Japan: Entry Ban Lifted in Parts of Evacuation Zone Near Fukushima

TAMURA/KAWAUCHI, Fukushima Pref. — An exclusion ban was lifted Sunday for parts of the city of Tamura and the village of Kawauchi in Fukushima Prefecture, allowing residents to enter freely without taking measures against radiation exposure.

But residents from these areas, which are close to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, will not be allowed to stay overnight, although radiation levels remain relatively low.

It was the first revision to the evacuation zone banning entry to areas within 20 km of the plant since the nuclear disaster triggered by the earthquake and tsunami disaster on March 11 last year.

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Japan May Expand Nuclear Emergency Zones

The area required to take precautions in case of accidents at a nuclear power plant in Japan would more than triple under a proposal.

The proposal from a working group of the Nuclear Safety Commission calls for expanding the area from about 5 to 6 miles to more than 18 miles, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

The enlarged area would also more than triple the number of municipalities required to take precautions from 44 to 135 and include major urban areas such as Mito and Kyoto’s Sakyo Ward.

Read the rest of the story: Japan eyes bigger nuclear emergency zones.