As Japan insisted Fukushima was not leaking radiation into the surrounding environment in March, the government was arresting people over 60 kilometers from Fukushima for collecting radioactive rubble without a license, claiming the collection of radioactive material violated the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law.
According to the Government of Japan and TEPCO, as of March 26th they official story was there was the pressure vessels at the Fukushima nuclear reactor were still intact and radiation was not leaking into the environment.
For example, on March 26th Bloomberg Business Week reported:
Japan Says Nuclear Crisis Not Worsening as Radiation Levels RiseMarch 26, 2011, 11:24 AM EDT
The nuclear agency said it doesn’t believe there is a physical crack in the pressure or containment vessels, which surround the core of the No. 3 reactor. Leakage may be coming from pipes connected to the reactor.
The March 11 quake, Japan’s biggest, and subsequent tsunami left the plant without power needed to cool nuclear fuel rods. The government has advised more people living close to the nuclear site to evacuate because basic goods are in short supply, while assuring them that radiation levels hadn’t risen in the area.
Radiation readings between 20 kilometers (12 miles) and 30 kilometers from the plant are falling, according to the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan.
Yet while Japan went to great lengths to assure the public and the international community that radiation was not leaking into the surrounding environment, the government of Japan was busy arresting citizens who were collecting radioactive rubble over 60 kilometer from the Fukushima Nuclear plant.
According to a report from the Mainichi Daily News, officials were placing people under arrest for collecting radioactive rubble without a license which they claimed was a violation of the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law.
A man has been freed after being held on suspicion of collecting rubble allegedly contaminated with radiation from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant without permission, the Mainichi has learned.
The man was arrested on March 26 after allegedly collecting about 1.8 metric tons of broken brick walls and other rubble from a house in Koriyama for a 42,000 yen fee without a license in violation of the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law.
The Koriyama branch of the Fukushima District Public Prosecutors Office, however, decided to set him free without charge after concluding that the law does not apply to waste contaminated with radioactive materials, and the rubble gathered by the man may be contaminated with radiation. The prosecutors office declined comment on the case.
Source: Mainichi Daily News
The scandal coming out of Japan does not stop there either. The Mainichi Daily news report goes on to say that local officials are asking the government to rewrite the laws to make it a crime to bury radioactive waste. Yet at the same time Japan has instructed citizens to bury anything under 8,000 becquerels per kilogram, which is 4 times higher than the international legal limit for nuclear waste.
Even more ironic is as the politicians look to tie the hands of the public from protecting themselves from the radiation the government of Japan has no plan to remediate areas affected by radiation and have thus far stopped short of forcing TEPCO to pay the bill for the clean up of the nuclear fallout that is blanketing the nation.