Gov't to designate new evacuation spots near Fukushima plant
The policy on the areas dubbed as "hot spots" will cover specific households in a residential area, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a news conference. Currently, the government in principle imposes an evacuation order on a municipality basis.
He said the government will support those who wish to evacuate from the hot spots and that children and pregnant women especially are urged to leave the spots, which register radiation levels that could exceed the 20-millisieverts yardstick a year.
Edano also said, "We see that there is no such risk that warrants a blanket evacuation," indicating it is not necessary to make the evacuation from the spots mandatory.
He added the government at the same time needs to give the heads-up to residents on a possibility that by staying in the hot spots for too long every day, they may end up accumulating more than 20 millisieverts.
The benchmark of 20 millisieverts is based on a recommendation by the International Atomic Energy Agency that the annual limit of radiation level should be in the range of 20 to 100 millisieverts in an emergency.
Following the start of the nuclear crisis, the government has prohibited entry into a 20-kilometer radius of the Fukushima plant, which continues to emit radiation, and ordered the evacuation of people in designated areas outside the zone where radiation levels are feared to surpass the limit.
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