Greenpeace is warning that the schools in Fukushima City are contaminated with radiation as children prepare to return to class this week.
Greenpeace radiation experts have been checking the radiation dose rates at several schools in Japan's Fukushima City this month finding that the levels exceed international safety standards. Parents are having to decide if their children's education should be delayed in order to protect their health.
Greenpeace is asking Yoshihiko Noda, the incoming Prime Minister of Japan, to keep the schools closed until they have been decontaminated properly.
“We found a notable decrease in radiation at one Kindergarten in Fukushima City, but this was thanks to decontamination efforts by community groups and NGOs,” said Jan Vande Putte, Greenpeace International radiation expert in a statement. “This shows that it is possible to reduce levels of radiation exposure to children, but immediate action must be taken to remove them from harm.”
The exposure level risks increase over time. Each day a child is in a contaminated area their level increases.
Children in the city are being exposed to high levels of radiation outside of their schools when they go to local parks to play.
In June the Greenpeace team were at a kindergarten finding that the while the school was being cleaned, other areas where children play and walk were not being cleaned.
Today Greenpeace sent their recommendations to Japan's prime minister after their latest findings.
The group stated that Fukushima City should be declared a "Protective Zone" in April. Because of the radiation that plagues the city Greenpeace has continued to request that pregnant women and children be evacuated from the risky areas until comprehensive decontamination work has finished.
On August 26 the Japanese Government laid out their decontamination plan but that plan does not protect pregnant women and children. The plan is too little too late says Greenpeace.
Greenpeace has detailed demands for the Japanese Government here that include providing financial help to families in the most highly contaminated areas so that they can relocate.