FUKUSHIMA Lives on the Line

FUKUSHIMA: Lives on the LineSupplementary Materials299February 28● Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announces plans for rice production in 2012. Rice from areas in which between 100 Bq and 500 Bq/kg of radioactive cesium was detected in the 2011 rice crop will be accepted on the condition that there is thorough production management and testing of every bag. Although restrictions will be placed on areas with levels of more than 500 Bq, the prefecture and municipalities could narrow these down to “village sections.” ● TEPCO announces that the amount of compensation from TEPCO to pregnant women and children of 18 years and younger who voluntarily evacuated outside of the 23 municipalities will be increased by 200,000 yen to 600,000 yen per person, according to the guidelines set by the Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation.● Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Expert Advisory Committee summarizes provisional standards in that the concentration of radioactive cesium should be less than 100 Bq/kg for shipments of crushed stone and gravel produced in this prefecture. This will come into effect from April.February 29● Fukushima Prefecture applies to the Reconstruction Agency for the “Fukushima Special Zone for Industrial Revitalization and Investment Promotion” and “Fukushima Special Zone for Medical Industry Revitalization” to be recognized in accordance with the Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Special Zones Act, a first for this prefecture.● Futaba, which has formed its own legal team, files the first collective claim to the Nuclear Damages Dispute Resolution Center. Including a minimum monthly compensation payment of 350,000 yen, this amounts to a total of approximately 450 million yen for the 47 residents in 22 households. March 1● In Hirono, which was formerly an emergency evacuation preparation area, town hall functions fully restart in the original building for the first time in almost a year. This is the first return of local government among the nine evacuated municipalities. ● Graduation ceremonies are held at the 87 full-time and six part-time Prefectural High Schools. Of the nine satellite schools, only Haramachi holds its ceremony on the school premises, the other eight hold it at other venues. March 2● The Reconstruction Ministry determines the first allocation amounts to be released to businesses that will utilize the reconstruction subsidies for local governments affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. In Fukushima, the prefectural government and eleven municipalities will share a total of 60.3 billion yen (based on total project cost). Moreover, 60% of the allocation amount applied for in seven municipalities will be decided on at a later date.● Okuma, which has been designated as the front line outpost (offsite center) of the nuclear accident, is opened to the media for the first time. March 3● TEPCO announces that one of the temperature gauges at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel of Unit 2 Reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant showed abnormally rapid increases in temperature and will no longer be used for monitoring as there is a possibility that the readings are incorrect. ● A launch ceremony is held in Sendai for the reconstruction support organization for companies damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake, which was established in order to avoid double loan problems for the companies affected by the disaster. This will support affected businesses in this prefecture.March 4● A memorial service for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake in Naraha takes place prior to the one year anniversary of the disaster. Thirteen Oshima cherry trees are planted in the Tenjin Misaki Sports Park in the town, which is in the hazard zone, in memory of the thirteen people killed in the tsunami. Futaba and Iwaki hold a joint memorial service.March 5● TEPCO announces that pregnant women and children under 18 years who evacuated to the voluntary evacuation compensation zones, such as 23 municipalities in the Kenpoku (Northern Fukushima) and Kenchu (Central Fukushima) areas of the prefecture, following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster will be paid a further 400,000 yen per person.March 6● The Democratic Party, the Liberal Democratic Party, and the New Komeito agree to make modifications to the “Bill on Special Measures for the Regeneration and Reconstruction of Fukushima,” which makes the central government responsible for the reconstruction of this prefecture in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster. The government reveals that it will offer financial support to the prefectural fund to be used to provide health checks to residents and make healthcare free for children. March 7● TEPCO announces that construction of a “fuel extraction cover” that will have cranes to extract fuel will begin in autumn this year with the aim of removing the spent fuel from the pool in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Unit 4 Reactor. Extraction work is expected to start toward the end of next year.March 8● The “42nd National Symposium on Issues for Small and Medium Enterprises in Fukushima” begins at the Hamatsu hotel in Koriyama. Approximately 1,600 owners of small and medium sized businesses from around the country gathered under the slogan “with the strong bonds forged in the year since the disaster, we will never wither and with the power of small and medium businesses, we will rebuild regions and revive the Japanese economy.” The symposium will be held until March 9.March 9● TEPCO announces that it will work on plans to supply power under the assumption that six reactors (Unit 5 and 6 Reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and Unit 1–4 Reactors of the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant) will be shut down for ten years from fiscal year 2012. It decides that it would be difficult to make any plan involving restarting the reactors. ● TEPCO President Toshio Nishizawa meets Prefectural Governor Yuhei Sato at the Prefectural Office and apologizes again for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster as the one year anniversary approaches. March 10● At the conference between the government, Fukushima Prefecture, and the eight municipalities in Futaba County, Goshi Hosono, the Concurrent Environment Minister and Nuclear Disaster Minister, makes a request for temporary storage facilities to be created in Futaba, Okuma, and Naraha. Minister Hosono requests a controlled waste disposal site in Tomioka to accept contaminated waste. He promises to make legislation that ensures that contaminated waste in the temporary storage facilities will be finally disposed of outside the Prefecture. February 14, 2012–March 10, 2012