Japan could do more when it comes to decontaminating areas around the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, pressure group Greenpeace said on Thursday related to the government’s plan of allowing some of the locals to return to their homes near the plant.
High levels of radiation can still be detected inside the original 20-kilometre no-go zone around the plant, the activists said.
Despite the fact that decontamination operations proved to be effective for houses and many parts of major routes in the city, there still are some lesser-used public roads, large areas of farmland and mountain areas that are contaminated, said Jan Vande Putte, Greenpeace radiation protection adviser.
“It would be unrealistic to ask residents to stay off contaminated roads and farmland. They can be exposed to high levels of radiation if they returned home. Decontamination is a sticky problem. It is very difficult. It requires enormous dedication to reduce radiation levels on roads, on houses and farmland,” he said.
However, radiation levels dropped significantly after decontamination operations, Vande Putte said, according to the international press.
Local people should be properly informed before deciding whether to return to their homes, he added, and government financial assistance should continue regardless of their decision on going back.