Cost and Effectiveness of Decontamination Strategies in Radiation Contaminated Areas in Fukushima in Regard to External Radiation Dose Tetsuo Yasutaka1 , Wataru Naito2*, Junko Nakanishi3 1 National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Institute for Geo-Resources and Environment (GREEN), Higashi, Tsukuba, Japan, 2 National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Research Institute of Science for Safety and Sustainability (RISS), Onogawa, Tsukuba, Japan, 3 National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), AIST Fellow, Higashi, Tsukuba, Japan
Abstract The objective of the present study is to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of decontamination strategies in the special decontamination areas in Fukushima in regard to external radiation dose. A geographical information system (GIS) was used to relate the predicted external dose in the affected areas to the number of potential inhabitants and the land use in the areas. A comprehensive review of the costs of various decontamination methods was conducted as part of the analysis. The results indicate that aerial decontamination in the special decontamination areas in Fukushima would be effective for reducing the air dose rate to the target level in a short period of time in some but not all of the areas. In a standard scenario, analysis of cost and effectiveness suggests that decontamination costs for agricultural areas account for approximately 80% of the total decontamination cost, of which approximately 60% is associated with storage. In addition, the costs of decontamination per person per unit area are estimated to vary greatly. Appropriate selection of decontamination methods may significantly decrease decontamination costs, allowing more meaningful decontamination in terms of the limited budget. Our analysis can help in examining the prioritization of decontamination areas from the viewpoints of cost and effectiveness in reducing the external dose. Decontamination strategies should be determined according to air dose rates and future land-use plans. Citation: Yasutaka T, Naito W, Nakanishi J (2013) Cost and Effectiveness of Decontamination Strategies in Radiation Contaminated Areas in Fukushima in Regard to External Radiation Dose. PLoS ONE 8(9): e75308. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075308 Editor: Eshel Ben-Jacob, Tel Aviv University, Israel Received April 16, 2013; Accepted August 13, 2013; Published September 17, 2013 Copyright: © 2013 Yasutaka et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding: This work was supported by AIST Environment and Energy Unit. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.