Pilot work for forest decontamination planned in 4 Fukushima localities

early as September, covering a forest area tens of hectares wide in each selected municipality. The demonstration work is designed to identify effective methods of decontamination and ways to minimize workers' exposure to radiation, among other things. The decontamination project, the first large-scale attempt since the 2011 accident, will seek to lay the groundwork for resuming forestry business and reducing anxiety among evacuees hoping to return to their hometowns. The proposed locations of work are privately owned forest areas inside "special decontamination zones" where the central government is to undertake decontamination at its own expense. Subject to the project will be a 30-hectare area in Tamura city's Miyakoji district where the government lifted an evacuation order in April; a 10-hectare area each in Minamisoma city's Odaka district and Iitate village's Nimaibashi district; and a 30-hectare area in Kawauchi village's Modo district. The last three districts are designated as areas preparing for the lifting of evacuation orders. The Forestry Agency estimates the total cost of the work at 300 million yen. It hopes to zero in on a suitable method of work in terms of decontamination efficiency, minimization of costs, and worker radiation exposure. As soon as contractors are decided, the agency is set to launch work in September at the earliest for completion next March. (Translated by Kyodo News)