Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the third plane crash in one week - from France, Algeria and Burkina Faso

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the plane crash that took 116 lives - almost half of them French

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

  • Live: ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

  • Air Algérie crash: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Fukushima area may be off limits for 'a long time'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-08-22

Residents who were evacuated from around the Fukushima power plant may not be able to return home for “a long time”, officials said Monday. The government is considering providing additional support for the evacuees, including long-term housing.

AP - Some residents evacuated from around Japan’s stricken nuclear power plant may not to be able to return to their homes for “a long time” due to projections that high radiation levels will linger, a top government official said Monday.

The government is considering providing additional support for the evacuees, including long-term housing rather than prefabricated temporary homes that the government currently is building, Cabinet members said over the weekend.

The comments come after a report from the education and science ministry projected that radiation accumulated over one year at 22 monitoring sites within roughly 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant would climb above 100 millisieverts, five times higher than the international safety standard of 20 millisieverts per year.

The plant was damaged by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami that knocked out its vital cooling systems, causing meltdowns in three reactor cores that spewed radiation into the air. Some 80,000 people within a 12-mile (20 kilometer) radius of the plant have been evacuated, while several thousand more from outside the zone also relocating.

“We cannot deny a possibility that some of the residents may not be able to return their homes for a long time in some areas despite our decontamination efforts,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a regular news conference. “We are very sorry.”

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he may travel north to the affected area this weekend to meet with local officials and residents to discuss further steps the government may take.

The government’s plan to bring the troubled plant to a cold, stable shutdown by January had boosted hopes among evacuees that they might be able to return to their homes soon after that. The latest projections seem to indicate that won’t be possible for some.

A site in the town of Okuma, less than 2 miles (3 kilometers)southwest of the nuclear complex, was expected to accumulate 508 millisieverts over a year, the highest amount the report showed.

Radiation specialists say doses of that size raise cancer risks. Evidence is less clear on smaller amounts, but in theory, any increased radiation exposure raises the risk of cancer.

While the amount of radiation leaking from the plant has dropped sharply since early in the crisis, radioactive particles that have accumulated on buildings, trees and in the soil since the accident pose health risks.

Edano said the government has not decided which areas would be off-limits for the long term. Officials planned to make a decision based on monitoring results and the progress of ongoing decontamination efforts.

 

Date created : 2011-08-22

  • JAPAN

    Protesters rally in Fukushima against nuclear power

    Read more

  • JAPAN

    Japan suspends cattle shipments from Fukushima

    Read more

  • JAPAN

    Japan to conduct 'stress tests' on nuclear plants

    Read more

COMMENT(S)