JAPAN - The Nuclear Regulation Authority plans to digitize about 900,000 pages of documents related to the Fukushima nuclear crisis, with an eye to making them publicly available online in about two years, it has been learned.
According to NRA officials, some of the material has not been released before, and includes radioactivity monitoring results, how people were irradiated and evacuation plans worked out by local governments.
The project is intended to bring together - and make accessible - the masses of documents stored by ministries and agencies on the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The digitization will not include material compiled by the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. The officials said these documents do not belong to the government.
"There are 300,000 A-4 pages of documents here alone," one official of the NRA Secretariat said in a room of the building that houses the NRA in Tokyo's Roppongi district.
The official opened one locker, revealing a huge number of binders that the NRA took over from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, which was abolished in September.
The contents of the binders were sorted into many files.
Some documents appeared to contain radioactivity monitoring data recorded in Fukushima Prefecture immediately after the nuclear crisis started after the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
Radiation readings had been underlined several times.
Some notes jotted on the documents were little more than a scrawl, indicating the urgency with which they had been written by people trying to handle the nation's worst nuclear crisis.
The documents have been stored by an array of entities, including the NRA, the government countermeasures headquarters against the nuclear crisis in Fukushima city, and the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry's Emergency Response Center in Kasumigaseki, Tokyo.