Tokyo 'not doing enough' for Fukushima: Greenpeace
Fukushima's residents are being left to their fate and not enough is being done to protect them against radiation nine months after Japan's tsunami, environment group Greenpeace said Wednesday.
The Dutch-based group lashed Tokyo after a probe by one of its nuclear experts, who called for the evacuation of pregnant women and children from Fukushima city, some 60 kilometres (37 miles) from the Fukushima nuclear plant.
"The inhabitants of Fukushima are being left to their fate," Greenpeace radiation expert Ike Teuling said in a press release, issued from Amsterdam.
Greenpeace said Teuling conducted an investigation around Fukushima city over the last few days and found the area still "seriously contaminated with radioactivity."
"Japan's authorities are doing too little to protect residents of Fukushima city against radiation," it said with Teuling adding: "The Japanese government has to at least evacuate pregnant women as well as children until their living area has been properly cleaned."
Teuling said tests showed "radioactive hotspots" with radiation "hundred times higher than the background radiation."
But residents in contaminated suburbs were being told to clean their own homes and to bury radioactive material in their gardens, Greenpeace said.
"It is totally irresponsible to leave dangerous decontamination to residents or make them wait for months in a radio-active environment without them in the meantime having the right to evacuation," added Teuling.
Large areas around the Fukushima plant have been left contaminated with radiation since the tsunami of March 11 knocked out its cooling systems and sent reactors into meltdown.
The world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl has not directly claimed any lives, but has left tens of thousands of people displaced and rendered whole towns uninhabitable, possibly for decades.
(c) 2011 AFP