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Nuclear Watch: Fukushima village OKs lifting of evacuation order (08/18/2014)

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Published on Aug 18, 2014

Fukushima village OKs lifting of evacuation order
Nuclear & Energy Aug. 18, 2014 - Updated 04:36 UTC+2
A village near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has approved a proposal by the central government to lift an evacuation order for part of it on October 1st.

About 80 residents of Kawauchi Village in Fukushima Prefecture attended a meeting held by the central government on Sunday.

It was reported at the meeting that a committee set up by the village decided that it was indeed appropriate to lift the evacuation order.

Government officials then proposed that the order be lifted following the start of additional decontamination work in September in areas where radiation levels remain high.

They also said work to repair main roads is expected to be completed in the same month.

Village mayor Yuko Endo accepted the proposal, saying that after it takes place, villagers will be free to decide whether or not to return home. He said it will enable villagers to go back to the lives they had before the nuclear accident.

The government initially proposed lifting the evacuation order on July 26th. But it postponed the plan due to strong opposition from local residents.

Some participants at Sunday's meeting expressed opposition again, mainly due to concerns over radiation.

A 53-year-old man said it is too early to lift the order, as radiation readings remain high in some areas and many issues remain unresolved.

A 66-year-old man said he wants the order to be lifted as soon as possible, as the government says it is ready to compensate residents and rebuild the village's infrastructure.

Kawauchi Village will be the second area to have an evacuation order lifted. In April, the government lifted the order for the Miyakoji district in Tamura City, Fukushima Prefecture.

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