In downtown Fukushima City, there’s this little “Decontamination Information Plaza” where one can go and learn about the clean up efforts in Fukushima. So I went there and asked some questions:
Who is behind this radiation center exactly? The radiation center is brought to us by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment (環境省=kankyou shou) and the Fukushima Prefecture government.
How has cleaning up been going? The radiation is decreasing little by little.
Is Fukushima City safe? The level is quite low and it is safe.
How is the water? The drinking water is fine. The rain is fine. It’s the water in stagnant areas that is still unsafe. For example, the mud in Lake Imbanuma.
How is the food? The food that is sold is checked so it is safe.
When can people move back to the area around the power plant? 順番 “Jyunban” This means that some can go back sooner and some can go back later, depending on the area they are from. The residents of Tamura Town have already returned.
How many years before Fukushima is back to normal? This depends on the area. Fukushima City is okay currently.
Okay, entering the Radiation Center. (I’m not going to call it a “Decontamination Information Plaza.” LOL)
This is what they do to a house. A cleaning crew comes to a house and cleans it from top to bottom to decrease radiation. They did this to our residence a while back and I took photos, but I didn’t post the photos because I didn’t want everybody in internet land feeling sorry for me.
Radiation on the ground. Is this what it really looks like? Huh?
The eastern part of Fukushima Prefecture. It’s called Hamadori. (The power plant is located in this area, on the coast.) Fukushima City–where I live–is to the west of this in the middle part of Fukushima Prefecture.
The four hardest hit towns were (from North to South) were Namie, Futaba, Ookuma, and Tomioka. These little towns were evacuated.
In previous posts, I may have thrown out the names of other towns like Soma and Minami Soma. Those towns were not affecteed as much. Truthfully, I am not really familiar with this area so much. Even before the earthquake, I never visited it. (Except Iwaki, to the south, a city which God has smiled on. Wind patterns have left Iwaki almost completely radiation free.)
Photos of the famous Horse Festival in Minami Soma. They are trying to make people aware of the culture and tradition of this affected area.
Radiation concentration in the soil. The green is around where I live. I was TOLD this soil is considered safe. The red (to the right) is not safe soil for agriculture. That is very near the power plant.
The white parts? No agriculture is there. It’s either mountains or lake.
Okay, this is important to me because this is a chart for safe/dangerous radiation levels. At the top, it will kill you, of course.
Before the earthquake, Fukushima was way way way at the bottom. Now Fukushima City is a bit above that. Not super high, but not crazy crazy low. If you come to visit, you’ll be fine. Most likely I’ll be fine and my son will be fine. The radiation level is really not that high in Fukushima City. Is it higher than I would like? Yes. But does it make me worry and fret? No.
If I do end up getting cancer, I won’t really know if it’s related to Fukushima City, or something else like genes or whatever. So we’ll have to see if in future years, cancer rates spike or not.
Here’s to a healthy Fukushima in the future.