Fukushima Return: At Nuclear Site, How Safe is “Safe?”
Residents cleared to return after massive cleanup, but some wonder whether it's a bid to cut victim compensation
Patrick J. Kiger
for National Geographic
PUBLISHED APRIL 2, 2014
For the first time since Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power disaster three years ago, residents of a small portion of the surrounding restricted area are being allowed to return home, even though radiation levels remain
At midnight on March 31, the Japanese government officially lifted an evacuation order for a portion of the Miyakoji district of Tamura, a city about 12 miles (20 kilometers) inland from the nuclear plant. Some 360 residents are now free to return to their homes, according to the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun. They were among 80,000 people from the surrounding communities who were forced to flee after the earthquake-triggered tsunami of March 11, 2011, inundated Fukushima, knocked out its crucial backup power, and set off a catastrophic accident and release of radiation. The vast majority of the evacuees remain barred from returning.
While precise measurements for Miyakoji weren’t available, other locations in the vicinity had radiation exposure levels as high as 80 to 170 microsieverts per hour about one week after the Fukushima accident, according to the... LINK
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