by a coalition of 3 largest political parties – Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ, ruling party), Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and New Komei Party (NKP) – that make up 92% of the Lower House and 85% of the Upper House.
In other words, the bill is guaranteed to pass and be written into law.
From NHK News (8/15/2011):
The Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party, and the New Komeito Party will submit a joint bill during the current session of the Diet that will allow the national government to collect and dispose the debris contaminated with radioactive materials from the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident to expedite the cleanup.
福島第一原発の事故の影響で、放射性物質が付着したがれきの処理は、原発に近い警戒区域などでは、 収集も含めて進んでおらず、どのように対応するかが大きな課題となっています。こうした状況を踏まえ、民主・自民・公明の３党は、放射性物質が付着したが れきの処理を、国の責任で速やかに進めるための法案をまとめました。具体的には、原発の周辺など、汚染が著しい地域のがれきをはじめ、それ以外の地域でも 放射性物質が一定の基準を超えるがれきは、国の責任で収集から処分までを行うとしています。また、放射性物質で汚染された土壌についても、汚染が特に深刻 な地域では、国の責任で除染を行うとしています。がれきの処理や土壌の除染にかかった費用は、国や自治体が、最終的に東京電力に請求できるようにする方針 で、３党は、今週、今の国会に法案を共同で提出し、成立を目指すことにしています。
The disposal of the radioactive debris after the Fukushima accident hasn’t even started in the no-entry zone closest to the plant. The three parties have compiled a bill that will allow the national government to quickly dispose the radioactive debris. Under the bill, the national government would be responsible for collecting and disposing the debris in the highly contaminated areas [around the plant] as well as the debris outside such areas whose radioactive materials test above certain levels. As to the contaminated soil, the national government would be responsible for decontamination in the highly contaminated areas. The cost for debris disposal and soil decontamination would be eventually billed to TEPCO by the national and municipal governments. The parties are planning to submit the bill this week and hope to have it passed during the current session of the Diet.
Goshi Hosono, minister in charge of the nuclear accident, already said on August 13 that the radioactive debris in Fukushima wouldn’t remain in Fukushima. He said the radioactive debris would be “temporarily” stored in cities and towns in Fukushima with the national government’s financial assistance, but the final processing of the debris would be done outside Fukushima. (from Yomiuri Shinbun, 8/13/2011)
Mix and match, dilute away and bury everywhere is what is going to happen. An increasingly pessimistic Hiroaki Koide says that’s the price the citizens will have to pay for having allowed nuclear reactors all over Japan.
Without waiting for the national government’s decision, Fukushima City has already been secretly burying the radioactive dirt and sludge in a remote part of the town without telling the residents. Oh it’s just temporary, the city official says. Asahi Shinbun broke the news in Japan on August 5 (Japanese print version only, buried on the page 35), but there’s absolutely no follow up anywhere. Not a peep. Local Fukushima papers maintain total silence on the issue.
Curiously, Asahi maintains an English site full of Fukushima accident news, and the news of Fukushima City dumping radioactive dirt was in this English site. The articlehas this picture of dump trucks dumping bags of radioactive dirt and sludge from Fukushima City’s decontamination effort by volunteer citizens:
If you go to the article, you’ll read that some of these bags measure over 9.9 microsieverts/hour (the level was beyond what the portable survey meter could measure).
I wonder how long the “temporary” period is going to last. Several decades, maybe. Politicians are good at kicking the can, everywhere. As Dr. Shunichi “100 millisieverts are safe” Yamashita, a good politician doctor, has said already, “I won’t be responsible, because I’ll be dead by then.”