The Japanese government announced on Friday that they will allow tens of thousands who were forced to flee their homes by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster to return home within two years.
This announcement comes despite scientists and radiation specialists saying that they did not expect the land to be free from danger any time soon. We reported not long ago that foreign correspondent Arglit Boonyai had said that the nuclear fallout had rendered Fukushima and nearby towns uninhabitable for next few decades.
NBC News National reports:
The government will lift evacuation orders for some 56,500 residents of two zones near the crippled plant after March, 2017, according to a statement on the Ministry of Economy and Industry’s website. No date was set for the remaining 33,100 who lived in towns adjacent to Fukushima and areas northwest of the facility that were harder hit by radiation leaks.
Officials also promised to accelerate infrastructure reconstruction in affected areas.
The government also approved plans by the plant operator to delay the removal of dangerous spent uranium fuel rods at the power station, the latest setback in Tokyo Electric Power Company’s struggle to contain the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
Tens of thousands of Fukushima residents remain in temporary housing more than four years after the disaster, triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami that struck eastern Japan in March 2011.
Some areas near Fukushima have already been reopened but many former residents have been reluctant to return to their old homes because of a lack of facilities and widespread distrust of government claims that the areas are safe.
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