The Japanese government will soon lift evacuation orders for 6,000 citizens of iitate village in Fukushima prefecture where radiation levels in nearby forests are comparable to the current levels within the Chernobyl 30km exclusion zone – an area that more than 30 years after the accident remains formally closed to habitation. Seventy-five percent of Iitate is contaminated forested mountains. A recent Greenpeace Japan led survey team found radiation dose rates at houses in the village of Iitate well above long-term government targets, with annual and lifetime exposure levels posing a long-term risk to citizens who may return. Evacuation orders will be lifted for Iitate no later than 31 March 2017, to be followed one year later by the termination of compensation payments. “The relatively high radiation values, both inside and outside houses, show an unacceptable radiation risk for citizens if they were to return to Iitate. For citizens returning to their irradiated homes they are at risk of receiving radiation equivalent to one chest X-ray every week. This is not normal or acceptable,” said Ai Kashiwagi, energy campaigner with Greenpeace Japan
Greenpeace Japan 21st Feb 2017 read more »
The end of March 2017 marks the frst time since 2011 when the people of Iitate in Fukushima prefecture will be able to return to their former homes. The Japanese government has set this date to lift evacuation orders, to be followed one year later by the termination of compensation payment. However, for the more than 6,000 citizens of Iitate, this is a time of uncertainty and anxiety. Iitate, which lies northwest of the destroyed reactors at Fukushima Daiichi power plant, was one of the most heavily contaminated by the 2011 nuclear disaster. The village of Iitate is over 200km2 , 75% of which is mountainous forest. Radiation levels in forests in Iitate, which were an integral part of the residents’ lives prior to the nuclear accident, are comparable to the current levels within the Chernobyl 30km exclusion zone – an area that more than 30 years after the accident remains formally closed to habitation.
Greenpeace 21st Feb 2017 read more »