Japan's Radiation Cleanup Is Trial And Error

By Salon Staff

Published March 5, 2012 7:27AM (EST)

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (AP) — Japan is undertaking a costly and uncertain effort to try to make radiation-contaminated communities inhabitable again.

Experts say the attempt is unprecedented, and there is no guarantee of success. Decontamination will have to be repeated for years or even decades. There will be so much radioactive soil and debris that officials are worried about finding space to store it.

Work is continuing toward a permanent shutdown of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, nearly one year after it was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Japan declared the plant stable in December, and the radiation leak has slowed considerably. That set the stage for the next phase: decontaminating the area so that at least some of the 100,000 evacuees can return.

Salon Staff

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