A new system in which evacuation orders can be lifted in “difficult-to-return” zones in Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan without the national government decontaminating the zones will be set up, indicating a turnabout in the state’s recovery policy for the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station crisis. Since the onset of the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima nuclear plant, the recovery policy had been premised on decontamination. Of the difficult-to-return zones, there are six towns and villages that serve as “recovery bases,” which are former downtown areas and other types of land that are being decontaminated so that people can live there again. But such bases comprise just 8% of all difficult-to-return zones. The new system will permit free entry into the remaining difficult-to-return areas on the condition that no one will live there, and that people will only use them as parks and other facilities. While complete decontamination for such areas will no longer be required, the government plans to keep the criteria that radiation levels must go down before evacuation orders for these zones can be lifted. The Nuclear Regulation Authority has agreed with this plan.
Mainichi 16th Sept 2020 read more »