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Some 60% of medical facilities in Futaba inclined toward reopening: survey

20 November 2015

The Fukushima prefectural government announced on Nov. 19 the results of a survey of medical facilities in Futaba County that have suspended business due to the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, asking if they plan to reopen within the next five years. The county comprises eight municipalities (six towns and two villages).

Of the 35 facilities that responded, six said they “will reopen” while 14 said they “hope to reopen in their local town or village if conditions are right.” In other words, 20 facilities, or nearly 60% of the respondents, expressed a positive attitude toward resuming their operations.

The results were announced at a meeting in the prefectural government office held to discuss the medical care system in Futaba County. The survey was conducted on 70 facilities – five public and private hospitals, 40 medical clinics, and 25 dental clinics – in six of the municipalities in the county. Hirono town and Kawauchi village were not included. Responding to the survey were 35 facilities -- four hospitals, 19 medical clinics and 12 dental clinics.

(Translated by Kyodo News)

18 November 2015

Almost half of offices want to reopen, stay in business in evacuated hometowns

In a survey of business establishments in 12 municipalities with government-designated evacuation zones in the wake of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster, 627 businesses, or 45% of the 1,388 offices covered, expressed hope to reopen or continue their operations in their hometowns in the future.

The results of the survey, conducted by the nonprofit Fukushima Soso Reconstruction Corp. as of Nov. 14, were announced at a meeting of public- and private-sector parties to the group held on Nov. 17 in Fukushima city on the post-disaster reconstruction of Fukushima’s Soso area that constitutes the upper half of the prefecture’s Pacific coast region.

Among those surveyed, 19% (270 establishments) have either returned to their hometowns and reopened operations or have stayed in their hometowns and wish to continue business there. Another 12% (161 establishments) have resumed business in other locations as a result of evacuation but wish to return to their hometowns and reopen there in the future, while 14% (196 establishments) have suspended operations but hope to return and restart in their hometowns. In other words, a total of 45% are inclined to reopen their offices and continue business in their hometowns.

Fukushima Soso Reconstruction said it plans to visit about 8,000 businesses individually, and offer greater support and consultation services by experts for operators who wish to reopen in their hometowns.

(Translated by Kyodo News)

21 November 2015

Incinerator in Iitate test-launched ahead of operation from mid-December

An ignition ceremony was held for an incineration plant in the Warabidaira district of Iitate village in Fukushima Prefecture on Nov. 25 ahead of full operation from mid-December to handle radioactive waste from Iitate and five other municipalities. It is the first facility in the northeastern Japanese prefecture for reducing the volume of contaminated waste gathered from a broad area.

The plant will incinerate not only waste from decontamination work and scrap from dismantled houses in Iitate, but also rice straw and pasture grass from Fukushima, Minamisoma and Date cities plus Kunimi and Kawamata towns as well as sewage sludge from Fukushima, Minamisoma and Kunimi.

This will help speed up the disposal of sludge being kept at sewage treatment facilities in the respective municipalities. The Environment Ministry, operator of the Iitate incinerator, said it will be capable of processing 240 tons of waste a day.

The plant is scheduled to be in service for three years in principle, but can be extended by a maximum of two years depending on the amount of waste left to be treated. Incinerated ash containing no more than 100,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive substances will be transported to a landfill site equipped with a seepage control system in Tomioka town, whereas ash with concentrations exceeding 100,000 becquerels per kilogram will be moved to an interim storage facility for radioactive waste.

(Translated by Kyodo News)

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