Report criticizes Fukushima evacuations

Dec. 23, 2011 at 8:42 PM   |   Comments

TOKYO, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- An evacuation order issued by the Japanese government shortly after the onset of the Fukushima nuclear crisis was irrational, a parliamentary report says.

A panel led by University of Tokyo Professor Yotaro Hatamura said its investigation of the crisis found the government's order for people who lived within 12 miles of the nuclear plant to evacuate resulted in residents moving to areas where radiation was higher. It also led to mass confusion, The Japan Times reported Friday.

Then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan received the first fallout estimates 11 days after the March 12 explosion at the Fukushima complex. The estimates were based on data culled and analyzed from the government's special computerized System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information.

The report, which will be publicly released Monday, alleges the government stonewalled the data, declining to send it to the prime minister's crisis management center, the newspaper said.

The thinking, the Times said, was that the data were "merely a hypothetical calculation result."

As a result, people who evacuated Fukushima Prefecture and went northwest ended up in locations where the fallout danger was higher. This was due to a governmental misinterpretation of the data based on how far they thought the fallout would carry taking in consideration the direction of spring winds that were blowing at the time, the Times said.

Topics: Naoto Kan
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