Some more details came out today about the Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Shizuoka. It turns out that its closure has thrown 2,800 people into unemployment and badly damaged the local economy. Not only that, but it looks like the Tokyo government will compensate Chubu Electric and the local economy with public funds...coming from...who knows where, maybe my pension again!
In more crazy news stuff, the first group of residents of the 20 km exclusion zone outside the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were today allowed to go home temporarily to collect belongings.
Evacuees were outfitted in radiation suits with masks, gloves and footwear designed to protect them from the 'dangers' around the plant. With military precision the evacuees were driven to pre-designated points inside the radius and given exactly two hours to get to their home, retrieve what belonging they could, and return to the buses. Any belongings they managed to get hold of had to be placed in plastic bags measuring 70 centimetres in both length and width. Every person was individually checked for high levels of radiation contamination on return and facilities were set aside to 'cleanse' any people who tested positive for such radiation. In what must have been no surprise, nobody did.
In typical Japanese style, none of these precautions are actually necessary. The area has been perfectly safe for human habitation for weeks, and there is no reason to suspect the situation will change. Workers are sleeping perfectly soundly in dormitories on the actual nuclear plant site. The only dangerous radiation levels are found within a relatively small area around the reactors themselves. Officials know this.