Japan Fukushima Disaster ‘Hot Zone’ Reopens to Residents – Report

By @ibtimesau on

Japan has reopened the Miyakoji area of Tamura and has called on its former 357 residents to come back to the place which three years ago underwent evacuation because of the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown.

Residents, homesick they maybe, are wary of allowing themselves become the government's "guinea pigs" in its program.

"Young people won't return," Kitaro Saito, a man in his early 60s, told Reuters. He has no plans of going home to Miyakoji yet, which is just roughly 12 miles (20 km) away from the plant.

"Relatives are arguing over what to do," he added. "The town will be broken up."

Set amid rolling hills and rice paddies, residents bitterly had no choice but to leave Miyakoji in March 2011 following government orders as a result of the triple meltdown at the Fukushima power plant.

Apart from the Miyakoji residents, there are also more than 160,000 people from other towns near the Fukushima plant who evacuated. They also continue to wait with bated breath the completion of the decontamination work at the plant.

Thirty per cent of the total displaced number of residents continue to live in temporary housing throughout the prefecture.

Japan has allotted $30 billion to clean up the radioactive fallout around Fukushima but is expected to finish way beyond schedule.

On Sunday, Japan said it is ready to dump groundwater into the ocean waters starting May 2014. The plan was approved by the local fishermen.

Read: Fukushima Begins Dumping Groundwater into Ocean Waters in May

Just recently, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) had to suspend yet again its decontamination process at the facility.

Read: Fukushima Suspends Decontamination Process, Water Filtering System Malfunctions Yet Again

In early March, doctors noted a steady rise in the number of thyroid cancer cases in children and young adults in Fukushima.

Read: Fukushima 3 Years After: Thyroid Cancer Cases Among Children Rising

But the most nerve-wracking post-event of the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown was when Japan's prosecutors decided to drop charges against Tepco, essentially holding no one liable for the disaster and its aftermath.

Read: Chaos in Tokyo After Prosecutors Drop Charges Over Fukushima Nuclear Meltdowns

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