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Japan: Fukushima Residents Can't Return Home In Ten Years

4/23/2012 8:19 AM ET

Japan's Industry Minister Yukio Edano says there will be some areas near the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that will have radiation levels too high for residents to return, even ten years from now.

At a meeting with local officials in towns near the nuke plant on Sunday, he showed an assessment based on government monitoring carried out by aircraft in November.

It forecasts the level of atmospheric radiation in five to ten years, but the effects of decontamination is not taken into account. The estimate predicts that in March 2017 there will be areas in the towns of Futaba and Okuma where radiation exposure will exceed 100-millisieverts per year. In some areas in these two towns, as well as in Namie town, radiation exposure will exceed 50-millisieverts. By March 2022, some areas in these three towns and in Tomioka, radiation will remain higher than 20-millisieverts.

After the meeting, Nuclear Crisis Minister Goshi Hosono told reporters the government should be prepared to talk to the residents about making a decision to give up returning home. But at the same time, he said the government would consult local administrations about decontamination plans because some residents were insisting on returning, Japan's public broadcaster reported.

by RTT Staff Writer

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