Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fukushima evacuees losing hope of homecoming

Residents of Fukushima Prefecture who evacuated following the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are increasingly losing hope of returning to their homes.

The finding came in a survey by The Asahi Shimbun and a research team headed by Akira Imai, a professor of local government policy at Fukushima University.

Fifty-eight percent of the 273 people contacted said they want to return to their homes or held out hope that one day it might be possible to do so.

The figure was down from 65 percent in a second joint survey conducted last September and 79 percent in the first survey in June. The number of people covered by the surveys was different.

“While radiation levels fell in some places after decontamination work, high radiation levels may be found in other places,” said Toshiharu Kawase, 51, who evacuated to Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, from Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture. “I have to wonder if it is really safe.” Read More