– Debris removal underway at former no-entry zone (NHK, Feb 1, 2013):
Workers have begun removing debris from an area of Fukushima Prefecture for the first time since the March 11th 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Coastal areas of the Odaka district of Minamisoma City were designated as a no-entry-zone for 13 months until last April due to concerns about radioactivity from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant about 15 kilometers away.
It took 10 months for the authorities to obtain residents’ approval for a temporary storage site for the debris.
On Friday, workers began sorting more than 20,000 cubic meters of debris into flammable and non-flammable substances.
The flammable debris will be carried to the temporary storage site about one kilometer away. It will be burned at a temporary incinerator.
The Odaka district is the first former off-limits site to undergo debris removal.
The Environment Ministry says it wants to complete the disposal of debris at all similar sites in Fukushima by March next year.