Anthropology and Environment Society
Oral Presentation Session
Norio Ishida (Kyoto University)
Radioactive waste disposal has become a crucial issue in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear disaster that occurred when a combination of earthquake followed by tsunami resulted in a station blackout and the failure of the Fukushima Daiichi Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Nuclear Power Plant. In this paper, we investigated the case of the illegal dumping of radioactive waste in Shiga Prefecture. The District Court revealed that the company is paid to remove 5,000 tons of highly contaminated wood chips from Fukushima, and they dumped 310 tons illegally in Shiga and the Northern part of the Kanto, and Kyushu. Unfortunately though, this is one of the very few cases to have been revealed. There are undoubtedly many more cases. In addition, government is developing strategies to legally disperse "low level" radioactive material across the country for public works projects. We are now living in a situation where we do not know when nuclear waste might be mixed into construction materials for public facilities, such as roads, dikes, parks, and flower farms. Pilot projects to reuse waste have already implement in several sites across Fukushima. This could eventually take place across other area in near future. In order to prevent such “dilutions” of nuclear pollution, citizen groups are cooperating with measurement and monitoring networks to avoid pollution by radioactive materials. The long struggle of securing a radiation-free living environment has just begun.