May 10, 2022
Residents of the Tsushima area in the hard-to-return zone in the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, have begun measuring radiation levels throughout the area in connection with a lawsuit against the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company.
On the first day of the trial, at 10:00 a.m. on October 10, approximately 10 residents gathered in the Tsushima area, which is in the difficult-to-return zone, to confirm the method and location of the measurements.
Measurements will be taken by dividing the entire Tsushima area into 28 sections of 2 km square, and installing dosimeters in each section. The dosimeters will be placed mainly in areas that have not been decontaminated, and many of these areas are covered with trees and grass.
According to the plaintiffs, this is believed to be the first time such measurements have been made in a class action lawsuit involving a nuclear accident.
Hidenori Konno, leader of the plaintiffs, said, “What we are appealing to the court of appeals is to ‘give back our hometown. In order to do so, we have to come up with concrete evidence of the situation in the Tsushima area…”
Hidenori Konno, the leader of the plaintiffs’ group, said at the meeting on April 4 that he intends to submit the results of the measurements as evidence in the trial.
Although a portion of the Tsushima area has been designated as a restoration site and is being decontaminated, the outlook for more than 90% of the other areas has yet to be determined.
Mr. Konno said, “At the very least, decontamination will restore the environment to near normalcy. In fact, the radiation dose has decreased so much after 12 years. We would like to use the data to prove that we can do it, especially in areas close to our homes.”
The installation work is scheduled to continue until the 15th, and the samples will be collected and analyzed three weeks later.