Many evacuees have spent a month living in government shelters, sometimes just gyms, and are running low on money.
Tokyo (CNN) -- The worst may have passed in the most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl, but cleaning up when it's finally over is likely to take decades and cost Japan an untold fortune. A six- to nine-month horizon for winding down the crisis, laid out by plant owner Tokyo Electric Power this week, is just the beginning. Near the end of that timeline, Japan's government says it will decide when -- or whether -- the nearly 80,000 people who were told to flee their homes in the early days of the disaster can return.
Some of those who have already spent six weeks in emergency housing, like Tomioka funeral director Kazuhiro Shirato, say they don't expect to return to what was home. "I've been told by TEPCO since I was very small that the nuclear power plant was safe, so I never imagined this would happen," Shirato told CNN. "I hope now that the whole town will move to another place and rebuild." Many of those displaced by the disaster have spent a month living in government shelters -- sometimes just gyms -- and are running low on money. Tokyo Electric has promised to make a down payment on compensation of 1 million yen (about $12,000) per household, with the intention of sending out checks by late April.
The shadow cast by Fukushima Daiichi has inflicted yet-unknown losses on farmers, fishermen and shopkeepers. And looming compensation costs have darkened the future of Tokyo Electric, a $157 billion company that may be driven into some form of government receivership. For those displaced, Japanese authorities have promised to decontaminate "as much of an area as possible," as Goshi Hosono, an adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, told reporters earlier this week. But they have no decontamination plans prepared, and no real model for trying to clean up whole municipalities. "We may be talking about something very new," Shikata said. "We will have to be creative." The few precedents that do exist are daunting.
The biggest city covered by the evacuation orders so far is Minami Soma, with a population of about 70,000. The twin disasters of March 11 have already driven away most of its population, most of those remaining have been told they will be evacuating soon and the rest have been told to stand by. "We will rebuild," said Shinkoh Ishikawa, a Buddhist monk at the Senryu temple just outside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone. "I'm confident about that because we had done the same after the second World War."
Also don't forget the magnitude 9 earthquake and the tsunami that killed over 30,000 people in Japan, that preceded the problem that stopped so many forebrains world wide from working. So yeah, the worst is over.
Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators
Important Notices: By participating on this discussion
board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules
page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the
opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent
the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.