Concerns over radiation exposure and an increase in cancer rates following Japan's nuclear disaster in 2011 led to immediate evacuations of towns surrounding the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant. For the past two years residents have been closely monitored, and those efforts seem to have paid off. This week, a group of UN scientists reported that radiation leaked after the 2011 Fukushima disaster is unlikely to cause any health effects in the future. But that doesn't mean people can go home. The Japanese government says there's still a lot of contamination in the water and soil. This past week, Japan's public broadcaster, NHK, took a look at the report and what it means for local residents. The transcript of that piece is below.
This year’s report was approved at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. It prioritizes reconstruction from the March 11th quake and tsunami, and the nuclear accident they triggered. The report says large amounts of radioactive substances remain in the environment more than two years after the accident. It calls decontamination of the affected areas a pressing issue, and it admits that government efforts have so far failed to dispel fears over possible low dosage exposure.
The report stops short of discussing nuclear power generation as a way to tackle global warming. Before the 2011 accident, the government used a report to promote the use of nuclear energy.
Nobuteru Ishihara, Japanese Environment Minister:
We hope more people will consider how to hand over a truly prosperous society to future generations.
The report also says values appear to be changing in Japan since the disaster, and that the country should shift away from assessing wealth only through GDP figures.