How ‘Decontamination’ (=Cleaning) Is Done In Fukushima – ‘Decontamination’ Contractors Charge $13,000 Per Home

This Is How “Decontamination” Is Done, and To Be Done in Fukushima (EX-SKF, Oct. 18, 2011):

As Prime Minister Noda looked on, workers contracted by Fukushima City “decontaminated” a relatively new-looking residence in Onami District in Fukushima City on October 18. It is to be served as “model decontamination” for the rest of the district, as well as for the city.

It amounts to nothing more than power washing to “move” radioactive materials from one place to another.

Onami District of Fukushima City, along with another district (Watari District), has high air radiation and soil contamination. In the “model decontamination” work done by the city in August, the radiation hardly went down, while in several locations it went up. Quite a “model decontamination”. It is probably a model distribution of government money among well-connected contractors.

This is a footage of the TBS news:


YouTube

Decon Bubble in Fukushima: Contractors Charging US$13,000 Per House (EX-SKF, Oct. 18, 2011):

Yet another fine example of how a government is so good at misallocating the resource. By pledging to pour hundreds of billions of yen (probably in trillions) into “decontaminating” Fukushima, the Japanese government has already spawned a brand-new industry of residential decontamination. Who are the industry participants? Cleaners, painters, just about anyone who has a high-pressure washer.

Some are apparently charging 1 million yen (US$13,000) to hose down your house. As you can see in the video in the previous post, their idea of “decontamination” looks little more than year-end cleanup. Power washing seems to somehow turn cleanup into “decontamination”.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (10/19/2011):

東京電力福島第一原子力発電所事故による放射性物質の除染作業が本格化している福島県で、個人宅の除染に100万円を業者から請求されるなどのトラブルが起き始めている。

As decontamination work gets underway in Fukushima Prefecture to remove radioactive materials from the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, so do troubles with the decontamination contractors. Some are asking 1 million yen [US$13,000] to decontaminate a house.

費用を巡るトラブルは今後増える恐れがあり、標準的な作業内容や目安となる費用などを盛り込んだガイドラインを設ける必要性を指摘する声も出ている。

Disputes over the cost may increase in the future, and there are some who point out that there should be a guideline specifying what constitutes the standard decontamination work and the cost associated with it.

除染を巡っては、市内全域についての除染計画をまとめた福島市のように、自治体が計画を掲げて特定区域で重点的に作業を進める動きがある一方で、住民が直接業者に除染を依頼したり、業者がセールスしたりする例も少なくない。

Regarding decontamination, some municipalities like Fukushima City have the city-wide decontamination plan and focus on particular areas to decontaminate. On the other hand, there are cases where the residents hire contractors for decontamination on their own. There are also active sales promotion by the contractors.

トラブルになるのはこれらのケースが多く、県除染対策課には、「業者に住宅の除染を行ってもらったら、100万円を請求された」という苦情が寄せられた。同様の苦情は数件来ているという。

Disputes mostly rise from the latter cases. The Fukushima prefectural department in charge of decontamination has received a complaint from a resident who was presented with a bill for 1 million yen by the contractor who did the decontamination work for his residence. The department says it has received similar complaints.

福島市にも除染の費用を巡る相談は多く、業者に20万円で除染を頼んだ市民から「この費用は、国か東電がもってくれるのか」という問い合わせもあったという。

Fukushima City has received inquiries from the residents about the cost of decontamination. One resident who hired the contractor to decontaminate for 200,000 yen [US$2,600] asked the city whether or not this cost would be paid by either the national government or TEPCO.

民家などの除染を行う専門業者はこれまでおらず、清掃業や塗装業などから続々と参入している。南相馬市のビル管理業者は「住宅の清掃とほぼ同様の方法で算出すると、住宅1棟につき20万~30万円が相場ではないか」と話す。

There were no contractors specialized in decontaminating residences, until now. Many cleaning companies and painters are entering the field. One building management company in Minami Soma City says, “If we calculate the same way as the cleaning of a personal residence, 200,000 to 300,000 yen per residence would be appropriate.”

Hmmm. Decontamination is not the same as cleaning, really. But from what I’ve heard directly from people who have witnessed the so-called “decontamination” in Fukushima and what I’ve seen on video, they are one and the same.

Blasting the roof and wall with power washer after more than 7 months may not even be enough to dislodge radioactive cesium, as Professor Yamauchi has analyzed. Even if it does, it simply moves cesium to somewhere else, like the neighbor’s yard or onto the public road. Then, particularly in the case of Fukushima, the contaminated mountains and forests surrounding the cities and towns will supply radioactive cesium and other nuclides over time with rain and wind.

But no matter. Money is there to be made, as near-endless supply of money flowing from the national government to “decontaminate” Fukushima and make people stay.

If blasting with power washer does decontaminate, I am pretty sure Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians have done that long time ago.

Prime Minister Noda, whom you can see in the video in the previous post, won the leadership election thanks to his oratorical skills and NHK misreporting on the votes available for Banri Kaieda, looks absolutely clueless. Just as his predecessor, the whole thing looks way over his head.

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