Twelve years after the Fukushima disaster, only a few displaced people are returning home

Twelve years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, there are still many citizens waiting to return home. Today, May 2, it was the turn of the residents of Iitate, a town in northern Japan 30 kilometers from the factory. Areas adjacent to the nuclear plant were evacuated after two nuclear reactors exploded after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake disabled core cooling systems. Considering the high level of radioactivity, areas that are considered dangerous for health have only recently been gaining population again. In June 2022, orders from five other municipalities restricting access to the site were lifted: Futaba, Namie, Tomioka, Okuma, and Katsurao.

In the aftermath of the nuclear disaster, the government imposed a “hard-of-return zone” around an area of ​​337 square kilometers, still with the epicenter of the Fukushima power plant. The area is still inaccessible and does not include municipalities whose decrees have already been withdrawn. Radiation levels are still high here and authorities are working hard to eradicate it.

In contrast, municipalities where resettlement is possible are located within an area of ​​approximately 27 square kilometers that are declared as “reconstruction and revitalization” bases, where radiation is minimal. Here, the government carried out reclamation efforts to facilitate the return of residents. The village of Itate was one of the villages in the area.

After the accident, control of the area and associated improvement at the Fukushima power station was given to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (Tepco). The company’s plan is to monitor the development of the radiation level and at the same time clean the area using robots resistant to radioactive waste. The work will again take thirty to forty years. On March 30, 2023, company robots confirmed damage to the plinth supporting Unit 1 of the facility remains and is trying to figure out how to secure the area to prevent further damage in future earthquakes. Tepco estimates that there is still 880 tons of radiative fuel under the Unit and its extraction will not begin until 2027. The goal is to arrive in 2031 with all the debris already removed to “free” other municipalities to allow for a return home. more displaced persons.

Source: Today IT