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» Radiation levels remain high even after decontamination at hot zone

Radiation levels in many areas of Fukushima Prefecture designated as zones where it is difficult for residents to return in the foreseeable future remain too high for residents to come back even after decontamination, the Environment Ministry said.

Areas near the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant where the annual radiation levels are over 50 millisieverts and are unlikely to fall below 20 millisieverts within five years after the March 2011 nuclear accident have been designated as zones where it is difficult for residents to return.

The ministry decontaminated six designated areas in the Fukushima Prefecture towns of Namie and Futaba between October last year and January this year as model projects. In the decontamination work, the surface of soil was stripped away, soil was cleaned with high-pressure water and weeds were removed.

As a result, the average airborne radiation levels in residential areas, on farmland and roads, which had stood at 7.65 to 19.12 microsieverts per hour, fell about 60 percent to 3.35 to 7.09 microsieverts following decontamination.

Still, residents would be exposed to more than 20 millisieverts per year in many of these areas if they are to live in wooden houses and stay outdoors for eight hours a day.

Radiation levels in forests in these areas declined only about 20 percent even after decontamination.
<Media Report>
Trial decontamination work stumbles (Japan Times)

Despite decontamination, radiation levels too high for many Fukushima residents to return (Mainichi Newspaper)

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