Naraha sees three schools return from nuclear exile in Fukushima

Kyodo

Two elementary schools and a junior high school returned to their hometown in Fukushima Prefecture on Thursday six years after being forced to flee radiation spewed by the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

Around 90 students attended the joint opening ceremony at the new building housing the junior high school in Naraha, most of which is within a 20-km hot zone centered on the heavily damaged Fukushima No. 1 plant. The evacuation order for Naraha was lifted in September 2015.

“Our school life in Naraha, which we have long awaited, begins today. One day, I want to do something for my town,” 11-year-old Hina Moue of Naraha Minami Elementary School said at the ceremony.

The two elementary schools will hold their classes in the junior high school building for the time being.

Since January 2013, the students had been studying at a makeshift facility further south in a university in Iwaki.

The junior high school building was under construction when the 2011 mega-quake and tsunami triggered the man-made nuclear crisis.