[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Fukushima clean-up years behind schedule

Residents of towns in exclusion zone around nuclear power station told they will not be moving back for some time.

Last Modified: 22 Oct 2013 01:58
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Government officials say they are revising the cleanup schedule, which they will extend for up to three years [AFP]

Former residents of towns near the damaged Fukushima nuclear power station have been told they will be waiting years to return as the clean-up of radioactive contamination is behind schedule.

Environment Ministry officials said on Monday that they were revising the clean-up schedule for six of 11 municipalities in an exclusion zone evacuated after three reactors went into meltdown following a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The original plan called for completing all decontamination by next March.

No one has been allowed to live in the zone, though the government has allowed day visits to homes and businesses in some places after initial decontamination, said Shigeyoshi Sato, an Environment Ministry official in charge of decontamination.

"We will have to extend the clean-up process, by one year, two years or three years, we haven't exactly decided yet," he said.

Sato cited several reasons for the delay, including a lack of space for the waste from the decontamination work.

The Asahi newspaper reported on Saturday that the government was planning an extension of up to three years.

'Good progress'

An International Atomic Energy Agency mission report, released on Monday, noted some land in the area can produce food with levels of radioactivity below the permissible level.

The 16-person team of international experts and IAEA staff visited Kawauchi, a village where about 40 percent of its population of 3,000 has returned after a cordon was lifted.

223

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.