A task force in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party plans to ask the government to lift evacuation orders for areas with “relatively low” radiation around the meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant by the end of fiscal 2016.
The politicians want to speed up residents’ return to radiation-tainted areas and discussed measures, including lifting the evacuation orders, at a general meeting Thursday.
The Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant was heavily damaged by a triple meltdown after losing all power following submersion by tsunami spawned by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The resulting radiation contamination tainted wide swaths of Fukushima and other parts of east Japan.
The group now hopes the government will give evacuated residents the option of returning to risk doses as high as 50 millisieverts a year, by the end of March 2017.
Lifting the orders would give about 55,000 residents the option of recovering their homes.
According to the outline, the orders would be lifted no later than six years after the nuclear crisis began.
By setting a deadline, the LDP wants raise evacuees’ hopes of returning.
The LDP plans to discuss the idea with its coalition ally, Komeito, and submit it to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a joint proposal by the end of this month.
The outline also calls for accelerating infrastructure recovery and decontamination in the areas. It says the government should instruct Tepco to duly consider providing financial compensation for psychological pain even if the evacuation orders are lifted earlier than the March 2017 deadline.