NHK has learned that at least 1,000 homes in Fukushima Prefecture will be demolished — even after they have been cleaned of radioactive fallout from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident.
Local officials say that’s a waste of time and money. They call on the government to run the decontamination work more efficiently.
NHK polled officials from 9 Fukushima municipalities where demolition is under way. Each municipality remains partly or completely evacuated.
Officials from 3 towns said about 1,080 houses are to be torn down despite being decontaminated as requested by residents. Naraha Town reports the largest number, around 870.
Officials say leaking rain and animal intrusions are damaging the homes while residents remain evacuated. They also say many evacuees have given up on returning and found new homes instead.
The government pays for both decontamination and demolition programs in evacuation areas. The Environment Ministry says decontamination takes about 2 weeks and costs about 8,300 dollars on average.
An official says the ministry tried to speed up decontamination work at local governments’ requests. He says the ministry will now pursue efficiency as well.