3.2.5 Clean-up of Iitate
Iitate is a village outside the exclusion zone, 39km northwest of the Daiichi Nuclear plant. It is outside the exclusion zone but the prevailing winds were able to bring radioactive material with them and in April 2011 the village was evacuated.
The scientists are particularly interested in iodine-131 and caesium-137. The iodine is found to be decayed but the presence of caesium is still a worry. The top two and a half cm of soil are found to have high activity. This would need to be removed to make Iitate safe.
The evacuation order was listed on 1 April 2017. Residents were keen to go back to their homes and were proactive in measuring radiation levels themselves, so that they could make an informed decision about their return.
In the next section, you’ll find out how the accident was graded.