Thursday, April 21, 2011

Japan's PM declares no-go zone

Source: Press TV

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan has declared a plan which prevents people from returning to evacuated areas around the disaster-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant.

Kan made the announcement on Thursday saying the no-go zone covers an area of 20 kilometers (12 miles).

“The designation of the zone as off-limits is aimed at enhancing government control of the area to which evacuees have been temporarily returning home on their own to collect belongings despite fears of radiation, which continues to leak from the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi plant," a report said.

However, the UN nuclear monitors say the safety-zone is not sufficient enough to protect the public from health hazards. They have advised Japanese authorities to double the radius of the no-go area to 40 kilometers.

Meanwhile, there are reports that as many as 200 people still occupy homes in the restricted zone.

This comes as radioactive iodine levels in seawater near the Fukushima plant have hit a new record of almost 5,000 times the legal limit.

On March 11, Japan was hit by a 9-magnitude earthquake, followed by a devastating tsunami that ravaged through the country's northeastern coast.

The tremor triggered a nuclear crisis by knocking out power to cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on the northeast coast.

Japan has not been able to bring the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant under control, since water filling the reactor buildings is hampering restoration work.

Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced on Sunday that it will manage to reduce radiation leaks from its Fukushima plant within three months and to also cool reactors and control the radiation within six to nine months.

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