National

Fukushima town of Namie to launch radioactive decontamination work around May

Kyodo

Around May, decontamination work will begin in the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, to make some of its most radioactive areas habitable again, the government said.

Namie was hit hard by the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011, and entry is effectively prohibited for about 80 percent of it.

By March 2023, the government hopes to lift the evacuation order for three parts consisting of 660 hectares. The areas scheduled for decontamination cover about 3.7 percent of the town.

To rebuild areas tainted by the triple core meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power, the government approved a plan submitted by Namie on Dec. 22.

Similar efforts got underway in neighboring Futaba in December and more are scheduled to start in the town of Okuma in March. The two towns cohost the crippled plant. The first round in Namie will cover about 30 hectares.

On March 11, 2011, tsunami inundated the six-reactor plant and knocked out its power supply. This crippled the reactors’ cooling systems, leading to core meltdowns in reactors 1 to 3. It is the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl in 1986.

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