Tokyo, Sept. 10 (Jiji Press)–The Environment Ministry said Tuesday it will extend the period of decontamination in evacuation zones in seven of the 11 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture, home to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant damaged in the March 2011 disaster.
The ministry explained that it has found it impossible to achieve its goal of completing decontamination work by the March 31 end of the current fiscal year.
In a revised program, the ministry stopped short of clarifying when it will finish decontamination work, planning to release a schedule by the end of this year after talks with the municipalities.
The seven municipalities are the city of Minamisoma, the towns of Kawamata, Namie, Tomioka and Futaba, and the villages of Iitate and Katsurao.
The municipalities have faced major delays in decontamination due to the difficulty of finding temporary facilities for storing soil containing radioactive substances released from the plant. Also, it has taken time to obtain approval for the start of decontamination work from evacuated residents.