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» Gov’t reopend 14km road going through no-go zone

The government has reopened an approximately 14-kilometer stretch of road through an otherwise off-limits zone around the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, judging that decontamination work has sufficiently lowered radiation levels.

The road is a part of National Route No. 6, which runs north to south along the coast, connecting the Fukushima Prefecture towns of Futaba and Tomioka. The section was opened to traffic Sept. 15, making it the first in the so-called “difficult-to-return” no-entry zone to be reopened. Decontamination of the road finished in August.

According to the Ministry of the Environment, radiation levels on the road peak at 14.7 microsieverts per hour, and average 3.5 microsieverts per hour. Officials conducted a test in which a car was driven at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour for about 42 kilometers through the no-entry zone, including the opened stretch between Futaba and Tomioka. It recorded a radiation level of 1.2 microsieverts, and very little radioactive material stuck to the car. Based on the results, the government gave the OK to reopen the 14-kilometer stretch, but only to automobiles, not bikes or pedestrians. No permission will be needed to use the road.

There are also concerns from locals that criminals will take advantage of the reopening to break into unattended buildings. The national government is addressing this issue by strengthening barricades at intersections with local roads, while municipalities are installing security cameras and stepping up crime patrols.
<Media Report>
Stretch of road in no-go zone near Fukushima plant reopened to traffic (Mainichi Newspaper)




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