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80,000 nuclear plant neighbours may be forced to stay away

http://www.scotsman.com/news/80000-nuclear-plant-neighbours-may.6755384.jp

Published Date: 21 April 2011
By MARI YAMAGUCHI and ELAINE KURTENBACH
in TOKYO
Japanese authorities may for the first time strictly enforce their evacuation zone around the country's crippled nuclear station.
Between 70,000 and 80,000 people were living in the ten towns and villages within 12 miles of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant before the 11 March earthquake and tsunami wrecked its power and cooling systems.

Virtually all the residents left when the government ordered the area evacuated the next day, but some occasionally have returned and police cannot legally block them. There is no penalty for entering the no-go zone.

"We are considering setting up 'caution areas' as an option for effectively limiting entry" chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano said yesterday.

Prime minister Naoto Kan will meet local officials and evacuees to discuss the plans during a visit to the affected region today, the minister added.

With the situation at the plant apparently stabilising, both residents and authorities are considering how to best weather a protracted evacuation. Residents have been demanding they be allowed to check their homes and collect belongings, while government officials are worried about radiation exposure.

Police have set up a few roadblocks on main roads into the area but merely note down the licence plates of cars going in.

"There is a realisation of a need to have a stronger enforcement of the area," said Noriyuki Shikata, one of Mr Edano's deputies. "Both the issue of strong enforcement of the area and a realisation of temporarily going back home is something we have to closely co-ordinate with local municipalities."

Mr Shikata did not say when the restrictions would be put in place. "There are also issues surrounding non- residents who are entering the area. There are people who may steal things," he said.

Mr Kan, who will also visit a nuclear crisis management centre during his trip today, has been under fire from the opposition for the government's response to the nuclear crisis. Mr Edano suggested that the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, should have been better prepared.

"We urge all nuclear operators to immediately take any possible precaution based on the lesson from the Fukushima nuclear accident, and not wait until details of the accident are examined," he said.

A senior UN nuclear agency official, however, suggested the worst of the radiation leaks may be over. The total amount of radiation released is expected to be only a "small increase from what it is today" if "things go as foreseen," said Dennis Flory, a deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。