Japan to extend Fukushima radiation cleanup work by up to 3 yrs
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government will have to extend its decontamination work following the 2011 crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant by a maximum of three years, government officials said Sunday.
The Environment Ministry will shortly release a new schedule for radiation cleanup work, which was scheduled to be completed by the March 31 end of fiscal 2013 under the initial plan, according to the officials.
The government will try to complete the work before reorganizing in fiscal 2017 areas around the crippled plant, currently divided into three zones based on radiation levels.
The cleanup work has been completed as scheduled only in the city of Tamura, out of 11 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture subject to the work, with work in three other areas heading for completion by the end of the current fiscal year.
The ministry believes that a three-year extension would be enough to complete the work for most of the municipalities, but as for Futaba, it remains uncertain when the work will be concluded as most parts of the town are classified as areas difficult to return to for a long time, the officials said.
On Dec. 14, the government announced plans to acquire around 19 square kilometers of land chiefly around the Fukushima Daiichi plant to build facilities for the long-term storage of radioactive and other waste piling up in the decontamination process.
The government aims to start using the planned facilities in January 2015.
December 22, 2013(Mainichi Japan)