Decontamination efforts began at several “hot spots” – areas where especially high radiation levels were detected – in and around Fukushima City on Sunday and continued Monday. Some 400 experts and 3,500 residents are participating in the effort. Residents worked to haul mud and debris from gutters and deweed the area.
Additionally, a specialized cleaning vehicle decontaminated certain roads, especially those used by children to commute to school. After the initial cleanup, residents reported Monday morning that the radiation level had dropped by about half, from 10 to around 5 microsieverts an hour.
The cleanup area is about 90 kilometers away from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, outside of the mandatory evacuation zone. But concerns began to rise when a high reading of 3.83 microsieverts/hr was measured in June. The cleanup was initiated in the hopes of avoiding the need for an evacuation of the area, local officials said.