukushima begins full-scale decontamination of residences in the Watari district, which was made a high-priority decontamination area. This is the first surface decontamination of a residential area in the prefecture.February 23● The prefecture consolidates its policy and informs the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries about the regions where levels of radioactive cesium detected in the 2012 rice crop were >100Bq/kg and ≤500 Bq/kg. Coordination between the government and municipalities in these regions had become problematic, but the regions will mostly be allowed to plant in the future. ● The deadline for primary applications changes for full-time selection stage II (achievement tests) Prefectural High School Entrance Exams this spring passes and the final ratio of students per available seat is confirmed as being 1.04, the lowest since the full-time system began in 2002.February 24● Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Council for new standard level of radioactive cesium in food officially approves new stricter levels of 100 Bq/kg in “general food,” reduced from the current provisional standard to 1/4–1/20 of the current standard level. The new criteria will be effective from April 1. ● Ministry of the Environment publishes an interim report measuring the air radiation dose per 100 square meters found on the ground in warning areas being decontaminated under the direct government control and some planned evacuation areas. The highest value was 470 mSv per year (89.9 mSv per hour), which was recorded in both high and low parts of Yamada, Futaba Town, about 4 km to the west of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. February 25● The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) opens its “Dialogue Seminar” in Date. The commission will make its recommendations to the government and prefectures on the 26th on topics such as the dissemination of radiation countermeasure information and the continuation of dialogue with residents.February 26● The opinion exchange meetings between the heads of the eight towns and villages in the Futaba area and the national government to discuss the establishment of temporary storage facilities in the wake of the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident are canceled after the Head of the Association of Chairmen of Towns and Villages in the Futaba Region and Mayor of Futaba, Katsutaka Idogawa, claimed that the rapport with the government had been damaged and refused to attend. The five chairmen that did attend held unofficial talks with the government and confirmed the establishment of consultations with the prefecture, including eight municipalities.February 27● Reconstruction Minister Tatsuo Hirano signals that restructuring of the current evacuation zones to create three new zones will be based on “village section” and will provide assistance for processes such as returning home, which are not covered by compensation such as returning home. Evacuees who have long-term difficulties returning home will receive support from both their home municipality and the municipality they evacuated to. ● Procedures of settlement mediation for the damage claims filed to the Nuclear Damage Compensation Dispute Resolution Center by a couple evacuated from Okuma are established amicably on the condition that TEPCO will pay a total of 23 million yen including residential damage where homes became uninhabitable. It is the first time that an out of court settlement has been reached for residential damages.Earthquake Disaster Document