The Japanese government is considering allowing residents of an evacuation zone located within a 20-kilometer radius of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to stay at their homes overnight for three months from April 26, government sources said Sunday.
As of the end of December, 330 residents of 152 households in the zone of Kawauchi village, Fukushima Prefecture, were still in evacuation housing after the nuclear plant was severely damaged by the huge earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
They are currently allowed to stay in the evacuation zone only in the daytime.
The latest plan has become more likely as decontamination works in the living spaces within the evacuation zone are almost complete, according to the sources.
The government will soon propose it to the municipal authority and the residents while examining the possibility of lifting the evacuation order for the area, although cautious voices still remain that the radiation level may still be high.
As for an area of the city of Tamura, adjacent to Kawauchi, the government has allowed its residents since last August to stay there day or night and, as of April 1, will make it the first area within the 20-km radius to have its evacuation order lifted.