Gov't poised to end evacuation advisory spots in Minamisoma in October

The central government is expected to remove as soon as October the designation of evacuation advisory spots in all of Minamisoma city implemented after the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co. in the wake of reduced radiation levels in the places involved. The move was made clear on Sept. 26 during a meeting between government officials and municipal assembly members at the city hall. The government side also indicated it will continue paying compensation for psychological damage suffered by residents and reimburse their evacuation expenses for three months after the designation is lifted. The city has a total of 142 spots in seven districts where annual radiation levels exceed the maximum tolerable dose of 20 millisieverts, affecting 152 families. About 80% of some 720 residents in the areas have been evacuated. Radiation measurements conducted in July and August by the government's disaster task force in Fukushima city covering the residences of the affected families averaged 0.4 microsievert per hour at a point 1 meter above the ground, about 20% of the level at the time of the evacuation advisory designation. The maximum measurement was 1.08 microsieverts an hour, equivalent to an annual dose of around 5 millisieverts. This raised the prospect of an annual cumulative dose falling below the maximum allowable level of 20 millisieverts, prompting the task force to eliminate the evacuation advisory labeling. (Translated by Kyodo News)