Fukushima, April 20 (Jiji Press)–Progress toward postdisaster reconstruction has been patchy in areas tainted with radioactive substances from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s
One year has passed since Japan began work to realign the evacuation zones set around the plant in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima shortly after the nuclear accident into three types of new zones depending on the levels of contamination, including one where estimated annual radiation doses are under 20 millisieverts and preparations can be started so that residents can resume their lives there after the evacuation orders are lifted in the near future.
One of the other two is an area where annual doses are between above 20 millisieverts and 50 millisieverts and residents need to wait some years to resume their lives, and the remaining one is an area where annual doses are above 50 millisieverts and residents cannot return home at least for five years.
The evacuation zone realignment has already been completed for nine of the 11 Fukushima municipalities concerned and is seen to finish by summer this year for the two others.
Moves toward reconstruction have progressed steadily in places where the realignment finished early. But in other places, buildings and infrastructure are turning into ruins, making reconstruction even more difficult.
The town government of Tomioka in Fukushima Prefecture plans to call on other municipalities in the prefecture’s Futaba county to join in building “temporary towns” for their residents in the same place since they are not expected to be able to return to their homes in the near future due to high levels of radiation from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The Tomioka municipal government envisages temporary towns in three locations — Tomioka’s low-radiation area, the city of Iwaki and the city of Koriyama.
These plans are contained in a set of documents the town government presented at a meeting of its reconstruction panel in Koriyama on April 20.
Panel chairman Shiro Tanaka, who is the town’s deputy mayor, said after the meeting that infrastructure can be established at an early date by creating “temporary towns” jointly with other towns. Tanaka also expressed his intention to promote talks with other municipalities in Futaba county.
Tanaka hinted at mergers of municipalities within the county in the future. “Cooperation with other municipalities would give major momentum to restoration efforts and might lead to discussions of mergers between them,” he said.
Tanaka also said the municipalities should work together and coordinate on the locations of life-service facilities, such as hospitals, nursing-care and welfare facilities and commercial facilities, in the temporary towns.