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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Japan : Nuclear-crisis evacuees may be allowed to return home briefly

From Kyodo News :

" The government is considering allowing people evacuated from areas around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to return home for a short period of time, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Thursday.

''Yes, it is true that we are considering it,'' the top government spokesman said at a news conference, when asked about the possibility of allowing the evacuees to make brief visits to their houses to collect valuables and necessities after nearly a month since the crisis at the nuclear complex began.

Edano said the government and nuclear experts are currently studying how to secure safety during their possible hometown visits.

The government has ordered residents within a 20-kilometer radius of the nuclear power station to evacuate and those in the 20-30 km zone to stay indoors since the plant was slammed by a deadly earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

With the crisis at the plant dragging out, Edano also indicated again that the government is considering changing the radiation exposure level currently used to determine the evacuation zone.

''The level was set under the assumption of an accident that risked releasing a huge amount of radioactive particles in a short time,'' Edano said. ''We have asked (nuclear experts) to consider what to do with areas with high cumulative levels of (radiation exposure)."

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