Monday, March 5, 2012

Anxious Fukushima town residents await review of no-go zone

OKUMA, Fukushima -- This town frequently witnesses many vehicles carrying workers to and from the crippled Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant.

Okuma has a total area of about 78 square kilometers and is one of the municipalities that host the nuclear power plant. But the annual radiation dose tops 20 millisieverts for its east side, of which 70 percent still logs an annual radiation dose of more than 50 millisieverts.

As a result, roads, irrigation facilities and other infrastructure badly damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis have yet to be repaired.

In October last year, the town government mapped out a reconstruction blueprint to rebuild mainly areas where radiation doses are relatively low. But the central government is contemplating a review of the no-go zone as early as April, and it is not clear which area will be dropped from the no-go zone.

Decontamination efforts under the central government are not making progress, prompting Mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe to say with a sigh, "We cannot come up with a specific reconstruction program until the central government decides on its policy." Read More