Evacuation of hot spots mulled

Kyodo

The government is considering expanding the evacuation area in Fukushima Prefecture to include other locations with high levels of radiation as a result of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, officials said.

The government will be discussing the matter with the municipal governments of these hot spots, which are showing radiation exposure that would exceed 20 millisieverts in the course of a year.

A hot spot refers to an area with high levels of radiation following rain or as a result of landscape or wind conditions that affect the direction in which radioactive materials travel after being released into the air.

Normally, radiation spreads concentrically, but conditions sometimes cause radioactive materials to accumulate in certain locations.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Monday there are certain spots outside the government-designated evacuation area where radiation levels are high depending on atmospheric and other conditions, and the government will boost monitoring at these locations.

“Based on the outcome of (radiation) monitoring, we will consider taking appropriate action,” Edano said, hinting at the possible evacuation of these areas.

Separately, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama told an opposition lawmaker that some parts of Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, have registered high levels of radiation.