Kan to spell out no-go zone reality
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Monday he intends to visit Fukushima Prefecture as early as Saturday to tell local officials and residents that some areas near Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s radiation-emitting Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are likely to remain no-go zones for a long time.
Kan is expected to explain that some of the areas with high radiation exposure will have to be declared off-limits — even after the crippled power plant’s reactors are finally coaxed into a cold shutdown.
He is also expected to outline measures to help the evacuees in the future, sources said.
“We cannot deny the possibility that there will be some areas where it will be hard for residents to return to their homes over a long period of time,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.
Edano said the final decision on assigning no-entry designations will be made after considering the outcome of a detailed radiation monitoring and decontamination plan for areas within 20 km of the plant and after consulting those communities.
He declined to say which areas would remain no-go zones and for how long.
As for a proposal to buy up land in such areas or compensate their owners through a leasing arrangement, Edano said the state has not yet made a decision on the matter and is studying whether decontamination will succeed.
The science ministry released an estimate Friday of annual accumulated radiation exposure in the hot zone. The estimate says an exposure level of over 100 millisieverts is expected at 15 of the 50 points surveyed in the zone, which exceeds the International Commission on Radiological Protection’s guideline of 20 to 100 millisieverts even in emergencies.
The annual radiation exposure limit set by the government is 1 millisievert.
At a spot in the town of Okuma, 3 km from the plant, the ministry expects an accumulative level of 278 millisieverts.