Articles | Volume 9, issue 2
Review article
06 Sep 2023
Review article |  | 06 Sep 2023

Research and management challenges following soil and landscape decontamination at the onset of the reopening of the Difficult-to-Return Zone, Fukushima (Japan)

Olivier Evrard, Thomas Chalaux-Clergue, Pierre-Alexis Chaboche, Yoshifumi Wakiyama, and Yves Thiry

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Cited articles

Ager, A. A., Lasko, R., Myroniuk, V., Zibtsev, S., Day, M. A., Usenia, U., Bogomolov, V., Kovalets, I., and Evers, C. R.: The wildfire problem in areas contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster, Sci. Total Environ., 696, 133954,, 2019. 
Asano, I., Harada, N., Nakao, A., Evrard, O., and Yanai, J.: Impact of radiocesium contamination in flood sediment deposited after the 2019 typhoon on decontaminated fields of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, Comp. Rendus. Géosci., 354, 131–140,, 2022. 
Asanuma-Brice, C., Evrard, O., and Chalaux, T.: Why did so few refugees return to the Fukushima fallout-impacted region after remediation? An interdisciplinary case study from Iitate village, Japan, Int. J. Disast. Risk Re., 85, 103498,, 2023. 
Berendes, O. and Steinhauser, G.: Exemplifying the “wild boar paradox”: dynamics of cesium-137 contaminations in wild boars in Germany and Japan, J. Radioanal. Nucl. Ch., 331, 5003–5012,, 2022. 
Board of Audit of Japan: Status of Implementation of Projects Related to Recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake,, (last access: 27 March 2023), 2023 (in Japanese). 
Short summary
Twelve years after the nuclear accident that occurred in Fukushima in March 2011, radioactive contamination remains a major concern in north-eastern Japan. The Japanese authorities completed an unprecedented decontamination programme. The central objective was to not expose local inhabitants to excessive radioactive doses. At the onset of the full reopening of the Difficult-to-Return Zone in 2023, the current review provides an update of a previous synthesis published in 2019.