Advisory lifted for parts of village near Fukushima nuclear power plant

JIJI

The government has lifted its evacuation advisory for most of Katsurao, a village near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

This is the first time that an evacuation advisory has been lifted for an area with annual radiation doses projected at between 20 millisieverts and 50 millisieverts.

The government’s move on Sunday allows 1,347 people in 418 households to return home for the first time since the March 2011 disaster at the plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

But only a few people are expected to return home for the time being due to inconveniences in everyday life in the village. Municipal bus services remain suspended while shops have yet to reopen.

The village government plans to offer free taxi services for elderly people so that they can go to hospitals and commercial facilities outside the village.

Earlier this month, the village’s chamber of commerce and industry started services to deliver fresh foods and daily necessities to homes.

The evacuation advisory remains in place for 119 people in 33 households from the remaining Katsurao area, where annual radiation doses are estimated at over 50 millisieverts.